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The Ins and Outs of Behavioral Targeting

Posted June 26, 2012 by fran @ 10:32 am

While behavioral targeting isn’t new (websites have been dropping cookies into our computers since the 90s), a lot of Internet users still either misunderstand the technology or are completely unaware of what behavioral targeting is.

For the uninitiated, behavioral targeting, as our trusty Wiki friends put it, “refers to a range of technologies and techniques used by online website publishers and advertisers which allows them to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns by capturing data generated by website and landing page visitors.”

It is a boon for publishers and advertisers alike, because it ensures that ads are seen by the right people at the right time.

How It Works

This is where ad networks (like AdMedia) come in. With the use of cookies, ad networks are able to track a user’s browsing history, searches, shopping carts, location, and other pieces of information. This data is used to determine which audience segment a user belongs to, which will then help ad networks display more relevant advertisements.

For example, if a user’s cookies indicate that they visited ESPN.com, NBA.com, and read articles about basketball, then ad networks may infer that that person is a basketball fan and thus display ads related to the sport.

Its Strengths

The obvious strength of behavioral targeting is that it allows advertising networks to display relevant ads. It helps advertisers get to know their audiences more, so that they can provide them with ads that matter.

On the user side, behavioral targeting helps give people a more personalized browsing experience, enabling them to find what they need much faster. Take Google, for instance. The search giant’s autocomplete feature enables it to “guess” what you’re about to search for. Simply type the first few letters of your query and Google’s search box will automatically display suggestions based on your browsing history. (Note: This only works if you’re signed in to your Google account. If you’re not logged in, the autocomplete feature will be based on other users’ search activities and the contents of indexed pages.)

Its Weaknesses

Like all things in life, behavioral targeting isn’t perfect. The technology isn’t very effective when tracking the Internet activities of a shared device. Grabbing the browsing history of several people with varying interests will return a hodgepodge of data and can make it more difficult for advertising networks to serve up relevant ads.

However, this problem isn’t much of an issue now as it was a few years ago. Recent technological developments have enabled people to have their own personal laptops, tablets, and cell phones, so shared devices is not as common as before.

Is it an invasion of privacy?

Not at all. Behavioral targeting technology does not collect any personally identifiable information and ad networks don’t get any data that can uniquely identify a single person. Data on people’s Internet activities is aggregated and is used solely for ad targeting. (The same thing goes for remarketing advertising.)

In any case, if you’re still iffy about being tracked online, you can simply delete cookies from your device. Additionally, you can enable a feature in your Internet browser so that it won’t record your history or track your activities online. Be sure to check the settings in your browse to see how you can enable its private browsing option.

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

7 Tips to Help You Retarget Ads Like a Rock Star

Posted June 19, 2012 by fran @ 10:51 am

Remarketing advertising boasts of high CTRs mainly because it puts ads in front of an already engaged audience. Compared to other forms of online advertising, Remarketing targets users that have previously visited a website. This means that the people seeing the ad are already interested in the product or service being advertised, and all you need to do is reel them back in.

However, effective as it is, there are still a number of things that advertisers can do in order to optimize their remarketing campaigns. If you really want to make the most out of the power of remarketing ads, check out the tips and tricks below and see how you can apply them in your own ad campaigns.

1. Be consistent –  Using ads that aren’t consistent with the theme of your website defeats the purpose of Remarketing, because the main goal of the campaign is to give users a sense of familiarity, and make sure that they know all about your product. In order to trigger this that feeling of familiarity or affinity with your brand, it’s best to keep the designs of your Remarketing ads similar to the look and feel of your website.

2. Include special deals – Often, people that leave your website without buying anything just need a little push to get them to complete the purchase. With that said, consider adding special deals to your ads and entice customers to come back.

3. Cover as many ad types / sizes that you can – Websites in AdMedia’s display network come in all shapes and sizes, so there isn’t a “one size fits all” type of ad. Be sure to include several creatives and sizes for your ads to ensure that they get displayed in as many websites as possible.

4. Be specific – In online advertising, the more targeted you are, the better. In your Remarketing campaign, target potential customers who have checked out specific products or categories and include those same products in your ads. Going back to tip number 1, doing this will further build that sense of familiarity in consumers and persuade them to go back to your site and complete the transaction.

5. Add some variety – Too much of something—even something that’s familiar—can also be a bad thing. Seeing the same ad over and over again can result in customers being turned off. They could start to think that your brand is creepy and your campaign could backfire. Prevent advertising fatigue by rotating your image ads regularly and displaying a variety of designs.

6. Use persuasive calls to action – Putting something familiar in front of customers may not be enough. Be sure to have a clear call to action button in your ads to direct them exactly where you want them to go.

7. Consider cross-selling – If you have products or services that complement each other, consider reaching out to existing customers to do a cross-sell. Tag the confirmation or thank you page on your site and advertise any products or services that can enhance the ones that the users just bought.

Image credit:  Tony Abrego on Flickr

Filed under: Blogroll

AdMedia Partners With AdSafe Media for Brand Safety Assurance

Posted June 18, 2012 by fran @ 11:28 am

Partnership Adds Additional Layer of Real Time Brand Safety and Contextual Data to AdMedia’s Inventory

BURBANK, CA June 18, 2012 –  AdMedia, the leading provider of performance-based digital advertising solutions, today announced a new partnership with AdSafe Media, the leading provider of preventative brand protection and campaign performance data for digital advertising. The partnership will ensure the quality and brand safety of AdMedia’s networks for their users and advertisers.

AdSafe provides a uniform standard for rating commercial digital content to help improve the safety and efficiency of online ads. The company’s Content Rating System scores and evaluates the brand safety and context of web pages on the individual page level. Leveraging these ratings, AdSafe protects advertisers’ brands from appearing on pages that do not conform to brand guidelines. Powered by real-time data feeds, AdSafe enables campaign control, confidence and optimization for brands/agencies, publishers and networks.

AdMedia is now leveraging AdSafe’s industry-leading data to rate and assess the content of individual web pages in real time, ensuring that their customers’ advertisements do not appear on pages containing adult content, illegal downloads, offensive language, illegal drugs or hate speech that could be seen as detrimental to a brand’s reputation. Further, by tapping into AdSafe’s Contextual data (classified per the IAB Networks and Exchanges Taxonomy), AdMedia can now provide valuable contextual relevance information to its clients who want the confidence in knowing that ads are effectively reaching their target audience on both safe and relevant sites.

“Top brands utilize the AdMedia network to advance their offers and they trust our company to help protect their brand integrity,” says Avi N. Bibi, COO, AdMedia. “We serve millions of ad impressions every day, so it’s critical to integrate a platform that gives real-time data and contextual relevance. This in-depth level of digital ad reputation management allows us to maintain the highest quality inventory for our clients.”

AdMedia brings advertisers and publishers a powerful, efficient and responsive integrated digital marketing platform powered by leading-edge methods and proprietary technology. The company works with clients to design their own programs, leveraging all of AdMedia’s advantages in dominant distribution, brand expertise, flexible business model and retargeting engine.

“By incorporating our ad safety ratings and contextual metrics, AdMedia demonstrates a strong commitment to its clients’ brand safety and campaign effectiveness,” said Bryan St. John, VP, Business Operations and Strategic Partnerships, AdSafe Media. “This partnership aligns with our efforts to use this powerful data to both inform and improve performance. We’re excited to work with the AdMedia team going forward.”

About AdMedia

A performance based advertising network, AdMedia has been providing Advertisers and Affiliates with marketing solutions since 2007. AdMedia connects advertisers to consumers across many channels, including industry leading email, domain, social and search networks. More than 60,000 advertisers utilize the AdMedia network to advance their offers. A privately-held company headquartered in Burbank, AdMedia has domestic offices throughout the state of California. Connect with AdMedia on the web at www.admedia.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/AdMediaCommunity and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Ad_Media.

About AdSafe Media

AdSafe Media is the rating standard of online media. AdSafe uses proprietary algorithmic modeling and human verification to rate the brand safety of content on commercially supported web pages via the AdSafe Content Rating System. AdSafe’s BrandSafe Firewall enables brands, agencies and ad networks to prevent advertising from appearing on publisher web pages that do not conform to brand guidelines. AdSafe’s Network Monitor platform enables ad networks and publishers to identify and segment problematic site content, increasing monetization of display inventory. AdSafe is headquartered in New York, NY with operations in California and London, England. For more information visit http://www.AdSafeMedia.com or follow @AdSafe on Twitter.

 

Filed under: Press Releases

3 Great Resources that Help Boost the Quality of Your Content

Posted June 12, 2012 by fran @ 10:46 am

Publishers that get tons of visitors and garner a lot of ad clicks usually have one thing in common: Great content. If you have a website and you’re wondering why you’re not getting a lot of views or that you’re not making enough money of out your ads, then chances are it has something to do with your content. Online advertising goes beyond simply putting ads on a page; you also need to work on drawing people in and actually driving traffic to your website.

This blog post will discuss the top resources that publishers can check out in order to improve the quality of their content. From writing excellent copy to getting your stuff out there, the three websites below offer a wealth of information and provide a lot of actionable tips that you can apply to your own website.

1. Copy Hackers – This is a series of eBooks by Joanna Wiebe, a professional copywriter who specializes in startups and web content. The Copy Hackers set is composed of 4 books that can be purchased individually or as a bundle.

The first book, “Where Stellar Messages Come From” teaches you how to develop messages that sell. It fills you in on how to target your copy so that it reaches just the right people. The next book, called “Formatting & the Essentials of Web Writing” teaches you how to optimize your content’s format for the web. People consume web content differently, and if you want to get your message across, you need to write in a web-friendly manner. Book 3 on the other hand (Headlines, Subheads, & Value Propositions) will teach you the dos and don’ts of headlines, subheads, and value props to ensure that you’ll be able to write effective and attention-grabbing headlines. In Book 4 (Button & Click-Worthy Calls to Action), you’ll learn the ins and outs of proper calls to action and buttons that attract clicks.

2. The Copy Blogger Blog – Copy Blogger offers WordPress Solutions to optimize the content and marketing campaigns of bloggers. If you’re not ready to buy just yet though, then you can simply head to the blog section and you’ll be sure to pick up a lot of useful tips. From writing headlines and content to SEO copywriting and social media marketing, the Copy Blogger blog is one of the best FREE resources out there that can take your blogging and writing skills to the next level.

3. Blogging PRWeb – So you’ve written great content and you’re more than ready to make the world see it. The next step is publicizing and marketing your work to ensure that it reaches as many eyeballs as possible. After all, the quality of your content doesn’t just depend on how well it’s written, it’s reach and popularity are also factors that you should take into consideration. For tips on getting your content out there, the PRWeb blog is a great resource to start with. This blog provides useful advice in terms of SEO, marketing, social media, and of course, PR. And one of the best things about it is that PRWeb’s blog posts are written in plain English, and are perfect for small businesses or not-so-tech-savvy bloggers.

Image credit:  Anonymous Account on Flickr

 

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

AdMedia Takes Extra Precautions to Prevent Consumers, Brands and Publishers From Malvertisements

Posted June 7, 2012 by fran @ 9:09 am

Partnership With RiskIQ Adds Additional Layer of Fraud and Malware Traffic Auditing; Increases Network Quality and Safety

BURBANK, CA  Jun 7, 2012 – AdMedia, the leading provider of performance-based advertising solutions, today announced a new partnership with RiskIQ, the foremost provider of cloud-based risk management solutions, to provide fraud and malware traffic auditing to their product offerings. This new partnership and implementation of supplementary security will help to increase AdMedia’s network quality and safety for their users and advertisers.

The instance of malvertisements — infected online ads posing as legitimate ads capable of corrupting a computer — has increased dramatically in the last few years. Unbeknownst to most consumers these malvertisements can download and infect their computer just by visiting a website with infected ads on it — even if they don’t click on the ad.

In a pre-emptive strike against these malvertisements, AdMedia will utilize RiskIQ’s proprietary solutions to scan all ad tags for malware, phishing scams and spam. Doing so will allow RiskIQ to alert AdMedia to any offending ads, allowing them to immediately remove the malicious advertisement and in turn protect both consumers and website publishers.

“Malicious ads turn up the cost of advertising by creating a bad experience for the consumer, which in turn makes them less likely to interact with what they perceive to be the offending brand and website,” says Avi N. Bibi, COO, AdMedia. “When consumers feel they’ve been negatively impacted by an ad they will block the ads, thereby driving down publisher revenues. By providing this additional layer of fraud and malware traffic auditing we’re not just increasing the quality of our networks but ensuring that consumers continue to trust the ads.”

“As the occurrence of malvertisements continues to rise, publishers need to ensure they are working with reputable advertising networks that are looking out for their best interests,” says Elias Manousos, CEO of RiskIQ. “AdMedia is at the head of their class in protecting the brands and publishers they work with from these rogue infected ads.”

About AdMedia
A performance based advertising network, AdMedia has been providing Advertisers and Affiliates with marketing solutions since 2007. AdMedia connects advertisers to consumers across many channels, including industry leading email, domain, social and search networks. More than 60,000 advertisers utilize the AdMedia network to advance their offers. A privately held company headquartered in Burbank, AdMedia has domestic offices throughout the state of California. Connect with AdMedia on the web at www.admedia.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/AdMediaCommunity and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Ad_Media.

Filed under: Press Releases

Five Must-Have Pinterest Tools for Content Marketers

Posted by fran @ 9:06 am

Pinterest isn’t just for artists, photograhers, and retailers, you know. It’s also a great site for wordsmiths and content marketers! This MarketingProfs article lists the top 5 best Pinterest tools for content marketers. Check it out, and start promoting your content in no time.

Read the full story here.

Filed under: Online News Room

Facebook Users Aren’t There to Shop Around

Posted by fran @ 8:49 am

Have you ever tried advertising on Facebook but didn’t get good results? You are not alone. A recent study has found that a 4 out of 5 Facebook users have never been influence by ads on the social network. This article on E-Commerce Times entitled, “Facebook Users Aren’t There to Shop Around” looks into the issue and explains why Facebook Ads just aren’t effective, despite the social network’s wide user base.

Read more here.

Filed under: Online News Room

Top 5 Twitter Accounts in Online Advertising

Posted June 5, 2012 by fran @ 10:27 am

Whether you’re an advertiser with products to sell, or a publisher with messages and articles to write, keeping up with the latest developments in online advertising is important if you want to continuously generate leads and make money online. New developments, tools, and products are always coming out and it pays to know about these things and see what you can apply in your business. Additionally, you should keep yourself abreast with the latest advertising campaigns to generate ideas and inspiration for your own ad campaigns.

Aside from RSS feeds and online readers, one of the best ways to keep your posted on current events is through Twitter. Not only does the microblogging site collate information from various sources, it also delivers updates in real-time so can always get fresh information in your feed. Of course, your Twitter account is only as good as the users that you follow and if you want to get the best in online advertising, you have to make sure that you’re following the right people.

Below are five of the best accounts in the Twitterverse. Follow their updates and you’ll never miss an important online advertising tidbit again.

1. ad:tech (@adtech) – Considered as the top digital marketing event in the industry, ad:tech brings together the most insightful people in online advertising to share their knowledge. Aside from tweeting about their events though, the ad:tech Twitter account also delivers tips and current events surrounding the online advertising industry. Ad:tech also curates information from the most reputable and authoritative sources in advertising, so you can be confident their tweets are always reliable.

2. Ad Age (@adage) – Want to get constant doses of advertising news and commentary? Then @adage is a must-follow. It’s one of the go-to sources about ads, marketing, agencies and the like, and offers boh straight and unbiased news, as well as opinions and commentaries from knowledgeable individuals. Follow this account to get an in-depth look at the industry.

3. Adrants (@adrants) – See the world of advertsising from @adrants’ edgy perspective. Adrants delivers marketing, advertising, and social media news with attitude and includes some creative commentary as well. Follow their Twitter account and don’t miss any of their interesting posts!

4. AdFreak (@adfreak) – Ads, ads, ads. That’s what AdFreak is all about. If you want to see the crazy ads that companies would release just to get people to buy, then AdFreak has all the crazy you need. From viral videos to weird display banners, you’ll always find new and innovative ads from AdFreak. Be sure to follow them on Twitter as they post updates several times a day.

5. AdMedia  (@ad_media) – Not to toot our own horn here, but AdMedia’s Twitter account is rich with industry news, great ad campaigns, and information on cool products. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the lowdown on what’s happening in the realm of online advertising. The AdMedia team is always developing innovative products so having us in your Twitter feed will keep you in the know. Additionally, since we’re always looking for great talent, you’ll often find Tweets about new job openings in our Twitter stream.

Image credit:  JoshSemans on Flickr

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

Advertising on Social Networks

Posted May 29, 2012 by fran @ 11:53 am

Can a social network be an ad network at the same time? The answer to that varies on the type of business that you have, the products or services that you’re selling, and more importantly, your target audience. Do some research on how your customers use social media, and you’ll be able to determine if advertising on Facebook or Twitter will be effective for your brand.

The types of ads that you choose display are also crucial to the effectiveness of your campaign. Different social media sites have different ad products so be sure to determine which of the various types of ads are right for your business.

This post will give you an overview of the different ad offerings that you’ll find on the two most popular social networks on the web: Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook

Like most online ad networks, Facebook also has its own self-serve ads platform where you’ll be able to build your campaign. Facebook allows you to target your audience (by location, interests, demographics, etc), customize the text and graphics of your ad, and set a daily budget. These ads will then be displayed on the right hand side of the page and will be seen by Facebook members that fall under the locations and demographics that you set.

Facebook has also begun releasing a tool called “Promoted Posts” for page owners. If your business has a page on Facebook, you can use this new feature to widen the reach of your updates and posts. Prices for Promoted Posts start at $5 and will go up depending on the number of fans that you have. For example, AdMedia’s Facebook page has over 5,000 fans. When we look into promoting our posts, Facebook’s tool indicates that $5 can extend the post’s reach to 2,200 more users while $10 can amplify the post’s reach to 4,300. Note that these numbers will vary from one page to the next and the amount of extra reach that you’ll get also depends on your fan count.

Twitter

Twitter also has its own self-serve ad platform to allow business owners to promote their company on the microblogging site. The two main products that Twitter offers include Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts.

With the former, Twitter will examine your most successful tweets and promote them to your target audience. Promoted Tweets will appear on searches as well as on the Twitter feeds of relevant users. The latter on the other hand, promotes YOU instead of your tweets. If you choose the Promoted Accounts product, Twitter will put your account on the “Who to Follow” lists for relevant users.

Both Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts have a budget-friendly system wherein you’ll only pay for actual results. If you have Promoted Tweets, you’ll only pay if someone interacts with your posts (i.e. Retweets, replies, or favorites). The same goes for Promoted Accounts; you’ll only be charged for the followers that you gain. Additionally, you’ll be able to set a daily cap on how much you can spend to ensure that you don’t blow your budget.

Image credit:  webtreats on Flickr

 

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

3 Epic Display Ads that Made Waves Online

Posted May 22, 2012 by fran @ 2:50 pm

Running out of new ideas for your next online advertising stunt? Then perhaps it’s time to inject some doses of creativity and craziness into your system. Not coming up with new ideas is often a sign that you need a change of perspective.  Maybe you’ve been thinking the same way for far too long that you need to start thinking outside the box to gain fresh insights and ideas.

Thankfully, in this day and age, finding inspiration for new and out of the box ideas isn’t difficult. The web is filled with countless ads and projects that are bound to stir up your creative juices. Check out the examples below and see if you can apply even a little of their craziness into your campaigns.

A quick word of caution though; these ads are all “so-crazy-they-might-actually-work” type of things. The people behind these ads took a lot of guts and risks. They’re unconventional and aren’t for people who insist on following rules and textbooks.

1. Ikea fit an entire store into one banner ad

Wondering how you can make your ads more interactive and fun? Then take a leaf off Ikea’s book. Ikea is known for their portable products. Most of the stuff in their branches are space savers that you can move quickly and easily. To demonstrate just how much their products are able save people space, Ikea decided to squeeze in 2,800 products into a 300 x 250 px banner ad. The teeny products in the ad are magnified as you mouse-over them, and the great thing is, that you can shop for products straight from the ad. When your mouse lands on a piece that you like, you can click on it, and it will take you directly to that product’s page. See it in action here. [via Adland and Adweek]

2. This guy proposed using display ads

Okay, so we’re certainly not telling you to propose to your customers, but this example could teach you a lesson or two about proper ad targeting and appealing to customers’ emotions. Last month, ad salesman Scott Sklar decided to propose to this girlfriend, Erica Plotkin, who happened to be a digital associate media director in the New York office of Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Martin Agency. Erica received a message that something was wrong with one of their client’s ads on BBC.com. When Erica clicked on the BBC URL, she was greeted by two banner ads with the words, “Erica, will you marry me?” and “You are the love of my life – Scott”. At that moment, Scott walked in, got down on one knee and proposed. Check out the full story on AdAge.

3. Pringle’s Click-athon Ad

Who says banner ads always have to lead to a landing page or website? The guys at Pringles had a different way of looking at things. To demonstrate “how fun, eccentric—and even downright weird—life with Pringles can be”, they decided to create an ad that doesn’t take users anywhere when they click it. Instead, as people keep on click the ad, the banner just display a little story within it. Curious to see how it works? Check it out on AdWeek here.

 

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines
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