Facebook Offers gets revamped for mobile, now lets you track saved coupons in a dedicated section

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facebook-offers Facebook’s goal of tracking ads all the way through to a customer’s purchase at point-of-sale is getting a big boost today with a makeover of the Facebook Offers program. Now designed to be more mobile-friendly, Facebook is allowing businesses to create two kinds of offers – those customers can redeem online and those they redeem in-store – while also making it… Read More

August 31st 2016 advertisers, Facebook, Mobile

How Advertisers Are Getting on Board With Imgur, a Pinterest for the Millennial Male

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Here's the story of another Web destination popular with a hardcore audience of millennials but struggling with the question of how to introduce digital advertising to users critical of almost anything corporate. We've seen it play out time and again, and now it's Imgur's turn to make the jump from a free-for-all community to a legitimate Web advertising player.

The startup is taking its promoted posts out of beta this summer after a few test runs with brands like eBay.

Imgur is a kind of Reddit for images, where people post photos, GIFs and memes, and the ones with the most votes rise to the top. It was created to be an easy way to post images online and share them anywhere on social media, and it's become an unofficial image-hosting backbone for many of Reddit's image-centric forums.

Imgur has more than 150 million monthly active users, a mostly young, largely male audience with a reputation for being commercially skeptical. That's why Imgur is slowly introducing sponsored posts and carefully crafting branded submissions, all with the goal of avoiding a fiery backlash.

"We work with the advertiser to develop content that would fit well with the community," said Steve Patrizi, Imgur's vp of marketing and sales. "So, users perceive the content coming from brands as something that enhances the experience."

That may be easier said than done, but so far, Patrizi said, results have been compelling. Users who view sponsored posts on Imgur give a thumbs-up nine times out 10.

This summer, eBay has been a main marketer on the site, with a few posts that took advantage of Imgur's storytelling style. The online auction site posted GIFs and photo albums that, for the most part, seemed well received, judging form the hundreds of comments.

"We worked with Imgur for several months to research the types of themes and items that were popular on site, and we worked with some Imgurians to source imagery that helped us tell the best stories," said Johnna Hoff, eBay's head of communications.

Imgur has an in-house creative team that helps brands make their posts, and brands that master Imgur basically master the Web—grasping the style, the language and the content that performs best.

"We're helping brands become citizens of Internet culture, not just a sponsor," said Imgur's Michelle Masek, head of communications.

In eBay's case, the company had posts with titles like "Tech Transformations That Happened In Your Lifetime," a gallery which started with the animated GIF shown at the top of this article and then showed examples of technology that evolved rapidly. Each example links to live listings of that product on eBay.

"Other companies who want to promote posts on imgur should take note, THIS is how to do it," one commenter wrote under eBay's post.It's the kind of post the Imgur crowd might like even if it weren't a paid placement.

Imgur says 75 percent of its audience is under 35, and 60 percent is between the ages of 18 and 24. Also, it's seen as a kind of male alternative to Pinterest, which skews female.

"Imgur has the highest composition of millennial males compared to any other mass-reach community," the company said in an e-mail detailing its user stats.

Patrizi described Imgur as a place for brands to reach the quintessential Web user, one who's into things like sci-fi, video games and geek culture.

"We started tracking the amount of time people are spending on these promoted posts, and it's 25 seconds a post," Patrizi said. "That's getting pretty close to the gold standard of TV advertising."

This summer, Imgur is getting ready to run more promoted posts, opening ads to more brands following the footsteps of eBay, which appears to have gotten the formula right.

"We've been extremely encouraged by what we've seen in the Imgur promoted posts beta," Hoff said. "It's been a collaborative effort across eBay, Imgur and the Imgur community to understand the imagery and stories that resonate."

Below is a look at another eBay ad, this one called "It'll be worth something, someday."

August 3rd 2015 advertisers, Technology

Now With 2 Million Advertisers, Facebook Is Gaining a Foothold With Small Businesses

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Facebook now has 2 million advertisers, a milestone CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today in a video post on the social network. Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg thanked small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and entrepreneurs for jumping on board with the platform, helping it attract 500,000 new advertisers in the last year.

"Millions of businesses like yours are using Facebook to connect with their customers and reach the world," Sandberg remarked in the clip.

Just a few years ago, Facebook was an unknown quantity when it came to local advertising for SMBs—the platform was perceived to be more for direct e-commerce players and big brands. That small-business challenge appears to have been met.

"What does stand out here is that Facebook is making it easier to advertise, particularly for small- and medium-sized businesses," said Rebecca Lieb, a Facebook analyst. "Much like search engines developed tools 10 years ago to serve targeted ads, Facebook is doing the same and removing a lot of friction for these businesses."

Reaching 2 million advertisers is yet another indication of Facebook's growing dominance in digital, getting more businesses to market to its 1.4 billion users. The social network is changing the face of digital advertising much the way search redefined the marketplace more than 10 years ago, according to Lieb and other industry watchers.

Today, Facebook also launched a mobile app to help businesses manage marketing campaigns. And it's these types of "turn-key" products for small businesses, which are often less socially savvy, that are making it possible to advertise on Facebook, Lieb said.

"Targeting, segmenting, day-parting—this is not their core competency," she said, referring to the thousands of small businesses that have to learn a whole new marketing language for the social network. "Facebook has to go into local markets and show them this is how you as local advertisers leverage the platform."

The fact is that to reach fans on Facebook, big brands and small businesses have to pay for promoted posts. There is no such thing as free reach, according to Jordan Kretchmer, CEO of social marketing software firm Livefyre.

"Facebook has become one of the best paid media channels out there," Kretchmer said. The social network is developing the ads, the networks, the tools and data collection capabilities that hold promise for marketers to reach consumers in the most targeted way possible, online and via mobile devices.

However, its total control also creates the risk that businesses will become overly reliant on Facebook to reach audiences.

Big brands have already reacted to Facebook's dominance by investing in their own data and audiences, like Taco Bell building an app last year to own access to its user base, Kretchmer said. "If Facebook changes something tomorrow, these brands can jump away from it and not miss a beat," he said. "Small businesses are at a disadvantage. They are beholden to pay Facebook to drive traffic."

Last quarter, Facebook ad revenue was $3.6 billion, an increase of almost 60 percent year over year. It is the No. 2 digital ad business, still far behind Google, but comfortably ahead of companies like Twitter and Yahoo.

Of course, it also has rivals like Snapchat, coming up today much like Facebook was 10 years ago. That's why Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp, which have more than a billion users combined.

"Marketers flock to media that collects the most users, that's just how it is," said Nate Elliott, a Forrester researcher. So Facebook's size is drawing the biggest brands, which are having the most success at the moment marketing there, he said.

The large companies have the advantage because they have their own data, and Facebook can be stingy when it comes to sharing its data.

"It's perverse. Facebook knows more about customers than anyone ever, yet marketers are forced to bring their own data to the party," Elliott said.

Marketing experts said the data question is the next one Facebook has to address with small businesses. Kretchmer said companies like his Livefyre are developing ad-targeting and data tools that have only been accessible to large brands so far.

"Getting to relevancy is more difficult for smaller businesses than larger ones," said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer's principal analyst. "For one thing, they don't tend to come into Facebook with their own large data sets, as do many of the larger companies that advertise on Facebook. This presents an opportunity for Facebook to educate small businesses about the best way to create and target ads to achieve relevancy."

As Social Sponsorship Grows, Influencers Are Looking to Cash In

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Celebrity endorsements have long been the domain of TV and magazine ads. But now, marketers have discovered that stars and other so-called influencers can help move product just as well through their social media channels. Sixty-one percent of marketers surveyed by Izea, a social sponsorship marketplace, said they’ve paid someone to mention their product on social media, up 5 percent over 2012. But marketers who think social sponsorship is a cheap way to move product are in for a surprise. This new breed of pitchman puts a high value on their sponsored videos and blog posts, and expects to get compensated in cash, not freebies.

Infographic: Carlos Monteiro


December 18th 2013 advertisers, Social Media, Technology, Twitter

Google OKs Images on Sponsored Search Results

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Google will allow advertisers to include images alongside sponsored search results, the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday.

Until now, the ads that allow businesses to display their websites and contact information alongside regular search results have been text-only.

"Image extensions allow you to more accurately convey the body style of a car, the cut of a pair of jeans, or a particular shade of eyeshadow, making your ads richer and more informative so they stand out in a crowded marketplace,” Google's product manager for ad formats, Awaneesh Verma, wrote in the blog.

As the blog explains, more than one in six Google searches have results that display images. The company encouraged advertisers to submit images that will be relevant to certain queries, such as "luxury car designs."

Google has previously introduced an AdWords extension that allows businesses to display additional links to their websites in search ads, which the company has shown increases click-through rates.

Google's broader goal is to capture a larger share of the image-oriented ad market currently dominated by television and magazines. Banner and video ads, which make up Google's Display Advertising Network, are a much more competitive market than search ads.

In an interview with Forbes, Neal Mohan, Google's vp of display advertising products, predicted that in a few years "a third of advertising will be measured beyond the click." For Mohan, beyond the click success comes from engaging, visual ad experiences, or "something where users will actively choose to engage in it."


The Lead Up To the Super Bowl: How Are We Searching?

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Since 2009, I’ve been writing articles here on Search Engine Land about how Super Bowl commercials influence online behavior and how well (or not) advertisers have taken advantage of that online opportunity. One clear trend has been that each year, these commercials trigger increased online…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

February 2nd 2013 advertisers

The Christmas Jump, Tablet Hump & CPC Bump: Recent Trends In Mobile Usage

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“I grab my tablet and get busy with the pen. Y’all could not be just like me if y’all was my twin.” -Andre 3000 That consumers are rapidly changing the way they interact with advertisers is no secret – but the rapidity in which they are doing so is quite surprising. As I looked into…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

February 1st 2013 advertisers

Track On: Conversion Measurement Rolls Out For All Facebook Advertisers

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Back in November, Marketers rejoiced as Facebook announced conversion tracking for advertisers. Yesterday Facebook officially announced that conversion tracking will be rolling out to all advertisers. This is a huge boon for those spending money on Facebook as actions taken off of Facebook can be…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

January 24th 2013 advertisers, Facebook, Social Media

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence 8.0 (MAI 8.0): Templates and Best Practices | #ppc #sem

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This month, we’re excited to announce the launch of MAI 8.0. Technically, the second release after the initial MAI release, version 8.0 is still the same Excel add-in for optimizing your paid search ad campaigns (yes, it’s still free), with enhancements to its core features.

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence, an adCenter keyword research tool, can help you easily discover relevant keywords and gauge their performance on Yahoo Search and Bing. This Excel-based tool will help you to quickly pull historical performance data so you are bidding on the best performing keywords in your ad campaign.

To help you grow your campaign ROI, we made MAI easier to use, improved the Keyword suggestion capability and introduced the concept of Keyword Research Templates, so you can get the keyword data you need at your fingertips.

What’s new

Specific features you’ll find in MAI 8.0 are:

  • a simpler, more intuitive user interface
  • a tighter integration into MS Excel that allows you to take full advantage of its powerful and familiar functionality
  • more relevant keyword suggestions and keyword researches that you can bid on
  • a growing collection of pre-designed Keyword Research Templates that take you straight to the data story you want to see
  • improved keyword insights based on traffic, demographic and geographic data

MAI Ribbon

Also, because we value your time, we wanted to make your keyword searches and analysis easier and more productive. In version 8.0, you can now create and share your own keyword research workflows—spreadsheet samples/models that quickly pull keyword data for you from specified criteria. You can even download and use sample workflows from our Keyword Research Templates Library.


What’s in it for you?

These workflows allow you to capture your own unique keyword research idea in Excel (like any other Spreadsheet model) and reuse it by changing the input parameters such as seed keywords, country/region, etc. and refreshing the same. Take full advantage of Excel’s powerful capabilities to further analyze the data.

You can also leverage others’ best practices from the “Keyword Research Templates Library”.

Templates and more templates…

Now you have even more flexibility in building keyword strategies. You can customize and share your own keyword research templates. For example, you can save them as you would any other Excel template, send them in an email, or paste them into a report or presentation. The list goes on.

Some templates we’ve designed for you include (accessible from the “Keyword Research Templates” button in MAI 8.0):

  • Search Query Insights Dashboard

Generate insights on a search query from the Yahoo! Search and Bing networks. Observe seasonal trends, Demographic & Geographic popularity and even related rising searches (that you could add to you campaign).



  • Geo Expander

Do you Geo Target your campaigns? Interested in geo-tagged keywords? The Geo Expander template gives you a one-click option to find geo-tagged keywords for your targeted location.

Geo Expander


  • Tweet Location-based Keyword Expansions:

By using social media signals from Twitter, this template does keyword expansions off tweets originating from specific locations and user proximity. This is a great example of how you can leverage external data within your keyword strategies through MAI 8.0.

Tweet Based Keyword Expansions


What’s great is you can use these templates as they are or customize them to your liking. Freedom. Flexibility. Ease of use.

Bottom line: You get better performance and more interesting keyword insights. So you can focus on your keyword strategy.


Best Practices for MAI

Here are few tips to get you started on MAI 8.0:

  • When creating templates, save them as .XLSX files. MAI doesn’t support the .XLTX file format.
  • MAI creates cell addresses using the following format – SheetName!range. Examples include ‘Sheet1’!$A$2 and ‘Sheet1’!$A$1:$D$10. Named references, Table references (created when referencing cells within Tables) and references from other Workbooks are not supported in this version. As a best practice you could use the cell range selector and the mouse to select input parameters.
  • Avoid making modifications to the cells in the MAI Table. Changes to font, color, conditional formatting rules, hiding rows/columns/worksheets of the MAI Table may be overwritten upon refreshing the MAI Table. You may create a clone of the table to tailor the formatting preferences.
  • Do not modify/delete the grey colored table header containing the name of the Feature (e.g. ‘Keyword Performance’, ‘Aggregate Keyword’, ‘Traffic’, etc.).
  • The number of rows returned by a MAI Table depends upon the input parameter values specified, as a good practice avoid placing a MAI Table below another (especially close to each other). This could cause the second table to be overwritten by the first one if the latter returns a larger number of rows.
  • Avoid making modifications to the cells in the MAI Table. Changes to font, color, conditional formatting rules, hiding rows/columns/worksheets of the MAI Table may be overwritten upon refreshing the MAI Table. You may create a clone of the table to tailor the formatting preferences.
  • To delete a MAI Table, select the entire table (including the grey colored table header) and hit the Delete key on your keyboard.
  • When copy-pasting a MAI Table, you’ll need to do a Refresh All once before Edit Params and Refresh to work.


Your feedback matters to us!

Download MAI 8.0 today and let us know what you think. Here’s how:

April 20th 2012 adcenter, advertisers, Keywords

Heads Up: Anticipated Downtime for Microsoft Advertising adCenter on Saturday, April 21st

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On Saturday, April 21, 2012, adCenter will be unavailable from approximately 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM PDT for system maintenance. Users in all markets will be unable to access adCenter during this time. Please note that campaigns will continue to run normally and ads will continue to serve. Reporting data is expected to be current by 3:00 PM PDT on Saturday, April 21, 2012. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience….(read more)

April 19th 2012 adcenter, advertisers