tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/search-marketing Latest Search Marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-04-28T11:15:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69042 2017-04-28T11:15:00+01:00 2017-04-28T11:15:00+01:00 Driven by mobile, digital overtakes TV in US ad spend for the first time Patricio Robles <p>The milestone is one that industry analysts and observers have been waiting for and 2016 also brought with it another milestone: for the first time, mobile ads produced more revenue than desktop ads.</p> <p>All told, digital ad revenue in the US hit a record $72.5bn last year, up from $59.6bn in 2015. Mobile ads were responsible for $36.6bn of that, a massive 77% year-over-year gain.</p> <p>A good portion of mobile's gains were due to the growing popularity of mobile video ads. Spend on those skyrocketed by 145% year-over-year to reach $4.2bn, which helped fuel a 53% year-over-year jump in digital video ad spend overall. That figure now stands at $9.1bn.</p> <p>Spend on social ads, which in recent years have become a staple of many advertisers' digital campaigns, grew 50% to $16.3bn. Even search managed to produce a 19% gain to reach $35bn in spend.</p> <p>According to the IAB, mobile's ascendency across all digital channels is not surprising. "This increasing commitment [to mobile] is a reflection of brands’ ongoing marketing shift from 'mobile-first' to 'mobile-only' in order to keep pace with today's on-the-go consumers," IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg stated. </p> <p>"In a mobile world, it is no surprise that mobile ad revenues now take more than half of the digital market share," IAB EVP and CMO David Doty added.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5773/iabchart.png" alt="" width="705" height="488"></p> <h3>The rich get richer</h3> <p>While digital's eclipsing of television in terms of ad spend is no doubt good news for the digital economy generally, not everybody is benefiting equally from the growth of digital ad spend. By most estimates, two companies, Google and Facebook, have realized the vast majority of ad revenue growth, leading some to label the two companies a duopoly.</p> <p>According to Digital Content Next's Jason Kint, Google and Facebook took 89% of the growth last year. Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/04/26/google-facebook-digital-ads/">estimates</a> that amazingly the two companies were the beneficiaries of close to 100% of the growth.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">so <a href="https://twitter.com/iab">@IAB</a> just dropped 2016 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/s?src=hash">#s</a>. Duopoly in full force -&gt; takes 89% of growth. "Everyone Else" loses more share courtesy of Facebook. <a href="https://twitter.com/DCNorg">@dcnorg</a> <a href="https://t.co/urglxDrooM">pic.twitter.com/urglxDrooM</a></p> — Jason Kint (@jason_kint) <a href="https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/857255714678603777">April 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The IAB disputes such claims. "73% of revenues in Q4 came from the top 10 digital companies, but they only contributed 69% of the growth," the IAB's Doty <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/digital-ad-revenue-surpasses-tv-desktop-iab/308808/">told AdAge</a>. "That means 31% of the growth came from companies outside the top 10." He also stated that some estimates count revenue outside of the US and don't account for traffic acquisition costs.</p> <p>But even if the estimates of how much Google and Facebook are taking as the digital ad spend pie grows are slightly exaggerated, it's clear from the companies' <a href="https://abc.xyz/investor/news/earnings/2016/Q4_alphabet_earnings/">financial</a> <a href="https://investor.fb.com/investor-news/press-release-details/2017/facebook-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-2016-Results/default.aspx">reports</a> that advertisers are funnelling increasingly large sums of money to the two internet giants.</p> <p>At the same time, other notable players, like Twitter, are losing. The still-popular microblogging platform has finally managed to grow its monthly users by a meaningful amount, but despite user growth Twitter <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/26/twitter-revenues-fall-first-quarter-results-advertising">just reported its first quarterly revenue decline</a> and acknowledged that it is facing "revenue headwinds."</p> <p>While Google and Facebook face some challenges of their own, including <a href="https://digiday.com/uk/youtube-ad-boycott-concisely-explained/">an advertiser boycott</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/26/facebook-must-step-up-fake-news-fight-before-uk-election-urges-mp">criticism over fake news</a>, every indication is that the two companies, official duopoly or not, will continue to dominate internet advertising. Whether that's ultimately a good or bad thing for digital ad economy remains to be seen.</p> <p><strong><em>For more digital marketing and ecommerce data, download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/">Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69008 2017-04-20T01:01:00+01:00 2017-04-20T01:01:00+01:00 Which channels do marketers really use? Jeff Rajeck <p>Part of what makes marketing interesting is that the discipline is constantly evolving. Hardly a week goes by without some major change to a consumer service or a new way to use a platform to engage with our audiences.</p> <p>Yet sometimes the pace of change can be overwhelming. It's often difficult to both keep up with the latest innovations and stay on top of daily marketing tasks.</p> <p>To find out just how necessary it is for marketers to be familiar with the latest platforms, <strong>we surveyed over 200 marketers in Australia and New Zealand about the channels they use for their marketing efforts</strong>. Below are some of the surprising findings along with some commentary.</p> <p>For more data from the survey please refer to the Econsultancy report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/cross-channel-marketing-in-australia-and-new-zealand">Cross-Channel Marketing in ANZ</a>, produced in association with IBM Marketing Cloud.</p> <h3>1. Conventional digital channels still rule</h3> <p>First off, the survey results make it clear that <strong>marketers are most frequently using familiar digital touchpoints for their marketing efforts</strong>. Social media, email, and SEO (natural search) are all used by more than eight in ten marketers (87%, 87%, 81% respectively).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5487/top__5_channels.png" alt="" width="800" height="514"></p> <p>One reason these channels are the most popular is because <strong>companies tend to use channels which are well-understood and easy to integrate into overall marketing activity.</strong></p> <p>The conventional channels are also where the brands' customers are spending their time.   </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Email</strong>: According to the <a href="http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf">Radicati group</a>, more than 2.5bn people use email every month.  </li> <li> <strong>Social</strong>: The largest global social network, Facebook, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/01/technology/facebook-earnings/">is now approaching 2bn monthly active users (MAUs)</a>.</li> <li> <strong>Search</strong>: Google has announced that its search platform has <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/1/10889492/gmail-1-billion-google-alphabet">at least 1bn MAUs</a>.</li> </ul> <p>When the usage of these platforms is compared to, say, Snapchat, we can easily see why marketers are so much more likely to use them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5486/1.png" alt="" width="800" height="371"></p> <h3>2. Offline touchpoints are still relied upon by many brands</h3> <p>A somewhat surprising result from the survey is that <strong>offline touchpoints are still a significant part of the marketing mix.</strong> While point-of-sale and call centres are only used by around one in three companies (34% and 31% respectively), traditional media and events are used by significantly more (47%, 71% respectively).</p> <p>The popularity of offline touchpoints makes a bit more sense when data from <a href="https://www.consumerbarometer.com">recent research from Google</a> is considered.</p> <p>Google recently surveyed consumers in Australia and New Zealand and reported that only <strong>just over half of consumers (58% Australia, 53% New Zealand) used an online channel to research or purchase a product.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5489/google1.png" alt="" width="800" height="348"></p> <p>So to reach customers where they are likely to research their products and buy them, marketers must still operate offline to a significant extent.</p> <h3>3. Mobile is not as popular as you might think</h3> <p>Another interesting survey result is that mobile touchpoints are less popular in Australia and New Zealand than offline channels.</p> <p>Though the mobile web is used by nearly half (49%) of client-side respondents, mobile messaging, mobile apps, messaging apps and mobile push notifications are each only part of less than one in four companies' marketing efforts (23%, 22%, 10%, 7%, respectively).</p> <p>This apparent lack of enthusiasm for mobile is even more confusing considering the relatively high penetration of smartphones in the region. More than <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/257041/smartphone-user-penetration-in-australia/">80% in Australia</a> and <a href="http://www.researchnz.com/pdf/special%20reports/research%20new%20zealand%20special%20report%20-%20use%20of%20smartphones.pdf">70%  in New Zealand</a> use mobile devices with internet connectivity.</p> <p>But going back to Google's Consumer Barometer data offers a reasonable explanation. When asked where in the buying cycle did people use a smartphone, <strong>fewer than 50% use a smartphone for anything at all in the buying cycle and only around 10% use a smartphone for buying.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5490/google2.png" alt="" width="800" height="185"></p> <p>So while there is a lot of advice out there about how brands should 'embrace' mobile and aim to be 'mobile-first', <strong>i</strong><strong>t seems that consumers are not quite there yet with mobile. </strong></p> <h3>4. Messaging apps hardly appear on brands' radars</h3> <p>From our data, it seems that the biggest chasm between conventional wisdom and reality concerns messaging apps. If you read the tech press, you'd be forgiven for thinking that messaging apps dominated our culture and each change to these apps affects millions of lives. Marketers, one might think, should be flocking to them in droves.</p> <p>While there is some chance that this is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68429-six-things-marketers-should-know-about-social-media-in-asia-pacific/">true in China</a>, <strong>marketers in Australia and New Zealand indicated that messaging apps are not popular channels for marketing in the region.</strong> A mere 10% of client-side marketers use messaging apps and only 15% of agency marketers said the same.</p> <p>From other data, it's clear that the problem with messaging apps isn't consumer interest. <a href="http://www.onmsg.com.au/">According to messaging app agency On Message</a>, Australia will have over 11m messaging app users in 2017 and messaging apps are the primary form of contact for more than half (54%) of 15-19 year olds in the country.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5491/On_Message.png" alt="" width="800" height="234"></p> <p>Instead, it is much more likely that <strong>messaging apps are still simply too difficult to use for marketing.</strong> Besides some basic self-service ads on Facebook Messenger, engaging with messaging users requires dedicated resource to build contact lists, 'man' the consumer outreach or customer service desk, and build bots to handle incoming traffic.</p> <p>This is not to say that marketing via messaging apps will never happen, but rather that it is likely that it will be some time before most brands have to worry about engaging their customers on these platforms.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68947 2017-04-13T10:27:40+01:00 2017-04-13T10:27:40+01:00 Automating SEO: An introduction to Python Ben Davis <p>At a conference where artificial intelligence and voice search seemed to be the topics on everyone's lips, I found Valentinova's talk refreshing in its advocacy of just getting on and setting up some simple (ish) alerts to make your workflow more manageable. </p> <h4>What is Python?</h4> <p>Python is a very popular open-source computer programming language, supported by a large community of programmers. It has been used, amongst many other things, in natural language processing and as the main user language for the Raspberry Pi.</p> <p>Python is one of the chief languages for scripts, but if, like me, you've only ever messed about with HTML and CSS, you can take heart from Python's philosophy as described in the Zen of Python:</p> <ul> <li>Beautiful is better than ugly</li> <li>Explicit is better than implicit</li> <li>Simple is better than complex</li> <li>Complex is better than complicated</li> <li>Readability counts </li> </ul> <h4>What use is Python for the typical SEO?</h4> <p>You may already use third-party software such as Screaming Frog, and Valentinova posed the question, "Isn’t that enough?" Well, she says, not always. Scripts allow the SEO to be proactive, not reactive, receiving notifications at any time.</p> <p>Python scripts can be used to automate repetitive but necessary tasks. You might use them to compare canonical URLs or to look for changes in indexation. Or alternatively you may want to scrape competitor pages and keep an eye on changes to their products and pricing.</p> <p>Similarly, you could use Python to check on your own data, such as headings and structured data. Valentinova gave one example, citing instances where multiple content editors are making changes to data on key product pages. In this scenario, the SEO may not receive notifications to make them aware of these changes. If the changes aren't communicated to the SEO team, it could impact rankings, and therefore a script can be used to provide a timely alert. </p> <p>The Python script parses HTML and compares current value with expected values, sending an email alert that highlights any discrepancies. This type of activity could be taken further and used to send a regular update to your manager or stakeholder.</p> <h4>Worried this might be too technical?</h4> <p>Valentinova points out that you don’t need to use code on a daily basis, you simply have to set up some of these scripts and then sit back and enjoy the benefits of proactive management.</p> <p>There's a <a href="http://www.alfianita.me/python-for-seo-checks-meta-data/">detailed methodology on Valentinova's blog</a> (including a script download), guiding you through step-by-step to run an example script that checks for metadata changes. It breaks down simply as follows:</p> <ul> <li>Download and install Python.</li> <li>Download Valentinova's example metadata script.</li> <li>Create an .xlsx input file which is simply a list of URLs and the page title and meta description you expect to see.</li> <li>Add your email address and login details and the input file name to the config file.</li> <li>Make sure your Gmail account will allow the script to access it (turn 'less secure apps' on).</li> <li>Use command line to download the necessary Python libraries (these allow for certain functionality, such as sending emails).</li> <li>Run the script.</li> </ul> <p>After you've got to grips with this example, Valentinova recommends a number of other resources, including the creative commons manual <a href="https://automatetheboringstuff.com/">Automate the Boring Stuff with Python</a> and urllib2, a Python module that can be used to fetch URLs.</p> <h4>Spend time finding the solution not the problem</h4> <p>As Valentinova infectiously pointed out, there's lots you can do with Python and it doesn't have to be a daunting experiment. Ultimately, once you've mastered a few alerts, you can reduce the manual checks you have to do, and spend more time finding the solution rather than the problem.</p> <p>In the words of Valentinova, "automation is not a silver bullet, but SEO is a race" - Python is simply a way of getting a headstart.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/"><em>Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/"><em>Search Marketing Training</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68984 2017-04-11T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-11T10:00:00+01:00 How visual search is helping ecommerce brands Nikki Gilliland <p>I attended Brighton SEO last week, where Purma Virji from Microsoft gave a talk all about this topic. </p> <p>So, what exactly is visual search, and more specifically, how is it changing the way we buy online? With inspiration from Purma’s talk, here’s a bit of elaboration on the subject along with a few brand examples.</p> <h3>Visual search + artificial intelligence</h3> <p>Visual search works by comparing the pixels in imagery to identify and return results that are similar. </p> <p>So, instead of typing in a keyword such as ‘black mini dress’ - which will return thousands of general results – users can upload an image to help narrow it down to something much more specific.</p> <p>This technology is not brand new – you might recall Google Goggles being launched way back in 2010. Zappos also introduced a way to visually navigate through its vast shoe collection in 2009.</p> <p>More recently, however, advancements in artificial intelligence have meant that visual search is becoming much slicker, with the ability to compute more data at a much quicker rate. Purma coined the term ‘visual intelligence’ to describe this rapidly improving technology. In 2016, Bing added visual search to its app.</p> <h3>What are the benefits for ecommerce brands?</h3> <h4>Social discovery</h4> <p>According to research by Accenture, social media will become the preferred shopping channel for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68554-how-retailers-are-targeting-generation-z/" target="_blank">Generation Z</a>, with <a href="https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/generation-z-to-switch-the-majority-of-purchases-to-retailers-that-provide-the-newest-digital-tools-and-channels-accenture-research-reveals.htm" target="_blank">69% of young consumers</a> interested in purchasing directly through social networks.</p> <p>Visual search could offer a breakthrough for social sales. Pinterest’s Lens feature allows consumers to search, discover and shop even more products based on a single image. In turn, this presents a greater opportunity for ecommerce brands looking to drive purchases from the platform.</p> <h4>Capturing the spearfisher </h4> <p>Visual search is a particularly great tool for shoppers who are looking for a specific item – also known as ‘spearfishers’. This is because it reduces the amount of steps the user would otherwise have to go through, such as typing in a keyword or scrolling through results. Instead, the desired product is immediately brought to the shopper’s attention.</p> <p>In turn, visual search could also help to reduce basket abandonment, eliminating the tedious processes that usually frustrate and annoy users.</p> <h4>Cross-selling and inspiration</h4> <p>Another benefit of visual search is that it can be a great cross-selling tool. If a website does not have a desired product in stock, it is able to show similar or related items that might still prompt a purchase. Moreover, it can also help consumers to imagine how other products might complement it. For instance, someone might search for a red dress, but if they see an image of a woman wearing a red dress <em>and</em> a bag that completes the entire look – they might be inclined to buy more than originally intended. </p> <p>Another example is home décor, with consumers commonly using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68765-why-brands-should-be-making-more-use-of-pinterest/" target="_blank">Pinterest</a> to visualise or plan an entire room rather than just search and buy a single item.</p> <h3>Ecommerce brands using visual search </h3> <p>So, how are brands using the technology? Here are just a few examples to appear so far.</p> <h4>Amazon</h4> <p>Amazon introduced visual search into its main iOS app in 2014 (and with the Firefly app on the ill-fated Fire phone), giving users the option to search using their smartphone camera. It is mainly designed to capture the ‘showrooming’ shopper – someone who is visiting a physical store but checking comparison prices online.</p> <p>While it doesn't recognise every single item (especially if unboxed), reviews suggest that it's particularly good for recognising images like DVDs or records.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5351/Amazon.JPG" alt="" width="472" height="465"></p> <h4>Target</h4> <p>Target’s ‘In a Snap’ app also launched back in 2014, allowing users to shop for items from the pages of magazines and printed ads - removing the need to manually search for the product online.</p> <p>While this version doesn’t appear to be available anymore, Target’s main app also allows shoppers to scan barcodes in-store to view more information like reviews and ratings. Again, this speeds up the path to purchase, taking away the need to ask for further assistance from in-store employees.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5354/Target.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="315"></p> <h4>Neiman Marcus</h4> <p>Alongside fellow US retailer, Macy's, Neiman Marcus has increased its focus on visual search technology in recent years. Its app now allows users to upload photos to find similar styles to buy on the website.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5353/Neiman_Marcus.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="298"></p> <p>This taps into real-time demand, with consumers able to search and buy an item they like on-the-spot, whether it’s an outfit on a celebrity or someone passing by in the street. Camera-discretion is advised.</p> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68777-10-uses-of-computer-vision-in-marketing-customer-experience/">10 uses of computer vision in marketing and customer experience</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68919-how-visual-social-listening-is-helping-fmcg-and-beyond/">How visual listening is helping FMCG brands and beyond</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/863 2017-03-26T15:24:36+01:00 2017-03-26T15:24:36+01:00 Digital Outlook 2017 Part 2 - The Sequel <p>We hear you, and we understand that there are still many digital marketing topics that were not covered at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154296603034327" target="_blank">Digital Outlook 2017</a>.</p> <p>We have selected the next six trending digital marketing topics to be presented at this event. Join us in this half day session to find out the trends and digital marketing best practices for the year.</p> <p>There will be 6 keynotes - all aiming to provide the audience with a outlook for the year.</p> <p>&gt;&gt;&gt; <strong>Overview of the 2017's trending digital marketing topics</strong></p> <p>&gt;&gt;&gt; <strong>Trends, best practices and c</strong><strong>ase studies</strong></p> <p>Hear from leading practitioners and network with industry players to learn what digital marketers should focus today to plan for tomorrow and succeed later.</p> <h4>Special Announcement</h4> <p>In partnership with NTUC, e2i and WSG, Econsultancy is carring out research on <strong>digital marketing training and development needs in Singapore for 2017</strong>. Please help us improve our training courses by completing the short survey <a href="http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3421857/b9062f550750" target="_blank">here</a>. In return for your time, you can redeem a discount on Econsultancy training courses in Singapore. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68937 2017-03-24T15:05:08+00:00 2017-03-24T15:05:08+00:00 Stories from SXSW 2017: ad blocking, content distribution, and Joe Biden Nick Hammond <p>These looked at the areas of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">ad blocking</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencer marketing</a>, social video, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66752-10-steps-to-better-content-distribution/">content distribution</a>, and the thoughts of Joe Biden, former Vice-President of the USA.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP67501">Ending The Ad Blocking Wars</a></strong></p> <p>The panel for this session included representatives from Brave Software, The New York Times, Digital Context Next and The Christian Science Monitor. They considered whether publishers can improve the ad experience to persuade readers to turn off blockers? Or will add blockers bring about the end of the free web?</p> <p>As you may imagine there was no simple solution to this conundrum. The two biggest players in the digital space (you know who they are) are not affected by ad blocking and therefore are not bothered by its effects. </p> <p>Although ad blocking is plateauing (<a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/uk-ad-blocking-levels-stabilise-22/1425085?bulletin=campaign_breakfast_briefing&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&amp;utm_source=20170223&amp;utm_content=www_campaignlive_co_uk_ar_6">at least in the UK</a>), the real squeeze is on smaller publishers, the little guys getting caught in the middle. These organisations are caught in an imperfect storm, made up of greater reliance on ad revenues and lacking the engineering investment levels and knowledge to respond to the threat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/5034/adblock-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="163"></p> <p>As a result of this, there is a real possibility of local, smaller publishers, starting to disappear. This could create a regional ‘news desert’ as even more people seek their news from social media. Currently 44% of Americans use Facebook as a news source and the number is rising. </p> <p>There was also a discussion around different types of ad blockers. Much of the debate tends to be around the big players, such as AdBlock which has 200m downloads; but there are other providers with different business models. <a href="https://brave.com">Brave Software</a> (represented on the panel) doesn’t just remove ads – it replaces them with new ads and splits the revenue between publishers, users, network partners and the company itself.</p> <p>Brendan Eich from Brave suggested that this software is the first ‘post-bad’ ad blocking solution. Still early days for this, 'softer' ad blocking model and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.</p> <p>Predictably, content was identified as a way to get around this challenge. The NYT emphasized the importance of engaging content – ‘pull instead of push’ – and advised strongly against using technology to push advertising onto consumers.</p> <p>Sponsored ‘native’ content is not necessarily the panacea to solve this problem, as publishers often tag creative to acquire more data; these are then identified as ads and therefore blocked. </p> <p>Ad fraud was a serious related issue discussed, with an estimated 23% of global video traffic being served to robots. </p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP65228">The Hundred Thousand Dollar Snap(chat)</a></strong></p> <p>The panel for this one was ShopStyle and Neiman Marcus, who considered the opportunities and challenges arising from social commerce, as well as the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">growing importance of influencers</a>, particularly within retail.</p> <p>The background to this is the change in consumers’ consumption of media and the importance of the mobile channel. 30% of all time online is spent on social and 60% of that is on mobile.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5033/snapchat_logo.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="243"></p> <p>As is often not the case, influencer activity should be approached in the same manner as any other communications campaign. It is not safe to assume that a single endorsement – ‘one and done’ – will do the trick. An effective frequency of ‘seven’, was mentioned as appropriate to the fashion retail sector. As with other channels, planning should be considered over an extended activity period, not as a series of one-offs. </p> <p>In addition, activity should not undermine influencers connections with their followers, and these retail influencers can be initially incentivised through special deals to offer to their followers. </p> <p>An interesting analogy compared the purchasing process for expensive items, such as for a Chanel bag, to the dating process; where buyers return to the store to view and interact with the product over time. In instances like these, iterative influencer messages can be effective in moving an individual closer to purchase.</p> <p>Strategies need to be different across separate social channels. Facebook is all about advertising, whilst Instagram benefits from a more organic approach. Snapchat is the new kid on the block and the hardest to measure. </p> <p>Above all, brands need to work out when to act as themselves, or through influencers in the social space. What are the key KPIs, how to measure these and how to ensure valuable content lives effectively beyond social channels? </p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP97038">Social Video and The Future of Consumption</a></strong></p> <p>Representatives from Vox Media, Vice Media and the New York Times joined this panel to discuss how social media is impacting video journalism. This session made very clear that Facebook is now the platform for video consumption. </p> <p>The NYT identified Facebook as ‘the stage’, and the essential channel for engagement and getting time with its audience. A major focus for NYT is around <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">Facebook Live</a>, which is being used to provide real-time coverage of news events. They are even looking at using this channel to create crowd-sourced investigations, a kind of mass citizen journalism.</p> <p>The upside of the live video phenomenon is that brands have an opportunity to powerfully engage with a massive audience, using current, exciting and rapidly changing content. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnytimes%2Fvideos%2F10151119750979999%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="476"></iframe></p> <p>The downside of live unedited content, is a concern around quality and the loss of editorial perspective. As a result, insightful user comments can be important to create context; but recognising this may not always be the case, Vice has indicated that all user comments are monitored in real-time.</p> <p>More controversially, the <a href="https://tytnetwork.com">The Young Turks</a> news channel is allowing users to pay to have their comments listed. Although the rise in importance of user comments can be seen as a democratic trend, allowing a financial bias on inputs would seem rather less altruistic. </p> <p>Another concern is that a publisher brand cannot easily prevent incorrect stories or unsuitable content being viewed. They can provide a retraction or an alternative perspective later on; but this may be seen by many fewer people. A good example of this would be the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/10/technology/hillary-clinton-google-search-results/">SourceFed Hilary Clinton conspiracy theory</a>. </p> <p>For me, this progression towards an ‘always-on’ society is worryingly redolent of Dave Eggers' book, and now film, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOXARv6J9k">The Circle.</a></p> <p>In any event, the benchmark for how quality video is defined is changing rapidly as we transition from a ‘TV-centric’ to ‘mobile video-centric’ world. In the digital space, where everyone with a phone is a director, quality is now less about production values and more about the story, speed and authenticity. </p> <p>Separate approaches to video content are needed across different channels. For example on Facebook a ‘raw’ approach is more appropriate and authentic. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67977-four-examples-of-brands-using-an-episodic-content-marketing-strategy/">Episodic content</a> on Snapchat is popular, with bitesize ‘episodes’ being used to tell a story in a manner entirely fitting to the medium. </p> <p>With live video, there is also a greater ethical onus on brands to decide what they will show and what they will not. A good example of content that could be considered to be on this demarcation line is <a href="http://mashable.com/2016/10/21/snapchat-breaking-news/#i0SLEFuJPsql">Snapchat’s coverage of the conflict in Mosul</a>.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP65066">Content Distribution Platforms – Friends or Foes?</a></strong></p> <p>The panel for this session included The Economist, Conde Nast International, The Young Turks and ABC News. They looked at how<em> </em>publishers are becoming more reliant than ever on content distribution platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat to reach new audiences. </p> <p>A good starting point for this session was mention of Emily Bell’s 2016 article <a href="http://www.cjr.org/analysis/facebook_and_media.php">Facebook Is Eating The World</a>.</p> <p>Facebook is the key platform under consideration here, as it increasingly becomes the place where online content is consumed. It’s importance and control over brand content has increased with the rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67544-facebook-to-open-up-instant-articles-what-publishers-need-to-know/">Instant Articles</a>, as opposed to publisher feeds, keeping traffic within the Facebook ecosystem. As an aside, Snapchat was seen to be on the rise but not currently a viable global option. </p> <p>With this is in mind, the panel considered that Facebook was both a friend and a foe. It was seen to be a friend in terms of providing a broad distribution platform and a foe with regards to its control over advertising revenues. </p> <p>According to Steve Oh of The Young Turks, the key to content success with Facebook is threefold:</p> <ul> <li>Creating regular, relevant content</li> <li>Swift use of new product features released</li> <li>Focus on building an audience </li> </ul> <p>The Economist’s approach is to focus on bite size content that lures customers towards subscription, with news topics including ‘on this day’ and ‘famous quotes’. A specific approach is with ‘Vimages’, using Facebook <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2016/09/with-vimages-the-economist-is-using-facebook-to-make-low-budget-video-versions-of-its-stories/">to re-package magazine stories into video form</a>.</p> <p>One of the questions in the session, was how to keep up with the rapid changes at Facebook and the best ways to share content. There was no clear answer, but suggestions included looking for Newsroom tips, and Google Alerts pertaining to Facebook algorithms. </p> <p><a href="http://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP61899"><strong>Art + Science: Videos That Inform, Inspire &amp; Scale</strong></a></p> <p>Finally, PopSugar's David Grant discussed what brand marketers need to know about creating video that engages their target audience at scale while delivering on brand KPIs. The session sought to explain the success of PopSugar in targeting millennial women.</p> <p>The starting point for the brand's success is to understand, as does Snapchat, the increasing cultural relevance of the camera (<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera.html?_r=0">as identified in this NYT article</a>) and that humans naturally gravitate towards content that is made up of <a href="http://www.kvibe.com/2015/03/17/why-we-as-humans-gravitate-towards-video/">sight, sound and motion.</a></p> <p>PopSugar creates videos that inform, and are created from a combined perspective drawn from its brand, brand partners and their data. PopSugar has created its own tool, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-popsugars-new-tool-will-help-you-stay-ahead-social-media-trends-174640/">Trend Rank</a>, to help it identify areas of content focus, supply ‘velocity data predicting’ and find trends ahead of time.</p> <p>Grant observed that, with video, companies typically have only one second to make an impact, so selected content has only that time to have an effect. </p> <p>Some examples of PopSugar's recent successful native content campaigns are: </p> <ul> <li>Doubletree by Hilton: ‘Find Your Happy’ campaign. Building on the fact that Hilton always leaves a cookie for its guests, PopSugar a campaign focusing on wider acts <a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Random-Acts-Kindness-You-Can-Do-Every-Day-40742607">of kindness and generosity</a>.</li> <li>Garner Shampoo: ‘Photo Ready Mums’. Based on the insight that mums often take pictures of the family, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzaKYqPYKyo">but regret that they are not in the pictures themselves;</a> this campaign shows how mums can be in the photos, and look great, with the help of Garner. </li> </ul> <p><strong>Joe Biden</strong></p> <p>And finally, some lessons from the keynote speech of SXSW 2017 (and a totally inspiring moment) from Joe Biden, former Vice-President of The United States. </p> <p>Perhaps more recently famous for his (unwitting) appearance in <a href="http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-barack-obama-joe-biden-tweets/">a sequence of memes with Barack Obama</a>, Joe Biden appeared on stage in Austin to raise awareness and seek support for his <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/09/biden-outlines-steps-to-pursue-post-obama-cancer-moonshot.html">cancer Moon-shot agenda</a>.</p> <p>He discussed the progress made during Obama's presidency by the call for innovative solutions to tackle the barriers that prevent faster gains in ending cancer; and described how he plans to remain in the fight. </p> <p>This talk has a wider relevance for business because, as Joe Biden put it, organisations involved in the cancer treatment process had become ‘siloed by design’ and their ability to face the growing threat of this disease was limited by this lack of co-operation.</p> <p>One of these silo-related issues was the low number of patients involved in clinical trials (only 4/100) as there was no system for companies to match the correct trial drugs to the correct patients and vice versa. In addition a database of patient learnings was not being effectively shared between hospitals.</p> <p>Biden’s efforts to break down the barriers in the cancer treatment process are a lesson to organisations who may have similar silo problems. </p> <p>Organisations in this process have started to collaborate and other bodies have become involved in the fight. NASA is adding information regarding the impact of radiation on astronauts, and Amazon has provided free cloud data storage for the project.  </p> <p>There is also focus on clear KPIs and where the biggest return on investment can be derived. As Biden said, of any process "where everything is treated as equally important, then nothing is considered important."</p> <p>The key to the project’s increasing success (apart from the obvious profile of the promoter) is the open sharing of information, offering clear encouragement and, of course, giving hope.</p> <p>Inspiring stuff and a lesson to all businesses interested in breaking down silos and identifying priorities.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3208 2017-03-21T12:28:11+00:00 2017-03-21T12:28:11+00:00 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing <p>Search Engine Optimisation [SEO] is becoming increasingly tricky - continuous innovations between the rival search engines, coupled with increased activity from your competitors, means that you have to identify the right strategy for your business to rank well.</p> <p>This SEO training course will enable you to build an organic search marketing strategy that will mean more of the right kind of visitors to your website, boost online conversions and stand out in today’s fiercely competitive online marketplace, ensuring the best possible return on investment.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3206 2017-03-21T12:26:17+00:00 2017-03-21T12:26:17+00:00 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Advanced <p>SEO is a complex subject and for those wishing to move their knowledge beyond the basics, this course has been designed for the intermediate to advanced learner. There is lots to consider when optimising for maximum visibility through search. From key phrase research and query audits, to content strategy, page mark-up and site architecture. Getting all these things right is key to grabbing customers who know what they want, but not where to get it from.</p><p>Providing you with a structured process to improve your results from SEO, an industry expert will lead this one-day workshop, reviewing attendees' existing optimisation approaches, analytics and tools against their top-performing competitors and best practice.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3205 2017-03-21T12:25:24+00:00 2017-03-21T12:25:24+00:00 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - Advanced <p>SEO is a complex subject and for those wishing to move their knowledge beyond the basics, this course has been designed for the intermediate to advanced learner. There is lots to consider when optimising for maximum visibility through search. From key phrase research and query audits, to content strategy, page mark-up and site architecture. Getting all these things right is key to grabbing customers who know what they want, but not where to get it from.</p><p>Providing you with a structured process to improve your results from SEO, an industry expert will lead this one-day workshop, reviewing attendees' existing optimisation approaches, analytics and tools against their top-performing competitors and best practice.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3200 2017-03-21T12:18:01+00:00 2017-03-21T12:18:01+00:00 PPC <p>Pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns are a great way to maximise website visibility on key search engines. But PPC markets are becoming increasingly competitive - you need an effective strategy or you’re throwing money (and traffic) away.</p> <p>This PPC marketing course covers the essentials of successful paid search campaigns, exploring best-practice tools and techniques from writing copy, to bidding strategy, to effective analysis of competitors.</p>