|10/21/2014 - 10/22/2014||Chicago IL|
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Tech Marketing Guide to B2B
News, video, events, ideas and blogs about Digital Media Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.
Tech Marketing Guide to B2B
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Tech Marketer's Guide to B2B
News, video, events, blogs about Technology Business and Marketing for high tech business-to-business from IDG Knowledge Hub.
- RT @idgconnectm: #Infographic: #B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015 http://t.co/FGi14rwQCP http://t.co/e5v2RcFONf about 9 minutes ago
- RT @smartling: 55% of consumers only buy products and services in their native language. Learn how to reach global markets quickly: https:/… about 1 hour ago
- Smartphones Set the Pace as MEA Handset Sales Top 64 Million Units in Q2 2014 - http://t.co/MQcgDv96Nb about 6 hours ago
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Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.
First came the news that a simple “like” was useless — to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed
And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”
Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?
Or is it such a sad day?
I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,” at least publicly, for three reasons:
1. A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.
2. Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.
3. Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”
IDG News Service
Congratulations on launching your startup business. The only problem is, no one knows about it. So how do you get the word out online, without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising or PR, or buying Facebook or Twitter followers?
Dozens of small business owners and social media, SEO and marketing experts share their nine top tips for how new businesses can get noticed online, without having to spend a lot of money.
1. Establish profiles on the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest). Before launching any social campaigns, take time to figure out which social media site or sites your target customers frequent. Then set up pages or profiles on those sites — and post content regularly, at least once a week. To centrally manage your social media posting, consider using a service such as Hootsuite.
2. Create fresh, shareable content. “Business blogs are the most cost effective way to boost your organic traffic,” says Lisa Chu, owner, Black N Bianco Children’s Formal Wear. “Google loves original and valuable content. By [creating] informative articles, not only will Google reward your site, but people will organically start sharing your blog posts. [Just] remember: Write for your target audience not for Google.”
“Create interesting videos [and graphics with your target audience in mind] and share them across all of your social media profiles,” suggests Hannah Diamond, marketing coordinator, UrbanGirl Office Supply. “Offer something fresh and unique [that speaks] to your company,” without it coming across as an ad.
Finally, “make it easy for your followers to share your content,” says Melissa Johnson, content editor for Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal. “Make sure that people can follow you on Facebook or Twitter [or Pinterest] directly from your site [by including hot-linked buttons to your social media pages], and add buttons so that they can share your content and products on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, [Reddit] and other networks.” The easier it is to share content, the more people will share it.
3. Ask friends, family members and employees to get the word out — and reward referrals. Even if you don’t have many (or any) followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, chances are some of your friends or family members or your employees do. Ask them to follow you/your new business on social media sites and spread the word. Better yet, reward people for sharing links to your site or products by offering them referral discounts, say 10 percent off their first or next purchase, or a freebie.
4. Offer influencers/bloggers free product(s) in exchange for mentions and/or reviews. “When you first start your business, it can be difficult to direct traffic to your site,” notes Chu. “A simple way to start a buzz around your product and website is to send out free samples to influential bloggers. Most bloggers will be happy to take your free sample and review it on their blog,” she says. “Once the review goes up, there will be a link directly to your site. That link will give you a nice SEO boost on search engines” and will drive traffic to your site.
“If a company has not yet been in business long enough to grow a substantial customer base, they can gain visibility online by conducting a product sampling campaign, [where you offer] consumers free products in return for accurate, unbiased, and insightful reviews (which can include text, photos, and videos),” says Matt Krebsbach, director, Global Public & Analyst Relations, Bazaarvoice, a platform for consumer ratings and reviews.
“A product sampling campaign helps generate accelerated word of mouth and increased sales for a product launch,” Krebsbach says. Moreover, “each sample can result in a review that influences tens, hundreds or thousands of prospective customers for each free product. And Bazaarvoice’s research shows that, depending on the product category, increases in both the number of reviews and the average rating for a product can increase orders 10 to 50 percent.”
5. Co-market with an established business/brand. “Pair with an on-brand company that already has a loyal following to offer something unique and sharable,” suggests Zoë Scharf, cofounder & creative director, greetabl. “When greetabl wanted to increase awareness, they paired with Strange Donuts, a popular donut shop, to celebrate National Donut Day,” she explains.
IDG News Service
For digital marketers, the road to riches on mobile screens has been long and riddled with holes of divergence. But the pursuit, which harkens back to the pre-smartphone era, has gotten more promising thanks to social media.
More than 60 percent of the $6.8 billion expected to be spent on social advertising in the U.S. this year is controlled by Facebook, Google and Twitter, according to eMarketer. Overall, mobile advertising revenue in the U.S. is projected to grow to $58 billion and comprise 71 percent of all digital ad spending by 2018.
eMarketer also expects mobile ad spending to overtake desktop PC advertising by 2016 and TV advertising by 2018. Facebook has reformed its business to capitalize on this opportunity in mobile to great effect. The company currently controls 71 percent of the market, which is the equivalent to 10 percent of all digital ad spending in the U.S.
Why is Facebook — and now Twitter to a lesser and more recent extent — doing so well in mobile advertising while most others continue to struggle? Mobile advertising is on course to comprise 68 percent of Facebook’s revenue and 84 percent of Twitter’s by year’s end, according to eMarketer.
Are they doing something different or are their platforms so unique and powerful that no advertising network or ad technology could possibly contend with?
Mobile Advertising Has Arrived on Social
“There is no question mobile has arrived — it’s here, it’s big, it’s growing,” says Lars Albright, co-founder and CEO of the mobile loyalty platform SessionM. “The bottom line is it’s working.”
Mobile advertising went through various formats and implementations before it reached the scale now enjoyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google. This last leg of innovation, which is now paying off for marketers and advertisers, has been all about the granularity of targeting that these platforms can bring to deliver a successful transaction or sales conversion, says Albright.
“They have so much scale in mobile now that they’re able to do targeting to clusters that are meaningful,” Albright adds. Now they can take that top-level targeting and go much deeper… All of a sudden you start to get much more focused, and even though you’re so much more focused you still have the scale that you can deliver meaningful results. So having that big audience, then having very detailed information and that relationship is where you’re seeing things separate.”
That direct relationship with users coupled with all the data and behavioral traits gleaned from their social activity makes all the difference.
“Traditional networks, as they are, are the ones that are really going to hurt here because they don’t have that first-party relationship with the consumer… That’s one of the key differentiators to bring to marketers,” says Albright, who previously founded Quattro Wireless, a mobile ad network that was acquired by Apple in 2010.
Facebook has quietly altered its ad policy to allow brands to show ads more frequently to those who don’t already follow the brand.
Brands are now able to hit users with the same news feed ad twice in a given day, whereas previously brands were only able to do so once per day. Similarly, the number of news feed ads brands can serve users they are not connected to — users who have not liked that brand’s Facebook page — has risen to two daily from one. The number of news feed ads brands can serve to their page followers will remain at four, and the total number of ads a Facebook user can see in a given day will also not increase.
Facebook announced the changes in an email it sent to agencies this month.
While the change affords brands greater frequency for their Facebook ads, it also creates a risk of Facebook users becoming annoyed with brands and, correspondingly, Facebook itself.
“These changes raise the stakes,” OMD’s chief digital officer Ben Winkler told Digiday. “Advertisers who send out high-quality, relevant messages will benefit. Those who don’t, will do so at their own peril. People like great content, regardless of the source. But they have zero tolerance for one bad ad, let alone two.”
Jeff Semones, president at M80, said the move is just the latest sign that social media advertising is no longer, in fact, social. The old-school view of social media, he said, was that it would be digitized word-of-mouth marketing: brands would inspire customers, and those customers would in turn speak favorably about the brand on social media. The modern view of social is that it’s an advertising medium like any other.
“We tell our clients to think of Facebook less like a social network, and more like an advertising network,” Semones added.
Facebook’s transformation from a platform for well-crafted creative to merely a platform with reach has been a constant refrain during weeks, especially among attendees at Digiday’s inaugural Platform Summit last week.
“Facebook is now a place to drive reach to your content-marketing programs and less a place to be the center of your architecture,” 360i chairman Bryan Wiener said on Thursday.
Nestle digital manager Emily Cloud said on Thursday that the company has even begun repurposing images posted to Facebook for Pinterest.
And in late July, Sean Ryan, JCPenney’s director of social and mobile marketing, likened Facebook ads to “display ads on steroids.”
Enthusiasm for Facebook has not waned in light of these changes, however. And Winkler thinks that consumers’ may have a greater tolerance for repeat ads than some perceive.
“As long as Facebook continues to improve their product and their ad-targeting, that level may be higher than you think,” he said.
For CollegeHumor, YouTube is no laughing matter, even if it doesn’t produce much direct revenue from ads.
With over 7.6 million subscribers, CollegeHumor has crafted a YouTube strategy that isn’t relying on making money directly on ads. Instead, it uses what is the world’s second-largest search engine to test content’s virality and distribute brand content for advertisers.
CollegeHumor can post a video to YouTube and know immediately whether it will go viral, according to CEO and co-founder Ricky Van Veen. YouTube acts, in effect, like a giant, global focus group.
“With such a big subscriber base, we get a very early sense of what the reaction to the video will be,” said Van Veen. “If it’s a hit (say, the Adam Ruins Everything videos), we can make a decision right away to put more similar videos into production and blast the link out to all our partners.”
In that sense, the immediate reception or popularity of any given video on YouTube helps inform subsequent production and marketing decisions at CollegeHumor.
But the biggest perk surfaces during CollegeHumor’s sales meetings. When the site pitches brand-sponsored content to clients like American Eagle, it promises those videos will reach its huge YouTube audience as well as its own site visitors.
“YouTube used to be just a nice add-on to our website, now it’s a big strategic piece of the whole brand’s digital presence,” Van Veen told Digiday.
Many digital publishers, from the older companies like the New York Times to startups like Vox Media, have embraced a hybrid video strategy. They host videos on custom players, or use software from vendors like Ooyala and Brightcove, to serve their own, more profitable video ads.
That’s CollegeHumor’s approach. It hosts videos on its proprietary player first, keeping all the ad revenue generated by each video view. After a few weeks of exclusivity, CollegeHumor will post that content on YouTube, maximizing its reach.
Even though YouTube owns a fifth of the U.S. digital video market, the constant deluge of content (100 new hours of video every minute) depresses ad rates and leaves all but the titans of YouTube with a tiny slice of the total ad spend. Publishers aren’t keen on YouTube’s revenue split, either — the company keeps 45 percent of ad revenue for itself — but YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki firmly refuses to reconsider the rates.
“I don’t see [the revenue split] changing, so it then just becomes a ‘what you make of it’ situation,” said Van Veen. “That means having YouTube be a part of an overall package for an advertiser.”
YouTube ads do generate a bit of cash for CollegeHumor. While Van Veen declined to disclose exact figures, he said ads sold on the channel have eclipsed CollegeHumor’s video production budget for the past six months. But CollegeHumor isn’t making the next Avatar movie; most of its videos are low-budget sketches shot in the office. And Van Veen makes clear that YouTube ad revenue is not the main draw.
Being able to track campaign performance across devices has become increasingly crucial to advertisers as consumer attention shifts from desktop to mobile screens. To that end, Facebook on Wednesday rolled out cross-device reporting for ads, allowing marketers to see how people are moving among devices and across mobile apps and the Web.
“Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur,” stated a Facebook blog post today.
As an example, the company said an advertiser can view the number of customers who clicked an ad on an iPhone, but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people who saw an ad on desktop, and later converted on an Android tablet.
In a recent analysis conducted between May 15 and July 24, Facebook found that among people who viewed a mobile Facebook ad in the U.S., nearly a third (32%) eventually clicked on the same ad on the desktop within 28 days. The conversion rate was lower over shorter periods of time. So within a week of seeing a mobile ad, 22% converted on the desktop, and after a day, 11%.
The cross-device reporting relies on data from Facebook’s conversion pixel, a piece of tracking code used in conjunction with the social network’s software development kit (SDK), to get reports on which device someone saw an ad and eventually converted. The overall aim is to go beyond last-click attribution to see how different devices and app actions influenced a click.
To see cross-device conversions for campaigns, advertisers can go to the Facebook Ad Reports page, click Edit Columns and select Cross-Device on the left-hand menu.
The social network is introducing the model through four ad formats that brands will pay for if a user takes the desired action as a result.
This means brands can choose to pay based on tweet engagements, web site clicks and app installs, as well as gaining followers. For example, app installs or app engagement campaigns will only be charged on a cost-per-app-click basis. Targeting options are also provided to ensure tweets reach users at the right moment, the company added.
Twitter will suggest the appropriate ad format to advertisers using the self-serve tool.
The company said the launch aims to encourage brands to think harder about campaign objectives in order to lift performance to “the next level”.
“Let’s say you’re a camera retailer, and you want to drive more visitors to the summer promotion on your web site. You can create a website clicks or conversions campaign and then promote a tweet with a website link or website card our recommended ad format that is specifically designed to drive website traffic,” the company said in a video (see above).
Twitter said the tool delivered positive results during initial tests earlier this year and is currently offering the service to small and medium-sized companies ahead of a wider invitation-only rollout. The business has said in the past the majority of self-service buying on the network comes from smaller companies.
The launch aims to refresh the company’s pricing model, which previously only let ad buyers pay for Promoted Tweets when they were clicked, replied, retweeted or favourited. It is the latest in a pipeline of products from Twitter as it looks to lift ad revenues and address criticisms from some observers that user engagement and growth is stalling.
An upcoming tool will make it easier to create ads on the platform, allowing brands to crop images and more easily customise photos. Earlier this week, it launched its “Flock to Unlock” tool via a tie-up around Puma’s “Forever Faster” global campaign.
Twitter says it sees the “hundreds of millions” of visitors logged-out of its platform as the next key revenue generator for its nascent advertising offering and is exploring ways to monetise the audience.