Charity auction site Omaze returned to the iMedia Brands in Video chart for the second time ever with the launch of a live 3D experience of the film "Magic Mike XXL." Channing Tatum pranked viewers by disguising himself and convincing the crowd they were attending an exclusive 3D viewing party of the July 1 movie release. The 3D view burst into real male dancers, and Channing Tatum took off his disguise to reveal himself. Omaze also gained viewership from videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger pranking people around Hollywood as the Terminator. At No. 3, this is the highest rank Omaze has received on the chart, and its first appearance since March 2014.
With a No. 1 rank for the second month in a row, Samsung continues to dominate the chart. Samsung's "Galaxy S 6 vs. 6" campaign contributed more than 21 million of Samsung's 91 million views for the month. The campaign compared the Galaxy S 6 Edge to Apple's iPhone 6. Samsung showcased the Galaxy S 6 Edge by demonstrating a wireless charging system and a widescreen camera for family selfies that doesn't cut anyone out of the frame.
Google was the runner up, grabbing the No. 2 spot for the second month in a row. Google has made the chart a total of 46 times, the most appearances on the chart of any brand. Google's campaign "The Google App" was responsible for 43 percent of the brand's total views for the month. All videos in the campaign have a home video feel and show people using the Google app in a variety of settings. These short clips are simple yet humorous.
Three health and beauty brands as well as one fast food restaurant, Wendy's, earned their first appearance in the monthly chart. Kleenex's "Unlikely Best Friends" tells an emotional and heartwarming story about a dog, Chance, who was found on the side of the road where he had been left to die. Mike, one half of the couple who decided to adopt Chance, is paralyzed from the waist down, just like Chance. Chance can't jump and run like other dogs, but he can still get around in a wheelchair. Mike and Chance share a bond and friendship that connected strongly with viewers, leading to more than 24 million views in the month of June for the campaign. Dogs in advertisements are always an irresistible crowd pleaser, and the relationship that Chance and Mike share is a touching story not only for animal lovers, but also for anyone watching.
Both Maybelline and Gillette made the chart this month with campaigns that focused on confidence. Maybelline's campaign "No Maybes," which garnered more than 10 million of the brand's 23 million views for the month, starred two beautiful models, Ruby Rose and Gigi Hadid. The campaign aims to give women who may struggle with self-doubt the courage they need to "own it" with no regrets or apologies.
While Maybelline built up women's confidence, Gillette's new campaign, "Shave Forth," focuses on giving men the confidence to go beyond shaving just their faces into the world of manscaping, taking a strange and memorable approach. The video begins with a green man and other men with cardboard boxes for heads using Gillette's body razor in the bathroom. Then groups of men in green masks and cardboard boxes with faces run through the town. The sky turns dark, and they put on an intense synchronized swimming performance to electronic dance music. The music cuts out, and a mother hurriedly ushers a small boy who had been watching away from the pool. By making the ad unusual and out there, Gillette guarantees viewers will remember this video. The campaign accounted for 80 percent of Gillette's more than 22 million views for the month.
The brands that made the chart had a wide variety of creative approaches that contributed to their success, from a heartwarming story about a dog to wacky men dressed in odd costumes. The majority of brands that made the chart released campaigns that elicited emotions from viewers, were unique and memorable, or told a compelling story. These campaigns were able to grab the attention of viewers and led to these brands making the chart.
Branded video is becoming a global trend, with more and more countries seeing accelerated growth in branded video consumption. In our new international spotlight, we recognize trailblazing brands shaping the medium in their respective territories.
In Canada, TD Bank owned associations of gratitude and family with the launch of its second "#TDThanksYou" campaign. TD Bank launched the first "#TDThanksYou" campaign in June 2014, garnering a True Reach of 23.3 million views to date. In the latest initiative, "#TDThanksYou Then And Now," customers are taken down memory lane with blown-up images and messages from their family and friends, as well as monumental moments in their lives. The bank's office transformation serves as a grand gesture of gratitude and "journey through our years together" for loyal customers.
"#TDThanksYou Then And Now" garnered a True Reach of 13.8 million views within the first week of the campaign. Just as expert brands like Dove and Samsung own associations of "Real Beauty" and "Next Big Thing," by pairing consistent messaging with emotionally compelling content, TD Bank created an outsized impact.
iMedia's Brands in Video chart, powered by Visible Measures, focuses on aggregated brand view counts across related social video ad campaigns. Each brand and campaign is measured on a True Reach basis, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated and audience-driven video clips. The data are compiled using the patented Visible Measures platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on close to 400 million videos tracked across more than 300 online video destinations.
Note: This analysis does not include Visible Measures' paid-placement (e.g., overlays; pre-, mid-, and post-roll) performance data or video views on private sites. This chart does not include movie trailers, video game campaigns, TV show, or media network promotions. View counts are incremental by month.
Learn more here.
As Google evolves, so must SEO practitioners. With 500 to 600 algorithm changes per year, Google has kept SEOs busy reacting and adapting to new circumstances. An SEO's ability to adapt has become even more difficult in 2015. Google has kept quiet about almost all of its algorithm changes, even relatively major ones.
If SEOs want to keep up and continue providing value, they have to become significantly more agile.
The term agile refers to a project management methodology that involves constant iteration. Agile teams and organizations use constant feedback to provide continual, iterative improvement to products and service offerings. Since they're not building one big, finished product to ship, they can react quickly to change and adapt on the fly.
Agile SEO management has to become not only a process, but a practiced mentality. The ability to anticipate and prepare for changes is the key to being successful in the search world of today -- think of NHL Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky's quote about skating to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.
To get your teams thinking with an agile mindset, we recommend you focus on these top themes:
Today, search engine optimization isn't only about ranking high, it's about having broader visibility through different kinds of content. We do this by providing real value to consumers. Yesterday's objectives aren't necessarily relevant today. Agile SEOs refocus the core strategic principles with an emphasis on what they want to accomplish.
For example, if your goal is to increase conversions on your website, you might consider thinking more granularly and break it down into smaller objectives, such as:
Whatever your small indicators for success, having a clear purpose in mind helps to minimize tedious and irrelevant tactics that don't necessarily lead to your ultimate goal.
Nefarious robots are out to destroy your business.
No, this isn't the plot of the latest summer blockbuster. It's the all-too-real threat to advertisers that's happening right now: The theft of your marketing dollars.
Did you know that in 2015, an estimated $6.3 billion in marketing dollars will be stolen from advertisers? Ad fraud is a growing concern in the industry and a crucial front in agencies' never-ending battle to secure their clients' media buys. What is ad fraud? It's the use of illegal activity to exploit the system in order to get paid for fake, non-human traffic.
And what is this non-human traffic that is threatening your ad buy? Among other things, it's those nefarious bots.
Fake traffic is executed in a number of ways, including robotic traffic, or "bots," driven by code that mimics human online behavior (clicks, views, etc.). Bots are one of a variety of methods used to deliver bogus or non-viewable ad impressions.
The potential for digital ad fraud exists anywhere that media spending is significant and performance metrics are ambiguous or incomplete. As a marketer, you may be asking yourself what you can do to ensure your media buys are protected. How can you combat the bots?
The good news is, you can beat the bots. Okay, it's true that not all bot traffic is 100 percent avoidable. But the risk is significantly lower when you choose the right partner, armed with auditing technology, and who maintains a hyper-vigilance in monitoring each buy. You should quiz your agency and media partners about their philosophies on this issue and, more important, what best practices they have implemented in order to safeguard your ad spend from being wasted on fake traffic.
ï¿½ Strict media partner selection
Focus buys on lowest risk property types and/or certified partners
ï¿½ Strict measurement guidelines and processes
Examples include auditing tools, ad view ability measurement, and an in-house fraud prevention team.
ï¿½ Implementation of a third-party auditing tool
This is especially important across brand and engagement-focused buys.
ï¿½ Avoid or minimize more vulnerable or susceptible placements/units/dayparts
ï¿½ Revise standard terms and conditions to include ad fraud legalize
This will ensure that there are more formal safeguards in place from a financial standpoint.
The industry as a whole is moving quickly to combat ad fraud as digital media continues to grow as a focal point for modern marketing. More and more media partners in this space are taking a stand against ad fraud.
Down with the bots, and pass the popcorn!
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The goal of any digital marketer is to reach a wide, relevant audience that will engage with their brand by visiting a website, watching a video, downloading an app, making a purchase, or completing any other measurable conversion event. With a number of options available for segmenting and targeting audiences using first- or third-party data, it's important for marketers to fully understand the cross-device solutions available to them. Deterministic (login-based) and probabilistic (prediction-based) are the two methods of determining cross-device consumer identity -- though recently, while not quite converging, they have become increasingly comparable in terms of scale and accuracy.
For years, deterministic cross-device solutions were deemed preferable because they were more precise, meaning there was a better chance that the devices actually belonged to the individual than the vendor said they did. Yet, even the largest deterministic solutions are not 100 percent accurate, due to shared devices and logins. Today, however, Nielsen and other third-party measurement firms have tested samples of the leading probabilistic solutions against login data, and found them to be up to 97.3 percent accurate. This effectively closes the accuracy gap between the two methods, leaving cross-device scale, or audience reach, as the main differentiating factor. And the gap on audience reach is closing, too.
Three or four years ago, mobile advertising was in its relative infancy. Less than half a billion smartphones shipped in 2011, and Apple sold just over 32 million iPads that year. By contrast, this year, 1.4 billion smartphones and 233 million tablets will ship worldwide. The incredible amount of devices operating today only serves to emphasize the miniscule amount of online signals available from mobile devices in previous years. It's no wonder that deterministic solutions were treated as superior in the earliest days of cross-device solutions -- there was hardly any data for probabilistic solutions to even train on, let alone build the robust self-learning algorithms behind today's technology. In 2011, IP addresses were the critical data point used to pair devices. If a vendor identified a smartphone and a computer on the same IP, in some cases they assumed that those devices were connected in some way.
In 2011, there was barely enough data to go beyond IP address pairing, resulting in probabilistic technology scapegoated for being incomplete and inaccurate. Drawbridge, for example, was limited to a 65-70 percent precision level at this point in time, given that only a few hundred million ad requests per day were available to most companies. The limited device activity was also a factor in the limited scale of probabilistic solutions. There just weren't enough devices or enough data coming from those devices to build a precise solution with meaningful scale. Today, there are upwards of 80 billion daily requests, allowing companies to increase both precision and scale.
Most consumers today own two or three devices, which has led to an exponential increase in online data. As the amount of mobile data has grown, the overlap of users on desktop and mobile devices has become more prevalent. Algorithms have gotten smarter as a result. Machine-learning algorithms like data, and more data means a greater ability to detect patterns. This results in more precise solutions, which in turn enables better targeting and attribution of marketing spend for marketers, and more consistent user experiences across devices for consumers.
The reality is that there is a tradeoff between accuracy and scale. As the accuracy of the results increases, the consumer reach becomes smaller, and as scale increases, the accuracy declines. In other words, it would be relatively easy to build a 99.9 percent accurate solution, though that may only be for a few thousand consumers, which wouldn't be a very valuable solution for marketers. Conversely, we could build a solution that accounts for the 3 billion internet users on the planet today, but doing so would require lowering the accuracy threshold to low levels. Again, not valuable for marketers. The trick is finding the sweet spot -- where the reach is still significant, but so is the validity of that reach: precision at scale. Today, we think that balance sits at more than 1 billion consumers at over 95 percent precision, which includes more than 80 percent of consumers in the U.S., U.K., and most western European markets.
As a nice side effect of the race for "precision at scale," there has been so much more data observed and ingested by today's algorithms that these systems are able to do more than just pair devices. The technology has evolved from being capable of taking in maybe a dozen signals three years ago to hundreds today and, as a result, the predictive capabilities have evolved. Today's machine-learning technology is capable of building complete portraits of consumers beyond just their devices, to include predictions of age, gender, and even consumer habits. These data points are incredibly valuable to marketers.
Armed with accurate cross-device information at scale, marketers can gain greater insights into their customers and learn how to best engage them in order to drive better results. Traditionally marketers preferred deterministic data for its accuracy and scale, but probabilistic solutions have quickly caught up and are now formidable forces against these walled-garden environments based on consumer-provided data. Probabilistic identity solutions provide comparable precision, and some are even capable of matching the scale, while respecting consumer choice through the anonymous nature of the data points observed.
What do you think? With the reach and accuracy of the leading probabilistic solutions catching up to deterministic -- will 2015 mark a turning point in marketers' mindsets?
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Can you hear it?
That's the sound of music industry sponsorships taking the world of marketing to a whole new level.
Sponsorships have long stood as an effective way for companies to connect with target customers. Leveraged properly, they can deepen existing relationships while creating new ones. They lead to the collection of invaluable consumer data and can result in accelerated sales and solid returns well in excess of the initial investment.
The recent evolution of music industry sponsorships has only amplified these benefits for companies.
In the past, music sponsorships were limited to physical signage on stages, ads on ticket stubs, and verbal mentions between sets.
Today, this opportunity is seized in much more personalized and creative ways. Companies construct fun, interactive experiences that create socially shareable moments for both attendees and those watching online.
By using new mobile, social, and near field communication technologies, companies are communicating with and studying concert attendees like never before. These highly interactive experiences are not only leading to extraordinary levels of audience participation but also unprecedented levels of data collection.
The key to most successful music industry sponsorships is providing attendees with the feeling that they're participating in something bigger than the festival itself.
Heineken did a great job of this with its sponsorship of Poland's Open'er Festival.
Heineken realized that people don't go to festivals just to hear music; they also go to make new friends. The company encouraged concertgoers to "open their worlds" by creating personal messages and storing them on QR codes that, when scanned, revealed them to fellow attendees. By the end of the festival, Heineken had created and distributed approximately 5,000 "U-codes," which far surpassed its expectations.
Pepsi's sponsorship of iHeartRadio Music Festival 2014 is also worth examining. The company constructed a waterslide at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, built an ice sculpture sofa, and gave attendees the opportunity to win a customized soda cooler. None of these offerings had anything to do with music, but they brought new energy to the company's "refreshing taste" concept while simultaneously encouraging customer interaction.
In both of these examples, the sponsors provided a VIP atmosphere where concertgoers were encouraged to connect with the brand and other attendees. These were once-in-a-lifetime, highly shareable experiences that allowed the companies to covertly collect consumer data.
It's simple to extract the concepts behind these successful music industry partnerships and apply them to your future sponsorship opportunities. Keep these three key ingredients in mind:
This may seem like an oxymoron, but you need to provide your audience with a unique sense of VIP status that's easy to achieve. Think about how Heineken was able to make concertgoers feel like they were part of an exclusive social club.
The unique experience you provide should be something that attendees want to tell all of their friends about. They should feel compelled to take a selfie while sitting on your ice sculpture and post it to Instagram, tweet about how cool your waterslide was, and post on Facebook that they met their soul mate because of your QR code.
Find subtle ways to capture information that can be used to help your company in the long run. Encouraging attendees to connect with both your brand and other attendees is a great way to reveal consumer opinions. Make sure you capture that info when it's presented to you.
When these techniques are used properly, consumers end up doing the heavy lifting and making your job a whole lot easier. Not only can you create a great and memorable one-time experience, but you can also leave the event with a lot of useful data to create more impactful and enriching relationships with customers and prospects.
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The anthropologist, the collaborator, and the hurdler. These are just a few of the different types of innovators that you'll come across in Tom Kelley's book "The Ten Faces of Innovation." There are many others, but these were the ones highlighted as part of Chad Vavra's excellent workshop at the iMedia Agency Summit. Chad is the director of experience, strategy, and design at Isobar and talks about the different types of innovators you'll come across in the office. Which one are you and why?
This article is brought to you by Resonate.
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Article written and video edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.
"Perpetual motion with light bulbs. Idea concept on blue background." image via Shutterstock.
We are going to look at a few marketing tactics and techniques that consumers are not paying attention to. Some of these are incorrect usages of truly effective tactics and others have passed their prime. Let's take a look.
You know what they are, you probably see at least several a week on various advertisements you run into. But are you using QR codes in your marketing? In 2012, Inc found that 97 percent of consumers don't even know what they are, yet they continue to be used.
You may run across some marketers who are adamant that they work well, and even big brands use them in various ways, but to rely on a QR code to make your campaign successful is not a good idea.
According to a report by comScore, despite the dramatic rise in mobile usage year over year, the number of people scanning QR codes has plateaued since 2012.
If you are going to use a QR code in your advertising or marketing, make sure that you provide at least one alternate way to access the same information. With at least 9 in 10 consumers not recognizing what a QR code even does, you run the risk of having a key part of your campaign be completely missed by your target audience.
We all sell for a living, and one of the toughest challenges can be getting a traditional marketer to approve concepts and budgets for innovative digital programs. Some try to slam concepts through, and often fail to get buy-in. Others recognize that winning the budgetary affections of a traditional marketer requires some finesse -- like a well-choreographed dance.
Here are five steps that can help you dance your way to consistent wins.
The late, great Arthur Murray popularized ballroom dance in America. His legacy is a company that now has more than 260 dance education studios worldwide. And what they do in those studios is teach dance in ways that are fun, supportive and step-by-step. Pun intended. Teaching that ensures that the new dancer feels their own progress with each lesson.
Most traditional people have tons of curiosity about digital. They read the trades. Their kids are Snapchatting and Instagramming all day. They get its power on an intellectual level. But you can't dance if no one takes the time to show you the steps. It's the same with digital. That traditional marketer won't get into what you are selling without getting out on the metaphorical hardwood and trying.
If you want to sell a Pinterest program, get your boss on Pinterest. If you want to sell a big tablet initiative, get them to agree to give up their PC for a day, and lend them your iPad. Trying to sell in an app? Show them a competitor app. Digital is participatory, not passive. By making participation part of your pitch, you will be amazed at what you can push through. That traditional marketer will thank you for your efforts. There's a difference between not being capable of dancing, and not knowing how.
There is no perfect solution right now for the issue of big data, but there are some very interesting ways to look at the ecosystem and derive some conclusions. As incredibly useful as data is, marketers need to remember that consumers are human beings, and you need to be able to properly interpret that data to really know the consumer better. We need to be better about the way all of this data is leveraged. Proper interpretation of data affects the way that you reach out to consumers. Avoid glancing quickly over data and "reaching out a dirty hand" to consumers. Instead take the time to digest the information in front of you and make a genuine connection with them.
Kevin Hung, SVP and digital innovations director of Havas Media, discusses why it's so difficult to trace the right path with data, and provides tips on how to approach consumers.
This article is brought to you by Resonate.
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Article written and video edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.
"Big bang of future technologies, computer generated abstract background" image via Shutterstock.
As of late, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding SEO -- whether it ceases to exist, if it's now blended into the tactics better known as "content marketing," or if it still remains essential, and predominantly a set of website-centric tasks. By now, I'm sure we've all heard the phrase, "SEO is dead." While yes, we may be in agreement that certain aspects of traditional search engine optimization are no longer relevant, SEO is certainly not dead. It is simply evolving, and we, as marketers, experience the changes on a continual basis. Content marketing strategy has emerged as the ultimate roadmap to drive engagement in every channel. Will our old definition of SEO survive this transition? Certainly not. However, we can instead formulate a new understanding of what it means to optimize for search while creating valuable consumer experiences through content.
When we think about the traditional pillars of SEO, they're often broken down into these three categories:
Search engine optimization was considered to be a very technical process -- worshipping the then-simpler algorithms to generate top search ranking, and carefully pinpointing the tactics to boost website traffic. It was about removing technical obstacles, stuffing our content with specific keywords, and excessively linking -- focusing solely on rank.
However, as marketers, we recognize there are several factors that have driven dramatic change in the way we define our SEO strategies.
Proven and established best practices remain a part of SEO, but search engines today have transformed their algorithms to reflect a much different kind of value than we've seen in the past: user experience. With updates to Google like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, brands have been required to adjust their content strategies to reflect not only an improved search engine, but to shift the focus to a new audience -- the end-user, rather than the search engine spider.
SEO is no longer just an effort to be No. 1 for your designated search terms, but rather it has evolved into a much broader landscape of idea and information sharing. What we like to categorize as "content" and "authority" have emerged as more critical components in understanding the successful approach to SEO. Today, content is often evaluated by its usefulness, relevancy, and educative value -- in other words, its ability to genuinely engage searchers, influencers, and social media audiences alike. By monitoring consumer insights, we are able to clearly identify audiences and give them access to content tailored to their specific interests. That's how great brand experiences occur, which then stimulate conversions.
As content marketing and SEO strategies are evolving, so too does our notion of ranking. While the coveted No. 1 ranking in the SERP was once deemed the ultimate recognition of SEO success, today we have substituted the concept of "ranking" with "visibility". What do we mean by visibility? It means capturing as much "non-paid" real estate on the search engines results page as possible (i.e., answer box, knowledge graph, image carousel, etc.). It also means having a reach far beyond just the SERP, extended to touch audiences across different content platforms, social media channels, and devices. It's giving people the chance to find, connect with, and learn from your content in the places they seek it. In addition to the broader, conceptual understanding of visibility, we all must think about it in the physical sense. Mobile visibility has become particularly significant, as consumers continue to change their online behavior and engagement patterns. Search experts have certainly harped on the importance of mobile optimization, and rightfully so. This evolution cannot be ignored.
Marketers and SEO practitioners have become more deeply aligned with these new methods of SEO and, in turn, have implemented strong content marketing strategies to bolster them. As we continue on this path and glance ahead, we must continue to create content not for search engines, but for people.
Let us take a step into the future of the SEO landscape -- in fact, the term "search engine optimization" may no longer exist on its own at all. For all intents and purposes, let's call it what it is: content marketing. Content marketing will no longer be seen as the driver of a single channel, rather it will be the driver of all channels. We will leave methods of optimizing for channel-specific engagement behind. This will mean breaking down the internal silos within an organization, and allowing different marketing segments to function synergistically. It means that data scientists, writers, and content creators will work together on these strategies.
More and more, consumers have demonstrated that they value interactivity. We can no longer assume that the everyday consumer is going to be engaged by a static, text-based piece of content on their desktop. And their expectations only increase by the day. As they travel through their omnichannel journeys of brand engagement and product exploration, consumers will want content that adapts. A piece of content should travel seamlessly through the channels right alongside the people who view it. More than anything, content will become an experience.
As we look back on the SEO of the past and move forward towards a content marketing future, we have undoubtedly traveled a long, complex path. Though our methods have changed, our goals have perhaps remained relatively similar. We have always desired the visibility a good SEO strategy generates, but today we recognize that that visibility has taken on a much more thorough definition. As the marketing and consumer worlds continue to evolve, we must all participate in a greater conversation about content. If SEO is evolving, so must marketers. Adapt and surviveï¿½it's the only way!
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