My Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media Advertisements

So, I was on Pinterest the other day (everyday) and for some reason I started to pay attention to the bottom of each pin. You know, where it says what website it’s from and who pinned it. That’s when I realized that a good portion of the pins in my feed were “promoted pins.” ADVERTISEMENTS. I had even added a few of them to my boards! Pinterest ads don’t look like ads. They are designed to look just like any pin on a feed. It’s just so sneaky. And totally genius. I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest ads.

Here is an example of a promoted pin Pinterest ad I found in my feed. Its from a company called Casetify who sells phone cases. I love a cute phone case and have for sure searched for them on Pinterest and Amazon.If it weren’t for the “promoted by” part at the bottom, I probably never would have noticed it was an ad.

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Paid advertising on social media is a fairly new. Pinterest just launched it’s promoted pins feature on January 1st of 2015. Instagram (who is owned by Facebook) announced in 2016 that it was adding boosted posts to its repertoire. Instagram ads, like Pinterest ads, are very well camouflaged. I actually ended up buying two sweatshirts from Instagram boosted posts in the past month.

From a marketers standpoint, these “disguised” ads are wonderful. Consumers can view your content without writing it off as an ad. They treat it as if it were just another item in their feed. They ad a great tool to a social media/digital marketing tool box.

From a consumers standpoint, I find these ads kind of scary. For some reason my mind goes right for subliminal messages. Some of the ads look nothing like ads and it freaks me out. It makes me wonder that if in the future if it will be legal to put ads on the internet and social media and not disclose that they are paid media.

What do you think? Clever or creepy? Me thinks a little of both.

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References

Cohen, D. (2016, May 31). Instagram Introduces Business Profiles, Analytics, Promoted Posts. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://www.adweek.com/digital/instagram-business-profiles-analytics-promoted-posts/

Bradford, J. (December 28). A big year ahead for Promoted Pins. Retrieved February 08, 2017, from https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/big-year-ahead-promoted-pins

Disney + Content Marketing = Sparkle Emoji

I wasn’t that into Disney as a kid. My parents took us to museums and aquariums rather than theme parks and Disney World. It was more when I got into middle school and high school where my Disney obsession kicked in. I re-watched  all of the movies and memorized all of the songs. The first time I went to Disney World, I was sixteen and went with a church group. We were there all day and at the end of the night I got so sick, I threw up right in front of Cinderella’s Castle. My parents had to drive all the way down to Orlando to pick me up. I know, magical right? At least it makes a good story.

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I think one of the amazing things about Disney is as you get older you realize that the magic is in the details. Almost everything they do has a purpose. From their theme parks, movies, merchandising and of course, marketing, Disney has a way of catching your eye in a way that is so natural you don’t even notice.

Part of the way they do this is is through their content marketing. Content marketing is marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and consistent content to attract audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action (Forbes). To me this is almost like a form of guerrilla marketing. It’s basically creating content that has to do with your brand that gives it value.

I just happen to have a great example of awesome Disney content marketing from my everyday life! How convenient?! The other day I got an Instagram ad for an account to follow. At first I didn’t even realize it was an ad. I clicked on the picture because I liked it so much. I was a whole account dedicated to fashion and style inspired by Minnie Mouse. For those of you who don’t know, Minnie Mouse is my style icon. Minnie is queen, bae, and role model roles up in one. Event as I write this post,  I sit in my bed on my red and white polka dot comforter in a Minnie tee.

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Turns out, it’s an actual Disney account. It promotes clothing lines and other things with Minnie influence, but it does it in a way that’s so organic its crazy. Its sneaky and I love it. (click here to look at the Minnie Style Insta)

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Disney is great at so many things. Why would content marketing be an exception?

 

Sources

Steimle, J. (2016, January 28). What Is Content Marketing? Retrieved February 01, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/09/19/what-is-content-marketing/#2660e0a51d70

Minnie Style . (n.d.). Retrieved February 01, 2017, from https://www.instagram.com/minniestyle/

EmJRocket Guide to Writing for the Web

There is a huge difference in the way you write a text message versus the way you write a research paper, or least there should be (if you write these two things the same way, something is very, very wrong).

“ya so then b4 carbon dioxide moves 2 the next cycle or watevs,  it breaks down 2 the molecular level lol”

Same goes with any writing that you do. You write for a newspaper one way and an advertisement another. Writing for novels, social media, emails, its all different. Writing for web/online content is no exception. A lot of businesses and organizations today don’t really understand this. They try to use the same techniques across all platforms and its just not working. In today’s world of mobile media, it’s important to understand and be able to write in a way thats web friendly.

Here is short 3 step EmJRocket guide to writing for web.


STEP #1: Info-nuggets                                                                                                                         
Chop up your text into yummy bite size pieces that readers can skim and get information quickly. Make sure they can find what they want fast, maybe dip them in a little honey mustard and go.

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STEP #2: You aren’t playing Words With Friends                                                                         Avoid playing that 32 point word while writing for online content. Keep it simple and say what you mean in the easiest way possible.

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STEP #3: Pretty Pictures                                                                                                                       Use pictures and videos to help get your point across. Visuals are always a good thing. What’s that famous saying? A pictures worth a thousand…? I’ll think of it later.

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These tips are just the tip of the iceberg for writing for online platforms. For more fun and useful tips, you can click here or here. Happy Web Writing!

Sources

Web Content Writing Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://www.contentfac.com/even-more-web-content-writing-tips/

Affairs, A. S. (n.d.). Writing for the Web. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/writing-for-the-web.html

Responsive Web Design & You

Here is a short list of things I find annoying.

  1. You ask for a Coke and the waitress says “Is Pepsi okay?”
  2. Mouth breathers
  3. Upside down toilet paper
  4. When you go to a website on your phone and it doesn’t automatically format to your screen size and you have to scroll side to side 5 times just to read 3 sentences.

The phenomena in number four is referred to as responsive web design. responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation (Smashingmag). Or simply, the website can tell what device your using and adapts itself.Devices can range from desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and even wearable tech.

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God bless responsive web design. It is convenient, plain and simple, and in 2017 its going to be heckin’ important. As of 2017, 77% of American adults own and use smart phones on a regular basis (PEW). And like I said in my last post, consumers want mobile usability, where it be through apps or mobile websites and Internet use is shifting from desktop to handheld.  Also with dwindling attention spans, if your website isn’t easy to navigate or read, a potential customer will click off your page before you can say responsive web design.

Not to be dramatic or anything, but websites will have to adapt or die. DUN DUN DUN.

 

References

Responsive Web Design: What It Is And How To Use It – SmashingMag. (2017, January 13). Retrieved January 18, 2017, from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/

Mobile Fact Sheet. (2017, January 12). Retrieved January 18, 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/#

The future of responsive web design. (2015, March 25). Retrieved January 18, 2017, from http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2015/03/the-future-of-responsive-web-design/

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