‘Facebook Mentions’ Becoming Valuable Tool for Public Marketers

Facebook Mentions is an application that is designed to let people know what users are saying about their articles and other posts.  It is most commonly used by celebrities, journalists and other public figures who need to keep up to date about how people are interacting with their posts.  Many marketers, however, could benefit from this application too, especially with a new update that is being rolled out.

Mentions will now allow users of the app see what those on Facebook are saying about their posts on the social network, even if they are not tagged or otherwise mentioned in the post.  This is a great feature that will allow people to learn about how others are reacting in a near-real time way.

Vadim Lavrusik, the product manager, and Liz Heron, the head of journalism partnerships, said in a blog post, “Today, we’re adding the ability for journalists and content creators using Mentions to see what people are saying about their articles on Facebook, even if the person doesn’t mention the author by name.  As a journalist, you can use this feature in your mentions feed to get a sense of how people are reacting to your articles and connect with them directly.”

The Mentions app is only available to ‘public figures’ who are verified on Facebook so this will not help all marketers or brands.  It is increasingly popular, however, that ‘Internet Celebrities’ are transitioning into real public figures.  This can even be the case for many marketers who are building their brand around their own name.

Anyone who has qualified to become a ‘verified’ Facebook user will certainly want to use this mentions app, and the new features being rolled out into it are very attractive.  In fact, these new features may make it worth it for many ‘mid-level’ public figures to attempt to become ‘verified’ by Facebook so they can access this platform.

Part of the new features include an ‘author tag’ that public figures will need to put on their website.  This will allow Facebook to associate all activity associated with a post to be tracked.  This is a nice option to take the place of the Google Authorship tag, which has fallen out of use over the past couple years.

Anyone who has a verified Facebook account will want to make sure they add this new tag to their site to ensure they are getting all the great benefits of this new app.

iOS 9 May Block Analytics

With the release of iOS 9 many people have been talking about how the new Apple OS allows app makers to develop ad blockers for phones and tablets.  While this is a major concern for many marketers, it might not even be the biggest problem that they will face.  The new content blocking options built in to iOS 9 will also allow app developers to make applications that will stop analytics and other tracking options too.

Many of the apps being developed will have setting options that will allow the user to either allow tracking data to be used, or block them just like ads.  Since the vast majority of people using these apps won’t really know what analytics are used for (or even what analytics is) they will almost certainly choose to block it.

This means that marketers and publishers will not be able to get the detailed information they rely on to help improve their sites and businesses in general.  Imagine trying to plan out an SEO campaign without knowing where your mobile traffic is currently coming from.  Or what if you want to create an ad campaign based on keywords, but you can’t gather the information needed to know which keywords are leading to sales and which are just ‘browsers.’

While the ad blocking itself is certainly a major problem for many people (or will be if these apps become popular) I would argue that the analytics blocking may be a bigger cause for concern.  Almost all marketers use analytics in some fashion (and those who don’t really should).

With iOS 9 only being out for a short time now there are already quite a few ad blocker apps that are topping the charts in the app store, and more are being developed all the time.  Some of the most popular options have the analytics blocking built right in.

There are no stats yet on just how many people are downloading or buying the ad blocking apps yet, but it is clearly a large number.  Of course, we’ll have to wait to see how many of them are actually going to use the apps and which ones will turn on settings to block analytics as well. The bottom line, however, is that this may be a big cause for concern.

To my knowledge, there is no viable alternative when it comes to gathering the data that marketers need to run successful campaigns.  This truly could be a game changer when it comes to how site owners, ad networks and marketers in general gather data and run their businesses.

New Ad Option for Facebook Ensures 100% Viewability

Facebook has just announced that they will be allowing a new option for advertisers on their platform.  The new option will require advertisers pay for ad impressions only when it is 100% visible.  This is an interesting move, and one that is surprising to many since Facebook has long argued that even partial views are effective.  There is no word on exactly how much more it will cost for a 100% visible ad impression either.

In the announcement that was published on their blog Facebook said, “While it remains our belief that value is created for an advertiser as soon as an ad is in view, we also believe in offering advertisers control and flexibility over how they run their ads.  100% in-view impression buying gives advertisers the option to purchase ad impressions where the entire ad – from top to bottom – has passed through a person’s screen in News Feed.”

This is just one more option that advertisers will have when it comes to customizing which ads they will have to pay for.  Another option that has been around for a while now is to only pay when a video is seen for at least 10 seconds.  This, of course, helps to ensure marketers are getting benefits from their ads.

The new service will be ‘monitored’ by ad analytics firm, Moat.  Moat will track the video views and make sure that the numbers are correct when provided to the advertisers themselves.  This will help ensure that the program has full transparency and is enforced properly.

How popular this new option will be has yet to be seen. While it initially seems like a very good option for advertisers, that will largely depend on how much extra it costs per view.  Many marketers may find that it is better to pay for all the impressions, even if they aren’t 100% seen.  This will likely take some trial and error to see what the best way to do it on a case by case basis.

Most Demand Skill for Digital Marketers? Affiliate Marketing

Smart Insights recently published a study that covered a variety of things related to digital marketing.  One of the most interesting aspects of the study when they asked which skill they would most like to improve over the course of the next year.  The #1 answer was affiliate marketing, which got 40% of the total respondents saying they were looking to improve on that skill.

The full breakdown of results is visible in this chart:

Desired Skills Chart

As you can see there were a number of popular skills that marketers were hoping to improve.  Mobile marketing with 39% is certainly no surprise and SEO at 36% makes sense too.  Digital strategy and integrated planning is somewhat of a vague response but I can see how people would select that as well.

Given how easy it is to hire graphic designers these days I was surprised to read that this option rated as high as it did at 27%.  Most people it seems are either good at this already or are happy to pay a professional to take care of it for them.

Copywriting is near the bottom at 22%, which makes sense in that most people who need it either know that they want to do it themselves and have put in the effort to learn or know that they don’t enjoy that type of work so they have hired someone else to do it for them.

AM Navigator’s CEO, Geno Prussakov said that, “Continued research and reports put out by IAB and Affiliate Window, the efforts of Performance Marketing Insights, Affiliate Management Days, and others – it is good to see it all, finally, yield fruit.”  He went on to say, “Affiliate marketer’s seat at the table and affiliate market’s place in advertisers’ digital marketing strategies has been overlooked for way to long.  It is refreshing to see that marketers, finally, realize the importance of the ‘skill’ of doing affiliate marketing.”

The study also found that digital marketers believe that their skills were strong in strategy & integrated planning (52%) as well as customer service (48%), only 13% said that they were already strong with affiliate marketing.  This makes it clear that not only are marketers missing this key skill, they recognize just how important it is and want to take steps to improve it.

While the study does not go into any detail on how these digital marketers are planning on learning about affiliate marketing, it is certainly a good sign for the digital marketing world in general.  Affiliate marketing has been getting more and more popular for many businesses, and with the continued success there will be a larger demand for this type of skill going forward.

2015 Email Marketing Study Published

Silverpop has recently published their new 2015 email marketing study that looks into how different industries are doing with their email marketing efforts.  As all marketers know, email marketing is often a key option to help bring in new and returning customers.  When done properly it can help dramatically improve your bottom line.  When done incorrectly, it can be a frustrating waste of time and money.

The report looks at a number of different aspects of email marketing including the open rate, click through rate and even how different regions of the world differ in how they interact with marketing emails.  Taking this information can help you to choose what type of marketing to do and how to do it.

Click Through Rates

Getting people to click on the links within your emails is absolutely essential.  Of course, it is also very difficult in many cases.  Looking at the below chart from the report it is easy to see that some industries are much better at it than others, and that some marketers within each industry are much better than others.  Taking the time to learn what is working and what is not is essential in becoming a successful marketer.

Open Rate

You can’t get to the click from a customer if you can’t get them to even open your email.  In fact, for many marketers this is the hardest part of email marketing.  Getting emails to avoid spam boxes and then get the attention of the users can be hard, but it is definitely not impossible.  Look at the below chart to see how different industries are doing at getting potential customers to open their email marketing messages.

Region

Another point that the study touched on was how different countries or regions of the world.  Some regions have significantly higher average open rates than others, which is important to keep in mind.  Using this information you can make a much more informed decision about how and when to use email marketing compared to other options.  See the chart below to gain some valuable insights.

The bottom line here is that email marketing continues to be an extremely effective option for many marketers.  Those who aren’t doing the marketing correctly, however, are getting very bad results from email marketing.  Learning from this report is very important no matter what industry or region you are in.  With the right information and some work you will be able to get into the top results, which can result in very high return on investments.

To see the full study just click HERE.

Report Finds Improvements in eCommerce Conversion Rates

A quarterly report from Monetate has recently been released for Q2 2015 and it has something of a mixed bag of information for marketers.  First, it found that the conversion rates for eCommerce has improved on all types of devices.  This is significant because over the previous several reports these rates have gone down.  The bounce rate, however, is remaining high, which is something that many marketers will be concerned about. Referral traffic from social networks continued to go up as well as did the average order value, which is always a good thing.

Conversion Rates

The first thing to look at is the overall conversion rate on eCommerce platforms. The report found that conversions for Smartphone’s went up 7%, tablets went up 12% and desktops went up 7%.  This is a nice reversal in the trend over the past several quarters which saw overall conversion rates dropping.  The big jump in tablets is especially promising given the continued growth in tablet use.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate on eCommerce sites, however, stayed at around an overall average of 31.32%.  This is about even with the previous quarter, which may not sound bad until you see that the current rates are at a 15 month high.  Clearly something is not going right.  The bounce rate is something that all marketers struggle to keep as low as possible since the longer a user stays on the site, the more likely they are going to make a purchase. The bounce rate on smart phones is also significantly higher than on tablets or PCs, which is troubling since smart phones are continuing to grow in popularity.

Referral Traffic

Some good news is that referral traffic that comes from social networks is up about 50%.  This is a huge growth, especially considering the fact that social networks were already a huge source of traffic a year ago.  While social media traffic is not necessarily going to convert at the highest of rates it is a great source of potential customers, especially if they are coming from targeted advertising.

Average Order Value

Another piece of good news is that the average order value (AOV) is up significantly from the previous quarter.  Today the average order on an eCommerce site is $118.26 in Q2 2015.  In the previous quarter the AOV was $116.57.  Related to this is the revenue per session, which went from $3.69 to $3.93 year over year.  Given the sheer number of visitors and purchasers that visit eCommerce sites these little jumps can translate to huge increases in total profits.

If you’re interested in seeing the full report you can view it HERE.

Native Ads Often Seen as Better than Real Content?

In a recent survey conducted by Contently it was found that native ads are often seen in a better light than actual content on a site.  Native ads are sponsored content where the owner of a site gets paid to publish something about a product, service or company.  The content is made to appear similar to other content on the site so that it adds a level of trust and authenticity.  Due to regulations and business practices, however, native ads need to have some sort of disclaimer in or around them to let people know that they are advertisements.

Even with this disclaimer, however, many readers mistake native ads for real content.  The survey was given to 509 consumers.  In the survey they were asked to review a brand sponsored piece of content in either The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Onion, BuzzFeed or Forbes. In addition, they read an actual article that was published in Fortune.

Once done, they were asked to say whether the piece was an ad or an article. In all but two of the samples the readers thought that the native ad was actually a real article.  The results were as follows:

  • New York Times – 29% Ad, 71% Article
  • Wall Street Journal – 20% Ad, 80% Article
  • Atlantic – 53% Ad, 47% Article
  • The Onion – 71% Ad, 29% Article
  • BuzzFeed – 29% Ad, 71% Article
  • Forbes – 35% Ad, 65% Article
  • Fortune – 31% Ad, 69% Article (note that this one was actually a real article)

As you can see, even in The Onion, 29% of people still thought that the native ad was a real article and that is the lowest rating of the bunch.  For other publications a large majority of readers were thinking that native ads were actually real articles.  In some cases they thought this at rates higher than the actual real article published in Fortune.

This is an important study for several reasons.  First, regulatory organizations like the FTC and others may look at this information and decide that more needs to be done to let people know when they are viewing an ad.  It has been a while since updates to the disclaimers on these types of ads were made, so it may be time for some changes (or at least the regulatory agencies may think that).

Second, and more importantly for marketers, it shows that native ads are an extremely effective way to put a message out to potential customers.  When customers read them they think it is real content written by the site.  This lends the ad additional trust and influence, which can lead to more sales, improved reputation and better recognition.

Using native ads is well known to be effective, but with the results of this survey it seems they are even better than most people have thought in the past.  If you’re not using native ads as part of your overall marketing strategy already, it might be time to do so.

Are You Ready for the Holiday Marketing Season?

It may be September on the calendar, but it is the holiday season in the hearts of many retailers and marketers in general.  Channel Advisor’s 2015 online retail survey has recently been completed and it looks like retailers are hoping for an excellent holiday shopping season.  In fact, 82% of those surveyed said that they expect 2015 to be better than 2014 when it comes to holiday profits.  A full 21% of those said they are expecting an increase in holiday sales by at least 15%.

The survey was sent to retailers throughout the US and UK to get a good feeling of what to expect for the rapidly approaching holiday season.

In addition to finding out that retailers are confident in this year’s results, they also found that most marketers are already moving forward with their plans.  59% of retailers surveyed said that they have already started their holiday promotional campaigns.  This is quite a big number considering we are still over two months away from Black Friday.

Of course, these campaigns likely aren’t direct Christmas sales or anything but marketers are getting the customers thinking about the holiday season already in various ways.  Getting brand names in front of them early and getting kids interested in specific products can have a very powerful impact on the sales that occur when the big shopping days actually arrive.

Another thing the survey touched on is which days are most important to retailers.  The three biggest profit days are Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Free Shipping day.  44% of those who took the survey said Black Friday was most profitable, 26% said Cyber Monday and 21% said that free shipping day was.

Interestingly, in the UK 27% said free shipping day was the most important and only 17% said cyber Monday.  This is something important for marketers to keep in mind.  In the US, 14% found free shipping day the most important and 36% Cyber Monday.  It is these types of little things that can really have a direct impact on the results of holiday marketing campaigns.  When done right, you can be running your marketing campaigns to coincide with when customers in your region are looking to spend the bulk of their holiday budgets.

Whether you’re marketing for a physical retail store or your own online business, it is absolutely essential to have a good marketing plan in place for the holidays.  If you don’t already have your plan in place, get started now to ensure you can count on the best possible results for your business.  The holiday season only comes around once per year and if you miss out on it you will be missing a huge opportunity.

AdsBridge traffic tracker and landing page builder Review

Running successful ad campaigns can be difficult even for the most successful of marketers.  The world of affiliate marketing and advertising is constantly evolving, and competition is becoming stiffer all the time.  This is why an effective marketer needs to have every advantage possible working for them.  One of the most important things you can do is begin tracking all the information related to each campaign to ensure you are making decisions based on accurate figures.

There are many tools out there that can help you to gather information about your marketing efforts.  Finding one that can give you options for learning about where your traffic is coming from with real time stats about keywords, clicks, revenues, costs and much more is absolutely essential.  For many, AdsBridge is the perfect solution considering its Price, Features and user friendly UI.  Before you dive into this or any tracking tool, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about it.

Adsbridge Traffic Tracker

 

The following review will provide you with some key insights about the tool so you can make an educated decision about whether or not it is right for your affiliate campaigns.

What can AdsBridge Do?

AdsBridge is not your normal ad tracking platform.  It can actually do a wide range of other things that will help keep all your decision making information together in one place.  The following are the key components of AdsBridge that you need to be aware of:

  • Tracking Ad Campaigns – This portion of the program allows you to track virtually every aspect of your ad campaigns so you can see how they are performing.
  • Split Testing – You can run different types of landing pages and also split test different offers to see which ones are producing the best results for you.
  • Creating Landing Pages – This feature will help you to create great looking landing pages that are proven to convert well.

AdsBridge Landing Page Creator

  • Automatic Campaigns Optimization – This feature uses algorithms that automatically and accurately evaluates and monitors your campaigns’ progress and statistics. So you could determine which landing pages and offers are performing better.
  • Having all three of these tools combined into one program is a great way to manage almost everything related to your marketing efforts in one convenient place. To my knowledge there are no other programs that combine these three options into one.

AdsBridge Landing Page Creator

The first portion of the AdsBridge program will help you to make a high quality landing page.  The landing page is an essential part of any ad campaign because if it can’t convert traffic into sales it doesn’t matter how good your ads are, you will never make any money.

The AdsBridge platform has a wide-range of landing page templates that you can use to create your own custom page.  The templates themselves were chosen because they are tested and proven to be effective at converting traffic into sales.  The templates can be customized with your own images, text, videos and other useful components that all combine to form a high-converting landing page that you will love.  Most landing page creation services today charge a monthly subscription fee, but this one is included with the AdsBridge program.

Adsbridge Landing Page Builder

 

AdsBridge Traffic Tracking

Once you’ve got your landing page up and running, you will want to start tracking the traffic that is sent to it.  Whether you’re running advertisements or relying on some type of organic traffic, learning all you can is absolutely essential.  The tool will track all the most important information about your traffic including the following:

  • Geographic Location – Where your visitors are physically located.
  • Traffic Source – What lead the visitors to your site? Tracking how people got to your site can be an invaluable source of information when planning ad campaigns.
  • Traffic Type – This feature allows you to track Web and Mobile traffic showing you the details about Device type, Browser technology, ISP etc

Within this section of the tool you will be able to take this information and use it to improve your ad campaigns.  You can create campaigns that will target specific types of users based on things like where they are from, what language they use on browser, the type of device or OS they use and much more.  You can also create ad campaigns that only run during certain times of the day or days of the week.

Using a simple tracking pixel system you can track which users are browsing to your sales page and what they are doing from there.  This can help you to identify what type of traffic is converting the best so you can adjust your marketing strategies.  The best part?  This is all done in real time!

Of course, there is also extensive reporting that will organize all of this type of information into one convenient and easy to read place.  This can help you with planning long term strategies to bring your site the best possible traffic and ensure it converts well.

Adsbridge traffic tracker

Split Testing

Finally, the program also includes a variety of options for performing split testing on your landing pages or advertising campaigns.  Split testing is a proven way to learn what works best for your particular business.  Running two landing pages, for example, and directing half of your traffic to each will let you see which one works better.

Is AdsBridge Effective

While it is certainly clear that AdsBridge has a lot of features, the big question is whether or not it is an effective tool in building your business.  On the one hand, this program really has only a few little features that can’t be found in any other tools on the market today.  On the other hand, however, they have done an exceptional job at combining multiple useful tools into one platform.

Having all of these tools and features in one program is in itself a huge benefit.  The different tools can interact, which makes them all more powerful and effective than they could be on their own.  In addition, the price of this tool is lower than many competitor options that offer only one or two of the features contained in AdsBridge. The bottom line is this is a great option for anyone who is looking to manage their sites and ad campaigns from one convenient location.

Final conclusion :

I have been testing AdsBridge for a while now and so far it has proved to be a great tracking solution, It for sure has ability to handle high volume of traffic. A few of its other features also include “Hide referrer” which helps you to hide your traffic referrer, “Custom redirect domain” which allows you to use your own custom domain instead of default one. The biggest edge AdsBridge has over rest of its competitors is its monthly price which makes it affordable for all kind of affiliates fro beginners to those who run high volume traffic campaigns.

Click Here to Sign up Now !!

 

Sex & Violence Don’t Actually Sell!

When it comes to marketing, most people believe in the popular adage “Sex Sells.”  According to a recent study, however, that might not be the case.  The study was published in the academic journal, “Psychological Bulletin” and looked at behaviors after people watched television programming that included sexual and/or violent content.  The results were surprisingly similar, and not at all what many people would have expected.

Brad Bushman, who published this meta-study and is a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University said that, “It never helps to have violence and sex in commercials.  It either hurts, or has no effect at all.”

The studies specifically showed that those brands that use sex or violence are remembered less often than other brands, and when they are remembered it is less favorably.  These two factors go against all the goals of marketing efforts.

Within the research it was found that the same is true for both men and women.  This basically nullifies the idea that using sex to advertise to men is effective.  Even if it does get their attention at first, it is unlikely that it will cause them to want to buy a product or even remember the product.  This actually makes since given the fact that when you think about ‘sexy commercials’ you think about beer, but not necessary a specific brand.

There is also ‘reverse’ evidence that supports the study.  This shows that ‘family friendly’ commercials are very effective.  Many major companies including Wal-Mart have been moving toward the more ‘PG’ rated advertising and with great results.  Wal-Mart did research and found that when they advertised on family-friendly programming the results were 18% better than when it was on questionable programming.

Of course, the type of programming an ad is run on will also have a big influence on how the ad is seen.  While the study itself is primarily focused on the most effective types of ads themselves, it is also important to keep in mind that.  This applies to more than just television advertising as well.  If you are using digital marketing you will want to make sure your ads are appearing on sites that are in line with your overall advertising strategy.

Teens Ditching TV & PCs for Mobile Devices

According to a new survey conducted by Refuel Agency, ‘millennial teens’ are spending less time in front of their TVs and computers.  While many parents might find that to be good news, it isn’t because they are reading more books or playing outside more.  Instead, they are spending more time in front of smart phones, tablets and even video game consoles.

The study looked at the ‘screen time’ habits of 16 to 19 year olds to see where they were spending their time.  In past surveys it was found that teens were spending a lot of time watching television and on computers (including laptops).  The latest survey, however, finds that teens spend far more time on cell phones and smart phones than they do TVs or traditional computers.

What is Most Important

The following is the breakdown of which electronics teens have said is most important to them:

  • Smart Phones – 55%
  • Laptops – 18%
  • Tablets – 12%
  • Music Players – 8%
  • TV – 7%

As you can see, teens overwhelmingly say that their smart phones are the most important electronic device that they use.  Some people might find it surprising that only 7% of teens reported that television is the most important.

Where is Time Being Spent

From the survey, teens are spending approximately 6.3 hours per day on their Smartphone.  This is an average of the respondents.  Computers get used an average of 3.5 hours per day, which is the same as TVs.  Video game consoles get 2.1 hours and tablets 1.9 hours.

When you combine cell phones and tablets (which traditionally make up the ‘mobile device’ category) teens are spending more than twice as much time on these devices than anything else.

What Does it Mean for Marketers

Teens are a growing target audience for marketers today. While many of them don’t have the resources to make direct purchases at the same level as adults, they can still drive sales.  Parents are used to spending a significant amount of money on their children, so marketing directly to teens often makes sense.

The fact that the teens have smart phones and tablets shows that parents are more than willing to spend significant amounts of money on these types of ‘luxury’ items.

The bottom line for marketers is that if they want to reach teens at all, they need to be doing it through mobile devices.  Television commercials are less effective than ever not only because teens are watching less TV but also because commercials are often ‘fast forwarded’ through thanks to DVRs.  Even PC ads are dropping in usefulness for this market.

Setting up a high quality mobile advertising strategy to target teens can be extremely effective.  They are already used to spending a lot of time with these devices and most of them seem to accept advertising as a part of the process.  When done properly, mobile marketing to teens can be extremely successful.