Learning From the Current Media Revolution

From Jim VandeHei, who was one of the co-founders of Politico…

In coming years, the revolution will likely demolish much of what we read and watch now. State and local newspapers and TV? Gone. Their models are fatally flawed. General interest magazines such as Time and Newsweek? Gone or unrecognizable shells of their former selves. Traditional TV and cable? Shrinking and scrambling. Clickbait machines such as Gawker, or Ozy, or Mashable? Gone or gobbled up by bigger players.

At the same time, the need for content, especially (but not only) video content, will explode. It will be a mad rush that makes the 1980s’ race to create new cable channels seems like a leisurely stroll.

The pipes for distribution of content are mostly set. Facebook, Amazon, Google and Snapchat will be joined by the savviest traditional media companies such as Comcast and new media players, most notably Netflix, Apple, Vimeo and others.

Source: Escaping the Digital Media ‘Crap Trap’ — The Information

At the end of the article, he posits that we are entering a golden age of content creation and that consumers will happily pay for eclectic and efficiently delivered media as mobile destroys desktop paradigms, and streaming destroys cable.

I’d include podcasting in this conversation as well. It’s not hard to fathom that podcasting, or some iteration of it, really does catch on “in the mainstream” as our mobile devices and autos get smarter and more in tune with our own listening preferences as compared to broadcast NPR or radio.

Just this week, I finally convinced my parents to sign up for Netflix and Hulu. They love it. “Why would we pay for cable now?” Dad asked. I’ve been asking the same since I cut the cord back in 2006 in favor of other ways to find and watch the media that most appealed to me and our family.

It’s easier, cheaper, and (I think) more fun than ever. Apple TV, Roku, Plex etc have made the content game enjoyable again.

Businesses, churches, and nonprofits can learn a great many lessons by observing the current revolution / rebirth that journalism and content industries are currently experiencing. Find faith in the ability to embrace the eclectic. Find your voice and your audience. Stop trying to be all things to all people and broadcast messages (especially on Facebook and social media). You’ll be rewarded by your fans.

 

Silent Movies as the Future of Video Advertising (Thanks, Facebook)

“Here’s a sure sign of spring, and that Facebook is changing the way marketers create ads… The whole idea is in keeping with the idea of silent movies becoming the future, or at least a future, of advertising. Folks who want to stick around and turn on the sound will get to see and hear steak sizzling. DDB San Francisco is the agency.”

Source: Kingsford’s Facebook Ad Will Reward You With BBQ if You Keep Watching – Video – Creativity Online

Brilliant.

All these problems may just be inevitable teething…

All these problems may just be inevitable teething troubles. “We haven’t had this kind of transformation since television came in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s,” says Marc Pritchard, the marketing boss at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser. Grappling with these challenges, however, may spur a shift in the industry’s structure. There will always be startups, particularly because technology changes so quickly. But on the whole, power is likely to move to fewer, larger companies.

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21695388-worries-about-fraud-and-fragmentation-may-prompt-shake-out-crowded-online-ad?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/invisibleadsphantomreaders

Facebook is going to put ads in Messenger

“The document, obtained by TechCrunch but kept private to protect its verified source, says businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company. To prepare, the document recommends that businesses get consumers to start message threads with them now so they’ll be able to send them ads when the feature launches.”

Source: Facebook Plans To Put Ads In Messenger | TechCrunch

Gross.

Messaging is the future of social networking. No doubt.

“People who previously initiated a chat” for Facebook is about as nuanced as people who consume oxygen in their lungs (based on their current model). Expect to see a WHOLE LOT of “if you want to know more, MESSAGE US ON FACEBOOK!” posts / ads in your near future.

Dumb mistakes like this will cost Facebook its rather substantial lead in the messaging space here in the U.S.

Harrelson Marketing will be testing out other ways to do authentic marketing that doesn’t involve this type of cheap real estate move.

Marketing Is Evolving; Don’t Get Stuck

Fantastic post from SumAll today:

The Switch to Continuous Marketing – SumAll – Blog: “Social media platforms and analytics provide an immediate, continuous feedback loop that puts marketing into an entirely new cycle. It’s now possible to get a faster, deeper sense of your potential customer and to tailor marketing materials to a highly specific demographic.”

This is a concept that we embrace and focus heavily on at Harrelson Agency.

In the past, marketing campaigns were structured differently and might have done pretty well for the time. However, we’ve seen a gradual shift and trend towards online marketing in the past decade or so as the web has grown and social networks like Facebook and Twitter emerged. While paid search still dominates over social media traffic this year, that’s likely to change in 2014. Marketing via social media is bound to become the larger of the two traffic drivers and that’s due in large to the in-depth analytics and insights tools that services like Facebook and Twitter offer to advertisers. Old-school marketing (create, launch, sit back, evaluate) doesn’t work as well anymore because marketing on the web is a continuous process that requires lots of creative thinking, sweating the details, and monitoring (in real time, not when the campaign ends) exactly what works and what doesn’t. And if something doesn’t work, you can always change it and see where you went wrong.

Tools like SumAll and Chartbeat are fantastic for tracking how your campaigns are doing and what kind of traffic you’re getting, but even the out-of-the-box solutions that Facebook, Twitter, et al offer are pretty good.

Foursquare Rolls Out Ads for Businesses

Very exciting news from Foursquare today:

Expanding Foursquare Ads to more small businesses around the world | Foursquare Blog: “The idea behind these new ads is simple – connect people looking for somewhere to go with businesses that want to drive traffic to their stores. Foursquare is the best way for those businesses to reach nearby customers. In our ad pilots over the past year, we’ve been honing our targeting technology, using the same algorithm that powers our Explore recommendation engine.”

Foursquare rolled out post-check-in ads for brands last week, but this is good news for businesses since Foursquare is a unique but diverse community that’s ultimately very locally focused.

The reason these ads are so unique and will matter a great deal to local businesses in the coming year or so is that the return rate on them is fairly solid. 78% of people who search on their smartphone end up making some kind of purchase. Foursquare has long needed a solid business model that could drive revenue its way and the ad program is pretty much the icing on the cake.

On the business side of things, the ads are billed to businesses on a CPA (Cost Per Action) basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for the ad unless a check-in at your business originates from it:

Foursquare Ads — Foursquare for Business: “You won’t pay a cent for your ad to show up. You’ll only pay if people visit you.”

Pretty cool.

I love Foursquare and I’m happy to see them moving forward. Advertising on mobile, particularly geolocation-based, has long been an enigma to many companies and marketers alike and I think Foursquare is definitely on the list of companies to watch.

Foursquare Rolling Out Post-Check-In Ads for Brands

AdAge reports that the beloved location-sharing service Foursquare is rolling out check-in ads (with Captain Morgan, in this case) that show up directly after you check in to a certain venue. Captain Morgan and Toys R Us are leading the way with their new ads:

Foursquare Rolls Out Check-In Ads With Captain Morgan | Digital – Advertising Age: “The new ads are also being used to help retailers or merchants lure consumers who check in outside of their locations. Toys R Us has started to use this capability by targeting people who check in at family-friendly locations such as parks, playgrounds and daycares. A June 19 post from website About Foursquare shows the author being served a 20% off, limited time use coupon for use a Toys R Us or Babies R Us after checking in at a public swimming pool.”

In the past, Foursquare has frequently had specials pop up after checking in to a restaurant and the various venues that show up when you launch the check-in menu oftentimes have ribbons indicating a special offer (like so):

For right now, this new ad option is huge for bigger brands and could be largely beneficial to small businesses in the future if Foursquare continues to develop and add to the program.

Whether you’re looking to get new customers to come to your venue based on a similar venue they’ve checked into or wanting to offer a coupon to existent customers who come in and check in via Foursquare, this new ad placement allows for both. While the targeting that Foursquare currently offers doesn’t go as deep (or creepy?) as that of Facebook, brands can still narrow down a solid demographic to display their ads to post-checkin.

I’ve loved Foursquare since I got my iPhone last year and have a few hundred check-ins there. It’s a great, clean service that allows me to keep a private (or public) journal of where I’ve been and when. I’ve even set up a Foursquare channel on IFTTT to grab my check-ins and a map image and post them privately to my own site. (Feel free to copy here).

If your business depends on walk-ins or local customers and you’re not on Foursquare, you’re missing out.

Go add your business or update your details if one of your customers has already added it on Foursquare.