Google+ No Longer Requires You to Use Your Real Name

Google Plus real name policyGoogle+ is an essential part of any social media marketing effort. Aside from being a great place for businesses to network with customers and share links that attract web traffic, Google+ is also part of an all-in-one hub that contains your company’s YouTube account, business account, page insights and more.

Google’s recent move to consolidate Google Places and Google+ Local Business Pages into one unit called Google My Business has made Google+ more streamlined than ever for business owners, quickly connecting business page owners and their designated admins to reviews, analytics and other useful information and tools.

Google+ Ditches Real Names Policy

Since Google+ is so valuable to businesses, it’s vital to stay on top of relevant new developments. For example, the social network announced last week that it was allowing users to join Google+ and create a profile without being required to use their real names.

Previously the social network had a policy in place that insisted a user sign up with his or her real name. This was done in an effort to encourage an atmosphere of authenticity. Now that Google+ has become more established, however, the social network has decided to give in to the pleas of its users and allow people to sign up under any name they choose.

“Greater authenticity was actually one of the big successes: it set the culture to be one where people, by default, act as themselves rather than as a persona,” wrote Google+ Chief Architect Yonatan Zunger, in a comment following the social network’s announcement. “That makes a huge difference to how people behave, and now the culture is stable enough that it’s OK to relax that.”

Google+ has been slowly dismantling the real names policy for a couple years now, starting with +Pages in 2012, YouTube users in 2013 and ending name suspensions in 2013, Zunger pointed out.

Orkut Shutting Down as Google+ Grows in Prominence

As Google invests more time in making Google+ more accessible and expanding its features and capabilities, the search engine giant is moving away from older, less successful social outlets, like Orkut, which will be officially shut down Sept. 30. Orkut is Google’s oldest social network, dating back 10 years.

The Takeaway

We think Google+ doing away with their real names policy could encourage more users to sign up to use the service, which could give Google+ a much-needed prominence boost against competitors like Facebook and Twitter. Right now, brands tend to be less active on Google+ than other social outlets, Search Engine Watch reported, so businesses that are active on Google+ now may be able to draw more attention to their social media marketing efforts through Google+ than other outlets that are more business-saturated.

About LLC is an industry leader in digital advertising, including microtargeted display ads and mobile phone ads. We also offer comprehensive digital marketing solutions including SEOlocal searchcustom web design and social media marketing. Looking for online marketing or website design services? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.

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CBS Makes More Money per Viewer with Online Ads

online ads

It’s no secret that more and more people are going online to watch their favorite television shows. With major networks like ABC, NBC and CBS offering full episodes of popular shows streaming online for free and Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and other online outlets each carving out their share of the market, audiences have more options than ever before to forgo regular TV programming — or even ditch cable entirely — to watch their favorite shows online.

Case Study: CBS

The major networks have taken advantage of the advertising opportunities, which are proving quite lucrative. In fact, a chief research officer of CBS recently reported that the network makes more revenue per viewer on their streaming programming than on television, according to Variety.

CBS makes between 10% and 20% more in ad revenue per viewer on its streaming online programming ads than its TV ads, and that percentage is expected to go up later this year, the article noted. Those watching popular shows online see a full selection of ads and can’t fast forward through any of them, which makes it harder for audiences to tune out advertising messages when viewing network programming online.

Another boon for networks like CBS is that the audience is smaller, harder to reach and younger—a type of audience that many advertisers prefer to target, the article explained.

TV Ad Growth vs. Online Ad Growth

While TV ad spending still greatly surpasses online ad spending, digital video advertising is currently growing at a much faster rate as advertisers are discovering its value. TV ads are only expected to grow 3.3% in 2014 while digital-video ads are expected to grow a whopping 41.9%, eMarketer reports.

In actual figures, spending for TV ads is projected to hit $68.54 billion, while digital video ads are projected to hit $5.96 billion, which reflects how relatively new online advertising is compared to TV advertising.

The Takeaway

Younger consumers are spending fewer hours watching television, partially because they tend to spend less time at home and partially because they spend more time seeking entertainment on laptops, tablets and mobile devices while they are out and about. Effective digital advertising strategies will become more and more important to reach Millennials, the generations to follow and segments of older demographics that are also spending more time online.

About LLC is an industry leader in digital advertising, including microtargeted display advertising and mobile phone advertising. We also offer comprehensive digital marketing solutions including search engine optimization, local organic search, custom website design and social media marketing. Looking for digital marketing or web design services? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.

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Spending for Direct Response Outpaces Branding in Online Ads

online ads

Digital advertising is growing by leaps and bounds with spending growth seen in both direct response advertising and branding. However, a higher percentage of online advertising dollars goes to direct response, according to a recent eMarketer report. Out of the $50 billion that advertisers in the U.S. will spend on online ads in 2014, 59.1% will be spent on direct response, the report noted.

This spending seems to reflect the idea that when it comes to the digital sphere, many believe the best way to drive sales is to place the right advertising message in front of the right target audience at the right time. That way the audience has an immediate opportunity to make a purchase or transaction.

What Contributes to Higher Spending on Direct Response?

One of the major factors contributing to more digital spending on direct response is the increase of mobile ad spending, according to Advertising Age. On mobile, the ads seen most often are app install ads and related direct response ads.

Branding messages simply aren’t communicated as effectively on the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets. In addition, the mobile landscape is ripe with opportunities to offer audiences direct response ads featuring location-based deals.

Another factor is the introduction of in-app native ad formats and products in Facebook, Google and Twitter, which is driving more advertising dollars into direct response advertising that involves app-installs.

Industries That Highly Favor Direct Response

Certain industries lean even more heavily on direct response in their digital advertising than others, eMarketer explained. Those include retail and travel, both of which have direct response percentages at 70% or higher of total online advertising spending.

Mobile Vs. Desktop Ad Spending

While more ad dollars are flowing into mobile ads, spending still favors desktop advertising. In 2014, 64.6% of digital ad spending was devoted to desktop, as opposed to 35.4% for mobile. The industry leaning most heavily on mobile ads is retail, which spends 37% of its online ad dollars on mobile advertising.

online ads

The Takeaway

Companies are realizing the numerous advantages of direct response advertising when it comes to maximizing their digital ad campaigns. Their spending priorities reflect the belief that when you want to encourage sales, the best way to do so is to urge your target audience to respond immediately.

About LLC is an industry leader in digital advertising, including microtargeting and mobile advertising. We also offer comprehensive digital marketing solutions including SEOweb design and social media. Looking for online marketing or web development services? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.

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