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#Romanovs100 – Digital Storytelling At Its Best

This article explores one of the best examples of digital storytelling I’ve seen lately – #Romanovs100.

Whether in spoken or written words, people tell stories to share knowledge, inspiration and to feel connected to the other members of their community.

We’re now in the digital age.

How has storytelling changed?

How do brands make use of the available digital tools to tell stories?

Here is the best example of digital storytelling – #Romanovs100.

#romanovs100

source: #Romanovs100.com

Nicholas Romanov holds a special place in the history of the Russian Empire. He was the last Tsar and had a tragic and violent death at the hands of the Bolsheviks who executed him, his wife and his five children on July 17, 1918.

To pay tribute to the Romanovs, the Russian TV channel RT created and produced #Romanovs100.

#Romanovs100 is an educational project designed to bring to light a part of Russian history which has been erased from the history books by the Soviet rule.

The inspiration for this project came from the Romanovs themselves – they were pioneers of photography. In the early 20th century they owned the world’s first portable Kodak cameras and captured almost every meaningful event in their lives.

Romanov_family

The Romanov family / #romanovs100.com

Fortunately, the Romanov archive has been preserved. The team unearthed over 4000 photographs which detailed the family’s private life.

Let’s see how #Romanovs100 came to life!

Campaign Goal:

Tell the story of the Romanovs, the Russian Empire’s last royal family with the purpose to educate the audience on decades of unknown history.

Campaign Tools:

+4000 turn of the Century black and white photographs taken by the Romanov family members.

Campaign Strategy:

Combine the visual language of photography with the digital reality of social media.

Campaign Mediums:

  • Website: https://romanovs100.com/
  • 4 social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube with each account showcasing its own narrative, format and content.

10 Creative Directions:

1. Facebook

180° retro images in spherical view, 3D immersive experience.

2. Instagram

Two accounts, one of the royal dog, Joy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Winter with the family in Tsarskoye Selo, 1915. Nicholas II made occasional visits home but spent more and more time the in the Army’s HQ.⁣ ⁣ ⁣Support #Romanovs100 in @thewebbyawards and vote by clicking on our link in BIO⁣⁣

A post shared by #romanovs100 (@romanovs100) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

My favorite hooman, my best friend and partner in crime, the boy who had to grow up fast learning what mattered in life the hard way. When one comes face to face with death at such a tender age, there’s no way back: Alexei Romanov, thank you for teaching me how important love, friendship and family is. #hooman #myhooman #dogsofinstagram #spanielsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram

A post shared by Joy the Russian Spaniel (@spaniel_joy_romanov) on

3. YouTube

42 short documentary-style videos

4. Twitter

Five accounts featuring “real-time” blogs by Tsar Nicholas II himself, his wife Alexandra, their family doctor and their four daughters collectively referred to as OTMA (Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia).

5. AR photo album

A limited print edition of the project using AR technology to create an interactive history book.

Romanovs100: AR family photo album (Extended version) from #1917LIVE on Vimeo.

6. Video teasers

Using 8mm & 16mm retro cameras and authentic stage props, the team reconstructed several of the Romanovs’ original photographs, setting the still images in motion.

#Romanovs100: The Snow Tower (TRAILER #1) from #1917LIVE on Vimeo.

7. Ambrotype posters

Photo teasers using 160-year-old ambrotype photography technique.

How it’s done:

#Romanovs100: 19th century photo technique in action from #1917LIVE on Vimeo.

The ambro-photograph:

romanovs100

source: #Romanovs100.com

 

8. Original soundtrack to illustrate the project in YouTube and Facebook videos, teasers and trailers.

9. VR animation

A music video combining photos & VR Animation.

10. Colourization contest

Fans and followers were invited to enter the world’s first-ever digital colourization.

History in color: Romanovs100 digital colorization contest case study from #1917LIVE on Vimeo.

Campaign Results:

  • 25 million impressions;
  • 55,000 fans and followers;
  • +1 million post engagements;
  • +1 million video views;
  • 500,000 minutes watched;
  • #Romanovs100 on Twitter grew 2000%.

Global media coverage:

Sky News, BBC Newshour, History Extra, The Sunday Telegraph, Quartz, Daily Mail, Tatler, Culture Trip.

Awards:

  • Best Images at the 2019 Shorty Awards;
  • Silver at the 2018 Clio Entertainment Awards;
  • Nominee at Social-Best Photography & Graphics at the 2019 Webby Awards;
  • Merit at the 2019 ADC Awards;
  • Most Innovative Use of Social at 2019 The Drum Social Buzz Awards;
  • Best Original Content Series at the 2019 Digiday Media Awards Europe.

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We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Get in touch with us on Facebook Group and Twitter.

A.I. Is Writing News Stories

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This article is about three A.I.s writing stories for prominent publishers.

Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules. There are two entities involved: the transmitter of the message and the recipient.

The rise of A.I. has changed how people communicate with each other. Google Duplex assists humans with scheduling certain types of appointments. The virtual assistant carries out conversations in a human-like voice essentially replacing the human transmitter of the message.

Does this mean we need to redefine the theory of communication to include a third entity of non-biological descent?

If the A.I. involvement with the spoken word is more easily accepted due to its fleeting nature, what about the written word?

Let’s see 3 A.I.s currently assisting prominent publishers:

2. Heliograf – The Washington Post

Heliograf

image source: blog.drhack.net

In 2017, the Amazon-acquired Washington Post began using A.I. to write articles. The writing A.I. is called Heliograf and began its writing career by creating pieces on the Rio Olympics, local sports and the election.

Within a year since the publisher started using Heliograf, the A.I. technology has produced 850 articles.

The purpose of Heliograf is to enable journalists to do more high-value, in-depth work, not to take their jobs.

Technology like Heliograf can be transformative for a newsroom, greatly expanding the breadth of coverage and allowing journalists to focus more on in-depth reporting.

Scot Gillespie, Chief Technology Officer at The Post

2. Bertie – Forbes

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image source: foliomag.com

Bertie is Forbes’ supporting A.I.

The publisher has been using the artificial intelligence technology, named after brand founder B.C. Forbes, beginning with the summer of 2018.

The tool works as follows:

  • It recommends article topics for contributors based on their previous output;
  • It suggests headlines based on the sentiment of their pieces;
  • It recommends appropriate images to illustrate and improve contributors’ articles.

Forbes’ contributors write and produce nearly 300 pieces of content a day and Bertie was designed to help them with thought-starters, getting their creative juices flowing. The A.I. is not writing the articles itself. But this is not so far in the future.

Aside from Bertie, Forbes is contemplating enrolling another A.I. tool, this time a story-writing tool. The publisher has not revealed further information on this particular A.I.-powered tool besides the fact that testing is underway.

Forbes is using Bertie to “make publishing more efficient for Forbes staff and to make it as easy as possible for visitors to consume multimedia content on Forbes’ sites” according to Forbes Media’s new chief digital officer, Salah Zalatimo.

3. Lynx – Reuters’ Insights Tool

reuters

image source: Reuters@facebook.com

Reuters started rolling out Lynx, its new editor system in late 2011. Back then, Lynx was designed to help journalists write, edit and file copy. The Lynx system was also designed to take over the management of stories load which can amount to 10.000 stories filed over weekends.

In 2018 Lynx was upgraded from editing and filing to gathering insights. Lynx Insights is “a new in-house automation tool designed to augment reporting by surfacing trends, facts, and anomalies in data, which reporters can then use to accelerate the production of their existing stories or spot new ones.” (source: niemanlab.org)

Speed is an important issue in news reporting, so Lynx Insights was developed with the ability to comb through massive sets of data within a short timeframe. Lynx brings to light unexpected connections and unearths hidden insights. It’s a collaboration-based work: the A.I. tool gives the reporters results on specific queries and the reporters add their conclusions based on judgement and context.

Automated journalism will likely replace journalists who merely cover routine topics. (…) In the future, human and automated journalism will likely become closely integrated and form a ‘man–machine marriage.’

Andreas Graefe, author of Guide to Automated Journalism via niemanlab.org

Conclusions

Whether is reporting news of minor importance, uncovering valuable and unexpected insights or helping contributors produce content more efficiently, automated journalism is here to stay.

What’s next? What about A.I. writing books? Books are the vessels of our collective knowledge. Writing a book is a personal endeavour and a great achievement.

Could A.I. write books? Would you read them?

Maybe writing books is too distant in the future but writing news articles is already taking place today.

Join the Conversation

We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Get in touch with us on Facebook Group and Twitter.

BRAND MINDS’ Guide to Successful Digital Marketing in 2019

Do you want your digital marketing to be successful in 2019?

Use BRAND MINDS‘ Guide to Successful Digital Marketing!

The world of marketing, especially digital marketing, is fast paced and ever changing. Blink and you might just miss the next big trend.

Implement the following 8 tips for digital marketing success in 2019:

1. Use Digital as a Key Component to TTL Campaigns

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The important thing to remember with marketing today is that it’s no longer just about marketing digitally. Digital marketing has transitioned to marketing in a digital world, which creates more scope for campaigns.

I believe that digital marketing should be used as part of TTL marketing campaigns, so that your message gets attention from both ATL and BTL audiences. Online or offline, all areas should be explored when it comes to positioning your brand and aligning it with your audience. This will help you to maximise your reach and generate more leads and conversions.

It’s important to remember that by advertising across a variety of different platforms, you are expanding your audience. Some people believe that to be a good marketer, you should focus on one platform and do that right, but I believe that by advertising in as many places as possible, you gain increased visibility and generate stronger branding.

PR and Digital Marketing are also becoming ever more intertwined, with brands gaining exposure and building links across a variety of platforms. Co-marketing and influencer marketing are also great ways to increase reach and awareness.

[bctt tweet=”Use Digital as a Key Component to TTL Campaigns” username=”brand_minds”]

2. Personalisation

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Clever personalisation is the key for effective marketing in 2019.

Gone are the days when a blanket email campaign would suffice. It is vital to segment your audience into relevant sub categories and to target the relevant cross sections with the most relevant offers and information.

Generating personal recommendations on your page is also a great way to get more sales. Link sell by showcasing popular items purchased by others after searching on the page that your user is on. If consumer behaviour is anything to go by, you should definitely see an increase in your conversions. This tailored user journey is also easy to navigate and enjoyable for your customer.

[bctt tweet=”Clever personalisation is the key for effective marketing in 2019″ username=”brand_minds”]

3. Chatbots

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Chatbots and AI have become essential tools for online customer service. Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively.

Over the next five years, the use of bot messengers will be ramping up and chatbots will perform 80% of all communication with customers. Chatbots can be connected to websites, apps and social media platforms to answer customer enquiries and to gather important user information that can be used to create better marketing strategies.

Learn more: How To Use Chatbots To Increase Sales

Grand View Research did a study in to the global chatbot market and discovered that the market had a 24% annual growth rate which amounted to $1.2 billion last year alone. 45% of end users also prefer using them as a primary mode of communication in customer service too apparently.

[bctt tweet=”Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively” username=”brand_minds”]

4. Voice Search

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Voice interfaces are becoming an ever more common feature in modern homes and people are using voice searches and features to search quickly and to share information via soundbytes.

According to Google nearly one third of the 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day are voice searches. Personal assistant devices are used for the majority of these searches.

Like any form of SEO, voice search gives precedence to high ranking sites. Being an authority in your industry, responsive search functions and active social channels will help to boost your ranking. According to studies content with high levels of social engagement performs well on voice search, with content with over 1199 shares on Facebook and 44 on Twitter featuring more predominantly in search.

Other factors to consider are the use of https instead of http and remember to pay attention to your snippets. You’re increasing your chance of being discovered in voice search if your snippet becomes a featured one.

Take care to tailor your description of what your page is about for good ranking. Backlinko state that 40.7% of voice searches come from featured snippets which is staggeringly high. Be sure to use this to your advantage.

[bctt tweet=”Optimise your website for voice search” username=”brand_minds”]

5. Social Stories

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With popular culture reigning supreme, Stories have quickly become the marketing choice for savvy marketers.

Since the launch of Snapchat back in 2011, social media users everywhere have been getting to grips with advanced technologies such as filters, augmented reality, boomerangs and superzoom to allow them to get creative and to generate captivating and engaging stories for their followers.

Learn more: 3 E-Commerce Brands Using Instagram Stories Effectively

Instagram Stores and Facebook Live became pivotal tools for story-telling in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019.
According to Instagram, one in every five organic stories prompts at least one customer message. This is probably because these ads appear native in their format and are less interruptive than other social media ads. Either way the potential is huge.

[bctt tweet=”Be smart in 2019 and use Stories to your advantage.” username=”brand_minds”]

6. Video

video-min

Video will continue to grow in 2019.

Live video is being used more and more to showcase and raise awareness for important brand moments. Videos have 135% times more organic reach than your typical Facebook post with 1200% more engagement than image and text posts (Forbes).

Learn more: How To Increase Conversions With Video Marketing

The stats below show the importance of video for brand:

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video (via Wyzowl);
  • 72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate (via Wyzowl);
  • 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video (via Forbes);
  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions (via Invodo).

The important thing to remember is that several companies have created 360 videos in the past year – especially for showcasing things like weddings and interiors. This trend will continue to grow in 2019.

The full capacity of 360 video has yet to be uncovered. This is just the tip of the iceberg and what’s to come will be even more exciting.

[bctt tweet=”Use 360 videos to showcase your products” username=”brand_minds”]

7. Micro Moments

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Google’s research teams have uncovered a new type of consumer behaviour called the micro moment. These moments seemingly occur when people reflexively turn to a device to either learn something, do something, get to know something or buy something.

Google have coined these moments the:

  • I-want-to-know
  • I-want-to-do
  • I-want-to-go
  • I-want-to-buy

Users experience these moments 150 times a day according to Think with Google. The trick with this is to target consumers with exactly what they want at that right moment to increase conversion rates.

[bctt tweet=”Leverage the Micro-moments to increase conversion rates” username=”brand_minds”]

8. AR/VR

vr-ar-min

Both augmented reality – which layers virtual components on a real life backdrop, and virtual reality – which creates an entirely virtual world that can be accessed via a headset, will become a bigger part of experiential marketing in 2019.

These tools aid in the decision making process for products that need to be visualised before purchase. The AR/VR experience is incredibly beneficial for interior design, weddings, clothing and beauty products to name but a few.

Learn more: 3 Snapchat Campaigns Powered by Augmented Reality

Clothing giants Gucci and Zara have both used AR in their marketing campaigns over the past year. Gucci launched the ‘Gucci Hallucination’ in 52 of its stores, while Zara introduced AR screens that showcase their lookbook in 120 stores. These screens have sensors that interact with mobile devices to facilitate easy shopping in one simple click, bringing a truly futuristic element to their marketing and marking a significant increase in conversions.

[bctt tweet=”Use AR/VR to shorten your customers’ decision making process” username=”brand_minds”]

Key Takeaways

  • Marketing today is no longer just about marketing digitally;
  • Use digital marketing as part of your TTL marketing campaigns;
  • Clever personalisation is key for effective marketing in 2019;
  • Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively;
  • Optimise your website for voice search;
  • Pay attention to your snippets: 40.7% of voice searches come from featured snippets;
  • Use Social Stories to your advantage;
  • Use 360 videos to showcase your products;
  • Leverage the Micro-moments;
  • Use AR/VR to shorten your customers’ decision making process.

Join the Conversation

Now that you’ve read our BRAND MINDS’ Guide to Digital Marketing in 2019, we’d love to hear what you have to say. What will you be implementing in your marketing plan for the coming year?

Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear your views!

How to use AI to Create Powerful Stories for your Brand – 5 Recommendations

How-to-use-AI-to-Create-Powerful-Stories-Brand-Recommendations-brand-minds-min

Creating powerful stories is about going beyond your brand or your product; it’s about your audience.

Yes, you have your audience profile persona in place, but people are much more than mere demographics – how old they are, where are they working, if they are married or not, if they are parents or living with their cat.

Today’s challenge for marketers and other professional communicators is creating powerful stories for your brand that your audience connects with on a deep emotional level.

Martin Adams is CEO and co-founder of Codec, a company which specialises in Artificial Intelligence Marketing. Martin has a 15-year experience in technology, media and blockchain.

Learn more about Codec here: This tool helps you create content your audience will love.

This article presents his recommendations on how to use AI to create stories.

How to use AI to Create Powerful Stories for your Brand

First of all why do marketers need the help of AI?

Here are 8 reasons marketers need the support of AI according to Martin Adams, CEO of Codec:

  1. Because audiences are fractured and fragmented;
  2. Audiences are spending time on different locations and different mediums;
  3. The social platforms are constantly crafting new creative formats;
  4. Content clutter is reality which means getting through to your audiences, even if the story is great, is harder and harder: on the internet, in just one minute, there are 3.7 Million search queries on Google, 18 Million text messages, 973.000 Facebook logins etc and the numbers are rising since 2017;
  5. Increased expectations from your audience – according to the Millennial Research Study published by McCarthy Group on January 2018, 78% Millennials expect to be entertained by marketing content they consume;
  6. The traditional advertising content – rather than the storytelling approach – is no longer enough or efficient, it no longer brings the expected results;
  7. The UGC content is more relevant to your audience than brand focused content;
  8. The audience fights back interrupting advertising with adblock tools.

 

what-happens-in-a-minute-on-the-internet-min

source: visualcapitalist.com

So far marketers and brand managers have used technology to manage, distribute and measure content created by their teams. Technology did not support communication professionals at the insights or creating stage of their marketing campaigns.

Unfortunately, statistics have shown that campaign effectiveness is decreasing starting with 2012 according to ipa.co.uk.

Brands have seen that sales activation activities have brought short-term sales uplift while brand-building activities have been directly linked to long-term sales growth.

Marketers need to make their brands relevant in their culture again. AI can play a role here.

Martin Adams, CEO of Codec.ai

Brands need to be relevant for audiences without interruptions.

How are they going to do that?

  • Create engaging customer experiences to be noticed;
  • These customer experiences need to be interesting;
  • Content marketing is the appropriate tool to achieve this goal.

How can you use AI to create powerful stories that generate better leads and customer experiences?

Here are 5 recommendations.

Today AI can support and assist marketers and communication professionals at the first step before creating content – insights.

1. Use AI to identify the right audiences

Martin Adams recommends marketers to identify tribes, not demographics because tribes are networked groups of individuals who share the same interests and passions.

Why market to tribes, not demographics?

They are identifiable, stable, united by shared rules of behaviour and preferences.

2. Use AI to build empathy with the right audience from the beginning

With the help of AI understand what the tribe wants to consume beyond your brand or product: topics of discussion, deep passions, what their audience cares about.

Then create content around that, insert your brand/product inside the area that your audience is interested about.

[bctt tweet=”Understanding your audience’s demand makes storytelling possible, impactful and efficient.” username=”brand_minds”]

We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.

Craig Davis, former Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi

3. Use AI to seek out behaviours, passions and need states

Use AI to seek out behaviours, don’t create your marketing campaign with the sole purpose of interrupting your audience’s behaviours.

[bctt tweet=”Focus on generating insights that reflect the stable passions and need states of your audience.” username=”brand_minds”]

Identify one insight that is characterized by the following features:

  • your tribe is passionate about this need;
  • this need is underserved;
  • this need is emotional and deeply connected to your audience’s psyche.

4. Use AI to help you leverage the right data

[bctt tweet=”Marketers need to switch from intent-focused data to empathy data.” username=”brand_minds”]

Intent-focused data is shown by search engines and help drive e-commerce behaviours. But this data doesn’t provide marketers with meaningful data regarding that person.

[bctt tweet=”Marketers shouldn’t talk to their audience only with the purpose of achieving brand’s commercial goals.” username=”brand_minds”]

Marketers need to extract empathy data from understanding how the audience interact with content and culture.

Storytelling starts by understanding culture and AI is the most powerful tool in the world to do this.

Martin Adams, CEO of Codec.ai

5. Use AI to understand the who, what, why and when of their content preferences

AI can identify the following details:

  • the tone of voice that your audience is responding to;
  • the image types, colors and framing that your audience like;
  • the content format they prefer;
  • the platform they spend time on.

Here is a great example of audience-focused marketing campaign from Dove, You’re more beautiful than you think:

Mistakes to avoid when using AI and data to create better stories

As intelligent as it may be, AI is just a tool and Martin Adams warns marketers against making the following mistakes:

#1 Thinking that content is a format choice

Storytelling is about making things that audiences want and care about after we understand demand. It is not a particular format choice – images or videos or questionnaires.

You need to listen, really listen with no judgement.

Remember: it’s not about your brand’s needs, it’s about your audience’s.

#2 Having blind faith – in either yourself or the AI

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you know better than the AI. AI is designed to help and support your marketing efforts providing you with valuable information.

Also don’t go to the other extreme of having blind faith into the AI – use your intuition to veto bad data.

#3 Doing content by numbers

AI cannot create content that you should follow by numbers.

Instead use your creativity to bring AI supplied data to life.

Wrapping Up

  • Find your tribe;
  • Understand your tribe’s demand;
  • Build empathy;
  • Deliver them the content they want in the form they prefer.

 

7 Things you might not know about Robert Murray

Based out of the Vancouver Lower Mainland, Robert Murray is a #1 Best Selling Author, Global Speaker and Business Strategist. He has written three critically acclaimed books on leadership: “It’s Already Inside,”​ “Unlocked,”​ “Simple Leadership – Simply Said.” that are a collection of short stories that help his readers relate to and nurture the leader within themselves.

  1. He believes in people and their limitless potential. He wrote Unlocked to help leaders unlock their remarkable greatness through using their ‘whole brain’ – both the logical brain as well as the emotional mind to become a more complete leader – the leader he calls a ‘Practical Leader’.

2. He is able to see simple, executable and engaging solutions where others see only problems. Has worked with senior executives of multi-billion dollar ventures to improve their future, further engage their community stakeholders, and essentially fix their problems. Bob is experienced in virtually all areas of the corporate development, and he is passionate and energized about helping companies be the best they can be.

3. Bob is a storyteller. He is a visionary, he is dynamic and he is engaging. He shares his energy, enthusiasm and knowledge in hopes of helping people discover their limitless potential. He tells stories which help people find the keys to unlock the innate leader that lies within.

4. Coming from a farming family in the heart of Canada, and working my twenties as an industrial electrician, he learned life skills that are hard to find in a classroom. Expertise such as: problem solving, emotional intelligence, and how to selflessly serve others.

5. Getting his marketing degree at University at night, while working through junior level marketing roles during the day, he learned discipline, drive and to always chase his passion.

6. The single biggest mistake he sees virtually everyday in businesses on every corner of the globe are leaders that don’t take culture seriously and think that the way to success is complex strategies that no one understands. Robert believes that successful businesses have values aligned cultures and simple strategies.

7. He has built strategy for over 200 organizations from Fortune 50 to small 10 person businesses.

 

What makes a video viral?

Creating a successful viral campaign is every marketer’s dream nowadays and many agencies aspire to the idea of creating a video that will have a huge impact on the target and will get shared fast and, therefore, create a big buzz around it. But what is a viral video and how hard is to reach that goal? According to the definition on techopedia, a viral video is any clip of animation or film that is spread rapidly through online sharing. Viral videos can receive millions of views as they are shared on social media sites, reposted to blogs, sent in emails and so on. Most viral videos contain humor and fall into three broad categories:

  • Unintentional Viral Videos: Videos that the creators never intended to go viral. These videos may have been posted by the creator or shared with friends, who then spread the content.
  • Humorous Viral Videos: Videos that have been created specifically to entertain people. If a video is funny enough, it will spread.
  • Promotional Viral videos: Videos that are designed to go viral with a marketing message to raise brand awareness. Promotional viral videos fall under viral marketing practices.

When it comes to the formula of creating a viral, it hasn’t been determined or shared yet, leaving us thinking that some of the success it has to do with luck and that most things actually go viral by accident. Very few people have mastered the art of creating viral content on purpose. What is for sure known is that it has to appeal to the target’s emotions, no matter their type (happiness, sadness, anger, joy, love, etc).

“Viral videos are the talk of the town—garnering coverage on popular blogs, rising to the top of sites like Reddit, being Tweeted and posted to Facebook, and even covered on the evening news,” wrote Megan O’Neill for AdWeek.

“There’s no specific number of shares, likes, retweets, reblogs, or whatever another measure of interaction needed to be reached in order for it to claim “viral” status.  On YouTube, lots of videos get tens of thousands of views now shortly after being uploaded, but many people wouldn’t say that’s enough to consider it viral. Back in the day, however, when YouTube was much smaller and there weren’t as many users uploading videos, tens of thousands of views may have counted as <<going viral>>,” said Elise Moreau for Lifewire.

Moreover, advanced technology and platform design have made it way too easy to share things with our friends and followers, making the perfect environment for a ripple effect to occur on all levels of social media with the perfect piece of shareable content. All it takes is a few shares and the right audience to trigger an avalanche of sharing across the internet. It’s not easy to start a viral movement, but when it does happen, it can take the most regular people and turn them into  internet celebrities practically overnight if it’s powerful enough.

According to Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”, quoted by entrepreneur.com, visceral response is what separates viral breakouts from busts. Berger has spent years investigating the mechanics behind virality, identifying six key drivers under the acronym STEPPS. They are Social Currency (e.g., sharing things that make people look good), Triggers (acknowledging that we talk about things that are top-of-mind), EmotionPublic (imitating what we see others do), Practical Value (news people can use) and Stories (information passed along under the guise of idle chitchat). “Each [driver] is a research-tested principle that increases the likelihood that people will talk about and share things, that brands get word-of-mouth, that services get shared and that videos get passed along the internet,” Berger explains. “We can reliably say that including certain characteristics and messages will increase the number of people who share [content] and the likelihood it will be shared.”

5 Free Instagram Analytics Tools for Marketers

Finding the right strategy that will for sure help your brand is not an easy task. The right Instagram tools can provide analytics to inform your social media strategy and content scheduling. If you are looking for some free tools to help your business on Instagram, we have 5 ideas that would come in handy.

Instagram Insights

If you’ve  set up your Instagram business account, you have access to free analytics through the Instagram app. Instagram Insights provides basic stats for assessing your Instagram marketing efforts. Find out more about your followers, when they’re on Instagram, and what your top posts are. This information will help you choose content more likely to resonate with your audience.

To access these insights, tap the bar chart icon in the top-right corner of the app. The first analytics screen shows high-level insights for the last week and comparison stats for the week before. You can view your total impressions, reach, profile views, and website clicks. It also shows your top posts and stats for your  Instagram stories from the last 24 hours. Swipe to the right to see your reach. Swipe right one more time to see website clicks data.

source: TechCrunch

You can also view your top posts insights, just by tapping the see more link next to top posts and the top six posts from the past seven days sorted by impressions. The tool also allows you to see followers insights. Back on the main Insights page for your account, scroll down to the Followers chart of times when your followers are on Instagram. Also, if you’re running paid  Instagram ads, the Promotions section of the main Insights screen gives you relevant stats on your campaigns.

Socialbakers

With Socialbakers, you can get a free report on your most popular Instagram photos, filters, and hashtags, and all of your interactions with followers. The most useful sections are the most liked and most commented posts because this information can help inform the types of images you use in future Instagram posts.

To get your free report, go to  Socialbakers’ Free Instagram Analytics Tool and click Login With Instagram.

Simply Measured

Simply Measured offers a free Instagram report for users with up to 25,000 followers. The stats and insights are presented clearly and will help inform your Instagram posting strategy. The report lets you quickly see what has worked well in your Instagram marketing, so you can apply these insights to future posts. To get started, type your Instagram account name in the text box and click Authenticate With Any Instagram Account. Then log in and authorize Simply Measured to access information from your Instagram account. When you receive your report, you’ll find three tabs of information: Charts, Scorecard, and Appendix. The buttons in the top-right corner of the screen let you download the report to Excel or export it to PowerPoint.

On the Charts tab, you can view a wealth of insights about your most engaging posts and average engagement per post. Moreover, the Engagement chart shows Instagram engagement over time. See total engagement, engagement as a percentage of followers, and information on likes and comments your photos and videos received.

You can also examine the Scorecard (it gives you some basic stats about your Instagram account) and Appendix Tabs (check out a table of your top posts sorted by highest engagement with the date of the post, type, likes, comments, and total engagement – likes and comments).

Union Metrics 

It offers a free Instagram account checkup to assess how you’re doing on the network. While the report isn’t as comprehensive as some others, it offers handy nuggets of data for marketers. It helps you determine the best time to post,  which hashtags to use, and what content to post more (or less) of. It also highlights your top followers and reminds you to engage with them. To access your free report, click Start Your Checkup on the home page and then sign up for a Union Metrics account.

You can view the number of posts by day. Use the icons in the top-right corner of the page to share, print, or download your report. Scroll down to examine more stats with recommendations from Union Metrics, such as the best time and day to post. You can also view stats and visuals for your top-performing posts. If you click the circles on the hashtag report, you can see more information about the hashtags, which is a handy feature.

Squarelovin

With  Squarelovin, you can get free basic Instagram analytics. The Optimization section offers insights that help inform Instagram posting. The “worst times to post” information is especially valuable. First, you’ll need to  sign up for a Squarelovin account. On your dashboard, you can view high-level stats and access additional analytics screens. On the Postings tab, you’ll get information on your post history and top posts. It also shows your posts by year and month and day and time. The Engagement tab shows information on likes and comments, and highlights the top liked and top commented posts. The Optimization tab shows the best time and day to post on Instagram, but also the worst times to post on specific days.

If you use different filters on Instagram, you can also view the impact of those filters. Moreover, the report lets you see all of the Instagram hashtags you’ve used next to a list of the most popular hashtags. You can quickly see if you’re using top hashtags or if you need to rethink your hashtag strategy.

Understanding whom your Instagram fans are and what content they engage with and when will give you ideas for future content to share on the network.

6 Big Instagram 2017 Trends Any Marketer Should Know

 

User-friendly and making the most of one of people’s favorite activity related to owning a smartphone: taking pictures, Instagram becomes steady and sure one of the Romanians main used social media tools, especially among the trendy persons. Brands are also starting to notice its impact and are taking advantage of this positive trend.

According to Zelist Monitor, quoted by instagramology.ro, 2017 started with a performance on the Romanian market: 50,518 more users in January 2017 compared to December 2016. This is the biggest growth from December to January stated in Romania so far, the predictions for February being that the total number will reach half a million users.

In this context, marketers should make sure they know the biggest 6 trends happening out-there and be ready to adopt them as fast as possible. They might fly as easily as they arrived.

  1. Using Trends To Get Noticed

Being aware of the latest trends can give the marketers insights into what people are looking for on Instagram. In fact, a lot of trends can be determined by doing hashtag research and finding popular content. According to sproutsocial.com, as a business, you want to be seen in some of the most popular places on Instagram. By paying attention to the latest Instagram trends, you can help get your content noticed and in front of more eyes. Branding is all about building your audience and increasing awareness about you.

  1. Instagram Stories

Boomaballet ??? by @clarice_lantalilly

A post shared by Boomerang from Instagram (@boomerangfrominstagram) on

Launched in August 2017, stories aims to change the way people use Instagram. Stories allows you to tag people in updates, add a link to your content (useful for brands directing people to their site), and it even supports  Boomerang.

  1. Instagram Direct

It’s all about fast connection to your consumers. Last year Instagram updated Direct, the messaging side of the photo-sharing app. Since then, user numbers worldwide have grown from 80 million to 300 million. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder Instagram will continue to improve this part of the service to encourage people to use the app more.

4. Instagram Shopping

Recently, Instagram trialed shoppable product tags with 20 fashion brands, allowing the tagging of certain items in a photo. This presents a much more seamless shopping experience for the user. Rather than having to find a link in the bio, users will be able to click a tag for a detailed view of the product. The shopper can then continue researching the product without leaving the app. If the user wants to continue with the purchase, a Shop Now button will take them to the product landing page on the businesses website.

  1. Instagram Business Tools

The new feature allows accounts to be verified as a business account for the first time. Therefore, the marketers can add contact methods, directions to their business and unlocks access to promoted posts and analytics. Moreover, Insights on Instagram allows businesses to uncover details about their followers, such as behavior and demographics. Better knowing your customer means better business and a prolong success.

  1. Video is still the king of the game

I’m missin my broadway life @chicagomusical ?#roxiehart 8 shows a week singing live and didn’t cancel 1 show no matter what was going on in my life boom,over 60 shows performed and still was a nervous wreck on my last show haha

A post shared by Mel B (@officialmelb) on

According to wersm.com, One of 2017’s buzzwords is video; and  video content, whether pre-recorded or live, should be leveraged by social media marketers in the next year.  Instagram itself says that video will account to 75% of data in the next four years, so brands need to learn how to effectively create it and use it. The many tools that Instagram offers, have lead to the democratization of video creation, so everyone has the ability to create engaging content with little or no budget.

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