Twitter Launches Ad Product That Unlocks Content For Retweets

What Happened
Twitter is launching a new interactive ad product that lets brands offer exclusive content in exchange for user engagement. With the “Instant Unlock Card,” which hides a photo or video behind a call-to-action button, brands can encourage fans to tweet about them with a customized hashtag or simply retweet in order to unlock exclusive content. Along with this ad product, Twitter has also created new measurement tools to track user engagement and impressions these interactive cards generate.

What Brands Need To Do
Twitter has been steadily rolling out new ad products to appeal to brand marketers in the hope of boosting its ad revenues. It launched an ad unit in February that helps brands’ tweets stay atop timelines and introduced multi-tweet Carousel ads in June. The “Unlock” cards incentivize users to tweet by offering them access to exclusive content, which brand marketers can leverage to increase the organic reach of their tweets while also improving user engagement.


Source: AdWeek

Facebook Lures Live TV Viewers With New Features

What Happened
To better compete with Twitter as the go-to second-screen platform for live TV viewers, Facebook has announced several new features that media owners can use to better engage with fans. Included in the announcement are new voting features – either through hashtags or native polls embedded in posts – and a new UGC curation tool that allows producers to review audience-contributed content and share them via Pages. Plus, Facebook is introducing custom icons that denote partner shows, clearly taking a page out of Twitter’s emoji playbook.

What Brands Need To Do
Continuing to court brands with new tools and high-performing ad units, Facebook is quickly becoming a brand-friendly platform for media owners to connect with their audience. With second-screen viewing, audiences tend to tune out during commercial breaks and turn to their mobile devices, therefore rendering TV ads ineffective. Therefore, brands should consider cross-screen targeting on popular second-screen platforms like Twitter and Facebook with sponsored posts or branded content.


Source: The Verge

Event Recap: Three Key Themes from AdClub’s Measurement: Now

On Thursday, the Lab attended the New York Ad Club’s Measurement: Now, a half-day event dedicated to data tracking and responding to the consumer journey. Three key themes emerged from the panels and keynote speeches:

Content and Context: Though the idea of a “consumer journey” isn’t new, brands are now acquiring the ability to target individuals in a specific context—time, physical location, device, point in the sales funnel, and so on—with an appropriate message. What this means is that marketers can develop more nuanced segmentation based on behavior and flesh out personas into real humans. This will increase brands’  relevancy, since as Audrey Hendley, Senior VP and GM, Acquisition & Prospect Engagement of American Express OPEN, noted, data must ultimately answer the question “what does our prospect want?”

Privacy and the Value Exchange: Ad technology is rapidly approaching the point where data from multiple devices (phones, television, and more) will be able to be tied to a unique, comprehensive consumer profile. While this has great potential for brands, “what thrills me as a marketer terrifies me as a citizen,” said Deborah Marquardt, SVP, Managing Director at MediaVest. In order to avoid what Kosta Skoulikaris, VP, Advertiser Solutions, Nielsen called the “icky factor,” brands must safeguard consumer data and provide value in return. 

Redefining ROI: As Aaron Fetters, Director of Insights and Analytics Solutions Center of the Kellogg Company, pointed out, marketers are increasingly accountable for budgets, making it imperative to get the “most of out of the money we spend.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean that brands should focus entirely on ROI—in fact, Shelley Zallis, CEO of Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, suggested that ROE, or “return on engagement” may be a better metric.

How To Cope With Facebook’s New Ban On Incentives

In its most recent update of platform policies, Facebook is putting an end to the widespread practice of offering reward or access to content to coax consumers into liking a Facebook page. Facebook is hoping this ban will ensure quality connections and further legitimize the number of “likes” as a metric in ad buying. For marketers, however, this regulation poses new challenges in gaining engagement organically and building a genuine relationship with their audience on Facebook. Only by creating quality content of true value to consumers can brands truly earn their “likes”.

Tumblr: Better for Brands Than Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook and Twitter are the go-to channels that emarketers usually choose for social media marketing, but Tumblr says it just might have certain advantages over those two when it comes to brand engagement.

In comparison to Facebook and Twitter, branded content, especially the creative ones, enjoys a significantly longer shelf-life on Tumblr. As a result, this allows for greater earned engagement long after the content would have expired on other platforms. Furthermore, Tumblr offers a mix of video, text, and image-sharing tools that brands are utilizing to better engage with their audience. 

In Favor Of YouTube Comments

Users have spoken in outrage (as they do with any major change to a a major platform) over YouTube’s recent changes to comments. Main changes include Google+ integration, improved moderation tools and the ability to post publicly or privately. Despite the complaints of some 90,000 who are petitioning, Memeburn makes a convincing argument on the why this is an improvement for YouTube. Among their most salient points are the fact that tying your comments to an identity promotes meaningful discussion–a far cry from the current state–and curation as the video owner and those in your circles are more visible. Brands should be in favor of this change (aside from the improved audience data) as YouTube has moved to become a more premium network a brand would like to associate with. While comments will likely drop as a result of this change, they will be more impactful. In the same way marketers have grown weary of the value of a like, they should adopt the same approach to comments or engagements.

WWE: A Case Study On Second Screen Effectiveness

If there is anything to be learned about WWE’s wildly successful second screen initiative, it’s placing a premium on audience participation.  From airing video responses from viewers to audience polling that affects storylines, the WWE is committed to making their viewers active participants. Their second screen programs bring viewers far closer than Twitter can, and yet most of the second screen efforts fail on that front. An auto check-in or character list is not a close enough tie-in to sustain attention across screens.  

Chartbeat’s Findings Shake Up The World Of Display

Chartbeat is now providing data to publishers and marketers that may radically change how we value display ads. Measuring the amount of engaged time spent on a website is proving that ads below the fold actually increases brand recall more than the top of the page. The moral of the story is that content is still a valuable consideration in an audience-centric marketplace.