tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/content Latest Content content from Econsultancy 2016-12-08T11:33:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68607 2016-12-08T11:33:00+00:00 2016-12-08T11:33:00+00:00 The art of the emoji: How and when brands should use them Rebecca Baines <p><a>Fast-forward 17 years and it’s now thought that </a><a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Who-Needs-Words-You-Have-Emojis/1012466">6bn emojis</a> are sent every day via mobile messaging apps. But they aren’t just being used by Generation Z – Baby Boomers are getting in on the act, too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.prweek.com/article/1357615/mcdonalds-ikea-7-best-emoji-marketing-campaigns">Four in five 18-65 year olds</a> are said to use them on a regular basis and <a href="http://www.prweek.com/article/1357615/mcdonalds-ikea-7-best-emoji-marketing-campaigns">72% of 18-25 year olds</a> find it easier to express emotion through emojis rather than through the written word. </p> <p>With a whole new visual world seemingly at more than one generation’s fingertips, what does this mean for brands?</p> <h4>Connecting with your audience</h4> <p>Latching onto this new digital language is more than useful for brands who want to engage with an online audience. The simplistic style of messaging helps companies speak to their audience on their own terms – whether via social, email or content.</p> <p>A study from Socialbakers analysed the top 500 brands and <a href="https://www.socialbakers.com/blog/2510-emoji-marketing-is-growing-fast">found that 59%</a> of them included emojis in their tweets, while 40% also featured them in Facebook posts.</p> <p>It’s reported that including an emoji in a tweet can <a href="http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/11/19/twitter-emoji">increase engagement by 25.4%</a>, while using them in a Facebook post can <a href="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/blog/facebook-edgerank-and-engagement/">increase Likes by 57% and comments and shares by 33%.</a> Not bad for a simple cartoon.</p> <p>But how should brands use them? There’s plenty to think about.</p> <h4>Things to do</h4> <ul> <li>Know an emoji’s meaning – it’s an easy way to make a digital blunder. Just one misuse of the aubergine can open an unwanted can of worms.</li> <li>Make use of the emojis already widely available on the emoji keyboard – they don’t always have to be bespoke to your brand.</li> <li>Only use emojis when appropriate – examine the context of your emoji use before pressing send. If it’s regarding a serious topic, it may be best to stick to traditional methods before plunging down the emoji route.</li> <li>Keep it relevant to your audience – look at your demographics and figure out whether you think emojis will allow you to connect with your audience. Make sure you roll out A/B testing too, to make sure emojis will work for you.</li> </ul> <h4>Things not to do</h4> <ul> <li>Don’t go overboard – yes it is a popular method of communicating with audiences, particularly younger generations, but an overuse can seem patronising and cause emoji fatigue.</li> <li>Take care when creating custom-made emojis - while they may be more tailored to your brand, they may miss the mark with your audience. You need to create emojis that can be used on a regular basis. </li> </ul> <p>So which brands are brandishing emojis successfully?</p> <h4>WWF: #EndangeredEmoji</h4> <p>The wildlife organisation created an <a href="http://endangeredemoji.com/">#EndangeredEmoji</a> campaign on Twitter in a bid to raise awareness and help save animals from extinction.</p> <p>To reach a younger audience, WWF felt it needed to take a light-hearted approach – and using emojis was the way in. WWF finds that social media campaigns can be up to 60% more effective than traditional advertising campaigns – so what better way to reach its audience?</p> <p>17 emojis from the emoji alphabet were used for the campaign after WWF found that they suitably represented endangered species, with users encouraged to donate 10p every time they retweeted one.</p> <p>The clever campaign sought to test the waters with social fundraising – to much success, may I add. This particular campaign triggered more than 500,000 social mentions and 59,000 signups.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2119/animals.png" alt="" width="600" height="300"></p> <h4>Pepsi: #PepsiMoji</h4> <p>The famous drinks brand launched an <a href="http://design.pepsico.com/pepsimoji.php#section1">international campaign</a> this year to support its new packaging - #PepsiMoji. Pepsi’s idea was to use 600+ bespoke emojis on more than 1bn of its bottles and cans so that consumers could share a message.</p> <p>Cleverly, the concept works on the fact that emojis are a universal language that can be shared and used all around the world.</p> <p>Pepsi has leveraged every channel it could think of as multiple springboards for the campaign – partnering with Moschino fashion legend Jeremy Scott to design accompanying emoji-inspired sunglasses, working with top-end photographers for a series of real-life imagery and creating five-second TV ads and longer films for digital viewing.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2120/story-pepsimoji-01-mobile.png" alt="" width="600" height="600"></p> <h4>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</h4> <p>The mega movie franchise partnered with Twitter for the much anticipated release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, creating special Star Wars-themed emojis that appeared when people used hashtags related to the film.</p> <p>Thanks to its mammoth fan base, the campaign happily lapped up 17,000 tweets per minute at its peak.</p> <p>But it didn’t end there. To mark the release of the film on DVD and Blu-ray, Disney reshot <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adgnlbRWo_Y">Star Wars: The Force Awakens</a> using emojis to tell its story, netting more than 2.5m YouTube views.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2121/SW_Celebration_Emoji5DB448.0.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="300"></p> <h4>Corona Extra: #RaiseSummer</h4> <p>This summer, Corona introduced the #RaiseSummer campaign using – you guessed it – emojis.</p> <p>Targeting over 21s on Twitter who use iconic summer emojis such as the smiley sunglasses face or beer mugs, @coronaextrausa tracked these and responded to the user automatically with a unique, customised GIF featuring emojis and a bespoke Corona Extra bottle emoji.</p> <p>The brand was quick to make the most of Twitter’s newly unveiled emoji targeting platform and enhanced the campaign with paid media, too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2118/screen-shot-2016-08-17-at-43939-pm_ekCIXa6.png" alt="" width="600" height="375"></p> <h4><a>Key takeaway</a></h4> <p>All this tells us is one thing - it’s important for brands to consider changing the ways in which they talk to their target audience and embrace this new form of communication, rather than persisting with run-of-the-mill methods.<a name="_msoanchor_3"></a> </p> <p>However, be careful not to take your emoji use too far – there’s a time and a place.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3118 2016-12-05T07:32:53+00:00 2016-12-05T07:32:53+00:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective in 2015 and beyond, you will need to provide content that's useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content. </p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 3-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68582 2016-12-05T02:00:00+00:00 2016-12-05T02:00:00+00:00 The best APAC digital marketing stats from November 2016 Ben Davis <h3>Asian branded content underperforms</h3> <p>Content marketing in APAC sees the lowest clickthrough rate (CTR) of all regions, excluding Australia.</p> <p>Polar's <a href="http://polar.me/resources/q3-benchmarks/">Branded Content Performance study</a> surveyed 100 clients about their content marketing campaigns in various regions.</p> <p>CTR content marketing campaigns in APAC was 0.27%, with highest average in Europe (0.55%).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1968/ctr.png" alt="asian branded content" width="500"></p> <p>The story is different when Polar looked at average time spent (ATS). Here, APAC campaigns were only bettered by those in MENA.</p> <p>An ATS of 199 seconds in APAC was far above the 140-second global average.</p> <p>Content was shown to suffer diminishing returns over time, with 80% of views generated in the first month and 36% of views in just the first week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1969/ats.png" alt="asian branded content" width="500"></p> <h3>Mobile wallet surge in India as high denomination notes are scrapped</h3> <p>As Indian Prime Minister Modi announced with only four hours notice that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would be withdrawn from circulation, mobile wallets saw a surge in usage.</p> <p>The notes were rendered worthless to combat counterfeiting, with Kiran Vasireddy, senior vice-president at Paytm, <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/3f31dc34-ab04-11e6-9cb3-bb8207902122">telling the FT</a> "we have seen unprecedented growth over the past few days."</p> <p>Paytm claims that 4m people started using its wallets in the week after the demonetisation, with site traffic up 700% and app downloads up 300%.</p> <p>At MobiKwik, money being added to wallets has gone up nearly 2,000%.</p> <h3>Cross-border transactions driven by APAC</h3> <p><a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161115005261/en/PayPal-3rd-Annual-Global-Report-Shows-Asia">PayPal reports</a> that cross-border sales volume has grown by 38% in two years, from $15bn in Q3 2014 to $19bn in Q3 2016.</p> <p>The Ipsos survey of 28,000 consumers from 32 countries found that China is now the most popular cross-border online shopping destination for global consumers.</p> <p>21% respondents admitted to shopping cross-border from Chinese websites in 2016. The US was the second most-popular online destination (17%), followed by the UK (13%).</p> <p>An average of 37% of cross-border purchases in APAC were made on a mobile device, with the figure in China rising from 27% in 2015 to 35% this year.</p> <p>In Europe and North America that figure was only 15%.</p> <h3>APAC agencies not allowing transparent audits</h3> <p>Some APAC media agencies are not engaging in transparent auditing procedures according to new research by FirmDecisions.</p> <p>This leaves agencies open to accusations of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68319-all-the-digital-news-stories-you-missed-this-week-6/">overcharging</a>.</p> <p>FirmDecisions, a marketing contract specialist, studied 121 audits it had carried out in APAC. <a href="http://www.campaignasia.com/article/report-alleges-gaps-in-agency-advertiser-media-contracts/431300">Campaign reports</a> the following findings:</p> <ul> <li>26% of APAC advertisers did not have a signed contract with their media agencies.</li> <li>25% of contracts did not allow sufficient audit rights.</li> <li>In 43% of cases, access to financial records was restricted by agencies.</li> <li>60% of contracts had insufficient rebate return clauses.</li> </ul> <p><em>Image via Campaign</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1971/audits.jpg" alt="agency audits in apac" width="615"></p> <h3>China's top brands</h3> <p>Marketing Interactive reports that brand consultancy Prophet has listed the <a href="http://www.marketing-interactive.com/alipay-wechat-top-chinas-50-relevant-brands-list/">top 50 relevant brands in China</a>.</p> <p>10,000 consumers were surveyed globally in the construction of the list, with Alipay coming top amid increasing competition amongst mobile services.</p> <p>Here's the top five brands most influential to Chinese consumers:</p> <ol> <li>Alipay</li> <li>WeChat</li> <li>Visa</li> <li>Marriott</li> <li>UBER</li> </ol> <h3>International news influences China's richest</h3> <p>Despite censorship, international TV and digital news reaches 45% of affluent Chinese consumers.</p> <p>Further findings from the Ipsos study are reported <a href="http://www.campaignasia.com/article/chinese-affluent-keen-consumers-of-international-media-ipsos/431178">by Campaign Asia</a> and include a combined digital and print reach for international monthly publications of 27% among China's affluent consumers.</p> <p><em>Image via Campaign Asia</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1961/china_affluent_study.png" alt="china affluents news consumption" width="615"></p> <h3>South Koreans watch video ads..</h3> <p>..for longer than other nationalities.</p> <p>South Korea has a viewable completion rate of 48%, <a href="http://content.tubemogul.com/Q3-2016-Global-Quarterly-Report_Download.html">according to a TubeMogul report</a> (based on 15-second desktop video ads).</p> <p>That puts it top of the pile above Japan (41%) and Indonesia (44%). Not all APAC markets show such persistence for completing videos, with China's completion rate at just 16%.</p> <p>Malaysia's was even lower at 14%, though issues such as ad fraud and internet connectivity are still being grappled with.</p> <h3>Singles' Day generates $17.8bn GMV in 24 hours</h3> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68486-china-s-single-s-day-can-western-brands-take-advantage/">11.11 Global Shopping Festival</a> saw gross merchandise volume (GMV) of RMB 120.7bn ($17.79bn). That's a 32% rise on Tmall and Taobao sales on the same day in 2015.</p> <p>RMB 98.97bn ($14.6bn) in GMV was generated on mobile devices from 657m delivery orders. That figure was up from 467m delivery orders last year.</p> <p>Over 1bn payment transactions were processed in total across the day.</p> <p><a href="http://www.alizila.com/2016-11-11-global-shopping-festival-wrap-up/">More from Alizila.</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1162/Screen_Shot_2016-11-03_at_11.29.54.png" alt="singles day" width="615" height="337"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68564 2016-11-28T15:13:35+00:00 2016-11-28T15:13:35+00:00 2016: The good, the bad and the future of digital marketing Blake Cahill <p>However, while some of my “predictions” turned out to be fairly accurate, there have also been more than a few surprises over the last 12 months.</p> <p>Here are a couple of the most unexpected trends that have taken off this year, two of the biggest digital disappointments and my personal trend pick for 2017.</p> <h3>The surprise revival of silent video</h3> <p>One of the most unexpected trends that made a real comeback this year was silent video. Over <a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/">80% of internet users own a smartphone</a>, but average video viewing time is <a href="http://www.campaignlive.com/article/facebooks-everson-agencies-lagging-mobile-creative/1388780">1.7 seconds</a>, meaning consumers are in rapid consumption mode and marketers have had to become even savvier at grabbing their attention.</p> <p>What this means is there’s a real need for content that packs a punch at the beginning of the clip. If you only have a miniscule amount of time to grab a customer’s attention before they scroll past, then the video needs to have an immediate hook.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/glX_vgRCmKE?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>A perfect example of this is the social media clip that Apple pushed out following the release of the new iPhone 7. The advert is completely silent and simplistic in nature, with each frame changing every 0.5 seconds. </p> <p>In an age where most of us have our smartphones on silent, Apple has managed to discover a way to capture our attention in the most straight-forward of ways.</p> <h3>Hail to the community managers</h3> <p>2016 has also become the year of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">community manager</a>. It’s common for brands to think of social as a one trick pony, but the brands that are succeeding on social don’t just have someone schedule 10 tweets a day and like the occasional @ comment. </p> <p>The brands that allow their community managers to become the human face of the company add an extra dimension to their social media capabilities and provide the consumer with a real sense of personality.</p> <p>Some brands that really know how to do this are Innocent Drinks, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61946-how-tesco-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google/">Tesco</a>, Virgin Trains and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2015/12/010/10-of-the-most-brilliant-customer-service-exchanges-ever-seen-on/">Oreo</a>. They understand the importance of employing empowered community managers and with any luck, 2017 should see more brands following in their footsteps.</p> <h3>The problem with live content</h3> <p>Of all the successes and surprises in 2016, some of the newer marketing methods are still proving problematic.</p> <p>One of these is live content – it just isn’t working out. Despite the potential, all too many brands still don’t seem to realise how to properly manage live content. </p> <p>Maybe the production value is too low, the content is too tedious, the functionality is broken... Ultimately, without a high value exchange, live content is never going to have any impact with consumers.</p> <p>One example of a brand that has really nailed live content, however, is <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/creditchat/">Experian</a>. It holds straight-forward, weekly chats via YouTube Live, Snapchat and <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/creditscope/">Periscope</a> to talk directly with consumers about their money worries.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FExperianUK%2Fvideos%2F1062124017192953%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="665"></iframe></p> <p>Experian understands that for live content to work, companies need to accept that what a brand thinks is interesting for customers is rarely what they will actually spend time watching.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">10 pioneering examples of brands using Facebook Live</a>.</em></p> <h3>Where are the iBeacons?</h3> <p>Back in 2014, I was convinced that retail use of iBeacons would swiftly take centre stage in our marketing strategies. </p> <p>We all <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">saw the </a><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">potential</a> and several big brands got on board – <a href="https://blog.virgin-atlantic.com/t5/Our-Future/Virgin-Atlantic-lights-the-way-with-Apple-s-iBeacon-technology/ba-p/26359">Virgin</a> used them in its Heathrow airport lounges and Macy’s rolled them out in over 800 stores to track customer movements <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/macys-taps-ibm-watson-to-improve-in-store-shopping-app/">in-store</a>, push product recommendations and discounts and to inform shoppers about sale items.</p> <p>But despite these examples, they just haven’t made it to the mainstream yet. </p> <p>Despite predictions that 85 of the top 100 retailers would be using them by the end of 2016, only 3% of retailers had implemented beacon technology by 2015 and only 16% had plans to implement them in the near <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-paul-neil/is-ibeacon-marketing-fina_b_10508218.html">future</a>.</p> <p>So what’s the hold up? Well, they can be hard to manage and maintain from a logistical point of view, as all beacon marketing requires user opt-in and customers just aren’t sold on it yet. </p> <p>This could change in 2017 but my bet is that it’ll be a slow process before they start to become a standard part of our marketing efforts.</p> <h3>The democracy of content</h3> <p>Enough about 2016, let’s look to the future.</p> <p>In 2017, brands need to be able to engage and connect with their customers better than ever before (one nice example of this is Philips’ <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBGcW5AtKyg">Every Day Hero</a> campaign). Nowadays however, companies aren’t just competing with another brand’s marketing anymore; they’re competing with the entire internet and this is where it starts to get tricky.</p> <p>Any company hoping to inspire consistent engagement has to accept that consumers now have access to tools (like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/boomerang-from-instagram/id1041596399?mt=8">Boomerang</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hyperlapse-from-instagram/id740146917?mt=8">Hyperlapse)</a> that can result in better, more engaging pieces of video content than the stuff many of the brands are developing themselves.</p> <p>Earlier this year, a survey found that 85% of users find visual user-generated content (UGC) more influential than brand photos or <a href="http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/why-consumers-share-user-generated-content-infographic/639636">videos</a>. Another report found shoppers who interact with UGC are <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278152">97% more likely to convert</a> with a retailer than customers who do not.</p> <p>What this means is we can expect to see a huge surge in marketers working with UGC in 2017. It’s nothing new (Burberry launched its <a href="http://artofthetrench.burberry.com/">Art of Trench</a> website back in 2009 for example), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it quickly becomes a much more common feature of brand campaigns.</p> <p>So roll on 2017. I’m looking forward to finding out if I’m right!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/841 2016-11-17T05:22:20+00:00 2016-11-17T05:22:20+00:00 Digital Cream Singapore <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Exclusive to 80 senior client side marketers, <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Econsultancy's Digital Cream</strong> is one of the industry's landmark events for marketers to:</p> <ul style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">convene and network with like-minded peers from different industries</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">exchange experiences</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">compare benchmark efforts</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">explore the latest best practice</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">discuss strategies</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">learn from others who face the same challenges with suppliers, technologies and techniques. </li> </ul> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">In a personal and confidential setting (It's Chatham House Rules so what's said at Digital Cream, stays at Digital Cream), the roundtable format is a quick and sure-fire way to find out what's worked and what hasn't, an invaluable opportunity to take time out and come back to the office full of ideas.</p> <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">Roundtable Format</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There are 8 roundtable topics and each delegate chooses 3 table topics most relevant to you, each session lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes. Each roundtable is independently moderated and focuses on a particular topic discussing challenges or areas of interest nominated by the table's attendees in the time available. This level of input ensures you get the maximum from your day.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Digital Cream has been devised by the analysts and editors at Econsultancy in consultation with the most senior digital buyers in the world and runs in London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Attendees pick three tables choices from the following full list of topics offered (extra topics will be removed at a later stage. If there is a topic you'd like to discuss which is not listed here, you can suggest it while registering):</strong> </p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">1. Agile Marketing - Develop a more responsive &amp; customer-centric approach</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">2. Content Marketing Strategy</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">3. Customer Experience Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">4. Data-Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">5. Digital Transformation - People, Process &amp; Technology</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">6. Ecommerce</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">7. Email Marketing - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">8. Integrated Search (PPC/SEO) - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">9. Joining Up Online &amp; Offline Channels Data</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">10. Marketing Automation - Best Practices &amp; Implementation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">11. Mobile Marketing</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">12. Online Advertising - Retargeting, Exchanges &amp; Social Advertising</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">13. Real-Time Brand Marketing - Using Data &amp; Technology To Drive Brand Impact</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">14. Social Media Measurement &amp; Optimisation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt;</strong> <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">View past Digital Cream event photos (source: facebook page)</strong><br></strong></p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10153875617599327" target="_blank">Digital Cream Sydney 2016</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153214103704327.1073741876.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Singapore 2015</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153124439974327.1073741873.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Sydney 2015</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152276242849327.1073741856.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Melbourne 2014</a> and <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152209218799327.1073741854.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Hong Kong 2014</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/840 2016-11-17T05:07:45+00:00 2016-11-17T05:07:45+00:00 Digital Cream Sydney <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Exclusive to 80 senior client side marketers, <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Econsultancy's Digital Cream</strong> is one of the industry's landmark events for marketers to:</p> <ul style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">convene and network with like-minded peers from different industries</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">exchange experiences</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">compare benchmark efforts</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">explore the latest best practice</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">discuss strategies</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">learn from others who face the same challenges with suppliers, technologies and techniques. </li> </ul> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">In a personal and confidential setting (It's Chatham House Rules so what's said at Digital Cream, stays at Digital Cream), the roundtable format is a quick and sure-fire way to find out what's worked and what hasn't, an invaluable opportunity to take time out and come back to the office full of ideas.</p> <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">Roundtable Format</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There are 8 roundtable topics and each delegate chooses 3 table topics most relevant to you, each session lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes. Each roundtable is independently moderated and focuses on a particular topic discussing challenges or areas of interest nominated by the table's attendees in the time available. This level of input ensures you get the maximum from your day.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Digital Cream has been devised by the analysts and editors at Econsultancy in consultation with the most senior digital buyers in the world and runs in London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Attendees pick three tables choices from the following full list of topics offered (extra topics will be removed at a later stage. If there is a topic you'd like to discuss which is not listed here, you can suggest it while registering):</strong> </p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">1. Agile Marketing - Develop a more responsive &amp; customer-centric approach</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">2. Content Marketing Strategy</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">3. Customer Experience Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">4. Data-Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">5. Digital Transformation - People, Process &amp; Technology</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">6. Ecommerce</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">7. Email Marketing - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">8. Integrated Search (PPC/SEO) - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">9. Joining Up Online &amp; Offline Channels Data</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">10. Marketing Automation - Best Practices &amp; Implementation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">11. Mobile Marketing</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">12. Online Advertising - Retargeting, Exchanges &amp; Social Advertising</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">13. Real-Time Brand Marketing - Using Data &amp; Technology To Drive Brand Impact</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">14. Social Media Measurement &amp; Optimisation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt;</strong> <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">View past Digital Cream event photos (source: facebook page)</strong><br></strong></p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10153875617599327" target="_blank">Digital Cream Sydney 2016</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153214103704327.1073741876.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Singapore 2015</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153124439974327.1073741873.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Sydney 2015</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152276242849327.1073741856.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Melbourne 2014</a> and <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152209218799327.1073741854.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Digital Cream Hong Kong 2014</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68518 2016-11-11T14:54:58+00:00 2016-11-11T14:54:58+00:00 Following Donald Trump's election, the war against algorithms has begun Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66613-new-amazon-algorithm-to-shake-up-product-reviews/">On Amazon</a>, an algorithm determines which product reviews should be highlighted. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67515-twitter-unveils-new-timeline-feature-what-you-need-to-know/">On Twitter</a>, an algorithm determines which tweets should appear at the top of each user's timeline. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67656-instagram-is-shaking-up-its-feed-with-an-algorithm-what-brands-need-to-know/">On Instagram</a>, an algorithm determines in what order posts should be displayed.</p> <p>In short, it's almost impossible to find a popular digital service that doesn't in some way employ algorithms to deliver content to users.</p> <p>For marketers, the <em>algorithimization</em> of the web has been a fact of life for years.</p> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66378-facebook-s-algorithm-update-what-it-means-for-marketers/">changes</a> to algorithms have been the source of angst and frequently complaint, marketers have been forced to accept the fact that their success or failure on the web will in large part be determined by algorithms they don't control and their ability to understand them and make the most of them.</p> <p>Some marketers, of course, have fought against the way algorithms are used. For example, numerous companies have accused Google of tweaking its algorithm to favor its own properties, and such claims have frequently been cited in discussions about whether regulators should pursue <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66277-google-could-face-eu-antitrust-charges-imminently-report/">anti-trust charges</a> against the search giant.</p> <p>But by and large, Google has escaped a Microsoft-like crackdown, perhaps in part because marketers themselves are an unfavorable lot to regulators and the public.</p> <p>Now, however, a real war against algorithms appears to be underway.</p> <p>Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced the concern that "algorithms, when they are not transparent, can lead to a distortion of our perception, they can shrink our expanse of information." She <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/27/angela-merkel-internet-search-engines-are-distorting-our-perception">explained</a>...</p> <blockquote> <p>I'm of the opinion that algorithms must be made more transparent, so that one can inform oneself as an interested citizen about questions like ‘what influences my behaviour on the internet and that of others?'</p> </blockquote> <p>Her concerns are being echoed by others following Donald Trump's stunning upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential race.</p> <p>Now, many are accusing Facebook's algorithm of helping Donald Trump win the election he wasn't expected to win by allowing misinformation to be widely spread across its network.</p> <p>Writing for New York Magazine, Max Read <a href="http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/11/donald-trump-won-because-of-facebook.html">went so far as to claim</a> that "Donald Trump won because of Facebook."</p> <p>He argues: "The most obvious way in which Facebook enabled a Trump victory has been its inability (or refusal) to address the problem of hoax or fake news.</p> <p>"Fake news is not a problem unique to Facebook, but Facebook’s enormous audience, and the mechanisms of distribution on which the site relies — i.e., the emotionally charged activity of sharing, and the show-me-more-like-this feedback loop of the news feed algorithm — makes it the only site to support a genuinely lucrative market in which shady publishers arbitrage traffic by enticing people off of Facebook and onto ad-festooned websites, using stories that are alternately made up, incorrect, exaggerated beyond all relationship to truth, or all three.</p> <p>"All throughout the election, these fake stories, sometimes papered over with flimsy “parody site” disclosures somewhere in small type, circulated throughout Facebook: The Pope endorses Trump. Hillary Clinton bought $137m in illegal arms. The Clintons bought a $200m house in the Maldives.</p> <p>"Many got hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of shares, likes, and comments; enough people clicked through to the posts to generate significant profits for their creators.</p> <p>"The valiant efforts of Snopes and other debunking organizations were insufficient; Facebook’s labyrinthine sharing and privacy settings mean that fact-checks get lost in the shuffle.</p> <p>"Often, no one would even need to click on and read the story for the headline itself to become a widely distributed talking point, repeated elsewhere online, or, sometimes, in real life."</p> <p>While Trump himself claimed throughout his campaign that the media was treating him unfairly, a claim that seems to have resonated with his supporters, many others are, like Reed, largely <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/11/the-forces-that-drove-this-elections-media-failure-are-likely-to-get-worse/">attributing</a> Clinton's loss to internet-spread misinformation instead of, say, <a href="http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/hillary-clinton-wrong/306676/">her messaging</a>.</p> <h3>Algorithms aren't perfect, but people aren't either</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, those who appear to be unhappy with the results of the US presidential election seem to be leading the criticism of Facebook and the algorithms that help determine what content is displayed to users.</p> <p>But that doesn't mean they don't have a point. They do.</p> <p>There is a real debate to be had about the power Google, Facebook and others wield through their algorithms because the potential for abuse and harmful effects is real.</p> <p>For example, in 2012, Facebook conducted a psychological study by tweaking the number of positive and negative News Feed posts displayed to a random selection of over half a million of its users.</p> <p>It did not alert them to the fact that they were part of a study or obtain their permission. For obvious reasons, the study, which found that emotions could be spread through social networks, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/technology/facebook-tinkers-with-users-emotions-in-news-feed-experiment-stirring-outcry.html?_r=0">was widely criticized</a>.</p> <p>But, psychological studies that push ethical boundaries aside, it's not clear that there's an easy way to address concerns that algorithms are directing people to potentially bad information.</p> <p>Some suggest that Facebook and others need to involve humans.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Facebook needs a public editor. About three years ago. <a href="https://t.co/TVLGEnn9Gr">https://t.co/TVLGEnn9Gr</a></p> — Vacation Alex (@alex) <a href="https://twitter.com/alex/status/796815389917184000">November 10, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>But humans aren't perfect. If companies like Facebook start relying on human editors to vet the content that circulates on their services, they will arguably cease to be technology platforms and instead come to function as media organizations.</p> <p>That would open many new cans of worms as humans are themselves vulnerable to bias and manipulation.</p> <p>For example, during the election cycle, Facebook found itself under scrutiny when former Facebook staffers <a href="http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006">claimed</a> the world's largest social network routinely suppressed conservative news from its "trending" news section.</p> <p>The accusation that the one of the world's most influential companies was engaging in censorship to favor liberal news sources led CEO Mark Zuckerberg to meet with conservative leaders. The company subsequently decided to rely more heavily on algorithms instead of an editorial team.</p> <p>Perhaps the most balanced solution to the challenges algorithms present would be to increase transparency as Germany's Merkel has suggested.</p> <p>But this too isn't likely to have the intended effect. If companies like Google and Facebook provided the intricate details about how their algorithms function, the knowledge would almost certainly be used by those seeking to manipulate them for personal gain.</p> <p>In addition, the average person probably isn't going to have the interest or technical knowledge required to understand the mechanics of these algorithms even if this information was accessible to them.</p> <p>Finally, bad information isn't going away. Human editorial controls – and censorship – might be able to reduce the spread of information deemed inaccurate or harmful, but misinformation and its ill effects existed well before the internet came along.</p> <h3>An inconvenient truth</h3> <p>Founding father Thomas Jefferson wrote, "A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate."</p> <p>With over half of adults in the US getting news through social media today <a href="http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2016/">according to Pew</a>, there is no doubt that social media plays an increasingly important role in how the electorate is informed.</p> <p>But Jefferson also wrote of the importance of education and critical thinking:</p> <blockquote> <p>An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight.</p> </blockquote> <p>The 2016 US presidential election, following the UK's Brexit vote, has turned algorithms into something of a scapegoat.</p> <p>And while we should discuss and debate the role they play in all aspects of our society, from how marketing messages are delivered to consumers to how news is disseminated to citizens, we should also be very careful that we don't blame algorithms for our own shortcomings.</p> <p>If we do, it will sadly pave the way for an Orwellian web that is less free and more subject to the abuses of concentrated power.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68464 2016-10-28T09:23:25+01:00 2016-10-28T09:23:25+01:00 All the digital news stories you missed this week Ben Davis <h3>The withering of Vine</h3> <p>Twitter will shutter the Vine app in the "coming months".</p> <p>No date was given in <a href="https://medium.com/@vine/important-news-about-vine-909c5f4ae7a7#.lo9decnw5">Vine's statement</a> but it did say that users would be given notice and will have the option of downloading their Vines beforehand. The website will remain live, too.</p> <p>Vine has 200m monthly active users and many of them are unhappy at the news. Check out the #RIPVine hashtag on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I don't know what it is about it, but this still is one of the most awesome vines ever. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIPVine?src=hash">#RIPVine</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VineHallOfFame?src=hash">#VineHallOfFame</a> <a href="https://t.co/187OornV49">https://t.co/187OornV49</a></p> — Braxton Stunner (@braxtonstunner) <a href="https://twitter.com/braxtonstunner/status/791865482471022592">October 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Twitter announces layoffs</h3> <p>More Twitter turmoil. The company has decided to cut 9% of its staff, despite <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/twitter-q3-earnings-2016-10?r=US&amp;IR=T">Q3 revenue up 8% YoY</a>. </p> <p>300 jobs will go from the sales, marketing and partnerships teams.</p> <h3>Slack hits 4m daily users</h3> <p>Slack has announced it has more than 4m daily active users worldwide (1.25m of which are paying).</p> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67489-slack-yammer-facebook-who-ll-win-the-collaboration-battle/">workflow tool</a> is considered the fastest growing business application ever. Daily users have increased by a million since May this year.</p> <p>Outside North America, the UK is the top Slack-using nation.</p> <p><em>Chart <a href="https://slackhq.com/we-love-it-when-the-numbers-turn-over-70a61a69b2ff#.f20l1iisp">via Slack</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0859/slack.png" alt="slack daus" width="615"></p> <p>In other Slack news, the company has announced it will partner with IBM Watson to improve its own bots.</p> <p>Slackbot will ultimately be better able to help users and Slack will also use the functionality to centralise troubleshooting.</p> <p>An Application Starter Kit will be provided for developers and a Botkit Watson plugin released on Github.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/ibm-watson-is-about-to-make-slack-smarter">More from Wired.</a></p> <h3>Big data reveals Christopher Marlowe <em>is</em> Shakespeare co-author</h3> <p>Shakespeare's three Henry VI plays were written in part by Christopher Marlowe.</p> <p>The association has long been speculated about, but academics including Gary Taylor from Florida State University have used <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67758-big-data-tools-techniques-successful-cmos-need-to-know/">big data</a> to analyse phraseology from both authors to as near as prove their involvement. </p> <p>Databases of plays and Elizabethan writings from a host of authors were used to look for distinctive words and combinations.</p> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-shakespeare-marlowe-idUSKCN12O1QE">More from Reuters</a>.</p> <h3>MasterCard launches AI bot</h3> <p>Mastercard is launching a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">bot</a> that will allow consumers to manage their money via messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger.</p> <p>The chat, messaging and natural language capabilities will be provided to Mastercard's merchant and bank partners to help their consumers.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/10/26/as-mastercard-launches-an-ai-bot-research-suggests-consumers-prefer-human-interactions/">Marketing Week reports</a>, the bot will provide consumers with personalised service and contextual offers and rewards.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/m-nbznORjaY?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>40% of FT readers agree to disable their ad-blocker when asked</h3> <p>The Financial Times has revealed that 40% of online readers using ad-blockers agreed to whitelist FT.com (and thereby view ads) when asked, across a sample of 5,000 users.</p> <p>Other tests showed that when some words were obscured from articles, 47% of ad-blocker users agreed to whitelist in order to view content. A further sample saw 69% agree to whitelist when articles were obscured entirely.</p> <p>A sample of 15,000 registered FT.com readers were split into three groups of 5,000 each for the test and asked to “whitelist” the website, meaning adverts would show up, through varying degrees of access.</p> <p><a href="http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/financial-times-experiment-sees-40-per-cent-of-readers-turn-off-ad-blockers-when-asked/">More from the Press Gazette.</a></p> <h3>BT to replace phone boxes with free WiFi stations</h3> <p><a href="http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/tech-news/new-links-kiosks-to-offer-free-ultrafast-wi-fi-mobile-charging-calls-and-local-information-in-london-11364107524278">BT is placing</a> 750 WiFi stations across the UK and London as it gets rid of many redundant phone boxes.</p> <p>The 'Links' kiosks will provide free calls, alongside WiFi, maps and information, as well as advertising.</p> <p>BT is partnering with Intersection and Primetime on the new infrastructure.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0864/links.jpg" alt="links" width="615"></p> <h3>Donald Trump is on Tinder..</h3> <p>..sort of. And so is Hillary Clinton.</p> <p>Tinder has collaborated with non-profit Rock the Vote to allow users to swipe left or right on the two candidates' policies.</p> <p>The Swipe the Vote feature lets users find out more about some of the policies being debated then approve or discard them before being told whether their views match their voting intention.</p> <p>The app then directs the user to the nearest polling station ahead of November 8th.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0860/swipe.jpg" alt="tinder swipe the vote" width="615" height="281"></p> <h3>AT&amp;T in agreement to buy Time Warner</h3> <p>You can't have missed this one?</p> <p>AT&amp;T has agreed to buy Time Warner for $85.4bn - a vertical merger combining the network with premium content.</p> <p>Time will tell whether regulators approve the deal. Donald Trump has already said he would block the deal if he becomes President.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/ea38c718-9aca-11e6-b8c6-568a43813464%20">The FT reports</a> that Time Warner's chief exec Jeff Bewkes believes that AT&amp;T Time Warner could be in a position to take on the "duopoly" of Google and Facebook when it comes to digital advertising.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4287 2016-10-27T16:33:00+01:00 2016-10-27T16:33:00+01:00 B2B Digital Trends 2016 - 2017 <p>In the tradition of our last four annual reports on the digital landscape in B2B, the <strong>B2B Digital Trends 2016-2017</strong> report notes the continued importance of content marketing, along with the growing role of customer experience (CX) in the B2B space.</p> <p>As stated, B2B continues to lag behind B2C. Naturally, talented B2B marketers are looking to their B2C counterparts to inform the next move; inside is a description of these priorities, along with an overview of what has changed marketing-side in the time elapsed since last year's survey. Find out where B2C's priorities are, so that B2B might catch up and eventually, overtake.</p> <p>Further explore Econsultancy's B2B/B2C comparisons in personalization and customer experience, along with B2B's current and most pressing obstacles to customer centricity. </p> <p>As marketers in a highly disruptive age, it's no longer enough to anticipate the next step; take advantage of the insight provided by more than 1,000 professional respondents in the fast-changing world of digital B2B.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68441 2016-10-27T11:46:54+01:00 2016-10-27T11:46:54+01:00 Site speed for SEO: Why it's about more than just loading times Chris Smith <p>Being new to SEO, I had many questions, but as this was one of the first things I was told, I thought it would be best to take a keen interest in it, and try to understand exactly how your site speed effects performance.</p> <p>Cue my head exploding.</p> <p>Yes, site speed can be a difficult thing for a newbie to get to grips with, especially when you consider every possible factor – images, style-sheets, flash, scripts – the list goes on and on.</p> <p>As my knowledge of site speed grew, I began to understand that it’s more than just how fast your pages load.</p> <p>We know that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/usability-and-user-experience-digital-marketing-template-files">user experience</a> is a ranking factor. How fast (and well) a page loads will come under this, but I think we need to stretch site speed a little further than this.</p> <p>I realised that yes, there are a number of practices you can follow to make sure your site loads as quickly as possible for the user, but how they interact with your site once the page has loaded is just as important – perhaps even more significant.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0803/Pagespeed_insights.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480"></p> <p>On site content, another <a href="http://searchengineland.com/now-know-googles-top-three-search-ranking-factors-245882">confirmed ranking factor</a>, is the best example of this.</p> <p>Yes, you can have a page that loads in less than a second, and checks off all of the boxes in Google’s <a href="https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/">PageSpeed Tools</a>, and is technically the best damn page out there, but if you’re presenting the wrong content, then what’s the point?</p> <p>If you’re ranking for a query along the lines of ‘Who is the all-time top goal scorer in the MLS?’, and your returned page is a three-hour read on the history of soccer (or football, as we call it here in the UK) with one sentence on who the top goal scorer is near then end, then you’re not really providing great user experience, which we’ve already established as an important ranking factor.</p> <p>It’s California’s own Landon Donovan, by the way.</p> <p>Now, if the above scenario really is happening (or something similar) then it’s not going to be long before search engines take notice.</p> <p>Your bounce rates will increase, users time spent on your page will be very low, and people won’t interact or share your page – it’s bad news.</p> <p>Whilst search engines might not use data straight from analytics, they’re smart enough to recognise a poor page when they see one.</p> <p>If your page isn’t useful to the users, then it’s not useful to search engines.</p> <p>Technological advancements have not only changed how we access the internet, but also how we interact with it. The more options we have for finding online content, the less time we spend looking at it, seemingly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0804/computer_screen.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480"></p> <p>Generation Z spend up to 25% less time on your online content, and <a href="http://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2015/6/11/15-mind-blowing-stats-about-generation-z.html">according to CMO.com</a>, by 2020 this generation will make up 40% of your market. That’s a drop in market-share that you shouldn’t ignore.</p> <p>People are becoming quicker, so to speak. They’re always in a rush, they’ve always got something to do.</p> <p>They don’t have time for the aforementioned three-hour read on the history of soccer, especially when what they were looking for could have been presented in less than a paragraph.</p> <p>This fickle generation needs instantaneous assurance that they’ve come to the right place.</p> <p>So, what can you do? What are the biggest ways of improving your site’s speed, and your visitors’ recognition of it being exactly what they are looking for?</p> <p>Below is a selection of both technical actions and content advice that can help you on your endeavours.</p> <h3>Using the right images</h3> <p>Now, this might seem very obvious and some might reply “yeah, we always use our own images” or “we always credit our image sources correctly.”</p> <p>This is great, but there’s a little more that you need to think about.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0805/images.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480"></p> <p>Both image size and image formats can make a difference to your page load times.</p> <p>If you’re using a picture that can only be viewed at a maximum of 500x500 pixels, then don’t upload the picture as a 1000x1000 pixel image. That’s just giving your page more to think about, when it really doesn’t have to.</p> <p>Additionally, look at the type of picture you’re uploading. Is it a bright, vibrant and colourful picture? If it is, use a JPEG.</p> <p>If it’s more saturated, black and white, or even transparent, use a PNG.</p> <p>Image formats are better suited to <a href="http://1stwebdesigner.com/image-file-types/">specific picture types</a>, and this can again make a small but noticeable difference.</p> <h3>Redundant scripts and code</h3> <p>If you’re an internet user, there’s a fair chance that you’ve visited The Oatmeal’s website.</p> <p>There’s also a fair chance that you’re aware of the pterodactyl that lives in the site's <a>source code</a>. Pretty cool, huh?</p> <p>Well, as cool as it is, this will be slowing down the page load time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0806/code.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480"></p> <p>Okay, it’s not a lot of code, so it won’t be slowing down the loading time by much, but it acts as an example of the point I’m trying to make.</p> <p>If your site doesn’t need it to function, then it shouldn't be there. It’s as simple as that.</p> <p>Style and layout sheets also fall in the same category. These need to process before the page can be rendered. If you’ve got redundant sheets on your page, then this will also be slowing down your load time.</p> <p>You can <a href="https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/service/InlineSmallResources">inline small resources</a>, if applicable of course, and this can shave off some time. But, the important thing to remember here is that if something can be minimized or cut down, then do it!</p> <h3>Understand your audience</h3> <p>Now, you’ve looked at the technical aspects of your site speed, what’s actually presented on the pages should be your priority.</p> <p>You can have a page that loads super-fast, but if it isn’t useful to the user, then they’re going straight back out of there.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0807/Users.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480"></p> <p>A mistake that a lot of content creators make, is that they write content that they think is going to do well in the rankings. This isn’t necessarily good practice.</p> <p>People are writing content that they think the search engines want to see, when what they should be doing is writing for their audience. Knowing your audience inside out will help you do this effectively.</p> <p>Web psychologist Nathalie Nahai is a staunch supporter of this, and has much to say on the case.</p> <p><a href="http://cmxhub.com/web-psychologist-nathalie-nahai-shares-the-secrets-of-online-persuasion/">Nahai states</a> that “to succeed online you have to understand and leverage the hidden psychology of your users.”</p> <p>While this might sound obvious, it’s a really good point to make as if you don’t truly understand your users, then they’re not going to be interested in what you have to say.</p> <p>If you do have a proper understanding, then you won’t have to worry about trying to write for your audience.</p> <p>It will just come out naturally, and that is exactly what search engines want.</p> <h3>Present the right information</h3> <p>As previously mentioned, users are becoming less engaged with online content, hence they’re spending less time looking at it.</p> <p>This is usually caused by poor content targeting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0808/user_2.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480"></p> <p>While we can say that users are more ‘fast paced’ than ever before, this doesn’t mean that your content needs to be fast as well.</p> <p>It’s the quickness of the user recognising its usefulness that is essential.</p> <p>While we have talked about not presenting a three-hour read for certain queries, that’s not to say you should avoid in-depth content.</p> <p>If the subject calls for a three-hour read, then definitely do that. But, if it calls for something snappier that is easy to digest, then create the appropriate content.</p> <p>Can you present your information in a user-friendly table instead? Would a user benefit from a list of bullet points?</p> <p>It’s about presenting the content in a way that the user needs it, not what you think looks best.</p> <h3>Putting it all together</h3> <p>Everything discussed above can find its way into all aspects of SEO.</p> <p>The ‘fast content’ idea is definitely taking off in mobile with the introduction of <a href="http://www.eqtr.com/blog/2016/04/how-will-accelerated-mobile-pages-affect-your-business/">Accelerated Mobile Pages</a> project, for example.</p> <p>Even Facebook has introduced its <a href="https://instantarticles.fb.com/">Instant Articles</a> to compete. The social network recognised that this would be a great way to present content to their users, and acted on it accordingly.</p> <p>The axiom rings true - Fast content for fast users.</p> <p>Site speed can definitely make a difference to your revenue too. A few years ago, <a href="http://www.globaldots.com/how-website-speed-affects-conversion-rates/">Walmart</a> found that for every one second that its load time improved, it registered a 2% increase in conversions.</p> <p>Those numbers might not seem that impressive, but <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/05/20/the-silver-lining-in-walmarts-slowing-e-commerce-growth/">Walmart made $13.5bn in global online sales in 2015</a>, so a 2% increase in conversions equates to a lot of money.</p> <p>You might not see improvements on a scale that large, but you will see a difference. And your users will also notice it too.</p> <p>The above might seem straight-forward, and even rudimentary to many of you.</p> <p>However, something that I’ve found in my time in SEO is that quite often, we can forget the basics. There’s a desire out there to excite.</p> <p>Many feel that impressing and standing out from the crowd with something flashy and out-there is the most effective approach.</p> <p>You’ll get no argument from me that this isn’t a good attitude to have, but don’t forget the basics, and above all don’t forget the users.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/search-engine-marketing-seo-digital-marketing-template-files/"><em>SEO – Digital Marketing Template Files</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/"><em>Search Marketing Training</em></a></li> </ul>