Industry Roundup: What Wowed Marketers at CES, Slack’s Podcast Initiative + More

To do so, they’re turning to content marketing – specifically, podcasting, reports The Drum. The second feature is auto-fill within Snap Ads. In addition, they can opt to have their information auto-filled every time they see this feature. More than 90% of companies responded that customer marketing is important. Facebook is Going to Start Showing Ads in the Middle of Its Videos and Sharing the Money with Publishers (Recode) Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video a day. Facebook doesn’t allow pre-roll (ads that run before a video starts). Facebook will sell the ads and give brands 55% of the revenue. Through the initiative, the social platform plans to work more closely with journalists to create publishing tools and features. Already, 150 million people are using Stories daily, according to Adweek. Instagram’s ad platform will distribute the ads and aim to make them relevant to users.

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NewsCred’s roundup of the content marketing, technology, and business stories that caught our attention this week.

Marketing executives made their annual journey to CES last week. Amid all the new technology they can use to engage consumers, one category made a big impression: virtual assistants, especially Amazon’s Echo, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Virtual assistants run on artificial intelligence. They can answer users’ questions and control smart home devices. For marketers, they offer another touchpoint where they can supply content and provide users with valuable information – thus building an ongoing relationship.

While there was also lots of activity around virtual reality, marketers are still undecided about that technology. It’s still unclear whether VR could be part of a sustainable, long-term strategy, or better off as a one-time marketing stunt.

Slack, the workplace communication app, is one of the hottest startups. Since its launch just three years ago, it’s gained four million daily users and a nearly $4 billion valuation.

Despite those incredible numbers, the company feels it needs to build more brand awareness. To do so, they’re turning to content marketing – specifically, podcasting, reports The Drum.

Slack launched its first podcast, “The Slack Variety Pack” in 2015. The series took a light-hearted look at work and office culture. Its new podcast, “Work in Progress,” dives into personal stories to learn what motivates people to do what they do, and how they overcome challenges they face in their careers.

“A program like this that is really high quality, we envision it being a really good first experience and introduction to Slack the company, the product, and the brand,” Julie Kim, Slack’s Director of Content and Editorial, told The Drum.

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In an effort to attract even more big budget brands to its platform (in advance of a likely IPO), Snapchat is testing two new features, according to Adweek.

The first is deep linking within Snap Ads, which are videos shown between Snapchat stories. The deep links let brands take users out of Snapchat and onto their platforms. For example, a user can now swipe up on a Snap Ad and then tap a link to go to a product page in a brand’s app.

The second feature is auto-fill within Snap Ads. This will let users complete lead generation forms with just one tap. In addition, they can opt to have their information auto-filled every time they see this feature.

Both features come at a time when social platforms are launching integrations to meet marketers’ needs to drive sales and conversions. In November, Instagram introduced shoppable posts; marketers speculate that shoppable Instagram videos may not be far behind.

Ninety three percent of companies plan to increase their customer marketing efforts, and 62% say they’ll boost their staff or budget in 2017, according to The State of Customer Marketing 2017. Customer marketing is seen as a big opportunity to grow revenue. Companies currently don’t feel like they’re doing enough in the space. More than 90% of companies responded that customer marketing is important. But only 61% were happy with their existing programs.

Forty nine percent of companies surveyed said customer marketing resulted in moderate to significant revenue increases. Larger companies saw greater gains…

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