Tag Archives: adtech

Next to Now – Late March Edition

THE POWER OF ELLIPSES

A few words — or even a few dots — can make a big difference. Compliments of a PAMA Facebook post, BookBub’s 8 Book Description A/B Tests You Need to See …

 

GETTING BOOKS TO THE PEOPLE

Emma Watson and the Station of Secrets.

Watch:

 

CASTING THE PODS MORE FAIRLY

Find out how the podcast boom can favor and disfavor diversity in this Columbia Journalism Review article.

Why are #PodcastsSoWhite?

Also check out:

10 great podcasts to diversify your listening lineup

 

UNDER THE SURFACE ON WHICH WE DWELL

Programmatic is like a planet. We live on the thin surface layer but most of the hot stuff is under the surface.

“Facebook just executed what might best be described as a digital advertising coup against rival Google and its DoubleClick empire” by letting publishers use header bidding technology. This could raise ad costs but increase yield, says AdAge.

Drill a hole and peek into the Magma

Or simply find out:

WTF is Header Bidding?

NEXT TO NOW: AD RESEARCH EDITION

 

ARE BUY BUTTONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA A GOOD IDEA?

Marketers are very excited by social media buy buttons, but consumers? Not so much. This survey of user habits on social media is a useful reminder that just because an idea looks good on a marketing plan doesn’t mean it’s something that serves our customers well.

#social #media #adtech

 

DATA REVEALS SURPRISING, UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH 

According to Spotify, the number one zip code for playing Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” is Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

#data

 

HUBSPOT ON THE BENEFITS OF NATIVE ADVERTISING

This HubSpot article on the benefits of native advertising is well-argued and cites a wealth of links to relevant studies. Of interest:

—Consumers look at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads:.

Native ads receive two times more visual focus than banners: 

Native CTR performance can be 85% higher than banner ads. n.b. This data point is from a Stackadapt study that uses an “average” banner CTR of .06%. Since Verso’s average is more like .1%, the percentage improvement is not as high for our campaigns, but it’s still significant.

Avg CTR for banner ads is .08%. n.b. This links to a useful tool from Google for identifying benchmark rates, that identifies the average click-through rate as .08% (.05% for Flash, in case anyone’s still using that format!). It’s important to keep saying this: we expect—and see—better average CTRs for Verso campaigns.

#native advertising #data

 

DIGITAL ADS ARE GETTING SMARTER. ARE ADVERTISERS?

A professor at the University of Chicago looks into advertising spend on search, email and mobile. Among his surprising discoveries: most sales do not result from users who click on ads:

“In fact, 78 percent of the increase in sales in the Yahoo experiment was from users who never clicked on the ads. ‘Even though clicks are a standard measure of performance in online-advertising campaigns, we find that focusing only on clickers leads to a serious underestimate of the campaign’s effects.’”

#research #search #email #clickthroughs

 

OLDER USERS RESPOND BETTER TO DIGITAL

Two former Yahoo researchers show that the effect of online advertising on sales increases with age, with the top performing group over 65. So maybe book publishers shouldn’t worry about Snapchat so much right now.

#research #sales

 

CREATIVE PERSISTENCE

A report from professors at the University of Chicago’s Booth Business School and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management details the importance of persistence when it comes to creative breakthroughs.

#creative

 

NEW LUMA REPORT

Here’s LUMA’s new report on the state-of-the-art of digital marketing. The number one new trend is mass-personalization across channels. This of course requires very smart “identity” data. Slide 31 points to developments on this score. The second largest trend, content marketing, requires traditionally siloed departments such as advertising, PR, web development and email to work in concert. (Via BusinessInsider)

#adtech

 

IS THE VINE EXPERIMENT OVER?

Two years ago it was one of the hottest new marketing platforms, but AdWeek reports that today Vine accounts for just 6% of video marketing using advertiser-produced video (compared to 64% YouTube and 24% Facebook). That said, it’s still a viable platform if you use it right and partner with social media stars:

“Vine still shines when social stars are involved. Instead of brands posting their own content, Burns said that clients are looking to team up with top influencers who have amassed massive followings to create sponsored content.”

#social #video #vine

 

MOST MOBILE AND DESKTOP VIDEO ADS SERVED AGAINST SHORT FORM

Emarketer reports: “Q3 2015 research from FreeWheel found that 69% of digital video ad views served by its platform to smartphones occurred while users watched content shorter than 20 minutes.” Perhaps more surprising was the revelation that desktop video watching is still twice that on mobile and tablets:

“In 2015, US adults will spend an average of 12 minutes per day watching digital video on their smartphones and an average of 14 minutes on their tablets. Time spent on desktop and laptop is higher, with US adults spending an average of 24 minutes per day watching digital video.” 

#video

 

AGAINST BAD ADS

And by “bad,” we mean a bad experience for the user. As this NYT article says, there are far too many digital ads right now that try to work up the engagement numbers through forcing you to click on the content when you were just trying to get the ad out of your face. It’s a little ironic (but only a little), since the NY Times website is not immune to these kind of ads (this cat owner is looking at you, Purina dog chow video). But this might be the kind of culture we create when every marketing job is numbers based—judging a campaign by how many people clicked on the ad, rather than to how many people responded to what you were advertising.

#creative

NEXT TO NOW: HALLOWEEN EDITION

The scariest  thing to advertisers this Halloween might just be ad blocking software. Never fear, we know how to make sure your ads are seen. Between new ad units, native options, social outreach, and possible deals with ad blockers, we’re always looking to stay ahead of the trends—and always on the lookout for the most effective ways to let readers know about great books. Here’s some of what we’ve been reading about this week:

AN OLIVE BRANCH FROM AD BLOCKERS?

One of the leading ad blocking apps, Adblock Plus, is offering websites and advertising agencies the opportunity to whitelist certain sites and ad-types. While representatives from the Washington Post and MediaCom are attending a meeting with Adblock Plus to discuss the plans, Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, a publishing trade organization with members from The New York Times, Vox Media and Condé Nast, declined the offer. Here’s why:

“I would look at these reports on [Adblock Plus’ parent company] Eyeo’s business model and their focus on consumers much differently if they were 100 percent open about it. If Adblock Plus publicly stated which companies were paying them for whitelisting ads and the terms under which this was happening, then my level of trust would increase dramatically.”

#adtech #adblocking #media

 

YELP PHASING OUT DISPLAY ADVERTISING

…and phasing in native advertising.

#native #media

 

NEXT STOP SMELLOVISION?

Stoli Vodka is using haptic technology to give their mobile ads a tactile edge: you can feel a buzz when the women in the ad makes a vodka in a shaker (and, less appetizing, when a dog pees).

#adtech #creative

 

IS FLIPBOARD IN TROUBLE?

Whether it’s due to the natural aging process of a formerly hot start-up that’s getting on in years, or the competition from Apple’s News app and others, this Bloomberg article points to some problems Flipboard is having. (On the upside for advertisers, ad rates are coming down!).

#adtech #flipboard #media

 

A BUYER’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL NETWORKS

AdWeek outlines the basic differentiators for ad buyers between the eight major social networks from large (Facebook) to small (Whisper).

#social #facebook #twitter #instagram #media

 

FACEBOOK LEAD ADS OPEN UP TO ALL ADVERTISERS

Lead ads make it easy to customize information you’re getting from Facebook users: whether it’s letting them sign up for emails, events, webinars or more.  

#social #adtech #newunit #media

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES LAB SAYS THE FUTURE OF NEWS IS NOT THE ARTICLE

They are experimenting with ways “to leverage the knowledge that is inside every article.

#futureofnews via Only Dead Fish – 

#nyt #futureofnews

 

DOES FACEBOOK HAVE AN AD MEASUREMENT PROBLEM?

Group M’s Rob Norman thinks online video has a ways to go before it can compete with TV:

“Both Google’s YouTube and Facebook boast incredible video numbers. Yet for all the ad dollars flowing to both platforms, they won’t start to get a piece of TV budgets until there’s a common way to measure the effectiveness of video ads, which are often viewed fleetingly and with the sound off, against a TV commercial exposure.”

#video #social #facebook #media

 

INSTAGRAM’S BOOMERANG

Instagram enables animated .gifs backwards and forwards with Boomerang.

#social #instagram #creative

 

 

Next to Now: The Structure of Innovation

This week, the articles that caught our eye were about innovation in targeting and storytelling.

 

ONLINE VIDEO: IT’S NOT JUST MILLENNIALS

Once predominantly the province of Millennials, online video watching has now stretched to include Gen X as well:

“The average consumer between the ages of 16 and 45 watches 204 minutes of video a day, split equally between TV and online. Forty-five minutes of the average online viewing time is done on a smartphone, while desktop accounts for 37 minutes and tablet for 20 minutes.”

#video

 

FEWER ADS MEANS BETTER ENGAGEMENT 

This article in Digiday argues that the Atlantic’s recent redesign has upped ad performance by lessening the amount of content (including ads) on the homepage. It’s certainly worth paying more to be the only ad on a relevant page. If that’s the future of the ad-supported Web, we’re all for it.

#adtech #engagement

 

MARKETING WITH SHAZAM

ClickZ reports on the use of Shazam in print and TV ads for such retailers as Target.

“For about a decade now, marketers have been racking their brains trying to figure out the best way to link traditional ads with the Web. URLs came first, then hashtags and a call to action to visit Twitter. And while these tactics have certainly managed to boost engagement and interaction online, they don’t necessarily deliver the rich digital experience brands hope to provide.”

The article briefly mentions HarperCollins as well, which uses Shazam to link to Web content in their books (and, we’d add, has experimented with using it in ads as well). The jury’s out on whether the Shazam experiments will help enrich user experience or simply prove more popular with marketers than consumers. However it plays out, the ways physical products are linking up with information on the Web continues to be one of the most exciting frontiers of marketing innovation. We are pleased to see HarperCollins’s Shazam program gain wider recognition with the nomination in the “Marketing Campaign” category for the UK’s FutureBook Awards.

#shazam #adtech #futurebook

 

COSMO WINS 3MM VIEWS A DAY ON SNAPCHAT

Cosmo is showing how it’s done on the Snapchat “Discover” feature, growing their audience from 1.8 MM a day to over 3MM.

“Kate Lewis [VP and editorial director of digital at Cosmo] also said that people share Cosmo content in large numbers, which is an activity that is not typically associated with Snapchat, because sharing and retweeting are not common there. That may be changing, though. Cosmo’s Discover stories are shared up to 1.2 million times daily, Lewis said.”

 

#cosmo #snapchat #social

 

NEW GE CMO ON STORYTELLING

Buried in this article on storytelling and marketing is a GE program with Wattpad to sponsor new Sci Fi writing by the Wattpad community based on old GE materials. We know that fan fiction is often a consequence of a popular series such as Twilight and Harry Potter, but could sponsored fan fiction work as a marketing tool?

#storytelling #social #fanfiction #wattpad

 

INSTAGRAM AND EMAIL—TWO GREAT MARKETING TOOLS THAT WORK GREAT TOGETHER

This HubSpot article advocates bringing “inspirational” Instagram posts into the email marketing experience. Interesting stats from this article:

  • In 2015 more than 200 billion emails will be sent every day. 57% of those will come from brands (what’s the point when consumers just abandon email altogether because it’s too spammy?)
  • Instagram delivers 58% more engagement per post than Facebook and 120% more per post than Twitter
  • 4 fo 5 Instagram users give brands permission to share their images

#social #email #instagram

ARE EMAIL ADDRESSES THE NEW COOKIE?

Emails have remained a secret weapon for marketing departments for years. As this ClickZ article puts it,

While only 20 percent of the people (and email marketing’s audience is overwhelmingly people, not bots) open the email you send them, that 20 percent does so happily. They click and convert enough to make your tiny and underfunded email marketing department punch way above its weight.”

But now Google’s Custom Match, Facebook’s Custom Audiences, and Twitter’s Tailored Audiences allows you to upload email addresses to their systems and use them to target ads specifically to opt-in audiences you know will be interested in your book. This kind of targeting is also available through programmatic campaigns with such partners as AdRoll and Turn.

#email #programmatic

Next to Now: The Fall Sprint

January may mark the start of the calendar year, but for everything else — including book publishing and advertising — the real starting gun seems to go off the day after Labor Day. Which is a good time to remember that when you’re moving at full speed you better have an eye on the road ahead:

 

MOBILE PREPAREDNESS FOR TV CAMPAIGNS

If you’re paying for TV ads, make sure you’re paying attention to mobile media at the same time, especially if you’re running ads on a live event:

“Digital research is a natural activity to pair with commercials when so many people are already using a second screen besides the television.”

#mobile #social #tv

 

ALEX CHEE ON ELENA FERRANTE AND SOCIAL MEDIA

A terrific writer who is prominent  on social media discusses the improbable success Ferrante’s found in part by opting out. It’s all good, but we admit that this caught our eye:

“When I see ads from publishers now on book blogs, I still mourn the old reviews.”

#social

 

FACEBOOK BOWS TO PRESSURE ON ADS

Facebook announces changes the ad industry has been calling for: the option of buying 100% video viewability (as opposed to counting partial views), and introducing third party measurement of ad performance

#social #video #tracking

 

MORE ON AD BLOCKING

A smart piece from the Verge about the angst in the industry around ad blocking:

“You might think the conversation about ad blocking is about the user experience of news, but what we’re really talking about is money and power in Silicon Valley. And titanic battles between large companies with lots of money and power tend to have a lot of collateral damage.”

#adblocking

 

CLUETRAIN AUTHOR SAYS AD TECH DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE

The coauthor of the Cluetrain Manifesto, Doc Searls, argues against trends of personalization and targeting and for old fashioned values of good product, service, and honest brand awareness

#adtech #data #targeting

 

THE RISE OF THE HUMANIST SANS SERIF

Bloomberg takes a look at changes in logo fonts of tech companies, and investigates what that says about the evolution of tech strategy.

#design

 

IS LIVE STREAMING THE NEXT CRUCIAL MARKETING PLATFORM?

This article for ClickZ suggests it is.

#livestream

 

AL ROKER, “RIGHT NOW I’M PERISCOPING YOU . . . “

“. . . and boom: 40 . . . 50 people. Bam.” Ad Week talks to Al Roker about live streaming, video apps, and why he thinks people should watch video horizontally (even if they won’t).

#livestream

 

GO HAWKEYES!

The presidential campaign in Iowa saw its first geo-filter ads: Ted Cruz in advance of the Iowa-Iowa State game.

#social #snapchat #geotarget

 

U.S. READERS (EVEN THOSE WHO PREFER PRINT) ARE ON THE MOBILE WEB

But you knew that. Here are the latest numbers to back it up: 

“One direct consequence of widespread smartphone and tablet use is vastly extended mobile internet access. About 60% of North America’s residents—more than 215 million people, eMarketer projects—will use a mobile phone to access the web in 2015.”

#mobile

 

WHAT’S YOUR READER’S MOOD: DISCOVER, LEARN, TRY, OR BUY?

When it comes to the marketing funnel, book advertising usually leans heavily toward discovery, but the whole route to purchase is important to keep in mind. What are readers looking to do when they see your ad: are they looking to discover a book? learn more about something? ready to buy? eMarketer shares a chart from the CMO Club that outlines the different platforms US and European marketers find best for the different stages of the customer journey.  

#marketingfunnel

 

MYSPACE?!?

New owners Specific Media are trying to convince us that MySpace still has legs. Here’s their argument:

“In March, measurement firm comScore reported that between December 2013 and December 2014, MySpace had grown traffic in the US by 469%, making it a bigger property than Snapchat and Vice. ComScore said the “surprising renaissance” was thanks to MySpace’s pivot to music and video content.”

#social #myspace #again?

 

DIFFERENT GENERATIONS SHARE DIFFERENTLY

This infographic from Accenture shows levels of social platform sharing and brand trust across different social networks, broken out by age. What family and friends share ranks much higher than what brands share. Facebook and print newspapers are the most trusted platforms for paid messages; Snapchat and blogs are the least.  

#social

 

 

IS DARK SOCIAL A GOOD PLACE TO ADVERTISE?

Yes, says Whisper. Coke, Fox, and MTV seem to agree.  

#social

 

DOES PROGRAMMATIC HAVE A COST ADVANTAGE OVER PRINT?

Not necessarily, says this article for Ad Age:

“Programmatic ad tech involves not just the ad inventory at the end, but a trail of fees and costs along the way to pay for expensive engineers and traders, data-management platforms, research and development and more. It adds up to make programmatic buying more expensive than ordering print ad pages or TV commercials through insertion orders and other routine methods.”

Applicability warning: This is an article about campaigns that range from the seven figure to the nine figure. At the levels that book publishers typically run, the fees and costs are less onerous, but it’s still important to keep in mind.   

#programmatic

 

VIDEO AD ROI

We’ve linked a lot to performance numbers for video ads in Next to Now over the months. But it’s worth remember that they are also more expensive to produce. It’s this discrepancy that leads many marketers to worry about ROI and video ads.

#video

 

REACHING YOUNG (BUT NOT *TOO* YOUNG) USERS ON SNAPCHAT

Jim Beam is using Snapchat to market it’s apple-flavored bourbon. While Snapchat does not allow much targeting — and this is on purpose — they offer enough age targeting to allow the bourbon maker to advertise only to users 21 and over. There’s still plenty of market there, since Snapchat’s 21-and-over audience represents 82 percent of its total user base.

#social

 

PODCASTS REMAIN HOT

Book publishers aren’t the only advertisers waking up to the power of podcast advertising.

#podcasts

Next to Now: Hot News Edition

WHO’S HOT?

“July’s Most Tweeted Sites” in order: BBC, NYTimes, Mashable, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NBC, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, Business Insider

via The One Thing Issue 15

#placement

 

HTML5 IS GOING MAINSTREAM

IAB updates the industry standard to HTML5, finishing the job on Flash that Steve Jobs started when he wouldn’t let it work on iPhones. Verso is ready for the switch.

Related: Amazon announces it will no longer accept flash ads on its site, starting in September

#adtech

 

THINK ABOUT *WHEN* YOUR VIDEO IS SERVED

This chart reveals mobile video consumption by daypart. Currently only “6% of US digital video campaigns served on (the Videology) platform during Q1 2015 used daypart as part of their targeting criteria.”

#video

 

THE COLOR OF INNOVATION

is chartreuse.

#design

 

LISTEN OUT FOR NEW SPOTIFY AD OPTIONS

Spotify is changing its privacy agreement to give it more access to personal information. It seems likely that this is in advance of new ad products on the platform.

#audio

 

PROMOTED VIDEO ADS COME TO GOOGLE

Google is testing promoted video ads on the search page. Yahoo and Bing search teams are also developing the technology to make this happen.

“‘What used to be narrowly defined as search is being turned on its head,’ said one digital marketing executive. ‘Google is finally getting away from just having three lines of text. Video ads have taken over mobile, Facebook and YouTube, and Google is thinking about how to integrate them into search.’”

#video #search

 

CAN LOCAL PRINT MEDIA “OUT TV THE TV”?

Print newspapers are using video and platforms like Roku to serve local communities with the news their local TV stations are ignoring.

#video

 

REWIND, AUGUST 2013: “IT’S THE CREATIVE, STUPID”

In the August 2013 MacTaggart lecture, Kevin spacey talked about the changes to the creative industry, and the importance of nurturing emerging talent.

via The One Thing Issue 15

#creativity