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Top Digital Trends For 2018

By | Digital, News, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

2017 was quite an eventful year for the digital industry. We’ve noticed over the last few months that user experience (UX), data and analytics have proven themselves as big players in the business landscape. As we get back to our offices after the winter holidays, we’re taking a look at upcoming digital transformations for 2018.

“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.”
–Bill Gates

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Snapchat Lenses: An Advertising Goldmine

By | Blogging, Marketing, News, Strategy

Snapchat is becoming extremely popular among celebrities, tech-savvy moms, and teens who need another social media account to keep them occupied. But, Snapchat has been on another level lately, as they are sending their app to an alternate dimension in the world of marketing.

Recently Snapchat lenses have exploded, and face swaps and rainbow tongues are becoming viral content across other social platforms. Snapchat lenses are really revamping the boring selfie we’re all sick of. Yes—we get it, you’re a good looking model on Instagram…*sigh*.  But, Snapchat lenses turn your selfies into face-altered characters, creatures, and comedic videos. Boring model meets creepy Easter Bunny—I like it.

How do these lenses work?

Snapchat lenses are animations that overlay your selfies to create fun, creepy, or wacky effects. If you’ve always wanted to know what you’d look like as E.T., the alien Snapchat lens will fulfill your freakish fantasy.

To use the lenses, you have to:

  • Open up the Snapchat app;
  • Touch the screen, holding your finger on your face;
  • Swipe to select different lenses; and
  • Take a picture or record a video with the lens of your choice.

Now these are the steps to use the free lenses, but you can also purchase different lenses if you’re looking to change your selfies up even more! Lenses cost $0.99, but there are free ones added daily—so be sure to check the app regularly for new lens options.

Face Swap

Face swap is a relatively new feature on Snapchat that allows you to swap faces with your best friend, your lover, your family member, or even that painting at the museum. Face swap videos have been going viral lately, so get on board and see what funny swaps you can come up with!

Marketing Potential

Millions of people are already using these Snapchat lenses, and the big brands are noticing. In the media, Snapchat set-up a Super Bowl sponsored lens for the big event this year. The results are in, and the lens received over 100 million views! But, apparently, these lenses are pricy. Sponsored holiday lenses are said to be $750, 000, which is an expensive advertisement. But, the possibilities for brands are limitless. Big brands can create their own custom lens, which will be used to augment their customer’s selfies around the globe.

So have fun with Snapchat lenses today, and take advantage of the lenses that are available now, because they’ll disappear in no time. Snapchat is truly changing the face of marketing and advertising.

Sources:

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/135912-snapchat-lenses-how-do-they-work-and-do-they-cost-anything

Finding Love in an Ad-Free Place: Ad-Blockers & Your Brand

By | Blogging, culture, Marketing, News, SEO, Social Media, Web Development

Ever since the internet was young and innocent, advertisements have cropped up as a way for brands and marketers to get access to the huge amount of people logging on every day. The pop-up has served as the bane of many an internet user’s existence, popping up in more and more frustrating situations and in greater quantities. Nonetheless, users have revolted and used ad-blocking softwares to dispel the efficacy of “traditional” internet marketing — namely, the pop-up window.

The era of the pop-up advertisement is all but dead,

and it has everything to do with ad-blockers.

What is ad-blocking?

photocred: bookstores.nyu.edu

photocred: bookstores.nyu.edu

Simply put, ad-blocking is the process of eliminating any and all advertisements on a webpage — especially those that show up as third-party plug-ins (think “pop ups” or banner ads). This results in pages loading faster, because ad-blockers essentially refuse to load advertisements on a given webpage.

Why are people attracted to it?

It appeals to common sense that users would want the fastest, most distraction-free browsing experience. Using ad-blockers reduces the “white noise” of traditional advertisements encroaching upon the content users want to access. If users are this adamant about not wanting to see advertisements, it speaks to a collective lag on the part of brands to provide compelling and engaging content to get people to listen and engage with their online ads.

When done well, advertisements don’t have to be “white noise.”

What can brands do to counteract the rise of ad-blockers?

The rise of ad-blockers for traditional users, with Apple recently releasing ad-blocking as part of their overall software package, has petitioned companies to market in more profound ways; Companies are now tasked with creating compelling, engaging, and user-centric content. Users are playing a greater role in advertising, rejecting ads that don’t reach them in a way that asks them to participate and be involved in a brand’s “process.” Therefore, companies need to re-focus their marketing strategies on co-creation, user involvement, and overall engagement.

Besides creating more compelling content, what else can be done?

Creating great content is one thing, but there also needs to be a well thought out and executed distribution

photo cred: tech.co

photo cred: tech.co

strategy for your brand’s content. If you simply create it, it is not a guarantee that consumers will flock to your brand. Developing a robust digital strategy is imperative for any company’s success in an ad-blocking online culture. This means utilizing mediums, strategies (SEO), and resources to reach people where they reside online.

Ad-blockers are making traditional forms of advertisement more difficult, but it hasn’t rendered the entire practice of advertising online as dead. Companies are now being asked to be more creative, to create content which exceeds expectations, and taking residence in places that users wouldn’t normally find them — but are using anyways. There are places to advertise, if your company is doing the right job in seeking them out.

Influencer Marketing and Your Brand On Vine

By | Learning, Marketing, News, Social Media, Uncategorized

The concept of influencer marketing isn’t necessarily new; brands have been using celebrity endorsements for years to convince people to buy their products (think Stephen Curry on a box of Wheaties, or Matthew McConaughey driving a Lincoln). The recent twist in this landscape is the rise of various social media channels, and the influence they have on a company’s brand strategy. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and recently Vine are being used to target consumers and promote products and services through more nuanced influencers.

photo cred: mashable.com

photo cred: mashable.com

A site like Vine is the perfect example for a more complex influencer landscape. The nature of the medium (looped six-second video clips) and its rising popularity — specifically with millennials, is attractive for brands and consumers alike. Taking advantage of Vine is understanding the unique relationship between influencers and consumers, based on the following:

Seamless Integration

photo cred: scribblelive.com

photo cred: scribblelive.com

Consumers are often frustrated when being “forced” to sit through advertisements to get to the content they desire (it’s often painful that a 30 second YouTube commercial can feel like an eternity). Vine’s strategy is developing content involving the product itself, and recruiting influencers to develop and brand that content as their own. The influencer and the product are often one and the same.

The “Average Joe” Advantage

Vine is often seen as an equal opportunity app, where anyone can become popular and influential online. Seeing everyday people using products, and promoting their advantages, is extremely attractive to the average user. Not only do they relate to the “regular” people on the screen, but they trust them more than a “paid” advertisement.

Co-Creation

Creativity is at a premium on Vine, where there is only a short amount of time to communicate an idea. When companies are able to partner with influential users, they are also gaining advantage of those users’ unique perspective and ideas. It’s a win-win for interesting concepts, and for product placement.

Based on these ideas, Vine is being used more and more as a tool for company’s in their marketing strategies. Vine is implementing a strategy based on trust and relation — seeing yourself with and relating to the people you see on your screen. This form of trust is priceless for many companies.