Tag Archives: Consumers

Why Going Green in Business Is Good for Your Bottom Line

This entry was posted in Workplace and tagged , , , on by .

Going Green In Business Is Good For Reputation - Eminent SEO

Business mentality has shifted. Profitability remains important. Notoriety is often more important than profitability, as good and bad attention can help drive profitability. (Reputation management can fix the online backlash.) Perhaps now, more than ever before, what you do in business is second to how you do it.

Why the collective enterprise shift? Why is going green in business good?

Millennials. According to the Census Bureau, millennials outnumber baby boomers. In order for businesses to be competitive and stay competitive, their product or service offerings should appeal to the millennial mindset.

Because millennials possess a DIY mentality and appreciate acquiring knowledge, knowing how to save time and financial resources whenever possible will provide you with some clues. Certain business practices will also need to align with cost- and time-effectiveness on a local, national and global scale. After all, the accepted business mantra is “Think Local, Grow Global.”

So how do we do this, attain, maintain and grow financial success without sacrificing human consciousness? Be green.

Being green in business today is far different than it was 10 years ago. Your green initiatives must go beyond a mere positioning statement. It has to literally define your existence. Seriously.

Being Green Before Was the Seed for What’s Blossomed Today

If you were in business within the first decade of the year 2000 or worked for a company back then, having the ability to say you were a “green” corporation was all the rage. There were changes to the way employees experienced the office space, eliminating the use of paper, unnecessary lighting, and low-flush toilets.

This was all a very big deal. Companies wanted to boast about these changes. So they’d do a press release about how green they were. They’d add a tab on their website menu dedicated to their green initiative so that the public would know how important the environment was to them.

Green in Business Is Good and Even Better for Industries

Construction and real estate companies seized the opportunities available in green. Energy efficiency was proving to be big business. Properties, both residential and commercial, that had low-e windows, artificial grass or solar panels seemed more attractive to buyers and tenants who were looking for built-in ways to lower operating costs. But this wasn’t enough – and that’s a good thing.

Public Outcry and Government Support Create a Brighter Hue

“The use of green products generated more than $500 million in energy-efficiency savings and more to come in 2017.” Inc.com

The spiritual floodgates of consciousness have opened up about thinking greener. With government programs now supporting the private sector in selling green products to consumers, the opportunities appear, in a word, limitless. Business, maybe even your business, needs to step it up.

What was good enough before isn’t enough today.

Baby Boomers, Millennials and Generation Z Demand More

Many of today’s baby boomers came from a more holistic approach to living. Remember hippies? For them, in the 1960s and 1970s, life was all about peace, love and harmony. Those desires still live in the hearts and minds of many mid-lifers and young seniors.

Millennials and Gen Zers invoke a deeper consciousness about the products they buy. They don’t take our natural resources for granted. Water is treated like a gift: It is used for washing and rinsing in the sinks and showers of America but turned off during those moments in between. Additionally, if your business, at its core, doesn’t have an environmental social consciousness, your product or service – no matter how good – isn’t even considered.

Green Today Must Translate to a Greener Tomorrow

Consumers want to feel comfortable in the products and services they sign up for, not just for today but how they impact tomorrow. It’s a strange paradox really. Although people don’t want to “own” anything, when they do make a decision, it should make a positive difference to someone else down the road, whether it’s their family, friends or strangers abroad. Doing business green-minded allows this to play out, naturally.

Green Is Good for Business Profitability and Longevity

Studies Show Consumers Buy From Environmentally Conscious Companies - Eminent SEOIf you watch what’s trending (and who doesn’t), people are demanding that feelings matter. Many business success stories are not led by how magnificent their sales are but by how their business connects people. The sales funnel lives in the relationship-nurturing process.

So is there room for sentiments in business? Absolutely, and sharing them through your green philosophy is a great way to communicate them.

Going green in business is good for producing cost and time efficiencies in logistics, production, employee head count, and more. When businesses can minimize operating expenses and increase customer satisfaction, not only do they have a better ability to expand their market share, but grow positive brand awareness and existing customer loyalty, which collectively goes a long way in building longevity.

Incorporating green into your company doesn’t have to be a long-winded, complicated process. For example, allowing employees to work remotely lessens gas consumption and pollution. There are little modifications that can be made to help all of us realize the big picture: Together, we can create a more sustainable way to live and thrive.

Even if your business doesn’t directly fall into the following types of industry, you can certainly think of ways to use them to help your company’s environmental stance.

Sustainability businesses include:

  • Printer Ink Recycling
  • Cleaning Services
  • Solar Installations
  • Energy Auditing
  • Home and Commercial Property Improvement
  • Landscaping
  • Organic Foods
  • Restaurants

These Companies Should Make You Green with Envy

There are three different companies that I’d like to highlight as complete purveyors of green. I believe their missions will serve to inspire and remind us all that it’s never too late to do business better.

Every business that uses water, plastic or fuel, with the right alternative, can strengthen their green. Here are a few examples of how it gets done.

Airespot.com

With its consumer focus on the millennial market, Airespot took a look at urban living and wanted to make it more proficient for professionals and local businesses. They’ve done it with one seamless app. The Airespot app is available for those living in specific high-rise apartments where getting to and from anywhere can be a challenge.

The purpose of the Airespot app is to connect apartment owners or property managers with their tenants and also put them in touch with local service providers who can make their life easier, all at a discount. Dog sitters and walkers, cleaning services and restaurants are part of the mix.

Through app use, residents can get what they want with a swipe, but what makes this even sweeter is that the more people that use the same business service, the deeper their discount. Residential logistics issues are solved.

Dynamic Water Technologies, LLC

Large-scale enterprises like resorts, hotels, industrial and manufacturing plants need expansive water systems to keep their businesses running. Over time, these systems require upgrades to sustain safety and health requirements, costing millions of dollars in new equipment and production delays.

Dynamic Water Technologies in Scottsdale, Arizona, part of Universal Environmental Technology (UET), provides businesses a cost-effective and time sensitive solution. Through best-in class technology and sustainable engineering, chemical additives to water are removed and water consumption is reduced. In fact, Dynamic’s clients experience up to 80 percent in water savings and up to 40 percent in energy savings.

The Plastic Bank

Imagine combining two of the world’s largest problems and solving them with one multifaceted idea: world hunger and oceanic pollution, eradicated. The idea behind The Plastic Bank is for people – in both private and public sectors – to work together to remove the plastic waste in our oceans and prevent it from ever getting there. But who and how?

Some of the worst offenders in oceanic plastic waste come from the most impoverished countries. The Plastic Bank offers the poor a way to generate income and sustain their own livelihood, simply by cleaning up the plastic.

Individuals can bring plastic to designated recycling centers where they have the option of being paid in local currency, or in green-generated goods or services. Sustainability drives The Plastic Bank’s entire business lifecycle.

Is Your Business Green Enough?

Truly green companies use sustainable solutions at every possible opportunity. How green do you think you are? Could your business pass the judgment of your customers on this subject?

If you’re not sure, use the following questions as a guideline:

  1. Does your business give back to the community in every business transaction?
  2. Does your business represent a green mentality in operations?
  3. Does your business represent a green mentality in its culture?
  4. Does your product or service (in its use) support a lower carbon footprint?
  5. Do you partner with other green-minded corporations?

Talk Green to Me, Just Comment Below…

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter

What Marketers Can Learn from the Top 5 Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016

This entry was posted in Social Media, Technology and tagged , , on by .

Top 5 Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016 - Eminent SEO

Just a little over year ago, Facebook Live went viral.

The service allows users to broadcast video from their phone where it can be viewed and commented on in real time by friends on Facebook. After the live recording is complete, the video can be viewed, liked and commented on – just like regular videos posted on the platform.

When Facebook Live initially came out in August 2015, it was limited to use by celebrities. Then in January 2016, Facebook started making the service available to all users. At first, it was mostly utilized by large media outlets.

In April 2016, BuzzFeed hosted the first Facebook Live video that went viral, which answers that burning question that keeps us all up at night: How many rubber bands does it take to make a watermelon explode? (If you need to know the answer, or just want to see a watermelon blow up, you can view the video here.)

While the exploding watermelon video garnered a respectable 11-plus million views, it was soon surpassed by Candace Payne’s “Chewbacca Mom” video in May 2016, which marked the first viral video by an everyday user. Soon, other videos followed – some silly, some serious – garnering millions of views in the U.S. and worldwide.

In honor of the first anniversary of Facebook Live going viral, let’s examine the top five viral Facebook Live videos of the past year.

The Top Five Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016

In order of views, here are the top five Facebook Live videos of last year.

1. Candace Payne: Chewbacca Mom

Chewbacca Mom Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: Candace Payne

Live Date: 5/19/2016

Views: 166 million

The video in a nutshell: Sitting in her car at a Kohl’s parking lot, Candace shows off the purchase she just made: a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. She demonstrates the sound effects of the mask, which she finds absolutely hilarious, and her humor is contagious.

What we can learn: Authentic silliness is still a top driver in viral videos. Others could have demonstrated this same product and it might be interesting for about 2 seconds, but Candace’s genuine humor and her complete openness about what she’s thinking and feeling comes through so strongly that you can’t help but laugh along with her, even as your logical mind does an eye roll at the silliness of it all.

In fact, taking such a trivial thing and making it a high point of one’s day is what makes it so charming. Candace’s comment with the video says, “It’s the simple joys in life…” This pretty much sums up the appeal of this video. In a world full very serious happenings, there is a certain satisfaction in sharing the little things that make people smile.

2. Ted Yoder: Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on Hammered Dulcimer

Tears For Fears Hammered Dulcimer Facebook Video - ESEO

Facebook Video: Ted Yoder

Live Date: 8/24/2016

Views: 94 million

The video in a nutshell: Musician Ted Yoder plays the classic ‘80s Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on hammered dulcimer, live in his backyard with family and friends looking on. If you’ve never heard of that instrument before, you’re probably not alone.

Maybe some of the appeal of the video is the novelty of the instrument, but it’s also an outstanding performance. And for the encore performance, you get to meet his family’s pet raccoon.

What we can learn: Extraordinary talent will never go out of style. Combine that with a great song, a few eclectic features – the instrument, the raccoon – and a casual, friendly vibe, and it’s easy to see why this video is a hit: It’s got several things going for it.

Like the “Chewbacca Mom” video, this oozes authenticity. This speaks to why marketers struggle to intentionally create viral videos: What elevates something from moderately interesting to worthy of being shared is often the open and authentic nature of the event, which is extremely difficult to manufacture.

3. BuzzFeed: Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election

BuzzFeed 2020 Presidential Countdown Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: BuzzFeed

Live Date: 11/9/2016

Views: 55 million

The video in a nutshell: For those who woke up the day after the U.S. presidential election wondering, “How soon until we get a do-over?” BuzzFeed was kind enough to provide the answer in the form of a video.

The streaming video showed a (then) live countdown of the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until the next presidential election.

What we can learn: Humor and empathy in a simple visual form is a powerful combination. There was a lot of talk on social media the day after about the surprising and controversial results of the election, but this video managed to say what some were feeling without saying anything.

4. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: People Lining Up to Hug Police Officers in Dallas

Dallas Police Officers Hugs Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: Jennifer Brett/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Live Date: 7/8/2016

Views: 38 million

The video in a nutshell: In the wake of an ambush attack on Dallas police officers that left five dead and nine injured, citizens turned out the next day to give hugs to Dallas police officers. Yes, the event happened in Dallas, but it was Atlanta’s most-recognized news outlet that garnered the most views on Facebook Live that day.

What we can learn: When emotions are running high, simple scenes like this one can become symbolic of what millions of people are thinking and feeling. Unlike the more lighthearted videos featured previously, this video sparked more opposing viewpoints in the comments.

5. NBC News: Election Results Electoral Map

Race To 270 Presidential Election - ESEO

Facebook Video: NBC News

Live Date: 11/8/2016

Views: 36 million

The video in a nutshell: This 4-hour video showed a map of the U.S. and was continually updated on election night as the voting results came in.

What we can learn: Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right information matters. At the time this video aired, the election was the biggest story in the country and millions of people wanted live, up-to-the-moment information on the results. The downside, however, was that the video became irrelevant as soon as the election concluded.

Some Facebook Live Videos Have More Longevity than Others

Facebook Live Video Longevity - Eminent SEO

It’s interesting to note that the first three videos on this list have continued to gain millions more views over time, whereas the last two are not generating many new views.

As you can see in the graphic immediately above, here’s the viewer count of each of the aforementioned Facebook Live videos on Dec. 8, 2016, and then compared to April 27, 2017:

1) Candace Payne: Chewbacca Mom: 162 million views then (Dec. 8) – now 166 million

2) Ted Yoder: Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on Hammered Dulcimer: 85 million then – now 94 million

3) BuzzFeed: Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election: 51 million then – Now 55 million

4) Atlanta Journal-Constitution: People Lining Up to Hug Dallas Police Officers: 38 million then – still 38 million

5) NBC News: Election Results Electoral Map: 36 million then – still 36 million

The last two videos on the list were based on events that were very relevant in the moment, but then become old news.

The funny and entertaining videos, however, continue to gain additional views as they are discovered and passed around by latecomers to the craze.

Interestingly, the “Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election” video continues to gain views, perhaps providing an emotional outlet to those who are eager for the next presidential election. This reveals an important difference between the countdown video and the electoral college video: While the latter only gave us information we wanted in the moment, the former taps into an emotion that continues to be relevant long after the event that triggered it.

Summary: Evergreen Viral Video Traits

These five videos demonstrate six key traits that we see over and over again in viral videos.

  1. Authenticity and vulnerability
  2. Humor
  3. Uniqueness
  4. Talent
  5. Emotional empathy
  6. Relevancy in the moment

While it’s extremely difficult to intentionally produce a video that goes viral, marketers can hone the skill of identifying situations and moments when an opportunity exists to share something with these traits.

Showing up every day and engaging with what people are saying, and then using those interactions to understand how they’re feeling and thinking, is what builds a marketer’s instincts for what will be popular.

But, of course, engaging online on a regular basis can be time consuming, and many businesses don’t have the resources in house to keep up with it like they should. At Eminent SEO, we manage the daily social media engagement for our clients, interacting regularly with users online, and developing strategies based on popular demand.

Learn About Our Social Media Services

Sara Korn

Finding creative ways to give both readers and clients what they want is why I love being a writer! As a Content Strategist at Eminent SEO, I listen to clients and put myself in the shoes of their customers to create compelling marketing messages that drive engagement.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

The Retail Online Shopping Experience Differs for Generation Z: Are You Ready?

Generation Z Online Retail Shoppin Experience - Eminent SEO

There’s probably nothing more generic than the phrase, “Let’s go shopping”! Over the years, how people go shopping has changed just as much as where they go shopping because with online purchasing, the how, where, when and why of shopping shifts – in an instant.

Consumers demand choices, more than ever before. With Generation Z moving into the forefront of retail business owners’ minds (as they should), the face of the retail online shopping experience is only part of the larger picture in targeting consumers’ wants to equal product niches and availability.

Retail Websites Need to Drive Intrigue, Not Just Sales

Generation Z Girl Entertained By iPad - Eminent SEOSome U.S. retail hubs, like JCPenney, have totally missed the mark on changing consumer behavior. Sure, they have websites, but doesn’t everyone?

If your web presence isn’t more than a poster board for your corporate culture or a lengthy display ad for your wares, what is it really doing for you? Better yet, what is your website really doing for your customer?

According to senior national retail consultant Catherine Mountain, brick-and-mortar retailers have been closing their doors in record numbers in recent years because they were, and are still, “homogenized.”

“Generation Z wants a compelling reason to shop at your business,” said Mountain. “There has to be a good why. They have the money, but they don’t want their time wasted. When they figure out what they want, which might take a while, they are ready to act and don’t want to wait for delivery.”

Even online retail giant Amazon.com is opening physical stores, as Mountain pointed out.

If retail online shopping experiences don’t create interest or provide content that engages the viewer and leaves them wanting more, all you really have are multiple landing pages, a destination. Generation Z wants so much more. They want the journey.

Gen Z Craves Unique Experiences Where Retailers Provide the Tools

Though there are exceptions, as a whole, each generation comes with a mindset or unspoken cultural guidelines. The young people of Generation Z are fueled by innate intelligence and seldom take things at face value. Why should they? What gets their attention is unabashed authenticity, and more.

Generation Z appreciates:

  • Innovation
  • Craftsmanship
  • One-of-a-kind products
  • Customization
  • Anti-establishment
  • Quality
  • Meaningful customer service
  • Purchases with cause
  • Good stories

Discriminating? Perhaps. Selective? Undoubtedly.

Where did this mentality come from? It came from them, honestly. In fact, it’s how Gen Z was raised.

Childhood and Parenting Play a Role

Generation Z Parents Want Children To Work In High School - Eminent SEOThere is an interesting oxymoron embedded within Generation Z. On one hand, they are dedicated to social consciousness to a point where if you don’t have it, you’re just not good enough.

On the flip side, they want to be taken care of through a level of service that is more than attentive, but actually intuitive. Is this an impossible expectation?

Let’s dive deeper.

Digital communication for Gen Z is not a choice, but their only reality. The intuitive nature of the internet shopping experience over the years has blossomed and is somewhat oversaturated with deceptive pay-per-click ads and data-mining techniques that mirror online consumer behavior, to a point. Gen Z desires change, not merely for the sake of change, but with purpose. It’s just how their minds work.

Their parents believe in entrepreneurship and, more than likely, both are working. Helicopter moms were replaced by empowering role models that pushed coping skills instead of protective barriers.

These children and young adults are self-directed and do not have the fears that many millennials carry. If a Gen Z child wants to know something, there is no hesitation in asking. Their individuality is the new norm, as conventional attitudes are not only so yesterday, but offensive.

The Evolution of Shopping

2.6 Billion Generation Zers By 2020 - Eminent SEOFor decades, there was an art in shopping known as salesmanship. Today, people don’t want to be sold, convinced or coerced into a single purchase. Generation Z personifies the compilation of generations before it.

Baby Boomers want their shopping experience to be simple, Generation Xers want it fast and millennials don’t want the purchase to involve any work.

Meanwhile, Generation Z wants all of the above – but honest, transparent and specific to their needs, every time.

Loyalty Matters

Many retail online shopping experiences include special rewards programs or referral incentives. These fall flat on the Generation Z population. They know that these programs are geared to benefit the retail business more than the customer, as businesses are trying to pursue customer retention and build their list of prospects.

Ernst & Young learned in a 2015 study that only 30 percent of Gen Zers thought that a rewards program made a store worth their attention, compared to 45 percent of millennials. To gain customer loyalty from Gen Z requires the retailer to show them respect and loyalty first. It appears that the adage “respect is earned, not given” is resurfacing.

Cause and Conscience Matters

Even the way business engages social consciousness has transformed. In the past, many companies included a charitable component as an afterthought or a requirement to garner tax benefits and positive press from the media.

Generation Z can see through it and demand that altruism is an integral part of a business’ platform. Even Stevens, a local sandwich shop in Gilbert, Arizona, fulfills the Gen Z requirement. For every sandwich it sells, the owners donate a sandwich to the hungry. To date, Even Stevens has provided more than 1.2 million sandwiches to help eradicate hunger in America.

What’s Your Story?

When you appeal to Generation Z, your marketing world opens wide with possibilities. This is the target audience that yearns for a good story. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and if your product/service and company culture resonates with them, they will be your best marketers.

Your brand voice will become their brand voice, socially sharing their consumer experience every step of the way. If you have an on-site retail center or store – the benefits are even better.

The Resurgence of Brick-and-Mortar Shopping

With research and inquisitiveness leading the buying lifecycle of Gen Z, many retailers are fulfilling the need for more a personal touch with the redesign or new construction of actual on-site stores.

International retail chain AllSaints has addressed the changing needs of the consumer to positively engage Generation Z. Young people can go to any AllSaints location, after ample research online, and gain more product knowledge from hipsters who live in big cities and speak their proverbial language.

AllSaints’ website, physical stores and customer experience engage interaction through a consistent, no-nonsense brand voice, displays, and high-end, private-label products.

Brick-and-mortar shopping isn’t a dinosaur. Generation Z has provided the reason to bring it all back in the form of shopping with purpose.

If your business needs an online refresh or strategic update to align with new target audiences, Eminent SEO can help! Give us a call at 800.871.4130 today to learn how.

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter

What Is Neuromarketing and Is It Better Than Traditional Marketing?

What Is Neuromarketing - Eminent SEO

Neuromarketing has been around for a few years now, and regardless of whether you’re familiar with the term, you’ve probably read or heard about some of the insights marketers have learned from it.

But what is neuromarketing really, and how much do you need to know about it? Is it replacing traditional marketing research, as some have suggested, or is it just a passing fad?

Getting Into the Minds of Consumers

Neuromarketing is simply neuroscience applied to marketing. Researchers use technologies that observe brain activity and biometrics (such as heart rate, eye tracking, galvanic skin response, facial coding, etc.) to determine how people respond physiologically to marketing messages.

Neuromarketing examples might include:

  • Tracking eye movement to see which parts of a webpage grab the user’s attention first
  • Using EEG imaging of the brain to determine one’s emotional response to an ad or product
  • Determining which version of an ad generates the most brain activity, as seen in an fMRI scan

The goal of neuromarketing is to better understand consumer behavior by gaining insight into the reactions and decision-making happening at the unconscious level. Since 90 percent of the information that comes into the human brain is processed unconsciously, neuroscience gives us valuable insight into automatic human responses that influence consumer behavior.

By contrast, traditional marketing research methods involve consumer surveys, focus groups and external observation to gather data about what people think, feel and believe. These traditional methods are better at revealing conscious decision-making processes.

The Pros and Cons of Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing Gives Insight Into Consumer Behavior - Eminent SEOThanks to neuromarketing research, marketers no longer have to rely as heavily on consumer self-reporting. For starters, it can be difficult to get people to participate in surveys and focus groups. And even when there’s a lot of feedback given, the results can be biased or inaccurate. Neuromarketing bypasses conscious thinking and identifies automatic reactions that tend to be universal across the population.

On the other hand, because these findings are so generalized, there is still a need for traditional research to understand a target audience in greater detail. And even though consumers’ decisions can be greatly influenced by their subconscious responses, what they consciously think and feel still matters – a lot.

Neuromarketing can be used to help your marketing messages appeal to human beings as a whole, while traditional methods help you hone your message for a specific audience.

You will still need to do plenty of trial and error to see what actually works for your target audience, in your market, with your products. Sorry, neuromarketing is not a magic bullet. Honing in on an optimized marketing strategy will always involve work.

Advantages of Neuromarketing

The biggest advantage of neuromarketing is that it can fill in the gaps left by traditional marketing methods, because neuromarketing provides insight into situations where consumers say they want one thing, but then act (i.e., buy) in a different way.

Neuromarketing has an advantage because it:

  • Does not rely on consumers to willingly and accurately report emotions,
  • Can closely tie physiological reactions to specific parts of an ad or message, and
  • Provides insight into automatic responses that take place at the subconscious level.

Limitations of Neuromarketing

However, it’s important to keep in mind that variances in how individuals process information and the limitations of testing can make it difficult to generalize results with certainty. Limitations include:

  • The high cost in doing neuromarketing research means it is conducted with small sample sizes and often funded by corporations, which could introduce bias into the results.
  • Since brain science is still evolving, there’s not a completely reliable way to connect the marketing stimuli to the emotions triggered.
  • Reactions observed in a lab test environment may be somewhat different than they would be in an actual buying environment.

For more information on how neuromarketing works, check out this enlightening TEDx Talk by SalesBrain cofounder Patrick Renvoise:

Why We Need Neuromarketing AND Traditional Marketing

A key point to remember is that people are naturally contradictory in nature. Human beings often say one thing and do another, and think one way and feel the opposite at the same time. We also may hold one view consciously while subconsciously believing something else.

This doesn’t mean that all people are hypocrites. It’s just that humans are complicated creatures with many competing desires, who live in a world where we’re constantly being sent conflicting messages. In fact, one of the biggest opportunities for marketers is to help relieve this internal conflict – either by guiding people through their options so they can make a clear decision, or by providing a new option that allows them to have their cake and eat it too.

Although all the stimuli humans encounter are filtered through the unconscious processing system first, the conscious decision-making process is also important. Traditional marketing research has given us plenty of valuable insight into why people make the buying decisions they do – or at least why they think they make them.

So while it may be tempting to get caught up in a debate over which type of research gives us better data – traditional or neuromarketing – savvy marketers would be wise to utilize both, because each method measures different factors and gives us different information, all of which is valuable to some degree.

Findings from Neuromarketing Research

The neuromarketing field is still new, and much of it has confirmed things that we already knew either through observation and experience or via traditional marketing methods. Few studies have been published, and the companies that are doing their own research aren’t often willing to share their findings.

Some of what neuromarketing has revealed is unexpected, but most is not. For example:

  • Emotions drive biases and subconscious decision-making.
  • Visuals are processed more quickly than words.
  • Images of celebrities, beautiful women, children and puppies are universally appealing.
  • Faces of any type draw the eye better than other kinds of visuals, and convey important emotional information such as mood, status, etc.
  • Messages that consumers find irrelevant reduce their positive responses.
  • Marketing elements that consumers can personally identify with create a positive response.
  • When a consumer purchases a product from a brand he or she is loyal to, the reward center of the brain gets activated.
  • Prices with round numbers (like $100) are processed more easily, yet numbers like $99.99 are perceived as a better deal.
  • Certain colors elicit particular emotional reactions.
  • The first and last parts of a message are especially important in setting the context for how a message is perceived.
  • Social norms such as reciprocity can be invoked to influence behavior.
  • Avoiding pain is often a stronger motivator than seeking pleasure.

Conclusion

Neuromarketing is a new and evolving science that can help marketers better understand consumer behavior in order to improve their:

  • Packaging
  • Pricing
  • Brand positioning
  • Promotion strategies
  • New product development

Both traditional and neuromarketing research can give us valuable insight into how humans process information and make decisions, consciously and unconsciously. As the science of neuromarketing improves, more reliable results should be available in the future.

However, information from both sources will always need to be applied thoughtfully and strategically, taking into account a company’s unique target audience, market, products and goals. Along with this will be the need to test out best practices in specific situations to see what’s really working.

Sara Korn

Finding creative ways to give both readers and clients what they want is why I love being a writer! As a Content Strategist at Eminent SEO, I listen to clients and put myself in the shoes of their customers to create compelling marketing messages that drive engagement.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

What Killed the Vine App – Or Is There Still Some Hope Left for It?

Death Of The Vine App Social Media - Eminent SEOWhat Caused Vine to Wither?

Social media has exploded since the mid-2000s, when Facebook began to rise to prominence. The social landscape changes every day, with old apps and platforms giving way to new technologies and services.

This was certainly the case for Vine, a Twitter-owned video-sharing service that appears to be on its way out the door. Although Vine was a once-popular and user-friendly app, some analysts say it was a bad match for Twitter.

How the Vine App Worked

Vine was arguably one of the easiest social media apps to use. A user could upload a video from a smartphone or other device directly to millions of Twitter and Vine followers. A popular Vine video or meme had the potential to make someone’s social media presence explode. Through Vine, more people were able to make connections and expand their networks, both on social media and in real life.

Vine videos were able to compress time so a single video could loop millions of times and generate billions of hits. Videos often referenced each other: One Vine could contain a cross reference to a dozen or so others. This kept viewers searching for similar videos and finding new ones to share with their networks.

A classic example is former “Mad TV” comedian Will Sasso’s series of Vine videos involving lemons. These individual Vine clips have all been combined into one YouTube video.

For a short time, this simple video-sharing service seemed like it might carve out a permanent niche.

Why Vine Worked

Before Vine, there was no quick or easy way to broadcast video. Apps such as Facebook Live and Periscope didn’t exist, and people who took video on their phones were concerned about data and messaging limits. In 2012, Twitter acquired Vine, which eventually had a six-second limit. This allowed users not only to broadcast video, but to focus on the most important parts of what they shared.

Even before the six-second limit, Vine was popular for its short-streaming video. The app was aimed at teenagers, who particularly enjoyed trends and memes. However, Vine expanded to include other demographics, including people in their 50s and 60s.

Michael Pachter, a 60-year-old financial analyst, used Vine regularly and built up a following there and on Twitter.

“You’d have to be a technological idiot not to be able to do it,” he told The New Yorker about shooting Vine videos.

Additionally, Vine was popular because it was perceived as fun.

“Vine is not a tool. It’s a toy,” Vine’s then-new general manager Hannah Donovan told Variety back in June.

Vine was the place to find a quick laugh in the form of pratfalls, potatoes spinning from ceiling fans, and other slapstick antics.

For a good example of how users worked within Vine’s parameters, see this simple video that features a cameo from “New Girl” actor Lamorne Morris. (Be sure to turn the sound on.)

As for Vine’s overall brand of comedy, Donovan admitted, “The witty, wordy comedy of Woody Allen or Will Stillman it was not.”

However, it did attract different type of users than those on Snapchat or Instagram, giving social media users yet another outlet to exert influence.

According to Casey Newton, a writer for The Verge, users also loved Vine because it provided a “creative challenge.” Vine “endlessly rewound itself,” causing people to think of new and unexpected ways to use it.

Newton added that Vine had an early advantage over other social video apps due to its ability to spawn popular memes and much-applauded “cultural moments.”

Why Vine Is Shutting Down

Vine was extremely popular circa 2013-14, so what caused it to die so quickly? One former executive cited other apps such as Instagram, saying Instagram Video was “the beginning of the end” for Vine.

Instagram

Instagram Video debuted 15-second video limits in 2013 and has since expanded to clips as long as 60 seconds. Users, especially celebrities, found Instagram Video much more flexible than Vine. Although Vine eventually tried offering extended videos, they never caught on.

Snapchat

Snapchat also played a role in killing Vine, as well. Snapchat allows users to send each other video clips individually and/or broadcast them publicly, while Vine videos were only for all users, and even non-users, to see.

Time allowances also made Snapchat superior: The platform allows 10-second clips rather than 6-second ones. Four extra seconds might not seem like much, but extra flexibility attracted users, just as Instagram did. It doesn’t hurt that Snapchat also has all of those face and voice filters to add some extra dimensions to any video.

Problems Behind the Scenes

Twitter Lays Off Staff And Kills Vine - Eminent SEOInstability was another big issue for Vine. Managers consistently quit to pursue startups and other, more lucrative opportunities. In 2015, Twitter underwent massive layoffs, which involved firing Vine’s creative director. Gradually, Vine usage dropped.

Celebrities who once posted on Vine lobbied to be paid for using the app. However, the negotiations came to nothing. Celebrity users hoped to promote Vine videos the way they did Twitter posts and accounts, thus gaining followers. However, interest in Vine peaked around 2014. After that, it was difficult for celebrities, let alone average users, to generate significant followings.

In 2015, Twitter bought a social media talent agency in an attempt to save Vine. However, neither celebrities nor Vine and Twitter executives were interested in giving more money to a dying app. Additionally, Vine never offered its popular users options for reimbursement once negotiations stalled. Thus, they had little incentive to stick with Vine over other similar platforms. Vine never capitalized on its stars’ relationships with popular brands, thereby severely limiting itself.

Other Forms of Media that Contributed to Vine’s Demise

Although Instagram Video and Snapchat were seemingly the biggest threats to Vine, many other social media apps and forms of media played a part, too. Native Twitter videos are one such example.

Twitter Video

Unlike Vine, native Twitter videos are not a Twitter sub-service. The social media platform now offers more ways to attach and upload videos. With Vine, videos were mostly broadcast through phones. Meanwhile, Twitter now allows uploads and attachments from computers, tablets and several other types of devices.

Native Twitter videos have a maximum length of 2 minutes and 20 seconds, making them as much as 23 times longer than Vine videos. Twitter’s new limit gives users enough time for a quick instructional video, a miniature vlog entry, or even a sketch comedy routine. Native Twitter videos do not rely on pratfalls and endless looping to keep users engaged.

Unlike Vine, Twitter video uses auto-play similar to Facebook Live. Videos also begin playing as soon as users scroll over them in the feed. This draws the eye directly to the video and makes it more memorable.

GIFs

GIFs are another popular alternative to Vine. Although they lack audio, which Vine allowed, they communicate quick, memorable and often comical messages. GIFs usually start up easily and loop endlessly, so users can watch them as long as they like, over and over again.


Additionally, GIFs are often used to enhance text. That is, if you want to write a long blog post broken up with engaging pictures or memes, GIFs will most likely keep the audience’s attention. Some users have tried to use Vine videos in the same manner, but they just didn’t work out quite as smoothly.

YouTube

Finally, YouTube has been a primary alternative to Vine for years. YouTube has no length limit now, and depending on your editing capabilities, a YouTube video of much higher quality than a Vine or Twitter one. Additionally, YouTube offers features Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat cannot, such as the opportunity to create your own channel.

What Was the Major Culprit?

From all the options above, even though they all likely played a role in Vine’s demise, if we had to choose one, we would say GIFs are an unheralded major culprit. As mentioned earlier, for a short period of time, Twitter users were using Vine videos similar to GIFs. That craze eventually died down as users became more comfortable with finding and attaching GIFs, thanks to sites such as Giphy, while Vine videos eventually took on a different purpose.

Some outlets even claimed a couple of years ago that Vine would render GIFs obsolete, but that forecast seems laughable in retrospect.

The problem with using a Vine clip instead of a GIF is that the latter typically accentuates whatever statement the user is trying to make, while the Vine is more of a statement in itself. It doesn’t help that thousands of GIFs capture memorable scenes from some of our favorite movies and TV shows, while Vine mostly featured footage of sporting events as well as original user content.

One the popularity of GIFs was undoubtedly more sustainable on Twitter than that of Vine videos, and when the Vine social network itself began dropping off in activity, the writing was on the wall for the once-prominent video-sharing service. The evolution of human communication is fascinating thing to witness, eh?

But Wait … Is Vine Really Dead?

Just earlier this week, TechCrunch reported that Twitter is shopping Vine around to as many as 10 interested buyers, meaning the platform could survive after all. However, offers for the video-sharing service are reportedly falling short of $10 million, which is a sharp drop from the $30 million Twitter bought it for in 2012.

It is unclear whether Vine or apps like it will endure, or whether they will have a significant presence in social media in the future. In the meantime, users have more ways than ever to chronicle their lives through video and share their experiences.

What’s your favorite way of sharing video experiences online? Leave us a comment below.

Save

Save

Save

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrStumbleUponYouTube

Gatorade’s Example: Can a Company Be Health-Conscious and Sales-Focused at the Same Time?

Health-Conscious and Sales-FocusedMarketing is a tricky game: Businesses must convince consumers to buy their product, even when both the consumer and the business are aware of certain product drawbacks. No product can be everything to all people, though.

For instance, proper running shoes won’t look like Converse Chuck Taylors. What makes running shoes fly off the shelf isn’t their style, but their function. The reverse is also true: Converse can’t market their sneakers like they would athletic shoes. In this case, it’s about style over performance.

The Marketing Dilemma: Handling a Product’s Weakness

Companies in the food industry have a similar dilemma. In today’s health-conscious society, consumers are paying attention to labels. Dramatically high numbers of fat and sugar will turn off many customers.

If a business isn’t selling a health food, marketing can be tough. Most companies generally avoid pointing out unhealthy ingredients in their products and focus more on the items’ positive aspects, never addressing issues that might be considered a drawback.

Ad campaigns and marketing for these products tend to focus on taste and satisfaction. They even appeal to the bandwagon nature of people: “This celebrity likes it, so should you!” While this makes sense, acknowledging the perceived weakness of a product may be a boon to a marketing campaign.

Leverage Weakness for Better Marketing

One company is changing the game. Gatorade, the well-known sports energy drink, has a new video campaign that explicitly addresses the amount of sugar the drink contains. One 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains roughly 34 grams of sugar, although the specific amount can slightly vary, depending on the flavor. Sugar is often considered one of the worst ingredients in today’s diet, and people have a tendency to consume far too much.

Since the American Heart Association recommends that men cap their daily sugar consumption at 37.5 grams and women at just 25 grams, Gatorade’s high sugar content could be seen as a sales liability. Gatorade’s new campaign, however, turns this weakness into opportunity.

Gatorade’s Bold Marketing Strategy

Gatorade is addressing concerns about the amount of sugar in its product with a new video series featuring professional athletes. In the videos, professional athletes such as J.J. Watt and Karl-Anthony Towns confront ordinary people drinking Gatorade outside the context of sports or exercise.

The athletes challenge these individuals to “earn the sugar” by getting active and working up a sweat. For example, in one video Watt has one woman push a blocking sled in order to burn enough calories to “earn” a Gatorade. In another, Towns challenges a man walking calmly down the street with a Gatorade to try to dribble a basketball around the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.

Gatorade’s head of consumer management, Kenny Mitchell, said the “Sweat It to Get It” marketing campaign was born out of a desire to address the amount of sugar in Gatorade – a key component of the product – without hurting sales. Essentially, the company wanted to make it clear their drink is intended for use by athletes who need to replace the sugar they sweat out during exercise.

An Uncommon Approach May Be Successful

The Gatorade campaign is a risky venture, but it looks like a surprisingly successful one. In addition to being used as a sports drink, Gatorade has gained popularity as a folk remedy for hangovers, as well as being popular with consumers who simply like it for the taste. The new marketing campaign, which makes it clear that Gatorade is intended for athletes, risks alienating these other consumer bases.

In contrast to the new ads from Gatorade, companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo (the latter happens to own and distribute Gatorade) have been in the news for trying to protect their market share by lobbying against health bills meant to combat obesity by reducing soda consumption.

It’s a much more common strategy than Gatorade’s approach, similar to tactics big tobacco and alcohol distributors have used in years past. This approach also comes with some risks: No one wants to support a company that sacrifices their consumer’s health for profit. Gatorade’s campaign is different by showing that a company can send out positive, helpful messages to the public that address a product’s drawbacks but still encourage purchases.

Has the Health-Conscious and Sales-Focused Strategy Paid Off?

Recent sales data shows that quarterly and annual sales of Gatorade appear to be doing well. Data from the market research agency IRI shows Gatorade’s various brands of sports drinks (led by Gatorade Perform) dominated the field of sports drinks in 2015, with the overall market share rising 10 percent that year.

It’s too early to tell if Gatorade’s new campaign will result in increased revenue. However, the health-conscious campaign comes off as a legitimate branding strategy, rather than a gimmick to drum up sales.

It’s interesting to note that while Gatorade’s new approach seems to be helping its brand and sales, public consumption of sugared sodas and carbonated beverages is dropping off, in spite of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s lobbying efforts to protect consumers’ access to soda.

Although carbonated soft drinks still led in overall sales among convenience stores in 2015, sports drinks such as Gatorade were a much closer second than they’ve been in the past, and the product shows much greater overall growth.

Consider Other Health-Conscious Approaches

Gatorade’s new campaign makes for an interesting comparison to other efforts by brands traditionally viewed as unhealthy, which are trying to keep their sales stable in an increasingly health-conscious market. Take McDonald’s, for example. Particularly after the release of the documentary “Super Size Me” in 2004, the company has worked relentlessly to convince consumers its food isn’t all that bad for you.

McDonald’s recent “Always Working” campaign in the U.K. aimed to convince parents that they’ve made Happy Meals healthier over the last 10 years, and that parents shouldn’t feel guilty about offering them to their children.

Changing the Product vs. Changing Your Campaign

A big difference between McDonald’s and Gatorade, however, is that Gatorade hasn’t changed the product, just the marketing. McDonald’s campaign is trying to show that it is listening to its consumers and thus changing the product to make it healthier. Gatorade, on the other hand, doesn’t claim to have made any changes to the amount of sugar in their traditional drinks.

However, it’s worth noting that Gatorade recently launched a G Organic lineup of drinks. While these new products still contain a high amount of sugar, they are made with only seven ingredients, including organic cane sugar.

Gatorade’s new ads clarify that the product is meant for athletic competition and that when it’s consumed alongside exercise and sports activity, the amount of sugar isn’t overwhelming for your body. Mitchell actually states that Gatorade is proud of the sugar in their drinks and has no plans to change its formula.

Turn Weakness into Opportunity

Marketing is about explaining to your base why they want or need your product. If your product has a downside, there may be a way to leverage that perceived weakness into a strength, much like Gatorade has done.

The “Burn It to Earn It” marketing campaign shows that it’s possible for a company to stay true to itself while also responding to public health concerns, all without hurting the bottom line.

At Eminent SEO, we can evaluate your company’s brand messaging and marketing strategy for areas of weakness and potential opportunities. Give us a try! Call 800.871.4130 today.

Save

Save

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusFlickrStumbleUponYouTube

More Big-Box Retailers Bite the Dust: What’s to Blame? (Besides Online Shopping)

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , on by .
RoomStore Sports Chalet Phoenix - Big-Box Retailers - Eminent SEO

A Sports Chalet and The RoomStore are situated next to each other in north Phoenix, and both franchises are in the process of going out of business for good. (Eminent SEO Photo)

It’s always sad to see a business close its doors and leave behind a vacant storefront.

Well, almost always – depending on if the shuttered business personally wronged you in any way.

Over the last couple of months, multiple big-box retailers with a once-prominent presence here in Arizona announced they would be closing all of their locations. The notable closures include Southwest-based sporting goods franchise Sport Chalet and the Arizona-only furniture chain The RoomStore.

So, what caused the demise of these long-standing retailers?

Was it online shopping (ecommerce) options? Too many direct competitors? Failure to distinguish themselves from similar franchises? An economy that simply refuses to kick into the next gear?

It’s likely all of the above, plus another, less-talked-about factor I’ll examine a little bit later. First, let’s look at the particulars of these franchises’ final days, as well as some of the main influences that put them out of business.

Details on The RoomStore’s Closing

The RoomStore is currently having one of the more spectacular going-out-of-business bonanzas I’ve ever seen. Around the metro-Phoenix area, shopping center signs and cargo trucks have unabashedly been heavy on terms like “Liquidation” and “Going Out Of Business Forever.”

RoomStore Liquidation Truck - Eminent SEO

A semi-truck parked near The RoomStore in north Phoenix advertises the furniture retailer’s going-out-of-business sale. (Eminent SEO Photo)

The company’s website impresses the sense of urgency even further, encouraging you to negotiate the price you want and that nobody beats The RoomStore’s going-out-of-business sale.

RoomStore Going Out Of Business Sale

Um, are they excited to be going out of commission? The company even appears elated to point out that several locations have closed and the rest are shutting down soon.

RoomStore Homepage Locations Listings

The Room Store was actually founded in Texas in 1992, and it opened its first Arizona location a year later. When all of the Texas RoomStores began closing down in late-2012, the Arizona locations were immune, since they were owned by a separate company: The RoomStores of Phoenix, LLC.

At its height, The RoomStore owned 12 locations in Arizona, primarily in the greater Phoenix region. The company was perhaps most recognized locally as a long-time sponsor of the Phoenix Suns.


When The RoomStore filed for bankruptcy protection last December, it was a definitive sign that the local furniture empire was on its last legs.

Details of Sport Chalet’s Closing

Sport Chalet’s wind-down process has been much more somber. In April, the company sent an email to all of its subscribers announcing the end of the franchise. A version of that email is currently on the homepage of the website, which appears to be the only page on the site anymore.

Sport Chalet Homepage Closing

You can’t even find which stores are still open through the website. The company has sent several follow-up, matter-of-fact emails that announce extensions of honoring customers’ gift cards and other similar notices. The retailer doesn’t appear to have any sense of urgency in enticing the consumer to visit a store and buy an item on discount before the place closes.

Founded in 1959, Sport Chalet at one point had more than 50 locations in Nevada, Arizona, Utah and, especially, California, where it was headquartered. The sporting goods chain is part of the Vestis Retail Group, which also owns Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) and Bob’s Stores, all located in the Northeast. Vestis has filed for bankruptcy, but it is keeping most of its EMS and Bob’s Stores open while cutting out the fat that is Sports Chalet.

Too Much Competition for These Big-Box Retailers?

The RoomStore and Sport Chalet were both plagued by lukewarm and negative online reviews. For The RoomStore, complaints mostly concerned returns, refunds, sales tactics and even deliveries and the quality of furniture. For Sport Chalet, sky-high prices and poor customer service appeared to hamper the business most forcefully.

As a significant side note, if you’re going to survive as a brick-and-mortar store in today’s environment, you’ve got to offer an experience, not just lay out merchandise and hope somebody buys it. If you want to look within The RoomStore’s industry, it’s easy to see that the home furnishings giant IKEA offers a distinct shopping experience. Did The RoomStore offer a discernible experience, or did it simply (haphazardly) sling furniture?

If you’re looking at Sport Chalet’s industry, you can see that Dick’s Sporting Goods at least somewhat offers an experience, as each store maintains a locker room feel. Did Sport Chalet offer an experience? Do large photographs on the walls of various sporting activities make for an experience? The franchise initially started out with a focus on skiing equipment and later expanded to scuba gear, but after that, it tried to appeal to a wider audience, and it ended up throwing aside its unique selling proposition in the process.

Also, Sport Chalet wasn’t on its email and ecommerce game the way that Dick’s is. Personally, I was buying online from Dick’s Sporting Goods way back in the early 2000s. Lo and behold, several physical locations started cropping up around town just a couple of years later.

It’s obvious that Dick’s has a two-fold strategy to grow its business. Even if Sport Chalet’s ecommerce sales were vibrant, they weren’t enough to salvage the entire company, and apparently not even worth keeping as an online-only business.

Also of note is that Sports Authority recently filed for bankruptcy and later announced it is closing all of its stores. Same concept here: What was the Sports Authority Experience? Anybody? Bueller? Sports Authority was once the country’s largest sporting goods retailer, but like Sport Chalet, it will soon be no more.

What do these major setbacks mean for the great American sporting goods store going forward?

Did a Sluggish Economy Kill These Franchises?

Well, even if the economy is hurting – which it no longer seems to be, by most indicators – the furniture and sporting goods industries aren’t currently feeling the pain. Here are a few stats that tell the tale, as provided by the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Retail and food service sales are up 3.5 percent in Quarter 1 of 2016 from the same time period last year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings store sales are up 5.6 percent in Q1 of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music store sales are up 7.4 percent, one of the largest jumps in any retail and food service niche from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016.

So, even if retail is up this year and the furniture and sporting goods sectors are particularly doing well, those factors apparently weren’t enough to save franchises like The RoomStore, Sport Chalet and Sports Authority. You would think that even a higher-priced store like Sport Chalet, for example, would be able to survive as long as the economy’s in good shape and there’s enough consumer spending to go around, but alas, some businesses are still going under.

Truth be told, these franchises were hemorrhaging profits for years prior to the economy righting itself, but by the time it got better, it was too little, too late – and the writing was on the wall for these once-prominent retailers.

Did Ecommerce Sales Play a Role?

It’s always the elephant in the room every time a big-box retailer goes under: internet sales. Yes, online sales are becoming more and more common as the checkout process continually gets easier, but ecommerce still doesn’t take up as big of a chunk of the market as you’d think.

According to the chart below, ecommerce sales comprised only about 2.5 percent of all U.S. retail sales (adjusted) back in Q1 of 2006. The market share has continuously grown since then, rising to nearly 8 percent of all retail sales in Q1 of 2016.

Yes, 8 percent doesn’t really seem like that much, but that still represents more than $92 billion in transactions in just one quarter of the year. It’s decisively large enough to play a role in putting brick-and-mortars out of business.

Overlooked Factor: Reluctance of Dealing with Sales Associates

Although online shopping is more convenient than ever, I think the issue goes much deeper when it comes to why big-box retailers are hurting. When shopping online, you can line up dozens of items side by side, check out their specs and then make your purchase with one or two clicks of a button, all without having to deal with a salesperson.

While it’s hard to beat physically trying out an item in the store, some might still say, “Why deal with a potentially incompetent, unhelpful or pushy sales associate when I can just buy the merchandise online.”

To some shoppers, it might be a diagnosable social anxiety disorder that keeps them buying their furniture, clothing and other merchandise from a distance. To others, it might be a conscious decision to avoid the hassle and wait that is latent every time you walk into a store – especially one like The RoomStore or Sport Chalet, according to many online reviews.

Many people spend more time with their face buried in their phones or computers than they do interacting with others face to face, so it’s no wonder ecommerce continues to grow. You could argue we’re being conditioned to do more interaction online than we do in “the real world.”

According to a 2015 eMarketer forecast, Americans spent an average of 2 hours and 54 minutes each day on their mobile devices last year, and that doesn’t even count phone calls. That number equates to 44 days out of the year just spent on a mobile phone or tablet. The 2016 average is expected to jump to 3 hours and 8 minutes per day – again, not counting using a phone the old-fashioned way.

Learn More About Internet Addiction

While some can juggle face-to-face interaction and heavy internet usage well, others cannot. If those who struggle with it are able to simply buy merchandise remotely, even if it means the item’s size or color might be askew once seeing it in person, then that’s a risk they’re willing to take. And let’s be honest, you can find some great deals online. Also, the online checkout process is usually easy and you’ll save gas by not having to drive to a store.

It all adds up to a significant threat to big-box retailers, which need to make sure their online sales process is as good or better than their in-store operations.

Conclusion

So, ecommerce sales, stiff competition and possibly the economy are all going to weigh heavily on brick-and-mortar retailers going forward, but I also think we shouldn’t discount the ever-increasing reluctance to social interaction. If someone can buy the same item online that they would otherwise have to walk into a store and deal with sales associates, especially a place that’s not known for its customer service, how can you convince them to buy from you on location?

We’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on why big-box retailers are going under as well as your ideas to keep them afloat. Comment with your opinions below.

Oh, and R.I.P. Sport Chalet, Sports Authority and The RoomStore.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

What Are the Consequences and Prevalence of Internet Addiction?

This entry was posted in Health and tagged , , , on by .

Do You Have Internet Addiction - Eminent SEO

On this Eminent SEO blog, we generally offer marketing advice, website and social media tips, as well as SEO and tech news. On this go-round, however, we’d like to slightly deviate from our usual offerings and talk about an issue that more closely relates to something many of our clients would usually cover: addiction.

But we’re not here to talk about addiction to drugs, alcohol or other harmful habits that quickly come to mind. Instead, what we’d like to look more into is excessive online surfing, aka internet addiction.

Internet addiction is real, and it’s not spectacular. Studies show that it’s not all too prevalent now, but given the web-usage habits of millennials on down, it will likely become more common in coming years.

In this post, we’ll take a look at:

  • The characteristics of internet addiction
  • How common this type of addiction is
  • The risks and consequences of excessive web usage
  • How alleviate one’s own internet addiction

What Characterizes Internet Addiction?

Couple On Couch With Smartphones - ESEOInternet addiction isn’t yet considered an official disorder, but it’s listed in the U.S. as a condition that warrants further study. This condition is characterized by spending too much time on a computer or web-enabled device to the point where it starts to affect an individual’s relationships, finances, employment, health and more. People with “addictive personalities” are at-risk for becoming a little too attached to their internet-connected devices.

Like many other forms of addiction, internet addiction can cause excess dopamine in the brain, meaning it can give the user a sort of “high” when online. But once the person goes offline, he or she may feel withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, when away from the computer. When an internet-addicted individual is not on the computer, he or she may spend most of the time itching to get back online again.

Not only is an internet addict’s relationships and job and school performance suffering, but the individual will likely lose interest in non-online hobbies or pursuits. Additionally, the internet addict may become defensive or angry when someone else comments on his or her behavior. Internet addicts may even go out of their way to hide the extent of their usage.

Which Online Activities Are They Addicted To?

Certain online activities are ripe for becoming a timesuck. If one is not careful, one or more online pastimes may become the centerpiece of a person’s life.

So what are the activities that internet-addicted individuals are spending so much of their time on? It could be one or more of the following:

  • Online gaming
  • Social networking
  • Gambling
  • Trading stocks
  • Online forum and chat room usage
  • Reading and leaving comments on favorite blog and news websites
  • Dating site interaction
  • Online shopping
  • Pornography

How Widespread Is Internet Addiction?

Despite the increasing exposure to the internet and the ability to get online from virtually anywhere, internet addiction doesn’t appear to be an epidemic … yet.

It’s hard to gauge how common internet addiction is, and how to measure it, but here are a few stats that attempt to paint the picture:

  • A 2010 study in “The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse” found that the prevalence rate of internet addiction was as high as 8.2 percent among Americans and Europeans.
  • “Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment,” published in 2010, estimated that more than 18 percent of college-aged internet users may be addicted.
  • In 2010, the University of Leeds in England surveyed people between the ages of 16 and 51 and found only 1.4 percent of respondents were bona fide internet addicts.
  • According to Daily Mail, data published in late-2014 said that 7.1 percent of the population in Asia is addicted to the internet, a figure which includes 24 million children in China.
  • According to a 2014-15 survey in Taiwan, the prevalence rate of internet addiction among 1,100 respondents (mostly female) was 10.6 percent.

Drawing from all of the studies above, it’s probably safe to say that internet addiction affects less than 10 percent of people worldwide. However, you can also estimate that a reasonably higher percentage of young people would qualify for being internet addicted.

More on China’s Internet Addiction Problems

China is particularly seeing an affliction of internet addiction, especially among young males. In 2008, the most populated country declared internet addiction a clinical disorder, becoming one of the first nations to do so, according to Voice of America. Three years earlier, China had already begun combating the problem, opening its first of many military-style internet rehabilitation camps.

China’s threshold for what qualifies as internet addiction might seem quite low to some. When it was first categorized as a disorder, internet addiction in China meant someone spent more than six hours online (not work- or study-related) each day and felt bad when unable to access a computer. While that may seem like a low benchmark, China is nonetheless not joking around when it comes to the problem. It is just one of many countries that has been taking steps to curb heavy web usage, with South Korea being another prominent example.

Risks and Consequences of Internet Addiction

Although the internet offers ways to connect with people all over the world, the interactions are often superficial and rarely a substitute for real-life relationships. Besides potentially hurting relationships, finances and job status, internet addiction can negatively affect people in other ways, such as exacerbating or giving rise to mental health issues.

Back in 2008, Dr. Jerald J. Block conducted a study that concluded that 86 percent of internet-addicted individuals exhibited other mental health disorders. The mental health conditions that are sometimes linked with internet addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Psychosis
  • Hostility
  • Insomnia
  • Impulse control disorder
  • Substance use disorders, such as abuse of alcohol or prescription and illegal drugs
  • Suicidal thoughts

People who are addicted to the internet may also become malnourished due to poor eating habits, such as not eating often enough or consuming unhealthy snacks and meals that don’t take too much time away from the web and can be eaten while sitting at a computer. As you can imagine, since sitting or lying down is the most common position for internet surfing, someone who spends hours and hours online each day will see their physical health start to slide as well.

More on Depression and Internet Addiction

Medical experts have had trouble determining if depression leads to internet addiction or vice-versa. Either way, the worse the addiction gets, the more one’s depression is exacerbated, in most cases.

This can become a vicious cycle. Depression can tempt someone into retreating to a computer or internet-enabled device and staying there for hours on end. In other cases, the allure of the internet can keep a newer user online for hours to the point where they’re doing it every day, but as their connections and relationships with others start to fade, depression can begin to seep in. If a person’s internet usage is making depression worsen, it’s time to pull them out of the cycle and begin some form of therapy.

More on Suicidal Thoughts and Internet Addiction

You don’t have to search too hard on the web to find stories of people wearing diapers (especially for gaming) to keep their internet usage uninterrupted and others who have physically harmed themselves to try to pull themselves out of the digital timesuck.

These are unfortunate situations, but they hint at something direr than simply depression. Not only does web addiction closely relate to depression, but it gets even more serious: suicidal thoughts and actions.

The aforementioned Taiwanese study looked closely at the link between suicide and internet addiction. When comparing the internet-addicted respondents to the non-addicts, researchers found that internet addicts have:

  • A 47 percent higher rate of suicidal thoughts within a week
  • A 23 percent higher rate of lifetime suicide attempts
  • A 5 percent higher rate of suicides attempt within a year

Unsurprisingly, the same study also found that web-addicted individuals have a 65 percent higher rate of psychiatric morbidity, which means both physical and psychological decoration due to a mental condition.

How to Get Help for Internet Addiction

Couple Hugging Each Other Looking At Smartphones - ESEO

You’d be surprised at the number of ways you can treat internet addiction now, whether at home or in a professional environment. You don’t even have to fly to China to enter one of its rehabilitation boot camps!

If you know someone who exhibits many of the signs of internet addiction, don’t be shy in trying to redirect their attention to other hobbies or to help them seek professional treatment. As you just read, the consequences can even be fatal, in rare cases.

At-Home Options and Strategies

Software is available to help keep internet usage to a certain time constraint. Most of it is available for download online. It’s usually intended for parents and schools, but it will work for you if you’re trying to help a loved one with his or her web usage. Just do a search for “software to limit internet usage,” and you can read reviews and choose a product that works with your budget.

Also, if you’re a close friend or family member of someone who’s addicted to the web, it helps to model a healthy internet behavior to them. If you are on the web for several hours in a row too, or if you can’t finish a conversation with your loved one without checking your phone, it’s going to be hard to convince him or her to cut back. So, not only model appropriate web-usage behavior, but also try to encourage the person to frequently join you for social events, physical activities, etc.

Medical Treatment

Depending on the situation, a doctor or psychiatrist might prescribe certain medications to treat web addiction, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. Prescription drugs such as Lexapro, Vivitrol (an extended-release injection), Wellbutrin, and a Celexa-Seroquel combination all are options for treating internet addiction.

Counseling and Therapy

The internet addict should go through his or her insurance in order to find and start seeing a licensed psychiatrist. The struggling individual could also join a therapy group. Some 12-step programs do accept internet and tech addicts, by the way. Of course, group sessions should take place in person, rather than in chat rooms or other online areas.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven to be very effective when treating this type of condition. Led by a therapist, CBT helps replace addictive behaviors with something more positive and healthy. CBT can change thinking and behavior patterns, as well as give the patient some tools that will be useful throughout life.

Inpatient Treatment

If the situation is that grim or if group therapy isn’t working, you may want to look into residential treatment. Some hospitals and drug rehab centers offer programs for internet addicts. It’s still a relatively new process, but there should be a residential rehab center that will offer a little getaway from the digital world as well as expert guidance toward a healthier lifestyle.

Please share this article with your friends and loved ones to help spread awareness of the dangers of internet addiction.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Like It or Not, Vertical Video is Here to Stay: How Marketers, Brands Can Adjust

Vertical Video - Upright Or Sideways - Eminent SEO

Trying to watch an entire video that was shot vertically might be like nails on a chalkboard to a design expert or videographer. However, much to their chagrin, vertical video has expanded well beyond Snapchat and isn’t going away anytime soon.

It seems to fly in the face common of sense, but a market has emerged for vertical video. Just a few years ago, most of us were making the switch from 4:3 monitors and television sets to widescreen versions. Now, a significant amount of the media we watch and interact with is being presented vertically, not horizontally.

How did this happen? You can credit (or blame) mobile devices for this movement. As our smartphones have gotten more powerful and as most families own at least one tablet device, we are quickly moving toward a mobile-first world.

Let’s take a look at the arguments for vertical video, why the format will likely be around for years to come, and how advertising and marketing departments can capitalize on the movement. But, before we do that, let’s look at why vertical video gets the goat of so many who claim to be experts in the aesthetics of moving imagery.

Why Vertical Video Sucks

You may have thought we’re living in a widescreen world, but the vertical video movement is pushing back at that notion.

How did this happen? A common complaint about trying to watch a video in this format goes to the effect of, “My eyes aren’t stacked vertically on my head!”

Yes, we naturally see the world horizontally. We generally like to see the full context and background of whatever subject on which we happen to currently have our focus. This explains why television screens and computer monitors have evolved to replicate, as closely as possible, our natural field of vision.

Yet, more and more people are serving up video in a vertical format. You can thank apps like Snapchat and Periscope for this phenomenon, or maybe just blame the orientation of smartphones and perhaps sheer laziness by their owners.

Vertical video has been getting on consumers’ nerves for several years now. Some even claim that the format is evidence of a rise of narcissism in society, since it’s usually one person filming themselves. In 2012, a popular video was released that claims to be a public service announcement on “Vertical Video Syndrome.”

“Vertical videos happen when you hold your camera the wrong way,” the lighthearted, humorous video says. “Your video will end up looking like crap,” it adds.

This so-called PSA came out about a year after the creation of Snapchat. Even then, its creators recognized that too many smartphone users were forgoing turning their devices sideways when shooting video. Today, vertical video is even more prominent, and many former horizontal advocates are finally giving in.

Perhaps the reason vertical video gets on the nerves of so many is quite a few of us think in terms of YouTube when consuming and producing visual content. A vertical video might play well on a phone, but once if it gets uploaded to YouTube, an excessive amount of pillarboxing (empty, black bars on the left and right) accompanies the footage inside the video player.

Why Vertical Video Does Not Suck

Let’s put aside any personal distaste for vertical video for a moment and take a level-headed look at why the format is excelling and why it legitimately has a place in today’s digital world.

Cellphones are getting larger and larger, and they’re getting harder to hold steadily in one hand, even for those of us with large hands. Turning the phone sideways to shoot video almost always takes two hands to operate the device, and there are certain times where that’s a luxury some users just don’t have. Shooting a video with the phone held upright can usually be accomplished with one hand, so there’s little reason to fault people for not being gung-ho about turning the phone horizontally.

Also, sometimes framing a video vertically just makes sense. It works for certain photos, after all. If you really want to get a tight focus on a single subject – a person or an object – then a vertical orientation could work really well. And it’s not just that it can work really well, it is working really well in the current smartphone- and tablet-laden environment, as more and more users are feeling comfortable with watching and shooting such videos.

This tweet sums up the best situations in which to shoot a vertical video:

Several Signs that Vertical Video Is a Legit Movement

You don’t have to look too far to see that vertical video is a viable movement and isn’t going away any time soon. Here are a few examples that extend beyond the realms of Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, etc.:

Vervid

Vervid is a website and iPhone app that allows users to create and share short videos with an aspect ratio of 9:16 (as opposed to the widescreen dimensions of 16:9). This company appears to be on a mission to make vertical video a mainstay.

Verly

Verly is an online marketplace for stock vertical imagery, with video clips available across 30 different categories and ranging in price from $15 to $79.

Verly Vertical Video Screenshot

Vimeo

You will see pillarboxing around a vertically-shot video on the desktop version of Vimeo, but the video controls actually fit inside the narrow frame with the actual footage, rather than spread across the entire media player, as seen on YouTube.

Vimeo Vertical Video Screenshot

Vertical Film Festival

The Vertical Film Festival takes place in Austrailia and features short, 9:16 submissions. The festival is actually coming up on its second annual celebration, which will take place on May 21, 2016.

Vertical Film Festival Australia

Photo from the 1st annual Vertical Film Festival in Australia. (Facebook Photo/Vertical Film Festival)

Vertical Video Trailers

A YouTube account named “Vertical Video Trailers” has emerged, where it appears the account creator has just taken the traditional trailers of movies and cropped them to fit a vertically oriented device. These clips will have pillarboxing when viewed on a desktop, but if you take them full screen on your phone, they will fill out the available space.

The Stats Back it Up

If the above examples are a little too anecdotal to convince you of vertical video’s newfound prominence, let take a look at a few statistics provided by Snapchat and Verly:

  • Vertical video ads are watched all the way through 9 times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat.
  • Smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time.
  • Brands that are producing vertical video are seeing a 73 percent average completion rate.
  • Viewing of vertical content has jumped 600 percent over the last five years.
  • More than 7 billion video clips are viewed daily on Snapchat, a majority of which are vertically filmed.
  • Consumers use vertically oriented devices 30 percent of the time, up from just 5 percent in 2010. This means desktop, laptop and television screens aren’t dominating consumers’ attention the way they used to.

What About YouTube?

Last year, a Business Insider video producer created a vertical video about vertical video and embedded the YouTube version on his company’s website without any pillarbox showing.

Business Insider YouTube Vertical VideoHowever, if you click to see the video directly in YouTube, a significant amount of pillarboxing fills the widescreen frame.

This indicates that Business Insider must have adjusted the video embed code so the clip shows up perfectly on the page with its accompanying article. In fact, if I dig into the source code of the page, it looks like the width of the video player was changed to 400 pixels and the height changed to 711.

So, while you can manipulate the code of a vertical YouTube video to display correctly on your own site, it won’t look all too great on the popular video platform itself unless you’re viewing it on a phone and you make it full screen. If vertical video creators can eventually convince YouTube to fully cater to their 9:16 content, there’s no telling how far the format will continue to go. But, so far, YouTube is still a little behind the curve, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

How Advertisers, Marketers Can Capitalize on Vertical Video’s Success

Although you can certainly find examples of vertically-shot video and content pre-2010, the format’s viability is currently undeniable in today’s digital climate.

It’s still a rather fresh trend, so brands are still trying to figure out how to capitalize on the format’s success. If you’re in advertising or marketing, keep reading for a few ideas on how to get you started with creating and leveraging vertical video.

Leveraging Snapchat

Many media companies are on Snapchat Discover to provide video and photo content for users on this platform. Your company can try to get on Snapchat Discover, or if you’re a smaller business, you’ll just make a pleas for your Facebook or Twitter followers to find your Snapchat business account. Be sure to hide your phone number, as it will likely be one person whose personal phone will be logged in as the business.

However, make sure your business’s Snapchat Stories can be viewed by the public, not just “friends” of the company. If you can see Stories and individual snaps by users who have friended the company, feel free to interact appropriately and keep your brand on the mind of these users.

Shooting Other Vertical Content

Perhaps, your company periodically shares video to its social accounts, just maybe not vertically oriented clips. You can start changing that today.

Videos shot vertically will play well in Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. You don’t always have to shoot such videos with a phone, either. You can use a higher-powered camcorder and just turn the device 90 degrees, or find a tripod where the camera mount can tilt and still hold the device sideways.

Better yet, use your camcorder to shoot a video with a landscape orientation. And when you have a single subject within a certain shot, just keep it in the focal point in the middle of the frame. This way, you can always crop the footage to a vertical orientation using video-editing software.

You can then share that video to Facebook, Twitter and such, but you have options if you want to use the widescreen version for other platforms, such as YouTube. Companies like Mashable, Vox and National Geographic are known for shooting videos horizontally but cropping some of them down to appear vertically on certain platforms.

Video Length

Vertical video seems to work best for brands when clips are short – as in 1 minute or less. If you look at the submissions to last year’s Vertical Film Festival, most of those “films” didn’t even linger past 3 minutes. While more content consumers are opening up to vertical video, the clips are still difficult for the average viewer to watch for long periods of time.

If you don’t shoot video too often, you can get started by purchasing vertical content from the aforementioned Verly and then adding graphics or a few seconds of your own footage to the mix. Producing high-quality vertical video can help your company succeed on mobile and open itself up to new audiences.

It’s Good to Have Options

Personally, I find vertical video hard to take in, other than on Snapchat and maybe Twitter. However, after digging deeper into the trend, it’s not hard to see the value and the opportunity the format provides, even though it does take some getting used to.

Are we going to start seeing tall, narrow movie theater screens, desktop monitors and TVs? Not likely, although monitors that can rotate 90 degrees may start gaining popularity.

Now that we know vertical video is viable, it’s just another tool in the arsenal when it comes to how to shoot and produce footage that can be used on social media, a company’s website, a presentation, etc. Whether a video needs to be vertical comes down to:

  1. The device you’re using,
  2. The type and number of subjects you’re recording, and
  3. How you want users to view the final product.

A general design rule applies here: If it’s the right format for the right context, it’s usually a success. User experience can go well beyond a website and now apply to the format of videos as well. Whether you personally like vertically filmed video, as marketers and video creators, it’s time to adapt or get left out of the frame.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Ad Blocking is Changing up the Marketing Game

Ad Blocking Changing Marketing - Advertising - Eminent SEO

We all hate invasive advertisements when we’re browsing online. Well, most of us do. Companies behind the advertisements are putting themselves out there in hopes of making a profit on their ad spend. On the other side of the coin, some websites rely on the revenue that comes not from advertising themselves elsewhere, but on hosting ads from other companies.

At the time of this writing, Hubspot Blogs is featuring a survey on its site that asks, “Which Type of Ad is Most Annoying?” The choices are:

  • Auto-playing online video ads
  • Direct mail advertisements or promotions
  • Pop-up online ads
  • Sponsored Twitter ads
  • Television commercials

The overwhelming top choice at this time is auto-playing online videos, with about 60 percent of the vote. In second place, pop-up online ads currently has been clicked on 23 percent of the time. At the moment, Twitter ads and television commercials seem to bother users the least, according to the poll.

So, yes, most of us seem to loathe advertisements, but the HubSpot survey doesn’t really get at what percentage of us feel this way. A recent report by PageFair and Adobe sheds light on how many people claim to be annoyed by online advertising, as well how many people are using ad-blocking extensions and how they’re impacting the advertising industry.

Why Users are Blocking Ads, if at All

The PageFair-Adobe report included the results of a survey of 400 people in the U.S. Surprisingly, about 1 in 4 respondents between the ages of 35 and 49 who aren’t currently blocking ads said they have no plans to ever start using ad-blocking software. However, of those who aren’t blocking ads now but may do so in the future, half of them said the misuse of personal information to customize the ads would be their primary reason to start using a software that blocks such solicitations. The millennials in that non-ad-blocking group said that a sheer increase in the number of ads would be their top reason for eventually taking advantage of a blocking software.

The Rise of Ad-Blocking Extensions, even on Mobile Devices

The same report said ad block usage in the U.S. had increased 48 percent year-over-year, reaching 45 million monthly active users during the second quarter of 2015. The rise of Google Chrome usage played a big part in this, as it is easy to install an ad-blocking extension on the browser. The survey found that ad block usage on Chrome jumped 51 percent from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015. Ad block usage on Firefox increased during that time by 17 percent. What’s ironic is that many ad-blocking extensions can filter out pay-per-click ads in Google search, all while more users are browsing with Google Chrome and taking advantage of such an extension.

Ad blocking on mobile devices is underdeveloped, but is expected to become more of a force in the near future. The App Store on Apple phones first introduced several ad-blocking applications when iOS 9 rolled out this year. The PageFair-Adobe report said Firefox and Chrome currently comprise 93 percent of all mobile ad blocking, but that not a large percentage of overall mobile users have an ad-blocking feature enabled on their devices at this time. Presently, mobile Chrome users can manually install the AdBlock Plus app to stop seeing most or all online advertisements, although the app is no longer available in Google’s Play Store.

What Ad Blocking is Costing the Advertising Industry

Ad-blocking software has completely shaken up the advertising industry. The PageFair-Adobe study found that ad-blocking extensions will cause an estimated loss in revenue globally of $21.8 billion in 2015.

It’s only going to get worse. The report estimates that lost advertising revenue will jump to $41.4 billion in 2016. In the United States alone, the estimated figures of lost revenue from 2014 to 2016 are as follows:

  • 2014: loss of $5.8 billion
  • 2015: loss of $10.7 billion
  • 2016: loss of $20.3 billion

AdBlock and Adblock Plus (no relation) are the most popular browser plug-ins of their kind. A new app for Apple mobile devices, Been Choice, claims to block in-app advertisements, too, even in Facebook’s mobile application. Watch out, advertisers.

How to Combat Loss of Revenue from Ad Blocking

Many websites generate revenue by hosting ads and getting paid per number of impressions. Even if nobody is clicking on a certain ad, the website could still be raking in some revenue if it attracts a high volume of traffic. When visitors to the site have ad blocking enabled, that usually means an impression is lost. Thus, revenue is lost.

So, how do companies that rely on advertising adjust to this wave of ad block popularity? Some webmasters have taken extreme measures such as coding their sites in ways that withholds content until visitors disable any ad-blocking extensions. Other companies, large ones such as Google and Twitter, have been approached by Adblock Plus to become a part of its “Acceptable Ads” program, which means the extension has the ability to overlook ads on certain domains, especially ones that belong to preferred partners.

When all else fails, there’s always good ol’ SEO. If you rely on advertising to drive traffic to your website and increase sales opportunities, you don’t necessarily have to ditch any ongoing PPC campaigns, but now’s the time to ramp up the optimization of your website. There is a litany of elements that goes into optimizing a site for organic traffic. Below is just a sampling of the SEO-related steps you should take:

It’s Time to Optimize

In short, you should focus on making your website into all-around strong user experience, which includes engaging content and clear-cut navigation. Search engine optimization is a complex and ongoing process, and not every company is equipped to keep up with it effectively. Therefore, it never hurts to turn your SEO duties over to a marketing firm that specializes in the trade. Eminent SEO is a full-service digital marketing firm that has bolstered the traffic and conversions of thousands of websites. Click here to learn more about our SEO services or call us today at 800-871-4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter