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Showing posts from August 23, 2016
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Aligning collateral and micro-conversions with the buying cycle

I am a big proponent of having multiple conversion options, especially in situations where you are selling a high-ticket item or a product that has a long sales cycle, but also for lower-cost items.Historically, and even largely still, the “best practice” has always been to focus on one main conversion point so as not to distract consumers from the primary conversion.While this ideology makes sense in theory, it can also be costly. Consumers are becoming more savvy in the way that they shop, and advertisers have tools and targeting options that didn’t exist when this “best practice” was originally established.Part of this change in consumer activity can be attributed to cross-device usage. There are some actions that are simply less practical to complete on a phone; on the flip side, mobile devices also enable consumers to move forward with research on the go in ways that weren’t previously possible.According to a 2015 Google/Ipsos Study, 90 percent of smartphone users have used their…

The way-too-early AdWords holiday testing guide

I know, I know, it’s still summer. But before you tell me to get lost, hear me out:Now is the best time to test new strategies, find that perfect audience and lay the tracks for a relaxing holiday.The beginning of Q4 is less than six weeks away, which means you have just enough time to properly test, adjust, optimize and master new AdWords features before you start ramping up for the holidays.According to Google, one out of four shoppers will start their holiday shopping in October. About half will be done with their shopping by the time Cyber Monday and Black Friday even roll around. Big brands are going to try to bully their way to dominating the market, but preparing early will give you a distinct advantage in finding your perfect audience.Let’s walk through best-practice testing methods, then go over four tests you should start running now.Five quick AdWords testing tipsLabel your ads for testing. At the most basic level, use [Control] and [Test #]. Whatever you need to quickly or…

Google will punish “intrusive interstitials” with a ranking penalty in 2017

Google announced that is dropping the “mobile friendly” label in search results. The company says that now 85 percent of pages in mobile results are in fact mobile-friendly. Google also said today in a blog post that it will impose a ranking penalty on “intrusive interstitials” that impede user access to content.According to the post:Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.Here are the types of interstitial ads that could be penalized:Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.Displaying a standalone inters…

Voice UI and intelligent assistants: trends to watch out for next

Earlier this year, a report from Consumer Intelligence Research partners (CIRP) pegged the sales of Amazon’s Echo at more than 3 million units.Echo of course uses Amazon’s cloud based AI “Alexa” to answer questions, play music/games, control smart devices including home automation systems and of course re-order products off Amazon.More importantly, awareness of this device and others like it continues to accelerate.In fact, according to CIRP, awareness of Echo more than doubled though the course of last year from 20% in March 2015 to more than 50% by year’s end.While an aggressive and memorable ad effort featuring Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino, and Missy Elliot may have contributed to Echo’s increasing awareness and popularity, its value proposition, robust and growing functionality and perceived promise are ushering in a new era – the AI, Machine Learning and voice UI era.Here are a few trends and predictions to look for as we prepare for this exciting wave which will most certainly becom…

Facebook adds new tools, capabilities to Slideshow video ads

Facebook introduced “Slideshow” advertising for emerging markets and small businesses (SMB) last October. In March of this year, Facebook said that its related “Your Business Story” SMB ads had more than three million advertisers.The Slideshow technology has two primary objectives: to make it easier and cheaper to create “video” ad units (typically photo montages) and make them accessible in markets with slow data connections. Today the company is announcing a range of new features and enhancements for Slideshow:“Advertisers can add text, select templates and choose colors to create a rich visual experience. Then, they can choose from audio tracks that reflect a range of different themes and will soon be able to upload their own audio tracks.”Advertisers can create Slideshow video “on the go” with Android devicesSlideshow is now fully integrated with [Facebook’s] stock image database and the Pages Photo Library featureAdvertisers can translate existing video automatically into still i…

LeEco Super3 X65 4K UHD Smart TV Review

While many companies out there are battling it out to win the war of smartphones on different fronts, we’ve reached a point where things are getting more predictable, demanding, customers spoilt for choices and few other things which are paving way to saturation in few years from now. We now see companies shifting the focus into another device which is more household in nature, something that an entire family can enjoy its benefits – Television! Or Smart TVs should we say.We’ve seen companies like Vu and Micromax do decently well in the last couple of years as they bring in some good TVs for prices that are almost half that of what the big players like Samsung, LG, Sony et all offer at. While Xiaomi is yet to bring its highly lucrative range of smart TVs to India, its arch rival LeEco has managed to land its fleet of smart TVs starting with the 3rd Generation of 55-inch and 65-inch 4K TVs. We had the chance to use the LeEco Super3 X65 UHD 4K TV for about two weeks now. We know some of…

The art of content creation and the science of measurement

Half of all B2B and B2C companies say they will increase their spending related to content marketing in the coming year. This growth means there will be even more content, more competition and higher standards for those who want to succeed.From the consumer standpoint, the online content world has seen shifts in levels of interest and activity. For both desktop and mobile, it’s become increasingly clear that the key to succeeding in this competitive digital landscape is to have a precise understanding of what customers want to see and providing it for them.Your content needs to resonate with the audience and drive them toward a call to action or conversion.Balancing art and scienceSuccessful content is driven by a careful balance between art and science. On the art side of the scale, you need to apply psychology and creativity to develop a story that engages people.You’re focusing on how your content makes people feel and how well it motivates them. You need to think outside the box t…

Jivox launches dynamic personalization for video ads

Ad personalization technology firm Jivox has launched dynamic video to complement its dynamic offerings in display.“Instead of delivering the same video ad to every viewer, marketers now have the power to deliver video campaigns every bit as personalized as their display ad counterparts – and with the same ability to exponentially increase user engagement and boost campaign performance.” said Diaz Nesamoney, CEO of Jivox, in the announcement.The base video is remains the same, but different branding, product messaging, images, and pricing, among other variables, can be pulled into placeholders dynamically based on targeting criteria and viewer seeing the ad. Customizations can appear as images within the video or as overlays. For example, an automotive manufacturer could customize ads with images of specific car models and local dealership information in a video with the audio remaining the same in all variations. A weather-based campaign could show a car driving in snow or rain, for …

Deep linker Branch launches ‘full stack’ tools for web-to-app and email-to-app

Deep links are links between mobile web sites or mobile email, on the one hand, and apps. Unlike web links, linking to or from an app is not a simple thing, since apps work differently than sites or emails.Today, Palo Alto, California-based Branch is releasing new products that it says are the first to provide “full-stack” solutions for deep linking from a mobile site to an app, and from a mobile email to an app.Its new Journeys tool allows a marketer to create and deploy a banner or interstitial ad that links from a mobile web site to an app, without a developer’s help.For instance, CEO Alex Austin told me, a marketer for a game publisher might use such a link in a banner to drive installs of a new game app. He pointed out that the reverse — from an app to a mobile web site — is a less common use case, and that mobile websites are largest drivers of app installs.A marketer can also direct the ads at specific audience segments, such as frequent web site visitors who do not yet have th…

How I stay motivated to write: Tips for content marketing inspiration

In writing, “there is no there there.” No matter how hard you practice, no matter how many hours you log, perfection is illusory. And yet, I keep writing. Recently, I asked myself: Why?What motivates me to write?Why — despite people’s shrinking attention spans, the volume of ephemeral content being created every day (burying yesterday’s content), and the many, MANY great writers that humble me — do I still take up this Sisyphean task? Is there a point?It’s not for SEO. Because with all the analytic and algorithmic gymnastics Google does, no one really knows how to truly optimize content anyway as AI and deep learning get better and more sophisticated.It’s not for social shares. Just because someone shares a post, it doesn’t mean they read it. And it’s not because I’m a great writer and have to share my “talents” with the world.I write to learn. Writing helps me learn something new about a subject, about myself, or ideally, both.Try to look past the triteness, but writing is about the …

Seven strategies for building a thriving community around your blog

The secret to creating an outstanding blog is to cultivate a strong community of fans that helps generate new traffic.In this post, I will lay out some tips to creating a bustling community around a blog. I’ll also share tips on monitoring community growth and how to use it to your advantage.Why should you create a community around your blog?Here are the benefits to having a community of bloggers or readers around your blog.A large number of readers encourages social shares which in turn can generate more traffic to your site.Comments left by fans helps to position the blog as an ‘authority blog’.A community is social proof and can help attract leads.By nurturing true relationships with your readers this increases the chances of them linking back to your valuable posts. This adds to SEO value.Interaction with a large number of readers increases the time spent on a single page, which is also valuable for SEO.A strong fan base will recommend you to their own communities.How to build a c…

Selling your agency, a how-to guide: Part 1 — Starting out right

About eight years ago, I founded 3Q Digital (initially named PPC Ad Buying, then PPC Associates). I founded the company mainly because I was tired of working for other people, and online marketing was something that people would happily pay me to do.I certainly didn’t have any visions of creating an organization with hundreds of team members and clients and eventually selling the agency to a public company. But that’s what happened in March 2015 — the most exciting day of my business career.Since then, a lot of folks have asked me for advice on how to sell an agency. Given that I’ve sold one agency and acquired another (3Q Digital’s acquisition of iSearchMedia in 2014), I’ve seen both sides of the negotiating table, which I think gives me a good perspective. Over the next few articles, I’ll provide some pointers that will hopefully make it easier for you when you decide to sell your agency.Starting out right: incorporation and taxesEveryone knows that the first thing to do when starti…

MarTech Today: Dynamic image optimization, OpenStreetMap & more

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:Akamai: When creating responsive sites for mobile, consider dynamic image optimization
Aug 22, 2016 by Barry Levine
The content delivery network points out that marketers need to keep image performance in mind for mobile.OpenStreetMap debuts Google Street View alternative: OpenStreetView
Aug 22, 2016 by Greg Sterling
The company seeks to crowd-source street-level photography on a global basis.
Google says the Google index status in the Search Console report is broken
Aug 22, 2016 by Barry Schwartz
Google may not be showing you an accurate count of your indexed pages in the Google Search Console Index Status report.
Google Local Business Cards or Posts about to roll out to ‘thousands’ of SMBs
Aug 19, 2016 by Greg Sterling
Search feature will soon be broadly accessible to local businesses and their agencies.
From Around The Web:Dimensions & …

Scandy Wants to Turn Your Android Phone to a 3D Scanner

The time has come when the 3D Printers are finally getting their fair share of attention and are turning mainstream. In fact, we at TechPP have featured many such innovative 3D printers which sell at an affordable price point and can be a good bet for the personal use. However, that said it is not so convenient to turn a real life object into a 3-D model manually, but we do have Autodesk’s 123D Catch which is one of the contenders for Scandy but loses out on the resolution front. Also, check out the Eora 3D scanner that works in same fashion as the Scandy.Scandy is launching a beta program to make it easy for users to scan objects in 3D from any Android devices. Scandy has sourced the 3D sensors from pmd in order to achieve 0.3mm precision and greater resolution. The 3D scanner can be simply snapped to your smartphone and you are ready to go, much like the WalabotDIY we featured last week.The makers of Scandy have also made the Scandy Core SDK available for the developers and hopefull…

Understanding how users, not algorithms, search online will help your SEO

Studying how end users, not algorithms, search for solutions online can help improve your SEO efforts.Coming from a background in neuroscience, I’m still learning about the technical side of search engine optimization.I know a little about the terminology thanks to an array of online communities and experts like my ConsumerAffairs colleague and SEO expert, Jessica Sanford.I’ve read the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines from cover to cover and understand more about the content and signals Google looks for to signify quality websites. I know what’s at stake when it comes to the impact of SEO…User behaviour on the first SERPAround 84% of all clicks on search engine results pages (SERPs) go to the ads and results above the fourth organic result. Of those, more than 32% go to the first organic result, with the second result claiming fewer than 12% and click through rates (CTR) decreasing dramatically from there.Dropping from the first to the second or third spot on SERPs can have a t…

One-third of UK internet users have taken a ‘digital detox’

The 2016 Communications Market Report from Ofcom has shed some fresh light on the latest behavioural trends of UK consumers and how they are connecting with traditional and digital media.As expected, this latest offering is a comprehensive digest which draws on a range of primary and secondary research looking at – among other things – our TV viewing habits, how we use our mobile phones and how we’re going online.But it is the section dedicated to digital detoxing which is generating headlines.Much has been written about the yearning for, and challenge of, spending time away from the digital environment.Michael Harris’ The End Of Absence is a good read on the subject and I spotted the seemingly less academic How to Unplug guide on a shelf in Debenhams just a couple of days ago.Even a cursory search online provides a stream of organisations (digitaldetox.org, digitaldetoxing.com, itstimetologoff.com etc.) who offer advice as well as specially disconnected getaways for the digitally add…

Huawei Mate S2 Expected to be Showcased at IFA Berlin on Sept 1

The IFA 2016 is round the corner and slowly mobile brands are coming out with their plans for this year’s mega event scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany. Chinese firm Huawei is among the first to the list as they have now announced their plan to host a news conference at the event on September 1.Huawei has in fact shared a teaser image on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo regarding the smartphone that will be showcased at the event. The teaser is quite barebones and only showcases the corners of a smartphone that sports metal to the sides. Having outed the Mate 8 and P9 already, it would be interesting to see which smartphone Huawei has in store. Industry tipsters reveal that the device in question is the Huawei Mate S2. The alleged smartphone was, in fact, spotted clearing TENAA certification a few days back.Incidentally, the Huawei Mate S2 shares a similar rear design to that of the Nexus 6P, except for the fairly large company branding to the bottom. The front of the Mate…