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A new survey sheds some light into the real reasons why consumers like, share, and follow brands on social media.

As Yes Marketing reports, their survey of 1,000 consumers reveals:

  • 63% of consumers follow retailers on social to learn about sales.
  • 60% follow retailers to keep up with new products.
  • 29% follow to show support for the retailer.
  • 23% follow because the retailer shares funny and interesting information.
  • 23% follow because the retailer has a positive reputation
  • 16% follow because they agree with the retailer’s stance on social and political issues.

When it comes to specifically why customers engage with content from retailers on social media, here’s what people had to say:

  • 36% engage with content because the retailer promises a discount for sharing the post.
  • 36% engage in order to share a product update or sale with their followers.
  • 35% engage because they agree personally with the content of the post.
  • 30% engage because the post is funny or interesting.
  • 29% engage in order to share positive feedback with the retailer.
  • 20% engage in order to share negative feedback with the retailer.

As for which demographics are active on which social networks, the respondents broke down as follows:

  • Gen Z consumers are more likely to have YouTube (77%) and Instagram (77%) accounts than a Facebook account (74%).
  • Millennials (89%) and Gen X (88%) are most likely to be on Facebook.
  • More Gen Z consumers (56%) are on Twitter compared to Millennials (50%) and Gen X (39%).
  • Snapchat is the least used social network among all respondents (30%), followed by Twitter (36%).
  • Only 11% of respondents are not on any of the major social networks.

Get the full report here to learn more.

Twitter wants to help you plan out your marketing for the year with a new, free calendar with tips and ideas for your 2019 marketing strategies.

The calendar identifies the biggest, most hotly anticipated events of the year so you can plan your marketing ahead of time.

Additionally, Twitter provides some extra motivation to tweet during these big events with an estimate of the number of Tweet impressions each event is expected to draw.

The calendar doesn’t just highlight the obvious holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s day, either. It includes niche holidays such as Talk Like a Pirate Day, major sporting events like the March Madness final game, and cultural events like Coachella.

No matter what industry you are in, you are bound to find exciting opportunities to make your mark somewhere among the major and minor events.

For example, running accessory brands may plan their marketing around some of the major marathons included on the calendar – like the Boston Marathon which is predicted to drive an estimated 73 million tweet impressions.

Meanwhile, bars or restaurants may be more interested in taking advantage of the quickly approaching National Pizza Day on February 9th and National Margarita Day on February 22th, which are estimated to inspire 34 million and 14 million tweet impressions respectively.

View and download Twitter’s 2019 Marketing Calendar here.

How long does your website take to load? If it takes more than three seconds, you’re likely losing more than half of your visitors.

It is no secret that everyone wants everything as fast as possible. That is especially true on the web. The faster your page loads, the more people will stick around and the happier they will be with their experience.

What you might not know, is that your site speed can directly affect your conversions and sales.

Data from Kissmetrics shows that up to 79% of customers who aren’t satisfied with your site’s performance say they are less likely to buy from the same site again. Taking that a step further, many first-time customers may leave before they ever get a chance to see what you have to offer in the first place.

Web Development agency Skilled collected 12 case studies from real businesses in an infographic showing just how powerful page load time really is. If you’ve ever doubted the importance of keeping your site optimized to be as fast as possible, you’ll likely be a believer after seeing these:

Page Speed

Millenials

Every few weeks I hear an influential figure in marketing talk about some new, creative strategy for reaching millennials. “You need apps!” “You need to be on this social platform!” “Cat Pictures!” “Video!”

Sure, these can all work when done right, but it raises a question: Are millennials really that hard to market to?

As Thomas Sychterz, CEO of LaunchLeap, puts it, “[Millennials] get treated like some sort of hyperactive group of wild gorillas: powerful, unpredictable and difficult to pin down. The reality is quite different and simple.”

To show this, LaunchLeap, a Montreal-based consumer research startup, surveyed 18 – 35-year-olds about their internet and advertising preferences. The results definitely differ from what many would expect. Millennials aren’t as averse to more traditional forms of marketing as you’d think.

“Millennials are open to connecting with brands, drawn to bite-size content (paid or not) and intrigued by new information, product-wise. However, the main caveat is that it all needs to get done in an ergonomic, digestible and fluid manner.”

See the results of LaunchLeap’s survey in an infographic published on AdWeek below:

Millennial Marketing

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Bing has unveiled the top marketing keywords searched for throughout last year, based on their US search data. The new reveal sheds light on what people are thinking of and what the biggest upcoming trends are, with personal assistants beating out the competition.

”Personal assistants and artificial intelligence were a clear priority for marketers over the past year. Advances in chat bots and virtual assistants, such as Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo – as well as updates to several smartphone chat bots, were likely drivers for these search terms.”

Of course, Microsoft owns both Cortana and Bing, so it is possible that played a role in the high rank of personal assistants on the list. Still, the popularity of other services such as Siri and Alexa shows that virtual assistants are quickly becoming a major part of the tech and marketing landscape.

In addition to personal assistants, Bing says augmented reality and virtual reality are also poised to play a big role in marketing.

”Virtual and augmented reality came second to intelligence, with the popularity of searches representing the growth of this technology throughout 2016 – and it’s likely continual development into next year.”

Check out the rest of the top marketing search terms for 2016 below:

  1. Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents
  2. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  3. Search Marketing
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. Email Marketing

Year in Search

Google has finally released its annual year in search list, breaking down the biggest stories and searches of the past year. As usual, it is broken down into several categories and countries, making it easy to see what was trending in 2016 in your area or around the world.

Google’s Top 10 Worldwide searches of 2016:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad

The top searches for the US are almost identical, except for a few changes. “Powerball” bounces up to the top slot, because it can only be played in America. Meanwhile, “iPhone” slides entirely off the list.

Google’s Top 10 US Searches of 2016:

  1. Powerball
  2. Prince
  3. Hurricane Matthew
  4. Pokemon Go
  5. Slither.io
  6. Olympics
  7. David Bowie
  8. Trump
  9. Election
  10. Hillary Clinton

While the iPhone 7 didn’t make the top US searches, it does lead the worldwide top tech searches of the past year. Apple also dominates 3 of the top 4 searches for consumer technology. Considering its recent reveal, it is also somewhat surprising to see the Nintendo Switch also makes the list at number 9.

Google’s Top 10 Consumer Tech Searches Worldwide:

  1. iPhone 7
  2. Freedom 251
  3. iPhone SE
  4. iPhone 6S
  5. Google Pixel
  6. Samsung Galaxy S7
  7. iPhone 7 Plus
  8. Note 7
  9. Nintendo Switch
  10. Samsung J7

Of course, there are plenty more interesting categories in Google’s Year in Search 2016 to look through including beers, fashion designers, GIFs and much more. Check out the lists for yourself.

mobileonly

It is no secret that the majority of people online change devices several times a day, but new research from Google shows that a growing number of users are adopting a “mobile only” lifestyle.

The new “cross-device” research shows that while plenty of people still move from desktop to mobile to tablet as they need to throughout the day, but almost 40% of searchers have dropped desktop devices from their online search process entirely.

Google says the study is based on “behavioral measurement of a convenience sample of 11,964 opt-in Google users between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016,” and that the data was “calibrated to reflect a U.S. demographic of 18 to 49-year-old cross-device users.”

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According to the findings, the average user spends 170 minutes on their smartphone every day, compared to 120 minutes on PC’s and approximately 75 minutes on tablets (that user owns a tablet). They most often use their smartphones at four physical locations:

  1. Home
  2. Work
  3. Stores
  4. Restaurants and Bars

Every day, approximately 80% of users search the internet on their smartphones, while 67% use PC’s. Over half (57%) move between devices throughout the day and 21% are likely to use more than one device simultaneously.

But, perhaps the most surprising finding of the study is that approximately 39% of people who conduct searches on an average day use only smartphones, compared to 32% who search only on PC. When measuring all internet use, rather than just searches, 27% of users are smartphone-only.

The report shows mobile usage varies by industry with year-over-year growth of mobile search for different markets.

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If you want to find out more, check out the full report here.

It is no secret that visual content is more engaging to readers. Whether you use infographics, social media images, video content, or just creating ads that are visually attractive, users will always react more to content that is more than just text on a screen.

But, just because you are using more visuals in your content and doesn’t mean they automatically work. Aesthetically pleasing content can be a great way to engage users, but you can still lose a huge amount of visitors if your content isn’t compelling and exciting.

To help you guarantee your visual ads are truly visually compelling and engaging, Bannersnack recently shared an infographic breaking down everything you need to know about visual ad creation. If you want to guarantee your visual ads are killing it every time, check out the infographic below or at Bannersnack.

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As smartphone internet use has exploded in the past few years, mobile-friendly pages and search engine optimization have become the standard, but new statistics from Bing suggests the future of SEO may be all about voice search.

During the Search Insider Summit last week, Bing representatives told the crowd that a quarter of all searches performed on Bing are voice searches and the trend looks keep increasing for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, as users get more accustomed to voice search, it is changing how they are performing searches entirely. Voice searches are notably longer, tending to fall between six and 10 words, compared to just one to three words for text searches.

Part of this notable rise of voice search on Bing is likely because the company powers three of the leading voice assistants in the world. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa are all reliant on Bing to answer voice search queries. However, that shouldn’t discount these findings entirely.

While Google hasn’t released any statistics on voice searches performed on their platform, the company has taken clear steps to invest in voice search for future growth – such as using Google’s AI to recognize conversational speech in voice searches by having it read romance novels.

Clearly, the two largest search engines recognize that voice search will only become more prominent in the future. Likewise, marketers, SEOs, and businesses should start preparing now by investing in long-tail keywords and voice search optimization.

FacebookClick

Facebook is changing its mind on branded content, though it isn’t ready to completely dive in. The social media giant is revising its policy on branded content, which is anything that specifically “mentions or features a third party product, brand, or sponsor.”

With the latest change, Facebook is allowing any verified page to share branded content, however, the content must be labeled as such. This is a significant turn from the company’s previous stance against branded content and ads.

To help brands with verified pages label their branded content, Facebook is also offering a new tool to assist in tagging brands mentioned in the content. The company says the tool must be used every time branded content is published.

By changing their policy, Facebook is allowing companies with existing partnerships or sponsorships to bring their relationship into the world’s largest social network.

Notably, branded content can also be pushed via sponsored posts or leveraged in paid ads. The company says the new tool will hopefully lead to greater transparency while continuing to help users find valuable information.

When a brand is tagged in a piece of branded content, they will also receive access to post insights and can share the boosted post themselves.

While this is a notable change, Facebook still has some restrictions. Here is what Facebook will still not allow:

“…our branded content guidelines prohibit overly promotional features, such as persistent watermarks and pre-roll advertisements. Additionally, cover photos and profile pictures must not feature third party products, brands, or sponsors. Branded content integrations that are allowed to be posted on Facebook include content like product placement, endcards, and marketer’s logos.”