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Showing posts from March 16, 2017

YouTube to end Annotations in May

Bloomua / Google has decided to discontinue its Annotations Editor beginning May 2, making annotations — any text, links or hot spots layered over a video — no longer available to creators.Since offering End Screens and Cards, YouTube says the use of annotations, which only work on desktop, has decreased more than 70 percent.“With 60 percent of YouTube’s watch-time now on mobile, why go through the work of creating annotations that won’t even reach the majority of your audience?” writes YouTube product manager Muli Salem on the YouTube Creator Blog. “End Screens and Cards work on mobile and desktop, giving you more bang for your buck.”Among other reasons for sunsetting annotations, YouTube reports that End Screens and Cards generate seven times more clicks than annotations — and, on average, viewers close 12 annotations before clicking on one. Also, according to feedback from creators, annotations are difficult to create, while the setup process for End Screens can be …

Amazon adds Alexa to its main iOS app

Twin Design / Amazon has announced that it’s integrating Alexa into its Amazon iOS shopping app. This adds the Alexa brain to the Amazon app and serves as a replacement for basic speech recognition.Amazon iOS users will be able to shop, play music, ask questions and get news weather and traffic. However, there was no mention of whether or when Amazon would bring Alexa to its Android app.Given that there’s no Alexa smartphone presence, the move is smart and will familiarize more people with Alexa. That could help drive additional sales of Echo devices. Third party skills and “smart home” control will reportedly also be available via Alexa in the Amazon app. It’s therefore effectively a third party app store within the Amazon app.Amazon is currently a top 15 shopping app according to comScore. It’s the dominant e-commerce app. Beyond this, the company has sold something now approaching 10 million Echo and Echo Dot hardware devices, powered by Alexa.To access Alexa in the…

4 steps to ROI-positive marketing attribution in 90 days

Your marketing attribution solution should have positive ROI and start paying for itself within 90 days of implementation.This goal is both strategic and tactical. At a high level, you want to justify the cost of the system as soon as possible so that there is no question about value. From the marketing practitioner to the CMO, it needs to be clear early on what the platform is doing, and why it’s doing it; marketers also need to demonstrate that the system is working and has everything required to keep working.Tactically, it’s important to harness the honeymoon period after the system is live. When you hit the ground running, you take advantage of people’s time and attention, thus cementing the value. If you miss that window, it’s hard to get it back.While it may seem challenging, this goal is also realistic. Here’s what it takes to see ROI on your attribution initiative within three months.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

National retailers: Stop ignoring local SEO

When I worked in NBC’s Internet group, I had this idea to aggregate all of their local station websites into a single network. When I pitched it, my boss’ initial reaction was, “Why do you want to bother with the local affiliates? They are a royal PITA.”It’s been a while since NBC-IN, but even today I still see evidence that national-to-local companies, specifically retailers, pay short shrift to the needs of their locations, particularly when it comes to SEO. And while no doubt the locals are still a royal PITA, under-investing in their SEO ignores the reality of where Google has been heading for quite some time.In my experience, national retailers’ digital divisions think of their websites as e-commerce sites first, and local store sites a distant second. Sure, the sites usually have store locators (still blown away when they don’t at this late date), and some of the more forward-thinking ones even have the ability to see local inventory. But I’d wager nine times out of ten, if you …

Why ‘took a business that was perfectly fine & crashed it into the ground’

It’s not every day that you find a veteran website publisher willing to share details about their marketing strategy, from SEO to social media to content marketing and beyond. It’s even more unusual when that publisher is in the middle of remaking itself the way is, pivoting from an all-inclusive website covering innumerable topics into a series of separate websites focused on specific verticals like health, home and finance.“The market is really different now and there isn’t a place for a general interest site,” says’s CEO Neil Vogel in this week’s episode of Marketing Land Live.Vogel says the decision is paying off. After crashing into the ground, the new sites are seeing significant gains in search traffic and on social networks, especially Facebook and Pinterest. But Twitter is practically a dead zone: Vogel says the company’s content performed better after the Twitter sharing buttons were removed. He also talks about how showing fewer ads on pages ha…

Optimization at the intersection of search, content, social, mobile and local in 2017

The digital environment is rapidly shifting. There are over a billion websites online, and customers have countless brands to choose from when seeking solutions to their needs.Consumer behavior has rapidly matured with the growth of the online world. Customers access the internet through a variety of different platforms and channels. Two thirds of shoppers report using more than one channel when deciding to make a purchase.At the same time, customers have also begun to abandon a traditional buyer’s journey. They now interact with brands through a series of high-intent touch points across multiple devices. Customers now guide the relationship, and brands need to be there to serve them.Search engines responded to this shift by evolving the query algorithm to better understand intent and mold their search engine results pages (SERPs) and provide fast, convenient answers for users.To succeed in this modern digital ecosystem, brands must do the same. They must understand how to develop con…

Adblock Plus names independent Acceptable Ads Committee

Adblock Plus’s parent company, eyeo, is transitioning the Acceptable Ads program to an independent group. The Acceptable Ads Committee (AAC) will oversee the whitelisting program that enables ads to pass through some of the most popular ad blockers: Adblock Plus, AdBlock, Adblock Browser and Crystal.Eyeo launched the controversial Acceptable Ads program in 2011 in which large companies like Google, AOL, Yaoo and Criteo pay to have their ads whitelisted. Smaller firms are not charged for whitelisting privileges. Many in the industry have equated this model to a type of extortion. Last year the IAB revoked Adblock Plus’s invitation to the IAB Leaership Summit. The formation of an independent committee is a step toward addressing criticism.“The AAC will take full authority over these [acceptability] criteria and the compromise between users who want to block intrusive ads and publishers who rely on advertising revenues,” Ben Williams, AdBlock Plus operations and marketing manager, wrote …

With cost per visit, xAd brings search-like performance to mobile advertising

Location-based marketing platform xAd is doing something radical. The company is offering a new “cost per visit” (CPV) mobile ad model backed by third-party validation from Placed.Mobile marketers will only be asked to pay for visitors to their stores or locations, not impressions or clicks. The CPV approach thus simplifies the buying and planning process for marketers and shifts the risk of campaign performance to xAd.Chief Product Officer Shashi Seth, a former search executive at Google and Yahoo, said that one of the objectives was to take the guesswork out of targeting for advertisers. “They can now just tell us how many visitors they need in what locations.”Third-party location analytics firm Placed will provide validation and verification that xAd delivered visitors. Placed CEO David Shim told me in email that “Placed is working closely with xAd to finalize the methodology to deliver an independent validation of visitation for Cost Per Visit. In the same way that viewability is …

SimilarWeb now offers more granular metrics through Digital Insights

SimilarWeb’s new Digital Insights service can track patterns of jeans buyers on Amazon. SimilarWeb is out this week with a new service that offers a more granular look at the paths taken by online buyers, offering insights that the company says are not available elsewhere.Called Digital Insights, it is a series of custom reports that can indicate how most buyers reached a given destination, which affiliate links or search terms are the highest-converting, and other metrics related to buying patterns. To use the service, marketers contact SimilarWeb through its website, describe the question(s) they want to answer, and the company sets up a customized arrangement for pricing, kind of report and report frequency.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Campaign Monitor buys customer data platform Tagga

A screen from the Campaign Monitor website, showing post-acquisition unified customer profiles Campaign Monitor is taking a step toward becoming more than an email automation provider, with its announcement this week that it has purchased customer data platform (CDP) Tagga.The San Francisco-based Campaign Monitor has its own extensive set of profiles, built from users who have opted in with their email addresses.Those profiles largely consist of behavioral data from user activity on apps or websites, such as whether the person with email address has visited a page showing red sneakers. A marketer could then send a follow-up email featuring a discount on those red sneakers.“The more personalized the message,” Campaign Monitor CEO Alex Bard told me, “the higher the engagement rate,” adding that “email is still the thoroughbred of engagement.”But, he noted, Campaign Monitor’s profiles are “not as rich or as powerful as a CDP.”[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Mar…

Publishers must start proactively fighting fraud and non-human traffic

Digital ad fraud is costing advertisers $8.2 billion each year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. So what is the industry doing to address this massive crime?To date, the collective approach has been largely reactive: A reputable third-party measurement company audits a publisher’s traffic, and if fraud is detected, reports on the percentage that is non-human traffic (NHT). If that percentage is unacceptably high, advertisers are encouraged to block those sources of media from future campaigns, or even refrain from paying for NHT traffic.Inherent in this approach is the acceptance of fraud as inevitable. It views NHT as a scourge that will inevitably cost the industry some sum of money, and our goal should be to get those costs as low as possible. But is NHT a fact of life we must learn to accept?Is non-human traffic inevitable?To find out, The 614 Group, my employer, designed a quantitative and qualitative survey to understand where publishers currently stand in their …

Urban Airship expands app notification capabilities to mobile web and PC

Urban Airship, a leading provider of in-app marketing, has developed a new web-based push notification capability it calls “Web Notify.” It covers both the desktop and mobile web.While browser-based notifications have existed for a little while, Urban Airship says it’s first-to-market with a platform that enables an integrated (or segmented) PC, mobile web and app marketing capability. The company says browser support includes Chrome, Firefox and Opera — but not Safari for now.While mobile web users are less loyal and less engaged than app users, the mobile web is much larger and growing faster than apps. Retailers in particular have struggled to gain adoption for their apps. Accordingly, Urban Airship’s new tools enable marketers with limited app penetration to deploy notifications to their mobile web and PC users.Web notifications can either be identical to in-app notifications or treated differently, depending on the objectives of the marketer. The only difference in functionality,…

Test-driving Pinterest Lens: How does Pinterest’s new visual search tool stack up?

Pinterest has released its visual discovery tool, Lens, to all Android and iPhone users in the US.As part of Pinterest’s strategy to capture some of the lucrative search market by mastering visual search, this is a significant move and is one that will undoubtedly extend beyond the US soon.Within the last year, Pinterest has launched a range of new search and e-commerce products, including their paid search partnership with Kenshoo, Shop the Look, and Instant Ideas.These all fall under the umbrella term ‘visual discovery tools’, and their USP is framed by Pinterest’s recurring phrase, “All without typing a single character.”No prizes for guessing which search giant they are taking aim at there.Lens will be central to the fortunes of Pinterest’s decidedly alternative entry to the digital advertising market, so we have taken a hands-on look at what it is, how it works, and just how effective it is.What is Pinterest Lens?Lens is a point-and-shoot discovery tool that analyses and interpre…

Your guide to using Google Assistant and the Google search app on Android & iPhone

Google Assistant has now come to Android phones beyond Google’s own Pixel. It’s a significant change to how Google’s previously offered search on mobile devices. It’s also the latest in a wide variety of ways people can search with Google on Android, as well as iPhone.Google Assistant is Google’s next generation way of searching with Google. It’s a radical shift in particular because it forces people to speak their searches, rather than type. But the Google search app remains as an option for those who want a choice between spoken and typed searches. It’s just a bit more difficult to reach now, no longer a home button or icon push away.Google Now, Google’s predictive search feature, remains active. But it’s no longer called Google Now and isn’t integrated into Google Assistant. It remains part of the separate Google search app.If all this makes your head hurt, trying to figure out how to use Google on your phone, don’t worry. We have a full guide covering the many ways to Google on bo…

Stop Being Boring: How To Write More Humorous Articles

When writing, you obviously want to keep your audience in mind.The goal is to capture the attention of your readers and retain it. That way, you make them visit your blog or website regularly, and while they’re there, they spend quality time going through your articles. In doing so, you maintain your readership and reduce your bounce rate.However, some people find this hard because most of their readers think their articles are boring. They can capture the attention of their readers initially, but lose it just as quickly as they gained it.Is it a hopeless situation?No!How To Use Humor In Your WritingAfter reading this article, you will gain some useful tips that will help you write humorous content that will resurrect your blog and keep your readers waiting for more.Here’s what you need to do…1. Use SarcasmSome people just have a knack for sarcasm.With a little sense of humor, you can use sarcasm as one of the most practical tools to gain and retain the attention of your readers. If y…

Use Artificial Intelligence to bridge the gap between data and personalization

Marketers today have access to exceptional amounts of data. While “big data” was once a luxury only available to the largest enterprises, it is now available to even the smallest organizations.But the actual management, organization, and analysis of the resulting volume of data quickly becomes an insurmountable task.This whitepaper from Emarsys explains how artificial intelligence marketing can help marketers scale the collection, analysis, and application of data.Click here to download “Artificial Intelligence: The Bridge Between Data and Personalization.”

via Marketing Land

Marketing Day: Google fights offensive content, the most-watched video creators & more

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Google launches new effort to flag upsetting or offensive content in search
Mar 15, 2017 by Danny Sullivan
Using data from human “quality raters,” Google hopes to teach its algorithms how to better spot offensive and often factually incorrect information.UNILAD & The LAD Bible are the most-watched video makers for 8 straight months
Mar 15, 2017 by Amy Gesenhues
According to Tubular Labs’ top 10 video creator list, Unilad and The LAD Bible show no signs of slowing down since taking the lead in July 2016.Ad-blocking concerns shift to the video ad industry
Mar 15, 2017 by Alex Bornyakov
Ad blocking has long been a concern for advertisers, but video ads are getting hit especially hard. Columnist Alex Bornyakov explores why this is and offers some solutions to this growing problem.10 AdWords ad copy testing ideas you can use right now
Mar 15, 2…

Master modern marketing technology leadership over 2 intense days

We’re only 7 weeks away from the MarTech conference in San Francisco, May 9-11. This will be the biggest and best one yet, with 70+ sessions, 100+ speakers, 100+ exhibitors and sponsors, and 2,500+ marketing and marketing technology leaders gathering together to meet, learn, and be inspired by each other.If you’re working the intersection of marketing, technology, and management, this event has been lovingly hand-crafted for you — and I’m eager to give you a glimpse of what to expect.ut first, a quick alert: the discounted beta rate for tickets expires on April 1. (No, we’re not fooling.) So, if you want to guarantee a spot at a great price, I encourage you to register before that deadline.Here’s what an All Access Pass will give you over a whirlwind 48 hours…Stackies & Hackies: An Opening Night Reception That Will Inspire YouOn the evening of May 9, we’ll kick off with a celebration of the winners of The Stackies & Hackies Awards. Unlike typical industry “awards,” which often…