By: Abdulhadi Hafez
Working Together to Protect Users from Bad Ads
Not just the three Internet and social media giants, Google, Facebook and Twitter have joined arms to fight and protect us from bad ads, but AOL, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and StopBadware have joined the fight as well.
What fight am I talking about? Well, it’s called the Ads Integrity Alliance whose main aim is to “establish industry policy recommendations for the worst types of bad ads, such as counterfeit goods, scams, and malware" as written on their Website.
The five heroes will share relevant trends and their own expert insights with policymakers and law enforcement agencies to tackle this problem of online trust issues as a result of deceiving ads, malware, and counterfeit goods.
The Perfect Time to Introduce Such an Alliance
Where there are opportunities, there are just an equal amount of threats waiting to exploit the innocent and naive.
As soon as email marketing took off, so did spam email. And now we’re seeing the same problem on Twitter.
Spammers and scammers are just like germs, they will never cease to exist. All that can be done is to control them.
And this is mainly what the Ads Integrity Alliance seeks to do, which will not only protect users, but the advertising industry as well.
Strengthening Trust in the Advertising Ecosystem
The global public policy manager at Google, Eric Davis, commented on the Alliance and its’ relevance to building trust in the advertising industry.
"Bad ads, such as those that facilitate malware distribution or deceive users, diminish the online user experience and threaten trust in the Web. The Ads Integrity Alliance will serve as a forum for us to work together to protect users from bad ads and strengthen trust in the advertising ecosystem."
We’ve been hearing about the patent wars Google and Apple have heavily been engaged in during the last year, especially in regards to their mobile operating software, Android and iOS. And according to Forbes.com (Android Payback: Apple to Cut Google Out of Stunning New 3D Maps App in iOS6), it is widely reported that Apple will likely announce at its WWDC in June that Apple will be replacing Google Maps with a 3D maps app on its’ much-anticipated iOS6.
Here’s what Forbes had to say about this report: ”It was widely reported yesterday that Apple will likely announce at its WWDC in June that the new version of the built-in maps app in iOS6 will not be fed by Google maps. Instead, Apple has developed its own, in-house 3-D mapping database, based on the acquisition of three mapping software companies between 2009 and 2011, Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9.”
Above is a video of the new 3D map technology Apple is supposedly going to introduce through its’ acquired Swedish startup C3 Technologies. And guess what, they pro
I think it’s an eminently smart move that Apple is making considering that the future lays in mobile geo-tagged and GPS localized experiences, anything that helps you better search and explore your world (physically, socially, and mentally.)
That’s why Google is pretty much taking Google maps to another level, but not on any hand-held mobile platform, but rather an optical platform, namely Google Glasses (yes, actual spectacles that you can wear!) Check out the video to believe it for yourself:
So who will win this battle? Apple is supposedly bringing 3D maps into the mobile scene and Google is bringing real-life maps into the optical scene (through its’ Google glasses.) But will people actually wear such glasses?
It’s a neat idea by Google, in theory, but on a practical level, I place all my bets on Apple seeing that mobile platforms are no where to go and they’re only going to grow. People are used to hand-held devices, not head-worn (other than ear-pieces, but that’s totally different.) It will take a lot for Google to convince people to convert their mobile devices into mobile glasses.
Long live Tumblr, as Gizmodo said it quite elegantly with their article The Blog Is Dead; Long Live Tumblr! That’s where we got the above graph from, which shows that the word “Tumblr” will outrank the word “blog” in popularity on Google.
It’s no surprise at all, seeing that in June 2011, the 4-year old microblogging wonder hosted more blogs and posts than the 8-year old Wordpress, as it was announced by Mashable with their article: Tumblr Now Has More Blogs Than WordPress.com.
This is precisely why we decided to go with Tumblr for our blog. We had a choice to go with Google’s Blogger platform, and of course Wordpress, but after seeing that it was gaining so much popularity, we decided to park right here!
By: Abdulhadi Hafez
We’re not sure who came up with the term, Social Influence Marketing (SIM) but it has been shown in reports and presentations conducted by Razorfish, the advertising agency that has taken on the difficult social engagement task for the giant brand, Nike.
Social influence marketing, in a nutshell, is to influence the attitudes and actions of your target customers through their social spheres of friends and family. In other words, it is to create customers who create customers!
I know this is like our twentieth time mentioning the above Nielsen study (Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most), but it shows a very important insight pertinent to SIM, and that is the claim that 70% of people trust the opinions of consumers online. These are not friends, but rather complete strangers! Because if you look right above it, 90% of people trust recommendations from people known.
And that is why Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales & Service wrote a book on the subject called “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth" (ZMOT) in which ZMOT is described as the moment when online purchasers go online to read the reviews and recommendations from their friends and virtual strangers. One shocking stat from the book is how 83% of Moms Do Online Research After Seeing a TV commercial.
So what does this mean? It means that recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising. So it is vital for brands to monitor review and opinion sites such as Yelp and Amplicate to see what their consumers are saying about them.
And don’t you dare forget about the micro-blogging phenomenon, Twitter, where 340 million tweets per day are conducted, many of which may be about your brand.
Last but not least, here in Kuwait blogging is a very big part of the culture where many of them make it their full-time job to try out different restaurants and cafes and then blog about it, and that’s why we’re starting to see a lot of restaurants proactively inviting these bloggers to come and try out their food for free and then have them write unbiased reviews about them. Such brands have the realized the power of SIM and have already taken steps to adapt to the new global way of advertising.
By: Abdulhadi Hafez
In the world of instant gratification and getting real-time access to almost anything online, the 4-second rule does not surprise us at all. Studies such as the one presented in the below infographic, done up by Online Graduate Programs, reveals that 1 in 4 people abandon a Website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load!
Other studies explain the 4-second rule to suggest that if the visitor simply cannot determine what your Website is about, they will ultimately abandon it. So you need to consider the 4-second rule not only to your Website loading time, but also to the type of content you have on there, how much of it you’ve got, and how you lay it out as well. Anyway, this is a whole other topic on its’ own. Focus on the infographic for now.
Wow, who would’ve thought that Facebook is now the single largest publisher of ad impressions in the States? That is more than Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL combined! These are even more convincing stats on how much social media is affecting advertising and marketing.
The Social Marketer has gifted us with a cool infographic that gives some important stats about Facebook that every advertiser and marketer needs to know. Enjoy!
By: Abdulhadi Hafez
I’ve been asked this question many times before, and I have a hard time simplifying it, let alone proving it to them. And now, I have this really neat infographic to help me do so, created by Imbue Marketing, using data from Hubspot’s study: 100 Awesome Marketing Charts.
One shocking finding is that B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month. How do they do that exactly? Just ask Emerson Salon, a local salon in Seattle that gets 75% of their business through their social media! But how? Well, look at their blog and the type of articles they post. For example: How to Have Better Hair.
And these are the kinds of phrases people are searching on Google nowadays. Haven’t you noticed that search queries have gotten much longer on Google’s searches? It used to be that people searched up 2-3 keywords such as “Better Hair” or “Having better hair” but now people are going all out when they type up their searches, to the point that you’ll find extremely long phrases such as “How to make sure you get into the college you want.”
Just go on Google and start with the words “How to…” and you’ll see wonders when Google tries to complete that phrase for you. So if you know what kind of phrases your potential customers are searching up, then you know what kind of articles you should be posting on your blog. This is how Emerson Salon and other businesses get more than 75% of leads through their blogs! Enjoy the infographic:
By: Abdulhadi Hafez
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again! Do not be surprised if Twitter falls of the edge in the near future. We wrote a piece called 3 Crazy Digital Media Predictions for 2012 (Death of Twitter?) where we predicted that Twitter may be die down or completely die (you never know.)
Why do we say that? Well it’s not just who are saying it, but many experts such as the best-selling author, Chris Brogan with his latest book titled, Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything, where he stated:
"Google+ posts sent to “public” rank fairly well in Google search results. You can’t get that with Facebook or Twitter these days.”
Today we heard a similar cry by The Next Web with their article, Google is no longer “The Internet” but it’s still going to beat Facebook and Twitter, where they are arguing that Twitter and Facebook cannot catch up with the social media enabled search results Google provides, especially after their launch of the much-debated Google Plus social network and their “search + your world” integration.
Let’s just say you went on Facebook to look up your high school sweetheart and she doesn’t happen to be on the social media site, will Facebook still give you search results from the rest of the Web? Absolutely, and it’s through Microsoft’s Bing-powered web search results. Google is simply doing the same thing when you are using their Google+ social network, but they go a step further than that! What happens when you’re using just the plain ol’ Google? Check out the video for your answer:
This is where the “Search, Plus Your World” comes in, this is the feature that will really hurt Facebook and Twitter. And that’s why Twitter has been recently slamming Google publicly over this feature, claiming that Social Search Changes Are ‘Bad for People’. Some experts express that this claim by Twitter is a sign that its success is starting to get threatened by Google Plus.
I feel like I’m watching the NFL playoffs over here people, and I’m predicting that Google and Facebook will be in the Superbowl, but the match will not just be for a few hours, but rather they’ll be fighting it out for a very long time, each one eagerly trying to get ahead of the race.
By: Abdulhadi Hafez
I know, I know, not another one of those “here are the predictions for 2012” articles, I’m sick of seeing those too. I thought I’d make it more interesting by changing it up a bit to present the crazy digital and social media predictions of 2012, based on expert advice and insights.
Here’s the first outrageous prediction:
1) Twitter will Either Die Down or Die Altogether!
Why is that? The short answer is: Google Plus. The long answer is a really insightful statement presented by The Next Web in their article, What 2012 Holds for Social Media:
"In August, we took a look at what exactly Twitter needs to do to get businesses and brands on its side, and with the launch of Google+ pages, the outlook for the microblogging site wasn’t entirely positive. 2012 has to be the year that Twitter figures out once and for all how to interact with advertising and with brands. And if it wants to be taken seriously, in the face of some pretty fierce competition with Facebook and Google, Twitter is going to have to step it up."
But we think Twitter has no chance of competing with the two giants, Facebook and especially, Google. Google Plus will use their search dominance to put Twitter out of popularity and, eventually, business! Unless, of course, Twitter is able to team up with a search giant themselves, just as Facebook did with Bing.
2) Your Future TV Will Just be a Bigger iPhone or Android Phone
We wrote a really cool piece called, 7 Signs Why Your Future TV Will Just be a Bigger iPhone or Android Phone. With Steve Jobs boasting about how he has cracked the secret to Television in his biography, Google trying to purchase Motorola for $12.5 billion (which also specializes in TV hardware), and Google Plus offering a free 10-person chat called hangout (which we think will be a major selling point for Google to use when they enter the TV industry), there are still many more signs as to why Apple and Google will try to dominate the TV industry, and once they do (if they do!), you can bet your kitten that their TV’s will have the same exact capabilities their phones do, except for one thing: you won’t be able to lift it easily and place it into your pocket (unless you’re King King of course!)
3) Face Recognition & Social Media Will Follow you Everywhere! Literally!
And I mean while you’re walking down the street, waiting for the bus, browsing the mall, standing in front of a vending machine, and even while you’re using the johnny! Have you ever seen the movie “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise? Well, check out the above clip if you haven’t seen it. They had depicted technologies such as scanners and spider robots that could identify a person’s ID and all of their personal info by conducting an eye scan on them.
Now I don’t think it will reach that level anytime soon, but don’t be surprised to see something similar except it will be done using face recognition technologies already found through Facebook’s image tagging feature and the recently released Galaxy Nexus’s face recognition unlock feature.
Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the same face recognition feature being used on you to figure out who you are and grabbing personal information from your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) to bombard you with relevant ads. We wrote an interesting article, called Advertising in the Craziest, and Least Expected Place and Way on how vending machines have started doing something similar, except they are in the beginner stage. Check out the accompanying video:
But hold your horses, soon enough they should be able to implement something similar to what we saw in Minority Report. But I don’t know about those crazy crawling spider robots man, that may just be a depiction of the weird imagination Steven Spielberg has! But you never know, anything is possible the way technology is advancing nowadays!