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Facebook Simplifies Ad Tool and Asks ‘What’s Your Objective?’

What’s your Facebook advertising objective?

Seems like a simple enough question but it’s one many small business owners have trouble answering. More is usually part of the equation, but more what? More likes? More sales? More traffic to your website? If you don’t know your objective, you can’t measure your results and that means you could be throwing away good money on ads that aren’t working.

Facebook says they now understand that objective is more important than size and target numbers, so they’ve simplified their ad buying tool with this in mind.

You start by choosing your objective from a list of options:

facebook ads whats your objective

Horrors! Instagram Ads Are Coming Soon!

screamOctober is the month for Halloween horrors, so it’s the perfect time to reveal the devastating news – ads are coming to Instagram.

I know, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard about it but that’s because the company has been slowly conditioning everyone to accept the inevitable. They thought, if you had months to get used to the idea, you wouldn’t freak out and do something awful. . . like stop using their app in retaliation.

Even yesterday’s blog post by Instagram was loaded with soothing, carefully chosen words:

Over the past three years we’ve watched with amazement as Instagram has grown to a global community of more than 150 million people capturing and sharing the world’s moments. Instagram is a place where people come to connect and be inspired, and our focus with every product we build is keeping it this way.

Facebook Updates News Feed Algorithm to Show More Relevant Ads

facebook news feed relevancePutting your ad in front of thousands of Facebook users sounds like a nice way to boost your biz. But what if everyone who sees your ad lives on the West Coast and you sell flowers in Boston?

Facebook’s updated News Feed algorithm should help with that.

I give Facebook a hard time, but they have a tough job balancing the needs of the marketers with the needs of the users. They have to accept enough ads to keep the profits rolling in but not so many that users get annoyed and leave.

They also have to deliver an experience that results in a good return on investment for marketers while at the same time appealing to the interests of the user.

Is Display Dead?

deadoneThe Birth of Display Advertising

In 1980, most of us had an 8086 computer and didn’t have a cell phone (or…if we did, it was an analog cell phone), Prozac and Viagra were not yet invented, and microwaveable popcorn had just been released.

The history of online display advertising goes back to the 1980s, when Prodigy (a joint venture between IBM, CBS and Sears) ran online advertising experiments for Sears products. In online terms, that was eons ago.  Many of today’s thought-leaders of the online advertising industry weren’t even born yet in 1980.

But does the age of display advertising signify its demise or its maturity?

The “Shocking Statistics”

Some alarming statistics about display advertising have been used on many blogs and slideshares lately:

Almost Half of All Marketers Will Launch Holiday Campaigns Before Halloween

kmart christmasThe press made quite a fuss when Kmart aired the first Christmas commercial of the season on September 9. This is a full seven weeks earlier than their first 2012 ad, which ran Oct. 28.

The concept of starting earlier and earlier is called “Christmas Creep.” Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the Kmart ad features a spooky, oversize gingerbread man who creeps up on an unsuspecting woman. “Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you” is the message, but it hardly seems possible given the timing of the ads.

Kmart’s ad is all about layaway, so you can forgive them for jumping the gun but they aren’t the only ones with a premature reveal.

According to a survey conducted by Experian, 49 percent of marketers “suggested” they were going to start a holiday campaign before Halloween.

What Part of Your Web Page Gets Viewed the Most?

Preview Viewership ChartbeatWeb site owners always want to know how they can optimize their site so that the most important stuff is the online equivalent of ‘front and center’.

Chartbeat took a look at this as reported by Adweek.

There’s been a lot of attention paid lately to the fact that a lot of online ads going unseen, and with it, the assumption about what parts of a Web page are most valuable. Chartbeat analyzed 25 million user sessions across the Web and turned up some interesting findings. Despite what many advertisers may think, it’s not the top of the page that’s the most viewed; it’s actually the part of the page just above the fold. Looking at where viewers spend the most time on the page (and presumably seeing the adjacent ads), it’s even further down.

Here is an infographic of sorts to show their findings

Do Not Track Efforts Come a Tumbling Down

do not trackFor several years, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been working on “Do Not Track.” This is a program that allows netizens to remove themselves from digital tracking when they shop and browse the web. The problem has always been one of standardization. For the system to work, everyone has to be playing by the same rules and so far, it’s been a no go.

Advertisers want consumers to opt-out of tracking. Browser companies want to go DNT by default, forcing people to opt-in. And since there are no legal requirements, companies can choose to ignore the opt-out list and track folks anyway. Useless. And that’s why The Digital Advertising Alliance is calling it quits.

Lou Mastria, managing director of the DAA had this to say about the W3C project: