Part of the ‘Real Deal with Bob Kehoe’ series

2015 Review: 5 Questions to Ask Your Marketing Team

2015 digital marketing review

The Real Deal with Bob KehoeIt’s early November and, for many of us, this means two things.

Off the clock, the holiday trifecta (Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza, New Year’s Eve/Day) has crept up: if you haven’t already concerned yourself with plans for the holidays with family, friends and work colleagues for the next near-two months, get ready for that onslaught of phone calls, texts and e-mails with plans to fill your calendar.

During business hours, the end of the year means evaluating performance and revenue and putting that data to use to see how things can be improved in all areas of the company.

For some, December 31 means making that extra push to meet sales goals set early in the year with customers and, in a lot of cases with responsibilities to vendors at the same time. Before closing the books on the calendar year, others are tasked with major intra-company responsibilities and deadlines – think company stock inventories or account reconciliations.

While we at Leverage pride ourselves in providing our clients SEO tailored specifically to their operations, there are many end-of-year aspects to their existing digital marketing operations that speak to pretty much all of our clientele.

Listed below are just a few questions we ask, and recommend our clients ask, as it relates to their online presence and current marketing strategy before 2015 turns into 2016. Some of these may also help after Baby New Year makes his entrance less than two months from now.

Has Our Organic Traffic Increased in the Last Calendar Year? Take a look back at the last three quarters as well as where you stood at this time in 2014. Concern yourself with keywords on your web page and how they are affecting your page as well as keywords you did not consider at the start of the year. Based on what you find, consider adjusting your strategy to end the year on a high note.

Has Social Media Been Effective for Us in 2015? Review how often you’ve posted on your sites and how many followers you’ve accrued over the last nine months. Based on the findings, it’s a wise move to make tweaks here as well.

Are We Ready for the Holidays? If your operations rely on sales during the holiday season, how have we prepared for this and what more can we do? Even companies whose revenues are not based on holiday shoppers can take this time to look at the best sales opportunities for your operations as the year winds down and come up with the best approach to fulfilling them.

Are We Ready for the New Year? Start looking now at the overall ROI you’ve had with your company’s current marketing strategy for the current calendar year and start concerning yourself now, rather than later, with what can be done to improve on your ROI for 2016 on both large and small scales.

And last, but certainly not least …

Are We Enjoying The Holidays? Along with time with family and friends, the holiday season provides no shortage of football. This year we have one of the greatest sports rivalries – the Bears vs the Packers – on Thanksgiving, and New Year’s weekend always means college bowls. Happy holidays for that.

Digital Marketing Goes Mainstream

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

Usually, I don’t need much in terms of persuasion when it comes to digital marketing’s impact on the Big Picture.

Be it the technology strata, the business community, or its social impact, digital marketing is, without a doubt, an integral – I’ll go as far as to say essential – part in each of those worlds. Its societal impact will surely increase as its technology continues to blossom, as businesses continue to embrace the field, and as more and more consumers and business owners’ embrace it.

The above is fact to me. That, and that I’ve been able to house, feed a family and pay for the occasional vacation and college tuition doing this for nearly two decades, is pretty much all the proof I need of the validity of what I do.

Recently, though, I got what I consider to be a pleasant reminder of this industry’s prominence in the world today.

An elevator pitch of a digital nature…

A few weeks back, I was out of town for several days in meetings with a client whose office was in a 35-plus floor high rise. Like many big-city professional buildings today, their elevators are equipped with small digital screens, which provides 20 or so second editorial feed featuring up-to-date news of a wide variety, words of the day, ads from everything from Bank Of America to Macy’s to Burrito Beach, and social goings-on in the building (i.e. tenant happy hours, services, management notices).

Over the course of my time there, I saw, alongside sports scores, stock market updates and the big sale at the lobby’s Hudson’s Books, the following news blips on my elevator trips:

  • Spending on paid media worldwide is on track to climb 5.7 percent this year. This is a slight decrease from last year, but the bulk of the digital advertising will see the brunt of this
  • Ad blocking software, which stops banner ads for popping up on computer screens, proving to be a hit with digital marketers
  • More than 50 percent of total digital spending in 2015 is expected to go to Mobile
  • Marketers are continuing to increase their digital budgets, with an estimated 60 percent upping their e-mail marketing and 48 percent increasing their spend on social media

Like many in this business, I look to receiving this news on a near daily basis, and do so from a myriad of industry related websites as well as alerts. As to be expected, these quick hits got my attention, but what really stands out for me here is the fact in itself these bites are being broadcast for the average office Joe and Janet to read.

If memory serves me well – and I’m making this call having been in more than my fair share of big city elevators over the years – digital marketing news stories such as the examples above have had an audience.  The thing is, it’s usually just geared towards us in the field.

That our industry news such as digital budgets and spends and software are now featured in this setting alongside everything here from NASDAQ updates to baseball scores to “American Horror Story” casting isn’t surprising to me and shouldn’t be to you: many of us have known its potential in the early days and all of us are part of its evolution.

In this case, it looks like the masses are starting to catch on, though. Better late than never, I say.

Go Double Platinum: Attracting Qualified Leads to Your Site

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

 

Here’s a little quiz for that music fan in your life:

Question: What do Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait, U2’s Rattle and Hum and Stevie Wonder’s Journey through the Secret Life of Plants all have in common?

Answer: They were all double albums.

For casual music listeners born after, say, 1990, double albums were collections of all-new recordings that took up two vinyl records.  If you’re still confused, ask your parents. Or a hipster.

Another trait the above-mentioned albums share comes from more of a critical vein: each of these albums left most music fans and critics scratching their heads. It’s easy for even the most casual rock and pop fans to name landmark double album sets (The Beatles’ self-titled ‘White Album’, London Calling by The Clash, and Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti immediately come to mind here), but Tusk, Portrait, and the others first mentioned have gone down in musical history as albums in desperate need of editors.

While there’s a lot of quality to be found on those four double discs, taking a lessor song or two off each of the four sides could very well have made for another Rumours or Joshua Tree.

Web Traffic without Leads Is Like An Album That Lacks Hits

Think of website traffic as a digital equivalent of sorts to the overstuffed double albums from back in the day.

For many businesses just dipping their toes into online marketing, an early indication of success may be the number of views their website pages accumulate over a period of time.  Those measuring the success of their site on this metric alone may be ecstatic at first should their traffic reach or exceed their initial expectations.

But if these views don’t lead to conversions and bring in revenue, the high quantity of visits doesn’t add up to anything substantial. There may be one or two highlights of note, as in the lackluster double album sets mentioned above, but there’s not much to show in light of the quantity of hits recorded.

How To Bring in Pre-Qualified Traffic

To attract qualified leads to your site, you and your marketing team should be prepared to roll up your sleeves, as there are a few ways to sort out the casual viewer from the potential customer.

One way to attract serious shoppers to your site is with well-constructed and high-quality blogging. B2B marketers who write blogs receive two thirds as many leads as those who don’t, and both B2B and B2C marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI. Doing SEO research and incorporating the results into your blogging strategy is essential to attracting readers that are pre-qualified.

Another way to attract customers is to shine a light on past clientele: reintroduce yourself to satisfied customers and encourage them to share your information with their peers. This will increase your exposure and brand trust, since 92% of shoppers value recommendations from friends and family over all forms of ads.

Researching your target clientele and coming up with specific buyer personas can also help you get more qualified leads. Casting a wide net may increase your traffic, but approaching and concentrating on a niche that is likely to seek your business out can do wonders for your revenue stream which, unlike the number of page views, can be taken to the bank.

Beware of Agencies that Only Promise Traffic

Remember to focus on the quality of leads rather than the quantity. If a marketing company is promising high traffic without focusing on any other metrics, this is a classic case of buyer beware. There are plenty of agencies out there who tout success based on the number of page visits their clients’ sites receive, but these are merely boys compared to the men. Leverage Marketing focuses on attracting traffic that results in sales, not just views.

In the end, you – as well as your digital marketing team – want to have a London Calling. At Leverage, we have never settled for Tusk.

How Social Media Can Bring Peace of Mind

A few months back, I relayed a tale of how our family dog, Norman, got loose and was found and returned to us thanks to the actions of alert and social media savvy neighbors.

Think of this tale as a cousin of sorts to that, albeit one more severe.

Facebook Reacquaints Old Friends

Coal City, Illinois, is a village about an hour southwest of Chicago. Having spent the occasional night there in the past, it’s a nice, quiet place where, compared to the metropolis 60 miles away, you can see the stars clearly, even on the occasional overcast night.

Coal City boasts a population of about 5,000. One amongst that is a longtime and much-loved friend of my wife and I from our college days. As is the case with many of our running buddies from back in the day, our main communication reignited a few years back when we caught up with each other on Facebook. Since then, there’s been the occasional birthday phone call which, inevitably, ends with the talks of getting together which, unfortunately (and also inevitably), hasn’t happened yet.

On June 23, both my wife and I were alerted to news that Coal City was hit hard the night before by a tornado. Unfortunately, this has become the norm, rather than the exception, in our home state in the last few years: a couple months back, one of the largest tornadoes ever recorded in the Land of Lincoln completely decimated a small town, resulting in multiple injuries and two deaths.

With early reports of multiple injuries and significant property damage, as well as the past tornadoes in mind, my wife ran to her cell phone to make sure our friend and her family – she has a terrific husband and two young sons – were okay. No luck: the call went straight to voice mail.

Knowing Loved Ones Are Ok – Even If They Don’t Answer the Phone

Our next move was to Facebook, which is where we first re-established contact with our friend and “like” each other’s photos and comments. A brief post from our friend – “everyone’s okay here, thank god” – came mid-morning, much to everyone’s relief.

Tales such as this are no longer something new – in the wake of disasters, checking social media sites  and waiting for text responses and e-mails for the whereabouts and conditions of loved ones is as much a knee-jerk reaction as picking up the phone.  In fact, it’s somewhat amusing how, only a few short years ago, contacting loved ones in the eye of adversity via new media was something to marvel at: I remember several news stories centered around families reunited thanks to a post or a tweet, and how amazing this was.

As amusing as these stories from not so long ago may be now, one thing they’ll likely continue to get right is the worry friends and family feel in that space between hearing about the incident and receiving the “all clear” confirmation. Social media, again, has played a vital role in easing our worry regarding our friend and her family.

Yet there’s one aspect here that remains unfulfilled: it’s time to actually make time to see each other outside of posts and phone calls. Despite all the benefits social media allows for, there’s nothing that will ever compare to quality time with old friends.

 

Digital Claims Victory in 2016 Election

While it’s hard to put an exact date on it, there’s no doubt we’re now in the throes of the 2016 presidential election race.

Over the course of the last month-plus, candidates from both political parties have, officially or otherwise – thrown their hats into the ring. Heck. Some can argue that the race began years ago, with media speculation running rampant over whether or not a former first lady and secretary of state would make a bid to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

By no means will I use this blog as a place to discuss the race – I’m applying the old “never talk about politics or religion” rule used by many young and old at dinner tables, coffee shops and bars as a rule of thumb here at The Real Deal – but early projections are already predicting a victory when it comes to digital ad revenues based on election spending.

While television is expected to remain the largest beneficiary of electoral ad spending, political digital advertising for the race, according to an April article in Reuters, is going to play its most significant role in the election to date.

Political Online Ad Spend in the U.S.

chart for election online ad spend 2010-2016

While this is no surprise – as with pretty much every profession and field, the digital strata has become a major component in campaigns as large as the Oval Office and as minute as a small town parks and recreation election – digital marketing, and the companies behind the ads and strategies, have and will continue to grow.

“Firms that target voters with digital ads are multiplying, in some cases seeing the number of both clients and employees triple each two-year election cycle, interviews with multiple firms and reviews of Federal Election Commission records show,” according to the article. “Some of the companies told Reuters they anticipate hundreds of campaigns, ranging from presidential to school board, to sign contracts with them.”

Another recent look at electoral ad spending, this time at us.kantar.com, echoed Reuters piece to a degree: the boob tube is still the biggest beneficiary in terms of where the ad dollars go, but digital marketing is hardly a distant second, along with radio.

“Technology is pushing us toward elections in which traditional TV advertising plays less of its current, giant role,” according to Kantar. “While targeting enables advertisers to hone in on smaller audiences, technology is sending content, and the ad dollars that follow it, to ever smaller screens. A lot of this is generational as content and advertisers chase the young folk … Media studies have documented a shift in news consumption from TV to desktops and, in their most recent look, from desktops to mobile devices.”

Additionally, a social cornerstone of the internet’s role in this year’s election thus far can be traced to April 12, when the aforementioned former first lady and secretary of state officially announced her candidacy. This wasn’t done via the traditional press conference-slash-rally; it came via YouTube. As of late June, the announcement has received nearly 5 million hits and more than 13,000 comments.

Not Taylor Swift video numbers, but impressive nonetheless.

For us digital media innovators and worker bees, how this presidential election unfolds may very well be as interesting as the race itself. Say what you will (but not here) about the race as it sits now, one thing, though, is for sure: its impact and influence on who will be the 45th President is growing in ways not many folks could imagine when the current president took office in 2009.

 

A Recipe for Sweetening Negative Reviews

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

For consumers, the Internet has proven to be a valuable tool when it comes to making sound purchases or investments. That’s why online reputation management has become so essential.

These days, you can do your homework and find reviews of pretty much any product or service and, for many perspective buyers, doing his or her homework online before picking up the phone or making a purchase is nowadays imperative.

Businesses subject to the consumer’s two cents, though, may not be so appreciative of this. And occasionally, their attempts to fan the critical or negative flames on their own can make matters worse.

Case in point: a friend of mine is a chef who, despite an impressive CV and years of work and smarts under her belt, had to take work at a small catering company a few years back at the height of the recession. To get a sense of what she was getting into, she perused a few popular sites that specialized in restaurant and food service reviews and came across a range of responses to the outfit that were, as she described it, “all over the map.” Given the economic climate, though, she took the job.

Over the next few months, my friend monitored the websites and noticed something curious: if any reviews posted that expressed even the slightest dissatisfaction with their services, a post would quickly pop up praising the company and including counterpoints to the original, critical post.

Even more curious: the complimentary posts praised the catering company for fictitious work. These hijinks were easily traced to the owner, who was also in charge of sales and whose reputation for being difficult to her clientele and employees proved to be well-founded. The occasional critical posters also weren’t spared an ounce of her wrath, as the posts between the critical client and owner turned into full-on pissing wars on a few occasions — not everyone can successfully handle review management.

 

Respond to Negative Reviews with Dignity

Whether or not consumer critiques are posted in earnest or with ulterior motives is beside the point to business owners. They’re out there for others to read and consider, and the companies on the receiving end of the critical or negative reviews stand to lose potential business regardless of if the post is sincere or unfounded.

If inclined to respond to a negative review, the best approach is to take the high road.

Gauge which posts are the most logical to address: this is as important as how you will respond. Then address the critical post politely and sympathetically. Offer a sincere apology acknowledging the issue and offer a remedy to resolve the problem and/or offer a discount or other incentive to prompt return business. If the poster responds negatively, then let it go.

This can also reflect well on those considering doing business with your company: smart consumers are aware that not every customer will walk away completely enthralled with your operations, and mature, sympathetic responses on your part can actually make a good impression to readers vetting you out.

 

Getting Help with Online Reputation Management
While it’s wise for the business owner or manager to do their part in monitoring consumer websites and social media pages and responding to negative as well as positive comments, they can’t be expected to handle it all. Responding to all online reviews can be a daunting task, especially if your company has several locations or branches with their own Yelp or Google+ pages. That’s where Leverage comes to the rescue.

Through our online reputation management platform, we regularly seek out positive reviews of our clients’ products and services and make sure those are placed front and center on a variety of sites. We also identify and manage any negative reviews our clients may receive as soon as they receive them.

By executing this program, we expect our clients’ online rankings to improve, as will the volume of organic traffic and overall ratings. This program, as well as the approach to responding to unsatisfied customers or patrons as described above, is the better path to service-driven companies, including catering and food service operations.

Our chef friend’s tenure with this catering company was short, by the way: the owner may have made a point to write “praise” for her outfit online and defend anyone whose opinion was less than celebratory, but there were other things – notably her employees’ paychecks – that she’d forget to write.

TARGET MARKETS HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE SPECIFIC

Advertisers that set out to attract their target audiences is hardly a new idea in any media.

If anything, it’s a common practice, and one that continues to evolve and refine today.

 

How Did We Reach Target Markets before the Internet?

In newspapers, it’s pretty uncommon to find an ad for women’s apparel or florists in the sports section, and, on the flipside, a half page ad for the region’s auto parts chain is usually not found in the style section. The boob tube has had their own practices for years: Beer ads during ballgames has itself become a pastime, and you’re likely to find more than one zombie/apocalypse-themed commercial during breaks on “The Walking Dead” as well as spots for their video games.

 

As soon as businesses big and small realized the Internet wasn’t a fad and there was an advantage to having an online presence, they – slowly but surely, it can be argued – set up sites of their own and, in many cases, placed ads on likeminded sites. A banner for the current Foot Locker mega-sale is best found on sports and fitness-themed sites big and small, while a link to downloading the just-released Arcade Fire album was commonplace on rock and pop pages.

 

In the last two examples above, note that the ads described were based around events – the Foot Locker banner on the sports/fitness sites is timed to the sale, and the Arcade Fire ad is timed to the release of the band’s new album.

 

As of late, though, smart digital advertising is paying significantly more attention to the fitness buff or rock fan rather than the sale and new album release. Due to the individualized experiences web browsers, platforms and applications provide, advertisers have been able to follow the trails that users leave behind when they browse or interact online to paint a picture of their personalities and create a customizable ad experience.

 

Advertising to Custom Audiences
In mid-2012, Facebook rolled out FBX, which allowed advertisers to purchase ad space on their website with the ad catering to the web user’s browsing history as well as user data such as age and location.

 

Not only does FBX follow the users’ past searches. If you were recently online looking at, say, kitchen appliances, an ad for an appliance store would come up when you logged onto your Facebook page. Two years later, Facebook improved upon that with Website Custom Audiences. Advertisers could then choose their audiences based on their interests, location, gender, age and more. Never before had marketers been able to define and target their audiences so specifically.

A few months after that, Google got into the game with their Custom Affinity and In-Market Audiences programs. This gives advertisers the opportunity to get their business seen on their site’s display network. They, too, base their ads on users’ previous searches, and advertisers going the Custom Affinity route can target their audiences using Google’s AdWords.

 

The Benefits of Reaching Niche Markets
I like to think that this is a significant step up for all parties – especially the companies throwing their hat into the retargeting ring – when it comes to both online presence and the opportunity to reach potential clients and customers. Using these custom audience features to target niche markets can be especially beneficial to small businesses and startups that need to target more specific markets to get their foot in the door and get a leg up on the competition.

Targeting custom audiences isn’t only beneficial to business, the users themselves have already shown interest in the subject/business/industry in which the ad is targeting. An intelligently crafted ad campaign – and this is where we come in, by the way, and work our magic – can be nothing but beneficial to those businesses who are willing to jump into this growing and evolving marketing style and to those users who are looking for a product that fits their lifestyles or personalities.

When Social Media Hits Home

Usually, I use the space here at “The Real Deal” to offer my two cents about matters of the digital marketing strata, be they new trends, business strategies, or experiences I’ve had navigating the waters of this industry both prior to and here at Leverage marketing.

 

Right now, though, I’m going to reach out to my dear readers as Bob Kehoe, family guy and neighbor.

 

Like a lot of husbands and fathers, I got caught up in my own crap one night last week. Heck: I can’t recall exactly what I was doing at the time, but I would venture, given the time of day and day of the week, it was either checking and responding to e-mails and reading ESPN on my phone or checking and responding to e-mails and reading ESPN on my computer.

 

Either way, my wife told me not to take our dogs out but, given the attention I was paying at the time, I let both pups outside, and Norman, our Schnauzer/Labrador, made his way out the open fence and into the great suburban outdoors.

 

Pretty much any one can imagine, if not recall, the melee that followed: the yelling. The yelling at me. Me running down the street. More yelling at me. Family members scattering throughout the block while yelling at me. Me yelling at me.

 

FYI: Sarah MacLachlan’s pals at the ASPCA offer loads of pet care tips on their website and there’s even a page dedicated to dogs escaping from the yard. Yet there’s nothing there that offers a course of action to take when seeking he or she out.

 

While this, as to be expected, threw the Kehoe household into a state of chaos – and a state, given the circumstance, where time seems to crawl at a snail’s pace – Norman was slowly making his way through the subdivision.

 

Fortunately, our neighbor caught Norman in his travels and, even more fortunate for us, snapped a picture of our dog and posted it on Facebook. Our neighbor also made note of Norman’s whereabouts on her Twitter account.

 

In our scramble, my daughter had the foresight to check her social pages and, lo and behold, there was Norman. Alerted to this, we hightailed it forthwith to the neighbors and Norman was back in our care safe and sound.

 

Cue the Lilith lady’s “Angel” here.

 

The span between Norman’s dash from the yard to back home from the neighbors was an hour, albeit one of the longest hours of my life.

 

While social media plays a role in my life both professionally and personally, I am still in awe of the role it can play in our daily lives. In this case, it has proven to be a vital component. 

 

My family and I are beyond grateful to our friends down the street for posting the pics and if it wasn’t for her who knows what would’ve happened. Kudos must also go to my daughter, who continues to amaze me with her smarts for having the sense to head up what proved a successful online search.

 

This did, though, put me in the doghouse with the fam for a little bit. In the end, though, that’s an insignificant price for this husband and dad to pay.

So, how can we tie all this back into marketing? For one thing the speed at which the search commenced and our dog was returned to us sure beats the old-fashioned cat or dog posters you see stapled to posts or trees. In less than an hour, the neighborhood knew our dog was missing and helped us locate him. Secondly, people refer to their social accounts throughout the day, and they discovered our dog was missing much quicker than it would have taken for them to see a poster or get word through another form of communication. This experience has shown me firsthand that social media is the way to go when it comes to delivering a specific message to the right audience in a very short time period.

GOING NATIVE WITH SPONSORED CONTENT

Describing Leverage Marketing – and digital marketing as a whole – has proven to be met with mixed responses over time.

 

A few weeks back, for example, my wife and I were at a school function for one of my daughters when we were introduced to a fellow classmate’s mother through a mutual friend. After some small talk (our kids, sports, weather, smelly gymnasium), the mother inquired to my profession.

 “Internet marketing? Is that where you sell ad space on the Internet?” she inquired.

 “No,” I replied. “What we do is…”

 “Are you the guys that put ads on Facebook?”

 “Well,” I started, “We …”

 “Do you know what I don’t like?” she interrupted, looking at my wife. “When I go on Facebook and I see ads there. I don’t go on Facebook to look for ads.”

Priss.

 

It’ll be probably to the chagrin of our mutual acquaintance, but promoted Facebook posts and other forms of native advertising are shaping up to be popular and valuable forms of digital advertising.

Sponsored post on Linkedin

 

This year, it is expected that the spend on native advertising will increase by more than a third compared to last year, according to an article on adage.com, with big names such as General Electric, Ford Motor Co. and Hewlitt Packard expected to be major players in this form of advertising that is expected to surpass $4.3 billion in spend this calendar year. By 2018, that figure is projected to double.

 

For those uninitiated, native advertising is a form of digital advertising whose design matches that of the natural content of the web page. Another way of putting it is sponsored content. Native advertising can be utilized in the form of articles, videos, music and other media to match the type of content the consumer might be browsing at the moment.

            

Social Media sites aren’t the only ones jumping onto the native advertising wagon. Click onto CNN, still a go-to for up-to-the-minute news for many online, or Rollingstone, once the great arbiter of all things musically hip, and it won’t take long to find an ad in between the headlines.

 

Native advertising on CNN

While this is proving to be a hit with many companies and websites, there are some out there, like our mutual acquaintance, that are taking issue with native advertising.

 

Last summer, comedian John Oliver, on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight,” lambasted native advertising in regard to its growing appearance on news sites in a lengthy segment.

 

“Ads are baked into content like chocolate chips into a cookie. Except, it’s actually more like raisins into a cookie—because nobody … wants them there,” was one of his more memorable quotes. “I like to think of news and advertising as the separation of guacamole and Twizzlers. Separately they’re good. But if you mix them together, somehow you make both of them really gross” is another.

 

I, though, like to think all parties – the companies buying the ads, the sites providing the space, and the readers on the web pages – are much smarter than Oliver and other native advertising critics will lead you to believe.

 

Despite their blending in with the sites design, it only takes a small modicum of common sense for readers to distinguish between what is news/content and what is an advertisement. Like the many choices of content/articles that are a click away on a news site’s page, readers can click on the ad if they want more information or simply leave it be. Additionally, content that is paid to be circulated by a company is often just as valuable to the reader as any other content on the page, when it’s done right. Paid content is researched and developed with the intent of informing its audience. Whether or not that audience wants to go on to browse products or make a purchase is entirely up to them.

 

Describing Internet marketing in a sentence or two may be confounding to some, but dealing with native ads is quite simple, if you ask me.

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