Facebook has once again decided to update its News Feed with a new look and algorithm. This update is meant to give members more control of what they see on their own customized News Feeds. What this means for marketers is that there is a higher importance than ever in successfully engaging with consumers and providing useful, compelling information in order to maintain or increase their current level of visibility.
One of the major changes to the News Feed that will need to be addressed by digital marketers is the ability for users to filter the feed for media types such as images, music, videos, news, or apps. This makes it essential for a Facebook marketing strategy to focus on a range of media types. For example, If a brand is doing a great job regularly sharing status updates, that messaging will be missed by people who are filtering only for images. By diversifying the types of content shared, a brand will be able to penetrate multiple filters and maximize their News Feed presence. Specifically for the image feed, Facebook will be displaying images from both Facebook and Instagram, so brands should be uploading photos to both. (more…)
One of the hottest trends in online marketing is native advertising. While not necessarily a new concept — the relatively old-school advertorial has been around for decades — it has seen a resurgence in the current content marketing era. Recent examples of native advertising can be seen with Google’s paid search results, YouTube’s sponsored videos and, to a lesser extent, trending topics on Twitter.
Content marketing has led to innovative forms of online advertising. With the online user experience key to a successful marketing campaign, this non-disruptive form of online advertising will continue to capture marketers’ addition — and advertising dollars — in 2013.
Native Advertising: The Basics
Native advertising is considered one of the newest forms of online marketing.
According to a September 2012 article in Mashable, the term didn’t take root until famed start-up investor Fred Wilson told an audience at OMMA Global in early 2012 about “native monetization” for Web properties, which he described as ads that were “unique and native to the experience” of a website.
Dan Greenberg, the CEO of Sharethrough, is credited with coining the actual term “native advertising.” Here’s Greenberg’s definition: “Native advertising is a form of media that’s built into the actual visual design and where the ads are part of the content.”
What separates native advertising from the equally hot trend of content marketing is a matter of debate. John LoGioco, SVP and general manager of content at Outbrain, recently told Mashable that the two are pretty much the same. “Native advertising seems to be the thing that most are able to hang on to and get it.”
What Makes for Great Native Ads
At its best, native advertising blends seamlessly with the editorial content of a website while providing content that is valuable to the target audience. Below is an example of native advertising on Twitter.
In 1995, Gartner introduced its renowned hype cycle to show different stages of introduction of new technologies. Gartner’s hype cycle provides a research-backed antidote to what is often a searing level of hype surrounding many new technology and media products. The value for marketers is even clearer: The hype cycles serve as an objective guidebook for measuring the success (and inevitable downfall) of new-product launches.
One market that has yet to receive the hype cycle treatment is social media. What might that hype cycle look like if it examined one of the fastest growing marketing sectors in history?
It’s time to examine what I call the “Social Media Hype Cycle.” Doing so will help brands and marketers better understand the seesaw pattern of how social networks and platforms rise and fall in popularity and usage and how that affects companies’ advertising spend and online engagement strategies.
The Gartner Hype Cycle: Cliff Notes Version Gartner has applied its unique hype-cycle research model to in more than 100 industries, technologies and services, including advertising, social software and what it calls “Web and User Interaction Technologies.”
The Gartner Hype Cycle examines five stages of a technology, starting with a “technology trigger” through to “peak of inflated expectations,” “trough of disillusionment,” “slope of enlightenment” and “plateau of productivity.” The degree of visibility and interest follow a curve as shown below.
According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle theory, every new technology experiences a period of continuous hype growth, followed immediately by a strong downward trend in the expectation and viability of that particular technology sector. Finally, there is a gradual increase toward productivity.
Bing is breaking out its own version of the infamous “soda wars” between Coca-Cola at Pepsi in the 1980s. This week, it launched an ad campaign called “Bing It On” in which it asks people on the street to compare search results between its Bing search engine and Google. According to Search Engine Land, Microsoft claim’s that “people prefer Bing by 2:1 over Google.” Unfortunately for Microsoft, the stats on consumer use of Bing don’t reflect that comparison. More than 65 percent of Americans use Google as their regular search engine, according to SmartInsights.com, while Bing comes in third, behind Yahoo! Search, at just under 14 percent.
“Facebook has failed” screamed the headlines all summer long, as Facebook’s stock continued to tumble amid mounting analyst, investor and advertiser concerns over the efficacy of Facebook’s ad platform. For Facebook, the concern present a troubling reality: it must evolve or die. The trick to keeping Facebook relevant to users and brands, according to Ryan Partnership’s Michael Velasco, will be to not only enhance the feeling that users have of the social network being indispensable to their daily lives, to extend that feeling to new areas and features that users find appealing.
“Facebook has failed!” screamed the media, as Facebook’s stock price continued to tumble off its IPO price. Indeed, the headlines have been bleak. But Facebook is a microcosm of a macro phenomenon afflicting all of social media.
Facebook, the once great social network, is in danger from itself, and the promises either it made, or expectations heaped upon it by its users. It can either move on and evolve into something greater than itself, or suffer the fate of other great Internet companies before it, (GeoCities, Yahoo!, Netscape, MySpace … the list goes on and on), possibly dragging the rest of the social media industry down with it.
And while I could chalk up the recent history of the Internet’s failed companies as a source of endless cautionary tales, two particularly valuable and relevant examples come to mind: Aol and Yahoo!
Both were pioneers and innovators in their time and both are examples of what not to do when it comes to running an Internet business. What they lacked is the ability to move beyond the business model that made them great, and evolve into one that provided sustained growth and success.
Facebook finds itself in a similarly troubling situation — it must evolve or die. (more…)
As one of the leading integrated digital media agencies, MediaWhiz and its executives are often quoted in the media about emerging trends and issues in the digital media and marketing industries. Recently, Steve Goldner, senior director of social media marketing at MediaWhiz and its sister agency, Ryan Partnership, was quoted in an eMarketer report, “Facebook Marketing: Reaching Consumers in a Changing Environment.” The report analyzes how Facebook is altering brand marketing in the Digital Age.
Goldner’s comments focus on what Facebook should do to help marketers ensure their brands stand out on Facebook and receive more detailed information on the metrics of their Facebook marketing spend. A recap of those comments can be found below. eMarketer subscribers can view the full report here.
Comments of Steve Goldner, Senior Director of Social Media Marketing, MediaWhiz and Ryan Partnership
On whether brands that market on Facebook stand out from the competition …
“Marketers, advertisers and clients want something that stands out. The reality is it still is difficult to get a brand to stand out on Facebook.”
On how well Facebook listens to the concerns of marketers …
“The challenge is to get Facebook to listen to marketers. You have no chance of talking to an [Facebook] account rep unless you’re at a certain level of spend.” (more…)
Fifty years ago Heineken went beyond the standard focus-group testing and developed what may be the coolest packaging for a product ever known: a brick-shaped beer bottle. Why is that so cool? As David Kiefaber of Adfreak explains, the bottle wasn’t meant to just be used to consume beer. No, it had a much higher purpose in life: it doubled as a “giant interlocking Lego brick, and was made for building eco-homes back in the early 1960s.”
MediaWhiz’s Daryl Colwell writes in MediaPost that the mobile wallet appears to finally be growing up. But there are concerns that the hype surrounding it doesn’t match consumer value. “With two key factors — ease-of-use and rate of adoption — moving in the right direction, mobile payments may finally reach their lofty potential. But there is still a long way toward mainstream adoption,” says Colwell. (more…)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Why? Because Social Media Week is almost here! This year, MediaWhiz is partnering with its sister agency, Ryan Partnership, to host a Social Media Week panel in Chicago.
Titled, “What the ‘Social Media Hype Cycle’ Means for Brands,” MediaWhiz and Ryan Partnership’s Social Media Week session will explore how the social media hype cycle is impacting social media marketing, social commerce and social advertising. Panelists will use the hype cycle model to demystify social media marketing and explain what is needed to deliver measurable value to brands.
Following this lively session, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of how the hype surrounding social media impacts brand marketing and what you can do to generate measurable value from your social media marketing spend.
Google has always been a search marketing dynamo. It has literally invented or made mainstream several well-known search functions, including autocomplete of search terms and the basic structure of search-based online advertising that is used today. So it should come as no surprise that in its seemingly never-ending race to one-up its competitors, it has recently introduced or improved two critical functions of its search business:
The latter isn’t an earth-shattering announcement. Google launched voice search for both desktop and mobile platforms in 2011 and now serves dozens of languages. This latest update, according to Direct Marketing News, adds languages from various European markets, including Swedish, European Portuguese and Finnish, along with regional tongues such as Basque, Catalan, and Galician. The company said in a blog post that the addition of those newly added languages will add nearly 100 million people to its voice search function.