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How to Choose the Right KPI for Your Next Digital Campaign

Your Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is your yardstick of success. Yet, many marketers are unclear how to whittle down hundreds of data points into just one or two indicators of a successful programmatic campaign. While there is no set-it-and-forget-it formula, we’ve generated a chart that will help you understand how to choose the right KPI for your next digital campaign.

Possible KPIs Include

  • Impression delivery
  • Click delivery
  • Efficient Metrics (effective CPC, effective CPM,  effective CPE, effective CPA)
  • Time on site
  • Engagements
  • Video completions

Choosing the Right KPI

There may be many different objectives that you are trying to achieve as a business. The best way to figure out your main KPIs is to first decide who your audience is and how you want them to interact with your site.

The best way to figure out your main KPIs is to first decide who your audience is and how you want them to interact with your site.

Once you know your main objective, you can build your funnel. For example, if you are a new business your audience will probably be new users who have never been to your site before. This will dictate your funnel, which will be focused on upper to middle funnel KPIs. You want your customers to grow affinity towards the brand (primary KPI: video completions) and then spend time on your site getting to know you (secondary KPI: Time on Site). With this, you may want to run a native video campaign and build a retargeting campaign off of users who complete the video, serving them a native ad and ultimately, driving time on site.

Align Your KPI to Your Business Goal and Your Chosen Tactics to Your KPI

You should have a maximum of 2 KPIs per campaign, aligned to a singular business goal. Part of deciding on these KPIs and effectively reaching your chosen business goal is to ensure you are using the correct tactics in order to get there:

  • Pre-Roll Video: Completed Views (CPCv)
  • Outstream Video: Clicks to Site (CTR)
  • Native Prospecting: Clicks to Site / Time on Site (CTR, CPE, Time on Site)
  • Native Retargeting: Clicks to Site / Time on Site / Conversions (CTR, CPE, CPA)

how-to-choose-the-right-kpi

 

4 min read

Travel Marketers Are Focused on Mobile, But Are They Considering the Entire Mobile Journey?

According to eMarketer, travel brands plan on investing in a variety of marketing tech in 2018, and the key focus is rightly on one thing: mobile. As illustrated in the ComScore chart below, our mobile phones have become our primary digital tool. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), Hospitality, and Transportation all name mobile experience and analytics as their top marketing priority for the year. But analyzing eMarketer’s results, I can already detect glaring oversights in the way the industry is splitting its focus. Travel marketers are focused on mobile, but are they considering the entire mobile journey?

comscore-mobile-primary-tool

While some sections of the travel industry, notably OTAs, plan on leveraging emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) (19%) to boost their mobile presence, the majority are not:

eMarketer_Technology_Priorities_for_Their_Company_According_to_Travel_Marketers_in_North_America

An Unnecessary Divide

You’ll note that programmatic buying/retargeting, and AI/ML are far down the list of technology priorities for 2018. But these technologies are by and large what make mobile marketing sophisticated, frictionless, and non-disruptive. That’s because these technologies power mobile-first marketing techniques such as programmatic native advertising.

The practice of segregating mobile experience investments from investments in programmatic and AI technology demonstrates a lack of technological understanding common across the marketing landscape regardless of industry. The mobile experience doesn’t start on your web property, it begins well before that, during marketing & advertising distribution.

The practice of segregating mobile experience investments from investments in programmatic and AI technology demonstrates a lack of technological understanding common across the marketing landscape…

Mobile From First-Touch to Last

“To me, mobile experience means the interaction with consumers across the entire journey,” says StackAdapt COO Vitaly Pecherskiy. “From the first point of interaction on mobile, be that on a social feed or a web publishers’ property, marketers need to think ‘how can we speak to our target audience in a way that sparks interest in what we have to say.’ Building on-site mobile experiences is a great step — that’s where you need to start. But ultimately, it’s the distribution that makes or breaks marketing campaigns or initiatives. Most marketers fail before a user even arrives at their perfectly polished website because they lack the tools to reach in-market audiences across the modern web landscape.”

Most marketers fail before a user even arrives at their perfectly polished website because they lack the tools to reach in-market audiences across the modern web landscape.

In other words, investing in a mobile experience goes beyond investing in a mobile-friendly site. It starts with the way you spread the word. If you’re using traditional, desktop-centric marketing tactics to reach a mobile audience, you’ve already lost. There is only so much room on a phone screen and users hate to be interrupted from their intended browsing experience. Enter programmatic native advertising.

Fitting In

Ask any tech-savvy marketer or digital agency director, and they’ll tell you programmatic, specifically, programmatic native advertising is a true mobile-first approach. Business Insider reports that native ads are poised to take over mobile by 2020. The reason, according to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), has to do with the way native blends in with the consumer’s intended browsing behaviour: “When ads fit with the environment where they are served, people notice. This is the inherent benefit of mobile native advertising, which is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”

In a word, the ads ‘fit’. The in-feed nature of the ad is adapted to the scan and scroll behaviour of users across mobile apps and browsers, leading to increased click-through rates, longer time on site, and even increased conversion rates. For example, Porter Airlines decreased their cost per customer acquisition by 35% using in-feed native advertising and the corresponding intent-based targeting.

Cross-Device Targeting & Attribution

Moving beyond the form and function of programmatic native, Machine Learning (ML) and other aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) allow for sophisticated, cross-device targeting and attribution. In a 2017 survey, StackAdapt uncovered that 47% of consumers still aren’t buying on mobile and 82% of consumers who do buy on mobile say that small screens and poor landing page experiences often deter them from converting directly on their smartphones.

Moving beyond the form and function of programmatic native, Machine Learning (ML) and other aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) allow for sophisticated, cross-device targeting and attribution.

This means that (much to marketers chagrin) transactions become muddy and attribution unclear. In a video titled “Your Attribution Model is Missing a Third of Your Customers” Pecherskiy points out that “38% of people discover a product for the first time on mobile and then they choose to use desktop to actually complete the purchase. So, oftentimes marketers overvalue direct or organic traffic from desktop, when in reality more than a third of consumers discover your product for the very first time on mobile.”

38% of people discover a product for the first time on mobile and then they choose to use desktop to actually complete the purchase.

By integrating AI into our platform, StackAdapt has built intent-based targeting technology that targets users with in-feed native ads across devices and locations, and with the implementation of conversion tracking, provides insights into the time the user first clicked on your ad, the website that ad was placed on, the time to last click before they converted, and even the devices that these users were on.

Performance Optimization

As you can see, in-feed native advertising drives in-market audiences to mobile properties and has the potential to track the conversion journey from first-touch to last. The third point in its favor is that the same programmatic and AI technology that gathers these insights also allows for ongoing optimization of campaign performance by capturing and storing, then learning from, and finally, utilizing the learnings of the data in a closed loop of ever-increasing intelligence.

AI technology allows for ongoing optimization of campaign performance by capturing and storing, then learning from, and finally, utilizing the learnings of the data in a closed loop of ever-increasing intelligence.

If travel marketers, indeed all marketers, plan on in investing in mobile experiences, it is integral that they consider the entire mobile journey, from first-touch to last; from the way you distribute your content, to the way a user consumes your advertisement, to the way they convert on your web property. It makes no sense to create innovative mobile experiences without reaching audiences through mobile-first tactics. Programmatic, retargeting, and AI technology are no longer a “nice to have” and are no longer limited to the big name elite. These technologies are a key function of mobile first marketing, specifically the front-runner: native advertising.

4 min read

5 Ways StackAdapt Makes Switching from Display to Native Advertising Easy

There are a number of reasons digital marketers should be moving budget from banner ads to native: increased click through rates, an uptick in engagement and brand lift, and cross-device effectiveness, to name a few.

But even with this (now mainstream) format set to dominate mobile ad spend by 2020, many agencies and brands still struggle to make the switch from traditional display. Understanding the reasons behind this common challenge led us to develop automation tools & processes that make adopting native advertising as simple as possible. Here are 5 ways we make switching from display to native advertising easy.

1. In-House Copywriting: Expert Suggestions

A major difference between generating native advertising and traditional display is the reality of having a headline and description in addition to your image. That’s why we have a team of expert copywriters on hand to help with headlines and description copy. Our team will supply a variety of options for you to choose from or use as inspiration for your own in-house writer.

2. SmartAds: Shutterstock Integration

Knowing which type of imagery to use can be tough. What will customers respond to? We’ve integrated with Shutterstock so you have free access to thousands of images at the click of a button. A/B testing numerous creatives to understand what resonates with your audience has never been easier.

3. Magic Wand: Your Creative Wizard

This is the kind of automation that we pride ourselves on and continue to improve every day.
The Magic Wand tool scans your landing page URL to auto-populate the headline, description, and image fields with relevant content. These copy and image suggestions serve as a creative starting point and can even serve as one of your creative options when split-testing.

mobile-native-ad-

4. Page Speed Detector: Optimize User Experience

Another difference between display and native is that the click-through page is a key aspect of native advertising. This is because CTR is 5-8x higher with native than banners, and usually directs to valuable content. Our Page Speed Detector ensures your page loads in an acceptable time frame, providing your audience a smooth experience with your brand.

5. Ad Preview: Ensure Your Ad Meets Expectations

Our Ad Preview tool puts you and/or your client at ease by providing a clear example of what your ad creative will look like out in the wild. Whether this is your first native ad or your thousandth, it allows you to ensure your ad meets expectations.

4 min read

5 Native Advertising Mistakes that Sabotage Campaigns

Native advertising is a relatively new form of digital advertising, and as part of the programmatic landscape, it’s been noted that there are few formal educational programs. Many marketers are learning how to effectively use the technology on the ground and mistakes are bound to be made. In order to make your native advertising efforts as effective as possible, here are five native advertising mistakes that sabotage digital ad campaigns on a daily basis: Continue reading “5 Native Advertising Mistakes that Sabotage Campaigns”

4 min read

How to Capitalize on Winter Sports Hype Through Digital Advertising

Television is no longer our sole portal to some of the biggest sporting events of the decade. Today, we stream events on smart TVs, desktops, laptops, and apps. Our phones keep us updated in real time, and we’re as likely to catch the highlights on a publisher site as we are to rely on official network content.

This new world of content consumption is great news for advertisers: You don’t have to be an official event sponsor to capture the attention of sports audiences. Here are three major ways to capitalize on game day hype through digital advertising.

1. Segment Targeting: Reach Users Engaging With Sports Content

Standard Segments

Programmatic advertising allows you to target standard segments of people who have shown interest in a specific sport in the past few days. These segments track consumer behaviour online, allowing you to capture a sport’s audience who also happens to be your target audience.

For example, if you know your audience is likely to have an interest in ice skating, you’re able to serve ads to that specific psychographic across thousands of publisher sites. Consider how many publisher sites recently reported on Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel. Harness that hype through the sophistication of programmatic segment targeting.

olympic-ad-example

First-Party, Custom Segments

Through StackAdapt’s programmatic platform, you’re also able to create custom audience segments. These segments, built especially for your brand through first-party data refreshed on a rolling 7-day basis, use machine learning and natural language processing to determine relevant browsing behaviour and ultimately, the implicit intent of a given user.

This means that not only are you reaching the people who matter to your brand, you’re reaching them at the exact time they are actively engaging with topics relevant to your product or service. This intent-based targeting drastically increases the likelihood of conversion from audience member to customer.

For example, if you know your audience has a penchant for high adrenaline sports like luge and skeleton, you’re able to build a segment unique to your needs. Try building a customized audience segment based on sports viewership relevant to your brand.

Learn more about Custom Audience Segments Here

B2B Segments

Another way to segment your audience is by focusing on specific institutions. Rather than targeting an entire city, these B2B segments capture audiences within a specific institution (university, hospital, airport, company etc.) so you can reach people in the places that matter the most to your brand.

For example, if you are a low-interest credit-card company, you can harness a sporting event’s audience by modifying your ad creative to capture team spirit and then serving ads to universities filled with students looking for low-cost credit options.

2. Dayparting to Sync Up with Specific Events

While the previous section dealt with who and where you choose to target, when you target your audience is of equal importance. In the case of sports campaigns, serving your ads during high profile events can help you make the most of your programmatic bids by ensuring your audience is consuming content at the same time your ad is likely to be served, increasing the impact & reach of your ad.

“But how will they see my ad if they are already watching the event,” you ask? According to AdWeek, 87% of consumers use more than one device at a time, making advertising on mobile (such as programmatic native) a smart choice for advertisers looking to reach their audience alongside sports content.

3. Integrate Your Social and Programmatic Campaigns

Many marketers associate the term “programmatic” with social media. And while social is one area of programmatic advertising, there are a number of benefits to reaching outside those walled gardens. Integrating your Facebook campaigns with your Demand Side Platform (DSP) allows for one-click convenience & powerful data incorporation.

Running Facebook campaigns through your DSP combines the powerful first-party data of technology such as Custom Audience Segments with the intelligence of Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

For example, if you are running a sporting event specific campaign across social media, integrating this campaign with your DSP ensures that your next campaign will be more intelligent than the last.

4 min read