Twitter Releases New Tools for Individuals and Marketers

Twitter is not playing around. This week, the company announced several new tools designed to make the user experience better for the average Tweeter and the markeTweeter.

Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of revenue broke the big news at the AdAge Digital Conference yesterday and it’s got folks all . . . dare I say. . “a twitter!”

The first big step is the inclusion of geo-relevant ad targeting. Up until now, promoted ads were either on or off. There was no way to target them to users in a specific location, even though Twitter has that information for every person who uses the service. But now, Twitter has geo-targeted ad opportunities available in 210 US cities and 100 countries with more locations coming soon.

YouTube Adds Channels as Part of Major Overhaul

NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CW and YouTube? The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a major YouTube overhaul that will have the site acting more like a TV network than a repository for random, user-generated videos.

The article says that YouTube is prepared to spend up to 100 million dollars on content created exclusively for the site. Content that goes beyond Rebecca Black’s “Friday, Friday” and endless hours of animals and babies doing funny things. What YouTube is after, is content that will have people tuning in week after week, just like they do for their favorite shows on TV.

Macquarie Predicts Solid Growth for Display Ads

Macquarie Capital has just published their Ad Tracker report for 1Q 2011 and believe it or not, it’s AOL that came out on top.

Twice per quarter, the company analyzes display advertising sales on the homepages of YAHOO, AOL, YouTube, and MSN. Looking at the data from the first quarter of 2011, AOL won the award for the most improved player.

The company had the highest proportion of Oversized/Custom ad units (ex YouTube) at 26%, and it also had the highest percentage of purely brand-focused advertisers (which we view as a positive indicator of ad quality).

AOL’s new Project Devil program didn’t make the splash they’d hoped for, but Macquarie says we should see more of these large interactive ads in the second quarter.

Can’t Get Enough Ads? There’s an App for That

You know how people are always saying, “I wish there was a way to view only ads without that pesky content getting in the way?”

Okay, no one says that, but you have to admit that advertising is sometimes the most interesting and creative thing on the page. Not here at Marketing Pilgrim, certainly, but other places. That’s why Apple has released the new iAd Gallery App.

With the iAd Gallery App, you can scroll through a list of engaging iAds and watch them do their stuff. Because everyone deserves credit, the agency responsible for the ad is listed when you tap, along with a short paragraph explaining the ad function.

They also offer a neato browse wheel so you can flip through ads like a wheel of fortune. It doesn’t do anything different than the side scrolling version, but it sure looks cooler.

Enter the IAB Seal of Approval

After many months of talk about a set of self-policing rules for digital marketers, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has finally launched their Ad Network & Exchange Quality Assurance Certification program.

The new IAB guidelines is a 35-page document that covers such topics as Acquiring Inventory, an Online Media Rating System, Data Disclosure and methods of handling customer complaints. Ad networks who agree to follow a published set of guidelines will receive what they refer to as “the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for digital marketing.”

For those of you born in the later half of the century, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval was awarded to products that were tested and approved by the popular homemaking magazine. It started in the early 1900′s and was a highly recognized symbol of trust through the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. If a product had that seal, then the consumer knew it was safe, reliable and a good buy.

Customer Insight Tops List of Social Media Expectations

When asked what they expected to get out of social media followers, most of the brand marketers surveyed went with insight over money.

eMarketer took a look at this July 2010 survey and they made this easy to read chart that you see here on the right.

As you can see, less than half of the respondents expected to see a short-term or long-term increase in sales due to social media. I’m sure they’d be happy to see that gain, but I expect the response was more about the reality not the hope.

The reality is that we don’t really know what kind of impact social media can have on brands because there just isn’t enough data. Many companies have tried to qualify the ROI per Facebook fan or Twitter follower, but the truth is we don’t have a solid way of quantifying social media behavior.

Netflix, WebMD Make the List of Most Successful Digital Media Companies

paidContent has put together a list of what they think are the Top 50 Most Successful Digital Media Companies in the US. They based their decisions on which companies were bringing in the most money from online content and online advertising (estimated at times) and on the company’s strategy and future.

Not surprisingly Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft took the top four places in that order. Fifth place went to Netflix with their estimated revenue of $1.5 billion-plus. Netflix recently lined up some big deals with the studios and now that they’re doing well with their streaming arm, the future looks very bright for this ground-breaker that is slowly clearing the field of all competition.