Pushing The Boundaries of Influencers

Internet and Ethics are both multifaceted. Scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter or Insta feed, it is easy to dismiss content; be it headlines, articles, memes etc. The fact is seems crazy that big accounts with high followers and engagement could be credible. I doubt many of you think, is this source reputable? And if you don’t, why? Studies have shown a lot of the information you take in are false facts that are pushed to be perceived as the truth.

According to mobile marketer; Instagram has 1 billion users worldwide with as many as 95 million bots posing as real accounts, in 2016 that covered about 9.5% of all users on the social media website. I found this scary, as I knew bot accounts existed that follow you when follow other accounts to grow theirs. I was astonished that followers could be bought where basically it is buying an influence.

People look for those high follower counts, such as young people who don’t really understand how the business side of Instagram works. Buying these fake followers could in turn create a greater organic growth and can influence false media. This on other social media websites could sway young people to believe potential wrong ideologies due to that high follower mindset.

On average according to Captiv8 revealed one post would cost up to $2,000 with accounts that have over 100,000 followers and up to 20,000 with over a million followers. This surprised me as social media influencers can get a quick monthly wage from one post. Following the topic, ‘fake influencers’ in 2018 saw a rise, such as ‘Lil Miquela’ making posts sponsoring Chanel, Supreme and Vans. The idea of this could create the ‘perfect’ influencer through video/photo editing software. The reach is incredible with over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, its scary yet amazing how the digital world creates such real influence.

The thing is, money can create anything digitally. Most influencers are usually paid per every post, they may be selective with products but may just sponsor ideas or products just for the money. It is important to have your own views with social media and not be influenced by one’s ideology and eventually they push the wrong ideas down your throat.

  • Who is an influencer or social media personality you have connected with in the past?
  • Have you seen an influencer push an agenda that’s caused controversy?

How Metro ‘Pulled’ Children To Safety!

Media campaigns pre-2007 would haunt your mind with advertisements! Media vehicles would consist of newspapers, magazines, billboards, TV, radio etc. The amount of spam that would be driven would almost seem like businesses were bullying you to purchase their product. Out of this a term grew ‘push marketing’, where brands have their ideas pushed at the customer until you decide. What are some brands that have made you feel this? In 2019, social media is a requirement for companies to pull customers in rather than push towards customers.  By delivering a new, thoughtful and relevant content that ‘pulls’ customers to delve deeper into a brand and connect with items, stories and ideas that can could eventually create brand loyals.

How does one company achieve meaningful and relevant content to their customers? A key strategy is Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) as It “…ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together.” To successfully create a successful IMC campaign, it is pivotal that a company demonstrates coherence, consistency, continuity and each form of marketing compliments each other.

It is also pivotal to understand who the companies target customer is, with their interests, mannerisms and media vehicles that often use. After this, an assessment of how the company can gain reach through campaign objectives by utilising these channels. If the message is clear and coherent, use the correct media channel for a target customer and the look and feel of the company is consistent across all forms of marketing, a successful IMC campaign may occur.  

Metro’s successfully pulled a lot of consumers in with ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ in 2012. The first part of the campaign was a video consisting of playful and comedic animation describing the dangers of public transport.  The video became viral as the video had reached over 77 million views on YouTube and the song reached iTunes top 10 most downloaded in Australia. Metro also developed an app, merchandise and a book to break through the clutter. The message was received well towards their target audience of young adolescents to act smart around trains. The campaign results reported a 21% reduction in accidents and deaths on the Metro network, did you remember this? Do you recall any other IMC campaigns that have ‘pulled’ you in?

If You Aren’t Using Voice SEO For Your Local Business You’re Failing

People’s ventures in Digital Marketing rely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in the past people have debated if this has failed and is in a decline but new channels are opening. The use of voice recognition devices such as Google Home, Alexa and Siri are becoming more and more useful in day-to-day life. Personally I don’t use one but do you?

The human brain wants convenience, and voice search engines are now accurate enough to provide direct answers. There were over a billion voice searches a month, as of January 2018 and 46% of those mobile searches had local intent as of 2019. This strongly suggests that local SEO now requires optimizing for voice. A statistical search analysis by ComScore which predicts that 50% of all searches will be accomplished by voice search in 2020. According to the 2016 Internet Trends Report, voice search is rapidly gaining market share:

increase-in-voice-search-share

In 2015, 1.7 million voice-first devices were shipped. In 2016, that number increased to 6.5 million devices.

Back to local SEO, going local requires a localization of keywords by adding geographic indicators. These include the area, road/street name, the food offered etc. A common use for voice searches is finding local cafe’s, restaurants that are nearby. Business’ would need to thrive on this opportunity to be one of the top results. Business’ would need their Google My Business page is up to date with contact details, locations and service hours.

This can be achieved through keyword research tools such as Google Ad words. Running queries for your website includes main keywords of your business and geographic location, finding a list of those keywords, ranking the search volume and extract them to a top 50 to 100 list. However, an automated method could be used through Google Autocomplete as it uses related search keywords (bottom of a search).

The sweet spot for key words are 1-3 for text but for voice it can reach up to 7 words due to being more conversational. Utilizing micro-moments. a keyword strategy must now be more conversational in nature and mimic how real people talk and ask questions verbally such as: Where are the nearby Cafe’s near RMIT? A person can ask that multiple ways.

long-taile-keywords-for-voice-search
Image Credit: Purna Virji, citing Bing data

My discussion questions for this week are:

  • Beyond voice recognition what is the future looking for SEO?
  • Is voice recognition necessary for local businesses to grow?
  • What has voice recognition helped you locally?

The Obsession of YouTube Recommended Videos

YouTube is currently the second most visited site in the US (Quantcast), with over 400 hours of content uploaded per minute (Brouwer, 2015). Recommending new content is not straightforward, it is not as simple as; here’s a topic related to what the current video is providing but a whole algorithm that utilizes big data. YouTube has manufactured a process to detect peoples thought patterns to form a loop of endless hours of watching various videos.

YouTube is very datacentric towards analytics, as research spans over disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, computer science, mathematics, physics and economics (Gandomi & Haider 2015). When logging into your account you are swamped recommended videos of topics you’ve just binged, what are some of the categories that have been recommended to you?

“Predictive analytics comprise a variety of techniques that predict future outcomes based on historical and current data. In practice, predictive analytics can be applied to almost all disciplines” (Gandomi & Haider 2015). Predictive analytics seek to uncover patterns and capture relationships in data by dividing into techniques: moving averages, attempting to discover past patterns and using that data for the future. Linear regression aims to capture the reliance of outcome variables and explanatory variables to create predictions. Say you are watching videos of (for example) NBA highlights, you’ll be exposed to more content from the same creator or related content that’s directly correlated or something that isn’t, but you may like. The community has taken notice of the outlier videos being pushed with videos being barely related and some almost 10 years old. You’ll notice these videos if you click on it and the general consensus is “thanks YouTube, ill finally watch this”.

In Feb this year, a YouTube video highlighting child predators’ rampant use of the platform had gone viral (Binder, 2019). YouTuber Matt Watson posted the video walking users through how a simple YouTube search can easily uncover “soft” pedophilia rings on the video service.

If a user clicks on a single recommended video featuring a child, the viewer can get sucked into a “wormhole,” as Watson calls it, where YouTube’s recommendation algorithm will proceed to push content to the viewer which strictly features children even after one video, even if its on auto-play.

One may argue that this is what users will want, so the big data is a predictive analysis so Google can answer what people want to watch, and watch more videos for longer hours. My discussion question for this week is: can recommended videos creative productivity in education or do they just waste time?

REFERENCES

https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites/

B. Brouwer, 2015 YouTube Now Gets Over 400 Hours Of Content Uploaded Every Minute. Tubefilter. Accessed 30/4/19 < https://www.tubefilter.com/2015/07/26/youtube-400-hours-content-every-minute/ >

Gandomi, A. and Haider, M. (2015). Beyond the hype: Big data concepts, methods, and analytics. International Journal of Information Management, 35(2), pp.137-144.

Binder, M. (2019). YouTube’s pedophilia problem: more than 400 channels deleted as advertisers flee over child predators. Mashable Australia. Accessed 1/5/2019 < https://mashable.com/article/youtube-wakeup-child-exploitation-explained/ >

Gartner IT Glossary (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/bigdata/

Micro-Moments: How marketers achieve SEO

As Steve Jobs put it at the 2007 iPhone announcement “An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator… these are NOT three separate devices! … Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone”. With ever-increasing developments in hardware speeds, exterior design, and software capabilities, life before the iPhone was a basically different world of thinking.

Mobile phones have become an extension of our self, marketers have utilized this with trying to focus one eyes on the little screen in their palm. Mobile marketing is the art of a business conveying information necessary in any situation, whenever, wherever and that it is also portable.

Marketers seek to “be there” for their customers. Wherever the lack of optimization is found, marketers judge how present a brand is. As a mobile is picked up, people are ready to learn, do, find or buy something in a quick sequence. Micro-moments happen constantly in forms of searches, app interactions, visiting websites or watching videos.

Different situations have the ability to strike the use of one’s phone; this is a micro-moment and Google has categories this into four key elements:

I-Want-to-Know Moments: Someone is looking into something but not ready to buy, wanting useful information and an inspiration. 91% of smartphone users turn to their phones for ideas while doing a task. Marketers thrive to focus on their audiences intent rather demographics as “marketers who try to reach their audience based solely on demographics risk missing more than 70% of potential mobile shoppers.” How often do you get out your phone to look up something about a point of interest?

I-Want-to-Buy Moments: Someone’s ready to buy but may need help deciding what or how to buy, with the right information given, mobiles assist In purchases made. 82% of smartphone users use a search engine to consult when looking for a local business. Consumers compare and contrast for the same product, for example shoes: Getting a pair of Nike’s or Adidas or Pumas conflicts the mind due to the product being high involvement. Do you go to purchase an item with full knowledge prior to entering the store?

With SEO for a specific brand when results of the key word arise at the point of purchase it may trigger the consumers mind purchasing. As 65% of people use their phone in their buying moment, with a now natural instinct to google the product as 64% search to address their moment. Is there any website that help consult you “I-Want-to-Buy” moment?

Hope for you to comment and start a conversation!

How One Bird Went Viral.

Imagine it is 2013 and you’re heading to you high school class by a train and on the way, you’re playing ‘Flappy Birds’ on your iPad 2. Growing with frustration you can’t beat your high score as the slightest distraction catches you off guard. You head to class and your mates are discussing their high score, some scores to unbelievable to be read… This my fellow readers is something became uniquely viral.

‘Flappy Birds’ was an overnight smash hit, developed by dotGears and released in 2013 on Android and iOS for free. The game is basically where the character “…flaps up and down as it progresses through an obstacle course of pipes. Each tap on your touchscreen jolts your Flappy Bird up with some wonderfully wonky arcade physics” (Killebrew, 2018). The game created an aspect of social transmission whilst being anti-social of hours of competition with your friends whilst not actively playing with them. Do you remember playing the original Flappy Birds?

Dong Nguyen, Creator: Flappy Birds

Creator Dong Nguyen created ‘Flappy Birds’ in seven days, however it took 6 months to gain traction, why is that? Well word of mouth, the game was majorly endorsed by generally people’s friends, as I personally vividly remember every classroom I was in, everyone was on their iPad playing the game. This growth was organic, the game was original, and it was made with little to know effort, do you know how hard that is now?

Expanding on a few of Jonah Berger’s Contagiousness Principles. The Social Currency gained out of the app was personal and mainstream. You were given the option to share your score on social media (be it on Facebook or Twitter) influencing friends to download the game, there were also mainstream YouTubers at the time such as Top 10 channels: Smosh and PewDiePie that would’ve reached out to another great audience. The triggers that came out of it were that it was so popular, even thinking of a bird would link you towards the game and for emotions… well the game was frustrating, and it didn’t help that you were competing against your friends.

Now you have a popular app, what do you do with it? You monetize it! That’s exactly what Dong did and was making up-wards of $50,000US per day (Schreier, 2014) for banner ads and pop-ups after each game was finished.

Discussion Questions

Do you believe a mobile game can organically grow like Flappy Birds did?

Do you reckon there was any correlation with the money spent on the banner advertisements and the business gaining customers?

Is there a specific brand that comes to mind that triggers your thoughts?

Has there been a game, meme or video that was viral that spiked your emotions?

References

Killebrew, A 2018. ‘“Flappy Bird” Has Reached the End Of An Era.’ Old Gold & Black. Accessed 3/4/2019. < http://wfuogb.com/2018/10/flappy-bird-has-reached-the-end-of-an-era/ >

Schreier, J 2014. ‘Flappy Bird Is Making $50,000 A Day Off Ripped Art’ Kotaku. Accessed 3/4/2019.  < https://www.kotaku.com.au/2014/02/flappy-bird-is-making-50000-a-day-off-ripped-art/

Can eCommerce Be Successful To Anyone?

When scrolling through Facebook or Instagram you’re bound to come across an advertisement of some sort. Maybe it’s an item that screams “FREE WATCH… just pay for shipping” or it could be a social media page such as clothing brand: ‘The Carlton Draft.’ Creating a company online has its perks, however, the longevity of a brand is determined on the effort the company is willing to take!

Whilst ‘The Carlton Draft’ does not have the most appealing store front, it does have a relatable satirical Australian name (referring to an Australian beer icon ‘Carlton Draught’) and brand image. The page consists of mainly AFL related satire, with uses of memes, status updates and clothing products to create a brand community.

Source: The Carlton Draft (Facebook)
Photographed: West Coast Eagles’: Josh Kennedy and Nic Naitanui

A brand community is defined as a specialised, non-geographically bound community, centred around a branded good or service, and based on a structured set of social relationships among admirers of that brand (Muñiz & O’Guinn, 2001). With the use of satire, the brand has gained traction with a large Australian audience with 102,000 people having liked that page. A greater engagement with a brand page has been shown to lead to greater brand loyalty, which in turn has a strong positive effect on brand commitment, word of mouth (WOM) and purchase (Jahn & Kunz, 2012).

On-going promotions with Facebook pixel (collective data source from customers) on Facebook and Instagram are slowly increasing the brand, it is the word of mouth that is converting sales and that comes from customer service, quality of the item and identity customers get with wearing the brand. The Carlton Draft now understands the heterogeneity of its audience and tailor correspondingly differentiated Facebook marketing strategies being in its third year of operating.

CAN eCOMMERCE WORK FOR ANYONE?

Source: Neil Patel

Poor forms of marketing for start-ups can arise due to the ease of entry and now as drop shipping has become the new craze due to gurus and YouTube videos the success rate of having a profitable business is low. Facebook advertisements perform poorly averaging a click through rate (CTR) of less than 0.051% (Webtrends, 2011).

The common route many new-comers of the eCommerce start-ups focus on a finding a niche for a specific item, then find an influencer to promote their minimum viable product (MVP) or focus on Social Media ad campaigns. Generally, most of these business’ fail due to the lack of effort, the product is saturated in the market or the individual is not marketing the item correctly.

To conclude it is possible to be successful but its the investment and passion for the product that helps to grow sells, its a process not a instant passive income.

DISCUSSION QUESTION/S

Say you have a niche business, what is your most effective way of attracting customers online towards your brand?

What is your first short term goal when creating an online business?

REFERENCES

Muñiz, J. A. M., & O’Guinn, T. C. (2001). Brand community. Journal of Consumer Research, 27(4), 412–432. doi:10.1086/319618

Webtrends. (2011). Facebook advertising performance benchmarks & insights. Webtrends.com. Viewed 18/03/2019 < http://f.cl.ly/items/2m1y0K2A062x0e2k442l/facebookadvertising-performance.pdf >

Jahn, B., & Kunz, W. (2012). How to transform consumers into fans of your brand. Journal of Service Management, 23(3), 344–361. doi:10.1108/09564231211248444

Millwood, A (2019) How to Use Social Proof to get Better Results from Facebook Ads. Neil Patel. Viewed 18/03/2019 < https://neilpatel.com/blog/better-results-facebook-ads/ >

http://www.facebook.com/thecarltondraft

BIBLIOGRAPHY

M.A. Hodis, R Sriramachandramurthy & H.C. Sashittal (2015) Interact with me on my terms: a four segment Facebook engagement framework for marketers, Journal of Marketing Management, 31:11-12, 1255-1284, DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2015.1012535

How Social Media Has Impacted… Everything!

Web 2.0 and social media:

Social Media is interchangeable with the concepts of Web 2.0, basically participating, sharing, collaborating and discussing anything (Kaplan & Haenlein 2010 p.60-61). Since 1994 the Web has shifted from a passive experience to a reactive as Encyclopedia’s were replaced by blogs and discussion spaces. The internet personally, has shaped myself into the person I am today. Without it, some of the friends I’ve gained, dates, experiences, spending habits and procrastination wouldn’t exist. The impact isn’t just on me though, as there’s more active users on Facebook (2.32 billion) than any other single population in a country (Facebook 2019). 50% of 18-24-year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up. (The Social Skinny 2019)

Marketers have a special advantage in a quickly developing internet space, where in the past an AT&T banner advert could convert 44% of users to click on a sight whereas now 0.1% convert and most likely due to an accident touch (Wasserman, 2013). Now with technology that gathers data and creates an algorithm social media knows you better than yourself, gathering interests, traits and information targeting to specific groups has never been easier to convert sales. As Facebook was under fire from the U.S Government for sharing data to Cambridge Analytica to obtain individuals personal data in 2018 (Wong, 2019).

Kaplan and Haenlein label their case study ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media’ reveals in their ‘Ten pieces of advice for companies deciding to use Social Media’ for companies to be unprofessional, social media isn’t for press releases or statement pieces but to have fun with the customer. As they encourage business’ to ‘…blend in with other users…’ “Customer service is the killer app of the Web,” Google’s Eric Schmidt, then with Sun Microsystems, said way back in 1998.(McCambley, 2013) Making your brand fun and engaging in a reactive market will come off to customers as if the business was their friend.

Being Unprofessional

Source: Woolworths Facebook

Many businesses’ in Australia utilize social media to connect with a younger demographic such as: Woolworth’s, 7-Eleven and Coles, to convert sales. Woolworth’s is a good example of a positive social media brand that has continued to buzz. As meme pages have grown since with even their main page adding cheeky responses to comments.

A consumer may resonate with connecting on a similar level with Woolworth’s and may have a preference to shop at their local ‘Woolies’ instead of their competitors. This path Woolworth’s have taken to advertise their business has converted more sales, do you agree?

Focusing on 7-Eleven Australia, it is a convince store and to refer back to the study they actions on social media are unprofessional but generate followers. They achieved with great success early on following the Woolworth’s method to attract younger audiences, however, were scrutinized. The meme in question is a photo of someone being treated to a lovely dinner outside a 7-Eleven store, with a Slurpee and donuts as the main course. The caption reads, “When pay day hasn’t come but you want to spoil bae… You see, 7-Eleven has been dealing with a massive scandal in recent months. It has been accused of substantially underpaying workers in an investigation. (Gillard, 2015)

Has a social media team impacted your decision process in purchasing from that brand?

References

Kaplan, AM & Haenlein, M 2010, ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media’, Business Horizons, vol., pp. 59-68.

Gillard, J 2015, ‘7-Eleven in Australia ridiculed for inconsiderate Facebook meme’ Mashable. Viewed 12/3/2019 < https://mashable.com/2015/11/04/7-eleven-facebook-meme/#A2nHV.TtIiqx >

Wong, J 2019, ‘Facebook under criminal investigation over data sharing with tech firms – report’ The Guardian.
Viewed 12/3/2019 < https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/13/facebook-data-sharing-investigation >

Wasserman T, 2013. ‘This Is the World’s First Banner Ad’ Mashable. Viewed 12/3/2019. <https://mashable.com/2013/08/09/first-banner-ad/#A2nHV.TtIiqx ? >

U/A, 2019. ‘Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results’ Facebook. Viewed 12/3/2019 <https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_financials/2018/Q4/Q4-2018-Earnings-Release.pdf >

McCambley, J 2013. ‘Stop Selling Ads and Do Something Useful’ Harvard Business Review. Viewed 12/3/2019 < https://hbr.org/2013/02/stop-selling-ads-and-do-someth >

Pring, C 2019. The Social Skinny. Viewed 12/3/2019 < http://thesocialskinny.com/ >