social media marketing

How to Track Email Marketing Performance

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With so many different email analytics to consider, it can be tough to know which numbers really matter. To simplify reporting, we've gathered the important metrics every email marketer needs to track.

Open Rate

The first metric to evaluate is your open rate. In your email marketing dashboard, find your open rate statistics. This metric measures how many recipients click to open your email. Keep in mind that your open rate isn't the best metric for evaluating campaign performance as it's difficult to accurately measure. An open rate of 29% or higher is widely considered a healthy number. Open rate is tracked in two ways:

  • By an image loading in the recipient's email client

  • By the recipient clicking a tracking link within the email

Even with its inaccuracies, when the open rate increases, it indicates that your message is likely being read. That's the first step to a successful email campaign.

Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate can affect your overall deliverability. For example, if the email address doesn't exist, it's a hard bounce. Generally, after three hard bounces for one email address, the address status is changed to undeliverable, so make sure these are removed from your database. A healthy bounce rate is 2% or lower. There are a number of other reasons an email may bounce:

  • If it's a temporary condition, such as a full inbox, it may be marked as a soft bounce.

  • Your email marketing platform may have up to 20 types of bounces.

To reduce the frequency of bounced emails, use a clean email address list. A clean list only has legitimate email addresses that opted into receiving your messages. Cleaning your list reduces its size, but improves your metrics with more accurate data.

Click-Through Rate

The primary goal of email marketing is to entice your audience to click a link in your email campaign. Your CTR measures the number of unique clicks in an email, divided by the number of emails successfully delivered. Generally, the more relevant your message is to your audience, the higher your CTR. Some marketers see high open rates but low click-through rates. This likely indicates the message sparks interest, but the internal content fell flat. A healthy CTR is 5%. That being said, you want this metric to be as high as possible.

Use your email metrics to learn what valuable information your audience wants to receive from you. When you act on what you've learned from your email marketing analytics, you can improve your metrics and grow your audience's loyalty.

Want to learn more about our email marketing service? Contact us today!

How to Create a Snapchat Ad

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Have you ever watched a friend’s Snapchat story that is then immediately followed by an ad that actually looks as if you’re watching another individual’s Snapchat story?  Larger brands have already been using the Snapchat platform to advertise and now local businesses have the option as well (although, it is pricey!). Register your business for the Snapchat Ads Manager and follow these steps to create your first Snapchat ad:
 
1. Create an Audience

Like Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat now offers ways to target individuals based on device, demographics, and geography. When creating your audience, try to keep in mind that most people using Snapchat are teenagers and young adults, so if your audience falls outside of these parameters, it might be wise to consider advertising on a different social media platform.

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2. Set Your Budget and Goals

Select your ad budget for the particular ad as well as the goal. This can either be “swipe-ups” or “installs”. As of now, the minimum budget for a Snapchat ad is $100 per day, which is much higher than daily ad minimums on other platforms. (Facebook and Instagram currently only require $1 per day per ad.) We’re hoping that Snapchat will lower the daily ad minimum once brands with larger budgets become more familiar with the platform. We saw this happen with Instagram and Twitter years ago.
 
3. Schedule

Select a duration for how long you want this specific ad to run. One week? One month? A year?
 
4. Select an ad type and upload your content

There are four types of ads: App Install, Long Form Video, Top Snap Only and Web View.

The App Install ad will send people directly to the Apple Store or Google Play to download the selected app. The Long Form Video ad is similar to a video trailer and these videos can be up to 10 minutes long. The Top Snap Only ad option is a 3-10 second video ad with no call to action.
 A Web View ad will send people to a website to purchase a product, make an appointment or read an article.  

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Ready to get started with Snapchat ads? Reach out to us to begin creating these type of ads for your brand!
 

3 Content Discovery Platforms For Better Social Media Content

The ability to discover and share relevant content is becoming an important, everyday task for building your presence on social media. It's a great way to establish yourself as an authority and trusted resource, especially as a "go-to" destination for the best content in your field. 

Effective curating gives you consistency in your content, but also a time-consuming effort. Here are 3 content discovery platforms that can save you time and strengthen your social media strategy:

Feedly

Feedly lets you gather, organize and personalize relevant content that matters to you. Think of it as your web monitor for alerts on keywords and topics that interest you. Within the dashboard, you can easily create an online collection of your favorite blogs, channels (YouTube) and people to refer back to and share across your social media platforms. Another cool feature is the ability to customize the appearance of themes, colors and organization of your dashboard.

Almighty.Press

Almighty.Press is a platform used to identify, curate, and schedule trending content. The tool connects you with a real-time news feed that you can filter with keywords and web domains. It also features "Almighty Force," a custom algorithm designed to gauge the virality of content and track trending content before it becomes saturated. Sorting options are also available to arrange content by date, engagement count and comments. If you want to be the first to share a great article, consider Almighty.Press.

DrumUp

DrumUp is an excellent curation tool that discovers and recommends content that is most relevant to your audience. With DrumUp, expect only the freshest content, in real-time. Add keywords, blogs, and websites and store their articles to your content library. What sets this platform apart from the other two mentioned is the ability to add multiple social media accounts to your dashboard. This makes it easier to manage and publish content across your social media channels, saving you precious time for other tasks. 

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How to Use Brand Hashtags on Instagram

The cycle continues. New year. New practices. And more hashtags! 

Instagram hashtags give you the ability to to expose your brands to large and targeted audiences. How can hashtags help your business? Well, that will depend on how you're using the hashtag and how popular your post is. 

When you attach one (or 30) to your post, it is categorized with content that is also using those hashtags. Popular hashtags like #love, #instagood, and #fashion can get you new followers, but they probably aren't the "right" ones. That's where brand hashtags come into play. This strategy is important for a business that wants to expose the message to people looking for a specific thing. 

How brands hashtags work.

Brand hashtags are tags that are specific and unique to your business or campaign. It's common for a brand hashtag to be as simple as the company name, tagline, or line of products. You can also create one for an Instagram contest you are running.

Daniel Wellington does a great job of using their brand hashtag (#DanielWellington) along with their daily (#DWPickoftheDay) tag, for a campaign to encourage users to share high-quality photos that include their line of watches and hashtag, of course. 

Using brand hashtags is also a great way to organize and choose winners for contests since they are all placed on one hashtag page. For other marketing campaigns, creating hashtags to showcase your company culture, products, and services and is a great way to drive engagement. 

Helpful tips and practices

  • Keep your brand hashtags relatively short and easy to remember
  • Don't use too many hashtags! Using too many or irrelevant hashtags can make you look desperate for engagement. You do have a max of 30 hashtags, but keep it down to around 10-12, as long as they are consistent and relevant to your brand.
  • If you want a cleaner look to your post caption, you can "hide" your hashtags by including them in your comment section underneath a few dots and line breaks. 

We hope 2017 is as great for social media as last year was. We can't wait to share the newest trends, strategies, and tools that can help your business! 

Are you using brand hashtags? Let us know what your experience was using them in marketing campaigns and contests in the comments below! 

We're Hiring a Fall Intern!

SODA (2)
SODA (2)

Social Ape Marketing is a forward-thinking marketing company that produces creative digital content for clients on a daily basis. We seek to hire a talented intern who has the desire to learn and work in a high paced, fun environment. Our ideal candidate is enthusiastic, passionate about social media and public relations, and dedicated to growing the Social Ape.

The internship will begin in September.

Responsibilities: 

- Research the latest trends in social media

- Create fun and unique content for our clients

- Attend marketing events and client events with the Social Ape Marketing team

- Administrative duties

- Create fliers, graphics and visual content

- Work with the Social Ape team to plan and execute social media and public relations campaigns

- Create event invites as well as plan special events

- Write Social Ape blog posts to be posted on the Social Ape website

Requirements:

- Proficient with all major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc.)

- 15 hours per week in the office

- An outgoing personality with the ability to meet clients as well as reach out to media

- Ability to think outside the box and have a creative mindset

- Basic photo editing and graphic design skills

- Experience with Microsoft Office and Google products

- Flexible schedule with ability to work nights and weekends on occasion

- Outgoing and positive attitude

Majors: 

Communications, Marketing, Writing, Public Relations

To Apply:

Please email your resume to April Smith at April@socialapemarketing.com with “Social Ape Fall Internship” in the subject line.

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Instagram and Snapchat are Fueling Video Content

TROPICAL
TROPICAL

Video content is no longer 'the next best thing'--- it's the now. Remember when search engine king, Google, bought YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website? A decade later, hundreds of millions of hours of video are being watched by users daily and by 2018, it's projected that 69% of total Internet traffic will be video.

Not only is video becoming the preferred media content by consumers, but popular social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are also prioritizing videos over the original still images. In recent updates, Instagram rolled out 60-second video capturing capabilities, 4 times longer than the original time limit. Similarly, Snapchat has affirmed their infatuation with videos when they launched a campaign aimed at brands to 'go vertical with their video.'

Moving forward, it is likely that Youtube remains the superior video content sharing platform because of the sheer mass of users, but there are advantages that give Instagram and Snapchat a dog in the fight.

Demographics

As mentioned previously, there are more popular platforms out there, but Instagram and Snapchat have cozy spots within the trend-setting, younger generation. Since these platforms are geared towards the younger demographic, changes are introduced more easily in comparison to the older Facebook demographic that dislike constant changes.

Instagram Demos
Instagram Demos
  • Snapchat continues to roll out new features that cater to their demographic. From shopping to filters, women under the age of 25 are some of their main targets. Knowing this, your content should replicate content that works for this demographic.
Snap Demo
Snap Demo

Mobile Accessibility

A college professor of mine once used to call cell phones 'crack,' because of what it was; addicting and accessible. Both Instagram and Snapchat are predominately used on mobile devices. With mobile use favored by the greater population, videos are easily created on both platforms and can be instantly uploaded and consumed.

Additionally, you can expect company's to continue advertising through videos. This year, Instagram is expected to earn $1.30 billion in the US ($1.53 billion worldwide) in ad revenue. To put video consumption into perspective, on YouTube mobile, the average video viewing session is now more than 40 minutes at a time.

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IMG_3544.PNG

The Realness Factor

Videos capture and invoke immediacy and realtime moments. Consumers are watching more videos that are relevant to their lives and are in-the-moment from their favorite accounts. Instagram for example, extended their video time length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds for longer, more diverse stories from users. For Snapchat, 'stories' including live video content have become increasingly popular as users become more aware of the importance of video.

Conclusion

The great thing about Instagram and Snapchat is their tremendous growth rate and continuous efforts to change the way we use and view video. Here at Social Ape Marketing, we hope to utilize video in the near future to create unique content for our appropriate clients.

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What We Learned At Social Media Marketing World 2016

nature walk
nature walk

I had the pleasure of representing Social Ape at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego last week and I must say that it was an incredible experience. Not only did I meet new people who have the same passion for social media and marketing that I do, but I learned so much from the dozen sessions and panels that I attended. I was also able to see several of the folks speak who have paved the way for social media marketers and continue to inspire me on a daily basis.

I returned to Charlotte with 14 pages of notes and the opportunity to listen to ALL of the sessions at the conference via audio recordings. But for those of you who weren’t able to attend, we’ve put together a list of takeaways from the event and included the tools and strategies that your business should be investing in over the next year. I hope the list is helpful!

-April

Snapchat

Strategy Tips:

  • Snapchat is the social media network to “un-brand” your brand. It is an opportunity to be real with your fans and followers. When people see brands having fun on Snapchat, they become more interested.
  • Use more colors and drawings when possible in snaps
  • Don’t let your followers consume ALL of the content. Keep your snaps as short as possible, giving them just enough time to view the content.
  • Create Snapchat stories that will last 24 hours. Create short snaps to “bump” your content back to the top of followers’ lists then after 24 hours, take a break to let the story disappear.
  • Give away freebies to make snap viewers feel important

Content Examples: 

  • Show your business behind-the-scenes using a combination of video, photos, drawings, interviews, etc.

Contest Examples:

  • Send a snap with a bit.ly URL and ask your followers to take a screen shot of it, then visit that specific page later to enter a contest
  • Create a digital maze then ask your followers to find their way through the maze and send a screen shot back with the solution. The first person to send the correct solution back will win the contest. (Mind blown!)
  • Create a scavenger hunt by snapping photos of where the hidden prizes are located. The first person to find the prize will win!
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IMG_2286

Live Video (Periscope, Facebook Live)

Strategy Tips:

  • Reveal what your followers are missing by going behind the curtain using live video
  • Inform followers of critical situations that need live updates or give insight to live events
  • Create a blog post to summarize the questions asked during the live video and embed the video in the post
  • Share "snackable" content to share and promote live video
  • When working with Influencers, choose influencers who understand your niche, not the influencers who have the most followers

Content Examples:

  • Southwest Airlines answered questions on Periscope during a storm where there were lots of delays and cancellations. They confronted a difficult situation head-on to provide transparency for customers.
  • Southwest Airlines also live-streamed the unveiling of a new plane to give customers a sneak peek

Social Media Customer Service

Strategy Tips:

  • Embrace complaints! Answer them every time and in every channel.
  • Only reply twice to complaints. Do not let the user publicly shame you. First, apologize publicly (for the “spectators”) and ask the user to send you their contact information. Take the conversation offline. If the user refuses even after this attempt, walk away. It will only make the situation worse if you continue to engage.
  • Treat online and offline customers the same. You wouldn’t ignore someone calling your business to complain, so why would you ignore someone complaining via social media?
  • Do not ignore review sites, including Yelp

Facebook Ads for Online Businesses

Strategy Tips:

  • Make list-building a priority. Which “bucket” will each person end up? Create Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced buckets and place appropriate users in those buckets based on their behavior.
  • Create an awesome piece of content that will draw people in and make them click through. It is MUCH cheaper to do this than asking users to buy right away. Once you do this, you can create other actions. Selling to warm leads is more successful than selling to cold leads.
  • When using images in Facebook Ads, photos of the person selling the product work better with people who already know that person. For people who are not familiar with this person, clean graphic images work the best.
  • Use pixels (conversion codes) to create a funnel. If people have already opted in on your website, create a different path for them compared to someone who have not opted in.

Questions to Ask:

  • What is my trigger for these people? What can I give to them that will provide value?
  • What is the end goal? How do I get there?
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IMG_2241

LinkedIn

Strategy Tips:

  • Edit your LinkedIn profile to people you want to attract today and even tomorrow. By adding more keywords that suit your needs now, you’ll be able to attract those type of people.
  • Create your profile to solve problems for the people looking for you on LinkedIn. What problem do you solve? How can you help future clients or employers?
  • Include personal tidbits in your profile to appear more personable.
  • Give endorsements to 10+ people per day to encourage them to do the same. Genuinely give recommendations to your peers and ask for them in return.
  • Tip: Turn off profile updates when you edit your profile! You don’t want to “spam” your connections when you overhaul your profile.
  • According to LinkedIn, one update on LinkedIn per day will result in reaching 60% of your connections. Post interesting ideas and insights at least once a day.

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5 Reasons Why You Need Strong Branding

THE
THE

You'd like to think your brand means much more than a fancy logo, or a catchy tagline.

Well, that's because it is.

Branding is representation of your business. It's how your customers perceive your company. And it's a symbol of your service.

Here are some reasons why good branding is important for any business.

1. Brand Recognition

Brand recognition by definition, is the extent to which a consumer can identify a particular product or service by viewing the logo, tagline, or packaging. Consider your logo as the "face" of your company. This stamp is crucial because it will be a part of every product of your brand in marketing and advertising. Your logo should be clean, precise, and strong enough to leave an impression on consumers.

shutterstock_193169738 2
shutterstock_193169738 2

2. Branding Tells a Story

Make people relate to your brand by telling your story. A heart-felt and genuine story behind your brand can attract consumers to your products. Clients and customers want to know, like, and trust who's behind the brand. This is a great way to gain relationships with loyal customers.

3. Branding is Consistent

Advertising online is hard enough with the volume of products flying around the web. Being active with your strategies keeps your targets aware of your brand. Without a constant reminder of your business, consumers may forget about you and go with a competitor. Implement different marketing strategies such as contests, polls, and giveaways to engage audiences and stay ahead of your competitors.

4. Employees Carry Your Brand

It's important that your employees embody everything about your brand. For the most part, they are the first "touch point" for any business, and thus, will be what consumers will mostly remember about their first experience with your company. Customer service is a top priority for potential clients and customers. Your team carries the message for your brand, connecting all of the pieces for your clients to help them understand why your product trumps the rest.

Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised
Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised

5. Branding Provides Value

A strong brand can produce future business with investors and other opportunities within business market. Providing on-going value to your targets has potential to make you the "go-to" product for consumers. Showing your effort and building your brand value can constitute higher financial returns in the end.

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Social Media's Impact on the 2016 Presidential Election

Social media's
Social media's

On November 8, 2016, Americans will elect the 45th president of the United States. As campaign strategies continue to become digitally focused, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact social media makes for each candidate.

According to ad spending trackers Borell Associates, 2016 will mark a record-high $11.4 billion being spent on political advertising. That's a 20 percent jump from 2012 numbers. Of that massive bill, about $1 billion will be spent digitally, targeting social media sites and platforms. These totals forecast future digital political ad spending shown in this chart. 

Borell Associates
Borell Associates

The Candidates  As with any digital campaign, followers aren't everything. Bridgette Majewski, research directer at Forrester told CNBC, "Just because you have a follower doesn't mean you have a vote. It just means that you have caught their ear. ... It's a good signal, but at the end of the day, a signal is not a vote."

Most-Followed-Candidates-680x408
Most-Followed-Candidates-680x408

Between the most popular candidates to win the election, the amount of followers each of them has at their disposal is significant. 

 The question is, does social media popularity correlate to winning an election?

With the amount of "Millennial's" using social media as their source for news, it would wise for these campaigns to provoke engagement through these outlets.

Social Media Wars It's apparent that digital political advertising can both help and hurt a candidates chances. With all sorts of propaganda floating across the social media world, it's important for these campaigns to market their candidates justly, albeit misinformed notions. Take this tweet by Donald Trump as an example of promoting while demoting.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 11.58.27 AM
Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 11.58.27 AM

Trump isn't the only one using social media to get his message across audiences. Recently, Hillary Clinton fired a few shots through her Twitter account at Donald Trump.

#GOPdebatepic.twitter.com/aAE5q0IBYN

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 11, 2016

Not all political social media engagements have to be at each others disposal. Sen. Bernie Sanders has his followers to thank for a successful social media campaign. His Twitter hashtag #FeeltheBern was created by his followers to capture viral moments of his political campaign. The hashtag, according to bernrate.com, has been mentioned up 200,000 times in one day in the month of March. This quote from CNBC explains the hashtag:

"The slogan is an indication of the real grassroots energy that is behind our campaign, that you can't find behind any other campaign," said Kenneth Pennington, digital director for Sander's campaign. "The slogan represents the energy that you are seeing, especially among millennial voters and younger social media supporters behind Sen. Sanders."

twitterfeelthebern
twitterfeelthebern

And The Winner Is.. To answer the question on the correlation of social media and a winning candidacy, a presence on social media for these campaigns is a MUST. Whether or not their message is politically correct, it causes a media frenzy for engagement. People are on social media just for the 'digital wars' between candidates that they won't find on television. These social bashings are purposely meant to shame an opponent and can potentially sway voters that aren't tied into one political angle.

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How Brands Use Celebrity Endorsements on Social Media

HOW BRANDS USE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
HOW BRANDS USE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

Brands are taking advantage of existing fan bases and connections, using celebrities and athletes as a channel between products and consumers. Imagine a celebrity with millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram supporting your business' social media campaign. Those are huge numbers, and with simple endorsements like a tweet and a photo, brands can build its exposure and credibility almost drastically.

As digital marketing strategies continue to evolve, pairing brands with influencers through social media is becoming a lynch-pin for a potential sales boost. Products are not only targeting celebrities and athletes, but YouTube influencers with large audiences as well, using their following to connect with a specific audience that they've built.

Social Media Celebrities The first big step for this digital marketing strategy is finding the right match to endorse your brand socially. Social media provides a sense of 'realness' to celebrities, making these endorsements much more powerful. Consumers need to feel that the celebrity is an actual customer of the product and that their promotion of it is genuine.

calvinK 2
calvinK 2

Be-Lieber-or-Not, Calvin Klein was able to bank in on Justin Bieber's fame with their spring underwear collection. The 2014 campaign introduced several half-naked photos of Justin and model Lara Stone in CK products, including the #MyCalvins slogan. Within 48 hours the hashtag generated 1.6 million Twitter mentions. The popular hashtag spread like a wildfire, prompting Instagram 'influencers' to create their own collection of #MyCalvins selfies. In the first four months, the #MyCalvins saw more than 4.5 million fan interactions, making it Calvin Klein's most successful digital campaign ever.

In an interview with WWD, Melisa Goldie, Calvin Klein Inc. chief marketing officer said:

“The goal is always to sell product, but to be a relevant brand means that everyone needs to be talking about you and there has to be a conversation. Relevance is the driver of commerce. Sales are 100 percent as important as is driving a relevant conversation.”

This quote reiterates the importance of brand awareness and exposure through social media. Whether it's through a high-profile celebrity or self-created content, user engagement is a driver of sales.

Social Media 'Influencers'

pewdiepie
pewdiepie

If you haven't heard of YouTube sensation PewDiePie (pronounced pew-dee-pie,) you soon will. Felix Kjellberg is a Swedish web-based comedian and producer, best known for his vlogs and gaming entertainment.

As of February 2016, PewDiePie has 42 million YouTube subscribers and 11 billion total video views. Not only is he a huge part of YouTube's billions of monthly views, but his staggering numbers make him a prime target for brands, specifically in the gaming industry.

In 2013, PewDiePie partnered with Polaris, a gaming network that showcases popular vloggers and gaming entertainers. According to this article, he earned a CPM (cost per thousand views) of between $0.50 and $2.50 for each video, after the cut Polaris received. Although his list of endorsements and appearances are at a minimal, brands will still likely continue throwing cash at PewDiePie and YouTube to advertise commercials through his video posts and endorse their products just from the sheer popularity of his work.

The success of the YouTube star garnered enough attention that The Walt Disney Company bought out Maker Studios (who own Polaris,) for $500 million with another $450 million in possible incentives. Maker Studios distributes video game-related content from the likes of PewDiePie and other big named vloggers.

disneymaker
disneymaker

By all means, social media endorsements by celebrities and influencers isn't a new strategy in the digital era, but pairing a popular figure with a product is a no-brainer. Celebrities and influencers come pre-loaded with millions of followers and connections to use at a brands expense. That is what I call a recipe for success. Beliebe me. 

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