Learn how your eCommerce company can project competence, knowledge, and empathy with video ads to earn your prospects’ trust!
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One Sr. Strategist has generated surprising performance with Amazon’s new sponsored brand video ads and he’s here to share the results from Q4.
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Twitter has been doubling down on video services within its app, building out Twitter Live and recently launching Fleets so that users can share more moving media alongside their pithy 180-word observations, links and still photos. But in the process, it appears that it may also be streamlining its bigger stable of services. Code in the Twitter app indicates that Periscope — the live video broadcasting app that launched a thousand fluttering hearts — may be headed into retirement.
Date and other details are still unknown, but super-sleuth developer Jane Machun Wong found a line in Twitter’s app code that indicated a link to a shutdown notice for Periscope (which currently does not go to a live link).
This text found inside Twitter’s app indicates the shutdown notice might be shown in future versions of the Periscope app, directing users to a FAQ page about the app pic.twitter.com/gGrNNxRLL7
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) December 11, 2020
There are no shutdown references in any of the code in the currently obtainable version of the Persicope app, Wong told us, but she also pointed out that the two apps do share some code — indeed there are integrations between the two Twitter-owned apps — and “I guess [that] is how the text in the screenshot got slipped into Twitter,” she said.
We are reaching out to Twitter for a response to her discovery and will update as we learn more.
If this does play out with Periscope getting retired, it would be the end of a five-year run for the app.
Twitter acquired Periscope before it had even launched (we broke the news of the acquisition before that), as part of a bold move to double down on video, and specifically live video. At the time, the move was coming as Twitter was really coming into its own as a platform for media companies, “citizen journalists” and simply people who wanted to get the word out more widely on whatever they were thinking about or doing.
At the time, Twitter was also eyeing up and apparently trying to stem the viral growth of Meerkat, “the” app of 2015. That was not going to be an issue for the long run, though. Eventually Meerkat, either because of Periscope or because of the cyclical nature of hype, did fizzle out, only to relaunch as interactive video chat app Houseparty, which eventually got noticed by Fortnite maker Epic, who then bought it.
Periscope, meanwhile, took a different route as part of Twitter from the very start of its launched life.
It remained a standalone app, but its team, and specifically founder Kayvon Beykpour, became a central part of all of Twitter’s product development.
And the central feature of Periscope was the app became a native part of the Twitter app; Twitter Live “powered by Periscope,” which has been expanded with API access and other features. Twitter itself promotes Twitter Live content, not Periscope’s: you can follow @TwitterLive to get highlights of some of the people and organizations using the live feature in the app. (Other leading social apps like Instagram and Facebook have taken a similar route, offering live video features but more as embedded parts of the main platforms, rather than standalone apps where live is front and center.)
Periscope, you might say, has in the meantime been dying a slow death as a standalone brand and app. But it’s not a new story: my former (missed!) colleague Josh pointed out it was sinking at the end of 2016.
Still, it’s just about been bobbing along. AppAnnie’s rankings indicate that it’s essentially among the top 100 social networking apps in most markets — maybe not a bad figure considering how big app stores are now — although when looking at overall rankings, Periscope is generally too low to register in any major markets.
Indeed, it’s definitely not an app that has much buzz, not least because of its owner being popular, but also because video fads have taken a different, TikTok-style turn of late.
The TikTok effect is an interesting one to consider here. Earlier this year it was reported that Twitter was among those interested in potentially acquiring TikTok when the popular app, owned by China’s ByteDance, found itself in some regulatory hot water over national security interests (that is a different story, still playing out and seemingly in limbo right now). Some of the apparent reasoning for Twitter’s interest? It never really got past its regret over killing off Vine.
Vine, if you recall, was the popular short-form video app that Twitter acquired, grew really well for a while as it saw it gain some entertaining virality, but then shut down to focus more attention on — yep — Periscope.
Many in retrospect have wondered “what could have been” had Twitter held on to Vine and put the effort and investment into building it out. (Or indeed, what could have happened if it never sold to Twitter in the first place, but that is also a different story.)
If Periscope sinking away is on the cards, it’s a question that probably still bears asking — what could have been? Even with live video within Twitter’s app, it’s not the star of the show. One can’t help but wonder if live video might next appear front and center elsewhere, made by a different company, much like short-form video finally had its day in a ByteDance way.
- YouTube is one of the most featured domains in Google.
- Unlike any other heavily featured sites, YouTube.com provides any brand an easy way to host a brand-owned asset for it to get featured.
- To capture more video-driven featured snippet opportunities, create a video version for each keyword-driven content asset you create.
- There are tools that make video creation quite scalable. Those include online video creators and Zoom.
- Regardless of how you create those videos, make sure there’s a meaningful (even search-optimized) voiceover as Google is using that (and the video transcripts) to generate featured snippets.
- Use traditional SEO practices to let Google discover and rank your videos. Like with regularly featured snippets, video featured snippets heavily depend on the organic rankings.
YouTube provides brands with all kinds of unique marketing opportunities, one of which is an ability to build extra organic visibility through both video carousels and featured snippets.
According to Ahrefs, YouTube.com ranks in the top five organic searches for 139,830,455 queries. Of those, it is being featured for 1,177,203 queries (as of September 2020).
[Screenshot source: Ahrefs as of September 2020]
This makes YouTube one of the most featured domains out there.
For comparison, en.wikipedia.org is being featured for 2,644,918 search queries (again, according to Ahrefs data).
Unlike Wikipedia, YouTube videos can be owned by brands. Anyone can create a YouTube video and get featured with it. This means the video creator holds full control over the message of the featured asset.
This is gold.
It is not easy to determine why YouTube is being featured so heavily:
- Are YouTube videos being featured because they tend to rank so high
- Or are YouTube videos being featured because Google has found those search queries to be best satisfied with video content
Either way, one thing we know for sure: You should be providing videos if you want to build additional brand exposure in organic search.
How to get your brand feature more through creating video content?
1. Create more videos
This one is pretty obvious but this is the fundamental step that needs to be covered.
You are welcome to go fancy and capture all relevant search results in your niche that feature videos and try to capture all those opportunities with your own videos. This strategy has the right to exist but it does have some problems:
- You are competing with existing assets that have by now accumulated all kinds of solid signals (views, backlinks, and other such factors). So don’t expect this to come easy.
- You are limiting your strategy with existing opportunities that all your competitors may be aware of. You are doomed to always be behind.
- Featured snippets are dynamic. By the time you finally have a solid asset to compete, that opportunity may no longer exist.
Instead of chasing each individual opportunity, create a more comprehensive strategy that would ensure you’ll create your own opportunities, and gradually capture all of the existing ones as well.
Put simply, turn all your text-based content into the video format.
This sounds intimidating but it is actually totally doable. I am using two tools that make the process unbelievably easy:
2. Zoom to record walkthrough and tutorials
You can record yourself explaining any process using the free version of Zoom. It may take you some time to get used to the process but going forward, you will find yourself more and more comfortable with it. After 2-3 video tutorials, a 3-minute video will take you 30 minutes to create, trust me.
[Screenshot created by the author: September 2020]
I am sure other virtual meeting solutions can work for that purpose as well:
- Nextiva offers a more robust solution that also includes live streaming
- Here’s a nice list of more options to check out
The best thing about Zoom is that it is free and offers a nice HD export of recorded videos.
3. Renderforest to turn text into videos
While Zoom may take a bit of time to get adjusted to, Renderforest provides video creation tools that take no time to figure out. It is easy-to-use and can be used to turn any article into a video.
To get an easier feel of the tool, simply grab your article subheadings and use their text-to-video option to turn those into a video:
[Screenshot source: Renderforest]
Renderforest provides templates to create whiteboard videos, explainer videos, step-by-step tutorials, and more.
Overall, of all the online video creators I’ve tried over the years, this one seems to be the easiest to adjust to. And it saves a ton of time. It costs around $ 7 a month which is also quite affordable.
4. Use meaningful well-structured distinct voice-over for your YouTube video
Now I don’t have any serious study behind this claim, so take this with a grain of salt. Based on my own experience, unless your video has a meaningful voice-over, it will not be featured.
Look at one of the examples of featured videos: There’s a text instruction in the box:
[Screenshot source: Google search as of September 2020]
This is generated from the video captions which are auto-created based on the video voice-over:
[Screenshot source: YouTube as of September 2020]
This seems to support my claim: Unless Google can find some text, it will not be so willing to feature a video.
So invest some time into creating a voice-over.
If you use Zoom, you can simply read instructions while recording your tutorial. If you are using Renderforest, you can sync your voiceover with your video. Both methods are pretty doable.
4. Optimize videos using traditional SEO
YouTube SEO is not much different from any SEO process. This article outlines the process pretty well here. Basically, all you need is:
- A keyword-optimized name of the video (which is also going to be the page title)
- A detailed video description (also use your keywords there as well). Feel free to create clickable timestamps to take viewers to particular sections of the video. These get indexed by Google as well.
More importantly, you need some links to your video. At the very least link to each video from your own site (both manually from your articles and also using some plugins which send sitewide links to your videos). This will help it rank.
This video strategy will hopefully get your brand featured more. But it will also help you create more content assets which you will be able to market on social media to boost engagement and create more traffic generating channels. Good luck!
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.
The post Google’s featured snippets: How to get your YouTube video featured in Google appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
A few weeks after teasing its new product, French startup Klaxoon is launching Board, a visual interface that lets you work together during a video call. Instead of staring at other people’s faces, you get a shared canvas that you can use for presentations and to suggest ideas.
Klaxoon is well aware that many companies have strong opinions about video conferencing services. Some companies are already using Microsoft Teams for everything, others are using Zoom or Google Meet. That’s why the company is trying to make it as easy as possible to use Board while you’re on a call using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet.
Given that you’re already in Board when you’re generating a Zoom link, you can also use Klaxoon’s own video-conferencing service called Live.
“Video represents less than 10% of your screen real estate. Our goal isn’t to compete with other services when it comes to pixels, high definition or the number of thumbnails,” Klaxoon co-founder and CEO Matthieu Beucher told me.
Instead, when you use Live, you accept multiple constraints that could help you remain focused on your meeting. For instance, you can only have 15 people in your meeting. The person organizing the meeting can set a limit — it can be 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes. But you can’t use Live for a meeting that lasts longer than 30 minutes.
And finally, other people on the calls are represented through tiny thumbnails on the right side of the screen. Most of the screen is filled with a sort of digital whiteboard that you can use to write text, insert images or videos. You can work on your board before starting the meeting or you can add a table from a template library.
People joining your meeting can submit ideas through digital sticky notes. You can also switch from the freeform view to a more structured column view to move ideas from one category to another.
Klaxoon has been working on interactive whiteboards and meeting tools for quite a few years now. Board combines some of the stuff that the company is already providing to its clients, but with a focus on remote meetings. The service is launching today for €9.90 per month.
- Google is giving a lot of visibility to video content through its interactive SERP section called a “video carousel”.
- Getting your video ranked in Google’s “video carousels” can drive lots of views to your channel but it will also allow you to control more elements in your target SERPs.
- Ranking in Google’s video carousel is quite doable and doesn’t require months of work or waiting. All you need is keyword research and video page optimization.
YouTube is one of the most popular social media networks out there allowing brands to get discovered by their customers. While creating a popular YouTube channel takes time and a lot of effort, it is well worth it. One piece of a puzzle many YouTube creators are missing is optimizing your videos for organic discoverability through Google’s video carousel.
Here’s a comprehensive guide that looks into all the elements that you can capture to win your spot in Google’s top SERP real estate.
What are YouTube video carousels?
Google offers a huge deal of organic visibility to YouTube videos through so-called video carousels, that is, interactive boxes featuring videos relating to the target search query:
Source: Google as of August 2020
There’s even more organic visibility for videos in mobile search results where videos carousels take almost the whole screen:
Source: Google as of August 2020
Whenever my video starts ranking in Google organic, it brings in lots of well-engaged views, especially as compared to other videos, even for very new/inactive channels:
Source: YouTube as of August 2020
But this strategy is not only helpful for driving views to your own channel. It is also a good way to better control your target Google SERPs.
There’s no denying a fact that videos are highly engaging and convert well, and we are pretty sure that visuals (in this case video thumbnails) may be stealing a lot of attention from Google’s organic results (in fact, there’s a real science behind the visual impact on consumers’ behavior), so ranking your video there will help you drive more exposure for your brand.
The good news, YouTube SEO takes less time than traditional SEO does. I have seen my videos ranking in Google within a week after I upload them to YouTube! So this is a pretty fast way to boost your channel views by ranking your videos in Google’s video carousel.
Craft a detailed and factual title
Your video page title is what you type in the “title” field when uploading your video:
For SEO purposes (which implies organic search visibility), the title of the page is the most important on-page element, so treat it with care.
Optimizing a page title is always about maintaining a fine balance: You want it to be creative and original enough to get clicks while still being able to add some searchable keywords.
You can only make your title 100 characters long max which is not much!
Here are a few suggestions for you:
- Always include a searchable keyword (here’s a quick guide on identifying one)
- If your video includes entities (names, places, events, brands, products, etc), include those in the video title
- Titles that include numbers generally get more clicks, so experiment with adding numbers to your video title
- Titles that are worded as questions may spur curiosity and get more clicks
- How-to titles always perform well for guides and instructions
Tip: Create videos around your target queries
You can go the other way around: Instead of trying to find a searchable keyword for your video idea, you can create videos around keywords you already know are popular with Google’s users.
You can easily do that with tools like Placeit that allows you to turn text content into the video format:
Screenshot source: Placeit as of August 2020
Placeit doesn’t require subscription payment, plus it offers free templates which makes it the most affordable video creation solution on the market.
The way it could work:
- Grab any article from your site that received Google traffic
- Use Google Search Console to find which search queries exactly drive clicks to your page
- Create videos around those queries (using your existing article)
Another way to find opportunities to get your video visible on Google’s video carousel is by using Ahrefs:
- Run your domain in Ahrefs and click to “Organic keywords”
- Click the filter called “SERP features” and check “Videos”
Here you go. There are all keywords your site is ranking for in Google and those are also search queries showing video carousels.
Source: Ahrefs as of August 2020
Ahrefs is my preferred SERP analytics tool due to its usability but of course, there are many more cool tools that can help you with this task.
Create a longer description
While for the video titles, we don’t have too many characters to work with, the video description field allows more characters than enough, so take the full advantage of those.
The video description field allows creators to put up to 5000 characters. It is important to create more detailed description for your video because search engines still rely on text content to index and rank your video.
Here are a few ideas on creating a more detailed and high-ranking video description:
1. Create your script
If you are uploading a video interview, a webinar, or conference coverage, chances are you have more than enough text spoken to create a detailed description.
Fiverr is full of gigs offering you to transcribe a video and turn it into text, so it is a pretty easy way to create the text version of any video:
Source: Fiverr as of August 2020
2. Use semantic analysis
I turn to semantic analysis at any time I am writing content. It always helps me discover more topics to cover and identify more questions to answer.
Text Optimizer is an easy and effective semantic research tool that analyzes Google’s search snippets to identify underlying concepts which will make your content more relevant to your target topic:
Source: Text Optimizer as of August 2020
I don’t think I know an alternative to Text Optimizer for creating an optimized context so easily, but here’s more on semantic analysis and why it is useful.
3. Create a time-stamped video outline
Don’t miss this step! YouTube allows you to add clickable timestamps that take viewers deeper into your video to where you discuss that subtopic.
Here’s a detailed tutorial on creating YouTube timestamps:
- Play your video up to the point where it starts discussing a new topic
- Pause your video at the point you want to timestamp
- Type the time exactly as you see in the video player into the video description field.
Source: YouTube as of August 2020
This clickable video outline in the video description will drive people deep into the video, so you will see more engagements.
On top of that, your video may enjoy even more exposure in search, because Google sometimes grabs that outline to show right inside search results:
Source: Google as of August 2020. (Google giving extra visibility to a video by showing its clickable outline right inside search results)
Add more tags and a few hashtags
YouTube tagging is still a good way to categorize your video the right way. They help search engines to better understand what it is your video is about and rank it accordingly.
You can up to 500-character worth of tags for each of your videos, and there’s no reason saving on those characters. Feel free to use all of them.
Hashtags were introduced not so long ago, and creators still confuse the two, so to help you out, here’s a quick list of how they work and:
|YouTube tags||YouTube hashtags|
|Where to enter||Separate the “Tags” field on the video edit page||Anywhere in the video description|
|Has limits||Max 500 characters||Max 15 hashtags|
|Have the hash/pound symbol #||No||Yes|
|Is visible on the public video pages||No||Yes|
|Helps make the video more findable||Yes||Yes|
While tags are mostly for YouTube search rankings, hashtags appear as a visible part of the page, so they send some relevancy signals to search engines:
Source: YouTube as of August 2020. (Enter hashtags into the description area and tags in the separate “Tags” field)
If you need help brainstorming more tags for your video, try Rapidtags.io which generates tags:
Source: Rapidtags.io as of August 2020
Create an eye-catching video thumbnail
A video thumbnail is what shows up in Google’s video carousel, so it will directly impact your click-through. This makes your video thumbnail one of the major assets for your video:
Source: YouTube as of August 2020
Luckily creating an eye-catching and, more importantly, click-inviting video thumbnail is not difficult. There are tools to create one for free, as well as cool templates to come up with your own unique recognizable style:
YouTube video optimization strategy is very much like any SEO strategy: You need to create a lot of relevant context for search engines to be able to understand and correctly classify your video. To optimize your YouTube video page:
- Craft an attention-grabbing title which would include your target keyword
- Write a detailed, semantically optimized video description (and include clickable video outline for viewers and search engines to easily access the part they are most interested in)
- Add tags and hashtags to make your video even more findable
Finally, links play a huge part in organic visibility, so make sure to link to your videos from your own site. This includes both embedding your videos and linking to them directly.
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.
The post How to get your YouTube videos appear in Google’s video carousel appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Facebook’s video destination, Facebook Watch, is introducing a new feature called “Your Topics” that will allow you to tailor its feed to include more of the content you want to see. Currently, Facebook leverages its existing understanding of each viewer’s interests to personalize the Watch Feed. Topics, however, will allow users to more explicitly tell Facebook what sort of things they like by exploring and subscribing to various content categories.
The feature has been quietly rolling out to Facebook users in recent days, and now some portion of the user base already has the feature in their own Facebook app.
Among the first to notice the new addition was Twitter user @whimchic, who regularly spots updates and changes to mobile applications before they’re made public.
— whimchic (@whimchic) August 31, 2020
They were alerted to the feature through a pop-up within Watch on the Facebook mobile app, we’re told. Here, a message explained that Facebook will now focus on showing more of the videos related to the #Topics you follow.
“Due to the many different ways your Watch feed is determined and how videos get categorized, you may see videos in your Watch feed that you aren’t interested in,” the message also warned. “Some videos related to the #Topics or Pages you follow may not appear in your Watch feed,” it noted.
If you have the feature, you can access it for yourself by clicking on the Profile icon in the Facebook Watch tab on mobile, then clicking on the link to “Your Topics” to browse the available categories.
The subcategories which you can actually follow or unfollow are grouped underneath broader category pages, like Animals, Art & Design, Books, Business, Education, Fashion & Style, Food, Games, History & Philosophy, Home & Garden, Music, Performing Arts, Science & Tech, Sports, Travel & Leisure, TV & Movies and Transportation.
However, you can’t follow these high-level categories themselves — you have to click inside them to follow the individual topics. These can be very specific. For example, within Animals, you could follow #EndangeredSpecies or #GoldenRetrievers. Within Travel & Leisure, you could follow #TravelOceania or #WinterActivities. And so on.
But the subcategory listings are not comprehensive. Upon testing the feature within the Facebook app on my iPhone, a search for many other possible topics yielded no results. (What, no #Corgi videos?!) This, of course, could change in time as the feature is expanded.
Once you follow a topic, a message will confirm your choice and then the topic will appear under “Topics You Follow” in the Your Topics section of Facebook Watch.
From here, you can choose to unfollow the topic later if you decide you want to see less of it in your feed. And if you want to watch only videos from a given topic, you can tap the topic to delve into a customized feed.
— whimchic (@whimchic) September 1, 2020
The feature is now one of several ways users can personalize and filter their broader Facebook Watch feed.
You can also filter the feed by Live, Music, Following, Shows, Gaming and more, by tapping on the buttons at the top of the screen or from the What’s on Watch category picker that shows up as you scroll further down the Watch Feed.
Facebook also adds groupings like its editorially curated “Get Caught Up” section with videos from paid partners, or those groupings that are more algorithmically sorted, like the one with videos that got the most “HaHa’s” or “Loves” this week, or those that are popular with friends.
The new feature could make Facebook Watch more competitive with YouTube, where there’s historically been a heavier focus on connecting users with individual channels to subscribe to. But YouTube has also embraced Topics in its own way, with broad categories like “Gaming” and “Fashion & Beauty” that are now a part of its main navigation. And it puts personalized topics at the top of the home page directing signed-in users to categories of videos they tend to watch.
Twitter, of course, has its own Topics feature, too, which showcases top tweets that match a particular interest. These may or may not contain videos, however.
Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the addition of Topics, saying “we’re working on more ways to connect people with videos that match their interests.” No further details were provided.
Five great display and video advertising tactics to increase relevance and revenue in a cookie-less world
- Display and video advertising already have tactics that can be highly effective in a cookie-less world.
- Contextual advertising is going to rise, as users will be in the right state of mind to interact with the brands’ ads.
- Content sponsorship is going to build strong relationships between brands and consumers, as the values and purpose of each brand will be transmitted to the audience in a non-aggressive sales-y way.
- Channel integration can become the norm as channels can support each other through insights.
- User-based targeting will still allow for personalization with the consent of the user.
Let’s face it. The world is going through difficult times, and so is every method of advertising. People are suspicious and don’t trust advertising, thinking that ads may lead to fraud or that advertisers act only to their own benefit and that the consumers will get no value out these promotional banners sitting around the content they visit. They get annoyed when video advertising interrupts their user experience popping up or getting in the way of their desired content.
Things get worse when the ads are totally irrelevant to the user’s interests, which results in total waste of money. Things got a bit better with cookies, as we could target specific audience segments based on their demographics and browsing behavior so that the ads where tailored to their state of mind and interests but in a soon-to-be cookie-less world? Are we back to zero?
Fear not. During the past few years, the targeting technology and tactics became much more sophisticated and we can use numerous methods to target our audiences with relevant only ads and at the same time comply with the new GDPR normal.
Below are five must-have tactics around display and video advertising to smoothly transition to the post-cookie era.
Well, there are no must-dos in life, but realistically these will definitely make your life a lot easier and your ads will create only positive relationships with your audience. Anyway, cookies matching (the process of syncing cookies data so that Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and Data Management Platforms (DMPs) know that they are dealing with the same user) isn’t exactly perfect. So let’s see the positive side. It’s our chance to get closer to our goal to increase relevancy, please customers, and drive sales.
1. Contextual targeting
Back to zero? Not quite.
Yes, keyword or contextual-based advertising is an old tactic, I am not talking about the invention of the wheel. But: nowadays we can use Programmatic buying. With cookie-based targeting, ads about martech platforms would keep following you around the web. But this is not you. You are more than that. You like fitness, food, minimalism, whatever.
With contextual targeting through programmatic, you will be able to display your ads only when your audience is in a relevant state of mind across hundreds of sites at the same time. So when you’re looking for healthy recipes in food websites, you will see ads for organic products and when you will be reading about the future of digital advertising, you will see ads of a new analytics platform.
So the ads will be relevant to the web environment you’re currently consuming and consumers will feel more comfortable to convert, as they will see the ads as an extension of the content they are already looking at. Contextual advertising works well for all the stages of the purchase journey, as high impact formats (large sizes or video) but also native ads-teasers can be used to increase awareness and memorability and click-throughs respectively.
2. Content sponsorship
Yes. It works. People want to get value from the brands, and this is how they get to trust them. Consuming educational content brings us closer to the bran’s values, we see the world through their eyes and therefore we decide to follow them or not. Have you ever made friends without listening to them talking first?
Especially during the pandemic, people started educating themselves on numerous topics that don’t necessarily have to do with their job. They love reading about how they can make their life easier. And they trust someone’s content especially when they are not trying to directly sell or only sell a product without justifying it. To my opinion, content must be branded but should be consumer-centric at the same time. These are some questions you should seek to answer through your content.
- What are the benefits of the product/service?
- How does it fill someone’s needs?
- Does it add value to someone’s life/daily routine?
This is exactly our time as advertisers to elaborate on the challenges that our audience can overcome by using the product. This is our time to be where our consumers are and consume content, to show that we care, and we give, and this is a win-win game. And that the more we win, we commit that the more we will give.
Brands that get personal like the P&G ads are amazing. Have you seen them? They celebrate women’s/mums’ roles and contributions to society. They speak the truth, they make people relate to the content. Also, going back to my point on the pandemic now, people appreciated it so much the brands that collaborated with each other for a good cause, the brands that offered, the brands that supported also financially the situation.
Why? Because we all want to feel that someone is there for us, that brands don’t care only for their profits. So if I’m going to give my money for a product anyway, I will choose one that we have the same beliefs with.
3. Channel collaboration
And here it comes. Your boss, your client come to ask for channel integrated campaigns. They want to see how everything works together towards the same goal. They don’t like fragmented budgets anymore, as the ad investment comes from one pot and there’s one person managing all the channels so there’s no point in delivering multiple media plans.
Use every channel’s success or failure (this is still a very useful insight!) to contribute to the success of other channels. For example, look at search engine marketing (SEM) like paid search or SEO to find the most successful keywords, and then implement these in your display and video advertising – contextual strategy.
In other words, what I strongly recommend is to use the terms that your customers are using in their search before they convert, to open up to new audiences in relevant webpages. This way, you can have an online presence in relevant environments, with high impact display formats and videos to increase awareness when your audience is at the right state of mind.
4. User-based targeting
This is not something new, the big platforms are already doing this and it’s an amazing source of data that I don’t think we made the most of, because we were mostly relying on cookies (that, let’s face it, wasn’t 100% accurate anyway). These data sets are quite accurate as they rely on information that the users give through forms and actions and not on our interpretation of their browsing history.
This is essentially targeting through the user id on the respective platform. Users give their details and create profiles so that they get access to various platforms or make purchases to numerous websites. This way the brand can target the ideal users with cross-device recognition, using first-party data.
Who doesn’t want a consistent experience while interacting with a brand across multiple devices? Again, this is a win-win game when implemented effectively, as the brands do not waste budget while targeting the users isolating every device and at the same time the users are being targeted with the most appropriate message depending on the stage of the funnel that they are. Plus it improves personalization.
5. Sequential targeting
How many times have you noticed a specific car model in the streets after you talked about it for the first time with your friends? It’s not that all these cars magically appeared in front of you after your conversation. It’s that this car is now familiar to you, so it’s easy to notice it. Humans like what looks or sounds familiar. The brain wants to spend as little energy as possible so if it’s something already known, it’s easier to identify and memorize. That’s why we need sequential advertising in our lives.
First-party data allow also for sequential targeting, which is a marketing technique that uses a sequence of ads to tell a story and convince the audience to convert over time, across different devices. The creatives used for sequential targeting should have the same look and feel so that the consumer feels familiar with them and also recalls the brand’s image but should be evolved as we walk down the funnel. The sequence is device agnostic when a user is logged in through their account, which means that shifting between devices doesn’t affect that strategy, it even enhances the experience. Someone may see an ad on their smartphone and then the second in order ad may appear the next day on their laptop.
It has been observed that awareness can be vastly increased through high impact sequential ads. For instance, Google’s research in partnership with Ipsos on sequential videos revealed a 74% ad recall lift and 30% purchase intent uplift compared to standalone video advertising. The sequential messaging drives also high-quality leads as they guide the user down through the funnel to convert.
The sequential tactic is highly effective as most consumers use multiple digital devices before making a purchase or using a service. This strategy increases visibility, as people notice a brand more when its ads appear on multiple devices and they seem familiar, plus you allow your audience to interact with your brand through their platform of choice and it prevents ad fatigue. It’s of no wonder why this tactic presents increasing CTR.
Into the technicalities now
In digital display and video advertising, I would recommend for the sequential path to involve three stages of content.
- Stage one – the user sees an ad that is usually more generic, it introduces them to the brand or service
- Stage two – includes ads that educate around the brand or service advertised and present briefly the benefits and happy results of using it
The first two stages should invite the user to learn more about the product and get to know the brand if needed so that they walk through the consideration phase. For these purposes, the first (or second too) stage can well be represented by a video. The videos are well known as being highly memorable and impactful, so this is what the user needs at this stage.
- Stage three – ad with a strong call to action, an invitation for the audience to use the product and purchase, sometimes even offering a discount
Naturally, the call-to-action in each stage will change depending on what action we want the person to perform (Learn more Vs Buy now).
Therefore, it’s not the end of the world, it’s the end of a technology that worked for long but now it’s time to move on to new relationship structures, just like societies do. Because it’s time for the brands to build honest and transparent relationships with consumers, which is going to lead to stronger trust in advertising. And this is a good thing.
What are your thoughts on display and video advertising? Feel free to share them in the comments section.
Anastasia-Yvoni Spiliopoulou is a Global Digital Media expert. She has recently launched her new online course in digital display and video advertising for corporates and individuals.
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