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Social media firm to create 100 jobs in Ireland

The founders of new social media platform Phlok have revealed their intention to open up 100 jobs in Ireland after receiving £390,000 from unnamed investors in the U.S.

The firm, which is based in Dublin, says the (more…)

B2B buyers value online content, according to survey

Recent research from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has found that most B2B buyers see online content as a valuable resource when it comes to finding out more about services and products.

The study, which was carried out in April and (more…)

Google+ shares to overtake Facebook by 2016

Research from the U.S. has suggested that those who are signed up to Google+ will eventually overtake Facebook users when it comes to the amount of content they share amongst friends. Furthermore, Searchmetrics, the group behind the study, said that this could happen within the (more…)

Content marketing added to Stratford Career Institute course

Stratford Career Institute has further shown the rising importance of quality content by introducing two new modules to its curriculum, both of which are solely based on search engine marketing.

The Institute, which specialises in distance learning by allowing its students to earn their qualifications from home, has introduced the modules as part of its popular Internet Specialist program.

According to Stratford, the new parts of the course will help students to understand the ins and outs of search marketing and why it is now so important. The course then goes into further detail by teaching pupils how to properly plan and execute a campaign, all with one example business site in mind.

The school’s head of marketing, John McNeff, spoke about the new course, saying:

“Search marketing is a form of Internet marketing that helps individuals and businesses to increase their visibility in search engine results.

“The Internet has quickly become the first place people look for information, so having a valid understanding of search engine marketing is extremely valuable for today’s entrepreneur.”

McNeff went on to explain that, with the new modules, the course would now cover such topics as target keywords, paid search, social media, content optimisation and linking. This would all be complemented by further training focused on strategy execution and analysing success. By detailing the results of the previous work, marketers are able to see what works and what doesn’t – putting them in a better position to improve next time round.

As more businesses begin to realise how important SEO is to their chances of success, the demand for fully trained, knowledgeable search marketers will continue to rise. Stratford’s course changes can be seen as a reaction to this upturn in demand. While some firms do attempt to produce valuable content in-house, it certainly makes sense to use the help of an established, professional content provider.

People getting used to paywalls, according to study

A study carried out by Oxford University has revealed a 100 per cent increase in the number of people who are willing to part with their money in**more** return for access to online content.

The research, which was organised in collaboration with Newsworks, involved the questioning of 11,000 people from nine countries. The results showed that internet users aged 25-34 are more willing to pay for their news than those in any other age group. One spokesperson from Reuters suggested that this statistic could signal a bright future in terms of the stability of internet journalism.

Those who read newspapers online were found to be more likely to have paid for access to content in the past. Most internet users who haven’t yet used a paywall-restricted site said they would consider paying in the future.

The study also revealed that almost 50 per cent of those in the 18-24 age group regularly read an internet newspaper – suggesting a significant shift in reading behaviour across the generations.

Interestingly, the results showed that people in the age group who own multiple devices are more likely to subscribe to a digital newspaper than those who use just have one.

Newsworks’ planning director, Judy Harman, spoke about the study’s results, saying:

“It’s really encouraging to see the strength of newspaper brands among the UK news audience. It’s great to see that newspapers are destination brands for young people online and that they are considerably more willing to pay for online news, especially if they are reading on tablets.”

While an increasing number of internet users are paying for access to online news, those who aren’t ready to part with their cash often cite the free availability of quality, subject-specific content. Many small businesses choose to provide regular news updates to maintain the interest of consumers.

Twitter signs deal with Viacom to boost social ad potential

Twitter announced this week that it has signed a deal with Viacom that will see it deliver social video content around the**more** mass media firm’s biggest programmes.

In the announcement, it was revealed that the two companies would work together to put the ads out on major networks such as Comedy Central, VH1, MTV and Nickelodeon.

The first of the ads will be broadcast during MTV’s Video Music Awards, which takes place at the end of August. During the event, MTV will publish a series of Tweets commenting on the ceremony’s highlights. Twitter users will also be given access to backstage footage and interviews, all while taking in the integrated advertisements. Talking about the move, Adam Bain, the head of global revenue at Twitter, said in a statement:

“As events happen in life, we continue to see Twitter as the place people share those moments, especially when those events happen on TV. [The collaboration] will allow Viacom to connect people across screens, and tap into the social conversation on Twitter with complementary TV video clips across all devices.”

Rumours of a deal have been circulating since April, when Bloomberg reported that talks were taking place. The collaboration is also just the latest in a line of agreements made by Twitter in an attempt to improve on its advertising scope. Earlier this month, the company announced that it will also work with ESPN, the NBA and the NCAA, with each partnership designed to give Twitter users access to richer promotional content, while giving marketing agencies new ways of getting their messages out.

While the microblogging site’s fanbase has continued to swell steadily – it now has more than 200m active users – the majority of the company’s recent activity has been focused on strengthening its advertising platform. Twitter has also worked hard towards ensuring its users have a consistent experience of the site’s advertising features across desktops, tablets and smartphones.

Facebook change sparks organ donor surge

Facebook has been credited with significantly boosting awareness around organ donation by giving its users the opportunity to show off the**more** fact they’re registered on their profiles.

Figures released this week by the American Journal of Transplantation showed that when Facebook made the change in May 2012, the number of new additions to the donor register jumped 21-fold in the space of 24 hours. The data also revealed that even two weeks after the new option was introduced, the number of people signing up was still growing twice as quick as it had been before.

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has, in the past, expressed her desire to raise awareness around organ donation. She has publicised the fact that the demand for organs far outweighs the number of people signed up as donors. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has said that almost 120,000 people in the country are currently on a waiting list for a lifesaving transplant.

Commenting on the good news, Andrew Cameron from the Johns Hopkins Medicine liver transplant program said:

“There’s a real emotional reward for doing the right thing and telling people about it, and that leads to the best kind of peer pressure. You hope it’s contagious.”

The results of the American Journal of Transplantation survey showed that in the first 24 hours, nearly 60,000 Facebook users altered their profile to show their organ donor status. On the same day, 13,000 people chose to sign up to the donor register; the normal uptake is 616 in a day. Over the first two weeks, there were nearly 40,000 new donors – an increase of 33,000 on what would be considered normal.

The data has shown just how big a part Facebook plays in the lives of its users. Its power to influence major decisions has rarely been in doubt but marketers will certainly be interested in these latest figures.

Facebook could rival Vine with video update

Rumours are surfacing that Facebook could be set to make the next move in the intensifying visual content battle.

Last week, the social media giant distributed mysterious invitations for (more…)

Apple unveils new iOS

With most tech-based news feeds focusing on the one-sided console war sparked by last week’s E3 event, Apple’s latest announcement has gone a (more…)

Facebook adopts hashtag feature

Facebook announced last week that it has introduced a new hashtag feature, allowing posts to be attached to subject-specific categories.

The feature will be**more** familiar with those who already use microblogging site Twitter, where it is used to make it easier for other users to search for certain content. It can also be seen in practice on Pinterest, Tumblr and, more recently, Vine.

As well as allowing users to search for specific discussions, the tool will reveal the most popular topics of public conversation. Trending tags tend to revolve around major film releases, big news stories or popular memes and viral content. The new Superman movie, for example, is currently a hot topic on Twitter.

Facebook’s product manager, Greg Lindley, spoke about the decision in a recent blog post, saying:

“Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share their thoughts on big moments happening all around them. Whether it’s talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event — people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world.

“To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people and topics.”

Facebook’s announcement comes after Google announced that it would introduce hashtags to its own social media offering, Google+. Facebook also said the hashtags would compatible across different platforms, such as Instagram, which it bought in April 2012. It’s not yet clear whether the interoperability will stretch to any other sites.

The chance to trend among Facebook’s huge community will no doubt appeal to brands both big and small. While it may seem difficult to compete with big budget blockbuster films in any other context, it’s important to remember how a miserable looking cat has spent 2013 capturing the minds of social media users across the world.

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