Facebook Audience Network Now Open for All Advertisers

Facebook has been texting and expanding their Facebook Audience Network (FAN) for well over a year now.  It started out with the option just to run advertisements using their network in a wide range of different mobile apps.  To build on that success they have been running a closed beta test that would allow advertisers to use FAN to run ads on mobile websites.

They have just announced that they are opening up the network for all advertisers to run their ads on mobile websites as well, in addition to the app ads.

This is very significant news for the 2.5 million advertisers who currently use Facebook’s ad service as well as many others who will likely begin.  In fact, some experts are calling this a “Google AdSense Killer” since it will largely open up Facebook’s ad network to compete in most of the same areas that Google has formerly dominated.  Google will, however, still control the shrinking desktop ads.

While I don’t see this move as being able to ‘kill’ AdSense, it will certainly give it some very stiff competition!

Facebook has also done an exceptional job at making it easy for mobile publishers to join their network.  They use a simple HTML tag rather than an SDK integration.  This means that new publishers can be using their system the very day without any trouble.  Whether they will make more money switching to FAN or continuing with AdSense remains to be seen.  Of course, many will choose to use both networks to attempt to maximize their earnings.

In Q3 2015 Facebook earned 78% of their $4.49 billion in ad revenue from their mobile ads.  With this move we will almost certainly see that number shoot up considerably.

Whether you are running a mobile website and want to add another income stream or you are a marketer looking for exciting new advertising opportunities, the Facebook Audience Network just became more attractive.

You can learn more about this move from Facebook’s announcement HERE.

Native Advertising Guidelines Released from the FTC

Using native advertising practices has been one of the most effective options for marketers for quite some time now.  The reason they are so effective, of course, is because they look and feel very similar to the rest of the content on the page.  Even if consumers can see that it is a sponsored post, the content has the same feel as the rest so they naturally seem to trust it more.

Unfortunately, many marketers don’t go far enough in ensuring that the visitors to their page can easily see whether they are reading a normal post or it is an advertisement.  This is where violations to laws and regulations can come into play.  Unless you have an attorney to review every native ad you post, however, it can be hard to determine whether you are in compliance with laws or not.

To help address this concern, the FTC has just released a new guide called, “Native Advertising: A Guide for Business” that will go through this potentially complex form of advertising to help marketers learn what they can and can not do.  According to the FTC this report was designed to, “help companies understand, and comply with, the policy statement in the context of native advertising.”

Any marketers who are using native advertising will want to go through this report to learn whether or not they may be in violation of any laws.  It is written in an easy to follow format that will allow you to quickly gain the information you need without having to waste hours of time (or hire an attorney) trying to figure it out.

Director of the Bureau Consumer Protection, Jessica Rich, said of this report, “The FTC’s policy applies time-tested truth-in-advertising principles to modern media.  People browsing the web, using social media, or watching videos have a right to know if they’re seeing editorial content or an ad.”  This set of guidelines will help make marketing using native ads much easier and less risky.

If you are a marketer who uses, or is thinking about using, native advertising make sure you take some time to read through this new set of guidelines.  It can be found on the FTC’s site HERE.

One more thing to keep in mind is that if the FTC has taken the time to put together this set of guidelines to help marketers, you can be confident that they will be taking a closer look at digital marketing practices in this area in the coming months.  Marketers who continue to violate their set of standards will likely face fines of some sort.  The publishing of this from the FTC may be a signal that they will be taking greater enforcement efforts against violations related to native advertising in the near future.

Focusing Your Digital Advertising on Top Ten Smartphone Apps of 2015

When planning a mobile marketing strategy you need to make sure that any ads or posts that you make are going to be seen by as many people as possible.  While there is an almost endless list of apps and mobile ad networks that you can use to get your message out in front of an audience, it is important to make sure that you focus a significant amount of effort on the biggest players in the game.

Nielsen has just released their latest report that lists the top ten smartphone apps of 2015 based on average unique users.  This is an important report whether you’re in the app marketing industry or you’re just trying to get your ads displayed where they will be seen by the largest number of people possible.

smartphone app report

You can see in the above chart from Nielsen that Facebook and Google owned apps are dominating this list.  In fact, other than #9 and 10 which are run by Apple, there are no other companies involved.  This this may seem like a bad thing at first, it can actually make marketing a little easier for the average person.

If you want to get in front of the millions of users that are accessing these apps each day, all you have to do is run ads on either the Google ad network, the Facebook ad network or both.  When you do this you can take advantage of their advanced targeted options as well, which will help you to not only get your ads displayed but also ensure they are shown to the right people.

Also included in this report is that the total smartphone use in the US has reached 80% of adults.  This is a 2% uptick over the September report from ComScore.  It seems that this saturation level is starting to level out, which is not surprising at all.  The fact that it is growing at all is really quite impressive.  In the report you will see that 53% of smartphone users are on Android devices, and 43% on iOS devices.  Three percent are using a Windows phone and .7% are still on BlackBerry smartphones.

This report is widely seen as the most accurate and effective on this topic available.  The data is gathered from a monthly survey of 30,000 mobile subscribers in the US.  They also gather data from a measurement app installed on about 9000 users handsets (with their permission of course). You can see the full report from Nielsen HERE.

Pinterest Shoppers Buy More than Other Users

Marketers are always looking for the best ways to attract new customers, and that is especially true on Black Friday.  In addition to being one of the biggest shopping days of the year, however, it is also going to be one of the bigger advertising days of the year.  With millions of marketers trying to get their products in front of perspective customers, it is important to know where to go to get the best return on investment.

Businessman drawing ROI (return on investment)

According to Pinterest, their users are going to be shopping more on Black Friday than the average users.  This means if you can get your ads shown on that page, you’ll have an increased chance of it converting into a sale.

Pinterest has released new stats that support this claim as well.  Of course, most marketers know that when done properly, Pinterest can really do a great job at generating sales.  The trick is to make sure you’re marketing to the right groups of users (of course, that is the trick with any marketing).

According to the information released, Pinterest users are spending four times more than the average user on things in the ‘toys and games’ category. This is a massive number when you really think about it, a 400% increase over the average internet user.  That’s not all though.

Their users are three times more likely to spend money on housewares, clothing and accessories.  2.2 times more for electronics and media.  Another interesting point is that those using Pinterest are 50% more likely to spend the most on their Black Friday shopping at specialty stores and local businesses.

This is all very interesting information that can help marketers learn where they should be investing their ad dollars.  For an affiliate marketer who is promoting a wide range of different products, for example, putting ads up on Pinterest may be a great idea.  These ads can be for those categories mentioned above and can help to generate a much higher ROI than would otherwise be possible.

Of course, many different platforms will have great results, but finding those areas where you can get even a small bump over the competition can help in many ways.

If you’re not already an advertiser on Pinterest, it may not be too late to get your account set up and ads running for Black Friday.  You’ll have to hurry though as this major shopping event is just around the corner.

Fp Traffic Tutorial and Review

Fp Traffic is something which always caught my eye however due to busy schedule I always kept on delaying my plans to check it out, Finally last week after reading one of the Luke’s Posts I decided to give this tool a go and signed up for it, As I was looking to increase the engagement rate for my Dubai Blog’s Fan Page. This was a project I started as a hobby and because of which I always get free hotel stays and free opportunities to check out stuff related to travel industry for free ( I will talk about it some other day in a separate post) . Anyways one of things I always faced was lack of following on the blog’s fan page and wanted to build its following up so that’s how I come to Fp Traffic.

I have been using buffer for twitter before to schedule my tweets before and it gave amazing results however one thing I noticed that they only allow you to add tweets they have chosen into the schedule which limits everything however one thing I learned from buffer was that posting regular and engaging content is crucial for growth, And to keep on posting regularly either you will have to use Buffer or Hire some one for this job which is not an economical option considering you just need someone who keeps on posting content for you on social media .

This led me to try out Fp Traffic and the results I have got so far have really surprised me, Not only with engagement rate but also with how it helped me to decrease my advertising costs on Facebook.. Along with that there are plenty of guides from Luke available about fan growth , monetization and Facebook advertising as well as they have a separate Facebook Group where users share their experience about Facebook advertising and monetization .

Here is a quick video I did for this tool where I share my experience with using Fp tool for my blog fan page , Hope you will find it helpful ..

fp traffic stats

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You’re Screwing Up Your Black Friday Marketing!

Black Friday 2015 is quickly approaching and marketers are really starting to look closely at what types of things they can do to attract as much business as possible.  Unfortunately, if prior years are any indication, the chances are that most marketers will mess it up quite significantly and lose out on a lot of potential profit.

YesMail has looked at data from the last couple years regarding email marketing, Facebook ads and Twitter ads to see what people are doing and which ones are getting the best conversion rates.  The results might just surprise you.  Don’t worry though, there is still time to adjust your marketing strategy for this year if you act quickly.

Email Marketing Efforts

Over the past couple years most people have been sending out emails to their lists mostly on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday itself.  While this may seem to make sense, it actually isn’t going to get you the results you’re looking for.  According to the study, the best days in terms of open rates are going to be the Monday and Tuesday prior to thanksgiving.  The Wednesday is by far the worst performance day.

Look at the numbers for deviation from the daily average open rate during the week of Thanksgiving and you will be able to easily see just how important sending out your messages on the right day can be.  This is data from 2014:

  • Sunday Before Thanksgiving – 2% Greater than a Typical Sunday
  • Monday Before Thanksgiving – 10% Greater than a Typical Monday
  • Tuesday Before Thanksgiving – 9% Greater than a Typical Tuesday
  • Wednesday Before Thanksgiving – 23% LOWER than a typical Wednesday
  • Thanksgiving Day – 6% LOWER than a typical Thursday
  • Black Friday – 8% Greater than a typical Friday

Facebook Posts & Ads

Similarly, you can see a significant difference in engagement with Facebook posts during the week of Thanksgiving.  The report found that unlike email marketing, Facebook peaked on the Sunday before and went down significantly from there:

  • Sunday Prior – 157% Increase
  • Monday Prior – 24% Decrease
  • Tuesday Prior – 4% Increase
  • Wednesday Prior – 15% Decrease
  • Thanksgiving Day – 53% Decrease
  • Black Friday – 69% Decrease

It is quite clear that when discussing Black Friday sales during Thanksgiving week, you want to focus on Sunday to get the best results.

Small Changes – Big Impacts

The bottom line here is that marketers need to be taking this type of data into account when planning their Black Friday marketing campaigns.  Depending on the size of your email lists or Facebook followers you can get dramatically improved results by simply making sure you are sending out your messages on the right days.  Take some time to go over your marketing plans now to make sure you are maximizing your results.

Study: Marketers Don’t Understand Social Media ROI

Simply Measured has recently published the results of a new study that provides a lot of information and insight into the way marketers are using social media. The study looked at things such as what marketers hope to get out of social media programs, where they feel they are successful and where their struggles are.

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness

One key area that the study covered is how effective a social media campaign really is.  When asking marketers what the most challenging part of running these types of advertising campaigns, there were quite a few interesting answers.  You can see the results from the chart below.

As you can see, measuring the return on investment for this type of marketing is clearly the most difficult thing for marketers. While this is a big problem for marketers, there are others that may be even harder to overcome.  Tying social activities and business outcomes, for example, is often going to be a bigger challenge, even though fewer people are reporting that as a problem.  This may be because this issue is either a big concern or not at all.

Some companies, for example, naturally fit in with social media so tying their activities to their business outcomes is very simple.  Other companies, however, don’t naturally fit into a social media platform. This can make it more difficult to get the results you’re looking for or even plan out an effective strategy (which is the third most difficult area according to the study).

Social Media Marketing Goals

Setting proper goals is a big part of running a social media campaign.  If you don’t have the right goals in place, you’ll never be able to accurately access the return on investment.  For 71% of brands in the study, building a stronger brand awareness is their number one goal.  This makes since because social media is an ideal place to do just that.

Driving website traffic came in second place with just 48% of businesses reporting that as a ‘top three goal.’  You can see how the different companies in the survey responded to this question in the chart below:

There are certainly quite a few different goals listed here and getting a good understanding of them all is important.  While the question only asks about the top three goals, most marketers will have many other things in mind when developing a social media strategy as well.  Getting the best results out of each campaign will rely heavily on understanding the most important areas that you’re looking to make progress.

If you are interested in learning more about marketers and social media, you can view the entire report by clicking HERE.  You will undoubtedly find a lot of useful information that can help you develop a better and more successful long term social media strategy for your brand.

Exclusive interview with the Creator of Social Kickstart !!

As some of you may recall we did a review article for Mark Thompsons SOCIAL KICKSTART , and now we bring to you an exclusive interview for that extra personal detail from the creator himself! Enjoy!!

Tell us a bit about who you are and why you created Social Kickstart. 

I’ve been an Internet Marketing for 10 years now.  My primary company, DigitalKickstart.com creates marketing software that helps marketers to grow their presence, drive traffic and make sales.

What is the USP of Social Kickstart?

Social Kickstart is an all-in-one Facebook marketing application.  Its unique to the fact that SK allows you to quickly find content that is already proven on other social media sources (ie: Facebook Groups/Pages,

Pineterst, YouTube, Instagram, etc…) and help to curate that content for your own Pages and Groups.  It also includes a suite of tools like a drag and drop Ad Builder

Is Social Kickstart newbie friendly and if so why?

Extremely. Everything is 100% web-based with nothing to install or configure.  It is simply point and click.

What experience do you personally have in digital/online marketing?

I have 10+ years of experience with everything from managing client marketing campaigns, to managing technical software products, to full-blown product launch sequences.

Do you have any offline business experience?

Yes, I own a company called SearchCreatively.com of which we manage offline businesses marketing campaigns.  We offer services such as SEO, PPC, Email marketing, Social Media Management and overall marketing consulting.

What are your predicted forecasts for Social Kickstart? 

We will continue to develop Social Kickstart based on our customer feedback and suggestions.  Any software that we build, we like to create the core functionality, then let our customer tell us what new features are most needed.  SK has been around for 2 years now and we continue to improve on it.

What are your future plans?

We are working on a new payment and affiliate system that will allow vendors to accept payments and affiliates to promote those products.  We are hoping to release PayKickstart in early 2016.

                  Click here to get your exclusive Social kickstart today !!! 

US Digital Ad Revenue Jumps 19% in First Half of 2015

The IAB has released the data they have for digital ad revenue for the first half of 2015 and it is certainly looking good.  The total revenue is up 19% over this period and for the first time ever, the second quarter revenue actually beat the fourth quarter revenue from the previous year.  This is a significant sign as it shows just how much growth there was and that we can expect a very good fourth quarter for the year.

There is really no sign of this growth ending either, which will be encouraging for many digital marketers.  Of course, as this continues, the cost of ads will continue to go up as well, which marketers may not be as pleased with.  The fact is, however, that digital advertising has been shown to provide such a high and predictable return on investment (when done properly) that most savvy marketers will be more than happy to continue focusing their marketing dollars in this direction.

The biggest boost, according to the report, came from mobile which was up by over 50%.  Mobile ads pulled in $8.2 Billion for the first half of the year, which is a 54% jump.   Mobile now accounts for about 30% of all the interactive ad revenue for the first two quarters of the year, which is huge (it was just 23% for the 2nd quarter of 2014).

The mobile ads are primarily broken up between search and display ads, but display is pulling ahead.  In 2014 display ads accounted for 47% of mobile and search was 51%.  In the first half of 2015, however, display accounts for 52% and search just 44%.  If this trend continues we’ll see a far higher investment into display ads, which is something that website owners can take advantage of.

The reason for this is likely due to the fact that more and more people are using mobile devices to actually browse the web rather than just search for specific pieces of information.  As people continue to spend more time on mobile devices they will continue to see more advertisements from display networks.

Social media ads are another area where a significant amount of growth is being seen.  This, of course, is not surprising at all.  Social ad revenue went up significant and account for about 16% of the total ad revenue.  As more and more social networks continue to expand and improve their advertising options this growth is almost certainly going to continue.

Overall the report from the IAB looks very good for most marketers.  The second half of the year is also looking good with a lot of potential for the holiday season.  If you’d like to see the entire report, it can be downloaded HERE.

B2B Advertising Showing Massive Growth in Surprising Area

All marketers know that Facebook has quickly become one of the largest ad networks on the Internet.  In addition, Facebook has a massive amount of information on all their users, which means they can offer very targeted advertising opportunities.  Something that most other networks simply can’t offer.  This detailed information makes Facebook a great option for anyone who is looking to market their products or services to individual consumers.

That is why many people were surprised to read that Facebook’s B2B ads are growing at twice the rate of other segments.  This is according to a survey from AdRoll.  The B2B marketing budget for this year is expected to be approximately $77 billion of which Facebook only brings in a small fraction (Facebook’s total revenue is around $12 billion).

With this in mind, Facebook will almost certainly be making even more of an effort going forward to attract more B2B advertising clients. Over the past year they have been able to successfully grow this part of their advertisement client profile quite significantly so it seems likely that this will continue through the next year and well beyond.

The reason many people don’t realize that Facebook is becoming such a major player in the B2B advertising area is that it simply isn’t as ‘sexy’ a topic.  The numbers aren’t as easy to understand, especially for those who aren’t also deep into this industry.  Since Facebook is constantly releasing ‘news worthy’ updates and changes, most people don’t really look close into this part of their business.

The fact is, however, that B2B could very well begin to generate a majority share of their revenue in the not too distant future.  There is a massive amount of opportunity for Facebook and they are clearly working hard to take advantage of it.

Of course, Facebook will continue to work on attracting B2C advertisers as well.  This has been where they initially found a lot of success and with the shift toward mobile they are doing even better than most competitors.  This is because Facebook is a naturally mobile platform, unlike many other ad networks.

No matter how Facebook grows in the coming years, marketers need to be aware of how they can take advantage of Facebook advertising opportunities.  This will almost certainly be an area where you can enjoy a great return on investment whether you’re looking to make direct sales or simply bring your company more attention from other businesses.

Facebook Provides Some Clarity on “Reactions” for Marketers

After Facebook confirmed that they will be adding “Reactions” emoji to their social media platform there has been a lot of rumors and questions by people.  Many marketers wanted to know just how these ‘reactions’ would influence what is seen in the News Feed and what type of impact it might have on promotional posts on the platform.  Facebook has finally come out with at least a little bit more information about the topic.

Facebook’s Product Manger, Chris Tosswill, wrote about this new feature, “Our goal is to show you the stories that matter most to you in News Feed.  Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post.  We will spend time learning from this initial rollout and iterate based on findings in the future.”

So, this means that even if someone uses a ‘Sad’ or ‘Angry’ reaction, it will still result in the user seeing more posts that are similar to the one they reacted to.

The system is rolling out in Ireland and Spain now and will start out with six emoji reactions, which are: Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.  This is on top of the existing ‘like’ button that has long been there.  This initial rollout will have these options on all posts including friends, advertisements, posts, pages and more.

Tosswill went on to write about this topic saying, “We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook.  During this test, Page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on Page insights.  Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as Likes do.  We will spend time learning from this initial test and use that feedback to improve.”

While it is still far too early to know how people will be using these reactions (other than in a very obvious way).  Will people click on ‘Sad’ on things they would like to see less of?  Perhaps, but not necessarily.  If a family pet dies, the proper reaction from friends would be ‘sad’ but they undoubtedly still want to hear about such news in their feed so they can support their friends.

Over time, Facebook will almost certainly make adjustments to how it uses the data when creating each user’s News Feed.  In addition, as marketers gain access to the information about how people are using Reactions on their posts, they will be able to tailor their posts to get the responses they want.

There is no rollout date for Reactions in other markets yet, but it is likely going to be in the next several months.