Covario has released its quarterly Global Paid Search Spend Analysis, which found that paid search advertising spending in the first quarter of 2012 by technology and consumer electronics companies was up more than 22 percent over the same quarter last year, and 1 percent higher than a strong fourth quarter of 2011.
On a regional basis, year-on-year PPC (pay-per-click) ad spending for the quarter was up 15 percent in the Americas and nearly 88 percent in the Asia Pacific region. This was balanced by Europe, which experienced a decline of almost 2 percent due to ongoing macroeconomic pressures.
All regions had relatively flat quarter-on-quarter growth of between 0 and 2 percent from the typically robust fourth-quarter holiday season.
In the continuation of a development first seen late last year, global CPC (cost-per-click) rates declined for the second quarter in a row – down 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. The study’s author, Charles Gaylord, research analyst at Covario, attributed the deflation in keyword prices primarily to search engine algorithm changes. He believes it will stabilize in the second half of 2012.
Looking ahead, Gaylord said he expects sequential paid search spending growth on a global basis to be in the 1 to 4 percent range for the second quarter, and then resume its double-digit growth momentum in the third and fourth quarters.
“Advertisers are expected to benefit from such drivers as the Summer Olympics, the U.S. presidential elections, and the European Football Championships,” Gaylord said. “The PC industry, in particular, is poised for enormous marketing pushes on behalf of Windows 8 and a flurry of new laptops and ultrabooks.”
Gaylord said current trends are largely in line with expectations and that Covario is still forecasting annual PPC spending growth of 18 to 22 percent in 2012 for global tech companies. This includes 18 to 20 percent growth in the Americas, 15 to 18 percent in the Euro zone, and more than 40 percent growth in Asia Pacific.
Among the search engines globally, spending by tech advertisers on Google was up 23 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Global paid search ad spending with the Yahoo-Bing alliance was down 20 percent year-over-year, but up 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Google continues to command 76 percent of the global paid search market share, while the Yahoo-Bing alliance holds a combined 13 percent global market share among tech advertisers.
Baidu, which has 80 percent of the market in China, grew 4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 142 percent year-on-year. Baidu now accounts for 9 percent of all paid search spending globally.
A new study from Adobe reveals that video ad consumption is beginning to imitate that of traditional television commercials.
This is because mid-roll ads, which have the most similar placement to that of a television commercial (directly within the middle of a video), are dramatically outperforming both pre-roll (advertisements before a video) and post-roll (advertisements after a video) ads. This is good news, or course, for media companies because it could open the door to greater revenue potential.
“Market research shows that over the next five years the number of people watching video content online could grow as much as 50 percent, and a significant number of them will be doing so on connected devices like tablets, IPTVs and smartphones,” says Jeremy Helfand, vice president of monetization at Adobe. “For professional content owners and media companies exploring TV-like ad experiences online, the latest data demonstrates the strong potential for extending traditional broadcast advertising dollars to digital video.”
According to the study, mid-roll video format remains the most engaging placement for online video ads, and easily outperforms completion rates of both pre-roll and post-roll ads. Currently, mid-roll ads average an 87-percent completion rate, which surpasses pre-roll ad engagement by nearly 30 percent.
Other statistics reveal that mobile devices receive the highest engagement of any other channel, at 94 percent, which suggests that mobile viewers are more engaged and open to watching ads on the go in exchange for their desired content. Aditionally, 76 percent of viewers are more likely to consume ads within professional content, which is higher than the average completion rate of 63 percent for user-generated content (UGC).
Furthermore, live online events also recieve higher ad engagement compared to video-on demand (VOD), averaging an 85-percent completion rate for video ads, which is 23 percent higher then ads within VOD content.
Online employment platform Elance has released its quarterly Global Online Employment Report, and highlights include record numbers of 193,000 new job posts and contractor earnings of $43 million for the first quarter of 2012.
The number of businesses hiring on Elance for the first time jumped 21 percent, and new user registrations totaled 260,000 for the quarter. IT and marketing hiring managers looking for specialized talent posted more than 120,000 jobs.
Elance’s leading indicators suggest the economic outlook may be changing in the upcoming months. Demand for skills such as business card design (+51 percent), market research (+49 percent), branding (+44 percent) and lead generation (+39 percent) were all up significantly in Q1. This trend implies that companies are investing in new business development activities, possibly signaling expectations of increased growth.
Significant Rise in Creative
Creative (design, multimedia and writing) now accounts for 42 percent of total jobs posted on Elance. The rise in creative jobs has been driven by consumer demand for video, audio and visuals and by marketers incorporating this content into marketing and social media strategies. Graphic design jobs are now the second most demanded skill on Elance, and other skills in this category increased substantially in Q1, including video production (+68 percent), video editing (+56 percent), audio editing (+52 percent) and voiceover (+48 percent).
IT Continues to Dominate, Mobile is Up
Information technology remains the top category on the Elance platform in Q1 led by PHP (+33 percent) and HTML (+29 percent). Demand for mobile app developers continues, with 17,000 app jobs posted in the quarter. Job posts for Android developers rose 35 percent, and iPhone and iPad jobs increased 27 percent over last quarter. Demand for Blackberry (+14 percent) and Windows Mobile (+9 percent) apps trailed behind slightly but still experienced growth.
A new report from RichRelevance reveals insights about mobile shoppers – including iPad users, who are driving most of the shopping, browsing and purchasing behaviors within the mobile channel.
"Twenty years later, Apple's ground-breaking 'Think Different' ad campaign can be recast as 'Shop Different' for the iPad," said RichRelevance CEO David Selinger. "To succeed in this quickly evolving landscape, retailers need to understand how shopping behavior changes as consumers hop between devices, and be prepared to tailor the shopping experience in every channel, ensuring continuity and seamlessness regardless of choice of access.”
According to the study, iPad users spend significantly more time and money on retailer sites than other mobile users, accounting for 68 percent of shoppers. Additionally, iPad also has the greatest conversion rates (1.5 percent), and accounts for 90 percent of all mobile revenue.
Another noteworthy statistic shows that iPad users purchase more expensive items than mobile phone users and spend more on orders. According to the study, the iPad has the highest average order value (AOV) at $158, ahead of other mobile devices ($105) and even more than desktop users ($153). However, even though the purchases are more expensive, iPad shoppers purchase fewer items per order than other shoppers.
One way retailers can create a better brand experience on the iPad is by collaborating with catalog apps such as Catalogue from The Find and Google Catalogs, which feature products and catalogs from retailers, and provide an interactive shopping experience for consumers.
The Web’s largest social network is taking a jab at the Daily Deal industry with its newest launch of Facebook Offers, which is a tool for engaging with and driving new customers to businesses.
Offers are free for administrators to create and share, however only a small number of local business Pages are currently able to take advantage of this new feature, with Facebook claiming that it plans to “launch Offers more broadly soon.”
The offers are created from the sharing tool at the top of a Page’s timeline. Users must click on the Offer, Event + button, and then create an offer headline, upload a photo, choose a limit for the number of claims, add terms and conditions, preview and post the promotion. Although Offers is a free service, Facebook suggests that businesses run an ad or Sponsored Story so that the offers receive more visibility.
Consumers can redeem offers from brands that they have liked. The “liked” brand’s offer will show up in the consumer’s news feed, which is where the consumer can click “Get Offer” to receive the promotion. Then Facebook sends a follow-up email to the consumer, which needs to be shown to the business in order to receive the discount.
It seems as though Facebook is the perfect platform to launch a service like this, especially since small businesses tend to be hesitant to sign up with daily deal services. Not only is Facebook a familiar platform, but the offers are completely free to run, and business owners are given complete control over their promotions. Match made in virtual heaven? – only time will tell.
Online video provider Ooyala has launched a new content discovery technology that drove four times the amount of consumer engagement with videos during its pre-release – including an increase in viewing periods, completed videos and revenue.
The technology enables publishers to increase monetization of multi-screen video by using proprietary algorithms, machine learning and collaborative filtering to deliver personalized content recommendations. It leverages data from almost 200 million monthly viewers who watch Ooyala-powered videos on the Web.
The company’s global user base collects more than two billion analytics everyday, which provides insights into viewer behavior and trends. The content discovery engine applies real-time analytics processing to this and other inputs to offer continuous content recommendations that are locally, personally and socially relevant. The recommendations are integrated into the viewing experience, which leads to an increase of revenue streams from advertising, video-on-demand or paywall transactions.
“Forward-thinking content providers have figured out that success hinges on their ability to turn analog dollars into digital dollars,” says Mike McGuire, vice president, research, media industry advisory services for Gartner, Inc. “Capturing the attention and imagination of consumers engaging with TV content in new ways requires highly personalized video experiences driven by real business intelligence, where big data plays a major role.”