LinkedIn Buys Marketing Firm Bizo For Better Ads

Following its acquisition of Newsle to get better at personalized news, with the potential of turning news feeds into a platform for native advertising within targeted professional circles. LinkedIn has continued to dive into the world of sponsored ads by inking an $175 million deal to buy Bizo, a business-focused marketing firm. Given that one of the fastest-growing ad products on LinkedIn, or social media in general, is sponsored updates, this acquisition can be seen as a follow-up in the company’s ongoing efforts in mobilizing its platform for branded content.

Stars and Brands Leaving Vine For Snapchat

In Forbes’s detailed profile on Snapchat celebrity Shaun McBride, one important phenomenon almost slips through: with Vine “sort of plateauing” after a year and a half, video creators and brands are now looking to a matured Snapchat for new opportunities. No longer just an ephemeral picture sharing app, Snapchat has caught considerable attention from marketers with its new Snapchat Stories feature that allows the messages, be it video or pictures, to stay on for 24 hours. Several big stars on Vine have reportedly been branching out to Snapchat, looking to catch on the next trend to stay relevant. Overall, it is clear to see that the intimate, personal appeal of messaging apps gives them a crucial edge over the old-fashioned social media platforms. And staying ahead of trend seems to be the moral of the story here.

Snapchat’s New Geofilters Open Up New Oppotunities

Snapchat has been experimenting with location-based features for a while now, especially with “Our Story”, a publicly shared, geo-specific event album that they first tested at Electric Daisy Carnival and later at the recent Rio World Cup final. Now they are rolling out the new location-based photo filters, named Geofilters, to enable all Snapchatters to stamp their specific location (limited to NYC and L.A. at the moment) onto their photos with a simple swipe.

Unlike most messaging stickers, these geofilters are currently free to use, and Snapchat offer no comment on future plans around monetization. But if the heavily featured mouse-ears in Disneyland in the promo video is any indication, there would no doubt be room for brand integration and native advertising, potentially opening up a new revenue stream for the messaging apps to follow.

Mercedes Recruits Instagram Influencers To Target Millennials

Starting last month, Mercedes-Benz has been seeding their ad content to various recruited “Instagram influencers” to market the car on their respective feeds. This effort is part of the #GLApacked campaign for its GLA sports utility vehicle scheduled to launch later this fall. In addition, a GLA cross-country excursion is also being documented on Instagram as native ad content. Since visual storytelling is a really powerful tool for the younger consumer, Instagram seems to be a great fit for this campaign. As brands continue to explore the new and exciting territory of social media marketing, the luxury car company’s move to tap into these influencers’ following is no doubt instrumental. How many impressions would actually turn into purchase though, would a lot harder to measure, and that’s what we marketers need to figure out.

The Importance Of Protecting Brand’s Digital Presence

A restaurant in D.C.-area has fallen victim to foul play of its business info listed on Google Map. The specialty meat restaurant Serbian Crown was forced to close due to its unreasonable business slump during the weekends, and they believe their business hour incorrectly listed on Google Map is to be blame. This particular case once again highlights the problem of brand’s control over its public digital data and marketing efforts when it comes to the Internet. And this unfortunate case underscores the devastating consequence of that. Given most online platform’s equalitarian open-submission policy, it is very much up to brands to make the efforts of protecting the voice and authenticity of their online presence.

Vimeo-owned Cameo App Looks To Music

Cameo, the video-creation app recently acquired by Vimeo, just got its biggest update yet, with a deep Vimeo integration and a shifted focus onto music discovery. This update brought a complete overhaul of its interface, including a whole new soundtrack browser, genre sorting and an interactive preview feature. As the short-form video apps continues to be dominated by Twitter-backed Vine and Facebook-owned Instagram, this update of Cameo comes as a smart pivoting effort to differentiate itself from the rest. In order to compete with the market leaders, smaller companies could certainly use such branding strategy to help establish their products in this increasingly fractured market.

Brands Chip In On The Most-Tweeted Sports Game

The dramatic Brazil vs Germany semi-final match yesterday scored a massive 35.6 million tweets, making it the most-tweeted sports game ever. Of course, no self-respecting brand would miss out on such a grand global spectacle. Whether an official sponsor for the tournament or not, various brand, including Visa, Audi, and Red Bull, piled on by making real-time marketing jokes on the losing Brazilian team. As we reported, Twitter recently rolled out special onboarding features to attract the World Cup audience. Coupled with brands’ timely efforts, twitter is subtly redefining the way modern sport events are discussed, capitalized and marketed.

WeChat Opens Up Advertising Platform To Brands

Just over a week after introducing the Ephemeral Messaging feature, WeChat, China’s top messaging app, launched an open beta of its advertising platform on Monday for official brand accounts with over 100k followers to reach users via its self-serve advertising platform. These ads, however, do not show up in personal messages, instead only show up if users click through to read full-page posts from the official accounts that users subscribe to. Even then, the ads only appear at the bottom of the page.

This is just the newest effort from WeChat to create a “sticky” e-platform to monetize on its 400 million active users, aiming to encourage purchasing behaviors without its users leave the app. As WeChat continues to expand its ambition in e-commerce, we expect to see more functions and features fleshed out in all messaging apps in the near future.

Taco Bell Already Using Snapchat Stories

When Snapchat stories launched, nobody was really sure how exactly it would be used by Snapchat users, let alone by brands. But early adopter Taco Bell, who immediately took to Snapchat when it first launched, is already playing with the “newsfeed” of ephemeral images. Essentially, they’re banking on the fact that their consumers love to share experiences of eating Taco Bell – as well as the circumstances of going to the chain – and created a Story that modeled that experience, so as to connect with the followers on a deeper level. As well, Taco Bell is looking to use the medium to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the company and its restaurants. The metrics of this methodology are certainly novel, and are far from defined; nonetheless, the chain is going ahead with the strategy, making them the first of their kind. It’s unclear if there is a direct ROI at this point, but at the very least the brand is doing something different, and making waves in the process. 

Twitter Brand Engagement Strategies

Data collected by social media startup Nestivity on Thursday demonstrated, on several levels, what it means to engage with an audience on Twitter. The top 25 brands, in terms of engagement, were selected based on the results of a study that examined how brands cultivate relationships with influencers, customers, and advocates on Twitter. It analyzed over 739,000 tweets over a months time, and looked at the top 100 most-followed brands on Twitter. According to Nestivity, many brands fall into the trap of using Twitter for push marketing, or broadcasting messages. But their view is that if a brand is using Twitter as a one-way marketing tool, they’re losing out on quality interactions with customers. Fitting with this trend, the most prolific of the 100 Brands tweeted every 6-20 minutes, however none of those most active accounts made the most engaged list. This indicates that quality tweets still matter more than their quantity – and quality oftentimes means something as simple as photographs and video. 76% of content that was shared had a photo attached, and 18% had a video as part of the message. The top 10 brands who followed these trends were, in order: Notebook of Love, Disneywords, ESPN, Playstation, Disney, Chelsea Football Club, BBC Breaking News, NASA, CNN Breaking News, and Instagram.