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Insights: The EGC Blog

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In an understatement, mobile advertising has become a dominant force. The world is not experiencing a mobile migration; it is experiencing a mass-mobile migration. And the conversion has been fast and extreme. What is interesting (and confounding) are different findings in the news as to how mobile is advancing in some ways, and changing in others.

A study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that mobile ad revenue surged 65% to $32 billion (globally) last year. These figures are listed in article in Marketing Interactive which also states that mobile display has even surpassed the use of search. Furthermore, customers are shifting more toward app-based messaging platforms (which are geared toward mobile users). Among the big money-makers of mobile advertising (which should come as no surprise) have been social media sites.

In Fortune Magazine, Matthew Ingram lists some very impressive statistics. Facebook reportedly earned over $3 billion dollars in advertising last year, and with their recent inclusion of auto-play ads, the site should hopefully have further success next year. Even Twitter, which a couple of months ago announced a major reorganization of its resources, did not do too badly, and this year is likely to further improve its fortunes with the recent introduction of its mobile ad network, along with video formats.

Social media sites “know” their users, and so they deliver mobile ads that they think their audience would appreciate. When one is on a social media site, they tend to be more receptive (or actually want) to see what mobile ads might appear before them. This is not true, however, for all sites…

It may be hard to believe, but some websites are actually hurting because of mobile. Mr. Ingram writes of the negative impact that mobile has had on news media sites (as one example). In findings conducted by Pew Research Center, while over 50% of users have visited many news sites via their mobile devices, they have not stayed as long due to poor optimization. These same users are also less likely to click on ads, thus contributing to the lack of revenue.

As if that were not enough of a problem, mobile ads are apparently more difficult to promote than web ads. Mr. Ingram goes on to cite Jack Marshall in The Wall Street Journal, who states: “Selling advertising on mobile devices is proving difficult: It is hard to show mobile users enough ads, traditional ad formats like ‘banners’ perform miserably, and publishers can’t easily do sophisticated tracking and targeting of ads.”

Mr. Marshall mentioned “tracking and targeting,” which brings us to another obstacle for mobile advertising, which are apps known as “content blockers,” soon to be featured in the next update to Apple® iOS. Yes, the “content” that this app will block includes advertising, tracking (a major supplement to tell how well ads are performing), and additional unwanted content. Owen Williams has actually tried some of these new apps, and he provides details about them in TNW News. The advantages for mobile users is that they will not be inconvenienced by ads they may not want to see in the first place, and, the blockers will help enable speed of download times and improves cellular connection.

This latest development puts a real question mark on mobile advertising. Will content blocking hurt the great financial results that social media has gleaned from mobile advertising? Will those sites that already have difficulty in managing their mobile presence become obsolete? While it is too early to tell, developers and marketers alike will no doubt be monitoring ad performance and return even more closely than when they began their mobile campaigns.

Here is a very pertinent quote that was included from the Marketing Interactive article from Townsend Feehan, the CEO of IAB: “It’s important that advertisers, agencies and publishers fully understand consumer behavior as the differences between the devices diminish and the potential for engagement with digital content grows.”

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In the last couple of months, there were mixed predictions about where the future of long-form content in marketing and advertising was going. To quote – appropriately enough, a famous writer – Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

Pessimists were declaring the role of the writer as all but obsolete on account of recent technology that could generate short, attention-getting copy quickly and efficiently. Optimists heralded the emerging power of “native advertising” which requires (no, demands) the talents of living and breathing writers to craft and refine long form content.

The reality, of course, is that no one can predict the future. This is particularly true in the world of advertising and marketing. The advances in technology, combined with consumer tastes, changing trends, and preferred methods of gathering information, browsing, and making a purchase – invalidate almost any kind of guessing as to what will definitely work (and what will not). But for now, there is good news for those who write and those who read…

Long-form content is alive and well, has a healthy future ahead, and will remain a major part of advertising and marketing. In an article for “Content Standard by Skyword,” Krystal Overmyer writes why long-form content is beneficial to brands:

In the age of seconds-long attention spans, many marketers have clung to the mantra that shorter is better. But it turns out users are happy to engage with long-form content, even on mobile devices. The apparent appetite for long-form content presents an opportunity for brands: With long-form, companies have more space to tell their stories and boost brand awareness.

Additionally, Ms. Overmyer goes on to state that long-form content has a better chance of earning a higher positioning in search engines and social media. (In the short, to-the-point messaging that we’ve grown accustomed to, we tend to forget the obvious: more content means more keywords, which in turn, means more chances of appearing in a web search.) A particularly surprising conclusion is that people who use their mobile devices much of the time are actually more receptive to reading long-form content than one might think. Ms. Overmyer cites statistics from an article that appeared on Buzzfeed, entitled “Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500,” where half of the one million views were from mobile devices. This content had to do with editorial. What about paid content?

While there is freedom and opportunity for long-form content, keep in mind that when it comes to writing copy for advertising and marketing (paid content), there are definite rules and guidelines that must be adhered to. Native advertising becomes the gateway to promoting content. VentureBeat recently listed some best practices to apply when it comes to making native advertising more appealing (read: attention-getting) to those who get their content via mobile. Native ads must be real, clear and valuable. They must be tested. And, another thing to keep in mind is to think like a mobile user when creating a native ad. The article at VentureBeat gave a perfect explanation of how this partnering of native advertising and content should work:

By definition, mobile native ads blend in with the natural experience of the app they appear in. Native ads drive deeper engagement, so brands prefer them. And because they are more subtle and less obvious than conventional banner ads, native gives users the opportunity to discover ads more naturally.

As a closing example to the staying power of long-form content, Kerry Flynn, for “International Business Times,” reported on a recent announcement from Facebook. The ever-expanding, ever-change social media platform is in plans to update its “Notes” feature as well as a redesign of its blog layout – for the express purpose of accommodating long-form content. And while these updates are geared for desktop users, it is still indicative of the fact that long-form content is growing and evolving, regardless of what device users choose to read from.

So, the next time you want to find out some in-depth data about a product, service or brand (that can be represented by native advertising), or wish to simply curl up and read a good blog or lengthy article, there is no shortage of content to read.

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Over the course of the last couple of months, there have been major changes in the fortunes of several well-known social media sites. The extreme highs and lows experienced by these platforms have had a sense of drama and intrigue that are almost worthy of a Netflix television series…

At the end of June, Twitter announced a major overhaul that entailed everything from new management to reorganizing and reworking the platform for the purpose of accommodating its audience (not to mention the hope of gaining more followers).

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Google all but admitted defeat in having tried to take a place as a leading social media presence when it could no longer be denied that Google+ proved to be – literally – losing. These losses included some signature features (such as Google Photos), as well as popularity (which, unfortunately, never matched that of the other contenders to begin with).

On the opposite end of this spectrum, there is Facebook, which could be considered to have the Midas touch among social media platforms. For example, whereas Google+ experienced a lack of success with Google Photos, the Facebook-owned Instagram is still going strong. On the other hand, the jury is still out in regard to Facebook as a challenge to YouTube in the world of online video streaming and marketing. But even if Facebook does not manage to equal or overcome YouTube, it is still a very strong and sound social media site.

And the greatest strength and savvy that Facebook has recently displayed has been in the field of advertising. In mid-July, Facebook stated that the purpose of their proposed Click to Website ads were to help brands and businesses (that have a Facebook Page, of course) attract more traffic to their native site by way of clicking on a specially designed ad. And, this type of feature is indeed paying off for both the brands and Facebook…

Forrester Research, the technology and research company, recently conducted a study entitled, “It’s Time to Separate Social from Media.” As advertising via social media has gained traction and power, this title could not be truer, with the emphasis moving away from “social” and more toward “media.” Tim Maytom of Mobile Marketing, who covered the Forrester Research report, made note of one of their considerations that: “…any social media ad spending should be governed by a company’s media team, rather than its social team, representing a shift in how central social media is to digital marketing.”

And how does the above conclusion tie in with Facebook? The Wall Street Journal also reported on this Forrester Research study. In an article by Jack Marshall, when it comes to numbers and results – 78% of social marketers consider Facebook as the social media site that provides the best value. This social media platform has received high praise and has also attracted more advertisers than Twitter (66%), YouTube (65%), and LinkedIn (68%). (The significance of these finding cannot be undervalued, as paid advertising currently accounts for 83% of social spending by marketers. And 82% of these social marketers spend money for ads on Facebook.)

The advertising possibilities offered by Facebook are only increasing. Forbes reporter Kathleen Chaykowski has just written of how auto-play ads are now being integrated into the mobile ad network on Facebook. As Ms. Chaykowski writes: “The move gives Facebook the chance to sell more video ads to marketers without upsetting Facebook users by putting more ads on its own apps.” So – advertisers get exposure, Facebook users are not inconvenienced, and Facebook itself gains popularity, revenue, and additional business by keeping everybody happy.

Whether or not Facebook is one’s social media network of choice, there’s no denying that this platform knows what it is doing when it comes to advertising.

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Going to the movies may become a lost pastime, and for a number of people, it has.

Part of this can be attributed to the advances in technology, with widescreen TVs and DVD and BluRay players that are more affordable in today’s market. Another factor is price. The average price of a single movie ticket is over $10.00, with food and beverages at the concession stands increasing this cost.

What does this mean to the relationship between movies and advertising? Some have already declared product placements in films a dying advertising tool for brands. Are local ads that run on the big screen before the show starts – once considered a dynamic ad option for small businesses – thus on the way out too?

All of the factors listed above tie into what may be the bigger problem, which are the changing attitudes of what people want or expect in entertainment. What follows is a comparison of how going to the movies has changed – between once upon a time and today. And much of it has to do with attitudes

Earlier this year, a website posted in its introduction: “Boredom is terrible. Thankfully we live in an age that allows us to watch free movies on Android devices with ease.” Yes. This website sold apps by which people could watch movies on their smartphones. It seems that history is repeating itself. People can now watch movies on a screen that is similar in size to the Pilot Model TV-37 “Candid” Television, an early television model from 1948, which had a viewing area of three (count ‘em, three) inches.

shutterstock_162916022In an age where widescreen features are filmed (a number of which are in the even bigger and wider IMAX format) with the goal of filling a movie theater screen with as much imagery as possible, consumers can watch the same movie (shortly after its theatrical release) on their smartphones. The fact that all of that onscreen richness and depth will be microscopic in size is beside the point. The real value is the convenience and capability to watch movies in miniature. Oh, and by watching movie in this manner, boredom (which has become the worst fate imaginable) is eliminated.

Smartphones are wonderful things. Telephone calls, emails, GPS capability, and more can be carried out quickly and conveniently. But to watch movies on? A time and a place for everything, and movies-by-smartphone have also changed what the movie experience is all about (or is supposed to be about).

For members of “the Greatest Generation” and their off-spring that are “the Baby Boomers,” going to the movies “back in the day” was an experience that has drastically changed. If a movie was popular, lines would form and wind all the way around the block. Once the tickets were bought, there was a sense of anticipation, sitting in the auditorium. The lights would slowly dim to dark, and the feature would begin. People may not have been conscious of it, but this buildup intensified the movie-going experience and made it more enjoyable. Movies were meant to be seen, preferably from beginning to end.

In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock famously insisted that no one would be permitted into the theater after the start of his classic film, “Psycho.” This marketing tactic enhanced the movie-going public’s curiosity, whetting their appetites for what this fuss was all about – and their enjoyment of the film was better for it. If people were late, they had to wait until the next show. (Yes, they had to be – gulp! – bored for the next two hours!) Unfortunately, a film like “Psycho” could not be made today, because without question, all of the secret twists and turns would have been tweeted or shared to the social media world within seconds after the premiere performance. So much for anticipation and curiosity. Again, attitudes have changed. On a related point, another minus to movie going today is being distracted by the all too many smartphone screens that make movie auditoriums look like a firefly convention.

A couple of weeks ago, “TIME” Magazine reprinted an article from a Chicago-based publication, “Consequence of Sound,” by Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, which was about the imminent change that may well alter the movie-going experience (as it used to be known) forever. One example of this change in attitude is that movies are considered products for “consumption,” as opposed to experience to be seen and (hopefully) enjoyed. Paramount Pictures reached a deal with AMC Pictures and Canada’s Cineplex Inc., whereby a couple of test project movies would be released to video on-demand services 50 days after their respective theatrical releases.

This “experiment” is being carried out due to a shortage of people who fill up auditoriums. Apparently, the box office returns in 2014 were the lowest in the past 20 years. As stated above, the cost of going to the movies is great, and many people can understandably wish to wait for the video release (be it DVD, BluRay or streaming). And it is perhaps understandable that Paramount is resorting to this method of distribution, and many other studios may follow suit.

shutterstock_206384146On a side note, it is ironic that the Academy Awards are still a big deal when the excitement of going to the movies has waned.

And as the change to movie making and watching has impacted advertising, a similar trend might well follow suit with video production and distribution. While traditional video content mediums are changing, with the focus on streaming services and video becoming a big content player on social media, how brands advertise in video/film is inevitably changing as well.

Is the future of sitting in a crowded movie theater obsolete? Maybe not. If anything, those who truly enjoy the communal experience of seeing a movie will become a specialized group, similar to those who enjoy the opera and ballet. To illustrate this point, Lincoln Center just finished a featured event: “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton.” Years ago (i.e., before smartphone movie watching), this kind of an event would not have been likely to take place, if in fact even thought of.

Whatever the future holds for movie watching, there is no question that the experience has become compartmentalized, as some will actually go out to a theatre while others will rent, stream (or even choose to watch on a smartphone…hey, it’s a free country). In any case, the times have changed.

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Google+, a social media site that has seen some varied success since it began, has been going through some dark times recently. As with all social media sites, the purpose of Google+ was for users to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The familiar logo of the lowercase letter “g” with a “+” sign next to it is still featured next to the icons for Facebook and Twitter on many different websites to invite visitors to “follow” that site’s Google+ page. The question of late, however, is how long and how frequently will that logo be included with those of Facebook and Twitter?

A recent article in “Business Insider” actually claims that the search engine Google “threw in the towel with Google+” (in the title, it should be noted) but that difficulties regarding related social media issues will remain. The most successful time for Google (not Google+ keep in mind), was when searches were done via desktop. With the advent of mobile, Google’s strength has slowed down. While Google is still in the lead as far as earning more in the way of mobile advertising, research by Morgan Stanley predicts that Facebook will in time win out.

The list of recent – and many – changes (or rather, losses) continues. “Google Photos” have been moved out of the service (so if you have any on Google+, be sure you have backups). According to “Tech Crunch” Google is also separating Google+ profiles from regular Google accounts. The (very good) intention of this was to make communicating and working with all other Google services easier and convenient (a sort of “one-profile-fits-all-for-everything-Google”). Unfortunately, there were not enough Google+ users who “clicked” with this concept. The most prominent site that is parting ways with Google+ over this is YouTube. Again, the good intention of having identifiable user profiles was that this would cut down on offensive content posted by trolls and malicious users. (For the actual video report from Sarah Lane of “Tech Crunch: Crunch Report,” click here. The time frame for this section is 2:54-3:50.)

Finally, Google itself has weighed in with a verdict of its offshoot social media site as being confusing to users, as reported by NBC News. "This was a well-intentioned goal, but as realized it led to some product experiences that users sometimes found confusing," claimed Bradley Horowitz, who took charge of Google+ a few months ago. (One can’t get over the irony that the purpose of trying to have everything streamlined so that a registered user of Google+ could easily access the social media site and all other Google pages should be met with confusion.)

So what does the future hold for Google+? Is there a future for Google+? Jillian D’Onfro wrote in “Business Insider” that perhaps Google should cover the losses incurred by Google+ by spending money on acquiring (or partnering) with one of the other social media sites, such as Twitter –

“Early Twitter investor Chris Sacca said that Google never understood social and that it would be an "instant fit." Google would finally have a social product, get a new ad-stream, and have access to a different kind of real-time search relevancy.

This past Monday, Mr. Horowitz posted to the Google Official Blog, where he detailed the changes that were going to happen for Google+ over the course of the near future. Overall, he claims that many features will stay the same, but without being under the “Google+” umbrella. For those who use this as their social media of choice, here’s hoping that these features can still be salvaged, along with the site that may in time be referred to as the “formerly-known-as-Google+” platform.

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Brands have ever more options for platforms upon which to share videos with Facebook (which is looking to compete with YouTube), Vine, Periscope, Meerkat, etc. And now brands have a growing number of sources for video content. GoPro recently announced the launch of its premium licensing portal.

“The portal is unique in that it offers high production value content, all accessible from one source,” Go Pro announced. “It also eliminates the pain points creative professionals have when sourcing content by helping them clear copyrights and likeness rights, easy access to creators’ content and organized, efficient, time-saving tools to search, download and preview content to license for use in advertising, news and other media and entertainment.”

What does this mean for advertisers?

Content production can be expensive and logistically complicated. An option to purchase quality, engaging video could appeal to creative directors and brand managers alike.

Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, Pond5, BBC Motion Gallery and Getty Images are among mainstays of stock video. Do advertisers really need a new source of video content?

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GoPro has become the camera of choice for amateurs and professionals, capturing action from below the sea to soaring above the clouds. In addition to its series of high-definition “HERO” cameras, the company also sells a series of mounts, such as a 3-Way Mount, Dog Harness, Surfing mount, Chest Harness and Suction Cup, making the cameras wearable and easy to set up for capturing action as its happening.

With thousands of GoPro videos from around the world shared daily across social networks, and video that is shot on GoPro going viral regularly, as Archie Bland of The Guardian wrote last fall, “Like Google or Xerox, ‘GoPro’ is one of those branded proper nouns that has been so successful that it has become a verb. “ What sets GoPro videos apart is the authenticity of the moment and the ability to get shots from perspectives that were previously only possible with big budget shoots and special equipment.

As Bland observes, “That’s how virality, and GoPros, function: no amount of editing can be as powerful as a glimpse of something out of the ordinary, and no camera is more likely to catch that glimpse than one that keeps rolling…”

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Facebook has had their sights set on pushing out a video platform for a little over a year now, and they recently took an aggressive step in that direction with the announcement of plans of revenue-sharing for their online video platform (which seems to have a lot of similarities to YouTube’s revenue-sharing with content developers).

Why Should You Care?

Facebook is not taking over YouTube in the video realm any time soon, but it might very well become a major contender…eventually. Last week, Facebook announced they would begin testing a new revenue-sharing model, giving a cut of ad revenue to video creators. The model is very similar to YouTube. The difference, however, is that video producers on Facebook are expected to get a smaller cut – after Facebook takes their share of the money. Along with this announcement come a lot of challenges that lie ahead if Facebook wants to become an online video powerhouse.

No Adam2Original Content? Content is King!

Websites like YouTube and Vimeo are already very well-established in terms of consistent and original content. YouTube has a vast and tight-knit community known for its beauty tutorials, gaming and vlog personalities – which are just the tip of the iceberg. You can pretty much find anything you are looking for on YouTube. What is Facebook going to offer that is different?

Facebook needs to get their hands on original content and online personalities, which is going to be very challenging. It may in fact take years to curate a community to rival YouTube’s. Facebook should be taking notes from other successful online video platforms that are churning out exclusive or original content that have people coming back for more, à la Netflix or Hulu.

One major advantage that Facebook has is that YouTube brings in an estimated 1 billion unique monthly visitors to their site, while Facebook brings in a whopping 1.44 billion unique monthly users. That is nothing to sneeze at.

Facebook Road Blocks

The claim is that it is “committed to making Facebook the best place to share, discover and watch videos.” As Facebook currently stands to share video, you can only share that video via your Facebook timeline/newsfeed – which is very inconvenient and inefficient, as most of us don’t exclusively use Facebook from a user standpoint. With no search feature and many different privacy settings, it’s pretty hard to discover new content on Facebook – unless it is content that Facebook/advertisers feel you might be interested in.

YouTube vs. Facebook

Adam3YouTube and Facebook video are two different beasts. Maybe both can live in harmony. YouTube’s major advantage is that it allows you to search for any video that your heart desires (along with billions of original videos), while Facebook has more users and the ability to deliver valuable content to the right people at the right time. As an advertiser, I’d rather use Facebook videos with clients because their targeting system is far more specific than what YouTube has to offer.

It is still very early to tell how Facebook videos will turn out, since they are still in their testing phases. I personally think Facebook is a little late to the video party, as younger audiences are continuing to move on to other and newer social media platforms. It is good for business, however, and as a result, these video websites are forced to put out a better product for their consumers and advertisers – making us all happy.

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Clicks to Website ads aim to drive consumers from Facebook to e-commerce sites, landing pages (to download content, sign up for newsletters and “Learn More”), or to product catalogs and places where they will get to know the brand. Advertisers are looking to drive conversions, turning interest on social into action.

While brands enjoy the added engagement their Clicks to Website ads generate, the goal is web traffic. Currently, Facebook charges a cost-per-click, which includes both clicks on links and engagement on posts (such as Likes, shares and comments).

According to the “Facebook for Business” blog
“We’re updating CPC to only account for what we call ‘link clicks’ - i.e., the clicks related to certain ad objectives:

  • Clicks to visit another website
  • Call-to-action clicks that go to another website (i.e., ‘Shop Now’)
  • Clicks to install an app
  • Clicks to Facebook canvas apps
  • Clicks to view a video on another website”

“Facebook for Business” goes on to explain: “Over the last few years, Facebook’s ad offerings have become increasingly tailored to helping advertisers meet specific business objectives. This update is part of that effort: it’s designed to provide measurement that’s more closely aligned with how advertisers are bidding so they can better optimize their campaigns against their stated goals.”

Not paying for engagement (if that’s not the primary goal of an ad) may be good news for brands. But as Ad Age explains, this may not lead to overall savings:

“Facebook’s technology tried to aim the ads at anyone who might click on it, whether they click on the social links or ad links. But under the new pricing structure, Facebook’s technology will try to aim the ads only at people likely to click on the ad links. Those people may be harder to come by, and that scarcity drives up pricing because Facebook’s taking a risk each time it shows one of these click-based ads.”

While these harder to find users who will click on the link may cost more to reach, finding the right audience is important in delivering ROI on social ads. And advertisers will have the option to continue operating on CPC for link clicks and engagement if they choose.

What this means for brands is more options. Ads will be more targeted to users most likely to take the desired action and more likely to develop a relationship with the brand.

More information on the specifics of how this will be implemented is on the way from Facebook. And for those interested in more of the tech details behind the change, Facebook suggests checking out its “Developers” blog

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Is Twitter hatching some new developments to attract more users and advertisers?

hatching_TwitterRecently, the Insights: EGC Blog featured news surrounding the latest happenings for Twitter, wherein one of its main investors, Chris Sacca, posted what the future of this social media platform would be, could be, and should be in a lengthy blog (8,500 words, to be exact) in what we termed a “Twitterfesto.”

Then, on June 14th, Alex Osborn reported in IGN that Twitter would from this point on be very (accent on ‘very’) accommodating to its audience by expanding the standard character count for direct messages. The standard limit up until now has been 140 characters.

At some point this July, the new limit will be expanded to 10,000. (Let’s place another accent on ‘expanded.’) Keep in mind – this new character count only applies to direct messages; for the public side of Twitter – 140 is still the maximum allowance. But this change, which is particularly extreme, may be evident of further changes that are in store for Twitter.

The announcement goes on to state that there is “much more exciting work on the horizon.” With this latest change to direct messaging, one can only imagine what these changes might be. (Read the full Twitter announcement here.)

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, stated: “We have things rolling out this fall that I am over the moon about and can't wait for people to see." This is an ironic statement from a VIP who will be voluntarily stepping down on July 1st. According to ABC News, this decision was the result of a drop in financial performance and stock value. Finance site The Motley Fool recently reported that Twitter stock is down by more than 35%. Regardless of the reason, it is further evidence of the revolution that is taking place at Twitter.

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Interestingly (and also on June 14th, when Mr. Osborn’s article appeared), ABC3340.com uploaded an Associated Press commentary on the relevance of Twitter, questioning if it could continue to compete among social media platforms. Technical writer Barbara Ortutay and Brandon Bailey wrote: “Facebook has grown into an Internet powerhouse, while Twitter in many aspects remains a niche social network, unable to convince the masses that they need its service to keep up with what's happening in the world. Lots of people sign up but not a lot stick around.”

The essay went on to list some additional problems that Twitter needed to address. These included attracting more users (of which there are approximately 302 million, compared to 800 million on the Facebook app, WhatsApp), making it easier to use, dealing with trolls (but seriously, what interactive website does NOT have a troll problem?), and its advertising strengths, among other issues.

The above scenario is nothing new. An ordinarily promising and prosperous company experiences a reversal of fortune and must change in any and every way, small and dramatic, in order to survive (and hopefully thrive).

After all, look at Apple®, the technology powerhouse that at one time in the early 1980s had the impressive credit of having a commercial (or “film” as Steve Jobs referred to it) broadcast during the Super Bowl. Even this giant took a fall, and stayed down for most of the 1990s – reorganizing, reshaping, and revolutionizing its products and business tactics. Regardless of whether one loves or hates Apple® products, there is no denying how that brand came back into power – with a vengeance.

This Wednesday, July 1st, is the date that the revolution to save Twitter will be symbolized by the passing of the mantle from Dick Costolo to interim CEO Jack Dorsey. Jose Costa of The Huffington Post recently posted the question of whether or not interim Dorsey will be able to bring Twitter back up to speed in a similar way that Jobs did for Apple®. (Whether it was by design or coincidence, it is noteworthy that this will take place only a few days before Independence Day.)

The word “revolution” has been used several times in this article. Perhaps “revitalize” is the word that would best describe Twitter’s latest efforts. Yes, tweet and retweet that word: “revitalize.”

 

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We had the pleasure of attending the VentureBeat Mobile Advertising Road Show at the NASDAQ building in Times Square. Industry professionals came together to talk about just how big mobile truly is, and how it can be leveraged for successful advertising campaigns.

Mobilegeddon (hyperlink to Jared blog), mobile growth, and mobile web design. We’ve moved beyond the digital age (and even the post-digital age) to the Mobile Mania age. Is it exaggerated hype or is there really compelling data to prove that mobile is more than just the latest fad?

We love this slide John Koetsier of VentureBeat's research team presented from Socialbakers' data:

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Socialbakers, an analytics firm, has found that mobile advertising not only outperforms desktop ads, but stands head and shoulders above other non-mobile ads. These findings align with the dramatic divide between mobile and non-mobile ads that we have witnessed at EGC

Not only does mobile achieve better results, it's more cost effective:

CPC_SocialbakersVideo is also an ever-increasing vital part of an effective mobile strategy. From YouTube to Periscope, video is everywhere. Facebook is now surpassing YouTube in views, thus demonstrating the combined power of video and the world’s biggest social platform and digital advertising tool. 

Video_SocialbakersPanelists from AOL, Harman, Verge and MRY discussed their own tactics with VentureBeat’s Barry Levine. To effectively utilize mobile, it’s time to rethink our approach to the way we create video. 

 

It’s critical to focus not only on format, but on how people experience video. Panelists agreed that most viewers only stay with a video for about 15 seconds. It is therefore vital to make those first few seconds truly attention-grabbing to hold people’s interest. (And viewers are often watching with the sound off.) 

 

As noted by Sean Kapoor from Harman, at the end of the day, we must remember that creative is still creative. The principles of quality remain essentially the same across all mediums.

 

So what do brands need to know? First, ensure your site is mobile-ready. Perform A/B test ads and think about them in terms of a holistic campaign. Be open to trying new things, experimenting with ways to integrate video, share inbound marketing and creating native ads. And ask yourself – what kind of ads are you yourself most likely to click on?

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