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The Millennial Delusion

Source: TechCrunch

The obsession with “millennials” continues to fascinate me. Despite being the most outspoken generation in history, people – very important and powerful people – claim they don’t understand us. We make no sense apparently, as if the actions and career paths of our parents make total and complete sense.

There are even consulting firms that specialize in teaching businesses how to interact with us (I refuse to link to them, Google if you dare). I wish I could start one of these and just talk about myself all day as a passion job, in the process becoming the very essence of a millennial.

A meta-millennial, perhaps.

More words have been spilled in the business press about this arbitrary agglomeration of people than any other, yet debates seem to go on endlessly.

That’s because there really is no debate, and there really is no such concept as “millennial.” If it wasn’t clear already, millennial values are American values, which is perhaps more obvious this week with the Supreme Court’s decisions around same-sex marriage, health care, andhousing discrimination, which were significantly more in line with millennial thinking than with the baby boom generation.

Millennials are a figment of our imagination, a delusion of marketers and others who believe that the changes in our society are only applicable to a narrow group of people rather than our whole population.

They’re completely wrong.

What’s happening is that people are finally taking advantage of all the technological progress we have made over the past few decades, finding empowerment in the world that was lacking before. We all now have the ability to choose our own paths – our own “passion careers” – and use technology to foster a better future, not just an elite sliver of the population with enough resources.

Unsurprisingly, everyone seems to be doing just that.

We can see technology’s influence on society everywhere. Millennials are described as more “socially conscious” than any other generation, but this is a function of our heavy use of technology, particularly social networks. People today have more access to news and opinion from the United States and around the world than ever before, and it shouldn’t be surprising that conflicts or diseases in other places have an emotional resonance with us that didn’t exist before.

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Why You Should Share to Social Media in the Afternoon

Source: Buffer Social

I love to see new stats and research about how to best share to social media.

If it’s research-backed or numbers-driven, sign me up. These actionable tips are what drive a lot of our experiments at Buffer as we’re keen to see if the best advice from these studies meshes with our experience, too.

And there’s a lot of new info to go off of.

I’ve collected 10 of the latest surprising, revealing studies on social media here in this post, with takeaways and insight into social media timing, Instagram sharing, Facebook users, and more. If you’ve seen a recent study worth mentioning, I’d love to hear from you!

Social Media research 800x400 Why You Should Share to Social Media in the Afternoon

1. The peak performance of social sharing

Late afternoon to nighttime is the best time to reach people on social

Social traffic substantially underperforms overall traffic from about 5 a.m. to noon, and social substantially overperforms overall traffic from about 3 p.m. until 1 a.m.

Chartbeat reported on the data of the sites it tracks, looking at how social media sharing corresponds to site traffic. The general trend seemed to follow: Traffic and social sharing both increase throughout the early morning, peak midday, then lessen into the evening.

The unique finding here was in the subtle difference in exactly where each metric peaks.

Social traffic outperforms website traffic from 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time to 1:00 a.m.

Chartbeat social trfafic web traffic research 800x533 Why You Should Share to Social Media in the Afternoon

2. What the average Facebook user looks like

The very male, college-educated, heavily IT, somewhat liberal demographic

Only two publishers–BuzzFeed and Yahoo!–have more women than men in their audiences at 51% and 56% respectively.

Only two publishers–Forbes and Wired–exceed a 10% likelihood in their audiences working at management level.

Fractl and BuzzStream collaborated on a study of 20 publishers’s Facebook audiences, looking at the Audience Insights for publishers like The Guardian, Wired, BuzzFeed, Yahoo, Huffington Post, and more.

In the case of these audiences, the results skewed heavily in a few directions:

  • 18 of the 20 publishers had an audience that was more male than female.
  • The majority of active users on these pages has graduated from college.
  • All but one publisher had an audience makeup of more IT workers than the U.S. Facebook average.

Facebook Audience Insights for 20 major publishers 800x586 Why You Should Share to Social Media in the Afternoon

Comparisons might be a little tricky to draw between these pages and yours, though the research does point to the value of understanding your audience. My best guess at the demographics of some of these publishers would be that the audience was more female (I was wrong) and perhaps not as IT focused.

 

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New Approaches to Video From Four Digital Leaders

Source: The Media Briefing

If you’ve been paying attention to recent media industry coverage, then you may have been distracted by all this chatter around Facebook Instant.

However, there’s also a much larger tectonic shift happening on the Facebook platform, one that’s not just impacting a tiny pilot group of elite publishers like the Instant experiment: Facebook is pushing video content like crazy.

There are two things going on here.

1)   Facebook is favouring video uploaded through its native player

A Business Insider article claims the social network’s algorithm prioritises videos to make up 30% of the News Feed. And Facebook itself has shared that users are seeing 3.6 times more video compared with one year ago.

2)   Publishers and brands are responding by uploading record amounts of video to Facebook, and getting record engagement.

Liam Corcoran at NewsWhip, a social analytics firm, told me that “average share rates on Facebook native videos are far higher than those of other types of Facebook posts, such as Links and Images.”

Corcoran took the example of BBC News’ Facebook page, where “average share rates per video were over four times higher than those for external links”.

But it’s not just Facebook

Facebook isn’t the only force impacting publishers’ video strategies: newer platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine are already the focus of much experimentation around new video formats. And of course there’s the continued growth in views and uploads on YouTube, which is still a vital platform for most media.

The one constant across all these platforms is the growing consumption of video on mobile – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said 75% of the network’s 4 billion daily video views come from mobile devices.

In need of a better way

Therefore, the current state of video for publishers is this:

The distribution channels and consumption habits are evolving rapidly, and a new approach to video is required. One that caters to a mobile, social audience, and involves a healthy amount of experimentation around new formats and more efficient workflows.

I spoke to some global leaders in the space, to find out what they consider as the new approach to video. Here’s a selection of key quotes:

Jigar Mehta (@jigarmehta), Engagement Lead at AJ + (USA)

  • When we produce video for Facebook, we have to assume that the audience is going to be watching on their mobile phones with no sound, so we have to optimize video to tell the story with no sound.
  • On Facebook, we know that we are competing for time on a platform where content FOMO [fear of missing out] is rampant, so we strive to make our videos very engaging from the start, and not waste any time getting straight into the stories we tell.

  • We are always thinking about how we can get as much information across and tell the stories we need to tell in the shortest amount of time possible, while still being engaging.

Sven Christian (@sven_christian), Head of Video at Spiegel Online (Germany)

[Disclosure, Spiegel Online is a user of the wochit video creation platform]

  • Our emphasis is on scenes, sound bites, and atmospheres. We show, don’t tell!
  • So we use as little comment as possible, instead utilising bullet points to answer the basic questions: who does what where when and try to explain why.
  • Video has the power to transport information quicker and closer to the viewer than text. But text can explain things more deeply. Fortunately I work with fantastic writers: we can show, they can tell.

 

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Video Will Dominate Mobile Usage by 2020

Source: MediaPost

The number of smartphones in use around the world will more than double over the next five years, from 2.6 billion in 2014 to 6.1 billion in 2020, according to a new forecast from network equipment manufacturer Ericsson. That means around 70% of the world’s population will have a smartphone by the latter date, with the bulk of  new mobile subscriptions (two billion) located in the Asia-Pacific region, and another 750 million in the Middle East and Africa.

Meanwhile the total number of connected devices of all kinds, including wearable devices, will soar to 26 billion worldwide over the same period. Mobile handset subscriptions of all kinds (including non-smartphones) will increase from 7.1 billion in 2014 to 9.2 billion in 2020.

Ericsson also predicts that by 2020, 90% of the world population will have access to mobile broadband networks, causing mobile data usage to soar. Worldwide smartphone data usage will increase fivefold, from one gigabyte per month in 2014 to 4.9 gigabytes in 2020, when smartphones will account for 80% of all global mobile data usage. Overall two out of three dollars spent on Internet services will go to mobile access rather than landline services five years from now.

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Which Content Marketing Initiatives Are B2B Tech Marketers Working On?

Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs, IDG

Throughout this report, you’ll see how technology marketers have changed their content marketing practices over the last year and how they compare with the overall sample of B2B marketers who completed our annual content marketing survey. Among all groups we studied this year, technology marketers are the most likely to use content marketing. They’re also the group that is most focused on lead generation as the primary goal for their content marketing efforts. Producing engaging content continues to be a challenge for technology marketers; however, 73% are presently working on initiatives to improve in this area. View the infographic below to see which content marketing initiatives B2B tech marketers are working on today and tomorrow…

Download the full report here

WATCH A VIDEO on paid, owned, earned content marketing trends from this research

CMI Initiatives 19 Which Content Marketing Initiatives Are B2B Tech Marketers Working On?

IDG Communications Launches ABM360™ for Comprehensive Account-Based Marketing

Business Wire

–World’s Leading Tech Media, Data and Services Company Will Provide Sophisticated Lead Generation, Engagement and Targeting Solutions for BtoB Marketers–

IDG Communications today announced the launch of ABM360, a powerful suite of account-based marketing solutions. ABM360 combines IDG’s industry-leading knowledge of the BtoB technology buying cycle with IDG’s 1st party intent data, account-based media, demand generation and marketing services to enable marketers to identify purchasing intent at the company and decision maker level.

Technology marketers continue to be challenged by delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right buyer. ABM360 is the only truly global account-based marketing solution that leverages digital display, demand generation, and data solutions to help marketers identify purchasing intent.

“Mediacom has already come to rely upon IDG’s ABM solutions as an integral part of our clients’ campaigns,” said LaShena Huddleston, Media Director, Mediacom. “We’ve run dozens of campaigns using these tools, and they have proven to deliver a winning combination of innovation and most importantly, results.”

ABM360 reflects IDG’s core capabilities across all facets of technology marketing. By combining IDG’s 1st party personal and contextual data with its demand generation, media, and creative services, ABM360 gives marketers unprecedented global access to the companies and decision makers that matter most.

“IDG’s focus on delivering results has been a game-changer for HP Fortify,” said Majken Pullin, Americas Security Campaign Manager at Hewlett-Packard. “Our use of IDG Sonar, a component of ABM360, shows us that IDG understands the technology industry and buyer intent better than anyone.”

The comprehensive solutions in the ABM360 suite include:

  • Target Account Media – A media targeting solution that helps reach account lists at scale to drive awareness and interest
  • High Intent Media – A solution that applies intelligence to surround high intent accounts with targeted media
  • Creative Personalization – A creative solution that drives better engagement through the use of media that dynamically personalizes based on company data
  • Target Account Lead Generation – A lead generation solution that helps marketers focus on only the accounts with the greatest potential for their business
  • IDG Sonar– A data-enhanced demand generation program which provides actionable sales intelligence at the company and individual decision-maker levels. Sonar intelligence derives intent from IDG’s 1st party data combined with 3rd party data and validates that intent with a BANT-style qualification
  • Deep Media Nurturing – A content marketing program that uses highly-targeted, personalized media to nurture individuals through the purchasing cycle

“IDG knows the technology purchase process better than anyone,” said Michael Friedenberg, CEO, IDG Communications. “This expertise led us to create a suite of ABM products that specifically helps technology marketers identify company purchasing behavior and the people driving these decisions. IDG is the only company to leverage digital display, data and demand generation on a global basis to unlock revenue for marketers and deliver real ROI.”

In the coming months, IDG will be layering new products into the ABM360 suite that leverage predictive analytics and additional advanced data segments.

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For more detail on IDG’s ABM360, click here.

Screen Shot 2015 06 15 at 11.15.37 AM IDG Communications Launches ABM360™ for Comprehensive Account Based Marketing

IDG.tv to Unify Global Video Content

Yahoo! Finance

IDG Communications today announced strategic enhancements that will allow IDG.tv to give marketers unprecedented video reach, distribution and targeting in 97 countries and provide even more compelling video content to its audiences.

The company is unifying all of its video content from its tech media properties on a global basis, and recently launched IDG Studios, creating core content for its channels as well as original, episodic programming on IDG.tv for both enterprise and consumer technology audiences.

According to comScore Video Metrix, IDG was the #1 tech property in video in March 2015 with 9.93 million total unique viewers, thanks to its trusted and engaging insights, analysis and reviews from premium trusted media brands including CIO, NetworkWorld, MacWorld, PCWorld and outpacing its the nearest competitor AOL Tech by over 3.5 million unique viewers.

“IDG is a global, tech video content and distribution powerhouse. Our premium owned and operated brands and the broad reach of IDG TechNetwork, is a winning combination,” said Dina Roman, General Manager, IDG.tv. “Add to that a slate of original programming that offers unique sponsorships for marketers, and a unified, scaled global distribution platform that we can curate and control, IDG continues to provide a wide variety of targeting opportunities across an affluent, tech-savvy audience.”

As part of its new unified content strategy, IDG.tv will offer a consistent video programming calendar, with seasonal consumer and technology event-based themes, across all of its properties as well as on more than 500 sites in the IDG TechNetwork. IDG Studios’ new and original episodic programming will include original content for viewers, such as Hardcore HardwareBreakout Startups and WorldTech Update, as well as custom editorial series created on behalf of some of the world’s largest technology marketers.

Kyle Kramer, a proven digital video expert, was recruited from Vox Media to serve as IDG’s VP of Video Programming. Kramer served as Head of Production at Vox Media where he oversaw studio operations and award-winning production for all Vox Media properties, including The Verge, Polygon, SB Nation, Eater, Racked, Curbed & Vox.

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‘Dirty’ Data & Email Subject Lines

IDG Connect Marketers

This week’s marketing news roundup focuses on marketers wasting time on ‘dirty’ data and which email subject lines are most effective.

‘Dirty’ Data

Data is vital for B2B marketing but it looks like marketers could be wasting their time and effort on dirty data. According to a Spear Marketing Group recent poll, 54% of US B2B marketing executives estimated that over 25% of their marketing database included old, inaccurate, unusable or duplicate leads. Furthermore the majority of respondents described the accuracy of their data as “fair,” or “bad”. This problem also often manifests itself as a barrier to marketing across multiple channels.Econsultancy has found that 42% of marketers say inaccurate contact data is the biggest barrier to multichannel marketing.

‘Dirty’ data is not only wasting marketer’s time, it also affects the bottom line. Experian Data Quality research has found that the cost of inaccurate data has a direct impact on the bottom line of 88% of companies, with the average company losing 12% of its revenue.

Even though marketers have identified this problem, it looks like they’re reluctant to use solutions to overcome it. With 46% of respondents not employing such tools to automatically enrich, append, clean or de-dupe leads before they entered the system.

Email Subject Lines

Email subject lines can determine the success of your campaign. With so many emails flooding into mailboxes, competition is getting stiffer. And no matter how good your email design is, it won’t be seen if your email subject if it’s not engaging. Return Path’s recent study analysed nine million subject lines received by more than nine million subscribers to discover which subject lines are gaining the most success.

You may have often heard that shorter subject lines increases your read rate chances however the study has found no relationship between subject line length and read rate. Subject lines with 61-70 characters had the highest read rate and almost twice the read rate of subject lines with more than 100 characters. Even though the study demonstrates a higher read rate in the study, longer character emails only comprised of just 6% and 3% of the study. While the most commonly used length was 41-50 characters, in one-quarter of emails analysed.

The research discussed that even though there isn’t a relationship between subject line length and read rate it explains marketers should not pay attention to length. Mobile devices display subject lines in different ways and the research suggests that it’s more important to place a CTA at the beginning of a subject line if the audience is primarily mobile.

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5 Words That Will Kill Your Blog

UnMarketing

You’ve done the hardest parts of writing a blog post: Gotten the reader to your site, evoked a strong enough emotion to make them feel they need to add to the discussion and leave a comment, and they submit it and see this:

“Your comment is awaiting moderation”

“Your comment is awaiting approval”

“You need to register first”

Congratulations, you’ve just halted the conversation on your post.

For the most part, moderation is used to stop spam from appearing not necessarily to censor comments, but you’re hurting the voice of the very people that can be your biggest evangelists.

There are many issues with this:

  1. When a commenter sees those five words and has to wait for approval, it will stop them from spreading the post until it has been approved
  2. 99% of the time the commenter doesn’t get a notification that the comment has been approved, and so never spreads the original post at all.
  3. The flow of comments is dictated by the blog owners ability to approve comments in a timely fashion.
  4. As soon as a commenter sees that their original comment is awaiting moderation, they will hesitate to comment on anyone else’s comment in the thread.
  5. The commenter doesn’t know if it’s awaiting approval for being a non-spam comment, or that the blog owner is only allowing positive comments.

If the spam issue is your main reason for moderating blog comments, there are a few quick fixes.

  1. Install the Askimet plugin. This well-known, and free for personal use tool is amazing for filtering out spam comments. I average 100+ comments per post, and have only ever had to delete one spam comment that made it past Askimet’s filter.
  2. Use a comment management system like Disqus. That’s the system I use here. It allows threaded comments, meaning I or others can reply in-line to a comment and it makes it linked as a conversation, including emailing the original commenter that someone has replied, so they can return and continue the engagement. It also emails me every time someone comments, and I can reply on my Blackberry in the email, and it will post it as a comment. Not to mention if a spam comment slips through (or a troll) I just reply to the email with “delete” and it’s gone instantly.

There are some valid reasons to moderate comments, such as very sensitive topic-based sites (especially religion, politics, parents against Justin Bieber) and also large corporate blogs that have certain topics that bring out the “special” folks of the world.

But for the most part I see moderation being done on the very blogs that need comments: the ones that don’t have many at all. Especially when you’re starting out, let the conversation flow. Create community and engagement. The comments on my posts are 10X better than my original post. Why would I want to stifle that?

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What Google’s Mobile-First Rules Mean For Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing Land

The news that Google was rolling out a mobile-friendly algorithm should have come as no surprise. As the search giant revealed yesterday, mobile search queries on smartphones now outnumber those on tablets and desktops.

Nonetheless, the announcement was unprecedented in one respect: Google ostensibly manages some 200 algorithms that govern how websites are ranked in its search engine, but changes or adjustments rarely, if ever, trigger public notice. This time, Google announced the change in mobile search months ahead to give companies time to optimize websites for mobile users.

It’s a clear signal. We now live in a world in which mobile increasingly comes first — and that means marketers need to deliver mobile-friendly experiences.

Google Redefines Mobile-Friendly

What’s at stake? Portent, a market-research firm, ran tests based on the new rules and found that, “40% of the leading sites failed Google’s ‘mobile-friendly’ test and may be down-ranked in search.”

Under the new mobile rules, Google will be giving preferential search rankings to sites optimized for mobile. Or, as Google said, “This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.” The change will affect mobile searches in all languages, Google says, and have a “significant impact on search results.”

Google defines “mobile friendly” as sites featuring readable text without zooming, content sized to a smartphone screen (no horizontal scrolling required), easy use of links and the absence of applications not customary in mobile like Flash. Sites not meeting this standard will likely fall in search rankings, although strong content will continue to be rewarded.

At this point, the rules relate to searches on smartphones, but it’s likely only a matter of time until tablets are added.

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