LinkedIn to Launch Programmatic Advertising

LinkedIn to Launch Programmatic Advertising

Just recently, the professional network LinkedIn has started to enter the programmatic advertising realm with the platform’s new deal with advertisers. In other words, LinkedIn has become a publisher similar to Facebook or Mashable in the digital sphere by allowing advertisers to bid for ads on the professional network’s site.

In addition to LinkedIn allowing advertisers and other online marketers to bid on ad space in private auctions, the publisher will also use third party data for targeting purposes. This data will also these marketers to more effectively pitch their ads to visitors on the LinkedIn homepage. Prices in the private auction may be considerably more expensive for display ads, as LinkedIn is a widely used publisher for professionals of all different fields across the country.

LinkedIn’s head of products, Russell Glass, has expressed that allowing increased programmatic advertising to marketers and advertisers expands the market for this platform.

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” he said in an interview. “We want to build table stakes capabilities into our platform in a way that highlights our differences, but is kind of what marketers have come to expect.”

Although advertising growth on LinkedIn has been increasing, this revenue has slowed down in growth with other social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook. Earlier this year, eMarketer conducted a report that stated ad revenue was expected to drop 17.8% instead of 20.5% this year. While growth is slow across the board, Twitter (45%) and Facebook (31.5%) are said to have increased ad revenue in the next year or so.

On the other hand, LinkedIn had a lucrative year in terms of mobile growth rates in 2015, with revenue on mobile devices well surpassing 170%. However, this year revenue projections will be closer to a more steady, national average instead of the exponential growth the platform experienced this year.

Similar to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is experiencing slower growth as it becomes a larger entity as a publisher in the digital space.

With Microsoft’s recent interest to acquire the professional network for 26.2 million, this potential business deal could be one of the largest tech mergers in the industry’s history.

 

 

Digital Advertising Evolution

PhoneNot too long ago, it was common for digital advertising to be presented to audiences in the form of short television commercials or online video advertisements. Obviously, this has not changed, but the general public opinion of blatant advertising has. Such traditional campaigns quickly became outdated with the onset of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, digital advertisements spread to include social media. Users of social platforms quickly became annoyed by the constant advertisements, and have since been taking measures to block these disruptions. Therefore, advertising was forced to evolve yet again, into a mere shadow of what it used to be.

This newest form of digital advertising truly calls to mind the question ‘what is an advertisement?’ The taboo that now surrounds even the word ‘advertisement’ has forced digital advertising specialists to find ways to market products without blatantly advertising them. The popular website Hulu is a prime example of more subliminal advertising methods. Instead of simply throwing advertisements at their viewers, they partner with companies whose products are inserted into Hulu’s original series. Characters in their shows may be smitten with a new piece of upcoming Microsoft technology, for example, and their enthusiasm for the product is an advertisement in itself.

Hulu is not the only platform putting products into videos, however. The popular media platform Buzzfeed created a ‘Tasty’ channel, one that shows time lapses of appetizing food being made, which has partnered with appliance brands and promotes different cookware in videos. Additionally, different Buzzfeed pages are sponsored by different organizations. For example, Buzzfeed’s food page is, as it says on the top, ‘presented by Sabra.’

The use of branded content has also become widely popular in digital promotions. Instead of placing themselves into an advertisement, a company will generate original content that people will actually want to read in order to draw attention to their brand. For example, Dove began a ‘Real Beauty’ campaign with the mission of revolutionizing the modern definition of beauty. This campaign is beloved by consumers because it promotes self acceptance and self love, however it also draws attention to the products that Dove sells.

With the onslaught of companies fighting to be noticed in the digital world, advertising has drifted farther and farther away from what it used to be. It will be interesting to follow the digital advertising world into the future, as the habits of online consumers continue to evolve.

Twitter Grows Advertising Opportunities

Many brands were quick to embrace social media; they understand the value of connecting directly with their customers. Twitter has adapted accordingly to the needs of advertisers, and now, its making improvements to the ad campaign feature.

twitter-1183719_1280The social media platform has updated the ad editor to make it easier for brands to effectively target, and monitor their advertising efforts. This new update includes an Ad Groups function, which will allow marketers to reach smaller sections within a larger group, by using detailed and targeted criteria, along with target-specific creative. The product was only available through Twitter’s API, but it was fully launched earlier this week. The company’s product marketing manager, Andrea Hoffman wrote a blog post to announce the new features. She explained that Twitter will provide more control for campaigns while gathering metrics based on audience and schedule.

With Ad Groups, Twitter created new opportunities for marketers within the Twitter community. Advertisers can now create subcampaigns within larger campaigns; these subcampaigns can be used to distribute targeted creative to the appropriate audience. As Hoffman explains in her blog post, “Similar to how other ad platforms are structured, Ad Groups introduce a new level in our campaign hierarchy. One campaign can have many ad groups, and an ad group can have many targeting criteria and creatives. This level of granular control helps advertisers improve how they measure results, set promotion schedules, test different audiences, and identify which Tweets work best.” In addition to these new features, the new campaigns can include set campaign objectives like engagements, video views, and followers. Your key performance metrics will be available directly through Twitter’s user interface.

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Twitter isn’t the only platform looking to grow advertising functions. Facebook has recently launched Delivery Insights, a new platform for advertisers to gather information about campaign performance. Let’s see how other social media platforms adapt their products, especially as they compete with one another for advertising revenue.

 

Facebook’s Growing Relationship With TV Audiences

Whether you are watching your favorite television show, sporting event, award show, or political debate, research has shown that there are high chances that you interact with friends, family and strangers over social media. More specifically, you are likely using Facebook or Twitter. These big social platforms are well aware that usage spikes during primetime events and they have actively sought out ways to capitalize on this knowledge. Currently, Facebook is on the offensive and now offering viewers new ways to interact while watching these big, primetime events. In many ways, Facebook seems to be leaving Twitter in the dust although the microblogging giant shouldn’t be underestimated.

According to Facebook’s research team, 85 percent of viewers who connect to social media while watching TV are connecting to Facebook. This shows that out of Facebook’s 213 million (let that number sink in) monthly active users, many are glued to their mobile devices and computers.

Facebook and Twitter now remain locked in an ongoing battle over control of this new frontier of the digital mixing in with the world of television. Experts call this use of devices, often mobile, to enhance the viewing experience, “second screen” viewing. This is huge and it presents unique opportunities to digital advertisers worldwide. Social media has made the collection of data, which is always necessary to determine where, when and to whom an ad will be served.

For a while, Twitter seemed like the ideal platform for this due to the ability to quickly and continuously post short blurbs that can be connected via hashtags to form a larger more general conversation around a certain topic. Agencies can easily collect data on the participants and Twitter can facilitate these goals. The ease with which Twitter can be incorporated into live events, particularly on Television, gave rise to “live tweeting,” which is the act of posting on Twitter throughout the course of an event to share what’s happening as well as your thoughts/reactions. During events like political debates, as we witnessed in the previous election cycles after the rise of platforms like Twitter (c. 2007+), regular users as well as more influential users like celebrities and politicians would frequently engage in live-tweeting these types of events. During the primary debates for the Republican and Democratic parties this year, live tweeting has been incredibly popular. More so when it is a figure like Donald Trump live tweeting throughout the first debate round for the Democrats.

Facebook, however, has started rolling out new ways and new partnerships with major events which they hope will only increase usage of the social network during prime hours. If you watched the last debates for either party, you will notice that Facebook played a big role in both which included having their name and logo plastered everywhere. Had you logged onto Facebook around the time of the debates your status box would include a section for you to say whether you were watching or not. One can only imagine how this information would be useful for Facebook and debate organizers (especially the parties themselves) in the future. As you post a status, you can check yourself as watching the debate and this opens up a whole new connection to others who are following the same thing through Facebook’s trending feature. On Twitter, during the first Democratic debate, #DemDebate was the official trending tag and even Republican candidates were taking advantage of it to interact with Twitter’s user base. For now, it seems like official hashtags, which are powerful in their own ways, are the biggest perk that Twitter has. Hashtagging is not as popular on Facebook being that it is a newer function on there.

Facebook has rolled out 3 new ways for users to interact, and on the other end, these are also 3 new ways that broadcasters can enhance the viewer’s experience by making them feel more connected to what they are watching.

1. Hashtag based polling and voting – Facebook is allowing broadcasters to gauge the audience’s thoughts and interactions in real time by being able to conduct polls during a live broadcast. The results and responses can also be integrated into the broadcast itself.

2. Uploading videos and photosA great example of this feature comes from the last debates where users were able to submit video questions to the candidates which were then featured on air. Late night talk shows have also begun using this feature to generate more engagement from their regular viewers.

3. Event specific icons This feature was pioneered by Twitter and Facebook is not reluctant to incorporate it either. Award shows like the Emmy’s get their own custom icon which appears when you post something as you watch it (Facebook asks if you are), and for the recent debates both parties had their animal symbols turned into icons.

Facebook Telescope

All of this is made possible by a partnership between Facebook and Telescope.tv, a platform that facilitates live user engagement during major television and digital streaming events.