Tag Archives: collective bias

Are You Marketing to Single Men Properly?

Written by Jason Francis

You Leave A Lot of Money on the Floor By Not Marketing to Single Young Men

For years we’ve been told that the focus of marketing needs to solely geared towards women. They are viewed as the decision makers when it comes to the family shopping and, generally speaking, the average woman spends more on their personal items then men do. Those facts notwithstanding, you’re still doing yourself a disservice ignoring the male demographic. Guys do more than BBQ burgers, hot dogs and chicken to watch sports. Now don’t get me wrong, we greatly enjoy those things but the modern man is far more diverse than that. Marketers need to step back and take a closer look at how we live our lives so they can better connect with our daily experience.

The key to effectively engaging the single young man of today is to let go of the outdated beliefs that have for centuries been attributed to being a man. You’re not selling to Al Bundy here. Today’s single man is fashion-forward. He is technologically aware and indulges in pleasures in a manner very similar  to women. By this, I mean his personal upkeep is an area to focus on. Hair care, which includes shaving, is very important. Along with that, skin care is a major area of attention for single men as well. If he is out and enjoying a social life, it’s a safe bet the ladies he interacts with take notice of the condition of his skin. You can also include men fragrances into that mix. When given the opportunity, we actually prefer smelling good and again, those that interact with us, enjoy it as well.

Besides the personal upkeep items for men, you also have to understand that we are very mobile, quick-moving, task-orientated creatures. We don’t enter stores without any idea of what we want. We get in and get out with very little browsing. To that extent, mobile technology is a major tool for us. Apps that streamline activities and simplify everyday duties are a major marketing opportunity. It’s all about multitasking. Travel is an ideal example of this. Much of the wearable tech coming out speaks to the traveling, off-road adventurer. Digital eyewear and fitted cap cams are ideal for capturing the activities of an enjoyable active vacation. The audio market of designer headphones or the fitness field that is allowing for greater vital stat measuring via sports bands is big on the active man’s want list.

From a business standpoint, it will always be a bigger gain to target women. I wouldn’t even attempt to argue that. However, to ignore the male market is to leave money on the table that is ready to be spent. All people like nice things. There is no monopoly on enjoyment and pleasure. Men are not the monolithic cave men of times passed. Their engagement is something that marketers should value highly. Single men are viewed as leaders within their social circles and their influence does lead others to act as well. Market towards men and see the return on your investment.

About The Writer: Jason Francis is a Writer, Blogger and Social Media consultant. He specializes in connecting the rapidly growing world of digital media and entrepreneurship via social media. His site www.TheSocialMediaSamurai.com speaks on a number of social, technical and professional issues that affect the lives of young business people. In addition to this, he helps manage the Nomadness Travel Tribe, an international collective with over 7000 members worldwide.

 

Misery Loves Company: Engaging Readers Through Story

Written by Tim Wells

You’ve just landed your first paid blog post gig. Congratulations! It’s a pretty awesome feeling to know that somebody is willing to pay you to write about their product. Now comes the hard part. Not only do you have to write that post, making sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on the brand’s list of do’s and don’ts, but you also need to make sure your post stands out from the crowd, while still adhering to the campaign rules.

Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. It’s actually easier than it sounds.

Solve a problem, make a friend.

Too many times, content creators (a fancy term for us bloggers) get hung up on selling the product or service that we’re writing about. Brands employ their own marketing divisions to handle their advertising. When a brand forms a partnership with the blogging community, they’re doing so because they know that personal testimonials hold a lot more weight with the average consumer than a dozen television commercials. People are much more likely to invest in a product that their trusted friends and relatives have benefited from.

Your testimonial is your sales pitch. And it’s an effective one. Barring impulse purchases, people usually buy a product to meet an existing need. If necessity is the mother of invention, then frustration is the mother of commerce. If you can communicate to your readers how a particular product will make their daily lives easier, you’ll not only be doing your job as a brand ambassador, you’ll be converting readers of your site into loyal community members who value your opinion.

One of my favorite examples of this is from Summer Davis’ The Dirty Floor Diaries. Summer wrote a post for Eureka that highlighted the everyday benefits of the product. The video she made for the campaign was personal, informational, and honest:

When in doubt, make ‘em laugh.

Earlier this year, I was selected to be a part of the Collective Bias K-Y Valentine’s Day Date Night campaign. My initial reaction, upon being selected, was something along the lines of, “Woohoo!” This was quickly followed by, “What. Have. I. Done?” With the realization of what a sensitive post this was going to be, came a sense of panic. How was I going to do the brand justice while still writing something tasteful for my readers? Could I even pull that off?

Then it hit me. My situation was actually pretty funny. I know this because my friends and family were laughing at my hand-wringing and agonizing over how to approach the post. This told me two things: I needed better friends, and I could leverage humor to accomplish the task at hand. I wrote the post from the perspective of a romance-challenged husband. The pictures in my post reflected this theme:

Not Romantic #KYdatenight #ad #cbias

The post was well-received, both by my readers and by my campaign leader. In the process, I learned a valuable lesson and boosted my confidence.

Misery loves company.

In the end, you are a person, writing to other people. People with similar needs, desires, and struggles. Telling a personal, relatable story is far more engaging than simply rattling off product specs and press release bullet points.

Don’t sell the product. Sell your story.

Tim Wells is a husband, father of four, blogger, gamer, and geek, though not necessarily in that order. Tim began writing about his family’s misadventures in 2008 while on a cross-country road trip, and expanded the subject matter to include brand PR and reviews when he created Review Dad, in 2013. Tweet him at@ReviewDadMedia.

Mommy Bloggers aren’t receiving enough credit

Magazines and Newspaper Articles are Higher Quality Than the Average Mommy Blog

So stated a recent study by Chartbeat.

highest-quality-content

Chartbeat conducted a survey of 542 Internet users between the ages of 18-65 showing sponsored content has a trust issue. I would have liked to see the examples that were given for the content. Well, in fact, no examples were shown at all. It was a 13-question survey just asking for opinions on different types of sponsored content.  I wonder how many of that age group even read mommy blogs.

Does higher quality mean professionally produced? If so, I argue that many mom bloggers create posts whose photography is stunning and whose storytelling is phenomenal and a lot more relevant for their target audience.

Quality is critical to a mommy blogger’s success. No one follows someone who puts out inferior content.

It seems that just calling a blog a “mommy blog,” automatically discounts its value. After all, what credibility would a mom have? Personally, I hate the term “mommy blogger”. I am a blogger who just happens to be a mom.

I’d like to set the record straight.

1.     Many mommy bloggers are college graduates. They aren’t dummies. I’ve met PHDs, doctors, teachers and more that are so-called mommy bloggers.

2.     They do sponsored posts because it allows them to work from home and bring in income while taking care of their children.

3.     They rely on the income to pay bills. I’ve heard personal stories over and over again about a blogger payment coming in just when a family needed it the most.

4.     Not all mommy bloggers write about being a mom, diapers and formula. They write about politics, critical issues that affect families like access to healthcare, fashion, social good and more. The moms of Moms Rising almost got important gun legislation through the Senate.

5.     No self-respecting mommy blogger I know would write a sponsored post just for the money. They have taken years to build a following for their blog based on trust. If they become a shill, they know they will lose those relationships.

Yes, quality is critical to any form of content– the writing, the fact checking, the photography and the storytelling. And just like there is some awful blog content, there is more than the fair share of idiotic, un-relatable, magazine ads, display ads and television spots.

CB on Content, Success and Social Trends During Purse Strings Interview

Recently,  Collective Bias employees Lindsey Hodous, Senior Business Development Manager, and Brad Lawless, SVP Strategy touch on the importance of creating compelling content, measuring success and upcoming social trends on Purse Strings Webmaster Radio. Interviewed by Maria Reitan, Lola Red PR’s President and Chief Strategy Officer, here are their thoughts.

Companies want compelling content in order to market their product online. Hodous says that letting the content be authentic is key. By not controlling what influencers publish, you allow the consumer to read an honest story with the influencer’s product experience expertly woven into the article. When you create a story that breathes authenticity, readers will be more likely to be engaged and influenced by the piece.

Lawless lists three things that matter in terms of measuring the success of a shopper social marketing campaign. “Increased sales is the best one we like to see,” says Lawless, but he also mentions that there can be a time lag in the shopper’s path to purchase, due to influencing through an experience rather than blatantly pushing a product into the cart. Engagements and impressions are two other ways to measure the campaign success, with engagements being an early indicator to purchase.

Social is a constantly changing space, with new trends popping up all the time.  When it comes to these trends, Collective Bias needs to be on the forefront, says Reitan, recognizing and capitalizing on the newest social innovations and opportunities. Both Hodous and Lawless have trends they share, including the Hispanic demographic, liquid content and visual storytelling.

To catch the rest of the podcast, visit webmaster radio.

Ello….Goodbye

With Facebook traveling further down the path of enforcing real names and identities, and their increasing appetite to sell more and more of your personal information, startups are attempting to replicate the success of the top social networks, while promising more anonymity.  Ello is the latest Social Network to enter the scene, promising a simple clean interface, and no ads – which means no selling personal information.  While this has been their primary talking point, it seems a bit disingenuous.  Ello recently received a round of funding from investors, and unless this is an incredibly non-traditional investor relationship, they will be forced to monetize at some point.  That being said, a social network is only as valuable the relationships and conversations happening there.  Here are our first thoughts on what Ello is, and what we think about its future.

We asked our network of super-influencers what they thought about Ello.  The general consensus is summed up by Kristy Still, “I don’t want yet another social network.”  It seems that for people who enjoy participating in Social Media, and especially those who are leaders in it, there is a level of Social Fatigue happening.  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram – just to name a few networks, are all places people feel compelled to post.  If you do any video, add Vine and Youtube.  It can be a full-time job just to share your content everywhere an audience could be.

Others found the simple interface refreshing, but a general feeling of confusion prevailed, with most wondering what to do with it, and what use-case it fit in.  “I for one just don’t get it. What kind of platform is it? More like Twitter (microblogging) or more like Facebook with updates and photos and such? My thought is, why would I seek an invite for something that they can’t even clearly tell me what it is?” commented Jamie Smith.  Most of social media mavens we spoke with were simply there to make sure they claimed their user name, but saw no utility in the platform yet.

One interesting thread I noticed is that no one mentioned that they cared at all about Ello’s main selling point – no selling user information.  On Facebook, you and your personal information is the product being sold.  Ello was created specifically as the antithesis to that.  From the people we spoke with, it seems no one actually cares.

My take: Ello is interesting – but only because of the simple, clean, ad-free approach, and the highly over-represented Digerati presence.  Ello is not the thing that’s going to turn Facebook into the next Friendster.  But its concept, and the fervor with which people are adopting it, shows us that SOMETHING is going to be that thing.  I give it a pass for now, unless you really like seeing photos of Robert Scoble’s kids, and would enjoy participating in lots of conversations with social media professionals comparing Ello to Facebook and Google+.

Dads are Getting Schooled

There were more than 2 million stay-at-home dads in the US in 2012. With more dads participating in more school activities, the traditional, “mom exclusive,” messaging for back-to-school advertising just doesn’t cut it anymore. Brands need to craft a message that influences the entire family, in a “We’re in this together” style. But how?

Holly Pavilka’s interview with Tim Sullivan, President of School Family Mobile introduces the changing demographic and getting connected with the person holding the family’s purse strings.  Tim says, ” Dad is typically a dolt or never home.  Just like moms making lunches and driving mini vans.  We need to identify dad in more realistic ways.”  Here are five ways on how to do this:

  • use humor: show dad joking and having fun with his family
  • portray dad as confident
  • use messaging that is pointed and quick
  • showcase dad as problem solver–emotional and thoughtful
  • present dad as connected and not reliant on mom to save him

To see more ways on how brands should approach this new messaging and portray dads, read Holly’s article, Dads are Getting Schooled, on MediaPost.

The Hype About Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse technology isn’t new or advanced. The interface is simple and leaves little to be desired. However, Instagram’s new app topped the iTunes charts once it announced the release of Hyperlapse on August 26, 2014.

So what is Hyperlapse? This app is a completely separate entity, owned by Instagram, that allows users to record up to 180 seconds and shows the recording at hyper speed. The user interface is just about as easy as taking a video on your phone. You create a video, then you have the opportunity to increase the speed- anywhere from 1x to 12x. From there, users have the option to upload the video to Facebook or Instagram (notably, Twitter and Vine are not available.) The video also saves to your photos, so you could even upload the video to your Zanga account if you wanted (but that would be some serious desperation.)

Hyperlapse is not without it’s flaws, though. The app is currently only available in iOS, however it is rumored to be in droid stores soon. The interface, however easy, is deprived of some essential tools. You cannot edit the recording, other than the pace of the video. There isn’t a storage bank of your saved videos. You can’t add filters, create special effects, or even add sound within the app. Here’s also the question of why executives released this tool as a separate app, rather than an addition to Instagram. Right on the cusp of social frustration of the Facebook Messenger App (and the all-but forced download by Facebook users,) Instagram took a risk in creating Hyperlapse as a new app rather than including it into their current app. If only Instagram account holders could use it, surely the number of users would increase. However, Instagram created a completely new app. What does that mean to you and your brand? It’s easily accessible. You don’t have to have an Instagram account to create one and you can share it however you choose. And, essentially, you can repurpose these videos for other medias.

Regardless, brands and marketers alike are making efforts to capitalize with Hyperlapse incorporated in their strategy. There are a few things to consider before using Hyperlapse to promote your business:

  1. Start with a plan

Just like you wouldn’t create a commercial without a script, it is ill advised to publish a hyperlapse video that hasn’t been planned out. A simple idea can be executed to it’s full potential if you spend extra time on the front end.

  1. Be mindful of limitations

Too much movement during the recording can be distracting. Too quick of speed can make viewers dizzy or nauseous. Users also have to consider that Hyperlapse only films in 4:3 aspect ratio, where some apps- namely Instagram and Vine- publish square images and videos.

  1. Get creative

In order to make your Hyperlapse video great, you have to work through the obvious limitations. Consider editing and adding sound through a secondary app and spending additional time to revise before publishing.

Perhaps the most important question is how long will Hyperlapse be relevant? It’s difficult to determine the lifespan of an app, as we all saw when Flappy Birds reached its height of downloads and then its discontinuation all within the same month. With Instagram and Facebook backing this new app, it might be around for awhile. But just how long does your brand have to utilize this app to reach a tech-savvy generation?

What do you think about Hyperlapse?

For Brands, Social Customer Service is a Must

With social media and smartphones on the rise, a new kind of customer service has developed.  Consumers are no longer reaching out via phone, they are voicing their questions and concerns by using social media.  With the promptness that social brings, consumers want answers on social, instantly.  Research conducted by Lithium Technologies says that 53% of users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint.

While some brands are quick at providing a response, they might not be quick enough. According to Brickfish, 80% of companies believe they provide superior customer service on social media, while 92% of consumers disagree.  Brands might want to re-evaluate their social plan to make sure they are keeping up with the consumers wants.

One industry that is seen to be slow at social customer service is Supermarkets.  Getting in-touch with social could really help this industry gain excellent customer loyalty.  Social Media Today used their Twitter Performance Tracker to look at how 21 North American supermarkets use Twitter as a customer service channel.  The average response time spent on Twitter was 5 hours and 10 minutes.  This is definitely not meeting the customer’s expectations.

One supermarket that is quick at responding is Mariano’s Market.  They had the fastest response time of 29 minutes and 17 seconds.  If a customer is tweeting in store, the likelihood of them still being there within 30 minutes is high.  This gives customers a chance to tweet out any questions they might have.  It could also open opportunities for supermarkets to help customers find recipes with certain ingredients that they are buying in store.

Here is an example of a customer complaining about his store experience. He tweeted at 10:37PM and received a response back at 10:50PM. Though I do not know the outcome, Mariano’s might have saved a customer from becoming un-loyal due to their fast response time and willingness to help.

Here is an example of a customer asking about a new location opening. Within 13 minutes, Mariano’s had responded by providing an answer and then engaging with the consumer.  This is what can drive a consumer to become loyal, and I am guessing that person, along with the nine people who favorited the tweet, will be at the opening.

Consumers want to feel connected to everything and everyone.  By reaching out to someone on social, it can help create that bond between the consumer and the retailer or brand.  According to BrickFish 71% of consumers who receive a quick and effective response are more likely to recommend that brand to others and 50% are more likely to buy from a brand they can contact on social media.

It’s time to stop just posting on social media and to start engaging.  Make people aware of your presence, and give the best social customer service possible! Start now and beat out your competitors.

Do you have a favorite brand or supermarket that has excellence social customer service? Or as a marketer, do you have a marketing tactic that has helped your social customer service? If so, please let us know in the comment box!

The Rise of the Halloween Shopper

Boo!  It’s no secret that Americans are passionate about holidays, and Halloween is no exception. As the second-highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas, U.S. consumers go all out on Halloween, spending billions of dollars on everything from costumes and candy to greeting cards and party supplies. To avoid digging a grave for missing this holiday, marketers should be targeting shoppers early through social media efforts. From the infographic below, learn just how early consumers start their spooky shopping, how they’ll be spending the haunted holiday and more. Check out  this infographic, The Rise of The Halloween Shopper. 

 Halloween Infographic