Tag Archives: digital marketing

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Corporate Spotlight: Derek Van Nostran

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Derek Van Nostran exhibits substantial experience in the digital marketing world. As a graduate from University of Vermont, he acquired a marketing degree with a concentration in psychology.  Coming from Chicago, he moved to Atlanta at age 21 and has adopted Atlanta as his new home. He landed his first job as an account executive at an advertising agency, TMP Worldwide Advertising and Communications which focused on Yellow Pages. When TMP needed someone to run digital marketing for clients, Derek became the regional digital marketing manager. Through the years, Derek has held multiple positions at several different companies. He was a marketing director for Last Minute Travel, a digital brand manager and the VP of brand strategy for The Weather Channel, and the VP of digital marketing for CNN to his current position.

Currently, Derek is head of marketing for a small start-up, NewsON. Branching from Sinclair Broadcast Group, NewsON is a seven-person company with 222 stations focused on streaming video for local news. He describes the culture as flexible, fast-paced, self-motivated, and unstructured. His two main roles involve obtaining more consumers to watch and acquiring more stations to participate. One of the biggest challenges faced is the lack of resources. As a small company within a bigger spectrum, Sinclair Broadcast Group does not always recognize NewsON’s priorities such as new products on new platforms like Amazon. However, some of his favorite aspects include direct control on business, independence on decision-making, and immediate feedback.

When I asked Derek if he preferred the agency or client-side, he concluded there were positives and negatives of both industries. He insists every marketer should start at an advertising agency to obtain a true taste of marketing experience; however, it’s ideal to eventually settle down in a client-side company to attain a more structured lifestyle.

What qualities do you consider great marketers to uphold?

Truly great marketers are extraordinary story tellers, generate creative solutions to tough issues, think on their feet, face challenges with determination, and showcase great collaboration skills.

What educational preparation do you recommend for someone to advance in the marketing field?

Go above and beyond inside and outside of class. Join clubs, get involved, develop a social network, create content on social platforms, and always do the extra. For example, ask Jen or the AMA executive board if they ever need help with anything such as marketing events. Initiative and getting your name known is essential for developing connections.

Do you have any tips on how to be successful?

  1. Invest early – the earlier you invest, the faster your wealth will accumulate.
  2. Raise your hand – participate in discussions and get involved.
  3. Build your network – attend networking events, expand your connections, and get out of your comfort zone.

Derek is an over-achiever in the marketing industry. He is one of the original founders of Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association; consequently, he served as the second President for this exceptional organization. He is very active in not only the marketing industry, but also the programs offered at the University of Georgia. He is President of Jen’s Digital Marketing Advisor Board; moreover, he also volunteers his spare time to coach several teams in the Digital Marketing Competition. Additionally, he’s involved with the American Marketing Association’s mentorship program, so I have the pleasure of having him as a remarkable mentor. I highly encourage marketing students with a digital emphasis to connect with him on LinkedIn. With his extensive experience, he is one of the best mentors to guide you in growing your network.

If you would like to connect with Derek on LinkedIn or check out NewsON, AIMA, or AMA:



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Classic City Coffee: Sips Espresso Cafe

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One of the lesser known coffee places in Athens, Sips Espresso Cafe is located on Prince Avenue. It’s regular customers benefit from long open hours (6am to 9pm) and its location outside of downtown which boasts free parking. Sips has been a part of the Athens for more than five years and hosts a hip and trendy atmosphere which matches the vibe of other Normaltown restaurants nearby.

Digital Marketing Breakdown

Facebook: SIPS Espresso Cafe

  • Rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 47 reviews
  • Posts about 5 times a month
  • Posts feature coffee and food offerings and special holiday posts
  • Average less than 10 engagements per posts

Instagram: Sipsespresso

  • 245 posts
  • bio states: “Come see us for great locally roasted coffee, espresso drinks, teas and baked goods!”
  • Posts the same content as on Facebook with a few additions
  • Posts receive more engagement, about 30-80 likes per post
  • Use story highlights on profile, but do not segment highlights by any specific category


Digital Marketing Ranking: Digital Novice

Sips Espresso Cafe seems to be popular among Athens locals, however it is not doing a great job with its digital marketing. While they do have a presence on social media through their Instagram and Twitter, the company does not have a website. This is a big mistake because it leaves users without an online landing page. In order to begin moving through the digital marketing evolution it needs to provide online browsers with a digital presence. Once a website is established, Sips would then be able to move towards publishing through a blog. By offering timely publications, the coffee shop could cultivate a more loyal following as well as intrigue online searchers who stumble across the site. Once these two things have been done I recommend furthering their social media presence by allocating a small monthly advertising budget and utilizing the Ads Manager feature on Facebook where they already have an established presence.



  1. Hire a web designer to put together a professional website
  2. Segment the website into sections: Home, About, Menu, Blog
  3. Include professional photos of the cafe, products, or employees


  1. Establish a regular posting schedule for content
  2. Begin with an introductory series on the owners, employees, and vision behind Sips
  3. Later introduce a couple different blog series like “What’s in Season?” which might highlight special seasonal product offerings or a “Sips Serves” series which might showcase employees volunteering together in the local community (generates good word-of-mouth advertising).

Social Media

  1. Establish a more regular posting schedule
  2. Try to create a mix of content
  3. Begin using Facebook Ads Manager to start sponsoring posts and ads targeted towards new customers within the target audience
  4. Read and respond to reviews/claim business on review sites like Yelp and Google Business
  5. Try out promotions on discount apps like Hooked


Overall, Sips’ has a lot of room for improving its digital marketing strategy. However, despite not having a website, the coffee cafe seems to be doing well for itself since it has stayed in business in Athens for more than five years. I think investing in paid advertising on Facebook or even beginning to bid for keywords on Google Adwords and increasing its presence among search results would greatly benefit the cafe’s return on investment.



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Super Smash Takes a Tell-all Marketing Approach

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Marketing dances along a funny line when it comes to showing your hand; it’s not often marketers bare everything when promoting a product.

Movie trailers, for instance, would never show the plot twist or ending, nor would a good book. In fact, people go to great lengths to avoid spoiling the story before they get there. Marketers, rather, reveal just enough to strike intrigue and then call it quits—leaving the consumer craving more.


Masahiro Sakurai, however, has a different idea of what marketing looks like—for video games at least. The producer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a classic fighting game with a new title coming December 7th, has (as of last Thursday) officially revealed every character and stage for the upcoming game.


Considering the typical approach to video games, Sakurai has used his media outlets in a revolutionarily different way. Granted, fighting games have different appeals that single-player RPG’s, however, it is not every day that you see every detail of a game released prior to the game entering the public market.


This show-all technique, while unorthodox, is really rather genius when given consideration. While there is potential draw in the mystery of unlockable characters, the title is practically a Nintendo highlight reel and should be treated as such. With 74 playable, unique characters, it boasts fighters from a slew of very different Nintendo games, and fosters a sense of nostalgia and greatness surrounding the company. What better way to generate excitement, therefore, than to let players know that their favorite character or map from their beloved series will be making an appearance in a legendary video game?


Given this approach, Sakurai has made the choice to also let select groups of people demo the game and post the gameplay. This has resulted in a college tour around the country, allowing students to give it a try, as well as select pro tournaments being recorded and other Nintendo employees posting gameplay footage. Media on the game, therefore, is all over the place; you can practically watch any characters or get any information you want online about the game.


The only thing you can’t do at this point is actually play it yourself.


The title, after all though, technically hasn’t revealed ~everything~. There is a single player mode with a storyline that has not been revealed, however, any fan of the series will know that solo play is far from the focus of Super Smash Bros.—historically, at least. For now, we will all have to rely on the plethora of YouTube gameplay and patiently wait to get our hands on the game December 7th.

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Changing the Chamber- Week Seven

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I am still continuing to change the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce by improving their digital marketing as their social media coordinator. Each week I learn something new and develop a stronger strategy for their social media. My fellow coworkers and I have started coming up with a weekly plan for what I should post, including welcome posts to all of our new members, promoting local events, and reminders. At the beginning of each week, I decide what I will post each day and what social media platform is appropriate for each post.

On Instagram, I posted several stories that were mostly graphics I created myself on Canva. I had hoped to be able to post on our feed, but the organizations I contacted have been extremely slow to respond to me. I posted a story for National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day and encouraged people to use the hashtag #SupportYourLocalChamber. I also posted a story promoting the Georgia Florida Food Truck Rally put on by Glynn County in St. Simons. I posted a reminder for our October Business After Hours event the morning of the day it occurred. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event to take pictures or post live footage because I was out of town. I also posted a graphic wishing everyone at UGA a Happy fall Break. All of these stories either show us supporting a partner organization or promoting our own event, both of which are our goals. Now, I just need to focus on creating content for our actual feed. My struggle with contacting local organizations has taught me how important effective communication is for a business.


On Facebook, I posted a welcome to all of our recently new members. We had six new members, and I posted an individual post each day for each of them explaining what they did, quoting their mission, and linking their website. I also posted a picture of my boss with a loving message for National Bosses Day. I shared an event from one our members, Academia Brewing Company, that was hosting their One Year Anniversary and congratulated them. I also shared an event from the Lyndon House Arts Center that was having House Party fundraiser for arts center programming. I contacted one of our members, Global Escapes, who was celebrating their 30th anniversary and asked them why they enjoyed being a chamber member. I posted to congratulate them and shared their answer. This post promoted their business, showed our support, and encouraged other people to want to join the chamber with their explanation of why they enjoy it. I also promoted a fundraising event that Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia was having in celebration of 60 years. I posted about National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day on Facebook, the Georgia Florida Food Truck Rally, and UGA’s Fall break, as well. I also posted a reminder for our October Business After Hours event, but on Facebook I shared the event on Monday to allow more people time to plan and RSVP for it. I posted a lot on Facebook this week, but I made sure to spread them out evenly throughout the week.

On LinkedIn, I also posted about National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. I felt it was appropriate to post here too because it directly affects our organization and encourages people to support us. I also thanked people for all of the support they have given us in the past and will continue to give us in the future. I also shared an article about the founder of one of our partner organizations, Athensmade, and how he is helping educating entrepreneurial students at UGA. That article combined two members that we are deeply connected to, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to support them both at the same time.

We have steadily been gaining followers on Instagram, but much slower on Facebook and LinkedIn. I plan to include the links to the pages in our monthly newsletter that will be sent out at the beginning of November. I also plan to collaborate with my coworkers to help decide a contest that we could have to promote our pages and gain more followers. I am excited to launch a contest and possibly start using paid media on our social pages. It is hard to promote the Chamber when we have such a small budget for promotion, but I think that we all realize how much social media is worth and the impact it can make on our organization.

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Classic City Coffee: Franklin House Cafe

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Perhaps the most recent cafe addition to Athens, Franklin House Cafe opened in January. Located on Broad Street in downtown, the cafe sits on the corner of Thomas St. across from the BB&T bank. Since its opening, Franklin House Cafe has tempted the student population with its coffee and baked good offerings as a welcoming study space. Let’s see how the new independent shop stacks up on its digital marketing platforms:


Digital Marketing Rundown:

Website: www.franklinhousecafe.com

  • The website is divided into three sections: home, coffee menu, food menu
  • Weekly specials are displayed on the home page
  • Location, hours, and contact information presented at the bottom of the home page
  • Website utilizes Google Maps to show the location and directions
  • Drink menu claims “any drink can be made with ice if you ask nICEly”

Instagram: Franklin House Cafe

  • Posts 3-4x a week
  • 47 posts
  • Bio states: “everything here is engineered to make you feel at home”
  • Utilizes the story feature
  • Most posts average 40-50 likes
  • Posts feature coffee and food menu favorites and occasionally guest pictures

Facebook: Franklin House Cafe

  • 5 star rating
  • Pop-up chat box feature triggered by quick responses
  • Posts the same content as Instagram
  • Reviews are all very positive

Twitter: @AthensCafeeeeee

  • Franklin House Cafe joined December 2017
  • Has 4 followers and 0 tweets
  • Not active

Digital Marketing Ranking: Digital Marketing Novice

Having been open for under a year, Franklin House Cafe has not yet taken full advantage of all that the digital marketing world has to offer. While the cafe does have a website Facebook and Instagram, these appear to be the only three platforms on which they are currently active. They do have a twitter, but as it has yet to tweet, the cafe is not reaching people on Twitter. A review of the website shows that the site is organized and professional looking, however is very basic. They have not yet ventured into publishing a blog by which they could further engage users and distinguish their brand from the plethora of other coffee shops in Athens. Their Instagram seems to be the most active platform, and has been kept up with since its inception in January, posting several times a week. Posts receive a proportionate amount of engagement for its audience, however, with less than three-hundred followers, Franklin House Cafe needs to expand its audience before it can start having real influence. As for its Facebook presence, the brand enjoys great five-star reviews from happy customers, but does not do much to create content unique from its Instagram posts or engage customers with events or special offers. Overall, Franklin House Cafe seems to have cultivated a good reputation with Athens and has started to market itself by using basic social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. However, to compete with the coffee competition in Athens, my recommendation for Franklin House Cafe is to move from having an online presence to having an online publication which draws engagement. They can do this by expanding their website to include a blog and featuring seasonal posts about special offerings or doing a feature on their employees – really anything that would make the brand more relevant to users who might stumble across the website while searching for a place to study in Athens. Additionally, Franklin House Cafe could greatly increase their reach by expanding into Facebook advertising. Even with only a budget of less than fifty-dollars a month, the cafe could start sponsoring some of their Facebook and Instagram posts to have them appear to new users whose online personas show they would enjoy a cup of coffee at the unique new cafe.


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The Nintendo Switch: A Marketing Miracle

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For those who don’t know, Nintendo has been having a very good year. After the well documented and highly criticized failure of the Wii U, a console which Nintendo struggled to effectively market, Nintendo has seen incredible success with their newest console, the Switch. As of July of this year, the Nintendo Switch has already sold 20 million units in its first year of production, and Nintendo expects to sell an additional 20 million units in the next year. This can be contrasted with their previous Wii U console, which sold less than 14 million units in its entire production lifetime.

But while this is certainly commendable, why exactly should these figures be interesting from a marketing perspective? The answer is simple: the Nintendo Switch has been one of the most successful marketing endeavors in the history of the video game industry, and its success shows that Nintendo has learned from their mistakes with the Wii U.

Breaking down the success of the Switch begins with a look at the system itself. The Switch is the first successful product to bridge the gap between mobile and console gaming systems because of its ability to function as a console when docked and as a mobile gaming system when out of the dock (For those of you less familiar with the term “dock” here is an explanation). This feature became the unique selling point for the Switch, offering users the chance to play the games they love wherever they go with no loss of performance or user experience.

Further, rather than focusing on hardware specifications for performance specs for the Switch, Nintendo’s ads and PR events highlighted the experience users would have with the Switch. Starting with their initial announcement video, ads focused on showing examples of its portability and showed groups of happy users spending time together and laying the Switch. This focus on the emotions of playing games showed that Nintendo fundamentally understood that it was feelings, not features, that win over customers.

While they have certainly been successful, this is not to say that the Switch is perfect. The device lacks certain third-party features, such as an on-system Netflix app or a web browser, that are standard on competing devices. This makes it difficult to use the Switch as an entertainment hub outside of just playing games, and Nintendo has been slow to address this weakness. That said, with time these features may be added in, making the Switch an even more attractive buy for customers.

Ultimately, Nintendo has seemingly escaped their marketing rut and is displaying an excellent understanding of their target market. If this trend continues they will see incredible success in years to come.



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Changing the Chamber- Week Five

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This was an important week for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. We had our Mid-Year fundraising event and our NetWORK lunch. The Mid-Year Event took place at One Press Place in downtown Athens and is one of our biggest fundraising events of the year. We had food, drinks, opportunities to network with other members, and a chance to hear our new CEO David Bradley introduce himself formally and say a few words. We also announced our 2018 Small Business of the Year award winner, Avid Bookshop. It was a very successful and fun night. I posted prior, during, and after the event on social media in order to promote it and show how fun it was.

On Instagram this past week, I posted a lot for the Mid-Year event I just mentioned. I attended the event in order to be able to take pictures to post on social media, and while I was there I posted multiple Instagram stories. The first story was of the entrance into the event, which was lined by some lit trees and represented our theme of the night: Lighting the Way. Some of the servers were wearing light-up robot costumes, which is of course extremely interesting and a little weird, so I posted them on my story with our theme’s logo in the background. I think that post really highlighted how fun and how cool the event was, and made it seem less serious and boring, as some people may have imagined it would be. I also posted a video of one of the food tables because who doesn’t love food? The food was also very good, and I wanted to showcase that. I also posted a picture of David speaking with a quote from his speech, “the future is awesome.” I thought that quote would get people excited and show how excited David is to make progress as the new CEO. I also posted a video of everyone having fun and mingling at the event, which also showed off our really cool event space. The caption read, “Great people having a great time,” which I think shows how much we love our members and how everyone that attended the event enjoyed it. At the end, I posted a story thanking everyone that came. I think each post for the Instagram story highlighted a different aspect of the event, and all together made it look like a fun evening. I also posted the next day a carousel of pictures from the professional photographer. All of the pictures were people in groups that looked like they were having fun. The first picture was of our 2018 Small Business of the Year winner, Janet, holding her award because I wanted that picture to be on our page’s feed. Janet was also recognized in Georgia Trend magazine as a Top 40 under 40 and was on the cover, so I added a picture of that to our Instagram story congratulating her. I also made sure to congratulate her on her own post by commenting to show her followers that we support her and all of our members when they do something great. On Saturday, I posted an Instagram story from Sanford Stadium for Game Day, which shows us supporting the Dawgs and UGA. I have been posting those for every home game, and plan to continue because I think it is important to highlight our relationship with the University. Plus, everyone in Athens loves the Dawgs and seeing posts about them. I also posted an Instagram story and an actual post congratulating and promoting one of our new members, Pure Balance Pilates, who had their ribbon cutting this week. We posted quite a bit on Instagram this week, but I think it wasn’t too excessive and I think that everything we posted was relevant and important to include. I think that having a consistent presence on Instagram will help us attract new followers.


On Facebook this week, I shared Avid Bookshop’s post about their owner, Janet, wining 2018 Small Business of the Year with a caption saying congratulations and that we are excited to see what they do in the future. I also posted multiple pictures from the Mid-Year event that the professional photographer took, most of which were the same ones I posted on Instagram, and had a caption thanking everyone for coming, congratulating Avid Bookshop again, saying we had a great time with great people, and quoting David Bradley, “the future is awesome.” I basically combined everything that I had said on Instagram into one caption for all of the pictures I posted on Facebook. I also created Facebook events for our NetWORK lunch and Small Business Breakfast Club to promote those upcoming events. Facebook is where I mainly promote our events, while occasionally reminding people about them through Instagram Stories. I also posted about an event that the UGA Small Business Development Center was having to discuss non-traditional options to fund a small business or new start-up. That post combines promoting our relationship with UGA and helping some of our members have the opportunity to get educated on an important, relevant topic. I also met with the lady that is the head of the leisure department for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, who wanted some help promoting the annual Athens Parade of Lights and informing businesses that they need to start applying if they want to be apart of it. I posted a video of the event from last year on Facebook, and I included an explanation of how businesses can start applying to be a part of the event. I also included the link to the application and guidelines. Lastly, I shared a post from Georgia CEO that was a video of our CEO David Bradley talking about why he is so excited to be in Athens and what he loves most about it. This video shows how much our CEO loves Athens and hopefully will get other people as excited about Athens as our CEO is. I think all of these posts meet our goals of wanting to celebrate our members, our relationship with the community, and the Chamber itself.

On LinkedIn, I shared some other people’s posts about our Mid-Year event, including one congratulating our 2018 Small Business of the Year winner, Janet. This was an awesome award to win, so I think we should celebrate her and promote her business as much as possible. I also shared a post about our NetWORK lunch that thanked everyone for coming. These posts were focused more on the content of our business events instead of promoting them like I do on Facebook. They were relevant to business and I think our followers enjoyed seeing what events and networking opportunities we were having.

As I mentioned earlier, our Mid-Year event is one of our biggest fundraising events of the year, so it deserved more promotion and mention than our other weekly events. I think I posted a lot about it, without posting too much. I posted mostly the same thing on each platform because we have different audiences for each one and because some people may have missed it on one social media platform, but then were able to see a post about it on another one. My job as the head of their Digital Marketing was extremely important this week, and I think I did a good job of promoting our Mid-Year event, as well as other things. I enjoy the challenges that each week brings, and I am excited for the big things we have planned next week.


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What We Can Learn from Target

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As technology and tracking data is getting more advanced and e-commerce grows, marketers are facing new questions and choices in pursuit of obtaining customer loyalty and purchases.

Let’s start by looking at what we can learn from one of Target’s experiences. Target decided that if they can acquire a customer during their time of pregnancy, they can help establish brand devotion for year to come. As result, they used their data collected from previous consumer purchases of women who were pregnant to determine what coupons they should send them based on products Target anticipated would be purchased. To determine the coupons, they created an algorithm to determine which of their current customers had buying patterns resembling past purchase behavior of the pregnant women. It turns out their algorithm was spot on. The case above tells the story of a father who came into one of the Target’s stores furious they were sending his teenage daughter baby related coupons. He claimed the store was encouraging teen pregnancy. A few weeks later the man returns back to his local store to apologize, stating his daughter was in fact pregnant and he was not aware of it at the time. Upon Target learning of the overwhelming accuracy, they began to purposefully skew the types of product coupons sent to consumers to reduce suspicions. This story certainly highlights the power behind the technology companies are using now and the insight these organizations have on our lives.

So, what can we do to apply this story to digital marketing? Think about the times you’ve searched for products on Amazon, Google or even visited websites browsing only to find ads for the same products featured on your Instagram page, Facebook and ads along webpages on your computer. I know it happens to me all the time. Of course I know of the cookies that follow along with our action online, but that doesn’t it make it any less freaky. Though it can be helpful at times, overall it seems intrusive. When I’m Instagram, I may not be in the mood for carousel ads for products I’ve recently looked at on Amazon. If a consumer isn’t in the state to purchase and simply wants to see what they’re friends on social media, this has the potential to frustrate the consumer. Further, it should be noted that another flaw in this method is the that the user could have already purchased the product through a different website or made an in-store purchase after looking at it online. In this case, it is even more intrusive and irritating. Now, let’s talk about what this looks like if you live with other people and all use the same Wi-Fi network. When I’m home from college, I notice that I receive ads on my phone for products that were never searched for one my device. For example, last time I was home I kept receiving ads for lawn equipment my dad had been looking at purchasing online on the same Wi-Fi network my phone was on.

See, the flaws with this recent phase of digital marketing are apparent. There’s a freaky element of how blatantly obvious it is we’re being tracked. There’s intrusive ads on content we’ve already purchased or we’re shown ads for products we weren’t necessarily looking for in the first placed. It’s time for us as marketers to think about a way to showcase products in a way that reduces the problems consumers currently experience. Perhaps rather than placing sponsored pictures on Instagram feeds, maybe we place them between Instagram stories. How does this minor change affect the consumer’s feelings? Do they see this as less intrusive? We need to remember to respect our consumer’s social media feeds while still striving to make the conversion from browsing to purchase.

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Digital Marketing is becoming a $100 Billion Industry

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Over the past year, digital marketing expenditure has grown 44 percent to $52 billion in the US and Britain. A study estimates that global expenditure is nearing 100 billion dollars.

The growth of this industry reflects the desire for brand safety. Brands jeopardize their image when their ads appear next to unsuitable online content, such as gross youtube videos and inappropriate images posted from other users. Brands now want marketers to seek greater control over their target audiences.

The Moore Stephens survey found that “this budget is coming from media spend and will have a resounding impact on the value of media-centric agencies.” This comment refers that traditional ad agencies are finding it hard to adapt to the new era of digital and social media.

Stephens’s survey found that 63% of US tech budgets were spent in-house, compared to 44% in 2017.

On top of businesses spending more on digital marketing, brands have become weary of Google and Facebook advertising. Brands don’t like to trust other agencies with data, they want to take control of their marketing technology and data.

Overall, at this time the high-end spending brands are still working with agencies, but there is a slow shift to in-house marketing.

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How Kylie Jenner Used Social Media to Build a $900M Cosmetic Empire

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Kylie Cosmetics is a cosmetics company founded and owned by the youngest crew of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner. Three years ago, at the age of just 18 Kylie Jenner launched her makeup brand initially under the name of Kylie Lip Kits. Due to vast amounts of success and growth, the company was renamed Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 with launches ranging far beyond only lip products. Today, this company has a valuation of upwards of $900M, resulting in Kylie Jenner’s name as the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in 2018.

Forbes naming Kylie Jenner self-made has drawn a lot of criticism, given that she grew up in an environment with many more privileges and connections than the average person in the United States. While I do agree that her family’s view in the public eye contributed to her company’s recognition, facts are facts. And the fact is that she has successfully built a company from the ground up- without spending a penny on paid advertising.

Kylie has gone on record and said that her company does not save room in their budget for advertising, and they never have. Kylie Cosmetics’ marketing efforts are based purely through Kylie’s personal and company Instagram and Snapchat accounts. When comparing the Kylie Cosmetic’s Instagram page to other large cosmetic brands such as MAC Cosmetics, their Instagram following is relatively similar- between 18-20M followers. However, Kylie’s personal account with a platform consisting 112M followers and counting, contributes significantly to the success and awareness of her brand.

She is also the most followed person on the entire Snapchat platform, where she frequently posts teasers of her new makeup releases and collaborations. She uses a combination of her business and personal accounts to reach maximum audiences and makes sure to build anticipation and interest with every release her brand makes. By using this strategy, fans remain intrigued to see what she will come up with next- and in turn be more inclined to buy her products. Kylie Cosmetics is just one brand of many that exemplifies today’s shift from traditional to digital advertising, and the benefits that come along with it.

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