Tag Archives: MYSPACE

Here are the latest online video advertising numbers

December 29, 2011
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Though advertisers and agencies are often increasing their investments in digital video advertising at the expense of offline/traditional branding/advertising efforts, findings from DIGIDAY and Adap.tv suggest funding also comes at the expense of current display advertising budgets.

According to a November study, advertisers were more likely to fund their online video advertising efforts from offline channels such as print and broadcast TV than their agency counterparts. Advertisers most often planned to shift budget from print (41%), while 29% said they would take dollars from broadcast TV to fund their digital video advertising efforts. Just 24% planned to pull from display.

Agencies said boosts to online video budgets would most come at the expense of display (43%), indicating a general move away from less dynamic ad formats, such as banner ads, in favor of those with greater engagement potential.

Channels Their Clients Plan to Shift Budget from to Fund Online Video Ads According to Agencies and Advertisers in North America, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

In addition, 39% of agencies said they would fund video from broadcast TV budgets. Though findings appear to suggest advertisers and agencies are shifting budgets away from TV toward video ads, more than half (56%) of respondents viewed online video as a direct complement to—and not a replacement for—their TV ad programs. Just 11% looked to online video to replace their TV ads, reported eMarketer.

In the past year, both advertisers and agencies have shifted their primary video advertising objectives from brand awareness to brand engagement, perhaps suggesting marketers are moving away from viewing digital video as a mere extension of TV ads and moving toward embracing online video for its ability to more directly engage viewers in a dynamic way.

By enabling video ads with social sharing and other calls to action, marketers can use digital video as a springboard to additional online engagement on social networks, their website and even mobile apps.

Online Video Ad Objectives According to Advertisers in North America, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

Mobile is a growing area of interest for video advertisers, yet publisher offerings lag brand adoption. For example, 42% of advertisers and agencies have purchased iPhone-compatible video ads, yet only 35% of publishers supported such ads. Differences for Android video ads (31% vs. 28%, respectively) and iPad ads (41% vs. 35%) were similar.

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Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador Siri , as it could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.

On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?

In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.

For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.


Little is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.

 And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, localbusiness owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.

Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:

Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.



In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website willmake them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits.
  • Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.

Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.

• Foursquare
• Savings.com
• Retailmenot
• Judy’s Book
• Citysearch
• Superpages
• Yellow Pages

To determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.

Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.

While Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them.

 

Getting Digital Marketing Right:Q&A with Google’s Industry Director for Retail Todd Pollak

17 September, 2011

Q&A with Google’s Industry Director for Retail Todd Pollak: Getting Digital Marketing Right

What are a few of the top trends you’re seeing in digital retail this year?
In no particular order…mobile, social, deals and convenience. The cost of walking out of a store is cheaper than it has ever been. For the first time in history, consumers have the ability to save the absolute amount of time and money at zero incremental cost regardless of whether they’re standing in a store with their coveted merchandise in hand. When you have two-parent working families with kids who have more activities, an economy generating flat income growth relative to inflation and rising commodity prices, the pressure to adapt and find efficiencies to maximize your lifestyle accelerates.

Just as retailers are increasing productivity through adoption of technology like CRM, connected stores, recommendation engines, free shipping, site-to-store, etc., the vast majority of consumers are also using technology to steepen their value and efficiency curve and improve their lifestyles. Deals, recommendations, inventory availability and price comparison have become so accessible to Main Street that the traditional ways consumers look to save money more clearly than ever express their true costs of use.

Are digital technologies reinventing the relationship between consumers and advertisers? What does this mean for retailers?
Shopping tools that are always available, predicated on simplicity and elegant design combined with real mobile processing power have fundamentally changed retailing forever.

There are 330 million search results for “my 2-year-old can use an iPhone.” In short, technology is more accessible than it has ever been at a time when inventory, pricing, reviews and recommendations information have reached near 100% transparency for non-perishable goods. Today, we have easy-to-use tools that personalize, organize and filter information like Groupon, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google.

Consumers’ understanding of these tools is peaking and usage has become more sophisticated overtime.
Retailers should be focused not just on where consumers spend their time researching and buying, but on how best to tailor their tactics based on the transitions people make by device and by location. From desktop at work, to tablets after work on the couch, to mobile in the aisles, focus on transitions in mindset and context. Size of screen and location impact the kinds of information people seek.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about one of the biggest social media announcements of the year – the launch of Google+. Will you share three tips for retailers looking to leverage the platform?
Social seems to have its most significant impact at the front – through awareness – and backend – through conversion – of the buying cycle. What deals are available? What brands or products do people who are like me buy and when it comes down to the final choice, which brand do people like me buy? It’s still very early days and retailers are investing in the promise of tomorrow.

Today, social signals are relatively one dimensional in that they express interest, but not necessarily intent. In the future, companies that make sense of these connections and influences by understanding their relationships will revolutionize the way retailers merchandise and personalize their stores for each customer.

At Google, our goal is to use social signals to improve consumer experiences across Google properties and partners. In the near term, we’ll enhance the relevance of intent-based queries which are already delivering the most qualified customers on the web to retailers. If someone is looking for barefoot running shoes and their friend endorses a specific result for barefoot running shoes, we believes this will improve engagement for brands, improve the relevance of generic queries and deliver higher conversion rates for our partners.

According to this year’s State of Retailing Online report, search is still the number one marketing acquisition tool for online retailers. I know you can’t tell us what’s in the Google secret search optimization sauce, but what common mistakes do you see among retail clients when it comes to optimizing their site for search?
For multichannel retailers, too many still optimize for an online conversion and view all other paid search visits to the website as waste. Many focus their investments on 2% of their traffic as though the only people who come to a website are online buyers. This happens because the organization views the website as one store, although a very profitable one, and not the gateway to the brand. The stores benefit far more from the website than the online division, they just don’t fully measure online to store activity. The first stop for any consumer – regardless of where they intend to buy – is a website. As long as online divisions are hyper-focused on converting every visit, the consumer experience, which is tied to the whole brand, will be sub-optimal. To create an optimal customer experience, online divisions need to focus less on converting every visitor online and more about the overall customer intention and experience.

The other piece of advice I’d give is to think differently about website visitation by category. People don’t buy sheets the same way they buy blenders so if you’re using the same layouts, information, attribution window for transaction across all your categories…there’s an opportunity to increase topline revenue by optimizing for each category.

As online and offline continue to blur, retailers are hoping to increase customer insight and build relationships between online and the physical world. What tips do you have for retailers looking to leverage this customer data?

The consumer has changed and as a result, retailers must structure themselves for the 21st century.

First, align your organization to optimize for delighting the consumer regardless of the channel. From the CEO down, the whole organization must commit to the idea of a single profit center where everyone is fairly compensated and media is optimized for any conversion regardless of channel. In short, start by eliminating internal friction. This is a must do, because consumers don’t see any difference between your stores and your website. Creating separate PnLs that compete for resources, media dollars, etc. creates confusion for the consumer and damages a brand. Most of our testing demonstrates that the stores benefit far more from a visit to the website than the .com.

Second, invest in continuous testing. I’m always surprised when retailers expect a single test with a positive or negative outcome to change a media mix that’s been built over 10 years. Make a long-term commitment to solving this because you have to believe that eventually 20%+ of commerce in the U.S. will happen online.

Third, invest in a single view of the customer. That means breaking down the data silos between stores, website analytics and online transactions. This will enable top line revenue growth for your company by truly understanding the lifetime value of your customers.

How are you seeing locality play out in the current customer shopping experience? 
Location is still one of the most important factors for a traditional retail business. Today’s consumer wants instant gratification as a result of technology. Price transparency and inventory availability make local shopping more important than ever before. Your customers expect that they only have to drive to your store if you have what they need, when they need it.

I don’t think that retailing has changed all that much. The foundational things still apply, but technology that can identify a customer’s current location presents all kinds of interesting opportunities to encourage a visit that never existed before.

Mobile is accelerating the importance of a local strategy. There are over 100 million Google mobile maps users in the U.S. Some of our best performing ad units on a mobile device are brand searches and click-to-call. Consumers use their phones as shopping tools to save time looking for your store locations and calling for information. In fact, we have data that shows that mobile queries peak at the same time that offline sales peak. Those consumers who are a bit further ahead of the curve know they can find inventory availability and pricing information by store location on the web as well.

The easier the tools are to use, the smarter we become about who the shopper is and what she likes, the more opportunity there will be for advertisers to design an exceptional and personalized shopping experience for their customers.

What do you think the 2011 holiday season holds for retail? 
Long lines and aggressive shoppers have been hyped by the media for the past three years. True or not, this stuff sticks with people. As a result, a greater share of transactions will shift to the web again in 2011. Shoppers will buy earlier and deal sites will see gains as consumers hunt for values. Increased use of technology in the aisles as a shopping assistant, as well as mobile and tablet usage will see exponential growth.

What is the number one recommendation you’d make for retail companies as they begin their holiday planning?
Don’t build another microsite. Increase your presence in social communities where consumers already spend time. You’ll activate a lot more users and benefit from network effects.

GOOGLE CREDIT CARD TO BE OFFERED TO SELECT U.S. CLIENTS

Google Inc is offering its clients a credit line by introducing a credit card for its advertising customers in order to trump the competition in the online ad marketplace.

Google is offering the card to select U.S. clients with a competitive interest rate, ample credit line and no annual fee. The card can only be used to buy search advertising on Google, the world’s No.1 Internet search advertising network.

The AdWords Business credit card is another Google first; it could enable marketers to spend more on its search ads.

Google, said the credit card was designed to help small and medium-sized businesses that advertise on Google who often do not have the budgets to support ad campaigns ahead of a heavy sales seasons and holidays such as Valentine’s day or Halloween.

Many small businesses are resource-constrained and are often cash flow-strapped yet still trying to grow a business.

Many consumer-oriented companies  have offered credit cards for years to drive purchases, inspire customer loyalty and track spending habits. Some retailers that own their own credit card operations also earn some interest income.

Google will email invitations offering the credit card to some of its customers on Wednesday. The card will initially be available as a “beta” test, available to select users.

Google makes 96 percent of its revenue from advertising, the majority of which comes from the small ads that appear alongside its search results, known as AdWords. Google’s AdWords business faces growing competition from a search alliance between Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc, as well as from social networks like Facebook, which is becomingvery popular with advertisers.

The AdWords card is a MasterCard that will be issued through the World Financial Capital Bank. The card’s 8.99 percent annual percentage rate is the ongoing rate, and not an introductory rate, Google said.

Google is keeping quiet on many of the other details, including the minimum and maximum credit lines available and the number of people to whom the card will be offered.

Google said the credit card will be offered to a “statistically significant” number of people as Google examines the results of how availability of the card affects customer spending behavior.

Even though availability will skew toward smaller businesses, Google will cast a wide enough net to can  see what resonates depending on historical monthly spend.

Google will evaluate customers’ creditworthiness through a combination of internal efforts and with the help of a financial partner.

The main motive for the card is to provide loans to Google customers in an economic environment in which getting credit can be tough. It’s based on customer need.

One popular perk missing from Google’s credit card is the ability to rack up airline miles or other rewards with purchases.

FBI Uses Social Media To Search for Fugitive Who Inspired “The Departed”

Many advertisers have included social media outreach in their campaigns for years, but Wednesday’s arrest of fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger illustrates how the FBI is also a convert to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The law enforcement agency launched a campaign in 14 cities on Monday aiming to help agents catch Bulger, the Boston mobster who had been on the lam for 16 years and was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in the 2006 film The Departed. The campaign included outreach on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. By Wednesday evening, the feds had their man: Bulger surrendered in Santa Monica, California. The FBI announced the arrest on Twitter:

Before we give too much credit to social media, though, it should be noted that Bulger was ultimately done in by a TV ad. The ad, which appears above and targets Bulger’s companion, Catherine Greig, was also placed on the FBI’s Facebook Page on Monday. It was also loaded to the agency’s YouTube Channeland referenced in its Twitter feed.

The FBI began using social media in 2009, when it set up shopon Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. “To reach out to the public, we need to be where people are—and we know tens of millions of people spend their time in social media sites,” said John Miller, head of FBI Public Affairs, in a statement at the time. Prior to that, a company called NIC, which was founded by a former law enforcement officer, introduced a Most Wanted iPhone app that displayed the agency’s “Most Wanted” list.

Survey: Retailers Increasing Mobile And Social Efforts

5/ 3/11-  A growing number of retailers are experimenting with mobile and social marketing & media initiatives; some are paying immediate dividends and some are still speculative. According to a Forrester Research survey, 91 percent of retailers currently have a mobile strategy in place or in development, up from 74 percent a year ago. 72 percent of retailers say they will increase their spending on social networks this year over last year.  Retailers report that 21 percent of all mobile traffic is coming from tablets, amazing considering the iPad was launched barely a year ago. Although overall mobile traffic and revenue has not increased dramatically, studies suggest that investment levels in site optimization may still be inadequate. 48 percent of retailers report having a mobile-optimized website; 35 percent have deployed an iPhone app; and 15 percent offer an Android app and an iPad app, respectively. Challenges for retailers include differentiating the consumer experience on a tablet versus a smartphone and figuring out features and functionality and dueling app/mobile ecosystems.

Retailers’ main focus right now should be leveraging the tremendous popularity of tablet devices, such as the iPad. “Smart retailers  are creating mobile apps that make their brands seem current, entertaining and fun, while creating an opportunity to connect with more shoppers than ever before.

In past years, social networks surfaced higher as an investment area among retailers. This year, social networks ranked fourth on the list of successful customer acquisition sources, up significantly from last year. ROI from social is still seen by many as “muddy”: 62 percent of retailers said the returns on social marketing strategies are unclear, and almost  the same percentage said the main takeaway from social marketing is listening to and gaining better understanding customers.

This data indicates that most retailers are making significant investments in social and mobile tactics this year. Retailers and marketers executives should have modest expectations for the benefits of social media marketing for now. In mobile, the best retailers will be working to increasingly integrate features and functionality into the store experience because while consumers may not be extensively using mobile for product information yet, basic store information,  pricing and easy checkout capabilities are  presenting the biggest opportunities for most retailers sites in the near term.

By the Numbers.. Social Media’s Current State

Ignite Social Media compares the trends of the years past, habits of men vs women and which social networking outlets are on the rise along with which are plummeting. Do you agree?