APRIL 28, 2014

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Social Media
Social Networks Are Becoming an Increasingly Significant Traffic Driver

Social media are referring more traffic than ever before to Media and Entertainment sites, and now account for 8% of their traffic, according to Adobe’s Q1 Social Intelligence report. Social-referred traffic to retail sites, on the other hand, declined 25% year-over-year, and now accounts for less than 2% of visits. The report provides an in-depth analysis of engagement with Facebook, which maintained its dominant lead in the social arena. Facebook posts with images continue to account for the vast majority of brand posts (63%) and also provide the highest engagement rate (4.4%). Text posts are quickly declining in both share and engagement, and are being replaced with links and videos. The day of week also influences engagement levels. Consumers are most likely to comment, share and like on Fridays, and least likely to do so on Sundays. On the advertising front, Facebook ad impressions and clicks are both up, and click-through rates continue to rise.

Brands are also getting better at engaging with fans on Facebook as comments and shares are up over last year.


So what?

Understanding the dynamics of social networks allows brands to optimize their posting strategy and drive more traffic to their sites. The Digital Marketing & Analytics teams have been working with many Condé Nast brands on Facebook and Twitter optimization plans that yielded great results to date.

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Males & Females Process Online Ads Differently

A study published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Advertising Research set to uncover any differences in how male and female brains process online advertisements. Using attention tracking technology (eye, hand, and head movements) the researchers monitored the movements of the study's 882 participants.  Respondents then completed a questionnaire measuring their brand attitudes (appeal and likability of ads, etc.).   The results of the attention tracking exercise showed men to have higher swings in attention based on the ad's location on the screen.  Men were more likely to devote more attention to ads on the right side of the screen than the left.  Conversely, women were more likely to pay attention to ads on the left side of the screen, but the disparity between attention devoted to the right or left side was far slimmer than among men.  However, despite paying less attention to the left side of the screen, males had more favorable attitudes about the ads on that side when asked in the follow-up survey. The same held true among females as they had higher opinions of the ads they paid less attention to (ads on the right side of screen received less attention, but elicited more positive attitudes than left side).

So what?

There might be a couple of minor tactical takeaways from this study.  For example, ads meant to generate as much saliency as possible might be best served on left side of screen for women and right side for men.  But the more important takeaway might be that a measure of successful online advertising cannot always be measured simply by clicks.  This study shows that an online ad that garners more attention does not always equate to more favorability for the brand.

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Millennials May Be More Brand-Loyal Than You Think

It is a common belief that millennials are not brand-loyal. A new study from Androit Digital (formerly Akamai ADS) claims that millennials are in fact brand-loyal just like their elders, just in a different way. When surveyed, 40% of consumers ages 18-33 said that they feel they are as loyal as their parents are to their favorite brands, and 24% felt they are more brand-loyal than their parents. They indicated that they are most brand-loyal to mobile phone providers and fashion brands, and least loyal to hotels and airlines. The criteria millennials use to evaluate brands are aligned with those used by other generations, with price (62%), friend recommendations (55%), brand reputation (47%) and quality (35%) in the lead. However, when it comes to influential media sources, millennials are probably quite different than their parents. While TV influences them the most, it is closely followed by social networks and digital advertising (display, video and mobile). One in three of millennials report that magazines influence how they perceive and value a brand.

So what?

Millennials are in a stage in their lives when many of their brand loyalties are formed. Brands have to be able to reach them through the channels they heavily use, such as social, digital and mobile. Condé Nast’s digital properties give them the opportunity to do so, in an environment that allows them to convey a message of quality and trust.

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Harris: Electronic Books Lead to More Reading Overall

Consumers still read paper copy books, but those who have discovered e-books are reading more overall according to a new study by Harris Interactive.  While nearly all readers (94%) still do some or all of their reading using paper versions of books, the majority of American readers are now consuming at least some of their books electronically (on a smartphone, tablet, or e-reader).   And that e-reading segment of the population are heavier consumers overall -- those who report reading more electronically read nearly seven more books in total each year than those who prefer paper.   Not surprisingly, Millennials (66%) are more likely to be electronic readers than the average population.  Perhaps more surprising -- despite being less voracious readers than women overall, men are more likely to have read an e-book in the past year.


So what?

This survey data from Harris about book reading corresponds with what we know about media consumption in general.  New forms of media do not always signify a cannibalization of older forms.  Book readers are using electronic reading to allow them to read more, much like we have seen digital consumers use mobile to consume more web content overall rather than have it cut into desktop/laptop time. 

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Quick Takes
Condé Nast Digital Climbs to #32 in comScore’s Top 50 Desktop Properties March Report

Source: comScore
After Selling a Record Number of iPads in the Fourth Quarter of 2013, Sales Fall for Apple in the First Quarter of this Year

Source: Apple, Business Insider
Increased Circulation Revenue (+3.7%) Helped Stem Newspapers' Ad Revenue Losses (-6.5%) in 2013

Source: Newspaper Association of America
Led By Digital Advertising, B-to-B Media Revenue Grew by Nearly 5% Last Year

Source: 2013 ABM BIN Report
Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights