Results tagged “Susan Borst” from IABlog

Content Marketing is assuming an increasingly large role in the digital campaigns of both B2B and B2C marketers, and is providing digital publishers with a potentially rich source of both revenue and content. However, there is substantial confusion about the concept, due to a multiplicity of definitions, marketing platforms and strategies. To help publishers navigate this promising but complex field, IAB recently established the Content Marketing Task Force.

As a first step, the Task Force was charged with developing a Primer to define the various components of the marketplace. This Primer has now been completed, thanks to input from the nearly 50 Task Force members, including publishers, both legacy and digital-native, and technology providers active in this space. 

The Primer’s objectives are fourfold:
a) To eliminate confusion by providing alignment among competing definitions, marketing platforms, and strategies
b) To provide accurate, timely information about Content Marketing
c) To offer guidelines on conforming to editorial standards and identification of sponsorship
d) To address the need for clear disclosure to consumers and businesses

contentmarketingprimer-screenshot.PNGWe believe the Primer will help IAB members grapple with the issues and maximize the opportunities of Content Marketing. Because Content Marketing is a very broad term which encompasses a wide range of platforms and strategies, we felt it very important to promote understanding of what its purpose is, and how it differs from advertising.  We also wanted to clarify how marketers and publishers can avoid potential pitfalls by establishing guidelines for clear disclosure. Fellow co-chairs reflect on the importance of this primer:

Content marketing has the potential to be a substantial, long-term solution to many challenges publishers face with respect not just to revenue but satisfying audiences with the kinds of valuable content and experiences they’ve come to expect. Publishers have worked tremendously hard over the years to gain the credibility that they have with audiences.  Our goal is to lessen the likelihood of that happening with clear guidelines and best practices for working with their advertising partners on content marketing initiatives.
- Lisa LaCour, VP, Global Marketing, Outbrain

As marketers look to unlock the full value of their content assets and pursue even greater levels of engagement from their media investments, paid content distribution will continue to grow.  It’s through this primer, with support from the industry’s leading practitioners, that the IAB looks to shine a light on this dynamic and evolving space, and provide guidance and best practices that will ultimately help shape its formation.
- Chris Schraft, President, Time Inc. Content Solutions 

So, what is Content Marketing?

Recognizing that Content Marketing is a very broad term which has many competing definitions, the Primer offers this general statement:

                  “Content Marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and 
                   valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target 
                   audience.”

It further notes that content marketing differs from advertising and other promotional vehicles because its intent is to provide entertainment/information that stands on its own merit - a “pull” strategy that enhances the consumer’s attitude towards the brand, rather than a “push” strategy with a specific call to action.

Within this overall description, the Primer shows how content marketing can work across the several platforms of owned, earned and paid media. Publishers have the opportunity to capitalize on all of them in a number of ways, both as distributors and as suppliers of content.

The Primer also provides marketers with an overview of the varieties of content - original, repurposed, and curated - they can use in their content marketing strategies. Each has its advantages, as well as complexities that require consideration. Sophisticated marketers will want to experiment across the spectrum.

The Need for Transparency and Disclosure

This Primer is clear that the key to the continued growth of Content Marketing is strict adherence to the IAB dictum that “Disclosure is not an option but a requirement.” The Primer states that content marketing efforts should always be clearly disclosed to the consumer as such, irrespective of whether they are paid units, third-party paid links or social-media endorsements. 

Specifically, regarding the subset of Content Marketing known as Native Advertising, the IAB Recommended Native Advertising Disclosure Principles, as outlined in the IAB Native Advertising Playbook states:
                                     
                   Regardless of context, a reasonable consumer should be able to distinguish between what 
                   is a paid native advertising unit vs. what is publisher editorial content.

In sum, Content Marketing represents an important strategy for marketers to engage their audiences in new and exciting ways, while offering publishers the opportunity for new revenue streams. By helping to reduce confusion about terminology and establishing guidelines for meeting editorial standards, the IAB’s new Primer will, it is hoped, help this industry reach its full potential.  Moving forward, according to Susan Borst, the IAB Director of Industry Initiatives, the Task Force will focus on additional topic areas related to content marketing such as the importance of social media and measurement.

About the Author
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Andrew Susman

Andrew is the CEO and a co-founder of Studio One and co-chair of the IAB Content Marketing Task Force. Previously, Susman was an executive at Time Warner and Young & Rubicam. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Advertising Educational Foundation, and Business for Diplomatic Action. A native of Missouri, he is also a certified sharpshooter and is a major supporter of the ASPCA.


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IAB Goes Native

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“Native advertising” is one of the most confounding phrases to captivate mind-share in the digital marketing arena. We all know that marketers are excited about it, but the ecosystem has yet to come up with a concrete definition of this buzzworthy approach to interactive advertising.

The confusion has reached a fever pitch, with Rob Macdonald, Vice President of Business Development at m6d finally writing down the words that so many have wanted to say…

“Please Obi-Wan Rothenberg, you’re our only hope!”

Rob really did include that line in a comment he wrote on a recent Digiday piece - but in all seriousness, the sentiment is in keeping with a widespread outcry from our members.

Native advertising is gaining in popularity, but stakeholders need to coalesce around definitions and best practices, if we’re going to be able to drive the native movement to scale. The confusion and chaos must be eradicated, and the first step in IAB forging a path in this direction is the development of a new IAB Native Advertising Task Force.

The group had its first meeting earlier this week and a number of key concerns were immediately raised:

•    How do we distinguish between native web advertising and its mobile brethren?
•    Is native allowed to be disruptive?
•    How can we clearly delineate between native ad content and pure editorial?
•    How do we define measurement and metrics surrounding native?
•    Where do ad creatives fit into the native mix?


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Even with disparate voices in the room - many of them in senior leadership roles - common goals quickly began to take shape.

First and foremost, the task force will aim to establish a framework for the native advertising space by putting forth a prospectus that clearly lays out today’s “native” landscape. This prospectus, targeted to advertisers, publishers, and ad tech providers, will need to be clear enough that the industry has a guiding light and broad enough that it can expand over time—while also providing a basis for further IAB initiatives in this space.

And, speaking of further efforts in the space, IAB has also kicked off a new Content Marketing Task Force, which may—or may not—be seen as an umbrella for or a cousin to the Native Advertising group.


taskforce3.JPGSo, light sabers aside, IAB is jumping into the fray. Debate, consensus and more debate are surely to follow, but we plan to be at the center of the conversation, providing a clear road ahead for these two vital advertising concepts to evolve into strong players in the digital marketing arena.

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst.

Social Media: Planning for Real Time in Sports Marketing

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At the IAB’s Social Media Agency Day last month, held in the beautiful offices of AppNexus in New York City, I had the honor of moderating the sports marketing panel. The event’s title, “Social: Planning for the Real Time,” was apt given that sports is a highly conducive venue for real-time marketing. That is especially the case with social media marketing, which, increasingly, requires marketers to be constantly on their toes, ready to take advantage of any important moment — or relevant opportunity within or around a sporting event — in which their brand could potentially benefit or add to the evolving story of that game, match or event. In short, the combination of sports, social media and real-time marketing are a potent elixir for savvy markets and brands wishing to tap into consumers’ insatiable demand for smart, visually appealing content.

I led a discussion with three distinguished panelists. We discussed a number of topics related to real-time sports marketing, but first, we had to get the obvious out of the way: Oreo’s now-famous Super Bowl blackout ad. While the Oreo ad featured prominently in much of our discussion about how social media and real-time marketing are changing sports marketing — for better and worse — the panelists quickly made it clear that the ad shouldn’t live in a vacuum. The reality of real-time social media marketing in sports is that it’s not just the big, epochal moments that make for great marketing opportunities for brands. It’s what you do to integrate your brand within the broader context of the sporting event between the pitches, between the downs and after the whistle blows that sets the digitally savvy brands apart from those that allow themselves to be bystanders.

I asked each sports marketer to reflect on what real time marketing means to their organization, how social fits into the equation and how success is measured.  Below is a synopsis of each of their thoughts on how real-time social media marketing is altering the sports marketing landscape, with some of their favorite examples.

Marla Newman | Senior Vice President of Sales | Fox Sports Digital

Real time marketing means engaging with our fans in a way that enhances their viewing experience, their sports knowledge and/or their fandom. Social is the most effective vehicle for real time marketing — in fact they are synonymous.

In terms of inserting ourselves within non-obvious real-time marketing situations, it’s important for us to extend the relationship they have with our brand and our talent on-air and deepen that relationship. It’s important for us to be relevant to their sports experience, which enables us to be considered the go-to source of info and continue to make sports fun. 

Fox_Sports_Logo_KT_blog.pngWhat does success look like? I don’t think anybody has cracked this code yet. We can only look to show increases in the number of our fans engaging — tweet, re-tweeting, taking any form of action then we are heading in the right direction.



Tweet_your_heart_out_KT_blog.pngJonathan Perelman | Vice President of Agency Strategy and Industry Development | BuzzFeed

Social media is all about real-time. I think real-time marketing is quite simple: it’s capturing a moment in a natural and organic way.

Tricks don’t work in social; the consumer can see right through it. To be good in real-time social media marketing, brands need to capture a moment and evoke emotions.

MLB_image_KT_blog.jpgThe concern is that marketers will try too hard and will want to turn every event into a real-time marketing opportunity; that simply won’t work. I love a BuzzFeed example in which we worked with MLB 2K13, the video game that launched around the start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. 

BuzzFeed_image_KT_blog.pngAnother good example with BuzzFeed is work we did with the NHL around the playoffs in 2012. Leveraging known tent-pole events and allowing great content to find its audience served both brands well.

Tide_image_KT_blog.pngAs for a non-obvious situation, I’m impressed with the Tide newsroom. Tide quickly took advantage of a crash at the Daytona 500, where the crew used Tide to clean the crash site. Tide aggressively used a spontaneous moment and filled the social Web with organic, timely content.

Success on the social Web is about sharing. A key metric in that respect is how often a piece of content is shared/reproduced on the social Web. It’s very difficult to simply make something go “viral.” Creating shareable content that captures the moment and evokes emotion is what works on the social Web. These qualities are what make sports so much fun to watch and talk about.   


Patrick Albano | Vice President of Sales | Mobile and Innovation, Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo_image_KT_blog.pngWe have taken a few interesting approaches to real-time marketing that have helped brands scale this concept. Brands reacting quickly and pushing content or commentary out over social channels is attractive. But we find it’s difficult to scale and sustain this strategy. We have developed ways to help brands understand the stories that are going to go viral before they do and have been able to attach a brand to that content as people start talking about those topics and sharing relevant content. Imagine if we could have told the Oreo team there was a blackout coming and allowed them to prep their integration ahead of time?

A good example of this was the work we did with a wireless service provider for last year’s NCAA tournament. Our editors created “bundles” of content in real time based on the major sports stories in the new. We integrated the brand into the story that day, so all of the discussion and sharing that occurred around the story included the brand.

Another great example is our Smart Ads program, which a large beer brand took advantage during the 2012-13 fantasy football season. The actual ads within the game updated in real time with the names of teams and scores from the previous Sunday’s fantasy match ups, sparking smack talk sponsored by the brand.  

Football_image_KT_blog.jpgSuccess for these campaigns comes in the form of engagement and earned media. We see up to 20 times the engagement lifts with the real-time personalized ads. By attaching to content that’s already being shared and discussed the brand “rides along” and earns media without having to have a news desk or clever social media manager. We’ve also seen 2-3 times the lift in purchase intent and brand favorability based on the brands being able to relate in real time.

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This is the third in the blog series that provides an overview of discussions from the April 3, 2013 “Social - Planning for Real-Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, CPG, Sports, and Auto have planned social for real-time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives focusing on the intersection of Social with Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. For more information, contact Susan Borst, Directory Industry Initiatives, IAB - [email protected]. #iabsocial 
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About the Author


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Keith Trivitt

Keith Trivitt is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MediaWhiz where he focuses on strategy, brand, partnerships and the company’s narrative. He is a member of the IAB Social Media Committee and can be found on Twitter at @KeithTrivitt.

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Social Media: Planning for Real Time in Consumer Package Goods

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Recently, I had the privilege of moderating the CPG panel during the IAB Social Media Agency Day. The title of the event was a bit paradoxical; “Social: Planning for Real Time”, but given that marketers are dedicating more and more of their budgets toward social media, they are increasingly leaning on their agency partners to do something that they haven’t traditionally been asked to do, namely plan for the unexpected. The recent “poster child” for a brand that did this successfully is, of course, Oreos during Super Bowl XLVII (which was jokingly referred to during the event as “Lord Voldemort” i.e. the campaign which shall not be named—precisely because everyone has been talking about it.) Organized by the IAB’s Social Media Committee, this event discussed real time social media planning by different verticals:  CPG, Travel, Auto and Sports. “By featuring different categories, we were able to show a great range of real time social media examples”, said IAB committee liaison, Susan Borst, adding, “You don’t have to be a Super Bowl advertiser to have real time social media impact.”

With me on the panel were three social media notables: 
Our conversation ranged from the Oscars to the tragedy in Newtown and highlighted key insights that CPG/Food brands and their agencies need to keep in mind as they strive to engage with consumers in ways that are both meaningful to them—after all, they wield the power today, don’t they?—and true to the brand promise.
 
Phil Ripperger: What does real time mean to you and how does social media fit into the equation?  

Emily Culp: Humans are real time, and brands need to be more and more humanized (by the very humans who create them!). This doesn’t mean jumping up in every possible moment. It means, just like a human, that brands should add value in relevant moments. 

What is a relevant moment? How do you know as a human? You can feel it. Brands need to be listening, asking questions, and engaging with their consumers in a way that adds value and allows them to feel when topical content or value is right. 

As marketers, we go to school to learn classical marketing (5Ps) and then spend the weekend acting as a consumer might. Those two things need to come together, with the rise of mobile. Getting out of campaign mindsets and living and breathing each day is the real value of real time. 

How do we do that? It means we need a team full of smart, innovative, pioneering marketing minds and the support of legal, comms, and the executives to support something that might not feel quite as comfortable but will resonate with our consumers & sell more units.

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Dina Freeman: At BabyCenter, being prepared for real time means more than pushing stuff out during big events like the Oscars or Super Bowl. Every day, moms in the BabyCenter Community are talking to other moms with similar due dates or children who are the same age, asking for advice and product recommendations. Our Talk Tracker tool can pinpoint when these conversations are happening down to the exact week of pregnancy or a child’s life. This represents an enormous opportunity for brands who want to reach moms at the exact time that they are making decisions about that product or service. That’s as real time as it gets. 

GG: Real time is creating and distributing content that is consumed right at that moment about topics that are relevant to a specific time period. Examples - talking about the Oscars DURING the TV broadcast or covering fashion week in NY as it’s happening. The content loses its relevance after a very short period of time. Social is the absolute perfect place to distribute real time content. People are checking it all times, it is interactive, it is short form, and it is highly mobile.
 
PR: Why is it important that we’re talking about it and what are some examples of how it’s being done right? 

DF: When we dissect new trends until we’re all sick of hearing about them, we move the industry forward. As much as people are tired of hearing about the OREO moment, it was monumental in bringing real time social to the surface. It forced brands to pay attention and create a strategy.  

One important question for brands to ask is when shouldn’t we be engaging in real time social?  When national tragedies hit, like the Boston Marathon bombing or Newtown, it’s wise for brands to immediately take the temperature of their fans and be prepared to remove all posts in all social networks if necessary.  We learned this during the Newtown tragedy back in December. When the news hit, we were in shock along with the rest of the nation. While grappling with the senselessness, we forgot to pull our pre-programmed posts, including a celebrity-focused Facebook post that was not right for that moment.  Our moms instantly let us know that this was not appropriate and we agreed with them apologizing for the oversight.  We then decided to pull all posts for a couple of days because, frankly, nothing seemed right to us either.  All of that to say, it’s as important to be prepared and have a checklist for those real time moments when silence is golden.   

GG: Because real time / social content is driving consumption on mobile and everyone has smart phones and are using them as content consumption devices on top of communication devices. Brands that take advantage of real world events are doing it well - obviously Oreo cookies but brands like Burberry do an amazing job covering fashion week (both their own brands and other brands) and L’Oreal does a good job having events during the Golden Globes and Grammys.

EC: Social moves units. It gives us context for consumers. It drives them to specific retail locations. And more than anything, it builds a deeper relationship with a brand they actually want to talk to. 

At Unilever, we want the best idea to win and fast. So that means we can’t just rely on marketing models with historic data & react solely to that. We’re passionate about our consumers, bringing them closer to us and making the brand a part of their lives is far more interesting. 

This is about pre-work, it’s about having your entire team and your agencies working together before that real time moment (whether it’s the Super Bowl or a Monday afternoon that matters in your community). Just as we used to plan ahead for crisis, we should plan ahead for positive moments where a brand can add value.
 
PR: Now to put my market researchers hat on and ask my favorite question about social media: How do you know if it’s successful—how do you measure it? 

GG: If lots of people are consuming the content.  If the content is being syndicated on Twitter by both the brand’s account and on tons of influencer accounts, it will be viewed by lots of people. An even better testament is the engagement. If people start sharing and commenting on the content it is even better. Measuring hard metrics like Post views on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, pins on Pinterest etc. are a good start. 

EC: We played with content during the Grammys to understand what we would do during the Oscars on Dove. This is about testing and learning. What matters is that our engagement numbers on those pieces of content go up compared to a normal day.

D.F.: Measurement really depends on the platform, but overall, we measure success by the level of engagement.  We look at Social Actions, which is any action taken on a post regardless of platform. Comments, likes, shares, photo views, photo submissions, pins/repins, clicks … the list goes on and on. Our clients are also interested in Social Impressions, or the number of times a post is displayed on Facebook and Twitter.  

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This is the second in the blog series that provides an overview of discussions from the April 3, 2013 “Social - Planning for Real Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, CPG/Food, Sports, and Auto have planned social for real time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives focusing on the intersection of Social with Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. 


About the Author

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Phil Ripperger

Phil Ripperger is Vice President, New Media Solutions at IRI. Phil focuses on driving partnerships with Tier 1 publishers, ad networks, and digital media research companies to create breakthrough solutions for CPG and retail companies. He is a member of the IAB Social Media Committee and on Twitter at @RipperP

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In the past few years, the conversation around social media has expanded from engagement, to listening and now to social planning for ‘real time.’ As eMarketer has cited, real-time marketing “…goes far beyond simply posting a timely tweet or status update… businesses are expanding their use of social analytics to do so much more.” This includes using social data for enhanced targeting and content creation. Brands are also anticipating social conversations to actively inform creative execution and media planning decisions for both digital and traditional mediums.  It is clear that planning social media ‘for real-time’ has become an increasingly important part of the paid, owned and earned media equation.


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To a packed and Twitter-trending house at the IAB Social Media Agency Day held in NYC yesterday, Peter Greenberger, Director of Political Advertising at Twitter, kicked off the three hour event with a talk on what brands and marketers can learn from the politicians during the 2012 Election. His talk is recapped below: 


Politics & Madison Avenue: Lessons for brands from #Election2012


There is a long history of political advertising influencing Madison Avenue. The earliest brand television commercials borrowed from pioneering political consultants. In more recent years, McCain 2000 proved the Internet could be used to fundraise; the 2004 Howard Dean campaign introduced blogs and Meetups to mainstream America; and the 2008 Obama campaign nudged social networking forward. 


In 2012, Twitter drove the narrative of the presidential campaign. It allowed millions of citizens to participate in the political conversation and enabled the campaigns to engage voters more directly than ever before. One of the more exciting discoveries from the 2012 election (kicked off with Romney’s now famous “Big Bird” debate comment) is the way brand marketers have begun mimicking the real-time marketing activities developed by political advertisers. Below we’ll explore how to prepare for, and execute, successful real-time campaigns - and explain how real-time marketing (RTM) came of age during the first #TwitterElection.


Prepare for real-time 


Being real-time is not easy. The campaigns can provide valuable lessons to brands on how to prepare for and capitalize on real-time opportunities. 


1. Listen to the community by monitoring Twitter conversations. 

Before you can join or influence a conversation, you must take some time to listen. Both campaigns monitored chatter on Twitter to determine how their paid TV spots were resonating with the intended audience and also as an early warning system for potentially negative memes. The Romney campaign watched the Hilary Rosen comment on CNN about Ann Romney’s work experience explode on Twitter and capitalized on the moment by having Mrs. Romney launch her own Twitter handle to join the discussion.   


2. Build your community by growing your followers in a targeted way. 

The campaigns created customized handles for specific audiences and goals. For example, the Obama campaign set up different handles geared towards students (@Students4Obama), Latinos (@LatinosforObama) and voters in key states such as Ohio (@OFA_OH). The campaigns tweeted out exclusive content including behind the scenes photos, contests and offers to build a loyal following on Twitter. 


3. Engage the community with compelling content and real-time interaction. 

Twitter is an engagement platform and both campaigns created compelling content in real-time to encourage users to respond. They prepared Tweets and calls to action before convention speeches, debate nights and leading up to Election Day. They asked for feedback using planned hashtags (#dontdoublemyrates and #40dollars), encouraged Retweets to show support and jumped on trending news and current events. 


4. Move the community with effective persuasion and clear calls to action.

Ultimately, you have to move votes to win an election and the campaigns used Twitter as a powerful persuasion and Get-Out-the-Vote tool. @GOP tweeted videos with their party’s closing message on Election Day (“watch this before you vote!”); the Obama campaign urged voters to #StayInLine with Promoted Tweets targeted to mobile devices in key states experiencing long lines at the polls. And the Obama campaign specifically used Twitter to drive registration and early votes in key states. 



Real-time marketing comes of age for brands


On February 3, more than halfway through Super Bowl XLVII the lights went out in the New Orleans Superdome. This unexpected moment was when the game began for Oreo and their now famous, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” real-time marketing response. Their agility was universally praised - and their Tweet received 16k+ Retweets. 



Just ten days later, another brand had a moment when Republican Senator Marco Rubio paused during his rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union address to take a drink from a bottle of Poland Spring water. Poland Spring did not respond in a timely manner and missed an opportunity to connect with an engaged audience.


(The Senator, meanwhile, continues to engage and is now using the incident to help one of his favorite charities.)


What does this mean for the advertising industry in general? In the span of just ten days (between the Super Bowl and Senator Rubio’s rebuttal) real-time marketing moved from a brilliant tactic when done well, to a glaring mistake when missed. 


The lesson from the #TwitterElection is clear: If you are not reacting in real-time (and planning for real-time) you risk being left behind.  


In the upcoming weeks, this blog series will provide overviews of other discussions at the “Social - Planning for Real-Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, HBA/CPG, Sports and Auto have planned social for real-time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives such as Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. 


About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B and Games. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst.


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Recently there has been significant attention given to the growing importance of “visual content” as part of the paid, owned and earned media marketing mix. The headlines tell the story:

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Beyond the obvious of visually enhancing your online content and helping to give your brand an identity, it is clear that images, whether they are photography, video or infographics, are playing an increasingly important strategic role on many fronts. From content sharing and user generated content, to driving referral traffic and impact on SEO ranking, the discussion about visual content creation is intensifying daily.

A recent and widely circulated infographic from M Booth well illustrates the growing importance of visual content in social media. We asked new IAB member Shareaholic, whose Traffic Sources data is featured in this infographic, to provide some perspective on their findings, and to share their thoughts on how visual content is impacting the paid, owned and earned media mix including what may be in store for the future.

headshot.png“The data shown in the M Booth infographic is based on traffic trends to our publisher network websites, which show that Pinterest is now the fourth largest source of referral traffic, exceeding Twitter and Google referral traffic and, for the first time, exceeding Yahoo! Organic. It is interesting to note is that Pinterest isn’t even in our top 10 most popular social networks for social sharing - meaning that click-throughs on pins are driven by a smaller percentage of organic pins.”
— Janet Aronica, Head of Marketing, Shareaholic, @JanetAronica


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Source: Shareaholic. Data based on traffic to 200,000+ websites.
 

“For brands who choose to invest time in Pinterest, we feel that optimizing owned media with images and Pinterest buttons is rather obvious advice. But most importantly, marketers should use content analytics tools like Shareaholic to learn how visitors discover their content and where their opportunities are. Part of this means re-thinking earned media. Pinterest boards are content, and pins are another form of earned media. Just like you build relationships with journalists, building relationships with the community members who pin your content and content similar to yours should be part of your POEM strategy. This is why we also offer Shareaholic Analytics, so publishers can actually see a breakdown of who the most influential sharers are, making those connections happen as efficiently as possible. Moving forward, it’s important to think about visual content for Pinterest as well as other social media sources. In August, nearly 33% of traffic to our publishers’ sites was referral traffic - those are your social media sources. It’s not just about Pinterest. It is important to include images for Pinterest, but it is also important to set featured images for content so that shares to platforms like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn look as ‘appetizing’ as possible to entice click-throughs from the potential readers who see them.”

This blog series focuses on key areas of interest within the realm of paid, owned and earned media and taps into the expertise of IAB Social Media Committee members to share insights and best practices. What’s your take on the importance of visual content creation? Join in the conversation by commenting here or posting comments and/or questions using #IABPOEM.

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, and Games. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst.

“Social Influence” is a hot topic. There is no shortage of opinions on what ‘influence’ actually means and no shortage of companies who seek to analyze influential prospects and customers for business gain. But one thing the industry does seem to agree on is that influencer monitoring and measuring is here to stay as a key component of the paid, owned and earned media equation.

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Scott Milener, SVP Social Strategy from Kred, a social media analytics company created by PeopleBrowsr, recently spoke with the IAB Social Media Committee about this topic. “A social influencer is someone who inspires action from others in their community,” Milener said, adding “We’re accustomed to thinking of top influencers as being celebrities or media outlets. Social analytics gives us an opportunity to move beyond that group to find people that have high influence in small close networks connected by interests, passions and affiliations. These people are exponential in value to non-influencers and can have a profound impact on the opinions of their peers and followers.” A top goal is to “achieve virality by getting influencers to organically and virally spread messages or links.” Milener stressed the importance of valuing influencers by “rewarding, incentivizing and treating them as if they were top journalists.” This engagement with influencers drives brand-related conversations.

We followed up with three IAB member companies present at the meeting to see what role social influence plays in their business’ paid, owned and earned media equation, how it is measured and how they see this evolving in the future.

Raman Kia | Executive Director, Digital Strategy | Conde Nast Media Group | @Raman_Kia

Social Influence is the ability to activate participatory eagerness across one’s social and interest graphs. In the context of social media influence should not solely be defined in terms of conversations and community size, the core tenets of social media, but also in terms of interest based actions which fuel the interest graph. The interest graph is a more powerful mechanism than the social graph when it comes to driving social influence. The influence of the social butterfly is dying. This is because attention is about context. If you want attention you have to provide content that intersects your audience’s path to consumption. In the future, Social Influencers will have more powerful interest graphs than social graphs. Either way, measuring this type of influence in terms of business gain is straightforward, but in order to measure it successfully you must have pre-defined goals. In its most simplified form at Condé Nast, from an acquisition stand point, we are typically measuring referral traffic to our websites, which means Omniture and Google Analytics are predominantly used to measure the success of social influencer programs. In its broadest sense marketing programs have three main pillars: Acquisition, Engagement, and Conversion, and ultimately what to measure and how to measure it depends on your business goals.

Art Zeidman | President | UNRULY Media | @arthurzee

At Unruly, our core business is social video distribution and measurement of video sharing across the web. We define social influence not only by the size and precision of a particular influencers’ social graph, but also by the amount of sharing that they drive of our clients’ video content…and by the amount of meaningful conversation around that content that ensues. We also measure the quality of the engagement that these influencers can stimulate including video dwell time, play rates and the volume and tone of subsequent conversation. In Unruly’s view, these are all legitimate criteria for measuring influence. We measure the power of this influence for brands every day. In fact, we published a white paper earlier this year that demonstrates the exponential value of recommendation across social media and how that can translate into ROI for marketers. At Unruly, we see social influence growing in importance for brand marketers over the long haul. The real power of digital media is its ability to facilitate a feedback loop. As marketers grow more comfortable with having an ongoing conversation with their consumers, more and better influencers will emerge. The democratization of the web means that anyone can be a publisher…with the widening and deepening of social platforms, it’s a natural progression that anyone can become an influencer as well!

David Fleck | GM | Disqus | @davidericfleck

At Disqus, we strive to create engaging communities and to elevate the quality of discussions. In June we rebuilt our platform specifically to more fully capture and incorporate social influence signals from our large user base (800 million monthly uniques, 300 million monthly active users). For instance, Disqus displays the best comments at the top of the discussion thread based in large part on community voting and user reputation scores. Another example is the social discovery of content via our Discovery box whereby users receive personalized content recommendations based on what they (and users similar to them) have read and engaged with across Disqus-enabled sites. We are also excited about the monetization opportunities around social discovery because it allows advertisers to natively enter the conversation while also being complementary to the user experience. In the future, social influence will take an ever-expanding role in everything we do. Why? Because doing so drives tangible results. For example, traffic that is referred by Disqus social discovery performs much better than other referral sources…on average 2X the page views and 3X the time on site versus other referrers. Our success depends upon capitalizing on the richness of our data, a key component of which is social influence.

This blog series focuses on key areas of interest within the realm of paid, owned and earned media and taps into the expertise of IAB Social Media Committee members to share insights and best practices. What’s your take on social influence? Join in the conversation by commenting here or posting comments and/or questions using #IABPOEM.

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B and Games. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst.