Concrete Steps to Prepare for a Cookieless Future

Concrete Steps to Prepare for a Cookieless Future

by Digilant VP of Product, Wes Faris, via Street Fight

Many digital advertisers breathed a huge sigh of relief when Google postponed its announced ban on third-party cookies from early 2022 to 2023, giving the industry more time to adapt.

But this was not a reprieve but a delay of the inevitable.

A largely cookieless digital future, at least on desktops, remains squarely on the horizon, and smart marketers should be using this gift of extra time to get a better handle on identity solutions and the other tools and strategies that will be needed to execute and measure campaigns without the real-time retargeting enabled by cookies.

No one has to make dramatic changes just yet. But allocating a five-15% budget now for cookieless programs can enable advertisers to determine the best choice for them among the identity solutions providers looking to offer cookie replacements.

Identity solutions coming from LiveRamp, Lotame, and Parrable, and a host of emerging startups can do some heavy lifting currently done by cookies. These identity solutions essentially serve the same tracking function as a cookie but are based on a hashed email or other anonymized identifiers.

Because they’ll almost certainly be opt-in, what these identity solutions won’t do, at least not initially, is scale.

The biggest change for digital marketers who’ve grown comfortable with cookies is realizing that the future may not be nearly as automated as it is now. Executing campaigns without cookies will require more hands-on strategizing and monitoring of campaigns, and it will force marketers to be proactive when it comes to culling third-party data providers and ad-tech partners that rely too heavily on cookies for their data and analytics.


Read the full piece here.

6 Creative Tips to Optimize Your Digital Audio Advertising

The average consumer in the US now spends over 1.5 hours listening to digital audio every day. To put that number in perspective, when adding up all forms of media that consumers interact with every day, both digital and traditional, digital audio snags over 10% of the total. 

As advertisers are keenly aware, consumers constantly switch between media and channels to consume and interact with content. Knowing that digital audio is a constant (and large) source of content consumption gives advertisers a huge window of opportunity to reach consumers as they move throughout their day.

Additionally, we know the standing out in these crowded marketplaces is also a challenge. Whether display, video, or audio, differentiating your brand from your competitors with a timely, interactive, and personal advertisement is essential in today’s market. So, to help you get started when creating your digital audio ads, we’ve put together six tips to ensure your digital ads are optimized for the best consumer experience. Let’s jump in. 

What is Digital Audio? 

At Digilant, we define digital audio to include music streaming services (such as Pandora and Spotify), digital radio stations (Sirius XM), and podcasts. Every consumer has their preferred listening methods, so for a deeper dive into each of these channels and how advertisers can reach listeners, check out our blog post, Digital Audio Advertising Trends: Your Guide to Reaching Listeners in 2021 here.

6 Creative Tips to Optimize your Digital Audio Advertising

1. Ad Length

Although the 30-second audio spot is common, it may not perform the best for every advertiser. Shorter spots of 10-15 seconds can be a more effective way to hold listeners’ attention. Test out both lengths to see what performs best based on your goals.

  • Remember: keep your ad short and concise
  • Roughly 40 words for a 15-second ad
  • About 85 words for a 30-second ad

2. Call-to-Action

Every audio ad should include a clear call-to-action (CTA) within the first 10 seconds of the audio spot, but keep in mind that listeners are not always looking at the screen. They may be commuting, exercising, or working on another screen, so don’t rely on companion banners to drive traffic to your site and avoid words like “tap” and “click.”

When targeting a specific channel, such as smartphones, consider a mobile-specific CTA like “text for a coupon.”

3. Frequency

Audio offers a focused one-to-one connection; therefore, the frequency of your ad being heard is essential. You want your ad to be memorable but not annoying to the audience. A good middle ground is three to five times per week but obviously varies on a case-by-case basis.  Advertisers promoting a new brand or time-sensitive offer opt for a higher frequency, while longer campaigns and well-established brands might aim for a lower frequency. 

To eliminate the lift required to make these digital ads, you can repurpose current traditional radio messaging. This also helps create a more consistent message delivery across multiple media platforms. 

4. Keep your message fresh

Like frequency, advertisers need to keep in mind that the actual creation of the ad waivers on a fine line of memorable and annoyance. Use creative that is entertaining and uses your brand’s proprietary identifies, such as a jingle. 

Audio creative that a listener hears over and over tends to drop in performance. Swap in new audio spots every few months for longer campaigns and feature product releases or seasonal promotions. 

If you have the resources to create multiple audio spots, we recommend testing two or more and leveraging dynamic audio for more engaging ads tailored to the audience. This not only offers a better listening experience but gives you insight into what messages work best. 

5. Focus on a Conversational Tone

Streaming audio is a very intimate and personal medium, so the ad experience should be no different. Listeners are more receptive when brands use a conversational tone- as if you were speaking with the listener. By avoiding the hard sell sometimes associated with radio advertising, listeners will likely be more receptive to your message. 

To take the personalization up a level, dynamically inserted ads can be served across a range of verticals and targeted to a particular audience, time period, or reach and frequency objective. Target consumers based on content, daypart, geographic location, and other criteria.

6. Ensure Measurement 

The way people engage with digital audio is very different from visual media, so when setting audio KPI’s, ensure that you are quantifying success in a way that is appropriate to the environment. Some top tips to prompt success in your campaigns, create enticing offers that enable easy purchase decisions, such as: 

  • Sweepstakes & Coupon Codes, Social Integration through Photo Uploads and #Hashtags, Retailer Details, etc. 
  • Ask the listener to tap/shake to call, click for coupon, or text for more information.

Innovative Digital Audio Creative Types to Try Today

The popularity of digital audio will continue to grow in the coming years. Setting your brand up for success with this platform now will ensure success in the future. You may also consider some unique creative formats as you consider these tips for implementing when drafting and creating your digital audio spots. Digital audio offers many formats beyond standard spots. Consider some popular formats to help you stand out from the competition, such as:

  • Host Read Podcasts: Retarget users exposed to the audio ad.
  • Symphonic Ads: Dynamically update the background of an audio ad to match a music genre.
  • Voice Interactive Ads: Engage with the listener using voice commands.
  • Sequential Messaging: Use different ads placed sequentially in different ad breaks for compelling storytelling.

Digilant’s Digital Audio Advertising Solutions

Digilant’s Programmatic Audio Solutions allow you to reach your target audience while they are actively listening to thousands of pureplay streamed music & audio services, streamed terrestrials, and podcasts. We have strategic partnerships with the leading global audio providers, giving brands essentially unlimited reach with access to thousands of premium stations across the globe.

With a host of targeting solutions – ranging from contextual and geographic to genre and device type, we offer our clients flexible buying options: direct, programmatic, and marketplace. Additionally, partnering with Digilant, an omni-media digital advertising partner, creates opportunities for sequential messaging to retarget audio listeners with video, native, or display banners.

Interested in learning more about our digital audio solutions? We’re eager to talk. Contact us today.

6 Native Digital Advertising Formats

As advertisers look to combat consumers’ discerning attitudes toward digital advertisements, native digital advertising has been a favorite solution. Whether consumers feel that ads have grown too intrusive or they’ve taken the step to use ad-blocking technology, native digital ads work to combat these concerns while still achieving impressions, conversions, and other metrics. 

The growth of native advertising has been rapid. Between 2016 to 2020, native digital ad spend in the United States more than tripled. As advertisers quickly realized the success of native, they invested more media budget it’s way, leading to native accounting for nearly ⅔ (61%) of all display digital advertising last year. And, by the end of 2021, it’s projected to reach $57 billion

Whether you’re new to native digital advertising or interested in diversifying your native advertising with new formats available, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about this fan-favorite ad format.  You can also read our full native ad explainer here!

What is Native Digital Advertising?

Native digital advertising is a form of paid advertising created to look, feel, and function just like the content around it. Just as the name alludes, it is meant to natively blend in with the content around it. This happens in three ways: 

  1. Location: the ad is placed within the content
  2. Value: The ad is relevant like the content
  3. Design: the ad is formatted like the content

When using native ads, the creative pieces can actually be uploaded piecemeal as individual components and then are reassembled in the proper shape to match the format of the publisher content on the site. 

The options in creative imagery allow advertisers to choose from image, instant-play click-to-play play video, cinemagraph, or a carousel feature, appearing on multiple channels, publishers, and formats. A clean layout and relevant placement improve consumer experience and publisher performance.

What are the benefits of Native?

With over 20 billion native opportunities advertisers can take advantage of each month, there’s no shortage of opportunities to quickly take advantage of the benefits this platform provides.

  • Brand Safe: Although the digital advertising landscape has made great strides to combat ad fraud and brand safety concerns, they remain a top concern. When choosing native, because you’re choosing the content your ad appears around, it naturally creates a brand-safe environment.
  • Turn-Key: As mentioned above, with the right partner, advertisers can upload existing creative assets to then be turned into native ads. This allows for re-purposed content, less lift, and a quicker point of entry to use this format. 
  • Effective: Because native ads match the surrounding content, users naturally absorb the message. The ads are relevant to the consumers, which means they’re more likely to be interested in them. Consumers are overwhelmingly in alignment that if they’re interested in the content, they’ll engage with (or click on) it, no matter if paid or not. According to AppNexus, native ads are 8.8x more likely to be clicked on than regular display ads. 

6 Native Digital Advertising Formats

1. Paid Search

We’re all familiar with and have experienced this form of native advertising. Native paid search ads appear at the top of your search results when browsing. They’re considered one of the original forms of native advertising since they appear just as the non-paid search results. Only differentiated by the small, bolded “Ad” in the upper left-hand corner, they perfectly fit the form of the results page.

Native paid search keeps your brand topof mind as consumers actively look for your products and services. Additionally, it’s great to use for geo-located targeted campaigns.

2. Paid Social

This is another form of native advertising that we’re all probably familiar with and experienced personally. Native paid social ads are appear “in-feed” as consumers browse their social pages (different from In-Feed Native advertising, more on that next). These ads target consumers based on trending topics and their interests and appear in their feed alongside, and in the same format as the content they see friends, family, and other people they follow.

3. In-Feed

Just as native paid social ads appear in-feed as consumers browse, native ads are also be placed in-feed across other channels and environments. When referring to “In-Feed Native Ads,” its ads published across a list of pre-approved websites. These ads appear just as the content around it, other than an “ad” or “advertisement” label that will appear alongside it. When a targeted consumer clicks on the ad, they are taken off the publisher’s site to the brand’s landing page. This enables brands to show their content as consumers move across the internet and the customer journey. 

4. Sponsored Content

Native sponsored content also appears across a list of pre-approved websites; however, rather than appearing “in-feed,” these ads usually appear at the bottom of the right-hand column of a website. They allow for the same targeting as in-feed ads and also take consumers out of the publisher’s website and to the brand’s landing page when clicked.

5. Promoted Listing

These native ads only appear on eCommerce websites such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc. They show up exactly like other products or services that consumers see, just with an “Ad” connotation next to them. Like native paid search ads, native promoted listings meet your consumers as they browse and buy for your product or service. In highly competitive and saturated markets, these ads help distinguish your brand from the competition. 

6. Recommended Widget​​

Recommended widgets are one native ad form that strays from the idea of appearing just like the rest of the content on the page. These ads are integrated into the publisher’s content, and main paid, but the widgets do not have the same appearance as the feed. These ads are usually distinguished by cues such as

  • “You may also like.” 
  • “Recommended for you.” 
  • The sponsor name is placed after the headline or image
  • Brand name or logo, such as “Sponsored by Digilant.”

Incorporating Native into your Media Mix

Native digital advertising improves the website experience for consumers while also extending advertisers’ reach to high engagement creative types.  Advertisers are able to run the same creative unties across multiple exchanges and placements, saving them time and resources while providing a fresh, engaging ad experience for their audience. All in all, this leads to better campaign performances and engagement, helping support your brand’s overarching KPIs.

Benefits of Native Advertising with Digilant

Digilant is a premier omnimedia digital advertising partner that leads decisions with data. We dive headfirst into solving for our client’s goals which ensure the best tactics, channels, and formats are implemented to achieve your goals. When we see opportunities for our client’s to use native ad formats, these are some of the benefits you’ll experience when working with Digilant:

  • Single Platform Workflow: Easily activate native as a channel within existing campaigns, and leverage creatives across all compatible inventory.
  • Premium Inventory: Premium publishers that care greatly about creating a good user experience which means your native ad formats are incorporated seamlessly into the site. 
  • Omnichannel Insights: With your digital advertising all under one roof, you can easily generate audience insights across all channels with Digilant’s analytics tools. 

Interested in adding native advertising to your media mix. We’re eager to talk to you about how we can solve for your brand’s goals. Contact us here.

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