Digital

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

Posted June 13, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 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 Rashmi D @ 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 Rashmi D @ 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 Rashmi D @ 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 Rashmi D @ 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 Rashmi D @ 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

Amazon Goes Back into the Future by Experimenting with Physical Bookstores

Posted May 26, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:16 am

The experiment is helping Amazon to sustain its engagement with its customers with tangible benefits

Amazon Store

After disrupting the traditional book market with its online bookstore and Kindle, Amazon is now going back into the future by opening a chain of bookstores across the country in what is seen as a move that probably indicates its intentions for other types of stores. At first glance a customer might not realize what an Amazon bookstore is all about, other than the display of books on shelves. It must be said though, that the store layout is interesting – the front cover of every book on the shelves faces outward just as they appear on the Amazon portal. There’s no discrimination by stacking some titles the way it’s done in physical libraries where visitors have to identify a book by reading its spine vertically.

That’s the simple part. The customers’ experience begins to change when they find out that to identify books and objects around them, they can use visual search technology with their mobile phones. But that’s possible only when they have the Amazon app loaded on their phones which is worth its while – the search will reveal reviews, shipping options and price among other benefits. Over the last couple of years, Amazon has been experimenting with physical stores, and during this period it has opened a number of bookstores that also serve as some kind of gadget outlets in addition to some campus bookstores that doesn’t sell books and a convenience store without any cashiers around. These experiments suggest that Amazon is upto something that its competitors can’t figure out yet.

Amazon hasn’t yet revealed any facts and figures of its retail-store operations although from whatever little that has come out from the company’s officials, there’s reason to believe that they are happy with the results of their experimentation with physical retail. Brian T. Olsavsky, chief financial officer of Amazon, told investors that the stores represent “another way to reach the customer and test what resonates with them.” At the bookstores, there are no prices on the books and a customer has to either take a picture of the book cover with the Amazon app or walk a few steps to a screen displaying the price scanner. No checkout queues and no waiting; so, there’s convenience for the customer but what’s in it for Amazon? Probably there’s some purchase-intent data that can be used to target the customer on its digital channels.

Filed under: Digital

Why Artificial Intelligence Products Have Human Names

Posted May 25, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:28 am

Caution – there are legal implications and requirements to be observed when naming a product after a famous person

artificial intelligence-human name

It’s true that Artificial Intelligence(AI) can do a lot of difficult things that extremely talented humans do but there’s another interesting thing about AI products – most if not all have human names, which has now become a trend. Today, AI is used to create marketing and corporate communication copy and manage purchase of planned media space at unbelievable speed. Then it has been used to drive a car without a human behind the steering wheel or go to another extreme by diagnosing cancer. Are these the reasons why the owners of AI products give them human names?

Maybe, because these AI solutions are increasingly doing many of the jobs that nobody imagined could be done by anything but humans. Interestingly, companies are choosing the famous achievers among humans to brand their AI products to perhaps suggest the level of sophistication of these solutions. But not all of them go for famous names; so there’s Jessie, the SFO hipster and Facebook messenger AI; Ross, which is IBM’s AI solution for legal affairs, that answers specific legal queries complete with citations; Ernest, the Facebook messenger in the UK, which is an AI solution that acts as a bank aggregator providing updates on a user’s bank transactions and some other details.

However, it’s not always easy to pick up just about any famous personality’s name to brand an AI product as Sharethrough, whose AI solution analyzes headlines and helps users write the perfect copy, realized. Given the nature of the product, it was but natural for Sharethrough to settle for the name Hemmingway to brand its AI solution. After all, Ernest Hemmingway is a globally famous name in the world of literature. But even the maker of AI solutions can suffer a lapse in intelligence as Sharethrough realized when it was pulled up by Hemmingway Ltd., a company that owns all the rights to Ernest Hemmingway collections. Sharethrough had to drop the name Hemmingway and eventually settle for a much less impressive and un-human ‘Headline Analyzer’.

Filed under: Digital

Advertisers on Twitter Now Have More Tools to Engage Customers with Direct Messages

Posted May 24, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 7:38 am

Patrón Tequila, an advertiser, is running promoted tweets through a “Bot-Tender,” which suggests service options to customers

twitter features

Twitter recently released an advanced direct messages guide, which gives advertisers more effective ideas and examples. Sending a large number of direct messages with multimedia content is possible now. Advertisers who haven’t tried directing message campaigns on Twitter or thinking a campaign could have been more effective; can now access case studies of how brands were able to use them more effectively. The social platform announced that advertisers can now use more multimedia features like one-on-one conversations within tweets that are promoted, along with video, interactive images and questions-based bots.

This new feature offers around four, custom, call-to-action buttons called direct message cards that allow users to exchange more one-one messages with advertisers. Patrón Tequila, one such advertiser, is offering personalized recommendations based on responses to consumer inquiries about entertaining guests, cocktail flavors and emojis. The brand is running promoted tweets across the country by utilizing a “Bot-Tender,” which offers suggestions on scores of drinks combinations from Patrón’s Cocktail lab, in response to users’ queries. Adrian Parker, vp, marketing, Patrón Spirits Company, said “Twitter is the perfect platform to create unique, simple-yet-compelling moments that connect with audiences during this journey, in real time,” in a statement.

One of the most effective and used features are direct message campaigns according to many advertisers when explaining their Twitter marketing strategies. They have good reasons to feel that way as their direct message campaigns have shown a much higher CTR rate of up to 71%, compared to their email marketing efforts. Advertisers need to formulate effective and well thought-out direct message strategies that take into account their customers’ needs as it can turn out to be a very effective part of their marketing efforts.

Now that advertisers can include multimedia content in direct messages, these can be a good vehicle for their brand messages to reach users. These are also effective ways to reengage those customers that advertisers have lost contact with. They can now build a network of contacts that haven’t opened any of their emails for a long time and reengage them with their brands again.

Filed under: Digital

Instagram’s Easier UX Produces Better Engagement for Business Users Compared to Facebook

Posted May 22, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:00 am

It would be not be wise for businesses to overreact to analytics but also not make the mistake of ignoring Instagram

Description

Instagram is now increasingly being favored by many marketers despite the fact that Facebook has around twice as many users and it’s easy to see why – Instagram provides much better engagement metrics for advertisers than Facebook today. According expert on Instagram, Sue Zimmerman, 48% of brands already advertise on Instagram and that number is expected to go up to 70% or more by the end of this calendar. The social platform is continuously improving its ads and analytics and is now a must-have app for businesses.

The revenues generated by mobile ads on Instagram is projected to be around $2.81 billion in 2017 made possible by the improved analytics tools that the platform is offering to users. Instagram’s easy-to-use experience/i>, for users mainly businesses, is the result of its strong focus on this area aimed at improving users’ analytics experience. Instagram is working hard on increasing the scope and variety of analytics for business users who now have access to analytics that evaluate impressions, reach, engagement, and audience.

Instagram’s relentless efforts to race ahead in UX are expected to give rivals like Facebook something to ponder upon. Zimmerman anticipates that Instagram’s will enable its live videos to be saved for up to 24 hours and there will offer more filter options for stories on the platform. Business users are particularly going to love a new suite that will allow them to store drafts in organized subfolders when saving the drafts. As far as improvement in the reply feature is concerned, it will show right under the original comment.

Compared to Facebook, brands and celebrities get thrice as much engagement on Instagram, according to SocialBakers’ research that was released at the social platform’s engage conference in Prague, Czech Republic. However, these stats are not adjusted, per-capita figures since they indicate the raw number of likes, shares, comments and other social signals for those two categories. Jan Rezab, chairman and founder of SocialBakers, feels that brands should take note but not overreact. In terms of sheers numbers, Instagram still has very far to go to get anywhere near Facebook’s 2 billion users.

Filed under: Digital
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