@AskJamieTurner http://60secondmarketer.com/blog Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:38:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Mobile Advertising: How to Lay the Right Foundation for Stronger Marketing Results http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/22/mobile-advertising-techniques/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/22/mobile-advertising-techniques/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:38:29 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11935 Research shows that most consumers (91 percent) keep their mobile device within three feet of them 24X7 – and nearly one-third use mobile as their primary means of going online. Companies today that aren’t immersing themselves in mobile marketing are not only missing out on a huge opportunity to drive more awareness and revenue, they...

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Research shows that most consumers (91 percent) keep their mobile device within three feet of them 24X7 – and nearly one-third use mobile as their primary means of going online.

Companies today that aren’t immersing themselves in mobile marketing are not only missing out on a huge opportunity to drive more awareness and revenue, they are also decreasing the potential of their current marketing efforts.

It’s important to remember that consumers are engaging with a variety of media – smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV – and your marketing plan should mirror that. According to Mobify, no one screen/device has more than 20 percent of market share, therefore it is imperative that you have a complementary multi-screen presence.

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Medical Management Services Group, a physician practice management company that was integral in introducing Lasik Eye Surgery to the market, had been aggressively marketing its new capabilities and using social media to drive more engagement.

All that said, Founder Katie Carlisle says it was their mobile advertising program that has really given them the extra boost they needed to see the ROI of all of their efforts. “It’s about the surround sound effect of all these vehicles combined, and our mobile advertising has allowed us to get real-time insight about our audience and has taught us what we need to refine in other areas to reach people the right way.”

But for many businesses, particularly, SMBs, developing a mobile marketing strategy can be an extremely daunting task.

The reality is that a few key steps can make all the difference in laying the right foundation.

  1. No Business is Too Small: There is an enormous opportunity for SMBs in this space. Research from the UpSnap community shows that local businesses are seeing some of the highest ROI – from dentists to attorneys and even local heating & air conditioning businesses. Now more than ever, consumers are turning to Main Street to promote their own local economies, so small businesses that expand their mobile presence can really cash in right now
  1. Measurement 101: Mobile marketing is no longer just about the click through rate (CTR). Why? CTR is easily inflated by accidental clicks and doesn’t take into account secondary actions and overall engagement. Secondary action is when the consumer takes an extra step to engage with your business – for example clicking for directions or to contact your business. Keep in mind the industry average for secondary click through rate is five percent. Savvy marketers also understand that downstream activities, such as store visits, can make a huge impact on your ROI as well. (For more on this, read Four Essential Metrics You Need for Your Next Mobile Ad Campaign on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)
  1. Timing is Everything: Develop a dynamic marketing plan based on seasonal trends to ensure you speak to your target market. Get your marketing caps on and think outside of the box! Not only are holidays a good time to personalize marketing campaigns, annual events such as school graduations or New Year’s resolutions can also produce solid results. This fall, Medical Management Services Group saw great success in their campaign by capitalizing on the back to school market. Timeliness is key to drive the right awareness and engagement.
  1. Make the Right Impressions: Mobile impressions are very powerful. A heavy dose of mobile impressions can lead to clicks, secondary actions and offline activity like in-store visits. The ad does not have to be clicked or called to be considered successful — impressions matter!  When the desired result is an offline sale, impressions are a strong vehicle for driving foot traffic.

With the right mobile advertising program, businesses of all sizes have an opportunity to drive better awareness, more visitors and most importantly, ongoing sales.

By Greg Garrick, VP of Mobile Marketing at UpSnap, provider of highly targeted, data-driven mobile advertising to attract the ideal audience for brands big and small. A seasoned marketing leader, Garrick has dedicated his career to driving B2B/B2C revenue through aggressive digital and mobile experimentation.

 

 

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Four Essential Metrics You Need for Your Next Mobile Ad Campaign (#4 is a Must) http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/20/mobile-advertising-benchmarks/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/20/mobile-advertising-benchmarks/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:34:15 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11921 Do you want to learn as much as you possibly can about mobile marketing and mobile advertising? If so, you’ve come to the right place. I wrote extensively about mobile in my Amazon best-selling book, Go Mobile. In addition, 60 Second Communications (the agency behind the 60 Second Marketer) runs mobile campaigns for several global...

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Do you want to learn as much as you possibly can about mobile marketing and mobile advertising?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. I wrote extensively about mobile in my Amazon best-selling book, Go Mobile. In addition, 60 Second Communications (the agency behind the 60 Second Marketer) runs mobile campaigns for several global corporations as well as several small- to mid-sized businesses.

Long story short, we know mobile.

Which is why we were so excited to dive into an excellent new mobile advertising study released by xAd, a mobile location ad platform that focuses on driving in-store traffic and sales.

What follows are some insights from the study that I wanted to pass along to you.

Understanding Click-Through Rates, Secondary Action Rates, Store Visitation Lift and Same Store Sales Increases.

60 Second Communications is in the early stages of launching a mobile advertising campaign for a retailer based in a major metropolitan area on the East Coast. We’re excited about the prospects because we’re using rich media to enhance the user experience, which should drive some excellent foot traffic to their retail locations.

Here’s an example of what a rich media experience might be like for someone who clicks on a rich media mobile display ad:

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If you were running the mobile display ad campaign above, there would be three important metrics you’d want to measure. Here’s what they are:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is one of the easiest metrics to measure in mobile, but it can also be misleading. The CTR for a desktop ad campaign is usually around 0.05% to 0.1%, which means that 1 out of every 1,000 to 1 out of every 2,000 people who see your desktop display ad will actually click on it. (Yes, the number is that low.) With mobile, the results are typically much better, ranging from 0.5% to 0.8% — almost 10 times better than desktop. But wait! A study by GoldSpot Media reported that nearly 50% of the clicks on mobile banner ads may be accidental clicks. So even though the CTR on mobile banner ads is much higher, the accidental click-through rate reduces the reliability of using CTR as a key metric. Which brings us to Secondary Action Rate.
  • Secondary Action Rate (SAR): The SAR is a better indicator of purchase intent. As an example, if 10 people click on a mobile ad, and 5 of them take a secondary action such as scrolling through the product images (as in the example above) or clicking a map for directions, then those 5 people can be considered much more likely candidates for a final sale. If you only have two metrics — CTR and SAR — then we’d recommend focusing most of your attention on SAR, since that’s a much better indicator of intent to purchase. Of course, there are two other important indicators we’d encourage you to analyze the next time you’re running a mobile ad campaign. (Speaking of which, if you need help with your mobile ad campaign, send me an email — we’re all over this stuff.)
  • Store Visitation Lift (SVL): Store Visitation Lift is one of the best indicators of purchase intent since it measures a real intent to purchase. Of course, in order to get a good read on your data, you’ll need to compare store visits this year to same-store visits from the exact same period the year before. And don’t forget — even if you see an increase in SLV, there can be other factors that drive same-store visits (such as better weather and an improving economy). Also, don’t forget that SVL doesn’t track e-commerce sales. But overall, SVL is an important metric when it comes to measuring the success of your mobile ad campaign. Which leads us to the most important metric, which is same store sales increases.
  • Same Store Sales Increases (SSSI): In the end, the success of any campaign comes down to same store sales increases. You can measure this by taking the store sales from each of your locations during your mobile ad campaign and comparing them to the same store sales from the year before. If the only change in your marketing was the mobile campaign and you see a lift in sales, you’re golden, assuming the lift in sales more than paid for the mobile ad campaign.

Action Steps for You:

Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re measuring all the right things in your next mobile display ad campaign.

  1. Use Your Best Offer: When we run mobile tests for our clients, we always like to use the client’s very best offer. Is that a 25% off coupon? A free car wash? Or a Starbucks gift card? You want to give your campaign every opportunity for success, so use the best offer available to you.
  2. Establish Your Key Peformance Indicators: As mentioned in the post above, CTR is okay for directional information about your campaign, but it shouldn’t be used as a definitive metric. Use SAR, SVL and, most importantly, SSSI for those metrics.
  3. Track Results Past the End of Your Campaign: If we’re running a 4 week mobile display promotion for one of our clients, we want to track results for the 4 weeks of the campaign plus a few weeks after the campaign. After all, there’s residual value to a mobile campaign that hangs around after the campaign ends, so don’t cut off your metrics right away — keep tracking them for a few weeks after the campaign finishes. That should give you a more accurate read on the success of the campaign.

I hope all this is of some value to you. We’re doing some amazing things on the mobile advertising front and we’ll continue to share our findings as we track the results of our campaigns.
Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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21 Important Things You Should Know About Millennials and Media http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/19/millennials-and-the-media/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/19/millennials-and-the-media/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:46:13 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11916 Are you interested in learning how millennials receive and digest marketing information? If so, you’re not alone. Which is why the folks at Koeppel Direct have put together a fascinating infographic that highlights some key facts and figures about millennials and their media consumption. Ready to take a peek? Great, check out the 21 interesting...

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Are you interested in learning how millennials receive and digest marketing information? If so, you’re not alone. Which is why the folks at Koeppel Direct have put together a fascinating infographic that highlights some key facts and figures about millennials and their media consumption.

Ready to take a peek? Great, check out the 21 interesting pieces of information in the infographic below:

Millennials_InitialVisual_10.02_2-2

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An In-Depth Guide on How to Use Social Media for B2B Lead Generation http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/16/5-reasons-social-media-awesome-b2b/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/16/5-reasons-social-media-awesome-b2b/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:51:31 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11905 A common complaint children have is that, while there’s a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, there’s no “Kid’s Day.” What’s worse, parents will always answer the same thing – “Every day is Kid’s Day!” Why shouldn’t there be a “Kids Day”? There should be a day, week, or month to reflect on, or celebrate,...

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A common complaint children have is that, while there’s a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, there’s no “Kid’s Day.” What’s worse, parents will always answer the same thing – “Every day is Kid’s Day!”

Why shouldn’t there be a “Kids Day”? There should be a day, week, or month to reflect on, or celebrate, any aspect of our lives that brings us great joy.

Do kids not bring us joy?

With this thought in mind, Oktopost (the company I work for) decided to take one month of the year and use it to reflect on the awesome benefits that social media provides us B2B marketers.

And thus was born Oktober.

So why would B2B social media marketing warrant an entire month? Think about how far we’ve come since the “old” days of B2B marketing. Think about the things we do today that could have never been done before. Think about the speed at which we can send out content to thousands of people, the doors that can be opened with the simple click of a button, the pinpointed audience targeting that we are able to achieve. None of these things would be possible without social media.

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So what really makes social media so great for B2B marketers?

Let’s me count the ways:

1. Networking

In business it is often more about who you know, rather than what you know. As such, networking was, is, and will most likely continue to be, the backbone of business. Historically, building a network required world travel, industry events, and requesting intros from friends. With the advent of social media, B2B marketers can grow their networks of connections from the comfort of their own homes.

They are called social networks for a reason; they are meant to be a place for people to connect with other like-minded people. It is certain that Mark Zuckerberg did not predict Facebook would one day become a channel for B2B marketers to distribute content and network with potential customers, but that’s exactly what happened.

People use the word “Rolodex” figuratively now, as in “He cultivated a huge Rolodex of connections.” The modern day Rolodex, at least for the individual, is his or her contacts on social networks (for a company, this would be its CRM).

For example, even with a network of 500+ connections, LinkedIn makes it extremely easy to sort through relevant contacts and reach out to them. Also, direct messaging your contacts through social networks can help you bypass the “gate-keeper” at the office.

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2. Engagement

It could be said that social media is the great equalizer. Just a few years ago, if you wanted to schedule a meeting with a CEO at a Fortune 500 company, or a top tier venture capitalist, unless you were “somebody,” this was highly unlikely to happen. You could stalk said person, or even try to approach them on the street, but that probably wouldn’t have gotten you very far (though you might have ended up in jail!).

With social networks such as Twitter, you can engage with, and get the attention of, anyone on earth. With Twitter, a simple “@” before a person’s handle could score you an interaction with someone you would never have been able to engage with previously.

If you sit back and think about it, it is truly amazing. The doors broken down for us by social media defy anything we could have imagined only a few years ago. For B2B, this means that connecting and engaging with a major thought leader in your industry is easier than ever.

For this, we must be grateful.

3. Content Distribution

It’s hard to fathom what marketers used to do with their content to get it in front of the right people. Before email, before social media, before the Internet – how did they do it? Branded magazines, even soap operas, were a few of the tactics used.

My how the times have changed.

The definition of “content,” in relation to B2B marketing, has changed significantly in the last two decades. If you had asked Don Draper from Mad Men what a blog was, he’d look at you like you had two heads. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a marketer on earth who isn’t using a blog in one form or another.

We put the vast majority of our marketing resources towards content. Content creation is a cost-effective strategy that can boost lead generation and awareness far more than any other strategy. Writing one blog post a week doesn’t cut it thought. You have to put time and effort into all the various types of content that exist today. By doing this, you are casting a wider net to attract potential customers who consume different types of content.

It’s not only blogs; many other forms of content have been born as a result of “the digital age.” While white papers existed previously, in their digital form they’ve taken on a new dimension. Printing and binding costs for white papers have disappeared, and distribution can be done at a fraction of the price. What’s even better is that white papers can act as gated content, meaning potential readers have to fill out a form and submit their contact information to download and read it.

Did you know that 87% of B2B marketers use social media as a distribution channel for their content?

87%!!

Think about it, “social media” as we know it has only been around for 12 years, and B2B marketers have only utilized it for half that time. In less than a decade, nearly every single B2B marketer has embraced social media for content distribution.

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All of these users are potential consumers of content that is distributed through social media. A mind boggling one fourth of the world’s population is on one social media network or another. Even if you can get your content in front of .01% of that, you’ll get 1,780,000 people to see your content. That is un-freakin-believable.

LinkedIn is not the only social channel for B2B social media marketing. Believe it or not, Facebook is emerging as another great tool for B2B marketers to utilize.

In recent months, there have been reports of a monumental demographic shift happening on Facebook – teenagers are leaving in droves and are being replaced by an older, more business oriented crowd. This benefits B2B marketers because the audience we distribute content to is now more relevant than ever, even on Facebook.

4. Lead Generation

When it comes to B2B marketing, there’s really only one indicator of success – leads. That’s the underlying reason behind why B2B marketers have been skeptical of social media, and the value it offers, for such a long.

When asked the question, many people will tell you “there is no way to measure the ROI of social media.” In years past, this was what was taught to marketers, especially B2B.

Given that Oktopost is designed is to allow B2B marketers to manage their social media activities and measure ROI, this isn’t an answer we accept.

Social media is a lead generation tool, there is no denying it. Of all the social networks, LinkedIn reigns supreme for this purpose. We did some research earlier this year, and found that 80% of all leads generated from social media by B2B marketers came from LinkedIn.

5. Curation

Similar to other aspects of B2B content marketing, thought leadership is an extremely important goal to strive after. All too often, marketers will only share promotional content about their product or service. Not only will fail to benefit their marketing activities, it’s also counter-productive. Thought leadership is about providing value, and pushing blatant promotional content doesn’t accomplish that.

In addition to creating original content, content curation is now another powerful tool for marketers to use in their social media activities.

Content curation, in the context of social media, refers to the distribution of external content through your social networks. This is done in conjunction with the distribution of original content, in order to form a holistic content distribution strategy.

If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader on social media, curating valuable content is one of the best things you can do. If people see your social channels as a place where they can learn about important aspects of your industry, they will continue to come back for more. Given the longer sales cycle, this practice will keep your company at the top of their minds until it comes time to make a purchasing decision.

Social media makes it incredibly easy to carry out a successful content curation strategy. Twitter, in particular, is essentially the perfect outlet for content curation. It’s an “open” platform, meaning anyone can see your tweets – not just your followers. You can research valuable content on a regular basis and then, utilizing a third party platform, schedule tweets distributing that content over a period of time. This will increase your social presence and make you seem more active on social media than you already are.

We have come so far in such a short period of time; imagine where we’ll be in the next decade! Just as no one could have foreseen the current impact of social media on B2B, we are likely to encounter new tools for marketing in the next few years that none of us could have anticipated.

Regardless of what changes occur in the next few years, social media for B2B is here to stay, and will doubtlessly provide more and more value to B2B marketers as times goes on.

Have something to add? Comment below!

About the Author: Mark Lerner is the Director of Marketing & Head of Marketing Agency Partner Program at Oktopost, a social media management tool that allows you to bridge the gap between your social media programs and your ROI.

 

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10 Key Statistics You Should Know About Social Media [Infographic] http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/14/social-media-statistics-2/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/14/social-media-statistics-2/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:08:53 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11896 Did you know that 50% of the brands surveyed had members in the C-Suite who weren’t convinced of the value of social media? That may come as a surprise, but not when you hear this — 85% of the companies surveyed don’t connect social media with business outcomes. In other words, they don’t tie their...

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Did you know that 50% of the brands surveyed had members in the C-Suite who weren’t convinced of the value of social media?

That may come as a surprise, but not when you hear this — 85% of the companies surveyed don’t connect social media with business outcomes. In other words, they don’t tie their social media efforts to revenue.

I cover that topic in-depth in the new edition of my book How to Make Money with Social Media, but if you’re interested in a quick review of those fact (and others), check out the infographic below, brought to us by Outmarket.com (formerly Vocus Marketing Suite).

There are some great facts in the infographic that will both surprise and delight you.

Enjoy!

SocialMedia

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Four Essential Techniques You Can Use to Improve Your e-Commerce Conversions http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/12/e-commerce-conversion-tips/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/12/e-commerce-conversion-tips/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 20:45:25 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11887 Online stores depend on digital traffic the same way brick and mortar stores depend on foot traffic. The problem is no matter how much you spend on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, promoted Tweets, SEO, social media, content or other marketing options, if you aren’t converting the traffic once they get to your landing page, then...

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Online stores depend on digital traffic the same way brick and mortar stores depend on foot traffic.

The problem is no matter how much you spend on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, promoted Tweets, SEO, social media, content or other marketing options, if you aren’t converting the traffic once they get to your landing page, then you’re simply throwing good money after bad.

The aim of any marketing spend should be increased traffic, increased conversions and increased order value per-conversion. Ad spending can get you more traffic, but if there’s holes in your e-commerce bucket then that traffic will pour right through.

Here are some methods you can apply to ensure those holes are plugged, thus giving you the kind of conversion rates you need to improve the bottom line – especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

Make sure your fundamentals are working

Some basic errors, like poor product descriptions, carelessly shot product images, confusing user experiences, bad customer service or high shipping prices all result in flood of traffic pouring out of your bucket — none of which will come back.

Make those kinds of mistakes, which are more careless than anything, and you need to go back to e-commerce 101. So let’s consider holes which you may not spot straight away.

Increase revenues 10% to 30% by leveraging the upsell

Take DODOcase for example, a San Francisco based e-commerce store which sells custom made iPhone and iPad cases. They invested in making their store, images and descriptions as beautiful as their cases.

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Once you select your items and get to the check-out page, they add an upsell to the equation. You might think that would put shoppers off, but instead Forrester Research found that complementary products are responsible for 10-30% of e-commerce revenues.

 

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When someone is at your checkout with credit card in hand, they’re already in “buy” mode, so why not take advantage of that and offer them an upsell?

Offer a 10% discount to people who sign up for your e-newsletter

What if your customer isn’t ready to make a purchase? DODOcase puts in a secondary call to action — a newsletter sign up with an offer of 10% discount. Many people find popups annoying, but the numbers suggest they can have conversion rates 100% higher than standard sign up options which are embedded into a website.

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Despite the fact that pop-ups are often viewed as background noise, they can actually help with conversions. Especially given the very high ROI from email marketing.

Use marketing automation, re-targeting and other techniques to target people who abandon your shopping cart

A high percentage of people abandon their carts. Based on the average of 28 detailed studies between 2006 – 2014 the abandonment rate is 68.08%. Don’t give up on these customers. Marketing automation, follow on emails, online ad re-targeting and social media ads can all be used to entice the customer back, especially when you use offers.

One study found that those hit with retargeted email / internet and social media offers were 70% more likely to convert than those who weren’t.

Keep these tools top-of-mind

Here’s a quick recap of the tools we’ve just covered so that you can keep them top-of-mind:

  • Upsell
  • Popup for newsletter sign up, with offers
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Google Adwords retargeting
  • Facebook retargeting ads

Just because a customer isn’t ready to buy at the point of sale doesn’t mean they will never be ready. It can be worth putting in the extra effort if it results in a conversion – which once you have tried and tested a method which works for you on a few hundred customers then roll it out for everyone. You may end up with a bucket full of money instead of holes.

About the author: Benjamin Kerry is Head of Marketing for Jigoshop. Empower your e-commerce with Jigoshop, a powerful WordPress plugin trusted by 370,000 stores worldwide.
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Are Native Ads Unethical? Or Are They a Marketer’s Secret Weapon? http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/08/native-ad-guidelines/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/08/native-ad-guidelines/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 22:15:22 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11876 Millions of people who barely gave much thought to “native advertising” were given a one-sided (albeit humorous) point of view on the topic by John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. His segment detailed the very worst practices in native advertising, parodying the practice with fake endorsements on his own show. It...

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Millions of people who barely gave much thought to “native advertising” were given a one-sided (albeit humorous) point of view on the topic by John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

His segment detailed the very worst practices in native advertising, parodying the practice with fake endorsements on his own show. It also mocked the attempts by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for trying to regulate native ads and discussed the dangers that brands can incur by promoting unethical ads as a means of revenue generation.

You can watch the segment from John Oliver by clicking the image below:

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While some consider the segment as a black mark on the industry, it was actually a learning opportunity that clarifies for advertisers, publishers and ad providers how to improve native ad disclosures. The segment was also a call to focus on quality content, not trickery.

Advertisers should work with native ad providers that keep native ads honest by utilizing disclosures that are conspicuous and use language to immediately tell the viewer “this is an ad.” Companies that adopt these practices will very likely not receive the same number of clicks as one that tries to be sneaky, but the increase in viewer trust is immeasurable. Ask yourself if you are trying to drive up clicks or trying to generate valuable results.

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According to data from the IAB, less than half (41%) of respondents recognized that information they were reviewing was sponsored content. This statistic was also included in Oliver’s critique of the practice, stating that it was a core problem with the industry, which often contends native advertising is not conspicuously labeled.

What follows are the best practices you can put into place to ensure your native ads don’t damage your brand.

Best Practices for Native Advertising:

  • Use the right headers. Simply stating “Sponsored Content” might seem to be sufficient from the perspective of advertisers and publishers, but the problem is many readers don’t fully understand what the term means. Some might believe that the content is simply “sponsored,” meaning it is actually editorial and just has a title sponsor. Confusion about the origin of content can lead to frustration for readers, which is not the state of mind publishers want to leave their readership. Use clear words such as “advertisement” to avoid any confusion.
  • Make it conspicuous. Including a disclosure that reads, “This is an advertisement” is good. Writing it so only those armed with magnifying glasses can read completely defeats the purpose. The point of the FTC’s “clear and conspicuous” guidelines are to make sure the reader knows sponsored content is an ad before they read it. Therefore, the disclosure should be displayed in a prominent font and shaded properly so the wording stand outs from the surrounding content.
  • Strive for relevancy. Advertisers should only promote sponsored content that is relevant to the outlet and its readers. Offering a headline of “Ten Tips for a Perfect Fashionable Outfit” to a site that explores the best gear in kayaking is not a good match. This kind of content stands out in the worst way. This isn’t to say that native advertising content should try to be tricky and mimic the style of the outlet’s headlines. But, the overall content should make contextual sense. It is more likely to be relevant and interesting to a publisher’s audience
  • Don’t trick the reader. Content marketers should hold the highest ethical standards in terms of advertorial content or they risk alienating their audiences and gaining negative attention. Marketers need to avoid content which tries to pass as unbiased editorial, but is in fact an ad that is suspiciously written with glowing words for a corporate partner. Don’t try to trick the reader to engage with sponsored content. Simply share useful relevant messages, and use quality content and well-written headlines as the hook.

In spite of the problems facing native advertising (and the buzz created by John Oliver’s show), it remains an attractive way for advertisers to deliver a message, customers to consume content, and publishers to earn revenue. Content marketers can keep using native advertising and retain a loyal audience if they prominently display disclosures to present the audience with honest content.

ImageAbout the Author: Ash Nashed is the CEO and founder of Adiant, which owns two ad networks: Adblade and IndustryBrains. Adiant has more than 1,000 relationships with publishers, including Digital ABC News, Hearst, Bloomberg, and Bizjournals. Nashed can be contacted at sales@adiant.com

 

Book by Jamie Turner

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Four Content Marketing Strategies to Help You Boost Revenues Quickly http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/07/content-marketing-tips/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/07/content-marketing-tips/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 22:10:33 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11870 Studies show that consumers buy products and services in channels where they are comfortable — on a traditional website, for example. But they look at other channels such as social, mobile, and search to support their decision making process. To uncover which channels B2B and B2C companies are using to drive transactions, EPiServer conducted a...

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Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 6.05.24 PMStudies show that consumers buy products and services in channels where they are comfortable — on a traditional website, for example. But they look at other channels such as social, mobile, and search to support their decision making process.

To uncover which channels B2B and B2C companies are using to drive transactions, EPiServer conducted a survey at the 10th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, the world’s largest e-commerce event.

Survey respondents included CEOs, Vice Presidents, Directors and e-commerce Managers at more than 100 attending organizations including retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, catalogers, web-only merchants and local-retailer.

The findings reveal that B2B plans to go big on mobile, and they should! As long as they employ a content strategy that atomizes content into small chunks that’s easily consumed across channels and devices.

B2C plans to continue to go big on web and mobile, and they should also plan to employ an atomized content strategy that allows for bite-sized content that’s easily consumed on those devices.

So what type of content strategy should you use and where should you start?

In working with our customers within both B2B and B2C industries, I’ve made several noteworthy observations. If you need to jumpstart a content marketing campaign to drive transactions, consider the best practices below to help you create strong brand and customer loyalty:

  • Cater to the connected consumer: Consider how you use your own smartphone or tablet, or better yet how your customers use these devices. Do they read email on their phone? Do they follow links to articles? Do they follow updates on social networks for business or consumers? Thanks in part to mobile devices, the content discovery and consumption process has been completely altered. Consumers are more connected than ever, but they not only expect the right content to be instantly available on the device they’re holding—they also expect it to be consumable on the most convenient screen.
  • Leverage content and commerce: It all starts with optimizing and improving online customer experience online. That’s where you can engage current customers and develop long-term relationships to build brand loyalty—the core of selling. Once you have small, digestible content prepared for several channels, find a way to place your products or solutions close by. Many cutting-edge e-commerce sites are beginning to provide short content that informs the decision-making process with convenient “product placements” as we’ve seen done in the film and television entertainment industries for years, as well as offering an alternative to grid-style navigation.
  • Stop selling and start informing: You know all the great reasons you think someone should be interested in your product or service—but don’t forget to think from the customer view and ask what else might they want to know to help them make a purchase decision. Many times this information comes out in ratings and reviews, so consider creating this sort of user-generated content (UGC) if you’re not already doing so. Consumer demands are higher than ever, but by intertwining content and commerce to create meaningful experiences for and relationships with customers, marketers can “sell without selling.”
  • Develop shorter, more consumable content: Consumers need content and messaging that they can processes quickly and effectively. Small, “bite-sized” chunks of content instead of tedious, lengthy whitepapers hold the most weight and marketers must format content for consumability to impact purchasing decisions. We all have short attention spans in our busy work- and life-styles, so atomize the content as a starting point towards multi-channel experiences.

Many marketing leaders that I speak with have aspirations to achieve a “digital transformation,” preparing them to compete in a digitally transformed economy. But you don’t need to wait for a broad plan to be developed. Take a page from the agile marketing playbook by starting small and making regular progress. Think like a customer, prepare for atomized content, and then consider how to get all your digital channels to work together. Connected customers and connected workers have limited time yet an increasing desire to make the right decision the first time – let your content help them be successful.

About the Author: Bob Egner is the VP of Product Management at EPiServer, which connects ecommerce and digital marketing to help business create unique customer experiences which generate business results. 

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Social Media Analytics: 3 Keys to Making the Most of Your Data http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/06/social-media-analytics-3-keys-making-data/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/06/social-media-analytics-3-keys-making-data/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 21:56:57 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11851 These days, social media monitoring and listening is almost becoming standard for most brands. But if you’re a large brand with millions of customers, actually doing efficient and effective social analytics on all that data can be a challenge. How do you handle an avalanche of tweets, messages and more, and analyze it effectively? Let’s...

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These days, social media monitoring and listening is almost becoming standard for most brands. But if you’re a large brand with millions of customers, actually doing efficient and effective social analytics on all that data can be a challenge. How do you handle an avalanche of tweets, messages and more, and analyze it effectively?

Let’s take a look at three keys to maximizing the ROI of your social media monitoring and analytics efforts:

1: Use all your data. The first thing companies must realize about social media analytics is that it should not take place in a bubble. Instead, it’s crucial to cross-reference social media sources with surveys, emails, phone calls, your website, review sites and even competitors’ websites. With advanced analytics, this data-gathering should take place frequently too – once an hour, if possible, as opposed to once a day.

By taking such an ongoing and integrated approach to social media analytics, companies are better equipped to determine how important different pieces of social data are. You need to know whether something that springs up on social media is an isolated problem or a systemic one. If you cross-reference a negative tweet with other sources, like call logs, you can tell whether or not it needs to be addressed immediately or at all.

Considering the half-life of a tweet is less than five minutes, an isolated negative tweet can likely be ignored. On the flip side, a plethora of negative tweets about the same issue can actually serve as an early warning system; thanks to proactive social media analytics, you can resolve the issue before it gets to the call center, where it will be far more expensive.

2. Filter out the noise. Of course, using all your data is easier said than done. That’s the paradox of advanced analytics – companies have been told they need to be customer-centric and listen to everything. But now that they’ve started doing that, they’re drowning in data.

The solution isn’t to stop listening – it’s to find ways to focus on what matters and filter out what doesn’t. Once again, cross-referencing social media data with other sources is one way to do that. But even before you get to that stage, you need to filter out the noise that comes in your social monitoring alone. All social listening tools have some element of spam detection to filter out the obvious junk, but you also need to be able to tag social media data that lacks content value.

That might mean a link with no commentary, a tweet with just one word, or even commentary that isn’t operational. For example, a tweet that says “Going to Wendy’s for lunch” doesn’t add much value to your social media analytics or customer interactions. On the other hand, a tweet like “Had a Wendy’s triple for lunch, best burger in the business,” is very operational and therefore much more important.

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3. Consider context. Another key to successful social media analytics is to make sure you are integrating the unique characteristics of social language, from hashtags to emoticons to social-specific slang to industry-specific wording.

One aspect of this is a robust natural language processing platform that handles social media jargon. For example, the word “sick” is often negative, but it can be positive on social media in certain contexts. Your social media analytics system must be able to handle those nuances. Along the same lines, analytics that can handle emoticons and hashtags are becoming increasingly important for truly comprehensive social media analytics.

Another aspect of context is the acknowledgement that social media posts do not exist in a vacuum. Instead, they are usually part of a conversation – and your social media analytics must take this into consideration as well.

For example, let’s say Person A tweets about how she just bought L’Oreal’s newest lipstick shade, then Person B retweets it, adding something like “That’s awesome! So jealous.” Your social media analytics platform needs to understand that this is a conversation in order to understand what “that” is referring to and properly assess the sentiment being expressed. Without a nuanced social media platform, that detail will be overlooked.

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The Bottom Line

Once you’re got these three fundamentals down, your social media analytics are ready to lead to action and improved ROI. You’ll be able to find the answers to key questions, like: Does this person appear to be a risk for churn? Is Person C an influencer in my market segment – and is he or she talking about my competitors? And you’ll be able to use those answers to focus on the social media conversations and interactions that will have the most impact on your brand and business.

In fact, all the keys we just mentioned mean nothing if you don’t take what you’ve learned and then do something with it. By integrating your data, filtering out the noise and taking context into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to making all that gathering and analyzing of social media data more than worth it.

Susan Ganeshan About the Author: As leader of the Clarabridge marketing team, Susan Ganeshan defines the brand, leads the charge for educational, useful content, and enables both Clarabridge and its partners to promote and deliver on the promise of customer centricity. During her 25-year career, Susan has worked with organizations such as newBrandAnalytics, webMethods, Software AG, Deloitte Consulting, and Checkfree.

 

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Why Visual Content is a Secret Weapon for Marketers Around the Globe http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/01/visual-content-tips/ http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2014/10/01/visual-content-tips/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:59:29 +0000 http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/?p=11845 I’m a visual learner, so I process and retain information much more readily when I see it rather than when I read it or hear it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would have done much better in school if modern methods of teaching were in place when I was younger. (Today, teachers are much...

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I’m a visual learner, so I process and retain information much more readily when I see it rather than when I read it or hear it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would have done much better in school if modern methods of teaching were in place when I was younger. (Today, teachers are much more aware of the different learning styles for students. When I was young, everything was done via lecture and chalkboard.)

Our friends at TollFreeForwarding.com have created an infographic (below) that explains the power of visual communication, especially as it relates to customer service.

Here are just some of the facts outlined in the infographic below:

  • By 2016, 55% of all traffic on the web will be visual
  • YouTube gets 4 billion video views each day
  • Engagement on Instagram is 15X higher than on Facebook
  • 7% of brands in the U.S. are currently using Vine for marketing

Long story short, visual communications is coming on strong, especially as it relates to customer service. Check out the infographic below for more details.

TFF-M5-SocialVisualCustomer-Service

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