In-App Mobile Ad Fraud Up 800 Percent

Media Announcement: DoubleVerify (“DV”), the leading independent provider of marketing measurement software and analytics,today announced a partnership with InMobi,a global provider of enterprise platforms for marketers. As part of the partnership, DoubleVerify will provide always-on fraud filtering and measurement for mobile in-app advertising campaigns across the InMobi Exchange globally.

The integration with InMobi covers pre-bid targeting for all InMobi Exchange impressions within the leading mobile in-app platform, as well as monitoring of post-bid fraud activity, such as spoofing – enabling InMobi to continuously refine the quality of its mobile ad inventory.

“DV’s partnership with InMobi demonstrates our commitment to provide consistent, comprehensive quality coverage for global brand advertisers,” said Matt McLaughlin, COO at DoubleVerify. “With ad spend increasingly concentrated in mobile, it’s imperative that brands have transparency into the quality of mobile app inventory. We are proud of our partnership with InMobi, which expands the footprint of our fraud prevention capabilities and further distinguishes DV as the leader for mobile app verification.”

“InMobi is committed to providing transparency, building trust and delivering business results to our advertisers. This partnership, along with our support for DoubleVerify viewability, is a giant step toward that,” said Anne Frisbie, SVP, Global Programmatic and North America at InMobi. “InMobi is proud to partner with DoubleVerify in this critical battle against mobile app fraud. We strongly believe that only through open collaboration will the industry be able to eliminate fraud.”

As part of its industry-leading mobile app fraud solution, DoubleVerify identifies and screens the most comprehensive types of in-app fraud, including background ad activity, hidden ads, app misrepresentation (spoofing) and measurement manipulation. In March 2017, DV received Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for its technology to detect and block sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) for mobile app video and display advertising.

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5 Strategies Brands Haven’t Tapped Yet for Holiday 2018

Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, holiday spending is far from over. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales in November and December to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017, for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion. That means there’s still time and money left on the table for brands to reach interested and motivated shoppers, especially at the lower end of the marketing funnel.

According to Brett Zucker, CMO at Monotype—a company that empowers the world’s top 2000 brands with design, technology and expertise—sense-based marketing (i.e., appealing to consumers’ senses) is the best way to maximize returns during this high-volume, high-impact time of year. Namely, there are five key strategies marketers should consider, if they want to maximize yields through Dec. 25 and beyond.

  • General Senses
    • Experiential Gifts Win Out—From ax throwing to aerial yoga, this year’s holiday shoppers, especially millennials and GenZ, are increasingly opting to gift experiences in place of material items. The trend makes sense as recent studies from university researchers reveal that experiential purchases tend to provide more enduring happiness. For brands in hospitality and travel, there is a natural connection to “selling” experiences to consumers. For marketers outside these channels, think about how you can make your products an experience; it may be as simple as a small tweak in messaging. For example, you’re not just selling a festive, scented holiday candle. You’re selling nostalgia, the feeling of warmth or being cozy.
  • Sight:
    • Go for Authenticity—Gone are the days of stock photos. Ditch the staged photography, which can come across as cold or un-relatable, in favor of real images of real people. If, unlike CVS, you don’t have $$ to drop on refreshing packaging with untouched photos, consider other avenues, like UGC or influencer content. Both are solid alternatives that not only inspire loyalty, but it will make your brand feel more accessible and authentic. Bonus: reports show that UGC actually has the power to inspire purchase decisions (70% in fact).
    • Know When and How to Stylize Your Brand—Every brand has a complex visual identity, from the typefaces it uses, down to the color of the logo or packaging. Don’t overlook these small details that can have big impact.
  • Sound:
    • Optimize SEO for Smart Speaker Shopping—22% of Gen Xers and 17% of millennials plan to use a virtual assistant for shopping this holiday season. If your customers start their shopping journey via smart speaker, you may want to overhaul your content marketing to prioritize long-tail keywords that are more conversational, or “featured snippets” that appear higher on search results. In any case, optimized SEO is the name of the game.
    • Consider Curated Playlists Consistent with Your Brand—How can you make your online shopping experience unique, if already convenient? Maybe it’s a stylized Spotify playlist shoppers can tune in to while browsing. Not only a festive and personal touch, but it just could put shoppers in the right holiday spirit to convert—not abandon—their cart.
  • Touch:
    • Don’t Neglect In-Store Experiences—We hear a lot about the retail apocalypse or death to brick-and-mortar, but that’s far from the case. In fact, stats show that physical stores still play a critical role in the winding shopper journey. Want to make their in-store experience more memorable? Consider the power of in-store demos where consumers can discover and explore your product with their own two hands. This has proven especially powerful for the likes of beauty upstarts and legacy brands that are embracing experiential.

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A Pragmatic Look at Marketing Trends

This post is part of a new series on industry conversations worthy of attention. New email subscribers will receive it as part of the weekly digest. Marketing trends, or how we would call fads if they were with us for the long haul. It’s hard to shift through search results and be impressed these days. Or find something pragmatic to do after reading/listening to some of those lists. Rand Fishkin has collected a list of top search results# for trends that are hardly new, hardly actionable, and hardly surprising, I might add. AI, voice search, chatbots, beacons, virtual and/or augmented…


Pretending to be stupid

Intellectual horsepower is overrated.

“I’m too stupid to do that,” isn’t helpful and it’s probably not true.

We’re capable of learning Photoshop, We can figure out the arithmetic behind our analytics. We can follow a nuanced discussion of strategy. We can learn to read a balance sheet and we can get sophisticated about long-term decision making.

If we’re being honest, the real reason we don’t do this work isn’t that we’re stupid.

It’s probably that we haven’t made it a priority.

It might be that we’re afraid, that we’re lazy or that we’re underinformed.

All three are temporary conditions if we want them to be. Or we can live with them and assume that we’re stupid instead.

(Which is worse: to be seen as stupid or to have priorities that don’t match the opportunity?)

       


5 KPIs for Measuring Outreach and Link Building Efforts

Link building is hard, I get it.

Fussy search engines, spammy savvy marketers selling guest posts, black hat link builders burning bridges — it’s tough. Simply counting links isn’t enough when it comes to performance — you need other measures of success. When you hit it out of the park, your outreach campaign deserves to be celebrated.

But how do you know when your link building work is successful, and, more importantly, how do you prove it?

By using the following KPIs, you can measure and report on the success of your link building efforts. When combined, they present a powerful case for whether your link building campaign was a shining, glorious, singing unicorn, or a damp, tone-deaf chihuahua. Trust me, you’ll have both along the way.

Let’s look at the data before I get metaphorical again, shall we? Here are a handful of KPIs you should monitor as you measure the performance of your link building efforts.

Quantitative KPIs for Link Building

There is security behind hard data, and with link building, you can find performance progress right in the numbers.

Here are the data-driven KPIs that are hard to argue with when progress is made.

#1 Organic Search Traffic

Up and to the right is precisely the kind of movement you want to see for the site that you have been consistently running link building campaigns for. It is important to note that if link building is not the only SEO work you are doing, there are likely other factors playing a role in the movement you see: on-site technical SEO and content improvements will also impact organic search, so make sure to factor that in when measuring the impact of link building.

Organic Traffic Growth from Link Building

When reporting this growth, be sure to annotate in Google Analytics when link building campaigns begin, and focus on percentage change of improvement over an extended period of time.

#2 Referral Traffic

Sizeable referral traffic doesn’t always happen with link building. More traffic is a good thing, and qualified traffic that stays on your site is even better. If you want referral traffic, it’s important to mix up your link building strategies.

Guest posting and HARO links rarely generate much referral traffic. HARO links just source a quote, so no one clicks on them. And site editors discourage their readers from leaving the site (I’ve seen a lot of hidden anchor text in posts lately), so guest post links don’t tend to generate much traffic, by design.

If you get 15 referrals in a month from a guest post, you should stand up by your desk and do a little dance. High referral traffic for a guest post is a unicorn—it’s rare. In a survey of over 500 guest post bloggers, more than 35% of reported guest posts only got 10 or fewer referrals.

Content promotion, on the other hand, has the potential to perform well, generating a lot of referral traffic if done right.

Content promotion is driven by highly promotable (read: “newsworthy”) data-driven content in the form of a report, tool, or long-form writing. Promoting that content through Digital PR efforts is much more likely to bring significant referral traffic. This occurs when your content gets picked up and covered by a media outlet of any kind, and they link to your site as the source of this newsworthy content. When reporting content promotion results, be sure to include:

  • The media outlets that covered your content
  • Domain Authority of each site that covered your content
  • Referral traffic for each link
  • Traffic behavior (time of page, bounce rate, pages visited)
  • Total number of links placed

The graph above shows the potential impact that content promotion and digital PR can have. During the three-year life of this site, the first digital PR campaign we launched was responsible for 33% of the site’s lifetime referral traffic. It’s important to note that in this campaign’s case, a majority of the links earned (177) were no-follow. While not quite as ideal from an SEO perspective, no-follow links shouldn’t be underestimated. If we were keeping score (which, c’mon, you know we are), no-follow links should be considered “half links.” They can be used as part of a more long-term link building strategy since a mixture of do-follow and no-follow links create a healthy backlink profile.

In this example for our client, we received a ton of no-follow brand mentions. Brand mentions have been proven to be a ranking factor, so they should be considered a success. Be sure to report no-follow brand mentions too, even if they don’t link to your site (but be sure to follow up anyway and ask for a link).

Utility and resource link building, along with similar link building strategies might garner referral traffic over time as users find and click on the links, especially if they are helpful and on moderate-to-highly-trafficked sites. The great thing about utility link building is that it can often generate conversions because the links target consumers at the lower end of the conversion funnel and drive them to pages aimed at conversion. While improving organic traffic is the ultimate goal of link building, this qualified referral traffic is a great cherry on top.

#3 Traffic to Target Pages

As mentioned previously, in every campaign, whether it is guest posting, content promotion, or any other form of link building, you should have target pages to which you build all your links. The traffic, visitor engagement, and organic rankings for these pages should be monitored and reported on.

Be sure to report changes in traffic and behavior over time to these pages. Below is a snapshot of traffic to Portent’s SERP Preview Tool. You can see where traffic over time has increased to this page by 48% YoY which would make any stakeholder happy, especially if a page is designed to convert users.

Qualitative KPIs for Link Building

While the quantitative KPIs mentioned above do a nice job of putting hard numbers to performance, there are a couple of qualitative factors to monitor when tracking the performance of your link building efforts.

#4 Relevance

Although it is not nearly as measurable as other KPIs, the relevance of the links you build should be an important focus for any link building campaign. The domains on which you build links on should be relevant to your website’s brand and industry. Landing a link on a competitor’s blog is the sparkly, magic kingdom every link building team should aim for, but it’s hard to get there. Linking on pages within your direct industry is a close second on the list of coveted link placements.

The text surrounding your backlink should be natural, highly relevant, and full of naturally-occurring keywords (relevance). The anchor text that directs the reader to the content on your target page should inform the reader of exactly what information they’re going to get when they click on your link. Guest post content should be informative and well-written (and hopefully your target page is too).

#5 Domain Authority, Domain Rank, Trust Flow

We all learned a big lesson recently about how tenuous it is to rely on Domain Authority (DA) as a primary metric. With Moz’s DA algorithm change on March 5th of this year, marketers in the SEO world got a big wake-up call. While DA still gauges the authority of a site in a very reliable way, it is important to take into account the relevance of the page when evaluating whether a link you place is valuable. To a small HVAC company, for instance, a link on Inc. Magazine with a DA of 92 (on a scale of one to 100) is not nearly as valuable as a link on their biggest competitor’s blog in the HVAC industry with a DA of only 32.

Domain Rank (DR) on Ahrefs and the Trust Flow on Majestic are both similar gauges of your referring domain’s authority, as well as your ability to rank as compared to their competitors.

Use DA/DR/Trust Flow to point out the authority of the sites you’re placing backlinks on, and to point out that you’re building a natural backlink profile. Make sure you always take this information with a grain of salt, realizing that they are relative, proprietary metrics. You should work to build links on sites from 10-100 DA and DR, and relevance should always be your primary KPI here.

Relevance and authority are what I would call soft KPIs. Your DA will rise very slowly (it’s like watching water come to a boil if you do it right), and it shouldn’t be a primary (or even a secondary) indicator of success. Monitor how your DA tracks in comparison to your competitors to get the most out of any DA numbers.

Go forth, armed with cold, hard data

It isn’t hard to prove the success of a good link building campaign. Link building is a long-term digital marketing strategy and should complement the on-site technical SEO and content efforts you put forth. So don’t get discouraged if your efforts are slow to reveal themselves. Resilience is the most important character trait of a good link builder and patience is a must. Use carefully-selected link targets, mark your progress, and prove your hard-won success with a handful of the KPIs outlined here. And always remember to celebrate those unicorns—whether or not they can sing Queen.

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Bottlenecks

Are you a bottleneck?

Sometimes it’s a good thing. It would be impossible to guzzle a Pepsi if it were served in a saucer–the bottleneck creates the path of maximum slam.

It would be difficult to water your lawn without a nozzle. The bottleneck creates pressure that allows you to reach further.

But in an organization, a bottleneck can be a real problem.

If the project is sitting on your desk, no value is being created. The opportunity, then, is to achieve your goals by getting every single thing off your desk so that it can move forward.

A team that is sitting still waiting for you to attend the approval meeting is suffering from your bottleneck. And so are the people you set out to serve.

The trick: Figure out which parts of the approval process truly benefit from your unique judgment and skills, and which parts are merely your fear at work.

And then get it off your desk and let someone else do it.

       


How to Handle a Project Management Crisis

Infographic brought to you by Wrike
project planning tool

How to Handle a Project Management Crisis


Social Media Attribution Windows: A Platform by Platform Comparison

I want to share a secret with social media marketers: you’re not doing enough to sell your work, and attribution modeling is the silver bullet you’ve been waiting for to measure performance.

Social media attribution windows are an increasingly critical topic, one which marketers are working to find tools that can help them better justify their efforts. Social attribution windows give us the ability to track user actions within a length of time (view or click) and connect with the source.

Attribution measurement is a rapidly-evolving and competitive space, but it’s plagued with several significant problems: it’s incredibly complicated from a macro level, often convoluted at a micro level, and overall just plain difficult to understand if you lack extensive experience in digital marketing.

This lack of experience means that many marketers don’t understand how individual social channels measure attribution and aren’t putting in the work needed to know how their channels impact one another. Social media work runs a significant risk of having its results marginalized when the platform’s attribution models are ignored, given the indirect (but powerful) impact social has on things like consideration and customer nurture.

If you’re a social media marketer and you don’t have a solid grasp on attribution windows and modeling, it’s vital to understand the concept. Whether it’s defending your social media budget or getting proper credit for your social channel’s performance, attribution is something you need to understand well enough to discuss with your stakeholders.

To help build the concepts, I have broken out attribution window details and how to locate them for four of the largest social media platforms.

Attribution Windows on Facebook and Instagram

The two largest social networks have a total of seven different attribution windows for advertisers. The largest window (28-day click, 1-day view) is the default setting that appears in the ads manager.

Facebook Attribution Options

You can change the Facebook attribution window by following these steps:

  1. Go to your ads manager account and select the Columns drop-down menu.
  2. Facebook ads manager columns
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Customize Columns near the bottom.
  4. Facebook ad manager customize columns
  5. Finally, click the blue Comparing Windows link, choose the various attribution windows you want to compare, and then click the blue Apply button.
  6. Comparing facebook attribution windows

Attribution Windows on Twitter

Twitter has even more attribution windows to measure performance based on post-engagement and post-view actions.

Twitter Attribution Options

You can change the Twitter attribution window by following these steps:

  1. Go to your ads manager account. Click on Tools, and then select Conversion tracking from the drop-down menu.
  2. Twitter conversion tracking
  3. Select any of the blue Edit links under the Modify Event column.
  4. twitter modified events
  5. Adjust the post-engagement or post-view attribution windows, and then click the blue Save conversion event button.
  6. Twitter conversion events

Attribution Windows on Pinterest

Pinterest has by far the most attribution windows out of all of the social channels. Don’t get overwhelmed with the choices. Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as references for the best Pinterest attribution window. Having a consistent attribution window across social channels will help equally measure performance.

Pinterest Attribution Options

You can change the attribution window in Pinterest by following these steps:

  1. Go to your Pinterest ads manager account, click the Export button, and then select Custom export from the drop-down menu.
  2. Pinterest attribution window location
  3. Click on the Pinterest Tag Settings at the top, and then select the drop-down menu for the various attribution windows.
  4. Pinterest tag settings

Comparing Social Platform Performance

Marketers have worked hard to understand the best ways to attribute social channels since the tools could measure performance on their websites. Asking how much credit social platforms deserve for driving sales of a product might be relatively new, but marketers have been refining the process of understanding digital attribution across other channels for years.

Utilizing the individual social platforms’ analytics tools is the first step to measuring performance and learning which click and conversion window is best for your company. The next step is to cross-reference with other web analytics platforms like Google Analytics to see how all of the social channels contribute to performance with their marketing efforts.

You’ll need to ensure Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMs) have been added to your ad URLs to track on Google Analytics accurately. That will provide a holistic view of how the platforms are performing based on the user’s website actions (sessions, add to cart, purchase, etc.).

Google analytics sources

How To Choose The Right Social Media Attribution Window

We’ve discussed the importance of social media conversion windows and how to locate them in the platform. Now, let’s determine the best attribution window for your business.

In a perfect world, you’d have access to a data scientist who could build a custom attribution model that best fits your organization. If that’s not an option, third-party platforms like Google Analytics are capable of building out custom attribution models to align with your business model.

We recommend selecting an attribution window that’s consistent across the social platforms and shows the actual impact of each channel.

Our recommendation is to start with a 7-day click attribution window. That means the social platform will take credit for the conversion event (lead, add to cart, purchase, etc.) for anyone who visits your website in the last seven days after clicking your social media ad.

Your team can adjust attribution windows based on the data tracked monthly, but you need to be making informed decisions along the way that data can’t do on its own.

What’s Next?

As you leverage attribution modeling to show the value of social media marketing, you’ll almost certainly find yourself in spaces where data attribution becomes messy or complicated to parse out (especially in eCommerce or verticals with numerous touch points).

As your understanding of attribution grows, so will your desire for a toolset that allows you to better track and measure attribution across your marketing stack.

Social media marketers should look to Facebook’s Attribution Tool or similar soon-to-be-released tools from Google. These platforms allow you to quickly move around different social attribution models to assess the efficacy of your channel work and will help you better understand the role social media plays in your primary KPIs.

The post Social Media Attribution Windows: A Platform by Platform Comparison appeared first on Portent.


The long run (and the short runs)

I hope we can all agree that the long run is made up of a bunch of short runs.

That seems obvious.

The surprising thing is that we live our short runs as if that isn’t true.

       


Thought Leadership

New email subscribers receive articles first thing with additional resources. Thought leadership, or, as we call it in Italy, “mangia.” It’s last night’s pasta, but with more Parmigiano Reggiano. Thanks to the Internet, it has never been easier to claim to be a thought leader. They’re every marketer’s favorite words. But is thought leadership not just another name for pushing an agenda? Is it thought control? And if everyone claims to be a thought leader, who’s following? Are thought leaders running out of thought? These are some interesting questions raised in a conversation sponsored by The Writer# with Cristina Ampil,…