Social Media Advertising
Article | July 14, 2022
The impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is being felt by millions of people across the globe. While nobody knows how long this period will last, I believe it's important for companies to try to find some semblance of normalcy. To do so, companies should consider all the ways they can continue to move forward with an eye toward empathy. This mindset comes with its own unique restrictions and challenges as human behaviors evolve. With the rise of social distancing and limits around public gatherings, people are moving away from live entertainment, such as movie theaters, plays, sporting events and concerts. Instead, they are spending more time streaming their favorite movies and shows, browsing social media, and playing video games from the comfort of their homes. In lieu of socializing at restaurants and bars, people are connecting with colleagues, friends and loved ones digitally, and many are doing their shopping via e-commerce.
Article | September 1, 2023
Netflix Takes an Unexpected Route
Popular streaming giant Netflix’s subscriber count plummeted for the first time in a decade. After it announced the loss of 200K subscribers in Q1 of 2022, its stocks dipped more than 35%. In addition, a shareholder recently sued the platform for violating securities law after its subscriber growth reached an all-time low and the stock value crashed, making the picture bleaker.
It’s not surprising that the platform had a change of heart about bringing advertising to its platform. The decision puts the platform in the same category as its competitors, HBO Max, Amazon’s Freevee, and Disney+, who want to offer cheaper, ad-enabled content to consumers. It also addresses the company’s issue of slow revenue growth.
“Those who have followed Netflix know that I’ve been against the complexity of advertising and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription, But as much as I’m a fan of that, I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice.”
co-CEO Reed Hastings
What Do Advertisers Think?
The advertising community had mixed reactions to the announcement. Long commercials are not an option on streaming platforms like Netflix. The ads run only for a few minutes every hour to retain the viewer experience. Despite this, advertisers are excited to target Netflix’s rich audience of over 200 million.
There is no clarity on who will sell the ads and how the campaigns will be managed. Only time will tell how Netflix’s move will affect its subscribers and the advertising market.
The company will keep ad-free tiers for subscribers who wish to enjoy high-quality ad-free content. It may change its subscription plans to offer low-cost plans with ads and minimize password sharing. There is no set timeline or regions decided for implementing these plans.
The company hopes that this “consumer choice” to choose a cheaper plan will revive its subscriber growth graph.
What Comes Next?
Though Netflix has done the unexpected, it is giving well-established ad-funded broadcasters and streaming platforms a reason to worry. As of now, the potential for a low-cost VOD service equipped with ads is huge for advertisers. Once the plans are introduced, new audience profiles will emerge. Advertisers will want to understand and target them. As an ad platform, Netflix’s performance will only be understood through testing and learning.
Article | August 2, 2022
A KPMG study found that 86% of consumers are concerned about data privacy and 78% about the amount of personal data collected. Industry players are re-envisioning their future strategies and how they will need to adapt to the impending demise of third-party cookies.
Contextual targeting has resurged to ensure campaign reach and effectiveness, Let us examine how contextual targeting can help advertisers adapt to a cookie-less future:
Targeting Has Advanced
AI and machine learning are trending. Theymimichuman behavior to understand the context of any given environment to serve relevant ads. This type of targeting is called semantic contextual targeting. AI advances with Natural Language Processing (NLP) enable deeper, more nuanced page analysis that can understand tone and sentiment. Advertisers can place campaigns more reliably and brand-safely without cookies or other identifiers. Recently, TikTok launched its new contextual tool, TikTok Pulse. Brands can advertise alongside top-performing content in the “For You” feed. This symbolizes a privacy-conscious future for the digital advertising industry.
Contextual Targeting Can Outperform Third-Party Cookies
Contextual targeting can outperform cookies in clickthrough rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and viewability. Contextual targeting does not require user information, first-party data, or consent to work.
Advertisers like you can target the audience using brand-relevant content to boost brand recall and engagement, even in niche categories. You can fine-tune your inventory selection and create custom segments. This reduces the risk of the ad appearing alongside inappropriate content. Contextual targeting is also good for publishers because it lets them show ads that are accurate and relevant at the right time.
CTV is a New Contextual Ads Frontier
Targeting the right audience without cookies is difficult in CTV, but contextual targeting and the rise of more industry players offer scalable and customizable solutions. AI and audio recognition can target viewers based on what they're about to watch. Such individualized, non-disruptive ads ensure performance and brand safety in premium broadcast environments.
Changes in the advertising industry, combined with advancements in contextual targeting, make it more relevant than ever for advertisers and publishers. The industry must collaborate to create more privacy-compliant and brand-safe environments in the future.
Advertiser Campaign Management
Article | December 10, 2020
Where’s the nearest click and collect? What time does our local store close in light of the latest COVID-19 restrictions? Where can I order that toy car he/she wanted for Christmas?
Our bet is Google is your first port of call for an answer to any of these questions.
If it is, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that Google processes 5.8 billion user searches per day. And, even though there are other search engines out there, like Bing and Yahoo, it is by far the most popular.
So, with so many potential customers – because let’s face it, of those 5.8 billion there are bound to be a few thousand searching for your specific products or services - businesses simply cannot overlook advertising on Google. And even more so now thanks to restrictions on physical stores across the world being put back in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Nate Burke, CEO and founder of Diginius, an ecommerce solutions provider that specialises in digital marketing PPC management, explains how you can get the most out of your Google advertising activities.
The first round of lockdowns during the spring and early summer saw many businesses with physical outlets grind to almost a complete halt. Going digital was the only option for many in order to have some chance of survival.
This saw restaurants offering online order services, more retailers moving into ecommerce and professional services conducting remote meetings via video calls.
Despite some easing of restrictions, many have kept digital their focus. For example, video meetings such as Microsoft Teams, which grew by 894% between February to June in 2020, are now prevalent as the office’s new best friend. And restaurants for instance, have advanced their minimal contact table service, allowing customers to order and pay for food on their phones by scanning a QR code or downloading an app.
But now, with lockdown restrictions being re-enforced in Britain and many other parts of the world, businesses looking to maximise their sales and earnings ahead of the Christmas period, and before the New Year begins, can’t ignore the advertising opportunities available on Google.
PPC advertising is perhaps the most obvious opportunity. It’s the best way to guarantee that your brand is put in front of an audience and can help generate a spike in traffic and leads.
Paid Search identifies “buyers” immediately. People who have typed in and are clicking a specific keyword tends to already be in buying mode, even if only at the research stage of the journey, which is so powerful compared to the rest of the marketing mix
This is because searchers seek convenience. We have come to expect the first listing on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to provide an answer to our query. If it doesn’t, we are more likely to change our search than scroll through pages and pages of results.
Therefore, getting your brand on that all-important first page is crucial for success on Google, which is exactly why paid advertising is beneficial. Not only can it promise a guaranteed spot here, if, the price is right for you, but it could also, potentially, provide you with the number one position.
As well as SERPs, ads can be created for the display network, utilising visual aids in the form of graphics and videos to attract leads on the Google Shopping network, which is particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses looking to increase sales.
However, to ensure your ads are shown to people who will add value to your business, PPC activity must be strategically mapped out and effectively managed. Account set-up, keywords and bidding strategies must be considered, monitored and then adjusted to ensure your activity is effective and a return on your investment is achieved.
This requires dedicated personnel, time and budget – for both ad spend and management practices for either training, wages or outsourcing the task to an agency.
But, despite the capital required to get started, there are a number of ways to ensure you yield results that make it worthwhile. For example, remarketing can help minimise lost leads and maximise budget by targeting potential customers who have already shown an interest in your product or service.
Automation strategies are another. Bidding and ad copy can be altered automatically, depending on factors including the time of day, location and the user’s specific query wording, for instance. This lessens the chance of clicks from users with little intention of purchasing or submitting an enquiry, and, consequently, reduces wasted budget. Another common way to get more out of search advertising is to replicate campaigns across Microsoft Ads, where there is typically less competition, cheaper clicks, and a better return on investment, albeit lower search volumes.
One of the greatest benefits of the internet is its ability to connect businesses and customers no matter the physical distance between them. And, with lockdown enforcements, an online offering presents an opportunity to reach an even wider customer base than a shop or physical facility that is restricted by location.
However, the internet is a big, old place. It houses greater competition than what many businesses are used to in the physical realm and, as result, it’s easy to become lost, especially if you are in the early stages of establishing an online presence.
So, no matter whether you’re a retailer offering click and collect or running business as usual albeit remotely, keeping things local is your best bet for online success.
In fact, Google uses a Relevance, Distance and Prominence model to determine search results. Those most relevant, the closest in distance to the searcher and most prominent or popular are more likely to be ranked higher on results pages.
In order to maximise your chances of ranking highly for those searching for your products and services in your local area, you should make the most of tools, such as Google My Business and reviews.
As well as providing potential customers with vital business information, such as your address, contact details and COVID-adjusted opening hours, you can also instil trust and confidence in them by presenting a business that appears to be well established and organised. This is particularly important as those consumer sentiments have declined due to the pandemic.
So far, businesses have done well in adapting their processes to changing customer needs in such a short amount of time and under incredibly difficult circumstances at that.
With the coronavirus crisis far from over and many facing an online future, the only thing we can be certain of at this point is that businesses and retailers must act now to grasp opportunity. By utilising platforms such as Google and Microsoft, business owners are not simply making the best of a bad situation but are more so positioning their brand at the forefront of their chosen industry, gifting a significant advantage when markets reopen in their newly digital-focused form.