Yahoo! DSP stands out as a platform that offers advertisers a unique blend of technology, scale, and customer relationships. Here's why advertisers should consider Yahoo! DSP for their campaigns:
The Best of Both Worlds
Yahoo! DSP combines the benefits of a walled garden with the transparency of an independent platform. This means advertisers get the advantages of a massive scale, proprietary inventory, and unique data without feeling restricted.
Identity at its Core
In a post-cookie world, identity becomes crucial. Yahoo! DSP's best-in-class identity graph and first-party data ensure advertisers can connect the dots seamlessly. Even without IDs, Yahoo! DSP has got you covered.
Performance You Can Trust
With the power of machine learning, Yahoo! DSP drives performance without hidden fees or pricing inefficiencies. This ensures advertisers get the most out of their campaigns.
Exclusive Premium Content Access
Advertisers get exclusive access to Yahoo's premium inventory, which includes one of the largest premium native marketplaces. This ensures ads are placed in high-quality environments that audiences trust.
Yahoo! DSP, in collaboration with MarinOne, allows advertisers to buy high-attention pre-bid segments. This move focuses on attention-based advertising, aiming to make ads more effective and improve the overall user experience. This can lead to higher revenues for publishers and better engagement for advertisers.
Direct Access to Owned and Operated Media Properties
Yahoo’s DSP provides advertisers with direct access to its owned and operated media properties. This means advertisers can buy inventory directly from Yahoo, ensuring better control and quality.
Unique Demand and ID Matching
Through its Connect ID, Yahoo’s DSP offers ID matching against deterministic first-party audience graphs derived from its owned sites, Yahoo Mail, and fantasy sports. This ensures advertisers can target their audiences more effectively.
A DSP Tailored to Your Needs
From planning and targeting to optimization and measurement, Yahoo! DSP is built to cater to the diverse needs of advertisers. Whether it's Advanced TV, Digital-Out-of-home, Audio, Native Ads, Video, Mobile, or Commerce, Yahoo! DSP has a solution.
A Shift Towards Direct Connections
Yahoo! DSP is part of a broader industry trend where DSPs are creating direct connections to publishers. This ensures better transparency, control, and efficiency for advertisers.
A Cautionary Tale for SSPs
Yahoo's decision to focus on its DSP and move away from its SSP is a clear indication of where the industry is heading. Advertisers need platforms that provide value, transparency, and direct connections. Yahoo! DSP is positioned to offer just that.
In conclusion, Yahoo! DSP offers a unique blend of technology, data, and content that makes it a compelling choice for advertisers. Whether you're looking to target specific audiences, access premium content, or leverage attention-based advertising, Yahoo! DSP has the tools and capabilities to drive success.
Modern consumers are becoming increasingly adept at tuning out aggressive, disruptive advertising. This has led digital marketers to seek new and creative ways to engage their target audience. Amongst the most promising of these emerging strategies is native advertising—a format that seamlessly blends into the user's natural viewing experience.
But native advertising isn't some shiny, brand-spanking-new strategy cooked up in a digital marketing laboratory. In fact, it has a long and colorful history – one that spans decades and crosses a range of different platforms, mediums, and industries.
From the days when people relied on black-and-white newspapers for their daily fix of information, to the golden age of radio when catchy jingles ruled the airwaves, all the way up to the digital dominion we now inhabit, native advertising has always been around, transforming and adapting with each passing epoch.
In this blog, we'll first take a journey through time to explore the rich history of native advertising and how it has continuously adapted to the demands of each era. Following that, we'll examine the current state of native advertising and discuss a few of the techniques that publishers and brands are using in a bid to make their native ads as successful and effective as possible.
So, without further ado, let's start at the very beginning of the native advertising story.
A Brief History of Native Advertising
As the wheels of time turned and advertising evolved, native ads took on various forms, captivating audiences across different mediums. Let's take a journey through the evolutionary tapestry of native ads:
Advent of Advertorials
The roots of native ads can be traced all the way back to the early 1900s when advertorials – ads that masquerade as editorial content – first began appearing in print magazines. Advertorials were a clever concoction of marketing and journalism, allowing advertisers to promote their products or services in the guise of an informative article.
Cadillac's 1915 advertorial in The Saturday Evening Post was a shining example of this format. Created by Theodore F. MacManus, the ad was an impassioned ode to the spirit of progress and advancement, with nary a mention of Cadillac or even the automotive industry. The only giveaway that it was an advertisement was the subtle logo placed in the corner. But despite its lack of overt branding, the ad was deemed radical for its time – and even today, advertising professionals consistently hail it as one of the best ads ever created.
In the roaring 1920s and 1930s, a time when radio and TV ruled the infotainment sphere, native advertising began to take a more audible shape. Businesses would regularly fund radio programs to propagate their marketing message.
A momentous event in this advertising revolution was the debut of the renowned "Eveready Hour" in 1923. This groundbreaking radio program, sponsored by the National Carbon Company, swept the airwaves via the illustrious WEAF radio station in New York. Beyond captivating the audience with its selection of entertainment, the program also weaved in advertisements for the company's prized Eveready Batteries into its segments.
Television Takes the Stage
As television emerged as the dominant medium in the mid-20th century, native advertising followed suit, adapting to the visual storytelling potential of the small screen. Early adopters of this brave new world of television advertising included multinational consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble.
P&G's pioneering strategy involved underwriting a slew of drama series, such as 'The Guiding Light,' in exchange for subtle product placements of their soaps and detergents, hence coining the term "soap operas." Families gathered around their televisions, eagerly following the trials and tribulations of their favorite characters, in the process, absorbing the sponsored messages seamlessly woven into the storylines.
The 80s were a pivotal moment in the history of native advertising. This was when the iconic infomercial– an advertisement structured as a program – first made its debut. Late-night television became a breeding ground for enthusiastic hosts and pitchmen hawking everything from kitchen gadgets to exercise equipment in an entertaining, educational format.
Leading the charge was Soloflex, the first-ever company to air an infomercial. The ad revolved around a common scenario – how to get in shape without joining an expensive gym. The infomercial was a tremendous success, thus giving birth to a wave of "as seen on TV" products.
Native Advertising in the Digital Age
When native advertising stepped into the digital age, it took on a whole new level of sophistication and relevancy. Although the basic premise of native advertising remained the same, digital media opened up a multitude of possibilities for brands to enlist in their quest to reach potential customers. Some of the biggest developments in native advertising's digital evolution include:
The rise of search engines in the early 2000s ushered in a new era of native advertising, as brands capitalized on Google's sponsored ad slots to promote their products and services. This gave birth to the concept of contextual targeting, allowing advertisers to reach out to users based on their interests and search queries.
Branded Content And Sponsored Articles
The proliferation of digital publishing in the 2010s led to the emergence of sponsored content, as brands began partnering with publishers to produce articles and videos in sync with the native content of their favorite websites. Digital media powerhouses such as BuzzFeed and Mashable, for instance, have made sponsored content an integral part of their business models.
One of BuzzFeed's most iconic examples is their "11 Reasons Why The Year 2000 Was The Best" article, which was sponsored by Tic Tac and featured a vote for the company's next flavor at the end. This article perfectly encapsulates how Buzzfeed and its brand partners have managed to meld sponsored content with their regular posts, creating an immersive native advertising experience for the reader.
Traditional publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have also recognized the potential of sponsored content, catering to advertisers by crafting specially-branded articles and videos for their readers. This move further solidifies native advertising's position as a mainstream advertising medium, as even the most venerated news sources join in on the fun.
Programmatic Native Advertising
Sharpening the targeting abilities of native ads even further is programmatic advertising, which uses algorithms to automate the process of buying and selling ads. This has allowed marketers to personalize native ads based on the user's browsing pattern, resulting in higher engagement and better ROI. Programmatic native ads have also enabled brands to target a much wider audience, making their content more effective and relevant at scale.
Video is the next big frontier in native advertising. Viewership of digital video content has grown exponentially over the past few years, and wise brands are already capitalizing on this trend through native video ads.
In fact, a survey by eMarketer revealed that in 2022, native video advertising accounted for a whopping 56% of all digital video ad spending in the United States. Furthermore, projections indicate that native display spending will experience a robust 12% year-over-year growth in 2023.
The power of native video ads lies in their ability to captivate viewers with compelling content while keeping them engaged with their interactive nature. Just take a look at Taco Bell's "Belluminati" campaign—an ingenious example of a native video ad that used humor and a conspiracy-theory narrative to promote its new $1 menu items.
Techniques for Native Advertising Success
A study conducted by Kantar and Taboola reveals that the inclusion of native advertising in the marketing mix led to a 25% increase in brand awareness. But as digital native advertising matures, getting your ads seen and acted upon is becoming harder and harder. Here are some of the key tactics that you can use to make sure your native ad campaigns hit the mark:
Research, Research, Research
A fleshed-out understanding of your target audience is the first step in executing a successful native ad campaign. Knowing who your target audience is and what they like allows you to craft an advertisement that resonates with the viewers, increasing the chances of them taking action.
Once you've identified your audience, you can start getting familiar with the platforms that will host your ad. Each platform comes with its own nuances and restrictions, so it pays to do your research beforehand.
Your ad should be engaging, approachable, and interesting – but above all, it should be authentic and relevant. If your ad looks too much like a blatant sales pitch than an exciting read, it will turn the viewers off.
People want to be informed and entertained – not sold to. So, focus on creating an ad that's helpful and educational. Frame your message in a way that adds value to the viewer's experience, and ensure that the ad fits in seamlessly with the content of its hosting platform.
Measure Your Success
It's not enough to simply create an ad and put it out there. Just like how your employees need regular performance evaluations to know if they're doing well, your native ad campaigns also demand frequent audits to ascertain their success.
Continually analyze metrics such as engagement, CTR (Click Through Rate), CPC (Cost Per Click), and CPA (Cost Per Acquisition). These metrics will indicate how well your ads are performing and how effective they are at driving conversions. Then, refine and optimize your campaigns based on the insights gathered from these evaluations.
Leverage Digital Tools
The digital advertising toolkit is brimming with powerful resources that can give your native ad campaigns a much-needed boost. Some note-worthy tools include:
Workflow Automation.These tools empower you to automate repetitive tasks, optimize collaboration between team members, and ensure seamless project management. All you have to do is find an automation system that integrates with your current tech stack. Additionally, prioritize tools with a low learning curve or, even better, ones that offer a low-code or no-code config, making them accessible to users with varying technical backgrounds.
File Management Systems. File managers play a crucial role in preventing the organizational chaos that can arise when dealing with creative assets and collaboration documents, especially when working with large teams. Proper file management systems allow you to share documents in real-time and ensure everyone is working off the same page. Most filing tools also provide granular permissions control, making it easy to protect sensitive information.
Ad Management Software. With a full-suite ad management tool like MarinOne, you can optimize the delivery and performance of your ads in real time. Comprehensive solutions like ours reduce the need for manual interventions while providing end-to-end visibility into your ad campaigns. Advertising automation tools allow you manage budgets, bids, and placements and help you pull reports to analyze the performance of your ads, all in one place.
Future of Native Advertising
Native advertising in the digital age is only going to get more sophisticated. As machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to evolve, marketers will be able to leverage these technologies to create more contextual and intelligent native ad experiences. It’s also likely that native will continue to expand beyond the current platforms, with more interactive and personalized formats appearing over the next few years.
No matter what the future holds for native advertising, one thing is certain: the adaptability and scalability of native ads will keep them at the forefront of digital marketing for years to come. So, if you haven't hopped on the native ad bandwagon yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Embrace native ads and make them an integral component of your overall marketing strategy.
In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, it's the companies that adapt and innovate that find success. Amazon, already a dominant player in the digital ad publishing space, has made a substantial stride to broaden its advertising horizons. With their new advertising offering - Amazon Sponsored Display for non-endemic brands, they are paving the way for a whole new marketing strategy.
This is a game-changer for "non-endemic" brands, a term used to describe companies that do not sell physical goods on Amazon, but would benefit from advertising on Amazon's platforms. Some examples include car manufacturers, insurance companies, and even restaurants. This expansion heralds a bright future for these brands, offering fresh opportunities and creating a new way for non-endemic brands to engage with potential customers.
Amazon’s New Offering: Sponsored Display Advertising
At the heart of this initiative is the Sponsored Display advertising type, unveiled during Amazon's 'Unboxed' conference. A unique offering in Amazon's growing ad ecosystem, this is a completely self-serve ad type that requires no minimum spend. It's impressively simple to set up, deploy, and manage, especially when compared to Amazon's programmatic ad platform, the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP). This effectively eliminates previous barriers, opening the floodgates for non-endemic brands to dive into Amazon’s vast ad ecosystem.
For brands seeking a deeper understanding of their ad impact, Amazon offers a powerful duo of tools. The Amazon DSP allows for more sophisticated ad buys, using the rich, first-party data to target audiences more accurately. Keep in mind also that Amazon display ads' inventory includes amazon.com, twitch and freevee, so there are many ways to put messaging in front of the specific audience you need.
Amazon Marketing Cloud, on the other hand, provides robust reporting capabilities. These tools can be used in combination, enabling brands to link their own sales data with DSP impression data. This reveals which ads have been most effective in guiding customers along their purchase journey.
Non-endemic advertising on Amazon isn't just a passing trend—it represents a pivotal shift in Amazon's strategy and potentially in the advertising industry as a whole. It brings with it exciting opportunities, but also challenges. Endemic brands—those that do sell their products on Amazon—may experience increased competition for ad slots, which could drive up their advertising costs.
Getting Started with Amazon Sponsored Display
So, how should non-endemic brands navigate these new waters? It begins with a mindset shift. Amazon is no longer just a place for consumer product brands to advertise. With a deep understanding of its users' purchasing habits and interests, Amazon can provide other companies with valuable insight into customer behavior and preferences.
Non-endemic brands also need to understand and embrace Amazon DSP. This programmatic media buying platform boasts rich audience targeting capabilities, allowing brands to reach their desired customers more effectively. And let's not forget the ad creative options, which are more diverse and flexible than you might think.
The first step for non-endemic brands is to challenge their existing perceptions about Amazon Ads. Start with the basics: familiarize yourself with the platform's features, its targeting capabilities, and its variety of ad formats. Experiment with these tools and make data-informed decisions. By leveraging the insights provided by Amazon DSP, you can create more precise and effective ad campaigns.
Lastly, it's important to start small, test, and learn. By investing modestly in new ideas and strategies, you can gather valuable feedback and refine your approach as you go. The goal is to build expertise and stay ahead of the competition, capitalizing on these new opportunities before they become the norm.
Embracing non-endemic retail media advertising presents a golden opportunity for brands not traditionally selling on Amazon to tap into the benefits of Amazon Ads. It provides a wealth of ways to reach diverse audiences, mix sales data with impression data, and engage a highly receptive audience more likely to convert.
Bringing it All Together with Marin Software
Here at Marin Software, we're committed to helping your brand navigate this new frontier. Our advanced technology and deep expertise can help you make the most of Amazon’s new Sponsored Display for non-endemic brands.
Harness the potential of non-endemic advertising with Amazon Sponsored Display. Learn how your brand can use Amazon's vast audience and advertising tools to unlock new growth avenues and engage with new customers.
Start by challenging the status quo. Embrace the power of Amazon's rich, first-party data to understand and reach your target customers at different stages of their buying journey. Develop creative, outside-the-box strategies to pair your products or services with Amazon users' shopping behaviors.
With the right approach, non-endemic brands can effectively leverage Amazon's vast ecosystem to establish meaningful connections with potential customers, boost brand visibility, and ultimately drive business growth.
In a world where traditional advertising methods abound but struggle to capture audiences, it becomes crucial for businesses to remain authentic and unique in their prospect-facing messaging. Native advertising offers a professional and authoritative approach to engage and convert your target audience. This article will delve into the 5 key benefits of native advertising for businesses, uncovering how this marketing tactic can revolutionize your approach and amplify your success.
What Are The Benefits Of Native Advertising?
Non-disruptive and Can Encourage Users To Engage With Content
Running native ads as a media buyer or entrepreneur brings significant benefits, and one standout advantage is their non-disruptive nature. Native ads smoothly blend in with the surrounding content, adopting similar visuals and context, resulting in a less intrusive and more natural advertising experience. This seamless integration makes it challenging for users to differentiate native ads from regular content, maintaining a cohesive and uninterrupted browsing experience.
The success of these ads lies in their ability to match the form and function of the platform on which they are displayed. By doing so, native ads become an organic part of the user's content consumption journey, providing valuable information and enhancing engagement.
One successful example of this approach is Spotify's partnership with Netflix to create playlists for every Stranger Things character. By integrating these playlists within its platform, Spotify effectively combines the worlds of music and entertainment, offering users a unique and immersive experience.
This collaboration not only enhances engagement for both companies but also demonstrates the power of native advertising to seamlessly blend content and advertising in a way that adds value to the user.
As a result, businesses that utilize native ads can expect improved click-through rates and increased time spent on content, leading to higher conversions and overall campaign success.
According to Meetanshi, native ads boast a click-through rate of 0.16% on desktop and 0.38% on mobile, which is a significant improvement compared to the 0.11% click-through rate for traditional banner ads.
Drive brand awareness
You need a powerful solution that delivers exceptional results to drive brand awareness effectively. Native advertising, combined with market analysis, is precisely that solution. What sets native ads apart is their ability to target specific audience segments. With precise targeting options encompassing demographics, devices, geography, customer intent, etc., native ads empower you to enhance brand awareness or boost sales strategically.
According to a 2015 study, native ads generated 9% more brand affinity responses when compared to banner ads. This finding underscores the effectiveness of native ads in fostering positive brand connections.
You can utilize the flexibility of native ads to create upper-funnel content that educates your audience about your brand or lower-funnel content that drives action, seamlessly aligning with your marketing funnel.
By delivering tailored content that resonates with your customers' unique interests and identities, you can effectively reach them at the right moment with the right message.
Cost-Effectiveness and Efficiency
One major advantage of native advertising is its scalability, which sets it apart from platforms like Facebook. Scaling campaigns on Facebook often comes with increased costs, making it challenging to maintain profitability. However, native ads offer a much smoother scaling experience without drastic cost increases.
You can significantly increase your daily budget, and the cost per action (CPA) remains consistent. Whether you spend $1,000 or $10,000 per day, the impact on CPA is minimal.
This scalability significantly transforms businesses. It allows you to expand your advertising efforts and reach a larger audience without sacrificing profitability. By leveraging native advertising's smooth scaling capabilities, you can effectively and efficiently achieve your growth objectives. It provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness that can significantly impact the success of your campaigns.
Improve Reach to Your Target Audience
Ad-blockers have become increasingly popular as users are actively seeking ways to avoid intrusive and irrelevant ads. This poses a significant challenge for businesses trying to reach their target audience. In fact, globally, 42.7% of internet users use ad-blockers.
Fortunately, native ads offer a solution to this problem. By blending into the user experience, native ads bypass ad-blockers and ensure that brand messages successfully reach the intended audience.
Two highly effective native ad formats are in-feed ads and sponsored content. In-feed ads naturally fit into content feeds, looking like regular posts, while sponsored content provides valuable information with subtle brand promotion.
Real Alternative to Other Traffic Sources
When it comes to online advertising, companies often turn to popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram. However, there's a growing frustration among users with the structure and controversies surrounding these platforms.
Many people are deleting their Facebook accounts or choosing not to create them in the first place. This is where native ads offer a significant advantage. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, native ads are not tied to a single dedicated traffic source. They encompass the entire internet, leveraging various players and traffic sources.
While you may be familiar with big players like Taboola, Outbrain, or Microsoft Advertising, there are numerous smaller and larger traffic sources scattered throughout the web. Let's take the example of a clothing brand that wants to reach fashion-forward millennials who are passionate about sustainable fashion.
While Facebook and Instagram are popular choices, the brand can also consider exploring alternative traffic sources such as fashion blogs, eco-conscious lifestyle websites, or niche fashion communities. By advertising on these platforms, the brand can effectively target a specific audience that aligns with their values and interests. This approach allows them to expand their reach beyond the major social media platforms and connect with individuals who are more likely to be interested in their sustainable fashion offerings.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Native Advertising?
While native advertising offers numerous benefits, it's important to be aware of its potential drawbacks. Here are three key disadvantages to consider:
Disclosure and Transparency
Native advertising can sometimes blur the line between editorial content and advertising, causing confusion among consumers.
When there is a lack of clear labeling, it becomes difficult for users to differentiate between sponsored content and organic editorial content. This lack of transparency erodes trust and credibility. Failure to disclose sponsored content properly not only leads to negative brand perception but also carries potential legal consequences.
To avoid these issues, you must prioritize clear and conspicuous labeling, ensuring transparency and fostering trust with your audience. Transparent disclosure helps consumers make informed decisions and demonstrates a commitment to ethical advertising practices.
One significant risk associated with native advertising is the potential for biased or misleading information. When native ads prioritize brand messaging over objective reporting, publishers compromise their integrity and credibility.
This prioritization of brand promotion over providing unbiased information erodes the trust that consumers place in publishers as reliable sources of content. These ethical concerns highlight the importance of careful consideration and balance in native advertising practices.
Advertisers and publishers should prioritize maintaining the integrity of their content and ensure clear differentiation between promotional messages and editorial content. By doing so, businesses can preserve audience trust and uphold ethical standards in native advertising.
Limited Control over Placement
In native advertising, you often have limited control over where your ads are placed as publishers determine specific ad placements within their platforms. You may have little say in the exact placement of your ads, which can lead to unintended association with unrelated or controversial content.
This lack of control poses a risk to brand image and reputation. To mitigate these risks, you should carefully select publishers and platforms that align with your brand values and target audience, and maintain open communication regarding ad placements and content guidelines. By doing this, you can minimize the chances of unintended associations that may harm your brand.
In conclusion, the benefits of native advertising are abundant, offering businesses seamless integration, precise targeting, cost-effectiveness, ad-blocker resilience, and an alternative to traditional platforms.
Despite challenges such as disclosure and limited control, native advertising remains a powerful tool for engaging audiences, increasing brand visibility, and driving meaningful results in today's advertising landscape.
Millie Pham is a guest contributor to the Marin Software blog.
To connect with audiences on Google’s feeds, your ad creative should include high-quality visual experiences combined with the perfect blend of authentic, captivating messaging and an appropriately-sized ad. With the right balance, you can attain peak performance on Google, drive more sales to increase your company’s bottom line, and hit your benchmarks to get the best results. After all, Google’s Display Network reaches 90% of the world’s internet users.
In this article, we’ll walk you through:
Why Google Display Advertising matters
Different ad sizes and formats
How to set up a Google Display Ad campaign
Five best practices to make sure you succeed
The importance of Display Advertising
Differentiate your brand
With your competition targeting the same prospects, it's crucial to differentiate your business. The advantage of visual imagery is that display ads can be used to distinguish your brand in the minds of potential customers — and they’re a great way to interrupt consumers who are considering giving your competitors their business instead.
Generate brand awareness
According to the marketing “Rule of 7,” on average, a customer encounters a brand at least 7 times before doing business with them. Display advertising offers the advantage of widespread exposure, making brand awareness its greatest benefit. Because it has such an expansive reach, it’s not surprising that statistics indicate an annual growth of 7.91% with a market volume of $226.80 billion is likely by 2027. To make your brand known, get in front of consumers before they need your products or services. This way, you have a better chance of being considered when they make a purchasing decision, since they’ve encountered your brand time and again.
Increase performance of your other ads
A more recognizable brand leads to higher engagement with all of your marketing efforts, including search and social ads. Display ads, in particular, can complement and reinforce the messaging of other ads, strengthening your overall marketing campaign, and leading to better results. In fact, studies have shown that after seeing a display ad, 27% of consumers will conduct a search for that business.
Improve results with retargeting
Most potential customers don't make a purchase on their first visit to your website. Even if they click on your ad, they often leave without taking any action. However, retargeting display ads help address this issue by targeting individuals based on their past behavior online, including those who have previously visited your website but didn’t convert. Display advertising is a highly effective approach that can help you go the extra mile to seal the deal and engage the consumers who already know about your business.
Google Display Ad formats
Google offers two main formats for display ads: uploaded and responsive.
Uploaded display ads
If you have access to the design resources to create display ads from scratch, go ahead and use image formats such as JPG, PNG, or GIF for Google Display Ads. However, keep in mind that even if you’re eligible for a specific placement, your ad may not be displayed if it does not meet the required size specifications for that placement. To maximize visibility, it’s advisable to upload different sizes of each ad.
Responsive display ads
To make the creation of display ads more manageable, Google introduced responsive display ads, which later became the default ad type for display campaigns. With this feature, you only need to supply visual elements (such as images, logos, and videos) and basic ad copy. Google will then test different combinations to find the most effective versions. Additionally, responsive display ads are designed to automatically adapt to the size requirements of each web page, making it easier to display your ads on a variety of sites.
Google Display Ad sizes
If you plan to use uploaded display ads, here is a list of some of the most commonly used display ad sizes you’ll need to know:
The most popular Google Display Ad sizes
Of all the different Google Display Ad sizes, the following are the most popular and widely used.
160 × 600 px
300 × 600 px
600 × 314 px
728 × 90 px
920 × 90 px
320 × 50 px
300 × 60 px
336 × 280 px
300 × 250 px
Large Mobile Banner
320 × 100 px
Setting up a Google Display Ad campaign
If you’re ready to get started, just follow this step-by-step checklist:
First, log in to your Google account.
Next, click New Campaign.
From there, select Display.
Then, Google will ask you to provide your website.
Be sure to give your campaign a name that’s descriptive and memorable.
Select your language and your location targeting.
Determine your budget and bidding strategy.
Develop your targeting parameters for this campaign.
Once you’ve collected enough data from your display campaigns, you can make informed decisions about the performance of your keywords, affinity audiences, and so on. Bid adjustments, which can be set at either the ad group or campaign level, allow you to turn these performance insights into action.
A positive bid adjustment for an ad group instructs Google Ads to raise your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid when one of the ads in that ad group is eligible to be displayed. On the other hand, a negative bid adjustment tells Google Ads to decrease your maximum CPC bid for that ad group.
Simply put, bid adjustments are an effective way to increase the gains from your top performers and reduce your losses from poor performers.
Focus on top-performing search keywords
If you’re interested in keyword targeting, start by using your most successful search keywords. If you have groups of keywords that have driven few conversions or clicks, you may want to test them on the display network as well.
Keep in mind that consumer intent between the two Google Ads networks can be different, but if your search ads are performing well in terms of clicks and conversions, then the keywords behind them have likely proven to be effective.
Analyze referral traffic
Google Analytics provides a wealth of information, and for display advertisers, the referral traffic report is extremely valuable. It shows which websites are linking to your website the most, essentially indicating which websites attract audiences who would benefit from your product or service.
These websites are ideal for displaying your ads since you know that the audience is relevant and therefore, you can be confident that you’ll see returns from the impressions and clicks made on those ads.
Make your value proposition clear
Consumers have become highly familiar with display ads, so it's easy for prospects to overlook them while scrolling. To avoid missing out on opportunities and wasting resources, it’s crucial to make sure your display ads stand out and grab the attention of your prospects.
The visual design of your ads, including the color scheme and typography, contribute to this, but the real key is having a clear and impactful value proposition that is prominently displayed on your ads.
Create strong headlines
Most responsive display ads will prompt you to write four required pieces of copy:
A short headline (25 characters)
A long headline (90 characters)
A description (90 characters)
Your business name (25 characters)
When it comes to headlines, keep in mind that Google Ads will not display both headlines simultaneously, and that Google Ads may exclude your description. This means that when your Responsive Display Ad (RDA) is displayed, there is no guarantee that your description will accompany either headline. With this in mind, it’s essential to ensure that both headlines effectively convey the unique value of your business or offer on their own.
Get your Google Display Ads noticed
Using Google Display Ads as part of your campaign can be a powerful tool for increasing traffic to your site and helping customers make their way through the conversion pipeline.
When integrated into a comprehensive marketing strategy, Google Display ads can amplify your campaign’s success. It plays a crucial role in elevating brand awareness at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, as well as re-engaging repeat customers with personalized promotions and offers. Clearly, display advertising is a valuable tactic and can be leveraged at various stages of the buyer’s journey to maximize marketing outcomes.
To make sure your Google Display ads are as effective as possible, reach out to the experts at MarinOne today. We can help align your marketing efforts to take your campaign to the next level.
Since Snapchat made its debut in 2011, it has drawn millions of users to its platform. And although other social media competitors burst onto the scene to compete, it has stood the test of time. In fact, Snapchat still remains one of the most popular apps for users between the ages of 15 and 25.
With 319 million active users each day, the app continues to be a valued marketing tool for brands looking to reach millennials and Gen Z’ers. Because of its unique ad formats and its power to extend audience reach and increase brand awareness, Snapchat has gained much attention and made it possible for marketers to create some of the most memorable Snapchat ads.
Why you should use it
Here are a few convincing reasons to add the social media platform to your marketing mix.
Highly engaged audience
Because they’re young and highly-engaged, Snapchat users are more likely to pay attention to and interact with ads. This makes it an ideal platform for reaching younger demographics.
Snapchat allows businesses to target their ads to specific demographics, locations, and interests. Through targeted advertising, marketers can ensure that their ads are seen by the right people and increase their effectiveness.
Many businesses have seen a high return on investment from their Snapchat ad campaigns, making it a cost-effective marketing tool.
Strong mobile presence
Snapchat is primarily a mobile app, which means it's easy for users to view and interact with the ads on their smartphones. This can be particularly effective for reaching users on the go.
An airline-booking app, Hopper helps users find the best deals on flights and the best time to fly. To engage Snapchatters, Hopper developed creatives for different routes with ads that were simple, static, and had a clear call to action. Through their campaign, Hopper discovered that Snapchatters were not only 37% more likely to watch a route, but booking rates from Snapchatters were 4x higher than users of other platforms.
What they got right: The airline-booking app used location radius targeting along with geographically relevant creatives to reach millennials.
Bacardi spearheaded a Snapchat ad campaign with the slogan “Do what moves you” to target their ideal audience. They chose Snapchat as their primary vehicle for digital communications, because not only does it offer ad engagement varieties, but it allowed them to reach the age group they were after. As a result of their strategy, the brand was able to gain maximum proximity to their target group, ultimately reaching 2.5 million Snapchatters.
What they got right: In an attempt to update their brand image and attract more followers from the younger generation, Bacardi utilized Snapchat’s ad formats to create an immersive “summer feeling” for Snapchat users that kept them engaged.
As the first brand to partner with Snapchat for a global AR shoe try-on campaign, Gucci had a very successful outcome. Through the campaign, Snapchatters were able to virtually experience trying on four different kinds of sneakers. From the Lens, Snapchatters were able to go straight to Gucci’s website to purchase the shoe of their choice.
What they got right: Gucci’s AR try-on experience not only captured the attention of many Snapchatters, but it also kept them engaged, leading to an increase in sales and positive ROAS.
To cement themselves as a leader in the competitive grocery delivery space, Shipt turned to Snapchat’s impactful ads to expand their audience and reach potential prospects with relevant Snap Ads. As a result of their creatives, their message was received by over 10 million Snapchatters in as little as two months.
What they got right: They chose an illustrative animation strategy to generate awareness of their brand and increase reach.
Snapchat Ad best practices
With so many users worldwide, Snapchat is an ideal platform for connecting and engaging with consumers. When planning your Snapchat campaign, keep these best practices in mind.
Use interactive features
Snapchat offers a range of interactive features such as sponsored lenses, filters, and polls that can make your ads more engaging and memorable. Consider using these features to create an interactive experience for your audience.
Always use NEW story content
While it may be tempting to reuse an existing ad, it’s not recommended. Snapchat’s user base attracts a broad audience, so creating a tailored message will help you take advantage of the platform’s Gen Z niche.
Be consistent and stay on brand
If your brand has a limited budget, develop a strategy that allows you to advertise consistently rather than being highly active one month, and completely inactive another. Of course, if your budget allows and your strategy permits a sprint advertising style, then go ahead with it. While every brand is different, it’s a preferred practice to keep your brand front of mind over long stretches of time.
Ditch the sales pitch and create content that’s fun and natural
Work with micro-influencers and content creators to produce content that’s appealing to your audience. Keep content organic and authentic, and shift your focus away from being 100% sales-pitch oriented.
Focus on the first two seconds
The first two seconds of your ad can either make or break performance. When promotion pop-ups appear immediately rather than in the final end card, optimal results can be achieved. Ads that have followed this best practice have outperformed others that have not.
Test different ad formats
As part of your Snapchat advertising strategy, be sure to test different ad formats to see which ones are performing well for your brand and your target audience. By gaining key insights into how your ads are doing and why, you unlock the maximum return on investment for your budget so you can grow your business.
Supersize your Snapchat presence
Whether your goal is to boost sales or raise brand awareness, Snapchat is an ideal platform for innovative and effective advertising campaigns. Creative Snapchat ad design relies on the combination of eye-catching visuals and a clear and compelling message that guides viewers to take the next step.
By creating memorable, shareable, and interactive experiences that resonate with your target audience, you can supercharge your advertising efforts. Partnering with an expert in Snapchat advertising can get you started on the right track. MarinOne can help you develop engaging ads that inspire action and drive results to unlock more opportunities for your business. With its Snapchat integration, you can easily identify budget by channel, audience, and products that can be tested across multiple platforms.
There is surely something in our collective consciousness that responds to well-produced persuasive advertisements. From the highly memorable “Mac vs PC” series of ads to Coca-Cola’s use of a classic song from yesteryear, most people have an ad they remember fondly.
Businesses are constantly trying to gain the attention of customers through new persuasive advertising ideas and some have found more success than others. What’s their secret? Here are a few of the attributes that make some advertisements more persuasive than others.
Persuasive techniques in advertising
The following are psychological triggers that can be used to nudge people toward making a purchase.
Tell a Story
A persuasive ad should focus on telling a story that is hard for the viewer to forget. Research suggests that people are 20x more likely to recall stories than facts or figures. More often than not, people remember the story even more than the product, service, or brand being advertised!
How to do it: When you create an ad, use settings with characters that cause the viewer or listener to identify with a character's plight. Give your ads a narrative arc and watch as customers become more engaged.
Use Tailored Messaging
While there are a variety of persuasive advertising tactics that can work for your ad, focus on those that will resonate most with your target audience. Audiences respond better to tailored messaging that illustrates the benefits of what you offer and how it can improve their lives.
How to do it: In addition to making your messaging emotionally impactful, strive to make it short and sweet. Keeping things simple is a marketing strategy that works best to keep consumers interested.
Tap into Emotions
Emotions are responsible for the decisions we make in more ways than we realize and they play a far greater role in decision making than logic does. In fact, studies reveal that 70% of viewers are more likely to purchase a product after experiencing an intense emotional response. Connecting with your audience using emotional cues in your advertising — whether you’re making them laugh or pulling at their heartstrings — will make your brand more memorable.
How to do it: Emotional persuasion begins with understanding your audience. Once you know your audience well, you’ll be able to determine which trigger words are likely to work best. Combining trigger words with storytelling creates emotional engagement. But to truly evoke emotional appeal and gauge attention, make sure to be authentic.
Incorporate Celebrity Endorsements
The public is highly influenced by celebrities — what they say matters to a lot of people. Using celebrities as part of your promotion strategies will make your ad more persuasive. Tap into the ethos of popular people and online influencers and get them to tout your brand.
How to do it: Look for celebrities that are relatable to your target audience and a good fit for your brand. Better yet, reach out to celebrities who are already using your product or service. Plan to work through a talent manager or agent. And remember, make your ask very clear and be sure to provide the details of your campaign goals.
5 Persuasive Ads to Inspire You in 2023
With a new year ahead, it’s time to look back and take stock of some of the most persuasive ads that launched during 2022 and why they worked so well.
Together with the marketing agency Ogilvy, Dove created this ad as a sequel to their previous campaigns such as “Reverse Selfie”, “Show Us”, and “Legacy” in pursuit of fighting for real beauty standards.
As part of their self-esteem project, Dove has made it their mission to inspire young individuals to remove toxic beauty advice from their social media feeds. The ad features teenage daughters and their mothers discussing the disturbing promotion of false beauty advice through using deepfakes and face-mapping technology to expose the dangers of social media’s toxic influence.
What they got right: By ensuring that their ad messaging is authentic, Dove has successfully reframed purchasing their beauty products for their audience. Beyond making people feel good about their brand, the ad focuses on connecting with others, evokes an emotional reaction, and expresses important values.
During 2022's SuperBowl, the chip brand used its ad spot to highlight the 43% of consumers whose hand gets wedged at the bottom of the Pringles tube while trying to get to the last shattered chips.
The commercial declares that any discomfort their customers experience is “worth it” by highlighting the misadventures a determined Pringle snacker faces as he goes through life with a chip can permanently wedged on his arm.
What they got right: The brand took a comical approach to address a common pain point that Pringle fans encounter. Their sense of humor caters to the playful side of consumers by pointing to their brand’s heritage as a snack intended to be fun. They also appropriately combined the ad’s message with the perfect soundtrack: “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie.
The optical retail chain Specsavers uses a playful tactic to raise awareness around its home visit proposition. The ad’s goal is to challenge public perceptions around the variety of services the brand offers. It showcases a series of characters laughing off the idea of going into a store since they can experience the service from the comfort of their own home.
What they got right: Through their ad, Specsavers successfully spotlights its home visits service while also driving brand reappraisal. It’s both powerful and emotive, and most importantly, aims to charm its customers while emphasizing the brand’s purpose of changing lives through better sight.
Cleverly crafted, this Samsung ad features a spider named Sam who falls in love with the Samsung Galaxy S22. The ad depicts the arachnid’s rollercoaster of emotions — ardor, pain, and joy — as it realizes the beauty of the phone’s camera lenses. The commercial closes with a happy ending and runs to the tune of “Love Hurts” by the legendary Scottish rock band Nazareth.
What they got right: Through the use of emotional storytelling, Samsung creates a memorable love story that is hard for consumers to forget. By doing so, the brand is able to shed light on its new camera innovation and also ensure a strong positioning in the highly competitive smartphone market.
Apple’s suspenseful ad revolves around how three individuals are conveniently able to call for help from their Apple Watch in the midst of an emergency. It’s as simple as dialing 911 from your wrist, by using Apple’s Emergency SOS feature.
What they got right: By using real-life trauma to advertise their product and portraying how it can make the difference between life and death, Apple’s ad becomes relatable, effective, chilling, and dystopian all at the same time. It creates a strong emotional response from viewers by striking a balance of fear and goosebumps, illustrating how powerful it can be in saving lives.
These ads all attract and persuade viewers through emotional connection, relatability, and shared values — but above all, storytelling. These are the most powerful ways to create an ad that is sure to resonate with your audience.
How MarinOne can help you reach your audience
MarinOne can help you extract maximum value from your most persuasive marketing materials across different mediums, platforms, and channels. To find out how, contact one of our MarinOne experts today.
Modern consumer expectations and behaviors demand a creative edge from advertisers and a winning strategy that customers will respond to. Even when you know your target audience well, it’s not always easy to figure out the secret formula that gets consumers to say, “here’s my money.” However, when the right advertising techniques are used, you will captivate your audiences’ attention and direct them enthusiastically into your marketing funnel without them even realizing it.
In a world where digital overload has made consumers resistant to ads, if you want to keep your audience engaged, you need to go above and beyond. Here are 13 compelling advertising techniques that will help you do just that and deliver the results you're seeking.
13 Advertising Techniques the Deliver Results
Many colors elicit a specific emotional or physical reaction and, in doing so, shape human behavior. When it comes to your brand and your marketing strategies, they not only influence perceptions, but can create an intentional mood for consumers, setting the right tone and conveying a desired message. In fact, research has proven that between 62% and 92% of people make a subconscious judgment to purchase something based on color alone.
Lego’s “Make Your Own Story” ad, for example, uses color psychology to develop a playful scene with Star Wars figures. The brand strategically places the figures into a fun, casual atmosphere to tell a new story. By selecting orange — known to evoke emotions of warmth, friendliness, and enthusiasm — as the background color, they’ve created an open and inviting mood.
Partner with Influencers and get Celebrity Endorsements
Partnering with a well-recognized influencer can help fast track your marketing efforts by getting your brand on the map. Doing so will also help build a big following. When consumers see popular influencers vouching for your products or services, it has a much more powerful impact on consumers than it would if the message were to come from your brand directly.
Take Nike, for instance. In their video ad with Billie Eilish, the brand successfully reached audiences through partnering with a star who’s recognized for her distinct style. The pop artist gave meaning to the campaign, placing an emphasis on sustainability.
“I want my collaboration with Nike to tell a story that not only highlights the importance of recycling but also reminds us that we need to take better care of our planet,” said Eilish.
By taking a stance on a social issue, the star took the brand initiative to new heights, tying into the emotion of the buyer to help create a following. As Nike has demonstrated, celebrity marketing is a high-impact marketing tool that can produce significant gains — an increase in brand awareness, credibility, and sales.
Remember Time is a Valuable Asset to Consumers
According to recent statistics, 64% of customers prefer to shop with companies that can accommodate their needs in real time. In this day and age, consumers expect businesses to deliver results immediately, and if they can’t, consumers will look for someone else who can. No matter what product or service you offer, consumers are drawn to speed — how fast you can meet their expectations, or how you can save them time so they can spend it doing other things. Be sure to incorporate your time-saving advantages into all of your messaging across various marketing channels.
Sedex, a supply chain company, demonstrates their commitment to speed by using extreme illustrations in their ads to support their promise to consumers: “Trust us. We deliver it fast.” Consumers take comfort in knowing that they will get what they want, when they want it. When brands live up to consumer expectations, it results in customer loyalty, brand trust, and more.
Focus on Needs, not Features
It’s easy for advertisers to fall into the trap of focusing on their product’s features. However, customers aren’t compelled to make a purchasing decision based on features alone. When you sell an outcome that impacts the consumer on an emotional level, customers are more persuaded by the value a product has to offer to them.
In the case of WeTransfer, their global brand campaign politely asks consumers to “Please leave”, explaining that their file sharing service is designed with the customer’s needs in mind so they can make the most of their time and get back to living their real lives. By focusing on needs instead of its features, WeTransfer highlights its company’s values: that it puts people first.
Make it Relatable
To resonate with your customers on a deep level, create an ad that feels immediately familiar and establishes a meaningful connection. When you inspire a strong emotional reaction, you are more likely to convince consumers that you understand how they feel.
Nivea Men’s brilliant ad for Active Age moisturizers is a stellar example. In their “Because Life Makes Wrinkles” campaign, the brand illustrates how ordinary moments in life take a toll on us, causing wrinkles— something many people can relate to. Whether it’s taking care of children or getting in a fender bender, Nivea makes it apparent that stress affects everyone, and using a moisturizer is something everyone can benefit from.
Use Landmarks in your Design
Using landmark images in your advertising campaigns can be a valuable visual asset. In fact, they can influence consumers' attentional focus and subsequent judgments. Take Asics, for example. To entice their marathon runners, the brand used a beautiful print ad to appeal to its consumers, conveying that they have the entire city of Los Angeles on the sole of their shoe. With a piercing image like that, who wouldn’t be motivated to go for a run?
Implementing minimalism in advertising can be profoundly effective. When thoughtfully crafted, minimalist digital ads can get your message across without distracting clutter or over-stimulation, and are also more likely to increase conversion rates. These simple messages can be both thought-provoking and enticing for your consumers, ultimately capturing their attention in a way that motivates them to take action.
McDonald’s McDelivery service has mastered the art of this advertising technique. Their ads are simple, yet bold. In their campaign, elegant illustrations speak louder than words. As you can see from the example, the iconic food chain has proven that less, really is more.
Repetition is key to keeping your brand or product at the forefront of consumers’ minds. The marketing Rule of 7 states that a consumer needs to see or hear something seven times before it actually sinks in. Exposure to repeating images, words, and messages makes consumers more likely to remember your brand. Thankfully, today’s digital environment provides multiple channels like your website, social media, video, and online advertising to make it easy to add repetition to your marketing strategy.
Of the many brands that have utilized this approach, L’Oréal has proven that frequency paired with repetition can make a brand memorable. Their famous slogan “Because You’re Worth It” sprinkled throughout all their ads has been ingrained in the minds of millions of consumers. The cosmetics giant has not only created a sense of familiarity and trust amongst its customers, but has also successfully achieved brand recognition.
In advertising, body language can have more influence on an audience than words can. Body language is a powerful form of nonverbal communication that can translate a message without relying on text to prove a point. A person’s body movements, posture, and/or facial expressions are three of the most common forms of body language that can be adapted for your ads.
In its “Melt” series of campaigns, Perrier incorporates a Renaissance twist into its advertisements based upon a Surrealist classic painted by Salvador Dali. By combining it with attractive models who use body language to exaggerate extreme heat, the brand creates an emotional trigger response from audiences, making them realize how much the sparkling refresher can quench a person’s thirst. Through using timeless and thoughtful imagery, Perrier is able to communicate a strong resonating image that makes their brand stand out.
Association marketing relies mostly on sophisticated psychology and aims to create associations for the viewer through feelings, ideas, places, or nostalgia. Associations often lead to strong, positive brand recognition and affirm its position as a premium service or product.
Throughout Lacoste’s Ageless campaign, the brand seamlessly emphasizes its ageless style. By featuring unusual pairings of people across their print ads and commercials, Lacoste points to the fact that no matter what your age is, clothes can still make you look fashionable.
Turn to Pop Culture
Using pop culture cleverly has been a mainstay of pro marketing campaigns for years. Leveraging pop culture icons in your advertisements is a great way to gain content visibility, increase brand loyalty, and build a strong connection with consumers. Not only does it have an enormous impact on buying behavior, but pop culture influences also shape your brand's personality, making your customers feel like you’re one of them.
In this imaginative ad, Band-Aid selectively chose the Hulk to represent that its brand heals, protects, and is strong. The brand’s messaging is clear, concise, and uses a pop icon to market their flexible-fabric band-aids. The ad speaks volumes and the color choices effectively set a healing and calming mood.
Symbolism attracts consumer attention and alters buying psychology. Symbols play a crucial role in successfully conveying messages and creating meaning. The most common uses for symbols are dramatic visuals, metaphors, or similarities that draw attention or interest towards a product. Essentially, symbols are a creative visual shortcut that can be used to effectively build your brand and convey a concept that will be remembered.
In its cleverly designed park assist ad, Volkswagen compares a spiky hedgehog squeezed between two goldfish in vulnerable plastic bags to the difficulty of parallel parking. With a unique image, the brand makes a powerful statement and a lasting impression in consumer minds.
Highlight the Problem AND the Solution
Consumers respond more favorably when brands make it easy for them to spot a solution quickly and affordably. IKEA is no exception. They have mastered the art of solving space-related challenges for their customers through smart storage solutions.
As is their tradition, IKEA usually uses quirky means to get their message across. In their brilliant “Need Space” campaign, they highlight the issue of space crunching, depicting how users stuff one shoe into another to save storage space. But, they don’t just address a pain point. They provide the solution too — a sleek and thin shoe cabinet to help customers make the best use of their living spaces.
Mastering your Ad Campaigns
While there are countless tactics you can use in your advertising strategy to create a strong appeal, using the ones that resonate best with your audience will ultimately generate the most success.
Change is constant in digital advertising, but these techniques and strategies are timeless and will continue to be effective now and in the future. In the campaigns above, we can see that clever visuals, subtle symbolism, strong associations and pop culture influence can go a long way.
From the advertising examples above, it’s clear that if done right, ad campaigns have the power to evoke emotions and keep products in our minds, influencing our buying decisions both directly and indirectly.
If you’re looking to create a lasting impact with your ads, MarinOne can help. Contact our team to get started today and learn more about how we can help you continuously improve your marketing campaigns.
Do you remember the last advertisement you saw on social media? Chances are the answer is no, and not just because your memory is poor. As soon as you (and most consumers) recognize an ad, you are far more likely to scroll on.
That's why native advertisements are becoming increasingly popular. These “disguised” ads are meant to blend in with their surroundings and give advertisers an extra moment to hook viewers. Native ads are usually found in social media feeds, but they can be used in other places like email newsletters and search engine results pages.
If you are interested in testing this marketing approach at your own business, read on for 8 native advertising examples you can use to start brainstorming.
What is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is a form of online marketing associated with branding that integrates promotions into the content that people are already consuming. Native advertisements are designed to blend in with the surrounding content, making them appear less intrusive and more natural.
Because of their strategic placement, native ads are a powerful way to build brand awareness and connect with a highly targeted audience. Most often found on social media and in long-form written content, these ads have the potential to drive much higher click-through rates and engagement rates when executed well.
Native ads are meant to be a non-disruptive way to share your product or service, so it’s important to keep a few principles in mind when creating them. Here are three key elements to consider:
Relevancy: Native ads need to be relevant to the user’s interests and what they are already browsing. While this is highly platform-dependent, native ads can be used to provide additional context around a topic, highlight a related offering, or feature customer-generated content.
Creativity: Although they are intended to blend in with their surroundings, native ads still need to be creative and engaging enough to keep people’s attention. Use AI to create new images, visuals, formats, and messaging to see what works best with your audience.
Authenticity: The modern consumer can see right past an obvious sales pitch, so it is necessary to be genuine and honest in your native ads. Native advertising should not feel overly promotional — instead, focus on providing value and educating your audience.
How Native Advertising can Backfire
Native advertising sometimes gets a bad rap due to the potential for users to be misled or taken advantage of. Native ads can easily blur the line between an organic post and a sponsored one, which can damage the trust and credibility of a brand.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, avoid these pitfalls:
Overpromising: Native ads should never make unrealistic or exaggerated claims that don’t align with the product or service you’re offering. Even if the ad is more disguised than normal, always be true to your brand and the value you provide.
Using misleading visuals: Native ads should never use visual elements that are intended to deceive. This includes images that don’t represent the product or service you offer, or presenting facts or data in a way that might not tell the full story.
Not being upfront: Native ads should be clearly labeled as sponsored content and not made to look like editorial pieces. To maintain your brand's integrity and reputation, be transparent about who is behind the ad and make sure users can distinguish between promoted content and organic material.
8 Native Advertising Examples for Inspiration
Native ads are all about finding clever ways to advertise while still blending in with the surrounding platform. To give you an idea of what this looks like, here are 8 native ad examples to inspire your creativity:
1) Adidas on Spotify
Adidas partnered with Spotify to create a unique experience and promote their new shoe line — the Nite Joggers. Users who opted into the interactive campaign would receive a "Nite Score" based on their evening listening habits as well as a personalized playlist. This soundtrack was a blend of favorite hits, new recommendations, and promotional content for Adidas.
This native advertisement is a great example of nondisruptive yet nondeceptive marketing. Although it was clearly an advertising campaign, Adidas was able to engage a targeted audience without interrupting their listening experience. Plus, the company effectively tapped into a growing marketing opportunity in the music streaming industry.
2) General Mills on The Guardian
General Mills wisely sponsored content on The Guardian to align its brand with regenerative agriculture and small-scale farming. These themes are reinforced with high-quality closeups of their sustainable practices and the families that they work with.
The photos and videos show the human side of food production, which helps viewers establish an emotional connection to the brand. Other than its "Paid content" label, this informative article looks and feels like a regular piece of expository news on The Guardian — making it a powerful example of subtle native advertising.
3) SpongeBob on Instagram
Where are SpongeBob's original fans hanging out? On Instagram, of course. Nickelodeon's hit show recently partnered with Instagram to create an interactive filter called "What SpongeBob character are you?"
This collaboration is one of the most engaging native advertising examples on this list because it tapped into the nostalgia of an older generation and made it easy for anyone to participate. The SpongeBob fan base didn't care whether it was a marketing ploy or not. This filter was genuinely fun, it fit in with other content on the platform, and it allowed people to reconnect with the characters they love.
Purina teamed up with BuzzFeed to create a clever marketing video from the perspective of a cat. The cute and comical two-minute production explains how cats view their responsibility to take care of humans.
Although it highlights Tidy Cats, Purina's cat litter product, the video is not purely promotional. In fact, it offers real entertainment value to its targeted audience and anyone who can appreciate cats' quirks. Even almost 10 years after its creation, this content marketing example still sets the standard for how to both reinforce brand identity and drive sales.
5) Taco Bell on Snapchat
Taco Bell created a Snapchat filter that turned users' faces into a taco. Released just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the filter was an instant viral hit with more than 224 million global views.
This campaign was a success because Taco Bell nailed both the timing and the culture of Snapchat with its native ad placement. Plus, the company was able to boost brand awareness by prominently including its logo on every snap.
6) Netflix on WSJ
To promote its upcoming show Narcos, Netflix worked with the Wall Street Journal to create an interactive webpage on "Cocainenomics", the business of the Medellin cartel's drug trafficking operation. This detailed profile of a $4 billion underground empire is the perfect fit for the business and finance-minded readers of the WSJ.
Netflix put together one of the most compelling native advertising examples on this list by elevating a standard piece of content from the daily newspaper. The article reads like a piece of investigative journalism but is paired with clickable maps and timelines, and a timed quiz.
For most WSJ consumers, the portal likely serves as one of the most interesting stories they read that day. And if readers are hooked by the topic, watching Narcos is a natural next step for even more detail.
7) Allbirds on The New York Times
Allbirds partnered with The New York Times to create an incredible full-page experience for readers, complete with sound, vivid imagery, and responsive video. This native advertisement ran as an article in the paper, but rather than promoting its signature footwear directly, the brand instead focused on sustainability.
The Allbirds article dives into the importance of birds to our environment, and what eco-conscious readers can do to help birds. At the conclusion of the post, the brand offers a single call to action — visit the Allbirds website to learn more about conscious commerce.
8) Samsung on TikTok
To raise awareness for the Galaxy Z Fold3, Samsung launched a Branded Hashtag Challenge on TikTok. Boosted by TopView ads, Brand Takeover ads, and Reach & Frequency ads, the phone maker was able to eclipse more than 1 billion video views.
Samsung's "I'Mpossible Generation" campaign slogan was a nod to the innovative foldable smartphone. And the challenge's catchy tune and promise of prizes engaged creators from all over Vietnam. The native ad strategy not only caught fire boosting Samsung's brand awareness, but it also proved social commerce is alive and well with a 14% uplift in sales.
Native ads have the potential to hook viewers in a more subtle way than traditional advertising methods. With relevant and engaging content, brands can communicate their values, foster an emotional connection, and fill their marketing funnels.
The most successful native advertising examples leverage creative content and fit in seamlessly with the surrounding user experience. By matching the appropriate look, feel, and voice of the adjacent content, brands can break through the noise to capture attention and form authentic relationships with potential customers.
Daniel Anderson is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
People rely heavily on Google searches to discover new brands and products during their purchasing journey. Meanwhile, every business is looking to increase its visibility, reach its target audience, and get maximum return on investment. Google Shopping can play a pivotal role in a company's ability to successfully achieve their goals. 35% of all product searches start on Google. Think of how many new customers Google can help you reach and what that could mean for your business.
According to Andrew Gonzales, President of Business Loans, "Upcoming eCommerce startups must understand how to take advantage of the wide reach of Google Shopping to help get their products out there in front of those that need to see them and boost their sales."
This guide will walk you through the basics of Google Shopping, its importance, and how to leverage it to get the best return on investment.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a service that displays products relevant to a user's search query. With Google Shopping, e-commerce retailers can advertise their products directly on the search engine by providing key information such as; images, prices, and descriptions that will help build trust and make more customers convert.
According to Kyle Zien, Director of Growth Marketing at Felix, "Google Shopping is a great way for businesses to build credibility for their brand and drive more sales. Not all merchants are accepted into Google Shopping, so getting your product listed on the Google Shopping platform is usually an immediate trust builder."
Google Shopping listings present your products to customers in an information-rich visual format that help drive consumers to quick decision-making among potential customers. But this is just one of the many benefits of Google Shopping.
Here are a few reasons why many entrepreneurs and e-commerce retailers are beginning to pay attention to the amazing value Google Shopping can provide.
Expands Your Online Presence
The biggest advantage to using Google Shopping is Google itself continues to be by far the most popular search engine. By using Google Shopping Ads to promote your products, you will be able to reach a much larger audience, attract more customers, and generate more sales.
According to Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, "Google has a reach that is second to none. Your potential customers visit Google daily to research and compare products, and your products must be there waiting for them. If you don't leverage Google for your business, you will leave a lot of money on the table."
With 51% of shoppers saying they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make online, Google Shopping can help connect you with more potential customers exactly when they need your product.
Higher Quality Leads
By providing relevant product information needed to drive customer purchase decisions, Google shopping can help increase the number of leads that will end up making a purchase from your organization. When people find your products on Google Shopping, it is because it is relevant to their search query, and these visitors usually land on your website with a high intent to purchase.
Insightful Reports and Metrics
Google Shopping has an easy-to-use feature that makes reports and metrics easy to track. After setting up your Google Shopping ads, evaluating their performance is important.
According to Nate Tsang, Founder and CEO of WallStreetZen, "Analytics is a great tool that businesses must take advantage of to measure performance. There's no doubt that companies that use business analytics experience improved productivity, better decision making, and overall better financial performance." These analytics will let you know what's working and what's not and how you are progressing toward achieving your goals.
Most Effective Tricks for Improving your Google Shopping ROI
Optimizing your product feed is the first and most essential step to better shopping ads. Google uses the data from your product feed to make the best ad for you. The more optimized your product feed is, the better your shopping ads will be, potentially leading to an increase in ROI.
For best results, each of your product listings should include the following; Product title, Product type, Product Category, Description, and Global trade item number (GTIN).
Optimizing your product title and description should be the top priority, and you must ensure that these two are relevant to what buyers search for on Google. It is good practice to use simple words when writing your product feed and mention any unique features of your product.
Ensure Your Ad Is As Appealing As Possible
When potential customers come across a shopping ad, the first thing that catches their attention is the image. So you must use only attractive images with excellent quality, as this is key to increasing the conversion rate of your ads.
If you don't want visitors to skip your ads and move on to ones with more captivating pictures, then you need to make sure that you use excellent images that immediately attract their attention.
Take Advantage Of Customer Reviews and Product Ratings
Customer reviews and product ratings are important in grabbing customers' attention and increasing sales. The majority of online shoppers look out for reviews and ratings of a product before deciding on whether to purchase it or not.
Positive reviews and good ratings will leave the right impression about your products and give buyer's the much-needed confidence they need to buy from you. You must ensure your products have high ratings to stand a better chance of increasing your sales and ROI.
Use A/B Testing
A/B testing different portions of your Google Shopping campaign is a great way to find out what works better and what will yield better returns. You should refrain from entertaining guesswork if you want a productive Google Shopping campaign.
Different aspects of your campaign you can A/B test include your product titles and images. Certain variations will always perform better than others. With the knowledge you acquire from your test results, you will know where to make necessary changes to improve your ads' performance and increase your ROI.
Investing in Google Shopping as an advertising tactic can yield incredible returns. However, if campaign optimization is not done correctly, these types of ads can quickly eat up the bulk of your budget. Putting your best foot forward in campaign management with the above-mentioned techniques will ensure you maximize your ad spend and get the best value for the company's money.
Erika Rykun is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
There’s no denying the popularity of Amazon. Amazon is a major player in the world of ecommerce and one of the biggest online marketplaces. With over 300 million customers worldwide, 2.3 billion sellers on the platform, and over 100 new advertisers daily, competition is fierce. Countless brands battle for shoppers around the clock. In the race to be successful sellers, advertisers are aiming to win first place—or at least the best position when it comes to getting their products seen. The trick? Amazon bidding, with a combination of effective strategies to increase sales that will put you on top and set you apart from your biggest competitors.
What is Amazon bidding?
Amazon bidding is an auction-based system that allows sellers to place bids for keywords or products with the goal of showing their ads to potential buyers. When a shopper clicks on their ads, an advertiser pays for the bid. This is known as cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.
How does Amazon bidding work?
Amazon has access to a vast amount of data that helps them calculate the probability of a shopper clicking your ad and converting.
When creating Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, advertisers bid on specific keywords that could make their product appear when a buyer searches for that word.
Buyers type search terms in the search bar and scroll through the search result pages driven by the keywords selected by sellers.
Winning the keyword primarily depends on a combination of a seller's bid, the relevance of their product, and the quality of their product listing.
If you win the bidding auction, Amazon’s PPC algorithm uses a Second-Price Auction, resulting in your winning bid being lower than your original bid.
3 Amazon bidding strategies
Amazon Dynamic Bids, down only
Amazon reduces bids by up to 100% if a click is unlikely to result in a sale and is less likely to convert. This option is automatically applied by default to all existing campaigns.
When to use it: This is a good option for a profit-driven strategy. Dynamic bids help you preserve ad spend for conversions that are unlikely and help to ensure that you don’t overspend on advertising.
Amazon Dynamic Bids, up and down
For first-page search result placement, Amazon raises bids by up to 100% if a click is more likely to convert. It increases bids by 50% for all other placements, and will reduce a bid by up to 100% if a click is less likely to convert.
When to use it: This option is recommended if bids happen to be highly variable in your market because up and down dynamic bids are more flexible. Up and down are perfect for existing campaigns that are well-optimized.
Amazon will not dynamically adjust a bid based on the likelihood of a conversion.
When to use it: Fixed bids are great for an impression strategy and are ideal for raising brand awareness. Using this strategy, however, will most likely cause you to overpay for a good amount of your clicks. Why? With fixed bids, Amazon applies your bid to every single placement—regardless of the likelihood of conversion. The silver lining is that they allow you to exercise complete control of your sponsored ad campaign budget.
How to calculate the optimal bid
To calculate the optimal bid, use the formula below.
Bid = Max. CPC = Avg. Order Value x Conversion Rate x ACOS Target
Alternatively, the equation can be understood as:
Bid = Max. CPC = (Ad Sales / Ad Orders) x (Ad Orders / Ad Clicks) x (Ad Spend / Ad Sales)
Additionally, the formula can be simplified like so:
Bid = Max. CPC = (Ad Sales / Ad Clicks) x (Ad Spend / Ad Sales)
While these formulas are there to help you with the Amazon bidding process, the goal is to maximize your profit while simultaneously decreasing your spend.
4 tips to increase sales
Keywords influence the chance of conversion and the amount you need to bid. They are key to determining the search results that your campaign will target. To identify the most profitable and relevant keywords, consider using an Amazon keyword tool or reverse ASIN search.
Improve your product listing
If your listing is impressive, attractive, and enticing enough to draw a potential customer’s attention, a click is more likely to result in a conversion. Make sure to use clear and informative descriptions, include high-resolution photos, and improve your Amazon feedback rating.
Get on Amazon Prime
Shoppers like it when their Amazon products arrive as quickly as possible. There’s no doubt that Amazon’s same-day or next-day deliveries are a huge appeal for customers —especially when there is no extra charge for it. In fact, 83% of shoppers favor free delivery so much so that more than half (54%) of them will abandon their carts if they have to pay a delivery fee. Take part in Amazon’s fast shipping program by getting the blue Prime badge or by qualifying for Amazon Prime via Seller Fulfilled Prime or FBA.
Follow an advertising strategy
Determine the outcome you’re trying to achieve in order to decide which bidding method is best for your campaign. Develop a strategy so you commit to your goals by selecting the bid that’s most appropriate.
Amazon Bidding Key Takeaways
Amazon bidding is a big determinant in the success or failure of your Amazon campaign advertising efforts. Regardless of how much target-marketing research you conduct, it’s still a challenge to truly know what shoppers want and why. Amazon’s algorithm does a good job of analyzing and predicting success, so with a detailed understanding of how Amazon bidding works, you can still implement winning campaigns to ultimately achieve your business goals.
How MarinOne can help
Getting your products seen among millions of other Amazon sellers is no easy feat.
If you're not yet up to speed with advertising on Amazon, MarinOne can help. Our automated bidding tool can be used to manage bids for Amazon Advertising accounts directly within the MarinOne platform.
MarinOne also manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids for Amazon Advertising accounts:
For manually targeted sponsored products
Auto-targeted sponsored products
Sponsored brand video
To learn more about other Amazon Advertising management functionality in MarinOne, check out our Amazon Advertising article.
If you're new to MarinOne's automated bidding, learn more about our automated bidding tool from our Bid Strategy article.
Interested in learning more?Try a free trial today.
Amazon receives over two billion visitors a month. With such a large audience frequently visiting its platform, it’s no wonder the number of marketplace sellers has exploded over the last decade. The volume of online shoppers is making it harder than ever for sellers to make an impression and grab the attention of customers. If your goal is to expand your reach and attract new customers, Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform (DSP) may be the answer. And there is no better time than now. Why? Amazon DSP is on track to make $17.6 billion from advertising this year and is expected to reach a staggering $46.6 billion by 2025.
What is Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP enables programmatic buying and selling of display, video, and audio ads. The demand-side platform allows you to reach audiences both on and off of Amazon and across leading publishers’ sites like Twitch.tv, IMDb, Audible, Zappos, and others. The ads often appear not only on Amazon and Amazon-owned websites, but across Amazon-owned apps, Amazon devices, and affiliate websites and apps within Amazon’s network. Through Amazon DSP, you can create more brand and product awareness to encourage shopper re-engagement and retarget lost or potential customers.
The 4 Amazon DSP Ad Types
Dynamic E-commerce Ads
Dynamic ads automatically optimize which ad to display based on your campaign goal. Using machine learning, Amazon DSP can feed audiences relevant ads based on predictable behavior—delivering coupon code strategy tactics to incentivize impulse buyers and generating ads with customer reviews in them to engage customers who prefer to read reviews before purchasing a product. Since dynamic ads only direct to an Amazon product listing page, they are not a viable option if you use DSP to promote your direct website.
Unlike dynamic ads, static ads feature a call-to-action and a simple image. They can lead customers to an Amazon product listing, an Amazon Brand store, or directly to your website.
Video Ads Through DSP
In-stream or out-stream video content can be displayed both on and off Amazon. Your video ads can link directly to your website or to a product detail page on Amazon. Video ads through DSP help you leverage Amazon’s audiences to target the right shoppers.
Over-The-Top Video Ads (OTT)
These ads, displayed as full-screen videos on TV, allow you to create brand awareness in a separate medium. By using OTT, you can expand your reach to millions more people and target specific Amazon audiences. Keep in mind though: with OTT ads shoppers have no way to click and take action.
Amazon DSP Targeting Options
With Amazon DSP’s thousands of customer segments and its insights into shopper history and intent, it can help support many of your advertising goals. Here’s a glance at the different targeting options available.
Behavioral targeting is often used for brand awareness purposes and enables you to set any number of triggers so you can target shoppers further down the funnel.
With Lifestyle targeting, relevant ads are served to people who buy from a particular category habitually. This type of targeting allows you to target customers who share similar characteristics with your current customers or are interested in brand-relevant categories.
You can target ads based on gender, age, income, or location.
Target your ads based on specific end-user devices including Android or Apple phones, different operating systems, desktop users, or other niche devices such as the Amazon Fire tablet.
By using in-market targeting, you can build brand awareness and increase sales. Audiences who are “in-market” are those who have high intent with a greater likelihood of purchasing your product or services.
Serve ads to users based on what they are browsing right now. Contextual targeting is a great option to encourage impulse buys and drive conversions quickly.
For consumers who are on the fence about buying a product or a competitive product, remarketing targeting can help. The different types of remarketing targets include Pixel-Based, ASIN, Purchased ASIN, Brand Halo, and Similar Product remarketing.
Audience Lookalike Targeting
Audience Lookalike targeting hones in on customers who share similarities with your existing customers. With this option, you can take advantage of Amazon’s unique data combined with its collaborative filtering that can create detailed consumer profiles.
Amazon DSP allows you to leverage third-party data so you don’t have to solely rely on the first-party data that Amazon provides. Through the use of pixels, CRM data, and/or DMP audience transfers, you can reach customers who have previously engaged with your brand.
5 Reasons Amazon DSP Is a Powerful Tool for Advertisers
By using Amazon DSP, you can take your campaign performance to a whole new level and achieve your programmatic advertising goals. Here’s how:
Audience Insights and Analytics
One of the greatest benefits of Amazon DSP is that advertisers can tap into Amazon’s first-party shopper data. Every search, view, click, purchase, and other shopper action along the customer journey is tracked. With Amazon DSP’s robust data capabilities, you can glean more information about how, what, when, and why customers buy what they buy. You can also gain access to key performance metrics such as total purchases, product units sold, add-to-cart rates, and more to help you determine what’s driving results and what’s not.
Retaining your current audience is not only critical to sustaining your company’s success but is also a more cost-effective way to spend your ad dollars instead of attracting new customers. Using Amazon DSP, you can retarget potential customers who have already engaged with your brand or products.
Targeting shifts over time. Amazon DSP allows you to adjust your strategy accordingly so you can move your ad placements, reroute your creative spending, or reposition your domain ads to reach customers who have expressed interest in your product.
With Amazon DSP, you can expand your audience reach across a vast range of sites. An attention-grabbing display ad or video campaign can improve your brand perception and increase awareness by being displayed on a large number of websites simultaneously.
Amazon DSP enables you to have your campaigns up and running in just minutes so you don’t have to spend time playing phone tag, negotiating, handing off creative tasks, reconciling billing, and settling up payments.
How MarinOne Can Help
Looking to take your Amazon DSP to the next level?
MarinOne integrates with Amazon DSP to help you better understand your customers on Amazon. Our platform goes far beyond what Amazon provides with a comprehensive suite of tools that activate and amplify your entire Amazon advertising campaign portfolio.
With MarinOne, you can analyze paid search and social advertising as well as other retail media, shipping campaigns, and marketplaces, giving you a cross-publisher and cross-channel view of performance.
Our alerts provide real-time updates on changes in activity so you can always be in the know and never miss an opportunity to improve performance. Use our marketplace signals to link your DSP performance to reviews, ratings, inventory status, price, and more. In addition, MarinOne features Amazon metrics like detailed page views and new to brand.
Ready to find out more about how MarinOne can help with your Amazon DSP campaigns? Get a personalized demo today.
Display advertising is one of the best ways for businesses to grow their online presence—and there are plenty of sites where you can promote your products and services. Unfortunately, many beginners make mistakes that impair their advertising efforts.
Several factors need to be considered to create a successful display ad campaign. This article will discuss display ads and why you should use them, and we’ll give you 11 tried and tested tips for standing out.
Why You Should Use Display Ads
It’s true that text-based search ads have their advantages when it comes to click-through rates and conversions, but there’s still an important place for display ads. Some important uses of display ads include highlighting products or services that are visual in nature, and cultivating and educating potential customers in the early stages of the sales funnel, regardless of whether they click on the ad. It’s no wonder, then, that companies in the US have been spending more every year on display advertising—and this trend is set to continue.
Why else should you use display advertising? First and foremost, display ads can—when done correctly—put you in front of your target audience immediately. This is in contrast to the longer-term investment of time needed for organic content marketing—making it an excellent option if you’re trying to scale a newly established business quickly.
Because you’re getting in front of more of the right people more quickly, display advertising is an excellent way to increase sales right out of the gate. Since you’re driving more traffic to your website right away, you’ll have more leads to send down the marketing funnel—enabling you to convert more of those leads to paying customers while you build your brand organically at the same time.
Here’s how you can get started with display ads so you can keep your business growing.
Keep it Brief
Regardless of the industry you operate in, you’ve probably got fiercer competition than ever. However, at the same time, you’re fighting for limited attention spans: research from Microsoft found that average attention spans dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds between 2000 and 2015. The rise in short-form video platforms like TikTok will likely have an additional effect, but the full impact won’t be visible for a while yet.
Your advertising copy must be brief if you want to engage users. Keep the text content to no longer than a few words, and make sure that every word adds something valuable.
Focus on One or Two Benefits
If you’ve never tried display advertising before, you might find it tempting to try and stuff as much information into your ad as possible. However, adopting this approach will confuse your target audience.
Remember: your display ad is only an introduction for users. Focus on one or two key benefits conveyed through strategic use of words and powerful visuals and give interested users more information once they’ve clicked through.
Reel Users in With Your Headline
When you consume content online, you probably skim headlines—but how many articles, videos, or ads do you click on? Probably a small percentage. Users do the same with your ads, so your headline must reel them in.
Ask yourself this question: Why should a customer buy from you instead of a competitor? Once you know that, you’ll have an easier time creating your headline.
Avoid Vague or Metaphorical Words
Since you don’t have much time to convince users that they should engage with your ad, this is not the time for symbolism. Don’t force viewers to struggle with a riddle—give them the straight goods using a clear and compelling message in simple language.
Use Positive Language and Avoid Negative Words
When a sentence is a negative statement, the reader must perform an extra mental step to decipher it, so use simpler language to help your readers understand your message at a glance. A positive statement is more engaging—and more likely to be clicked on.
Additionally, a negative attitude can repel prospective customers, so adopt a light and entertaining tone when possible.
Create Scannable Copy
Display ads are not the place for lengthy descriptions—effective ones act like a hook to lure readers to your more detailed content. Make it clear what your offer is; it should be interesting and obvious at a glance.
Requirements will vary depending on where you place your ads. What works on Google might not work on Bing, and ads that have succeeded on LinkedIn might not be as effective on Twitter or Facebook. Before running campaigns, take the time to think about what interests users on the platform you're using to maximize your engagement rates.
Set Clear Goals Before Your Campaign
Setting goals before you create ads is the most important thing you can do. A campaign without direction will look disjointed, so users won't know what to expect from your products and services—and they won't click through. Clear goals give you KPIs you can assess to be sure you’re on the right track.
Examples of goals you can set include generating leads, growing your audience, or earning a certain number of subscribers. Get clear on these, and everything will run more smoothly.
Showcase your USP: Unique Selling Point
Making an impression is the most important goal of a display ad, so use the opportunity to become familiar to your audience. Define your USP—the attribute you most want to be known for—and express it in your ad using clear and impactful words. Consistency in your messaging will help make your ads more memorable.
Now you've got everything you need to create a successful display ad campaign
Running a successful display advertising campaign means considering many factors and adopting a strategic approach. Create ads that are clear, compelling, and scannable. A campaign with no defined goals is destined for failure, but experienced marketers have developed their eye through effort and testing—and using these 11 strategies, you can do the same.
Also remember that display ads should be a piece of your overall omnichannel marketing strategy, and it’s important to see how they are performing in relation to your ads on other channels.
Schedule a demo to learn more about how MarinOne’s cross-channel reporting and optimization platform can give you the insights you need to put your best foot forward on display ads together with search, social, and ecommerce to help you grow your business.
Native advertising is the use of paid advertisements to make your content look more attractive by blending in with their organic surroundings, somewhat veiling the fact that a native advertisement is indeed paid placement.
You may find native ads in various social media platforms as they are recommended on the feed, videos, images, etc. For example, posting an informative article to Facebook instead of promoting a traditional banner ad makes the article an effortless part of the editorial flow of the page.
Native ad placements can be found anywhere online, not just on social platforms, as millions of websites sell ad space on their site pages through networks like Outbrain, Basis, and Yahoo Gemini.
Why is native advertising important?
Now that you have a bit of an idea of what native advertising is, you are probably asking yourself where it falls in importance within the advertising ecosphere. Surely most consumers know an ad when they see one, so is the guise of “blending things in” even helpful anymore?
For the modern consumer, native advertising simply offers users the opportunity to connect in a format that the user chooses themselves. While studies suggest that most people searching online know they are being advertised to almost constantly, many consumers still take kindly to the effort of making content relevant and unobtrusive. By personalizing content as much as possible, and letting your ads be an organic part of a users’ online experience, your brand will have a higher likelihood of building a favorable reputation amongst new potential customers.
Additionally, you can expect to produce a good amount of brand lift through high engagement rates, click through rates (CTR) and pageviews with a well-produced native ad strategy.
Types of native advertising
One of the great things about native advertising is that there are several different types, allowing ample opportunity to take the same piece of content and produce multiple variants for promotional distribution. Most native ads are designed to help keep the general viewer engaged in a piece of content they are reading. This is one of the most common types of marketing tactics that can be used by new businesses to expand their products and amplify brand awareness.
1) Content recommendation
The first and the most common native ad type is the content recommendation. These are simply ads that appear as recommended articles and blogs. One thing about them is that they appear in the middle or at the end of an article rather than being on top.
2) Search and promote the listing
Another type of native advertisement is the search and promoted listings which essentially appear at the top of an article so that viewers can engage in the ad. Besides appearing on top, they may also appear on the side page of the article so that as viewers scroll down the article or blog, they can watch the ad. This is a great way to attract more viewers to any website.
3) Feed advertisements
The third type of native advertising is the in-feed advertisement which are ads that appear as social media posts as you scroll through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter. Since so many people use Instagram and other social media daily, these advertising types prove to be extremely useful for improving your overall engagement or top of funnel visibility.
Relevancy of native advertisement
Since native advertising has been around for a bit longer than other digital marketing methods, like video ads or social commerce, it’s easy to be enamored with newer, shinier pennies. But do not underestimate the value that this advertising method can bring to your holistic marketing plan. Native ads continue to be a relevant tactic for many businesses as they build brand trust and authority with users, due to their inconspicuous nature. The success of these ads depend on the quality of their content. If the content is memorable and gripping, it is more likely to engage an audience and bring new people into your customer funnel.
Native advertising best practices
You should be following best practices to get the most out of a native ad strategy. That includes:
Plan and budget all of your campaigns. Setting achievable goals by campaign type also helps a lot.
Save time and effort with high-quality content.
Targeting is important here, so you can make sure to optimize your reach and impact.
In order to provide a good user experience, test and optimize creatives so that you always show the best variant for the audience.
Data analysis can help you identify the best content for each geographical region to which you are advertising. With content-driven marketing it is particularly important to ensure culture and regional context is considered.
Be a storyteller
Brands are shifting their strategies for more effective native ads; instead of running ineffectual campaigns, they're prioritizing storytelling and putting content in the right context.
This includes tangible assets such as advertising on premium publishers with a clear brand message to tell. Many brands already apply this methodology other channels such as PR and SEO, and the same can absolutely be done with a well thought out native advertising roadmap. Be in control of you brand's story.
Meet with a MarinOne marketer today on how we can tie all of your advertising campaigns together in one place…including your native advertising.
What’s the difference between Amazon CPC and vCPM cost models?
It’s important for brands to measure their digital marketing metrics, including comparing CPC vs vCPM (cost per thousand viewable impressions). CPC is based on the number of actual clicks the ad receives, while vCPM is based on the number of times an ad is viewed, regardless of whether shoppers click on it or not. Sponsored Display vCPM adheres to the MRC definition for an ad view: at least 50% of the ad should have been in the shopper’s view port for at least one second for it to be registered as a viewed impression.
vCPM is often used for advertisers focusing on brand awareness or delivering a specific message, because this pricing model is more focused on exposure as opposed to a cost-per-click model.
In Marin, brands can use both metrics, considering the implications of each, for a more comprehensive view of the performance of their ad campaigns. This information will help advertisers better understand the impact of their Sponsored Display campaigns, regardless of whether you are using click-based (CPC) or view-based (vCPM) attribution.
How does Amazon’s vCPM cost model work?
Conversions and Revenue for Sponsored Display vCPM campaigns are an ESTIMATED value that is attributed to BOTH viewable impressions AND clicks (because the cost type is based on viewable impressions - vCPM). To put it simply, alongside the actual Conversions and Revenue generated via the vCPM campaign, Amazon is also including estimated Conversions and Revenue when someone VIEWs your Sponsored Display Ad, but does not click on it.
It's also worth noting that the vCPM Conversions and Revenue are attributed to your brand sales and not the products in the campaign. For example if you run an 'Advertised Product Report' from Amazon you'll notice that the orders and sales do not match what is being displayed in Amazon's UI at campaign level. See below screenshot from a Sponsored Display Advertised Product Report:
The 14 Day Total Orders (#) and 14 Day Total Sales columns reflect the Cost Type of a campaign
The 14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click) and 14-Day Total Sales - (Click) columns are based on click attribution (CPC Cost Type), regardless of whether your campaign cost type is set to CPC or vCPM
Campaign A has parity across all 4 columns - because it’s campaign Cost Type is set to CPC
Campaigns B to M, unlike Campaign A, differ because their campaign Cost Type’s are set to vCPM - the (Click) columns are your actual Orders and Sales, whereas your non-click columns are a combination of actual Orders and Revenue as well as Amazon’s estimated Orders and Revenue based on your ad being ‘viewed’.
Campaign C generated 8 orders with a total revenue of £112.96 and to identify the estimated view Orders and Revenue, you subtract the (Click) column away from the regular column;
207 [14 Day Total Orders (#)] - 8 [14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click)] = 199 estimated ‘view’ Orders
£2,564.39 [14 Day Total Sales] - £112.96 [14-Day Total Sales - (Click)] = £2,451.43 estimated ‘view’ Sales
How does this impact reporting of Amazon Sponsored Display campaigns in Marin?
Regardless of the cost type that you specify when creating your Sponsored Display Campaign (CPC or vCPM), Marin is able to report on both attribution models against that campaign.
For example, if you create a Sponsored Display campaign with vCPM as the Cost Type, Marin is still able to show you the Conversions and Revenue generated from the ad being clicked on (CPC Cost Type), alongside the ‘estimated’ view Conversions and Revenue (vCPM Cost Type) that Amazon is providing, and vice-versa.
In the screenshot above you can see that, regardless of cost type, for a Sponsored Display campaign Marin is able to report on both traditional Conversions and Revenue (click based) and also the ‘view’ Conversions and Revenue - which is the combination of both actual and estimated Conversions and Revenue set by Amazon.
The table below shows the Conversion Types available via the MarinOne column selector that you can bring into view alongside your Sponsored Display campaigns.
How should I bid on this activity?
The decision is entirely yours. In Marin you have the option to either bid based upon actual clicked Conversions and Revenue or use the estimated ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue to target a CPA or ROAS goal - regardless of the cost model you’ve chosen to set up for your Sponsored Display campaign.
If your goal is performance (CPA / ROAS) Marin’s recommendation is to optimise towards actual clicked Conversion and Revenue and not ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue (even if your campaign is set to vCPM) because this is the actual performance of your Sponsored Display campaign and not an ‘estimated’ number of Conversions or Revenue.
If you've used Marin's automated bidding tool to manage Bid Strategies for other publishers, then managing bids for Amazon Advertising accounts should be pretty familiar. Marin manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids and supports all ‘performance’ Goals for your Amazon activity:
Maximise Conversions to CPA
Maximise Revenue to ROAS
If your goal is awareness advertisers and registered sellers in CA, DE, FR, ES, IT, IN, JP, UAE, UK and the US can set up an “Optimise for Viewable Impressions” strategy directly in the Amazon Ads UI to help create product awareness.
If you have any further questions related to the above please reach out to your Account Representative.
Creating profitable banner ads is a non-negotiable skill in the marketing world. Like understanding Twitter and knowing your way around Google Analytics, it's just something you need to know. But mastering banner ads is no walk in the park.
It’s hard to get banner ads right. When done well, not only are they an effective way to generate leads and sales—but they can also be used to increase brand awareness and drive website traffic.
We'll take a look at what banner ads are, why you need to use them—and how to make them profitable. Keep reading to learn more.
What is a banner ad?
A banner ad is a digital marketing placement that promotes a product, service, or brand using a rectangular image, GIF, or video. Banner ads are typically displayed on websites, social media platforms, and email newsletters.
Banner ads come in a variety of different sizes, and each size has its own unique benefits and purpose. Here are the most common banner ad sizes:
Medium Banner: 300 x 250. This is a popular size for rectangle ads on websites, social media platforms, and email newsletters.
Leaderboard: 728 x 90. This is the largest banner size and is typically used at the top of a website. It can also be used as a rectangle ad on Facebook and Instagram.
Wide Skyscraper: 160 x 600. This is a popular size for skyscraper ads that appear on the edges of websites.
Full Banner: 468 x 60. This is the standard banner size that's used on most websites. It's also the smallest size that can be used for a 728 x 90 leaderboard ad.
How do banner ads work?
Banner ads typically work on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-mille (CPM) basis. This means that you'll pay every time someone clicks on your ad (CPC), or every time your ad is displayed 1000 times (CPM).
When creating a banner ad, you'll need to consider the following:
Your goals: What do you want your banner ad to achieve?
Your target audience: Who are you targeting with your banner ad?
Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on your banner ad campaign?
The size of your ad: Banner ads come in a variety of different sizes. Choose the size that's right for you.
The placement of your ad: Where will your banner ad be displayed?
Your call to action (CTA): What do you want people to do when they see your banner ad?
Once you've considered all of these factors, you'll be ready to create your banner ad.
Advanced tips for creating a profitable banner
Here are some tips to follow:
1. Keep it simple
When it comes to banner ads, less is more. You only have a split second to capture someone's attention, so don't try to cram too much information into your ad.
Stick to one message and make sure it's clear. CTAs surrounded by negative space see an increase in conversion rate of 232% compared to those surrounded by clutter—so remember: give your buttons room to breathe!
2. Use strong visuals
People are visual creatures, and that's especially true when it comes to banner ads. Use high-quality images and videos that are relevant to your product or service. And make sure your visuals are attention-grabbing and visually appealing.
Pixellated pics, busy backgrounds, and generic stock photos are all big no-nos if you want your banner ad to stand out and look trustworthy. To add an extra layer of visual interest, consider using a high-quality black background to make your design pop. This can help your images and text stand out and grab the attention of potential customers.
In addition to choosing a good quality image, make sure your banner ad carries the blueprint of your brand: your colors, fonts, and logo should all be present and correct. Consistency is key to building trust with your audience—if they see a banner ad that looks like it belongs to your company, they're much more likely to click on it.
3. Make it mobile-friendly
More than half of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices—so you can't afford to ignore this crucial step.
Make sure your banner ad is designed with a mobile-first approach. This means creating an ad that looks good and is easy to navigate on a mobile device. Use a large, legible font and big, bold CTAs. And keep the overall design of your ad simple and uncluttered.
4. Test, test, test
The only way to know for sure whether your banner ad is effective is to test it. Try out different versions of your ad and see what works best. Test different images, copy, CTAs, and layouts. Keep track of your results and continue tweaking your ad until it's as effective as possible. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to testing.
When it comes to testing your banner ad, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Test different versions of your ad: It may surprise you which designs appeal to people more than others.
Keep track of your results: You won’t know what’s working unless you watch your metrics.
Optimize your ad regularly: It's important to continually optimize your banner ad so it remains effective. As your business and target audience change, so should your ad.
5. Use the right format
The display network you choose should have all the info you need on which sites your ad will appear. Make sure you read it!
Banner ads perform best when they're:
Close to the content
Above the fold
On the left-hand side
It's unlikely you'll have a say over where your ad appears on the page, but you can target specific types of websites that align well with your brand.
6. Use persuasive copy
Your banner ad copy should be short, sweet, and to the point. You only have a few seconds to get your message across, so make sure it's clear and concise. Use persuasive language that speaks to your target audience and drives them to take action.
Remember, banner ads are not the place for long-form copy. Stick to one or two sentences at most.
The buyer journey is complex and digital marketers need to be able to connect with the right customers through the entire process. Different ad formats and placements can help brands make consumers aware of their product, push them into consideration for that product, and ultimately drive them to purchase it. Two key ad types to consider are search ads (served on search engines like Google, Bing, etc.) and display ads (served throughout the internet on various websites).
The main difference between display and search ads is that search ads are considered "pull" advertising while display ads are considered "push" advertising. So, search ads only appear to consumers actively searching for the required product or service. In contrast, display ads are considered paid placement and can appear anywhere on the web that a user may be navigating. These advertisements are based on several targeting parameters. Search and display advertisements are set up and run using various ad networks, from Google Ads to Amazon DSP, Criteo, and many others.
If your company's marketing budget is substantial enough to support various ad types, then you can (and should) test both search and display ads in your advertising strategy. But keep in mind that these ads are not interchangeable. Depending on the product or service type, you may have better click and conversion performance with one or the other. Think through the customer journey and how customers find your products. Is your product something that people need to seek out actively when the need for it arises, or maybe your product is something buyers might not know they need until they see an ad and the potential use case of your product?
Advantages of Search ads
There are a lot of advantages of search advertising or search engine marketing (SEM). The first of many factors to consider is budget. If the available engine spend of the company is on the smaller side, say less than $10K per month, then SEM may be the best tactic for your business, as it allows more control over who finds your business and at what time. Targeting the right keywords is paramount in SEM for capturing users seeking your service or product. Getting focused and intentional in keyword targeting means that the business doesn't have to waste money on people that are not interested in the industry or are not yet ready to make a purchase decision.
Another benefit is that businesses can easily cater to a local market via search engine marketing. Many targeting options can be paired with keyword targeting, so you end up with more niche and specific audience segments. Geographic, language, gender, age, and affinity (or interest) targeting are all available segments on Google Ads, for example.
In SEM, the sales cycle is typically short, and you are seeking to capture users at the bottom of the funnel or close to the point of purchase. Therefore, there is no need to continue advertising to individuals that have taken action or converted on-site unless remarketing is an essential tactic for your business. This strategy keeps audiences fresh and malleable.
Advantages of display ads
Display ads are an effective tactic for any product that is visual in nature. Clothing, cars, beauty, pet care, and more are all excellent candidates for display as the customer offering can be summarized quickly and visually with a single image.
In less visually friendly industries, like SaaS, insurance, education, or many B2B services…display can still be an effective ad type but with a different approach. In these sectors, short impactful phrases or statements, a key value proposition, or some kind of explanatory graphic (like illustrations) is the better way to quickly reach a display ad viewer. If the CTA and key message cannot be grasped in under 3 seconds on a display ad…your messaging is ineffective and needs to be revisited.
Another advantage of display advertising is that it provides unique access to niche or luxury buyers. With many demand-side platforms (or DSPs), segments can get as granular as a limited website list where you believe your potential customers would visit. Data mining paired with display advertising is also an effective method of getting your message to the right person at the right time, but be cautious that your data provider follows all privacy guidelines in your target geographical region.
Another technique for utilizing display ads is to focus on building brand awareness. If you want to build brand equity or get more top-funnel traffic to your website, consider display advertising a suitable medium. Simple company slogans or flagship product images ought to be utilized. If it looks like it belongs on the homepage of your website, it probably belongs in a brand awareness display ad.
Search ad considerations
We’ve established that display ads are shown on websites across the internet, but search ads only appear in search engine results. Therefore, the advertisers selecting a list of keywords relevant to the product or service must be incredibly judicious and strategic in identifying the right keywords to target. Suppose you are new to this exercise or working with the wrong advertising experts who don’t have enough know-how to develop effective keyword lists. In that case, your costs can become prohibitive quickly, and your overall ad account performance will suffer.
For search ads, each search engine advertising platform requires the advertiser to put a bidding type in place for each campaign. Identifying the right bidding type and optimization techniques for each campaign can be nuanced and sometimes a difficult task of trial and error.
Display ad considerations
The primary consideration with display advertising is that the number of businesses using this method to advertise their business has increased. Due to this, for site owners, it becomes difficult to choose the right advertisers; from a competitive perspective, many verticals are pretty crowded. Expect higher CPMs (cost per 1,0000 impressions) or CPVs (cost per view) than what was once acceptable.
Platforms like the Google Display Network make segments through categories and then offer them to advertisers as a package. Moreover, the ad networks are involved in taking bids from advertisers and working with the highest recommendations that will help them earn space on their chosen site.
How MarinOne can improve display and search ad performance
Using a campaign management platform like MarinOne can help you automate mundane tasks associated with display and search ads. Our team has experts available to consult you on the most significant opportunities for improvement. And with machine-learning and automated bidding built directly into the software, we make omnichannel advertising as simple as possible. See how your PPC campaigns across all platforms are doing in a single place, and change bids or budgets according to performance with our all-in-one solution. Our advertising team is standing by today to give you a demonstration and get you on the path to easier advertising management.
As a business leader, staying ahead of the curve is key to success. It can also be challenging trying to keep up with all the latest changes in marketing.
To help you on your way, we've put together this comprehensive guide on display ads—complete with everything you need to know about this ever-evolving advertising format. Read on to learn more.
What are display ads?
Display ads are a type of online advertising that use images, videos, or text to promote a product or service on websites and apps. These ads can appear in a variety of formats, including banner ads, interstitials, native ads, etc.
Display ads are an effective way to reach a wide audience with your marketing message. They can be used to raise awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads and sales.
How do display ads work?
When a user visits a site with display advertising, a small piece of code called a pixel is placed on their browser. This pixel allows the ad server to identify the user and track their activity across different sites. Based on this data, the ad server will serve relevant ads to the user as they browse the web.
Display advertisers create a custom ad for a given site that includes relevant keywords about the site or offer. The ads are typically served by a third party based on the previous behavior of the user to increase relevance.
What are some examples of display ads?
Display ads can appear in many different forms including pop-up ads, side-banner ads, image ads, and more. You've definitely spotted them while clicking around (usually in the form of an ad for a site you've just visited that keeps following you around).
Let's take a look at the most common types of display ads
Image ad: This is the most common type of display ad and usually includes a static image with some text.
Video ad: Video ads are becoming increasingly popular and can be used to grab attention and convey a message more effectively than an image alone.
Native ad: This type of ad is designed to blend in with the surrounding content on a website or app. It is often less intrusive than other types of display ads and can be more effective as a result. The CTA (call to action) associated with native ads are usually regarding some kind of longer content piece, such as “Read the article about X topic.”
Pop-up ad: Pop-up ads are those that appear in a new window or tab when you click on a website. They can be effective in getting your message across, but they're also a bit annoying for the user—so use them sparingly. Important: choose sites that deploy them in a user-friendly way, or you could end up irritating the user, appearing spammy as a brand, and losing a sale.
What are the benefits of display ads?
There are several reasons you might want to use display ads as part of your marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common benefits:
They are eye-catching and familiarize your audience with your brand
They allow for remarketing opportunities
They make it possible to track and monitor the engagement and success of your campaign
What are the challenges of display ads?
Some things to keep in mind:
They can be intrusive and annoying for users, and that’s not good for your brand
They can be blocked by ad blockers
It can be difficult to stand out from the competition
Despite these challenges, display advertising can be a powerful tool for reaching your target audience and achieving your marketing goals if deployed correctly.
Important considerations to make before buying a campaign
Before you start your campaign, it’s important to first carefully research and weigh the pros and cons of the two main buying models.
Can be more difficult to target a specific demographic
If you’re looking to quickly reach a large audience and build brand awareness, CPM may be the better option. However, if you’re looking to drive conversions and sales, CPC may be a better choice.
When deciding which model to use for your campaign, don’t forget to consider your budget. CPM can be more expensive than CPC, so if you’re working with limited funds, you may want to consider using CPC.
Once you’ve decided which model to use, you can start planning your campaign. Take note of the following best practices:
Create compelling ad copy that stands out from the competition
Use attractive visuals that are relevant to your brand and product
Target your ads to a specific audience
Test different ad placements to see what works best
Monitor your campaign closely and make changes as needed
How to measure the effectiveness of display ads
If you don't know how you're doing, you can't improve—which is why measuring your ads is non-negotiable.
When measuring the success or failure of a display ad campaign, you'll need to track the appropriate metrics. Here are some of the key metrics to have on your radar, along with tips on how to measure each one:
Clicks: This metric measures how many times users have clicked on your ad. You can track clicks by using Google Analytics or another similar tool.
Click-through rate (CTR): This metric measures the percentage of people who see your ad and click on it. To calculate CTR, divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. For instance, if your ad has been seen 1,000 times and clicked on 10 times, your CTR would be 1%.
Cost per click (CPC): This metric measures how much you're paying for each click on your ad. To calculate CPC, divide your total advertising spend by the number of clicks.
Conversions: This metric measures how many people who click on your ad go on to take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. You can track conversions by setting up conversion tracking in Google Analytics or another similar tool.
Cost per conversion: This metric measures how much you're paying for each conversion. To calculate cost per conversion, divide your total advertising spend by the number of conversions.
Once you've decided which metrics to track, you'll need to set up a system for tracking them. The best way to do this is by using Google Analytics or an ad management and analysis tool like MarinOne. By setting up event tracking, you can track how many people see your ad, click on it, and take the desired action.
Tips for making the most of your ad dollars
When spending money on display ads, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your ad dollars are being spent wisely.
Use your chosen platform’s insights section to help determine your optimal times for posting on the platform
Carefully research the specific target market demographics before purchasing an ad campaign
Run split tests to identify what works best for your brand or product
Experiment with new avenues to figure out the best days, times, and even types of content for your ads
The best times for running an ad campaign on social media
There's been a lot of research into the best times to post on social media. As you can see, it varies by platform:
The most important thing to do is test your efforts and figure out what works for you. And remember to keep testing.
FAQs about display ads
What is the difference between an in-stream video ad and a banner ad?In-stream video ads are those that show up before, during, or after a video. Banner ads are static or animated images that usually appear in the sidebars or header/footer of a website.
What's the difference between an impression and a click? An impression is when your ad is seen by a user. A click is when a user clicks on your ad.
What's a good CTR for a display ad? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it will vary depending on your specific goals and target audience. However, a CTR of 1% or higher is considered good.
What's a good CPC for a display ad? Again, there is no one right answer to this question. However, a CPC of $0.50 or less is generally considered to be good.
What is a pixel? A pixel is a small piece of code that allows you to track conversions, or specific actions people take on your website. Pixels can be used to track a variety of things, such as whether someone has added to a cart or initiated the checkout process.
What is an ad set? An ad set is a group of ads that share the same targeting, budget, schedule, and bid type. Ad sets allow you to control how much you're willing to spend on a daily or lifetime basis, as well as who will see your ads.
While it's always best to experiment with different strategies before making any major decisions, there are some criteria that your ads should meet to be considered successful. Meeting the criteria of your chosen social media platform, and using MarinOne’s ad management platform, is the best way to run a successful campaign.
MarinOne is an all-in-one ad management platform that helps marketers create, manage, and measure their display ads. It's a powerful tool that provides insights into what's working and what's not, so you can make adjustments and improve your results.
As the online space becomes more competitive, brands are going to new and greater lengths to ensure they stand out ahead of the competition. One promotional route that many are choosing is display ads.
When well-executed, display advertising is an excellent way to capture your audience’s attention. Display advertising allows you to effectively convey your product and messaging. The ads are designed to entice the reader to click through and learn more.
However, some expertise is required—poorly implemented display ads can negatively impact your business. When they miss their mark, users might find them intrusive and irrelevant, and you could waste a lot of money.
But what exactly is a display ad, and how do they work? What are some good examples of display advertising? Let’s find out.
What Is a Display Ad?
Display ads are a common form of online advertising. There are several kinds of display ads; you’re used to seeing them in emails, and they’re also common on websites and social media.
Display ads can serve multiple purposes. Some businesses use them to build awareness of new research, for example, while others will utilize them to promote the company’s products and services.
How Do Display Ads Work?
When you implement display advertising, you start by choosing the platform you want to promote yourself on, as well as the ad size and positioning.
The pricing varies depending on what you pick. You can choose several pricing models for display ads, such as cost-per-mille (CPM) and pay-per-click (PPC). When you run an advertisement of this kind, you can choose how long you want the campaign to run and select other parameters—such as the audience segments you’d like to target.
Examples of Excellent Display Ads, and Why They Work
To help you create an excellent display advertising campaign of your own, let’s look at these real-life examples. Below, you’ll find eight display ads that have worked in the past. We’ll discuss why they’ve enjoyed success.
Music streaming giant Spotify has become well known for its innovative and quirky advertising. The company has run several paid online campaigns, each featuring its instantly recognizable branding.
This is a promotion for Spotify Premium. If you use the free version, you know all too well that the ads can be intrusive to the in-app experience; this ad works because it gets to the point. What they are directly and indirectly saying is, “You can wave goodbye to ads and try the full version of Spotify for 30 days, after which you probably won’t want to return to the free edition.”
What makes this ad work? It addresses a pain point that customers using the free service all have, and offers an immediate, free (for a time) solution. The text is clear and not cluttered, and the green-means-go action button stands out. Single or two-tone color schemes with vibrant tones are also very effective statistically as they tend to pop out to the user on a desktop or mobile device.
MailChimp is one of the world’s most popular email marketing tools, and its marketing strategy is a key factor.
Why does this particular ad campaign work? Well, there are several reasons. Rhyming is a powerful way to make your message stick, and each ad is equal parts funny and absurd—inviting connection through humor. Moreover, the colors are simple and appealing.
Klarna has taken the fintech world by storm, and its advertising campaigns challenge the assumption that the financial services industry is drab.
This pay-later service originated in Stockholm, Sweden—where it still has its headquarters. And in the ad you see above, it has dug deep into its Scandinavian roots. Klarna isn’t actually Swedish for “smoother shopping”, so it’s added a bit of humor for users, as you can see with the two characters that pay homage aesthetically to playful Swedish stereotypes.
The ad also works because the copy is simple—only four words in a unique font—and both the colors and textures suggest the smoothness they’re talking about.
HP is one of the largest tech companies in the world and is perhaps best known for its printers. How do you make printing seem a little more interesting? Create ads that are fun to view and read, of course.
Anyone who has had to file their own taxes knows that tax season can often be stressful. HP’s ad works because it offers a promise—that its product will make your job more straightforward.
The ad also works because the colors are simple and the printer is at the focal point of the image.
Adobe is one of the world’s biggest software companies. Adobe’s solutions primarily focus on helping creatives achieve their goals. Photographers, designers, and podcasters use several tools (e.g., Lightroom, InDesign, and Audition).
Any photographer will tell you that what they saw in real life often doesn’t look the same on camera. Editing software is useful for improving color quality and creating a unique style, as this ad shows.
The ad is successful because it sums everything up in four words; you take the picture, before bringing it to life with one of Adobe’s editing tools. The company has also used complimenting colors, making the ad more eye-catching.
Samsung is a global manufacturer of various consumer items, including smartphones and tablets. It's one of the fiercest competitors to Apple. As such, the company needs to ensure that its advertising game is on point.
Upon releasing the Galaxy S6 tablet, Samsung produced a campaign with a simple message: you can create work regardless of where you are. The ad appealed to people who might need to create quick prototypes for clients on the go, along with those either traveling or working remotely.
In addition to the messaging, the ad also works because the colors are simple – and the tablet is the main focal point for the viewer.
Huawei is a smartphone manufacturer headquartered in China. For a recent Christmas campaign, the company put together the following ad campaign.
The ad encourages people to be present with their loved ones aside, but it’s clever because you can still see the main product that Huawei is trying to sell. Moreover, the candy cane adds to the Christmas theme – as do the shades of red.
Huawei’s ad was also effective because it played on viewers’ emotions. Christmas is a time to create memories with people you care about, and the messaging reminds people about the importance of disconnecting from the virtual world now and then.
Puma is one of the world’s best-known sports clothing manufacturers. While it isn’t as big as Nike or Adidas, the company still has a huge presence and following – with several major partnerships.
Puma has created several memorable display ads in the past, but the ad above is one of the best. It uses the term “we’ve got sole” to describe the fact that puma shoes often have comfortable and sturdy soles, but also that its products have a sense of character.
Unlike some of the other ads on this list, the Puma campaign features a wider variety of colors. However, they remain pleasing to the eye and work together without looking disjointed.
4 Ways to Create Your Own Successful Display Ad Campaign
Now that you’ve seen a couple of display ads in action, we can discuss the top factors that will help your own campaigns stand out.
Set a Clear Goal for Your Ads
Before you start creating copy, you must have a clear goal in mind for your display ad campaign. You can use display ads for several types of goals. Below are three to get your creative juices flowing:
Generate more leads
Increase email subscriptions
Offer a free trial for a premium version of your product
Consider the action you wish readers to take, and select your words carefully to connect with your audience demographics.
Use Interesting Visuals
Each display ad example in this article uses interesting visuals. The images are simple and tell the story with minimal complexity, making it easy for the viewer to understand what’s going on.
Color is a critical factor to convey mood and personality, so choose carefully. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow generally convey a sense of energy and enthusiasm. Blues and purples more often connote poise, wisdom, and stability. Green, of course, makes people think of action and growth.
Think About Your Fonts
Your text will be the first thing that most people look at when engaging with your display ads, and you should have fonts that appeal to them visually.
Your fonts should match your branding; using something modern if you sell antiques probably won’t work. Be creative; we recommend trying at least two or three different kinds to see which ones bring more engagement.
Carefully Pick the Platform for Your Ads
Since you can create display ads on several platforms, place them wisely to get the highest return on your investment. Younger customers are often found on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, while more mature audiences can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
How to Write Copy That Gets People Clicking on Your Ads
Once you’ve chosen your display ad campaign’s goals and visuals, you’ll need to consider the copy itself. Below are some pointers to help you out.
Understand Your Audience
When you create ad copy, it’s crucial that you understand your audience. How they speak is especially important—tone and style matter. If you’re struggling to write copy that resonates with your audience, consider outsourcing this part to someone from the same demographic.
Keep Your Copy Short
In each of our display ad examples, the copy is short and gets to the point. People won’t read lengthy ad texts online. Long paragraphs will turn them off.
You might find it helpful to write a few versions and A/B test them to see which works best.
Inject Some Humor
People love laughing, and humor is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to go a little left-field with your visuals and copy. The payoff is huge if you get it right. Just ensure that it feels authentic and acknowledges a common experience they’ll recognize.
Solve the Audience’s Problem
What’s in it for them? At the heart of all advertising, you need to ensure that you communicate how you will solve your audience’s problem. The reader must want what you are selling, so be sure to communicate your solution clearly and immediately.
How MarinOne Can Help
Display advertising is an excellent way to reach your target audience, and you can have a bit of fun planning your campaigns. The fight for online attention is fierce, but the rewards are big if you successfully portray yourself in the best possible light.
We hope you are inspired by some of the best display ads of 2022, and that our tips help you create the best ads possible. If you would like to improve your display advertising, MarinOne can help you identify opportunities and optimize your campaigns across Amazon DSP, Yahoo! DSP, and Criteo Marketing Solutions
Schedule a demo with one of our display advertising experts to find out how a display-driven strategy can innovate your marketing strategy.
Digital display ad spending is on the rise, steadily increasing each year, with some estimates for programmatic digital display spend in the US over $115 billion by the end of 2022.
So why is display advertising growing so quickly? The answer is, in part, due to increased device usage (mobile, tablet, and laptop) in the last two years as consumers stayed home during the pandemic.
But, display advertising via Demand Side Platforms also provides some distinct advantages for marketers. A look at Yahoo! DSP, one of the premier providers of programmatic display advertising, gives some clear insights into the benefits of display advertising for brands (and consumers too).
First party data
Yahoo has a user base of over 800 million globally through their owned and operated properties, so brands can leverage these relationships to understand and reach their audiences. In addition, they draw on 200 billion daily data signals providing insights for data-driven decisions. That being said, Yahoo puts privacy and consumer choice first, creating a trusted environment for their users.
Mobile Ads: With the increase in mobile usage, Yahoo mobile ads are a must, and they are designed for vertical executions and to accommodate swiping, scrolling and screen rotation.
Video Ads: Yahoo delivers 2.7B monthly video views, making it easy for marketers to bring their brand story to life with interactive and shoppable formats.
Advanced TV: Yahoo’s unified DSP means brands have access to cross-screen TV placement providing incremental reach across linear and digital TV.
Audio Ads: Yahoo partners with the top music streaming platforms, and brands can also integrate into Yahoo owned and operated podcasts from TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports and more.
Other formats: Rounding out Yahoo’s omni-channel portfolio, Yahoo! DSP also provides access to solutions including digital out-of-home, brand integrations, and even immersive formats, like interactive video and AR-enabled ads, to make your ads innovate and your message resonate.
Exclusive and comprehensive inventory
Yahoo! DSP gives advertisers the advantage of exclusive omnichannel inventory from Yahoo Media properties like: Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, engadget, and TechCrunch.
Yahoo also has an extensive network of premium 3rd party connections delivering a wide range of touch points and consumer interests.
By reaching customers in the right environments, brands can unleash their advertising potential and build quality connections at scale.
MarinOne + Yahoo! DSP
Now that you know all the reasons Yahoo! DSP is such an effective marketing channel, let’s look at how MarinOne’s Yahoo! DSP integration can supercharge your Yahoo campaigns.
Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
MarinOne for Yahoo also seamlessly integrates with your first party data like CRM and analytics tools as well as BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio so you have information when and where you need it.
Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes saving you loads of time by not having to manually monitor your accounts.
MarinOne for Yahoo! DSP streamlines your workflows letting you adjust campaign status across multiple accounts and campaigns in just a few clicks.
The same goes for budgets: adjust your daily budgets across accounts and campaigns to easily manage your spend across your digital programs.
This is a guest post from Sophia Fen, Mobile Account Manager at 3Q Digital.
As a digital advertiser, you most likely spend the majority of your digital media dollars on Google and Facebook. It makes sense—eMarketer forecasts that together, the two tech giants will make up more than 46% of global digital ad spend this year.
However, once those platforms are set up and optimized, where do you go from there? What else should you test?
In the mobile app world, a next step and expansion opportunity is running on mobile ad networks and DSPs. These offer scale, additional inventory, and targeting capabilities to help take your campaigns to the next level.
What is a Mobile Ad Network?
A mobile ad network is a collection of multiple ad inventory sources (includes both in-app and mobile web inventory) that allows advertisers and agencies to reach broad audiences relatively easily through targeted buys.
What Is a DSP?
A DSP is a demand-side platform. This is where you can run real-time bidding (RTB) campaigns, accessing a large amount of inventory by plugging into multiple ad exchanges and ad networks.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Working with Mobile Ad Networks?
Large amounts of inventory
Wide variety of inventory types—inventory grows and changes daily
Usually an untapped growth channel for advertisers
Many ad networks will let you buy on a guaranteed cost per install (CPI) or cost per action (CPA)
Most ad networks have sophisticated machine learning algorithms that learn your campaign and objectives over time. They also maintain databases with millions of unique device profiles.
Often there is less transparency
Traffic volume can be sporadic, and pacing has to be adjusted frequently
There is a lot of fraud and distrust in the space. However, more advanced fraud protection tools and guaranteed pricing models are helping to mitigate that.
What Types of Ad Units Can You Run on Ad Networks?
Most ad networks run banners, interstitials, video, native, and offer walls. [Offer walls should be reserved for incentivized burst campaigns only, as the user is likely not highly qualified since they’re downloading the app to receive something in return (coins or points for a game, for example).]
How Is Targeting Done on Ad Networks?
Targeting capabilities vary between ad networks, but most have some type of algorithm that uses a variety of data points to determine valuable users and audiences. These data points can include types of apps installed on the user’s phone, how the user engages with their apps, demographic and behavioral information, and location data.
Once a campaign has a substantial amount of valuable converters, you can then generate lookalikes for targeting for scale. You can also target by category (e.g., serve ads for a financial advertiser in other finance apps) or whitelist based on inventory sources that have performed well for other advertisers in similar categories.
If you decide to test into the ad network space, make sure you’re asking the right questions to ensure you’re set up for success. The below checklist is a good starting point.
Checklist: Discuss/Ask about these items when evaluating an ad network:
Pricing models and minimums: Do they offer a fixed CPI model? Do you need a certain amount of spend to run a campaign?
Out clause terms: Usually these are 48 hours
Targeting and re-engagement capabilities
Operating system scale: Do they skew more heavily toward Android or iOS?
Geo-targeting capabilities: Can they target down to the zip code level?
Level of transparency: Will they share site/app level data and provide dashboard access?
Customer Support: Will you have a dedicated account manager?
Inventory overlap: Are they buying from other networks?
Types of ad unit: Do they run video, interstitial, banner, native etc.?
Type of inventory: Do they skew more toward in-app or mobile web?
Fraud: What are they doing proactively to combat fraud? What’s being done if fraudulent activity is detected? If you’re interested in learning more about mobile ad fraud in general and best practices for preventing it, take a look at this useful target="_blank">blog post.
How do you measure the impact of influence? More importantly, what’s the best way to measure such a fuzzy concept using an analytical approach?
As marketers have been complementing their bread-and-butter search advertising efforts by adding new tactics into the marketing mix—whether it’s social media native ads, rich media banners, mobile in-app interstitials, or desktop and mobile video ads—it’s increased the spotlight on the sticky issue of attributing conversions properly across different channels. It’s especially relevant for the aforementioned tactics, because none of them are particularly well suited for measuring via click-through conversions alone.
Measuring view-through conversions has quantifiable benefits on the bottom line
There are three powerful reasons for making a proper view-through attribution model a high priority:
View-through conversions are a better representation for upper- and middle-funnel performance than click-through conversions. Display ads are renowned for their epically terrible click-through rates. But rather than dismiss the medium as a poor performer, it’s important to understand that most display ads are typically served further up the conversion funnel to help move the customer closer towards making a decision. Measuring them on click-through conversions alone is akin to measuring search ads solely on how many customers it drives to the store. It’s important to use the right metric for the right situation.
Proper view-through attribution can lead to increased search lift. The positive impact of display and social advertising on search activity and conversions is undeniable. It’s been proven by a number of different studies over the past several years. Accordingly, if we understand the assistive impact of display and social on search, then it’s important to properly measure their impact in order to make the right investment across the different channels. If $1 spent on a Facebook ad leads to an extra $5 within the search channel, that’s something you’d definitely want to know.
Measuring view-through conversions improves optimization efforts. What if the very small percentage of people clicking on your display ads didn’t represent your very best customers? What if half the clicks on a mobile ad were from people with fat finger syndrome? And what if you optimized all your future spend on trying to acquire all these wrong types of people? Advertisers who optimize based on click-through conversions alone find themselves in this conundrum.
This is just the beginning. While view-through attribution doesn’t have to be complex (on the contrary, it’s actually quite straightforward to set up properly!), it does require an understanding of its business rationale and some of its limitations. To learn more about view-through attribution, including the two-step process for how you can set them up for maximum success, download the white paper or view the webinar archive.
To wrap things up, this article looks at the importance of having access to all of your data—not just the numbers a publisher wants you to see. Let freedom—and transparency—ring.
The Trouble with Too Little Data
When it comes to data visibility needs and desires, advertisers and agencies run the gamut—some are happy to pay on a CPC basis without knowing what CPM the vendor paid. Others are okay tracking to just a few KPIs. Still others want it all. What’s the best way to go?
The key to transparency is precision—whether you’re running a direct response or a brand campaign, having the right data measures the impact of either type of campaign, and allows you access to what you need to measure ROI.
So what do advertisers most often expect from their ad tech vendors and publishers? Our take is that list is long, but we’ll focus on the essential data you need to transform “unaware” to “X-ray vision.”
To gain greater intelligence about the effectiveness of your display campaigns and to better understand the customer journey and attribution, at minimum, you need access to:
Effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM): the effectiveness of a CPM campaign that takes earnings into account and gives you a comparable metric across buys
Assisted conversions and view-through metrics: measures the extent to which display ads influence subsequent site visits and sales—without a click—and avoids allocating value to ads that didn’t influence a visit or sale
Site-level reporting and performance by domain: whitelisting and blacklisting promotes better targeting and provides a way to measure site-level effectiveness
Bids: know what your partner’s bidding for each impression (win vs. bid rate), and the logic, math, and algorithms behind a bidding process
The lookback window used to calculate conversion credit: lets you understand the relationship of a consumer’s engagement during upper-funnel tactics to drive awareness and consideration (e.g., 30-day+ window) or lower-funnel tactics (e.g., a two-day window) to give proper attribution to the campaign that lead to the conversion
This level of transparency allows you to understand true ROI. It also lets you keep an eye on how your bids are managed, unlike black box vendors who don’t reveal a history of bid calculations or otherwise provide any idea of what—and how—you’re actually doing. With the black box model, it’s much harder/impossible for you to look into the data and understand what’s driving conversions or an algorithm. Conversely, being able to do this provides you with a high level of visibility into the effectiveness of your campaign.
Why All the Secrecy?
Despite industry calls for greater data transparencyon many levels, mum’s still the word from most vendors and publishers. Some players have their reasons—the main one being to maintain a competitive edge. Understandable. However, as more and more brands pound at the locked doors of black box vendors, it’ll become less to those vendors’ advantage to keep the secret sauce secret.
If a vendor is transparent about not being transparent, is that “transparent”? We say “no.” As vendors realize this, perhaps there’ll be some level of agreement that to survive in an increasingly tug-of-war environment, neutrality and openness are key.
That is, companies must heed the call to “show me the data.”
Transparency for Optimal Performance
In sum—the best way you can improve campaign performance is to know exactly how bidding, reporting, and attribution are all working independently and in concert. Once you have this level of data and insight, you’ll know exactly how your budgets are working for you (or not), and you can take active steps to enhance effectiveness. At that point, you’ll have a crystal-clear view of your marketing efforts—and your ROI—to give you the confidence, control, and independence you need to execute measurable marketing initiatives.
This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager at Boost Media.
The holiday season is here! To launch successful holiday display ad campaigns, marketers need to be thoughtful about the creative, the offer, and the timing. Here at five tips to catalyze your holiday display ads through the New Year.
1. Use holiday-specific imagery and creative
Spruce up your ad creative, landing page, and site navigation for the holidays to demonstrate to consumers that you’re excited about the gift-giving season. Incorporate reasonably agnostic holiday symbols such as wreaths, snowflakes, evergreen trees and candles into creative.
2. Get the timing right
40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping by Halloween, according to an NRD study. You likely already know this, but campaigns should launch as early as mid-October. So, if you haven’t launched yet, better late than never—now’s the time! Promoting your holiday campaigns early allows you to take advantage of the Thanksgiving rush, and spread awareness of your brand for Cyber Monday through Christmas and New Year.
3. Avoid creative fatigue
To keep your ads looking distinct and fresh, update your creative once or twice a month. Changes can be low effort, like tweaking old concepts with new colors, buttons, borders, or images.
4. Use last year’s data
According to a McKinsey study, campaigns that rely on data improve marketing ROI 15-20%. Look at last year’s holiday campaign and sales figures to determine what products were the most popular. What channels were display campaigns most successful on? The results will help you focus your efforts on the highest-performing channels and highest-converting customer bases.
5. Be clear with discounts
Create urgency with shoppers by stressing the importance of short-term sales during the holidays. Be clear about the expiration date for discount deals, coupons, and promotions.
Follow these tips and get ready for your most successful year yet. Have a joyous holiday season.
About the Author
Sarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.
About Boost Media
Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.
Holiday shopping’s in full swing. If you’re running retargeting campaigns, make sure they’re as prepared for the season as you are. Online sales are forecast to increase between seven and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.
We made your list, so check it twice, and take these steps to boost campaign performance during the holiday season.
Increase your budgets to win more impressions
You’re likely going to see a boost in site traffic (especially if you sell anything that can be given as a gift), which means you’ll see a boost in impressions served and in advertising funds spent. Make sure your campaigns have a proper budget set to guarantee you have enough ad money available for the day, so that you don’t miss out on these potential new customers.
We recommend a 25 to 50% budget increase for the holidays, but you know your site traffic best. Whatever percentage of traffic increase you’re expecting, boost your budget about that same percentage.
Raise your campaign bids
Almost all advertisers will increase their spend for the holidays, so you’re going to have serious competition.
With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. To prepare for this surge, make sure you increase your CPM bids across your campaigns. Bidding higher will make your campaigns more competitive and will give you a better chance of serving more ads by winning more impressions. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.
Use holiday-themed ads and landing pages
Holiday-themed advertising only gets people’s attention during one time of the year, and you should join the conversation your customers are having. Using ads that mention specific events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any of the major holidays can grab a visitor’s attention.
Send a happy holiday message, mention that there are only X number of shopping days left, and give them a reason to click your ads. Use the holidays as a chance to create urgency and you could see a boost in clicks and conversions.
Two Quick Steps You Can Take Right Now
Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages.
Run campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for seasonal deals, they’re more likely to respond to holiday-themed ads.
We hope these suggestions are helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.
Digital advertisers are worried about ad viewability. How worried are they? According to a survey that Mixpo conducted this year, 69% of them are “extremely concerned” or “very concerned.” That’s the bad.
As we mentioned in our post on programmatic buying transparency, the environmental transparency of an ad is as important as the campaign’s message or who’s being targeted. By “environmental,” we mean viewability, ad fraud, and brand safety.
We also stated that there’s no consensus on how viewability is even defined or how to determine the tradeoffs between measurement, accuracy, and associated costs.
Still, the debate continues. As viewability becomes a greater concern for digital advertisers and vital to the success of their campaigns, solutions and standards continue to be defined and refined. In this article, we look at guidelines, outline what to consider, and recommend a few tips for ensuring your ads are viewable.
Current Verdicts: What Determines if an Ad is “Viewable”?
The Media Rating Council (MRC) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) basically define viewability as who sees your ad, how much was seen, how long they saw it, and where the ad showed up. Further, the IAB states that viewability “is not about ad effectiveness nor ad engagement. It is simply the delivery of ads that render on the screen. In other words, the opportunity to be seen.”
What does that mean?
Specifically (according to MRC and IAB guidelines), a display ad is viewable if 50% or more of its pixels appear on-screen for at least one continuous second. On the other hand, GroupM believes 100% of pixels need to be in view for at least one second. Like GroupM, other large holding companies also have their own standards.
The reasons for these discrepancies often lie in creative technologies. For instance, moving from Flash to HTML5 can slow down page loads, making verification pixels time out, which can then prevent accurate measurement. And, according to the MRC, bandwidth and network speeds make load times even worse for mobile ads.
The various viewability definitions are a way to get around these speed bumps, allowing for a departure point to effectively measure viewable versus unviewable ads. Meaning, there are standards, but they depend on the governing body or other constituents determining the guidelines.
What About Brand Safety?
Brand safety is easier to define, but it’s just as important in ensuring your brand is creating a positive user experience and maintaining your brand image. Simply put, your brand is safe not only if your ads are showing up in the right context, but also when the right ads appear on your website. For instance, if not-quite-safe-for-work ads suddenly appear on your site, your brand image will likely suffer, causing buyer-seller trust to erode.
Once again, the IAB and its standards can help. Its Content Taxonomy identifies when companies are brand-safe based on a two-tier system:
Certified by an independent third party
Third-party certification providers offer a list of DSPs that filter bought inventory according to IAB’s taxonomy. In this way, programmatic guidelines and technologies can be established, automated to safeguard against risky ads and hazardous placements.
The Difference Between Viewability and Fraud
Remember there’s a difference between viewability and fraud. Integral Ad Science (IAS) defines ad fraud as “the deliberate practice of attempting to serve ads that have no potential to be viewed by a human user.” However, a positive trend that IAS reported reveals that overall programmatic ad fraud dipped by 20.9% between Q4 2015 and Q1 2016. Still, the U.S. has the worst rate of ad fraud when compared to Australia, France, Germany, and the U.K., the countries the IAS profiled.
This is part of why digital marketers in the U.S. are so worried.
Something to note, however, is that the same study showed that viewability is actually up, presumably because publishers and other players in the industry increasingly have stopped getting paid for inventory that’s fraudulent—so they’re more motivated to increase viewability and reduce fraud. An article in the Journal of Advertising Research, however, states that global advertisers are expected to waste roughly seven billion dollars in 2016 on unviewable ads. Whether the forecast is sunny or gloomy, all sides are working harder to reduce fraud and increase viewability.
Why is there as much fraud as there is? In a word—bots. Specifically, bots that mask as a user and click fraudulent ads, making it seem like your website’s getting more clicks and click-throughs than it actually is.
Marketers are right to be concerned. They must continue to be vigilant about and aware of both unviewable ads and bots’ calculated attempts to muddy the ad pool. To make matters (and your measurement efforts) worse, bots don’t use ad blocking software like humans do. So, if you’re trying to measure campaign effectiveness through the average ad blocking rate and optimize accordingly, you have your work cut out for you.
Why Is Viewability So Important, Anyway?
It’s obvious that you’d like people to actually see your ads. And, you’re no doubt interested in measuring the effectiveness of these ads and adjusting as needed.
A third angle to take into account—many new vendors are trying to monetize viewability, assigning costs to only those impressions that are viewable. Here, however, there’s a tradeoff between the page actually loading, the time it takes, and how these measurements will or should affect cost.
For brand awareness and to know your true cost of doing business, viewability is essential. As we mentioned in our post on the programmatic supply chain, if your impressions aren’t viewable, you should get a credit toward them. We’ll add here—if your impressions aren’t viewable, not only did a tree fall in the forest and no one heard it, no one has any idea what the tree looks like. So much for lifting your brand awareness.
Who Measures Viewability, and How?
First off, as far as measurement goes, who should bear the burden of proof? Publishers, vendors, and agencies are working together to measure and combat viewability issues. Each of these entities, however, has a unique motivation for ensuring viewability is maintained and measured:
Publishers: want to optimize yield and inventory management and ensure a positive user experience
Vendors: want to increase brand awareness, leads, clicks, CTR, and ROI
Agencies: want to increase viewable impressions and customer satisfaction
As mentioned earlier, there are issues gleaning accurate viewability metrics—such as latency and the creative technologies that cause it. Third-party measurement vendors can also be problematic, since they use tracking pixels that can, ironically, result in longer page loads and add to the murkiness of precise measurement.
The answer lies in adopting standards to level the playing field. In its Primer for Publishers on Improving Ad Viewability, IAB recommends that publishers establish performance benchmarks, and have a remediation plan in place to determine what happens should an ad placement miss the benchmark by more than 10%.
The landscape’s not perfect, but the outlook’s positive. That’s the good.
The Cost of Being Seen
What factors go into determining the cost of viewability? Viewability tracking, brand safety tracking, and brand lift studies are paid by either side in an effort to run cleaner campaigns. Ad verification and brand safety tools also come with a cost, and have their own issues, but they go a long way in creating environmental transparency. These all play a role in ensuring ads get seen, but marketers must determine how these weigh against their budget and how much are overkill.
What about the costs of the future? Will all ad formats be bought on a viewable impression basis, i.e., vCPM? Time will tell.
Tips for Making Sure Your Ads are Viewable
Now that we’ve gone over definitions, standards, and budgeting considerations, here are best practices you can use to combat viewability issues and maximize the likelihood of your ads getting seen:
Share information: As quality/ad fraud companies continue to work with the MRC, IAB, and other groups to develop standards, advertisers and publishers should rally around recommended guidelines, so that standardization can lead to equity and visibility.
Experiment: Bring on one vendor at a time, make sure they’re MRC-accredited, and measure the results.
Have frank discussions with verification partners. Ask them how they measure viewability or what they’re doing to control for fraud.
If you’re a publisher: Work out any discrepancies with your advertising partners. Make sure there’s agreement between what each side says about what was viewable and what wasn't.
If you’re a vendor: Regularly check your tags in order to determine whether an ad was in view or not. Note, however, that doing this chews up data and power—be careful not to degrade the user experience for the sake of viewability measurement.
Better Ad Viewability Is on the Horizon
If the virtual nail-biting is any indication, viewability will continue to occupy its high-anxiety, top-of-mind position until the major issues get smoothed over. Take heed, though, that help is not only on the way—the conversation has expanded to video and audio. In the long run, continued standardization will result in better guidelines and (more) common practices.
In the meantime, remember the tradeoffs between viewability, practicality, and the costs of measurement. Do what’s appropriate for your business and budget, with the understanding that better days await you.
Between the distant frenzy of the Q4 shopping season and the rising calm of midyear, Q2 tends to be the quietest quarter. However, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. Among other things we found in our research, mobile display played a larger role this Q2—but overall, the ubiquitous move to mobile is actually slowing down. And, tablet usage continues to drop.
To create our quarterly benchmark reports, we sample the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform. We analyze data from around the world to create our report. For Q2 2016, key findings include:
The move to mobile is slowing down. Across search and social, the shift away from desktop has been slowing for the last two quarters. Device share is decelerating and seems to be approaching a stability point. Display is the only channel that’s still seeing strong shifts toward mobile over the past quarter for both advertisers and users.
Smartphone and desktop are the devices of choice. The tablet revolution never took off and continues to shrink. Instead, it was co-opted by its sibling device, the smartphone. For the foreseeable future, smartphone and desktop are the two largest winners.
Advertisers should continue to prioritize cross-channel, cross-device targeting. In order for advertisers to employ a robust cross-channel, cross-device marketing approach, they should continue to learn the strengths and weaknesses of these channels and devices.
Last year, we forecast that 30% of all retail paid-search spend would be on a shopping ad, and 45% of all product ad clicks would be on a smartphone—and smartphone click growth ended up being even stronger than we predicted. Looking forward, where do we see shopping ads this holiday season?
We took a look at month-over-month variations and factored in seasonal shifts in performance to forecast where we’ll be by December 2016:
40% of all shopping ad dollars will be on a smartphone
37% of paid search clicks will be on a shopping ad
Social clicks and spend share should flatten out over the year and remain at current levels
For more results sampled from the Marin Global Online Advertising Index—composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform—read The State of Shopping Ads: 2016 Cross-Channel Marketing Report. With data charts on mobile, social, text versus product ads, and strategy recommendations for the 2016 holiday season, be sure to download your copy today so that you’re prepared for the Q4 rush.
You’re in a relay race and this is what you have to do—run with a bucket of water to your next team member, without spilling any of the water. The next player does the same, and so on, until the last player finishes the race.
The object of the contest is to not only preserve as much water as possible, but also to know exactly how much water you lost throughout the course of the game. Oh, and another thing—the buckets are different sizes, you’re playing at night, and you’re blindfolded, and so are your team members. And, you’re playing against a lot of other teams.
We call this race “the programmatic supply chain.”
The Role of Programmatic Intermediaries
As we mentioned in our first post in this series on programmatic transparency, the programmatic supply chain is made up of intermediaries that may or may not disclose their pricing model. We also mentioned that a recent ANA/Forrester study revealed that55 percent of marketers are concerned with the opaqueness of the intermediaries along the supply chain. This is up from 21 percent just two years ago.
Like our shot-in-the-dark relay race, advertisers often have to settle for hidden bid prices, secret media value, and even kickbacks. What if the increased concern was translated into clear, actual dollars? How do you get bottom-line clarity? If you haven’t asked your programmatic partners what they’re charging you, now’s the time.
Let’s look at the intermediaries, then assess the average take rates of each one.
Anatomy of the Supply Chain
Here’s roughly how the typical supply chain flows. Note that there’s lots of bi-directionality, and the model changes dramatically depending on the services included.
Ad serving (advertiser side, publisher side)
Exchanges and ad networks
Managed services fees through an agency or media buying partner (or lower fees if you’re accessing a SaaS platform)
We’ve estimated it would take you one to two hours to determine what you pay each of your supply chain intermediaries using IAB’s programmatic calculator. And, that’s if you already know what you’re spending with each partner.
Although it’s challenging to pin down exact cost amounts for each intermediary in the supply chain, it’s not impossible. Knowing the average take rates and ranges allows you to establish benchmarks you can use as a guide. We strongly recommend taking the time to measure what you really spend so you can improve your bottom line. (Click the image to enlarge it.)
Fine-Tuning the Fees
The various cost models you might encounter will alter your numbers, so here are some additional aspects to consider as you complete your appraisal.
CPM-based fees: Before you buy any media, make sure you understand the nature of any fixed fees charged for a thousand ad impressions. How are the fees determined?
Percent of media fees: If you’re working with an ad agency, ask them for access to their spending model. Find out how your money’s being allocated.
Flat fees: Figure in any fixed costs exchanges collect from you.
Arbitrage: After purchasing media, some agencies mark up the cost before they sell it back to you. If you’re working with an agency, make sure it discloses this amount.
Viewability: If any of your impressions aren’t viewable, you should get a credit toward those wasted impressions.
Gaining Clarity in Your Cost Model—ROAS to ROI
Digital marketers, and agencies that support them, are on chronic overwhelm with the choices of platforms, programs, vendors, and the consistent pressure to improve return on ad spend (ROAS). But with deeper understanding of the supply chain and an increasing availability of advanced attribution and offline measurement, closing the loop on profitability is a worthy and attainable goal.
True ROI is within reach, so long as media agencies and ad tech vendors evolve to become more transparent and focused on driving business performance, not just advertising performance.
We hope these tips make it easier to achieve greater transparency in your specific programmatic supply chain, and that the path becomes more of an easy route planner than a blind relay race.
Shoppers are already prepping their lists for the holidays, and retail advertisers are close behind, on the mobile-focused, ad spend case. If smartphones were big-box retail destinations, they’d be the new “mad rush” of holiday sales.
Thankfully, when shoppers are looking for deals and information, they can now easily turn to their mobile devices.
Sampling the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, we analyzed data from around the world to create our 2016 Cross-Channel Marketing Report. Our research uncovered some surprising things about what to expect for social advertising this 2016 shopping season.
Advertisers are investing big on smartphones and tablets: During Q1 2016, social ad spend on mobile devices represented 90% of ad spend.
Shoppers love social ads on mobile: Those ads were popular, with 95% of all clicks happening on social by way of a mobile device during the same time period.
This bodes quite well for Q4 2016: Social clicks and spend share should flatten out over the year and remain at current levels.
Facebook offers several great options for retargeting, allowing you to segment and remarket to people who’ve engaged with your product. These tools include:
Website Custom Audiences
Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)
These features let you granularly segment your audiences, ensuring you’re targeting users with the right messaging and products.
Adding Search Intent to the Mix
What happens when search teams up with social? Combining search intent with Facebook retargeting allows you to segment and target users on Facebook, based on the search ads that drove them to your website.
How can you fit this tactic into your overall retargeting strategy, and how is it beneficial to your campaigns?
Let’s tackle that last question first.
It provides clear intent.
Since search is an intent-oriented channel, you can retarget users based on what they’re looking for. With this knowledge, you can drive them to a conversion by offering them exactly what they want.
It increases audience quality.
Once you know your audience’s intent, you can align this information with your goals to create high-value user segments, then target accordingly. This affords you the opportunity to target larger audiences using lookalikes, then scale even further from there. No matter the size of the audience, using precise, tailored segments ensures the highest audience quality.
And, if your goals change and you no longer want to target a specific audience, you can always exclude it from your campaigns.
It improves your optimization strategy.
Search intent allows you to adapt creative elements on Facebook—by knowing what the user wants, you can show more appealing images and messaging to increase CTR. You can also apply tiered bidding and budget, concentrating on higher-value audiences.
How to Incorporate It
There are an infinite numbers of ways you can segment audiences based on your overall strategy and goals, or even for a particular event. Here are a few use cases.
A TV Campaign
A large brand is planning to launch a massive TV campaign, and wants to engage with people, via search and social, who possibly saw its TV ad. Since users are most likely to search for the brand after seeing the ad, the brand splits its search campaigns into brand and generic segments. This way, the brand can understand its audience and target them with specific messaging, across channels.
An Ecommerce Site
An ecommerce site is trying to attract users based on search criteria for its fashion styles. It tags the keywords romantic and classic to reach those users on Facebook, showing them relevant content. The site complements this tactic with its Facebook DPA campaigns.
A direct advertiser is looking to improve its social optimization strategy based on search activity. It segments search campaigns according to users who search for high ROI and low ROI keywords, allowing it to target those users on Facebook, and adjusting bids and budgets accordingly.
A travel website wants to lower CPAs for search and social channels. It creates a 100% bid RLSA group for very expensive but high volume keywords, tags the users who’ve clicked these keywords, and excludes them from repeated searches. To achieve lower costs, the website targets those users in social.
How do you get your product feed in front of as many eyes as possible? Are you using Facebook Dynamic Product Ads? Just Google Shopping? Do you have an effective social prospecting strategy? Do you know how to get your product ads in front of people who’ve never seen them before?
If your answer to any of these questions is “meh,” then this blog post is for you.
How to Get More People to See Your Product Feed
There are two ways to get your products in front of potential customers on the web today:
Paid placement (cost-per-click)
Marketplace (revenue share)
If you're a retailer, it's in your best interest to blast your product feed far and wide to make sure your product is available whether a potential customer is searching for it on Google or Amazon, or browsing the Yahoo News feed. Heck, maybe they just need a reminder that they didn’t complete their purchase of those cute red pumps.
The obvious next question is—how do I ensure my product is reaching all my potential customers across the many channels and publishers on the web? Full-blown shopping capabilities allow you to get your products in front of millions of customers through all the major paid avenues—and all the leading marketplaces like Amazon and eBay—from a single product feed. This is the easiest way to execute a true “omni-channel shopping campaign.” (Request a demo to find out how we can help you do this.)
Facebook DPA: The Value Proposition
Facebook Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) help you promote relevant products to shoppers browsing your product catalog. Once they’ve visited your website or mobile application, you can retarget them on Facebook with the specific products they showed interest in, dynamically displayed with information from your product feed (price, name, in stock or not, etc.).
There are several great things you can do with DPA:
Upsell or cross-sell campaigns to increase the chances of selling complimentary, relevant products to your customers.
Show your products to people who haven’t seen them.
Reach audiences no matter what channel, publisher, or device they’re on.
Here’s how this works.
Upsell and Cross-sell
Suppose a shopper buys a pair of designer shoes online, and then they see an ad for handbags from the same designer. By showing products related to what a customer orders, you increase your average order value and customer lifetime value. Upsell and cross-sell campaigns automatically extend the reach of your campaigns, and increase the chances of selling relevant incremental products.
With a prospecting campaign, you can offer products from your catalog to new audiences most likely to use your products (by way of a Facebook algorithm or dynamic ads across the web). This feature is meant to give you an optimal workflow—one that allows you to bulk-edit ads and duplicate DPA campaigns for retargeting, upsell, or cross-sell, all in one function.
So, for example, instead of having four separate campaigns and workflows, you can create just one workflow that handles everything you would’ve included in those disparate campaigns.
A small number of Facebook partners (including Marin) can edit product sets, add URL tags, choose creative templates, and see full previews as you make selections. These features have excellent workflow capabilities, so they deliver both fantastic targeting and ease of use. Contact us to learn more.
Having shopping campaigns on both Google and Facebook catapults the power and performance of your product feed. Do you have the time and resources, though, to manage your shopping campaigns on two different platforms?
If you do, you should definitely include your product feed on both channels to extend your reach. If you don’t, Marin’s Smart Sync for Shopping feature automatically clones and syncs your shopping campaigns from Google to Facebook, eliminating the need for lengthy IT support. With Marin Display, you can use your same product feed to run prospecting campaigns to those outside Google and Facebook.
About Those Omni-Channel Campaigns....
Even more powerful than Google Shopping or Facebook DPA alone, omni-channel distribution allows you to advertise across a wide array of channels and publishers—native, search, social, eBay, Amazon shopping...the list of both paid and non-paid platforms goes on.
To wring every last drop of value from your product feed, you should showcase it through as many online venues as you can. You should also make sure you’re constantly optimizing your feed for the greatest possible returns.
A Word on Cross-Channel Advertising
Retailers who combine all of the above functionality with display retargeting can boast of having a full cross-channel solution, one that automatically puts in overtime to expand your reach and boost revenue. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all channels, and heighten your brand effectiveness in time for back-to-school and the Q4 holiday season.
Digital advertising is a fast-evolving organism. For retailers, this means constantly looking for new ways to meet and exceed business goals. Promoting your product catalog across channels is a powerful way to upsell existing customers and for finding new ones. To learn more about how Marin can help, request a demo.
Global mobile trends all point to the same conclusion – operating in channel-specific silos no longer works, and now’s the time for marketers to implement a strong cross-channel marketing strategy.
If you subscribe to this blog (and if you don’t, see that second little box on the right), you already know we’ve been evangelizing the message of “cross-device, cross-channel.” There’s a good reason for that.
Data Are Fundamental to Consumer Engagement
As we approach the halfway point of 2016, it’s more important than ever that marketers not only use data to understand customer behavior, but also to act on that behavior to deliver engaging, personalized experiences.
On May 25, Nitin Rabadia – our Director of Audience Marketing EMEA, APAC – will explain how to use data to win the online battle for attention and revenue. Gleaning insights from our 2016 Global Mobile Report (available with webinar registration), Nitin will field your questions and discuss:
How consumer behavior is affecting desktop and mobile spend
Recommendations for optimizing advertising across channels
Tactics to take advantage of customer signals
How to improve budgeting, bidding, and targeting decisions with full transparency
When we looked at performance marketing data from the first quarter of 2016, one thing became clear: cross-channel, cross-device targeting remains the most powerful differentiator for profitable marketing strategies.
To create our quarterly benchmark reports, we sample the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform. We analyze data from around the world to create our report. For Q1 2016, key findings include:
All mobile, all the time. Advertisers and consumers are continuing to shift towards a more mobile ecosystem.
Cross-channel and cross device remain important. It’s important for marketers to adopt and maintain a more holistic and complete approach to digital marketing that targets across all channels and devices.
Every channel has its strengths and weaknesses. Not only should marketers become adept at recognizing each channel’s weaknesses, but even more importantly, they should start using all three channels and devices to their best strengths.
Mother’s Day is almost here! With flowers, cards, and family visits close at hand, many brick and mortar retailers are gearing up for the shopping spike. The season of maternal appreciation extends to online retailers, who are also gussying up their search, social, and display campaigns to attract consumers around the world.
How did online retailers do in 2015, and what to expect this year?
Mother’s Day 2015 – Clicks, Spend, and Conversions
In the week leading up to Mother’s Day 2015 (May 10th), clicks increased an average of 15% across retailers as click-through rates rose 6%. In addition, spend increased 9% during the same time period, peaking a few days before Mother’s Day.
Most notably, conversions saw a bump of 12%, peaking on the 5th at 18% above the monthly average. This noticeable bump for all retailers was more pronounced among those specialty retailers that Mother’s Day particularly impacts.
CPCs actually dropped slightly during this period, except for two days where they spiked, the 4th and 5th. The 5th proved to be a particularly important day for consumers and advertisers, showing abnormal surges along all metrics.
Perhaps consumers took account delivery times and the looming holiday date into account, giving themselves a few buffer days in case of delays in delivery and arrival.
These numbers dropped dramatically on Mother’s Day itself, and returned slowly to roughly average afterwards. Click-through rates remained elevated for Mother’s Day and a few days afterwards before returning to seasonal norms.
Recommendations for 2016
For retailers looking to maximize their Mother’s Day sales, here are a few key takeaways:
Start campaigns at least a week before Mother’s Day to capture the online shopping market, especially those looking to have a gift arrive in time for the occasion.
In particular, focus attention on five or six days beforehand, as this is when consumer interest peaked last year.
Expect similar trends to 2015, as people power down for the actual day to celebrate a mom!
This is the first in a series of posts on transparency. In today’s post, we lay out the many ways transparency is elusive in digital marketing today. We also include some best practices for stamping out the fuzziness prevalent in the programmatic landscape.
Most marketers will admit transparency in media buys sounds like a good idea. So why don’t we have it all the time? Inertia, circumstances, or legacy business practices are the usual culprits. Knowing about the types of programmatic transparency is a good place to start.
The Problem with Buyer/Seller Blindness
You may have read about the recent survey on programmatic buying by Forrester and the ANA. Although we know intermediaries carve up a media dollar along the ad delivery path, a surprising 33 percent of survey respondents in this study have turned a blind eye while knowingly opting into an undisclosed programmatic model.
Not knowing the true value of your media obscures your true ROI. This buyer/seller blindness stands in the way of programmatic growth and success.
Let's dive in and take a look at the three types of transparency: intermediaries, environmental, and data.
1. Intermediaries: What is the True Cost of the Programmatic Supply Chain?
According to the ANA/Forrester study, 55 percent of marketers are concerned with the opaqueness of the intermediaries along the supply chain, up from 21 percent two years ago. No advertiser is immune to the supply chain realities, but seeing how the budget is allocated should be as natural as homebuyers scrutinizing loan origination fees from their mortgage broker.
There is a host of intermediaries in today’s programmatic supply chain including:
Data / Targeting
Ad serving (advertiser side, publisher side)
Managed services fees through an agency or media buying partner
Not surprisingly, there are also several cost models:
Percent of media fees
The advertiser pays most of the fees, while in some cases the publisher, or both the advertiser and publisher, pay them.
It’s common to have an agent buy media on the advertiser’s behalf, only revealing the final price of a campaign, total margin, and fees. Just as common is the masking of the closing or winning bid prices. Yet this transparency in bidding is precisely what’s needed for optimization. This practice is especially prevalent among black box vendors, as is straight-ahead arbitrage. Without transparent insights into what improves targeting and conversion, marketers are flying blind.
So, what’s the average take rate of each partner? It varies of course, depending mostly on targeting strategies and pricing/profit models. But asking your supply chain partners exactly what they’re charging you is the first step in achieving total transparency.
2. Environmental: Ad Viewability to Detect Fraudulent or Unviewable Inventory
Certainly one of the hottest issues in ad tech today, environmental transparency of an ad is as important as the campaign’s message or who’s being targeted. There are more mysteries than answers focused on who sees your ad, how much was seen, how long they see it, and where the ad showed up, but help is on the way.
In the early days of RTB, fraudulent or unviewable inventory was a common problem. Although challenges remain, there is an increasing number of new tools available for advertisers, publishers, and ad servers to detect bot fraud, fraudulent inventory, or unviewable ads.
Still, there’s no consensus on how viewability is defined. Standard bodies like the IAB and MRC are driving clarity on this issue. Many new vendors are trying to monetize viewability. Large holding companies have their own standards as well.
Advertisers are increasingly demanding that publishers bear the burden of proof by complying with imposed measurement of viewability-centric campaigns. Viewability-tracking fees, brand safety-tracking fees, and brand lift study fees are paid by either side in an effort to run cleaner campaigns. Although far from being solved, the use of ad verification and brand safety tools goes a long way in solving environmental transparency.
3. Data: Data Transparency = True ROI
It seems logical that any data used in an ad campaign that you paid for would be accessible to you. But that isn’t always the case. Publishers could block the intent data or other data sets you would normally have access to with more transparent partners.
You may prefer to pay a black box provider because your only KPI is sales - this can work for some who don’t insist on understanding their true ROI. However, for data-driven marketing to work, seeing all your data for future learnings or to calculate your true ROI is essential.
Irresistible pricing models are as tempting as a timeshare in Tahiti. We get that. But regardless of whether you use a DSP or publisher tools for your programmatic buys, the more you know, the more you can improve outcomes - that is, if you want to know exactly how to improve outcomes rather than relying on your black box vendor to give you numbers devoid of margins or analysis.
Data are collected at every turn, every segment of the customer journey. CPC, CTR, and impressions are table stakes. For more intelligence, you need the eCPM and in-view impressions. Getting site-level reporting helps you blacklist/whitelist and improve targeting.
If you’re striving to get to your true ROI, knowing how the data points were calculated is certainly also part of the equation. Since we’re talking numbers, understanding the logic, math, and algorithms behind a bidding process is another must-have.
Guidelines for Getting Clarity on Transparency
You should be able to decide exactly what success looks like for your brand. This means choosing your own KPIs, publishers, and the data you want to bring, buy, optimize, or analyze. Here are some best practices for how to bring more transparency to your programmatic initiatives.
Insist on seeing the media cost on an impression-by-impression basis, as well as breakouts of all other costs contributing to the total price.
Pick the exact sites, formats, devices, and audiences you want.
Utilize business rules within your RTB programmatic buys and with your brand safety to ensure a URL is present or that it matches where your ad eventually runs - if you can’t prove your URL, your programmatic partner shouldn’t bid on the impression.
Request detailed campaign guidelines from your agency or DSP.
Use third-party verification tools to detect bot traffic and sourced traffic, as both of these contribute to fraud.
Evaluate and utilize tools from new fraud and viewability measurement partners.
Assign in-house team members to focus on media by having them dig into agency and tech partner contracts to determine fraud and viewability practices.
Continuing its ascent into the status of omnipresent being, global smartphone adoption reached an all-time high last year and shows no signs of slowing down. Thanks to this rapid expansion of smartphone usage around the world, advertisers now have an opportunity to reach consumers even more easily.
We sampled the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, to analyze data from around the world to create our latest annual benchmark report.
We uncovered three key findings:
Clicks and spend have gone mobile. In 2015, mobile devices represented the majority of consumer online usage for the first time. Consumers are now spending more time and attention on mobile devices than desktop – as a result, advertisers have been shifting spend away from desktop towards smartphones and tablets to catch consumer attention and generate clicks. We predict this trend will continue.
Desktop is becoming more like mobile. As the mobile format gains traction with consumers and advertisers, publishers are innovating. While mobile ad formats formerly took cues from desktop, publishers are now swapping the formula, making desktop ad formats and pages more similar to mobile.
Mobile conversion is gaining traction. Desktops are still the primary conversion-driving device; however, within the past year, conversion rates have been growing on mobile devices. While mobile devices have historically been used for product research or upper-funnel activities, this is changing, as better mobile attribution and ad formats are released. Expect this trend to continue.
General conversion metrics about your visitors only tell part of the story. In reality, there are many steps a visitor might have taken before converting on your site. How do you measure the value of your upper-funnel prospecting campaigns, and determine whether they’re providing incremental benefit and driving last-touch attribution and conversion?
What Are Assisted Conversions?
Assisted conversions help give you better insight for how other campaigns may have contributed to your final conversion. This insight is important, since it helps you make better decisions on your campaigns and immediately illustrates the value of your top-of-funnel marketing efforts.
How It Works
Suppose you’re running a campaign where you’re targeting people who visited your website. You have another campaign that targets people who looked at a specific product page on your website, a much more focused group. You’re probably measuring how well you’re targeting website visitors, but you may not be crediting this campaign with any conversions that come from your product page.
In other words, your website targeting campaign alone looks like it’s not providing any value, although it’s pushing customers along the funnel.
Here’s another example: Suppose your visitor sees or clicks a Facebook News Feed ad, and then clicks a web ad to convert. With general standard conversion metrics, the web ad gets the credit for the final conversion. But, in this scenario, your Facebook News Feed ad should get an assisted conversion credit, since it contributed to the “slam dunk,” as it were.
“It makes my job a lot easier, and now I don’t have to spend all day combing through spreadsheet after spreadsheet, trying to figure out where a booking value came from because it’s nowhere in my system.” – Kevin High / Digital Marketing Manager, IBC Hotels
IBC Hotels had a retargeting problem. Not only were they unable to easily attribute conversions – they were having a hard time even implementing their existing solution’s dynamic tracking code, and considered their vendor’s service team “unknowledgeable and nonexistent.”
IBC Hotels prides itself in introducing travelers to unique, locally owned hotels all over the world. Since IBC makes commission on each acquired booking, it’s crucial for them to accurately attribute the source of their conversions and revenue.
If they were going to lower cost and increase ROI, they needed a platform that would make their jobs easier, not more burdensome and clunky.
Enter Marin Display
IBC implemented Marin Display – with its Site Tracking Tag – to build audiences for retargeting across channels and devices. IBC found Marin Display’s tracking solution worked flawlessly and was easier to implement than their previous retargeting solution.
The Site Tracking Tag allowed IBC to automatically collect important information such as order ID and revenue, and to easily attribute conversions. IBC could then effortlessly access this data and export it.
From here, they were able to optimize their retargeting funnel, attribute conversions accurately back to their own internal reporting, and ultimately lower CPM and improve ROI.
With the steady rise in remarketing as a digital advertising strategy, audience segmentation and activation has become a key tactic for digital marketers. What are some things that display advertisers should take into account when defining and streamlining their strategy?
Understanding Audience Segmentation
Audience segmentation can be defined as a process of dividing people into homogeneous subgroups based on defined criteria such as product usage, demographics, psychographics, communication behaviours, and media use. Audience segmentation is now a major tool advertisers can use to tailor messages, improve targeting accuracy, and drive performance.
Defining the Strategy
For display remarketing, a sound audience strategy is the foundation for a successful campaign, and has three elements:
A meaningful audience segmentation approach
A clear feedback loop to validate this approach
The ability to activate the segmented audience
To create a truly meaningful audience segmentation strategy, advertisers need flexibility in the tools they use to segment their audience. Segmentation methods also offer increased flexibility in what an advertiser can count as a user conversion, creating an extra dimension to audience creation.
Streamlining the Strategy
Let’s explore four key segmentation methods that allow advisers to go beyond path-based segmentation or a one-size-fits-all remarketing vendor approach.
Query string is part of a URL that contains data that doesn’t fit conveniently into a hierarchical path structure. The query string commonly includes fields added to a base URL by a web browser or other application. This opens up a huge number of possibilities when it comes to audience segmentation. For example, here’s a query string generated after a user searched on a fictitious travel comparison website.
http://www.example.com/searchresults.html?checkin_monthday=13&&checkout_monthday=27& year_month= current -2&dest_id=United%20Kingdom& group_adults=2&group_children=2&no_rooms=1
Looking at this query string, we know the user is:
1. Looking for a two-week holiday from February 13to 27, 2016
For example, suppose a user filters to view products from high price to low. It’s normal for these users to have a higher average order value per product than a user who filters from low to high. This may affect not only the amount we’re willing to pay to acquire these users, but also the type of creative we want to show them and which publishers we might want to target.
Recency refers to how recently a user last left your website or app. Creating remarketing lists based on recency enables a range of remarketing tactics.
It’s common for conversion rates to be high when a user sees an ad in the first few minutes after they leave your website, so make sure you’re highly visible during this time. Recency segmentation also allows different creative, offers, or calls to action based on how long it’s been since someone last engaged with your website.
Recency also allows for interesting cross-sell tactics. Say a travel agent knows that certain users are most likely to purchase travel insurance 30 days after they’ve booked their flights. Advertisers could use recency targeting to show travel insurance ads around this time.
Regular expression (regex)
A regular expression is a special text string for describing a search pattern. This allows advertisers to set up complex audience lists, such as one that matches multiple web pages, query strings, or products. Regular expressions also allow you to set up complex conversions, for instance, ones that match multiple-goal pages.
Say for example you want to create a list for users that go to the Caribbean section of your website as long as the subdirectory is in the second position. You can’t use ends with, or starts with, or contains; however, you can create this list with a regular expression.
^ A caret in a regular expression forces the expression to match only strings that start exactly the same way your regular expression does.
.* The dot could match any letter or digit. The star right after it matches the ability of the dot to match any single character, and keep on going so that it ends up matching everything.
Combining segmentation methods allows you to create sophisticated audiences that matter. By combining numerous segmentation methods, you can create an almost endless number of audiences to activate through remarketing.
To run the most successful remarketing campaigns, advertisers need segmentation tools that allow them to slice their audience in an almost unlimited number of ways. Currently, the number of advertisers using simple, path-based audience segmentation or a remarketing vendor’s standard segmentation approach is surprising. With tools that create and activate a meaningful audience segmentation strategy, you can build the foundation of a truly successful remarketing campaign.
This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at 3Q Digital.
When building out a fully functional PPC account, it’s important to utilize remarketing lists in addition to your standard campaigns. Remarketing lists allow you to target individuals with ads that are already familiar with your brand because of a past interaction, generally an ad click leading to a visit.
These visitors are valuable because they’re usually further down the sales funnel. Remarketing is a great way to retain these past visitors, capture incremental volume, and shorten the gap between time of click and time of purchase.
If you’re advertising on a pay-per-click network (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.), you’ve more than likely utilized remarketing lists to improve account performance. You can also improve your remarketing lists, specifically your Google and Bing lists, by segmenting your audience based on time of last interaction.
Why Segment by Time?
There are a few benefits to segmenting your audience by time. The first is that it breaks apart a very large audience into multiple audiences of very manageable sizes. This then allows you to bid more or less aggressively depending on the audience.
For example, you may want to bid very aggressively to get an audience of users that last interacted with your website one to three days ago back to the website. You may not want to bid as high for the people that last touched the site 25-30 days ago.
Using this method, you can place a bid on each audience that’s most appropriate. However, be conscious of the size of the main audience you’re trying to split. This practice is usually a better fit for more general touchpoints that generate larger audience lists. It isn’t always the best to break apart a very small audience pool because at that point, the lists can become too small to employ.
How to Create Your Audiences
1. Create a new remarketing list
2. Select who to add to your list
Generally, I select page visitors. But there are options to select page visitors who did/did not visit another page, visitors of a page during specific dates, and visitors of a page with a specific tag.
If you’re more advanced, definitely utilize the custom combination option. I’ve used this capability to refine my segmented lists even further in the past and to block past converters from my lists.
3. Set the rule
Enter the page URL that you want to build your audience around.
4. Set the membership duration
Here’s where you can get creative. Go to the Tools drop down, then select Conversions and take a look at your attribution data. How long is the time lag from click to conversion? Use this information to set your membership duration for your audiences.
If you’re unsure, just use common sense to create reasonable durations. For this example, let’s assign the first audience a five-day membership duration.
After creating the first audience, repeat the process and extend the membership duration with each additional audience. Using the five-day example above as a starting reference, we can create three more audiences with membership durations of 10, 20, and 30 days.
In the end, instead of one very large audience, we have one broken up into chunks based on the account’s specific conversion history, which gives us more control over bidding and ultimately better performance. Using this method, we don’t bid the same amount for someone that last interacted with the website 30 days ago as a person who last interacted with the website one day ago. Try it out and see how it performs!