In housing, tech employees get yet another advantage

By Saturday, July 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Tech employees already get free food, free dry cleaning and free beer. Now, they also get deals on housing. ;

New hires at Google and other Silicon Valley companies are often offered home loans with no money down and a host of other financial planning services, Bloomberg reported this week. ;

The help for tech employees buying houses, of course, is taking place in one of the least affordable and most competitive housing markets in the country.

And if people in the tech industry need this much help buying a home, it’s hard to fathom how difficult it must be for everyone else. ;

“Basically what this does is add more competition to an already stressed housing market,” said Peter Cohen, the co-director of San Francisco’s Council of Community Housing Organizations, an affordable housing group. “These are buyers who have a leg up. They’re able to outcompete other folks looking for housing who don’t have that kind of advantage.” ; Read more…

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Sheryl Sandberg’s new book ‘Option B’ explores grief in wake of husband’s death

By Friday, July 29, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Status update from Facebook HQ: Sheryl Sandberg is penning a new book. ;

The chief operating officer of Facebook and author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is close to finishing a second book, Recode reported Friday. ;

Titled Option B, the book focuses on grief and includes stories from Sandberg along with research gathered by Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton and co-author. Sandberg and Grant are currently seeking a publisher.

The announcement comes a year after Sandberg’s husband David Goldberg passed away suddenly from a heart condition while the two were on vacation in Mexico. Goldberg, the CEO of SurveyMonkey, left behind Sandberg and their two children. ; Read more…

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Facebook’s Birthday Gift to Users: 45-Second Videos

By Friday, July 29, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Facebook plans to begin sending its users birthday wishes in the form of 45-second videos featuring recaps of their friends’ birthday greeting posts.

The social network has begun rolling out the feature, and users should start seeing it “in the coming days.”

The birthday videos function like the Friends Day videos Facebook introduced in February in celebration of its own birthday (No. 12): Users will see a prompt atop their News Feeds on their birthdays, after which they can preview the videos before they go live and add or remove specific posts.

Readers: What do you think of Facebook’s new birthday videos?

How Millennials Interact With Online Video (Infographic)

By Friday, July 29, 2016 0 Permalink 0

The video market has become a vastly different landscape in the past couple of years. With the wide availability of video and the voracious appetite of social audiences, understanding what audiences want has never been more important. An infographic from BuzzMyVideos examines the video habits of millennials.

Of the 500 U.K. millennials surveyed, 73 percent reported watching more than two hours of video per week, and of those, 51 percent watch more than six hours per week. Within certain verticals, audiences are even more voracious: the 11 percent of respondents who preferred video game content watched more than 31 hours per week.

Ad blocking is also a concern, and more than one-half of survey participants said they always have their blockers turned on. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t see advertising content. 44 percent said they enjoyed watching well-made promotional videos. And this kind of video, particularly review content, has a large impact on purchase decisions. In fact, 85 percent reported that they are more likely to buy a product after watching a positive online video review from a trusted source like an influencer.

Check out the BuzzMyVideos infographic below for more insights.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Instagram Primes Advertisers for Rio 2016

By Friday, July 29, 2016 0 Permalink 0

According to a study by market research firm GfK, 80 percent of Instagram users plan to follow the 2016 Summer Olympic Games from Rio de Janeiro, with more than one-half planning to do so every day.

This presents opportunities for advertisers, as an Instagram for Business blog post also pointed out that 52 percent of Instagram users use mobile devices while watching sports on television, and two-thirds will likely seek Olympics-related news, stories and content on Instagram and Facebook.

GfK also found that 60 percent of Instagram users consume drinks while watching sports, and 64 percent consume snacks, which opened the door for one of the official sponsors of Rio 2016, Brazilian brewery Skol, to create an Instagram campaign showing people “How to Torcer,” or how to cheer, while promoting its beer.

Instagram added in its blog post:

With 83 percent of Instagrammers enthusiastic about the 2016 Olympics, take advantage by sharing creative that plays off the games. Share content that reflects the events while aligning to your brand, products or services. Include a popular Olympic hashtag or two, like: #bomdia, #rio2016, #riodejaniero, #familia, #brasil, #rio and #felicidad. And if you’re running Olympic-specific ad campaigns, reach viewers by selecting specific targeting interests like 2016 Summer Olympics or Olympic Games.

Whether you’re thinking about running Olympic-specific ads or simply content on your feed, with more than 250 million Instagrammers tuning into the big games this year, there’s no better time to get in on the action.

Readers: Do you plan to follow Rio 2016 via Instagram?

How to Use Offline Media to Drive Social Media Engagement

From Deadpool to Donald Trump, multichannel media is dominating 2016, and it’s about time. E-commerce, mobile applications and social media have all been huge for years now, leaving some of us wondering if offline media was dead.

Despite the ascendancy of digital channels, more than 50 percent of online ad impressions aren’t actually seen by people. That’s because current tracking technology counts one-half of a banner appearing for one second on an audience member’s screen as a “view,” making it difficult to accurately measure how effective an online ad is. But when your brand is all over the social media news feeds, search result screens, banner ads on third-party publications and—gasp–the walls of public spaces, that’s when you can really make an impression.

Today it’s all about finding the best multichannel mix. Internet-driven companies like Uber use outdoor, print and broadcast media for visibility. Brick-and-mortar businesses are turning to online advertising to ensure their survival. Research by TVTY shows that 67 percent of brands plan to spend more this year on digital campaigns triggered by offline events than last year.

What’s more, consumers respond amazingly well to multichannel interaction. The more they see your brand, the more they’ll buy. Fluent found that 62 percent of people who interact with their favorite brands on 10 or more channels make in-store purchases from those brands weekly, and 49 percent report the same for online purchases.

Multichannel marketing is a must for modern businesses–especially those looking to maximize their footprints on social media.

Social’s role in the multichannel puzzle

For superior cross-channel engagement, it’s best to think about the customer’s journey to conversion and how it relates to your brand’s best-performing channels for long-term relationship building. In business-to-business situations, this is likely to be a sales representative’s LinkedIn presence or an email list. For consumer goods, where fun and peer-to-peer sharing are such powerful forces, Facebook or Instagram might be the way to go.

Once your campaign goals are sorted out, you’ll need to close on a good call-to-action concept. To keep the interaction non-sales-y, your CTAs should lead people somewhere that’s not just an ad. One of the best CTAs you can use is a branded hashtag. Easy to include on any channel, hashtags let users reach you on their favorite platforms, and in a way that’s visible to their social graphs.

Take a look at Charmin. The company used #tweetfromtheseat, an easily abused hashtag, for a campaign in 2014. Toilet paper isn’t easy to market, but this campaign was an instant hit.

Laura Dressman, Charmin’s communications manager, recently told Digiday that a big part of the brand’s multichannel success is thanks to her team’s ability to tailor channel-specific messaging. “We’re a toilet-paper brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, we’ve always had a playful instigator tone and we tweak it according to which platform we’re on to make sure that it plays well on that channel,” she said.

Offline media for receptive moments

Only 17 percent of marketers feel confident going multichannel, which makes a lot of sense, given the solo-oriented thinking that’s rampant in most companies. To get started driving social engagement with offline media placements, consider OOH (out-of-home) advertising, which offers huge value to local brands, given the medium’s location-specific nature and all-around effectiveness. A recent Nielsen study found that approximately 17 percent of digital billboard viewers visit an advertiser’s website or search online within a month of seeing its message.

Combined with a clear strategy for inspiring engagement via other channels, it’s powerful stuff, especially when incentivized and interactive, like the Burt’s Bees billboard below:

OOH catches viewers’ attention at points of wait, like bus stops and checkout lines. “When people see messaging that appeals to them in the context of what they’re doing, that’s extremely powerful for building brand equity and eventually driving purchases,” says Dominick Porco, CEO of grocery video screen ad platform Impax Media. “When people are doing things like commuting or waiting in line at a retail checkout, they’re looking to pass the time, and our data shows that they’re happy to do so with some lightly branded infotainment. They even look forward to it.”

Data points from everywhere

Gareth Powell, head of analytics at JD Williams Group, believes that smart, data-driven marketing requires gathering information from multiple sources. “We take customer profiling via social media with a pinch of salt,” he recently told Econsultancy. “The most popular school on Facebook is Hogwarts.”

Smarter marketers today know how to exploit the new capabilities of digital advertisement technology, like anonymous attention tracking, programmatic media placements and ad creative personalization. Advertisers using Impax Media, for example, can optimize messaging for attention impact by measuring how audiences respond. It’s like an offline version of A/B testing.

A wealth of other new technologies is helping businesses integrate their offline media efforts into the online world. Like online advertising, more and more offline media companies are now capable of measuring actual views and demonstrating return on investment to advertisers.

For great multichannel results, follow Deadpool’s over-the-top strategy. Don’t limit your campaigns to social and one offline media channels. Use billboards, streaming video advertisements, QR codes and more. Go big, and make sure your media channels feed one another, so you can drive social engagement from offline media.

Old Spice, for example, has seen smashing success over the years with its series of viral YouTube clips. It’s unlikely that the below video could have racked up 3 million views if it hadn’t been such a natural tie-in to related TV spots:

Of course, a sweepstakes contest and #smelllegendary hashtag help to amplify the campaign’s effectiveness, as well.

“People have different experiences and different expectations for the media they consume in different situations,” says Porco. “It’s all about the right message for the right person at the right moment.”

Taking social offline

The emergence of social media as a hub for all brand marketing activity might feel like the arrival of a new industry. On the context of igniting multichannel engagement, however, social is essentially an extension of traditional marketing. And with new capabilities for using rich data to make offline campaigns more effective, multichannel performance is more accessible than ever before.

John Stevens is a business consultant and marketer who regularly contributes to Adweek, Entrepreneur and other major publications.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Doug the Pug had a power meeting with Facebook’s chief pooch

By Friday, July 29, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Puglebrity and smush-faced pop culture maven Doug the Pug visited Facebook’s headquarters at Menlo Park on Thursday.

He was there for a meeting with Facebook’s own head pooch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s mop-like sheepdog, Beast.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg’s dog masters the art of camouflage in glorious new photos

Zuck posted a picture of the two looking like they’re in the midst of a serious meeting — Doug wearing a Facebook tee and Beast sporting a new top knot.

Doug’s Facebook page also revealed that he was given a staff pass for his visit.

Image: mark zuckerberg/facebook

Look closely and you’ll see that Beast’s pass features him in his famous levitating pose. Read more…

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Facebook, Instagram Head to Rio 2016 With NBC Olympics

By Thursday, July 28, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Facebook and Instagram will be part of the NBC Olympics team for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games from Rio de Janeiro.

The partnership will kick in prior to the Aug. 5 Opening Ceremony, with Facebook and Instagram helping NBC Olympics “engage with new audiences around the spectacle and pageantry that occurs when the world comes together for the Games in Rio.”

NBC Olympics and Facebook will also create a Social Command Center in Rio de Janeiro, where producers from the television broadcaster will help create Facebook Live content featuring commentators and athletes.

A “full complement” of short-form videos will also be produced by NBC Olympics and be available via Facebook and Instagram in the U.S., including highlights and interviews. For example, a two-minute daily recap video will appear on Facebook daily for U.S. users, as well as a daily slow-motion video covering an inspiring moment in that day’s competition, which will be featured on Instagram.

NBC Olympics commentators will appear on the @Instagram account and direct users to highlights via Instagram’s search and Explore video channels.

Content related to the Games that is posted on Facebook and Instagram by athletes, celebrities and public figures will be incorporated into NBC Olympics’ coverage, including primetime and late-night on NBC and on Spanish-language network Telemundo.

In addition, Ryan Seacrest, who is hosting NBC’s late-night coverage, will highlight the content that draws the most buzz on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook head of global sports partnerships Dan Reed said in a release presenting the details of the partnership:

We’re excited to work with NBC Olympics to provide fans with a unique, immersive and engaging Rio 2016 experience on Facebook and Instagram. As a complement to NBC’s programming, our platforms will allow fans to access, interact with and share a wide variety of engaging NBC video content from Rio to stay current and connect with their friends and communities. Together, our platforms will provide both a front-row seat and backstage pass to the biggest event of the year.

NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel added:

This partnership is about reaching fans on Facebook and Instagram with NBC’s great and compelling Olympic content. It’s about fueling the Olympic conversation and driving interest in watching the Games, and it’s a natural outgrowth of our mission to share the powerful and captivating stories behind the world’s most accomplished athletes.

Readers: Will you follow Rio 2016 via Facebook and Instagram?

Twitter to Live-Stream ELEAGUE Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Semifinals, Championship

By Thursday, July 28, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Another day, another Twitter deal for live-streaming video, and this one is for eSports.

Twitter reached an agreement with ELEAGUE, a professional eSports organization formed by Turner Sports and WME | IMG, to provide live-streaming coverage of the semifinals and championship featuring Valve gaming title Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The competitions will take place Friday and Saturday at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, starting at 5 p.m. ET Friday.

In addition to the live streaming, the @EL Twitter account will offer real-time highlights, GIFs, memes, statistics, score updates, Periscope content featuring ELEAGUE on-air talent and behind-the-scenes footage with players.

Twitter chief financial officer Anthony Noto said in a release announcing the pact:

eSports fans go to Twitter to see and talk about what is happening now in competitive gaming. Gamers are one of the largest and most engaged audiences on Twitter, and we are thrilled to partner with Turner and WME | IMG to bring them the live content from ELEAGUE and Twitter commentary they are already looking for, all on one screen.

ELEAGUE general manager and Turner Sports vice president of eSports Christina Alejandre added:

Twitter is the native social platform for eSports, and this partnership provides our passionate fans with an additional opportunity to consume ELEAGUE content as we reach the pinnacle of our first season. We’re excited for our first ELEAGUE championship and look forward to offering these content experiences to our high-engaged fan base.

eSports fans: Are you excited?