Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams Are Social Champions

The winners of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament will not be crowned until July 12, but Adobe Digital Index set its top seeds in terms of social clout.

On the men’s side, ADI found that Novak Djokovic of Serbia had the most social clout, while Serena Williams of the U.S. took the women’s title.

The company calculated social value by analyzing more than 5 million social mentions, Twitter follows, Facebook likes, Instagram followers, international reach of buzz, positive sentiment and total followers.

ADI found that Djokovic has more than 10 million fans and followers, and he also was the most-mentioned player in the past 30 days, boasting the highest international reach.

As for Williams, she has 8.7 million fans and followers and was the topic of the second-most social mentions. She also had the most Instagram followers.

Adobe2015WimbledonSocialMentions

Other nuggets from ADI included: Wimbledon trended higher in buzz this year compared with the 2014 tournament, and last year’s winners, Djokovic and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, saw mentions rise year-over-year.

Adobe2014WimbledonPreTournamentBuzz

ADI principal analyst Tamara Gaffney said in a release announcing the results:

The composite index of social clout clearly demonstrates that there are many angles to consider when selecting an athlete for a marketing sponsorship. Marketers should look at sentiment, international reach, overall fan base and different leadership positions by network to select the best possible fit. Tennis very may well be the best place to find female athletes for product endorsements.

Analyst Joe Martin added:

We’re finding that victory can certainly boost the social presence of an athlete. Marketers should be looking at social clout when considering athletic sponsorships and work with athletes to activate their social clout.

Readers: Have you posted or will you post about Wimbledon during this year’s tournament, which begins June 29?

Facebook Marketing Partners Test Prospecting Dynamic Product Ads

Some Facebook Marketing Partners, including ROI Hunter, have been testing a new advertising option: prospecting dynamic product ads.

According to an ROI Hunter blog post, the new ad units are created the same way brands create product ads, but they can now target Facebook users who did not visit their websites.

ROI Hunter said advertisers can use Facebook’s targeting options—lookalike audiences, custom audiences, interests—to expand the potential audience for their ads.

The new feature was described as follows:

Very simply put, there is a sophisticated recommendation engine, which takes into consideration all information that Facebook gathers about signals common for people interested in a particular product, and which allows Facebook to show the right products to the right prospects.

ROI Hunter also offered the following example for how prospecting dynamic product ads can be used:

Peter sells mobile phones. He uses dynamic product ads very successfully, but he cannot reach more traffic using only this feature. As he wants to scale, he decides to start using prospecting dynamic product ads. He obviously wants to achieve good return on investment, so he sets up the ads to use a product set based on all mobile phones with prices higher than $50 and decides to target lookalikes of people who visited his website recently.

His ads start showing relevant products to the right people using signals from the recommendation engine. For instance: The recommendation engine sees that people with the iPhone 5 are often interested in the iPhone 6, so it chooses to show the iPhone 6 to these people. This way Peter reaches people who are likely to be interested in particular items he sells.

Advertisers: What are your initial thoughts on prospecting dynamic product ads?

ROIHunterProspectingDynamicProductAds

What Keeps People Coming Back to Mobile Apps?

People download apps all the time, but the many are used once and never used again.

Google teamed up with market research firm Ipsos MediaCT to survey 8,470 consumers with smartphones. The goal: to find out what drives people to install apps, what keeps them coming back and why the abandon apps. The report also offers some insights for marketers hoping to ensure the longevity of their apps.

One key point from the report was the need for app re-engagement. People want apps that make their lives easier and serve a specific function. Indeed, two-thirds of those surveyed said an app that simplifies their life will get more frequent use. The challenge is to avoid falling into the trap of developing an app that serves a single purpose.

The report recommended the use of re-engagement ads with deep links. However, deep links don’t need to be reserved for ads, nor should they. According to Bitly chief product officer Matt Thomson, deep links enable brands to send consumers into apps from regular communication channels, instead of waiting for them to rediscover the app on their phones.

Thomson noted that an effective mobile app strategy means using the technology solutions in direct digital and social channels:

Companies spend a lot of time on email and social content only to send users to a place that’s not optimal.

Another way to use deep links effectively, according to Thomson is to include tags on web pages for alternative locations within the app:

Deep Link tags are essentially tags on web pages that suggest an alternate app location for a specific piece of web content. For example, a story about the Golden State Warriors on espn.com (or es.pn if you’re using a Bitlink) has an alternate location in its app on Android or iOS.

In the end, ensuring the longevity of your app is to prove its value by making it useful past the initial download. Implementing a deep links strategy into your regular marketing campaigns can be an important part of helping consumers realise the value of your app.

According to the report:

Ultimately, by engaging your audience at the right time with content that’s relevant to them, brands can keep their connection to app users alive.

Check out the full report for information on how people find apps and how to make your app more discoverable.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Bolivia Gets Internet.org App

Bolivia joined the list of countries where the Internet.org application is available late last week.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post Friday that subscribers to the Viva network in that country will gain access to the free basic Internet services provided by the app.

He wrote:

Less than one-half of Bolivia uses the Internet today, so offering people free services for health, education, communication and local information will help introduce them to the entire Internet.

Here’s a photo (below) of Xiomara Zambrana. She used the Internet to launch a social media campaign called Mi Arbol–My Tree–to encourage people to plant trees and help Bolivia’s Environmental Ministry fight deforestation. As a result, 50,000 trees were planted in communities across the country. When more people in Bolivia are connected, more people will be empowered to make a change in the world.

Readers: What country do you think is next for the Internet.org app?

XiomaraZambrana

Image of Bolivian flag courtesy of Shutterstock.

Report: Mercedes, Barbasol, DQ Roared in Jurassic World Social Marketing

Jurassic World is currently the highest-grossing film in the U.S., but not all of the buzz is coming from Chris Pratt or velociraptors.

According to Unmetric‘s Engagement Score, Mercedes-Benz, Barbasol and Dairy Queen were the most engaging brands talking about the blockbuster.

Unmetric found that all three brands usually used #JurassicWorld as the hashtag in their social campaigns, but added their own hashtag (such as #LOVEmyDQ). However, Mercedes did have a Twitter campaign around #UnlockAnAlphaCar, promoting its GLE Coupe.

Mercedes Alpha Car

 

The most successful campaign Mercedes had around Jurassic Park was a video posted to its Brazilian page and on YouTube. As of June 12, the commercial was the brand’s No. 1 video in the previous 30 days, receiving more than 121,500 total views.

Mercedes Brasil

Barbasol played a key part in the original Jurassic Park (spoiler alert: it was the can used to smuggle dino eggs), and the shaving cream brand is back for Jurassic World. They created a microsite for the brand/movie tie-in, but the best engagement Barbasol received was a Twitter contest — giving fans the chance to experience a real dinosaur dig in Wyoming.

The contest was much more popular on Twitter (Unmetric Engagement Score 1,000) than Facebook (358).

Barbasol Contest Tweet

Barbasol has also been effective marketing tie-ins on YouTube, as the Jurassic Park video was the brand’s best video of all time — roughly 480,000 views.

Dairy Queen has been using Jurassic Park to promote its Jurassic Smash Blizzard, on TV and social. On Twitter, DQ promoted behind the scenes footage from the movie to great success.

DQ Tweet

On YouTube, the company’s commercial was their No. 1 video over the past 30 days. Jimmy Fallon even caught wind of the Jurassic Smash Blizzard, promoting it in a tweet, but it wasn’t as successful as DQ’s behind the scenes content (Engagement Score of 64).

Rick Liebling, head of global marketing for Unmetric, commented on the data:

Jurassic World’s opening weekend success proves that done well, movie content that continues a series started more than 20 years ago can drive massive interest. Similarly, social content from brands aligned with a movie can also get high engagement when based on what’s known to work well. This data shows that brands should learn what resonates best on social for diverse global audiences, as well as focus on mainstays such as contests and links to exclusive content.

Readers: Did you enjoy Jurassic World?

BuzzFeed Launches BuzzFeed News App on iOS

BuzzFeed has announced the release of its BuzzFeed News app on iOS, combining BuzzFeed’s stories with major news from around the Web. The app focuses on quick news consumption, allowing users to “catch up” on the most important current stories in a scrollable feed, with content selected by BuzzFeed’s editors.

The catch up feed begins with a bulleted list of top stories, before breaking each down (and offering more stories) as users scroll. The app contains more than just the headlines, as each story is presented alongside a short summary, and some also include further background information to help readers understand the context or importance of each story. Finally, the app supports embedded newsworthy tweets and GIFs which autoload as users scroll.

Users can tap to head to BuzzFeed or the appropriate news source to read each complete article, and can share each story via text, email, Twitter or Facebook, and so on.

Outside of this home feed, users can customize their notifications, prompting the app to send push notifications for only the most breaking news, for all worldwide news, U.S. specific news, sports, business and more.

BuzzFeed News is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store. The app is coming soon to Google Play.

Ex-Facebook, Instagram Engineer Scott Goodson Joins Pinterest

Scott Goodson, a former engineer with Facebook, Instagram and Apple, is the new head of core experience at Pinterest.

Pinterest said Goodson will lead its mobile platform and Web teams, with a focus on improving performance and architecture across iOS, Android and the Web.

Goodson managed the engineering teams for Facebook’s Paper application and Instagram’s iOS app. Prior to Facebook and Instagram, he spent four years at Apple, where he was one of the first engineers to work on iPhone OS 1.0, as well as the primary author of its Calculator and Stocks apps.

He was also the primary author of AsyncDisplayKit, Facebook’s second-most-popular open-source project for iOS.

Readers: What do you think of this hire by Pinterest?

Pinterest was the Fastest Growing Social Network in 2014

Vimeo Relaunches Cameo Video Creation App on iOS

Vimeo’s video-editing app Cameo, which the company acquired in 2014, has been relaunched as Version 2.0 on iOS in hopes of giving users more freedom when creating and editing their projects. Technically a new app, Cameo offers new features and a focus on video creation and editing, rather than on social networking.

With the new Cameo app, users are given two main options: create a new video or browse their finished videos. New videos can be created without any restrictions on the number of clips or clip length, and users can trim videos to the best moments by manually dragging the beginning and end points for each clip.

Themes are still available, combining visual filters and specific fonts for customizing each project. Users can also add a soundtrack to each film, using a selection of songs within the app. These can be browsed based on featured selections or musical genre.

Cameo

Once each project is complete, users can upload the video directly to Vimeo (either privately or publicly) for sharing around the Web.

In a statement, Andrew Pile, chief technology officer of Vimeo, commented on the new Cameo:

Mobile video creation has skyrocketed over the last few years and while there’s been a number of fun video apps entering the market, none compare to the simplicity and beauty of the all-new Cameo. With today’s unveiling everyone from the professional video creator to the novice video enthusiast has the power to create gorgeous videos on their phones with just a few simple swipes.

Cameo is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store. The app originally launched in October 2013, and included Instagram-like social features and collaborative video creation, which have since been removed.

Facebook Expands Desktop Video App Ads, Carousel Mobile App Ads

Facebook announced the expansion of the use of video creative in desktop application ads and the use of its carousel format in mobile app ads.

The social network introduced the use of video for desktop app ads in early May, for “select partners,” and principal, monetization Robby Banks said in a developer blog post that the option is now available to all partners, via Power Editor, the ads create tool, the ads application-programming interface and Facebook Marketing Partners.

Banks wrote:

The video unit has similar functionality to our mobile app ads: It’s eligible to play automatically in News Feed; there is a persistent call to action over the video pop-up for ads rendering on the right-hand side of the page; and all videos now have an end card that appears after they finish, with options to replay it or install the game.

Banks also offered the following best practices for developers looking to maximize their use of desktop video app ads:

  • Produce initial concepts based on creative from top-performing Facebook static ads as a starting point.
  • Feature attention-grabbing content for at least the first two to three seconds.
  • Leverage text overlays so that sound is not required to understand the content.
  • Post simple and easy-to-digest video content that is very polished and engaging.
  • Make the creative 15 to 30 seconds in length and show actual gameplay.
  • Avoid reusing mobile creative assets for desktop as this can cause confusion.
  • Ensure that the actual desktop landing page that the creative points to is interesting and relevant.

DesktopVideoAppAds

On the mobile side, Facebook’s carousel ads, which were previously available only for link ads and dynamic product ads, were extended to mobile app install ads and mobile app engagement ads last month, and the feature is now available via Power Editor, the ads API and Facebook Marketing Partners.

Banks wrote:

The carousel format gives you more creative real estate in News Feed to showcase compelling imagery for your mobile app ad. You can showcase up to five images within a single ad unit, and Facebook will optimize the order of the images based on the relevance to each targeted individual.

MobileAppAdCarousel

Developers: What are your early thoughts on these new advertising options?

Instagram Marketing: What Instagram’s New Ad Business Means for Brands

Recently, Instagram unveiled a new advertising solution to help brands improve efficacy of Instagram-based marketing by integrating external links such as “Buy Now” and “Learn More” within Instagram’s existing interface.

The rollout includes a new application programming interface (API) that accommodates a wider variety of advertisements. Capitalizing on the constant stream of technology developed by Facebook, the new advertising business also promotes sponsored content related to user-specific interests. But what does this mean for brands?

Given Instagram’s new ad business, brands are allowed a finer scope on whom their sponsored posts are reaching, according to Adweek’s report on Instagram’s new model of advertisements. Garett Sloane wrote:

The ad design has been all about customizing commercial content that blends as much as possible with the rest of people’s photo feeds without disrupting the experience too much.

Using the same tech stacks that power Facebook’s suggested posts and pages, sponsored posts on Instagram will be generated by a user’s Facebook interests, promoting a cross-pollination for brand affinity across both platforms.

Furthermore, when Instagram launched in 2010, it proved to be an indispensable tool for developing and established brands alike: The image-based platform allows users to establish their visual identity and branding. However, the lack of external link integration offered few opportunities to convert Likes and Follows into new clients and customers.

In an op-ed piece for Highsnobiety, Alec Leach questioned the importance of Instagram marketing:

While Follows and Likes may help propel brands to the forefront of the fashion conversation, without ideas, narrative and a compelling foundation the will not have more than two minutes of fame.

He has a point: The importance of concept cannot be stressed enough when it comes to any marketing platform. His argument, however, underestimates the potential that Instagram’s new integrated advertisements offers in terms of increasing conversion rates.

Given the upward growth in the eCommerce industry, two minutes of fame is an increasingly important landmark for translating Followers into customers. Whereas Likes and comments are the current metrics of community reach, Instagram’s new model offers a new quantitative measure for social media engagement: Sales.

These sales, in turn, increase the need for brands to collaborate with high-power social media users. Whereas high-traffic websites were the hotspots for advertisers over the past decade, Likes and Followers are the new Page Impressions.

Integrated advertising further emphasizes the importance of social media influencers: By identifying the trends of today and starting the trends of tomorrow, cultural tastemakers are the keystone in social media marketing.

Social media clout is about to be the hot commodity for brands. It was a studied decision for high-fashion label Marc Jacobs to debut campaigns fronted by Cher and Willow Smith: The two collectively boast 6.36 million followers on Twitter and extraordinary engagement metrics. Still, brands don’t need the budget for red carpet honorees–and, for many brands, there are better-fit advertising solutions away from the A-List.

Instagram reports 300 million active users monthly who generate an average of 70 million photos per day. Through carefully curated content and a strong grasp on what is trending, influencers on Instagram are equal parts lifestyle gurus, brand ambassadors, and–most recently–sales agents.

Consumers don’t want to sift through thousands of photos each day; influencers offer a selection of the best-of-the-best. As such, being featured on a top user’s social media feed is in the best interest of both developing and established brands hoping to use Instagram’s new ad business.

The specializations of influencers allow brands a more refined and controlled advertising solution. The scope of aspirational categories that Instagram influencers fall into is entirely consumer-driven: From health and beauty tips, to niche diet guides and emerging fashion trends, Instagram influencers reflect what consumers want to see and want to be.

This, in turn, creates a captive market of consumers searching for the products with which they can recreate the lifestyle of an influencer.

The process is the evolved by Instagram’s ad business: The simple association between a brand and an influencer translates an unfamiliar product to an aspirational product; Instagram’s integrated external links seal the deal and make the sale.

From here, brands can expect a rise in both influencers and tech-driven advertising solutions. As Instagram rolls-out sponsored content to more advertisers, tighter niches in the market will develop around influencers.

The consequent rise in Instagram marketing will fuel advertising solutions focusing on streamlining the process of matching brands with appropriate influencers. Brands, take note: Instagram’s ad business has shifted Instagram feeds from the consumer’s mood-board to their marketplace, and the market is open for business.

Francis Trapp is the CEO of Brandnew IO.

Image courtesy of 2nix Studio / Shutterstock.com.

Facebook Updates Custom Audience Pixel: More Data

Facebook updated the data available to advertisers via its custom audience pixel, giving them more ad-targeting options.

Reader Or Fialkov of Fialkov Digital alerted SocialTimes about the update, saying that advertisers now have access to information including:

  • Websites and web addresses
  • New events such as search and add to wish list
  • Total traffic
  • Events tracking
  • The ability to share custom audience pixels with other ad accounts via Business Manager

New documentation is available here.

Advertisers: What are your initial thoughts on this update?

CustomAudiencePixel

Angry Birds Epic Flies Into Sonic Dash on Mobile

SEGA and Rovio have announced a partnership to bring Angry Birds to its popular endless runner, Sonic Dash. Specifically, the partnership adds three new playable characters to Sonic Dash, based on those from the Angry Birds Epic mobile game. For a limited time, players can unlock these characters in Sonic Dash by collecting special tokens as they run.

The three-week event starts with Red Knight, and will introduce Chuck Mage and Bomb Pirate in future weeks. To start, players have a week to collect 100 Red Knight tokens which are scattered along the running path in order to unlock the first character.

Once each Angry Bird has been unlocked, it will remain available even after the cross-promotional event ends. Players will also have the option to purchase the birds with premium currency if they’re running out of time.

In a statement, Wilhelm Taht, head of external products at Rovio, commented on the partnership:

Our epic Sonic collaboration together with SEGA is a fantastic milestone for Angry Birds. Having two such iconic game characters and games work seamlessly together will delight millions of fans worldwide in both Sonic Dash and Angry Birds Epic.

Sonic Dash is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore and Windows Phone Store. Sonic Dash recently surpassed 100 million downloads since its launch in March 2013.

Facebook to Developers: Page Plugin Replaces Like Box June 23

Facebook reminded developers that its page plugin will automatically replace its like box on websites June 23 and detailed improvements to the former.

The social network’s page plugin allows website visitors to see which of their friends like those websites’ corresponding Facebook pages and see the most recent posts from those pages.

Front-end engineer Yugal Jindle described the improvements to page plugin in a post on Facebook’s developer blog:

  • Improved width support: As requested by our developer community, we’ve made updates to the page plugin to support a broader range of widths—as wide as 500 pixels and as narrow as 180 px. (Note that you may see minor layout changes due to space constraints when working with narrower widths. For example, at 180 px, you won’t see the share button).
  • Call-to-action buttons: The plugin now supports the same call-to-action buttons as pages. For example, if your page has a “Sign Up” or “Contact Us” button enabled, then that button now appears on the page plugin on your website, with the same functionality that it has on your page. This doesn’t require any changes to the plugin configuration on your end.

Developers: Are you ready for June 23?

PagePlugin

Kenshoo’s New VP of Marketing: Steven Hartman

Kenshoo, a Facebook Marketing Partner, announced Thursday that they’ve tapped Steven Hartman, formerly of VigLink, as the company’s new vice president of marketing.

Hartman was previously VigLink’s vice president of marketing and will lead Kenshoo’s global marketing team. He has also been vice president of product marketing at Acxiom, vice president of marketing for Rubicon Project and the senior director of product management and product marketing at Yahoo.

Hartman described why he’s joining Kenshoo in a press release:

Two factors stood out among the many reasons I chose to join Kenshoo: the people and the impressive portfolio of loyal customers. Kenshoo’s cultural values of innovation, passion and humility stood out to me immediately as I met the team. Their tireless pursuit to improve an already impressive platform and the level of commitment for customer success, cemented my decision to be part of telling the Kenshoo agile marketing story to the world. The result of those values are very apparent with a business that now manages over $5 billion in advertising spend across a customer base that includes half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks.

Kenshoo’s chief revenue officer, Ted Krantz, welcomed Hartman to the company:

Steve’s background across marketing and advertising technology, combined with his direct experience in managing major marketing initiatives in the digital advertising industry give him a unique perspective and understanding of how complex digital ecosystems work and how best to market them. It’s no secret that Kenshoo’s success is built on the quality of our technology. Moving forward, Steve will play a key role in building upon this success and making our value clearer to the world’s marketing leaders.