Acast Open launches to give brands an on-ramp to podcasting

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Amy Gesenhues

The podcasting platform Acast has launched Acast Open, making available its podcast production offerings to any brand or publisher wanting to start a podcast. Acast Open includes three subscription models — Starter, Influencer and Ace — that come with different levels of support and analytics.

Why we should care

Adobe Analytics reported that podcast app usage grew 60% over the past year. Not only does this translate to new advertising opportunities for brands — the increase in podcast popularity opens the door for any company or executive ready to take their content marketing to a new level via a branded podcast.

“Digital audio brings a new and untapped audience who are not reachable via traditional media,” says Sally Yu, director of research and insights for BBC Global News’ APAC division, during a recent event organized by BBC News and Campaign Asia, “It brings additive value to the traditional media reach.” Outside of music streaming, the top three forms of audio content consumed right now are music (67%), news (50%) and podcasts (37%), according to a study commissioned by BBC News that focused on the commercial opportunities of branded podcasts.

If your brand — or CEO — has value to add to a larger industry conversation, a branded podcast may be the piece of content marketing that sets you apart from your competition and helps you reach a whole new audience. Platforms like Acast and Spotify’s “create a podcast” app aim to make it easier for brands to join the ever-growing list of podcasters.

More on the news

  • Acast reports that any podcasts produced on its platform that appear to be attracting “a significant enough listenership” may be invited to join its premium network of podcast shows.
  • Acast’s current network includes a number of popular podcasts, such as “My Dad Wrote a Porno,” “Forever35,” and “Wahlgren & Wistam.”
  • Acast Open is the result of Acast’s acquisition of Pippa, a technology platform that provides hosting, analytics, and monetization capabilities for podcasters. Acast purchased Pippa in April.
  • The free Starter model includes a podcast RSS feed for distribution, basic analytics and a basic website for the podcast. The Influencer level is $14.99 a month and comes with advanced analytics and YouTube and Spotify support. Ace, the most expensive offering at $29.99 a month, is designed for companies in need of more advanced podcasting tools.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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Shutterstock’s new music subscription offers affordable music licensing for content creators

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Amy Gesenhues

Shutterstock has launched an unlimited music subscription plan for content creators and digital marketers, offering more than 11,000 tracks that can be included in web-based content, including YouTube videos, podcasts and conference presentations.

The subscription fee is $149 per month, and includes access to the Shutterstock Music library with music tracks searchable by genre, mood or popularity. The company says its music selection has been curated by professional musicians, with hundreds of tracks added every month.

Why we should care

This latest offering from Shutterstock gives digital marketers and content creators the ability to spice up their content — putting a professional shine on things like podcast intros, YouTube ads or conference and trade show presentations. At $149 per month, it’s a cost-effective feature for marketers lacking the budget and resources to invest in high-end music productions for various projects.

“Our new unlimited licensing option empowers creators to license music as their needs arise and frees them to focus on the creative vision rather worrying about budget,” said Shutterstock VP of Product Christopher Cosentino.

Shutterstock is also adding “shorts” and “loops” music offerings to all of their licensing plans, making available shortened versions of a song (shorts) or segments of a longer song that repeats indefinitely (loops).

More on the news

  • The newly added shorts and loops come at no extra cost with all of Shutterstock plans. The shorts offer 15-second, 30-second and 60-second versions of songs.
  • Shutterstock now boasts a community of more than one million contributors, with hundreds of thousands of images added every week.
  • The image, video and now music licensing site has more than 280 million images and more than 16 million video clips available.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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Social Shorts: Twitter bans political ads, Facebook’s Preventive Health tool, new CMO at Tommy Hilfiger

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Amy Gesenhues

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Twitter reports an uptick in data requests. Between January and June of 2019, Twitter received 7,300 demands for user data, with the majority of requests coming from U.S. government agencies (2,120 demands for 4,150 accounts), reports TechCrunch. Requests for data was up 6% compared to the same time period last year, according to the company’s latest transparency report. “Twitter said it removed 124,339 accounts for impersonation, and 115,861 accounts for promoting terrorism, a decline of 30% on the previous reporting period,” writes TechCruch. Twitter has also added impersonation data and insight to the report, offering up numbers on actions taken against accounts posing as another person, brand or organization. During the first half of the year, Twitter said it took action against 124,339 accounts for violating its impersonation policy.

No more political ads on Twitter. If you missed Wednesday’s news, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter, minutes before Facebook’s earnings call, the company will stop allowing political ads on the platform. “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” tweeted Dorsey. The CEO said the company plans to share more on the final policy by November 15 and begin enforcing its ban on political ads November 22. The timing of Dorsey’s tweet — right before Facebook’s earnings call — was arguably an indirect dig at Facebook in light of its stance not to fact-check ads from politicians. Facebook argues its policy is about free speech, and that political ads will account for only 0.5% of its total revenue next year. 

Facebook files lawsuit against OnlineNIC. Facebook is suing OnlineNIC and its privacy/proxy service ID Shield for registering fraudulent domain names, such as www-facebook-login.com and facebook-mails.com that were created to look as if they were connected to Facebook. “By mentioning our apps and services in the domain names, OnlineNIC and ID Shield intended to make them appear legitimate and confuse people,” writes Facebook Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation Jessica Romero, “We don’t want people to be deceived, so we track and take action against suspicious and misleading domains, including those registered using privacy/proxy services that allow owners to hide their identity.” Facebook said there millions of such fraudulent domains, and that it actively reports such abuse to domain name registrars. But, in some instances, domain name registrars and privacy/proxy services fail to take down the domains. “This was the case with OnlineNIC and ID Shield, and that’s why we’ve taken this action to stop this type of domain name abuse,” writes Romero.

Sprout Social files to go public. The social media management platform Sprout Social has filed for its IPO, reports Crunchbase. Founded in 2010, the company currently has 23,000 customers in 100 countries per its S-1 filing, with the lion’s share of its revenue coming from software subscriptions. “The company estimates that the market opportunity for its product is $13 billion in the United States. And since about 30 percent of its revenue came from customers in other countries in 2018, Sprout believes the international opportunity is, at least, as large,” writes Crunchbase. Sprout Social revenue in 2018 was $78.8 million, up from $44.8 million the previous year.

Hootsuite and Proofpoint deliver compliance tool. Hootsuite and Proofpoint, a security and compliance company, have partnered to offer a real-time compliance verification feature for composing and publishing social media content via the Hootsuite composer platform. “This feature will put up the guardrails, and give our customers in regulated industries the confidence to empower their people to capitalize on the power of social media to achieve their business objectives, particularly around social selling,” said Hootsuite SVP of Product and Technology Ryan Donovan. The tool will be integrated into Hootsuite’s composer platform so that social media posts will be automatically screened — alerting Hootsuite users to common compliance policy violations as they type. Users will not be able to publish a social post until the violation is corrected.

Buffer adds scheduling feature for Instagram Stories. Earlier this month, the social media management tool Buffer rolled out a new feature that allows users to plan their Instagram Stories in advance, with the option to storyboard their posts, create draft captions, and schedule a reminder for posting for the Story. “We spent months talking to consumer brands that are using Stories as a key channel for their marketing, and found that there was a common theme; they were spending too much time navigating between tools to prepare their Stories, and scrambling to keep up with their audience’s appetite for regular content,” said Buffer Product Marketer Mike Eckstein. The feature is available on Buffer’s web application, as well as its iOS and Android apps. 

Facebook aims to keep users healthy. Facebook has rolled out a new Preventive Health Tool designed to connect users with health resources and check-up reminders. “To help you keep track of your checkups, we collect information you provide, such as when you set reminders or mark a screening as done. We also log more general activity, like frequency of clicks for a specific button, which allows us to understand how the tool is being used, in order to improve it over time,” wrote Facebook on its Newsroom Blog. Users will be able to set appointment reminders, schedule health tests and find affordable care using the Preventive Health tool. The company says recommendations for checkups offered by the tool are based on a user’s sex and age per their Facebook profile. At first glance, it looks like a helpful resource, but it’s worth noting just how much information you’re giving a platform that has never been all that good about keeping user data safe.

Employees want Facebook to change its ad policies. In response to Facebook’s policy of not fact-checking ads from politicians, a group of 250 Facebook employees signed a letter asking the company’s leaders to rethink how it handles political advertising, reports the New York Times. The employees said the policy is a “threat to what FB stands for” and that they “Strongly object to this policy as it stands.” The letter, which was posted on Facebook’s internal Workplace platform, was shared with the New York Times by three employees who asked not to be named. Facebook spokesperson Bertie Thomson told the New York Times, “Facebook’s culture is built on openness, so we appreciate our employees voicing their thoughts on this important topic. We remain committed to not censoring political speech, and will continue exploring additional steps we can take to bring increased transparency to political ads.”

Twitter confirms certain users will see more ads. Twitter has confirmed that users with high follower counts may be seeing more ads in their timeline. The company sent the following statement to Marketing Land when asked about the uptick in ads for certain users: “Historically, people with high follower counts have seen fewer ads. Recently, we’ve taken a more consistent approach of showing ads to everyone who uses Twitter and as a result, people with higher follower counts will notice an increase in the number of ads they’re seeing.” When asked what it deems a “high follower count,” Twitter would not divulge any numbers.

On the Move

Michael Scheiner has been named chief marketing officer for the Tommy Hilfiger. The retail brand says Scheiner will be tasked with bringing the company into a “new era of innovative marketing strategies” across digital and experiential platforms, aiming to reach the next generation of shoppers. Tommy Hilfiger CEO Daniel Grieder said he believes Scheiner will help fuel the company’s ongoing digital transformation. “I am excited to work closely with Tommy, Daniel and the company’s talented marketing teams around the world to write the next chapter,” said Scheiner. Before joining the company, Scheiner was the SVP of global marketing for Hollister Co.

Nationwide has promoted Ramon Jones to chief marketing officer. He has been with the insurance company for nearly 20 years and will be replacing Terrance Williams who announced he will be leaving the company in November. Jones will report to Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker and will oversee brand and marketing strategy, creative services, social media and corporate communications. “During his nearly two decades at Nationwide, he has held numerous leadership roles in the business and in marketing that make him uniquely qualified to promote and protect the Nationwide brand and position him to drive further business success,” said Walker about Jones’ appointment to CMO. Jones most recently served as Nationwide’s financial services marketing leader.

Beyond Meat has recruited Stuart Kronauge to serve as its chief marketing officer. The producer of plant-based burgers is bringing on Kronauge to help advance product sales in retail stores and build partnerships with more restaurants open to vegan offerings. Kronauge comes to Beyond Meat from Coca-Cola where she was employed for more than 20 years. Kronauge is credited with the resurgence of Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta product lines during her time at the company. She will officially join Beyond Meat in January, 2020. 

Jeff Herzog has been appointed chairman and CEO of the digital marketing agency ZD3. “I am excited to be back in the industry as the CEO of ZD3 and grateful to my team and clients that continue to support our innovation and drive forward into rapidly expanding and changing digital landscape,” said Herzog. Prior to being named CEO, Herzog founded ZOG Digital in 2011. That agency was acquired by Inventis Digital in 2017. He is also the founder and former CEO of iCrossing before it was purchased in 2010 by Hearst Magazine.

Toronto-based agency SDI Marketing has named Tom Sorotschynski vice president. He will be tasked with driving the agency forward and report to Senior Vice President Kim Harland. “His passion for emerging technologies and understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape allows him to create programs that are all-encompassing and truly connect consumers to brands,” said Harland. Sorotschynski most recently served as the vice president and general manager for Traffik & 5Crowd agencies owned by Sgsco, a global collective of brand agencies.

BrandStar, a full-service production and marketing agency, has hired Bradley Saveth to fill the newly created VP of strategic partnerships role. “Saveth joins BrandStar with a wealth of relationships, experience, and expertise to match clients with strategic opportunities and expand the agency’s global footprint,” said BrandStar CEO Mark Alfieri. Before joining BrandStar, Saveth launched two startups: goCharge and Vital Motion. He most recently was the president of Big Salad Consulting. During his career, Saveth has worked with a number of consumer brands, including Verizon, Wells Fargo, Wendy’s and more.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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Social Shorts: LinkedIn refreshes Daily Rundown and Facebook’s VP of Ads exits company

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Amy Gesenhues

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Facebook makes space for news. Facebook has confirmed to Marketing Land it will not be placing ads in its newly introduced News tab, but publishers will still be able to monetize their content as usual with Instant Articles and other options.

The Washington Post first reported Facebook would be launching a news tab on the platform. Sources told the paper that the news stories featured in the tab will include articles from hundreds of news organizations, some of which will receive payment from Facebook for their content.

“Facebook’s service will include some human curation by a small editorial team of journalists, who will select top stories. But mostly the News tab will rely on computerized algorithms that seek to match user interests with offerings from a wide range of reports on politics, sports, health, technology, entertainment and other subjects,” reports the Washington Post. 

The Washington Post listed itself among the approximately 200 news organizations that will be included in the launch.

Other publications named by sources include the Wall Street Journal (which is owned by News Corp.), Business Insider, BuzzFeed News and local news publications. Sources told the Washington Post that the New York Times was also likely to participate, but terms had not been finalized. According to the report, payments by Facebook to news organizations will range from “hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.”

New look for LinkedIn’s Daily Rundown. LinkedIn has redesigned its Daily Rundown, the platform where the site curates news stories selected by an internal team of editors. The redesign includes new navigation that makes it easier for users to move between stories and go deeper into specific topics. By clicking on a headline within the Daily Rundown, users will be able to see conversations happening on the platform about the story. The site has also started a pilot program allowing users to subscribe to regularly published pieces by industry thought leaders. LinkedIn mentioned two available newsletters: the “Get Hired” newsletter and one called “The Hustle” — both offering insights into the job hunt and professional goals. Users who have access to the pilot program can find more newsletters by clicking the “Newsletters Related to Your Industry” option under the “My Network” tab.

TikTok touts its safety measures. The short-form video app TikTok, which boasts more than 500 million users, has released a second set of videos that are part of its “You’re in Control” video series, highlighting the platform’s safety and privacy features. “Educating our users on the options we provide to help them craft their optimal TikTok experience is one of our top priorities,” writes TikTok on its newsroom blog. The company has enlisted 12 of its most popular creators to produce videos on six different topics, including how to block a user, how to filter comments, reporting inappropriate behavior and how to disable or enable the duet feature which allows two videos to be posted side-by-side in the same screen. 

Majority of political tweets come from only 10% of users. After analyzing a random sample of tweets from U.S. adults with public accounts, Pew Research found the majority of political tweets are made by a very small segment of users. According to their findings: 97% of tweets mentioning national politics came from only 10% of users. Those who are tweeting about politics are also more likely to follow others who feel the same way they do. “Political tweeters – defined as those who tweeted at least five times in total, and at least twice about national politics, over the year of the study period – are almost twice as likely as other Twitter users to say the people they follow on Twitter have political beliefs similar to their own,” writes Pew Research.

Facebook’s latest efforts to safeguard elections

Facebook is doing some crisis control this week after receiving much criticism for how it handles political content and advertising on the platform — allowing candidates to run ads containing false information. The company announced a number of new updates to its Ad Library, launched the Facebook Protect program and made Pages more transparent. None of these updates reverse the company’s decision that, as the Washington Post put it: “Opens a frightening new world for political communication — and for national politics.” 

Here’s a rundown of the company’s recent moves to keep its platform safe during elections:

Updates to Ad Library offer more insight into political ads. Facebook’s Ad Library, the platform that archives all ads run on the platform during the past seven years, will now include a feature that tracks spending by U.S. presidential candidates. Facebook is also adding spend details for candidate campaigns at the state and regional level, and clarification around where the ad ran: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Facebook’s Audience Network. Starting next month, Facebook said it will begin testing a new database that allows researchers to download the entire ad library and pull daily snapshots to track day-to-day changes.

Facebook Protect: A program to keep political accounts safe. Launched this week, Facebook Protect is designed to secure Facebook and Instagram accounts belonging to candidates, elected officials, federal and state departments and agencies, and party committees in the U.S. Participants must enroll to be part of the program, and once accepted, will receive advanced security protections and monitoring for potential hacking threats.

“If we discover an attack against one enrolled individual, we can review and protect other accounts that are enrolled in our program and affiliated with that same campaign,” writes Facebook on the Facebook Protect website, “Additionally, all Page admins of enrolled Pages will be required to go through Page Publishing Authorization to ensure the security of the Page, regardless of whether or not individual Page admins choose to enroll in this program.”

To enroll, Page owners must already have received the blue-verified badge. Once a Page has been verified it can enroll via the form listed at the bottom of the Facebook Protect site.

More transparency for political Pages. Facebook is adding an “Organizations that Manage This Page” tab to Pages to clarify what organizations are behind political Pages on the platform. The tab will list the organization’s legal name and verified city, phone number or website. For now, this information will only be included for Pages with large U.S. audiences that have already completed Facebook’s business verification process and any Pages that have been authorized to run ads about social issues, elections or politics in the U.S.

“If we find a Page is concealing its ownership in order to mislead people, we will require it to successfully complete the verification process and show more information in order for the Page to stay up,” writes Facebook executives Guy Rosen, Nathaniel Gleicher and Rob Leathern on the company’s Newsroom Blog.

On the Move

Rob Goldman, Facebook’s VP of ads, announced on Twitter that Tuesday was his last day at the company: “Some personal news: After more than 7 years, today is my last day at Facebook. What I will miss most are the people, who are among the smartest and most talented I’ve ever met. I wish them all the very best in their important work.” wrote Goldman. He first joined Facebook in 2012, and was named director of product ads and Pages in 2014.

Twitch, the Amazon-owned game streaming site, has named Doug Scott as its new chief marketing officer. He is replacing Kate Jhaveri, Twitch’s former CMO who left the company earlier this year. “Doug has deep experience extending brands into new markets across games and entertainment industries, making him the ideal fit to lead Twitch’s marketing strategy,” said Twitch COO Sara Clemens. Prior to joining Twitch, Scott led marketing for the social gaming platform Zynga and was CMO for the music startup BandPage. 

Hyundai Motors has hired Angela Zepeda as its next chief marketing officer. Zepeda will oversee all U.S. marketing and advertising efforts for the automaker, including strategic direction, brand development, national and regional advertising, experiential and social marketing, lead gen and more. “Angela was already a member of our extended family and we’ve seen firsthand her creativity, business acumen and talent in building our brand and leading teams,” said Hyundai COO Brian Smith. Prior to joining the company, Zepeda was the senior vice president and managing director of INNOCEAN USA, Hyundai’s agency of record.

Heidi Bullock has been named chief marketing officer for Tealium, a customer data orchestration platform. CEO Jeff Lunsford called Bullock a fantastic addition to the team. “Heidi will undoubtedly help us expand our market position in a high growth market and continue to solidify us as a global leader in the industry,” said Lunsford. Prior to joining Tealium, Bullock most recently served as the CMO for Engagio. She also held the role of group vice president of global marketing at Marketo.

The marketing performance management platform Allocadia has hired Julia Stead as the new chief marketing officer and added John Stetic to its Board of Directors. Stead will focus on working with Allocadia clients, guiding marketing leaders in developing strategy, investing intelligently and optimizing their marketing investment results. “I’m thrilled to be joining a team that is focused on helping other marketers achieve the same growth I’m passionate about driving for my own company,” said Stead. Before joining Allocadia, Stead was the VP of marketing at Invoca. Stetic, a veteran in the martech product industry, currently serves as the senior VP of innovation and partnerships at ServiceMax.

BitPay, a global blockchain payments provider, has appointed Bill Zielke as the company’s first chief marketing officer. In his new role, Zielke will be tasked with executing marketing strategy that supports BitPay’s growth objectives, building a strong business and consumer brand, and cultivating an increased awareness around cryptocurrency and its use. “We realized we needed a seasoned marketer to advance the company to the next level. We are excited to have Bill on board as we attract more users to BitPay and drive greater merchant acceptance of cryptocurrencies,” said CEO Stephen Pair. Zielke’s former marketing leadership roles include time at Ingo Money and Forter, serving as CMO at both venture-backed startups.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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Social Shorts: LinkedIn Events, Facebook Story Ad templates and Pinterest Lite

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Amy Gesenhues

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Event planning on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has rolled out a new Events feature that makes it easy to create and share event announcements. The feature can be found in the “Community” panel on the  left side of the newsfeed, and allows users to enter their event description, date, time, venue and invite connections using filters such as location, company, industry and school. “You’ll be able to seamlessly create and join professional events, invite your connections, manage your event, have conversations with other attendees, and stay in touch online after the event ends,” writes Ajay Datta, LinkedIn India’s head of product. Once an event is posted, users can track attendees, post updates and interact with the users they have invited. Users who have accepted an event invite on the platform will be able to see their events under the “My Network” tab. 

Twitter defends its policies for world leaders. Twitter is defending its policies for allowing content from world leaders that may otherwise be prohibited. After listing enforcement scenarios for why it may remove a Tweet from a political figure, such as “promotion of terrorism” and “Clear and direct threats of violence against an individual,” the company goes on to say, “We will err on the side of leaving the content up if there is a clear public interest in doing so.” The company said it understands why users want clear yes/no decisions regarding what’s allowed, but that it’s not that simple: “Our mission is to provide a forum that enables people to be informed and to engage their leaders directly.” 

Reddit pushes back against lawmakers. On Wednesday, executives from Reddit, Google and the Electronic Frontier Foundation took questions from Congress about possible modifications to the 1996 Communications Decency Act currently being considered by lawmakers, specifically Section 230 of the law which gives social media platforms immunity from being held responsible for content posted by users. “Lawmakers from both major political parties have said Congress could make additional changes to the law to restrict companies’ immunity,” reports Reuters. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman published his comments to Congress on Reddit’s Upvoted blog, explaining why Section 230 is critical to the company: “Reddit uses a different model of content moderation from our peers — one that empowers communities — and this model relies on Section 230. I’m here because even small changes to the law will have outsized consequences for our business, our communities, and what little competition remains in our industry.” 

An easier way to create Story Ads. Facebook is launching customizable templates for Story ads that can be used across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. The templates allow advertisers to choose from a variety of layouts once they have uploaded their creative assets to Ads Manager, and come with editing tools to select background color, text and cropping options. “We’re making it easier for businesses of any size to create for fullscreen vertical stories placements,” writes Facebook on its business blog. Streetbees reported a 40% increase in incremental app installs and a 29% reduction in cost per incremental app click when using the new templates.

Instagram launches new data-security features. Instagram is giving users more control over their data with a new feature that allows them to remove third-party apps connected to their account. Under the account “Settings” page in the app, users will be able to click on “Security” to find the “Apps and Websites” option. From there, users can remove any third-party apps to keep them from accessing their data. The social media platform is also launching an authorization screen that will list all the information a third-party app is requesting to access. Users will have the option to cancel access to their data directly from the authorization screen. Unfortunately, it may take some time before all users have access to the new features — Instagram reports they will be rolling out over the next six months.

Reddit opens up its content to Snapchat. Reddit announced a new Snapchat integration, making it easy for users who have Snapchat downloaded on their mobile device to share Reddit posts on the app. “Simply tap the ‘share’ icon on an image, text or link-based post on Reddit’s iOS app and select the Snapchat option. Then choose a few friends to send the post to, or add it to your Story,” writes Reddit on its Upvoted Blog. Once posted to Snapchat, the content will include a sticker with the Reddit logo and source information. This is the first content-sharing integration for Reddit. Sharable content is limited to posts from “Safe for Work” communities and communities in good standing on the platform. At launch, the feature is only available on iOS, but will be rolling out on Android devices soon.

More bad news for Facebook Libra. Things are not looking good for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project. Last week, PayPal announced it was pulling its participation in the network, and now eBay, Stripe, Visa and Mastercard are following suit. According to Gizmodo, the only two remaining payment platform partners are Mercado Pago and PayU. Visa said it would continue to evaluate the project and that its ultimate decision would based on the Libra Association’s ability to meet regulatory expectations.

“Visa’s continued interest in Libra stems from our belief that well-regulated blockchain-based networks could extend the value of secure digital payments to a greater number of people and places, particularly in emerging and developing markets,” a Visa spokesperson told CNBC. When Facebook initially launched the Libra Association, it had 28 companies that had agreed to be part of the group. That number is now at 22 — with each member agreeing to pay a $10 million fee to be part of the association and have voting rights. The Libra Association is scheduled to meet next week in Geneva to review the charter and appoint board members, reports CNBC.

Pinterest Lite. Pinterest is taking efforts to make sure its platform is available to users in emerging markets. The company launched its Pinterest Lite app last week, offering users an app that downloads faster and takes up less space on their mobile device. This is the second go at offering a Lite version of the app — according to TechCrunch, a Pinterest Lite app was pulled from Google Play last year. The latest Lite app is the result of a project that Pinterest started in July of 2017 when it formed a team tasked with rewriting its mobile web app from scratch as a progressive web app, reports TechCrunch. The new app is designed to offer a better user experience for people in low-bandwidth environments on limited data plans.

Facebook holiday preparations. Facebook is rolling out new Story Ad templates across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger in time for holiday promotions. “We know businesses have limited resources and time, and it may not always be possible to create new assets for ad campaigns. So we’re making it easier for businesses of all sizes to create vertical, full-screen assets,” writes Facebook on its News Blog. For Messenger, the company is rolling out instant replies in the coming weeks so that businesses can automatically respond to customer communications and create saved replies for commonly asked questions. It is also making it possible to set up an “away message” in Messenger for when a business is closed. 

New Twitter app for Mac users. After sunsetting its Mac desktop client last year, Twitter has launched a new Twitter app for Macs, but it is only available on the latest version of macOS Catalina. Twitter reported in June its plans to take advantage of Apple’s Mac Catalyst, a toolset that allows developers to bring iPad apps to the Mac desktop, reports TechCrunch. “Twitter had been one of the more highly anticipated Catalyst apps,” writes TechCrunch, citing that many users were left to rely on third-party apps, like TweetDeck or paid applications like Twitterific 5 or Tweetbot 3, when Twitter stopped offering its Mac desktop app. According to TechCrunch, the new app is free and the interface is consistent with the rest of Twitter’s platform apps, but the timeline doesn’t refresh in real-time. 

On the Move

The Minneapolis-based TV ad agency Marketing Architects has hired Marin Suska as its new VP of client growth. Suska was the agency’s former director of media services and is now returning after serving in various marketing roles at multiple agencies, including Haworth Marketing + Media, The Nerdery and Digital River. “Marketing Architects is a different agency than the one I knew working on the media team years ago,” said Suska, “The strategic nature of how this agency does business with clients, the colossal shift from radio to TV, and the greater goals lying ahead all played a role in my interest in returning to be a part of something big.”

Richard Nicoll has been named chief commerce officer and managing director at Liquid Omnicommerce, a Dubai-based retail consultancy. In his new role, Nicoll will be responsible for driving regional growth and enhancing the agency’s offerings. “He is the real pioneer of shopper marketing in the UAE,” said Liquid Omnicommerce Founder Sachinnn Laala, “With a wealth of experience in highly competitive global markets, the insights he will bring will benefit our clients tremendously.” Before joining Liquid Commerce, Nicoll served as the chief shopper marketing officer for Publicis Communications in Asia. Marketsmith Inc., a woman-owned marketing agency in New Jersey has added three new hires to its executive team this month.

Jo Maggiore has joined the agency as Creative Director, Samantha Foy has been named senior director of digital media and Rachel Schulties is the new VP of client performance. “We have brought in strong, accomplished women who each bring something unique to us, but all embrace data, analytics and modeling,” said Marketsmith President Rob Bochicchio, “More importantly, these leaders have made their mark with great clients and bring that expertise to Marketsmith to take outcomes for our client partners to a whole new level.” Before joining the agency, Maggiore was the director of digital creative at GNC. Foy previously worked at Active International and Schulties was in managed services at Digital Media Solution.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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You can’t advertise that: The big list of prohibited ads across social and search platforms

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Amy Gesenhues

Part of managing successful ad campaigns involves knowing what types of ad content is disallowed and what’s restricted across the social and search ad landscape. Most prohibited content (counterfeit goods, illegal products and services, etc.) and restricted content (political ads, alcohol, etc.) follows similar standards from one platform to the next, but each company has its own set of rules.

For the marketers who are often tasked with getting ad campaigns up and running in a moment’s notice, knowing what ad content may be blocked by an automatic system could be a lifesaver for the social media ad manager who spends her time in the trenches, uploading creative, setting ad filters and waiting for approval.

Across all social and search ad platforms, the standard rules apply for prohibited ads: no promoting counterfeit goods, tobacco, illegal products or services. No promotions that include trademark or copyright infringement or fraudulent and deceptive practices. Restricted ad content – ads you can run, but with certain limitations – are a bit more varied from platform to platform. Some platforms make their rules easy to follow or refrain from getting too much into the minutiae of things, while others are very specific. The following list gives marketers a general idea of each platforms prohibited and restricted ad guidelines, while also calling out the more unique policies from site to site.

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook’s prohibited ad content across its family of apps includes the standards: no ads promoting illegal products or services, tobacco products or firearms and weapons. It also prohibits ads for surveillance equipment or any ad content that includes third-party infringement (no ads that violate copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary rights).  

But there are a few topics worth noting. For example, the company does not allow ads that lead to a non-functioning landing page, “This includes landing page content that interferes with a person’s ability to navigate away from the page.” You cannot advertise for payday loans, paycheck advancement services or bail bonds. And here’s one that makes anyone wonder if there was a specific instance that inspired the rule: Facebook does not allow the sale of body parts.

For restricted content, advertisers wanting to promote online dating services must receive permission from the platform before running ads, same with political and issue-related ads and cryptocurrency products and services. Promotions around gambling, state lotteries, OTC drugs and online pharmacies also come with restrictions.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs in the U.S. must first be certified via LegitScript before they can apply to run ads on Facebook’s platforms. And ads for weight loss products and plans must be targeted to users age 18 years and older.

Google and YouTube

Google
has recently taken efforts to simply
and standardize its content policies
. It didn’t actually change or updates
its rules around allowed and disallowed ads, but instead, reorganized how it
presents content policies and restrictions across AdSense, AdMob and Ad
Manager.

“One consistent piece of feedback we’ve heard from our publishers is that they want us to further simplify our policies, across products, so that they are easier to understand and follow,” wrote Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads Scott Spencer on the Inside AdSense blog.

Google keeps its prohibited and restricted ads general, outlining a high-level over view of what’s prohibited and what’s restricted. Prohibited ad content includes:

  • Counterfeit
    goods
  • Dangerous
    products or services
  • Ads
    that enable dishonest behavior
  • Inappropriate
    content

Google
also separates out ad practices it prohibits: abusing the ad network,
misrepresentation and data collection and use (“Our advertising partners should
not misuse this information, nor collect it for unclear purposes or without
appropriate security measures”).

The company’s list of restricted ad content is more comprehensive, but still stays within the usual parameters without any odd items – like human body parts. Google’s restricted content ad policies include:

  • Adult content
  • Alcohol
  • Copyrights
  • Gambling and games
  • Healthcare and medicines
  • Political content
  • Financial services
  • Trademarks
  • Legal requirements (all ads must comply with the laws and regulations pertaining to the location where the ad is displayed).

Google keeps its ad policies at a high-level for the most part, a tactic that gives the company more control to decide on a case-by-case basis what’s allowed and what’s not.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a Microsoft-owned platform, but its prohibited and restricted ad policies are separate from the rules outlined for Microsoft and Bing. In addition to the usual disallowed content, LinkedIn’s list of prohibited ads has some interesting entries. For example, the site does not allow ads for downloadable ringtones and occult pursuits (“Ads for fortune telling, dream interpretations and individual horoscopes are prohibited, except when the emphasis is on amusement rather than serious interpretation”).

Also, instead of having restrictive measures around political ads, LinkedIn prohibits any political ad content, same as its parent company: no ads advocating for or against a political candidate or promoting ballot propositions.

LinkedIn’s restricted ad content includes the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Animal products
  • Dating services
  • Soliciting funds
  • Medical devices
  • Short-term loans and financial services.

One
side note about LinkedIn’s ad policies, the company specifically states that it
prohibits ads that are offensive to good taste. “This means ads must not be,
for example, hateful, vulgar, sexually suggestive or violent. In special circumstances,
LinkedIn may determine that an ad that was acceptable is no longer appropriate
as we update our policies to reflect new laws or clarify our position.”

Microsoft (Bing)

Microsoft’s disallowed and restricted ad policies, which include rules for Bing search ads, can be confusing to follow. The company has published a one-page list of “Restricted and disallowed content policies,” but within that page are links to more detailed pages for “Disallowed Content Policies” and “Disallowed and restricted products and services policies.

Microsoft disallows any election related content, political parties, candidates and ballot measures. Ads promoting fundraising efforts for political candidates, parties, PACs and ballot measures are also prohibited.

As with other platforms, Microsoft doesn’t allow weapons to be advertised on its platforms. This includes firearms and ammunition, but also knives: “Knives that are positioned as weapons or whose primary use is violence, including switchblade knives, disguised knives, buckle knives, lipstick case knives, air gauge knives, knuckle knives and writing pen knives.”

In Brazil, India and Vietnam, Microsoft does not allow advertising that promotes infant feeding products such as baby formula, feeding bottles, rubber nipples or baby food of any kind.

To get a clear understanding of Microsoft’s disallowed ads versus the ads that can run but only with restrictions, advertisers need to review the company’s “Restricted and disallowed content policies” — as opposed to its “Disallowed Content Policies” page — where it outlines specific rules and regulations.

Pinterest

Pinterest’s prohibited ad content guidelines follows the standard themes. No ads for:

  • Drugs
    and paraphernalia
  • Endangered
    species and live animals
  • Illegal
    products and services
  • Counterfeit
    goods
  • Sensitive
    content
  • Tobacco
  • Unacceptable
    business practices
  • Weapons
    and explosives

Pinterest
defines “Sensitive content” as anything it deems divisive or disturbing. For
example, language or imagery that is offensive or profane, excessively violent
or gory, vulgar or sickening or politically, culturally or racially divisive or
insensitive. It also does not allow content that capitalizes on controversial
or tragic events – or references to sensitive health and medical conditions.

Pinterest does not allow any “Adult and nudity content” in ads on its platform. Also, ads containing clickbait are disallowed. Like LinkedIn, it prohibits political campaign ads.

The company keeps its list of restricted ad content simple with a detailed outline of what it will and won’t allow around its restricted content. For example, ads that include contests, sweepstakes and Pinterest incentives are restricted. Advertisers are asked not to require users to save a specific image or suggest that Pinterest in any way sponsors or endorses the promotion. It does state specifically that advertisers are not allowed to promote anything that, “Directs people to click on Pinterest buttons to get money, prizes or deals.”

Pinterest’s other restricted ad content includes:

  • Alcohol
  • Financial
    products and services (ads promoting cryptocurrencies and payday loans are
    prohibited)
  • Gambling
    products and services (no ads for lotteries, gambling gaming apps or gambling
    websites)
  • Healthcare
    products and services

In
terms of its healthcare related ads, Pinterest does allow ads promoting products
like eyeglasses or content lenses, Class I and II medical devices and OTC,
non-prescription medicines. It does not allow ads for weight loss or appetite
suppressant pills and supplements or promotions that claim unrealistic cosmetic
results.

Reddit

Reddit’s
list of prohibited and restricted list of ads follows suit with the other
social platforms. Disallowed ads include promotions for counterfeit goods,
hazardous products or services, illegal or fraudulent products or services and
more of the same standard policies. It states specifically that advertisers are
prohibited from using inappropriate targeting: “All targeting must be relevant,
appropriate, and in compliance with relevant legal obligations of the
advertiser.”

Reddit does not allow advertisements for addiction treatment centers and services, it does not accept advertising pertaining to political issues, elections or candidates outside of the U.S. It has a very specific list of financial services and products that are disallowed, including bail bonds, payday loans, debt assistance programs, cryptocurrency wallets, credit and debit cards, and “get rich quick schemes.”

Any
advertiser wanting to promote gambling-related services must have their ads
manually approved and certified by Reddit: “In order to be approved, the
advertiser must be actively working with a Reddit Sales Representative.” This
does not include ads for gaming promotions where nothing of value is exchanged,
gambling-related merchandise or hotel-casinos where the ad is focused on the
hotel.

And
while Reddit does allow ads for dating sites, apps and services, it prohibits
any centered on infidelity, fetish communities or any that discriminate by excluding
persons of specific races, sexualities, religions or political affiliations.

Snapchat

Snapchat’s
prohibited ads include the usual suspects, but there are also entries that
appear to be designed because of its younger audience. For example, the
platform states specifically that it does not allow ads that, “Encourage
Snapping and driving or other dangerous behaviors.”

Also, it disallows ads intended to “shock the user” and no ads for app installs from sources other than the official app store for the user’s device. Other prohibited ads include any promotions that involve:

  • Infringing
    content
  • Deceptive
    content
  • Hateful
    or discriminatory content
  • Inappropriate
    content

Snapchat’s
restricted ads for alcohol include a list of 18 countries where alcohol ads
cannot be placed. Alcohol ad campaigns that run in allowed countries must not appeal
particularly to minors or encourage excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.
They must also refrain from glamorizing alcohol, “Or otherwise misrepresent the
effects of consuming alcohol.” Snapchat requires alcohol advertisers to include
warning labels such as “Please drink responsibly” within their ad copy.

Also,
alcohol promotions must be targeted to users who meet the legal drinking age
requirement within the country where the ads run. The same goes for gambling and
lottery related ads – they must be targeted to users who meet the legal age
requirement to gamble.

Same
as Reddit, Snapchat allows ads for dating services, but they must be targeted
to users age 18 and over, and cannot include provocative, overtly sexual
content or reference prostitution. Also, Snapchat does not allow ads that
promote infidelity.

Many
of Snapchat’s restrictive ad policies are by country. For example, it only
permits targeting lottery-related ads to 14 countries, including Brazil, Iraq,
Italy, Poland and Russia – but not the U.S. Snapchat does not permit targeting
ads for online dating services to Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Advertisers cannot target ads for OTC
medicines in Columbia, Iraq, Lebanon, Romania, Spain and Turkey. It also does
not permit targeting ads for condoms in Bahrain, Ireland, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Monaco, Oman, Poland and Qatar.

In
other words, if you are an advertiser managing multiple ad campaigns for
various brands across multiple countries, you probably should bookmark Snapchat’s
ad restrictions page.

Twitter

Twitter’s
list of prohibited and restricted ads are arguably the easiest to follow. There
are no out of the ordinary ads disallowed on the platform, and its restrictive
policies are the same standard rules applied across the social ad landscape.

The one area where Twitter distinguishes its policies from other platforms is by stating specifically that it prohibits ads promoting malware products and has restrictions around promotions for software downloads.

It’s worth noting that the ad content policies listed here for each of the platforms are as they stand now, but social platforms have a history of regularly changing their ad content policies. This has happened most notably during the past year and a half with political advertisements. Facebook has gone back and forth with its rules around cryptocurrency ads, totally banning the ads in January, 2018 and then reversing its policies six months later. It wasn’t until last year Facebook began implementing ad targeting restrictions for weapon accessory ads to users 18 years and older.

As ad policies change across platforms, Marketing Land will be sure to update our list.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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Spotify’s rumored ‘Create a podcast’ feature could be a valuable resource for marketers

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Amy Gesenhues

Spotify is rumored to be launching a “Create a podcast” button within its app that will allow users to record, edit and publish podcasts using the Anchor podcast creation app, according to Engadget. The feature was first spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who shared images of the “Create a podcast” button in the Spotify app via her Twitter account on Tuesday.

Spotify purchased Anchor in February; Wong noted that Anchor’s website included a product page for the Spotify feature.

Why you should care

The ability to produce and publish a podcast via Spotify’s app could open up a brand new marketing channel for SMBs and brands with limited resources and budgets.

Podcasts are booming business. Best-selling author and marketing veteran Seth Godin recently reported that 25% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts, on average, for six-and-a-half hours per week. “There is no other medium I am aware of that has grown at that pace with the exception of browsing the internet,” said Godin during his podcast on the topic (aptly titled “Meta”).

An Adobe Analytics report from earlier this month revealed mobile podcast app usage had increased 60% year-over-year since January, 2018 — and that 25% of podcast listeners had purchased a product discovered through podcast advertising.

By giving creators an easy-to-use podcast creation tool on top of its distribution platform — paired with its recently launched podcast analytics dashboard — Spotify is providing marketers the opportunity to tip their toe in the ever-growing pool of podcasts without the financial burden or risk of a large-scale initiative.

More on the news

  • Spotify’s podcast analytics dashboard allows creators to upload their podcasts to see listener demographic and engagement data.
  • Along with the Anchor podcast creation app, Spotify acquired Gimlet Media, a podcast development company.
  • At the time of the Anchor/Gimlet Media acquisitions, CEO Daniel Elk said he believed the podcast industry was positioned to become, “Significantly larger when you add internet-level monetization to it.”

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator will now surface more content for sales teams to share

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Amy Gesenhues

Among the quarterly product updates released Wednesday in LinkedIn Sales Navigator are more features for discovering and managing leads, a redesigned Help Center and an integration with its content-sharing app Elevate.

Bringing more content into Sales Navigator. LinkedIn first launched Elevate — an app designed to help users curate and share content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook — in 2015. Now, Sales Navigator users who also use the Elevate app will receive alerts on their Sales Navigator homepage when new content is available.

Users will be able to access the content without having to log into Elevate, and then share it on LinkedIn as well as Twitter and Facebook.

“Marketers will still be able to control what content they’d like to see employees post,” writes Doug Camplejohn on LinkedIn’s Sales Blog, “But now Sales Navigator users will have an even easier time boosting their brand and the brand of their company.”

LinkedIn reports salespeople who regularly share content are 45% more likely to surpass their quota.

New ways to manage lead lists. As part of the quarterly update, Sales Navigator will now let users sort Custom Lead Lists by Name Account and Geography, and Custom Account Lists can be sorted by Name and Geography.

Users will also be able to copy a lead list that was shared with them, creating a new list that they can own, and perform a “bulk save” for all leads or accounts from a shared list. There’s also a new feature that lets users remove shared lists from their list hub.

Lead discovery updates. Sales Navigator is increasing the number of results when performing a search for new leads. Previously, it capped the total available search results at 1,000, but is increasing that number to 2,500, giving users a longer list of potential leads.

When a user sends a request to connect on LinkedIn via the Sales Navigator platform, they now will be able to save that potential connection as a lead. Regardless if the person connects, the user will still get alerts on the lead and the account — notifying them of new activity like a promotion or company funding announcement. It is also adding a feature that lets users know when an existing lead is currently on LinkedIn (putting a green status dot by their profile picture).

A redesigned Help Center with new chat function. LinkedIn has redesigned the Sales Navigator Help Center, giving more visibility to shortcuts, recommended topics and the “Contact Us” link. It is also rolling out a “Chat with Us” feature that lets users contact support rep via a chat function in real-time.

Whey we should care. LinkedIn says more than 1.3 million lead and account lists have been created in Sales Navigator. For marketers managing B2B campaigns, this latest update will benefit their content strategy efforts, helping them push more content to their sales team. On the sales side, the update offers more functionality with improved lead discovery and management features.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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TINT introduces solution to quickly build UGC-driven web experiences

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Amy Gesenhues

The TINT Experience Builder.

TINT, a user generated content curation platform, has launched a new suite of tools that allow marketers to build UGC web experiences using the company’s automated UGC curation technology.

The “Experience Builder” platform includes eight different types of web “experiences” (or pages):

  • Landing Page
  • Live Counter
  • Launch Countdown
  • Contest
  • Sweepstakes
  • Tag-o-War (Allowing marketers to create a hashtag “battle” — pitting UGC from two different hashtags against each other)
  • Contributor App (A non-public webpage where influencers upload content that can be used in campaigns)
  • Interactive Polls

Using TINT’s content curation technology, marketers can build out UGC-focused web pages and have them included as part of their websites in a matter of minutes.

Why we should care

Last month, the IAB put together a committee to better understand the impact of UGC on branding and marketing efforts. UGC can offer brands an effective way to, “Organically connect with consumers in a world filled with overly commercial and often intrusive messages,” the group said.

Marketers often see the value that UGC brings to their brands, but the time and effort it takes to curate it can be problematic for marketing teams with limited budgets and resources. TINT’s Experience Builder offers a no-coding-required solution that allows marketers to launch a web experience built on UGC within minutes.

More on the news

  • TINT has also partnered with Hootsuite, integrating its social content curation platform with the Hootsuite’s social management tool.
  • Foxwood Casinos is among Experience Builder’s launch partners.
  • Launched in 2013, TINT’s social curation platform is used by a number of major brands including Nike, Verizon, Blue Apron and Marriott. It’s powered by Filestack.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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How to make old content marketing new again

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Amy Gesenhues

A major benefit of high-performance content marketing is that it doesn’t have to retire. If a blog post, article or any piece of content does exceptionally well pulling in traffic, even for a short span of time, the topic can inform future content marketing choices.

Expert content marketers know this and often recreate and update content that has delivered, giving it a second life and more opportunities to drive bigger results.

From 50 clicks a day to more than 200

SEO consultant and podcast host Dan Shure was able to take one of his client’s previous columns that had been part of a series answering reader questions and turn it into article that delivered substantial organic search results.

The original column was part of a reader response series on Mark’s Daily Apple, a fitness and nutrition website. The ‘Dear Mark’ column was a response to a question about intermittent fasting, serving only one objective – to offer reader feedback. The objective shifted when the column was identified as content that could be repurposed.

“The objective did change because [Mark’s Daily Apple website owners] saw over the years that the article originally drove search traffic, but that search traffic to this single article had declined. The search traffic was accidental, so the objective became to totally refresh the old ‘Dear Mark’ entry into an actual up-to-date post which could drive search traffic.”

The Process

Shure took the following steps to repurpose the ‘Dear Mark’ column:

  1. To start, he instructed the client to move an exact copy of the original piece to a noindexed archived page on the website.
  2. He then advised the client to completely rewrite the original content as an actual article (versus the reader-response format).
  3. The previous content was replaced with the newly re-written version of the article, but remained at the original URL because it had gained authority over the years.
  4. A link to the archived (noindexed) version of the content was included within the new article along with a note to the reader explaining the content had been updated, but that they could still read the original version.
  5. Also, a link was included within the archived version back to the new content.

Mark’s Daily Apple: Old Content vs. New Content

“The set-up was done with both the user experience and the Googlebot’s experience in mind,” said Shure. Users would see a note that the article had been updated and that they could visit the archived version if they wanted, while the Googlebot could identify the connection between the old and new version, but not index the archived version.

The Results

Without any extra promotion, the newly produced article resulted in high visibility and a significant upshot in traffic once Google picked up the updated article.

“The article went from barely 50 clicks a day to well over 200 clicks a day, and still maintains 125 clicks per day,” said Shure.

Turning a ‘listicle’ into a lasting piece of content

Brad Smith, founder of the content marketing agency Codeless, said his team often refreshes old content to keep it relevant and deliver better results.

“Basically, we take content that historically performed well, but is starting to slip, and rewrite it, update, etc.,” said Smith. One example provided by Smith included an update to one of his company’s own “listicles” that involved 22 tips and approximately 5,500 words.

“The content was solid, but kind of all over the place. And even though it ranked fourth without any real promotion or link building, we could tell that it didn’t really perform for us in terms of driving leads,” said Smith.

Solid content, but lackluster performance

Google Analytics showed the original piece had an 89.61 percent bounce rate and 88.86 percent exit rate from organic search visitors.

“Literally, everyone that came to this page almost left immediately,” said Smith, “Our goal was to completely rework it so that people wanted to actually stick around, and also bring it more in line with our current positioning for potential lead gen.”

Smith’s team rewrote the piece entirely, reducing the word count to 1,500 words. They also added a “real life” example within the content to increase engagement and an audio version of the content recorded by a voice actor. Custom, branded images were included throughout the content to illustrate different points and the team tested headline variations to determine which performed better.

The content was also translated into multilingual versions for wider consumption, and Codeless ran Facebook ads around it to accelerate results.

Added benefits of supplemental content

“Creating custom, branded images and video didn’t just help on-site content performance, it also provided us with ammunition for creating better ads too,” said Smith, “One little investment boosted page engagement and lowered ad costs. In the three ads we created for this campaign, the headline and description copy were exactly the same. The only difference was the media asset.”

Smith says the “Custom” variant of the ad outperformed the other two with a $0.439 cost-per-click (CPC). The “Custom” version of the ad used a custom image versus the “Featured” version which defaulted to the featured image used in the post. Smith’s team found that the “Featured” version with the default image performed the worst of the three ads at $1.486 CPC. It’s worth noting here the custom image far outperformed the featured image as most companies do not use custom media in their social posts, instead relying on the featured image that is automatically inserted within the ad.

“That’s another 70 percent CPC cost savings on social distribution that most companies leave on the table by sticking with the default featured blog post image,” said Smith.

The video option was second at $0.617 CPC and a 1.051 percent click-through-rate. Overall, Codeless was able to drop exit rates for the content by 23 percent and increased the average session duration from SERP visitors by 280 percent.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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