How Businesses Can Increase Sales with Local Social Media Influencers

How Effective is Influencer Marketing?

Heard of the “Cristiano Ronaldo-Nike Partnership”? If YES, then I am sure you know what marketing via an influencer can do. Although this collaboration is at the international level, it should not stop you from landing huge sales via a local or micro influencer(s) if you play your cards right. Well, not everyone is a soccer fan. Besides, some may have no idea of what collaboration between an iconic footballer and a brand has in common or the benefits of this are. Thus, the need for a complete breakdown of what influencer marketing is all about is essential.

Let’s Back Up: What is Influencer Marketing?

The use of a popular figure (with a lot of followers) to impact your product or service positively is called Influencer Marketing. In other words, it is a union fashioned to bring about more awareness and sales. The newly forged partnership allows the influencer to promote your brand or service via the current and most effective method of marketing – online marketing. There are two types of influencers – Local Influencer and International Influencer. Your choice is dependent on your financial or production capacity and targeted area.

Our focus today is on local influencers and how they can perfectly bring about amazing traffic and a high level of sales. After negotiating a successful collaboration, your local influencer is expected to take it upon him or herself to promote your products or service via their social media outlets or videos and sticky blog posts. In other words, they make use of the latest way to accumulate huge income in shorter periods of time. Interestingly, we’re not here to tell you about the expected result of any form of influencer marketing but here to show you how the process works to increase sales!

How to Fully Maximize Influencer Marketing

1. Make Your Influencer the Face of Your Events or Loyalty Programs
Saying YES to the use of a local influencer during major events or contests can go a long way in doubling your sales. Let’s say you have a salsa night or hot chili eating contests once a month. Let that newfound relationship bring in the traffic you want on those special nights. Irrespective of your type of local influencer, an increase in traffic is guaranteed.

2. Implement Influencer-Specific Discount
If you keep selling with no way of appreciating your consumers, your business has a very high probability of failing or crashing in no time. Sometimes, you need to surprise them, make them feel like they got a great deal this time because this helps you continue increasing sales on daily basis. People aren’t willing to pass up any chance of leveraging influencer-based discounts – they hate missing out. To make this an even better campaign would be to align this with your loyalty programs via special codes or extra golden points.

3. Responsive Content Creation
Irrespective of whoever is in charge of your content, it should be engaging and responsive. This content may be in the form of sponsored posts and are not meant to be lengthy. It should include hashtags, brand mentions, and ways you can achieve something new with your product or service. This is why you should go with an influencer in line with your mission and brand values. That way, you mesh easily (and it doesn’t seem forced).  Additionally, you can use this advantage to boost sales.

Bottom Line

Customer Loyalty Programs do not just grow your business; they keep growth moving regardless of its scale! This is because it targets customer retention in ways that are cheaper than other online marketing techniques. You need to growth hack your business these days. This means being efficient and thinking creatively with data. Truth be told, it is not something you should try but a program you MUST implement because it is COMPULSORY if you are want to sustain your business in this super crowded and noisy world.

Ready to launch your own Influencer Marketing campaign? Contact us to help!

6 Reasons Why CPG Companies need to include Amazon in their 2019 Marketing Strategies

Why Online Consumer Packaged Goods Need to Utilize Amazon in their Marketing Strategies

If by now, you’re still in the league of people saying NO to Amazon or still think you need enough time to ponder on why you should choose Amazon as your next sales tool then, this post is for you! Believe me, when I tell you that the saying “if you can’t beat them, you join them” is no fluke and with that being the major statement Amazon has been sending across all over the globe, I think consumer packaged goods brands (CPG) need to rethink their choice of marketing platform. Can CPG companies survive without Amazon? Of course! Opting for Amazon is an option but with where things are headed, consumer packaged products will have no choice someday if they want to erase their weak survival. Aside from a promising future prospect, other reasons why CPG companies should make Amazon their choice of e-commerce platform includes:

  1. Audience Size

This remains Amazon’s major selling point and come to think of it, no other marketing platform can be compared to Amazon in terms of audience size. If it were only a function of size, it wouldn’t mean much but aside being huge, these customers are totally addressable and amidst them resides a pool of already established sellers. About a year ago, Erik Fairleigh; an Amazon spokesman disclosed the fact that Amazon had more than 200 million sellers and made global sales of over 200 billion. Worthy of note is the fact that most sales were made by individual sellers who made Amazon their choice of marketing platform. I’m sure by now you know what you’ve missed. Do you want to miss it again?

  1. Own Ad Products

In contrast to other standalone e-commerce platforms, Amazon’s algorithm allows for unsolicited referrals. The last time you were on Amazon, I know you saw a list of recommended products and you checked it out. Now imagine over 100 people checking out the same thing in a matter of microseconds, how many consumers do you think will purchase via this recommended page? Never forget the fact that their new interest may not be the chief purpose of visiting the marketing platform but the redirected consumers may change your brand’s potential for good!

  1. Better Fulfilment

Heard of Amazon FBA as part of an Amazon marketing strategy? If YES, then you know by now this is one of the sweetest marketing features you can get on any e-commerce platform. Amazon FBA is a feature that makes sellers do less while earning their normal profits. With Amazon FBA, selling online is where your work ends! Amazon takes full responsibility for packaging the product and delivery. If any issue should ensue, its customer service handles it for you. What more can you ask for?

  1. Unique Customer Service

Like I mentioned in point 3, the back end customer support Amazon offers is second to none. It is this stellar department designed to prevent, solve and make customers delighted. I would say that this is the backbone of their business and why users trust them so much. With over 16 supported languages from 130 locations all around the world, I dare you to tell me which other customer services can boast of this level of uniqueness.

  1. CPG Value

If you think a trademark like Nike doesn’t understand what it is doing by merging with Amazon, then, I think it is high time you start guessing right! With reviews showing an estimated 59% increase based on direct sales between 2016-2017, consumer packaged goods have become assets of inestimable value. If you form an alliance now, a jaw dropping result is guaranteed!

  1. King of E-commerce

Amazon doesn’t just own 49% of total e-commerce, it is accountable for more than half of online marketing transactions. Thus, it is a moving train you want to be a part of, no doubt!

Team-Up + Wrap-Up

Don’t take my word for it, do your homework and find out more reasons why Amazon remains your best bet when it comes to CPG sales and marketing. We at Good Monster know that this can be a daunting task. Finding a company to partner with that understands your brand and that can effectively help you get started on this journey is the toughest part. It is important to have a dedicated team in-house or out-of-house to take this task on. If this isn’t done correctly you can miss a lot of the small nuances involved and bottleneck your productivity on the Amazon platform. If you need some more information on beginning steps, feel free to reach out and we will set you on a profitable path.

On a parting note, I would like to say there is no bad time to make the right choice, however, the sooner the more cash flow.

Why CPA’s Can’t Afford to Ignore SEO

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about search engine optimization (SEO). Other companies are doing it but why should an accounting firm care about it? We know that SEO is a fancy term for strategies that help search engines like Google find your website and other online content. With so much competition across the web nowadays, accounting firms without optimized websites risk not being found by potential clients. Costing you potential business.

SEO & Online Visibility: Don’t Get Left Behind

A recent study by CPA2Biz found that accounting and finance firms who are utilizing online marketing found that 75% of accounting firms already generate some new business leads online. Additionally, they found that 71% of all firms are planning to increase their online marketing budget next year.

The study also found that high-growth firms or firms growing five times faster than the average, are generating twice as many online leads as average firms. So what strategy did these firms say was the most effective in terms of their online marketing efforts?

You guessed it, SEO.

Why is SEO so Important to Attracting Clients?

More and more people looking for accounting services are turning to the internet to research and find prospective firms. Another study by CPA2Biz revealed that 81% of buyers of professional services go online to “check out” a firm’s website before buying a service. The study also found that 63% of potential clients perform a search in a search engine on the firm to see what turns up, whether it’s reviews, evaluations, court reports and more.

Firms that are not easily found online are quickly becoming invisible.

It’s important to note that accounting clients also search for specific topics online: accounting issues they’re dealing with, help with interpreting new regulations or trying to solve business problems. Firms that are using SEO to optimize their content whether it be whitepapers or blog posts will be the ones clients get their answers from.

So you see the value in SEO, but what are some other things you should know?

Website Optimization and Online Authority

SEO practices, in short, usually fall into two categories: optimizing your website and building online authority. To really succeed in SEO, you will need to focus on both.

  • Website Optimization: Make sure your site is responsive, meaning it looks great no matter what device you are on as well as looking at the technical “back end” of your site. It’s worth running a site audit to make sure you’re following best practices.
  • Online Authority: Activities that ensure the rest of the online community knows about your website and other content can also help boost your SEO value. The more online relationships you build across the web the better.

Google Rewards Quality

Google, which dominates the search landscape, is always changing and updating its algorithms to provide users with the most accurate and high quality results to what they’re searching for. Knowing this, it’s important to focus on quality rather than quantity. Accountants who pride themselves on offering quality solutions to their clients are in great shape to capitalize if you take the same approach when creating your website and other online content.

Duplicate Content is a No No

Google, like real people, likes original content. If your firm is subscribing to a service that provides content to your site, it really won’t help you. You could actually be penalized for it. Instead of simply publishing a news bulletin about a new tax law, try to put your own spin on it by adding your opinion or writing about how it might affect your clients.

Google’s emphasis on quality content that is relevant goes great with offline marketing tactics that accounting firms have used for years. For those firms with a great brand and strong messaging, using SEO to drive more qualified leads to your site will yield great results.

Ready to start an SEO partnership that delivers real results ?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

4 Major Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

So you’re a new business, and we bet it’s been pretty tough gaining traction in your target market, right?

Especially if you’re facing competition from established brands in your area. You know, ones that have been around for a couple of years! Thankfully, all this can change with one simple approach.

Yep, that’s right.

Doesn’t matter whether you’re a law firm in San Diego, a restaurant in Miami, or a jewelry store in New York.

Having a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will certainly level the playing field for you.

Going It the SEO Way

See, the beauty of local SEO is that it’s changed the realm of marketing and advertising as we know it.

No longer do you have to pay for expensive ads in your local listings just to get the word out that your business is up and running.

Or maybe hope to get your first client, who just so happens to be the chairperson of the neighborhood watch; and pray to God they put in a good word for you in the next members’ meeting!

Phew! Thank the heavens you don’t have to worry about all that!

All because of the internet of things. Specifically, the ingenuity of online advertising.

As the backbone of online marketing, SEO is THE MOST vital component when it comes to determining your site ranking on search engines like Google and Bing.

As a matter of fact, check this out….

According to Google Search statistics, Google records a whopping 40,000 searches every second, which then translates to 3.5 billion searches a day, and a mammoth 1.2 trillion annual searches worldwide!

So imagine what a first page, or even a second page ranking can do for your business…

You’ll be vacationing on that secluded Greek Isle, listening to Sade’s Sweetest Taboo in no time!

Sounds nice. But let’s snap back to reality for now….

A first page ranking might feel elusive at first. But with the right research, patience, and dedication, you might find yourself seeing a growth in organic traffic in time.

Keeping this in mind, here are 4 major SEO tips for local businesses that, when used correctly, will gradually increase your SEO ranking as well as online presence!

Optimizing your listings on Google

Hmm, optimizing your listings, does this sound remotely familiar? We bet it does because it’s one of the most vital factors for every website representing a business.

One thing you’ve got to understand is that Google automatically ranks your website the second it goes live, so that anyone searching for you will find you effortlessly.

And when they do, optimizing your listings- which is the process of including important information in your web pages regarding your business- is what will make it easier for them to locate you.

In fact, your website must have the following info to optimize your listings on Google:

  • The NAME of your business

  • The DESCRIPTION of your business. This could be content such as the mission, the vision, the goals, and objectives of your business.

  • The HOURS OF OPERATION. Are you a day, night, or 24/7 business? This can let a potential client know the right time to contact you.

  • The LOCATION. Where is your business located? Is it in Syracuse, Washington, or Miami? As Khabib Nurmagomedov would say, “Send me Location.”

  • The UPDATES. Have you made any major updates lately? Perhaps moved your main office, gotten a new executive hire, or even added some new products and services to your arsenal?

  • The REVIEWS. Honest reviews let your potential clients know that you’re an honest and trustworthy business.

  • The MENU. We can’t reiterate how important this is. Nearly every major business has a menu showcasing the different parts of its website that appears on a search. Everything from Products, Services, Contact Us, Blog, and so forth make for easier navigation.

Hold on, but what if I’m a local business planning to go national?

Well, if you’re local business planning to sprout your wings and soar the National way, then not only do you have to first optimize your local listings, but also invest a lot of time (and money) in OFFPAGE OPTIMZATION.

Hmm, but Good Monster, what is offpage optimization?

Well, let’s break it down for you. Offpage optimization refers to all the tactics applied by your business outside of its website to create multiple high- quality backlinks that will inevitably improve the position of its website’s search ranking.

Everything from backlinks, to anchor text, to domain popularity are facets of offpage optimization.

Many a national business prefer to hire a local SEO company to undertake their offpage optimization strategies.

If you’re a national/local e-commerce business, then Social Media Campaigns are the way to go

Ahh, e-commerce; the powerhouse that drives all online businesses. Unless of course you’re in the Blogosphere, which plays by its own set of rules and regulations.

For you to thrive in the world of e-commerce, you’ve got to have a strong social media presence. We’re talking the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and just about every other famous social media platform out there.

But how do you get such a massive following?

By having a series of great social media campaigns that ‘hook and sink’ as many social media users as possible.

There are many ways in which you can get started with your social media campaign.

However, most national e-commerce companies prefer to hire the services of professional social media strategists to handle all matters pertaining to social media on their behalf.

Last but not least, for both local and national businesses, hello keywords!

No matter the size of your business, keyword optimization is one of the major components of your SEO strategy.

That’s because factors such as keyword value and keyword density are some of the elements that Google bots use to determine the significance of your web page.

Are your keywords worthy enough to merit a first page ranking for a particular query?

Over the years, keywords have evolved dramatically. So much so that strategies such as keyword stuffing are pretty much dead right now, unless you want to get penalized by Google.

So we did a bit of researching and figured out some nifty ways to increase your keyword value for your website. PSST! Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret!

  • Placing a keyword in the description of your picture- The pictures that you have on your website are more than just objects of aesthetic value.

As a matter of did you know that Google actually shows the pictures of your website as part of your ranking?

So next time you have a caption or background picture text, make it a habit to include at least one keyword in there!

  • Keywords as part of your tags- Whether it’s your title tags, or your web page tags, include at least one or two keywords as part of them to improve your keywords value.

  • And of course, the proverbial keywords in the text- Yes, as part of the Google business spectrum, it’s a given that you’ll have to include some researched keywords in sections of your text. Remember, the higher the value and positioning of your keywords, the better your chances of ranking.

And voila folks! All good things must come to an end. But we do hope that you’ve internalized all we’ve mentioned in terms of building your brand in the realms of SEO.

Do you have any questions about SEO strategies and directives? Feel free to send us a comment or email here at Good Monster!

How To Take Risks When Starting A Business

Risks are part and parcel of daily life.

From the moment those prominent rays of sunlight usher themselves into your home and dictate a new morning, to the moment you lay your head on the pillow after a long industrious day; you’re always taking a risk.

In fact, nature has engineered us to be risk takers. Heck, even your marriage proposal was a risk. Because the flip side of the coin is…

They could have always said no

As adept as humans are at risk taking, we’ve become coy about it, especially if one is aspires to be an entrepreneur.

But why is this the case?

Laxity; modernity has instilled in us a fear of the unknown. No longer are we the valiant conquerors that once traversed foreign lands and explored the wilderness.

Not that we’re complaining or anything; because who’d rather be hunting a wild-boar instead of digging their teeth into a juicy burger delivered right at the door?

Exactly.

That being said, what kind of risks should you consider taking before starting your own business and how do you handle them? Here are a couple that you might need to face along the way.


Saying goodbye to that steady paycheck

Before you stamp the word ‘entrepreneur’ on your LinkedIn bio, you might have to say goodbye to your current employment position.

And this sucks.

Because most entrepreneurs rarely have a solid financial backup in case things go south. So once you venture into the realm of business, it’s safe to say that you’re on your own.

Plus there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a steady personal income once you kick start the business.

Bracing for tough times ahead?

Then it’s probably a good idea to be a bit more stringent with your spendingespecially for the first couple of months (or even years) of building your business.

Which then brings us to…


Saving an extra penny for the growth of the startup

Become a successful small business owner

Every Saturday evening, you always had a candlelit dinner at the Chateau le-something with the mister or missus.

And the tab always came to a whopping $400 per meal, right?

But ever since you aspired to leave the confines of your 9 to 5 to become a small business owner, the money has gotten tighter.

In fact, you’ve even had to dip into your savings just to finance some of the projects that run your business.

Especially if your crowd funding didn’t go so well. Or the recent grants/loans you took to start the business are currently overwhelming your financial structure.

All in all, prepare to cut out some of the luxury in your life to uplift the enterprise.


Sacrificing personal time to meet the company’s objectives

It takes time to build an empire. But if you’re passionate about it, you might find yourself working100 hours a week just to perfect your company’s business model and meet the stipulated deadlines you set.

This might mean missing out on some family time and sleepfor the benefit of improving your business acumen.


Acknowledging that you can’t do it alone

Even the savviest of entrepreneurs know that they can’t build a successful enterprise without the collective effort of their business partners, friends, and investors.

Everything from financial to emotional support is vital in keeping an entrepreneur focused.

So if you’re riding solo, perhaps it’s time to consider bringing in a sidekick to help you realize your vision and brand!

All in all, every successful entrepreneur understands that business and risk taking go hand in hand. And in the famous words of Roman Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult”

How to start a partnership with a digital marketing team that gets results

best digital marketing firm in syracuse ny

Are you frustrated with your current marketing team and looking for a new social media or digital marketing team that actually gets you results?? 

Well, here at Good Monster we have some experience on delivering measurable ROI based on the results you  want.  After years of managing social and digital media marketing accounts, we have learned a thing or two about running successful digital campaigns. In this blog, we’ll be highlighting some cool pointers you can use to strike a partnership with an awesome digital marketing dream gang!

But First: Why market on Social Media or Digital Media Platforms?

Of late, having a great social media standing has become extremely lucrative for any business. In fact, it might even be necessary! With practically every working person having an online persona, the rewards of advertising on social and digital media are endless. That being said, how does one go about putting together a rockstar digital marketing team? 

Assess your business

So where does one begin? By assessing their business first. By taking a long hard look at the man in the mirror. In this sense, we’re talking about reviewing your resources as well as your current budget.

  • Budget- You’ve got to have a solid budget plan in place. Else, how will you entice the finest social media managers out there to take up your cause and be part of the team? Your budget also influences the tools that you’re going to use. The higher the budget, the more advance the tools in place, and thus, the more resourceful the ‘gang’ will be.

  • Resources- Still on tools, if you’re building a Social Media team from scratch, then it’s best you go big. For starters, do you know some of the best marketing automation software out there? If not, it would be great to do a little research in your free time to familiarize with some of them. Having such resources in place can do miracles! Especially when it comes to improving the team’s productivity and output.

Align your digital marketing campaign in relation to your company’s objectives

Goal-setting has proven time and again to bring forth positive results, no matter the application. That being said, when you are on the verge of striking a partnership, make sure the team knows what you’re pitching. Do they have a solid understanding of your business?

If so, then it’s a given they will spearhead your digital campaign the best way they know how. And in regard to your market niche. There’s no point of hiring a team only to have a plethora of issues down the line because your objectives weren’t met.

So how do you measure your team’s digital media success?

  • Have clear-set weekly, monthly, or even yearly goals that your team has to make

  • Secondly, it’s important that you have a metrics system put in place to measure the success of these goals. For example, if you’re trying to keep track of your engagement, what are the things you’ll be measuring? Is it clicks? No of retweets? No of comments? Then you’ve got to have a structure that works.

In a nutshell, it’s every businesses dream to find the perfect social media team. And like two peas in a pod, you can successfully collaborate with them to take your social media standings to even greater higher heights!

Ready to start a digital marketing partnership that delivers real results ?

Contact us today for a free consultation!

How to Effectively Market Your Brand Online

Producing engaging content, branding yourself, and how to set yourself apart from your competition.

Neil de Grasse Tyson loves talking about the universe. And if you’ve ever tuned into an episode of Cosmos, the coolest phrase you’ll probably hear him quip now and then is ‘our universe is expanding infinitely beyond the boundaries of space and time.’

Okay, so maybe you’re not so hyped about science and the cosmos like we are. That’s fine. But let’s start by taking a look at the bigger picture. Let’s liken the digital branding sphere we have today to the universe. And just like the universe, it’s expanding faster than we can say Neil de Grasse Tyson!

In fact, now more than ever, thousands of businesses, companies and brands are turning to new and exciting avenues of digital marketing and branding to reach new customer bases.  But it’s not enough to just start a business Facebook page or simply open a Twitter account; there is too much competition from other similar businesses. You need to be producing engaging, creative content tailored to your specific audience – and a lot of it!

That’s where we come in!  At Good Monster, we know how to navigate the complex arenas of digital marketing, online branding, SEO and social media marketing.  We understand what is needed when presenting your brand online – from identifying your target audience, to creating unique content (and continuing to create it!), and how to effectively set yourself apart from your competition in the digital space.

What are some good ways for businesses to brand themselves online?

By now, most businesses have at least a small online presence, running a Facebook page, Twitter account or an Instagram.  However, just posting sporadically on these accounts is not enough to keep people interested in your company, let own drive any sales or conversions.  In order to stand out and reach your desired audience, it’s best to have a comprehensive social and digital marketing strategy.

For those businesses just beginning to step into the online marketing world, here are a few things to consider with when creating your social media strategy:

  • Research your competitors and review their social media pages – What types of content are similar companies publishing on their social channels? What kinds of reactions are they getting? Pay attention to posts that get a lot of engagement (shares, likes, comments, retweets).
  • Identify and highlight your company’s strengths – What sets your company apart from your competition? Try to hone in on what makes your brand unique, and then create content showcasing that.  Remember when you were reviewing your competitors’ social posts? Make sure your content is different than what they are posting. Highlight your company’s strengths – what type of problems does your products solve? Why would your customers choose you over your competitors?   

Designing a digital marketing strategy that works for YOU

Now that you’ve begun the process of competitor research and are beginning to brainstorm ways in which your company stands out, it’s time to start to creating your digital marketing strategy.

Creating a comprehensive social and digital marketing strategy requires one to really hone in on the skills and aspects of brand building, social media marketing, audience targeting and all other avenues available in the digital marketing field. Again, that’s where we come in at Good Monster! As an agency, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of clients in various avenues of the digital marketing landscape; which is inevitably expanding every day.  

Here’s a good example. Just recently, Snapchat released Snapchat ads, a new platform that our clients have been looking to benefit from. That being the case, the first thing we had to do is orient ourselves effectively with the platform, and figure out the best practices that we can employ to give our clients utmost value. We’ve also had to understand the ever-changing search engine optimization landscape, website design and development, as well as the complexities involved with coding.

How do you know that the content you are publishing is responding with your audience?

Easy-peasy. Just take a look at the data. If you’re focusing on Facebook or Instagram, then you can use Insights section to see the engagement that all your posts are getting. Moreover, you’ll view important pointers such as the impressions, as well as the reach that you’re getting.

In order to create a great social media presence, you’ve got to have gut instinct and data in the mix. So pay attention to what content is getting the most engagement and focus on it. Secondly, you’ve got to look at the comments to get valuable feedback about the content that you’re putting out.

All in all, good content is about being transparent and presenting yourself. And to do so, you’ve got to focus on what your brand is and how you’re trying to build it. So always ask yourself this question; what is the story I’m trying to put out? If you can answer this question, then you’ll definitely find out what’s ideally working for you!

 

What Instagram Story Advertising Means for Consumer Brands

It’s no secret that Instagram has all but monopolized the attention of the young adult community. From its onset, Instagram’s “window-shopping” nature has been attractive to a culture that values instant gratification, luring Millennials and the younger Centennial generations. It’s a platform where people can get a quick snapshot and immediately decide what they love and what they don’t about a brand just by looking at a few pictures or videos.

Since being acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, Instagram now has the backing and incredible advertising capabilities of one of the largest companies in the world, and without a doubt  the largest marketing company, in the world.

All of this has made Instagram an extremely powerful platform for brands everywhere.

Instagram’s latest addition, Instagram Stories, has now taken all the best features of its closest competitor, Snapchat, and made improvements on virtually all of them. It allows people to see real-time and live content from people and brands all over the world. In an instant, consumers can see behind the scenes at a concert, to a new product release for a brand.

And now they offer in-story ads.

So picture this to set the tone: Instagram is now owned and run by the largest marketing company in the world, Facebook. Since the feature launched, Instagram Stories immediately became a rival to Snapchat in the real-time content space. Now, on top of that, brands everywhere can target their specific customers and show them ads right in stream with the content that they love and check every day inside of Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories advertising offers local and national businesses incredible opportunities, but there is likely a limited shelf life.

So, here’s everything you need to know to figure out if it’s right for your business.

The details: what should the creative look like?

  • The creative for these ads should be a video. Consumers are used to seeing videos in their stories and when their viewing is interrupted by an ad, they are very likely to get a little tap happy. Video has proven time and time again to gain viewers attention better than photos, so don’t mess with that and do what you know works. The specs for these ads should be 1080 width x 1920 height has the Aspect Ratio of 9:16

What is the duration of the ads?

  • These ads cannot be any longer than 15 seconds

What are the text requirements?

  • Facebook’s 20% rule applies to Instagram story ads as well, meaning that no more than 20% of the screen can be covered by text. This could make it a little difficult to get your message out there being that there is no feed to post your text, that being said, choose your words wisely.

What budget options do you have?

  • The budget limits for Instagram stories is the same as those on Facebook. For smaller timeframes and demos, you can get away with a smaller budget. However, keep in mind that these ads can only be optimized for reach, so you will be charged per 1,000 people reached.

What is the value for a local business like a restaurant or boutique?

  • As previously stated, these ads are only able to be optimized for reach. You should know that Facebook suggests to optimize any ad you run for reach if your intention is to generate foot traffic. You also can get away with a smaller budget since your demos will likely only be the members of certain geographic areas.

What is the value of a national brand like a food, beauty or home product?

  • Instagram Story ads are great for brands in general because, for a moment, it is the only thing on the screen. If you can capture the consumer’s attention in the first few seconds of the ad, then you have your audience’s attention and you aren’t competing with other brands for it, which is often the case when your ad appears in someone’s feed.

Feel free to reach out if you have any additional thoughts or questions about Instagram story ads and how they could benefit your business!

 

We Really Need to Get Over Our Instagram Follower Obsession

We Really Need to Get Over Our Instagram Follower Obsession

Good Monster gets approached every week from brands that want to increase their number of followers on Instagram. Many are willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for the chance to get tens of thousands of Instagram followers with little regard to what the impact of an increased following on Instagram actually does for their brands.

To many of them, breaking a certain threshold is a rite of passage for their brands. It signifies popularity, and so getting those followers IS the end goal.

However, this way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.

Having 200,000 followers on Instagram doesn’t drive actual business results on its own.

Many brands correlate “followers” with results on social media. While revenue is the obvious end goal for the majority of brands, marketing teams often get caught up in the detour of what they think will happen if they get more followers.

It’s crazy. Revenue could be up and business is great; but if they don’t have a magical number of Instagram followers, it’s the end of the world.

It’s totally a vanity thing. It’s about competition and proving to the masses that “people like us.” Marketing executives, who aren’t familiar with social media, get caught up in the hype and are worried that if people come to their brands’ Instagram pages and see that they only have 5,000 followers, they won’t take them seriously.

This is simply not true, unless the people visiting are other marketing executives.

I’m fully aware that marketing executives need to prove their worth. Increasing revenue is harder, more complicated and takes more time, but increasing followers is an easier, more transparent route to take to be able to say, “look, we are growing.”

I get it, it’s about getting results; but spending money on gaining followers should not be a priority for any brand.

We’ve had countless brands come to us that had paid tens of thousands of dollars to gain Instagram followers, but when they got them, they were perplexed as to why revenue was down.

Well, for those of you in that boat, here is an explanation to the paradox:

Let’s say, you are trying to gain market share against a competitor. They currently have 5,000 really engaged Instagram followers. Each post is deep and gets 50 comments and 500 likes. You only have 1,500 and have decent engagement–maybe 10-20 comments and 200 likes.

You want to beat them. So, you hire an agency to increase your followers. They set you up with a software program that automatically follows and unfollows relevant people to try to get them to follow you back. They also get you involved in several multi-brand giveaways to trade and share followers with other brands.

After three months and thousands of dollars, you’re up to 15,000 followers. However, you can’t figure out why your engagement isn’t any better than it was when you had 1,500 followers.

The moral of the story: you can’t buy followers and expect them to love you. It just doesn’t work that way.

5,000 engaged followers will beat 200,000 unengaged followers any day of the week.

This goes for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, email subscribers, website visitors, and virtually every other platform that can accumulate a community.

On the flip side, if a brand’s following grows organically, there’s a much better chance that this audience is engaged enough to eventually make a purchase. But the race to grow followers has caused many brands to try to take the quick and easy route to growing a community. This often mean some version of “buying” their followers.

Buying followers can be done in a variety of different ways: it could be in the form of literally buying followers from a click-farm, or it could mean doing a multi brand giveaway in which you are paying in the form of product giveaways to gain exposure. The latter is extremely common with Instagram’s popularity, and it’s definitely something for brands to think through before agreeing to participate.

Consumers are becoming so desensitized to brands’ “sales pitches” that even if they enter these giveaways or opt-in to these lists–without a story to back up the engagement–they will be gone quicker than a mouse click, or more appropriately, a fingertip click.

The ultimate takeaway is that you should look at followers like people in the room–if they aren’t paying attention to you, they won’t be impacted by you. 1,000 people who aren’t paying attention to you won’t bring you very much value. However, 200 people who hang on your every word are invaluable.

 

 

When it comes to Instagram followers, it’s quality, not quantity that counts.

What is Amazon doing to Your website’s conversion rate?

You might think that with all of the headlines and ads for ecommerce, online marketplaces would be dwarfing brick and mortar stores exponentially, however, that’s not the case… yet.  

The reality is that ecommerce is still in its infancy. According to the first quarterly 2017 Census Report, E Commerce still only contributes to about 8.5% of total retail sales in the United States, which means that about 91.5% of sales still occur when people physically walk through the doors of a store.

That being said, those numbers are shifting balances very quickly. Online retail is becoming more and more accepted by consumers and, therefore, retailers are shifting gears toward optimizing their presences online.

People are flocking to, and even preferring to purchase from online retailers like Amazon.com and jet.com. Big retailers like Walmart and Target are pushing people to order online as well. The shift to online shopping is clearly evident at scale. Grocery shopping is easier than ever for people in metropolitan areas like New York City and Chicago as well as for those in rural areas and food deserts. Consumers can shop online through websites like Thrivemarket.com and more regional grocery stores, like Wegmans, are offering the option to order online and pick up when it’s convenient for the consumer.

The same transition that is occurring in grocery stores is having a similar impact on the matter at hand, consumer goods. As technology improves, consumers value their time more than ever. Any task that requires people to carve out just a few extra minutes is considered a waste of time. As a result, our buying habits are evolving to become more accepting of platforms and companies that can help us save time and be more efficient, like Uber and Airbnb.

This transition is causing online buying to increase at a rapid rate. However, a word of advice for brands and their websites, don’t expect to see online conversion rates soar through the roof. There is another variable to consider.

If you look up what the standard, or average conversion rate is for a CPG company, you’ll likely see that this value will range between 1% and 3%. This means that anywhere from 1% to 3% of the people that visit your website will end up making a purchase at that time.

E commerce conversion rates are beginning to dwindle despite the obvious shift to online shopping. This might come as a surprise to you as notice that your online sales and revenue continue to go up, up, and up. What could possibly explain this paradox?

Amazon prime.

Amazon, as well as a growing number of other online retailers, are making it easier than ever to buy products online. With trends like one click buying and subscription options, people can get things quicker and often cheaper than through brand websites themselves. Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping, and other retailers reward their customers for signing up for subscriptions with alternative options, promotions and discounts.

The takeaway: Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with buying the majority of their products online. This level of comfort leads people to click around until they find the easiest or cheapest option before they buy.

Notice the order I went in: “the easiest” THEN “the cheapest”.

As previously stated, opportunity cost of time is not a term used just for business anymore. Consumers value their time more than ever, and are willing to pay extra dollars in order to save time. Just look at Uber or Lyft, look at Airbnb or social selling app, Letgo. We don’t just want fast, we want now.

My point is, if conversation rates on your website are going down, but your sales are going up, don’t freak; Amazon is bigger than you.

But, and this is a big “but”: if conversion rates are going down, and you are not set up somewhere like Amazon, then you better start freaking out.