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5 marketing trends in adtech for 2022

Nadia Ozeri, March 3, 2022

marketing trends 2022, VR, AR, 2022, digital marketing,
Image courtesy: Pixabay

2022 is a year of big changes. Covid changed our lives, not only in the way we communicate with one another but also in how we use technology. Marketers face a challenging year, juggling emerging technologies and changes to online tracking while trying to meet the shifting moods of pandemic-weary consumers. The metaverse has been a hot topic of conversation recently with Microsoft and Facebook both making claims. The metaverse doesn’t quite exist yet. However, the hype still matters, and soon will likely change how we consume content, audio, video, mobile, and gaming. 

1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

AR and VR are exciting technologies for marketers to tap into because they focus on imaginative and interactive experiences. In the future, these technologies will be used to market products and services, and change marketing forever. Several verticals have major potential: from virtual real estate, with virtual property showcases, staging, and more, to the travel industry where you can receive a virtual tour of a hotel before you book your vacation, to the beauty industry, enabling you to try out lipstick colors and clothes before you buy. Although the metaverse is still in its infancy, there increasingly will be tools that allow marketers to connect with consumers in these emerging digital spaces.

Brands like TOMS Shoes, TopShop, Oreo, Sephora, and IKEA have already successfully used these technologies for marketing purposes. IKEA uses AR to help customers design their own space, Say Hej to IKEA Place. 

2. Increasing mobile gaming advertising 

Globally, there were an estimated 3.24 billion gamers in 2021 – no surprise there. Furthermore, according to Adjust data insights, gaming accounts for 50% of total industry ad spend. These spaces have been transformed into effective advertising platforms due to the success of the gaming industry as a whole.

But what about mobile gaming as its own entity? There were approximately 477,877 mobile gaming apps available on Google Play in the first quarter of 2021 – an increase of almost 12% from the previous quarter. Moreover, a report from GlobalData found that after reaching $98 billion in 2020, mobile gaming is expected to reach $272 billion by 2030.

As mobile gaming advertising becomes more competitive, your creative campaigns need to reach the right audience, at the right time, and in the right place. By leveraging the power of programmatic marketing, you can scale appropriate ads to the users that you want to reach. A successful campaign will rely on this and can help achieve impressive ROI in 2022.

Example: Mobile advertising in action 

Anzu designed its in-game ads to appear more organic to users. In Trackmania, for example, they appear as billboards around the titular tracks. Anzu partnered with brands like Samsung, Microsoft, and Vodafone on these ads. Example: Vodafone appearing in Anzu video games: 

Trackmania Multiplayer Session World Premiere @Gamevention #DIGI1 2020

vodafone, anzu, gaming, advertisement,  billboard,

3. Alternative targeting solutions  

After Google postponed the phase-out of third-party cookies to 2023, advertisers, adtech companies, and publishers are expected to implement new ways of tracking consumers and targeting ads in the next 12 months. However, even if Google sticks to its current plan, the future of cookieless browsing is likely to emerge slowly and incrementally.

As third-party cookies will no longer be supported in 2023, marketers will be testing alternative targeting solutions, such as people-based targeting, throughout 2022. Prior to cookies being banned, companies that can leverage and expand upon your first-party information should be vetted

Let’s have a look at Contextual targeting for example. Internet marketing started basically with contextual targeting until third party data was the shiny new revenue toy. Now, with the phasing out of the cookie, contextual targeting is likely to rise again and be the popular strategy for publishers, advertisers, and consumers. This is a great opportunity for you as a publisher to implement and integrate contextual advertising into your marketing strategy.

At the moment, the advertising industry is at a turning point, where organizations must take advantage of the opportunity to be more transparent with their audiences. We must ensure that new identity solutions put consumers in the driver’s seat so they can decide when, where, and how their data is used. 

Example: Contextual targeting used 

Kitchn is already doing it. This online daily food magazine started implementing contextual targeting. I saw an ad for a pizza cutter while reading, “How To Make Awesome Pizza at Home.” This is an excellent example of contextual advertising in action:

4. Video marketing 

The data backs up my claims, even though they sound exaggerated. Search engine giant Google has announced that YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the United States. Facebook reports that video posts receive six times more engagement than photo or link posts on average while Twitter has seen an increase in video views by over 160%. 

In other words, if you don’t incorporate video into your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your audience and build trust. Video is vital for creating customer relationships since it puts a human face on the brand, which builds trust and loyalty.

It appears that short-form content is on the rise and won’t slow down anytime soon. Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts are among the most popular channels for video content today. With their ability to capture attention and lead to stronger engagement than other content, you can use video marketing to take center stage in your marketing strategy for  2022. 

Example: Make TikToks not ads 

#TikTokmademebuyit is influencer marketing at its best!  In August of 2021, TikTok’s #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag, used by influencers to show off Amazon purchases they found on TikTok, had more than 4.1 billion views—check out this video (don’t mind the spelling mistake in the title though 😉…). 

@heartdefensor

amazon keeps taking my money 🥲 levitating bulb lamp with wireless charger link in bio #amazonfinds #amazonmusthaves #tiktokmademebuyit

♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery – Dante9k Remix – David Snell

Amazon even started a page called “TikTok Amazon Finds”

5. Programmatic audio is about to get big

As a brand’s primary outlet after being dominated by visual media for the past decade, audio advertising has emerged as a significant medium. Through its capability to reach highly targetable and mobile audiences in brand-safe environments without the presence of screens, it enables marketers to evolve their omnichannel strategies naturally.

eMarketer predicts that listeners will spend an average of 97 minutes with digital audio per day -nearly a half-hour more than the average user will spend on social media (70 minutes). As opposed to their visual equivalents, audio ads are delivered one by one to consumers while they are not typically connected to a screen, such as when listening to a podcast or a playlist during a workout. Audio ads provide premium environments and are an effective way to fill otherwise unfilled gaps in the user’s buying journey.

Example: Audio ads in Newsweek

According to the 2021 State of audio AI consumption report, the average LTR (= listen-through rate) in programmatic advertising, was a whopping 96% or 105.8 million ads listened to. Programmatic audio offers remarkable granular targeting capabilities. Media buyers can tap into a range of advanced audience segmentation parameters, including location, point of interest, device, weather, user, agent, format, genre, dayparting, mood, and more. Through this channel, the ability to engage a user in the right place, at the right time, and within the right context becomes just that bit more accessible.

Conclusion 

These are some of the trends that I’m following this year. I think the advertisement industry is going through major changes while the primary focus is on the metaverse. It’s the beginning of a new marketing strategy that we will need to get familiar with and used to.

About the author Nadia Ozeri is the Director of Buy Side at Total Media Solutions. She is an expert in connecting advertisers to ad technologies. You can find Nadia on LinkedIn or reach out to her via email if you’ like to pick your brain about ads.

Publisher’s guide: The magic ingredient: Content that adds value

Ryan Rakover, August 17, 2021

Key takeaways

  • Original engaging content should be a top priority. Providing value-added content and information is the number one way to organically increase your traffic, build your brand reputation and solidify trust levels in the face of the fake news era.
  • The user-first experience is second only to content and should take precedent over monetization. If you offer a poor user experience, not only will you be penalized by Google’s newest algorithm update but you’ll also lose the ability to attract and retain readers.
  • Monetize properly and appropriately. Once you are producing the right content and have optimized the user experience, then focus on monetization efforts and ensure you are using the best placements, formats, ad stacks, and partners.

Follow this publisher’s guide to ensure that all of the content you produce and the user experience you offer creates value and trust with your audience.

publisher's guide, Content That Adds Value

Whether you’re launching a new website or looking for ways to optimize an existing one, think of yourself as a chef because that analogy will serve you well. Your website is the plate, and each piece of content is an item of food placed on the plate.

Chefs understand that experience is everything for a customer, and judgments begin as soon as someone steps into a restaurant. People eat with their eyes first, so plates need to look appealing. Then, as diners take bite after bite, all the ingredients need to meld together and dance on the palette. A website is the same. Visitors start to assess the site as soon as they land on the page, taking in visual information and content.

While many publishers start out like chefs, crafting their content with great care, they often get bogged down and derailed by monetization opportunities, ad stacks that don’t perform, outdated roadmaps, and more. Don’t get us wrong – you’re running a business, and that business needs to make money. But without high-performing content that attracts loyal readers, all of those efforts are about as valuable as an overcooked piece of Kobe beef. It’s time to rethink the fundamental pillars of content so you can whip up articles that readers want to consume.

In this post, we’ll explore all of the elements that you need to mix together to produce irresistible content that builds trust with your audience and establishes you as a reliable, go-to source in an era of fake news and misinformation.

Publisher’s guide: The perfect content recipe

You have one chance to make a first impression, so executing on both design and user experience is paramount. That means you need to pay special attention to the look and feel of your content and the user journey.

Users will either arrive at your site directly because they’re familiar with your brand or because they were sent there from a search result or ad. The first audience already trusts you but expects you to consistently deliver a great experience. The second group is more fragile and needs to determine how trustworthy you are. What makes both of these groups stick around? The same things.

Adding value to content, publisher's guide, online publication
Look and feel of your content and the user journey
Image courtesy: VISUAL CAPITALIST

The appetizers: URLs, dates, and authors

Choosing the right URL is critical. While a ‘.com’ is still king, you may not find one that matches your publication name. In that case, look for other top-level domains (such as ‘.co’ or ‘.biz’), industry-specific options (‘.realestate’ or ‘.travel’), or geolocation (‘.uk’ or ‘.eu’). You can also look at some less common endings that can be built into your brand name, as Visual.ly did.

Like food, fresh or recent dates on blog posts is always preferable. A Shout Me Loud case study showed that blog posts with dates enhanced the user experience but older dates negatively impacted keyword ranking and traffic when displayed in Google’s SERP. Satisfy user needs and improve search results by showing dates on posts but hiding them from search engines. If you produce evergreen content, make sure to continually refresh pages with new content and add a ‘last updated’ date.

Authenticity and authority are important indicators for your readers and Google’s algorithm to determine your content’s value. Including the author’s name at the beginning of an article helps establish credibility immediately. Chefs use this technique to attract visitors to new restaurants all the time – a reservation at Bobby Flay Steak, anyone?

The main course: Headers, content, and sources

People have short attention spans, so content needs to be easy to scan for those looking for a quick info fix and well organized for those who want to savor the article. Make sure you use a clean, easy-to-read font and have accessibility options. Use headers to divide content sections and keep paragraphs short.

The content should be well written, error-free, and laid out in an attractive design; otherwise, you’ll reduce your respectability. If ad content disrupts the user experience, it’ll be another strike against you. Above all, make sure the ‘meat’ of your content matches the title. Nothing makes a user bounce or become more frustrated than a user feeling like they’ve landed on clickbait that didn’t deliver the information promised.

Articles should include clear and accessible links to reputable sources, especially when quoting statistics or referencing research. High authority links improve SEO, show readers you’re well-versed and aligned with industry leaders, and give them the option to explore topics in more depth, which they will appreciate. If you have related content pieces already published on your site, include links to those pieces as well.

The dessert: Author bios, related content

Naming the author at the beginning of the post is a must, but you should also include a more in-depth author bio box after the article. This allows the author to demonstrate their expertise and background, providing your audience with additional insights into who’s sharing information, further boosting trust.

If a user reaches the end of an article, you’ve already captured their attention, and it’s the perfect time to suggest related content. Recommend other stories they might be interested in to increase their engagement or mix it up with ad content from other sites to increase your monetization efforts.

layout, improve content, CMS, Author Bios, Related Content, publisher's guide
Image courtesy: Blogher

The doggie bag for online publishers: A final thought

In a world where everyone approaches the ‘new’ with a high level of skepticism, you need to win over first-time users and turn them into brand loyalists. Do that by giving them amazing content and an excellent user experience.

Routinely revisit your site with fresh eyes and take an objective look at how your site feels to a new user. Consider how easily a visitor could navigate the site. Think about whether the content is relevant to your audience and provides the answers they are seeking.

If all of those elements are on track, then you’ve prioritized your readers, and it’s time to dig into your monetization efforts. Evaluate your ad placements and see if they are disruptive or cause content to shift, disturbing visitors. Finally, think about whether you could be using different ad formats or monetization partners and platforms to maximize your revenue. Follow all these steps, and you’ll set yourself up for a five-star review.

Ryan Rakover is the head of our Trust and Safety efforts at Total Media Solutions. One of the things Ryan enjoys the most in his role as a publisher’s strategic partner is the challenge of bringing policy from a place of rules and standards to delivering solutions to clients to improve their client’s bottom line. Find Ryan on LinkedIn or reach him by email.

Google AdManager Update: Privacy and Messaging

Ryan Rakover, August 9, 2021

6 Ways to Increase your Mobile Game Monetization

Brian Blondy, March 12, 2018

Mobile Game Monetization

With mobile game revenue at an all-time high in 2017, game developers are hurrying to find the perfect balance between user experience and ROI. It takes a lot of money, time, and effort to get the ball rolling and, obviously, the end goal is to make money – not only to cover costs but to make a profit as well. Yes, in-app purchases are a great way to stimulate a revenue stream but with only 5% of app users willing to spend money on in-app features, there is a roof. You want to find that sweet spot between game design and monetization so that your users will return and you can keep the lights on.

 

I love pop-up ads…. said no user ever.

You’ve developed a game you know users will love and you would hate to see your hard work go to waste because of intrusive ads. One misplaced ad during an epic battle moment or a prize reveal could cost you a user and, at the rate gaming apps are being downloaded for iOS and Android, this could mean even thousands more. Avoid annoying your users by becoming familiar with less-intrusive ad formats and designing your game accordingly, so that you won’t be that game.

 

Love the player and the game.

About as close to sweet spot as it gets, rewarded video is a win-win situation for both you and your users, and, not to mention, for advertisers (win-win-win?). Reach the 95% of non-paying users by offering them in-app currency for watching video ads. This way, your user gets “free” currency while you and your advertisers make real money. You can play around with the placement: pre-gameplay, mid-gameplay, or post-gameplay. Just make sure that your gamer isn’t in the middle of finally finding out what’s over the wall. Who said that UX and ROI need to come at the expense of one another?

 

You play the field while they play the game.

User experience doesn’t stop at ad placement and timing. Contextual targeting is critical for maximizing your ad earning. You can target different users by considering keywords, time, and specific messages – basically finding a way to connect with them through user experience. By working with multiple ad networks, you can ensure suitable ads for all your users and make things less “spammy”. Different ad networks will offer diverse eCPMs – the more suitable the ad request for your users, the higher the eCPM and the more money you can make.

 

If you can’t beat them, join them.

Here’s a thought – designing your game with the ads in mind. This is a great way to ensure natural integration of advertisements and smooth user experience. By leveraging art and animations into the game itself, you can tie ads into the storyline of the game – more of an inception, if you will. Ad earnings will increase with better visibility and user engagement.

 

If you got it, flaunt it.

If you haven’t designed it yet, make sure you consider a premium model of your game. A free version attracts more users and is more effective for long-term user acquisition than paid games. However, by leveraging in-app purchases for temporary upgrades, your loyal users may eventually want a premium version of the game and will be willing to pay to have certain permanent features. If not, they will still stick around for the free version.

 

Embrace the data.

Analytics and data are helpful for game developers to better understand their users. You can see metrics such as what kind of users the game is attracting, how long they play, and what features they like most. This is great for tweaks, adjustments, and overall user satisfaction. Using data and analytics to funnel your users’ willingness to pay is a clever way to increase ad revenue. For example, if native or video ads are causing users to leave the app, consider analyzing user data and showing ads once players reach a particular level or after a certain amount of time spent playing. More likely than not, these users like the game by this point and won’t be scared off by ads.

 

Talia Chudacoff is a Senior Account Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Talia by email at talia(at)mediatraderz(dot)com or on LinkedIn