Article Archive by Max Braglia


October 14 2013

How “Real Time Bidding” and “Big Data” Are Changing Interactive Advertising as We Know It

by Max Braglia

Imagine the following scenario. An Internet user lands on a page on a website, which begins to load. At that very same moment the website sends out a “bid request” to thousands of advertisers saying: “There’s a user here who is a 36-years-old Caucasian female, lives in Pennsylvania, has two dogs, and who has recently searched for skinny jeans and fitness books. How much are you willing to bid to display your ad on this page?” In about 100 milliseconds an auction is run and the winner is allowed to place its ad on the page.

What’s staggering is that the whole process takes place in 300-500 milliseconds, causing no visible delay to the user, and that this same process is repeated every time a web page loads for every ad slot on the page.

If this sounds like a marketer’s dream come true, it’s because it is. Good news is, it’s not a dream anymore. It’s reality and, as technology improves, it’s changing interactive advertising as we know it.

real-time-bidding

 

The process I described above is called “Real Time Bidding”, and what creates the opportunity to serve ads that are so relevant to end users is known as “Big Data”. According to AdAge, “Big Data”, when applied to digital marketing, can include online searches, website log files, consumer-uploaded images, retail transactions, loyalty card information, email communications, mobile location information, and social media commentary, just to name a few. These are all different “channels” that consumers use in their quest to find solutions to their problems, make purchases, and more in general to improve their life.

Needless to say, the most popular example of Real Time Bidding meshed with Big Data is the Google Display Network, which is becoming increasingly more powerful in its targeting capabilities.

So, how is all of this information going to affect you and your business, and change the landscape of digital advertising as we know it?

Think about it. – The nature of digital advertising has long been “one-to-one”, that is, who clicked on an ad and who converted. The user goes online, runs a search, clicks an ad, and makes a purchase.

Not so anymore. – Often consumers are more complex than ever and use multiple channels either before and after running a keyword search, and the ads served to them while they are on those other channels are indeed very relevant to their needs.

I hate to say this, but keyword search alone may not be enough anymore to achieve the largest visibility and the best possible ROI from your marketing efforts.

As a marketer, you must take action now to leverage the power of Big Data in order to offer your prospects and customers a more “customized-to-their-needs” experience which will ultimately increase your ROI and profits.

So, when planning your next online marketing effort, ask yourself this question: “How can I have display, remarketing, video, and social media advertising work in synergy with my keyword search campaign?” – Being able to answer that question effectively could make the difference between a successful and a not-so successful digital campaign.

September 13 2013

What Digital Marketers Can Learn From Steve Jobs

by Max Braglia

One thing’s for sure: Steve Jobs was a brilliant marketer and knew how to sell. Just think for a moment of what he did with the iPod: before Apple entered the market, MP3 players had been around for years, but nobody bought them, as they were considered clunky and “uncool”.

Then came Steve Jobs. Unlike all his competitors, who had tried to sell MP3 players by promoting their features, Jobs introduced the iPod by simply describing it as “1,000 songs in your pocket.” And that simple statement changed the business of MP3 players forever, and with it the entire music industry.

Here are some of the most invaluable lessons from one of the greatest marketers ever that business owners should keep in mind when planning a digital marketing campaign.

First and foremost, make sure you know who your customers are. The more you know about what’s in your customers’ minds, the more you’ll be able to identify the keywords they type when searching for your products or services or, in the case of a display campaign, the websites they are most likely to visit.

Then, when you have identified who your customers are, make sure you attract them at the emotional level. In other words, sell benefits and not features. Steve Jobs was a true master of this craft. He believed you can attract customers at the emotional level in two ways: by inspiring them, or by addressing their pain points. For digital marketers, this means writing better “benefit-driven” ad copy, or banner ads that speak to the heart of your target customers.

Lastly, Steve Jobs knew how to “keep it simple.” He delivered presentations that were short but incredibly powerful. – Remember, people have increasingly shorter attention spans, so make sure to keep your message brief and engaging. In the digital world, this lesson can be applied to landing pages. Does your landing page convey a brief, engaging, and powerful message that converts a prospect into a customer? If that’s not the case, then remember Steve Jobs.

The next time you plan a digital initiative, make sure to remember these timeless lessons from a true marketing genius, as they may help your business to earn a higher ROI on marketing dollars spent.

To learn more about how we can help your business succeed online, contact one of the qualified Marketing Professionals at MoreVisibility.

September 3 2013

Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes to Unlock the Power of the Google Display Network

by Max Braglia

The Google Display Network (GDN), which reaches more than 80% of unique Internet users around the world, including 92% of all Internet users in the U.S, has quickly become the world’s #1 advertising network.

Once known as the “poor cousin” of paid search and looked down upon as “secondary” by online advertisers, the Google Display Network has now reached maturity as a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to generate awareness for their brands, connect with their audiences, and ultimately increase their ROI.

Unfortunately, notwithstanding the massive inventory available, most advertisers fail with display marketing. Most of the time, online advertisers simply don’t know how to leverage the power of all the targeting options that the Google Display Network offers.

Here are three of the most common mistakes that inexperienced advertisers make when running a Google Display Network campaign. Just by avoiding these three common mistakes, you’re almost certain to turn around an under-performing display campaign.

Google-Display-Network
Mistake #1: Not Separating Search and Display Campaigns

Here it is, the capital sin of display advertising. Unfortunately, I see this often when auditing AdWords accounts, and it always makes me cringe. Remember, on the Google Display Network you are targeting people who are not actively searching for your products or services, and therefore your strategy must be completely different than the one you would use for Search, where users are actively searching for products, services, or information.

Mistake #2: Not Using All of the Targeting Methods Available

Google offers a lot of targeting options for display, and the task of targeting the right websites for your audience can be intimidating and extremely time consuming, to say the least. Don’t make this your excuse. Understand and test all of the targeting methods available, including keywords, placements, topics, interests, and remarketing. Then take it to the next level with “flexible reach”, where the real magic of display targeting comes into play. (Don’t know what “flexible reach” is? Give us a call today.)

Mistake #3: Not Using a Variety of Banner Sizes

In order to get as much exposure as possible, it’s important to make sure that you have a large variety of banner sizes and types being used in your Google Display Network campaigns. Some online advertisers skimp on creative and end up creating just one or two banner types thus severely limiting their online exposure. Google accepts many banner sizes, so make sure to create a few ads for each size available. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to include a text ad to your display campaign.

In conclusion, the Google Display Network is a great opportunity to get your ads in front of prospects so that they can learn about your business as they consider their options. By avoiding the 3 common mistakes I have outlined above, you’ll be one step closer to unlocking the power of the Google Display Network.

To learn more about how the Google Display Network can help your business to increase brand awareness and earn a higher ROI on marketing dollars spent, contact one of the qualified Marketing Professionals at MoreVisibility.

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