Archives for posts with tag: YouTube

A few weeks ago, I started working with a new client, a mid-size business. They started using Social Media a few years back and, over time, developed presences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, a blog, Facebook Places, Tumblr and just started on Pinterest. Their previous Social Media consultant operated on the premise: Businesses need to be on as many social media channels as they can.

Why? In this rapidly changing world, businesses never know where their customer is going to be, so a business needs to be everywhere.

dunce-cap

Mr. Consultant, stand in the corner and write “I will never recommend something that insane again.” 10,000 times.

There are two reasons why consultants, experts or agencies would give obnoxious advice:

– They try to fleece customers.

– They don’t know what they are doing.

I won’t even bother with people that try to fleece brands. Ultimately, brands will see through it and end the scam prematurely.

I’m much more concerned with people that believe in the philosophy that brands should be everywhere. Should Axe advertise on each TV Channel, even the Hallmark Channel? Should PETA run an ad in the Hunter’s Journal? Should Obama advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show?

Social Media shows its immaturity when “being everywhere” is still an advice I hear every day. Just like traditional and digital media, social media needs to rely on research – for example a social media audit. Understanding demographics, psychographics, spend decisions, social network use, day/time parting – all the good stuff and more that helps you understand where you need to be, when you need to be there, and what you should be doing/saying while you’re around. This helps brands and their community not to waste anyone’s time, helps to achieve goals and measure results.

Don’t be everywhere. Just be where your research tells you to be.

Good aggregation of data by Esteban. Below are a few notes:

– Ranked by growth, India (51.7%) and Indonesia (51.6%) are the Top 5 social networking countries, followed by India, Mexico and Brazil.

– Only 16% of Facebook “fans” see posts. Make sure that is communicated to stakeholders when you report your Facebook reach.

– U.S. Social Media ad spending to reach $9.8 billion by 2016, challenging traditional advertising and threatening display ad growth.

– Google+ has 150 MM monthly active users after only 1 year, less of social network more of a SoLoMo layer.
– Since December 2011, YouTube views have dropped by 28% while YouTube tries to be a TV-like appointment viewing platform with their premium channels.
– 75% of U.S. Smartphone owners regularly use location-based services.
– Pinterest visits are slowing down, just like the number of users of FB Connect. A correction or a trend?
– “Social Business” shifting from buzzword to market reality.

tumblr_lh8o52B34u1qb5t2do1_500

For its annual look at the blogging world, Technorati interviewed 4,114 bloggers in 145 countries. The focus of this year’s report was on why and how they blog, how they connect with brands and the usage of Social Media.

The Bloggers

The majority of surveyed bloggers were hobbyists (61%) with varied frequency of posting. 11% of the surveyed bloggers post daily, 13% are hoping for extra income and only 5% are professional bloggers. The majority of bloggers are educated, married parents between 25 and 44 years old. The majority continues to be male (59%), we experience a slight gender shift from last year when 64% were men.

80% of surveyed have been blogging for over two years, and around 50% for over four years. They tend to juggle an average of three different blogs, last year the average was two years.

The Platform War

The term ‘blogosphere’ is hardly used anymore because it’s hard to define the line between a blog and another social network. Is Instagram a blog? Twitter? Foursquare?

51% of surveyed bloggers used WordPress, followed by Blogger (21%) and Blogspot (14%). Social Media continues to be biggest traffic driver (Facebook, Twitter, and new face in the crowd, Google+). The average number of Twitter followers for a blogger is 847, jumping to 1,674 when we’re talking about a professional blogger. Interesting to see how quickly professional bloggers jumped on the Google+ bandwagon to further syndicate their content. Still, this is not an indication that Google+ has any staying power.

90% of professional bloggers use Twitter to promote their content, 40% of them use automated tools to syndicate their content, 37% link their Twitter and Facebook accounts so they only have to post once. Besides Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn was the next most popular social platform followed by YouTube and Flickr.

The majority of traffic comes from Facebook and Twitter, followed by LinkedIn, YouTube and upstart StumbleUpon. Additional traffic is derived from tags, comments, Google, Technorati and SEO.

The Blogging Business

2/3 of bloggers post about brand, and a 1/3 do reviews. Brands are intrigued by the power of bloggers and they tend to aggressively court them. A third of hobby bloggers are approached by brands twice a week, while professional bloggers get approached an average of eight times a week. Some bloggers receive up to 1,000 pitches a week.

Still, bloggers feel undervalued by brands – 60% feel they’re not treated as well by brands as the traditional media. Often, brands don’t research the blogs well enough and they are not interested in building a real relationship with the blogger. Less than 25% of respondents said brands provide any value.

When bloggers sign a deal with brands, 86% disclose the nature of the paid post and 58% disclosed when they were reviewing a product they had received for free. (This is a disturbing number: Brands need to require bloggers to disclose their paid posts and free products 100%)

Who influences bloggers? Other bloggers. In 2010 only 30%, in 2011 68% of other bloggers influence them. The other influencers (in decreasing importance): friends, social media, print, family, major news sites and TV.

An interesting report you need to read in detail before connecting a brand with blogger.

Here’s the full report.

445599bb189e54c71f605bd87d6f0f4b1cd6efcc_m

Yahoo!, the last traditional media company, is in deep trouble. Just like AOL, MSN and Forbes.com – dinosaurs founded in a time where media agencies had to manage scarcity. The Yahoo! Homepage used to be part of a digital media plan just like buying commercials during the NFL season for beer brands. Two things changed: ad networks, DSP’s and ad exchanges changed the focus of media agencies from placement buying to audience buying. And, more importantly, people are less interested in reading professional content and pay more attention to content created by their friends.

What is Yahoo’s response to a changed marketplace and customer behavior?

More content, more video, more, more, more. I wonder if Albert Einstein’s “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” has become Yahoo’s mission statement. More is not the answer. Traditional media companies will never be able to compete with the amount of content created on Social Networks, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Blogs, sites, Tumblr, etc. I’m not predicting the death of Yahoo!, nothing ever dies. VCR’s are still flashing “12:00” in millions of households, papers are being delivered to millions of door steps each morning and millions of faxes are being delivered each week. It took decades after the telegraph

was invented until the last telegraph was sent. (January 27, 2006, to be exact.) Yahoo! will be around for a long time to come. More irrelevant and less valuable by the day.

The demise of Yahoo! points to an important development

Online advertising is in the middle of a radical evolution but the majority of agencies/brands are acting as if it was still 2005. During that period, the majority of digital marketers were complaining about silos and the fact that they were cut off from the traditional campaign. Digital advertising had no place at the table and was not more than an afterthought: “Make sure the banner ad looks like the commercial.”

The disconnect is now between display advertising and social media

I see more integration between TV/Print campaigns and Social Media compared to Display Advertising and Social Media. The challenge is that Display Advertising continues to be deeply anchored in the world of Direct Marketing, creating a massive disconnect between that display advertising and Social Media. When your goal is to convert prospects into leads, a Social Media integration seems nothing than a silly distraction. Or, is it?

We’re reliving 2005 in the display advertising space: SEM/SEO is always at the table, Social Media the hot new toy and display advertising was relegated to the basement and algorithms.

What is the remaining value of media buying agencies?

The agency role in this new ecosystem will be re-evaluated by brands. The main challenge for media buying agencies will be their unique value proposition. It used to be access, buying power and custom tools. That competitive advantage is slowly disappearing because content created outside of traditional media properties gains importance and relevance over time.

The secondary challenge is the lack of trusted measurements. Ask 100,000 marketers about trusted and reliable measurements and you will get 150,000 answers. Is it impressions, clicks, conversions, engagement, connections – what the hell is it? It’s a lack of industry leadership but also a lack of confidence by agencies based on the fickle brands. “Oh, you focus on conversions? Sure, we can do that.”

Sorry, I don’t know the answer. I just have a lot of questions.

The marketing landscape continues to evolve rapidly. We’re still trying to answer the questions of 2005, while our clients expect us to answer the questions of 2012. As a industry, we need to find better ways to measure, to attribute and to communicate our value proposition to clients.

The conference season is upon us. I hope we can spend less time talking about case studies and acting as if we knew the answers. Instead, let’s ask more questions.

1301244839224925

Amy Winehouse died last week.

She was an amazing talent. I’ve seen her once in concert and was just blown away by her stage presence and that voice. Oh, that voice.

Sadly, most people will remember her for the drug escapades. For the tortured soul she was. In the age of YouTube, we tend to focus on the negative stuff. On the worst performance.

That happens to many performers. More people know about Kurt Cobain’s demise than his brilliant gift as an artist. Richard Burton, a gifted actor, had a part in Exorcist II. (I hope you didn’t see it.) Buster Keaton performed in Beach Blanket Bingo (!!!!!!!!!) in 1965.

What’s true of actors is true of companies. People don’t just look at your best work, the project you put your heart and soul in. They make a judgement about you based on everything you do and everything you’ve done. (Google never forgets!)

That applies to:

  • Brands with great commercials but horrendous brand experience.
  • Agencies that showcase their best work from small clients while conveniently forgetting about the work they do for clients who pay the bills.
  • Brands with a sophisticated social presence and a phone tree taking you 15 minutes to get to the right person.

In the end, you will be judged by the worst piece of work you ever created. It’s out there for everybody to see. It’s not about what you did 10 years ago, it’s about what you’re doing right now.

Just like any actor in a C-movie, you will be judged by your worst work.

Plan for it.

33bec802316fb56cb50c98c5b6e56579491acd49_m

One of the keys to being successful in the marketplace is to be findable. For many companies that translates into trying to be everywhere. It speaks to the old broadcasting mentality of filling every empty minute, space and sound wave with messages. And so companies have presences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Foursquare and and and. Mostly coupled with a weak infrastructure to support all these platforms, presences and initiatives.

These unfocused efforts often lead to deserted fad islands and empty bandwagons.

It’s more valuable to each stakeholder to identify first where your audience is and will be in the future. Join them in the best way you can. Take a long, hard look at your real capacity to add value to a platform. If all you be is mediocre, stay away. Build your infrastructure first and then join your audience. Not the other way around.

Your marketing shouldn’t be run by Google and SEO lords whispering in your ear to build more and more places and links. Your marketing should be run by the desire to provide something special and valuable.

werealljustkindawiningit

A commonly accepted truth is that we live in a snack culture: We devour our cultural input the way we eat sweets and tortilla chips. Bite-size content packages that are easy to digest and allow us to move on quickly to the next cultural snack. A world filled with dumb YouTube stunts, short blog posts and lifestreams. And while we’re entertaining ourselves to death, our old culture filled with thick books and deep, philosophic thoughts is being replaced with vapid content.

As it goes with a commonly accepted truths: It’s just a load of b.s.

Sure, the transformation from consumers to producers has led to an advent of bite-sized content: Blog posts, YouTube videos, Twitter expressions. At the same time, we’ve seen the exact opposite in mass media: Shows like Boardwalk Empire or Lost expects viewers to invest a lot of hours to get the full enjoyment out of them. Movies have gotten much longer, during the holidays season the average movie hoping to win an Academy Award is around 3 hours. Music isn’t limited to 3 minutes anymore because it’s not forced to oblige to the rules of Top 40 radio. Some songs are up 10 minutes long. I’ve heard DJ sets that were more than 12 hours long. Video Games changed from “Pong” to sophisticated games, requiring people to spend a lot of time and energy to master them.

Nostalgia doesn’t move us forward

I grew up in a world of 3 TV channels in Germany, 1 newspaper daily available at the newsstand and many, many books at home and in the library. Since I’m pretty curious, I read “War and Peace” and, yes, even “Ulysses”. And thousands of other books. Frankly, I had no other choices. Besides staring at the wall.

The cultural pessimist in me believes that almost nobody will read these books in the future. There’s just so much more interesting content out there. Thank God, the cultural pessimist in me is almost always wrong. The eternal optimist in me believes that our current feeling of being constantly overwhelmed by information will give way to a feeling of being in control. The challenge is that we feel a sense of excess right now: Internet searches turn up too many results, we continue to add people to our Social Graph, making tools like Twitter almost impossible to deal with. This is a temporary issue. We’re starting to devise ways to cope with the information overload. We will find new ways to select, summarize, and sort, and we will use our human judgment and attention to guide the process.

The reliance on the wisdom of crowds and algorithms has brought us to the point where some feel everything will be bite-sized. New ways of curating and introducing human editors to the mix will help us cope with the avalanche of information. And, who knows, one day we all will read Ulyssess in the subway and not stare at our Twitter feed.