The only way to effectively determine ROI on digital advertising is to make sure your target audience is seeing your ads. This concept is true with all forms of advertising and business — no matter if you are a blogger, business, or retail brand. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting your advertising, services, and products in front of as many people as possible… while also turning a profit in the process.
While the concept of ‘business’ has not changed over the past few hundred years, what has changed is how business is done. As we look at some of the latest ad spending trends in the world today, we are going to see some of the obvious (which is money flowing away from television and print advertising), and also how big business and brands are finally seeing the ROI they have been looking for with digital ad spend.
At the same time, it’s not just about spending advertising dollars online, it’s also about making sure your company is protected and that your advertising is actually working for you. A perfect example of this can be seen with companies like ClickConfirmation, who provide traffic verification services for online advertisers and publishers. Their services help strengthen the online advertising ecosystem by flagging, vetting, and filtering suspicious traffic. This helps increase advertiser ROI and publisher transparency. ClickConfirmation creates a more secure and transparent digital advertising experience by helping advertisers and publishers differentiate between human and bot traffic.
Advertisers are feeling the pressure from the digital transformation now more than ever. In the midst of a growing debate regarding whether brands are spending too much on digital media, Zenith Research Group has discovered that the efficacy of internet advertising has officially caught up to digital ad spend.
It is no secret that up until 2015, brands have been grappling with making efficient use of internet advertising, and their spending habits did not meet by the ‘brand experience’ (or an amalgamation of reach (where consumers able to come across brand messages at each touchpoint) and influence (was the message aligned with consumer views or behavior). Nevertheless, by 2016 internet advertising represented 34% of global ad budgets, yet accounted only 35% of brand experience. Today, internet advertisers are working harder than other advertising mediums.
It comes as no surprise that Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts reports have been time after time disclosing considerable increases in the internet share of advertising budgets. However, for the first time Zenith, in its December 2017 edition report, has exhibited the ROI of internet ad spend, not just its scale. According to the report, they used their proprietary Touchpoints ROI Tracker tool to compare internet ad spend to internet brand experience over the past few years.
In 2014 advertisers allocated 27% of their budgets on internet advertising (which generated only 21% of brand experience). By 2015, brands figured out how to employ internet advertising strategies more efficiently, and thus it accounted for 30% of both budgets and paid brand experience. In 2016, brand experience finally surpassed budget share.
Furthermore, we anticipate internet advertising’s share of global ad spend to increase further in the near future, ultimately exceeding 40% in 2018 and 44% in 2020. Its value will increase from US$203bn in 2017 to US$225bn in 2020. The share of advertising spending allotted on internet advertising differs across countries and areas of operation. For instance, in the most developed countries like Sweden and the UK it will represent more than 60% of the entire ad investment budget for next year. Similarly, it will account for between 50% and 60% in another six countries including: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Norway and Taiwan.
Below are recent trends in ad spend sphere according to the article “Digital ROI catches up with fast-growing digital ad spend”:
- “Big countries are adding most ad dollars – In dollar terms, most of the growth in global ad spend is coming from a few big markets. We forecast that just two countries – the US and China – will contribute 47% of new ad dollars between 2017 and 2020. The five biggest markets – the US, China, Japan, the UK and Germany – will contribute 57%”.
- “Big cities are driving global ad spend growth – Big cities are driving global ad spend by concentrating growth in productivity, innovation and trade. We have conducted a unique study that attributes ad spend to individual cities by estimating the value of their inhabitants to local, national and international advertisers. We forecast that the top 10 cities alone will contribute 12% of all global ad spend growth this year and that the top 725 will contribute 60%”.
- “Big platforms are capturing digital growth – The internet is driving the great majority of global growth in advertising – it will account for 94% of the growth in ad spend between 2017 and 2020. And most of this will be captured by just five big platforms – Google and Facebook, plus the Chinese platforms Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Between them these five platforms increased their share of global internet ad spend from 61% to 72% between 2014 and 2016, and captured 83% of the growth in internet ad spend over that time. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent accounted for 54% of the growth in internet ad spend in China, while Google and Facebook accounted for 96% of the growth in internet ad spend in the rest of the world. Between them Google and Facebook accounted for 76% of internet ad spend outside China in 2016”.
So what does all of this mean for bloggers and content creators? Simply to stay focused on creating the best content possible for your audience, and to also keep an eye on where big money is flowing in and out. As markets like Asia continue to flourish and attract more global advertisers, this is an area that you might want to start focusing your efforts on. While these trends will continue to grow and make movements over time, the majority of bloggers and internet-based companies will still conduct business as usual.
As the focus of the maturing online advertising market shifts to a return on investment, companies like ClickConfirmation, and the online advertising verification services they provide, will be essential to ensuring the integrity of the online advertising ecosystem by flagging, vetting, and filtering suspicious traffic.
How About Helping Versus Pitching Top Bloggers?
I often get pitched guest post ideas from bloggers I do not know. Although I appreciate the offer I never take up these folks on their offer because I do not know them, their brand or anything they do. No way do I have the time to actually research the individual; I am a busy bee. Another email bites the dust. I either ignore the email or note guest posting closed long ago on my blog, then include a link to one of my eBooks, like this branding eBook.
Who guest posts on my blog? People who generously helped me, asked for nothing, expected nothing and relaxed. Relaxing is key. Bloggers who help me from a chill vibe often befriend me if they practice writing to hone their blogging skills. From there, opportunities multiply fast. Sweet backlinks on top blogs often flow your way. Traffic and profits increases slowly, steadily expand over time. Blogging buddies supply you with blog post ideas through their questions and problems. Everything grows because you helped top bloggers versus pitching them aka asking them for help. Even if you pitch a valuable guest post idea, the guest post idea serves no value unless you publish the guest post on a trusted, authority blog boasting a huge, loyal readership. Pitches seem worthless until content and links actually appear on top blogs, going live and public, for the world to see.
I often advise helping bloggers freely for months before considering any ask or pitch. Most times, blogging buddies invite you to guest post on their blogs. Blogging success flows to generous people because you get what you give. This is one of the advantages of blogging. Give freely, relax, trust in the process and receive easily. Place your needs to the side. Take care of your fellow blogger. Help them out via a retweet, Facebook Share or perhaps by promoting the blogger on your blog. Nobody needs to struggle blogging. Nobody needs to spend 4 hours daily sending blind pitches to blogging strangers. How about this? Spend those 4 hours patiently, persistently and generously helping people in your blogging niche. Help fellow bloggers to earn their trust. Assist fellow bloggers to befriend fellow bloggers. The split second you earn the trust of any blogger, you plant seeds for a beautiful, thriving, warm friendship. Gaining the trust of fellow bloggers inspires traffic and profits to flow to you. Forget the concept of pitching. I pitched 2 people during my 6 years of running Blogging From Paradise. One blogger pitch served as an experiment with an established, pro blogger and the other pitch served as the direct way to guest post for a 2 million member blogging community.
My 13,500 plus backlinks on Blogging From Paradise flowed to me after I pitched only 2 souls. Imagine that for a second. Observe the raw power of making friends, helping people, expecting nothing and being generous. Capitalize on the passive element of befriending bloggers through generous service. Tonight I will spend 90 minutes walking around my neighborhood. During that hour and a half, my blogging buddies will promote my blog and spread my word. Ditto for my 8 hours of sleep tonight; my blogging buddies grow my traffic and profits around the clock, adding an immensely powerful, passive element to my blogging campaign.
Being generous has some serious perks.
Should You Blog About Everything?
Blog about everything? I know this idea may be on your mind. Newbie bloggers especially ponder the idea.
I know blogging about anything on your mind seems like a good idea to new or even struggling bloggers. Maybe you gain mojo because you post daily, blogging about anything popping up in your dome. But this is a bad idea. Nobody should blog about any and every topic for the clear reason that nobody follows a specific blogger based on the blogger’s random thoughts, save world famous celebrities who built up a big following through some other niche.
Imagine a movie star begins blogging. Movie stars boast tens of millions of fans around the globe. Anything the star does, people hang on their every word, right? Imagine the icon publishing posts on a wide range of topics interesting to them. People read because of the star, not because of the wide range of broad topics. But imagine being a new blogger with zero followers. No movie stars read this post. Readers head for the hills the moment you change topics because no jack of all trades bloggers build credibility. Who has the time, energy and focus to be an expert in 5, 10 or 20 niches? No one does.
Blog About Everything?
Humans specialize. Doctors and lawyers do one thing and do it well because where attention and energy goes, grows. Imagine if your doctor delivered mail and picked up garbage professionally, too, working 2 jobs in addition to their medical practice. Would you trust her doctor skills? No. Of course not. People trust specialists because specialists devote all professional time and energy to one venture. Generalists? Nobody trusts someone who tries to master 2 or 5 or 10 skills simultaneously because thousands of other people master 1 skill, in these areas. We follow specialists and trust specialists. Generalists fade away.
If you want to blog about everything just ponder the specialist versus generalist point. Blogging about everything is trying to be a generalist. Nobody trusts you. Even though blogging about everything seems easy, seamless and almost effortless, people stop following your blog on each topic change. Imagine blogging about puppies one day. People who love puppies find your post, read it, enjoy it and follow your blog. Tomorrow, you publish about Chinese food. Puppy readers – who followed you for puppy content – skip the post…..most stop following your blog because puppy fans want only puppy-themed content. You just lost readers, for good.
Change Topics Lose Readers
Visualize the following day; you publish about relationships. Everybody stops following your blog. Perhaps a few relationships-focused folks read the post. But you lose trust the moment you shift topics again. Ultimately, who builds a large, targeted, loyal following, blogging about relationships? Relationships bloggers who blog about relationships 100% of the time. Specialists devote all blogging energy to mastering one topic, spending thousands of hours covering the topic, become skilled and trusted in the niche, build credibility and become successful. All multi topic bloggers blogging about everything fade away and vanish.
The world makes room for specialists. Generalists? Nope.
Pick one blogging topic. Blog about one thing. Focus on one discipline. Be a specialist, not a generalist, to be a leading blogger in your nice. Face your fear of releasing multiple passions to make room for a single passion. I know you fear letting go. I did too before creating Blogging From Paradise.
Google loves specialists too. Google turns its cyber nose down at generalists. I scanned a popular blogging key phrase a few moments ago. Guess what? I rarely note SEO but tidying up one blog post with some details for optimizing helped me reach page one on the search engine. Why? I specialize in the blogging tips niche. Apparently. Google interpreted through its complex algorithms that I published thousands of valuable blog posts on a single topic 100% of the time, virtually. Google traffic rocks. Impress the search engine gods by gaining search trust. Specialize. Stick to one blogging topic. Never blog about everything.
Let go the urge to blog about anything that comes to mind. New bloggers need release this notion to build the foundation for a successful blogging career. Specialize by picking one niche you love blogging about. Be a specialist, not a generalist, to succeed with your blogging campaign.
Do you want to be a pro blogger who circles the globe? Buy my eBook:
Avoid this Blogging Wake Up Call to Enjoy the Journey
Blogging need not be a lesson in harsh wake up calls. You can and will largely enjoy the journey by knowing this: success finds generous bloggers. Let that idea firmly impress onto your mind. Be with it. Allow the idea to worm its way into your consciousness until being generous becomes part of your being. Helping people for free boosts your skills and increases your exposure. Skilled bloggers with massive exposure become successful.
But one wake up call seems to find most bloggers who refuse to learn this lesson. Bloggers need to struggle, fail and suffer because they try to get money and traffic by focusing solely on receiving methods, versus giving generously of their time and talents. Imagine this scenario; a blogger writes and publishes one blog post weekly. Cool. But the blogger sits around and does nothing else blogging-wise for the remainder of the week. Hmmmm…this is not being generous, guys. This is being stingy. Bad move. At week’s end, the blogger did not make a penny of profits. Panicking, the blogger immediately analyzes their various income streams. How can they maximize profits through the streams? What is wrong with their income streams? Did they pick the right streams? Or did they pick the wrong streams? What gives?
Struggling bloggers then spend 2, 3 or 5 hours analyzing their income streams, focusing all of their attention and energy on the GETTING aspect of their blogging campaign. Terrible idea. Why? The reason why you struggle to get is because you refuse to give generously of your time, energy and talents. The income streams? Nope; not a problem. Your lack of generosity is the problem. The wake up call is most bloggers focus heavily on getting when struggling to drive traffic and profits when they should be focused heavily on giving generously. Giving generously leads to greater blogging profits. Instead of writing and publishing one blog post weekly, how about writing and publishing 2-3 posts weekly, weaving some stories into your blog posts? How about you spend 4-8 hours daily generously reading blog posts, commenting genuinely on blog posts, promoting other bloggers and yes, promoting yourself, too?
Put in the giving time to make getting easier and easier. No need to slam into the cold, hard wake up call of focusing selfishly inward, trying to pin your struggles on inanimate, lifeless income streams. You have a giving problem, buddy. Time to be generous. Time to step it up. Write a guest post daily or perhaps, every 2-3 days. Go ahead. Do it. Begin video marketing. Build bonds with bloggers. Help them out. Practice writing. Gain invites to guest post on blogs from your niche. Blogging becomes more fun, more enjoyable and flat out easier if you put in the time, generously helping folks.
Focus heavily on giving. Your star will shine if you generously serve people. On the contrary, blogging and life become so much harder if you obsess over your income streams, analyzing, over analyzing, focusing, wasting precious time and energy on getting, when you should be giving more freely. Blogging feels more fun, too, when you focus heavily on giving, because we were designed to give, to be generous and to serve folks. Doesn’t it feel amazing to help people? Of course, it does. Enjoy the blogging journey and avoid this painful wake up call….plus….you get to sleep in, hehehe 😉
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