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Best Video Advertising Platform – We’re Flattered!

According to the State of Video Marketing 2018 Report, video usage is on the rise – with 81% of businesses using video as a marketing tool. This should be no surprise since we watch a LOT of  video, more than 3 hours of video in a typical day. So as a marketer it’s obvious that you need to incorporate video into your marketing mix or perhaps boost what you are doing today.

And if you need even more ammunition – 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018. So how do you determine the best demand-side platform to run your video content, since there are several to choose from in the market? Determining the right one for your organization depends on who you ask, the problem they are trying to solve (is it similar to yours) and how they evaluate success.

Analyst reports can have stringent criteria and typically focus on solutions for really large enterprises, who more often than not, don’t share the same business objectives and challenges as smaller organizations in the same industry. So most individuals will look to review sites or other online sources to help make their decision easier. Sources like G2 Crowd.

We are flattered that our customers and G2 Crowd has deemed StackAdapt the #1 Video Advertising platform from their consolidation of reviews for Advertiser Campaign Management Software.

A trusted research tool for software, G2 Crowd is a review site for business technology. G2 Crowd continually collects, aggregates, and analyzes user reviews, where its analysis is captured in G2 Crowd Grid Reports and on their website. Resources from G2 Crowd play a critical role in the evaluation process of thousands of software buyers globally, who use the Grid to help them quickly select the best Advertising Campaign Management products for their businesses and to find peers with similar experiences.

Read what this agency has to say about StackAdapt and Video Advertising:

StackAdapt not only performs as a video advertising platform, it also ranks as a high performer on the G2 Crowd Grid for Demand Side Platforms. Read more about Our Advantage or see first hand why users rave about StackAdapt.

4 min read

4 Essential Articles To Read This Month: August 2018

What is the team at StackAdapt reading this month? Here are a few relevant articles that caught our attention. Enjoy!

1. Required reading for marketplace startups: The 20 best essays

Marketplace businesses are very lucrative but are extremely difficult to get off the ground, mostly because of the “chicken and egg problem” — not be able able to attract demand without supply and vice versa. Read the full article here.

2. When You Need a CMO. And The #1 Reason CMOs Fail

If you don’t read Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr Academy and you are a startup, you need to start immediately. In this article he talks about why so many CMOs fail. A must read for anyone looking to scale their marketing department. Read it here.

3. Why California’s new consumer privacy law won’t be GDPR 2.0

Privacy is arguably the biggest topic in tech in 2018. With GDPR in full effect, more governments look at how to implement their own version of privacy control. Read the article here.

4. Why brands favor a ‘hybrid’ in-house marketing approach

Whether to bring marketing or outsource it to an agency was even covered during one of our previous events. Perhaps, the it’s never going to be black and white, and there is something to be said about finding a happy medium where you can optimize for efficiency and costs, without losing sight of your core business. Read more here.

4 min read

4 Essential Articles To Read This Month: June 2018

Curious what the team at StackAdapt is reading this month? We have asked around and curated a few of the most interesting articles for you to check out.

1. How Food52 Strikes a Winning Balance Between Content and Commerce

Increasingly e-commerce businesses use content to build relationships with their future customers. “It’s further proof of Food52’s core hypothesis: lead with high-quality content — offer value to your readers — and the sales will follow.” Read or listen to the interview here.

2. The IRL channel: Offline to online, Online to offline

While everyone is obsessed with digital channels, some companies leverage their offline distribution to promote their brand. Think of how successful some brands have become simply by being so Instagram-able, like Boby guys or Toronto’s ihalo Krunch, who serve charcoal ice cream. Check out this POV on the “IRL Channel” by Andrew Chen. Read the full article here.

3.ClassPass’ Founder on How Marketplace Startups Can Achieve Product/Market Fit

Marketplace Startups are among the most lucrative business models, and remain one of the hardest models to crack. Learn from the CEO of ClassPass, Payal Kadakia, how they’ve grown to become a household name. Read or listen to the interview here.

4. How To Reach More People With Content Marketing By Changing How You Write

As marketers we’re all guilty of writing jargon content from time to time, as a result, we are missing the mark on creating something that makes an impact. An always insightful view from Tom Tungus on how to be a better writer.  Read it here.

 

4 min read

How TouchBistro is Using Content Marketing to Grow its Business

In today’s crowded digital landscape, the question driving every marketing campaign is how to get noticed? With people’s shifting priorities now favouring the natural discovery of products, marketing has become an area where companies aim to have an increasingly strategic competitive advantage for growing their business.

In this series on BetaKit, you’ll join COO Vitaly Pecherskiy as he meets with top minds in the marketing and advertising industry to uncover how Canadian companies use forward-thinking strategies and cutting-edge software to break through the noise.

 

To kick things off, Vitaly Pecherskiy had the pleasure of sitting down with Tiffany Regaudie, content marketing manager at TouchBistro, where he learned more about how the company successfully uses content marketing to grow their business.

Can you talk about how your team is structured and what is the culture of the marketing team like at TouchBistro?

Our marketing team is made up of two main pillars: demand generation and brand. Content marketing sits within a communications team on the brand side. I report into a senior communications manager, and I have a content marketing specialist that reports into me.

Our marketing team culture is one of my favourite parts about working at TouchBistro! We live by autonomy and accountability, which means we are given the freedom to succeed and fail. It’s an exciting time to be at TouchBistro – we’re at a high growth stage, and luckily our leadership know that growth requires being bold and trying new things. I’ve never been so well-resourced to do my best work.

TouchBistro's POS system

TouchBistro’s POS system.

How does your team judge its success?

My KPIs as content marketing manager are based on increasing traffic to our blog, subscribers to our blog, and views on our brand videos. I live and die by these metrics every quarter! I also personally judge our success using other metrics I think are important, such as increasing time on site, decreasing bounce rate, and getting more video completions under our belt so we can retarget that audience with campaigns that tell a larger narrative about our brand.

But I do also have an “agency” function to my work, which is really to support generating leads on the demand generation side of the marketing team. I’m the creative lead on many of the projects that come from our demand gen team, so I am still tangentially accountable for generating leads that way.

How do you distinguish between must-have content and fluff? Or are you a believer that any content can have legs?

Our audience is made up of independent restaurateurs who are very much expected to be the jack-of-all-trades of their business. They’re people who just want to make great food and deliver an amazing guest experience, but they actually need to be accountants, marketers, and human resources experts on top of being great chefs.

So our must-have content is the “how-to meat” for restaurant owners: how to know enough about accounting to make sound business decisions, how to rock a social media campaign to get noticed, how to design a menu in such a way that’s going to increase sales – this is the content that does very well for us, because it’s geared toward making restaurateurs’ lives easier.

Producing content takes up so much time and so many resources that it can be easy to overlook a thoughtful distribution strategy.

I come from a book publishing background, so I’ve spent a lot of time editing whole manuscripts and content that goes very deep on a subject. I’m pretty grateful for this experience, as I like to think it’s kept me devoted to quality content over fluff. I do believe that any piece of content that speaks to your audience can have legs – it’s just a case of how long you’re willing to wait for those legs to start moving and gain speed. You have to be timely and solve a problem to get noticed quickly.

Have you seen patterns in the type of content you produce and its success?

Video as a medium is, of course, a type of content that does well for TouchBistro. We just released our first brand video, which garnered more than 3 million impressions and a higher-than-average completion rate across several channels (through StackAdapt and YouTube, among others). While it’s definitely easier said than done, we are shifting toward a video-first strategy, as video is obviously now the most consumable form of content across all audiences.

How do you determine ROI for content?

We measure ROI in several ways, from both a demand generation perspective and a brand perspective. On the demand gen side, we measure ROI by the amount of leads we can move down our funnel, from engaging with a piece of gated content to requesting a quote and being passed to our sales team as an opportunity. We have some strict economics at TouchBistro that govern how much we are willing to pay for a lead that books a demo vs. downloads a piece of gated content or subscribes to our blog.

But on the brand side, we’re much more focused on establishing our brand presence in new markets, given that we have just entered London, UK, Bogota, Colombia, and Mexico City. So as we are still establishing our brand in these markets, we measure ROI via impressions, website traffic, and how many people engage with our SEM ads.

Creating content can be expensive – how do you decide if it needs to be amplified through paid channels and how do you decide how much to pay for distribution?

I base our paid distribution decisions on past organic search traffic performance, so I know the content is in demand and has legs. From this foundation, I’ve developed a solid bank of data that tell me which types of content I should amplify and for how much.

Think about how much money you’re willing to put behind a piece of content … because organic traffic just isn’t what it used to be.

We already know we’ll be putting a larger paid push behind video campaigns, but for other types of content, I base my budget on topic relevance. For example, this year 18 states and 20 cities in the US raised minimum wage, which has been a hot topic among restaurant owners. I developed a significant repertoire of content on rising minimum wage, which I’ll continue to slow drip throughout the year with several paid campaign pushes behind them – the topic is timely and people want to read about it, so it deserves the amplification.

What advice would you give to an organization that’s new to content marketing?

Think as much about content distribution as you do about content production. Producing content takes up so much time and so many resources that it can be easy to overlook a thoughtful distribution strategy. So don’t just think about the content itself and what it will look like, but where it should live and how users should consume it. Think about how much money you’re willing to put behind a piece of content … because organic traffic just isn’t what it used to be.

Rapid-fire bonus questions!

Number one metric every marketer should care about is…Time on site. Visitors don’t mean much if they’re not consuming and therefore remembering your content.
One thing most marketers don’t spend enough time on is…Thinking big picture. Marketers are doers, which is great, but you need to think about how your campaigns relate and build on each other.
To become a better marketer one must… Read, read, and read some more. Marketing is a moving target. If you don’t keep up with best practices, you’ll become obsolete before you know what hit you!

4 min read

From the Founder’s Desk: Vitaly Pecherskiy on The Top 3 Tech Trends in Advertising

Interview with Vitaly Pecherskiy, co-founder and COO. Originally featured on DisruptorDaily. 

 

 1. What’s the history of StackAdapt? How and where did you begin?

My co-founder, Ildar, was actually my client at a previous job. The first time we met to go over the account was at Starbucks. The conversation very quickly turned into the future of technology, innovation, opportunities, and entrepreneurship. Over the next 5 months our friendship grew and it became apparent that there was a clear gap in the market for another ad tech player. We left our jobs to start a service-based company that introduced organizations to programmatic, but our passion for technology meant we always knew we would eventually develop our own product.

At the same time, we met our third co-founder, Yang, who recently moved back to Toronto having spent a few years in New York building equity trading platforms. The fit was immediate – we had complementary skills, we bonded over how we envisioned the company and the product, and we had similar risk tolerance. We started building early proof of concepts that got picked up by a large automotive brand about 9 months into the journey. The rest is history.

 

2. What specific problem does StackAdapt solve? Who do you solve it for?

Nowadays consumers build relationships with brands on a value level and content marketing is a powerful vehicle to build that trust. Clients that use our platform come to us with a clear problem: they struggle with getting attention in today’s crowded marketplace. They’ve noticed that what worked in the past doesn’t work as well today – social channels are getting increasingly saturated and organic reach is dropping, and search engine optimization takes too long to yield results. Our customers are looking for ways to increase exposure to new target audiences on demand. Our native advertising platform lets them break through the noise and reach potential customers with content-driven ads. More importantly, it helps them understand how their media dollars actually drive their business forward beyond surface level metrics like impressions and clicks.

 

3. What is your solution to their problem? 

As marketers ourselves, we felt the pain of using complex programmatic platforms. Our vision was to build something different than the traditional media-trading platform, something intelligent and intuitive. We didn’t want another complex “switchboard” type of product. We wanted something that makes complex things simple. An enterprise product that solves problems and that people would love logging into every day.

Because StackAdapt operates in many ways as a data-company, we collect proprietary browsing behavior data. Then we use machine learning to predict which products people are interested in. Buying native ads is easy. Making them actually drive your business forward is hard, so that’s where we focus our energy: How can we find people online who are actively looking for a product just like our customers’ and nudge them in their favor? Our proprietary data engine does just that.

 

4. What are the top 3 tech trends you’re seeing in the advertising industry?  

Trend #1: Data transparency. I think more marketers have started to ask questions related to how data is actually aggregated and who is in the audience segments that they target on a trading platform. I see more and more people question whether the price they pay for 3rd party data is justified and what sort of performance lift it actually gives. It’s a very overlooked topic especially in the context of awareness campaigns where tracking ROI isn’t as straightforward as with conversion-based campaigns, but overall marketers are becoming more data savvy.

Trend #2: Video advertising. It boggles my mind how many dollars are flowing into TV advertising and how little accountability there is. Obviously, I am biased because I work in digital. There are challenges in tracking in digital too, but when I hear that in many places people are asked to use pen and paper to self-declare their TV watching habits which are then used to gauge the success of TV campaigns, it makes me laugh. We’ll see more brand managers wake up and demand more transparency around TV dollars.

Trend #3: Content experiences. We are starting to see marketers evolve beyond text-based blogs to building content experiences where they ask consumers to engage with their brands in a more interactive, engaging way. It’s no longer a wall of text that people are expected to read, it’s interactive quizzes, it’s user-generated photo galleries, it’s visual storytelling that makes brands stand out from the rest. When you have nailed that, your content distribution and paid media strategy is like adding fuel to the fire.

 

 5. What’s the future of native advertising? 

All digital advertising will eventually become native. It has taken longer than we anticipated in 2013 when we started StackAdapt, but it’s already apparent that this trend is unstoppable. As more publishers become responsive and cross-device, native advertising is the only route that makes sense for them as a monetization channel. Native ads are a powerful way to deliver branded content that’s less interruptive and more engaging than traditional ads. Once we accept that native is going to be the default way to communicate brands’ messages online, the questions of attribution and ROI remain. Are these native ads reaching the right audience? Are the native ads moving the needle for our brand? We think most marketing channels will evolve to become performance channels and native advertising will play an integral role in this change.

4 min read