Facebook’s New Video Advertising Is Coming

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If you’ve been following the tech blogs over the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard about the large leaps Facebook is undertaking to dominate the video hosting/streaming landscape. Well, with the announcement they will be opening up their muted, auto-play video format to advertisers on a grand scale, not using their platform for video may no longer be an option. For many brands, who are already seeing huge increases in their conversion rates with the use of video advertising elsewhere, Facebook’s new “suggested video” feature will seem like an obvious next step; however, it does have logistical issues that need to be considered. Much like Instagram, companies and agencies will likely want to adapt campaigns to include Facebook specific versions, to address the platform’s intricacies.

Beyond general size/length, many of the considerations you’ll need to make when planning and executing a video ad for Facebook should probably be the same ones you make for all of your video campaigns. Here are a few things to think about during your planning stage.

It’s important to remember that the videos on Facebook, and some other social platforms (like Instagram and Vine), are muted by default. This means that unless a user chooses to turn on the sound, you’ll be telling a silent story. Hence, you’ll want your video to have the ability to convey the messaging and call to action visually. This way, regardless of the user’s choice to hear your video, dependant on a number of factors, they’ll get the gist of what you’re saying – and if interested, react appropriately.

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Although users statistically spend around 1-2 hours a day on social networks, they do so in chunks, over the entire day. You’ll want to keep this in mind when choosing an appropriate video length. Most research suggests that anything more than 30 seconds begins to lose attention. Most networks actually cap your videos at 15 seconds. If you have multiple messages/services/products, or want to really make a strong impact, you’ll want to consider creating a series of ads – à la Old Spice. Production value should also be considered, as videos with crisper, smoother, more emotionally provoking production and sound generally get more engagement.

Facebook “suggested video” advertising, much like their messenger for business platform, is still in its testing phase, and likely won’t see a full (worldwide) rollout for a little while, but it’s not too early to start integrating elements of its specifications into your campaigns, as they will very soon be the new standard for the way we consume video adertising online.

People Don’t Buy Products – They Buy Ideas

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People don’t buy products. Sure, they go into the store, talk to someone who works there, choose the colour/model, and they make a purchase; however, there is more to it than that. People buy ideas, and a community. There are a few excellent examples of this. The most obvious is Apple. The product itself – generally – tends to take a backseat to the overall vision of the company, and the feeling that owning a piece of that vision gives you. Fitbit is similar, in that owning one makes you part of a community focused on like-minded lifestyle and fitness aspirations.

It seems like a given that all products would be marketed this way – except that it isn’t. It’s not something that is practiced across the board. Understandably, it isn’t easy to create a brand that “transcends” the products they sell. Few consumers purchase a Dell computer because they want to be part of a larger movement they represent.

So how does this concept translate to the real estate world? Well, purchasing a home is more than just buying a physical structure. It’s about buying a place to raise your family. A place to make new friends, experience monumental life events and live your day-to-day life. Elements such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors are great things to offer, but they should always take a backseat to the macro concept of what homebuyers are really buying.

As marketers, we’re responsible for helping to sell dreams. We’re selling the promise of a better life – something that we all want for ourselves, and our families. When it comes to real estate, we’re directly responsible for helping to connect the people with builders, by focusing on the things that – at the end of the day – matter the most. That’s something to be proud of.

Personalization: The Key To Increasing Email Engagement

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Over the past decade, we’ve seen an enormous growth in the overall usage of e-communication for, well, pretty much every industry possible. In fact, popular eblast management tool Mailchimp reports that they have over 8 million clients who collectively send billions of eblasts monthly – and they are just one of the many services out there. The question is – are your eblasts working for you? Here’s a great starting point: Mailchimp reports a benchmark for real estate of 22.11% as an open rate, and 2.22% as a click through rate. If you’re not achieving results as good as this, you’re likely off the mark and will want to rethink your strategy; however, if these numbers seem to be in your ballpark, you may be wondering how you can take your campaign to the next level. The answer may simply be to get more personal with your audience.

Personalization is more than just using a tag to add a name to an email, it’s about building a relationship with your audience, and delivering customized content that generates engagement, clicks and – best of all – more qualified leads. There are a few ways you can do this. One is to understand the current status of your recipient. Are they a new recipient? Are they a long time registrant? Using a great database management system will help you to properly organize your registrants and build customized content around that. Another option is to track their experience on your website, and then use that data to help build personalized profiles. Having registrants fill out a survey during their initial sign-up can also allow you to further segment your emails. Ideally, based on the information you collect, you’ll send emails that contain content and messaging that speaks to their interests, which is more likely to keep them engaged than a standard email that you send to your whole list.

While it can be a bit more work to develop the variations of your campaign’s messaging and content for different groups, it definitely pays off. A recent personalized campaign we ran, which had only 4 different personalized groups, had an open rate of over 70%. The proof is in the pudding, personalization reigns supreme.

Metrics: Understanding The Habits Of Your Consumers

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There aren’t many things that you would generally do without any research or insight. Can you imagine buying a car, building an addition to your home or doing an archaeological dig without doing ample planning and/or necessary surveying? Well, when it comes to marketing online, the mindset should be absolutely no different. How can you accurately strategize or make decisions around your online marketing – whether it be your website or social campaign – without understanding your audience and how they interact with your brand/product? For this reason, metrics are essential to not only gather, but also analyze.

Sounds like common sense, right? Not quite. In fact, a report by Grovo suggests that 90% of all (annual) digital advertising dollars across the board are spent without knowing whether or not they were effective. That sounds like a red flag if I’ve ever heard one!

Metrics, if planned into your overall strategy, can do a few things: tell you where, when and how your audience is interacting with your site/brand, and highlight where you’re losing them. It’s important to understand the habits, hotspots, pitfalls and potential dead zones. It will help to further shape, modify and optimize your messaging and content to better satisfy your audience, their needs and their concerns. This is true of not only your website, but your social networks. Listening to feedback, measuring engagement with your content, and understanding demographics and consumption patterns will help you to properly use the networks for optimal results.

What is the result of data analysis? More engagement, more leads and fewer complaints/questions. To top it off, you’re guaranteed to save advertising dollars. Being able to understand your audience and their lifestyles will help you to deliver more relevant marketing, which will inevitably give better bottom line results – it’s a no brainer. This type of information is readily available, and gathering it in-house, or by 3rd party, should be a priority when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your digital efforts.

BAM at the Brookfield Residential Charity Golf Classic

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This week, BAM was proudly supporting our client Brookfield Residential at their Charity Golf Classic tournament that took place at the Deer Creek Golf course in Ajax. The tournament, which had roughly two hundred golfers, raised $24,000 for 3 wonderful charities: Habitat for Humanity, WindReach Farm and Precious Minds Support Services.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that advocates access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. Precious Minds provides support to families with children and youth who have barriers to learning. This includes the full spectrum of learning, physical, developmental and behavioural disabilities. Lastly, WindReach Farm provides an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for people of all ages and disabilities by providing opportunities to enjoy experiences in a farm and natural environment.

BAM ran a blindfolded putting competition, and with the support of many of the tournament’s golfers, we matched $275, for a total donation of $550 towards the three charities. Thank you to everyone who gave our challenge a shot!

You can see our full photo album here.

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