Posts Tagged ‘news’
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
As you’ve probably heard, Google just wrapped up its developer’s conference known as Google I/O. The annual conference is the venue for new product releases, major updates and announcements that have the potential to impact consumers and businesses.
Here are the biggest announcements from the conference:
New Google+ Design
Google+ has been gaining momentum, and Google unveiled a new design to go along with all the growth. It’s true that Google+ may not exactly be Facebook, but it does have 190 million users, and the value it can bring to search engine optimisation campaigns is no secret.
The new multi-column layout displays posts in an entirely new way, which is reminiscent of Pinterest, and boasts bigger photos and makes it easier to use hashtags. Google Hangouts has updated messaging features, notifications and saved conversation features.
Faster Chrome Speeds
Google’s browser, Chrome, has more than 750 million users. At Google I/O the company announced that users will now see faster video speeds and payment processes. It has also launched a few experiments and projects that show off just how fast Chrome is and to give businesses an idea of how they can benefit from the speed.
Talking Search and Google Now Geographical Reminders
The way users use Google’s search engine has changed: people can now ask Google a question (vocally) and the site will speak an answer. This feature is available for laptop and desktop computers using Chrome. Google Now also received a major update with the ability to provide geographical reminders. Users can now get a reminder at a specific location (like at the office or at the store) on their mobile devices.
Google Play Music All Access and Google Play Leader Boards
This new product may signal that Google is interested in competing with companies like Rhapsody and Spotify. Google Play Music All Access is a subscription-based music service that lets users listen to millions of songs for a flat monthly fee.
Google Play was updated with real-time multilayer leader boards, so players can more easily compete with their friends.
Enhanced Google Maps
Google Maps has been enhanced with added features, and better images, that are intended to make the service more personal. Users can star favorite places, write reviews, and see business descriptions on maps. Google Maps is already a powerful app and it was widely celebrated when it debuted on the iTunes store, making it available to iPhone users. More personalization and more unique features will likely make this app even more popular.
This year’s Google I/O updates didn’t disappoint and developers, businesses and users everywhere are excited about the changes. Will your business benefit from these announcements?
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Today is the much-anticipated annual Google I/O conference, where the company unveils new technologies, products and in a sense, forecasts the way technology will be used by businesses and consumers. Techies love this event, because it offers a glimpse of the newest technology and where the industry may be headed. But how do you, as a business, decide what technology to adopt and what new marketing tools to use?
It’s tempting to join the throngs and use the latest and greatest tools, but it isn’t always wise to do so right away, or even at all. Not all technologies are suited to all businesses, and not every market will respond to every new marketing tool.
Choose the Right Technologies
If you are considering using a new technology at your business, consider two factors: your business and your market. You already have a sense of what tools are conducive to your business and goals. If the new tool won’t help you meet your goals, or won’t make your job easier, it’s safe to say you are better off passing.
Also keep in mind what kinds of technologies your target market is most likely to respond to. If your podcasts are a powerful tool for your business, advances in podcast technology may be smart technologies for you to use. On the other hand, if your blog is more influential, you may not need to jump on the latest podcast-technology advances.
Where is Your Market Going?
Another important thing to consider is where your market is. If members of your target market are adopting a new social media network, your business might be wise to do the same. If your potential customers are using a tool you aren’t, you may be failing to use a channel of communication that could help increase your sales.
However, keep in mind that the only way you can answer this question when it comes to new technology is to wait and watch your market. The day a new piece of technology is released may not be the ideal time to make a decision on whether or not your company should use it. Instead, you may want to wait to see if your market, or even competitors, adopt it before you make a decision.
Are you Falling Behind?
One clear sign that it may be time to consider using a new technology is if your business is falling behind. If others in your industry, your competitors, your partners or your market have all began using a new technology, it may be time for you to start using it too. Businesses that can’t, or don’t, keep up with technology risk appearing dated and even incompetent. Most businesses benefit from a reputation of being up to date and agile enough to adopt new technology when needed.
Choose the Right Time
There are both benefits and risks to being an early adopter. Early adopters can find themselves ahead of the curve and on the cutting-edge of the newest technology, but they can also find themselves in tough spot. If you adopt a technology too early, before you have evaluated whether it will benefit your business, you could waste money and time and even throw your entire marketing campaign off track.
It’s extremely important to determine whether an investment in a new piece of technology will be worth it before you take the leap. Part of this decision-making process should involve evaluating when you should implement a new technology — whether you decide to be an early adopter or to wait to see how a market reacts to the technology.
New technology is appearing every day. Advances in social media networks, smartphone capabilities, and new technological tools can change your business’ digital marketing efforts. Knowing whether or not you should use new tools, and when you should implement new technology, can help you make wise marketing decisions that will help your business.
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Last week YouTube announced that it would start offering new paid channels as part of a pilot program with a small group of partners. The fees will start at 99 cents per month and each channel will offer a free 14-day trial.
Some of the paid channels that have already launched include National Geographic Kids, PGA Digital Golf Academy, Pets.TV, UFC Select, and more. There are currently 54 paid channels (there are more than 1 million channels on YouTube) and the company says it will be adding more.
Currently, users subscribe through their account and once they have paid for a channel, they can watch it from their computer, TV, smartphone or tablet. YouTube also says that additional viewing options will be available in the future.
In a YouTube blog post the company states that the paid channels are a response to requests from video posters who are looking for more ways to monetize their videos and channels.
Can Businesses Create Paid YouTube Channels?
Businesses that are interested in creating their own paid YouTube Channel can fill out a sign up form. Currently, all submissions will be reviewed and may or may not be accepted as a paid channel partner.
Since the paid channel program is currently a pilot program, it remains to be seen how YouTube will develop it and how businesses will get to use the new option. However, assuming the service becomes more popular, businesses will likely get to be a bigger part of the program.
Will Your Business Benefit from a Paid Channel?
If your business already has a successful YouTube Channel it may very well benefit from a paid channel, since you could earn revenue from subscriptions, not just advertisements. If your business and products are conducive to things like previews, how-to videos, product reviews and event videos, it may benefit from paid YouTube Channels.
However, the benefits of a paid YouTube Channel aren’t just monetary. Businesses with successful videos and channels benefit from things like increased exposure, viral ad campaigns, social media buzz, raised awareness, increased site traffic and more sales.
How will Users React?
As with any major social media change, one of the biggest questions being asked is “How will users react?” YouTube users aren’t likely to leave the site in droves, since the site has become an Internet video staple, but will they be wiling to pay for content? Many feel social media should be free to use, much like email. Normally, businesses are able to profit directly through ads on the site, whether that be the social media business or the businesses that use the site. However, some sites, like LinkedIn do offer paid features, which seem to be successful.
Much like any other product or marketing tool, paid YouTube Channels will likely be successful if the content being shared is valuable to the audience, helpful, entertaining and useful. Channels that are able to provide the best content may find it easy to gain subscribers. Will you apply for a paid channel? Do you think the new feature will benefit your business?
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Facebook has unrolled a new feature: the ability to comment on posts from Bing search result pages. When a Facebook user searches for a term, Bing displays relevant posts from the user’s friends on the right-hand side of the page, where searchers can now add a comment. Another new feature is the ability to add a new Facebook post from Bing.
Last year, Bing added social search results from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, but today is the first time users have been able to interact with those results from Bing. For users to use the new features, they will have to login to Facebook through Bing.
Are Social Results Helpful?
Social search results aren’t anything new; Google has been offering it for years. But, how useful are these results? If someone is searching for information through a search engine, does he care what his friends think?
There may be cases where social search results are helpful, but it may be more likely that the results are more for fun, adding a new dimension to social media. However, even if a searcher doesn’t think he cares what his friends have to say about a topic, he may still see related posts and be influenced by them.
Studies have shown that people value their peers’ opinions. When someone’s friends are all talking about a new product, that person is bound to become interested as well. People’s friends and family members also have a tremendous influence on one’s decisions.
For example, if a searcher is researching a product, and sees a post from a close friend that speaks highly of the product, the searcher is more likely to purchase that item.
How Can Marketers Use the New Feature?
Perhaps the biggest way your business can use Facebook and Bing’s new feature for your marketing campaign is to bolster your social media marketing efforts. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and with social search results, it becomes even more powerful. Knowing that your target market may see social media posts that mention your brand when they use a search engine, you can make an effort to create more of a buzz about your business on social media. As more of your customers post about your company, your business will be more likely to appear in social search results.
Encouraging customers to post positive messages about your business, products, services and events can have a big impact on your overall success. Taking advantage of this feature can help you leverage people that are influential over your target market, so you can gain more customers.
Another benefit of this feature is that it adds one more way companies can earn search engine results. If you are using a search engine optimisation campaign, you can add this feature to your list of tools that can help you earn higher rankings. While these rankings may not directly bring traffic to your website, they can help raise awareness about you brand and spur people to seek out your company.
Facebook and Bing have worked together in the past to bring new features to users, and this latest update is just another example of how the two companies are influencing the way social media and search work. Your business can take advantage of this feature by recognizing that your social media presence is growing increasingly important, that you can leverage comments from influential people and that you now have one more way to gain search rankings.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Snickers has launched a new search ad campaign that relies on people misspelling words in their Google searches. The company purchased Google ads for misspelled terms so when a searcher enters one into the search bar, he or she will see the Snickers’ ad.
According to Mashable, Snickers’ bought about 25,000 terms for the campaign. When one is typed into the Google search bar, the user sees an ad that states: “Oh Deer. Its Hard to Spel When Your Hungry. If You Keap Making Typing Mistakes, Grab Yourself a Snickers Fast.” The ads direct users to YoureNotYouWhenYoureHungry.com.
To determine which words to purchase, Snickers’ applied an algorithm to a list of 500 commonly searched terms to create a list of more than 25,000 misspelled versions of the words.
The clever campaign depends on the hundreds of thousands of typos in search terms used every day. It also brings the brand to the front page of more search terms, which may not all be directly related to the candy bar.
It’s reported that the strategy has successfully placed ads in front of about 500,000 people in just three days. The company also says that this audience represents Snickers’ target market.
Google’s Search Ads
If you’re not familiar with Google’s search ads, they are essentially a way to tie ads to search terms. A business can purchase certain keywords that will trigger their ad displays in a users’ search results. Google offers several types of search ad extensions, such as comparison ads and media ads. Businesses can even display products and their address through product and location extensions.
Usually, a business will purchase keywords its target market is likely to search for. Keywords that are products, services, needs and phrases that include locations are all conducive to this type of marketing. The idea behind search ads is that if a person is searching for terms related to a specific business, he is more likely to become a customer when he sees a related search ad and clicks through to the company’s site.
When someone searches for one of 25,000 misspelled words, a Snickers ad, like this appears. Image source.
Will it Work?
A video released by the company explains that the campaign is intended to target bored office workers who may miss social media ads if their office has blocked the sites. Of course, these aren’t the only people that are likely to see the ads.
The idea is relatively simple but it could bring huge results. All things considered, it’s hard to imagine what kinds of search terms a company like Snickers’ would want to target when buying Google Ads. Words like “candy UK” or “chocolate UK” are very broad, and one has to wonder if ads associated with those terms would be effective. It could also be the case that Snickers has already purchased more relevant keywords, and this campaign is meant to be an additional search marketing effort.
With this campaign, Snickers is able to reach a very large audience in a short amount of time. According to its claims, it’s also able to reach its target market. While this type of campaign wouldn’t work for many companies, Snickers may have found a unique tactic that could help the company reach more people through search marketing, increasing its revenue.
Friday, April 19th, 2013
Measuring social media can be difficult. How do you know how all those posts, shares, tweets and “likes” are impacting your bottom line? While there are lots of ways you can estimate the affect your social media marketing has on your business, one recent study claims to have found the dollar value of each Facebook “like”: $174.17.
The study, by Syncapse, researched how 2,000 Facebook users’ “likes” impacted 20 major brands. It took into account brand loyalty, page recommendations, product spending, media value, brand affinity and acquisition cost. Interestingly, the $174.17 value is a 28 percent increase from the value reported from the same study in 2010.
Syncapse also found that people who “liked” a business on Facebook spent $116 more, per year, on the brand than those who did not “like” it. People who “like” a company on Facebook spent 43 percent more in that company’s industry than those who do not “like” the company. The research also revealed that when a Facebook user believes his or her opinion shapes a brand he or she is more likely to react positively on social media.
How You can get the Most Value for Your “Likes”
So what does this research mean for your company? How can you get the most out of your Facebook “likes?” Perhaps most obviously, the study means your business could see more sales if it is able to attract more Facebook “likes.” Of course, this isn’t the only factor that will help boost your sales, but the research shows that people who “like” your business on Facebook are likely to spend more money on your brand than those who don’t. You could also benefit from “likes” at other companies in your industry.
One of the most important factors in Facebook marketing success is finding the right market. If you are able to find your potential customers and encourage them to “like” your page, this study suggests you will see a change in your sales.
Image courtesy of GOIABA – JOHANNES FUCHS/Flickr.
Getting more Facebook fans can sound easier than it is. To successfully build an audience, your business needs to post interesting and useful information. Social media users are already overwhelmed by posts, pictures and marketing noise, and if you don’t have a good reason for people to follow your brand, they probably won’t.
As the study suggests, showing your social media followers that you value their opinions is extremely important. This strategy can help you gain a loyal following and build a positive reputation. Listening to your market can involve reaching out to potential customers, responding to posts on your social media accounts and asking for your followers’ opinions. Remember, if you do ask for your fans’ opinions, be ready to show your market how you are listening. Even if you aren’t able to implement every suggestion, find other ways to let your audience know you are listing and take their comments seriously.
Facebook, with its huge audience and long list of features, can be a very powerful marketing tool. When you know how to reach your market and make them feel valued, your Facebook marketing can have a direct impact on your business’ bottom line.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Image courtesy of Jakob Steinschaden/Flickr.
Rumor has it that Facebook is planning to launch pop-up videos ads at the steep price of $1 million per day. Facebook hasn’t officially announced the feature yet, but Ad Age has reported that the social network has started to offer the ad packages to some agencies.
It is believed that Facebook will offer four daily slots to advertisers beginning this summer. The ads will each target a different, very broad demographic, likely based on age and gender. According to reports, the video ads will be a maximum of 15 seconds long and Facebook is planning to put a limit on the frequency they run, ensuring that no user sees more than three video ads per day.
The video ads will most likely pop-out over the newsfeed and will be on auto play, meaning they will begin playing immediately when a user loads the newsfeed page.
Big Opportunity for Big Businesses
The new ads could be a huge opportunity for some businesses, assuming they can afford the big price tag Facebook is assigning to the ad slots. Big corporations and their ad agencies may jump on the opportunity to have their message shown to a massive audience.
Video ads would give some businesses a distinct advantage over businesses that place regular ads on Facebook, since users can’t help but see the video ads. It is unclear what the format of the ads will be, but if users aren’t able to control the settings or opt out of seeing the ads, the videos could be very powerful.
As of now, the ad slots will probably be targeted at the following groups: women under 30, women over 30, men under 30 and men over 30. Of course, these are very general demographics, but they are demographics that cover most target markets.
Will Users Accept the New Ads
Every time Facebook unrolls a new feature, it seems that users react strongly, especially when that feature has to do with ads. Facebook is becoming more advertising focused, much to the dismay of many users. However, businesses, and Facebook executives, know the value of ads placed on such a huge social media channel, so users are likely to experience even more advertising as more options are made available to advertisers.
The question may be: “How much advertising are users willing to accept?” Up until now, brands have been able to get their messages in front of their markets with sponsored status updates, sponsored “likes” and traditional site ads. But, will they successfully be able to push pop-up videos on users?
Some believe that this move will be a step too far for Facebook. Some claim that people will leave the site, turning to other social media sites that are already becoming popular and have less intrusive ads.
As companies begin experimenting with the ads and Facebook begins presenting users with pop-up video ads from their timelines, the idea will either take off and become the new norm for Facebook advertising, or it will backfire, causing users to leave the site and forcing Facebook to look for new advertising options to increase its revenue.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
The Guardian has reported that mobile spending in the UK tripled between 2011 and 2012, going from £203m to £526m. This is an incredible increase of 148 percent in just one year. Marketers are recognizing the opportunity mobile devices bring and have found that mobile advertising is an effective way to reach a large portion of the population.
Interestingly, in 2009 only 1 percent of the total amount spent on advertising in the UK was spent on mobile ads. That number went up to 10 percent in 2012. Social media advertising has increased by 24 percent in the past three years, and In general, Internet advertising is also steadily increasing.
What’s all the Fuss About?
So why are marketers increasing their mobile advertising budgets so quickly and by so much? Because a growing portion of the population is spending more time on mobile devices. According to the Westminster eForum in 2012, there are now more mobile phones in the UK than there are people.
Since Internet-ready mobile gadgets are more affordable and common than ever before, people are spending more time browsing the Internet, using apps, reading blogs and connecting through social media while on the go.
A few statistics, all from the Westminster eForum, illustrate the growing trend of mobile Internet use:
- 28 percent of UK citizens have bought something with their smartphone.
- 12 percent of the population has a tablet, and tablet sales are growing by about 378 percent each year.
- 38 percent of people who have tablets spend more time using it than watching television.
- 53 percent of people in the UK use two screens at once (both a smartphone and the television, for example).
There is no doubt that mobile Internet use is on the rise, and advertisers are wise to begin using this channel to reach their markets.
How Your Business Can Use Mobile Advertising
If you’re interested in taking your advertising to the next level by implementing mobile advertising, there are several ways you can do it. First, making your website mobile friendly and using mobile ads on your site is an excellent way to reach your smartphone-using market. You can also use advertising on apps or even release your own company app.
Social media advertising is extremely popular and can be very effective. Social media users are turning to mobile devices more and more as they connect with their friends and follow brands. You can leverage your current social media campaign so it will target mobile users.
As markets become more reliant on mobile Internet use, brands need to follow with mobile advertising campaigns. If you analyze your market and find that it is likely to consist of smartphone users, your brand would be wise to begin advertising through mobile websites, apps and social media.
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Twitter has introduced a new feature called “cards” that will make it possible for businesses to attach media components to their tweets. The company has implemented a few different kinds of cards, each that allows for a different function.
Each card is specifically formatted for a different type of content. Depending on what kind of business you have, these cards could make your Twitter strategy more effective. There are six different types of cards to choose from:
- Summary Card
- Photo Card
- Gallery Card
- App Card
- Player Card
- Product Card
The cards can give viewers a snippet of an article, a better look at photos, a link to a product or even access to a video player in their Twitter feed.
When displayed in a follower’s feed, the card will look much like any other tweet. It will include the tweeted text at the top followed by the content and any included links. In a way, tweets with cards will be similar to a post on a social network like Facebook or Google Plus, with the exception that the text entered by the user will still be limited to 140 characters.
Benefits to Businesses
Chances are that your business will benefit from at least one of these card styles. If you sell a product, publicize your blog or share photos with your followers, these cards could make your tweets more interactive.
The long-standing challenge businesses on Twitter have faced is finding ways to use 140-character posts to entice followers to click a link so content experienced to the fullest potential. The new Twitter cards makes this a much more doable task. As followers skim through their Twitter feed, glancing at posts and pausing to read some, your business’ card-enhanced tweets will stand out and may receive more clicks and retweets.
A New Direction for Twitter
The addition of cards to Twitter and the twitter feed could signal a change of direction for the social media site. Until now, businesses relied on regular tweets and sponsored tweets to advertise their services. However, this new feature gives businesses more tools that can help them reach their markets. Twitter cards are free for businesses to use, but by becoming more business friendly, Twitter may attract companies interested in purchasing sponsored tweets.
If your business uses Twitter as part of its digital marketing plan, you can visit Twitter’s developer site for instructions on how to start using the new cards.
Flipboard has undergone some major changes, making it a more social oriented app with much more marketing potential for businesses. These changes take Flipboard from a simple news service to a community-oriented tool that lets users add more content and communicate with others.
One of the biggest changes is the addition of user-created magazines. Before the update, users could flip through magazines that were made up of content about several different pre-set categories. Now, users can pull articles from anywhere on Flipboard or the Internet and create their own magazines to reference later or to share with friends. Flipboard has explained that user-created magazines can be private or shared with other Flipboard users.
The Marketing Opportunity
The new capability to curate and share content with other users is a huge opportunity for businesses. Flipboard has become a much more viable content marketing channel that your business can use to share your own, and related industry content, with your target market.
You could proactively make user-created magazines a part of your strategy by creating your own brand or industry magazines and sharing them with your publics, or passively by encouraging your audience to add your content to their own magazines.
Flip It Bookmarklet
Flipboard has also created a new Flip It bookmarklet that users can add to their browser’s bookmark bar, enabling them to add content to their Flipboard account from anywhere on the Internet. The bookmarklet can also be added to browsers on the iPad and iPhone. This added feature will enhance the magazine creating experience.
The Marketing Opportunity
The Flip It bookmarklet gives your readers one more option for sharing your content. Just like you encourage your audience to share your blog posts and other content through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon or any other social media site, your brand will want to add Flip It to its list of places your content can be spread. Keep in mind that when users use the bookmarklet in conjunction with your content, they may be adding it to a private magazine or they may be sharing it with other Flipboard users.
Social media and content-sharing sites are important parts of any content marketing campaign. These sites make it possible for your content to spread across the Internet, possibly bringing more traffic to your site and raising brand awareness. But, there’s another reason these sites are so important. It’s a known fact that people trust their friends and family members, often times more than businesses. If your target market is exposed to your brand’s content through their friends’ social media accounts they may be more likely to become customers.
The recent updates to Flipboard make it a much better marketing tool, as users will be able to create personalized lists of content, collect content from across the Internet and share their findings with friends.