Monday, December 15, 2014

Bringing "How To" Videos to Vine and Instagram

After an extremely successful Black Friday Vine program, Lowes continues to evolve the campaign using consumer behavior and insights to drive creative, and effective, work. 

In the new campaign, Lowes:
  • Evolves the “Fix in Six” campaign from small hacks to larger projects
  • Showcases seemingly hard-to-do tasks in easy, digestable, 6-15 second videos
  • Leverages existing user experience and platform functionality with a “Tap thru” engagement
  • Breaks projects into steps that viewers can pause turning the quick video into a tutorial
  • Educates audiences on how to use the feature and videos
Now, with the influx of the use of the mobile app and utility of the Vines, there is an opportunity to take this in-store and purchase the items needed for this DIY project. 

To learn more about the new campaign, see Lowes on Instagram, Vine and within this article.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Twitter Evolves Advertising Opportunities

During Twitter’s first Analysts Day in mid-November,  Twitter announced and alluded to new updates to the ad platforms that further compete with Facebook and even search giants like Google, particularly with mobile and video solutions.

Some of those updates include:
  • Twitter Offers:
    • After slowly allowing brands to sell on the platform, Twitter is further showing its devotion to eCommerce via an Offer Card
    • Users can add the offer to their credit/debit card in a few taps and redeem in real time via their card
    • Attribution will be easy to track directly on Twitter campaigns to further measure ROI for offers
  • App install tracking
    • Answers is now available as a free mobile measurement tool to track promoted and organic app installs driven by Twitter
  • Native Video coming to Twitter by Summer 2015
    • Beyond native uploading, the platform will allow for record, edit and sharing video directly on the platform
  • SEO for Local and Logged Out Users
    • Will provide a stronger experience for logged out users when searching content
    • Google search keyword data may play a larger role in Twitter content

For more information see below:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nielsen to Track Amazon and Netflix

Streaming content has shifted the way we as consumers, and marketers, consume television and syndicated content. To show the staying power of streaming content, Nielsen announced that they will begin to measure premium streaming video TV programming from Netflix and Amazon starting next month.  The Nielsen tracking of SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) programming will be done through audio. Plus, it will not be accessible on mobile.  

With this integration, advertisers and content creators will be able to look at their programs and see how streaming content is impacting viewership. This means, that until next month, networks and content creators did not have true understanding to how their videos performed across these platforms.

Some details on this update are below:
·         Nielsen will analyze this content without the cooperation of streaming services.
·         The programming that is measured will come from, and be available to, existing Nielsen clients.
·         To date, subscription video-on-demand services have declined to publicly disclose their viewership.

For more information, click here and here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kate Spade, Anna Kendrick and Cinematique Give "Window Shopping" a New Meaning

Holiday shopping is upon us as retailers push new promotions and advertising at consumers across platforms.

But, following up on a successful Google Display Network campaign during Holiday 2013, Kate Spade pushes digital video even further with a new shoppable video via Cinematique, giving "Window Shopping" a new meaning in the digital video sphere.

And, if you haven't seen the new video starring Anna Kendrick, then you should watch it now:

The Cinematique technology on this video is outlined below:

  • Users can watch the video and click products they like
  • The video aggregates your clicks/products via a secondary page within the player (found when clicking the Cinematique logo "Q" on the player)
  • Users can then be taken to the product page to purchase the images selected
  • Via the screen after clicking "Q" users can also log-in to the Cinematique experience via email or Facebook for future updates and information on your products
    • Cinematique not only allows shoppable information, but also can provide more details about an actor, location or any item within a video
    • Touchable video is enabled on mobile via the App Store

Beyond Kate Spade, retail has led the way in interactive video campaigns. For more, see these campaigns below:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Holiday Retail Stats

Image from AdWeek
Mobile news doesn't end after reports project that mobile will push digital ad dollars past TV by 2019. Mobile continues to lead holiday trends as well.

As we approach the 2014 holiday season, mobile will continue to see an increase in usage and commerce. Previously, mobile (smartphones specifically) were thought of as the utility-based device, but now, commerce can occur just as you're watching TV or in between doing the dishes.

Smartphones and tablets will account for $1.6 billion in sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, according to Adobe. Some additional stats to note are below, with the full article found here.
  • Holiday shopping will lift 10% compared to last year
  • 25% of US consumers surveyed will consult Social Media before purchasing gifts
    • This increases to 40% of consumers aged 18-34
  • There will be 5 times as many out-of-stock messages on Cyber Monday compared to usual
  • Cyber Monday sales expecting to be $2.6billion, increase of 15% YoY

Monday, November 10, 2014

Urban Outfitters Launching Beacons In-Store

The millennial focused retailer is loading up 15 stores with beacons, Bluetooth technology that communicates with smartphones,  that will ping messages and notifications to shoppers who have downloaded the UO App.
Image from

The company is rolling out the beacon technology to Android users first, as they state more of their customers use the Google-powered devices. 

What will the beacons do?

  • Plug into the Urban On loyalty program, which delivers shoppers rewards and exclusive access.
  • Focus around the checkout line, fitting rooms, and the entrance.
  • When a user enters the store they will be prompted to check in via social to unlock an offer.
  • By the fitting rooms, users are encouraged to share photos of themselves wearing products with #UOonYou for a chance to be featured on their website.
  • While at checkout, they may be prompted to show their loyalty card in-app to earn digital badges.

However, the beacon technology will not aggressively push coupons and offers.

This is a big effort to extend their loyalty and social experiences in-store with mobile. You can learn more about the beacon roll-out here

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Always Going Viral #LikeAGirl

A new video has us all asking ourselves, “What does it really mean to run, jump, throw Like A Girl?”

This video, similarly to the success of other branded female empowerment campaigns like Dove’s “Real Beauty” ads, has gone viral with over 34 Million YouTube views to date.  As part of a larger #LikeAGirl campaign, Always is looking to empower females by sharing a social experiment caught on tape. Brands alike can learn from this campaign’s initial success in hope of creating future viral success, online.

Some learnings brands can take from this campaign:
  • Creating Opportunities to Expand Brand Loyalty
o   While this video is advertising to women and adolescent girls, they are also directly talking to younger girls who may not buy their products for a few years. Without calling out their products, Always does a great job creating an authentic and emotional connection with young girls which is critical to brand awareness and affinity for later in life.
  • Work produced from a key consumer insight should be authentic and emotive, so consumers feel connected to the work
o   In a study from Research Now, sponsored by Always, found that more than 1/2 of the girls surveyed claimed to experience a drop in confidence at puberty
  • Integrated Media Campaign
o   As a result of using paid search, paid social, YouTube Ads as well as PR and social sharing to help capitalize on the potential for the video to go viral.
  • Incorporate a hashtag
o   Using an overarching hashtag, #LikeAGirl, helped generate and aggregate conversations around the campaign
  • Using influencers to help spread the word
o   Influencer outreach via earned media played an important role in gaining momentum and exposure around the video being released, including highly viewed publications like The Washington Post.  

When strategically used together, a powerful consumer insight, great work and key influencers, can transform one video into a social movement gaining momentum from consumers who are viewing, sharing and talking about the work.

This culmination of these items can be used together to initially gain exposure and conversation around a creative campaign and increase the potential of going even more viral.

To learn more how this video is making waves, click here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

At Cannes, Search & Native Ads are Hot Topic

At Cannes, multiple digital trends and optimizations are being discussed by the likes of Marissa Meyer of Yahoo, and Nikesh Arora of Google. Their statements look to change the way the ad industry looks at digital and mobile.

For instance, Meyer and Yahoo announced the integration of Native Ads from Tumblr to Yahoo on Tuesday, and why native ads are considered the future of display:
  • Viewers of native ads are 3.6 more likely to perform a branded search than viewers of traditional display
  • 46% of millennial who noticed branded content say they consumed it
  • 1/3 of those millennial shared the content

Additionally, Arora stated that search is “only 5% of where it should be.” With the standardization of mobile platforms (iOS and Droid) and the global scope of the digital connection, there is a lot more opportunity for search. Beyond smartphone devices, search can still exponentially increase as new mobile devices begin to enter the market, specifically Google Glass.

For more information, please see the articles below:
Yahoo to Bring More Ad Formats to Tumblr

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pinterest Finally Launches Promoted Pins Beta

After several months of testing, Pinterest launched their promoted pins pilot program last week with a small group of advertisers.

As demonstrated in the photo, the ads will:

  • Functionally act like a native pin
  • Appear in users’ search results and category feeds
    • The promoted pins will also always appear in the top row of the results
  • Contain a “sponsored” tag on the pin
Although commitment costs are high, and targeting functionality appear a bit sub-par, at this time:
  • Pilot program runs about $150k/month with a required media investment for 6 months
  • Targeting is limited to location, language, gender and device 
    • However, this is expected to evolve along with the ad product
Looking forward to see how these perform or turn some brand lifts/ROI.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Key Moments in Social Media

After a great Social Media Week panel with the likes of Social Code, Livestream and BuzzFeed, we heard a lot of the same stuff: 

Social TV is not going away. Users are engaging with live TV events (like Super Bowl, award shows, sports, etc) while on social within their mobile devices.
  • We should be selective for the events in which we engage on live events
    • For Example:  Pepsi only held a live event war room for the Grammy’s and Super Bowl as they have a larger presence for these events. It gives them more of a reason, and more content to work with, when engaging on these programs.

Listen to, and think like, Customers:
  • Become more “Data Driven” but with the right data points based on campaign KPIs
  • Continue to join existing conversations, rather than creating your own so we can become a part of the community
  • Evaluate if you would share your branded content as a user first - if the answer is no, don't publish it!

But, some information is nice to hear again as a reminder for brands: 

Think moneyball strategy for content strategy with 3 types of content:
  • Evergreen strategy: maintain the “always on” organic posts that support the brand and marketing goals (long tail)
  • Seasonal strategy: Layer in relevant content to join the existing conversations
  • Real-time integrations: Plan around a tent-pole moment and react to real time moments (like Sponsorship opportunities)

Content has a shelf-life. Revisit it and repurpose it when we can:
  • Think about the platform shelf-life:
    • Twitter = 2-3 days
    • Facebook = 5-7 days
    • Instagram = 5-7 days
    • Pinterest = 60-90 days
  • Some evergreen content can be repurposed – evaluate how to optimize and bring back to the platforms especially if the content worked well the first time
Follow me at @CourtRache for some more live moments for the last day of SMW!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Twitter & TV are Better Together

As we look back on the success stories for this year’s Super Bowl ads, it’s apparent that TV and Twitter can be extremely powerful when used together.

Through recent Twitter studies and articles we found that:

  • 31 total hashtags were used in 57% of nationally-run Super Bowl ads, up from 50% last year, according to #Hashtagbowl 
  • #Hashtags in TV ads drive positive brand conversations 
    • TV ads that featured hashtags had 42% more Tweets about the ads than those without hashtags 
    • Additionally, Esurance asked TV viewers to enter their #EsuranceSave30 sweepstakes on Twitter to win an extremely enticing prize. Esurance accrued 3 Million tweets, with 200,000 coming in the first minute after the ad aired.
      • The success is tied to both, a great prize and the tie of Twitter and TV 
  • Twitter keeps viewers tuned in to advertising 
    •  The use of Twitter while watching TV, decreased the likelihood of users changing the channel while watching the ad 
  •  Twitter makes TV ads more effective 
    •  Viewers who watched TV without a second-screen had an average TV ad recall of 40% while those who watched TV while using Twitter, had an ad recall of 53%, as shown below
This research helps drive home that using hashtags in ads should be a best practice. When this combination is used with large scale events, like the Super Bowl, it is beneficial for both brands and viewers.

To learn more about this Twitter study and why TV and Twitter are better together, click here. See the full infographic below:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Super Bowl Social Wins (Still, none for Peyton)

Forget the TV spots, during the boring Super Bowl on Sunday, you could have been entertained on social media instead.

Thank you, Twitterverse, for hours of fun.

Here are some of the great engagements, conversations, and social posts from brands that just "get it:"

Oreo's Sits this one out...

Dorito's Human Dorito at MetLife:



RadioShack #InWithTheNew Campaign Support:

SNICKERS Connecting with (drunk) JCPenney:
Tide Vines:

And for the brand trying to be real time.. and just being well..:

Happy Anniversary, Facebook.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Facebook.

Through the 10 years, Facebook went from small university network, to a worldwide movement.

I feel as though I've seen it all being on the platform for nearly 9.5 years.  Take a look at your history on Facebook with a look back. 

Also, thanks to Mashable for this great infographic:
Facebook 10 year infographic

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Marketing Resolution: Break Through The Digital Clutter

Image from: IMI

As users’ newsfeeds become overcrowded and saturated we must evaluate the best ways to be seen and heard, online. Below, you can find some key tips from a series of articles and ebooks that we can explore when creating and amplifying compelling content:
  1. Get into the mindset of a publisher by looking for content that supports our niche, and then give users a fresh perspective on it.
    • Likeminded brands are posting similar content so anything produced needs to be cool and captivating.
  2. Add muscle by including multimedia elements to create richer content.
    • Provide a balance of snackable and long-form content.
    •  Magazine-style narratives and multimedia experiences provide long-form experiences rather than the quick-hit meme. Ensure how the multimedia content will be viewed on mobile and within search
  3. Leverage paid and organic SEO so content can be found.
    • Answer the specific needs of niche audiences but the only way it will be read is if it’s found, paid media is one piece of that puzzle.
    • The other piece of the puzzle is crafting content with SEO and content marketing in mind.
Curating content that fans can get excited about paired with the right paid media strategy and SEO, will help marketers garner impressions and lengthening reach.  As we move into a new year, we will see brands and companies continue to test new tactics and initiatives.

For detailed articles and information on breaking through the clutter, please see the ebook and articles below:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Twitter & TV: New Study by SocialGuide

According to Nielsen, there is a large overlap of users who Tweet about both, brands and TV.  This insight is significant for better understanding how we can reach people who will amplify our message and allow our dollars to work even harder.  The infographic below helps identify some key learnings from this study.

For quick reference, key data points include:
  • 73% of people who Tweet about brands also Tweet about TV
  • Of this total, the Tweets mostly discuss brands in the following industries:
    • 74% discuss Consumer Electronics
    • 48% discuss Restaurants
    • 29% discuss Food
    • 27% discuss Beverages
Nielsen SocialGuide Affinity Study

Social Media Increasingly Important to B2B Marketers

A recent study from International Data Group suggests that social media is increasingly becoming an important part of marketing for B2Bs. When surveying IT buyers, a reported 86% of them used social media in their purchase decision process, indicating they will soon look to social as the most important source for consuming content to inform their buying decisions. As this need grows, social’s prominence in campaign communication plans for B2B marketers will likely increase as well.

Note that 89% of those surveyed preferred to see educational content from vendors on social over promotional content, signifying that social is not yet the place to close on sales. Given this, B2Bs can use social platforms to influence the buyer by:
  • Providing countdowns/updates on new releases
  •  Offering sneak peeks on new products
  • Providing an incentive for consumers to interact with you
  • Providing a venue for customer interaction with the brand

While social media may not be the strongest place for sales conversions, B2Bs are aware that social needs to be integrated with overall campaign efforts.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Facebook Launches Trending

Similar to Twitter’s Trends list, Facebook, too, launched a Trending feed. Located to the right of the News Feed, users will now be able to see trending topics and conversations that are popular across their individual Facebook, at any given time.
Finding Popular Conversations on Facebook
Image from Facebook Newsroom.
Features include:
  • Personalized, clickable, topics spanning your interests, and top trends across the Facebook platform
  • Snackable, at-a-glance headlines providing more information on each trend
  • Upon click-through, view of trend-related content by users' friends, pages they follow and public posts 
This aggregate of trending topics aims to enhance the platform’s stance as a source of news and encourages users to share more content publicly.

As this list is engineered to populate with content users are interested in, along with their friends, this may provide ad opportunities, similar to the evolution on Twitter. 

As Facebook rolls out this update, you can learn more about the feature and how it’ll look on your Facebook, here

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Creating Custom Content for Each Social Platform

In order to have a high performance, multi-platform social media campaign, Brands must do their best to understand each social platform and how its audience consumes media in order to provide rich, engaging content.

While there is no fool proof formula, this infographic developed by My Clever Agency provides tips on how to make the most effective social posts.
A few highlights include:

  • Facebook: Use simple imagery posts that can be easily seen on mobile devises as 70% of fans view posts on their phones 
  • Twitter: Retweet relevant content for your audience and be sure to leave 20 characters so people can add content
  • Pinterest: Images that do not have a human face are shared 23% more while images with red or orange get double the repins
  • Google+: Use full sized images to make posts stand out on the page compared to thumbnails
    • Although not mentioned, using “Auto-Awesome” (a tool from Google that enhances images) on photos also helps increase engagement
  • Instagram: Reply to people who have liked/commented to drive two way conversations
  • Vine: Use popular hashtags such as #loop and #howto to gain the most engagement
  • Tumblr: Like and reblog posts to interact and ensure visibility throughout the site