This Week’s Top Stories
“Google hit the Oscars with a rare real-time marketing campaign, one that quickly began promoting links to buy and stream the winning films moments after stars accepted their awards. Google said the Oscar campaign for iTunes competitor Google Play was the first time it used its ad technology to advertise its own business.”
PNConnect Insight – While everyone has been focusing on how brands are pushing out “real-time” tweets (many of them obviously having been planned and approved days or weeks in advance) about live events, this is actually a decent example of *real* marketing. Unlike many “real-time” campaigns this one, which still was likely planned beforehand, had a demonstrable call-to-action and Google can clearly see the ROI instead of using fuzzy metrics like goodwill and awareness.
“Today, we’re introducing the YouTube Kids app, the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind. The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore, and is available for free on Google Play and the App Store in the U.S.”
PNConnect Insight – Coupled with Vine’s announcement last week of a kid-friendly stand-alone app you can see the beginnings of a trend of apps/networks making a clearer and more direct appeal to the toddler audience. It’s a win for everyone: Parents feel safe putting bumpers on the bowling lane that is the internet, media brands get a positive image boost for providing content and the app brands get to start really early on engendering loyalty.
“We know that length is not a measure of thoughtfulness. The quality of an idea is not determined by the polish of the writing. And production value does not determine worthiness of time investment on the web any more than it does at the movie theater. We also know that sometimes you need to get a thought out in an incomplete form in order for it to grow — by bumping into other brains and breathing in fresh air. That’s why, today, we’re making some pretty big changes to how Medium works and feels.”
PNConnect Insight – Medium obviously wants to lower the barrier to entry to using the platform, removing some of the intimidation people might feel to make their posts serious or important enough. While there’s never been anything stopping people from using it like this, putting this front-and-center may help get some new people to try it out. The potential is there as well that Medium could be the “too long for Twitter but not relevant on Facebook” platform some people (who are unaware of platforms like WordPress’ P2) have been looking for.
“Sekoff admits that airing a weekly show makes it more difficult to stay on top of breaking news. That’s why HuffPost Show will have what he calls a “rapid-response team” that will respond to news as it is happening throughout the week. That response might come in the form of a six-second Vine, 140 character tweet or two-minute YouTube video, he explains.”
PNConnect Insight – It’s not that newsworthy that HuffPo is doing this. New video shows are all over the place. But it’s how they’re using other platforms like Vine, Twitter and so on to fill in the gaps between the actual shows, allowing the show to be consistently relevant while still maintaining the weekly structure.
“To get a sense of how outlets are thinking about Snapchat, we asked six news organizations — Huffington Post, Fusion, Mashable, NPR, Philly.com, and The Verge — to explain how they approach the platform and how they plan to continue to evolve on Snapchat.”
PNConnect Insight – There are a few things to take away from this roundup. 1) These brands are getting tons of audience response but most haven’t figured out a way to scale interaction on the platform. 2) Everyone’s experimenting, so there’s no one right way to do Snapchat yet. 3) The lack of analytics hasn’t stopped them from trying things out and building an audience. 4) They each seem to be doing something unique there, meaning they’re not just repurposing other content for Snaps.
“Well, here’s a nice Facebook feature for the more fun-loving users: the social network now lets you add stickers to photos before you even post them from an iPhone or an Android device.”
PNConnect Interest – And a thousand brand managers just created a deck showing why adding stickers to the photos being posted to Pages is a good idea.
“Starting today, you can sort images through a variety of ‘Topics,’ including Funny, Awesome, Aww, The More You Know, Storytime, Current Events and Design & Art. Imgur says it will update the list of topics as it analyzes more user data.”
PNConnect Insight – Considering how important Imgur has become to sites like Reddit and others, making discovery even easier will only increase its usefulness to a broad audience.
“…it’s launching a new feature that allows you to record video while playing music from your phone, rather than the music pausing. You can bump jams from iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, or any other app while recording.”
PNConnect Insight – This has been widely hailed by users who are anxious to add music to their Snaps, but if you listen closely you can hear the sound of hundreds of copyright lawyers preparing motions on how the feature does not fall under Fair Use protections and Snapchat needs to pay the record labels.
“Tumblr added an Embed button to individual blog posts (also known as permalink pages). Clicking “Embed” gives you the embed code to insert a post to any website that allows an HTML embed, including Tumblr pages.”
PNConnect Insight – A great and practical tool that’s already in place on most all other social networks, so it makes a ton of sense for Tumblr to add it, especially as it continues to make a play for media companies to publish original content there.
“Experian found that more than half of all social media site visitors in the country were ages 18 to 24 in November 2014. Another three in 10 were 25 to 34, and just a tiny 3.2% slice were 45 or older.”
PNConnect Insight – Important to know if you’re looking to tap into the social media audience there.
“Among social network users in Spain, just 12% reported having ever bought something through a social network. However, and perhaps more importantly, 70% said that social platforms indeed influenced the purchasing process. This was particularly true for clothing and footwear, travel and books.”
PNConnect Insight – Another in a long line of studies showing, regardless of the country in question, that social media plays an important role in the purchase decision making process. It may just not be at the “last click” point in the process.
“Pinterest’s monetization push is hitting full throttle: The scrapbooking site is developing a new ad, a “multi-pin carousel” that will allow marketers to place several images in a single promoted pin, according to ad agency executives briefed on the company’s plans.”
PNConnect Insight – It makes a ton of sense that Pinterest would be looking for new ad units to debut in the near future. And by making the next one that amounts to a gallery of images they’re clearly looking to attract retail brands of all sorts to the new unit since they would be able to show off a multitude of products in a single category.
“The social network today is introducing Twitter Offers, discounts that users can claim right from an advertiser’s tweet by linking their credit or debit card account with Twitter. The Twitter user can then redeem the discount simply by paying with the synced card in the retailer’s physical store or online shop.”
PNConnect Insight – This could be huge for not just retailers who want to link their own social media efforts to in-store sales. It could also be helpful to consumer products brands who don’t have a physical retail presence themselves but rely on others.
“Facebook now has 2 million advertisers, a milestone CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today in a video post on the social network. Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg thanked small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurs for jumping on board with the platform, helping it attract 500,000 new advertisers in the last year.”
PNConnect Insight – In other words, a lot of businesses are now advertising on Facebook. And an increasingly large number of the local businesses, a market that Facebook – and Google before it – has had trouble breaking into previously.
“With this in mind, we’ve been testing Promoted Video, a new way for brands to post videos that users can play in their timelines with a single tap. Promoted Video comes with robust targeting options and cost per view pricing, so you only pay when someone chooses to watch by clicking “play.””
PNConnect Insight – Some good tips on how to approach Twitter’s Promoted Video ad unit.