A look at the Cannes Cyber Lions winners

Whether you work as a publishers, advertiser or agency, a little bit of creative inspiration is a great way to help your own work. Last week we saw the Cannes advertising festival where the worlds greatest advertising creatives got together to celebrate their year of work. In 1998, the Cyber Lions were introduced to celebrate digital work. This year the Gran Prix winners included Intel and Oreo with Pereira & O’Dell and DraftFCB being the respective agencies.

Intel + Toshiba 

According to the agency both Intel and Toshiba were the client and since Intel wanted to refresh “Intel Inside,” Toshiba wanted to feature the Ultrabook it made sense.

The campaign had 70million views, 26million interactions, 97% approval on Youtube and led to a 66% lift in brand perception for Intel, a 40% for Toshiba. The campaign led to a 300% sales increase.

You can also see the social media work done on Facebook here.

Oreo Daily Twist

Born in 1912, OREO was turning 100. Having always spoken to families in a traditional way, the brand had developed a traditional image.

Now, how to use a centennial anniversary to actually rejuvenate OREO? Celebrating the culture of the day, every day.

The campaign created 100 ads in 100 days. Each morning they identified trending news stories, gave them a playful OREO twist, and pushed a brand-new ad to their social networks.

oreo 1st flight around the world ad

The results were staggering: 433 million Facebook views with +280% increase in Shares, creating 231 million media impressions and making OREO the brand with the highest buzz increase in 2012 (+49%). A full list of the images created can be found on Pinterest.

For a full list of winners and even more inspiration click for the full list on the Cannes Cyber Lion page.

Is there power in social media for local publishers?

There definitely is. These numbers are astounding and they might look out of reach. There is however huge scope in the South African marketing for those willing to take their digital marketing to a new level. The number of views on Youtube and interactions on Facebook keep growing with every passing month. If you are keen to give your digital marketing efforts a boost, you should invest the time in studying social media campaigns and creating your own top content.

Should publishers be moving towards sponsored content?

Can sponsored content be sustainable

Sponsored content is the new sexy topic on the lips of publishers. Once a publisher gets enough traction they can move from a pure advertising model into one where content is paid for by advertisers.

Internationally, sites such as Buzzfeed, Quartz and big traditional publishers such as Forbes. The content is tagged as sponsored but still keeps the tone and style of the website. The economics of sponsored are interesting, especially due to the fact that the “product” is in its infancy.

Buzzfeed, the poster child for sponsored content online, doesn’t put an article up for less than $5,000 however the average spend is between $50,000 and $100,000 for between two to five articles on the site. Interestingly Buzzfeed gets their in-house content team to write the content; an interesting spin on the business model of keeping writers on your payroll to only write content for your own brand.

publishers moving to sponsored content like this

Buzzfeed works heavily on a type of articles known as “listicles” it’s a perfect mix for an advertiser. As we can see above, Purina gets their product associated with fun content that users would be interested in viewing anyway.

Another great example is that of Quartz, a recently newly launched site that focuses on business content. Quartz uses a scrolling layout where the newest content starts at the top. Peppered between editorial content is sponsored content by advertisers such as Boeing and Cadillac. The content is all business related, making it relevant to the reader but still heavily focused on the advertisers product. A perfect example is the Boeing article on the future of safety in flight. While pricing is less transparent than Buzzfeed the content is often created by the client rather than Quartz themselves. This could be indicative of the type of client using Quartz or the size of the editorial team.

The Huffington Post is also a big proponent of sponsored content and charge $40,000 per item of content. In addition they add enough to promotion to ensure around twenty million impressions of the content. Due to the variety of content on the site there is no limitation in types of content so we tend to see information ranging from text posts to infographics and slideshows galore.

The trick with sponsored content is very similar to that normal advertising purchases: keep the content relevant. At the moment it’s the wild west where publishers are scrambling to understand what the market wants. Within the next year sponsored content won’t be a crazy idea and become part of a publishers advertising mix.

What does this mean for affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketers will struggle to afford paying these types of prices to give their content a boost. If you however are in the fortunate position to have loads of traffic on your website, you will be able to make more money online. It offers you the chance to boost your income over and above your affiliate marketing efforts.

The scramble for digital real estate is becoming more and more intense. If you have quality content with a fair amount of traffic, you can turn your website into a cash-cow

How to ensure social media shares

It’s a classic question: “How do we get this content to go viral?”. Using social media is a classic “go-to” answer for this question. It’s easy to try seed something out via social media but how do you actually get social media shares rolling? We found a great infographic on the topic of getting more shares via social networks and Twitter. Who would have thought that saying “Please ReTweet” rather than “Please RT” would be more effective:

infogs on social media shares

Critical steps to landing page success

Getting your landing page to the right level
An important part of any campaign is a great landing page. Once you’ve spent your marketing budget on getting people to your landing site, it’s important to convert in order to justify your ROI. The focus is often on cost per click rather than conversions or signups.

The role that a landing page plays in improving both your lead generation efforts as well as your sale efforts is huge. The first pressure point is getting the traffic to your site, while the second is getting the success rate up in your “sales funnel”.

Here are five tips that help in your conversions:

  • Integrate with referral source(s)

You’d think it would be obvious to avoid the old ‘bait and switch’ when it comes to landing pages but you’d also be surprised how commonly another product is found on the landing page.

The key message on the landing page needs to be consistent with the key message of the referral source. So again, you need to show the visitor they have selected the right place to find the brand,product, deal, information or experience they are looking for; and the headline must clearly indicate this.

Think about it. You pay for a consumer to click through from Google AdWords. Let’s imagine you’re advertising ‘iPod deals’. If you clicked on the same ad wouldn’t you expect to see a big picture of an iPod, a headline that matches the ‘iPod deals’ call-to-action, and so on?

If you ensure you tailor your paid search landing pages to be relevant to a searcher’s query in this way, you’ll also pass Google’s “relevance” checks when it factors the page into your ad Quality Score.

  • Start the user on their journey

The design should make the next step clear and minimize the number of clicks required during sign-up, since every extra click required in response will generally reduce response by 10%.

It’s best practice to include the initial data capture on the first page, to encourage engagement and to get the customer started on their conversion path.

If the response mechanism is on another page then use multiple calls-to action to gain response, since some visitors will respond to images and others will respond to text hyperlinks.

Make all images clearly clickable, for example, by making them look like buttons. This is especially important for the likes of signup pages. The words used to form calls-to-action are critical to create a scent trail that users of the site follow.

  • Use the right page length

This is a difficult one to give guidelines on as there are no right or wrong answers. The right copy / page length is one that minimizes the knowledge gap between what the user want to know and what you tell them.

It’s a matter of testing to see which version performs best. Sit down and define the goals for the page, the type of visitor you want to attract and the content and calls-to- action that are needed to satisfy the needs of these visitors and get them to take action.

Some designers would suggest that content must fit on one page that doesn’t require scrolling at 800 x 600 resolution, but tests have shown that pages can be scroll-able, and that users will scroll if they appear scroll-able.

There is something to be said for ensuring that key information and calls to action are positioned above-the-fold. On the flip-side, the CTA should appear at the point when the visitor has enough information to be ready to take the action.

  • Remove menu options?

This is a point that doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone. The theory is similar to that of enclosing checkouts on eCommerce sites, in that removing distractions will often increase conversion rates as visitors have fewer options.

However, this tactic will certainly prevent visitors from browsing other parts of the site and, unlike in an eCommerce checkout, they have displayed less purchase intent at this stage.

One possible a compromise is to limit menus to top-level options only.

  • Make it mobile-friendly

With the growth of smartphone usage, it’s a fair bet that a decent proportion of visitors to your landing pages will be using a mobile browser, more so for certain products and services.

Presenting mobile users with a desktop page is guaranteed to increase bounce rates, so optimizing for mobile users is the first step. On top of this, using click to call buttons can improve response rates from mobile visitors.

These are all great guidelines but the most important aspect of a great landing page: increased testing and constant improvement. As with any digital campaign you need to guide yourself by the numbers. Throw your gut-feel out the window and work on the stats. It helps to set up event tracking through Google Analytics to check up on this crucial step in your affiliate marketing efforts.

Google takes 50% of all mobile advertising revenue

It’s scary to think but of the $8.8 billion spent per year on mobile advertising Google makes around half of this amount. What this means is that in total Google receives over one third of all revenues spent on digital advertising world wide. This is all according to a report by Emarketer and the estimation is that Google have tripled their mobile advertising in 2012 from 2011.

mobile internet advertising revenues worldwide

As shown in the table above, 2013 looks to be another bumper year with mobile almost doubling in value, a trend we’ve seen for the past two years. Other winners include the likes of Facebook that will be seeing a $2 billion revenue from mobile meaning a total of 12,5% of the marketing budget goes to Facebook.

mobile ad revenue share worldwide by company

It’s also interesting to expand the view to the online advertising industry as a whole. Google still dominates here with a staggering $33 billion a year. Facebook, the second place takes home a “mere” $5 billion of the total online revenue pie. Third and fourth are Yahoo and Microsoft respectively and together they add up to Facebook’s revenues.

net digital advertising revenues globally

It’s heartening to see such massive growth in the digital industry and even more accelerated growth in mobile. Services such as Twitter have grown their revenue over 100% year on year since 2011, an unparalleled increase in any industry. Most excitingly if you look at the table above the “Other” section makes over $61 billion, an absolutely massive opportunity for anyone.

Trading advertising for shares and mobile video growth

We never assume that dodgy business practices would come to digital advertising but whenever there’s a booming market it’s inevitable that people use dubious tactics to get ahead. According to publishing news site Digiday, video ad network Videology handed agencies equity in return for buying media from it to ensure mobile video growth.

It’s an worrying conflict of interests: if a company owns a share in Videology and is a major customer, surely it’s the equivalent of a kickback? A recent document has come out with information on Videology engaging in such dodgy practice.  Industry sources previously told Digiday that WPP’s GroupM held this type of arrangement with the vendor, which GroupM executives would neither confirm nor deny.

As well as an investor, GroupM is also a major Videology customer, raising a potential conflict of interests. The group’s agencies purchase media on behalf of a range of big-brand advertisers, and allocate some of their clients’ budgets to Videology in the process. The Videology spokesperson did not comment specifically on this potential conflict, but said “Neither GroupM, nor any other agency partner, have board representation and / or input into the operation of our company.”

Whether this is illegal or not is debatable but actually makes perfect sense for agencies as they have a finger in the production as well as media space.

On the other end of the spectrum in interesting news for the week YouTube have more than tripled their customers mobile ad spend in the past six months: up to a very substantial $350 million.

youtube mobile ads are growing exponentially

In an interview with Bloomberg, YouTube vice president of sales Lucas Watson revealed that a quarter of the platform’s one-billion global users now access the service via handheld devices, pushing advertisers to pay more attention to the medium.

“The commercial business has exploded,” Watson said in the interview. “It’s a huge part of our business, and we know that’s where it’s headed.”

Dubious business practices or not, this is an exciting time for mobile and video advertising.

Does advertising in a digital magazine get results?

The print magazine industry is in turmoil: worldwide we’re seeing a major downturn in buyers and subscribers. Previously popular magazines such as Newsweek have gone completely online due to the cost of print. Is the digital magazine format the right direction to take and how effective will it be?

Thankfully great content still lives on in digital format and digital editions of print magazines are starting to pickup. A study done by payments company Worldplay, shows that 22% of all American’s have bought a digital edition of a magazine.

In another piece of research it’s become clear that digital publishers are becoming advertising savvy. Kantar Media, looked at 58 magazine titles in the US and found that between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, the number of ad units in print ad pages held relatively steady. But the number of ad units available on just the iPad increased nearly 24%, giving the iPad editions 56% of the total number of ad units as on print pages. Factoring in iPhones, other tablets and PCs, digital is clearly providing a significant number of new magazine ad opportunities.

Thankfully advertisers are also seeing the benefit of these digital editions. The same research shows the obvious: print advertising is being phased out for digital editions:

numbers of brands advertising in digital print

We took a look at some South African magazines with tablet editions and it seems the pervading problem is that there is no specific digital edition. We’re given carbon copies of the print editions either packaged into an app or a reader platform such as Zinio so unfortunately we’re not seeing these types of advertising opportunities for South African brands. Print advertising gets an extra benefit by already being in the magazines rather than creating new opportunities for digital advertisers.

What we can say though, bearing in mind these trends, is that the first publisher to get this right is going to make a mint.

Justifying your online marketing budget

We’ve had it bashed in by repetition that online marketing is the way to go as it’s the best way to prove marketing return on investment. This ROI conversation is a great way to justify your online efforts to the higher ups.

Ad sales, publishers and marketers need to justify their digital marketing efforts.  Time and again, marketers are asked to tie those efforts back to bottom-line results. It became clear that folks are struggling to quantify their return on investment.

Three questions about online marketing

Below are the top three questions CMOs wrestle with, according to a study by Vizu, when trying to explain their digital investments:

  • Why should we move more brand advertising dollars into digital?

As consumers spend more of their time on computers, tablets and phones, more advertising money has moved online. This has led to the development of richer creative formats that allow marketers to create experiences that move beyond direct-response tactics and into immersive experiences — video and social, for example — that are better exploited by brand messages.

Moreover, consistent multi-platform metrics are emerging that allow marketers to compare the relative efficacy of different media and make more informed decisions based on real return on investment.

Nielsen consider effective advertising to be that which reaches your desired audience, influences their opinion and ultimately impacts their behavior at the cash register. We call this the three R’s — reach, resonance and reaction.

  • How can we parse the effectiveness of brand advertising online when there is so much data to choose from?

Nielsen recently released the 2013 Online Advertising Performance Outlook, a survey of marketers, agencies and media sellers. They found that more than half of media buyers and one in three media sellers surveyed described themselves as “drowning in data.” One marketer described online metrics as a “Tower of Babel.”

The same study found that the No. 1 metric marketers were interested in understanding, as in any advertising investment, is sales lift. Sales equate to success, your digital dollars need to justify this.

  • Does TV measurement get more like digital, or vice versa?

Marketers have been trained that television advertising is the greatest possible form of advertising but historically measurement has been tough. The research highlighted two factors generally at play — technology and simplicity. From a technological standpoint, digital media allows marketers to collect more granular data than traditional TV. But those differences are shrinking. As we move to a world of connected TV, everything becomes digital. While that might suggest that TV measurement should become more like digital measurement, we believe simplicity will reign. In fact, we’re already seeing digital metrics become more like TV with the industry adoption of an online GRP for a common, simple method of calculating reach and brand lift for calculating resonance.

The conclusion is simple: keep the results simple without bamboozling with data and explain why digital is a collaborative effort with different mediums and mechanisms which can also work hand in hand with big budget efforts such as TV.

The analytics available with online marketing makes a difference

Digital marketing efforts are aimed at lead generation, make sales online, getting and affiliate marketing income, getting more subscribers and building brands. So basically the same as with all other more traditional marketing efforts.

The difference with digital marketing: You can track it from start to finish.

For a lot of your tracking needs you wouldn’t need to look much further than Google Analytics (and read up especially on event tracking and goal conversions).

Let’s look at how you would handle lead generation through two digital and traditional marketing efforts:
1. Digital marketing efforts start with tracking the number of visitors you got to your website. You can see from the stats what the sources were of the traffic. If you have set up goal conversions it would give you a full picture from source through to completion. This makes it much easier to work out the ROI
2. Traditional marketing efforts including TV, radio and print. You put it out there and hope it generates leads or sales…

That is a bit of an over dramatization, but it is true. Brands in the US have started giving up their coveted spots in the Super Bowl half-time show which is watched by hundreds of millions of people in favor of bigger digital marketing budgets.

When your digital marketing is running, you can make adjustments based on real data in real time to direct spend in the right direction.