Category Archives: Digital Media

Digital ad spend in the UK reaches record highs, surpassing the £5 billion mark in 2012 alone!

Research from the Internet Advertising Bureau has revealed a growth in digital advertising in the UK, with mobile accounting for 10% of all digital revenue in 2012.

Digital ad revenue reached an annual high of £5.42 billion last year, a record 12.5% year on year high, mobile advertising was responsible for approximately £526 million, revealing a growth of 148%!

With an increase in Smartphone ownership expected to reach 75% by end of year 2013, it is no surprise that mobile advertising has grown by an astonishing 1,601% up to £13million, even without EE’s 4G prevalent network which will only be made readily available to the majority of operators this autumn.

Mobile Advertising 2013


It is also expected that the majority of search clicks in 2013 will come from mobile devices, with the prediction that mobile advertising “will undoubtedly be a billion pound medium within a few years”. Mobile has reached a milestone as marketers are becoming more attuned to the ‘always connected’ nature of consumers, who expect to engage with content wherever they are. This has resulted in advertisers encouraging consumers in all industries, to invest in integrated campaigns across online and mobile. As Anna Bartz from PwC, said: “The advertising market is shifting toward storytelling and integrated campaigns which give greater prominence to video and display formats with a higher degree of interactivity with the target audience”.

With the likes of social media sites such as Facebook, and with them recently unveiling plans for a Smartphone which it claims will “make the social network the home of Android devices, as it looks to expand its mobile advertising offering”,  it is no wonder that social media has contributed to this astonishing high turnover in digital advertising. With mobile advertising increasing from £265 million to £328.4 million in 2012, meaning that in only 3 years social media revenue has quadrupled at 383%.

Last but not least, video ad revenue is responsible for 12% of all online and mobile display advertising with an overall £160 million revenue, which has helped contribute to such a high digital ad spend in 2012.

The top five display advertising sectors in 2012 are as follows; finance (15%), entertainment and media (13%), retail (12%) and technology (9%).

Google Panda Update 3.92

Google have announced that there is to be yet another Panda refresh rolling out. Google posted there announcement about Panda 3.92 to Twitter: “Panda refresh is rolling out—expect some flux over the next few days. Fewer than 0.7% of queries noticeably affected”.

If you are unaware of Google Panda and its background, the updates are aimed at targeting low quality websites so that only high quality websites are categorised high on search engines. Each Panda refresh offers a new set of requirements or rules that website owners must adhere to, in order for their website to perform well on search engines.

Panda made its debut in February 2011 and since then many website have seen a change in their websites and traffic to the website. Common offenders include: duplicate content, static content (pages not regularly updated).

For businesses these requirements can have dramatic effects on your online conversions. Therefore, it is essential to take note of each update and understand the important changes that need to be implemented on your website.

The next announcement is coming so watch this space!

The Success of Google+

This month Vic Gundotra, the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google has announced that Google+ has surpassed 400 million members. Gunodtra also mentioned that the network has 100 millions active users.

Gundotra wrote “This week we also hit an important milestone–over 400,000,000 people have upgraded to Google+. It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn’t have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months,”

Facebook was said to have 955 million active users in July. This may seem like an advantage but we must take into consideration that it has taken Facebook a number of years to reach its current figure. Furthermore, it has recently been revealed by Facebook and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that more than 83 million Facebook accounts are fake accounts.

Therefore, the integration of Google+ and Google Places has enabled Google to further publicise its social network. When users search for a location they are now required to register to Google+ to be able to view more information. The relationship between Google Places and Google +has made it more logical to access business profiles on Google+ than any other social network.

For example a recent case study has shown how Internet grocery retailer Ocado has benefited greatly from the business opportunities on Google+. Google Hangouts has enabled Ocado to engage with customers. Hangouts have increased the Ocado YouTube channel views from 50k to 230k. Social extensions has enabled customer to +1 favourite product which has made Ocado consider these products when advertising thus resulting in much more successful campaigns. By adopting social extensions, Ocado ads became instantly more compelling, and click-through rates increased by 30%.

Additionally, Google’s recent purchase of the imaging platform Nik Software will aim to compete with the success of Instagram and Facebook.

It seems that Google is beginning to cover all bases to ensure its success as a social network and dominant search engine. Will Facebook become a thing of the past and sink into the MySpace abyss? Or will Google’s success take the same amount of time that it has taken Facebook? Time will only tell.

Business Magazines reach new heights through Digital Media

Circulations of Business Magazines vary dramatically from one publication to the next. We are however seeing that the ‘screen age generation’ is having a positive effect on their online offerings across the board.

The Economist is one of most established Business Magazines in the world, with both a large UK (circulation: 210,384) and Worldwide (circulation: 1,487,010) audience. UK print circulation continues to increase, whilst this growth is impressive in a generally declining market it is somewhat overshadowed by The Economist’s online offerings. Average monthly unique users of have increased by 49% in the past three years; whilst they receive an average of 600,000 weekly downloads for the Digital edition, nearly three times the amount of print readers.

The total print circulation for The Week is increasing year on year, with a current circulation of 187,536, whilst receives an average of 850,000 unique users per month. The Week, like many other Business Magazines have recently launched a Digital edition of their publication, allowing the Digitally savvy to consume media on their tablet, as well as online and in print.

Prospect Magazine’s print circulation, which is currently 32,105, continues to grow year on year. Whilst the average online unique users have fluctuated in the past three years; seeing a 12% decrease two years ago, followed by a 17% increase the following year. Prospect launched a Digital edition in March 2012, which has so far seen 3,960 downloads.

Unlike the previous three Business Magazines, Investors Chronicle (circulation: 26,753) and The Spectator (circulation: 63,643) have both seen a decrease in their print circulations. Whilst print has seen a decline, the publications have both increased their online activity, with The Spectator seeing a 17% increase and Investors Chronicle a 25% increase in their website’s average monthly unique users over the past three years. Investors Chronicle are imminently releasing their Digital edition, whilst The Spectator’s receives 4,500 downloads per month.

New Scientist (circulation: 80,867) is the only publication which has seen a decrease across its platforms, with print decreasing by 13% over the last three years, and online by 5%. New Scientist is launching a Digital edition later this year.

Business Magazine print circulations

Investors Chronicle and The Spectator are, in our option, publications which have not focused on their declining circulations, but instead on increasing the audience of their online offerings, following the general trend in media consumption. The Economist, Prospects and The Week, even with increasing circulations, have invested in their Digital offerings, allowing consumers to engage with them through a variety of media.  Whilst New Scientist, which has seen a decrease in its existing platforms, are investing in a Digital medium, fashioning themselves as a multi platform media.

Today, there is a huge crossover between those who read print and online, showing that readers are migrating. Print and online are no longer treated differently as packages are sold to an ‘audience’.

Google+: SEO and Business benefits

Google+Just a few months ago Google officially launched Google+ pages for business and brands. There is no doubt that content shared by businesses or brands on Google+ pages is becoming prominent on search results pages and impacting all the search optimisation efforts. With this knowledge spreading quickly in the marketing world, businesses have started creating Google+ pages to use it as one of their key online marketing channels. But what does this mean for your business? Do you think it’s the time to create your own Google+ business page? How does this fit with your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles?

What Google say

We’ve all seen what Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn sharing can do for a business and how these networks have played played a major role in the search rankings. Google Plus has a unique advantage on all other social networks, this is that Google Plus was created and recently integrated into the largest search engine in the world “Google”. This is what Google have to say about [+1] button, which is similar to the [Like] button on Facebook:

“Content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from a friend who shares your tastes can be even better. Because of this, +1?s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality.”

Are my customers on Google+?

Google+ has started by focusing on businesses and experienced social media users. However, Google+ users have just started using the new network for personal networking rather than business networking. Therefore, this means that a lot of potential customer could in turn be using Google+. However, there is a chance that these customers along with potential competitors will not be practiced in the ways of the new network. Therefore, by implementing Google+ in your marketing strategy early on this could give you a great advantage once more of your prospective customers start using Google+ personally. In addition, you will benefit from the fact that business pages and improve your SEO strategy results. Furthermore, there is far less competition on Google+ compared to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and this makes it worth trying as we start 2012.

iPad Owners Are Young Males Who Use it for Anything but Work


ComScore revealed in July 2011 that 62.4% of iPad owners are male, with 69.4% under the age of 45.

According to IDC (November 2011) currently, Apple iPad has 68% market share comparing to other tablet devices in the UK. Tablets powered with Android OS have a 27% market share. Blackberry PlayBook has a market share of 5%.

Users prefer tablets because they believe they are more portable, lightweight and convenient. That’s why according to Price Grabber 79% of users preferred to unwrap a tablet than a laptop at Christmas.  (Nov’11)

The following are interesting facts about iPad users:

Where do you use your iPad?

  • 95% in the living room
  • 89% in the bedroom
  • 63% in the kitchen
  • 48% in the garden
  • 35% in the bathroom
  • 26% in the car, train or bus.

What do you use your iPad for?

  • 98% for Internet browsing
  • 94% for email communications
  • 88% for media consumption (Music, Video, etc), of which:
    • Music:
      • 90% listen to iTune music
      • 55% listen to live radio
      • 9% listen to Last.FM
      • 9% listen to Spotify
      • 1% listen to Pandora
  • Video:
    • 87% watch YouTube
    • 74% watch catch-up TV
    • 52% watch iTune videos
    • 38% watch live TV
    • 10% watch Vimeo
    • 79% for gaming
    • 78% for shopping
    • 78% for social networking
    • 69% for news reading (newspaper, magazines and blogs)
    • 63% for book reading
    • 45% for business

Which Internet connected device do you spend most money with?

  • 48% with iPad
  • 19% with desktop computers
  • 16% with laptop computers
  • 11% with mobile phone
  • 4% with Cable/Internet TV
  • 3% don’t spend money on any device

How many Apps have you paid for on iPad?

  • 26% paid for 0-9 Apps
  • 24% paid for 10-19 Apps
  • 33% paid for 20-49 Apps
  • 11% paid for 50-99 Apps
  • 6% paid for 100 or more Apps

Survey conducted by Imano in May 2011.

Improving your Pay Per Click Return

imageWith worldwide online budgets set to increase by 8.3% in 2012, it is now more important than ever to utilise your online marketing channels. It’s known that Pay per Click (PPC) advertising is one of the most cost effective forms of online advertising. Each day more and more companies adopt this form of advertising in their marketing strategies, making this an increasingly competitive market. Are your PPC adverts struggling to get noticed on search result pages? Or do you simply want more visibility to your existing adverts at no extra cost?

How to get more visibility

Its fairly straight forward to set-up a PPC campaign, however, getting the most out of your budget is challenging.

Put simply, if you want to increase the visibility of your text ads you need to add more extensions. Effectively an add-on to your existing PPC ad copies, the various different types of extensions available will allow you to offer more useful and relevant information to users who view the ad. Ultimately, it will make your text ads stand out and compete with other adverts on the search engine result pages.

The most significant and recent extension available provides a connection from your ad to Google’s social network, Google +. Integrated within the ad as Google’s +1 button (similar to Facebook’s Like button), when clicked users share your website with their network on Google+. This will even help improve your natural search engine optimisation.

There are other extensions that can be used to improve the visibility of your PPC adverts. For example, adding a location map, address and phone number will enhance the business brand and will associate your business with a specific location of interest for the user. B2C advertisers can add offer links, products and a business rating to their ads.

With some campaigns videos can also be added into the advert as a way of providing further information about your company on a cost-per-play basis.

Why not try out some of these extensions in your PPC campaign? And see for yourself how a good campaign can be turned into a great campaign.

When Should you Send your Email Campaigns?

Email Key

Source: Mashable

Email marketing can be a great way to keep your customers up to date with your business news, products and services. It’s also a great way to introduce your business to potential customers and keep in touch with. Email marketing encourages cross selling and increases revenues by upselling to existing customers. It’s also useful to build your brand awareness and in turn acquire new leads and contacts.

However, email marketing is not just sending an email to a list of users whenever is convenient. Research shows that there are many factors to consider before sending your email campaign. For example, the day of the week makes all the difference, as emails sent on Saturday or Sunday are less likely to be opened. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday however have the highest open rate.

The time of the day is also an important factor.  Recent studies convey that the most popular time to send an email is between 12pm and 4pm, outside this time frame users prefer to receive and read emails directly related to their work or personal emails.

We also found that the most recent subscribers to your email database show more interest in your email messages that those who are in the database for a longer period. Therefore, it’s important to keep your database fresh by adding more email addresses and attracting new subscribers.

Once you have taken all these factors into consideration you will be able to optimise an email marketing strategy and ensure that you are making the most out of your customer database. Furthermore, email marketing will help you build ongoing relationships with potential customers.

Here at Four, we ensure that our clients’ email campaigns are carefully optimised, delivering the best results, with a high return on investment.