Category: Online Advertising

Black Friday is coming!

Black Friday is on November 24th and marks the day after Thanksgiving in the US. It is regarded as the start of the beginning of the Christmas shopping period in the United States and has been a trend stateside since the early fifties. The day is infamous as a frenzied day where shoppers aggressively seek bargains in retail stores when prices have been substantially slashed.

The trend reached the UK when online retail giant Amazon offered bargains to shoppers this side of the water in around 2010. Ever since then, it has become a trend in marketing in both Ireland and the UK. Smart Insights reported October 2017 that 76% of retailers will take part in Black Friday and will use it as part of their marketing plan.

Regardless of whether we celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it is safe to say most consumers in the UK and Ireland have started planning for the Christmas period as now that Halloween is behind us. Large retailers have changed over their advertising to a festive theme around this period. Consumers are mindful of their finances and plan out in advance when they will start their shopping and avail of various services in the winter season.

The Central Statistics Office in Ireland has reported that retail sales went up 0.9% from October to November in 2016. Retailers in the Republic of Ireland are now faced with a new challenge in light of Brexit and the decline of Sterling. Therefore, Black Friday could be an excellent opportunity for them to take advantage of this fluctuation (according to Retail Ireland).

For online retail, in terms of e-commerce, it is important to be mindful of a few things in implimenting your digital marketing plan for the winter season – paying special attention to Black Friday and Cyber Monday as important dates within your company’s marketing calender.

Retailers in the US will plan ahead for Black Friday. Emails, ads and promotions are sent out around 8am on Thanksgiving to allow shoppers to plan ahead and be well informed of upcoming deals and sales. Special attention to branding is also important. Be mindful of colours and the message you are sending out within your planned ads. According to Smart Insights, Amazon will begin Black Friday campaigning as soon as November 14th.

Website speed, user friendliness and optimisation and web security
Ensure your website is literally up to speed. Consumers are impatient when online shopping. A smooth, fast and easy experience is essentially why people online shop. Online shopping is a way of avoiding the chaos of in-store queues and crowds. The average website will fully display in 3 seconds. You are at risk of losing a sale if your website is not optimised and fast. Security is also vital at this point and is a major concern for online shoppers. Ensure your site is secure and payment is safe.

SEO is very important during the Christmas shopping season. Be mindful of what people are searching for. According to Smart Insights, “Black Friday” has 200,000 monthly searches in the UK. People are searching for it and your website should be ready to compete with the array of competitors with a similar plan of action. Be clear about the products and services you are selling and what your deals and discounts are. This again, goes back to branding and ads.

The Christmas season starts early in retail. Like your customers and clients, you must also be well prepared for the chaos!

The Kongalytics Team: Our Week in Tech News

It’s been a big week for the Kong team – we’ve been over in New York AND featured in the Huffington Post. Aside from that, we’ve also had our eyes diverted to some really interesting news stories this week. Here’s what we’ve noticed…


This infographic from Data Never Sleeps – showing just how much data is generated every minute – caught my eye this week. With every online action logged, the sheer quantity of information available can seem overwhelming. As someone fairly new to the industry, it really underscores to me the importance of having the right tools at your disposal to distill all that data into usable information.

Article via We Are Social Media: Ever Wondered How Much Data Is Generated Every Minute?


According to research of how people use Facebook by, Facebook is more about socializing than buying. This raises the issue of translating the numbers to be solid conversions.

Considering that most social platform users are not in the “buy now” mindset, it’s a good strategy to set up a sales funnel. Fortunately, Facebook has a function to allow us to develop our own sales funnels.

A Facebook sales funnel is designed to capture users’ interest and nurture them until they’re ready to purchase. The idea is to use relevant messages that appeal to users at different stages in consideration for purchasing, moving them closer to conversion. You can do this with organic posts, but it’s more effective with reinforced and highly targeted Facebook ads, designed to appeal to users in particular stages of your funnel.

Article via Neil Patel Blog: The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Facebook Sales Funnel


We’ve been waiting for this feature to be live. We’ve tried it this week and I have to say it looks great. It makes such a visual impact to a basic Google search that implicates your business.

Article via Search Engine Land: Google Posts now live for all Google My Business users

Facebook Messenger ads ready for beta release

This week, Facebook has announced that its Messenger ads are about to make they debut on a device near you!

The social giant has tested ads in Messenger in Australia and Thailand, and say that the beta version is now ready to reach the rest of the globe, offering businesses the ability to reach people within the Messenger app using their usual Facebook targeting methods.

This gives further scope to reach people who are active on Messenger directly on a mobile device – leaving a vast array of opportunities to promote products and services to people who are interested or even in your vicinity.

In its release blog, Facebook quotes Michiel Tops, General Manager of Marketing and Communications of Australian department store David Jones, who says:

“Messenger ads have been a powerful addition to our digital advertising campaigns, helping us reach our customers where they are already active and engaged. And thanks to placement optimisation across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and now Messenger, we’re able to continue to optimise our advertising spend and further drive business results.”

Messenger ads will appear in the home tab of the Messenger mobile app and ads can lead to a website or a Messenger conversation.

Check out the Facebook Business blog for more.

The Kongalytics Team: Our Week in Tech News

Happy Friday everyone! That means that the Kong members team are ready to share the news that’s caught their attention this week. We’re all keeping a keen eye on different subjects across the web…


I’m all for backups! I’m one of those cautious people who has four copies of ALL photos taken on my phone, and when you take as many pictures of random things as I do, that’s a lot of pictures. So when Google released their desktop backup app this week I was very interested to check it out.  Obviously, there’s a ton of work on my laptop too so it’s nice to have an extra line of automatic defence against file losses.

Article via The Next Web: Google’s free desktop backup tool is now available


There’s no doubt that PPC is always changing and that automation is freeing up time, but there’s definitely more to come on that front from Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.  It’s always important to stay one step ahead and consider what is coming next, so it was really interesting to read seven other opinions from PPC experts and workflow.

Article via Adstage: The Future of PPC Automation: 7 Experts Weigh In


I’m constantly researching keywords and the benefits of the various types of words and phrases that Google Ads allow for. This week I’ve learnt even more about ‘long-tail’ keywords, which are are highly targeted phrases that serve a searcher’s decision making process. They generally have low search volume BUT high conversion rates. It’s a thought-provoking subject!

Article via How to Find & Target Long-Tail SEO Keywords

The Kongalytics Team: Our Week in Tech News

As you might imagine, the team members at Kong Digital are quite the tech enthusiasts. We spend lunch times browsing the latest news, testing gadgets and dreaming of owning the next big thing. Obviously, we’re also keen on new developments in all things Internet and marketing too.

We’d love to share with you some of the things that stood out to us on a weekly basis. As individuals, our tastes and interests vary – we hope that sharing our favourite stories and articles gives you a small insight into the personalities that make the Kong team!


Picture this: 2 shops are right next to each other. However, one attracts more customers than the other, although both have the same goods. This is for one reason; the one shop that attracts more customers uses the concept of interaction with people. This is in terms of consumer suggestions, attractive offers, contests and displays. These methods draw more people, as the overall environment makes a customer feel more comfortable.

In terms of web design, the concept can work in the same manner. If a website is one sided in expressing content about your company, product or service, users will feel bored. Isn’t communication the best thing? Why not make it happen on your website?

Article via Business 2 Community: How Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Helps to Guide Better UI Design


I’ve been learning a lot about the use of video in advertising recently, because there’s so much to keep up with – it’s an ever evolving landscape! This particular article answered some of my FAQs, particularly on KPIs. It also confirms that benchmarks aren’t always possible although they’re something that many like to aspire to or surpass. I’m sure I’ll be reading something new every week on video marketing!

Article via Think With Google: How to Identify the Right KPIs for Online Video: Lessons From Google BrandLab


I shared this within the team this week and it’s fair to say the whole team was amazed by the numbers being thrown around. Of course, we all know the importance of Google and Facebook for advetsiting, but I think this gives everyone more of an idea of how key is is to get campaigns right, because there’s stiff competition out there!

Article via Google and Facebook Now Make More From Ads Than Every Newspaper, Magazine, and Radio Network In the World Combined


I’ve owned a OnePlus since meeting their team at the Web Summit in 2015, so this week I’ve been reading a lot of reviews following the announcement of the OnePlus 5 last week. I’ve read mostly good reviews so far but there is the feeling that it could have been so much better, especially given that their price scale has risen. So now I’m on the fence as to whether to buy one or not!

Article via Forbes: OnePlus 5 Review: A Risky Gamble Against Samsung And Apple

Are your marketing plans summer ready?

Summer is well and truly upon us with the solstice occurring yesterday and some sporadic hot weather putting smiles on faces.

But for online marketers and advertisers, we’ve often found that social media and online advertising analytics show slight dips in summer months, sometimes showing lower click throughs and engagements on warmer days.

School holidays, summer holidays and generally getting out and about more are just a few reasons for audiences becoming less reactive than in the winter months.

This means it’s highly important to plan summer campaigns meticulously and take all of the above factors into consideration. We’ve come up with a few tips for summer marketing based on our previous experience of making social media campaigns and online advertising work in better weather…

1/ Special Offers

pi7nmqyi9Does your business have something to offer in summer? Do you have outdoor space that people should be making use of, maybe suitable for kids on school holidays? Give them something not to miss. Ideas include:

• 10% off entry prices on one weekend for people who follow you on Facebook/Instagram
• Free cold drink for anyone who retweets a specific tweet
• Offer a free branded fan/tumbler when people book tickets/appointments through your website

HINT: Data is king (well, content might argue with that). Keep this in mind when creating competitions or
offers – maximize the potential to capture email addresses especially.

2/ Target mobile

Put your efforts into mobile advertising. People are outside at home or on holiday so they’re more likely to be browsing online through a mobile device. Okay, we know this is generally the case anyway but even more so when the weather’s nice and people don’t want to be stuck indoors on a desktop or laptop.

3/ Consider the time of day

Focus your ads around times of the day people are more likely to be online. If people are at home in the evenings, the chances are they’re settling in later than they would in the winter. They also might be more likely to go out over the weekend rather than stay in with a box-set, so bear this in mind too…we realise that’s not always easy!

4/ Make content relevant

8c6opzb9iKeep your imagery summery and colorful to awaken all the senses that summer brings (or at least it should, if the weather is agreeable). For example:

• Illustrate someone using your product on a beach front
• Picture someone wearing your clothes having fun in the park
• Make text over images bright and cheerful

The same rules apply to copy. Use vibrant language to stir summer feelings within your target audience. Just put yourself in their shoes – what would you want to hear as a consumer in summer?

HINT: Don’t be afraid to put relevant emojis in text. Emojis stir emotions and catch attention…science says so! But don’t go off topic.

Hopefully, these basic tips will give you a few ideas for your upcoming social campaigns and online ads. Give us a shout if you’d like more advice!

What social networks should you be using to kick-start your student recruitment in China?

The recruitment of international students to colleges and universities used to be something that happened with more traditional methods of advertising and media.

But with a 34% increase in Chinese students coming to study in Ireland last year, this seems to be a market that
establishments are aiming to target more meaningfully, but perhaps are struggling to bridge the long distance gap.

With several social networks and search engines that we know and love being unavailable in China, here’s a quick guide to popular ways of communicating with your new target audience via social media and online advertising.


WeChat-Logo-2015WeChat is the fastest growing online messaging app in China. It has similar characteristics to WhatsApp and allows people to communicate on a one-to-one basis or in a group. With over a billion accounts signed up for, around 650 million are active.

It is also home to a public accounts platform, which has a similar purpose to Facebook. This is the key feature that allows people to interact with businesses and vice versa. It’s mobile capabilities are seeing it become the most highly used social networking app in China.

WeChat provides text messaging, voice messaging, broadcast messaging, video conferencing, video games, and photo/video sharing, and isn’t limited to communication with only friends.

It also includes a ‘Moments’ features, which is similar to Instagram – it allows you to take a picture and share it with your friends and other social networks, with filters and captions available.


Tencent_QQQQ is an alternative instant messaging service to WeChat, although it is owned by the same company, Tencent. It has similar features such as online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, movies, group chat and voice chat.

Last year, there were 829 million active accounts, which peaked at over 176 million simultaneous users online.

QQ moved to being a free platform in 2003, but there is still a premium membership scheme offering extra features like QQ mobile, ringtones, and SMS. Users can also purchase ‘Q Coins’ for in-app purchases such as avatars and items for blogs.


Sina_WeiboWeibo has some similar features to both Twitter and Facebook. It’s one of the most popular networking sites in China, and is used by over 30% of Internet users.

The word Weibo is actually the Chinese word for “microblog”, which makes it the perfect platform to share your stories for potential students to read and interact with.

It has 222 million active users, a number that is growing fast – the platform has seen 38% year-on-year increases in users with active accounts.

Posts consist of up to 140 characters. In the same style as Twitter, you can mention users using ‘@’ and you can use hashtags to create tags by typing  ‘#content#. The platform also allows for reposting someone’s content, formatting, favouriting, using emojis and auto-shortening URLs.


228px-BaiduBaidu is the largest online search engine in China. It is a highly intelligent service and offers various search types within its powerful software.

Not only does it boast a great search engine, it also hosts maps, a music service, encyclopaedia, language services, cloud storage, online communities, anti-virus software and SO much more.

It’s advertising platform is again similar to Google AdWords with a pay-per-click mechanism working across the search engine itself and sites in association with Baidu.

There is clearly plenty of potential for educational establishments to pinpoint target future students in China through interest, courses of study and job aspirations.

Kongalytics is committed to growing its presence in China and will be featuring handy links to several Chinese social networks and search engines allowing you to feature online and advertise to those will will be excited at the prospect of studying in Ireland, the UK or the USA.

Instagram Advertising – It’s Nearly Here

Facebook owned company Instagram has recently launched a new advertising service for marketers to enjoy.

The photo sharing social media site, which has recently hit over 400 million users, has grown at a rapid pace since its launch in 2010.

Just over a year ago Instagram began testing how their advertising would work by allowing trusted marketing partners to avail of the service, however, over the past few months Instagram has allowed for other companies to test their new service.

As of September 2015, Instagram has announced the following additional features.

“Landscape photo and video to unlock new creative opportunities and give ads a more cinematic feel

Video ads of up to 30 seconds in length, so brands can engage in richer storytelling

Marquee, a new premium product that helps drive mass awareness and expanded reach in a short time-frame—perfect for events like movie premieres and new product launches

Delivery and optimization tools to manage and drive the best performance of campaigns across Facebook and Instagram”


In comparison to other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, people tend to focus more on content they see on Instagram. This means that the opportunity to post ads on Instagram will provide marketers with the chance to reach a whole new audience.

The focus now is on how to utilize this service in order to effectively reach your company’s target audience.

As Instagram is based purely on visually appealing information, it is important to deliver relevant, high quality content which is targeted to the right people.

It is also important to frequently post content and at the right times to reach your audience and maintain their interest. This can be achieved by regularly placing engaging and targeted ads and by being consistent.

A final tip is to ensure to take advantage of how Facebook and Instagram are integrated.

The opportunity to use the same tools across both social media platforms offers multiple benefits for companies, including, the best targeting possibilities in the world. The option to use these two platforms allows for marketers to target specifically down to geography, interests, education and more. This, as a result, allows for companies to reach the widest audience possible.

We’ll be bringing you more blogs soon on Instagram advertising development, and step-by-step guides to help you understand how and why to target your audiences.


We’re going to whisper this, but – “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”

It’s September, which can only mean one thing…It’s CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!




We’re truly sorry for the content that follows – it’s festive and early – but it’s true to say that as a marketer, you have to be ready. In fact you had to be ready yesterday.

Christmas is the biggest online marketing opportunity in the calendar and to not have a proper plan in place for the coming months is almost scandalous.

In the UK alone, £636million was spent online just on Christmas day last year. Across the world, online traffic increased from the festive period on 2013, a trend that is only set to continue this year.

Don’t believe us? Check out this ridiculously informative infographic that proves how online retail is increasing.



We also can’t continue without a mention for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because they are a HUGE deal too. Last year, Black Friday was the biggest day for online sale…EVER! Sales were up by 92% than on the same day in 2013. Just make sure you’re prepared for the demand.

Visits to retail websites on Cyber Monday were also up by 39% from 2013 to 2014, so with the demand for bargains rife at that time of year, it might be worth considering offers of your own to bring in valuable customers.

So now you know how important it is to get your social and online campaigns planned, so what are you going to do about it?

Remember, when you’re setting out your schedules, remember to include deadlines, dates to publish, platforms and to make sure all personnel is in place to deal with the incoming traffic.

Here are a few ideas of what to plan:

  • Blogs – make your blogs relevant to your products or services. Ask questions, encourage engagement and educate your followers.
  • Social posts – get your Christmas Day messages and images ready now. Schedule them well ahead of time so that no one forgets to do it at the last minute.
  • Special offers – if applicable to your business, do you want to roll out discounts and specials heading in to the festive period?
  • Online advertising – what Facebook posts and tweets are you going to promote? What’s the budget? Decide now!

Be timely with everything, don’t leave anything too late. People are incredibly organized in this day and age with purchasing abilities at their fingertips, so to get ahead of your competition is vital.

Be decisive and stick to your plans as much as possible. Of course, factors can change, so don’t be afraid to move things around and re-plan along the way. But that’s why it’s vital to begin planning and run with it before you end up just doing a few slap-dash campaigns for the sake of it.



You might even want to stick to a theme, an idea, a single campaign. Penguins worked for John Lewis.

What kind of subjects should you be planning blogs and social posts about? How about…

  • Order deadlines
  • Special offers
  • Opening hours for the holidays
  • Highlight great products or services
  • Last minute ideas
  • Something for the kids – a Santa message maybe?
  • Post Christmas sales
  • How your products/services tie in to the festivities

Feel ready to spread festive cheer this year and don’t make your Christmas campaigns a last minute rush. If you enjoy the festivities, so will your customers!

PS: Over 40% of consumers expect an online response to queries within an hour, so also make plans to deal with an influx of inquiries. Keep up your customer service with prompt and helpful responses.

*Bonus Content Klaxon*

Here are a few resources that you might like to use for your social

Free Festive Stock Images

Christmas Song Lyrics – y’know, for all your cheesy blogs…

Free Christmas Fonts – just double check each license before you download

Gifs, gifs, gifs

‘Drive’ Online Sales – Hit Customers That Are “In Market”

Last year, I bought my first car. It was an

exciting time, but as someone who likes to partake in a lot of research before making a purchase, it was also a little bit stressful.

I was looking for resources to make it as easy for me as possible and I naturally turned to online sources to assist my decisions.

After looking at various car sales websites, review sites and forums, I can honestly say that my head was fried.

I’m also a bit of a Facebook addict (maybe that goes with the job territory!) so as I was regularly flicking through my timeline, I noticed a gradual increase in targeted ads.

The one that struck me the most and sticks in my mind to this day was a Facebook ad to highlight the introduction of the new Ford EcoSport to the market.

Although we all like to think of ourselves as people who aren’t easily swayed by advertising, I have to say I was really taken with this

particular one. My thought process was something along the lines of –drive-online-sales-hit-customers-that-are-in-market

  • Yes, it looks nice and shiny
  • Ooh look, I could get credit and pay it off monthly
  • I’d be the first to have a new product – cool!
  • It would solve my undeniable problem of having no transport

Although I didn’t end up buying one, at the time the ads addressed all of my problems. Isn’t that what a targeted ad should do? It was near on perfect.

Having since done a bit of research into the Ford EcoSport advertising strategy, it turns out they did intentionally make big waves in social advertising that year. They focused solely on social ads to get the word out about their brand new product.

It worked a treat, as Ford sold all 500 limited edition cars before the campaign was due to come to and end. Check out more details on the Ford strategy here.

Facebook tends to agree that it is the ideal platform for sales leads in the automotive market. It reveals these stats as having a role in its influence to purchase vehicles:

  • 60% of people are “in market” for a car for at least 6 months
  • 27% of people report doing most of their vehicle research on a mobile device
  • More than 7 in 10 mobile-first consumers report feeling overwhelmed by all the information that is available
  • 65% of these mobile-first consumers worry that they’re going to make the wrong decision

It also highlights the potential problems that current advertisers face and how they can further capitalize on their advertising spend:

“By the last month before purchase, most people have narrowed down the type, size, fuel source, brand and other vehicle features for their car-purchasing decision. In fact, 59% of average car buyers have narrowed down their choice of vehicle to 1–2 cars by the last month before purchase. But this last month is when people say they are exposed to the most car ads on digital. This signals an opportunity for marketers to reach and influence car buyers on digital earlier in the purchase cycle, when they are still trying to decide on their choice of vehicle and features.”

Let these be small lessons towards understanding the needs of a potential customer. Go the distance to identify the problems that your products and services offer and be sure to address them in ads using imagery and clever wording.

While we agree that to only use one medium to advertise is a risky strategy, this success story proves that if done right, social streams are powerful selling tools.



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