About Cynthia Boris

Cynthia Boris is a freelance writer, social media consultant and a firm believer that content is still king. A former magazine staff writer and book author, she now devotes all of her time to the world wide web.

Millennials are changing the way we shop for cars

Thinking about buying a new car? A generation ago, you would have influenced by a TV commercial, then you’d spread out the newspaper to help you hone in on the right car at the right price. Final step – it’s off to the local dealership to buy the car of your dreams.

That last step is still the same, but a new survey from AutoTrader says that the new generation – the Millennials – have abandoned TV ads and newspapers in favor of the internet.

AutoTrader Infographic

What’s really interesting is that 70% of Millennials begin the car shopping process without a clue as to what make or style of car they want. They go online and start the process and spend an average of 17.6 hours “shopping”. That’s two hours longer than the average car buyer.

Gullible? Facebook’s satire notation could help you save face

Facebook The OnionIf you’ve ever been fooled by a fake news story on Facebook, you’ll like the feature the social network is testing. Mashable has confirmed that Facebook is testing a “satire” notation on stories that show up in your news feed. Facebook says they’re had requests for such a notation because people sometimes have a hard time figuring out which headlines are real and which are fake.

There are times when it’s tricky to figure out, especially at a glance. That’s kind of the point. Sites such as The Onion and The Daily Currant are at their best when the headline sounds like it could have come from the pages of the New York Times. So, I get it. . . but I’m not giving everyone a pass.

Friday Round-Up: YouTube on TV, Square makes an appointment and more

cowboy_clipart_lassoIt’s round-up time! Let’s see what the internet has been up to this week.

YouTube Updates the TV App

If you use a streaming or gaming device to watch YouTube videos on TV, you’re in for a treat. YouTube is rolling out an app update that will make it easier to find new videos from your favorite channels or watch all the vids in a playlist. They’ve also updated the search function so it’s actually useable.

This means more people will be watching more YouTube videos on the big screen. If you’re turning out high quality content, this is great news. If you’re not. . . why not? YouTube is a moneymaker. Get on it.

Make an Appointment with Square

92 Percent of retail purchases are still happening offline. Why?

Bloomberg black friday 2013The internet is the world’s biggest shopping mall and it never closes. You can shop anytime of the day or night, 365 days a year. You can find almost anything you can think of (and millions of things you never dreamed of.) You can even sip your coffee while you’re shopping without getting the evil eye from a stuffy salesman. Shopping paradise!

And yet 92% of all retail purchases come from a brick and mortar store. Hard to believe when you hear all the hype about online shopping. You don’t have to be in the business to see it. Just watch the news on Black Friday and you’ll hear all about it. Last year, Black Friday online spending increased 15% setting a new dollar record of $1.2 billion. That’s huge. . . . ish but it’s not even close to what’s being spent in the stores.

The 3 L’s of online video: longer, live and logged in

Freewheel ad view growthVideo viewing in 2014 is all about the three L’s: longer, live and logged in.

FreeWheel’s newly released Video Monetization Report for Q2 2014 shows growth in just about every area including (and most importantly) ad views.

Ad views grew 17% year-over-year on short and mid-form videos. But look at the growth on long form – 35%! So much for short attention span theater.

That’s nothing compared to the growth in live ad views – 201% year-over-year. 81% of the views came from live sports broadcasts such as the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, and the World Cup. 9% was news and FreeWheel expects that percentage to rise with the coming election season.

They also noted a rise in live entertainment such as music festival simulcasts.

Yahoo and Amazon go after the small business business

ALR_Customer_Checkout_SalonAmazon and Yahoo are both diving deeper into the small business business with tools to help online and offline sellers. (While attempting to squash competitors in both areas.)

First is Amazon Local Register. This is point-of-sale gizmo that allows anyone to accept a credit card as payment. It’s a direct competitor to Square which I see being used in the brick-and-mortar world all the time.

The app doesn’t do anything the competitors don’t already do but Amazon Local Register is doing it for less money. Amazon is charging 2.5% on all transactions, Square charges 2.75%. If you sign up before October 31 you’ll get a drastically lower promotional rate of 1.75% percent per card swipe  until January 1, 2016.

Twitter and Pinterest have fun with video

twitter videoVideo may have killed the radio star but it’s doing wonders for online marketers! Today both Twitter and Pinterest have video-themed announcements.

First, Twitter rolls out Promoted Video Tweets. This is the paid version of the Twitter Video Card they began testing earlier this year. With this new, streamlined experience, Twitter skimmers can watch videos right in their feed with a single click. Naturally, this has led to more video views because who isn’t going to click when they see that tempting blue button?

Want more people to see your video? Simply pay to promote it and Twitter will insert it in millions of feeds all over the world. Or not. Because Twitter likes to play favorites and right now this option is only available to a select few.