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How to Develop Digital Content – 4 Analyst Insights

IDG Connect 0811 300x141 How to Develop Digital Content – 4 Analyst Insights

With digital content so widely consumed online it’s important to create relevant and interesting content for your audience. These four insights from our Principle Analyst, Bob Johnson, will help you build a content strategy that works for your brand.

1. Do You Have a Digital Content Strategy?

Today many are clamoring for a content strategy. The trouble most organizations do not understand that it is a lot harder to implement than it is to conceptualize. Read more >

2. Do You Follow these Five Senses?

What does your content tell you about the people who consume different assets? Is each asset a good listener, does it have a sense of taste, can it smell a buyer from non-buyer, does it see where the buyer’s interest lies and can it feel the readiness of a buyer to engage with sales? Read more >

3. Do Misuse Your Content?

You spend so much time, money and effort on creating digital content but too much of that effort goes wasted as we see multiple issues. See you if stand out from the crowd by thinking about your content against these common mistakes. Read more >

4. Do You Organize Your Content Effectively?

As you focus on how to organize your digital assets on your website, you face a multitude of options. But when you ask buyers how they prefer to see content organized, they speak very clearly that they have a primary preference. Read more >

5 Infographics to Teach You How to Easily Create Infographics in PowerPoint [+ TEMPLATES]

Hubspot

These days, visual content is all the rage. And considering the fact that people are naturally drawn to pictures, images, and other visuals, it’s no wonder it’s become such a dominant force in the marketing world. Just think about how much more prominently visuals get featured in social networks like Facebook and Google+. And what about the rise of visual-focused networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine? There’s no denying it — visual content is here to stay, and marketers who can learn how to master it will have a leg up on competitors who can’t.

When most marketers hear the term “visual content,” the first type that comes to mind is usually the infographic. But how can those who don’t necessarily have a design background — or budget to commission an agency, hire a dedicated in-house designer, or purchase expensive design software — create professional-looking infographics that enable them to leverage the power of visual content? We’re so glad you asked! Here’s a little secret: You can do it right within software you likely already have loaded on your computer. That’s right!PowerPoint can be your best friend when it comes to visual content creation. And to help you get started, we’ve created five fabulous infographic templates you can download for free and use to customize your own infographics right within PowerPoint — as well as some helpful tips and tricks to help you learn how to use PowerPoint to its full potential.

In this post, we’ll highlight some PowerPoint infographic creation basics as well as four of the infographic templates from the download that explain how to easily create infographics in PowerPoint (how meta, right?). Just be sure to download the PowerPoint templates for yourself so you can easily customize the designs you see here!

 

How to get your mobile marketing strategy ready for the holidays

CITEworld

October is here and, simply put, if your holiday marketing plans are not finalized and ready to be executed, you are sunk.

That said, it seems that every year marketers let the same small details fall through the cracks. With that in mind, we’ve put together a checklist for companies as they run down their last minute planning for mobile campaigns — an area that still seems to be hit or miss for many retailers.

Remember — email marketing messages can be opened on mobile devices.Often they are only opened on mobile devices. Make sure messages are optimized for smartphones and during the holiday season especially, make the headline simple and short — and easily searchable. Consumers pull up their messages looking for offers while actually shopping and needless to say, their inboxes are bulging this time of year.

Optimize your mobile site. Why, oh why, retailers, are you ignoring the biggest subtrend in e-commerce, which is mobile commerce? Too many retail sites are still not optimized for mobile devices, a process that often requires an entirely new ground up development project but is well worth it in the end. Web optimization company Yottaa found that many of the top 500 e-tailers use unique m-dot sites, according to MobileCommerceDaily. These URLs redirect users an average 3.03 times before taking them to the right site, resulting in a poor user experiences and ultimately, lost retail sales. As MobileCommercialDaily noted, research has found that just a one-second delay in site response time can reduce conversions by 7 percent. Another data point is provided by The Search Agency, which reports in its latest quarterly report, “The Mobile Experience Scorecard — Restaurants & Catering” that the top 50 restaurant and catering companies’ mobile sites were very slow to load (on average over 70 seconds) and 40 percent don’t have a button to click to order or reserve. Some 32 percent of the sites analyzed use Responsive Web Design — Google’s recommended format — but no site serving the updated format were able to pass the page speed test, with average page load time over one minute, according to The Search Agency.

Continue reading… 

Why Every Media Website Redesign Looks the Same

Mashable

If web design is art, we may be entering its minimalist phase.

Website redesigns from some of the most-visited media destinations on the Internet may be leaving users with a bit of déjà vu since many are sporting the same visual elements.

“It’s sort of the same way that all cars look more or less the same. There’s only so many ways you can design a doorknob to where it’s going to be effective,” said Brad Frost, a web designer that has worked on the websites for TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly.

Cars and doorknobs serve a purpose under certain constraints, just like websites. But unlike those everyday items, the demands on websites have changed drastically as audiences have taken to different devices.

Time.com (pictured below) is a prime example: Clean lines, big pictures and defined columns dominate. The site launched its redesign in March.

Time1 640x359 Why Every Media Website Redesign Looks the Same

 

The homepage of Time.com goes with the three-column design and a sticky header menu.

IMAGE: TIME.COM

Time.com is also “responsive,” a relatively new concept that combines development and design to allow websites to conform to a wide variety of screen sizes while still providing a useful experience. The rise of responsive design has been driven by steadily rising mobile traffic combined with the introduction of a wide range of devices.

Mobile was this crisis that woke us up from this shared delusion that the web was this fixed width,” said Josh Clark, a web designer and developer.

“To a certain degree, websites always look the same. Design is fashion and it follows trends. We’re in the middle of a trend of big and clunky, not just because of responsive design but also because of touch,” Clark added. “As touch has spread from small screens to laptops and desktops, all desktop designs have to be touch-friendly, and that has influenced the aesthetic, too.”

Numerous major media sites have shifted to responsive design with similar results — multi-column, boxy and flat designs that look almost strangely similar. NBC News has its main column on the left, but the similarities are apparent.

Continue reading… 

Tune Audiences Into Your Marketing Video Initiative

IDG Connect 0811 Tune Audiences Into Your Marketing Video Initiative

With video consumption on the rise, audiences today expect to able to receive information that is easy to digest and also engaging. It is predicted that by 2016, 1.6 billion people will be watching video online, and the growth of video traffic on the web will rise from 57% to 69% by 2017. As a result, a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second in 2017.

Given the eminence and influence video content will have over the next few years it could become one of the marketing department’s most powerful tools. Videos can be shared as compelling content that can help attract new customers, encourage existing ones to upgrade to a new product or spread product information quickly and efficiently.

Short videos can even be used as an alternative to lengthy text descriptions, telephone calls and face-to-face demonstrations to help a customer chose the right product for them. James McQuivey from Forrester Research believes that one minute of video can be equivalent to 1.8 million words. Video can provide easily accessible, on-demand information that is also engaging to a wider customer base.

Creating video content that is audience-tailored and accessible across multiple devices can keep digital marketing initiatives on the road to success. One quick and easy method of content creation is screencasting. Screencasting software records everything on your screen from applications and mouse clicks to your audio commentary. Screencasting technology is efficient since little investment is required for equipment and unlike working with video cameras or other videography equipment, very little training is needed.

To make successful screencasts, there are a few factors any marketer should consider:

Know Your Audience

With any video marketing initiative, understanding what makes your audience tick should be a priority. One video might be the right hook for a particular viewer, however could completely miss the mark for someone else.

Continue reading… 

4 ways magazines are making video work

Digiday

Magazine publishers have plowed money and resources into video. The reason is obvious: Video advertising is a booming market, with plump ad prices that dwarf the CPMs display ads fetch.

But the devil is in the details or, more precisely, in the execution. There are internal challenges to organizing to create video — just ask Condé Nast – in addition to problems around generating a viewership of sufficient scale and putting together attractive ad packages.

“Legacy publishers seem to have internal difficulties shifting to a multi-format content model that is committed to each distribution platform from dot-com to social to apps,” said Paul Kontonis, executive director of the Global Online Video Association. “Shared services is a way to get a publisher to dip their toe in video without overhauling the existing hierarchies, politics and comforting bureaucracies.”

Traditional publishers have made great headway to reinvent their content strategy and distribution model, but they are still building diversified video inventory at scale, said Robin Steinberg, evp, publishing and digital director of investment and activation, MediaVest.

“They are contending with publishers outside their traditional competitive set with stronger targeting capabilities and pricing structures,” she said. “Due to their traditional print legacy position in the marketplace, they have to push harder for a prime seat at the digital video marketplace table.”

Find out the four ways publishers are trying to ensure success…

Four great reasons why email will never, ever die

CITEworld

As we come back from vacation to an inbox filled with hundreds of emails, most of which we don’t need to read, we might let out an anguished bellow and ask: when will we fix email?

Everyone knows how awful it is: you get flooded, it’s pretend work, it’s inefficient, and so on. And everyone is looking for a way to fix email. And every once in a while, a new app comes along that promises to fix email. And every time, it fails. The reason why is that it can’t.

Sorry. It bothers me as much as it does you, but it’s just the truth. You’re not going to fix email. Here’s why.

Saturation

The simplest reason why email can’t be replaced is its 100% saturation. In enterprises today, everyone — and that means everyone — has email.

In business strategy, we often hear about network effects, whereby the value of a network is the square of the members of a network. This is thought to be a great competitive advantage, because network effects mean your business grows very fast as the network grows, and then is very hard to displace. eBay, for example, has a network effect: Because all the sellers are there, that’s where the buyers go; because that’s where the buyers are, that’s where the sellers go. That makes eBay’s business very robust.

But actually, very few networks achieve saturation, meaning that (for practical purposes) everyone is on the network. And there is a very big difference between using a communication network with almost everyone, and using one where there is everyone. Email is the latter. Alternatives to email, no matter how popular, are the former.

If displacing an ordinary network is hard, displacing a network with saturation is impossible. The barriers are too high. Everyone is already checking email, so everyone sends email. Because everyone sends email, everybody has to check email. It will never end.

Social networks don’t take care of all use cases and don’t have saturation

One big promise for “fixing email” is enterprise social networks — JiveYammer, and many others. To some extent, they have helped things. But anyone in a company that uses those social networks knows that they haven’t gotten rid of email. They can actually improve on some common use cases for email, like task management or quick-fire collaborative conversations. But they don’t take care of all, or even most, use cases. Your boss wants to send information about a major new corporate reorganization or strategy to all 150 people in his organization at once? That’s an email. A vendor wants to touch base in a semi-formal way without interrupting you via phone or email? That’s an email.

Continue reading… 

Publications See Pinterest as Key Ally

NY Times

Autumn is not yet upon us, but Jill Waage, a top editor at Better Homes and Gardens, has already predicted some of the biggest trends of the coming holidays. Painted pumpkins are about to replace carved pumpkins. Snowman cookies with jiggly eyes will overtake traditional gingerbread men. And decorative ribbons on Christmas presents are going to get much more creative.

But instead of spotting these trends by consulting colleagues or outside experts, Ms. Waage has tapped Pinterest, the social media site that lets its members pin, or post, images of their favorite foods, hairstyles and clothes. Pinterest has forged close relationships with magazines, especially those focused on women, who make up 71 percent of Pinterest users. It is a leading driver of traffic to certain magazines, and in some cases — like Self — it serves as a bigger source of reader referrals than either Facebook or Twitter.

“That’s one more piece of brain food that editors have,” Ms. Waage, the editorial director for home content at Better Homes, said of Pinterest. “It’s just a subconscious part of their lives now.”

And Pinterest is redoubling its focus on working with publishers. On Monday, Robert Macdonald will join the company to manage media relationships for the site, a job he previously held at Google, and it plans to hire more people in the coming months to work with digital and print magazines.

Joanne Bradford, a Pinterest executive who runs all of its partnerships, noted that because the majority of the content on Pinterest comes from what she described as “professional content creators” like magazines, it’s crucial to educate these titles on how best to use the service.

“We don’t think we’ve invested enough yet to totally capture the opportunity and to help these publishers,” Ms. Bradford said. “We think that they make a lot of quality content that pinners are very passionate about.”

Continue reading…

 

Mobile ad measurement begins to evolve beyond click-through rates

The Economist has introduced new mobile advertising analytics that focus on user attention to measure campaign success as the call grows louder for measurement standards addressing the unique qualities of smartphone engagement better than impressions served and click-through rates. 

The need for different data sets to measure mobile advertising is supported by a new report from xAd, which reveals that click-through rates on mobile are a poor indicator of whether or not someone will engage in post-click activities or visit a store. The Economist sees offering new metrics as a way to help its clients run more successful mobile ad campaigns.

“We’re offering TimeGuarantee and ViewGuarantee, and highlighting attention metrics more generally with clients, because we think it is a much better performance indicator for brand campaigns than just impressions and clicks,” said Audra Martin, vice president of digital advertising at The Economist.

Read on…

Native ads are getting a direct-response makeover

Digiday

Native advertising is often used by publishers as a way out of being held to the direct-response metrics that have long been associated with banner ads.

Native was supposed to be a premium ad format that would bolster falling digital CPMs, and it has mainly been viewed as an image-building format. But it was only a matter of time before advertisers would start to demand more than just a lift in awareness or improved reputation and ask for ads that directly drive sales or leads.

Case in point: this ad for The New York Times that’s running on Mashable. The ad has a direct come-on to new digital customers, with a “subscribe” button that’s prominently placed to the right of its branded article. It’s part of a month-long campaign the Times is running on Mashable to drive audience growth.

 Native ads are getting a direct response makeover

The practice is more established among B2B marketers, for whom the format is well suited for white-paper downloads and webinar signups. Lexis Nexis, for example, used this ad on Law.com to drum up business for its MedMal navigator product. But consumer publishers are increasingly hearing requests for native ads to include calls to action.

Continue reading…