Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on Thursday, February 24th, has made the past week sad and stressful.
For me it’s personal. Four of my great-grandparents emigrated to the US from Ukraine in the late 1800s to build a better life.
Being born in the United States and having grown up here, I cherish the freedom I have living in this democracy.
While I live in the center of Manhattan, I know what it’s like to have bombs explode in your city. I was in Manhattan when planes flew into the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001. And, in September 2016, a bomb went off a few blocks from our apartment during another terrorist attack.
Why talk about these political actions in a marketing newsletter?
Because marketing is founded on the theories and strategies of war.
Like a good marketer, a politician must fully understand the state into which he plans to move. This includes the prevailing economic, financial, social and political situation.
Just as a marketer must know their potential customers, a politician needs to understand the people they’re attacking and what they value. Now, Ukrainians are fighting for their lives, their loved ones and their land.
I applaud Ukrainian President Zelensky’s decision to stay and work with the military, to take steps to protect civilians, and to fight where necessary. This makes the dire situation in Ukraine real to people watching around the world.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► How To Use Media To Win People’s Hearts
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky became the defender of Democracy, inspiring not only the people of Ukraine, but also others around the world. Ukrainians have taken firm control of the invasion’s narrative.
As a former comic, Zelensky has put his television skills to good use creating videos and social media. As a result he communicates his message within Ukraine and beyond to win people’s hearts.
In Zelensky’s words (via CNN)
“Ukrainians have manifested the courage to defend their homeland and save Europe and its values from a Russian onslaught. … This is not just Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules and peaceful coexistence.”
Due to his consistent messaging, countries and organizations around the world are taking actions to support Ukraine. This includes military support, humanitarian assistance, and other actions to restrict Russians activity.
With over 4 million followers, Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUA) has been active on Twitter. He posts several times a day using a combination of languages to reach a maximum audience.
What does the Ukrainian Invasion mean for you as a marketer?
War isn’t always won on the battlefield, especially when people are fighting for their lives, their freedom and their homeland. The same holds true for why customers decide to buy from your business.
As a marketer, I’ve been impressed by the Ukrainian officials. Consistently, they have shown leadership and focused their messages on preserving democracy and saving human life. They encourage allies to support them and their people to stay strong and act now.
As a marketer, your senior staff should be this prepared to step up when needed to follow a planned program of action. Further, it’s not just the words you say but also how you present them and what you do. this means acting like President Zelensky who chose to remain in Ukraine to fight alongside his people.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Make sure your messaging is targeted and consistent. In his videos, President Zelensky is always on message. He talks about democracy for Ukraine and Europe more broadly.
- Have a spokesperson who is prepared and understands the facts so they can answer unexpected questions.
► How We Use Voice Devices Now
In 2022, 57.4 million US households or 44.4% of total US homes are projected to use smart home devices.
People increasingly use a variety of smart home devices to add convenience and efficiency to their daily lives. With improved natural language processing (NLP) and increased device integration, device design continues to improve.
To increase smart device adoption marketers must prioritize customers concerns about trust related to data privacy and security. (Source: eMarketer)
Also, realize that consumers use their smartphones to perform many of the same activities they use their voice devices for.
The top 5 smart speaker activities for US Internet users are:
- 31.4% ask general questions;
- 26.7% seek weather, traffic, travel and/or sports updates;
- 24.5% stream music using a built-in streaming service;
- 21.8% set timers or alarms; and
- 19.1% use home automation.
What does this mean for marketers?
These activities have no purchase intent, at least not after you’ve purchased the devices involved.
But—don’t be short-sighted regarding the marketing implications of smart speakers. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant owners may purchase other devices, products and services to coordinate with their existing smart speaker. For example, a customer who owns an Alexa smart assistant may be swayed to purchase a television containing an Amazon Fire TV.
Further, consumers who own smart speakers, will use them to make purchases.
During the pandemic, millions of US Internet Users made purchases using a smart speaker. They bought health and beauty products, electronics, household supplies, home and gardening products, and arts, crafts and party supplies. (Source: eMarketer)
Actionable Voice Marketing Tips
- Create audio and voice content to distribute across all audio options including smart speakers.
- Determine where your suppliers need you to provide additional audio or voice content. For example, this is important if your business distributes products through Amazon or Walmart.
► US Social Media User Growth
Expect 2022 US social media user growth by platform to slow to pre-pandemic rates. Although usage by platform may shift based on user age.
In 2022, TikTok will grow to 90.6 million monthly US users but will still lag Facebook with 180.7 million monthly users and Instagram with 126.3 million monthly users. (Source: eMarketer)
► US Social Media Mobile App Downloads
In 2021, US social media app downloads were (Source: eMarketer):
- 94.0 million TikTok downloads, increased 6% from 2020
- 64.0 million Instagram downloads, up 3% from 2020;
- 56.0 million Snapchat downloads, increased 10% from 2020;
- 47.0 million Facebook downloads, down 11% from 2020; and
- 32.0 million Discord downloads, up 1% from 2020.
In terms of apps, ByteDance-owned TikTok is expected to remain the Gen Z darling for the next few years.
► US Social Media Video Views
Where do social media users turn to view live video (Source: eMarketer)?
- 52.0% turn to YouTube for live video content;
- 42.6% use Facebook to watch live video content;
- 33.4% watch live video content on Instagram;
- 33.4% turn to TikTok for live video content; and
- 14.8% watch live video content on Snapchat.
By age group, social media livestreaming destinations differ:
- TikTok is the top livestreaming destination for 16- to 24-year-old social video viewers. By contrast, YouTube, owned by Google has slipped to second place among younger generations.
- Facebook remains the go-to site for social video viewing for 25 to 44 year olds.
Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips
- Talk to your audience to determine which social media platforms they use and what they use each one for.
- Reassess your social media marketing strategy based on the information you’ve collected from your audience. At a minimum, tailor your social media usage based on content and target audience age.
► Are Books Part of Your Content Marketing Plans?
In 2021, US publishers sold 825.7 million print books, an increase of 8.9% over 2020 according to NPD BookScan (via Publishers Weekly). Of interest to content marketers, the business/economic category had the second largest gain in adult non-fiction.
75% of US adults read a book during the past 12 months in any format, either partially or completely. Only 30% of adults read an e-book in the past year and 23% of adults listened to an audiobook. While two-thirds of adults prefer to read print books, another third read both print and digital books.
The average (or mean) adult reads about 14 books while the most (aka: the median) read 5 books. This data has remained relatively consistent since 2011 (Pew Research, 2022)
BTW—The Actionable Marketing Guide interviews new authors. Check them:
Actionable Marketing Guide Author Interviews
While many authors use social media to increase book sales, TikTok’s #BookTok is the go-to hashtag for content pertaining to books, reading, writing and more. #BookTok has inspired 5+M videos and reaches 21.9+B views globally.
TikTok book authors and online writers also participate in the conversation. They share their work via
#AuthorsOfTikTok. In their videos they offer tips, exercises and announcements for upcoming work. Librarians spotlight their creativity with the hashtags #LibrariansOfTikTok and #LibraryTikTok.
Popularity on #BookTok can help increase book sales. For example, Chloe Gong joined TikTok while working on her first novel, “These Violent Delights” and it helped make it a New York Times bestseller. Gong continues to support her 100k supporter community. (Source: TikTok)
Marketing Reads & Training
► Check out SEMRush’s The State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report.
It contains must-read data based on the results surveying 1,500 marketers as well as correlation data from 500,000 articles. Also, has input from content marketing smarties including yours truly.
► Marketing Training
Learn from leading content entrepreneur, Joe Pulizzi, and his team at The Tilt.
Get access to everything you need to go from content creator to content entrepreneur. Work at your own pace with these online classes to grow your content business.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► VoiceLunch US – Friday, March 4th, 1pm ET
VoiceLunch is a global, free-wheeling, online community exploring the use of voice-enabled interactions with the online world. The North American lunch is every Friday. Sign up for the newsletter to get the full schedule of VoiceLunches.
► Social Media Marketing World – March 14-16th, San Diego, CA
Discover the Best Social Media Marketing Strategies From the World’s Top Experts.
Get Your Tickets Here.
► Project Voice – April 25–28th, Chattanooga, TN
The #1, in-person event for voice tech and conversational AI in America returns. Register Now!
► The 2022 Creator Economy Expo (aka: CEX) – May 2–4th, Phoenix, AZ
By Creators for Creators: Join 500+ fellow creators to explore the latest strategies, tactics, and tools — plus make valuable connections — for achieving big success as a new breed of content entrepreneur.
Special AMG reader discount: Get $150 off — Use code: AMGCEX
► Omnichannel X 2022 Conference – June 13-16th, (Virtual).
Save 25% when you use code: SPK2225
► MAICON 2022 – August 3-5th, 2022 in Cleveland, OH
The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON), returns to an in-person event this year.
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Image Credit — Ukrainian Flag by Government of Ukraine – ДСТУ 4512:2006 — Державний прапор України. Загальні технічні умови, Public Domain