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The Swirl: April 25, 2016

Yes, the Monday scaries are back. In this edition: timing, more timing, and rethinking demographics. Ready, set, go.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Bot (n) short for ro-bot. And now the thing that can get you your Taco Bell without you having to leave your desk. Kinda creepy. But tacos.

FOUR FIVE SECONDS

And we got four more days 'til Friday. Get your Rihanna fill, then shift gears to what really matters here: video length. We all know that video ad performance is rapidly increasing, but what format is really most effective? Do 15 or 30-second spots get more attention from viewers? Honey Maid was on a mission to find out, and the results might surprise you. After testing a 15-second, 30-second, and a 2-minute version of spot, they found that the :30 was watched through and lifted brand favorability more than the others. You can start celebrating now.

WHY IT MATTERS

There is now science behind the length debate. Turns out compelling content might be hard to get across with 15-second spots. This is only one example, but it's worth noting. What really matters is what you're trying to achieve. Are you looking for brand awareness or brand connection? There are suggested formats for each, so setting goals is the most important part of this formula.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

In this day and age, there's this thing called content overload, and we all know how that goes. It basically forces a lot of content into a deep, dark hole that no one ever sees. And it's probably one of the reasons you catch your social media marketer with their head down on a weekly basis. Social is all about being in the right place at the right time. If you miss your window, it's likely that your post will get caught in a bunch of clutter. Scary, right? No need to worry - we now know the best times to post for 2016. Here's what seems to be working: 5-6 p.m. for Twitter, 1-3 p.m. for Facebook, and 6 a.m.-12 p.m. for Instagram.

WHY IT MATTERS

The more people that see your post, the more opportunities for engagement and connection you get. Posting at the wrong time can result in thousands of missed opportunities, and we wouldn't want that. But use caution. There's no magic formula. It's really about knowing your audience, what they do during the day, and when they're on social. That's why testing and learning is such a powerful tool when it comes to social.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

Marketers who rely on demographics miss more than 70% of potential mobile shoppers. That's a seven, not a one, and that number is not messing around. Turns out age isn't everything. Intent is proving to be much more telling of consumer habits than things like gender and income. Don't believe us? All we have to say is that 40% of baby product purchasers live in households without children. Mind=blown.

WHY IT MATTERS

Relying on demographics is limiting. It fails to tell the whole story. Marketers that focus on consumer intent are the ones that will win hearts, minds, and dollars. Why? Because it helps us understand what we really need to know: what consumers are looking for in micro-moments, otherwise known as moments where consumers are making decisions and expect brands to be there to help. Identity is one thing, but wants and needs tell us how we can provide real-time relevance. It can be a hard thing to grasp, but this guide will get you off to a great start.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

You learn a lot from your first year on the job. Here's what no one taught you about working in advertising.