Twitter Announces Organic Tweet Analytics

Image source: TechCrunch.com

Image source: TechCrunch.com

Yesterday Twitter announced an enhanced Tweet activity dashboard to provide insight into organic Tweet performance. Previously, organic data was available but difficult to find and measured in less detail.

The new dashboard will allow advertisers to:

  • See how many times users have viewed and engaged with organic Tweets
  • Compare performance month-over-month
  • Export organic and promoted data metrics into a CSV file

In its post announcing the new dashboard, Twitter also suggested best practices for brands based on its analysis of 200 brand advertisers:

  • Tweet consistency is a key factor to maximize organic reach on Twitter
  • Leverage current events such as sporting, awards shows or trending topics
  • Mention influencer Handles with a large following
  • Include photos or videos

According to TechCrunch, Twitter has opened up the dashboard to all users who tweet in English, French, Japanese, and Spanish, and whose accounts are older than 14 days. You can learn more about how to access the dashboard on Twitter’s support page or simply visit analytics.twitter.com to check it out.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

Amazon To Develop an In-House Ad Platform

Image source: Mashable.com

Image source: Mashable.com

The battle for online ad market share may be heating up, as Amazon is reportedly planning to develop its own keyword-based text ad platform. This would give marketers another option for targeting web users on a large scale, in addition to ad giants Google and Facebook. The WSJ was first to report the news late last week.

The new platform, reportedly called Amazon Sponsored Links, would allow marketers to directly reach Amazon’s 250 million active users across its various sites, namely Amazon.com. Currently, marketers can advertise on Amazon sites through text-based keyword ads powered by Google and other third parties. Additionally, Amazon has its own display ad network, showing customers display ads that align with their searches across Amazon.com, IMDb.com and Quidsi properties (which include Soap.com).

Though it’s just speculation at this point, some believe Amazon’s ad platform would closely resemble Google’s AdWords, which is the core revenue-driver for Google’s $50 billion per year ad business.

Perhaps it’s only fair that Amazon should challenge Google’s stronghold on the online ad market, as Google has stepped on Amazon’s e-commerce toes by introducing product listing ads and Google Shopping Express.

Neither Amazon nor Google have commented so far. Stay tuned for more.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

Do Publishers and E-Commerce Go Together Like Twizzlers and Guacamole?

Image source: BusinessWeek.com

Image source: BusinessWeek.com

There’s no question that publishing is in a state of disruption. As advertisers continue to shift dollars from print to performance-based digital channels, publishers are struggling to find new ways to make money in the digital era.

For a time, many publishers believed the emergence of the tablet to be their saving grace. Some expected print ad dollars to shift seamlessly to tablet  in a similar model, but that hasn’t happened – and tablet use is not growing at the same rate as smaller mobile devices. A recent article published on Digiday, the author argues that “the tablet magazine was flawed from the start… conceived based on what publishers wanted and not on what consumers wanted.”

Because old ad models do not translate well to the digital space, publishers are left scrambling to find new sources of revenue, and many are in trouble. However, the emergence of content marketing has provided a glimmer of hope and new revenue opportunities.

Today Digiday published an article about publishers who blend e-commerce with content, which presents a new source of revenue, but it’s one that has caused some unrest amongst readers. Earlier this month, the Washington Post inserted “buy now” buttons into articles that mentioned products, linking directly to purchase pages on Amazon. After claiming the buttons’ insertion into articles was a mistake, the Washington Post removed them.

While certain publishers have been blending e-commerce with content for years, the latest Washington Post incident brings to light questions about the future of the publisher business model, and what impact new revenue sources will have on editorial integrity.

The same questions are being raised about branded content practices (also called native advertising), in which publishers include sponsored content that is intended to look like editorial content. If you haven’t already seen it, check out John Oliver’s recent rant on native marketing, in which he states, “I like to think of news and advertising as the separation of guacamole and Twizzlers. Separately they’re good. But if you mix them together, somehow you make both of them really gross.”

The general public’s tolerance for a Twizzler-and-guacamole combo has yet to be established.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

Ads are Coming to Snapchat

Image source: online.wsj.com

Image source: online.wsj.com

We knew this day would come. According to the Wall Street Journal, Snapchat is preparing to launch advertisements as part of its “Snapchat Discovery” product. The new product, reportedly set to launch this November, would allow users to watch videos and read articles – while also showing them ads. This would be the first opportunity for brands to buy promotion within the app, though companies such as GrubHub already use the app for viral promotions and contests.

Snapchat is a 3-year-old startup that allows users to send each other messages and pictures that disappear in 10 seconds or less. comScore estimates that about 27 million people use the app on iPhones and Android phones, 50% of whom are aged 13 to 17. Snapchat’s CEO is an old man in comparison, at 24 years old.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

Trading Ice for Money: Why The Ice Bucket Challenge is Working

Steve Forbes completing the Ice Bucket Challenge

Steve Forbes completing the Ice Bucket Challenge

The following post was written by guest blogger James Colistra. Please read his bio after the post.

If you are on social media, by now you probably know all about the ice bucket challenge. Your Facebook and Instagram feeds are likely flooded with videos of people dumping ice water on themselves to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). At its core, the theory behind the ice bucket challenge seems flawed. Why douse yourself with ice instead of donating money? And why spend money on ice when you could give that money right to ALS?

The truth is, people ARE donating. Most people who dump the ice water donate at least $10, and some donate $100. Furthermore, those of us in the marketing sphere know that video views can lead to dollar signs. Donating $10 while influencing 50 people to do the same is greater than donating $100—it’s simple math. In the charity business, it’s not unheard of to spend money to make money. For example, charity dinners that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars can influence the guests to donate millions more.

Want proof that it’s working? According to The ALS Association, the cause has raised $1.35 million from July 29 to August 11 of this year. That doesn’t include donations to chapter offices around the country. During the same period last year, donations totaled just $22,000.

I’m curious how many videos were uploaded on Facebook last week, it has to be a record! What I love about the challenge the most, besides the fact that it’s raising money to fight a horrible disease, is that people who have never uploaded a “selfie” video before have come out of their comfort zone to do so. I’m looking forward to the look on my wife’s face when she tackles this challenge tonight – she has a few more hours to accept a friend’s nomination.

The desire to see your friends’ reactions to the freezing cold ice is exactly why this challenge works. It’s human nature to want to see other people embarrass themselves just a little bit, but dumping ice on your head is not too far over the line that people won’t do it.

While Slate has reported that the initial idea came from various celebrities and was not related to ALS, I give a lot of credit to Pete Frates for his courage and ingenuity in the face of this debilitating disease.

-Post by guest blogger James Colistra-

JamesJames Colistra is an Associate Director of Integrated Marketing at Forbes Media in New York City, where he works on developing integrated programs for advertisers. He previously worked at The Economist Group as a Marketing Manager. He is also the founder of Farmer Jim’s Ketchup. To contact him, please e-mail: james.colistra(at)gmail.com

Consumers Rank Brands with Most Positive Buzz

Image source: 2014 - Mid-Year Rankings: US Top Buzz

Image source: 2014 – Mid-Year Rankings: US Top Buzz

Amazon topped the list of brands with most positive buzz in the first half of 2014, according to a report from YouGov BrandIndex. The report utilized data from the Buzz Poll, which asks consumers about buzz heard or read about a brand in the last two weeks.

Some might find the continued reign of Amazon surprising given a few PR hiccups lately, related to its battle over e-book pricing with Hachette Book Group. But excitement over the expansion of Prime and introduction of the Fire phone seems to trump any negative buzz, according to consumers.

Subway comes in at #2 and YouTube is #3 on this list of brands with the most positive buzz. See who rounded out the top ten list here.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace

Google Exec Says Mobile-First is Not the Way to Go

Google Asia Pacific’s chief marketing officer Simon Kahn says integration, not mobile-first, should be the focus of marketing campaigns, according a recent article from Marketing-Interactive.com.

Image source: Marketing-Interactive.com

Image source: Marketing-Interactive.com

Kahn cautions that focusing too heavily on mobile channels alone would be a mistake. “Humans do multiple things. You are going to miss out if you just focus on one element. There are so many touch points in any given day where you have the opportunity to talk to consumers,” Kahn says.

One touch point to pay attention to is digital video, which Kahn predicts will be included in all major marketing campaigns within two years. He stresses the importance of integrating these digital video components with other marketing channels such as Out of Home, Print, TV, Social and Mobile.

Kahn argues there are more ways to measure success of digital campaigns versus TV, particularly through engagement metrics like the number of times a video has been re-shared or the types and number of comments on a video.

To read to the full article and Kahn’s tips for leveraging video in digital campaigns, click here.

Further reading:

-Posted by Elizabeth Pace