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It's informative, it's got some laughs in it, and best of all it won't waste your time because it's short. The Content Marketing Quickie brings you the latest each week from your favorite industry with a side of snarky commentary. From Mike Stiles and Brand Content Studios.

Jun 11, 2019

Hey, it’s Stiles from Brand Content Studios and here’s your Content Marketing Quickie for the week of June 11, 2019.


-You’re probably getting ripped off. That’s right, if you buy digital ads for your company you are definitely getting ripped off, it’s just a matter of how badly. Cybersecurity company Cheq just released a study that shows advertisers will blow more than $23B globally to ad fraud this year alone. For every ad dollar spent, 10-15% of it winds up in the pockets of companies who are actually supposed to protect you from digital ad fraud.

Now if you’re Polyanna and think it couldn’t possibly be that bad, you’ll embrace another study that was done using the exact same methodology by the Association of National Advertisers. They say yeah, you’re getting robbed, but it’s only costing advertisers $5.8B, and that’s down from 2017. You’re supposed to feel good about that. But the fact that two studies who approached it the same way came to two wildly different conclusions only underlines the truth…digital advertising is such an in-the-shadows, slight-of-hand shell game ecosystem that you can’t get to the truth. And when you’re stealing money from people, the last thing you want is for things to be clear and trackable. That’s just a little tip for all you amoral kids from Uncle Mike. Guy Tytunovich is Cheq’s CEO, and he used to be with Israeli intelligence by the way, he said, “We wouldn’t have run this research if it wasn’t for other research pieces we strongly disagreed with and, in some cases, felt were inadvertently misleading.” Cheq found up to 30% of digital ads are affected by fraud, so that’d be around 21T per year. It’s actually campaigns with cheaper CPMs that get hit the hardest. And did you know for every impression served, at least 20 different companies have their hands in the digital ad ecosystem pot, all taking a cut? If nothing is done about ad fraud, and don’t hold your breath, it’s going to reach $26B next year, then $32B by 2021. Roberto Cavazos, a University of Baltimore economics professor isn’t holding his breath, He says, “There’s little regulation or disincentive against fraud.” And the final nail in the coffin is, marketers don’t seem to care! They paid a boatload of the company’s budget to buy digital ads, they checked the box, and nobody seems interested in whether they got what they paid for. So I guess everybody wins?


-Well I hope I didn’t leave you too disillusioned about digital ads in that last story but if you’re a publisher, hang onto your headgear because it gets worse. You know about tracking the users of publisher websites, right? Advertisers will pay the publisher to get personal info on the site’s users, then they’ll combine that with data they buy somewhere else to form these pretty intense profiles they use to follow people around the web and target them with relevant ads. The idea is that this makes the publishers a lot of money so they can continue offering their content free to readers, who of course are paying, they’re just paying with their privacy. It’s a nice idea but it’s not that true. New research found selling out their readers with this kind of tracking actually only gets publishers a whopping 4% more revenue than good old-fashioned ads based on context. That works out to $.00008 per ad. Wow, somebody’s getting a new coffee maker for the break room! This isn’t exactly breaking news, it’s long been doubted the user data selling and reader tracking helped much. So it boils down to the ad tech industry getting a huge favor from publishers while all publishers get is a slimier reputation with their users. How big of a favor? Some earlier studies found advertisers pay up to 500% more for targeted ads than contextual ads. Doing a little math here, if content publishers only benefit 4% of that, carry the one, calculate out pi to 7 decimals…hey where’d that other 496% go? Some people point out that tracking even demonetizes publisher audiences because their readers are simply followed to lower value sites where they can be targeted with ads for less. And as if all that weren’t a big enough kick in the pants, guess who’s accountable for privacy and data protection laws. That’s right, the publishers.


-Alright enough about all that, let’s talk influencer marketing. What if you wanted to do influencer marketing, but there were no influencers out there that are just right for what you do? Craig Coffey had that problem. He’s director of marketing communications at Lincoln Electric. This may shock you, but there just aren’t that many influencers with large established audiences around welding. By the way, if you want a solid income and job security, let me be the first to propose a prosperous career in welding to you. Only .01% of the world’s population knows how to do it. I’m not kidding. Because of that, Craig knew it didn’t really make a lot of sense to try to become the biggest influencer in and amass a huge welding audience. But that didn’t mean the company couldn’t become the kind of influencer they needed but couldn’t find. They thought broader than welding and established Spring Make, an event that brought together not just welders, but makers of all kinds, like woodworkers and blacksmiths. Score. People came out of the woodwork – ha, see what I did there – to not just talk about what they do, but to broaden their maker skills into these other areas. There were classes in making things, but also classes about how to make something else…content. And if they’re out there making content, who are they going to see as the leader in the space? That’s right, Lincoln Electric, who put on the event. In fact, Spring Make quickly became a content brand itself, separate from Lincoln Electric. And why not? The event generates enough content to carry them through an entire year. If you do big events but you have no content strategy for it and aren’t getting any content assets out of it by the way, we need to talk. Needless to say, Craig’s happy because they made themselves the influencer in all things maker. Craig throws these fun stats at us. 40% of customers are using ad blockers. 70% of millennials prefer products endorsed by non-celebrity bloggers. And influencer marketing delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional marketing. Write it in lipstick on your mirror, “You can be the star you’re looking for.”


-And lastly and quickly, you know I’m always blabbing on about how content should make people feel something. Anything. If it doesn’t, all you’ve done is add to the meaningless noise out there that makes life harder for everyone. Well new research out of Finland says not only can you make people feel emotions, those emotions physically show up in different ways in the body. In other words, they’re so powerful they are literally felt. Ever have your heart broken? That happened in your mind but it’s felt in the chest. Same with stress, which is felt in the neck, and anxiety which shows up in the stomach. Of course, different people process emotion differently depending on their tolerance and history, but still, this is something to keep in mind for those of you who still think the content you make doesn’t have to play to human emotion.


That’s the Content Marketing Quickie for this week. If you think it was any good, and if you think good content should get a little help, a review or a subscribe would be great. Let other content marketers know about this mess. Be back next week.