By Amal Hussein, Copywriter

As many may have experienced since the pandemic, travel is no longer the calm and exciting experience that it once was, rather a frantic research filled wave of entry requirements and tests, all before you even get to your hotel! Unsurprisingly, due to this the use of travel agents have once again become popular, with the focus of the public shifted towards soley arriving at their destination rather than the process itself.

As a result, as you can imagine industry traffic is increasing and thus we have put together this dedicated guide on the travel industry, and how advertisers should navigate (pun intended) their way around platforms. Included you’ll discover expert tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your travel advertisements this year.

The travel industry is composed of several pillars, including hospitality, transportation, attractions, travel companies, and much more. This hard-to-define industry is a constant presence surrounding us, in one way or another, and dominating much of the world’s income. Globally, travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP was approximately $2.9 trillion in 2019. The United States’ travel and tourism industry, on its own, contributed the largest sum at $580.7 billion.

The retail value of the global hotel industry was $600.49 billion in 2018. Moreover, the airline industry alone generates $1.7 trillion economic activities, and more than 10 million jobs in America, making the aviation industry support $3.5 trillion (4.1%) of the world’s gross domestic product.

In 2020, when a global pandemic was announced, things didn’t seem that positive for the travel industry. It was something nobody was able to predict, the only secure way to stay safe was to social distance and stay home… Quite the opposite of travel and discovery!

Due to the pandemic, travellers and the industry itself had to conduct a rethink. Since Covid-19, the global leisure travel spend decreased by 49.4% in 2020, compared to previous years, reaching $2.37 trillion. Whereas in 2019, it achieved approximately $4.69 trillion. International travel was by far the most negatively impacted by the global pandemic. As a result of governmental policies to control the pandemic, there was a huge cutdown of tourism flows and business operations during this time, with high levels of travel cancellations across the globe.

The main travellers concerns in light of Covid-19 are as follows:

  1. Big crowds (airports, subways, etc.)
  2. Safety and cleanliness of public transportation
  3. Anxiety around other people not wearing masks in public spaces
  4. Wearing a mask for a long period of time
  5. Trusting car rental services and accommodations (e.g. hotels) are following the necessary hygiene guidelines

 

Bruce Poon Tip, author of Unlearn: the Year the Earth Stood Still, had an interesting take on the pandemic. He commented “I still believe travel can be the biggest distributor of wealth the world has ever seen. This pause gives us the gift of time to consider how we can travel more consciously”. Maybe Bruce was right!

Arguably, moving out of the height of Covid-19, the travel industry is now on track for many changes.

Here are the top 10 ways in which the travel will change post-pandemic:

  1. Sustainability will be a driving force
  2. Our journeys will become more inclusive
  3. Small communities will play a bigger role
  4. We’ll seek quality over quantity
  5. We might prefer roadtripping
  6. Travel advisors will become essential
  7. We’ll appreciate staying closer to home
  8. We’ll look out for hygiene
  9. Simplified check-in/contactless check-in
  10. Robot-maids/room service

 

What can the Tourism Pillars do to Drive Advertisement Campaigns on Social Media?

In order to control the pandemic, the world has undergone a drastic shift in patterns, with technology advancing to help millions of individuals maintain their sanity. As we gradually start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, individuals are once again excited by the notion of travel, prepping their growing bucket lists for use. As the long awaited freedom edges closer, the tourism industry must begin their marketing planning, advertising the countless options that await us. Just as technology has helped ease the quarantine boredom, over the next 12 months, artificial intelligence will be utilised to respond to Covid-19 travel related queries and keep them up to date on the newest regulations.

Technology will also continue to be used to minimise face-to-face contact. Biometrics will be put in place for consumer-facing applications, such as completing check-in protocols via facial or fingerprint recognition technology. Thus, this is the ideal time for businesses in the travel industry to invest in travel influencers and make those at home eager to travel once restrictions are fully lifted.

Another incredible opportunity for platforms like Snapchat is to take advantage of the virtual reality feature, allowing users to virtually travel to places like the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace. It also offers an opportunity to build a list of ‘places to visit’, opening the door to unparalleled advertising opportunities, utilising this list for campaign targeting, and resulting in international audience reach.

Some companies may have reservations advertising their service/product on social media vs traditional formats, with concerns over practicality and sustainability. However, it may surprise you that advertising through social media platforms is both practical and beneficial, offering extended reach to millions of users without harming the environment. Whereas, traditional mediums such as posters, produce a lot of waste and can’t be repurposed later on.

We can clearly see the benefits of social media platforms in travel industry advertising. Everyone wants to feel a connection to the places they visit. They want to make sure those days stay with them forever. This is exactly why there is no better time than now for the travel industry to invest in advertising on social media. Afterall, it’s an ever-growing industry that contributes tremendously to the world’s economy and is proven to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

By Bartosz Baratowicz, Copywriter

Rapid technological growth has tremendously improved our phones capabilities. It was only a matter of time until the studios caught on, developing breathtaking mobile games to further grab the attention of worldwide audiences. Nowadays, mobile games are gradually becoming one of the most popular choices of entertainment. Surprisingly, there is no age limit to playing games; statistics show that all generations enjoy spending time-solving puzzles and beating high scores in their favourite digital games. Free-to-play games are the most popular choice among players and in-app advertising has become an important aspect of marketing.

Expert marketers will look for commercial opportunities within any trends, and it is clear that mobile games present an extraordinary opportunity to reach broader audiences across varying age groups. Additionally, in-app advertising has been already proven as a successful marketing strategy. Apps are generating significant profits for the publishers, in 2020 the total revenue from mobile apps reached $582 billion. Furthermore, advertising within the apps is critical for developers. Since the majority of mobile games and smartphone applications are downloadable for free, publishers need to leverage advertisements to produce . On the other hand, marketers rely on the vast demographic and enormous audience opportunity within the gaming and digital community.

With all that being said, mobile phone games have an unparalleled potential to reach audiences of all age groups, from various demographics. Thus, advertising on mobile platforms has the prospect of reaching millions of users and developing a solid clientele. The popularity of mobile games is climbing to new heights. This creates an opportunity for marketers to promote brands, events, and products on a global scale.

Advertising with AdColony

AdColony provides advertisers with innovative instant-playing HD videos, guaranteed to grab consumers’ attention. The implication of ads in mobile games is a great marketing strategy, raising brand awareness and providing informative commercials. Additionally, AdColony presents a variety of advertisement formats for the marketer to choose from. Full-screen videos that operate on mobile devices are by far the most popular advertising choice for brands. Moreover, the additional feature ‘dynamic end card’ adds an innovative layer at the end of the video, in which the user’s interaction with advertisements increases significantly. Other opportunities of AdColony include Aurora HD, Aurora HD Playable’s, Interstitial displays, and banners. AdColony’s advertising system can benefit your campaign tremendously.

High quality interactive and engaging videos will grasp the attention of most users. However, studies show that any video longer than 10 seconds loses the attention of the viewer. These are difficult obstacles to get over from the advertiser’s point of view. Although, the implication of interactive play-able ads has been proven to be successful in driving revenue. Furthermore, play-able advertising technology has positive effects on many aspects of the industry. Return on investment, conversion and number of downloads are just a few that deeply benefit.

The most popular form of marketing is the use of full-screen videos. Due to the developed technology for measuring video engagement and interactions, advertisers can access data from various groups such as gamers, technology enthusiasts, and mobile consumers. This is a pivotal aspect of digital marketing, information is essential to creating engaging content. AdColony’s advertising system, together with insightful data, gives marketers an advantage in reaching worldwide audiences through gaming channels.

Innovative ads help brands to engage with users which ultimately assists advertisers in their goals. On the other hand, in-app commercials drive revenue for publishers. Spending on mobile apps and video advertising has reached over $18 billion in 2021, which is a growth of 11% compared to the previous year. This has influenced the industry so much that social media giants, and popular streaming platforms, are starting to advertise with short videos. Snapchat has heavily invested in its discovery page creating the perfect home for interactive video ads, and YouTube decided to push commercial content on even non-partner channels. The business has realised that the future of advertising is in short and engaging videos.
Notably, marketers can take advantage of the ‘exclude list’ to ensure brand safety policy on the platform. AdColony is a respectful system, guaranteeing that any brands associated with adult content won’t be presented to minors. AdColony delivers orginal solutions to advertisements such as interactive content, in which consumers can connect emotionally with products or services. Using a high-tech operating system, AdColony maximises the potential reach of your advertising campaign with mesmerising videos and immersive commercials.

There is no Limit to the Popularity of Mobile Gaming

The mobile gaming industry is continually rising in popularity, especially among younger generations. According to the research, 77% of Gen Z are playing video games on their mobile devices. This is not limited to Gen Z, with data revealing that others share this interest, with over 70% of millennials also game enthusiasts. Furthermore, more than 50% of Gen X are entertained by playing games on their devices, and 30% of baby boomers have similar attentiveness too.

Mobile Games Popularity

Moreover, the gender myth associated with gaming is now debunked with results demonstrating that over 50% of women, and 49% dabble in the pastime.

Mobile games ads open doors to a world of new possibilities, for reaching global audiences, across varying age groups, and providing essential data about users.

In the last year alone, players downloaded over 82.98 billion mobile games! That generates more than half of the revenue for Google Play and Apple Store. Without a question, mobile games have an enormous reach, and marketers can use this vital aspect to leverage their target audience.

Utilise Mobile Games for Advertising Purposes

Two years ago companies like AdColony placed over 2.4 million video ads, after nearly a year that number skyrocketed to 6 million. Undisputedly, the 73% growth of mobile game advertising proves that commercialisation on smartphones works wonders for marketers.
With the AdColony system, users are able to decide whether to view high-quality and full-length commercials. These advertising videos further offer in-game extras, thus it’s a win-win situation respectively for advertisers and gamers. Moreover, the advertising videos are pre-buffered, which means the consumers have to view at least a small part of the ad before being able to close it. Like most mobile ads, the start of the video is the most important to ensure viewers are engaged, and keen to interact.

Monetization of mobile games is the most desirable option for advertisers. AdColony research showed evidence of marketers preferring in-app videos and IAPs, compared with monetize. Another, astonishing concept for advertising in mobile games is introducing a reward programme. When a user watches a video till the end they will receive the in-game prize, depending on the app it can be an item, or equipment, built to enhance their playing experience.

Forecast

Previously many users were against in-app advertisements, but by introducing the concept of ‘watch this and get quality content’, consumers are learning to love integrated commercials. Gathered data by Google Ad has shown a 400% increase in interaction with advertisements, and demand for more rewarding videos. Curiously, many players are fond of advertising content if they can receive in-game rewards for watching the commercial videos. More than 70% of users in the USA openly admitted that they do not mind watching full-length videos in exchange for prizes.

Advertising firms have spent enormous amounts of capital on all types of ads on mobile devices. In 2020, companies spent around $240 billion and that investment has risen to $298 billion last year. Future forecasts predict annual growth of 22% in mobile ad spending by the end of 2022. In short, this is a sector where marketers can shine with their content. The mobile games industry represents all the desirable aspects for advertisers, holding vast potential for growth, established audience and financial security. Moreover, mobile games make up 50% of all the players around the world. That is undoubtedly a lucrative market for advertisers, and statistical data proves that it should be heavily invested in.

Games of the Public’s Choice

The most popular genre for mobile games is puzzles (21.18%), followed by casinos (18.9%) and strategy (17.17%). These categories offer the main opportunity for advertisers to accumulate their commercial content. Mobile games are becoming an increasingly prominent module of the gaming industry, having previously been dominated by PC and console games, we are currently experiencing a shift in revenue patterns. Mobile games now account for over 52% of the global games retail. Moreover, video games designed for smartphones have generated profits of over $90 billion in 2021. The forecast predicts that by the end of 2022 that revenue will increase to $120 billion.

Games of Public Choice

Intriguingly, mobile games are more popular among women than men, 65% of females between the ages of 10 and 65 play games on their smartphones. A further 45% of them choose such entertainment more than 5 times per week, in comparison to 38% of men. From a marketing perspective this presents a reliable investment for advertisements geared towards women’s interests.

Engaging commercial videos and interactive ads, in theory, should bring more impressions on women. Targeting this specific audience should thus return increased profit, as women make up a large percentage of players. However, many of them feel that publishers overlook their demands. Over 60% of female gamers feel that most games are strictly designed for men. And yet, the titles such as Animal Crossing or Candy Crush Saga are extremely successful projects. This proves that investing in women’s content has unprecedented potential and should be investigated.

Concluding Benefits of Advertising in Mobile Games

Marketers are always searching for new innovative ways to reach broader audiences across the globe, and advertising in mobile games might just be that golden ticket. It’s an effective and efficient way of communicating a brand’s message to the consumers. Advertising in-app provides companies with valuable data and insights to help establish campaign results.

Studies have already proven the capabilities and productivity of advertising in mobile games. With the implementation of reward programs, users are opening up to pop-up ads, in the anticipation of game performance benefits. Research and data make compelling arguments for why brands should focus their advertising content on mobile games. Unmistakably, the gaming market will only continue to grow, and the already competitive advertising industry is eager to generate more revenue with commercial content. Due to this fact, it is essential that marketers acknowledge and understand the lucrative opportunities of in-app advertising.

Since the advertising industry is incredibly crowded, brands will need to demonstrate exceptional creativity and innovation to grab the attention of all consumers. With the AdColony systems and mesmerising high-quality video content, rest assured that your brand will break through. Finally, advertising on mobile games presents profitable opportunities for brands. Marketers should however remain cautious of the vast competition, and ensure they are creating both engaging and innovative content, to leverage the growing opportunities, and gain solid investment returns.

By Amal Hussein, Copywriter

As I am sure we all know by now, whether we are past or present users, Snapchat is a widely known camera focused platform, offering something more distinctive in a world of fixity and timelines. From cute dog ears and flower crowns to AR powered shopping lenses, Snapchat has become a real pioneer in bringing its users AR technology through filters and interactive lenses. Yes, filters are now cool again! Who knew?

In case you didn’t know, Snapchat is now one of the most developed AR platforms in the world, Instagram, however, remains a major contender. And whilst we’re still learning about the full influences of AR on conversion and ROI, it’s already shown to provide valuable solutions for both brands and companies, improving the social commerce experience and of course, saving us from some inconveniences of shopping online.

The social media funnel has been simplified even more to convert sales, social commerce has shortened the path to buy, subsequently allowing consumers to move through the purchase journey, from discovery to checkout, within just one app, and in most cases one tap.

Snapchat AR

Three main reasons why marketers have considered incorporating AR into their social commerce strategies:

  1. Consumer interest is on the rise. Although in the past the thought of AI would send many into a frenzy, the tin hats have been removed, and people have warmed to the idea of shopping with AR. Studies have shown that it will be incorporated throughout marketing plans and strategies in the near future. Anyone seen the movie Clueless? Looks like Amy Heckerling was right after all!
  2. Social media has proven to be a great place to get your AR fix. The famous dog-ears and baby-face lenses put AR on the social media map and now most social media platforms have a feature where you can apply AR filters on your photos and videos! This fun and silly way to take photos has evolved into a primary mode of social communication and entertainment. As a result, AR has already become a familiar technology to use, and further discover throughout the consumer journey.
  3. And last but not least., the Beauty industry of course. Since AR has been evolving, beauty, fashion and technology have shown to be the most vertical/industries for AR social commerce. This is usually because they lend themselves best to the main application for shopping-related social AR, offering virtual try-on experiences, and product customization!

 

However, as social platforms continue to expand their AR offerings, they are opening up more opportunities for brands from new verticals to participate. Snapchat is a great example, recently released wrist-tracking technology for jewellery and watchmakers, allowing customers to simulate bracelets and watch try-on.

Another amazing way to help people who still don’t feel too comfortable being outside! Social commerce continues to grow, with brands being able to use AR to increase customer engagement and personalise the shopping experience. Even showing early potential to boost sales and conversions on social media.

But What is the Real Potential of AR in Social Commerce?

Social media provides the prime venue for consumers to warm to AR, as users are already experimenting with AR filters and lenses. According to AR insider, in the Snap Consumer AR Global Report 2021, nearly 75% of the global population, and almost all the people who use social apps wll be frequent users by the year 2025! This audience is however predominantly Gen Z, digital natives who are growing up to value digital assets just as much as physical goods, and of course, anticipating the levels AI can reach.

AR Shopping

So Which Verticals and Industries are set to Include AR in Upcoming Strategies?

Beauty and fashion are paving the way for AR shopping on social media, using applications like virtual try-on, product personalisation, or visualisation. As tech develops, opportunities are opening for brands in new industries. AR has been shown to help to bridge the gap between social media, digital commerce, and brick-and-mortar businesses. Social platforms are striving to carve out their own AR toolkits, offering more brands a chance to get involved. Furniture and home decor industries are likely the next frontier for AR shopping on social media, in which Pinterest would play a key role. Nonetheless, as mentioned it is still too soon to fully assess AR’s impact on either conversion or return rates.

AR Shopping Lenses

Marketers can now use social AR tools to create their own filters, effects, or 3D experiences on social media. By advertising their products with the most innovative and disruptive technology, they can influence their desired target audience, and convert them into sales. For instance, any fashion brand can use the power of AR to display the product live to their potential buyers. The more immersive the experience (including whether it has a direct shopping element), the more time, budget, and resources it will take. And who knows, we might even be buying houses based on virtual tours in the near future!

By Bartosz Baratowicz, Copywriter

Social media represents a wide variety of potential benefits for marketing and brand awareness. Online platforms not only aid the ability to reach extended audiences, but also create a means to establish personal contact and connections with new and current clientele. Although, as always, unfortunately blemishes can still appear in some instances, with for example defaming actions run by fake profiles causing potential damage to brands.

Due to the increase in fake accounts and their malign intent, protecting your brand’s name is a mandatory aspect of initiating social media presence. It is noteworthy to know the equivocal benefits and dangers of the brand’s online presence.

Ensuring brand safety should be a top priority when dealing with social media platforms. Fake accounts, lies, and defamation are just a few examples of the issues that can occur online. Some individuals specialise in shattering the image of firms on social media, or internet forums, simply for personal gain. Developing the ability to understand these threats and concepts will go a significant way in protecting the brand’s name. Afterall, we can not fight what we do not understand, right?

Protect from misleading content online

There are many ways to deal with the damage caused by falsifying news and disinformation. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are actively working to stop the spread of fake accounts and profiles. LinkedIn is arguably one of the most influential communication sites, and during the last two years has become the top communication channel for both companies and personal use. In an era of growing online propaganda, we all witnessed a plethora of fake profiles and news surrounding the invasion of Ukraine. LinkedIn quickly responded to the possible threat of misinformation spreading on their platform and actively blocked fake accounts. Following the strong example from LinkedIn, below we have listed some tips to help protect brands online.

Notice and Respond to Fraud Online

The Internet serves as a limitless source of information, from recommendations and reviews to available brands and products. It is essential to stay on top of these communication channels occuring, monitoring commentary and opinions that relate to a company’s name, as well as social media activity. This monetization will not only allow you to identify trends and take advantage of relevant conversations, but also better enable you to respond accordingly to falsifying content and misinformation. When fake profiles spread misleading content, the brand’s merited prestige is at stake, and the communication team has to act quickly to neutralise the damage as much as possible.

Fake profiles

Fake profiles may target brands’ reputations online and spread disinformation about them. For this reason alone, building a robust, cunning, and responsive PR team is essential to prevent potential crises. It is commonly seen that fraudsters create fake accounts in the name of a brand, promising limited offers to entice customers, and then stealing their personal information. Notably, Capital One was once targeted by fraudulent activity. A fake profile of Capital One on Twitter posted a phishing link that was promising new bank account updates, report checks and other features. Unfortunately for users who did not spot the red flags, they faced potential monetary losses. Thankfully Capital One was able to use its knowledge and know-how of fraud, to respond to the crisis in a speedy and positive manner.

Not only is the diminishment of fraudulent threats beneficial for your company internally, but further strengthens the brand’s empathetic reputation. Brands and organisations that spend time protecting clients from threats, will in the end, win the trust and confidence of the public.

Fraudulent Activity Damages Advertising Campaigns

In recent years, social media has become the main marketing communication channel for brands globally. The enormous number of users on social media propose unparalleled advertising opportunities. On the other hand, this is a chance for fraudsters to masquerade under the brand’s name and defraud customers. Companies are spending approximately 20% of their annual budget on social media promotions, and fake profiles thus pose a real threat to the value of these campaigns. Notably, scammers and con-artists are specifically targeting advertising content; around 67% of fraud activity is detected within promotional commercials.

To prevent this and neutralise threats as much as possible, brands must follow and check social media for possible imposters of their company. Reporting will result in blocking such accounts from posting damaging content. The reaction time is more than important, it is essential to prevent damage from shattering a reputation.

Respond to Fraudulent Activity Head on

In any case, remaining silent is probably the worst reaction a brand can give to the public, analysing the situation and issuing a statement is key to the effective management of the crisis. Brands that experienced a cyber attack, disinformation by fake profiles, or outright slander should know that writing a public release statement is vital to saving their reputation.

Without a proper and accurate response, the public may not be aware of the false information and therefore form a negative opinion on the brand. In the case of slander on social media by fake accounts, brands should be transparent and inform their clientele of the entire story. Additionally, corporations have to notify the public about the steps the company will take to manage a crisis and prevent future mishaps. This will in turn go a long way in winning back the trust and belief of customers. Have you ever heard honesty is the best policy? Well, its true, it is classed as one of the most respected aspects of a personality, and thus brands should use this to an advantage.

Proper response

Loyalty Defends Reputation

Building a solid and credible reputation should be a priority for any company whilst establishing social media presence. In terms of defamation, case studies show that loyal customers are often quick to spot differences and call out fake profiles before they can inflict any damage. Moreover, social media users can report fraudulent activity of fake accounts and repercussions, leading to banning harmful profiles. Therefore, there is no doubt that building and maintaining a loyal customer base, in turn helps brands to protect their name online.

The Internet has 4.5 billion users, from a business perspective that is an enormous potential clientele. However, establishing and then maintaining an attractive reputation is not an easy task. According to a study in the USA’s market, over 60% of customers avoid companies that are attacked by fake profiles. If a person searches for a company’s website online and sees a counterfeit version of it, that can cause suspicion and scepticism towards the brand in the future. Surprisingly, this is not a rare event; over a quarter of the USA’s customer base has experienced fake websites of legitimate companies. Moreover, 54% of consumers would distrust the brand if they saw a fake post about them. Although, astute brands can find a way to use this phenomenon to their advantage.

Initiating a team of experts that are wary of fake profiles and websites can help brands target and close them efficiently. Furthermore, the communication or public relations department can leverage the situation for the production of articles, raising awareness for other brands, and sharing the company’s story in a new light. Empirically, this type of response can encourage the public to follow the articles, see that the company is trying to facilitate change, and thus winning back some faith and loyalty.

Protect brands

Be Vigilant, Review, and Respond

In conclusion, it is unfortunate that the presence of cyber attacks and fraudulent activity is inevitable, therefore brands must ensure they are equipped with the relevant knowledge and response plans. Fortunately, we summoned up a few steps and ideas to help prevent online deceit, and make the crisis more manageable.

  • Observe brand’s activity on social media: Fraudsters have been known to masquerade as recognizable companies to defraud clueless customers. Checking trends and hashtags surrounding your company’s name will significantly help to detect online trickery and deception. Detecting fraud before misinformation reaches the public saves valuable resources, and means a potential crisis is more manageable.

 

  • Respond to misleading and falsifying content: The aim of fraud often is to leverage a brand’s reputation, to deceive and steal from the customer base. Therefore the monitoring of online activity and the necessity of a robust PR team is critical.

 

  • Fraudster target marketing campaigns: We have seen many occasions when fraudulent accounts have hijacked the recognition of marketing campaigns for their criminal intentions. Thus, while launching advertising campaigns ensure you are extra vigilant, analysing all possible cyber threats.

 

  • Prepare a public statement and earn customer’s trust: Astute is arguably one of the most desirable characteristics, brands can develop this elusive ability of turning difficult situations into beneficial events. In order to convince customers that your brand is protective and supportive during fraudsters’ attacks, release a transparent statement that acknowledges troubles and highlights future steps to prevent such occurrences again.

 

However, the best advice we can give you is to always remain calm and sincere. Customers eventually will find out the truth and they will know that your brand supported them. As always remember to stay vigilant, review in detail and accurately respond to the fraud.

Steps

By Bartosz Baratowicz

The height of the Covid-19 pandemic is almost behind us, and people are looking towards a more hopeful future again. Daily cases are dropping gradually, life appears to be returning to a sense of normality, and business sectors are beginning their recovery including Hospitality, Travel, and Retail. However, returning to our previous styles of business, and expecting pre-pandemic heights may not be as simple.

The world is definitely not the same, as well as the way business is conducted. Shopping amongst the busy streets and crowded malls might soon become a myth of the past. Consumers are moderately moving towards e-commerce and online shopping. However, strengthening and investing in a brand’s digital presence is the answer to puzzling post-covid recovery?

Post Covid 1

 

Enter Online Shopping Centre Stage
It is a fact that the pandemic drastically affected the lives of people around the globe, with restrictions and lockdowns resulting in increased unemployment and decreased investment rates. However now that we are emerging on the other side, can we harness these changes and arise stronger?

As the saying goes, when one door closes another door might open. With the downfall of the physical aspect of business, another aspect has flourished, with the rise in digital customer experience. Since the introduction of lockdowns, e-commerce and m-commerce have become significant functions of every enterprise. The market quickly realised that even without physical business, there is still a prospect to continue sales online. Henceforth, respectively investors and consumers, are witnessing the vast rise in e-commerce platforms that notably supports the post-covid recovery of worldwide business.

Take East-Asian markets for example, they are seeing a significant increase in the e-commerce sectors. China, which is arguably the biggest Asian market, recorded e-commerce retail sales of over $2,700 billion. Additionally, their overseas neighbour, Japan, experienced staggering sales of almost $170 billion in retail sales. Both demonstrating that although the pandemic all but froze our social lives for two years, business never stopped; it adapted to overcome the continued obstacles.

Post covid 2

The importance and urgency to establish a strong online presence is now apparent across the board from small local businesses to global corporations. Upcoming start-ups have also begun shifting their pillars of focus towards digital strategies for sales success. In India, Amazon is offering a chance for local offline stores to sell groceries on their platform. The programme was introduced in 2020 and extended for the year 2021. Currently, Amazon’s programme includes more than 100 million shops in 450 cities and is planning to extend the number of participating businesses to 1 million by 2025.

Impressively, India is one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world. Studies show that online sales within retail have risen significantly from $66 billion in 2021 to a staggering $80 billion this year. Forecasts also predict $145 billion in sales by 2025. At this rate, India is progressing to become the second-fastest growing economy in Asia all due to its strong e-commerce presence.

 

The Worldwide Takeover of the Digital World

According to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, online retail sales have seen a significant increase in developed economies. The United Kingdom’s sales have risen from $89 billion in 2019 to $134 billion in 2020. Another enormous jump has been recorded in the US, in 2019 the online retail profits were estimated at $598 billion and in the first year of the pandemic, increased by $200 billion.

Moreover, the two most influential e-commerce platforms in the world, Amazon, and Alibaba, showed record-breaking increases in profits during the beginning of the outbreak. American e-commerce giant, Amazon, had a GMV change of 17% between the years 2019 and 2020. Their Chinese competitor, Alibaba, also had a noteworthy rise of 10%. Ultimately, even Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform with over 1 million active users, broke its own profit records in 2020. The platform made almost $60 billion in a single year!

Post Covid 3

While many business services were hindered during the lockdown period, online presence grew to new heights. Sooner or later, e-commerce will overtake a crucial part of retail, it is inevitable that consumers will move to more comfortable shopping, online and the pandemic only propelled that forecast. Today, business can hardly be conducted without a strong digital existence. Social media marketing campaigns and promotion on various digital channels are essential for growing, for both small and medium enterprises; as well as sustaining high revenue for global corporations.

 

The Growth of Business Post-Covid

Starting and holding a successful business can be tricky, especially in the post-covid era where the market is still vulnerable and fragile. Many enterprises did not survive the pandemic and others struggled to bring back pre-covid profits. The new trends are showing an increase in business interest in the online presence and specifically e-commerce. The Western Europe market had enormous growth in e-commerce, back in 2015 the total online sales income was estimated at $200 billion, but in the spike of the Covid-19 pandemic, digital shopping reached over $450 billion in the previous year.

These trends demonstrate that consumers completed purchases online more than ever before. Partially due to the fact that, especially during the times of Covid, online shopping became much more convenient, no longer having to leave their beds or put on clothes to complete a purchase. The upper hand is clearly on the side of e-commerce retail, and the advantage is only rising. Technological improvements in the communication sector allow consumers to do their groceries from their mobile devices. For example, in India, 80% of online sales are done via mobile phones. Henceforth, the digital business sector is experiencing the rise of m-commerce. Notably, over 50% of total e-commerce sales are generated by customers’ smartphones. The m-commerce sector is still new and has limitless potential for improvement. In the last 5 years, the total m-commerce sales have increased by a staggering 40%.

Mobile commercial transactions can also be conducted in person. There is a popular trend among consumers to pay with their phones instead of swiping credit cards. Apple Pay, which is a pioneer of this technology has over 380 million users worldwide, to put that into perspective that is more than the total population of the United Kingdom. The payment solution offers the convenience of paying with your phone and security to store all the debit and credit cards.

Many people were afraid to leave their household during the pandemic, supermarket giant Lidl leveraged this sad fact to produce an innovative new feature. They launched ‘Lidl Plus’, offering customers the possibility to shop for goods from their smartphones. According to the data from Google Play and Apple Store, Lidl Plus has totally been downloaded over 1.3 million times and that is just in September.

Post covid 4

Concluding, respectively e-commerce and m-commerce are on the track to become the main support of the retail sector. Both are still relatively young and already are putting record-breaking revenue numbers. It is only a matter of time until shoppers completely move to digital purchasing. Social media and online advertising for goods are necessary for the brand’s success as well as strong, reliable products. Imagine it this way, a company can build the best cars in the world but without discussing it on social media platforms they are bound to sell only in their districts. Digital marketing allows brands to reach a wider customer base, the aspect that is a requirement in today’s economy and that is a fact.

 

1-0 Online Vs in Person Shopping

The proof is in the pudding, as data across the globe demonstrates that following the pandemic e-commerce sector is much more reliable than in-person business. Additionally, online enterprises are much more cost-efficient and effective in comparison to the opening walk-in store. Conducting business online helps owners to track site engagement and analyse what products sell better. Obtainable digital data is much broader and can give considerable insights.

Post covid 5

The success of Fashion Nova, a women’s retailer, shows that business can grow only with a strong online presence. The company has merely 5 in-person stores in just one state of America, and yet last year recorded revenue of $520 million. How is that possible? Fashion Nova ships its products worldwide, which means instead of being limited to the customer base only in California, now they can reach the whole world. E-commerce and digitalization of business allow entrepreneurs to reach broader audiences. However, just having an online store is not enough for the multi-million dollar revenue. Social media marketing campaigns, targeted advertisement, online promotions, personalised emails are all essential to building successful brand awareness.

The convenience and reliability of e-commerce deliver astonishing results in the company’s revenue. Together with well-organised brand awareness and social media promotions business has a much higher chance of success.

Concluding Influence of E-commerce on Business

E-commerce plays a significant role in how all businesses recover revenue in these challenging post-covid times. The digital world has unparalleled opportunities to offer for both customers and businesses. The world is an unpredictable place, two years ago a global outbreak of Coronavirus ravaged businesses. Stores are vulnerable to vandalism, larceny, and even natural disasters like tornadoes or earthquakes. E-Commerce has emerged as the shining light at the end of the tunnel for many. Additionally, giving the advantage of functional analytic tools, so the owners can track the trends and attention of their customers, and thus adapt accordingly.

Post covid 6

E-commerce’s growing influence and popularity supported global business during testing times and is now ready to pave the way to a stronger digital future. In the aftermath of lockdowns, entrepreneurs see the digitalization of stores as an investment opportunity. Facts and numbers do not lie, and the picture is clearer than ever. Consumers are more likely to spend money online than in stores, and the sales reports from the last two years are evidence of this phenomenon.

Technological improvements are only a fast-forwarding process of clientele moving towards online shopping. Decades ago the majority of people never even heard of e-commerce, today people are casually ordering groceries from their mobile phones. The rapid growth of social media in recent years is powering this effect, companies can use such platforms to reach global audiences and expand their business to new limits. It’s time for you to get involved and enter the new world stronger.

By Amal Hussein, Copywriter / Eds Sarina L Shanley

Meta Easter 2022

What is all the fuss about Easter? How is it celebrated? And, how can you create a successful campaign for the occasion? This blog will answer all of those questions and more.

So, what is Easter? For those who really don’t know – we’ve got you! Easter is the BIGGEST traditional spring holiday, marked across more than 95 countries worldwide. It holds significant meaning to the many, from religious beliefs, to simply a love of chocolate eggs. The holiday is known to signify the awakening of nature, new beginnings, new opportunities, and of course, getting ready for Easter!

One of the earliest recorded celebrations of Easter goes back to as far as the 2nd century, and whilst the name ‘Easter’ is used in the English-speaking world, many more cultures refer to it as ‘Passover’ (for instance, ‘Pascha’ in Greek), a reference to the Jewish Festival of Passover. Easter was then reshaped as a domestic holiday in the late 1700s, but before this date, children were rarely the centre of attention.

 

Where did the Easter Bunny Come From?

As mentioned Easter for some holds significant religious relevance, believed to be a Christian holiday that represents the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies. As for me, when I was in school, I was taught that an Easter egg was a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection, both a metaphor for new life and a physical symbol of the tomb itself. Moreover, during the Mediaeval period it became a custom to stop eating eggs during lent (the 40 days before Easter), and on Easter Sunday – to tuck in!

From the 17th century onwards, what was known as the ‘discovery of childhood’ had profound effects on how everything, including Easter, was celebrated. At this point, Easter eggs and the Easter bunny became especially important. But why? Well, Rabbits are traditionally a symbol of fertility and a metaphor for a new life, much like the resurrection of Christ.

So how can we go about translating this to Meta advertising techniques? Stay with us, we’re getting there!

Advertising for Easter

Easter is a Time of Increased Engagement & Content Sharing

The chimes of Lindt bunny bells being purchased, Easter bank holiday scheduling, and increased social media chatter, all can be heard about a week before the start of the Easter holiday. As we always say, timing is crucial when it comes to campaigning for any holiday, so taking this into account when planning campaigns is a key first step. It is also good to note that women, during the Easter period, post four times more than men, making them a stronger target demographic. Moreover, statistics show that high engagements are achieved among 25-44 years olds as the optimum easter audience.

How consumers choose to spend the Easter holiday can vary, some take the opportunity to escape on holiday, others see it as family time, or simply a time to explore and build connections. Therefore as a business, this is the perfect time for you to build those connections with consumers, home in on their conversations, and get involved in the discussion.

Easter

Although many businesses may not think it, Easter is a major holiday and generates millions in sales each year, it is a solid opportunity for you to increase the awareness of your brand!

But how do you infiltrate conversations, raise your awareness and stay relevant during this holiday? Good question, we recommend leveraging the power of hashtags! Research suggests there are five main hashtags used over the Easter period, utilising these to maximise the reach of your posts.

#Spring, #Family, #Present, #EasterBreak, #Fun

Thinking Outside the Easter Egg

Believe it or not, 42% of the conversations surrounding Easter occur before the day itself, so there is a surplus of active discussions to take part in during the lead up days. Moreover, 57% of people consider Easter to be a ‘proper’ holiday worth celebrating. So, these will be the ones who will be most invested in your campaigns, not to worry you but…that’s a large audience!

Of course though don’t turn a blind eye to the other percentage, 43% of people that aren’t as interested in Easter shopping, use this information to advertise other products or services during this time, catering to both sides of your audience.

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that there are still some myths associated with the Easter holiday period, therefore ensure you discover the truths during your campaign planning.

Meta Easter

 

Boost Your Online Presence

Easter

You may feel a little stuck on how to navigate your social channels for different holidays, but we’ve got you sorted on where to start:

Yes, time is of the essence but …

  • Make sure you still keep everything up to date.
  • Stand out from the crowd.
  • Don’t rush.
  • Don’t leave any gaps or take shortcuts.
  • Last but not least, research, research, research!!

Be serious about your community, work on your channels systematically, and don’t be afraid to get extra help. Remember it’s not over until the Easter bunny sings!

New Creative Options to Engage Audiences

Here are two creative techniques that you can pick to engage your audiences:

  1. Reels: These are fun and short videos where you can add music, sticker overlays, effects and more. Reels are then recommended to customers that algorithms depict will be interested, thus reaching more users.
  2. Branded Content: This allows businesses to work with influencers, altering the level of impact and expanding potential reach to new sectors. When a brand partners with a company or celebrity for example, the published content will appear on both channels, thus in theory doubling reach, creating an organic key audience to target.

The Benefits of a Larger Online Presence

  • Adds context to your ads, making them cheaper, and more effective.
  • Provides improved post and page insights, allowing you to better tailor marketing efforts.
  • The perceived influence will increase and amp up your credibility factor.

When planning your marketing efforts, you can observe and table your campaigns to certain demographics, with the psychological data in your channels. This is much better than trying to guess your audience with broad targeting.

So, which one of these techniques do you think will add value to your online channels?

A) Share positive customer feedback

B) Post often about trending topics (peak the interest of Gen Z)

C)Answer every single comment on your posts in a timely manner

D) Schedule live video content and talk to your audience in real-time

The answer is in fact all the above! All need to be carefully taken into consideration when looking to successfully add value to your online channels.

Easter

Here are the last few things to consider, in order to help maximise your Ad performance, and ensure you deliver the best results during Easter. We recommend that you first check your Pixel and SDKs are working correctly, whether you are using a website or mobile app, it is essential to make sure your business is receiving the highest number of signals from Meta. This enables you to get the best possible delivery and performance. (You can do this by checking Events Manager)

We also recommend verifying that your conversion API is running and is up to date. This is because broader data today is not enhanced enough to get information about your customers, so using conversion API with your Pixel ensures that you receive maximum data from the people you interact with, and who interact with your business. It also allows Facebook to get directly into your server, boosting your Ad performance! It is important to make sure that you can handle the demand during the Easter holiday, skipping over this may affect your quality score.

 

Here are a few Ad formats and options that can help you achieve your goals:

Lead Gen – You’re eager to bring new people to your business but filling in forms after visiting a landing page can be difficult on mobile. Facebook Lead ads offer people an easy solution – they can simply tap your ad and fill out a form using their already pre-populated contact information on Meta. Easy Peasy.

Prospecting Campaign – The prospecting campaign is a Facebook ad campaign that reaches a wide audience and attracts people who are potentially interested in your business. These people may not have heard of your brand, so you’re trying to convert a cold audience into customers. In this instance, use every option available.

Solutions for Prospecting – Dynamic ads unite brand and direct response. Use multi-language and multi-country dynamic ads to localise key products, language and currency information by country.

 

So, what have we learnt? Well firstly, every successful campaign begins with clear ideas and planning, to ensure the best results are achieved. Ensure that your objectives align with your business to deliver an efficient campaign. It is also important to set realistic KPIs, this will help you to evaluate your existing digital channels, allowing you to build your strategy from a strong base, so you won’t feel overwhelmed or confused when you look at the reports.

To understand the benefits of a wider audience, always make sure that you are utilising the advanced options in the ad manager. Ask yourself, are you making use of your target audiences? (e.g. Women, Gen Z) Have you used all of your creative techniques to engage a new audience? (E.g. Reels, Branded Content). Lastly, ensure your company is cashing in on the abundance of chatter occurring in the days leading up to Easter, but most of all, enjoy preparing your Easter and Spring campaigns, your customers want to feel the joy!

In case you have lived under a rock, allow us to introduce TikTok, a social media platform used for creating, sharing, and discovering short videos. TikTok has grown immensely in popularity across the world, especially in recent years, now boasting over 1 billion users ¹. TikTok in many ways creates a digital window into all corners of the globe and is particularly popular amongst Millennials and Generation Z audiences.

The platform began its life under a different name. Created in 2014 as Music.ly and later shut down and merged into TikTok in 2018 by ByteDance. Music.ly’s main selling point was that it allowed users to lip sync along to their favourite songs partnered with their own visual content. The introduction of TikTok brought improved functionalities and offerings, users can now discover a wide range of content from lifestyle and entertainment to culinary content and business tips. The app runs based on algorithms ensuring that users come across favourable content.

TikTok features

TikTok Functionality

On TikTok, users can choose from a variety of video lengths from 15 seconds to 3-minute and can select the level of privacy to apply to their content. The platform offers the option to set videos to ‘private’ allowing only the user to view, ‘friends only’ allowing mutual followers to view, or ‘public’ meaning any user across the globe could be amongst your potential viewers. TikTok also maintains a separate app for the Chinese market, known as Duyin, which has over 300 million active monthly users².

Furthermore, TikTok offers users a multitude of filter and editing features, allowing users to apply lenses, change colours, and add transition moves to content. As of course what would a social media app be, in today’s world, without the filter options? Another remarkable feature to check out is ‘Stitch and Duet’, providing users with alternative modes of interaction in the platform, enabling them to add reviews and provide feedback to viewed content.

Popularity Boom

Since its launch, TikTok’s popularity has achieved tremendous growth. In October 2018, it was the most-downloaded photo and video app in the Apple store on a global scale. And this didn’t stop there, TikTok’s popularity is increasing year over year, with downloads climbing from 693 million in 2019 to 850 million in 2020³. It is fair to say that TikTok’s esteem is spreading rapidly, recent data shows that eight new users register on the app every second, with an average of 650,000 new users joining daily⁴.

Game Changer for Small Business

The emergence of TikTok as a mainstream social media platform has presented a new opportunity for early adopter brands, with those already utilising the platform achieving surprising results. These results can likely be attributed to the increasingly video hungry world that the digital industry is witnessing, as TikTok is considered the leading destination for short form mobile videos.

The 2020 Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Report demonstrates this growth, with an increase in the number of businesses using video marketing tools, from 61% in 2016 to 85% in 2020. Move over, consumers reportedly watch 16 hours of online videos per week, which has increased from 52% since 2018, and doesn’t look like it is slowing down any time soon.

TikTok increase in number of business

For businesses looking to harness the growing power of video marketing TikTok is definitely the place to start. Whether you are a big or small company, advertising products and services, TikTok offers the opportunity to see immediate results from simply posting a video between 15-60 seconds, the trick is to find the sweet spot between entertaining and informative content, and watch the views roll in. Producing the videos costs almost nothing, just a smartphone, and some innovative ideas can get the ball rolling. Furthermore, those companies that are willing to use humour within their marketing have the highest traction potential on the platform. Utilising platforms such as TikTok, over traditional forms of advertising, is also considered more environmentally friendly, thus allowing creators to reinvent themselves without harming the planet.

TikTok is not only at the forefront of the growing video trend witnessed throughout the digital ecosystem, but it has also proven hugely impactful for initiating and highlighting new social media fads and movements. It takes a matter of hour for videos to become viral on TikTok, take trends such ‘have you seen that garlic’ or ‘bounce with it’, started as mere video clips posted by a user, but once the public began interacting with these videos and reposting their own, the trend train was in full motion. Moreover, TikTok has also created positive cross platform results. Spotify for example benefitted from the TikTok trend train, with the release of Olivia Rodrigo her first song, ‘Driver’s License’ in January 2020, the song was featured on a TikTok trend upon its release, and within only three days it had broken Spotify’s record for most streams in a single day (15.17m). Following this in 2021, Olivia released her first album ‘Sour’, which again due to the traction of the TikTok trend, is now Spotify’s Most-Streamed Album of 2021.

In addition to the simple functionality of TikTok, it is one of the few platforms that can generate money for its users. TikTok’ partnership program ‘TikTok Creator Fund’ provides an incentive for users to create a full time job through the platform. In order to apply for the Fund, the user must be over 18 years old, meet a baseline of 10,000 followers and have accumulated at least 100,000 video views within 30 days. Imagine the amount of time these users are then spending on the platform, hoping to make it a source of full time employment, seems like a huge untapped audience pool to me.

Advertiser Benefits

TikTok advertising is actually the most efficient way to ensure product advertisements reach the intended audience, as the platform itself functions on the basis of recommendations. Whether you are targeting the travel bugs, skin care enthusiasts, or baking guru’s, TikTok will help you get there, as the platform encourages interactions between like minded users, encouraging likes, comments, and shares, thus leading to increased exposure. For example, take brands such as Estee Lauder and Clinique, when posting their content TikTok will automatically direct to the ‘for you page’ for users that have shown interest in skincare and beauty products. Additionally, the ‘for you page’ is not limited to age, interests, or geographic location, and therefore is the perfect platform for companies and services wanting to carve out a name for themselves on a global scale.

TikTok global scale

There are a multitude of ways to advertise on TikTok, as the types of content vary across the globe, Shuttlerock provides five top examples to get those creative juices flowing. One thing is clear, the benefits of using TikTok advertising appear to be growing year over year, and we believe it is time for you to find out how to tap into this opportunity. Join the future of video advertising with TikTok today.

 

  1. https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tik-tok-statistics/
  2. https://influencermarketinghub.com/what-is-tiktok/
  3. https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tik-tok-statistics/#:~:text=From%20there%2C%20TikTok%20snowballed%20into,850%20million%20times%20in%202020

     (1) https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-stats/#:~:text=5.,650%2C000%20new%20users%20joining%20daily

Whether you plan a short trip to the beach or a hiking holiday in the mountains: Tripadvisor has got you covered. As one of the biggest travel platforms worldwide, it provides all the information you need to make your holiday a special one. Users can browse 8.1 million accommodations, airlines and restaurants. For advertisers, it’s also a great place to interact with customers who are interested in traveling, entertainment and food.

Tripadvisor X Httpool

Trusted companion

Tripadvisor is the number one in terms of consumer trust. What sets them apart from the pack are trustworthy reviews and accurate information. Even in the pandemic, when all travel was restricted the consumers stayed loyal to the platform and continued to plan their awesome travel experiences. After all, everybody knew that the restrictions would not last forever. Looking closer at the numbers, 9 of 10 consumers say Tripadvisor makes them feel more confident in their booking decisions and 86 % of travelers won’t even book before reading reviews on the platform. This says very clearly that no trip is really complete without consulting Tripadvisor.

Tripadvisor1

Navigate the sea of data

As consumers browse the site and plan their journeys, they interact with Tripadvisor. Thanks to Tripadvisor’s Navigator, you too can use the platform’s powerful first party data insights to connect with passionate customers. Several categories make fine granulated targeting possible to best reach the crowd. Foodies who are on a luxury trip? Got you covered. Families on beach tours? Tripadvisor knows where they want to go. Efficiently targeting your future customers ensures not only success in sales but also optimizes your spendings.

Advertising on Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor supports all standard IAB display media formats. These creatives are displayed on all devices, so that Desktop, Tablet or Mobile as well as Tripadvisor’s own app are included. Additionally, Native Ad Units which are seamlessly integrated with the organic site content, can be used to highlight promotions across the platform. Advertisers can choose between programmatic guaranteed and PMP for the delivery of their ads.

Tripadvisor2

Advertising for Businesses

Tripadvisor caters especially to establishments, accommodations and restaurants. Places can claim their businesses via the Tripadvisor Management Center for free and start building their connections to customers instantly.

Predicting the future

Nobody can tell what the future holds, but there is clear evidence that travelling will play an important role in 2022. Whether locally or internationally, travelers are eager to get out there and recharge their batteries in beautiful places and explore exciting new destinations. Together with Httpool and Tripadvisor brands can reach all segments of travelers.

By Amal Hussein, Copywriter, Httpool

An Introduction to International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day began with 15000 women standing together in solidarity to march through the streets of New York City in 1908, demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. It was initiated by the Labour Movement, to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations.

International Womens Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is now globally celebrated to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender inequality, reproductive rights, and violence against women.

Due the events recognition by the UN, each year a new theme is announced, and this year’s theme is #BreakTheBias.

This opens the door to fantastic opportunities for businesses, especially amongst those targeting Millennial and Gen Z audiences, as these audiences have the highest online presence, and thus expect the most from brands regarding diversity and inclusion. In fact, 76% of Gen Z and 72% of Millennials agree that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is an important topic for businesses to address.

Meta Womens International Day

 

When focusing on Women Empowerment, campaigns typically fall into the following categories: educational, charitable, or purely celebratory. As the understanding and awareness of IWD day grows, as to does the notion of gifting. It is important to bear in mind that not only flowers are considered for this occasion, personalised gifts, spa treatments and do it yourself lessons are also growing in popularity.

Moreover, similarly to Valentine’s Day the traditional myths no longer apply, and it is not only men gifting women as you may have thought. Women are celebrating women, employers are honouring female employees, and of course, women are treating themselves!

 

Myths and Truths

The Gift of Giving!

It’s time to leverage the business opportunities, whilst honouring and celebrating women’s rights, start promoting gifts for women, and launch International Women’s Day sales campaigns!

EU Statistics

March 8th is a day to celebrate women of all ages, an opportunity for consumer to show their gratitude, love or appreciation to family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and to themselves. We are seeing a rising trend in women opting to treat themselves, especially in recent years. Women celebrating personal accomplishments by surprising themselves with something they’ve been wanting for a while.

It is important to home in on gifting preferences when planning advertising campaigns, as EU surveys show that more than 40% of women favour massage or a day at the spa. Whilst nearly 1 in 5 would enjoy a personalised photo shoot, or a make-up lesson. Furthermore, it’s worth considering that research also demonstrates 85% of women are loyal to their favourite brands, and that 80% of purchases are also influenced by other women.

The key considerations influencing consumer decisions are the price, discount offers, and the shipping conditions (free shipping). With all of this in mind, lets dive into how you can create a strong IWD advertising strategy.

Promotional Tactics

With the below tools you’ll be able to reward loyal customers, attract new leads, convert prospects, and upsell! The first step is creating a landing page for this occasion, it’s important to pay extra attention here to the product selection, any product that your female customers are usually drawn to, can be specially featured for IWD as limited editions.

This is a time to offer special deals and discounts, solely to female clientele or to all consumers, and get those interest levels peaking. This timeless women’s promotional notion of offering special discounts for IWD will undoubtedly enhance your business, but just ensure that there is a clear timeframe for how long each discount will be valid.

Ideas for IDW promotional tactics

 

 

From the creation of personalised codes, offerings of free delivery and next order discounts, to free goodies alongside purchase and buy-one-get-one free advertising, there are a multitude of methods to build up on traffic on your website, app, or store during this global event. One campaign in particular that always seems to be a hit with consumers is the ‘a gift for her’. Now is a great time to keep an eye on buying trends, take note of customer favourites, and build this into marketing tactics to maintain a connection you’re your audience.

 

 

IWD campaign planning

If you have launched a new product or service, this is a great time to advertise limited time offers so that consumers can try it out.

Planning for Your Campaign

You must be wondering by now when to actually schedule your campaigns, what objectives to use, and who to target! Don’t fear, our recommendations are here!

Firstly, ensure that you plan ahead and define your core objectives. Keep in mind that no one size fits all, it takes time, preparation, and previous testing. Our tip is to take advantage of the solutions available across the marketing funnel. So, start soon with a campaign that raises awareness, and then a few days before the event switch to driving consideration and action. Now, let’s take a closer look at these actions!

Your first focus will be increasing awareness, your objective here is to boost discovery using brand objectives, or traffic. As for the audience, a broad audience is used for prospecting and value-based lookalikes. When you’re thinking about the audience don’t forget to be inclusive of all genders.

For the second part of the campaign, we have driving consideration and actions. Here focus should shift to conversions and optimisation. Circle back and ensure that previous consumers are targeted, whilst also enticing new engagements. As for the creative, focus on the sales, ensure a strong logo is used, and have a clear call to action.

Driving consideration and action

The Power of Five

Best practices and Recommendations

If you have your pixel implemented, the auto-advance matching option is something you should already have, check in settings to ensure its enabled. This will undoubtedly help improve results, allowing you to keep track of and report metrics, and providing the ability to connect directly with users who have interacted with your advertisements and later made a purchase. Thus, ensuring results are more effective and trustworthy

The power of 5 #1

This is a good time to take advantage and harness the added effectiveness, especially considering signal loss experienced with IOS. It’s easy to implement and important to keep an eye on, to make sure that the results and statistics you are getting are correct.

Simplified Account Structure

For the most part this is a simplistic task unless you have a very detailed and broad client journey. If you have a smaller business, your account structure can be handled within two or three campaigns and then interacted with additional ads.

One popular method is to create content for the prospecting campaigns, using broad targeting to find users who have previously engaged with your business, and retargeting/remarketing as a final step for users who may have uncompleted purchases, bear in mind however that is only based off the number of clients you have in each of the steps. For example, if you only have a few unfinished purchases, it does not make sense to create a new retargeting campaign.

The Power of 5 #2

Previously, from applying limits to ad sets you could gain conversions manually, although still possible, this is not as effective as an algorithm. For example, you can spend the same $30 either manually placing $10 on each of the ads, or you can allow an algorithm to automatically scan and select the ads which perform best.

The Power of 5 #3

So, why not save yourself some time and effort and let the algorithm work its magic? This gives you precious time to apply elsewhere.

The Power of 5 #4

Automatic placement often goes hand in hand with both campaign budget optimisation and retargeting. This allows delivery systems to make the most of the budget, and ensure ads are automatically delivered to your desired audience in the places they’re likely to perform best.

Remember that when it comes to platforms that don’t align with your business the algorithm will automatically not assign too much of a budget to it. If you give it more opportunities to target broadly, then it will give you better results.

The Power of 5 #5

Those of you with a catalogue of products, this one’s for you! In general, when it comes to large e-commerce businesses, it makes a lot more sense to create dynamic ads. This way when a consumer expresses interest in an item from the catalogue, an ad is automatically generated for the person, and delivered direct to their device. Dynamic ads look exactly like other single image, carousel, stories, or collection ads. Thus, a catalogue saves you time and provides flexibility in what you show to consumers.

IWD

So, to summarise our campaign tips on how you can best utilise this international Women’s Day; ensure your business is adjusting marketing to target both Gen Z and Millennials during this period. Take advantage of the celebration this event calls for, create ways to engage and attract new audiences using discounts and deals, utilise the events ability to bring women of all ages together. Don’t forget women talk, so give them something to talk about!

Last but not least, make sure you are taking The Power of Five into account at each stage of your campaign. Taking time to see if your campaign has a clear brand objective and implementing sufficient time to check conversions or optimisations. Incorporating all these tips will be sure to see your IWD campaign thriving.

Thank you for reading and make sure to use this International Women’s Day to honour all the women in your life with a truly amazing campaign.

By Josef Hlavacek, SMB Regional Director CEE in SMB

When it comes to the days leading up to Valentine’s, its vital for marketers to make every second count! Valentine’s Day is a holiday based around love and affection, and there’s a sense of gratification that comes from helping people express the way they feel; and what better way than to take advantage of the sweetness behind gifting.

Now like with most national holidays, your business won’t be the only one catering to those wanting to surprise their loved ones. Thus, as always, it’s important to explore the various ways your business can benefit.

The general categories explored by consumers during this period are fashion, jewellery, lifestyle brands, candy, greeting cards and Flowers – think anything sweet!

Lately, especially for Valentine’s, there has been a big emphasis on personalised items, people are more interested in gifts tailored to them specifically, compared to the generic items available off the store shelves. It’s important to try and help people make their loved ones feel as special as possible, even if they potentially have the same gifts as their neighbours.

ValentinesDay1F

The best time to push these campaigns are within the 10 day lead up to Valentine’s Day. Campaigns are at their most active between 4th and 13th February, this is when you as marketers can gain the most. It’s important to get your brand and products out there straight away, and then shift focus towards tailored ads, as the day of love approaches. Now is the time to keep reminding people to smell the roses, quite literally, as Valentine’s is officially in the air.

The final three days before Valentine’s is where you can really benefit from marketing, and because people can be generally lazy when it comes to this holiday, it is important to remain consistent as the date approaches. Many need that sense of urgency to buy, and so making use of the last few days is essential!

Are the Statistics as Sweet as the Day Itself?

ValentinesDay2

Valentine’s Day, much like Christmas is a holiday celebrated world-wide. Approximately 20 billion US dollars alone was spent in 2020 for Valentine’s Day, with an estimated 65 million people across Central Eastern Europe purchasing gifts for their loved one. Moreover, reports show that on average 1 in 3 users globally made Valentine’s Day related purchase in 2020.

Each year the opportunity and market surrounding Valentine’s Day increases. It’s very important that despite a reported 62% of men purchasing gifts on Valentine’s Day, compared to only 10% of women in 2020, that campaign efforts remain focused on both genders. Targeting one solely can be off putting and you may send the wrong message to your customers.

Love is in the Air

ValentinesDay3

Traditionally Valentine’s has been known to the masses as a holiday to express your feelings to your intimate loved one, however, as definitions and society has developed through the years, we have seen a shift in the days meaning. Now Valentine’s Day represents a more open view of love.

Valentine’s is a holiday to be shared with all loved ones, from children to parents, friends to family, and all the variations of love your heart desires. It is imperative for marketers that this shift in meaning is considered during the creation of campaigns, generating a sense of inclusion for all. A possible trend waggon for you to jump on this year is ‘Galantines Day’, a movement that has grown in popularity since 2010, often celebrated on the 13th of February by women within their friendship groups. This is a great example of switching up Valentine’s Day material to gain increased results and expand your client base.

Now, to focus on how the masses may spend their day, and what they may be likely to purchase.

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Approximately 55% pf people celebrate Valentine’s Day with their significant other, however 45% still have a slightly different method of celebration. With 12% treating themselves, 10% getting together with family, 3% decide to retain self-control and not buying anything at all, and up to 35% giving gifts such as date nights or an activity.

But what do they buy? Usurpingly, 55% of sales are generated through chocolates, flowers, and sweets, followed by 17% purchasing jewellery. What better way to demonstrate your sweetness than by giving sweets? Good question! But now days it might not be all about gifts for other.

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Society is coming around to the idea of self-love more and more over recent years, and Valentine’s is no longer solely focused on purchasing the perfect gift for a loved one, but also taking time to gift yourself! A ‘treat yourself’ campaign is great for those who may not have a valentine, don’t celebrate the day, or who would prefer to spend it alone. Incorporate offers and meal deals for one to harness this trend. This the time to remind your audience that that smell of love in the air should also be directed internally, a little self-love goes a long way.

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Key Considerations

Valentine’s Day isn’t just any bog standard shopping event, it’s the first shopping event of the year, therefore it is a key moment for businesses to scale sales. Unlike most other holiday campaign periods, Valentine’s is only relevant for fairly short time, about 2 weeks. Therefore, it is important to get ahead and incorporate this into marketing strategies in advance.

Top Four Valentine’s Practises

  • Treat Others: Take a look at the services you offer and think about how your business can promote products effectively, and how these can be adapted to ‘treat others’ during this holiday. You can prepare gift guides, propose new pricing, and offers for items such as alcohol, cheeseboards, or candy.

 

  • Treat Yourself: Lots of people opt for the ‘treat yourself’ route for a sense of satisfaction. This can be clothing, jewellery, deals and so on. Offers that showcase festive products. Key words to include are: Affordable Luxury, group events, self-care, and skincare.

 

  • Seize the moment: With February being the shortest month of the year, and Valentine’s being only a single day event, it is vital to plan ahead, and use the above tips to take advantage of all the lead up days. Emphasize your seasonal items – last minute deals, limited time offers, create urgency, and use countdowns to let them know how many days offers will be active.

 

  • Own the occasion: Think about your messaging and visuals and how they will affect those seeing them. Ask yourself how do you want to target people? How exactly do you want them to react to your campaign? How can you embrace it as a business and encourage interaction with your brand? And whether you have truly showcased all the avenues of sharing love during this holiday.

 

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Now, you might be tempted to push some of that leftover Christmas, New Year, or even Halloween stock out – but it’s crucial to keep campaigns restricted to the Valentine’s Day theme only. This show’s consumers that you’ve taken the time to find new items they might prefer this season, demonstrating your businesses vision, and commitment to consumers.

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By incorporating themes into our campaigns, and creating a visually aesthetic branding technique, it gives the company definition and shows its adaptability to consumerism.

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Retargeting and Dynamic Ads

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It’s best to avoid narrowing down your timeframes for your audiences, you don’t want to start effecting the components of campaigns. Make sure to leave room in your algorithm to adapt to the new topics being provided.

In addition to retargeting, your business should utilise the power of dynamic ads during Valentine’s Day campaigns. Dynamic ads unite your brand and create a cohesive response. These ads show the right product, to the right people, who have already expressed interest in your ad.

With dynamic ads you can build brand favourability, as creatives are more engaging and personalised. This enables you to acquire new shoppers with relevant products, as you can use retargeting to show them products, they have previously shown interest in.

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Furthermore, that encourages re-engagement of high value customers, using upsell and cross sell options.

  • Upsell – encouraging customer to move from one item to another (maybe they like a brand handbag on your website, so you show them different brand)
  • Cross sell – someone purchases an item and then you can cross sell related items from other products.

Don’t let this season of love pass you and your brand by! Use the above to build you perfect campaign this Valentine’s Day.