Crowdtap Back to School Shopping InfographicBack-to-school shopping is back — spending will reach $74.9 billion this year, according to National Retail Federation estimates, making back-to-school the second biggest consumer spending season of the year, other than the winter holidays. The NRF also reports that consumers are planning to spend more across every product category. While this spend increase is great news for marketers, they will also likely need a to adjust their strategies because how their consumers shop has changed. So, how will consumers discover and purchase new products this back-to-school shopping season?

Social media will have a large impact on consumer purchases this season, with 64% of back-to-school shoppers reporting that social media will play a role in their back-to-school shopping.

As parents scramble to prepare their kids for school, they’ll lean on the people they know to discover new products, reviews, recommendations, promotions and, of course, sales. A Crowdtap survey of more than 850 men and women found that 45% of those shoppers surveyed will search social sites for peer product reviews and recommendations. (read more…)

Nirell9781137386298This post is an excerpt from ‘The Mindful Marketer,” (Palgrave Macmillan, September 2014) by Lisa Nirell. Nirell is chief energy officer of EnergizeGrowth LLC. She has helped B2B companies grow customer mind-share and market share since 1983.

It was 1984, and the personal computer revolution was well underway. I was working for one of the world’s first commercially successful PC software companies, MultiMate International. We disrupted the word-processing industry by displacing stand-alone devices from now defunct companies such as Digital Equipment (DEC) and Wang. Will Jones, the CEO, was a fun-loving software genius at heart, and often roller-skated down the corridors of our converted warehouse offices to boost morale.

We doubled in size for several consecutive years and watched revenues soar. As the International Marketing Manager, I did my best to keep up the pace. In those heady days, the priority was closing business and selling as many licenses to my distributors as I could, not managing profit margins. (read more…)

The decline in organic reach for brand pages on Facebook is nothing new, but brands must be prepared for organic reach to decline further to near-zero levels. A study conducted by social@Ogilvy in February 2014 found that the organic reach of 100 brand-owned Facebook pages was about 6%, a 49% decline from October 2013.

To reach audiences, brands need to be investing in social advertising. Facebook ads in particular present a great opportunity for brands to keep their message in the news feed, deliver that message to the correct audience and in turn help control the quality of new fans it brings to the page. Specific ad formats, like claimable offers, can help drive specific consumer actions and provide a clear ROI. Most importantly though, Facebook ads allow brands to use their time more efficiently and create less content while still driving engagement.

Late last year, we worked with a car dealership in California to incorporate Facebook ads into their social strategy. (read more…)

By now, you’re probably well aware of the benefits producing consistent and informative content can have for your firm. Between improving your SEO, increasing your firm’s visibility, establishing your credibility, and reinforcing your brand, few people can argue that content marketing isn’t a worthwhile endeavor.

The difficulty is that, regardless of how beneficial it might be, content creation is time consuming. For firms with a small marketing staff or limited access to designers and copywriters, keeping up a content schedule can be overwhelming. Even if your firm is well prepared to take on a content marketing campaign, you still likely don’t have much time to spare.

Luckily, with just a few tweaks in your approach, you can

  • Get more out of your current content
  • Spend less time generating new content
  • Still provide your audiences with the educational resources they’re looking for

Here are five ways your firm can extend the life of its content:

1. (read more…)

While we’ve all seen dozens of trends come and go already in 2014, one thing has been consistent in these lists is the role of video in content marketing. And while there will always be an audience that prefers reading article after article, at this time in tech history, video has become a major player in a business’s content marketing strategy. Thanks to the rise of on-demand television, more and more people are using their mobile devices and tablets to keep up with their favorite shows and watch the most popular YouTube videos.

So what does this mean for your business? Because consumers now have a way of viewing video content quickly, marketers are being driven to develop more creative strategies in order to break through these popular video channels to reach their target audience.

While video content is naturally engaging, it’s going to take a lot more than posting funny cat videos and inspirational quotes to get that kind of attention. (read more…)