Social media has changed the shopping experience for everyone—brands, retailers, and consumers. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, and others are now a constant and significant influence on what, where, and how often consumers buy.
When we speak about the path to purchase in this article, we’re talking about influencing consumers before, during, and after their purchase—specifically in the social media sphere.
Stats are always a good place to start:
There are 80 million Millennials—24.5% of the US population. They are the largest adult generation, ever and are projected to account for 30% of retail sales by 2020—surpassing Baby Boomers!
They will significantly impact the success or failure of your brand.
As marketers, if you want your brand to be relevant and meaningful to Millennials, you need to know their behavior and how to communicate with them. They are different.
First off, Millennials are the most ethnically and racially diverse group in our nation’s history. They’re less religious, come from “non-traditional” families, and are on track to become the most educated generation. So much for apple pie and Chevrolet!
As a college student finishing up my senior year, one of my final requirements to graduate is to log a certain number of hours at an internship. Many people I've talked to dread this part of their college career, saying it's just a waste of time and that they'd never do it again. Are internships as bad as they sound, or could they be one of the best decisions you've ever made? As I'm halfway through the fall semester as well as my internship with Allebach Communications, I thought it would be helpful to explore what an internship really is in this essay.
The number one problem people have with an internship is that, more often than not, it's unpaid. It goes against logic to spend time and gas money on a job that takes without giving. How will you pay for rent? Or groceries? The phone bill? These things weigh heavy on the mind as you rack up the hours without a paycheck at the end of the week. Worse yet, once it's all over you go work a full day at your retail job so you can make ends meet. It's a rigorous schedule, and most definitely not for the faint of heart. Going to school, going to your internship, going to your job, managing your home life--that's a lot of stuff to juggle.
There’s a good reason traditional broadcast radio is a valued part of most media plans year after year. It offers high reach, good targetability, and extraordinarily low costs compared to TV.
Now imagine having the ability to target each and every one of your radio listeners by age, gender, geographic location and specific songs they like, add response tracking and socialsharing, then top it all off with a visual display that can run digital ads along with your radio spots, no matter what type of digital device they’re listening on — web, mobile, web-enabled TV, even car audio systems (targeted by automobile make and model).
Consumer food brands often wrestle with effectively bridging the gap between online and in-store shoppers–most of the time over complicating the marketing process. It’s simple; most consumers discover your brand online, and then activate in-store.
78% of all US shoppers go online to research and purchase products and services. This means they either discover, validate, and/or activate your brand online.
91% of consumers say that something they have done online has prompted them to visit a store. Email continues to be the biggest influence, with 60% of consumers being motivated to visit a store after receiving an email with a special price or promotion.
It’s official: YouTube is now second to only Google itself in terms of search queries. Which only makes sense — when we want information about something, we Google it, but when we want to know how to use something or cook it properly, we visit YouTube to watch a video on the right way to do it.
Over a billion unique viewers visit YouTube every month, watching over 4 billion videos a day. And foodies use it just as much as anyone else,with the Food Network and Epicurious channels fast becoming two of the most popular YouTube food channels.
For food brands and manufacturers, the ever-increasing popularity of both cooking shows and video content creates many opportunities for creating brand followers. After all, what more convincing way to show customers how easy it is to prepare your products than to let them watch you do it in your own videos?
“Mobile is too big of an opportunity for retailers to not properly seize.” says Adam Lavine, CEO of FunMobility. Mobile presents many strategic advantages for retailers to differentiate their brand, strengthen customer relationships and loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue. While nearly 83% of the top retailers already provide a mobile offering, there are only one-in-three who actually provide all three platforms – mobile web, iOS and Android.
A recent post featured Chiquita’s big hit as they stepped into social media for the first time. As part of their 2012 Summer FanFun Sweepstakes and partnership with Little League, they worked with FunMobility to create a multi-platform app. This encouraged consumers to check-in at their favorite retailers to participate in the sweepstakes, interact with games, make Little League baseball cards and ultimately connect more with the brand and the retailers carrying their product.
As I look back at my notes from the Path to Purchase Institute’s Shopper Marketing Summit [http://www.shoppersummit.com] last week, I realize just how much there is to share. Rather than overwhelming you, I will provide a few bullets for you to think about.
As a brand, your digital presence is incredibly important. It should be a given that brands regularly post new content on their website and across all social media platforms. It keeps consumers informed, provides access to up-to-date information on your products and helps keep your presence on the web relevant (from a search engine standpoint and to the consumer). Nothing is worse than going to a website to look up information and finding something incorrect or outdated, or going to a brand's Facebook or Twitter page and seeing their last post was from 6 months ago.
In addition to continuing to push out information and promotional messages about your products, your brand should be posting content that is timely and relevant. Keep up with what is in the media and entertainment world and join in the conversations with consumers. Your website may not always be the best place for this, but your social media accounts sure are.
On Monday of this week, Google announced that it would be ending the RSS service "Google Reader" which was a content aggregator that is still widely used by a very core group of enthusiasts. So if the audience is there and the service is being used then why would they go out of their way to upset a very loyal and vocal readership? In order to answer this I think we have to look at what RSS provides and what recent developments in technology have meant for the service.
RSS was always one of those things that everyone wanted to know about but few people really understood. The way it works is you select an aggregator RSS service like Google reader. You then subscribe to any RSS feeds of your choosing from various websites. When the content was updated on the site, it would appear through your aggregator. People that championed the service liked to compare it to a television station that only got the channels you wanted. Marketers loved it because it was a way to distribute content to people interested in your product or industry. These are the elusive "evangelists" we're always chasing.