How social media has totally changed marketing

3m to read / 

Today, the way brands do their marketing has changed dramatically because of social media. When Facebook launched in 2004, it was really about connecting people. Today, just more than a decade later, social media has become the go-to choice for most brands out there for their marketing communications. It's no longer a nice-to-have. It's a must-have.

Social media has impacted marketing in so many ways. Social media sits between the brand and the consumer, allowing and facilitating brands to convert consumers to fans and followers, and then to customers and advocates. Here are a few ways it has opened up fresh new channels and new ways to reach out to consumers and customers:

Conversation and dialog

Conversation and dialog between brands and consumers is something that advertising as we know it never ever delivered. It was the old simple model that led the way to purchase: AIDA – meaning the consumer went through four simple stages – Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action (meaning Purchase). Today there are so many new stages thanks to social media, and each stage offers brands new ways to influence and communicate with their target audiences. And these are mostly organic – not paid.

The new stages involve 'engagement', which is way beyond the capabilities of advertising. The stages include Awareness > Interest > Opinion > Dialog with brand & Community > Desire > Shared Desire > Action > Shared Action > Opinion > Advocacy > Loyalty. All of these new stages allows for brands to participate in the conversation. 

Content marketing

Social media has fuelled the rise of content marketing and brought it mainstream. The role of the brand as content generator or creator is a given today. Add to this a new role for brands that want to stand out: brand as curator or aggregator, facilitator, connector of all stories great and small – around the brand, the customer, the context. This is because brands cannot engage in a conversation without content – you need something to engage your audience – and that's content. Today the brand as content publisher is a reality.

Advertising that is micro targeted

Social media has really changed the we brands can hyper target their messages today. It changes the game from mass to micro. Never before the advent of social have brands been able to deliver the exact message to the exact target audience at the exact time in the engagement cycle.

Before advertising on social media, brands had to put out their messages on websites and channels where they believed their target customers would be. Today, with social platforms like Facebook, they can highly and effectively target segments in their audience.


With the empowerment of consumers, brands really need to be totally transparent in their communications. They cannot hide behind the one-way advertising game. It is an always-on world, and brands need to be open and honest. And be open to criticisms and negatives that are public – on social platforms.

While most of these changes have had a positive impact on the way brands market themselves, there are caveats and pitfalls that brands face because of the open nature of social media. More than ever, it is becoming important that brands get their social marketing and digital marketing right in every way possible.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Now read these social media and content related posts:

• 8 Ways to boost customer loyalty using Social Media

• 6 Key Essential Focus Areas in Social Media Strategy

• How to select the right Social Media platforms for your brand

• 7 Useful Social Media Post Ideas for winning Content Marketing

• 8 Must Have Steps to Unleash the Power of Content Marketing for your Brand

Plan your Distribution Strategy to succeed with Content Marketing

3m to read /

One important way to succeed with your brand's content marketing efforts is to get content distribution strategy right. You may be creating amazing content, but unless you add the value of 'context' to that content – meaning distribute them across relevant platforms and media, your content will remain distant and irrelevant to your target audience.

Know where your target audience is truly engaging

The first step is to know your target audience and identify exactly where they are, doing what, and when.

You cannot talk to every one all the time. Insights are far more valuable when they give you specifics on a certain target audience. Otherwise, it's information, not insight. Fence in the customer, or consumer, that you want to know about. Your insight strategy could be targeted by location, behavior, social platforms, their visits to your website, reactions to your advertising etc.

Who are your customers who visit your home page and jump straight out? Once you know your goal, knowing who you want to find out more about is important. Once you know this target, figure out how you are reaching that segment.

Who are you engaging (or not) and where? Your website, social media channels, your paid media reach and results, your email campaigns, your sms, online forums and reviews are all points of engagement that you could check as to where that specific audience is. This is your first step in defining a distribution strategy.

Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

Identify the key segments in your audience

There are usually three broad categories that most people in your target audience will fall under:

Actively Engaged: This is your big fish. These are people who comment, participate in dialog with your brand and with their community about your brand. They Like, they Share, they retweet and re-gram. Usually they will follow you across multiple platforms and are more likely to have an impact on your content than any others.

These are the folks you genuinely want to aim your content out, so your content distribution stRategy should be mainly configured to meet these people on their favored platforms and media and at their favored time slots.

Passive Engaged: People who follow your brand or product, but do not engage. They view your posts, but move on. They may be just following your brand posts to stay informed on updates, new products etc. They don't Like of Share, they don't Comment.

Spectators and Collaterally Reached People are the ones who come across your content quite by chance. Your post may have popped up on their timeline because a Facebook algorithm figured out they may have an interest, they may have seen a share by an actively engaged fan etc. They are not seeking out your content.

Develop a distribution strategy that is focused on your target audience behavior.

Your content needs to have a clear distribution strategy based on where your target audience is most engaging – with your content, and with similar content to yours. What are the types of content they most engage with? Video? Blog posts? Microblogs like twitter? Which platforms are they on? When are they on? What types of content gets most shared and commented on? All of these factors are essential to configuring your content distribution.

Have the right goals and KPIs

Brands often have broad KPIs that they use to measure success. That's wrong. Your content distribution should take into account whether each type of content you have out there targets one of the three types of people in your audience – the active, the passive and the mere spectators. You will need content and distribution to meet all three types. And you need to measure accordingly. 

Sometimes, visits to your website may be a more relevant KPI or goal than say, Likes on Facebook. Comments on long form content such as blog posts are relevant in measuring success of the actively engaged segments. But counting Likes on brand building posts may not be a good KPI. 

Do not ignore the relevance of paid distribution channels. Whether through links on ad networks, paid social, or via native content in partnership with publishers, these are important distribution channels. 

Keep SEO in mind for all your content as well. Relevant content will help you get inbound links to your pages (thus increasing your PageRank), but you need to identify the search terms related to your business, and build content around them– using keywords in the headline and body copy and creating valuable, useful, relevant content across the right platforms for them.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Now read these content marketing related posts:

• Winning Content Strategy: Always share something valuable and useful

• 7 Useful Social Media Post Ideas for winning Content Marketing

• 8 Must Have Steps to Unleash the Power of Content Marketing for your Brand

5 ways to get fans to create social media content for brands

3m to read / 

Include your fans in your social media marketing by letting them create content for your brands. Social media content today is a lot about story telling, and today those stories need to be authentic and ones that add value to the consumer.

According to a study done by Nielsen, “92% of consumers trust online content from friends & family above all other forms of brand messaging. And they trust strangers second most — far more than they trust content from brands. Social media content generated by your fans – your community – is a great way to add that spark of authenticity and creativity and enables marketers to tell brand related stories without having to work hard at creating them.

1. Curate content under a clever and catchy #hashtag

Let your brand be the platform that your fans use to get recognized and be creative. Focus the spotlight on your fans and you'll get a whole load of user generated content. Use a clever and catchy hashtag to curate all the content – which will give you instant access to what your fans and followers are uploading.

Check out this amazing #wanderlust campaign by National Geographic. It asked users to simply tag their photos of beautiful places and people with a @wanderlust hashtag – creating a much loved opportunity for fans to highlight their photography skills under a famous brand banner – National Geographic. The brand had access to a huge collection of content that they could use in their social media.

2. Ask them to be creative with your products

Be the brand that brings out the creative side of your fans and followers. Encourage them to think outside the proverbial box and come up with interesting ways to showcase your products and how they use them. All of the social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat offer your fans great opportunities to show their creative sides with photos, videos, tweets or simple posts.

The key is to get your fans to get involved with your products and your brand and give them the freedom to be creative. Unboxings are a great way to encourage fans to create user generated content around your product.

3. Ask them for their opinion

Fans like to have a voice – specially when it comes to brands and products on social media. Ask your fans and your community for their opinion. Let them tell you about their preferences, ways they use your products, cool features (that may be even you didn't know about), hacks, unboxings, new product ideas, flavors, colors etc. Run polls across your various platforms. People look to social media for recommendations, reviews and feedback from “real” people – make these authentic conversations work for your brand.

4. Run contests with low barriers

A lot of brands try to get user generated content by running contests and some are hugely successful. But they key to running contests is a prize they'll value, and more importantly, removing or lowering barriers to entering. Make it easy. Keep it simple. Allow text only submissions. Don't insist on high quality videos in HD.

Open up the contest across multiple platforms whenever possible. You can use a catchy #hashtag to bring all the entries together (see Point #1). Contests should motivate and encourage your fans and followers and inspire them to be creative and innovative. Without too much effort. For example, one research finding shows that "contests which allowed for text-only submissions (in addition to photos and video) saw a 900% lift in submission volume."

Here's an interesting post from Hootsuite on some of the best UGC contests.

5. Offer multiple ways to upload content

Offer multiple ways to upload content across multiple platforms. Don't just insist on submissions that are limited to smartphone uploads (like Snapchat). Open up across various platforms and ask for content. But remember, in today's mobile driven world, you absolutely must engage and make your submissions possible using mobile. User generated content (UGC) comes in various forms, formats, and sizes. Be open to harnessing a 140 character tweet or a long form blog post, a 10 second 'snap' or a 3 minute YouTube unboxing. Remember they're all products of brand love.

UGC or User Generated Content can help your social media in unprecedented ways. Remember to make it easy for your fans to engage with your brand and product and it will flow in.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101.
 Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

How to use the power of Pokémon Go for your Brand

4m to read /

Pokemon Go is a unique 'phygital' phenomenon – combining both physical and digital experience. This creates unforeseen opportunities for brands to use the unprecedented power of the app for their marketing. Specially if your brand or product is focused on millennials and teens.

What is Pokemon Go

It is the biggest mobile game ever. The object of the game is to walk around the real world to find and ‘catch’ Pokemon on your phone. Through the use of GPS technology, the player can see digital Pokemons in their surrounding area, walk up to the creature, and use the camera on their smartphone (which overlays the Pokemon on the real world) to capture it.

Whether you are a local taco shop, a large tech retail outlet, a community center, a restaurant or fast food outlet, or even a car dealership, you can use Pokemon Go to target unique audiences for your business. Here are some ways you can build a youthful, energetic side of your marketing strategy with Pokemon Go at its core:

Pokestops is a great way to start

A basic feature of the game is the ability to go to a fixed location and get bonuses from being there. These places are called Pokestops. They’re usually important or unique features of a town. A PokeStop will show up on the Pokemon Go player’s map as a place to congregate for special Pokémon, eggs, and other treats. They’re noted by a blue cube on the map.

A feature of the game is the ability to go to a fixed location and get bonuses from being there. These places are called Pokestops. They’re usually associated with statues, memorials, or other important or unique features of a town. Find out if you have one nearby. If you haven't already, then download the game and pull up the map and see if you have a blue icon spinning near your business. If you do, put down a lure and watch as a whole new group of 'customers' walk into your store.

At the moment, game creators Nintantic have stopped accepting submissions for PokeStops from businesses. But this should change soon, and you would be able to create a PokeStop at your location itself.

Use Pokemon on your social media

Brands are finding that any posts built around the phenomenon of Pokemon Go get huge engagement. Players like sharing tips, tricks and jokes. Non-players like to ridicule the craziness. Either way you win if you can somehow mention Pokemon Go in a couple of your posts. 

Invite platers to your location

Use social media to invite players to come play in your store. Even banks are doing it. You'll get a lot of extra social buzz with that, besides of course the footfall. Just the fact that your brand is involved in this craze can boost your social engagement quickly.

Offer players wifi and power stations

Pokemon Go consumes a huge amount of battery power it requires in order to play. It needs to run data,  GPS, the screen on all all times, and other features of mobile devices. And of course, a whole lot of data. You can attract players by offering free wi-fi and free battery charging stations. Announcing this on your social media will get a huge buzz. Opening up your wi-fi is a huge lure for Pokemon players.

Immediately announce Pokemon visits to your location

Pokemon are all over the world and pop up in random places. If a Pokemon shows up at your location, immediately jump on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat and announce that 'Pikachu' or 'Lunella L'  is around.. If you’re fortunate to have a rare Pokemon visit your location, you’re guaranteed to see a fair amount of players rush in.

Request players to tag their photos with your brand

Ask players to tag your business when they share photos. Depending on the social platform they share on, they should be asked to tag your business in the post or tag it as the location they were playing at. This gives your brand instant social chatter. Ideally, you should track these mentions and thank them on your posts.

Ask players to take pictures of Pokemon characters with your products

You can incentivize customers to play Pokémon and share their photos on social media. Ask players to aim Pokemon on products they want to buy, and you could offer special small discounts or up-sells and add-ons for each share.

Grab photos and videos of Pokemon players at your location

You can get your location staff to shoot photos or videos of players at your location (seek permission first). Use these on your social media.

Offer free related benefits

If you offer mobile service provider or sell accessories, find a way to create special services and discounts that help Pokemon Go players. T-Mobile did this by announcing unlimited data for Pokémon Go players – announcing this by using a specially created hashtag.

Pokemon Go is compelling, engaging and immersive as an experience. The app uses real world video (via the camera) and combines it with a fascinating and interactive AR layer. This is storytelling in a whole new way. And that's a opportunity for many brands out there to participate in the phenomenon.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Also read this Pokemon related post now:

8 Cool Lessons Brands can Learn from Pokemon Go

4 Pillars of Mobile Marketing you need to focus on to succeed

2m to read / 

There are four essential pillars in any mobile marketing strategy. These are absolutely essential to keep in mind when building your mobile marketing campaigns and strategy. Every successful mobile effort by your brand, needs to accomplish some tasks. Some of these are focused on your audience – the consumer, other tasks may be business related.

Through mobile, brands have the ability to be present at the exact moment a consumer is seeking a solution.

Transform your digital marketing by 'Being 'Right There, Right Then'

Today, your audience is rarely without their mobile device. Consumers check their mobile device 150 to 200 times per day. Mobile provides brands with opportunities at every touchpoint on the path to purchase. Here four essential pillars for the foundation of your mobile strategy:

1. Convenience in the instant

Convenience is such a critically important pillar, that there's now a whole new genre in digital marketing called Convenience Marketing! Today consumers want simplicity and convenience, and mobile devices give them what they might want with fewer obstacles to disrupt their journeys.

Mobile facilitates a quick and easy step from desire to action or acquisition. It instantly resolves problem and provides solution. Your brand must be there ready to at that micro-moment (as Google calls it). By being accessible, keeping things simple and direct, and providing immediate solutions, your brand will able to meet the consumer across those "I want to..." moments.

Use the Power of Here and Now: Convenience Marketing with Wearables (and Mobile)

2. Relevance

Sure, you can be there whenever your audience is looking, but with what? Does your solution have true relevance? Does your mobile content genuinely provide a solution and relate to the need of the consumer? Mobile content needs to respond to consumer needs at the precise moment of desire – and instantly and effectively. So, if the mobile content you offer isn't relevant at first glance, game over right there. Build content that is relevant to your target audience's needs. Find out first what those needs are in order to do that.

So, Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing.

3. Location

Mobile's uniqueness is location. Mobile offers unique possibilities to serve location relevant content and solutions to your audience. Marketers very often fail to focus on location. You should not create mobile content without a focus on this pillar. Your mobile strategy should focus on creating modular content that is tailored to meet your audience across multiple locations. This is what content in context really means. Do not forget the importance of location as context.

4. Permission (vs. Intrusion)

Many mobile strategies are developed that ignore this important pillar. You can be relevant, you can be there in the instant, get right-place right-time done right, but you should not be intrusive. Most consumers hate being intruded on, when their journey is interrupted without their permission. As well, you need to make consumers feel secure that you respect their privacy and safety. The bonus of focusing on permission is that at some point you'll know through dialog and interaction, what they are expecting.

These pillars are the foundations that you build your mobile strategy on. Read more on mobile strategy – links provided below.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Important reading:  • Shifting the brand mindset to Mobile First

Now read these related posts on mobile:

• 10 Critical Elements you must get right for Mobile Marketing Success

• Mobile Marketing: Native App or Responsive Website? Which one's right?

• How to create a winning mobile App for your Brand

8 Ways to boost customer loyalty using Social Media

3m to read /

Today, more than ever, it's both easy and efficient to build your brand's customer loyalty using social media. Today's socially engaged customers are ready to build better connections and relationships with brands, provided the brand does its part to nurture the relationships.

1. Start by listening

Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing. This is something you really need to keep in mind (and do read the linked post as well). You can't have insights if you don't listen. You need data – and data that's cleverly converted to valuable insight.

Social media listening is not just for monitoring social performance or sentiment. It provides a huge opportunity for customer loyalty building and retention.

Where are your customers on social media? Which platforms do they prefer – particularly in context of your brand or product.

Which particular products and services do they talk about the most. Which ones get no responses at all? What are the sentiments (positive or negative) when they mention these products? Do they recommend them?

Do they have consistent positive or negative comments on social that you should encourage or address quickly?

And, from a social media point of view, what kind of content are they truly engaging with – commenting, sharing, liking? Are they creating content on social platforms around your brand or product (User Generated Content)? Do they prefer photos or videos? Long form content and blog posts? How To's on YouTube? Unboxings?

These above listening points give you so much insight about your customer, that you cannot afford to ignore any of those signals. And, ideally, you should also key in your customer data from your mail or CRM programs.

The importance of listening in social media, and how to get it right

2. Provide value to engage your customers

Often brands forget the importance of socially driven customer retention. Social can be of huge help with after sales. Here's where you get feedback from your customers and you build better engagement by creating value for them. Have some sort of a plan – a content calendar – that locks in promotions, customer special offers, seasonal campaigns, and a few dedicated 'customer only' offers and promotions via social.

If you create he right value adds for your customers, it becomes easy to up-sell, cross sell across your product lines. This is where brand loyalty kicks in. Value is really key here – and make no mistake, value is not just about deals and offers. Value is perceived benefit as well. When you are there for them as a brand.

3. Customers get First in Line on Responses

Honor your customers by responding to their queries and feedback quickly and effectively. A whole lot of brands often don't bother responding to questions and feedback – which really fails their social efforts. No one wants to watch a new product video when they have a beef about a product they already own. Social media customers expect to hear back – almost within the hour. If you are able to maintain a good response rhythm, that in turn impresses the people following your brand who just aren't quite customers yet.

4. Seek out the super customers and advocates

Use your social listening tools to identify which of your customers are super fans and loyal, and beyond that, who are the real advocates for your brand. Find ways to reward them – and not just in tangible ways, but also via social recognition when possible.

You can create 'Super Customer' clubs on social and offer some value for members – your best customers and advocates. Again, use listening here to get feedback about what they feel about the rewards and recognitions. Which ones work better?

5. Create rewards programs

Offer a program which your social fans and community can clearly identify as rewarding and one that adds genuine value. It does not have to be limited to special offers. You can offer sneak previews of new launches, special user tips, How To Guides, Upgrades, Product Tips, posts on product benefits they may not know about, and so much more.

6. Get more than just your social team involved

Social media aimed at customer building and retention is beyond just the realm of community management teams. Get your customer support teams, your senior marketing teams, and even your top executives to contribute to your social efforts. Content that comes from top leadership helps establish a sense of rapport with your customers and builds a trust factor that a community manager just cannot muster.

7. Share their victories, feel their pain

You cannot build a community of loyal customers on your social platforms unless you are genuine and human. Your responses, posts, mentions have to be genuine. When a customer heaps praises, retweet and share it with an aded on comment that appreciates their effort. Address their product pain points with empathy – not "We'll get back to you asap".

8. Measure and learn. Then keep doing what works

Analyze your results regularly and accurately. What worked? What didn't? Which rewards worked? How quickly did the team respond to customer queries? What was feedback sentiment. And, of course, if you can track social to effects on sales and numbers, that's what really helps. So you need to track everything you do on social from a customer perspective and learn from the results you achieved. Then, keep doing what works and improve on it whenever possible by being creative and meaningful.

These are some simple points to remember when you use social media to attract and retain a good customer base. And, no social media strategy should be built without having that as an important reason to exist.

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Now read these related posts:

• How to Make your Social Media Rock Solid by Listening and Acting Quickly

• Improve your social media engagement. Move from Selling to building Relationships

7 ways your brand can increase Facebook organic reach

4m to read / 

Your brand can still win the organic posting game on Facebook with these simple tips. Many brands are running away from posting organic content on Facebook. Sure, paid posts reach more people. Facebook's content explosion has resulted in the average organic reach dropping to around 2%. Organic content still has value on Facebook, and Pages that publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives — can still reach people in News Feed.

Here are seven easy ways to win back your organic reach on Facebook:

1. Get your post timing right, and try off-peak posting

There are so many theories about best times to post on Facebook. Check your Facebook Insights to see when your fans are online. That's one way to go. One other way is to try post in off peak hours (6pm - 8pm) checking to see when maximum fans are on during that period. Your chances of appearing in the feed increase since other Facebook pages aren’t posting during this period. Less competition means better results. As your post receives better engagement, Facebook will distribute the post to more of your fans. And, as well, you'll be able to reach global audiences in different time zones from yours.

2. Create more evergreen posts

The life of a post in Facebook News Feed is also dependent on recency. If you publish timeless content, then it remains useful and interesting for your audience for longer periods. They’ll keep liking and commenting on your post. Because of this increased engagement, the Facebook algorithm will ensure that your post gets distributed further and that it appears in feeds for longer periods. Keep track of this from Insights on which posts show continuing interest. Give the content a new spin and post them multiple times. You should post the evergreen content at a different day and time than the first occasion.

Some forms of typical evergreen content include "How to" posts, FAQs, Tutorials, Testimonials, Links to Product User Manuals etc.

3. Mix up your post types

Don't just stick to photos. Mix up your content with photos, links, videos, status updates. You'll know which ones do better for your brand from Insights on your page. Don't forget that links drive traffic to your brand website a lot more than photos. Photos somehow have the least organic reach according to Social Bakers.

4. Publish videos natively on Facebook

People are watching 100 million hours of video on the social network each day, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said while delivering the company's fourth-quarter financial report in January. Facebook boasts 8 billion video views per day. Native videos have become the top performer in News Feed. Video on Facebook plays silently until you click on it.Your video has to be high-quality from the first frame. It needs to grab attention, even without sound right away.

See tips from Facebook:

For each video you post to your Page, you can view metrics like video views, unique video views, the average duration people viewed your video and audience retention. These metrics are designed to help you learn what’s resonating with people and tune the length and content for your video audience.

To better engage your video viewers, you can add a call-to-action (CTA) to visit your website or a destination of your choice. The CTA can be Learn More, Shop Now, Sign Up, Book Now, Download or Watch More.

5. Check and test your post frequency

Adobe tells us that there is a huge increase in brand frequency on Facebook. A lot of this is driven by news broadcasters and media brands. But as a regular brand, don't post 15 times a day.

Here is another study by Locowise on 600 Facebook pages  (with 250 million combined likes), to find out their reach and engagement vs frequency.
Here are frequency tips:

• Avoid posting more than 2-3 times/day. It just turns your audience off.
• Post quality content. Engage your audience with humor, inspiration and educational content.
You can be successful, even with a higher posting frequency, by providing variety. Mix your posting schedule and post types.
• Test your frequency results. Only your insights can reveal your audience’s exact response.

6. Use fewer hashtags

Unlike Twitter or Instagram's love with hashtags, Facebook does have hashtags, but it's a love hate relationship. See results below from a Social Bakers study. Keep a limit on hashtags to 2.

7. Post content that engages your audience

Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing. Know your audience. Not just from your facebook insights. You should have all the data you can get about your audience from all data points so you know your audience better. Stay on trend. Remember, it's simply not just about your brand or product. It's actually about your audience and what will inform, entertain and keep them loyal. Post content that will resonate with your audience and keep them looking for more from you.

Don't focus on the Reach metric

Funny, you think, I'd say that in a post on how to improve organic reach. But you need to focus on metrics that really mean something to outcome. You need to measure traffic generated to your website, leads generated, products purchased, not just reach. Yes, you shouldn't abandon organic posts, and yes, you can get it right, but once you have used some simple tips above, focus on the real goals. (See link below on how to measure social media success).

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.

Read this now:

• 3 Simple ways to measure Social Media marketing success

• Here's how to Power up your Facebook engagement with Video

• How to use Facebook Live video like a pro. The essentials of getting it right.

Beat today's multi-screen, multi-device challenges with great content

5m to read / 

How can you understand and take advantage of today's multi screen multi device media habits? The tv watching experience is getting richer, better because of online? Rather than killing off tv in the living room, digital channels are adding to it, and broadening the perspective.

Consumers today are increasingly using multiple screens and devices while consuming media. With the boom in high speed access and the popularity of both tablet and mobile, people today aren't just watching tv. It's a combination of lean back (tv) and lean forward (tablet, mobile, laptop) in the living rooms of our region.

Multi screen marketing is a challenge

Earlier on, the ad industry jumped at the idea of an increase in consumer engagement across multiple screens. Experience, participation, multi-platform engagement became buzzwords. What we blinked on was the fact that the proliferation of screens today fuels fragmentation – it causes consumer ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder. And we were caught dozing.

Yes, it’s much easier to engage and hold attention in a conversation than in a monologue, but with some unforeseen pattern shifts, multi-screen engagement becomes a challenge. Consumer time and attention is getting lower as we move from traditional to digital (think banner blindness, low click through rates). Now as ‘digital’ is increasingly via mobile, small screens offer even smaller real estate for those of us planning to build engagement on.

What is multi screen marketing

Multi screen marketing isn't new. But it's developing into a huge, synergistic platform where not only the message across what you watch on tv syncs with what's on your website, it does so at the same time, and with planned, timed and well-executed intent. We've always put an URL at the end of the tv spot, but now we're beginning to put in a Facebook address, and more often a Twitter hashtag. The twitter hashtag is to encourage immediate participation in sharing, in dialog, in comment fishing and more. In the UK, almost 70% of brands reviewed in a survey encouraged multi-device participation.

Twitter themselves stated, "simply adding hashtags on air - or in ads - helps organise and steer the conversation."

The Twitter report goes on to say, "in advertising, we're seeing that deeper integration of Twitter not only drives discovery and engagement but also drives increases in brand recall scores and other marketing goals." Twitter's increasing popularity and acceptance as a "code-sharing" medium with TV is linked to the open field nature of the microblog. It's so in the now and the instant.

I watch a tv program, or a spot, and instantly am able to share my viewpoint using a hashtag (#) – and it's there for anyone to see. It's a bit more open than the Facebook walled garden where only my 'friends' can see what or react to my opinion. Red Bull in the UK did this very successfully with their #GivesYouWings campaign.

Our interactions are mostly screen based today

Ninety per cent of all media interactions are screen-based, and we spend around 4.5 hours of our leisure time in front of one screen or another. And we do this across multiple screens on multiple devices. Either sequentially, moving from one device to another at different times to complete tasks, or simultaneously – for complementary usage in a related activity or multi-tasking across unrelated activities.
As consumers move seamlessly between devices, what really drives device choice is context: amount of time we have or need, what we want to really accomplish, where we are at that time, and our attitude or state of mind. Whatever the case, TV is no longer a singular focus activity. We tend to use another device nearly 80 per cent of the time we watch TV.

TV and social

What's even more interesting is that in a multi-device, multi-screen scenario in the living room, consumers tend not to get up and walk out during a commercial break. They stay engaged and busy, and connected. This works particularly well in "native" or "content marketing" campaigns that tend to want to engage the viewer in every possible way.
Just adding a #Brandname at the end of your spot is not the way to go. The #whatever should be about the campaign, about the call to action, and about what you want the target audience to do. Using a slogan like Red Bull did in #GivesYouWings is the way to go. And multi-device or multi-screen marketing is not just for brands and products. 

Brands need to be creative to grab and hold attention

Brands need to get both their creative and media plans in order again. Because while single-tasking may be a consideration, it is against the norm. What is single-tasking? Well, it’s all there in the name. Single-tasking means doing one activity at a time with as few distractions and interruptions as possible.

Today's attention-divided consumer responds to a well-told, well-synced brand story that feels the same, regardless of where it is being consumed. They're interested and motivated to engage further when they see seamless continuity. Inconsistency of content style, inconsistency of message is what turns consumers off. Brands that succeed with multiscreen single campaign objective—increase awareness, hold attention, engage across platforms and screens, and deliver the same story across multiple touch points and screens.

Start with analytics: Know your audience

Start with analytics – first know about your consumer, about the audience you want to engage. The best way to start a well planned multiscreen marketing strategy is to have a grasp on what your consumer is all about. Customer or audience insight is key . Effective audience targeting can be achieved by using analytics that converts data from and about usage on any device to help brands increase their understanding of their audience and anticipate their next steps. And resolve what their audeinces are looking for at each stage, across each screen.

Be screen-neutral in your thinking at first. Don't assume that tv is your starting point. Old school "multiscreen strategy" builds from TV as its base and presumes different objectives for each screen after that. Today, multiscreen can start anywhere – and it very often starts with Search. First of all, you just have to be there for your audience in Search . How you do that across screens is secondary.

Remember that today's consumer jumps from screen to screen (sometimes at the same time) to achieve their goals. TV as we know it, is quickly evolving and becoming a larger experience. With multiscreen video, sharing, tweeting, in-the-instance interacting tv is becoming infinitely richer, increasingly interactive and delivering deeper levels of engagement.

Great content is the solution

So, in today's world of ADD (Attention-Disruption-Disorder) combined with multi tasking a brand's message needs to effectively cut through the clutter, be relevant, add value, and be in context. Each and every time. And if it is content driven – which again is the new way – that content needs to be both entertaining and relevant. Content that is working these days is infotainment content – providing information on and around a brand's products and services in an entertaining, useful way.

Related reading:

• Content Marketing Strategy: What kind of content should you create?
• 6 ways to get Content Marketing done right

And that's the basics of digital marketing strategy. That's 101. Please share this post with your friends and colleagues today... And do comment if you feel you want to add to this.