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.

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.

Facebook recently announced major changes to how your newsfeed will look soon. We all know the days have passed where brands organically pushed out their content to waves of engagement, reaching a large audience. With this new algorithm change, Facebook is taking it one step further by showing you less business and media content, and more personal content from friends and family. Overall, the social media giant expects people to spend less time on the channel, meaning less time on brand content.

You should be asking yourself not if this will affect my brand, but how will it affect it moving forward. Now more than ever brands will have to fight for attention and space on newsfeeds.

Big Changes:

  1. Time spent on site will decrease

Less space for brand posts will lead to less reach, engagements and referrals to one’s website. If your brand relies on Facebook to deliver a large portion of its blog and website traffic, you’ll want to adjust your strategy on the platform. Consider adding new channels, such as email marketing or a paid platform, in the form of native content placements.

  1. Engagements will decline, becoming more valuable long-term

As people spend less time on Facebook, engagements will naturally decline. Short term this may be bad, but long term the value of an engagement may increase as people spend quality time engaging with content vs. scrolling and liking mindlessly.

  1. Facebook will look at your engagements more closely

You may have already noticed on your personal newsfeed that a friend’s post with a healthy conversation is staying at the top of your newsfeed longer than it used to. This is not by accident. Facebook is now looking more closely at engagements beyond likes, shares and comments, examining if a brands content is leading to dialogue.

  1. CPMs (Cost Per 1,000 impressions) will increase

Now that you know Facebook is making more room for friends’ and family content, that means more brands will need to utilize paid placements on Facebook more than ever if they want to amplify their content. As demand increases and supply decreases, an increase in CPMs is expected, continuing a trend we’ve seen over the past few quarters.

What your brand can do moving forward:

  1. Better content

Sure, it’s easy to say you’ll need to create better content for your brand, but it’s true. Moving forward you’ll need a well-planned content strategy that aligns your brand by delivering relevant and interesting content to the target audience.

  • Live organic videos will fare better vs. pre-recorded organic videos
  1. Diversify

Consider adding new channels to your content strategy, such as email marketing or a paid platform like native content placements. Brands also should evaluate how they use existing channels, such as paid search which could be tweaked to drive blog or content views on a website.

  1. Facebook ads

If you’ve sworn off paid ads or use them sporadically, stand back and reevaluate how you use Facebook products. Brands and marketers have for years treated Facebook as a pay-to-play channel. 2018 will be the year where brands can no longer ignore using Facebook ads to amplify their content. An “Always-On” strategy—whether it’s $50 or $5,000 per month—used wisely can still increase brand content reach and desired actions.

The biggest takeaway from this change is that brands no longer have the upper hand they once did on Facebook. It has been a slow decline, but the most recent change will require brands to rethink and shift their strategies. In 2018, influencers will be crowned the kings/queens of content because at the end of the day they are people first, brand second and these algorithm changes will favor them.

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.

Penna Powers is celebrating Shark Week! While considered a bona fide holiday for many, we’re using the cherished event to drive awareness for our client Zero Fatalities. Over the course of Utah’s “100 Deadliest Days,” the majority of deaths on Utah roads happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We’re creating original content for every single deadliest day in order to decrease deadly driving behaviors. For Shark Week, Penna Powers created Snapchat and Instagram Stories ads for Zero Fatalities. Utilizing these ad placements will be a first in Utah, with each social channel finally opening their ad platforms to agencies of all sizes.

In our research process, one thing we noticed was Utahns did not realize the extreme risk of buckling up when you’re in a car crash. Statistics from the CDC show that you have a 50 percent chance of surviving a car crash if you don’t wear a seat belt. However, many Utahns still refuse to buckle up when they get in the car.

Kenny Hammond, senior art director, designed the Snapchat and Instagram Stories ad to coincide with our “What are the Odds?” campaign that plays to the availability heuristic principle. Our goal is that Utahns will realize the gravity of not wearing a seat belt. The ads started running Sunday, July 23 and will run until Sunday, July 30.

At Penna Powers, we strategize media plans backed by research to show ads only where the audience interacts with content on a daily basis. We jumped on the chance the use the new Instagram Story and Snapchat ad placements to reach the key millennial demographic of 25-to-34-year-olds in Utah. Using the shark creative, we are able to split-test the two channels against each other with identical spends to see which performs best. For this flight, we will compare CPM, CPC, and CPV.

This Shark Week, Penna Powers hopes you realize the true danger at hand: not wearing a seat belt. Trust us, not wearing a seat belt is a risk you don’t want to take.

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.

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It has been over a year since Pinterest first opened advertising to a select few, mostly large-scale brands. The original 12 brands were tied to expensive 6-month commitments, spending $150,000 per month during the timeframe. Fast-forward to February 2016, and agencies like Penna Powers now have access to one of the most coveted social audiences online. Using Pinterest’s initial CPM and CPC benchmarks of $30-$40 and $0.50-$1.50, we’ve launched our own campaigns with the results highlighted below. Before diving into the advertising costs, we thought it would be helpful to discuss what exactly makes up Pinterest advertising.

UntitledAdvertising on Pinterest is simple and straightforward in selecting one of two options, either an engagement campaign or one that drives traffic. After choosing a campaign objective, you are directed to select an existing campaign or prompted to set up a new one, followed by selecting the Pin you would like to use as an ad. A stand-out feature of the ad dashboard is when selecting a Pin for promotion, Pinterest shows you the most clicked and repinned Pins during the last 30 days. Pinterest’s targeting creates a native experience both on the web and in-app by selecting your audiences interests and their location.

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Our initial tests for both engagement and website click campaigns were setup for a very popular retail client that was recently granted Pinterest advertising access. Our results are below:

Pinterest Advertising Campaign Performance:

Engagement Campaign:

  • CPE: $0.27
  • eCPE: $0.26
  • CPM: $5.30
  • CTR: 1.99%
  • eCTR: 2.03%

Website Click Campaign:

  • CPC: $1.52
  • eCPC: $1.52
  • CTR: 0.04%

The success of the campaign and current projections of planned campaigns, we expect to see a large lift in website traffic from our Pinterest ads as more resources are put into the social channel. We are also seeing the audience spend more time on the client’s website and converting on various products, which is in line with the experience of much larger advertisers. Pinterest advertising has a huge upside, especially as it introduces more ad products down the road (including video ads). Data will also continue to trickle down from large advertisers to those of various sizes as Pinterest opens the platform further. In the mean time, if you haven’t already signed up your Pinterest account up for Promoted Pins, you can do so here.

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One month after Instagram opened advertising to small and mid-size agencies Penna Powers had the opportunity to launch test campaigns for both sponsored posts and videos. These campaigns tested various demographics in the non-profit/government and retail verticals. Both tests allowed us to successfully engage the designated audiences, driving website clicks, brand awareness and engagements. But most importantly, the campaigns provided Instagram advertising metrics for us to share with the world.

Storytelling is what Instagram does best, add in Facebook’s excellent targeting capabilities and your brand story can now be seen by the exact audience you’re seeking. Our campaigns set out targeting two very different audiences, teenagers (13-17) in the non-profit/government campaign and M/F (18+) in the retail campaign. The wide audience in the retail vertical was chosen to allow us to gauge a true CPM benchmark based on a large demographic segment. We were curious to see if Instagram’s estimated CPM of $13 held true or if our campaigns would come in much higher, even or much lower. Both campaign results are listed below presenting a much lower CPM in both instances by a healthy margin. The non-profit/government campaign also presented interesting data that teenagers will actively engage with Instagram content even though studies are showing a migration to other social media channels such as Snapchat. The wide audience in the retail vertical aligned with established Instagram data with the millennial audience outperforming all other segments of the target demographic. Instagram advertising is uniquely positioned to help push Facebook even further ahead of Twitter and Google in the social advertising front.

Instagram Advertising Campaign Performance:

 Campaign 1- non-profit/government- Sponsored Posts:

  • CPC: $0.14
  • CPM: $4.17*
  • CTR: 2.96%

Campaign 2 – Retail- Sponsored Posts:

  • CPC: $0.44
  • CPM: $6.58*
  • CTR: 1.47%

Campaign 2 – Retail- Sponsored Video:

  • CPV: $0.01
  • CPM: $2.48*
  • CTR: 2.08%

*Instagram estimated CPMs of $13

Instagram Advertiser Results (Instagram for Business Blog):

  • 97% lift in ad recall
  • 16-point average ad recall lift
  • 7x higher Nielsen ad recall vs. other study data

Users spend on average 5 minutes per day on Instagram and Facebook.

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We look to Facebook to begin tying in retargeting between the two ad platforms serving ads to the audience members who may have interacted with one on Facebook or Instagram presenting an opportunity for marketers to have even better data and more audience touch points. At the end of the day social media is all about engagements with the line between a website click and a comment blurring every day. The new advertising opportunity has brought about change within our own Social Media Department with the team shifting dollars almost immediately from Twitter to Instagram because of the superior ad products and the fact that Instagram blows away Twitter engagements.

Contributed by Jason Alleger

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, trailing only Google. There are over two billion YouTube videos streamed every day, and advertisers want a piece of this viewership pie.

So how much does it cost to run an ad on YouTube?

YouTube advertisers pay per view of their ad, with an average cost-per-view ranging between $.10 – $.30. The views also count toward your overall YouTube views.

On YouTube there are four standard types of ad formats:

  • In-search – an ad shows up above the YouTube search results.
  • In-slate – an ad shows up in the suggested videos after your video ended.
  • In-display – an ad shows up on the suggested videos beside the video you are watching.
  • In-stream – an ad plays before you can watch your video.

The pricing varies slightly per ad unit, with in-display ads ranging towards the higher end ($.30) and in-search toward the lower end ($.10).

Advertisers can target viewers by age, gender, location or by what types of videos they like to watch on YouTube. Generally, advertisers pay incrementally more for focused target audiences.

For example, if the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) wanted Utahns to learn how to drive a new type of intersection in Salt Lake City, it would only want to target men and women 16+ years old within a 10-mile radius of Salt Lake City. It would probably select more in-stream video ad units so the locals could watch how to drive the intersection, as well as in-search for anyone searching for driving tips in the area. At an average cost-per-view of $.20, UDOT would pay around $2,000 to educate 10,000 people how to drive the intersection.

Overall, YouTube ads are an excellent means of boosting your web presence at an affordable rate. For most ad units, potential customers actually CHOOSE to watch your advertisement. Also, the overall boost in views gives more credibility to your company and gives it a better chance of showing up organically in YouTube or other search engines.