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Promoted Tweets have been around for a while, and according to recent research, they’re the Twitter ad format of choice among marketers.
How are Promoted Tweets performing? Looking at Twitter campaign activity run on its own platform, AdParlor found that for Promoted Tweets in North America, CPM, cost per click (CPC), and cost per engagement (CPE)—which includes clicks, follows, replies and retweets—had risen between January and June 2014.
During that timeframe, average CPM increased from $10.26 to $11.59. However, this metric fluctuated every month, moving up and down several times between January and June 2014, when it showed its second-highest level.
Meanwhile, CPC rates rose throughout the first half of the year (with the exception of May, when they dipped by 1 cent) and hit an average 29 cents in June 2014. Further, CPC averaged 25 cents in Q2 2014, compared with 11 cents in Q1 2014.
CPE also followed the trend, rising from 10 cents, on average, to 28 cents between January and June 2014. AdParlor noted that this made sense, since nearly all engagement with Promoted Tweets in North America was via clicks (95.8%).
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.
Facebook is by far the most effective social media platform for driving offline sales for small businesses, according to a new report.
Digital marketing company G/O Digital surveyed 1,000 US users aged 18 to 29 for a study on Facebook advertising and found that 84% of respondents said local deals or offers on that site were a major influence on their purchasing decisions. Further, 25% said “it’s very important and I would be likely to make an in-store purchase within a week”.
Facebook offers that could be redeemed at a local store were by far the most persuasive marketing tactic. Some 40% cited this as being most likely to influence them to make an in-store purchase at a local or small business.
Promoted Posts were effective for 12% and photos/videos for 11%, while loyalty app promotions gained a 10% response.
Facebook was also way out in front when respondents were asked which social media channel they found most useful for researching products or services before visiting a local business. Fully 62% opted for Facebook, with Pinterest (12%), Twitter (11%) and Instagram (9%) trailing in its wake.
“The most bang-for-your-buck way for many small businesses to drive in-store activity and sales through social marketing in the short term is going to be Facebook,” Jeff Fagel, G/O Digital CMO, told ClickZ.
“Pinterest and Twitter should definitely have a place in their larger social marketing strategy, but will serve different purposes and support different objectives,” he added.
Amid the ongoing debate about privacy, and recent revelations surrounding Facebook’s manipulation of news feeds, G/O Digital’s research suggested that local relevance and personalisation might be more important for users.
It found that just over one third (36%) of respondents felt that “ads that are targeted based on your personal interests and past purchases” were most likely to influence them to interact with Facebook ads from small businesses. More than one quarter considered “ads that are targeted based on current location” to be most influential.
“It’s all about relevancy,” Fagel declared. “For example, if you offer me $2 off a hot dog at a baseball game, I won’t mind having my mobile viewing experience interrupted by this ad, because it’s solving an immediate, relevant need that I have: feeding my hunger and giving me a discount at the same time.”
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.
Many business that produce content as a marketing initiative are looking for alternatives to jump into different types of media and new channels of distribution to reach their potential customer.
Vine, Instagram, even Tumblr. But even though some have implemented a YouTube strategy in the last couple of years, it’s still a little intimating for many businesses, there’s the production aspect of it, and it can also be a little more complex in terms of understanding how to generate engagement.
Usually when I put it on the table with my clients, they look like video content is a bit more that they can handle.
But, is YouTube Marketing it worth the effort?
In other words, the potential to help your prospect find your business in a whole different marketplace is huge.
If you’re ready to start considering YouTube as a content marketing vehicle, or you’ve already started getting your feet wet, this infographic by QuickSproutprovides some key stats and best practices to generate more engagement.
mediaShepherd LLC—a web-based company that provides “actionable intelligence” for media brands—announces the winners of the first-ever mediaShepherd Social Media Awards (mSSm Awards). The awards recognize the best of social media efforts focused around a specific campaign, publication, brand or company in various sectors of the media industry.
The 2014 mSSm winners are:
• The Onion. Consumer media brand. The Onion’s overall social media strategy has gained the satirical-news brand millions of followers on Facebook (more than 4.25 million), Twitter (more than 6 million) and Google+ (nearly 2 million). It effectively integrates its YouTube channel with content across all platforms and has a high level of audience engagement.
• Modern Salon. Business-to-business media brand. Modern Salon has an impressive social media following, especially for a b-to-b brand, with more than 34,000 Twitter followers, more than 290,000 Facebook fans, more than 47,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 3,000 pins on Pinterest. It utilizes a variety of techniques and opportunities to promote its brand via social media, including promotion of a live broadcast of the North American Hairstyling Awards ceremony and reliance on unpaid partner promotion (via partners’—such as Aveda, Paul Mitchell and beauty schools—social media sites). Modern Salon also focuses on sharing high-quality images.
• IDG Enterprise. Business-to-business/custom marketing. IDG Strategic Marketing Services created a custom social media marketing campaign on behalf of its client Starcom/Samsung, called “Tablets in the Enterprise.” The campaign included Twitter chats using a unique hashtag to facilitate conversations around key messages and drive awareness of the topic and related solutions. Other components of the campaign included a custom survey on tablet use in the enterprise, infographics, white papers and videos. The campaign, which engaged influential bloggers and IT leaders, reached 513,000 via its #Tablechat discussions, and nearly 8 million impressions.
• MVP Media/Turnbuckle Magazine. Niche/enthusiast media. MVP Media fostered a significant community on Twitter from scratch for the launch of its interactive, digital Turnbuckle Magazine. The campaign achieved a reach exceeding 1 million Twitter users as per reports from SumAll, as well as impressive brand exposure via viral posts that captured hundreds of retweets/favorites. The combined retweet-and-mention reach surpassed 3 million in each of the last two weeks of the campaign, and suprassed 10 million in the last 5 weeks.
• OneName Global (OnG). Publishing industry vendor. OneName Global utilized a variety of social media platforms, but focused its efforts on Facebook and viral content to grow traffic to OnG’s Facebook page as well as convert traffic to its onenameglobal.com website in advance of the company’s launch in the marketplace. As of Feb. 1, the site averaged 25-30 visitors per day, and via its social media campaign increased that to more than 8,000 visitors a day by the end of February. Since the campaign began, OnG experienced a significant increase in website traffic, totaling 48,745 visitors from the campaign’s start to finish. The company anticipated reaching 30,000 users per day by its launch, a metric which it exceeded (by far). According to Alexa.com, the company was one of the fastest-growing/ranking sites online toward the end of its campaign.
The entries were judged by a panel of social media experts in the publishing industry, and were evaluated based on innovation, campaign execution and level of achievement, budget and staff size, support of the brand, viral nature of the campaigns, among other factors.
European brands are spurning chances to convince and convert social media fans into long-term leads by concentrating on attention-grabbing campaigns instead of functional content created to serve a specific purpose.
Marketers know the likes of Facebok and Twitter are key to online success but all too often talk about “likes” and “retweets” as indicators of success. Granted, buzz is important when tussling with competitors for share of voice. Nevertheless, with all the data and tools at a marketers disposal surely the need for more long-term objectives is far bigger.
It has not gone unnoticed by Twitter. The social network is letting advertisers from today (8 August) create content focused on specific marketing goals or what it dubs “objective-based campaigns”. It is part of a wider masterplan to get marketers to think harder about campaign objectives with the business realising its cost-per-engagement will only go so far before brands shift social media strategies to be more business focused such as driving web site visits or app downloads.
The dearth of maturity when it comes to social media marketing is highlighted by Forrester in a recent report on social media (mis)use. Social media is a “tick box” activity that focuses on attention-getting campaigns across Europe, it found, as many Europeans show lower interaction and trust levels to social marketing than any other region. The report goes on to draw parallels to search natural search engine results, which a third (33 per cent) of Europeans’ trust in comparison to 45 per cent of US consumers.
It points to the lack of advancement in standard operating procedures for social media marketing across Europe. If a campaign fails, there is a tendency to blame social media not working in that market. In fact, the discipline works just fine in European markets; strategies are just off.
However, there are brands making structural changes to enhance their ability to produce content based on consumer preferences. Pernod Ricard, Adidas and Mondelez have all restructured to give more local spin to their marketing, which could bring about social efforts that better reflect the intricacies of a market’s social media usage.
Like, many marketers, all three are working to find the right balance between global and local, particularly when it comes to digital activations. Key to this charge is community management, one of the most underrated marketing roles and tools. By understanding local nuances and what makes your local fans tick, marketers can augment their investments to secure long-term value though stronger advocacy and ultimately sales.
The need for better social infrastructure investment is pivotal as social spend is tipped to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 per cent from 2012 to 2017, according to Forrester. With more people using social networks to explore brands, brands need to be more surgical in their efforts to tie activities to users’ preferences and usage of Facebook and Twitter.