Be In The Know Blog

Brand Safety Solutions for Digital Advertisers

Posted by Zuri Stanback on July 7, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Digital advertising changes, but concerns around brand safety remain at the top of ad buyers' minds. According to eMarketer, 26 percent of brands purchasing digital ad space cited brand safety as their top concern when choosing where and how to advertise, underscoring the need to provide assurances to those consumers.

Those companies are fortunate that brand safety solutions on digital ad exchanges make it possible to avoid much of the online advertising space that might be a poor fit for their campaign. But don't take an ad network's word for it — every company should know what features can ensure brand safety and protect ad content from potentially damaging associations.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Digital Marketing Strategy, Reach Extension and Targeting

Curbing Ad Blocking: Is an Acceptable Ads Policy the Answer?

Posted by Linda Hansen on July 5, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Among the many reasons consumers seek out ad blocking software is the drag that slow-loading ads place on browsers. However, according to a report in Digiday, Google could be exploring the idea of creating an acceptable ads policy that would cut back on how much data ads require and how long they take to load. But could an acceptable ads policy really change consumer behavior?

It All Began With a L.E.A.N.

While this new initiative has impressive scope, this isn't the first time such a policy has been created in response to ad blocking. As Marketing Land notes, last year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced its L.E.A.N. (light, encrypted, ad choice supported, noninvasive ads) program, which was intended to address some of the tech concerns that had been fueling the growth of ad blocking — such as autoplay and flashing ads. But, as Digiday points out, the IAB's program is not enforceable, so it only works if many advertisers and publishers subscribe to its standards.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Digital Marketing Strategy, Mobile Optimization and Advertising

Seasonal Advertising: It's Not Just for the Holidays

Posted by Solomon Cormier on June 17, 2016 at 11:02 AM

If you think seasonal advertising is all about the holiday shopper, think again. The summer season can actually help you promote your business, especially if you're in a field related to the changing temperatures, like a garden center or an HVAC company. No matter what your business, if you experience seasonal highs and lows, here are some tips to help you capitalize on the season's trends.

Sponsor the Weather

Whether you're advertising on TV or online, running an ad around a forecast means you've got the attention of an audience interested in what's happening outside. As the temperatures rise, so will interest in products like frozen yogurt shops, tanning beds and air conditioners. A recent article in Marketing Land shows that some 50 percent of consumers research purchases on computers, while a majority (67 percent), still buy in-store. In other words, the path to purchase is complex. Linking your brand with a consumer who is already interested in a core aspect of your business gets you over the hurdle of distraction.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Digital Marketing Strategy, Mobile Optimization and Advertising, Integrated Marketing

Banner Ad Best Practices: What to Do After You've Designed the Perfect Ad

Posted by Zuri Stanback on June 9, 2016 at 11:00 AM

The banner ad creation process can be intense. After creating eye-catching graphics, A/B split testing different calls-to-action and even working on device optimization, it's easy to feel like you've finished the job once the perfect banner ad finally comes together. But, in some respects, the journey is just beginning, as even the most perfect banner ad won't be very effective if it doesn't reach the right audience. Fortunately, there are some banner ad best practices to get the ball rolling after the ad creation phase.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Reach Extension and Targeting

Why Click-Through Rate Isn't Always the Best Indicator of Success

Posted by Zuri Stanback on May 31, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Adweek reported that 80 percent of digital ads are ignored, and 63 percent of millennials use ad-blocking software to eliminate display ads from their browsers entirely. Even worse, Google's Rich Media Gallery shows that, of those who can see ads, only 0.18 percent will ever click on them. To put that in perspective, you're more likely to be audited by the IRS or be born with an extra finger or toe than ever click on a banner ad, according to statistics from SheKnows.

It's easy to see why marketers may want to move away from banner ads. However, click-through rate isn't the only indicator of success, and abandoning banner ads based on these statistics could be a big mistake.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads

What Is Ad Blocking, and How Can You Get in Front of This Issue?

Posted by Zuri Stanback on May 5, 2016 at 1:23 PM

What is ad blocking? From the perspective of consumers, the prospect is win-win. Not only can they bypass content they didn't elect to see, but they can save on data costs by not loading it. However, for marketers, this can seem like a zero-sum game. It's easy to get frustrated by this behavior, but taking a hard look at where ad blocking is happening (and where it is going) can help you get in front of this growing trend.

What Is Ad Blocking?

Most marketers know that ad blocking is add-on software that users seek out and download with the intent of stopping display ads from loading on a requested page. While the concept is pretty straightforward, the "add-on" part of the equation is somewhat mystifying. Many consumers simply don't bother to seek out browser extensions, making it less of a pressing issue than some marketers might fear. In fact, data reported by Fortune shows that only 6 percent of Internet users around the world are actively blocking ads. Although that figure is low, the same report shows that ad blocking is on the rise, particularly among millennials.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Reach Extension and Targeting, Social Media Marketing, Native Advertising

3 Integrated Event Marketing Best Practices

Posted by Zuri Stanback on April 28, 2016 at 11:23 AM

The trick to hosting a successful event isn't just putting on a show that people will enjoy. More often than not, it's a matter of making sure interested fans know about the event in the first place. With so much digital content competing for the attention of customers, it's easy for a promising event to get lost in the fray.

Thanks to location-based targeting strategies, digital channels have become a valuable way to address this issue and dispense event marketing materials. Brands can seek out smart partnerships and relevant advertising destinations to reach their target audience and build interest for their event weeks — or months — in advance.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Reach Extension and Targeting, Video Advertising

Converting Competitors' Customers Is Part Art, Part Science

Posted by Zuri Stanback on March 3, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Converting competitors' customers into your own is an art form. Beyond being the best at what you do, you need to beat the competition at their own game. If you want your business to grow, you must constantly be seeking new opportunities. It's only logical that the most effective place to seek out those opportunities is among users who are already inclined to purchase your products and services. As the information economy evolves, there are several highly effective strategies for nabbing the competition's audiences.

Bidding on Competitors' Brand Keywords

One strategy involves going right to the source — include your competition's brand name in your pay-per-click ad campaign. You may have seen this plan in action when you're searching for a particular store or item and another brand name pops up. The challenge, however, is to keep your quality score high. Consumers looking for Best Buy may not be happy to see Bob's Computer Services pop up, and search engines will rank your ads and site lower for that. But for new businesses, or in markets where there is brand confusion, this can be a highly effective technique.

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Topics: Retargeting and Remarketing, Premium Display and Banner Ads, Paid Search Engine Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategy

Banner Ad Best Practices for 2016

Posted by Zuri Stanback on February 8, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Though the death of banner ads was predicted long ago, 2016 is set to defy expectations and actually be (and you'll have to pardon the expression here ) a banner year for banner ads, as display advertising is set to eclipse search advertising for the first time ever in the U.S. According to eMarketer, marketers will spend more on banner ads than any other type of digital advertising this year. In order to fully take advantage of this blockbuster year for banner ads, take a quick look at some banner ad best practices for 2016.

No Flash, No Problem

Though Flash was an essential plugin back in the early 2000s, times have changed, and Flash is getting more outdated by the second. Almost every one of the major desktop browsers has stopped natively supporting it. These browsers' users now need to manually enable the plugin to view Flash content. Though nearly one in 10 websites still uses Flash, according to Web survey site W3Techs, Ad Age reports that if all the major browsers were to disable Flash suddenly, roughly 84 percent of banners across the Internet would not be viewable on desktop browsers. To avoid issues with Flash's decline, marketers should switch over to HTML5 as soon as possible to ensure that their banner ads are viewable for all browsers in the new year.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Video Advertising, Native Advertising

Are You Screwing Up Your Call-to-Action Phrases?

Posted by Alyson Phillips on January 11, 2016 at 11:23 AM

The call-to-action is a huge component of many different digital marketing strategies. Considering the long, winding path consumers can take to an online conversion, CTAs have tremendous utility: They can make tangible progress on the consumer path to purchase, sending traffic further down the funnel.

But effective CTAs aren't just growing on trees. Too often, marketers write them as an afterthought. But calls-to-action are a very specific piece of content targeting a very specific goal. As such, they need to be carefully developed and placed in a position where they can thrive. Here are some simple mistakes that undercut calls-to-action, as well as some basic solutions.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Digital Marketing Strategy, Website Design & Development

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