NEW IAB MOBILE STUDY
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a report this week on the mobile shopping experience, “Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective”. While the global payment system is of less concern to U.S. book publishers, the ecosytem of research, engagement and purchase is critical to book buyer’s experience and offers relevant insight even when ads are not directly linking to a buy page. Top results include:
- 76% of mobile purchasers say they have engaged with an ad in the last six months.
- 51% of mobile users bought in a store after researching on mobile (this is a good argument for the discovery and research function of ads)
- Top frustrations with mobile purchasing: Too expensive, Too slow, Hard to use, Previous bad experience, Unstable network
MOBILE USERS SPEND MORE TIME IN APPS
An eMarketer study released in September suggests that “more than 80% of smartphone internet time was spent with apps” as opposed to the mobile web.
If you are intent on reaching the mobile user, keep in mind that most of your audiences is using apps. The mobile app versus browser debate has been active since the first iPhone, with convincing arguments made at different times for each. But analysts at Gartner suggest the end of the debate is in sight—as the development of bots and Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) threaten to dethrone apps as our mobile device go-to.
NEW VIDEO TIPS PLATFORM BY PLATFORM
This New York Times article reveals the great splintering of video standards and best practices in a world where some platforms (such as YouTube) are watched with full sound and some (such as Facebook) tend to be watched with the sound off. Do we have to cut a different video for every platform now? Well, if you want to optimize engagement for each platform, then the answer is yes.
TWITTER RELEASES VIDEO STATS
Speaking of video best practices, Twitter released an infographic with insights into the best performing video ads on the platform. Details include who’s watching, what they’re watching and responding to, and what types of video get the best results.
SNAPCHAT UPS ITS VIDEO GAME
As Snapchat changes its company name to Snap, Inc., the company’s wider play for video content comes in focus. From distribution deals with Saturday Night Live to the expansion of the Discover channel to the launch of the company’s new hardware “toy”, Spectacles, Snap, Inc. is positioning itself as one possible answer to the question, Where does everybody go after TV?
Photo of Bruce Springsteen heading into his reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble (c) 2016 by Martha Otis
LONGER TWEETS: THUMBS UP OR DOWN?
The 140 character limit has been a defining feature of Twitter from the beginning—so it’s no surprise that the announcement that the company plans to extend that limit to as many as 10,000 characters has inspired mostly shrugs and scowls from users. AdWeek outlines six ways longer Tweets could work for marketers—most of which seem both obvious and missing the point. But regardless how the new limit plays out, marketers would be well-advised to continue to keep the message as short as possible.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR CRM DATA
One third of current CMOs say they use CRM data in advertising to improve insights about their customers. This article in eMarketer advocates using CRM data in ads—both to improve your ad targeting, and to learn more about your most devoted customers. In an interesting side note, the same article quotes a University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth survey found that nearly half of top executives look to digital advertising to increase sales, while only 13% thought social media platforms would do the same.
PERISCOPE UP FOR 2016
In this AdWeek Q&A, the CEO of Periscope talks about how marketers used the livestreaming division of Twitter in 2015 and what he’s looking for in 2016. There’s a lot of potential with Periscope for book publishers to experiment with author-reader interactions, book launches, and more. The traditional bookstore reading tour is a great way for authors to meet readers, but it’s hard to do well and profitably. Live streaming might be a more efficient way to get people talking.
ARE CARS THE NEXT MOBILE DEVICE?
Increasing connectivity within car operating systems is optimizing everything the mobile phone can do for the car experience. Combined with the in-roads being made by self-driving cars , this makes the future look bright for the audiobook market. Commuters in self-driving cars will be able to think about their entertainment options much more safely while on the road. But why wait for self-driving cars? These developments are already making it easier to target readers while they’re driving:
“In 2014, Pandora began selling in-car ads to marketers separately from its Web and mobile app promos (as well as combination packages). Pandora asserts that its audio ads are getting better marketing results compared to other digital promos.”
It’s a great new way to reach commuters that goes beyond the mass transit options we’ve had success with for years.
UNDERSTANDING THE FACEBOOK ALGORITHM
This Slate article does a deep-dive into the team that builds the newsfeed we see in Facebook—and along the way has a lot to say about machine-learning, AI, human curation, and how hard it is to make accurate predictions.
“GEEK CULTURE AT A MASSIVE SCALE”
Imgur’s audience—millennial men in the U.S.—is typically one that shuns advertising, but surprisingly they’ve embraced ads on the platform. Wondering who exactly you’d be advertising to? Imgur’s VP of Marketing describes the platform’s most common user:
“These aren’t necessarily people who are really excited and into sports, or golf, or boating. These are people who are into video games, science, technology, movies, and internet culture in general. As you know, that’s becoming mainstream. What used to be seen as being on the fringe is now becoming incredibly popular. So whether it’s that video games now make more money than movies, or if you look at all the recent blockbusters and how they’re all populated with movies about science fiction, fantasy, dinosaurs, superheroes — and now we have Dr Who merchandise on sale at Target, which years ago would have been unheard of.”
Sounds like something publishers of fantasy, SciFi and a certain style of thriller should be aware of.
As the New York City sidewalks become forests of blue spruce and Canadian tree sellers and the Rockefeller Center tree lights up the night, the world of digital advertising continues to evolve. Here are links to some of the most relevant ad news we’ve seen this week:
ADBLOCKING NOT YET AN ISSUE FOR MOBILE
Nieman Lab reports that, despite the sturm und drang, adblocking for mobile is currently not a factor, though it is affecting desktop:
“The good news from publishers’ perspective is that the mobile ad apocalypse does not seem to have arrived — yet, at least. While most publishers we spoke with were reluctant to share specific numbers on the record, most said that the share of their ads being blocked on mobile since iOS 9 launched in September was minuscule — ‘1 or 2 percent’ was the range we heard most often. The big concern is still on the desktop.”
THE GUARDIAN GOES AFTER SPORTS
Digiday reports on how the Guardian’s digital team is going after the global sports audience. With the growing U.S. market interest in the English Premier League, this could make it a good venue for the right book.
TWITTER’S PROMOTED MOMENTS CAN BE YOURS FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS
Twitter’s “Moments” channel has a lot of promise, especially when advertising around live events such as sports or presidential election days. As with most new high profile platforms, the bar for entry is too high for book publishers: a cool million. But over time those prices will come down. Meanwhile we can see how the high cost Starbucks, REI, and Verizon campaigns perform now, while thinking about what we want to do more efficiently down the road.
FACEBOOK GETS INTO LIVE STREAMING
The social media giant introduced a live streaming platform that will compete with Periscope and Meerkat. Given their user base, this is definitely a platform that’s worth watching.
FACEBOOK’S NOT COOL, BUT IT HAS ITS USES
YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are at the top of this survey of social media that teens find “cool.” But while Facebook is only the seventh coolest in the list, teens still use it:
“A new study from research firm Forrester found that while only 65% of 12 t0 17-year-olds consider the social network “cool,” (ranking it below most other popular apps), it still generates more “hyper usage” than Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter. About 61% say it’s the social network they use the most.”
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW STUDIES MOBILE’S IN-STORE IMPACT
In a study sponsored by Google, HBR looked into the impact of mobile activity on brick and mortar stores. Among the findings: 28% of in-store sales were influenced by mobile activity before or during the purchase, and top uses included searching for a local retailer who carried the item (39%) or taking a picture of an item to ask a friend or family member for an opinion (38%).
SNAPCHAT LETS ‘DISCOVER’ USERS SHARE
For the first time, Snapchat is allowing companies to “deep link” to content shared on Snapchat from elsewhere. As Digiday reports:
“Until now, Discover publishers couldn’t link to their Snapchat pages from anywhere outside the app. With the benefit of social media promotion, they are likely to see a boost in traffic. It is similar to how YouTube creators expand their audience by sharing video links to third-party platforms.”
THE PAST AND FUTURE OF BANNERS
Are the best years of banner ads in the past or in the future? AdWeek makes a case for programmatic creative.
Just in time for the fall harvest, a host of new ad units are announced from Twitter and Snapchat . . .
TWITTER’S NEW “MOMENTS” FEATURE A PLAY FOR MORE ADS
Watch for “Promoted Moments” in the next few days. The ad opportunity will only be as successful as the platform that offers it.
PRE-ROLL ADS COMING TO VIDEOS ON TWITTER
More new features are coming from Twitter all the time, including video pre-roll. Publishing partners get 70% of the revenue:
“So far, 200 publishers, sports leagues and television networks have signed up to run the ads in their videos via Twitter Amplify, including the WWE, MTV, Vox Media, Aol and HGTV.”
GROWTH OF TIME SPENT ON MOBILE DEVICES SLOWS
ON THE BENEFIT OF SEEING THE COMPLICATIONS
In Fusion, Alexis Madrigal offers a nuanced take on “The Deception that Lurks in Our Data-Driven World” that’s especially relevant for advertisers in the age of data:
“Take the ad-supported digital media ecosystem. The idea is brilliant: capture data on people all over the web and then use what you know to show them relevant ads, ads they want to see. Not only that, but because it’s all tracked, unlike broadcast or print media, an advertiser can measure what they’re getting more precisely. And certainly the digital advertising market has grown, taking share from most other forms of media . . . But scratch the surface, like Businessweek recently did, and the problems are obvious. A large percentage of the traffic to many stories and videos consists of software pretending to be human.”
SNAPCHAT TURNS SELFIES INTO ADS
For a cool $750,000, Snapchat will turn its new selfie “lenses” into an ad for your book:
“The Financial Times reports that the Venice, Calif.-based player is starting to sell sponsored “lenses” in the coming months. This will add to a new feature the app rolled out two weeks ago, which adds graphics like big eyes to photos and vomiting rainbows to videos. The one-day ad unit will reportedly cost $750,000 for big-ticket holidays like Halloween and Christmas and $450,000 the rest of the year.”
THE RISE OF DYNAMIC AND PERSONALIZED CREATIVE
Advertising is increasingly taking advantage of personalized creative to boost engagement—whether it’s making sure the creative reflects the time of day, the location, or the user’s age:
“Among agencies that did use data for dynamic creative, demographic data was the most common type employed for the purpose, with 58.4% of respondents claiming to use it. More than half (55.3%) of respondents said they apply location API. Time and weather data were also used fairly frequently.”
TWITTER AD OPTIONS EXPAND
Twitter expands its ad products to drive video views and Tweet engagements beyond the Twitter platform.
FOOD AND PINTEREST
57% of Pinterest users have browsed food content on Pinterest while in store. For cookbook publishers, that sounds like an opportunity:
“DIY and crafts, home decor, food and drink, design, and hair and beauty were the leading content categories for which users considered Pinterest a “go-to” source”
GREAT POETS STEAL, BAD POETS BORROW . . .
But if you’re a marketer for McDonalds you need to be a little more careful with where you get your images.
THE SIX BEST PRACTICES OF VIDEO SHARING:
(1) Front-loaded excitement, (2) Gifs tied into cultural moments, (3) Audio-agnostic experimentations, (4) Creator collaborations, (5) Brands as live broadcasters, (6) Content with a cause. Now you don’t have to click the link.
HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO MAINSTREAM VR?
Unprecedented marketing opportunities are coming soon when social, engaged marketing practices meet virtual reality. Mainstream VR devices are coming soon from Valve, HTC, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and more. While that doesn’t mean they’re going mainstream for another 5 years or so, it’s worth starting to get to know the possibilities now.
Location-based marketing comes into its own
By Tom Thompson
One of the most promising new ways to let people know about books is location-based marketing. Of course location-based marketing has been around as long as there’ve been street teams, billboards and bar coasters, but the field is opening up in exciting new directions thanks to recent innovations.
We share in the excitement for services like Foursquare that we heard from the slew of publishing industry pros who attended the recent SXSWi conference. We think there’s a lot to explore there, from building plot-based treasure hunts on Gowalla to unlocking book-related badges on Foursquare.