Mobile Advertising – Has anyone got it right yet?

The future of internet use lays with Mobile.  Mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. In 2011 over three quarters of a million people in Ireland had smart phones and that figure was rising sharply. With the the changing medium of internet use there is a scramble amongst the big players to try capitalize on the mobile advertising market. Facebook highlighted in their pre-IPO report that their inability to generate revenue from mobile users of the site was a major weakness. It seems that investors agree as their share price has tumbled since May.

mobile advertising, smart phone

Its not surprising that smart phone ownership is greatest amongst younger generations with the 25- 34 age bracket having the greatest share in Ireland.

Social media plays a huge role in mobile internet usage. But increasing numbers are using their smart phones to source information about products or services while on the move. Mobile search is different to desktop, with the majority of queries fulfilled within 3 hours.

Google dominates the mobile search advertising market with 95 percent market share displaying advertising within search results. With the smaller screen size the prominent position of these ads makes them appealing to advertisers. What I have found though is that there is a puzzling amount of companies using mobile advertising that direct traffic through to a non mobile optimised site?

Take for example my search here for pizza in Dublin. I am presented with two options. One is for Dominos pizza where upon clicking the Ad I am invited to download their App. The app is actually excellent and makes the ording process easy. Mizzonis on the other hand simply bring me directly to their standard website where ordering is close to impossible.

Mobile advertising, mobile search advertising

Giving the searcher to ability to click to call is another option which seems logical for local businesses. People are searching from their phone. Make calling as easy as possible. It is also an easy way to track sales.

mobile advertising, mobile search, advertising on mobile

So if mobile search is more likely to be localized what ways can advertisers take advantage of this? According to a study carried out last year by return2sender people are most open to receiving advertising based on location through SMS. Perhaps this is because right now there isn’t too many alternatives. People have concerns for privacy when it comes to opting into location based marketing systems that use push notifications based on location, but this is changing. The emergence of Chirp which uses digital sound bites to send information directly to phones could be of huge benefit to local retailers.

Mobile advertising, location based advertising

There seems to be an increase of mobile advertising directly on apps recently. The journal.ie which is a progressive publication when it comes to technology have began to features adverts for other apps such as this one

ads on mobile, advertising on apps

But these seemed to be targeted based on the demographic of the apps users as opposed to being related in any way to location or what is being read. No doubt the future will offer the chance for a far greater degree of targeting based on location, content and behaviour. the question is who will be able to provide this package first?

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Face Licking Good Viral Video Marketing

Video content is the fastest growing content on the internet. Lets be honest here despite the emergence of video sharing sites like Vimeo and daily motion, YouTube is still the king. Here are some astonishing YouTube video facts

  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views
  • 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • More video is uploaded every 60 days than the three major US television networks produced in 60 years.

viral video, online video content

Video can be a powerful way to convert leads into sales. According to Internet Retailer, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. According to Comscore, retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors.

All this is great if you already have a bunch of traffic to your site that you need helped converting. But How about actually reaching new people on a mass level using video?

Creating a successful viral video is something very difficult to do, but with all the social platforms available now it is far from impossible.

Take Little Baby’s Ice cream, who make hand crafted premium ice cream in Philadelphia and currently have four locations. They just created this really basic video… and in the last 24 hours …IT’S GONE VIRAL.

In the last 4 day it has received

  • 758,897 views
  • 63,679 Facebook shares
  • 2,829 Twitter shares

Most of these peaking over the last 24 hours.

Have a watch of the video and see what you think! It’s good, but nothing special. I think the key lies in the screen shot. It entices people to find out what it is about. Make people curious and you are on to a winner! The video is short too which helps with peoples interest generally tapering off about the 30 second mark.

The SEO value that arises from all the blog posts alone is invaluable. But getting people talking about your product and creating a buzz is what will the clever makers of this video will be most happy about.

Just goes to show, if the holy grail of viral video marketing isn’t as out of reach as you might think

How Facebook Says We should Use Facebook To Market!!

There’s no shortage of blog posts and pages out there offering advice on how to use Facebook as a marketing tool. But what was news to me (just being honest) was that Facebook has a whole range of resources to give marketers advice on how to successfully use it as a marketing tool.

Facebook marketing advice, facebook guidelines, how to use facebook to market

  1. Facebook Studio:
  2. Facebook Success Stories:

In reality both of these resources are pretty similar. Facebook studio is meant to be from an agency perspective show casing successful use of Facebook to reach mass audiences and increase sales by millions of percents! There is quiet a handy feature on it though allowing you to search for campaigns based on location, category of product, and the type of Facebook feature used.

Facebook success stories is meant to provide page administrators “in-depth looks at successful campaigns, from inception to execution”. And sure, they certainly do give some great examples where big multi national companies have used Facebook well. But for the average Joe soap advertiser hoping to increase exposure and engagement and eventually sales, there isnt really a whole lot there.The success stories come from American express, At&T, Spotify, Huggies, Pepsi, Diagio, ticket master, 1800 flowers to name a few. For me as a marketer working with a very limited budget thats like saying to a small restaurant  “Why don’t you take a leaf out of Mcdonald’s book they seem to be doing quiet well” !!

Facebook marketing, Facebook big brand, facebook buduget

3. Brand Resources and Permissions Center: This section of Facebook’s guidelines helps campaign managers ensure that they are using the social network’s logos and other images properly. Nothing too exciting here

4. Facebook Demo Tool: Now this is quiet a nice little toy. It allows users to create ads and see how they will appear to others before actually going and paying money for the ads.  It works for sponsored stories and premium ads. The one thing I did find annoying though is the fact that it doesn’t self populate the demo page with your own page info even if you are logged in. Which means that you need to ad a cover photo, a profile photo etc if you want to see how your own page will look.

5.  Facebook Marketing Page: This is an actual Facebook page which you can “like” where they post tips and useful information on an ongoing basis. They just posted a link to pre- designed tent cards, posters and stickers which can be customized with your own URL to let people know about your Facebook page. Useful to hand out at events or have them in shop windows.

Facebook released some new marketing guidelines on Friday. Here’s a quick run down of what they said

  • The overall message is be short and sweet. Body copy should be no more than 90 characters, in an effort to grab users’ attention. Videos should be no longer than 15 to 30 seconds.
  • For videos, Include an eye-catching and action-oriented thumbnail to achieve high video play rates. Be engaging, but make sure the image you select relates to the video content and your brand.
  • For Photos Be engaging, since an eye-catching photo is essential to draw people’s attention. But make sure that the photo relates to the brand. Use a photo that is at least 168×128 and maintains a 16:9 aspect ratio. 
  • For questions only check the “Allow anyone to add options” box if you want to allow user generated responses and you’re positive it will result in a better post.

Path App…. What is it?

After reading about the second round of investment that Path had received yesterday I was keen to find out a bit more about the social platform I had only heard mummers of faintly in the background until now.

“The smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”

The tagline from the minimalist website doesn’t give too much away so I had to dig deeper to find out why investors like Richard Branson and Jerry Murdoch are willing to contribute to a $30 million round of investment, currently valuing the company at $240 million.

Path was Founded in 2010 by some pretty big hitters. Dave Morin (previously Co-Inventor of Platform and Connect at Facebook), Shawn Fanning (creator of Napster) and Dustin Mierau (co-creator of Macster). What that means is that its already older than Instagram…. and it hasn’t really caught on has it?!

Path app review, what is path, path investment

But after downloading the app which is a platform built entirely for mobile use I can see what loosened the investors pockets. Path aims to be a combo of Facebook, Instagram,Foursqaure and maybe Twitter all in one. There is also a strong focus on close relationships, (rather than being connected with every Dick or Harry you went to summer camp with) with Path initially limiting you to just 50 friends. This has recently been increased to 150 friends, but the emphasis is that this is a more personal social network than others.

Users can use take pictures directly from the app and use many of the filters that Instagram has become famous for. Part of the attraction to Facebook of Instagram was its ability to take photos directly from the social platform in as few steps as possible. Path allows you to do it in three steps, which is comparative to Instagram.

Users can also check into places or add location tags to any posts they create. They can also let people know what music they are listening to providing a link directly to both listen to the song and to buy it from iTunes.

And of course comments and updates can be provided too.

What I think is key to Path’s appeal is its amazing user interface design (UI) and user experience design (UX) where ease of use and navigation features strongly. The platform itself is slick and aesthetically pleasing and anyone that I have convinced to sign up immediately likes it and wants to use it.

Creating posts is incredibly simple: click on an icon at the bottom of your screen and six buttons fan out in a quarter-circle. From here you can write whatever’s on your mind whether thats tagging where you are, who you are with, what you are seeing, how you are feeling or what your listening to. These all appear on a single screen along with your friends’ updates.

What is Path?, Path app , Path user experience

I can certainly see why, with its slick interface and focus on a smaller network between closer friends, Path is appealing. Facebook is the master of social networks, but I’m not sure that it is suitable for certain types of posts that I may want to put up. Photos on Facebook tend to be mainly of people and usually of them having a good time. Photos on Instagram tend to be of things. These arty, beautiful photos of a tree you pass feel a bit poncy and unsuitable on Facebook, yet fit in perfectly on Instagram. In the same way I think in a smaller social network letting people know who I am with and what I am listening to seems more appropriate.

The problem with Path is though that it currently has about 798 million less users than Facebook. No one I know was on it until I convinced a few of my friends to try it out and the fact is a social network is only as good as its network. But with such an interest right now on sites with design at its core like Instagram and Pinterest it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Path comes more and more to our attention in coming months.

If you are on Path let me know. My username is Barrytg! I have included a link to an excellent site about user design called Start ups this is how design works.

Also check out great blog by Shane O Leary.

Path app, What is path, path social platform, path investment

Winding Path to Success?

Ford Gambles On Yahoo To Help Them Go Electric

Every time I fill up my car petrol prices seem to have risen again. A gambling man might say that the time of the electric car could be upon us. Well Ford have certainly taken a bet on Yahoo as they choose them to launch their social media campaign which will spear head their efforts to try connect with the younger more affluent “millennial” market.

Yahoo themselves have been in turmoil in recent years firing three CEOs in five years who havent been able to figure out how to stop sliding revenues and to capitalize on the increasing online advertising industry.

Yahoo decline, Yahoo 1st quarter results, fiesta movement, plugged inGoogle’s annual revenue has increased from $22 billion in 2008 to nearly $38 billion last year while Facebook’s annual revenue has soared from $272 million to $3.7 billion during the same period. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s annual revenue has crumbled from $7.2 billion in 2007 to $5 billion last year.

Yahoo recently lured Scott Thompson away from eBays Inc.’s PayPal in the hopes that he could come up with a better plan. He was quick to lay off 2,000 employees, or about 14 percent of Yahoo’s workforce, earlier this month, and is expected to give his vision for moving Yahoo forward after their first quarter results are announced next week.

Ford’s vote of confidence will come as a welcome boost but only time will tell if it will pay off. The campaign will center around a “reality competition” which sounds remarkably like a mini version of the amazing race to me.

The web series named “Plugged In,” will show two-person teams in various locations following clues and eventually meeting in a Los Angeles finale to try to win a Focus Electric. The ten minute episodes will be broadcasted on Yahoo’s streaming video site starting in May.

plugged in, yahoo, social media, web series

John Felice, general manager of Ford marketing said “I’m not going to say that TV and traditional media doesn’t play a role, but this is going to be exclusively an online launch,” 

Sixty-one million unique visitors come to Yahoo each month to watch videos, Ford said on Tuesday, citing comScore data. Viewers of the “Plugged In” reality show will be encouraged to post comments and engage with the videos. Right now there’s no indication how they will be encouraged….

Its not surprising that ford has turned to social media again after previous success with its “Fiesta movement” campaign where they gave out cars to 100 people and asked them to complete tasks and chronicle their activities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other websites for six months.

Ford spent $5 million on the campaign to promote the model, which was returning to the U.S. market after two decades, in the year before its 2010 launch. After that campaign, 60 percent of Americans said they were familiar with the Fiesta brand.

Ford highlighted the incredible return on investment at a shareholder meeting that year suggesting getting the same results from traditional media would have cost in the region of  $100 million.

But with so much content available out there now are people really going to tune into a declining web platform to watch some people compete for an electric car?! Especially the mid thirty something year olds with enough money to afford the $40,000 electric car that Ford are aiming at?

Well we will have to wait and see if Ford’s Yahoo gamble pays off.

 

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Are Google Changing The Rules Again?

As we all know Google is a money making machine. All the more surprising when their forth quarter earnings last year didn’t meet their forecasts. Especially when you consider that its core business, SEARCH, was at the core with an 8% cost per click decline!

Now perhaps advertisers are just getting better at their bidding..but bearing in mind that Bing, with less historical data at the disposal of advertisers, saw a 6% increase in cost per clicks, Google must be concerned.

So what are they doing about it?

Google plan to add to the existing broad, phrase and exact mach terms with near match, Near Match is designed to “enable you to safely extend the reach of your Exact and Phrase Match keywords to cover plural, misspelling, close rewrite, abbreviation and acronym variants only.” 

So what this means is that there is going to be a greater volume of keywords available to bid on, but with less data available on how to do it correctly. Unsurprising then that in some testing done  Google has suggested a 6.5% increase in click volume and a 9.8% increase in impression volume but also a 13% increase in click costs.

Could this be the perfect antidote for Google’s Fourth Quarter losses?

There’s nothing more that I can say, because quiet frankly google themselves aren’t saying anything at all except

“We actually haven’t announced anything on this and don’t have any more info to share at this time”

Google keeping quiet about new near match keyword term adwords

 

 

 

The Dangers Of Driving In Heels!! Pinterest Competition

Confused.com an online website which provides people with online insurance quotes is trying their hand at using Pinterest for a marketing campaign.

The company is trying to highlight the perils of driving in heels using this fun video which you can check out below. Its shows a (fairly) elegant women strutting her stuff a long the high street getting admiring glances from passersby. When she gets to her car though that’s when her troubles begin.

To be in with chance to win a pair of Butterfly Twist lightweight folding flat pumps (very desirable i’m told!)viewers are encouraged to post their own pictures of the most preposterous footwear on Confused.com’s new Pinterest page.

The ad is clearly aimed to the female market which goes hand in hand with Pinterest usage which is strongly skewed to the feminine side!

According to Confused.com’s research, British drivers have some odd, and unsafe, habits. Forty percent of women drive in heels, while 24% of women and 22% of men have driven with bare feet. (And 46% of drivers eat while driving.) Not everyone even gets dressed before they get behind the wheel: 25% have driven while wearing their pyjamas.

There only seems to be about 7 entries so far so it might be worth getting out the old electric picnic wellies!

Lets us know what you think!

Pinterst competition, confused.com

An Ad I Saw In Rolling Stone Magazine

As a subscriber to Rolling Stone Magazine I tend to like what they do. I came across an Ad earlier today as a flicked through it that grabbed my attention. It was on a heavy card like page and it simply said “drop this ad in water to change your world”. It was for Mio, which seemed to be a flavour you add to water to make it taste better.
I was immediately intrigued! Did they really want me to drop it in water? Was I missing something? Was I going to do it and realise straight away that I was a dumb ass as I tried to dig out a soggy page from my sink?
I had no immediate access to water which only added to the mystery!
Here’s what happened
Alternative Marketing, Rolling stone, water changing Ad, Mio
I’m not sure what I expected but I’m glad it did something!either way there hasnt been an ad in some time that has been on my mind for a few hours straight!
What do you think? Any thoughts?

The Next Pinterest or Twitter? Review of the next big Start Up Companies

Y Combinator was set up in 2005 and put into place a new model of funding for start up’s. They invest a small amount of money (average $18k) in a large number of start up technology firms. Each of these start ups’s will move to Silicon Valley for 3 months where Y Combinator will work intensively with them to get them in the best possible shape to pitch to investors. Each of the start up’s will then present to a large audience on Demo day.

To date they have assisted in the start up of over 385 companies. Here are my favourites from this years Demo Day which happened on March 27th.

the next big start up company, tech, silicon value, y combinator

Pair : This one is a little bit cheesy but it could be a lot of peoples dirty little secret!  A private social network for couples.  Pair lets two people create a private timeline where they share photos, videos, sketches, activities and more. The iPhone app, which launched just four days ago, has already garnered more than 50,000 registered users who have used Pair to send more than 1 million messages. Pair has received funding from SV Angel and Path founder Dave Morin, who told Pair’s team that Facebook has created social networking’s “cities,” Path is building its “houses,” and Pair is like its “bedroom.” I think the the one-click “Thinking of you” button could be a big hit with guys.

Priceonomics: With the ever blurring line between online and offline purchase decisions I think this one will be huge.  An online price guide for anything. Type in anything you want to own and it will tell you how much it should cost, like a Kelly Blue Book for smartphones, laptops, TVs, stereos, etc. Priceonomics crawls through hundreds of millions of transactions to find out what people are selling and how much they’re selling it for. It got 250,000 page views in March, plans to make money through targeted advertising, and already has funding from SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz, CrunchFund, and several angels.

Sonalight: If anyone is on the road as much as me this will be great. I have even looked for an app like this before unsuccessfully so it is definitely going on my list.Touting itself as “Siri on steroids,” Sonalight is an app aimed at letting you send text messages while driving by using just your voice. The app purportedly works even while a phone is your pocket. Already, the app has been used to send 500,000 text messages at a rate of 50,000 per week since its debut back in October.

Midnox: Why is it that my perfect videos from a night out always seem so wobbly the next morning…?! Well  the Luma is an iPhone app that stabilizes the videos taken with a mobile phone in real time. The app also adds full resolution visual filters in real time, which are “non-disruptive,” meaning that they can be changed or removed after recording is over. The company has also built editing tools and sharing features for the videos taken with Luma.

Some really great start up’s there so keep your eyes open and I’m sure we will be seeing them in no time.