Facebook Now Targeting Ads Based on Bandwidth

Facebook announced today that it will offer a new targeting option – bandwidth connection. This is going to be particularly beneficial to advertisers when choosing creative to display on the social network. Because of diverse network speeds in different countries, advertisers have said that having this option could help them create better ad experiences for the end user. Advertisers can now target 2G, 3G and 4G networks, allowing them to run an ad that will operate adequately for their connection speed.

Facebook Product Marketing Manager Brendan Sullivan explains how this is beneficial:

For example, serving a video ad to people in Indonesia with 2G connections may mean wasted impressions if people are unable to load the video or it buffers for minutes when clicked. Optimizing the creative — for instance, targeting a video campaign to people with high-speed connections, and swapping in an image or link ad for people with slower connections — means ads can perform more efficiently for the people seeing them.

Advertisers already have the option of targeting users based on the type of device they’re using  (tablet, smart phone, feature phone) as well as device model and operating system,  and by knowing how quickly (or how slowly) the device functions is another definite advantage.

IMG Source: Facebook

Ronita Mitra, Senior Vice President, Brand Communication, Insights and Online of Vodafone India, says that they are testing the new targeting option and already seeing positive results, adding that they are “excited about the new mobile targeting option” and “hope to see more such technology innovations across the industry,” according to the Facebook post.

The bandwidth targeting feature is available today worldwide via the Ad Create tool, Power Editor and the API. “Our hope is that mobile network targeting can improve the experience people have with Facebook ads by helping advertisers deliver the right experience while respecting people’s device bandwidth and data costs,” said Sullivan.

Facebook Puts an End to Annoying Click-Bait

Facebook is as tired of irrelevant articles that commonly have little to do with its headline flooding your News Feed as you are. It’s called click-bait, a way for publishers to get users redirected to their sites. Facebook has had enough of this schemey technique and announced today on their blog that it is making improvements to “help people find the posts and links from publishers that are most interesting and relevant, and to continue to weed out stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see,” said Khalid El-Arini and Joyce Tang of Facebook. “We’re making two updates, the first to reduce click-baiting headlines, and the second to help people see links shared on Facebook in the best format,” they continued.

News Feed FYI Click-baiting

Click-bait is considered a headline and image posted on Facebook by a publisher that doesn’t give much information about the article, forcing a user to click on the image to read more. These types of posts generally receive a lot of clicks, in turn causing them to reach the top of your News Feed and drown out posts from your friends and pages that are more valuable to you. A survey conducted by Facebook found that 80% of users prefer a headline with more information to explain the article to help decide if they actually want to see more before having to click through.

Facebook explains how they determine what is click-bait and what isn’t:

One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.

Another factor we will use to try and show fewer of these types of stories is to look at the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends. If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.

The second update will involve changing the way links are displayed, choosing to display links in link format rather than through captions or status updates. Facebook’s studies have found that link format produces twice as many clicks than links embedded in captions.

Facebook says that a “small set” of publishers who use what they determine to be click-bait will be affected by the update as they will see their distribution decrease in the coming months. “We’re making these changes to ensure that click-bait content does not drown out the things that people really want to see on Facebook.”

BMI Elite and CrushAds raises over $3,000 for ALS; Q Interactive Accepts Our Nomination

As promised, CrushAds partook in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Monday per CEO Brandon Rosen’s nomination. In addition to dousing ourselves with buckets of ice water, we as a company donated $2,500 along with personal contributions made by other individuals within the company for a grand total of over $3,000 to give to the ALS Association! You can see below how much fun everyone had (and how soaked everyone got!) taking the challenge.

Employees happily and nervously awaiting their icy fate…

The buckets were all set up…we needed 300 pounds of ice!!!

Looking for the buckets with the least amount of water in them.

Right about now they’re thinking, “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea…”

Ready, set, go!

Good thing Lynsay brought a change of clothes.

As if the buckets of ice water weren’t enough, Brandon stood on top of the firetruck and sprayed everyone with a hose, just to make sure no one left dry.

As is customary with the Ice Bucket Challenge, we went on to nominate three other local companies in the industry to do the same, and Q Interactive completed their challenge today! Good job guys, but we still hope to see video proof of our other nominees soon…

CrushAds Accepts Ice Bucket Challenge

This past Friday, BMI Elite CEO Brandon Rosen challenged the CrushAds team and the rest of BMI’s sister companies to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken social media by storm and has helped raise awareness and over $13 million for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It goes like this: People post videos of themselves on social media having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenge their friends, family, coworkers, etc. to do the same within 24 hours or they have to donate $100 to ALS, though many participants do both.  The ALS Association encourages participants to post their videos with the hashtags #IceBucketChallenge, #ALSIceBucketChallenge or #StrikeOutALS to help spread awareness. Celebrities, athletes, and prominent entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, the New England Patriots, Jennifer Lopez, and Mark Zuckerberg have all accepted the challenge.

The New York Times Reports:

People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

According to the ALS Association, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.” The muscles waste away (atrophy) and lead to eventual complete paralysis, though the mind remains sharp. It is a fatal disease without a cure and the typical lifespan for someone diagnosed with ALS is between two and five years. However, one of the most notable figures with ALS and one of the greatest minds of our time, Stephen Hawking, was diagnosed at the age of 21 and today is 72.  Nearly 30,000 Americans have ALS and approximately 8,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

The CrushAds team will be meeting in front of our Boca Raton office at 5:30pm EST today to accept Brandon’s challenge in addition to making a charitable donation to the ALS Association. If you would like to make your own contribution for continued research to find a cure for ALS, CLICK HERE. Check back later for pics and videos!

CAKE Whitepaper Maps the Customer Journey

As a performance/affiliate marketer, you track your conversions through an analytics platform to determine what’s working and what isn’t. But how well do you really understand exactly how your customers made it to the final sale? SaaS firm CAKE released a white paper explaining the concept of attribution titled The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Attribution: Mapping the Customer Journey for Advertisers which explains how advertisers can “know precisely which touchpoints produce the highest returns.” Touchpoints in this context refers to the affiliate, search, social, display, email, mobile, video, and shopping channels a customer goes through.

As the whitepaper explains:

At times, one marketing channel prevails as the reason a customer converts. Alternatively, other marketing channels help, resulting in shared credit across the media mix. It is the individual advertiser’s choice as to how they wish to attribute and reward the relevant marketing channels. By measuring the value of their channels, advertisers can pick and choose to invest further in ones that are steering customers toward a conversion.

There are different attribution models in place that depict where the credit is given for a conversion by advertisers, though as the whitepaper says, no model fits every situation so it’s important to mix and match metrics depending on your goal. Knowing which touchpoints are the most effective can allow you to put forth more effort towards that specific channel to maximize your ROI. But of course, there is still the concern of fraudulent traffic, though new tracking tools have made it more difficult for fraudulent attribution to get by. This paper can help advertisers truly understand the customer journey, and lead to more effective campaigns.

You can download the whitepaper HERE.

 

The Majority of Affiliate Marketers Are Self-Taught

A recent survey conducted by Optimus Performance Marketing found that the majority of affiliate marketers are self-taught, with only 47% having any formal training prior to working in the industry. The other 53% said that they taught themselves through internet tutorials (42%), E-books (28%), blogs (19%), video tutorials (8%), and books (4%).

The study was conducted in the UK and Ireland among 1,036 individuals between the ages of 21 and 60, with the average participant stating that they had 3.8 years of experience in or around affiliate/performance marketing.

The survey also found that 73% of respondents feel that those wanting to get started in the industry could benefit from formal training, and feel that more needs to be offered in the form of educational courses at colleges and universities geared towards those who wish to make a profession out of it.

“When you work in a relatively new and ever-evolving industry, such as affiliate or performance marketing, it can be very easy to forget that the majority of people who don’t work directly within the industry are still extremely unsure about what it is we do. This doesn’t bode particularly well for those working in the industry when trying to scout the next generation of marketers for recruitment,” said Mark Russell, Managing Director at Optimus Performance Marketing. “From my personal experience of teaching courses on digital commerce to students at Plymouth University and colleges in our local area, I see on a regular basis how will and engaged young people are in our industry. It seems to me that an influx of similar courses and modules relating to affiliate activity around the country would surely only be a good thing in terms of awareness and growth?”

Hopefully this study can provide some encouragement for those wanting to get started with affiliate/performance marketing; it provides proof that just about anyone find success in the industry, you just have to want it.

Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2014: Infographic

Econsultancy partnered with Oracle Marketing Cloud and surveyed nearly 1,000 digital marketers and eCommerce professionals in April and May about their cross-channel marketing tactics. The results of the third annual Cross-Channel Marketing Report reveal how organizations are orchestrating and deploying their campaigns, how they’re taking on mobile and a list of their priorities for 2014.

If you don’t want to drop $695.00 for the full report (although for $100 more you can have full access to all of Econsultancy’s paid reports for a year), take a look at Datatrouble’s infographic below summarizing the report’s key takeaways.

Cross-Channel Marketing 2014 infographic