Digital

For Marketers, Instagram is a Much Better Option than Snapchat

Posted August 4, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:35 am

Instagram offers a much wider choice of industries to use its stories platform compared to Snapchat, which is a critical difference

instagram vs snapchat

The competition of ‘stories’ platforms, Instagram and Snapchat, is turning out to be a no-competition going by the latest stats from a report by L2, a digital media rating agency that benchmarks the performance of over 1,800 brands across 14 industries globally. L2 had been studying 89 brands that maintain both Instagram and Snapchat accounts and found that Instagram Stories attracted more than twice as many posts from social media marketers compared to Snapchat Stories. The stories posted on Instagram were 1,347 against 614 posted on Snapchat. The report also found that 72% of Snapchat Stories account for posts from beauty brands, 13% accounted for retail brands, while travel, automotive, consumer electronics and activewear brands accounted for about 15%.

The other metrics that prove the point about Instagram racing past Snapchat is that 200 million people watch Instagram Stories every day as compared to 160 million that watch Snapchat. On Instagram advertisers can get swipe-up links, linked influencer tags and check out buttons that allow users to shop on the app. On Snapchat, brands only get advertisers’ links and a user base that doesn’t like ads. The L2 report warns, “As Instagram becomes the mainstream choice for brand Stories, Snapchat risks being niche-ified.” Snapchat needs to find ways to stop its slide before it’s too late.

The L2 report further noted, “Instagram has integrated ecommerce handoff technology into Stories, namely swipe-up links leading to brand sites, linked influencer tags, and checkout buttons that support brand efforts to move beyond engagement metrics and render their live video content shoppable. Snapchat, meanwhile, has made few adjustments to its Stories content tools, limiting the ability of brands to leverage owned content for ecommerce.” It’s been over a year that Snapchat has been up against the supercharged growth of Instagram backed by parent Facebook’s might.

Filed under: Digital

Some Remarkable Stats That Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore

Posted August 3, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:21 am

P&G tones down digital spending; elsewhere, how digital advertisers are doing much better; Google and Facebook keep growing

digital stats

The digital marketing world is currently changing at a very fast pace and it is critical to learn and know about most of the updates. In order to cope with this large and complex market as well as to maintain and expand customer base, you need keep up with the latest trends and beat the competition with them. In the last couple of days, throughout social media marketing and digital advertising, there were thousands of interesting stats that grabbed our attention.

Visual-oriented platform is getting popular

Over the past year, most of the brands have become more visual-oriented. This trend is going to increase in 2017 because when the information is embedded with images, people are more likely to keep that information for a longer period. Studies revealed that 80% of the people are willing or love to read the content with colored visuals and the content with relevant images gets 94% more viewers than the content without images. There are about 65% marketing executives who believe that they can communicate their brand story in a better way using visual assets like images and videos.

After launching, in less than a decade, the more image-driven platforms like Snapchat (launched in 2011), Pinterest (launched in 2010), and Instagram (launched in 2010) gained popularity and growth in 2017.

From May 2015 to May 2016 – daily video views increased from 2 billion to 10 billion and by the end of 2017 on Snapchat. It is predicted that this number will increase to over 217 million. The growth on Pinterest in 2015 was 135%, which is higher than on any other social media platform. About 83% users do their purchasing only after looking at Pinterest. In 2016 Pinterest reached 150 million active monthly users. In 2015 Instagram usage nearly doubled as compared to 2013 and from August 2015 to December 2015, impressions on Instagram rose from 50 million to 670 million. In 2016, for marketing purposes, approximately half of the US brands were using Instagram.

Live-streaming video is getting popular

Already many companies started live- streaming video, for sharing and building their brands. Just few weeks ago, Acura set up a racetrack in EI Toro, California at Marine base and invited four influencers to drive their cars around the course. The company gave the drivers augmented reality-equipped helmets that covers overlaid HD graphics on top of the real world, that look like they are driving through jungle and snowstorm, thereby making them difficult to stay on course. To watch the hour long broadcast, there were more than 500,000 people tuned into Facebook and Twitter. By the end of broadcast the figure reached a total of 3.58 million people.

There are other stats from the online advertising companies such as Factual, a location data company, which orchestrated a deep data dive into how CrossFit trainees—or CrossFitters—behave offline. They found 231 percent CrossFitters are likely to work in online advertising.

Filed under: Digital

Impact of Cloud Computing on Marketing Technology

Posted July 31, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:39 am

Call it whatever – a cross-channel, AI-powered, IoT-driven world of marketing but behind all these is cloud computing

Impact of cloud computing

There’s no doubt that mobile communications and internet drastically changed the world. Over the last few years, cloud computing has emerged as the next big disruption in technology and has become a mainstream element of software solutions just like database or websites. Or Is it intelligent cloud?

Cloud computing is now firmly established, not merely those that would be considered part of the information technology sector. Healthcare, finance, retailers and many other industries have all been disrupted by cloud computing. Despite being a relatively recent innovation, it has already made huge waves in the technology industry. Although cloud’s benefits have not been clear to businesses there is still some confusion around this technology. About 94% of employees in the US feels that cloud computing helped their organization move closer to their needs, inspite of the fact that they are not clear on how it has been done but they are happy that it had enabled resource-saving for existing infrastructure management. Consumer cloud services such as Google Drive, Drop box and iCloud have changed the way people think about digital content.

Similarly, there are many cloud-driven tools that have brought about the greatest impact on the marketing technology.

Marketing automation

Before marketing automation came to be loved by businesses and despite the advantage digital marketing offers, the process involves laborious tasks that are time consuming. Marketing automation is a cloud based service that massively reduces the time that businessman needs to spend on daily tasks, resulting in optimization and precision of business resources. Eloqua (acquired by Oracle) and Marketo are some of the leading marketing automation services.

Managing sales cycle

Depending on the industry and the product you sell, the sales cycle can be between days and several months since different companies have different steps and activities till the sale closes. Managing multiple prospects at various stages of the cycle can be quite a painful and complex process. Before the advent of cloud computing, sales managers used spreadsheets like MS Excel to keep track of the information and for the sales cycle management. Now it is done through cloud based tools like Office 365, which is on the cloud along with other dedicated tools making it possible for sales professionals to constantly track leads from anywhere, using cloud based tools.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI will become prevalent in every industry where decision-making is being fundamentally transformed by ‘Thinking Machines’. Artificial Intelligence not only powers new generation of cloud computing technologies, but has the capacity to enhance current cloud platform incumbents. The need for smarter and faster decision making and the management of big data is the driving force behind the trend. AI is moving beyond simple chat applications like scheduling support and customer service, to impact the organizations in more profound ways.

Filed under: Digital

Pre-Order a Smart Cooktop from BuzzFeed That Connects to Smartphone via Bluetooth

Posted July 28, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 12:14 pm

The appliances maker has partnered with GE to develop the smart cooktop it calls Tasty One Top which can be pre-ordered for $179

smart cooktop

Appliance freaks can now pre-order a smart cooktop, which can basically track the surface temperature of a pan or pot as well as the internal temperature of the food. That’s not all because cooktop gives you notifications when it’s time to flip your food or when it’s perfectly done. This smart cooktop marks BuzzFeed’s plunge into the smart home market with its latest innovation. With the Tasty One Top foodies using kitchenware like, pans and pots, as well as processes like slow cooking or sous vide, can handle almost any form of cookware and more.

Tasty One Top has been quite active on social sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram where its video recorded over 58 billion views and over an entire month it reaches more than 400 viewers every month. The Tasty page met with tremendous success and as a result, many brand extensions were created with pages like Bien Tasty, Proper Tasty, Tasty Junior, Tasty Vegetarian and many others.

Ashley McCollum, general manager of Tasty, says, “In two years, Tasty has reimagined the recipe format as a visual, shareable and interactive medium, democratizing food and making cooking more accessible, social and fun in the process. The Tasty One Top and app demonstrates our commitment to the intersection of content and technology, marking the beginning of the next step in the evolution of our business as we expand into new ways of using technology to bring people together around food.”

Ben Kaufman, head of BuzzFeed Product Labs, opined, “Tasty’s strong brand and massive fan base give it almost limitless avenues for expansion, from cookbooks to licensing to consumer tech, and we’re excited to take a new big new step with the One Top, a product that has the potential to truly make precision cooking widely accessible.”

Filed under: Digital

Comedian Scott Aukerman Shares Some of His Ways to Success with Podcast

Posted July 25, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 2:40 am

Among the attributes listed by Aukerman for a podcast to succeed are, uniqueness, reliability, regularity, celebrity and sustainability

google analytics

Scott Aukerman emerged on the podcasting scene in 2009 with his podcast, Comedy Bang! Bang! when the market was going through a boom for the first time. The podcast was centered around a lot of folks in the market who were known to him quite well. Later, it became one of the first podcasts to be taken up for a TV series on IFC. Most of the guests that Aukerman invites to his podcast even today include “eccentric and neurotic” characters who are also established comedians in their own domains and it goes without saying that this became the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of the podcast.

Aukerman explains that, oftentimes a show becomes interesting when the host willingly takes a backseat and allows the guest to dominate the show for long spells. This is just one of the many ways to innovate and there’s plenty of scope for more. Does that increase reliability of the podcast in the perception of the audience? Yes, it is possible even though a podcast isn’t really embedded in the mind of the audience like a TV talk show or a radio show. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule and sections of the audience are known to be great fans of many a trending podcast.

People like regularity because it allows them to set a schedule. If a podcast has been able to create a good impression on listeners’ minds not just with good content but also by coming out at the specified time, it better continue that way. For Aukerman, it’s Monday when he posts his podcast which is now part of his listeners’ routine; so they know when to download the podcast. He’ll surely lose an incremental component of his audience base if he messes with their routine at regular intervals. The other point to keep in mind is whether your theme can be sustained. Here, it is equally important to remember that the host’s credentials should not be in question. If you’ve gotten hold of the right theme, and other things like your presentation and depth of coverage are what they should be, your podcast will not just survive but also thrive.

Filed under: Digital

Using Google Analytics Gets Easier – Users Just Need to Ask the Question

Posted July 24, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:02 am

The new AI-powered voice-activated tool will simplify data queries making life easier for both users and analysts at Google

google analytics

Google is continuously innovating and the latest to come out of the software giant’s endless list of updates is an AI-powered voice-based navigation to understand data. The foremost benefit of this is that if a user now wants to ask Google Analytics a question about his website or app data, he’ll be able to do so directly and get the answer. Till now, users have had to navigate through Google Analytics dashboard to get the data they wanted by working around different paths in the analytics chart. Not anymore – if they now want to know the number of users that visited his site on a specific day or wants a breakdown of the traffic on that day from mobile and desktop, he just has to ask Google Analytics aloud or type the query.

Google will be rolling out this tool in a month’s time or earlier and right now it will only be available for users who can ask questions in English only. However, as with most other innovations in Google this tool will surely get smarter over time as it will figure out the kind of queries that users ask and that will lead to better experience for users. After all, Google Analytics is designed to give users a better understanding of their data by highlighting vital facts, figures and trends automatically. The difference now is that usability will get several notches easier with this voice activation tool which is basically the result of efforts by a broader initiative within Google called Analytics Intelligence.

Babak Pahlavan, senior director of measurement and analytics at Google, says, “It feels like you’re actually talking to an analyst. Imagine the possibilities. Anyone who is walking around, walking to a meeting, you should be able to ask it now. You don’t necessarily need to know the segmentation—it does all of that for you.” Google has been using natural language processing technology in Android for a while now, said Pahlavan, asserting that adding voice and natural language controls isn’t some minor upgrade. Google engineers toiled for three years to build this set of tools that will now help users of Google Analytics use the platform like a search engine. He was all praise for his team for having completed the project in barely three years.

Filed under: Digital

Zeta Global’s Adds Machine Learning Power with Boomtrain Acquisition

Posted July 21, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:23 am

Zeta helps marketers acquire, retain and develop relationships with customers while Boomtrain offers artificial intelligence for personalized messaging

Zeta Global with boomtrain acquisition

Zeta Global, the software-as-a-service-based marketing automation cloud platform founded by David Steinberg and former Apple CEO, John Sculley, has recently acquired Boomtrain, a marketing platform that is based on machine-learning for something between $35 million and $40 million. With this acquisition Zeta is now more certain of being able to get closer to leaders in the marketing cloud market like Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce and IBM. At the operational level, Zeta and Boomtrain is a win-win combination. The software-as-a-service marketing on cloud of Zeta helps marketers acquire, retain and develop relationships with customers while the machine learning technology of Boomtrain offers artificial intelligence that helps provide personalized messaging across all digital touchpoints.

Zeta was on the lookout for a machine-learning platform that could help it enhance its own machine-learning platforms. Incidentally Zeta already has a number of patents in machine learning and the acquisition of Boomtrain, which is strong in publishing means that Zeta now has a much wider spectrum of SAS marketing automation services. In fact, Zeta will now leverage Boomtrain’s technology for personalization within ZetaHub, which now means that Zeta has one of the largest patent portfolios of machine-learning tools in the marketing technology arena.

Steinberg said, “We will merge 100 percent of its machine learning, decisioning and marketing automation in our entire marketing cloud. It’s a big deal for us technologically. We looked at this and thought: is this a buy or a build? Our existing team is amazing, but we really felt like this team brought a new vision in where the industry was going from an AI/machine learning perspective. For us, without question, this was all about time. It would have taken our team a long time to do with and we’d have to hire somebody like (Boomtrain co-founder) Chris (Monberg) anyway.” However, he also drew the line on how far he sees the blend going, especially in relation to agency services that Boomtrain offers its clients, saying, “We are not an agency. We don’t want to be in the agency business. We are a software company.”

Filed under: Digital

Facebook Now Allows brands to Create Their Own Pages without Admins

Posted July 20, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 6:34 am

Organizations can now create “official” groups and prevent unwanted or unofficial third parties and fan clubs from intruding

facebook boost engagement

Brands and publishers can now boost engagement with niche groups on Facebook where Page administrators will now have the ability to create their own groups. The new feature in Facebook will allow brands to create their own pages without having to depend on admins to set up groups from their own personal accounts. The social site has been testing this feature in some markets for a few months even as it’s expanding globally. Social media managers who want to have more privacy and separation from work will really appreciate this new feature. Now organizations can create “official” groups and prevent unwanted or unofficial third parties and fan clubs from intruding in.

According to Facebook product manager Linda Xiong, the update is an “external reinforcement or expansion of our mission to bring the world closer together. You can imagine having a support group for a product with a lot of technical back and forth. So, instead of having a support hotline that only is manned by the company, you can actually introduce a peer-to-peer support, or you can have another group that’s more about inspirational sharing stories that’s also relevant for people who are thinking about buying your product or services.”

Chief product officer at Facebook, Chris Cox, explained how groups for Pages are relevant for publishers as well, by giving the example of what he called “a digital version of letters to the editor, but with ongoing real-time discussions.” He spoke of a couple of staffers at the Washington Post, who started a group called ‘PostThis’ that allowed reporters to interact directly to the newspaper’s readers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already said in the past that focusing more on groups is how he intends to build a more closely organized online community. The social site has already released tools for group administrators and moderators to manage their members and also analyze engagement stats in real-time.

Filed under: Digital

Why do the vast majority Customers Look for Negative Online Reviews?

Posted July 17, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:24 am

Research reveals that most shoppers make purchase decisions after reading negative reviews of product they want to buy

Text Rex- dinosaur

While analyzing customer experiences from two online retailers that sell cheaper products along with one retailer of high-end gifts, Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center and ecommerce solutions provider, Power Reviews, found that many times, even negative online reviews can be helpful for online retailers. It has been found that conversion rates rise by as much as 270% for retailers who display online reviews; such retailers are also able to sell more higher-priced. This isn’t the first time that negative reviews have shown such amazing outcomes for retailers. PowerReviews, in one of their earlier research exercises, found that 82% of shoppers look for negative reviews.

In fact, consumers to spend 400% more time on websites looking for and reading up negative reviews, which actually boost conversion rates by 67% according to social commerce specialist Revoo. What could be the apparent reason for this astonishing outcome? Well, it is second nature for consumers to be discernable realists and ratings like five on five stars for a product appear “too good to be true” for most customers. Such reviews don’t reveal much about the product anyway. It is the negative reviews that really review a product from different perspectives and they generally live up to what they say about a product. How else can they boost conversion by 67%?

The study by Spiegel and PowerReviews found that negative reviews increase the likelihood of readers making a purchase and products with average ratings between 4.0 and 4.7 on a scale of five are the ones that are most likely to be bought. This is far better than five on five rating because it leaves space for what is known as scope for improvement. That’s a lot more rational than the ‘5 gun salute’ because it helps keep average ratings down. Ratings between 4.0 and 4.7 also mean that the reviewer thinks the product to be optimum and not necessarily premium. Most consumers are generally happy with an optimum product that meets both their budget and expectations to a large extent.

Filed under: Digital

A Chat Bot With a Human Touch Beats AI Hands Down

Posted July 13, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:13 am

Restaurants first in New York and then in Los Angeles are rediscovering the advantages of human touch

Text Rex- dinosaur

Text Rex is a free texting recommendation service for restaurants in New York City for now. It has a dinosaur as a mascot, and has very efficient humans responding to requests from registered Text Rex users to find the perfect restaurant for their situation between 8:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. This unique chat bot was first launched in New York where it created quite a sensation. On the day it was launched, the number of people who signed up for the service was around 4,000, and today it has around 35,000 registered users just in New York City. On an average, the team handles around 500 requests every day from users planning a great dining experience.

Text Rex is the brainchild of music industry professionals, Andrew Steinthal and Chris Stang, who founded an enterprise called ‘The Infatuation’ that aimed at young diners although just about anybody is free to check out what The Infatuation website offered. They launched the hashtag #EEEEEATS which has been used more than 7 million times on Instagram but despite all that they found that offering dining ideas with a human touch is more likely to help them cultivate a deeper connection with users. And that was how they came upon the idea of Text Rex.

Following the tremendous response to Text Rex from New Yorkers, Stang said, “At first we thought, ‘what have we done? But we couldn’t start something then put it back in the box. People were excited and happy they could connect with someone. It’s a bridge between automation and a human audience.” He felt, AI solutions can’t “give people value in a fun, trustworthy way.” His partner, Steinthal says, “We have an engaged audience because we’re a discovery platform. Our secret sauce is that people trust us. We put brands and restaurants on our audience’s radar.”

Filed under: Digital
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