Updated daily - Curated by Geoffrey Idun

The Idun Times

Read My Blog Visit My Site

Real Estate Landing Pages (Our Customer Favorites + Why We Think They’re Great)

Whether you’re an independent realtor or work at a real estate agency, you can gain a competitive advantage if you have owned digital properties to drive your paid and social traffic to.

Owned properties — like landing pages — provide you more control in real estate versus relying on popular listing sites where the journey isn’t always clear, you can’t customize your call to action or match your branding.

In short, real estate marketing can really benefit from lead capture landing pages because they allow you to:

  • Establish and grow your mailing list, ensuring you can follow up with and remarket to interested prospects later.
  • Showcase properties especially well, creating urgency and delivering especially compelling offers (like granting early access to listings, for example).
  • Track social and paid campaigns better. With a listing site you don’t have access to metrics and can’t determine ROI as quickly as you can with a landing page.

Ultimately, you can use landing pages to understand exactly who is interested in a property, entice prospects to book appointments (or other offers) and wow new clients with on-brand design.

In this post I’ll break down some of the best ways to start using real estate landing pages with a few examples from Unbounce customers.

1. Showcase your listings (and grow your mailing list)

At minimum, every real estate broker needs a place to share listings online. But ideally, you’ll want to own the experience.

RE/MAX agents Matthew Davidson and Kimbe MacMaster know this first-hand.

These independent agents use Unbounce landing pages to showcase an overview of a property: quick stats, a photo gallery, a video and details on the community. And while a property is available, prospects can book a showing as the call to action:

Featuring trendy parallax scroll, this page converts at 0.38%. Click to view full-length landing page.

Once the listing is sold (nice work Matthew and Kimbe!), the CTA changes to allow interested parties to sign up for early notice for similar listings in the future:

This post-sale CTA swap is a terrific way to build your email list for advertising similar properties in the future.

Having used the Unbounce Loft template, Matthew and Kimbe can simply duplicate this page each time they need a dedicated place to feature a listing. This allows the duo to be listing-specific when they link from a Facebook or search ad, ensuring a seamless ad-to-landing-page experience for potential buyers.

According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in real estate have at least one page that converts under 1.3%, so Matthew and Kimbe’s conversion rate above is in line with what we see for many real estate marketers.

See how your conversion rates stack up in real estate (and nine other popular industries)

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your landing page performance compares to your competitors.

By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

2. Entice buyers with exclusive pre-sale info, floor plans, price lists and more

Booking viewings of individual properties is great, but what if the real estate you’re selling is still in development?

Working with large and small-scale real estate developers, Rennie helps their developer clients plan and execute all aspects of their marketing and sales strategy, including online advertising. As part of their online strategy, they create project-specific landing pages and direct all paid traffic to those pages to gather leads.

Here’s an example created for The Pacific by Grosvenor:

This real estate landing page currently converts at 7.92%. Click to view full-length page.

Jennie Sebastian, Rennie’s Digital Marketing & CRM Manager, shared that the marketing team typically has a kick-off meeting five to six weeks before a campaign. Once they determine targeting and put together a media schedule, creative — including development of the landing page — can begin.

The campaigns typically employ search ads, display, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat, but the team is always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences.

As many real estate marketers can likely empathize with, Jennie shared:

One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is coming up with a strong call to action that entices users to provide us with their personal information.

Depending on the phase of the project and assets available, CTAs range from, “Sign up now for early access” and “Download all floorplans now,” to “Book a private appointment now.”

Through numerous A/B tests the Rennie team has found that more specific CTAs convert significantly better than more generic ones, as they clearly articulate to a prospect what they are receiving in exchange for their information.

Which brings us to landing page idea number three…

3. Get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home with a virtual tour

Just as Jennie from Rennie told us above, compelling CTAs are very important in real estate marketing, and offering a virtual tour has proven to be very effective for their team:

We recently offered a virtual tour using special 360 degree photography for one of our projects in Calgary. After updating the CTA to “Take a virtual tour now,” we saw a significant increase in the conversion rate.

Here’s an example page of theirs, which converts at 4.15%:

Click to view the full-length landing page.

Clicking the CTA button triggers a form gating the tour:

Even if you can’t wrangle 360 photography, you can still get prospects to picture themselves in their dream home.

Simple videos, photo galleries, or even the hero image on your landing page can do the trick. But be sure to test.

Example test of hero image variants

Here’s an example from Coronation Properties via digital agency Rocket. They test variations of their pages with different key elements of a property featured in the hero image.

Here’s a variant wherein the bedroom is the hero shot:

And another where the kitchen takes the spotlight:

The takeaway here?

Get creative with videos, 360 tours, or even experimenting with your hero shot, to give clients a glimpse into the property that’s right for them.

4. Offer up relevant listings to abandoning visitors

While landing pages clearly offer a competitive advantage in real estate, you also want to ensure you’ve optimized your website for conversions.

As our customers at Brixio know, you can try out an Unbounce overlay to ensure you’re not missing out on conversion opportunities. Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting.

Unbounce Convertables

We love their idea for an overlay triggered to appear on exit to those leaving a website, tempting potential real estate buyers with off-market or exclusive listings.

Here’s a preview of what they had in mind:

With Unbounce, you can launch your overlay at any point during someone’s visit on your website: on exit, on arrival, after delay, on scroll and on click. Find out how Unbounce overlays work here.

5. Test a simple value prop to prompt more commitment-heavy offers

For marketers in the business of custom real estate, your offer of a tailor-made home is much more commitment-heavy than simply moving into an existing place.

This poses an interesting challenge: interested prospects likely have many questions, may be exploring many options and need a reason to trust you immediately.

Here’s agency Rocket’s solution: an on-brand, clear landing page (where prospects can “enquire today”):

This page converts at 1.84%. Click to view full-length landing page.

This small offer accompanied by all the fine details serves as a type of micro conversion, ensuring Manor Homes’ prospects have the chance to reach out and get the conversation started about a custom home.

Get creative with your own micro conversion incentives! For example, you may want to consider inviting prospects to download a collection of your custom homes to preview at their leisure.

6. Offer up relevant content marketing (so you can nurture leads later)

Plenty of businesses use content marketing to reach their target audience, and as Edina Realty knows, this applies to the real estate industry too.

As a subsidiary of Home Services of America, Edina Realty’s licensed pros guide customers through home buying and selling. To provide the most value to their clients, they deliver unique and useful content via custom landing pages.

Check out this Unbounce landing page they created to distribute their Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home – it converts at a whopping 18%:

Click to view full-length landing page.

By combining content strategy with retargeting, Edina Realty is able to reach prospective leads throughout the funnel and deliver quality leads to their agents.

Hannah Kaeter, Digital Marketing Manager at Edina Realty, told us about the importance of educating leads:

One of the key challenges in our market is a low inventory of homes for sale at lower price points. With this challenge comes an opportunity to educate potential sellers — many of them first-time sellers — about the process so they can evaluate and make informed decisions about their own property and situation.

Ready to build your digital property?

Overall, the above examples illustrate the importance of having a dedicated place to send your paid and social traffic, which can make all the difference in whether you can track the ROI of your real estate marketing. This beats relying on common listing sites — especially in the case of condo developments or offers that require sophisticated branding or high commitment, like custom homes.

Replicate the success of these realtors with Unbounce’s real estate templates, and be sure to download our Conversion Benchmark Report for a breakdown of where you stand in this industry.


Unbounce

Nike: Introducing The NBA Connected Jersey

Here it is. And about time. The Nike x NBA Connected Jersey that connects wearers to highlight reels, the latest scores, player and team stats, exclusive content, training content and more. All by tapping their phone against the label. Boom! It’s all triggered from the NikeConnect logo on Jerseys and shoes, you’ll just need the […]


Digital Buzz Blog

The 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools for 2018

Too many brands treat social media like their own personal soapbox. They invest all their energy preaching to their customers, but don’t spend enough time listening. Fewer than one out of four businesses actively listen to their followers on social media.

Many brands are starting to recognize the error of their ways. They recognize that there are lots of great social media listening tools that they can use to their advantage. Here are five of the best.

1. SentiOne

SentiOne is a newer social listening tool that is used by over 2,000 brands in nearly three dozen countries. There are three different service tiers, so you will need to decide which one is best for your business.

The most basic plan allows you to track keywords, users, mentions and recent updates in real-time. You can also track historical data for up to six months. If you want to track data for over a year, offer access to more than one user, or follow more than one market, then you will need to choose one of the other plans. You can get your feet wet with their 14-day trial.

Here are some of the main features:

• Data can be collected from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, news aggregators, opinion websites, and blogs.
• You can measure the reach of your messages on any given day.
• You can see results in 24 languages.
• You can monitor campaigns at different levels, including category, competition, consumers and communication.
• Advanced consumer and workflow management filters can be used.

Many marketing experts have spoken highly of SentiOne. If you run a small or medium-sized business, you may benefit from it as well.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite brands itself as a centralized platform to manage all of your social media accounts. While most people use Hootsuite for its schedule and content optimization tools, it also has a very sophisticated social monitoring platform.

Hootsuite has a number of great functions that make social listening easy and efficient. You can monitor social networks by keyword or location. You can also set up an unlimited number of social media streams. Hootsuite provides a great blog post, along with a couple of video tutorials on setting up social listening campaigns on their platform.

Before you choose a tool and dig into the nitty-gritty work of social media listening, you’ll need to determine what you should actually listen for. The exact keywords and topics you monitor will likely evolve over time as you learn (from social listening) what language people use when they talk about your business and what sorts of insights are most useful for your business.

3. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a popular social media management tool that has some excellent social listening features, such as:

• You can track specific keywords related to your industry or business. The easiest way to follow social media discussions of your brand is to use your company name.
• You can generate visual reports on every keyword you are tracking.
• You can subscribe to real-time alerts on hashtags.
• You can integrate inbound message tagging in your social media campaigns.

Over 19,000 brands depend on Sprout Social, so you can trust their social listening tools to deliver the data you need.

4. Talk Walker

Many other social listening tools aggregate data from a handful of social media platforms. Talk Walker extracts data from over 150 million websites, including over a dozen of the most popular social networking sites. This makes it one of the most comprehensive social media listening tools in the world.

Another great feature of Talk Walker is its ability to track conversations in nearly 190 different languages. This feature makes it ideal for global businesses that serve multilingual markets.

5. Conversocial

Conversocial brands itself as a “customer engagement solution as advanced as your customer.” It is a lesser known social listening tool, but many top brands depend on it, including Google, Hyatt, Hertz and Tesco.

Conversocial allows you to collect data on customers from multiple platforms on both mobile and desktop devices. The tool is designed to bring marketers into discussions with their customers and help them be more proactive with their responses.

Use the Right Social Listening Tools to Run Your Business

Social listening plays a key role in any social media marketing campaign. Fortunately, there are a lot of great tools at your disposal. Make sure you understand the nuances of these tools and use them properly to gain access to the social media data you need to optimize your marketing strategy.

The post The 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools for 2018 appeared first on Social Media Explorer.


Social Media Explorer

House of Commons to host discussion on how to train the next generation of designers

House-of-commons

Tomorrow, on 12 October, the Design and Technology Association (DATA) will host a discussion at the House of Commons around the issue of how to best train the next generation of designers and engineers. The discussion is taking place in conjunction with the All-Party Group on Innovation and Design, and Edge Foundation, with an audience of influential individuals from across government as well as educators and design experts.

Read more


It’s Nice That

How to Grow Your Email List as an Ecommerce Brand (A Beginner’s Guide)

It’s important you recognize the significance of your email marketing strategy.

It’s an essential method of communication with your ecommerce customers.

Email will probably be your most profitable channel if you nurture it right.

Don’t believe me? Activewear brand Rone is able to generate $ 80,000 in sales during product launch purely from its email list.

But before you can start sending out emails, you need to build your list.

Not sure where to start?

Don’t worry—I’ve got you covered.

I have a ton of experience building email lists for my companies: Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, Hello Bar, and my blog.

While none of these businesses have an ecommerce store, you can still use many of the strategies I used in your list building.

I even have some other methods specifically designed for gaining exposure and increasing conversions on your ecommerce platform.

Here’s what you need to know before you start building lists.

Signup forms on the website

You’ve got to give your customers plenty of options to sign up for your email list.

Having a signup form on your website is a pretty standard option.

While it may not be the most effective way to build your email list, it’s a necessity and has to be somewhere on your site.

But where do you put it?

The most optimal location to place your signup form, which will show up on each page, is in the footer:

image1 7

While the number of companies using the footer form to solicit signups is slightly down in 2017 compared to 2016, the footer is still by far the most common placement for an opt-in location.

By the time your customers reach the footer, they have already had a chance to browse through your site and get a feel for your brand and product.

Now, they can make a more informed decision if they want to be on your email list.

This is different from having your opt-in form in the header because your visitors may feel spammed or forced to sign up too soon.

Chances are, joining your email list is not the first thing on someone’s mind when they visit your website.

The customer has other priorities and intentions.

So ease them into it, and put your opt-in form at the bottom of your page.

Here’s an example from the Adidas store:

image9 7

If you want to sign up for their email list, you can enter your email address at the bottom of their page.

Notice that Adidas also gives you an incentive to sign up.

Get news and 15% off.

It’s a great way to get more people on board.

We’ll discuss incentives in greater detail shortly.

If you have an ecommerce store and you’re just getting your feet wet with your list building strategy, adding an opt-in option to your footer is a logical place to start.

Use standard popups and incentive-based popups

Based on the graph we looked at earlier, popup ads are the second most popular method of gathering email addresses on websites.

I think they are more effective, so I’m surprised more ecommerce sites aren’t using this strategy.

Don’t believe me?

Well, the numbers don’t lie.

Brian Dean at Backlinko added a popup to his website, which looked like this:

image2 7

The results were undeniable.

The popup had a conversion rate of 3.42%.

Before implementing the popup, Brian was getting 35 people subscribing to his newsletter each day.

After he implemented the popup strategy, this number jumped to 75 subscribers per day.

He’s not the only one who had success with popups.

According to a case study by OptiMonk, companies like BitNinja got 65% more leads and saw a 114% improvement in their subscriber rates.

This was all done with a simple popup.

Companies may be hesitant to use popups because they have a bad reputation.

The word popup can sound like spam—something intrusive and unwanted by the users.

While this may hold true for harmful, malicious, or unwanted advertisement popups, that’s not the case with our list-building strategy.

The consumer is already on your website.

Your popup isn’t opening a new window or spamming them with irrelevant content.

In fact, the information may be extremely useful for the visitors, especially if your popup adds an incentive.

image3 7

“Sign up for emails” isn’t the most effective way to build your list.

Why should the consumer provide you with their email address?

You need to give them a reason.

Look back at some of the examples we saw earlier.

  • Adidas – “Get news and 15% off.”
  • Backlinko – “Get exclusive strategies for more traffic.”

What’s your incentive?

Forever21 offers customers 10% off with this popup strategy:

image12 6

Don’t think of popups in a negative way.

You should be using this strategy to build the email list for your ecommerce website.

Just make sure you give your customers a good incentive to subscribe.

Collect email addresses from customers making a purchase

People are hesitant to give out their information.

It’s understandable.

There’s a good chance your customers have had some negative experiences with other companies after giving out their email addresses.

A few bad apples ruined it for the rest of us.

They got a hold of their customers’ email information and abused the trust.

Spam.

Sending out way too many promotions.

Your customers do not want many emails.

image10 7

It’s the biggest issue reported by consumers.

After some bad experiences, people may not be so willing to hand over their email addresses to every brand that asks for it.

You may need to get creative.

Ask for your customers’ email addresses while they are finalizing the order.

But give them a reason.

You’re not adding them to your email list just yet, but you’ll need to send them an order confirmation.

Here’s a great example from SAXX:

image7 7

The email address is required to check out.

Why?

SAXX will send you a confirmation of your order.

They also don’t force you to create an account.

Forcing the customer to make a profile in order to check out is one of the top reasons ecommerce sites experience shopping cart abandonment.

So it’s an added bonus that this checkout form specifies that.

All right, let’s get back to building your email list.

You have an excuse to send them some emails now.

Specifically, you can email your customer four times before they officially sign up for your email list or newsletter.

Here’s what you send:

  1. Order confirmation message.
  2. Email stating that the order has shipped.
  3. Confirmation when the package gets delivered.
  4. “How did we do?” follow-up message.

Each of these emails is a chance for you to get these people on to your subscriber list.

Make sure you have an option in each message that allows the customer to join.

You already have all their information, so it should be a simple process taking only one or two clicks on the part of the consumer to sign up.

But keep in mind, the majority of people don’t want to disclose personal data.

image4 7

That’s why most of the top Internet retailers are only asking for email addresses and names.

Requiring too much personal information to join a subscription list could be the reason why a customer decides not to subscribe.

If your customers are hesitant, just ask for their email addresses while they check out and finalize their purchases.

Then you can send a drip campaign with subsequent messages about the status of their orders.

This is a prime opportunity to get more subscribers.

However, if the customer still doesn’t sign up, don’t keep harassing them.

You’ll have another opportunity to send the same drip campaign when they make another purchase in the future.

Develop a segmentation strategy

Once you add someone to your email list, make sure to segment the user into a specific category.

Not every message you send will be applicable to everyone on your subscriber list.

This is why a proper email segmentation strategy is absolutely essential.

These are some of the top benefits of segmenting your email lists:

  • increased open rates
  • improved unsubscribe rates
  • higher customer retention
  • fewer spam complaints

Email segmentation will ensure your content is relevant to each subscriber.

Let’s look at an easy example.

If you have customers all over the world, sending a promotion for the 4th of July is not relevant to everyone.

Independence Day in America is only relevant to your customers in the United States.

Geographic location is an obvious way to create segments, but it’s not the only way.

image11 6

The graph above shows you some other data you can take into consideration when developing your lists.

It’s a great reference to make sure your content is relevant to all subscribers in each segment.

So before you start building your email lists, think about some general segments you’ll want to use.

Keep in mind, as you continue to add subscribers, you may slightly change or tweak your segmentation strategy.

It’s not a perfect process, and you’ll still get some customers who’ll unsubscribe or feel like they’re getting irrelevant emails.

That’s inevitable.

But the key is making sure you minimize these instances.

It’s a difficult strategy to master, but it needs to be a top priority.

image5 7

Improving segmentation and increasing subscriber engagement are the top two initiatives for email marketers.

Engagement and segmentation go hand in hand.

Proper segmentation will ultimately increase engagement.

It’s important you recognize all of this before you start building your list.

Don’t just start mass emailing everyone until you can figure out what messages are relevant to each subscriber.

Create interactivity with your email marketing campaigns

Once you have customers on your email subscriber list, you’ll want to make sure you keep them there.

Don’t give them a reason to unsubscribe.

You spent all this time and effort acquiring their email addresses, now you need to keep them engaged.

How can you accomplish this?

Follow the trends.

Use interactive emails to stay relevant.

image8 7

This is the top email marketing trend of 2017.

Here are some of the best ways you can increase interactivity in your emails:

  • use real-time marketing
  • incorporate reviews, polls, and surveys
  • run scratch card advertisements
  • add menus to the message
  • incorporate videos within the email
  • use live shopping carts
  • add GIFs

These strategies will keep your ecommerce site relevant.

You don’t want to send dull emails to your subscribers.

Use interactivity to retain users who signed up for your messages.

Conclusion

It’s awesome you’ve recognized the importance of building an email list for your ecommerce site.

But before you jump in, think about some of the things we discussed.

If you don’t know where to get started, add a signup form to your page.

The most common place to include this is in the footer of your website.

While it’s a necessary feature, it’s not the most effective.

You also need to add popups to your website.

Just make sure these popups give the consumer an incentive to join your email list.

If your website visitors don’t take the bait signing up through your popups or footer, it’s not over yet.

Get their email addresses when they check out.

Develop an automation strategy, like a drip campaign, to send them messages about the status of their orders.

image6 7

You’ve got several chances to add subscribers during the following emails:

  • order confirmed
  • order shipped
  • order delivered
  • order follow-up

If this strategy doesn’t work, it’s okay.

Try again the next time this customer makes a purchase.

You need to develop a segmentation strategy before you start sending out emails to your subscribers.

Not every message is relevant to every subscriber.

Segmenting your lists will help you increase opens and conversions.

It will also improve your unsubscribe rate.

Interactive emails will help prevent customers from unsubscribing.

Creating interactivity will keep the subscribers engaged.

Follow these tips before you start building an email list for your website.

What popup incentive will you offer to your site visitors to encourage them to sign up to your email list?


Quick Sprout

Google BikeAround: Street View For Alzheimers

Meet Anne-Christine Hertz, a Swedish inventor who works at Health Technology Centre of Halland. Today, she shares a story of how the Centre used Google Street View to invent a device that helps the elderly with Alzheimer’s. Every three seconds someone develops dementia, a condition that creates disability and dependency among many elderly people around […]


Digital Buzz Blog

Image Recognition with Computer Vision and Bot Framework

Since we’re now able to request user input using Prompt Dialogs in Bot Framework, we can take it another step further. At this stage, we’ve only added LUIS as a form of Artificial Intelligence to the bot, but we’ll tap into more power by adding another one of the Cognitive Services. Just like with the mobile app, we’ll add Image Recognition to the bot using Computer Vision.

The goal

The goal for this demo would be that the user would use the bot to order food by simply sending in pictures of the food he/she would love to have instead of ordering it with words. The Computer Vision would recognize these pictures and would place the order. In this demo we’ll be using a picture of a hotdog and a pizza.

Requirements

In order to get everything up and running, we’re going to need the following:

Now that we have everything in place, we can continue with the next steps.

API Key & Root

We’ll need to create the Computer Vision API and get the API key in order to use it. Head over to the Azure Portal and Create a new Service. Search the Marketplace for Computer Vision API and create the service. Fill in all the required fields create the service.

Now that we have our service, we’ll need to search a couple of values that we’ll need inside our app. Simply open it up and grab the following values:

  • Find your API Key under Show access keys. Copy it and store it for later.
  • The Root can be found under Endpoint and is essentially the Azure Location. Also copy this value and store it.

The ComputerVisionService

I added a class to the project called ComputerVisionService that wraps around the functionality from the VisionServiceClient from Cognitive Services and only returns what we currently need.

 public static class ComputerVisionService {     private static string COMPUTER_VISION_KEY         = "<COMPUTER_VISION_KEY>";     private static string COMPUTER_VISION_ROOT         = "https://<AZURE_LOCATION>.api.cognitive.microsoft.com/vision/v1.0";      private static VisionServiceClient _client         = new VisionServiceClient(COMPUTER_VISION_KEY, COMPUTER_VISION_ROOT);      public static async Task<Caption> DescribeAsync(string url)     {         var analysisResult = await _client.DescribeAsync(url);         return analysisResult.Description.Captions[0];     } } 

Take note of the <COMPUTER_VISION_KEY> and <AZURE_LOCATION> and change those accordingly to the API Key and Root we got in our previous step.

Calling the service

Now that we created the Service, we’ll call it from out bot code. We’ll ask the user to send a picture using a Prompt Dialog and let the Computer Vision work it’s magic.

 [LuisIntent("OrderFood")] public async Task OrderFood(IDialogContext context, LuisResult result) {     PromptDialog.Attachment(context, ResumeAfterAttachmentClarification, "How should your order look like?"); }  private async Task ResumeAfterAttachmentClarification(IDialogContext context, IAwaitable<IEnumerable<Attachment>> result) {     var descriptions = new List<string>();      var orders = await result;     foreach(var order in orders)     {         var caption = await ComputerVisionService.DescribeAsync(order.ContentUrl);         descriptions.Add(caption.Text);     }          await context.PostAsync($  "I think your order should have _{string.Join(", ", descriptions)}_, I'll see what I can do!."); } 

As you can see in this piece of code, we’ll be using the ContentUrl-property to pass along as URL to the Cognitive Service. Because this needs to be a publicly available URL, this doesn’t work when running locally. I published my bot to Azure and used the test-panel on Bot Framework to check if everything was working as expected.

As you can see, the bot was able to detect what kind of food it was and even recognized the topping on the pizza! That’s pretty neat and really shows the power of the bot framework in combination with AI.

Conclusion

Although this demo is incredibly simple, the potential is great. Think about using Custom Vision to recognize domain specific objects instead of the generic ones from Computer Vision. The combination of Cognitive Services and Bot Framework is incredibly powerful yet really simple to create. You can use this feature to make the bot more human and make it easier to navigate the user through the conversation. We’ll expand this in the future with the use of more Cognitive Services. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.

Want to learn more about this subject?
Join my “Weaving Cognitive and Azure Services“-presentation at TechDaysNL 2017!

The post Image Recognition with Computer Vision and Bot Framework appeared first on Marcofolio.net.

Marcofolio.net

Instagram Influencer Marketing on a Smart Budget

So you hear that influencer marketing is a must but you don’t have $ 50,000 to pay a celebrity to post on Instagram. Lucky for you, there are many options out there for a company to integrate Instagram influencer marketing without blowing your entire year’s budget.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why Instagram influencer marketing is so popular
  • How to set up a budget
  • How to create your marketing campaign

Why is Instagram Influencer Marketing So Popular?

For some companies like Wendy’s, NewsWhip says engagement on influencer paid posts run up to 100 times the engagement of a brand’s own post.

title

In terms of ROI, TapInfluence’s study found influencer marketing is 11 times more effective than traditional marketing efforts.

When used effectively, influencer marketing can play a big role in your campaign. For example, Cleanly targeted a person who is often on the go and could use a laundry service. Ideally, the audience is also comprised of travel enthusiasts and could take advantage of Cleanly’s services.

How to Set Up an Influencer Marketing Budget

Approach your Instagram influencer marketing budget like you would for any marketing opportunity. It can be included in your annual marketing budget, monthly social media spend or even part of a campaign budget. Once you have a cash amount in mind, decide how to best put it to use.

For companies that have a low or non-existent cash budget, you do have other options:

  • Offer a product or services exchange
  • Run a collaborative contest
  • Offer discounts to their audience

LIFEWTR partners with creatives and its influencers match that segment. Matt Allard’s account is filled with mostly personal explorations, so a sponsored post has an even higher impact on LIFEWTR’s followers.

How to Create Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

We’re using the term “campaign” a bit loosely here. Instagram influencer marketing can be ongoing and/or it can be specific to one marketing campaign. In either case, creating your campaign is similar.

Goals

The objectives of most influencer campaigns are:

  • Raise brand awareness of the company, product or services
  • Increase sales
  • Bring in new customers
  • Improve current customer sentiment about brand

In a recent survey from eMarketer, 88% of marketing professionals found influencer marketing to be effective or extremely effective at raising brand awareness. The study makes sense. We tend to trust our peers’ opinions on brands more than word straight from the brands’ mouths.

title

With this in mind, you should determine what your own goals are for setting up influencer marketing.

Metrics

To go hand-in-hand with the goals, you need to have matching metrics to help you measure success. Depending on how the campaign will be structured, you have several metrics that you can use:

  • Influencer-specific discount codes: The number of times each code is used.
  • Referral links: The total number of clicks and successful conversions for each link.
  • Engagement: If it’s a public post, you can track the number of engagements. If it’s an Instagram Story post, you can request analytics from the influencer.
  • New followers: If there are campaign dates, then this metric could be used.
  • New customers or purchases: If the campaign or program is about a specific product or service, you can track sales to see if they increase.

Today is the final recipe for this 4 part series!  Hope you all had fun with the protein powder recipes. My last labor of love is a welcome mat to Autumn (seriously one of my favorite seasons). Muffins! 🍂🍁🐿🍂 . How about some Spiced Sweet Potato Chai muffins?  Y’all are not ready.  And P.S. – this recipe might be one of my best EVER.  Let me know what you think.  Recipe below! • • • Part IV is “Bake it!” Spiced Sweet Potato Chai muffins made with w/ the addition of @kuranutrition Chai Plant Based Vegan Protein. You can feel full and totally satisfied.  Get 20% off @kuranutrition ‘s products by using CK20 at checkout.#ad — Sweet Potato Chai Muffins 35g ( ⅓ cup or 1 ¼ packets) Kura Chai Plant Based Vegan Protein 220g (1 ⅔ cups ) Gluten free 1 to 1 flour 200g (1 ¼ cups) coconut sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 222g (1 cup) sweet potato puree 171g (¾ cup) ghee (or butter), room temp 75g (¼ cup) coconut yogurt 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla TOPPING: 143g (3/4 cup) brown sugar 34g (1/2 cup) walnuts 1 ½  teaspoons cinnamon 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour 70g (1/3 cup) butter 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the muffin tins with coconut spray. 2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. 3. Add the wet to the dry, being careful not to overmix. 4. For topping, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Stir. Using a fork, cut in butter. 5. Add the batter to the tins and cover each muffin with the topping. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

A post shared by Christiann Koepke (@christiannkoepke) on

In the above example, Christiann includes a discount code in the caption, making this an easy metric to track for Kura Nutrition.

Create Ideal Influencer Profiles

Just like your usual customer profiles, influencer profiles consist of demographics that you want to target.

These profiles should include important statistics like:

  • Follower count
  • Engagement rates
  • Post aesthetics
  • Any history of working with brands
  • Expertise, interests or specializations
  • Locality (if your company is location-specific)

If your budget is small, you’ll want to aim for micro-influencers. These are accounts with usually less than 1,000 followers but have a highly engaged audience.

In fact, Influence.co released some statistics on average costs per influencer by number of followers and their respective engagement rates.

title

Follower count is still a high determiner of influencer value. However, it’s a better investment to use micro-influencers than celebrities. Posts that cost $ 49 each had the highest engagement rate at 9.0% when compared to other post costs.

title

Based on the budget you determined earlier, you can now estimate how many influencers you’re able to account for.

As we had mentioned before, cash is not the only thing you can offer an influencer. Sometimes a service or product exchange is enough if the interests match.

Influencer marketing can include special events like this Grey Goose dinner Instagram post example. Events can be run on a budget as long as you’re offering something exclusive or enticing enough for people to want to join in. If you’re struggling with figuring out the financial end, take a look at this post: How Much Should You Pay Social Media Influencers?

Research the Influencers

This is a key part of Instagram influencer marketing. After you’ve created your ideal influencer profile, you need to make a big list of all the accounts that match the profile. Make sure you include contact information in your list. Some influencers list contact information in their profile while others state their preferences in their website.

Hopefully, you already have some people in mind who would be a good fit. If not, you can do further research through tools like Klear and InfluencerDB. There are many free tools out there and most have paid tiers too. Don’t only trust the tools. Be sure to do your own research on each profile as well.

Sprout Social’s own Instagram Profiles report includes information on influencers who have engaged with profile. This would be a good starting point if you have an account with us.

instagram top influencers engaged report

You can click on any of these accounts to get details on their audience size as well as your conversation history with them. Plus, you can add in details like contact information and internal notes about the influencer for your team such as “open to working together on a campaign.”

instagram conversation history

Here’s one more “hack” you can use to get insights into influencers you’re interested in working in. Use our Instagram Competitor’s Report. Add potential influencers you want to work with to the report. Once Sprout has been able to gather some data, you’ll be able to get great insights like how often they post, engagement numbers an more.

instagram competitor report

 

Agencies also exist to do the legwork for you. But if you’re on a budget, doing your own research will be a big money saver.

Gnarly Nutrition’s customer base is all about healthy eating. Naturally, athletes and people interested in exercise are a great fit for the brand. Products don’t have to be in a photo for a sponsored post to be effective. An influencer’s honest captions and lifestyle photo is a more subtle form of advertising.

Don’t be afraid to branch out. Marshall Movie could’ve easily found film enthusiasts to talk about their film. Instead of only going the obvious route, they connected with artists like Jade to talk about why the movie was important to them. The caption and photo is all in the creator’s style and offers a unique perspective on the film.

Contact the Influencers

During the research phase, you should’ve written down how to contact them. Now is the time to draft up your email or Instagram Direct Message.

While you can have a template for your message, it’s best to include some points of personalization. For example, if you’re a coffee roaster, you could say something like “Hi Brandy, we happen to have the same coffee as this one that you’re drinking! Would you be interested in trying our version out to taste compare?”

If you’re running a campaign, you’ll want to note what you’re asking of them. Do you want them to test a product? Do you want them to post a discount code? Remember, if you have a small budget, you probably won’t be able to ask for too much. You can have guidelines in what you’re looking for but you should give the creators creative control over the posts. Too much oversight leads to a post that reads like an ad.

Clearly, this post is part of a larger Petco campaign. Some of the words were given to them by Petco, but the imagery is in line with the rest of the account.

One note to mention here is that if you have an ongoing Instagram influencer marketing campaign, you should begin conversations with targeted influencers before you start asking them for posts. Once you’ve built up a relationship, it’ll be easier to ask and even easier for them to say yes.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Tools

Newly announced, Instagram is rolling out Branded Content features in both posts and Stories. The feature announces paid partnerships to disclose when a creator or publisher had an exchange.

title

While #ad and #sponsored may still be used in posts, the Branded Content feature also allows publishers access to the creators’ analytics. For publishers that include influencers frequently, this tool could be a very useful tracker for your ROI.

title

Outside of using Branded Content tools, you could use low-budget analytics like:

  • Turning on notifications for when the influencer posts
  • Asking the influencer for their Story or post analytics (if they have a business account)
  • Manually recording engagement on a post after a certain period of time

So many changes going on in this house. I think every room is turned upside down in some way or another. . This black wall is no more. It has some lovely fresh Sheetrock and patching happening. & the grey sofa is back! Pink couch just wasn't doing it for me. So if anyone is in the market for a pink couch☺️ . . PS. Click the link in my bio to figure out how to score up to $ 500 in @worldmarket gift cards and see how to throw a fall girls night this weekend!🍂👭#ad #worldmarkettribe . . . . . #apartmenttherapy #theeverygirl #howyouhome #mymodern #mywestelm #mybhghome #housebeauiful #homegoodshappy #currentdesignsituation #currenthomeview #colourmyhome #mystylishspace #styleithappy #workspacie #myhautehome interiorandhome #dshome #bloglovinhome #mydomaine #lonnymag #atmine #mycovetedhome

A post shared by Cara Irwin // Goldalamode (@goldalamode) on

World Market’s Ambassador Program is clearly laid out on their site and has a corresponding hashtag. If your influencer marketing is part of an ambassador program, you can easily monitor hashtags to respond quickly to their posts. Sprout’s Smart Inbox makes monitoring seamless and part of your daily social media manager routine.

The Ultimate Social Monitoring Tools

You can use Instagram influencer marketing effectively and with a small budget if you plan carefully. Instead of the usual free product and cash in exchange for a post, consider other options like special events and giveaways. With a little creativity, you’ll find that your brand can reach new audiences without Selena Gomez posting about it.

This post Instagram Influencer Marketing on a Smart Budget originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Fabulous Facebook Marketing Ideas, Borrowing Images Online & More: The Social Scoop 10/5/17

Are you ready to create 6-15 seconds video ads? Facebook continues to ramp up the video ad break offerings with the new Watch digital streaming television platform taking root (US only for now), and the good news is that creators can share in the revenue (55%).

Check this out: the average video ad view on digital platforms is a mere 1.7 seconds. Woa! However, a new study conducted by Oracle Data Cloud and Facebook shows that video ads that are seen for less than 2 seconds *do* help drive sales. The research showed that views under 2 seconds drove 52 percent sales lift of those campaigns studied.

Read more on short Facebook video ads.

Your Facebook Video Content Ratio

Speaking of video, what is the ratio of video content vs. all other types of content on your Facebook Page? Check out this video message created with my friends at Animoto:

This Week’s Top 3 Articles

1. The Ultimate List of Facebook Marketing Ideas: 40+ Ideas for Posts, Giveaways & Businesses via Gleam.io

Wherever you are in your Facebook marketing process, there’s a ton of helpful takeaways in this article. Maybe you’re just starting out or starting over with a business Page. Or, perhaps your brand has been on Facebook for some time and you could use some fresh ideas for doing live video broadcasts. In this post, explore the different aspects of Facebook marketing and get inspired by what other brands have done!

2. 6 Things You Need to Know About Borrowing Images Online via TheWholeBrainGroup.com

It’s never been easier to find visuals online; there’s an abundance of choices to search and find what you need, often for free. But, be careful!! It’s also very easy to infringe on the creator’s rights if the image is used improperly. To avoid a potentially expensive mistake, it’s good to be aware of the basic terminology of copyright law and what each type of license allows. Take a read of this article!

3. Four Ways Marketers can Increase Conversions from Social Video via Econsultancy.com

Videos get way more engagement on social, and can often lead to purchases. In a study by Animoto, 64% of consumers say that a video they saw on Facebook led to an online purchase. Love that! So, how can brands get more conversions from their videos? Take a look at these four suggestions.

That’s all for this week’s issue of The Social Scoop. I hope you have an amazing weekend and I look forward to connecting again very soon.

On a personal note, wow, what a whirlwind couple of weeks it’s been. I had an incredible time speaking in Boston at HubSpot’s INBOUND17 and then on to the Future of Advertising event in the Dominican Republic.

This week, my big sister is coming for a visit from Ottawa, Canada and I’m super jazzed! We’re attending the Association of Transformational Leaders conference this weekend in San Diego and then next week we buzz up to Salt Lake City, Utah as I’m speaking at the Nu Skin LIVE! Global Convention with 20,000 attendees… Oh my! So excited. And we get to enjoy a live gala with Maroon 5, one of my fave bands.

The post Fabulous Facebook Marketing Ideas, Borrowing Images Online & More: The Social Scoop 10/5/17 appeared first on MariSmith.com.


Mari Smith – Social Media Marketing Success

Get In Touch!

Or save my details for later...