Makeover 2021: How to Whip Your Digital Marketing into Shape

….And also what happened to Primark?

Primark during lockdown

When the facts change, I change my mind is an oft-quoted phrase, and have facts ever changed as quickly as they have in the past 12 months?

From temporary lockdowns to permanent shutdowns, it is still unclear exactly what the new ‘facts’ of living in a post-Covid world will look like.

With that in mind, now is a good time for businesses of all sizes to re-examine their direction of travel. Will film studios now skip the cinemas for streaming? And is the high street now truly dead?

If so, then e-commerce will have finally won the battle it has been dominating for the past decade-or-so. And that means businesses need to start taking e-marketing seriously….

Look at Primark. Great shop, fantastic brand, loyal customer base. But the company’s online strategy? Stuck in the past. And not even the recent pre-Covid past.

Though things will return to a reality closer to the one before 2020, it will never be exactly the same. Try to plan ahead and work out what this will mean for you in terms of a strategy that can work.

1- Consider E-commerce as an integral part of your business.

Primark lost £430m of sales during lockdown with 11 stores open 24 hours, at the end of last year, to try to make up for the loss and is now shut again. Often questioned for not having plans to sell online or have an e-commerce site retail consultant Graham Soult pre-Covid had stated: “While the high-street business is thriving and growing, Primark can make a convincing case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well, it now undoubtedly ‘broke’ so this could be a good time to change things. Even if we were to go back to in-store shopping, undoubtedly e-commerce will never lose its grip again so it’s worth investing in this side of your business if you haven’t already.

2- Plan your social media posts

Plan your social media posts now so that you can advertise your product and hit the ground running for when sales increase. What tools are you tempted to try out?

3- Consider contextual forms of advertising

Consider contextual forms of advertising that appear as a natural continuation of your customer’s journey. Our proprietary technology offers the insight necessary for you to know when your audience is searching for something aligned to your product, even geolocation wise making the search more productive for all…check it out -> www.vertismedia.com

4-Create engaging content

The first step to getting content right is to ask yourself:

  • What do you spend the most time doing online?
  • How long do you think typical users spend online every day?

Recent studies show that on average consumers spend 8 hours or more a day engaging with digital content. Content is EVERYWHERE…it’s at the heart of every internet journey.

SO

What does online content mean to you?
How many of these would you included in your content strategy?

• text
• audio
• video
• photos
• images
• graphics
• animations

5-Think about integrating 3D/ AR elements to your strategy.

According to global augmented reality statistics, there will be about 1.96 billion mobile AR users by 2021 and 2.4 billion users by 2023. A BRP report showed that nearly 50% of consumers were more likely to buy products from retailers that were also providers of AR experiences. When customers experience advertised products in context, by placing three-dimensional (3D) holograms of the products in their physical surroundings this AR-enabled product reduces the effort required to create purchase-related imagery. Where customers are increasingly distant when it comes to the purchasing context, AR makes it easier to imagine the product.

Which of these 5 points have you already integrated in your strategy?

We’d love to know.

Image from The Times.

How can contextual advertising help your business? Yes, even a small one!

There are 2 things we could really help you with right now, they are:

  1. Creating ads that integrate naturally an represent what your company and brand is all about.
  2. Cutting out the clutter!

Are you feeling scared?

Is anyone else feeling that with resources diminishing, budgets shrinking and Brexit looming, we might feel worried or even, let’s just say it out loud, scared! How can you give your company (you don’t have to be a multinational!) a boost without breaking the bank?
Contextual advertising can offer an alternative that is easy and affordable to start with, while providing a high-quality level of relevance. Let’s see why.

How often have you clicked on a page and a product ad pops up advertising something that doesn’t interest you in the slightest? Vertis Media creates contextual ads for organisations that want to go straight to the heart of the matter. Unlike other contextual ads, ours are created to match the original environment.

As a company we feel passionate about addressing a growing issue for advertisers and publishers alike: engaging with targeted users without interrupting and overloading them with irrelevant ads while generating sustainable revenue.

Vertis has delivered more than 150 brand campaigns for leading international clients such as GSK, Coca-Cola, P&G, Vodafone, Nissan, IBM among others. How do we do this?

Contextual insight

Vertis Media uses AI to provide brands with contextual insight that target audiences more effectively. No personal data involved- perfect for the future cookie-free environment the advertising world is prepping for!

The changing algorithms used by the AI system optimise real time solutions that lead to campaigns with a difference. Vertis Media maximises ROI and is on top of the mutating complexities of advertising. A platform for simplicity, profit and versatility

Native ads

Vertis Media’s real-time native proprietary technology automatically renders ads so they natively match the style and user experience of any publisher’s site. Everything from the font used to the way a text changes when a consumer mouses over it, the ad will behave just like any other content on that particular site.

The ad is also served as part of the framework of the site itself, which means if the publisher makes any stylistic changes to the layout of the page, the ad will automatically update and seamlessly match the look and feel of the site.

We can help you deliver engaging experiences so contact us to find out how.

What’s your advertising strategy for 2021?

3 questions you can ask yourself right now:

  1. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase your sales, generate more brand awareness or maybe you need to generate leads?
  2. Who is your audience?
  3. What kind of interesting, relevant content is going to get you where you need to be?

Step 1: Goal setting

Building an advertising strategy starts with being clear about which goals need to be set. What are you looking to achieve through your ad campaigns?

Goal examples:

  1. Generating leads
  2. Increasing sales
  3. New subscribers for a newsletter or website
  4. Increasing website traffic
  5. Raising brand visibility

The important thing here is not to be vague about what your goals is. Make your native ad campaign goals specific. Do you want more people to subscribe to your website? Have a figure in mind and make sure you set a deadline to work towards reaching that goal.

Step 2: Decide who your Target Audience is

Define the audience you want to reach. Contextual and native ads are actually able to direct content to people who have yet to hear about your brand but who would be happy to read information involving it.

The great thing about these types of ads is that you can target ads by age, gender, interests, location, device usage and more. This makes certain that the right people are being targeted with the right content, on the right devices, in the right places, at the right time.

Step 3: Build great content

Content is at the heart of any native advertising strategy. Our number one tip is that you need to think like a reader and not like an advertiser. What does your target audience want to see?

Aiming for informative content is always a winner!
Content to consider includes:

  1. Useful content to educate and inform people, and help them get to know your brand
  2. Informative content aimed at generating leads for particular products or services
  3. Content to drive sales

Start off by following these 3 starting points and you’re set for a successful and effective native advertising strategy for improving brand awareness, attracting leads and making sales. Get started with Vertis Media’s contextual and native advertising.

A Complete Guide to Contextual Advertising

Relevant ads for everyone are a double winner: they brings pros to both the consumers and the brand.

Distributing a relevant piece of information to the right person at the right time means the user is more likely to discover that they are interested in something they perhaps hadn’t thought of before- it widens their horizons. At the same time the brand has a higher chance of making a sale.

computer and contextual advertising

What is contextual advertising?
Contextual advertising (also known as contextual marketing) is a form of targeted advertising, generally appearing on websites and in apps.

Different data for different brands
Various elements can be considered for contextual advertising. Different brands will be interested in different data: for instance, location could make all the difference for a hotel or restaurant.
• Language
• Location
• Weather
• Time of day
• Device
• Preferred channel
• Past behaviour
• Purchase history

Even holding the above information, brands cannot be as accurate as they would like to be in how they organise their marketing strategy. In fact, it doesn’t help that users carry out a lot of their research outside of the brand’s area of impact. So, though traditional marketing campaigns are still vitally important, the other aspects of this journey give brands an opportunity to continue to have a powerful input.

What are the obstacles to contextual marketing?
1) The first obstacle to employing targeted ads is a lack of usable data. While we live in an age of big data, problems exist in utilising it in order to find out relevant information.
2) Technology: Connecting different data sets is partly a problem with existing technology.

Solution: “acting with context”
By employing information regarding sales, CRM data, web data, reviews & feedback, and social data, you can build up a picture that will carry your campaign forward for any brand. For example, if you are going to target a particular profession on LinkedIn, your “profile” for that sector can provide information on how best to connect with that segment.

What does the future of contextual advertising look like?

Personalisation, in the form of digital voice assistants, is considered the future of contextual advertising.

These forms of “communication” allow users to search for things they are interested in with their voice, without consulting a screen as they would have done in the past. As AI, artificial intelligence, becomes increasingly accessible to consumers technology seeks to become a more integral part of our lives and not a “separate” entity that we physically consult. This switch to less device heavy marketing will constitute a monumental shift in advertising. AI is now storing incredible amounts of data that is being integrated more and more with consumer technology, especially voice assistants. The information that has been accumulated for years is now being utilised in the consumer’s present day.

contextual advertising thumbs up

Contextualisation is already built on the premise that proposing ads that are relevant are more welcome and unobtrusive, which means that on any given platform you will most likely only see what is relevant to you as a consumer. So personalisation must follow this example in order to create the story telling environment that is so crucial in order to generate respect for a brand. No one wants to see an add for their favourite shoe brand, however loved (!), when they are viewing a page on a piece of news that is communicating the latest on a natural disaster, for instance.

Personalisation must go hand in hand with contextualisation, in this sense, in order to be credible and trustworthy. Knowing when and where is appropriate to provide the customer with knowledge about those new shoes is key to the ad’s success.

“When you keep seeing adverts on the latest BMW but can’t drive, it has no relevance and as a consumer it’s a waste of time that can be disruptive” says Co-founder of Vertis Media, Laura Cioffi.

How to add more context to your social media content

Social media, dynamic and in constant flux, has become an increasingly crucial part of digital communications strategy.

2019 has seen a 9% growth of social media users compared to last year, bringing the figures to 3.48 billion worldwide (source).

Social media in digital marketing

However, social media engagement is in decline even though these networks are displaying more business ads than ever before. Why? Because users are ignoring ads that “interrupt” their social media “journey”. So, while the impact that social media has may be decreasing the number of users is increasing. In that case, what is social media being used for now?

Customers, in fact, are still depending on social platforms to interact with businesses and gather “knowledge”. So, based on this information, how about reaching those customers in a way that is really effective?

With this in mind, it is time to reach customers across social landscapes in different ways: by making sure that the content distributed is contextual. In this landscape of ever-growing decline in levels of interest it’s time to reclaim consumer interest with relevance.

Vertis Media does just this by engaging with customers with high quality information of what represents their consumer journey.

10 Facts and Trends about Contextual Advertising

In contextual advertising the ads themselves occur based on the identity of the user and the content displayed and…it’s on the up, as users want the least level of interruption during their time browsing.

Read on if you are interested in know our top 10 facts and trends about contextual advertising.

10 Facts and Trends about Contextual Advertising

1.Advances in Matching up relevant data to customers- AI in advertising
The algorithms used are under constant development in order to improve how accurately ads match the user’s preferences. These past few years have seen a huge leap in targeted advertising, where the message is made to “adapt” to the viewer. The quest for advertisers, for a long time now, has been to make sure that the information they are putting out there is really relevant. Artificial intelligence is a way of doing this: it gets rid of the detective work in targeted advertising. With the ability to dip into a pool of relevant information regarding its users, advertisers can make sure that “useless” information, that can go against a brand’s positioning, gets stopped in its tracks. This means two very important things for Vertis Media‘s dedication to storytelling: relevance and cost effectiveness.

2.Content continues to reign
When engaging with a brand, users have come to expect a wealth of information on more fronts: videos, social media posts, blogs and other types of authentic content. Everyone has caught on to this “trend” which means that in order to stand out, content has had to be more and more interesting.
AI can contribute to building a better content strategy. By “improving” the target audiences, businesses can more effectively narrow down the focus of their stories, blog posts, videos and other content pieces to engage their users more effectively.

3.GDPR
The “right to be forgotten” that GDPR now implies means that businesses can no longer collect information about people without their consent. Explicit consent. Personalised data is essentially the heart of a targeted ad campaign, so what to do?
The correct answer is contextual advertising! How? By finding out the characteristics of a target audience based on the web pages visited. General data about the interests of visitors to that page provides the context needed of how to make information attractive to those users.

4.Video, video & more video
Video is becoming the most important advertising channel and this is set to rise in the future. And what better way to involve audiences than to enable them to participate in creating those videos. The creativity of recent generations could take brands far by getting them on board with the creative process of sharing information.

5.Smart TVs
As consumers are moving away from linear TV and toward a type of smart TV viewing, advertisers will also, aligning themselves with the new on demand viewing experiences.

6.“Voice”
2019 is likely to see brands that will allow for organic use of the devices, with ads that direct consumers to specific products or services. To reach audiences, brands are using new and innovative ways to get the message across.

7.Personalisation & Contextual Advertising
Ways are being found to ensure the messages displayed to the users are “tailormade”. Ads in the future will also be able to gather the info necessary to provide the user with options that are relevant through personalisation.

8.“Billboard targeting” & Contextual Advertising
Businesses are planning to give their billboards “eyes” that can scan peoples’ faces who are passing by. The software will be able to pick up on the number of people who go past and the length of time they looked at it. For the past few years, Google has been testing programmatic ad technology, normally in use for the web, for billboards. Google’s access to extensive information on mobile location data means it can target digital billboards in ways that competitors like Facebook can’t.

9.Customer participation & Contextual Advertising
User generated media will be used through audience participation. Companies will aim to gain more information from their users in order to involve them. In this way, consumers will be interested in those messages that are more relevant to them.

10.Mobile Augmented Reality (AR)
Mobile AR saw a leap from 100 million to 250 million users. A BRP report showed that 48% of consumers were more likely to buy products from retailers that were also providers of AR experiences.

What is native advertising and how effective it is?

Native advertising: the non-intrusive way of connecting with your ideal audience.

What is Native Advertising? To explain what Native Advertising is let’s start off with a couple of contrasting examples: imagine that you are browsing the web, having a look at some of the websites you normally like to view and suddenly coming out at you are advertising banners left, right, and centre!

Adult book computer

So, you change websites and start to read a really great blog post and once you’re done the site itself provides a link to related content made by a different brand. Which one do you prefer? The last example? Welcome to native advertising! The non-intrusive way of connecting with your ideal audience.

Native Advertising- how do you recognise it?

  • Content advertising seamlessly integrates online advertising into webpages by using relevant content as support.
  • Native advertising’s success is directly proportional to the utility and relevance of its content. It should “blend in” with the rest of the articles that are there. Content like this, increases the likelihood that your readers will recognise and remember your brand.
  • In order to engage, offer content tells the story of where your customer can journey to next. It’s all about gaining their attention with valuable information that is so valuable they will want to share it.

Take a look at this example of a native advertising campaign we developed.

Why is Native Advertising great?
Unlike other more traditional formats such as banners or pop-ups which are disruptive, native advertising has the potential to attract more attention from the readers. Why? Because native advertising retains the look and feel of the digital content to promote a certain content or product. Since it contains information which is useful and productive to the users, it is more likely to be shared on social media, enabling the information to reach as many potential clients as possible.

As Marco Piscitelli, co-founder of Vertis Media states: “Native Advertising offers top quality information to the users, which means we are all winners: the targeted audiences and the advertisers”.

Does advertising on social media work?

Advertising on social media appears to offer more control over what is said about a brand but is actually giving less power over content positioning.

Facebook is leading the way when it comes to paid social media at approximately 2.23 billion monthly active users (source: 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report : Social Media Examiner). Since Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s shift from branded content prioritizing user’s posts, marketers are in agreement that their reach has dropped noticeably. People are now also willing to invest in other platforms, such as Instagram the second most used social media platform, to see what works in terms of engagement.

Advertising in social media

Paid social is continuing to grow on all platforms. As more marketers realize the importance of meeting customers where they are, they’ll turn to smaller platforms to reach those core audiences.

The shifting dynamics of social media marketing makes it especially challenging to understand which steps to take towards success, but the elevated number of users and levels of activity make it one that cannot be ignored.

It’s undeniable that paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram can be effective as part of a wider media campaign. But if what you are aiming for is to actually get results in how a brand is perceived, what you need is a native campaign strategy. With banner blindness on the up the move to a type of advertising that is able to tell a larger story which features a brand contextually is the way forward. In fact, advertising on social media appears to offer more control over what is said about a brand but is actually giving less power over content positioning. When and where an advert appears is just as important as what appears.

If the only time your advert comes up is on social media then your targeted user’s mindset is probably not tuned in to what your goals are at those moments in time. The reason they are on social media is probably to check out what their friends are doing or look at cute dog pics. If, on the other hand, they are online already engaging in content that has links and shares relevance with your brand then it will be more effective because they will be of more interest at that moment in time- they will have the right mindset to embrace and welcome the information you are providing.
See how Vertis Media can help with your campaigns.

Contextual Advertising: What it is and Why it Matters

Ads that appear on websites that are directly relevant to what the user is viewing are contextual. They are ads that positioned at the right place and the right time.

examples of contextual advertising

What is Contextual Advertising?

If you are viewing a recipe that involves the use of a particular kitchen utensil or brand of food for instance, you will have the opportunity to be presented with an advert for something useful in that context. The idea here is that people who are browsing gluten free food recipes are more likely to appreciate an ad for gluten free pasta than a car ad at that moment. A more captivated consumer usually means more conversions, so contextual advertising is a great way to improve the performance of your display ads.

With the correct targeting, contextual advertising can help you to improve the placement of ads. In order to employ contextual advertising in the right way, you’ll create extremely specific ads for very specific keyword groups or site pages.

Vertis Media shows ads to users who are browsing on sites that are directly relevant to a product or service, and it follows that the audience will probably be more receptive to it.