Digital

Now Ads on Facebook Will Allow Brands to Target Specific People in Households

Posted June 27, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 8:40 pm

The new feature will help reduce waste in ad spend by tailoring ad-targeting based on products that individuals have purchased or not

household audience feature

Facebook has now made it possible for brands to target their ads down to specific households if not individuals. It will soon be introducing a new household audience feature that will allow brands to not just target individual families but even go further by targeting specific individuals in the family. With this new tool brands can now narrow down their targeting to individuals in the family who influence purchase decisions as well as those in the family who make the actual purchases. The tool allows brands to select a source audience uploaded on the social site comprising customers drawn from an email list or any other database. The marketers can then turn on the household audience feature to filter down their ads to specific individuals in the household.

Graham Mudd, product marketing director at Facebook, said, “What we want to do basically is leverage the power of our network to enable that kind of influencing or to support that kind of influencing across the family. Explaining how this might work during the holidays, he gave an example where he purchased products from Brand A, and invariably ends up in the brand’s customer database. Next, if his wife wants to buy him a gift, Brand A would target Mudd’s wife and even their children with ads designed to influence their purchasing decisions even as they’re shopping for their dad.

Traditionally advertising has been all about how you show the same ads to the same household at the same time. Facebook’s new feature will change all that by identifying individual members of the same household based on signals, as well as the relationships among family members and also the frequency of shared check-ins or where they access the internet. This will mean that advertising dollars will begin moving away from television networks toward Facebook in a major way because marketers will now be able to get a lot more ROI (Return on Investment) for the money they spend on advertising. This kind of precise targeting will ensure that brands have a better chance of maximizing their chances of getting their customers to make faster purchase decisions.

Filed under: Digital

A Facebook Messenger Bot That Turns Emotions Into GIFs on a giant LED display

Posted June 26, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 6:38 pm

San Francisco-based agency Heat made this innovative, artificial-intelligence-based program for this year’s for Cannes

Facebook Messenger Bot

San Francisco-based creative agency, Heat, came up with an interesting application – a Facebook Messenger chat bot that reacts to users’ emotions. Stijn Jansen, digital art director at Heat, said the idea for the chat bot began about a couple of months back when about 400 young people were competing, networking and attending classes in connection with Cannes. Jansen recalled his time at this school and wanted to do something to make it more interesting for the attending students. He said, “I think exactly 10 years ago I was an attendee of that school as well and it’s a very overwhelming week. Their cubicles are kind of sad-looking, very white—not the most inspiring space to brainstorm. So, we wanted to be really close to them where they could hang out, escape from all the white light.”

Jansen calls his innovation Heatbot, which has a 42”by 42” LED matrix panel fitted with more than 1,700 lights where each pixel contains three LED lights making up the display of the chat bot. A user must type a code into Facebook Messenger to verify that he is inside the Cannes installation before starting interaction with Heatbot. The technology that connects the panel to Facebook Messenger is what makes this chat bot interesting as it offers scope for other applications. Heatbot first asks a few questions to the user about how he is feeling. On the backend, Heatbot covers eight basic emotions that are connected to 1,000 responses.

Depending on the answers it gives to the users, Heatbot then produces on the LED display, a series of GIFs and photos that relate to the emotion and are based on color theory. For happy users, it may show goofy GIFs while for those who are sad; it will show GIFs of hugs and smiles. “Heatbot plays a sequence of GIFs for you that make you feel a certain way, “If you’re feeling good, it wants to celebrate with you. If you’re feeling tired, sad, lonely or uninspired, then it will create content that helps you get over that hump,” Jansen said.

Filed under: Digital

Reality Check for Traditional Supermarkets as Amazon Acquires Whole Foods

Posted June 23, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 5:23 am

Amazon will bring in it full range of big data crunching technology to engage customers more intensely than ever before

whole food market

When Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion on June 16, the food retail world woke up to a new reality – the prospect of relentless competition from the eCommerce giant and its desire to dominate the market for years to come. The fact that Amazon backs it up with amazing efficiency and daring strategies, makes it even more of a worry for its competitors. On the other hand, the supermarkets and grocery businesses are the ones that will have to figure out ways to meet the challenge. Amazon will be unloading its heavy artillery armed with big data and the only way to tackle that will be to match the firepower which most supermarkets and grocery businesses don’t have.

If they try to make peace, Amazon is likely to make them an offer they can’t refuse, and tell them ‘it’s my way or the highway.’ Grocery retail is now increasingly coming into the focus of technology as traditional and relatively old-fashioned businesses gradually come under its ambit. These segments haven’t had any innovation for years even though some outlets offer self-checkout but that is few and far between. In most supermarkets, customers still have to stand in long queues and that’s where technology is going to aim at. It boils down to convenience and most importantly, time.

The use of customer data is unknown to these traditional outlets because most of them are not bothered about their customers’ behavior at the point of purchase. They don’t know that customers’ market movements can be tracked and so can their purchase patterns. Amazon is definitely going to bring all of that into play with Whole Foods, which is good for the market. Of course, Whole Foods had literally dug itself into a hole with its ridiculously high prices for the organic foodstuff to sells. Amazon is surely going to make the necessary corrections because it will aim for scale in quick time. Amazon’s won’t entirely go for ecommerce with Whole Foods but will also spice up the in-store experience with technology that will help eliminate queues. Overall, grocery retail is in for a major shakeup.

Filed under: Digital

Has Instagram Stories Caused Snapchat Growth Slowdown by Over 80%?

Posted June 21, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 5:09 am

With 250 million active users daily who get to replay live videos, Instagram Stories is now powering ahead of Snapchat at great speed

Solid-Marble case

Most reports stop short of saying that but a number of analytics by several providers as well as social media talent managers agree that there has been a huge decline in preference for Snapchat ever since Instagram Stories was launched. Snapchat was doing really well in early 2016, but began experiencing a massive drop in growth after the launch of Instagram Stories, a direct competitor which now appears to be running away with the largest part of the market. In fact the drop in Snapchat’s growth is over 80% which is very close to complete stagnation and these stats seem to be hurting Snapchat even as its IPO (Initial Public Offering) hits the market.

Using the technological leverage of parent company, Facebook, Instagram will now allow users to replay live videos on the site, which will not disappear immediately after the livestream. This follows the strategy of Facebook where users are allowed to tune in even after the broadcaster has tuned out. Instagram had first announced Live Stories way back in the beginning of the year and by March, began allowing users to save their own live videos. However, Snapchat is not done and dusted yet and far from that, might want to bypass the negative perception around its inability to scale up as it was doing when it had a monopoly.

Snapchat still has some remarkable analytics to show that this decline in the number of its users is not really the end of the story. In fact, it’s already talking about the deep engagement it enjoys with its users in the stats it shared in its IPO filing which focused on just how much its users liked to open the Snapchat app. The stats mention that the average daily user opens the app around 18 times every day and stays on for up to 30 minutes. Snapchat also informed that 60% of the users create Snaps and use the chat feature every day. This kind of engagement along with vibrant full-screen ads is where all the monetization opportunities lay although Snapchat would have to work harder to convince Wall Street about it.

Filed under: Digital

There’s a Lot to Gain by Leveraging Influencer Marketing Properly

Posted June 13, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 4:55 am

It’s time marketers realized that trust, knowledge and expertise are the main values that drive influencer marketing

Marketing Influencer

The defining elements of influencer marketing are credibility and trust but when this exercise itself suffers its own integrity issues, it’s a wakeup call that needs immediate attention. Mark Zuckerberg had famously described trusted referral as “the holy grail of advertising” while speaking about the scope that Facebook offered, as a social platform. After all, it’s word-of-mouth exchanged by groups of people sharing many similarities and these conversations are based on a certain degree of trust. When a particular product manages to penetrate into this circle and gets recommended by some people here, it gains endorsement which is many times more powerful than paid advertising. In the era of social media, such influencer marketing can be done at scale at a much lower cost than and with amazing results.

Unfortunately, influencer marketing itself, hasn’t been able to resist the more elementary approach of paid advertising, which is threatening to destroy its credentials and turning it into another paid reach vehicle. Getting celebrities and other famous personalities to endorse products on their individual social media handles is a good strategy if done transparently but the problem is, this doesn’t usually happen. Now this isn’t a bad strategy for building awareness but it has its limitations when it comes to determining consideration and intent along with some other key aspects of the purchase funnel. This isn’t how marketers should utilize influencer marketing as it has a lot more potential.

Marketers need to identify their best endorsers on social sites, especially folks who love their products and the value proposition they offer. Such folks are actually the influencers and over a period of time they develop a certain level of expertise in analyzing the value that certain products offer. They don’t speak out of turn and reserve their opinion for those who are really curious about the product they have used for years and appreciate their experience and depth of knowledge about the product. These are the kinds of people who love to share a good experience and are passionate about spreading the good word among people they know.

Filed under: Digital

Can Native Advertising Overcome the User Experience Challenges it Faces?

Posted June 9, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 1:03 am

The pace of change in mobile technology platforms and applications as well as compliance with standards is critical

Digital Marketing Stats

Today, many brands are embracing native ads in their regular ad strategy even though it initially faced resistance and criticism in the market. But native advertising has arrived and is not just here to stay but is showing great promise as it is estimated to grow 156 percent in the next three years driven mainly by a shift in consumer behavior. A study of user experiences in native advertising showed 86 percent of respondents in favor of the trend but today it also presents a set of challenges for brands that desire to use it more often. It is the diversification of platforms in the mobile environment itself with a wide array of apps, videos and social media that has changed native advertising like never before.

The way technology is evolving in the mobile environment also offers opportunities a lot more dynamism in native advertising. The Better Business Bureau had come up with new policies for native advertising in October 2016 which has effectively raised the bar for native advertisements to keep customers more meaningfully engaged. The native ad field has seen a lot of creative innovation as of late. As far as social media applications are concerned, customer experiences have become seamless and more rewarding with brands spicing up their offers with a lot of creativity.

One area where native advertising is up against some serious challenges is transparency when it comes to engaging users. Even though the Internet Architecture Board(IAB) has come up with a playbook to address this issue, many publishers haven’t been delineating ads from other content with the desired level of clarity and consistency. The IAB is now developing an industry standard to tackle this issue but can’t afford to let advertisers overlook the need to make sure that customers are able to distinguish the native ads from regular content. It needs to be appreciated that native advertising does offer great opportunities for advertisers to win over new customers, unless it does so by enriching user experience it won’t have the necessary space to grow to its full potential.

Filed under: Digital

Latest Digital Marketing Stats Gives a New Reality Check

Posted June 8, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 10:06 am

Twitter is still a favorite of journalists by a long way while a majority of mobile gamers are women

Digital Marketing Stats

Mobile stats continue to impress with online marketing data points that show engagement intensity and patterns not seen before.

Social TV in 2017

The TV show that is doing really well on social is the AMC program, The Walking Dead, with 18 million engagements recently according to 4C, which reviewed social engagement from January to middle of May this year.

Sponsored locations

Advertisers on Pokemon Go are shelling out decent amounts of money, from 15 cents to 50 cents every time a user visits a sponsored location, per TechCrunch. Sponsored locations are ad products that the smartphone-based apps offer marketers.

Interesting new gaming data

Analysis of activity across 64 million mobile devices by Chartboost, a mobile app ad network, reveal that mobile gaming audiences are 62 percent female and normally older than 25 years of age, and 47 percent of them shop online more than three hours per week. This is way higher than the 28 percent of non-gamers that shop online.

Mobile leaves traditional media behind

The third annual forecast from Zenith Media shows that mobile web will account for 26 percent of all media consumption globally by 2019. Media consumption on mobile web was 19 percent last year. These are uncomfortable stats for traditional media businesses.

Twitter is the overwhelming favorite of journalists

A survey of 400 journalists by Muck Rack shows that an overwhelming 70 percent consider Twitter the most valuable reporting tool, while Snapchat is nowhere near with just 4 percent of the journalists considering it useful.

YouTube loses traffic while Facebook gains more

Hard to believe but YouTube lost 10 percent mobile traffic from 30 percent down to 20 percent over the last four years even as Facebook increased its share from 7 percent to 14 percent per internet trends report from statstar, Mary Meeker.

Where GenZers dare

The hyperaddictive social media platform Musical.ly is where more than 100 million users with a large representation from Gen Z, meet and greet Baby Ariel, on that platform. Baby Ariel is a 16 year old star with close to 20 million followers on Musical.ly which also has other upcoming stars with their own score of followers.

Filed under: Digital

A Publisher That Doesn’t Have a Website and Uses Only Social Platforms

Posted June 6, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 5:06 am

Obsessee is a Gen Z-Focused publisher that believes in meeting its audience where they are most likely to be in – social sites

Pizza Packaging

Obsessee is a lifestyle publisher focusing on fashion, beauty, culture and social justice but it doesn’t have a website quite unlike all other publishers. Instead, it is present on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, Spotify and some others. This is surely something that was unheard of before, at least not on a scale that Obsessee appears to be operating on. This new experiment was initiated just a little over a year ago by the Clique Media Group, the parent company that owns Obsessee along with sites like Who What Wear and MyDomaine.

The editorial staff at Obsessee comprises a small team of four full-time editors and its newsroom essentially reflects an expanded social media team. Most of its feed like, posts and voices come from its 50 Gen Z-aged contributors from across various locations. Obsessee mixes up its content with layers of reporting and news alternating from original graphic design to personalized captions and stories from its writers. The content on this platform ranges from fashion and beauty fare to inspiring stories and breakdowns of major news events, tailored to specific social media sites. For instance, on Spotify they might offer a “Governors Ball Jams” playlist to prepare fans and listeners for the music festival while on Pinterest, they would display a digital graphic of that track list.

Alex Taylor, president of digital at Clique Media Group, said, “When we launched, we wanted to create content for where people were already consuming it. Instead of using social media to achieve mass scale, or as an instant growth play, we get to evolve and grow where our Gen Z girl goes. Websites are, clearly, highly relevant content-delivery systems for other publishers. For us, we wanted Obsessee to be an innovative process and experiment with platform monetization. This is a different stand against the rise of clickbait in order to drive traffic.” According to the editorial director of Obsessee, Naomi Nevitt, “Our stories feel like updates from a friend rather than traditional journalism because our content is created by and for our Gen Z community.”

Filed under: Digital

Soon Advertising on Google Chrome Will Have to Meet Better Ad Standards

Posted June 5, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 3:30 am

Google recently announced that from early 2018 Ads on Chrome not meeting the new standards, will be blocked

Pizza Packaging

Google’s Chrome will begin blocking all ads that don’t comply with what it calls ‘Better Ad Standards’ by early 2018. The Better Ad Standards is a set of rules that provide “clear, public, data-driven guidance” for the industry. The updates will even block ads served through Google’s own networks and they will apply to both the mobile and desktop platforms. The search engine browser will come pre-installed with this new ad-blocking technology to automatically filter ads that are considered too annoying or burdensome. Publishers not meeting these new standards for creating good advertising experiences will now have to fall in line if they want their ads to pass through the filter.

In keeping with its methodical approach to new developments, Google will provide a tool to help publishers adopt the changes and implement them in their desktop and mobile websites that need to meet the new Ad standards. Publishers who implement these standards on their websites will effectively avoid the risk of losing any digital ad revenue in the new environment. The tool known as Ad Experience Report, will explain to publishers, via screen shots and videos, how the rules relate to their websites. It will show how the search engine identifies all Ad content that fall in the “annoying ad experiences” category and how they can be fixed to fit into the new standards. Publishers will also be provided with a list of ads by the Ad Experience Report, fitting the Better Ad Standards that they can use instead of those that need to be reworked or recreated.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, svp of ads and commerce at Google wrote in a blog post recently – “The vast majority of online content creators fund their work with advertising, which means they want the ads that run on their sites to be compelling, useful and engaging ones that people actually want to see and interact with. But the reality is, it’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web—like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page. We believe these changes will ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising.”

Filed under: Digital

Twitter Users can Now Livestream Videos Without Downloading Any App or Creating an Account

Posted May 31, 2017 by Marina Ku @ 2:41 am

This new feature is aimed at competing with Facebook which allows its users to Livestream videos although Twitter will have its unique additions to it

twitter livestream concerts

Twitter users can now broadcast live video from within the social site’s app for both iOS and Android, according to an update from the company. It no longer matters whether you have installed Twitter’s live video app, Periscope, and neither does it matter whether you have created an account on the site. However, the video feature is still driven by Periscope, which has been upgraded to offer such seamless user experience. So what prompted Twitter to bring out this feature? Apparently it’s an effort to offer an alternative to a similar feature on Facebook which allows its users to go live without downloading a separate app on their phone.

Twitter has ensured that the operation of this feature has minimum functions and all you have to do to broadcast a video from the platform is to tap the button for creating new tweets and then tap Live. Thereafter, you can frame the event you want to shoot and start your video. Twitter users who see your streaming broadcast on their phones, can tap in, comment, and send hearts even as the broadcast is on. Users of Periscope will find the function quite familiar but it doesn’t really matter if you haven’t ever used periscope before it’s quite easy and user-friendly. Earlier, there used to be a button for Periscope on Twitter, and users who tapped it, were redirected to the Periscope app or to an app store where they could download it.

Earlier this month, at NewFronts, Twitter announced a deal with Live Nation which will allow it to livestream concerts exclusively, starting with the concert involving the Zac Brown Band on May 13. The next concert, that Twitter will Livestream, is at 8 p.m. ET tonight and this involves the songwriting duo Marian Hill, and this broadcast is being sponsored by T-Mobile. Twitter is offering a few new features within tweets for the purpose of promoting the concert; for instance on Sunday, Twitter users were reminded to tune in for the concert, by way of a tweet from the band’s account.

Filed under: Digital
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