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Agenda 15

03/30/2015 - 04/01/2015 Amelia Island FL

advertising-marketing

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How Google’s Emphasis On Mobile Will Affect You

MediaPost

When it comes to search algorithm changes, Google has gone from making official announcements to a “this is something we do every day so don’t expect to hear from us” attitude. With this in mind, the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm change is a very big deal. As background, here is a high-level history of events:

  • June 11, 2013: Google announced specific recommendations for developing mobile-friendly websites. It listed common configuration mistakes and explicitly called out faulty redirects and smartphone-specific errors (incorrectly served 404s, Googlebot Mobile and unplayable videos).
  • September–October, 2014: Google tested several different mobile-specific indicators, using both mobile-friendly and non-mobile-friendly icons.
  • November 18, 2014: Google officially launched mobile-friendly designations to results in mobile search.
  • February 26, 2015: Google announced that, on April 21, it will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

Google has gotten very serious about mobile search and is taking a primary role in improving the experience. In other words, we’re on notice to clean up our site(s). The good news is that Google is providing instructions and tools to help us do this. Here are the top three things that every website owner needs to do in anticipation of the April 21 deadline:

1)     Make use of Google’s guide to mobile-friendly websites.Google provides a 60+ page guide that discusses why and how to build a mobile-friendly website. There are dedicated guides for several open-source CMS platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.), as well as a specific guide to mobile SEO, with special emphasis on avoiding common mistakes.

2)     Test your site using Google’s Tools. Users of Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) are already familiar with Google’s emphasis on mobile, as WMT has been alerting users to “fix mobile usability issues found on site xyz.” Clicking on “View details” brings users to a three-step process: 1) Inspect mobile issues, 2) Follow these guidelines and 3) Fix mobile usability issues. For those just starting out or who don’t have a WMT account, Google provides the ability to test a single page. This report groups all of the errors in one page and links on how to fix the errors, based on how the site was built (I built via CMS, I built myself, I had someone build the site).

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5 Tips For Mobile Video

Journalism.co.uk

Mobile and video are two buzzwords of digital journalism from recent years, but there were initial doubts over whether they could be combined successfully.

As screen sizes have grown and internet connectivity improved, the concept is no longer in question.

Mobile was the focus at last week’s Online News Association event in London, and Cameron Church, director of digital video company Stream Foundations and previously of Brightcove, discussed his work in helping news publishers make the most out of their video offering, especially on mobile.

He shared his thoughts and advice on the subject.

‘You are not your audience’

“Unless you sit there and click play a million times a day or week,” said Church, “you’re not going to be the one that gets to choose what works or doesn’t work.”

While producers or journalists may sit in their cosy, stationary editing suite or at a desk, the audience is out watching video on the move.

Editors still need to “empower creative spirit,” he said, “but rein them in a little bit because they have to get back into real connection” with serving their audience.

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IDG’s Chief Content Officer: Separate Content Marketing From Marketing

Huffington Post

Since our first CXOTalk show launched in 2013 with Guy Kawasaki, I have interviewed 12 startup founders/CEOs, 15 Fortune 250 executives, 28 Chief Information Officers, 10 technology analysts including Group Vice Presidents from Gartner and IDC, seven venture capitalists, six bestselling authors, one Emmy award winner, one Brigadier General and one NBA team owner. After hosting our 100th episode last week, we can now add to that impressive guest roster, our first Chief Content Officer, John Gallant of IDG Communications.

2015 03 07 1425738085 6610421 123north thumb IDGs Chief Content Officer: Separate Content Marketing From Marketing
John Gallant, Chief Content Officer – IDG Media US

As Chief Content Officer for the largest technology publishing company in the world (IDG literally publishes in every continent), Gallant (Twitter: @JohnGallant1) works with editorial teams to set content strategy and figure out how to leverage social and mobile as he determines the overall content strategy that drives the business of IDG in the U.S. The print industry has been completely re-vamped by digital transformation. With just one print publication left today, CIO Magazine, IDG has reinvented itself and continues to serve their audience using a rich array of media such as web-based tools, social media, podcasts and events.

Content is so important, not just to marketing, but to all businesses looking to drive successful outcomes. More and more companies are realizing the importance of quality content and the role it plays in building that ongoing relationship with their customers, however when you look across the technology landscape, there are a lot of people covering a lot of similar technologies. IDG differentiates their brand by focusing on delivering high-value content targeted for specific audiences that is not being delivered by another brand in the market.

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The Most Powerful Player in Media You’ve Never Heard Of

Wall Street Journal

Across the media landscape, high-stakes battles are raging over measurement.

In the online world, there’s controversy over how to measure the “viewability” of ads – proof that a person is able to actually see them. In the TV world, networks say traditional ratings aren’t adequately measuring viewing on digital platforms.

At the center of the storm is a body few in the media industry pay attention to: the Media Rating Council.

The little-known New York-based outfit, a non-profit founded in the 1960s, is the lone organization setting the rules for how media consumption is tracked. It is charged with accrediting and auditing the Nielsens and Rentraks of the world, putting it in position to influence the flows of billions of advertising dollars in television and online in coming years.

“People don’t even know we exist,” said George Ivie, the MRC’s chief executive.

In the digital advertising world, though, MRC has lately come into the spotlight as the debate heats up over viewability. For years, media companies charged advertisers every time an ad was “served” on a Web page. But there are many occasions when users can’t possibly see those ads, because they scroll past them or because they’re on part of a page that isn’t visible.

About four years ago, several of the ad industry’s largest trade organizations launched an initiative to move the industry toward a “viewability” model in which marketers pay for ads that are actually able to be seen, not just served. The MRC was tapped to serve as the standard setter and quasi-referee.

After an exhaustive process, last year the MRC–in conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Interactive Advertising Bureau–released its standard: an ad is viewable as long as 50% of it appears on a person’s screen for one second, and two seconds for video ads. The organization has accredited 16 different companies to track viewability for display ads, and six for video ads—a total of 18 companies.

The early reviews of MRC’s work are harsh in some corners of the digital advertising industry. Publishers say complying with the viewability standard is a nightmare, because all of the accredited companies have different methods and technologies to measure viewability and arrive at conflicting results. That has caused messy and heated negotiations between advertisers and publishers.

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Publishers love WhatsApp’s potential, but struggle with execution

DIGIDAY

Publishers have a love-hate relationship with WhatsApp. While many are seeing big numbers from the platform, they’re also wrangling with a handful of product issues that complicate how they’re approaching the platform.

For publishers such The Huffington Post U.K. and Daily Mirror, which use WhatsApp to send breaking news alerts to readers, the big challenge is the work involved in getting people signed up for the alerts. It’s an arduous process on both ends. To get the alerts, readers have to send a message to a dedicated number setup by a publisher, which is a more-lengthy process than clicking a “Like” or “Follow” button.

But that’s only the beginning of the process: To get those alerts out to readers, publishers have to add every signed up user to a Broadcast List, which is what lets WhatsApp users send messages to many people at once. That’s a long process for publishers’ small social media teams, and it’s made more complicated by WhatsApp limiting each broadcast list to 256 users.

“It’s an absolute nightmare,” said Chris York, social media editor at Huffington Post U.K., which launched its first WhatsApp trials in October. York said that process of adding and removing WhatsApp users from its Broadcast lists has been so laborious that The Huffington Post has stopped actively marketing the feature. “We’ve only just scratched the surface of what we could achieve with WhatsApp and we’re really excited to keep innovating with their platform,” he added.

Other publishers are seeing the same issues. The Daily Mirror, which started sending out WhatsApp politics alerts last week, has already felt the heat. “We don’t have the biggest team, and it’s a very manual process, particularly in comparison to something like Twitter,” said Heather Bowen, head of social media at The Daily Mirror.

But publisher frustrations with WhatsApp are in part due to the basic reality that WhatsApp was designed for small-scale commutation, large-scale broadcasting.

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Video: IT Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Across The 3rd Platform

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Video: IT Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Across The 3rd Platform

How are vendors, IT enterprises, and investors making decisions with 3rd Platform technologies? Since 2012, M&A deals have been skyrocketing in both deal volume and value. In 2014, total IT disclosed deal volume jumped to $476 billion and had almost 1,300 deals associated with cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies.

IDC’s Vendor Watch Service provides expert guidance on smaller, private tech vendors before they hit the public radar.

Click here to watch IDC Tech Talk videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/IDCTechTalk

IDC’s TechTalk highlights the latest industry trends for IT Executives, brought to you by IDC’s leading analysts. Browse topics from Cloud Computing, Mobility, Social Business, Big Data and more

YouTube’s subscription service struggles to take off

DIGIDAY

YouTube is planning to launch a paid subscription video service later this year. But the Google-owned company is having a tough time getting some of its content partners to sign up, according to several sources at publishers and multichannel networks.

YouTube approached a number of video publishers and multichannel networks (MCNs) late last year, asking each to sign a “subscription offerings amendment” that would make all of their YouTube content available through a paid service, according to Digiday’s sources. A sleek, ad-free video subscription service could generate a pivotal revenue stream for YouTube, which has reportedly failed to turn a profit despite attracting over a billion monthly viewers. Yet several of YouTube’s current content partners have been reluctant to sign on the dotted line.

“The amendment was so general,” said an executive at one publisher with a major YouTube presence. “It’s basically saying, ‘Hey, sign up and your content will be behind a subscription wall.’ But there was no revenue share or any guarantee you wouldn’t just lose out on the ad revenue. It made us really nervous. We are reticent to sign something without knowing what it actually means for us financially.”

That publisher has yet to sign the amendment, waiting for more information and revisions from YouTube before agreeing to pipe its content into a YouTube subscription service. YouTube itself has yet to nail down the scope of its subscription plans, the executive told Digiday, even though YouTube’s content chief Robert Kyncl suggested at Recode’s “Code/Media” conference last week that YouTube is putting the “final tweaks” on the service.

One MCN executive said YouTube intended to launch the service in the first quarter of 2015, but will miss that launch window. A YouTube spokesperson declined to discuss that assertion or anything about the subscription service on the record.

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How Four Top Publishers Use Facebook For Video

The Media Briefing

Facebook video usage has skyrocketed over the past year, which makes it particularly attractive for publishers given what seems to be ever-shrinking organic reach with other types of posts.

According to figures recently released by the social network, Facebook users are seeing nearly 4 times more video in their feeds compared to one year ago. That’s a steady 1 billion video views every day for the network. Crucially, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said during a an earnings call last month that over 65 percent of videos are watched on mobile devices.

As online video continues to rise in importance for the modern media company, I spoke to a handful of top publishers to collect some best practices for using video on Facebook, and to better understand what might be at risk.

The Economist: Marketing the brand with video

“For us it’s about reach and informing people that The Economist doesn’t just write about finance and economics all the time.”

Before posting videos to Facebook, The Economist had the fairly standard practice amongst news outlets of publishing video on its own website and monetising through pre-roll advertising. Last summer however, Tom Standage, deputy editor and head of digital strategy, decided that wasn’t “a viable long-term video strategy”.

After effectively doubling the publication’s video views by posting video content to YouTube, Standage started experimenting with uploading videos via the native Facebook player, which had “a much greater impact” on the number of views. He says:

“We are using this observation that if you post videos with a native player you can get millions of views as the basis of a new video strategy which we are still developing. For us it’s about reach and informing people that The Economist doesn’t just write about finance and economics all the time.”

The Economist’s most successful video on Facebook was a 4 minute-long animated graphic with voice-over about demographics, what Standage calls a “live chart”. The publication has had over 800,000 views on Facebook alone of that video.

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FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2014 Report

FreeWheel

Digital video’s impressive growth this quarter was headlined by the crown jewels of the TV industry; first-run shows and live events. With considerable growth in both the digital monetization of the Broadcast networks’ Fall programming and live streaming, there is ample evidence to indicate that the TV ecosystem is expanding and becoming screen-agnostic.

Key Highlights:

 

  • Live viewing grew 297% year-over-year, driven by strong growth in Sports streaming and News simulcasts.
  • First-run broadcast shows attracted far more viewers this quarter than the year prior, as seen by a 67% increase in digital video ad views.
  • Over-the top (OTT) streaming devices, overwhelmingly used for long-form and live viewing, overtook tablets, accounting for 8% of all video ad views.
  • Authenticated viewing grew 591% year-over-year, as 56% of all video ad views on long-form and live content now come from behind authentication walls.

Screen Shot 2015 03 09 at 1.08.06 PM FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2014 Report

Download the full Video Monetization Report Q4 2014

Gamification Can Help People Actually Use Analytics Tools

Harvard Business Review

If you’re trying to use advanced analytics to improve your organization’s decisions, join the club. Most of the companies I talk to are embarked on just such a quest. But it’s a rocky one.

The technological challenge is hard enough. You have to identify the right data and develop useful tools, such as predictive algorithms. But then comes an even tougher task: getting people to actually use the new tools.

Why is the people factor so important? It’s easy enough to automate routine decisions, such as identifying likely buyers for a product upgrade. But many decisions in today’s knowledge economy depend on expertise and experience. Think of bankers deciding on business loans, product developers determining tradeoffs between features and cost, or B2B sales reps figuring out which prospects to target. Analytics can help codify the logic of the best decision makers, but it can’t replace human judgment.

Moreover, the tools developed for contexts like these can be complex, often involving a steep learning curve. If decision makers aren’t willing to experiment with the tool and improve their outcomes over time, then your investment in the technology is wasted.

Right here, some say, is where a company could use gamification to encourage people to invest the time and learn how to use the new tools.

 

Gamification means using motivational techniques like those the videogame industry has put to such effective use. Anyone with teenagers in the house knows that they will spend long hours on their own, trying to get to the next level of their favorite game. Motivation experts like Dan Pink would say that the games are tapping into some basic human drives: for autonomy (you control your own pace), for mastery (you get better over time), and for a sense of purpose (you’re aiming at a well-defined goal). The social factor is important, too. Gamers love to match their skills against others and to compare notes on how they’re doing.

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