#6 Content Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2018

 

source: https://www.quickscream.com/content-marketing-trends/

1- The Use Of Video Content Will Increase

Videos will drive 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, 73% up from 2016. Needless to say, this growth will happen year after year, implying that the year 2018 will see a rise in video content. And more brands will include video content in their content marketing strategies this year.

Cisco predicts live video on mobile will grow 39 fold by 2021.

Content marketing trends in 2018_Live-Video-On-Mobile-1024x562

Why shouldn’t they? Worldwide 51% marketing professionals find videos the kind of content that offers the best return on investment (ROI).

What’s more, blog posts with videos attract three times more inbound links than the posts without videos.

Are you ready to incorporate video content into your content marketing plan?

Here are some key steps in mapping video content to buyer’s journey:

  • Top of Funnel – Create educational videos to make your audience understand how their problems can be solved. To ensure the success of Top of Funnel videos, you should never promote your product or service in Top of Funnel videos
  • Middle of Funnel – Explainers videos are ideal to target your audience in the Middle of Funnel. They should explain how your product or service can solve audience’s problems.
  • Bottom of Funnel – At this stage, your audience is about to make a final decision. Video content like honest testimonials and step-by-step guides to using your product or service can push your audience to buy.

Remember, video landscape is noisy. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you should create videos that your audience wants to watch. A little research on this matter goes long way.

2- More Brands Will Use Chatbots

Gartner stated in 2011, “By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.”

The statement seemed to be hyperbolic that time. But looking at the speed with which brands are adopting chatbots, we can be sure that Gartner’s prediction to be true.

Chatbots Magazine has predicted tremendous growth of chatbots.

chatbot growth

Leading brands, such as Starbucks, The Wall Street Journal, MasterCard, Pizza Hut, and many more are already using chatbots to delight their customers.

In 2018, more brands will include chatbots in their content marketing strategies.

How can you get on the chatbot bandwagon?

The best way is to use chatbots to power conversations. Yes, you have read it – chatbots can offer human-like instant responses that could be visual snippets, plain text, or a combination of both.

Potential benefits of chatbots include cost-effective customer support, faster response time, and easier business transactions.

3- More Brands Will Optimize Content For Voice Search

It is official that more Google searches are coming from mobile than desktop. And 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.

As the number of smartphone users is growing, the number of people using voice search will also grow in 2018. This will change content marketing. And more brands will optimize content for voice search.

Voice search has shown explosive growth. Just look at the Data via KPCB/Mary Meeker

Voice search growth_screenshot

If you want to create an ace content marketing strategy in 2018, you should not ignore voice search.

People often use voice search to find local content and information.

Here are some tips on how you can optimize content for voice search:

  • Optimize local listing
  • Your content should have the most commonly asked questions by your audience
  • Target long-tail keywords
  • Use lots of microdata
  • Think how people speak and write content accordingly

Brands are still early in the voice search trend. If you adopt it, your brand could have a competitive advantage over slow competitors.

4- Emphasis On User-Generated Content Will Surge

User-generated content is 35% more memorable and 50% more trusted than other media, according to a research.

UGC growth_screenshot

My friend, user-generated content is gold. The engagement with your brand and the good things people say about your business are genuine. That’s why user-generated content adds credibility and authenticity to a business.

According to 2018 User-Generated Content Report,

“It’s one of the best marketing tools to produce and deliver authentic content, and that it generates an increase in engagement – the top KPI for many marketers – it’s safe to say that UGC will be sticking around in the new year.”

Yes, my friend, to harness the power of user-generated content will be one the top content marketing trends this year.

With the fact that more brands will lay strong emphasis on user-generated content in 2018, you should not leave behind your competitors.

Here are five proven ways to encourage user-generated content:

  • Create buzz for your brand
  • Run online contests or quizzes
  • Offer users rewards to create content
  • Ask your audience questions
  • Conduct online surveys

Though user-generated content is a powerful marketing tool, it is not always easy to get it.

To make your UGC campaign successful, you will need to be super creative.

5- The Use Of Influencers Will Increase

People have become marketing averse. Nearly two in three millennials use ad blockers, making it a bit difficult for content marketers to promote content.

Look at this SlideShare screenshot.

ad blocker growth_chart_screenshot

To amplify content reach and promote their brands, many businesses have started incorporating influencing marketing into their content marketing campaigns.

In fact, influencer marketing saw a rapid growth in the recent years. Reason?

“As social networks continue to evolve their algorithms, and users increasingly rely on more accessible, immediate word-of-mouth recommendations, a growing number of businesses are turning to influencer marketing to maximize the reach of their messaging”, says Andrew Hutchison in The State of Influencer Marketing.

The time when 93% people buy or try things that close friends recommend, brands will certainly benefit from influencer marketing.

So, in 2018, too, marketers will amplify content strategies with influencer marketing.

6- Content Customization Will Soar

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are available in multiple languages. Amazon and Netflix are known to place customization at the center of their products – those programmatically generated ‘Recommendations For You’.

Why?  In today’s time, customization is the key to success. And this will one of the most important Content marketing trends in 2018.

“By 2018, organizations that have fully invested in all types of personalization will outsell companies that have not by 20%,” says technology market researcher Gartner.

This year, more brands will try to offer content customization.

However, it will not be easy to do so. Demand Metric finds 59% marketers don’t have the technology and 54% don’t have the necessary resources such as language translators, so they don’t personalize content. If you want your content marketing strategies to bring in dollars, you should overcome these challenges.

When I was creating the draft for this post, I talked to my fellow Indian content marketers about content marketing trends that will drive success in 2018. They all voiced almost the same.

“Content Marketing in the recent past has been a massive factor in helping organizations understand and engage better with the audience. While 2018 will see the acceleration of some already existing trends (such as creation of focused, better quality, & more personalized, byte-sized content for the smartphone users, and more Videos), some newer trends (such as use of AI-based techniques to analyze both Audience & Metrics used to measure ROI) will start to shape up the field of content marketing. Internal content marketing is set to evolve as content studios and more organizations will consume original content for brand-building rather than spending on advertising.” Amit Kapoor

Awarded the ‘Most Influential Content Marketing Professional’ by the WMC, Amit Kapoor is a Global Top 200 Content Strategist, and India’s Top 100 Content & Brand Custodian. An STC IAC Speaker & an ET columnist, he has 17+ years of in-depth experience in content writing & marketing for a globally diverse audience and his articles have been published in IIT Mumbai (TechFest), Inc500, Hakin9 Magazine, & Industrial Automation magazine. You can reach him here.

“I see micro-influencers being used extensively by brands, both big and small as they have a niche group of followers. This will also be the year where founders of companies will concentrate on their personal brand. I had a few founders who wanted help with PR for their personal brand. This trend will only increase with the rise of LinkedIn where entrepreneurs have a credible place to promote their personal brand. Brace yourself for bite-sized videos and nuggets of wisdom passed on extensively in professional platforms. Videos will remain the most popular type of content and you will get to see more long-form articles.”  –Mathew Joy Maniyamkott

Matthew is a 27-year old content marketer, entrepreneur who teaches people how to start a career as a freelance writer. He started his writing career five years back and is currently a contributor to Entrepreneur India, Yourstory and The Hindu Business Line (on Campus). Check his course on Learn how to become a Freelance Content Writer here.

 

Final words,

Content marketing is a highly effective tool to build brand awareness and boost sales. But your marketing strategy should evolve with the passing of time. Create a content marketing strategy following these steps, and you will get great ROI in 2018.

10 Marketing Trends to act on in 2018 (Author: Dave Chaffey)

Source: https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/10-marketing-trends/

I feel fortunate to have followed some of the amazing major changes in digital marketing and technology over the last 15 or 20 years. I’m sure you will have enjoyed living through, following and acting on these changes too. Looking back, we’ve seen a phenomenal growth in the importance of organic, then paid search, then social media and more recently, incredible worldwide growth in mobile and particularly smartphone usage.

As well as this article, to help Smart Insights members, we also have a more detailed free download of the marketing megatrends, which are 9 digital marketing and martech megatrends that will help give you an edge in 2017.

Looking forward, in this article, I’m going to review 10 new trends which I believe, based on my experience consulting and training, are relevant for marketers across businesses of a range of sizes. But, first, I’m interested to know what you think will be important to you and your business in 2018.

Which marketing trend will be most important to you and your business in 2018?

We have asked this question over the past few years and it’s been really interesting to see what ‘rocks your digital world’ since there are some common themes amongst the top 3 and some activities surprisingly low. The question we asked was around the most important commercial trends. We had around 850 votes from marketers in different types of business from around the world. Thank you if you voted! Here’s what you thought:

By asking for just one technique from many, this helps shows the top 3, 5 or 10 top-level trends. There are a clear top three techniques, each over 10%, but with a long tail of many other techniques showing the potential for optimising different areas of digital marketing. Let’s take a look at the top three…

It’s no surprise to see content marketing ‘top of the pile’ since this has been in the top three for each of the years we have run this poll. We see content marketing as the ‘engagement’ fuel that powers all digital communications from search to social to email marketing to creating website experiences which convert. Our content marketing toolkit is popular since members want to learn a more planned approach to mapping content against personas across the customer journey.

More of a surprise is that Big Data is in second position. I think this is because marketers are aware of the potential of using data as what we call ‘actionable insight’. To help the decision on which technique to choose, we expanded upon the short labels you see in some polls to help scope the response more carefully. ‘Big Data’ is a nebulous term, but when we expanded the definition to include insight and predictive analytics, it shows the value of the specific marketing techniques for Big Data and this help explains why this is in position number two.

In third position is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We added this to the poll this year with the interest in it and it’s ‘straight in at number three’! It’s good to see the interest in these techniques which we have been covering a lot on the blog and in our member resources this year. In trend 8 we show how different AI techniques can be mapped against the customer lifecycle.

Here is the full listing of digital marketing techniques:

The ten marketing trends to act on in 2018

If you look at the 14 themes that we covered last year, none of these top-level marketing techniques are especially new, so it’s difficult to describe them as new trends or innovations. However, techniques like Big Data and analytics, Content Marketing and Email/Marketing Automation have continued to grow in importance and will be used by many businesses.

So in my look at the trends this year, I’ll be looking at integration as the theme. In our research on managing digital marketing (another free member download) you can see that only 6% of companies thought their integration process was completely optimised, yet many are actively working on integration.

Integrated marketing communications or IMC isn’t a concept you see written about much on blogs or social media since it’s high-level with everyone getting excited at the latest minor innovations from the frightful 5 – at the time of writing we’re getting excited about the Animojis in iPhone X for example. Fun, but they’re not going to help deliver the most relevant message and offer for an individual, which is the aim of IMC.

So, let’s take a look at the 10 trends. You’ll notice that in a lot of these predictions, I’ll refer to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It’s what I see as the biggest trend to consider in the year ahead. There has been a lot of hype around it in 2017 and we’re starting to understand the opportunities. In 2018 it will become more about selecting solutions and implementation.

Trend 1. Integrating Marketing Activities Into the Customer Lifecycle

Given the way the complexity of marketing and digital marketing has increased, techniques like customer journey mapping for different personas are increasing in importance to help define the most relevant communications and experiences for different touchpoints in the customer journey.

To support this, the way I like to think about how to improve the effectiveness of digital marketing is to think from the customers’ viewpoint of the communications opportunity available through the customer lifecycle for different types of business.

We define lifecycle marketing as:

Creating a managed communications or contact strategy to prioritise and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels and experiences to support prospects and customers on their path-to-purchase using techniques such as persuasive personalised messaging and re-targeting.

We designed this mind-tool to help members think through all the potential touchpoints across paid, owned and earned media. Then you can perform a ‘gap analysis’ of the use and effectiveness of lifecycle comms you are using against those you could be using to increase the relevance and response of communications.

Trend 2. Integrating personalization into the user journey / customer experience

To increase relevance and response of comms, website personalization has been widely used within transactional ecommerce sectors like retail, travel and financial services for a long time now.

More recently, lower cost options have become available with different types of solutions. There are many forms of web personalization varying from those integrated into content or commerce management systems; those integrated into analytics solutions or standalone Software as a Service (SaaS) personalization options that integrate with your CMS and analytics. A useful method to review your use of personalization at the top-level is this experience personalization pyramid:

the Personalization Pyramid

The three levels shown in the chart are:

  • 1. Optimization. Structured experiments. AKA AB Testing or Multivariate testing. Google Optimize is an example of one of these services that launched in 2017.
  • 2. Segmentation. Target site visitor groups, each one with specialized content to increase relevance and conversion.
    Each one still requires separate manual rules and creative to be set up. So returns for this approach eventually diminish after the maximum sustainable number of audience segments has been reached.
  • 3. 1-to-1 Personalization. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to deliver an individualized experience to each customer. 1-to-1 employs some of the same principles as optimization and segmentation, but by offering a solution to their two greatest limitations-delayed results and inability to scale-it represents a fundamentally different approach.

So, the main trend within personalization is increased use of artificial intelligence rather than manual rules. Plus, we can also expect to see Website personalization services being adopted across more sectors than the transactional sectors it has become popular within.

Trend 3. Integrating machine learning into marketing automation

Personalization can also be applied across the lifecycle in email comms.  Yet, our research on email marketing shows that despite the widespread use of email and marketing automation systems, many companies don’t manage to put in place a full lifecycle contact system like that shown in the lifecycle visual above.

We assessed segmentation and targeting of emails based on the number of criteria that are used from none at all up to dynamic content.

The findings from our State of Email marketing report are shocking: Half (50%) don’t use any targeting whatsoever, less than a third (29%) use basic segmentation for targeting and less than 15% use segmentation and personalization rules to reach specific audiences within their database. This means that they may be missing out on opportunities for automated emails with dynamic content for welcome and nurture of prospects and customers.

Although email marketing automation is another technique where artificial intelligence and machine learning is being applied more often. Using machine learning offers opportunities to automate targeting as it does for web personalization. However, personalization is potentially more difficult since emails, by their nature, have more complex creative. This data suggests to me that many businesses aren’t ready for AI and machine learning within email marketing and they need to deploy fundamental triggered automation features first.

Trend 4. Integrating social messaging apps into communications

The increasing use of messaging apps is a trend we have mentioned in previous trends round-ups. According to the latest Ofcom Communications Market research more than half of the total mobile audience used Facebook Messenger (61%) and half used WhatsApp (50%). Both properties are owned by Facebook. The Snapchat mobile app had a reach of 28%, with 10.1 million unique visitors.

We’ve been looking at some early adopters of marketing applications of these social messaging apps on Smart Insights. Examples include using Pizza Hut using Messenger for booking tables and IKEA for customer research.

Trend 5. Integrating video into the customer journey

Video is also increasing in popularity fuelled by social . This breakdown of Google popularity shows the dominance of YouTube. We used to say that YouTube was the second biggest search engine, but this data shows that it is now more popular than Google Search based on number of users in a given month (this research also from the comScore panel via Ofcom).

This visual reminds us of the opportunities to use video marketing through the customer lifecycle from pre-roll ads in YouTube (just one option, Google has 10 Video ad options), explainer ads on site and retargeting through video.

Augmented and Virtual Reality are closely related to video engagement, but although we’ve been tracking these, we have seen fewer examples and case studies this year. So, do let us know of any examples.

Trend 6. Integrating content marketing into the customer journey using a customer engagement strategy

Video is just one type of content, albeit important. In previous polls about the technique that will give the biggest uplift in future, content marketing has been popular, in the top one or two in the list.

The trend I’m seeing here is that businesses are getting serious about treating content as a strategic resource, that means developing a customer engagement strategy using different media as shown in the lifecycle diagrams above, and at a practical level, developing content for different audiences using techniques like Personas and Content mapping. Our research shows that these customer-centric analysis techniques are growing in importance, which has to be a good thing for consumers and businesses!

Recommended resourceContent Marketing Strategy guide

Trend 7. Integrating search marketing into your content marketing activities

If we look at the top digital sales channels, search marketing is dominant. Social media is far behind in most sectors, despite its ongoing popularity with consumers. We now know that in many sectors social media can be a great tool for engaging audiences with a brand and improving favourability and awareness, but it typically doesn’t drive lead volume or sales. So I haven’t given social media it’s own section, although integrating it with other channels like web, search and email marketing remains relevant. See our recap of SMW London for the latest social media trends.

However, within search marketing there is today relatively little innovation that we get to hear about compared to the past. Looking at natural search shows that the Moz algorithm change history has no entries since the non-specific ‘Fred’ update in March, whereas in previous years it would have had 5+ with new updates to Panda and Penguin. This is partly down to Google sharing less, with Matt Cutts no longer actively evangelising, although updates are available from John Mueller in their Search team.

Within organic search, one trend I think marketers should be aware of is the changing face of the SERPs as shown by the Mozcast SERPs features update which shows the types of links within a bundle of top 10k keywords they monitor.

It shows the importance of techniques such as Knowledge Panels (important for brands and local businesses); Related questions; featured / rich snippets / quick answers and reviews. We have found that the way these vary across the top 3 to 5 positions can make a big difference in the volume of visits from informational searches.

Within AdWords, referencing Google’s list of new features shows more innovation. Much of it is around reporting compared to new ad features for mobile in previous years, but there are some new options like with Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bidding and Smart Display campaigns. This is an example of Google deploying different types of machine learning including Automated bidding Using Target CPA as a basis; Automated targeting which means your ads increasingly show where they’ll get you the most business and automated ad creation from the building blocks you provide, like headlines, descriptions, logos and images.

Trend 8. Integrating marketing technology

If you follow applications of marketing technology you have almost certainly seen Scott Brinker’s Martech landscape which has grown to over 5,000 vendors this year.

Our own digital marketing tools wheel seeks to simplify this, but has over 30 categories of insights and automation tools which shows the challenge of integrating marketing technology. The trend here is that there is no let up in tools offering innovative methods to analyse or automate. Our final two categories highlights some of these.

Given the plethora of martech, the most apt definition seems:

‘very large amount of something, especially a larger amount than you need, want, or can deal with

You might expect there would be a trend to increasing use of marketing clouds, but our research suggests there isn’t widespread adoption of these.

As we have mentioned throughout this article, machine learning and AI is one of the biggest trends here, see this article and infographic for AI marketing applications across the lifecycle.

Trend 9. Integrating different data sources

This challenge was highlighted to use recently in our members’ Facebook group where a member asked about tools for integrating insights from different paid media ad serving tools which can give the best results if managed separately, for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ads and Google AdWords. Rivery.io is a new option that has launched recently, that should do well. The trend here is new integrated media insights tools other than Google or Adobe, which can help you compare performance of different media.

These services are surprisingly expensive, particularly since they are additional analysis tools. They’re not martech that directly increases leads or sales to the business. For example, I was recently recommended this service (Funnel.io ) that costs a minimum of $200 / month, even if it’s solely used to integrate data from multiple sources into Google Sheets. It’s a lot when to get the value from these tools you have to ringfence time so that the analytics are reviewed and acted on sufficiently.

Trend 10. Integrating digital marketing insights sources

Our digital marketing tools wheel contains many free and paid sources of insight about your digital marketing. Here, I’m talking specifically about services which help you stay up-to-date. We’re avid users of these services since they help us keep readers up-to-date via our own blog, twice weekly newsletters and monthly What’s Hot feature.

In a recent article on keeping marketing teams up-to-date, Mark Kelly explains that we recommend using Feedlyas a way of aggregating primary marketing news sources via RSS. Plus, I recommend taking a look at Zestwhich is a Google Chrome extension, new in 2017, which I and the team at Smart Insights use and is well worth checking out. Its curated content is specifically designed for and updated by marketers. Like Feedly, you can use it to review the most useful content recommended by ‘the crowd’, in this case ‘your tribe’ of marketers.

Can Machine Learning offer hope in Attribution Modeling in TV + Online Vidéo ? Yes ! (Author: Jim Sterne)

Vendor Profile: Conversion Logic
by Jim Sterne

source: http://ai4marketing.com/2017/10/10/attribution-modeling-go-convince/

I always cringed when the discussion turned to attribution. First click, last click, time decay; what nonsense. The late George Box had it right: All models are wrong; some models are useful. But attribution was pure make believe.

If you happen to capture the proper inputs and happen to create a halfway decent model and happen to tweak it just so before your assumptions and data collection methods changed so much that they no longer resembled current circumstances, then it might be useful to calculate how a 30 second spot on TV coupled with a budget boost to competitive keyword bids and a flight of display ads on Facebook might result in a measurable improvement in conversions. And that model might be useful until, like all models, it suffers from the ravages of time.

My brethren, who have mastered the fine art of Uplift Modeling, are now scowling and cursing me under their breath and they are right to do so. All the tenuousness I decried above is their domain. Those who are good at it and can deliver a useful model are worth their weight in gold and are rarer than Alexandrite.

For an attribution model to secure a warm place in my heart, it would have to be a living, breathing model. It would have to be based on constantly updated, rock-solid data streams and be continuously self-correcting. Did somebody say, “AI”?

Machine Learning Attribution – No, Really

A machine that can take onboard a wide variety of data types and work out the correlations on its own offers promise. A machine that can create a predictive model based on data and not intuition – and then change its mind when it gets fresh data – well, that melts my heart and makes attribution a real possibility in my mind.

It also takes a considerable amount of data and a metric boatload of data scientists who are rarer than unobtainium.

Having read the marketing claims on the Conversion Logicwebsite, I spoke with CEO & Co-founder Brian Baumgart, a man who has already enjoyed a healthy career as a serial entrepreneur in the online advertising and marketing technology space.

I told him I was duly impressed with their selection of algorithms for their Ensemble Model (Gradient Boosting Machine, Neural Networks, Factorization Machine, Logistic Regression, Kernel Ridge Regression, Extremely Randomized Trees, Random Forests, and K­Nearest Neighbors), and I can act like I know what each one of those is as well as the next marketer with a degree in Shakespeare.

I pressed Brian to explain what all that mean in marketing-speak. What can this robot do for me? Can it really figure out cross channel attribution? Really?

Baumgart doesn’t claim to divine the ROI of a poster on the side of a bus or the branding impact of a flying drone sphere, but Conversion Logic can tell you if your television ads are having an impact. “We have our cross-channel product which combines time-series modeling of linear media (TV) with digital user level modeling. The output is a baseline calculation of brand equity that allows us to see the incremental impact of television on search conversions, for example. We have some clients who have years of TV data.”

Next, I wanted to understand the real-life experience of the real-life client.

Turning on the Marketing Machine

Baumgart explained that sometimes, they are brought into a company by the high-level analytics group who understands the need to bring in outside technologists who have solved this particular problem before. Sometimes, a very data-driven marketing executive wants to make things happen and introduces Conversion Logic to the data people.

The technologists want to be sure it meets their high standards and is compatible with all the other systems they tend. The marketing team wants proof of concept before they can trust it with their budget. The CFO lowers the green eye-shade, crosses the arms and demands proof.

They are not ready to let the machine make decisions sua sponte. They still want to understand how the machine works and why it is making the recommendations it does.

“In the last couple of years,” says Baumgart, “we’ve been talking to more, larger companies that have the data scientists who understand our methodology and insist that vendors stop talking about black boxes. We have to be able to explain what goes on inside and when we have data scientists in the room, they like what they see. When we don’t, there’s a fair amount of ground we have to cover to bring people up to speed. And that sort of disclosure opens up the conversation about their data and their goals which is an absolute necessity. This stuff can’t just be plugged in and turned on.

“When it comes to turning over the actual execution to the machine, the technology is ready. We have API’s that work, we have done the testing and have use cases where the model is updated by the output of the campaign and triggers the next action. Marketers, however, are not pushing in that direction yet. They still want to understand the narrative and have the conversation about why the machine is making certain recommendations. That’s coming, but marketers still want to fully understand how it works first.”

Data at the Heart

Machine Learning runs on data. A lot of data. It does nothing (yet) to help normalize and munge that data between the silos in the martech stack, the adtech stack, the various CRM systems a large company may have deployed, not to mention third-party data that starting to show up. (The purchase of Weather.com by IBM is a clue .) “While ML is most often downstream from normalizing and munging,” Baumgart said, we’ve invested heavily in tools and technology to automate this part of the process, to ensure clean data flows to our Ensemble ML framework.”

Baumgart explains that, “the onboarding process begins with a frank conversation about which data is the most likely to be useful, taking accessibility into account. Even a small company is spending on Facebook, search, affiliate marketing, and they have some CRM. That’s already four data silos to bring together along with some blind spots. We need to do some meaningful discovery, a process that is absolutely necessary to getting things started.

“There is a good deal of data mapping and marrying and massaging that needs to be done and we’ve built a lot of capability into our ETL and into the foundation of our platform to help automate that. We also have a whole team on the solutions architecture side that is looking hard at alerts and sanity checks and tests the data and QA’s the data. We’ve automated the process of looking for anomalies, but it’s not hands-off. Humans are still needed to understand nuances by channel or by tactic and we train the machine as best we can to learn the difference between normal and abnormal variances.”

Domain Knowledge is Table Stakes

This is where experience is helpful. Conversion Logic has already done lots of integrations with call center providers and has collected conversion data from websites, mobile apps, and in-store point-of-sale systems. The hard part is bringing that data together.

Baumgart describes the ideal, day-one client as being attribution-ready. “They have the tools and processes that make up a strong data governance methodology and that means they have consistent low-level policies around campaign naming conventions. That gives them data integrity and access to data through the right tools.

“We walk each client though our Attribution Readiness Assessment which is a collaborative exercise with the brand that goes through a list of best practices but ends up with us understanding what people, processes and technologies they have in place. It lets us identify holes and gaps. Some of those things are easy to rectify, and we can help them where it takes a little more time. Otherwise, we’ll go through solutioneering, where we’ll identify which things will have to wait until phase two or three. We want to clearly spell out the path to value.” (See: 3 Ways to Validate Your Attribution Data, Conversion Logic blog post.)

Secret Sauce: Path to Value

Finding the data is a start, and then there’s the plumbing which has to be rock solid – getting the proper data, in the right format, to the right location for processing – the operationalization side of the equation. Then one can train the machine to derive a useful model.

How, I asked Baumgart, does Conversion Logic actually stitch together behavior between channels? “We’ve put our energy into and make some big innovations in maintaining the continuity of user identity across devices for the highest possible level of pathing coverage. This feeds into the benefit of an ensemble machine learning framework instead of depending on a single algorithm. We’ve identified the best algorithms and methodologies for each piece of the puzzle and then mastered a way to tie them back together.

“For many clients, this is an opportunity to take a holistic view of their data by talking about their KPI hierarchy, their P&L structure, the org chart and the decision-making process. This really helps us set the proper level of expectations for various stakeholders and can identify some practices that they may want to change. That can sometimes be threatening so, we really focus on getting incremental value as soon as possible,” Baumgart asserts. “We want everybody to understand that this is not a silver bullet.

“Once we start training the machine, we can come back with optimization advice on TV alone before we even throw the digital data in there. Within a few weeks, we can point out two or three opportunities to optimize TV spend. this is the incremental path-to-value that we go after to avoid that problem of waiting months and months before anything comes out of the system. We want to get to value within 90 days. That brings us into the conversation about KPI’s. You have to pick what you want to optimize and that is a business decision that is sometimes political.”

Jim Becomes a Convert

Having written a book on using artificial intelligence in marketing, I now know enough to pierce the jargon and see the potential. Some companies, like Conversion Logic are bringing the vision into focus and helping firms like GM, HP, and Pizza Hut get closer to their customers than ever before.

I don’t cringe at the mention of “attribution” anymore.

http://www.azquotes.com/author/22390-George_E_P_Box

Vivendi’s innovative vision for mobile TV (Source: Business Insider)

French conglomerate Vivendi hopes to usher in the next era in digital video via a Netflix-like app built specifically for mobile. The service, dubbed Studio+, debuted in Latin America last year, and features International Emmy-nominated short-form episodic content that can be accessed in full with a $4 monthly subscription.
Source: http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/vivendis-innovative-vision-for-mobile-tv-2017-12/?utm_content=bufferbd16c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
streaming video in public
BI Intelligence

With Studio+, Vivendi aims to seize a sizeable portion of video’s next major battleground — mobile. As time spent with traditional linear TV wanes, and incumbents (chiefly Netflix) continue to dominate long-form digital video, mobile is emerging as the next frontier. Following the trend, media companies, large and small, are pouring resources into developing a mobile video strategy.

  • Studio+ is subscription-based, contrary to most efforts in mobile video which aim at ad dollars. Unlike the majority of moves in mobile video, such as Snapchat Shows and Facebook Watch content, Studio+’s business model is based purely on subscriptions — a largely untested model in the space. Although services like Netflix and HBO can be accessed on mobile, mobile-only variants of subscription video on-demand (SVOD) are non-existent, with the exception of Studio+.
  • Like Netflix, Studio+ seeks to take short-form mobile SVOD mainstream, but with a significant twist. Dominique Delport, chairman of Vivendi content, explained that Studio+ targets the modern “content connoisseur” — someone who is deliberate about the shows they watch and not fully satisfied with the typical slate of digital and social video. This audience, in Studio+’s mind, would revel in high-quality, short-form episodic programming.
  • The app features scripted shows that look and feel like TV programs, but are optimized for mobile. These shows follow an innovative 10×10 format: One season consists of 10 episodes, with each episode lasting a maximum of 10 minutes. A season costs $1 million to produce ($100,000 per episode), and takes a year to develop in full and launch in the app, making Studio+ shows pricier than ordinary digital video to develop, yet much more time- and cost-efficient than TV programs.

Studio+ leans on partnerships with telecoms around the world to distribute its content and grow its audience. The app launched in Brazil in 2016 via Vivo, the country’s largest mobile operator, before arriving in France via Orange and Bouygues Telecom, and Italy via Telecom Italia. Meanwhile, the US version of the app launched in early November. Delport, in conversation with BI Intelligence, said a deal has already been reached with one of the Big Four US telecoms and Studio+ is in ongoing discussions with another two. Thanks to this strategy, Studio+ has grown to more than 5 million paying subscribers globally.

The app taps into synergies across the Vivendi network, namely Canal+, Universal Music Group (UMG), and Havas. Studio+ shows are produced with the help of Canal+, a leading European film and TV producer and distributor, and UMG, the world’s largest record company. Delport also described how Studio+ can be offered to Havas’s advertising clients for branded content opportunities, citing “Farmed and Dangerous,” an original comedy series by Chipotle, as an example of the kind of work he envisages.

The emphasis on high-end scripted shows structured in a 10×10 format and delivered in a mobile-only app makes Studio+ unique. At its core, the product is a bet that consumer behavior is shifting towards watching and paying for high-quality video on mobile, and that people’s preferences for mobile video are maturing beyond short-form, bite-sized content. If Studio+ goes to plan, Delport, and Vivendi, could have the Netflix of the mobile era on their hands.

 

Six Digital Media Trends That Are Going To Shake Up Marketing Forever

Source: Six Digital Media Trends That Are Going To Shake Up Marketing Forever

Ross Simmonds is one of the best marketers, growth hackers, and businessmen we know, and he is about to give you some real gems you should pay attention too. Dig in, grab a notebook, and get this brainfood while its hot.

If you want to create a brand in the future, it’s unlikely that the exact same roadmaps used in the early 2000s are still going to be applicable. Some of the philosophies will still hold weight but many tactics are going to have been abused and no longer effective. Similar to how marketers have evolved from radio & magazines to programmatic advertising and social media as an avenue to drive results — change is coming.

Change is constant.

How’d you like to ensure that when change comes, you’re ready? How would you like to hear some of the latest media trends that are going to shake up marketing industry forever?

Well…

Luckily, today that’s exactly what I’m going to share.

Over the years, I’ve rode the waves of digital media opportunities. Whether it’s generating more than 1M views on Slideshare or helping brands grow to hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram — I’ve leveraged and capitalized on many of the latest trends. And in this post, I’m going to sharesix digital media trends that will shake up the industry for years to come.

1) The Consumerization Of Media & Influencers

The body scrub company, Frank Body was one of the first brands to capitalize on Instagram fame. With an estimated sales of roughly $20 million ≈ Organized labor 2011 political donations

≈ Annual hurricane research funding in 2011

“>[≈ Typical endowment, liberal-arts university] in 2015 — the brand has grown rapidly thanks to influencers and the consumerization of media. A quick look at their newsfeed and Instagram search will show you models and regular people promoting the product:

Some of these posts are fans.

Some of these posts are paid shout outs.

When talking about Influencers in a recent interview with Nathan Chan the co-founders of Frank Body expressed that they paid Jen Selter, $20,000 ≈ Per capita income – Australia, 2005

“>[≈ Per capita income – Taiwan, 2005] for a product placement on Instagram & Twitter. At the time, Jen had around 6M followers on Instagram but today she has more than 8.2M followers and some believe she’s charging $50,000≈ Median US household income, 2009”>[≈ cost of Ford F-150] per Instagram post.

Here’s one of Jen’s posts featuring the brand:

Influencer marketing isn’t new.

What’s new is a shift from the people with millions followers being compensated for shout outs to people with thousands.

The influencer marketing company, Markerly recently conducted a survey of2 million social media influencers. In their study, they found that influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers had a higher like rate than those between1,000 and 10,000 followers. While it’s possible that these individuals low engagement is related to Instagram’s algorithm and inactive followers — the idea that almost anyone could be considered an influencer is valid.

Today, millions of dollars are being exchanged for shoutouts on Instagram, Snapchat takeovers and retweets on Twitter. As more and more people begin to create mini-brands and followings, it can be expected that more people will monetize their reach and compete with media companies for their budget as it relates to digital marketing.

According to TheShelf, brands are quickly committing to this investment:

Sites like BuySellShoutOuts.com offer brands the ability to pay influencers with all accounts sizes and covering differenttopics to promote their brands:

But this is just the beginning.

Thunderclap is a social media platform that allows people to sign up in advance and share a unified message at a specific time. Many brands have already started using this tool to drive buzz around events, non-profits and products raising money on Kickstarter. In October 2015, a project called Phonebloks generated a reach of more than 381,745,40 with supporters likeElijah Wood signing up for the campaign.

Examples of campaigns that people signed up for

Users of Thunderclap don’t currently get compensated for their tweets but I’m willing to bet, it’s coming. The willingness to offer brands the ability to tweet on your behalf isn’t new. It’s something that has been tried by many companies over the years but the trends surrounding influencers and the markets understanding of the value is an indication that this is a trend worth watching.

2) Bots Are A Media Opportunity For Brands

One of the first media companies to launch a bot was the team at Quartz. The team launched an app that feels like a friend sharing news via SMS that you read with ease. It comes with gifs, emojis, articles and of course ads like the Mini Clubman banner you see on the left.

Bots have been a hot topic for the last few months but when Facebook announced during f8 that messenger boasts 900 million users per month and it was launching a bot marketplace — it became a new ball game.

Facebook is betting on bots.

As more bots are developed we will begin seeing different more use cases. Whether it’s bots being used for the news or bots being used for shopping; the ability to connect with people through a conversational interface is an opportunity that media companies and marketers should watch.

Native content and advertising is a trend that has been soaring over the last few years. Native or Sponsored content is a model in which brands pay to have their content distributed (sometimes created) by media companies directly into their channels in a way that is often viewed as regular editorial.

Here’s an example of native content from Delete Blood Cancer on Blavity:

So what does this have to do with bots?

Well.. Imagine you’re using a fitness app.

The bot will remind you to go for a run, offer advice for meal plans and even tell you what you should do for sciatic pain — but it will also send you an article that talks about Six Reasons Why You Should Invest In The Right Shoes. Sponsored by Adidas of course…

Native advertising has been found to consistently perform better than traditional banner ads. Brands will embrace this approach within bots because it works for both the user and the publisher. I predict we will see more media companies launching bots and more bots evolving into full-fledged media companies.

3) How Stories Will Evolve Content Consumption

Facebook changed the way we find our news.

Twitter changed the way news was broken.

Snapchat and Instagram are currently fighting to determine what’s the best way for the new generation to consume it.

The last year has been a big one for Snapchat. DJ Khaled made brands open their eyes to the network as an opportunity to reach millions. Business giants proclaimed it to be the future of TV, social media and media as a whole. The rise of Snapchat resulted in profile pictures all over Twitter & Facebook to quickly change from logos & headshots to snap codes:

Instagram was once a favourite amongst youth but Snapchat quickly became a serious threat. In fall 2015, Piper Jaffray’s survey of 6,500 US teens showedthat 33% of them considered Instagram their most important social network. By this spring, that number had fallen to 27% as Snapchat took the crown.

Fast forward a few months and the momentum of Snapchat continued when Kim Kardashian did what she does best. She broke the Internet.

When she released a phone recording of Taylor Swift and Kanye West on Snapchat, every social network felt it. Journalists, the media and fans proclaimed Kim the official queen of social media and Snapchat the future:

Moments like this, the rise of DJ Khaled and the increase in usage was a clear indicators that Snapchat found gold. So earlier this year, Instagram took and stand refusing to allow Snapchat to run away with this new format and launched their own version of Stories. Creatively, they called it…

Stories.

It shares the same functionality as Snapchat allowing users to create a rolling montage of pictures and videos from the last 24 hours. It’s in this format that brands are already advertising, media companies are being launched and millions of people are watching.

4) More Free-Time = More Media Consumption

In just a few years, the idea of autonomous vehicles have gone from a futuristic dream to a realistic and disruptive product. Regardless of who you think is going to come out as the industry leader in the race towards the first fully autonomous and safe vehicle — it’s going to have an impact on media.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of Americans spend their free time watching TV.

Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for more than half of leisure time

The same trend was found in places like the UK and Canada. You see, the more free time people have the more time they spend consuming content. And if we no longer have to pay attention to the road, it’s likely that we spend more time consuming visual content.

As autonomous cars become more readily available, more time will be available for people to consume content. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. Meaning that over the course of a year you could consume more than 98 episodes of The Wire.

Exactly.

5)The Rise Of Vertical Video Content

Snapchats success with vertical video content has resulted in a the rise of vertical video content. For years, people suggested that vertical video was bad and that horizontal video was good:

In a leaked Snapchat pitch deck the company shared that revenues in 2015 were $59 million. The company projected to reach between $250 million ≈ cost of Airbus A380, the largest passenger airplane

“>[≈ Typical endowment, research university] and $350 million in 2016, and between $500 million [≈ net worth of Jay-Z, rapper, 2011] and $1 billion ≈ box office sales of The Jungle Book, 1967

≈ box office sales of ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
≈ box office sales of The Exorcist, 1973
≈ box office sales of Jaws, 1975

“>[≈ net worth of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, 2011] in in 2017.

What’s a key differentiator between Snapchat and other networks?

It embraces the vertical video. Here’s a slide from one of their earlier decks about the success that brands were having with vertical content:

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a consistent increase in the amount of video content being consumed vertically. According to eMarketer and the 2015 Mary Meeker report, 29% of all video consumed online was vertical.

Lyrical School is a Japanese female band who made a major debut into mainstream with their latest music video. Unlike most videos that are built for TV, the group created a vertical video that has more than 1.3M views:

But this is just the beginning.

More and more companies are developing ads in the vertical video format. More and more media companies are offering it as an ad unit. It’s a trend that offers a more optimal experience for mobile users and a more effective approach for brands and media companies to connect with them.

6) Big Media Begins To Niche Down

Country Side Network

Did you know that there is a magazine for almost everything?

From sheeps and pigs to technology and boats. If it’s a topic, there has likely been a magazine created about it at some point in the last 50 years. Over time, magazine sales have continue to plummet and many of the niche magazines have been the early victims of this medium’s decline.

The writing has been on the wall for years:

As the niche magazines continue to die — niche web opportunities arise.

It’s the model that allowed Reddit to become so successful. Reddit is one community that is filled with thousands of sub-communities talking about niche interests and topics. Whether it’s an entire community talking aboutBBQ or a community talking about PokemonGo — it’s a place where passionate people can learn, connect and stay up to date on interests.

Media companies are recognizing the opportunity to niche down and are investing in more niche topics to reach niche audiences. Over the last few months, we’ve seen media companies invest in more diverse categories of media content. As a result, marketers will have the ability to be more targeted in their efforts rather than making assumptions about what content their audience is likely to consume.


Are there any other trends that you think will shake things up? Did you learn something new in this post?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you want more content like this, check out my semi-regular newsletter.


Ross Simmonds is a the founder of Foundation, a content marketing service company and the co-founder of Crate + Hustle & Grind.

Engagement on field: Emirates’ crew demonstrate a special “safety video” in front of 65,000 Benfica fans, with a twist…

Emirates Airline (EK) signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Lisbon’s football club Benfica in May 2015.

Under the sponsorship deal, Emirates will have its “Fly Emirates” logo on Benfica’s jersey until the end of the 2017-18 season.

On Oct. 25, the derby day between Sporting and Benfica, the official sponsor Emirates led a group of flight attendants to the center of the field and gave a special “safety video” instructions in front of about 65,000 fans.

Emirates already sponsores Arsenal in the English Premier League as well as AC Milan in Italy’s Serie A, Real Madrid in Spain’s La Liga and Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1.

Watch Emirates’ crew demonstrate a special “safety video” in front of 65,000 Benfica fans, with a twist…