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Rain or Shine, Ad:Tech Will Always Be Awesome

Posted November 12, 2012 by fran @ 1:03 pm

Despite the not-so-ideal weather last week, AdMedia, together with thousands of other digital marketers and technophiles still had a blast at ad:tech NY!

Cross Channel Advertising: Industry Approved!

Being one of the most anticipated events in the industry, ad:tech New York was packed with individuals eager to network and connect. We met with numerous advertisers, publishers, and media buyers and got a chance to demonstrate how Cross Channel Advertising can help businesses and individuals gain more customers.

A lot of people agreed that our Cross Channel Advertising network is the most comprehensive one on the web, because it can reach users through multiple channels, including search, display, email, social, mobile, and more. No other ad network offers this many channels, which makes AdMedia the most ideal advertising partner online.

Beyond Business: Giveaways and Swag

Of course, no trade show would be complete without giveaways and swag. The AdMedia team really shined in the swag department thanks to our famous hangover kits! People loved them, and we even got a #bestschwag shout out from Aerospike!

On top of that, AdMedia gave away a bunch of gadgets including iPads and iPods to a few lucky individuals who stopped by our booth.

Check out the photos below to get a glimpse of all the ad:tech fun. And be sure to catch AdMedia at other tradeshows and conferences! We will be posting information about upcoming industry events so subscribe to our blog or like/follow our social media pages to be the first to hear about AdMedia news, tips, and resources!

               

 

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Halloween Fun at AdMedia!

Posted November 1, 2012 by Marina @ 10:56 am

Hopefully you all had as fun a Halloween as we at AdMedia did. The holiday brought out many of the creative minds in our office as they displayed costumes of all different kinds. No matter where you went in the office, there was someone in some costume as they all attempted to win the AdMedia Halloween Costume Contest.

At the end of the day, the winner of the contest was awarded a new generation iPod Nano!

All of the employees took time during the day to input their vote for who they thought came in with the most creative/scary/funny costume and the choice was clear for our wonderful employee Janaki who came in with this awesome costume that featured a way to look through his body!

All in all, the employees at AdMedia had a great Halloween and got a great chance to show off their creative sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Data Can Only Take You So Far

Posted October 30, 2012 by fran @ 10:35 am

Data plays a huge part in advertising decisions. Sure, a good ad network can give you all the tools that you need, but your choices on how to use those tools are what will really make or break your campaign. When deciding on what ad type to serve up, what copy to write, and where to display them, you should always refer to what your research is telling you.

Yes, gathering data is crucial when you’re in the ad business. However, it isn’t enough. Data can only go so far. Test results and statistics have their limitations and sometimes, you need to go beyond the numbers to pull off a successful campaign.

Case in point: BIC’s ill-advised effort to market to the female demographic. A few months ago, the pen company unveiled BIC For Her (yes, that is the actual name of the product), a pen specifically designed for women. It features an “elegant design – just for her” and even has a “thin barrel to fit a woman’s hand.”

Needless to say, the sexist nature of the product drove women (and even males) to react via social media. Numerous users wrote hilarious, sarcastic reviews on Amazon. What’s more, since the guys at BIC didn’t secure the bicforher.com domain and @BicForHer Twitter handle, Bic For Her parodies invaded the Twitterverse and blogosphere.

Now, we can go on and on here and make fun of BIC, but it would be so much better if we let Amazon users tell you themselves. Here are some of the best and most hilarious reviews we’ve seen:

I love BIC Cristal for Her! The delicate shape and pretty pastel colors make it perfect for writing recipe cards, checks to my psychologist (I’m seeing him for a case of the hysterics), and tracking my monthly cycle. Obviously, I don’t use it for vulgar endeavors like math or filling out a voter application, but BIC Cristal for Her is a lovely little writing utensil all the same. Ask your husband for some extra pocket money so you can buy one today! –E. Bradley

I’m a powerlifter and when I wrote my workouts with these my lifts all plummeted. And they gave my boyfriend man-boobs : ( – EntMum

I am so thankful my daughter will never know a world without pens for women. Hopefully Crayola will catch on and start making crayons for girls.-ASC

Yes, BIC definitely fell into a social media pickle due to their misguided marketing attempt, and led people to ask, what in the world were they thinking?

Well, David Vinjamuri at Forbes had a very interesting answer to that. According to him, BIC’s blunder is “what happens when you try to build your brand by looking at it through the lens of data rather than from the perspective of your consumer.”

Vinjamuri continues with this imaginary scenario of a brand group presenting their idea to the higher ups:

Female ABM (Assistant Brand Manager):  Our share among women is lagging.  We’re losing on both coasts to SnazzyPen: which targets women.  We need a stronger offering.

Female Brand Manager (showing board of concept drawings):  Here are some designs that did extremely well in testing.  Top two box purchase intent is very high for women.

Female Group Product Director:  Right – we think we can blow these out in Wal-Mart and Target at back-to-school.

Male VP:  Great, but these are way too generic.  You can’t even tell who they’re for!  The trade is never going to cut these in if it isn’t clear that they’re for women.  Why don’t we call them “Bic for Her?”

Female ABM: [looks queasy]

Female Brand Manger: [Shifts nervously, looks for support from Group Product Director]

Female Group Product Director: [Confident that “Bic for Her” will fail in Concept testing]:  Absolutely, that’s a great idea.  We’ll get right on that.

Male VP: [Nods, satisfied]

[read the full article on Forbes]

So was BIC too busy looking at the numbers to be sensitive to its customers? We of course, don’t know that for sure. However, it does teach us the difference between thinking that you know what your customers want versus actually knowing them.

Research, data, and surveys are great and all, but remember that it’s important to get a holistic view of who your customers are. In order to be successful in marketing and advertising your brand, you need to get to know your target audience inside and out, sometimes even better than they know themselves.

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Why In-Text Ads Can Work For You

Posted October 24, 2012 by fran @ 11:04 am

Ask any consumer or Internet surfer out there. Being interrupted while they’re peacefully browsing the web would be one of their biggest pet peeves. Obtrusive ads that come out of nowhere or disrupt a person’s browsing experience is a no-no in the online advertising realm.

Being too “in your face” with your advertisements can do more harm than good. Sure, it may get you some clicks at first, but in the long run, it can ruin customers’ perception of your brand or website.

Fortunately, the web also offers a variety of unobtrusive ad choices. Whether you’re an advertiser who wants to get more customers or a publisher who wishes to make money off a website, there are several user-friendly advertising solutions at your disposal.

Inline text ads are a great example of such advertisements. Inline ads, (also known as Intextual) appear as underlined keywords in a body of text. The Intextual system scans a page and selects relevant keywords to highlight, ensuring that advertisers and publishers alike get the most clicks possible. The actual ads only show up when the user hovers over these underlined words and they disappear after a few seconds, unless the user interacts with them.

What’s more, publishers have the option of adding social media buttons and a search box to the ad, to give it more functionality. Intextual ads also have a close button, so users can manually get rid of them if they want to.

Convenient Space-Savers

Aside from being unobtrusive, In-text ads are great space-savers, and are ideal for content-heavy websites. Since they’re incorporated into the text, they save space and won’t disrupt the flow of a site’s content. This is a big boon for publishers because it allows them to earn ad revenue while still keeping the readability and layout of their site.

In addition, inline ads actually complement a website’s content, and serve as a helpful tool for people that wish to learn more about what they’re reading. The Intextual system is smart enough to only highlight the most relevant and clickable keywords to ensure that users to don’t encounter irrelevant ads while browsing the page.

Advertisers on the other hand, won’t risk being seen as obtrusive by consumers. Intextual gives companies a chance to advertise in a subtle and tasteful way, thus allowing them to make a good impression with potential customers.

Customizable

Full customization is another great feature of in-text ads. If you’re a publisher, you will be able to control the look, feel, and behavior of the ads to make sure that they fit well with the design of your website. Feel free to choose the color and size of the ads in order to give your visitors a seamless experience while browsing your website.

Advertisers on the other hand will also benefit from this. Want to show images with your ads, or do you prefer a plain text format? Either way, intextual ads can make it work for you.

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DMA2012: What happened in Vegas…

Posted October 18, 2012 by fran @ 9:32 am

…Was so awesome, we couldn’t let it stay in Vegas.

Earlier this week, the AdMedia team headed to Sin City for the Direct Marketing Association Conference & Exhibition which was held at the Mandalay Bay. The show was packed with the best marketers in the industry, and we felt right at home.

Adding Value to Marketing Campaigns

Practically all the attendees that stopped by our booth agreed that AdMedia’s Cross Channel Advertising platform and Remarketing solutions would be able enhance their marketing campaigns. Not only would our platform let them deploy their ads to multiple channels, but with our help, marketers could track and monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns more easily.

It was really great to be able to connect with people who really knew what they were talking about and who understood the value that AdMedia brings to the table. Aside from our advanced approaches and wide reach, we help marketers and advertisers make the most of the media that they’re already utilizing. The people that we spoke to were really pleased to know that AdMedia can help them meet their ROI objectives.

Goodies and Gadgets

The people at DMA2012 really meant business. But then again, we WERE in Vegas, so we still made it a point to inject some fun into our booth. Aside from our usual iPod and Nexus 7 giveaways, the AdMedia team also gave out Hangover Kits to attendees. These kits were filled with hangover remedies to aid those who partied a little too hard in Vegas.

Needless to say, the AdMedia Hangover Kits were a HUGE hit and people just couldn’t stop talking about them!

On the whole, AdMedia had a BLAST at show, and we would like to thank the Direct Marketing Association as well as all the attendees for making it happen. You guys were great and see you next year!

               

The Beginner’s Guide to Making Money as an Online Publisher

Posted October 16, 2012 by fran @ 12:02 pm

A few decades ago, the word “publisher” would’ve probably put an image of a printing press in your head. Back then, the act of publishing lay in the hands of newspaper proprietors while consumers or “regular people” were only there to… well, consume.

Fast forward to the present. We now live in a time where publishing power doesn’t just lie in the hands of periodical and magazine proprietors. In this day and age, if you have something to say and if you have the right tools, you can call yourself a publisher and you can make yourself be heard.

The fact that just about anyone can publish something and put themselves out there is pretty great, but what’s even more awesome is that being an online publisher doesn’t just stop with writing articles or blog posts. Contrary to popular belief, you can produce videos, images, apps, and more, and still call yourself a publisher.

Read on below and get a more detailed look on the different monetizing options that you have at your fingertips:

Blog posts – If you have passion for the written word and want to put your opinions and talents out there, then blogging could be for you. Simply create a site using a blogging platform (popular ones include WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr) and start writing away!

You can choose a specific area of expertise and just write about relevant topics. For instance, if you’re a food lover you can set up a food blog about your delectable adventures. Another way to blog is by documenting your life and the lessons that you’ve learned. If you’re living a pretty interesting life and don’t mind sharing it with the world, you can use your blog as an avenue to publish your thoughts and experiences.

Images and Videos – Still want to be heard but don’t have a flare for writing? Then why not get in front (or even behind) the camera and start shooting! Document the world around you by either taking photographs or producing videos. Tell stories through images with the use of your camera. You don’t  even need to have anything too fancy. Nowadays, even your good ol’ smartphone will do.

Toolbars and Apps – If you’re more of a programmer and know how to code, consider using your skill to create apps or toolbars that people need. There are high demands for tools that make users’ lives easier. Find a specific need, zero in on your market and start building a product that people can download.

Easier said than done? Definitely. But think about the rewards that you can achieve and the people that you’ll be able to help once you find that money-making idea and build a “hit” product.

Monetize them

You can monetize your blogs, images, videos, and programs by placing ads on your content. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an advertising guru to do this. Simply get in touch with an ad network and set up a campaign. Choose your ad types and customize their look and feel to make sure that they seamlessly fit into your content.

Yes, the web has opened up an array of channels that you can use to publish your way to more success and revenue. Online advertising for publishers is easy to get into and while you may not be a gifted writer, multi-channel systems allow you to use other skills (e.g. photography, programming, videography) to produce something worth monetizing.

Image credit: SEOPlanter on Flickr

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REALTORS Really Know How to Do Trade Shows Right!

Posted October 9, 2012 by fran @ 10:31 am

The California Association of REALTORS Expo (CARexpo) may be over, but the AdMedia team is still buzzing about how much fun we had last week! We connected with a TON of people, learned a bunch of new things, and more importantly, we were able to educate numerous real estate professionals on how they can use the web to gain more exposure.

Fun & Games

Every booth at the CARexpo had something fun in store for visitors, and AdMedia was no different. To demonstrate the power of remarketing, we gave out AdMedia lanyards to people that stopped by our booth. These lanyards represented the remarketing cookies that we use to tag people on the web.

Throughout the day, we walked around the floor and searched for people who were still wearing the AdMedia lanyards, and we gave out iPods to several lucky attendees (while of course explaining how our remarketing cookie helped us find them).

We didn’t stop at iPods though. At the end of each day, one lanyard-wearing attendee received a brand new Nexus 7 from us!

Educating REALTORS

Of course, on top of conducting games and goodies, we also made it a point to educate realtors about the various online tools that they can use to forward their business. We introduced our local PPC products that would allow real estate professionals to be found online and get more local leads and sales. In addition, we talked about how we can boost the online presence of realtors through pay per click traffic, SEO, and retargeting.

Being able to spread the word about online advertising was definitely our favorite part of the CARexpo. Not only did we make several new friends, but we were also able to give people insights on how they can use Internet ads to find prospects, get leads, and close more sales.

Yep, all in all, our CARexpo experience was awesome and very rewarding (in every sense of the word)! We can’t wait to do it all over again!

        

   

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4 Online Marketing Tips That Can Invigorate Your Real Estate Business

Posted October 2, 2012 by fran @ 11:01 am

The California Association of REALTORS® Expo is kicking off today, and in honor of this awesome event, we’ve decided to give our REALTOR friends a treat with this special blog post.

If you’re looking for out of the box ways to generate leads and sell (or even buy) more homes, then we highly recommending looking into Internet marketing and advertising. The web offers a sea—no, make that an ocean—of tools and resources that you can use to reach real estate buyers, sellers, and investors, so you can bet that with a proper strategy, you will be able to effectively push your business to the forefront.

Check out the tips below and see how you can apply them to your real estate business.

Be visual – The web is becoming more visual, thanks to websites/apps like Pinterest, Instagram, and the rise of cover images. Make the most out of this trend by posting pictures of your own. Upload attractive photos of the houses that you’re selling. The Facebook Timeline and Newsfeed put a LOT of emphasis on images, so this increases the chances of people noticing you.

Aside from images of houses, inspiring and empowering quotes are extremely popular as well. Find a great image, put some inspiring text on top of it, and post it on all your social media accounts. Yes, it’s pretty cheesy, but it works like a charm.

Don’t let your leads get away – If someone visits your website or squeeze page but leaves without filling out your form or giving their information, don’t just stand there and say sayonara, make an effort to bring them back. Use remarketing (also known as retargeting) to bring back lost visitors and get them to convert.

How remarketing works:

Remarketing advertising works by dropping an anonymous cookie into the user’s browser. When that visitors leave without completing your desired action (i.e. contacting you or filling out a form), the remarketing system will serve up your ads on the other websites that they visit. In other words, those lost visitors will see your ad even when they’re checking their email, watching a video, or reading other blogs.

Remarketing is extremely effective in converting leads because it targets users that have already expressed interest in you. Often, visitors that leave a site without doing anything are just on the fence and simply need a little push in the right direction. Remarketing ads can give them that nudge and bring them back to your site.

Utilize multiple channels – In the age of web 2.0 and with the advent of mobile computing, you can bet that your audience is using multiple devices and websites to consume information. Nowadays, you can’t stick to just one advertising model and expect it to be effective.

If you really want to stand out, then you have to be where your prospects are. Do a little research on the websites, devices, and apps that your target audience likes, and market away. Use the power of Cross Channel Advertising to put yourself out there and gain more exposure.

Don’t just talk about real estate in social media –When it comes to social media marketing, many real estate professionals don’t see their desired results mainly because they’re approaching social the wrong way.

Remember that you don’t have to go for the hard sell every time. When you’re marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social site, don’t just talk about yourself and your business. Conduct REAL conversations with your audience. Sure, it’s great to publish pictures and posts promoting your business, but be sure to balance it out with non-promotional talk as well.

Image credit: Alan Cleaver on Flickr

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Why In-Image Advertising is Worth Looking Into

Posted September 25, 2012 by fran @ 10:27 am

The cliché “An image is worth a thousand words” should probably be revised to something like, “An image is worth a thousand bucks.” In this day and age, Images are not-so-slowly and surely ruling the web. Think about it. Image-based sites such as Pinterest are on the rise, popular photo-sharing app Instagram is literally worth a billion dollars, and social networks like Facebook, Google+, and most recently Twitter, are embracing the concept of cover or header images.

Now, the rising trend of images shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Aside from the fact that humans are generally very visual in nature, images have the power to communicate things and concepts that are difficult to put into words.

Moreover, images make content more attractive. Whether it’s a blog post, a report, or a white paper, pictures can enhance the overall look and feel of a document and they make content look easier on the eyes.

Yes, the value of images on the Internet is truly unquestionable. The question now is, how can you take advantage of this more image-based web?

Well, the answer to that depends on whether you’re an advertiser trying to reach more consumers or a publisher who wants to monetize their content. By using in-image advertising (also known as overlay ads), you will be able to use the power of pictures to forward your brand or make money out of your site.

Advertisers

If you’re an advertiser looking for effective ways to reach potential customers without annoying them, then you should really look into in-image advertisements. These types of ads appear on top of images and usually disappear when the customer hits the close button.

In-image ads can be very effective in getting visitor’s attention. Since people’s eyes usually fall on images first, placing your ads on top of pictures will garner more eyeballs and attention.

Choosing the right in-image services for you

It’s important to note though that not all in-image advertising solutions are created equal. Overlay ads will only be effective if they appear on top of relevant images and are displayed in the proper context. Be sure to speak with your ad network representative and ask them if they implement contextual and targeting technologies to ensure ad relevance. If they do not offer such solutions, it’s best to find another ad network that does.

Publishers

Trying to monetize your site’s traffic? Then be sure to look into in-image ads. These types of ads supplement your visitors’ browsing experience, and allow them to find relevant products and services. By displaying relevant ads on top of your site’s images, you’re not only adding value to your site, you’re opening up a solid revenue stream at the same time.

Choosing the right ad network for your site

You want an advertising partner that lets you customize your ads so that they’re appropriates with the look and feel of your site. Additionally, in order for your ads to actually generate clicks, they have to be relevant to your content. Choose an ad network that offers targeting and contextual technologies to ensure that your ads are related to the posts and images on your website.

It’s important to remember that your in-image ads will only be as good as the ad network that you sign up with. Before choosing an overlay ad solution, ask your ad network rep about the customization tools that they offer, their targeting solutions, and of course, how they pay their publishers. Doing so will allow you to offer great ads that earn you money and keep your visitors happy at the same time.

Image credit: Shermeee on Flickr

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5 Ways to Beat Shopping Cart Abandonment and Get More Sales

Posted September 19, 2012 by fran @ 9:55 am

If you have an e-commerce business then you know that getting people to your website is only half the battle. While SEO, affiliate sales, and, online advertising can definitely boost traffic to your site, the REAL challenge is in getting users to actually make a purchase.

If you’re experiencing high rates of shopping cart abandonment, then you should look into two things: your products and your website.

Let’s start with what you’re selling. Examine various aspects of your products—from quality, to price, to selection—and see if there’s anything that you can improve on. Ask customers for feedback or reviews and take note of any negative comments that you can address. You can also check out similar items in the industry to see if there’s anything that you can change about your products to make them more competitive.

If the problem isn’t your actual products, then perhaps you need to optimize your website to make it more customer-friendly. A few tweaks to your online store can significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment so look around your site for things that need improvement.

Not sure where to begin? Here are few tips to get you started.

1. Shorten your checkout process – Aim for a quick “in and out” process where customers visit your site, pick a product and hit buy. Often, people leave a site without buying anything because the checkout process just takes way too long. If customers need to answer questions or select various options for the product, then consider putting all these options into one form on a single page, rather than spreading them out.

Product suggestions can also prolong the checkout process and cause customers to leave. If you can, find other ways to cross-sell in order to not interrupt checkout.

2. Be transparent with all your charges – Hidden charges can also contribute to shopping cart abandonment. Nothing boots a customer out of site more quickly than surprise shipping or tax charges. Of course, while some of these fees are unavoidable, it’s best to be more transparent and upfront. Add a cost calculator so that you can allow customers to compute their costs beforehand, rather than surprising them with a huge charge in the end.

3. Offer “limited time” sales – Add in a sense of urgency by offering limited time sales. When customers see that your sales and promos will be expiring soon, they’ll be more motivated to complete a purchase. After all, who would want to miss out on a great deal?

4. Make your return policy clear – A vague return policy not only leads to shopping cart abandonment, it also reduces trust among customers, so ensure that it is as clear as possible. Some customers check a site’s return policies before making a purchase, so make it easy for them to ask questions and express concerns.

5. Use Retargeting / Remarketing Ads – When customers do leave your site without buying anything, don’t lose hope. Instead, make use of Remarketing (aka: Ad Retargeting) advertisements to reel users back in.

A Remarketing ad works by tagging a customer’s browser when they visit your site. When they leave without buying anything, the Remarketing technology will then display your ads on other websites that the user visits to gently remind them to go back to your store to complete a purchase.

Image credit: Polycart on Flickr

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