CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO UNEMPLOYMENT
Beware of the “Yellow Icon” that indicates a “de-monetized” video.
“In November, Mars Inc., Adidas and Deutsche Bank all said they would halt advertising on YouTube [due to their ads appearing against truly reprehensible content.]”
Addressing this has its costs. “For every YouTuber who hit it big and now makes money selling books, make-up or TV shows, there are dozens more creators who eke out a living advertisement by advertisement.”
Creators are at the mercy of algorithms (and, soon, 10,000 more humans) as advertisers insist on greater assurances of controversy-free content.
Depending on your campaign scale and content, you might want to consider what kinds of properties to include on your blacklist. The dangers are not limited to YouTube.
FIVE DIGITAL ADVERTISING TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2018
Retargeting, privacy, and more in Marketing Land’s predictions.
“The US has essentially opened the floodgates on user data.”
FOURTH-LARGEST BOOKSTORE IN U.S. CLOSES
An opportunity for community book stores, and a loss for many who have no access to one.
“These streets look as if an overpowering recession had hit, but the unemployment rate in Wisconsin fell this year to a 17-year low. Mequon is especially affluent: Its household income is double the national average. This is Amazon Prime territory.”
GODZILLA GIRDS FOR BATTLE WITH MOTHRA, KONG
As above with retail, so below with advertising. Amazon is challenging Google and Facebook by diversifying its offerings
Currently it has only about 2% of the market against their combined 70% but it also has your wish list. “Amazon showed some willingness to share more user data than Google and Facebook have traditionally — if the advertising budget was big enough.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Next to Now is thankful for . . .
Improvements in Mobile Ad Targeting
Nielsen reports that the ability to target specific demos on targeting has increased to 60% of mobile ad impressions (up from 49% a year ago). This indicates that post-Cookie targeting capabilities are improving.
Facebook Working toward Measurement Transparency
Related: We’re also glad we never migrated to Atlas ad serving because they’re shutting it down.
The End of Black Friday as a Stand-Alone Event
Ad Agencies Waking Up to What People Are Really Aspiring To
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON LEAVES HUFF PO
A chain of acquisitions that started with Huffington Post being bought by AOL, then AOL being bought by Verizon made this a likely scenario, but now it’s official: Arianna Huffington is leaving the site she founded in 2005 to concentrate on her health and wellness startup Thrive. We’ll have to see what this means for Huffington Post. While the site has moved beyond relying on the celebrity connections that Huffington brought to the table, it has also lost some of the relevance it once had.
iOS 10 UPDATE LIMITS USER TRACKING
For the 14% of iPhone users who have turned on the “Limit Ad Tracking” feature on their mobile phones, the coming iOS 10 update will limit far more of their information. This won’t stop those 14% of iPhone users from seeing ads; they’ll see just as many. But it will mean that the ads they see will be less suited to their own needs, habits, and desires.
FATHERLY REACHES MILLENNIAL DADS
If you’re looking to reach millennial dads, Fatherly.com is a site to watch. They’ve been growing their audience through a strong Facebook presence but are smartly moving beyond that to build a direct connection with their audience through email. Click here for the Digiday article on Fatherly’s viral video strategy.
WATTPAD INTRODUCES NEW AD TOOLS
The popular user-generated writing site Wattpad is introducing a new ad product that puts ads between the chapters of select writers on the site, and sends some of the revenue toward the writers. This experiment looks like a win-win: writers will have a stake in building their audiences and book advertisers will have a clutter-free, reader-friendly environment in which to advertise. We look forward to watching this develop.
New York Public Library photo (c) 2016 Martha Otis
NATIVE ADVERTISING BEST PRACTICES
Smart, clever, informative native ads are one of the most exciting growth areas in advertising. Digiday walks us through the process that has brought significant improvement to Slate’s native efforts. In addition to bringing a more Slate-style voice to the content, the new native ads are more transparent about the sponsorship. This is very important point with native advertising, and it’s worth underscoring: don’t try to trick the reader, be upfront about your sponsorship and s/he will be more open to the content of what you’re saying:
“Most people spend their time trying to avoid ads, but Slate found that on its more explicitly labeled ads, the click-through rates were three times higher than the previous units (though Slate wouldn’t disclose the CTR). The publisher also contends that average time spent on the new units doubled, to 4 minutes, 15 seconds.”
SPOTIFY INTRODUCES PROGRAMMATIC
With over 100 million users worldwide, Spotify is the leader in a battle for listeners among Pandora and Apple Music. As advertisers, we have found that Pandora’s deep sets of user data and targeting mechanisms, not to mention their flexibility on price, has made them our go-to for book advertising. But with Spotify’s latest announcement, it might be time to reconsider Spotify for book ads. As reported in Adweek:
“The music streaming service announced today it will start offering programmatic advertising for the 70 million people using the free version of its platform. The Swedish company launched private marketplaces in partnership with AppNexus, Rubicon Project and The Trade Desk for buying both 15- and 30-second audio spots.”
More good options are always better for book advertisers. We are happy to have some new ways to target the Spotify audience.
HOW TO CATCH THE WAVE OF “SURGING NEWS”
The Guardian debuts a “surge news” ad product that’s similar to surge products from the New York Times and Washington Post. Given that surging news could be everything from the weather to a terrorist attack, it’s good that they are allowing advertisers to set keywords for any topics they don’t want to appear against. But for the right title, it could be a great way to be adjacent to the most relevant stories of the moment.
WIRED ON NEWSLETTERS
The long tail of the weird, the wild, the passionate, the hand-made is alive and well on emails thanks to services like Tiny Letter. With 100% opt in subscribers and open rates greater than 70%, these are audiences advertisers should reach for niche products—and there’s non nichier than most books. In the old days of the Internet we reached this audience via blogs through channels including the Verso Reader Channels. Now we get them via emails.
Hudson riverfront photo (c) 2016 Tom Thompson
The Wall Street Journal reports that Snapchat is getting older—with 14% of US smartphone owners over 35 years old using the app. While they don’t use it with the same frequency and velocity we see with teenage users, the aging of the user population is a sure sign that the platform is going to give bigger rivals such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a run for their money.
SNAPCHAT GAINS MEMORIES
As part of that maturing process, Snapchat introduced “Memories”—a way to save your own Snapchats for future sharing.
ADS ARE DEAD (LONG LIVE ADVERTISING!)
On Digiday, Copyranter asks the question “Does advertising even work anymore?” Then answers it: No! Then qualifies: Kind of. Then flips back to “No!” Then shows you how to sell to advertising-averse Millennials. See what he did there?
GOOGLE HONES ITS TARGETING DATA
With their new “My Activity” page, Google is bringing together what they know about users from Search, Mobile, Browsing and more. This has everything to do with the advertising data wars and their fight with Facebook for supremacy.
THE NEWS OF TUMBLR’S DEATH IS GREATLY EXAGERRATED
The New Republic does a deep dive into Tumblr that shows how the platform remains vital for teens (and, thus, vital for YA marketing strategy).
LOCATION-BASED ADVERTISING GETS AN UPGRADE
The Village Voice looks at whether or not the new LINK NYC systems are good for the city. For sure, they’re good for advertisers in general and Google in particular. Data collected at the kiosks from browsing history will tell advertiser a lot about the demographic profile of the outdoor audience and make for the best targeting we’ve seen from outdoor advertising yet. As consumers though (and we *are* citizens as well as advertisers), it’s worth remembering the internet adage: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” And it’s worth thinking through the “devil’s advocate” position on ad targeting if we’re to do our jobs as advertisers and citizens equally well.
photo (c) Martha Otis
TWITTER INTRODUCES EMOJI TARGETING
Adweek announces that Twitter is set to allow advertisers to target by emoji. From showing a travel book to users of the airplane emoji to a soccer book to users of the soccer ball emoji, there are endless ways to put this new targeting to work for your title.
HIGHER ENGAGEMENT WITH ARTICLE-EMBEDDED VIDEO
A new study using eye-tracking software suggests that video embedded in news articles has significantly higher levels of engagement than video viewed in social media. The report found that 50% of users scroll more in social media and cover more content, but engage less with any single piece of content.
PODCAST LISTENERS: A SMALL BUT ENGAGED AUDIENCE
In a new study reported on eMarketer, only 21% of internet users said they listened to podcasts. But of those who had listened to a podcast in the last 6 months, 85% tune in at least once a month and 33% say they listen more than once a week. This is more evidence that podcast listeners are a highly engaged audience.
FACEBOOK SET TO TRAFFIC IN-STORE IMPACT OF ADS
Facebook is joining Google and Four Square with its plan to track in-store behavior of people who see ads on Facebook. This is potentially good news for real-world bookstores and we look forward to learning just how digital ads affect the in-store experience.
LINKEDIN PURCHASE MAKES MICROSOFT A BUSINESS COMMUNITY LEADER
The combination of LinkedIn’s social chops with Microsoft’s deep data-rich information about the tools used in most businesses means this merger could be good news for advertisers looking to reach the business community.
THIRD PARTY ADS COME TO SNAPCHAT
Third party access usually mean technological assistance improves and minimum spends come down. So this is good news for advertisers looking to reach the Snapchat generation, but who don’t have the six figure budgets that have been the easiest way to promote stories. Here’s Adweek’s take on the Snapchat news. Here’s more on it from The Drum and from Bloomberg.
LOOKING TO REACH ENTREPRENEURS?
A new partnership between iHeartRadio and WeWork promises to be a great way to reach entrepreneurs:
“According to WeWork CMO David Weiswasser, music has played an important role for WeWork during its history. The company already hosts a number of events each year centered around music, and in the past, it programmed its own streaming station and hosted a three-day event in the Adirondack Mountains featuring live bands for members. He said the iHeartMedia partnership is a chance to build in a way that’s both community- and member-driven.”
Commerce is coming to a messenger app near you. Soon a conversation on Facebook Messenger about finally getting those “Hamilton” tickets could lead to an invitation to read the book that inspired the musical. You could then buy the book through one click, then go on chatting.
photo (c) Martha Otis at Union Square Market
THE RISE OF THE MICROINFLUENCERS
Bigger is not always better when it comes to influencer marketing:
“For unpaid posts, Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers have a like rate of about 8 percent, while those with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a like rate of 4 percent.”
That’s good news for book publishers and any advertiser whose budget is more micro than mega.
NEW MEDIA TARGETING
Hulu’s SVP of Sales makes a good point in Adweek (caveat emptor: he’s a sales guy, so he’s trying to sell you something). It’s good to know how a site indexes for the target audience, what the most popular content is, etc., but . . .
“. . . those questions and answers come from yesterday’s play book. Hulu’s median age really doesn’t matter. What matters is that we can pinpoint any age group advertisers are trying to reach. It doesn’t matter how we index against millennials or any other audience segment. Why bother with indices? What matters is that we can deliver 100 percent of an advertiser’s target segment. And while popularity of programing is directionally interesting, what’s more interesting is the ability to buy against both heavily streamed shows and shows that are heavily viewed by your target audience.”
In the new media reality, the question becomes: where can we put our ad so it’s served to 100% of the audience and content adjacencies that are right for our book.
EXPERIMENTS IN OUTDOOR
Hubspot highlights seven interactive outdoor campaigns that caught their eye. We’ve noticed a couple of these on Next to Now over the past year — including the Women’s Aid poster in London — but it’s good to look at them in one place and remember how outdoor is changing thanks to digital innovation.
More stats from Google that will remind you why you don’t have to make broadcast TV spots any more, including the fact that YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds on mobile alone than any broadcast or cable TV network.
According to Mashable, fear of mobile ad blocking (FOMAB) outstripped the reality. The mobile ad business continues to do well. But it does look like the scare has helped publishers of all stripes take user experience a little more seriously; if so, then maybe it was a good thing.
Today's image is Cy Twombley's "Untitled I-VI (Green Paintings)" Series on view in the "Unfinished" show currently up at the Met Breur