social media

What Is Retargeting?

by Brandon Berte on January 12, 2016

You’ve probably noticed it before: You’re shopping online for a new pair of shoes, umbrella or book. Whether or not you make a purchase, ads for the items you browsed seem to show up everywhere — across social media, sandwiched between every article you read, next to Google searches, and even in apps.

Target audience

This is known as retargeting, aka remarketing. Google explains:

Remarketing helps you reach people who have visited your website or used your app. Previous visitors or users can see your ads as they browse websites that are part of the Google Display Network, or as they search for terms related to your products or services on Google.

Retargeting works especially well for retail brands across just about any industry. It allows businesses to reintroduce themselves to consumers who have done any of the following:

  • Abandoned their online shopping carts
  • Made recent online purchases
  • Recently visited an e-commerce site

The obvious benefit of retargeting is that it helps increase conversions. It allows you to reach users who have already expressed an interest in your brand and its products. They’ll be more likely to return to your site with continued marketing.

Retargeting also boosts brand awareness. The more consumers see your brand, the more recognizable it will become. Remind until you’re remembered. Persist until you’re irresistible.

Another advantage of retargeting is that it helps companies optimize their advertising spend. Through targeting shoppers who are already familiar with and interested in your brand, your advertising dollars go to better use.

Creative Partners specializes in online marketing. If survival is securing engagement with your audience, success is simply driving more interaction to keep the traffic coming. To learn more about how retargeting fits into the equation, give us a call today at (203) 705-9211. For more tips, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Brands have used storytelling to attract customers for more than 100 years. One of the earliest examples is “The Michelin Guides,” a 400-page manual on car maintenance, which was written in 1900. The literature perfectly blended storytelling and useful car maintenance tips.

content is king

Content marketing is just another way for brands to tell their story. And with the advent of the Internet, anyone can write content online — making for stiff competition. To stand out, take advantage of these top trends:

Apply journalism techniques. The key to good content marketing is creating valuable, shareable content. Journalists are masters of storytelling, and a big part of what makes them so successful is the style in which they write. Using the inverted pyramid structure (sharing the most interesting and important information at the start and saving less significant details for later) ensures you get straight to the point, which is of utmost importance when it comes to writing for the Web.

Consider native advertising. Advertising is less disruptive when it’s presented in the same format as content audiences are already seeking out. If you’re looking for new ways to promote your brand, consider native advertising (i.e., sponsored stories and in-feed promotions). Business Insider reports that native advertisements perform better than traditional display ads, and that consumers also prefer it.

Use social media. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Your brand needs to be active on social media. In 2015, publishing and social media began to intersect. Twitter rolled out a retweet feature allowing users to add lengthy comments back in April. There’s also talk of Twitter completely doing away with its 140-character limit, which would make social media content marketing easier than ever.

Other trends in content marketing include:

  • Video and other visuals
  • Long-form content (episodes and series)
  • Interactive storytelling
  • Quality over quantity

Whether you’re a small business or a big brand, keeping up with trends in advertising and marketing can be challenging. Leave it to us. You can count on the experts at Creative Partners to craft your story with a faithful consistency of message that will hold across all media channels, traditional and new. Give us a call at (203) 705-9211.

For more tips, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Ready or not, 2016 is right around the corner. We recently discussed which social networks are poised to explode in the new year. Today, we’ll take a broader look at trends expected to make waves across the social web over the next 12 months:

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Immediate sharing— Social media has been “in-the-moment” for years, and in 2016, that trend will only continue. As live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat gain steam, users are growing accustomed to on-the-go updates as opposed to retrospective posts. They also expect prompt responses to customer service requests via social media.

Social buying— Social media users will soon be able to buy products and services without ever having to leave their favorite platforms. Twitter already offers a “Buy Now” button to brands working with Bigcommerce, Demandware, Shopify or Stripe. There’s also “Buy it on Pinterest” and “Buy Products” on Facebook. These features will be fine-tuned and made more widely available in 2016.

More emojis— Facebook and Twitter are both testing emoji reaction tools, meaning likes and favorites will soon be a thing of the past. Emojis have become extremely popular — so popular, in fact, that Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji. Needless to say, users are likely to be 100 percent on board.

What trends are you most looking forward to? Are there any we missed? Share your thoughts with Creative Partners on Facebook and Twitter!

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While the concept of public relations has been around for centuries, it’s more prominent now than ever before. It’s not only one of the fastest growing fields, but it’s a necessity — no matter the brand or industry. Receiving favorable publicity in the media is key to a brand’s survival in the marketplace.

Woman drawing a business plan

As we approach 2016, public relations continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Below is a list of a few trends to look out for:

Mobile usage is growing— In 2008, 12 percent of adults used mobile devices every day to access digital media; today, that number has grown to 51 percent. How does the growing shift toward mobile affect PR? Audiences can now access information more easily than ever before, so public relations professionals have to be prepared — whether that means creating apps or offering mobile customer support.

Security is a growing concern— Online security is a major issue that affects almost everyone. As technology continues to advance, so does the growing concern that private information can be leaked. (Remember 2014’s industry-changing Sony hack?) Public relations professionals need to be ready to handle a breach in security with a crisis management plan.

Say goodbye to traditional press releases— Just as other forms of communication are evolving, so is the press release. Long-winded press releases are a thing of the past. Now more than ever before, people expect to get information quickly and efficiently. Incorporating visuals — like infographics, GIFs and videos — not only makes a press release more attention-grabbing, but also easier to digest.

Say hello to social media— Social media has replaced the law of traditional public relations. Journalists rely heavily on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to find newsworthy stories. Share yours across the social web to meet the media where they are — instead of jamming up their inboxes.

If your company needs help managing the buzz, turn to Creative Partners. We’ll ensure you reach key audiences in a way that supports your brand and its value to media analysts, policy makers, influencers, customers and shareholders. Call us at (203) 705-9211. For more tips, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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It seems like no matter where you turn, there’s a new social media platform popping up. In the past few years we have seen websites and apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and Tinder take over the media forefront. We are coming to the end of 2015, and there are a few promising new social media platforms that are growing rapidly.

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Below we will list a few:

Wanelo— Isn’t it about time that shopping became more social? This social network’s name is derived from the words “want, need, love.” Once downloaded, you are free to browse an endless amount of products offered by major brands, online retailers and even independent creators. You can even make a wish list, establish connections and take a sneak peak on what your friends are looking at.

Shots— This social network takes the selfie to a whole new level. Users snap their photos and upload them to a minimalistic dashboard. The app allows other users to view the selfies and even send them to other members. It may sound like a lame Snapchat-Instagram hybrid, but with some minor tweaks, we can really see this platform taking off.

Ello— It may seem similar to Facebook and Tumblr in the way that it allows users to make connections, share updates, and post photos and videos, but there’s one key difference: Ello does not allow any advertising. The social media site pledges to never be owned by advertisers and to never sell user information. As privacy is a major concern for users, Ello may be the perfect answer for a worrisome social media dweller.

Hyper— Hyper combines some of our favorite existing social media features into one new network. It allows users to upload pictures like Instagram, but also invites users to upvote or downvote content, similar to Reddit and Yik Yak. The result? Users are only shown relevant photos tailored to their tastes.

What do you think about these up-and-coming social media platforms? Do you have any to add to the list? Connect with Creative Partners and share your ideas with us on Facebook!

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Instagram Advertising 101

by Brandon Berte on December 3, 2015

For a brand to be noticed, it needs to be in front of as many eyes as possible. With 400 million active users, photo and video sharing app Instagram certainly fits the bill.

Instagram application on Apple iPhone 5S

Here’s what you need to know before diving into Instagram advertising:

Demographics. According to Pew Research Center, 28 percent of online adults use Instagram. Moreover, 55 percent of online young adults (ages 18-29) use Instagram. Here’s a closer look:

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Who can advertise? Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012. Any business or brand with a Facebook Page can advertise on Instagram. Ad information and design — including name and logo — are pulled directly from Facebook. Instagram ads can be created using ad creation, Power Editor or the Facebook Ads API.

Targeting. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, its ads have similar targeting capabilities. If an Instagram user has his or her profile connected to a Facebook account, in-depth profile information can be used for targeting.

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Success stories. Businesses of all sizes have benefited from Instagram advertising. Instagram points to three big brand success stories: Lexus, PayPal and GE. Click through to read how these companies achieved their advertising goals and more.

Interested in promoting your brand on Instagram? Allow the experts of Creative Partners to help! We understand the many ways to enhance your presence on Instagram and throughout other emerging online platforms. To get in touch, call us at (203) 705-9211. For more tips, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Twitter held its second annual Flight Developer Conference on Wednesday, October 21 in San Francisco, California. Approximately 1,000 developers and Twitter users were in attendance to learn about developments in the popular social platform. Below, we recap the updates and innovations:

For Developers

Newly re-appointed CEO Jack Dorsey recognized a strained relationship between Twitter and developers, and issued an apology. He asked that the relationship be “reset,” and he invited developers to share their feedback on how to help Twitter prosper and move forward. Here are some other key takeaways for developers:

  • A major performance update was announced for Crashlytics, which helps developers track the performance of their applications.
  • A tweet composer that previews tweets inside other apps was introduced, which should help increase app install rates
  • New software development kits were unveiled, including Stripe, Amazon Web Services and Optimizely

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For Users and Brands

  • Twitter Publish is a new tool for showing off embedding tweets, giving users the opportunity to build a collage of images around tweets
  • Twitter Polls will now be available to everyone
  • Twitter wants to make it easier for businesses to connect to users, and a new update now grants a business the ability to connect a customer’s Twitter handle and phone number to a customer account
  • Users can now tweet from other apps
  • With two new features, Engagement API and Audience API, Twitter is making it effortless to retrieve and understand data for content and marketing.
  • A new Twitter for Mac desktop app, which offers practically everything the mobile and web versions do

What do you think? Are the updates enough to make developers and advertisers happy? We’d love to hear your feedback! Sound off at Creative Partners’ Facebook page.

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Native advertising is a creative way for companies to sell their products. No matter what websites you visit, you’re most likely exposed to some sort of native advertising fairly frequently. This form of advertising attempts to blend in with your normal everyday content, whether it’s in a Buzzfeed article on the scariest haunted houses in your area or in a YouTube video explaining how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

Native ads don’t have a clear definition, but put into simple terms, they are a form of advertising so tightly intermixed within the site they’re being promoted on that customers usually can’t tell they’re advertising. This brilliant new form of advertising came into play after researchers found that consumers strongly dislike and pay little attention to traditional banner ads. The media industry found a way to eliminate the banner ad and creatively advertise within the content itself.

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Here are some useful tips on native advertising:

Whatever medium you use to advertise, native ads can offer major benefits to your business. Some of these benefits include:

  • Building brand awareness and trust
  • Bringing subscribers to your content
  • Attracting new audiences to previously published posts
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social proof (likes, comments and shares)

To get the most out of your native ad investment, it is essential that you create content that is beneficial and interesting, attracts attention and provides some sort of value. Be sure to follow these steps:

  • Publish the content that the ad is promoting on your own site. If your article features infographics, charts or graphs, be sure they appear on your site first with their own URLs.
  • Always include a call-to-action that links to your blog or other social media pages.
  • Create content your audience will find less disruptive and more engaging through segmentation with tools such as geo-targeting, demographics and interests.

Retarget native ads to people who have come to your website to view a product or service, or deliver native ads based on search interest. For example, if own a nightclub, you could deliver a promoted tweet suggesting your venue to someone searching for things to do this weekend. Targeting the right person can encourage first time and repeat purchases.

To learn more about how to incorporate native advertising into your overall strategy, give Creative Partners a call at (203) 705-9211. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn for more tips!

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Social media used to be a place for friends to share status updates and reconnect, but that’s all changed. Today, social networks are the be-all and end-all for marketing. It should come as no surprise, then, that a large percentage of consumers (74 percent!) turn to social media before making a purchase.

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But what exactly does that mean? Are consumers opening Twitter and buying the first product that pops out? Not quite.

It’s more about brands than products. Companies are using social media to reach a wider audience while also creating a consistent and personable brand voice. Consumers find this to be endearing, building brand loyalty. Here are a few other ways shoppers use social media:

  • Trend watching – Consumers turn to their favorite social platforms to keep up with the latest in everything from fashion to technology.
  • Finding new brands – Social media is also a great way to discover and learn more about new businesses.
  • Customer service – Buyers have come to expect fast responses to questions, comments and concerns, whether through a Facebook review or an Instagram comment.

What this all means for brands is that, yes, it’s important to be present on social media. But having a plan is even more essential. That’s where Creative Partners can help. With 25 years of experience, we deliver the goods. We deliver motive: motive for buying, motive for selling, motive for igniting.

To learn more, visit us online or call us directly at (203) 705-9211. Don’t forget to connect with Creative Partners on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

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Walk into just about any store in the mall and you’d think it’s the holiday season. Yes, retailers are already revamping aisles and displays for the holidays. Shouldn’t you be preparing your online ad campaigns as well?

This year, more consumers are expected to do their holiday shopping on mobile devices than ever before. At the same time, more people are turning to social media to discover new brands and find the perfect gift.

Facebook Advertising - Preparing for the Holiday Season - Creative Partners

All that said, make the following tweaks to your Facebook advertising campaign now to make the most out of the coming months:

Reconsider your target audience. Do your best to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes. What activities do they enjoy? What are their interests? How do they spend their time — both online and offline? Use Audience Insights, a free Facebook tool, to take a closer look at your audience and its demographics. Pay close attention to data on past purchases, location and lifestyle.

Make your ads mobile-friendly. Facebook reports that, in 2014, almost half of all online shopping traffic came from mobile devices. Moreover, 56 percent of in-store purchases were influenced by mobile experience. If your holiday ads aren’t optimized for mobile and desktop, then you’re missing out.

Budget wisely. It’s important that your brand is visible on and around key dates this holiday season, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Companies like Amazon and Best Buy are already releasing sneak peeks at their deals.) Consider advertising limited-time offers — such as free shipping and coupon codes — specifically for these popular events.

Creative Partners is a full-service marketing agency. Allow us to help your business excel this holiday season and beyond. Give us a call today at (203) 705-9211, and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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