Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and his team are launching a new video content promotion tool called Twitter Amplify.
The launch partners include A&E, Bloomberg TV, Clear Channel, Discovery, MLB, New York magazine, NCM, PGA Tour, The Audience, Time Inc., Vevo, Vice, Variety, and Warner Music Group.
The new product allows media companies to push small video clips on Twitter — such as sports highlights or tornado footage — out to followers, accompanied by a brief video ad as a pre-roll or post-roll.
Ford has already been doing work with ESPN’s college sports properties on Twitter, with a Ford ad lasting just a few seconds rolling in front of spectacular dunk footage from college basketball games.
Glenn Brown, Twitter’s director of promoted content and partnerships, said he hoped it would do for media content what Nigel Tufnell’s amplifier does in the movie “Spinal Tap”: “We want Twitter to take it to 11.”
Costolo described a dramatic example of the combined power of TV and Twitter: He described how, during NASCAR races, viewership declines when there is a fire on the track because the race is paused under “yellow flag” conditions.
But in one race in February last year, driver Brad Keselowski tweeted a picture of a fire on the track from inside his car, Costolo said. It’s been retweeted 5,200 times so far.
“Why he had his phone in the car during the race is a whole other story,” Costolo said, but “the ratings for the show started — people started to tune in.”
Consider this: anyone, strangers included, can tell a great deal about you via your digital footprint; that is, the trail you leave behind as you share updates, post pictures or check into places. It’s likely that you’re broadcasting what you look like, where you work, where you’ve been, who you know, what you like to do, and of course, your views on a variety of topics.
As the amount of information continues to pile up online, your digital footprint can either help or hurt your personal brand and your business.
I’ve seen business owners and personal contacts tarnish their reputations with a few words or a few clicks, not realizing the full power of the digital world. Every picture you post, every status you like, every update you send is essentially announcing to the world who you are, permanently.
Over the past two days alone, I’ve witnessed two pretty major gaffes take place in my network – both of which were unfortunate and completely avoidable. In the first instance, a business owner publicly called someone out on Facebook in regards to a personal issue, complete with profanity. In the second incident, a professional who works for a major energy company ‘Liked’ what could be considered an inappropriate public photo. The action showed up on the feed of everyone who followed them.
Think for a moment of the repercussions. Before I do business with or consider hiring anyone, the first thing I do is find their social media profiles and find out what they’re all about. Do you swear? Stop. Are you overly negative or regularly posting inappropriate things? Don’t do it. Published words, and any online actions for that matter, can easily be misinterpreted, so be careful about how you may be coming across online. Whether it’s the language you use or the tone of what you are saying, every word you type, every action you take online is essentially what you are broadcasting publicly, and permanently.
At the same time, you still want to have a presence. So avoiding the social space entirely can backfire too. Many companies, including my own, use search engines and social media to dig up information all potential candidates. What are we looking for? We’re hunting down information to potentially validate your resume, to find out if you walk your talk and to learn more about you, as a person. Also, when I’m looking to use the services of another business, especially a business which is tied to a personal brand (as today they essentially all are) I do the same thing. I expect and know that potential clients of mine do the same when trying to find out more about my business.
It’s critical now, more-so than ever, to educate our employees, colleagues and especially children, that what they say or do online is permanent. It can be a great opportunity for you to build your brand or prove to be the easiest method of self-destruction. Maybe it’s time to do a personal digital analysis on yourself? You may be surprised looking from the perspective of an outsider.
Lisa Ostrikoff, Special to The Globe and Mail
Facebook is reportedly plotting a way to squeeze even more adverts into your News Feed — and this time they’ll be moving pictures!
Zuckerberg and pals are going to debut the new video ads in July, the Financial Times reports, in a bid to wring more cash out of the 750 million-strong social network.
Adverts will pop up in your News Feed, along with your pals’ status updates, baby photos, cats, food, engagement rings and more babies. Videos will apparently play automatically when the page loads, but will be muted by default.
If you choose to unmute, the video will start afresh. Each advert will be limited to a mere 15 seconds in duration, and Facebook will reportedly ensure you only see videos from a single brand in any given day.
Marketers continue to spend more on custom content, according to a recently released study from the Custom Content Council. On average, companies allocate 39 percent of their marketing, advertising and communications budgets toward content creation.
While spending on all types of marketing rose 9.2 percent between 201 2 and 2013, there is an increasing push toward digital content marketing. Between 40 and 44 percent of survey respondents expect to increase their spending on SEO, web updates and social content.
Custom content gets faster, more social and visual
Marketers are striving to keep their online presences fresh, and are diversifying their custom content strategies, according to the study. Companies’ websites are now updated on average more than three times per week. However, they aren’t just winning their audiences over with blog posts and news stories – they are complementing their established web content with active social media participation and video.
“Funds that were previously earmarked for print are being shifted to social and video content,” said Lori Rosen Executive Director of the Custom Content Council.
Marketers are now using content crafted exclusively for social networks more often than other formats. Developing robust presences on social networks helps brands engage their customers, drive traffic back to their websites and educate prospective buyers to qualify sales leads, according to eMarketer. Data shows that user reviews on social sites have a growing influence on customers who are making car-purchasing decisions.
“In this survey, 62 percent of respondents now report using video in their content marketing. Branded video is closing in on web and print as one of content marketing’s most common form,” Rosen added.
Brafton recently reported that video content is also being consumed more rapidly by American consumers. ComScore’s Video Metrix data found that people watched 39.3 billion videos in March 2013.
Brands must recognize that content marketing is evolving. In order to reach target audiences, marketers may need to diversify their campaigns and interact with new and existing customers where they’re most active online.
Traffic to Twitter’s video-sharing network Vine exploded last month, making Vine.com one of the fastest-growing sites in America. Vine hit second place on Compete.com’s fast mover list for April, surpassing two million unique visitors to the website alone.
“We may be witnessing the rise of Twitter’s recently acquired Vine,” Compete.com’s Conor O’Mahony said in an email.
Vine, which bills itself as “the best way to see and share life in motion,” was acquired by Twitter for $30 million in October of 2012, when it had only three employees. The site is essentially a combination of a video-based Instagram and Twitter, as users upload short 6-second videos and share them with friends.
Two million unique visitors is not huge, of course, although it is significant. But it’s important to note that many users who access Vine solely via mobile will not be counted, and that this is a momentum signal, not a sign that Vine is already at Twitter or Facebook-style reach.
Instagram is adding one of Facebook’s most popular features — photo tagging — to its iOS and Android apps Thursday. You can now tag people in photos, and browse feeds of photos you and others appear in.
Previously, the only way to find out whether a photo of you was uploaded to Instagram was to crawl through your activity feed, hoping someone had mentioned your username in a caption (i.e., @laureni). Likewise, there’s been no easy way to share a photo someone uploaded of you to your own followers; oftentimes, I see friends share screenshots of another user’s photo that they appear in, captioned with the hashtag #regram.
Unfortunately, @mentions will not be automatically converted into photo tags, a spokesperson for Instagram confirmed. If you want to add tags to your old photos, you’ll have to do it manually, one by one.
US moms continue to increase their social media usage. According to a March 2013 study by comScore for online parenting resource BabyCenter, more than 90% of US mom internet users reported using social media on a regular basis. BabyCenter estimated that 20% more moms used social media in 2013 than did so in 2010. At this point, moms who do not use social media are becoming practically unheard of.
Moms between 18- to 34-years-old were not only more likely to be on social sites, they also spent considerably more time on Facebook than the general population—24% more time on desktop, and factoring in mobile, young moms spent 260% more time than the average user.
BabyCenter also found that moms overindex in their use of all the other leading social platforms—YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+
Twitter advertising now has options for all U.S. users. The company had previously made advertising on the platform invite-only.
Twitter advertising was first introduced in 2010, and has been expanding advertising on the social network ever since. Most recently, Twitter opened its advertising API to third parties, which will let larger advertisers create more sophisticated campaigns on Twitter.
“Over the past year we’ve listened carefully to feedback from the thousands of businesses and individuals who’ve had access to the self-serve tool, and made enhancements based on their suggestions, including more targeting and reporting in the UI,” the company wrote in a blog post. “It’s because of this feedback that effective today, we’re ending our invite-only period and opening signups for our self-serve ad platform to all users in the U.S.”
The company, which is expected to go public within the next year or so, is is projected to earn $1 billion in ad revenues in 2014, according to eMarketer.
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