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.

LinkedIn rolls out Carousel Ads to ‘humanise’ B2B marketing

In similar fashion to its consumer-facing counterparts, B2B social network LinkedIn has launched Carousel Ads, allowing advertisers to display up to 10 customised, swipeable cards within one ad.

According to a blog post by product manager, Rohin Rajiv, the company hopes the update will “humanise” B2B marketing efforts and add a little colour to an otherwise non-too-descript news feed, encouraging users to engage with brands on both desktop and mobile.

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

UK marketers are picking up Weibo, WeChat & QR codes to target fast-growth regions

When it comes to digital marketing, there are no longer any borders, but are marketers equipped for effective advertising overseas?

A new UK-based report by Rakuten Marketing has revealed that nine in 10 marketers (89%) are now managing international marketing campaigns as companies pursue overseas growth opportunities in the borderless age of digital.

Of that majority chunk, 55% are active within Europe and an additional 14% are operating further afield.

But while digital allows for more or less unbridled...

By Mark Jones, 12 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce.

Instagram could be targeting YouTube’s influencer bucks with 60-minute videos

Instagram is rumoured to be rolling out long-form video in what could be a play by Facebook to poach a growing portion of ad spend from YouTube, owned by arch-rival in ad tech Google.

While Instagram currently supports hour-long live streams, videos are capped at just 60 seconds, but unnamed sources speaking to WSJ say this could be extended to 60 minutes, which could make the photo-sharing platform a whole lot more attractive to influencers.

The news comes despite Instagram already becoming the dominant force of...

Why we need to use tech to amplify human ambition – rather than turn it off

Stop me if you are still in helplessly in love with the culture and practices of 80s adland, but there’s an inherent decadence in the agency sector these days, as technology surges on and humans lag behind. And it’s not helping anyone.

You can see it on the media side, where so many seem to switch on the tech and go to lunch, not worrying about the detail, because it’s all clever stuff and if it doesn’t get the job done, the offline media probably will. That’s the seductive peril...

By Dan Thwaites, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, Content Marketing, Customer Experience.

Buzzfeed sheds further 20 staff in continued move towards programmatic

Buzzfeed is reportedly laying off a further 20 of its staff in part of a reorganisation of its business, as it looks to recover from a loss-making 2017.

The announcement follows the publisher severing 100 employees last year - or 6% of its workforce - when it reported a £3.3m loss, owed in large part to its move away from native advertising.

The company will in turn be hiring a further 45 employees to its business team equipped...

By Mark Jones, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Programmatic, Publishing.

Facebook calls Marketplace onto the pitch for new ad revenue stream

Facebook has announced that businesses will now be able to advertise within its classified ad listing hub, Marketplace, in a duo of updates that finally open up the channel for monetisation.

In addition to news feed, videos, Instagram and Messenger placements, businesses will now be able to advertise directly within relevant Marketplace product feeds, although so far the new feature is only available across the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The second update comes for users of Marketplace themselves,...

By Mark Jones, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: E-Commerce, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Google scraps 12-vendor cap on GDPR consent tool for publishers

With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) now in full swing, Google has made a surprising u-turn on its consent management platform (CMP) policy.

The Alphabet-owned search giant has scrapped what was a 12-vendor limit for publishers that used its Funding Choices CMP, used to gain the consent of users to access their data to improve ad personalisation in line with new European data regulations.

The former policy was applied based on tests by Google which found users are more likely to opt-in when...

By Mark Jones, 08 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Data-driven marketing, Publishing.

Azuqua onboards SaaS giants Adobe, Zendesk for software integration

Software automation and integration company Azuqua has announced a raft of large SaaS (software-as-a-service) companies joining its Connect Partner Program, which aims to cut down the need for internal development time and tactical acquisitions when customer demands change.

Adobe, Zendesk, Allocadia, and Workfront are some of those high profile outfits now employing the service, among 15 additional companies who have not been named by the Seattle-based group.

Azuqua’s CEO Todd Owens is confident the...

By Mark Jones, 07 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Marketing Cloud.

Native ad leader Outbrain acquires AdNgin for automated ad content optimisation

New York-based native ad firm Outbrain has acquired AdNgin, a UI (user interface) optimisation specialist built to enhance the reader experience.

The buyout - made for an undisclosed fee - marks the sixth for Outbrain since its founding in 2006, including the more recent purchases of content discovery platforms Zemanta and Revee as part of the company’s aggressive growth efforts and continued leadership in the native advertising sector. 

According to the announcement, Outbrain was attracted to...

Apple takes aim at Facebook user tracking features

Apple has announced it will be making efforts to block Facebook’s user tracking tools within the next iteration of its iOS and Mac operating systems.

Announced at its WWDC developer conference yesterday (June 4), the tech firm’s software chief, Craig Federighi, said on the social network’s automatic tracking features, “we’re shutting that down”.

Those tracking tools in question allude to Facebook’s like buttons, share buttons and comment fields, which when integrated...

Breaking the mould: Viewability and creativity in the digital economy

If you visited HotWired.com on October 27 1994, your eye would have probably been caught by an unusual flashing banner emblazoned across the top of your screen. Standing at 60 pixels tall and 468 pixels wide, the internet’s first advertisement was garish, tacky and the nemesis of exasperated dial-up connections worldwide - but it was a massive success.

The advert itself was a part of...

By Eric Visser, 05 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Data-driven marketing, Programmatic.

Imagine – a chatbot you actually want to chat with? Here’s how it’s possible

As consumers, do we look to the experience or do we look to the result when dealing with brands?

An enjoyable interaction with a brand counts for nothing if we don’t end up with what we want, no matter how charming the sales person was. However, the same can be said if we end up with the thing we want but only after a charmless, cold and unenjoyable experience to get to that point.

Being able to balance the two has always been the ultimate goal of most brands, especially within key consumer led...

CMOs and CFOs are working in harmony – but more can still be done to close the gap

CMOs and CFOs need to get along harmoniously to achieve digital transformation – that much we already know. Yet according to a new research report from Wipro Digital, the two C suites are seeing eye to eye on digital marketing budgets.

The study, which was based on responses from 50 CMOs and 50 CFOs at US companies, says the two are seeing eye to eye much more than ever before. Yet it’s not all peaches and cream; 36% in the financial side said marketers’ use of click through rates and...

By James Bourne, 01 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, CRM, Data-driven marketing.

Using questions to inform your content strategy: A guide

It can be really hard to think of content topics to inform a content strategy, especially when you’ve been working at it for a long time. But wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get these ideas directly from our audience without having to pay for expensive surveys or focus groups? Well, actually you can.

Your audience and customers are constantly asking questions online that relate to your key topics, product or service, and these questions will form a perfect content strategy for you as you know...

By Laura Crimmons, 31 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Content Marketing, Search Marketing.

Five ways marketing automation won't help your business

Marketing automation, as an industry, is growing phenomenally. In fact, the inaugural Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017 to 2023 (Global), produced by Forrester at the end of April, predicts that annual spend on such martech will reach $25bn in five years’ time.

The reason for this is – in a large part – due to the fact that many brands are yet to adopt automation...

By Adam Oldfield, 29 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.

The psychological perspective: Can video size affect campaign success?

It’s Saturday night. You’re on your couch under the blankets watching that new romantic drama that came out. The man and woman fall in love, but then something happens and everything gets messed up. At a certain point you find yourself sobbing until they finally make up and she runs into his arms and they kiss and live happily ever after.

Have you ever experienced a similar feeling, be it with a romantic film, a horror film, action or even a sponsored ad? That feeling of watching something and...

By Rachel Zalta, 24 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Video & Audio Marketing.

Joining the VUI conversation: The challenges and benefits of voice user interfaces for marketers

Voice user interface (VUI) development has been opened up to brands, people and developers vying for a share of voice in this new, noisy marketplace by both Amazon and Google who have created free ‘skill’ or ‘action’ building platforms for their market-leading personal voice assistants. Although this accessible technology is exciting, it is still in the early stages of adoption and presents a steep learning curve - for both brands and customers. In this world, everyone’s a...

By Iain Millar, 23 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.

Why “romanticising the loss of jobs to technology is like complaining antibiotics put grave diggers out of work”

“Romanticising the loss of jobs to technology is little better than complaining that antibiotics put too many grave diggers out of work. The transfer of labour from humans to our inventions is nothing less than the history of civilization. It is inseparable from centuries of rising living standards and improvements in human rights.

“What a luxury to sit in a climate-controlled room with access to the sum of human knowledge on a device in your pocket and lament how we don’t work with our hands...

By Jeremy Waite, 22 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Best Practice, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.

How time spent in apps can give you back time in real life

With three hours a day on average worldwide spent in apps, it’s no wonder that our smartphones have become intrinsic to our everyday lives. With the multitude of apps available, our smartphones are overwhelmingly personal – glancing at a few pages of someone’s chosen apps provides a uniquely intimate snapshot into their daily life and personal interests. From mobile banking and retail shopping apps, to Google docs, social messaging and publisher apps, our smartphone is the primary platform...