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Marketing in Motion: Vine for Video Branding Your Business

When Vine was first released, one of my friends asked me what it was. When I answered, she laughed. “Dang, I was hoping it was a social network for drinking wine,” she replied.

Social network? Yes. Wine? No — unless you count sipping a glass of red or white while you browse through your feed.

What is Vine? In short, it’s an app that lets you [...]

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Who Owns the Photos You Share Online? Part Two

Where we left off, Facebook-owned Instagram suffered a backlash last December when they introduced a new Terms of Service agreement whose wording led many users to believe that Instagram would now “own” their photos and as such could sell them to advertisers. That wasn’t true, but in response to the fury Instagram changed the wording again — and this time, it gave advertisers even more leeway with user photos.

Instagram was able to put the controversy behind them, but the incident underscored the growing debate over ownership rights for individuals who share photos online. And now, that debate is getting even more complicated.

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Who Owns the Photos You Share Online? Part One

Since Facebook announced its intentions to acquire Instagram a little over a year ago, everyone’s been on pins and needles to see what — if anything — would change.

We got our first big hint last December when Instagram released its new Terms of Service, scheduled to go into effect the following month on January 19.

What happened then? Well, in short: absolute bedlam.

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Facebook to Adopt the Hashtag?

You may have heard: hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore.

And you, like me, may have noticed their proliferation over the past several months — Instagram recognizes them, as does Pinterest and Google+. Flickr, in fact, has recently added hashtag functionality. They appear on everything from billboards, to television commercials, to news articles, to cola bottle labels — it truly seems that I can’t go anywhere, online and off, without seeing them anymore.

Their gaining traction across a variety of platforms proves that at some point, hashtags ceased being a way for people to aggregate and organize content on Twitter, and became a standardized way for people to aggregate and organize anything — at least on the Internet.

But there’s one place where hashtags haven’t been adopted, and it perhaps has the biggest reach of all…

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The Rise of “Native Advertising”

We’ve heard of all types of advertising before — but what the heck is native advertising?

If you’ve never heard the term before, don’t worry: it’s only recently been widely adopted by the advertising community. But get ready to hear a lot more about it, because native advertising will define the next phase of our collective user experience online.

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Coca-Cola Finds Online Buzz Doesn’t Boost Sales, then Defends Social Media as ‘Crucial’

So you’ve probably heard the news that Coca-Cola executives delivered last Monday at the Advertising Research Foundation’s conference in New York. Coca-Cola’s study found that online buzz did not directly impact their short term sales. The social media world was immediately abuzz. Two days later we heard from Wendy Clark, senior VP-integrated marketing, who says social media is crucial to Coca-Cola’s marketing.

People have been voicing off on this topic for the past week, and we figured it’s time to weigh in ourselves. Is generating online buzz not worth the effort? Or is social media ‘crucial’? Which is it?

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Facebook and the Future of Relationships in Social Media

About a month ago, Facebook quietly rolled out Relationship Pages.

This means that if you’re in a relationship with someone who also has a profile on Facebook, you can now visit Facebook.com/us to see a virtual archive of your history as a couple — at least, your history as seen by Facebook. Every post made on each others’ wall, every tagged photo, every mutual friend, every event attended together — it’s all logged as a memory on your shared timeline.

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Hello Google Shopping, Part 4: The Strategy

In Part 1, we covered the old Google Product Search; in Part 2, we reviewed the changes that are taking place in the new Google Shopping; and in Part 3, we did some analysis. Now, in the final part of our series, let’s take a look at the choices merchants have before them, and how they might strategize.

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Hello Google Shopping, Part 3: The Analysis

In Part 1, we covered the old Google Product Shopping, and in Part 2, we reviewed the changes that are taking place in the new Google Shopping. Now, it’s time for some analysis.

So what will come of the new paid inclusion model? Let’s take a look.

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Hello Google Shopping, Part 2: No More Free Clicks

In Part 1, we talked about what Google Product Search has been — up until now. Here in Part 2, we’ll discuss what it’s becoming.

Google is in the process of phasing out free Product Search and phasing in monetized Google Shopping — in fact, it’s already started happening. Before we dive into the details, take a good look for yourself.

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