digital-marketing-holiday-edition

Dos and Dont’s: How to Create a Successful Holiday Marketing Campaign!

The long-awaited holiday season is almost upon us! For shoppers, this means that you’re on the lookout for the best promotions in-store and online to purchase gifts for loved ones in celebration of the holidays. 

For marketers, it is a crucial time of the year for businesses to bring out their holiday marketing strategies to ensure a strong and successful holiday sales season. This time of the year brings fierce competition among businesses to have strong holiday sales and an abundance of opportunities to attract new customers to your business. 

That’s why marketers need to come up with an effective holiday marketing campaign to maximize the growth potential for their brand and build connections with customers. Here are a few dos and don’ts you should consider to have a successful holiday marketing campaign.

360 Business Local is an online marketing company based in Markham, dedicated to helping you ace your holiday campaigns this year! We provide up-to-the-minute news and cover the most viral trends so that your business can get the traction it deserves.

Without further ado, let’s delve right in!

DO Put Customers First

It’s a great opportunity to capture new customers this holiday season, however, it’s crucial to take your loyal and already established customers into consideration when planning your holiday marketing campaign. Making sales should not be the only priority for your business. 

Your campaign should focus on customer appreciation; consider spreading holiday cheer to let your loyal customers know they are valued. You can do this by finding ways to include your customers and their families into your campaigns such as offering small complimentary gifts, holding giveaways and raffles. 

Small businesses have the option to send handwritten cards to customers and their families to wish them well for the holidays and new year. Larger businesses can offer valuable discounts or small gifts as a token of appreciation for their customer’s support. This is all done to help distinguish your business from competitors by establishing personal connections with loyal and new customers. Create connections with your customers so that they will return in the off-season. 

DON’T Change Your Branding

There’s obvious excitement in the air with the holidays coming soon. For some they show this through putting up decorations and displays, however, it’s wise for businesses to stay on brand. There will be an increase in customer traffic and interest during the two busiest months in the year, thus changing your branding will confuse new customers. It muddles the identity of the brand and does little for your business. Instead incorporate your logo, colours, and brand into your holiday marketing campaign whilst also providing light-hearted content relevant to the holidays. 

DO Cater To Emotions

A successful marketing strategy to use for this holiday season is to evoke nostalgic feelings out of the intended target market. The holidays are centred around spending time with loved ones, sharing laughter and joyful moments. Nostalgic emotions evoked from an advertisement inspires customers to purchase the product and/or service in pursuit of the same emotional experience they felt in the advertisement. 

DON’T Go Overboard With Advertising

It’s the busiest time of the year for advertising. Social media messaging to brands rise more than 30% during the winter holiday season. While it is necessary during the winter holidays to increase the advertising budget for a greater opportunity to attract new customers to your business, there must be a balance. 

Understandably, with the increase in customers who are looking to find the best products and/or services for their loved ones, it’s very inviting for businesses to go all-in for the holiday season in advertising. However, the last thing your business wants to do is make it unpleasant for customers. 

Especially if they are bombarded with promotions left and right. The customer’s poor experience ultimately devalues your offerings and brand. Potentially annoying customers can lead to mass unfollows or unsubscribing. Tarnishing the already established relationships with customers due to excessive advertisements.

There are alternative methods to reach your business goals for the season that don’t drive away your customers. Email campaigns are great for guaranteeing your consumers are being updated with the latest promotions they are being offered. Regardless of how hectic it gets during the holidays, consumers are checking their email inboxes regularly. 

Timing is a crucial factor to take into account in email campaigns. When they are sent before, during, and right before the promotion ends it can land huge additional sales for your business. It makes all the difference to your business and the customers. 

Ready to Ace Your Holiday Marketing Campaigns?

Over time businesses have to see for themselves which strategies work and which don’t work when reaching business goals for that season.

The holiday months are the most hectic for consumers and businesses but not without better opportunities for businesses to get through to consumers.

It’s important to exhibit the best qualities of your business by demonstrating your appreciation for customers, professionalism, customer satisfaction and the value of your brand; it’s the best way to bring your business a joyful and successful holiday season!

Need help with constructing a strong online holiday marketing campaign for your business? At 360, we’d love to help! Contact us today to get started! 

Instagram-New-Features-2019

Instagram Unveils A Ton of Cool Features Just In Time for Summer!

In Japan, there is a concept called kaizen, which means striving for constant improvement. Well, it seems Instagram has taken kaizen to heart; several new changes have allowed for an easier process in using the social platform as a marketing tool. Since April, the social media app has rolled out many new features and added ornaments onto existing features. In addition to some user experience changes, such as integrating IGTV into the explore feed, Instagram has rolled out a plethora of changes to increase engagement and put a spotlight on content. Of course, properly utilizing these features in a way that aligns with your brand/persona takes some work. Our Markham based digital agency can help you create and implement a social media strategy that will help you stand out and rock the rollouts!

 

So, what updates are we talking about exactly? Here are a few of our favourite:

 

  1. Sponsored Stories with Polls

 

When Instagram stories were added in 2016, the feature initially received a lot of backlashes; comparing the feature to the almost-identical Snapchat stories. However, as Instagram as a social platform becomes more mainstream, there has been several improvements and add-ons to raise this feature above all else.

 

The recent addition of adding poll stickers to promotional stories enhances its effectiveness. The voting allows for user engagement and increases the chance that viewers will convert by swiping up. This is excellent news for any company using Instagram as a marketing channel!

 

  1. Insta-Checkout

 

Recently, Instagram introduced Insta-checkout, another feature that is dedicated to shops and companies using Instagram to sell products. After the previous update, of allowing businesses to tag their products in posts with prices and links to their website, this new feature just makes sense. How does this differ from the initial feature rollout? Users can now purchase products from their favourite brands and influencers without having to leave Instagram. Users simply click on the tagger product and Instagram then leads them to a checkout page where they can complete the purchase. From there, users can then choose to continue shopping or simply pop back on Instagram. This update makes it easier for smaller influencers and brands who may not have the tools to create a full website off the bat. It also makes shopping easy for users without a plethora of redirects.

 

  1. Good Causes and Fun Quizzes

 

The poll, slider, and question stickers quickly gained popularity on the site due to their ability to create genuine, simple engagement. Instagram took note and recently unveiled two new stickers.

 

The quiz sticker is similar to the poll sticker where a question is posed and users can pick an answer provided by the poster. The quiz button, however, allows for more options and is set to be utilized as more of a “get to know me” type button. Brands and influencers can use this button to test their audiences knowledge, for contest purposes, or simply to educate them on the matter. It’s a simplistic way for users to engage with one another and learn more whilst doing so.

 

The donation button has finally come and users can now spring a good deed into their online posting. The donation button allows users to choose a charity/cause of their choice with an interactive donate button underneath the name. When clicking on the donate button, there are a few simple steps the users can take to donate to a worthy cause. A big concern with this was the fact that some may try to manipulate the system and try to gain profit for their own self, however, Instagram has found a way to avoid this. Only registered nonprofits can be utilized with this feature, so no need to worry about uncredited sources trying to get some extra dollars.

 

  1. Goodbye Vanity Metrics?

 

Let’s face it, getting a high amount of likes is a pretty good feeling, even if you aren’t big on vanity metrics. However, Instagram has been testing out a feature that removes like counts from the public eye on some Canadian accounts. How does this work? Users will be able to see how many likes they get on their own images/videos, however, the public will not be able to do so (unless they count one by one).

 

Why did Instagram decide to do this? The exact reason is unknown, but many speculate it’s a way to rid consumer and user perception. Often times, people flock towards content with a higher like count because they correlate it to a higher level of trust and quality. On another note, some users rely on likes as a confidence booster and seeing similar posts to their own rack up 10x the likes may impact their overall perception of who they are and what they create. Regardless of the reason, if this rolls out to everyone, it could be a massive game changer, not just for Instagram, but for social media as a whole.

 

A surfeit of features have been introduced in 2019 and Instagram is working on unveiling even more features this summer. With that being said, influencers and brands alike should ensure they are utilizing these features in a way that is appropriate and relevant to their online persona. Nonetheless, we are excited to see what Instagram has in store for us this summer!

 

Looking to vamp up your social media game? Contact us today and we can help you with your quest to social media greatness!

Marketing-Social-Media-Instagram

Top Marketing Trends of 2019, So Far!

More and more brands are becoming wary of the marketing space, realizing the importance of having a good brand image for their consumers to associate them with. Whether a marketing agency is used or an internal marketing department, this has become a vital part of the value chain. Strategies over the years have adapted to the need of having social media while creating new touchpoints for customers to engage with them for the collection of marketing data to tailor their operational approaches.

 

The reality is that many firms in the same industry are competing for a piece of the market in very similar ways. The same pillars of marketing are used in any foundation of a campaign but to create organic growth and additional engagement that is unique from their competitors, new strategies need to be used. A new year comes new marketing trends, and 2019 has had some interesting ways to capture the hearts of consumers around the world. Depending on what your firm sells, there may be different value-adds but take a look so you can get a full picture of what the best marketing campaigns are doing today.

 

Artificial Intelligence Driven Content


Although gathering content and creating the ideas behind them are not fully automatable, artificial intelligence has become smart enough to provide insights on how to leverage the process work into final articles and blogs. News articles have become increasingly difficult to follow all at once in real time but with artificial intelligence, they are able to pump out that data into readable and usable information immediately.

 

Big firms that have international readers may find this tactic useful. Investing in the tech side of digital media allows companies to stay ahead of the game, with the most up-to-date information at all times. As artificial intelligence continues to grow, the opportunities in this field will as well.

 

The Features of Social Media

 

The standard of have profiles on all social media platforms have become a norm in all companies. Ensuring that you have touchpoints on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is enough on a social level. For B2B companies, this can incorporate LinkedIn and Youtube as well. As these platforms create updates and newer features, there are new ways to create content.

 

Instagram

 

One of the biggest game-changers comes from Instagram’s story feature. With options to have your followers ask questions or get a poll answered, it encourages low commitment engagement and leaves your customers interested. As of June 2018, there is 1 billion monthly active Instagram users and over 500 million people use the Stories feature on a daily basis. It can be a simple question asked to your followers or a takeover from a local celebrity. Regardless, having an Instagram account is no longer the standard — but learning the engagement tools is.

 

Another interesting add-on by Instagram is the seller’s feature. With any product business account, you are able to tag the item’s website link onto the post for easy accessibility for your followers. This is extremely beneficial because it takes away many steps of the user needing to find the site or the time between when they see the picture and how quickly they can purchase it. It expedites the process, efficiently helping your operational flow.

 

LinkedIn

 

For business companies looking for ways to engage both B2B partners and general LinkedIn members, the use of affiliated hashtags and tagging other organizations/individuals helps to entice people to jump on your page for more information. It is one of the harder platforms to use but LinkedIn has continued to create updates to help out. In addition to the content optimization, you are able to make groups on LinkedIn that can help you connect with other people in the same space and it allows you to promote heavily in an enclosed group of interested individuals.  

 

Investing in Videos

 

Although graphic designs are good to look at, videos have been statistically known to create a bigger impact and leaving a lasting impression on their viewers. It has been predicted that by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be generated by video. People are no longer enticed by nice looking graphics. This raises the standards for your social media platforms, as well as these videos, would normally be featured on those pages. It helps to create more creative type content as opposed to the generic photo opportunities.

 

Micro-Influencer Marketing

 

Over the past couple of years, influencer marketing has been a large focus from start-up brands that have built themselves into multi-million dollar companies. However, studies have shown that the focus on macro-influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers may not be generating the same level of engagement as micro-influencers.  

 

Although micro-influencers have fewer followers, their engagement manages to maintain better ratios and percentages. This encompasses the number of likes, comments, views, and clicks that they provide. It is a lot harder to estimate the exact reach a macro-influencer will provide. Micro-influencers are often cost-effective measures as they do not have as high of a reach so their influencer collaborations are often less than $300 per post. This is an ideal solution for smaller businesses as this will help to improve brand visibility and sales without using up all your budget in your marketing department.

 

Conclusion

 

Marketing trends will continue to change and adapt as new innovative technology and methods are created. The need to stay on trend becomes increasingly important as firms will always look into new ways of promoting to beat out the competition. Whether this be an in-house marketing team or utilizing a marketing agency, ensure that there is a focus on staying with industry trends.

google-analytics-track-conversion-for-websites

Google Analytics Right Now: 2018 to 2019 New Features

Sure, your business’s website is good. But what if it could be better? As companies are increasingly using their websites as marketing tools, they’re zeroing in on a new focus: conversions. This is the process of a user going from just browsing your website to performing transactions – thus contributing to your revenues.

 

But how do you map a user’s journey from prospect to buyer? Markham, a burgeoning tech hub, is no stranger to online marketing companies. When you choose the right one, you will be able to understand your demographics better and increase website conversions quickly. To get you started, this article explores how you can use Google Analytics successfully. 

 

A key tool to help improve your website’s conversions is Google Analytics. In addition to being a free online tool, google analytics can bring an enormous amount of value to your business. How does it work? Google Analytics works behind the scenes to give you an insight into your website’s performance, with clear information that can help with identifying trends. Recently, from mid-2018 to right now, new features have been added. Here are four recently added features to help with your website:

 

  1. Cross-Device Conversion Data

First, a new addition is custom models created on the basis of cross-device conversion data. Google Analytics now tracks the customer conversion process that is completed across multiple devices (called cross-device conversion). This data is important for your business because it helps for decisions related to ad placements on your website. Web pages with higher conversion rates could mean higher bid prices for particular placements.

 

  1. A Search Bar

This one was probably a matter of time…I mean, Google’s main thing is being a search engine, right? Google reinvented the classic search bar for your convenience in Google Analytics. This recent addition allows for a responsive search experience when searching questions, for reports, or help. Also, when you click the search box, it displays your recent searches and reports, and question suggestions for insights about your data.

 

  1. Scroll Depth Trigger

A trigger uses conditional code to assign actions to specific criteria. The scroll depth trigger fires tags (assigns small bits of information to elements) depending on how far down or right the user has scrolled on your website. The cool element about this trigger is that it only fires once per threshold per page. This means that the trigger will not fire again until the trigger is reset (ie: the page reloads). By doing this, Google Analytics ensures strong and reliable data. It also gives you the option to select when to enable the trigger, and the option to set the scroll depth threshold, units, and direction.

 

  1. YouTube Video Trigger

Similar but distinct from the scroll depth trigger, the YouTube video trigger fires tags dependant on user interaction with YouTube videos that are embedded on your website. Interactions such as pausing or playing the video are used as variables for the trigger configuration. Some examples of triggers on the videos are when the video starts, finishes, and when it is paused or buffering. Triggers can also fire when the video plays and passes a certain point of the video, or a percentage of the video has played (ie: when it is halfway done)

 

Marketing Tips & Tricks for Google Analytics

So you got the data. Now what? Here are a few tips to try in the aftermath of using Google Analytics!

Use when presenting the marketing data with:

  • Google’s Data GIF Maker for interesting data visualizations
  • Google’s Data Studio for powerful data reports and visual support

 

Map out and analyze your customer lifetime value (CLV):

  • Unify your data by consolidating, analyzing and creating dynamic customer experiences

 

Additionally, use the following key factors to elevate the success of your efforts:

 

Zero In On What You’d Like to Measure

Analytics is a vast tool and it’s easy to get distracted by numbers that don’t really concern you. The key is to zero in on the 6-10 KPIs that will help you achieve your business/website targets. Don’t be side-tracked by useless numbers that only highlight the number of visitors to your web pages.

 

Pit Conversions Against Your Goals

Google Analytics is all about defining and setting the right goals. Program your account to follow conversion numbers that cater to these goals. As such, it will be easier for your conversions to verify whether you are on the right track to achieve pre-set objectives.

The conversion figures are crucial stats to pay attention to. For each and every goal, you should allocate an economic figure – no matter how random it might be – even if that figure doesn’t correlate to the transaction’s purchase.

These efforts will make it easier to measure how well your goals are performing by and large, and their impact on your business.

 

Customize Your Dashboard and Report

With Google Analytics, you are able to create customized dashboards to get the most interesting insights swiftly. The hours spent making your own dashboard are well worth the effort, and this should be done keeping in mind the KPIs that are integral to your goals.

This tool also provides a Solutions Gallery that showcases ready-made dashboard templates designed by other people. A lot of these are hidden gems – worth checking out! You can also leverage custom reports to cater to the metrics you’d like to highlight above all others. Hence, you are effectively trimming the fat and streamlining your experience with Analytics.

 

Use Intelligence Alerts

Analytics lets you activate default alerts and also make custom alerts. While Analytics Intelligence gives you great insights, these should never replace you scanning your reports manually as well. However, the tool is quite reliable in that it assists you by pinpointing issues and opportunities.

Important – The best way to check on your website’s performance is by regularly reviewing your KPI-based reports. These are supported by automated intelligence alerts from the software.

 

Want more information? Google Marketing Live is an exclusive live stream with insider information on Google’s practices, Q&As, and other interesting features.

 

Do you want the benefits of Google Analytics without the hassle? Contact 360 today to boost your company’s website’s effectiveness!