Yahoo Gemini Unites Mobile Search and Native Advertising

By Jason Abbruzzese from Mashable


Yahoo is blurring the line between its native and mobile-search advertising.

The company on Wednesday announced Yahoo Gemini, a new platform that combines mobile search and native advertising into a single marketplace.

“With Yahoo Gemini, advertisers get the performance and ease of search, combined with the scale and creativity of native advertising,” Yahoo wrote in a Tumblr post. “By bringing the two together, advertisers can now buy, manage and optimize their mobile search and native ad spend in one place — driving greater performance and higher impact for their businesses and brands.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has made no secret that she sees an opportunity in the advertising space around mobile ads and contextual search.




Zuck Says Ads Aren’t The Way To Monetize Messaging, WhatsApp Will Prioritize Growth Not Subscriptions

by  (@joshconstine),  (@anthonyha) from TechCrunch

Facebook won’t be throwing its advertising weight behind its new acquisition WhatsApp like it did with Instagram. But WhatsApp also won’t be focusing on rolling out the $1 a year subscription fee it currently charges in some countries. Instead, with the financial security Facebook brings, it will dedicate itself to growth.

Monetization was the big topic on today’s analyst call after Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp for a jaw-dropping total of $19 billion. That’s $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock, and it reserved $3 billion in restricted stock units to retain the startup’s employees. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, CFO David Ebersman, and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum all said that won’t be a priority for the next few years. And when the time does come to monetize aggressively, it won’t be through ads.

“Our explicit strategy for the next several years is to focus on growing and connecting everyone in the world,” Zuckerberg said. Currently, WhatsApp has a strong presence internationally with 450 million monthly users, but it’s a fragmented market with many competitors. Outpacing them right now is critical, Facebook’s CEO explained. ”Once we get to being a service with 1 billion, 2 billion, 3 billion people, there are many clear ways that we can monetize.”

Zuckerberg bluntly stated “I don’t personally think ads are the right way to monetize messaging.” Beyond WhatsApp, that could mean Facebook doesn’t plan to use ads to monetize its own Messenger app, either. That makes sense, as the highly personal and intimate nature of messaging would cause ads to stick out like sore thumbs.

The comments on the call reiterate a point that Koum has made in the past. In a 2012 blog post, he argued, “Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought” — it also means that companies have to mine user data. (When asked about the age of WhatsApp’s users on the call, Ebersman couldn’t say, because the app doesn’t ask for that data.)

Koum made a similar commitment today in his post about the acquisition, writing, “You can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.”



Crush Content Marketing in 2014: 5 Outside-the-Box Techniques That Get Results

, February 19, 2014 via Search Engine Watch

Crush Content Marketing in 2014

There’s no other way to put this:

If you aren’t upping your content game in a big way this year, you’re going to struggle.

A lot.

With big brands going all-in with content marketing, the competition has never been fiercer. That means people that take the “I’ll publish twice a week and see what happens” approach to content are going to be invisible.

Don’t let that be you. Stand out from the noise with these five techniques that flat out get results.

1. BuzzFeed Style Headlines

Love ’em or hate ’em, BuzzFeed and its “Facebook crack” counterparts are generating obscene amounts of traffic.

Their secret?



Spring Cleaning Your Marketing: 25 Strategies for 2014 – ExactTarget Blog

Written February 18, 2014 by 

No matter the size of your marketing team or programs, you need to decide what the rest of 2014 holds for your strategy. This time of year, the winter lulls can start to creep in, and all those impressive 2014 plans you created in December and January can begin to fade into the background. Use these recommendations (inspired by our 2014 State of Marketing research) to help “spring clean” your marketing strategies, prune the weeds, and plant the seeds for success that grows over the rest of the year. Focus on customer engagement. 1. Map your customer journey to understand at exactly what points your customers engage with you. 2. Develop a plan around how you manage those engagement touchpoints and think through how you could improve each.Develop a clear data strategy. 3. Take inventory of the data you have today and the data you need to collect. 4. Create a plan to collect that data over time and across multiple customer interactions—because asking for a lot of information at once can be a barrier to engagement. Consider your channel options. 5. Use this report to compare the channels you’re using to the channels other marketers are using. 6. Form a strategy around your presence on those channels—whether you flock to the most common channels or you choose to stand out by using an underutilized channel, like mobile. Email: Evaluate your lifecycle campaigns. 7.  Take inventory of your programs across all four lifecycle stages—acquire, onboard, engage, and retain. 8. Identify gaps across the lifecycle stages and implement campaigns to ensure that you have some form of engagement with your customers during each of these critical stages. Email: Roll out responsive design. 9. Determine how many of your subscribers open your emails on a mobile device. 10.  If you have a substantial amount of mobile opens—like most marketers reported—put a responsive design plan into action right away. Social: Start small. 11. Evaluate the social media channels available and create a pros and cons list for each. 12. Choose one or two channels to focus your efforts on first—then you can more easily scale successful strategies to other channels later on. Social: Hone in on clear objectives. 13. Establish measurable goals to avoid feeling unsure of whether your social media efforts are performing. 14. Add consistency to the list, and create metrics around how often you will post content, how quickly you’ll respond to customer messages, etc. Mobile: Don’t ignore the importance of mobile. 15. For most businesses, mobile is still a largely untapped opportunity—evaluate if mobile is right for your company. 16. Use this report to see what pioneers in mobile are already doing and see if any of those strategies are relevant to your customers. And since mobile marketing is still in its infancy, don’t be afraid to try out a few of your own ideas, too. Mobile: Integrate your mobile efforts. 17. Map your broader marketing strategies alongside your mobile strategy to determine areas where the two can work together. 18. Bringing your email and mobile efforts together can be one of the easiest ways to see an instant return and pilot the success of mobile integration. Customer Journey: Take a deep look at how customers are currently experiencing your brand. 19. Whether online or offline, and whether it’s a function of marketing or another department entirely, examine and document the current brand experience your customers have at every touchpoint. 20. Remember that these touchpoints transpire anywhere from call center to social media to brick-and-mortar and beyond. 21. What are your gaps and areas for improvement? These should be addressed in your new activation plan to both establish the ideal customer journey and develop a strategy for incrementally getting there. Personalization: Start communicating 1:1 with your customers. 22. Collecting behavior-based data is the best way to start working toward high-quality personalized messages. 23. Launch a more robust preference center to give customers the opportunity to voluntarily share the data they’d like to shape future messages. Personalization: Think about personalization beyond email. 24. Today’s marketers are unveiling personalized web experiences that reach far beyond email-only personalization to reach customers wherever they are. 25. Begin working toward cross-channel personalization for social, mobile, and web if your email personalization is already top-tier. Marketers experienced industry-affecting change last year, from the sale of Tumblr to Yahoo to Pinterest’s announcement of sponsored pins and beyond. 2014 won’t be any exception—agile marketers will lead 2014 and win customer attention in an ever-crowded marketplace. For more tips and strategies for marketing that grows all year-round, take a look at our 2014 State of Marketingresearch, a survey of over 2,500 marketers.



How to Use SEM as a Testing Tool – Adobe Blog

By  on February 17, 2014

Search is one of the only mar­ket­ing medi­ums in which the con­sumer is actively seek­ing out a solu­tion (e.g. a prod­uct or an answer). Because of this, mar­keters have a unique oppor­tu­nity to see what cus­tomers are search­ing for and what is pop­u­lar based on search terms. SEM (that is, paid search) updates in real time and allows for more cus­tomiza­tion than in SEO, so it is the best way to under­stand what cus­tomers want. The rela­tion­ship between searchers and search results can yield a lot of infor­ma­tion about prod­ucts, search terms, and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. The smart SEM mar­keter will use this infor­ma­tion as a test­ing tool, and here are three ways you can too.

1. Deter­mine the Most Effec­tive Prod­uct Names

Using SEM as a vari­a­tion of A/B test­ing, you can show cus­tomers dif­fer­ent names in your SEM ads and then use search data to see which of the names sparked the most cus­tomer inter­est. SEM is cheaper than using focus groups and more dynamic than using social media, plus SEM data can show you what search terms are most pop­u­lar with searchers and which of these terms cus­tomers are most likely to click.

If, for exam­ple, you sell mobile phones, you may want to know what type of phras­ing is most inter­est­ing to cus­tomers. You can run one SEM ad that adver­tises “mobile phones,” another that fea­tures the phrase “smart­phones,” and a third that men­tions “cell phones”. Using these vari­a­tions in your search ads, you can see which terms cul­ti­vate the most cus­tomer inter­est, i.e. click-throughs, and searches. You might also con­sider the cost-per-click in rela­tion to the pop­u­lar­ity of some terms over others.



Hit the bullseye with search marketing – Adobe

Hit the bullseye with search marketing. Download now

To boost conversions for your search and display ads, you need to understand the customer experience across all channels. But that’s not always easy when you’re juggling a multitude of SEM campaigns. This Forrester Research report can help you see the big picture. Download it now so you can:


  • Understand the digital experience across channels
  • Effectively optimize for keywords
  • Create better inbound links that lead to conversion



Download the Forrester report ›

The Dot Report: Be a Guest Blogger Without Looking Like a Spammer


Currently, there is a controversy going on as to whether guest blogging is still viable or not.  Some people are of the opinion that guest blogging has started to look more like spam.  According to Matt Cutts, “if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”

Why? Well, because it is beginning to look more like spam.  

Here’s what you need to know to succeed as a guest blogger, and avoid those common spam-like mistakes:

Have A Purpose: When you are guest blogging, it is very important that you only select standard blogs with good quality content. In addition to building strong back links, this strategy will serve you well in helping establish your personal brand and, build your credibility in specialized fields.  It’s also sure to increase your traffic and similarity with new readers, facilitate community building and authorship.

To get the post onto YouMoz, you must write an informative and relevant blog. According to Dr. Pete, it is critical to not get too caught up in just building links, because when you use one tactic or gimmick to base more than 80% of a link profile, you are asking for trouble. It is never the guest post which is a problem, it is the abuse.  And to help you in ensuring that you do not get entangled in any spam activity, here is some valuable advice from Everett Sizemore on the topic.

Everett’s Tips on how to become a good guest Blogger: To become a legitimate guest blogger keep these few things in mind:

  • Develop a good working relationship with your blog publisher. This should be done in addition to whatever interaction you have with them in the virtual world. This helps to cement relationships.
  • Always offer multiple options (of good content) so that the publisher is more impressed with your efforts.
  • Never call yourself a “guest author”. It is better to use the word “expert contributor” because that adds extra weight to your profile. Tell them the difference between the two (if the need arises) and make them understand the advantages.
  • If a site insists on publishing your post under the general “author account”, then refrain from doing so and use your contributor or author account.
  • Publish with those authors that have a Google profile so that they can contribute some contributors to the links.
  • Go to one author for the same topics and make them experts in a particular field. They will be conversant with the topic as they have worked on it earlier, and will be in a better position to complete it on time and provide you with better content quality.
  • If you see that the resident bloggers of a blog do not have any personal bio details below or above the post, then you should not mention it as well. Follow the techniques that the other authors do.
  • Rather than links, focus on exposure and traffic. Trying to get back links is okay but you should also contribute to sites that do not allow back links but have core niche and quality readers.
  • Try to align with your clients’ goals and get the metrics right.

How to Maintain Credibility: There are some sites like Smashing Magazine, Huffington Post and Google Analytics that allow others to guest blog. But all of them have very stringent editing parameters to prevent just anyone from writing about anything that they want. You need good content along with assurance that these are not “link drops”. If you like guest posts then keep a following in mind:

  • Use Copyscape or SEO tools to check for plagiarized content
  • Only allow people with a valid Google+ account to post
  • Check if they were ever associated with similar communities
  • Only allow legitimate links which lead to an informative site related to your brand or business

Key Takeaway: With just a few preventive measures in place, such as the aforementioned ones above, guest blogging can be easily carried on with great success.

Adobe Digital Index “U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Report” (PDF)


Online video viewing continues to proliferate to mobile, gaming consoles, and apps.

The explosion of TV Everywhere authenticated content, integration of video into social channels, and increase of mobile video viewing has created a unique opportunity to reach new viewers who can’t be found on traditional TV channels. Understanding the metrics and trends behind this growth will help advertisers and publishers stay on the cutting edge of online video development and delivery.

Download ADI’s free “U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Report” now.

Read related article, “Digital Video Viewing: The New Olympic Sport For Consumers.”

About Adobe Digital Index

Follow @AdobeIndex on Twitter for the latest digital marketing trends and insights.

Twitter Testing Major Profile Redesign That Looks a Lot Like Facebook – Mashable

Twitter is testing a major profile redesign that’s very reminiscent of Facebook and Google+.

Mashable assistant features editor Matt Petronzio spotted on Tuesday a huge update to his Twitter profile page, with the main picture and bio scaled to the left and significantly more real estate dedicated to the header photo.

The revamped tweet stream is also a departure from its signature look. There is a greater focus on photos and content cards. It moves away from a strictly vertical timeline too.

Twitter Layout



Google Integrates comScore Into Its Ad-Tech in Bid for Brand Dollars – Advertising Age

New Functionality will allow brands to monitor and optimize audience delivery in real time.  Google is bringing real time branding metrics into its ad technology via an integration with comScore, the company announced today.

The integration will allow both publishers and advertisers to instantly monitor whether their campaigns are hitting the right age and gender metrics, and adjust accordingly. The integration will give brands access to some of the real time optimization cherished by direct response marketers, but those capabilities are somewhat less valuable to brands, who are not going after conversions and clicks.

“Ultimately brands are looking to engage with their consumers, build new relationships with consumers — wouldn’t it be great if you actually gave them the tools to be able to do that and optimize their campaigns towards those goals that they really care about,” said Google VP display advertising Neal Mohan in an interview with Ad Age.