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.

Consumers Don’t Trust Online Video Ads

While I much prefer writing positive news about the online marketing industry, it is important to share ‘bad’ news as well.  According to a recent Nielsen study, most consumers don’t trust online video ads.  This is compared to 63% of consumers who say that they do trust ads that they see on television.  The survey asked over 30,000 consumers in 60 countries earlier this year.

The survey looked at a variety of different marketing methods to see which ones were the most effective.  Not surprisingly, word of mouth recommendations from friends or family ranked at the top with 80% trust levels.

They looked at other online advertising options as well.  The following is the full breakdown of how much people trusted any type of online ad:

  • Online Video Ads – 48% Trust
  • Online Search Ads – 47% Trust
  • Online Social Ads – 46% Trust
  • Online Mobile ads – 43% Trust

This is an interesting problem.  Most marketers look at the biggest challenge being getting their ads seen and clicked on.  According to this study, however, building trust may be an even more important task.  If people don’t trust what they are seeing, they are much less likely to make a purchase, even if they do click on the ad.

When you step back and think about it, there is no surprise about these results.  Most people don’t believe what they see on the internet because of the fact that there is so much false information out there.  It has almost become a joke in everyday conversation where people will make outrageous claims and then back it up by saying, ‘well, I read it on the Internet so it must be true.’

On top of this general lack in trust for online ads, you need to keep in mind that people are generally skeptical of advertisements in general.  Ads on TV have 63% trust, which is much higher than online, but still fairly low in the overall scheme of things.

As marketers it will be more important than ever to try to find ways to show ads that will not only grab the attention of viewers, but also help them to take that leap of faith.  Obviously this should start with always running an honest business and earning the trust of consumers over time.  Beyond that, however, there doesn’t seem to be any established strategy.

Take some time to think about how you can build trust with your customers and you’ll likely start seeing your conversion rates improve.

Harnessing Visual Communication is Essential for Your Business

When it comes to digital marketing, there is no doubt that marketers need to be working hard to keep up with the latest trends.  Most people will be well aware that customers want to consume their information in a more visual way than ever before.  Things like infographics, pictures, and videos are able to hold people’s attention much more effectively than long written articles.

A recent study found that 80% of all college educated people are spending their time browsing content rather than actually reading it completely.  In addition, many people are just looking at headlines on articles and not consuming everything that the article has to offer.

Whether this is a good thing or not, marketers will need to work to provide content in the way that people want it.  Learning how to optimize your marketing efforts to this visual consumption is very important.  WebDAM has taken an extensive amount of information that supports the idea that humans are consuming data differently than ever before, and combined it into a very effective infographic, which you can see below.

infographic

Written Content is Still Essential

Of course, written content is still the best way to provide detailed information or explain things that can’t necessarily translate effectively into an image.  On top of that, most visual content will need something written about it to give the proper context.  So, as marketers it is becoming very important to be able to properly use both written and visual content.

While it will certainly take some adjusting, it will be well worth the effort.  You’ll find that your visitors are spending much more time on your site, and will trust what you have to say more because you are providing it to them in a way that they prefer.  Even if you don’t completely convert your content to being visual, the more images, videos and other visual content you can include the better your marketing efforts will be.

Bidtellect Introduces New Native Advertising Platform & Exchange

Native advertising is one of the most effective marketing tools being used today.  For those who have not been using this powerful option, it is a form of online advertising where the advertiser is marketing to the viewer within the context of their current experience.  A prime example of this would be the Facebook newsfeed ads, which appear to be normal posts from their Facebook friends.

Bidtellect Native Intelligence

While this has proven to be an extremely effective marketing tool, it is also fairly time consuming and difficult to properly implement properly.  This week, however, the Florida based company Bidtellect has introduced a new platform which has been designed to help advertisers better harness the power of native ads.

Specifically, the new program, which is called the Native Marketing Platform,  works by allowing agencies and individual publishers to access and buy native advertisements using an advanced system of algorithms.   These proprietary algorithms identify the optimal ad choices based on dozens of factors including user behavior, the context of the page, the day of the week, the time of the day, the device being used to access the page and others.

The system has access to an extensive database of both first and third party targeting elements, which is constantly growing and improving, to help provide the best return on investment possible.

Lon Otremba, the CEO of Bidtellect, said of this new platform, “Bidtellect was founded with the mission to facilitate efficiency in native ad buying, selling and delivery across the web.  We understand that native is the most efficient, effective, affordable and scalable digital advertising medium since search, but it’s also one of the most challenging to buy, sell and fully comprehend.  Our DSP tools, real-time bidding platform, and expert team work together to demystify the medium and allow brands to activate profitable campaigns at scale.”

They have been remarkably successful at pushing the use of native advertising up to this point, and this platform will certainly help to take the company, and native advertising in general, to the next level.   The platform is already receiving over one hundred million bids on native inventory per day, and that number is expected to go up to one billion per day by the end of 2014.

As the company continues to scale up their services, they are signing up new sources for both the supply sources (places where native ads can be displayed) and demand sources (marketers looking to buy native ads).  As of their most recent press release, they are reporting that they have access to tens of thousands of native supply spots available.  They have also signed on 54 demand-side aggregators, with 102 unique feeds.

The company also announced the appointment of Shalanna Clark as their Native Creative Director.  She will be in charge of content development and execution for the company’s advertising clients.  Shalanna brings years of experience in tech and advertising.  Her previous roles include digital director at Zimmerman Advertising where she worked with premier brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Party City, Oreck, Papa John’s and a host of others.

This is an exciting time for Bidtellect, and the marketing & advertising industry in general.  The launch of this new platform will bring real time native advertising to marketers at all levels.

New Report Shows Digital Ad Spend Continues to Climb

ad spend climbThe latest update to the Advertising Intelligence Index has officially been released from Turn , covering January 1st – April 30th.   In this report they focus largely on the continued growth across virtually all types of digital advertising.  Some specific markets seem to be starting to stabilize in terms of their digital ad spend, but many new markets are really starting to push forward with their move into the online realm.

One concern some marketers have is that, as more and more major brands begin to invest heavily into digital advertising, it will start to drive up the overall prices for online advertising.  Over the past year, there has been a huge jump in the amount of ads being purchased, but the inventory has also skyrocketed due to updates and innovations from major ad networks including Facebook and Twitter.  At some point in the near future, the competition for ad spots will likely begin to heat up.

For now, however, the research published by Turn seems to show that the amount companies are willing to spend on digital advertising continues to rise across most platforms.  The following are some interesting highlights from the recently released report:

  • Mobile ad spend is up 109% year over year.
  • Brands are spending 65% more during the first four quarters of 2014 than they did during the same time in 2013
  • Display ad spend went up 20% – This is significant, since display ads have been around for quite some time, yet are still showing healthy growth.
  • Social advertising has climbed by 20%.  This is strong growth, but some experts expected bigger numbers given the popularity of social networks.  This lower than expected number could be due, in part, to the fact that buying ad space on these sites is still relatively inexpensive.

Not only are brands spending more on advertising across platforms, they are also seeing their effective CPM rates go up in all areas, except video, which dropped by 1% overall.  The above numbers are from the United States statistics.  Interestingly enough, the European markets are not seeing the same numbers.  Some points that were made about the data from the European market include:

  • Display ads are less competitive in 2014 than they were in 2013
  • Social advertising saw big increases in competition, reflecting the maturing of this category.
  • Video ads in the European market continue to be volatile.
  • Display ads are beginning to become more volatile, especially when compared to years past

Pierre Naggar, the managing director EMEA at Turn said of the report, “Spend and competition are increasing in mature markets, leading to smarter data-drive budget allocation this year.  Brands and agencies are using sophisticated audience-first strategies to drive planning for programmatic advertising, turning insights into an advantage against the competition.”

What may be interesting through the remainder of this year is how these data-driven strategies will play out over the long term.  There have been a number of different acquisitions and new companies coming out that offer real time data services for ad purchases, which means a growing number of marketers will have access to these effective strategies.  This will likely increase competition for the top ad spots on the net.

The report from Turn was based on an analysis of the traffic on their platform.  According to Turn, this platform makes over 100 billion data-driven advertising decisions.  They also analyze over 1.5 billion anonymous customer attributes, and provide instant access to billions of digital ad impressions, making them a leader gathering and analyzing digital ad information.  You can see the full report HERE.