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Insights: The EGC Blog

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On Tuesday, May 24th, Twitter officially announced that they would be making updates with their 140 character limit. Twitter stated: “In the coming months we’ll make changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer ‘use up’ valuable characters.”

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Here is what’s changing

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet or tagging someone, @usernames will no longer count towards the 140-character count. You can also say goodbye to the .@username tactic that would allow your reply tweets to be broadcast to all of your followers.
  • Media Attachments: Photos, GIFs, videos, polls or quote tweets are now considered attachments to your tweet and will no longer count towards your 140 character limit.
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet Yourself: You are now able to retweet yourself. (This will be great for resharing posts you’ve made in the past.)

Here is what isn’t changing

  • Links: As far as the sharing of links goes, they will still count as 24 characters towards your tweet of 140 characters.

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When comparing Twitter to other social networks such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, it’s almost as if Twitter is too scary and hard to use for the average user. New user growth and direct response advertising growth on Twitter have been sluggish the past few years. This new update is Twitter’s latest attempt to revamp their platform and usability, with the goal of appealing to new users.

This update can only help the platform. As most Twitter users and marketers want to talk to each other and their customers, the 140 character limit is what makes Twitter...well, Twitter. But why limit the people who are trying to communicate on your platform? If the Internet and social media has taught us anything, it is that people love to share photos/videos. This new update gives people more options and feels less restricting whenever they choose to use Twitter.

AC3.jpgFrom my own standpoint as a marketer, this latest update is like music to my ears. Trying to get a brand’s point across in 140 characters is hard enough. Also, we no longer have to worry about attaching a photo – which would normally take up 24 characters.

This update will give our social media team more flexibility when writing content for brands. Twitter is definitely headed in the right direction by giving its faithful community what they want by allowing users to get the most from their tweets. In addition to this update, Twitter recently introduced ‘Moments’ and has even more plans for 2016: “We’re exploring ways to make existing users easier and enable new ones, all without compromising the unique brevity and speed that make Twitter the best place for live commentary, connections and conversation.”

 

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cropped-2.jpgThere are two frequent questions that are asked when trying to make the most of any (if not every) digital campaign. One is: “How strong is the quality of the content in the marketing?” The other is: “Is the SEO working as efficiently as possible?” The truth is – both questions deserve equal time and attention.

EGC's Search Marketing Manager Evan Calafates comments, “I always find it funny when I read an article ‘SEO is Dead’ when there’s more than 3 billion searches a day on Google alone. SEO is very much alive and still heavily reliant on the content. The key points to keep in mind would have to be to find the opportunities, or if you’re refreshing content of an existing page, to not hinder any successes you have organically for that page. Keeping these two areas in mind and allowing the writer to do what they do best, and write great content for the USER will set you up for success in organic search.”

Content Strategist & Developer at EGC Group, Amy Edel-Vaughn, adds, "It's critical for brands to have a solid strategy. Inbound content, such as blogs and guides, need to work in concert with outbound content, such as paid social. And SEO must be part of content planning from the beginning. Here at EGC, Evan and I work together to build content plans, and also include the Creative team from the beginning of development. We need to move beyond the days of silos and work together to create the best possible holistic plan for our clients."

Indeed, every facet of a digital strategy deserves as much detail and care as possible. With so many competitors who are posting and promoting just as many campaigns to attract and convert customers, it would seem obvious that content marketing and SEO would get the same degree of curation – and ideally – complement one another (if not be combined). Ironically, that is not the case a lot of the time.

A recent article appeared on MemBurn, entitled Need Proof That Content Marketing is the Future? Here It Is by Bianca Delport, who states up front that when it comes to the importance of content marketing over SEO (or vice versa): “The truth is that this argument is completely null and void. Why? Because the only way in which to really maximise one’s digital marketing results is to incorporate aspects of both disciplines into one’s marketing strategy.” 

Ms. Delport’s case for acknowledging and accelerating the use of content marketing is based on several developments that have taken place over the last several years. The first was the update to Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, where content was emphasized over keywords. Another variable concerns the increased demand for mobile-friendly accessibility; or rather, the potential for a website to still receive high rankings in Google – providing that the pages have high quality content – regardless of whether or not it has a corresponding mobile site. (And with the “everything mobile” mood of today, that conclusion says something.)

The final factor that Ms. Delport highlights is the emergence of Google featured “snippets,” which provide quick and to-the-point answers to any number or types of questions a user might type into (read “as”) in the Google search engine. If a “snippet” has the best content, it will appear higher in a search result – even if its corresponding website is not in the number one spot.

(One cautionary note on “snippets” and related Google’s Quick Answers to keep in mind is that information is not always accurate or verified. An article in The Record points out: “Unfortunately, as long as Google has a commercial interest in appearing omniscient, it probably won't work to improve knowledge panel transparency.”) So there are pros and cons to “snippets.” The pros are that answers to random questions can be found quickly. The cons are that there are no guarantees that the information is correct (depending on the subject and complexity of the question).

Whereas the tone of Bianca Delport’s article focuses more on content marketing, Aaron Agius, writing for Business 2 Community, counters this: “Even if content marketing is your main strategy, there are some SEO essentials all businesses need to take advantage of.” Mr. Agius goes on to report that a number of companies (some of which are classified as Fortune 500), have neglected best practices when it comes to SEO.

Missing keywords in home page titles, failure to include meta descriptions, and not properly naming images via keywords separated by dashes are among the weaknesses in the SEO presence of these companies. Mr. Agius makes the following point: This is bad for SEO, but it also reduces content marketing effectiveness by creating a bad user experience.

So, it has been established that content marketing and SEO must work in unison. A third question (joining the two at the top of this blog) emerges, which is: “Where is the balance between SEO and content marketing?” When it comes to SEO, Mr. Agius advises to fix broken links and always adhere to Google’s best practices. In conjunction with this, content marketing tasks to maintain include creating buyer personas, identifying campaign objectives, mapping content, and developing a promotional strategy.

And, maybe it is coincidence or a natural connection, but there are practices where SEO and content marketing actually overlap. These include researching keywords, applying meta descriptions, and measuring and adjusting SEO analytics along with campaign results whenever necessary.

Effective integration of content marketing and SEO, Mr. Agius believes, can be accomplished through learning about an audience via search, using search engines as a content marketing channel, and applying content creation strategies to improve SEO. (Once again, note the connection of how each strategy is supplemental and beneficial to the other.)

Content marketing and SEO…to quote a lyric from the song once sung by Frank Sinatra…”you can’t have one without the other.”

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shutterstock_374936662.jpgBig data,” those collections of information that are so epic, they must be processed and analyzed by computers, has been the topic of a number of articles lately. It is no secret of the benefits and value that big data has brought to the marketing world. Here are a few topics to know about and to consider if you choose to use big data in your company.

Louis Columbus, writing for Forbes, claims that big data is quickly revolutionizing marketing and sales, and that customer analytics, operational analytics, and fraud and compliance “…are among the most popular big data use cases in sales and marketing.” Additionally, results show that customer value analytics (CVA) that utilize big data has apparently enabled marketers to improve omnichannel customer experience across every channel.

And, it has kept up-to-date with technology, specifically, the cloud. Mr. Columbus continues: “For cloud-based enterprise software companies, big data provides insights into how to lower the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), and manage many other customer-driven metrics essential to running a cloud-based business.” Big data has therefore proven to be beneficial beyond the wildest dreams of marketers everywhere. Big data is good for business.

The irony or flipside to big data is that with so much information – it can be difficult (not to mention overwhelming) to make sense of this system. As reported in a recent article in eMarketer, advisory and risk management firms DNV GL and Gfk Eurisko conducted a study and found that many organizations have trouble fully understanding big data and how they can most effectively apply it to their goals.

Almost half of the respondents claimed to have taken only one action, and this mainly involved either enhancing information management or integrating new big data technologies. Some respondents admitted to not having taken any action at all due to their difficulty in grasping what big data is and how to use it.

As with everything, begin with a foundation. Ron Bodkin, President and Founder of Teradata Company Think Big, stated in an article for Inside Big Data: “Avoid technology discussions first-out and instead look deep inside the heart of your business. Start with which questions you want to ask about your business and then take a realistic look at which answers you would be prepared to turn into operational action in the near term. Think about intelligence you’d like to automate in areas such as recommendations, personalization, or predictive maintenance.”

Additional insight may be gleaned from a talk that took place earlier this week at the Apache: Big Data North America conference. Data scientist Amy Gaskins pointed out five required criteria to keep in mind in creating big data projects. As Thor Olavsrud reported for CIO, these requirements are: buy-in (everyone, from senior management to every other department, must be on board); urgency (can a business be hurt by not taking action that involves big data); transparency (in connection to the “buy-in” point, everyone on the inside and outside of the organization must know about the big data project); involving non-data science subject matter experts (SMEs) (feedback from specialists in a given field can help in the understanding of what the data is saying, and also provide a bridge between the business and IT divisions); psychological safety (again, tying in with “buy-in and “transparency,” everyone involved must trust one another).

So yes, big data is the wave of the informational future. But don’t simply have a system put in place. Know why you are using and how it can ultimately benefit you and your business.

Follow this advice from Mr. Bodkin: “Say no until you see clear business value for your organization that requires a given technology. Saying no may not be popular, but it is essential to focusing on the core mission of your business and charting a path to success.”

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On the same day earlier this week, when headlines proclaimed, “Twitter Just Collapsed to an All-Time Low,” as its stock fell to its lowest rate since its IPO launched in November 2013, Twitter announced its new “Connect” tab. While the ability to access contacts from your phone and the network served recommendations of other users to follow already existed, the hope is that this new tab will make it even easier for people to connect and get social on Twitter.

Twitter has struggled to gain new users as well as entice those who have created accounts to use them. Of the 1.3 billion accounts that existed as of August of 2015, as of April 2016, only 310 million were considered active users. In February 2016, Business Insider reported the number of tweets sent per day had fallen more than 50%.

 In June of 2015, one of the platform’s major investors, Chris Sacca, said the platform can feel “lonely.” He shared an 8,500-word blog on his thoughts about Instagram’s successful model and ways to ensure tweeting won’t feel “so scary.” What the “Connect” tab aims to do is create a friendlier environment where users can find friends and people that share the kind of content they like.

To help users find friends more easily, they’ll be able to sync their address book to the app. Recommendations will grow smarter about users as it tracks activity to make better suggestions.

Additionally, as “Twitter Support” tweeted yesterday:

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Twitter explained in its blog that it is improving how it will serve content to users, grouping the most popular tweets from people you follow. Similar to the “while you were away” feature in mobile, serving content it believes you’ll like (based on your activity and the actions of your connections), this will bring them together, rather than leaving these suggestions scattered throughout your feed.

The groupings creates a more organized look and feel, which could help address calls to make the experience on Twitter feel cleaner, less overwhelming and friendlier. As VentureBeat reporter Ken Yeung notes, this and other new features, like Connect, need to help Twitter “…prove itself not only to new users, but also to existing ones who may question why they’re on Twitter instead of being dedicated to Facebook.”

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In the ongoing race between social media platforms, the focus has included the triumphs of Facebook (and its offshoot site, Instagram), the teetering fortunes of Twitter, the decline of Google+ and the novelty of Pinterest. There is one other social site that (until recently), has not received as much press. That site is Snapchat. And if online video is part of your marketing plan, pay special attention.

Over the last couple of years, there has been a steady increase in questions asked and conclusions drawn as to how viable Snapchat is as a marketing tool. One distinguishing feature of Snapchat is that content eventually disappears from the mobile device (accounting for ghost icon as a logo).  How then, can a brand’s image be effective if it is not even going to remain once downloaded? Isn’t the risk of “out of sight, out of mind” a possibility, which would make advertising on Snapchat futile? Not necessarily.

As was discussed in Insights , over one year ago:
Snapchat is an app that is downloadable on Android and iOS 7, allowing “friends” to share “Snaps,” or pieces of content in video or image form that they can manipulate. Once the recipient retrieves the snap and that piece of content is viewed, it will be deleted and no longer accessible. A user (or a brand) can, however, create a “Snapchat Story” that allows all followers to access this snap or piece of content for 24 hours.

So, this progression is similar to any online advertising formula: if a person notices an ad, finds it interesting, and wants to find out more about the brand being promoted, they will click on the ad. If they find the ad message memorable, and they first saw it on Snapchat, they will search online in another site to learn more.

If Snapchat’s presence in relation to advertising has been somewhat eclipsed or in the background, it recently came to the forefront, and is now very visible. Yes, very visible.

Tiernan Ray, writing for the ‘Tech Trader Daily’ section of BARRON’s, covered the views of Robert Peck, managing director of leading corporate and investment bank SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, who compiled a 39-page report that emphasized how marketers must sit up and take notice of Snapchat, as it is emerging as a genuine competitor to other social media sites.

Snapchat currently has “…150 million daily active users, $350 million in revenue projected for this year, and has a $16 billion valuation, bigger than that of Twitter.” (Yes, as if Twitter did not have enough competitors, it must now contend with Snapchat.) The report goes on to state that Snapchat’s mobile app is more popular than those of other social media sites, and that it is stealing advertisers: “As we discuss later, Snapchat commands a significant amount of time spend of younger users as well as high engagement levels.”

The “young users” that Mr. Peck refers to are Snapchat’s biggest audience. They are also members of the millennial generation, which has become the largest sector of consumers. Brands and businesses with an advertising budget should therefore give strong consideration to moving some dollars into investing in a Snapchat presence. Think of the future – especially video.

In a recent Business 2 Community (B2C) article, Brian Honigman details how Snapchat has been a key contributor in video with an article, appropriately titled “The Big Flip: How Snapchat Reoriented Video Advertising.” The argument over creating video in portrait mode – while most people preferred viewing it in landscape mode – was literally and figuratively ‘flipped’ (to quote Mr. Honigman). In a world where watching movies on television in widescreen format (i.e., landscape), it seemed natural this would carry over to mobile for viewing brief video content.

One strong reason cited by Mr. Honigman as to why portrait mode is becoming the preference is that the smartphone industry is outpacing personal computers. Another reason relates back to the millennial generation: “For the desktop-first generation that was viewing on early video-sharing platforms, vertical video was a nuisance. But the younger, mobile-first set saw things differently. They viewed the world through their phones, and the idea of flipping that screen every time they wanted to watch a video was more of a nuisance than a narrow aspect ratio ever could be.” Once again, the younger consumer has made their choice known. And, for brands to stay relevant, adapting to these new forms is necessary.

To sum it up, Snapchat is making its presence known. In time, the little ghost icon may join those of Facebook’s lowercase ‘f’, Twitter’s little bird, and Intstagram’s small camera at the bottom of any number of webpages. It may be time to consider a Snapchat presence. (If not, you may be haunted whenever you see that little ghost.)

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Brands have their work cut out for them as far as getting their message to the public; more so than ever before. Ad blocking technology is one example of obstacles advertisers face. To deal with this dilemma, a change in perception is in order. Don’t think about why ads are not working; think about what you can do to make them work. What kind of story do they tell? Yes, focus on the story.

This past week, two articles (from different online publications), presented the argument that there is no more powerful method of persuasion than a well-crafted story, particularly in relation to advertising.

Scott Donaton, writing for Adweek, in a to-the-point titled article, Why Brands Need to Skip the Ads and Start Telling Stories, pointed to another challenge to the advertiser: the “Skip Ad” option for video ads. If the percentages for “Skip Ad” are higher than those where the video spot was watched until its finish, it's time to use those stats to inform next steps: revisit the ad script.

Whether ad blocking apps are in full force, or the option of “Skip Ad” is taken, Mr. Donaton states that it is all about what customers want to see – and they hold the reins: “If we're in search of a narrative thread, the last 20 years in this business have been about one thing: consumer empowerment.” He goes on to state that what he terms “ad avoidance” has also been strengthened by cable services and the advent of watching television via Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, for example.

The solution to this “walls-closing-in” situation is effective storytelling that both engages viewers and ultimately familiarizes them with your brand. As Mr. Donaton goes on to explain: “We are all suckers for a great, well-told story, whether that's Ridley Scott's The Martian or Ridley Scott's 1984 commercial for Apple. More recently, Leo Burnett Madrid entranced 5 million viewers with, of all things, a Pixar-caliber lottery ad.

Dr. Lu Zheng, Assistant Professor of Advertising at the University of Florida expands on the belief that powerful storytelling leads to effective advertising. In an article and accompanying podcast for Academic Minute, Dr. Zheng states, “Human brains are naturally wired to grasp and retain information in a story format. And storytelling constitutes one of the most fundamental methods for human beings to pass and disseminate knowledge from one generation to the next.”

Dr. Zheng employs “advergaming” – an advertising online video media that is used by many companies to brand and market their products – in her studies and research: “In my current advergaming study, the game story is purposely crafted to market the brand. The study also assesses the impacts of background music and different types of advergames on the user’s processing of information and ensuing belief changes.” (As a complement to this, it is worth noting that the subheading to Mr. Donaton’s article reads: “Don't Get in the Way of What Consumers want, Be What They Want.”

So, do great minds like Scott Donaton and Dr. Lu Zheng think alike? Was it mere coincidence that both should publish articles about storytelling in advertising within the same week? Whatever the case, if your brand strategy is not working, now is the time to examine the story that drives the campaign.

In our fast-paced, just-the-facts (and now) world, the concept of storytelling can sometimes be lost. It may be a paradox, but it is because people are hard-wired into “fast and now,” that the answer to attracting their attention is a clever first impression “hook” that will lead them into taking the time and wanting to find out what the content (and your brand) is all about.

Make people want to see your ad, especially if they could become potential customers.

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Facebook held its annual F8 developers conference this week, where its leadership discussed a vision for the future. The goal? Creating more reasons to stay within Facebook for all online activities and enabling more users to access the platform, from wherever they may be.

Courting publications to create new ways to experience the news, challenging video giant YouTube with new video experiences, and developing its Messenger app as an alternative to texting, Facebook has long been working to create a digital experience that reduces the desire to go off platform to perform tasks. New plans for Messenger were the star of the show during this year’s F8.

Hailing a cab? Soon you may be able to order a pick up from services like Lyft or Uber through Messenger.

Feel like doing some shopping? Ordering through Messenger may be as easy as using the Starbucks app to place your order for coffee or ordering from Amazon Prime. 

While more details about Facebook's efforts to create an all-in-one platform and monetize Messenger will continue to unfold (stay tuned here!), what's clear now is that in order to continue global usage of the platform and its apps, connectivity will have to improve. One billion users have accessed Facebook in a single day – but what if more obstacles to online access were addressed? How many more users (and potential customers for the brands that actively advertise there) could be reached?

In a Facebook Code blog by Neeraj Choubey  and Ali Yazdan Panah, this vision for better online experiences and connectivity are discussed (along with a plan to address it). “Facebook believes that people ­– no matter where they live – deserve a consistent, high-bandwidth internet experience.” 

Solutions for bandwidth can be expensive and impractical in some places on the globe. They announce: “Facebook's Connectivity Lab is working on a range of new technology solutions to help connect the unconnected and improve the experience of the underserved.”

One component of Facebook’s vision for a solution is Terragraph, which “leverages technology created to manage Facebook's massive data center infrastructure.” Choubey and Panah add, “…the Terragraph system can be externally attached to a building and connected to an in-building Ethernet data network. Combined with Wi-Fi access points, Terragraph is one of the lowest cost solutions to achieve 100 percent street-level coverage of gigabit Wi-Fi.”

Terragraph is currently being tested around Facebook’s home base in California. “We're currently testing Terragraph at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park and preparing a broader trial with the city of San Jose in California. We selected the latter for its mix of building types and neighborhoods, its proximity to Menlo Park, and the city’s commitment to demonstrating new technologies through the mayor’s Smart City Vision.”

Facebook’s second point of focus for creating greater connectivity opportunities is on transmission technology. Project ARIES aims to “build a test platform for incredibly efficient usage of spectrum and energy.”

Creating bandwidth in rural environments can be expensive and logistically challenging. To address this and open opportunities away from urban centers, Facebook’s team notes they’re looking to tap into the infrastructure of urban areas to create broadcast possibilities within a radius around it that extends into rural areas.

“From our recent population distribution study across 20 countries, we know that nearly 97 percent of the global population lives within 40 kilometers of a major city,” they explain. “As such, we are interested in developing this technology to harness the incredible gains in providing communications to rural communities from city centers.”

Additionally, Facebook says they aim to “make this technology open to the wireless communications research and academic community.” They explain that the goal is to “…help build and improve on the already implemented algorithms or devise new ones that will help solve broader connectivity challenges of the future.”

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Are you are marketer who is wondering about where to spend some ad dollars? Do you work for a business that is looking to highlight the brand name and image in a very strong way? These two questions apply to any and every advertiser or company – large or small, famous or not well-known.  And the answer would be a loud and clear “yes!”

That being the case, you should give strong consideration to this method – native advertising. If you are already engaged in creating and promoting native ads, intensify your efforts. If you have not yet adopted native advertising, the time to begin is now.

Last summer, there were concerns about where the future of ad content for the web was headed. Software that could hammer out ad copy was a major threat to content. Compounding this concern was the rise of ad blockers. On the other hand, there was hope that not all content would become software-driven and mechanical; and that cause for hope was native advertising.

There is a difference between content marketing and native advertising, as Gavin O’Malley writes in Media Post: …native ads are distinct from content marketing, which aims to match content and format. By contrast, native ads ­– particularly those found on mobile devices ­– match the style of the site or app where they appear.”  Regardless of the differences, the advent of native advertising is something marketers can look forward to with optimism.

A study was recently conducted by Facebook and IHS Inc., a company that specializes in providing data to organizations (among them business and governmental) to help them in determining important decision-making choices. Their findings were more than impressive, and were utilized in several articles that appeared online this week. (As is becoming typical, marketers have Facebook – specifically, the Facebook Audience Network – to thank for helping to understand and define the positive outlook of native advertising.)

Ginny Marvin, writing for Marketing Land, reported, “The key driver for the significant rise of native ad units is that they have higher engagement rates than traditional banners,” and that “…engagement rates are 20 to 60 percent higher on native ads than on banners and drive retention rates that are 3x higher.”

The conclusion is that by the beginning of the new decade, native ads will make up 63 percent of mobile display ad spending. Media buyers will spend $84.5 million dollars on mobile advertising, of which native will play a strong driver of mobile growth.

Complementing these findings, Mr. O’Malley goes on to state, however, that it is not so easy to just move over to native advertising. Everything – from learning how this format works to successful adaptation and implementation – will require a lot of effort.

He explains, “The key challenges to adopting native advertising by app developers and publishers include a lack of awareness of native ad formats, and restricted infrastructure and technology.” At the same time, “…developers are also struggling with limiting scale, the low sophistication of native ad formats, and a lack of universal pricing and measurement.”

To view a bar graph (courtesy of Business Wire), that displays the current and projected power and growth of where native advertising (via mobile) is headed, click here. (Spoiler alert: It is amazing – in a time period of less than 10 years – how fast native advertising is expected to grow.) This then, should be the inspiration and motivation to adapt and learn native advertising.

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Earlier in the month, Instagram announced that they would be moving to an algorithm-based feed. You can wave goodbye to this photo sharing app’s chronological list of photos that we’ve all learned to love. 

The new Instagram algorithm will sort posts based on the “likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relation with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.” Instagrammers are becoming more vocal about the update ever since the hashtag #turnmeon started trending. Instagram users are asking their followers to turn on notifications every time they upload an image to Instagram – for fear that their photos will never see the light of day.

Instagram1We Fear Change.

If you haven’t already noticed, every time a social media platform puts out a significant update, people tend to go into an uproar, start rumors, and tweet about their dislike for whatever the new update is. In the end, people adapt and continue to use the app and we all move on rather quickly.

Why The Change?

Through research, Instagram has found that its users don’t necessarily always see the posts that they feel you might care about the most. I personally check my Instagram feed a couple times throughout the day and I find that I’m usually missing a large majority of my friend’s posts. On average, users miss out on 70% of their feeds according to Instagram. There are a lot of rumors swirling around with the hashtag #turnmeon about the new feed update on Instagram, don’t believe everything you read on people’s posts on Instagram. Your followers are still going to see your posts; they’ll just appear in a different order.

Instagram2Why You Shouldn’t Worry

Instagram understands that this is going to take time to get right. They are taking the necessary precautions (which is why they are slowly rolling out the algorithm change and carefully listening to your feedback). Luckily, Facebook owns Instagram, so you know you’re in good hands, since this type of algorithm-designed feed has been in the works for a few years now. I'd bet that most Facebook users wouldn't choose the older chronological feed over their current newsfeed (with the algorithm).

Will My Brand’s Instagram Account Be Affected?

Instagram currently has over 400 million users. It is very unlikely that these 400 million users will just stop using Instagram over this redesign. People will quickly adapt to this change. After all, Instagram offers a unique experience with quality content. The algorithm feed makes sense for the platform.

Wouldn’t you rather see photos from your friends and families first, and not have to scroll past all the Kardashian accounts you follow? What are your feelings on Instagram moving to an algorithm based feed? Will it hurt or help one of the fastest growing social media platforms of 2016?

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In an understatement, Facebook has been good to advertising. In the past year alone, whether it was the phenomenal success of the Facebook-based platform Instagram, or the evolution of Clicks to Website ads, the positive power that this social media site has had on marketing is undeniable.

And now…Facebook presents Delivery Insights, another feature which will prove useful to social media advertisers.

In an article for Marketing Dive, David Kirkpatrick states very simply, “Frustration with bad advertising is sweeping the industry.” One example of this is the recent proliferation of ad blockers, which has made the need for premium quality advertising (i.e., ads that potential customers will want to see and not block) all the more important. (Even search engine Google has changed its format with the elimination of “right rail” ads.)

As the stakes for online advertising have gotten higher, how can this new feature from Facebook help?

Essentially, Delivery Insights (which will be part of the Ads Manager section in Facebook) will help marketers understand how well (or poorly) their ads are competing at Facebook ads auction. Marty Swant, writing for Adweek, explained what a Facebook ad auction was, and how it operated: “Advertisers submit requests for ads and select their target audience, objective and a price bid for each click or conversion. Then, each time Facebook has a chance to show an ad to a person in that audience, an automated auction decides which ad the user will see.”

Additional deciding factors of which few ads (among many) will win the auction and be seen by the masses on Facebook include the quality and relevance of the ad, and where and when – not to mention whether or not – Facebook users will take action (by clicking on the ad, or, in a perfect world, become a customer). As one can see, there are many variables that determine what makes an ad worthy for being selected to appear on Facebook.

Tense and stressful odds, yes? Enter Deliver Insights. While this new feature cannot guarantee success at the automated auction, it can help diffuse some of the tension and stress. Through Delivery Insights, advertisers can see what’s not working, and from there, experiment by making changes – either to the ad content, its bid amount, timing, or any other of the previously listed variables.

Not only that, but as Ginny Marvin pointed out in a report for Marketing Land: “Delivery Insights gives the advertiser information about why the ad set is underperforming and offers optimization recommendations to make the ad set more competitive in the auction.” So, not only do advertisers see what’s not working, but they can get guidance on how to fix the problem(s).

The official launch of Delivery Insights is within the next few weeks. Will it be a competitor to Google and Google AdWords? Doubtful. One strong possibility, however, is that the few brands that do not advertise on Facebook might very well decide to do so soon, thanks to Delivery Insights.

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