Posts in Advertising

YouTube logo

YouTube strategy for brands: 10 of the best

Only 74 of the top 5,000 YouTube channels are from brands.

This research comes from Touchstorm’s latest study, The Touchstorm Video Index, covering Q3 2013 and concentrating on the 'YouTube 5,000', an elite group of channels with at least 43m views each.

Of those 5,000 channels, only 2% are owned by brands. That means there are 4,926 teenagers with webcams, older people with camcorders, vloggers with flipcams, bedroom animators with smartphones and various other fashionistas, musicians, close-up magicians, action figure critics and amateur film-makers who are completely dominating the platform and squeezing out the big companies.

What can brands do about this? Is there any hope for them?

Here are some key findings from the report, along with our own insight, ideas for strategy and a look at the brands who are using YouTube successfully.

shazam logo

Shazam: from gimmick to major player

At the beginning of September 2013, Shazam announced a huge milestone: the 10 billionth use of the music identifying app.

The song: Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’. The man: some guy in New Jersey who was officially the last human being in the Western world not to recognise Lady Gaga.

If you’re unaware of Shazam, quite simply it’s an app that you can use to identify a song you don’t know the name of that’s playing in any location (as long as it’s audible) in a matter of seconds. The process is called ‘tagging’.

Shazam currently processes more than 100m tags a week, this is 150% more than a year ago, and currently has more than 80m global users.


The state of digital marketing in China: highlights from Digital Cream Shanghai 2013

This year we hosted our second Digital Cream in Shanghai, and because we liked the venue so much from last year, we decided to hold it again at exactly the same place.

There’s something quite enthralling to be running our Digital Cream senior marketers’ roundtable gathering at one of the top night spots in town, especially when it’s located in mainland China.

There’s the stunning skyline view of downtown Shanghai, the Huangpu tributary of the Yangtze river running through the vibrant metropolis, and the feeling that you’re somewhere incredibly special and, dare I say it, more than a little auspicious.


Brands over-dependent on SEO and social for content marketing

There’s a smattering of complacency about content marketing.

Many brands are spending a great deal of money on content creation, and then just tagging a few keywords, sticking it up on their site’s blog, repeatedly posting it on Twitter for a few weeks and calling it a day: job done. Quality content needn’t have such a finite shelf-life.

With a little creativity content can be re-used and promoted more regularly, for example by creating seasonal content which can be easily repurposed each year. Neither should marketers be solely dependent on SEO and social shares to get the content seen.

pinterest logo

20 retailers integrating Pinterest into their email marketing

It's not just casual Pinterest users making their own boards and pinning images, brands are fast discovering that sharing and adding pins to their own products can be an effective way to drive users to their ecommerce sites.

As of September 2013, the three year-old social channel has over 70m users, and according to a recent study Pinterest is driving more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.

Pinterest's aesthetic style is also seeping into most corners of ecommerce. From eBay's recent homepage overhaul, to Etsy's vintage, bespoke world of homemade trinkets.

It's this visual style that brands are realising is the key attraction for users on Pinterest. So how do brands let consumers know about their own presence on this burgeoning and increasingly integral channel?

Sony has recently began sending out dedicated emails highlighting Pinterest; integrating its own boards and pins into the email and driving traffic to its Pinterest page. Integrating Pinterest has led to a 70% higher average open rate for Sony, and an average 18% higher click-through rate. 

How are other brands integrating Pinterest with their emails? Here are 20 examples:


Paying bloggers for positive reviews: is it common and is it right?

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) published a memo last week reiterating its rules on using blogs for advertising after receiving a growing number of queries from bloggers on whether they can accept payment from brands.

Apparently some in the blogging community have raised concerns about PR agencies offering them money to advertise on their behalf while encouraging them not to declare that they’re doing so.

Blogger outreach is an important part of digital marketing as it’s an effective way of getting influential people to speak about a brand or product, as well as earning links that help with SEO.

However if a blogger is paid to write a positive review about a product or service then they have to make it absolutely clear that the content is an advert rather than a normal article.


Five valuable tips for using marketing attribution

In late 2012, Econsultancy published the latest edition of its Marketing Attribution Management Buyer’s Guide, at a time when attribution was a particularly hot topic for marketers.

Vendors were furiously marketing their attribution platforms, and there were blog posts galore on the subject. Since then, talking about attribution, particularly in the same breath as the dreaded term ‘big data’, appears to have gone somewhat off the boil.

Or so I thought, before attending a recent Econsultancy roundtable on the subject of marketing attribution, where discussion and debate was as lively as I have seen at a roundtable. 


How digital has transformed the NBA

The NBA’s 68th glorious season is off to a roaring start and the storylines are coming faster than John Wall in transition.

Will LeBron James and the Miami Heat (the reigning MVP and NBA champions) continue their march to dynasty status? How long will it take for injured stars Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant to return to their former powers?

And will anyone get dunked on in a more vicious manner than the way DeAndre Jordan dunked on Brandon Knight? There is plenty of hype around the 2013-14 session, which promises to keep us on the edge of our seats from now until the NBA Finals in June.

However, one of the more subtle headlines is how technology is changing almost every facet of the game.

While basketball is no longer bound to the 13 original rules conceived when Dr James Naismith invented the game in 1891, the digital transformation of the NBA over the last few years has significantly impacted how the game is played, consumed, advertised and much more.

With the aid of social media, online streaming and stats, lets have a look at how digital has changed the NBA experience.


Take that, prankvertising! John St.'s hilarious reaction

First there was prankvertising, now there is spoof prankvertising.

There are so many metatextual layers going on here that I might need to have a lie down with a cold compress applied to my forehead. 

But while I’m still relatively vertical, let’s take a quick look at the Canadian advertising agency John St.’s reaction to the latest trend in fear-mongering online videos.

I wrote about prank advertising earlier in the week, where I discussed the relative merits (or lack thereof) of six recent examples, then shortly after I was directed towards this series of online videos…


10 interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week

It's that time again to share some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.

Statistics include site testing, the John Lewis Christmas ad, Alibaba, UK online sales, Christmas spending and how Netflix dominates US traffic.

For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.


The four key challenges of managing media convergence

The ever-evolving media landscape presents significant challenges to marketers.

Brands are now required to work out how best to communicate across a growing number of channels ranging from traditional media to digital environments, all the while maintaining a consistent message and identity.

To find out how marketers are adapting to deal with the change in the way that people engage with media channels, Econsultancy and Mediaocean have today published a new report entitled Managing Media Convergence.  

The report is based on a survey of 124 agencies as well as in-depth interviews with 18 executives from agencies and brands, all with significant interest and experience in managing media.

pinterest logo

Sony adds Pinterest to its email marketing strategy

Sony has recently began sending out dedicated emails highlighting Pinterest; integrating its own boards & pins into the email and driving traffic to its Pinterest page.

The visual heavy email achieved an open rate 67% higher than Sony's goal, and a 16% higher click-through rate (CTR) than expected.

Previously Sony had trialled including a Pin it button next to its products in a VAIO summer launch email, so users could pin and share directly from the email.

Users pinned from that email 3,000 times. 

Let's take a closer look at Sony's Pinterest email strategy..