Article | May 12, 2021
It has been over a year since retailers were forced to temporarily shut their doors or put in place restrictions to limit the in-store experience. Now, as we return to some semblance of normality, it’s essential that trust and brand value are retained for those operating a digital-only presence.
In this article, Nate Burke, CEO at Diginius, discusses how brands have effectively kept customers engaged, consequently building trust and brand value in the process, and what techniques to use while navigating the next steps of the pandemic.
As I write this, physical retail and outdoor hospitality are feeling a little more rejuvenated after welcoming customers back. My inbox and notification centre are full of alerts from brands offering high street discounts and incentives for scanning an app in-store. This is a prime example of how fast and timely brands need to be in order to capture their customers’ attention when trends and circumstances change.
It’s also a great example of how essential communication and marketing techniques are in building trust and creating brand value. While I might not be one to rush back to high street stores so soon, I do feel reassured and excited by these messages. And nothing could be more important at a time like this.
It’s a reminder that these shops are still there and are prepared to welcome customers back in. After all, if they’ve had time to plan and create a whole marketing campaign around the event, I can only hope their efforts towards a safe reopening have been given just as much thought and attention.
Digital tactics like those mentioned above have only ramped up during the course of the pandemic, where remote communication and at-distance offerings have been the only touch points between brands and consumers. And of course, this hasn’t been without challenge.
It’s human nature for us to trust and find greater value in something we can see for ourselves in person. Traditionally, brands have been able to create this through in-store experiences where customers know they can see products and services in action and are able to interact with staff and experts should there be any concerns. While digital channels do offer their own set of benefits, meeting these innate human needs is not one of them.
So, in a bid to retain consumer trust amid the uncertainty of forced closures, measures and constantly changing restrictions, we’ve seen a number of effective strategies from brands. Regular push notifications and email communications just scratch the surface. These tactics are a great way to generate instant response, whether it’s a brand reminder, an update on important changes or simply an alert of a new deal in an attempt to drive website traffic.
By now, it’s a known fact that personalised messages generate better results. And these forms of digital communication can certainly be personalised with little effort on the brand’s part. Whether it's a mass email with a tailored first name field, or an app alert that is sent as a restriction lifts - both feel personal and as though they have been sent by a real individual who knows who you are and understands the context of a situation.
But today’s customers need and expect more. These tactics have been used for years, and the sensitivity of the pandemic has called for a more human approach in terms of marketing and customer service. And that’s exactly what many successful brands have been doing.
While driving traffic to a website is important, it’s the service on offer once a customer lands on a page that makes the difference when it comes to building trust and brand value, and ultimately, converting. It’s all about translating the human in-store experience online.
For example, we’ve seen greater focus and uptake in live chat features on websites, with this now being an expected function for over half of consumers. Through such features, customers expect to be able to talk to a real person on the side of the screen who is able to understand their queries and responsively provide a solution.
Companies such as Currys PC World have taken this one step further, and now offer a ‘Shop Live’ feature that enables customers to video call a real sales representative who can help them with their purchase. In this way, brands are able to bridge the gap between themselves and their consumers, even in a time of social distancing. And as a result, are able to retain trust, while also adding value to their brand through the out of the box and supportive offering.
Other tactics have included offering incentives that encourage repeat purchases. For example, many online retailers offer unlimited next day delivery subscription services, whereby a one off higher yearly fee provides access to a year's worth of free delivery. With the delay between placing an order and it then arriving, as well as delivery fees being some of the biggest deterring factors from online purchases, the incentive has been incredibly effective in increasing loyalty. That feeling of the brand also offering you a better deal is also a great way to build trust, so even though a brand might be increasing the cost it incurs for delivery, the value of a repeating customer and their advocacy hold much more weight.
In this sense, it’s all about how a brand and its offerings are perceived by customers. And another sure fire way of improving brand perceptions is through PPC tactics. Anyone operating in ecommerce knows how competitive the market is. Ensuring your brand is seen above competitors is key in driving awareness and trust, as ultimately, a higher ranking and greater visibility reflect positively on a brand’s trustworthiness.
Clearly, there are a number of ways in which businesses can adapt and improve their offerings in order to encourage trust and add value. Of course, implementing all of these changes will be wasteful for budgets and not necessarily effective for every brand. Therefore, it’s important that you understand your market and customers, which can prove a challenge as things continue to constantly change as they have been.
But a solution may not be too hard to find. Insight software has advanced just as fast as these markets and customer behaviours. Therefore, with the right tools on your side, you can monitor shifts in the market in real time and adjust your offerings in response.
For example, if data shows you receive more website traffic at certain times, it may be an option to increase the number of customer service staff operating the live chat function during those periods in order to minimise waiting times and improve customer experience.
These tools can also help you decide which channels to focus PPC efforts on depending on those your customers visit most often. Using this data, you can then allocate budget accordingly, ensuring wasted spend is minimised while results are maximised. For example, during the pandemic, the figures were showing a greater uptake in use of marketplaces such as Amazon, as well as social commerce channels, including Instagram. If businesses understood this in real time, aided by collaborative commerce software such as VTEX, they may have been able to optimise their performance by increasing their PPC activity and consequently, visibility and status on such platforms.
Ultimately, commerce is facing a period of significant uncertainty that is having an effect on both customers and businesses alike. Regardless of whether stores are open or closed, customer behaviours and needs are constantly changing to keep up. And brands need to understand that how they communicate their messages and offerings is vital in retaining trust and brand value.
It’s evident that a humanistic approach is prevailing, as that is one thing that will never change. But as digital channels take centre stage, it all comes down to how a brand is able to translate its personable approach online. While there are a number of innovative methods brands are using to appear more human on online channels, using the tools and data available is key to ensuring activities help rather than hinder a business.
And in this way, not only will brands be able to retain trust and brand value, but they will be building on it too.
Article | May 12, 2021
In the age of influencer marketing where brands and marketers feel somewhat new to the idea, it’s becoming clear that Public Relations professionals aren’t getting the credit they deserve. PR pros are the original influencers. I’ve been working under the public relations umbrella for *cough* two decades now. I describe PR as an umbrella because it covers so many different communications functions. From media relations and community relations to investor relations and crisis communications, PR practitioners know the brand story better than anyone and often serve to give a voice to the story.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with a series of professional sports franchises as well as my fair share of technology startups. In each role, I’ve led and impacted every function of Public Relations. Whether it’s using athletes or CEO’s as spokespeople or finding industry “thought leaders” whose ideas are established and trusted, public relations has been influencing since, well, forever. And the most exciting part of all of my roles has been in the relationship building.
Article | May 12, 2021
What is OTT (over-the-top) marketing, and how is it molding the world? Why are marketers over-enthusiastic about executing it? Find out the ultimate guidance regarding OTT marketing.
There are several ways to receive a prodigious response for your business. Those are creative, technical, or economic methods that help grow your audience, find new leads, and so on. In the time of the pandemic, people cannot partake in outdoor activities the way they used to do. They are forced to be inside, and their medium of education, entertainment, or being aware is entirely different. One of the fastest-growing sectors is OTT which plays a significant role in making people's life entertaining and enthusiastic. It decreases the strain and gives them relaxation from their hectic life. Its market is currently valued at more than USD 101.42 billion, reaching approximately USD 223.7 billion by 2026.
Let’s have a look at OTT, OTT marketing in 2021, and the complete information about it, which makes it substantial.
OTT is a medium of providing television and film content over the internet. Nowadays, nearly everybody is streaming TV through OTT. There are various popular video streaming platforms like; Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney plus, Hotstar, etc. The video, music, podcast, and audio quality has been revamped remarkably by the OTT adoption.
What is OTT Marketing?
OTT advertising is the conveyance of promotions through online video streaming. This incorporates associated TV publicizing (or CTV promoting), which runs video advertisement interferences, banner ads, sponsored content, and more.
Here are some survey reports that state how OTT marketing is booming.
A report by Conviva, a streaming media research firm, informs that video streaming grew by 20% in March across the globe, which included a high 26% increase in the U.S.
In the OTT Video segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 300 million users by 2025.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the OTT video segment is projected to amount to US$275.49 in 2021.
User penetration will be 83.7% in 2021 and is expected to hit 88.1% by 2025.
The largest segment is OTT video advertising, with a market volume of US$40,641 million in 2021.
How OTT Marketing is Different From Traditional T.V Marketing
TV advertising has been everywhere for a long time. It has been a prevalent medium for marketers to allocate their advertisement financial plan. Nonetheless, it has been changing drastically for as far back as a couple of years with a huge shift from traditional cable TVs to over-the-top (OTT) devices like smart TVs, phones, tablets, and many streaming sticks (Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, AppleTV).Those are Internet-connected and can download videos from content delivery networks (CDN) and ads from online ad servers. The rise of online video utilization makes a massive inventory for video advertising.
However, focusing on alternatives was still exceptionally restricted and fundamental. Focusing at the individual level was unheard of. Many, if not all, viewers frequently watched similar advertisements on TV, paying little attention to their inclinations or interests. The viewers should turn on their TVs to a specified channel at a specific time to watch content and accompanying commercials. The advertisers could pick the station, program, and time based on ratings and audience data provided by a few significant research firms. This choice interaction had a few connections to the target audience hence;, it was not exact or quantifiable. There were a ton of evaluations, projections, and expectations for return on investment (ROI). The objective was essential to arrive at the majority, fundamentally whoever had their TV on. The location and engagement activities of viewers were not known or reported. These limits gave advanced OTT advertising numerous benefits.
Marketing Funnel for OTT Streaming Services
To be successful in OTT marketing strategy, it is essential to comprehend the buyer’s journey and to understand this; we need to focus on OTT marketing funnel that assists in visualizing where the buyer is from, how he became your user, and when he showed his experience into your brand. The funnel is divided into three parts:
TOFU (Top of the funnel)
MOFU (Middle of the funnel)
BOFU (Bottom of the funnel)
TOFU (Top of the funnel)-This is the first step where the user gets aware of your brand or services. You will find many leads, but it doesn’t mean that they will certainly buy from you. They are at the first stage, where they are figuring out their problems by doing research. Therefore, don’t come with too much information to resolve their issues. They will become annoyed therefore; you have to provide specific & concrete information to your leads.
MOFU (Middle of the funnel)-Once a lead passes, its first step enters the second step of funnel called middle of the funnel, where your leads express their interest towards your brand or services and consider using your product.
BOFU (Bottom of the funnel)-Finally, your leads entered the third step of the marketing funnel, where they decide to be your customer. In this stage, the content you are providing should be persuasive and readily available.
OTT Marketing Platforms
There are various dominant OTT streaming providers growing unstoppably. Netflix, Xumo, Starz, Sling, HBO, ESPN, Hulu, Showtime, Amazon Prime, Fubo, etc. are some of them.
Why Is OTT Marketing Booming?
Marketers are enthusiastic about OTT advertising because advertisement directly reaches viewers through streaming devices and services. They experience these ads on their devices like; connected TV, Smart TV, Laptop, etc.
OTT focuses on niche audiences, and when marketers run ads on OTT platforms, it automatically gives you those target audiences. So. marketers don’t need to cater broad audience unlike, traditional T.V broadcasting. Instead, ads are shown to your specific audience interested in your brand; therefore, it minimizes your ad spend.
OTT Marketing Strategy
2021 has changed the way of marketing entirely, especially when you are looking for a specific audience. Modernizing your advertising has become the imperative footstep to woo your audience.
Here are some meaningful steps that have been mentioned which can make your business profitable.
Search engine optimization is the effective medium to be seen. With the help of SEO, you can be seen high when your viewers search for videos. Therefore, SEO Implementation is indispensable in this competitive advertising world.
Millions of people are using social media such as; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Create your brand-specific pages and profiles and maintain daily posts to encourage your audience towards your services. In addition, you can approach your audience in a very innovative way by making polls & quizzes, interesting image-based posts, etc.
There is a considerable demand for memers across social media platforms. So, you can hire some famous memers to create engaging memes regarding one of your best video content.
Offers & promotions are always welcomed. It attracts audiences and raises their interest in your services. So approach them with attention-grabbing offers.
Display advertising is one of the best practices to persuade your target audience. In-display advertising, you should create some attractive, colorful graphical screen on the internet through logos, animations, videos, photographs, etc.
Users always try to find the website or landing page regarding your brand. If you are holding a website, you can easily convenience your niche audience to visit your uploaded content.
Push notifications have a 71% opt-in rate, an incredible opportunity to be adopted.
Email marketing is the result-oriented medium where your reach millions of people by saving your time.
Monitoring your analytics can give you the expected results. Numerous OTT platforms provide analytics. It helps to know about the ROI (return on investment) of your business.
OTT marketing is booming. It is now unstoppable. A study by Roku found viewers of streaming TV in the U.S. could exceed traditional pay-TV viewership in the next five years. The research predicts that 60 million families will watch content on their TV exclusively via streaming services by 2025, which would likely trump traditional TV viewership by then. It aids in providing personalized content for your niche audience. Most marketers are experiencing great ROI while investing in OTT.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is over-the-top marketing?
Over-the-top advertising is advertising delivered directly to viewers over the internet through streaming video services.
Q. How to do marketing on the OTT platform?
Implementing memers marketing, push notification, SEO, affiliate marketing, and tracking analytics are the best sources to do advertising on OTT platforms.
Q. What are the benefits of over the top?
It quickly provides your audience with an unparalleled experience that enhances your lead generation and gives desirable results.
Q. What are the OTT marketing examples?
Display marketing, affiliate marketing, and social media marketing, are the best example of OTT marketing.
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Article | May 12, 2021
Google announced it would set a first-party cookie through the global site tag and Google Tag Manager beginning in May. What does this mean, and why is it important to advertisers?
First, let’s talk about why Google made this announcement. As individuals are demanding more privacy, we are moving towards an internet world that is free of third-party cookies, which have been the standard of conversion tracking for advertisers.
So what are first-party and third-party cookies?
A first-party cookie is created and stored directly by the website that you are visiting. These cookies allow you to do fancy things like staying signed into Amazon every time you visit, but they also help advertisers keep better track of their visitors for the purpose of collecting data around conversions, among other things.