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How Lego uses Instagram to inspire fans of all ages

Social media continues to be an intrinsic part of Lego's marketing strategy, with visual content a key way the brand drives engagement and fosters a sense of community online. With kids and youngsters being a core part of its target audience, Lego also uses Instagram to focus on ideas for education and play. The account typically makes use of video in this instance, using Lego for learning. Promoting Lego Life With an audience of 2.4 million, last year Lego decided to replicate its success on Instagram with the launch of a new visual app – this time specifically designed for young users. According to reports, Lego Life has proven to be a success, with the brand finding a distinct correlation between the number of times kids return to Lego Life and an increase in the sessions of playing with Lego. Interactive ads Alongside regular brand content, Lego has also entered Instagram’s advertising arena, seeing success with its paid-for campaigns. One in particular, created to promote its new ‘Boost’ playset, used the platform’s Canvas ads in Stories. This is a key component of any successful advertisement, but even more so on Instagram, where users are likely to be particularly wary of branded and sponsored content. Its focus on user generated content is key, as is posting content that encourages action or communication. With a highly immersive, quality campaign, it shows that Instagram advertising can actually increase brand sentiment and even have a real impact on sales.

How Social Media Is Being Used to Sell Real Estate

Millennials now make up 66 percent of the market for first-time homebuyers, and 99 percent of those looking for homes use the internet to research properties. House hunters are now including property-related hashtags and social media feeds in their searches, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. 86 percent of home shoppers say they would use video to learn more about a specific community they are considering. How does a home seller use social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat to move real estate? 69 percent of real estate agents use Facebook because it works. Chances are, it may resonate with a buyer. When 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s essential to create content that differentiates you from the rest of the real estate crowd. This is great for experimenting with different hashtags, captions or photography styles. Make sure to max out your hashtags (you can have up to 30) to tap into that ever-expanding community. You never know when a potential homebuyer may be scrolling through your feed.

How Instagram Analytics Can Help Boost ROI in 2019

To help you strategize for 2019, we’re looking at three key Instagram analytics that can help you improve and develop your overall marketing strategy and drive more traffic your business. Engagement rates Knowing what kind of Instagram content resonates best with your audience could help you plan your content calendar and marketing strategy for the future. There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to measuring your engagement rate, but most marketers will agree that it’s usually based around this calculation: divide the total number of likes and comments by your follower count, which will give you a percentage. Or you can use tools or apps dedicated to deciphering your Instagram Analytics, which will automatically calculate your engagement rate for each post so you can get a snapshot of what content ranks top of the list month after month. Your exposure on Instagram is linked to your post’s engagement levels. By paying particular attention to your engagement rate and the content themes that performed the best, you’ll find strong indicators from your target audience of where you should be investing your time, energy and budget. But with Instagram Analytics, you can focus on your click-through rate and the effectiveness of your link placement with Instagram Stories’ swipe-up feature and your link in bio if you want to drive traffic to your business’ site. Small changes to how you present your bio link will help drive your audience from your Instagram feed to your business website, where they can get more information, make a purchase or browse your brand in more detail. Monitoring the click-through rates of your Instagram Stories helps determine what content works best for driving sales to your website. By focusing on identifying your audience’s behavior patterns, gathering customer feedback and pinpointing what content resonates most with your followers, you’ll be armed with the best information to strategically invest in the future.

Redfin: Homes keep getting cheaper

In October home sale prices climbed 4.5%, however the percentage of listings that had a price drop of more than 1% reached an 8-year high, according to new data from Redfin. This October, home sale prices reached a median of $297,200, increasing 2.4% from the previous month, Redfin explained. Redfin also reported that 32 of the 71 largest metro areas saw home price increase from September, attributing this growth to home sales shifting to more expensive areas, rather than individual homes increasing in value. “Some homebuyers are adjusting their price range down, and others are backing out of home-buying entirely–deciding that renting is a better deal." “Sellers are now realizing buyer demand isn’t what it used to be and are dropping their prices. Notably, the number of homes for sale increased 1.3% from 2017, reaching the highest level of inventory growth since September 2015. The U.S. Census Bureau announced that residential construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $556.4 billion in September, 0.6% above the revised August estimate of $553 billion. Fairweather said that for the remainder of 2018, Redfin will examine how the California wildfires impact national housing market trends. “The fact is that rising mortgage rates and high home prices have a bigger long-term effect on the local housing market than the fires’ destruction.” As of today, the most recent California wildfires have claimed the lives of 63 people and destroyed more than 135,000 acres. You can read more about the devastation here.

Are rent prices cooling off?

A new rent price report from apartment search site Abodo says that rental rates nationwide are stabilizing. The monthly report, released Thursday, showed that median prices for one-bedroom units throughout the U.S. fell a “statistically insignificant” .08% from October to November this year. The median price for two-bedrooms fell .24%, according to the report. As far as two-bedroom units go, the rent market of Scottsdale, Arizona, led with a 6.2% increase; city's a median rent was $2,676. The market that saw the largest decline? Cleveland, with a 11.8% loss for November, saw rent drop to $751 from $851, according to the report. Abodo added that it sees this deflating trend for rents increasing through December and the end of the year. From the report: As we had mentioned last month, we thought that rents, though they might fall, would not drop dramatically in November and this has verified. While a few cities showed significant swings, November was basically flat, and we see that trend continuing into December. With competing factors at work, however, we still feel that December will not show broad national average median rent changes.

Homelessness accelerates in expensive rental markets

As more and more Americans become rent burdened, the homeless rates in the nation’s most unaffordable markets continue to grow, according to the latest data from Zillow. According to the company, a renter earning the median U.S. income of $61,240 and renting the median-priced apartment of $1,442 is expected to spend about 28% of their income on rent, increasing from the historical norm of 26%. (Image courtesy of Zillow, click to enlarge) Notably, when the rent burden increases by 2 percentage points, Zillow points out that about 1,500 more people are driven to homelessness. Zillow gathered this data in collaboration with researchers at the University of New Hampshire, Boston University School of Social Work and the University of Pennsylvania. The data reveals that the effects of a larger rent burden are “more extreme” in markets where renters are already spending more than 32% of their income. Zillow Director of Economic Research and Outreach Skylar Olsen said although the nation’s homelessness rate has fallen, some communities still grapple with affordability. In these areas, the median market rate rent consumes 62.9% of the area's median household income. Notably, this cluster is home to 15.1% of the total U.S. population but hosts a whopping 47.3% of the nation's homeless population. “But there are similarities that can be identified, even among communities of wildly varying sizes and locations, and learnings to be shared." You can read more about the report here.

The jury is in: This cycle ends in 2020

We have been hearing about this for a while now, but the jury is finally in: Most economists predict this up cycle will end in 2020. America may have less than two fat years to make hay while the sun is still shining on the economy. According to a survey of 60 economists by The Wall Street Journal, 59% of private-sector economists say that the U.S. economy will stop expanding in 2020; 22% said the slowdown would come in 2021 and smaller portions of the sample said the recession could arrive in 2019, 2022 or an unspecified later date. “The current economic expansion is getting long in the tooth by historical standards, and more late-cycle signs are emerging,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, who was among those predicting a 2020 recession. Though a recession is not necessarily imminent, the expansion is almost certainly in its 11th hour, meaning that a recession is absolutely plausible at any point. “Any year from 2019 onward is in play,” Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, told WSJ. The most likely cause of the recession according to 62% of these economists is the Federal Reserve’s reining in of an overheating U.S. economy. Other possibilities according to at least 5% of economists were a financial crisis, an unspecified bubble burst, a fiscal crisis or disruptions to national trade. On the topic of national trade, it is clear that the situation is quickly escalating and that economists are right to peg it as a risk factor. This is the second of three rounds of tariffs Trump has planned for China in the ever-escalating trade war between the two countries, bringing the total tariffs on Chinese goods up to $250 billion.

Here are 5 reasons the Millennial homeownership rate is low

But now, the Urban Institute released a study that shows the actual data behind these factors, revealing what is really holding Millennials back. The generation's homeownership rate was 37% in 2015, about 18 percentage points lower than the rate of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when they were ages 25 to 34. Here are five factors that Urban Institute found have kept Millennials out of the home-buying market longer than previous generations: 1. If the marriage rate in 2015 had been the same as it was in 1990, the Millennial homeownership rate would be about five percentage points higher. Greater racial diversity: White households have the highest homeownership rate by-far, therefore the increasing diversity within the Millennial population also contributes to the lower homeownership rate. Increased education debt: Student debt has been a growing problem, and could even be turning into a crisis. The Urban Institute’s data shows a 1% increase in student debt decreases the likelihood of owning a home by 0.15 percentage points. For those who are married, having a child increases the probability of owning a home by 6.2 percentage points. Also, a 1% increase in parental wealth increases the child’s likelihood of being a homeowner by 0.016 percentage points. The difference between the homeownership rate between the two groups increased from 3.3 percentage points in 1990 to 9.7 percentage points in 2015.

SEO trends and Google changes to expect in 2018

We’re already over a week into 2018, and the start of a new year is a great time to check in and see where we stand as an industry — and how things might change this year. Prepare for fake news algorithm updates Back in 2010, Google was getting beaten up in the media for the increasing amount of “content farm” clutter in the search results. Soon after that, in February 2011, the Google Panda update was released, which specifically targeted spammy and low-quality content. Why do I bring this up today? Because the media has been hammering Google for promoting fake news for the past year and a half — a problem so extensive that search industry expert Danny Sullivan has referred to it as “Google’s biggest-ever search quality crisis.” [Read the full article on Search Engine Land.] Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. About The Author Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder & VP Marketing of E2M, a digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile apps development company. He has over 8 years of experience in digital marketing and has served more than 500 customers into different verticals. As a passionate marketer, he regularly shares his thoughts and knowledge on high-end publications like Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Search Engine Watch, Moz, Fast Company, Huffington Post and many more. He's passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, startups and all things digital marketing.

Millennials drive homeownership rate increase in Q3

The homeownership rate increased slightly in the third quarter, driven primarily by a jump in first-time homebuyers. This is up slightly from 64.3% in the second quarter and from 63.9% in the third quarter of 2017. “Their homeownership rate is up a whopping 1.2% since Q3 2017 to 36.8%.” Homeownership among those under age 35 increased from 35.6% in the third quarter 2017 and 36.5% in the second quarter this year to 36.8% in the third quarter 2018, the report showed. Meanwhile, those ages 35 to 44 years dropped from 60% in the second quarter to 59.5% in the third quarter. This is also still up from 69.1% in the third quarter of 2017. Those ages 65 years and older saw an increase from 78% in the second quarter to 78.6% in the third quarter this year, however this is down slightly from 78.9% in the third quarter of 2017. That is more than the pace of household formation over the same period, meaning that the transition from renting to own is the more powerful driver of housing demand.” “That has also been an important and often overlooked reason for the rapid rise in home prices, as more buyers came into the market,” Liu said. These events caused the homeownership rate and home sales to diverge this quarter.” The Hispanic homeownership rate saw a quarterly drop as it fell from 46.6% in the second quarter to 46.3% in the third quarter. Among whites, the homeownership rate increased from 72.5% in the third quarter of 2017 and 72.9% in the second quarter this year to 73.1% in the third quarter of 2018. Blacks also saw an increase from last quarter, rising from 41.6% to 41.7%, however the rate dropped from last year’s 42%.

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5 Reasons Why Buying a House Is a Way Bigger Commitment...

They're not ready for the "commitment" of marriage, but happy to fling themselves into buying a house together? My husband and I have been married 15 years, and have three children. To most people, that sounds like a commitment. You can return a ring—but not a house Truth: I got engaged three times, to three different men, before one finally took. It's just about impossible to "return a home" after you've bought it. But the bones of the home will remain. The electrical wiring is hard to change when it's installed wrong and the house is 100 years old. You can't give a house the cold shoulder When you have a fight in a marriage, you can blow off steam in different rooms. OK, so lots of people "trade in" creaky old spouses for younger models. Aging humans don't tend to kill people with the parts of them that go soft.