About Trevor Jonas

Trevor is VP of Digital Strategy at Access Emanate where he oversees digital strategy and execution for several of the agency’s accounts and serves in an advisory role across the client base.

Hashtag or URL: Super Bowl Ads Point to Social Media Maturation

Hashtag or URL: Super Bowl Ads Point to Social Media Maturation

With the big game officially in the rear-view mirror, the postmortem is well under way. If you’re looking for an analysis of how a Super Bowl team can blow a massive lead in a very short period of time, stop reading now. Instead, we’re going to take a look at data pertaining to this year’s advertisements and make some observations about what it may mean going forward. Of particular interest is the use of hashtags versus URLs within big game advertisements.

As it has for several years, Marketing Land conducted an interesting analysis of various aspects of the 2017 big game advertising line-up. Marketing Land writes:

Hashtags were in 30 percent of Super Bowl 51 ads, down significantly from 45 percent last year. More ads used URLs than hashtags for the first time since Marketing Land has measured them, 41 percent in all. Twitter barely beat Facebook and Instagram as the most-mentioned social network, though neither was explicitly mentioned often.

So, what to make of the significant decline in hashtag use within the ads? What about the notable increase in URL use?

To me, there are two likely causes for such a shift.

One, it’s no secret that Twitter continues to struggle with overall usage and new user acquisition. Before continuing, a bit of history: Chris Messina essentially married the concept of a hashtag with Twitter roughly a decade ago. All that being said, it stands to reason that with user growth seemingly stalled, Super Bowl advertisers would begin to move away from including a hashtag in advertising given how focused hashtags have been on Twitter.

An alternative reason could simply be the slow, steady maturation of social media. Sure, hashtags can make for a great naming convention for a campaign or a simple way to organize conversations around a specific topic. However, as social media matures, many brands are focused on driving conversions vs. sparking conversation. Don’t get me wrong, both are important and have their places within the marketing arsenal. But, if you’re buying advertising in the biggest of forums, it does feel like a logical objective to try to drive people to take action (via clicking on a URL) vs. to talk (via a branded hashtag). The really interesting data, which we’ll likely never get to see in aggregate publicly, is what type of traffic a Super Bowl advertisement can drive to a website. If significant, the re-targeting possibilities are endless.

What do you think – why the rise in URL usage and decline in hashtag use within Super Bowl ads this year?

How Should Brands Think About and Approach Live Video?

How Should Brands Think About and Approach Live Video?

It’s no secret that video is all the rage these days. Despite Blab’s decision to shutdown, live video is exploding thanks to Periscope, Facebook Live and other similar services. While many brands have experimented with live video, only a handful have adapted their overarching strategies to incorporate it more wholly and consistently.

I recently participated in the #getrealchat, which is a weekly Twitter conversation focused on various aspects of social business. This time around the topic was the future of live video–the discussion was lively and insightful. So, how exactly should brands be thinking about and approaching live video? Here are three tangible ways.

1) Start small–no need to build a live-video strategy right out of the gate

Test and learn. Repeat. Test and learn. Repeat. Got it?

Just get started–think about marketing activities and initiatives you’ve already got underway. Bonus points if they’ve already found success. Ask yourself if there’s a way to naturally incorporate live video as an extension of those efforts.

The key here is not to force things–if live video doesn’t naturally make sense for your brand or your existing marketing efforts, then table it until the time is right.

2) Use it to broaden the audience for your next in-person event

One such natural extension is around events. Many brands host multiple events around the country (or event the world) each year. Use live video to bring those events to people not able to attend. Better yet, think through how it can be used to increase attendance in the future.

3) Combine live video with your existing Facebook marketing efforts

Facebook’s live video offering, Facebook Live, offers massive scale and potential reach for each video you produce. With the NewsFeed algorithm favoring live video and the ability to save live video for future playback, the possibilities are endless.

If you’re already advertising on Facebook (who isn’t?) then you can quickly and easily distribute live video content directly to your desired audience without breaking the bank. As always, test and learn what works and what doesn’t for your audience.

Are you using live video? How?

Twitter Audience Insights: three things marketers should do immediately

Twitter Audience Insights: three things marketers should do immediately

Earlier this week Twitter announced a new analytics tool for US users. The feature, audience insights, provides marketers with a dashboard that aggregates information about Follower demographics, interests, purchasing behavior and more.

To access the new dashboard, users can login to ads.twitter.com and select ‘Audience Insights’ from the ‘Followers’ drop down, or login to analytics.twitter.com and choose ‘Followers.’

Here are three things marketers should do immediately with audience insights.

Examine current follower demographics

The demographic tab on the audience insights dashboard is full of rich information. Two items that immediately come to mind for closer examination are the gender of  your followers and their occupations. Does the gender of your Twitter followers map to the predominant gender of your target customer? If so, great. If not, some deeper analysis around the types of content and activities you’ve implemented to-date is in order.

The occupational information should be viewed through the same lens, but can also provide some preliminary insights around the best times to Tweet. If you’ve got an audience that is predominantly made up of students, retired people or homemakers, you’ll want to consider the typical lifestyle of those groups and adjust your Tweeting times accordingly.

Analyze follower lifestyle data

The lifestyle data is limited to top interests and TV genres, but still can prove valuable. Given that Twitter is made for real-time communication, explore the TV genres that most interest your Followers and map those to relevant shows or upcoming TV events that make sense for your brand to engage around. Should you spend hours preparing to do real-time marketing around the Super Bowl, or will your community not care? Use the lifestyle data to develop hypothesis that can be tested in the short-term.

Dig into the mobile footprint

Audience insights also provides details around the top mobile carriers and device types used by your current follower base. Use the predominant device type data to inform your future content strategy. If most of your followers interact with Twitter via mobile, your copy and imagery should be optimized for that platform.

Conclusions

As with any analytics offering it is important to use audience insights to develop and test different hypotheses–not take the data as the end-all, be-all. Given Twitter’s recent advertising revenue issues, expect the company to continue to deliver tools designed to inform marketers and help them better achieve ROI on the platform.

SXSW summed up in three words: emotion and empathy

SXSW summed up in three words: emotion and empathy

With the 2015 installment of SXSW Interactive officially in the books, it’s time for reflection on what was a four-day whirlwind. From sports and athletes, to breakout apps, the digital transformation to new celebrities, SXSW had a little something for everyone. That said, two common themes were present in various sessions and talks, regardless of industry.

Empathy

The definition of empathy is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” At SXSW, empathy was used by panelists to explain how smart brands are looking to deepen connections with consumers, where the healthcare industry needs to innovate and how data combined with empathy can fuel creative storytelling.

Empathy also plays a critical role when it comes to talent. Millennials and new graduates entering the workforce expect their employers to not only have empathy as a core value, but outwardly display it on an on-going basis. According to multiple speakers at SXSW, empathy will be a major factor in both attracting and retaining top talent.

Emotion

The definition of emotion is “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” At SXSW, there was hardly a session focused on content that didn’t talk about emotion. The consensus from both marketers and publishers is that any piece of content that fails to evoke an emotion or fails to connect emotionally with its target audience, is a waste of time.

Sure, thinking about and leading with emotion is easy to talk about, but when executing a content strategy it is much more difficult. Brands need to think through how a piece of content or a specific topic will make customers and advocates feel. Eliciting the right emotion will activate an audience to share, which should be the end-goal in most cases.

SXSW: Three content and social media data points that will shock you

SXSW: Three content and social media data points that will shock you

The hundreds of panels and individual sessions at SXSW produce a ton of chatter. Personally, my ears tend to perk up when that talk involves data–particularly as it pertains to how content creation and social media are or are not being scaled within organizations.

Sure, it’s interesting to hear about amazing campaigns, brilliant strategies and flawless execution, but what’s more noteworthy to me is understanding how many people it truly took to make those things happen. Here are three fascinating data points shared at SXSW that just might surprise you.

1) The Washington Post has nearly 50 developers/designers who work alongside journalists in order to build and create the amazing content produced by the publication.

2) Alice Wilson of Southwest Airlines said roughly one year ago, Southwest had 3 part-time staffers running its social customer care. Today, there are 22 full-time employees focused on social customer care and that number is expected to jump to 30 in the new few weeks.

3) According to B. Bonin Bough, VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Mondelez International, the number of organizations that are investing in staff training around digital strategy has nowhere to go but up!