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Google opens +Post ads to all (ish) including new Hangout ad option

Modern online marketing is all about blending in so you can stand out. They may sound like mutually exclusive terms but oddly, they’re not.

Google demonstrates this point nicely with their recently released +Post Ads. These adds look like the normal, social media update we’re using to seeing across sites such as Google+ and Facebook.

Google Plus Post Ad

The fact that the highlighted box is showing up on a non-social media site makes it noticeable in a good way. It’s non-threatening because we recognize it as a friendly form of conversation. The icons in the upper right clearly state that it’s an ad, but it doesn’t feel like one. So we click and it get even less “ad” like.

Facebook update makes sidebar ads look more ‘native’

Yesterday, Twitter announced a change that will make their profile pages look more like Facebook. Today, Facebook comes right back with a design change of their own that has been a long time coming. No, they’re not going to start showing all your Page posts to your followers – wouldn’t that be nice? They are going to update that outdated sidebar with ads that mimic the look of a Facebook post.

Way to go native-ish, Facebook.

Facebook updated ads

The new ad will be the same size and proportion as a desktop newsfeed ad. If you’re running both types of ads, that means you can use the same creative and that means you save time.

But the ease of use isn’t going to help most marketers. What is going to help marketers is the bold statement these new ad formats make.

The Digital Advertising Alliance releases new guidelines for mobile icon use

Digital Ad IconIf you’re collecting data through any kind of mobile advertising, The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) would like you to abide by a set of new rules. Okay, not new exactly – more like tightened up rules for the sake of consistency.

The newly released “Ad Marker Implementation Guidelines for Mobile” explains exactly when and where you should use the symbol you see here.

The Ad Marker Guidelines define minimum dimensions for the icon on mobile screens, as well as establishing dimensions for the touch area that should activate the icon. When users touch the icon on a mobile screen, the Guidelines also set forth what information and options may be displayed. This practical guidance, formed with input from a wide variety of companies and organizations, was created to present a consistent privacy experience to consumers.

Bing makes a visual splash with new Product Ads for search

In case you haven’t noticed, visual imagery is in like Flynn. Pinterest, Instagram, expanded photo options on Twitter and Facebook – it’s a byproduct of our lightening fast, mobile world. If we can see it, we’re more likely to choose it and buy it. So Bing is bringing that idea over to the search page with their new Product Ads.

Bing Product AdThe Product Ad can combine with the traditional text ad as well as an organic text result for a pretty big 1-2-3 punch. In this example, we have fresh flowers from Contoso Floral. Your eye goes right to the beautiful bouquets on the right.

Attack of the Clones: Facebook expands lookalike marketing options

twins by greyman - rgbstockIf your current customers like using your product then there’s a good chance that people who are like your current customers who would like your product, too. That’s the concept behind Facebook’s lookalike advertising and I have to admit, it’s doing my brain in.

The short story is this: starting this week, Facebook advertisers will have the option of sending their message out to non-customers who share similar characteristics as their current customers.

You’ll find the option in the Power Editor under Ad Tools –> Audiences.

The lookalike audience works with the custom audience tool Facebook launched last year. The new option can match up data such as location, Facebook interests and demographics. If you use Facebook Conversion Pixels, you can create a lookalike audience based on a subset of your current audience that performed a specific behavior.

Twitter Tests But Will Tweeters Really Click to Call?

Twitter HQTwitter is getting serious. Serious about growth. Serious about ad dollars. Serious about reinventing themselves.

Driving the bus down these new roads is former YouTube executive Baljeet Singh. He’s the man who invented the skippable pre-roll ad on YouTube, so let’s all bow down and give him thanks. (I know this is a marketing blog and I should be pro-advertising but those pre-roll ads make me crazy.)

Now he’s tasked with bringing some of that YouTube revenue juice over to Twitter.  The Verge says he’ll be working on adding more video to the Twitter feed and ways of making video more discoverable. He’ll also be working to sell more Promoted Tweets with video and maybe even pre-roll video ads on every Tweeted video.

Are You Making These 5 Banner Advertising Mistakes?

I’m not the first to write about this topic yet marketers from every niche are still making the same mistakes and blowing their budgets on display ads that don’t perform.  So before you call it quits… ask yourself if you are making any of these five mistakes.  If so, pay close attention because this is how you can avoid them once and for all.

Mistake 1:  Not selling to the right crowd    

Not all clicks are created equal.  The goal of your ads should never be about getting the most clicks but rather focus on getting relevant clicks.  What’s the point of a thousand curious clicks when they are not from the people who NEED your offer and who ultimately will make a purchase?  Place your ads on well targeted websites – where your ideal customers hang out.