Digital Marketing newst Spot

Weekly Roundup #63 – Instagram Essentials, Google Bias & VR

Last week’s roundup can be seen here for the squares who didn’t make it to the party



We explain the core reasons that Instagram is necessary as part of your social media campaigns, and no, we won’t be blabbing about the same old stats. 
We second Nate Dame’s think piece on how Google’s SEO advice should be taken with a pinch of salt…seriously. 
Kristina Knight explains why unsubscribers are actually a good thing, courtesy of some expert insight from Emma.
Is virtual reality actually useful to marketers right now? We provide coverage on one of the UK’s leading expert opinions – Dr Wendy Powell. 
We share the 3 ways you can prolong the customer lifetime value. Always useful to know.


Let’s get started!


Why Your Business Just Needs Instagram: Infographic


If your social media marketing strategy doesn’t include Instagram you’re probably crazy. We’re not going to throw around the same old jargon of “600+ million monthly active users” blah blah blah, because quite frankly the same old fluff just isn’t enough for you to invest time in a platform you may know nothing about. If you have been living under a rock though, we’re going to list off the stats that should really matter to you, quick and simple reasons you need Instagram. Taken from an infographic by Gramlike:

Instagram is growing five times faster than any other social network in the US with the average account growing by 16% per month. Half of the major brands in the world are using Instagram currently but by next year this is expected to rise to 71%. The top brand’s engagement per post grows at a rate of 53% per year. Instagram’s engagement is higher than the other top three. It’s ten times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and a massive 84 times higher than Twitter.

There’s some trends that increase engagement. For example, 60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter. Post with multiple hashtags perform better than average, posts with location tags perform 79% higher than those without. The top brands post an average of 4.9x a week but we won’t bother spouting ‘the best times to post’ because this is subjective to your own following. Oh, and images with faces get 38% more likes statistically.

Let’s get a little more human about it before we move on: Instagram’s visual content does so well because 90% of information sent to the brain is visual, 93% of all human communication is visual, 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text and obviously: the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text.



Why Unsubscribers Are a Good Thing

Writer Kristina Knight at BizReport had an exclusive interview with Colby Cavanaugh, SVP of Marketing at Emma, which was not only informative, but surprising in a way. Kristina begins the interview by asking Colby what trends he’s seeing right now in email marketing:


“The days of marketers sending “batch-and-blast” emails are officially over. They’ve been on their last legs for a while, but now companies in all industries and of all sizes are abandoning them for good. It makes sense. Consumers expect brands, big and small, to know what they like and to deliver content that reflects their interests. Plus, inboxes are already way too crowded, so delivering relevant, personalised email is a must if you want to hit your goals.”


“We’re seeing brands turn more heavily to data,” she asks, “How can data better be used for email targeting?” To which Colby responds “Every email is an opportunity to learn more about your audience. Did they open it? What link did they click? Did they ultimately convert? Then, you can use that data to power more relevant campaigns – often without ever actually hitting “send.” For example, branching logic allows you to automate different campaigns based on whether or not subscribers opened an email or clicked a particular link. So, if they clicked on something in your email, you can automatically trigger a follow-up containing similar topics, products or services. If they didn’t click, you can trigger an email with different content to see if that ignites their interest.”

And finally our favourite question: “How can the information associated with unsubscribes be used to build a better list?”


Colby says, “despite what many marketers would like to believe, not every person wants or needs what your brand has to offer. There’s also a chance that due to some sort of misunderstanding during the signup process, you gained a few subscribers who weren’t the right fit. Then, somewhere down the road, they realised you guys weren’t a match made in heaven… and that’s ok! It’s much more worthwhile for you to spend time nurturing qualified prospects than to waste effort on folks who were never going to convert in the first place (and potentially damage your sender reputation in the process).”


Thanks to Kristina and Colby for their valuable insight into the strange grey area of unsubscribers.



How Useful is VR to Marketers Right Now?


eMarketer had a conversation with Dr. Wendy Powell, senior member of the IEEE and a reader in virtual reality at the University of Portsmouth – she’s one of the UK’s leading experts in VR. She was asked some pretty interesting questions by Karin von Abrams and we want to focus in on whether or not virtual reality is really useful to marketers right now.

When asked if the UK is an advanced VR market, Dr. Powell responded that, “about 20% of the world’s AR and VR companies are based in the UK. There’s certainly a lot of innovation here, and a number of big players.” She mentions the firm nDreams for example that use VR in new ways and have created CR titles for Playstation among other manufacturers. “On the marketing side, we have companies such as Virtual Umbrella—VR marketing specialists who are making themselves known across the industry. But we’re really just beginning to realise the full potential of VR, even in the UK.”

Although VR still seems novel, it’s understandable to presume this will change if consumers increasingly see virtual reality in a number of areas? “At the moment, only about 10% to 20% of people in the UK have actually experienced VR. But in advertising and marketing, it’s likely to become normal within a few years. Most people will take it for granted.” Powell comments. But what about the cost of implementing or devising VR, is this an obstacle for us? Wendy replies aptly “The key is for marketers to understand how VR can actually supplement their brand. It needs to be more than just a gimmick.”

eMarketer asked Powell if there were any particular applications of virtual reality in marketing that really impressed her, and this is her response: there are some good examples. Jaguar Land Rover is using VR in their showrooms, to allow consumers to customise a car according to their preferences, and then experience that version in a very immediate way. The Amazon app, too, is a great example.”

What is the most important things marketers have to be aware of with respect to VR according to Dr. Powell? “We’re on a learning curve. We should definitely make the most of our opportunities with VR, but also remain aware of potential negatives.” She continues, “we need to understand more about how people experience and respond to VR. We know VR can affect how we feel about ourselves, about other people, about the planet or about a product. But we know very little about how advertisers and marketers might influence people through VR in effective and appropriate ways.”

It looks like VR has a long way to go, but we can only stick around to find out.


3 Ways eCommerce Businesses Can Increase Customer Lifetime Value


As soon as a visitor gets to your website, this is the birth of a relationship that has to be nurtured. Your website has to be structured in a way that not only encourages purchases, but repeat customers. They aren’t a hit and run thing – gaining customer loyalty is key to increased customer lifetime value. Internal research from SumAll revealed that “25% to 40% of the total revenues of the most stable businesses in the SumAll network come from returning customers. Even better, steady customers help businesses weather lean economic times; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10% repeat customers.” So here are three ways you can look to increase your customer lifetime value:

Customer Service

You should always create your own detailed product descriptions. The customer already knows that you want to sell it, but they want to know exactly what you personally know and think about the product. If you don’t have the exact thing that they want, then be quick to make relevant recommendations. To make thoughtful recommendations shows you’re not just after their dollars, but you do want to please them either way. Do research for them and point them to the products that compliment their original orders. Obviously as you’d expect it’s imperative that you keep all lines of communications as open as they possibly can be. The top brands use dedicated Twitter feeds for customer service alone and you can’t afford to just rely on reviews and comments on your store. Explore social media, respond to questions and complaints in a timely manner.

Reward Loyalty

The typical ‘loyalty card’ type of gimmick comes to mind but we all know we’re past the simplicity of a loyalty card. People like to be appreciated and to connect with your consumer on an emotional level is a sure fire way to gain their loyalty. When others see how you reward loyalty, they’ll want to do business with you too. You could also feature loyal customers on your social media platforms – this works in two ways – one, you get to make them feel special and two it encourages user generated content which contributes to social status and reliability.


We’ve spoken about content marketing so many times now so it may same useless for us to mention it again. But if you’re not a seasoned weekly roundup reader like the rest of us, then we’ll mention it for you newbies. It is impossible to communicate your brand ideas without effective content creation. You need to be strategic in the content that you choose to distribute – it has to be consistent to retain your audience, and it has to relevant and valuable to attract new users. When a customer realises you’re not just spouting a sales pitch and you’re providing them with informative and relevant content, they’re likely to be return visitors, which presents the opportunity to shuffle them down the funnel and keep them around longer. Expose them to new items, new opportunities. Inform them.

Do you have any tips that can prolong the customer lifetime value? Tweet us your suggestions or articles @spotstudiouk


Want to subscribe? Enter your details below.


Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.