The Growth of Instagram and Best Practices for Your Business

All the buzz seems to be around social media platform Instagram lately.  Though, it’s no surprise why.  Instagram’s tremendous recent growth has caught the attention of many businesses hoping to take advantage of its marketing potential.

As of last week, Instagram announced that it had officially hit the major milestone of half a billion users.  Considering the platform was founded only less than 6 years ago, this growth is incredible.  On top of this, much growth in the platform has only really been in the last 2 of these 6 years.  All age groups, from 16-24 to 55-64, saw an increase in users, with the 16-24 group growing the most.  Since mid-2014 this age group has seen an increase in accounts by 20%, with now a total of 58% of people this age engaging with the platform.

Instagram’s current explosion should be taken seriously by anyone interested in effectively advertising their brand.  Instagram marketing is proving to become more and more beneficial for businesses around the world.  We’ve put together some tips on Instagram best practices that will let you fully harness the power of this social media site.

Good Visuals

First things first, Instagram was created to allow users to share beautiful photos and videos of their lives with followers.  To best take advantage of Instagram marketing, your content needs to look and feel natural.  Posting boring, unlively photos of your brand probably won’t get you very far unless your target market is boring, unlively people.  Sharing content that looks attractive to potential customers is number one on our list of Instagram best practices. Instagram Marketing

Beneficial

Knowing what your audience wants and properly delivering it to them is crucial for beneficial Instagram marketing.  By finding a way to post more than just an advertisement, you can engage your customers to a new level.  Creating posts that are inspiring and appealing is best for a successful campaign in the long run.  Make sure that each post you share with your followers is going to somehow benefit your brand in their eyes.

Engagement

Engaging your audience is the next step to our Instagram best practices.  Posting regularly is obviously important to keep the consumer’s attention on your brand.  CoSchedule found that engagement is the highest on Monday and Thursday.  On top of this, posting around 3-4 pm during the workweek is typically followed by lower engagement.  It’s important to keep in mind that your brand is unique and different than others, and what might work very well for some businesses might not be the case for your own.  New Instagram analytics should be viewed to help determine best engagement for your brand.

Other than just staying active on the platform, Instagram marketing revolves heavily around actually speaking to and interacting with your online followers.  Replying to comments that they have left on your posts is a great way to show that you are interested in them.  This easy response can allow for a much more personal feel around your brand, which is always a positive in the world of advertising.

Keeping Up

When it comes to our Instagram best practices advice, staying updated with the platform itself is the final big one.  Instagram is a constantly changing application, and as marketers it’s important to keep up with these changes.  The more comfortable you are with your advertising medium, the better your results will be.  Just recently, a major design overhaul was completed on Instagram, including a set of brand new and important features. By staying up to date with Instagram, your marketing potential and results will follow.13234664_10154781147248356_1088849404_o-440x270

Snapchat Advertising in 2016 and What It Means for Online Marketers

Snapchat might be new to the advertising world, but it’s definitely not a force to be reckoned with.  2016 means big changes for the social media app favored by teens and young adults.  Just last week the application rolled out its long anticipated advertising API, Snapchat Partners, which will hook up more than 20 tech-minded companies.  Snapchat advertising is soon to be bigger and better than ever imagined, and should be on every marketer’s radars.

Until only recently, it was believed that Snapchat wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of their millennial audience.  After hiring their first chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, the company took a different turn in the world of marketing.  Regarding advertisers, Khan states, “Different marketers have different objectives, and we just want to make it easier for them to buy ads on the platform.  We want brands to have a place where they can tell their stories, you know, in a better way.”   From the sounds of Khan, Snapchat marketing is going to be a lot more than just a scroll through ad as seen on Facebook or Instagram.

For the first time, Snapchat ads are going to be sold by third parties.  This new approach will be divided into two parts: Ad Partners and Creative Partners.  Ad partners will be focused on developing the software for snapchat advertising. They will enable the buying, optimizing, and analyzing of campaigns. Creative partners will be working with Snapchat’s vertical-video format.  There will be a mix of partners that are experienced in the social content and formatting of these videos.

The upcoming availability to advertise on Snapchat is big news for Snapchat marketing.  Until very recently, only massive companies with lots of push in the industry could really do much with the media sharing app.  This was due to the extreme demand and little availability to advertise with Snapchat.  A prime example of a very successful previous ad campaign run on Snapchat was Taco Bell’s Cinco De Mayo filter.  The user’s heads were turned into a taco shell by a lens.  This resulted in 224 million views in a single day, one extremely successful ad campaign.  For smaller, more local brands, something like this could be incredibly successful, but until recently was either extremely out of budget or not taken seriously by Snapchat.

Geofilters are one of Snapchat’s most popular features, and have big marketing potential.  With Snapchat’s new updates, anyone will be able to create and publish their own filters for a fee.  The process of submitting a geofilter involves creating the PNG, selecting a geographic area on the website, and then purchasing the filter.  The largest geographic area allowed is 5 million square feet with the maximum exposure time being 30 days.  A small restaurant can purchase a filter for one day around $5-$10. A larger shopping mall might end up costing around $5,000 for a weekend.  This is all very early on in the world of Snapchat marketing, and we are excited to see what the future holds for the business.

Currently, the focus for the start of Snapchat advertising is around video ads.  This doesn’t mean that potentially branded Geofilters and Lenses are out of the question, though, just an idea for the near future.

Just advertising via Snapchat may not be enough, though.  Having your brand’s actual presence in the application is proving to be more crucial over time as well.  A study from L2 revealed that brands on average post 26 times per week on Snapchat.  This number is significantly larger than that of Instagram, with only the fashion industry in the double digit weekly posts.

As Snapchat marketing continues to grow and embrace advertising via the application, businesses have much to look forward to.  With the social application growing rapidly each day, getting your brand onto the platform sooner rather than later is definitely a smart business move.

Pinterest Marketing Improves with New Ad Targeting Features

Pinterest has recently proven itself to be a very powerful social media network.  With over 100 million active monthly users, the potential for marketers is massive.  Just yesterday this potential grew to an entirely new level.  Pinterest has now released a series of marketing tools that will give advertisers an edge when working with the platform.

As a social media marketing agency, the more information that we know about our users, the better.  Being able to understand your consumers means that you can more effectively put your advertising dollars to good use. Facebook has done an excellent job at this over the past few years.  The technology Facebook offers its advertisers has made it recently dominant in the industry, but that might change soon.

Looking over the game changing tools released from Pinterest yesterday, the biggest new addition would be visitor retargeting.  Now, marketers will have the ability to advertise to Pinterest users that have visited their site.  A Pinterest conversation tag can be placed across the advertiser’s site to help follow users onto Pinterest.  This new tool will lead to better targeted ads, which is great news for a Pinterest marketing agency.  The specific information that Pinterest users put online about themselves every day is sure to make this tool useful to marketers.

Lookalike targeting is another big marketing tool released by Pinterest yesterday.  True to its name, lookalike targeting will help a social media marketing agency reach users similar to their current audience.  This tool will be incredibly useful for expanding your reach and targeting potential customers as a Pinterest marketing agency.  Alongside this, marketers will be getting a comparison of existing customers to new potential users on Pinterest.

The new marketing tools made available from Pinterest have massive potential and should not go by unnoticed.  Retargeting visitors gives a social media marketing agency the upper hand on its consumers.  Not to mention the great new features of lookalike targeting that are sure to expand both brand awareness and clientele.

Pinterest’s new developments in marketing are sure to make the platform even more desirable for marketers as sites like Twitter continue to struggle in these areas.  A consistently growing user base paired with improved ad targeting is sure to guarantee that the success of Pinterest has only just begun.

The Growth and Projections of Facebook Marketing in 2016

It is no secret that Facebook is one of the largest social media websites in the word. Facebook was created in 2004 and has grown vastly over the last 12 years. After 12 years, Facebook continues to introduce new features that keep users interested and excited. Facebook is used by a variety of people from young kids to adults, business to pleasure, Facebook is multi-fascinated. Many people use Facebook to keep in contact, find new businesses, promote their brands, and communicate with people in their network. There are thousands of people using Facebook at all times of the day. The amount of users Facebook has makes this a prized website for marketers and this year, Facebook marketing is introducing new advertising tools. Working with a social media agency can help you take advantage of these upcoming marketing capabilities.

Search FYI is a new search tool that personalizes your search results by adding favored posts and present news stories to your results. In addition, Facebook can advertise through messenger which means businesses can improve their customer service by having personal conversations with their clients. Facebook is also introducing M which is a virtual assistant for users. M can buy products, book tickets, and get recommendations without exiting out of messenger. Facebook is making its site easier to navigate by providing an assortment of content so consumers will not have to exit out of Facebook.

Facebook is has also tested “Reactions” in many different countries. The Facebook Reaction button allows users to not just “like” something. Users can chose from an array of emotive icons to express how they feel about a specific post. “Liking” a post is not a new idea however, adding these new emotive icons can help businesses better understand their followers. For example, someone can express anger on a post which then the business can address that issue rather than it becoming a larger problem.

facebook marketing reactions

Additionally, Facebook has updated live video streaming which allows the public to view celebrities or events from their devices. In addition, Facebook has introduced Canvas. Canvas is used for mobile devices and its purpose is to engage people more because of its ability to load faster and use the full screen. Lastly, Facebook has announced the idea of Instant Articles. Instant Articles keep people on Facebook when accessing content. Instead of directing users to new pages, Instant Articles will keep users on the site. Many businesses have to decide if publishing to Facebook is more valuable than receiving advertising revenue and direct traffic. By working with a social media agency, businesses are able to maximize their potential. A Facebook advertising agency can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Within this next year, users should expect to see many changes and improvements in the Facebook Marketing world.

The Importance of Social Media Marketing for a Los Angeles Franchise

In a massive, bustling city like Los Angeles, you must be willing to go above and beyond typical marketing techniques to get your franchise to stand out.  Social media has slowly gone from a beneficial to necessary practice over the course of the last few years in the marketing world.  Los Angeles social media marketing is bigger than it’s ever been before, and now I will tell you why using a social media agency to get your brand online will benefit your LA franchise in the future.

1) Publicity

To be even slightly successful against your competition, publicity is entirely necessary.  Good publicity can increase knowledge of your brand and ultimately sales.  With new businesses and brands appearing daily, getting publicity is becoming harder and harder for a business, especially small ones.  A social media agency can focus on increasing consumer knowledge on your brand and earning you as much publicity as possible.

2) Brand Loyalty

Social media can be seen as much more than just a good way to get publicity for your franchise.  With social media you can achieve a following of specific and dedicated customers to your brand.  Engaging with followers on your pages and keeping them up to date on the product allows for your brand to become a part of your followers lives.  You are no longer just a product in a store, but an experience.  According to a report from Texas Tech University, brands which engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty overall from their customers.  Loyalty is a necessary step to increase sales.

3) Better SEO

Los Angeles social media marketing can lead to increased website traffic as well if done correctly.  A franchise marketing agency can work towards getting your business to show up higher in relevant search results.  Sites like Google calculate search result rankings through a variety of different ways, with social media now playing a very large role.  With a strong presence on social media, your brand will begin appearing higher on search results, benefiting the business and generating new customers.

4) Better Customer Experience

Lastly, the presence of your brand on social media can and will lead to an overall increased customer experience.  Customers love being able to interact with and talk to your brand, and by doing this on social media, they will not only become more pleased, but will unknowingly be spreading the word about your product.  A social media agency like Bright Age can successfully turn the conversation about your brand online into profit.

 

In the cutthroat marketplace found in big cities today, Los Angeles social media marketing is a necessary way to grow your brand and stand out from the pack.  With all the advertising clutter found on billboards or online advertisements, establishing a social media presence can work to massively benefit your franchise.

Instagram Marketing Improves with Addition of Business Profiles

Instagram took the social media world by storm back in 2010 and has continued to grow rapidly over the last six years. Instagram is an app that allows users to post and share pictures with their followers. However, Instagram is introducing new business profiles and is becoming much more than just a social media app used for pleasure. Instagram marketing will improve with business profiles because business profiles on Instagram will allow businesses to create accounts to market themselves and reach larger audiences.

Screenshots were shared on Later.com’s blog of this new business marketing tool. The most visible difference for these business profiles is a “contact” button to the left of the “follow” button. Businesses can choose how they would like to be contacted when a user taps the contact button. Instagram gives the option to email, get directions, call, or text. This button was created because businesses were expressing concerns to Instagram that comments from users wanting to get in contact with them were getting lost. The contact button will allow messages from potential customers or clients to go straight to the business.

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In addition to business profiles on Instagram, Instagram will offer tools for tracking analytics for businesses which is going to be called “Insights.” Insights will focus mostly on post analytics and follower demographics. Post analytics deals with your Instagram content and how it is performing. Post analytics can allow you to track website clicks, impressions, and reach. By having access to this, businesses are able to see what posts worked for their audience.  Follower demographics refers the details of you audience which includes age, gender, and location. Being able to see the demographics of you followers will help the business tailor posts and items to the specific needs and wants of their customers. This information put together can drastically change the business of Instagram marketing.

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With Insights, businesses will be able to improve their marketing strategies. Follower activity will help businesses decide when and what to post. Follower activity tells businesses the most popular times to post and takes into account when their followers are using Instagram. Insights can also aid in telling businesses what posts resonated better with their audience. For example, insights will tell you if your post helped you gain or lose any followers.

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This new improvement with business profiles on Instagram will be very beneficial for anyone wanting to market their brand. Instagram has over 400 million users today and this number will continue to grow, especially after this update launches. Instagram is slowly starting to make the switch and users are already starting to see the positive changes Instagram is offering.

How to Utilize Social Media to Increase SEO

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool.  While the general population might be using it to keep up with Tim from your high school geometry class, as marketers the potential is entirely different.  If done correctly, the power of social media can be harnessed as a world class advertising tool, driving more traffic to your website, and ultimately leading to increased business revenue through search engine marketing.

Currently, there are two main ways to market your business via search engine, and while both share similarities, in only one does social media play an important role.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing is a direct way to get your business placed at the top of the results in a standard search engine.  A search engine marketing agency can help with choosing the right keywords to invest advertising dollars in when focused on appearing in the paid search results on major search engines.  This is a beneficial way to advertise if your focus is catching the attention of a specific audience, and a search engine marketing agency can help you do precisely this.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization also handles the focus of achieving a noticeable spot in search engine results, but goes about this process in a more “natural” way.  A search engine optimization agency can help you receive website traffic from the free, organic, and natural results on search engines.  Achieving this naturally placed advertisement can be done through a variety of ways, including both on page and off page factors.  Similar to the world of advertising, the means of increasing SEO are continuously changing, but social media remains an ever growing influence.

Utilizing Social Media

As SEO continues to become more and more complicated in the ever growing clutter of the internet, a search engine optimization agency, like us here at Bright Age, can focus on getting you the most bang for your buck.  Social media plays an influential role in the factors that search engines use to determine where your website will naturally display in the results.

Establishing a presence on social media is first necessary to assist in growing SEO.  Not only is a general presence needed, but a powerful one at that.  Having 5 followers and 2 posts will not do much good in the long run if you are focused on increasing SEO.  More followers mean more presence and also increased credibility.  Follow other accounts and engage with online users, for this will not only make your business seem more relatable, but will also get the name of your business better spread across the internet.  The more tweets, likes, and shares from others the better.

Engaging with users isn’t enough, though.  Keeping up with trends and utilizing them in your posts will maintain your business’s relevance and, at the same time, draw you more attention from other users.  A good search engine optimization agency will be using both trends and hashtags in posts that they share over social media.

Lastly, social media was created to allow connections.  While businesses might not have that same focus of connecting with Tim from geometry class, they are interested in connecting with customers.  Take advantage of this aspect of social media by getting them involved in the conversations.  Ask your customers and other online users questions, make them feel involved in your product, and also wanted.  By using your online voice and attracting others, you will be building yourself a reputation at the same time as your relevance to other search engines will become known.  Social media is an excellent way to not only get your business’s name out there, but plays a large role today in the ability to increase SEO.  With a search engine optimization agency, the natural incorporation of your business into search results on the internet should come hand in hand.

Snapchat Marketing Improves With New Custom Geofilters

Major Snapchat marketing update! Anyone can now create a customized geofilter on Snapchat for any occasion. Whether it is for a wedding, company event, birthday party, campus event, or for advertisement, Snapchat has you covered.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media app that allows you to send pictures to your followers that only last one to 10 seconds and then they disappear forever. Sixty percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 34. There are 100 million daily users on Snapchat including many celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and DJ Khaled. Celebrities use Snapchat to keep their fans updated on what they are doing quickly and easily.

What is a Geofilter?

Snapchat introduced a tool a little over a year ago called a geofilter. A geofilter is an overlay on photos. Geofiliters are unique because specific overlays are only available to you when you are in a certain locations. For example, if you are in Beverly Hills, there is a Beverly Hills geotag that you can put on your Snapchat photos but when you leave Beverly Hills, that geotag is no longer available to you.

Snapchat users adore geofilters because they can let their followers know where they are and when. Snapchat started out with sponsored geofilters and community geofilters but are now introducing a social media marketing update of custom geofilters on Snapchat to create another revenue stream.

The initial cost to create a custom geofilter on Snapchat is $5. The $5 covers 20,000 square feet per hour. However, the price will escalate depending on the duration the geofilter is available, size, and area the geofilter covers.

Three Step Process

Creating a custom geofilter on Snapchat is quick and easily done in three steps:

  1. Review snapchat guidelines, design, and upload your artwork on Snapchat
  2. Select an area and pick a time for your geofilter
  3. Buy and submit your geofilter–it will be reviewed within one business day

Guidelines

When dealing with creating an on-demand geofilter, there are a few guidelines:

  • Give yourself a few days for approval in case you have to resubmit
  • You cannot include URLs, handles, or email addresses
  • The filter cannot run for more than 30 days
  • You cannot go over five million square feet

Why is this update exciting?

In the past, Snapchat users had to apply to get a geotag for their community but now anyone can get a geotag! This is a great Snapchat marking tool for their business but it can also be a great marketing tool for you too. Businesses can advertise themselves through the use of these custom on-demand geotags. Millions of people use Snapchat a day so a geotag can reach a very large audience and have an effect on all of its users.

Snapchat has held a huge presence in the social media word and now even more so with this social media marketing update.  At this time last year, no brands would have thought to advertise on Snapchat but after this renovation, Snapchat marketing will become a huge tool for advertisers.

 

Author: Alyssa Perel

Alyssa is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies with a minor in Marketing at San Diego State University. Her interest in social media and marketing has grown vastly over the years and she enjoys discovering new things about this field every day. You can connect with Alyssa via Facebook and Instagram @aperel.

The New Facebook Tagging Feature We Love

The New Facebook Tagging Feature We Love

Marketers and Facebook advertising agencies have been utilizing Facebook and other social media platforms to launch advertisements and promote campaigns for years. Any text, video, links, 360 videos, and Live videos that specifically mentions or features a third party product, brand, or sponsor is considered Branded Content. Recently, Facebook updated its advertising policies that allows verified Pages to share branded content on its newsfeed. Verified Pages are pages are considered to be pages which are verified by Facebook for authenticity, such as big brands, celebrities, and influencers. In addition to allowing verified Pages to share branded content on its personal newsfeeds, Facebook enabled verified Pages the ability to tag the company or brand affiliated with the promoted content.

Facebook said that this new tagging tool will “introduce more transparency and allow them to better understand how their marketing initiatives are performing”. In order to tag a brand, users should locate the “handshake” icon in Page composer or the Sponsor field in Ads Manager. Then, users can type the sponsor or brand and tag them in the post. For example, in the picture below Lady Gaga tagged Intel in its video post. The video content specifically promotes the partnership with Intel and Lady Gaga, as the computer company’s technology helps elevate Gaga’s performance at the Grammy’s.
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(Photo link: https://www.facebook.com/ladygaga/videos/vb.10376464573/10154099796834574/?type=2&theater)

Our Facebook advertising agency believes that this new content tagging feature encourages companies and brands to produce more high quality content for their customers. Additionally, this allows brands to leverage brand content more strategically, as tagged brands can follow Facebook sponsored content more closely to ensure that campaigns are successful with its target market. How does this work? Once a third-party company or brand is tagged in a verified page’s sponsored post, marketers will have access to the data and analytics of the post. However, to ensure authenticity and prevent spamming for marketers, Facebook reviews each brand tag in content posted by verified Pages.

Facebook Sponsored Content that is not allowed:

  • Sponsored cover photos and profile pictures
  • Pre-roll ads and watermarks on videos

 

Our Facebook advertising agency understands that social media platforms, particularly Facebook, are constantly evolving. In order to fulfill brand promotion strategies, it is essential to understand and implement new innovative marketing tools released monthly. To collaborate with Bright Age and develop your next successful Facebook sponsored content campaign, request an appointment here!

 


AuthorSummer Malone

Summer is a social media marketing enthusiast with a passion for marketing analytics online, trending hashtags, and flux capacitors. Summer often feels sad for the TRex who is unable to connect to the internet. You can connect with Summer via Twitter @SummerMaloneMKT.

How Social Media Is Changing the Marketing Industry

In years past, meaning the 90’s and before, Marketing has been split up distinctly into 3 main sectors:  advertising, marketing and public relations. However, with the integration of the internet and social media in businesses, these types of marketing have merged together. The world of product and service promotion has become smarter, faster, and cheaper adjacent with the experience of utilizing a social media marketing agency. Many online tools are available to try and help entrepreneurs and small businesses gain that competitive edge. But then again, how advantageous is it to base your marketing off of a do it yourself YouTube video everyone has access to? In a society where DIY sometimes seems like the cheapest way to get fairly solid results, leaving the success and growth of your business up to automated sites is about as smart as leaving your toddler stranded at Coachella.

Why Big Agencies May Not Be the Best Option

Big agencies are big for a reason; their success is told in history books and retold in modern TV shows like MadMen. But these days of famous advertising giants may be over and the upper hand might belong to smaller, specialized marketing companies.

Why Is This?

Unlike the skyscraper advertising agencies employed by large companies, smaller and newer agencies are specialized in exactly what will boost your sales cheap and fast: internet marketing. Digital Advertising agencies have the ability to create your online content quickly and implement it with actual conversions even quicker. Furthermore, these agencies are there to help you walk through the process, cater to your specific needs, and teach you about their forward-thinking strategies if you don’t happen to be a tech specialist. Big agencies can help optimize your social media accounts and find your niche market online, for a pretty hefty price tag. But smaller agencies are there to maintain every detail, including taking on your brand persona personally and communicating directly with your consumers online. In other words, smaller firms specialize in consumer communication. They realize that with each client’s unique identity as a business, there is a unique language that comes with it. They specialize in communicating with all types of clients, and with that we are quick learners at learning how to communicate with different types.

While traditional media and advertising are still very much alive, there are new methods beyond the dreaded 30-second video or banner ad that many agencies aren’t aware of. Cutting edge methods that narrow your target demographic more precisely do a better job of generating trust, and converting that trust into sales, quicker than it takes complete the purchase of a 15-second commercial spot, and at a fraction of the cost, too. Want more information on the de-segregation of product and service promotion? Contact us for a specialized digital marketing plan designed just for your company.


Author: Hannah Prater

Hannah-profile-bright-age-marketing-agencyHannah is currently studying Advertising and Multimedia design at Pepperdine University, with an undying fascination for the creative side of advertising. Her experience with social media has only multiplied since she downloaded Instagram the very month it came out in 2010. In response to Beyonce’s famed question “Who run the world?”, Hannah also rejoins “Girls” but only secondary to “Facebook”. You can connect with Hannah on Twitter @hanprater.