Posts tagged mobile advertising

An illustration of websites on a mobile phone and tablet, desktop, and laptop.

Building Websites: What is Your Focus?

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An illustration of websites on a mobile phone and tablet, desktop, and laptop.

Where are you focusing your web development efforts – mobile or desktop?

Building a website has evolved. What marketers have to focus on is different than 10 years ago. You have to implement evolving technology and the people who use it. Tablets and mobile phones have changed the way people access and interact with websites. With that in mind, find out what the new generation is using to browse online.

Mobile vs. Desktop Websites

Mobile phones are used to do everything. Today, it has allowed people to access information much faster and from anywhere. So, it goes without saying that more people are using mobile phones and tablets to browse the internet, especially Millennials.

It makes sense that the new generation is using their mobile devices to visit websites, order online, and inquire about information. Millennials grew up on this type of technology. Also, with the rise of mobile apps, it is easier for people to access a company’s content.

Unfortunately, this means that desktop use is on the decline. According to comScore, 20% of people in their 20’s are going mobile-only. They also state that desktop use has declined year-over-year. While this does not mean that every millennial is abandoning their home computer, it does mean that they are relying more on their phones.

Should I Focus on Mobile-Only?

No, mobile should be your focus but it should not replace designing websites for the desktop. When your website appears on a desktop it should still be usable and attract. Users stay on a website longer when they browsing through a desktop.

Another factor is your ad revenue. You lose viewing space when your website is on mobile. That means that there is no space for advertisements. A desktop website is where you will make the most money from advertisement, so make sure that people do not leave your site because the quality is poor.

Remember, the new generation prefers mobile but desktops are still a part of their lives. Plan for what you can realistically build on mobile, and create a functional desktop version afterward.

A graphic image of someone holding a tablet playing a video. Video mobile markets.

Why Video Is Helping to Drive Mobile Markets

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A graphic image of someone holding a tablet that is playing a video. Video drives mobile markets.

As video helps drive mobile markets, you should know why.

Mobile growth is exponential with no change in sight. In fact, mobile use grew 58% in 2015. But we don’t have to convince you how big of a deal mobile use is. The key factor is honing in on what is driving the explosive growth of mobile markets — and that’s video.

How Much Video Content Are Mobile Users Watching?

In 2015 the amount of video consumption on the small screen increased by 35%. Projections put mobile devices as the screen of choice for 58% of online videos by next year. In the meantime, TV is struggling for the first time in, well, ever. So far, 2016 figures make it appear that this will be the first year since the invention of TV that the number of viewers declines.

Why People Are Switching to Digital Mobile Markets

You can do everything on your phone. Social media? Check. Shopping? Check. Make a phone call? Not many of us do that anymore, but that one gets a checkmark, too. Why not stick around to watch the gobs of mobile videos that are available—from screaming goats to the latest movie trailers.

And while people are watching all of those videos, they also see mobile ads. That’s because mobile ad spending exceeds more than $10 million per year. YouTube has even simplified the process. Tired of having people skip your 30-second video just 5 seconds in? No problem. Simply create 6-second videos that are “unskippable.”

Creating a Journey for the Consumer

Mobile videos grab and hold the viewer’s attention. In 2015, one study revealed that more than a third of people with smartphones watch a 5-minute (or longer) video every single day. So you don’t really have to cut videos to just seconds…but you do have to tell a story that will captivate the viewer.

This is a great opportunity to confirm loyalty toward your brand. Smartphones now get the second most video ad views, and the ever-present device shouldn’t stay number two for long. Yes, mobile markets rule the world right now, and a big part of the reason is video.

A mobile phone with multiple apps coming out of the screen.

Mobile Advertising — What the Industry Is Doing Wrong

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A mobile phone with multiple apps coming out of the screen.

Advertisers are having trouble with mobile marketing. What are they doing wrong?

Does it seem to you like most marketers today are more focused on the actual mobile devices—rather than the people who carry them? This is a new trend, and while the mobile-first movement isn’t necessarily a bad thing for advertisers, treating consumers like machines isn’t going to work. Here are a couple of ways to fix the mobile ad industry.

The Right Way to Use Cross-Device Tactics

The problem with cross-device campaigns is that most marketers are merely using this as a means to interact with users on as many different devices as possible without paying enough attention to the behavioral data. Sometimes it comes across as annoying or just plain creepy, rather than as a good sales pitch.

You should use cross-device campaigns to find your customer at the moment he or she is ready to buy. A consumer may be on a laptop at one moment and a phone the next. Meeting up with your ad on both may give a more negative impression than positive. But if you can tell the difference between research and looking to make a purchase, you can find a consumer in the right place, at the right time, with the right offer.

Think About Consumers, Not Mobile Devices

You get a lot of information about how consumers use their devices. Put that information to work for you. If someone does research on a mobile device but likes to make purchases in a store, provide them with in-store coupons through a mobile device. If someone likes to shop at a desk and buy from a tablet, provide education on the benefits of your product when the consumer is on a desktop computer, then go for sale when he picks up his iPad. Paying attention to behavior is key to closing the deal.

The fact is that mobile advertising is about more than just going where the people are. Yes, people are on smartphones more than ever before, but we still have to be smart about the way we interact with a consumer, especially on a mobile device.

How to Survive Marketing Trends That Fail

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Past successes and failures, current marketing trends, and influential forecasts all go into developing an analytical model for the future of your brand’s marketing strategy. Looking ahead is always the smart move in business and particularly in the competitive digital marketing world. But what happens when you look at the market from every angle, create the perfect strategy, implement it… and then find that you were wrong? Let’s take a moment to discuss how to survive those inevitable misses by reducing loss.

Weighing Risk Versus Reward

The weatherman can’t always be right and neither can predictive marketing. That being said, the weatherman doesn’t get fired when there’s an unexpected afternoon shower. So the question here is: When it comes to market predictions, how wrong is too wrong?

Without risk, you’re never going to produce that Slam Dunk campaign that every marketer and brand strive for. Fear of being wrong will hold you back from success. But, you have to critically consider what your company can stand to lose. If you put all of your social spending into one account, and that social media format doesn’t last, that’s a big oops. If you try something less risky, like introducing a new hashtag, and no one jumps onboard, you wipe the egg off your face and create a new approach.

Reducing Room for Error

A good way to ensure that high-risk tactics succeed is to test them in a low-risk environment. Are you worried that offering a discount on lifetime memberships will result in a lifelong loss of revenue from those customers? Sometimes it happens.

For example, someone may pay for a $150 lifetime membership who would have been willing to pay $10/month for the next couple of years. That cuts $90 off the value of that customer. How can you test this theory? How about trying discounted one and two-year memberships before adding a lifetime membership to the options. What happens? Do you get new customers who wouldn’t pay a monthly fee, or do you simply lose monthly customers to cheaper annual plans?

When it comes to predictive marketing, most mistakes are due less to human error than to the changing nature of business, technology, and the like. The marketer’s goal is to track marketing trends as closely as possible to produce the best campaigns.

 

2016 Forecast: The Future of Content Marketing Is Now

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What does the future hold for content marketing? There are some exciting things that I hope to see unfold in 2016. All of these trends have already begun, but 2016 is the year we should see massive growth in the following aspects of content marketing.

  • Content Curation – Obviously, this is nothing new. What is new is who is curating the content. The answer? Brands. The fact is that many brands have been able to convince their customers to create content for them. Whether using contests or simply asking for pictures and videos, brands are becoming curators of consumer created content. Really, there is no cheaper way to market content than to have someone else produce it for free. Brands just need to come up with the campaigns, slogans, contests, and hashtags that get everyone onboard.
  • The Video Marketing Explosion – It’s actually a wonder to me that this hasn’t already happened. Content marketing has been going in this direction for a while now. 2016, however, seems like it will be the year of the video. 30 to 60-second clips are poised to dominate the marketing world.
  • Better Mobile Content – Responsive is one thing; mobile content for specific devices is something else. Both directions affect where marketing is heading in 2016. Responsive design was a great way to break into mobile marketing without a ton of additional expense. However, mobile users want a custom experience; so personalized content is crucial. For example, apple loyalists most often get the short end of the stick when content simply won’t load on the flash-free That’s only one example of why mobile sales are lagging for Apple despite mobile use being greater than desktop use
  • Native AdvertisingFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram are at the top of the native advertising world as far as social is concerned. Sponsored content engages users without taking them out of their chosen element. Even news sites like CNN have gotten onboard with native advertising.

Add to these the ongoing trend to humanize corporations, and you have a good idea of what 2016 has to offer in the content marketing world.

Does Your Brand Market to Children? 3 Things You Must Consider

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The FTC enforces regulations that affect business practices while protecting consumers. When it comes to protecting children, these rules become stricter. UNICEF has also created some global regulations. Besides the rules, you should consider ethics when marketing to children. Here are 3 guidelines you should find paramount for your marketing strategy.

Privacy Policy

If children are under 13, you can’t collect private data from them that identifies the child personally. That’s why COPPA exists. The FTC will not allow the identifiable collection of a child’s personal information, be it a name, address, phone number, email, or even interests.

If your site even possibly collects information from someone under 13, you need to know the policy well. It will affect your site’s privacy policy. It will mean notifying parents of children to receive consent before collecting data. It also means added security guidelines to comply with.

Don’t assume that children will never use your site. If the FTC decides that your site may appeal to children in some way, it will be assumed that kids would provide their information when prompted.

Be Careful When Promoting Benefits

As marketers, we often appeal to adults on an emotional level to make a sale. Most grownups realize that the actual benefits of a product will be somewhat less dramatic than the life-altering experience promised in advertising. Children are more easily misled. They are also more easily disappointed.

Legally, the same rules apply. Don’t lie or intentionally mislead. Ethically, the issue is whether or not an ad creates a situation where parents are pressured to buy unnecessary products that marketing has convinced a child are necessary for happiness.

Where to Place Your Ad

This is another touchy subject. The only real rule that the FCC has is that you can’t advertise a product during a show that is based on said product. For example, there cannot be a commercial for Transformers during a Transformers cartoon. However, after the credits roll, there’s no rule about the very next ad.

The key here is to be responsible when marketing to children. If a parent is watching a show, playing a video game, or surfing the web with their child, will they be appalled at your brand’s choice of product placement?

Ad Blocking Goes Mobile and Causes Pandemonium

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Ad blocking is the bane of a digital marketer’s existence, but it is one that isn’t going away. In fact, mobile ad blocking is the next wave in the assault. As TV advertisers flock to the promised land of digital, ad blockers are quickly raining on the parade.

Of course, the news isn’t all bad. The part of the industry that ad blocking has really hurt the most is big ad buys with loads of targetless impressions being dumped across the planet. It is forcing brands to use their ad dollars more wisely. In that sense, consumers are actually doing brands a favor by telling them what they will and will not put up with when it comes to marketing.

Websites and apps that provide useful functions, educational content, and engage consumers are still going to fare well. It is just a lot tougher to develop that sort of app and content than to spam every other site and app with a flashy banner ad, so many took the shortcut.

But the consumers have spoken, and ad blockers now make consumers the gods of the digital advertising world. You have to appease them.

The problem with mobile ad blockers, as was seen in a recent incident involving the popular iOS app Peace, is that mobile ad blockers hurt small developers more than major brands. Brands simply get around the problem by not using a flashing banner. They provide sponsored content and native ads that fit in seamlessly with other content.

That’s why the developer of Peace pulled the ad blocking app from the market and released a statement saying that a nuanced approach (one that does not treat all ads equally) needed to be taken. He also stated the view that an app would not be the right forum to do this.

Of course, others in the industry have a different approach. They are calling on marketers to produce more creative ads and better content that doesn’t aggravate users to the point that they feel the need to block ads. Then people can decide for themselves what is good enough to share with friends and family online, giving better content a wider reach.

In the end, it turns into a battle between cheap ads that are simple to track but easy to block versus developing creative content that is more difficult to track while engaging consumers emotionally leading to less ad blocking.

The Link Between Digital Budgets and Ad Fraud

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Let’s face it. There are billions upon billions of dollars that get sunk into digital marketing and other media ad campaigns every year, and that figure is continuing to grow, especially when it comes to digital advertising. And part of those billions is wasted on fraudulent ad techniques. In fact, recent studies place the amount of wasted ad dollars at over 11 billion!

If buyers are continuing to go after digital ads so strongly – and it is a must despite the waste – imagine what would happen if fraud was suddenly curtailed? It would open the floodgates of the marketing budgets for certain. That would benefit both buyers and sellers.

But what could assure ad buyers that their budgets are not being thrown at bots, non-viewable ads, zombie apps, and other fraud concerns?

The first key in the war on fraud is transparency.

To that end, the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) has been set up with the lofty goal of eliminating fraudulent traffic along with the promotion of transparency. Guidelines drafted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) now make up the IQG program. This program is designed to provide information for ad buyers, develop a uniform framework for disclosures from sellers, and review the practices of certified companies for compliance purposes. What information do buyers need in order to make informed decisions?

  • URL identities, or enough other transparency to compensate for masked URLs
  • The processes used by the seller (publisher, ad network, exchange) to combat fraud
  • A rating scale for traffic aslong with information for the buyer about how traffic is rated and what is done with low rated traffic

While this means a lot of work for sellers, the potential for greater rewards is obvious. While media buyers are waiting for fraud prevention practices to roll out, billions are being held back. Once anti-fraud goals have been reached, and transparency is an industry-wide standard, we can expect the full extent of those digital marketing budgets to be unleashed. Then everyone wins.

 

 

 

Mobile Innovation and the Future of Engagement

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More than ever, we need to engage consumers on their mobile devices. After all, that’s where people are. They are even picking up their phones to check social media while million dollar ads are running on the TV screen across the room. So how can you stay ahead in the mobile innovation race?

What’s so great about getting there first?

After all, Myspace wasn’t the world’s social networking giant just because it existed before Facebook. Sometimes it pays off to be the second or third company to the party. Then you can see where someone else with a genuinely good idea has gone slightly awry in presenting it and do the same thing, only better. One of the most important things to build for your brand in the mobile arena is credibility. That doesn’t always come from being the first brand to do something new.

True, some of the world’s largest companies are innovators such as Apple and Amazon. We rely on Apple to wow us with release news. We know that Amazon will always be ahead when it comes to running the world’s largest online superstore (even if federal law kills some of their big plans – like drone deliveries). So where does that leave your brand?

You have to focus on a few solid goals with your team’s mobile innovations:

  • Engagement
  • Loyalty
  • Trust
  • Sales

With certain forms of innovation, getting there first can make the difference between selling your app to Facebook for billions of dollars or not even making the featured page on the app store. At other times, arriving late to the party but doing it better may be the difference between actually being the next Facebook or drifting off into obscurity. It is important to understand what true innovation is.

Sometimes innovation means having the idea first. Sometimes it means seeing someone else’s idea and seeing how to improve on it.

 

5 Simple Ways to Screw Up Your Brand’s Instagram Account

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If you haven’t already guessed from the title, this is a “what not to do” with your social media marketing. Here are five things that I have seen on Instagram which turn people in the community off to an account.

  1. Failing to Interact

Social media is all about interaction. If your brand never comments or responds to comments, then you are blowing a big opportunity. You want to humanize your brand for people, and that means being polite and engaging, not just posting pretty pictures.

  1. Using Instagram for Sales Pitches

Social media, in general, is a tricky place to try and post sales copy. Instagram is probably the toughest. People who are scrolling through their friend’s pictures don’t want to see an ad, and they especially don’t want to see spam comments. When your brand comments on someone else’s picture, even if you’ve been tagged, play it cool. Save the sales pitch for your landing page where it belongs.

  1. “What Is This Account” Syndrome

Have you ever been on Instagram and had no idea what an account was about? The problem is likely inconsistency. Your brand’s message needs to be easily recognizable to anyone who has ever used your products or interacted with your brand somewhere else. Can you tailor your content to something buzzworthy such as a holiday? Of course! But a makeup company doesn’t need to post a pic of a graveyard on Halloween. You’re a makeup brand – post a face made up for the holiday using your products.

  1. No One Likes a Panhandler

There is no place in social media for comments such as “Follow us! Our pics are da bomb!” That’s just annoying. Unless you want people to think your brand rep is a preteen kid with braces or some guy with a neckbeard living in his mother’s basement, stick to getting follows the old fashioned way. Post good content.

  1. Forgetting the Hashtag

Okay, there is one more thing you need to add to your solid content when working with social media marketing. A bunch of good hashtags. This is how people find you. Forget it and you’re lost in the sea of pictures. If you need help finding which tags to use, try a Google search for popular tags, or check the Explore page to see what is trending at the moment.

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