Plain Sight Pivots to Help Local Businesses Drive Foot Traffic

Founded by James Chapman and backed by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, Plain Sight originally started as a way for people to explore professional connections based on location.

With local businesses closing by the thousands, Chapman says he’s envisioning the Plain Sight app as a tool for businesses to promote themselves and increase foot traffic. Businesses can use the platform to develop stronger customer loyalty by engaging with consumers directly. In addition to sharing information about how they are keeping customers safe, restaurants and other businesses can also accept free and paid reservations through the platform.

How Local Businesses Can Survive Without a Website

It is hard to imagine operating a business without a website. However, it can be done. In fact, it is already being done by the over 40% of American small businesses that still don’t own a website of any kind. It should be noted that the lack of a website by some businesses isn’t usually due to choice, but rather due to cost. 

Even so, local businesses that lack the wherewithal to launch and maintain a website need not despair because there are a host of other viable marketing and communication methods at their disposal to bring awareness to their goods and services.

Yes, Brands Can Boycott Facebook — and Still Work with Influencers

While you want to be safe, pausing your Influencer campaign altogether right now might not be the right move. Yes, even if you are boycotting Facebook, you can still work with Influencers. 

In fact, brands need to work with influencers in order to maintain a social and online presence and remain top of mind for consumers. This is especially critical now as mobile and social media consumption is up and online shopping is increasing, while budgets are up in the air and the election year crowds the marketplace.

The All But Inevitable Outcome of the Facebook Advertiser Boycott

The boycott may yet exert some meaningful pressure on Facebook to change its ways, but that outcome is unlikely. This is partly due to the dynamics of the advertising market itself but also to the global scale of Facebook’s business and the essential role end consumers must play in any boycott. It’s worth examining each of these factors in turn.

Hybrid Events: Preparing for a Digital Future

Hybrid events are becoming more popular due to the world’s current state, the rise of remote working, and because of their appeal to global audiences. But what is this new event format and how can you prepare for it?

We break down this new event form and outline what companies can do to create hybrid events.

Social Conversion Rates Climb During Covid-19

Covid-19 has changed the social media playbook, but brands who’ve been quick to adjust are seeing social conversion rates continuing to climb.

In an analysis of data pulled from more than 120 retail websites, the digital experience solutions company Episerver found that social conversion rates have increased steadily during Covid-19 shutdowns, from 1% in April 2019 to 1.2% in April 2020.

Covid-19: How Brands Can Adapt to a Shifting Landscape and Changing Consumer Behaviors

All generations, especially more technically adverse baby boomers and those older, have tried out delivery apps such as GrubHub or UberEats to get their favorite restaurant food delivered and grocery apps to have food and household items safely delivered. These newly formed habits may not be as intensive when we return to our “new normal,” but the depth and breadth of social media and digital usage will stay. Consumers aren’t going to uninstall Instacart after social distancing is lifted if they’re now accustomed to the convenience of ordering groceries online. That leap has been made, and while they may not use it every time they shop, consumers will continue to use it, when needed. 

With all these changes, it’s important for brands to shift their social media strategy to meet the demands of consumers and connect with them in the channels they now frequent more often. Here are some of the key shifts to keep in mind.

Advertising Rebound: CPMs Tell Us Now is the Time to Take the Ball and Run

While some countries are slowly easing their lockdown mandates, for many, uncertainty still remains for when business will return to “normal.” And a big question hovers: “When is the right time to take our foot off the break and apply the gas?” When you look at advertising costs as an indicator of economic recovery, it’s clear that now is the time, and social advertising is the vehicle. 

Navigating Social Media Marketing in a Global Crisis

What is the role of brands in facilitating this connection? A recent report shows that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people, and 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect with each other. Those numbers send a clear message to companies as they navigate a crisis that is so much bigger than their brands: create connection through relevance. 

But the question is how brands can achieve relevance right now. How can you create meaningful connections on social media during a global crisis? Here are a few tips.

Facebook’s Significant Edits: How to Minimize the Risk of a 20-40% Hit to Your ROAS

Don’t mess with the algorithm.

That’s the fundamental idea behind Facebook’s significant edits. There’s a lot more to it, of course, and we’ll get into all that, but here’s the primary reason why you don’t want to make a change that Facebook construes as a significant edit: It will move your campaigns into “the learning phase,” which in turn will suppress your campaigns’ ROAS by 20-40%. 

Posting and Advertising during Quarantine: 50 Small Business Social Tips for 50 Industries

While there may be a downturn in customer spending during the Covid-19 crisis, there is an increase in customer touch points and attention. With Facebook usage up 50%, it is more important than ever for small businesses to turn to social media to maintain relevance and build relationships in their local communities.

Here are 50 social tips for 50 industries, complete with some real-world examples of best-practices for SMBs to keep their communities engaged, even in a crisis.

No Time to Think Small: Innovate on SMB Reputation Management

A small business’ reputation is the company’s most valuable intangible asset. During this current climate, we are seeing successful brands adapting quickly to their customers’ change in lifestyle and priorities. They’re catering for their isolation with services that make their lives not only easier but also more entertaining. By remaining engaged and keeping conversations fluid, small businesses will be able to weather the storm as well as keep and attract new customers.

A trustworthy and actionable understanding of local communities is now more important than ever.

Here are a few ways small businesses can build and sustain a healthy reputation.

How Will Influencer Marketing Survive the Covid-19 Crisis?

It is against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic downturn that marketing tech makes its pitches to clients this year. On the one hand, it is fair to say cutting-edge marketing may be as important to businesses as ever. With storefronts closed across dozens of states to promote social distancing, businesses need ways to connect with customers, and they need novel, often tech-driven tactics, like curbside pickup, to sell their goods safely. E-commerce, including mobile and social commerce, are also well-positioned to thrive at a time when customers are often left with hardly any other option. On the other hand, with revenue dramatically down for most retailers and consumers averse to in-store spending, digital tools risk being cut from squeezed budgets.

To assess how the swift economic downturn caused by the coronavirus is affecting one of digital marketing’s hottest new sectors, influencer marketing, I connected with Daniel Schotland, COO of influencer marketing company Linqia.

Brands Struggle to Keep Up When Promotions Explode in Popularity

When the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich was released last summer, the effect on sales was almost immediate. Customers filled Popeyes locations and waited in long lines to get a taste of the buzzy new sandwich. A Twitter feud between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A caused those lines to grow even longer, and the viral frenzy ended up draining the supply of “little chickens” to the point where a nationwide shortage ensued.

For GSD&M, the agency that handles Popeyes’ social media, the rollout was initially seen as a huge success. From a logistical perspective, though, it quickly turned into a nightmare as Popeyes struggled to keep up with demand.

Local Advertising in the Time of Social Distancing

Many of us are facing a reality in which #QuarantineLife is the new normal — at least for the foreseeable future. Even with offices temporarily shutting their doors and the worldwide workforce moving to a remote-based culture, the tools provided by local social advertising can help businesses, perhaps especially those dealing with store closures, drive their goals forward.

Social Selling Helps Boost Sales

I define social selling as the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks. It focuses on nurturing leads, building brand authenticity and building trust with your prospects. 

Leading firms have taken advantage of social selling and have begun reaping the benefits it offers. Research has shown that 70% of sales professionals are active on LinkedIn for business purposes, 89% believe social networking platforms such as LinkedIn are important in closing deals, and 64% of sales reps who invest time in social media are hitting their sales quota.

Brands Can’t Tell Stories If They’ve Lost the Plot

In 2020, a marketer’s goal should not be to create more content. It shouldn’t even be to create better content. Most brands, after all, are already doing a good job of generating content that provides value, service, comfort, and utility to people’s lives. What’s missing is a fundamental alignment between content and other marketing disciplines. Content, from a metrics standpoint, needs to speak the same language as paid media so that marketers can demonstrate the impact it has to their CMOs.   

How Panera Uses AR to Heighten Cravings, Reaching Millions of Customers

Following up on the success of its #YouMix2 AR campaign, which debuted at SXSW last year, Panera recently launched a follow-up initiative. Working with M7 Innovations, a technology-focused consultancy that specializes in artificial intelligence and immersive realities, Panera designed an AR campaign that involved animated breakfast wraps. Consumers were encouraged to experience Panera’s breakfast wraps through AR technology and share the assets to Facebook and Snapchat.

Garnering Love, Not Likes: Advertising on Instagram

One of the most noteworthy benefits of today’s digital advertising landscape is the variety that comes with testing and choosing which social media platforms resonate most with your brand. If you have decided Instagram is the clear winner for social advertising, keep the many pros and cons of the mobile-friendly platform in mind. This column tackles Instagram’s demographics, measurement essentials, and global thinking.

Email Monetization’s Place in the Changing Horizons of Digital Advertising

We all know that digital advertising isn’t going anywhere. When brands pull back on spending on social and display advertising, they’re putting more resources into other channels. Over the past year, email monetization has gotten the bulk of this attention. 

Using AI to systematically select ads that appeal to a publisher’s recipients means brands aren’t wasting their budgets on readers who aren’t interested in their products, and publishers aren’t turning off their readers by running unappealing ads.