Just 3 Steps and You’ve Gone Viral!

In a time when everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame, the internet has yet again provided us with an answer.

The growth of social media has allowed for the rapid acceleration of shared content among users. While this has provided me with the opportunity to find my spirit animal in a chicken nugget-loving hillbilly by the self appointed name of King Curtis, it has also provided marketers the opportunity to dramatically increase their reach through going viral.

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King Curtis, you keep doing you! 

Going viral is now a well known concept whereby an electronic word of mouth is utilised in order to spread a message. Word of mouth is said to be 7 times more effective than traditional forms of advertising. However, its reach only extends to a few people, thus having an electronic word of mouth can ensure a trusted and effective message is spread to a large audience.

 

But when 48 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, how can you guarantee YOUR message will go viral?

YouTube’s trend manager Kevin Alloca believes the answer lies in 3 key principles.

 

TASTEMAKERS

Tastemakers are the ones who help the communication go viral, by sharing fresh and relevant content through various social media channels. The benefit of tastemakers, is that they tend to be highly influential individuals with a large following. This generates a widespread WOM and sense of awareness, thus accelerating the spread of the message and achieving a viral effect.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

Seeing as it is the audience who defines the popularity of the message, it is crucial that the message comes across as memorable and interesting. Having a message that provokes emotion, creativity and participation gives the audience a point of discussion. One of the most memorable viral messages (and honestly I’m so sorry to bring this up again) was the ‘Blue or gold dress’ photo. Viewers tirelessly debated over the true colour of the dress, only adding to the popularity and reach of the photo (and my insanity). The photo also had the ability to be parodied in many creative ways, thus engaging the audience and gaining popularity.

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Dunkin’ Donuts tackling the big issue

 

UNEXPECTEDNESS

Lastly, in order for the communication to stand out, it must be unique and unexpected. With so much content online, it is easy for a message to get lost. Keep the communication relatable to the audience, yet distinctive to other videos.

 

So theoretically according to Alloca, we can all have our 15 minutes in the spotlight!

Do you think that Alloca’s key principles can ensure a viral message, or are there other factors that need consideration? Let me know in the comments below!

Why You Should Invest in SEO

Google ‘SEO’ and the first three links that come up are not in fact search results, rather they are advertisements for websites claiming to improve your SEO.

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While this primarily provided me with a small chuckle, it also offers a starting point for discussion on the true impact of SEO.

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO refers to the methods behind increasing the visibility in search engine results. Unlike other Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies where keyword-related banner advertisements are displayed on search results pages, SEO involves structuring your site in such a way that it ranks highly in search engine results. But why is this important?

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Improves Visibility and Credibility

Search engines are becoming a critical part of our lives. I cannot recall a large purchase I’ve made without first looking into different alternatives on google. When 90% of users do not look past the first 3 pages, it is crucial that your business ranks as highly as possible. Not only does this increase the amount of traffic to your website, but being in the top few search results adds credibility to your brand, as it shows consumers that your website is relevant in the eyes of google. In addition, showing up in multiple searches gives you more mindshare with potential customers.

 

Significant ROI

SEO is known to have one of the best ROI’s of all internet marketing. Unlike traditional marketing where consumers are bombarded with advertisements while trying to watch TV or browse social media, SEO helps to target consumers who are specifically looking for a product like yours. For example, being the number one search result for a given keyword will direct 33% of the traffic to your website.

 

Improves the quality of your own site

One of the main aspects of SEO is streamlining your website to make them more relevant and search engine compatible. While this is undertaken primarily to improve search engine rankings, it also serves to make your website more user friendly. For example having text links may increase your relevance in searches, however it also may aide consumers, by allowing users to easily find the information they are looking for.

 

Do you think there are other benefits to SEO? Or is it just a waste of resources? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

How the Internet of Things is Stealing our Privacy

I have to admit, while researching the Internet of Things (IoT) this week, I secretly loved all the products that were receiving so much hate. “How lazy does one have to be to need a machine to make their coffee by the time their alarm goes off?” As lazy as me, my friends. As lazy as me.

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But putting aside my downright slothful reasons for loving the Internet of Things, do the benefits make up for the loss of privacy. This got me thinking into just how beneficial the IoT is to individual consumers. While I was amused and intrigued by some of the inventions I stumbled upon while studying this topic, I couldn’t help but think that they were at best, making our lives slightly more convenient, not actually satisfying a growing need. While having my coffee ready for me by the time I get out of bed would be nice, the idea of having it 2 minutes later is not a disaster. I guess.

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What could be interpreted as a disaster though, is the loss of privacy that comes from the IoT.

I tend to experience a feeling of FOMO when my friends catch up without me, but the idea of my devices talking about me is one that makes me feel very uneasy. While I enjoy the identical message alerts I get on both my laptop and phone (making me feel a lot more popular than I actually am), I have to wonder how easy it would be for others to connect to my device as well.

While the messages on my phone would only serve to bore a hacker, there are other connections that may cause concern. The personal information that would be gathered by these IoT may not be information we are willing to give up. For example, a device which lets you know when you’re low on your medicine may aid you in terms of convenience, but do you feel comfortable having your medical information out there?

I believe it comes down to personal opinion, and whether or not you believe that the benefit you’re receiving from a certain IoT is worth the privacy you sacrifice. But for consumers to make up their own mind, companies need to be transparent about the data that they will be collecting.

 

What do you think about the loss of privacy? A large sacrifice or a small inconvenience? Let me know in the comments below.

3 Ways to Win Micro Moments

It’s almost impossible to imagine a time when our mobile devices weren’t within an arms reach. My phone has rapidly made its way into my heart, and I don’t see it leaving anytime soon. While this love affair has made a dramatic difference to my life, what does it mean for marketers?

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Google suggests that the key to making the most of our growing dependencies on mobile devices lies in ‘micro moments’. Micro moments are defined as situations when we are looking for information to help us make decisions. It is in these moments that we turn to our devices, and it gives marketers an opportunity to engage.

This brings about the question, how do marketers win micro moments?

Firstly, companies must be there for their consumers. In order to understand what consumers are looking for, you must understand their intentions and their context. It is crucial to understand the most common topics consumers are searching for in relation to your category, and how well you address these topics, if at all. On top of this, how does context affect their search? Is their need for information different when they are in store during business hours as opposed to late at night on a desktop?

Secondly, once you are there for your consumers, the problem shifts to how to be useful? The key here is to provide, quick digestible information for users. Consumers are 69% more likely to buy from a company whose mobile site helps to easily answer their questions. Provide quick information on the location of your product, and how to use it.

Finally, once you know how to be useful to your consumers, the focus should be shifted onto speed. In order to do this, mobile sites need to cut down on the number of steps a user must take. It is also essential to anticipate their needs, by considering mobile content searches, you can find what consumers are looking for on your site, and provide it to them before they go looking for it. And of course, load time must be kept to a minimum.

Simple. Be there, be useful, and be quick. Comments?

How to Succeed in Social Media

Just as I anxiously monitor my friends’ reactions to my latest insta, so too do businesses need to monitor their social media metrics (although hopefully for them, not so desperately). Understanding these metrics gives us marketers the power to overcome some of the unpredictability that often comes with using social media.

However, this poses the question, what metrics are actually worth measuring?

Avinash Kaushik‘s framework involves four main metrics for measuring success on social media.

  1. Conversion rate

Conversion rate is an excellent indicator of whether or not a post is connecting with the audience. By totalling the number of comments/replies on a post for example, marketers can measure how well they know their audience and thus their connection with them.

  1. Amplification Rate

As much as I’d like to think that the mortifying posts I made back on my 2009 Facebook page are only accessible by my friends sad enough to go looking for them, thanks to the sharing function on social media, their friends can now also delight in my (former) obsession with my Sims families. While this has been detrimental to my popularity, it has provided marketers with a solid marketing metric.

Businesses have the ability to reach not only their followers with their posts, but also their followers’ followers. By monitoring which posts receive the most shares, marketers can continue to use the content that causes the most amplification. In this way, the content will provide more value to the audience, resulting in more shares, and turning the businesses followers’ followers, into their own followers.

  1. Applause Rate

Applause rate provides insight into what content provides the most value to the audience. It is measured through calculating the number of likes, favorite tweets, etc. depending on the platform. Comparing the applause rates of different posts guides businesses in what to post in the future, in order to continue connecting with its audience.

  1. Economic Value

Along with creating your own message and relationship with customers, it is essential that you quantify the economic value your social media outlets create.

On all social media channels, economic value refers to the sum of short and long-term revenue and cost savings. Identifying where direct economic value comes from ensures that social media will be a part of the budget.

 

These metrics aren’t just helpful in measuring what is working and what isn’t working for your business’s online profile. It provides a guideline to understanding your audience, and thus improving the effectiveness of your social media.

If you need an example, take Netflix, who is really connecting with my struggles right now..

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Facebook/Undercover-creeper

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For me, Facebook is a way of stalking my new friends and liking their interests, in the hopes that they’ll like me more. I pride myself on my stalking abilities, but even I am starting to get a little freaked out by Facebook’s relentless bombardment of targeted ads.

The clothes that I viewed once on Asos, now show up repeatedly on my newsfeed, acting more as a daily reminder of my inability to save rather than an advertisement.

It seems this is a growing sentiment among Facebook users, with Sashittal noting that personally targeted ads are perceived as creepy and intrusive, rather than informative.

So at a time when the availability of demographic and psychographic information is at an all time high, how should it be used if not through advertising?

Instead of appealing to the specific interests of each consumer, marketers should focus on the behaviour of consumers online and their motivation for using social media. By focussing on this, marketers can capitalise on the power of the users, to engage their Facebook audience and generate a strong eWOM. Every Facebook user is different, and thus, each requires a different course of action in order to successfully appeal to them. Ferguson suggests that it is not through demographics that we can recommend a strategic course of action. Rather, The Facebook Segmentation Matrix (attention seekers, devotees, connection seekers and entertainment chasers) provides a sound basis for marketers to successfully engage each of the four categories in a way that is relevant to their behavioural characteristics.

Each segment portrays different behavioural patterns, and thus has a specific role in building the brand community. By understanding this knowledge, marketers can successfully use Attention seekers’ social capital to build and engage a Facebook brand community. They can harness devotees’ high-creation, high-consumption behaviour to spread brand-related content, which carries a lot more credibility than if it were coming from the brand itself. Connection seekers  and entertainment chasers should be served and nurtured, for example by appealing to connection seekers through groups and events and to entertainment chasers through high ease of entry contests and interesting posts.

Maybe if more brands focussed on the diverse online behaviour patterns of their consumers, rather than using personal information to create targeted ads, we could all feel less creeped out by Facebook’s stalking, and get back to our own.

Welcome!

My name is Georgia Slonim, I am an Arts/Business student at Monash, and am passionate about the constantly evolving nature of marketing.

This blog will be centred around Monash’s Digital Marketing unit, and will explore this semester’s topics in what hopefully will be interesting detail.

Stay tuned!