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Tips & Tricks

9 Things You’re More Likely To Do Than Click on a Traditional Banner Ad

With traditional banner ads seeing CTRs around .2% due to banner blindness and other factors, advertisers and publishers are looking for more effective ways to reach consumers. By switching your online advertising spend from traditional banner ads to in-image ads, advertisers are seeing CTRs jumps between .15%-4%. So while you’re ignoring traditional banner ads, here’s 9 things Solve Media says you have a greater chance of doing.

 

 

So what’s your take on these “likeliness” items? Sound off in the comments!

Change Your Thinking About Competition

In the startup space, competition is inevitable regardless of what product, service or industry you are servicing. Competition can be a healthy thing to fuel your ambitions and propel your startup even further. Or it can be a company’s downfall if it doesn’t stay true to its unique offering and business philosophy.

OnStartups.com recently wrote 13 Ways to Think About and Crush Your Competition. Here are a few thoughts we wanted to re-share with you:

You are your biggest competitor

You are often your biggest competitor. You should not completely ignore your competition, but the biggest battle happens inside of the four walls of your startup’s office. Startups come down to pure execution of a strategy on a daily basis and maintaining the faith for the long haul. Most startups don’t lose to competition, but because they lose the will to fight.

Copycats don’t have the roadmap

Before someone like Google comes along to compete with you, a slew of copycats will spring up. We recently had this happen with Onswipe as an unoriginal 100% ripoff popped up using our name to gain press with a shoddy product. Along the way, a copycat will constantly try to play fast follower by copying your latest and greatest feature. The problem is the fact that, copycats are always one step behind and often stay that way. They never started out creating the company as a problem they wanted to solve, but as a way to capitalize on the great opportunity that you shed light upon. The copycats will create confusion in the marketplace, which should be your greatest worry. Potential customers may ask how you are different than them. The way to combat this is to sell more than just the current snapshot in time, but the longer-term vision. Since the copycat does not have your startup’s longer-term vision, you can out sell them.

Focus on the normals

Pinterest has become a huge success and has grown tremendously over the past year. The largest part of Pinterest’s success story has not been its adoption by the inner circle of Silicon Valley or sex crazed college students, but those of women from Middle America. Most competitors will come into the market and try to create buzz amongst the early adopters of the tech community. Instead of falling into this trap, try to attract the normal users of the world ie- women in the Midwest or a teenager that wants to find new music. It’s hard to reach this audience and once you have a grasp on it, it will be hard for a competitor to come in and compete against you.

Avoiding the build versus buy problem

Many startups will not be competing with other startups, but with the internal development teams of their larger customers. Moveable Type lost the blogging wars to WordPress by not moving themselves towards being a fully flexible platform. Instead of having conversations that are a build versus buy scenario where it’s either your startup or your customer’s internal development team, you should be positioning yourself into a build OR buy scenario. In order to do this, your product needs to become a platform that others can build upon to meet their needs. This will let you grow overtime to meet the needs of any customer without sacrificing your own roadmap. This will often require you to sacrifice some short-term gains for long-term sustainability. Any and all changes you make to your software have to be applicable to the greater good of the platform. That means no custom development and no bending to the wills of customers’ crazy demands.

Holiday Startup News Roundup

Startups got some love over the holiday weekend with great tips and lessons. Here’s a look at some of the top stories to help your startup excel.

Eight Ways to Go Viral

What do Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Dropbox and Skype have in common? Except for being ridiculously successful, they all enjoyed a strong viral effect that helped accelerate their growth.

How did they do that? Here’s the thing; most people assume that these companies grew by pure word of mouth. Well, that’s only half of the story. The other half is that they deliberately built viral features into their products that helped spread the word.

How to Manage Your Company’s Online Reputation (Infographic) Many of us are intimately familiar with the rigmarole of personal online-reputation control, especially as the 2011 holiday party season comes to a close. We know to delete any tipsy tweets and comb through Facebook to un-tag ourselves in embarrassing party photos.

What Startup to Build? If you’re asking which startup to build, not whether to build, you probably have several half-baked ideas and don’t know which one to devote yourself to. Or you have no idea at all.

When An Entrepreneur Fails From Lack of Nerve Watching an entrepreneur fail is sad, but watching them fail from a lack of nerve is tragic.

The 2012 Phenomenon is 1 Year Away

Tomorrow marks a year to the day of the Mayan 2012 prophecies. A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.

Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth’s collision with a black hole, passing asteroid or a planet called “Nibiru”.

Everyone around the web will be posting images and discussing their thoughts on this phenomenon, so make sure that your 2012 images are alt text labeled correctly for better in-image ad targeting.

2012 In-Image Ad Trends: #2 Non-Standard, Integrated Ads

In a quest to avoid things like banner blindness and to stand out from competitors, more clients are requesting ads that are not standard sizes. With in-image advertising being a new niche in online advertising, there’s a unique opportunity to carve out new advertising standards that integrate into and enrich the publisher and user experience, minimizing any disruption. Here’s a few examples of non-standard, integrated in-image campaigns clients requested.

Kmart

Curves

Hyatt

2012 In-Image Ad Trends: #1 Video

eMarketer predicts that US video ad spending will grow to 43.1% in 2012. This means huge things for in-image advertising in 2012 that can showcase video prominently and relevantly. Consumers are drawn to video because it reproduces the richness they associate with TV. With in-image advertising’s highly relevant targeting and placement, the user is getting a rich content experience. Here’s a few GumGum in-image advertising campaigns with video components that saw great engagement returns.

Snow White and The Huntsman

Axe Bodyspray

Bruno

Startup News Digest

Mark Suster tells it like it is at Venture Shift in NY

Mark Suster, prolific blogger, partner at GRP and a valued GumGum advisor, spoke at last night’sVenture Shift in New York, and suffice to say, he’s not a demure fella’. You won’t want to miss this interview.

“It Is The Best Time Over The Past Decade To Be An Entrepreneur”

TechCrunch sat down with Jim Breyer at Techonomy to talk about disruptions occurring in the venture capital industry itself with the abundance of angel money and the impact that is having on traditional VC firms.

Sean Parker Thinks Silicon Valley is in Trouble

CNET sat down with Sean Parker at Techonomy. His beef: Too many angel investors are throwing way too much money–albeit in little drips–at aspiring entrepreneurs who aren’t up to the task of building a company.

The World According to Hadoop

If you missed the recent Hadoop conference, check out the SiliconAngle video coverage. Some really great interviews and insights.

Start Your Startup Engine

Two new startup incubators launched this past week. Former MySpace CEO Mike Jones (and one of GumGum’s trusted advisors) launched Science, a new startup incubator, accelerator and studio that focuses on three key areas: developing and incubating new business ideas, advising early stage startups and helping “Web 1.0″ companies reinvent themselves for the present.

Esteemed Harvard University launched the Harvard Innovation Lab is an incubator designed for startup-hungry students on campus. The i-lab, as it is known by abbreviation, began as a response to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s desire to introduce more innovation spaces Boston and Harvard’s promise to raise the next generation of startup CEOs right.

People Ignore Generic Photos Online

To monetize using GumGum, publishers should optimize their websites and blogs with images. The quality and types of images can make a huge difference. Jakob Neilsen, who studied banner blindness, decided to track the correlation between user engagement and the quality of images. He found that users completely ignore the unrelated and stock images found on websites and blogs. What images you use matters! Here’s some tips on the types of images that will engage your users and boost your monetization strategy.

Filler & Fluff: These images could be vector art, stock photography or real photography that are inserted to the page just to have an image, adding no value to the user’s experience. If an image is being inserted for the sake of having an image, rethink your strategy. Swap it out for a photo that’s as interesting and useful as the text on the page.

Real People: We all have seen and/or used the stock photos of “generic people”. They have people laughing at the beach, serious in the office and on and on. These images don’t resonate with users as the example above shows. A better solution? Use a photo of a real person. Whether it’s a company staff page or a pop culture hot topic, look for images that show the people involved. Users will engage more time with images of real people.

Product Details: This is a tip for e-commerce sites with photo galleries. 18% of the viewing time on e-commerce sites is spent on the photos, while 82% is spent on the text. What does this mean? People are using the text to make decisions, so the images need to be as engaging as possible. Show the product details or it being used in real-life application. Don’t just show an image of a flat screen TV on a wall with no points of reference for the user to compare sizing, etc. to.

Information-Carrying: The bottom-line is that users pay attention to images that portray useful information. If you’re showing how to install a 1966 Chevy Impala carburetor, give the user step-by-step photos of what they need to do.

Power of a Keyword

GumGum designed a blend of proprietary image recognition and targeting technologies to precisely overlay in-image ads on relevant images around the web. One way we do this is through the use of keyword targeting. Advertisers select a set of keywords related to the product or service they wish to advertise. We take those keywords and match them against GumGum publisher image label tags (make sure your images are labeled correctly!) for a highly targeted and relevant user experience that drives higher engagement and clickthrough rates.

 

Experiential Targeting

The right keyword can evoke strong user emotions. Take the Wyoming Cowboys celebratory win depicted below, with an emotive “Real Heroes are Made Off the Field” in-image ad overlay from Buick. With accurately and appropriately targeted keywords, the user is given a relevant emotional experience.

 

Ease of Life Targeting

Some in-image advertising experiences can provide the user with a recommendation that can make their life easier. A user searching for chicken recipes that calls for mayonnaise could be taken to this page with the Hellmann’s Chicken Challenge in-image ad with video component below. Through precise keyword targeting, the user is matched with exactly what they were searching for: chicken recipe variations that use mayonnaise.

 

Lifestyle Targeting

Many users scour the Internet for products and services that fit their lifestyle, from adventurous to luxurious to casual. Wanderlust users viewing the photo gallery of the Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming below will see an ad for the luxurious Hyatt Summerfield Suites. Through demographic keyword targeting, the user sees a luxury hotel recommendation that fits perfectly into their next trip.

The Future of Advertising Is Integrated

A few months ago, one of GumGum’s advisors Mark Suster of GRP Partners wrote a guest post on TechCrunch about where the future of advertising is headed. He touched on some great points and challenges within in-image advertising.

The fundamental problem with traditional advertising is a phenomenon called ”banner blindness” where website visitors ignore banner-like information on a page. Jakob Nielsen published an eye-tracking study that shows we’re trained to focus on the body of the page, not the ads. In the image below, you can see that the eyes stay within the content boundaries and don’t waver to the ads around the perimeter. This is bad news for traditional online advertisers.

The solution: integrated media. Get the ads into the stream where user eyes are and engage them with interesting and relevant ads. GumGum in-image ads do just this.

By overlaying ads on images in the main body of the page, rather than the perimeters, the ad appears to be part of the content of the page it’s displayed on, causing the user to pay attention to it.

This blending of ads and images dispels the traditional separation of “church and state” within publishing and results in a rich, user-engaged experience that delivers two times the industry average for banners.

That’s a win-win for publishers, advertisers and users.

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