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!

 

7 ways your hotel can engage with your audience during COVID-19

Although many businesses have remained open or are already reopened, they continue to struggle from the impact of COVID-19. One industry that has been overwhelmingly affected by this crisis is the hospitality industry. As businesses are forced to reconsider financial plans, marketers too are forced to reevaluate their communication strategies to optimise for the lowest cost with the highest impact.

So how should you assign your marketing budget if no one is actively searching and booking holidays and dining out? Not to worry – there are still plenty of opportunities for your brand to engage with your audience despite the restrictions, so they can keep you in mind for when they’re ready to visit your establishment again!

Here are 7 ways to keep your hotel or restaurant on the radar:

1. Encourage wellness

Provide useful (and shareable!) content that encourages your audience to boost their wellness and stay safe during the pandemic.

Here’s an example from Silkari Suites at Chatswood who have shared tips on doing meditation and yoga at home.

 

2. Offer freebies

Although restaurants and hotels took a big hit in revenue due to COVID-19, many in the industry have chosen to give back to the medical community by offering donated meals or a free stay at the hotel.

Accor Hotels found a way to do this by partnering with Sunrise.

3. Engage with your audience

Some hotels started a competition to encourage user interaction for a chance to win a free or discounted stay, others have opted for something simply fun like creating a Spotify channel.

Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel aimed to personally connect with their audience remotely and felt the best way was through music, so the team members created a Spotify channel with songs close to their heart. Members from all departments and levels contributed, “from the housekeeping team to chefs and the front office,” says General Manager Pedro Pinto.

4. Sell meals kits 

Consider selling ‘almost-ready’ versions of your most-wanted dishes.

For example, Sydney restaurant CicciaBella offered “takeaway for the home” packs that allows its audience to take their culinary experience home to enjoy.

5. Share your DIY cooking videos

With nothing better to do, many people are looking for ways to pick up new skills at home, or enhance their stay-at-home experience, such as cooking up more advanced dishes.

Zagame’s House posted a video of Head Chef Michael Tse sharing simple and delicious ways to make pasta. This is also a good type of content for your brand if you’re offering almost-ready meals.

6. Post about your health and safety protocols

It’s important reassure your audience and let potential guests know about your health and safety protocols. An example is Meriton Suites’ ‘StaySafe’ program which explains how they have applied the latest government guidelines to best protect their guests and staff during and after the pandemic.

7. Know your timing

Above all, we need to be considerate and mindful that these are uncertain times, so timing and appropriateness of messaging are of the utmost importance to maintain and build a good brand reputation.

The marketing plans we had strategised for 2020 has been constantly and drastically changing throughout the course of the year, the best way to ensure your brand stays connected with its audience is to stay on top of the latest news, regulations, and apply the highest level of customer service and empathy (as you normally would!) to all levels of communication. That way, you can keep your audience entertained and inspired so that when they’re ready to travel again, your brand is the one they think of.

 

 

How can businesses utilise social media coming out of the current pandemic

Businesses of all shapes and forms worldwide have been hit hard by the impact of COVID-19. 

How has the pandemic affected consumer behavior and how have brands and social media platforms responded?

The online user behavior has shifted

Governments have implemented self quarantine measures nationwide to ease the spread of COVID-19. People staying at home means spending more time online.

Sprout Social says 11am daily is now the peak hour, while 5pm has shown a drop off as people working from home are also finding a balance between workload and family/home demands.

There has also been a rise in demand for food delivery services and furniture and office equipment as companies have shifted to a work-from-home scheme, research finds.

How are brands adjusting to these changes?

Brands are focusing on inspirational content

Companies are putting more effort on creating content with messaging of hope. Here are samples from some top brands: 

  1. A pledge to ‘stay at home and save lives’

Instagram has launched a new story sticker called “Stay Home” to promote social distancing.

(Photo from Twitter.com/Instagram)

 

  1. Appreciation for health professionals and other first responders.

McDonald’s offers free coffee for all healthcare workers.

 

  1. Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer suggests that companies are expected to showcase initiatives in helping their employees.

Offshoring company Staff Domain helped their employees continue their work by providing equipment brought to their homes.

 

  1. Companies/individuals showing how they have contribute to defeat COVID-19 through a fundraiser post.

Influencers in the beauty industry have collaborated remotely on YouTube for a cause.

 

Center for Disease Control in the US call for donations in Facebook

 

According to Sprout Social, brands have also increased their presence in direct message responses especially in the health care and media industries as these have become the top of mind during this time. Meanwhile, sports and travel industries have seen a massive decline in the number of posts due to restrictions in sporting events and tourism.

In the first few weeks of global quarantining, engagement rates were down across all industries. However, as of the beginning of May, engagement rates on Facebook and Instagram started rising again. Posting frequencies increased as marketers began to adjust to the new normal. 

With users now spending more time online, brands must focus on the relationship-building aspect of social media, rather than heavily promoting their products and services, and take advantage of their audiences’ extra attention on the platforms.

Social Media platforms launching new features to support small businesses

As small businesses are facing challenges during the pandemic, social media platforms are finding ways to supporting them.

  • Facebook introduced the Business Resource Hub which aims to keep small business owners informed of the ongoing crisis. They also rolled out the Facebook Shop to help businesses improve their user experience. Customers will easily browse through the products, add to cart and check out within the platform itself. Keeping in touch with customers is also made easy with Messenger, Insta Direct and WhatsApp for Business. 

Ink Meets Paper Facebook Shop

A sample of  Facebook Shop from US-based small business, Ink Meets Paper.

(Image from Facebook)

Facebook Shops had been working on this Checkout feature for a while now, but expedited roll out to support e-commerce sites during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s currently being rolled out in the US and we’re looking forward to seeing it become available soon here in Australia.

  • LinkedIn launched their own Coronavirus Resources Hub. It helps people find jobs, explore volunteer work and look for talent. It also started offering free or discounted webinars, learning courses and job postings.
  • Twitter pushed up COVID-19 related news and updates in the Explore tab to prioritise the more important and relevant topics.
  • Instagram launched a new way for people to easily discover and support these businesses through Stories with a ‘Support Small’ sticker. The platform also recently rolled out ‘Food Orders’ and ‘Gift Cards’. New stickers for Stories and Call-to-Action buttons that help restaurants showcase delivery options. Gift Up!, Neto, TheFork and Rise.ai are the available Gift Card partners in Australia.

Lord Lygon offers wine delivery.

 

Social media is playing a vital role to help support businesses by developing these resources keeping consumer trends top of mind. What do people need now more than ever? What are the things they are most worried about? How can they do their part to help those who are in need?

At the end of the day, we all have one common goal: to support each other when times are tough.

 

How has COVID-19 affected your business’ marketing efforts? What adjustments are you making to cope with the current crisis we all face? Let us know!

 

How to Rescue Your Website from a Hostage Crisis

Help, Rescue My Website!

Did you lose your website to your web manager and don’t know how to get it back?

If you’re reading this now, you may have missed our previous post on how to spot a website hostage crisis and its preventive measures. Probably, you’re also losing sleep by now because your business website is in a hostage situation.

How to Rescue Your Website from a Hostage Crisis

So, are the signs all pointing to your website being held hostage? Did you just lose access to your website? Here’s a quick guide on how you can get your website back:

rescue my web site
  • Are you the owner?

Remember who set up your Domain Name Server, Web Hosting Account and the File Transfer Protocol. If you were the one who set these up, then great! You won’t have problems retrieving access. You are still the owner of your website even if the developer changed credentials.

  • So, you’re the owner. Awesome! Now what?

You can remove the developer from accessing your website. It may cost you a few calls to the right people, but it is worth it. You’ll gain back control over your website by deleting the developer’s File Transfer Protocol (FTP) account. This is only applicable if you’ve created your own FTP account. Don’t forget to create one for yourself.

  • Next, change the passwords!

Change all your passwords, especially your domain registrar. When you do this, the developer is no longer able to change any Domain Name Server (DNS) settings.

  • What if you’re not the owner?

Don’t worry! You still have a chance to retrieve what you’ve lost!

If the web host isn’t the one who holds your website hostage, you can ask them to change the password for you. You’re still paying for your website. This means you are still its solid owner even though you’re locked out by the developer.

  • But what if you don’t own anything?

Can lawyers help? Possibly. Can you consult another (and a more trustworthy) web developer? Sure.

And if ownership sits with the website developer and they won’t budge, it may be time to consider having the website built from scratch so you can stop losing sleep – and doing it correctly to make sure you have ownership and control of it all moving forward!

If you’re going through this, it’s okay! You’re not alone. Talk to us and let’s discuss how we can help you rescue your website!

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!

Top 8 Ways to Make Your Social Content “Taggable”

As a business, how do you get your audience to tag their friends and hit that share button on your posts? How can you make your social media content shareable, engaging, and, well, “tag-worthy”?

Social media platforms are changing more frequently than ever before, and businesses need to constantly come up with better, more creative ways to break through the noise and capture their audiences’ attention.

Not sure where to start? Here are the Top 8 Ways to Make Your Social Content “Taggable”!

1. Create A Compelling Headline

This is the first impression your content makes on your audience! One study suggests that most people share articles based only on the headlines, so make sure it’s relevant to your audience and emphasises why your content will add value to their lives.

And no, we’re not referring to clickbaits. No one likes the feeling of being lured into something false, so make sure your headline is compelling while being true to the content!

2. Pick A Hot Topic

What type of news and trends does your audience watch out for? What topics are they are interested in? Do your research. Check out what competitors are sharing. If you already have an established blog, take a peek into your analytics and explore your audience behavior – use your data to identify popular topics and get writing!

3. Write Something Practical

A study on the psychology of content sharing showed that 90% of social media users share helpful content that is beneficial in solving other people’s problems. Majority of your content should include solid information or some form of advice.

Another popular content type are not only informative, but fun as well. Examples of these are list posts (headlines that start with words like “Top” or “Most”) and instructional contents (the “How-Tos” and “DIYs”).

Screenshots from Buzzfeed’s Tasty successful DIY videos.
Source: AdWeek.

4. Tell A Story

People love a relatable story. If you put a personal touch to your content, and people relate to it, they are more likely to share it. We are emotional beings and whatever we see online that makes us laugh, smile, cry, or angry, we share and pass it on.

Also try tugging at heartstrings with Nostalgia and Collective Memories.

If you know, you know. #80skids

5. Make It Timeless

While it’s important to stay relevant and cover hot topics, there’s also value in creating timeless content.

According to a study by Buzzamo, evergreen content consistently gains shares and links. Create content your audiences can go back to after a couple of years that would still feel relevant and shareable. These also means you’ll have content you can reuse again and again over the years!

A “listicle” from the Independent.co.uk from 2017 – still relevant today!

6. Make It Easy To Absorb

Have you heard of TL;DR?

Not everyone has the time to read a lengthy article, but there are other ways you can pass on useful information and get your post shared. Explore the different content formats and determine which one best fits your content and audience’s interests.

Here are the top content formats to maximise post engagement:

Videos

Studies show that 92% of social media users watching video on mobile will share it, and social video gets shared 1200% more than text and image posts combined. Make a video content that resonates with your audience, and most importantly, make it short and sweet.

 Images

Staged stock photos are a big NO NO! They look unnatural and boring. Create your own images, one that reflects your brand and the message you want to convey to your audience.

Example of an unnaturally staged stock photo.
Nobody is that excited to be at work. Ever.
Tacobell’s brilliant Instagram summer campaign.

Find out how you can create your image posts that speaks about your brand <link separate article on creating your image posts here>.

Infographics

You’ve conducted a research with compelling results, yet your article isn’t getting enough traffic. It could be because no one wants to read a huge block of text.

Try grabbing the reader’s attention by inserting your key findings into an infographic instead! Hubspot’s research suggests that infographics are shared 3x more than any other visual content online.

An infographic posted on Entrepreneur.com that shares tips on becoming successful.

Interactive Content

Create content that encourages your audience to engage with your brand by answering quizzes or questions, and sharing their results with friends. Examples of these are the Buzzfeed quizzes that describe you as a fictional character in a famous movie.

7. Find The Perfect Timing

Timing is everything!

Timing is the key to your successful social media content. Post on days and times your audiences are most likely to be online.

Sprout Social’s 2019 global study found that the best day to post on Facebook is Wednesday at 11:00am to 1:00pm (lunch time), while on Instagram, the best days are Wednesday and Friday at 10:00am to 11:00am. Of course, this varies depending on your location and type of business, so definitely check out the analytics for your social media platforms and work out your audiences’ online behavior.

8. Set Up Ads

Ads are an effective way of reaching a wider audience in a targeted manner, making sure your content is viewed by exactly who it was intended for. Determine the different types of social media advertisements and assess which ones are appropriate for your business and content type!


Social media is an ongoing learning curve as new technology is released and our audiences change their behaviour. Have you been doing something that’s worked super well for your business, or are you having trouble getting your channels to where you’d like them to be? Let us know, we want to hear all about it!

Digital Marketing Trends in 2020 Businesses Should NOT Ignore

We made it, to yet another decade (YAYY!) and we’re excited for what’s to come! As we welcome this new era of digital marketing, we look at the top trends to watch out for in 2020.


There was a time when AI, data-driven marketing and visual and voice search engine optimisation were so far-fetched and ambitious that marketers didn’t even consider them to be possible tools for their brands’ success. Now, these technologies are in an upward trend.

The development of these trends are so fast paced, there’s no stopping its rapid advancement. Here, we explore the biggest marketing trends of 2020 that brands shouldn’t ignore.

Shoppable Posts

Social Commerce or Shoppable Posts are the types of social content where we can purchase a product or service. This is a brilliant way for businesses to bring their social media followers to their websites. People already use social media to research about a product (e.g. types, brands, functions and reviews), so this feature perfectly creates a call-to-action to convert the curious consumer into a customer right there and then.

It isn’t new in the social space but with Instagram’s announcement of the Checkout feature early last year, 2020 will see an increase in its use.

Chatbots and Conversational Marketing

Chatbots are what brands need right now. Let’s face it – consumers are impatient. Hubspot’s recent study on Live Chats found that 82% of consumers want a response within 10 minutes of when they ask a question about marketing or sales.

This is one of the reasons why chatbots have been in demand in recent years – and it will continue to grow in 2020. Consumers prefer chatbots over other means of contacting a business as they are responsive 24/7 and can accurately record messaging and purchasing history.

Despite the rise in chatbot demand, people are also looking for a more human approach. Conversational marketing is a real-time, one-on-one connection between brand marketer and consumer.

Businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers with conversational marketing. Through messaging apps and third-party tools that allow chat boxes installed on their websites, it allows us to enhance the user experience.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising with the use of AI. This automation makes transactions efficient and more effective, streamlining the process and consolidating your digital advertising efforts into one technology platform. Ad placement, media buying, performance tracking and customer targeting are examples of programmatic advertising.

It is effective as it uses automation, therefore it’s faster, more efficient and helps businesses acquire more customers at a lower cost.

Video marketing and Vlogging

Video marketing is the most important emerging trend. Smart Insights study says that 72% of people prefer video content over text when learning about a brand.

Any form of video content, from short films to explainer videos, guarantee a boost in social reach and engagement for as long as your business properly utilise your social media platforms. One example is the live broadcast feature of Facebook and Instagram. This allows brands to launch a live streaming event where viewers can participate by leaving messages in the comments section. LinkedIn has also launched a live stream feature early last year, which is has been especially helpful for B2Bs.

Another type of effective video content is the Vlog. Unlike explainer videos, vlogs have a more personal touch to it. Viewers love it because it’s relatable and more human.

Visual and Voice Search

People are now using search engines on a whole new level. With voice and visual search tools now developed and made available to all, businesses need to bump up their game with their approach on SEO.

Marketers need to ensure that their brands’ online presence are rich in optimised images and less technical keywords.


Ultimately, AI is the key driver in today’s marketing. It helps businesses understand their customers’ behavior and search patterns by analysing and monitoring data from social media platforms and other websites.

Despite this, businesses are keen to focus on people as well, not only in technology. According to marketing expert Michael Brenner, “there is a pushback against the increased digitisation and automation of interactions between brands and consumers, and a desire to make marketing more human again.”


Is your business up-to-date with these digital marketing trends? Which ones have you already implemented? Let us know your thoughts!

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 😉

Instagram Likes No Likes. What does this mean for Aussie businesses?

The social media giant recently announced that it has rolled out a trial to hide the number of likes on a user’s post. The user still gets to see who have liked their posts by clicking on “and others”, however no other account can see this figure. The change has been implemented in seven countries including Australia.

The reason behind it?

“We want Instagram to be a place where people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” according to Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand’s Policy Director.

By removing the number of likes, their goal is to also “remove pressure” on its users. According to reports, the test also aims at determining how it will benefit the user experience by making them focus more on sharing content of things they love, rather than acting on the pressure of gaining a certain number of likes.

It’s a fact that social media influences our mental health. A 2018 survey from the Pew Research Centre found that about 40% of teens in the US feel pressure to only post content that had earned a specific number of likes and positive comments on social media platforms.

Considering these findings, Instagram has taken action to help resolve the issue by rolling out a few changes, including:

  • a new notification system to combat hate speech
  • updates on account disable policies
  • a new feature called “Restrict” to prevent bullying
  • and now, adding to this list is the “No Likes” test

How will the recent Instagram changes affect Aussie businesses?

The changes won’t have much effect on the way brand and influencer accounts (now called Creator Accounts) access their own data analytics. Instagram has said that analytics tools and other measuring platforms used by businesses are still able to track the number of likes on a post. However, social media marketers who use Instagram as their main platform will need to adapt. It’s no longer just a simple numbers game of “how many likes” and “how many followers”. Instagram strategies for businesses will need to be revised.

Humans are inherently social and follow a herd mentality, so if likes per post is a key metric you report on for your accounts, be prepared to see an overall drop and set new average benchmarks. The logic is simple – when users don’t see likes on a post, they are generally less likely to engage with it themselves.

How do we keep up with the pace of this ever-changing platform?

As a business owner, or a digital marketer, how can you adapt to these changes? Are you currently measuring your Instagram account’s success simply based on the number of likes on your posts? If so, have you considered different ways to measure your success apart from this metric?

This change is likely to stay. But don’t fret! You can generate successful outputs without having to feel pressured on the number of likes you get. Forget everything you know about Instagram post likes. Start paying more attention to your post reach, shares and clicks. These are metrics to identify whether users view your content to be “worthy”, and are key indicators of whether they will continue to take further actions with your brand.

It all boils down to how businesses will rethink the way they analyse data and the kind of content they put out there in order to drive a wider reach to achieve your business goals, and focus more on sharing content that drive sales, boost brand affinity and loyalty, and encourage user engagement in the long term beyond just post likes.

“While it’s a huge change to Instagram as we know it, it’s definitely not unwelcomed and it would serve to filter out a lot of ‘noise’ to ensure quality of content.” says Michelle Chiu, the founder of DOMIN8 Marketing.

“Instagram, social media, and digital marketing in general is a forever changing landscape. As a business owner or marketer, it’s just a matter of taking time to keep up with the latest updates, and being quick to adapt to new techniques and strategies. If your marketing budget allows, it would be helpful to gain insight from industry experts and specialist agencies.”

What do you think about the changes? How has it affected your social media performance so far?

Let us know in the comments below – we’re keen to hear about how it has impacted each brand!