Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Digital Marketing - Social Media

Are you missing out on a viable marketing opportunity with TikTok? Part 2.

As one of the fastest-growing apps on the market today, marketers and brands are taking notice and looking to capitalize on TikTok’s popularity. But before you spend all your budget on the latest shiny thing — ask yourself, is TikTok really worth your time as a Canadian business?

Let’s start with some facts we know.

In 2018, TikTok gained popularity and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. in October of that year. As of 2018, TikTok is available in over 150 markets and proudly boasts over 800M global monthly active users. Seems like a massive audience to reach, but let’s dig deeper.

TikTok itself has not released any Canadian data (groan), but eMarketer data show that in August of 2019, TikTok placed 9th amongst the Top 10 Mobile Social Media Apps ranked by Monthly Unique visitors with 1.7M (Facebook & Instagram ranked 1st with 20.5M cumulatively). There are 50M monthly active users in the US and while that’s still a big number, it only represents about 6% of the user base.

While the Canadian audience for TikTok might be small, it actually has the second-highest Average Monthly Time Spent, proving that its users are spending a significant amount of time on the app.

According to a study of US internet users, TikTok is most popular with age groups 13-16 and 17-21 (eMarketer). As the app grows, we may see the demos change, but for now, it’s definitely Gen Z-centric.

What about advertising on TikTok?

TikTok offers five core ad products: Hashtag Challenge, Brand Takeover, In-Feed Video, Branded Lenses, and Top View.

If you head over to the TikTok website you may be disappointed to find out that advertising on TikTok isn’t available to Canadian businesses yet.

But don’t despair! You can still run ads on the platform as a Canadian business.

And Alphabet® can help you do it.

We can offer In-Feed Video ads that can target iOS and Country (which means we can only target Canada-wide, no smaller areas). If you’re interested in more info get in touch.

If you want to go through TikTok directly, know that the minimum for a campaign is $25K USD for in-feed video and increases dramatically depending on the ad format you are using. Top brands like Walmart, e.l.f. Cosmetics, the NFL, and Chipotle are diving into the TikTok world using the Hashtag Challenge, an ad option that starts at $150K USD.

What other opportunities are there?

Like other social media platforms, TikTok is a hive for creators and influencers. Even the paid campaigns from big brands often include influencers instead of actors.

Influencers on TikTok are similar to content creators found on YouTube or Instagram, and those who once rose to fame on Vine (RIP), but big-time celebrities are starting to jump onto the platform as well. Ariana Grande, Amy Schumer, Ed Sheeran, and Jimmy Fallon are a few notable additions.

The music industry is riding this wave, too. Songs that were released before Gen Z was even in utero are experiencing a resurgence in the charts and on streaming services like Spotify and new artists are finding their entry into the industry through this quickly revolving door.

And while this is pure speculation, we suspect that similar to Instagram, joining forces with a celebrity will cost big bucks (Kylie Jenner was reportedly paid around $1.2M for a single post). But don’t let that scare you off — we also suspect that there are opportunities to collaborate with micro-influencers who are much more affordable.

The big takeaway?

Gen Z users are generating wildly popular content and we have to tip our hats to their seemingly natural ability to go viral. If you’re looking to target a younger generation swayed by influencers, this could be a great platform for your brand.

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Digital Marketing - Social Media

Increasing Organic Engagement on Facebook with Unique Post Types

It’s no secret that Facebook organic reach is declining. (If this is news to you, feel free to Google it and you’ll see the thousands of articles talking about it or check out some sources listed down below). Many people, including me, will tell you it’s becoming solely a pay-to-play arena. Finding new, fresh audiences is really REALLY difficult unless you’re putting ad dollars behind your posts. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon the organic ship. You’ve built an audience of Facebook fans and we do not want to leave them high and dry. Unfortunately, it can be hard to reach even your own fans. With algorithm changes continually working against pages, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your organic posts are incredible so that the Facebook robots say, “Hey! This page has good stuff, let’s show it to more people”.

One of the factors that the Facebook algorithm looks for is engagement from your audience. This makes sense, if people are engaging with your content (commenting, liking, or sharing it) they probably like it (or really hate it) but it’s creating an interactive experience on Facebook and that’s what Facebook wants. They want their users engaged with their platform so that they can boast about a lift in user engagement to sell more ad space, thus resulting in more revenue.

So back to engaging content. The first step is, make sure whatever you create is interesting. Whether that’s a photo post, a video, or a link to a blog post. But let’s move beyond the regular post types and explore some other options.

Note: you can create a poll on mobile but carousels have to be made on desktop—and both are much easier to create on desktop.

Organic Carousels

Carousels are a very popular ad type, but did you know you can create carousels organically as well? It’s a bit trickier than paid, but it gives you a lot more real estate for your content. It also means you can share multiple links in one post. This is especially great if you have a theme you want to post about or a group of products.

New to carousels? Carousels are made up of “cards”. Each card contains an image, headline, and link. Paid carousel cards also contain a link description. The entire carousel unit includes post copy at the top and displays the cards underneath which a user can click or swipe through.

Here’s how to create an organic carousel:

  1. Go to your Facebook page and start a post. Choose “Photo/Video” and then “Create a photo carousel”.
  2. Write your post copy.
  3. Insert a Destination URL. Important: in organic carousels, the first link you enter will automatically be used in the last card of the carousel. The last card also uses your profile photo as the image with default copy: See more at [your page name]. You cannot change or turn off this card.
    Make sure you choose the right link here, otherwise you’ll have to rebuild the rest of the carousel if you change your mind!
  4. Facebook will automatically pull photos from the link you have entered but you can then customize which photos you want to show. You can insert new photos (that don’t need to be on the page of the first link) and remove any photos you don’t want that have been auto-populated. *Add a few photos in first, if you try to delete all the other photos first you’ll run into issues.
  5. You can have up to 10 cards in the carousel. Each card can have it’s own unique photo, headline, and link. To edit the link, hover over the photo and click the link icon.
  6. Once you’ve reviewed your carousel you can post it immediately or schedule it for posting later.

Polls

Polls are a great way to engage your audience whether it’s just for a laugh or useful feedback. On Facebook, you can create polls using images or gifs to make it even more eye-catching and interesting. They can be simple questions like, How do you like to do summer? Quiet Cottage or Raging Festivals? Or more business-related like, Which of these colours do you like better for our new t-shirt line?

Here’s how to create a poll:

  1. Go to your Facebook page and start a post. At the bottom of the post you’ll see some options for post type like Photo/Video and Get message, click the three little dots on the far right to open up more post type options. Choose Poll. *Note: you can only run one poll at a time.
  2. Insert copy for your question and your 2 poll options—the answer options are limited at 25 characters each.
  3. Upload photos or add GIFs to your poll options using the buttons on the right side of each text field.
  4. Choose how long you’d like the poll to be interactive before closing with the dropdown menu below.

Try having some fun with these unique post formats and measure the response from your audience. If your audience responds positively, start working these types of posts into your content calendar in the never-ending fight again declining organic reach. Good luck out there!


Resources:
Algorithm Updates – https://www.socialmediatoday.com/topic/algorithm-updates/

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Digital Marketing - Social Media

Are Instagram stories part of your strategy? Here’s why they should be.

Snapchat’s rampant popularity with younger generations has prompted Instagram to leverage self-destructing visual content for further user engagement. The result is Instagram Stories. Stories contribute to Instagram’s 2.2%—and rising—average engagement rate, and brands and marketers should consider using it more.1

Millennials and Gen Z now make up nearly 30 percent of the total population and 71% of Instagram users. They spend an average of 53 minutes on the platform daily, presenting a massive target opportunity for marketers.1,3

Instagram Users by Age

Why Instagram Stories?

Their chronological nature and convenient placement at the top of the app make Instagram Stories an ideal choice to engage users.  It’s easy to swipe through and tap to view, then once you watch one you can continue swiping, or sit back while they autoplay.

In addition to increased exposure over the classic feed, here are six reasons why Instagram Stories are a win:

  1. Video has the highest potential for engagement
  2. It’s easier to communicate with a video and images than with text.
  3. Stories are impermanent, which prompts users to engage so they don’t miss out!
  4. Stories offer a more personal, intimate exchange with consumers
  5. Stories channel users to brands’ accounts where they can engage with their existing content.
  6. Stories offer a more realistic social experience.

Create engaging Stories.

We know that Stories are the bees knees, but now what? Here are some handy tips for creating Instagram Stories to delight and engage your followers.

Include sound: 60% of all video Stories are viewed with sound on, so make sure there’s something worth listening to. If there’s no voice in the video, then music makes a good sound overlay.

Use text overlay: Text overlay encourages engagement when users must have sound off. They can read-watch, which will hold their interest longer.

Keep if friendly: Make your Story look like a shared experience from a close friend, rather than a business. Add emojis or symbols to endear your brand with users.

Break it down: Since stories are consumed faster than newsfeed posts and attention spans continue to shorten, consider short scenes of a few seconds each for more complex Stories.

Create interest: Engaging subject matter, coupled with filters or graphic overlays can boost appeal.

Be interactive: Elevate the user experience by adding clickable links to employ the swipe function to engage actions. Links are possible with Stories — a feature that’s absent from organic posts. (Note: the feature requires a verified account or a minimum of 10,000 followers)

Examples:

Instagram Stories Examples

We’re excited! With an ever-growing digitally-embedded audience, demand for expiring content keeps growing. Instagram Stories hold massive potential for engagement and a personalized brand experience. We can’t wait to see how our clients’ digital communications will improve through this fun feature.

  1. Source: Hootesuite
  2. Source: Hootesuite & We Are Social – Digital 2019 Report
  3. Source: Mobile Marketer
  4. Source: Sprout Social

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Digital Marketing

Actionable GDPR Compliance Advice For Canadian Businesses From Our Lawyers

“GDPR. It’s a 4-letter word that can make life difficult…we’re trying to make it easy for you.”

You’ve probably heard about some new legislation from the EU called the GDPR. It’s so new that a lot of businesses, companies and lawyers are still trying to figure out what it is, who’s responsible, and what complying with it means. Alphabet® decided to spare you hours of internet research and multiple headaches by consulting the experts and going directly to our lawyers at Momentum Business Law to understand what this means for Canadian businesses.

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR is the EU General Data Protection Regulation, and some are calling it the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. It applies to any EU citizen or any citizen who is in the EU (like a travelling Canadian), and all companies processing the personal data of data subjects residing in the Union, regardless of the company’s location. So that means these rules still apply to citizens of the EU travelling to Canada.

Essentially, it applies to 99% of businesses and should be complied with by everyone. Now, that level of compliance is where things can get a little tricky, depending on your risk aversion.

PIPEDA vs GDPR

Because we live in Canada (btw, do you have a .CA?), many of the changes and policies in the GDPR are already covered under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA.

PIPEDA already governs how private sector organizations collect, use and disclose personal information in the course of commercial business. It became law in 2000, and interestingly enough, was intended to reassure the European Union that the Canadian privacy law was adequate to protect the personal information of European citizens. PIPEDA covers a lot of ground, but the biggest takeaways are that it requires organizations to:

  • obtain consent when they collect, use or disclose their personal information;
  • supply an individual with a product or a service even if they refuse consent for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless that information is essential to the transaction;
  • collect information by fair and lawful means; and
  • have personal information policies that are clear, understandable and readily available.

But, even with PIPEDA, there are some gaps that need attention to ensure that you’re complying with GDPR, because you can definitely be sued if you’re not.

GDPR: TOP 3 TAKEAWAYS

There’s a lot of uproar around this legislation, specifically from countries with really relaxed privacy laws (we’re looking at you, USA). But really, there are only three things that Canadian businesses who are already following PIPEDA rules need to do to ensure that they’re following the GDPR rules.

1) COOKIES
If you’re using cookies on your website, you need to be clear and explicitly state to users that you’re doing so (so no hiding this in the footer), while including a direct link to your privacy policy. The folks at Momentum Business Law recommend using a cookie bar that appears when users land on your website. Depending on your company’s level of comfort with risks, you can choose one of the three options below.

The first two are best for very risk-averse companies as they do not allow a user to browse the website unless they have completed an action to agree to the use of cookies. The third option is what most companies are currently using, is less obstructive for users, and is less technically challenging.

  • Requiring users to accept the terms by clicking an ‘Accept’ or ‘ok’ button;
  • Requiring users to ‘X’ out of a pop-up box indicating the terms; or
  • Stating to users that continued use of the website signals consent and of terms.

2) PRIVACY POLICY
If your website performs any sort of data-collection function, you now need to communicate to users if, how and why you are using data via things like cookies, Google Analytics, Facebook pixels, marketing automation software, etc.

3) RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN
Also known as Data Erasure, Right to Be Forgotten means that if you can identify a user in your data (like through a newsletter signup), you must delete their info if they request that you to do so. If you can’t identify a user (like through a Facebook retargeting pixel), we recommend providing them with clear instructions within your privacy policy on how they can delete their cookies and then be ‘removed’ from your list. Although this isn’t necessarily required under GDPR, it helps organizations be more helpful to website visitors and demonstrates a commitment to allowing users control over their personal data.

It’s important to note that these rules apply to both controllers and processors – meaning ‘clouds’ will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement.

Good news! We got our hands on some awesome (and legally sound) verbiage from Momentum Business Law about what you should put on your cookie bar and privacy policy. You can grab your copy as part of our GDPR Compliance Pack.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Under GDPR, organizations in breach of this legislation can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is more) – which is a pretty hefty price to pay for being able to sell someone socks on Facebook or something.

The information contained in this blog post is for general information purposes only and in no circumstance does this information constitute legal advice. We make no representation as to the accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability or validity of any information in this blog post and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. This blog post includes information provided to us by third parties (including our lawyers) and that information may not have been vetted by us. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information.

Momentum Business Law’s team of experienced business lawyers are available to help, should you require legal advice. Contact them today by email at info@momentum.law or by phone at 613.592.3939.

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Social Media

Is IGTV the right fit for your business?

“Instagram turns its’ gaze to video content creators with the new IGTV app.”

Most people use their smartphone in vertical mode most of the time and they want content in this format as well. So Instagram has launched IGTV (short for Instagram TV), a new app for watching long-form vertical videos. This can be done via the new IGTV app or within the regular Instagram app. Jump down to watch our walk-through video.

It’s safe to say that IGTV is definitely making waves in the social world and users are keen to consume and produce longer form video. The IGTV app already has 1+ million downloads on Google Play. This doesn’t include users who downloaded the app via iTunes (data not yet available) or those who are using IGTV through their regular Instagram app which now has 1 billion active users monthly.

“People have been watching 60% more video on Instagram over the last year.”

It seems that the Facebook-Instagram dynamic duo is aiming to take over the video world. With this new video format, Instagram is going up against YouTube and Snapchat’s Discover section. (When it comes to TV or Netflix type video, that’s where the new Facebook TV comes in but that is for another discussion.)

Is Long-form Mobile Video the Way to Go?

With waning attention span and exponentially growing content, will users actually consume videos that are up to one-hour longer and mobile-only? Instagram is betting yes. Longer videos certainly work on YouTube but it offers videos on desktop as well as mobile. Let’s take a look at some data.

According to a recent study, mobile is the preference for short-form videos, “… 82% preferred mobile, 56% computers, and only 13% traditional and connected TVs.” (https://www.iab.com/insights/personal-prime-time/). While not stated explicitly in this study, we must assume that short videos is anything shorter than a traditional TV episode since long videos were described as traditional TV episodes.

A 2016 study showed that on YouTube specifically, users watched a higher number of videos and spent more time overall on mobile, however they spent more time watching an individual video on desktop.

Based on these metrics, we know users are more and more likely to watch video content on their phones but time will tell if this is the case with long-form video as well.

Wooing the Content Creators

Instagram has gained the backing of popular creators to help showcase the new IGTV.  Currently, many of these creators use Instagram to gain a following and increase exposure. They host their actual shows on YouTube and simply link to them from their Instagram accounts.

We see a few challenges when it comes to wooing the content creators over to the IGTV side. First, YouTube videos are exclusively horizontal, whereas the IGTV videos are vertical. Will creators choose one channel over the other? Will they go through the extra work to produce videos in two formats?

Second, IGTV is currently not showing ads. This could be a problem since creators make money from their YouTube accounts based on the ads shown on their videos. With no ads running on IGTV, it looks like creators don’t have a direct way to generate revenue. They certainly can link off to other paid content or even to their YouTube videos but this still could be a large barrier for stealing creators away from YouTube.

Regarding ads, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “…that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.” But until that happens, creators won’t know exactly what’s in store for them and how they can use their new channel as a revenue stream.

We’re excited to see what shifts happen in the coming weeks after the initial excitement of the launch.

So, What is IGTV Actually Like?

Video Format
Videos are full screen and vertical. Technically, you can upload landscape videos but they will be displayed with blurred top and bottom to fit within the screen or will be displayed sideways and you’ll have to turn your phone to view (not ideal). Regular Instagram currently lets you post slightly vertical, square or landscape videos (it will crop vertical videos down).

Video Length
Videos on the IGTV can be up to one hour long for large accounts.  It looks like most accounts have a 10 minute max for now; we expect that video length will increase for most accounts in the future.

Some Benefits for Marketers

ideos start playing automatically as soon as you open IGTV. You’ll be served videos from people you already follow on the Instagram app as well as others as well as suggest video based on your interests. Since your videos will be shown to people who don’t necessarily follow you, this gives brands a chance to captivate new audiences.

Again, there is currently no advertising space available, but we are fairly confident it’s on its’ way.

As we mentioned above, one issue may be repurposing content. If you shoot full-screen video for your IGTV channel, you’ll need to do some seriously creative cropping or shoot completely new footage for your YouTube channel.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

So, Should You Jump on the IGTV Train?

When it comes to choosing which social channels to be on, our advice is always the same.

  1. Go where your audience is. Instagram is especially great for reaching Millennials — which by the way are 22 to 37 year-olds as of 2018 — and is tied with LinkedIn as the second most popular social media network for Canadians. (https://cira.ca/factbook/canada%E2%80%99s-internet-factbook-2018)
  2. Start small, then add new channels only once you’ve mastered your current ones.

This goes for new apps within other apps. We suggest focusing on one aspect of Instagram, like your regular Instagram feed, before moving on to Stories or IGTV. You don’t need to do them all, but if you’re already rocking it and have the manpower to give IGTV a try, we fully support it.

Want to watch the announcement video? Check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/BkQjCfsBIzi/

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Digital Marketing - Social Media

Cross Channel Marketing

“There is a place in the buyer journey for multiple platforms.”

When was the last time you bought a product or service after seeing it advertised for the first time? For most of us, we see products multiple times before we buy. We see ads on the Internet, or in magazines. We search for more information online and we see ads following us after visiting websites. Then, often times, we buy. So, if we know our consumers are actively exposed to content on multiple platforms, we should be building and executing strategies for all touch points.

Here is an example of someone moving through the buyer journey on a multi-platform experience.

Let’s set the scene:


John is a sales rep, bacon-lover, and an avid runner living in Ottawa. After a long day of stressful work, often keeping him at the office much later than 5pm, John likes to go for an evening jog in his neighbourhood. Since running is one of his main interests, John follows a lot of sports brands on social media and is interested in learning about the latest running techniques and equipment.

Enter a company that sells running shoes and other running equipment. Let’s call them It’s a RUNderful Life. They know that their audience is not just looking for fancy equipment, they really want to learn more about running. They produce weekly blog posts and videos that educate and entertain their audience, all on the subject of running. Their aim? To create a fanbase of loyal customers and would-be-customers that value them not just as a company, but as a resource.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]John realizes his running shoes have holes in them and it’s time for a new pair. He goes to Google and, after searching “men’s running shoes”, sees a number of ads promoting similar looking running shoes. He notices one of the ads is from a company he follows on social media: It’s a RUNderful Life. He clicks their paid ad promoting a sale for running shoes. He reads up on the offer, but isn’t quite ready to buy yet, so he leaves the site.

The next day, he is browsing Facebook when video ad for the same running shoes he looked at yesterday crosses his newsfeed. John is compelled to click on the ad and, finally, he buys the shoes.

A few days after his purchase, John is scrolling through his Instagram feed and notices an ad for shoelaces that are reflective in the dark and are perfect for nighttime runners. The ad shows the shoelaces being used with the running shoes that John had bought earlier in the week. He clicks on the ad and decides to buy the shoelaces.

So, what’s the advertising story behind this scenario?

Cross Channel Marketing Infographic

First, It’s a RUNderful Life is using content marketing in addition to paid advertising. By creating frequent and consistent content, they are attracting potential customers to become familiar with their brand. They’re also keeping current customers interested and primed for future purchases. Consistent content keeps the company top of mind and builds trust with its audience.

The content marketing play works beyond social media as well. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can play a huge role in the buyer journey. Before making a purchase how often do you Google it first?

Buyers may have identified a problem and are looking for solutions, not actual products. This is where your web content, like blogs and other resources, can help capture their attention. Instead of searching for “men’s running shoes”, John may have searched for “best men’s running shoes” first. In which case, a blog listing different shoes and their benefits would be a great way to introduce your brand to potential buyers, increase trust, and start building a retargeting audience of people who have visited your site.

In addition to organic promotion through content marketing, It’s a RUNderful Life is advertising on Google using AdWords. The company is using a retargeting audience of people who have visited their website to serve ads on Facebook. Lastly, the company has created an audience of customers on Facebook and Instagram with which to upsell and cross-sell to — like a follow up after the purchase. This is why John was served the shoelaces ad on Instagram.

By examining the buyer journey, we can pick out the best platforms and messages to reach potential customers at specific points in the buyer journey.

Content marketing can help put your business on your audience’s radar. Display ads, like GDN or Facebook videos are great ways to build awareness, especially for products or services that a user may not know they need. Search ads can help capture potential customers who are looking for what you offer.

But how does that actually work?

It may seem like magic when you start seeing ads for shoes you were thinking about last week, but the truth is that those ads are being served to you based on a very real little bit of code called a pixel.

You a pixel add to your website which sends information back to the pixel’s source, in this case Facebook and Google. The pixels can report a lot of different information that can be useful to advertisers, and not just for retargeting.

The pixel ‘fires’ (which is what we call it when the pixel sends info back to the source) when a person lands on a page, which allows us to track page visits. This is how we knew that John had visited the running shoes page, but didn’t buy. Not only can you tell what pages someone visited, you can tell what pages they didn’t visit. The pixel ‘fired’ when John his the running shoes page but since the pixel on the checkout page never fired, we know he didn’t buy the shoes. So we told Facebook to serve John (and anyone else who also visited the running shoes page but NOT the checkout page) the video ad featuring the running shoes.

Pixels allow advertising platforms like Facebook and Google to offer conversion tracking and conversion goals.

You can set up rules within the advertising platforms that tell them what a conversion is. Our video ad on Facebook could so we can see right within the Ad Manager how many conversions (purchases) the ads have generated. This is especially useful if you are split testing different ad creative — you can see which specific ad is generating the most conversions, not just link clicks.

Knowing who has converted is also useful for our retargeting rules. For our example, our video ad that features the running shoes on Facebook is served to people who view the running shoes page but don’t checkout. Obviously, once they do checkout and buy the shoes we don’t want to keep serving them ads to buy the shoes. So we can use the pixel to stop playing ads to people who have visited certain pages as well. Once John buys the shoes, he no longer sees the video ad. Then, we move John over to our cross-sell audience for the shoelaces.

While these examples are using the Facebook platform and pixel, the Google pixel works the same. Pixels and their capabilities will vary from platform to platform. The Reddit pixel doesn’t allow you to do retargeting (yet!) but it does give you information about people who have seen your ads and visited your site.

When building out your retargeting audiences, make sure to look up what the capabilities of the pixels are on the platforms you are using so you don’t get yourself into a pickle.

We’re advertising on multiple platforms, so aren’t we already doing this?

If you have the budget, you are probably already advertising on multiple channels and platforms. However, many marketers are using these channels in silos, working independently of each other. When agencies develop a true cross-channel marketing strategy, they look at the buyer’s journey across all channels and platforms and create touch points that work together.

At Alphabet, we’re constantly reviewing the best practices and ensuring we’re driving our client’s messages through the appropriate channels. This often means thinking outside the box — as we’re fond of doing — to find new ways to make new uses of a channel or platform.

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Campaigns - Social Media

Reddit? Did it. Crushed it!

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a social media platform that is the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet.” The website has a very simple build and, at first glance, you may not believe it’s a thriving internet community of 234 million unique users (as of 2017).

It’s organized into Subreddits, which are unique forums based on interests. You may be surprised at how niche these Subreddits can get. They range from broad topics like “r/History” to the hyper-specific “r/SweetBagelHate: Bagels are fundamentally a savoury food” (which has 327 subscribers, believe it or not).

Reddit is home to a diverse crowd but is a definite favourite of tech-savvy users. That’s why we decided to test out the advertising feature for our client, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

An Educated Gamble – But a Gamble Nonetheless!

The Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA) was looking for new ways to reach Canadians to build awareness of the .CA brand and ultimately purchase .CA domain names. When considering Reddit, we realized our message aligned well with the platform’s audience and the options for using Subreddits to target was appealing.

However, we were hesitant about the ad format since Reddit only allows text ads on the desktop website and text or image for the mobile site (depending on what view the user has chosen to use on mobile). CIRA has a fabulous brand with great imagery that has been working well on other platforms and pulling in great results with video. The plain format ads on Reddit felt like a step backward. We wanted to branch out to another platform, and CIRA was very interested in testing a different platform and market to expand their reach. So, we gave Reddit advertising a try.

The Campaign

We launched our first campaign in June of 2017. The ads ran for ten days, and we targeted Canadians on the front page of Reddit and throughout the site. We continued with our themes of “Choose Canada, Choose .CA” and “The Internet Needs More Canada”. With the visual pieces, we used iconic Canadian imagery along with these messages. For the text ads, we used our .CA logo for the thumbnail and similar messaging in the post copy.

CIRA Reddit Ad
CIRA Reddit Ad

The Results

The results were very encouraging. The Reddit platform offered an incredibly low Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) which allowed us to deliver 3.7 million impressions in those ten days.

CIRA Reddit Marketing Results

With the success of our first foray into the Redditsphere, we decided to double down and go full tilt for July. Our July campaign ran for the full month and generated some excellent results.

CIRA Reddit Marketing Results

Keep on Keepin’ On

The results of our first campaigns with Reddit confirmed what we had suspected: that Reddit was a fantastic space for CIRA to advertise and spread awareness of the .CA TLD.

Our Reddit ads have been running steadily since June and have accumulated a wealth of leads.

CIRA Reddit Marketing Results

The Reddit advertising platform continues to grow and update with new features, and we’re excited to see how we can leverage this platform for more growth with CIRA and our other clients.

So, what did we learn?

New platforms, channels and ways to reach to reach your customers are appearing all the time. Some may not be new – but they can be new to you! The Internet is all about dynamic change – it’s the only constant. So, get out there and embrace the risk … go on … give it a big ol’ hug!

Hannah BockDigital Marketing Specialist

Categories

Digital Marketing - Social Media

Investigating TikTok – Alphabet rises to the challenge – Part 1

We’d love to open this piece up with some TikTok references, but they’ll be outdated before it even goes live. So, we made an account so we can just show you instead.

After our first taste of TikTok, we were hooked. We borrowed more of the team’s time to painstakingly film #CharacterCreation and #RunForIt TikTok challenges with our own Alphabet® spin.

Not sure what you just watched? For those of you still in the dark, TikTok is basically the second coming of Vine — but with more screentime. Users create and edit their own short videos, often accompanied by music, right in the app. It’s a place to have fun and most of the videos feature anecdotes, lip-syncing to music or audio clips, reacting to other TikToks using a unique split-screen feature called “duets”, dancing and Hashtag Challenges. A huge share of the content being produced on TikTok surrounds these Hashtag Challenges. A user or brand will create a dance or task and challenge others to film a version of their own just like we did. Popular challenges have included the DNA Test Challenge where you reveal your DNA results in a video or the Stair Shuffle Challenge which features a specific dance while you climb stairs. As one of the fastest-growing apps on the market today, marketers and brands are taking notice and looking to capitalize on it. But before you spend all your budget on the latest shiny thing — ask yourself, is TikTok really worth your time as a Canadian business?

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll dive into the opportunities for Canadian marketers and brands.