A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words are powerful, and changes that hit the Facebook platform may be painful.
So say analysts reviewing new policies freshly implemented by the behemoth of all social media, and it could be a gigantic headache for those who write ad copy.
This shift in ad sizes was announced at a recent F8 conference, but the company has been somewhat stealth with respect to public information. Ad revenue is their bread and butter, naturally. And with more than 2 billion worldwide users, they are sharply focused on building a venue for paid advertisers, often at the expense of user experience. Nonetheless, the company continues to tweak its advertising options.
Here’s what’s happening: Facebook feed ads viewed in mobile mode (and let’s face it, few are using full-size computers these days) are shrinking. These “creative restrictions” make the image size and the amount of text smaller, with images reduced to a 4:5 aspect ratio from the current 2:3. Along with that is a text reduction from seven sentences to three – a tremendous drop by any measure.
Prioritizing ad copy words
Though users will be able to access more lines by clicking a “see more” link, the game is now changed. As anyone who has written for limited space platforms knows, the visible text is critical for engagement, and if that text is cut in less than half, it will be more important than ever to employ an economy of words with the most benefit.
With mobile devices already small in scale, that means even a typical one-liner with an inducement – the bread and butter of marketing lead-ins – won’t fit. And that hurts.
Beyond the written word, you’ll be dealing with a shrinking graphical allotment. This will require image redesigns, along with the judgment call on how small to make your overlay text.
The good news is that Facebook prepped for this sea change, perhaps to quell the tide of resistance. Their Video Creation Kit tool allows for a semi-automated process to make it easier through scaled image resizing. The kit also offers more templates that ostensibly provide flexibility to accommodate this curtailed space issue.
The last days of summer are upon us and it is important to take some important self-care tips to make sure you get some proper relaxation. Between work and family, it can be difficult to plan some time for yourself to de-stress your mind. Before the summer ends, give yourself a mental break by creating a peaceful place in your home to mediate. Meditation is a very useful technique to lower your stress levels and become more balanced. This is great for people dealing with anxiety or has to deal with very stressful situations for their profession. Either way, this guide can help create a summer meditation space.
You don’t have to splurge on fancy spa or travel to an expensive hotel to feel like you are treating yourself. Instead, consider turning your space into a peaceful sanctuary at home. A good staycation can still help you feel rejuvenated and renewed with the right steps. You can create a small meditation corner in any room in your home and make it feel calming so you can ease your nerves. Believe it or not, it’s still possible to feel you are on vacation even while you at home.
Start by picking out a corner in your favorite room. This can be any room in your home, it just has to be comfortable. The next step is selecting a few stones to put in your space. Things like amethyst, rose quartz, and others promote good energy to aide in your mental detox. Ideally you want a room with a decent amount of sunlight as well. Consider purchasing a small stand to place stones and a small candle or incense. Pick a scent that is very soothing like lavender. Add throw pillows or even a low-slung chair to get comfortable and for vibrancy.
The last step is the ambiance. If you don’t have a room with good natural light, consider purchasing a dimly lit lamp or add a couple more candles for soft lighting. Consider downloading a meditation or white noise app to help you focus on clearing your mind and finding your personal Zen. Once you’re ready, sit in a comfortable position, take a deep breath and relax. You will finally find the peace you deserve.
Particles is taking a break this week to allow everyone here at Cennos to enjoy one last taste of summer fun over the Labor Day weekend.
We'll be back next week with brand new content you won't want to miss.
Driving sales for underperforming products and services can be a tough task. These products and/or services need additional tactics to help it perform and this is where scarcity marketing. This technique helps move sales for these items based on their rarity. With things so readily available to consumers through online shopping, more and more consumers find value in things that feel more exclusive. So here are several useful tactics for scarcity marketing for your small online business.
Establish Product Availability
It is important to let your consumers know how many items are still available for purchase. The point of this tactic is to establish a sense of urgency to influence consumers to purchase this product or service as soon as possible. If there are only three items left in stock, set an alert on your webpage to let customers know.
Limited Edition & Seasonal Products
Another way to establish a sense of urgency for products is to create special collections. These are products with limited quantity and will not be replenish them once they are sold out. This makes the product feel rare and exclusive which entices potential customers. Seasonal collections are also effective that may only come out during a certain time of year.
Creating a pre-sale offer for exclusive products brings a sense of excitement for potential customers. It can also gauge the demand for your product and bring in sales before the launch. This is also an effective way to show other consumers the high demand for your business as well.
Out-of-Stock Alerts & Low Stock Notices
When your items are out of stock, let your customers set alerts to know when an item is available again. Also let your consumers know when you are products are low in stock so they are more enticed to make a purchase before the item becomes sold out. This keeps a relationship between the consumer to come back for either the same item or perhaps another.
Customers love discounts and they love exclusive ones even more. You can do this by rewarding loyal customers as a follow-up from a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, and following your business on social media. Flash sales are also a good tactic to use as an exclusive short-term sale to attract attention to products as well. If you have a physical storefront, you can hand out invites to in-store patrons who make a purchase.
Consumers are always on their phones so it is vital for any business to develop marketing strategies that target their audience through their devices. Outside of social media, the main thing many users do on their phone is text. For millennial and Gen Z users, communication via texting is more popular and convenient than talking over the phone.
Many of these users do not have a landline so they are always on their phone, receiving and sending out messages. It is common now for many brands to use text messaging to communicate with consumers whether it is updates, discounts codes, or customer service. It is a very simple and effective way of talking to your customers personally and faster to provide better service for their needs.
However, without proper technique and approach, text-messaging marketing can come off as invasive if it done too frequently. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
Creating a Keyword & Auto Reply
First, reserve a keyword that consumers can text you to sign up for alerts and join your SMS marketing list. When someone texts the designated number, they will receive an instant response template called an auto-reply. This is a customized welcome message for every new registered user. This can contain discount codes to engage sales and other helpful messages to create traffic to drive online sales.
Promote Your Marketing List
Make consumers aware that they can sign up for phone alerts when they visit website. You can create pop-up ads to get people sign up and include messaging when consumers make an order online. Develop unique CTA to drive your consumers back to your website. It is important to grow your list organically so you can create a successful marketing list.
Create a Schedule
Don’t overwhelm your consumers with too many alerts. Create a text blast schedule to send consistent messaging that doesn’t annoy the users and makes them return to the website to see new developments. It is important to spread out your messaging and make sure each one has a different message in order not to sound too repetitive.
If you don’t think your business can handle maintaining a strong SMS marketing list, you should consider outsourcing to a third-party. This is an effective approach for companies that are new to this type of marketing strategy and use the help of established professionals that will know how to reach their audience.
There are 2.7 billion people that utilize social media through various channels, connecting them like-minded users and business based on their interests. For businesses, it has become an essential tool in the way they communicate to their consumers. Everything to the images you choose to the captions you write determine a specific tone and voice that is talking to you followers. You have to have a clear, concise vision when it comes to your social media strategy.
Using social media for business differs greatly from using it for personal usage; every post has a strategic push behind it. So, here are a couple of useful strategies to implement in your social media marketing.
Identifying Industry-Specific Hashtags
Hashtags help draw users that do not follow to your page. It is very important to identify popular hashtags that are used in your sector to maximize your overall reach. This is what helps your post land on someone’s explore page or search results easier if they are looking for content similar to yours. It is important not to overuse hashtags that are too board and general so it can reach your target niche audience.
Create a Constant Brand Voice
It is important that your brand voice is the same on all your platforms. You want all your pages to sound like the same person, now three different people. Lay out a clear guideline on specific vocabulary and style that matches your brand aesthetic or vision. Brand voice is what connects you on a personal level to your audience and it is important to maintain a true, authentic tone that forms a relationship with users.
The “e” in “ecommerce” sets your business apart from storefront or warehouse operations, and the difference could not be more prolific.
Electronic and digital processing, advertising, communications, inventory control, and the like, functions well only with a reliable content management system, or CMS. It enables creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content you rely on to run your business on a day to day basis.
We’ve come a long way since headache-inducing HTML coding was necessary to develop anything worth viewing over a digital screen. Modern functions are more seamless than ever.
From small-time web sites and blogs to sophisticated multi-page systems, the CMS you use is arguably one of the most essential functions of your ecommerce business. When it’s user-friendly, it delivers even more benefits you can’t put a price on. Indeed, you don’t need to break the bank in order to maintain excellent control over content.
Take control with open source CMS
Open source means freedom and flexibility; it offers a host of possibilities for visual and functional fulfillment with enough customization to truly brand your own enterprise. With more control, you call the shots. Your limits lie in your creativity and visualization.
Plenty of open source CMS options offer free usage, making it an even more attractive option. All it takes is a bit of study and time.
Here are some to consider:
They didn’t name it Amazon for nothing.
As if the king of all internet retailers hasn’t dominated enough sectors, it’s now among the top platforms for advertising. There are good reasons for that, and none of them should be a surprise.
Just as Facebook took the social media world by storm, effectively lining out competitors, Amazon is well on its way to becoming the premier commerce player of all time. Aside from negative press surrounding unfortunate stories of porch package thefts, their rep is quite stellar, even as they creep toward a quasi-monopoly territory that has retailers concerned.
And why not? Eclipsing the 600 million product mark in 2018, it seems there isn’t much you can’t find on the popular site. Add to that two-day delivery with its Prime feature, and you have a massive cabal of captive targets. More than 300 million of them, to be exact.
This is where you come in. Whether or not you use Amazon as a sales platform, you should be giving serious consideration to its advertising feature. Not too much of a departure from Google Ads, Amazon creates a seamless search function for site users to locate a product. Sponsored posts appear at the top, designated as such in a subtle way. That puts your offering front and center to a consumer directly searching for it on a favorite portal.
Note to ecommerce vendors: It’s never been a more exciting time to sell things.
As new and riveting internet-based platforms emerge to make the process easier, faster, and more fruitful, there’s one that’s been around a long time and is still arguably the backbone of any business.
Email. Email marketing morphs a tool invented for personal conversations into a dynamic, effective platform for pitching products and services to would-be customers who may or may not know of you. Email happens to be the most widely used of all modern communications channels. Estimates say 99 percent of all consumers check theirs on a daily basis.
And perhaps it’s a better choice than other advertising-related vehicles for the simple reason that people read their emails with a different expectation than they have when they browse social media, or even watch television. Advertising that interrupts play time is probably less palatable than direct messaging sent to an account people read knowing they are there to receive messaging.
If you’ve prioritized your marketing and outreach through social media channels, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just consider the new benefits of an old standby that won’t steer you wrong.
Start With a Plan
Forming an email marketing strategy is pretty simple and straightforward, but there are must-do’s and must-not-do’s to keep in mind.
Start with the most obvious, and develop a targeted customer list. Generating leads is easier with the development of tools like Monster Leads, which integrates marketing functions by collecting, sorting, and storing sales leads. A service like this allows you to revisit the email marketing function without having to restructure and search for new targets.
Before you stress over being “that guy” sending a ton of unwanted mail, relax. Even if one-quarter of your messages are opened, that’s a significant reach. Another way to test the waters for oversaturation is to select a sub-group of customers you feel good about, and set them up for more frequent sends, while limiting the rest of the list to occasional messaging.
Once you have a target audience, think creatively by envisioning what you might respond to favorably. Develop eye-catching graphics that are easy to read and understand. Refine your wording to be brief, engaging, and (most importantly) urgent enough to prompt consideration.
Win in Sin City – the Las Vegas Summer Market
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – unless you’re lucky enough to snag a spectacular new inventory product or product line.
In case the Las Vegas Summer Market has not crossed your radar screen, you’ll want to get up to speed. This annual event kicks off its 2019 shindig from July 28 through Aug. 1 with a better-than-ever list of exhibitors selling home goods you may want to consider for your inventory.
Ecommerce merchants and others gather for the extravaganza featuring up to 50,000 visitors perusing exhibits from more than 500 exhibitors. The Market is the largest of its kind on the West Coast. It’s a social, commercial, and educational experience you won’t want to miss.
If you sell home furnishings and décor, you’re well aware that the competition is mind-bending. There is no shortage of product offerings, and choosing from among them can be daunting. Why not treat yourself to a weekend in one of the country’s most prolific cities for everything fun?
The Summer Market features more than 4,300 brands and lines of stellar home goods in a wide array of price ranges. More than 500 unique temporary exhibitors will entice with unique offerings. Visualizing, touching, and trying out goods that represent your brand as a seller will build confidence in your inventory and make you more knowledgeable on how to meet customer needs.