Online Marketing News: Mobile Gets Personal, Facebook Buys MSQRD, Online Reviews Offline

personalized mobile push notifications infographic

Mobile push notifications: Help or hindrance? [Infographic]
The marketing industry is obsessed with personalization, and rightfully so. It’d be foolish to think that consumers really want the generic, blanket content that was once our only option for mass communication. Personalization has again thrown its hat in the ring, and this time, it’s mobile. In fact, according to Microsoft’s infographic, personalized push notifications that align with user preferences see an up to 300% improvement in conversion rates. Microsoft Azure

Facebook acquires video filter app Msqrd to square up to Snapchat
In what many are saying is a play to keep up with Snapchat, Facebook has acquired video editing app MSQRD for an undisclosed amount. This app will allow users to add filters, stickers and texts on video through Facebook Messenger. According to TechCrunch, this isn’t the first time Facebook has taken a run at Snapchat. In fact, in the past they’ve tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to acquire the app for nearly $ 3 Billion. TechCrunch

Study: Reviews influence both online, offline shoppers
A new study from BazaarVoice shows that no matter where your customers are shopping for your product, online reviews are influencing their purchasing decisions. The study found that while 54% of online shoppers consulted online reviews before their purchase, 39% of in-store shoppers did the very same. What’s the point here? No matter where your customers ultimately make their purchase, your brand’s online reputation matters. BizReport

From the @toprank Twitter Community

Twitter community would choose data-informed marketing over lead attribution as a marketing priority for 2016.

Facebook Just Debuted Video for Its Growing Suite of Lead-Generation Ads
Facebook has stepped up its video lead generation game yet again, now enabling online advertisers to include a call to action within video ads that will lead consumers to contact forms. But Facebook didn’t stop there. The same day, they also announced that advertisers can now duplicate lead forms and edit fields across campaigns, integrate select CRM partners for lead gen ads, integrated MailChimp to automatically add leads to their lists, and select from more options in the disclaimer portion of their lead forms. Adweek

Responsive Design Mobile Marketing Emails Generate 24% More Clicks [Report]
With over half of all emails being opened on mobile devices, it should come as no surprise that emails designed for mobile receive more engagement than those that aren’t. A recent study from mYesmail shows that emails that use responsive design see 24% more email clicks, 55% higher mobile click-to-open rate, and even 23% higher desktop click-to-open rates. Despite the success of mobile, only 17% of brands are implementing responsive design in all of their emails. Marketing Land

In/Spree Launches Instagram for Shopping App on iOS
Finally, leaning on influencers for social selling has become more and more popular in terms of strategy since the onset of platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, and now In/Spree has taken the next step, launching their social shopping iOS app. According to Social Times, it’s “described as Instagram for shopping, the app allows users to follow influencers and shop for items that either match or are inspired by the items they’re wearing in pictures.” What dose this mean for social marketers? Along with rich pins you see on Pinterest, and video ad options for Instagram, this could be the next direction that retail marketers are taking in their social marketing strategy, integrating influencers in a natural and impactful way. SocialTimes

Google PLAs: Testing scrollable carousel on desktop & numbered rankings for “best” products go live
Google is testing a scrollable carousel, much like the one featured in mobile search, for product listings. This will bring the desktop search and mobile search experience in line if it takes off, as it’s one of many test Google has run on PLA layouts. They’ve also recently rolled out testing for Ranked PLAs — ‘top’ and ‘best’ products. To be chosen, Google clarified on Twitter, “first the top-rated products are selected to participate in the auction, where they then compete against each other for ad position. So the number one, or first ranked, ad isn’t necessarily the product with the best rating.” Search Engine Land

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me at @Tiffani_Allen or send it to @toprank using the hashtag #trnews!

Infographic via Microsoft Azure


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Do Buzz News Publishers Need a New Content Strategy?

Do you run an entertainment news website or blog that’s receiving diminished levels of traffic lately? First of all, it’s a jungle out there, and many get gobbled up. Or die of hunger. It takes a special animal to survive and prosper online. Some estimates claim that 95 percent of all blogs and content websites fail within 3 months of launching.
Internet and Businesses Online:Internet Marketing Articles from EzineArticles.com

Online Marketing News: Reaching Customers on Valentine’s Day, How CMOs Use Twitter and Facebook Adds Automated Captioning

how to reach your target customers on valentines day

How to Reach Your Target Customers on Valentine’s Day [Infographic]
With Valentine’s day fast approaching — and all the love and purchases that come with it. So how do you get the attention of the hordes of paramours in search of the perfect gift? This infographic is full of information to help guide your last-minute push. For example, did you know that Americans spent $ 18.9 billion on Valentines day in 2015, with the average man spending $ 191 on their loved one? 25-34 year olds spend the most on Valentines day gifts out of every other age group. Good news for you if your objective is to increase purchases from 25-34 year old men! SocialMediaToday

Who And What When It Comes To CMOs And Twitter In 2015
In a post fueled by data provided by Leadtail, Steve Olenski discusses who and what influenced CMOs in 2015. Results included Twitter handles for top influencers (spoiler alert: Our CEO, Lee Odden, is included), along with the most commonly used hashtags and the top publications shared. If you’re a marketer by trade, this is a list you’ll want to bookmark. Along with my weekly news posts, of course. Forbes

Facebook Adds Automated Captioning Tool for Video Ads
On Wednesday, Facebook announced what this author describes as a “host of new features for video ads, highlighted by an automated captioning tool.” Naturally, I was curious about this host of other features which includes new metrics for advertisers, verified analytics from Moat and 100 percent in-view ad buying. So what’s the point of the headliner for digital marketers? Facebook is simply trying to improve the experience of people who view videos on their platform with the sound off. Let’s be honest, most of us initially watch an ad with the sound off. I’ve had my share of ‘AH! Oh, that was a video ad’ moments where I’ve nearly had the pants scared right off me due to loud volume and the element of surprise. Reducing negative reactions to unexpected loud ads will certainly improve the Facebook experience. SocialTimes

From the @toprank Twitter Community

marketing strategy a primary focus in 2016

Content Marketing Output Surged 35% In 2015, While Engagement Dropped 17% [Report]
Over the past five years, we’ve seen a big increase in content production from marketing departments nationwide and all around the globe. But as with any market, the more content there is out there, the harder it can be to convince others to engage with your own. And while creating great content is the first step in earning the engagement of your target audience, great content alone is no longer enough. You need to make sure it gets in front of the people for whom it’s intended which takes optimization and strategic distribution. Find out more in this study from TrackMaven! Marketing Land

The State of the Mobile Experience: How People Use Their Phones Today [Infographic]
I’m going to say something that may come as a surprise. People are using their mobile phones for way more than making calls. So maybe that’s not as surprising as I initially suggested, by now we all know that our phones are essentially our second, detached brain. This helpful infographic from HubSpot goes into detail about how people are using their phones and what those statistics mean for the rest of us. Most surprising, 79% of millennials are using their phones to make at least one call daily, and only 17% are using them to take one or more selfies daily. HubSpot

What Marketers Should Know About Twitter’s New Algorithmic ‘Catch-Up’ Feed
If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you may have noticed some controversy over Twitter’s decision to adopt a Facebook-like algorithm that curates the most popular Tweets and sticks them right in your news feed. What I didn’t hear about, however, is the user gets to decide if they want to use this new feature or not. Ad Age said “On Wednesday Twitter will start giving the people the option to have the social network algorithmically curate their feeds to show them the top tweets they may have missed since the last time they checked Twitter.” What’s most interesting is that the algorithm only curates content with the most organic engagement, not actions triggered by paid promotion, so only the best content will win out in the end. Ad Age

Only 32 Percent Of Emails Were Opened On Desktop PCs In 2015 — Report
A recent study from Movable Ink found that 68% of emails are opened on a mobile device, with Apple’s iOS leading the mobile pack. What does this mean for marketers? We need to continue to design for mobile — making sure that our emails look great across all platforms from which they’re viewed and the CTA is easy to find and follow. The full report also spells out conversion data from email, even with some industry specifics. Marketing Land

From Our Online Marketing Community:

On Twitter, Alicia Fiorletta ?said “Thanks to our friends at @toprank for spreading the #C2C16 love! We want wait to see you!” in response to Ignite Your B2B Content Marketing Effectiveness at #C2C16

On Twitter, SmartBase Solutions said “#B2B advice from @BMAMinnesota’s latest event: Get Data-Driven @toprank’s @Tiffani_Allen recaps how to get started.” in response to Data-Driven Marketing from Mad Men to Rabbit Holes

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me at @Tiffani_Allen or send it to @toprank!

Infographic – Social Media Today


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Online Marketing News: Mobile is Fruitful for Email, the Popularity of Influencer Marketing, and Digital Shopping Trends

Mobile is fruitful for email marketing

Mobile Proves to Be Fruitful for Email [Infographic]
Anyone who owns a smartphone will not be surprised to learn that more and more people are opening and interacting with email through their mobile device. The opening statement of the writeup accompanying this infographic says it all: “The mobile channel produces fertile results in terms of email opens and read time.” So what does that mean for digital marketers? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this reiterates the importance of focusing on designing for mobile first. That is, thinking in terms of what would look good on mobile, whether an image will look right, and whether the content will be as functional across devices. This is especially important when it comes to email, you’re sending something to somebody’s inbox which inevitably will result in some kind of notification — it should be worth it for them to open the message and see what’s inside. Direct Marketing News

Influencer Marketing Is Rapidly Gaining Popularity Among Brand Marketers
Influencer marketing is undeniably growing in popularity — and not just among digital marketers. It’s increasingly common to hear non-marketing related upper management asking questions about influencers, and more specifically about how to strategically implement a marketing strategy that fully utilizes their expertise and influence. Channels like Instagram and YouTube have greatly accellerated this shift. Using more inflencer-based marketing programs is one of the key ways that advertisers are combating the rapid adoption of ad blocking capabilities. This post from eMarketer cites some new studies and information that shed light on exactly how popular influencer marketing is becoming and why. eMarketer

Half of Digital Shoppers Will Use Phones to Buy in 2017
The statistic listed in this article’s title doesn’t surprise me at all. I can think of more than one time where I’ve accidentally spent way too much money shopping on Amazon or eBay while waiting for my oil to get changed or even during a TV commercial. Shopping via mobile web and mobile apps is as much a part of my shopping experience as brick and mortar stores, if not more so. As the article summarizes: “Bigger smartphones make for bigger sales, rising at a $ 20 billion clip over the next three years. This means it’s important for eCommerce sites in particular to be optimized for the mobile user. Direct Marketing News

33 Thought-Provoking B2B Social Media and Marketing Stats
Citing the 2016 B2B marketing trends report, author Tom Pick goes through a list of important statistics for B2B marketers. The key takeaways are that digital and social marketing budgets are increasing, marketers want programmatic advertising — although they aren’t sure what that really means, lead generation remains a key focus, and B2B organizations are still unclear on the value of social media. B2B marketing has it’s set of unique challenges, but it’s good to know what the state of the industry is and that if you’re confused, you aren’t alone. See the rest of the stats for more information, you’ll be glad you did! Webbiquity

Snapchat Gains Momentum: New Research
A new study revealed that Snapchat is rivaling Facebook in average daily video views. What’s more is that Snapchat users tend to be more engaged with the content they’re viewing simply because the nature of the platform is interactive. So what does this mean? We already know that video is an effective platform for engagement, but how many marketers are really considering Snapchat as a viable platform for their marketing efforts? If anything, this new data shows us that using Snapchat as part of your social media strategy is worth considering. Social Media Examiner

88% of B2B companies are turning to content marketing to supplement their sales efforts

Google Will Discontinue Flash Ads in 2017 (So Update Your Displays)
In my quest to learn everything I can about digital marketing, I’ve spent my fair share of time learning from developers and programmers about the ins and outs of web design and development. There are two very persistent inside jokes: Adobe Flash and Internet Explorer. While Adobe Flash may get a bad name, most people can agree that it’s a platform that isn’t exactly mobile friendly. As the article states: “Adobe Flash Player has had a slow demise. Complaints about security, openness and battery usage on cell phones have floated around for years. In November 2011 Adobe signaled the approach of the end when it cancelled Flash Player for mobile devices and shifted engineering staff to Web standards like HTML5.” The moral of this story? If you’re stilling still running Flash ads on Google, it’s time to make the switch to HTML 5. Small Business Trends

AdWords Automated Bidding Gets An Overhaul: Welcome, Portfolio Bid Strategies
Google is making some big changes to their automated bidding. The first of which is a change in what we call ‘flexible bidding’ — making the change to ‘portfolio bid strategies’ to “better indicate that a single strategy can be applied across multiple campaigns, ad groups — and keywords, in some cases.” The two big changes are that managers no longer have to dive into shared libraries to create or add bidding strategies and advertisers can have different CPA goals for different ad groups. This change will, Google hopes, improve workflow and efficiency in their advertising platform. Search Engine Land

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me at @Tiffani_Allen or send it to @toprank and use the hashtag #trnews!

Infographic – Direct Marketing News


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Online Marketing News: Pinterest Matters, Google Loses Sidebar Ads and Facebook Reacts

Why Pinterest Matters to Marketing_600x350

Why Pinterest Matters to Marketing [Infographic]
Did you know that Pinterest is the third most popular social network in the US, behind Facebook and Twitter? That statistic came as a surprise to me. But what isn’t surprising is the rise in brands that are using Pinterest as part of their social and content marketing strategy. While the platform is easy to use and visually appealing, there’s more to using the platform effectively than meets the eye. This infographic details the demographics of the Pinterest audience, the best time to post, and even what post categories work best on which days. WebpageFX

Google Removes Right Hand Sidebar Ads
Starting on February 19th, Google began phasing out sidebar ads from their search engine results pages. They will now show one to four ads before the organic search results, and the rest will be pushed to the bottom of the page. The update – which is described as “global and permanent” will only apply to desktop searches, which may affect the traffic you see from desktop devices. According to Search Engine Journal: “High volume and general search terms have been most severely affected by the update so far. Long-tail and niche terms will begin to see their right hand ads disappear in the coming weeks.” This change hasn’t yet rolled out to mobile, so it remains to be seen if/when that will happen and what the results will be. Search Engine Journal

Facebook’s Reactions are Here – Here’s How They’ll Change Your Approach to Facebook Marketing
If you’re like me, you went on Facebook earlier this week and noticed something odd — in addition to the Like button, there were options for reactions as well: Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. Pretty cool, right? These alleviate the commonly expressed concerns about Liking sad or negative statuses in an effort to show support, and also allow users to express other emotions, even if they aren’t ready or willing to leave a comment at the time. If you haven’t seen them yet, go ahead an log into Facebook and take them for a spin. I’ll wait. My only complaint is that we still don’t have a ‘Dislike’ button – but maybe that will make it through phase two. Social Media Today

From the @toprank Twitter Community
content marketing storytelling

Instagram Now Has More Advertisers Than Twitter
According to Marketing Land: “Seemingly as a result of all those moves, Instagram now claims more than 200,000 active advertisers as of February 2016, the Facebook-owned photo-and-video-sharing service announced on Wednesday. That number may pale in comparison to Instagram’s parent company — Facebook claims more than 2.5 million advertisers — but it trumps Twitter, which had more than 130,000 active advertisers as of the fourth quarter of 2015.” Although Instagram has probably had some serious help ramping up their advertising platform from their parent company, Facebook, it still says a lot about the direction online advertising seems to be taking. The ability to easily purchase ads from anywhere, and in formats that can contain links or extended video, makes a difference for online marketers. Marketing Land

Here’s Why You’re Failing By Ignoring LinkedIn As a Content Platform (Study)
According to a recent study from Wibbitz, more people (28% vs 24%) prefer reading their news online than seeing it on TV. This could have quite a bit to do with the variety of sources to choose from online compared to the relatively limited amount available on TV. That same study found that 67% of LinkedIn users polled considered themselves “news junkies”. So what does that mean for digital marketers? If you have relevant industry news or content, especially for those brands in the B2B sector, it makes sense to include LinkedIn in your content marketing strategy. Read more on SocialTimes.

Google To Shut Down Google Compare Products In US And UK On March 23
In a letter from Google to Compare partners, Google wrote: “Beginning on February 23, 2016, we will start ramping down the Google Compare product, which is currently live in both the US and UK. We plan to terminate the service as of March 23, 2016.” Google cites lack of success as their primary reason for shutting down the lead generation product that serviced the credit card, auto insurance, mortgage and travel insurance industries. Search Engine Land reported: “A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that while searches on these queries remained high, the product didn’t get the traction it hoped for and revenue was minimal.” The next step, according to Google, is a focus on transitioning these partners to standard AdWords products. Search Engine Land

Adobe Launches App Creation & Management Tool For Marketers
Adobe is hoping to make app creation and management easier for marketers, according to Marketing Land. The new Experience Manager Mobile app, launched as part of Marking Cloud, is meant to simply app creation and management, making it almost as easy to manage your mobile app(s) as it is to manage your website(s). With the rising popularity of mobile web and app use for shopping, consuming content, and myriad other activities, it’s not surprise that an organization like Adobe would come up with a way to make the lives of marketers a bit easier. But, my prediction is that as we’ve seen with ‘do it yourself’ website development tools, is that while you can certainly create apps on your own, but at some point you’ll need to harness the knowledge of someone who knows more about mobile development for it to be successful. But, only time will tell.  Marketing Land

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me at @Tiffani_Allen or send it to @toprank!

Infographic – WebpageFX


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Online Marketing News: ROI of Social Selling, LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting, Facebook Hits 3 Million

social-selling-statistics

The ROI of Social Selling: Data-Driven Outcomes [Infographic]
The first rule of sales is you have to be where your customers are. If you aren’t, how will they ever find you? As we progress further into the digital age, salespeople and marketers are becoming more and more collaborative, to the benefit of their mutual employers. The secret sauce to any organization practicing marketing enabled sales lies in great content that meets your customers where they are at every stage of the buying cycle. This infographic explains the how and why of social selling. Sales for Life

LinkedIn Intros B2B Spin On Facebook’s Custom Audiences To Target Ads
LinkedIn has upped their ad game, enabling marketers to target ads to employees of an uploaded list of up to 30,000 companies. Their new account-targeting option will be similar to those at Facebook, Twitter and Google+. So how can eager B2B marketers get their hands on this new targeting capability? According to Marketing Land, “Only brands buying ads directly from LinkedIn’s sales team can use account targeting at the moment, but the company plans to eventually roll it out to brands buying ads through its self-serve tool.” Marketing Land

Facebook Reaches 3 Million Advertisers, Launches ‘Your Business Story’ Video Tool
On March 2nd, Facebook announced they’ve reached 3 million advertisers on their platform. “To put that in perspective” author Andrew Hutchinson lists, “Twitter has 130,000 active users, Instagram recently announced they’ve hit 200,000 advertisers, and Google, currently the leader in the online ads space, is believed to have more than 4 million active advertisers (though they don’t openly discuss this figure).” In celebration, Facebook launched a new tool called ‘Your Business Story’ that allows Facebook advertisers to use their Facebook Page’s photos and content to tell the story of their achievements and highlights. Social Media Today

9 percent of all commercial emails deleted

Facebook is letting publishers use Instant Articles to collect email newsletter signups
Facebook is testing newsletter sign-up messages at the bottom of their Instant Articles. What many publishers hope, according to Digiday, is “the more they bump into the publisher’s articles on Facebook, the more likely they are to start coming directly to the publisher’s own site. There, publishers can not only keep all the ad revenue they generate but can sell the readers on subscriptions and newsletters and other products as well as collect data on their reading habits that can be used to improve the site experience.” As a fairly common call to action in the content marketing world, ‘Subscribe’ is a natural next step for readers that enjoy your content –and Facebook is facilitating that conversion. Digiday

Google Image Search tests colored filter buttons
It appears that Google is taking a cue from Pinterest in their latest test — using colored filter buttons on their image search. The change shows up on desktop for a select few users, with a diverse button background colors. This will certainly make image searching more user friendly, enabling users to narrow down their searches in an intuitive way. What does this mean for marketers? It’s more important than ever to use specific and helpful alt tags when optimizing your content for search. Search Engine Land

Brands and agencies are already experimenting with on-demand Snapchat geofilters
Snapchat is allowing people and businesses to design their own geofilters for specific “spaces during set periods of time — starting from just $ 5.” This is big news for event marketers who want to find a new way to spread the word about their events, whether that’s a college on orientation weekend, or even a marketing conference. Restaurants like IHOP are using the geofilters to target customers in their stores, while other organizations are using it to encourage their employees to experience the feature before they begin using it in future marketing campaigns. Digiday

Despite Tech Aids, B2B Marketers Struggle with Targeting
Getting the right message to the right audience at the right time is an ever-present challenge for marketers, even with all of the targeting advantages available to us through various digital media. According to Wakefield Research: “Seventy percent of the marketers surveyed said their advertising fails to meet their expectations either all of some of the time, and 96% admit it’s inevitable that their communications will reach a significant number of people outside of their targeted segments.” Others cited problems including measuring ROI, long sales cycles, and lack of quality leads. Direct Marketing News

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet me at @Tiffani_Allen or send it to @toprank!

Infographic via Hubspot


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