Archive for February, 2016

Treasury left with a gilt complex

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Big bond funds might be suitable replacement if big banks are losing their capacity to buy

Pay to Place Twitter Video Ads at the Top of Every Timeline with First View

Monday, February 29th, 2016

twitter timeline ads video

The impact of video in advertising is undeniable, and whether it is GIFs that are seconds long or longer formats, everyone is using video ads to connect with their audience.

Twitter’s First View takes the popularity of video and lets brands share their message in a highly visible way with premium placement.

While the market has many different outlets for brands to advertise with video, the benefit of using Twitter is it allows advertisers to insert themselves when an event is trending. Whether it is the Super Bowl, the Grammys or any other large event, Twitter video ads will provide a strong reach because it is highly targeted.

Twitter makes this possible by giving advertisers the opportunity to own Twitter’s most valuable property for 24 hours. The top ad slot in the timeline can now be purchased with a promoted video, so anytime a user initially opens the app or first visits Twitter.com they will see your brand.

Although details are still pouring in, First View will be video only in the beginning. A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch they will be adding other types of Tweets in the future.

First View ads will be available only in the U.S. with select U.S.-managed clients across Twitter’s mobile and desktop apps and Twitter.com. The company announced global expansion will be available in the coming months.

This new advertising format is a premium product, and Twitter has not announced the pricing structure. But it is fair to say since the company selected only managed clients, it is primarily geared for large brands, at least for the moment. And it is these large brands that will benefit greatly by advertising for the 24-hour period.

According to Twitter Data, big events have had millions of users and billions of views. Super Bowl 50, for example, had a total audience of 4.3 billion views based on 27 million Tweets. The Grammys had 17.2 million Tweets and 2.1 billion views. These are all numbers brands can capitalize on by using First View when events with national and global audience participation take place.

As one of the U.S. managed clients that will be using First View, Marc Weinstock, President of Domestic Theatrical Marketing, 20th Century Fox, said, “Word of mouth is more important than it has ever been in movie marketing. And there is no better word of mouth social platform than Twitter. Twitter’s First View is a great opportunity to widely distribute our trailer for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates while generating buzz and social conversation. We are able to hit a broad movie-going audience with great video in a way that not just garners views, but actually creates social momentum.”

Image: Small Business Trends via Twitter

This article, “Pay to Place Twitter Video Ads at the Top of Every Timeline with First View” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Bulgaria Posts BGN 991 M Budget Surplus for January

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Bulgaria’s consolidated budget showed a surplus of BGN 991.6 M for end-January equivalent to 1.1% of the projected 2016 GDP, according to preliminary data released by the Finance Ministry on Monday.

This compared with a consolidated budget surplus of BGN 69.1 M equivalent to 0.1% of GDP at end-January 2015.

The Finance Ministry attributed the rise in surplus to the higher rate of increase in budget revenue and grants as well as decreased spending compared with January 2015.

Revenues and grants received in January 2016 increased by  26.7% year-on-year, reaching BGN 3.13 B, or 9.5% of annual plan.This compared with year-on-year increase in revenue and grants by 19.3% and 15.8% for January 2015 and January 2014 respectively, the Finance Ministry said in a monthly budget report.    

Expenditure under the consolidated budget, including Bulgaria’s contribution into the European Union budget, totalled BGN 2.14 B, or 6.1% of the 2016 plan. This compared with consolidated budget spending of BGN 2.40 B for January 2015.

 

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Pemex warns on liquidity as losses mount

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Energy group’s losses near $29bn amid oil price collapse and drop in value of peso

Genel shares hit after oilfield downgrade

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Investigation finds main Kurdistan field has half the amount of oil as previously thought

Bulgaria Reports Government Debt of EUR 11.6 B for End-January

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Bulgaria’s government debt totalled EUR 11.60 B in nominal terms at the end of January, the Finance Ministry announced on Monday.

This compared with total government debt of EUR 10.63 B at the end of January 2015 and EUR 11.61 B at the end of December 2015, Finance Ministry data showed.

As of end-January 2016, domestic government debt debt totaled EUR 3.71 B and foreign debt amounted to EUR 7.89 B.

Government debt-to-GDP ratio was 25.7% at the end of January 2016, compared with 25.2% a year earlier and 26.4% at end-December 2015.

Revised 2015 GDP data of BGN 85.70 B (EUR 43.82 B) and 2016 GDP projection of BGN 88.28 B (EUR 45.14 B) had been used in the calculations, the Finance Ministry said in a monthly debt report.

Seventy-six percent of total government debt was denominated in euro, 23.1% in Bulgarian levs and 0.3% in other currencies at the end of January 2016.

 

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Are You Making These 3 Ecommerce Website Design Mistakes?

Monday, February 29th, 2016

ecommerce website design mistakes

The growth of the ecommerce industry has been very rapid over the past few years.

Many organizations and individuals are selling different products and services online to the point where the competition has gotten fierce and is even getting fiercer as everyone, through their ecommerce sites, fight for the attention of customers.

This makes the design of your ecommerce site a very crucial factor for success. It is something that has become very delicate and requires special attention, so you can achieve the best result. From catching the attention of a potential customer, to growing their interest and finally convincing them to buy your product or service, your site is the shop, the sales rep, customer service agent, and more.

Knowing this, your ecommerce site must be designed to attract more page views and maximize conversions. But certain ecommerce website design mistakes are very common, and they have huge negative effects on ecommerce sites. Just as sales persons are tasked with the job of getting people to buy products or services, and their performances are evaluated, it is important to do a very careful evaluation of your site and ascertain that it is yielding maximum results.

According to Tammy Everts, a senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, there are three common ecommerce website design mistakes to avoid. Look out for them, and if your site is a victim, make the necessary corrections.

Common Ecommerce Website Design Mistakes

The Page Appears Blank, then Suddenly Populates All Your Content at Once

According to Kissmetrics, the following issues usually affect the conversion rates for your website:

  • 47 percent of consumers expect a Web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 40 percent of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
  • A one second delay in page response can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions.

These stats are from a study in 2009. If all that was true in 2009, the figures might have even grown worse by now, as online shoppers’ impatience keeps growing.

Instant gratification is what any are looking for when they turn to the Internet for purchases, and that is also what ecommerce promises. If your page takes time to load, appears blank at first then populates all at once later, or does not load all content simultaneously, such a first impression is capable of putting visitors and potential customers off. The problem can be from unoptimized images, poorly executed style sheets, analytic tags or ad network codes, etc.

There’s an Absence of Clear Call-to-Action

The reason why you have a website up and running is because you want to get certain response(s) from those who visit it. For you to get your desired result from your visitors and page viewers, your call-to-action (CTA) is very important. It lets the viewer know what you want them to do, and must be able to motivate and direct them to carry out the desired action or respond in the particular way you want. As important as this is, it is painfully true that not all calls-to-action are effective at achieving the desired conversions. From poorly designed, unattractive calls-to-action, to badly written, non-motivating ones, several mistakes make calls-to-action ineffective.

However, even after making efforts to get your call-to-action beautifully designed or written, and compelling, it still fails to perform maximally when it is the last thing to load.

Your call-to-action must not be hidden, or load lastly on the page. It is one of the first things you want your visitors to see. They should not be placed at the bottom of large images, rather at the top. Your visitors must not miss your call-to-action.

Your Pop-up Blocks the Rest of the Content

Pop-ups are cool. They offer some advantages like helping in increasing traffic conversions and in getting feedback from customers. Many times, pop-ups have proven to be more effective advert points than banner advertisements. They immediately grab the attention of the page viewer, interrupting them momentarily from what they are doing on the page. Some banner ads may be easily ignored and missed by viewers, but pop-ups, once deployed, are almost impossible to disregard.

Well, we cannot also deny the irritating feeling pop-ups bring to viewers when they are interrupted and made (compulsorily) to pause whatever they are doing or seeing on the page. This gets even worse when pop-ups appear immediately after a viewer gets onto a page.

And overly large pop-ups that block the entire page can be really annoying.

This interruption in the user experience can make a viewer close the page altogether. Another thing to avoid is pop-ups designed without the close or exit button clearly visible. Users don’t want to feel compelled. Pop-ups should be delayed for some seconds, and should be designed optimally, so as to complement the user experience.

Conversion is key for your ecommerce site, and anything that is capable of reducing it must be dealt with. These ecommerce website design mistakes can result in a huge annual sales loss. Watch out for them.

Image: Soasta

This article, “Are You Making These 3 Ecommerce Website Design Mistakes?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Disney discovers peak pricing

Monday, February 29th, 2016

ACCORDING to an article published in Bloomberg, on February 28th Disney introduced “surge pricing” to its theme parks. Now, when I think of surge pricing, I think of an annoying little screen that appears on my smartphone making sure that I’m happy to pay 6x the normal fare for my cab home. Conditional on having opened the app, my demand for taxis is insensitive enough that I’ll almost always click the ‘Fine – rinse me’ button.

One thing that comforts me as the slow-moving traffic burns a hole in my bank balance: at least the higher fare might have encouraged my fine chauffeur on to the road. Uber, the master of surge pricing (they have been trying to patent it since 2013) claims that is the benefit of surge pricing: it equilibrates supply and demand. A study last year that they published showed that when their surge pricing mechanism broke, waiting times exploded and…Continue reading

Ukraine to Seek Extradition of Bulgarian National over Fighting Alongside Pro-Russian Rebels

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Ukraine plans to seek the extradition of Bulgarian national Georgi Bliznakov from Bulgaria over suspected participation in a battalion of pro-Russian rebels fighting government forces in Donbas region, Sofia-based bTV broadcaster reported on Monday.

Bliznakov came under the spotlight in Bulgaria as one of several thugs who beat a car driver in a brawl on Sofia Ring Road last week. Four men, including Bliznakov, have been arrested for the incident. Bulgarian print and TV media have released a video showing the beating said to have been made by the victim’s wife. 

Ukraine will request Bliznakov’s extradition on the grounds of alleged “illegal crossing of Ukraine’s border, participation in illegal armed formations and taking part in a war against  Ukraine,” bTV quoted Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to the country’s minister of the interior, as saying.

“If he [Bliznakov] is found to have participated directly in killing and torturing our citizens, he could be sent to jail,” Gerashchenko has said, according to bTV.

Bulgaria has received no extradition request yet, bTV added.

 

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Easy Fixes for 5 Ways Your Website is Losing Customers

Monday, February 29th, 2016

website is losing customers

As a small business owner, your website is just about the most powerful marketing tool you have. Time and time again, when I meet with clients needing a new website, they simply want something they can point people to. You know, so they can “check us out online.” This is extremely common for businesses that don’t really sell anything on their websites, and just want to get people to pick up the phone, or come into their brick and mortar store.

But I’m here to tell you that your website can be a huge tool for you to use to get more leads, and more customers. Regardless of if you sell anything online or not. But only if you do it right.

Let’s talk about the biggest mistakes small businesses make with their websites that end up losing them valuable customers, and how you can easily overcome them.

Your Website is Losing Customers if …

1. There’s No Call-to-Action

Every website needs a goal. Maybe it’s to make a sale. Maybe it’s to convince someone to come to your physical location. Or maybe it’s just to get an email address. In any case, the goal should be crafted as a “call-to-action” (CTA) that you want every visitor to take on your site. So make sure you design with this ultimate goal in mind, funneling people to that specific goal.

2. Your Website is All About You

When businesses come up with the copy that will go on their websites, they usually default to talking about themselves as a business. “We’re a hair salon that has been in business since 1989, and we love what we do.” We’ve all seen this a million times.
Unfortunately, your customers don’t really care about you, or even what you do. They only care how you can help them. So be specific, and speak succinctly about how what you do or sell will impact their lives for the better. Tell them what they will get, and more importantly, what that will do for them.

3. You’re Forgetting the People Who are “Just Looking”

As many as 96 percent of the people coming to your website aren’t ready to buy yet. They may be researching options with the intent to come back later. Unfortunately, they will probably forget once they decide to pull the trigger. So, by just pushing for a quick sale in the short-term, you may be missing out on the long-term benefits.

In order to fix this, and stay in the minds of your prospects throughout their decision-making process, you’ll want to get as many email addresses as you can. This way, you can continue to market to them through email and Facebook re-targeting until they are ready. But before you simply add a form inviting customers to “sign up for your newsletter,” you should come up with some sort of incentive you can offer in exchange for the email addresses. This will dramatically increase the number of emails you capture, increasing your marketing reach.

4. You Have a Tired, Out-of-Shape Design

If your current website looks dated, or is just plain ugly, you’re going to turn off a large chunk of your audience. Not just because it’s an eyesore, but because it makes you look much less credible as a business.

If it’s time for a redesign, find a web designer or agency that not only has a great eye, but knows all about what makes for an excellent user experience. This will ensure more prospects find your site easy to use, thus increasing your click-through rates and conversions.

5. Where’s the Trust?

It’s pretty simple: If your site visitors don’t trust your business, they will keep looking.

We’re all intrinsically wired to avoid risk, so we often go for the option that we deem to be the safest. Think about when you browse products on Amazon. If there are multiple options of the same product, you look at the star ratings, don’t you? When you choose a restaurant or car mechanic, you probably turn to Yelp. You want to see that others have used and vetted these services already, minimizing your perceived risk.

Well you can use the same principles, and let prospects know that you are tested and approved by your current customer roster by adding testimonials to your site. Simple text will do, but try to add a photo of the real person who left the testimonial when possible, and if you can include a few video testimonials, even better.

Online Shopper Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Easy Fixes for 5 Ways Your Website is Losing Customers” was first published on Small Business Trends

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