A little dab Easily create and publish professional display ads with Google Display Ad Builder

Posted by tom klein October 22, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Need to create a display ad but not a wizard with Photoshop (despite the online version we described in Don’t we all love to shop?)

Google’s Display Ad Builder may be perfect for you. This ad creation tool is the latest addition to the Google Adwords family, and of course, it is free of charge. Display Ad Builder lets you choose from 40 professionally designed templates and gives you step-by-step instruction on how to customize your display ad with text, images, logos, and color treatments. Google automatically generates multiple versions of your ad to fit all the standard sizes on the Google Content Network; you choose what works best and where it should go. Check out this demo to see how easy the process is:

To get started, login to your Adwords account (don’t have one? You should, it’s free) and choose the Campaign Management tool. You can create a keyword-targeted display ad, where Google shows your ad to customers based on the content they view, or cherry pick the sites where you want your ad to be served. Next, use the Display Ad Builder (found under Ad Variations) to design and brand your advertisement. When you’re finished, specify your ad model, either Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Impression (CPM), and publish.

Pretty easy, huh? You can monitor how you ad is selling across the Google Content Network with their automatic performance metrics that show clicks, impressions, costs, and conversions.

If you've never dabbled in design, pixels and aspect ratios will sound like we're talking in Greek, but Google Display Ad Builder automatically resizes your images to work with the constraints of your display ad. In other words, no stretched, flattened, or warped looking images.

This tool is pretty fun and easy, so you can experiment with different ad variations and don't have to worry about a ballooning design budget. If you're ready for the major leagues, Google Content Network supports video and rich media ads (not available through Ad Builder at this time). Of course, you can always just hire your own digital scientist to handle the entire thing once you're finished playing around.


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  Jumbo Shrimp Place content-relevant, widget ads with Tiny Massive

Posted by tom klein September 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm

It seems everyone’s a blogger these days. And in between the rants of any random blogger lies your little text ad, served up by an automated network and maybe not converting too well.

Try joining Tiny Massive instead, a widget-based shopping network, designed for merchants by merchants. Tiny Massive places revolving product ads based on content relevancy. Their widgets scan the publisher pages they live on and only serve up products that match the content displayed. Tiny Massive is designed to engage users and support better buying habits too. By nature, widgets are more interactive than text or display ads, and these widgets feature ratings and user reviews directly inside the widget box.

Traditional text or display ads don’t always work for sellers and, of course, provide precious little behavioral data on prospects or customers. Tiny Massive boasts free clicks for fledgling merchants who need to grow into the PPC model – a partnership where you provide test data and gain improvement suggestions. The system is designed to learn as it goes, measuring trends and customer data and placing your ads accordingly. Not only are your product ads highly targeted, but you can also learn more about what works with the system’s reporting tools and information.

Bottom line, if your ad network isn’t converting customers, then it’s not working. This widget ad network might be a good Plan B.

Tiny Massive was built using AJAX and XML by an all-female development team (so, take that, any remnant of a stereotype - cool web apps are a very equal opportunity).

From a publisher's perspective, Tiny Massive is a good deal too. If you're looking to legitimately monetize your site (content relevancy is no issue), you can specify certain hot-ticket items or opt to display only the most popular products on the internet. Some Tiny Massive publishers earn $6 CPM.


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  Rhymes with Raj Monetize your website’s background with AdCamo advertising

Posted by tom klein September 22, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Just as in the analog world, it seems that there’s no limit to where you can place digital advertising. But, of course, if you’re looking to grow a business, that can be a good thing.

Enter AdCamo, the first “background advertising platform” of its kind. AdCamo lets publishers offer up and monetize the empty background space on a website or blog. Before you imagine the worst – AdCamo ads do not interfere with your site content or design, and publishers retain complete control over the size and relative obtrusiveness of the advertising they display. Choose between 3 formats – tiled (repetitive imagery), pillar (horizontal or vertical columns), and projection. Check out these examples to see how AdCamo ads appear.

AdCamo is compatible with all ad networks and can be added to your website with only a few lines of html code. In other words, if you are already in bed with an ad network, you can continue to do business through the AdCamo API, offering the same advertisers an innovative option for their campaigns. Choose between CPC, CPM or flat-rate revenue models.

Most publishers are open to selling ad space on their website or blog, so why not offer all your empty space to a single advertiser, with a single message? You may be surprised how uncluttered and highly engaging the experience can be.

AdCamo ads are clickable and provide both publishers and advertisers with detailed analytics and reporting. AdCamo's Time Before Click technology (TBC) helps to measure campaign effectiveness by timing visitor clicks.

Most site visitors have learned to tune out traditional display ads. AdCamo gives advertisers a completely new way to reach audiences and some great incentives. Advertisers have creative control of the space they rent and get a complementary brandable cursor that displays a company or product's logo as visitors cursor over the ad. Through the the AdCamo Synch Engine, advertisers can purchase and run sister display ads with their background campaign.


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  Chain Gang Target business decision makers with LinkedIn DirectAds

Posted by tom klein September 18, 2008 at 10:37 am

Getting into the C-suite usually requires an invitation. Or maybe buying an expensive ad in a business magazine.

Now you can target decision makers by company size, job function, industry, and more by using LinkedIn DirectAds. If you don’t know, LinkedIn is the premier professional social network, with over 25 million users, who use the network daily to build business contacts and industry presence. LinkedIn has opened its doors to advertisers, provided they are a member of the LinkedIn community. While anyone can join (and it’s free), potential advertisers must have a legitimate profile and a minimum number of connections (the equivalent of friends). LinkedIn does this to protect the integrity of the network and keep spammers at bay.

At this time, LinkedIn only offers text display advertising, but the price is right and the location is unbeatable. Typically, ads go for $25 for a 30-day run, with minimal upcharges for increased impressions or audience targeting. Ads are placed on a CPM basis (no cost per click at this time). So if you want to specifically reach senior marketing executives or salespeople in a specific geography, you can for a few extra bucks. Ads appear above the fold on the member’s profile page or the LinkedIn homepage, displaying your text content, url, and a link to the advertiser’s LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is willing to work with large budget advertisers ($25K+) if they want to explore rich advertising solutions on the professional social network. Hey, everyone has a price....

What's really special here is the ability to zero in on a specific audience or potential customer and put your advertisement right in front of their face. While most social networks struggle to figure out the right ad formula, LinkedIn is sticking with their core competency and providing a no-fuss service for professionals.


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  Money to Burn Reach RSS readers with the Feedburner Ad Network

Posted by tom klein September 15, 2008 at 11:59 am

So many blog fans never visit the site where the blog appears – thanks to RSS syndication. Question is, how do you advertise on a site that everyone is reading, but no one is on?

You can advertise on the feed itself with Feedburner, a trusted name in the RSS world (see Do you smell smoke? ). Feedburner now offers a highly-targetable ad network with RSS advertising capabilities. They boast an impressive inventory of publishers, including the Wall Street Journal Online, Wired News, USA Today, and many popular blogs. Ads appear as simple banner displays under the RSS content (as seen in this example); considering most RSS feeds are a few lines of text and a link, your advertisement gets maximum visibility in a traditionally unadulterated ad space.

The Feedburner Ad Server lets you target specific demographics by content channel – Arts & Entertainment, Computing & Technology, Business, and Current Affairs & Politics, to name a few. Advertisers maintain quality control with the AdClimate feature, which lets you suppress ad placement when sites feature inappropriate or irrelevant material to your campaign (i.e. it’s like reverse keywords).

Here’s an opportunity to be really smart with your online advertising dollars – why pay for expensive real restate if your audience isn’t even looking there?

AdClimate is a prime feature of the Feedburner Ad Network, but the platform also offers capabilities like geo-targeting by country/state/DMA, day-partitioning, and frequency-capping.

If you think about it, RSS subscribers are a loyal and particularly tech savvy audience segment. Content is served daily, often hourly, to keep up with their voracious content appetites. A typical site reader might catch a glimpse of your advertisement while browsing a blog or website, but RSS advertising engages audiences with every article they read.


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