People who watch video on their mobile phone spend more than half their time watching videos that are longer than 30 minutes. That’s a very surprising fact. For years, it’s been all about the short-form. Keep it under five minutes if you want viewers to click and stay until the end – especially mobile viewers. They’re on the move and they don’t have time for a ten minute tutorial or an hour long TV show.

Clearly, that thinking doesn’t apply anymore.

According to Ooyala’s Q4 Global Video Index video viewing on tablets and smartphones is up 160% year-over-year. Think that’s a lot? Try 719% from Q4 2011.

Now look at the breakdown by device:

Ooyala Video by Device

Going by these little dials, long-form totally rules. Desktop and Tablet viewers come in around 60% but look at Mobile (non-tablet) with 75%.

Looking just at long-form, we see that mobile viewers are happy to sit down and consume more than 60 minutes at one time. What are they watching? Sports is a biggie with an average of just under 20 minutes per play. If it’s live, it’s even better and we’re not just talking sports.

Desktop viewers consume an average of 35 minutes per play when the event is live. This could be news coverage, a webinar, an online concert, etc.  On tablets, live stream consumption is 2x greater than video on demand. In other words, stop putting off that live tutorial or interview that you’ve been planning. The time is now.

The key to reaching this mobile audience is knowing your audience. 34% of digital brands told Ooyala that they felt they knew their audience “extremely well.” 59% said they knew “a little” about them. That’s not good. How can you serve your audience if you don’t know your audience? Are they under 20? Over 40? Mostly women? High income? Urban?

If you’re posting video to YouTube, you can pull most of this from the analytics but I’d bet that a third of the people who read this have never looked beyond the opening screen of the analytic dashboard. The only reason those people even bother is to see how many pennies they made this week in Adsense.

Not surprisingly, 83% of publishers said they saw video monetization as a huge opportunity. It is but it’s more than that. Video is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. It allows you to not only pass along helpful information, video is personal, so your customer feels like they know you. We’d all rather buy from someone we know, so don’t be shy about putting your face and personality in your business vids.

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Yesterday, Twitter announced a change that will make their profile pages look more like Facebook. Today, Facebook comes right back with a design change of their own that has been a long time coming. No, they’re not going to start showing all your Page posts to your followers – wouldn’t that be nice? They are going to update that outdated sidebar with ads that mimic the look of a Facebook post.

Way to go native-ish, Facebook.

Facebook updated ads

The new ad will be the same size and proportion as a desktop newsfeed ad. If you’re running both types of ads, that means you can use the same creative and that means you save time.

But the ease of use isn’t going to help most marketers. What is going to help marketers is the bold statement these new ad formats make.

First of all, they’re just easier to see. Bigger is better.

Second, they look like Facebook posts so when you skim a page, your brain says, ‘hey there’s more content over here.’

Third, they look like an ad from 2014 instead of one from 1980.

Facebook’s early tests show up to 3x more engagement and I believe it.

The only potential downside is that bigger ads means fewer ads. That means your ad is going to show up less often and / or Facebook is going to charge more to make up the missing revenue from the deleted ad space.

Either way, it’s still a win for marketers.

I’m not your typical Facebook user, but I discovered something interesting while writing this article. Yesterday, I would have said that Facebook ads are badly targeted. My ads are always for semi-scammy products that I have no interest in whatsoever. Today, I took a closer look at the ads on my page and I noticed something I’ve never noticed before – about half the ads in my sidebar are relevant, I just never noticed because the images and titles are so bad.

Note to Facebook: I don’t have a dog but you’re showing me an ad for dog products. I only speak English, but you’re showing me ads for a foreign language TV service. Seems like easy targeting options to me. . .

Bottom line, I’m on board. I actually like the new Facebook ad units. I think they’re going to lead to many more conversions – as long as they have an eye-catching photo and a grabber headline.

 

 

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Online Reputation Management TrainingEver felt like you need to brush up on your online reputation management skills? Do you have gaps in your social media marketing training?

Well, today I am launching a new exclusive training course that includes expert advice from Avinash Kaushik, Jennifer Cario, Greg Jarboe, Jeff Hasen, and myself. The new course is a join effort with the leaders in online marketing training, Market Motive and includes:

  • Video lessons and resources are all online and available 24×7.
  • 7 hours of training videos from a respected faculty
  • A curriculum organized into 8 structured modules.
  • 6 downloadable workbooks. Exercises. Progress quizzes.

In addition, if you sign up now, you’ll get access to an exclusive live webinar on April 29th: “Master Your Online Reputation Management In Just 60 Minutes.”

The cost is just $499 which gives you 10 hours of training, and 6 months to complete the study. Compare that to the cost of asking me to host a one day ORM workshop–which is $15,000, in case you’re wondering.

All of the lessons have been personally selected by me and I hope you’ll agree that this is an excellent option for those looking to enter the lucrative field of online reputation management.

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Digital Ad IconIf you’re collecting data through any kind of mobile advertising, The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) would like you to abide by a set of new rules. Okay, not new exactly – more like tightened up rules for the sake of consistency.

The newly released “Ad Marker Implementation Guidelines for Mobile” explains exactly when and where you should use the symbol you see here.

The Ad Marker Guidelines define minimum dimensions for the icon on mobile screens, as well as establishing dimensions for the touch area that should activate the icon. When users touch the icon on a mobile screen, the Guidelines also set forth what information and options may be displayed. This practical guidance, formed with input from a wide variety of companies and organizations, was created to present a consistent privacy experience to consumers.

Example usage

That’s a lot of information for one small button but it’s not so bad on your standard banner ad. Trouble is, the DAA would like to see this icon used on all forms of mobile advertising including rich media. That could get messy.

Ironically, ad networks are all trying to go “native”. It’s all about creating ads that fit seamlessly into the user experience so they want to click and experience what a brand has to offer. Many of the most effective ads (dare I say) trick us into clicking because of the way they’re placed or because the content feels natural. If I’m flipping through the virtual pages of Vogue magazine and see a make-up tutorial I’m going to click because it’s helpful even if it was sponsored by L’Oreal.

Once I’ve clicked, I know there’s a good chance I’m going to see more ads from L’Oreal, maybe even a localized ad telling me about a make-up event in my area. I’m okay with that.

I know that in the larger world, the idea of a third party collecting and using my mobile phone data feels creepy and invasive but it’s the price we pay for convenience. Yes, people should have the ability to opt out if they want to but do we really have to have that option attached to every ad on my phone? The screen is crowded enough. And when was the last time you actually clicked on one of those icons to change your preferences?

In the grand scheme, it’s probably a good idea to abide by the new DAA creative rules. It shows customers who care that you care and that’s worth it in good karma points. Will it prevent people from seeing your ads? I highly doubt it. Anyone have a stat on that?

 

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Twitter says new profile pages are coming very soon and I have this weird sense of deja vu. Didn’t we already have this discussion a few months ago? Or maybe it’s the new design itself that is familiar. Have a look:

New Twitter Profiles

Behold the new Twitter page for actor Channing Tatum. Pretty, but it doesn’t have the impact of the real thing. Click here to see Zac Efron’s new page.

One note: I know I tend to use examples from the world of entertainment but Twitter’s to blame this time. Of the 10 examples, 7 belong to entertainers of some sort. They also included The First Lady, Australian Football League and Floyd Mayweather. (Just in case you don’t want to be caught with Zac Efron’s Twitter page in your browser history.)

Back to business. The new Twitter pages look modern and bold and . . . I’m going to say it. . . Facebookish. I think they’re too crowded and the timeline feed is huge. It’s easy to read and skim and but you have to scroll and scroll just to see a couple of Tweets. Obviously this will vary from browser to browser. And if you’re not a celeb, how many people will actually scroll to read your whole feed anyway?

The new headers look amazing but that’s not going to be the case for the average Joe. Channing Tatum has a cool, panoramic photo for his header. What are you going to use? What am I going to use? Seriously, I’m so unhappy with this big picture trend on YouTube and Facebook and now Twitter. I think these big photos discourage users from joining because it’s hard for the average person to come up with a photo that looks great.

Under that are your Twitter stats – truly front and center. Terrific if you have good numbers, embarrassing if you don’t.

Twitter is also releasing several new features that are excellent for marketers:

  • Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
  • Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
  • Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

Pinned Tweets! Get into the habit of updating that at least once a week. Put your big sale up there. Coupon codes. Events. Deadlines or a link to your best content.

What I like about the overall concept is that it makes your profile page look more like a landing page for visitors and less like a personal dashboard. That could lead to a shift in viewing behavior with more people stopping by to see everything you have instead of just watching what rolls through their personal feed.

New profiles will roll out to everyone over the next few weeks. If you don’t have a Twitter account (!!), sign up today and you’ll start with the new profile.

What do you think? Exciting change or lipstick on a pig?

Pilgrim’s Partners: SponsoredReviews.com – Bloggers earn cash, Advertisers build buzz!

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perfectionThe days of building your brand solely through carefully-crafted marketing campaigns are long gone, and in this brave new world, every Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) needs to move cultivating a stellar customer experience to the very top the to-do list.

What that means is that every channel, every touch point and every interaction must work in tandem so that ultimately you communicate one essential message: Our customers are what matters most.

Of course, the entire c-suite plays a role in this synchronicity, but as CMO, it’s your job to take the lead in defining your customer journey. You’re responsible for elevating the brand by strengthening relationship (both internal and external) fostering loyalty and encouraging advocacy. And in order to do all that, you need to fully recognize that consumers – and their expectations – have changed . . . dramatically. For example, today’s consumers are:

  • Empowered. The rise of digital communication and social media as marketing and customer service channels means that consumers have more ways to talk to you . . . but it also means they have more ways to talk about you, too. Word-of-mouth, for better or for worse, used to happen over fences and by the water cooler. Now consumers can share their unvarnished opinions with millions of others with the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. And again, for better or worse, they’re not holding back.
  • Fickle. Your competitors have as many ways to reach out to your customers as you do, and if you fail to value and nurture your customer relationships, your competitors’ experience could trump yours in a heartbeat. That said, social media offers tremendous opportunities to observe how your competitors engage with the market – and you can be there with tailored offers, insights and assistance to pick up wherever and whenever they fall short If your competitors’ customers are looking to jump ship, give them somewhere attractive to land, precisely when they’re ready to make the leap.
  • Expecting relationships, not campaigns. Traditional marketing campaigns push out a singular message, while a great customer experience does so much more. In fact, leading marketers are gaining competitive advantage by leveraging data to build relationships and participate in the natural buying cycles that customers create. I fully expect that in the future, mutually-rewarding customer relationships will vastly outperform campaigns – which is why we’re already seeing more and more marketing organizations shift away from one-way, mass-market campaigns to personalized, continuous engagement.
  • International . . . and local. “Think global. Act local.” That adage was developed outside of the marketing world, but we’ve all heard it – and now CMOs need to embrace it. Being international and local means not only speaking to your customers in their own language, but also connecting with them in ways they find culturally relevant and compelling, and being present in their communities. One size – or message, or product, or channel – will not fit all.
  • Ready to be known. Companies that keep customer information in silos, by business line, department, channel, region and so on, will only frustrate customers who are seeking a cohesive experience. Priority Number One: Treat all customer data with care; customers will not tolerate misuse of their information. But once they’ve opted in, and you follow best practices for data privacy, leverage the data you gather as deliberately as possible. Use it to create responsive, personalized interactions and a truly meaningful customer experience.

I believe that CMOs who take on the customer experience as a strategic priority will see their marketing performance improve over peers who continue to focus solely on pushing out pitches. Today’s customers expect to be engaged in fresh, relevant ways. If they feel as though your brand respects (and meets!) their needs, they’ll be far more likely to pursue long-term relationships with you . . . and then they’ll pass on their glowing recommendations to friends, family and social networks – all of whom are just as eager for great customer experiences.

The above post is sponsored by SDL and first appeared here. Get your free copy of SDL’s whitepaper: Campaigns Are Extinct.

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Last month, Facebook surprised me when they bought Oculus, a company specializing in virtual reality gaming gear.

Today, Twitter played a card from their hand when they acquired “Cover” – an Android lockscreen app. Cover App

The difference between the two acquisitions? Twitter’s makes sense.

Cover puts the links to your most used Android phone apps right on your lockscreen for easy access. What makes this app really special is that the icons change based on the time of day. In other words, the app learns from your behavior then adjusts itself accordingly.

Morning commute? Cover hands you map and music. At work? Your calendar and To Do list show up instead. Evening? Shopping apps and Netflix. It’s the right app for the right time and place.

It’s also the perfect fit for Twitter. Remember, Twitter was designed to help people communicate quickly via their smartphone. It was for those times when something happened and you wanted to tell the world while you were still in the moment.

“You won’t believe who is in line in front of me at Starbucks. Jessica Alba!”

Then, suddenly we were Tweeting our every move and photos of everything we ate. But somewhere along the way, Twitter went from being a frivolous way of shouting out messages to a group of friends, to a legitimate way of keeping up with the news, marketing your brand and networking. For some, a Tweet is the easiest way to tell everyone at the office that you’re running late or that you closed the big deal. That’s where Cover comes in. The app has the ability to put Twitter front and center on every Android phone. Take that Facebook Home.

Here’s what Cover has to say about the merger:

Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen. We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.

So what does this mean for the Cover app? For now, Cover will remain available in the Play Store while we focus our attention on our work at Twitter. If that changes down the road, we’ll provide another update here.

As a loyal Twitter user, I’m for anything that makes it easier to access the app. Sadly, there’s one very big downside to increasing Twitter exposure – a rise in the divorce rate.

According to a study conducted at the University of Missouri “active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict with their romantic partners.” Conflict that leads in infidelity and eventually, divorce.

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, says he’s seen a similar pattern on Facebook but only in people who have been together for under 36 months. With Twitter, the length of the relationship doesn’t matter, the more you Tweet, the more your relationship is doomed.

Clayton says that reducing the amount of time you spend on social media could keep the two of you together, as long as you recognize the symptoms and stop before it’s too late.

 

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Nerdy NummiesBethany Mota, Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino – they’re the young, female rockstars of YouTube.  Mota started filming YouTube videos as an emotional outlet when she was a lonely and bullied teen. She’s not lonely anymore. She now has 5,763,946 subscribers who tune in regularly to watch her videos on teen fashion, make-up, bedroom decor and well. . . teenage stuff.

Michelle Phan has been posting make-up tutorials since 2007 and has around 5 million fans. She also created a lifestyle network for women on YouTube called FAWN. Then there’s actress Rosanna Pansino who used her love of baking and all things geek to create Nerdy Nummies. Learn to bake Rubik’s Cube Brownies, Princess Peach Cobbler and more – 1,542,664 subscribers and counting.

All three of these women are doing very well thanks to YouTube. They’re celebrities with sponsorship deals and rabid fans and they reap the rewards both monetarily and in perks. But the average, casual YouTube watcher still doesn’t know their names. Google is aiming to fix that.

According to AdAge, Google is about to launch an ad campaign for these ladies that will hit TV, print, even the subway walls in New York and Chicago. Online, you’ll see ads for these channels popping up on banners and as homepage takeovers.

If all goes well, YouTube is expected to continue the experiment moving out into their other popular verticals. (I’m guessing Gaming and Comedy?)

It’s also been rumored that YouTube is looking for some pretty hefty ad commitments from top brands. In return, advertisers will get an audience guarantee – which sounds oh so much like buying ad time on a TV network.

And that’s really the whole point. YouTube is positioning itself as another channel option for viewers and we’re almost there.

25% of consumers say they plan to buy a connected TV in the next 12 months. Amazon just released a $99 box that hooks to your TV and let’s you easily watch Amazon Instant, Netflix and YouTube. A year from now, we won’t be talking about how people turn to mobile to watch videos, we’ll be talking about how they use the remote to switch from ABC to YouTube during primetime.

What does this mean for you, the marketer? It means well-produced, informative and /or funny videos are going to continue to rise in popularity. You can have a piece of that pie or stand aside and watch your competitors gobble down the whole thing. If you’re not in a position to create your own videos, search YouTube for an undiscovered star. Offer them a sponsorship and an exclusive contract and it could be your brand that ends up featured in the 2015 round of YouTube TV ads.

 

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As the saying goes, you either see the glass half full, or half empty.

When it comes to native advertising, Copyblogger’s “2014 State of Native Advertising Report” demonstrates that the glass is either almost empty, or has plenty of space for it to fill up!

While almost three quarters of those surveyed had no, or very little, understanding of what native advertising is–with nine out of ten not having any budget set aside for native advertising–you can’t help but see a ton of opportunity. At least, that’s what I see.

native-advertising-report-poster

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accent positive impressionYou spend a lot of time, effort and money to get a new customer through the virtual door. Once there, you dazzle them with your unique products or ground-breaking services and they’re hooked. They add the item to the cart, complete the checkout process and you have their money. Yeah!

You’re probably ready to move on to the next customer but not so fast. In new survey by ACCENT Marketing, 86% of consumers said it was important to them that they have a positive experience after making the purchase.

For the average transaction, all a customer wants is follow-up. This could be as simple as an email with a tracking number so they know when their package will arrive. By why stop at simple and average. I was listening to a podcast this week with a magician who said the secret to his success was giving customers helpful information over and above what they paid for.

When a customer calls him for a party quote, he sends out timely emails with party tips, checklists, etc. He shows the customer that he’s interested in helping create an overall memorable experience. It’s not just a paid gig. It’s his mission.

Accent says that almost half of all consumers interact with a brand after purchase. I’m going to assume they mean “initiate after purchase contact.”  As you can imagine, a large number of post-purchase interactions happen because there’s a problem with the sale. But “93% of consumers claim that a positive response or special offer can help restore the company’s reputation after a bad experience.”

What’s important is that customers think about a company after purchase for several good reasons, too. Note that 62% think about a company when they’re about to make a new purchase. The question is, are they going to think, ‘I totally want to go back to that place where I shopped before’ or are they going to think ‘oh man, no way am I buying from them again!”

 

accent after purchase behavior

Personalized communication is what stands out in the consumer’s mind. They want to feel like they’re satisfaction is your number one concern even though they know they’re one of 100′s or 1,000′s.

One last thing. Here’s a graph that shows the difference between how customers want to communicate with you and how they want you to respond to them.

accent communicating with clients

Note that 34% prefer to call a company but only 21% want to be called back. On both sides of the street, email rules.

Homework for next week: come up with a helpful follow-up email that you could send to your customers post sale. A pleasant surprise will go a long way toward building a long-term relationship.

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