This week in inbound marketing was kind of different than normal. Most weeks, there's one or two new product announcements and cool case studies that marketers would want to hear about. This week, there wasn't much of that -- instead, there was lots of new data about Facebook, Twitter, and email, as well as some speculation around new features from Google and Facebook.
So all in all, not a ton of actionable news this week, but more overarching trends in technology and consumer behavior that could definitely impact your job down the road. Here's what happened this week in the world of inbound:
Though it can be easy to measure the ROI of Twitter online ... measuring the ROI from Twitter offline is a whole other ball game. But Twitter and Datalogix supposedly have figured it out. In a recent study about promoted tweets, they found that people who engage with promoted tweets drive 12% more sales in-store. And even more impressive is that when a brand’s Twitter followers see the brand’s promoted tweets, they buy 29% more than other followers who simply see organic tweets.
Whoa. ROI proven in Twitter offline sales? Pretty cool, but I'm not surprised. The moral of this story is that building a Twitter following doesn't just help increase traffic and leads -- it can even increase offline sales. As marketers, this is a sign that we're on the right track building an organic Twitter following and potentially supplementing it with targeted, relevant ads. Bonus: The data's also a great argument for the next time someone tells you that Twitter doesn't work for business. Learn more about the study over at VentureBeat.
Popularity Pays: People Are 32% More Likely to ‘Like’ if There Is a Preexisting Positive Vote (via Marketing Land)
Apparently, most people still live their online lives like they're in high school. According to a study by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, popularity has a huge effect on how people interact online. In the study, participants chatted in an online forum and were allowed to vote on existing comments and respond with their own. The findings were pretty conclusive. According to Marketing Land, "If users read a comment that had a previous positive score, they were 32% more likely to provide their own positive vote. Overall, those updates with an initial positive vote ended up with scores 25% higher than a control group."
All of this data boils down to one takeaway for marketers: Those first few positive -- or negative -- votes can have a big impact on the success of your social media content. For marketers, this is a call to make sure we're always trying to engage our evangelists and community members -- these are the folks who passionately love and promote your company. If you can engage them first when you post a social media update, they could help make the rest of your audience notice and love your content. Learn more about this study over at Marketing Land.
17 Customizable Templates for Creating Shareable Graphics on Social Media (via HubSpot)
One way to catch your evangelists' attention -- or anyone in your audience at all -- is through visual content on social media. Even if you're just sharing a link to your all-text blog post, you need to incorporate engaging visuals into your social media posts. Not sure you know where to start when creating or designing social media graphics? Get our 17 Completely Customizable Templates for Creating Shareable Graphics on Social Media.
For Emails, Name Recognition Drives Opens (via eMarketer)
This past month, email marketers have been freaking out about the whole new Gmail inbox layout, wondering how they could get noticed amongst the brand new Promotions tab. Well now, we have some data that can help. According to a study by Campaigner, familiarity with sender name is the number one influence on the open rate of marketing emails.
For marketers who want to stand out in Gmail's Promotions tab, there's one big takeaway: If you aren't already using real, human names in the "From" field of your email ... test it out. It might help increase your familiarity with your subscribers -- and thus, increase opens. While our own tests have found that including a real person's name increases email opens, this might not work with your subscriber lists -- so go ahead and run an A/B test of your own. The key here is to make sure your sender name is memorable. Read more about this data over at eMarketer.
New Patent Hints at 'Pay-Per-Gaze' Advertising for Google Glass (via Mashable)
Whether you think that people who wear Google Glass are Glassholes or the forerunners of some game changing technology, you've got to admit that if adopted, it would be the beginning of a new era of technology and marketing. This week, Google was granted a new patent that could start this new era -- a patent for a tracking technique that's called "pay-per-gaze." Basically, with this new patent, Google's "head mounted gaze tracking device" (aka, Google Glass), could track where you look -- and if you look at an ad.
Anyone else feeling a little like they're living in Minority Report? On a personal level, I'm kinda creeped out. While this definitely could open up doors for relevant, contextual advertising, I can't help but shake how intrusive this could be. Imagine pop-up ads that you see on the internet ... but now it real life. You're on a trip to Paris, staring up at the Eiffel Tower, and then boom -- an ad for a French restaurant pops up in your vision, blocking your view. Ugh. This is all speculation, of course, but a very interesting trend to keep an eye on.
If you want to learn more about Google's new patent, read more at Mashable.
Facebook Testing Option to Auto-Fill Billing Info for Mobile E-Commerce Payments (via TechCrunch)
Facebook could be dipping its toe into ecommerce water with its newest mobile payment test. In the new experiment, Facebook will take credit card information you already had on file to purchase Facebook Gifts and App payments and auto-fill it into participating third-party mobile apps when you would like to make a purchase. While it's not creating the actual payment system (a la PayPal), it is reducing friction to buy products while you're shopping on your phone or tablet.
This could be huge for ecommerce marketers -- think about how easily people could purchase products if all they had to do is connect their Facebook account. Since this is still an experiment for Facebook, there's no immediate action. But if this feature were integrated with some big box retailers and more people started to use it to purchase products, Facebook could be an even more valuable place for marketers to spend their time. Learn more about this new experiment at TechCrunch.
What other inbound marketing stories did you hear about this week?