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Inbound 2016: 7 Takeaways from Gary Vee’s Keynote Address

“We’re living in the greatest era of communication change since the printing press,” proclaimed Gary Vaynerchuck at his Inbound 2016 keynote address. This kind of explosive change might scare some people, but not Gary Vee, he’s pumped! The entrepreneur, author, investor and 24/7 hustler oscillated between sweeping ideas and tactical do’s and don’ts for a knowledge-hungry crowd in Boston last Tuesday, dishing out as many nuggets of insight as he did expletives. Here are seven key takeaways from his keynote speech:

Offense vs. Defense

“Understand that Snapchat and YouTube and Facebook and Instagram are ABC, NBC, ESPN and MTV.” Either you embrace these changes as a massive opportunity to create custom content (at a fraction of the price of traditional media…for now), or you make excuses, dwell in the past, dismiss the changing tides and execute too late. This is the difference between offensive and defensive thinking, and will determine your success as surely as your budget.

Be a Practitioner

To truly be on the offense, business owners, marketing directors, and the c-suite, need to understand the new media ecosystem. This means operating it themselves. Don’t enlist the first twenty-something you see to execute your targeted social campaigns. Take ten hours and learn how to do it yourself (hot tip: Google it) so you aren’t taken advantage of and can truly say you understand today’s marketing landscape. “It’s an equal playing field if you’re willing to be a practitioner and understand the ecosystem I’ve been speaking about tonight,” says Vaynerchuk, “The problem is, even at a conference like this where this is so much marketing skill, I am flabbergasted by the lack of practitioner-ship in the actual creative ability & paid media amplification of creative to make a business action.”

You might also like: Content Amplification: The Key to a Winning Marketing Strategy

Creative is the Variable of Success

Once you’re 110% committed to distribution through the modern ecosystem, it’s the strength of your creative that ultimately decides the fate of your marketing efforts, “We are all battling for attention but once you have my attention, creative is the variable… If your video sucks sh*t… you will lose.”


What are you good at? What do you like doing? Most people don’t take the time to ask themselves these questions, he says. The majority of marketers fall into the left brain/right brain dichotomy where they either favor data (Digital Strategists) or creative (Madison Avenue) depending on which they are good at: “If you understand and start respecting both art and science… math & creative equally… friction! Creating that diamond – you’ll be a successful marketer over the next decade. Understand what you’re not good at and start building your skills!

Tactical Tips

“Bulk email in 2016 is insanity.”

“We have to have a lot more risk tolerance on new platforms. We continue to downplay the upside because we fear the risk of being on there ‘wasting time’.”

“Twitter is overpriced. It has a fire-hose problem.”

“Banner ads are such a mistake for businesses today because there is nobody here going to the right side of DailyDaily.org and clicking a f*cking banner ad!”

“We sit here tonight with an ungodly amount of ridiculous marketing tactics and looming ahead of us is so much technology.”

This is the Golden Age of Business & of Life!

He urges everyone to visit a nursing home, speak to those who understand how far we have come, “Do SOMETHING that recalibrates your perspective on what is actually going on here. We have never had it better!”

Final Data Point

“More people in America will die from a coconut falling out of a tree and hitting you on the head and killing you than terrorism.”

As always, Gary Vee tells it like it is and how it is going to be, whether we’re ready for it or not.

4 min read

Video Marketing Metrics You Should Care About (Other Than Conversions)

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that as a digital marketer in 2016, you’ve at least flirted with the idea of video advertising. Given the right creative talent, it is easier than ever to develop and distribute video on a shoestring budget. But what about after the video is launched? Of course, everyone and their grandmother will be asking about conversions… After all, new customers are the point of advertising. But what other metrics can confirm that your video advertising is successful? Continue reading “Video Marketing Metrics You Should Care About (Other Than Conversions)”

4 min read

4 Reasons Your Company Should Use Native Advertising

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Read the original here.

Native advertising is new, which makes it prone to controversy. Detractors question the media’s objectivity and the potential for misleading consumers — an issue that has been well discussed elsewhere. But the derision of native advertising has failed to slow its advance for obvious reasons: The advertising world used to be way worse, media companies have to make money somehow, and consumers actually prefer native ads.

For a more thorough understanding of this relatively new field, I spoke with Vitaly Pecherskiy. The native-advertising expert is COO of StackAdapt, a platform for distributing content through native and video advertising channels. His company has conducted research on the trends and behaviors driving this form of marketing.

Putting aside the hype, it’s worth considering Pecherskiy’s four reasons why companies should try native advertising.

1. Loyalty Brands Are Winning

Pay-per-click marketing does one thing: make the sale. It targets would-be consumers with an ad that follows them on the internet and forces its way onto every screen. In a very low percentage of situations, pay-per-click’s repetitious reminders ultimately succeed in getting that click. An equally small proportion of clicks will result in conversions. In the end, a consumer becomes a customer and money is exchanged for goods and services in a very transactional, one-off basis.

Unfortunately, that’s all pay-per-click ads can hope to accomplish — capture prospects when they are ready to make a purchase. This strategy may work for established brands. But waiting for leads to come in simply doesn’t work for smaller or younger brands that struggle to garner enough searches for their companies or products in the first place.

“Native advertising gives companies the opportunity to intellectually establish a bond with their customers through content,” Pecherskiy says. “Their ads are more than a picture and a discount. They are aimed at the heart of the consumer’s values and lifestyle. By forging that connection, companies create loyal customers who return time and again.”

2. Consumers Don’t Want to be Sold

Millennials, in particular, recognize then you’re selling to them. And they hate it. StackAdapt research reveals that 51 percent of 18- to 44-year-olds are more likely to trust branded content than traditional advertising.

This trend can be seen everywhere you look. Young people use ad blockers and trust influencers more than they rely on television commercials. Done the right way, native advertising shouldn’t bother anyone’s sensibilities. In fact, it’s a positive move for society. Advertising should have a basis in real ideas, not just pestering ads and slogans.

3. Native Advertising Expands Your Agile Marketing Abilities

A product’s best feature might not sound particularly cool without some unpacking. Buick turned to native advertising to overcome such a problem. The car manufacturer wanted to emphasize the value of a 24-hour test drive, so it placed an ad to walk viewers through a fun-filled Saturday from start to finish — trips to the park, lots of food and good friends. The company plugged the test drive at the close of the ad, asking, “How can you experience life over the next 24 hours? Experience the New Buick.”

Making a test drive into a relatable thing that connects with consumers on a lifestyle level is an accomplishment. And it is best accomplished through a medium that users already enjoy: entertaining or insightful content.

Related: 3 Questions to Ask When Deciding Between Content Marketing and Native Advertising

4. Ads Can Express Real Ideas

Good native advertising has very little to do with a product or service and everything to do with an idea that elicits an emotion, educates and entertains. This method affords companies the opportunity to weigh in on social issues, make people laugh and widen consumers’ horizons through high-quality content. It’s important to note that this is precisely the type of content people seek out.

“The ability to advertise by communicating good ideas has to be a positive shift for society,” Pecherskiy says. “In an economy that is accustomed to aggressive advertising and companies that will do anything to make a sale, native advertising is a breath of fresh air.”

America’s corporations always have had an important voice in our culture. Native advertising gives them a platform to project good ideas instead of promoting unfiltered consumerism.

4 min read

Major Brands Are Bringing Programmatic Advertising In-House, Should Ad Agencies Be Worried?

As technology infiltrates the ad industry, many major brands are opting to keep much of their marketing in-house… Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Netflix to name a few. Seeking full control of their business, these industry giants are hoarding their media budgets (and their data), starving the hands that once fed them. But what, if anything, does this mean for an advertising industry whose death was reported as early as 1994? Can the value of ad agencies really be usurped by their own clients? Continue reading “Major Brands Are Bringing Programmatic Advertising In-House, Should Ad Agencies Be Worried?”

4 min read

Study Shows Canadian Consumers Increasingly Looking to Branded Content (Infographic)

As our data showed last year, traditional display ads are continuing to decrease in popularity online, and brands are looking for new and better ways to reach and engage audiences.

At StackAdapt we’re focused on helping brands make the most of their content through native advertising. We recently commissioned a survey with Leger Marketing to determine how Canadian consumers discover and interact with content to allow us to better understand consumer attitudes toward native and traditional advertising. The results? Canadian consumers are losing interest in traditional forms of online advertising, and this is the case especially with the younger generation (age 18-44). The study uncovered three key insights about the consumer decision-making process as it relates to advertising:

1. Consumers prefer learning about new brands through online content.

The study discovered that nearly 68% of Canadians prefer to learn about new brands online, and consumers between the ages of 18-44 are 33% more likely to prefer discovering new brands online (84%) than those above the age of 45 (56%). Online discovery further proves to be generational, as we found traditional methods to be more popular among those aged 55 and older, including print (33%), direct mail (21%), and radio (17%).

 2. Content helps consumers build trust toward a brand. 

 Consumers are well-informed in today’s purchasing landscape and with consumers exposed to hundreds of online advertisements, brands need to find a way to stand out and establish trust with their audience. The study revealed that 40% of Canadians trust a brand more after reading branded content or a brand’s blog. Younger Canadians (51% of 18-44 year olds) are more likely to trust branded content and feel that they are less likely to be misled by native content than those aged 45 and older (38%), further proving that consumer attitudes about a brand’s trustworthiness seem to be generational thing.

 3. Branded content is more likely to influence purchasing decisions. 

 More than half of Canadian consumers (57%) find informative and educational content most useful when making a decision about a brand online. Consumers are recognizing that they can discover brands that are more interesting and relevant to them, and native content is a much more engaging method to learn about brands than static ads. The generational gap shows that older Canadians (aged 65 and up) are more likely to find educational content useful (64%), while those aged 18-44 would prefer to learn about brands through entertaining content (24%).

Purchasing decisions are also heavily influenced by word of mouth, and branded content is easy to share with others. Two-thirds of Canadian consumers said they often share information about brands they like with friends through methods including customer reviews (17%), news articles (15%), engaging articles (15%), and videos (14%).

These discovery methods online lead to purchasing decisions, and more than half of Canadian consumers (55%) said that the type of content they read about a brand has in fact influenced an online purchase decision before. We found the types of content most likely to influence online purchasing decisions are:

  1. When consumers read about how other people are helped by the brand (22%)
  2. When the brand makes it easy to purchase by helping consumers navigate the market (20%)
  3. When the brand explains how it can improve or better service their life (19%
  4. The brand showing it understands the consumer’s values (11%)

Native advertising is proving to be a more effective method for brands wanting to communicate with audiences online. Especially with the younger generation of Canadians, online advertising is struggling to make an impact, and Canadians are looking to brands who deliver content that is informative and engaging in order to establish trust and influence purchasing decisions.

What does this mean for brands? Perhaps it’s time to steer away from traditional advertising and plunge into the world of well-distributed and high-quality branded content.

**A survey of 1,563 Canadian was completed online between June 6th – June 9th, 2016 using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/–2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month.

4 min read

Top 5 Reasons Media Buyers Love Native Outstream Video

What is native outstream video? Some marketers call it “in-text”, “in-line”, or “in-article”, and while there is still disagreement over the terminology, one thing all marketers can agree on is that Native Outstream Video is…


Shifting consumer behaviour demands that brand experiences be less interruptive, and the rise of mobile calls for a video format that addresses the evolved digital media landscape. With these considerations in mind, native outstream video is gaining huge momentum in the industry.

Here are the top 5 reasons media buyers are falling head over heels for native outstream: 

1. Always Viewable 

 The term “viewability” is a desperate attempt to regulate ad formats built 20 years ago and does not address the reality of today’s largest channel, the web. Because the native oustream format was born at a time when publishers were already taking the mobile-first approach to building their properties, the format is viewable by design.

Native outstream video auto-plays only when in view and pauses if the viewer scrolls past. Since playtime is not forced, but is rather determined by user activity, this format is serving advertisers hungry for deep, accurate data.

2. True Completions

Unlike pre-roll video that doesn’t pause when a user scrolls past, completions for native outstream video are ‘true’ in the sense that the video only plays through while in view. This means that every video completion was actually watched by the user from start to finish. And isn’t this the ultimate goal of every advertiser?

3. Massive Scale on Tier 1 Publishers

Video advertising on Tier 1 sites has historically been largely reserved for direct deals due to the limited inventory designed for pre-roll format. Native outstream allows Tier 1 publishers to monetize not only video content but also editorial content. This additional scale gives advertisers access hundreds of Tier 1 publishers, and most notably, scale programmatically run campaigns.

4. Support for Long Form Format

With more brands looking to create value adding content, the length of videos has gone up significantly. The barrier that many marketers are running into is that most pre-roll inventory only supports video up to 30 seconds. The native outstream format provides marketers with a content distribution channel for long form video

5. Superior Performance

Automatic play and pause not only render this format highly viewable, but also guarantee that completed views more accurately demonstrate user intent than more traditional formats. Because of the scale of inventory and the non-interruptive nature of the format, marketers find native outstream very cost effective on the cost-per-completed-view metric. In addition, StackAdapt has noted that these ads, loaded in-view, yield a five to 10 times higher click-through-rates than their pre-roll counterparts. Perfect for mobile, this format is spreading like wildfire throughout the industry.

 While there are many benefits to native oustream, the main challenge is that the majority of brands are only now catching up to the idea that they should start including subtitles in their videos. According to Digiday, only 15% of videos played on Facebook are viewed with sound on. Things are better with native outstream, clocking in around 50% of videos viewed soundlessly, which is certainly better for advertisers.

Understanding how to make the most of your outstream video content can be a challenge. According to StackAdapt COO Vitaly Pecherskiy, “We are starting to notice more videos accompanied by subtitles or high impact text to ensure people who watch video without sound can understand what is being said. All things considered, we can see that video creation for the modern web is still in its infancy.”

Whether you are generating campaigns for clients or for your own brand, it’s an important fact that video has taken hold of the advertising industry. Organizations that value audience engagement through storytelling are leading the way through compelling video content that speaks to their audiences, and distributing said content through the native outstream format.

To quote Brian Halligan of HubSpot, “To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products.

4 min read

2016 State of The Industry: Native Outstream Video

Outstream native, often referred to as “in-article” or “in-text”, is a widely traded programmatic video ad format. Despite many challenges, outstream is gaining tremendous momentum within the industry due to the availability of inventory across publishers, networks, and buy-side platforms. And in case you’re new to the format, here’s an overview of where we stand in the Summer and Fall of 2016.

Brands are not sure how to create content for modern video formats

While outstream resembles its older brother pre-roll, it’s unique in the way it’s consumed. Outstream is the staple for mobile, so it’s highly viewable. However, sound is becoming a concern.

If we consider that the typical mobile experience includes listening to music or browsing the web on the way to school or work, this means that most users are consuming ads without sound. Digiday recently stated that up to 85 percent of Facebook video is consumed without audio. Across the wider web, approximately 40-50% of outstream videos are also viewed soundlessly. While we are starting to notice more videos accompanied by subtitles or high impact text,the vast majority of this creative lacks these elements. All things considered, we can see that video creation for the modern web is still in its infancy.


Users don’t mind native outstream

A major concern surrounding outstream was the disruption of user experience. However, the numbers tell a different story. Unlike pre-roll ads that users are forced to watch, outstream ads provide users with a choice to pause the video or scroll down to continue reading. This positive reception, combined with high completion rates and low cost-per-completed views (on par with pre-roll), means that brands are now making a bigger case for outstream.

Just look at this beauty!


Viewability is high but needs more support from verification partners

Outstream had a unique opportunity to create an ecosystem for highly viewable ads. While most sites only load ads that are in-view, we are seeing some early offenders, indicating that you will likely have to work with a viewability partner to make sure your money is spent wisely.

Thankfully, due to the novelty of the format, it’s easy to tie viewability to click-through rates at a basic level. We’ve see that outstream ads loaded in-view yielded five to 10 times higher click-through-rates than their non-viewable counterparts.

Figuring out which format you are buying programmatically is hard

Considering that most platforms still have some undisclosed inventory, it’s no surprise that there are issues surrounding transparency. For companies that only create outstream video, it’s simple. However, for those that support multiple formats, it’s more challenging. Currently, very few exchanges or buy-side platforms that offer both pre-roll and outstream can easily separate the inventory due to the fact that it requires a lot of heavy lifting on their end.

Both pre-roll and outstream have a place in every media plan. However, brands’ ability to choose only the format they are interested in when buying programmatically still requires a lot of improvement.

Lower barriers to entry for brands to be on Tier 1 publishers

Historically, brands could only run video advertising on Tier 1 publishers since only they had video content that could be monetized through pre-roll. Outstream then opened the doors for smaller publishers to monetize their content with video, and in the process, enabled Tier 1 publishers to extend their video inventory. Seeing as these publishers create ample static content, it naturally became a great environment to deliver outstream ads. Now, we are witnessing outstream helping brands to scale video campaigns on Tier 1 publishers of sizes that were traditionally reserved for direct deals.

What’s Next for Outstream?

As seen with native advertising, content creation and transparency remain the largest challenges for brands to adopt modern mobile-first formats. That being said, with these few barriers left to overcome, outstream is showing great promise and can swiftly rise to become the most prominent high performing channel for video advertising.

4 min read