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Stories Are the New Storefront

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How do you lure in shoppers when the streets are empty and stores are losing footfall? The pandemic has presented the retail industry with an unprecedented challenge, moving business out of physical stores and into the digital realm. In many cases, that’s come at the cost of human interaction: although ecommerce is a quick and convenient way to shop online – and it is booming – it also lacks the social component that stores have offered. 

No one likes a brand that’s purely transactional. That’s why now more than ever retail brands must focus on digital storytelling: on creating brand experiences and interactive digital moments that bring their products and services to life. In fact, social commerce is quickly becoming the most important way to drive real shopping intent.

Brands must meet shoppers wherever they are – including at different points on the digital shopping journey, from discovery all the way to the point of purchase. Nowhere is that easier or as effective as on social media, and on Stories in particular. 

Stories have transformed social media and advertising. We are currently witnessing the entirety of the social media landscape merging into Stories. The same Stories format is in use across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now even Spotify. TikTok was entirely built on Stories. New versions of Stories are beginning to pop up as well, including Instagram Reels and Spotlight on Snapchat. 

The shift from Feed to Stories, for advertisers and users alike, represents a leap even bigger than that of desktop to mobile. Invented by Snapchat, mainstreamed by Instagram (where Stories now have more than 500 million daily actives), and further popularized by TikTok (currently the world’s fastest growing social media platform), Stories are seen by users as a “more authentic” means of communication with friends and family. In essence, they capture “realer” moments. For advertisers, that means the format can allow for more meaningful interactions for brands to get closer to consumers. 

The distinctive feature of Stories is that, rather than focusing on one single element, such as images or text, Stories allow for the full plurality of expression. Stories, as posts, can consist of long and short video, still images, graphics, text, sound, emojis, and more. As such, for brands, they can also be a way of recreating the in-store experience on a consumer’s phone: Interactive elements such as polls and Q&As can create a sense of dialogue, for example, while uplifting music paired with striking visual footage can lead to stronger emotional ties with shoppers. 

The Stories format packs in at once the qualities of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, and countless other social media apps. In short, Stories are a hybrid concentration of all that is social media. Advertisers who capitalize on the synergies and create content native to the format, can slide effortlessly into consumers’ pockets: Stories ads, created mobile-first, are less intrusive and more relevant. They capitalize on all the major recent developments in digital advertising: the rise of storytelling, the pivot to video, and the growing importance of personalization and localization.

With new advertising campaigns designed Stories-first – and powered by automation tools like Smartly.io – brands can take advantage of all the audiences and behaviors across all social platforms at once, deploying a consistent multi-platform interactive experience that reaches shoppers across the buyer’s journey. That might mean using Pinterest Stories to reach shoppers who are in the discovery, search phase; TikTok Stories to promote more authentic shopping experiences; Instagram Stories to create visual, creative moments; and Facebook Stories to reach those buyers who are ready to purchase. 

Just because stores are shut or operating at limited hours doesn’t mean brands should give up on interacting with shoppers. With a Story-focused multi-platform strategy to social commerce, retail brands put themselves in the best position possible to connect with customers at the right moment in the right context – an unbeatable combination that will ultimately drive the sale. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

Ad data and analytics provider DoubleVerify (DV) is building the right side of a cup base with a buy point of 32.53. The growth stock is today’s selection for IBD 50 Stocks to Watch.




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DoubleVerify has a strong Composite Rating of 94 and a Relative Strength Rating of 89. Its stellar EPS Rating of 96 is even better.

Company sales grew 35% to $112.3 million in the third quarter while earnings per share of 6 cents grew 20% from the previous year.

On Jan. 10, analysts at Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight with a price target of 29. Shares gapped up over 6% on the news, and the move helped the stock start its recovery from the January low.

Growth Stock Surges After Finding Fraud Scheme

DoubleVerify helps advertising companies that target users on video, mobile, and social media platforms. The company also has an analytics side that provides data on consumer engagement.

The digital media analytics platform ensures that ads reach their target customers in a safe way. This means that ads reach actual people with the right context. The software also has tools to adapt ads to different devices.

Its technology also seeks to address ad fraud. On Thursday, the company discovered “BeatSting,” the first large-scale ad-impression fraud scheme that targeted audio ads.

DV Fraud Lab first identified the fraud scheme in 2019, which is largely responsible for advertisers losing $20 million in several scams, according to reports. DoubleVerify was credited for unveiling the fraud. Shares last Thursday surged nearly 4% in strong volume.

Deals With Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, Facebook

The company has partnered with leading social media and mobile platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok to improve ad impact and experience. DoubleVerify has a long-standing relationship with Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META). The social media platform faced a massive boycott in 2020 when several companies removed their ads due to concerns over their brand safety.

In June of last year, DoubleVerify brought features that will allow marketers to see where their ads appear in a user’s timeline. The feature uses artificial-intelligence tools to understand the context in which ads appear. The feature also enhanced brand safety  and attracted Twitter and other social media platforms to try it out. Nonetheless, marketers did not buy in entirely, according to reports, as Twitter’s ad revenue continued to struggle.

The growth stock ranks second in the specialty enterprise software group. The stock went public in April 2021. The New York-based company has locations in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Mutual funds own 39% of shares outstanding. That may not seem like much, but more funds have been picking up the growth stock over the past eight quarters, according to MarketSmith. The stock has an Accumulation/Distribution Rating of B-.

Exchange traded funds hold shares of DoubleVerify as well. The Invesco S&P Small Cap Information Technology ETF (PSCT) and the SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF (XITK) own DV.

Please follow VRamakrishnan on Twitter @IBD_VRamakrishnan for more news on growth stocks.

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

YouTube has added a new time targeting element to its Masthead Ads, which will enable brands to display their promotions in key times leading up to key events.

As explained by YouTube:

In a time of multiple screens and countless ways to stay entertained, it can be challenging to get your audience’s attention. But even with so much content available at any time, people are drawn to moments they can experience together: a new movie release, a big game, a product launch, a holiday. And these are key opportunities to connect with a brand. Marketers, you know this well: you center advertising campaigns around the tentpole moments most likely to inspire your audience, shift perceptions or influence a purchase decision.”

YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead enables brands to own the most prominent placement in the app during the hour(s) leading up to, during or after priority moments.

For example:

“[During the recent World Cup], McDonald’s Brazil turned to the YouTube Cost-Per-Hour Masthead. Their strategy was savvy: reach anyone in Brazil who was watching YouTube an hour before the Brazil vs. Cameroon match and remind them to pick up McDonald’s before the game started. This perfectly timed execution delivered tens of millions of impressions at the very moment fans were preparing for the match.

It could be a good way to hook into key moments, and build momentum for your campaigns, while also establishing association with key events and subjects.

“Just a few weeks ago, Xiaomi, the leading smartphone manufacturer in India, prepared to launch their highly anticipated Redmi Note 12 series via YouTube livestream. To drive viewership, Xiaomi ran the Cost-Per-Hour Masthead during the event. Not only did this activation drive scaled awareness, it led to over 90,000 concurrent livestream views. The Redmi Note 12 went on to generate a record number of first-week sales, making it one of their most successful launches to date.

It’s an expansive, but potentially significant targeting option, which could hold appeal for big brands looking to make a big splash around major events and releases.

You can learn more about YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead process here.

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

While talent matters, the good news is we all learn at basically the same rate–and can “learn anything we want.” Think you don’t have the talent for entrepreneurship? For leadership? For programming, for design… for whatever pursuit you may want to, um, pursue? According to HubSpot co-founder …

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