Twitch-based influencer marketing platform PowerSpike lands $500K as esports boom

Do the names shroud, tfue, dakotaz and ninja sound familiar?

Probably not, but they are some of the top 10 most-watched gamers on the Amazon-owned live-stream platform Twitch, and together they racked up over 10m in viewing hours in just the first week of this month.  

Ninja in particular - a self-titled “professional Battle Royale player” - accounted for 4.8m of those hours alone, and recently surpassed landmark 10m Twitch followers who currently...

By Mark Jones, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

YouTube in hot water again as Mars departs over brand safety concerns

Social video sharing site YouTube is once again in hot water over advertising brand safety.

This time, it’s Mars that has suspended marketing on the platform after an advert for Starburst sweets was found to be placed at the start of a rap music video allegedly supporting gang violence in London.

The film by a group called Moscow 17 is part of an emerging genre called ‘drill’ which has been cited as violent “soundtrack” to gang warfare in London, with rival gangs often using the...

By Mark Jones, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

WhatsApp launching pay-to-use tools for brand marketers

WhatsApp is launching a pay-to-use advertising service for brands looking to engage their customers directly on small screens.  

The move opens up a new revenue stream for the Facebook-owned messaging app since removing subscription fees in 2016 and allows businesses to send information or services updates, such as delivery information or tickets.

According to BBC news, the fee will be based on confirmed delivery, on which advertisers will pay between 0.5 cents to 9 cents (0.3p to 7p), depending which...

By Mark Jones, 03 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Facebook topples from list of top ten most-innovative brands

Battling fake news, mass data breaches and a stomach-lurching drop in share prices, it’s hardly been a good year for Mark Zuckerberg, and as if to rub salt in the wound, the social network and tech colossus has now fallen out of sight on a rank of the world’s most innovative brands.

The revelation comes as part of Brand Keys’ sixth annual

By Mark Jones, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

12% of UK Instagram influencers are still buying fake followers

Despite surging popularity in the emerging marketing channel, it seems a large chunk of influencers still refuse to play by the book in order to make a quick buck.

A study by independent campaign measurement firm CampaignDeus found 12% of UK influencers to have bought fake Instagram followers in the first six months of 2018. The findings were based on analysis of nearly 700,000 posts, identifying ‘bot-buyers’ by those with low UK followings, inexplicable jumps in follower count and subpar...

By Mark Jones, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Twitter’s fake user 'health' cull sees stocks drop 20%

Twitter saw stocks plummet by over 20% ahead of the weekend, following an announcement that its monthly active users had fallen by one million throughout Q2 against the previous quarter.

Announcing that users had fallen from 336m to 335m was enough to send share prices down to just under $35 (they’ve continued a decline since). That's despite the company reporting record quarterly profit of $100m (£76m) and a 23 percent year-on-year uplift in ad...

By Mark Jones, 30 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Social Media Marketing.

5 ways to integrate video into your digital strategy on a shoestring budget

For years, mobile has been a key part of marketing dialogue and the industry-standard for many advertisements. However, innovation runs rampant in world of mobile and there are certain aspects of mobile that should get more attention by brands and advertisers. This year, the star of the show is clearly mobile video.

Time spent on mobile has continued to increase, and more than 75 percent of video viewing is mobile. But what does that mean for...

Instagram ad spend growth trounces Facebook in wake of privacy concerns

Instagram’s year-on-year ad spend grew 177 percent - four times that of Facebook - as its owner failed to live up to Wall Street expectations following its Q2 2018 earnings report.  

Excluding revenue from its hugely popular photo-sharing app, Facebook reported ad spend growth of 42 percent amounting to $13.23bn (£10.13bn) yesterday which, while on paper sounds reasonable, represented its slowest-growing quarter since it went public.

The report saw Facebook’s stock take a 10% plunge,...

By Mark Jones, 26 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Pinterest on track for IPO as ad revenue approaches $1bn waterline

Social media company Pinterest is approaching $1bn in ad revenue, according to sources close to the group, putting in IPO (initial public offering) in arm’s reach for 2019.

The image discovery platform could double its 2017 $500 million sales revenue this year, driven in large part by success with mobile ads according to CNBC, with big fashion and beauty brands turning to the platform to get in front of 200 million monthly...

By Mark Jones, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Native Advertising, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Facebook jumps on Crimson Hexagon following data share breach accusations

With another company being accused of breaching Facebook’s data-sharing policy, it’s no surprise that the social network has been quick to act.

Facebook announced the suspension of Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon - a company that reportedly has ties with government agencies around the world, including Russian nonprofits with alleged ties to the Kremlin - last week, following a report by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) questioning whether it uses data from social media for surveillance...

By Mark Jones, 23 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.

How to let influencer marketing ease the death of display ads

What do shag carpets, landlines, and display advertising all have in common? The heyday for each has long since passed. And in the case of display ads, a shiny and new alternative — one that blends word-of-mouth buzz with high frequency — has emerged: influencer marketing.

It’s easy to understand why influencers have more reach than website banners or YouTube adverts. Our company did a joint study with Nielsen on consumer conduct, and we found that

By Jeff Epstein, 19 July 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Content Marketing, Publishing, Social Media Marketing.

Facebook is bringing augmented reality ads to the news feed

With a limited supply of inventory available to advertisers in its news feed, Facebook seems to be trying out slightly more novel ways of ensuring brands are getting the best bang for their buck.  

Limited to its US users at launch, a new augmented reality (AR) feature will enable customers to virtually try on items “in just one click” from certain ads, including fashion accessories and cosmetics, as well as...

By Mark Jones, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

When AI misses the mark: The unlikely casualties of Facebook’s political ad filter

Following its time in the public petri dish over Cambridge Analytica and implications that Russia-backed content on its platform had an influential effect on the US election results, you can’t blame Facebook for being a tad overcautious.

As part of its recently rolled-out political ad policies which requires all political advertisements to undergo verification and feature listed details of the buyer, the social network employs an artificial intelligence (AI) system to identify politically-fuelled ads...

By Mark Jones, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Delving into a brand’s social ecosystem: AI and the refinement of data

It was only eleven years ago - in 2007 - that I set up the first social media agency in the UK. It seems inconceivable now to look back at a mere decade and see how drastically the social media landscape has shifted since then. We have gone from ‘innovative and cool new thing’ to the very foundation of marketing strategies.

Whilst the advent of social media has profoundly disrupted how marketers operate, everything from blogging to influencers and Wikipedia have seemingly had their day. Ours has...

By Joel Davis, 02 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Why ‘the customer is always right’ is more applicable than ever in today’s data-driven business

“The customer is always right” is a popular phrase with interesting origins. While there is no conclusive evidence of when the quote first came to exist, most credit its early popularisation to Chicago retailer Marshall Field. More importantly, though, is that the phrase is an abbreviated version of the original, which stated “right or wrong, the customer is always right.”

Only three words longer, the full quote adds some needed context – that the customer can of course be wrong....

YouTube tweaks monetisation model in response to ‘adpocalypse’

Social video sharing platform YouTube is rolling out a “channel membership” paid subscription option to its top creators, following criticism that its latest ad policies make it hard for publishers to earn money.

In a model already employed by competitors such as Twitch and Patreon, the platform will let publishers with more than 100,000 fans charge $4.99 a month for access to exclusive content, while those with over 10,000 followers will be able to host live-streamed “premieres” and...

Four in 10 social media users have deleted accounts over privacy fears, finds Edelman

In response to the results of a survey by Edelman, which found a glaring loss of trust in social media platforms across the globe, the firm’s CEO has commented that “people are scared”.

Revealed at Cannes Lions yesterday (June 19), a study by the PR firm on over 9,000 consumers found that 70% thought it was up to advertisers to pressure social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, into more effectively addressing false information and offensive content.

Speaking to CNBC, the...

By Mark Jones, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Unilever’s top marketer says influencer fraud requires ‘urgent action’

As we’ve seen within the last year, the big-spending FMCG giants have demonstrated some hefty lobbying power when it comes to holding the digital marketing industry to account. This time, they’re getting tough on influencer marketing.

At Cannes Lions today (June 18), Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said that the growing influencer marketing industry was at a pivotal stage and that its members must take “urgent action” in order to rebuild...

By Mark Jones, 18 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

UK consumers five times happier online shopping than on social media

A new study by e-commerce martech company Rokt has given refreshed credit to the concept of retail therapy, with 71% of UK consumers claiming to be at their happiest when shopping online.

The survey of over 4,000 consumers worldwide found that the majority are not only at their happiest when browsing the virtual aisles, but are at their most “engaged, focused and open-minded”, presenting marketers with a prime opportunity to target customers in a buying mindset.  

For the UK segment of the...

By , 14 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Reddit roles out native autoplay video ads with focus on user engagement

Following its recent redesign, Reddit has rolled out a new native video ad format that will auto-play by default when a user scrolls through a feed.

The update is part of the massively popular site’s tentative efforts to monetise its 330m active monthly users, which can be widely resistant to any large-scale changes to user experience, particularly when there’s a commercial slant involved.

Users will, however, be able to turn off the autoplay function, while the ads themselves will only be served...

By Mark Jones, 13 June 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Native Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.