5 Tips for Creating Native Ads That Drive Engagement

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Since 2016, native ads have been the darling of the online publishing industry, showing double-digit growth year on year. Digital research firm eMarketer forecasts that spending on native ads will eclipse $33 billion this year. That's about a 30 percent increase from 2017, and a healthy expansion of this dynamic ad category.

Have you heard of native ads? Perhaps you've seen them in your social media feeds, on phone app news feeds, and on publisher sites on the web. Native ads are sponsored content pieces that are designed for, and live in, the environment on which they are published. Native ads follow the form and function of the publishing environment, and the content of the ads is often aligned with the publisher's look, feel, and style. 

Here are some key reasons for the explosive success of native ads in recent years:

  • Native ads significantly affect conversions and brand awareness. One study showed an 18 percent increase in purchasing intent by consumers after viewing native ads, and a near 10 percent uptick in brand affinity, compared to online banners advertising.

  • Consumers are more likely to check out a native ad than glance at a display ad banner.

  • Native ads reach digital consumers in ways that feel natural, not invasive. But striking that right balance is tricky. You need to create targeted native ads that have the look and feel of the sponsoring social platform, website, or publication, while standing out and positioning a brand in the right light.

Let's walk through some of the ways that digital marketers can create great native ads. For example, in your news and information feeds on your mobile device, alert users can see sponsored native ads fairly quickly. But to the untrained eye, they look like another story from a favorite publication. Therein lies the beauty of native ads: They blend into the environment with a marketing-sponsored message and call to action.

1)    Know the publisher's look, feel, style, and demographic audience. This is number one for your native advertising success. Know the culture and design of the site or platform on which you're aiming to place your native ad. Reflect the values, style, look, and feel of the content there in order for the audience to embrace your native ad with open eyes.

2)    Add value with useful information. Be the voice your audience wants to read. Show you know what they want. Do your research to make your sponsored content stand out. Bring some insider knowledge to the table, and share that info in your native ad to grow impressions.

3)    Include a brand logo to increase recognition. You can use the brand logo in your native ad, but be careful not to turn your content into a public relations piece for the brand. Native ads are all about showing value for the readers, not trumpeting your brand and assets.

4)    Choose supply partners that limit native ad space. Native ads will work better when they are used sparingly. Publishers and brands both know this. If a publisher oversells a platform or site with native ads, the tangible impact of those ads will decrease. Brands should look to partner with platforms and publishers that limit the number of native ads.

5)    Integrate your call to action seamlessly. In native ads, brands can discuss the value and opportunity of their products, and follow up that information with calls to action. But it's imperative to integrate that CTA so effortlessly into the content that the viewer may not even be aware it's a CTA. You want the reader to be so excited about the brand that moving ahead with a conversion is inevitable.

Other qualities involved in creating great native content include shareability and quality. Native advertising success can grow by imbuing the content with a viral nature to enhance the prospect of web shareability. By being distinctive in the quality of their native ads, brands will potentially attract more viewers with great content.

Here's How to Get Your Digital Marketing Holiday Ready

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Holiday season is upon us, and in digital marketing circles, it’s seen as the busiest and most competitive time of the year for marketers.  Now is the time to make sure all your planning and implementation strategies for holiday marketing are in sync and locked down.  

Here are some of the ways to make sure you're fully prepared for the 2018 holiday marketing season.   

Are You Using the 45-Day Rule Strategy?

If you've got content marketing as a key driver, then you need to know about the 45-day rule. Essentially, this rule states that an online business must look ahead and intentionally plan its web and social content 45 days ahead of important activities and promotions to drive user activity and search traffic. If you get your content posted later, it can hurt your overall search traffic. Adding your content two weeks before a significant event might result in only 25 to 50 percent of the traffic needed on your site. Think more long-term to 45 days, and you might achieve up to 90 percent of your intended traffic.  

Determine the Right Channels for Your Focus  

Choosing the right marketing channels for your product or service is something you've likely been thinking about for a while – make sure that you have determined the right course of action by reviewing and analyzing past performance and incorporating into your overall strategy. It starts with your product, its uses, its benefits, and how it impacts your target audience. Are you selling to consumers or businesses? How do you reach this target audience? On which channels are they receptive to your product?  

Create a Detailed Schedule of Campaign Activities

By now, your marketing team will have put together the range of your planned activities, including the timeline/schedule of promotions, in-store rollouts, online advertising campaigns, and other activities. This schedule must be detailed and exact. Your public relations team must be in sync with your product team, your customer success team, and other entities in the organization.

 

Developing Holiday-Specific Landing Pages

Your web development team should be offering frames for landing pages by early November. It should have already noted which year-round landing pages achieve high ROI so you can use that information as a jumping off point for your holiday landing pages. Some tips include:

●      Make sure your landing pages are optimized for mobile.

●      Make sure your page loading speed is high.

●      Use graphics to tell your story; make them high impact.

●      Use a strong, clear CTA; offer a premium to gain more attention.

●      Measure the journey of page visitors and follow up with retargeting efforts.  

Start to Build a Larger Retargeting Pool for November/December

The holiday season brings marketers a great opportunity to broaden reach and audience targets with retargeting. Your brand might be targeting a certain audience most of the year, but now you can retarget to others with a gift option. For instance, if you market golf clubs to mostly dedicated golfers for most of the year, you might be able to expand that with retargeted ad efforts to a broader audience that may include non-golfers who are comparison shopping for the golfer in their life.

Even though your company is putting its efforts into holiday season selling, remember that customers will look to your product or service during the following year too. So make that important first impression count.

Don't be afraid to increase your frequency of emails or social posts about special holiday sales during these weeks. By now, most customers are more engaged with your promotions and might actually be looking for your promotions.  

Lastly, track your results, define your success measurements, and keep a log of how your efforts are working for this year in order to replicate the same for next year or switch the offerings.

Creative, Collaborative Campaigns: How Adtaxi Fuels Innovation

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Collaboration results in creativity. That's an important facet of every advertising campaign — it's not all about data. Adtaxi knows that a healthy dose of creativity is integral for campaign success, and that's why the company culture facilitates cross-team collaboration and communication that result in fresh ideas. We work with advertisers and businesses across industries, managing roughly 2,600 campaigns monthly, and use historical campaign knowledge to build and optimize successful marketing strategies.

Improving Campaign Performance with Creative Systems

The Adtaxi search team recently developed an automated email flagging system to alert campaign managers of potential performance issues such as pacing concerns, disapproved ads, broken URLs, site suspensions, etc. These emails provide an additional line of defense in monitoring and help boost campaign performance.   by eliminating more manual checks.  This also allows more time for what our campaign managers do best — strategic optimization.

This process was identified and created by one of our own search team members which was then implemented across our organization, where it was quickly adopted and adapted by Adtaxi's social and programmatic teams as well.

Collaborating Across Disciplines to Get Results

Adtaxi's Quantum optimization platform started as a collaboration between our veteran sales and ops team members as a method of applying an algorithmic approach to optimizations that had previously been done manually. It started small but brought early success which lead to expanding the solution to a larger subset of campaigns demonstrating tremendous results.

Our product and development teams utilized the initial concept to create a full-fledged optimization tool that's critical in driving results across our organization.

Incentivizing Innovation with Quarterly Stretch Goals

Adtaxi's culture of collaboration encourages cross team creativity to further enhance ideas and education.  We support our team members with a quarterly incentive stretch goal program that rewards successful innovations which result in revenue growth, operational savings or contribute to driving brand awareness.

Each quarter, any team member can submit a proposal which is then reviewed by our management team. Approved submissions then must be proved and executed by the end of the quarter. If the goal is met and successful, team members are rewarded with a bonus, as well as recognition throughout the organization for their efforts.

By cultivating creativity in each of our employees, Adtaxi has fueled the innovations that now lead our campaigns. Each day, we combine data-driven insights with professional collaboration to produce maximum results.

7 Tech Tools Every Marketer Needs to Know

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Today's digital marketers need help on all sides to achieve their goals, and marketing services providers offer that support. In order to reach consumers online more effectively, you'll need the best tools for the best engagement. Fortunately, we've got you covered.

The tech companies below all have tools that can be utilized to refine and improve your marketing strategy. We've skipped a few of the obvious ones, such Google Analytics, because it's likely already entrenched in your marketing toolkit. There are other tools that help streamline a variety of tasks for marketers and increase the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns.

1. Pardot for B2B Marketing Automation

If your company uses Salesforce, you've likely heard about Pardot, a marketing automation tool for Salesforce users. Pardot can be used to reach clients via social media, email campaigns, or paid marketing. Pardot's email templates are used in mobile responsive campaigns and custom drip campaigns, among others. Pardot is a great way to streamline your marketing efforts and track results from lead generation to client nurturing in one system.

2. Zapier for Automating Connections in Platforms

Zapier helps customers automate and connect apps during the workday. Imagine your workday when you receive an email filled with attachments of ad proofs that must be reviewed. Instead of opening these individually, Zapier performs a number of processes that use trigger actions to shorten your time spent on these tasks. Zapier can detect when emails with vital information come in and automatically transfer the attachment images into Dropbox for easy sharing with your team. If you need to start workflows multiple apps or finish routine tasks automatically, try Zapier for speedy automation.

3. SimilarWeb.com for Tracking Competitors' Site Traffic

SimilarWeb.com is a web software analytics company whose employees help thousands of clients with competitive website analysis. If you're looking for top-line analytics on your competitor's websites, then SimilarWeb is for you. You can view and analyze exactly which sources are generating traffic to your competitor's site. But SimilarWeb does more than that; it analyzes industry data and apps for clients and provides reports that mix marketing stats for export use.

4. Kickbox for Email Verification/List Maintenance

Kickbox is an email technology company that utilizes software products to help customers verify email addresses and prevent fraudulent user information to a company's applications. It verifies that an email address is valid and deliverable. If you're working in a field that needs official email address verification, then use Kickbox in your email platform.

5. Marketo Digital Marketing Automation Software

Marketo has taken marketing automation to new heights in recent years, warranting its market-leading position in digital marketing. Now, with its sale to Adobe for nearly $5 billion, Marketo's tools will be available to many more marketers. Marketo's account-based marketing tech tools and lead management will join with the Adobe Experience cloud tools for a powerhouse B2B-B2C digital marketing engagement experience.  

6. Buffer for Managing Social Posts and Accounts

If you're running several social media accounts across brands, it helps to have tech tools like Buffer to help improve your game. Buffer is an social media management platform used by more than 80,000 companies for managing social media content. The company operates in a crowded vendor space that includes Zoho Social, Sprout Social, and Crowdfire.

Besides its primary task of helping users share content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other leading social sites, Buffer lets users distribute content from one primary log-in. There is also the ability to create seamless integration with Chrome, WordPress, and other tools to find shareable content.

7. Marchex for Call Analytics

If you're doing any kind of online advertising, from display to mobile, working with Marchex for your call analytics is a no-brainer. The company helps analyze, quantify, and measure the performance of mobile, online, and offline advertising for small to medium-sized businesses, resellers, and advertisers. Marchex helps you identify what's really driving new customers to call? Which ads? Which keywords? When they call, what type of consistency is in place? Marchex ad tech products help you to measure and analyze calls for quality, origination, and how to measure call trends.

 

You Shouldn't be Scared of Programmatic Advertising. Here's Why.

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Programmatic advertising automates spending and helps determine the types of ads that run and where they're placed, which all gets done using cutting edge technology like artificial intelligence (AI).

Sounds great, right? But there seems to be an overarching reluctance to embrace programmatic on the part of brands and advertisers alike. Although programmatic has experienced some bumps in the road, there's nothing to be afraid of. In fact, today's programmatic advertising can help you reach your audience for less money.

Before we highlight its benefits, let's debunk some common fears of advertisers and marketers to help you widen your marketing horizons. Once you realize there's nothing scary about it, you are free to explore the real benefits that programmatic advertising offers.

Common Fears

Feeling scared? You're not alone. Fortunately, we've gathered some of the top fears and debunked them for you right here:

●      Poor Placement: Misplaced ads are among the top concerns for advertisers and brands.Previously, advertisers simply bought space on a page or on a section of a website. Today's savvy marketers use programmatic platforms, which allow them to reach their target audience everywhere on the web using invaluable first- and third-party data.

●      Fraud: Have you heard that programmatic advertising puts you at risk for fraud? Ad fraud is nothing new, but when you move to a more tech-savvy, automated solution, you minimize the risk. . Artificial intelligence and various algorithms can identify ad fraud and avoid it. Of course, that's no replacement for doing your own due diligence to stay on top of things.

●      Lack of Control: Although it's true that this format automates a lot of the advertising process, it doesn't take the control entirely out of your hands. Instead, it lets you work within a real-time environment that allows you to optimize at any time for amazing results. It automates, but it doesn't replace the need for a great strategy and a great team.

●      Complexity: Oftentimes, marketers fear that programmatic advertising is overly complex. While it’s true that it is a complicated, intricate process, the heart of how it works is simpler than you might think. A consumer clicks on the page, the page's publisher puts the ad impression up for auction, advertisers bid for the space, and the ad is delivered to the prospective customer. The ability to adjust in real-time allows advertisers to target, retarget and optimize along the way to drive results.

Benefits of Programmatic Advertising

By 2019, experts estimate that programmatic will account for about half of all advertising. And there's a very good reason for that — as more marketers and brands overcome their fears, they begin to embrace the benefits unique to this format, including:

●      Cost efficiency: Using programmatic advertising strategies, brands and advertisers can track the performance of their campaigns beyond simple clicks and impressions. This provides the architecture necessary to design and optimize campaigns to achieve the metrics that matter most. And that is priceless for gaining spending efficiency.

 

●      Real-time data: With this format, marketers no longer need to wait until the campaign is complete to make adjustments. Instead, they receive real-time insights from the moment it launches, enabling them to adjust along the way for improved performance.

●      Bullseye: All the data that goes into programmatic advertising improves your targeting, allowing you to reach a wider, more accurate audience.  For example, Adtaxi uses top-notch tag management to collect actionable data, leverage the power of predictive modeling and use first- and third-party data to target the consumers most likely to act on your message. We also employ cross-platform targeting to make sure the messaging is seamlessly delivered over every device and channel to provide the best experience for your target audience.

Programmatic has the ability to change the face of advertising and empower marketers and brands to better reach their audiences. Once you overcome your fear of the unknowns of programmatic, you will begin to see how it can take your marketing strategy to the next level. 

 

 

Leverage Google Shopping to Drive Holiday Results

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Ask anyone how Google Shopping has performed in 2018, and you're likely to hear how it is dominating the retail search marketing arena. Combining Google shopping with your current digital strategy can only enhance performance in sales. With consumers spending over $19.6 billion online during the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday in 2017, now is the time to prepare your campaign strategy for this year’s shopping season. 

How can you leverage Google Shopping? Check out a few tips to increase efficiency, gain user engagement, and boost conversions on your Google Shopping holiday campaigns.

Set Your Budget and Key Performance Indicators Early

Before doing anything else, Google recommends reviewing historic holiday campaigns and evaluating campaign performance and necessary budget adjustments. Note any days where your click share decreased but retail query volume increased, and budget more for those days to avoid missing potential customers. Flexibility in budgeting can help your campaign survive the fluctuations in holiday shopping.

Prep Your Feed

It also helps to take some time before heading into the holiday shopping season to make sure your product feeds are looking good. Get those product photos on point, upload promotions, and fill out product attributes with as much information as possible to minimize disapprovals from the outset. Also, enable Content API, automated item updates, and automated feed deliver to keep your product pricing and availability fresh.

Plan Promotions

Holiday shoppers love getting good deals, and many shoppers are swayed to make purchases based on the promotions available. Make use of merchant promotions to highlight your special offers and to schedule price changes ahead of time. Giving shoppers plenty of special deals during the holidays can boost the amount of clicks you get and ultimately drive your conversion rate.

Don't Overlook the Omnichannel Approach

Mobile remains king when it comes to retail at any time of year. In fact, Google tells its users to "double down on mobile shopping" because of the importance of maintaining visibility on mobile devices. We think it's critical to create a seamless experience over multiple platforms. After all, omnichannel marketing using innovative tools such Adtaxi's Quantum is essential for giving consumers the experience they expect and maximizing performance during the holiday shopping season and beyond.

4 Ways to Bring Waze Into Your Digital Marketing Playbook

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Part navigation app and part social media, Waze has the potential to help advertisers reach consumers at critical moments. As marketers navigate options and platforms to increase exposure and connect with consumers in new ways, Waze may be the right fit to amplify a brand's digital footprint, drive storefront traffic, and promote their business.

Waze Defined

A Google Maps overlay, Waze is a crowd-sourcing and mapping technology used mainly for auto navigation. Its huge social network - nearly 90 million strong - allows motorists to share information on traffic, road construction, or accidents including live route updates, ETA status, and more. The app also learns preferred routes, destinations, and commuting hours for well-rounded travel experiences.

Why advertise on Waze? Waze transforms the way advertisers target consumers and connect with audiences on the move. Brands can effectively use the app to track and analyze real-time data related to user engagement in the form of impressions, navigations, and button clicks.

Ads are purchased on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis and served based on a user's proximity to your location, with user history playing a critical role in determining which ads to display. A combination of individual user data, search history, and social data gives Waze the ability to offer brands powerful targeting recommendations to drive advertising performance.

If location-based advertising appeals to you, these ideas give marketers the play-by-play on how to incorporate Waze into campaign strategies.

1. Branded Pins With Links to More Information

In this direct-response style ad, pins mark a business's location on a map, mimicking the digital billboards drivers see as they're cruising along highways. The pins pop up on a Waze map when the driver is on or near the business's route. Once a pin is tapped, your ad appears with location details. A second tap puts drivers en route to your location.

Advertisers can add options for drivers to save offers or videos, set reminders, or change the app's voice. Links to more information about a specific location, calls to action to reroute drivers to a destination, and the ability to save places to travel to later are added perks as well.

Pins allow brands to target drivers based on whether they are tourists or locals, their intended destinations, and current events including weather, traffic patterns, and time of travel, right down to language and operating system use. You get a clear picture of marketing efforts through report statistics to analyze reach, frequency, impressions distributed by distance, or the number of saves and website visits.

2. Geo-targeting With Voice Integration

Voice integrations allow users to choose a voice to replace Waze's standard option. Advertisers even have the ability to geo-target locations to spotlight calls to action when users are in or near specific locations.

Brands not in the entertainment industry can join in on the fun of voice-overs. Users can swap Waze's standard navigation voice to that of a favorite celebrity, for instance. There's power in a user listening to a celebrity's voice reading directions to them instead of a computerized version.

3. Zero-speed Takeover Ads

Not everything comes to a complete stop when a vehicle does. Unlike the branded pin where the user has to click a brand's logo, this ad format pops up automatically as a "takeover" of the screen. The big takeaway? Drivers are more attentive to a navigation app when at a full stop, which allows you to target these moments.

When a user reaches "zero speed," three seconds or more of non-movement, Waze reveals high-impact ads and promotions about your brand. Action-oriented displays range from "Download App" and "Drive There" to "Download Coupon" for later use. As a precaution to ensure driver safety, ads drop from view once a vehicle is in motion again.

For marketers, this is another approach to the digital billboard model to offer exclusive discounts during promotional offers. According to Waze, Zero-speed Takeover ads reach drivers that are 3.1 times further from a business than Branded Pins.

4. Promoted Search and Ad Timing With Nearby Arrows

Besides Waze's aforementioned core ad formats, pinned locations give brands priority ranking in search results in Promoted Search. It's an effective ad format to reach users when they're actively searching, even if you're not directly on their current route. Since users can add favorite businesses or locations, Nearby Arrows is a huge advantage when combined with Promoted Search.

When Nearby Arrows is deployed, your brand's logo appears when the app is activated, letting the user know you're nearby. Just a click on the arrow directs the map to the closest pin and triggers your ad to appear on the navigation screen. Identical to the Branded Pin and Zero-Speed Takeover ad formats, the "Drive There" feature provides immediate access to your location.

When vetting your digital marketing options, Waze is the way to go. Think about it: An intuitive platform with the analytical know-how to assess when someone might want something — to fill up, a drink, or food — is a powerful marketing weapon. Use it to drive awareness and reach new audiences on a global scale.

What Facebook's Targeting Option Elimination Means for Ad Campaigns

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 Recently, Facebook announced it was removing more than 5,000 options for ad targeting in an effort to protect users from discriminatory advertising. Paired with Facebook's spring announcement about the changes in custom audiences, this development has some advertisers worried about the implications for campaigns and reaching consumers.

A Change in Strategy

Once a powerful ad targeting feature, its removal deals a mighty blow to business owners and marketers. Third-party data providers are no longer a viable source, and advertisers don't have the luxury of creating ad targeting based on user data (previously captured both on and off Facebook's platform).

Will this affect audience targeting and social media strategies? The exclusions aren't the end of the platform's ad wars. Fortunately, there are strategies you can still use to reach your target market with Facebook advertising.

Geo-Targeted Advertising

Facebook ads give advertisers the flexibility to target people based on specific location, providing a way to create ads relevant to where an audience is located. Geo-targeting lets you customize and refine options to target an audience most likely to take an interest in your business as well.

Custom Audiences

Here's what geo-targeting does:

●      Engagement: It drives users closer to conversion and targets those who have engaged with your brand. A custom audience is easily created from people who have watched a specific video, for instance. 

Interaction through a social media profile, event, or web page is a good opportunity to nudge people further into the sales funnel. There's no better way to assemble highly targeted individuals than to select those who have already shown interest. 

●      Contact lists: Got a customer list or site data collected via subscriptions from your site? Leverage this data and expand the reach by uploading lists directly into Facebook. Then serve ads to people you know on the platform. If you're working with a smaller custom audience, you can always test the creative methods used to determine which one gets the best response from audiences. Increasing CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bids is yet another alternative to better reach your custom audience.

●      Websites: If you're unfamiliar with Facebook Pixel, now's the time to get acquainted. A snippet of code installed on your website helps to optimize ads based on collected data, create targeted ads for future use, track ad conversions, and remarket to people who've taken some form of action on your site.

Take it one step further with the implementation of a lookalike audience from the same data. This way you can prospect for new customers who match the behaviors of your website visitors in specific geographic areas.

Targeted Interests

Facebook still collects data based on what users interact with while on the platform. The information is segmented according to a user's interests. Since the categories are built on real-time user behavior, using this feature is a good place to start. 

Alternative Advertising Methods

Think the use of third-party data is exclusive to Facebook? Internet giants such as Google use data and targeting options on their own terms. Currently there are no defined regulations regarding the transparency of information collected by third-party providers. Until this changes, advertisers have the green light to access information on other platforms, too.

For example, if annual income plays a major role in your targeting strategy, sites such as Bing or LinkedIn could be beneficial because users on these sites tend to be from high income brackets.

Google Adwords is another can't-miss opportunity. It remains a leader in advertising, and its targeting approaches could help fill the gap caused by Facebook's third-party data removal.

DIY First-Party Data Collection

Most small businesses may not have extensive customer data, so the impact of Facebook's change will probably be felt a lot harder. Facebook once offered avenues to target customers using specific data without collecting it independently. Now, spending more time and effort is necessary for business owners who want to enrich their first-party data stockpiles.

It's just a matter of boosting creativity as a workaround to:

●      Set up landing pages to collect contact information.

●      Beef up email marketing campaigns by running surveys.

●      Engage more with social followers.

In other words, consider going back to the basics. 

What was your strategy before Facebook existed? What if you used an advanced form of interest-based targeting? Brainstorm ideas on how to implement "friends of" segmenting for a change of pace in strategy.

What about retargeting? This is one way to achieve higher conversion rates, and is usually far more successful than demographic-based advertising.

Facebook ad targeting options are changing the landscape of all things digital marketing. Despite this most recent setback, Facebook is still in the business of keeping advertisers happy, so don't lose hope. Meanwhile, make the right adjustments to stay on top of your marketing game.

Programmatic Advertising Effectively Identifies Your Audience — Here's How

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More than 80 percent of all digital display ads in the U.S. will be purchased this year through automated channels, according to eMarketer. One area that’s exploding with ad spending in this direction is on programmatic advertising.

Programmatic ads are automated using audience data and technology to achieve the right marketing to the right person, at the right time, in a relevant context. Marketers are expected to spend over $46 billion in 2018 on digital display ads and video display ads on the web, mobile phones, and tablets, across hundreds of sites.

When conceived and programmed correctly, programmatic advertising ensures that key target audiences are being properly identified, and are being shown helpful, informative, relevant and timely content. This can have a meaningful impact on a brand that’s doing programmatic right. Done poorly, and it can have the reverse effect.

Benefits of Programmatic

Programmatic ads are powerful in helping SMB advertisers with their branding efforts. Having a focused ad targeting strategy can help small and medium-sized businesses in keeping their budgets in line and can be very effective in engagement and conversions down the line with target audiences.

Another benefit to programmatic ads is the opportunity for marketers to develop real-time audience insights that can be immediately impactful. Having these insights can help bolster future campaigns, increase optimizations and the develop future strategies.

Customize your Message

Programmatic makes it easier for advertisers to find desired target audiences across the internet, wherever those audiences are located. For example, a consumer may have visited a local car dealership online, and location data may show a pattern of other dealership visits. Programmatic will assume the consumer is in the market for a new or used car and may set up ad opportunities for that purpose. This targeting is managed anonymously, without marketers learning any identity information about the potential car buyer.

Identifying Audiences

Programmatic advertising technology works best for identifying niche audiences. For example, a surfing equipment and supplies website found that programmatic advertising showed that its top visitors were young adult males (aged 20-35) who live in the North Pacific region, read the site during worktime lunch, and have been regular visitors. Armed with this data, an advertiser using programmatic technology would have definite ideas on who and where are these persons, what time of day they might be most receptive to relevant ads, and what type of content to show in the ads.

Mix up the approaches

Programmatic is best known for targeting audiences and driving conversions. But advertisers who are developing their branding can get experimental by trying different approaches. 

Advertisers could beta test a top-down approach by developing programmatic ads for the most engaged online users, perhaps those at the very top of online sites. They could also try to target their efforts to the most popular competitor sites that most people click to.

Conversely, advertisers might want to try a bottom-up approach, developing campaigns for small but dedicated audiences at certain sites, and building a sizeable budget to them. With this approach, niche clients might achieve higher CTRs than competitors in a similar industry.

To learn more about how to make programmatic advertising work for your local market or industry, look to the Interactive Advertising Bureau for a deep dive into programmatic advertising, discussing what's ahead, what challenges marketers face in making this type of ad work for them, and how the industry has to change in order to survive.

Adtaxi Takes Home Top Digiday Worklife Award for Most Passionate Employees

DENVER (October 17, 2018)—Hear, hear! Adtaxi—one of the nation’s fastest-growing digital marketing agencies—is the winner of this year’s Digiday Worklife Award in the category of “Most Passionate Employees at an Agency.” Presented annually, the Digiday Worklife Awards recognize media and marketing’s top employers as well as the values and cultural initiatives that make them unique.

The “Most Passionate Employees” distinction is awarded to the organization whose employees clearly demonstrate a unified passion for the company’s mission and values. Adtaxi is differentiated within the digital landscape by its innovative culture and ongoing employee learning opportunities. The agency focuses heavily on cultivating an environment that facilitates creativity and allows employees the freedom and space to present new ideas that will drive improvement. Employees are continuously educated to hone their talents, foster their confidence and autonomy, which in turn translates to stronger client relationships, company growth and technological advancement.

Reflecting the company’s longstanding emphasis on skills development, Adtaxi launched a companywide initiative in 2016 to encourage employees to gain individual Google certifications. This allowed for deeper, more meaningful and well-informed conversations with clients. In addition, Adtaxi introduced a “Lunch and Learn” program, which provides monthly educational sessions led by an employee to share tips, best practices and key insights surrounding a topic relevant to the industry. Previous sessions have covered everything from Google Analytics to marketing automation. “Lunch and Learns” allow employees to expand their knowledge base and enable the presenter to showcase their expertise in front of peers.

“You can’t teach passion—it is the most valuable asset that an employee can have. We are so grateful for this honor—and for our ‘passionate’ colleagues, who make Adtaxi the creative, cutting-edge and disruptive agency that it is today. Over the years, our success has been driven by a talented, forward-thinking and inventive group of individuals on a shared mission to solve key industry problems through innovation,” said Chris Loretto, Executive Vice President of Adtaxi. “It was an employee who created our search pacing and optimization tool and who devised our new optimization platform, Quantum. We understand the value of listening to the ideas of team members at all levels, and being selected for this award inspires us to continue investing in our talent and empowering them to stay curious while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in our ever-evolving, technology-driven world.”

Winners will be honored at the Digiday Awards gala on November 14, 2018 at The Lighthouse at Pier Sixty in NYC.

About Adtaxi
Founded in 2010 within Digital First Media, Adtaxi made its mark in programmatic advertising before expanding into search, social, email and native. Over time, Adtaxi has refined and perfected its conversions-based approach, which became the foundation of the Quantum optimization technology, which originally launched in 2015. Leveraging the power of machine learning, Quantum’s innovative algorithm drives omnichannel optimizations across channels to maximize performance and deliver superior value for advertisers. Adtaxi functions as a true partner with its clients, acting as a single point of contact and support through multi-platform campaign cycles. Find Adtaxi on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

Leveraging Geotargeting Effectively for Business

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Where targets live, work, shop, and are willing to travel to obtain a particular product or service all play an important part in how advertisers market to them. That's why advertisers need to harness the benefits of geotargeting to create customized, well-targeted campaigns. Geotargeting has the potential to almost double the performance of digital marketing, whether that's via paid search or emails.

If more control over who sees your advertisements is important, geotargeting is a must-have marketing tool. Consider these best practices for successful, targeted campaigns.

Reap Location-Based Content Rewards

There are numerous advantages to implementing geotargeting to connect with customers and encourage conversations and conversions. Equipped with data like a user's IP address, advertisers can personalize content and campaigns for specific geographic regions, tweak deliveries, and track offline sales in a certain location. What better way to segment ads than to appeal to diverse markets simultaneously?

While geotargeting helps to deliver offers or content tailored to a user's location, it even increases email campaign efficiency. This is particularly useful when advertisers want to drive in more retail foot traffic, credit online sales to email marketing, and direct customers to dynamic landing pages specially designed for target locations.

Geotargeting also produces a way to reduce operating costs. If you've ever managed paid search or display ads, you know how crucial it is to cap the scope of an audience. This is easily achieved with geotargeting to limit irrelevant views and clicks and avoid excess budget expenditures.

Exclude Areas Where Targets Won't Be

Excluding locations are just as important as defining them. Whether narrowing the geographic playing field by venue, one side of a street, or by local events, an area that's not specifically being targeted can be excluded, too.

For example, nightclubs or sports bars looking to target college students may exclude an area during school breaks or summer months when students aren't likely to be in the area.

Further, exclusion is an advertiser's friend when a cost-effective method is key to avoiding costly ad rates in high-demand target areas. Some agencies have found low-priced, larger area ad campaigns achieve the same targeting goals when opting out of all areas except the desired target location.

Use Location-Specific Keywords for Paid Search

Consumers often narrow searches down to a specific name, city, or district. "Nail bars near Rodeo Drive," "Miami coffee shops," or "midtown eateries" are search terms consumers are likely to use, and provides just the location criteria advertisers can target. Tourist havens, famous street names, zip codes, and popular venues are just a few location terms to use when you want consumers to find you.

Analyze Target Behavior Based on Previously Visited Locations

Examining a target's location history provides a wealth of information including shopping habits, online frequency, and modes of transportation to bricks-and-mortar stores. The data provide greater opportunities to deliver relevant location-specific ads, whether the target is in an area of interest or not.

Set a Perimeter by Radius or Time Near Areas of Interest

You can set a perimeter, or geofence, to target certain streets or neighborhoods to deliver detailed, proximity-based campaigns and notifications. Unlike geotargeting, which determines location based on user’s IP address, geofencing uses GPS to get a read on specific locations.

For example, a coffee shop can set a three-mile perimeter around neighboring apartment complexes to reach users looking to grab a cup of joe before heading to work. A perimeter can also be defined by time. Advertisers can take advantage of platforms offering mapping applications that allow mobile apps and sites to search by time instead of distance.

Since geofencing uses different technologies, there are some limitations. Its GPS-based infrastructure creates the need for user authorization. So, if a device's location services feature is disabled, geo-targeted ads won't reach the device. However, most users are willing to share their location if they receive something of value in exchange.

Gather Location Data for Facebook Targeting

Capture data on where consumers are willing to travel, not just where they live, and use it for:

●      Anyone located in a selected location

●      Anyone who lives in a selected location

●      Anyone who was recently in a selected location

●      Anyone who's traveling to a selected location

Facebook is the ideal platform to accomplish this. Get your ads in front of the right audience or set up location ad targeting for specific addresses. You can even refine an audience to targets who live in, have recently visited, or are traveling in a particular area.

Geolocation is a powerful tool to help advertisers add context to campaigns. Leveraging the benefits of geotargeting along with careful use of customer information and integrating social media brings advertisers an increase in customer interaction, conversions, and successful campaigns.

Determining the Right Media Mix for Your Ad Campaign

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Today's digital media advertising opportunities are more niched, numerous, and fragmented than ever before. Key target audiences are scattered on streaming TV outlets, online video sites, social media platforms, cable TV and elsewhere. The goal for marketers is to find the most efficient, accurate, and targeted blend of media to use in digital display, mobile ads, in-video advertising, web-only channels, and others.   

Let’s have a look at some of the elements that go into determining the right media mix for your next advertising campaign. 

Find the Right Media Mix

Using multiple advertising mediums to promote your products and services is often a great idea for a campaign, but it's important to get that mix right. Different combinations work better with different audiences. It’s essential that you understand your target audience to determine what media mix to use to use. The choices you make in your media strategy will determine how successful you are with your advertising strategy.

Here are two key thoughts for guidance with your eventual media mix: 1) defining your target audience with a reasonable amount of certainty, and 2) backing up your choices of media with accurate and current data of your audience's media consumption habits.

Define the target audience

Defining the target audience for your product or service should take into account basic demographic data like gender, income, age, location and education levels. You should also know who are likely customers for your offering. Your team can develop customer personas to further drill down on your likely target audience types.

Use good data to choose media targets

Collecting more data on your target audience increases your opportunities to see relevant media matches, across formats, platforms and time zones. This should be clean data. This data can include organic research, industry research, competitor audits and more. Learning how to gather, analyze and effectively use data is one of the most important tools in any digital marketer’s toolkit.

Check the data from media viewing research sites including comScore, Nielsen, and local network affiliates, depending on your product or service. Collect specific data on gender, income, and region. Using the right data can provide the insight needed to boost engagement among target audiences and increase return on investment (ROI).

Omnichannel approach

Marketers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach to online advertising. Instead of narrowly focusing on a few niche channels, advertisers are going wide across the board. This means using retargeting, web ads, email marketing, online display ads, direct mail, social media ad programs, and pay-per-click channels to gain the attention of online customers.

The ultimate goal in an omnichannel approach is to spread the touches with your customers. The more times they see your ads, the more attention you can bring to your product or service

Use different media effectively

Maybe your budget doesn’t allow for for a wide omnichannel approach. Maybe your target audience stays glued to YouTube sports clips every evening. You'll find this out by analyzing the YouTube viewer data for your preferred target customer. If that’s the cae, you can concentrate a portion of your ad spend on this particular platform. In another example, Instagram may be your preferred ad location if you are trying to reach a high concentration of educated adults across social media

While using different ways to advertise is often a great idea for a campaign, it's important to get that mix right. Do solid research, gain key data points and spread your campaign around different platforms to develop your next winning ad campaign. 

 

 

5 Ways to Take Advantage of Native Advertising

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Native advertising is more powerful than you may realize. This form of advertising is like a chameleon — a piece of advertising that seamlessly fits into its environment, whether that's social media, a video channel on the web, photo streams, or other forms of content.

Experts predict this type of advertising may well dominate the market in the near future, and for good reason. It gets more views, higher engagement rates, a higher lift, cheaper costs per click, and a better click-through rate compared to traditional banner ads. This advertising also performs particularly well among the coveted millennial audience. If you aren't using it already, the time to get into native advertising is now. Here are five ways to get started.

Choose the Right Ad Channels and Platforms

For most brands, starting with a list of where you want your ads to appear is the easiest starting point. But you should know that it's not an option on every channel and platform. Start by taking that list and highlighting the ones that offer native advertising. Then take it a step further to find the channels that best align with your brand and target demographic.

Align Your Ad With User Intentions

Once you've identified your channels, it's important to make sure your native ads are in keeping with what users are looking for on those channels. For example, if you're among the 48 percent of marketers running native ads on Facebook, you want yours to look like something users would naturally see from their friends. Likewise, if you're creating a travel-focused ad, you wouldn't want to run it on a gardening website.

Consider Design a Top Priority

Mobile-first and "designed to fit in with the channel you choose" are two key design elements that you need to consider. Mobile-first is essential to providing a seamless user experience, which is more important than ever. Additionally, it should look like other content provided on the platform. Ideally, it should look even better and be a step above what everyone else is already doing.

Provide Value to Readers

Quality, relevance, and positioning your brand as an authority go a long way to gaining users' trust and engaging with your audience. Entertain them, inform them, challenge them — just make sure the content is on point and providing value all on its own, which will ultimately strengthen your marketing message.

Run A/B Testing on Ads

As important as location, design, and content are in native advertising, you can't really gauge how well your ads are working without testing them. A/B testing is a great tool that lets you optimize your native advertising to make sure it's perfectly placed and contains effective call to action (CTA) buttons, the right shading and colors to enhance user engagement, and the right image size and ratio to maximize ROI. A few A/B tests to consider include:

●      News feed mobile vs. desktop

●      A/B versions of your landing page with different color schemes, languages, and tones

●      Test creative and messages on age ranges within your target audience

When it's done correctly, native advertising offers readers fresh content and helpful information while offering brands and marketers a new, exciting, and effective means to get their message out there. Great headlines, great platforms, great design, and compelling content all add up to huge success.

 

 

Is Connected TV All It's Cracked Up to Be? Yes!

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In recent years, mobile phone screens and desktop monitors have taken advertisers' attention away from running campaigns on the family TV. With more people cutting the cable cord and relying on internet streaming for programming choices, connected TV in the family room is moving ahead.

Connected TV is popular with cord cutters, or those who have ceased paying for TV services in the home. According to eMarketer estimates, about 33 million have stopped their subscriptions to a paid TV service. Another recent report, the "Q1 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report," found that the average U.S. adult now spends more than 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading, or interacting with some form of linear or digital media.

Connected TV is a key reason for the uptick in media consumption. While there might be some growing pains in the category, connected TV is showing it's living up to its initial hype.

Doubling Growth

In the past year, connected TV has doubled its advertising growth, overtaking the number of impressions over mobile devices. The "Q2 2018 Video Advertising Benchmarks Report" from Extreme Reach found connected TV had 38 percent of video ad impressions in 2018's second quarter. Those video ad impressions are mostly from consumers' preference for platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, Roku, Apple TV, Google's Chromecast, and others during the U.S. prime time of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The anticipated growth of connected TV means a comparable increase in video advertising. But it will be online, through connected TV.

Analyst firm Forrester notes that all the big players, including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, are looking to a future in which consumers watch video online rather than on traditional linear TV channels. It will likely lead to a more fragmented video world. There will be more on-demand video content consumed, and more opportunities for advertisers to reach these fragmented audiences at different price and reach windows. 

Advertiser Benefits on CTV

Here are the benefits of advertising on connected TV:

  • It's easy to get ads seen by a target audience faster: Connected TV gives marketers and advertisers a more accurate route to reaching relevant viewers. Instead of aiming for large, general audiences, marketers can narrow their ad campaigns for a more relevant reach.

  • There are opportunities for specific targeting: Connected TV advertisers are getting more sophisticated about targeting methods, including first-party, third-party lookalike modeling, CTV retargeting, and cross-device targeting. This area is expected to grow in importance in the coming months. 

  • Ads are shown fewer times on CTV: Instead of a barrage of ads coming in between programming segments on traditional TV, ads on connected TV are fewer in frequency. This results in higher view-completion rates because consumers aren't overwhelmed by ads.

  • Connected TV consumers are in a more receptive, relaxed state of mind: Connected TV viewers see ads when they are ready for entertainment. Advertisers believe this increases the chances a brand's ad to make a good impression on viewers, compared to other platforms when this may not happen.  

  • Ads can become shoppable: Making connected TV ads more interactive and useful to consumers is a priority for online advertisers, as it's easier to build interactivity into ads over connected TVs.

Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu are all showing increased usage over connected TV. As advertisers catch up to meet these receptive audiences, the connected TV category looks to grow incrementally in the coming years.

 

8 Ways Bing is Important for Search

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Google may be the dominant search engine, but for advertisers looking to reach diverse audiences, there's more to search than Google alone. Microsoft's Bing search engine offers advertisers alternative options that might be right for them. In this article, we'll discuss some key differences between Bing and Google and outline the importance of these differences.

Growth for Bing

In Microsoft's fourth quarter, the company reported Bing's revenue rose 17 percent over the past year. Even though it's still dwarfed by Google, which owns nearly 75 percent of the search engine market, Bing holds a respectable third slot (after Baidu) with nearly 8 percent of search engine market share, according to NetMarketShare.

But Bing makes up for its smaller size in different ways. These are the kinds of things marketers should keep in mind when drawing up a well-rounded search strategy:

  1. Demographic differences: According to 2016 research from GML Consulting, Bing users tend to be older, wealthier, and well educated. For marketers looking for an affluent audience, likely connected to the Microsoft online universe already, Bing can be an effective tool.

  2. Search results: According to Search Engine Land, Bing uses an enriched basic search that goes further than typical search results. When you search for "movies," for example, Bing shows users movie options for streaming outlets such as Amazon and Netflix, as well as what movies are playing in cinemas near you. This asset shows increased thinking in Bing's search makeup.

  3. Easier purchase links: Bing tends to display "real-world context" results that allow consumers to buy goods and services more easily, while Google tends to offer results for consumers to learn more before making a purchase.

  4. Unique query searches: Unique query searches are high on Bing, meaning they're only displayed and found on Bing and users searching for them have a high intent to buy.

  5. Most relevant entity: Advertisers can use Bing Entity Search API to identify the entity with the most relevance based on the search terms used. This can be used to see the multiple entity types while searching for favorite local businesses, video games, books, and movies.

  6. Working with Bing Ads: Bing Ads is less costly on cost-per-clicks than Google's AdWords. There's also less competition on popular keywords, which can lead to better ad positioning and improved click-through rates.

  7. Bing for Business: By increasing its deep discovery tools in a more robust knowledge graph, Bing's Places for Business allows businesses to place more emphasis on its website's published content and data. This is another alternative to promoting a company's brand for online and offline consumers.

  8. Negative keywords: In Bing Ads, negative keywords don't negate targeted keywords. This is an important feature for advertisers who don't want their ads being shown when a search query contains a bid-on keyword but is irrelevant to the advertiser's business content and landing page copy.

The recent uptick in Bing's business shows its product improvements are working well for brands that use it. It keeps the competitive search engine market companies in deep discovery mode for adding new search methods, and means Bing's improvements are helping to optimize campaigns for business marketers.

What Facebook AR Ads Mean for Your Business

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Facebook is driving yet another advertising innovation with its recent launch of augmented reality ads. These in-feed ads leverage cutting-edge AR technology to make the ad personal and the advertising experience fun.

Generally, AR involves superimposing computer-generated images over real-world video or camera images. Facebook's mobile camera permissions will allow advertisers to offer AR video experiences from within normal-looking news feed ads.

How will this help a business? If it sells sunglasses, for instance, a static news feed ad showcasing a pair of designer sunglasses can now be overlaid with a "tap to try on" feature button that opens AR capabilities within the app and allows the user to see the sunglasses on their face in real time.

How Can Consumers Interact With AR Ads?

Facebook anticipates AR ads will present an experience that mobile phone users will want to interact with, increasing the probability of click-through conversions. Each tap to "try on" can allow your customers to sample lipstick shades, hat styles, or the latest jewelry trends without ever stepping foot inside the store.

Large furniture pieces, draperies, or home accessory products can be superimposed on pictures of the shopper's home taken with a mobile phone in real time, providing a level of personalization not possible with a traditional in-store experience. Easing into larger (and potentially more difficult to return) purchases with this immediate feedback can help build consumer trust and increase purchase conversions.

Marketers advertising experiences can consider offering "picture yourself here" ads or sharing interactive elements of the destination or event. Facebook users will be able to create static photos of their AR ad experiences for easy sharing with their friends, and all AR ads can be equipped with calls to action.

What Tools Will Facebook's Video Creation Kit Offer?

Facebook is launching a video creation kit to help businesses convert from static photo ads to the video-based news feed advertising that their users prefer. With just a few clicks, advertisers can upload existing images and add overlays and logos to build mobile-first video ads.

Video creation kit and AR ad availability will roll out to Facebook advertisers throughout 2018 in anticipation of the end-of-year holiday season.

 

7 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for the 2018 Election Season

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 Political advertising isn't just about spending money — it's about creating a platform for powerful messaging to influence the voting process. Highly specific targeting is also necessary. These factors play a large role in shaping the trends in digital-political marketing, and that's just as true in 2018 as it was in 2008. Here are seven digital marketing trends to watch for the upcoming season.

1. Dynamic Database Systems

Properly code and build detailed databases to include demographic information. Data of this nature aid in identifying voting history or frequency. If possible, include data relative to voter belief systems. A deeper understanding of demographics in terms of digital marketing provides a broader range of information to segment and target voters from polling data.

 

Most of the information needed to establish an efficient database strategy can be obtained through field or telecommunications analysis. Surveys, polls, and petitions are alternative sources, too.

 

Using demographic information, advertisers can search or track data with greater efficiency. Then there are added benefits to targeting through:

●      Email list segmentation: Divide lists into categories — one devised of persuadable voters and the other containing enthusiastic supporters. Lists can also be narrowed to include volunteers, contributors, registered voters, inactive voters, and even political signage.

●      Fundraiser data: Zero in on donors and research their worldviews, which could be issues ranging from economics to abortion rights. Aim to push their response buttons.

●      Advanced data modeling: Build a dynamic database using transactional data such as contributions made to political campaigns and causes.

 

Don't forget that people change and their perspectives will, too. Over time you'll need to bring in new data, refresh old data, build new models, and update accordingly.

2. Integrated Multichannel Marketing

 

Synchronizing messages across channels to increase awareness, favorability, or familiarity is no different on the political landscape. Integrated communications allow advertisers to deliver consistent messages to targets of a defined audience.

 

Popular in every sense, the internet still brings advertisers opportunities to share through social media, websites, and mobile apps. For specific groups you are targeting, create immersive experiences via channels such as:

●      Video

●      Direct mail

●      Email

●      Facebook newsfeed

●      Banner ads

 

To amplify this strategy, customize messages across ads or email — for instance, by retargeting. It's a cinch when used in combination with dedicated, promotion-specific landing pages.

3. Direct-Response Content

Copy containing a cleverly crafted call to action (CTA) and unique selling propositions are essential components to highlight the benefits of politically infused campaigns. To further solidify your marketing efforts, add separate landing pages for each segment you're targeting.

 

Imagine this: Your marketing team creates spectacular offers and drives traffic directly to the brand's homepage. The problem with this? There's no way to target messaging or measure its effectiveness. Clear messaging delivered through multiple channels deserves dedicated landing pages.

 

According to recent findings, 48 percent of landing pages contain multiple offers. Attention spans are short, so stick with a single offer and CTA button instead. This ensures audiences are only focused on taking one action at a time.

 

Also, minor tweaks are sometimes needed to increase response rates. Adopting a test and optimizing strategy for use on the regular keeps the marketing machine running.

4. "Bumper" Pre-roll Video

Video plays an essential role in online advertising. The short, memorable messages that work in your favor when targeting voters are those featured on YouTube video, as bumper pre-rolls. Six seconds is all it takes to maximize your reach, and Google Ads offers an intuitive platform to create bumper ads for mini-messages that have minimal impact on the viewing experience.

 

Again, focus is instrumental. To get the most out of your 6 seconds, design three distinctive ads that focus on one element in particular. Also, a combination of music, voice-overs, emotion, and comedy play well in bumpers.

 

Using video-based content is effective. More interesting are the benefits of retargeting, when advertisers can target people who show interest. Once a viewer engages, they become the perfect candidate for dynamic pre-roll ads. This method re-targets viewers with the same offers or category of products in the same price range.

 

Advertisers can get creative and take more chances with short-form messaging — even more so with Trueview campaigns. Each ad can be distributed to serve a different purpose: one for deeper engagement and one for reach and awareness, for example. Also, video retargeting continues to turn convention on its head, all while generating high returns on investments.

5. Digital Audio

Yes, power still reigns in audio — specifically, delivery of highly creative messages to voters in their unique environments.

 

With the rise of voice activation and recognition technologies such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, audio is an emerging tool to reach voters of all backgrounds and ages. With music being a top entertainment choice for many Americans, consider using Pandora as an outreach method in the next voter cycle. It's a premium, clutter-free environment where voters are tuned-in and receptive.

6. Mobile Devices

Advertisers need to be where many voters are today — on mobile. Voters use mobile to watch TV, stream audio and video, check their social feeds, and play games. A shift to mobile advertising is important. Advertisers who embrace this strategy gain a winning advantage for future campaigns.

7. Influencer Marketing

Reaching a few targeted voters can prove to be more effective than reaching the masses. Employ this digital marketing strategy to reach and influence important leaders capable of taking on the role of brand advocates to deliver messages to larger audiences.

 

The benefit of political advertising? The influencer (person, brand, web page, or source with vast reach) has credibility with — and the ability to influence — an audience. The success of using an influencer depends on how well the influencer spreads marketing messages and the impact those messages have on the audience.

 

What's next? Political marketers need to take an audience-first approach to generate sufficient awareness and persuasion. Advertisers are poised to leverage these valuable marketing techniques in strategic ways.

6 Ways Advertisers Can Prepare for the 2018 Holiday Season

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The winter holidays will be here before you know it. That means it's not too early for advertisers to get their holiday campaign planning started.

1. Perfect Your Holiday Strategy

Developing a campaign strategy means determining the best way to promote your brand through the holiday season. Much of the focus is usually on the big holiday shopping days that fall just after Thanksgiving in late November: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's Eve can also be vital to advertising success, as each holiday has its own competitive advantage. Once you determine which holiday(s) are ideal for your advertising campaign, it's easier to put your plan into motion.

2. Create Holiday-themed Promotions

Talking to others gets your creative juices flowing so you can prepare holiday-themed promotions that can be implemented when the time comes.

One effective promotion may be offers centered around your campaign theme, such as discounts on some of your bestselling items. Offers can also come in the form of content specifically created for holiday use. For example, gift guides give shoppers inspiration. A few ideas include:

●      $15 holiday treats for coffee enthusiasts

●      5 gifts Mom/Dad will love for $50 or less

●      3 must-have gifts for kids for $25 or less

3. Look at Other Sales Opportunities

Not every holiday campaign is exclusive to Christmas. There are other shopping days tied to the holidays that deserve promotional attention, too.

Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday and two days after Thanksgiving. On this day, people are encouraged to show support for local businesses in their area. This is a prime opportunity for advertisers to offer shoppers big deals. According to a survey from American Express, which promotes Small Business Saturday, and the National Federation of Independent Business, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion on Small Business Saturday in November 2017.

Another promotional opportunity for online retailers is Green Monday, which falls on the second Monday of December.  Back in 2007, eBay noticed that was one of its best days for online sales, so a "holiday" was born.

Finally, there's Free Shipping Day, an annual one-day event held in mid-December and targeted towards procrastinating shoppers who have to get their presents shipped quickly. This promotional holiday provides consumers with a way to buy a lot and save big on shipping charges, with a guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.

4. Prepare a Marketing Calendar

With every marketing plan comes countless hours of research, refinement of tactics, creating a message, and cost analysis. What's next? A marketing calendar. A blueprint for the campaign launch process, a marketing calendar guides each stage, from initial planning to the precise time to increase online ad spending.

One thing you can do in advance is run organic campaigns on a platform such as Facebook Ads. Starting now gives you a head start to evaluate your audience to see what's trending, the content they're responding to, and the offers you think might be of interest to them.

When it comes to Facebook Ads, monitor ad performance regularly and make sure to follow Facebook's troubleshooting guide if there are problems. If your ads aren't getting results from consumers, you'll want to have time to rebound. But remember, according to a 2016 survey, 40 percent of U.S. consumers start their holiday shopping by Halloween.

5. Deploy a Social Media Strategy

Once you have your plan in place, it's time to get active on social media to get in front of the right audience before the winter holidays. Your marketing calendar comes back into play here. Think about what types of content you need to produce during the holiday season. Should you provide blog posts? eBooks? Be selective in your focus, because overwhelming your audience with holiday-related advertising to get them in the shopping mood doesn't cut it.

Your audience is likely to gravitate towards content that makes a difference in how they live or helps them narrow their holiday wish list. Engage with your audience and find out what it wants.

Get people talking, sharing, liking, and eventually buying. Have some fun. Ask your audience to share memorable moments with photos and the stories that go along with them. Branded hashtags for use on Instagram or Twitter keeps the conversation going.

Choose content guaranteed to solicit positive responses and then schedule publications for November through December. Don't forget to monitor all social media accounts, as performance is paramount to campaign success. Also, social monitoring helps track keywords to better respond to those commonly used during the holidays.

6. Review Previous Performances

Analyze which campaigns worked well in past years and determine what made them work. Like life itself, marketing trends change. You may have to dig through archives of data to find out which campaigns worked, which didn't, and which platforms affected visibility and reach.

Review past reports and use social media marketing tools and analytics to make prudent budgeting decisions. This will help to determine where your resources are best used for the upcoming holiday season.

Successful holiday campaigns are all about preparation. Be clear about what you want to offer and use the right approach to draw shoppers online and into your stores.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Connected TV

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Introductions to traditional television changed history, and connected TV has the potential to change television's history — especially when it comes to advertising. While it may still be finding its footing, there are plenty of benefits to connected TV, and understanding them may be one key to helping the platform take off.

1. More Mature Audiences Watch CTV

The average connected television (CTV) user is older than advertisers might think, and almost 70 percent of these users have children.

Though older Americans grew up watching program favorites on traditional TV sets, they aren't reluctant to try new forms of entertainment. Actually, mature audiences are shifting away from cable and broadcast television to watch programming over the internet in increasing numbers.

This new trend offers marketers opportunities to reach multiple household members — 2.6 viewers on average are being reached with connected TV advertising alone. Better still, connected TV ads provide access to decision makers and influencers within households simultaneously. This lays the groundwork to develop and deliver the right messaging at favorable times.

2. Audience-Based Targeting Has Potential

Connected TV targeting is advanced, seamlessly combining traditional TV and digital marketing. This allows advertisers to guide ads toward targets by demographics, interests, and geography. Advertisers can even narrow geographic targeting down to a ZIP code.

For example, viewers who use CTVs are required to log in with email addresses or universal identifiers via social media profiles. With the use of third-party data, a user's profile is completed based on device, geolocation, interests, online behavior, language, and more.

Specific audience segmentations are used to deliver relevant messages to brand-receptive audiences as well. Throw in sophisticated targeting, and advertisers find high-value audiences they can serve connected TV ads to through their IP addresses or device IDs.

The general idea is to build an audience segment of qualified users who have been exposed to the brand's CTV ad. Once achieved, these users are then served with related ads across multiple digital channels. Consistent messages across different channels and devices drive site traffic and profits.

In the end, success is possible for advertisers who have developed well-defined target audiences using data-driven algorithms — those outside of traditional TV buying parameters. Similar technology is applied to optimize the price paid to reach that high-value audience.

3. Less Is More in Advertising

With traditional TV, three to five commercials run consecutively, which effectively overwhelms viewers. More importantly, the viewer is likely to ignore or forget the commercials altogether.

Unlike its predecessor, connected TV commercials appear at a much lower rate, with only one ad shown at a time. When casual or TV binge watchers aren't besieged by an onslaught of commercials, they're more attentive. Viewers not only see an interesting ad, they also remember the brand behind it, and perhaps even engage. An action may not occur right away, but showing an interest is favorable since the viewer may become a future customer.

4. Lights + Camera = Action With Digital Video Ads

High-quality videos aimed at the right viewers in prime environments is a surefire success strategy. It's the future of video advertising, with enormous opportunity and relative acceptance among consumers.

Placing video ads on streaming service providers to reach an audience you wouldn't otherwise through broadcast TV is a no-brainer. It merely involves networking with companies that buy CTV ads from ad tech companies like MediaMath or The Trade Desk. Check out the local market too.

Let's say you want to broadcast a message to viewers highlighting a private school in a major metropolitan area. Using video ads comprised of aspiring student testimonials or scholastic achievements is likely to garner the attention of parents. Ads such as these placed on premium outlets like CNN and local news channels are viable media sources for consideration.

What are some other facts to consider?

●      Less fraud, since CTV is a closed, controlled ecosystem

●      Advanced targeting, enhanced survey, audience analysis capability, and dynamic ad insertion

●      Full-screen TV experience on large entertainment devices, along with co-viewing

●      Wider reach of cord-cutters

●      Closer digital format to TV commercials

●      Support for third-party ad serving and measurement

5. Digital Audio Ads Are Hidden Gems

You might think the audio market is irrelevant or antiquated. Surprisingly, it's the underdog that's poised to be the next big marketing combat zone. In fact, radio has a broader reach than TV and mobile devices, reaching an estimated 228.5 million adults.

Why not make an audible appearance on music streaming services such as Pandora, SoundCloud, Spotify, or local radio stations?

To get the biggest slice of this marketing pie, know your audience. Audio ads aren't limited to basic demographic details, so get specific about lifestyle preferences, location, and age. Knowing the audience gets advertisers closer to ideal choices in stations, markets, and time-of-day broadcasts during the targeting phase.

Since the audio medium differs greatly from video and digital, you not only have to harness creativity, but also choose words with caution. Another important factor is monitoring real-time campaign insights — always be in the know about when and where ads run to receive proper airplay.

For a broader reach across multiple stations, a marketing agency is a go-to aid to position digital audio messages on a variety of channels.

Connected TV advertising gives viewers the ultimate branding experience by allowing people to consume digital video content on TVs from the comfort of home, work, or play. When considering adding connected TV ads to your marketing mix, use them as an extension of traditional television buys, or as a complement to digital advertising to better manage campaigns across CTV and other devices at the household level.

Clean Marketing Data Is Critical — Here's Why

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Dirty data, or data filled with errors, leads to poor marketing decisions. It's a pervasive problem that affects nearly every business. After all, data is the cornerstone of the modern information age we live in — even more so in the new marketing landscape — which relies heavily on the complex information that's more readily available today than at any point in the past.

The volume of customer data collected every day is immense, which is why it's so common for companies to have, or plan to have, a large marketing database to corral all its customer data.

In a perfect world, collected data is used seamlessly to provide marketers with the insight needed to guide campaigns, make decisions, and target audiences for promoting specific services and products. Unfortunately, dirty data costs businesses billions of dollars every year and has far-reaching consequences.

To remain competitive, prioritizing data quality is essential. Adtaxi wants to spread the word with all the essential details you need to know, from what dirty data is to how to clean data for optimal results.

The Lowdown on Dirty Data

The Data Warehousing Institute estimates that businesses in the United States lost $611 billion in staff overhead, printing, and postage due to low quality customer data. The real cost goes far beyond that, as poor data quality frustrates prospects and alienates loyal customers while eroding a company's credibility.

So, what is it? The simplest definition of dirty data is a database record that contains errors. Those errors could come from inaccuracies that existed from the start or from changes over time. As TDWI points out, roughly 2 percent of the information in customer records become obsolete within 30 days as customers go through life changes including moving, marriage, divorce, and death. Data entry mistakes and errors that occur when source systems change is also problematic. 

Perils of Dirty Data

In truth, having great data is the foundation of any effective marketing campaign. It allows organizations to engage with their target audience and respond to shifts in dynamics quickly and effectively to get the most return on their investment. As mentioned, errors in the data making up your customer database can cost you. Some consequences of having bad data include:

●      Wasted printing costs

●      Inaccurate customer metrics

●      Tracking errors

●      Inaccurate marketing segmentation

●      Misleading customer records

●      Missed opportunities

●      Decreased revenue

 

Characteristics of Clean Data

There's more to clean data than simply making sure it's accurate. To judge your data as clean, it should meet five criteria:

●      It's valid: you can judge it as accurate or inaccurate

●      It's accurate, up-to-date, and as current as possible

●      It's complete: all the necessary fields contain all the necessary information

●      There's no duplicate information and there are no (or minimal) errors

●      All the data values are consistent — same time zone and same unit of measurement throughout the database.

 

How to Clean Your Data

Don't make the mistake of confusing data cleaning with data purging. You can have clean data without deleting old records, which can be useful for creating reactivation campaigns or generating scoring models. Instead, prioritize eliminating useless information with a multi-step cleansing process:

●      Complete a data audit to identify discrepancies

●      Set data cleaning workflow constraints as a team so the program knows what to look for and your team understands how to deal with anything that falls outside of those parameters

●      Execute the data cleaning workflow

●      Review the data to make sure it's correct and to manually correct anything as needed

 

To combat the changes that naturally occur, cleaning data should be an ongoing process for businesses and marketers alike. Collecting clean data from the start is a way to control data quality and reduce heavy data cleaning workflow.