Monthly Archives: February 2017

Photo Challenge: A Good Match

wm-lilith-arthur
A contrarian and a curmudgeon;
fairy tale non-believers
with parallel differences,
kindly melding the gaps.
Together.
Separately.
….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro

A Good Match

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Thinker, Mover, Shaker, Spy: How One Man and His CIA-Backed Company are Changing the Way the Government Collects and Analyzes Your Data

The name Alex Karp may not mean much to you now — but it’s about to. That’s because Alex is the brains behind Palantir, the closest thing to a “killer app” the U.S. government has — a system which allows one to discern meaningful context and insights from a swamp of seemingly meaningless data.

With scraps of what appear to be unrelated information, Palantir can craft intuitive charts, visual graphs and vital forecasts — showcasing ties and links on everything from the locations of wanted criminals to hotbeds of human trafficking.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Everything.

What is Palantir?

The name “Palantir” comes from a fictional stone in the Tolkien universe that allowed the user to see things happening in different areas — much like a crystal ball. This modern version ties together wisps of information to track, monitor and make connections in everything from wars to law enforcement.

A few of Palantir’s more notable moments include:

  • Helping U.S. forces track down and kill Osama Bin Laden
  • Assisting the Marines in Afghanistan by doing forensic analysis of roadside bombs to predict insurgent attacks
  • Sifting through 40 years of documents to convict Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff
  • Locating Mexican drug cartel members who murdered an American customs agent
  • Finding the hackers who installed spyware on the Dalai Lama’s computer

How Palantir Works

Emerging from its secretive cocoon of James Bond-like technologies and insights, Palantir is poised to change business as well. Pharmaceutical companies use Palantir to help them analyze and predict drug interactions. Hershey uses Palantir’s technology to help it increase chocolate sales. J.P. Morgan Chase uses Palantir to help it in the fight against mortgage fraud.

Imagine someone using your identity to open a home equity line of credit and siphoning funds to a computer in a cybercafe in Nigeria. Palantir can piece together these connections across data from bills, home and I.P. addresses to help eliminate the problem before it balloons into a massive loss (and a huge headache for whoever has had their identity stolen) — and it can do it all in seconds. Staff at J.P. Morgan Chase estimate that Palantir has saved them hundreds of millions of dollars.

In short, the brainchild of an eccentric philosopher is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative and profitable private tech companies. You may recognize the name of its largest stakeholder too — Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor behind PayPal and Facebook. And Palantir is poised to potentially go public — making Karp Silicon Valley’s newest billionaire and doubling Thiel’s original investment in the company.

But Karm fears the change that money will have on Palantir. An “I.P.O”, he says, “is corrosive to our culture, corrosive to our outcomes”. But at the same time, Palantir has to make money in order to thrive. It seeks out big contracts with major players and counts Democratic strategist James Carville, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and former C.I.A. director George Tenet among its advisers.

But what does all of this mean for you?

Big Brother vs. Big Data

One need only look back a few decades to remember that making money and changing the world are often at odds with each other. While still graduate students at Stanford, Sergey Brin and Larry Page wrote that “advertising-funded search engines will be inherently biased toward the advertisers”. Then they founded Google, which makes fistfuls of money off of advertising.

Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg championed a “society of complete openness” while being incredibly secretive about how it mines the information you share to target ads to you. A search engine and a social network are one thing – but something that can tie everything about you together in seconds – has much more serious and far-reaching implications.

But Palantir knows that privacy concerns about it are not unfounded. Courtney Bowman, a former employee at Google, now works at Palantir as a “civil liberties engineer” — helping lawmakers understand how to use modern technology while keeping privacy safeguards in place. One of Palantir’s features includes a series of safeguards designed to limit who can see what. Another feature includes an “audit trail” to let investigators see that certain rules and regulations with regard to data handling, were followed precisely.

And although these features are wired into the system, using them is not required. “What keeps me up at night is that we have to keep thinking about this as we grow into new marketing and new regions,” says Mr. Bowman. “[a]s you move into higher levels of computing complexity, you can’t retreat into the argument that [the technology of finding hidden things] is neutral.”

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

We’ve seen what could happen when commerce and surveillance combine. One Palantir employee pitched a Washington law firm on ways that they could expose WikiLeaks – which included cyberattacks and disinformation.

Although the idea was never formally executed, the pitch papers and emails between the two groups were posted online by hacktivist group Anonymous. Because of the sheer size of Palantir, coming to a consensus on how its service is used can be difficult. According to an article in the New York Times, some employees don’t want Palantir helping Israel because of their position against Palestinians. Palantir still has contracts with the Israeli government. But currently, they are not working with China. Nor are they working with tobacco companies.

At its core, Palantir still has a great deal of finding itself to do. As the company continues to grow, it’s easy to lose sight of its goals as it scales to accommodate massive growth and change. Palantir’s ability to remain steadfast in the face of corruption and very hot, sensitive issues will remain a focus, as will its very difficult decision as to whether or not it should go public.

Still, there’s a great deal of untapped potential for technology like this – especially for marketers. What are your thoughts on this kind of big data mapping and analysis? Do you feel that Palantir is poised to become the next big game changer in commerce much as the Internet was decades ago? Or do you feel it’s more of a fad that will only see limited use outside government, military and law enforcement areas?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

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'Destiny 2' Game News: Released Date Still Set This Year Despite Reports Of Delay; New Storyline Disclosed [VIDEO]

Despite reports that ‘Destiny 2’ will be delayed, Activision has confirmed that the release of the game is still set this year with the new storyline leaked out.

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The Best Social Media Apps For Live Streaming [Gifographic]

Which Is The Best Live Streaming App? Facebook Live, Live.ly, Live.me & More

Live streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous, and with its rise on a number of social platforms comes the inevitable difficulty of deciding which one to use. Between Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, Live.ly, and Live.me, there’s a bevy of features to sort through.

Though most platforms have similarities and generally accepted feature standards, each one is a little bit different and offers users different capabilities and experiences where broadcast, discovering, and sharing videos are concerned.

The Growth Of Live Streaming Social Media Apps & Platforms

Right now, the streaming industry is booming. The industry as a whole is estimated to reach over $70 billion by 2021, and in Q3 of 2015, ad views on live streaming videos grew by 113% YoY. Facebook live videos are viewed three times longer than videos that aren’t live, and each of the major live streaming platforms see millions of monthly active users. As such, live streaming represents a huge opportunity for marketers.

Related Post: The Biggest Live Streaming Statistics You Must Know

The Ultimate Live Streaming Platform Comparison Gifographic

We put together a guide to the biggest live streaming platforms available today. With information on how to access live streaming capabilities, how to find your friends, how to discover other live videos, and what happens to a live video after the stream’s ended, here’s everything you need to know about getting started in the world of live streaming.

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Best Live Streaming App Platform Gifographic Comparison

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[GIFOGRAPHIC] The Best Social Media Apps For Live Streaming
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Also See Our Posts On:

The 9 Live Streaming Statistics You Must Know

Why Brands Should Care About Facebook Live & Its Creators

How Top Brands & Publishers Use Facebook Video & Live Streaming

Facebook Live vs. YouTube Live: Which Live Streaming Platform Wins?

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Jamie Dornan's Marriage Troubles : Jamie Dating Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades Darker Star Likely To Get Divorced With Amelia Warner

Jamie Dornan, has been married to Amelia Warner since 2013 and the speculations about trouble in his marriage are ripe since last year.

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Part One: The Strong Silent Type (Of Horse)

wm-andante-head

I’ve said it before: While growing up, I saw She Wore a Yellow Ribbon more often than I saw my relatives. My father oversaw the TV and he liked real men like Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, and John Wayne. (I’m sure you can guess what he thought about James Dean.)

Later, like lots of us, I bought the notion of a strong, silent leading man when it came to movie star crushes. They had square jaws and walked with a swagger, always a little mysterious. I should stress here that they were acting. It was my mid-thirties before I connected the crash between my taste in movie idols and my constant whining that the man I was dating wouldn’t talk to me. Duh.

It took longer for it to dawn on me that my horse was stoic, too. His resistance wasn’t easy to read. He hid lameness and acted tough. He did what I asked, even if it was too much. Neither of us wanted to admit that we probably held a grudge. We liked each other, so instead it was more like passive aggression on both sides. Truth be told, you can’t force a horse talk to you anymore than you can a man. In hindsight, I think some of our training problems were more from ulcer pain than anything, but again, he didn’t give me the usual signs that a more reactive horse might have. I’m still apologizing for that.

Disclaimer: I am extremely aware that trainers love to classify horses into personality types that over-simplify horses, so it’s easier for novice horse owners to make assumptions. None of us are that easy to pigeon-hole.

Instead, I consider most horses on a continuum, one end being stoic and the other end being demonstrative. I deliberately choose these vague words, give lots of room for individuality, and always remember that it isn’t that some horses are more sensitive than others; they just express their emotions differently.

That said, people like stoic horses because they seem quiet and easy on the surface. They’re commonly lesson horses, therapy horses, and kid horses.

Here’s a definition from Dictionary.com– Stoicism: the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint. Synonyms: patience, forbearance, resignation, fortitude, endurance, acceptance, tolerance.

Does this definition make you a bit sad? What sounds heroic in a movie character is kind of soul-killing for a creature as beautiful as a horse. If you are a dominating rider, you might want that kind of hostage mentality, but if you are hoping for an equine partner, this is leadership without heart.

Old timers had another word they used for stoic horses who seemed almost too easy to read: Counterfeit. They looked like the real thing, but there was something not quite right.

It isn’t that stoic horses are dishonest; they’re subtle communicators. If our cues get loud or inconsistent, he just tucks inside of himself. It isn’t disobedience so much as self-defense. He could look well-trained, but his eyes are dead. You might want to think everything is fine but as time passes, and he gets more withdrawn. He might drop his head between his knees in submission; he might look like a push-button pleasure horse on the surface, but he gives you none of his heart. He doesn’t want to try. Maybe you’ll call him lazy and kick harder, but louder cues will just shut him down more. If you are honest, it feels more like coercion then partnership. (Don’t even dare consider spurs.)

Then it happens, just like the big bloody shoot-out at the end of a western movie. After he’s taken all he can, a stoic horse might explode with emotion. The rider says, “Everything was just fine but suddenly, for no good reason, my horse just started bucking.” Or worse, all the light in their eyes finally goes totally black and they just lose the will to live, looking years older than their age. (Not that it’s my business, but if this is your goal–a blindly obedient, soul-dead ride–then please, don’t have children.)

How to best partner with a stoic horse? First, don’t minimize his intelligence. Especially if he’s a draft breed. Assume he hates being under-estimated and talked down to just as much as you do. Breathe yourself quiet. Show him respect and don’t interrupt his thought process. Wait for him to volunteer. Listening will require better patience and effort; stoic horses aren’t as blunt as demonstrative horses. Rather than bullying him through work, let him be who he is and answer in his own way. Yes, he will answer eventually, but you don’t get to be the boss of that. Allowing that horse to volunteer is your single goal.

When he gets the answer right, or even partly right, reward him lavishly. Let him know that his input matters. He might act a bit like the shy kid who blushes when the teacher praises him in class. That’s how you can tell it’s working.

Now the tendency of your work together is starting to shift. Instead of being a robot, he might even offer something more than you ask for. Yay, and don’t you dare correct him for trying too hard. See the big picture: He’s learning and shaping his behavior is much more important than demanding perfection.

Nurture this little sprig of confidence. Reward him with a big release. Like that same shy school kid, he doesn’t want to be hugged until he faints; instead slack the reins or the lead. Release! Let him stand on his own feet and feel pride in himself. Pause. Let his introverted bravado bask in the broad daylight. Then reward that; thank him for his honesty.

The day will come when the two of you will be together and you’ll show him a challenge. Just reveal it; nothing more. In your quiet mind, you’ll hear him say, “I got this.” You’ll feel him breathe; your legs expanding with his chest as his steps out.

Confidence is the greatest gift any rider can give their horse. Period.

….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro

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Advertisers & Ad Blockers: What You Need To Know in 2017

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The growth of ad blockers is slowing on desktop—what does that mean for digital advertisers?

If you’ve been following the world of digital advertising at all over the last decade, you know that there’s never a shortage of discourse surrounding the rise of ad blocking software. Driving a wedge between publishers and ad revenue, ad blockers have long been a sore spot for both advertisers and online outlets whose primary source of income is digital advertising.

New reports show some degree of flatlining in the installation of ad blocking software on desktop, ad blocking isn’t really slowing down and it seems to be on the precipice of major proliferation in mobile. Where do advertisers and ad blockers stand now, and what does that mean for the future?

A recent report from PageFair found that while desktop usage is declining as people consume more and more content on mobile, ad blocking usage on desktop still shows signs of growth. It’s not showing the astronomical growth we might’ve expected from it a year or two again, but growth hasn’t entirely ceased.

Advertisers & Ad Blockers on Desktop

For publishers, slowing growth is good news, but any degree of growth is harmful to the industry. It means that by and large, ad blockers are still a fixture of web usage and that they’re not going away. Which means, of course, that the threat posed to ad revenue by ad blockers is also not going away. PageFair’s report shows that between December 2015 and December 2016, the number of devices using ad blockers grew by 142 million globally, reaching a total number of 615 million devices.


Devices using ad blockers grew 142M in 2016, totaling 615M globally.
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There is some degree of stagnation in ad blocking growth on desktop, but it’s by no means a steep drop-off and it certainly doesn’t spell the end of the ad blocking threat that resulted in lost ad revenue to the tune of around $22 billion in 2015. In fact, what it really shows is an incredible threat looming on the horizon. While desktop ad blocking is huge in the United States, mobile ad blocking in the U.S. has yet to really catch on. That’s not the case everywhere. In Asia, mobile ad blocking is huge. And many see it as simply a matter of time before a single solution catches on in the United States and manages to capture a huge portion of internet users who are already using ad blocking software on desktop browsers.

Related Post: 10 Ad Blocking Statistics For Every CMO

Mobile Ad Blockers

The growth numbers shake out like this:

  • Between January 2014 and January 2015, ad blocking software grew by around 60 million devices on desktop.
  • Between January 2015 and January 2016, growth stumbled to just over 30 million.
  • The period between December 2015 and December 2016 shows that desktop ad blocking grew by about 34 million.
  • By comparison, mobile ad blocking’s rise has been meteoric over the last several years.
  • Between December 2015 and December 2016, ad blocking on mobile grew by 108 million devices.

Because mobile ad blocking hasn’t yet caught on en masse in the US, this deceleration may seem like a reprieve, but it may well be temporary. Ad blocking seems to have reached some kind of saturation point on desktop, but the fight hasn’t yet begun on mobile. That said, perhaps the lessons that publishers have learned during the early acts of the Desktop Ad Blocking Drama might inform the way in which combatting ad blockers on mobile devices unfolds in the North America and Europe.

Related Post: Top 10 Mobile Advertising Statistics Marketers Must Know

The Future of Advertisers & Ad Blockers

Publications like Forbes and GQ have run aggressive anti-ad blocker campaigns, using methods like pop-ups encouraging ad block users to “whitelist” (that is, enable ads on a certain page or domain) their sites or even blocking certain types of content for those using ad blocking software, much like a pay wall.

Ad Blocker Advertiser Los Angeles Times Whitelist Pop up

The Los Angeles Times’ ad blocker pop-up

It’s worth noting, though, that a major variable in the fight against ad blocking in North America and Europe wasn’t a factor in the similar fight for desktop browsing:

Ad Blocking In Mobile Apps

A lot of mobile activity takes place in apps rather than mobile browsers, and ad blockers don’t work in apps. With applications like Apple News, Newsstand, and native apps from individual publishers like the New York Times and The Washington Post, the ad and content consumption experience changes. Major publishers are typically very mindful of the balance between user experience and the necessity of ads on their sites. By taking complete control of the on-site ad experience through apps, publishers may be able to further alter the relationship between readers, advertisers, and themselves.

Another factor is the current rise in subscription revenue. Particularly as the media combats rising allegations of “fake news” courtesy of an administration that’s proven itself antagonistic toward a free and critical press, subscriptions for major publications are up. Subscriptions to The New York Times doubled in 2016, and the newspaper reported that Q4 of 2016 was its best since 2011. If subscription revenue continues to rise and rival ad revenue, and if advertisers continue to find alternatives to traditional ads, ad blocking may quickly find itself pushed to the bottom of the priority list where publishers are concerned.

Digital advertising is a constantly evolving landscape, and the seemingly inevitable rise of mobile ad blocking is poised to change and challenge it further. But it’s not all doom and gloom — there’s certainly some hope that while recent efforts by sites to outsmart ad blockers and vice versa, there may be some kind of achievable middle ground. If readers continue to accept advertising as a necessary exchange in return for free news and content and if advertisers put publishers in the driver’s seat when it comes to designing a site experience around compelling ads, ad blocking’s future may not be as detrimental as once feared.

Also See Our Posts On:

10 Ad Blocking Stats Every CMO Needs To Know

Adblocking Wars: Advertiser Alternatives to Ads

How Brands Beat Ad Blocking With Sponsored Content

The Top 10 Influencer Marketing Statistics To Know

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5 Tips to Creating an Unbeatable Facebook Ad Campaign

Are you sick and tired of losing money on Facebook Ads?

Many advertisers just like you take a swing at a new ad campaign every day, hoping to finally hit the ball out of the park and win the game. They test a myriad of demographics and interests, use a lot of different images, and even tweak their copy over, and over, and over again.

But for some weird, unfair reason, they can’t create a profitable ad. It seems like they are just throwing money out to Facebook’s hands.

It kind of sucks, right?

Now, what if I told you that, with a few tweaks here and there, you could create your first successful ad today?

Because you can.

In this blog post, I will give you three tips that will dramatically change the way you approach Facebook Advertising forever, especially if you’re just starting.

Are you game? Great! Let’s dive right in:

Tip #1: Your Offer Will Make or Break Your Campaign

Let me start by citing the words of the late Gary Halbert—one of the best advertisers of the 20th century.

“Strong copy will not overcome a weak offer but…in many cases, a strong offer will succeed in spite of weak copy written by marketing morons.”

Gary was talking about direct response copywriting, but this principle applies to any advertising. If you have a good offer in place, you have more chances to create an ad that pays off. That’s a fact.

Just think about it.

Which offer is more attractive?

Offer #1

rosegal-facebook-ad

Offer #2
iheartdogs-facebook-ad

Both are great offers. I agree on that. But only one of them appeals to the right emotion.

Can you guess what offer I’m talking about?

You’re right. The second one.

Even though a 50% OFF deal is great, it doesn’t compare to the implied mechanism used by the second offer. The simple fact of feeding seven dogs will entice you to buy the shirt, especially if you are dog lover. You won’t even think you’re buying a shirt. That’s just a plus. In your mind, you’ll be helping seven poor dogs to survive.

And that’s what great offers do.

They sell without selling.

Now, I’m not saying you should start a charity to start selling on Facebook. No. What I’m saying is that you need to find a way to sweeten your offer—and do it in a way people don’t feel you’re selling them something. As Brian Clark says, “great copy doesn’t seem like an ad, it seems like a favor”.

Remember, people don’t like being sold, but they love to buy stuff.

So your mission is to make them feel that buying whatever you’re selling is their idea, not yours. That’s the basic concept I want you to understand.

Think outside the box and go beyond the typical “free shipping on orders over $50” kind of offers.

SaaS companies and information marketing businesses know this (at least the good ones.) They never sell you something. Instead, they offer free trials or give away information and create systems to build trust and entice you to buy the product without even doing any direct selling.

adespresso-facebook-ad

Of course, you can’t take the same approach in e-commerce. But, as an aspiring successful advertiser, your task is to find that compelling offer.

That said, here are a couple tips to do it:

  • Read “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. — in this book, Cialdini will guide you through the six weapons of influence (reciprocation, commitment, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity) and will show you how advertisers use them to persuade you into doing some things you wouldn’t normally do. This information will help you create more persuasive ads and identify the strategy behind the ad campaigns of your competition.
  • Read as many books on psychology as you can — marketing is simply human psychology in action. The more you know about it, the most effective your offers will be. And though there’s plenty of psychology books in the marketplace, these three will definitely help you start off on the right foot: Made to Stick, The Social Animal, and — of course — How to Win Friends & Influence People.
  • Look at what your competitors are doing and outsmart them — more often than not, you can create an irresistible offer by just analyzing what your competitors are doing, and then offering a “sexier” deal. Burger King, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s are famous for doing this. They continually spy on their competitors’ social media to find their most popular offers, and then create something better.

Wendy’s offer:

Burger King’s offer:

Tip #2: Track Sales, Not Vanity Metrics

Listen:

Clicks and social engagement are important, but what really matters is how much money you make, not how many people share your ad.

Here’s what I mean:

If you’re getting a lot of clicks, it’s easy to get false expectations because your ad is apparently “working.” This is a big mistake – clicks do not necessarily mean it’s a high-performing ad (unless your only goal is to get clicks).

I can’t remember how much money I’ve lost because of this.

I used to think: “I just need to be patient, and I will see the sales coming in. After all, people are engaging, aren’t they?”

Or “I will increase the daily budget. I just need more exposure.”

But those sales never materialized, and I ended up losing money.

Now, you may think this is something silly or that there’s no way it can happen to you, but I say, don’t be so sure.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting thousands of shares and clicks. If you are not getting sales, something is not working. It may be your ad. It may be your landing page. It may be your audience. But whatever the case is, you need to stop the campaign and figure out what’s going on. Otherwise, you’ll keep losing money.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that clicks and engagement aren’t important. To some degree, they are. What I’m trying to say is that you should always keep track of your sales, scale what works, and get rid of what doesn’t work.

This way, you’ll always have a point of reference for your next ad or campaign.

In words of Jon Loomer, Founder of The Power Hitters Club, a private community for advanced Facebook marketers:

If you don’t use Conversion Tracking, you’re going to have a hard time determining which ad is actually leading to revenue. As a result, it’s very easy to make the wrong decisions when managing your ads.

This is extremely important information. Even if you’re making sales, if you don’t track which ad is leading to revenue, you’ll lose money.

Now, take a look at this screenshot:

facebook-ad-performance

What you’re looking at is a screenshot of an ad I ran a long time ago.

I was selling a product for $199 and, as you can see, it cost me $128.99 to get a purchase. Apparently, I was profiting $70 per sale.

The problem is that when calculating my results, I didn’t take into account some expenses—like contribution to overhead and the product cost—so instead of making $70 per sale, I was losing around $21 per purchase.

I was so excited with my “successful” ad that I didn’t notice the leak until I was already $20,000+ down.

I know, I know. It was a DUMB mistake. And it’s not directly related to Facebook Advertising.

But it’s a very common one.

That’s why you need to track everything, especially revenue.

The bottom line is this:

Sales first. Clicks and engagement, second.

If you take this approach, I guarantee you’ll learn faster and save a ton of advertising money.

Tip #3: You Don’t “Create” Successful Ads, You Build Them

Many people believe that successful campaigns are “created,” but they are not.

I mean, you can’t produce a winner ad out of thin air. No. You need to find the right information about your audience, so that you can build a campaign based on those findings.

And here’s a keyword: “Build.”

If you were to build a building, how would you go about it?

First of all, you’d start with a solid foundation, right? Then, you’d start putting together a series of building blocks to give shape to your building.

Finally, once the entire building is done, you’d start taking care of the less-important details — like painting and decoration.

My point here is, if you skipped the first steps, your building would fall really quickly. And you know what? When it comes to Facebook marketing, you need to take the same approach. You need to build your campaigns exactly as you’d build a building. Step by step, you’re collecting and putting together key data points that, eventually, will give shape to your winner ad.

These key data points are the foundation of your campaign. But, how can you find these data points? The answer is very simple, of course. You find them through testing and optimization.

Now, optimization is a simple (yet often over-complicated) concept. According to Neil Patel, optimization boils down to two things:

  • Do more of what works.
  • Quit doing what doesn’t work.

That’s all there is to it.

And it’s the key to building a successful campaign.

Now, here are some tips that will help you start off on the right foot:

1. Split your ad into different categories

You need to categorize the elements of an ad to simplify the testing process. Breaking down your ads into elements will help you visualize the different things you can test and optimize.

Here are the different elements you can test:

Ad Design

  • Image
  • Text
  • Headline
  • Call to action
  • Value proposition

Targeting

  • Country
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Custom Audiences
  • Relationship Status
  • Purchase Behaviors
  • Education Level

Miscellaneous

  • Landing Page/Product Page
  • Ad Placement
  • Campaign Objective
  • Ad Type

If you’d like to learn more about targeting and categorization, Content Harmony produced an excellent guide to Facebook Ad Targeting options that is worth reading.

2. Optimize every element of your ad creative

Naturally, your ad creative will have a direct impact on your conversions. Here is where your main idea (value proposition) is expressed, and you need to take the time to optimize every element that supports that idea.

It’s surprising how many advertisers neglect this step and design an ad that simply doesn’t harmonize with the market.

Below you’ll find a simple cheat sheet that breaks down the different elements of a Facebook ad, and gives you some tips on how to optimize them for higher conversions.

decide-between-three-major-ad-placements

Now, if you want to dig deeper into ad creative optimization, marketing writer Brad Smith has put together a comprehensive guide that will show you everything you need to know about the topic. Make sure to read it.

3. Avoid the “spaghetti-against-the-wall” approach

If you throw a bunch of spaghetti against a wall, some of it will stick.

When it comes to Facebook Ads Optimization, you can’t take the same approach.

Of course, testing is crucial for your success, but it doesn’t mean that you should create a ton of different ads just to see which of them work.

Instead, you need a strategy.

But, how can you find this strategy?

Well, you can start by reading this guide from Social Media Examiner. You’ll learn 15 optimization strategies you can apply to your business right now. Also, BigCommerce produced an excellent roundup of Facebook Ads tips focused on ecommerce and conversions. These two posts will help you find the right angle for your business and industry.

4. Assume nothing, test everything

Take a look at the image below:

adespresso-facebook-ad-testImage Source

Let’s say you’re about to run the ads above.

How could you know which ad will perform best?

Some of you would say that comparing the emotional angles of each ad is the best method.

Others would say that you need to analyze the correlation between the offer and the imagery.

And another small group of smart folks would say that you only need to “Google it” (just kidding…bad joke.)

Anyways, these are insightful answers, don’t you think?

But none of them are right.

The truth is that you couldn’t possibly know which ad will give you better results until you test them.

When Adespresso ran those ads, they thought the first ad would outperform the second one. But the results were surprising:

adespresso-facebook-ad-results

The moral of the story?

When it comes to testing, your opinion doesn’t matter.

So remember, assume nothing. Test everything.

Tip #4: LTV Is More Important Than You Think

I love this quote from Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first outside investor:

“Long-term planning is often undervalued by our indefinite short-term world.”

How does this apply to Facebook marketing?

The answer is simple: In a bid to make a quick buck, many advertisers are missing on the tremendous opportunity that long-term planning can bring to their businesses.

Let me explain:

Assume you’re selling a $50 product, and it costs you $80 to acquire a new customer. At first glance, this doesn’t seem correct. If you’re spending $80 for every new customer, and you’re only making $50, it’s clear that you’re losing money, right?

Well, it depends…

Let’s also assume that you discovered that your LTV (Customer Lifetime Value) is $700. In this case, $80 per acquisition is not only acceptable, but utterly fantastic. You can afford to lose $30 per customer on the “front-end” of the relationship because you know that you’ll make far more money in the long run.

One of the primary reasons people fail at Facebook advertising is they don’t consider LTV when planning their strategy. They just focus on the quick sale. And the truth is until you calculate LTV and build your campaigns around it, you won’t take full advantage of your Facebook advertising.

Now, in case you’re wondering how to calculate LTV, this infographic will guide you step by step through the entire process.

Tip #5: Set Clear Goals (But Do It This Way)

This last one will sound kind of repetitive or dull. I was even tempted to exclude it from this guide. However, setting goals is crucial, and with so many people overlooking this step, I decided to talk a bit about it.

From an advertising standpoint, setting goals is vital because it helps you measure results and discover whether or not your ads and campaigns are following the right direction. Without a clear path to follow, you’ll never get tangible results.

Sure, chances are you already know all that. But how do you set the right goals?

Well, you need to start at the end…

Let’s say you want to increase your sales this year. How would you go about it? If I guess right, you’d set a goal like “40,000 units sold within 12 months” or “30,000 product sales by 2018.”

Now, setting “end” goals like these is advisable. They help you visualize the big picture and follow a clear path. The problem starts when you only set this type of goals. I mean, “40,000” can be a really discouraging number when you’ve never made that amount of sales before.

Worse yet, with “big picture” goals like these, it’s hard to measure results in the short run. Instead, you need to break them down into smaller goals. This way, you can analyze data with more speed and modify your strategy along the way, if necessary.

Getting back to the “40,000 units” example, how many sales would you need to make each month to reach your annual goal? The answer is 3,333 sales per month. And how many sales would you need to make each day to reach your monthly goal? Just 111 a day.

In this case, instead of trying to make 40,000 annual sales, you should aim for just 111 per day. By taking this approach, you can evaluate your campaigns on a daily basis, and therefore, pinpoint possible leaks in your strategy much faster.

The bottom line? When setting your advertising goals, remember to start at the end and break down your “big picture” goals into smaller goals.

I know, I know. It’s a simple concept. But it will make your life way easier.

More Facebook Articles From the Kissmetrics Blog:

It’s Time to Create Your First Unbeatable Ad

Look, I get it.

You’re skeptical.

You’ve spent so much money on different strategies and methods, and you’re afraid of failing again. But the only way to succeed is to move forward and try different things.

And I want to be completely blunt with you. Even if you implement this information, I can’t guarantee you’ll create a profitable ad.

Why? Because there’s way too many factors that can influence your results—like your industry, budget, experience, and even your country. But I can guarantee one thing: this information will put you on the right path to a more profitable, successful campaign.

But you need to give it a shot, don’t you think?

Anyways, it’s up to you.

I’d love to know your thoughts, brutal or otherwise.

About the Author: Josue Valles is a freelance copywriter, professional blogger, and business writing coach. He’s on a lifelong mission to help businesses find their voice and to turn boring ideas into brilliant stories. If you’re interested in working with Josue, you can email him at josuevallesp@gmail.com

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The Top 10 Coachella Statistics Advertisers Must Know

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Here are the top 10 Coachella statistics that brands & advertisers need to know

Nothing says warmer weather like a music festival, and Coachella is one of the biggest, routinely drawing crowds that approach 100,000 in a single day. Its attendees are active and engaged, and have proven themselves willing spenders.

Coachella and festivals like it provide unique opportunities for brands to reach and communicate with these audiences — provided they know how to tap into the power of the massive crowds that gather for the music, art, and experience.

The Key Coachella Stats Marketers Must Know

Attendance isn’t the only key metric that marketers need to know if they’re to understand the value of investing in marketing at Coachella. Here are the top 10 Coachella statistics marketers and advertisers must know.

1. 32 million people attend one or more music festivals in the United States every year.

And of those 32 million attendees, 14.7 million are millennials, making music festivals a hot spot for hitting that coveted millennial market. Because millennials don’t typically respond to traditional marketing efforts in the same way, festival marketing can be a unique opportunity to reach them in via new mediums in new settings where they may be more receptive to brand messaging.

2. Roughly 8 in 10 Coachella attendees bought something before Coachella to prep for the festival.

And of those purchasers, half spent on shoes and two thirds bought clothes.

Festival marketing opportunities don’t just take place on the other side of the snow fence and cattle gate. Many festival goers make purchases ahead of the festival itself, and therein lies an opportunity for brands and advertisers to tap a market that’s already proven itself willing to spend on a specific event. By partnering with or sponsoring Coachella (or even participating in parties as a part of the festival), brands may be able tie themselves to an event that’s proven to inspire plenty of spending.

3. Coachella drew 99,000 attendees each day of the six-day festival in 2016.

2016 was Coachella’s biggest year for attendance yet, bringing in nearly 100,000 attendees every day of the festival. That attendance number is staggering on its own, but when viewed in context of the entire festival, it becomes even more dramatic. Coachella takes place not in a major city, but in Indio, CA, which reaps incredible financial benefits. Residents get a little something, too — in 2016, it was estimated that 9,000 attendees would be staying in nearby Airbnbs.

Related Post: How Brands Are Marketing At Coachella

4. Between consumers and businesses, an estimated $704 million was spent in Coachella Valley in 2016.

This number is a total amount spent by both consumers and businesses, but estimated spending in the area was $403 million for 2016, and an estimated $106 million found its way into the Indio economy. What’s more, Indio was estimated to see $3.18 million from tax revenue on ticket sales alone.

5. Goldenvoice spent around $700K on “media and related content to promote Coachella” in 2015.

In early 2016, Goldenvoice filed a lawsuit against a music festival calling itself “Hoodchella.” The organizers of Hoodchella eventually settled and changed the name, but as part of the lawsuit, Goldenvoice claimed to have spent close to $700,000 on promoting the festival. That’s a huge chunk of change, but ultimately a drop in the bucket when compared to Coachella’s gross ticket sale numbers, which came to over $84 million.

6. The multi-day ticket for Coachella costs $375, which, in 2015, had festival goers paying $1.74 per artist.

Coachella’s pretty near the top of the chart when it comes to the bang-for-buck ratio. In 2015, there were 216 artists playing Coachella. With the total cost of a multi-day ticket coming in at $375, that left attendees paying just $1.74 per artist. Not bad, but not quite as dirt cheap as Vans Warped Tour, which, at the cheapest ticket tier, came out to just $0.44 per artist.

7. Coachella’s Snapchat Story reached over 40 million people worldwide.

Coachella isn’t just for the people in Indio, it’s a global event. And thanks to social media, it finds its way to virtual festival goers all over the world. In 2016, Coachella’s Snapchat Story reached a global audience of over 40 million people — way, way more than you could ever hope to fit inside of Coachella’s festival grounds.

8. Tweets about Coachella during the first weekend of the festival totaled 3.8 million.

Naturally, Coachella was a huge topic of conversation on Twitter during its first weekend in particular. 3.8 million tweets about Coachella were recorded that first weekend, and while that doesn’t quite measure up to the total number of tweets concerning the Super Bowl (27.6 million this year for Super Bowl 51), it’s a lot of sustained online chatter.

Related Post: The Most Popular Instagram Influencers

9. Lokai reached over 40 million people with its influencer & celebrity marketing campaign.

Though it’s a relatively small brand and was a relative unknown before last year’s festival, Lokai teamed up with influencers and celebrities to spread brand awareness. In addition to reaching a massive audience, Lokai saw incredible engagement, with over 2.2 million likes and over 14,000 comments on its Coachella campaign.

10. Revolve & American Express reached a combined audience of over 45 million.

Focusing heavily on experiential components to their influencer marketing strategies at Coachella, Revolve and American Express took a slightly different approach to raising awareness around their brands’ involvement around Coachella. American Express send influencers dubbed #AmexAmbassadors to the festival. The influencers then posted photos on social media using the hashtag #AmexAccess to spread awareness about the features and perks available to American Express members through the festival. American Express reached an audience of nearly 15.3 million and garnered nearly 140,000 likes and over 400 comments across the campaign.

Revolve drove engagement by hosting a “Desert House” party at Coachella and pushing pictures to Instagram with the hashtag #RevolveFestival through influencers like Bella Thorne and Aimee Song. Revolve reached an audience of over 30 million and saw over 1.6 million likes and 12,700 comments for the campaign.

Also See Our Posts On:

Coachella 2016 Marketing Case Study [PDF Download]

How Brands Are Working With Influencers For Coachella

How Brands Are Marketing At Coachella

Is Snapchat Losing Its Top Influencers To Instagram?

 

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