In the furor over fake news and the dominance of the tech giants over the digital advertising industry, Google has seen far less scrutiny than Facebook.
The search giant on Tuesday announced steps that seem designed to make sure things stay that way.
Google is revamping its Google News service to make it easier for users to find stories from credible news sources and to subscribe to those publications. Using artificial intelligence, the updated service will automatically highlight stories it thinks users will be interested in, but it will also make it easier for them to get in-depth information on particular topics.
“We are using AI to bring forward the best of what journalism has to offer,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai while unveiling the revised service at the company’s annual developer conference in Mountain View, California. “We want to give users quality sources that they trust.”
The new service, which Google plans to start rolling out Tuesday in 127 countries, will offer a customized news feed for each user based on what the company knows about their interests and where they live. At the top of the feed will be the five most relevant articles for each user.
“It works right out of the box,” said Trystan Upstill, Google’s head of News product and engineering. The system is designed to become better attuned to your interests over time, he said, adding, “The more you use it, the better it gets.”
For years, digital platforms have courted TV advertising budgets, first via desktop campaigns, then with mobile-first efforts. Now, the pendulum is swinging back to the television screen. Consumers may be cutting their cable cords, but they’re still using their televisions or Smart TVs with OTT and streaming devices and gaming consoles.
YouTube says TV is now its fastest-growing screen in terms of watch time, with over 150 million hours viewed per day. “We’re amidst the second major shift in how people watch video on YouTube. In the past few years, we witnessed mobile viewership exceed desktop, marking the first major shift in how people interacted with YouTube,” said Debbie Weinstein, managing director for YouTube/Video Global Solutions, in the announcement.
On Sunday, YouTube announced several initiatives to help advertisers reach TV screen viewers.
YouTube TV to sell ads through Google Preferred network
YouTube says its own paid streaming service that packages content from network and cable outlets, YouTube TV, is now available in more than 100 TV markets in the US. The company is now making YouTube TV programming part of Google Preferred, its premium video advertising program. YouTube will sell ads on content from some US cable networks participating in YouTube TV via the Preferred network.
The most popular online influencers increasingly represent every cultural and ethnicity imaginable, new research suggests.
Across social-media channels, nine out of the top 17 “stars” now represent multiple cultures, according to the Culture Marketing Council (CMC).
For its findings, the trade group — known as the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies until earlier this year — said it recently conducted an online quantitative study of 3,500 total 13-49-year-old respondents with equal representation of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic African-Americans and Hispanics.
Across cultures, more consumers are also showing a preference for multicultural content, the CMC found.
In fact, most non-Hispanic white teens and Generation Xers like diverse shows, like “Black-ish,” “Luke Cage,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “This Is Us” and “Orange is the New Black,” simply because they view them as quality content.
Ads placed on platforms with cultural content have more “power” across all ages, segments and languages, regardless of U.S. or foreign births, the CMC insists.
In particular, 71% of non-Hispanic African-Americans are more likely to buy from brands that advertise in their cultural spaces. Additionally, 60%-to-64% of Hispanics — 60% on English-language Hispanic sites and 64% on Spanish-language Hispanic sites — feel the same way.
Spanish-language ads — even on mainstream sites — create more engagement with Hispanics, including third-generation Hispanics, which incorporates time in Spanish as part of their in-culture digital activities.
As for channel preferences, younger Hispanics (18-to-34 years old) are equally passionate about social media and streaming video on-demand (SVOD) services.
Promoting your business can seem daunting when you have little or no budget for marketing. Fortunately, there are many marketing strategies that are easy to try and that are free.
You’ve built a great product or perhaps opened a sleek, new store – everything is ready. The big question, however, is do your potential customers know that you exist?
One of the hardest aspects of starting a business is acquiring customers. Marketing is the practice of telling potential customers about your business and educating them about what you do until they become a customer. Traditionally, marketing involved expensive TV commercials and billboard ads. Further adding to the challenge is that these marketing tactics are difficult to measure and change. Once you spend thousands of dollars on a billboard, you can’t rip it down every week to make adjustments.
Luckily, the new age of marketing has introduced novel strategies that anyone can start with, and, best of all, they are free. That’s right: You can start marketing your product or service today with a budget of $0.
Let’s examine some of the best free tactics to try.
In the old days, marketing was about “pushing” information to your target audience. Today, so many marketing messages are pushed on people that this tactic has become harder to pull off. Instead, savvy marketers use pull tactics to bring the target market to you. One of the most effective ways to execute pull marketing is through content.
Content refers to valuable information online – e-books, blog posts, infographics, etc. – that provide value to your target audience. Ideally, the content matches what your potential customers might be searching for on Google. For example, if you are starting a meal kit delivery service, you might create a well-designed guide titled “5 Delicious Recipes You Can Cook in 30 Minutes.” People who are searching for recipes may also be interested in a meal kit.
The goal of your content is not to advertise. Instead, it is to educate. Your content needs to provide value to your potential customers, and they may read several articles on your blog (or e-books) before making a purchase.
Keep in mind, content strategy takes a long time and requires a lot of work. You need to be writing every day. You may need a graphic designer to help. If you can write and design yourself, then starting to market with content won’t cost you a dime!
In the mid-2000s, social media exploded as a new marketing frontier. People were purchasing smartphones and using new social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Today, these products are more mature and billions of people use them every day. As a result, social media has become wildly popular for advertising. You can start using social media platforms to engage your target audience for free. Here are some examples of what you can do:
If you’re a restaurant, post delicious food photos on Instagram.
If you’re a B2B software company, post how-to guides on LinkedIn.
If you’re a new product for moms, post childcare tips on Twitter and Pinterest.
Each social media platform appeals to different types of people; it’s important to research where your target customers spend the most time online. For example, you will find more business buyers on LinkedIn rather than Snapchat, but if you’re selling a product for teenagers, snap away.
Creating accounts and posting on social media is completely free. If you create compelling posts with stories and photos, you can certainly build a following without a budget.
The best marketing is organic. This means you don’t have to do any additional work to get each new customer. Instead, your customers market the product for you. This typically happens through referrals: Customers tell their friends about your product. It could mean a customer inviting a friend to your restaurant because they tried it and liked it, or, perhaps, a customer is using your software and told a colleague about how helpful it was.
To make a referral program work, be sure you incorporate the following elements in your program:
Make it easy: Have a button on your website for people to share and invite friends.
Offer an incentive: Reward customers that refer the most individuals; perhaps the incentive could be a one-time discount.
Congratulate success: Whenever a customer refers someone, reach out to thank them.
Always ask: Don’t expect people to make referrals automatically. Respectfully ask.
Webinars are online presentations where you teach listeners about a topic of interest. They have become incredibly popular and cost a fraction compared to a presentation at a trade show or other venue. Your potential customers from anywhere in the world can dial in and watch the webinar.
To create a good webinar, identify a topic that your potential customers might want to learn about. Create a presentation with slides and perhaps invite other experts (or one of your customers) to co-host the webinar with you. This will encourage them to promote it to their network and help you grow.
Webinars typically require a software program like GoToWebinar to host. Aside from this, there are no other costs, except your time.
Getting press can be an incredible way to get highly impactful, free marketing. In the early days, the best way to get press is to have a remarkable product or service. If your store has a unique product, or your software does something cool and new, it will attract attention from the media, who, in turn, want to write an interesting article for their readers.
If you are starting a local business, reach out to nearby publications to announce a grand opening special. Pitch them a compelling story about why you started your business. If you are building something that is not location-specific, you can contact bloggers and small publications to see if any would be interested in telling your story.
It can take a long time to build relationships with publications. The first step is to establish yourself as an expert in your industry by writing quality content, as noted earlier. As a result, you will have more credibility in the eyes of the press, and thus more opportunity to have your stories published.
Social media marketing can be used for so much more than just engagement. With the right strategies and social media tools, you can increase revenue for your business using social media platforms writes, Disha Dinesh, Content Marketer, Godot Media
Every company has a presence on social media because it’s great for engagement. But clients today like to speak in terms of ROI. Budgets are tight, marketing options are many and clients don’t want to invest in marketing activities unless they are certain to provide substantial returns.
According to a recent study, 93% customers expect companies to have a presence on social media and 71 % of them are willing to make a purchase from the brands that they follow on social media.
However, driving conversions via social media can be tricky because you need the right mix of content, promotion strategies and social media tools. Here’s an insight into what smart marketers do to increase revenue using social media.
Drive referrals to your website using social media
When you create and promote social media content, referrals should be at the top of your mind, because you can’t drive or track conversions without referrals. In addition to this, yo should also ensure that the landing page your drive referrals to should be optimized for conversion.
One simple way to greatly increase social media referrals is to create automated publishing queues of your best converting content.
There are several social media management tools such as DrumUp (full disclosure, I work with them), that you can use for such an activity. Personally, I save high-referral blog posts, external mentions and top performing social posts in DrumUp’s libraries and set those libraries on automatic publishing schedules. I add new posts to these libraries everyday, as new blog posts get published. This activity has greatly boosted our social media referrals.
Attract your audience with relevant content
It doesn’t matter if you have a million social media fans; you won’t get business from them unless you there’re relevant to your business and you actually engage them. That’s why it’s critical to choose the content that you share on your social accounts very carefully.
One of the easiest ways to find great content to share is through content curation apps such as Pocket. This app can also serve as a great source for content inspiration when you’re writing marketing content.
To make the most of Pocket, I have setup my fields of interest on the app, and go to it when I’m suffering from writer’s block, or I need fresh content to share with my social media followers. Pocket also lets you save posts from the internet and tag them for easy access when needed.
Collect leads using social media
When you drive referral from social media, instead of directly converting the referrals, you could turn them into leads. This is especially advisable if you have a business with a typically long sales cycle. Each lead you collect from social media can go into your regular sales funnel.
The simplest ways to collect leads from social media is to direct social media traffic to a page that collects emails for your newsletter opt-in or a giveaway.
You need an email capture tool to collect emails from social media visitors. SumoMe offers website analytics and email capture forms that are quite easy to use. We’ve set up a standard email capture form that works quite well for us. Alternatively, you could also directly generate leads from social media using a tool like Socedo.
Run promotions on social media
When creating campaign creatives, it’s important to consider using largely visual elements with less text, because Facebook is very crowded and visuals are more likely to be noticed on crowded feeds than is text.
You can also supplement social media promotions with social media ads and email newsletter promotions, which increase your promotion referrals.
Many small businesses run promotions on Facebook. If your promotion ideas abide by Facebook’s guidelines, you can be certain that they’re safe to run on the social media platform. However, running promotions on Facebook requires a third-party app. Apps such as WildFireApp are great options.
Use social media for PR
The cost of PR can drastically drop if you use your social media networks to achieve your PR goals. And there are several ways that you could use social media for PR. According to a recent study, 57.5% consumers are likely to make a purchase from brands that they follow on social media. Social media PR is a great way to appeal to these consumers.
The simplest way to do PR on social media is by collaborating with other brands. You could begin by guest curating content for other brands or guest posting on their blogs. Getting C-suite executives or influencers to publish social media posts is another way to drive PR goals using social media.
Identifying PR opportunities on social media can be tough, without a social media listening tool like BrandWatch. With social media listening, you can set-up keywords and listen for potential PR opportunities on social media.
However, industry insiders at marketing agencies don’t feel like the technology is all quite there—yet. At South by Southwest and Shoptalk, Adweek talked to three different experts to see what they thought about social commerce and if it’s as relevant as recent campaigns make it appear to be.
“There’s a lot of friction from the user to go through the steps [to purchase] because there’s also this learning curve of buying something on this new platform,” said Octavio Maron, executive creative director at Fetch, a mobile marketing agency.
“So if you look at how many people Pinterest sends to an ecommerce site, it’s not a huge amount,” said Jason Goldberg, svp of commerce and content practice at SapientRazorfish. “But the people that they send have a much higher buying intent because they’ve already discovered something they want to buy, so it’s disportionately affecting sales.”
Though the technology still doesn’t feel quite ready, Maron thinks it could provide a means of verification for real people to buy items versus bots.
Goldberg also points out a key difference he sees between some social platforms and Snapchat: On Snapchat, users can pick sizes and colors more cleanly versus other sites.
“Almost every other social is one awkward integration,” Goldberg said. “Snap has oddly added a lot of robust commerce functionality. Snap organically sells you something on the Snap platform; they’re not chasing you off the platform, it’s not a referral.”
Social commerce is making brands rethink their website strategy
“Before, there [were] various factions within companies that think their website should be used for this or it should be a store,” said Steve White, vp of commerce strategy at SapientRazorfish. “As they shift to social to being the center universe for micro influencers and all that stuff, it allows their site to be more specific or more broad than they had originally thought.”
These social platforms open up the possibility of event-based opportunities, like the Snapchat and Jordan Brands partnership.
“It feels like there’s so many areas to experiment [with],” Liew said. “Like video; could that be the next QVC on Facebook? That could be interesting, creating urgency, making an event.”
Where will all that data on consumers go?
“The question is, are you going to be able to get the data back, and are you going to be able to control that end-to-end customer experience,” said Steven Wolfe Pereira, CMO of Quantcast.
So while it feels important to be on social, Wolfe Pereira cautions against going it into blindly when these tech companies already have a large share of digital advertising.
“[Retailers] might do experiments, but for a digital native vertical brand to build their full business on Instagram, or Snap or anything, I think it’s really detrimental, because they won’t have that first party data,” Wolfe Pereira said.
About five years ago, Kate Spade found itself facing many of the same issues as other fashion brands. With glossy two-page magazine ads continuing to lose their luster, the handbag maker was struggling to shed its more traditional, print-oriented ways and create a digital strategy that worked.
Speaking at SXSW, Kate Spade’s chief marketing officer Mary Beech explained that at the time, the brand was employing a hollow one-size-fits-all approach to social by posting the same content on each platform. Additionally, the company was struggling to glean any real insights from the data it had on hand.
“We created content for all of the various mediums in which we were on, but we created one piece of content and just pushed it across all the mediums, not taking into any account what was specific about those distribution techniques,” said Beech. “We had lots of data, but we didn’t have insights, and so we weren’t using those insights to leverage them against the content we created and deployed.”
Fast forward to 2018, and the brand – which was acquired by Coach last year for $2.4bn – is doing things a bit differently. Through creating content that’s both platform-specific and entertainment-driven, the New York-based company has managed to create a digital strategy that it says is helping it connect and engage with fans.
Finding a story to tell
Getting into a “video-first” mindset is something that Kristen Naiman, senior vice president of brand creative at Kate Spade’s in-house agency, wanted to prioritize when she joined the company four years ago. At the time, Naiman said her team was “very stuck in thinking about the photograph” as the main form of communication.
To move away from that, her team began looking at what sorts of shows and series were popular to see if the brand could take any cues from the entertainment world.
“A lot of what was happening out there that felt really exciting was this renaissance of serialized narrative storytelling content,” she said, pointing to shows like HBO’s High Maintenance and the rising popularly of Netflix. It was around that same time that female comedians like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer were beginning to see their careers skyrocket, something she said the brand also took note of since she believed they were helping to usher in a new era of comedy.
“We thought both of those things were amazing and really interesting,” said Naiman.
Those two insights led to the birth of Kate Spade’s #MissAdventure, a short-form YouTube show starring actress and singer Anna Kendrick that kicked off in 2014. In the series, Kendrick plays a slightly ditzy, quirky woman who spends her days exploring New York.
“Our principles were twofold: we were going to make something that behaved in a way that was digital-first, and we were going to make something that while it was meant to be a piece of marketing to a certain degree, was interesting first,” said Naiman.
Kate Spade’s products were tied into the series via a concept Naiman calls “product as character,” which essentially involves making a product an integral part of the story rather than something a character is simply wearing or using.
For instance, in an episode of #MissAdventure called ‘The Waiting Game,’ Kendrick realizes she’s lost her apartment keys once she arrives at her doorstep. To get in, she decides to create a makeshift rope using the Kate Spade clothes and shoes she’s just bought so she can climb in via the fire escape.
Naiman said making the brand’s products a “distinct element” in the stories it tells helps the brand become part of the narrative, a strategy she believes is more effective than simply sticking a logo at the end of a video.
“We are a materialist culture. We all live with a lot of stuff in our lives, and those elements in our lives are part of our story,” she said.
Choosing a platform
While some brands strive to be early adopters and try out every new platform, Kate Spade has taken a more cautious approach to social.
Krista Neuhaus, Kate Spade’s senior director of digital brand marketing, said the brand was on every single social channel when she joined a few years back. Upon joining, she made it her job to figure out not only which channels the brand should be on and which ones it shouldn’t, but also how it should approach each individual platform…Read more