DIGITAL AD STRATEGY – RETHINK OR DIE
Give It To Me Straight: The layers of quality data that are available today (2017) for digital ad campaigns is borderline mind-blowing. If you only absorb one thing from this article it should be an understanding that geographic, demographic, behavioral and real-time ad performance data are all merging at an exciting pace to deliver advertisers true precision targeting. Furthermore, some brands are integrating their own customer relationship management (CRM) data with this advanced ad tech to build custom marketing automatons, also known as journey campaigns. So, if you’re a local flower shop or an industry titan and you are not willing to invest in advanced digital advertising then you must accept the outcomes of a competitor making those investments.
Digital advertising in a lot of ways can be likened to day trading stocks. There is a lot of noise, things change daily, and if you don’t know what you are doing you could lose a lot of money, or worse yet not even know you are losing. Also, the amount of data you are exposed to in real-time can be overwhelming and hard to untangle. There is no digital advertising silver bullet just like there is no single stock you should invest all your money. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a stretch of any imagination for folks like Frontier Media who build digital media strategies for a living to tell you it’s all about diversification, reading analytics, and optimizing your position often.
Top 3 Takeaways on Digital Advertising:
#3 Where vs. Who: Is it more important to have your ad show up on a relevant website where your desired audience will likely be visiting, or is it better to have your ads appear to your desired target audience no matter what website they traffic? I suppose this is a vexing question similar to the chicken and the egg scenario, but it is an important factor that many digital marketers overlook when building a campaign strategy.
Although there are powerful ways to target customers and potential customers whenever and wherever as well as across multiple devices, but a more dynamic strategy would consider both a programmatic and a contextually relevant approach. For example, a brand might use PR efforts, digital influencers, and sponsored content to achieve exposure in contextually relevant websites while leveraging display media to programmatically deliver a specific message.
The point is simple, the next time you build a digital media strategy be sure to spend a few moments questioning where vs. who.
#2 What Is Programmatic: If you know about real-time-bidding and the complex targeting world of programmatic this next bit isn’t for you. However, if you don’t understand what the heck programmatic digital marketing is then please allow me to pull you out of 2014. Basically, “programmatic” is an ad marketplace backed by artificial intelligence whereby ad inventory across thousands of websites is purchased in real-time by media buyers who want to serve specific messages to a highly targeted audience. Media buyers can now surgically buy the user impressions they want in real-time based on an array of targeting data such as geo, demo, and behavioral data. On the supply side, the website owner capitalizes by achieving higher prices for their ad inventory. Ever wonder how an advertiser seemed to know who you are and what you might be interested in through a website that doesn’t really seem like a place they would advertise? That’s programmatic ad buying.
- Zenith Programmatic predicts programmatic ad buying will grow by 31% in 2017 which is faster than all other digital channels including social media
- 65% of B2B marketers indicated they buy or sell advertising programmatically which is up from 54% in 2016 – Dunn & Bradstreet
- Programmatic video amounts to roughly 60% of all online video ad spend in the US according to eMarketer
#1 Content: What do mobile advertising and ad blockers have in common? They are both on the rise in popularity and they both can make it difficult on digital advertising. One surefire way to win on mobile and in digital advertising is to have a smart content strategy. Now, does this mean you must be witty and charming on social media platforms all day every day, or produce content like the RedBull Air Race? Maybe…
So many brands just toss content against the wall to see what sticks, or they post material randomly because they are trying to plug a hole in their marketing strategy. Here are the four major talking points we bring up with our Clients at Frontier Media when discussing a digital content marketing strategy:
- Choose to Entertain or Not: When a brand decides to invest in social media or web-based content in general, they are generally making the decision to become an entertainer. What they often overlook is that being an entertainer online successfully is a full-time job. This is why so many brands stumble around in social media. We often tell our clients that they should make a clear decision to either (a) become a consistent content provider, (b) partner with others who are proven entertainers online, or (c) do both with a big enough checkbook and commitment level to win.
- Target Someone Not Everyone: Even if a brand is consistent about being an entertainer they often never consider different strategies for specific target audiences. We recommend you study your target audience in detail and then craft a content strategy. You can then lift/syndicate your content through ad technologies. Remember, even your own customers don’t all look the same so think a little deeper about why you are creating content and for whom.
- Diversify Your Distribution: Qualified distribution has never been free in marketing. If you want your content to reach the right audience at the right time use data and paid syndication tools. Don’t be afraid to pay up to reach the audience you want. Don’t expect them to come to you. Also, you should understand that different types of content take different paths for distribution online. An article is syndicated different than a photo or a video.
- Content Dies Quickly: Many top content websites will recycle content assets months or even years after its original posting. The investments you make in content should have a long-tail strategy. Make sure your content strategy has multiple lives.