Tag Archives: Social

Stay Ahead of Your Competition with the Top Digital Marketing Trends of 2022

In an era of rapid technological acceleration, every year brings new avenues to market services and methods to boost sales. While the metaverse lurks on the horizon, it’s still in the developmental stage. Meanwhile, the current digital marketing landscape has evolved significantly within the past few years. Software developers and business owners must keep up on the latest trends in order to ensure that they don’t fall behind their competitors.

Here are some of the biggest trends in digital marketing today:

PERSONALIZATION

Success in digital marketing is increasingly dependent on how companies collect data and leverage it toward personalized ads. Studies show personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend.

Personalization at its most basic level entails targeting users based on their demographic or location. For example, Guinness created a hyper-localized ad campaign which incorporated a unique Facebook ad for every Guinness venue in the UK and Ireland. Over 30,000 localized video ads for over 2,500 bars were updated dynamically based on the rugby matches playing at a given time.

Personalization relies on three tenets: data discovery, automated decision-making, and content distribution. Major corporations like Amazon leverage more extensive data with automated decision-making dictated by robust AI algorithms. Netflix’s complex viewing algorithms determine what users may like to view next based on their past viewing habits. The result is not only improved user experience, but a more personal relationship with the brand.

SOCIAL COMMERCE

Projections from Accenture show social commerce will reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025—about 300% faster than traditional ecommerce. Gen Z and Millennials will be the biggest spenders, accounting for 62% of social revenue by 2025. Platforms are working behind the scenes to improve customer experience by creating payment methods without leaving social media apps. Two major social platforms to watch are TikTok and Youtube.

TikTok usage has risen rapidly and reached 1 billion users and counting. Engagement has been titanic with users in the United States spending up to 850 hours per month on the app. It was the top earning non-gaming app in 2021 with $110 million spent by users and its potential will only grow as influencers earn huge amounts through sponsorship deals. TikTok is not just for Gen Z, it’s a rapidly growing network and brands are taking advantage by offering influencers huge amounts of money for branded content.

As brands move their investment in traditional TV models toward streaming, one platform which stands to benefit is Youtube. Global revenue for the video streaming channel soared to $29 billion, a 46% increase from 2020. Youtube is beginning to attract more traditional TV advertisers and consequentially, their ad business is nearly matching Netflix in revenue. While revenue is ascending, there remains significant headroom for major brands to up their investment in Youtube advertising as traditional cable models phase out.

IN-GAME ADVERTISING

Just over 50% of global revenue in the gaming industry is driven by mobile games. With gaming reaching a growth rate higher than all other entertainment industries, brands are looking to in-game advertising as a way of reaching a larger audience.

The gaming demographic has recently reached a 50-50 split between men and women. Contrary to most preconceptions, in-game advertising will help you reach a wider audience of both men and women. In-game advertising not only reaches a wider audience, it makes it easy to track click-throughs and analytics. Extensive analytics enable brands to collect very precise data about their customers and foster a deeper understanding of their habits.

Playable ads have arisen as a major hallmark for brands to market their games. Playable ads are interactive and encourage the user to try a snippet of functionality from the game. Check out the examples in the video below by Vungle.

CONCLUSION

Brands need to move as fast as the times if they hope to stay on the forefront of their industry. In the era of big data, the bigger your brand, the more possibilities digital marketing entails. As AI becomes more accessible, businesses of all sizes are wise to take advantage of the digital landscape and find ways to offer a more personal experience for their customers.

Part 3: Techniques to Keep Users Coming Back & Increase Retention

How Gamification Can Boost Retention on Any App Part 3: Techniques to Keep Users Coming Back & Increase Retention

The Mystic Media Blog is currently endeavoring on a 3 part series on how gamification mechanics can boost retention on any app—not just gaming apps but utility apps, business apps and more. In this third entry, we explore additional techniques to keep users coming back and increase retention.

Your users have downloaded your app and are acclimated with its features. You’ve perfected your core loop to ensure users can complete meaningful actions in the app on a daily basis. Now the question becomes—how can you retain ongoing usage? The average cost to acquire a mobile app user is $4, yet retention rates can quickly drop from there. Statistics show that a 5% increase in retention can boost profitability by up to 75%.

There are a variety of techniques employed by mobile games that app developers can use in their non-gaming apps to keep users engaged long after the application ends.

INVEST IN THE FUTURE

An optimized application development process requires thinking about how your product can evolve beyond the initial release. Often this is due to schedule and budgetary constraints. It is natural in any creative endeavor to have more ideas than time and money to complete them. However, thinking long-term can be an advantage. New features entice users to continue using the application after download and to allow push notifications for fear of missing out on updates.

Mobile games often have to confront this since the amount of content they offer is finite—a certain amount of levels, achievements, and unlockables which can be completed. Games can offer additional modes and levels to entice users to come back. Similarly, non-gaming apps can offer new content—such as informative blogs, new features, and new product lines.

During the development process, plan out multiple phases and deliver new features and content updates on a regular basis. If you have a blog, host it on your application and keep users coming back for content updates.

IMPLEMENT SOCIAL FEATURES

Game developers know that “Socializers”, or users who thrive on social interaction, constitute one of the most important Bartle Types. Social features are crucial not only to retaining interest and daily usage of an application, but as a marketing technique to encourage users to engage with one another and spread the word. Once your userbase is established, implementing social features will increase engagement.

Consider implementing the following social features in phase 2 of your application:

  • Customizable user profiles: Enabling usernames, profile pictures, bios and other user customization features help users feel more connected to the app vis a vis their profile.
  • Rewarded social sharing: Encourage users to spread the love by rewarding them with discounts and reward points when they share to social media.
  • Likes and comments on products: Implementing comments and likes not only gives users another avenue for engagement, it creates a platform for automated push notifications that will likely result in more daily opens.
  • Follow and friend other users: Allowing users to connect can result in meaningful social relationships which will increase their connection with your application.
  • Rewarded actions: Encourage users to complete an action for the first time by offering them some kind of reward.

PUSH NOTIFICATIONS STRATEGY

Push notifications are integral to every app developers’ retention strategy. They are the most effective vessel for delivering timely reminders and relevant notifications about new features on applications. Users can disallow push notifications at any time, so developers need to pick their spots or risk losing one of their most prized tools.

When developing your push notification strategy, consider the following:

  • Timing: Rather than sending push notifications all at once, target users based on their time zone. Make sure the timing of your notifications makes sense based on the message.
  • Personalization: Optimize UI by tracking app usage data and leveraging it for personalized push notifications. Personalize push notifications based on a user’s behavior such as their purchase history to help build app loyalty and keep notifications relevant.
  • Prudence: If you bombard users with irrelevant notifications, the decision to unsubscribe to push notifications becomes easy. Exercise restraint when sending push notifications and only send valuable information and reminders.

Users are always looking for value and discount—which is why delivery and transportation applications often use push notifications to send discount codes. Shopping apps can also send push notifications which notify users when they have items left in their cart—a timely prompt to finish the purchase can directly lead to revenue.

KEEP INNOVATING

The app development process does not have to end with an apps initial release into app stores. Rolling out new features to maintain engagement with your audience and bolster your application will result in improved retention.

How to Craft the Perfect Instagram Story Strategy to Promote Your Business

Instagram introduced the Story function to their platform in August 2016. Replicating Snapchat, the Instagram Story offers ephemeral visual content that disappears 24 hours after posting it.

As with the introduction of any new tool on social media, the first question a business must ask itself is: How can we leverage this new platform to promote our company, product or services?

Here are some tips to help you craft the perfect Instagram Story strategy:

GIVE A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK

Instagram users expect the most touched-up and polished visual content to show up on the feed. Part of the appeal of the Instagram Story is that it offers a deeper, less polished look into the day-to-day life of the account.

Musicians take advantage of Instagram Stories by previewing snippets of new music on their stories. The fact that these stories will disappear activates a fan’s FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If they see one of their favorite artists post to their story, they feel obligated to watch it or else they will miss out on exclusive music, otherwise they may have to wait months for an official release. Thus, it both offers a behind the scenes look and incites users to return to view more stories.

FOMO

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is a form of anxiety triggered by missing an opportunity. For example, when considering whether to go to an office party or a concert, one may be more driven to go because one doesn’t want to miss out on fun than wanting to enjoy the experience.

The ephemeral nature of the Instagram Story makes FOMO a major psychological factor determining whether a user elects to watch a story or not. If the user does not watch the story, they will never see the content. Businesses want to offer exclusive deals and content through their story that are not available anywhere else. Consumers who watch stories with exclusive deals and content are thereby rewarded and are more likely to watch them in the future to get more deals.

Incorporating exclusive deals will draw more users to watch your business’s Story because—well, it’ll make them afraid of missing out. Check out Psychology Today’s deep dive into FOMO.

KEEP IT FUN, KEEP IT LIGHT, KEEP IT MOVING

Take your Instagram Story on the road. Vary up the locations where you post and it will create more excitement as users will know to expect the unexpected when they view your story. Keep it light, give it some humor. Your Instagram Story should contain content that lightens the mood and makes viewers want to return.

MAKE IT A REAL STORY

Stories have a beginning, middle and end. Instagram Stories can conform to that structure as well! If an employee is going to a convention, have them document it in their story with an introduction post explaining their agenda for the day (beginning), videos of the most salient moments of the convention (middle), and a final post that wraps everything up and summarizes what they’ve gleaned (end).

Using storytelling techniques will keep users engaged in your feed and help Stories retain viewers from beginning to end.

ANALYTICS

Reviewing analytics and evaluating the metrics is a key process in evaluating your Story’s success. Use the Insights tab to see how many views your story received, how many shares, replies, profile visits, and how long users are watching your story to evaluate its success.

One of the key analytics is Completion Rate: what percentage of users watched your story from beginning to end? Evaluating completion rate, as well as Taps Forward, which shows when users tapped forward on a slide to see the next image, will help you determine whether your ideal posts per day are 2 or 12.

BE CONSISTENT

Consistency is key in social media. It takes time to develop a voice and even more time and effort to develop an audience. With a combination of a good strategy, solid content, and consistency, your business can leverage Instagram Stories to entice your customers and expand its reach.

Mobile Game Monetization Methods for Bartle Types: Achieve Exponential Growth Through Social Gaming

The Mystic Media Blog is currently engaged in a series of articles examining each of the Bartle types and how to acquire, retain and monetize them according to their desires. Check out last week’s article on Killers. In this, our concluding article, we will explore Socializers.

Socializers are perhaps the most important Bartle type for generating growth in a userbase. The Internet makes it easier than ever for players to share their experience with other users. Socializers aim to form connections through interactions with other players. Like the Explorer, they are focused on the internal qualities of the world and its inhabitants, while Achievers and Killers treat other users and the world as external objects.

In multiplayer games, Socializers enhance the gaming experience for all of the Bartle types. Achievers see any addition to the userbase as competition,  an elevation of the stakes, enriching their accomplishments. Killers see them as easy prey. Explorers see them as eager to communicate, join and help them on their quests. Socializers see other Socializers as people with whom they can socialize. Thus, Socializers appease all Bartle types and can trigger major growth in the ecosystem.

When developing games, mobile developers are often hampered with budgetary constraints which entail a single-player experience. Some turn-based games are able to counter that norm on a relatively small budget. However, in single-player games, the importance of social integration is absolutely vital in the current app landscape. In a world where Yelp rules and people are bombarded with an inordinate amount of daily advertising, many consumers rely on references from friends, family and trusted content curators to decide what they should pursue. Not only having a social presence, but giving players the opportunity to share in a variety of methods is a tactic which will enrich retainment on not only Socializers, but all of your userbase.

Profile creation satisfies both the Socializers desire to create a persona and connect with other users, while offering opportunities to entice Achievers with an opportunity to share their achievements.

Offering a variety of methods of communication is key to retaining Socializers. A “Social Prod” represents the lowest form of communication, such as the “Poke” button on Facebook, in which one user offers another user the minimum acknowledgement.

A “Brag Button” which allows you to easily shares your score and/or a video of your game to social networks is another method of communication which makes social sharing easy and entices the Achiever to share.

Creating a chat interface will encourage users to communicate with one another and allow them to share in-game secrets. A chat interface can function as a social network or discussion board for your users to congregate. When properly designed, chat interfaces can even help solve some of your customer service problems. Users feel more of a connection to other users, so setting up a kind of mentor system in your game where experienced players are rewarded for helping out newbies can go a long way in enhancing the intimacy of the experience while saving game developers money on maintaining Customer Service.

The presence of both a user’s outside friends playing the game and a community of friends existing within the game validates the game’s role in the user’s life and increases the sense of intimacy in the same way inside jokes with friends do.

Social Treasures are game items which a user can only get from another player. Candy Crush limits daily play, but lets players give their friends lives which enable them to play for longer as social treasure. Strategies like Social Treasure create a courtesy economy which encourages users to get their friends to play.

Rewarded Social Sharing gives users in-game currency or bonus items in exchange for sharing the game or their high score on social media, a method for encouraging sharing while also potentially previewing in-game in-app purchases.

Leaderboards factor into a number of single player games as the primary form of social integration, but Leaderboards can be intimidating and useless to new users when experienced players lord over the top ten spots and don’t give up. Offering a micro-leaderboard for in-game or social friends and/or monthly leaderboards will ensure new users are actually encouraged to become competitive through leaderboards and don’t feel left out.

When it comes to monetization, Socializers are best used as a tool to grow a userbase and thus enhance competition, increasing advertising and in-app purchases. Each of the above tactics applies to monetization in the sense that social sharing is in itself a currency. Freemium games can offer subscription-based online integration with a monthly fee.

Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey created the “Bartle Test” without collaboration or input from Richard Bartle. The test classifies users with a “Bartle Quotient.” The Bartle Quotient is calculated based on answers to a series of 30 random questions and totals 200% across all categories, with no single category exceeding 100%. So you can be 100% Socializer, 50% Explorer, 30% Achiever and 20% Killer. In other words, each of the Bartle types represents an urge within the gamer, but no gamer is 100% one of those categories.

Everyone has an Achiever, Explorer, Killer and Socializer in them. By isolating each archetype and analyzing their behavior, game designers can ensure they are making fully-formed, well-rounded games with a variety of appeal. And any mobile app developer will tell you the best monetization method is a well-built app.