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Showing posts from May, 2018
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E-commerce highlights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report

As usual, this year’s Mary Meeker report from Kleiner Perkins takes a far-reaching look at internet trends and statistics. A large chunk of the nearly 300-page report is devoted to e-commerce, offering insight into a variety of online retail trends, from growth and product search to online retail advertising and the role of social platforms driving online sales.According to Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends report, e-commerce is showing no signs of slowing down. Online sales are up and growing faster than in the previous year. More people are using their phones to shop online. Amazon is taking a wider slice of the e-commerce pie (and product search), and social platforms are driving more product discoveries and purchases.Here is a breakdown of the report’s e-commerce highlights, along with the stats:E-commerce continues to growE-commerce sales reached upward of $450 billion, a 16 percent year-over-year lift. The e-commerce growth rate is up compared to the 14 percent year-over-year i…

Bing Ads rolls out In-Market Audiences to all US advertisers

Bing Ads announced the availability of in-market audiences in the US on Tuesday, after piloting the audience targeting feature since last summer.In-market audiences are groups of users determined to be actively in the market for a particular product or service category. In building in-market audiences, Bing Ads takes into account user purchase intent signals from Bing, MSN and other Microsoft properties.There are now more than 170 in-market audiences to choose from — up from 14 when the pilot kicked off — across several industries including retail, travel, and financial services.Bing says pilot participants saw up to 28 percent higher click-through rates (CTR) and up to 48 percent higher conversion rates, compared to ads without in-market audiences in July 2017.From the Audiences tab in the Bing Ads UI, click the “Create association” button to get started. From there you’ll select an ad group and then “in-market audiences” from the ad group targeting drop-down. Advertisers can drill d…

What data do you need to find, pitch and win new SEO clients?

For SEO agencies and independent consultants looking for new business, a two-step strategy might be all you need to demonstrate your efficacy and separate from competitors. First, identify prospective clients that are well-suited to your offering. Second, send them a pitch that unequivocally communicates the potential results they can achieve from your services. The key to both is data and, conveniently, the same data that you use to recognize great potential clients in the first step can also be used to make a powerful case as to what your services can deliver for them.Identifying your ideal SEO clientsThe businesses you probably want to approach are those that are tuned in to how SEO works and have already invested in it, but that still have a veritable need for your services in order to achieve their full SEO potential. Naturally, a brand that has already climbed to the top of the most relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) isn’t a great candidate because they simply don’t ne…

How to hire the right people for your marketing team

“Digital Transformation” has become one of the most commonly used buzzwords in business today. As we scramble to digitize, personalize and virtualize more and more aspects of the human experience, it’s hard to find an article or research piece on organizational strategy without running into it.In many organizations, Digital Transformation is being led by marketing. It’s the biggest generator of data and the group that puts data to use most often.But transformation of any sort is hard to do. Companies are struggling, and part of the challenge is having the right people in place to turn big transformation goals into reality.This guide from Aquent will detail what your team needs to attain a state of true digital transformation, including:Six essential skills, 18 core capabilities.How to spot the right hire.The new “Marketing Buzzword Alert Barometer.”Tips on managing Digital Transformation and improving the Customer Experience.Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “The Digital Marke…

How brands can find and keep customers without third-party data

If you come back in the next world as a kind of data, try to avoid coming back as third-party data.That’s because third-party data — collected in almost every way except a direct contact between a brand and its customers — is rapidly falling out of favor. It’s battling the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), restrictions from Apple’s and Google’s browsers, and a general sense among brands that third-party data isn’t the highest quality.As we head into what is apparently a new era for customer data, in fact, a common refrain among some data providers, particularly Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), is that first-party data — directly collected by a brand about its customers or visitors — is the kind that brands should focus on.But can brands live on first-party data alone?[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]The post How brands can find and keep customers without third-party data appeared first on Marketing Land.

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DoubleClick Bid Manager opens up digital audio ad buying globally

As investment in digital audio advertising continues to grow, Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager is rolling out support globally for buying audio ads programmatically across a handful of streaming services. The company announced Wednesday that advertisers can now buy ad inventory programmatically from Google Play Music, Spotify, SoundCloud and TuneIn, and soon Pandora.In the US last year, digital audio ad revenues topped $1.6, according to the IAB, an increase of 39 percent over 2016. Mobile accounted for roughly 75 percent of digital audio ad revenues in 2017.“We are thrilled to see DoubleClick embracing programmatic audio. This launch makes it possible for Bid Manager customers to reach Spotify’s highly engaged audience across video, display and audio formats,” said Zuzanna Gierlinska, head of programmatic, Europe at Spotify in a statement.The supported exchanges for audio ads are DoubleClick’s own Ad Exchange and Rubicon. DoubleClick Ad Exchange is the inventory provider for Google P…

Where we’re going, we won’t need websites 

As voice becomes the dominant force in search and people spend more time consuming content via social media, the future for the humble home page looks very bleak.If comScore is correct and half of all searches by 2020 are made via voice, a crucial question arises: will we still need websites?Even if the research is over-egged and the tipping point is reached a year or two later, the question still remains.As consumers increasingly get used to asking Alexa, Siri or Google for the news headlines, a dinner recipe or flight options for a weekend away, answers will not be provided by ten blue SEO links. Rather, the options will be weighed up by an algorithm before what is considered to be the best answer is read out.Remember Lycos and AltaVista?New technology can always delight early adopters, but as it becomes more mainstream, seasoned observers know some huge names may become casualties as the public adopts new behaviors. Remember AltaVista, AskJeeves and Lycos, as well as when Yahoo! wa…

Four ways Google is making SEO easier

One of the easiest ways to understand SEO’s importance to the marketing mix is to pay attention to what Google says and does. Google is very keen on good SEO because it makes the internet a better place for users. If the internet is a better place for users, then Google can sell more ads.Here are four things Google has said and done to help marketers improve SEO that you may not be aware of.Google added an ‘SEO’ audit to its Lighthouse extensionGoogle is actively giving developers advice on how to improve the sites they work on: its Lighthouse auditing tool now has an SEO component that can analyse any page for basic SEO competency and tell you how to make it better.This is a nice change for search marketers, who have for a long time made up for Google’s radio silence with research and educated guesswork. Some of the tips offered by the audit extension are fairly obvious and well known (tile tag exists, canonicals not broken, etc.), but others give an interesting insight into how Goog…

Five ways to use predictive analytics

The era of graphs and spreadsheets as a way of thinking about analytics is beginning to approach its end. Predictive analytics, along with associated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies, are changing the way in which we deal with data. These tools are becoming more accessible, and ‘big data’ thinking is no longer limited to firms with billion dollar budgets.Predictive analytics provides a glimpse into the future, as well as access to strategic insights that can open up new opportunities. Here are five ways you can put predictive analytics to use, and how you can change the way you think about data.Qualifying leadsAccording to Forrester research, predictive analytics has found three main use cases for dealing with  leads. Specifically:Predictive scoring: This method analyzes how leads are responding to your marketing attempts and how likely they are to take action based on that information. In this way, you can more quickly identify which leads to focus more …

Ask the #SMXperts: Going All-In On AMP

The Ask the SMXpert series continues the question and answer (Q&A) segment held during sessions at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West 2018.Today’s Q&A is from the Going All-In On AMP session with Benu Aggarwal, Eric Enge and Paul Shapiro, with an introduction from moderator Michelle Robbins.Michelle RobbinsGoogle announced it’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project 2 years ago. In that time the framework has advanced significantly to support a larger array of on-page elements and options including support for ads, analytics, interactive elements, dynamic geo-targeting, and more. Though it’s a shortcut to providing an optimized mobile experience for users, many are still on the fence about the whys and hows of implementation. Our panel of experts demonstrated how they and their clients have found success with the open-source framework, and helped clarify some of the confusion around why a company might want to consider going all-in on AMP.Paul ShapiroSlide deck: A Brief Introduc…

It’s time for local business to take voice search seriously

At this year’s Google I/O conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled a brand-new voice assistant, Google Duplex, that introduces a new way to carry out “real-world” tasks over the phone, like booking a hair salon appointment or making reservations at a restaurant.The ramifications of technologies like this are many, but what really interested me is the fact that this artificial intelligence (AI)-based phone system specifically focuses on interactions between local business and consumers.Up until now, most discussions around Google voice search have been on gathering information rather than actually performing voice commands with a real-world effect.The introduction of Google Duplex highlights for me one of the directions Google is headed, namely, the proliferation of tools, algorithms and functionalities designed to improve interactions with local businesses.Whether the searcher is in the discovery, selection or conversion point of their journey, there will have been something that…

The status of Google’s presence in Google Shopping Auctions

As my company (Merkle) reported just a couple of weeks ago, Amazon has exited US Google Shopping auctions for all advertisers that had consistently seen it as a competitor for the last few quarters.While the rationale behind this decision remains somewhat of a mystery, those brands competing against the e-commerce giant are certainly not sad as a result of the recent development.Shopping ActionsOne update that may have played a role in Amazon’s decision was Google’s announcement of Shopping Actions in late March, which places ads for products that can be purchased through Google Express alongside traditional shopping ads in the carousel. Shopping Actions also surface products for voice shopping through the Google Assistant.Google then takes a commission on each product sold, similar to Amazon, and many reports on the change hailed this update as a move to more directly compete with Amazon.Using Google Auction Insights Reports, however, it’s actually clear that Google Express had been …

Search is more than Google: Mastering vertical search optimization

Whether spoken, typed or tapped, search queries are the medium through which consumers discover information and make decisions.Search is all around us; it is embedded into smartphone devices and is the fulcrum of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered digital assistants. As search engines develop in sophistication, this relationship with consumers will only strengthen over time.Moreover, recent research shows that mobile now accounts for as much as 57 percent of total search traffic. Search has become more powerful, dynamic and fragmented.While this brings some challenges, it also brings great opportunity.Opportunity knocksThe sheer quantity and variety of content online is necessitating this change.Almost 45 percent of people watch more than an hour of video online each week on either Facebook or YouTube; Snapchat users share over 500,000 photos every minute; and according to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 3.5 billion queries every day.Even a search engine as universal (in …

How to Screen Capture Tweets with a Twitter Bot

Introducing Screenshot Guru, a new Twitter bot that will help you easily take high-resolution screenshots of tweets. There are a plethora of screen capture apps available, including the good old Print+Screen combo but with Screenshot Guru, you get crisp and beautiful screenshots sans the clutter. Screenshot Guru offers 3 different options for screen capturing tweets. You have a web app for desktops, a Google Chrome extension and a Twitter bot @screenshotguru for people who are looking for a way to easily screenshot tweets on their Android or iPhone.Let’s explore in more detail.1. Web App – Go to screenshot.guru and type the URL of any web page or tweet that you would like to save as a PNG image. Solve the CAPTCHA and you’ll have a crisp retina screenshot ready in a second or two.2. Chrome Extension – Install the Twitter Screenshots addon from the Google Chrome store and then switch to the Twitter website. You’ll see a little camera icon in every tweet – click the icon and it will insta…

Google holds an AMA-style meeting with dozens of publishers on GDPR

Google held a video-conferenced meeting with dozens of publishers in five cities, including New York and London, on Thursday to address concerns about GDPR. The new regulation that governs how companies treat EU citizens’ data went into effect Friday.The format of the meeting was an AMA (ask me anything) with legal and product executives who have been involved with Google’s GDPR compliance efforts, including attorney Struan Robertson, senior product counsel at Google, and Jonathan Bellack, director, product management, for publisher ad platforms, MartechToday has learned.Google had organized the meeting in response to a letter from four publisher trade groups to Google CEO Sundar Pichai that argues the company’s GDPR proposal is untenable. Representatives from the four trade groups declined invitations to the meeting. Among the more than 50 that did attend were AccuWeather, BuzzFeed, Scripps and The Washington Post, MarTech Today learned from a meeting attendee.We have also obtained …

5 PPC mistakes you’re probably making in your campaigns

Most common PPC campaign mistakes can be easily rectified. With extra awareness, time and effort, you can adjust your optimization strategy to focus on ROI instead of CPA and get better results. With some changes to the way you approach your PPC activities as a whole, you can fine-tune your funnel and get higher-quality conversions.PPC marketers are only human, after all, but by avoiding some common campaign mistakes, you can become a number-crunching PPC machine. Want to know if you make the PPC grade? Take this short quiz below: For now, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. Here are the top five mistakes you’re probably making in your campaigns — and how you can turn them around to your advantage.1. When your remarketing is too generalRemarketing lists that are too general and not properly segmented is a common PPC mishap. For example, remarketing a brand ad to all users who visited your website in the last 20 days is way too broad to have a meaningful impact on your CVR.If vis…