Online Marketing, Performance Marketing

Content Marketing to Continue Growing

Entering the fourth quarter of 2015, we can see that Content Marketing is indeed continuing to lead the herd, as predicted.

It has been around for some time now, and has made a powerful impact since day one – Mostly due to its cleverly subtle nature and its ability to go viral through social networking.

However, it has only recently been acknowledged as a truly essential and highly effective form of online marketing. With 89% of Content Marketers saying it works and delivers results, Content Marketing really does live up to its title as “The Future of Marketing”.

Here are a few trends and forecasts to keep in mind for the near future of Content Marketing:

1) Annual spend should continue to grow:

With the growing understanding of how much Content Marketing is important, more and more content marketers find themselves abandoning the need to fight for budgets. Instead, they are taken more seriously, are given more funds and accordingly – are expected to deliver better results. In 2013, the budget allocated for Content Marketing in the US was 12.4% of total marketing spend. Two years afterwards, in 2015, the budget is about 23.3%. According to assessments, the budget in 2017 is believed to reach 33.1%.

With the budget allocation continuing to expand, it seems to only be a matter of knowing how to use it wisely. To fully maximize the annual growth, the next step seems to be obtaining the proper expertise and developing industry standards for measurement and optimization.

2) Measurement tools will develop further:

According to several researches, the majority of participants (58%), from various business sectors, believe that Content Marketing is completely measurable. Participants from the media sector have even more faith, as 65% of them believe that Content Marketing can be completely measured.

When asked about the importance of developing tools for further advanced measurement, 66% of total participants responded that they are more likely to invest in measurement tools now than 5 years ago.

The numbers speak for themselves, and it should be interesting to see what the future holds in terms of advanced designated measurement tools.

3) Standardization of the micro-targeting approach:

Targeting, in many aspects, is the bread and butter of online advertising. Digital marketers are always on the lookout for improved and more advanced targeting options. According to assessments, Content Marketing will continue going with the micro-targeting approach, taking it even one step further.

This means that businesses could actually get to connect better with their customers and know them in a more personal and deeper level. From a customer’s point of view, receiving personalized and granular bits of content encourages trust and leads to loyalty. From the business’ point of view, this process results in loyal and highly engaged customers, who remain devoted to the brand. These site personalization technologies, with which we are familiar from the E-commerce world, are now being utilized by other industries for personalizing content distribution to customers. This trend is expected to become more and more popular, and best practices should improve as time goes by – leading to more targeted responses and better results.

Online Marketing

Content Marketing – Challenges and Trends in 2015

The traditional world of marketing is becoming less and less relevant, as time passes.

Many consumers ignore ads on magazines and newspapers, almost automatically, and skip through commercials on TV. In this regard, online marketing in the past decade or two has stepped forward where more traditional forms of marketing have declined.
However, users have now become so used to surfing the net, that they can consume content without paying attention to banners or buttons. This is referred to as “Banner blindness”, and requires marketers and advertisers to constantly reinvent the game, in a way, in order to stay relevant.

One of the solutions developed is the Content Marketing approach, which has become increasingly more popular in the past few years. It is focused on creating and distributing relevant content in the consumer’s natural browsing environment, and by that – attracting specific targeted audiences, calling them to profitable action.

That is exactly where its magic is, and that is why it has now become bigger than ever. More and more budgets are allocated toward its direction, and marketers integrate it more and more into their overall strategy.However, life is not entirely peachy for Content Marketing. Despite its popular use, there are quite a few challenges lying ahead. Here are some prominent challenges and trends expected for Content Marketing through the rest of 2015:

1. Publication vs. Distribution: Creating high-quality content and making it public is important. However, it is only the first stage. True value comes from distributing it and delivering it to the right people. According to research carried out by Altimeter, only 26% of marketers invest in content distribution, even though more than 50% believe they need to.

Closing the gap between publication and distribution is what will make your marketing content stand out, reach your audience, and eventually make the difference.

2. ROI Above All: As conventional paid media is stepping aside to make more and more room for Content Marketing, the burden of proof is on the latter. Marketers using this approach will need to prove that it indeed pays off, and we should expect to see tools being developed and best practices being defined for measuring ROI in content.

Parameters such as consumer attention and deep engagement with a company/brand will become indicative and measurable, just like CPC and CPM.

3. User Experience Matters: The increase in mobile content consumption in the past few years has changed the game in several aspects. Users have several different ways of consuming content, often across customized and personalized streams, including websites, news apps and social apps.

It is therefore important to be aware of these channels and consumption patterns, which may be rather sporadic and random. Always keep in mind that the average user may have a short attention span, or just change their mind within seconds, with no apparent reason, regarding how valuable a piece of content is.

Being prepared for all these scenarios is among marketers’ biggest challenges in Content Marketing.

4. Conventional Ads Going Subtle: As content gradually becomes a further integral part of marketers’ advertising strategy, conventional ads should become less bold and obvious. With Content Marketing becoming so popular, many of the typical banner ads have become mostly ineffective.

Other than creating brand visibility and awareness, they miss most of their purpose. Sponsored and branded content are proving to deliver better results, including broader reach and increased ROI. Advertisers should therefore carry on with the trend, and continue working closely with publishers to carefully create clever and subtle ads. These relatively simple, yet effective ads, should be placed in contextually relevant pieces of content and keep on doing their magic.

If you want to ride the Content Marketing wave, and learn how your marketing strategy can benefit from it, contact us at [email protected]

Affiliate Marketing, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing

Display Advertising in 2015

The world of digital advertising never stops changing, and the pace isn’t getting any slower. New technological developments and marketing concepts set the tempo, and it is important to keep up and stay on top of things.

With 2014 already long behind us, becoming familiar with the big picture of 2015’s online marketing trends is quite essential. This includes continued mobile optimization, increased social media spend, and growth in content marketing. However, there are some rather interesting developments in the field of Display Advertising, which are also important to keep in mind:


1. Data as a key player: Perhaps one of the more important trends to impact the online advertising world as a whole, and Display Advertising in particular, is related to data itself. Companies are looking more and more into big data-driven analytics to cross-reference between search activity, sales, purchase history, site interactions and browsing habits.

This information allows a better understanding of exactly what their customers are looking for, where they are likely to go next, and what actions they might carry out. Big data analytics and metrics have already begun being an integral part of an online marketer’s agenda, and their role in 2015 should be even more significant.

2. Context will be just as important as the content itself: Another notable prominent development is the understanding that quality content is just as important as its location and surrounding. The awareness to context has been recently growing, and it is expected to skyrocket to new levels in 2015.

Thanks to new and improved data-driven technology, it is now becoming easier to make sure your content reaches audience in the most contextually-relevant places, making it very likely for people to be interested in what you have to say.

3. Cross-device measurement and channel attribution: Understanding exactly which channel has made a conversion has always been relevant. However, major developments in the field have only been made quite recently. Initially, Facebook raised the bar in 2013, with acquiring Microsoft’s online ad serving and measurement service Atlas.

The people at Google haven’t been fiddling around either, and acquired advanced marketing attribution platform Adometry in 2014. These big players have realized the great importance back then, and the rest have started following.

Since 2014, we have seen more and more advertisers and agencies focusing on developing solutions for understanding exactly which channel has brought the lead and made the purchase. This trend should continue and become even stronger throughout 2015, due to technological developments and to a more profound understand of its importance.

The impact should be felt throughout the entire world of digital advertising as a whole, and on each individual marketing channel specifically – including Display. It should make things easier in that regard, and shed some light on precise performance metrics attributed specifically to your Display campaign.

4. Cookies will lose their importance: Up until recently, tracking users was done quite easily, using a simple cookie that followed users around from place to place. However, user behavior has changed, and things are now different: With the strong foothold mobile has gained, many users now regularly browse the web through several different devices, making it difficult to track them with simple cookies.

In addition, awareness to online privacy has grown, and cookies are being disabled more and more often. As a result, ad-tech companies have started developing new tracking tools, and advertisers have begun realizing even more that the information found in a user’s online ID and profile can be quite useful and reliable. Learning how to use this information can lead to more accurate targeting and eventually better performance. We should expect to see significant progress in this direction throughout 2015.

2015 has only kicked off, and it already seems packed with a whole new set of exciting dynamic developments. To keep track of these trends and to make sure you stay on top of the Display Advertising game, contact us at [email protected]

Online Marketing

We Are Giving Away Two MWC 2015 Tickets For Free!

We never stop looking for new ways to spoil our partners and make them feel as good as possible.

Naturally, with the Mobile World Congress event coming up in Barcelona, we couldn’t just stay indifferent and sit around doing nothing. So we asked ourselves, “What would be a great way to show our partners how much we appreciate them?”

The answer was very quick to come: A contest!
So before we pack our suitcases and fly to exhibit at MWC, we are happy to invite two lucky partners to enjoy a €749 worth ticket for the event, for FREE! That’s right, two completely FREE tickets.All you need to do is fill in your details at the link below, and keep your fingers crossed.
Are you feeling lucky…?

Affiliate Marketing, In-Game Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing, Social Marketing

Life Time Value (LTV)

Most companies nowadays regard users as their most valuable asset, simply because good, loyal and long-term users are not easy to find. There is no doubt that customers are the bread and butter of every company’s business model. However, too many businesses tend to focus more on transactional customer value, without dedicating enough thought and resources to the user experience that takes place after the conversion.

Needless to say, it is important to invest in making your product or service better. However, it is equally important to focus on finding ways to ensure your existing customers are satisfied, and stay with you for as long as possible after the conversion is made. Otherwise, the cost of acquiring each and every customer can seriously outweigh the amount of revenue that could be made from them. Specifically when referring to the world of mobile applications, in which both users and budgets are plentiful.

So how do you actually measure their value? Quite easily, through LTV (Life Time Value). In a nutshell, LTV describes the amount of profit that could be generated by a customer throughout their lifetime. Many companies are already using this business metric to help them understand how much a customer is really worth to them, in terms of actual revenue. It is broadly based on the concept that investing more money in early stages and ensuring a high-quality experience can help in gaining loyal customers whose increased business and engagement will yield more profits in the long run.

In other words: If you know that a certain customer is three times more valuable, for example, than some other customer, it would be wiser to invest more in the first one and make sure they fulfil their potential. When it comes to the competitive world of mobile applications and games, measuring users’ LTV may be a highly challenging task. However, once you manage to have it figured out, you will be on top of things and know where it would be most effective to invest your attention and marketing budget.

In order to help our partners gain easy access to these useful insights, we have developed a unique technology-driven platform: The LTV Optimizer. By tracking in-app events and analyzing user behavior, this tool finds and targets the optimal users who are most likely to engage as much as possible with a specific game or application. The optimizer features advanced targeting options, and can provide valuable information on users, including OS, device type, category, and country. It can make your life as an advertiser pretty easy, as all optimization is carried out on our end.

Every time a user completes one of the tracking points, their action is measured and evaluated. The points we measure may slightly vary from time to time, but the general idea roughly remains the same. For example, in order to assess a user’s value in a game, these are the typical four stages that are measured:

1) Tutorial completion: The user receives an initial explanation of how to play the game and explores its features.

2) Registration: The user registers and starts playing the game, becoming actively involved in it and engaging with in-app events.

3) Stage completion: After the user becomes initially involved in the game, they continue playing and progressing within the game, completing more and more stages.

4) Significant in-game stage: Eventually, the user reaches a certain point within the game, which is difficult to complete without making an in-app purchase. This is the most crucial stage in terms of ROI, and a user who completes it receives high ranking. These are the optimal users, as they have made an in-app purchase once, and are likely to do so again. This is why they usually receive the highest score.

The more advanced a stage is, the smaller the amount of users who reach it. I.e., some 70%-80% of users reach the first stage, while only 3%-5% reach the final stage.

The optimizer tracks the users’ action in each and every stage, and analyzes the accumulated information. Factors such as in-app events and social engagement are important as well, and are mapped and categorized, along with all other parameters. These are then added up, weighed and measured, and essentially lay the foundation for a comprehensive user profile. The evaluation and ranking are then carried out accordingly, based on the profile. The concept is fairly simple: The higher a user ranking is, the better their engagement with your app.

The in-app behavior analysis is executed in real time, thanks to our proprietary technology, based on complex large-data driven algorithms. The platform’s metrics-based predictions allow precise optimizations to be carried out per our partners’ requirement, according to factors such as performance, user engagement with the app, social interaction, and potential revenue. Knowing in advance which users are likely to receive a high score can assist in ensuring that more marketing efforts and budgets are allocated towards their direction, in terms of reach and segmentation. This will ensure that your apps/games reach the right customers, who will remain active and loyal in the long-run and increase your ROI.

For more information on how to get that edge over others and seize the future, contact us at [email protected]

Online Marketing

Digital video advertising trends – Forecast and predictions for 2015

In the dynamic world of online advertising, one year is enough time for plenty of changes to take place. 2014 brought the field of digital video advertising to new heights in terms of spend and audience reach. A huge leap was also taken into automated programmatic buying, and it continued the increasingly popular consolidation trend, with Facebook buying LiveRail, for example, and Yahoo announcing their acquisition of BrightRoll.

The year 2015 is expected to continue further in that direction as far as digital video advertising is concerned, and according to experts in the field, this is the year in which its potential will be fully realized. The emphasis seems to be on programmatic advertising and mobile video.

In a nutshell, this is what 2015 should have in store for the world of digital video advertising:

1) Programmatic advertising to reign supreme:

As mentioned, both advertisers and publishers have been busy in 2014, and the groundwork for a fully automated video ad future has been laid. The numbers can speak for themselves: $700 million worth of video inventory transactions were made with programmatic platforms in the U.S. only, according to eMarketer. By the time 2015 is over, buyers and sellers are expected to transact more than $2 billion worth of video ads on such programmatic platforms – more than three times 2014’s spending.

Programmatic transactions are already taking place as we speak, and 2015 is expected to be a game-changer in terms of technology. Publishers, who already realized that programmatic advertising greatly improves efficiency and boosts profits, will now begin to utilize more technological solutions for making sure they get the best out of it. This means that we can expect a gradual shift to more and more automated processes, with marketers adopting private marketplaces and programmatic direct platforms.

By doing so, they become more efficient and have better control over whom their premium inventory is sold to, and in what manner. RTB-based video ad exchanges are also expected to play a significant role, as advertisers wish to consolidate their video ad buys across publishers through single programmatic platforms.

2) Standardization of programmatic performance guarantees:

Due to the developments in programmatic advertising, advertisers will expect publishers and ad tech platforms to guarantee and provide various performance metrics. These include indicators like completion and CTR, as well as audience, inventory quality, and viewability, among other targeting metrics. The passing year of 2014 introduced us with a rise in awareness to fraudulent ad activity, so advertisers will probably be interested in metrics for identifying non-human traffic.

Providing such “guarantees” means that many ad tech platforms and publishers will be required to upgrade their data analytics and measurement capabilities. As a result of these developments, the video ad industry will make ads that are directly tied to actual ROI. The concept is rather simple: When advertisers feel comfortable and trust their investments are going to high-performing, viewable, and non-fraudulent inventory, their finger is lighter on the trigger and they are likely to spend more. We can therefore expect to see advertisers focusing more on performance, rather than price.

3) Boost in mobile video spending:

In the past few years, the mobile trend has become stronger than ever, and consumers worldwide have gradually moved their media attention to smartphones and tablets. This greatly affects the entire world of online advertising, and digital video advertising in specific. It therefore makes a lot of sense that advertisers will want to ride the wave too, and place their video ads on such platforms. However, in spite of the mobile shift made by consumers, 2014 ended with more supply than demand in mobile video.

Many advertisers remained unsure of the format’s measurable impact. This can be related to several reasons, but mostly to lack of standard practices and procedures for how to effectively target, measure, and frequency cap mobile video ads across devices. This resulted not only in the previously mentioned confusion on the advertisers’ end, but also in mobile video CPMs remaining lower than desktop video in 2014. However, in 2015, this is all going to change: At last, advanced tools for sophisticated mobile targeting and measurement will be available, and advertisers will have the same targeting and measurement options they currently have on desktop devices. We should expect to see publishers offering mobile video inventory that is even more similar in nature to desktop, and knows how to integrate with it more efficiently.

Among the developments in this area, we will see some significant progress on device ID mapping, for example, which will enable cross-screen targeting and measurement. In addition, we will see more precise geo-targeting capabilities emerging. These advances will help generate more premium inventory, causing an increase in average mobile video CPMs. According to assessments by Business Insider, mobile video ads will grow almost five-times faster than desktop in the next few years. By the end of 2015, advertisers will most likely spend more on mobile video ads than desktop.

The future of video advertising is already here, and we will be happy to provide you with the tools and knowhow for staying on top of it.

MMG’s Video division operates in more than 100 countries and serves over 10 billion impressions monthly, through thousands of publishers and advertisers. Our proprietary ad-server and RTB platform, combined with cutting edge technologies developed in-house, allow us to work on both demand and supply sides with maximum efficiency.

By allowing you to fully take advantage and benefit from our years of collective experience in the digital video advertising field, we can guide you along your journey and make sure it goes as smooth as possible. We can ensure that each and every campaign is fully optimized, reaching all the the right people, and providing you with the best ROI.

If you want to get that head start on your 2015 video campaigns, contact us today and stay ahead of the game.
[email protected]

Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing, Video Marketing

Real Time Bidding

There is no doubt that real-time bidding has significantly changed the face of online advertising. However, there may still be some confusion regarding what it actually is. To make sure we are all on the same page, let’s break it down:


So what exactly is RTB?

Real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions that take place during a webpage’s loading time. These auctions are often facilitated by ad exchanges or supply-side platforms.

How does RTB work?

The process is rather simple: As an ad impression is served in a user’s browser, the ad exchange receives information about the page on which the ad is to appear and the user viewing it. The exchange then auctions it off to the advertiser who is willing to pay the highest price for it, and the winning bidder’s ad is then instantly loaded into the webpage. Advertisers typically use demand-side platforms to help them decide which ad impressions to purchase and how much to bid on them. The decision is based on various factors, such as the sites they appear on and the previous behavior of the users loading them. For example, ASOS might recognize that a user has previously visited their site looking at a specific dress. It may therefore be prepared to pay more than Amazon or Best Buy to serve ads to that user. The price of impressions is determined in real time based on what buyers are willing to pay, hence the name “real-time bidding.”

Why Is RTB Important?

Before RTB was introduced, advertisers used websites as a proxy for their ads. If they wanted to reach gamers, for example, they would buy ads on a gaming-related site. Now, since real-time bidding has emerged, they can target their ads to specific users instead, as mentioned in the above example.

Why is real-time bidding good for advertisers?

In one word: Efficiency. With RTB, ad buyers no longer need to work directly with publishers or ad networks to negotiate ad prices and to traffic ads. Using exchanges and other ad technology, they can access a huge range of inventory across a wide range of sites and carefully select only the impressions they find most valuable. Not only does that reduce the number of impressions wasted on the wrong users, but it also minimizes the need for costly and sometimes unreliable human ad buyers.

Is RTB also good for publishers?

Some major publishers regard RTB with caution, as they feel it enables advertisers to pay them less for their inventory. However, as time goes by, they are increasingly becoming more comfortable with it, as exchanges and supply-side platforms enable them to control the minimum prices at which their inventory is sold, often called price floors. This enables publishers to open their ads up to an auction, and at the same time set a reserve price that must be met in order for a transaction to take place. As a result, costs are often cheaper than some traditional advertising forms, such as Google AdWords. All of these make RTB a win-win situation for everyone.

As a technology-driven company that offers real time bidding solutions, we know that this form of marketing keeps on growing as marketers are becoming more and more familiar with it.

If you would like to have that upper hand and ride the RTB wave, simply e-mail us. Our experts will be pleased to assist you, utilizing our practical knowledge and state-of-the-art technology to make sure you are on top of the real time bidding game. Contact us at [email protected]


Online Marketing

Display Advertising 101 (What You See Is What You Get)


If you are an online advertiser, or even someone who generally works in the field of marketing, most chances are that you have heard the term “Display Advertising” at some point or another. It is even quite possible that it does more to you than simply ring a bell. You may even already be using it, and enjoying its benefits.

“Display Advertising” is essentially one of the primary methods of monetizing traffic. The idea is simple: As opposed to “Search Advertising”, in which users receive ads according to a term they have searched for, in the world of “Display”, the ads are simply served to visitors in the website they are currently visiting.

Many regard it is an essential part of everyday life on the web, as it meets users where they carry out the most common and basic online activity: Surfing the net.

The ecosystem in which this all happens is called a Display Network. There are many display networks around, and they all share the same purpose – Providing space on websites, in which you can display your ads and banners. Among the top players in the display network scene, you can find names like OpenX, Sonobi, Adroll, and Google. The latter is probably one of the most popular display networks, and the name GDN (Google Display Network) is known to almost anyone who has something to do with online marketing. Most of these networks operate similarly to GDN, and follow parallel guidelines.

In a nutshell, the key to success in GDN is finding the right places on the web for your ads to be placed in. Once these are found, the targeted users are likely to see your ads, and hopefully interact with them by leaving details or making a purchase.

There are several targeting options on GDN, which can either be combined or used separately:

Placement Targeting

“Placements” are the actual websites, webpages, and apps where you get your ads placed. There are two ways for finding the right placements for you:

1) Automatic placements: Finding placements automatically via the Google AdWords platform, by specifying combinations of the keyword, topic or interest targeting decisions. AdWords uses your targeting rules to look for contextually relevant webpages across the net, and automatically places your ads on them. This option is great, as it allows your ads to be displayed on highly-relevant pages you may have never knew even existed. New content pages emerge online all the time, and automatic placements enables you advertise on them easily.

2) Managed placements: Here, you actually define specific sites you would like AdWords to advertise on, by manually adding the URLs into your ad group. You can either enter sites you already know of, or find sites by using various analysis tools, such as SEMRush, or Google’s placement tool.

On a general note, when using any placement option, you have to keep in mind that using the top-level domain only may not bring you the best results. For getting the best ROI, diving in deeper and reaching the more contextually relevant sections within the websites, would be the wiser approach.

Keyword Targeting

Next, let’s talk a bit about Keyword Targeting. It is not the most popular targeting method, but is still used quite often. The concept is fairly simple: You want to use specific keywords to get AdWords to find the right sites for your ads. However, when push comes to shove, some work needs to be put into it. The state of mind here is a bit different, as keywords behave in one way when used for searching, and in a completely different way when used to determine contextually relevant websites. In any case, it is a great starting point, and when used right, can prove to be useful.

Topics Targeting

As implied by its name, this kind of targeting allows you to advertise on sites and sections of sites devoted to specific topics. Like advertising specifically in the Culture section of a news website, for example. Using this method by itself may be tricky as well, since topics – by nature – may be broad. Under “Culture”, sub-topics such as Movies, Music, and Entertainment, may also be included. It is therefore important to fine-tune and optimize, and find the right balance between broad and specific. It is a great targeting method by itself, but for best results, should be combined with other methods, such as Keywords or Placements.

Audience Targeting – Interests & Remarketing

The methods we mentioned up until now can pretty much be summed up into finding the best locations for placing your ads in front of the people who should most likely be interested in your products/services.

Audience Targeting says just the opposite:

Instead of locating the best webpages, we want to locate the best people – those who should most likely be interested in our products and services. This time, we will aim to place our ads in front of them, no matter where they are.

There are two main types of Audience targeting: Remarketing and Interest targeting.

1) Again, as implied by the name, “Remarketing” refers to people who have already visited and interacted with your website and carried out specific actions which make them potentially interested in the product/service.

2) “Interest” targeting simply targets users by their interests and browsing patterns. Google defines it as “People whose browsing patterns are similar to the browsing patterns of your existing site visitors.” In other words, these people haven’t seen your website, but will probably really like it once they do, and make the purchase or leave their details. Google does this based on interest categories you select in AdWords, that describe the type of people you are interested in showing your ads to. This method can be great, but also needs to be practiced with caution – as any place in the internet that supports GDN ads may end up showing them to your users. It may therefore be quite evident that you are “stalking” your potential visitors around the net. Therefore, use it sparingly and wisely, and combine it with other methods.

Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting is also pretty self-explanatory. It basically enables you to target and bid for your demographic audiences, and may give you some ability to fine-tune your other targeting tactics. I.e., combining it with other methods can be pretty efficient. However, the information is not perfect, as it is based on self-reporting and online behaviors that Google models out to help improve contextual targeting across all search and display networks. Not the ultimate targeting tactic to be used by itself, but pretty good when combined with others.

That’s basically it. To sum things up, Display Advertising is one of the most efficient forms of advertising, whether for directly generating user engagement or creating brand awareness. If you are already using it, you know what I’m talking about. If not, now is a great time to start.

So whenever dealing with Display, what you see could indeed be what you get, but keep in mind that there is much more than meets the eye.

Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing, Social Marketing

Facebook Advertising: What Is It Good For?

Facebook, as most of us probably know, is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload posts, photos and video, and interact with other users in many ways.

As of June 2014, there are more than 1.3 billion active Facebook users.

This large number of users has significant implications in general, but even more significant when it comes to one of its powerful features: Advertising.

The large amount of users that only keeps on growing, combined with the advanced targeting/segmentation options, make advertising on Facebook extremely effective. Unlike other online advertising platforms, which allow you to reach about 38% of your intended audience, with Facebook you reach some 89%.
Ads on Facebook are unique by their nature, and are shown to very specific groups of highly interested/engaged people, on desktop and/or mobile, allowing better market segmentation.

The rapid flow of information on Facebook means that if your ad content is creative and properly targeted, it will receive more likes, comments, and shares. This makes your ad even more popular, and causes friends of friends to see them as well – potentially increasing the reach even further. It is only fair to assume that a friend of a person who has interacted in any way with an ad might share at least some of the same interests, and find the ad relevant as well.

Here are some of the most popular targeting options you can use in Facebook:

1) Location: Probably one of the first options that come to mind. It basically allows you to reach people in cities, countries and communities where you want to do business. For example: If you’re a local business, you can show your ads to people who are near your shop. Currently, Facebook allows you to target between 1-25 countries at once, and to optimize accordingly, based on the local options, Facebook pricing, and competition. In the U.S., for instance, it is possible to use Country, State, City and Zip Codes for narrowing down audience targets. The idea is using a similar ad strategy, but tweaking it and making slight modifications, to increase relevancy even more.

2) Age: Another basic way for increasing relevance between your ad and target audience. Facebook allows you to target people anywhere from the age of 13 to 65 years old. It is also possible to remove the maximum age, and by that – target people older than 65.

3) Gender: As implied by its name, this simple option allows you to choose whether to show your ads to men only, to women only, or to everyone. It may be easily used for campaigns in which the target audience is supposedly clear, such as women’s clothing or men’s perfume. However, in many cases, brands can be relevant to both men and women, and the difference can be in the ad itself and the message that you bring across. It is therefore recommended to test several ad combinations, to see what works best.

4) Precise Interests: With this option, advertisers can target Facebook users who have listed a specific interest on their Timeline. These precise interests are pulled from their Facebook profile activities, interests, job titles, education, groups they belong to, and pages they have liked. It is very powerful, as the users themselves define exactly what interests them. Advertisers can assume that if a Facebook user is interested in a certain reality TV show, for example, it is quite likely that they will find interest in other TV shows of the same nature.

5) Broad Categories: Unlike the “Precise Interests” option, here the users do not define specific things they like. In this case, Facebook creates the categories by looking into the users’ basic information, pages visited in, online activity, etc. Such broad categories could be “Basketball fans”, “People who got married in the past year”, and “Atheists”, for example. The targeted audience here is larger, and it is too broad of an option to be used by itself. However, if combined with other options to narrow it down a bit, it can prove very useful.

6) Connections: This option allows Facebook ads to be targeted according to the relationship a user has with a Facebook page. Advertisers can choose to either include or exclude users, based on their connections. To many, this option is essential and provides advertisers with a tool for achieving the best conversion results with Facebook ads. According to Webtrends, the CTR can be 7 times larger when existing fans of a page are targeted. “Connections should be the number one criteria used by advertisers. Nothing increases a click-through rate more,” said Justin Kistner, Director of Social Products at Webtrends. Another aspect of this option is using the basic social aspect of Facebook: Ads with the “Target friends of connections” option enabled show Facebook users which of their friends already like a certain page, app, or event. An ad may become more relevant to someone if they see that their friends have already interacted with it.

7) Advanced Targeting Options: Several demographic targeting options can be found under the “Advanced” section. Unlike the previously mentioned demographics option, which is based on information the user is required to fill in, this option is based on optional information. The advance options include:

· Interested In: This allows advertisers to target users according to the gender they are interested in for a friendship, dating, a relationship or networking.

· Languages: Best used when targeting an audience that speaks a language that is different from most of the people in the targeted geography.

· Relationship Status: This allows a business to target Facebook users that are married, single, engaged, or in a relationship.

· Education: This option enables the targeting of Facebook users who are in high school, college, or graduates. Businesses can also target Facebook users who went to a specific school, study a specific topic, or the expected graduation date for current college students.

· Workplaces: Targeting Facebook users by where they work can be useful in various B2B, job search, and industry specific scenarios.

Again, these are usually not used as stand-alone options, and can be best utilized for fine tuning and optimizing audience.

In conclusion, Facebook advertising is a great method for reaching highly targeted and relevant audience. If used wisely and according to a well-planned strategy, it can make your message come across and increase your ROI.


Online Marketing, Performance Marketing

Sponsored-content, Native Advertising, and The Thin Line In Between

The world of online content has always been dynamic, but in recent years, the changes have become more rapid than ever.

This means that the level of distraction is higher than ever, as many brands use various marketing means in attempt to grab user attention. At the same time, users gradually lose patience and pay less and less attention, ignoring many distractions thrown at their direction. On the other hand, unique and high-quality content surpasses bland and generic content, and actually does the trick. Therefore, putting effort into creating remarkable and engaging content still has great returns, and is probably worth that extra mile.

In this brave new world of content, terms such as corporate journalism, vendor content, brand publishing and custom content are used very often, and are seen almost everywhere.

The term “Native Advertising” plays an important role in the content world terminology.

Native advertising is basically a subset of the content marketing field, in which content is used to build trust and create engagement with potential customers.

A promoted tweet on Twitter or suggested post on Facebook, for example, can be regarded as native advertising. However, it is more commonly referred to as how brands now work with online publications to reach people.

Brands have been doing this since the early days of digital advertising, but mostly through display advertisements and various other promotions. The new native approach is what makes the difference, in this regard.

The key difference between the traditional display ads and native ads is that the latter are part of the flow of editorial content, seamless and native – hence their name.

Publications and content pages that make use of native ads are usually good at ensuring that the quality is of high content. By definition, they work with individual writers or marketers to guarantee that the content feeds a specific audience need, rather than just placing any random content.

The results of this approach speak for themselves: According to research from IPG media lab, “Native ads are viewed for the same amount of time as editorial content and is much more likely to be shared than a banner ad (32% versus 19% of respondents said they would do so).”

These results may resemble those of researches done with “Sponsored Content”, and many people indeed regard the two as interchangeable. Reuters’ Felix Salmon has sketched out what he calls The Native Matrix in order to formalize and clarify the nuances that to his belief make the two different.

According to Salmon, the difference between sponsored content and native ads is that “native content tends to aspire more to going viral” and are generally shared more.

For instance, when a publication such as BuzzFeed works with a brand like Virgin Mobile, they set the goal beyond creating great native content for their users: The plan is for it to go viral, gain hype, and spread throughout the web. Such a thing could not be achieved directly through Display advertising.

According to Go/Digital, even though sponsored content has a reputation for being ignored, some evidence suggests that readers spend equally as much time on sponsored content as they do on news stories. Meredith Levien, the executive vice president of advertising for The New York Times, recently said that “readers of the Times are spending roughly the same amount of time on advertiser-sponsored posts as on news stories… Brands are storytellers and they’re going to tell stories that are tied to what’s happening in the news.”

Sponsored content sits alongside editorial content, and can therefore go a long way in building a brand’s credibility and strengthening its message. However, it is important to keep in mind that with great power comes great responsibility: As mentioned, in order for the medium to be effective, the content must be relevant and remarkable, or else the user will lose patience and move along. The distractions are various, and the users’ attention is limited.