Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Advertising

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Instagram advertising is both a serious and easy way to get your message out to your target audience. Instagram recently opened up advertising to everyone so now anyone can do it, and you should to be using it. There are over 400 million users on Instagram – making it a legitimate social network to advertise on.

Captivate

Just like Instagram’s parent company Facebook, you are not allowed to have your image advertisement contain more than 20% text. This keeps advertisers from spamming their images with text. Instagram doesn’t want to compromise the integrity of their platform by allowing spammy advertisements to ruin a user’s timeline. So when you make an advertisement and place it on Instagram it’s imperative to have captivating images that capture the viewer’s attention to get them to stop scrolling and digest your ad.

 

Setting It Up

To make Instagram advertising even easier, you can set up an ad campaign directly through Facebook’s Ad Manager or Power Editor. Instagram appears as a placement option when you’re building a campaign through Facebook. Remember to sync your Instagram account with Facebook’s Business Manager so you can advertise directly to your specific Instgram account. Otherwise the Instagram ad you set up will not link to a profile, meaning the viewer can’t click to the account to view more. That’s just a waste of money.

 

Choose Wisely

There are three basic ad formats you can choose from: Photo, Video, or Carousel. Each have a  different effect on your audience depending on the goal of your campaign. Choose wisely, because certain ad formats yield better results when matched correctly with campaign objectives.

 

Objectives

Similar to Facebook advertising, there are a variety of different campaign objectives to choose from. If the goal of your campaign is to send traffic to your website, it would make sense to set up a “Clicks to Website” campaign. If you have a mobile app and you want people to download it, you’re better off using a “Mobile App Install” campaign objective. Maybe you just want to drive more interaction on your post, “Per Post Engagement” is likely the best choice for you. When you are strategizing your campaign this is an important step to plan out. You can see the full list of campaign objectives on the Instagram website.

 

Things to Remember

Instagram has a user base of over 400 million people, but only around 80 million reside in the United States – target carefully.

Experimentation is key. Figure out which ad formats work best for your objective and scale from there.

Don’t forget to stand out. There are millions of posts a day, your content has to be original and stand out. Now that Instagram has switched to an algorithm based timeline, it will only show what it believes to be more relevant posts. Which means your posts may not gain as much exposure. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Social Media Update

It can be hard to keep track of the changes that all your favorite social networks are rolling out. We’re here to update you on everything you need to know about the recent social media updates. Be sure to follow us on all our social media channels so you can stay in the loop. Here are some of the recent changes that have been rolled out by the big social networks.

 

Facebook Instant Articles

https://instantarticles.fb.com/

Facebook announced that it is making their Instant Articles feature available to everyone starting April 12th at the F8 summit. Facebook Instant Articles allow publishers to instantly post an article directly to the Facebook news feed.

 

Facebook Live Streaming

http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/expanding-live-video/

In another move to make it the Do-It-All app, Facebook is slowly rolling out the live streaming feature to all users. Facebook began testing back in December 2015, and the feature was only available to certain celebrities. Now it looks as if this feature will be available to the general public within the next few weeks.

 

YouTube Live Streaming

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2474026?hl=en

A few months before Facebook rolled out live streaming, YouTube came out with a live streaming feature of their own. This feature was only available to a select number of creators, but with this update, YouTube has made it easier for anyone to live stream. Like Facebook, YouTube likely made this move to compete with Periscope and Twitch.

Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters

https://www.snapchat.com/on-demand

Snapchat made its first major advertising update in the months allowing anyone to create and upload their own Geofilter. It’s a simple process and Snapchat says it will approve or disapprove the filter in less than one business day. Expect to see every business and brand jumping at this opportunity to reach the Snapchat audience.  

Instagram Algorithm Update

http://blog.instagram.com/post/141107034797/160315-news

Just like its parent company did back in 2009, Instagram is switching over from a natural timeline feed over to an algorithm feed. The company says the rollout will be coming in the upcoming weeks but expect to see a different type of feed very soon. The social app says the feed will show users what it believes to be the most interesting or relevant to that specific individual.

Twitter Algorithm Update

https://blog.twitter.com/2016/never-miss-important-tweets-from-people-you-follow

This change has been in the talks for some time now. Twitter is switching over to an algorithm feed as well – which seems to be a trend for most social networks now. The micro-blogging platforms claims that it doesn’t want its users to miss out on important Tweets. Many people have already complained about this change but you can expect to see it any day now.

 

To stay up to date on all the social media happenings. Make sure you are following us on social media.

Which Social Networks Should Your Business be Using

 

In this day and age, your business needs to be on social media. There are so many social media platforms today it’s hard to know which one you should be on. Should your business just be on Facebook or should it be on all social networks? Which network has the most return? The answer is: “It depends”.

I say “it depends” because there is no right or wrong answer. There are many factors that should be considered when it comes to your business going on social media. When deciding that you want your business to be on social media, you need to consider all types of factors. What is type of business do you have? What is your customer demographic? What role will social media play? How much time do you have to invest in social? All types of factors like these need to be considered.

Let’s say your company produces a tangible product that an everyday consumer needs. At this point your options are fairly open. You could find value in almost any social network and you should try to be on as many as possible to increase your reach. When you narrow your business and the audience down, that is when you need to get selective with which social networks your are going to use.

Okay, now let’s pretend your business makes a product that young, single men need. It wouldn’t make sense to invest a lot of time on Pinterest where 85% of the user base is female. It’s more valuable to spend time on the social network that provide you with a return. If people can purchase your product directly from your website, you can send loads of traffic to your site with Facebook.

Maybe your business is B2B and your goal is to increase brand awareness. You want to attract more businesses to work with you. LinkedIn is a great platform to get your message in front of a specifically targeted individuals who would have interest in working with you. Another example is producing video content on YouTube. Creating a show based on educating what your business can do for others is an easy way to get a lot of exposure quickly. It might take some experimentation to find which social network gets your business the best return, but you won’t know until you try.

It’s hard to suggest one specific platform without knowing all the details about the business. Take everything into consideration and decide which platform makes the most sense. After that, dedicate time everyday to improving your presence on the platform(s). It’s one thing to create a Facebook business profile, it’s another thing to consistently work on your social media presence. You’ll find the more time you spend optimizing your social presence the more return you will see. Pick the networks that make sense and put forth a serious effort on the platforms and I promise you will see return.

Importance of Being Organized For Social Media

I always say social media never sleeps. Many times when it comes to social media when you blink, it’s too late – you’ve missed the moment to capitalize. Want to know how the best social media managers stay on top of their game? The trick is to be both efficient and organized.

Now more than ever, social media is hard to keep track of. While it can be difficult, the key is to stay engaged. Post on Facebook and Twitter, liking, sharing and commenting on each while also doing the same on Instagram, and I forgot to mention, repin your friends pin on Pinterest. As you can see, the list goes on. It’s even harder to manage on a business level. The best way to be efficient and professional on social media is to be organized.

Create a Content Calendar. Businesses always need to be engaging on social media and pushing out content. At the end of each month, create a rough outline of a content calendar for the upcoming month. Take some time to populate some important dates for your business. Maybe you have a new product launch or are running a sale. Build your social content leading up to these events. You can also add other popular events or holidays that are likely to be getting engagement, such as award shows or sporting events. Create social postings around and during these events as well. Those events will already start filling-in your calendar. Now you can create organic content such as blog posts or videos to fill in the gaps.

A content calendar will help you plan out media and content for the month, but it takes a lot more than that to be organized. You constantly have to be on your toes when it comes to social media. Make sure you check into the more popular social networks to see what’s going on. It is also smart to enable push notifications on your phone or set up email notifications. So if someone leaves a comment or mentions your business, you must respond in an appropriate amount of time.

Always Monitor Social. It is also smart to monitor trends on social media. If a topic that involves your business or brand starts trending, you want to be able to jump on it early. Be sure to build out a list of influencers that are always on top of the social media game. If you follow the right people on social media, you’ll be in the loop on all the important topics and trends. Create Twitter lists of social media influencers so you know exactly where to go when you want to know what is happening. If you don’t have the time to monitor social media, tag-team the project with your coworkers or hire an employee dedicated to social.

Use the Necessary Tools. Arming yourself with the latest technology is a great way to be organized and achieve social media success. Use publishing tools like Hootsuite or buffer to schedule your content in advanced. Take advantage of sites like Feedly and Digg Reader so that you’re only viewing the articles and information that are relevant to you and your business.
The more planning and preparation you have built out in advance the better off you are on a day-to-day basis. It’s not hard to be on social media but it is hard to be good at it, especially on a business level. The more prepared and organized you are the more it frees you up to be more creative and engage socially. As you can tell, managing social is a full-time job and you may not have enough resources to run social media on the level it requires. That is where we come in. Learn more about social media management. 

Social Media ROI Guide

Measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing efforts isn’t as clear cut as a Good Adwords campaign for example. It can be difficult to tell how much revenue a Tweet you sent out the other day brought in, or if your latest Instagram post gave a boost to your bottom line. Truth be told, determining social media ROI is not easy.

Many businesses are having a difficult time grasping the financial impact social media marketing has on their business. A survey conducted by Convince & Convert found that 41% of companies said they had no idea whether or not their social media efforts were actually paying off.

To gain insights as to why companies aren’t measuring their social media ROI, we’ll need to look at a separate study. In a survey by Altimeter, they looked at some of the specific challenges companies are having when it comes to measuring the value of their social media marketing efforts.

  • 56% said an inability to tie social media to business outcomes
  • 39% said a lack of analytics, expertise and/or resources
  • 38% said poor tools
  • 35% said inconsistent analytical approaches
  • 30% said unreliable data

All that said, measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts is not impossible. The issues is that many businesses get caught up in “vanity metrics” meaning, the number of followers on Twitter or Likes a Facebook post gets. These businesses forget that those numbers mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. If a Tweet is retweeted 200 times but is not helping you reach your overall goals, what is the point of the Tweet?

What is Social Media ROI?

If you ask several different people, you will get several different answers. If you’re looking for a “by the book” definition, the answer will depend on what your specific goals are. At its heart, social media ROI is what your company is getting back from the time, money and resources you’re putting toward social media marketing.

In a perfect world, your return would be measured in terms of dollars. Because of this, you should know:

  1. How much money is going into your social media marketing efforts
  2. How much money your social media goals are worth

The first part is something you should be able to figure out relatively easily, it is the second part that it becomes more difficult.

Why Measuring ROI is Important

The reason a lot of companies get into social media marketing to begin with is because you simply cannot get away from it. It seems like everywhere you turn you hear stories of how different companies are “dominating” social media, and how it’s where your audience is, so you have to be active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, you name it. But, unless you’re tracking what you’re doing, what’s being spent and what kind of results you’re getting, it’s hard to figure out what’s working, and what’s not.

So why do you need to measure your social media ROI? Well, there are 3 reason. Number one, you’ll see where you can improve your efforts and number two, you’ll be able to decide which social media channels are bringing in the most revenue for you. Lastly, the third reason of why you need to measure social media ROI is so you can see how specific changes impact your social media goals.

For example, let’s say you ran a Google AdWords campaign without stating goals or measuring and you never checked how much you were paying per click, what kind of click-through-rate you were getting or whether any of the people who clicked on your ads were actually converting. Does this sound like this type of campaign would be successful? Probably not. Unfortunately, this is actually what you are doing by not measuring your social media marketing efforts.

Set Your Goals

Before you are able to measure your return, you have to start by setting goals. Your goals should be things that you can attach a number to. Some good examples are email list sign-ups, contact form inquiries, purchases and/downloads of a whitepaper or ebook.

Do you notice anything about the examples above? All of these goals are based on the user taking a measurable action that can be tracked. Specific social media actions like social shares and followers are nice to track too, but they shouldn’t be your main goals. To get the most accurate number(s) be sure to set your goals based on actions that convert a “window shopper” to a lead, and then finally, a customer. A user clicking a website link in a Tweet is good, but you have to know if they’re converting into leads for you.

Another important aspect is linking your goals to specific campaigns. Why is this so important? Because it will allow you to track individual links that you share on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels. Do this enables you to attribute visits from specific links you share. Creating these custom links is simple with Google’s URL Builder and what’s even better is that the information will be seamlessly included in your Google Analytics reporting.

Your Social Media Expenses

To determine whether you’re getting a positive or negative return on your social media marketing campaigns, you will need to measure how much you’re spending. Here’s what to include.

Man-hours: Not matter the size of your marketing team, whether it’s one person or 50, add up the man-hours that go into a specific social media marketing campaign over a specified period of time. Don’t view this data based on employee salaries as they will most likely be working on several different campaigns. Instead, measure investment on a per-campaign basis.

Content: Was the landing page created by a professional copywriter? What about status updates, maybe you outsourced these? Be sure to take these costs into consideration.

Social Media Tools: Are you using tools to help you manage your social media channels? Just like with the man-hours, you should factor these costs in on a per campaign basis. So for example, if your campaign lasts for one month, factor the cost of a month of the software rather than the entire year.

Ad Costs: Are you running a promoted Tweet, Facebook Ad or boosting a Facebook post? Add in the cost of this as well.

Once you have your expenses calculated, you will be able to calculate your ROI for each social media campaign using this formula: (Earnings – Costs) x 100 / Costs

After reviewing the numbers, you will be able to determine which social platforms are doing the best for your company, and hone in on those. For those social channels that are bringing in negative ROI, you can adjust your budget to spend less.

Conclusion

Tracking your social media ROI is possible! You simply have to take a planned and well thought out approach. The more organized you are, the more accurate your numbers will be. It is important to note, while much of this post was focused on tangible line items, social media gives intangible benefits too like brand building. It could even give you the opportunity to earn natural backlinks from people who find your site through a Tweet, or Facebook post. While these don’t add up to a measurable amount of money, it is certainly something that you have to factor in when determining if social media marketing is working for your company.

3 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

Marketing is constantly changing, this we know. In the last few years, digital marketing has experienced huge changes, so much so that brands are forced to keep pace with the technology causing those changes.

With 2016 rapidly approaching, brands need to begin to develop the strategies necessary to stay competitive. Now more than ever, it’s important for marketers to stay ahead of the curve instead of following everyone else.

Here are some marketing trends that can change the way brands reach consumers in the coming months and beyond.

Snapchat Will Become a Standard Marketing Platform

Just like Facebook and Twitter before it, Snapchat has faced the question, “Is this really a place where we can reach our target consumers?” Just like other social giants, marketers will come to realize that Snapchat isn’t just a tool for fun “marketing experiments.” It’s actually a platform that users are going to in droves in order to digest social media in real-time.

Real-time is the operative phrase. Since the inception of social media marketing, brands and agencies have been searching for the best methods to deliver integrated campaigns that make others feel connected. An important piece to keeping the younger generation of consumers interested is by offering exclusive content that has an expiration date. The “one size fits all” marketing tactic no longer works. Snapchat is the perfect platform for making consumers feel connected and unique, all at the same time.

If you’ve been following the 2016 Presidential Campaign, you’re seeing that the candidates are turning to snapchat in order to connect with voters. The writing is on the wall for all marketers to see. If you’re planning and looking to 2016, there’s no need to look further than the beginning of 2015, when Snapchat launched “Discover”. This “portal” allows brands like ESPN, Vice and the Food Network to push their messages to avid consumers of media.

The results have been positive so far, however, there’s a real beauty with Snapchat other platforms can’t offer. That beauty is that it turns the advertisement into the product, something that brands won’t be able to ignore.

Search Goes Beyond Search Engines

With Facebook currently working on tests for its own search engine, search is almost certain to go beyond Google, Bing and Yahoo. One obvious marketing benefit that will come with stronger search capabilities within social media is the the visibility of these brands will be sure to see an increase. Include this with the fact that buy buttons and payment messaging will become social staples in 2016 and you’ve got a “soup to nuts” platform.

With advanced search capabilities, integrated payment methods and the social backbone that powers a Facebook or a Twitter, consumers will not only make purchases, but they will chat with their friends about what they bought and post the social proof of their newly bought items. Advanced search means integrated social experience that expands to commerce.

Instagram is Ready for Take Off

Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 and since then they have been consistently making small changes to the photo sharing platform. Only recently did these smaller changes snowball into some big developments for the platform.

Facebook is not the social media network that every local business needs to have a Business Page on, accompanied by an advertising package so that you can reach the followers you worked hard to gain.

Once upon a time, reaching your followers on Facebook used to be free, just like it is on Instagram. However, with Instagram offering advertising in the form of “sponsored posts,” you will need to pay to ensure that your post is seen by your target audience.

Instagram advertising gets really great results for its advertisers. The app says that their ad recall is 2.8 times higher than other online advertising platforms, making it a great option for business looking to get the most bang for their marketing buck. On top of this, tools that combine trending topics on Facebook and Instagram, like Signal, shows that Facebook plans to continue integrating Instagram into its platform.

Conclusion

2016 is rapidly approaching so the earlier you start, the more time you will have to adjust and reap all the benefits of a forward thinking campaign.

Prolong Your Social Media Campaign

Keep Your Followers Engaged, Even After Your Campaign

Watch the show for full details!

You’ve just ended a very successful social media campaign, maybe it was a contest or maybe it was a give away. But now what? Is there anything else left to do? The short answer is yes! Of course you want to continue to keep your fans/followers engaged, but how? In this episode of the Attention Show, John and Chris talk about ways you can prolong your social media campaign to keep your fans/followers engaged. Check it out!

Reputation Management on Social Media

Reputation Management: What Are People Saying About You Online?

Watch the show for full details!

It can take a lifetime to build a reputation and only one second to see it all come crashing down. Even though your fans and followers love you, what happens when that one instance someone isn’t happy with your product or service and they voice it on social media? In this episode of the Attention Show, John and Chris talk about reputation management on social media

How To Manage Your Social Media PR

Are Your Followers Playing Nice?

Watch the show for full details!

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Connecting and engaging with fans is a great way to humanize your brand and establish trust and loyalty. But what happens when something goes wrong and negative comments start showing up on your businesses Facebook page or Twitter feed? How do you address the issue? In this weeks Attention Show John and Chris talk about social media PR and when and how to address these negative comments.

The Power of Employees on Social Media

Watch the show for full details!

There are two schools of thought when it comes to having employees on social media. On one side, you love the idea of empowering them and using employees as your best brand advocates. Or, you’re on the other side and you are worried they could be reckless and dilute your brand’s voice. Well, our fearless leaders John and Chris have a few thoughts on this highly debated topic.