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6 hot trends travel brands should watch in 2018

From off-the-beaten-path locales to memorable experiences, travelers’ needs and wants are evolving, opening the door to new opportunities for savvy brands and impacting the way travel advertisers approach their marketing efforts.In an effort to discover how marketers can best influence travelers’ purchase decisions online, the Bing Ads research team partnered with Phocuswright to conduct a search trends analysis, the results of which I’ll be sharing in this column.Since nine out of 10 travelers turn to an online source when planning, comparing or booking a trip, here are six trends travel brands can watch to help build their marketing and advertising strategies in 2018.Exotic new destinationsEver thought about traveling to Maldives, Iceland or Rwanda? As it turns out, these three locales have made the list of top 25 trending destinations, based on year-over-year search volume growth.Reasons may be increased airline capacity or the addition of new non-stop routes. Also, the proliferati…

Innovid partners with mobile ad platforms to upgrade VAST

The VAST video ad format is used widely, but it lacks some features that marketers crave. Key among them: It doesn’t readily support third-party measurement or interactive features, such as hotspots where users can request more info or a related video.A variety of efforts to correct this situation are underway. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), for instance, is working toward standardization of these capabilities for VAST, while some verification firms and advertising providers are implementing their own solutions.This week, New York City-based video ad platform Innovid announced it was taking a next step toward making VAST more useful for in-app video ads. It is working with three providers of mobile app inventory — Fyber, InMobi and MoPub — to launch and utilize VAST tags that are compatible with the IAB’s and others’ efforts.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Conversica expands channels, markets with Intelligens acquisition

This week, AI conversational firm Conversica is expanding its channels and its market with the acquisition of Santiago, Chile-based Intelligens.ai.Through this purchase, the company will add support for Messenger, Facebook, Slack and Skype to its current email and SMS channels, Conversica CEO Alex Terry told me.Conversica offers an AI Sales Agent that employs intelligent textual conversation to prequalify potential leads and then hand them off to human reps.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Anthony Noto left Twitter’s ad business in a better place despite revenue declines, say ad buyers

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas each January has become the kickoff event for the advertising industry’s year. Following this year’s show — and a year of lows for the company — Twitter was riding high.“There was some interest and revived excitement around Twitter coming out of CES. There was the expectation that this might be a rebirth year,” said Mike Dossett, associate director of digital strategy at RPA.Then last week, Twitter announced that its COO and revenue boss, Anthony Noto, was stepping down to become CEO of financial tech firm SoFi.“Everyone was a bit shocked because he was very active at CES representing Twitter, which wasn’t that long ago,” said Katherine Patton, director of paid social at Dentsu Aegis Network’s iProspect.Noto is widely credited with whatever bright spots Twitter has enjoyed over the past year, such as its push toward premium live and on-demand video. That push had helped to reaccelerate the company’s audience growth in 2017 and was supposed to…

Big companies are treating Amazon like a branding channel

Big brands have been talking for an awfully long time about “acting nimbly” and instilling a “startup culture.” There’s a recognition that being data-focused and able to act quickly will help spur short- and long-term success.But one of the most remarkable things about 2017 was that it was the year big companies — particularly CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands — actually started to act like small companies when it came to certain aspects of their marketing strategy and decision-making.A recent eMarketer report outlined this in detail. CPG brands have started inserting themselves at more points throughout the buyer journey, rather than focusing their efforts almost solely on brand awareness or retailer-led promotions. This has manifested itself particularly in the form of targeted advertising, social media strategies and a restructuring in how e-commerce product pages are managed.Smaller brands have attracted loyal customers using these techniques over the past several years, and la…

The big list of Super Bowl LII ads: Amazon, M&Ms, Budweiser & more offer sneak peeks of game day spots

More than 20 advertisers have confirmed they will be making an appearance during Super Bowl LII on Sunday night. According to a recent Sports Illustrated report, this year’s Super Bowl brands will be spending, on average, over $5 million for a 30-second spot during the game.On top of the $5 million ad buy, there are still creative costs involved with making the ad (or ads) and the supporting campaigns to drive online views and engagement.“We predict that Super Bowl LII will have the most online activity going on concurrently with the game in Super Bowl history,” says CEO of Instart Logic, Manav Mital. The digital management platform commissioned an online survey of more than 1,000 US adults and found nearly half of the people who plan to watch the Super Bowl will be going online during the game to watch the ads.To extend the life of their Super Bowl campaigns, many brands routinely drop teaser ads in anticipation of their game day spots, and several this year — including Budweiser, F…

DigitalOcean Promo Code: Claim Free Credits

Planning to sign up for DigitalOcean and looking for promo code? Here is one that will give you $10 for you to use for your droplets: Click here to get Digital Ocean free creditsIf you want to learn more about DigitalOcean, read on.DigitalOcean Promo code: $10 CouponHere at ShoutMeLoud, we discover new products and share them with you to make life easier. At times, when we find a deal worth sharing, we do that in our deals section. Today, I’m sharing a $10 promo code for DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean, also popularly known as DO in the hosting community, is an easy-to-use cloud computing platform of virtual servers (Droplets) and object storage ( Spaces). For those planning to setup a server of their own and need an unmanaged server, DigitalOcean is indeed the best option.Designed for developers, DigitalOcean helps you to quickly scale up your server when you need more resources. I use DO for hosting the ShoutMeLoud forum which is powered by Discourse. At the time of writing this special …

The future of visual search and what it means for SEO companies

The human brain has evolved to instantly recognize images.Visual identification is a natural ability made possible through a wonder of nerves, neurons, and synapses. We can look at a picture, and in 13 milliseconds or less, know exactly what we’re seeing.But creating technology that can understand images as quickly and effectively as the human mind is a huge undertaking.Visual search therefore requires machine learning tools that can quickly process images, but these tools must also be able to identify specific objectswithinthe image, then generate visually similar results.Yet thanks to the vast resources at the disposal of companies like Google, visual search is finally becoming viable. How, then, will SEO evolve as visual search develops?Here’s a more interesting question: how soon until SEO companies have to master visual search optimization?Visual search isn’t likely to replace text-based search engines altogether. For now, visual search is most useful in the world of sales and re…

3 ways humans can do PPC better than machines alone

Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic in PPC but until the machines fully take over day-to-day account management, there are a few key areas where human PPC pros can still add a lot of value.Use Business Data for Bid ManagementBid management can be one of the most repetitive and boring tasks of managing PPC because after a model has been built, you are left with an ongoing task executing on the plan and this may involve downloading the data, putting it into the correct format, and then running it through your formulas to determine the new bid. For machines, this might sound like the perfect dinner on a caribbean-beach sunset, but for us humans? Not so much. Repetition is dull, and as a dull task, we tend to become a bit less thorough with our analysis as time goes on.This is why both Google and Bing offer automated bid management solutions. There are also many third party bid management solutions which aim to improve on shortcomings of the bid management solutions from an engine. Tho…

Instagram adds option to schedule posts via new Graph API as old Platform API nears shutdown

Instagram is adding more features to the Graph API it debuted last year to prod businesses and developers to migrate away from its old API that is being shut down over the next two years.Through Instagram’s Graph API, businesses will now be able to schedule posts, see public posts that mention or tag them and check out other business profiles, the Facebook-owned photo-and-video app announced on Tuesday.The new features are meant to make it easier for businesses to manage their organic accounts on Instagram. However, there’s a catch. While any business with access to Instagram’s Graph API will be able to use it to view posts that mention and tag them or to see other businesses’ profiles (including their posts, bios, website links and follower counts), to schedule posts via the API a business will need to go through a vendor that’s a member of the Facebook Marketing Partner program.The new features are also intended to encourage businesses to switch away from Instagram’s Platform API th…

Are you getting credit for all of your organic visits from GMB?

As search engine optimization specialists (SEOs), we all have one goal: to increase organic traffic for our clients. We optimize signals to increase the relevancy of our clients’ (or our own) sites so more people find them and check them out.But what if some of the traffic (or even a lot of it) isn’t attributed correctly, and you aren’t getting credit for it?[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

Facebook will ban all ads promoting cryptocurrency

Facebook is willing to take a hit to its wallet to make sure its users don’t.Facebook will ban all ads promoting cryptocurrency in an attempt to prevent scammers from using its advertising platform to dupe its users, the company announced on Tuesday.Facebook’s ban applies to all ads that “promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrency,” according to a company blog post. It will span ads running on Facebook, as well as Facebook-owned Instagram and its Audience Network ad network of third-party sites and apps.“This policy is part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook,” according to the company.For more than a year, Facebook has been repeatedly criticized for not adequately preventing people from misusing its ad platform. Examples include Russ…

Marketing Day: Ad fraud, Cisco study on data privacy & Facebook to prioritize local news

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:Recognizing the subtle signs that point to possible ad fraud
Jan 30, 2018 by Soo Jin Oh
How do you know if real humans or bots are clicking on your ads? Columnist Soo Jin Oh dives into the results of a test monitoring fraudulent behavior and discusses the takeaways for online advertisers.Customer loyalty: A key ingredient for successful local search results
Jan 30, 2018 by Wesley Young
Loyal customers are both your cheerleaders and bodyguards. Contributor Wesley Young shares six ways to boost local search results using customer loyalty.Survey: Amazon, Google top SMB ‘Trust Index’
Jan 30, 2018 by Greg Sterling
However, SMB marketing companies and ad products such as Facebook Ads and AdWords are poorly rated.The 5 Big Disruptions to Marketing in 2018
Jan 30, 2018 by Digital Marketing Depot
Join us for the 2018 update to Scott Brinker’s highly pop…

Recognizing the subtle signs that point to possible ad fraud

The digital advertising industry’s got a big problem, and it’s not going away anytime soon. One report estimated that businesses could lose as much as $16.4 billion to advertising fraud in 2017.Such frightful statistics are putting advertisers on edge. No business — large or small — wants to see its money wasted.But how can an advertiser know whether actual humans or bots are viewing and clicking on online ads? How can small businesses understand the complex matrix of ad fraud? And, most importantly, how can they stay one step ahead of fraudsters?The metrics that might seem indicative of “good” performance at first glance can actually be a hotbed for fraud. As a test, we worked with Moat Analytics, a digital advertising analytics and measurement company, to analyze over a million online ad impressions over the course of a month (September 2017) and monitor fraudulent behavior. We gleaned a number of basic insights about fraud sites that are valuable to any online advertiser.What puts …

Customer loyalty: A key ingredient for successful local search results

Customer loyalty is often overlooked in local search. The thinking is that people are searching for new places to shop or for things they don’t know about already. If they were a regular or loyal customer, they wouldn’t need to search.But that’s not entirely true. Due to the  “Google effect” or digital amnesia, consumers process information differently today. We’ve become so inundated with information we have adjusted to relying on search outlets like Google to find information instead of remembering the actual content.For example, instead of recalling the name of the coffee shop I enjoyed the last time I visited Washington, D.C., I remembered that it was near the train station. Once I pulled up search results for coffee shops on Google Maps, the choices of names and locations triggered my memory.Loyalty in local search is about being top of mind when choices need to be made and friends ask for recommendations. Below are six ways to build customer loyalty and drive traffic to your loc…

Survey: Amazon, Google top SMB ‘Trust Index’

Local business network Alignable released its most recent small business (SMB) Trust Index Report, which reflects net promoter scores (NPS) from its member base. The company says it’s now monitoring “115 brands across 25 categories” and capturing ratings from more than 50,000 business owners.All Alignable members are permitted to rate brands, and the company does not screen for customer or purchaser status. However, Alignable argues that this methodology provides a more accurate picture of brand reputation than selectively polling customers.Here’s the list of highest-rated brands overall in Q4 2017:AmazonGoogleAuthorize.NetAppleWordPressFedExStripePayPalGoogle AppsUPSLinkedInMailChimpSquareVistaprint1&1TwitterDropboxMicrosoft OfficeIntuit QuickbooksOpenTableThe company also released a list of reputation leaders by category. Those not already on the list above include:E-commerce: WooCommerceSocial & Digital: YouTubeTraditional & Events: EventbriteMarketing Automation & …

The 5 Big Disruptions to Marketing in 2018

Join us for the 2018 update to Scott Brinker’s highly popular webinar on the disruptions affecting today’s marketers. Building on the 2017 edition, Scott will examine how the martech landscape has evolved over the past 12 months and outline what lies ahead for marketers in the next three to five years.The marketing world is in the middle of five major disruptions that are reshaping the industry as we know it:Digital transformation.Microservices and APIs.Vertical competition.Digital everything.Artificial Intelligence.These trends are dramatically altering the digital landscape in which businesses operate, changing how brands function internally and how they engage with customers.Find out what’s changed, what’s ahead and how marketers can leverage these disruptions for a successful 2018. Register today for “The 5 Big Disruptions to Marketing in 2018,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by the MarTech Conference®.

via Marketing Land

Ad tech firms join PageFair’s new Perimeter initiative for GDPR-compliant ad targeting

Having analyzed the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and determined that user consent is “unworkable” for targeted advertising, PageFair is now trying to reinvent that wheel.The Dublin, Ireland-based firm has announced a joint initiative with eight other ad tech companies that provides GDPR-compliant ad targeting without requiring user consent.The initial group of participating US-based and European companies are ad server Adzerk, banner ad builder Bannerflow, ad automation agency Bydmath, custom ad developer Clearcode, SSP Converge Digital, digital ad agency Digitize, CRM-targeting ad provider SegmentIQ and customer data platform Velocidi. The companies will be working within Perimeter as one option, not as their exclusive environment.The key objective, PageFair CEO Sean Blanchfield said in the announcement, is to rewire “the advertising supply chain to work without personal data.”[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land

Cisco study: Data privacy issues can delay sales

Data privacy issues are not just a problem for compliance with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Concerns about data privacy can also be bad for completing sales.That’s a key takeaway in a new report from Cisco, its “Privacy Maturity Benchmark Study.” As many as 65 percent of businesses worldwide are finding “significant sales cycle delays” because of privacy issues, the report says, based on a survey of almost 3,000 global security professionals in 25 countries.Two-thirds of respondents said data privacy can cause an average delay in sales cycles of 7.8 weeks. Causes can include an inability of sales teams to address concerns by customers, inadequate corporate policies or engineering issues. Plus, sales cycle delays can be directly impacted by a company’s privacy maturity level.[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

via Marketing Land