Thursday, December 29, 2016

Influencers Take "Popular" To The Next Level

Remember the popular kids in high school? Maybe you were that kid, maybe you wished you were that kid, or maybe you despised that kid. Wherever you fit on the popularity spectrum, I’m sure no one saw the new level of popular in the world.

The popular kids used to be the caption of the cheerleading squad, the prom queen, or the student council president. Now the popular kids have hundreds of thousands of online followers, a presence nationally or even globally, and are getting paid to be, well… popular.

With a connected social world and the rapid speed in which internet sensations go viral, the popular kids, now known as influencers, can reach more people than ever imagined. On top of that, influencers reach a select niche audience. Advertisers are becoming more and more aware of this emerging opportunity.

Kylie Jenner posted a simple Instagram post showing off her new Fashion Nova jeans and received a ridiculous 2.2 million likes from her followers. There’s no doubt that Fashion Nova paid a pretty penny to have Kylie pose with their product, however, the return was surely worth it. With loyal followers, Kylie’s post first appears to be an organic post, only to be noted as an ad with the #ad at the end of the caption which will go unnoticed by many. Similarly to desiring to be like the popular kids in high school, Kylie’s groupies have a strong desire to be like her causing them to go on a shopping spree for the perfect pair of Fashion Nova jeans.

According to Forbes, 84% of marketers plan to execute at least one influencer campaign in 2017. Influencer campaigns don’t stop at Kylie Jenner either. Influencers are in all market categories from travel to makeup to athletic equipment to organic food. These campaigns also aren’t limited to social networks. Many influencers have strong followings on their blogs where they share in more detail about their experiences.

Through these influential people, advertisers can target their audience directly, make a lasting impression, strongly sway the opinions of viewers, and avoid waste. Forty-seven percent of online consumers use ad blockers which increases the effectiveness of people sending messages through their personal and un-blockable accounts enormously.

Internet stars come in all ages, genders, races, beliefs, cultures, lifestyles, personalities, etc. making it easy for advertisers to find the perfect fit for their company. As the social world expands, influencers are likely to do the same. You’ll be targeted through your favorite celebrities whether you know it or not. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Younger Generations and Social Sharing are Changing Tourism

Take a second and think about your family. Consider yourself, your children, your parents, and grandparents. Pinpoint which generation each member is a part of. Now that you’ve got that down, think about their travel habits: How often do they travel? Where do they go? Do they consider traveling a luxury or a priority? Etc.

Chances are, the older generations traveled less, traveled for different reasons, and didn’t expect to travel as a part of life.

In 2013, nearly 290 thousand American students studied abroad for academic credit. That number has since jumped to over 313 thousand in 2016! On top of that, there’s a rise in American young adults who travel for volunteer and internship positions worldwide.

If I think about my life, the first time I went out of the country was my sophomore year in high school. Since then, I have traveled to 6 different countries on three different adventures. My parents on the other hand first left the country on a cruise back when they were newlyweds. My mother now has no desire to travel outside the US and my dad visits to Scotland solely for golfing excursions.

So why is that? Well, there are a number of reasons as you can imagine. Millennials and Gen Z might have more disposable income than the Boomers had at our age; they definitely spend it differently. Younger generations tend to be stuck in a “right here right now” mindset instead of planning for the future. Traveling is easier than it was when our parents and grandparents were young adults. Alongside all of those easy to assume reasons is the less obvious answer of social media.

Yep, that’s right. Social media fills people with wanderlust. In fact, Millennials and Gen Zers are more likely to choose a travel destination from what they see on social media than any travel ad they may view. For younger generations, the word of another carries much more weight than an advertisement. Eighty-four percent of Millennials and Gen Zers will even make travel plans based off what their friends or influencers post online.

Comparing my dad’s travel plans verses my own shows firsthand the vast differences: he uses a travel agent; I use Pinterest and online blogs. He communicates directly with the hotels he will be staying at; I book online. He takes pictures to keep to himself; I take pictures to post on social media.

With this, how do advertisers get in front of these young travelers? Like in all areas of advertising, they have to adapt and evolve with the changes. Continuously put paid media in front of viewers without them thinking they’re viewing an advertisement. The use of social media is vastly important as well as native content, influencers, and user generated content. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Click-Thru Rates Compared Across the Globe

Billions of impressions are delivered each year across the world. Sizmek, an Open Ad Management company, decided to sift through those billion impressions and provide some detailed data on who clicks the most.

Regional Banner Ad Engagement (1st Half 2016; 1.3MM Individuals, Billions of Impressions.)
Standard Banner CTR
Rich Media CTR
Rich Media Unique Interaction
North America
Latin America
East Asia
South Asia
Data Source: Sizmek, November 2016

As you can see from the chart above, standard banners have a CTR of 0.16% globally across all industries. North America falls slightly shy of that with an average CTR of 0.14%.

Without much surprise, rich media ads have a higher CTR globally at 0.27%. Again, North America falls shy with a 0.21% average.

However, these numbers are for all industries. It would be foolish to think that an ad for the latest and greatest smartphone holds the same CTR as an ad for dentures. Of course, Sizmek knows this and took a look into industry categories as well.

For standard banners, apparel, telecom, and retail ads held the highest rates at 0.24%, 0.21% and 0.20% respectively. Falling in last were careers at 0.10%, corporate at 0.08% and sports at 0.07%.

Surprisingly enough, the script is flipped for rich media ads with corporate leading the pact with an average CTR of 0.53%. Bringing up the rear are gaming (0.13%) and medical (0.12%).

Sizmek reports that, “rich media CTRs outperformed standard banner CTRs in 19 of the 21 sectors analyzed, with standard banners holding a slight edge only in the gaming and medical verticles.”