Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

The latest of social networks to join forces with advertising are photo-sharing apps like Instagram. While we’ve spoken of such apps before, their role in advertising has become even clearer recently, as they have proven to hold a pragmatic function for retail advertisers.

At the end of January, the location check-in app Foursquare announced a new partnership with food delivery company GrubHub Seamless. Now, both iPhone and Android smartphone owners can place orders for delivery from local restaurants directly through the Foursquare app. This merger is not only great news for hungry customers who don’t want to leave the comfort of their homes, it’s also great news for local restaurants and your ad department!

Recently, online retailer Amazon added Sunday deliveries in two major U.S. cities to its offerings. In a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon began Sunday deliveries in New York City and Los Angeles in mid-November. It hopes to expand Sunday deliveries to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix within the next year.

In a way, social media giants, like Facebook and Twitter, are vying for the affection of newspapers, insofar as these sites want to be perceived as viable information resources that connect their users to the latest in breaking news and current events. Although local newspapers across the country felt like they were running to catch up to the social media movement, increasingly, this relationship is becoming more synergetic than ever.

Another company, that was once a leader in its market, has bitten the dust due to its unwillingness to adapt with the changing times. This time, it’s Blockbuster. Last week, the movie rental retailer announced it would be shuttering its remaining 300 stores, leaving only 50 individual stores run as independent franchises. Blockbuster’s demise comes after years of losing customers to its online competitors — namely Netflix. In the wake of Blockbuster’s announcement, many have noted that it was a long time coming, and other businesses — especially media companies — should take Blockbuster’s story as a cautionary tale.

As we mentioned last week, Pinterest made a move into advertising, and now, the photo-sharing app Instagram is following suit. On Oct. 24, Instagram posted a blog to inform users that an educational sample ad would appear in their feeds in the upcoming week. 

The social image and video-sharing giant Pinterest has crossed over into the advertising world. While the social network is still relatively young, at a mere three years old, its quick rise to fame makes Pinterest look less like a scrappy upstart these days, and more like a seasoned vet in the social media game. That is perhaps why the site now feels it’s the right time to roll out its first advertising offering to businesses.

With the constant growth in technology, it’s perfectly understandable that we want to leverage it to simplify our personal and professional lives. Tech and advertising are a natural pairing, and as a result, there are many options out there to simplify your department’s and your clients’ strategies. Case in point: automated advertising. Automated ads are pre-made ads created with certain mediums, like social media; times of day; or locations in mind. Coupled with circumstantial data, these ads are prompted to run without you having to lift another finger. However, automated advertising can lead to some issues for your clients’ brands.

Lately, you may have noticed a trend developing amongst brands using social media as a component of their marketing, especially on Twitter. This particular platform lends itself well to breaking news, as many in the media believe it’s crucial to be the first to report important news. Reporters have found that the quickest way to get information to the public and beat their competitors to the punch is by composing a 140-character tweet. It’s an immediate way for them to say, “I was there first,” and it’s even accompanied by a time stamp to prove they were. In addition to being the first to break news, journalists have also found Twitter and other social media platforms are a great way to connect with their readers and start a dialogue with them, as the public increasingly wants to play a role and have a say in the news. As a result, Twitter and other networks host huge audiences, all discussing similar topics at the same time and hitting refresh to see the latest post about the subject.

Social apps like Instagram and Vine have inundated everyday life. Picture it: You go out to dinner, your plate arrives and before digging in, you stop to snap a picture and share it with your friends. If that doesn’t describe you, you could probably just as easily look around the restaurant and see others who are guilty of the habit. Such occurrences — which aren’t limited to pictures at restaurants, but rather all forms of commerce — have become so commonplace that it’s created new privacy issues in this era of ever-growing technology. Brands that have snagged photos posted on social networks like Instagram and Facebook and then used them without permission have subsequently sparked outrage amongst social media users. However, the new mobile app SnapMyAd wants to mediate these conflicts by connecting brands with consumers willing to give up their photos.

Many have already recognized the great potential Facebook offers businesses. The social media giant allows both nationally recognized brands and small businesses the invaluable opportunity to reach their existing audience and widen that scope by connecting with potential clients. You and your advertisers are no doubt aware of Facebook’s business and advertising features, but if you haven’t already, it’s time to consider the power of Facebook promoted posts. These posts allow paying businesses with a Facebook page to promote a particular piece of content to not only their existing fans, but also to those fans’ Facebook friends. This allows businesses to grow their audience without breaking their budget.

On Feb. 20, 2013, marketers rejoiced as Twitter announced a new Ads API. This means that businesses will be able to run ad campaigns through Twitter’s API partners, rather than buying from Twitter itself. Advertisers will soon have the ability to work with Twitter’s initial set of Ads API partners to create and manage Twitter Ad campaigns. Twitter was sure to clarify that users will continue to see the most relevant Promoted Tweets from advertisers first, adding that the Ads API helps companies deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, across multiple platforms.

We at AtF are always exploring the newest developments in social media and mobile technology to learn what’s on trend and what newspaper ad departments need to adopt into their strategies. Lately, you may have heard of a little mobile app called Vine. It’s kind of like the Instagram (the vintage-themed photo-sharing app) for videos. The Twitter-owned app allows users to create six-second videos that loop, offering an almost stop-motion animation effect. National brands have already started implementing Vine into their social media strategies to great avail, proving that this new app has carved its place in the marketing and advertising industry. 

Video is increasingly playing a larger role in branding, marketing and overall business strategies, as its daily use is on the rise, especially with the growth in smartphone and tablet owners. Video offers a valuable opportunity for brands to connect with their customers and create dynamic presences. Video could be put to good use by all of your clients, no matter which vertical, but today, we’ll discuss why you should talk to Realtors® about getting on board.

Pinterest, like many social networks, experienced a viral-like reaction during its beginnings, but it remains a serious player in the social media universe. It offers a huge audience and plenty of opportunities for you and your advertisers to engage with customers.

Lately, Yahoo! has been all over the news for making major moves to stay relevant in the ever-changing Internet landscape. First came the company’s July 2012 announcement of Marissa Meyer as the new CEO, and then her controversial elimination of employee telecommuting this past February. At the end of May, the company made headlines once again, this time for its staggering $1.1 billion purchase of the blogging platform, Tumblr. This was a strategic attempt at connecting Yahoo! with the younger audience that populates Tumblr, but it does not go without changes to the beloved site. 

With all the talk about Twitter, you may be surprised to find that many companies still vastly underuse the social media giant. This was the subject of Forbes contributor Brent Gleeson’s article, “10 Tips for Tactical Tweeting.” In it, Gleeson emphasizes the importance of technology as companies and brands try to improve their communication with their varied audiences.While there are countless tools aimed at streamlining Twitter, Gleeson wanted to remind people to focus on the basics. He offered tips on how to effectively and efficiently use Twitter to reach your audience; we’ve summarized a few of the main ones below.

Mobile has already become a serious facet of the newspaper and advertising industries, and according to a recent BI Intelligence report, video is one of the prime uses of mobile. When keeping up on technological developments, it’s important to take these trends into consideration when adapting and structuring your newspaper’s advertising, mobile video included. We have some facts to put in your back pocket and take into your department to better inform your paper and your clients’ ad strategies.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Social media is playing a bigger role in advertising, marketing and commerce every day. It’s important for you to know the trends, which ones matter and how to incorporate them into your own strategies as well as your clients’ — retailers included. Online shopping is growing at a steady pace, providing shoppers with the convenience of buying without even leaving their homes, but also offering them information to prepare for in-store purchases. In fact, a Gartner survey found that 74 percent of shoppers use social networks to inform their purchase decisions, and as a result, more and more companies are incorporating things like user reviews and social network share buttons on their websites.


Twitter has been the part of many a marketing-strategy conversation, but within the past month, the microblogging site and social network has made major strides to solidify its place in the marketing world. It started with the reissue of its “Twitter for Business” site. The new and improved version offers more resources to educate businesses on how to best use the site for their purposes. 


With all the change that has taken place in the past 10 and 20 years, we have become familiar with how media and advertising have changed forever, and what consumers and readers want and expect. However, one thing that actually has not changed is the trustworthiness of email marketing. Your weekly or monthly e-blast is still a viable part of your marketing campaign, however, one thing to keep in mind when designing your email marketing strategy is that the way people view their emails has changed. Yes, they still view them on computer screens, but more than ever, they read their emails from their mobile devices. With this in mind, we have a few tips for your email marketing design. 


According to a 2008 study, there are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the U.S. After nearly five years, the number is continuing to rise, thus proving that blogs are a major trend. They have taken the Internet by storm and are highly influential, which is why they are the perfect place to turn when you’re creating a special section, website or event. Utilizing the skills of bloggers will both add a hyperlocal element to your work and save you money. Furthermore, it creates reciprocal advertising for both the blogger and the newspaper. 


Email is an integral part of our daily communication — especially for professionals — and it has been for quite some time now. In fact, many professionals have their work email sent straight to their phones, blurring the lines of standard in-office work hours. This constant flow of back-and-forth emails brings with it some interpersonal issues. Sometimes emails are written in the moment, without a second glance. This can lead to not only technical errors, but it can also cause the message to be received as rude, even if it’s unintentional. Therefore, just because email provides a way to instantaneously communicate with others to get the job done, that doesn’t mean they should be sent in haste. In fact, doing so could potentially burn some bridges with colleagues and potential clients! With the help of The Huffington Post’s Dana Sachs and her article, “9 Rules of Email Etiquette,” we have some basic rules to keep in mind when composing your next email. 

Are your advertisers on Pinterest? If not, there’s a good chance they should be! Pinterest offers a great opportunity for your advertisers to connect with various demographics within their client base. The virtual pin board gives businesses a creative outlet to display their products and services, but also pin and repin content that isn’t necessarily derived from their own businesses, but reaffirm their brand to create dynamic customer relations. If your advertisers have invested their time and resources in creating a presence on Pinterest, then it will be valuable to know that the social network recently launched a new, free analytics tool for site owners to determine the impact their account is having for their over all marketing strategy.