PPC trends

PPC trends to try

If you’re anything like me, when you first heard “PPC” you were in a college course named “Digital Journalism.” Now that I look back on it, perhaps I should have paid a bit more attention in the course (maybe I wouldn't have had to do so much research for this particular blog post). Nevertheless, we continue. PPC or Pay-Per-Click is an internet marketing strategy that uses ads to get folks interested in their websites. If one of the ads is clicked, the advertiser is charged. Basically, you’re paying for visits to your site. This is not a particularly organic way of earning visits, but it gets the job done.

 

With this being said, what trends are up and coming in the world of marketing in this bizarre year of 2020? Here are a few that you may want to try out.

 

Automation: PPC automation uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning. Automation helps you manage all the networks and platforms available so that you can free up your time to work on top-priority marketing aspects. Some of automation’s benefits are:

  • Bid management
  • Ad and creative copy
  • Reporting

 

Video Advertising: Written content is great, but, bringing in video content is a step that you should not skip. Video advertising on websites engages users to stay on your site longer. Videos are great for communicating your company's voice to your audience. Video is nothing new but is a great way to engage new audiences. For example, look at TikTok (yes this is a social media platform but it’s relevant) the videos that you’re able to upload are 15-60 seconds long and users spend hours browsing through. Think of what using a 6-second bumper ad on YouTube could do for your company.

 

Amazon Paid Ads: Generally, when you think of PPC you think of Google or Facebook Ads but, Amazon ads may be a better choice. We all know of how powerful and popular Amazon has become. These ads are used on the Amazon site as well as off. Although Facebook and Google have a large audience, Amazon users have buyer intent. This way when someone sees your ad on Amazon, they are more likely to click and therefore you get more bang for your buck.

 

Responsive Search Ads: These ads are quite popular because they adapt to whatever device the user is on. It uses AI to find the most popular combination for that particular for a headline to reel in that particular user. This matches their search term content to your ad and therefore could assist the PPC’s performance.

 

These PPC trends are just the beginning of what PPC has to offer your company in 2020 and beyond. Of course, this blog post was written by a PPC noob but, there are plenty of PPC experts out there to help you (like the ones who work at Avant8). Marketing is always changing so being up to date on the latest trends and tips/tricks should be a top priority to help get your business on top.


Low budget marketing

Low budget marketing tips pt. 3

Odds are that if your business is still here. You’ve already made or been forced to make some compromises about what your company looks like. But it’s summertime and we’re all looking for ways to trim the fat, so to speak (Also literally. We’ve been padding on more than just the bottom line since we all started working seven feet from the fridge). We want to review some low-budget ways to make sure your business is operating at maximum efficiency.

 

The upside of downtime

Now’s a great time to do training or team building. If there were programs you wanted the team to learn or courses you had put on the back burner for another time, welcome to Now. It’s also a great time for team-building exercises that can help normalize our crazy circumstances and create more community at a time when we’re all striving for it. Encourage your team to communicate about their circumstances and any current difficulties so people feel seen and heard during this crazy time! Support your team in having healthy conversations now and you’ll reap the benefits of a productive, happy team for years to come.

 

Quick, rewrite it

Rework your manifesto or messaging framework. Maybe now that priorities of consumers at large are different, now is the time to pivot your business strategy with them. Consumers have more time to consume content than before. Maybe now is the time to grow that branch of your marketing strategy. Check out our blog post on Content Writing for Noobs for all the secrets to writing content that lasts and is useful!

 

 

Take advantage of skills already present in your team.

It’s likely that there are literally fewer of your team members around. Now is a great time to lean into their skills. They are likely more efficient at the skills they find more natural. And who isn’t looking for a way to cut down and increase their production if at all possible?

 

 

Trade services with other businesses

If nobody is buying what you’re selling right now, consider working for trade or future services. It keeps you working and talking to your hard-won clients and industry contacts. Could you give a lecture or find a way to collaborate and share audiences with another industry?

 

 

Review your subscriptions

Trim the fat. Subscriptions can pile up way faster than we think. Between stock images, online storage, HR software, billing software, scheduling software, video conferencing accounts, Google Suite, Microsoft suites, operating systems, analytics, servers, hosting, internet, and any industry softwares your business uses, just missing out on coupons or deals can spell big losses over the long term. Keep subscriptions tight. Don’t be afraid to call and ask if it’s possible to pause subscriptions that aren’t necessary right this minute for a month or two. There are even apps out there that will review your bank statements for any sneaky recurring payments you might forget.

 

Find ways to fix your budget

Speaking of budgeting apps, there are a lot of them out there. One in particular that has caught our attention is Divvy. This is a budgeting app that is focused on business. It is a great way to keep track of expense reports without having to scan receipts (truly a blessing).

 

As our week of low budget tips comes to an end, we hope that you have learned something new. That you have been inspired and are now going to engage in some creative marketing that costs little to nothing.

 

Of course, if you are looking for some guidance, contact us here at Avant8. This is what we do after all.


Low budget marketing

Low budget marketing tips pt. 2

Marketing doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. There are ways that you can market your business for only a fingertip or even a tooth.

 

So, here are a few more tips to help get your marketing off the ground when you can’t throw a lot of money at it.

 

Go to conventions

As of the writing of this blog, conventions seem like a thing of the past. After all, even when there isn’t a global pandemic, cons always seem like a good place to get sick. But don’t let that scare you off. Conventions and tradeshows are great ways to gain new customers and connections.

 

If you’ve never been to one before, they’re pretty simple. As a vendor you can rent a table at the convention, there you can sell your stuff. That’s basically it. Every convention has a specific theme, so you can find one that fits your brand and will bring in your target audience. A lot of people learn about new businesses (or businesses that are new to them) through cons and tradeshows. Plus, at these events you can meet some of your colleagues. You can make new connections and learn about what new and exciting developments are happening in your field.

 

This is not always the most low budget option though. There are some tradeshows that are very expensive. So, you may want to shop around. You may even have to start with a really small one. That’s okay, it’s a good way to get your feet wet and learn about what other tradeshows are coming up.

 

Share the love

Have you ever thought about partnering up with another company? They don’t even have to be something that is super relevant to your work. Just make sure that it is a company that your target audience would be interested in patronizing.

 

These partnerships can be something as simple as mentioning each other in your social media posts. Or you can work with them to create some sort of discount for shopping at both places. For example, if you run a bakery near a cute bookstore, work with them to offer your customers half-off a cupcake and a particular cookbook. This could bring in readers that have never been to your bakery and baked-goods-lovers who have never been in that bookstore.

 

There are a lot of ways you could go about it. So, find someone you like and reach out to them. Odds are, they’ll be up for it.

 

Reuse, repurpose, and recycle

No, I don’t mean recycle used paper and plastic products (though you should be doing that anyway). I’m referring to templates. If you have something that you’ve used in the past, like a particular image in an ad, and it worked well, reuse it (if you have the rights to do that, of course). This could save you time and money because you won’t have to make a new image or find one in a stock photo gallery. Just remember that if you use the same images too many times, people might notice. Be sure to include new material every now and then.

 

This could also apply to templates. If you’re trying to design a new website, don’t be afraid to reuse templates that you’ve used and liked before. Just be sure to freshen it up a bit. Change a few things here and there.

 

Are you out of ideas for your social media? Do a few throwbacks. Dig down deep into the bowels of your social media, pull out the first handful of posts, and repost them with #throwback. Everyone likes a good blast from the past.

 

You can also reuse old content. If the content you have is still relevant, re-spin it. Reword the sentences and change the order of a few paragraphs (as long as it makes sense). Just know that this is really only something to do if you are running out of ideas for your new content. Fresh content is always preferred.

 

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for what to do when you have to market on a shoestring budget. But if you are ready to take your marketing to the next level, feel free to contact us, the digital marketing experts at Avant8. After all, helping out small businesses is our thing.


Low budget marketing

Low budget marketing tips pt. 1

Here at Avant8, we get that budgets can be tight. This can make business goals, like growing your marketing, feel out of reach. Like they are a luxury. But marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ve got tips for helping with your marketing that don’t have luxury price tags.

 

Be more social (media)

The social media landscape just keeps getting bigger and more populated. There are so many different platforms that can be beneficial to your business. If you’re not already on social media, get on it! Most social media applications are free to use. Outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok can be used to promote your business to different demographics with different benefits. These are popular social media outlets that are easy to navigate.

 

Consumers are on social media more than ever and therefore more likely to see your business. Another benefit to social media is its ability to reach certain customers. For example, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media platform. If you’re looking to connect with other businesses or people who are 35 years or older, it may be the place for you. Another example is Instagram, this application has many ways for businesses to promote themselves. Videos, pictures, and hashtags  are popular ways to use Instagram for business. Especially for retail businesses. Show off your products to new potential customers!

 

Social media is basically free advertising. Use it to your advantage!

 

Blogging for clicks

Blogs have been around for much longer than social media which means that it can be hard to write anything original. I, myself, unfortunately, started a blog during the most awkward time of life. Yes, you’re correct, middle school . Although that is over and done with, blogs can be a great tool to add to your businesses success.

 

Most blogging sites are free and it’s easy to add to an already made website. You’re here reading Avant8’s blog! Perhaps you found it from our social media posts, or you’re interested in working with us. Either way you’re here and that just shows that blogs can help. A blog boosts your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), educates your customer about who you are and what you’re doing, shows that you’re dependable (posting weekly), and it shows that your business is actively working on improving and educating. If you’re not interested in writing your own blog, try finding a content writer (we love these things).

 

Who wants free samples?!

Free? Free? Really? That’s right, folks! Free samples. If you say that you don’t like free samples, you’ve got to be lying. Who doesn’t love free things? There is something about getting something for free that makes it feel special. Free samples are also a great way to brand your business. Especially if you’re a new business.

 

During a time where there isn’t a global pandemic, the Pride events would be happening as we speak. Passing out stickers, drink koozies, or even t-shirts shows that A) You’re supportive of the event/cause and B) it gets your name out there! Using free samples for your business helps you stand out from the crowd of other businesses.

 

You’d be surprised what you can do to boost your marketing for free. As we continue this little series of ours, hopefully you will get an idea of what you can do to get some extra attention aimed at your business.


Pandemic marketing

Pandemic Marketing Warrior

Who will come out on top on this edition of Pandemic Marketing Warrior?

Watching businesses respond to COVID-19 has been like watching the American Ninja Warrior of marketing and customer relations. Some competitors, with the best backstories, fall flat on the first obstacle and others have our jaws on the floor as they deftly maneuver social-distancing-based obstacles.

For the next couple of years, if you want to succinctly get a sense of a business, it will be enough to ask them how they handled this pandemic.

Welcome to the marketing highlight reel. Here are some of our favorite local pandemic marketing trends we’re seeing at Avant8:

 

Category: COVID Copy

Winner: Trailside Dry Cleaning

It seems too easy to be true. Having clever or quirky signs doesn’t really seem like it would make a difference right now. But people are perhaps more geographically restricted than they have been since we were using horses and buggies, so signage still plays. The fact remains that positive impressions eventually trickle down to increased leads.

 

We’re especially digging this example from Trailside Dry Cleaning. Well done. Their turnaround time for hilarious banners is majorly impressive.

Trailside Dry Cleaning

Category: Way to Support Essential Workers

Winner: Brownies, Brownies, Brownies!

It’s so great to see small businesses and the communities they serve supporting each other. We’ve been astounded by those businesses donating products or services to our champions in the healthcare industry. There’s never been a better time to donate or ask your customers to donate. We loved watching Brownies, Brownies, Brownies include an option to not only order curbside but to order goodies for healthcare workers! What a clever way to make a goods-based business.

 

If you’d like to help our healthcare workers, Project Protect is a local initiative to provide patterns and supplies for sewing savvy citizens to make disposable masks to use in hospitals. You can learn more about how to volunteer for that effort at the link.

 

 

 

Category: Best Use of Employee Downtime

Winner: Fear Factory

If business is slow and employees can’t be in the office (or haunted factory) right now, this is a perfect time to have them sharpen their personal skills. Have them do training or take on a new certification. We loved the Fear Factory’s pandemic monsters. With our usual rhythms disturbed, now is a perfect time to invest in a creative endeavor that requires some out of the box thinking. Fear Factory did a great job keeping their employees creepy while safely at home.

 

Honorable mention because they’re not local, but #mettwinning challenges have been truly inspired.

 

 

Category: Killer Social Media Content

Hands Down Winner: The King’s English

We have vastly been enjoying afternoon storytime on the store’s Instagram page. In the time of a pandemic, being read to is the #selfcare we’ve needed. The store has used online ordering and a curbside pick-up system to keep serving customers their regular dose of at-home reading...well a bigger dose of it than usual.

 

Now, seriously folks, we’ve had fun here tonight, but small businesses like these need our support now more than ever. (Yup, we went from American Ninja Warrior to local broadcasting charity drive. Keep up.) Now that time is abundant for many of us, it is more incumbent upon us than ever to shop small and local.

From our point of view, those are the businesses that have been truly providing for their customers through all the COVID madness. They have been able to provide the customer service, man-hours, and ingenuity/flexibility to create new systems that meet the social distancing needs of their customers. To Mom & Pop shops everywhere wiping down credit card machines and creating pickup schedules, we salute you.


SEO and marketing

Simple ways SEO can inspire marketing strategy

How much does SEO really matter?

Good SEO is essential to businesses in niche markets. The smaller the segment of the general population who wants to be your customer, the more important SEO becomes. If I’m selling vanity license plate covers, anyone with a car could be my customer. If my vanity license plate covers say, “Jeff is a star!” I better make sure my ads only end up in front of people named Jeff.

 

Whether your service area or clientele are limited, your SEO strategy should cater to the keywords that will help your audience find you. Imagine that your ideal customer, who has never heard of your business before, finds your website. What terms and searches would they be using and what part of your site might they end up on? If 100 new customers found your website, how would the majority of get there? What other things might they have been searching?

 

Insufficient facts always invite danger

Having analytics on your website can be a gamechanger when answering these sorts of questions. Using analytics requires putting a section of code in your website that sends information to an analytics software. They can get you stats like what time of day your website gets the most traffic and from which geographic locations. You might find out that a big chunk of your new traffic comes from a backlink (someone who links to you) you weren’t aware of. Popular, inexpensive softwares like Google Analytics make this kind of data fairly accessible to anyone who can watch a tutorial or two.

 

Some blogging platforms have integrations that make installing tracking software even easier. Check out the help section of your blogging platform to see what they recommend. While you’re there, some blogging platforms have built-in SEO tools or plug-ins for their customers. Some lay out step by step instructions for you. You pay for the tools anyway, might as well use them!

 

Researching your competitors is an often-forgotten part of SEO. Understanding your competition in your segment of the industry can inspire your messaging strategy. Businesses that stand the test of time find ways to differentiate themselves from “the other guys” (like literally branding them as “the other guys”).

 

Make the big moves

After a few weeks or months of developing your Domain Authority, you can use it to open up whole other segments of business. For instance, if your business wants to expand to offer another service, you can alter your website’s metadata description to include it. This lets all your digital visitors know that both services are offered. You might find that traffic for certain services is located in certain geographical areas and be able to zero in on new segments of clientele.

 

Here at Avant8, we eat SEO for breakfast, with a serving of fruit and Monster Energy. We partner with our clients to develop SEO strategy that works. Our content team writes blogs, web copy, and social posts that bring in organic search traffic. If you’d rather put this stuff in our hands, get in touch with us!


SEO and social media

Social Media + SEO: the connection

If you have escaped the realm of social media … you’re a rare one and, perhaps, lucky? With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping us isolated, social media feels like, more than ever, like a gift and a curse. When used properly, social media can be fun for personal use or very beneficial for professional use. Using social media for professional use can be quite daunting no matter what kind of business you have. Professionals need to know the ins and outs of social media to win the game. The “ins and outs” of social media should always be linked to SEO (search engine optimization) because a solid understanding of it can help boost your online presence. Sure, you may understand social media, but do you understand SEO? Do you understand the connection between the two? If not, Avant8 is here to help! We have an entire team of SEO gurus that help our clients get views for their content and strengthen their social media presence. Here is a snippet of what our team knows to be important about the connection between social media and SEO.

 

Social Media is …

This is a basic point, but a very important one. Social media platforms are websites or apps that allow users to create and share content as well as participate in social networking. There are hundreds of different social media apps and websites. Often, they are both a website and an app for use on a smartphone. Some of the more popular social media outlets include Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. Choosing which social media outlets to participate in depends on the consumer you’re trying to reach. Sites like Pinterest or Tumblr are often deemed more casual outlets whereas LinkedIn and Instagram will be a bit more professional. If your customers or clients are very young, they may gravitate towards Tik Tok, whereas older folks tend to prefer Facebook.

 

SEO is …

SEO is an important factor when running a business. Search engine optimization is, in simple terms, a process that increases how visible your content is to search engines. Basically: SEO tells search engines to put your work in front of the consumers you want.

 

The Connection

Now we know what both SEO and social media are; What is the connection? Our resident SEO expert here at Avant8, Tedd Vinson says, “Social signals are a factor for SEO. Google will check your social profiles to see how many followers and how active you are on social media. It may not officially be listed as a factor, but many SEO experts agree that there is a correlation between keeping social media active and growing your followers with search engine rankings.”

 

So, in short, the more social following you have and the more active you are, the more you will show up in a search engine.

 

Whether you own a small or big business, social media and SEO are key to your success. You can go at it on your own and see what you can learn about SEO and your social media or, perhaps, you can hire a person/company (cough … Avant8 … cough) to do it for you. Get in touch with us through our contact form to learn how Avant8 can increase your business’ visibility. You can also learn more here about how we're updating our SEO practices to reflect social distancing.


SEO's importance

SEO in the time of social distancing

It’s a little bit cliché to say that we are in crazy times right now… But we’re in pretty crazy times right now. COVID-19 has everyone going through their daily lives in very different ways. Those who can, are working from home. Waiting in line at the grocery store like it’s Disneyland. Eating in a restaurant not really an option.

People are turning to the internet for things they would normally get out in the real world. This means that small businesses have to be even more present online. Customers can’t come into your store or office looking for your goods and services. So, you need to make sure that you are coming to them. Well, to their computer that is.

This all means that not only is your website more important than ever, but so is your SEO. Marketing people and web developers have probably thrown this word around or even at you without ever explaining what it is. I’m not going to do that. Not only am I going to define SEO for you, I’m even going to give you some tips on how to increase it.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to where you show up if someone googles your business or keywords associated with what you do. If your site shows up on the first page, you’ve got good SEO. If it shows up as the first result, you have amazing SEO. Unless you have a very niche business, getting amazing SEO isn’t easy. However, getting good SEO is within reach.

How to SEO your website

Keywords
There are a few ways to build up SEO. One of the main ones is to know your keywords. What do you want people to search that will pull you up? If you’re a restaurant, your keywords are probably going to be more focused on the kind of food you make or maybe the atmosphere of your restaurant. If you’re in retail, your keywords are going to be in relation to what you sell.

Fresh content
Once you identify your keywords, SEO gets a bit easier. At that point, you can start on your content. In descriptions of your products and services on your site, try to include those keywords (where it makes sense of course; describing a burger as “family-friendly” doesn’t really work). If you can, write some blogs about what you do. For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, write 1000 words on what’s trending in the jewelry world. Another example, just as a crazy hypothetical: if you’re a digital marketing company, you may want to write a blog about SEO and why it’s important. Again, that’s just a hypothetical. In these blogs, you can use your keywords a few times and the search engines will pick up on that, bumping you further up the list.

An important thing to remember: if you are going to be putting blogs on your site, you need to be sure that they are up to date. Search engines prefer information with recent dates over something that is a few years old. Make a new blog post at least once a week if you can. Keep your content current and topical.

Content featuring keywords is good, but content writer beware, too many uses of a keyword can hurt you. Search engines don’t trust sites that are clearly trying to cheat the system. If you have a blog or description that uses your keywords over and over again, search engines might skip past it, thinking of it as spam. Plus, your customers won’t like it too much either because it’ll be hard to read. Be smart in your usage. Don’t use the keyword you’re focusing on 100 times in a 1000-word blog post.

Indexing
Another way to help with SEO is to alert the search engines to your presence. This is done pretty easily. All of the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) have ways for you to submit your site’s details to them. This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll rank highly in their searches, but it always helps to make them aware of you.

Meta descriptions
Meta descriptions and alt-text can help bump your SEO as well. Let’s talk about what these are for a minute, because if you are not the technologically inclined, they probably just sound like Transformers. You know when you google something, and the results have brief descriptions in gray text? That is a meta description. They give the searcher a little preview of what is on your site. They aren’t wholly necessary. If you don’t have a meta description, the search engine will just pull out whatever information seems relevant to the search. But just because they aren’t necessary doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Having meta descriptions make your site seem more professional and search engines like that.

Alt tags
Alt tags are for images. They are brief descriptions of what the picture is. This is a perfect opportunity for keywords! Selling some lotion and have a picture of the bottle? Make your alt tag “high quality lotion.” Have a picture of people laughing for your blog post titled “How to make people like you?” Make your alt tag “likable people.” Just another chance to boost up how likely you are to show up in a search.

Analytics
If you do all of this, how can you know if it is even making a difference? This is where web analytics programs come into play. These are programs like Google Analytics (which is free, by the way), that keep track of how users interact with your site. If you are doing your SEO right, you should be able to see your organic traffic go up on these programs. You can also see your rankings go up if you link Google Search Console to the Analytics program.

Link building
Link building is another important factor of SEO. If you're a local business, the best way to get more links is to list your company on web directories such as The Yellow Pages, Google My Business, and Yelp. There are hundreds of web directories out there and the more consistent you are with adding listings to your business, the more links you will get to your business from these types of websites.

At the same time there are other strategies to build links from other websites such as reaching out to companies to tell them about relevant content on your site that they could link to, or by posting great content, and having others link to it because it's good information.

With COVID-19, everyone is stuck at home and are doing what they can online to avoid leaving the house. This is the time for your business’s website to shine. But it can’t shine very well if you don’t have proper SEO. These tips should be able to help you start getting your SEO on track. Read more here about how SEO recommendations can change or get in touch with us!


Your Basic Guide To Influencer Marketing

Companies have used influencers for their advertisements since the dawn of businesses. We're sure that when the first cavewoman that started selling produce to her fellow cave-dwelling friends, used the influence of a powerful caveperson in the community. Maybe it was the buffest, most athletic mammoth slayer who loved getting a boost from her freshly picked veg, or the Regina George of the village who wore the coolest sabertooth necklaces and ate only the crispiest produce. Having a spokesperson who had used the product, enjoyed it, and had the prominence to get others involved really does help boost a business. An influencer connects the audience to the product. It allows the audience to see themselves using it. If it worked for the influencer, they believe it can work for them too.

Even if you have a small business, you can still obtain an influencer and boost your sales. The influencer you use might not have a major celebrity reputation like Beyonce or Justin Bieber, but they can still hit the target market that you need. Think like that cavewoman and pick out someone from your area who fits your target market. Using a local social media influencer can truly help to up your reach as well as your sales. Luckily enough, we live in the 21st Century. So influencing a wide audience it very possible through the channel of social media.

Take Parabo Press for example. They are a small photo printing service located in California, who ship printed images to their customers. They recognize who their target market is and found a clever way to make their audience become their influencers. A large chunk of their target market included millennial girls who use the prints to decorate their space. Most millennials are heavily involved in imagery, as they are consistently on social media sharing pictures. Instagram itself is specifically designed with photos in mind and allows a printing service to be strongly relevant. A customer can use their service to print their Instagram photos. This opened up a perfect opportunity for Parabo Press to sell their service through their own audience of Instagram users. Why not make the young people who already use the service into influencers? That's just what they did. The post below shows how they even advertised to their audience to become a Parabo Campus Rep.
Here's an example of using an influncer account to promote your local business. If you click the tags in the image, you can see that this young influencer is hosting a giveaway for a variety of small businesses. She's wearing the swimsuit, using the wall hangings, and therefore proving that these products are just as cool as she is. She's local and gets tens of thousands of views, which makes her perfect for small businesses in the area to get a spotlight. This post shows that a real person uses these products, and so should you.
Even larger companies use local Instagram influencers to promote their services. The Von family from Salt Lake City uses their high follower account to post about their vacations. Royal Carribean uses the Von's real-life life experiences to promote their cruise services. Other moms scrolling through their social media will see this average everyday family having a blast at sea, and it could influence them to prep their own family vacation with Royal Carribean.

Still curious about how the big shots make it work? Here's an example from Puma's partnership with model/actress Cara Delevigne. It almost seems like a print ad, but it's casual enough that it looks like Cara just posted about it herself. (We personally think adding the hashtag #ad is a little tacky, but mentioning that it's a partnership is necessary. A better way to do so is just to casually talk about the brand and tag them in the post. A paid partnership location option is also available at the top of the post.) This post collected millions of likes, proving its success. It's a relatable picture and quote, which is exactly what an influencer post needs to be.

Be your own #Muse. #ad

A post shared by Cara Delevingne (@caradelevingne) on

Ready to start influencing? Contact us at Avant8 and we'll match you to the perfect influencer for your business!  Head to our contact page to get started.


iHob: International House of Bad Marketing Decisions??

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the American icon of the International House of Pancakes has changed its name…and therefore its catchy acronym. IHOP is now IHOb, the International House of Burgers. The internet went wild. Which is just what the breakfast (now, burger) chain wanted.

They started their marketing tactic by announcing the ‘p’ in IHOP would be flipped into a ‘b’ and asking their followers to guess what the ‘b’ could stand for. 30k people responded and the brand left people hanging for a few days before the big reveal.

The change from pancakes to burgers created a buzz of both positive and negative reactions.

Initial reactions around our own office were along the lines of the tweet below. IHOb stood for the International House of Bad Marketing Decisions. Many of our employees still think that. But researching into the brand’s reasoning may help the haters realize that the idea isn’t as bad as they think.

IHOb is circulating a storm of media, both positive and negative. But here’s the thing, it got people talking. How often were crowds mentioning IHOP before? It’s all they can talk about now. Even other brands are jumping on the virality of the pancake house’s big announcement. Burger joints like White Castle, Whataburger, Burger King, and Wendy’s all attached themselves to the marketing hit from IHOP.

Here’s our two favorite IHOb memes:

IHOP has had burgers on the menu since they opened in the 1950s, but how many people actually knew about them or actually ordered these burgers? According to AdWeek, “IHOP accomplished exactly what they were after: drawing attention to an increasingly popular non-breakfast item that’s always been on their menu.” The new “steakburgers” are the centerpiece to this marketing ploy, and the brand wants to emphasize people to come and try them during lunch and dinner, when less customers enter the store.

The burger business is growing. At least by 3 percent a year, and ‘burgers’ have a high clout score…a much higher score than pancakes. IHOP jumped on the trend not only to increase it’s own social media engagement, but to sell more of its lesser popular menu item.

According to an article by CNBC “the name change isn’t permanent. The same day the meaning behind the “b” was revealed, the chain restaurant announced in a press release that the move was “just for the time being.” The marketing strategy will promote the seven new burgers that the restaurant is adding to its menu.”

This name-changing marketing tactic is no new strategy. Pizza Hut once changed its name to Pasta Hut in 2008 to promote their new kinds of pasta.

Stephen Anderson of the Maxim Group claimed that despite its mixed reviews from audiences, the pasta sales at Pizza Hut increased by 1.5 percent.

If nothing else, IHOPs popularity and mentions have skyrocketed since the announcement on June 11th. But will it translate to sales is the big question. Only time will tell.

What do you think about IHOPs temporary name change??

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that the American icon of the International House of Pancakes has changed its name…and therefore its catchy acronym. IHOP is now IHOb, the International House of Burgers. The internet went wild. Which is just what the breakfast (now, burger) chain wanted.

They started their marketing tactic by announcing the ‘p’ in IHOP would be flipped into a ‘b’ and asking their followers to guess what the ‘b’ could stand for. 30k people responded and the brand left people hanging for a few days before the big reveal.