Category Archives: Optimization

Digital Marketing News: Better Text Ads, Lifestyle Templates & AMP for AdWords

Seven Tips for Writing Better-Performing Expanded Text Ads [Infographic] Writing text ads is a challenge – how can you be compelling enough to drive a conversion with such limited space? There are several tricks of the trade explored in this new infographic. MarketingProfs Google to Advertisers: Get Your Mobile Landing Pages Ready Google recently announced that in two weeks, AdWords advertisers can use AMP pages as landing pages for their ads. This provides a seamless user experience when searching through Google and could have implications for page rank. Search Engine Journal The print catalog era is over — but Facebook wants to revive it on your iPhone Do you miss the good old days of ordering from a catalog? Not many do. However, the lifestyle inspiration we all get from magazines is something that we haven’t been able to replicate as well with our digital ads. Facebook is trying to close that gap with their new ‘Lifestyle Templates’. Business Insider Amazon Is Opening Up Its Ads Business, and Marketers See a Big Opportunity to Shake Up Search According to AdWeek, “After testing search-based ads with agencies and brands, Kenshoo (a company that helps marketers manage search spend across platforms) is making Amazon ads readily available to all marketers through an API integration today.” AdWeek Instagram Expands Access to Branded Content Tools After months of testing, Instagram has granted access to advertisers to its Branded Content tools. These will allow advertisers simplify the process for working with creators (and vice versa). Social Media Today Google responds to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention with AdWords tracking update The news of Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari has upset the advertising industry – but as usual, we have Google to the rescue. According to Search Engine Land, “Google has developed a new Google Analytics cookie that will be used to capture campaign and conversion data from Safari in a way that conforms with ITP.” Search Engine Land Amazon ‘1-Click’ patent expires today, get ready for faster web-wide checkout Amazon’s patent on ‘1-Click’ checkout has expired – this means that eCommerce platforms can now duplicate this functionality on their own sites. This is expected to reduce cart abandonment for shopping sites and make a more convenient user experience. Marketing Land 73% Of Broadband Consumers Want To Tightly Control Their Personal Data According to MediaPost: “A large majority (73%) of U.S. broadband consumers express a desire to keep tight control over access to their personal data, with nearly half being very concerned that someone will access the data without their permission, according to a new report by Parks Associates.” MediaPost What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll come back next week with more top digital marketing news. Have something to share? Email the newsroom or Tweet to @toprank.

The post Digital Marketing News: Better Text Ads, Lifestyle Templates & AMP for AdWords appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Social Media Marketing News

Facebook disables feature that let marketers target ‘Jew haters’


(Reuters) — Facebook said on Thursday it was temporarily disabling the ability of advertisers to target based on people’s self-reported education and job information after a report that those features allowed targeting based on anti-Semitic topics.

ProPublica, a non-profit news organization based in New York, reported hours earlier that Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had allowed marketers to target ads at people who, on their Facebook profile, had listed phrases such as “Jew hater” as their field of study or work.

Some 2,300 people had expressed interest in the topics “Jew hater,” “how to burn Jews” and “History of ‘why Jews ruin the world’,” according to ProPublica’s investigation.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, confirmed the ProPublica investigation.

Once people put those phrases on their Facebook profiles, the anti-Semitic topics automatically migrated onto the company’s advertising platform, as if they were education or job data that would be useful to marketers, Facebook said.

“We are removing these self-reported targeting fields until we have the right processes in place to help prevent this issue,” Facebook said in a statement late on Thursday.

“We want Facebook to be a safe place for people and businesses, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to keep hate off Facebook,” it said.

Facebook initially responded to the ProPublica report by removing the topics in question from its ad system. However, other news reports, including from Slate magazine, then discovered that hateful topics were more widespread in the ad system’s targeting capabilities.

As Facebook has given advertisers greater power to micro-target their messages using a self-service platform, the company has at times failed to ensure they comply with its terms and conditions.

Last year, ProPublica reported that Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude users by race when running housing or other ads, despite a prohibition on such ads under the U.S. Fair Housing Act 1969.

Facebook said last week an operation likely based in Russia spent $ 100,000 on thousands of U.S. ads promoting social and political messages over a two-year period through May, fueling concerns about foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

The company said it shut down 470 “inauthentic” accounts as part of an internal investigation into those ads.

Facebook and rival Google, owned by Alphabet, dominate the fast-growing market for online advertising, in part because they let marketers target their ads based on huge volumes of data.

Facebook reported $ 27.6 billion in 2016 revenue, the vast majority from advertising.

Ad campaigns that used the anti-Semitic categories on Facebook were not widespread, the company said.

“Given that the number of people in these segments was incredibly low, an extremely small number of people were targeted in these campaigns,” Facebook said.

One change Facebook said it was considering was adding more thorough reviews of targeting categories before they show up in the self-service platform.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Paul Tait)

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

Kickstarter opens to crowdfunders in Japan


Kickstarter has opened its proverbial doors to creators in Japan.

Though people in Japan have always been able to back Kickstarter campaigns from around the world, those seeking to crowdfund their own projects have had to look elsewhere. Moving forward, the Kickstarter app is available in Japanese, with local customer support and project reviewers on hand.

Japan actually represents the third Asian market launch for Kickstarter after it landed in Singapore and Hong Kong last year. But with a population of around 130 million people, Japan is far and away the biggest of the company’s markets on what is the most populous continent on Earth.

So this is a notable launch from Kickstarter, which is now open to creators in 22 countries. The company is also adamant that it has enough brand recognition in the region to hit the ground running.

“Since our launch eight years ago, more than 300 creators in Japan have worked with collaborators in other countries to run Kickstarter projects, including a documentary about sake production, an action platformer from a legendary video game designer, and a toy robot that connects family members through voice messages,” noted Kickstarter’s director of international, Sean Leow, in a blog post. “In the same time frame, nearly 100,000 backers from Japan have supported Kickstarter projects from all of our creative categories and from all over the world.”

Founded out of New York in 2009, Kickstarter has emerged as the poster child for crowdfunding and has helped facilitate more than $ 3 billion in pledges, to date.

The Japan launch is the first new market since cofounder and CEO Yancey Strickler announced he was stepping down. The company has yet to appoint a successor.

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

Spotify and Hulu to offer U.S. students $5 bundled monthly subscription


(Reuters) — U.S. college students can buy Spotify Premium music streaming and Hulu TV streaming for a combined, deeply discounted $ 4.99 per month, in a new student subscription bundle the companies announced on Thursday to lure younger consumers.

The entertainment bundle, $ 13 cheaper than the regular combined price, is the latest effort in the industry to gain young millennial customers, who favor inexpensive online streaming and listening.

The package is Spotify’s first TV and movie partnership, and combines with Hulu’s limited commercials plan. Hulu’s shows include original content like the hit drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and exclusives such as “Seinfeld” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”

Mark Mulligan, managing director of MIDiA Research, a media and technology research company, said in a blog post Thursday the partnership gives Spotify “a smart way to get into the video market without getting in over its head.”

Spotify had more than 60 million paid subscribers as of July, but can use the video subscribers as it fends off competition from Apple Music, which had 27 million subscribers, according to Apple Inc in June.

The partnership with Spotify may also help Hulu to compete with rival streaming service Netflix Inc. T-Mobile US Inc said Wednesday it will offer a free Netflix subscription with its unlimited data family plans.

Spotify plans to go public with a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year or early next year.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Anna Driver and Steve Orlofsky)

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

Twitch’s new Extensions add customization options for streamers, like games and music


Social video platform Twitch announced that it will enable its broadcasters to customize their channel pages with interactive experiences. That means broadcasters will be able to add things like polls, music, games, and Streamlabs’ loyalty and tipping platform to their livestreams.

The Extensions, which are coming soon (Twitch didn’t say when), can plug into a live video feed on Twitch. The new customization options could enhance growing the relationship between creators of livestreams and their communities. This could lead to better engagement, more dedicated fans, and new ways to monetize them.

Twitch’s partner, Streamlabs, has launched a new Loyalty Points app on the Extensions platform, which rewards fans for coming back to a page. It has over 20 extensions that will be available soon, including Streamlabs’ loyalty, music, polls, and games (See the video below). Muxy (an analytics company that provides information about your stream’s popularity) is providing overlays and leaderboards, and Amazon is providing its Gear on Amazon app.

In the video, Streamlabs showed that it is pretty easy for broadcasters to add extensions to a page. You can set a poll simply through a drag-and-drop menu, and set parameters such as when it will end. You can also take requests to play music. You can give away prizes to your audience, and the Streamlabs app will randomly pick a winner. All of these things could keep people watching your stream longer, and that translates to more advertising money or, if you use the Streamlabs app, gift money in the form of tips from your audience.

“Twitch is a platform where communities create, share, and interact with the content they love,” said Ryan Lubinski, product manager for extensions at Twitch, in a statement. “With Twitch Extensions, we’re taking interactivity to the next level by empowering our developer community to create customized interactive content, directly integrated with the Twitch platform, opening up a whole new world of creator-viewer interaction.”

Third-party developers can begin building extensions for creators today, starting from Twitch’s updated Developer Portal at dev.twitch.tv. Developers will have access to free asset hosting and fanout messaging on the Extensions platform, making getting started easy. Extensions will be showcased in a lightweight Extension Manager accessible to all creators.

“As thousands of developers already know, the opportunity to build a business helping creators earn a living on Twitch is expanding rapidly,” said Kathy Astromoff, vice president of developer success at Twitch, in a statement. “Today, we’re inviting developers to help us innovate on one of the most-watched interfaces on the internet: the Twitch channel page.”

Twitch says it will share more at TwitchCon in October, and it did not say exactly when the extensions are going live.

Examples of extensions that are ready include the Destiny Armory Overlay by Grab Games, where fans can dive into Destiny gear, view details on perks, get class info, and more information incorporated into the stream. The Gear on Amazon app is an Affiliates program that lets fans support their favorite creators. The Amazon support isn’t surprising, as Amazon acquired Twitch for $ 970 million in 2014.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

Why HTTPS Matters for Content Marketers: Website Security, SEO, and Customer Trust

Full disclosure: As a content marketer, I’m still trying to round out my technological knowledge. The complex inner workings of the internet might as well be some combination of elves, gnomes, and unicorns. As long as it delivers my content (and a steady stream of memes and status updates), it doesn’t matter how the internet works, right?

But it’s time for all content marketers to get at least a little technical. There are new marching orders from our overlords at tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple, and they’re going to directly affect your content marketing strategy.

The issue is a web security protocol called HTTPS (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure). Other terms you might encounter are SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security).  Or you may just know it as the little green padlock in the top corner of your web browser:

image showing green padlock on Chrome web browser

No matter what you call it, HTTPS provides a secure, encrypted channel for a website to transfer data to a browser, and vice versa. It uses digital certificates to verify that each party is who they say they are—and that no third-party is intercepting the data.

It’s easy to see why HTTPS is a good idea—you don’t want some shady character snooping on your passwords and credit card information when you’re online banking at Starbucks. And you wouldn’t want to think you’ve connected with your bank, when you’re actually on www.stealyourmoney.biz.

Beyond the safety considerations, however, the push for websites to adopt HTTPS matters for content marketers. Not having HTTPS on your site can now hurt your marketing efforts in two big ways: search engine visibility and customer trust. Here’s what you need to know.

HTTPS Is an SEO Ranking Factor

Google is one of the major supporters of HTTPS, using its considerable leverage to increase adoption of the protocol. To that end, they have added HTTPS status as a ranking factor in searches. Since Google owns well over half of the search market—and over 90% of mobile search—your site’s ranking on Google has a massive impact on your organic traffic.

If your content is just as good as a competitor’s, but they have HTTPS and you don’t, they’re likely to rank higher on the results page. Over time, the coveted top spots will all go to HTTPS-enabled sites, with unsecure sites fighting for the scraps. This graph from Smart Insights shows just how much traffic you lose by dropping even a single slot on the SERP:

Chart showing a dropoff in click through rate versus position on a search engine ranking page

The top result has a 30% click-through rate, while the second gets 12%, and the CTR declines steadily from there.

It’s easy to see why HTTPS matters for content marketers who care about organic traffic (which, let’s hope, is all of us). If you’re trying to create SEO-optimized content that gets viewed and gets results, not having HTTPS on your site can hamstring your efforts from the start.

HTTPS Is a Trust Signal

Let’s say, though, that your content is so useful and so compelling that it still gets a decent ranking, and someone actually clicks through. In the address bar right now, Google Chrome (the most popular browser, with over 60% of all browser traffic) will show a “not secure” warning before your URL:

Gray 'not secure' warning on Google Chrome

In future builds of Chrome, that warning will get more dire, with red text and a caution sign:

Red triangle showing a website is not secure

These warnings may eventually escape the address bar, becoming a popup window that warns people away from your site.

It’s easy to imagine the impact these warnings will have on people’s confidence in your site. When there are plenty of secure websites in the SERP, that warning is enough for your average consumer to hit the back button and find a site with the soothing green padlock.

How to Get HTTPS

In the past, managing even a simple site’s security certificates could be a hassle. But in addition to pushing HTTPS adoption through penalties, Google and many others are also investing in making the technology easier to get. Even if you don’t have a web development team, you can likely get HTTPS up and running with minimal hiccups.

First, check with your internet provider to see if they offer automated HTTPS—many will help you get set up and manage your certificates. For example, our client Pantheon offers free, automated HTTPS to all of its clients. [Ashley: This is true, and useful, but may be overly promotional. Your call.]

If your provider doesn’t offer HTTPS management, I recommend Let’s Encrypt. They’re an open-source, free and automated HTTPS provider (or Certificate Authority), funded by contributions from the major players in the tech industry. If you have a little tech savvy, it’s pretty simple to get set up.

Is It Secret? Is It Safe?

Adopting HTTPS is the right choice for you and everyone who visits your site. But it’s more than just the right thing to do. The decision to adopt HTTPS will make it easier for consumers to find your content, and will give people more confidence in your site’s bona fides. On the other hand, not having HTTPS will hurt both your ranking and your reputation.

Looking for more ways to boost your search engine ranking? Check out these quick SEO research tips.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. | Why HTTPS Matters for Content Marketers: Website Security, SEO, and Customer Trust | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Why HTTPS Matters for Content Marketers: Website Security, SEO, and Customer Trust appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


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Social Media Marketing News