BuzzFeed: Bridging the Gap Between Speed & Scale of Programmatic Ads

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is our favorite place to go for Tasty videos and quizzes and they’ve come up with a brilliant idea. They have the perfect follower base and steady reach to perfect native advertising (even though they are already the poster child of native). They even think they can come up with ads that people will actually like!  BuzzFeed is coming out with two new ad products. 

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How I got a 509% increase in leads and an 81.45% decrease in cost in 90 days on Facebook.

Video. That’s it. No magic formula. By simply putting in video and leaving everything the same – copy, targeting, and budget – we were able to drop one of our clients’ CPL cost per lead by 81.45% and increase the number of leads by a staggering 509%.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. For months, Facebook has been pumping the power of video with metric after metric. And yes, Facebook’s video push hasn’t been without problems, but what’s more important – an impression or lead? So, the TL;DR version of this blog is that, it is my opinion (which I will fight you over), video will win on any Facebook ad 10 times out of 10. If you aren’t going video first in 2017, you’re wasting time and money.

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The Joy of Canvas

Facebook Canvas lets you combine images, video, text, and call-to-action buttons in a single, fully immersive mobile ad experience. Want to learn how to create Facebook Canvas ads? Click below and watch my demo of Canvas.

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Snapchat. The massive platform you’re missing out on.

Do you have social media FOMO? We’re here to help.

Let’s talk Snapchat –  the massive platform you are neglecting. They currently offer a few ways to get your message in front of the high demand, fast moving, 18-34 year old demographic. To monetize their 150 million strong daily user base, they have released a few options to let advertisers get messages out there. These options currently range from $5 to upwards of $750,000.

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Tiny but Mighty

smartphones

We love our phones. We all know this, right? They hold our lives in their delicate little glass bodies and have a hold on us that borders on absurd. This relationship between people and their smartphones provides a unique opportunity for marketers.

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Trends Moonwalk Back to ’99

Notice anything familiar about today’s trends…?

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Top 7 Digital Industry News and Trends From This Week.

Welcome to the The StrataBlog Round Up

Don’t have time scour the entire web and read every blog out there about the digital market today? Don’t worry we have you covered.

Here is everything you should know from this week in the digital marketing industry.

Working around Facebook’s muted auto play subtly with subtitles.

When Facebook stated its auto-play feature for videos at the beginning of the year, marketers rejoiced. View were now bountiful Cost per views were on the drop. Everybody was happy. But there was a catch, the videos were muted unless clicked on by the end users. Some brands have found ways around this, by simply embracing it. With a slight nod to the days of old when subtitles were king.

http://digiday.com/brands/clever-hotels-com-workaround-muted-facebook-video-ads/

Facebook now supports .gifs but not for uploading.

Prepare yourself for a gifs galore. Facebook now supports gif in both its desktop versions and mobile versions. If you don’t know, .gif’s aka (Graphics Interchange Format) are short soundless videos that repeat over and over again. They are most commonly used for reactions to digital content and are prevalent on sites such as Imgur.com, Tumblr, or Reddit. You cannot yet upload a .gif as an ad, but they can be posted. Brands however should be wary to post .gifs featuring copyrighted content they do not own themselves, in order to avoid potential legal trouble.

http://mashable.com/2015/05/29/facebook-gif-support/

Instagram ads are on the way!

Powered by Facebook targeting abilities, Instagram will soon be available to everyone as a advertising platforms and not just those who can shell out more then $500,000 per ad. While Instagram works out the kinks of their ads serving and buying back end, they have added additional powerful features catering to tech and such as a Buy now and App Install buttons.

Here is a fantastic tech crunch article on the matter. http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/adstagram/#.5qbaaa:hCYT

The future of YouTube is mobile. Go small or go home.

YouTube is now more than a decade old. What started as a small site for users to upload videos for other people to watch, has grown to a media powerhouse before being purchased by Google. That’s its past but where is its future? Mobile. More than half if its users are already on some sort of mobile device. Mobile watch time has grown nearly 100% this past year and will continue to rise. The future of video is mobile, and advertisers must embrace it.

Here is The Guardians interview with YouTube’s Head of content and business operations, Robert Kyncl http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/02/youtube-future-small-screens-mobile-robert-kyncl

Is the pin mightier than the data? Pinterest buying power vs Instagram data.

Facebook and Instagram both have massive amounts of  digital data on their users. This allows extremely relevant ads to be served to audiences. Pinterest, however can allow brands to be part of the planning mode (or skip right down to the bottom of the sales funnel) Users go to Pinterest for inspiration with Pinterest adding “Buy It” buttons, it has the potential to flip the traditional sales process with top of funnel conversions and become am E-commerce powerhouse.

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/instagram-offers-big-data-pinterest-has-purchase-intent-165168

The psychological power of color.

A Picture says 1000 words, what does a color say? We are visual creatures who associated different colors with different meanings for example Red is an exciting or alert color, blue is a calmer, more competent color. Colors have personality just like brands. There are some best practices to use when thinking about what colors to use in everything from call-to-actions, to general branding.

http://thenextweb.com/creativity/2015/05/16/the-psychology-behind-color/

7 Reasons to pay for experiences over things.

We see the past through rose tinted glasses. Giving users more of a brand experience can lead to better recall and better feelings towards that brand or product, than simply seeing an ad scrolling through your news feeds. Here is an example: which is more memorable, a real life recreated Pac-man game, or a picture of a model drinking a beer? A slight exaggeration but you get the idea.  There is something to be gained when you offer your customers a unique digital experience online with your brand as opposed to just seeing an ad while scrolling through Facebook.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3046696/the-7-reasons-that-science-says-you-should-pay-for-experience-not-things

Want To Know More About How These Ideas Can Help Your Brand?

Let us talk over coffee. Click here to set up a time to chat.

Mobile Vs Desktop: How To Reach The Consumer On The Go

There are few things in life that actually live up to their hype. For example: The Grand Canyon, The Internet, Tesla cars, Game of Thrones, peeling plastic off of a new electronics… And of course smartphones.

Remember when your grade school math teacher drilled long division into your head because: “You’re not always going to have a calculator in your pocket”?  Guess who has the last laugh now.

I called it a while ago that 2015 would be the year on mobile. It looks like the world is beginning to agree.

Here’s why:

During their 2015 Adwords Performance Summit, Google announced that for the first time, a long time speculation came true: mobile is beating desktop in the search game. Honestly, this should not come as a real surprise to marketers. With the growing number of apps and smartphones available on the market, and the fact people are always on the go has resulted in the growth of a mobile concierge economy. Combine that with the long awaited Mobilegeddon of Google, and you have all the makings of a coup d’etat for the digital crown.

It is an inescapable truth that mobile devices have become a fundamental part of life. It is not only the screen glued Millennial’s that sleep within an arm’s length of their phones. We feel lost and disconnected when we cannot find them. I can’t be the only one who has ever experienced a phantom vibration when I don’t have my phone in my pocket.  The world is of course faster paced today and we are constantly on the move within it. So all of this mobility begs the question:

How do you reach the consumer on the move?

You can see there are numerous trends appearing around the country now if you followed the news from SXSW, or any of the other trade shows marketers frequent. One growing in popularity that I foresee really making a significant impact in the digital world is that a number of retailers have begun installing beacons inside their stores. This technology essentially is the next level of CRM (customer relationship management) device that allows for a unique and personalized bottom funnel sale /remarketing ability exclusively to mobile devices.

For another we can look to an older medium radio for inspiration. Traditional radio is sharply declining. In its place are Internet radio services like Pandora and Spotify which bring in new listeners in droves. Why is this? Simple: mobility and personalization. Consumers want things now, and they want them, the way they want them.

Uber-For-Everything
^Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

People are commuting farther and more frequent these days, and to help them get where they are going (mad men nod) they are using traffic crowd source apps like Waze and Google Maps to help them get where they are going.  This is an opportunity.

It is said that there is now a Uber for everything. This rise of a concierge economy is powered almost exclusively through the prevalence of mobile. Need a cab? Summon an Uber or Lyft. Want some booze but don’t want to drive? Drizly or Saucey have you covered. Have to get some laundry and dry cleaning done? Washio has your back. You can even order a doctor or a massage using the apps Heal or Zeel.

I bring this up because each of these services has an audience that is on the go. There are advertising opportunities available within each of these, as well. Google Display Advertising can allow you to place your message within these apps giving you the ability to reach people during their commute or free time.

So which is better Mobile or Desktop?

A hard question but to answer it, I’m going to take another page out of radio’s play book. Imagine search as a Hot Clock. There are high traffic times and low traffic times. Times when you know people are more likely to be on desktop, and times when they almost certainly have to be mobile. The folks over at the IDG Knowledge Hub put together a killer graphic that goes into this with a little more detail. Click here to check it out.

It is not just search in which mobile wears the crown. Take a brief look over any campaign reports from Facebook or Twitter to see how mobile your target audience is. If you separate out the placement of your ads I would wager you are likely to see a stark contrast in the CTR and impressions between mobile and desktop.

Mobile IT purchases and when people are most active on their mobile.

So should I drop desktop entirely?

Not by any means. While I am clearly an advocate of the strength of mobile over desktop, “traditional computers” (going to coin the phrase now) will still reach a broad demographic. It depends on who your audience is and what day part you want to hit them. Be honest: how many times have you watched a YouTube video or did a little Amazon shopping while on a computer at work?

When buying things online, there is still some level of distrust from consumers. Google’s Mobilegeddon aimed to relieve some of that hesitation and make the internet a bit more mobile friendly place. The trend is that consumers are doing research on their mobile devices, but when it comes to time to buy, they return to their desktops. A integrated marketing campaign will, as always, produce much better results.

What does this all mean for digital advertisers?

Bottom line? The ability to meet your target audience on the go and where they work was once a luxury, but now, it is  essential. The traditional sales funnel is changing and we as [digital] marketers must change with it.

Looking for more analytical proof about why mobile is important? Check out this blog on StrataBlue to learn more.

Want to talk more about how to advertise inside apps and search to reach your customers while on the go?

Click here now to contact us online!

Local Facebook Awareness Ads:

There’s a new objective in town. In late October of last year, Facebook rolled out with a new campaign aimed at advertising to people near your business. Local Awareness Ads appear on the news feeds of people within a specified radius of your business. Learn how to set-up your own Local Awareness ad using my steps below.
Getting Started

To get started setting up a Local Awareness Ad, select the objective on the Facebook advertising page that reads “Reach people near your business.” From there, choose the Facebook page that you would like to advertise with. In this how-to I will be creating a Local Awareness Ad for StrataBlue. Once the page is selected, you will be sent to the page to set-up the ad.

local2

local1

Choose Your Audience

Who do you want to see your ads? Simply enter the address of your establishment and Facebook will prompt you will a map. Next, select the mile radius that you would like people within that area to see your ad. Think about details of your location. If your business is far from other businesses or residential areas, I recommend having a large radius of up to 15-20 miles. But if your business is in close proximity to other businesses I recommend using the 1-10 mile radius. Next select the age range of who you would like to see your ad. Then choose gender.

local3

Choose Your Budget

How much do you want to spend? If you are familiar with Facebook advertising you will notice that Local Awareness Ads only operate on a Lifetime Budget scale. A Lifetime budget is a set amount that Facebook will spend over the duration of your ad set. Facebook won’t spend over or under the amount you choose.

Select the time frame of when you would like to have your ad run. This is totally up to you and your client’s needs.

Tip: When selecting the dates to run your ad, keep in mind special events going on in your area where people will be traveling out of their town to yours. Local Awareness Ads are great for hooking out of towners to visit your business.

Choose Your Images + Text

Now it’s time to great creative! Choose up to 6 images either uploaded from your computer or from Facebook’s Shutterstock stash.

Note: Because this is a Facebook paid advertising, the 20% text rule still applies. All Local Awareness Ads images with more than 20% text will not be approved.

As for the text of the ad, make sure it’s something engaging with a call to action. For example:

“Come get all your pet supplies for a great price at Bob’s Pet Store.”
“Come try one of our 105 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt.”
“Kip’s Market is the place for quality produce at unbeatable prices.”

Next you will need to create a Headline. As you can see, I just used the business name, StrataBlue to fill this spot. The headline text is meant to grab attention and tell what your ad is about.

Currently, the only call to action available is Get Directions or none. Facebook will automatically default to Get Directions call to action button. There is also additional space under “Show Advance Options” to include text if you wish.

All you have to do is click Place Order and your ad is ready to run!

Now imagine your potential customer’s scrolling through their Facebook News Feed as they are figuring out with to do for dinner tonight and all of a sudden your ad pops up. Or they’re walking around the mall and see an ad for your small boutique located outside of the major department store. Local Awareness Ads are the digital billboards of Facebook. They are excellent for small businesses to be seen and heard by their local clientele.

Interested in what Local Awareness Ads can do for your business? Contact us today.

Must-Have Instagram Tools for Marketing Your Brand

Instagram offers a plethora of features including photo filters and editing tools, but sometimes they just aren’t enough to run a creative and attention-grabbing Instagram marketing campaign. The Apple App Store and Android App Store are full of add-on tools to enhance your Instagram audience’s experience. Below I have complied a list of 5 must-have Instagram tools to consider using for your marketing campaigns.

AfterLight

If you ever get the feeling Instagram’s filters just aren’t working for your photo, then it’s time to download AfterLight. I use the AfterLight App on a daily basis, not only for my clients, but also for my own personal Instagram use. The app’s main features include: 59 filters, 66 textures (light leaks, instant film frame, and dusty overlay), cropping and editing tools, and frames. With AfterLight, you can explore 59+ other filters in addition to Instagram’s 20. The additional features are especially useful when posting food and landscape photos, where, for example, sometimes the original filters can give your food a less than appetizing appeal. With AfterLight, your food will look delicious on Instagram.

Instagram Afterlight App

Frame tool on Afterlight.

Instagram Afterlight App 2

Light leak tool on Afterlight.

Instagram Afterlight App 3

Instant film feature.

Instant film feature.

InstaSize

The InstaSize app is the solution for all those awkward auto-crop jobs that Instagram makes. In case you didn’t know, Instagram crops your photos into a 640 pixel by 640 pixel square photo. So what about your panoramic and rectangle photos? The InstaSizea app allows you to create Instagram images that fully display your content. You also have the option to choose the color of your background and add filters and text. Instasize is a must-have download for those looking to explore different depths of their photos while avoiding poor cropping.

InstaSize Instagram App 1

Add a border to your rectangle photo to avoid auto-cropping.

InstaSize 2

Panoramic photo with borders using InstaSize

 

Repost

Giving credit to an original author-photographer becomes easier with the Repost app. In just three simple steps, you are able to successfully re-post an Instagram to your followers. The Repost tool includes the original caption of the photo and also creates a banner with the original Instagrammer’s username and profile photo. Just follow these three easy steps to repost. There are a ton of repost apps out there, but I find this one by Red Cactus LLC to be easier to use compared to others.

Instagram Report App 1

Step 1: Select photo to Repost.

Instagram Report App 2

Step 2: Pick the position of your Repost watermark.

Instagram Report App 3

Step 3: Upload your Repost and then post to your page.

Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch was made for creating photos collages to be shared on Instagram. The free app offers up to 232 different collage frames in 15 different photo aspect ratios. You also have the ability to customize the collage borders with different colors and line sizes. Use Pic Stitch to create unique collages and to avoid the dreaded “multiple posts in one day” faux pas.

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Create a collage of photos using Pic Stitch.

Over

When using Instagram to market your business, it can be very powerful to enhance your photos with text captions. The Over App helps you add text and artwork to your Instagram photos. This app was designed with the creative Instagrammer in mind and offers 30+ fonts and artwork graphics to amp up the creative element of your posts.

Instagram Over App

The Over App allows you to add text and artwork to Instagram photos.

Using different apps to enhance your Instagram photos is absolutely key to executing a creative campaign for your business or brand. Like I have mentioned before, Instagram is all about visual appeal. These tools are essential to standing out among competition and getting your photos noticed.

What are some apps you use to edit and enrich your Instagram photos?