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Be Cute and the World Wide Web Will Love You

Posted November 26, 2012 by fran @ 11:58 am

Racking your brain for your next ad campaign gimmick? Here’s an idea: be cute. No, seriously. Try to come up with something thing that’s cute and inject it into your online advertising strategy. Contrary to what some grown-ups may think, cuteness isn’t just for kids and teenyboppers. Being adorable has such a broad appeal that can reach almost everyone, kids and adults alike.

That’s why cute images are frequently turned into memes, delightful kids get featured on TV, and adorable videos so often go viral.

Case in point: The viral “Dumb Ways to Die” video. A public service announcement by Metro Trains Australia, the video warns people about the many dumb ways to die. From poking a stick at a grizzly bear and keeping a rattlesnake as a pet, to running across the tracks between platforms, the campaign aims to reach young people and help prevent “dumb” types of deaths.

The video has some really morbid content in it, but thanks to a catchy song and some adorable characters, Dumb Ways to Die emerged as one of the cutest and most widely shared videos of the year.

With Dumb Ways to Die, not only did Metro Trains Australia successfully accomplish its goal of warning people to be careful, but it was able to do so in the most adorable way possible.

Yep, Metro Trains played their cards right with this one and more companies should definitely follow their lead. But before you start bringing in the cuteness, it’s best to analyze what made the campaign so appealing, in order to really understand how it rose to success. Below are a couple of things that made Dumb Ways to Die so irresistible:

It was sharable

All the components of the video—from its message, to the song, and even the characters—coherently fit together to create an awesome viewing and sharing experience. Everything about Dumb Ways to Die was worth talking (and singing) about. The characters were cute, the song stuck in your head, and the main message was meaningful.

What’s more, Metro Trains Australia made it extremely easy for people to share it. The video was uploaded on YouTube, which of course provides one-click sharing tools for multiple social networks. On top of that, Dumb Ways to Die was also made available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud, which allowed people to listen and share even when they’re offline.

It appealed to almost everyone

While Dumb Ways to Die was originally meant for a younger audience, but it was so good that it ended up attracting viewers of all ages. This is probably because of its extremely relatable message—everyone can benefit from a friendly “be careful” message, every once in a while.

The simple yet catchy song of the video also contributed to its mass appeal. The tune was easy and hummable, the lyrics of the song rhymed, and the chorus consisted of the same words so people quickly remembered it.

Following Suit?

So the next time you’re stuck thinking about your next viral campaign, consider injecting some cuteness into your ads. Consider making people laugh or sing. It may not be the easiest route, but if you can pull it off the way Metro Trains did, it will be more than worth it.

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6 Incredibly Easy Ways to Maximize Ad Performance for Publishers

Posted November 20, 2012 by fran @ 12:11 pm

Publishers hungry for clicks are sometimes inclined to place their ads in the most prominent locations on their website. Some may even be tempted to force users into clicking ads by using big, “in your face” banners or dishonest tactics. However, while such things can probably earn you a few bucks here and there, in the long run, they can actually do more harm than good.

Using ads that are too prominent or tricking people into clicking them will only lead to mistrust, and eventually, a ghost town of a website. If you really want to gain more clicks, you have to stop chasing and begging for them. Instead, focus on getting more traffic and improving user experience through excellent content and a user-friendly website. Only after you do these things will you start attracting relevant users and get more clicks.

Below are a few simple things that you can start doing to set you on the right path towards more visitors, more clicks, and yes, more revenue.

Declutter your site – A messy page can send visitors packing. You need to make it easy for them to find the things and information that they need. Otherwise, they’ll look for it elsewhere. The first step to getting people to stay on your website is by cleaning it up. Get rid of irrelevant banners and widgets that distract users from your content and ads.

Publish awesome content – Only publish things worth reading and sharing. Running out of ideas for content or blog posts? Do your research. Lookup the most searched for keywords in your industry and publish content around them. Or better yet, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and ask yourself about the articles that they may want to read.

Improve the layout of your content – Online content isn’t just its subject matter, how it appears on screen matters a lot as well. Make it easy for readers to scan or go through your content by adding breaking up the post into paragraphs (4 -5 lines max) and divide sections by using headers. Doing so improves user experience and boosts the chances of getting repeat visitors.

Choose your ad network wisely – It’s best to select an advertising network that offers a wide range of ads so that you won’t be limited when it comes to ad types. Also, be sure to work with an ad network where you can get a hold of a live person That way, you can actually speak with someone that can help maximize the potential of your website.

Don’t bury your content with ads – Placing a couple of ads above-the-fold (i.e. the top part of the page or sidebar) is acceptable, but don’t overdo it. Again, this all goes back to improving the online experience of your visitors while they’re on your site. Avoid burying your content with too much ads above the fold and make it easy for users to find and read the content that they need.

Also note that having too many above the fold ads can negatively affect your ranking. Earlier this year, Google released an algorithm update that penalizes websites that have too many advertisements at the top part of the page.

Be honest! – Avoid using trickery and dishonest means to get people to click on your ads. Again, this will only do more harm than good. When placing ads on your website, make it clear that they’re indeed ads. Don’t try to disguise them as download or menu buttons. Choose ad colors and formats that will complement your site, but not in a way that would trick or confuse users.

Image credit: StockMonkeys.com on Flickr

 

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Who says watching viral videos is a waste of time?

Posted November 13, 2012 by fran @ 12:47 pm

Say what you want about viral videos like Call Me Maybe but the fact  is, these things are cash cows. And no, we’re not just talking about the publishers who rack in a lot of pay per click dollars for their views. Businesses or brands that take advantage of the popularity of these videos also stand to generate tons of buzz, exposure, and yes, revenue.

The next time you find yourself watching the hottest YouTube sensation, think about how you can incorporate it into your marketing or advertising campaign. Be bold. And be there early. It’s best to ride on an Internet meme’s fame while it’s at its peak.

Want to know how others did it? Below are some examples of how big brands used viral videos to their advantage:

Abercrombie & Fitch Uses Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

When Carly Rae Jepsen’s single Call Me Maybe became a viral hit last summer, everyone from Jimmy Fallon to President Barack Obama (baracksdubs) covered the video with their own versions.

Brands, of course, didn’t get left behind. Take Abercrombie & Fitch, for example. “To celebrate the song’s Summer popularity, A&F asked its hottest guys from its Flagship stores all around the world to have fun with the song—film it on their phones and to do whatever came naturally.” The result? Sixteen million views and tons of girls who couldn’t peel their eyes of their screens. Check out the video here.

Samsung Uses Overly Attached Girlfriend Meme

You remember Overly Attached Girlfriend, right? That girl who gave us the creeps while singing Bieber’s Girlfriend single? Well, we’re not quite sure if she got her guy, but we do know that she caught Samsung’s attention.

The tech company recently struck an ad deal with Laina Walker (Overly Attached Girlfriend herself) to star in its new SSD 840 commerical. In the ad, she embodies your computer who’s feeling a little neglected. Just like in the video that made her famous, Walker gives viewers the crazy eyes while throwing in some passive aggressive threats (i.e. “accidentally” leaking your search history). Watch the official ad here.

AdTech Goes Gangnam

In honor of ad:tech, BlueKai spoofed Pys’ worldwide hit, Gangnam Style. The parody had the same craziness and hilarious dance moves, but on top of that, it also had some geeky subtitles about the online advertising realm (“Heeeyyy sexy data!”). And in lieu of “Gangnam Style” you’ll hear “Oppan AdTech style” instead!

Watch the hilarious spoof here and see if you can relate. (You kind of have to be in the Internet advertising realm to be truly amused by the parody, but check it out even if you aren’t a digital marketer to get a glimpse of just how crazy ad people can get!)

Your Turn

Got any parodies to share? Have you spoofed any Internet memes lately? We’d love to see them! Post them in the comments below and we might just help you spread the word!

 

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Advertisements and Elections

Posted November 6, 2012 by Marina @ 1:01 pm

Whether through the use of ad networks or directly through their own parties, the candidates in the Presidential race put out advertisements all the time giving themselves a positive outlook while discussing the negatives of their opponents. In the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, it appears that Obama has dominated the advertising world. However, Romney is making a push as we are now at Election Day 2012.

According to AdWeek, Obama’s ad campaigns have been outspending and possibly outperforming Mitt Romney in the digital world.

An ad search and analytics company called Moat has come up with the data in its Top 100 advertiser ranking that shows, based on total ad volume, Romney was well behind Obama and he didn’t even break into the top 100 advertisers in the U.S. for online display until last month. In the month of September, Mitt Romney was not on the list while his opponent, Obama, was 16th.

As of now, Obama is number 2 and Romney is number 5.

So, does advertising really help the presidential election? Well, if AdAge.com’s poll means anything, Barack Obama would be the next president by majority. However, that was only 1,724 votes compared to the millions that will be put in tonight.

If online advertising displays have anything to say about it, Obama has been outperforming Romney in that category, but what effect will it have on the actual election itself? Should Obama win, would it prompt a higher volume in online advertising in the future for presidential candidates or would it hold no weight over how campaign ads are put out in the future?

We’ll find out tonight if online advertising could have an impact on how well a presidential candidate does in the election. If you have had your opinion swayed at some point by an online campaign ad, we would love to hear about it.

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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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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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