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TikTok is the Most Popular App You Know Nothing About

Published in Blog

Have you heard of the latest social media sensation called TikTok? It's a new app that lets users share videos of themselves singing and dancing to popular songs. With more than 1 billion downloads since it launched in 2016, the app is particularly popular among young people who are under 18.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is taking the world by storm with its catchy concept and addicting nature. The app officially came onto the scene in 2016 after a merger with a similar app, Musical.ly. Both apps let users share short-form vertical videos of them lip-syncing and dancing to popular songs.

It's very similar to the Vine app that Twitter released back in 2013 that was shuttered in 2017. TikTok videos can be up to fifteen seconds long, which is more than twice as long as the Vine's limit of six seconds. TikTok also places a greater emphasis on sharing videos set to popular music and responding to those videos through engagement techniques.

Engagement with the platform happens by reacting to videos with a video of your own, liking the video, or pressing the heart button to love it and leave a comment. Videos can be shared with hashtags to be part of a broader topic, much like how hashtags work on Twitter and Facebook.

Pre-shot videos can be shared on the service and can be up to one minute in length.

Who uses TikTok?

The primary audience for TikTok trends on the younger side. Teens create accounts and share videos of themselves lip-syncing to popular songs. This young audience has grown with over 500 million downloads in the last two years. While the young user base isn't inherently problematic, TikTok has faced trouble over not adhering to privacy laws.

Just recently the FTC slapped TikTok with a $5.7 million dollar fine for not verifying age for its users. The FTC ruling will change how the app works to prevent under 13-year-olds from publishing videos using the app. The FTC ruling came about after a regulatory group brought attention to TikTok's lack of adherence to U.S. child privacy laws.

Why is TikTok so popular?

One of the reasons TikTok is gaining so much popularity with teens is that unlike Snapchat, the shared videos do not disappear. These videos are available on a user's profile until the user specifically deletes them.

Because videos stick around, TikTok has plenty of brand power that can be used to advertise to young audiences. The inclusion of popular music is also a massive draw to TikTok.

You can upload a snippet of any audio you like, including audio you don't have the rights to distribute. This audio is then included in the TikTok library for anyone to use. This aspect of the app has led to some controversy surrounding music rights and artist compensation.

Privacy Concerns

Aside from the FTC fining TikTok, the app also faces increased scrutiny for its young userbase. A group in the UK recently surveyed 40,000 young children and teens who use the app and found that 25% of children had livestreamed themselves to a stranger. That survey also found that 1 in 20 children was asked to remove clothing during a live stream.

TikTok profiles for children under 13 are set to private by default, and they now feature more restrictions after the FTC ruling. However, sexually abusive comments and content that promote self-harm can still be exposed to young children on the platform.

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Leveraging Emerging Trends In Digital Marketing

Published in Blog

Digital marketing is a very effective tool for reaching a vast worldwide audience with messages specially designed for each differing segment.


Recent advances in this type of marketing have made it possible for creative marketers to generate interest in diverse products and services in new and better ways. Going digital with marketing campaigns has transformed many businesses and enabled them to see how consumers are responding to their marketing efforts in real time. The key is to be agile, flexible and make use of the evolving technologies and techniques for engaging consumers.

A Successful Strategy

To get the most out of digital advertising campaigns and gain insight into shifting consumer preference, your company must be nimble enough to use digital media to engage, communicate and collaborate with consumers. You must also use their feedback to identify and adapt to increasingly complex industry and consumer demands. Innovative use of emerging media to promote products and services and respond to ever-changing market forces and consumer interest will enable your company to successfully maintain and increase market share and consumer interest.

Fluid Marketing Methods

As consumers migrate to new digital platforms, you must utilize agile marketing strategies to take advantage of the opportunities evolving digital platforms offer for close interaction with consumers. The more fluid the design of your marketing methods and their openness to adopting new techniques, the more effective they'll be in developing and maintaining lucrative relationships with today's digital savvy consumers. Plus, focusing on consumer communications will enable you to quickly tap into and profit from changing consumer behaviors and emerging trends.

Minutes Not Weeks

Being able to quickly respond to the migration of consumers to new digital platforms and update your advertising efforts will enable you to attract and keep new customers. Early adaptors capture consumer interest and dollars in this new, evolving, digital marketplace. You must adapt to new opportunities in minutes not weeks to remain in the forefront of the consumers' minds. Monthly committee meeting to discuss marketing changes must be replaced by daily updates on effective emerging marketing trends to continually capture consumer interest.

A More Efficient Process

More fluid and agile marketing efforts may require changing how you assess your marketing campaigns. Creating cross-functional teams that quickly assess, analyze, share and respond to marketing data helps. Regular small tests of valuable insights gleaned from the data is another essential step in developing more agile marketing practices. Fast, accurate analysis and use of what works and discarding the rest speeds up the process. Effective methods should then be scaled up to enjoy their benefits immediately before consumer attention changes. Start with a small 'swift boat' team and evaluate their success and impact.

Many New Digital Marketing Trends

There are a number of innovative, new forms of digital advertising poised to dominate the marketplace in 2019. That makes having an agile team able to quickly test and assess new marketing methods and strategies essential. Employing the right results-oriented, targeted marketing techniques on the hottest digital platforms can help to establish your brand and boost sales significantly. These digital trends can potentially reshape the marketing landscape. Some will last while others will only have a short-term impact. The companies nimble enough to efficiently identify the effective trends will benefit greatly.

Top Marketing Trends For 2019

There are several emerging marketing trends. The holistic Omnichannel Approach to marketing on diverse devices while providing the same experience on all of them, is one. Expanded use of Video Content to excite, educate and engage consumers, launch products and build brands is also anticipated. This includes YouTube videos and live and story videos featured on social media channels. Optimizing Voice Search using unique meta descriptions and other innovative new approaches is another marketing method industry experts point out is growing in popularity. Plus, integrating AI Aided Chatbots into websites, apps and social media platforms for more effective marketing results also looks promising.

Other Innovative Digital Advertising Techniques

There are so many new digital marketing methods and techniques making their way into the mainstream, having nimble, agile marketing teams to identify the most effective ones is essential. Some other marketing techniques that show potential and are being investigated and tested include the use of:

Augmented Reality
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Automated Email Marketing
Influencer Marketing
User-Generated Content
Native Advertising
Micro-Moments
Social Messaging Apps

As marketing professionals continue to utilize innovative, new digital technologies and reshape the marketing landscape, your company must find fast, effective, ways to explore and embrace them or be left behind.

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Super Bowl Ads 2019

Published in Blog

CBS Charging Record Amount for Super Bowl Ads

Advertisers are anticipating that Super Bowl LIII will be the most watched television program of the year, and they are willing to spend millions to get their message out on it. A 30-second commercial on CBS, which will be broadcasting the game this year between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, will cost advertisers a record $5.25 million. This works out to about $175,000 per second. 

The cost of a commercial, though, is up only a little from last year when a 30-second spot cost $5.2 million. But it is up a whopping $1 million from what it cost just 5 years ago, and it is nearly double what is cost back in 2008 when a 30-second spot went for $2.69 million. 

In 1967, when Super Bowl I was broadcast, ad prices started at less than $38,000, and it took until 1995 before prices rose above $1 million. 5 years later in 2001, prices for ads experienced their greatest yearly increase, which was more than 30%. Fueling this increase was the dot-com bubble and companies such as Pets.com. 

In spite of the fact that experts expect more than 100 million people to watch Super Bowl LIII, television ratings for professional football have been declining recently. Ratings for Super Bowl LII were about 7% lower than those for Super Bowl LI, but this still amounted to a little more than 100 million viewers. 

On Sunday, the exact price CBS will charge for an ad is dependent on when the ad will air. Typically, ads shown toward the beginning of the game cost more than ads shown later. Other factors affecting the price of an ad include how long the ad runs and the total number of ads bought for the game. The network also offers package deals that include other major sporting events. 

On the surface, spending more than $5 million for 30 seconds of broadcast time may seem exorbitant, in spite of the size of the viewing audience. But ads often get far greater exposure than those 30 seconds. Advertisers stretch this exposure by issuing press releases about the commercials that they will air, which often come out long before the game is broadcast. Some advertisers even spend a considerable amount of money just marketing their ads. This spending can run into the millions. 

Advertisers further hope that people will watch previews of their ads on YouTube, and they hope that they will watch the full ads there over and over after the game ends. Budweiser, for example — which perennially advertises on the game — recently posted such an ad on YouTube, and this ad has already gotten more than 8 million views. 

Anheuser-Busch, which is the parent of Budweiser and the official beer sponsor of the NFL, has bought a total of 6 1/2 minutes of ad time during the game. This amounts to around $34 million. 

Doritos, which is owned by long-running Super Bowl advertiser Pepsi, has also posted a preview of their Super Bowl ad on YouTube, which features both the Backstreet Boys and Chance the Rapper. So far, it has received more than 2 million views. The ad is another in a long-standing trend of including celebrities in Super Bowl ads. This is done to help the ads stand out from the rest. 

While fees for these celebrity appearances are usually not officially released, they sometimes can be more expensive than the ad time. In 2005, Heineken is said to have paid Brad Pitt in excess of $4 million to appear in its Super Bowl ad, while in 2014 Bud Light paid Arnold Schwarzenegger $3 million for appearing in their Super Bowl ad. 

During the broadcast on Sunday, viewers should expect to see just about every type of ad imaginable, with one exception: there will be no marijuana ads. Acreage Holdings, which is a medical cannabis company based in New York, reportedly submitted a one-minute ad that would have cost the company more than $10 million. But CBS rejected the ad. They also issued a statement along with the rejection saying that, as a company policy, they do not accept ads related to cannabis. Though this does not mean that you cannot see the ad, as a version of it has already been posted on YouTube.
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Eugene the World Record Instagram Egg

Published in Blog

At over 48.4 million likes, Eugene, the Instagram-famous egg has surpassed Kylie Jenner in holding the record for the most likes on a picture.

Jenner had previously set the record with 18.5 million likes on a picture of her daughter, Stormi. The famous picture, posted on January 6, 2018, was surpassed in likes by the January 4th, 2019 post from the Egg Gang. By Friday the 18th, the simple, stock image of a brown egg has garnered over 48 million likes.

The picture of the most famous egg in the world was posted on the account named "world_record_egg." This account has acquired 7.7 million followers from the one viral post of the celebrity egg. The American Egg Board was excited to acknowledge Eugene's success. CEO Anne Alonzo was overjoyed to see an egg getting this kind of publicity.

No one has been able to identify the person who posted the picture in hopes of breaking the world record for the most Instagram likes on a post. Until the case is cracked, the egg is assuming the name "Eugene." In an email from the mystery account owner, the egg was given the name and is apparently loving all of the attention.

The account owner mentioned that there are two shirts available reading "I liked the egg." Ten percent of the profits are being donated to charity. New designs are also in the making.

Some people speculate that Instagram star Supreme Patty was responsible for the post. Supreme Patty's friend was reported saying that he was indeed behind the account, but the Egg Gang later posted on their story that it was fake news. They still remain anonymous and obviously don't want to be revealed.

In the midst of the government shutdown, it appears that Americans are putting their hope and trust in a humble breakfast staple. However, this isn't the only food to catch the attention of the masses. In previous years, other basic food images have gleaned abundant likes. Potato salad and half of a white onion were also Instagram-famous for a time. It seems that the simpler the subject, the more popular it becomes.

While Supreme Patty can't take credit for the egg-cellent post, he isn't letting the fun pass him by. He reportedly got a tattoo of the record-breaking egg. Other eggs from pop-culture also joined the conversation, including a dragon egg from "Game of Thrones." When George R.R. Martin proudly tweeted a picture of his egg, Professor Snape was quick to reply with a picture of Harry Potter holding a golden egg.

So, what is it that allows a simple brown egg to get so many likes? How can an egg possibly compete with stars like Kylie Jenner and other major names on social media? Perhaps it is the simplicity that compels us to charitably and unquestionably give our likes away to the egg. It isn't begging for our attention or money. It doesn't make us feel less-than by being better looking or traveling to a nicer destination than us. We don't have a reason to distrust it. We just like it.

While many people willingly gave their love to this seemingly random egg, Kylie Jenner was clearly bitter about losing her record to a stock photo of a breakfast item. Jenner posted a video of herself breaking eggs sent from mocking strangers. She captioned the video of herself cracking an egg onto the blacktop in the sun, "Take that little egg." Incredible Egg commented a nice suggestion to put the eggs to good use by making some of the delicious recipes on their website. Sources still aren't sure how Kylie Jenner likes her eggs, but from the looks of things now, it appears that she thinks they are best served on the pavement.

Many people joined the effort to help this little egg break the world record. It is speculated that dissatisfaction with the Kardashians and other socialites from Hollywood played a role in the immense response Eugene received. Did people want the egg to succeed because it is an egg or because they wanted to see the record taken from Kylie? Perhaps it's a combination of both, but the American Egg Association is thrilled.

By Easter, The American Egg Association expects to donate over a million eggs per month. Individual farmers will be donating to their local organizations. The American Egg Board cites Eugene's popularity as a sign that eggs are incredible.

Incredible indeed. An account with that much attention has the ability to influence the masses and is undoubtedly a powerful marketing tool. Owning account with that much organic viewership makes selling merchandise no sweat. The owner could also sell the account or refocus it to suit the audience long after Eugene loses his popularity.

This just goes to show how fragile a social media reputation really is. One minute, you have the most-liked photo on Instagram. Then you wake up one morning only to discover that your record has been stolen by an egg. The message is clear. Americans value breakfast and simplicity over beauty and riches. Nothing beats breakfast!

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