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Verizon: The New Media Giant

A media giant has been born.

Yesterday, Verizon announced its acquisition of Yahoo for $4.83 billion, gaining access to Yahoo’s brands, technology, and 1 billion users.

This is not the first time a company has set its sights on buying Yahoo. In 2008, Microsoft made the internet company a $44.6 billion offer, which was turned down. As this drastic change in price tag illustrates, Yahoo has struggled to maintain its position as an industry titan in recent years. Despite CEO Marissa Mayer’s best efforts to turn the company around, Yahoo has been unable to keep its stock and street cred from plummeting.

Verizon, on the other hand, has been on its way up. In May of last year, it announced a similar acquisition of AOL for $4.4 billion. Verizon’s aim was to marry its expansive network with AOL’s advertising technology and expertise. Verizon was also eager to tap into AOL’s growing engagement with mobile and video advertising.

Now that Verizon has purchased Yahoo, it can close the gap between its own advertising efforts and those of the industry’s leaders: Facebook and Google. Whereas Verizon once lagged behind in technology, platforms, and usership, it can now harness the power of both AOL and Yahoo’s assets.

Some of the assets now included under Verizon’s umbrella include:

  1. ONE by AOL: an all-in-one platform that allows both publishers and advertisers to run and track digital media campaigns. As described on the ONE website, “The ONE by AOL suite offers Media Planning, Audience Management, Creative Optimization, Analytics and Attribution, as well as our market-leading display, video and TV DSPs. All of this connected through shared technology, data and insights.” For Verizon, ownership of this technology means increased appeal as a one-stop shop for advertisers.
  2. Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Mobile: With Yahoo Mail’s 225 million active users and Yahoo Mobile’s 600 million users, Verizon now has the potential to track and target an expansive user base.
  3. Tumblr: A popular social media site for millennials, Tumblr is a valuable asset to Verizon in that it opens up opportunities to advertise to a younger audience. Sites like Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News also offer advertising potential, Yahoo News alone reaching 83 million people a month.
  4. Verizon Wireless Network: As noted by BBC News, Verizon itself has an extensive user base. As on of the top mobile networks in the US, Verizon has “a wealth of data from smartphone users that it could mine.”

The merger of AOL technology with Yahoo’s advertising potential makes Verizon a force to be reckoned with. Like Facebook and Google, which utilize their built-in user data and ever-evolving advertising technologies to market to advertisers, Verizon now has a data and tech goldmine of its own. It’s an exciting time for businesses who are looking to step up their digital marketing games. Increased competition between advertising platforms means advancements will start churning out even faster. In the coming years, all platforms will have to meet the increasing demand for mobile and video advertising formats, as the world turns away from static advertisements and towards rich media.

The combined brainpower of Verizon, AOL, and Yahoo means the potential for groundbreaking advancements within the advertising world. Google and Facebook, look out: there’s a new giant to wrestle with.

Image Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35479175

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The Top 5 Social Media Campaigns of All Time

Businesses of all sizes from everywhere in the world have been attempting to crack the code to a successful viral marketing campaign. While it may seem like social media has only become a key factor in the viral campaign industry over the last several years, social media campaigns date as far back to 1999 with the movie The Blair Witch Project.

We’ve compiled our own list of the Top 5 Social Media Campaigns of All Time. Maybe you can pick up a few tips from these successful marketing strategies:

1. The Blair Witch Project

 

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There may not have been Facebook and Twitter in the summer of 1999 when The Blair Witch Project was released, but these marketers made one of the first ever attempts at a viral marketing campaign. They were able to generate a big buzz for a small budget movie by posting fake newspaper clippings about the disappearance of the movie’s characters on web sites and message boards. Were the events depicted in the movie based on a true story? We will never know.

This campaign sparked interests in the film months before its release, and led to box office earnings of $29 million during its first week alone.

2. Old Spice Spokesman

While the Old Spice slogan “Smell like a man, man” and its TV commercials are successful marketing campaigns on their own, the grooming products company hit gold with their interactive viral social media campaign. Spokesperson Isaiah Mustafa was already popular from their commercials, but Old Spice took it to a new level by interacting with fans via web videos in 2010. Fans submitted questions to Mustafa via Twitter, and the Old Spice spokesman responded to these questions with over 180 web videos. He responded via video to one Twitter user @Alyssa_Milano four times and even sent her flowers.

Talk about increasing audience engagement, am I right?!

3. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Perhaps one of the most engaging social media campaigns of its time, the ALS Association generated 70 billion video views and raised $220 million in the summer of 2014. The association raised awareness for ALS by having people dump buckets of ice on their heads and post a video of it on social media, challenging other friends to do the same and donate to the cause. Celebrities from all over got on board with the campaign and posted hilarious videos of themselves participating in the challenge. Amongst the most popular celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges were Justin Bieber, Bill Gates, and Kim Kardashian on the Ellen Degeneres show.

The ALS Association spent no money on promoting this campaign, and was awarded the Facebook for Good award in the Facebook Awards.

4. Always #LikeAGirl

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Another 2015 Facebook Awards winner for their viral campaign was the Always #LikeAGirl campaign which raised awareness and confronted gender norms. Their videos called for a change in perceptions of what it means to “act like a girl.” As these videos went viral all over social media, and especially on Facebook, they generated a lot of feedback from their audience and social media users. The feminine hygiene brand increased the emotional connection with their audience and boosted purchase intent. The #LikeAGirl video became the most watched video in Procter & Gamble history with 76 million views.

5. World Wildlife Fund #LastSelfie

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And finally a viral social media campaign from 2016, the WWF’s #LastSelfie Snapchat campaign brings awareness to animal species at risk for extinction. The idea behind their campaign was to show audiences that endangered species are disappearing in the world just like selfies disappear from Snapchat in 10 seconds. These vibrant images capturing different endangered animals grab your attention, along with their sad but brutally honest captions that this could be their “last selfie.” The WWF took something everyday like a selfie and used it as a call to action, raising awareness for animal species in danger of going extinct all over the world.

All of these viral campaigns have one thing in common: they thought outside of the box. To create a viral social media campaign, you need to get away from ‘the norm’ and get creative outside of your comfort zone!

 

Photo sources: 

http://www.smcubedconsulting.com/tag/social-marketing/
http://www.mediapoondi.com/
http://www.imcthoughts.com/
http://www.site-seeker.com/

Get creative with your viral social media campaign and make a video ad at www.viddyad.com

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Live video and Viddyad

Videos Gone Live: Tumblr is the Next to Launch Live Video

Video seems to be all over the news lately, so it has probably solidified its position as the next big thing. But you might also be hearing whispers about live video, and rightly so, because a multitude of social networks are implementing live video into their platforms. So let’s break it down, who’s doing what with live video?

The second largest search engine in the world, YouTube, has had the option of making live videos for a number of years, live video never really became a must-use feature. Maybe it was too soon for live video, and the online world just wasn’t ready. It can also be difficult to find live videos on YouTube.  For a viewer to know when a video is live, they need to be subscribed to that specific channel. Only then will they be notified when a video is broadcasting live, other than that it comes down to luck if you stumble across a live video. This problem is easier to get around for the likes of Twitter and Facebook, because they are primarily social, rather than primarily video. It’s easier to find what people are doing and saying on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter confirmed its acquisition of periscope back in March 2015, which got the ball rolling for the other social networks to jump on board with live video. Periscope allows users to create a live video which remains on their account for 24 hours, after which it will be deleted and gone from the internet forever. This was a great move for Twitter whose user growth has slowed. If Twitter manages to monetize periscope correctly it may become a key revenue driver for the company.

Facebook followed shortly after, but instead of acquiring an already existing product, Facebook started from scratch. They’ve partnered with several digital media publishers, including Buzzfeed  to push live video across multiple audiences. The first Facebook live video that Buzzfeed published was of two team members attempting to explode a watermelon with rubber bands. The watermelon stayed strong until the 44 minutes mark and the audience reached a peak of over 800,000 people watching live. The video now has over 10 million views, this being the differentiating factor between Twitter’s periscope. When a video goes live on Facebook, it stays on a person’s profile until they either delete it or set it to expire after a certain length of time.

Even Amazon is all aboard the live video train, with their product Twitch. Twitch is a platform to watch live video gaming, e-sports competitions and music broadcasts. The more focused video topics shuts the platform off to people who aren’t interested in what Twitch has to offer, but that move may actually keep its user base happy as they have a more focused online community.

The latest name to enter the live video realm is Tumblr. Bought in 2013 by Yahoo! (The acquisition outraged Tumblr users) The blogging site has 550 million monthly users, and can be a pretty mysterious place when you don’t know what you’re doing. Tumblr have taken a different approach when it came to implementing live streaming onto their platform. The Tumblr platform supports a multitude of live streaming platforms. These include YouTube, Kanvas and Upclose.

This can be considered a great move for Tumblr. Instead of dedicating time and money trying to create another platform for people to sign up to, they let other companies do the hard work but reap the benefits of the progression of live video. Multiplatform support also means great news for their revenue stream. It may indeed mean that they can negotiate strong marketing deals with a multitude of brands.

It’s a smooth move for Tumblrs parent company Yahoo who aren’t well known for their innovative ideas. Their future is highly uncertain. In 2012 they changed CEO 4 times, eventually settling on the current CEO Marrisa Mayer, who despite best intentions still hasn’t managed to get Yahoo! out of the old folk’s home. In fact, back when Yahoo acquired Tumblr Marrisa Mayer stated ‘Tumblr is incredibly special’ and promised not to ‘screw it up’.  

As of February 2016, Tumblrs value decreased by $230 million dollars. Rumours are circulating again, and the core of those rumours involve Yahoo being sold, but only time will tell what will happen to Yahoo, and in turn Tumblr, and if the move to support live video will work wonders for revenue.
It looks like live video is here to stay, and it will probably only continue to grow in popularity in the next number of years. Will it ever replace regular pre-recorded video? Probably not. Pre-recorded video gives the user a lot more control over the content being published. It’s safer and live video takes that safety away. While younger generations may be more open to taking risks and making mistakes with the content they upload, brands certainly won’t be as quick to take those risks.

 

Create  video ads online in minutes at www.viddyad.com

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Why we love video: from a millennial’s perspective

Everyday you hear news about social media growing as a platform for video, and you read about the rise in video consumption amongst millennials. The head of operations at Facebook says that Facebook will be all video in just 5 years time. Snapchat is now worth almost $20 billion, and advertisers are spending on average more than $10 million annually on video.

So what’s the big deal? Why is video so popular and why are we consuming so much of it?

Well as a college student in her twenties, I can only tell you from my perspective why I think my generation loves video.

If I am going to a concert with my friends, why would I document the night with pictures when I could relive every moment through video? I want to be able to listen to the music and hear the crowd singing along to the words even after the night is over.

With a picture you can tell a story, but with a video you can live the story.

It’s live, it’s fun and it’s more engaging. It has the ability to transport you into the moment. With video you are no longer just looking at the scene, but you become a part of it.

That’s why new apps like Instagram’s Boomerang, which allows you to create mini videos that loop back and forth, are becoming increasingly popular. It’s a split second, but it’s still movement and it’s LIVE.

Thanks for being my partner in crime in my favorite city🇮🇪

A video posted by jordan_morgan (@jordan_morgan) on

People want more than just a picture, because we have more to say than the “one thousand words” a picture is worth.

We want to say a billion words with video. And maybe that’s why together we make up 8 billion views of video on Facebook daily, or why snapchat users watch 6 billion videos every day. Especially as consumers, we want to be shown exactly what we want and why we should want it.

That is why video advertising is so powerful.

I am scrolling through my Instagram feed and I just stumble upon a native ad for Velveeta that auto-plays a how-to recipe for their Easy Chicken Campfire Packs.

I don’t know what an “easy chicken campfire pack” is, but I’m hungry and it looks good. Even better, Velveeta is showing me with this short video how I can easily make their product right now! Instead of just an annoying pop-up picture of Velveeta cheese or the Easy Chicken Campfire Pack, I have now consumed a video that told me how I can instantly purchase this product and why I want to.

Hungrily sitting on my phone an hour before lunch, I can honestly tell you that this video has made me positively respond to Velveeta’s ad.

With video, advertising is becoming more clever and more interesting. It is constantly changing based on how we, the consumers, want to see advertisements. And what we want is an instant, fun and engaging message about a product that shows us what we want and why we want it.
And that is video.

 

To create your own video ad online in minutes, visit viddyad.com.

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eiffel tower euro2016

Social Media is Taking Over #EURO2016

You may have heard that social media users are taking over the Eiffel Tower as part of French carrier Orange’s Twitter campaign. The EURO 2016 sponsor will tally up all posts supporting a UEFA EURO 2016 team. According to SocialTimes, after each day’s final game, the Eiffel Tower will light up with the colours of whichever team received the most social media support that day.

Your tweet could even have the potential to be broadcast on the Eiffel Tower, as a selection of the best tweets from that day will be projected onto the Paris monument.

Twitter has also launched special edition EURO 2016 emojis that are triggered by hashtags, such as your team’s national flag or football. Not to mention, any tweet using the official hashtag #EURO2016 will trigger an emoji of the EURO Trophy.

However, the Eiffel Tower isn’t the only thing EURO 2016 fans are taking over with social media. Barthelemy Collin mentioned in the official Twitter Blog that fans can utilize social videos on Twitter through apps like Vine and Periscope to enhance the #EURO2016 experience. Vine will have its very own @EURO2016 channel and Periscope will be going behind the scenes of the football action.

Vine sensation Joe Charman, famous for his viral comic tricks, will be creating a series of trick shots around the fan zones to keep fans entertained. While French chef Pierre Gagnaire will also be using social video to increase fan spirit and share recipes based on teams’ national cuisine.

SocialTimes also announced that Facebook is getting in on the social video action with their Facebook Live feature. Prior to the start of the games, the social media network released a series of Facebook Live videos to get fans into the #EURO2016 spirit leading up to the tournament.

So what will social networks think of next when it comes to social campaigns?

Well one thing is for sure, social media and social video will only continue to grow outside of promoting large scale events. All we can do as users is try and keep up with it all, and hop on the social train before we get left behind.

Create video ads online at www.viddyad.com to create your own innovative video to share on social media.

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