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Author: Andrew Turk

Amazon Prime Day: 3 E-Commerce Lessons Learned

Amazon Prime Day: 3 E-Commerce Lessons Learned

This year, July 15 saw the birth of a brand-new holiday: Amazon Prime Day. The day-long discount event on America’s biggest online retailer was organized as a celebration of the company’s 20th birthday, an unprecedented milestone in the E-Commerce world. Open only to Amazon Prime members, the company offered free trials of its premium-tier service as it promised a bigger, better sale than Black Friday. The sale was rolled out in a run of flash sales throughout the day, with new “Lightning Deals” going live each hour. And while the event was an unprecedented success, the snark-laden backlash on social media nearly eclipsed the value of the offers themselves.

Sales in the United States rocketed up 93% for Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), according to online retail tracker ChannelAdvisor, while European sales grew by 53%. Customers were buying at a rate of 398 items per second, and the sales broke all Black Friday records – driving “hundreds of thousands” more customers to sign up for Prime membership — more than any other single day in the program’s history — says Amazon.

The online retailer announced Thursday that the Prime Day sales holiday, which was originally conceived as a celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, is here to stay. In a statement, Amazon Prime vice president Greg Greeley confirmed the news:

“Customers worldwide ordered an astonishing 398 items per second and saved millions on Prime Day deals. Worldwide order growth increased 266% over the same day last year and 18% more than Black Friday 2014 – all in an event exclusively available to Prime members. Going into this, we weren’t sure whether Prime Day would be a one-time thing or if it would become an annual event. After yesterday’s results, we’ll definitely be doing this again.”

However, Amazon would do well to heed the criticism ahead of next year’s event. Prime Day 2015  was dubbed “the yard sale of the internet” by legions, due to the junkish offerings that comprised a great many of the deals: a 24” shoe horn, cat calming collars, popsicle molds, granny panties and more. And while Amazon’s homepage was completely redesigned for the sale, the “Lightning Deals” of any value sold out within minutes or even seconds of going up.

Across social media on the 15th, people blasted the retailer for strange offers, or cutting sales so short they were near impossible to buy. Buzzfeed, throbbing to the pulse of social media, listed a hilarious run of 25 Of The Best Responses To Amazon Prime Day.

Then there was the Twitter favorite, a 55 gallon barrel of lube which outlined the absurdity of a great many offerings:

lube

Amazon’s formidable brand identity enables it to withstand the criticisms of a clunky experience for many, absorbing the negative responses with little brand detriment. Questionable items and backlash aside, Prime Day caused Amazon’s stock to rise nearly two and a half percent during the event, and inspired a wave of imitators: Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s and Best Buy all had big – and largely successful – sales of their own.

This formula does not scale down to small businesses, unfortunately. As E-Commerce companies expand their efforts to engage potential customers and successfully innovate new methodologies, careful attention must be paid to brand cultivation and word-of-mouth. It’s not likely that a small brand can withstand a series of condemning social hashtags such as #PrimeDayFail, #unhappyPrimeDay, #AmazonFail, #gobacktosleep and more. Therefore, steps are necessary to safeguard an E-Commerce brand from excessive event backlash:

1. Careful Cultivation

Choose your deals wisely, and provide true value in your offerings. Amazon offered a great many excellent deals on Prime Day, but for every big-screen TV on major discount, a plethora of items were on offer that would fit more appropriately in the “free” bin after a garage sale.

2. Poll Your Readers

Through email, social media and beyond, ask your customers what they want to see in an event or special promotion aimed at increasing their involvement. Direct engagement with your audience can and will surprise you. Learn who they are and what they want, and provide it for them at an appealing discount.

3. Lead The Media

Establish your own hashtags, and build a head of positive steam on social media well ahead of the promotional event. Stay consistent and engaged through all steps of the user experience, and respond to issues, complaints and concerns in real time to manage potential downturns in impression.

Amazon Prime Day 2016 is only 363 days away. Are you ready to make your own big-offer mark?

E-Commerce Celebrity Endorsements: Big Exposure, Bigger Risk

E-Commerce Celebrity Endorsements: Big Exposure, Bigger Risk

Anyone caught in the pre-millennial pop culture current will easily recall Pepsi’s 1992 Super Bowl commercial, in which Cindy Crawford climbs out of a Lamborghini in a pair of daisy dukes, heads to a soda machine and pulls out the world’s first look at the hotly-anticipated new Pepsi can. The moment was iconic: the most adored model in the world, drinking a Pepsi from a newly designed futuristic-looking can as if it were an intensely sensual experience.

Pepsi needed an edge over Coca-Cola, and for a shining moment in early ’92, they accomplished it with the perfect storm of a celebrity endorsement through Ms. Crawford, a brand re-skin and a cultural centerpiece launchpad (the Super Bowl).

 

The e-commerce world has seen a wildfire rise in the number of successful companies taking root over the last three years. Without in-store distribution, however, brand exposure is limited to the digital world, resulting in a vital need for innovative marketing campaigns, third-party promotions and endorsements by established public figures. Competition is ferocious in this wild new frontier, and a number of efforts are now underway to promote brands with celebrity endorsements – with good reason. The top tweeters are almost all celebrities: 43 of the top 50 most-followed accounts are either musicians or sports stars.

The numbers certainly support Pando’s belief that celebrities will drive the next wave of E-Commerce startups, but what about when it goes wrong? There could be no better example than entrepreneur and self-declared billionaire Donald Trump, whose incendiary remarks on immigration and hispanics have resulted in a severe backlash for the 2016 Republican presidential candidate. In the past two weeks, Trump’s partnerships and endorsements are evaporating like a puddle in the Sahara, and he’s been dumped by NASCAR, NBCUniversal, Macy’s, Univision, Televisa, Farouk Systems, PGA, apparel manufacturer Phillips-Van Huesen and more. NBC won’t broadcast Miss Universe or Miss USA (the network and Trump co-own the beauty pageants), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio instructed his office to review existing contracts with the Trump Organization, who currently provides concessions to city facilities.

While the advertising community watches with car-crash fascination, Trump has doubled down on his remarks, and will continue to slide further and further into untouchable status by brands. The takeaway: be very careful who you do business with, and be highly wary of anyone who would serve as the face of your brand. To embrace a volatile personality with a powerful public presence is to endorse their behavior through the cultural lens.

With celebrity endorsements on the rise in e-commerce, the image of businesses hang in the balance of what are potentially volatile personalities in the public eye. The risk is rationalized through exposure, and when an endorsing celebrity finds themselves in the TMZ spotlight, companies that have contracts with them often re-examine the relationship. Often times, immediate damage control becomes necessary, such as the case with Trump. Companies often immediately sever ties, putting distance between the endorser and themselves as quickly as possible.

Building on that idea, I’ve broken down seven of the most high-profile cases of celebrity endorsements gone awry, with their accompanying rationale.

Lance Armstrong

Armstrong was an untouchable hero in the biking world at the turn of the century, but he was forced to relinquish his 1999-2005 Tour de France titles after news broke about his doping scandal. He stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, a cancer-fighting charity he founded, but that was just the beginning of his problems, which amounted to over $150 million in lost endorsements and effectively ruined his own brand. Nike and Anheuser-Busch dropped Armstrong but remained supporters of Livestrong, but after Nike dropped him, so did Annheuser-Busch, Trek Bicycle Corp, FRS and Honey Stinger.

Michael Phelps

The most decorated Olympian of all time won eight gold medals at the 2008 summer Olympics, guaranteeing the young man a golden-paved future of endorsements and sponsorships, even if he never swam again. But in early 2009, a photo depicting Phelps smoking from a bong sent brands scurrying. Cereal giant Kellogs parted ways with the athlete within a week, insisting that Phelps’ behavior did not align with its views, and sandwich maker Subway distanced themselves as well.

Tiger Woods

Once the most celebrated golfer in the world, Tiger woods lost roughly $22 million in endorsements back in 201 after news broke of his multiple extramarital affairs. Gatorade, AT&T, Gillette, EA Sports, Buick and Accenture all jumped ship. Woods’ public image never fully recovered, though he’s since seen a return to brand endorsements.

Ray Rice

Video footage of the Baltimore Ravens running back dragging his unconscious fiancé out of a casino elevator resulted in a firestorm of backlash, with Nike pulling endorsements, EA Sports erasing his presence from the Madden NFL 15 video game, Vertimax, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s and more. Rice reportedly has no remaining active endorsement deals, a devastating blow to the fallen sports hero.

Chris Brown

When the formerly clean-cut singer pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna before the 2009 Grammys, Wrigley dropped him as their spokesperson with impressive speed. His “Got Milk?” endorsement deal also went sour.

Jean-Claude Van Damme

The Muscles from Brussels was caught on camera (for a British reality show) complaining about shooting a commercial for Total Flex home gym equipment, insisting he didn’t want to endorse a product he didn’t like. After reportedly showing up on set without knowing his lines he quit the commercial, and was sued for breach of contract to the tune of $25.2 million.

Kate Moss

The cover girl and wife of The Kills rocker Jamie Hince was snapped doing lines of cocaine back in 2005, resulting in a media rush to dub her “Cocaine Kate”. Shortly thereafter, she lost massive endorsement deals from H&M, Chanel, Burberry and more. A turnaround resulted in recent years, after Moss went to rehab and polished her image (to an extent), returning to good graces with campaigns for Rimmel, Dior and Mango – she is now the third-highest paid model in the world.

Apple Music’s Flawed Flight: Burning Social Capital of a Prime Brand

Apple Music’s Flawed Flight: Burning Social Capital of a Prime Brand

We all want something to believe in, a secure standard to set our coordinates by in this ocean of digital chaos. Tech ultragiant Apple has served as a pillar of such standard and security for many years, building a $700 billion empire and a new age of digital culture through an ever-widening spectrum of devices, and an intuitive constellation of accessibility & usability. But now, with the breathlessly-hyped but deeply flawed launch of Apple Music as part of iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2, the hypercritical attention to user experience is lacking badly – and we’re reminded of the shifting sands of seamless brand domination in today’s marketplace, even for the largest company the United States has ever seen.

Steve Jobs made an enemy of confusion. His relentless quest to create the perfect user experience was legendary, and resulted in a new generation of devices and a tandem culture of tech obsession laced with an air of cosmopolitan, lightly-hedonistic elitism. So it is with great surprise and times-they-are-a-changin’ dismay that we navigate the labyrinthian wonder that is Apple Music after its kickoff this week, equally frustrated with its lack of intuitive functionality and clear rationale as we are dazzled by its promising features.

Jobs’ meticulous impact on every one of our lives shines clearly in the legacy he leaves behind, whether it be the larger consumer philosophy or the devices in our hands. But Apple’s slipping grace in his wake that speaks with no less color.

Whether they’re on team Mac or PC doesn’t matter – the connected world is universally fascinated by Apple’s new offering. Where Apple is failing isn’t in the rough edges in the early days of the Music service – it’s failing its own brand in ruining an unparalleled momentum of image in simplicity, efficiency and industry leadership.

Apple’s influence on the economy and culture around the world rivals some of the most powerful in all of human history – they will undoubtedly do just fine, whether Apple Music is an abject failure or not (it won’t be). But from a branding perspective, as well as that of a backlash impact, Apple Music serves an important lesson in consistency of Brand quality and user experience.

What’s going on here?

While I explored Apple Music’s offerings and established a functional interaction with it, the same thought kept creeping up: “Why do I need this? I’m happy with Spotify.” Apple Music has around 30 million songs, just as Spotify, Tidal and Google Play do.

A quick rundown of the mess: Apple Music isn’t a quick-access service. It comes as part of iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2, requiring a full update and many pages of new user agreements. Once you’re in, Apple Music plays your music, except you don’t own that music, and the options provided are a collaboration between your input and their guesstimation. Apple Radio plays songs they’ve chosen for you, like the radio does. Random buttons like heart icons and plus signs don’t have any prominently defined meaning, and once you’ve clicked them you can’t undo the selections. Home sharing has been removed, at least for the time being.

Apple built its reputation on the seamless user experience. But confusion abounds, and there are no guidepoints to help us along. Apple seems confused on how it categorizes its features, and its taste algorithms are quite strange. Two songs into a radio station tailored just for me and I’m fumbling frantically around for the mute button.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 8.08.58 PM

There’s a disconnect here.

Where’s the walkthrough?

Why do I have to figure this thing out for myself? Where is the online tutorial, the clean interface to navigate with a constellatory guide? This is where the cracks in Apple’s veneer begin to truly show, and where the whispers of Steve return. Jobs would never have allowed a confusing creation of such magnitude; he understood the critical value of an inviting framework.

Beats 1: Incredible Concept, Floundering

The excited conversation taking place is almost entirely about Beats 1, not the on-demand streaming service. Though we’re excited for shows hosted by the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age nucleus Josh Homme, Pharrell Williams, Drake, Dr. Dre, Elton John and more… will a new broadcast curation be that big a player? It’s highly unlikely we’ll go back to the radio days – the wacky morning-zoo DJs have exterminated the public’s trust in drive-time radio.

Podcasts, however, are an incredible force (President Obama recently visited comedian Marc Maron’s WTF podcast for an impressively candid chat), and the vast majority are free. And if you missed a radio show by your favorite talent, you’re out of luck on a desktop. That is, unless you can find a way to tap on the Beats 1 Radio banner (NOT the “Listen Now” button prominently displayed), scroll down past Upcoming Shows to Featured shows, find the show you’d like to hear from the entire list, then go to the show’s playlist page as a part of Connect.

Get all that? Sure, it’s a lot simpler on a mobile, but this needs to be universal. If you can get it to work at all on mobile, that is. Radio futurologist James Cridland reviewed Beats 1, and the industry expert is not impressed:

Apple have launched a live, linear radio station – something you’ll see in this presentation just doesn’t work on mobile phones. They’ve done the bare minimum in terms of integration. The radio producers have been lazy with their production. Tuning in is unintuitive on iOS, and was impossible on OSX at launch. The launch was botched, confused, lazy, uninspiring and most of all, deeply ignorant.

No Promo Blitz

Why isn’t U2 dancing around in a commercial? Ok, maybe U2 and Apple should take a break. But Josh Homme and Dr. Dre could serve as the new faces of Apple Music through an upper-echelon talent edge, leading us into culturally rich new waters as they welcome us in with their Beats 1 radio shows and a few informational suggestions. There is no promotional throwdown, however.

It’s a flash fad.

Fads die. Apple Music needs to establish a pioneering value, and fast. This has happened before, and very recently. Tidal is in a branding and staffing nosedive, after being breathlessly heralded by icons and idols as the greatest alternative to the current streaming market. Packed with superstars, Jay Z is sinking that ship on the wrong message and no value beyond the illusion of exclusives in an all-access world.

Apple Doesn’t Decide. The People Do.

We’ll see at the end of Q3 where Apple Music stands, as the majority who’ve opted for the three-month trial will then decide whether or not to subscribe.

Spotify remains, however. And while we struggle with DRM hysteria, Apple Match issues, downloading massive system updates and more, that ugly green logo is waiting, still allowing you to import your iTunes library upon launch. You can’t import Spotify playlists into Apple Music, by the way.

Seems like a hostile way for a brand to create a universal experience.

Building Brand Loyalty Through Social Media: 6 Essentials

Building Brand Loyalty Through Social Media: 6 Essentials

All brands need instant-recognition visibility to thrive, and developing a loyal customer base is essential as our engagement options expand and attention spans are whittled down. If a business lacks a strategy to establish not just brand presence and loyalty but consistency, it’s not going to succeed – it’s that simple.

Social media is a defining factor in brand perception through the eyes of your target audience. As I mentioned in our 8 Key Points in E-Commerce & Social Marketing post, Americans now spend upwards of 5.6 hours a day online, with 3 or more hours dedicated specifically to social networks. With this nearly-constant online engagement, opportunities to establish brand loyalty are virtually endless – but a widespread strategy is key.

Social Media Engagement IS Advertising – Act Accordingly

Do you remember the last time you clicked a banner ad, or ignored YouTube’s “skip ad” option to watch an entire minute-long commercial before your desired video? We’ve all been annoyed by these digital billboards messing up the view, and as with billboards in the physical world, we have trained our eyes to ignore them. Meanwhile, advertiser spending is expected to exceed $14 billion by 2018.

Advertising blind spots are real, and as a rule what has worked in the past is likely to offer diminishing returns in the future as readers wise up to the absent value of clickbait-hooks. Direct reader engagement through social media is one key solution in not only developing a new relationship between marketing and readership, but to establish an exchange of information on both sides of the publish button. Polls, contests, giveaways and user-generated content initiatives are reflex methods brands should be actively testing across social platforms to offset reader fatigue from more traditional advertising strategies.

Champion Your Own Efforts

There has never been a better time for a brand to trumpet its socially responsible efforts, resulting in a halo effect for the company. Establish your brand through a compassionate lens, partnering with charities, philanthropic organizations and beyond, and wear those associations on your marketing sleeve. Utilize socially-conscious hashtags users can regularly return to and even share as a means of measuring your brand’s dedication to the greater good.

Custom Platform, Custom Voice – With Consistent Identity

Audiences interact differently on Twitter than on Facebook, Instagram and so on, and engagement triggers vary across platforms. While remaining true to core brand values & ideals and a consistent message, it’s important to strategically format your social media marketing to fit the particular platform while furthering your brand’s narrative. The more compelling the narrative, the more likely your audience is to echo that narrative and integrate it into their social ecosystem.

To be the brand that users recommend to friends, you need to provide value, clarity and authenticity – as well as consistency. Measure the success of your branded social media efforts, and adapt your strategy in accordance with the engagement of your audience. Stay the course on what works, and keep them coming back for more.

Explore Multiple Social Platforms – and Innovate!

Avoid being the “old dog” in your branding efforts. Developing new tricks and methodologies are essential for survival in the social media wars, and consistently kinetic advertising evolution is a must. A Facebook account alone isn’t going to cut it – building a community around your brand requires an engaged readership, and keeping up with the social media Joneses requires its own dedicated effort.

Explore emerging social media platforms in addition to the tried and true, and experiment with new opportunities. If your business doesn’t have dedicated accounts in FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or even Snapchat and beyond, you’re already behind in the game – take a moment to register new accounts, and begin developing strategy immediately. Brands such as McDonald’s, General Electric and more are paving new roads in Snapchat, experimenting in new methodologies with impressive results. The luxury carmaker Audi partnered with The Onion in 2014 to Snapchat the Super Bowl live, utilizing its agency Huge and Onion Labs for a humorous content team-up. The event grew Audi’s Snapchat following by over 5,500 users before the end of the big game.

Engagement is Everything

Every social platform offers its own unique value proposition, and with a dedicated social media strategy and consistent follow-through it’s possible to not only engage readers and potential customers, but to establish their trust and loyalty in a manner far more effective than static ad placement.

Utilize the help of social media monitoring and engagement platforms like Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud to track and gauge your reader base. If people feel heard, if their concerns / complaints / compliments are registered and receive a reply, the likelihood for an establishment of brand loyalty is far higher than if the consumer were to feel ignored.

The Explosive Potential of User-Generated Content

Whatever service or product your business provides, if it’s worth its weight in binary code, it’s possible to turn casual readers into vocal supporters. Only some will be driven by an evangelistic fever to promote your brand, but engaging your audience is absolutely essential – as is inspiring them to do your work for you.

Utilizing reader engagement and user-generated content across traditional social channels and apps like Snapchat, SoundCloud and beyond are increasingly successful: 53% of Facebook video views in the last year were from shares. User-created content rose 122% in the same period, a remarkable leap in engagement leading a bottom-up trend. 65% of Snapchat’s 100 million daily users create content per day. Pinterest pin creation has leapt 75%, while Twitch video broadcasts are up 83% at over 11 million per month.

We’re currently in a cultural trend of personal oversharing on social media; people readily share €”their shopping habits, travel details, hobbies, passions and more, offering brands a virtually limitless was to connect with potential customers. If you provide a valuable resource or popular feature, and pair it with strategic vocalization, loyalty will follow.

Are you ready for a dedicated consumer base to rally around your brand? Then it’s time to hit the ground running!

Snapchat Marketing: How Brands Are Succeeding

Snapchat Marketing: How Brands Are Succeeding

Without the benefit of a physical retail store, the rapidly-evolving world of social media is a vital tool for E-Commerce companies. Utilizing mobile photo app sensation Snapchat as a marketing strategy is relatively new, but a number of companies are engaging readers with unique content – and seeing tremendously good results as the app has exploded in popularity.

With Snapchat’s recent $16 billion valuation, it’s been clear that the platform has moved far beyond its former persona as an outlet for self-destructing risqué interaction. Now, as Snapchat emerges as an effective and hugely promising way for brands to acquire and interact with customers, businesses are beginning to see a wealth of marketing potential and revenue opportunity.

Snapchat Discover offers a new content publishing feature, with channels of original content at launch from CNN, Cosmopolitan, the Daily Mail, Comedy Central, ESPN, Food Network, Warner Music and more. The Discover platform provides advertisers with a way to reach customers with daily series, swipeable ad-editorials, sponsored content between ads and more. Additionally, a new advertising program will allow brands to get their geofilters automatically approved as well, adding thousands of them at once with a small “sponsored” tag.

Brands Leading The Way in Snapchat:

Audi

 

The luxury carmaker partnered with The Onion in 2014 to Snapchat the Super Bowl live, utilizing its agency Huge and Onion Labs for a humorous content team-up. The event grew Audi’s Snapchat following by over 5,500 users before the end of the big game.

McDonald’s

Going behind-the-scenes with world-class athletes such as LeBron James, Richard Sherman and Johnny Manziel, McD’s has ramped up fan exposure on Snapchat and built a steady stream of unique user incentives including coupons, contests and more. With the recent addition of geofilters, the french fry kings are poised to tailor their marketing to more specific audiences.

Taco Bell

Launching its Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell was among the first to embrace Snapchat Stories with a six-minute mini-movie. Connecting culture constellations, the fast food giant snapped a scene on the red carpet of the MTV Movie Awards, unveiled its Doritos tacos, and delivered a completely immersive new advertising ecosystem for readers virtually in realtime.

General Electric

On July 15 last year, GE’s Snapchat presence came to life, engaging users with trivia, puzzles and exclusive content featuring legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin. It was a prime opportunity to announce The Mission sneakers as well, celebrating the 45th anniversary of GE’s contribution to the 1969 moon landing.

Bottom line: exclusive content is key, and there’s an open field of opportunity for innovation on Snapchat.

As Snapchat continues to evolve, E-Commerce businesses have a virtually blank canvas of opportunity to engage people, expand their consumer base and bring new colors to their brand. Original content, stories, contests and giveaways provide a high-potential entrypoint for gaining a promising new E-Commerce foothold. And while it’s still in its infancy of advertising possibilities (metrics are virtually nonexistent, editing is limited, etc), the future looks very bright for business opportunity on Snapchat.

StackCommerce will soon make the leap into our own Snapchat journey, utilizing calls to action across our existing social platforms and incentivizing friends & followers with contests, behind the scenes content and more. We’ll continue to share our insights and developments as we embark on another new adventure at Stack.

6 Great Analytics Solutions for Publishers

6 Great Analytics Solutions for Publishers

If you’re not tracking, you’re slacking. Without the right data, it’s impossible to optimize, grow and succeed as an online business — it’s that simple. While there are countless web analytics solutions available, not all are suited to the unique needs of a publisher. Below are six great analytics platforms that digital media publisher use to help make the right decisions.


 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is pretty much the standard option for any website when it gets started. For a free product, it’s remarkably robust and is a great option until you start pushing the limits. The premium version comes with a six-figure price tag, but by the time you reach that level, you’ll be best served by moving to an analytics solution designed specifically for online publishers.

Clicky Web Analytics

Clicky is another great option for new(ish) websites looking to get the best data. With a free plan for sites up to 3,000 daily visits and premium plans starting at only $9.99 (with advanced features), Clicky is a great budget option for publishers looking to get a bit more than they would from Google Analytics.

FoxMetrics

FoxMetrics is beyond the needs of a small blog or new site, but if your site has been steadily growing and you have several people creating content, FoxMetrics could be a great option at a reasonable price. Starting with their Medium plan ($50/month), FoxMetrics provides a set of tracking tools geared specifically for today’s digital media publisher. In addition to modules for articles, you can track metrics around authors as well.

Chartbeat Publishing

Chartbeat Publishing is Chartbeat’s analytics platform for online publishers, with versions available for both Editorial and Ad Sales. The platform is built from the ground up for publishers, allowing you to monitor every metric and optimization opportunity you could want. You can even display data via an overlay on your site through Chartbeat’s Heads Up Display.

If you create a lot of video content, Chartbeat is definitely your choice. It has an optional module specifically for video content for tracking engagement, ad drop-off points, and other key stats (and providing it in the context of the rest of your site, of course).

Parse.ly

Parse.ly is an excellent option for large tech-driven digital media publishers. Parse.ly’s platform has plenty of data for everyone — they have specific sections on their website for editors, product teams, data analysts and business/sales teams — plus an API for implementing custom integrations. It also provides reporting for native advertising as an optional add-on.

While Parse.ly has a free trial available, pricing is by quote, which means that it will generally be out of range for the vast majority of publishers on the internet. If your company has the resources, Parse.ly is definitely an option to consider.

sovrn

sovrn works a little bit differently than the others — in addition to a comprehensive set of analytics, including benchmarking data from their network of publishers, there is a monetization suite baked right into the platform. sovrn offers various kinds of digital advertising services and helps you optimize so your content generates the most revenue possible.