Is a brand worth 140 characters? Or more?

Red 212 twitterEarlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out that a change could be coming to the social platform. What’s predicted is Twitter will allow users to post long-form text (up to 10,000 characters) on its platform as early as March.

Social networks evolving to serve up more content is nothing new. In fact, Twitter may be a little late to the game. Facebook is already rolling out Instant Articles to attract publishers who want larger audiences and are fearful of ad-blockers. This is a win for the social networks as well. By hosting more content, the more time people will spend on the platform versus clicking off to a website.

However, Twitter’s limited character count still offers something. In fact, in Dorsey’s announcement, he said the 140 characters has “become a beautiful constraint.” Adding that he loves the way it can inspire creativity and brevity.

He’s right. Less definitely can mean more, and consumers are already easily distracted. Twitter’s limited characters challenge brands to be sharper and more concise, which can really bring out some great creative work.

Twitter’s auto-play video feature is also a great tool. The limited character count isn’t so daunting when you can create striking, eye-catching videos your followers will see as they scroll down the screen without having to click off to another website.

What also makes Twitter’s short-form approach attractive is the instant nature of it. It’s the place where brands can react to real-time events better than any other platform. Plus, it allows users to read and share quickly. If your message is short and easy to digest, it’s ultimately more engaging, too.

In short, short-form content still has value. But no matter the character count, brands should still evaluate how they’re using Twitter. What approach will give you the most engagement? Will your followers find value in long-form content on Twitter? Or does it make sense to keep it short and sweet and drive to your website instead? #TwitterStruggles

The Rise of Ad Blockers and How to Adapt

Red 212 ad blockerThe use of ad blockers has become a growing concern in advertising with an estimated 121 million people who use ad-blocking software. And now with Apple entering the mix, allowing users to install ad-blocking software on mobile devices—it’s something that’s definitely changing the digital landscape whether you want to admit it or not. There’s no question that in order to survive, advertisers need to adapt to meet the overwhelming needs of consumers who are all craving a better digital experience.

While this trend may send some in a panic, it actually can be very beneficial for not only consumers, but for advertisers as well. Ad blocking will challenge brands to be relevant and hone in on more specific, receptive audiences, which in turn will achieve higher returns.

The first step is with simpler ad designs. Think about it: Distracting ads, take-overs and complex animations that eat up load times are just the type of ads consumers want to block, especially with mobile. Banner ads should have smaller file sizes, be less distracting, and more tailored to match the look and feel of the websites they’re placed on. And instead of crazy animations and gimmicks, ads need to catch the eyes of consumers with more emphasis on messaging that is specific to them.

Many advertisers are going toward native advertising or sponsoring content on sites such as BuzzFeed or Refinery29. However, this avenue is beginning to get more scrutiny than before, and may not be completely safe from ad blocking. While ad-blocking software primarily works by blocking ad-serving domains on a page, in some cases even if the publisher themselves serve up the content, it can get caught in the ad-blocking net.

For now, the best solution seems to be more in social and in-app advertising, where ads are more integrated and immune to ad blocking. This makes sense, as consumers are spending more time on mobile apps rather than on the web, which is attracting not only advertisers, but publishers as well. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all seeing increases in ad spending. And with geo-locating abilities and data to help brands zero in on the specific audiences they want to reach, it’s a no-brainer why advertisers are drooling.

But no matter where the trend goes, we all still have a responsibility to the consumer. The bottom line should be about not distracting a consumer’s digital experience—but enhancing it.

New Year, New Red212

Red 212 Globe Welcome to the new Red212. The new year brings with it new vision and new passion.

Our advertising agency was built on measurement. We saw our biggest success in the early days of direct response television with definitive measurable campaigns. Using today’s technology, those same principles can be applied with even deeper analytics. Measurable success is in our DNA, and we emphasize it in everything we do. The more we can measure, the more focused and successful our clients can be. While other businesses get excited over awards, we get excited by real business growth.

We also believe that business is an incredible force for driving positive change. Our work encourages the growth and profitability of brands and companies that are making a difference, so they can continue to address pressing societal issues. The more successful these businesses are, the more they can do for our world. Social consciousness has always been a fundamental force behind everything we do, but it’s time to bring it to the forefront.

We believe this re-brand more truly represents us as an agency. As we work to form deep relationship with our clients, we found it essential to be more forthright with who we are and what drives us. Relationships matter, and authenticity is key.