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digital-media

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Understanding the Millennial generation

The Drum

A fairly new term that’s already become bound up in cliché, the millennial generation is often misunderstood by advertisers, who fail to grasp the diversity of this wide-ranging group. In the first of a series defining millennials, The Drum delves into the results of research by Bauer Media into the different types of millennial personality.

Meet Kim, 34. She’s a prolific user of social media, tweeting and posting on Instagram continuously. She’s entrepreneurial – a modern self-made woman, and craves the respect of her peers. She’s your typical millennial.

Malala, at 17, is half Kim’s age. She’s less interested in keeping up with the newest trends, and more likely to be focused on self-progression. She’s aspirational, vocal and influential. She’s also a typical millennial.

Reality star Kim Kardashian and Nobel peace prize-winner Malala Yousafzai, along with MP Pamela Nash, all share a generational tag, they’re in the same 16-to-34 group that advertisers target, but they couldn’t be more different. It’s this that Bauer Media wanted to examine – just who are Millennial Generation, really?

Accounting for one in four British adults today, the Millennial Generation is not as simple as the Hoxton Hipster caricature of media lore. As you’d expect from a population commonly accepted to number around 15.8 million men and women, they’re a diverse bunch, not the one homogenous group they are frequently presented.

Read more… 

White Papers Preferred By B2B Tech Buyers

MediaPost

According to a recent report from Eccolo Media, product brochures are frequently consumed and highly valued by B2B technology buyers. The survey, based on data from people responsible for influencing or making B2B technology buying decisions, said that 57% of respondents had looked at product brochures/data sheets from B2B technology vendors in the past six months, the most engagement with any content type.

Other commonly consumed content types read in the previous 6 months are:

  • Emails from vendors (52%)
  • White papers (52%)
  • Competitive vendor worksheets (42%)
  • Case studies/success stories (42%)

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5 Tips For A Successful Conversion Rate Optimization Program

Marketing Land

If your business is struggling to compete online, it might have less to do with your competitive landscape than with your conversion optimization program.

The simple fact is that many companies can — and do — impede their website optimization efforts by having information silos, territorial teams, groups with tactical mindsets, aversion to change, and an unproductive focus on vanity metrics.

All of the above derail progress even before you factor in other companies who may have better or more mature conversion practices than your own.

Sound familiar? Here are five tips for tackling these internal conversion killers.

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Infographic: Top Challenges & Attributes for Tech Marketers

ResearchLogoBLACK no 2nd IDG Infographic: Top Challenges & Attributes for Tech Marketers

IDG’s Tech Marketing Priorities Survey was conducted from 200+ senior marketing leaders around the globe to provide better insight into the state of marketing among technology marketers. This infographic focuses on the top challenges facing tech marketers and how media companies can better serve their needs.

For more infographics and marketing resources, click here

3 challenges marketers face FINAL Infographic: Top Challenges & Attributes for Tech Marketers

Media Companies Strike Gold With Sponsored Content

AdAge

Media companies say they’ve struck gold in the form of content marketing — during the third quarter, at least.

Recent quarterly earnings reports show that the practice of disguising ads as non-commercial content — whether that content is an article from a professional newsroom or a Facebook post from your aunt — is driving revenue gains at a variety of media companies, from The New York Times to LinkedIn.

Whether it’s called native advertising or sponsored content, it appears this practice will stick around for a while, or at least through the next set of earnings reports.

“Content advertising is not a fad,” said Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an organization that conducts research and establishes standards for digital advertising. “It’s actually a core part of the maturation of digital advertising.”

The Times reported a 16.5% increase in digital-ad revenue during the third quarter — the three-month period from July through September — compared with the same time last year. Fueling the increase, which nearly offset declines in print advertising, was its native-advertising product Paid Posts.

“The biggest drivers are the launch of, and positive growth of, our Paid Post business,” Meredith Kopit Levien, the Times’ exec VP-advertising, said during a call with investors last week explaining the company’s quarterly results.

Paid Posts rolled out in January and will have attracted more than 30 advertising clients by the end of the year. The advertisers — which Times President-CEO Mark Thompson called a “dream list” of clients — include Chevron, Goldman Sachs, Netflix and Cole Haan.

With the Times reporting strong digital gains from native advertising, its perhaps no surprise that another newspaper, the U.K.’s Guardian, which has sought to build a U.S. business online, introduced a website redesign last week with plans to offer its own native-ad products in the near future.

New-Media players
While the Times leaned on native-advertising to boost revenue slightly, new-media organizations like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter rode native advertising — or what it likes to call sponsored content — to dizzying heights.

LinkedIn reported third-quarter ad revenue of $109 million, a 45% increase over the previous year. Sponsored updates, an ad product that allows companies to post articles on the pages of LinkedIn members that don’t already follow the company, drove the sharp increase. It accounts for 31% of LinkedIn’s ad revenue, the company said, up from just 7% last year at this time. Sponsored updates are the fastest growing business in LinkedIn’s history, according to CEO Jeff Weiner.

Advertising sales at Facebook grew 64% compared with the prior year to $2.96 billion. Two-thirds of that revenue came from mobile, where the ads appear within the flow of content and are labeled as “sponsored.” Similarly, Twitter’s ads also appear within the flow of content. While Twitter’s earnings report worried some investors because of its slowing growth in users, the social network’s ad revenue jumped 109% to $320 million.

And the blogging platform Tumblr is hoping to reach $100 million in revenue by introducing autoplay video ads within users’ feeds. The product, which Tumblr introduced last week, is called Sponsored Video Posts.

But native advertising is not benefitting every media property. Tumblr’s parent company, Yahoo, for instance, has seen its pricey display ads falter as advertisers flock to its cheaper native Stream Ads, which appear within the flow of content. This has sparked a chain reaction at Yahoo, where search advertising now outpaces that of display.

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Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling

Harvard Business Review

It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase and palms sweat.  I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers. For me, excitement has a different source: I am watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.

Many business people have already discovered the power of storytelling in a practical sense – they have observed how compelling a well-constructed narrative can be. But recent scientific work is putting a much finer point on just how stories change our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

As social creatures, we depend on others for our survival and happiness. A decade ago, my lab discovered that a neurochemical called oxytocin is a key “it’s safe to approach others” signal in the brain. Oxytocin is produced when we are trusted or shown a kindness, and it motivates cooperation with others. It does this by enhancing the sense of empathy, our ability to experience others’ emotions. Empathy is important for social creatures because it allows us to understand how others are likely to react to a situation, including those with whom we work.

More recently my lab wondered if we could “hack” the oxytocin system to motivate people to engage in cooperative behaviors. To do this, we tested if narratives shot on video, rather than face-to-face interactions, would cause the brain to make oxytocin. By taking blood draws before and after the narrative, we found that character-driven stories do consistently cause oxytocin synthesis. Further, the amount of oxytocin released by the brain predicted how much people were willing to help others; for example, donating money to a charity associated with the narrative.

In subsequent studies we have been able to deepen our understanding of why stories motivate voluntary cooperation. (This research was given a boost when, with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, we developed ways to measure oxytocin release noninvasively at up to one thousand times per second.) We discovered that, in order to motivate a desire to help others, a story must first sustain attention – a scarce resource in the brain – by developing tension during the narrative. If the story is able to create that tension then it is likely that attentive viewers/listeners will come to share the emotions of the characters in it, and after it ends, likely to continue mimicking the feelings and behaviors of those characters. This explains the feeling of dominance you have after James Bond saves the world, and your motivation to work out after watching the Spartans fight in 300.

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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 >

Can This Advertising Innovation at “The New York Times” Save Sinking Ad Revenue?

Remember when newspaper print ads were practically a cultural institution? Stroll to the end of the driveway on a Sunday morning for that several-pounder edition and pore through the articles and the ads. Scan the sales at Macy’s, look for a new job, find a matinee time, decide which store has the best price on rib eyes — the Sunday tome was practically the gateway to the world. Then the Internet relentlessly and almost instantaneously stole print advertising’s relevance, leaving publishers searching for new ways to connect with readers and, just as important, generate revenue.

The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT  ) may have finally found that cup-of-coffee-worthy formula for advertising, infusing its smart editorial style into content that resonates with an advertiser’s audience in a way that preserves its integrity as a news source.

It’s been a long road back
It’s safe to say that the heyday of traditional newspaper advertising is over, but looking back at what once worked it seems there are a few ingredients for success: The advertising must be compelling and relevant enough to get consumers to spend time with it. But it must also fit its platform — that is, not compromise the spirit, tone and even journalistic mandate of its publication.

The Times recognized the need for innovation early, building one of the smartest and most clickable Internet portals for its flagship newspaper. Like many of its contemporaries, the company has replaced some lost ad revenue with digital advertising, but not nearly enough. It seemed something was missing. Across the Web, digital ad sales climbed dramatically in recent years, but stayed fairly flat at newspapers. Though moderately successful, banner and display ads and pieces from the ad exchanges never found a comfortable seat in the traditional news format. Ad perusers had plenty of other choices, after all, and consumers had left behind the notion of the newspaper as a place to shop.

 

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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…