Interactive Marketing in 2021 and Beyond: Is your brand doing it right?

The years 2020 and 2021 have impacted the digital marketing world so much that it made us reevaluate the relationship between brands and customers. Many trends have quickly emerged and one is Interactive Marketing. Are you using this tactic well?

What is Interactive Marketing?

As defined by NG Data, Interactive marketing is a “one-to-one marketing practice that centers on individual customer and prospects’ actions. It is customer-centric and focuses on the ways brands react to customer’s actions and preferences, aiming to meet their expectations.” This practice has been used for years but has become more prominent in the beginning of 2020 making it more important than ever.

Adding interactive features to your social media or website is always a great way to encourage customers to get themselves involved with your brand. But you will need to go further than what’s already been done. 

Get to know the types of interactive marketing and why it’s essential to spend more time on them than other practices this year and beyond.

What are the types of Interactive Marketing?

We found that since 2020 began, consumers seek a personalised approach in brands’ messaging. According to a study, 93% of marketers believe that interactive content is more effective at educating consumers and in gaining more page views and conversions compared to static content. 

Special Offers and Giveaways

The best ways to increase your brand’s audience and engagement are with special offers and social contests. People love free stuff! So by offering prizes, may it be a free product from your brand or a huge discount, it will surely catch attention. This is also aimed to grow leads. 

An example of a Giveaway from @themoonshop aimed to boost its number of followers.

A section from themoonshop.com.au offering a discount for every new subscriber. This is aimed to increase its email list.

Quizzes, Polls & Surveys

Quizzes, polls and surveys are effective ways to trigger interaction. These allows brands to gather insights from consumers about their products or services while consumers get to know more about the brands, why and what they need from them.

An example from @netflixanz’s Poll allowing users to recommend content to other users.

A selector that encourages users to purchase a product.

 

Calculators

Calculators create relevancy and simply help the user make decisions.

A calculator section from YourMortgage.com.au to help users determine their mortgage repayments. 

A calculator from Active.com that helps a user decide on food intake and fitness activities. 

Video

This allows users to choose their own journey. It increases engagement and time spent by a user on your website. 

Coldplay’s Ink music video takes the user into the character’s journey.

Email 

Automated Emails

You can send automated emails when a triggering event occurs. Abandoned shopping carts, first timer sign-ups and repeat page visits are types of triggering events. They are reminders, provide further information, new offers and incentives such as gifts of appreciation for showing interest in your brand.

A diagram that shows how a trigger event works.

Email Contests

Newsletters with quizzes are also an effective form of interactive marketing. It keeps the audience interested and makes them read through the end.

A contest within the contents of Silkari Suites at Chatswood’s newsletter.

 

Have you implemented these strategies in your marketing campaigns as of late? Which one’s your favourite and have received the best results?

Tell us how you’ve been using Interactive Marketing for your brand in the comment below.

2021 Social Media Trends You Can’t Ignore

2020 was one crazy year. It’s by far the most disruptive for everyone, including marketers. This year’s events have made it seem impossible to foresee what lies ahead. And even if the crisis is resolved in 2021, the effects will be felt for years to come. There are some emerging trends that will undeniably impact how we execute our strategies moving forward.

How will social media change next year? According to a research from Talkwalker and Hubspot, there are ten trends that will further emerge in the coming year. Find out what they are and why you shouldn’t ignore them.

1. Remixing 

Remixing user-generated content is seen to grow in the next year. Remixing is the art of taking existing formats, templates, or ideas, and recreating them to express a user’s own personality or ideas. It’s been around for a while but it’s seen to have a major growth during the lockdown. According to Talkwalker, remixing is on the rise on mobile apps like TikTok, Instagram Reels and Koji. 

Remix-Koji

An example is this post from a consumer mixing Chipotle’s logos into an existing template from Koji.

2. 4Cs

The pandemic has dramatically transformed consumer behavior. According to a report by Kantar, 78% of consumers expect brands to help them in their daily lives. Because of this, marketers must focus their messaging to address the 4Cs: Community, Cleanliness, Contactless, Compassion.

4Cs

The above analysis shows the number of mentions of the 4 Cs across all online platforms that are COVID-related. This means people are relying on getting information from brands about the pandemic. 

In May 2020, KFC dropped its iconic slogan to promote health and safety measures.

 

According to Janet Machuka, Founder of ATC Digital Academy “It’s not “Finger Lickin” good anymore as KFC temporarily dropped its iconic slogan because, with a pandemic going on, finger lickin’ is “not currently advised” and because of that, they have released a tongue-in-cheek campaign to go with it.”

3. Meme Marketing

Memes are among the most popular and fun ways of keeping communities engaged on social media. The use of memes increased drastically from 19.8million in August 2019 to 24.9million in July 2020. It peaked during lockdown. Online audiences turned to memes as a form of escapism.

Memes are used by brands for a while now as a form of marketing. Here’s one of many brilliant posts from Ruffles, keeping a relatable tone in its messaging.

 

4. Nostalgia Marketing

It’s easy to look back at the ‘good old days’. Talkwalker’s study found that mentions of keywords related to nostalgia increased by 88% as soon as the lockdown hit. 

Positive memories help people forget their current struggles once in a while. Inserting those memories into your brand will build and secure a strong, emotional connection with the consumer.

A master of this is Netflix. Their hit series Stranger Things has already been relying heavily on 80s nostalgia.

5. Conversational Marketing

It’s all about how you connect with your audience. Your brand’s messaging needs to be more conversational to create relationships and eventually build sales and expand your clientele. 

A personalised approach in reaching out to your audience using chatbots, social messaging or calls can drive engagement and sales. 

Offshoring company Staff Domain’s Facebook Page has an interactive chat that allows you to easily select specific services or a job vacancy you’re looking for.

Personalised content also means knowing what your audiences are talking about and joining the conversation. This tweet from Domino’s Pizza is very relatable. They’re finally speaking out about netizen’s sentiments regarding pineapple on a pizza. It ended up earning lots of hilarious responses.

6. Social Gaming

There’s a huge increase in the number of people who identify as gamers. There were 31.1 million of them in August 2019. There are now 41.2 million of them in July 2020. This is because people began to turn to online gaming as a form of escape during lockdown. 

Results from the Talkwalker study suggests that the mentions on gaming are not mainly about the games they play, but who they are playing with. There is a rise in building a bigger community surrounding the gaming industry and it will carry on in 2021. Your brand can explore this world no matter how different it is from yours.

Disney Plus partners up with Fortnite to increase subscriptions.

Beauty brands are now tapping into the gaming industry as well. Tatcha Beauty works with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to promote self-care.

7. Old-School Marketing

Some marketing strategies can suddenly re-emerge in this time of uncertainty. Lately, people are turning to podcasts as information delivered from them is easier to consume.

Voice is making a comeback. Old-school means of communication such as voice calls have also made a major return and its use increased during the lockdown. Voice search, voice notes, and even voice Tweets are already currently on the rise.

8. Adapting to the New Normal

Today’s top social media platforms will maintain its place as they continue to roll out new features to adapt with changing climate of the world.

The big three (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) are more flexible and capable of quickly adapting to consumer habits. Even though there’s a growing popularity in new platforms such as Tiktok and Houseparty, the big three is still the go-to source of news and information for the online community.

Facebook Horizon is the latest feature that gained traction during the lockdown.

Facebook Horizon

9. Digital Disinformation

Since February 2020, mentions of “fake news”, “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories” have grown. Most of it is related to COVID-19 and vaccines. This is now called the “infodemic”, a global spread of misinformation that poses a threat to public health.

Social media has always been the place to find a wide variety of content, from delivering facts to just plain fiction. There was a drastic rise in fake news as soon as COVID-19 hit. The world continues to be misinformed everyday and brands are dragged by it too.

Brandwatch researched on the most shared fake news stories about COVID-19.

A brand who had been a victim of fake news was Vodafone back in April 2020. 

5g

In 2021, brands and social media platforms will focus on highlighting the truth and removing fake news from user feeds.

How can your brand avoid fake news?

  • Be transparent. If your brand is completely open, it’ll be more difficult for people to fill the gaps with dishonesty.
  • Make sure all your platforms are secured to avoid hacks.
  • Monitor your brand to immediately determine if it is being connected to fake news.
  • Get facts straight before sharing anything.
  • Do regular checks on who has access to your brand’s social channels.

10. Socially Conscious Marketing

This is the number one trend to emerge in 2021 according to the Talkwalker study. No doubt this generation is more socially conscious and has impacted brands in a major way. As a marketer, you have to take part in topics pertaining to social justice, mental health, diversity and inclusivity. 

Here’s how your brand can be part of the conversation:

  • Find out what issues matter to your audience. Take it seriously and talk about it with the whole company to make sure you address it correctly.
  • Have a ‘mission-led’ strategy. It will emotionally connect your brand to your audience.
  • Align your marketing and PR. 
  • Be fully committed to your cause. You will experience some bumps on the road (can’t please everyone). So don’t miss out on monitoring your audience’s sentiments and address them.
  • Your brand not marketing around social issues does not make it immune to backlash. 

Nike has been consistent in becoming the voice for change globally. Most recently, it started a campaign to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

nike

Consumers need to be at the centre of your marketing strategy. Consumer is King. It is important to listen to their voice now more than ever. The brands that understand their consumers to heart are the ones that will thrive in 2021. 

Have you started planning your strategies for next year? Let us know how you’re going so far!

 

Types of Social Media Ads and How Your Business Can Benefit

As a marketer, what do you do to get your brand noticed?

Social Media is an avenue for success. It has been proven beneficial for years. Almost 40% of the world’s population are social media users, and that’s why it’s such an effective marketing tool.

It has created a way for businesses to send out their brands’ message to their target audience. Survey says that 73% of small businesses invest in social media, and the most used platforms by marketers in Australia are Facebook and Instagram.

The value of social media is practically embedded into the basics of marketing these days. Brands take advantage of the tools the platforms offer, set up pages and reach out to online communities by joining and setting up groups to organically promote their brands, and most importantly, they use ads.

If your business hasn’t tried setting up ads and you don’t know where to start, learning the different ad types is an important first step. It will help you determine when it is appropriate to do what.

A Simple Guide to Facebook & Instagram Ad Types

Boost Post

Do you want your existing posts to have more exposure? Launch campaign by boosting your post to show it more frequently to a wider audience, or to a specific target. It will guarantee an increased number of reach and engagement.

Page Like

Do you want to gain more followers and page likes? Create an ad content that includes a specific Call-To-Action button to encourage your target audience to like your page. This is currently only available for the Facebook platform and not Instagram.

Promotional

Are you aiming to increase your website traffic and/or to sell a product via your social media page? Create an ad content with Call-To-Action button that will take your customers to your website or product page.

Spotify’s promotional Instagram Story for its Premium offer with a Call-To-Action “Listen Now” at the bottom. CTA redirects you to the Spotify App.

Retargeting

Do you want to tap into the feeds of people who have recently visited your website, or people from your email marketing list? Have your ad delivered to a specific audience with retargeting.

Both Promotional and Retargeting ads will not show on your page. These are only visible on your target audience’s feed.

So, which one is the best one? It really depends on your marketing goal. But of course, the ad won’t be effective if you don’t create an awesome content.

Plan and design your caption and creative. Create your social media posts by choosing the right visuals and planning them carefully. Check out our tips here! Once you’ve finalised your content, you’re ready to set sail!

So ‘What’s in it for me?’ you may ask. Well, social media guarantees a range of potential results. As you set up your ad, it presents a specific number of reach and engagement. Here are some of the benefits of social media ads.

• Significant increase in exposure

More people will develop an awareness for your brand. You will become more discoverable. This will then lead to increased number of reach and engagement. This also means attracting leads and developing industry partnerships.

• Community building

When your brand attracts more followers and/or page likes, it will also develop loyal online fans. You’ll have more valuable interactions and conversations with your audience. Facebook and Instagram have made this easy with messenger pop-up and the Q&A feature on stories.

Source: 3nions Youtube Channel

• Attracting talent

Social media has become a way for businesses to showcase their employee experience (EX) and company culture. Therefore, it convinces online job seekers to apply for a role in your company. Social media is indeed a gateway to recruitment opportunities.

• Providing consumer insight

By looking at your social media analytics, you will easily determine your audience behavior. It will help you discover more about what your customers are looking for.

Despite all these advantages, there are still some businesses not keen on using social media to promote their brands. They may be hesitant to try something which for them is out of the ordinary. But every business must take a chance!

How much time and money are you spending on your campaigns? Are you doing it efficiently? Is your brand getting enough exposure it needs? Haven’t tried social media ads yet? Confused? We want to know! Chat to us about your business’ current pain points or concerns and let us help pave your social media path!

How To Create Eye-Popping Instagram Content

We all know that visual content is a real attention grabber, and one of the most successful platforms to capture the attention of online audiences is Instagram. Research suggests that Instagram will become even more popular in the years to come!

More businesses are leaning towards the use of Instagram as their main social media platform, with 69% of marketers planning to increase their organic activities on Instagram over the next 12 months! Here’s why:

  • Most Instagram users are Millennials and Gen Zs, which make up the majority of online consumers today
  • Instagram has a mobile-friendly interface
  • Marketers find Instagram better for branding
  • Users can explore and get discovered more quickly because of the use of hashtags
  • Most posts on Instagram are positive and inspirational

As a business, how can you utilise this platform? Are you doing enough to get your message across but at the same time keeping up with the trends?

Make It Pop!

One of the keys to gaining higher engagement rates on social media is highly compelling visuals. It takes effort to create a visually stunning feed, and it’s not only about simply posting any photos or videos at random.

How do you pick the right ones and carefully plan your Instagram posts? Here are some tips from our Social Media team:

Know What Your Brand Is All About

Your image posts need to have a similar look and tone with your branding.

For example, if you use teal and grey as the main colour scheme in your branding, then try applying this look and feel to the images you post. You may even apply the chessboard effect (alternating between dark and light) to create an extra layer of consistency throughout the feed.

Master The Art of Curation

Do some visual styling. When planning the order of your posts, visualise how your entire feed (profile) will look. Are the colours balanced? Do the tones of each post look uniform or work well with each other? Does it look consistent?

You may even cut a large image into smaller pieces so that different posts can form a bigger picture on your feed, like a puzzle!

A good example of this is Coca-Cola’s Instagram feed. For their social media campaign of their partnership with most-watched series on Netflix set in the 80’s, Stranger Things, they used these 80’s themed posters of the ‘New Coke’, videos that looked like it was shot using an old VHS camera and of course, the upside down Stranger Things font and visual style.

Schedule Your Posts

Use social media tools to plan and schedule your posts. Choose the ones that would best fit your marketing workflow, needs and budget.

  • Preview App allows you to see in Instagram’s grid view what your feed will look like. You can see all your scheduled posts in one glance. You can drag and drop your posts around.
  • Later is an Instagram tool that allows you to schedule your posts and stories. If you’re working in teams, you can also share your drafted posts with your teammates.
  • Gain is like Later minus the feature on scheduling stories. It also allows other team members and clients (if you’re an agency) to easily leave notes and approve the drafted posts and send them to be updated or scheduled.

Reveal What Goes On Behind The Scenes

While you want to curate the best version of your brand on the feed, your brand still needs to stay ‘human’ and grounded. Share what goes on behind the scenes (BTS) to make everything happen and further interact and create relevance with your followers!

If you’re a photographer, for example, and you’ve just posted your most recent work, then post some behind-the-scenes shots as well! To avoid “killing the look” it’s generally more ideal to post them via your Instagram Stories, unless you have BTS content that’s just as high quality as the images you use for your feed!

Famous photographer in Asia, Shaira Luna, takes us behind-the-scenes of her latest shoot.

Make Your Team The Stars

Show off your employees! It’s an easy way to share the pride your team takes in the work they do, and also helps to humanise your brand! Share photos of them at work or having fun together. Showcase your company culture. Hootsuite is an example of a brand that does awesome work with their employee experience.

Never, EVER, Use Staged Stock Images!

Stock images are a huge NO, especially when they’re overly staged and unnatural! Some companies would rather buy stock images than hire professional photographers, but what they don’t get is that bad stock images are really bad for their brand. Here’s why:

  • There is no authenticity.
  • It’s not subtle – always looking too staged and forced.
  • Models are overused.
  • It doesn’t show anything unique about your brand!
Example of an unnaturally staged stock photo.
Nobody is that excited to be at work. Ever.

Consistency Is The Key!

Your posts have to streamline its tone of voice with your brand. Follow the brand styling guidelines. Pick photos that would reflect your brand. Use a specific filter, so that when a person sees your profile or your post, they immediately know that it’s your brand they’re seeing. If you’re using videos, then apply the same formula.

Keep it consistent, but also make it diverse. Find a diverse range of topics to post about that would be relevant and useful to your target audience, and accompany them with compelling and eye-popping visuals.

Create content that adds value to your Instagram audiences’ lives, while spoiling them with a constant feast for their eyes 😉