Why is Pokémon Go so Successful?

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As you have most likely heard, Pokémon Go has been officially launched in Canada.  The game has left many people questioning what it is exactly that makes the game so successful.

Since the U.S. launch of Pokémon Go, the game has been downloaded over 7 million times and is the fastest game to place #1 on both the iOS and Android charts.

To date, it has generated more than $1.5 million in revenue (in a 12 day span), has bumped Nintendo’s share price by 65%, and market value gains have increased by a whopping 7.5 billion in just 2 days.

Pokémon has been a staple in the Nintendo gaming world, starting in 1996 on the Nintendo Gameboy.  Pokémon draws in old and new gamers as it fulfils their childhood dreams of becoming a real Pokémon trainer.  Most aspiring Pokémon trainers began watching Pokémon on TV, and followed Ash Ketchum on his way to become a Pokémon Master.  Being able to finally partake in their childhood fantasies is a dream come true.  Nintendo has done a brilliant job of allowing users to interact with the game through, what some would argue, the best use of Augmented Reality to date.  With the announcement of the Nintendo NES Classic edition, nostalgia is at an all-time high.

The struggle to retain relevancy will become more important in the coming months.  The fact that a player must be significantly invested in the game to be successful may discourage users after some time.  Another factor in decreased game play could be poor weather conditions.  Despite these potential issues, the popularity of the game has been growing exponentially since its launch and it seems like nothing is going to slow it down.

As you have most likely heard, Pokémon Go has been officially launched in Canada.  The game has left many people questio...

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The YouTube Brand Partner Program

2000px-YouTube_Logo.svg_Recently YouTube announced that it will invite brands and advertisers into the YouTube Brand Partner Program. The program will provide advertisers with the same tools it provides the top YouTube content creators, helping them understand the many features of YouTube. This program, developed by the Google owned company, will also help agencies develop video content strategies.

The YouTube Brand Partner Program will provide “all the nuts and bolts that brands need to be global content creators at scale,” claims Torrence Boone, VP of global agency sales and services at Google.

This information comes with the release of new data boasting that the top 100 brands on YouTube generated 50% higher views this year, compared to last.  Data also shows that top brands are steadily increasing engagement by 10% every year.

Recently YouTube announced that it will invite brands and advertisers into the YouTube Brand Partner Program. The progra...

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What You Need to Know About Snapchat’s New Ad Format

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Snapchat has recently rolled out a new interactive ad format that allows marketers to integrate into the Snapchat user experience. The format allows Snapchatters to swipe up on an ad to see additional content or to direct users to another action such as an app installation. These new ads can blend so easily with the user experience because they are inserted at random between Snapchat Stories.

Marketers had to previously work directly with Snapchat to run a campaign on the social platform.  Snapchat has now integrated third-party platforms with their Ad API so that programs like 4C, SocialCode, Amobee, and more will be able to produce and implement campaigns.

For more information about the basics of Snapchat visit The Complete Guide to Snapchat.

Snapchat has recently rolled out a new interactive ad format that allows marketers to integrate into the Snapchat user e...

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Say Goodbye to Facebook’s 20% Text Rule

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On a daily basis hundreds of Facebook Ads get buried in the Ad Graveyard because they defy the 20% text rule.

The 20% text rule means that any images accompanying Facebook ads cannot be filled with text. This can be extremely inconvenient for advertisers trying to incorporate a short message and a logo into their client’s Facebook Ad images.

Facebook is no longer adhering strictly to the 20% text rule. But don’t celebrate just yet. While your ads will no longer be rejected for exceeding 20% text, they will be classified into four groups based on the amount of text in your image: OK, low, medium, and high. If you are in the “medium” group, your ad will be limited in reach, and if you are in the “high” group, your ad may not be shown at all.

While the 20% text rule no longer strictly applies, it is still advisable that if you want your ad to have the greatest reach possible, that you stay in the ‘ok’ or ‘low’ groups which means having 20% text or less imbedded in your photo ad.

For more information about these changes visit https://www.facebook.com/business/help/980593475366490

On a daily basis hundreds of Facebook Ads get buried in the Ad Graveyard because they defy the 20% text rule. The 20% te...

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Making the Most of your Instagram Account

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Working with small businesses, and as a small business ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to get insight from your Instagram posts without installing third party software. Well, that will quickly change with the new business dashboard that will be built right into the Instagram app.

With the business dashboard advertisers can compare their post’s impressions, reach, and engagement. Moreover, these brands can now create a business profile, allowing them to include a description of their business and contact information. The best part? This helpful development is FREE!

About 60% of Instagram users say they have been informed about a product or service via Instagram – so isn’t it time your business starts using it? The update is currently available only in select countries, but an introduction to the rest of the world is expected shortly, so stay tuned!

Working with small businesses, and as a small business ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to get insight from yo...

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6 Second YouTube Ads

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The biggest debate in YouTube advertising: allow viewers the option to skip your ad and hope they won’t, or don’t allow them to skip your ad and risk being irritating. There is finally a happy medium – 6 second (or less) “Bumper” ads that can’t be skipped, but are still well received by YouTube viewers.

Google has found that these “Bumper” ads drive reach and awareness, and can be especially effective when complementary to a TrueView ad campaign.  Zach Lupei, Video Ads Product Manager at Google, says that “Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where ‘snackable videos’ perform well.”

Audi and Atlantic Records have both used the new 6 second format.  You can see their ads here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlXSToaJzis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0llZBNx8pL4

The biggest debate in YouTube advertising: allow viewers the option to skip your ad and hope they won’t, or don’t allow...

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The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge

Mindfulness ChallengeWorkplace stress results in poor performance and can impact the health and wellbeing of employees.  At HOOPLAH, we are all about maximizing performance and ensuring our team is healthy and happy, so we embarked on a 30-day mindfulness journey to get energized, focused and stress-free!

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge is daily interactive training that helps you realize when you are losing focus.  The program revolves around deep breathing and becoming aware of your surroundings to make you feel more present – and it works in the office and at home!

Annie, one of our HOOPLAH team members, says the Mindfulness Challenge helps her “bring additional awareness to [her] breath which greatly assists in bringing attention to what [her] mind and body needs in that moment. Definitely a skill that everyone should practice.”

Predominantly, the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge allows us to maximize our productivity by helping us stay calm and focused in every moment.  To learn more about how the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge can help you, visit www.mindwellcanada.com

Workplace stress results in poor performance and can impact the health and wellbeing of employees.  At HOOPLAH, we are a...

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Social Media and Paid Advertising

As social media sites constantly improve algorithms to make the user experience more personable, marketers and advertisers must play “keep up”. Hooplah’s Lee Kaufman is here to share insight into why paid media goes hand in hand with advertising on social media. Years of experience has given Lee a great deal of knowledge about what works and what the future holds for social media marketing. Some of the clients she has worked for include Unilever, Rexall, and President’s Choice.

Organic Content

Organic content used to be able to reach most users, most of the time. Facebook algorithms and updates changed that. Ongoing surveys with Facebook users revealed that while they didn’t mind seeing ads, they were less interested in organic content from pages they had liked. Facebook found that organic content from users’ liked pages was sometimes too promotional, and didn’t feel like organic content anymore. Ads on the other hand were specifically tailored to them, and only appeared at specific intervals. Facebook listened to users preferences and pages started showing up less on news feeds making paid media the better way to reach customers and fans after these updates. The current climate of lower prices and specific targeting are key motivators for companies to promote and sponsor their content on social media; marketers are able to reach more people and make more measurable impressions online, than if they had created a print ad. 

Social Platforms

Lee suggests using a variety of social platforms to promote and advertise your content in order to reach the right audiences. Targeting is finely tuned; it’s easy to reach those who are already fans and customers as well as those who have behaviours similar to customers of your product or service. Peer to peer influence online also plays a significant part in selling and promoting content. When customers share your ads and posts, it gives your content further reach that then becomes organic.

Metrics

Being mindful of the course of your marketing and keeping an eye on your metrics is also one of Lee’s best kept secrets when working on corporate client accounts at Hooplah. By promoting variations of your content, you can choose to continue with the ads that resonate with your audience the most. This tactic is cost effective, and it can stretch your dollar further. The metrics offered for paid media can help you decide which ads are worth continuing and which ads should be temporarily frozen or stopped.

Targeting

Targeting also makes better use of your budget on social media channels. You can target your competitors’ followers, or the followers of specific Twitter accounts. With Twitter moving so rapidly, you can reach a majority of your audience in minutes. Lee’s favourite ad manager is Facebook’s PowerEditor, where fine-tuning your target includes choosing their page likes, interests and locations. With the addition of Instagram to PowerEditor, you can manage your ads quite easily from one location. How does Lee feel about Facebook ads? “Never use the right-column. Users have already blocked that out”. She’s right- users read in an F Pattern that does not look to the right side of the screen very often. Most ads here will go unnoticed.

Over the next few years as users of social platforms begin to start blocking out ads, Lee notes that there will be a need to change marketing strategies and move toward integrated and native marketing. She shows me a few promoted posts on Buzzfeed, where articles are created by businesses but appear like regular articlesWith multiple social media sites geared toward specific audiences and target markets, Lee knows that social is currently the best way to reach your audience before your competitors do.

*Feature Photo belongs to Exact Target. Check out their infographic here for more information.

 

As social media sites constantly improve algorithms to make the user experience more personable, marketers and advertise...

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What Do Youth Want?

A ride on a TTC subway train is usually a monotonous affair, but on one occasion it was a learning opportunity. Two teenage girls laughed about dialup Internet, and the thick sizes of old computers and cellphones. They talked about how having the iPhone 4 didn’t really mean you had an iPhone, and how Internet needed to be fast or they would quit whatever they were doing.

It got me thinking.

What do youth want? What do they expect from mobile? How are they interacting on social media? Luckily, we had our COOP student Veronica on the job. She let us know what students expect from mobile and social.

A 2013 study by Pew Internet revealed that 78% of teens had a cellphone. An overall 92% of teens reported that they go online daily. Pew Internet listed Facebook as the the most frequently used social media platform in March 2015, but Veronica begged to differ. She discovered that the app of choice for most of her peers was Snapchat. It was closely followed by Instagram, both of which are visual apps. Her research showed that Facebook and Twitter were falling behind on teen radars, and the same research is on Facebook’s radar too. They know that teens prefer visual content. This means that advertising on these channels won’t be as well received as something that they see on Instagram, especially because they are constantly being advertised to by many Instagram influencers and popular accounts.

While Facebook and Twitter are not as popular anymore, “they’re still worth having just in case” says Veronica. Social media induces higher “fear of missing out”, and it’s largely prevalent for youth. Being on all social media channels helped to mitigate this feeling.  Snapchat plays a large part of FOMO for teens as it shows what teens are doing in real-time, but was still their favourite social media channel. Veronica said that this was because Snapchat let users connect on personal levels when having a snap conversation. They were able to see emotions, and use less formal language. Snapchat is also just “cooler”.

Mobile Internet usage for teens was also demanding. When asked how long they wait for applications or pages to load on mobile, students’ answers varied. Some claimed that they would wait 1-5 minutes, while others would only wait for 1. The most impatient answer was 15 seconds. Research reveals that faster loading time leads to greater conversion success, which will only be more demanding as teens become important consumers on mobile.

The smartphone is playing a larger part in teen culture than ever before. Snapchatting is just as intuitive as texting. Computer games are being replaced by mobile apps. Social media is more important than being able to call your friends. These are children who have grown up along side mobile and Internet technology rather than having it introduced to them. Veronica found out that they all expect more. Longer battery life. Three way video calling. Better speakers and cameras for music and photos. Greater customization. Quality software. Faster data load times. Even indestructible material! As we study teenage trends, we can get a picture of where social media is moving, and when data usage is most important.

One of the last questions Veronica asked her peers was how they would feel if they didn’t have their phones for 72 hours. Some of them were reasonable, and decided using someone else’s phone when needed would be fine for a few days. Other’s felt that they would become anxious as time wore on. One of the funniest, and yet most poignant answers was “dead”. Really hits the nail on the head if you ask me!

 

 

A ride on a TTC subway train is usually a monotonous affair, but on one occasion it was a learning opportunity. Two teen...

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Microsoft Surface Book: Insights from a Marketing Perspective

On October 6th, Microsoft unveiled a stream of new tech. This included smartphones. It included upgraded wearable tech. Tablets where part of the picture. Of note, however, was the “Surface Book”- Microsoft’s first ever laptop.

The Microsoft Surface Book: docked, and undocked.

The Microsoft Surface Book: docked, and undocked.

The Surface Book is a direct challenge to the Macbook Pro. It has got a larger screen, at 13.5 inches diagonally. It weighs slightly less at 3.34 pounds. A direct comparison during the unveiling had Panos Panay claiming that the Surface Book is two times faster than the MacBook Pro. Then, just when you thought the demonstration was over, something “magical” happened. The laptop screen disconnected to become a tablet. Tech blogs can tell you about the software changes. We can tell you what it means from a marketing standpoint.

Consumers want more, but they also want less. They want faster computers, with less bulk. They want larger screens, but lower costs. By combining a laptop and tablet design, Microsoft capitalizes on consumers’ daily needs.

ComScore Daily Device PreferenceAccording to ComScore, tech mobile device usage varies throughout the day. Laptops and PCs dominate usage during working hours, while tablets are the most popular devices at night. The Surface Book combines the power and capability of a device one would use for work, or gaming, and the intuitive touch and ease of use of a tablet for social media and Netflix streaming. By disconnecting the screen, the Surface Book goes from a work tool, to a tablet for home relaxation. With a 12 hour battery, it can last through this easily. Microsoft takes on two markets by combining laptops with tablets. This eliminates the need for a Macbook Pro, and an iPad, and institutes the need for one Microsoft product. This is a trend other companies will need to follow to show more value in their product.

For the first time, Microsoft combines hardware and software in a laptop. This means that they are contending with Apple on the same plane. If one wanted a Windows computer before, one bought another brand with Windows software. This results in less stable hardware. Now, the entire experience is on Microsoft. If it runs well, people will rave. If not, there is no one to blame but themselves. This high end laptop is also a clever  way to cut out the middle man (hardware providers like Dell) when customers require a more hefty and able laptop- the specs speak for themselves. Since lower end and less expensive Windows devices will still be created by other brands, Microsoft will stay an important part of consumer lives in the lower end device spectrum. It also allows Microsoft to hook customers early on, setting them up on Microsoft systems, before they are ready for more capable devices.With all a user’s information already saved to the cloud, transitioning away from a Microsoft system then becomes an exhausting process, and users are less likely to go through it unless completely unsatisfied. When they will need a more hefty device (think high-schooler transitioning to university student), Microsoft products like the Surface Book will be there.

If the fact that the Surface Book is unavailable and sold out online is any inclination of the way things are going for Microsoft, we could surmise that the laptop/tablet hybrid is the next big deal. For a company relying on the product to help reinvent itself, we’re sure Microsoft is hoping that it will be. Until then, check out the unveiling yourself:

 

 

 

On October 6th, Microsoft unveiled a stream of new tech. This included smartphones. It included upgraded wearable tech....

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