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Taco Bell’s #TacoEmojiEngin Social Media Campaign

Taco Bell has launched a social-marketing blitz that celebrates the recent launch of the long-awaited taco emoji. The Irvine, Calif.-based brand said that it has created 600 pieces of unique content. Eventually, all of the content will then be posted to ta.co, its recently-revamped website.

Here’s how it works: People who tweet a picture of a taco emoji with another emoji at the brand’s account, for instance, will automatically be sent back a photo or GIF mashing up the two images. If folks tweet a picture of a taco and smiley face, they will then receive an image of a taco wearing sunglasses. In another scenario, tweeting an image of a taco and a satellite sends back a GIF of a satellite shooting out tacos.

Taco Bell's #TacoEmojiEngin Social Media CampaignTaco Bell's #TacoEmojiEngin Social Media Campaign

There’s also an in-store campaign that’s more closely aimed at Instagram. Taco Bell is rolling out four limited-edition “taco holster” packages that wrap around its Doritos Locos tacos to all of its U.S. restaurants.

The fast-food chain hopes its core group of teens and millennials will share the pop-art-oriented wrappers on Instagram.

“They’re all meant to be fun, almost collectible pieces. I think they’re going to be highly Instagramable,” said Marisa Thalberg, chief brand engagement officer for Taco Bell.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell has been advocating for taco-shaped emojis since November 2014 when it set up a Change.org petition. The petition collected more than 33,000 signatures before the Unicode Consortium designed a taco emoji in June.

Numerous brands have put their own twist on emojis, but Taco Bell wanted to make the digital sticker part of the built-in keyboard in smartphones.

[Source: AdWeek]

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Hyatt Uses Facebook Messenger For Customer Service

Hyatt Tapping Facebook Messenger to Strengthen Customer Service

Hyatt Hotels is one of the first brands to start using it. The international hotel chain now employs of a team of 60 across three global locations to help guests with their customer service needs via various social channels, including Messenger. Besides real-time conversations with its customers, Hyatt is looking to securely share transaction receipts and booking details via Messenger in the future.

As more hotel brands roll out mobile concierge platforms, consumers increasingly expect to interact with them for all requests via their smartphones, making this an ideal move for Hyatt.

Facebook Messenger for Customer Service
Consumers will appreciate the convenience of instant messaging a brand

Facebook’s efforts to build Messenger as a standalone social platform, with its own features and capabilities separate from its social network have been a success. It doesn’t hurt that Facebook gave its billion users essentially no choice but to download the app. According to Facebook’s last quarterly report in June, more than 700 million people currently use Messenger each month. It is no wonder then that brands are looking to find a large portion of their audiences on the channel.

“We have launched this service today with Hyatt, which is the first of our customers to go live with Facebook Messenger for customer care,” said Paul Johns, chief marketing officer of Conversocial, New York.

“What I can say is that ‘in the moment’ service is a critical component of the Hyatt guest experience,” Mr. Johns said. “It allows guests to have a positive experience as they are engaging with Hyatt on mobile and throughout their customer journey.

[Source: Luxury Daily]

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Pinterest Launches Crazy Fun Visual Search Tool

Pinterest’s New Search Tool Helps Out When Words Fail You

Pinterest recently launched its Crazy Fun new visual search tool that aids users in searching for items in a pin. When you spot something in a Pin that you want to learn more about, tap the search tool in the corner. Then select the part of the Pin you’re interested in, and you will be shown Pins just like it. You can even filter your visual search results by topic so you find exactly what you’re looking for.Pinterest Visual Search Tool

So if you zoom in on that lamp, you can discover what it’s called (“Antiqued Metal Funnel Pendant”), and where you can find it (Restoration Hardware). If you want to know more—like how to get a table like that—just resize your selection and move it around to instantly see more Pins.

What do you think of this new tool?

[Source: Pinterst]

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Retailers’ Customer Service on Social Media Lacking

83% of Customer Service Request are Ignored by Retailers

It’s no surprise that retailers receive more social messages during the holiday season than any other time of the year. In Q4 2014, the retail industry was hit with its biggest influx of inbound social messages, a 21% increase over the previous quarter. If the same trend continues, the average retailer can expect more than 1,500 messages during the holiday season this year according the Sprout Social Index.

social media

Despite increasing demands, most brands are not prepared to keep up on social. This time last year, retailers answered only 16.35% of the messages they received from their customers—the lowest response rate for the industry in all of 2014. Of course, an increase in social messages likely yields a lower response rate.

Based on data from the past five quarters, The Sprout Social Index anticipates that this holiday season, most people can expect to be ignored as well.

Even retailers that regularly answer questions on social media struggle with the concept. People expect quick answers — one of the reasons why they turn to social media — but the average response time for retailers is 12 hours.

The report also found some interesting results comparing retailers use of Facebook and Twitter. Retailers in the study received 7% more requests on Facebook than on Twitter in the third quarter. As the chart below shows, it’s the first time requests on the social network exceeded Twitter.

social networks

Retailers seem to have misplaced their attention, they are sending out more messages on Twitter—144% more than they did just 6 months ago. They’re also sending out more messages on Facebook, just not at the same clip—only 2 times as many as they did within that same 6-month time period.

social media marketing

On a positive note, merchants’ response rates were better than most. The overall rate of response in the 15 industry categories was 11%, and retail was second only to utilities.

brand engagement

You can download the full Sprout Social Index for free here.


Google+ Redesign Focuses on Communities and Collections

Communities and Collections Highlighted in the New Google+ DesignGoogle+

Google announced that it’s redesigning Google+ and putting the focus on two of the features Google+ users like the best: Communities and Collections.

In the new design, Communities and Collections have been given a more prominent location. It is more mobile-friendly and users will have a consistent experience on a big screen or small one.

Google said it has spent the last few months gathering feedback about what users like, and the redesign reflects that. Communities, which now average 1.2 million new joins per day, and Collections, which launched just five months ago and is growing even faster. Whether it’s the Nonfiction Addiction Community, where people can be found discussing the best in Crime or Travel storytelling, or the Watch Project Collection, where more than 40,000 people are following an antique watch hobbyist, these are the places on Google+ where people around the world are spending their time discovering and sharing things they love.

Users will need to opt-in to this new version of Google+ on the web to see the changes.

[Source: Google]

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Profitable Content Marketing Trends Continuing Into 2016

B2C Content Marketing 2016


Content’s Influence on Brand Promotion Strategies

Looking back at 2015, this was the year in online marketing when content came to the forefront. Brands which continued to broaden their social media marketing efforts, continued reaping the fruits of their efforts as measured in terms of customer loyalty, higher conversion rates and higher website visitor retention and interactivity rates. These successes came in proportion to the creative efforts and talents expanded, of course.

Expected 2016 Trends
2016 predictions anticipate further growth and expansion resulting from the momentum of these content trends. With more online businesses expanding their content marketing tactics and brand promotion using these highly successful creative content methods and further adopting interactive and episodic storytelling paradigms and techniques.

B2C Opportunities
In the areas of B2C online marketing, adoption and expansion opportunities remain plentiful. B2C research has revealed that online marketing sophistication has not yet caught up to B2B levels. Tremendous opportunity and advantage exists for B2C online marketers who implement social networking and content related strategies.

Content Focus is Critical
With the average online marketer employing multiple market strategies simultaneously, as well as the need to update contently frequently as in weekly and ideally daily, it becomes apparent that brands which do not invest in content marketing efforts will assess a negative penalty in terms of lack of online brand recognition, relative to those businesses which do make that investment and continue their efforts.

A Couple of More Things to Consider
Content marketing is definitely here to stay, with adoption and deployment being the primary determinants separating successful online brands from their unsuccessful counterparts.

While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a good starting point for driving visitor traffic to your business’ website, without compelling content, the prospects for converting such visitors into brand loyal customers are virtually non-existent.

Consider the below research statistics and B2C Content Marketing infograph as they relate to these exciting content marketing trends:

  • 50% of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom content. [HubSpot]
  • Interesting content is one of the main reasons people follow brands on social media. 60% of people are inspired to seek a product after reading content about it. [Demandmetric]
  • B2C marketers use an average of 7 social media platforms. While 94%of the marketers surveyed said they use Facebook to distribute content, only 66% believe it was effective. Of the 82% using Twitter, 50% said it was effective. [CMI2015]
  • Brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands. [Convince&Convert]
  • 32% of total budget is allocated to content marketing. [CMI 2016]
  • Website conversion rate is nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters. [Aberdeen]
  • Among the top challenges confronting B2C marketers are producing engaging content (50%), producing content consistently (44%), and producing a variety of content (40%). [CMI 2015]
  • 85% of consumers regularly or occasionally seek out trusted expert content – credible, third-party articles & reviews – when considering a purchase. [Nielsen]
  • Website conversion is a top priority. 65% of B2C marketers are working on better converting visitors on websites. [CMI 2015]
  • 55% of the most effective B2C marketers plan to increase their spending on content marketing. [CMI 2015]
  • Most effective marketers are using an average of 12 tactics. [CMI 2015]
  • 48% marketers publish daily or multiple times per week. Most effective marketers publish daily. [CMI 2015]
  • Consumers rely on trusted content to make purchase decisions five times more today than they did five years ago. [Nielsen]
  • At 76%, promoted posts and search engine marketing tied for the most often used methods to distribute B2C content marketing via a paid ads, followed by social ads at 74%. [CMI 2016]

Sources of B2C Content Marketing Statistics



CMI 2015 Content Marketing Institute 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends

CMI 2016: Content Marketing Institute 2016 B2C Content Marketing Trends




B2C Content Marketing Infograph

B2C Content Marketing Infograph

6 Email Marketing Tips for 2016

If there’s one thing you can’t take for granted in your marketing campaign, it’s email. The Direct Marketing Association found that 66% of all customers made online purchases because of email marketing messages. Almost 75% of all marketers say that email marketing is core to their business, and all indications suggest that email is becoming more important over time, not less. Follow these tips to stay on the leading edge of the email marketing competition.
responsive email template

Emma Responsive Email Template

6 Tips for Effective Email Marketing

Here are six tips to make sure your emails are delivered to your subscribers and your email marketing click through rates and conversion rates are higher in 2016.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Over 65% of all emails are opened on a mobile device first. If you don’t optimize your marketing emails for mobile devices, you risk alienating a massive segment of your users. Mobile devices give email marketers an unprecedented opportunity to reach customers anywhere and at any time. You only have about 15 seconds to catch their attention, however, so make sure that your marketing message is clear and quick on its call to action.To ensure your emails are read, analyze the platform and device preferences of your email subscribers regularly to be sure all email creative is mobile-friendly. 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile. Since a poor user experience could mean unopened emails, no click, or plainly put, no ROI, consider testing a responsive email design.

Personalize And Customize Emails

Marketers have more information at their fingertips than they’ve ever had. Use that information to micro-target your customers. Identify specific groups in your subscriber list. When you have a better handle on who these groups are and what makes them tick, use personalization and customization tactics to feed them tailored marketing communications that speak exactly to their needs and desires. A recent study by the Campaign Monitor found that personalization increases open rates by 26%. Personalization can yield transaction rates as much as six times higher.

Simple Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing the reader sees, and means the difference between an email being read or deleted outright. Be direct and to the point in the subject line; don’t push the reader away with language that tries too hard for attention. Don’t try to sell the content of the email, tell the reader what the email is all about. This will also help you avoid spam filters, which know to look for certain kinds of keywords and phrases.

Be Consistent

Your email subscribers signed up for a reason. Don’t betray their trust by sending them content that is unrelated to the original purpose of their subscription. Give them content they’re expecting and a trusting relationship will grow. It’s also important to set a regular schedule and stick to it. Consider creating a monthly email newsletter that provides relevant content and offers. A consistent email delivery schedule improve open rates and click through rates as the emails are expected.

Encourage Social Sharing 

People love to share cool things with friends and family. Take advantage of this natural social instinct by encouraging your subscribers to share the content of your emails. Include at least one social sharing button in every message. Emails that take advantage of social networking have a click-through rate over 100% higher, and each share on social media increases the reach of your marketing message to new subscribers and potential customers.

Continually Optimize Email Strategy

Getting great results requires continuous improvement and iterations on all elements of email. Design and implement a process that optimizes everything in your email marketing strategy. This includes elements like copy, design, calls to action, subject lines, landing pages, frequency, and more. Set up tests for everything, and keep testing. This is the only way to find out what’s really working, what’s harmful, and what’s dead weight. It’s not enough to just test, either. Be ready to implement improvements for your next campaign continuously. This is a process that never ends.

Get Ready for 2016

With these six email marketing tips, the stage is set to take your email strategy to the next level and provide your company with greater ROI.

Consumer Data Collection Okay if Fair Return

“Big data” has now become a staple of the modern marketer’s toolkit – along with real-time communications through social media, e-commerce-based websites and other tools designed to foster a sense of intimacy and trust in an increasingly impersonal marketplace.Yet the data shows that companies today are continuing to score low in the trust department when it comes to how well they protect consumers’ sensitive personal data. For instance, 57.9 percent of internet users and 60.6 percent of U.S.-based marketing executives stated their belief that companies still don’t do enough to protect user privacy and data. [Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), 2015]

Microsoft’s own bi-annual Digital Trends report, which includes the Customer Data Value Exchange Study, supports this same conclusion. 56 percent of e-commerce consumers believe companies collect their personal data without their knowledge or consent. Just 41 percent of the same willingly and knowingly share their personal data with companies and brands while shopping. It is easy to see why companies are continuing to lose consumers’ trust with such a large gap (15 percent) in understanding how, when, why, how and for what purposes customer data is collected.

For consumers who do opt to willingly share their personal data with companies, they often expect something in return. This incentive or reward, called the “customer value exchange,” can be anything from cash to coupons, discounts to deals.

Consumer Data Collection Okay if Fair Return

Click image to view the full infograph.

Here is how these perks rank in order of consumer preference:

  • 64 percent of consumers want cash in exchange for sharing data.
  • 49 percent want “significant discounts.”
  • 29 percent to know the data will be used to streamline processes in the future.
  • 26 percent want access to useful new services.

Consumers Expect Value in Exchange for their Personal Data

Periodically, Aimia conducts an international research survey. The latest survey polled 20,000+ consumers in 11 countries to learn about how and why consumers share personal data with companies and what they hope for in return.

Here is what the survey data showed:

  • 80+ percent of respondents in all 11 countries stated their willingness to share personal data (name, email, nationality).
  • 70+ percent of the same stated their willingness to share birthdates, hobbies and careers.
  • Just 23 percent of respondents stated they felt the data shared had been used to personalized communications and processes to their individual preferences and needs.


Companies Fail to Personalize Communications

Click image to view the full infograph.

Unfortunately, this points to the need for a great deal more effort on the part of companies, brands and marketers to reassure consumers that their personal data is being used in a trustworthy manner to deliver value. Without this necessary trust-enhancing result, companies are poised to lose customers to competitors through mis-use or under-use of consumer data.

Pizza Hut Engages Fans with YouTube Event

Live YouTube Event Used to Capture New Customers and Engage Existing Ones

YouTube Event

Pizza Hut seeks to engage fans on YouTube by launching a campaign featuring an improv comedy group which will host a three-hour live broadcast, accessed through the microsite PizzaHutLive.com. During the live-stream they will giveaway hundreds of prizes, including Xbox One, pre-release Halo 5: Guardians, selfie sticks and free pizza.

“We want the customer to know the personality of our brand through the video,” Mehreen Shams, Pizza Hut’s senior manager of customer relationship management, told Nation’s Restaurant News on Monday. “We know our customers are there, and we wanted to meet them there in a fun and engaging way.”

Throughout the three-hour broadcast, the comedic hosts will broadcast codes that viewers then can enter them into the sweepstakes, Shams said. Participants can sign up for the Hut Lovers email program through the same page, and the video will continue playing. The broadcast will also showcase new Pizza Hut products such as Twisted Crust Pizza. The hours and day of the live event were also selected with the help of Pizza Hut’s social listening.

“Social media has given us a great view of our customer,” she noted. “What we noticed is that a lot of people start talking about dinner and being hungry right after lunch. Typically, those conversations start after lunch and trail off after 3 p.m. That’s when people really talk about food. And Wednesday is usually a great day [for fans to talk about food] as well. We see a lot more engagement about food and planning for food.”

Twitter fans can engage with the comedy group live using the hashtag #PizzaHutLive and members of the Hut Lovers email club will be able to get extra prize entries if they share the microsite broadcast with their social Twitter and Facebook network.

Are you a pizza lover? Will you be tunning-in to the broadcast?

[Source: National Restaurant News]

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Email Marketing Stats All Marketers Must Know for 2016

It’s that Time to Look Over the Most Important Email Marketing Stats while Planning for 2016

Email Marketing 2016Although desktop traffic is on the decline, email remains a critical component. People consistently check their emails whether from a desktop or mobile phone. Just about everyone, regardless of profession, checks their email on a daily basis. One of the strengths of email marketing is the consumer is virtually guaranteed to see the email headline. From there, they decides whether to trash it or read it. On social media, however, it’s so easy for a marketer’s messages to become lost in the person’s feed. This is especially true for such a fast-paced social media network like Twitter. An inbox is less hectic, giving the email a higher chance of being seen.

Email Marketing Benchmarks

Email marketing stats collected over  2015 have shown that email marketing continues to evolve. There are no signs of it declining in importance. In fact, just last year in 2014, email marketing was labeled the the most effective digital marketing channel in terms of customer retention in the United States. Throughout 2015, email marketing remained a critical component of customer retention and based on the stats, it will continue that trend throughout 2016.

A marketing plan isn’t complete without email marketing included. Read the critical email marketing stats below to create an excellent plan for getting the most out of your marketing efforts in 2016. Snagging someone’s attention is only part of the battle. The next part is holding onto that person’s attention until he becomes a loyal customer. That is the ultimate goal of marketing. And it is email marketing in particular that is excellent at customer retention. Continue reading to learn about the results email marketing delivered this year for top marketers and businesses.

  • 80.8% of users report reading email on mobile devices. Source: HubSpot
  • “Secrets” is the most clicked lead nurturing subject line word. Source HubSpot
  • In 2014, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States. Source HubSpot
  • Adding social sharing buttons to email messages an increase click-through rates by more than 150%. Source: Webbiquity
  • One in five companies report an ROI of over 70:1. Email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent. Source: Emailmonday
  • Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Source: McKinsey
  • Email opens on mobile devices grew 30% from 2010 to 2015. Source: Campaign Monitor
  • Personalization increases open rates by 26%. Source: Campaign Monitor
  • 75% of enterprises will be investing in personalized messaging in 2015. Source: Campaign Monitor
  • Marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns. Source:Direct Marketing Association
  • A/B tests can improve conversion rates by 49%. You must test to know what works. Source: Campaign Monitor
  • 59% of companies are integrating email and social channels together. Source: eConsultancy
  • 73% of marketers believe email marketing is core to their business. Salesfource.com
  • 47% of marketers report click-through-rates as the most important email marketing metric. Salesfource.com
  • 23% of marketers don’t know what device the emails are read on. Source: Salesfource.com
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message. Source: Direct Marketing Association
  • 59% of consumers check their email more than 4 times a day and 98% of consumers check their email daily. Source: BlueHornet

Sources of Email Marketing Statistics




Direct Marketing Association



Campaign Monitor