Full disclosure: I don’t like online ads. As a digital marketer who spends most of his day on the computer, they tend to slow me down and distract me from my work (which, somewhat ironically, often finds me creating online ad campaigns). In fact, I have the Chrome AdBlock Plus extension installed on my laptop in an effort to abjure the majority of those pesky ads popups before they have a chance to materialize on my screen. I’m not alone. One of the most popular desktop ad-blocking softwares on the market, AdBlock Plus enjoys a robust (and growing) user base of over 50 million monthly active users.
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Mobile implies real time, and you don’t get much more real time than instant messaging (IM). In a nod to a growing trend, 2015 marks the first time Pew Research Center has asked specifically about mobile messaging apps as a separate kind of mobile activity apart from cell phone texting. In a recent survey of over 1,900 US adults, more than one third (36%) of smartphone users reported using instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik, or Facebook Messenger. Not surprisingly, these apps are particularly popular with the Millennial set—nearly half (49%)of smartphone owners ages 18-29 use messaging apps, and 41% use apps like Snapchat that automatically delete sent messages.
Oh, what a thankless job it is to be a digital marketer. Just when you thought it was safe to take a break from your search engine optimization efforts, Google goes and reshuffles the SEO deck (they’re good at that), once again creating more work for the beleaguered MarTechie. This time the culprit is mobile. More specifically, the proliferation of mobile devices has created a veritable profusion of mobile apps with unique programming schemas that necessitate fresh approaches to search and discovery and, by extension, SEO. New techniques like deep linking and app indexing are already beginning to dramatically alter the traditional SEO landscape. Forget link building, in the short run you need to figure out how to navigate a strange new world of app indexing APIs and app filters, an alien ecosystem where URLs are replaced by URIs and deferred deep linking actually means something. Welcome to the brave new world of in-app SEO.
Google meets Amazon; an interesting concept in theory which may become stark reality in practice soon enough. In a much anticipated move, Google is apparently preparing to incorporate buy buttons within some of its sponsored search ads on mobile devices. First reported by Alistair Barr and Rolfe Winkler in a recent Wall Street Journal article, many are reading the move as a proactive attempt to stop the steady bleed of users turning away from its heretofore desktop friendly search platform in favor of more mobile-focused ecommerce apps like Amazon and eBay. To be clear, nothing has happened yet, but mounting evidence suggests that will soon. If and when it does, the move to a Google buy button could be a boon for certain retailers struggling to grab the attention of itinerant and capricious mobile shoppers or, just as easily, a devil's bargain for others trying to convert the same into long-term, loyal customers.
If you ever want to confirm your assumption about a new marketing trend, all you have to do is follow the money. A recent spate of direct and anecdotal evidence suggests the cash is flowing into mobile advertising in general and mobile video advertising in particular. Moreover, I believe the evidence is compelling enough to at least consider an investment in mobile video advertising.
Is it just me or is social media getting progressively more, well, social? You’ve got Instagram for sharing pics, Snapchat for pics and vids, and now Meerkat for live video streaming. For those of you scratching your head, Meerkat is a live video streaming app that has made quite a splash on Twitter in recent weeks and, more importantly, may represent the next stage in the evolution of social media.
Attention all business owners with non-mobile-friendly websites: courtesy of Google, you now have another reason to dread mid-April this year. On April 21st, Google will officially update its search algorithm to consider mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in Google search results.
Facebook is on a roll. Recently released Q4 2014 earnings show full-year revenues of $12.47 billion, a 58% year-over-year increase. Most of this growth is driven by ad revenues, which reached an all-time high of $3.59 billion for Q4 alone, and specifically mobile ad revenues, which represented 69% of total Q4 ad revenues. This is a far cry from the spring of 2012, when the world’s biggest social network openly acknowledged it had a mobile ad monetization problem. Shortly thereafter, Zuck and crew did an about face and went all in on mobile. And they’ve been cashing in ever since.
So you want to create a website with a great user experience, but how do you go about it?
This may seem obvious, but the only way to create a strong user is experience is to design for the user, rather than the device.