It’s 2022, and the term “gamer” no longer refers to teenagers playing video games in their parent’s basements. Gamers are all around us, thanks to the explosion of game formats, genres, and platforms. Roughly 40% of the world’s population admits to playing some kind of video game. The typical stereotypes of people who partake in this hobby are far from reality; 70% of gamers are over the age of 18, 46% of gamers are female, and only 2% play out of their parent’s basements (actually, we made that last stat up). Especially after the pandemic, the gaming industry has boomed and it is expected to keep booming. As online games continue to rise in popularity, marketers are recognizing the potential of advertising within gaming platforms, otherwise known as in-game advertising.

While players may have a knee-jerk reaction when they hear the term “in-game advertising,” the practice has proven extremely successful for brands. For example in 2009, Microsoft promoted Bing in a series of games, including NBA 2K10 and DJ Hero. After their first exposure to the ads, the percentage of gamers visiting and searching Bing increased by 108% according to Microsoft. Surprisingly, two-thirds of the gamers who visited Bing after seeing the ad were visiting for the first time. According to a recent study conducted by Vantage Market Research, the global in-game advertising market size is forecasted to reach USD 12.35 Billion by the year 2028. While in-game advertising (IGA) can include banners, video ads, audio ads, or mini-games, the most popular types of IGA are static ads, dynamic ads, and gamevertising. When it comes to reaching your target audience with in-game ads, the most important factors are picking the right format and gaming service to deploy ads on. Let’s quickly deep-dive into some of the options, and take a look at some of the games that reach wide demographics. 

Video In-Game Advertising

It’s no surprise that video is a key format for digital advertising; dynamic, engaging content fits perfectly with what users now want to experience. When it comes to using video in games, there are multiple different ways to present short, impactful content. There are pre-roll videos, which pop up a few seconds before the gaming experience starts, and there are also rewarded videos that will give the player a reward for sticking around to watch until the end.

A screenshot of a video game asking the user if they would like to watch an ad in exchange for in-game currency.

Native In-Game Advertising

Native in-game ads are arguably the most innovative in-game advertising formats of all. A brand’s key message can be directly integrated into the video game itself, creating a non-intrusive advertising experience for the user. For example, there could be an advertising banner in a sports game applied along the playing field, mimicking how the ad would appear in real life. This way, the user is exposed to advertisements in a way that does not pause or delay their playing experience whatsoever.

A screenshot of a racing video game showing in-game billboards available to showcase advertisements.

Audio In-Game Advertising

Audio is another form of advertising that has risen in popularity over the past few years. The music streaming platform Spotify recently released a study that showed that streaming from gaming consoles went up 61% in 2021, compared to the year before. High-tech gaming consoles such as Playstation and Xbox now include a dedicated music app, which is where in-game ads can be utilized. This format is another non-intrusive strategy that does not inhibit the game. 

Person wearing headphones looks at their phone

Picking the Right Game

From esports gamers to social gamers and casual gamers, the gaming target audience is highly diverse and offers great market potential to companies. The decision on whether to include ads is ultimately up to the game developer, so you’re less likely to see a promotion for Mountain Dew or Takis in big titles like Call of Duty or God of War. But smaller, independent games—especially those that utilize the free-to-play model—are likely to embrace in-game advertising. Here are a few options of popular video games that reach a wide demographic that could be a fit for your next in-game ad. 

  • Candy Crush Saga
    • This popular mobile game has over 250 million users to date, with the average age range of players falling between 25 to 45 years old. The gender split is pretty even, with 46% of players being male and 54% being female. The most popular type of advertising within Candy Crush is a video and/or rewarded ads. 
  • FarmVille 3
    • Another mobile game that originated through Facebook, FarmVille 3 is one of the top-grossing games amongst middle-aged adults, particularly females. In 2022, the third rendition of FarmVille reported over 200,000 downloads. 
  • Words With Friends 
    • A mobile game that has maintained popularity amongst older generations since 2009, Words With Friends has at least 170 million registered users. 

If you’re looking to bring your digital marketing and advertising strategy to the next level, contact Bluetext. With award-winning creative services, video and digital capabilities the possibilities are endless. 

Happy ‘Get to Know Your Customers’ Day! If there’s anything social media marketers love, it’s creating “national holidays” around unique subjects (hope you have big plans for the upcoming National Hot Dog Day). But July 21st has been deemed one of the quarterly National Get to Know Your Customers Day, and Bluetext is here to help you make today and every day centered around customer engagement. 

The “Get to Know Your Customers Day” is observed quarterly, on the third Thursday of January, April, July, and October. Why? Because every business should be continuously learning about their customer base to improve products and offerings around their evolving needs. While this holiday does sound silly, it s a gentle nudge to reach out to your customer base and get to know them better. It serves as a reminder to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about current customers, strengthening your connection with them to maximize customer loyalty and grow your customer base.

There are a wide variety of ways to collect customer feedback and track preferences, especially with modern digital attribution tools. 

Email Marketing

It’s no secret that getting subscribers’ attention is tough. Everybody’s inbox is flooded, we’re all multi-tasking and the distractions can feel limitless while reading emails. Therefore inviting subscribers to take an official survey can seem like an imposition and often be ignored. However, an in-line survey that keeps to following best practices can be more achievable and still generate informative results: 

  • Keep it short: Create a clear distinction between “must-know” and “nice to know” questions. Simplicity and brevity is the recipe for customer engagement and responsiveness.
  • Be actionable: Don’t collect data unless you have a clear plan of how to use it.
  • Personalize and trigger customers’ emotions: Use the information you already know about your customers, such as their first name, to show investment and get to know them better. 
  • Offer an incentive: Even the opportunity to receive a $10 Starbucks gift card for filling out a survey can be just the push a customer needs to take action and increase your form-fill rate.

Social Media Engagement

Be active on the social media platforms of best fit (each business is unique) and has the largest user base. Regular posts and invitations to engage, such as comments, polls, quizzes, votes, and direct messages are great ways to increase interaction with your customer base. The more you can engage with customers on a personal level, the better. Customers really do appreciate prompt and personal responses or shoutouts on social media platforms or through email. Of course, if the issue is about a specific product or a customer service issue, following up one-on-one is probably better. But when you respond personally, customers and prospects see that you care enough to take the time to engage with them. In a world where personal touch and emotions are growing more and more important in personal and business purchasing decisions, staying on top of your social game is key. 

Create Customer Profiles with a CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) software platforms, such as SalesForce or HubSpot are great tools to help you learn more about your customers. There are many different CRM platforms, such as SalesForce, Marketo, and HubSpot, with a range of functions, from sales enablement or marketing.

At its most basic, a CRM helps you keep track of all your customer data, from names and contact information to sales history, communications, interactions, lead scoring, and so on. A CRM allows digital marketers to visualize the complete customer lifecycle at a glance. Setting up website tracking and multiple digital touchpoints can allow a marketer to lead score, or assign different values to unique digital interactions such as a resource download, form submission, page view, etc. This creates visibility into the customer’s behaviors and an indication of their wants and needs. From these lead scores, you can send the appropriate marketing materials or target with specific ads that speak to their preferences or phase in the decision-making process. 

Implement a Chatbot 

It may seem counterintuitive to implement AI in an attempt to get personal. But, did you know a MobileMarketer survey found that millennials prefer speaking with a chatbot rather than with a human employee when they are searching for information about a product? This is largely attributed to the desire for fast and precise answers. Additionally, many feel more comfortable asking questions to a chatbot as they have the certainty of not being judged when they believe their question might be slightly naive. Thus, implementing a chatbot into your website can generate more conversations with customers and be a powerful learning tool for your organization on their common pain points and queries.

Not only does it encourage customer interaction, but it also makes users feel heard and attended to on your website. A chat allows them quick access to information, which shows respect for their time, and allows 24/7 access to online support. Not all companies have the luxury of a full support portal and personnel, so especially for those who don’t, a chatbot closes that gap to ensure customers still feel supported. 

Chatbots have dual benefits in improving lead generation, qualification, and nurturing. Chatbots can ask questions throughout the buyer’s journey and provide information that may persuade the user and create a lead. Chatbots can then provide potential and current customer information to the sales team, who can engage with the leads based on their interests or questions.

At the end of the day, getting to know your customers should be a priority every day, not just once a quarter. There are endless possibilities and strategies to do so, but all lead to more accurate and actionable customer information which can be turned into actional improvements. Customers will inevitably leave companies that don’t evolve with their changing business environments, so staying engaged and attentive to their questions and needs is critical. 

If you’re motivated to step up your customer knowledge and improve your engagement tactics, Bluetext can help. Our variety of services ranging from email marketing to marketing analytics can help fulfill the questions YOU may have about your customer base.

Marketers often approach their content strategy with the simple goal of conveying a message to their target audience. But nowadays, that’s not enough for maintaining an effective content strategy. Before a user ends up on your site, they typically search for information through one or more Google searches. These Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are where users find results that the search engines deem to be the most relevant to the query. Depending on the relevance of the site content, users may also see a SERP Feature (a well-packaged snippet of information from the relevant search result’s page). This gives users a quick view of the information they are looking for while saving them time from digging through multiple pages. As a digital marketer, your content strategy should aim to meet the purposes of these possible SERP Features to increase your chances of being featured on SERPs and ultimately get a user to visit your site. 

Nowadays, search engines have evolved to the point where they can determine the intent behind users’ searches to provide the most relevant results. As such, you need to be more deliberate in crafting your content to ensure it’s meeting your audience’s needs at their stage of the buyer’s journey. Ideally, you should have content that can accommodate all three phases, Awareness Stage, Consideration Stage, and the Decision Stage. But this isn’t always the case depending on your particular audience. 

Raising Awareness for Your Audience

In the Awareness Stage, users know they have a problem and are actively searching for explanations of their problem. They aren’t quite ready to pick a solution, so any tools to quickly gather high-level information are beneficial here. This is where SERP Features come in handy. With a little planning, you can optimize your content’s likelihood to be featured in certain SERP Features such as Knowledge Graphs, Featured Snippets, Related Questions, Videos, or Images. All of these features will pull relevant content from your site so long as the search engine determines your content to meet certain criteria. In this stage, you want to make sure your content is very clear in explaining who you are, what services or products you offer, and the why/how of what you do. Oftentimes, including lists or FAQ-styled content is beneficial to search engine crawlers and webpage users!  

Considering How to Connect With Your Audience

So now your audience has entered the Consideration Stage, they are looking for solutions and more specifically, how your solution can remedy their issue. Now your content should be more thorough and technical than in the Awareness Stage. Provide concrete examples of how your products or services can solve the user’s problem. Four useful features for this stage are Featured Snippets, Related Questions, Reviews, and Videos. The Featured Snippet works best when you answer the user’s query in very specific ways, whereas Related Questions works best for explaining the “why” behind a user’s query. Featuring product/service reviews on your site also allows you to show up for the Reviews feature which enables the user to better compare solutions and build trust. Lastly, the Videos feature provides a great opportunity to dive deeper into why your solution works for the user. 

Convincing Your Audience to Make a Decision

By this point, your audience is at the end of the buyer’s journey and just about ready to decide which solution meets their needs. As part of the last steps, users now want to confirm which solution amongst the ones found in the Consideration Stage is best for them. At this stage, all of your content should be as thorough as possible to ensure you’ve answered any potential lingering questions your audience may have. Three Features that excel at accomplishing that are the People Also Ask, Videos, and Long-Form Content features. Tailoring your content to include technical details and statistics as well as client testimonials reassures the user that they’ve picked the right solution. 

Overall, when creating a content strategy, no two sites will be the same. Each content strategy should be tailored to your audience and their stage of the buyer’s journey. From there, you can leverage content that is more likely to be shown in the SERP Features mentioned above. As a full-service digital marketing agency, our expert content writing and SEO teams at Bluetext can help determine who your audience is, what stage they’re in, and how best to tailor your content to be displayed in SERP Features. Want to learn more about how Bluetext can help your ad campaigns thrive? Get in touch with us here.

Last week the goliath of technology conferences held in the U.S., CES, announced that its January 2022 event will require vaccination proof for in-person attendees. The motivation for the Consumer Technology Association, the show’s organizer, to resume a face-to-face component is strong: exhibitors recognize that generating enthusiasm for new consumer products and technologies through virtually is not nearly as powerful as live demonstrations. 

Few in the tech marcomms space have endured a more challenging professional pivot over the past 18 months than those responsible for conference and event strategy and execution – whether it is determining what kind of investments should be made in industry events as well as how to manage their own annual user conferences and smaller events so critical to cultivating customer, prospect and partner relationships. 

Pre-pandemic, there was of course no need to make decisions on whether to hold in-person, virtual, or hybrid events — often several months in advance of the event date itself. And through the first 15 months of the pandemic, COVID-19 in effect made the decision for marcomms and event decision-makers as everything shifted to virtual. This was no easy feat but at least the decision was.

The emergence of the Delta variant, right as tech companies were resuming planning for in-person events, exponentially complicates the decision-making process for the 2021-2022 tech conference strategy. While CES is planning in-person for vaccinated attendees, plans for other events run the gamut. As this Marketwatch article notes, tech companies with large user and developer events are re-assessing given Delta. Salesforce.com’s CRM Dreamforce is still planning for an “in-person experience” for the Fall event, but so many others have already reverted back to virtual or hybrid experiences with a limited in-person component. 

As you evaluate your 2021-2022 tech conference and event strategy in light of the Delta variant and other unpredictable developments we should all expect in the months ahead, keep the following strategies in mind:

Look at the event track record

Tech conference organizers that have already executed a virtual event last year during the pandemic offer a track record that can be analyzed when it comes to attendance, engagement, and results. The Marketwatch article raised the valuable point that what virtual events lack in intimacy they make up for in some cases with larger attendance, citing feedback from Juniper Networks that attendance for its virtual Global Summit held in April was more than 2x in-person attendance for recent and similar events. It is of course easier and more cost-effective to hop into a live panel discussion on your laptop at home than it is to fly halfway across the country to attend in-person. 

But for every Juniper, there is a Mobile World Congress, which forecast a significant in-person attendance drop for its hybrid 2021 Barcelona event, where the 50,000 in-person attendees expected to attend was half the number compared to its “normal” pre-pandemic numbers. 

The more information you have from organizations that have already executed events during the pandemic, the less guesstimating you have to do when it comes to the right investment level for attending, speaking, sponsoring, exhibiting, or skipping altogether. 

Track records matter because, with conference and event investments, you can’t just assume that all of the money will be recouped if the in-person event is canceled. There can be a difference between an organizer canceling of its own volition, and an organizer canceling because it is subject to city or state directives that are issued prior to the event. The more confidence you can have in the event organizer, the lower the risk of a negative financial and business outcome.

Size matters

If the pandemic has communicated anything to marcomms professionals it is that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Most attendees are going to baby step back to live events, so going from working from home to a crowded pavilion with 100,000 of your closest friends may be a bridge too far. 

Dialing it down from potential ‘super-spreader’ to ‘super-intimate’ events that still allow for facetime but in a more controlled environment with modest numbers of people can support corporate and sales objectives. If you are a tech company evaluating what in-person events to attend, don’t discount these smaller events and if you are an event organizer, converting a large annual event into, for example, quarterly smaller regional events can pay off.

The key for user events is data. You can’t just guess how attendees might act when presented with options between in-person, hybrid, or virtual, or what size of in-person event they might be comfortable with. Survey, survey, and then survey again. External third-party data has value, but you know your customers best and keeping your finger on the pulse of their event and travel preferences is critical. 

In its latest PULSE Survey, Northstar Meetings Group found that two-thirds of the 826 respondents will hold their next in-person event in Q3 or Q4 of this year – with half of them requiring attendees to wear masks indoors and 28 percent requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination. But the survey also reinforces the need for conference organizers and meeting planners to be nimble and resilient in the face of constantly evolving federal, state, and local policies.

Re-imagine your traditional event approach

Pre-pandemic tech conferences and events were far from perfect, which helps explain why many have seen value in the shift – as temporary as it might be – to virtual and hybrid events. Marcomm and conference decision-makers should use the challenging environment as an opportunity to re-imagine traditional approaches.

Virtual and hybrid events unlock new content and access opportunities, new ways to engage with and receive feedback from attendees in real-time to drive experiences not possible with in-person events where individuals are scattered and engagement is harder to measure. While larger tech conferences made great strides in trying to make their events “smaller” when it came to networking rather than releasing thousands of people into venues to try and find each other, the results were imperfect. 

Each event model comes with its own challenge. User conference organizers know that while virtual events may be easier for customers to join, they are also easier for them to blow off because it doesn’t require the same level of travel, financial, and planning commitment. Hybrid events create challenges for tech brands unsure of which path provides the better value for lead generation, networking, sponsorships, speaking, and exhibiting. And for all of these models, trying to figure out whether it still makes sense to shell out $20,000 for a sponsored virtual speaking slot in lieu of being on the big stage is no easy task. 

When it comes to working with B2B tech PR, B2C tech PR, and B2G tech PR firms, Bluetext has been helping clients navigate tech conference strategy for industry events as well as client user conferences. If you are looking for the right partner to maximize your tech conference investments in the months ahead, contact Bluetext to learn how we can help.

TikTok the clock is ticking on traditional advertising strategies. As conventional methods wane, a new star player, TikTok, is making waves. At inception, TikTok gained a sticking association with Gen Z via dance videos & lip-syncing parodies. It’s true, TikTok is a popular platform for many teens or young adults to create and send entertaining video content. However, this platform is not just a fleeting fad, but very much here to stay and continue to evolve. 

Like any trend, TikTok’s high number of young users caught the attention of older demographics. All wanting to know “what the cool kids are doing”, TikTok’s user base matured. As of March 2021, research found that teenagers are only 25% of the TikTok audience. Who are the rest? Well, it’s a pretty even split of users in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, with even a significant slice of people 50 years and older!

A more diverse user base brought new opportunities, as marketers observed new niche categories rise in popularity. For example, trending hashtags such as #financetok or #taxadvice providing financial advice to users during tax season. Just one of the many unique use cases of the social media platform, as everything from investing to cleaning hacks, has been reenergized by the fun, engaging nature of video clips. 

So what does this mean? Well, it’s time that digital marketers begin to take TikTok seriously. Here’s why:

1.Video Content is on the Rise

Video content is on the rise and won’t pause anytime soon. That’s why popular video publishing platforms, TikTok and Vimeo, have joined forces to become an advertising powerhouse. Recent updates have integrated Vimeo creation tools with TikTok AdManager. This enables businesses of any size to create and publish ads directly to TikTok Ads Manager. Effectively breaking down prior production banners, smaller and medium-sized businesses can easily create and distribute engaging video ads at low cost. Going a step beyond, Vimeo offers ad templates specifically optimized for the TikTok platform. Known as Spark Ads, this format allows businesses to take organic content and quite literally re-energize ads on a new short and snippy platform. 

2. Self-Served Success

Speaking of the TikTok AdManger, a few of the hallmarks of this platform are the self-service ad publishing, creator marketplace, and other features that empower content creation. With an easy-to-use publishing experience, it allows for more experimentation and freedom with campaign concepts, creative or targeting. The format pushes brands to make their advertisements everything they should be: short, succinct, and engaging. Time limitations force marketers to cut the extraneous details that users wouldn’t retain anyways and hone in on a single direct message. It’s like the bootcamp marketers didn’t know that they needed.

3. Live it Up

That’s right, TikTok has jumped on the trend of live streaming video content (thank you Instagram & Facebook). While this has playful applications, it’s also a prime opportunity for commentary from thought leaders and brand ambassadors on new product launches, industry events, or current trends. Live stream content has been popularized on alternative platforms (looking at you, Facebook & Instagram) for hosting Q&As and panel discussions. New TikTok features allow both the scheduling & promotion of a live-streamed event but also co-hosting to allow for multiple speakers. This creates a split-screen view and allows hosts to interact one-on-one with another, and with live audience comments.

While the first wave of use cases for these features may be tied to e-commerce and pop culture, it will be the next wave of marketing pioneers who bring a more practical flavor to the platform. Facebook and Twitter started out as purely ‘social’ social media platforms, but look what business opportunities have arisen from there. TikTok will be no different, and the businesses that invest now in their video content creation and production skills will have the upper hand.

Need to amp up your video & social media marketing? Contact Bluetext to learn more about our creative & digital marketing services.

In 2021, the average person will encounter anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 pieces of promotional content on any given day. Banner ads, billboards, and influencer shout-outs all inundate consumers with information about the products and services they promote. The volume of content is growing, but the audience’s time and attention span are dwindling. Brands today must duke it out in a competitive landscape where attention is a commodity and focused consideration a luxury. So how does a brand break through the never-ending stream of influence that consumers are exposed to? The answer is microcontent.

Microcontent is a self-explanatory term. Content, but smaller. It’s text, video, images, really any form of traditional content that is optimized for social media and can be consumed in 30 seconds or less. The latest trend in content marketing is adapted to the latest platforms, and modern attention spans.  Microcontent provides enough time to tell your brand’s story and drive leads without requiring so much committed focus that it loses the attention of hyperactive social media users. It should be something your target audience can engage with, save, and ultimately share with other users in their network. Effective microcontent can stand on its own as a positive user experience, bringing value to the user before promoting brand offerings.

Creating microcontent is simple, as it is built from the pieces of a brand’s existing long-form content. Pull quotes can be made into actionable tips and tricks, key takeaways can be presented as small infographics or formatted lists. These tidbits can be combined with key brand messages to create card carousels that will function as the foundation for a social campaign. The microcontent creation process is all about taking the most critical elements from long-form work and formatting them into an easily digestible package that distills the essence of a brand. The trickier part is getting your microcontent in front of the right users and achieving positive engagements.

The rise of microcontent is not a self-contained trend. It’s part of a growing movement by many brands towards simplification in their messaging and content creation. As humans, we have an innate drive to simplify the complexity of the world around us, a trait referred to as the “Simplicity Principle.” The Simplicity Principle states that when our minds are presented with two options, one complex and one simple, we choose outcomes that we perceive to be as simple as possible. Ever feel overwhelmed by the 6,000+ instances of promotional content you see a day? You’re not alone, the surplus of stimuli actually has adverse effects on consumers and muddles the decision-making process. As technological advances and omnipresent social media platforms continue to make consumers’ lives exponentially more complex, they will embrace simplicity wherever they can find it.

Understanding this fact is more important for brands than it ever has been before. It only takes one look at the latest industry headlines mentioning VOD, AR, machine learning, the growing influence of big data, and countless other kinds of emerging tech to understand how consumers could feel lost. To truly reach and engage with its consumers, a brand must be able to break through the noise of the industry and present them with content that is digestible and impactful. Whether through microcontent creation or streamlining messaging about complex topics, modern brands must focus on being translators of the complex into the simple.

As a full-service digital marketing agency, Bluetext offers multiple services that can help your brand consolidate messaging into impactful and digestible content. Contact us today to learn more about our messaging and content marketing services.

When it comes to marketing, knowing your customer and their needs is crucial. To truly make an impact, ads need to be not only well-targeted but more importantly, meaningfully tailored to address specific customer needs at the right place and at the right time in their decision-making process. Effective advertising involves a keen awareness of the conversion funnel and customer considerations at every stage. 

Ads have to first grab the attention of the target audience, but also communicate the customer value that the product or service delivers. The most impactful ads go beyond just stating customer benefits – they forge a connection between the customer and the brand that continues throughout the customer journey. Ideally, the ad captures enough attention to generate interest and sustains that interest to create longer-term loyalty. Meeting customers at the correct place and time while simultaneously delivering a meaningful and resonant message is a delicate balance. These nuances have propelled dynamic advertising automation to the forefront of advertising strategies across industries.

Anyone who regularly browses the internet is presumably familiar with personalized advertising. For example, if you decide to browse online for a new pair of sneakers, you likely are going to see ads for sneaker brands populating your browser soon after — it’s not a coincidence! Using automation to create “meaningful” ads goes a step beyond this kind of personalization. It culminates in advertising that acknowledges underlying customer values. For example, the sneaker ad and messaging might change based on whether the customer values a long-lasting and practical shoe or a sleek and fashionable one. How do we know these preferences? Well, maybe this customer has previously searched “highest rated sneakers” or “durable running sneakers”. This action signifies a preference for practicality, as opposed to a “sneaker trends 2021” search. 

The automation of meaningful ads synthesizes customer behavior, customer preferences, and personal values to deliver a more effective and less bothersome version of the digital ads we’ve grown accustomed to seeing and often ignore. Advertising automation creates an experience that is helpful as well as enjoyable for the customer.

Conceptually, meaningful ads should be the answer many brands are looking for when trying to connect to their target customer, however, does it work in practice? According to this study, the implementation of meaningful ads caused purchase intent to increase by 15% and click-through rates to increase by 30%. So, not only does meaningful advertising forge stronger brand connections, it also yields tangible and quantifiable results. The same study also found that less than 6% of users had a negative reaction to the level of personalization used in these meaningful ads. This tells us that so long as the ad facilitates a helpful and positive brand experience, the customer will be happy to see their preferences reflected in your ads.

While this data is based on B2C customer behavior, the same mentality can and should be applied when considering B2B ad campaigns. In all cases, ads are speaking to human beings with the capacity to form emotional connections to brands, and the automation of meaningful ads allows that crucial process to occur at scale. All of these insights reinforce one consequential truth – knowing your customer, their needs, their values, and why that matters at each stage of the customer journey is the most important piece of the advertising puzzle. Automating meaningful ads puts that concept into practice and the results will speak for themselves. 

Ready for quantifiable advertising success? The first step is analyzing your user personas and unique needs. A marketing analytics agency can help you identify these groups, and find critical insights into their online behaviors. A digital agency can then help turn those insights into actions, and place targeted advertisements that yield conversions. 

Contact Bluetext if you’re interested in maximizing your advertising dollars towards real success.

Have you been searching for the best way to compete in the new frontier of web design? Do you need to stand apart from your competitors in a big and bold way? Well, here’s your answer: motion design.

Motion design refers to anything from an animated logo to subtle motion on a website. But why is it worth investing in? Let’s take a look at how custom animation can yield much stronger ROI than static graphic design or leveraging stock animations.

Motion is Memorable

People are more likely to remember something that moves. People spend 2.6 times longer on webpages that have videos than ones that don’t. Motion design is ideal for marketing because it’s design + messaging + memorable movement, all in one piece of content. It’s a golden trifecta for a brand’s first impression. Think kinetic typography in hero zones, micro-interactions in UI and CTA buttons, explaining your tagline through an animated logo, or even a full segmented-explainer-video-landing-page experience. These motion integrations will not only catch a user’s eye, but sustain their attention on page long enough to peak interest.

The PLASTICS Industry Association turned to Bluetext to develop a full new brand system for their triennial trade show, NPE®. Within the new CVI, Bluetext developed a logo animation that could be incorporated into the new video assets and onto the new website. The logo, which leverages a globe design, animates each individual element of the globe to form into one, highlighting how NPE brings together plastic industry professionals from around the globe.

Motion Helps Tell Your Brand Story

While, yes, motion design gets (and keeps) attention, it also tells a story. If a user is watching and absorbing, they are tangibly engaging in your message. A static design doesn’t allow you to express your brand to its fullest potential.

For SonicWall, Bluetext incorporated a parallax effect that follows the user’s cursor as they move it across the page. This subtle movement brings the visuals to life, making the focal point really feel like it’s floating, or in the case of SonicWall, boundless. SonicWall used this effect to bring their metaphor of Boundless Cybersecurity to life and fully engage users in a big way.

Motion Brings Your Brand to a New Level

Motion design brings your brand to life in ways you could never imagine. Take static brand elements and transform them into tools for storytelling. When Appgate turned to Bluetext to establish a new brand and help bring the company to market, we took their new brand and created a 30-second product video marked exclusively with animated brand elements. It was memorable, clean, and told the story of who Appgate is and where they are heading. Appgate truly got the most out of motion design by also integrating subtle animation into their website. Pairing a memorable and exciting video with recognizable animated elements on the website truly reinforces the branding and creates a memorable experience for the user.

Interested in getting the most out of motion? Contact Bluetext to learn more about our video and animation services.

You’ve spent months working with a video design & production company to write the perfect script, find the right voice-over actor, polish your storyboard, and so much more. Now, you have a video that captures your brand essence and you want users to see it. So what’s the best way to get impressions on your video? As a premier video design & production company, we know there are countless options for getting your video in front of users. 

With over 2 billion users and more than a billion hours of videos watched daily, YouTube is one of the best ways to ensure your target audience finds the video content you’ve produced. To truly understand just how powerful YouTube can be as a platform, it’s important to understand the basics. Keep reading to learn more about YouTube advertising and it’s different kinds of ad formats.

What Type of YouTube Ads are There?

YouTube Ads are controlled through the Google Ads platform, allowing advertisers to maximize their reach. Through YouTube Ads, you can decide whether you want your video to appear before, during, or after the video a user is watching. The six primary ways you can advertise through YouTube are:

  1. Skippable in-stream ads
  2. Non-skippable in-stream ads
  3. Video discovery ads
  4. Bumper ads
  5. Masthead ads
  6. Outstream Ads

Let’s take a look at each one.

Skippable In-Stream Ads

If your goal is to drive website traffic and/or conversions, this is a great option for you.

Skippable video ads play before, during, or after a video and users have the option to skip the ad after five seconds. As such, advertisers are only charged when a viewer watches 30 seconds of the video (or the full duration of the video if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with the video. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your ad short, sweet and to the point. Don’t bury your main points 25 seconds in the video, but rather front load with interesting content that hooks a user and encourages that conversion action. Alongside skippable video ads, advertisers have the option to display a companion banner in the top right and a video overlay CTA button in the left. Needless to say, skippable video ads can be great for a lot of reasons.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Given the nature of non-skippable in-stream ads, this is a great format if you’re aiming for a lift in brand awareness. With 76% of users skipping ads out of habit, it can be worthwhile to run ads that don’t have an option to be skipped. However, with non-skippable ads, you need to be confident that your video is strong enough to hold your audience’s attention for the full 15 seconds. Given that viewers have to watch the full video, these ads typically have higher CPMs than other formats on YouTube.

Video Discovery Ads

Video Discovery ads are best for product and brand consideration. Just like Google paid search ads, YouTube Discovery Ads display alongside organic YouTube search results. As a more native approach, if your video appears relevant to users, people are more likely to watch it. Alongside a thumbnail of the video, these ads allow for three lines of text to help provide users with more context and information. The text opportunity is great, because it ensures that a user consumes some brand messaging even if the video isn’t played. Furthermore, in the best case scenario, the description text further encourages the video play action, and eventually results in a lead or conversion. 

Bumper Video Ads

Are you looking to capture viewers with a short, memorable message? Then bumper ads are for you! At only 6 seconds, bumper ads are a quick, snappy way to leave viewers wanting more. Billed on a CPM basis, these ads are best for building brand awareness, given that they are also non-skippable.

Masthead Ads

Masthead ads are a fantastic way to drive awareness for a new product, service, or event for a short period of time (i.e. a trade show). While most YouTube ads are purchased through the Google Ads auction, masthead ads are bought on a reservation basis. By buying on a reservation basis, masthead ads give you more control over your budget (buy impressions at a fixed rate), greater visibility (guarantee the placement of your ad), and better brand awareness (reach a wide audience).

Outstream Ads

Outstream ads are another great tactic for boosting brand awareness and bringing users to your site. With over 40% of YouTube viewers watching content on their mobile devices, a mobile-first ad campaign is a smart approach. Outstream ads, for example, are mobile-only and play on partner sites and apps outside of YouTube. While this might seem counterintuitive at first, this actually allows advertisers to expand their reach to publishers such as CNN and Forbes. In addition, users are more likely to view outstream video ads by over 25% when compared to instream ads. 

Knowing that there are so many options for YouTube ads, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know what format to select. It’s important to start with your goal, and work backward from there. Better yet, consult a digital marketing agency for advice on the best ad format and strategy for your business. If you’re interested in working with a video design & production company to create your next video or need help figuring out how to promote your videos, contact us here!

The Latest in LinkedIn

LinkedIn is taking users’ ability to “connect” to the next level.  This week LinkedIn is rolling out new profile features that will empower a whole new segment of users with the opportunity to become content creators and professional influencers. The professional networking platform announced the unveiling of a new “Creator Mode” to build their voice and audiences.

Social Platforms Taking a Cue from One Another 

These new features are the latest of many social media shifts, as we notice a trend of social platforms taking cues from one another. Especially following almost a year of exclusively virtual networking, the media landscape is rapidly expanding to include a number of opportunities for professional and personal success. The rise of micro-influencers on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Clubhouse, etc. has earned the trust and loyal following of their audience members for a particular subject. There is no shortage of creative innovation on these platforms, with professionals having to develop unexpected use cases. For example, did you know personal finance TikTik was a thing? Yes, there is a growing community of young professionals offering personal finance and investment advice to followers of #FinTok or #StockTok. This just serves to show that social media platforms have much deeper opportunities for content creators than showing off their latest recipes and dance moves. With rising competition from emerging platforms, such as the audio-only app Clubhouse, or viral sensation Tik Tok connecting niche interest communities, LinkedIn is debuting similar features to remain the mainstay for professional networks. Users can now create stories (taking cues from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat), weigh in on trending topic hashtags (#thankyou Twitter), and now become content curators with “Creator Mode”. 

Creator Mode & Influencer Opportunities

The new “Creator Mode” for LinkedIn allows users to pin specific hashtags to the top of their profile to signify the themes they frequently post about. With creator mode enabled, the presentation of profiles is altered to emphasize the hashtags directly under job titles. This moves up the “Activity and Featured” sections to highlight posts and links that a user shares before the “About” bio boxes. This shifts the content hierarchy from a self-written bio, to a curated collection of user-generated content. This allows users to focus their profiles on niche genres and topic areas to own a small space as thought leadership. In a nutshell, “Creator Mode” offers users an opportunity to connect on a more meaningful level to targeted audiences, therefore promoting themselves to influencers amongst their community. 

Additionally, users can “Follow” these influencers rather than adding them to their personal networks. Now instead of feeling uneasy sending network invitations to a complete stranger, users can follow their favorite thought leaders just as easily as on other social networks. 

What else is included in this update? LinkedIn users can upload video cover stories, creating an interactive introduction to their profile. Much like a Facebook or Instagram story, the cover story can be initiated to play on the click of a profile photo with an orange ring. The uniquely new aspect of these cover stories is what is known as the “Harry Potter effect”, where the video will autoplay silently in the profile photo frame to signify available video content. These new features will help propel the already growing importance of video-based content on social platforms. Many users see this new video feature as an opportunity to promote themselves with a personalized pitch of their skill sets. Almost like a precursor to a job interview, it grants users the opportunity to conduct a virtual elevator pitch with all of the personality and zest of in person. 

What Creator Mode Can Do For Companies

These new updates will be big for companies of almost any industry, but especially in B2B technology, cyber or complex services. Many of whom have been prioritizing thought leadership of leadership and SMEs through whitepapers, research, and media opportunities as means of generating industry attention to their brand.  “As our ecosystem has been growing, and as we’re seeing the world of work changing, we’re seeing that content is now a core part of how professionals interact with not only their own jobs but their industries, their peers, and their communities,” Keren Baruch, group product manager for creator strategy at LinkedIn. 

Last year 62.1 million LinkedIn users reported logging in at least once a month. This statistic is expected by researchers to jump to 64.7 million in 2021 and reach 70.9 million by 2024. The popularity of LinkedIn is expected to grow significantly, especially as users realize the unique opportunity to take control of their professional success and promote their achievements like never before. The barriers of entry for powerful brands and thought leaders have been lowered, which levels the playing field for companies of any size to become influential industry leaders. 

Are you the next micro-influencer of your professional space? With the support of social media and PR agency, Bluetext, you could be! Contact us to learn more about our digital marketing and PR services.