Trends from global conversation and what they mean for gaming

Trends from global conversation and what they mean for gaming

This article has been written by Lisa Cowie, Head of Agency Research at Twitter, and Thomas Bailly, Global Agency Lead at Twitter. When people care about something, they talk about it. There are hundreds of millions of Tweets sent everyday around the world. What we choose to share says something about us — about who we are, about what interests us, about what we believe in. Conversation gives a window into culture.          Whilst Twitter isn’t short of data, gaining insights from that data requires the right analytical tools. We partnered with Black Swan to analyse 300,000+ topics of conversation. Using AI-driven network science to map conversations into clusters, we looked over 2 years (Jan ‘19 - Dec ‘20) to detect evolving trends. Tweets were analysed across 8 markets - US, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Brazil, Australia and India.    Many conversations persist across markets From a macro perspective, people around the world are talking about a lot of the same things —  but they can manifest differently depending on the cultural context. Our analysis surfaced 6 key spaces:       Understanding culture isn’t about honing into one area that is most obviously connected to a brand or vertical. Conversation is fluid and therefore trends are interconnected. It’s important to consider all the ways that consumers are thinking and behaving, to know what matters to them across many facets of their lives.    Trend #1 - Wellbeing Of course, wellbeing. Conversation has increased by at least 40% in all markets. The notion of #ItsOkayNotToBeOkay has come to the fore, with increasingly frank and open exchanges. #CollectiveHealth. Wellbeing is increasingly being shaped by conversation around ‘communities of care’. Healthcare systems, nursing care, health tech, telehealth services and “looking out for each other” have all seen growth.   Trend #2 - Creator Culture A new generation of entrepreneurs and everyday makers is emerging: the creator class. Spanning those who create for a living through to everyday people who want to inject a bit of creativity into their days. #Participation. Everyone can create. Involvement is more prominent than ever. This notion is fueling the entertainment space as content proliferates from everyday creators and consumption becomes much more social. Conversation around creator culture has increased by +26% in the US and as much as +135% in Brazil.   Trend #3 - Everyday Wonder Escapism is a fundamental human desire. From the cosmos to spirituality to wanderlust, people are immersing themselves in content and experiences. There’s renewed wonder in imagined realities. Fantasy worlds, role-playing, cosplay, sci-fi, and superhero culture are providing ways for people to lose — and find — themselves. The conversation is steadily growing everywhere, with particular resonance in Spain, +35%, and Brazil, +31%.   Trend #4 - One Planet The notion of #BuildBackBetter is emerging as a key driver of the conversation around sustainability and the environment. #TheGreatReset in the US, #GreenRecovery in the UK or #Agenda2030 in Spain are setting the tone, with a focus on regeneration not just sustainability.  There has also been heightened interest in nature and local surroundings — from the impact of climate change to an appreciation for green spaces and the land around us.   Trend #5 - Tech Life A changing dialogue about the way we live, work, and create. As the pandemic hit, a burgeoning reliance on tech in our homes saw more mentions of everything from video calling to smart sensors to connected entertainment to ed tech. Tech Life is expansive - people are talking about smarter living, tech for good and tech angst. The conversation has grown between 30-40% across all markets.   Trend #6 - My Identity People are feeling more supported — and celebrated — to live out loud. #RepresentMe. Equality has become one of the most prominent themes on the platform, as individuals and communities push for real representation. This doesn’t stop at politics, it’s increasingly a topic within entertainment.  As people increasingly define themselves against their values, beliefs or ethics, #BeAnAlly and #TakeAStand are concepts that are gaining traction not just for individuals but within fandoms too. Who you stan says a lot about what you stan. People are realising the power of their fandoms to drive real social change.   The US is seeing the highest growth around this theme, 61%, but with 40%+ growth in all markets the conversation around identity is happening everywhere. ------------- We see those conversations shaping global culture. One of the recurring themes, showing up in conversation and making its way into mainstream culture, is gaming. Let’s look at how the gaming conversation has evolved, and what that means for content creators and brands.   Everyday prevalence of gaming Gaming is a huge area of opportunity for brands, irrespective of their vertical. It sits at the intersection of culture, tech, and content. Mainstream, but also a multitude of niche communities, gaming is spreading far and wide into peoples’ lives, accelerated by the pandemic.    ●2B+ gaming related Tweets globally in 2020, up +75% YOY   ●Globally, people on Twitter are 1.7X more likely to have a connected gaming console and 2.2X more likely to watch competitive video gaming, vs. those not on Twitter.   Gaming shows up within conversation in various ways, driving two of our trend spaces:   Gaming Focus Trend #1 - Creator Culture: Conversational Entertainment Game talk  A new era of gaming, one where games become social experiences. Mentions of games like Among Us, Animal Crossing, Pokemon and Fortnite have all seen huge growth. Conditions of the pandemic have driven usage, but these games inspire connection and conversation.   Streamers Gaming as video content. Increasing mentions of live streams show that gaming is also a consumption experience. #SupportSmallStreamers is gaining traction as more people move into the role of creator, putting out content for their audiences.   Gaming ecosystems Franchises are converging with film and music. In-game social events like concerts are driving conversation around music artists in the same context as gaming.     Gaming Focus Trend #2 - Everyday Wonder: Imaginative Escapism Nostalgic experiences As people seek out comfort in the familiar and iconic, classic franchises like Pokemon, Pacman, Mario, Star Wars characters and countless others have been delighting new and old fans alike.   Immersive narratives Not quite a video game, not quite a movie. Gaming is increasingly being talked about in the realms of characters, settings and stories as people desire full immersion into fantasy-worlds.   Beyond gaming itself Animal Crossing wasn’t just something to do during lockdowns. Conversation on Twitter spiraled into everyday dreaming about travel, holidays and IRL experiences. Hype and conversation around Cyberpunk, the long-awaited game, has moved into story-telling and cosplay (costume play) as people throw themselves into character role-playing.       Acting on the gaming phenomenon If it’s happening in the world, it’s happening on Twitter. Particularly when it comes to the gaming conversation, fans around the world come to Twitter to talk about the biggest moments of the year — the game drops, the fandom, and more, all year long. We see this in the consumption habits of our audiences — during live events, while attention shifts away from other social media, it shifts towards Twitter.   This is why game publishers and esports teams alike are prioritising using Twitter as an immediate distribution platform for their biggest moments. With Amplify, Twitter’s pre-roll video offering, brands can reach the younger demographic who are difficult to reach by TV and the increasing cord-cutters and cord-nevers. From always-on packages with our gaming press partners, to live events and esports opportunities, Twitter has a wide range of solutions to allow brands to align with premium, brand-safe content that resonates with a younger audience, globally.    For more information on Twitter Trends please visit marketing.twitter.com/trends  0

7 mins read

Optimisation of Checkout Flow on the Mobile

Optimisation of Checkout Flow on the Mobile

Want to improve your website's checkout flow on your mobile in order to increase your conversions? 9 out of 10 Danish webshops miss sales.   By focusing more on your users' experience through the flow, it is possible. In this blog post, you will get some pointers on what a good user experience (UX) is on mobile and how you can improve your checkout flow on mobile with a focus on UX.   What is good UX on mobile - and what is not? There are several different definitions of what good UX is. However, the core definition centers around meeting the specific needs of users in specific contexts. By focusing on mobile, you will also be ready for Mobile-First indexing.   When we talk about good UX for mobile, there are some best practices that are an important part of the design process, such as: ·       Prioritise the user ·       Make the navigation intuitive ·       Focus on the user's goals ·       Make the user’s tasks easy to do ·       Build speed into the UX ·       Give feedback to the user ·       Minimise the amount of extra information ·       Layout the design according to the user's hand (see image below)       By having these best practices in mind, you can create a better user experience for users who either visit your home page via mobile or app. Remember that the future of search is about one overall user experience.   How do I create a better checkout flow? Buy-ready users often leave the checkout flow because they experience some form of frustration during the buying process, giving them a poor user experience. Below are some best practices for how you can minimise the users’ feeling of frustration in the checkout flow and thereby give them a better user experience. Getting started with conversion optimization is easy.   Visualise the curve It should be easy and clear for the user to understand and control what is in his/her basket. A rule of thumb is that the user must have clarity about the product, which includes product images and information, such as price and delivery costs. In addition, the user should have the feeling of control when it comes to making changes to the curve. Therefore, the user must be able to update the number, colors, size, etc. as well as remove products from the basket.   Save for later The Save for later feature can be an important factor in the checkout flow, as it allows users to save a product on the page itself and come back to buy it later. Some users assume that websites or apps automatically store the information in the basket, which can create great frustration when they return and discover the basket is empty. Delivery information Filling out a long form is both time consuming and can result in errors and frustrations among users. Therefore, minimise the number of fields to make it easy and fast for users to enter their information. Another thing you can do to optimise the process here is to insert a field with the option to use shipping address as billing address. This eliminates the need for users to enter the same information twice. Auto-fill and error One of the primary purposes of auto-fill is to make it easier and faster for users to fill out a form. At the same time, auto-fill reduces the risk of user error which creates a better user experience. There are several different types of auto-fill options, such as filling in delivery information or finding an address by entering a postcode. Should it happen that a user enters information that contains an error, it is important that the user receives feedback on this. This could be, for example, if the user has entered his telephone number with a 7 or 9 number instead of 8. Then it must be clear in the form where the error is, so that the user can easily and quickly correct the error. The feedback that helps the user detect the error provides a better experience as the user can quickly and easily locate and correct the error. Order overview In the order overview, it is important that the structure of the information is organised in a way that will help streamline the users' checkout. Therefore, the shipping address should be at the top where users have the option to change it. Then the number of products and their details should be displayed to avoid the user going back in the process to make sure that they are the right products. Discounts, delivery costs, VAT and the total price should also be included in the order overview. This way, you avoid an unexpected cost for users later in the process, which prevents them from converting. Payment methods For many users, entering card information on their mobile phone can be cross-border and time consuming. Therefore, you can create a better user experience by offering different payment methods - including the ability to use MobilePay. That way, users avoid entering card information, and some users perceive the method as more secure compared to entering it directly on the website. Another way to create a great user experience is by displaying security and verification images in the payment step. It gives users a sense of confidence and security in the checkout flow.     Purchase confirmation Last but not least, a purchase confirmation contributes to a good user experience, as users now know that the transaction has been completed and a confirmation email has been sent. There are several elements you can consider including in the purchase confirmation to create an even better user experience. For example, you might add an image or illustration that clearly shows the purchase has been completed. Here, users get a sense of a successful checkout process and confirmation  they completed their goal, namely, to buy a product. How do I know if it works? As mentioned earlier, good UX is characterised by meeting the specific needs of the users in specific contexts. The optimizations that are meet your users’ needs and work for your business may not work for another business and their users. It is important to be clear about what your optimizations should improve. The easiest way to do this is to set up different KPIs. With a KPI framework, you always have an overview of what to measure and how it goes. Although the previous sections provide examples of best practices in UX optimization of a checkout flow on mobile, it is not possible to know in advance whether the optimizations you make on your website or app will work with your users. Therefore, it will be important to perform A / B split tests of the optimizations before they are implemented. Here, the different versions are tested against each other, making it possible for you to find out whether the optimizations perform in your checkout flow or not before they are implemented. You should never implement anything without testing it first.   Need help getting started?   You are always welcome to contact us if you want to hear more about how we can help you optimise your checkout flow and UX. We are happy to help you get started, so that together we can create a digital success that drives business performance. 0

6 mins read

TikTok's Uncertain Fate Paves Way for Instagram Reels, As Triller Climbs To No. 1 In App Store

TikTok's Uncertain Fate Paves Way for Instagram Reels, As Triller Climbs To No. 1 In App Store

With the future and fate of TikTok remaining unclear, Instagram Reels and Triller are taking center stage in the short-form category.

9 mins read

Enhance Customer Engagement with Voice

Enhance Customer Engagement with Voice

Welcome back to this two-part blog series focusing on all things Voice. ICYMI, part one covered the top 6 lowest hanging fruits to make your website content Voice Search ready. In part one, we learned that winning Position 0 is critical to gain Voice Search visibility. However, conversational AI technologies and voice user interfaces (AKA: Voice-based applications) offer opportunities for brands to engage with consumers beyond the search engine results page.  When we take a step back to look at the evolution of media consumption it becomes clear that consumer behaviour and purchasing habits have shifted following the succession of technological revolutions. With the rise of the Internet of Things and Smart Devices, interactivity has become the new standard. We went from passive mediums such as print, radio, and TV to user-generated content, to customer-initiated communication with mobile and tablets.  As a result, simply producing a piece of content and hoping it reaches your target audience, is not enough. Much more must be done for brands to respond effectively to how humans and machines interact. As it stands now, Voice Search does not necessarily allow brands to measure user engagement and understand trends to improve user experience. Also, most voice answers about a specific brand come from other highly authoritative sources (ex. Yelp, Wikipedia), which are not controlled by a brand. As a result, brands risk weakening their customer experience and even losing market share to competitors who are Voice ready. That's where Voice-based applications come into play. So, What is a Voice-based Application?  A Voice-based Application or Voice App is a conversational interface designed to extend the functionality of voice-enabled devices such as smart speakers (just like screen-based apps would do on mobile). Users can interact with this easy-to-use voice-directed technology using its invocation name. A few favorite examples… H&M Home Stylist The H&M Home Stylist voice application allows users to ask questions on décor inspiration for different rooms in the house. How it works: Ask for help with a specific room Choose from a range of styles such as classic or modern Receive inspiration and mood boards based on your preferences See example products from H&M Home, along with suggestions for materials and colour schemes Mystery Oreo Mondelez turned to Alexa to promote a new Oreo flavour contest. The purpose was to boost awareness, interest and engagement with the brand as part of a two-month long “Mystery Oreo” campaign.  How it works: Users activate the voice technology with the query: “Alexa, what’s new with Oreo?”  User receives weekly flavour cues When prompted, order cookies via Amazon  Domino's Anyware As part of the Domino’s Anyware initiative, the restaurant chain launched voice-activated pizza delivery for pizza lovers. How it works: Speak to a voice device (Google, Alexa, Siri) and ask it to "Talk to Domino's" Build a new order from scratch or reorder a most recent order Integrates with Domino's Tracker Also integrates with Slack and Facebook Messenger Voice expert lives in the Domino's app to take voice orders  In my opinion, these examples prove that the best voice interactions are usually not approached as an advertisement but as an extension of the brand experience. How are Voice-based Applications Being Used by Consumers? Voice devices are everywhere. They are often in shared spaces in the house (living room, family room) such as smart speakers like Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home. They are usually on your mobile (Siri, Bixby). They are also on-the-go in your Car or Smart Watch. Voice devices are mainly used for education (asking questions to a bot), utility, and entertainment. People enjoy interacting with Voice Apps while multitasking to get things done faster (save time from not having to type) or enhance daily routines (to-do list, commute times, weather, reminders). Taking the first steps towards launching your own Voice-based Application may seem daunting without in-house expertise or a proven roadmap. When working with clients in developing an Application, we focus on 4 key considerations. Consideration no.1: Find your “Why” When thinking about how to engage with Voice, the first thing to do is identify how your brand can provide value within the voice ecosystem. The goal here is to figure out what are the top use cases for Voice Applications, understand different ways in which customers approach these cases and how it refers to your products and services. That is going to allow you to find natural connections between your brand and consumer needs. This can be done by applying a creative approach. You can begin by brainstorming and ideating with your team. You can also adopt a data-driven approach by taking an in-depth look at your internal data. Whether they are coming from a website chatbot, call transcript, or findings from a digital footprint analysis, all data is welcome. We have identified 3 ways that brands can bring value to the customer in a business setting. Product Extension: Extending the value of the product through a Voice Experience (ex. Unboxing moment, instructions on how-to put a piece of furniture together)   Content Strategy: The brand may have existing content that can be translated into an interactive experience on Voice platforms (e.g. Educational, curated lifestyle advice, tips, CSR). Customer Support: Makes any information a customer might need accessible through Voice with ease and convenience.  Once you have decided what the main focus of your app will be, you will then need to decide what phrase or invocation name will be used to activate it.  Consideration no. 2: Put the User at the Center of the Design Process If it is not easy and enjoyable to use, it is not likely to succeed. In order to design meaningful user experiences that work through voice-enabled devices, it is important to take into account how people naturally use their voice to communicate, and what they expect from a voice interaction. We recommend the following: Do not settle to a machine's limitations. Instead, be willing to stretch technology to meet user expectations. Your voice app should be able to accommodate multiple variations of the answer, rather than just requiring the question be answered precisely the way you phrase it. Think of the best way to help users and then consider the level of technical complexity required. Allow users to use natural language. All of us use slang and have unique ways of saying the same thing. So, if you know your niche audience, it is essential to adapt the speech and tone accordingly. We recommend spending some time thinking of how users will interact, what questions they will ask, and how you intend to respond. Take context into account. Not every consumer will interact with your Voice Application under the same conditions. They could be experiencing it at home or on-the go.  It is essential to adjust the experience and level of information to the user's context. Give users a good reason to come back by providing new and returning visitors with relevant information. People are most likely to go back if the content is updated regularly. Consideration no. 3: Don’t be Afraid to Iterate We are at a tipping point in the adoption of Voice Technology where an early majority of Canadians have started using Voice-activated devices. Close behind, brands, marketers and agencies are still trying to figure out what to do to attract consumer's attention. At this stage, it's important to not focus on having the perfect Voice Application from the get-go, but to have something out on the market and see how your customer base interacts with it. We recommend focusing on proven use cases and low effort implementation. The sooner you launch, the more time you will have to experiment, learn and improve your voice-based application. Consideration no. 4: Promote your Voice App There are currently over 100.000 Alexa skills and over 33,300 Google Assistant Actions available. Unlike mobile apps, when it comes to the voice ecosystem, there is no popular distribution platform to promote your voice application. This general lack of awareness about what voice-based applications can do and how to find them makes driving voice discovery and engagement a critical challenge for brands to overcome. In order to get more users, we recommend integrating Voice with existing digital & offline channels as support. Discoverability is hard in the voice assistant market. Voice experiences seem to do a better job at creating a deeper user engagement than creating awareness.  The scale is not necessarily the metric by which the success of Voice application should be measured. Looking ahead... Times are changing and search is not just about keyword rankings anymore. While optimizing on-page content for Voice Search is a good first step towards entering the Voice ecosystem, we believe there are several moments within the customer journey where the effective use of voice-enabled applications could create a game-changing shift. A smart voice-first strategy should start with putting a simple voice application out there to see how users interact with their AI assistant. Keep in mind this is a new channel for both your customers and your brand so there is lots of experimenting to be done - but the time to get started is now.   0

8 mins read

Google just became Amazon's biggest competitor

Google just became Amazon's biggest competitor

In an announcement made last week, Google made several changes to their marketplace product. We've highlighted the changes and what it means for small and big businesses.

1 mins read

News

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

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5 Considerations in Light of COVID-19

5 Considerations in Light of COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our experts have compiled 5 quick tips for each of their areas of expertise.  Watch these short videos for brief updates which will help you pivot your strategies in each channel to better serve your clients as the effects of the pandemic continue to influence consumer behavior. 5 Considerations for #commerce in Light of COVID-19 by Nate Shurilla, Global Director of Commerce and Voice. 5 Considerations for #commerce in Light of COVID-19 by Nate Shurilla, Global Director of Commerce and Voice.   Laura Flores, Chile, presents five ways analytics and CRO can help brands today.   Erika Vonderwall, London, shares  five ways using influencers and video brands can help brands now.     Jack Cantwell, Client Director iProspect Singapore, shares five consideration for CRM in light of COVID-19.   Anna Calciolari, Global Head of Products and Partnerships, shares five ways marketing automation can help brands in these challenging times.   0

1 mins read

A Brand's Guide To Working With TikTok Creators

A Brand's Guide To Working With TikTok Creators

If you’ve been in the app store lately you might’ve noticed this logo to right holding it’s spot in one of the top ten free apps for quite some time. This app is called TikTok, featuring short 15 to 60 second short videos, which are soundtracked by music clips. Content is comedic, on-trend, and interactive. It sits amongst other popular social apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. It is one of the fastest growing social platforms in history. As of November 2019 TikTok has over 1 billion users on its platform in 150 countries and has been downloaded over 123 million times. If your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 30, you should be on TikTok right now. Users have all sorts of tools at their disposal right in the app: amazing filters, effects and sounds to score your video. Unlike our old friend Vine, TikTok has created a one stop shop for editing. Users don’t need to use third party apps to create interesting content. Users can engage with one another through “response” videos or by means of “duets” — users can duplicate videos and add themselves alongside. Hashtags actually exist as a real, functional organizing principle: not for news, or even really anything trending anywhere else than TikTok, but for various “challenges,” or jokes, or repeating formats, or other forms of activity.   “If your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 30, you should be on TikTok right now.”   Instagram’s “Discover” page includes images that may somewhat relate or interest you but TikTok's similar “For You” page has an even more advanced and engaging algorithm. With a full vertical screen experience, users dive down a rabbit hole of curated content. The app allows users to easily connect, create friendships, and collab with others. Every week there’s new trends, which makes it easy to go viral and increases the potential for popularity. Creators have identified this supportive environment to grow followers and have left Instagram for TikTok. Not only that, but the engagement rate on TikTok is absolutely wild. If I haven’t sold you on why you should be on TikTok at this point, here are a few more statistics that showcase how powerful this app is and is still becoming… TikTok has about 800 million monthly active users with about 60 million of those being in the United States TikTok users spend 52 minutes in the app on average a day A user opens TikTok 8 times per day on average Of their users, 60% are female, 40% are male Of their users 60% are between the ages of 16-24 and 26% are between the ages 25-44  60% of TikTok users are GenZers and next year, 74 million people in the U.S. will be part of “GenZ”, which will make it the largest generation of all How can a brand engage with TikTok Creators like we do Instagram Influencers? Working with TikTok Creators has its similarities to working with influencers on Instagram but because these social media platforms differ in the content you create there are a few differences in strategy that you need to think about as a brand. To make it easier, I’ve laid out the 5 steps to working with TikTok Creators…   Identify your audience Select the right TikTok Creators Develop content concepts and creative brief Outreach to TikTokCreators with collaboration opportunity Make sure the content has trackable conversions STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE    One of the first steps in working with creators on TikTok to promote your brand is identifying whether or not it is appropriate for the age demographic that is currently using TikTok. For example if your product or service is geared towards men and women between the ages of 30 to 50, TikTok might not be the best platform to do your influencer marketing. Remember, roughly 50% of TikTok's global audience is under the age of 34 with 26% between 18 and 24. This isn’t to say that TikTok won’t expand into an older demographic in the future, it very well could, but right now it’s sitting with a younger demographic. If you have identified that your brand is on target with TikTok's age demographic the next step is to decide if your product/service is for men, women or both genders. Just like working with Instagram influencers you will want to choose your TikTok Creator’s gender based on the use of the product/service you are trying to promote. Next you’ll need to decide how your brand can be displayed by a creator on TikTok. With Instagram we are often used to product images with an influencer on a static feed or Instagram stories that include a review of the product. TikTok is not the place for videos of people talking about a product, users on TikTok will quickly be bored by this type of content. If they wanted that type of content they would be on Instagram. Like I mentioned before, TikTok videos are creative short form content that either include a sound or music as a score or are quality comedy that keeps the user interested. Here’s a good example of a brand collaboration on TikTok that showcases the brand and also does it in a way that stays in line with TikTok's type of content. This is pretty much the same strategy you would employ for the rest of your influencer campaigns. One of the best ways to come up with ideas to promote your product on TikTok is to get on the app and scroll through the For You Page for about 20 to 30 mins. Quickly you’ll catch on to the trends and type of content that these users are interested in. If you are able to come up with some ideas of how your product can be used by a TikTok creator in a video, then the next step is to choose your creators! STEP 2: SELECT THE RIGHT TIKTOK CREATORS     While TikTok has made a Creator Marketplace that brands and agencies can request to join, the platform is ever growing with influential creators every week. For example, popular TikTok creator Charli D’Amelio reached 6.2 million followers on TikTok is just 4 months, and has a total of 123.7 million likes across all of her videos. That’s why it’s important for you or your campaign manager to get on TikTok and start exploring through hashtags and challenges to see who the hottest creator is at this very moment. Unlike Instagrams current algorithm that often makes even the best content not get as much engagement as it deserves, TikTok's algorithm essentially allows quality content to go viral. While follower count is no doubt important when choosing a creator to work with on TikTok, it’s equally as important to look at the content they are making and identify how much engagement each of their videos gets. It’s possible for a creator with over 100k followers to only get 3,000 likes on a video. And unlike Instagram, you cannot blame your decrease in likes on the algorithm because if the content is good on TikTok you will go viral. TikTok users spend less time in their following page and more time on the For You Page. Think of it like the discover page on any other social media app. When a user posts a video on TikTok, that video automatically ends up on a few other users For You Pages at random, if the content is interesting to those users that are served it on their FYP they will watch the full video and maybe give it a like. The more users who engage with the content on the FYP will ensure it ends up on other FYPs. You can get served content on your FYP from months before, so the reach is huge if you choose the right creators who have the ability to make good viral videos on TikTok. You want to look at the TikTok creators who have consistent views, likes and comments on the past 10 videos on their feed. That will be the best indicator that they are a good influencer to work with. If you aren’t seeing any creators on TikTok's Marketplace that you would want to work with, there’s an easy way to find some creators organically through the app. Use the hashtag search and type in something that relates to your brand. For example, if your brand is a makeup product try searching #makeuptutorial or #makeup on the app. Look through some of the top videos, check out the users that posted them, look at their profiles and other video’s success. Look through the hashtags, the most popular videos will often show up first. From this you can come up with a good list of creators that would be good to promote your makeup product on TikTok. STEP 3: DEVELOP CONTENT CONCEPTS AND CREATIVE BRIEF     When working with TikTok Creators, you might want to be more specific in your content asks to ensure you get the best results. TikTok videos are popular when they include several or one of the following:   Music or Sound Narrative Dance Lip syncing Transitions Interactivity Challenges Remember, you want to build content that centers around your marketing strategy without overtly calling it out. If your brand isn't super used to building video content, don't sweat the details. If you have an idea in mind, outline it in a creative brief that you will share with the creator once you’ve confirmed a collaboration. It is important to outline your asks before you begin your outreach because if you are looking for a specific type of talent in TikTok video creation, you will need to be sure that the creators you’ve picked to reach out to have it. Remember, you want this to play out organically and not have it feel like one of thousands of video ads your audience has ignored. Here are some good examples of each of the outlined “talents” that you could be looking for in TikTok video creation: Music or Sound: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3, Example #4, Example #5, Example #6, Example #7, Example #8 Narrative: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3, Example #4, Example #5, Example #6 Dance: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3, Example #4 Lip Syncing: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3,  Transitions: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3, Example #4 Interactivity: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3 Challenges: Example #1, Example #2, Example #3   If you aren’t sure what kind of video would work creatively or catch attention you can ask the creator if they have any ideas or thoughts on what would work. Remember, they are the ones who are able to get their videos to scale on the platform, so they know the best techniques to ensure maximum reach. TikTok is an app that allows you to lean on the influencer to come up with the best ideas for a brand collaboration. One thing you’ll want to be sure you provide them with once you confirm a collaboration is a short list of value props, tag lines, hashtags etc. Be sure to give them enough information on the brand or product/service for them to develop an idea for the video.   STEP 4: OUTREACH TO TIKTOK CREATORS     Once you’ve identified a list of TikTok creators you would like to work with and crafted a creative brief and or basic outlines for the collaboration, you will need to look for the Creator's contact information. Since TikTok isn’t as advanced in the influencer space as Instagram is for example, it might be harder to find contact information. A good TikTok campaign needs the right creators to have any impact.   The steps outlined below are the best to follow if you can’t find a TikTok Creator’s contact information in the TikTok Creator Marketplace:   Check their TikTok profile to see if their contact info is listed in their bio Check to see if they’ve linked their Instagram account on their TikTok profile, go to their Instagram account from there and see if their contact info is listed Check to see if they’ve linked their YouTube account on their TikTok profile, go the about section and see if there’s any info that can lead you to a way to contact them TikTok does not allow DMs between two accounts that do not follow each other. (this is to protect the significantly younger demographic that is on TikTok). If you can’t find contact information with the steps above, then you can resort to the below options if you would still like to reach out to that specific Creator:   Create a TikTok account on behalf of the brand and comment on the Creator’s video asking if there’s a good email address to contact them at for collaborations If they have their Instagram account connected but no contact information listed on there either, go to Instagram and send them a DM asking for their contact information If they are a large enough TikTok Creator trying Googling their contact information or see if they have any type of website or other social media accounts out there that could give you that information STEP 5: MAKE SURE YOU CAN TRACK CONVERSIONS   Like in any influencer marketing campaign, in order to make sure you get your return on investment (ROI), you need to include something in the creator’s content that ensures you can track the success of the partnership between the brand and the Creator. To do this you will first need to identify your goal for working with TikTok influencers: Increase social traffic (ie followers on instagram, facebook etc.) Drive revenue Create content Brand awareness Increase Social Traffic There’s a few ways you can increase social traffic on your Instagram or Facebook from a creators post on TikTok. One way is to create a giveaway, and when the creator posts their branded TikTok video they can include in the caption outlining how you can win something by entering this giveaway. In order to enter the giveaway one of the steps can be to follow the brand’s Instagram or Facebook page. To track the growth over time you can use a tool like SquareLovin to see how many followers and or engagement the accounts are getting over the period of the campaign. Drive Revenue   The easiest way to drive revenue through TikTok videos at this present moment is through discount codes. This will be the only way to really see what revenue is being driven from a TikTok creators post. TikTok doesn’t have stories that include swipe up links like Instagram does so your best bet is to ask the creator to include a personalized discount code in the caption of their video, or as overlaying text and drive the viewer to purchase using their discount code.   Create Content   If your goal is to create content that you can repurpose for ADs there’s a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. Since TikTok uses music and sound in it’s videos you’ll want to instruct your creators to either use no music or make sure you have the rights to a specific song. A brand can also make a TikTok account and upload their own sound if they have one already created for the brand, you can find instructions on how to do that here. The only hurdle you’ll have here is to make sure you don’t have copyrighted sound. Other than that, you will probably be able to get some quality content that you can piece together in a mashup for ADs and test how it does on other networks. Brand Awareness   Since challenges are extremely popular on TikTok, one of the best ways to increase brand awareness is to select some TikTok creators to take part in a challenge that encourages their viewers to partake as well. You can reference some of the challenge examples videos listed in Step #3 to get some inspiration for a good challenge that increases awareness of your brand. 0

13 mins read

How to Gain Visibility Across Voice and Conversational Search

How to Gain Visibility Across Voice and Conversational Search

The Voice revolution is here and is drastically changing how consumers are searching for information and interacting with brands. Virtual assistants have reached a 20% adoption rate in Canada and 88% of English and French speaking Canadians are reported to use voice at least once a week. As a result, Voice Search is gaining considerable momentum and is anticipated to cause a lasting change in consumer behaviour. My opinion? I think we’ll witness the most significant shift in consumer behaviour since mobile adoption. Looking at the evolution of Fortune 500 companies between 2000 and 2018, 52% of these companies missed the shift from desktop to mobile and never recovered from this technology change. Repeating the same mistake with Mobile and Voice would present significant consequences for brands.  Don’t panic. There are different ways for brands to win with Voice and Conversational Assistants. In this two-part blog series, we’ll provide tactical recommendations on how to get your brand started on the right foot. In part one, we’ll explore the top 6 lowest hanging fruit to make your website content Voice Search ready. Hey, Google! - Let’s get started No. 1: Optimize for Position 0, AKA:  the Featured Snippet Position 0  is the information search engines show at the very top of the search engine result pages (SERPs). SERP features are enhanced to draw user attention on the results page with a visually appealing, information-rich search results experience. This includes featured snippets, local pack, recipes, reviews, featured videos, video carousel, etc.   When the Conversational Assistant is asked a question, the device returns a unique response. This makes winning position 0 or the featured snippet for informational queries one of the biggest challenges with Voice Search. To increase chances of winning position 0, it is key to have content properly marked up and surfaced. To achieve this, structured data can be used for web pages, blog posts, news articles, events, how-to’s, job postings, local businesses, organizations, persons, products, recipes, and videos. This will help your content be considered for position 0 or for the People Also Ask (PPA) section. There are various ways of annotating your content with structured data including Microdata, Microformats, RFDa, Schema.org, Open Graph, and JSON-LD. However, Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data whenever possible. No.2: Optimize Content for Long-Tail Queries and Questions Unlike typed searches, most voice searches are performed in the form of a question, using human language. Do you have enough educational and informational content? Can you repurpose existing content pieces?   To optimize for long-tail queries, it is key that you examine your existing content to identify the pieces that present the most relevant and valuable information.   Focus should be placed on long-tail keywords and conversational language. Once you have selected high potential content pieces, we recommend the following:   Create a short answer for all questions. The sentence should include 25 to 30 words. Beyond word count, it is important to be mindful of the syllable count since it will affect the time duration of the speech. Enrich your content and explore topics more in depth by integrating questions (what, where, who, when, why, how) in the title and heading of your pages. This way, users landing on your website will not only find a concise answer to their question, but also additional relevant information around that topic. No.3: Optimize for Local Search According to a Bright Local study, 58% of users perform a voice search to obtain information on businesses close to home. Therefore, local business listings play a critical role in allowing users to find your business when using a voice device. Make sure your business name, address and phone number are consistent across all online platforms, directories and locations. Consider submitting the website to directories such as Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Manta, ShowMeLocal, Hotfrog, Better Business Bureau and FourSquare.     No. 4: Optimize the Website Structure for a Seamless Mobile Experience  More often than not, Voice Search happens on mobile. Solving for Voice starts with ensuring your website and content is working properly on mobile devices. Make sure the website structure is optimized for a seamless mobile experience. Improve page speed. The page load time is the time it takes to fully display the content. In addition to being an important ranking signal, a fast page load time offers a great experience for users. Faster pages rank and convert better. Additionally, search engines have limited resources to crawl the internet, therefore a faster page load speed means an increase in the number of pages crawled. Having more pages indexed means more ranking opportunities. Consider the user experience on small screens by minimizing content, simplifying navigation, restricting user inputs, and ensuring continuity and consistency. No.5: Identify Search Intent with Data Gathering Understand how spoken commands and searches will differ from typed commands, for example: words to use, two-way interaction between a consumer and the device. The first step is to determine the intent behind voice searches.  What questions are being asked?  What keywords do we need?  Instead of relying on assumptions, we recommend using keyword tools to generate a list of questions about your industry and business. The more comprehensive the better. Perform a keyword research You can use tools such as Answer the Public, Ahrefs, Text Optimizer and SEMrush Keyword Magic. As each user is unique, there are multiple ways to say the same thing.  Identify and regroup different ways to formulate questions by expressing the same idea with alternate words. You will need to cluster questions based on the theme, persona, search intent, and/or stage of the customer journey to which they refer.   No.6: Adopt the FAQ Page Format Usually websites only have one FAQ page. This makes it difficult for search engines to assess the topic or keyword the page should primarily rank for. Creating topical resource pages will allow questions and answers to be hosted in a relevant fashion. A quick win is to have a dedicated page for each FAQ, with an optimized title, description, and h1. -- In part two of this blog series, we’ll go a step further and uncover the strategy to build a voice-based application that allows businesses to take advantage of the field of possibility the Voice Search revolution has to offer.    0

6 mins read

Online to offline: Supporting store re-openings through paid search

Online to offline: Supporting store re-openings through paid search

As we find ourselves approaching the four-month point since the national lockdown was introduced in the UK, it is interesting to consider just how much the population has adapted to the restrictions imposed; cluttered kitchen tables have transformed into office spaces, re-arranged living rooms into stay-at-home workout areas and Zoom chats have come to substitute, well, pretty much any social event that we can virtually re-imagine! In a similar way, digital platforms became almost the only way for brands to maintain engagement with their consumer base after the closure of high street stores on the 24th March. Uplifts in the number of consumers exploring e-commerce made these platforms more valuable than ever to brands, evidence of which can be seen in many cases through increased investment in digital development and advertising. Some brands adapted to these changes in consumer behaviour like ducks to water whereas others faced immediate challenges, at times attracting un-wanted media coverage in the process. Limitations of platforms came under increased scrutiny and issues at production level were exacerbated by social distancing measures, but overall, digital has stood up well in these testing times, and now provides businesses with a path for growth. Prior to stores re-opening there was a feeling of ambivalence towards the predicted number of consumers feeling comfortable enough to visit them, and concerns around how this would affect in-store performance. However so far, the signs have been positive in favour of a high-street recovery; store footfall jumped up by 38.8% on the 15th June as non-essential shops re-opened and footfall on England’s high streets specifically measured 50.5% higher than the week previous (econsultancy.com). These statistics suggest that consumer confidence hasn’t been hampered as severely as first thought, and the demand for physical stores still holds viability for brands. Nevertheless, recent events have no doubt led to a further blurring of the lines between online and offline retail, making it now an important time for brands to re-evaluate the ways in which their online activity can complement their offline strategy. The role of online activity within the consumer journey is highly regarded by many marketers, and a publication from JRNI reported that 73% of users in the UK say that they research digitally before going on to purchase in store. Bridging the gap between online and offline retail was a developing area within Google paid search long before the days of toilet roll shortages and Tiger King-mania, which began with the introduction of Google My Business to help drive footfall to stores via maps and directions. In reaction to widespread adoption and strong performance, advertisers now find themselves with an ever-increasing arsenal of technologies becoming available. One of the first Google Ads features to appear in support of physical stores was the location extension, which has since been utilised by many brands. Featuring across the Google search network, these extensions commonly appear beneath paid search ads to provide information about stores local to the user. When delivered on a mobile device they can also display a “call” button, making these extensions a particularly useful feature for businesses that rely on real-time conversations, or apprehensive shoppers wishing to check stock availability before venturing out. ‘Local campaigns’ were another evolution of Google’s online-to-offline offering when they were introduced last year, allowing advertisers to dedicate budget entirely to the pursuit of in-store footfall via paid search platforms. These campaigns use a combination of text, image and video assets to reach users across Google search platforms and give brands more power to communicate with consumers at the right time. As stores can appear to users within Google Maps without actively searching for them (in the form of a branded drop-pin), local campaigns can hold value in supporting upper funnel tactics. Figure 1: Example of a branded drop-pin and ad within Google Maps (Google) Conversion tracking is also available to advertisers that meet Google’s eligibility criteria, the requirements of which include sufficient store locations and traffic amongst other attributes. Once set in place, conversion tracking allows advertisers to see within Google Ads exactly which campaigns, keywords and devices drive the most store visits. These metrics are extremely useful in understanding return on investment and better evaluating the effectiveness of your messaging. As well as providing geographical information about store locations, Google also make it possible to integrate the availability of in-store stock via the use of local inventory ads (or LIA for short). Working in a similar way to shopping campaigns, these ad formats require the set-up of a dedicated feed into the Google Merchant Centre and give users the ability to browse products local to them within a Google-hosted virtual shop called the ‘Local Storefront’. With a reported 50% of shoppers globally checking online before considering an in-store purchase (Google), this feature holds a great advantage for brands looking to create synergy between their online-to-offline shopping experience and provide a seamless user journey. Figure 2: Example of LIA on a mobile device (Google) Aside from the many inherent benefits they offer to consumers including added convenience and avoidance of delivery charges, click and collect services have provided an attractive prospect for brands wanting to turn online traffic into physical store visits for several years. The availability of click and collect through Google as an accompaniment to LIA now means that more and more brands can implement this tactic as a part of their online-to-offline strategy. The features covered in this blog are only a handful within Google’s current repertoire, and the tech giant have made no secret of their plans to expand this area of paid search significantly over the coming months. With so many options available for brands looking to bolster their online-to-offline strategy, understanding how each can support your business objectives is conducive to a successful strategy. Just like many marketing exercises, testing offline campaigns in unison with your existing digital activity is the best way to gauge their impact upon your performance. Starting out with a small, focused strategy around a few stores before slowly scaling up can be a good way to gain valuable insights without spending a fortune. Early adoption within fast-developing areas such as online-to-offline can often hold advantage for brands willing to dip their toes in the water. It could also prove instrumental in building consumer relationships and driving performance within a post-Covid world.   This article was written by Rick Hewitt. Rick is a Paid Search Executive with over two years’ experience at iProspect and a prior background within the advertising and marketing industry. His current role specialises in the planning and activation of paid search strategies for an international fashion brand across EMEA markets. 0

6 mins read

Google Ads 2020 Product & Feature Announcements: “Be Helpful”

Google Ads 2020 Product & Feature Announcements: “Be Helpful”

The bad news:  Google Marketing Live, Google’s premier digital marketing summit, isn’t happening this year.   The good news: While we won’t personally experience the incredible coordination and thoughtful details that elevate every Google event, the evolution of Google Ads has not slowed one bit. This week Google announced several new marketing tools and features designed specifically to help small businesses respond to the challenges of the global pandemic. This week's update is the first in a series of product announcements, interviews, and virtual roundtables Google will feature throughout the coming weeks. From annual event to ongoing content Google’s annual marketing event has gone by  multiple names  over the past seven years (I still have an “AdWords Performance Forum” power bank from 2013), but until 2020 it has always been an in-person event. After a livestreamed opening keynote filled with the biggest announcements, the doors were closed and attendees had a wealth of opportunities to learn from and provide feedback to the Googlers designing and building the future of Google Ads. Like every other company, Google has pivoted for 2020. Rather than try to condense and virtually recreate the experience of a live multi-day event, Google will instead share inspirational and educational content on an ongoing cadence throughout the coming weeks and months. Google has some extremely exciting advertising product announcements planned, but rather than drop them all at once these features will be unveiled in a phased approach over the next three months. A new video interview series called “The Update” will launch on Think with Google, featuring industry leaders. New episodes will be released weekly. Feedback sessions are my favorite part of any Google event, so I was very pleased that Google will recreate this specific element of Google Marketing Live virtually, connecting marketers with product managers in a series of virtual roundtable sessions. In Google’s words: “The crisis accelerated the use of technology, and technology will accelerate our path out of the crisis and play a vital role in our economic recovery.” The new features announced today (and those that will be announced in future weeks) leverage Google’s massive data and unparalleled reach to provide tangible tools that businesses of all sizes will find helpful. Today’s product announcements: Helping both consumers and businesses In 2019 Google grouped their product announcements under three themes: “Be There,” “Be Useful,” “Be Responsible.” This year there is one simple, overarching theme: “Be Helpful.”  Two of today’s announcements are brand new tools which tap into Google data to provide insights that businesses (particularly small businesses) can leverage to improve their digital presence.  It’s always a good idea to learn from the competition, and the Grow My Store tool provides a personalized benchmark showing exactly how a brand’s digital experience compares to the top players in their industry.  Another new tool, the Local Opportunity Finder, offers on-demand personalized tips to improve a company’s Business Profile on Google My Business. Both of these tools represent a move by Google toward providing more transparency across their entire suite of products and opening up their data to provide powerful insight.  These tools are initially only available in the U.S. only.   Small businesses outside of the U.S. should plan to test Smart Campaigns, which are now rolling out globally to 150 countries. First launched two years ago, Smart Campaigns are built on the old AdWords Express foundation and drastically lower the barrier to entry for advertisers who want to leverage Google but don’t have the bandwidth to debate the finer nuances of esoteric topics like “Top of page rate” vs “Absolute top of page rate.” As an added bonus, advertisers leveraging Smart Campaigns will also be eligible to utilize Promoted Pins on Google Maps for free through the end of September. Two other new features are aimed at helping consumers connect with businesses, and highlight how effectively Google cross-applies effective solutions across different contexts. Taking a cue from Purchases on Google, Local Service Ads are getting a new “schedule” button that lets customers book directly from the ad. The consumer-facing Local Services mobile site is also getting a new look and feel.  The overarching focus is around helping consumers manage their interaction with these services over time, reminiscent of the helpful reminders I see when looking for hotel rooms in a city I’ve visited before (e.g., “You stayed here three months ago.”). Google is also providing more options for businesses to manage timely local information such as curbside pickup or in-store inventory. This data will be shown in local store organic units which will pull information from a variety of sources, such as Local Inventory Ads feeds and Google My Business listings, giving store owners more ways to update their information.   More announcements coming soon These are only the first few initial announcements from Google, with many more to come throughout the upcoming weeks and months.  Make time today to check out the first episode of “The Update,” and look for ongoing perspectives on upcoming announcements as they happen from iProspect’s team of experts. 0

5 mins read

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