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Top YouTube User Statistics That Advertisers Should Know
YouTube is easily the most recognizable video distribution platform with the widest and diverse audience in the world. Unsurprisingly, it’s also an advertising destination for brands looking to reach new viewers and target niche demographics. We’ve compiled the top YouTube user statistics to get a better understanding of the depth and diversity of YouTube’s platform.
1. YouTube has over 1 billion users, totaling almost one-third of all people on the Internet
YouTube’s massive user base is the biggest of any video platform in the world, reaching more than 1 billion users. YouTube is available in 88 countries and 76 languages, making it accessible to 95% of Internet users. Within the US, YouTube reaches key consumer demographics in age groups 18-34 and 18-49 better than any cable network. If marketers are looking to cast a wide net where audience is concerned, YouTube is one of the best places to do it.
2. Time spent by users 35+ on YouTube grew 40% faster than adults overall
Millennials are not the only ones that love YouTube. In fact, GenX and Baby Boomers are YouTube’s fastest growing demographics, with time spent by adults 35+ and 55+ growing 40% and 80% faster than overall growth, respectively. YouTube reaches 95% of online adults 35+ and 55+. Seventy-five percent of the generation uses YouTube to embrace nostalgia, 68% use it to stay in the know, and 73% use it to access how-to content.
3. Millennials prefer YouTube nearly 2x more than traditional TV
When it comes to where millennials get their video content, YouTube is the preferred provider nearly two times more than traditional TV. In a survey conducted by Google and ComScore, 35% of millennials stated that they preferred viewing and searching for content on YouTube more than on TV. By comparison, only 19% of millennials preferred traditional TV as a video destination. Studies by Nielsen and Google have also found that individuals 18+ more than doubled the time they spent on YouTube.
Related Post: The 10 Biggest Millennial Marketing Statistics To Know
4. YouTube is used the most to access videos uploaded by real people, brands, companies, and institutions
The most popular type of content on YouTube are videos that are uploaded by individual users, with nearly 80% of 18-34-year-olds and 71% of 35+ year-olds preferring the content style. Content uploaded by brands, companies, and institutions trails in closely at second, with 74% of 18-34-year-olds using YouTube to access branded videos. Other content types are significantly less popular, with only 14% and 12% of users 18-34 finding movies on YouTube for movies and ongoing TV shows, respectively. These statistics show that marketers need to utilize videos uploaded by popular video creators, or influencers, to best reach their audiences on YouTube.
5. 37% of individuals aged 18-34 are binge-watching
Binge-watching has become an incredible phenomenon, particularly among millennials, with 37% of people aged 18-34 binge-watching daily. Interestingly, the number of millennials who binge-watch on a less frequent basis, either weekly (28%) or monthly (32%), is less than the number of people binge-watching daily. Furthermore, YouTube was chosen by people across age groups as the preferred destination to binge-watch content. Marketers can capitalize on these viewing habits and behaviors to reach their audience in creative ways.
6. The majority of all adults will take action after viewing an ad on YouTube
Most adult users over the age of 18 find YouTube ads engaging. 62% of millennials are likely to take action after viewing an ad and 51% of individuals over 35 will likely take action after viewing an ad. If ads are personalized and relevant, nearly half of millennials would pay more attention to the ad. The way that brands advertise on YouTube should reflect consumer preference to better engage audiences.
7. 70% of users watch YouTube on mobile
YouTube users are primarily accessing the platform on mobile, with 70% of users viewing content on a mobile device. ComScore found that mobile viewing on YouTube led to a threefold increase on video views and a threefold expansion of audience scale. Brand marketers should thus be ready to format any ads according to mobile standards.
Related Post: How Much Time We Spent On Social Media [Infographic]
8. YouTube’s male-to-female ratio is about 1:1
Many sources speculate that majority of YouTube users are male, however, studies conducted by Google and Nielsen actually found that the gender demographic is evenly split, with female viewership in the slight majority. While YouTube’s total user base might be closer to 50/50, studies have found that men make up the majority of viewers in 90% of YouTube’s content categories. The most male-dominated categories are in gaming, sports, and virtual worlds. Female dominated categories are make-up and cosmetics, skin and nail care, and weight loss.
9. More than 50 million users on YouTube are content creators
YouTube has reported that the platform has over 50 million active reference files for unique content. While this makes up less than 5% of YouTube’s total user base, YouTube’s total content creator base is still the largest in the world. The enormous amount of new content made available on YouTube means that users are constantly coming back to use the platform. YouTube reported that over 1 billion hours of content is watched every day, proving that content engagement is very high as well.
Related Post: A Quick Guide To The Top YouTube Influencers
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The whole inside story as to Tom Brady’s New England Patriots’ Super Bowl jersey was found and more.
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The Top Mainstream Celebrities On YouTube Creating The Best Content
When we think of YouTube stars, we often think of vloggers made famous by way of their content on YouTube. But there’s another type of YouTube star — celebrities who use YouTube as a platform to create and share the work that they do in conjunction with or outside of their everyday work as models, actors, professional chefs, and musicians.
YouTube isn’t just a platform for finding stardom, it’s an opportunity for the world’s biggest stars to connect with fans and audiences in a new way. The Rock, Karlie Kloss, and Wiz Khalifa all use YouTube to push their work into a new realm in the form of tutorials, interviews, commentary, and vlogs. They may not be YouTubers as we typically think of them, but they’re YouTubers all the same.
Here 10 of the biggest mainstream celebrities on YouTube:
1. Wiz Khalifa
Wiz Khalifa is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum rapper, songwriter, and actor known for his 6 albums and hit singles such as Black and Yellow and See You Again. His YouTube music vlog, DayToday, centers around his exciting life and dialogue.
2. Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay is a multi-Michelin starred chef with 30 international restaurants and multiple ongoing television series, including Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef. Ramsay’s YouTube channel covers recipe tutorials and cooking tips for even the most basic chefs.
3. Adam Savage
Adam Savage is the TV personality and industrial designer known for his work on hit TV series Mythbusters and Unchained Reaction. His YouTube channel, Tested, shows Savage at work engineering, building, and testing inventions in his shop.
4. Shay Mitchell
Shay Mitchell is a Canadian actress & model best known for her role as Emily Fields in the popular TV series Pretty Little Liars. Her popular YouTube channel features lifestyle content including recipes, makeup & fashion tips, and vacation vlogs.
5. The Rock
Dwanye Johnson, known by his former ring name The Rock, is a 17-time WWE champion, renowned actor and singer, and best selling author. Johnson co-founded Seven Bucks Productions and uses his YouTube channel to provide hilarious content centered around his personality.
6. Russell Brand
Comedian and actor Russell Brand is well known for his stand-up work and his role in romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. His YouTube channel focuses on Brand’s hilarious and provocative commentary on political and cultural issues.
7. Ashley Tisdale
Ashley Tisdale is a mainstream actress and producer known for her roles in Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and High School Musical, among others. Her content on YouTube covers beauty tutorials, lifestyle videos, and music sessions with friends.
8. Soulja Boy
Soulja Boy is a Grammy-nominated rapper and record producer best known for his first album Souljaboytellem.com and debut single Crank That (Soulja Boy). Soulja Boy’s YouTube channel features his official content and lifestyle vlogs series, SouljaBoyTV.
9. Alexa Vega & Carlos Pena
Alexa Vega is an actress best known for her performance in the Spy Kids film series. Her husband, Carlos Pena, rose to fame as a star in The Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush & a member of the pop boy band Big Time Rush. The pair document their lives together on their YouTube channel, LexLovesLos.
10. Karlie Kloss
Celebrated American fashion model Karlie Kloss has graced the pages of dozens of magazines and the stages of the most prestigious fashion shows in the world. Her YouTube series, Klossy, centers around Kloss’s life and hobbies.
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Facebook advertising is a big auction.
There are both winners and losers.
Now, you wouldn’t want to be on the losing side, would you?
So, what can you do to create Facebook campaigns that finish the race as champions, having collected many new customers in the process?
A smart move would be creating ads that catch people’s attention before any other Facebook post or ad can get to them. While there are many tips and hacks written about all across the web, here’s one that seems highly promising: playing on people’s emotion.
An analysis of 1,400 successful ad campaign case studies found that campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content.
Trend Hunter Marketing analyzed 55 emotional marketing campaigns, and found the average popularity score to be 8.0 — higher than in other categories.
By spicing up your Facebook campaigns with a pinch of emotion and a dash of thrill, you can allure your Facebook audience, making them click and purchase.
There’s no limit to the emotions you can bring into play – excited, melancholic, delighted, shocked – you name it.
This post will teach you how to apply emotional marketing to Facebook ads (and celebrate a landslide victory over the competition.)
Ready to win the Facebook ads race? Let’s go!
1. Master the Art of FOMO
If you’ve ever attended an event because you thought “Maybe something cool would happen,” it was likely due to FOMO – the fear of missing out.
What if all your friends go out while you’ll be missing out on all the fun…
A study of millennials found that as many as 69% experience FOMO when they are not able to attend an event where their friends are going.
People are afraid of being left without an amazing experience.
But FOMO doesn’t only apply to attending events. It also applies to other aspects of life and business.
For example, Sumo has written Facebook ad copy that makes the reader think that everyone else is already using their software and the person reading is the last one out.
By saying that over 175,000 websites use their tool, Sumo makes the reader wonder if they’re missing out on something.
Now, you wouldn’t want to be left behind while all those other websites speed right past you. So, you’ll likely click on the ad to see how to get the tools yourself.
How to use FOMO in your Facebook ads:
- Mention the number of people already benefitting from your product.
- Pose a question, hinting that the person’s missing out on a great opportunity.
- Make the reader feel like there’s a fascinating community they’re not part of… Yet.
- Make your Facebook ad offer limited by time to nudge people to sign up faster.
2. Show the Excitement
Excitement is known for its ability to increase impulsivity and make people quicker to act.
So, if you’ll manage to get a person excited in your Facebook ad offer, they’re a lot more likely make the purchase based on the momentum.
The author of The Psychology of Social Shopping, Paloma Vasquez points out that:
“In a state of excitement or arousal, people think and behave very differently. Emotional states trump rational thinking; it’s easier to sell to consumers when they are excited.”
As you look at Try The World’s Facebook ad, you’ll notice that it breathes excitement for several reasons: the bright ad color, lots of exclamation marks, and the energetic tone of voice.
One can almost feel the excitement of opening the subscription box and discovering its treasures.
As you decide to use the excitement tactic in your Facebook ads, don’t let the sparkle fade before the purchase is made.
An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that it takes 20 minutes for the feeling of excitement to pass.
In most cases, emotions fade even faster.
So, it’s best to keep your ad’s landing page as straightforward and compelling as humanly possible and lead the visitor to signup.
A few tips for creating exciting Facebook ads:
- Use bright colors in the ad design.
- Use exclamation marks and keep your ad copy short.
- Include an ad image that shows excitement.
- Showcase your product at the most exciting moment of its lifecycle.
- Make sure that your offer is actually interesting to the target audience.
- Include a discount offer to give the final nudge and make the ad irresistible.
3. Create a Curiosity Gap
If you’ve ever thought what makes Upworthy and Buzzfeed headlines so irresistible, here’s one of their secret weapons: the curiosity gap.
Put simply, the curiosity gap is the discrepancy between what we currently know and what we’d like to know.
And it works wonders if your goal is to get people clicking.
Copy Hackers was able to get a 927% boost in clicks on their Pricing page after applying the tactic.
And of course, curiosity gap can also be incorporated into your Facebook ad copy.
As someone spots HubSpot’s question “How well do you rank for SEO” in their Facebook Newsfeed, they’re bound to find out the answer. That is, if HubSpot’s targeting a Facebook audience of marketers.
The formula of curiosity gaps is simple: Ask people a fascinating question or tell them a cool story, and leave the best part untold.
SurveyMonkey, for instance, asks in the ad’s headline “Want a GoPro?” and sparks the reader’s curiosity to find out more.
The reason why this works is that people have a natural tendency to connect the dots and discover the answers. It will be hard for them to resist reading and clicking on your Facebook ad after it has posed a fascinating question.
When targeting a cold audience, it’s best to fill in their curiosity gap for free. With warm audiences, you can ask for something in return, e.g. their email address.
4. Make People Happy
A study in 2010 of the most-emailed New York Times articles found that emotional articles were shared more often. The study also noted that positive posts were shared more often than negative ones.
What if the same rule applies to your Facebook ads – will positive ads get more likes and clicks?
There are three main tactics to make use the emotion of happiness in Facebook ads:
- Brightly colored ad design.
- Including an ad image with smiling people.
- Using adjectives and verbs with positive connotations.
Eventbrite is applying all the three methods across their Facebook ad campaigns.
From the positive color scheme…
To smiling people:
Not only Eventbrite’s ads spark positive emotions towards the offer, but people will learn to associate the entire brand with happy feelings.
A study analyzed more than 1 million online reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and found that restaurants received significantly better ratings on days with nice weather and worse reviews on any day with rain.
If your goal is to make people remember your brand as a mood-booster on a rainy day, create more positive ad designs.
Happiness marketing can work especially well for B2C brands. For example, alcohol producers are often publishing commercials with people enjoying themselves on the beach or at a party. If you look at Corona’s ad profile, you’ll see that every ad follows this best practice.
5. Learn to Handle Negative Feelings
A Facebook ad sparking negative feelings isn’t always a bad thing.
Especially if it first ignites the negative thoughts and then offers a solution to cheer you up.
However, don’t overdo the negativity in your ads.
A study by researchers at Stanford GSB and Tel Aviv University discovered that small doses of mildly negative information — a so-called blemishing effect — might actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service.
The key to successful Facebook ads may lie in including just the right amount of negativity.
For example, Contently’s ad headline can make many marketers worry: “If the future of content isn’t blogging, what am I going to do?”
But just as the ad’s negative headline has grabbed the reader’s attention, it offers a solution: “More videos. More downloadable content. More infographics.”
According to the viral content study by The New York Times, some negative emotions contribute more to virality than others. Most specifically, the negative emotion of anger.
Anger makes people share (Image source)
Here’s how to put negative feelings to good use in your Facebook ads:
- Capture your audience’s attention with a negative headline.
- Let your audience know about a small default about your product to show you’re not hiding anything.
- Remind the readers of a negative fact or situation they encounter on a daily basis.
6. Offer Hope for Better Future
We all hope that we’re going to be prettier, smarter and funnier.
That’s one of the reasons we buy new things — to improve our lives.
While deep inside, everyone knows that most of the time material things won’t make us happy; we still keep hoping they will.
Shopify’s Facebook ad plays on the emotion of hope, using aspiring language and brilliant copywriting.
“Start your journey” and “Get more out of life” are both great slogans and talk to Shopify’s target audience.
Now that you already know that the emotion of hope can be activated by masterful copywriting. Is there anything else you can do?
In fact, there is — as you create a Facebook ad sparking hope, also provide a platform or a solution to reach the better future. For example, if you promise to double a company’s revenue, be clear about how you’ll do it.
Asana’s Facebook ad promises many great improvements in teamwork, making a project manager wish their team could achieve even more.
7. Help People to Feel Proud
According to Dan Hill, author of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success:
“Emotions process sensory input in only one-fifth the time our conscious, cognitive brain takes to assimilate that same input.”
This means that emotions have a strong effect on our immediate actions.
LEGO’s Facebook campaign makes moms proud of their kids, reminding them of the children’s capacity to create amazing things.
Moreover, LEGO’s campaign hooks with the previous point — using the emotion of hope. Many parents are drawn to the offer because they’d like to see their children learn and succeed.
Another way to make people feel great about their purchase is to remind them that they’re making a smart choice.
That’s exactly what the Dollar Shave Club does by saying their product is the smarter way to shave.
The person who buys the subscription will know they’ve made a clever deal and will feel good about it.
8. Create a Sense of Urgency
When you give people too much time to make a decision, they’re going to postpone the conclusion and will likely forget about it.
However, when presented with a limited time offer, people get worried about missing out on the awesome offer.
Applying scarcity and urgency on a website helped an entrepreneur increase sales by 332%. How much can you increase your ads’ click-through rate by using the same tactic?
For example, Target’s Facebook ad creates the sense of urgency by limiting their discount offer to a specific date.
Groupon has even added the end time with the time zone specification to make their offer feel more urgent. This way, there’s no doubt when the offer’s going to end.
How to create a sense of urgency in your Facebook ads:
- Define clear dates, e.g. “Today only” or “Offer ends in 24h.”
- Offer a great discount, e.g. “Get 60% off today.”
- Keep your offer simple and brief.
- Place your best offer in the ad’s headline or the image.
- Match the ad’s offer on the landing page.
9. Surprise Your Audience
Psychology Today reports that fMRI neuro-imagery shows that consumers use emotions rather than information to evaluate a brand.
If you’re looking for a strong emotion that will immediately catch your audience’s attention, create an offer that’ll surprise them.
A simple way to surprise people is to conduct an original survey and share interesting stats with your ad audience. That’s exactly what Grammarly has done:
You can also learn to apply the surprise-and-delight approach that’s based on the principle that nice surprises make people feel special and important.
Offer a free coupon or some other pleasant surprise to win your Facebook target audience’s attention and trust vie a series of small gestures.
G2 Crowd offers a $5 Starbucks gift card in exchange for filling in a quick survey. This works for two reasons:
- People are pleasantly surprised to get the gift card.
- By filling in the survey, they’ll become familiar with G2 Crowd’s brand.
When you create noteworthy Facebook ads, they’ll distribute organically via the likes and shares of your target audience.
According to a Nielsen study, 83% of people say they always trust the recommendations of friends and family, which makes it ever more important to engage your target audience.
10. Spark the Sense of Belonging
Some of the world’s most successful brands were originally built through low-cost community-based marketing. Starbucks, Google, Apple … The list goes on.
What if you could frame your Facebook ad offer as an invitation to an exclusive club of awesome members?
This approach is often used in event marketing. By presenting all the famous attendees, conferences make people interested in joining them at the venue.
Here’s an example by Litmus, inviting the viewers to join “the talented community of marketers and designers.”
How to use emotional marketing to create a sense of belonging:
- Frame your offer as an invitation into an attractive community.
- Include the names of influencers using your product.
- Mention the size of your user base to convince people of the community’s worth.
- Make the entry challenging enough for the person to value the community.
11. Untap the Power of Guilt
People feel guilty about different things, but one thing’s for sure: if you can hit the right nerve, you’ll win their attention.
Consumers who feel guilty tend to respond well to small, short-term fixes. That’s why the number of new gym memberships soars after a long holiday period and declines shortly after.
A study published by researchers at The University of British Columbia suggests that guilt can be a powerful tool for motivating self-improvement and for selling self-improvement products and services.
But not only — guilt as an emotion can also be used in the B2B industry.
For example, Scoro’s Facebook post asks, “Are you working hard or hardly working?” makes a person think whether they’re really contributing enough.
The Facebook ad also offers a quick solution: 89 productivity hacks to improve oneself.
Remember that emotional marketing with guilt works best if you also provide a quick fix to the audience’s problem.
Slack’s Facebook ad has taken a similar approach by stating “Your inbox is out of control.”
Another reason why this ad works is the strong emotional word “Yikes” in the first ad image, instantly catching people’s attention.
How to use guilt for successful Facebook campaigns:
- Remind your audience of a small mistake they’re making.
- Offer a quick solution to their problem.
- Use strong words that spark negative feelings and help to grab attention.
12. Make People Feel Important
Performance coach Tony Robbins has named the feeling of being significant to be one of the six basic human needs.
We all want to feel important and valued by others. And smart marketers know how to use this knowledge to create irresistible ad campaigns.
For example, Google’s Facebook ad looks at every benefit through the prism of you: New domains that tell your story. Get your domain today. Find a domain name for your story.
Here’s another clever Facebook ad example by Spotify:
By creating a highly personalized value offer, Spotify will ignite curiosity while also making the person feel important.
To make your ad audience feel important, create a personalized ad and use the word You to talk directly to the reader.
Emotions can go a long way in helping to create click-worthy Facebook ads.
According to a 2016 Nielson report, emotions are central to advertising effectiveness. The ads that generated the best emotional response also generated a 23% lift in sales volume.
Applying emotional marketing tactics to your Facebook campaigns isn’t as difficult as it seems. All it takes is smart copywriting and original ad design. And of course, a touch of creativity.
To wrap it up, here are all the emotions listed once more: The fear of missing out, excitement, curiosity, happiness, negative feelings, hope, pride, urgency, surprise, sense of belonging, guilt, feeling of importance.
Find out what works best for your target audience, and see your sales results grow.
About the Author: Karola Karlson is the founder & author of Aggregate, the most upright blog about marketing, growth, and data. She’s also a contributor to marketing blogs like AdEspresso, HubSpot, and KlientBoost, and works as the Digital Marketing Manager at SaaS startup Scoro. Karola’s all about random cool ideas, growth marketing, and taking new marketing approaches on a test drive. Connect with her by visiting her blog or on Twitter.
Mitsubishi will delay the much anticipated redesigns of its two most important vehicles Outlander and Outlander Sport. These two vehicles were originally expected to go on sale by April 2019 but now it is expected to be delayed till 2020.
Guest post by Rachael Loucks.
I’m not a real researcher but I may have played one in life!
The headlines were everywhere this fall, “Horses can communicate with symbols!” It was featured in equine and non-equine publications alike. People were sharing the article with me left and right….even my pals who couldn’t tell the front end from the back end on a horse. If you have not heard about this research yet, stop. Read the article here, then come back to my post. If you have read it…continue.
I was really excited when I read this, particularly because it involved a hot topic in our house…blanketing the horses. My husband is pretty “old school” when it comes to the idea of blanketing—as long as there is a shed for the horses to get into and plenty of hay, he sees no need to blanket….ever. I tend to be a bit more moderate and use the rules/guidelines put forth by University of MN. On the other hand, I know many folks who stick to the rule of 30 degrees and blankets go on…..no. matter. What. Needless to say, everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to blanketing.
The research conducted in Norway really excited me because I always suspected each horse had a preference about warmth. I certainly saw this in my own horses. I have had horses run when they see me coming with the blanket, whether it’s 30 and drizzling or -20. I have had others that are hiding in the barn as soon as the slightest bit of rain or wind and as soon as they see me coming with the blanket they reaching their necks forward and stand stone still as I get them buckled on.
I decided, after reading the research, I was going to try and replicate it. The procedure is laid out in the article very clearly and I have a good understanding of behaviorist principles, so thought it should be pretty easy to follow.
First, I found some scrap wood and cut it in to three pieces in the size laid out in the research procedure. My research assistant (aka…toddler) helped me get the communication boards ready…then we started the training process.
Per the research procedure I was going to teach the horses each symbol one at a time. Considering I had 4 horses, this was going to be a time consuming process. But I started out none-the-less.
Want to know what happens next? You’ll have to wait for the next installment to find out. I’ll give you a hint….it was NOT what I expected.
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How Snapchat Discover Partners Are Key To Snapchat’s Future
Snapchat Discover is just over two years old now and is undergoing a period of change. Featuring content from partnerships with over 40 publishers, Discover is Snapchat’s central hub of content and programming. As Snap continues to chase profitability, it’s building out its Discover offerings with original shows, licensed content, and more material from publishers.
Why Snapchat Discover Partners Are Critical For Success
With increasing competition and mounting uncertainty about Snapchat’s actual value versus its post-IPO valuation, Snap’s at a pivotal point following its IPO. Stemming largely from talk of underwhelming growth and revenue, there’s some doubt as to whether or not Snapchat can survive in a marketplace that’s evolving and spawning more and more competition. Snap, for its part, seems to recognize that Snapchat, as it exists today, won’t survive without innovation, and that recognition likely motivated Snap’s recent pivot.
Rebranding as a camera company, Snap is looking to make it clear that it’s more than Snapchat. New hiring suggests that Snap’s going to innovate outside of the app, likely in hardware, but for now, at least, Snapchat remains its central product. And so, if it wants to maintain its current foothold and avoid losing ground, Snap has to innovate within Snapchat, too. And that’s where Snapchat Discover comes in.
How Publishing Partnerships Have Driven Snapchat Discover
Publisher partnerships have been central to Snapchat Discover from Day One. The driving force behind content creation within Discover, publishers are putting a lot of time, effort, money, and manpower behind making their Snapchat content compelling. Some publications have entire teams dedicated to Snapchat. And for good reason — in some cases, Snapchat makes up a fifth of a publication’s total traffic.
The most recent additions to Discover are Vulture, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, and Entertainment Weekly. They join the ranks of content creators like Comedy Central, MTV, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, National Geographic, CNN, Refinery29, Vox, iHeartRadio and dozens more. Spanning everything from interactive listicles to How-Tos and news articles specifically formatted for Snapchat, Discover content is a way for publishers to get in front of a notoriously difficult to reach demographic (18-34 year olds) in a new way.
(GIF via Snapchat)
Publishers are important to Snapchat, too. Snap recently hired Donna Ogier, who previously worked at Apple helping the company manage its relationship with publishers. With the new title “global publishing manager,” that’s likely what she’s moved to Snapchat to do as well. And managing those relationships will likely prove instrumental to Snap’s failure or success where revenue is concerned in coming months.
Snap’s looking to leave behind the old model wherein it shared a portion of the ad revenue from Discover with its publishing partners. Now, Snap is looking to license some content, keen to keep much of the ad revenue for itself (probably necessary if it wants to become profitable), and is also actively working to create and find a place for original shows on Snapchat, like Planet Earth II, a series of mini episodes airing ahead of the full episodes the famed documentary series. Snap also has deals with NBC, ABC, Turner, and A+E.
How Snapchat Discover Might Evolve In The Future
In rapidly expanding its Discover offerings, Snapchat is looking to do more than just pull more content onto the platform. Discover is Snapchat’s attempt to be a little less messaging app and a little more content platform. It’s not the only game in town for disappearing messages or spontaneous stories, so it must adapt. What better way to do that than to make something that can’t be copied? In modeling Snapchat Discover after a kind of network, Snapchat is making itself a destination for a singular type of content.
Snapchat Discover is still very much in a state of evolution. It’s changing and developing under the influence of users, publishers, and the company itself. Snapchat’s moved Discover around in the app, which purportedly affected Discover partners, and the way in which it’s going to incentivize publishers and continue driving revenue may change if it succeeds in shifting to a licensing (rather than revenue share) model.
One thing’s abundantly clear, though: As Snapchat continues to fight for users, revenue, and relevance in a crowded marketplace, it’s going to have to progress. And though there’s evidence that much of that progress might be happening in hardware, it’s going to have to start in the app itself, and Snapchat Discover may be one major source of change.
Related Post: Snapchat Stories vs. Instagram Stories [Infographic]
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Uber might be King of Growth Hacking.
The one everyone fawns over. The media adores. Growth Hackers join.
But these kinds of companies are the exceptions.
Their ascent so quick and scale so massive that the vast majority of us can’t play by the same rules.
Instead, we need to look around. At the regular companies. One’s who’re grinding out, day-to-day, trying to get as many paying customers as possible.
Unbelievably, one perfect example emerges. From the least likely of places.
The grandma-catering QVC serves as an exemplary model for increasing site conversions. No matter what industry you’re in.
Here’s why and what they’re doing so well.
How QVC is a Conversion Juggernaut
One day I was researching the top converting websites online.
The usual suspects were there.
You expect Amazon.
Walmart or Expedia.
But not this. Not them.
A home shopping network. The same tired, old format you see on late night infomercials.
Not the QVC, whose primary audience demographic consists of your grandparents and… well, that’s gotta be pretty much it.
Curious, I had to check them out.
And sure enough, what I saw blew me away.
What makes QVC a conversion master? The blueprint you should follow with underlying sales principles that should be adapted for your own site immediately?
Let’s start with the homepage.
#1. QVC Homepage
First things first. Checkout the QVC homepage and you’re met with their latest daily deal.
There are a few things happening here.
Right at the top, “New to QVC?” helps segment and orient first-time visitors. They also throw in a discount code to sweeten the deal right off the bat.
Next, those high-quality images that show the product in-use. Underneath, is a simple line of benefit-laden copy with a price anchor (“Under $90”) and free shipping incentive (which almost all consumers – 82% – want).
To the right, is a bright-red CTA that uses the next value-building step (“Choose Your Color”) instead of some vague, generic one you might see on other sites (like “Get Started” or “Buy Now”).
And last but not least, that giant daily deal “Today’s Special Value” with countdown timer.
But that’s nothing. We’re barely scratching the surface.
There’s a concept called “conversion scent” in advertising and conversion optimization. It’s similar to ‘message match’. Basically, you want to make sure any copy, design, or page elements (like that big, bold countdown timer) follow someone to the ‘next step’ so there’s one seamless experience (and not a jarring, disrupted one that distracts people from converting).
For example, click on the featured homepage product (noting the countdown timer) and watch what happens next…
You’re brought to the individual product page that continues the timer where you left off, while also auto-starting a realistic, authentic video demonstration.
That’s heavy. Let’s save it for the next section below to unpack everything that’s happening (and why). We still gotta finish the homepage.
When you scroll down a little on the homepage, one of the next sections is their “Lunchtime Specials” one that has daily deals that run for only a few hours each day.
Selling online is tough. Average conversions are an abysmal ~2%. Partly because there’s no ‘human element’ (phone sales get an average of 30-50% conversion for comparison). And partly because there’s no urgency.
In most cases, people don’t need what you have. It’s a luxury. A take-it-or-leave-it kinda thing.
You manufacture urgency with scarcity; Cialdini’s bedrock principle. If something is limited (by either price or quantity), it’s more desirable. I dunno why. Evolution is weird.
Below the scarcity-induced Lunchtime Specials section, you get “On QVC Now”.
Two macro-things happening with this section.
First, the fact that they’re being presented on television automatically enhances their value and credibility. There’s prestige. It implies these are the ‘chosen few’ being ‘featured’. It’s no different (well, it’s better) than startups putting media logos on their site.
“New”, in particular, is one of the most persuasive words you can use to grab attention. Power words leap off the page, tickle your primal instincts, and force you to find out more.
Now… (see that?!)
Let’s head back into the individual product page to do a deep-drive on the eleven different elements they use (all above the fold!) to sell the S– out of their products.
#2. Individual Product Page
You might want to grab a cup of coffee before starting this next section. It’s gonna be awhile.
Because here’s where the QVC really outdo themselves.
Let me count the ways.
No seriously. Let’s count them. (And keep in mind that these are almost entirely above the fold.)
Deep breath. And:
- Autoplay Video: Immediately starts upon page load. Continues that product ‘scent’ discussed earlier, while showing the product in context so 4 out of 5 shoppers can get a feel of what it is, how it works, and what if will feel like to own one.
- Countdown Timer: Already discussed. The ultimate in scarcity-boosting, slightly ‘spammy’ website techniques to manufacture customer urgency. But just below that, a beautiful example of price anchoring, making the ‘real’ price now seem cheap and affordable.
- Payment Installments: Friction typically reduces conversions. A large, one-time fee is a big friction point, forcing the customer to assume all risk. But with installment payments, you’re able to make that lump sum more palatable and digestible for those on a budget. We’ll come back to this topic in the next section below.
- Color Options: Even something as basic as multiple color options can introduce the feeling of personalization on a website. 75% of people like personalization, which means it should be unsurprising that almost the same amount (74%) dislike when a website doesn’t match up or cater to their interests.
- MOAR VIDEOS: Honestly, we shouldn’t even have to touch on the importance of including more videos, seeing as they boost landing page conversions by 80%. Even executives – theoretically the most cold-hearted of consumers – get all warm and fuzzy when they can watch a product video.
- QCard: No money? No problem! QVC has their own financing department, and they’ll happily underwrite your purchase. Once again, less friction = more conversions.
- New Customer Incentive: New shoppers get a little added bonus (on top of all the other discounts and price slashing going on) to go ahead and take the leap.
- Community Q&A: The importance of social commerce deserves an entire post of its own. Suffice to say, peer-to-peer recommendations are what drive product purchases today. You can use all the hyperbole you want on a page, but customers will look for reviews. Plain and simple. Here, this QVC product has 411 answers!
- Speed Buy: Sure, the Add to Cart and Wishlist buttons are standard. But the Speed Buy is where it’s at. This is the QVC’s version of Amazon’s One Click to Buy. Why’s that important? Because that little damn button is patented and worth billions (with a “B”). That’s why.
- Upsells: No easier way to drive up the average cost of each order than with a simple upsell offer to insure your brand new purchase. Best of all, it’s not like the QVC has to do anything extra if you choose this upsell. A partner takes care of the dirty work. They just get to collect some extra revenue on each little purchase that passes through their kingdom. Upselling a current product can be 20 times more effective than cross-selling (a similar but different product).
- Delivery Date Estimate: The best saved for last. You punch in your zip code and they’ll give you an idea of how shipping will work, and how fast you’ll get it. Here’s why that’s important…
We’ve seen multiple times how the QVC is attempting to reduce friction to increase your impulse to purchase (and we’ll continue to beat that horse dead in the section below).
But that’s only half the battle.
At the end of the day, the big hurdle to an online purchase is instant gratification. Or lack thereof. There’s gonna be a delay of when that thing they just spent good money on lands in their hands (or on their doorstep).
So reducing friction is good. But it’s not enough. Andre Morys says we need to raise motivation, too.
That’s what this Delivery Date Estimate does. It helps us see a real, live date for when we’ll get access to the new product.
#3. Risk Reversing Payment Options
Number seven in the last section previewed the QCard, QVC’s financing arm to extend credit for their purchases.
Here are the full details:
Select products enjoy little-to-no interest payments, which lowers the bar (or barrier) to purchase).
Then that bar is lowered even with further with installment payments on the QCard (which you typically wouldn’t with other credit cards).
Why is this noteworthy?
Because one of the rising trends in eCommerce right now is “buy-now, pay-later solutions”
New upstarts like Affirm are essentially extending credit for eCommerce companies for big-ticket items that they may not be able to already afford.
We can sit here and poke fun at QVC’s customer segment all we want. But the fact is that they expertly recognize their customer’s problems and pain points, along with what hold them back from purchasing (like low fixed incomes).
And they’re doing things to bypass or lessen that burden.
On top of the infomercial-like installment payment options, they also provide a few different ways to return products.
They’re trying to make the process insanely easy. So they employ as many risk-reversing techniques imaginable. Customers can schedule a pickup so that they don’t have to leave their house! Even if the QVC loses a few purchases or returns in the process.
A few months ago I was at a dinner with several other marketers. Some of them worked with tech companies on subscription based products.
A conversation started about tips for reducing churn, and a few examples were given about how you can easily reduce churn by essentially making it a pain in the ass to cancel. Like a huge headache. Forcing customers to literally jump through hoops, taking several different steps, having to talk to people on the phone, even mail-in stuff.
And this out of body experience hit me:
“WTF are we doing?”
Purposefully making people’s lives harder? Just to shave a half-percent off your churn rate?
Topics like this are tough because it opens up a can of worms. So many unintended consequences.
QVC ain’t perfect. But they’ve been around for 30+ years. They’re a household name.
They use all of the classic hard-sell website techniques imaginable. But then they’ll give customers multiple different ways to easily return products (which costs them millions I bet).
Keep sight of what we’re doing and why. The end goal is a multi-million dollar brand that people love. Not a half percent higher conversion rate or half percent lower churn rate.
U.S President Donald Trump has reignited his feud with NFL quarter-back free agent Colin Kaepernick on Monday night bragging about the fact that NFL owners are not taking the quarter-back who has opted out of his contract at 49ers.
And should they? After a video of a horse, eagerly eating a baby chick, went viral on the internet it’s a question that seems to be on many horse owner’s minds (you can see the video at the bottom of this post. WARNING – GRAPHIC!).
In 2011, a book was published titled Deadly Equines, The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating & Murderous Horses by CuChullaine O’Reilly which claims that horses can be vicious meat eaters. The book tells the story of Bucephalus and Alexander with the claim that Bucephalus was fed with raw meat and was the off-spring of the meat-eating mares. While it’s hard to relate that to our modern equine partners, there are more examples. In Iceland, horses are routinely fed dried fish throughout the winter for extra protein, and beef gelatin and bone meal are commonly used supplements in Europe for promoting hoof growth.
Anyone who’s spent time at a show has probably seen a horse that happily steals bites of sandwiches, hamburgers, or hot dogs. In the racing world, the Grand National Betting Guide has heard many reports of horses killing small animals, particularly dogs and cats. There are also several startling accounts of meat eating horses in this Carnivorous Horses article.
While it seems that horses can eat meat in small quantities, they also have notoriously delicate digestive systems. Since horses can’t vomit, mold or toxins can be potentially fatal, and while the meat itself may not be a problem it certainly poses a risk. The “better safe than sorry” approach is usually the best option, but it does go to show that perhaps horses’ tastes are much more extensive than we realize.
Have you ever seen a horse eat meat?