Marketing & Snapchat: 5 Ways Your Business Can Use the App to Your Benefit

Whether you consider yourself a frequent user or not, there’s no denying that Snapchat has become extremely popular.

What started with simple time-limited photos, and silly ways to make your work day go by quicker has now transformed into so much more. From the puppy dog filter we’re all so fond of, to their endless partnerships with brands worldwide, it’s time we shift our attention towards the impact this app could have on your business.

If you’re currently in the startup phase or you’ve been around for a few years, you know that right now social media is your best friend when it comes to spreading the word about your business. At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we’re all about keeping our clients one step ahead of the curve. Whether you use Snapchat for personal reasons or you have yet to become a convert, we’d like to point out a few reasons why incorporating the app into your social media strategy could benefit your business.

  1. Go live!

In addition to being one of the most entertaining ways to pass time, Snapchat is also one of your most powerful assets as a business owner.

Whether you’re gearing up for a major product launch or hosting an awesome event, you want your business to be noticed.

Through the use of Snapchat, you can go live and share the happenings of your business with all of your followers.

With a few simple videos, your followers will become engaged and want to know more about exactly what you’ve got hidden up your sleeve. More than anything, sharing insights about your business this way will show your followers that you’re authentic—and trust us, that’ll make all the difference in your success.

  1. Be exclusive

Let’s say you’re already using Facebook and Twitter. There’s a high possibility you use these platforms to engage with your audience and keep them updated about what’s going on in your world. But, what if you could take things one step further?

Think exclusivity. In order to build your following further, why not share Snapchat specific action? Surprise your followers and expand your reach by using the app to provide them with behind-the-scenes action they can’t get from any other platform. Don’t be surprised if you notice a spike in your following.

  1. Offer perks and promotions

In the world of social media, there’s nothing people love more than contests and giveaways. From Instagram to Facebook, this marketing strategy has spread like wildfire.

Take your business to the next level and start applying this little strategy to your Snapchat account as well. Through fun, spirited videos, you have the option of offering exclusive promo codes and discounts to your followers. If you’re feeling creative, you can encourage your followers to upload a video to their Snapchat ‘story’ that references your product/business in exchange for a cool perk. You’ll be increasing your following and engaging with them simultaneously.

  1. Get personal

The marketing strategies that resonate most with today’s world need a personal edge. Luckily, Snapchat is the perfect tool that has the potential to give you just that. Rather than simply focusing on business related matters, use the app to show your audience you have personality. .

Cover office birthday parties, regular days at the office or any company outings! In doing so, you’ll show your followers the heart and spirit behind your business that will captivate them in more ways than one.

  1. Partner with influencers

Although social media stars may seem a little out of reach, Snapchat can help bridge the gap between you and them. Whether you want to target influencers in your niche or local social media stars, these individuals have immense potential to be game changers in your business.

Partner with them for certain promotions by doing a Snapchat “takeover” where they would be in charge of generating content for your handle for a designated period of time. Be prepared to see your following soar!

Now is the time to stop using Snapchat to send humiliating photos of yourself to your friends and start using it for the benefit of your business. At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we are firm believers in the power of social media. Chat with one of our social media catalysts today at 866-224-5705 to see how you can up your Snapchat game and start building an audience who’s excited about your business.

Google’s Fast-Loading Tech Encourages New Standard for Mobile Platforms

Do you ever feel frustrated waiting for pages to load on your phone? You are not the only one. Let’s face it, we’re an impatient bunch when it comes to internet browsing. No one has the time to stay idle while waiting for a page to load, but unsurprisingly, Google can fix that. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Program is Google’s latest initiative to improve mobile web browsing and enhance distribution. Google claims that AMP pages can load up to four times faster while using 10 times less data. Click To Tweet
The AMP project was first announced last fall and not a moment too soon. Google is in the business of doing business on the web. It was only a matter of time before they created a program with the intent of building faster mobile web experiences to encourage users to stay in the browser rather than switching to apps or other platforms. AMP is a fast-loading technology that is already making waves in terms of ease of use and speed.

How does it work? When you run a search on a specific topic, a queue of new stories is displayed at the top of your screen, before the search results. Google would select stories based on features like relevance and speed. With AMP, pages that make use of this program will get priority.

If you need help creating or maintaining your web presence while implementing all the latest industry trends like Google’s AMP, talk to a cobalt catalyst. We love exploring the newest technology trends and putting them to work for our clients.

AMP-ing Up Mobile Search

AMP HTML makes optimized web pages load instantly on a user’s mobile device making for a better user experience. For AMP to work, publishers need to be convinced of the benefits Google’s program can offer. Publishers AMP-up versions of their stories by creating open source code that notifies Google’s web crawlers that an AMP version exists. When a reader does a search via a mobile platform, only AMP-ified pages will be favored.

Wired refers to AMP as Google’s competitive necessity based on the premise that speed matters on mobile. Click To Tweet The focus for AMP-modified pages is online news sources, though. Google consulted with advertising, analytics, video, and tech companies along with well-known news publishers to brainstorm ways to best build AMP without compromising user necessities.

AMP-Packed with Benefits

AMP pages undergo a loading process that prioritizes story content, followed by videos and ads, then more data-intensive features. The program itself offers a more simplified platform while incorporating support tools that publishers may already have like ads, analytics, and paywall support. There are also no pop-up ads. Finally, rather than dealing with numerous trackers that often result in loading lag, AMP pages feature one piece of code. That code can be shared across firms like Adobe Analytics and Chartbeat.

Gaining the Competitive Edge

Wired refers to AMP as Google’s competitive necessity based on the premise that speed matters on mobile. Click To Tweet With Facebook offering Instant Articles on users’ walls and Apple News implementing a streamlined experience for iPhone users, Google took to providing a similar experience on the web. The ultimate goal for AMP is for users to access and read stories faster, no matter where the link comes from. What does that mean for your business? Because Google is prioritizing AMP pages from mobile search, your site will have to have AMP-ified content to be seen and found.
AMP pages can only be accessed through links found in mobile browsers. And though most people do not access online news via Google searches, publishers claim there are enough readers to justify optimizing those links. Wired refers to AMP as Google’s competitive necessity based on the premise that speed matters on mobile. Click To Tweet As part of AMP integration, you can expect to see links in your Twitter feed and Pinterest boards that are already successful. Websites like Cosmopolitan, Nuzzel, and The Verge have already converted to the ways of AMP. Even WordPress has developed a plugin for self-hosted pages to support AMP.

Get Ahead of the Game

You are an expert in your industry, and we consider ourselves experts in digital marketing. Keeping up with new trends and technology is part of the fun we call our job. Just as Google works to maintain a competitive edge, our team of catalysts can help you find and maintain yours. From cultivating the right digital image, to honing a marketing message, then getting it in front of prospective customers via SEO and social media, we can help you get results from your digital marketing effort. Call us today to find out how you can compete more effectively online.

Take Your Business to the Next Level: SXSW Edition

Each March, thousands flock to Austin, Texas for the annual South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). If images of crazy partygoers crowding Sixth Street are instantly coming to your mind, we’re here to let you in on a little secret: it’s so much more than that!

Contrary to public opinion, SXSW serves as one of the most inspirational, game changing festivals out there. Featuring film, interactive media, music and insightful panels, SXSW is the perfect place to go to if you’re an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level.

To illustrate this point a little better, this season, SXSW 2016 brought out the likes of speakers ranging from Barack and Michelle Obama to some of the world’s most inspirational voices in technology, business and fashion.

Topics discussed at this year’s festival ranged from high-tech movie making and artificial intelligence to how start-up companies can secure funding. If you’re getting the urge to purchase passes for SXSW 2017, we don’t blame you!

In our day and age, it’s so important for business owners to be innovative; at Cobalt Digital Marketing, we believe in the power of pushing the boundaries and going off in directions that have yet to be traveled. To get you and your business fired up for what lies ahead, here’s a look at the top five tech trends seen at SXSW 2016:

  1. All Ears


We’ve all heard of Kickstarter before. Known as the platform that has the potential to give rise to tomorrow’s greatest innovations, it’s no surprise that the winner of Best of Show at the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards got its start on the site. So, exactly what is this new revolution? Doppler Labs has created a remarkable set of wireless earbuds that allow you to tailor the way you hear the world around you. Sounds incredible, right?

Whether you’re tired of hearing so much commotion when you’re at Starbucks or would like complete silence at the end of your work day, the app’s preset filters give you the power to drown out the unwanted sounds in your environment using its equalizer settings. If you’re up for it, you can also use the app to apply fun sound effects and adjust the volume of your surroundings. The Here Active Listening System currently does not have a release date; you can join the waitlist for $199.

  1. Hello Holograms


We knew it would only be a matter of time till our world was evolved enough to pursue this technological advancement. Featured at Sony’s Future Lab, there was one prototype in particular that was driving tech lovers wild: the Interactive Tabletop. Essentially, it’s a top-down holographic projector that uses augmented reality, gesture sensors, and motion tracking; in other words, it puts digital information into the real world (literally) while allowing you to control the content. The demo at SXSW featured animated characters from Alice in Wonderland springing from the tablet’s screen onto real-life tables and so forth. At this time, there’s no information if the Tabletop will be released commercially.

  1. Camera From Up Above


Awards like the “coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2015 was only possible in science fiction” only exist at SXSW. This year’s winner, the Lily Camera, has taken the world of photography to a whole other level. Known as the world’s first true flying camera, this small drone features a 1080p HD camera and microphone that can be thrown in the air and follow along on your shenanigans via a wrist-mounted tracker. It’s a solo-flyer and will use its GPS and computer vision to follow you around for as long as you see fit. The Lily Camera will be released this summer, but you can pre-order it for $899. The possibilities are endless with this device that can fly up to 25 miles per hour!

  1. Money Talks


As our technological world continues to revolutionize, it’s no surprise that Amazon and Capital One have now come out with the first-ever voice activated mobile banking feature. Made for Alexa-enabled devices (Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, etc.), customers can say something as simple as “Alexa, how much money do I have in my bank account?” for comprehensive insight into all their banking needs. Now, you can have your cake and know exactly how much damage it’s causing your pocketbook!

  1. Happily Ever After

So this one may be purely for inspiration purposes, but Groove Jones created the first-ever virtual reality Happy Meal! Yes—you read that correctly. At the SXSW McDonald’s loft, guests sported HTC Vive Glasses and soon stepped into a life-size Happy Meal. In this virtual reality experience, they were able to customize the box and unleash their inner fast-food fanatic.

Just like the great minds featured at SXSW 2016, our Cobalt Catalysts are looking to take the path less traveled and pursue new and innovative ways to help your business reach its full potential.

Learn how your business can stay ahead of the technological curve by contacting our Cobalt Digital Marketing today.

Create a Trend, Ride the Wave

In this day and age, it’s no secret that ‘trends’ are no longer born on the streets. With powerhouses such as social media and popular television shows, the key to piquing the interest of the viewing public lies in something as simple as a meme, the brief mention of a brand or a newly coined term.

Kukoo for Cocobolo

If you’re a fan of Better Call Saul, you might have found yourself falling into this very pattern after tuning into the second season of the show. After the quick reference to a cocobolo desk, it seems fans of the show made a mad dash towards their smartphones to look up the item on Google. During the time surrounding the premiere of the episode boasting about cocobolo desks, the search term experienced a substantial spike on Google Trends.

@Google searches of cocobolo desk spiked from 0 to 100 immediately after mention on @bettercallsaul Click To Tweet

We don’t know whether or not any of the interested parties actually purchased the said desk, but it can definitely be concluded that a lot of potential customers now know a thing or two about these desks and their roots in Belize.

Create a Trend, Ride the Wave

Although abstract, this sudden interest in something an foreign as a cocobolo desk truly demonstrates the power of today’s media. This truth extends to our other guilty pleasure: social media. When today’s influencers include a simple mention of a brand’s Instagram handle or share an image of a product, users set out on a frantic search to learn more. Regrams, retweets, pins and shares multiply the excitement and the product awareness which usually leads to the said item making it to the top of countless wish lists and flying off the shelves. Although starting a trend isn’t exactly easy, we’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you make it happen.

  1. Identify something about your business or products that is interesting, different or funny. Find your niche.

As countless social media masters have said in the past, nobody gets too excited about something that has already been done before. In our crazy, media centric world, it might seem impossible to come up with an original idea. Luckily for you, it’s as simple as answering this question: what makes your business or product unique? As soon as you’re able to answer that question, run with it and use that to capture your audience.

  1. Create a catchy hashtag

Think of a fun, short phrase that captures the aesthetic of your business. It should be memorable and possibly include some form of an incentive. Think a small discount or offering up the chance of a repost on your main social media handles to create additional buzz, since there’s nothing people love more than saving cash or expanding their social handles.

  1. Get it out there—post, tweet, pin, snap—whatever will best reach your target audience.

Think about the people you’re trying to reach. What are they passionate about? What makes them tick? Create shareable content that is strategically curated around their likes and needs. Sometimes, getting through to your audience can be as easy as including photos of an irresistibly cute rescue dog.

  1. Interact with influencers to encourage them to share.

In our world, this is absolutely key. Rather than simply following the herd and looking to major celebrities for inspiration, today’s media users turn their attention to people who are just like them: influencers. These people come in the form of bloggers, vloggers, photographers and beyond. While their immense online followings may seem a little intimidating, there’s no harm in reaching out! Many of these influencers will collaborate with brands that stay true to their values. Seek out those who you resonate with. Also, don’t’ hesitate to start local! Who are the local influencers in your area? Connect with them to help spread your cause.

  1. In the immortal words of Salt-N-Pepa “Push it. Push it real good.” 

As you’ve reached out for support, now it’s time to give a little of your own to your business and stay consistent in spreading the word. If you keep ‘pushing it,’ your message might end up as immortal as the words of the great Salt-N-Peppa.

It’s safe to say that the topics at the top of today’s ‘trending’ lists earn their rightful spots in a more organic fashion. Whether or not the creators intended to incite a cocobolo desk frenzy, the fact of the matter is that modern media is essentially limitless, opening up a new realm of possibilities. You can become the maker of your brand’s destiny and set the trend in motion!

For ideas and suggestions as to how to get more from your social marketing program, please contact the Social Media Catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing.