US online video ad spending to grow 43.1% in 2012

Whether they think of it as magnetic content or advertising, marketers are increasingly focused on creating video assets. This type of media reproduces the richness consumers associate with TV, often at a lower cost. And if online venues tend to fall short of TV when it comes to reach, they make up the difference by engaging viewers in an active, lean-forward mode.

The virtuous circle of content and technology adoption that consumers are experiencing is also fueling this trend. eMarketer estimates that US online video ad spending will grow by a compound annual rate of 38% in a five-year span ending in 2015, making this by far the fastest-rising category of online spending.

US Online Ad Spending Growth, by Format, 2010-2015 (% change)

By 2015, video ad spending will reach $7.11 billion, up from $2.16 billion in 2011. In the past year alone, growth was 52.1%.

US Online Ad Spending, by Format, 2010-2015 (billions)

Similarly, in the UK video advertising will lead the pack, growing by a compound annual rate of 65% over five years. By 2015, UK video online ad spending will reach $850 million, compared with $150 million in 2011. As a percentage of total online advertising, video will grow to 8.2% in 2015 from 2.1% in 2011.

Still, challenges remain, including the high price of online video ads and the need for better reach and measurement. Several factors will mitigate these problems, making the upward course for video ad spending strong in 2012 and beyond. These factors include better filtering technologies for user-generated content, so publishers can better monetize it with ads; the emergence of cost per view and cost per engagement pricing structures; the increased use of interactive ad units and magnetic content; and personalization and targeting of video ads.

For more information on marketing developments expected next year, stay tuned for the forthcoming eMarketer report “Top Trends for 2012,” available to eMarketer corporate subscribers only.


Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Actimedia!

We are grateful for the ongoing opportunity to provide our clients with the most creative and cutting-edge technology through our services. May the holiday bring you and your family much to be grateful for this year and always!


Google and Social can be together!

Social websites, especially Facebook and Twitter, are now serious competitors for Google’s audience and subsequent advertising revenue.
So Google has tried (but failed) to ‘do’ social eg, with Lively, Google Buzz, Orkut, Dodgeball, Google Wave and Google Me.
Google+ is its latest effort and this time it might succeed. We’ll see.
With +1 buttons, Google is trying to integrate social with search. If you visit a page or see a search result you like, Google wants you to click a +1 button (similar to Facebook’s ‘like’).
And Google explicitly states:
“+1s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query.”
That means that if a searcher’s friend +1s a page it will move up the results when you search.
Exactly how and when +1s, Facebook likes and tweets will affect others’ results is not yet clear and will evolve. Whatever the answer ...
Social is now part of search and therefore part of SEO.

All forms of engagement including comments, likes, tweets, +1s and mentions, either:
• Might be found by search engines and directly used in their algorithms; or
• Share your content with a person or website (it may be automated) that then might mention or link to your website in a way that is used directly in search engine algorithms.
Also, such engagement might also lead to repeat and new direct visits and response.
That social might work and work for SEO is clear. The question then becomes: is it significant? And the answer is: yes.
A simple piece of evidence to support that answer is that Facebook is now the most visited site in the US and therefore more popular in the US than Google.
It’s not hard to see why Google would like a piece of that social action.

Google Discusses 10 Recent Algorithm Changes

Google is trying to become more open about their search algorithm changes. Beyond the much-discussed "fresh" update, Google discussed recent changes in SERP titles and descriptions, date-specified searches, image search signals, and more.
While Matt Cutts called this "An experiment in radical transparency", the information remains fairly veiled and covers only a small portion of the algorithm changes that have been made.

Nine Recent Changes to Google's Algorithm

Several of the changes discussed were applicable either globally or specifically for the English-speaking market, while three changes are specifically for foreign markets (the last three on this list). The announced changes are:
  1. Snippets pulling more from page content.The snippet displayed on the SERP, sometimes en lieu of the meta description for a page, will now pull more often from page content as opposed to menu or header text.
  2. Displayed page titles pulling less from duplicate boilerplate anchors. The text of navigation links that's identical from page to page will no longer gain additional weight due to the high volume at which the text is repeated.
  3. Application rich snippets are extended. Apps will now display cost and user review details in the SERP when marked up correctly. (We previously discussed the details of rich app snippets.)
  4. An image search signal has been retired. While Google wasn't completely clear on what exact signal was retired, something "related to images that had references from multiple documents on the web" is being removed as a ranking factor.
  5. The detection of official pages has been improved. Official pages are now located and promoted more effectively.
  6. Results for date range–specific queries will be better organized for that range.Whenever users specify the dates for results, Google will organize the order of results to best meet the specified time period.
  7. Cross-language information retrieval has been improved. In foreign languages, English web pages will now have an additional translated title on the SERP that will link to a translated version of the page.
  8. Length issues in autocomplete predictions for Russian have been resolved. Excessively long queries are now being handled appropriately (in much the same way they were already being handled for English).
  9. Issues with IME autocomplete predictions have been resolved. Autocomplete was inappropriately counting the intermediate keystrokes for IME (non-Latin characters) queries, leading to gibberish predictions for searches in certain languages (i.e., Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian). This has now been resolved.

The One Big Change

The recent fresh search results change places greater weight on how recently content was posted and/or updated. While not all results will be impacted, any queries that are for recent events (e.g., a news story, a current event, details on upcoming events, etc.), recurring events (e.g., events that happen every few years, TV seasons that renew each year, data on sports that will become less relevant very quickly, etc.), or "high decay" terms (e.g., technology items that change regularly, details on politicians who hold different stances now than they did two years ago, etc.).
While more than a third of searches are impacted, "only" 6 to 10 percent of searches (based on language and Google domain) will see a significantly different SERP.
We discussed further details of the fresh search results change to Google's algorithm previously, delving into the winners and losers, the specific types of "fresh" content affected, and methods for using news, blogs, and events to make the most of the change.
What's significant is that Google is now providing additional details on both large and small algorithm alterations. Do you think this is a sign of things to come? Insufficient "hush money" for webmasters and SEOs who want to know details? Or a way to show the various government institutions that are investigating Google that the company is willing to play nice? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Rob D. Young,


Nielsen: Discounts Drive Brand Love on Social Media

Nielsen recently conducted a survey to understand what drives users to Like a Facebook Page or follow a brand on Twitter, and it came out with pretty much expected results. Deals and discounts are single biggest factor for Liking/Following a brand followed by the love and the support towards a brand/celebrity. Different regions of the world echoed similar results. Users from North America showed the greatest interest in deals and discounts followed by asia-pacific.
Last year, Exact Target found similar patterns on social media where it saw about 43% of Facebook users liking a Page to receive discounts and promotions.
And in the backdrop of debate about daily deals sites and their questionable business models, Nielsen found out that more people visited sites like Coupon.com, Living social and Groupon in September than previous months thereby thrashing all the negativity surrounding these companies.


W3C Adds Time Element Back to HTML5

If HTML5 editor Ian Hickson’s recent decision to remove the  element from the HTML5 specification left you scratching your head, you’re not alone. The W3C, the group that oversees HTML5, feels the same way and have stepped in to override Hickson’s earlier decision to remove the widely used element from the HTML5 spec. That means is once again part of HTML5.
There’s a hint of friction in W3C member Paul Cotton’s post to the HTML Working Group, suggesting that the W3C feels Hickson overstepped his bounds in removing . “Therefore we direct the HTML5 Editor to NOT process this bug further,” writes Cotton, who goes on to say that the  element will be reinstated to the spec by Nov. 8.
The HTML WG wants, ahem, more time to hash out. It’s unclear exactly what this means for the WHATWG version of the HTML5 spec (see our article onthe Difference Between the WHATWG and the HTML WG), but the W3C’s new love for time should be welcome news for web developers who’ve already deployed  on their sites.
While Hickson’s move to toss time out was probably premature, there are nevertheless some problems with . The  element offers the ability to add semantic meaning to pages by marking up dates and other time data, but not all use cases have been covered and some gray areas still exist. For example, the code  could refer to a time of day or perhaps the length of a movie. Both are theoretically valid uses and figuring out the details and the various potential use cases, is exactly what the HTML WG wants more time to do.
In the minutes from the last HTML WG meeting developer Tantek Çelik, makes the case for re-instating  just as it was, but also adding several new capabilities. Çelik suggests accounting for use cases like a  tag with only a year (commonly used on sites like Wikipedia or for copyright), and also for using  with only a day and month, commonly used when specifying dates like Christmas — 12/25 or 25/12, depending on where you live. Still to be decided are use cases like duration and some details around time zones.
Like the rest of HTML5,  remains a work in progress. Now that it’s once again a part of the HTML5 spec that work can resume and those who are already using  in some of its well-established roles can breathe easier.


Anatomy of Conversion

When asked what we do I typically don’t answer advertising, marketing or websites. Our business is all about customer acquisition. Our role is to affect that conversion from an anonymous person visiting the site to a contact, sale or lead. Its all about conversion. Websites, Facebook pages, blogs and other measures are tactics employed to affect that result.In digital marketing conversions and ecommerce transactions are credited to the last campaign, search, or ad that referred the visitor when he or she converted. But what role did prior website referrals, searches and ads play in that conversion? How much time passed between the visitor’s initial interest and his or her purchase?

The Multi-Channel Funnel

The Multi-Channel Funnel is the data related to how your marketing channels (i.e. sources of traffic to your website) work together to create sales and conversions.
For example, many people may purchase on your site after searching for your brand on Google. However, they may have been introduced to your brand via a blog or while searching for specific products and services. The Multi-Channel Funnels reports show how previous referrals, searches, and exposure to other channels contributed to your sales.

Conversion Paths

Conversion paths are the sequences of interactions (i.e. clicks/referrals from channels) during the 30 days that led up to each conversion and transaction. Conversion path data include interactions with virtually all digital channels. These channels include, but are not limited to:
  • paid and organic search (on all search engines along with the specific keywords searched)
  • referral sites
  • affiliates
  • social networks
  • email newsletters
  • display ads
  • custom campaigns that you’ve created, including offline campaigns that send traffic to vanity URLs

Multi-Channel Funnel Reports

For your digital campaign you should maintain regular multi-channel funnels to observe how your traffic sources work together to create sales and conversions. A conversion happens when a visitor completes an online purchase or an activity that you’ve defined as a goal.
  • See how search phrases progress towards conversions.
  • Know each traffic source’s role in driving conversions.
  • See each interaction in your sales cycle.
In the reports, channels are credited according to the roles they play in conversions– how often they assisted and/or completed sales and conversions. The report also shows how many sales and conversions each channel initiated, assisted and completed, and the value of those conversions and sales.
You will be able to identify the top conversion paths that your customers took on their way to purchase. You can also begin identify how long (in days and in interactions) it took for visitors to ultimately become customers.


To make the best decisions its important to have good data. Analytics data when understood can help us make better investments in our customer acquisition efforts. The best way to steadily improve the growth of your business is to make lots of good decisions and the more insight the better our chances for success.
Source: Dean Whitney

The All Consuming Social Web

We are surrounded by content. We consume masses of information on a daily basis. We truly live in a consumption age. Now there is nothing wrong in consuming data in fact it is a wonderful way of learning. It is a wonderful way of exploring the world through the eyes of others, it is a wonderful way of expanding your knowledge.
But consumption in itself does not make you a wiser person. It may make you more knowledgable about the world...but it won't develop your thinking.
You need to combine reflection with consumption. Reflecting on what you are reading, reflecting on what you are learning allows you to turn that consumption into development.
It was Socrates who said "The unexamined life is not worth living"
I would update Socrates for the social media age by saying
"The unexamined consumption of information is information not worth having"
The question we should ask ourselves is 
'Do we consume or do we consume reflectively?'