Thursday, December 5, 2013

Facebook Algorithm Updates Again: Focus on Media & News

According to Facebook, traffic to media and news sites increased over 170% in the last year.  So, Facebook is taking this insight to make another update to the News Feed Algorithm which recognizes that people want to see more news content. (As a reminder, these algorithm and overall Facebook functionality updates further move Facebook into becoming an even more open forum, globally).

The updated algorithm plans to show: 
  • More relevant articles in the feed: The feed will now include more article links along with suggested articles for continued reading.
  • More comment stories: Articles will resurface in the newsfeed if friends have also read and commented on it, leading to more conversations between people and their friends.
To further optimize your content strategy, you can use this as an opportunity to curate more content for fans in order to ensure we continue to appear in the News Feed. Also, if your brand has any additional resources, news articles or even a blog, it may be a great time to further test this content on the platform.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LinkedIn Launches Showcase Pages

LinkedIn Corp. To File For IPO
Image fromTNW.
LinkedIn is looking to help companies get the right content in front of the right users with their latest addition to the site, Showcase Pages.

Showcase Pages will allow companies to control and share content to a more focused and interested audience. As a result of this new publishing tool available to businesses, LinkedIn users will soon have access to a wider range of professionally curated content.

With Showcase Pages, companies can now:
·         Create custom pages for niche divisions or business units
·         Focus content to specific audiences, who have already shown interest in the company and/or related products
·         Businesses can monitor the performance of their page through LinkedIn’s analytic tools
·         Participate in advertising opportunities that aim to increase the Showcase Page’s total followers as well as promoting posts and content in from of others who aren’t following the page, similar to other platforms like Facebook & Twitter.

To learn more about this announcement, please click here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Facebook Like & Share Gets Redesign

Screenshot 2013-11-06 15.25.47According to Facebook, the Like and Share buttons appear on over 7.5 million websites and are seen 22 billion times per day. They are also important drivers for Facebook referral traffic. For the first time since their inception, the Like and Share buttons have a new design.

The new design utilizes the Facebook “F” icon, instead of the thumb. They will automatically updated across the web, meaning no additional work will be needed for website owners. But, a Like and Share combo button is available for embedding on websites.

Further details can be found in the links below:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Foursquare Announces Advertising for All

Today, Foursquare announced that all businesses can now advertise on the platform using the self-service page.

Businesses, large and small, will share their needs and projected budget for these efforts on Foursquare’s self-service page – Foursquare will do the rest.

What are the benefits of partnering with Foursquare?
  • Foursquare can become a resourceful tool for reaching consumers who actively ‘check-in’ using the platform via paid advertising.
  • Metrics will be provided by Foursquare including number of views, actions, action rate and cost per action.
  • Geographically targeted advertisements, which help increase local traffic to businesses who run ads that target people near their locations.
  • Advertisers can now employ Foursquare ‘tips’ left by users about the companies as user-generated content in future creative.

Advertising on platforms like Foursquare helps brands connect with consumers within a select community of users – becoming a part of the user experience on such platforms increases brand awareness and reach in the digital sphere.

For more information see:
Mashable article: here
AdWeek article: here
Foursquare announcement: here

Saturday, October 12, 2013

For Brands: Now is the time for Holiday Communications

Twitter influences holiday shopping According to a study by Crimson Hexagon, 2012 saw a 30% lift in holiday shopping communications on Twitter over 2011. Surprisingly, those conversations are starting before October.

An infographic from Crimson further reveals:
·         Holiday shopping conversations on Twitter start early.
o    30% of Twitter users begin thinking- and tweeting- about holiday shopping before October
·         Twitter influences product consideration, discovery and purchases.
o    55% of users discussed gift ideas on Twitter
o   64% of users have purchased a product because of Twitter
·         Twitter plays a key role in how and where people shop.
o    57% of shoppers use Twitter to determine what stores to visit
o    62% of shoppers tweet about the purchases they’ve made
o    45% of shoppers would rather take Twitter shopping with them than their husband or wife

Most brands will begin trickling in their holiday messaging now, but for B2B customers, time is of essence. 

For more information, please see the full study below:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Instagram Announces Ads

Instagram finally announced plans to roll-out advertising to US users over the next few months.

The Ads Will:
  • Focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community
  • Appear in users’ feeds that do not currently follow that brand on the platform
  • Give users will have the option to hide the post as well (similar to Facebook)
    • As a user, you will still own your photos and videos (only brands' content can leverage paid promotions)
  •  Create the need for brands to develop even more beautiful, compelling custom content that feels consumer-centric

Ads here present a big opportunity for real-time marketing for brands.  It will be interesting to see how the analytics tracking, and user behavior will evolve around this new initiative as well.  Stay tuned!

For More Info

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Storytelling in the Age of Digital, Mobile and Social

The best stories are the ones that have not yet been told.  And, regardless of how, a great story is always shared.

During Advertising Week’s “Storytelling in the Age of Digital, Mobile & Social,” Buzzfeed uncovers insights into great storytelling that will further compel people to share our content. Below outlines key insights from the keynote.

Think of Advertising Beyond an Ad Message
·         Consumers receive more and more ads and messages each day – consider ways to break through that feel like a part of the customer’s daily activities through telling a story versus sending a message
·         Storytelling is now two-way:  we are just shouting if we aren’t having a conversation
Stories are Not Technology Dependent
·         Evaluate the story we as a brand want to tell
·         Then think about the audience of the story – where are they? What is their behavior? How do they share

Stories are Not Platform Dependent
·         Different platforms should continue the same story
·         Each technology and platform serves its own purpose serving a different chapter in the same story
o   Banner ads focus on the quick click and engagement
o   TV can focus more on emotion and visuals
o   Social can be more targeted and personal

3 Principles of Great Brand Stories:
1.       Inspired by Insights
a.       Know the “why” of the brand (see this TedX video for the “Why”) and the audience
b.      Balance the intersection of brand needs and consumer wants
c.       Be authentic and transparent to truly bring out the human insight and brand truth
2.       Social at the Core/Social by Design
a.       Stories are not about You, not about us, and not about the brand.  Stories are about the audience
b.      Maintain an “always on” storytelling strategy (not just on social.. but balancing all mediums) as shareable and shapeable experiences
c.       Surprise and delight
3.       Fearless (they are not reckless)
a.       Keep the story at the heart
b.      Amplify and surround the story
c.       Own it, champion it and stand behind it (knowing it may fail)
                                                               i.      Take risks – the best stories are the ones that haven’t been told

For additional reference,  “Why Agencies and Brands Need to Embrace True Storytelling” . 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How to Make Multi-Screen Campaigns More Interesting

Today, 71% of consumers view content on more than two screens daily.  As this number and trend begins to grow, we must consider how multi-screen campaigns can be more engaging and integrated. 

During Ad Week, Microsoft and MediaVest presented case studies demonstrating successful multi-screen campaigns in a “How to Make Multi-Screen Campaigns More Interesting” keynote.   Below outlines the 3 areas consistent in each case study:
·         Content Strategy
o   From a brand and business perspective, define the story we want to tell
o   The content cannot be static: it must adapt based on engagement wear out and composting evolution
o   All content is not created equal:  we cannot simply take creative from one channel and apply it to the next
§  Each platform has a specific purpose and expectation from the consumer
·         Consumer Journey
o   The customer context must shape the message from the above content
§  Where are your customers?
§  What do they need?
§  What is their mind frame while on multiple platforms?
o   Physically map out the customer experience to identify which screens and platforms belong in your plan
§  If your target is not active on a specific platform there is no need to be there
§  Map out when the target is on these platforms for a dayparting strategy
·         Possibly different channels at different times
·         Or “multi-tasking”/co-viewing while being on multiple screens at a time
·         Culture (of the teams involved)
o   Define the team involved with the campaign process
§  Agree on key decision makers and assign each team a task (data should always be a part of this discussion)
·         Includes agency partners and internal
o   Align on overall marketing goals
§  Define the perception change/business goals
§  Then define the KPIs
·         Do not confuse KPIs and overall goals
§  Ensure data collection and reporting is identified in the upfront
o   Invest in supporting this lasting cultural change and shift to multi-screen marketing

§  Sometimes TV will be the most important screen, but today it can also be others 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pinterest Launches Promoted Pins

imageSince Pinterest launched analytics and business pages over the last few months, we’ve been waiting for a more detailed advertising product announcement.  Today, Pinterest made that announcement.

Promoted Pins, the new Pinterest advertising product, will start slow on the platform.  Some initial details on the ads are below:
  • No banners or “flashy” ads
  • It will be clear which pins are promoted vs. organic
  • Pins will be contextually relevant by specific user behavior
    • The Promoted Pines should be similar to the items the user currently pins
  • Paid ads will only appear in search results and category feeds (for now)

Looking forward to learning more about these ads and how to get our brands on the platform!

For the formal announcement and a bit more information see below:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vine & TV: A new Love Affair

Vine, initially meant as a mobile/social platform, is now seeing mass awareness by becoming a part of national TV campaigns.

Specifically, Trident Gum aired the first 6-second spot made from a single Vine video: and Dunkin Donuts (scheduled to air this week during a football game), creatively found a way to be more engaging with a billboard ad unit by using a Vine instead.

With these new creative executions, Trident and Dunkin Donuts are leveraging Vine and TV to:
·         Test Content:
a.       Trident used Vine as a content testing platforms by selecting one of four Vines (created  with “Vine Celebrities”) to appear on TV
                                                               i.      The Vine with the highest engagement was aired
·         Increase Consumer Reach:
a.       Dunkin Donuts plans to integrate other social media platforms during the air of their Vine to increase engagements and awareness
b.      They also plan to integrate other social media platforms during the air of their Vine to increase engagements and awareness

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm a Gator, But Jell-O, You're the Loser

Post by JELL-O.

Oh Jell-O.  We're all trying to master the art of real-time marketing (see anything Oreo has done).  But you, my friends, have failed.

As a Gator, and someone who wept away much of my weekend after a Miami Hurricane loss, I do not want to be mocked on a Monday.  And you did that.

Please pay attention to the games if you're trying to be a part of the conversation.


A Gator Fan and disappointed digital marketer

Taking a Bite of the Big Apple (Updated)

Finally, Apple announces new updates and products!  And let me tell you, I love gold (Hey, Goldmember).

Photo Cred:

Updates include:

  • New iOS7 that launches on 9/18 for free, for all
    • But we all pretty much knew about that
  • iWork is now FREE for iOS devices (I can't wait to update my iPad)
  • New iPhone5C
    • $99 for 16gg, $199 for 32gb (with new contract)
    • Made of plastic
    • 8mp camera with Instagram-like filters
    • Comes with iOs7
    • Plenty of color choices, reminds me of some old-school Macs
  • New iPhone5S
    • Super advanced and comes in GOLD
    • A-7 64-bit chip compared to the previous 32
      •  A-7 is up to 2x as fast as the previous generation of CPUs, and handles graphics up to 2X faster
    • M-7 motion processor works with the A-7 chip
      • It continuously measures motion data, accelerometer, and gestural data.
    • Core-Motion API seems to be a partnership with Nike to measure your movements
    • Longer battery life (yea right)
    • Better camera
      • Auto-stabilization for those shaky-handed photographers like me
      • Burst-mode that will take up to 10 frames per second
      • Slo-Mo cam (yessss)
Updates on iPhone5S:
  • Get extra security on your phone with TouchID (it reads your fingerprint)
  • You can order this on 9/20 (and pre-order 5C on 9/13)
  • $199 for 16gb, $299 for 32gb and $399 for 64gb
And.. Elvis Costello performed at the end of the announcements.. awesome. 
Excited to get my hands on one to test out the functionality that wasn't talked about today!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Social Users are Mobile First: We Should Be, Too

Consumers and customers alike no longer see Twitter and Facebook as desktop websites.  They consider these social networks mobile apps.  Because of this user behavior and mind-set, we see Twitter and Facebook leveraging the mobile first strategy.  For reference:
  • Over 70% of all Facebook & Twitter activity occurred on mobile
    • More than 219M users were mobile only on Facebook
  • It is predicted that $4billion will be spent on Facebook advertising with 50% of the spend to occur in streams
    •  This means, brands are not only competing with our fans’ friends, but with many other advertisers as well

The content developed and amplified becomes even more important: 
  • It must break through the clutter
  • Be relatable
  • Leverage a “mobile first” philosophy
    • Should be succinct, engaging and visual – on both Twitter and Facebook.

Although this isn't "new news" the data is still staggering and changing as we move into Fall 2013.

Gap Shows How Brands Can Adapt on Tumblr

Less than a year ago, Tumblr rolled out sponsored advertising, which positions brand content in key areas on the site to engage with users. 
World, Gap is on Tumblr! Come reblog with us & Be Bright.

In an effort to create a “pop culture movement,” the clothing brand Gap purchased all of the site’s mobile advertising opportunities yesterday to promote its new #BackToBlue campaign. Through this, Gap has created unique opportunities that allows the brand to:
  •          Get exclusive share of voice to Tumblr’s 54 million daily users
  •          Take advantage of the reblog/share culture to spread the Gap’s image/gif heavy content
  •          Leverage user generated content submitted to their contest in their mobile advertisements

Gap is not simply retrofitting its TV and print creative into Tumblr, it specially created content that’s perfect for Tumblr—fully embracing the colors, quirky gifs, and quotes that are so attuned to the platform. 

Darn.. maybe I should make a Tumblr too (read: I've created a million and never kept it up).

For more information, please see below for the Tumblr page and Mashable article:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Facebook for Mobile Marketing

As mobile continues to be a primary source of content for customers we as marketers MUST begin thinking about a mobile first strategy - especially those that haven't adopted this mindset. Specifically when establishing Facebook content. 

To better understand why Mobile First should be adopted, read through the  eBook How to Use Facebook for Mobile Marketing. Hubspot explains the importance of the mobile platform and focuses on the use of Facebook for mobile marketing.  Some key takeaways include:

  •          Facebook Mobile use is outgrowing desktop use by 2:1.
  •          Of the companies on Facebook, 41% of them have gained new customers through Facebook.
  •          Facebook is shifting its advertising features from desktop to mobile.
  •          Sponsored Stories CTR is 7x greater compared to a post that is not liked by a friend.

In order to continue optimizing content for mobile, we can consider:
  •          Maintaining direct and concise status updates versus paragraphs and long posts beyond 20 words.
  •          Continue incorporating short links/bit.lys.
  •          Incorporating easy-to-understand and simple visuals that are compelling.

Digital Video Ads Help Hit Marketers' Goals

Nearly 75% of marketers plan to increase their budgets on branded video content or video ads in the next year.  This digital video trend is expected to be a major component in driving engagement with consumers.

According to the study:
  • More consumers reported having a positive attitude toward ads in original streaming content (25%) than in TV programming (22%)
  • 58% of marketers thought digital video ads performed better than TV ads in achieving engagement goals
  • 47% of marketers thought digital video ads were better at driving awareness than TV ads
  • 87% of marketers said targeting was an important factor when planning a branded digital video campaign

There are opportunities for brands to further leverage video ads by:

  • Leveraging existing TV spots as pre-roll and video banners
  • Create new advertising especially for digital video (perhaps shorter than the 15s spots), to distribute during related programing on popular streaming sites and major networks sites
  • Monitor the user of Instagram Video and Vine in this space

For full results of the study, please see the article link:

Advertisers Need YouTube

With expected ad spend to reach $8 Billion by 2016, YouTube can help increase brand exposure, which is a highly valued KPI after to ad revenue. Outlined in the infographic from MDG Advertising we can take away:
  • YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
  • 21.7 percent of internet users checking the site every single day
  • Each viewer spends an average of 397.1 minutes per month
  •  6 billion hours of content was consumed in May 2013, doubled from last May’s 3 billion

How to Create the Perfect Hashtag

Hashtags have not only become synonymous with Twitter, but across the social web.  So how do you come up with the best hashtag for your brand or marketing campaign?

Twitter launched an infographic that helps establish the path for creating a new hashtag, using an existing hashtag, or why a hashtag should actually be avoided.  

In short:
  • Make your hashtag memorable
    •  Hashtags should be easy to remember
    • Integrate the hashtag with other forms of marketing materials, not just on Twitter
  • Don’t be afraid to piggyback on a popular term
    • For example, Foot Locker began using the popular “#Kickstagram” hashtag. The hashtag was often used by sneaker-heads, but the brand began using it, added media and incorporated it to other messaging.  Now, the sneaker-heads think of Foot Locker when using #Kickstagram.

Vine Influencers Sell Out for Brands (Thank You)

One way for brands to break through the clutter on social and still maintain any brand presence is by partnering with Vine "celebrities."  These celebs or influencers clearly found a way to create a following by being unique, and among first to the platform.

Trident Gum, Lowe’s, Virgin Mobile, and other brands leverage this trend, and  NicholasMegalis, a 24-year-old  Vine celebrity with about 2.5 million followers, seems to be a bit of a brand whore. 
In a recent interview, Megalis reveals two important aspects to marketing on the platform from his recent interview:
  • Brands should understand their consumer and look to artists to produce work
  •  Brands must pay attention to people, show them love, and make something cool they can look at—you can’t just slap your product name on a Vine and expect people to buy something

When done correctly, partnering with social artists/celebrities helps brands to reach mass audiences. Of course, this isn't new news for brands or marketing, but it is proving to be effective when measuring conversations and even sometimes perceptions. 

How Your Brand Can Flirt on Vine