Be In The Know Blog

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

Digital Marketing for Automotive Dealerships

Posted by Zuri Stanback on December 4, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Marketing Land notes that among both Gen Y young adults and older generations, the number-one source that influences car-buying decisions is reviews on independent websites. Manufacturers' websites and media reviews also rank above the opinion of the salesperson at the dealership. Clearly, the way people shop for cars is changing, and digital marketing for automotive dealerships is now more important than ever. Here's how the automotive industry can benefit from digital.

Reaching Consumers Where They Are — Literally!

Whereas in the past, dealers had to rely mainly on commercials and flashy billboards to entice customers into their stores, today they have the added benefit of being able to reach consumers in real time right when they're in the neighborhood. As consumers continue to spend more and more time on mobile devices, it's important to reach them where they are — not only where they'll be most likely to see your message, but where they'll be the most receptive to respond to it. That means using geofencing to serve ads in social networking apps, Web browsers and other mobile applications to target consumers who are close by your dealership. You can target consumers while they are out car shopping and serve them a deal right when they're in your neighborhood.

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Topics: Retargeting and Remarketing, Premium Display and Banner Ads, Mobile Optimization and Advertising, Integrated Marketing, Automotive

Local Media Websites Prove Effective Destinations for Rich Media Ads

Posted by Chris Finan on November 16, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Banner ads and other traditional display ads haven't gone out of style, but they do face a pressing need to evolve with the times. Because the real estate on Web pages remains valuable as an advertising tool, the challenge marketers face is maximizing its potential to inspire attention, engagements and conversions.

A partial solution to this challenge is the advent of rich media ads as a form of display advertising. These ads are increasingly being deployed to local media websites — newspapers, radio, TV and other sites that see traffic from concentrated regions with specific audience interests in mind.

This two-part strategy — creating rich media ads and deploying them to relevant destinations — is driving critical gains for marketers, improving performance metrics and flexing the value of display ads, even in the face of rapid landscape evolution.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Interactive Design & Creative

The Difference Between Good and Great Banner Ads

Posted by Ginger Gatewood on November 6, 2015 at 3:13 PM

Banner ads are one of the oldest forms of advertising online (circa 1994), but time hasn't rendered them ineffective. MediaPost notes that 80 percent of brands in a recent HubSpot survey still use banner ads to showcase themselves to their target audience. This time-tested marketing channel remains a staple of monetized strategies online.

Because of that long track record, the makings of good banner ads are well understood, but truly great banner ads are a more rare find. Even a relative newcomer to online marketing can find a simple road map for building banner ads with a modest degree of success. But ROI, conversion rates and other performance metrics are constantly coming under the microscope and being compared to performance seen in social media, content marketing and other emerging digital campaigns.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads

Programmatic Advertising 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Benefits

Posted by Monique Watford on October 26, 2015 at 9:52 AM

The processes involved in banner and display ad purchases can be inefficient as well as time-consuming. Performing certain tasks associated with digital marketing, such as dealing with ad tags, takes time and can keep you from other more important responsibilities.

Programmatic advertising is, in the most basic sense, a way for you to automate those simple but tedious tasks. Diverting them to an automated system frees up your time so you can direct your energy elsewhere. This technology is gaining traction quickly among digital marketers because it is extremely effective, efficient and improves daily work flow.

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

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