5 Instagram Marketing Trends We Will See in 2019

Artificial Intelligence, Social Media
Instagram has been growing since it was first launched eight years ago undefined – undefined/iStock


Instagram is one of the most important and most powerful marketing channels of our time. It is great for content marketing and paid advertising and, at the same time, for communication and customer service. It has the capacity to drive great engagement and better-than-average return on investment for a marketer, brand or agency.

Instagram has been growing since it was first launched eight years ago. As we can see from the following graph shared with us by Statista , the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network reached a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June.

This is an impressive number and, when it comes to marketing, impressive numbers are great. It means that you have access to a huge audience worldwide and, at the same time, due to this channel’s nature, you have access to a dedicated and engaged audience.

Moreover, there are more than 4 billion  likes per day on Instagram, and each image posted on this platform gets an average of 23 percent more engagementthan its Facebook counterpart.

As a consequence, we need to constantly stay updated with all of Instagram’s latest developments and, of course, the trends that govern it. This is why, with this article, I am going to shed some light upon the most popular trends that are expected to rule Instagram marketing in 2019.

Also, I questioned some of my peers regarding this issue and, fortunately, I received a series of answers from marketers and professionals regarding their expectations for 2019.

IGTV will be a big player

Announced and launched in June, IGTV is the new video platform dedicated exclusively to mobile users. Unlike YouTube and other videostreaming platforms, IGTV is dedicated to vertical video playback and, therefore, suitable for marketers and content producers that are addressing a mobile only audience.

Why vertical? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.

Are brands using IGTV already? Chipotle was one of the first companies to create and distribute a video on Instagram.

“If you’re still not on IGTV, it’s time to hop on the train,” said Plannable’s Vlad Callus. “When thinking about the upcoming trends in Instagram marketing I believe IGTV and Instagram Stories are on the top of the list. IGTV will become the new YouTube in three to five years, and if you’re joining now, you will catch the big wave.”

Other big brands are on IGTV, as well. SocialChain is producing and distributing a regular podcast. All of its episodes are also being…Continue Reading


Article source: https://www.adweek.com/digital/5-instagram-marketing-trends-we-will-see-in-2019/


How learning processes in Artificial intelligence (AI) can improve business decisions

Artificial Intelligence, Data

In today’s IT world, everything is about being fast, flexible and efficient. We work agile, build prototypes and use fast-scaling adoptive cloud infrastructure. At the same time, the advances in the fields of AI and machine learning seem to make a business world possible, in which many tasks are optimized or even taken over by learning algorithms and intelligent software.

But whoever thinks of this world in terms of just picking out the low-hanging fruits from the growing AI-tree might be in for a big disappointment. Sure, rapid hardware advancements and cloud infrastructure enable fast computations but they don’t solve one of the core challenges inherent in the way most algorithms learn: based on mathematical properties that are deducted from input data.

Of course, this is not a secret at all. In many discussion and contributions focusing on the limits of AI and machine learning this topic comes up quickly. As Peter Guy puts it in the South China Morning Post: AI is only as smart as the given data input or Jason Pontin on WIRED: “new situations baffle artificial intelligences, like cows brought up short at a cattle grid”. However, this limitation does not seem to be very prominent when businesses envision the great potential they see in AI bringing them forward. Gartner estimates that in 2021, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity (see “Forecast: The Business Value of Artificial Intelligence, Worldwide, 2017-2025”).

How much time and effort are we willing to spend training machines?

In order to meet these high expectations regarding AI to leverage business processes and boost productivity, we need to deal with the dependency on input data when learning. Otherwise, I’m seriously wondering who is going to teach all those machines. Or else: who is going to get them all the adequate data input they need in order to drive forward a business? When you listen to Michael Chui and James Manyika in their McKinsey podcast about the real- world potential and limitations of artificial intelligence, you get an impression of how tedious and time consuming it can be to teach and generate adequate training data for only one specific machine learning task. And how much this is often underestimated when thinking about “self-learning” machines.

This underestimation could grow into a serious issue because in order to learn properly, algorithms have some requirements, which seem to become scarcer in today’s IT and business: time, consistency and extensive variety. If we want algorithms to pick up patterns and machines to make smart decisions, we need to teach them over time. Or at least give them data, rules and an environment in which they can…Continue reading

Article Source: https://dataconomy.com/2018/10/how-learning-processes-in-artificial-intelligence-ai-can-improve-business-decisions/

Two Hotel Brands That Have Mastered Influencer Marketing

Social Media, Marketing

by Kristin Burnham

In the era of celebrity endorsements and the Insta-famous, influencer marketing is having a moment.

According to one report, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, while half reported it outperformed brand-created content. For the travel and hospitality industry, influencer marketing has become a key tactic for tapping into communities of engaged followers to grow and build lasting relationships with customers.

Hilton Garden Inn and Marriott are two well-known brands that have used influencers as part of their marketing strategies.

How Hilton Garden Inn Taps Celebrity Influencers
The guest experience at Hilton Garden Inn isn’t just about the accommodations; it’s about fine dining, too.

When customer research revealed that the upscale hotel’s food and beverage offering was “a really unexpected and powerful way to raise the perception of the brand as a whole,” said Amy Martin-Ziegenfuss, VP of marketing for Hilton’s focused service brands, the company launched a campaign to revamp its menu through a public voting process in late May.

The brand tapped Dan Churchill, a Food Network television host, to kick off the campaign with a Food Network Facebook Live event, during which he revealed some of the offerings in contention for a spot on the menu. That event received more than 5.6 million views, Martin-Ziegenfuss said.

After the launch, the brand leveraged the Scripps Lifestyle network of influencers to create buzz around voting through Facebook and Twitter posts. The winning menu items were announced toward the end of August by actor Judy Greer, who was signed on in 2017 for a series of ads promoting its accommodations and food.

Collaborating with influencers can be hit or miss unless you have the proper pieces in place, Martin-Ziegenfuss said.

“It’s really important that you find the right partnership—and I say ‘partnership’ because it shouldn’t be transactional in nature,” she said. “Like any good relationship, if you put a lot of work into it from both sides, you yield greater results. If the influencers feel passionate and invested in the cause, they become advocates for the brand.”

Hilton Garden landed on Churchill and Greer because they embody the brand and have a following that reflects its consumer target, she said. It also considered how they paired with brands in the past, their points of view, and the types of content they create.

Also key was the freedom the brand gave Churchill and Greer to tell the story in a way that’s authentic to them, Martin-Ziegenfuss said. While it’s natural for marketers to want to…Continue Reading


Article source: https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2018/8/24/influencer-marketing.html#gs.js7Bolg

Artificial Intelligence: Are We Effectively Assessing Its Business Value?

Artificial Intelligence
Image Source: predictiveanalyticsworld.com

By: Richard Boire, Senior Vice President, Environics Analytics


As most data science practitioners know, artificial intelligence (AI) is not new and has been explored by academia back as far back as the fifties. The real core of AI is the branch of mathematics related to neural nets which have been explored both by academia as well as data science practitioners. A number of practitioners including myself familiarized ourselves with these techniques which became one more item within the data scientist toolkit. For those of us involved in using predictive analytics to predict consumer behaviour related to marketing and risk, logistic regression and decision trees in many cases performed at about the same level as neural nets. In some cases such as fraud where there were typically a much larger volume of records, neural nets did exceed the more traditional type of modelling techniques.

But the appetite for AI deployment was always negated by its lack of its explainability to the business stakeholder and as mentioned above the minimal examples of its superior performance relative to the more traditional techniques.

So what changed and what has led to all the excitement about AI. In order to better understand this evolution, one needs to focus on the research. Research in this area for decades always focussed on how these tools could better classify images. Back in the nineties, I remember reading numerous articles from publications where the ability to classify images was approximately 40%-50%. In the last 5 years, though, this accuracy has now achieved levels of 95%+. This game breaking change was caused by two factors with the first factor being related to technology and how data could be processed.

Data and Big Data could now be processed and consumed using parallel processing as opposed to sequential processing. Meanwhile, this newfound technical capability allowed practitioners to consume exponentially much larger volumes of data for analytics (both advanced and non-advanced) purposes. The consumption of these extremely large volumes then allowed users to explore the notion of more complex type neural nets or deep learning, which is the ability to utilize many hidden layers and many nodes as opposed to a single hidden layer with few nodes that was the common occurrence within a restricted sequential data processing environment.  This ability to more fully leverage the power of artificial intelligence was the second factor which now improved the image classification accuracy to 95%+.

With this breakthrough, AI had to be more seriously explored as another option in improving results. But does that mean that we should blindly adopt AI in all our business processes. Certainly, we are seeing the emergence of applications to better detect fraud through improved image recognition while enhanced customer service is the outcome of improved AI-developed chat boxes. Many more applications are being explored and which are expected to provide further disruption to an already changing economy. But let’s discuss the notion of AI within the world of predicting consumer behaviour both from a marketing as well as a risk behaviour.

The use of data science and machine learning to predict consumer behaviour has been an ongoing business discipline for many decades. Success for seasoned data science practitioners in this area was never..Continue Reading


Article Source: https://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/patimes/artificial-intelligence-are-we-effectively-assessing-its-business-value/9736/

The WAF backed by artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence, AI
Getty Images

By , Contributor, Network World

The web application firewall (WAF) issue didn’t seem to me as a big deal until I actually started to dig deeper into the ongoing discussion in this field. It generally seems that vendors are trying to convince customers and themselves that everything is going smooth and that there is not a problem.

In reality, however, customers don’t buy it anymore and the WAF industry is under a major pressure as constantly failing on the customer quality perspective.

There have also been red flags raised from the use of the runtime application self-protection (RASP) technology. There is now a trend to enter the mitigation/defense side into the application and compile it within the code. It is considered that the runtime application self-protection is a shortcut to securing software that is also compounded by performance problems. It seems to be a desperate solution to replace the WAFs, as no one really likes to mix its “security appliance” inside the application code, which is exactly what the RASP vendors are currently offering to their customers. However, some vendors are adopting the RASP technology.

Generally speaking, there is a major disappointment at the WAF customer end because of the lack of automation, scalability, and coverage of the emerging threats which become essential as modern botnets become more and more efficient and aggressive. These botnets are made now by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality on top of the “old” Internet of things (IoT) botnets which are becoming more and more multi-purpose in its ability to attack with different vectors. The functionality that the classic WAF offers have become a matter of discontent, while next-generation WAFs, which were born as AI systems that may address such a multi-dimensional threat complexity, are quite rare.

There are not so many artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) solutions in the cyberdefense segment of the network and application defense. However, more AI and ML solutions are beginning to surface as a major success against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and more specifically against the application DDoS world, which was shown by L7 Defense with its unsupervised learning approach. Such technology may also play a crucial role in the WAF solutions, as defending against the same multi-purpose botnets.

We are beginning to see movement in the use of ML for the WAF in the cloud. This is evident by the fact that this year Oracle purchased Zenedge, a provider of cloud-based, ML-driven cybersecurity solutions. Zenedge (now Dyn since Oracle’s purchase of it) offers a WAF, which shows signs of automation needed by Oracle cloud offering, although it is not enough to make a huge difference from traditional WAF functionality, as lack a significant technological advance in covering the essential spectrum of threats much better than existing technologies.

AI and ML are the tools used for predictive analytics. Undoubtedly, they are a must for the future and survival of…Continue reading

Article source: https://www.networkworld.com/article/3310359/network-security/the-waf-backed-by-artificial-intelligence-ai.html

Snapchat and Amazon: A New Mobile Commerce Pairing

Social Media, Marketing, Snapchat, Amazon

By VICTORIA PALLIEN, Digital Media Solutions

Snapchat and Amazon recently united forces to direct consumers to Amazon’s e-commerce site from Snapchat’s social media platform and make headway in the market against competitors like Instagram and Pinterest.

How will the Snapchat-Amazon partnership affect the Snapchat app?

User experience

This collaboration introduced Snapchat’s visual search feature, which allows users to take photos of products or barcodes in real life, whether on the street or in a store. Snapchat then links the user to Amazon for purchase or price comparisons.


Leaders in the marketing industry noted this partnership is a smart step for both brands as Snapchat provides a dedicated user base and Amazon offers a large e-commerce platform. For Snapchat, partnering with an e-commerce behemoth like Amazon allows the brand to save money and avoid building visual search technology in-house.

This collaboration may be an effort to increase monetization on the Snapchat platform. While the platform is growing and expected to welcome 1.2 million new users by 2022, eMarketer now predicts Snapchat will only generate $662.1 million this year, as opposed to the $1.03 billion eMarketer had estimated for 2018 last spring.

How will the Snapchat-Amazon partnership hold up against the competition?

While Instagram has been building its ad revenue through shopping tags in storiesand their new streaming service, IGTV, Snapchat has been working hard to compete. Alongside efforts like the Nielsen partnership and Snapchat Shopping, the Snapchat-Amazon partnership is the latest punch thrown.

Snapchat currently holds 0.6% of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer, but 2019 and 2020 may be better years for Snapchat’s revenue as its recent addition of new advertising tools may entice more marketers. This collaboration could also threat brick-and-mortar shops if Amazon attracts even more consumers through Snapchat’s user base.

Read more…https://insights.digitalmediasolutions.com/articles/snapchat-and-amazon-new-mobile-commerce

Using Pinterest as a Tool to Build Brand Awareness, Engagement

Sprout Social, Social Media, Marketing
Image source: Hotel Business


CHICAGO—Social media has become a vital part of how people communicate and a key part of how hotel companies can extend the brand’s reach—from boutique to major chain hotels. Pinterest, in particular, remains a dominant social media platform, especially for hospitality brands. Why? Simply put: It’s good for business.

“Everyone is on in,” said Rachael Samuels, social media manager at Sprout Social. “There are 200 million people globally using Pinterest every month, which makes it a great social platform for business owners. Five percent of referral traffic comes from Pinterest. Marketers and business owners in hospitality can use it to strengthen their social media strategy as it’s an engaging platform.”

Pinterest is also highly visual; enabling hoteliers to curate and showcase various types of travel experiences they can offer to consumers. Additional exposure for the brands can come in the form of “repins,” which occurs  when a person discovers something they like and repins it to their board, enabling other people to see it on their home feed on the platform.

Hoteliers can take advantage of the platform by becoming co-creators with travelers or social media influencers via Pinterest, building a wider reach for the brand’s offerings.

“It’s how you make connections through repining,” said Samuels. “It’s a two-way dialogue—the brand and consumer are connecting more than they have before. It gives more freedom to co-curate. Hotels can curate content to specific audiences and how their brand is being placed in different contexts. It can tell you about what consumers are doing with your content and they’re strong stakeholders in the evolution of brand identity and what it looks like long-term.”

Sprout Social is working with hotel brands to exploit Pinterest for maximum benefit. “We do that through Pinterest integration,” she said. “One of the first things you can do is create and publish content on Pinterest and manage it on a unified platform alongside other social media channels such as Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest—all at one time. Sprout facilitates team collaboration within a content calendar. We also provide powerful analytics and now Pinterest is a part of that. We can tell you what the top performing pins are and leverage it to get the most of your visual strategy.”

For hotel companies deciding whether or not to put time—and money—into marketing efforts on social media platforms, there are various ways to determine a return on investment.

“ROI is such a hot topic,” she said. “At Sprout Social, we believe that the ROI of social isn’t just in the form of dollar signs, it’s the various stages—awareness, consideration and engagement—of interaction with the posts. We offer access to reports, ranging from unique engagement to general performance, allowing a deep dive into the data. Clients can go high-level or granular on how audiences are interacting with content, performance and where it’s coming from and with whom.”

Sprout Social also offers a variety of paid tools to provide another view of a holistic social media strategy. “We help clients to understand the data,” she said. “The reports are elegant and visually accessible. The design team takes great care so it’s easier to digest.”

For hoteliers seeking to maximize their social media efforts, Samuels offer these recommendations:

Customer service: “They should be—and I hope they already are—paying attention to customer care,” she said. “Social media makes it easier to have a two-way dialogue and provide top-notch service. Being responsive and meeting customers where they are in their own environment is key. Sprout Social’s inbox makes it easy, so clients don’t miss critical moments and can handle reputation management, if anything negative comes about.”

Create content to be shared: “User generated content really taps into that with how Pinterest can make a consumer take brand-generated content over to them,” she said. “You can see what others are saying about the experience within the context they’re talking about it. It helps to build awareness and nowhere is that more important than in the hotel industry.”

Lend a listening ear: “It’s not just about analytics,” Samuels said. “Hotels are comprised of many aspects, there is the food, spa, fitness, the outdoor pool and maybe even a nightclub… listening into social and using listening tools to curate better content is paramount. If you realize that the people staying at your hotel are local, maybe dig deeper into a hashtag like #staycation and listen to the conversation. You can dig into the experiences that seem to be aspirational for the consumer and deliver it.”

Article source: https://www.hotelbusiness.com/web-excl-using-pinterest-as-a-tool-to-build-brand-awareness-engagement/