It’s Back-to-School Time!

By Sajna Ramchandran, Director of Client Services & Strategy

Did you know that Back-to-School time is the second biggest shopping season of the entire year, second only to the holiday season? eCommerce sales for the Back-to-School season are forecasted to increase 16% in 2014, with online spending higher than offline. eCommerce marketers have a huge opportunity to take advantage of these trends:

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Back-to-School (BTS) promotions start as early as July, so we’re in the thick of it! Entire blogs are dedicated to tracking the coolest water bottles, the “most swagger” backpacks &  wicked smart “looks” for the season! With parents doing the shopping and kids doing the influencing, there’s plenty of opportunity to reach  this massive audience.

If you haven’t already started your BTS promotions, it’s time to get moving! We’ve listed our top recommendations below for US retailers to reach, re-engage and retarget users on news feeds across the Internet:

  • Re-engage your current audiences, and reward past customers, with relevant Back-to-School (BTS) offers, deals & steals.

  • Retarget users with ads for the top trending items of the season. If you’re already working with Triggit, just tell us the top-performing products and categories within your product feed, and we’ll design a BTS program around your goals.

  • Use Facebook News Feed ads (bigger images, CTA buttons, more opportunities to like & share) to engage audiences around limited-time sales and promotions.

  • Use Facebook Custom Audiences to target fans, customers, email subscribers and offline customers based on user likes, interests, demographics and/or social behaviors.

  • Extend your reach with dynamic native retargeting – bringing the performance of Facebook News Feed ads to the rest of the Internet.

Whatever your goal this season,  Triggit is here to help with dynamic native retargeting on Facebook and beyond – on news feeds across the entire Internet. We’ll put the performance back in your advertising initiatives so you can reduce media waste and drive a targeted Back-to-School campaign!  Ask your Account Manager for details, or contact us for more information.

The Rising Tide of Native Retargeting

It is shocking, mind-boggling, and absolutely crazy that there is an entire industry driving $10+ billion in annual media spend, based on an ad unit driving less than 0.1% CTR. As if this isn’t inefficient enough, it’s estimated that only 8% of all Internet users account for 85% of the clicks. This isn’t new information by any means, but let me repeat this: Less than a tenth of all Internet users see these ads, and less than a tenth of one percent of those users ever click on these ads.

Yes, we’re talking about the 20-year old banner ad, and the very real phenomenon known as banner blindness, leading to billions of dollars of wasted media spend every year, and rising.

Today’s online consumers have been conditioned to ignore banners while actively consuming enormous amounts of content in their favorite news feeds. Adapting to consumer trends, native advertising – ads within these same news feeds – is the new wave of digital advertising. While native ads are seen 52% more than banner ads, they’re not relevant enough on their own to drive high CTRs, let alone conversions. What’s a marketer to do? Throw in personalized ads and real-time user intent data, and now we’re talking eyes, clicks and dollars.

Enter dynamic native retargeting, which Triggit quickly pioneered when Facebook released FBX News Feed ads (aka native retargeting) last year. Performance has absolutely crushed all other forms of digital advertising, and advertisers have been clamoring for more volume. Dynamic retargeting, with it’s relevancy rooted in personalized ads served at the time of intent, drives up to 2X higher ROI than static ads. Pair this with native ads, directly in front of consumers’ eyes, and it’s an advertiser’s dream come true with over 15X higher CTR than banner ads. Performance like this is hard to ignore which is why future growth signs for dynamic native retargeting all point up, especially now that it’s available at scale – beyond Facebook – on news feeds across the rest of the Internet.

Check out our native retargeting infographic to learn why native is here to stay, the driving forces behind dynamic native retargeting, and what the future holds for direct response advertisers.

Marketing Confessions: I Ignore Banner Ads

By Alison Morris, Director of Marketing

Remember the last time you noticed a really creative, eye-catching banner ad that was so relevant, it made you want to immediately stop what you were reading and click on it? Me neither.

“Banner blindness is real. We’re conditioned to ignore anything that isn’t a part of a site’s content,” Triggit CEO Zach Coelious explains. This is precisely the reason banner ads fail to drive results — users aren’t seeing the ads, let alone clicking them, and direct response advertisers are wasting billions of dollars every day.

As a digital marketer, I understand the time and effort that goes into designing and buying banner ads. As an online consumer, on the other hand, I unintentionally ignore these same ads every single day. As I scroll through various feeds throughout the day, eager to get my news fix, it’s as if I have literally become blind to the fact that banner ads exist on the periphery of these same pages. Maybe I should be ashamed that I’m going against something our industry has relied on for the last twenty years, but come on, it’s been twenty years and these ads are still driving less than stellar results for direct response advertisers. It’s time for a change.

But don’t just take my word for it, or Zach’s. Studies have shown that over a third of marketers agree that banner ads don’t work.  That’s not surprising when it turns out that only 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (and they’re not all humans!). If that doesn’t convince you, check out these eye-tracking images, revealing banner blindness in a way you just can’t ignore.

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As these heat maps show, users are actively engaged with their feeds as they consume huge amounts of content, leaving banner ads in the dark. It’s no surprise, then, that native ad spend is expected to increase 1.6X in the next three years, outpacing display growth each year.

While native advertising may draw eyes, how do you ensure the ads will be relevant enough to drive clicks, and conversions? That’s where native retargeting comes in – by serving highly personalized ads at the time of purchase intent, directly in the news feed where customers are already engaged – advertisers see over 15X higher CTR than banner ads. “It was incredibly apparent we were on to something with native retargeting when we started with FBX News Feed ads. When you do it well, native retargeting works – people see a highly personalized ad, people click, and, most importantly, people convert,” says Triggit CEO Zach Coelius. With such great performance on the FBX News Feed, our clients have demanded more volume, so we went out and found more volume – beyond Facebook – on news feeds across the entire Internet.

So yes, I ignore banner ads, and I’ll bet you do too. If you’re interested in putting your dollars where your users are actually looking, and driving the performance of FBX News Feeds ads across the rest of the Internet, let’s talk.

Facebook Custom Audiences: What Every Marketer Needs to Know

By Hoon Ra, WCA Product Lead

During the first half of the year, Facebook consolidated their ad options, and, suddenly, Website Custom Audiences (WCA) inadvertently became a buzzword that many marketers started to come across.  As the WCA Product Lead at Triggit, I am often faced with the following set of questions when we first start talking to our direct response advertiser clients about WCA. As our clients begin planning their media strategies for the rest of 2014, with a significant portion going towards WCA, I thought it would be helpful to capture the three main questions that typically come my way from direct response advertisers.

1. What is WCA? What makes it different from Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Exchange (FBX)?

Along with Facebook Marketplace and FBX, WCA is another targeting tactic for buying ad inventory on Facebook’s News Feed and right-hand column. There are three distinct points that set WCA apart from Facebook’s other channels:

  1. WCA lets you use several types of first party data. Like FBX, WCA lets you leverage your users’ website visit history. WCA also lets you use your own email lists, internal CRM data, phone numbers, and almost any type of data you have (legally) obtained.

  2. With WCA, you can layer on top any demographic information your customers have provided on Facebook (gender, location, age, likes). One application of this is running an ad for a “Father’s Day Special” to people identified as moms. In contrast, demographic information is the only dimension available for audience segmentation through Marketplace.

  3. Inventory on WCA is cross-platform and allows you to reach the same users on desktop and mobile, whereas FBX is limited only to desktop.

2. Is WCA a direct response channel, and if so, should I be on it if I’m running FBX campaigns?

Yes! WCA is an incredibly powerful direct response (DR) advertising tool. While we can’t speak for every retargeting partner, at Triggit we believe WCA and FBX are two complementary tools to achieve the same DR marketing goals.

WCA and FBX both serve slightly different functions (outlined above) and both should be utilized to retarget different segments of your customer base in different ways. Our clients have seen significant volume increases with the addition of WCA retargeting. We encourage advertisers to look at WCA and FBX as complementary products to help them achieve their performance marketing goals, as both tools provide DR advertisers with a proven channel to gain a conversion through Facebook. A campaign that combines WCA and FBX creates a powerful method for reaching and converting customers.

3. Should I leverage my FBX retargeting partner for WCA?

Absolutely! Your FBX partner will be the most knowledgeable in terms of best practices for a direct response campaign on Facebook. In my experience, many of the best practices we’ve established about FBX translate directly to WCA. For example, your retargeting partner already has experience growing and optimizing your campaigns on Facebook and knows what works best for your particular website. We’ve had a little extra time to think about optimization best practices using WCA, like how to retarget with WCA dynamically. So, this is especially true for advertisers who can reap the significant benefit of dynamic retargeting.

Hopefully this has served as a quick primer on the volume and performance benefits marketers can gain from using WCA on Facebook. In my eyes, it is a no-brainer for direct response advertisers to incorporate WCA into their Facebook media plans for the rest of 2014 and beyond.

Triggit lança Retargeting Dinâmico de Anuncio Nativo em toda a Internet

A Triggit anuncia o lançamento do teste “beta” do Retargeting Dinâmico em painéis de conteúdo.

A Triggit, que é um “preferred partner” de Retargeting Dinâmico no Facebook Exchange (FBX), está orgulhosa de anunciar o lançamento do teste “beta” de Retargeting Dinâmico de Anúncio Nativo. A Triggit tem trabalhado com diversos veículos de mídia nos últimos meses para levar a performance vista no em Retargeting Dinâmico no Feed de Notícias do Facebook, para o resto da Internet. Com isto, anunciantes poderão servir anúncios de retargeting dinâmicos através de formatos nativos em sites de grande relevância em toda a Internet.

Ao longo dos últimos 2 anos, grandes anunciantes de resposta-direta de todo o mundo vem confiando na Triggit como o seu parceiro para Retargeting Dinâmico no FBX. Quando o Facebook lançou seu primeiro anúncio nativo em 2013 (o anúncio de News Feed), a Triggit foi a primeira parceira a oferecê-lo, e os seus anunciantes rapidamente viram uma performance extraordinária com CTR 5X maiores e ROI até 2X maiores comparado aos anúncios estáticos. Agora com este teste, anunciantes irão ter acesso a um grande volume, em paíneis de conteúdo e feed de noticias, por toda a Internet!

Por que retargeting nativo funciona tão bem? “A cegueira do banner é uma realidade. Estamos condicionados a ignorar qualquer coisa que não faz parte do conteúdo do site. Isto ficou extremamente claro quando nós começamos a fazer o anúncio de News Feed no FBX. Quando se faz bem, retargeting dinâmico nativo funciona bem – as pessoas vem anúncios altamente personalizados, elas clicam e o mais importante, elas convertem”, diz Zach Coelius, CEO da Triggit . “Nossos anunciantes ficaram entusiasmados com a performance no Facebook e estão ansiosos por mais volume. Somos os pioneiros em Retargeting Nativo no Facebook e estamos empolgados para levar esta performance, já  comprovada, e o nosso “expertise” para o resto da Internet para ajudar os anunciantes a obterem ótimos resultados de ROI e em grande volume.”

Se você quiser mais informações sobre Retargeting Dinâmico de Anúncio Nativo ou sobre como se tornar um parceiro de teste, por favor, entre em contato conosco por aqui ou nos envie um email para sales@triggit.com

Triggit Launches Dynamic Native Retargeting Across The Internet

Triggit announces launch of dynamic native retargeting beta test.

Triggit, the preferred dynamic retargeting partner on the Facebook Exchange (FBX), is proud to announce the launch of their dynamic native retargeting beta program. Having seen the success of dynamic native retargeting on Facebook’s News Feed, Triggit has been working with publishers for the last several months to bring that performance to the rest of the Internet. Through Triggit’s dynamic native retargeting beta, large advertisers will be able to serve highly relevant, fully dynamic retargeted ads through native formats across the Internet’s premier publishers.

Over the last two years, large direct response advertisers around the world have trusted Triggit as their dynamic retargeting partner on FBX. When Facebook unveiled their first native ad placement in 2013 (News Feed ads), Triggit was the first FBX partner to offer fully dynamic native retargeting, and Triggit advertisers quickly realized amazing performance with 5X higher CTR and 2X higher ROAS than static ads. With Triggit’s beta to extend dynamic native retargeting beyond Facebook, advertisers will now have access to massive scale on news feeds – beyond Facebook – across the Internet.

Why does native retargeting work so well? “Banner blindness is real. We’re conditioned to ignore anything that isn’t a part of a site’s content. It was incredibly apparent we were on to something with native retargeting when we started with FBX News Feed ads. When you do it well, dynamic native retargeting works – people see a highly personalized ad, people click, and, most importantly, people convert,” said Triggit CEO Zach Coelius. “Our advertisers have been thrilled with the native performance on Facebook and are hungry for more volume. We pioneered native retargeting on Facebook and we’re excited to take our proven performance and expertise to the rest of the Internet to help advertisers drive incredible ROI at scale.”

If you would like more information about dynamic native retargeting or about becoming a testing partner, please contact us here or email us at sales@triggit.com.

The World Cup’s Effect on Brazil and Online Impressions

By Prachi Mishra, Product Marketing Manager, and Micah Stone, Accounts Analyst

Like many companies this summer, Triggit has caught World Cup fever. While we’ve been enjoying watching the games both in our Sao Paulo office and here in San Francisco, we’ve noticed some different web traffic trends with our Brazilian market.

On the days the Brazilian team was playing, there were some incredible shifts in volume. In fact, when the Brazilian team was on the field, we saw the following Facebook and web volume trends:

  • During each game, impression volume dropped by nearly 40%

  • After the game, impression volume increased 27%, on average, above baseline impressions

  • While a much smaller trend, there was a mini-drop in impressions each time a goal was scored, which quickly dissipated.

So what’s going on in Brazil?

With such a significant change to impression volume, our educated guess is that soccer madness has taken over Brazil. Based on our data, the large drop in impressions comes from Brazilian’s high engagement with the Brazilian team’s games. As they shift their full attention to watching the game, they also are diverting their attention away from their computers, which explains the large dip in overall impressions. The large uptick during halftime and after the game seems to be our Brazilian soccer fans logging on during the break and post-game.

Is this just in Brazil?

From our data, the pattern we’ve seen in Brazil is almost perfectly echoed across the world with one large exception: the United States. Whether it’s from more people watching the game streaming on their computers, more people multi-tasking (game times have fallen during work hours), or just fewer fans, US impression volume has seen very little impact.

Since this fluctuation in impression volume has impacted a large majority of countries, it’s interesting to note that despite the large changes in impression volume, CTR has remained stable throughout the tournament. Even with the World Cup taking over most of the world, some things remain unchanged.

It will be interesting to see how events progress as the World Cup draws closer to the end and things get more dramatic out on the field. Stay tuned for a “Post-Game Analysis” after the World Cup is over!

Product Announcement: New Right-Hand Column Ad Units for FBX

By Prachi Mishra, Product Marketing Manager

We’re live! Behind the scenes we’ve been working closely with Facebook and our advertisers to bring about the next big change to FBX: a new design for ads in the Right-Hand Column (RHC). The new ad design on the RHC is larger, promises higher engagement, and offers advertisers a simpler, more cohesive approach to advertising with FBX.

With the updated look, RHC ads will be more visually consistent with ads that appear in the News Feed. The larger ads use the same proportions as desktop News Feed ads, and during Facebook’s initial testing, the new RHC format saw up to 3X increased engagement.

While Facebook began rolling out the new design starting last night, the older ad units will be available throughout the summer to give advertisers and partners time to transition to the new specs. On Aug 2nd, Facebook will switch to exclusively utilizing the larger RHC units.

What’s Next?

Triggit advertisers do not have to take any additional steps at this time. Over the last month, Triggit Account Managers prepared clients’ ads for the new RHC specs. Please reach out to your Account Manager directly if you have any questions.

Thank you for your excitement and patience as we work to bring you even better retargeting performance.

CTR Performance Increases 8.3% With New FBX Call-To-Action Button

By Prachi Mishra, Product Marketing Manager

Call-To-Action (CTA) Button Performance Update: Earlier this month, we began rolling out Facebook’s new Call-To-Action Button for desktop FBX News Feed ads. Over the last two weeks, we’ve tested the CTA button for select clients across vertical and region, and have closely monitored the data and performance. Well, the test is over and the results are in!

In the two weeks after implementing the CTA button:

  • CTR increased 8.3% across all campaigns.

    • Retail vertical: CTR grew an average of 8.5%

    • Travel vertical: CTR grew an average of 7.4%

    • By Region: Variances across regions were generally small, with the exception of the US & Canada with a 10.2% CTR increase.

Since the news has been nothing but positive, Triggit Account Managers will be working closely with all clients to roll out the CTA button across campaigns. It’s also important to note that ad copy had not been changed during the test, allowing us to isolate the CTA button’s effect. As a result, we expect that the CTA button impact on CTR can be further amplified when ad creative is optimized to account for the button.

Please reach out to your Account Manager directly if you have any questions. Thank you for your excitement and patience as we work to bring you even better retargeting performance.

Advanced Segmentation: The Secret to Successful Retargeting

By Jenny Arimoto, Account Manager

With over two billion Internet users worldwide and over 757 million daily users on Facebook, online advertising can sometimes seem like a shot in the dark. In this big, open, complex digital space, the power of retargeting lies in the ability to be relevant to the user. The more specific and granular your campaigns, the better the ad experience will be for the user, ultimately leading to better performance and reduced media waste.

This is where audience segmentation comes in. Audience segmentation helps us identify user habits so we can be more aggressive in retargeting high-value users who have shown high purchase intent. While retargeting aims to serve ads for users who have been to your site but not yet converted, it’s important to keep in mind that not all users are created equal. Segmenting them based on purchase intent and product details can lead to big wins for your top line revenue.

There are three key ways to effectively segment your eligible audience pool: page type, recency, and product price.

1. Page Type: Cart Abandonment

A valuable audience pool consists of users who have placed products in their cart, but left the site before completing their purchase. Users in this “cart abandonment” group have taken the step just before converting, showing more purchase intent than users who have only browsed the product level pages. With this in mind, we can segment these cart abandoners separately and retarget these users more aggressively.

As expected, we have found that more aggressively retargeting this group of users pays off with higher CTRs and conversion rates:

  • A Brazilian retailer’s cart abandonment campaign drove 14% higher CTR compared to their product-level retargeting campaign aimed at users who visited a product page.

  • We see the same results when looking at one of our Travel clients, where the cart abandonment campaign drove a 40% higher CTR than the general campaign, and a 75% higher conversion rate.

2. Recency

Recency (the time since a user left your website) is another component where segmentation can significantly boost campaign performance. Users who have looked at a product 10 hours ago are more likely to convert than users who looked at the same product 10 days ago. As a result, segmenting the audience based on user recency is an effective strategy to hit users who are more likely to convert. Through this strategy we break users into targeting groups based on how recently they looked at a product, being more aggressive with those who visited the site most recently.

This strategy has been hugely effective for one of our financial industry client, who has seen 13% decrease in CPA as a result of recency segmentation.

3. Product Price

In addition to segmenting based on page type and recency, we can also segment by products as these can vary widely in terms of price. While we strive to show ads to every user who has been on the site, your ROI will be different for a user who gets retargeted and purchases a $10 shirt versus a $300 pair of shoes. With ROI in mind, we want to be more aggressive with users who have shown an interest in more expensive, and higher margin, products. We can do this by segmenting user pools by the price of the products that they have viewed. This segmentation allows us to bid more competitively and show ads more frequently to users who have looked at higher end products.

We employed this product price segmentation for a top retailer, who saw an 8% increase in AOV by this one change.

As you can see, optimization based on audience segmentation is a simple but effective way to strategically focus on users who are more likely to convert, leading to reduced media waste and higher ROI. Now that we know how important segmentation is, let’s get granular!

Advanced Implementation: 4 Things You Need to Know

By Jillian Gamache, Senior Business Analyst

Any DR marketer can tell you, if you’re looking for an extremely high performing and ROI driving campaign, retargeting is an obvious choice. In our last blog post, we covered many of the fundamentals of feed integration. Today, we’ll be dive deeper into the importance of data in retargeting. Retargeting partners, like Triggit, can help you get the code (pixels, Javascript, etc) to get the most out of your website. Here are my top tips to take your retargeting code to the next level:

1. Universal Coverage

Be sure your code covers the entire taxonomy of your site. This allows you, the advertiser, to take advantage of the robust site data. In addition, covering the entire site on the initial placement of the retargeting code allows for future expansion and prevents any users from “falling through the cracks.”

2. Current Site Setup

Use your current site setup to your advantage! Every site’s setup can be leveraged to create powerful retargeting opportunities. For example, many retail clients have the ability to determine the “intent” of the user browsing their site and can assign them values based on that.

For example, let’s assume I have never been to a particular advertiser’s site before. On my first visit, I click around the homepage and a couple category pages before leaving the site. This type of activity would help gauge me as a low intent user. However, if I search several pages on the site, click through a few similar items, and maybe even add something to my cart, I would be considered a high intent user. Your retargeting partner can use this data to target more effectively with no changes to the site structure itself; just pass us the data, and we’ll take care of the segmenting and retargeting accordingly.

3. Tag Managers

Many sites have tag management systems in place to aid setup and maintenance. These management systems also have powerful tools to help determine ROI, incremental lift, customization and traffic reporting. Retargeting partners can use these systems in conjunction with their own to customize your campaign. For example, Triggit regularly works with advertisers who partner with Signal (formerly BrightTag), a tag management system that uses a cloud-based container tag setup.

4. Talk to your Retargeting Partner

Be sure to work with your partner and tell them as much about your custom setup as you can. This can help them create the best campaign for your system as well as harness the power of their own system appropriately.

Advanced retargeting code implementation is extremely important in order to fully utilize both the client and retargeting partner’s setup. When looking for a retargeting partner, be sure to give as much information as you can to them. In addition, these tools will significantly increase ROI and reduce costs, thus clients should search for a partner who can work with their setup.

Product Announcement: FBX News Feed Ad Units Now Featuring Call-To-Action Button

By Prachi Mishra, Product Marketing Manager

Triggit is excited to announce today that we have integrated Facebook’s latest feature for FBX, a Call-To-Action (CTA) button for desktop News Feed ads. The new button will clearly highlight each ad’s call to action and, when clicked on, will take the user to the designated URL landing page (i.e. product page, category page, etc).

We expect to see a positive impact on CTR and conversions from the addition of the CTA button; starting today, Triggit will roll out the CTA button for small scale testing across vertical and geography to closely monitor the data and performance over the weekend. Following analysis of weekend performance, we plan on broadly implementing the CTA button early next week. You will not have to take any additional steps to integrate the CTA button.

Please feel free to reach out to your Account Managers directly if you have any questions. Thank you for your excitement and patience as we work to bring you even better retargeting performance.

Update: Click on the link to learn more about the CTA Button’s impact on performance.

Getting The Most From Your Product Feed

By Kyu Shim, Account Analyst

Today’s blog post is cross-published with FBPPC, the leading source for Facebook advertising news and views.

By now, you’ve no doubt heard the performance benefits of dynamic retargeting: Up to 5X higher CTR and 2X higher ROI compared to static ads. While workarounds exist, a dynamic retargeting campaign consisting of thousands of products will generally require a product feed.

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Unlike a static campaign which requires manual ad copy creation for your entire product catalog, your product feed gives you the opportunity to create a central, automated source for your dynamic ad creatives.

How do you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your product feed? Let’s start at the beginning, looking at how you integrate your feed with Triggit’s dynamic retargeting platform.

Why should I have a product feed?

Before we launch into the specific requirements, here’s two ways a feed can make your life easier:

1. Automatic updating of all your products (via a feed refresh schedule)
Instead of manually updating static ads as your products change, making the updates directly in your feed allows us to automatically apply those changes to your dynamic ads. This means quicker turnaround time, and the comfort of knowing that time sensitive changes (think: product price changes, out of stock or discontinued products) are constantly being pushed live, ensuring your ads are relevant and that product details are accurate.

2. Allows you to run dynamic creatives on FBX and across the Internet (one feed for multiple campaigns)
One feed is all we need. Whether you are running a campaign via FBX, dynamic display, or through native retargeting across the web, your one product feed will serve as the central source for all product info here at Triggit.

How does a feed work?

Here is an example of a sample feed entry, which passes us the following fields:

  • Product ID

  • Product Name

  • Product Image

  • Click-through URL

  • Image URL

These dynamic elements will be different for every product, and will allow us to serve dynamic ad creatives such as:

Title: Find the best deals at www.yourwebsite.com!

Body: Buy Product Name for as low as $Product Price!

As you can see, the creative is dynamically populated with the fields that are passed to us in your feed.

How do you maximize a feed’s potential?

While the above example certainly qualifies as a dynamic ad, if there are additional parameters you can pass that may help drive higher CTR and conversions, we strongly suggest you include them.

Include optional fields such as Product Category, Product Rating, or Destination. This opens up the possibility of running additional ad creatives and increasing the relevancy of your ad, such as:

Title: Still looking for Product Category?

Body: Shop Product Name rated at Product Rating for Product Price!

Title: Looking for a room in Destination?

Body: Book your room at Hotel Name for Price per Night now!

As a secondary function, the fields you pass us can also be used to apply logic to the ad creative ultimately served. For example, some of our clients choose to run conditional ad creatives based on hotel rating. After checking the value of the Hotel Rating field within the feed, we are then able populate differing ad creatives based on the hotel’s rating. By using more aggressive optimization strategies to show ads for hotels with higher ratings, we’ve been able to increase volume while lowering CPA.

Now that you are familiar with how your product feed integrates with Triggit’s dynamic creative capabilities, it’s time to get started with a dynamic retargeting campaign! Check out the resources below for more product feed and dynamic retargeting tips:

Product Feed Format Questions

Integration Webinar

News Feed Retargeting Tips to Increase Your ROI

By Corey Johnston, Sales Operations Manager

As a direct-response advertiser, you probably already know that in-feed retargeting is an extremely powerful marketing tool. When properly executed, dynamic, in-feed retargeting ads drive up to 5X higher CTR, and 2X higher ROI compared to static ads. Despite the proven results, it’s shocking how many advertisers still haven’t caught on to dynamic, in-feed retargeting.

The Facebook News Feed is undeniably one of the most popular places on the web, for users and advertisers alike. While many advertisers are utilizing this incredible opportunity to deliver engaging, relevant, and commercially-valuable native ads, I quite frequently run into poorly executed, static ads that have left me scratching my head. Today, I’ll walk you through some of these ads, what makes them sub-standard, and the recommendations to transform these into high-quality, native ad experiences.

The ad that was fashionably late

The story: A month ago, I went online looking for some new dress shirts and spotted a blue shirt that I liked. I put the shirt in my shopping cart but never went through with the purchase.

One month later, I was served this ad:

This is an ineffective ad for a few reasons:

  • Timing: This ad was served over a month after visiting the site; my purchase intent has completely dissipated.

  • Image: While the ad has a large image previewed, the ad doesn’t feature the specific blue shirt that I had my eyes on.

  • Copy: The image, title, and ad copy are all static and don’t make any mention of the one item I was genuinely thinking of buying.

Recommendations:

  • Serve the ad within a few hours or a couple days of me leaving the site. Take advantage of the fact that purchase intent is highest within the first two days (but ideally, hours!) of leaving the site. Unfortunately, with this ad being a month late, the only thing it did was irritate me.

  • Make the ad dynamic and drive 2X higher ROI than this static ad! By showing the exact product I put in my shopping cart both with copy and image, I would have been much more responsive to the ad.

 

The ad that was so generic, it hurt

The story: Not too long ago, I was looking for a new set of steak knives for my kitchen. I made my way all the way to the product level page, browsed around, and even looked through a couple different brands of steak knives. For whatever reason, I never made up my mind up on which set of knives I liked best and I failed to make any purchase.

This ad was ineffective for two main reasons:

  • Relevancy: This ad is completely irrelevant to the search that I performed when I was looking for some new cutting tools — who said I wanted colorful mugs?!

  • Static Nature: Not only is this ad irrelevant, but it also contains static titles, ad copy, and images.

Recommendations:

  • Again, go fully dynamic! Having relevant ad elements (image, title, and ad copy for the steak knives you know I was looking at) will get me to notice the ad in a more positive light and drive higher performance for whomever is serving this ad.

  • Make it descriptive! We’ve seen that ads with descriptive text (for example, including price and/or color) drive 50% more clicks and conversions.

The truth is I run into poorly executed, irrelevant, static in-feed ads all the time and they always leave me with mixed emotions. Facebook’s News Feed is prime native advertising real estate and the content within it should be of the highest quality. This means that in-feed ads should be relevant and specific to the needs and wants of the consumer. Otherwise, advertisers are simply wasting their ad dollars while leaving a bad impression (no pun intended) with their potential customers.

Buy Now! The benefits of being an early adopter in Second Price Ad Exchanges

By Micah Stone, Accounts Analyst

As the digital advertising industry continues to change and develop, advertisers will see newer technologies and channels emerge, and understanding what can drive success through early adoption will be vital. Today, I’ve broken out the three main pieces of what has made our clients successful to help marketers get a better understanding of the underlying components of their success.

I. Ad Exchanges as Marketplaces

Google AdWords was the original online ad exchange that used second price auctions (the winner pays a penny more than the second highest price), but is now so commonly used by companies that advertisers no longer see such high returns. This is due to the maturation of the market, which leads to increased prices as the market becomes more efficient. FBX offers low cost and extremely high ROI, because many advertisers do not yet understand their value. Let’s dive into why this might occur:

II. Second Price Auction Mechanisms

FBX uses the same mechanism as Google AdWords: a second-price real-time bidding auction. In a second-price auction, all of the bidders submit a bid, and the highest bid “wins” the auction and pays the price submitted by the second highest bidder, hence the name. This all occurs in the blink of an eye.  There is nothing to be gained by trying to anticipate and outsmart the other bidders; in fact, a second-price auction can often result in lower prices for the buyer.

Let’s first consider a very simple auction for a Newsfeed Ad on FBX. Bidder 1 values the ad at $1.00, because that is the expected revenue from the user. Bidder 2 values the ad at $0.90, because that is his expected price. Bidder 1 will bid $1.00 and bidder 2 will bid $0.90, so bidder 1 wins and pays $0.90. This is an optimal outcome for all sides:

  • Optimal for Bidder 1 because he is able to buy the ad and make a $0.10 profit

  • (Technically) Optimal for Bidder 2 because he ends up with nothing, which is better than the loss he would suffer had he outbid Bidder 1.

  • Socially optimal because the bidder who placed the highest value on the advertisement was the winner.

Now let’s consider a case where Bidder 1 shades his bid lower in order to increase his profit. Everything else remains the same, except Bidder 1 now submits a bid of $0.85. Bidder 2 now wins that auction and pays $0.85. This result is now just optimal for Bidder 2, but not for Bidder 1 and is socially sub-optimal, as well.

Luckily, if there are multiple auctions (or say, millions of auctions per second), Bidder 1 will realize he lost out on a potential $0.10 profit and be able to quickly adjust his bid so that he will win the auction. In this scenario, any bid above $0.90 will end up with the same results we saw above. Costs and revenue generated are very straightforward to calculate in online advertising, especially when compared with traditional media.

FBX is still a new ad exchange inventory, is still cheap, and ROI is high!

III. Capturing Market Inefficiencies

Here is why early adoption of FBX is beneficial: if nothing else ever changes, no matter how many times this auction occurs, Bidder 1 will always win and pay the same price. Economic models predict that over the long-run, open markets will weed out any inefficiencies and prices will rise to reflect true value.

In the example of the ad auction, as more and more bidders join the auction, prices will begin to rise closer to $1.00. The incumbent bidders will try to make their own processes more efficient, saving money in other places so that they can bid higher and still make money. Eventually, the price would reach $1.00, which is equal to the highest value of the ad. The price might go even higher, but this “true” value will be influenced by outside supply and demand.

While it is true that in the long run prices will rise to point where it will be difficult to make a profit, most ad exchanges are still relatively new and the markets are not yet running at 100% efficiency. On the aggregate, prices are still below the long-run efficient, market-clearing price. As these ad exchanges mature, it will be more difficult to see the high ROI that advertisers are seeing today. Ad exchange marketplaces are mature enough that they are proven to work, but the slow adoption by some advertisers means that inventory remains relatively inexpensive. In the long run, prices may rise as profits adjust, but as the famous economist John Maynard Keynes said, “In the long run, we all are dead.”

Conversations with a Software Engineer, Part II: Q&A with Paul Bergeron

By Prachi Mishra, Product Marketing Manager

Last week Paul Bergeron, Director of Engineering here at Triggit, sat down to tell us about a typical day as a software engineer. With that conversation as our backdrop, I had the opportunity to sit down with Paul once again to shed some more light on our Engineering team.

Prachi Mishra: Thanks for sitting down for a Q&A! When looking at the engineering team as a whole, you’re second in terms of tenure on the Eng team. What is it about the team that makes working here rewarding? Is there anything that sets this team apart from other teams you’ve worked with in the past?

Paul Bergeron: Great question, there are definitely things that set this team apart from the ones I’ve worked with before.  Our Eng team at Triggit is an incredibly diverse team, in terms of people with different backgrounds, programming languages, and, even, location backgrounds. I still think it’s rather amazing we come together under the same banner, ideas, and thoughts. It leads to amazing conversations and provides a natural environment for symbiotic relationships around languages and frameworks.

PM: Absolutely – I think that diversity of thought is pretty prevalent around the office. It definitely enriches the conversation. How does it help on the Eng team?

PB: For example, Dmitri and I will often go back and forth talking about Lisp, a functional programming language. I’m well versed in Lisp, and most of those ideas are new to him, so I expand on those ideas with him. At the same time, I’m not as well versed in Go, an imperative programming language, as he is, so when I have difficulty there, he’s able to help me out.

And there are similar relationships of that nature across the team. For example, with Yesh and David; Yesh is a Java Developer and David is gaining mastery over Ruby, another programming language , so they share knowledge over how they can get better at Ruby together. And every now and then, Davide will chime in with his experiences with Ruby and best practices as well. Another example — Krzysztof and Dmitri sit next to each other and they exchange Go and server-side ideas back and forth a lot.

PM: That’s fantastic. I knew we had a wide array of programming languages but the sheer number of languages  we have on the team caught me off guard. So switching gears a bit, what has been most rewarding about working on the Triggit platform?

PB: The potential of what we can achieve is truly rewarding. It’s awesome we have a great amount of depth we can explore. What excites me about that area in particular is that we can go and choose to be better at machine learning, to apply stronger optimizations here or there. And, in fact, the hardest part is deciding what to apply where, not actually the implementation. It’s cool because we get to mess around with those experiments and see the results and bring the whole platform up to be better.

PM: Absolutely makes sense. Could you speak more to how we’re strengthening the platform? Is there anything that really sets us apart?

PB: The technology that we build is unique in that each part is specifically designed to handle it’s own situation. Most types of applications in the past tend to be referred to as monolithic type of architectures, where they’re very large applications that do many different things. This tends to create an application that’s very interdependent and could hold you back. Since our system is distributed and scalable, we can basically insulate ourselves from those types of issues. If it’s slow, we can give the slow part more resources to do its work. If it’s fast, we don’t have to give it as much. If there’s a problem communicating between any two pieces, with our system, it’s much easier to route around it.

PM: I’m sure that comes in handy especially with the variety of issues that could crop up. On a bit of tangent, does Triggit use a lot of open source software to do this?

PB: Absolutely! Our team has several strong contributors to the open source movement. We could almost go team member by member, but to name a few, Davide is the author of Padrino; Dmitri is the author of the open source project Conception, which is like an editor for Go that is very much like Light Table; Krzysztof is the author of Sumatra PDF,  a PDF reader, and is a contributor to uTorrent; and I have a few projects open! We have a lot of open source contributors on the team, so we greatly value it.

We use it in our day-to-day jobs and technology stack. But we also like to give back, and use a Gittip account in order to give back to open source developers whose code we’ve leveraged. Stay posted about updates about that!  Most of our team moonlights as open source developers so we enourange that. We actually get get together informally, sometimes even on the weekends, not for anything Triggit-related, but hacking on open source code.

PM: Really? I had no idea you all have been doing that! Everyone on the Eng Team is incredibly passionate about their work, so it honestly doesn’t surprise me.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today! Thank you again for sitting down with me, Paul! It’s always lovely to chat with you.

PB: Absolutely, my pleasure.

Interested in joining the Eng Team? Check out our open requisitions here.

Conversations with a Software Engineer – A Day in the Life of Paul Bergeron

By Prachi Mishra, Marketing Manager

For any technology start-up, engineers are at the heart of the product. Without a solid engineering team, it’s quite difficult to build and maintain a solid, stable product that truly adds value, and possibly even disrupts an industry.

Today, we start a two-part series with Paul Bergeron, the Director of Engineering at Triggit. Paul’s main responsibilities include maintaining and improving our existing platform, building out a scalable architecture for future product growth, and leading novice developers in designing impactful, scalable solutions. Today, he talks us through his typical day in his life as our software engineer at an ad tech start-up that never really sleeps.

 


Have a question you’d like to ask Paul? Feel free to comment on the article or tweet to our handle, @triggit, and we’ll have him answer it in Part II of our interview with him!


Prachi Mishra: Thanks so much for sitting down with me today! Mind walking me through a typical day for you at Triggit?

Paul Bergeron: Sure, my pleasure. I generally get into office around 9:30 and head straight to the kitchen for breakfast and the lifeblood of any engineer, coffee. I then turn my computer on and check for anything that may have happened overnight. Given our system, a lot of automated fail overs kick on, that can’t be kicked on more than once, so we basically afford ourselves the ability to respond to critical situations during the day while we’re working.

The next item on the agenda is a daily sync-up with our product guy, Mike Winters, to make sure we’re aligned with product direction. Especially when you’re building out a product, keeping the focus on the right direction is key. I try to make sure we’re doing the things that need to be done, while also making sure that those things we’re doing are the right things, aligned with the company’s larger goals.

My conversations with Mike are also to see what’s working, what isn’t; it’s like a mini version of our weekly product planning meeting. These meetings help with the heavy touch projects that need to happen throughout the week.

Then, I generally get on a hiring call. We are really focused on growing the team right now given the number of projects on the horizon.

PM: What projects are you working on right now?

PB: It’s always a variety of things, generally including critical fixes, non-critical fixes, data fixes, and new work.

Currently I’m working on improvements to our client side reporting, supporting David Leung with RedShift queries and related projects to test that.

I’m also building an image previewer. At present, a lot of our clients don’t have images in the same format. Each image might not be the correct size or format for FBX, so we have to resize and configure images.

A typical day tends to include various fixes for whatever pops up. I’m currently doing a data repair for a query that was building an aggregate table for internal debugging that had an issue, so we’re rebuilding that.

PM: Sounds like you get a huge variety in your projects – that probably helps keep things interesting. So now, on to lunch?

PB: Yes, at lunch I try to sit with a non-Engineer at least once a week. I make a point to try to be a part of the team holistically. We recently added an Accounts-Eng lunch once a week, so we can have even more frequent communication with our Accounts team, and I attend those as well.

After lunch, it’s normal for the Eng team to go grab a coffee most days. Our two spots are Cumaica & Gas Lamp Cafe, the latter which has Blue Bottle’s New Orleans’ style ice coffee – primo!

PM: Blue Bottle’s New Orlean’s style ice coffee is hard to beat. So once you’re all fueled, what does the second half of your day like?

PB: That’s when I get most of my coding work done. I do the bulk of my “new work,” most of which I described earlier along with other enhancements, sometimes even brand new products. While I get a lot done in the morning, the afternoons are usually when I get back to working on what I want to get done.

I also use the afternoons for stand-ups with my teammates; it’s good to check in with everyone, see what’s going on with their projects and make sure we’re working cohesively as a team. That about wraps up my day!

PM: Sounds like no two days are quite like another, in the best way possible. Thank you, Paul, for sitting down with me today! Looking forward to our Q&A soon!

PB: Thanks, Prachi. It was my pleasure.

Be sure to check in for Part 2: Q&A session with Paul.

Learn Dynamic Insertion Retargeting for Travel Sites

Today’s blog post is cross-published with FBPPC, the leading source for Facebook advertising news and views.

By Sam Mitchell, Head of Client Operations

Retargeting can vary widely for different types of websites. E-commerce websites, for example, can be very different compared to travel websites. If a user browsed a product on an e-commerce site and left without converting, he/she could be retargeted with dynamic product ads full of relevant details from the product feed, including product name, image, and price.

Feed-based, dynamic retargeting is incredibly effective, but what if you don’t have a feed? Can you still run an effective dynamic retargeting campaign?

Fortunately, the answer is yes.

We’ve helped tons of global travel companies drive volume, both with and without a product feed. One company, a global airline without a product feed, grew volume by 282% in the first six months running dynamic FBX campaigns!

There’s a wide variety of travel websites where a product feed may not exist – such as OTAs, fare aggregators, and travel-specific search engines. For these websites, we recommend something called Dynamic Insertion.

Dynamic Insertion works best for these websites for two reasons:

  1. A standard product feed may not exist
  2. These websites generally have an internal site search from which they are tracking user search details

With Dynamic Insertion, advertisers can still serve highly relevant retargeting ads based on exactly what the user was searching for, as opposed to a specific hotel page visited. Instead of pulling specific hotel attributes from a feed, the dynamic ads pull from the dates, location, travel type, and other details entered in the internal site search. This makes for an incredibly relevant, personalized ad experience.

Book your trip

Dynamic Insertion is a much more agile approach compared to feed-based dynamic creative, with the following caveats:

-You must be able to pass all information through the pixel in the exact format desired in the ad copy. This is because of how these ads are created; dynamic elements are inserted directly from a user’s pixel record into a preset template upon ad delivery.
-You won’t be able to serve dynamic images (though static images, like logos, often perform better for these types of campaigns).

For Dynamic Insertion campaigns, everything depends on the pixel implementation, so you’ll want to ask yourself the following before getting started:

  • Can we place a pixel that fires dynamic elements on every search result page?
  • Can we pass information like departure date, price, destination, and permalink in human readable format?

If you answered yes to these questions, you’re all set to begin an incredibly effective dynamic retargeting campaign. Many of the world’s largest travel websites are seeing epic ROI with this approach, so get ready to join the club.

The Life and Times of a Triggit Account Manager

By Kelly McCarthy, Account Manager

I love working with data, technology and people, and that’s what ultimately lead me to Triggit. As an Account Manager (AM), my main responsibilities include implementing dynamic retargeting strategies and guiding high-value client relationships on Triggit’s RTB platform. Let’s dive a little deeper…here’s a typical day in my life as an AM:

7:15 AM: Wake up to a dream that takes place partly at the office, partly in Game of Thrones. I wish I was kidding, but it somehow seems like an appropriate segway between Sunday night and Monday morning.

8:30 AM: Time to check my inbox. My Brazil and East Coast clients have already been at work for hours, so I need to catch up quickly and efficiently. I respond to client emails about yesterday’s performance and new strategies I’d proposed, and internal emails about product enhancements and new clients to be onboarded.

9:20 AM: Now fully-caffeinated, I check my clients’ performance trends to benchmark against their goals. I implemented various strategies last week for one client in particular and I’m thrilled to see these worked as expected — volume has increased significantly along with their ROAS.

10:00 AM: I debrief with Aaron, an Account Manager, about yesterday’s performance. We discuss priority optimizations and client outreach to be completed that day. We started these daily check-ins to ensure that we’re constantly pushing optimal performance and volume.

11:30 AM: First client call of the day: We discuss expanding our dynamic retargeting services from FBX to display. We’ve shared the first ad mock-ups from our designer, and determine how we can best promote their brand through dynamic ad creatives. The client shares with us their brand guidelines and we agree to send them a few different ad copy suggestions as a follow-up.

McCarthy hard at work with Benjamin, the office dog.

1:00 PM: Post-lunch food coma, we take Benjamin (Triggit’s office dog and unofficial canine mascot) for a walk. His hobbies include growling at mailmen, napping on the couch, and providing constant moral support.

1:30 PM: Another client call – we find out we’re exceeding our client’s goals and can scale with the goal of doubling FBX volume in the coming weeks. They can hear the excitement in our voices, but they can’t see the celebration dance we’re doing on the other side of the conference line. Once we start working with a client, we quickly become invested in their success; their victories are our victories.

2:30 PM: After the client call, we have an internal meeting to brainstorm our expansion strategy. We analyze past performance, review their product feed and user data to identify the best audience and product segmentation strategies, and spend hours in the Triggit platform building out a new campaign structure that will enable us to scale.

5:15 PM: Email frequency has slowed down towards the end of the day, giving me time to check in with our Sales team about a new client. I learn about their business and KPIs, review their product feed, and then begin building out custom pixel documentation. The faster I can send this to the new client, the sooner we can start driving revenue for them.

6:00 PM: It’s been another rewarding day at Triggit. Time for a beer!

FBX Optimization Tips: Improve Your Ads

Today’s blog post is cross-published with FBPPC, the leading source for Facebook advertising news and views.

By Prachi Mishra, Product Marketing Manager

When retargeting first came out, direct-response advertisers rejoiced at the opportunity to get in front of users who had already demonstrated purchase intent. When FBX launched in 2012, it was icing on the cake; suddenly advertisers could retarget site visitors on a channel they visited 24/7!

Advertisers quickly learned that just because you can serve an ad doesn’t mean you should be serving just any ‘ol ad. In terms of serving of a low-quality ad, not only are advertisers spending money on wasted impressions, a poor ad can leave a bad impression (no pun intended!) on their potential customers.

Ad quality is undeniably one of the most important drivers of a high CTR, and arguably high conversion rate. The quality of a retargeting ad can be broken down with three simple questions:

  • Does the ad feature a relevant product/service?
  • Was the ad served in a timely fashion?
  • Is the ad compelling enough to drive a click – and the ultimate goal, the conversion?

Below you’ll find a handful of ads with the potential to be strong, relevant, personalized ads. We’ve identified areas for improvement along with recommendations that all FBX advertisers can learn from to make their own ads even stronger, and ultimately, to drive more revenue. (Note: Advertiser names have been censored.)

1. The Category Level Ad that Forgot the Link:

-Web page viewed: Gazebo product page
-Facebook retargeting ad shown: General patio furniture
-Timeliness: Shown within a day
-Landing page: A broken page

patio

patio 2

What makes this a bad ad? The ad was shown in a timely manner, but the user was shown a generic patio furniture page after visiting a specific Gazebo product page. Additionally, the user was taken to a broken page, making the conversion very unlikely even if s/he had clicked on the ad.

Recommendation: Make the ad fully dynamic! Dynamic product ads are proven to drive up to 2X higher ROI than static ads, so why serve a generic, static ad like this when you could make more revenue with a dynamic ad showing the same gazebo, with dynamic components such as product name, product price, and user ratings?

 

2. The Ad Served Long After Purchase Intent Likely Dissipated

-Web page viewed: A specific workout equipment product page
-Facebook retargeting ad shown: General ad about product, no compelling call to action.
-Timeliness: Shown a full year after last visiting the site.

work out

What makes this a bad ad? The ad was shown a full year after our shopper had visited the site. Additionally, the ad does not feature any compelling details about the product viewed – product price, product attributes such as average calories burned – that would elicit a click and a conversion (that’s the whole point!).

Recommendations:

-Unless you’re using old visitor data for an awareness campaign, the BEST time to retarget site visitors is within the first 24 hours post-visit, when the product is still salient.
-Use a compelling call to action to entice users to click and convert. In tests, Triggit’s seen that descriptions, price details, and relevant text in the ad copy yielded 50% better conversion rates vs. ads that didn’t have any of above.

 

3. The Completely Irrelevant Ad

-Web pages viewed: Handful of running shoes at specific brand’s site
-Facebook retargeting ad shown: Ad shown for customizable soccer cleats
-Timeliness: Shown within an hour

cleats

What makes this a bad ad? Despite the timeliness, our shopper was clearly interested in running shoes and had only viewed those that piqued his interest. This ad is very clearly for a completely different sport.

Recommendation:

The ad should have instead featured one of the five shoes our shopper had browsed. Think about it – an in-store sales person would never show you soccer cleats after you ask to see running shoes, so why would you do that with your ads? Drive your potential customers back to the same products for which they’ve already shown purchase intent, and increase your CTR and ROI.

 

4. The “Unique” Generic Ad

-Web pages viewed: Two Hawaiian shirt product pages
-Facebook retargeting ad shown: A static ad for a different Hawaiian shirt
-Timeliness: shown a month late
vintage

What makes this a bad ad?

The ad is not dynamic! The title and description are both static making the ad incredibly generic and out of context. To top it off, the Hawaiian shirt in the photo isn’t even the one our shopper viewed.

Recommendations:

-Make the ad fully dynamic! The beauty of dynamic retargeting is that it does all the work for you to get your potential customers back to the products in which they’ve shown interest, and ultimately, to make a purchase.
-Include relevant product details. If this ad included product details – a product description or price – both elements that can be added dynamically – we’ve seen it help boost CTR by about 25%.

 

At the end of the day, ad quality affects every type of advertising; DR marketing is no exception. Fully dynamic, personalized ads, shown while purchase intent is still high will not only increase the quality of the ads, but ensure that you leave a positive impression (pun intended!) both with your end customer and your company’s bottom line.