Want Successful Mobile Ads?

Re-posted from eMarketer

Mobile users are far more likely to click on ads served in an app than via mobile browser, and Q3 2014 data from InMobi supports this. Looking at ads served on the source’s monetization platform, in-app ads served worldwide last quarter—which grabbed 80% of impressions—saw an average clickthrough rate (CTR) nearly 2.8x higher than placements on the mobile web. At the same time, average eCPM for in-app advertisements were about 2.5x that of mobile web ads.

This makes sense when one considers how mobile users spend time with their devices. June 2014 data from comScore showed that US smartphone users spent 88% of their phone time with apps and just 12% with browsers, and those figures came in at 82% and 18% for tablets, respectively.

How do consumers interact with in-app ads on each of these device types? InMobi found that while the overwhelming majority (85%) of in-app ad impressions took place on smartphones, tablets overindexed for average CTR and eCPM here. Average CTR for the larger-screen mobile device was nearly 55.4% more than that of smartphones. In terms of eCPM, in-app ads on tablets saw a rate nearly 35% over ads served through smartphone apps.

By operating system (OS), iOS was way ahead of Android in CTR and eCPM. Average CTR for in-app ads served via Apple’s OS were nearly 21% higher than for Android-operated devices, and eCPM for iOS was even more impressive—over 50% more than the average for Android.
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Using Social Media to Drive Traffic and Increase Revenue

Re-posted from Newspaper Association of America

Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have become go-to platforms for newspapers hoping to expand their reach and generate revenue.

But some newspapers have yet to realize how these outlets can drive new audiences and help them take advantage of advertising opportunities.

Steve Weaver, CEO of GrowthWeaver, a Denver – based digital marketing services agency, advises newspapers to combine their expertise in advertising and content generation to utilize social networks to their advantage. He suggests beginning with the pillars of content, which he explained as the science within a newspaper of deciding what will drive readership and what is difficult to duplicate.

It really starts from a strategy of knowing what to do well and what content to have that’s different and unique and building social marketing audiences around that. For example on Facebook, aim to target very specifically the most likely consumers of your content,” Weaver said.

Social networks serve as information outlets for events in real time and as platforms where businesses connect effectively with consumers. Weaver notes that newspapers have two roles within the social marketing realm. As a publisher, they should drive revenue from their own content and as a remarketer, their role is to help other businesses within their communities improve their own social marketing.

“Otherwise, someone in their newspaper market is going to claim the space as a digital resource for social and digital marketing,” he said. “It’s almost impossible to imagine what can happen if newspapers are not that entity and certainly not the lead one.”

In addition, he notes that newspapers are currently in the perfect position to develop native advertising products with strong appeal to advertisers which also generates revenue. Marketers are expected to spend $4.3 billion on native ads in 2015, according to an eMarketer report.

While Facebook is certainly the most used platform for ads and expanding reach, Weaver notes that additional sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram can help newspapers as well.

“You’ve got to know each platform well and have a strategy for each one both as a publisher and a remarketer. Instagram can be important but not critical for the newspaper industry but it’s central to the success of advertisers. It gives them a 30 to 40 percent boost in sales and as a newspaper, you better know it,” Weaver said.

To illustrate his point, Weaver noted that Instagram is the number one go-to social media site for brides to announce their engagement, Facebook is second. As a remarketer, newspapers could help bridal shops, caterers and photography vendors drive brand and product participation through these platforms.

Furthermore, newspapers can use LinkedIn to push business news to relevant job titles while Pinterest can be utilized to drive traffic to news sites by pinning boards focused around their organization’s pillars of content.

To drive new audiences and generate revenue, Weaver suggests newsroom staff should be the ones to establish their organization’s social media presence. But that may not always be the case.

“It depends on the aptitude of people who aren’t experts and if they have the opportunities to connect,” he said. “It takes skill, and  it takes a culture within the newspaper to be open, listen and believe that the consumer should have a say in what gets covered and how. The aptitude can be built but on the business side, you have to have professionals.”

Newspapers are discovering that having a social media strategy is critically important and knowing how to utilize each platform is the starting point. As news consumption continues to evolve, the need to use social media as a launching pad to expand reach and generate revenue will become even more significant.

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Shoppers Turn to Smartphones and Tablets to Cash In Coupons

Re-posted from eMarketer

Consumers continue to use digital coupons to stretch their dollars. eMarketer forecasts that digital coupon users, which include internet users ages 18 and older who redeem a digital coupon or code via any device for online or offline shopping at least once per year, will account for 55.0% all US internet users in 2014. The digital coupon audience is a relatively mature group, but there’s still room for modest growth over the next few years.

Mobile coupon users are making up a growing portion of the larger digital coupon audience as more consumers make in-home purchases via smartphone and tablet and as more shoppers use a mobile device to enhance their in-store experiences. eMarketer expects the number of adults who redeem coupons via mobile device for either online or offline shopping to rise from 78.69 million to 104.11 million between 2014 and 2016, or from 70.0% to 82.0% of all digital couponers.

Younger deal-savvy shoppers who are heavy smartphone users have especially embraced mobile couponing in recent years.

eMarketer estimates that only 36.5% of marketers will offer mobile coupons in 2014. By 2016, 44.5% of marketers will do so. The increasing usage of mobile coupons by brands, continued smartphone and tablet adoption (especially among the less-penetrated older audiences) and the rising number of mobile channels offering easily accessible coupons—such as mobile apps, daily deal and group buying sites, email, and social networks—will help fuel double-digit growth in marketer uptake, which will persist through 2016.

Tablet users are much likelier to make online purchases compared with smartphone users. Similarly, adult tablet users are more likely than adult smartphone users to redeem mobile coupons. This year, 53.0% of the tablet consumer base will use a tablet for coupon redemption, compared to 40.0% of the US smartphone audience who will do so via smartphone.

Tablets are commonly used for digital purchases at home, while many shoppers use their smartphones to redeem coupons while making purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. As smartphone users become more at ease with mobile buying, consumers will increasingly redeem coupons via smartphones. eMarketer forecasts that the number of smartphone coupon users will surpass that of tablet coupon users in 2015, though tablet users will continue to lead in mobile coupon user penetration.

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11/11 Blows Out Black Friday for Digital Shopping Worldwide

Re-posted from eMarketer

Black Friday is big in the US. But it’s not the biggest digital shopping holiday in the world—the honors there go to November 11. Known as Single’s Day in China, the holiday has been capitalized on by Alibaba to the tune of $5.75 billion in sales last year, according to Business Insider.

Nearly eight in 10 smartphone users in China surveyed by Admaster said they would be making purchases during the Double 11 online shopping festival, as the holiday has come to be known. That was up a whopping 34 percentage points over 2013, when less than half of smartphone users said the same. Awareness of the holiday overall has gone up, from 81.0% in 2013 to 93.0% of smartphone users this year. And though more people are planning to spend, average basket size may go down, as smartphone users report they will spend an average of 23.0% less this year than last—though that may be because more people than ever plan to participate. Taobao.com, Tmall.com and JD.com are expected to get the most attention during the shopping festival, and purchases are expected to focused around personal care items and apparel and accessories. Two-thirds of smartphone users will buy these items on their mobile phones, while 73.0% will do so via PC and 29.0% via tablet.

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Print Promotions Remain Pillar for US Grocery Coupon Cutters

Re-posted from eMarketer

Traditional marketing methods continue to have a strong influence over deal-seeking supermarket shoppers. According to The Retail Feedback Group’s July 2014 online survey of 1,200 adult shoppers who visited a conventional supermarket within the last 30 days, coupons delivered via print remain a popular go-to when it comes to saving money on groceries.

Half of all shoppers surveyed read printed circulars at home to find deals for their last visit to the supermarket, while nearly a third clipped paper coupons obtained via newspapers or other printed sources, and a quarter used a printed circular in-store.

Compared with printed coupons, money-saving methods offered through digital channels still have a long way to go to catch on with core supermarket shoppers. The survey found that about one in five respondents used a digital circular or downloaded digital coupons during their last grocery trip, and only a sliver of those surveyed conducted research on smartphones or used social media promotions to save money.

Naturally, consumers partaking in these digital measures to conserve cash skew younger compared with those using offline money-saving activities. According to research from advertising agency Sullivan Higdon & Sink conducted in July 2014, internet users 45 and younger are more likely to partake in digital grocery shopping activities than older adults. These younger consumers are twice as likely to find out more about a brand or product online and lead by 16 percentage points when it comes to using a mobile coupon or looking up a recipe online while grocery shopping.

Nearly a third of respondents 45 and older did not engage in any of the digital grocery activities included in the survey, though as online and mobile become more entrenched with these users’ everyday lives, it’s likely that a significant portion of this audience will eventually engage with digital for their grocery needs.

While print remains a mainstay for most cost-cutting consumers, its popularity over digital couponing is largely due to its wide lead in distribution. Data released by NCH Marketing Services earlier this year indicated that over 90% of coupons for consumer packaged goods were obtainable via freestanding inserts, while less than 2% were available through digital modes. Bearing in mind digital’s minuscule share of coupon distribution, shoppers’ engagement with digital money-saving methods is actually quite strong.

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Fast Mobile Sites Are a Must

Re-posted from eMarketer

November is nearly here and with it comes the pressure of the holiday season. But are retailers prepared for the high volume of ecommerce—and now mcommerce—shoppers flooding their systems?

According to a new report from Radware, a provider of application delivery and security solutions for virtual and cloud data centers, shoppers are not pleased with retailers’ mobile page performance as it stands. The report, “2014 State of the Union: Mobile Ecommerce Performance,” found that the median m-dot page takes 4.8 seconds to load on an iPhone 5S. The average shopper expects pages to render in less than 3 seconds, but only 15% of full-site pages load in fewer than 4.8 seconds. That wait time slows to 7 seconds if the consumer is accessing the site on an iPhone 4S or an older device.

A full site can take up to 11 seconds to load on an iPhone 5s or 15.2 seconds to load on a 4s.

During the 2013 holiday season, mcommerce sales—on tablets and smartphones—accounted for a significant chunk of total ecommerce sales, Adobe’s January 2014 Digital Index reported. On Black Friday, mcommerce sales reached 26.2% of total ecommerce sales; on Cyber Monday, they accounted for 18.3%. Tablets were the primary device by which customers shopped.

Retailers with subpar mobile performance run the risk of shoppers getting fed up with a site that takes too long to load—and exiting from the site altogether. Performance problems include images and videos taking too long to load. These are critical to businesses reliant on visual media the way that retailers, especially luxury brands, are. But these images also comprise half of an average page’s total wait.

The study lays at least some of the blame on the idea that retailers cashing in all of their chips on responsive design: The site may look great and seamless across platforms once it loads but by then the shopper will be long gone. Most shoppers bail after three or four seconds, the study announced.

Shoppers even begin to fear slow-loading pages. When a shopper reaches the checkout screen on an ecommerce site and the page loads slowly without confirmation that the sale went through, 44% of online shoppers fear that slow checkout pages mean that the transaction was a bust. The next stop is almost always a competitor’s site.

Shoppers have especially high expectations for mobile sites. They assume that the sites will be as in tune with their on-the-go lifestyles as their devices are. But, as it stands, many sites are not meeting their expectations. Some m-dot sites appear on tablets when shoppers are expecting a full desktop-like experience. One in five m-dot sites do not even allow shoppers to access the full site. Others just load too slowly altogether.

With mcommerce sales expected to increase by 32.2% from 2014 to 2015, according to eMarketer, retailers who are unable to make it work for the holiday season best find out a way to do so at the start of the New Year.

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