Emojis Aren’t Just For Fun, They’re Also For Business

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An ‘Emoji’ is a small digital icon used to express an idea or emotion. It’s the language used by the text and social media savvy to communicate. The lexicon of emojis can create diverse and impactful messages, while fitting perfectly in a digital landscape, one where visual packs a more powerful punch than words.

Brands and advertisers can tap into the emotional language of emojis to produce visuals that reach a target audience in an innovative way. By using the digital space as a canvas and emojis as paint, advertisers can enhance their marketing message with a refreshing tone and clever visuals.

How to make emojis stand out on social media:

Humour – Emojis can mean different things to different demographics. (Eg. a smiley emoji can be both flirtatious or endearing, depending on the context) Using these quirks to one’s advantage can create situational comedy which will help a piece of advertorial content go viral

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Minimalism – The fact that these icons carry all this expression in a simple form is what makes them a powerful marketing tool. Warning – don’t overdo it!. Use the emojis to tell an easy and relatable message.

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Emotion – Emojis express feelings, and capturing this creates an easier connection to your followers and potential clients. Showing love, happiness or any other genuine reaction to your brand is how emojis can have an impact.

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The use of emojis spans different social media platforms. Emojis can be placed in the titles of articles encouraging people to click, on Facebook to prompt a specific reaction, or on Instagram as a call to action.

And emojis aren’t confined to the digital space as they are now found on merchandise like pillows and t-shirts, showcasing their unique ability to cross demographics and translate across cultures.

With this mind, plus the fact that they inherently encourage shares shows how emojis are prime tools to activate in any social media campaign.

Why Video is Better For Your Business

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Many businesses with small marketing budgets struggle to decide which kind of marketing to do because financial constraints dictate they can only do one or the other, and not both.

The decisions are not usually easy to make: which method of marketing will give the most conversions for your dollar?

A shift from traditional to digital marketing has been noticeable in the past couple of years. Digital marketing is a lot more interactive and real-time data can be recorded. Statistical data can be collected almost immediately and there is also a direct link to which ad consumers are responding to the most.

So when it comes to digital marketing, what is producing the most potent and impactful punch in Caribbean markets?

The answer is video.

Online videos are used widely to spread brand awareness. And videos are sometimes more attractive to the eye of consumers, especially millennials.

Brands which use video understand the importance of social media shares, virality, and permanence. Once uploaded to an online platform, a video remains there for as long as you want it to.

According to SlideShare analytics, in Jamaica, approximately 1.2 million active users are on social media. That is close to half of the island’s population. Which means digital marketing, along with traditional marketing, can easily cover the entire island.
Social media videos, once executed properly, will almost always be a hit among consumers. Content sharing on social media is extremely popular and helps boost visibility to potential customers.

And there are a number of reasons why video reigns supreme when it comes to digital advertising:

– Videos appeal to mobile users and engage even the laziest buyer.
– Having a video embedded in your website boosts visibility on Google. Studies have shown this makes your website 53 times more likely to show up in the search.
– Millennials prefer watching a tutorial than reading a manual. Creating short, simple instructional videos can boost your product usage significantly
– Videos are memorable and have the highest potential of going viral.

The statistics also speak for themselves. A landing page with video can boost conversation rate by 80 percent, according to Eyeview.

According to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, online video accounts for 74 percent of all online traffic, and 59 percent of executives agree that if both text and video are available they will more likely choose video, as reported by My Web Presenters Ltd.

Social media has emerged as a powerful avenue for communication and commentary in the Caribbean. According to Internet World Stats the region collectively now has over ten million active Facebook users.

Video, being an easily consumable media on all social media platforms, is dynamic and attractive. So when choosing a form of digital advertising, choose video!

AMPLIFY is the commercial content studio of Trend Media. A team of designers, producers, and strategists develop digital content which helps brands establish a strong digital footprint with positive and profitable impact on a business’s bottom line. To book a consultation message us at Trend_Advertising@Trend.Media

How is Whatsapp changing you?

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At Amplify, we investigate the links between people’s interaction with social media and the effects that this interaction has on user behaviour. As part of a new series of articles, we will discuss how people use different media to express themselves and how these channels of expression vary between different groups. This week, we dive in with WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is a free instant messaging service for mobile phones. It also has desktop capability through the WhatsApp web interface. It is a global entity with 1 billion daily active users. How people interact on the platform varies according to their age and geography. For younger users (below 30), WhatsApp is preferred for making plans, chatting and sharing memes.

Older users tend to use it to chat and spread information. WhatsApp is like the social media megaphone of the 21st-century village crier, as people use video recordings to disseminate information about the latest riot or violent incident. These images are widely shared and recycled through conversations, broadcast messages and group chats.

News avenues like this are vital in the Caribbean, where it can be difficult to receive pertinent, and at times, vital information quickly: in Trinidad, local activists use WhatsApp messenger to send out video footage to warn people of an oil spill.

Among Jamaicans living in the diaspora, WhatsApp is outcompeting the big phone companies as families turn to the service to keep in touch. During Hurricane Irma, people across the islands used WhatsApp to communicate with family and friends in the line of the storm to check up on them before and after impact.

The adoption of WhatsApp as a news source is less commonplace when people have access to both home computers and laptops. For the older generation who skipped using desktops and laptops, WhatsApp is the first taste of the benefits of instant communication. Unfortunately, this limited familiarity means the platform is also privy to the distribution of videos that offer dubious health advice and chain messages. The sensationalists amongst our various social groups, who may use the platform to disseminate information that is false, effectively interrupt the reliability of the first-hand account.

WhatsApp is now in the process of developing tools for businesses, and these will likely expand the capabilities of the format to ordering goods through verified businesses on the app. What this may look like in the future is, for now, a mystery. But for a potential insight into what it could look like, we can turn to China.

Originally billed the Chinese version of WhatsApp, Wechat started as an instant messaging service. Since then, it has expanded the functions you can perform with it. In Beijing, you can use the voice message function to order a taxi and then return seamlessly to the conversation you were having.

The development and massive popularity of apps like WeChat in China suggest that a multifunctional app with different integrated uses – booking a table, paying for a meal and ordering a taxi, all in one app – is the final manifestation of the desire to have as many possible functions at our disposal within one space. This is an intensification of the habit of using the multifunctional smartphone as a tool.

The use of the phone with a torch, a clock, a compass and a host of other features has changed what we yearn for. While it may seem absurd now to own a phone with one app that does everything, this can be seen as an extension of a desire to own a multifunctional app within a multifunctional tool. This desire may be especially prevalent in those who only use their phone as their primary technological tool. In other words, people get so used to using “one tool” that does everything, that they want “one thing” (in this case an app) within that tool to do everything for them.

While it remains to be seen whether WhatsApp will seek to adapt its functional capability to the extent of WeChat, the app changes will have an effect on how we order and interact with local and large businesses around us.

As we continue to investigate this topic, please consider taking the time to complete this form (limited to one response per user): https://goo.gl/forms/G6wyagsmnNdxIGmr1

Participation is entirely anonymous.

AMPLIFY is the commercial content studio of Trend Media. A team of designers, producers, and strategists, develop digital content that helps brands establish a strong digital footprint with positive and profitable impact on a business’s bottom line. To book a consultation message us at Trend_Advertising@Trend.Media

5 Facebook Advertising Tips To Maximize Your Budget

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Facebook is the topic of conversation among marketers after their recent meaningful interactions update. This update will see Facebook changing what users see in their news feeds by prioritizing posts that will generate meaningful interactions, especially posts from friends and family. This new update has left brands and marketers questioning what this means for their Facebook advertising, which for most brands is a big part of their social media marketing.

If you have a brand on Facebook there is not much need for panic, as Facebook still generates a lot of revenue from advertisers so this update will not completely disadvantage us. However, it will require you to better plan and optimize your Facebook ads to maximize your budget. Here are five advertising tips that will help you make the most of your Facebook advertising dollars:

  1. Use better targeting

With this new Facebook update it will be more important to ensure that you are not just selecting an audience that will show your ads to the most people but that you are choosing one with the right people- the ones who are most likely to act on your ad. Your brand’s Facebook page has an Audience Insights feature that can be very informative in finding out the demographics of your audience, what their interests are and what content they respond best to. This will help you to decide what type of ad to use, the language, and what the content should be.

  1. Content is King!

If you weren’t doing this before, now is the time to start paying attention to the quality of the content in your ads. The Facebook platform is known for stories, and the key to maximizing your advertising dollars may be to become a better storyteller. When crafting your ads, think about what your objective is and how you can craft a story around it. As a plus with Facebook ad features such as Canvas, telling your stories can be very visually appealing without the clutter.

  1. Monitor and Optimize the campaign

Don’t create a Facebook campaign and just leave it running. Check at intervals to see the campaign performance based on the objectives and make tweaks to improve the performance as necessary. The good thing about Facebook ads is that there are multiple changes that you can make to the campaign, while it’s running, without deleting it. These including changing the artwork, the budget, and the audience. Additionally, optimizing the campaign shows you what doesn’t work and helps you create better ads in the future.

  1. Track the right Metrics

What metrics indicate success for your campaign? The metrics you track will be dependent on what you want to achieve from the ads- your overall objective for running the campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, get app downloads, etc? The objective will tell which ad metric you need to be paying attention to, and where you need to optimize to maximize the spend of the budget.

  1. Use ad results to build a strategy

Often, brands run one off Facebook ad campaigns and don’t necessarily build on the success of past ads. Facebook advertising provides a great retargeting function- Facebook pixels- that can improve the ad spend by building on the results of past ads. Facebook pixels allow you to build custom audiences from users who would’ve interacted with your ad in the past. For example, you can run a lead generation campaign using a custom audience of persons who watched more than 3 seconds of a previous ad campaign that you did.

To wrap up, getting the most out of your Facebook advertising budget may now require more effort, but the value you will receive from efficient budget spending will all be worth it. If you have any questions or need assistance with executing Facebook ads, contact the Trend Media Paid Campaigns team here.

Let’s talk about memes

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Memes, in the context of social media, are those bits of content that pierce the membrane of the pop culture zeitgeist. Sometimes they are funny and other times they are really funny. They straddle the line between immortal and ephemeral too.

You know you secretly sneak peek when you’re at the office. You do it in front of your kids. You even do it just before you go to bed. We’re talking about the obsessive perusal of memes here – those little big things that swim about the internet either from profile to profile, timeline to timeline. These meme things go viral, as the intelligentsia say.

But what are they exactly?

Well…

Yea. That. Ryan Gosling’s Hey Girl, Philospraptor, Corporate Baby, and Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man In The World. For the most part, these images are a mix of comic relief, trending topics, pop culture, and the all too relatable awkward moments in everyday life. There may not be a textbook reference for the term (yet), but if we were to distill the idea of a meme down to a few words, it would be summed up by the following principles:

Relevant and with context – Content needs to be shared in a timely manner. And we aren’t speaking specifically to the hours and seconds on the clock. What we mean here is that content needs to be relatable and traced back to something tied in time; an event, or an individual situation. If content is king, then context is its queen.
Simple – The folly of many marketers is that they try too hard to get the message across. Fussing over campaign materials in an attempt to create a meme can result in something that feels false and inauthentic. Some memes are by nature minimal, even severely pixelated (but please, do not do use this last bit as an excuse. You have graphic designers on your team for a reason). In short, a meme must have a clear and singular message.
Funny and Shareable – A meme or any piece of social media content must resonate with your immediate social circle. Think about why you are sharing any piece of content. Why are you sharing it, really? Whether it is an article, rant, video, or emoji-laced post, will your friends like it, comment on it, or share it? No? Then it may not be worthy of space on any timeline and is a thought better kept to yourself. #sorry #notsorry

Memorable – The main takeaway when sharing a piece of meme-worthy messaging is that it is sticky, remaining in the minds of those who read it long after they’ve clicked the like button. A meme is the kind of thing that you can laugh over during your lunch break with friends. It’s the stuff of inside jokes and so much more.

C’mon, try it in your next social media campaign. If you don’t act now, you might miss the opportunity to be the topic of note during the water-cooler conversation at offices around the region!
AMPLIFY is the commercial content studio of Trend Media. A team of designers, producers, and strategists, develop digital content that helps brands establish a strong digital footprint with positive and profitable impact on a business’s bottom line. To book a consultation message us at Trend_Advertising@Trend.Media

Five Things About the Business of Social Media

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Social-Media-MarketingSocial media can easily be seen as one of the biggest disruptors of the 21st century. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but its increasing popularity, reach and impact cannot be disputed. This is not only true for the average day to day user but for businesses as well. As a business, it’s important to know that the advent of social media has given customers more power along the purchasing journey. One bad experience can either make or break your brand’s reputation in just a couple of seconds. That being said, there are some key things you need to keep in mind about the business of social media, here are five of them:

  1. Do not ignore negative comments/complaints

Social media has made receiving customer feedback easier, unfortunately not all the feedback is positive. When a customer complains on social media they are not only telling you, but they are also telling their followers and the reach of that complaint can be very extensive. To build good social media brand reputation, Digital Marketing & Online Customer Service expert, Jay Baer advises that brands should “respond to every complaint, on every channel, every time.” Not responding is a response in itself- one that reflects poorly on your brand, and while responding to a complaint may not satisfy the complaining customer, it can help to inform another customer.

  1. Audience engagement is important

Head of marketing at Digital Mums, Richard Miranda, advises that the most important part of your business’ social media is not how many followers it has but rather it is the engagement rate. Social media by its very nature is meant to foster communication in a virtual environment, and communication is a two-way street. Don’t just use your social media page to promote yourself or your product/ service, you should also engage with your followers. Engagement is not only about posting content that the audience likes, but it’s also about having conversations with them. Ask questions, do giveaways, respond to comments, etc. Don’t rely on static “cut and paste” responses, make your communication more human-like, and also try to personalize your responses.

  1. Create content that is engaging

By its nature, social media is a relaxed environment and to get the most reach and engagement out of your content, it helps to make it engaging in the first place. Each social media platform has its own tone, and that should be taken into consideration, along with your brand’s own voice and tone, when crafting content.

  1. When you post it, it’s there forever

Before you post anything on social, edit, review, and edit again. The internet has a memory better than any elephant and once you put something out there, especially if it’s something damaging, it is very difficult to take that back. As a business, social media is not a hobby for you like it would be for a teenager, it is an extension of your brand’s marketing. Simple errors from a typo, to something more damaging that can cause accusations of discrimination as in the case of retail brand H&M, can result from an inadequate review process before putting something on social media.

  1. It changes quickly, stay updated

It seems that there is something new with social media monthly, and as a business, you need to keep updated on the changes so that you can make the best use of it. This is true for existing platforms and also for identifying opportunities in new platforms. When Snapchat first launched, many businesses didn’t see an opportunity in it, but those who were early adopters realized the value that it could add to their social media presence. As a business on social media, be open to the many changes that will happen, it may work out well in your favour.

Trend Spotlight on Declan Tully

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Declan

Trend Media Group Head of Sales, Declan Tully

At Trend Media, we have an amazing team of hardworking professionals that execute our operations in over 23 countries. Through our monthly series, Trend Spotlight, we share a behind the scenes look at our dynamic team. For this month’s feature, we sat down with our Group Head of Sales, Declan Tully.

1.What 5 words best describe you?

Loyal, Ambitious, Logical, Dependable and Dedicated

2. What does your duty as Head of Sales for Trend Media Group entail?

My responsibilities are quite wide and varied, but essentially, I am responsible for delivering our revenue targets across the 23 Caribbean markets that Trend Media Group has a presence in. I am in constant contact with the sales teams in each of the markets to support and assist them to deliver their monthly targets. My main responsibilities include training the sales teams on new or existing products, developing strategic digital proposals for our clients, evaluating new products or companies that we want to partner with, and creating pricing for our products based on the market, amongst many other daily tasks.

3. You’ve worked in both traditional and digital advertising, what is one similarity and one difference that you’ve found in the selling tactics you use for each?

The main similarity between traditional and digital media is that you are still getting the same brand message out to your customers and potential customers just in a different platform. This means that you still need to understand the message that the client wants to communicate to ensure you deliver the best solution. The major difference between traditional and digital is that all digital communications can be tracked and measured to deliver real and actionable campaign insights to clients. With traditional media, it’s much harder to assess what is working best but with digital, you can see campaign performance in real time and continually optimise to drive maximum return for our clients. This is usually an area that helps to persuade clients to move some of their traditional advertising spend to digital platforms.

4. Digital media is a fast-moving environment, how do you stay up to date on the trends to effectively lead your teams?

Luckily there are a lot of resources online that help to keep up with what’s happening in other markets and in particular the more developed digital markets. The Mobile Marketing Association and Internet Advertising Bureau are really useful to see digital trends globally along with best practices. I also use Google Alerts which allows you to choose the topics that you are most interested in and then these are sent to your e-mail on a daily basis ensuring you are kept up to date what is happening in the digital advertising world. There are so many newsletters that you can also sign up to from the likes of Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, Mobiad News and many more. It’s well worth signing up for a wide selection of newsletters and then you can see which ones are most relevant to your particular industry. The Flipboard app is also a very easy way to keep up to date with the latest digital advertising news as it allows users to choose the topics they are most interested in and then it compiles them into one easy area to view.

5. You’ve been living in the Caribbean since 2012, what is your favourite thing about it? Why?

It’s very hard to choose just one thing as coming from Ireland the weather is obviously a major benefit! However, my favourite thing about being in the Caribbean has been the opportunity to work with people from many different nationalities while also getting to travel to and experience new cultures in the region. I have been lucky to live in Jamaica which has given me the chance to travel around this amazing island and see the fantastic natural attractions that pop up everywhere. I have been to more waterfalls in the last couple of years than I had in the rest of my life combined!

6. What is your current favourite app/s? Why?

This is a tough one as I have a lot of apps that I use on a regular basis. As mentioned above I find the Flipboard app to be really useful. However my favourite app, and I know this is boring, is Twitter. It’s the app I still use most often to get the latest news and sports headlines. I’m not a fan of the new 280 character limit though! I also have to mention Shazam as being a big music fan this app has helped me discover lots of new music over the last few years that otherwise, I may have missed.