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September 14, 2012 04:38 PM

DIGIKNOW: Pinterest Powers Forward, Apple Takes on Pandora, More Searches Start with Smartphones & Google Promotes PLAs

Pinterest is taking audience from other social media sites. Apple is challenging Pandora and Google is changing its product listing ads. This week’s DigiKnow looks at those top headlines in digital news and explains what each might mean to your business.

Our author this week is Amy DesLauriers, a media coordinator at L&S and a Google Certified Advertising Professional. And if you’d like to see previous editions of DigiKnow, visit our blog,

1. Pinterest Disrupts the Social Media Landscape
1 in 4 spend less time on other social sites in favor of Pinterest

The increasing popularity of Pinterest continues to grab the attention not only of marketers but also business executives across a variety of industries.  One would think more brands would jump on the opportunity, yet only 7% of surveyed executives said they currently use Pinterest for their business. In the same survey conducted by The Creative Group, 44% said they have no interest in using Pinterest for business purposes.


No interest, in Pinterest?! What? Pinterest grew from 700K to over 21M in the past year alone, which is already half of Twitter’s unique visitors and accounts for something like 8.5% of all social media usage from my calculations.  Compete conducted a study that found 1 in 4 people spend less time on other social media sites in favor of Pinterest. It is time to get interested!

For those of you who have not jumped on the bandwagon, here are a few Pinterest tips to get you started:

1.    Organize boards wisely. Use clear and intuitive titles.
2.    Create compelling captions. Explain the pins well and be vibrant.
3.    Build your following.  Engage with other pinners, re-pin and comment.

2. Apple to Join the Digital Radio Market
Hopes to take a bite out of Pandora’s 150M registered users

Talk about action - reaction. Apple has announced its plan to roll out a digital radio product and Pandora’s stock tumbles by 17%. Pandora is not the only player in the internet-based radio market but it has the largest share with 150M users.  Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio has about 45M users and Spotify has 33M.  Each platform currently has its own advertising model and some also offer subscription services.  Although not as cost effective, Apple is negotiating directly with publishers in order to have more flexibility in how consumers can interact with the music, according to Wall Street Journal sources.

With Apple’s entrance into the online radio market, brands will gain another advertising option, but could also find greater difficulty reaching their audience in a more divided market.

Read Billboard’s 5 Reasons why Apple wants to compete with Pandora.

3. Smartphones: Most Common Starting Place for Online Activities
65% of online info searches start on mobile devices.

A recent Google study called “The New Multi-Screen World” found 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal using smartphones, PCs and tablets.  What I found interesting was the vast majority of online activities start on mobile devices.  Which can only mean… the majority of online activities are all completed using two or more screens.

Our messages need to fit any type of screen and the transition between them should be seamless.  An OPA study sited that 84% of respondents identified themselves as two-screen multitaskers and 64% as three-screen multitaskers.  I don’t know how they do it – let’s be serious, I only have two hands!

Flip through this Google slideshow for more findings.

4. Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs): More Clicks, Lower Cost
Will PLAs become the new paid search?

Google executive Micahel Griffin predicts that Product Listing Ads will soon replace paid search ads at the top of search result lists. A Product Listing Ad or PLA is a paid search ad with richer content including an image, price and merchant information. Google recently changed their free Product Search feature to a paid model called Google Shopping built on PLA’s.

Both consumers and advertisers benefit from this change. Requiring advertisers to pay for PLA’s filters out the garbage products and produces more relevant search results for consumers. Advertisers benefit from PLA’s because it has shown to increase clicks and conversions at a lower cost because consumers tend to click more often on images with text.

Google explains more about how to use Product Listing Ads on their website.

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