A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.
Search and Deploy
Marketers online face a perennial challenge: how to connect the dots between brand discovery (people finding your stuff) and purchase. We’ve seen clients have a lot of success tapping into the the searchability and sharing functionality of Pinterest to get their brand content in front of consumers. In fact, we published an article about that this week.
Pinterest, Instagram and the like are crucial platforms for brands to get value from earned media investments. Marketers see the best results, of course, when their programs work in concert: paid, earned and owned connecting, seeding and multiplying their campaigns. This week, Pinterest announced a new initiative to help marketers take the power and insights from their visual content investments and leverage that to inform their paid campaigns through keyword targeting. This is a great compliment to capabilities we launched recently, Custom Audiences, which lets brands create targetable advertising segments based on who engaged with their visual content, what they liked or shared, and when and where they engaged with it.
According to Tim Peterson in MarketingLand, the new text-based search advertising will allow brands to can apply broad- or exact-match keyword targeting as well as phrase-match targeting, and they can list negative keywords.
Pinterest is also introducing a new option for brands to target their search ads beyond the traditional set of keywords. In addition to the traditional keyword-based targeting, advertisers can opt to have Pinterest automatically target search queries that may not include the specified keywords but are considered relevant according to Pinterest’s Taste Graph, its index of more than 100 billion pins and their corresponding metadata.
The joining of keyword targeting along with the image-engagement data from ShareIQ combine to make Pinterest a powerful dot-connector for marketers that want to help close that discover-to-buy loop.
Boo! Beware the Ad Fraud
Just ahead of Halloween and with plenty of time before Black Friday/Cyber Monday comes some more scary ad fraud news. Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed investigated a massive scam perpetrated by the very trustworthy sounding digital ad companies 301network and Monkey Frog Media. Some of the world’s biggest brands were ripped off by a digital fraud scheme that used a network of websites connected to US advertising industry insiders to steal what experts say could be millions of dollars
Approximately 40 websites used special code that triggered an avalanche of fraudulent views of video ads from companies such as P&G, Unilever, Hershey’s, Johnson & Johnson, Ford, and MGM, according to data gathered by ad fraud investigation firm Social Puncher in collaboration with BuzzFeed News. Over 100 brands saw their ads fraudulently displayed on the sites, and roughly 50 brands appeared multiple times.
Digital advertising is an important part of any brand’s successful marketing strategy, especially as a method to elevate and amplify earned and owned media campaigns. However, ad fraud, ad blocking, bots and viewability issues are presenting greater risks all the time. The biggest problems seem to occur when dealing with a murky ad tech ecosystem where dollars and pixels flow through the hands of an extensive network of middlemen. Scams like this one generally run their course because massive brands spend huge sums on paid media, through lots of intermediaries, and it’s simply hard to keep tabs on every penny spent. We’ve seen clients working to more closely scrutinize spend and keep watch on ROI. For earned media and programs like influencer marketing, we’ve been creating tools that make keeping tabs easier.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be fast approaching, but scams like the one BuzzFeed reported should make brand extra cautious about where that Q4 budget is being spent.
The Best of the Rest
TechCrunch - Facebook attacks Pinterest with ‘Sets’ of posts
Travel+Leisure - How Instagram Is Skewing the Way We Talk About Women in the Outdoors
Loose Threads - From a digitally-native gold rush to an impending bloodbath