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Showing posts from March 29, 2016
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Instagram welcomes minute long videos for all accounts

Last month Instagram rolled out 60 second video ad units to appeal to a wider audience. This was a large shift from the traditional short form video model and was only available to advertisers. However, today Instagram is rolling out the ability for users & brands to upload minute long videos to their accounts.Before today’s announcement, 60 second video could only be utilized through Instagram Ads. This is a big shift for Instagram which previously capped video length at a mere 15 seconds. The reason for this? Folks have been watching more video:“In the last six months, the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent.”This move gives Instagram users 10 times the length of competitor Vine (6 second max) and 6 times that of Snapchat’s Snaps (10 seconds).To help with video creation, Instagram is also bringing back the ability for users to splice multiple clips together from their camera roll. Instead of shooting all via Instagram, you’ll be able to take the bes…

10 tips for avoiding shady SEO providers

Maybe I should have used an image of me jumping on a soapbox, because I’m about to preach.Spring conference season is in full swing, and I’ve had my mind blown several times already — not from amazing presentations (although there were several), but from conversations with business owners and newbies in the marketing world.Case in point: At an automotive conference, I talked to a dealer who had deleted his dealership’s Facebook and Twitter accounts on the advice of his SEO provider. He said they told him it wasn’t good for him to have an open forum where customers could say whatever they wanted about his business. I pointed out that the customers would still be out there, even if his dealership wasn’t… and he agreed! He said he thought that sounded weird, but he shrugged and figured his SEO guy knew what he was doing.I’ve talked to far too many business owners this spring who feel like they’re getting fleeced by their SEO providers. I’ve talked to far too many marketers who have just …

“Search disruption is coming!” and 9 other expert insights From LSA16

The Local Search Association held its annual conference last month, where search and marketing experts in the local space provided fascinating insights into trends and challenges that the advertising, marketing and search industry faces today.Here are 10 of the top insights shared at LSA16.1. Search disruption is comingOnline search has essentially followed the directory listing model, whether it be search results from Google, restaurant reviews on Yelp or hotels on TripAdvisor. Yet a number of speakers at LSA16 shared innovations that deviate from this traditional model that owes its genesis to print directories.Virtual assistants and artificial intelligence have been talked about for a number of years since their launch in 2011. Google voice search was launched in mid-2011, and Siri was launched towards the end of 2011. However, they’ve largely been limited to setting calendar events, making witty responses to dumb questions and inspiring dreams about what the future could hold. Sea…

Brands can now pin how-to guides on Pinterest, but not as ads

Pinterest’s how-to pins can include beauty tutorials, recipes and workout guides. Since 2013 brands and publishers have been able to pin things on Pinterest that go beyond the traditional pic-and-text pins. They’ve been able to include app-install buttons, maps, article info, product prices and availability, recipes and movie ratings. Now Pinterest is adding how-to guides to the mix.On Tuesday Pinterest is showing off the first set of how-to pins that people can click on to see step-by-step guides on how to do things like make a soft pretzel or get in an intense yoga workout. Brit & Co, Delish, Elle, Food.com, Greatist, Home Depot, Marie Claire, Style Me Pretty and Sunset are among the first brands and publishers to use these new types of pins.For now brands will not be able to run these how-to pins as ads, according to a Pinterest spokesperson. And only people visiting Pinterest’s site or using its Android apps in the US, UK, France and Germany will be able to access them, though …

Is customer service a key to content marketing success?

If you have customers, then yes, customer service is a big key to your content marketing success. If you don’t have (or want) customers, then it probably doesn’t matter. However, I don’t know of many successful businesses without customers, do you?So how does customer service fit into the overall content marketing mix? Why does it matter, and more importantly, what do you need to do about it in order to succeed?The customer experience — good and badThink for a moment about a great customer service experience you had. What did you do? Did you tell someone else? Did you even tell the vendor? It’s highly unlikely you did anything, and that’s normal. Now, think about a poor experience. What did you do? Did you write negative reviews everywhere you could? Did you tell friends and family and random strangers you met who asked about that subject (or not)?Personally, I don’t normally write reviews, even though I use them when I’m doing research. I know I should write them to help others, but …

Flipkart is Back on UC Browser as Well; Culmination of App-Only Strategy?

Flipkart, the blue-eyed boy of Indian eCommerce industry famously pitched for the App-only strategy in September last year where it completely shut down its mobile website quoting huge success of the same in its experiment with Myntra. But data proved otherwise. Flipkart’s decision to go app only with Myntra was a disaster, and so was the decision with Flipkart itself. Towards the end of last year, Flipkart sort of abandoned its app-only plans and launched Flipkart Lite. But then, it was available only for Chrome and Opera mobile browsers.And today, we see that Flipkart mobile website is back on UC Browser as well. We are not sure when exactly did Flipkart started working on UC Browser, but as per some of our readers, it’s working since yesterday. Interestingly, it doesn’t carry the ‘Flipkart Lite’ tag like on Chrome or Opera which they promoted as a web app. But for all practical purposes, it looks and works the same on UC Browser as it does on Chrome. For the uninitiated, UC Browser …

Live video sharing & storage platform Katch makes it possible to search its 1M archived videos

Periscope isn’t the only video platform celebrating its one year anniversary this week. Katch, a live video sharing and storage provider for Periscope live video streams, also marked its first year in business.In addition to celebrating its one-year anniversary, Katch released a search feature on its site, making it possible to search the more than one million live video streams it has archived.“Katch turns one this week…and serendipitously, we just passed our one millionth Katch last month.” Videos can be searched via the search bar on the top of Katch.me’s homepage either by hashtags, video title, or using the video creator’s Twitter or Periscope handle.According to the site, Katch’s video archive is indexed every 20-seconds, so search results are in real-time. Also, video search results can be filtered by recency or popularity.For live video creators, Katch offers a solution to save Periscope content, so that live videos are available beyond expiration times on Twitter. To save bro…

Three early results of Google removing right-hand side ads

About a month ago, Google introduced what now seems like a very obvious change to its results pages: it removed paid search ads from the right-hand side.Apparently Google made this change based on years of testing. These tests showed that no one was really clicking on these ads and it would better align with the mobile experience if they simply weren’t there.The impact of this means there will be less inventory, and ranking at the top of the page is potentially even more important than ever before.So now that we are a few weeks into this change what is the impact? Did everything the industry predicted come true?To understand the impact I ran a keyword level report that included the Top vs. Other segment, looking at three weeks post and prior to the change.There are three things to note:1) Inventory is downAs expected, with no more ads on the right-hand rail there are less ad spots available. As a result we are seeing a 19% decrease in total inventory. The majority of that reduction is…

Achieve sweet success with marketing segmentation

No matter how big or small your company or department is, to achieve success in today’s environment, you need to get personal with your customers and prospects. The more personal you are, the more closely you can align your solution with your audience’s needs. This means more conversions and buyers.But how do you get personal in a world where email service providers (think MailChimp) or marketing automation solutions (think Eloqua) are commonplace in every business? Come on! Everybody knows these tools are for reaching a wide audience at an ever-escalating frequency.Enter the concept of segmentation. The Economic Times defines segmentation as a “means to divide the marketplace into parts, or segments, which are definable, accessible, actionable, and profitable and have growth potential.”The reality is, segmentation is so much more! By slicing your database into different sections, you can send emails (and direct mail pieces) that are customized to appear as though they are truly one-t…

The rise of ‘Micro-Moments’ and how to optimise for ‘near me’ search queries

In the past year or so Google has published numerous articles and research around the topic of ‘Micro-Moments’, which it describes as “the new battleground for brands”.Let’s look at a top level overview and then we’ll explore a few ideas around how to optimise one particular micro-moment.So what are ‘micro-moments’, exactly?Google says they are “critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.”It points to the use of mobile as a key driver of searches that reflect a consumer’s micro-moment, and it says brands need to be ready for them.“These I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, and I-want-to-do moments are loaded with intent, context, and immediacy.”All of which sounds marvellous, if you know your search onions.There are numerous stats to help focus minds, should you need to convince colleagues or clients. These stats come from a survey Google conducted in the US last August (they undoubtedly refle…

Gmail Ads: Email marketing without the emails

mrmohock / Shutterstock.com Any advertiser interested in growing their business needs to think about the top of the funnel, and the display options on the Google Display Network (GDN) are a great option for anyone, big or small, to reach a new audience and build brand awareness.As you may know, the GDN targets users when they’re browsing the web, and it also lets marketers serve ads to people’s email inboxes in the form of Gmail Ads. This campaign type was released to all advertisers last year, after what felt like a lifetime in beta.At Periscopix, a Merkle company, we’ve been testing Gmail Ads on a variety of clients, and we’ve seen some interesting results. In this article, I’ll explore the options available to you with these campaigns and look at performance from some real-life examples.The basicsWith more than 900 million active Gmail users worldwide, it’s little surprise that Google saw an opportunity for targeting them. This targeting took the form of Gmail Ads (or Gmail Sponsore…

Distributed publishers face the third-party measurement question

If a publisher posts a video it produced for an advertiser to Facebook, does anyone see it? Of course they do, just look at the viewership figures Facebook posts below each video. But if a third-party measurement firm like ComScore or Nielsen can independently audit those views, do they actually count? It’s a question that publishers and advertisers may soon need to address.Publishers are increasingly distributing their content — and the content they create for advertisers — outside of their own walls, including on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Apple News and soon Facebook Messenger. That “distributed publishing” means the potential for more people to see their and their advertisers’ content But in many cases firms like ComScore and Nielsen — used by brands to check that traffic — can’t, which complicates brands’ abilities to evaluate different platforms for an apples-to-apples comparison.“You’re entering new territory,” said Athan Stephanopoulos, president of digital video network Now…

2016 guide to free online SEO training courses

All of the SEO knowledge with NONE of the expense.Online education is big business. That includes the digital marketing space. Scores of people are pushing online training programs promising to turn students into ‘SEO Rockstars’.Here’s the good news. You can learn most, if not everything, taught in these courses for FREE. I’ll even share the ‘secret sauce’ that nobody ever tells you about. Here it is: Being successful online takes a LOT of HARD work. It requires having an understanding of how SEO works, then taking the time to develop and execute a strategy. On the plus side, most SEO skills are non-technical in nature. These skills can be acquired over time and at your own pace.Following is a syllabus that I have created for the development of Organic Search Specialists at my own company, Measurable SEO. Individuals could use this knowledge to secure a job in SEO or to optimize their own website(s). Companies looking to develop an in house marketing team could also follow this plan.I…

MarTech Today: The Physical Web, predictive analytics & search disruption

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:London buses test out the first consumer experience of the Physical Web
Mar 28, 2016 by Barry Levine
The MyStop project transmits a URL to all nearby bus passengers with a supporting browser, leading to a browser-based web app containing the latest bus route info.[VIDEO] Marketing Land Live #6: Twitter’s 10th anniversary, #MarTech conference recap & more
Mar 28, 2016 by Matt McGee
If you missed our latest episode this past Friday, watch the video replay below featuring Ginny Marvin, Barry Levine, Tim Peterson and yours truly.The death of the home page has been greatly exaggerated
Mar 28, 2016 by Barry Levine
Personalization provider Cxense says its data shows that home page visitors may be fewer than social- or search-driven ones, but they’re more valuable.What can predictive analytics REALLY do? Three case studies in seeing the future

Samsung Refreshes its Budget Lineup with the 2016 Galaxy J5 and J7 Smartphones

After a series of leaks and speculations, Samsung has finally refreshed their budget lineup with the announcement of new Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 in China. The much acclaimed low-end handsets have improved a lot in terms of specifications and are flaunting metal aesthetics we’re used to seeing on company’s A series phones.First, let’s talk about the pricier one, the Galaxy J7. It comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 402 ppi which will look absolutely stunning given Samsung’s history in screen qualities. Under the hood, there’s an Octa-Core Exynos processor clocked at 1.6GHz along with 3GB of RAM and a mammoth-sized 3300 mAh battery. Internal storage is limited to 16GB, however, it can be expanded up to 128GB via a MicroSD card.The J7 packs a 13MP rear camera coupled with a 5MP front facing shooter. Both lenses come with f/1.9 aperture promising better low-light shots and dual-tone flashes. On the connectivity side, it supports Dual SIM, 4G LTE, NFC…

Startup Pyze launches free business intelligence and personalization platform for mobile apps

Mobile app marketers need a better data tool, and they need it for free.That’s the mission of startup Pyze, which today is launching its first product, a mobile business intelligence and personalization platform called Pyze Growth Intelligence.Large app publishers that dominate the market have access to sophisticated, in-house app analytics tools, President and cofounder Prabhjot Singh told me, but smaller publishers have only basic ones.“Our goal is to democratize access to this intelligence,” he said, adding that app publishers “shouldn’t be charged to send out push notifications and in-app messages in 2016.”Instead of a software development kit (SDK) that requires “a lot of work” to integrate with the app, Singh said, Pyze can be integrated with one line of code.Instead of mobile marketers having to manually select how they want to segment users for analysis or marketing, Pyze’s machine learning automatically creates segments according to engagement, frequency of use, in-app purcha…

Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro Announced, Features Fingerprint Sensor, 3GB RAM and 32GB Internal Storage

Xiaomi Redmi series has been one of the most sought after entry level Android smartphone and it was only in January this year that they had launched Redmi 3 which for the first time came with a metallic body and a bumped up camera.Keeping up with the Xiaomi traditions now the company has announced Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro which comes with a better spec list as opposed to the Redmi 3. The Redmi 3 Pro features a 5-inch HD display and draws power from the octa core Snapdragon 616 paired with a 3GB of RAM which is an upgrade from the 2GB RAM in Redmi 3.Improvisation on the storage front include a 32GB Internal Storage and also the usual microSD card slot. The Redmi 3 Pro comes with a 13-Megapixel primary sensor and a 5-Megapixel secondary sensor. Xiaomi has also added a fingerprint sensor making it one of the very few devices in the $100 range to sport the same. The Redmi 3 Pro runs on MIUI 7 wrapped over Android 5.1.1 and the beefy 4100mAh battery will ensure that the charge lasts for more tha…