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Chart of the day: 3 of the top 5 Youtube Adverts from January are over 2 minutes long

Earlier this week news came down the marketing grapevine that Youtube/Google was going to no longer support unskippable 30-second ads in a move that they describe as "providing a better ads experience for users online". This change is scheduled for 2018, so there is still plenty of time to use this type of Ads if you already have them in your upcoming campaign plans.

Come 2018, Youtube will still offer unskippable Ads but of the 6 seconds variety. Less annoying (and much less mobile data) for the user but will cause a rethink to many brand's video strategies.

I am very interested in how brands will adopt to the standard of skippable and 6 seconds unskippable ads and move away from the 2-3 minute mini-movies that are a trend of the last 12 months.

This change will also challenge creative agencies be…

The Art of Listening: Put your Influencers’ Needs Before Your Own

Today there are over two billion active social media accounts worldwide, growing by 12 percent in the last 12 months. For all the media hype that still surrounds the world of social networks, there is one thing people have come to accept: it’s not going anywhere.

Virtual networks are built on the illusion that everyone likes everyone, and everyone can be “friends.” However, what is truly needed in order for people to build meaningful relationships with each other is the synchronicity of shared experience. That’s because no matter how “friendly” your interactions may be, they are not in person.

One challenge organizations often encounter in implementing influencer marketing programs is taking those first few steps to engage with influencers. There’s often this moment of fear that you might not be following best practices, offending someone, saying the wrong thing –…

Crawl, walk, run: three steps to establishing an effective DMP

As digital marketers we're all too aware of the importance of data. For example, the typical fortune 1000 company that sees a 10% increase in data accessibility generates $65 million in additional revenue, whilst bad or poor quality data costs organisations as much as 10-20% in revenue.

Although Big Data is no longer a new area of interest for marketers, the constant change in trends and focus mean that we must always stay up to date, if not one step ahead, of the trends to ensure we hold a competitive advantage. Just consider the sheer complexity of data-related terms:

I recently attended a data-driven marketing event run by the Omnicom Group which gave me the opportunity…

Practical ideas and tools to improve influencer marketing

Ever wondered why Dr. Phil bears an influence over its audience? The simple answer is because he was able to impose his knowledge and expertise in psychology through an effective medium. There may be better doctors than Dr. Phil. However, the fact that he was featured on Oprah, whose show reaches out to millions of viewers on a regular basis, gives him an edge over other practitioners. As more people hear his advice to his patients and the fact that Oprah vouches for his expertise quickly made him an influential psychologist.

The anatomy of influence

There are lots of things marketers can learn from Dr. Phil as an example of influencer marketing. Being knowledgeable about a particular subject does not automatically…

New research explains opportunities and threats

Since social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter launched, social media has offered good organic opportunities for publishers and other brands to share their content and so gain awareness and new subscribers.

As social networks have sought to keep more visitors on their sites, tools like Facebook Instant articles and Google's AMP - offers new opportunities for marketers to share their content, but at the same time, a threat since visitors have less opportunities to interact with the publisher website or register. Given this, this new research from Napco Research and Publishing Executive has useful insight for online publishers.

This chart shows the publisher's view of the threat, which is substantial and can lead to a need to explore alternatives or avoid new techniques like Instant Articles.

Be alert to the danger of new government Digital Economy bill

Its hard to believe, but digital marketing may be at its most critical point to date. Day-to-day it continues selling services and products, and maintaining purchasing loyalty while many of those involved are unaware of why a government bill could change everything forever.

The act is nearing its final phase of Westminster consideration before Royal Assent is the Digital Economy Bill, and the element of danger in what is wide and far reaching legislation is a section that instructs the Information Commissioners Office to produce new direct marketing guidelines, which incorporates anything to do with consumer data relating to digital marketing.

This in itself may seem fairly innocuous until the background is considered. The ICO will be instructed to produce new recommendations for ministers to consider. But it knows and understands acutely that the…

Pizza Express are embracing chatbots in their social media - how easy was it for us to book a table and what are the implications for other E-commerce sites?

Pizza Express have launched a new chatbot on Facebook Messenger, they state it allows users to book restaurants using Messenger - we wanted to book a table ourselves, with this in mind, we did. Here's how we got on.

The launch followed a trial over Christmas, which was used by 150,000 people, much to the surprise of Pizza Express.

We first tried it on desktop, aiming to book a table for the restaurant near our office in Leeds, UK.

An interesting point to note is there is not much chat involved, you select options - I  typed responses to see how well…

Use these tools to speed up your influencer outreach

These tools are especially useful for content marketers who are regularly producing content and need a structured and scalable way of managing their outreach efforts. They help to identify the types of site and key people within your niche that may link to or share your content in order to help amplify your message. Tools such as Kred, Klout and Followerwonk (Twitter specific tool) focus on assigning scores to online users, surfacing those who are likely to be most influential for your given content, search or topic.

Why are these tools important to digital marketers?

They help digital marketers to identify, analyse and contact relevant PR, blogger and other key influencer contacts, usually with the aim of…

Chart of the Day: What challenges you when it comes to email marketing? Part 1 of 4.

For email marketers, there will always be aspects of email marketing that are a challenge. The below chart looks at the various areas that email marketers are struggling with. I will be doing a 4 part series of issues pertaining to email marketing.

We will be looking at the following during the course of the series:

Targeting & Segmenting Subscriber list growth Tracking results Main email marketing goal.

There is no real surprise that "Targeting & Segmenting" comes up with the highest score of 40%. For most, the main issue will be the clients' data records. They will be inaccurate, out of date or incomplete. The more data you can obtain from your clients, that is relevant to your business, the more tailored you can make your emails. Segmented email campaigns have a 63% higher click rate because the client…

Google will stop accepting new customers for Google Site Search at the start of April, and will turn the product off completely in 2018

You know that search box in the top corner of just about every website you visit? There's a pretty good chance that it's powered by Google site search. This means the site is paying Google to use its excellent search functionality to find relevant results for users. If your site's search uses Google Site Search, then we've got some bad news for you. Google has just announced it will be discontinuing the product, and although it will be fulfilling the contracts it already has it won't be allowing anyone to renew after April 2017. This will mean by 2018 the product will be switched off completely, and anyone using Google Site Search will have their site search function automatically switch to Google's 'Custom Search Engine' (CSE) product. This…

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