How Customers Connect with Brands in the Digital Age and Why More Companies are Going Online

GUEST BLOG by Jess Mackay, Gen Y writer and future author

The popularity and monumental success of online shopping has ultimately changed the way that customers engage with brands in the digital age. The way in which people discover new products and connect with new faces is largely based on a company’s ability to advertise and portray their brand online and attract new ‘followers’. Although the basis of brand to customer engagement has shifted, the basic rules for advertising have remained the same.

Going digital possesses the advantage to reach a larger audience than ever before, whether it be international, national or local, the widespread popularity of social media means there are no limits to where the name and face of your brand can travel. However in order to achieve a brand’s full potential in the digital market, they must know how to engage on a unique and modern platform.

The most effective social networks for customer engagement are sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The attribute that these sites have in common is the use of media to engage people. For example: Instagram’s use of photo and video media provide an easy to use and attractive interface that appeals to customers on a visual level. Twitter uses short text statuses and photos to engage customers with a shorter attention span and Facebook combines all of these features to attract 1/6th of the world’s population to their site. 90% of the information processed by our brains is visual and social media make it easier than ever before to share, comment and repost these visuals to other people. Not only do social networks reinvent ‘word of mouth’ but they also present information in a way to people that has created a 60% more chance of online engagement.

More companies are combining traditional and digital marketing in order to reach this ever growing audience and provide the most engaging face of their brand possible. By creating a profile for your company, whether it be on social media or online, going digital means the ability to design a unique website layout, post updates to your existing clients and attract new customers, develop a name for your brand and ultimately engage your desired audience on a visual level.

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Why Gen Y is social media obsessed

GUEST BLOG by Jess Mackay, Gen Y Writer and future author

The young people of Generation Y have adopted the name ‘digital natives’ for their ‘addiction’ to all things technology. It is estimated that the average Gen Y individual is a member of 2.5 social networks and about 80% of the same age group will log onto social media at least once a day. Whilst previous generations have criticised this ‘obsession’ with a digital life, there are many reasons as to why the digital world has become so popular.

Scientifically, internet usage and in particular posting content to social media, has been described as giving the user the same rush as recreational drug use. Obviously the latter being less detrimental to your health, but no less addictive. The feeling of posting our photos, videos, status updates and comments stimulates the part of our brain that controls addiction and ultimately keeps us using. This phenomenon explains the obsession with spending our lives online, however the digital world also offers things that the previous generation never had.

  • Visual engagement: 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed on average, 60,000 faster than text. Therefore, digital marketing in comparison to text or traditional advertising will not only reach the customer faster but drives engagement.
  • Information giveaway: Print information comes at a price: newspapers, magazines, advertising all needs to be purchased and can only reach the people who need it. In contrast, digital advertising and media is generally free to everyone with an internet connection. Customers can now receive ‘information giveaways’ from videos and photos on social media to statuses and updates by online companies and news stations.

The only reason Generation Y is obsessed by the digital world is that the phenomenon was founded in their time. Although more generations are utilising digital platforms than ever before, Gen Y were the ones that had first access to everything online and have now become ‘addicted’ to the engagement, social tools and ease of use that modern technology can provide.

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Instagram Vs Facebook: Which is more engaging?

GUEST BLOG by Jess Mackay, Gen Y Writer and Future Author

The names ‘Facebook’ and ‘Instagram’ should sound familiar to even the most technology deprived individuals. The two social media giants have emerged in the last decade to become two of the most popular and frequently used social networks of the digital age.

Although both providing a social service, Facebook and Instagram have been designed to serve very different purposes. So which social media craze is proving more engaging?

From a marketing perspective, Instagram has been labelled as ‘the best platform for marketers to connect with consumers’. This attraction comes from Instagram’s simplified photo/video upload feature that allows brands to connect directly with their intended audience in small, creative bursts. In comparison to Facebook, Instagram gets straight to the point, rather than producing a mixed feed of statuses, photos, videos and page sharing that can allow brand updates to be lost in the crowd.

Facebook’s engagement is within the variety of content it provides, however research has shown that the popularity of Facebook and Instagram might differ between age brackets. In a recent study of teenagers, Facebook has fallen to the third most used social network (45%) behind Instagram (76%) and Twitter. A further study has also shown 38% of teens note Instagram as their favourite marketing channel.

Despite Facebook continuing to dominate people’s daily average internet use with 1.35 billion active monthly users, Instagram’s easy-to-use features and simplified video and image feed, created only from users you want to follow, could be the new tool to engage with consumers, socialites and photography lovers alike. The social network grows by one user per every second, making it one of the fastest growing channels that has proved in recent years to engage a wider audience.

Who gets your vote?

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