Optimizing Your Social Video "Clickability" to Increase Your Online Audience

When it comes to modern marketing, every single campaign and asset has two or three different purposes and must be subtly optimized to serve each one effectively. For social video, those catchy little episodes of semi-promotional video, your goal is more than just making interesting and entertaining content or designing a format your audience can recognize. While most marketing teams remember the 'ulterior motive' to SEO with every asset, remember that there's another great way to increase the reach and impact of your social videos: clickability. You want every single person who sees your social video post scroll by on a wall, hashtag feed, or a friend's likes to be unable to resist clicking on your video and then watching it all the way through.

Here's how to do it:

Use Your First Few Frames

'Autoplay' is a feature that has become increasingly popular with social media platforms, especially the big names like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Unlike YouTube where this term means 'automatically plays next video' instead, on these platforms autoplay means that when a user mouses over a thumbnail, the first few seconds of your video plays to give them a quick preview. This is fantastic little feature can make your videos irresistible to click on, but only if you start moving in the very first few frames and that movement is something that peaks the interest of your viewers.

To make the most of this feature, we suggest designing your 'first few frames' as part of your episode format, giving the most visually interesting preview of the video content before your opening logo or 'Hello and Welcome' introduction.

Unusual Titles = Curious Viewers

Eyes on you, your autoplay movement caught someone's attention and now they're actually deciding if they want to watch your video or not. This thought is a split-second, a moment's consideration primarily influenced by those opening frames and... that's right. Your title. Your title should inspire curiosity and a strong urge to find out just what the title could mean for your video content or the answer to the question you've posed. Depending on your industry and target audience, the title could be anything from bizarre references to your personal stories to DIY how-to guides. As long as it draws viewers in and accurately represents the video at the same time, the title is doing its job.

As a word of advice, no matter how much you like your episode format, never let your titles 'get into a rut'. Do your best to keep them spicy, entertaining, funny, or unusual to peak curiosity every time and make social media viewers unable to resist peeking at the content inside.

Open with the Attention Grabber

Congratulations! You got the click and now someone is watching your video. Now the trick is to keep them interested so that your video isn't closed in the first five seconds. That's why most people start with some kind of attention-grabber. This is a lot like our first few frames but now you're working with the full video, sound and everything. Have your hosts do something wacky, film something from an odd angle, or provide a fascinating tidbit of information as your opener. Anything to prevent people from quickly dismissing your video as boring or "same old same" and moving on before they watch your actual content.

For your attention grabber, aim for surprise and humor. Ideally, you want your audience simultaneously delighted and curious within the first 30 seconds of pressing play.

Engaging Use of Sound and Music

For your social media viewers able to watch with the sound on, the last thing they want is a silent or audibly boring video. Even if you're covering a relatively mundane topic like how to fix a bicycle, you can grab attention and enhance engagement with your soundtrack alone. Catchy or eerie music, sound effects, and interesting background noise are all a great place to start but don't wait until the video's halfway through. Social media viewers can click away at lightning speed so make sure to get started with both content and music or sound effects pretty quickly.

Many marketing teams have found that a catchy theme song, the audio for an entertaining event, or a dynamic use of theme-related sound effects is a great way to enhance their content with sound. Or you can open with your hosts singing. Normal people singing with gusto is almost always entertaining.

Don't Forget the Subtitles

Subtitles are absolutely amazing for social video, and for more reasons than you think. First and foremost, subtitles allow the hearing impaired members of your audience to join in the video fun and discussions about your video content. That alone is a good enough reason to add subtitles but it actually goes further than that. Many of your viewers will be watching at work, school, or in other public situations where they can't politely use sound. Some will have broken sound systems, others might simply prefer to browse without sound to avoid those annoying video ads that have become so "popular". For whatever reason your viewers can't hear the video, a high-quality subtitles track makes sure that everyone can be included in your social video campaign.

As a fun extra note, if you can get your subtitles accurately translated into several of the more common international or local languages, you can also significantly increase your potential audience and your chances of going globally viral.

Experiment with Interesting Thumbnails

When autoplay isn't rolling your video forward a few seconds per mouse-over, your video is represented by the thumbnail. Also known as the 'cover frame', this is what most users will see when your video appears in their social media feed. Understandably, it has a huge impact on whether or not someone hits 'play' on your video or decides to pass. Don't just pick the first frame of your video and 'roll with it'. Feel free to play around with several thumbnail options to find the right size, resolution, and design for both your platforms and audiences.

If you're torn between several great thumbnail options, try a little A/B testing or even use different thumbnails for your various social media platforms to appeal to each separate online community.

Make Use of Trending Hashtags and Headlines

There's nothing more important to the social media culture than trends. What people are talking about today, the topics they're interested in, and the current events they're worked up about. Whether this week's biggest hashtag is a news story or another mini social movement, staying apprised of the trends and working them into your video content is a great way to stay connected to your audience. 

There are two ways to cater to the trend-minded social media communities. The first is to mention trends while still sticking with your usual format and video content themes and the second is to take a brief break from your normal content to cover something ripped from the headlines that matter a great deal to your audience or industry.

 

Show Fans Love by Sharing Their Content

Social media audiences adore participation in the communities they join. Answering calls and messages is a great way to start the engagement process, but after a while, you will almost guaranteeably start to receive fan content submissions. Welcome them. Tell your social media community that you care about their opinions and their contributions to your brand or organization by featuring the best of their shared fan content with the entire online community. Fan content can be anything from submitted poems and written works that they'd like you to read aloud to pre-recorded video segments for your special features or even someone who'd like to be interviewed on camera. Pick and choose what fan content to feature by how impressed you are with the work and how well it meshes with your current video content, style, and themes.

 

No matter which social media platform you're talking about, video is gaining an increasing amount of popularity and effectiveness in enticing new audience members and entertaining the ones that have already joined your community. From Facebook to Imgur, Twitter to QQ, even LinkedIn communities can get behind a catchy and entertaining social video. For more bold tips and tricks for your next social video campaign, contact us today!

How to monitor social media in less than 10 minutes per day

Topics: social marketing social media marketing marketing strategies

Refined Integrated Marketing is Simple and Effective

The changes seen in marketing over the last century have all been refined through the input given by customers; fundamentally, today is no different in our digital cloud and mobile computing world, yet what businesses can now see about their customers and target audiences redefines integrated marketing; the results are simple and effective.

 

The Refining Process

Naturally, when businesses start to gain traction in the digital marketing world, the refining process will begin; the end result is up to the vision of the brand, whether raw or smooth, edgy or refined, amusing or stoic, etc.

Integrated marketing brainstorms an idea, produces an ad campaign, and then shares a consistent message strategically across all marketing channels and mediums – according to the creative parameters defining the vision. Brands should avoid cookie-cutter processes and ideas, rather, creative license should be given until a unique idea is developed with group synthesis.

The development of a routine and effective integrated marketing approach should be carefully considered; each ad campaign and brand effort is an important communication to the target audience. Essentially, brands should be patient through a refining process that's unique to their vision and value, in order to get effective and lasting results.

 

Consistency in Ad Campaigns

In an article found in The Balance called: "Learn About Integrated Marketing and Why It's Important", written on Nov. 5, 2017, author Laura Lake explains the importance of executing consistent campaigns:

"Integrated marketing puts the focus on ensuring that your message is consistent, regardless of the channel that is used as the vehicle to share the message."

When executing an ad campaign, consistency is the keyword for effective integrated marketing. Acquiring the software and expertise to automate and expand digital marketing efforts is part of the refining process we touched on above, yet the tools or "vehicles" used are only as effective as the ad campaign's consistency.

Getting the brand's message, logo, image, and/or storyline across to the target audience with a consistent message (brand value) will net loyal customers and gain positive traction on social media channels and reviews.

Of course, the effectiveness will vary, yet if an ad campaign is chosen that sincerely reflects the brand's values and vision, then it will effectively attract a loyal customer base with similar values. From a solid base of loyal customers (now even more reachable with integrated marketing campaigns), brands can confidently set sail into the sea of opportunity.

 

Gaining Visibility with Effective Tactics

"Reach, Act, Convert, Engage" – these are the main headings of the Integrated Lifecycle Marketing Diagram found in an article from Smart Insights called: "What is Integrated Marketing?", written on June 22, 2017 by Robert Allen. The author helps us refine our integrated marketing process with effective tactics and strategies, such as:

"So why not play to each individual channels strengths and design marketing for that channel specifically, rather than attempting to integrate all channels?"

The answer is customers don't care enough to pay attention to all your different messaging, and by not using one clear communications strategy to amplify your brand, your message will simply be lost in the constant stream of content that all consumers are subject to every day."

Again, the main tactic is consistency, gaining visibility and brand recognition throughout integrated marketing channels.

When it comes to tactics, he makes an important point:

"To successfully integrate your marketing so all channels are pulling in the same direction, you need to plot all customer touch points with your brand across the customer lifecycle. This lets you form a list of channels you'll need to integrate and align with the same messaging."

Customer touch points are found with:

    • analytic data

    • reviews

    • social media engagement

    • feedback surveys

    • email lists

    • event attendees

    • website visitors

    • social media followers

    • video views

    • Google AdWords effectiveness

    • polls

    • comments on blog posts
    • forum engagement

    • sales data

    • every other touch point with 1st time, return, loyal, and prospective customers

At the end of the article is Smart Insights' Content Marketing Matrix, which gives even more "...mediums which you need to assure the messaging is aligned across."

Gaining visibility with effective tactics, when it comes to integrated marketing, means staying consistent with messaging across the spectrum of digital marketing efforts, and to align all marketing mediums with this consistent brand image and vision.

Flexibility in the ad campaign's vision will produce a more sustainable storyline, yet this has to be tempered with visible and audible brand recognition themes; individual ad campaigns will constantly create a seamless storyline for brands to mold according to their vision's journey.

 

Measuring Success with Failures

Effective results are the end product of a refined integrated marketing approach, which is simplistic in nature: unify all digital marketing efforts with a consistent brand vision to gain online visibility and brand loyalty. In the process of learning about target audiences and how to reach them, brands can measure success with failures along the way.

Essentially, brands want to communicate with consumers on a trusting friend level; this is where loyal customers who engage are located, yet any customer interaction is welcomed and nurtured to fruition. During the process of earning loyal customers, brands should embrace the negative feedback and results (failures) as part of the learning process.

Measuring success from failures is a mental attitude that breeds pragmatic determination; this helps brands to persevere during failures with ad campaigns without disregarding the brand's vision or values. Retaining the brand's vision helps business's gain traction in online and offline markets, building success with a consistent and recognizable effort over years and decades.

 

Summary

With the advent cloud and mobile computing technologies, B2C relations have drastically changed; brands have, nearly, unlimited data to develop marketing strategies with, and customers are being sought after and catered to more than ever. With changing customer expectations and rapidly advancing software options, brands are being challenged to forge ahead with confidence into the unknown. 

For brands, confidence this year means aligning digital marketing mediums with a consistent message; the results will be: refined integrated marketing that's simple and effective. Along the way, it would be wise for brands to consult and partner with expertise in digital marketing; this will accelerate the refining process and elevate their ad campaign's effectiveness.

If interested in getting started please contact us today.

Topics: Integrated Marketing marketing results

5 Simple Steps to Align Your Business and Marketing KPIs

When you start to really consider it, it's really not rocket science. We tend to treat marketing as a separate entity from most other business processes. It's the promotional side of the house, tasked with pushing a message that gets you customers. And yet, that relative isolation can mean death to an effective marketing strategy.

Sure, we could tell you about the various digital marketing strategies bound to help your business succeed. In fact, we've done just that on this blog. And we wouldn't be lying, either. Social media, content marketing, and effective lead nurturing can do wonders for your customer acquisition. But even then, they still need to connect to your larger business goals. If they don't, you might as well pack it up and go home.

Consider the importance of a potential connection. Even at its simplest, a social media ad that links to your website means little. It might generate some awareness, and even some leads. But it will not ultimately lead to new business and loyal customers if your overall message, product, and priorities don't all line up together.

That alignment, in turn, requires a close cooperation and integration of goals. That sounds complicated. It doesn't have to be. In fact, these 5 simple steps can help you align your marketing and business KPIs to achieve sustainable business success.

1) Find the Connections Between Business and Marketing

First things first: you have to get on the same page. In this context, that means making sure everyone in marketing is aware of, and embraces, the larger business priorities.

That step might be as simple as internalizing the mission and vision statement. But it also pays to get more specific than that. Which of your marketing efforts can be directly connected to the larger strategic plan of your business? Which aspects of that strategic plan should be, but are not covered from a marketing standpoint?

Each of these questions will be crucial to answer. The more closely you can relate your marketing priorities to those of the organization as a whole, the better. Consider your marketing plan the sub-plot of the movie that describes the journey of your business.

2) Leverage Integrated Analytics for Comprehensive Success

At their best, analytics are more than just a buzzword that helps you determine the reach and engagement of your social media strategy. They're the tools you can use to track progress in business growth and marketing success, ultimately aligning them in the process.

Closely review your business and marketing KPIs, and you might find something surprising: they're not always that different. Consider this article by the Harvard Business Review, which lists true measures of success for organizations across industries. Surprise: the process of finding them is exactly the same for both marketing and business leadership.

If the goals are the same, are you making sure the ways you are measuring them are as well? Integrated analytics are as much about the systems you use to track them as the KPIs themselves. Look for a solution that gives leadership across the organization insight into your progress toward goal, both in marketing and business as a whole.

3) Get Everyone Talking

No shocker here. For true alignment, marketing has to be integrated into the larger organizational conversation, both on a strategic level and on the execution side. That might seem obvious, but still requires significant collaboration on all sides.

Don't be confused by headlines at publications like Forbes, proclaiming collaborative marketing to the "the next big thing." It always has been that big. It's just that now, as marketing is incurring greater responsibility across the business, that collaboration has begun to enter the spotlight in a way that wasn't the case previously.

What does that look like in real life? For starters, regular check-ins between marketing and business leaderships make sense. These check-ins could also expand to related departments like sales. The key here is not to bang the drum of your promotional tactics, but to ensure that these tactics are aligned with efforts occurring across the organization.

4) Conduct Periodic Reviews of Alignment

Setting up the framework for successful alignment is not enough. In addition, you should also set up a mechanism that allows you to periodically review how well that alignment is actually working in practice. 

What those reviews look like depend on your organizational structure. You might hold regular presentations in which you show your progress toward organizational and marketing goals. It might occur in electronic forms, through dashboards and email communications. Either way, information sharing will be the core underlying principle of this step.

Let's be honest for a second here: no one particularly likes reviews. But that doesn't make them any less important. Simply put, communication is the key to ensuring successful alignment not just of data metrics, but organizational priorities and qualitative efforts. The more structured that communication, the more likely you will be to stick to it over time.

5) Work With a Partner Who Agrees With Your Marketing POV

Finally, don't underestimate the power of a potential partnership. Aligning your marketing and business KPIs might sound easy in theory, especially considering the natural fit of the above steps. Often, though, it is not.

All of the above require a comprehensive strategy. They require clear statements of priorities, and analytics that can clearly outline and track progress toward these priorities. They also require significant credibility on behalf of marketing from experts who know about its importance to the success of the business as a whole.

The right partner can help to provide all of that. Not just that, they can act as consultants that ultimately improve not just marketing, but business operations as a whole. That's the nature of true alignment.

We can be that partner for you. In fact, BOLD Worldwide has partnered with countless businesses on a sustainable marketing strategy that doesn't just seek to achieve its own KPIs, but expands those efforts to the entire business. Contact us to learn more about our process, and start the conversation to partner with us today.

Topics: marketing strategies marketing analytics marketing results Marketing POV

Digital Presence: How to Distinguish Yourself From the e-Commerce  Clones

Every brand involved in eCommerce shares an environment with millions of other businesses, entrepreneurs, and third-party sellers. Together, you make up the online selling culture and the digital environment that online consumers enter in order to find the products they need. No doubt you work hard to produce a high-quality product and provide top-notch customer service for any confusion, mistake, or correctable problem a customer might have. If there is a flawed product, you are there to offer a free replacement to protect the good name of your brand. If there was a problem with shipping, your customer service team is ready to sort it out quickly for customers. Even if the customer accidentally ordered the wrong size of product, you're more than happy to help them with your returns and replacement policies.

Topics: brand exposure digital marketing branding

4 Reasons Website Live Chat Creates Conversions and Saves Your Sales

The world of digital marketing is a complicated one made up of dozens of individual techniques. These methods of reaching out to and interacting with leads all weave together into a single unifying goal of gathering leads and converting them into happy customers. Your inbound marketing, for instance, builds organic SEO, brings customers to your website, and generates interest and trust through informative and engaging content. Your social media campaign also serves to generate interest, show off some of your brand expertise, and encourage existing customers and community members to refer friends and family to both the online community and your brand.

Building Your Website for Conversions

But what actually turns all this interest and online activity into sales? Most digital marketing techniques only cover the top of the funnel while leaving the actual conversion process to the discretion of marketing experts to decide for their business and industry. Each tool you use has its own form of contribution and because customers vary, one method may work better from one customer to the next. This is why it's important to have a wide suite of online tools at your command and a variety of creative ways to use them. However, if there is one truly versatile online tool that can address almost every level of the conversion funnel, it's live chat.

Live chat is particularly ideal for addressing the middle and final phases of the conversion process because it meets customers right where they are: on your website. Website live chat allows your chat agents or a friendly fill-in chatbot to help customers find the products, services, and information they need before a sale is completed. However, chat isn't just about helping. It can also remove obstacles as well. Used correctly, here are five ways that website chat could save a sale that might otherwise be abandoned.

1) Making Customers Feel Welcome

The first and one of the most important aspects of live chat is its ability to make social customers feel welcome and taken care of. A chatbot manning your live chat can greet every customer with perfect manners and attentive consideration. At the same time, it won't get its feelings hurt if the customer doesn't want to chat either. Ideally, you're looking to craft your opening chatbot message as a welcome, an invitation to ask questions, and a clear indication that they are speaking to a friendly robot.

What this does is let the customer know that someone is listening. When customers feel more welcome on your website, they're more likely to want to spend time there as opposed to other websites which highly increases the chances of selling to welcomed customers either on their first visit or later on when they come back and get that same warm and attentive greeting or, better, a specialized 'welcome back' greeting because the chatbot recognized their visiting IP address.

2) Helping Customers Refine Their Search

Another way that live chat on your website is incredibly useful is to prevent an unfortunately common phenomenon. All too often, an online shopper will have a vague idea of what they want to buy and your combined use of SEO brought them to your website. However, it turns out that they don't know the details they're looking for or how to choose the right one of your products for their needs. Here, live chat can come to the rescue with special timers to sense confused customer behavior and a protocol to help customers find exactly what they need even if they don't know exactly what their needs are.

While this is something a chatbot can start, say, 3-5 minutes after a customer has started browsing, the actual help must be rendered by a real person who can listen to a somewhat complicated or long-winded explanation of why the customer needs what they need. This is fine. The goal is to catch all the important details about their need and circumstances in order to offer a real, intuitive advice and guidance.

3) Streamlined Connection to Customer Service

When a sale is potentially lost for simple lack of easy communication, this is exactly the kind of niche need that website live chat is seeking to fill. Sometimes a customer needs to as one or two qualifying questions before they settle on a purchase. Whether it's a blanket for their grandmother or new image editing software for their digital hobbies, people often have highly personalized needs and preferences. Interestingly enough, most companies find that they are able to fulfill these special requests and save the sale, but first, they have to know about them.

A handy live chat window allows customers to seek out answers to their questions immediately rather than sending an email and waiting for a reply. This means no abandoned carts while waiting for that reply and no going out and seeking competitors who might offer a more accessible offer. Instead, customers type their question like "Is this hypoallergenic?" into the chat box and one of your agents is alerted to come help them qualify, finalize their order to their satisfaction, and complete conversion.

4) Engaging to Reduce Cart Abandonment

Finally, speaking of abandonment, cart abandonment is one of the most frustrating statistics for any online retailer or software platform. This means that customers looked at your products, liked them, intended to buy them, and something got in the way. It could be weather, family disaster, or simply getting distracted after a few minutes. Rather than sweating the details, live chatbots can be programmed to reopen communication with return IP-addresses and ask if they'd like to take another look at their cart items or build onto their order with a few suggestions.

This continuity of service alone is enough to delight many customers and leads. But the special attention paid to their cart with the attitude of protection and consideration is what will really sell them. Rather than being agitated about cart abandonment, your chatbot and chat agents can be so smooth and helpful that customers will want to come back time and time again.

For more great tips, trends, and effective website techniques for turning inbound marketing into real sales, contact us today!

How to monitor social media in less than 10 minutes per day

Topics: digital marketing sales and marketing

3 Ways to Make Your Website Chatbot Hilariously Transparent

Here in 2018, there is no denying that website chat and businesses to tend the website chat have experienced a major renaissance. Chatbots were popular over a decade ago as a burgeoning sign that AI would be on its way soon and now that AI is here, people are discovering a whole new set of uses for the only slightly more primitive precursor technology. Chatbots are great because they can be there for customers even when every single company employee is out of the office or enjoying a national vacation. They can provide information, qualify leads, and even make jokes if they've been programmed to do so.

The Virtual Chat Assistant

Today, as website chat becomes a dominating way to communicate with customers at every stage of the conversion funnel, the primary way chatbots are used is as an introductory chat assistant and liaison between curious customers and real live chat agents. Customers say hello to the chatbot and then the chatbot determines if the customer needs direct help or a simple answer the bot can provide. This is a fantastic system with one glaring problem: Customers don't like to be fooled into thinking they're talking to a real person when they are not.

Chatbot Transparency and Customer Satisfaction

Customers have had two very different and often conflicting responses to chatbots. On one hand, customers who know they are talking to a robot often have a great deal of fun testing the chatbot's conversational limits, trying to get it to say funny things, and calling friends over to play with the chatbot (when they don't just get to the point). On the other hand, customers who thought they were talking to a person only to realize it's a robot are often angry and feel betrayed and embarrassed for having been fooled. It feels more like they've been 'fobbed off' on a robot instead of given concierge digital service.

 

This extremely mixed reaction is actually part of the fallout from bad phone trees where customers have had to repeat themselves over and over for a robot that is hard of hearing and offers bad options but sounds like a person.

If you want to use a chatbot with your website live chat (and who doesn't?), the key to making customers delight in your service instead of rage at it is simple transparency. And perhaps a touch of humor. If you can get your customers laughing and playing with the chatbot, this builds rapport and encourages them to come back and willingly self-screen through the chatbot in the future.

To help you delight your customers with an almost-AI virtual assistant, here are five fun ways to be transparent and hilarious about your chatbot at the same time.

1) The Robot Avatar

The first and by far the most popular method of chatbot transparency is simply to use a fun picture of a robot as the chatbot's avatar. This is a clear visual signal that your customer is talking to an automated system and not an actual customer service representative. The confusion comes from using the picture of a real person as your chat default avatar which can create a sense of betrayal later.

Instead, build your chatbot's character and role around being a robot. Have it introduce itself as a robot and even explain some of its capabilities and limitations in an amusingly robotic manner. You might choose to make your chatbot answer with a 'robot dialect' or even include robot emoticons for it to use. This makes it infinitely clear to clients that they are talking to a non-person, but it's a non-person with a sense of humor and self-awareness about its roboticism.

2) Make a Cartoon Character Assistant

The next option, if you don't want to go with the chatbot-robot theme, is to build a completely and clearly fictional character. Flo, Progressive's new mascot is a great example but you're even better off using a cartoon avatar instead. Make it clear that this character is your cartoonized virtual assistant and have her say as much when she (or he) greets each customer. Your character can then have a personalized style of talking, a friendly demeanor, and even a collection of traits and 'in-jokes' that customers learn about her over time interacting with your character. Your character might greet people with a message like 

"Hi there! I'm Abigail the SuperAccountant's awesome new Vistual Assistant! The Super Accountant is out fighting sloppy ledgers right now but I can help you any time day or night! Do you have a question I can answer or pass along?"

Simply by making it clear that the new 'assistant' doesn't sleep and is always available, you can pretty clearly convey to customers that they are talking to a chatbot.

Having a character specifically designed to be a digital customer service representative for your brand is also a great opportunity for other assets as well. You can seed your website with images of the character sharing helpful tips, use them to point out screen assets in a tutorial, and generally make your website seem more dynamic and interactive with a character constantly engaging your visitors and looking adorable lounging on your UI assets.

3) Cardboard Cutouts of Team Members

Our favorite idea, and one you see rarely so you could be the first in your industry, is hilarious cardboard cut-outs of your actual customer service team. If you have a collection of people with their real-life pictures as their avatars and daily customer service hours, then naturally the chatbot is standing in for them when they are out to lunch or have gone home for the day. Rather than having a picture of some random person as your chatbot avatar pretending to be real, be transparent about pretending to be real.

Use clever graphic design to create the appearance of a cardboard cutout of at least one of your chat team with funny 'out of office' messages to go along with your off-hour chatbot services. When a customers visits your website and wants to chat when there's no one in the office to answer their messages, that's when the chatbot comes into play. Have the 'cutout' introduce itself in obvious but sarcastic ways like

"I'm totally Dave and not a cardboard cutout put here to fool you into thinking we have live customer service between the hours of 6PM and 9AM. Tell me your problem and I'll try to help you before everyone else gets back in the morning."

or 

"Hi! I'm Dave, but unfortunately I was cursed by a dark business consulting fairy to turn into cardboard after 6PM. Please sticky-note your question to my cardboard face and I'll get back to you when I turn back into a person at 9AM tomorrow."

 

Building the right chatbot for your brand is all about knowing your audience. Choose a character, avatar, and style of speaking that suits both the company personality and your audience's sense of humor. If you can be transparent about your chatbot's robotic nature and funny at the same time, customers will enjoy the automated assistance and see it as a major improvement to your website. For more bold, effective, and strategically funny ways to use your digital marketing assets, contact us today!

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Topics: marketing strategies digital marketing

Digital Marketing Strategies: 10 Tips for Building Fun Marketing Videos

For the last year, the popularity of online video marketing has risen exponentially. Where once videos were something rarely seen on the occasional business website in the form of testimonials, tutorials, and the occasional personal greeting from the founder, now videos made by businesses are absolutely everywhere. While you will definitely see them more frequently on company websites, the true dominance of video in marketing has come as a result of the social media platforms. As it turns out, video is incredibly clickable, and an easy way to draw in new online audience members with quick, entertaining productions.

Topics: digital marketing video marketing

Marketing Analytics: How to Set up Goals In Google Analytics In 3 Easy Steps

Google Analytics is incredible in its ability to catch raw consumer data and give businesses true insights as to whether their digital marketing efforts are really as successful. However, many businesses often become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data that Google Analytics is able to capture and become too intimidated to actually use it effectively.

Though it may seem unwieldy in the beginning, Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool in crafting long-term digital marketing strategies. To use it successfully, it is essential that you set realistic and measurable goals within the tools to ascertain how well your efforts are working. Here are some instructions on how to set up goals in Google Analytics. The best way to maximize the results of your marketing is by using data, data science, and analytics tools at your disposal to gain valuable and actionable insight into what is working in your marketing campaign, and where improvements must be made.

1) Do you need a template, custom, or Smart Goals?

One of the first steps in setting up these goals is understanding which one is right for you and the information you are trying to gain. Google has pre-made templates that will help meet standard business goals. These include revenue, acquisition, inquiry and engagement and are meant to be larger measures to help you clarify what you are looking for.

Custom goals allow you to create specific objectives tailored to your business and will vary according to what your specific strategy is. According to Google, Smart Goals "uses machine learning to examine dozens of signals about your website sessions to determine which of those are most likely to result in a conversion." However, to use this, accounts must have certain prerequisites such as a linked AdWords account. The latter must also have sent a minimum of 500 clicks for the Analytic in question.

2) Options for goals: URLs, Time, Pages/Visit, Event

After you have become a little more familiar with the actual set-up of the goals within Google Analytics, it is time to dive in. The first and foremost thing when setting this up? What exactly are you trying to measure, and what are the best ways to achieve this. 

The four core measures for this include URLs, Time, Pages/Visit, and Event. URLs can be set up as destination goals to see how well specific URLs are doing with users. This basically means that anytime someone clicks on a URL, Google Analytics can track that. Use this for confirmation pages, linked PDFs and other integral pages that users may land on after clicking important URLs.

Time and Pages/Visit tend to go hand-in-hand. This is useful if you are trying to ascertain:

a) How much time people are actually spending on your site

b) What pages are they visiting

c) How much time they are spending on each page

These three dictate the longevity of your business, so it is important to get these goals established. If people are spending less time on a certain page versus another - why is that? Use goals to set up time spans of visits, page sessions and set thresholds for this. This will be extremely helpful in understanding buyer journey, and generally how successful your website is in capturing user interest.

Event goals are there to help you understand how users are engaging with external elements of your site. This include external links, downloads, social media buttons - basically anything that a user is clicking that might take it away from your site. These goals should be in place to understand what elements users are engaging with. This might be helpful in understanding social media in relation to the website (i.e. are users clicking on to Twitter when they see the widget or icon for it?) or if they are truly engaging with your content enough to click on to external links.

3) Descriptions, details and other ways to measure user engagement

The best way to set up Google Analytics is to create ways to measure user engagement to its full potential. This will depend very much on how you decide to create your goals going forward, and how you set them up. The description part will detail what the goal is actually measuring, and the details part will address the specific user engagement measures.

This may include session duration, visited pages per session, average bounce rate and a variety of measures. You can even set up specific times for duration so that Google Analytics can categorize it even better, and give you a laser-focused view of how much user engagement is actually occurring. For example, you can set up a goal to have it track every time users spend more than two minutes on a certain page. This will give you clear insight on what content is successful, and which pages are lacking in traffic and could be improved.

Although it may seem time-consuming initially, having details and descriptions is incredibly important for long-term marketing, as well as short-term digital marketing strategies. It helps paint a broad picture of consumer behavior, while simultaneously allowing you to drill down to deeper details to understand your average user. This data will be an invaluable resource in developing ideal customer profiles, and developing targeted marketing for prime demographics.

This is just a brief overview of the sheer possibilities that can be achieved by setting goals on Google Analytics. Setting it up in the beginning carefully and thoroughly will yield rich results that will help drive strategy going forward, and will be powerful information to use for digital marketing campaigns.

Once these goals are set up, they will likely need to be updated and modified based on business goals and growth, but the essentials will still remain and thereby make it a less time-consuming process going forward.

To learn more about best practices when it comes to Google Analytics, and how data and analytics are the best way to maximize your marketing while driving long-term success for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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