Blog Archives

In this age of social media, we can connect with friends on the other side of the planet in no time at all. Distance is no longer a hindrance, and yet, more people feel detached from society. Amidst the pros and cons of a digital world, brands must learn to adapt and connect in new ways. Although face-to-face interactions are less frequent, the social media age brings many new opportunities for brands to be a part of consumers’ lives.

However, like parents trying to fit in with their teenagers, brands sometimes struggle to connect. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with any parenting woes today, but we do have a few strategies to help brands genuinely engage with their consumers via social media.

Get to Know Your Consumer

In order to reach a consumer, you need to know who the consumer is. Take the time to find out as much as you can about them. What do they like? What do they not like? What are their purchasing behaviors? By knowing more about your consumer, you’ll have a better idea of how to reach them.

Also, understand where your consumers are physically and digitally. Pinpointing a consumer’s location provides valuable information such as distance to your business, competitors in their proximity, local hot spots, etc. Find out which platforms your customers engage with most frequently. There are many social platforms available: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the most commonly used. These platforms are all unique in audience, tone and messaging. Instagram attracts a younger, visual-focused demographic, whereas LinkedIn attracts professionals in various fields. Your consumers will be more receptive to your messaging when it is on the appropriate platform.

Relevant Communication

Once you have a better grasp on who your customer is, it’s all about timing. Keep your content relevant. Posting a Gangnam Style parody might seem funny but is so 2012. Take time to research and stay on top of important topics and trends, particularly those that relate to your brand. By staying relevant, consumers will be more interested in the content you produce. Instead of begging them to pay attention to you, they’ll already be right there and tuned in.

Staying relevant also includes optimizing social media posts to go out at the right time. Find out when your target audience is online and post accordingly. This will keep your posts at the top of a consumer’s feed so they will be more likely to notice and engage with you.

Quality Content

This may seem like the most obvious strategy, so maybe it’s more of a reminder. Though we’ve all had a day when deadlines are eminent, other projects pop up and social media posts fall to the backburner. However, don’t sacrifice quality simply because you need a post now. Take the time needed to produce quality content that your brand can be proud of.

When developing content, consider your intent. A recent Ad Week article suggested a few intents that will help your audience genuinely engage with your brand: in ways that entertain and educate. Entertaining content will capture consumers attention and lead them to engage with your content and even share it with friends. Brainstorm ways your brand can stay true to who you are and entertain the masses.

Consumers are also eager to learn. What expertise do you possess? What nuggets of wisdom can you hand out? Create a small dose of knowledge in a how-to video, tutorial or other form, then include a “learn more” call-to-action. Curious consumers will be excited to learn from you. Quality content will draw consumers in and keep them coming back to your brand.

Apply these strategies to your brand’s social media and watch your consumer engagement increase. Learn more by talking to an agency content specialist today.

Recently our native advertising partner StackAdapt popped into our Salt Lake City office to discuss the latest and greatest features their team is working on. For those of you who are not familiar StackAdapt is the premier native advertising platform based in Toronto, Canada, and no big deal they’ve been featured in Forbes. Their product offering is led by native articles with video and display products launched in the past year. While we can’t discuss everything Michelle and Eli covered during out lunch and learn. We can say StackAdapt has a lot of great features launching this coming quarter and year.

As advertisers look for alternate channels to Facebook and Google we predict a continued shift to native advertising. Native’s metrics are stacking up, if not exceeding those of other channels and can track time spent on site (when using StackAdapt) no matter if you are using native articles, video or display.

Is native advertising included in your brand’s campaign spend? If not email us at content@pennapowers.com and we can peek at where your audience is online and where you should be.

All the attention has been on Facebook and fake news, yet everyone in the room is missing another issue being Twitter’s massive bot problem. Estimates are circulating that bots are over 15 percent of active users, something Twitter disputes and pegs at about 5 percent. Whether it is more than 15 percent or less than 5, the point is Twitter’s bot problem is out of control and they need to do something about it.

Recently we analyzed a Twitter campaign that utilized the website traffic objective to see how active bots are on Twitter. Within 24 hours, the ads delivered 1,882 clicks and 13.76 percent Click Through Rate (CTR) which seemed very odd to our team. Deep down we all want a 13 percent CTR but immediately knew something was wrong. After further investigating, we immediately saw that majority of impressions served and clicks came from Android devices which raised a huge red flag.

Figure 1 – Campaign Delivery

After flagging Android devices as an issue, we considered the languages our ads were delivered. Again, we saw another red flag with a large share of our ads delivering to people who spoke Japanese, Portuguese and Turkish–to name a few.  

Figure 2 – Impression Breakdown By Language

Our analysis concluded the rush of clicks over 24 hours could be explained in no other term except for bot fraud. Now this was a very small, target campaign in the U.S. Bots are a worldwide problem for advertisers and governments when used in an inauthentic manner.

You may be asking yourself what can my brand do? Is my agency aware of Twitter’s bot problem? Right away you can look at engagements on your tweets. Look at the profiles engaging with your content. Click on profiles to see if they have real photos and information. Bot profiles will have the standard egg profile photo or they won’t match the target audience you were seeking. If you work with an agency probe them, asking if they are aware of Twitter bots and what they’re doing to combat them.
Staying ahead of ad fraud will continue to be an ongoing battle. Something we hope the major social media channels take very seriously and will develop sophisticated tools to help detect. If you have additional questions regarding Twitter’s bot problem or online ad fraud, please email us at content@pennapowers.com

 

 

We recently attended the 2018 Silicon Slope Tech Summit to learn about the state of tech in Utah. The conference covered everything from gender equality to the entrepreneurial spirit. Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from the conference:

Relevance is key

Facebook’s Vice President of Global Communications Caryn Marooney stressed the importance of relevance in content marketing. If you can’t get relevance right, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you can offer. If you can get relevance dialed in, that’s the real ticket.

Don’t mistake motion for progress

Another highlight from Marooney’s talk centered on progress. She paraphrased Bill Gates’ famous quote: “People overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten. You need to put a building block on it every day.” However, Marooney stressed the importance of staying simple; be intentional in what you create. “The longer you are in business and the more successful you are, the harder people will pull at you to become more complicated,” Marooney said.

Your employees deserve transparency

Allbirds CEO attributed the success of his company to the employees. He stressed giving employees access to the greater vision in order for them to make better decisions. If your employees are truly invested in your vision, they are being driven by the right reasons. As soon as money becomes the motivating factor, you’re going to be paying a lot and the employees are going to jump ship.

Utah is the place to be

Although shadowed by Silicon Valley, the Silicon Slopes is operating at optimal density right now. Because of its competitive tech culture, Utah’s talent pool is creating something magical in the state. Multiple Utah-based CEOs agree that the state and its quality of life are the driving factors for success. “Almost everyone I know who comes here says ‘I’ll give it a little bit of time.’ Utah is a wonderful place that wins you over,” said Experticity CEO Tom Stockham.

We loved attending the 2018 Silicon Slope Tech Summit and look forward to the presenters they bring next year.

Varick Media

Campaign minimums got you down?

Although all clients and campaigns are significant, they don’t always have budgets for massive campaigns. While there may be a perfect media channel for your campaign, it may not be executable due to minimum budget constraints. Varick Media is one of many great partners who have created solutions to this very problem.

Who is Varick Media?

Varick Media Management LLC offers digital advertising consulting services. It provides campaign planning, research, consumer insight, campaign monitoring and measurement services. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in New York, New York. Varick Media operates as a subsidiary of MDC Partners Inc., a marketing and communications network. MDC Partners has 50+ advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agencies under its umbrella.

What is the technology?

In 2012 Varick Media Management built its own in-house digital monitoring product.

That product, called The Lens, is paired with an internal pixel server so that Varick can track its online display and video ad campaigns across the various demand-side platforms and plug the resulting data into one central data repository that their clients control.

In October of 2015, Varick Media released Alveo—a planning, buying and reporting platform. Operating originally as more of an internal trading desk, Alveo can now be used by Varick’s clients to manage and visualize data as well as access reports across multiple campaigns. Alveo is available as a managed service “with all of the access and data of a self-service offering,” described Jim Caruso, SVP of product and client strategy at Varick. While agency trading desks aren’t renowned for open access and transparency, Caruso said, “Alveo was designed to be agnostic across media channels, DSPs and inventory sources.”

What is the solution?

Combining both The Lens (DMP) and Alveo (trade desk) technology, Varick’s clients can access inventory through a robust channel inventory and layer with premium custom audiences to manage through one platform. This married opportunity allows for accurate performance and audience insights across multiple channels. Because Varick is a subsidiary of umbrella network MDC Partners, campaign minimums can be achievable for a wider set of clients.

 

Reddit Ads

Reddit has grown from a small community forum to one of the top influential news sources online. Because of its passionate audience, Reddit has the 5th largest website audience in the United States with the most influential community online. Because of Reddit’s nature, many users often ask for advice in areas that are not their expertise. Using Reddit ads, your brand can provide the answer to their questions.

Reddit’s advertising platform is simple. Advertisements may redirect to a Reddit thread (subreddit) or redirect to a website. You can narrow the funnel depending on interests and also by location. Sponsored advertisements appear in a native content form, which blends well with organic content.

Bidding works similar to other content platforms, such as Facebook, and offers daily or campaign max spends. The platform also offers a creative preview, so you can see exactly how your advertisement will look on the website.

For our client Nevada Health Link (NHL), we saw an opportunity to reach the 18- to 35-year-old male demographic through organic and paid advertising on Reddit. This demographic is often hard to reach, especially on a topic such as health insurance.

For organic advertising, NHL will utilize the popular Reddit “Ask Me Anything” series. The feature has hosted everyone from an appliance repairman to the President-elect of the United States. It allows Reddit users to ask questions based upon a host’s knowledge and experience. These series are often successful and receive thousands of organic impressions.

For paid advertising, NHL will extend the longevity of the “AMA” series by linking advertisements to the subreddits. Advertisements before the “AMA” series will increase brand awareness and drive enrollments to their website.

With many of the health insurance questions on Reddit already focused on millennials enrolling for the first time, Nevada Health Link will be able to get on 26-year-olds’ radars and assist them with their first health insurance enrollment process. Be sure to look for our Reddit ads and “AMA” series during open enrollment from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

Reddit Ads

Utah has a serious problem with fatalities on its roadways year-round. However, during the summer months fatal crashes nearly double. In order to create awareness for the Zero Fatalities’ 100 Deadliest Days campaign, we knew we had to capture attention on social media.

Using Facebook’s auto-play feature, our creative team designed several 100 Deadliest Days cinemagraphs to get people to stop scrolling through their social feeds. The isolated motion within the cinemagraphs is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also unique enough to capture attention among various Facebook advertisements. This offers a unique experience from other social ads.

The 100 Deadliest Days cinemagraphs were used across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Some cinemagraphs featured major holidays or were used in a collection of statistics comparing your odds of dying in an unbuckled car crash to other events.

In order to highlight their full beauty on Instagram, we broke apart the images into smaller thumbnails that were accessible on the Zero Fatalities profile. Clicking on the center image would then deliver you to the full cinemagraph.

Check out our favorite 100 Deadliest Days cinemagraphs used for the Zero Fatalities campaign below.

Q1 Media

A lot of innovative media and technology providers pass through the halls of Penna Powers. We’ve decided to showcase some of these partners, tell you a little bit about what they do and/or how they have been a part of campaign solutions.

“We could always open up the targeting a little bit”

Hyper-targeted campaigns can be difficult to deliver on the local level. Too often local campaigns are faced with an inability to scale against the targeting that has been sold in. Common “solutions” to this under delivery is to open up the targeting, eliminating the customization that a campaign requires. Q1 Media has a solution that historically has delivered without compromise.

Q1 Media established their business 14 years ago in Austin, Texas. They recognized at that time that smaller publishers would need help moving into the digital media age and monetizing their websites. They saw this as an opportunity to begin establishing partnerships with publishers to develop custom digital media placements. In return, Q1 Media received premium inventory not available anywhere else.

As Q1 has grown, so has their breadth of publisher partnerships and targeting capabilities. One of their relatively recent partnerships includes targeting capabilities using polygon location targeting. Polygon targeting allows an advertiser to map an area -or multiple areas- to expose those within, to the campaign messaging. In our case, we used this technology to map specific road ways. This targeting allowed our campaign to capture all the people who had traveled through the mapped area.

With this captured audience pool, we could serve media to them in the mapped area as well as save them to serve later throughout the entire campaign. Additional customization included audience segmentation to deliver custom messaging. Q1 Media proved to an excellent vendor, in combination with the Polygon targeting and premium publisher inventory, our campaign earned an engagement rate 8x above the industry average.

Thank you Carlos Casas and Drew Warriner, we are excited to see what’s next.

Nostalgic Marketing Millennials

“Wonder Woman” just dominated screen ratings, the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is sold out and Atari just announced a new hardware system. You’re not mistaken if you think I’m talking about the late 70s or early 80s. However, I’m actually talking about right now. It seems as though the past keeps weaving into the future through nostalgic marketing, and for good reason too.

Companies ranging from tech to film are harnessing nostalgic marketing in their products and campaigns. Why is nostalgic marketing such a hit? One reason is that many people love being reminded of the good old days before responsibilities: childhood. With limitless impersonal marketing today, creating an emotional connection in marketing leaves a lasting impression.

Discover how some of our favorite brands are tapping into their millennial demographics with nostalgic marketing.

Atari

Atari, the preferred retro game maker of the 70s, has revived itself from the bankruptcy graveyard and announced a new hardware called Atari Box. Other than utilizing PC technology, not much else is known about the console. What we do know, however, is that the hardware will probably fly off the shelves.

Nokia

Nostalgic Marketing and Nokia

Remember your friend’s trusty Nokia that was sturdier than a brick? Nokia sure seems to, as well as the rest of the United Kingdom. Nokia recently relaunched its 3310 model and sold out online within the first week. The phone boasts an impressive 22 hours of talk time or month-long battery-life on standby. The best part? The cult-classic game Snake comes pre-loaded.

Nintendo

Before “Pokemon Go” and the Switch, Nintendo was facing a sales slump that was easy to see from a mile away. The Wii U’s expected sales in its first fiscal year were only one third of what the company expected. While Nintendo started to look like a sinking ship, it rebooted its NES with a nostalgic marketing campaign that garnered millions of views. If you’ve tried to get your hand on an NES, you know how difficult it is. I’m talking standing in line at Best Buy for hours after tracking shipments difficult. Now that the company has stopped producing one of the greatest consoles of all time? Almost impossible.

Netflix

Nostalgic Marketing and Netflix

If you weren’t hiding under a rock this past Halloween, you know that Eleven from Stranger Things was the costume of the year. “Stranger Things’” subtle nod to 80s pop-culture phenomenon’s such as “Alien” and “ET” was an instant hit. In a more obvious note, Netflix brought back a “Full House” remake as well as “Gilmore Girls.” While Netflix doesn’t share ratings information, it’s safe to assume millennials binged both shows. I know I sure did.

Here at Penna Powers, we’re no strangers to nostalgia. Nerf Gun fights are a regular occurrence in the office. The Underground (the name of our creative/development team)—I’m looking at you Thor—can’t stop talking about the “Godzilla” remake. We know firsthand the effect of nostalgic marketing and aren’t afraid to utilize it. Appeal to something that millennials already love and you’re almost guaranteed to create an emotional connection—or at least tap into their social media base.

Content marketing is exploding. It makes sense, as a written article or produced video can convey more information and users actually choose to read/watch it. Companies are willing to pay content marketers, including YouTubers, big dollars to have them promote their product.

So how much do they really make? Well, let’s look first at how much companies pay them to promote a product and secondly let’s look at how much YouTube pays them to run ads.

How Much do You Pay a YouTuber to Promote Your Product. Obviously this varies widely depending on the YouTuber’s audience and the marketing objective. In general, YouTubers typically charge around $10,000 per 100,000 views. It’s difficult to predict how many views a native video will get, so that is the risk an advertiser takes.

How Much YouTube Pays YouTubers Per View. Once the YouTuber links Google AdSense to their channel, they make 68% of the ad revenue (see Google AdSense Revenue Share). YouTube charges advertisers when a viewer watches 30 seconds or more of the ad, and typically charges around $.18 per view (see How Much Do Ads on YouTube Cost). Only about 15% of viewers will be counted as a “paid view” since many of them skip.

So if you have 1,000 views to your video and 15% actually watch the ad, then you would have 150 paid views. At $.18 per view, this would equate to $27 total charged to the advertiser. As the content creator you get 68% of that, so you would average around $18 per 1,000 views.

Here is it another way:

1,000 views –> 150 views of people completing the ad

$.18 per view x 150 views = $27 charged to advertiser

$27 advertiser charge x 68% revenue share = $18 paid to content creator per 1,000 views

Who are the Top YouTubers? In 2014, the top YouTuber made $4.9 million unboxing toys. Yes that’s right, the whole channel is just her unboxing Disney toys. Her top video, Play Doh Sparkle Princess, has garnered 217 million views. Other examples include PewDiePie, which made $4 million in 2014 and LittleBabyBum, which made $3.5 million. If this makes you question everything you’ve done in your life, you’re not alone.

Should Marketers Pay YouTubers to Make Videos? To say it depends is kind of a cop-out, so I’m going to compare the cost per thousand views to if you just ran an online video ad instead.

Making Videos. From above, you could calculate that to have a YouTuber make a video and post it to their channel you would be paying roughly $10,000 for 100,000 views, which breaks down to $100 per 1,000 views.

Running Video Ads. If you opted to just run an ad on their channel, you would pay $27 per 1,000 views (but only really get 150 completed views). To get 1,000 completed views it would cost $405.

Both are good options. Video is much more visual than any other media so if you’re debating between the two you have a good problem. Having a YouTuber produce a video is comparatively less expensive, but you give up creative control and cannot know how successful the video will be. Also you are limited to just their channel, so you may need to do multiple of these deals. Some of the pros are that you get a customized piece of content that doesn’t feel like an ad, and oftentimes these channels reach audiences that don’t consume general mass media. Paid ads are just that – paid ads, and oftentimes users feel inconvenienced when forced to watch them. However, the targeting is great and can oftentimes tie into your larger marketing strategy.

Need help deciding on your video content strategy? Let us help!