Tag Archives: online advertising

INVERSO October

5 REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

About the book business, from Marcus Dohle.

CHEER UP

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL SEEKS WOMEN

New ad campaign targets ambitious GenZers and Millennials, especially women. “Those generations have a huge desire to make stuff happen.”

MAKE STUFF HAPPEN

 

WHERE DO I CLICK?

Instagram changes its CTA palette to reflect dominant color of the content. A good idea?

YOU DECIDE

 

BILLBOARDS THAT TELL A STORY

That is, they really have a lot of text. Not for drivers, obviously. Could be great for excerpts though, and reasonably priced.

SEE HOW THEY LOOK

INVERSO September

 

I’D LOVE TO SEE THAT PRESENTATION AGAIN

LinkedIn debuts “Native Video” to increase engagement.

“We are getting a wide range of people from tugboat operators to rock blasters and landscape architects,” Davies continues. “So, we have to think about how video will be most useful for those people.”

Lights, camera …

http://adage.com/article/digital/linkedin-debuts-nativ/310189/?utm_source=digital_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1504032567&utm_visit=1144142

 

 

WOULD YOU LIKE EPIPHANY WITH THAT?

Have a little literature with your commute, thanks to the same concept that brings you Coca Cola and Fritos in waiting areas – vending machines. It’s happening in France and San Francisco.

How much for an O. Henry?

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/short-story-vending-machine

 

 

THE AGING FACE OF FACEBOOK

It seems teens have other places to be:

http://adage.com/article/news/fb-charts/310188/?utm_source=digital_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1504032567&utm_visit=1144142

Which is why CNN is going on Snapchat:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/22/cnn-launches-daily-news-show-on-snapchat.html

Which doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t still rule the world:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/04/the-fake-news-fallacy

 

 

#HAPPYBIRTHDAY HASHTAG

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/business/hashtag-anniversary-twitter.html?mcubz=1

 

 

Next to Now – Late July Edition

 

 

IAB FAUs with VR, AR, and FAQ

The Standard Advertising Units are meeting new standards, as the IAB releases its new portfolio of Flexible Ad Units, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and other formats, spanning the latest in social media, mobile video (vertical! 360-degree!) and even emoji.

The biggest change is from fixed pixel sizes to aspect ratios. This may not be a big deal this week, but like the transition from Flash to HTML5 it will be changing our lives very soon.

OK GO!!!

 

 

PROGRAMMATIC NODS TO NATIVE

MediaRadar says more native is being purchased while programmatic spending is down.

This is partly due to brand safety concerns but performance plays in, our own experience suggests.

Print continues to descend – but readers gonna read. It’s not dead yet, especially among the kinds of readers who buy hardcovers.

Explore Nativity

A fuller look at ad spends this quarter HERE

 

 

SEARCH NODS TO DISCOVERY

Giving the people what they didn’t know they wanted.

“It requires a lot of tracking resources, which is not an easy thing to do, but success on the web is not easy either.”

Shop around

 

 

THE 10 MOST WATCHED ADS ON YOUTUBE

Help them to be watched still more.

Takeaways: Know what your audience knows and use that to tell a story they’ll relate to.   (Bonus: spend lots of money.)

Application: Utilize comps, fonts, art, and language to build familiarity, and if possible subvert the viewer’s expectations in a rewarding (amusing) way.

BEHOLD …

 

 

Next to Now – Late April Edition

NEW YORK TIMES JOINS SNAPCHAT DISCOVER

Where is the news going? Where is it coming from?

Is a picture worth 1000 words?  Depends on the words.

DISCOVERINATE!

 

GEN Z —

One wonders what the succeeding generation will be called.

“Luckily, advertisers can ensure their ads stay Gen Z-significant by leveraging 3 key elements in their digital advertising approach…”

WHAT 3 KEY ELEMENTS?

 

PINTEREST:  “DON’T LIKE US ANYMORE.”

Pinterest isn’t a social network, it says — rather it wants to be seen as a visual search engine.

“The hope is that you’ll get ideas for your real life, and you’ll close the app, get off your phone and try those ideas.”

Turn off that computer!  Go outside and play!

VERY PINTERESTING … 

 

PAMA CORNER

9 intriguing stats from last week via AdWeek

Bookstagrammers Event MAY 10th

 

SESAME STREET VERSUS DATA

Early studies showed that Sesame Street was harmful to the children it was meant to serve.  Mr. Rogers fared better.

Credible?

How to get to Sesame Street

 

Next to Now Late February Edition

 

WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE YOU?

“In the decision to trust a source, objective expertise appears to matter less than the determination that this person shares our beliefs, assumptions and suspicions, that they are, in a sense, a member of our tribe.”

Tell a story, earn some trust. 

 

TOP 4 BEST …

What makes you want to pay attention?  Here are VentureBeat’s “4 best practices to move the needle on digital advertising.”

“The only problem is that creating an exciting, engaging campaign is easier said than done.”

No kidding!  But food for thought as we select our review quotes.

 

COOL YOUR JETS, DIGITAL.

The advertising market is more diverse than some would have us believe, says SMI via MediaPost.

See from a different perspective. 

 

PAMA AND PAMELA PAUL

Pamela Paul speaks at the Publishers Advertising and Marketing Association’s event next week, Wednesday, March 1.

Full disclosure:  Poster Christian Toth is PAMA’s president!

More here if you’re interested. 

 

 

Next to Now for January 2017

CAN THEY HEAR WHAT YOU HEAR?

Not always.  Here are 6 tips from Facebook for making silent videos speak.

Listen to the silence. 

 

“For mobile marketing, a moment of transformation is at hand …

… By year’s end, 75% of online content consumption will be mobile.”

Something to bear in mind when reviewing our ad stats, which often average mobile and desktop together.  (Not all CTRs are created equal.)

Tune in to Programmatic with Point 3.  A tool to remember as we plan our campaigns.

Read about the projections. 

 

“WE’RE PUTTING IT ALL INTO FACEBOOK!”

Maybe that’s a good idea … but maybe not.

Consider this. 

 

 

 

Design Notes: Simplicity Rules

By Verso’s Creative Team

#f8981d" title="Simplicity" src="http://www.versoadvertising.com/inverso/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Simplicity.gif" alt="Simplicity" width="600" height="125" srcset="http://www.versoadvertising.com/inverso/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Simplicity.gif 600w, http://www.versoadvertising.com/inverso/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Simplicity-300x62.gif 300w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px" />

In the age of complexity, we respond to simplicity. This is as true for good ad design as it is for services like Google search and products like Apple’s iPhone. But two forces, one a legacy of print and the other from the bleeding edge of technology, are leading to more and more complex ads, and this is not necessarily a good thing. In a recent article in Ad Age, ad-effectiveness researcher Philip Sawyer observes that declining click-through rates in display ads may be stemming from increasingly complex ads.
Part of the problem is that technology allows creative departments to do so much more now than we ever could before. From expanding boxes to in-banner video to data-intensive flash tricks, it’s suddenly affordable—both in ad cost and memory cost—to produce exceedingly fancy digital ads. There’s a natural temptation to use all the tools at your disposal for every ad—as if a banner that uses 100k memory is somehow necessarily better than one that only uses 20k.  But complexity is often the enemy of communication.
But the other reason for the complexity is specific to book publishing’s history of print ads. Everybody in publishing knows that the right review in the right place can sell books. So it’s only natural that most print ads are driven by review copy—often trying to pack as many glowing reviews into a space as possible. This can be a highly successful tactic that takes full advantage of the print medium’s relatively large space and its audience’s long attention span. But that strategy must shift in the digital sphere, where ads run in a busy, ever-changing context, and where viewer attention-spans are wickedly brief.
In 2005, Sawyer was the lead analyst for a series of online-advertising-effectiveness studies that revealed that most advertisers made similar mistakes in creating online ads, almost all of which boil down to one bit of advice: “Keep It Simple.” Revisiting the survey, Sawyer found advertisers making the same mistakes in 2010 that they made in 2005. Here are Sawyer’s 7 deadly sins of digital ads:
1. They are too complex. 2. They take too long to get to the point. 3. They are ambiguous. 4. They are visually bland — or, worse, ugly. 5. They use Flash for the sake of Flash — not for a clear purpose. 6. They are often difficult, if not impossible, to read. 7. They are bereft of benefit statements.
This may explain why we occasionally see quick-and-dirty static .gifs perform better than labor-intensive flash masterpieces. When there is only one panel to work with, it imposes a discipline that fosters simplicity of approach and directness of message. And this is why some of our best performing ads did not feature quotes, but a simple free offer.
The best digital ads get right to the point, whether it’s an offer, a deal, or even if the point is simply “Critics Rave.”  Leave the details for the click through — no matter how great the adjectives nor (especially!) the lengths the reviewer goes to shower praise.

In the age of complexity, we respond to simplicity. This is as true for good ad design as it is for services like Google search and products like Apple’s iPhone. But two forces, one a legacy of print and the other from the bleeding edge of technology, are leading to more and more complex ads, and this is not necessarily a good thing. In a recent article in Ad Age, ad-effectiveness researcher Philip Sawyer observes that declining click-through rates in display ads may be stemming from increasingly complex ads.

Part of the problem is that technology allows creative departments to do so much more now than we ever could before. From expanding boxes to in-banner video to data-intensive Flash tricks, it’s suddenly affordable—both in ad cost and memory cost—to produce exceedingly fancy digital ads. There’s a natural temptation to use all the tools at your disposal for every ad—as if a banner that uses 100k memory is somehow necessarily better than one that only uses 20k. But complexity is often the enemy of communication.

Continue reading

Verso Reader Channel-Nielsen BookScan Study

Point of sale data collected from Nielsen BookScan shows that Verso Reader Channel campaigns have a strong positive effect on book sales. A Verso Reader Channel study of the first thirty five Reader Channel campaigns shows a statistically significant .588 correlation between weekly sales increases (based on BookScan unit sales data) and number of impressions delivered via Reader Channels campaigns.

BookScanChart1

As the above graph demonstrates, there is a clear inflection point at the 1.5-2.0 million impression level. This means that campaigns that deliver 1.5 million or more impressions ($10,000 spend at the standard $6 CPM) yield dramatically improved results.

This study also shows that total impressions are a more important metric than click-through rates. The individual ads might not result in an immediate purchase or click, but the impressions increase buyer’s awareness. This supports what we found with recent campaigns in which average to below-average CTRs produced outstanding results in terms of site visits, awareness and, most important, sales.

Beyond the Click Through

From the beginning, online advertising has been touted as something altogether different from print, broadcast and outdoor—an advertising medium where you can truly measure results. Unfortunately, the reality is that when there is so much information to be had, it’s hard to know what’s worth focusing on. In fact, the full-on pursuit of ROI can distract not only from significant results but also from pursuing the kind of thinking we need to create truly innovative and effective marketing campaigns.

Most advertisers concentrate on click-through rate (CTR) as the definitive measure of any digital campaign. But several recent studies from comScore suggest that CTR is not the single most important measurement. By studying search, site traffic and consumer spending patterns, comScore has found a significant correlation between ad impact and consumer behavior for up to four weeks following ad exposure.

The Silent Clicke
from "The Silent Click"—(c) 2009 Online Publishers Association and comScore

You can see from this graph that online ads have a powerful “display” function that resonates beyond the campaign itself, and is not measurable by CTR alone. As Forbes reported on a 2008 study, “comScore found readers were 46% more likely to visit an advertiser’s site within four weeks of seeing its ad online than they were if they did not view an ad.” Verso Digital’s own experience with campaigns for book publishers supports these findings.

Our own projects—on the Reader Channels and throughout the digital sphere—indicate that the most relevant campaign metric is often not CTR, but numbers that reveal other user behavior such as site visitation, engagement, and, most important, sales. While generating outstanding site-engagement, some of our most successful campaigns in fact showed only average to below-average CTRs. In one case, a pre-sales ad campaign for Thomas L. Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded promoted free audio downloads. It led to over 99,000 downloads, 13,000 registered email addresses and 160,000+ users available for retargeting. In another case, an ad campaign promoting a key chain giveaway for John Grogan’s Bad Dogs Have More Fun led to over 100,000 people registering to learn more about the book. The publisher saw major traffic continuing for at least four weeks following the conclusion of the Verso Reader Channel ad campaign—with no additional publicity, promotion or advertising to support it.

CTR remains a useful metric, but only when considered in relationship to sales, traffic, search, and total impressions delivered. Campaigns on premium sites with a great book audience, such as the NYTimes.com, often generate CTRs well-above average. But because ads on the site are so expensive, the total number of people reached, and thus the total number of people who click through, is relatively small. For example, a $10,000 spend on a site with a $40 CPM results in 250,000 impressions delivered. When the CPM drops to $5, however, that same $10,000 delivers 2 million impressions. At a standard .1% CTR, $10,000 spent with a $40 CPM delivers 250 clicks. With a relatively below-average .05% CTR, $10,000 spent with a $5 CPM delivers 1,000 clicks. In this scenario, the campaign with the lower CTR actually performed better by delivering more users to the site. For this reason, CTR should always be considered hand-in-hand with total impressions delivered.

The goal of each new marketing campaign—and the measure of its success—must reflect the resources at hand and how you can best reach the community of potential readers. What doesn’t change is the need for flexible ideas and an ability to think through each niche effort in its full context.

Put Your Video to Work

In the past few years, book publishers have created a lot of interesting, entertaining and relevant video content that sits un-watched on You Tube and author websites. The “Post-It-and-They-Will-Come” model is clearly not working. Several major publishers are creating dynamic homepages in hopes that they will become reader destinations and communities. While there is a useful role for these sites as resources for reviewers, news gatherers and others in the industry, none has either the mass scale or niche credibility needed to gain traction with the reading public. One exception might prove to be Tor.com which is leveraging their Sci-Fi brand and expertise with a publisher-agnostic site.

Verso Digital encourages all publishers to take their video to the book’s audience where it’s most active and engaged online. Here are some strategies for leveraging that content right now.

VideoToWork_image

A recent report from DoubleClick, mirrors our own experience with flash and video book ads—showing that video ads have significantly higher levels of engagement than standard flash ads. Recent technology breakthroughs make it easier than ever to use in video in all kinds of places that were formerly off-limits for technological or budgetary reasons. We have run highly successful video ad campaigns on everything from Facebook apps such as Visual Bookshelf to NYTimes.com–and can now run video ads across the entire Verso Reader Channel ad network for a minimal additional cost. All without incurring the additional expense of using a third party server.

As the average time spent online officially passes time spent watching TV, it’s important to remember that viewers don’t necessarily make the same distinction as a professional data company like Bowker does between “TV” and “Online.” With the explosive growth of sites like Hulu, audiences are increasingly accessing TV content online. This creates an opportunity on sites to reach TV audiences in new ways. Hulu’s channels, from News & Information to Sports to Food and Leisure, are a perfect fit for the categories of contemporary publishing. And in the last two months, Verso has had success with campaigns on Hulu’s “Science Fiction” channel for everything from Vampire Romance to an epic Norse poem translated by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The NYTimes R&D Lab has been inspirational in rethinking content and advertising—mixing high-quality reporting with photos, video, audio and Web 2.0-style community-input. There is an ever-increasing array of advertising products associated with this new content, and Verso Digital is taking advantage of them as they come along—not only with the NYTimes iPhone and Blackberry apps, but also with pre-roll and rich-media offerings on the site. It’s important to stay current with what the Times is working on, so Verso teamed up with them for a series of breakfasts that introduce our clients to the latest thinking from R&D. We’ve had two sold-out events so far, featuring such forward-thinking strategists as Martin Nisenholtz and Nick Bilton, and will be scheduling more in the months to come.

While sites like Hulu and NYTimes.com allow us to re-purpose the traditional :15-:30 spots we’ve always created, the Web gives us the chance to reimagine how we can use video assets of all kinds. Whether it’s for author blogs, news sites, broadcast-TV, and social media apps, Verso can create or repurpose existing video for use wherever it’s needed. You know all those book trailers you made that are sitting in your digital basement? Well, it’s time to dust them off and put them to work.