By Travis Biechele, Director of Digital Media
December 14, 2017
Programmatic. Viewability. Attribution modelling. Demand-side platform. Supply-side platform. Exchange inventory. Private marketplace. Real-time bidding. Machine Learning. Artificial intelligence. Affiliate marketing. Connected devices.
Sound familiar? Is your head spinning?
Chances are, you’ve read articles in 2017 that pepper in this dirty dozen and more. At times, it feels like we’re swimming an in an alphabet soup of OTTs, KPIs, eCPMs, and CPAs. There is a steep learning curve with the vernacular alone in digital media.
That said, there are universal truths and media strategies that carry over from the “time before.” In this post, we explore four accessible strategies that help bridge the gap between the old and new.
1. Focus on measuring attention.
In the 20s, women fell in love with the serial, midday programs that radio companies produced. When networks learned how captively they held their audience’s attention, they asked soap companies to sponsor the episodes. And with that, soap operas were born. Today, we are still clamoring for attention in advertising. At least, we should be.
Ask yourself what’s better, 1,000,000 display ads bought on a cost-per-thousand impressions pricing mode, or 500,000 short, unskippable, six-second bumper ads on YouTube? The creative and productions costs of each are comparable. Consumer attention certainly favors the latter, and you can back up this theory with an ad recall or brand lift study. With Google, these are free if you spend a few thousand dollars on YouTube over seven days.
Make measurement part of your media buying DNA.
2. Be helpful with no strings attached.
Before you ask consumers to “click here” or “learn more” or “buy now,” consider their needs and pain points. What’s in it for them? Today, consumers expect quid pro quo in their favor. That can mean different things for different people.
Help could be faster customer service or page load times. It could be studying search trends to develop appropriate “how to” video content for consumers. Perhaps your email nurture campaign promotes thought leadership and whitepapers without asking for a commitment, sign up, or purchase.
Be helpful (and patient) if you expect brand loyalty.
3. Automation ≠ no human touch needed.
In this day of automated bidding and algorithmic optimizations, it’s easy to fall victim to a hands-off approach. That is not a recipe for long-term media buying success. Gone are the days of researching a TV buy schedule, setting that buy in motion, and sitting back until buy reconciliation. There is too much data at play today.
For example, Facebook introduced an automated A/B split testing feature for creative. Before you spend significantly, you can determine which image or headline will resonate. That said, you still need to think about what the experiment should be. What should you be testing? Should you set a firm budget or let Facebook tell you when you’ve reached statistical significance?
Humans are not robots, so avoid acting robotically.
4. Understand voice search, and use it to your advantage.
With the advent of Siri, Cortana, Google Home, Amazon Echo and others, voice search is becoming more commonplace and more widely adopted. Consider this: to combat Amazon’s stronghold on the online retail experience, Google established Google Express, a partnership with more than 50 stores, including Walmart, Costco, and Target. Now, when Google Home owners think of something they need, they can do so by saying, “Hey Google, buy more oatmeal.”
The point is, people are interacting with technology in a more human way. You can study your own websites headlines, meta tags, image descriptions and video captions to stay in line with this new search phrasing. Rewriting them could help improve your organic search rankings over time, especially for voice searches.
Adapt to evolving search behaviors to stay relevant. And, more importantly, to be found by consumers.
What will you focus on in 2018? We’d love to hear from you, whether you leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.