Top marketing news, articles and tips from the second week of April 2012.
A quarter of the U.S. population is made up of “di
gital natives,” people that grew up using technology, know how to interact with it and are comfortable using it. To accommodate this generation, it is especially important to be aware of their consumption habits.
- Be efficient—Multi-platform, multi-device consumers need succinct content, fast download time, and mobile-friendly ways to access information.
- Empower—Create platforms for user-generated content, ask and invite them to contribute. This can increase loyalty, and help strengthen your brand.
- Trust—Digital natives are loyal and authentic; encourage this by being transparent and honest in your engagements.
- Forfeit control—Consumers are hyper-connected, engaged and ultimately have hold of the relationship. Use this as an advantage, and create ways for them to be brand advocates.
Furthermore, as digital natives enter the workforce and embrace social media and self publishing, businesses should consider cultures that empower employees to communicate on behalf of the brand. For IBM, corporate communication and employee content curation now go hand-in-hand. Instead of turning solely to “manufactured” content, the tech leader embraces the fact the employees want to learn, connect and share their knowledge and voices.
In previous weeks, it was all about the new Timeline format. Now, Facebook is making headlines for its recent acquisition of Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing app. The $1 billion purchase has created a whirlwind of chatter, including speculations whether this was a smart move.
- Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel) sheds some light on the “billion dollar questions” about the purchase that no one saw coming.
- Not everyone is excited about the acquisition; Passionate Instagram users react warily to what’s next for the app as it will be integrated with Facebook.
- Facebook goes “back to its roots,” allowing students and faculty of schools to create private groups.
- A new Facebook download feature allows users to access IP address activity occurring on their accounts, which will help to “detect any foul play.”
- Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) weighs in on the growing power of Facebook, its source of revenue as personal information, and what it means for users and marketers.
Also of note (possibly greater than the photo app hubbub): In the wake of the Instagram acquisition, Facebook quietly acquired social-local ecommerce business, Tagtile.
For the incredible background story on Instagram that led to its popularity and acquisition, see From 0 to $1 Billion in Two Years: Instagram’s Rose-Tinted Ride to Glory.
Google recently introduced a “more functional and flexible” version of Google+, focusing mainly on cosmetic changes. Whether or not these updates are in response to previous claims that G+ doesn’t share user numbers because it’s a “ghost town,” its efforts are in hopes of creating a simpler, aesthetically pleasing social network. Here’s what the new layout has to offer:
- Customizable navigation—Dynamic ribbon of apps along the lefthand side; users can drag, order and organize apps to their liking.
- Conversations—Highlight activity around content, stream and quickly join conversations.
- Hangouts—Invitation lists in real-time, quick access to public hangouts and rotating billboard of popular hangouts.
SEO + Video
If you’ve ever used video in your marketing efforts, chances are you’ve questioned the best way to host and embed it for maximum SEO benefits. Phil Nottingham (@philnottingham) says that it “depends on the style of your content, and what you want to achieve with it.”
In his SEO Guide to Video Hosting and Embedding, Nottingham outlines the three major functions of video from an SEO perspective, and when to use one hosting solution over another, depending on your video’s purpose.
- Ranking, traffic and conversions
- Brand, impressions and notoriety
- All of the above
Once you decide which approach you’re going to take, Nottingham also includes nuanced recommendations for location, hosting, embedding video sitemaps, outreach and content type to keep in mind. This is a must-read resource for any marketers interested in upping their video savvy.
- Springpad, the visual social network built around interests, lists and tasks, made its latest update last week, which provides a completely new interface, spurring descriptions of the site as a Pinterest-Evernote hybrid.
- Groupon is, yet again, receiving PR backlash for an “amateur” statement made by an exec to a Financial Times reporter when asked about financial regularities.
- Google announced that its revenue rose to $10.65 billion last quarter, an increase of 24-percent over last year. A new class of stocks is also in the works, which will be distributed to all current shareholders.
What articles made your top list last week? We’d like to hear your opinions.
Photo credit: NS Newsflash