Year of the Bitmoji

Almost every aspect of life and culture has trends. From fashion to technology, business, and advertising, trends are everywhere. This for sure does not exclude digital media. The digital media trends of 2016 were a plenty and ranged in forms of social media, platforms, apps and challenges. For example, one of the biggest trends this past year was mobile. It seemed like every single company had apps for mobile devices, retailers, restaurant chains, Eyes turned from desktops and laptops to phone screens and tablets. Consumers (including myself) want on-the-go, portable entertainment and usability.

Apps, being part of the mobile world, also were trends of 2016. A very popular app type this year was the in-messaging sticker apps. These apps just seemed to take over the world. Movie franchises, brands, and celebrities released stickers. Kim Kardashian had stickers for goodness sake. Then Bitmoji came along and blew everything out of the water. You had stickers for Snapchat and iMessage that looked just like you that had literally anything you could think of. I honestly think that 2016 should be named the year of the Bitmoji. I enjoy these stickers. It makes texting and messaging fun. Not to mention, a well-placed Bitmoji is worth a thousand words.

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Another huge trend this past year was live streaming. Starting with periscope being purchased by Titter and Facebook launching Facebook Live, live streaming took off in a big way in 2016. Instagram recently added live streaming as well. This feature allows instant reaction. You can see live how many views and who’s commenting on your video content. This is a trend I see continuing and gaining momentum into the new year, even though I really don’t want it to. I haven’t really gotten into this yet because I find it kind of annoying. There are few people and brands who I find interesting enough to go watch in real time. I understand that is going to be so useful for events but I don’t want to watch some random person I went to high school with giving a live makeup tutorial on how she covers her pimples.

One last thing. Can we just talk about the Mannequin Challenge for a second? Talk about blowing up the interwebs. I think everyone and their mom made a mannequin challenge. It started off as a funny thing kids did, but then it turned into a worldwide phenomenon. It became a way for movies, shows, and brands to promote themselves. HILLARY CLINTON made a mannequin challenge, A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. All right, I’m sorry, I’m done. (But I’m totally including this link to what I think is the most impressive mannequin challenge, click here to watch)

These were just some of the trends in 2016, I’m curious and excited to see what 2017 has in store for the world of digital and online media.

References
(2016, November 25). Mannequin Challenge | Colorado Ballet. Retrieved January 11,2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNs3Y4G3bXY
Macy, B. (2016, October 20). 4 Big Trends in Digital Media in 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-macy/4-big-trends-in-digital-m_b_8332470.html
Patel, D. (2016, December 8). Top 8 Marketing Trends That Will Define 2017.              Retrieved January 11, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284525

 

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Do Snapchat Analytics Disappear after 24 hours???

I am a Snapchat fanatic, it’s by far my favorite app. And if you didn’t know, I am currently on the social media team at Flagler college where I help run their Snapchat account.  This semester my fellow team members and I got to get our hands dirty in the world of Analytics, with of course my focus being on Snapchat stats.

Gathering Snapchat Analytics is not like gathering Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram analytics. You can’t just go into a preset-up page where all your engagements, follower growth and other information is neatly put together in a chart. Snapchat has not yet added this feature for marketers and businesses to use.

Analytics for me included setting an alarm 10-20 minutes before the previous day’s story expired, taking a screen shot of how many views, number of snaps in the story and number screenshots we got and then calculating viewer completion rates. And if you forgot to go in and do this? S.O.L. MY FRIEND, cause it’s gone forever. Don’t even get me started on trying to figure out how many followers we have. My supervisor, Sara, once went through MANUALLY and counted. I imagined it was like trying to count stars.

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Here is a very real screen shot of a few of the analytics alarms I have on my phone

I bet your saying, but Emily? Why didn’t you guys just pay for a service that did all this for you? Well random reader, up until a couple of weeks ago the only company that did Snapchat analytics, was the company that did analytics for huge companies like Ben & Jerry’s and Marriot, cleverly called, Snaplytics. Per month this service cost about $500, so you can see why paying was not really an option for us.

UNTIL NOW. Recently Snaplytics started offering smaller (Much more affordable) plans! When Sara texted me to tell me that we were getting Snaplytics I pretty much openly wept in one of my classes. Is it wrong to be in love with an analytics program? Because if it is, I don’t want to be right.

 

It does all the stuff we wanted to do and more! Views! Screenshots! Estimated Follower count! It even saves the stories automatically and stores them for you! SWOON. *InsertHeartEyeEmoji*

 

This is very exciting to me, if you can’t tell. Our Snapchat channel is growing so fast and this very well organized proof that the Flagler College Snapchat team is kicking butts, and taking names!

Marketing Automation Nation

According to AdAge, Marketing Automation manages and automates the process of converting prospective customers into actual buyers, by using technology to more effectively market on multiple channels and automate repetitive tasks.

I see automation in marketing as having little marketing magic powers. I know it’s weird, but here me out. With one wave your mouse…

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ABRACADABRA! Your email campaign is now personalized to every person in your mailing list.

ALAKAZAM! A customer who left an item in an online shopping cart too long is sent a coupon and a sale is made.

HOCUS POCUS! Social Media posts are planned out and scheduled for the week and will post automatically.

But you have to remember that just like magic powers, marketing automation is handy, but very powerful and can possibly corrupt you in the long run (As seen in Voldemort from Harry Potter, and Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And in the wise words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes with great responsibility.”

You have to make sure that automation doesn’t take the human connection out of marketing. Remember, At the end of the day, its one person communicating with another person.

 

An Email Too Many

I am one of those people that can’t stand for there to be an unread email in my inbox. That little red number on my email app? It is my enemy. My phone vibrates and I go in, see if the email is worth reading. If so, I read it, if not, I scrap it. And if you get as many emails from Old Navy and Amazon as I do, you can understand how many times a day I do this.

When will it end Old Navy? I love you, but COME ON. I don’t need to be reminded every thirty minutes that you have cute clothes and decent prices. The only reason I still subscribe to their emails is for the occasional coupon. (I will say that they do have great subject lines, emojis included)

Email marketing can be annoying at times to consumers (like me) but can also be very affective. Here are a few tips to be the latter.

  1. Mobile Mania. Make sure your emails are mobile friendly. A great deal of your target audience is most likely viewing your message on a cellphone or tablet.
  2. Give them some space. Don’t get to crazy with the number of emails you send out. And even if you do, give them an option to choose less than to unsubscribe all together. Help them find their happy medium.
  3. Stand out from the crowd. Make your emails different than any other message in their inbox. Use color and graphics, make the subject line sassy (snap, snap) and unique.

May the Email force be with you.

 

Sources

Agrawal, A. (2016, August 01). 7 Email Marketing Tips For Marketers. Retrieved March 28, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/07/31/7-email-marketing-tips-for-marketers/2/#7d14de292191

 

The POV Revolution

If you don’t know what the POV revolution is, it’s ok. I just made it up. This is the name I’m giving to the Point of View craze that is happening right now in media, small and large. From Snapchat Spectacles and VR, to Hollywood, POV storytelling is here and it seems to be sticking around.

Point of View means exactly what it says. It’s seeing and experiencing something from someone else’s eyes.It’s kind of like a first person video game, you see what the character sees.

From the Hollywood and movie side, POV shots have been around forever. Famous examples being Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) and horror classic, Halloween (1978). These movies use POV shots to build suspense and to put the viewer in the shoes of the characters.

In 2016, a whole movie was was shot and released in POV, Hardcore Henry. This R-rated action thriller was shot entirely in first person and grossed about $14 million worldwide. As the picture below shows, the film was shot from a camera attached to the actors head. You can watch the trailer here.

Another more recent game changer in the POV Revolution is the commercialization of Virtual Reality. VR sets can range from the $600 Oculus Rift to a free app and a cardboard set that your phone can slide into. VR is all about transporting yourself somewhere else without really going anywhere and seeing a whole new point of view. See what I did there?

Like I mentioned in a past post, Snapchat Spectacles recently went on sale on-line world wide. Spectacles are giving regular people the power of POV. I had the chance the use a pair and to create a Snapchat Story with them (shameless plug, follow me on Snapchat @emjrocket). Not only are they fun to use, but they add a whole other level to story telling on the app. I also help run the Flagler College Snapchat channel and I can’t wait to see what kind of stories and videos we can make with them for the school (another shameless plug, @flagler_college)

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Beauty and the 360 Advertisements

Like I said in past posts, I love Disney. I think they do everything exceptionally well. And with the premiere of Beauty and the Beast this past week, all of the marketing and events that Disney has put together for this movie definitely falls into the category of exceptionally well.

My favorite so far has been a mobile Facebook advertisement that utilized the 360 video feature.  In this video you have the POV from Belle’s seat at the end of the giant dining table during the musical number of “Be Our Guest.” You sit and look around while Lumiere   and the rest of the dining room sing and dance around you. It’s Disney Magic at its finest.

I really wish I had a VR set to experience this in. I would also really love to see a little girl experience this in VR. I mean, the little girl in me was scream crying the entire time I just was watching it on my phone.

This is the way to use 360 video and Virtual Reality for advertising. Creating something that the consumer wants to be totally immersed in and making it awesome. Disney has die hard fans and customers and by making it possible to be in one of the most famous Disney musical numbers? Genius.

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Really the only other VR/360 advertisement I’ve seen was for Fifty Shades Darker. When you watched the video you were in a masquerade ball scene with the main characters. It was strange and I had no idea what was going on. You couldn’t hear what the actors were saying and it kept switching scenes. Maybe if I saw the movie it would make more sense?

Seeing this Beauty and the Beast ad has made me very excited about the future of 360/VR advertisements and marketing though. The increasing amount of POV media is intriguing to me as well. Can’t wait to see more!

Snapchat SPECStacular

Okay. Am I the only person who is super excited for Snapchat Spectacles being released for online purchase? Snapchat by far is my favorite social media platform and if I had $130 dollars laying around, I would order a pair so hard. I’m not much into wearable tech, but these are just heckin’ cool.

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Snap Inc. CEO, Evan Spiegel said, “Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”

For those of you who don’t know, Snapchat Spectacles are sunglasses made by Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s parent company) with 2 cameras built into them and will record up to 30 seconds at a time. The glasses work similarly to human eye, where the two cameras work together to form an image. If you watch the video on a phone, you can flip the  video any way you want to, making it appear to be 360 video. Watch the video on a computer and it appears in a circle.It’s all about point of view, seeing and experiencing through the wearers eyes. Here is an adorable example of someone playing with a cat.

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This is the pretty much the first time a social media company has a made a product specifically for their platform (We are not even going to mention Google Glass). These Spectacles are doing quite well for themselves and seem to be in high demand. Before being put online, Snap Inc. sold the glasses for limited times in pop-up vending machines in major cities all around the world. London, L.A., New York and Paris just to name a few.

Companies and brands are using Spectacles to their advantage and totally upping their Snapchat game. Some of my favorite uses of companies using Spectacles are as follows:

  1. GE (@generalelectric) You can view the inter-workings of GE across the glob through the eyes of an engineer.
  2. Taco Bell (@tacobell) Taco bell has awesome stories anyway, but they are creative in using the Specs to play-up their storytelling.
  3. Sour Patch Kids (@sourpatchsnaps) Again, great use of Specs for storytelling in the mischievous Sour Patch Kid fashion

Seriously someone help a girl out. I want to take my OWN stories to the next level! #GETEMILYSPECS

Click here to see some dope videos taken on Snapchat Spectacles. Click here to buy me a pair. Just kidding. Not really. Please buy them for me. (I want the RED ones)

Coming in for a Landing Page

I have never been on a plane, but I suspect that one of the scariest (and most important) parts of flying, is landing. I would imagine that hurdling toward the ground is never fun, but it could be slightly more enjoyable if its a smooth hurdling, with a nice even landing.

I think that’s why landing pages are called what they called, to make a consumer’s transition from social media, email, or an advertisement smooth, even and more efficient.

In case you didn’t know,  a landing page is a web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. However, when discussing landing pages within the realm of marketing and advertising, it’s more common to refer to a landing page as being a standalone web page distinct from a main website. The landing page usually has one specific job and can be a gateway drug to the rest of a website.

Why is a landing page so important? Think of it like this. You come across an advertisement on ye old Facebook for a very specific event that you are interested in. You click on the ad and it takes you to a homepage of a website. You then have to navigate manually through the entire website to find your event. I don’t know about you but I would immediately be turned off and would head back to Facebook to scroll through pictures of cats and girls-I-went-to-high-school-with’s babies.

Let’s look at a more specific example, shall we? Below we have a landing page from Netflix that looks like its from a little back in the day.

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This page was probably a shortened URL on a TV commercial or what came up when you clicked on a banner ad or email blast for a Netflix free trial. It’s main purpose was to feature the free trial and to get you to sign up.

Remember, landing pages are important. Help your consumers have a smooth landing when coming to your website, don’t let them crash and burn.

 

Sources

Bannan., K. J. (2013, March 28). Landing pages matter. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/btob/landing-pages-matter/288690/