Tag Archive | "small-business"

LendingClub Founder Renaud Laplanche is coming to back to Disrupt

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Renaud LaPlanche, Lending Club

Kabbage partners with Scotiabank to provide small business loans in Canada and Mexico

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money-arrows

GoDaddy made an app for entrepreneurs to get feedback on their startup ideas

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GoDaddy, Location: Sunnyvale, CA, Architect: DES Architects

Instagram Becomes a Force for Mobile App Advertising (Report)

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Brands that tested the waters of Instagram advertising in its early days were rewarded for their efforts, according to a new report from Kenshoo.

The Facebook Marketing Partner found that advertisers’ share of clicks and application installs through advertising on Instagram in the fourth quarter of 2015 exceeded their shares of total ad spending, with clicks, installs and ad spend all demonstrating “considerable improvement” during the past two quarters.

Kenshoo found that app install ads on Instagram delivered more than 20 percent of all app install ad clicks during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Instagram also compared favorably with its parent company, as Kenshoo found that Instagram ads “consistently” cost less than Facebook ads, while delivering “nearly identical” click-through rates.

Kenshoo’s overall findings for mobile app advertising in the fourth quarter of 2015 included:

  • Total spending jumped 155 percent year-over-year, while mobile app installs soared 196 percent during the same time period, leading to a 14 percent drop in cost per install.
  • Impressions were up 187 percent year-over-year.
  • Clicks skyrocketed by 280 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 versus the year-ago period.
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) slipped 11 percent year-over-year.
  • Cost per click fell 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • CTRs rose 32 percent year-over-year.

Kenshoo director of marketing research Chris Costello said in a release introducing the report:

Marketers have embraced the influx of new ad types, publishers and tools to tailor their mobile app campaigns for success, but the evolution of the ecosystem is just beginning. Incorporating additional elements of the app experience, like in-app engagement and lifetime value, are the next steps for marketers in optimizing app campaigns to their specific goals and maximizing the app marketing opportunity.

Readers: What did you think of Kenshoo’s fourth-quarter-2015 findings?

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Twitter’s Revenue is Growing, But Site Lost 2 Million Users in Q4

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Twitter’s advertising efforts worked well in Q4 2015, but the company is having trouble retaining users — much less enticing new ones.

Twitter announced its Q4 2015 results Wednesday, showing that not counting SMS Fast Followers, monthly active users (MAUs) declined from 307 million in Q3 to 305 million in Q4. Year-over-year, this is only a 6 percent increase.

However, Twitter’s shareholders letter is quick to point out that they’ve seen January monthly active user levels rise back to Q3 levels. Impressively, mobile MAUs represented about 80 percent of total MAUs.

As of the end of January, we’ve seen MAUs return to Q3 levels. Confident in continued growth with disciplined execution. #TWTR

— TwitterIR (@TwitterIR) February 10, 2016

Advertisers have been much happier with Twitter’s progression. The company reported a Q4 revenue of $710 million — a year-over-year increase of 48 percent. Overall in 2015, Twitter’s revenues exceeded $2.2 billion. Ad engagement is up 153 percent, showing that users are reacting well to ads — no small feat.

Another huge announcement for Twitter: the company now has more than 130,000 active advertisers, a 90 percent year-over-year jump. In its shareholder letter, Twitter talked about the growth among its small business sector:

We expect that SMB growth will continue as we improve our product, making it faster and easier to run campaigns and improve our direct response tools. We are also very pleased by the growth in active users of our Tweet Analytics dashboard, where people can measure the performance of their organic Tweets and can choose to amplify that performance with our SMB ads product. In Q4, our Tweet Analytics dashboard had over 25 million active users, up 3x compared to Q3, creating a large and fast-growing pool of potential marketers to convert into SMB advertisers.

Still, arguably the most pressing problem facing Twitter is the stagnant user growth. In Q4, Twitter reported a total audience (taking into account MAUs and logged-out users) of 800 million. That means roughly 480 million people view Twitter content without logging in.

Through a sample experience on a log-out screen and an algorithmic Timeline setup, Twitter is bending over backwards to cater to users who are confused by the service.

In the shareholder letter, Twitter explained how they want to make the site easier and more intuitive to use:

Twitter is an iconic service and a globally recognized brand. We are going to fix the broken windows and confusing parts, like the .@name syntax and @reply rules, that we know inhibit usage and drive people away. We’re going to improve the timeline to make sure you see the best Tweets, while preserving the timeliness we are known for. The timeline improvement we announced just this morning has grown usage across the board (including Tweeting and Retweeting). We’re going to improve onboarding flows to make sure you easily find both your contacts and your interests. We’re going to make Tweeting faster while making Tweets more expressive with both text and visual media. We’re going to help people come together around a particular topic, such as our @NBA timelines experiences. Relentlessly refining Twitter will enable more people to get more out of Twitter faster.

Readers: How can Twitter make the site easier to use — without alienating core users?

Top image courtesy of Ellica / Shutterstock.com.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Valentine’s Day: Does Facebook Ad Spend Mirror Gift Purchases?

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Valentine’s Day falls on Feb. 14, but Feb. 11 is the key day for advertisers on Facebook, according to a new study from Nanigans.

The digital advertising automation software provider and Facebook Marketing Partner found that the number of daily Valentine’s Day purchases begins to rise significantly early in the week before the holiday, but ad spend doesn’t follow suit until Feb. 11.

Nanigans found that substantial increases in purchases occur Feb. 10 and, not surprisingly, Feb. 13, but advertisers seem to focus on the time in between. Also, despite a spike in purchases Feb. 9, ad spend did not go up accordingly.

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In a blog post revealing its findings, Nanigans said:

If there is a day outside of Christmas where a sizable percentage of Americans are expecting gifts, it’s Valentine’s Day. But unlike the holiday season, where most Americans make their purchases weeks or months in advance, U.S. purchase and ad spend data indicate that advertisers are most focused on—and see the best results from—last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers.

You may be wondering who exactly is driving this increase in relatively last-minute purchases. While females are responsible for the lion’s share of purchases throughout the year, looking at the increase in daily purchases largely confirms a long-held stereotype–males are indeed much more likely to shop last minute for Valentine’s Day as compared to females (hello, expedited shipping!)

For advertisers who have either shied away from spending on Valentine’s Day or haven’t looked to increase their spend over the holiday, the data underscores a tremendous opportunity in the e-commerce space. Consumers are decidedly in “purchasing mode” the week leading up to Feb. 14. Provided your offering could be construed as a Valentine’s Day gift (i.e., maybe not the time for a weight-loss product), it’s a great time to promote a targeted, seasonal message to spur conversions.

Readers: Are you a last-minute Valentine’s Day shopper?

Image of man with Valentine’s Day gift courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

Run Lead-Generation Ads on Facebook Early in the Week (Report)

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Brands using Facebook for lead-generation campaigns would be wise to strike often early in the week.

Digital advertising automation software provider Nanigans, a Facebook Marketing Partner, found that ad spending and conversions are highest on Sundays, and they remain relatively consistent through Wednesday, before slipping slightly during the remaining days of the week.

Not surprisingly, average costs per lead followed suit, coming in relatively lower earlier in the week and then rising Thursday and Friday, before coming back down over the weekend.

Nanigans also found that cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) for lead-generation advertisers has increased 30 percent since the first quarter of 2015, while Facebook advertisers using its platform have seen their CPMs rise 50 percent overall during that same time period.

The lead-generation ad sector is relying more on mobile, as Nanigans found that 80 percent of ad inventory in the category was mobile during the third and fourth quarters of 2015, compared with the overall U.S. mobile ad spend in the mid-70 percent range during the same period.

NanigansLeadGenerationDayOfWeek NanigansLeadGenerationConversionRate NanigansLeadGenerationCostPerLead

Lead-generation advertisers accounted for a larger share of total ad spend during the second and third quarters of 2015, according to Nanigans, which added of its findings:

Throughout 2016, many of these same marketplace trends will likely continue. Earlier in the week will remain the most active and lucrative days for lead generation on Facebook, with higher conversion rates and lower costs on a per-lead basis.

Advertisers focused on lead generation are especially data-driven, maximizing every chance for higher returns through testing, iteration and adaptation. With a high demand for leads across a wide spectrum of industries, it’s important to remember that performance will depend entirely on specific business conditions and campaign strategies.

However, new innovations will continue to influence campaign performance and unlock higher potential return on investment. Adoption of Facebook’s carousel ads for lead generation is growing significantly. Moving forward, Facebook will also continue to optimize its new lead ads, which streamline the form submission flow to help improve conversion rates. Finally, Facebook’s targeting options are always evolving to enable advertisers to do an even better job of finding, engaging and converting prospective leads.

Readers: What did you think of the findings by Nanigans?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Score Big on Twitter During #SB50

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The big number around the ad world this weekend is $5 million. That’s how much it’ll set you back to advertise on TV during Super Bowl 50 (though it’s too late to contact CBS now).

If you’re reading this, that’s probably a bit steep for you. But through social platforms like Twitter, small businesses can reach fans and customers hungry for content.

SocialTimes talked with Russ Laraway, Twitter’s head of small business, to find some ways that small businesses can succeed this weekend:

1. Find Your Audience

Super Bowl is a time where millions and millions of people around the world are sharing and reading content around a common theme. There’s plenty of opportunity for a small business to join this conversation.

If smaller brands take the time to find their audience, and use smart ad targeting, they can really get their message across, Laraway said:

The way to do this is to find the sweet spot. What we’re saying is to start with event targeting. This is a feature native to Twitter that allows you to identify and target everyone on the platform that’s tweeting about or engaging with tweets about the big game. That’s the place to start.

Laraway said to also use geo-targeting, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar business trying to reach people in your community. With the right mix of targeting, Twitter advertisers can find the audience most receptive to their messages.

2. Plan To Be Spontaneous

As odd as it sounds, this is something you should be doing when planning messaging around any big event. With every company still seeking that “Oreo Moment,” there are a few ways to plan ahead and be ready when something big happens.

Laraway suggested drafting some tweets and photos and even videos centered around moments you know will happen, such as kickoff, 2-minute warning, halftime show and the trophy presentation.

“I sniffed a butt and I liked it.” – #KatyPerry #Halftime #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/RlcsyVnIyH

— BarkBox (@barkbox) February 2, 2015

You can also create content around interceptions, touchdowns, penalties or anything else that might come up. That way, you’ll be ready after a quick copy change while your competitors are still scrambling in Photoshop. Laraway noted that one big advantage small companies have over the major ones is that they’re able to be more agile and take more risks. Use that to your advantage this Sunday.

3. Use Compelling Creative

Don’t go with boring stock photos, or images of past Super Bowls (your audience will be able to tell). Twitter has a rich content platform, allowing brands to use Twitter Cards, Vines, video, photos and polls to keep people engaged. Laraway told SocialTimes that SMBs shouldn’t be afraid to branch out and explore:

These are formats that allow SMBs to tell stories using sight, sound or motion, and in doing so, can promote their business or product. … Video, even more broadly, continues to be what really engages people on Twitter. Creating content and promoting it to the right audience through promoted video is another really big opportunity where you can expect to get a lot of engagement on your content.

Facebook Testing New Call-to-Action Buttons for Video Ads?

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Facebook appears to be experimenting with a different type of call-to-action button for video ads.

Reader Matteo Gamba shared this screenshot with SocialTimes, in which a “tap to go to this site” call-to-action button was overlaid atop a video ad, and Gamba said the button remained in place throughout viewing the video.

Readers: Have you seen anything similar?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

SocialCode: Spending on Facebook Video Ads Tops Photo Ads in Q3

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The third quarter of 2015 marked the first time spending on Facebook video ads topped spending on photo ads, according to SocialCode, a Facebook Marketing Partner.

SocialCode attributed the surge in video advertising by its clients to the social network’s introduction of target rating point buying for video ads, which enables advertisers to buy Facebook ads much in the same way they purchase spots on television.

The company found that video ads accounted for 29 percent of its clients’ Facebook ad spending in the third quarter, up from 23 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and from 14 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

SocialCode added that advertisers spent 206 percent more on Facebook video ads during the first three quarters of 2015 than during the same period in 2014.

Readers: Are you surprised that video ads are surging on Facebook?

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes | RSS Feed

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