What Brand Safety Means for Brands, Advertisers & Agencies

2018 continues to be the year of Brand Safety for Brands, Advertisers and Agencies as the industry status quo was disrupted in 2017.

Many advertisers pulled or suspended their ad campaigns from YouTube and Google’s display network because the company put brands at risk by serving up inappropriate ads that conflicted with the value of advertisers.

Google has taken steps to address the issue and updated the YouTube Partnership Program in efforts to reduce the chance of ads being served up against inappropriate content. This is a great first step but where does the industry go from here?

For the industry to be successful, it is important that Brands feel that their Brand Safety will be protected. Brands need to deliver a consistent message to customers and prospects. When advertisers are showing messages that conflict with Brand values; consumer trust erodes. This can destroy a Brand.

Ultimately, a Brand is responsible for its safety.

· According to independent sources 70% of programmatic money in the UK is being used for various agency commissions leaving media platforms with 30%

· Brands are not sure how their media money is being used

However, for the industry to function successfully, Brands, Advertisers and Agencies need to collaborate; taking ownership of their respective role in the ecosystem. This collaboration, can take the form of: allowing Third party monitors from data science firms to examine data i.e. audit ad inventory, conduct site analysis, pre-bid targeting, keyword exclusion against Brand Guidelines and Standards.

How will these changes affect the digital landscape?

As Brands, Advertisers, and agencies collaborate more closely, allowing third parties to audit their work; campaign development and execution will take longer. More content moderators will be need to implement these changes. Google has announced that it will hire 10,000 Content Moderators this year to honor its commitment to Brand Safety. The fee structure of Advertising will need to be changed. Either the cost of advertising will increase or margins of Advertisers and Agencies will need to be cut.

Agencies will need to support the industry to overcome the issue of Brand Safety by: offering the above services to clients, providing clients with points of contact with partners that support client work, holding discussions/events on Brand Safety and offering guides on the topic.

Brands and Agencies, how do you address the issue of Brand Safety? Comment and share.

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Why Brands Should Use Visual StoryTelling

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth 10,000 words. Telling a story with words alone puts the burden of visualization on the prospect. As words mean different things to different people based on life experience and culture, it is possible for your message to be misinterpreted. For brands to truly engage potential buyers, they need to tell stories visually with the use images, videos and words together. (Visual Story Telling) Using all three together can help brands to craft and convey their message to their audience. Many brands like Coca Cola have photo/video sharing contents where customers would engage with their products. This is based on the old adage that people are more likely to believe the claims of your customer (testimonials) than traditional advertising.

Effective presentations need to have visuals and videos to emotionally engage prospects to buy. In a previous article, I discussed the power of the hashtag and the screenshot where I discuss how hashtags and screenshots allow messages to go beyond the traditional reach of social networks. I have used photo/video sharing services such as InstagramPinteresttumblr and YouTube to upload screenshots of tweets, Facebook posts, head-shots, videos etc…

Visual story telling allows brands to connect with many more people on an emotional level. This will ultimately lead to higher product sales numbers.

The Power of The Screen Shot & The Hash Tag: How Marketers Can Connect with Customers & Amplify their Reach

Screen-shots and hash-tags are an invaluable tool for marketers to reach and sell products to their audience. The old adage is that a picture is worth a 1000 words. As the fields of Marketing and Advertising shift to digital and mobile formats, the power of the image to tell stories and get your message across are the new tools of the 21st Century.

Hash-tags are also valuable tools because they allow marketers and everyday people to share their content with people who are out of their network. Hash-tags allow users on social networks to index their content. For example, if I share a blog post or an image with the tag #marketing, I can reach everyone who searches for that tag on a social network. My reach expands exponentially as a result. This is very powerful. Hash-tags started on Twitter then spread to other networks much like the like button on Facebook. Think of a hash-tag as a social network search engine like Google.

The screen shot is a great way for marketers to reach their audience and beyond. As the number of computers and mobile devices multiply worldwide, more people will capture everyday images of their lives and share them via Social Networks such as Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc…

Screen shots can be taken with both computers and mobile devices. This allows individuals, and small brands alike to market and reach potential customers via storytelling through screen shots. Fortune 500 brands have tapped into this marketing goldmine by soliciting everyday people to take pictures of themselves using the products that they love. Think of this as a picture version of a LinkedIn recommendation. It’s social proof.

Screen shots can also be used to share accomplishments and to advocate your love for your favorite brands. I have used screen shots in all of the ways that I have mentioned above. Recently, I was featured on Twitter’s Ads Blog for my endorsement of Verizon wireless.

When screen-shots are used with hash-tags, this is a marketing goldmine because marketers can share their story with billions of people worldwide and go beyond their regular followers. As a result, brands have potential to sell more and connect with people worldwide.

How have you used screen shots and hash-tags to sell and market your products?

Build your Brand with a Blog

Blogging is a great way to build your brand and market your products to the masses. Writing a blog allows you to demonstrate your expertise through writing. Blogging helps to provide prospects and customers with valuable information. Providing valuable information helps to position you as an expert and a resource.

Popular blog posts formats are: How to’s, book reviews, interviews, analysis of trends in your industry and best of’s. I was approached by many people as a result of my blog. Now you are asking the question, “How did you get the idea to blog?”

I decided to write a blog while working on an assignment in the education field. This assignment required me get other people to work on their writing. One of the prompts I used asked the question, “What do you know a lot about?”

Make a list of topics, choose one and write a research paper on this topic.

This writing prompt made me think about the topics that I knew a lot about. The topics were Sales, Marketing, and Social Media. As a result, I decided to put my thoughts on these topics in writing.  I launched Dan Galante’s Sales and Marketing blog in November 2011.

A blog is very easy to set up. The major blogging platforms are WordPress and tumblr. Both sites allow users to register for free. If you want to choose a custom domain name there is a fee. WordPress directly offers domain names for sale on their site. With tumblr, you will need to go to an outside provider and redirect the site to tumblr.

The WordPress and tumblr platforms have many features of Facebook and Twitter. You can re-blog an article. Re-blogging is sharing someone else’s content on your blog; similar to a retweet. Your fellow bloggers can also like your post and comment on it, similar to Facebook.  These features are great for engagement. Articles can be tagged with relevant terms. You can then search out these terms to see all posts on that topic. This is similar to a hashtag on Twitter or SEO.

WordPress and tumblr allows bloggers to share articles on various social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. You can use badges and plugins from your social networks to build a following and community. I have used this method to expand readership.

Guest blogging and syndication is another way to share your content. I am now syndicated on The Strategic HR blog.

Once you decide to start blogging, stick with it and publish quality content. Try to set up a writing schedule to maintain consistency. I shoot for once a week.

Blogging is a great way to get your message out. This is how you can build your brand with a blog.

Selling and Marketing Brand X

When you are selling and marketing a brand x product, there are many challenges that you face. These challenges range from questions on product reliability to a lack of brand recognition.

One of the first things that I would handle is product reliability. This comes from the product development and engineering side of your business. The product has to be developed and tested to insure that it works properly. Nothing will destroy your credibility like under delivering on promises that you make about your product.

In terms of addressing questions on product reliability, I would offer a free trial of your product to both the end users and industry experts. If your product delivers on its promises you should be able to earn testimonials and endorsements. This will not only address product reliability but will also go a long way toward creating brand recognition for your product. Remember one of the most important things that a brand can cultivate in its customers is trust and advocacy. It is your job as a brand to turn your customer base into advocates.

In terms of building brand recognition, I would create a story for your product. This story should demonstrate how the product helped to solve a problem. As I said earlier, using testimonials from industry experts and end users alike will help build trust and get people to take that first step to try your product. One of the most valuable marketing tools is word of mouth. Social Media channels such as blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Pinterest and others help to spread your products story to the masses. I would also have a company website that integrates all of these channels. Exhibiting at industry trade shows and conferences is also a great way to get the word out about your product.

I was an outside sales rep in the dental industry with an equipment distribution company. Many of the product lines that I carried were not name brand. In the beginning many people I called on were reluctant to try products that they did not know. They would waver and say things like “I don’t know, I have never heard of this product”. After assuring the customer that it was reliable and comparable to their name brand product; I took on the role of brand ambassador by convincing customers to try just one or two items. After these customers tried the product, they switched from a name brand product to my off brand product! I turned skeptics into believers. I was able to use these customers to tell the story about the off brand product through testimonials and referrals.

I had an impact at the distributor level. For a really big impact, all of this needs to be done by the manufacturer. Product development, engineering, Sales and Marketing teams needs to work together to make sure that the product launch and market adoption take place. If you work with distributors you need to provide them with support to help them succeed.

This is how to sell and market a brand x product.

How to Build Your Business & Brand Using Facebook Pages

In my last post, I discussed about how to build your personal brand on Facebook. Today I am going to discuss how to brand your business using Facebook pages. Remember Facebook is the largest Social networking site which means that your customers and prospects are on the site. Your job as a business and a brand is to engage with fans, prospects and customers. The goal is to convert this engagement (marketing) to product sales. Facebook pages are a great way to do this.

Facebook has greatly increased the kinds of pages that people and brands can create. Currently there are six types of pages. These pages include: a Local Business or place page, a Company page, a Brand or Product page, an Artist, Fan or Public Figures page, an Entertainment page and a Causes or Community page. Each of these pages has their own benefits. However in this post, I am going to focus on the public figure and the Company pages; using my public figure and company pages as an example.

The first thing that you need to do before setting up a Facebook business page is to set up a Facebook account. The steps to set up a Facebook account addressed in my last post. Once you create an account you need to do the following:

1 Log in to your account

2 Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the create a page link

3 Once you click on the link, a page will come up that will list all six types of Facebook pages. (For this post we will focus on the Public Figure and Company pages.)

4 Choose the type of page you would like which in our case is the Public Figure and Company pages.

5 Once you choose the type of page you would like, you will be asked to select the category your page falls into.

6 The next step will be to name your page. For the public figure page use your name or your band’s name if you have one. Use your company name for your company page. I started with a public figure page and added a company page later.

7 Agree to Facebook’s terms and click the get started button.

Getting Started

I will start by discussing how to set up a public figure page. The first thing you will need to do is to fill in the basic information section of the public figure page. The basic information section asks for the following:

1 The category of the page, the type of person you are public figure, journalist etc…

2 Your name

3 Your Address (This is optional for public figure and company pages)

4 Your affiliation

5 Your date of birth

6 An about headline which is similar to the headline feature on LinkedIn except you need to provide the content, where LinkedIn will let you use your job title and company as a default. I would use this space to briefly sell who you are and what you do. You should be brief. My headline is: Sales & Marketing Maven who is available to meet your sales & marketing needs Contact me for a free consultation Read my Sales & Marketing Blog http://www.dangalante.me . As you can see my headline is short and to the point. You can elaborate on the headline in the Biography section.

7 Use the biography section to expand on the headline. This is the place to describe yourself, your credentials and what you have to offer potential customers. Here is an example of my biography section: I am Dan Galante, President, CEO, CMO, Sales and Marketing Consultant at Trend Setting Sales and Marketing. Trend Setting Sales and Marketing provides Sales, Marketing and Advertising services to clients across multiple mediums. Prior to my current role, I ran the New York City sales territory for Diversified Dental Sales Inc. During my time in this position, I called on Dental Professionals, selling them my company’s products and services. I helped build my company’s brand by educating Dental professionals who were previously unfamiliar with our offerings. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Education. My knowledge of Sales, Marketing and Education, gives me the expertise to teach business ways they can produce more. My objective is to use my sales, marketing and education experience to provide clients with sales and marketing consulting services. I am also interested in obtaining traditional sales and marketing positions in New York City. I author a sales and marketing blog. Also, I publish several online newspapers which focus on the topics of: Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Technology, the automotive industry and Dentistry serving as Editor in Chief of each.

Specialties:

Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Direct Marketing, Online Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Territory Sales, Sales Techniques, Lead Generation, Route Sales, Dental Equipment Sales, Dental Sales, Dental Marketing, Outside Sales, Prospecting, Cold Calling, Cold Canvassing, Cross Selling, Brand Building, Business Development, Account Management, Customer Service, Customer Loyalty, Customer Retention, Mediation, Social Media Marketing, Spokesperson, Trade show marketing, Event Marketing, Education

As you can see I offer a professional summary along with my specialties. Listing your specialties is a great place to list what you have done along with what you would like to do.

8 There is a section for awards, gender, personal information, personal interests, phone number and websites. I definitely would make use of the personal interests, and websites section to make your page come alive.

Setting Up Your Pages Visibility

The next thing that you need to is to decide who will see your page. Facebook allows you to decide what countries are allowed to view your pages.  You can get access to this setting by clicking the permissions tab. Depending on your content, you can set an age restriction. Facebook also allows you to decide the following: if you want people to tag you in photos and videos, if you want people to write and post content on your wall and if you want to block certain people from posting on your wall. Facebook also lets you block profanity from being posted on your wall. I recommend that you allow people to tag your photos and post comments on content you post. Also, I recommend that you allow others to share content on your wall. I recommend this because this will give you the opportunity to engage with your fans. Once you reach 25 likes, Facebook allows you to set a custom URL to your pages. I recommend doing this because it will be easier for people to find your page and it will be easier for search engines to index your page. Here are my custom URL’s. http://www.facebook.com/djgalante http://www.facebook.com/trendsettingsm  I picked one name that was my name and one that is a shortened version of my company name Trend Setting Sales and Marketing. You should pick names related to yourself and/or your business so people will find your page quickly and easily.

Facebook also allows you to use insights to see who is talking about your page and who likes your page. Also make sure to upload a professional photo of yourself.

Another thing you can do is to choose an administrator for your page. I would recommend doing this yourself unless you have a professional moderator for your page because the administrator will have full access to your page.  You can also post your tweets to Facebook using the Twitter plug-in the under the resources tab.

Getting Likes

Once your pages are complete, you want to get people to like your page. For a long time Facebook likes have been Facebook’s social currency. Likes symbolize social approval from friends and fans. In order to get likes, you should do the following:

1 Provide compelling content that engages Fans. (I share my blog posts with my fans.) Encourage them to share their stories using your product and services. This could be done through wall posts or videos

2 Promote your page by inviting your Facebook friends and sending email invitations to people who are not directly connected with you.

3 Use Facebook ads to get people to like and interact with your page. (I will discuss this at a later time)

4 Post content from your Facebook page. (Facebook allows users to switch between their personal accounts and their Facebook page.)

Remember that this takes work and it is an ongoing process.

The company page on Facebook is similar to the Public figure page. The Company page is good to promote your business if you have employees. It is also good if you want to promote your company as a brand. If you are a in a band or working by yourself, I would use the public figure page. I use both pages because I am looking to get customers and I would like to grow my idea into a large business. The difference with the Company page is that you will not have to provide a date of birth. However, you will have to provide a company description instead of a personal description. (About me) Also you can provide a mission statement and describe your offerings in the products box. These are the key differences between the pages.

Promoting your Facebook page on other Social Networks and other Platforms

1 Share your Facebook page on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google plus by sharing your pages URL on these sites; inviting your connections/followers to join you.

2 Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature

3 Include Facebook plugins on your website and blog

4 Include your Facebook page on any printed materials that you give customers and prospects

5 Include your page in any TV, Radio or print advertisements that you engage in.

This is how to successfully build and promote a public figure and company page on Facebook.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

Personal Branding on Facebook:The Basics

Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world. Facebook has about 650 million users worldwide. Almost everyone is on Facebook. From teenagers to baby boomers, people from all walks of life are using Facebook. In this post, I am going to discuss the basics of personal branding on Facebook.

To sign up for an individual account you need to do the following:

1 Provide your first and last name.

2 Enter a valid email twice.

3 Create a password

4 Provide your date of birth to verify your age.

To get started, you need to fill out the basic information section which includes the following information: your birthday, your sex, your relationship status and if you prefer men or women.

The next step is to fill out your contact information. In this section, you can include links to your websites, blogs, and other social networks.

Facebook also allows you to share your education and work experience. This is a great way to make your profile professional.  To tell your story, make sure to fill out Facebook’s about you section. This is a great place to tell your story. You can sell who you are and what you do.

You can also create a timeline to tell your story. This is a new feature on Facebook. Make sure to upload a professional photo of yourself. Facebook also allows you to create photo albums. Make sure to upload photos that contain nothing embarrassing such as drinking or nudity. Remember you are trying to build your image here. Here is the link to my Facebook profile for you to see an example of what I have discussed so far. http://facebook.com/​dgalantenyc Facebook allows you to pick a custom URL to make it easier to find your profile.

Now that your profile is set up, your next goal is to add friends to your Facebook account. You can do this as follows:

1 Do a manual search for your friends.

2 Upload your address book to see which of your contacts are on Facebook

3 Send email invitations to people who are not on Facebook.

When you find a contacts profile, click on the add friend button. When you click the add friend button. Facebook allows you to specify how you are connected with the person. I would also include a message with your friend request. Try to connect with people who you know well because if too many of your requests go unanswered, you will be blocked from adding friends. Also if people flag your request as spam, you will be blocked from sending messages.  If you want to add more people, make sure that you share an interest with them. You can also subscribe to people’s updates even if you are not friends with them.

Now that you have friends on Facebook, the next step is to post status updates. I would recommend posting interesting content you come across. This is also a great way to share your own content. Next, I would use your Facebook wall. The Facebook wall allows people to publically communicate on Facebook with one another.  Also if you approve of a status update or comment, you can like them. Likes on Facebook serve as a social endorsement. You can look at my profile to see examples of my likes and people who have liked my content. http://www.facebook.com/dgalantenyc .

Facebook pages are also a great way for people and brands to promote their products and services.

In my next post, I will cover likes, status updates and Facebook pages in more detail.

Until then, thank you for reading.