Apr. 23, 2015 | by Celebrating YouTube: Our favourite YouTube ads of all time

Today’s a big day for YouTube lovers around the world – we’re celebrating 10 years since the very first video was uploaded to the channel. YouTube has come a long way since the 23rd April 2005 – from the inaugural video of ‘Me at the Zoo’ (yes, it really was that) to today’s home grown YouTube vlogging superstars like Zoella – who reportedly earns £20000 a month from advertising.

To mark the occasion we thought we’d do a quick rundown of our favourite YouTube ads of all time. What makes this selection all so brilliant is that each one of them is a great bit of creative that has been made specifically for the platform – this was not about rehashing a TV spot (a very quick way to waste YouTube media budget), it’s about finding imaginative ways to get the most out of the few seconds you get before people can click the skip button. Rather than battle against the restrictions of the platform they play with them and to great effect.

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Apr. 22, 2015 | by Carsta Maria Mueller Why SEO and PR need to buddy up

The Global View

This year we have introduced The Global View – a series of Connect posts that will give you a quick snapshot of the big issues influencing digital marketing around the world, as seen by the different offices in the iCrossing network.

For the second in the series, the guys in Germany are discussing the need for PR and SEO to become best buddies. This continues to be a seriously hot topic for us in the UK as well and is something the UK SEO team have written about previously as well. Here’s what they had to say about it.

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Apr. 21, 2015 | by Adam Skalak Mobile algorithm update exposes Google’s struggle with ad revenue

The search community is buzzing today as Google’s biggest ever mobile algorithm update hits. And while the search engine giant is sending a strong message to brands – improve your mobile sites or else… does it also hint to the fact that Google is feeling the pinch?

Clearly too many brands have failed to develop their mobile friendliness in line with the massive increase in mobile search and this is hitting Google where it hurts most, advertising revenue. Their latest ad revenue figures show growth has slowed considerably over the last couple of years, despite mobile use continuing to boom.

The update will clamp down on sites that are not mobile-friendly – sites that are difficult to navigate on mobile or are simply not optimised for mobile. And Google has said that it will impact more sites than either the Google Penguin or Panda updates did.

But what’s interesting about this update is fact that Google has uncharacteristically given brands so much warning – it announced the update back in February. This algorithm update is not about catching people out who have been trying to game Google’s search algorithm. This is about Google wanting to dramatically change behaviour, get brands to improve mobile friendliness and to see a marked impact on the search landscape.

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Apr. 21, 2015 | by James Mortimer How to use paid social advertising to meet your business objectives

As we continue to see more social sites take their first steps into monetising their network through ads – Pinterest in the US being the latest to do so – the world of paid social is becoming an ever more complicated minefield for brands to negotiate.

In response, we have produced a series of guides that will help you get to grips with the different formats on offer and choose the right platforms for your campaign. But before we go into that, let’s take a look at the two things you absolutely must do before you start any paid social campaign:

1. Be clear on the business objective you want to achieve and stick to it
2. Put your customers at the heart of the campaign and get to know who they really are

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Apr. 13, 2015 | by Modestos Siotos 10 things you may not know about Google’s mobile-friendly update

The clock is ticking down before Google’s much anticipated ‘mobile-friendly’ algorithm update that will reward mobile-friendly pages with higher search rankings and push down those that do not qualify gets rolled out.

The below ten points have all been confirmed by Google’s representatives in various ways including official announcements, presentations, hangouts as well as Q&A sessions in recent SEO conferences such as SMX West and Brighton SEO. Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, shed some more light on the forthcoming Google update during a Q&A session at Brighton SEO. Some of the points he shared appear to have been publicly announced for the first time.

  1. It will start on April 21st and may take up to a week until it is completely rolled out.
  2. It won’t affect tablet, nor desktop performance –  just mobile.
  3. 70% of pages on the web are currently mobile friendly. This means that the update will affect the only the remaining 30%, yet it is expected to have a bigger impact than Penguin and Panda combined.
  4. A page is either mobile-friendly or not – there is no degree of mobile-friendliness on a given page.
  5. Pagespeed won’t be a ranking factor for the first release of the mobile-friendly update.
  6. Local listings will not be affected. Businesses appearing in Google pack results that do not have a mobile-friendly site will not see their pack results impacted.
  7. The algorithm will run at real-time. This means that as soon as a page becomes mobile-friendly it will benefit from the algorithm.
  8. Having a responsive website does not guarantee mobile-friendliness, unless it is correctly implemented. Other set-ups such as parallel or adaptive mobile sites can be equally considered as mobile-friendly.
  9. There are two ways to find out whether a page is mobile-friendly or not. Google’s mobile-friendly test and mobile usability report in webmaster tools.
  10. In order for Google to label a page as mobile-friendly you need to make sure that:
    • Page content isn’t built on flash or other inaccessible to search engines technologies.
    • The viewport hasn’t been set to a fixed width.
    • The meta viewport tag viewport is properly configured so browsers can scale to each different device.
    • No horizontal scrolling is required to view the content. This means that images also need to scale.
    • Font size isn’t too small so it can be easily read without zooming in.
    • Touch elements such as buttons and navigational links aren’t too close so users do not accidentally tap on other elements.

Bonus: Garry also said that Google are currently experimenting with a separate mobile index. However, separating the mobile results from the desktop ones is very challenging and this change, if it is to go ahead, will take quite some time before it gets implemented.

Here is an example of a page that isn’t mobile-friendly using Google’s mobile-friendly test tool:


Apr. 07, 2015 | by Rosie Vero Working as Marketing Assistant at iCrossing UK

This week I arrive at the one month mark since starting as Marketing Assistant at iCrossing, which seems a pretty good time to reflect on my journey so far. It feels like a lot has happened in the short time since I graduated from Bournemouth University towards the end of last year. I’d already decided that I wanted to work in digital during my yearlong placement in digital music PR where I gained an insight into how diverse, changeable and exciting the industry is. It wasn’t long before I was on the iCrossing website, applying for the job that was to be my first step onto the old career ladder.

In my first week I undertook two induction days which kick-started the settling in process for me. Although I’m based in London, the induction days were held in Brighton so it was nice to get a feel for the other office. We were also provided with a brief insight into the different activities that go on companywide. After all there are a lot of different things going on; not just in terms of services, but also the company has a great social culture and there are a lot of clubs and events to be aware of. Over all the two days were a great ice breaker, and due to the fluidity of staff between the London and Brighton office it meant that when I got to London, there were a few familiar faces (always nice on an otherwise daunting day).

instaSo since then, I’ve been working on a few really varied projects. I’ve been getting the hang of technical things like uploading posts to the company blog and editing the website. I’ve been running the Instagram account too, capturing the aforementioned social aspect of the company. People are starting to use the company hashtags and getting more involved which makes it a lot of fun. Alongside that, I’ve also been carrying out quite a comprehensive competitor analysis, which has been really interesting. It’s really rewarding to know that I’m doing things that are really worthwhile and will ultimately place us as a more competitive agency.

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Apr. 02, 2015 | by Sam Vining A closer look at Yandex’s market share in Russia

After publishing our search engine market share infographic for 2015 earlier this week, representatives from Yandex got in touch and offered an alternative view of the Russian market.

Where Statcounter has Google as the dominant player in Russia – with a market share of 53% vs. Yandex at 38% – local site has these figures reversed, with Yandex driving the greater share of users’ search visits.

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Mar. 31, 2015 | by Sam Vining Search engine infographic 2015: The countries that stand between Google and total world domination

Google has over 90% of the Search Engine market in the vast majority of countries around the world. But what about those where it doesn’t quite have this kind of stronghold? In our latest Search Engine infographic we take a closer look at the countries where Google doesn’t have over 90% and for comparison, have detailed Google’s market share in the largest economies in Europe, the BRIC countries and in Australia as well.

SearchEngine_infographic_2015-v04.07- 600px


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Mar. 23, 2015 | by James Mortimer Nine moments that put Twitter on the map

It may seem hard to believe but Twitter turned nine years old this weekend (21st March). The micro blogging network changed how the world communicates, how brands interact with customers and how news is broken around the world.

And to mark the occasion, here are Twitter’s nine biggest moments:

Twitter’s IPO – In November 2013 Twitter went public with their long awaited IPO. The stock opened at $26 a share and currently trade at around $45 although there is still much debate between investment analysts about how successful the IPO actually was.

Obama’s Twitter Town Hall – Twitter and live politics now go hand in hand but Obama was one of the first world leaders to use the platform to interact with voters on a mass scale with his Town Hall event. The hashtag #AskObama received 110,000 mentions.

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Mar. 13, 2015 | by Bill Connolly Global digital trends: The growth of mobile

The Global View

This year we have introduced The Global View – a series of Connect posts that will give you a quick snapshot of the big issues influencing digital marketing around the world, as seen by the different offices in the iCrossing network

This issue Bill Connolly our Content Marketing Manager State side is taking a closer look at what’s going on with mobile advertising right now.


(c) Johan Larsson

One of the biggest benefits to being a global organization is that we can share insights with colleagues from around the world. In the ever-changing realm of digital, brands must consider how advertising and consumer trends differ across various regions. To help facilitate that conversation, we are introducing a short blog series where iCrossing experts from around the world will offer their perspectives on a given topic. In this, our first installment, we take a look at mobile technology through the regional lens’ of the United States, the UK, and Germany.

US retailers integrating mobile with brick-and-mortar locations

Mobile has been a consideration for retailers in the form of online purchasing for a while. However, one of the largest 2015 mobile trends will be its use as a way to pay for purchases made in store. Apple Pay and the iPhone 6 are leading the way in this ecosystem, with a growing base of participating retailers like Whole Foods recognizing the payment method for consumers. In fact, Apple Pay supports credit cards that represent 90% of the credit card purchase volume in the US and can be used at 220,000 outlets. According to Engadget, Apple Pay is also helping pave the way for other tap-to-pay services like Google and Softcard, simply by raising awareness about the potential for the technology.

Another way that retailers are beginning to engage consumers through mobile is by using location-based capabilities. Geo-fencing allows marketers to send messages directly to a mobile device when the device (and by default, its user) enter into a defined geographical area. Of course, the technology has a long way to go, and most companies have yet to integrate it with their CRM systems. Enabling geo-fencing, however, has an enormous amount of potential for brands to capture busy consumers in the moment when they are near a store. Some popular solutions in this space include iBeacon, Google Now and Neer, among others.

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