News

Here Is Why You Should Be Running Native Ads

There are multiple options when it comes to attracting customers online - promoted social media posts, pay-per-click ads and banner advertising are just a few options to throw your advertising budget at. While these are all very effective, there is another option that you should consider - native advertising. It’s a form of advertising that’s designed to match the look and feel of the website upon which it appears. Kyle Ryan, CEO of Earnify, a native advertising platform for both publishers and advertisers, sees first hand how effective this form of advertising can be for businesses. I recently spoke with Ryan at length about native advertising, and he explained why businesses should be using it in their marketing campaigns. Businesses of all sizes can benefit. While native advertising is quite new to the digital advertising space, many brands, big and small, are starting to use it more. Banner ads on some of the larger websites, for example, will often require a large financial commitment, which eliminates the smaller businesses. Most native advertising platforms have very small financial buy-ins to get started, allowing even the smallest businesses to experience native advertising. We have run several split-test campaigns pairing traditional ads against native ads, and we have found that native ads consistently received nearly 25 percent more engagement. This is a significant number, especially at scale. Provides an overall lower cost-per-click. Native ads provide excellent custom targeting, allowing you to create advertisements that prove to be more interesting to consumers when compared to traditional digital advertising. Cost-wise, native ads are more efficient. Overall, they are much cheaper because they are so targeted, which results in high click-through rates and a low cost-per-click. Native ads attract clicks because they are not intrusive, unlike in-your-face animated banners and pop-ups. Native ads attract more genuine interest. Native ads perform exceptionally well because they don’t interrupt the use experience like other forms of advertising, which consumers appreciate. They are marked as advertisements, so it’s not a deceptive form of marketing, like some might assume. Top performing native ads appear within relevant content, blending in to give a fluid and pleasant...

Important Facts Regarding Website Design for Small Businesses

The debate over the importance of website design for small businesses is long over, and we decided to jump straight to the point. Website design has so many tricky parts that, if not addressed properly, it can massively diminish the effectiveness of your website. We compiled a short list of details that deserve your attention. The list is not graded and there are no parts that are more important than the others. Branding When you create a website for your company, you are basically creating a window into the core of your business. You need to create a strong and recognisable image and display it with consistency on your portal. That means everything needs to be consistent: colours, fonts, images, logos, etc… Failing to achieve this will result in your website looking like it was made by an amateur. Development This is an ambiguous word but in reality, it really says your website needs to work flawlessly, all the time, on all platforms, everywhere in the world. All visitors hate slow loading sites and ones that have errors of any kind. You might think this is not a job for a graphic designer, but you would be wrong. Creating elements that will work, especially on different platforms is a challenging task and these details must not be overlooked. Just think about it this way: all things being equal – if your site does not work flawlessly, the competitor’s will. Keywords People discover sites by looking up phrases relevant to them. Your website needs to contain keywords and phrases that will make it recognisable by search engines. If you sell kitchen appliances and don’t use the phrase once on your website, you are basically invisible to the people looking to buy kitchen appliances. But you cannot just drum up a bunch of words and hope for the best. A good designer will know where and how to use the keywords in order to get the best results and increase the visibility of your site. Contact Your website is like a business card, TV commercial, sales catalog and presentation all bundled in one package. You need to have multiple points...

Making digital marketing strategy work

Adapting to the ongoing digitisation of the economy is arguably the most challenging transformation every business is currently facing. Digital tools and trends are invading the business environment faster than companies can react, provoking significant changes in the way we communicate, consume, work, buy and sell. The scale and pace of the change brought by “digital” is matched only by large-scale industrial revolutions that leveraged coal or electricity and energized entire industries by removing fundamental constraints under which manufacturing operated, leading to unprecedented increases in productivity and lower costs. Digital media and application platforms are now driving a new revolution, creating richer dynamics between people and disrupting business. But where the electricity revolution empowered and enriched businesses rather than individuals, the digital revolution has the potential to empower everybody Pre-digital revolution, the function of companies was to produce, the function of media was to broadcast and consumers consumed. Digital tools have broken the monopoly of the media, enabling everyone to become a publisher and in some sectors they’ve broken the hold of companies on their industries, such as taxis and hotels. Companies no longer control their own narrative nor do they control the provision of goods and services. More Commitment Needed. These changes do not mean traditional companies are doomed to fail. Incumbents who embrace the vision, customer centricity and organisational transformation necessary to impress consumers across every channel can, in fact, maintain and even strengthen their position, as examples from L’Oréal, Red Bull, Maersk or GE show. According to research by Capgemini and the MIT Sloan School of Management, mature digital leaders do two things in combination that separate them from rivals. First, they invest in technology-enabled initiatives to change how the company operates, including new platforms, apps, big data capabilities, holographic technology or even artificial intelligence. Second, they create a vision and governance framework to effectively drive change through the organisation and build strong business-IT relationships necessary to implement technology-based change. This strategic vision often rests on a tight integration of the customer perspective in every aspect of the business such as insight capabilities, marketing strategy, finance or HR functions. Successful companies...

Only One in Five Organizations Globally Have a Cross-Departmental Digital Strategy

Only one out of five organizations globally have implemented a digital strategy that encompasses the whole company, according to a new report released by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The report, titled “Digitizing IT,” found that there remains a significant gap in organizations preparing for and implementing a digital strategy that fully integrates strategic, financial and operational elements. Organizations in the Asia-Pacific region lead the way in enterprise-wide digital strategies, with nearly one in three companies reporting significant progress on this front. The survey, based on responses from 812 senior executives at multinational corporations, examined the challenges and opportunities facing IT departments within the context of digital. Nearly half of those surveyed (49 percent) were IT executives, and the remainder came from a range of departments including sales, marketing, HR and finance. “Digital transformation is the new strategic imperative — no longer just a handy source of competitive differentiation but a must-do for every company, in every industry and across every geography,” said Thomas Saueressig, chief information officer at SAP. “Forward-looking CIOs understand that they need to change their roles from ‘keeping the lights on’ service providers to ‘leaders of innovation.’ This is easier said than done, but there is a positive correlation between the early involvement of IT and meaningful success rates of digital transformation initiatives — so the first step is the most important one.” Additional findings, broken out by regional differences, include: Priority and scope of digital transformation initiatives Organization-wide digital transformation strategies are most likely to take place in Asia-Pacific (APJ), where they are implemented by 35 percent of organizations, versus 21 percent globally. Digital initiatives are most likely to be rated as the “highest strategic priority” in APJ (47 percent). Perhaps as a result, APJ companies were second most- ikely to rate their digital initiatives over the past three years as “highly effective”: APJ at 40 percent and China at 55 percent, with a global average at 25 percent. The role of IT in digital transformation CIOs are most likely to have primary ownership of their company’s digital initiatives in the United States (51 percent) and China (49 percent), compared...

typography

Listen up: Branding still matters

I love running. It’s my favorite form of exercise. Like most runners, I find myself disliking every other form of exercise. While running, I love listening to podcasts. Recently, when my old over-the-ear aviator headphones bit it, I thought it might be time to join 21st century and invest in a more modern yet durable Bluetooth set — a must for many now as Apple has discontinued the headphone jack in its latest iPhone iteration. As with many social consumers, in making this shopping decision I turned to my friends on Facebook. The recommendations varied with many pointing to big players such as Beats by Dre and other well-known brands. Ultimately I decided to go with a lesser known but well-rated brand — Status. A friend recommended them as a low-cost, high-quality solution for electronics gear that most runners are hard on. The sound quality is crisp, the Bluetooth connectivity is great. I even loved the Spartan packaging, which coyly noted, “no logos, no celebrities — just sound.” I loved it. It’s like anti-branding. The problem? There’s no branding. The Danger of Anti-Branding While at first I praised the outward lack of endorsements and flashy packaging, a problem arises shortly after the initial joke. That’s because every brand touchpoint — pictures, words, packaging and design — come together to form your brand DNA. What humorist Ze Frank calls the “emotional aftertaste” we have after encountering a brand. In short, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Enter my headphones with their absence of brand DNA. The name is forgettable. The packaging is white with a simple font that clearly states the name. The entire experience is forgettable. Am I being mean? No. I’m being honest. I say it’s forgettable because when I was with a friend and wanted to refer these amazing new headphones with exceptional sound and whose charge only faded after three weeks of daily use, I was stumped. I couldn’t remember the brand name or the product name. I couldn’t remember anything to help point my friend in the right direction. And the product is great. The anti-branding is a disservice to an otherwise wonderful offering. Non-Traditional...