It's sort of passe to talk about how much SXSW has changed over the years because, well, it has and there's no going back. If you feel the need to reminisce or wallow in the past, you can read this, this, this, this and this.
It wasn't too long ago that the consumer in the market for new home exercise equipment would visit her local department or sporting goods store to test out the options and compare the prices. Maybe she would buy a new treadmill on the spot, or perhaps she would first talk to friends for recommendations, or read some reviews in a magazine like Consumer Reports. Once convinced of the right make, model, and price, she would pull out her credit card or checkbook and make a purchase.
Fast-forward to 2015, where the buying landscape couldn't be more different. Thanks to the Internet as a whole, social media, online reviews, the proliferation of online retailers, and the growth of web-based behemoths like Amazon, the same consumer takes a decidedly different approach when buying exercise equipment (or buying anything for that matter). Add laptops, mobile devices, and smartphones to the mix and you create a selling environment that includes everything from bricks-and-mortar sales to website purchases to smart TV shopping.
When a brand decides it wants to properly attack its marketing, it seeks out experts to help them do so. Sure, they may have a marketing manager in-house to oversee the marketing process but when they need heavy lifting in the form of an integrated advertising strategy that plays out across multiple media in multiple markets, they turn to an advertising agency.
It's no different when a brand decides to enter the affiliate marketing channel.
Many merchants entering the affiliate channel believe a workable solution is to delegate all affiliate marketing responsibilities to an in-house affiliate manager and/or hook up with an affiliate network's managed services offering. But an affiliate manager is just one person and an affiliate network is just a platform, a technology provider and not a marketing expert. Much in the same way Google Search is a platform for search engine marketing and does not offer search marketing expertise.
When we think of social media ROI, we tend to only measure value by numbers. So much attention is given to number of followers, reach, impressions and likes; but while these markers are very important, there's a much broader story that can be told, particularly on social networks like Instagram where photos create an opportunity to paint a much bigger brand picture.
Sure, Instagram has some limitations in what campaign parameters can be measured -- engagement rates act as the major metric -- and this can raise the question of what a brand really gains from influencer marketing. However, Instagram, now one of the top three social networks with over 300 million users, gives brands an opportunity to tap into the influence of Instagram power users and leverage their existing follower relationships in order to reach a broad audience.
This! This is how you sell a smartphone! Who knew?
Yes. You get a super hot looking woman and have her prance around her apartment as if she's about to have sex with herself. You make sure she stares longingly at herself in the mirror, bites her lower lip, runs her fingertips over her breasts and down her thigh, squeezes into a pair of tight jeans and iron her shirt in an ejaculatory orgasm of steam.
And then you have her pull her phone out of the shirt pocket she just ironed over because, well, the phone is so slim she didn't even know it was there.
Online marketers and just about everyone who plays in the space has a reputation for being a leader and an innovator. After all, back in the day, anyone who had anything to do with online marketing had to move mountains, jump through hoops and put forth Herculean effort to convince their decidedly offline bosses that anything .com was even worth talking about.
Much like those early online marketers, affiliate marketers are great innovators, inventors, over-achievers and, well, all around heroes when it comes to developing newer and better ways to sell products online.
Let's take a look at a few innovative companies in the affiliate space who have developed new and unique methods which have improved the online retail shopping experience.
This week, Facebook announced a revamp to its Facebook Marketing Partner Program. The social networking company is officially moving to a new structure that is more intuitive for clients, offers more partners across function, vertical and geography.
This is a big departure from the original marketing program. In 2012, Facebook launched a program with four available badges to help marketers better understand which partner was the best match. Originally, there were 12 designated Straregic Preferred Marketing Developer ('SPMD') partners accredited with "Ads and Insights" badges.
The change, which eliminates the badges and simplifies accreditation to 3 levels, is designed to avoid the mistakes other large digital advertising companies have made.
In the past several years, native advertising has risen to the top of the online marketing conversation. And, for the most part, it's done so because other forms of online advertising have failed miserably. But native advertising, for all its popularity and success, has brought with it a very dark side; the blurring of editorial church and state.
To some, this blurring is no big deal. To others -- the smart ones, it is the downfall of society as we know it. Some approaches to native advertising have resulted in worthwhile, informative, education and helpful content readers can consider valuable. Other native advertising efforts -- sadly, most -- have resulted in poorly written, spammy, listicle, brochure-like content that irks, annoys and just plain sucks.
Instagram. It's been around but brands are just beginning to climb on board. Brands know they need it and yet many aren't entirely sure how to improve their social media game as competition stiffens with more and more brands joining Instagram daily.
If your brand hasn't made successful strides on Instagram, chances are there are some critical elements you're missing. Here are 4 simple ways you can revive your brand's presence on Instagram.
Yea, yea, yea, we get that this ad for the Samsung POWERbot vacuum cleaner, basically a Roomba made by Samsung is supposed to be ridiculously over the top. And it is. But, seriously?
This is like a Verizon ad with a dad who doesn't know how to use the internet or a beer ad in which a guy uses a soundproof booth to call his wife and lie about the fact he's at a bar with friends or another beer ad in which a bunch of hipster hijack a beer truck. Yea, you've seen those ads.
These days, the Super Bowl is often considered the mecca of advertisement. With rates at a record- $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, brands spend big money to showcase themselves during the big game, with the hopes of capturing the attention of the 100 million plus viewers who tune in for the game (and the commercials) each year.
But despite this audience size, the question still remains: is the Super Bowl really an effective way to reach your audience? We decided to take a closer look at the potential impact of running a Super Bowl ad, with a particular focus on the auto industry. Car makers have long dominated the advertisements during the game, but this year, many chose to forgo buying air time.