Senior marketers consider social media-related marketing a 'top priority'.
According to a research published in eMarketer.com, a majority of people say investing in social networks/applications is a 'top priority' (see graphic above). It beats other marketing tactics like search, mobile, and blogger outreach.
Social media is already expected to grow significantly. Forrester Research estimates social media will grow marketing at an annual rate of 34 percent. This year it will be spent on the medium $716, growing to $3.1 billion in 2014.
Some of this increase comes at the expense of offline advertising.
All this means that for both the marketer and the publisher the social engagement media -far beyond a simple web page- is here to stay as the preferred way of doing digital business.
No doubt that ad & marketing money is shifting to the Web.
CEO of the decade and consummate showman Steve Jobs unveiled on Wednesday in San Francisco the iPad, a kind of oversize iPod Touch that introduces a new category between a smart phone and a laptop.
“The event, in typical Apple style, was tightly scripted and heavy on theatrics and hyperbole,”wrote the New York Times.
See the entire video on-demand event here, in QuickTime and MPEG-4; no Adobe Flash player here or even in the iPad. Believe me, It is worth watching it.
This tablet computer device came out after months of speculations, rumors and profitable leaks that created an unprecedented free online and offline advertising campaign for Apple. Nobody knows if the iPad will be or not a global hit, despite Apple’s effort of presenting it as the coolest device on the planet.
One of the most signficant aplications for the iPad is the Apple's own creation, called iBooks, an e-reading program, that will connect to Apple's new online e-bookstore.
The iPad will run the 140,000 apps developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but the company expects a new wave of programs tailored for the new device.
This video below explains well the main specs of the iPad, a $499 to $699 1.5-pound tablet computer.
You might not believe this, but it is true. Newspapers are losing their online audience, too.
That's is exactly what a new report by IBM has found. “Online newspapers are the only digital media category that dropped in popularity last year,” according to Business Insider’s Lauren Hatch.
The number of people who said they read newspapers online dropped 10 % in 2009 from 64 % in 2008. Young people (18-24) are ignoring newspapers at an alarming rate.
Now imagine the implications of losing online audience.
It is obvious that new revenue sources are needed beyond producing news: creative forms of advertising, custom media, events, e-reader deals, selling technologies like smartphone apps, a mix of all these... you name it.
Users have been limited to advertising when doing a live streaming for free. Now they can monetize better their live productions and make a little extra cash.
Firms like Ustream are rolling out pay-per-view offerings that allow its customers (mainly artist, entertainers and brands) to charge viewers for events using its live streaming video platform. Ustream takes a cut of it.
There are people who have learnt how to monetize Twitter.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, with almost 3 million followers, gets $10,000 per tweet, while business blogger Guy Kawasaki fetches $900 per tweet to his 200,000 fans, according to Business Week. (See a list of largest publishers at Ad.ly.)
Beverly Hills-based ad network Ad.ly has signed up 20,000 Twitter users who get paid for placing ads in their tweets.
Last week, Twitter's 50 million users posted 8 billion tweets, according to research firm Synopsos.
Google and Microsoft are paying $15 million and $10 million, respectively, to crawl Twitter.
In other words, many organizations are experimenting how to extract value and money while using Twitter micro-blogging service.
More than a traditional blog, it seems to me that The Gates Notes is an online forum. There Bill Gates will share, several times a week, his thoughts on the Gates Foundation and his personal interests in global health, education, energy and the climate.
"His site is a collection of conversations, books, articles and opinions from people who have inspired and informed Bill," says a spokesman for Gates.
In his welcome letter, Gates writes: "I take a lot of notes, and often share them and my own thoughts on the subject with others through email, so I can learn from them and expand the conversation."
"I thought it would be interesting to share these conversations more widely with a website, in the hope of getting more people thinking and learning about the issues I think are interesting and important."
When trying to understand why social media marketing is rising and traditional marketing tactics are increasingly ineffective, just follow the numbers:
Over 400 million users watch video clips online
350 million users read blogs
350 million people are on Facebook
50 million on Twitter
320 million share video clips
250 million upload photos
400 million download video and audio podcasts
I made my point last week when visiting existing clients and prospects in Europe, mainly in Spain. Everybody perceives consumer trust in traditional media forms has declined, and today information is more easily accessible and easier to find online.
Old rules of marketing and advertising are not valid any more. Social media marketing is a cheap alternative to traditional marketing with high returns.
Text-to-give campaigns have gone viral in the last week following the Haiti earthquake on January 12.
So far over $10 million have been raised.
The immediacy of SMS (or phone text messages) makes it easy to donate. You send a text message and a small amount is added to your phone monthly bill. (See above's picture).
Problem is that usually the mobile industry delays 90 days the money release. However, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T
have promised to give the money immediately.
The White House has publicized The Red Cross' campaign of $10 donation via texting "Haiti" to 9-0-9-9-9 in a program powered by Mobile Accord's mGive. (This company is giving the 100 percent of the donation because here operates throught mGive Foundation).
Here’s a list of many of the ways to text to help Haiti via SMS:
ext HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
* Text HAITI to 25383 to donate $5 to International Rescue Committee
* Text HAITI to 45678 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army in Canada
* Text YELE to 501501 to donation $5 to Yele
* Text RELIEF to 30644 to get automatically connected to Catholic Relief Services and donate money with your credit card
* Text HAITI to 864833 to donate $5 to The United Way
* Text CERF to 90999 to donate $5 to The United Nations Foundation
* Text DISASTER to 90999 to donate $10 to Compassion International
Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
Text HAITI to 25383 to donate $5 to International Rescue Committee
Text HAITI to 45678 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army in Canada
Text YELE to 501501 to donation $5 to Yele
Text RELIEF to 30644 to get automatically connected to Catholic Relief Services and donate money with your credit card
Text HAITI to 864833 to donate $5 to The United Way
Text CERF to 90999 to donate $5 to The United Nations Foundation
Text DISASTER to 90999 to donate $10 to Compassion International
Talk of the unimaginable devastation experienced by Haiti's 7.0 magnitude earthquake, with thousands of dead people, has dominated the web in the last week. YouTube and other video communities and Media outlets (our sister organization iblnews.com, among others) have offered a brutal and unfiltered look.
"The new paradigm is mobile computing and mobility. That has the potential to change the economics of the Internet business and to redistribute profits yet again," says in the NYT David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School.
That's true. People increasingly rely on powerful mobile phones instead of PCs to access the Web, and as, the Harvard professor states, their surfing habits are bound to change.
These shifts are a constant in the industry. We saw computing shifting from big mainframes to PCs, and from PCs to the Internet. IBM and Microsoft don't have that power, and even Google might face a uncertain future if it does not moves aggressively for the mobile Internet.
For now its new Nexus One phone, launched last week, reflects Google's mobile vision. This company believes that the mobile Internet is the biggest opportunity for new growth.
Creating and spreding out a successful Facebook app can be a great brand marketing message.
See what Coca-Cola company is doing. They have created a Facebook application, the "Coke Zero Facial Profiler", that scans photographs of faces and tries to find mathing images in their database, using attributes like skin color, face structure and chin angles.
To use it, a visitor gets the app through Facebook or by visiting cokezero.com and he allows to pull information from his Facebook account; then the visitor uploads another pic. The app turns your face into raw data and matches it through the database of all these different people.
After the visitor can contact the match via their Facebook page.
More than 288,000 people have installed the app, and the average time spent on cokezero.com was over five and a half minutes.
“We feel like it’s creating the buzz that we want,” explained a Coke Zero exec.
(Truth be told, there are many people who complained about the inaccuracy of this software).
There is a tremendous buzz about search engine optimization techniques and that is OK. But people miss the key rule which goes beyond marketing tricks. Google's (and others) search engine algorithms reward the great content.
So the only way to create high search engine results is to create great content that people -preferably your target audience- want to link to.
The global-hit James Cameron's 3D science-fiction epic has deployed a full-on and successful social web marketing strategy.
The Simulcam and Fusion 3D camera inventions are not the only technologies that made Avatar a massive box office success -so far has gotten $1.2 billion in revenue, the #1 highest grossing film of all time.
Avatar has its own Facebook, with over 770,000 fans; MySpace, YouTube channel, and Twitterpages, with 20,000 followers. Although the Facebook-Twitter-YouTube equation is getting to be standard these days.
In addition to official online spots, thousand of fan pages and communities populate the Internet.
Beyond that, the film's social media campaign started with a trailer debut strategy. First it was announced on Twitter and released in Apple's Website. A second trailer rolled out a month later. The web trailers gained additional buzz when fans remixed them with other movies.
More on web video, an interactive trailer was presented as an Adobe Air application to be download. It featured content and updates about the movie. It got press coverage and word-of-mouth.
On December 3, MTV.com put together a Facebook-hosted and LG-sponsored webcast called "Avatar Live". James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana were interviewed by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, but the questions were submitted by Internet fans in the days leading up to the event. This 30-minute interview was one of the most effective Hollywood webcast to date.
This community engagement worked. Existing fans became more passionate about spreading the word, and people who didn't know much tuned in.
The red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, a week before the film hit theaters, was broadcast live to web audiences on video streaming web site Ustream and My Space (who sponsored the broadcast.)
It was just one more way to generate buzz and get press in the final days leading up to the movie's release.
Readability is a free button that you install on your browser toolbar, and once you click it, it eliminates everything from the Web page you're reading except the text and photos. No ads, banners, promos, blinking.
Many times doesn't work properly. In that case, you just refresh the page to see the original.
In 2009, online video advertising grew faster than any other category in the global advertising market (50 percent).
It's forecast to grow 3-5X over the next several years.
Higher-value video advertising: there will be more overlay and flash-based ads that users can click on to watch a video commercial. They offer more richer branding, more interactivity and engagement than video commercial, and can be driven by data.
Several ad networks will create enough scale that advertisers can buy highly targeted audiences. Audience-targeting platforms like Quantcast will have its momentum.
In 2009 we began to see the broad adoption of online video by all kinds of marketers and retailers, seeking to improve their digital marketing and online commerce strategies. 2010 will be a record year. Using video drives more visits and higher sales conversion rates. Also it lowers customer service costs.
Every organization in the world wants to use video on their sites. They use the Web as a marketing platform for their products, services, causes and agendas, and for that their own Website is the primary investment. The secondary one is in online advertising, in order to drive users. In this landscape, Online Video Platforms will become commodities.
Leading Online Video Platforms will broad the suite of features they provide: advanced analytics, mobile video, social media, connected TVs and TV Everywhere...
It will be the end of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach. Customers will feel the pain of not being contemporary with market innovations, and will need to move toward adopting Online Video Platforms.
Mobile video and advertising is becoming mature. In-app payment models for content is emerging. The growing number of iPhone 3G subscribers helps a lot.
TV Everywhere: 2010 will see a lot of first efforts by the large cable companies. It will be a great year for experiments and learning.
Avatar truly awesome movie in 3-D is a real pardigm shift in the making movies.
Despite the 160 3-D films made, none have had the impact of Avatar -in its first 11 days, the film has grossed more than $600 million in international box office receipts, and more than $200 million in the US.
It is the first movie built entirely for the 3-D age, and, as NewTeeVee says, "a sign that content is finally catching up to what technology enables."
"It’s also the first film to truly change the perception of what modern 3-D movie making and movie watching are about."
"Movies will never be the same after Avatar. Like the iPhone in the mobile world, this movie disrupts an entire industry," says TechCruch. Either in 2D or in 3D, I would add.
From a tech point of view, you discover never seen special effects in the most ambitious film of 2009. James Cameron explained that he has been working on the movie since 1994, but he had to wait until tecnhology caught up with his dream, and he invented a new kind of camera along the way.
The most amazing thing: there's no point in the movie where you can really tell the difference between real imagery and 3D computer-generated imaginery (or CGI). As a result of that, as TechCruch explains, "you become completely lost in the world of Pandora, the setting for Avatar".
From the marketing view, Avatar, like Matrix, opens up a doorway for a sequel, as I'm reading in the official Avatar community.
What follows is the making of an Avatar scene.
Los Angeles Times did a great coverage about the James Cameron's Avatar movie. Click here and here.
Amazon has deployed version 3.5.2 of Adobe's Flash Media Servers in 14 edge locations globally. As long as the videos are stored on Amazon's S3 service, you can use the Flash on-demand streaming service.
"Amazon does have the potential to take many of the mid-sized customers who spend between $3-5K a month on video,"says the expert Ray Burn.