Importance of Online Ads Placement
Billions of the world’s population are now online. If your company plans to turn to online ads to draw customers, ads placement is an important consideration.
A new report from Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO) and Dow Jones showed that nearly half of consumers stated they would have second thoughts about purchasing from a company or would boycott products and services if they encountered company's ads within or alongside objectionable digital content.
The CMO and Dow Jones report also showed that nearly half of brand advertisers report problems with where and how digital ads are viewed. A quarter of the CMO and Dow Jones survey respondents stated that they’ve specific examples where their digital ads were shown within or alongside offensive or compromising content.
The new CMO and Dow Jones report shows the risks associated with programmatic advertising.
"Our member research shows that clients are going to be putting more pressure on their advertising and media-buying partners to provide greater due diligence, control and monitoring when it comes to ensuring ad placement efficacy through automated platforms," Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, said. "They want to see greater ad spend effectiveness and better attribution from a performance measurement standpoint. They will also likely dictate which channels are pre-approved and shift spend to those that are most trusted and proven."
What is Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is a billion-dollar market. According to Zenith Media, programmatic advertising grew from $5 billion in 2012 to $39 billion in 2016, at an average rate of 71% per year. Zenith projected this market to slow down in the coming years as “it consolidates its dominance of the display market”. The programmatic advertising market is projected by Zenith to grow at an average of 28% a year from 2017 to 2018 – hitting $64 billion by 2018.
This advertising model was first promoted as a means to reach target audiences as cheaply as possible, without taking into consideration the quality of the sites in which the ads appeared.
Programmatic advertising refers to the automation of online advertising, where a software program is responsible for picking where the ads run. Before this automated process, advertisers have to personally negotiate where their ads will run alongside with and manual insertions are done. This automated advertising method speeds up and scales the ad buying and selling process in a way that humans can’t achieve manually.
In addition to ads running within or alongside videos, programmatic ads also include Google Pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising, which is powered by algorithms, to serve highly targeted ads at audiences.
YouTube Programmatic Advertising Fallout
n February of this year, The Times ran a story that revealed that brands unwittingly fund extremists groups through online ads.
The Times report showed that on YouTube, the online advertisement for the Mercedes E-Class saloon was shown alongside a pro-Isis video that had more than 115,000 views. A video owner earns an average of $7.60 for every 1,000 views and YouTube takes a 45% cut of the earning.
The online ad for Sandals Resorts, the luxury holiday operator, was shown alongside a video promoting al-Shabaab, the East African jihadist group affiliated to al- Qaeda. Ads for Halifax, Churchill Retirement, Honda, Victoria & Albert museum, Thomson Reuters, University of Liverpool and Waitrose also appeared alongside extremist videos posted on YouTube.
As soon as Google, the owner of YouTube, was informed by The Times, the tech giant took down some of the videos. AT&T and Verizon were some the companies that suspended their ads on YouTube over the placement of their ads in extremist videos.
In an interview with Recode, Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, said that the company’s YouTube ad controversy where brands found that some of their ads have run alongside videos promoting terror was overblown.
“If you look at it from an advertiser perspective, the error rates we’re talking about – I’m careful in saying this, because I don’t want to take away from the importance of the problem and that we need to get it right – but the numbers are tiny, tiny,” Schindler said.
Even as the Google’s chief business officer said that the problem is “tiny”, the company, he said, is heeding the call to remedy the issue.
"We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values,” Schindler wrote in a blog post published on March 21, 2017. “So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.”
How to Ensure Your Brand Safety in Programmatic Advertising
We have seen the negative side of automated advertising method as shown in the YouTube fallout. But we can’t deny the fact that programmatic advertising can speed up and scale the ad buying and selling process in a way that humans can’t achieve manually.
Advertising channels like Google search, YouTube and Facebook have the responsibility to ensure that ads don’t run within or alongside fake news, offensive, derogatory, hateful, inappropriate and non-contextual media content.
In today’s digital world, there’s no going back to the bygone days of manual advertising. The online world is simply too big to ignore. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology, projected that mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach 4.3 billion globally by the end of 2017.
Drawing customers to your business through programmatic advertising entails added responsibilities on your side. These include choosing the right digital marketing service. The right digital marketing service will ensure that your business ads don’t run within or alongside objectionable digital content. It can better manage and control ad placements, as well as track and monitor digital advertising placements.
Contact us today if you want to ensure the safety of your brand in a programmatic environment.
Here is how to Increase Web Traffic through Social Media
Worried that your organization’s website isn’t getting enough traffic? The answer may lie in social media platforms.
According to a report released in the 1st quarter of 2016 by analytics firm Parse.ly, social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, StumbleUpon – drove more traffic to news sites (46%) than search engines (40%).
An earlier report from content marketing hubShareaholic showed that the top 8 social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube) drove 31.24% of the overall traffic to sites for the 4th quarter of 2014, up from 22.71% for the same period in the previous year.
Facebook is the dominant source of social media traffic.
According to Parse.ly, for the 1st quarter of 2016, the lion’s share of the traffic to news sites from social media came from Facebook (41.4%) and bulk of the traffic from search engines came from Google (39.5%).
According to Shareaholic, for the 4th quarter of 2014, one-fourth or 24.63% of the social referrals to sites around the web came from Facebook. Shareaholic, which tracked Facebook’s traffic referrals from 2011 to 2014, noticed a 277.26% increase, from only 6.53% in 2011. Behind Facebook, Pinterest came in as the 2nd top social media referral site (5.06%), followed by Twitter (0.82), StumbleUpon (0.50%), Reddit (0.15%), Google+ (0.04%), LinkedIn (0.03%) and YouTube (0.01%).
Unlike Parse.ly which focused on news websites traffic, Shareaholic sourced its data from diverse sites, including food, sports, parenting, tech, design, marketing, fashion and beauty, religion and general news.
According to nonprofit medical practice and medical research group Mayo Clinic, its top social media referral site to mayoclinic.org in the first quarter of 2017 was Facebook which accounted for 78% of the traffic from social media, followed by Twitter (7%) and StumbleUpon (6%). Mayo Clinic added that in the 1st quarter of 2017, Facebook was also its dominant social media referrer for appointment requests.
Penetration Rate of Social Media, Facebook in Canada
According to statistics portal Statista, as of January 2017, nearly 37% of the world’s population had an account on at least one of the social networks. In North America, approximately 66% has at least one social media account. In Canada, over 20 million people are expected to have a social media account by 2018, Statista projected.
According to Statista, global internet users spend an average of 118 minutes each day surfing social networks, while Canadians spend 107 minutes each day accessing social media from any device.
As with the rest of the world, tech giant Facebook is the most popular in Canada in terms of penetration, with three quarters of Canadians having an active account on this platform. Facebook is also the most visited social network via mobile, Pinterest taking the 2nd spot and Twitter taking the 3rd spot.
User base of Twitter in Canada is projected by Statista to grow from over 3.3 million in 2012 to 7.6 million users in 2020. The professional platform LinkedIn has the highest penetration rate, according to Statista, among residents in Alberta and British Columbia.
Given that Facebook has 1.32 billion daily active users on average and 2.01 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2017, and given Facebook’s value as the dominant source of social media traffic, here are some strategies that you can use to drive Facebook traffic to your organization’s website:
1. Take Advantage of Facebook Links
In the About page, photo and video descriptions, comments (where relevant), make sure to include links back to your organization’s website.
It’s essential to include links back to your organization’s website in all social media pages of your organization, including Facebook, as social media sites are favored and have high ranking in search engines, including Google. If your organization hasn’t done much to the website, for instance, failing to regularly update the site via blog posts, and your organization has other social media pages, when people search your organization via search engines, links to these social pages show up higher than your website.
2. Provide Brief Quote or Excerpt from Blog Post
When posting links to blog posts, provide a brief quote or excerpt to give the readers a heads up what to expect when clicking on the link. Pick a portion of the blog post that best describes the topic. Use this as a way to entice the reader to click on the link to the blog post.
3. Post Frequently
According to Facebook, based on an experiment that it conducted with 29 media partners, increasing post volume by an average of 45% over a week resulted in a 76% increase in outbound clicks, 47% increase in fans and 10% increase in likes per post.
4. Upload Videos with a Call-to-Action
According to Facebook, more than 4 billion video views happen on Facebook each day. Post videos on your organization’s Facebook page. Be sure to add a call to action to your video to drive viewers to your organization’s website.
5. Use Facebook Ads
It’s a good practice to supplement your Facebook strategies with Facebook ads. Over the past few years, there has been a drop in “organic” or non-paid Facebook post reach. Your organization has no control on who views your Facebook posts. More often, this social media platform gives priority to posts that organizations paid for to be promoted. As it’s becoming increasingly hard for non-paid posts to get the needed exposure, the better option is to make use of the Facebook ads.
The focus must be driving traffic from social media platforms, not to social media platforms like Facebook. Remember that the role of your organization’s social media pages is only to supplement your organization’s site. This site is your very own – your organization has complete control over it. Your organization’s social media pages, on the hand, are only “rented”. Driving traffic to your organization’s site, not to social media pages ensures that if one of these social media platforms were to change its business model today or close its business, your organization still has a venue to engage with your audience.
When you need help generating more targeted web traffic, connect with us and we will be more than happy to help.
How Online Reputation Can Prevent Social Bias
Diversity is valued in today’s modern society. Social bias, however, comes out naturally for some people. A new study from Stanford University (PDF) shows that online reputation can offset this social bias.
Stanford University Study
To test for evidence of bias, the Stanford University researchers created an experiment-specific online platform. For this new platform, the researchers recruited nearly 9,000 users of Airbnb – an online platform that enables people to rent-out their homes or apartments – to play a behavioral game where participants have to invest a certain amount for various individuals based on mock profiles. The amount of investment for a certain individual serves as a measure of trust.
The researchers divided the nearly 9,000 participants into two groups. Group 1 participants were shown mock profiles of individuals with similar and different demographic than their own. Group 2 participants were shown profiles of individuals with similar and different demographic and added information about reputation – conveyed by star ratings and number of reviews.
Results showed that Group 1 participants invested greatly in people with similar demographic background. The more similar the demographic background, the more the participant invested or trusted such individuals, succumbing to social bias. Participants in Group 2, on the other hand, invested significantly in individuals with better reputations even though these individuals have completely different demographic background than their own.
The behavioral game created by Stanford University researchers revealed that profiles’ reputation prevented humankind’s affinity for favoring people similar to themselves.
The researchers weigh the results of the behavioral game with 1 million actual interactions between hosts and guests on the Airbnb online platform. The Stanford University researchers found that Airbnb hosts with better reputations attracted more demographically diverse guests.
"Our findings show that reputation systems can significantly increase the trust between dissimilar users and that risk aversion has an inverse relationship with trust given high reputation," the researchers wrote.
Homophily: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Homophily – the penchant for favoring those similar to ourselves – was first coined by researchers Lazarsfeld and Merton in the 1950s.
Homophily, however, wasn’t invented in the 50s. Plato observed in Phaedrus that “similarity begets friendship”, while Aristotle in Rhetoric and Nichomachean Ethics noted that people “love those who are like themselves”. The proverbial expression “birds of a feather flock together” unmistakably expresses the full concept of homophily.
There’s a wealth of literature that shows that homophily is evident in relationships that range from the closest ties of marriage, friendship, career support at work to mere initial contact or appearing with people in a public place.
Relevance to Your Business
The findings in the Stanford study and the idea of “birds of a feather flock together” can be applied in your business in the following ways:
1. Build Better Online Reputation to Build Trust
In traditional e-commerce business, social bias isn’t a factor that drives selection as transactions are relatively anonymous.
If you’re working in sharing economy such as working as an Airbnb host or working in the health care sector where there are more personal interactions, there’s that danger of social bias.
According to the Stanford researchers “social biases figure as major hurdles to the growth” in services with more personal interactions “as they influence users’ perceptions of trust and risk”.
As shown in the Stanford study results, online reputation can counteract the natural behavioral tendencies that may lead to social biases. It’s, therefore, important to build a better online reputation through impressive star ratings to eradicate cultural and social boundaries and to attract new customers.
“The fundamental question we wanted to answer is whether technology [review or rating platforms] can be used to influence people’s perception of trust,” lead author of the Stanford University study Bruno Abrahao told the Stanford News. “These platforms can engineer tools that have great influence in how people perceive each other and can make markets fairer, especially to users from underrepresented minorities.”
If you notice homogeneity – same demographic – among your current clientele and you want to open your business to those with different sociodemographic background, it pays to build a better online reputation via impressive star ratings on credible online review platforms.
2. Use the Concept of “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” to Your Advantage
The principle of homophily or the concept of “birds of a feather flock together” is double-edged. On one hand, it’s positive; on the other hand, it’s negative.
“Homophily limits people’s social worlds in a way that has powerful implications for the information they receive, the attitudes they form, and the interactions they experience,” researchers McPherson, Smith-Lovin and Cook wrote in the study "Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social" (PDF). They added, “Homophily in race and ethnicity creates the strongest divides in our personal environments, with age, religion, education, occupation, and gender following in roughly
On the flip side, you can use the idea of “birds of a feather flock together” to improve your brand. It’s a matter finding similarities that don’t reinforce social biases. You can use the “birds of a feather flock together” concept, for instance, in getting reputable online reviews.
The study "How Online Reviews Influence Sales" (PDF) by Spiegel Research Center showed that online reviews written by verified clients are perceived as more credible than reviews written by anonymous reviewers.
“The verified buyer badge shows that the reviewer is a real consumer and not someone who was paid to write a review or someone who has an axe to grind against the company,” Spiegel Research Center said.
The trust placed by would-be clients in verified clients shows how the concept of “birds of a feather flock together” works, that is, people trust more those who have similar experience.
It’s important, therefore, to build a good number of impressive star ratings, not just in random online review platforms but in credible online review platforms – this means platforms where most of the reviewers, if not all of the reviewers, are verified clients who paid for the product or service.
Connect with us today to see how we can help your business grow by applying best industry practices.
ReputationMart.com - passionate digital marketing team.