ü Oughta Know: Google Launches ‘Call Only’ Ad; Facebook Introduces Product Ads; The Future of Marketing

ü Oughta Know is a combination of digital crib notes and marketers’ cheat sheet, bringing you important – and occasionally weird — stories and trends from digital marketing news.

Each week our hope is to help keep your knowledge sharp while providing a delightful craving of classic Alanis Morissette.  Here’s what you oughta know:

Google Launches ‘Call Only” Ad:

Google has recently launched a new mobile search ad allowing only for click-to-call. For B2C brands still working on getting mobile-compatible sites, these ads may be worth experimenting with provided your sales cycle is very short or your offering is highly commoditized.

Phone-for-katie_vt_1How will national brands use this?

I’ve personally always hoped for another 1-800-I-Feel-OK, the dial-up entertainment marketing promo from Coca Cola’s pre-internet 1990’s that offered fortunes, trivia and other nonsense. I can’t believe there was a time I considered a phone tree ‘entertainment’.

Likely, this will be the domain of local businesses. Just be sure to use ad scheduling to show your ad only when your phone lines are manned.

Value to your business: Worth experimentation for local companies.

Facebook Introduces Product Ads:

If you’re an online retailer, Facebook’s new Product Ads will be of particular interest.

The refresh of their in-stream ad unit combines promoted posts with dynamic targeting and remarketing previously only available through select (and often costly) third-party platforms. The ad creative is made en masse from an entire product catalog.

Facebook highlights the case study of e-tailer NoMoreRack, which used the new platform to improve CTR by 42% while decreasing cost per acquisition by 45%.

Given the interaction these new ad units offers, and their simplicity in mobile, that’s not an unreasonable expectation for a well-targeted campaign.


The dynamic remarketing capabilities will feel right at home to those familiar with Google AdWord’s rule-based remarketing, but it does require some new code added to your website, the ‘Facebook Pixel.’


Value to your business: Highlight your products using Facebook’s incredible targeting AND remarket from the same platform? This is a must-include for ecommerce B2C.

 The Future of Marketing: Research from Duke:

Duke University published the latest edition of their CMO survey last week and the findings indicate that digital marketing will continue to grow and may surpass traditional advertising spend in the coming years and for the first time since the recession marketing budgets are seeing huge increases.

Some of the more compelling data from the study:

  • Brands will allot 11.7 percent of their marketing budgets for analytics by 2018, up from 6.4 percent currently.
  • Mobile Advertising spend will rise from 3.2% of your marketing budget to 9%.
  • Digital marketing spend should increase by 14.7 percent in the next year.
  • Traditional advertising budgets to fall by 1.1 percent in the next 12 months.
  • Social media will account for 22.4% of marketing budgets within the next 5 years.
  • Marketing budgets overall will increase by 8.7%, the largest increase year-over-year since the recession.

The Duke University CMO survey is conducted yearly and CMOs from large corporations such as GE and Walgreens are interviewed. Do these facts sound like the plans you have for the future of your marketing strategy?

Which Social Mediums Are Right For Your Business?

With so many social media offerings, brands can be conflicted over which ones to choose. We all assume that in 2015 social media has been around long enough for everyone to understand the difference between each channel, but we thought a light refresher would be a great way to start the year. The big question that brands seem to still struggle with is, “is it better to sign up for each new social medium or is it more beneficial to tread carefully and only commit to a handful?”

Social Table

Social media is at the core of any good content marketing effort and it is essential that you are posting relevant content where it will yield you the most benefits. No one knows your target audience better than you and that is where you need to start when determining a social media strategy. Pew has a guide with information about the people using different social media channels that is updated regularly and can be very helpful when deciding on your initial strategy. After you’ve considered your audience and the channels they already use, it’s important to look at each channel and decide if their uses align with your goals. Here is a little cheat sheet that will help you.

Facebook is right for your business if… your goal is to form a tight-knit community around your business or product. Many sources argue that Facebook is a better place for B2C companies, but if you are sharing great content, B2B companies can benefit as well. With an audience of over 1 billion users, there’s no doubt it can’t be ignored. According to the Pew study, more than 70% of adults using the Internet are actively engaged on Facebook.

Instagram is right for your business if… your content often has images to go along with it. Every blog post can be shared on Instagram by showing the main image with a link in the caption. Even if you end up sharing mostly candid shots from around your office, it gives customers a chance to get to know your brand. Instagram tends to be exceptionally popular amongst crafty markets and in urban areas.

LinkedIn is right for your business if… you are a B2B company or have thoughtful, informative works to share. LinkedIn pages are also great places to showcase your internal culture which will help you to find future employees and spark the interest of industry thought leaders. When using LinkedIn as part of your social media strategy, it is important to get your team on board. If every employee shares your latest content, chances increase that your content will be featured. The right person, with the right connections and history could get your content picked up as an influential piece in your industrys’ news section of LinkedIn.

Pinterest is right for your business if… your business is highly visual.  However, it can work well in other areas as well. Think about your target audience; can you imagine them curating images? If the answer is yes and your brand is something they could be pinning, Pinterest is the right place for you. It’s worth mentioning that nearly 80% of Pinterest users are women, so event (weddings, parties, and vacations to name a few) and crafty (sewing, decorating, baking)  brands tend to do exceptionally well here. Many brands see success with creating a pin board that they may only have one image for and leaving it as an open board. This builds community and drives recognition for your brand as the curator.

Twitter is right for your business if… you have a lot of information to share. Even if your target audience is not active on Twitter, it’s still a great place to connect with influencers from your industry and the media which is beneficial to traditional PR efforts. Its very important to make sure you’re page stays active and is monitored. The younger generations are using Twitter more and more to voice complaints, and with Twitter’s high authority, those unanswered complaints could turn into first page Google rankings.

YouTube or Vimeo is right for your business if… you have any type of videos to share. You can host the videos on your chosen site and every time one is watched the consumer will see other offerings at the end. These channels also rank highly on search engines and it is never bad to have more listings on page 1 of Google.

There is substantial value in social media, but brands need to enter into each new channel with their eyes wide open. If you have a person who is entirely responsible for social media marketing for your business, then trying out each new channel may be worthwhile. If your administrative assistant is updating your current channels when he/she has time, trying out each new option might prove a fruitless endeavor.

Social media is a two-way street and if you are not actively participating in the conversation, you will not grow your social community. It is better to choose the mediums that make the most sense for your business and wait until you have the data to proofprove the new channels could have positive reactions.

If you are looking for advice about starting or updating your company’s social media strategy, please contact us and we’ll help you figure out the best way forward.

ü Oughta Know — Facebook Brings Big Data Ads to Any Sized Business, The Worth of a Retweet and Plugg.io

ü Oughta Know is a combination of digital crib notes and marketers’ cheat sheet, bringing you important – and occasionally weird — stories and trends from digital marketing news.

Each week our hope is to help keep your knowledge sharp while providing a delightful craving of classic Alanis Morissette.  Here’s what you oughta know:

Facebook Ad Targeting Becomes More Robust

With brands relying more and more on Facebook’s hyper-targeted content promotion abilities to share their messaging, Facebook’s new core audiences offers a few new uses for the platform.

Facebook recently announced ‘Easier, More Effective Ways to Reach the Right People on Facebook.’ Among the changes, smarter location targeting and more robust demographic targeting compliment an ever growing list of target-able interests. These new core audiences include new relationships statuses, job title and workplace as well as important life events.

With this, Facebook becomes an even more relevant platform for not only consumer targets, but for B2B as well. Now, organizations can targeting decision makers by job title in your geographic area. This also shows potential for recruitment efforts with targeting by location, degree and/or current job title. Previously, this business-life targeting was the realm of LinkedIn alone.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of Facebook’s recent announcement of Partner Categories, a targeting option that allows for reaching audiences based on data such as household purchase information, loyalty card programs and vehicle registration data borrowing from big data power-houses such as Axciom, Datalogix and Epsilon.

Rethinking the Worth of a Retweet

How many retweets your content gets may mean nothing. Or it may mean something. That was the news recently when Chartbeat’s CEO said that people are tweeting stories without even reading them. So that follower who you thought retweeted that great content you wrote because it was so freaking brilliant, may not have even read it at all.

Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile tweeted earlier this month, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” (That data is here).

HubSpot’s Dan Zarella came to a similar conclusion in 2012. He found that 16 percent of tweets he looked at had generated more retweets than clicks.

But here’s something interesting: Upworthy’s analytics show that people who get all the way through a piece of content are more likely to share than people who don’t read it at all. And the amount of time people spend on a page correlates with whether they come back or not. Chartbeat tweeted Feb. 4: “Did you know visitors who read an article for three minutes returned twice as often as those who read for one minute?”

So here’s the bottom line: People retweet after they haven’t read anything – or after they’ve read everything. That means the number of retweets is perhaps not nearly as important as how long people are actually engaged.

What do you think? Are clicks more important than engagement? Do you share content without reading it?

Tips and Tricks | Twitter Pro-Tools – Plugg.io

There is a clear line between strategically following people to introduce yourself and mass-following by the thousands. Twitter will step in if brands resort to the later high-churn style, but using the follow as a way of introducing yourself and your organization is old hat on Twitter.

So you’ve been strategically following Twitter users for a year, and it’s worked out really well for your building a following. Now, how can you easily manage both the large list of those who don’t follow your brand back, and those who unfollow your brand over time?

Plugg.io is a free Twitter tool for building and maintaining a social media following. While I wouldn’t manage a brand entirely from it, it makes a solid compliment to HootSuite, Buffer, SocialBro or similar tools.

Two features earn Plugg.io a spot in our toolkit.

Plugg.io’s real-time Twitter monitor searches Twitter for accounts matching set criteria such as following, age and topics discussed. While SocialBro and other discovery tools offer this as well, Plugg.io’s real-time nature makes it useful during Twitter chats or for following busy hashtags around tradeshows and events.

Plugg.io also has one of the easiest ‘unfollow’ options of any tool we’ve reviewed. In addition to offering a list of all those you follow who do not follow you back, it offers a simple 2-click unfollow for 1 to 100 unfollows. It also keeps a running ‘white-list’ of accounts you’ve flagged, so it will only list the accounts you intend to unfollow.

ü Oughta Know — Facebook Remarketing, Opportunities with Paper, and Building From the Ground Up

ü Oughta Know is a combination of digital crib notes and marketers’ cheat sheet, bringing you important – and occasionally weird — stories and trends from digital marketing news.

Each week our hope is to help keep your knowledge sharp while providing a delightful craving of classic Alanis Morissette.  Here’s what you oughta know:

Facebook Introduces Ad Targeting Remarketing Fans will ‘Like’

In the coming weeks, Facebook announced it will be introducing new remarketing/retargeting capabilities to all advertisers. These added features will allow brands and organizations to Facebook adds remarketing/retargetingtarget those users who are already using their websites, campaign microsites and mobile apps.

This new rollout makes effective remarketing to current and potential customers on Facebook’s mobile and web experiences available to even the most conservative of online advertising budgets.

This capability has been used by online giants such as Amazon for some time through FBX (Facebook Exchange) and third-party partners.

Also be on the lookout for stronger calls-to-action to accompany promoted content on Facebook, with native buttons to include ‘download,’ ‘shop now’ and ‘sign up.’ These buttons will appear with promoted content linking to brand and organization websites on both mobile and desktop.

More Facebook: FB Rolls out its ‘Paper’ app

Facebook is celebrating its 10th birthday with the release of Paper, an iOS mobile reader app with a presentation that’s similar to Flipboard. And judging by the introductory video, it’s going to create a whole new Facebook experience.

Facebook announces PaperPaper will take stories from your news feed and add stories — curated by humans and algorithms — from publications. You’ll be able to customize Paper with themed sections that you pick, so you can follow what you’re interested in and perhaps uncover things you may not have come across on your own.  In its news page, Facebook says that the first section will be your News Feed; you then have a choice of themed sections with a mix of what Facebook describes as “content from emerging voices and well-known publications.”

The pictures and videos are big and bold and the flip animation is pretty amazing. And while all this is cool, the big question is, what does it mean to marketers?

The answer, as of Feb. 3 when the app is released, is … nothing: The app will premier ad-free. But according to TechCrunch, Facebook is considering how they can naturally integrate ads; Information Week suggests the app won’t stay ad-free for long; and mobile entertainment says the team at Facebook is “toying with autoplay videos and video advertising.”

All of which could provide some interesting opportunities for digital marketers. Stay tuned.

Google Gives Us Something to Build On

Have you run out of ways to waste time while you’re at work? Don’t tell the boss we told you, but Google just released Build With Chrome, a desktop Lego building kit for the kid in all of us. You can let Google use your location and it gives you that as a base, or you can choose a base from anywhere in the world. The app lets you see what others have built; you can also share your buildings and see what’s been built by people in your circles on Google+.

Screen shot of Build With ChromeAmanda Kooser at CNET points out several very cool things about Build With Chrome: No sorting through buckets of bricks; you can change the color of your bricks; and you’re unlikely to step on one. I’d like to add: and the dog probably won’t eat any of them.

I haven’t been able to fully immerse myself in Build With Chrome because, after all, I’m at work and it would be totally, totally wrong to spend my time like that, but I’m fairly certain Building With Chrome will cause me to lose large amounts of time when I’m supposed to be doing something else – at home of course.

Tips and Tricks – IFTT Stands for Automation for All

As a C-level exec or marketing professional, you’re judged more on your effect and efficiency than your effort.

While wedü usually talks about automation from the angle of marketing automation, this week’s tip lets you free up some of the day with a web app that can automate everything from text-message alerts when a new Google Alert drops to automatically saving your fan’s social media posts to a Google doc.

‘If This Than That, or IFTTT (www.ifttt.com) connects with over 75 web apps, online services and physical devices to allow for useful, creative and odd automation recipes.

With channels ranging from RSS feeds and Facebook brand pages to smart-home equipment and popular productivity tools, there’s an unlimited arrangement of recipes available.

What’s our favorite IFTT recipe?

Our personal favorite recipe is to receive a text or mobile alert when a message is posted to social media channels of our clients. This allows us to have an extra check on post scheduling platforms such as Hoot Suite, but also lets us be one of the first to know if account security is compromised.

The Rising Numbers of Facebook Advertising

There are a lot of commas in those advertising numbers. Typically, I wouldn’t say that advertiser adoption and spend is a clear indicator of success, especially in the technology arena. Fads come and go and whether it’s QR codes or augmented reality, they may enjoy quick adoption before they find their proper place as an advertising channel.

Sample Facebook Advertising Infographic 2013

Facebook The Evolution | Advertising Trends and Users

Facebook is still struggling to find the right mix of community service and advertising revenue. Their latest announcement of auto-play, inline video advertising has a few people wondering who is making the decisions in Silicon Valley, but again, they will find the right mix.

The numbers for advertising both desktop and mobile have clearly continued to climb in the digital arena. The reasons are simple – #1 Better targeting, #2 Better measurement and if you’re any good #3 Better results. This infographic shows the growth of Facebook’s advertising platform in gross revenue. It also shows the spend per MAU (Monthly Active User) is on the rise. Two items will drive the average spend per user higher – Continue reading

Engagement Drivers Haven’t Changed

Social media may continue to evolve, but frankly – humans don’t. Well, at least not nearly as fast. For years people have heard me say, “Consider the E-Reaction to your posts.” Open any social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. Look at all the posts. I bet each and every post will fall into one of the following 5 categories – Ego, Emotion, Entertainment, E-Currency, Education. Those are the 5 ways to get solid engagement.

Since I’ve said every single post will fall into one category you may think, well, then everything gets engagement. NO! Of course not. You must still match the type of engagement to your audience. You probably have various audience segments, and you need to appeal to all of them at some point and time. Non-profits may tend to use the emotional driver. Retailers may use the E-currency or coupon driver. They all work with the right mix of message and audience.

Focus your efforts on identifying how your E-Reactions compare over time with your various audience members and you’ll learn to execute even better.

e-reaction 1

The Future of Facebook

facebook page engagementFacebook has made yet another change to its look and feel. At this point, the largest social networking site in history has undergone more transformations than Madonna. But is the problem with Facebook related to look, feel and functionality, or is its problem more deep-seeded than that?

Don’t get me wrong – hundreds of millions of people still go to Facebook every day for a quick dose of information, and it’s still a place where agencies like wedu are helping brands build communities, increase engagement and drive sales. But I know that Facebook hasn’t solved the revenue puzzle, at least not in a way that will help them both increase sales and drive their mission of making the world more open and connected.

The average Facebook user has 262 friends. By virtue of my past, I’m well above that number, making it difficult for me to see what is going on with the people I am more connected to. In spite of Facebook asking me a while back to categorize my friends into buckets to help it serve information to me more efficiently, I still miss updates from old valued friends, groomsmen, mentors, you name it. (Not to mention that a lot of these people simply set up profiles and rarely post, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Facebook has become a means for me to get my news – no longer do I hear about things in passing, but most news is spread as a trending status update. It has become a way for me to see what is going on with more prolific posters. And it has become a way for me to engage with brands. At this point, my news feed is basically a reality show of bit players in my life and their interactions with me, broken up by product endorsements from people Facebook thinks I’m close to and overt ads from brands Facebook thinks I will like.

One way of sifting through the static (which has worked pretty well) is the Facebook “Close Friends” list. I can add specific people to this list and receive push notifications when they post to Facebook. (For those who haven’t used it, the “Close Friends” are noted by a yellow star icon.) The casual user just hasn’t gotten to a point where they’re maintaining their lists in this manner, meaning that their news feeds will continue to be cluttered, resulting in lower engagement, fewer site visits, and ultimately, defections from the site.

A number of recent articles have highlighted the defection of teens from Facebook to other social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter. In fact, when I post a pic to Instagram, I can bet with complete certainty I’ll have two likes immediately – from my 15- and 11-year-old nieces. They’re connected there. On Facebook, I don’t see the same level of engagement.

At this point, I’m not saying Facebook isn’t the place for a lot of brands to be – quite the contrary. There are ways to affordably build an audience, engage with that community and market to it. But looking at what has curtailed my Facebook use as well as what has driven teens from Facebook tells me that there are questions Facebook (or someone) needs to answer, namely how does it generate revenue unobtrusively while ensuring that users have the appropriate kind of engagement? When I joined Facebook (way back in 2007 – seems like the Dark Ages now), it was addicting. Finding old friends, seeing what they were up to, learning about other cool things that other people liked, becoming involved in the minutia of everyone’s lives – it was awesome. As time has gone on, my friend list has reached a sort of critical mass. I’m not getting new friend requests for two reasons: I just don’t meet as many people as I did when I was younger, and I’m already connected to the vast majority of people I want to be connected with. In many ways, the excitement of Facebook is gone, at least for me.

So what do you think? Is there something bigger and better on the horizon which will help digital marketers reach their audiences without turning the same audience off?


Image Credit: Facebook