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Nicholas Giustino

Recently our native advertising partner StackAdapt popped into our Salt Lake City office to discuss the latest and greatest features their team is working on. For those of you who are not familiar StackAdapt is the premier native advertising platform based in Toronto, Canada, and no big deal they’ve been featured in Forbes. Their product offering is led by native articles with video and display products launched in the past year. While we can’t discuss everything Michelle and Eli covered during out lunch and learn. We can say StackAdapt has a lot of great features launching this coming quarter and year.

As advertisers look for alternate channels to Facebook and Google we predict a continued shift to native advertising. Native’s metrics are stacking up, if not exceeding those of other channels and can track time spent on site (when using StackAdapt) no matter if you are using native articles, video or display.

Is native advertising included in your brand’s campaign spend? If not email us at content@pennapowers.com and we can peek at where your audience is online and where you should be.

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All the attention has been on Facebook and fake news, yet everyone in the room is missing another issue being Twitter’s massive bot problem. Estimates are circulating that bots are over 15 percent of active users, something Twitter disputes and pegs at about 5 percent. Whether it is more than 15 percent or less than 5, the point is Twitter’s bot problem is out of control and they need to do something about it.

Recently we analyzed a Twitter campaign that utilized the website traffic objective to see how active bots are on Twitter. Within 24 hours, the ads delivered 1,882 clicks and 13.76 percent Click Through Rate (CTR) which seemed very odd to our team. Deep down we all want a 13 percent CTR but immediately knew something was wrong. After further investigating, we immediately saw that majority of impressions served and clicks came from Android devices which raised a huge red flag.

Figure 1 – Campaign Delivery

After flagging Android devices as an issue, we considered the languages our ads were delivered. Again, we saw another red flag with a large share of our ads delivering to people who spoke Japanese, Portuguese and Turkish–to name a few.  

Figure 2 – Impression Breakdown By Language

Our analysis concluded the rush of clicks over 24 hours could be explained in no other term except for bot fraud. Now this was a very small, target campaign in the U.S. Bots are a worldwide problem for advertisers and governments when used in an inauthentic manner.

You may be asking yourself what can my brand do? Is my agency aware of Twitter’s bot problem? Right away you can look at engagements on your tweets. Look at the profiles engaging with your content. Click on profiles to see if they have real photos and information. Bot profiles will have the standard egg profile photo or they won’t match the target audience you were seeking. If you work with an agency probe them, asking if they are aware of Twitter bots and what they’re doing to combat them.
Staying ahead of ad fraud will continue to be an ongoing battle. Something we hope the major social media channels take very seriously and will develop sophisticated tools to help detect. If you have additional questions regarding Twitter’s bot problem or online ad fraud, please email us at content@pennapowers.com

 

 

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Facebook recently announced major changes to how your newsfeed will look soon. We all know the days have passed where brands organically pushed out their content to waves of engagement, reaching a large audience. With this new algorithm change, Facebook is taking it one step further by showing you less business and media content, and more personal content from friends and family. Overall, the social media giant expects people to spend less time on the channel, meaning less time on brand content.

You should be asking yourself not if this will affect my brand, but how will it affect it moving forward. Now more than ever brands will have to fight for attention and space on newsfeeds.

Big Changes:

  1. Time spent on site will decrease

Less space for brand posts will lead to less reach, engagements and referrals to one’s website. If your brand relies on Facebook to deliver a large portion of its blog and website traffic, you’ll want to adjust your strategy on the platform. Consider adding new channels, such as email marketing or a paid platform, in the form of native content placements.

  1. Engagements will decline, becoming more valuable long-term

As people spend less time on Facebook, engagements will naturally decline. Short term this may be bad, but long term the value of an engagement may increase as people spend quality time engaging with content vs. scrolling and liking mindlessly.

  1. Facebook will look at your engagements more closely

You may have already noticed on your personal newsfeed that a friend’s post with a healthy conversation is staying at the top of your newsfeed longer than it used to. This is not by accident. Facebook is now looking more closely at engagements beyond likes, shares and comments, examining if a brands content is leading to dialogue.

  1. CPMs (Cost Per 1,000 impressions) will increase

Now that you know Facebook is making more room for friends’ and family content, that means more brands will need to utilize paid placements on Facebook more than ever if they want to amplify their content. As demand increases and supply decreases, an increase in CPMs is expected, continuing a trend we’ve seen over the past few quarters.

What your brand can do moving forward:

  1. Better content

Sure, it’s easy to say you’ll need to create better content for your brand, but it’s true. Moving forward you’ll need a well-planned content strategy that aligns your brand by delivering relevant and interesting content to the target audience.

  • Live organic videos will fare better vs. pre-recorded organic videos
  1. Diversify

Consider adding new channels to your content strategy, such as email marketing or a paid platform like native content placements. Brands also should evaluate how they use existing channels, such as paid search which could be tweaked to drive blog or content views on a website.

  1. Facebook ads

If you’ve sworn off paid ads or use them sporadically, stand back and reevaluate how you use Facebook products. Brands and marketers have for years treated Facebook as a pay-to-play channel. 2018 will be the year where brands can no longer ignore using Facebook ads to amplify their content. An “Always-On” strategy—whether it’s $50 or $5,000 per month—used wisely can still increase brand content reach and desired actions.

The biggest takeaway from this change is that brands no longer have the upper hand they once did on Facebook. It has been a slow decline, but the most recent change will require brands to rethink and shift their strategies. In 2018, influencers will be crowned the kings/queens of content because at the end of the day they are people first, brand second and these algorithm changes will favor them.

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Native advertising is currently one of the most overused buzzwords in the advertising world. Many people are quick to roll their eyes at native advertising, thinking of the original click-bait nature of headlines and the cheesy descriptions publishers used to lure the audience in, only to have them immediately bounce out. The channel has now evolved from click bait headlines, to include video with engaging content the audience seeks out. The ability to retarget off each unit is another fantastic feature found in the native space. As a result, content can more closely resemble a publication’s editorial content across a website, lowering advertisers cost and increasing engagement.

Two main units we look at and the cost associated with them include:

Native Articles:

This placement has expanded from simple CPM (cost per thousand) buying to now include CPC (cost per click) and CPE (cost per engagement) depending on the buying objective. Now more than ever, the buyer and the content strategist can work as one tying together the goal of the content and how its written with how the ad is bought. For example, one piece of content in a campaign could be bought to generate awareness while the second piece to go live could utilize the generated awareness to increase website traffic and website conversions. As mentioned, native articles previously served as a vehicle for click bait, but now with vendors like StackAdapt and OutBrain, native strategies can be taken to the next level.

Penna Powers Native Article Averages:

CPM: $4.45

CPC: $0.83

CPE: $2.94

Time spent on site (LP): 1m 38s

Native Video:

Video has been on a hot topic for a few years now with YouTube popularizing video as an advertising placement. Depending on video length a video will fall into one of two native camps pre-roll, playing before other video content and out-stream with the later only playing when in-view. By now you’re most familiar with pre-roll running pre, mid, or post and out-stream videos running within a piece of content, breaking up a Forbes article for example. One of the greatest features of the native video placement is the ability to retarget an audience based on completed video views. This allows the advertiser to further engage with the audience and lower the cost of a conversion since the audience has previously interacted with the brand

Penna Powers Native Video Averages:

CPM: $13.04

CPCV: $0.03

Viewability %: 57.87

Completion Rate: 67.34%

CTR: 0.33%

Display working with Native

These days everyone either hates online ads or blocks them all together. Insert display ads working in conjunction with Native articles and/or videos. The key difference when using display in a Native campaign is the ability to bid on a CPE model if you’re looking for engagements on a piece of content. Display ads offered by vendors such as StackAdapt provide a great opportunity to retarget your native campaign audience, further increasing engagement and post-click activity.

Penna Powers Native Display Averages: (Currently we are only using native display in retargeting campaigns)

eCPM: $4.74

eCPC: $3.56

CTR: 0.13%

StackAdapt Benchmarks:

Native

eCPM: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPC: $0.80 – $1.50

eCPE $2.00 – $3.00

CTR: 0.40% – 0.80%

Avg time on site: 55s – 1m5s

​PreRoll Video

eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

eCPC: $9.00 – $12.00

eCPCV: $0.02 – $0.05

CTR: 0.10% – 0.20%

Completion Rate: 70% – 80%

Native Video​

​eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

​eCPC: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPCV: $0.05 – $0.07

CTR: 0.50% +

Completion Rate: 40% – 60%

Display

eCPM: $1.50 – $3.00

eCPC: $1.75 – $3.00

CTR: 0.10% – 0.15%

Despite the perception, native advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon. Based on a IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough study, consumers looked at native ads 52 percent more frequently than banner ads. Native advertising presents a huge opportunity for agencies and their clients to create a lasting engagement that leads to further brand interactions and sales.    

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It has been over a year since Pinterest first opened advertising to a select few, mostly large-scale brands. The original 12 brands were tied to expensive 6-month commitments, spending $150,000 per month during the timeframe. Fast-forward to February 2016, and agencies like Penna Powers now have access to one of the most coveted social audiences online. Using Pinterest’s initial CPM and CPC benchmarks of $30-$40 and $0.50-$1.50, we’ve launched our own campaigns with the results highlighted below. Before diving into the advertising costs, we thought it would be helpful to discuss what exactly makes up Pinterest advertising.

UntitledAdvertising on Pinterest is simple and straightforward in selecting one of two options, either an engagement campaign or one that drives traffic. After choosing a campaign objective, you are directed to select an existing campaign or prompted to set up a new one, followed by selecting the Pin you would like to use as an ad. A stand-out feature of the ad dashboard is when selecting a Pin for promotion, Pinterest shows you the most clicked and repinned Pins during the last 30 days. Pinterest’s targeting creates a native experience both on the web and in-app by selecting your audiences interests and their location.

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Our initial tests for both engagement and website click campaigns were setup for a very popular retail client that was recently granted Pinterest advertising access. Our results are below:

Pinterest Advertising Campaign Performance:

Engagement Campaign:

  • CPE: $0.27
  • eCPE: $0.26
  • CPM: $5.30
  • CTR: 1.99%
  • eCTR: 2.03%

Website Click Campaign:

  • CPC: $1.52
  • eCPC: $1.52
  • CTR: 0.04%

The success of the campaign and current projections of planned campaigns, we expect to see a large lift in website traffic from our Pinterest ads as more resources are put into the social channel. We are also seeing the audience spend more time on the client’s website and converting on various products, which is in line with the experience of much larger advertisers. Pinterest advertising has a huge upside, especially as it introduces more ad products down the road (including video ads). Data will also continue to trickle down from large advertisers to those of various sizes as Pinterest opens the platform further. In the mean time, if you haven’t already signed up your Pinterest account up for Promoted Pins, you can do so here.

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One month after Instagram opened advertising to small and mid-size agencies Penna Powers had the opportunity to launch test campaigns for both sponsored posts and videos. These campaigns tested various demographics in the non-profit/government and retail verticals. Both tests allowed us to successfully engage the designated audiences, driving website clicks, brand awareness and engagements. But most importantly, the campaigns provided Instagram advertising metrics for us to share with the world.

Storytelling is what Instagram does best, add in Facebook’s excellent targeting capabilities and your brand story can now be seen by the exact audience you’re seeking. Our campaigns set out targeting two very different audiences, teenagers (13-17) in the non-profit/government campaign and M/F (18+) in the retail campaign. The wide audience in the retail vertical was chosen to allow us to gauge a true CPM benchmark based on a large demographic segment. We were curious to see if Instagram’s estimated CPM of $13 held true or if our campaigns would come in much higher, even or much lower. Both campaign results are listed below presenting a much lower CPM in both instances by a healthy margin. The non-profit/government campaign also presented interesting data that teenagers will actively engage with Instagram content even though studies are showing a migration to other social media channels such as Snapchat. The wide audience in the retail vertical aligned with established Instagram data with the millennial audience outperforming all other segments of the target demographic. Instagram advertising is uniquely positioned to help push Facebook even further ahead of Twitter and Google in the social advertising front.

Instagram Advertising Campaign Performance:

 Campaign 1- non-profit/government- Sponsored Posts:

  • CPC: $0.14
  • CPM: $4.17*
  • CTR: 2.96%

Campaign 2 – Retail- Sponsored Posts:

  • CPC: $0.44
  • CPM: $6.58*
  • CTR: 1.47%

Campaign 2 – Retail- Sponsored Video:

  • CPV: $0.01
  • CPM: $2.48*
  • CTR: 2.08%

*Instagram estimated CPMs of $13

Instagram Advertiser Results (Instagram for Business Blog):

  • 97% lift in ad recall
  • 16-point average ad recall lift
  • 7x higher Nielsen ad recall vs. other study data

Users spend on average 5 minutes per day on Instagram and Facebook.

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We look to Facebook to begin tying in retargeting between the two ad platforms serving ads to the audience members who may have interacted with one on Facebook or Instagram presenting an opportunity for marketers to have even better data and more audience touch points. At the end of the day social media is all about engagements with the line between a website click and a comment blurring every day. The new advertising opportunity has brought about change within our own Social Media Department with the team shifting dollars almost immediately from Twitter to Instagram because of the superior ad products and the fact that Instagram blows away Twitter engagements.

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