What Were the Most Popular Verticals in 2022?

December is always the month where we reflect on the last 12 months and see how we grew and what we can do to move forward. Personally, I like to see what technology thinks of how I lived my last 12 months with things like Spotify’s “Wrapped”, and Instagram’s “Top 9”. According to Spotify, I don’t branch out much with what I listen to (which is a fact), and according to Instagram, the only thing I take pictures of are my kids (which is also a fact). Let’s look at what we saw as the top ten verticals for our digital products this past year:

Health Care Services
Retail Furniture/Mattresses

Health care is certainly a vertical that has been at the forefront of any kind of marketing in the last couple of years, for various reasons. As a medical facility, you want to make sure that people are aware of what you treat, offer, or specialize in. Over the Top (OTT) is a great digital product to use for this vertical because it offers branding and awareness. People aren’t going to seek out a heart attack just because they saw or heard an ad for cardiac care, but if that unfortunate event does happen, you want to be the first place they think of and have that top-of-mind awareness. OTT also allows for great targeting categories for medical facilities that are more specialized like a pediatrician or an orthopedics practice. You can also target by certain ailments or diseases. For example, if a hospital wants to promote their cardiac care, we can target people who are doing research on heart disease or other categories related to heart disease. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is another product that works well with health care because it is something that people will need immediately; they are searching for help so they will click on the first thing that is listed. It is also a suitable targeting strategy for those facilities with niche services, like people are searching for very specific keywords like rheumatology or gastroenterology.

One of the verticals that I was more than happy to see make a return in 2022 was Events and Concerts. As an avid concert goer (despite what Spotify says about my music listening habits), I was more eager than ever to get back to events and concerts! Two of the products that we saw used often were Facebook and Instagram and Social Mirror Ads. With Facebook and Instagram, we’re using the combination of Newsfeed and Event Response Ads to really promote the event and give reminders about it. We’re also showing ads across all the platforms that Facebook has access to with Facebook Premium. With Social Mirror Ads, we are replicating that same Facebook post that could be promoting the event, but now we are reaching people outside of Facebook, so you are getting that 1-2 punch by reaching people on Facebook, and off Facebook.

It seemed that anywhere you turned this year, one business or another was hiring. Recruitment was at the top of the list for campaigns that we can, and the products used varied from Facebook to Display to LinkedIn. Depending on the type of positions and the requirements needed for the position played a big role in what product was used to try and get new employees. For example, if you are looking to fill part-time jobs, entry level positions, or general type work, Facebook and Instagram or Social Mirror would be a good fit. If you are looking for a specific type of skill or a certain job title, LinkedIn, Native, or Video Pre-Roll would be products to consider.

Automotive is a category that took a hit in 2021, but then made a comeback in 2022. With supply chain issues causing a lot of auto dealers to scale back on advertising due to not having the inventory, we saw a big shift in that vertical and welcomed them back with open arms this year. One of the best products for this vertical is Amazon. This product is a great one to use to get in with auto dealers because it’s something different, and it also has great targeting strategies. Amazon has massive amounts of data about car owners through various sources like Amazon Vehicles and Amazon Garage. Amazon Vehicles is where people can find reviews, images, and specs on thousands of new and used cars. Amazon Garage is where users can find parts and accessories that fit their specific vehicle. Users are giving Amazon the make, model, and year of their vehicle to search for what they need, so Amazon has that data about its users and auto dealers can then use that data to target specific users.

Financial is a category that had a great year in 2022. With the housing market the way that it was for most of the year, refinancing, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), and mortgages were a big push through these institutions and one product that helped get that message out was Video Pre-Roll. This is another type of business where you want to have that branding and awareness element so that when the consumer is ready for a HELOC, or they want to refinance, you are the first place they think of reaching out to. Banking can also be a very relationship driven decision so it’s a good idea to have a presence among your current customers in addition to trying to get new customers. With Video Pre-Roll ads, you can target using Behaviors, Keywords, Artificial Intelligence, Custom Audience Matching, and Retargeting. Keywords can be used as people are doing their research on loan rates or looking for mortgage calculators, and there’s also great Behavioral targeting categories such as In-Market for New Home, Highly Likely HELOC Customers, or In-Market Second Mortgage.

Education is an industry that was really hot in 2020 as colleges and universities started marketing and advertising for their online classes, or trying to reach adults to go back to school if they lost their job due to the job market in 2020. Since then, it’s a vertical that hasn’t slowed down as it is number six in the list of verticals we saw across our products this year. One of the products that was most commonly used was Mobile Conquesting Address Targeting. This particular strategy works because colleges, universities, and even private schools typically have large database lists. With Address Targeting, you can take that list of people you’re looking to reach and serve ads to them on their mobile devices, and then continue to follow them after they leave that address. Another upside to using this product with an address list is that we can match 100% of that list. Since Mobile Conquesting has the ability to show on-site visits, it’s also a great tool to show return on investment because we can show how many people saw the ad, and then maybe went to that school for a visit or a tour within a two-week period.

Tourism is another category that boomed this year as business, organizations, and counties started hosting more events, or even had grant money to use to try and attract people to visit their city or town. One of the most popular products used here was Social Mirror Ads. These ads are very engaging because they can be in a variety of formats such as single image, video, carousel, stories, or even in an OTT format. These ads tend to get higher engagement since they look like a social media post, and people are used to engaging with social media posts. There is also several different ways to reach someone with Social Mirror ads since you can target by Behaviors (Domestic and Air Travel & Flights, Travel and Tourism, Travel, Vacation and Travel Products), Keywords (road trips, campgrounds, cabins and cottages, explore, bed and breakfasts), Artificial Intelligence, Custom Audience Matching, and Retargeting. Non-Profit organizations were another category that relied heavily on Social Mirror Ads this year using a combination of Behavioral Targeting, Keyword Targeting, and Artificial Intelligence.

Retail is always a hot category, and one reason is because it’s a very visual product. Native ads are a great product for that because Native ads are more image and video based, and less focused on text. People also do research on products since they tend to be higher ticket items, so it’s not an impulse buy. As consumers, we want to look around, do research, and compare pricing, and anytime you’re doing that, Keyword targeting is a great strategy because you’re reaching people as they are doing research on pages that contain those keywords. There’s also great Behavioral targeting categories for Native like In-Market for Mattress, In-Market for Furniture, In-Market for Renovation, Luxury Buyer, or Remodeling.

The last category to top off the most popular verticals for 2022 is Political. There is no surprise here that the biggest products used here were OTT and Video Pre-Roll. Any political candidate is most likely already running TV ads, so they have already have a video to use. OTT is great for top of the funnel awareness, and Video Pre-Roll is great to assist with that frequency. Both strategies are going to have the options to use Behavioral Targeting, Artificial Intelligence, Keywork Targeting, Custom Audience Matching, and Retargeting. By utilizing all these different targeting strategies, the candidate is sure to hit a mass audience, and they are also supplementing by hitting those cord cutters that don’t have access to regular broadcast or cable.

That’s a wrap on the most popular verticals for digital in 2022. Have a happy holiday, and a prosperous New Year!



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What Digital Products Work Best for Colleges and Universities?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in spending for colleges and universities.  At first, a lot of campuses started to promote their online classes.  Since then, online classes are still a topic for discussion.  But now, we also see an increase in the promotion of specific schools or programs at each college.

From English as a Second Language (ESL), to Master’s Degree Programs, and your traditional general admission campaigns, colleges, and universities haven’t slowed down their efforts!   With an ever changing economy, people are looking for more ways to become a more valued employee.

We see three main products being used for colleges and universities (which could also be used for charter schools, high schools, and trade school recruitment):

Mobile Conquesting
Social Mirror

With Mobile Conquesting, we’re seeing a lot of Address Targeting campaigns due to the ability to target a database and track visits to campus. Address Targeting is drawing hundreds or even thousands of tiny geo-fences around an address (business or residential) to serve ads to consumers on their mobile phones and tablets.  Address Geo-Retargeting is continuing to serve ads to those same people when they leave their houses and use their mobile devices.  Advertisers can target a list of current customers, past customers, or any type of first party database list they have collected.  These ads can be mobile display or video ads.

With colleges and universities, they typically have data…and lots of it.  This data comes in the form of databases of graduating seniors, past students, students who have applied and never enrolled, students that enrolled and never graduated, etc.   Being able to utilize their data, we can effectively reach out to these prospective students with targeted messaging.

This type of Address Targeting is also known as Direct Mail for the internet.

But, rather than sending a print piece and getting (maybe) in front of prospective students one time, you can utilize the Address Targeting to reach those households many times throughout each month.

In addition to the Address Targeting, most colleges and universities are also taking advantage of the on-site visit tracking.  This allows us to trach a percentage of the potential students who get served the ad and then come onto campus.   This helps these marketing departments receive another element that shows ROI.  We can even match back enrollment data with marketing data to show those who converted online.

Mobile Conquesting for colleges and universities is great.  It targets those potential students on their mobile devices (which we all know they have with them all the time).  Mobile is typically used as part of the campaign, focusing on branding and awareness.

Facebook and Instagram are used quite often by colleges and universities due to the popularity of the platforms, and the ability to track conversions from the Facebook/Instagram campaigns.  There are lots of options when it comes to targeting audiences on Facebook/Instagram, which is another reason why it’s so heavily used.

This is yet another platform where colleges and universities can leverage their database lists.  By utilizing the Custom Audience, these schools are able to find these potential students on Facebook and Instagram and serve custom messaging just to those matched database names.  Facebook also allows you to create a look-a-like audience.  So, for those schools that would like to find additional potential students, using this opportunity to find people that look like those on their database is a great idea!

Colleges and Universities also have a lot of events.  Open Houses, school tours, etc.   Using Facebook’s Event Response Ads schools can get an idea as to how many people are interested in the event, see how many people actually RSVP and have a better idea as to how to plan/execute said events.

Behavioral targeting on Facebook/Instagram is also pretty good when it comes to this industry.  Being able to target parents with teens or targeting people with some college or even junior college make it an ideal place for colleges and universities to be able to promote many of their programs on this platform.

Lastly, Social Mirror has seen a big uptick in the number of colleges and universities that are using this product.  Social Mirror allows the schools to utilize the amazing content that they publish to their social media channels to create ads that can be served to potential students off those platforms.

Some colleges and universities have even started to explore some of the social platforms outside of the traditional Facebook/Instagram.  With platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and even some YouTube channels, these schools are now able to take the content from these channels, and maximize their reach of potential students because now they can reach them outside of these platforms as well.

What I like about Social Mirror is that while Facebook/Instagram has some good targeting, Social Mirror kicks it up a notch.  Here are a few of the categories you could choose from:

Also, keep in mind that with Social Mirror, you also can leverage those databases.  With the recent enhancement of Social Mirror (coming live this past September 2022), we now have the ability to take that database and serve ads to those users when they are online through the Custom Audience Matching and Lookalike. Here, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.  Use the data that you have and reach the low hanging fruit.

Speaking of low hanging fruit, don’t forget to include Retargeting.  Once your campaign is driving traffic to your website, being able to stay in front of them (top of mind awareness) and follow them as they browse online, allows you to be the school they think of when it’s time to apply.

Whether you’re looking at general admissions, master’s programs, or looking to promote the athletics department at your local community college, state college, or major university, there are many ways to reach potential students.

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A safer way to advertise with Twitter

Twitter safety is all the buzz right now and advertisers are jumping ship. Should you?

Twitter has historically been an advertising giant with over $4B in ad revenues last year. Top advertisers on Twitter have included big names like Anheuser-Busch, Apple, Capital One, CBS, Coca-Cola, Best Buy Co, Google, IBM,  Mondelez, P&G,
among others.

Musk promised brand safety, but the initial rollout of the “blue checks” has led to all kinds of problems.  Parody accounts are posing a serious risk to brands (Eli Lilly lost $15B in market cap as a result) and as a result advertisers are done with being patient and have decided enough is enough.  Musk has also cleaned house and fired half of the developer, moderation, and privacy teams. Experts expect the brand safety concerns to get worse before they get better.

IPG and Omnicom have already recommended advertisers pause their Twitter spend or move it elsewhere. What can smart brands do instead of advertising on Twitter?

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…. Social Mirror Ads.

Social Mirror ads look like your social media display or video posts but appear on other websites and apps, linking back to the social media platform and your website, and run across all devices using our targeting strategies. We are “mirroring” the EXACT look of your social post as an ad that runs on thousands of OTHER websites and apps, targeted just to the people you want to reach across all devices.  Social Mirror ads can be done with any organic or paid posts from your business account on these 8 social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, or YouTube and TWITTER.









And with Social Mirror the best part is the ad has three call-to-action opportunities:

Clicks on the Social Media logo and your profile image, take the users to your Social Media business page.
Clicks on the Call-To-Action button take the users to your website.
Clicks on the Social Media icons below the ad take you to that post on your Social Media page

One aspect of Social Mirror ads that differs from that of Social Media Advertising is the ability to reach your target audience.

Behavioral Categories – Showing your Social Mirror ads to specific consumers based on their previous on-line behavior, across all devices.
Keywords – Showing your Social Mirror ads on webpages and apps that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Showing your Social Mirror ads to people using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad, across all devices.
Retargeting– Following people after they leave your website and showing them your Social Mirror ad, on other websites and apps they go to, across all devices.
Custom Audience Matching and Look Alike – We target people (or businesses) on your list of emails, addresses, or phone numbers when they go online and show them Social Mirror ads when they are browsing across websites and apps.

Once we have uploaded your database, we’ll be able to provide you with an Insights Report.  Just another advantage over traditional Social Media Advertising.

Twitter is aggressively trying to combat the negative news with his latest, “free speech” above all else on the platform and no longer stopping users from spreading false information about Covid or other vaccines. With Twitter in the news, Social Mirror Twitter creative is getting more attention than ever. CTRs are running 10-20% above expected CTR levels.

Businesses can repurpose the Twitter posts they’ve already built, remove Twitter icons, if a business is worried about safety concerns and perception and run them with full brand safety controls outside of Twitter. Or we can take Twitter creative and build them into any social format like Facebook or even LinkedIn.

Social Mirror is about as versatile as you can get and works well for many B2C and B2B businesses.

Shift those dollars from Twitter and let it be the star of your marketing plans!


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Is Your Google Business Profile Updated?

You probably don’t even know it, but you have most likely experienced the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. What is that exactly? It’s a frequency illusion and it occurs when something you’ve just noticed starts to pop up everywhere. For example, if you recently bought a new white car, now you start to realize how many white cars there are on the road. Just the other day I was scrolling through Facebook and a friend of mine pointed out that all the new New York state license plates all start with the letter “K”, and guess what? Now that’s all I see, which I never would have noticed before if she didn’t point it out. From this point forward, you will no longer look at Googling a business the same.

Google is a fascinating platform in so many ways for both consumers and business owners, and it acts as a bridge to connect the two. Google processes over 99,000 searches every single second; that’s over 8.5 billion searches a day! One way for businesses to make it easier for consumers to find them is to use Google Business Profile. Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, allows business owners to have more control over the information which Google displays about businesses when it populates search results pages and Google Maps. If you have ever Googled the name of a business to find a phone number, address, hours, etc., the result that you see on the right-hand side, that is called a Knowledge Graph. It appears on a Google search results page and that information is all populated from a business’ Google Business Profile.

If you’ve ever used Google Maps, that information that appears is also populated using information that a business has entered about themselves in their Google Business Profile.

Another listing feature that also pulls information from a Google Business Profile is the Google “Snack Pack” local listing.

Sixty four percent of consumers have used Google Business Profile listing info on a Google search results page to find contact details for a local business, and this figure is likely to grow. With over 60% of consumers using Google Business Profile, it is imperative that businesses keep up to date with their profile. Some of the most crucial optimizations that they want to make consist of the following:

Claiming the Business Profile
Complete every section of the Google Business Profile account
Be meticulous with contact information
Select primary and secondary categories
Mark off applicable attributes
Write a complete “from the business” description
Publish Google updates weekly
Upload new photos weekly
Answer questions
Collect and respond to reviews
Add your products and/or services
Set up messaging
Maintain your Business Profile

Keeping the information that is listed in the Google Business Profile is important because it is one of the primary places Google looks for information when populating the search page and maps results. On average, businesses receive 943 search views of their Google Business Profile listing information on a Google search results page and 317 Maps views each month. I don’t know about you, but if someone was looking for my business 943 times in a month, I would want to make sure I had the correct information listed! Another reason the right information should be listed is because almost 50% of searchers don’t even click past the search page, meaning they are getting the information they are looking for without going to the business’ website, and that is called a Zero Click Search. If I Google “Pizza Hut near me” to see where the closest Pizza Hut is, this is what I see:

Without even going to the website, I can see the different locations, get directions, or place an order over the phone without leaving the search results page. If almost 50% of searchers are getting all the information they want from a Google search, this example shows how important is it to have 100% accurate information.

Google is constantly making changes when it comes to their platform as a whole, and the Google Business Profile interface is one of those that is in the process of being updated. If you do not have a Google Business Profile yet, that is going to be the first thing you want to set up by going to google.com/business. From there you will sign in and create an account. If you do have a Google Business Profile and you’re an admin, you can click “Manage Now” to get into your account.

Some of the changes that Google is making to Google Business Profile is how you can update information and it is all still in the works, so you may see a message that says “Manage on Search”, or if you’re logged into Google, and you type in Google Business Profile, it will bring up all the profiles you are an admin for and you can click “View Profile”.

Once you’re in, you’ll see a newer looking format compared to the old Google My Business setup. The previous setup was a dashboard where you could make edits to the Google Business Profile listing, and now you have all the editing capabilities, but you’re still within Google. Right from this page you can edit the profile, read reviews, add photos, edit products, respond to questions, and more. Google is calling this new interface “New Merchant Experience”, or “NMX”.

If you click on “Edit Profile”, it will bring you to a page where you have full control over the business name, the business category, the description of the business, the phone number, the website, hours, location, and more. For businesses that don’t have a physical location, Google will allow you to leave that section blank. For businesses that have products and services that they offer, when you click on “Edit Products”, you will see another screen where you can add or edit any products that they have. With “Edit Services”, you can add or edit any services the business provides, and you want to make sure to check this routinely because Google will make suggestions based on what people search. To do this, Google is looking at what people search and what they click on to go through to that website, so it may not be a service that you have listed in your Google Business Profile, but based on recent searches, Google thinks it should be added. If there are services that they add that don’t pertain to that business, they will want to make sure to remove them.

“Add Photos” is another header you want to make sure you utilize because photos have a big impact on engagement. Searchers are 42% more likely to request directions to a business if its profile has photos, and 35% more likely to click through to its website. Businesses with more than 100 photos get 520% more calls, 2,717% more direction requests, and 1,065% more website clicks than the average business.

Under the “Performance” header, Google has performance metrics as it relates to the Google Business Profile. When you click on that header, it will take you to another screen where you can change the time period and it will give you a breakout of overview, calls, messages, bookings, directions, website clicks, how people view the business profile, and certain words they typed in to find that search.

Asking for reviews is another important part of Google Business Profile. Here, you can share a link with customers to review your business on Google. If they shared with you that they had a great experience, take advantage of that and ask them if they would be willing to leave a review via a link that you can text or email them. Google reviews have become an integral part of the buyer’s journey, so much so that 77% of consumers now say they ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read online reviews when browsing for local businesses.

Under the “Review” header, it will take you to a section where you can read the reviews that customer leave, and it is imperative that you respond to not only good reviews, but the bad reviews, too. People want to know that their opinion is heard, and it also shows that you are active. Almost nine out of ten people read online reviews, and close to 3/4ths  also read the business’ responses to these reviews.

With “Add Update”, you will use this for periodic updates like a change in hours for the holiday season, special offers, if there is an event going on, blog content, etc..

Continuing with our New Merchant Experience, under “Calls”, you can see how many customers called your business from Google Search or Google Maps.

Another option with Google Business Profile is businesses can turn on messaging so that consumers can message with that business right from their phone. If a searcher Googles the business on a smartphone or in Google Maps, a message button appears so they can initiate that conversation, and the first greeting from the business can be customized.

The last header is Questions and Answers, and this is a great section to create Frequently Asked Questions for your business to be displayed right on that search results page. If you go in here, you can ask questions about your own business that you think people would be interested in, but searchers can also go in and ask questions and you want to make sure you are answering those. This is another instance of where Google likes to see that you are active within your Google Business Profile, and they also look at how quickly you respond to questions.

Now here is where everything is going to come full circle. All of that information that we just updated and put into our Google Business Profile is now going to be displayed within that Knowledge Graph on the Google Search page.

Next time you Google a business and see that Knowledge Graph, you know what kind of work goes into creating, listing, and updating all that information. You will also start to notice how many times you are doing a “Zero Click Search” and experiencing the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.




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Digital Trends 2023

In the age of digital, it is crazy to think that just a mere 30 years ago as it seems like yesterday, when the first website on the World Wide Web was launched there were hardly any online users. And now as 2022 is coming to a close and we enter 2023, Internet users have surpassed 5 billion users.

In this time, the WWW and the internet and digital technology have gravitated us to a whole new world.


On average, the typical internet user now spends more than 40% of their life using connected devices and services.

And that means that the world’s internet population will spend a combined total of more than 1.4 billion years of collective human existence using the internet in 2022 alone.



That’s crazy right?

Surprisingly however, the amount of time internet users spend online has remained the same the past few years and recently has seen a slight decline in global users.

How come?

A few things to note about the usage and slight decline is we are more active now than we were during the pandemic. During the pandemic our Internet usage skyrocketed and then it hovers at the same usage. And we also are exposed to many different forms of digital and technology and it is shifting time away from online and other digital activities.

Where does this take us as we enter 2023? A few highlights that almost any business needs to focus on moving forward.

Being relevant and present where users are.

Cutting thru the clutter.

And compelling messaging.

Let’s talk Social Media. Social Media used to be just thought of as Facebook and sometimes Instagram. But now there are so many social platforms. TikTok, What’s App, YouTube, Pinterest, Line and more.

So even though usage across social media has remained the same over the past few years, it is much more diverse.

This means we need to shift our mindset from social media being a channel. It is a behavior and a lifestyle. But each platform functions differently and occupies different emotional spaces in people’s lives.

For instance, Facebook and Instagram. may be used more for a visual escape and a way to connect with others. So advertising here is still relevant, but the messaging needs to be visually compelling as well as something that makes me feel good and feel connected with brands.



TikTok is more of an entertainment channel and may be more aligned similarly to a streaming channel like OTT or video pre-roll.










With the largest active user base, Facebook & Instgram is still a powerful place to be for advertisers.

It is important when utilizing this space, to be more engaging with users. Research has shown that people prefer visual content to plain text.

Bright colors, engaging visuals and video content carry the audience, especially in the social arena. We like “pretty” things.

Here are a few facts about visual content and how our brain processes them.











Google, Pinterest, and several other companies are also investing in visual search technology. Images are already returned for 19% of searches on Google, and 62% of millennials say they are more interested in visual search than any other new technology.

To piggy back on the power of social media and visual content, Social Mirror, Social Mirror OTT and OTT/Video pre-roll is a natural to expose these visuals and messages in other places online.

Social Mirror ads look like your social media display or video posts but appear on other websites and apps, linking back to the social media platform and your website, and run across all devices using our targeting strategies. We are “mirroring” the EXACT look of your social post as an ad that runs on thousands of OTHER websites and apps, targeted just to the people you want to reach across all devices.  Social Mirror ads can be done with any organic or paid posts from your business account on these 8 social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, or YouTube.  Ads can be display, video, OTT across connected TVs or carousel.


Because our brains are trained on what social media posts are and we live in and out of social media all day long, Social Mirror captures that audience outside of those platforms and has the cadence that these businesses and brands are everywhere and what’s even better they yield in high CTR and conversions. 7 times the national average in fact!

Nothing tells a story like a video. And whether you are using video on Social Media, Social Mirror, Social Mirror OTT, OTT or Video Pre-roll (links to Vici website) it has the best opportunity to attract users to the emotional draw of a company, product or service.

Today, 84% of consumers have been convinced to purchase a product after watching a video.


Many studies reveal that the more personal messaging is and more conversational gets the most attention. When a customer has two relatively equal products in front of them, and then needs to decide which one they will buy, my money’s on the brand that won their heart. There are a few ways digitally to accomplish this. Making sure the campaign is targeting the right individual. Not just demographic targeting like age, income, etc, but also what are the behaviors and interests that align with the brand. Example: Nascar Fans, Soccer Moms, Fitness Enthusiasts, Foodies and more. The other way is with video and sharing that story and capturing that audience. Here is an article dedicated to creating compelling video content. https://www.vicimediainc.com/how-to-create-compelling-online-videos/

While you capture their attention and drive them to a clients website, let’s strike the iron while it is HOT!

Live Chat and Virtual Assistant do just that.

Need a way to show ROI to your clients on their digital advertising?  Live Chat on their website is the answer.  Having Live Chat on a client’s website enables them to get more leads and engage website visitors with live, trained, chat agents, 24/7.

Virtual Assistant is for simple conversions like signing up for a newsletter, collecting emails, or ask for more info and paying per lead would get too expensive. Pay a flat fee per month for unlimited leads.

Consumers expect businesses to be available at all times and Live Chat and Virtual Assistant allows businesses to be available to them.  In return, it produce leads for that business that they may have otherwise missed.

Let 2023 be the year where you put the best digital tools in place to be relevant attract attention in the clutter and have a compelling message to share and capture leads!




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Where should I spend my Digital Advertising dollars in 2023?

As the holidays come into view on the calendar, so do the budget meetings, review meetings, and strategy planning for the upcoming year.   A question that we get asked quite often is “How much should I invest into digital advertising next year?”

This is a great question, as we are seeing an increase in digital advertising spend throughout the United States.

According the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), digital advertising is expected to see an almost 7% increase from 2022 to 2023.

In addition, if we look at global expectations, we can see a high level breakout as to where some of those dollars are going to be invested.

As you can see, Online Video and Social Media Stories are the top two categories where businesses plan to increase their spending.   And while we offer many of the others listed above, the opportunity to understand options for Online Video and Social Media Stories is where we will focus.

When it comes to Online Video, there are several options as to where you can invest your money:

OTT (Over-the-Top) Video
Video Pre-Roll
(all of the other platforms that offer video as a creative option)


Starting with OTT, there are several types of OTT that you can include into your Marketing Mix.

OTT with Visit Tracking
Amazon OTT
Social Mirror OTT

What is OTT, or Over-the-Top Advertising?  This is an umbrella term for video programming transmitted via the Internet that bypasses traditional cable or broadcast (linear) distribution. It can be consumed on any device including computers, mobile devices, Connected TVs, and gaming systems.

However, here at Vici, everything that we do is over the top (pun intended).  That means, ALL our OTT inventory runs on Connected TV’s (CTV); which is the premium and most preferred inventory.   eMarketer reports that 95% of marketers reported CTV achieved desired key performance indicators and it is the most used device to stream programming…so wouldn’t you want your ads to appear here?

That means with all of our OTT outlets, including Amazon OTT and Social Mirror OTT, you’re getting prime inventory for all of your campaigns.  And, with OTT Ads, they are unskippable.

When you think of OTT and where you ads may appear, think of Amazon Firestick, Roku devices, Chromecast, AndroidTV, Apple TV, Sling TV, XBOX TV, and so many more!  We have access to most of the major networks and channels.   The two exclusions (for now) where your ads can’t appear through our OTT offerings are Netflix and Hulu (in beta).

In the Amazon OTT, we get to take advantage of Amazon’s targeting data and serve ads to your potential customers on Amazon-owned streaming platforms, like Amazon Firestick and FreeVee.  In addition, we also get to take advantage of the streaming partnerships Amazon has, and have your commercials follow Amazon users to those platforms as well.

For Social Mirror OTT, we get to take the content that you’re already utilizing on your social media platforms, and create an OTT ad out of it.  We can utilize any horizontal/vertical image/video content that you have, use a description that coincides with your social content, and we also create a QR code that will link to your website.


Next up is Video Pre-Roll.  Video Pre-Roll ads play before the content someone has clicked to watch and they appear on thousands of websites and apps, across all devices. These types of ads can be skippable and unskippable.  It depends on the publisher that’s serving the creative.

These ads, since they are served across all devices, they can be seen on laptops, desktops, smart phones, tablets, and even gaming devices.  Whether you’re logging on to ESPN.com to watch highlights of this week’s football games or going to watch a video on HGTV about how the latest DIY project you want to make on your home, there’s a good likelihood that you’ll see an ad before you get to the content that you’re wanting to watch.  That, my friend, is a video pre-roll ad.

Lastly, is YouTube.  Bought by Google back in 2006, YouTube is currently the 2nd largest search engine behind Google.  YouTube ads are video pre-roll ads, just on YouTube, meaning that before you can watch the video you want on YouTube, you’ll get served an ad.  But, with 63% of people saying that they bought from a brand after seeing their commercial on YouTube, it’s a great place to have your message running.


Social Media Stories

The reemergence of storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you have to share with your customers.  There are several ways to include social media stories into your marketing mix.

First, you can utilize Facebook/Instagram stories to promote your business.  Thanks to the launch of Instagram Stories back on August 2, 2016 and Facebook’s duplication of the offering in 2017, you now have the ability to share your story on both platforms. These stories inspire action. After seeing a stories ad, 50% of viewers visited websites where they could buy it and 31% have gone to a store to check it out.

The newest player to Social Media Stories comes to us in the form of Social Mirror.

These ads have several engagement opportunities:

Clicking on the logo or advertiser name is going to take the user to the advertiser’s website
Tapping on the right side of the story, will take the user to the next slide of the ad
Tapping on the left side of the story, will take the user to the previous slide of the ad or start over
Tapping and holding will allow the user to pause the story
Tapping on the last slide will take the user to the advertiser’s website

The Social Mirror Story Ads format is the style of Social Mirror creative that has the highest click-through, over the last two years that we’ve been running this.


As you can see, with anticipated increase in digital advertising spend next year, there are many ways to get your message out there.  Video and Social Stories are two of the biggest projected areas for growth.  These are two areas you definitely want to include in your strategy for next year.


The post Where should I spend my Digital Advertising dollars in 2023? appeared first on Vici Media.

How Does Amazon Know So Much About You?

I have always been a pretty neat, clean, and tidy person. I don’t like clutter, I like seeing the lines on the carpet from a vacuum in a room, and everything (and I mean everything) has a place. Well, having kids changes that because now my living room looks like a bomb went off at any given point with the number of Magna-Tiles, Paw Patrol cars, and wooden blocks that are strewn all about. Just the other day as I had stepped on another Tyrannosaurus Rex that I thought, “there’s gotta be a better way to keep all these toys somewhat organized,” so I immediately got onto Amazon and purchased a bunch of mesh zipper pouch bags. I thought they would help keep all my son’s dinosaurs in one pouch, all his cars in another, his blocks in another so that he could still find what he wanted, and my living room would look a little normal.

That’s just one example of when I have used Amazon in the past week. I have also bought Halloween costumes, fog juice, ink for my printer, and a smart plug. While I am feverishly making purchases left and right from Amazon to make my life easier, Amazon is gathering all sorts of data about me based on my purchases, searches, interests, behaviors, and more. Amazon is now the second largest data collector on the internet, so all of this data that’s gathered is then used so that businesses, marketers, and advertisers can reach a very detailed, targeted audience.

With four different ways to reach Amazon users with ads, businesses have options on how targeted they want to get, and also on what kind of ads they want to serve to users. Through Amazon, you can reach consumers with Behavioral Targeting, Product Targeting, Custom Audience Matching and Lookalike, and Retargeting.

With Behavioral Targeting, you are showing your display, video, or Over the Top (OTT) ads to specific consumers based on what they’ve purchased, browsed, or searched for on Amazon, and then show those ads across Amazon.com (if it’s a display ad), Amazon owned properties and on thousands of partner websites and apps. Through my recent activity on Amazon of what I browsed for and purchased, I put myself in the following categories:

Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costumes and Decorations – In-Market
Apparel (Kids and Baby) – In-Market
Baby Apparel – In-Market

Fog Juice

Halloween Costumes and Decorations – In-Market
Party Supplies – In-Market

Ink for my printer

Office Products and Supplies – In-Market
Premium Office Products – In-Market
Ink and Toner – In-Market

Smart Plug

Smart Home Products – In-Market

With Product Targeting, we are getting a little more precise because we are building an audience of people who have searched, browsed, or purchased specific products on Amazon, and then showing them a display, video, or OTT ad on Amazon.com (if it’s a display ad), Amazon owned properties, and on thousands of partner websites and apps.

To put those same products into perspective for Product Targeting, maybe Party City is running a campaign and they want to reach moms, so they build an audience of people based off those that have searched for, browsed, or purchased Halloween costumes, party décor (fog juice), or Halloween candy. If Staples was running a campaign wanting to promote their home office equipment, they could start serving me ads if they are looking for people that have searched for, browsed, or purchased office furniture, desk chairs, or printer ink.

With Custom Audience Matching, Amazon will take a list of email addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers, match them to Amazon users and show a display, video, or OTT ad across Amazon.com (display only), Amazon owned properties, and on thousands of partner websites and apps. You can also choose to use a lookalike audience which is then finding other people with similar characteristics and behaviors on that original list, and then serve them ads. When you sign up for an Amazon Prime account, you never would have thought that when you signed up for an Amazon account, you were signing yourself up for a whole lot more than Amazon Prime!

As a business owner, it sounds real sexy to think of your ads being on Amazon.com, and sure, that is really neat, but the real power of partnering with Amazon is reaching people with that same targeting data that Amazon has created, but while they are off of Amazon. That’s what is happening when people are seeing ads on Amazon owned properties and on Amazon Publishers. As consumers, we typically go to Amazon.com, search for something, put it in our cart and leave, so we aren’t spending a ton of time on Amazon.com. We are, however, spending time on IMDB.com, Freevee, Twitch, and FireTV, which are all properties owned by Amazon. Additionally, Amazon has partnered with thousands of different websites and apps so that you can be served ads while on various websites and apps that are not affiliated with Amazon, called Amazon Publishers, and these are just a few:

As an ad platform, Amazon is growing at a very rapid pace. Their share of U.S. net digital ad revenue is 10.3%, behind Facebook at 25.2% and Google at 28.9%. Now 10% might not sound like a lot, but Amazon has only been in the advertising game for 10 years. Both Google and Facebook have been around a lot longer than that, so to be that close in 10 years says a lot.

On the consumer side of Amazon, millennials are the biggest audience using Amazon and outpace Baby Boomers by a ratio of two to one when it comes to using Amazon as a shopping tool. That’s not too much of a surprise seeing that at the time of Amazon’s founding, the oldest millennials were only 16 years old, and today millennials are between 25 and 40 years of age and just at the life stage when consumer incomes and spending begin to peak. Boomers, now 57 to 76 years, are going in the opposite direction with income and spending dropping as they reach retirement age. If a business is looking to target Millennials, Amazon is a great place to do that. They are the generation that is utilizing the e-commerce site the most, which is just one of the ways Amazon is gathering that first party data.

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Introduction of Social Mirror OTT Ads

As technology advances, so does the need for creativity.   When you can advance both at the same time, that puts you ahead of your competition.  That is what we do.  We always Beta Test new and innovative technologies to keep our clients on the cutting edge.  We want you to have everything that is new and shiny, and an opportunity to shine along with it.

We recently rolled out Social Mirror OTT.  OTT is an acronym for Over The Top.   But, before we dive into Social Mirror OTT, let’s make sure that you’re clear as to what Social Mirror is.

Social Mirror Ads look like your social media display or video posts, but they appear on other websites and apps.  They also run across all devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and even gaming devices targeted to the audience that you want to reach.

Each ad links back to the social platform it is mirroring and, has a second call to action button that links to the advertiser’s website!  Ads contain unique social actions related back to the originating platform (for example, the like icon, the heart icon, the pinning icon, the retweet icon… those actions are available). These ads can integrate with all the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube. Creatively, ads can be  display, video or carousel.

How do these ads work?  Pretty simple, actually!

Step 1: Create a social post and provide us with the URL of that post. Like this example here of a Tweet on Twitter from Yankee Candle:


Now Step 2: Enhance it with additional call to action opportunities.

We take your post and create it as an ad – that looks just like (and links to) the social post – and run it across thousands of websites and apps!

The best part is the ad has three call-to-action opportunities:

Clicks on the Social Media logo and your profile image, take the users to your Social Media business page.
Clicks on the Call-To-Action button take the users to your website.
Clicks on the Social Media icons below the ad take you to that post on your Social Media page

One aspect of Social Mirror ads that differs from that of Social Media Advertising is the ability to reach your target audience.

Behavioral Categories – Showing your Social Mirror ads to specific consumers based on their previous on-line behavior, across all devices.
Keywords – Showing your Social Mirror ads on webpages and apps that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Showing your Social Mirror ads to people using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad, across all devices.
Retargeting– Following people after they leave your website and showing them your Social Mirror ad, on other websites and apps they go to, across all devices.
Custom Audience Matching and Look Alike – We target people (or businesses) on your list of emails, addresses, or phone numbers, when they go online and show them Social Mirror ads when they are browsing across websites and apps.

Once we have uploaded your database, we’ll be able to provide you with an Insights Report.  Just another advantage over traditional Social Media Advertising.

In addition to your traditional posts on social media, we can also create Social Mirror Stories Ads as well as create a Social Mirror OTT campaign for you.

OTT, or Over The Top is an umbrella term referring to video programming transmitted via the internet, which bypasses traditional cable or broadcast distribution.   It can be consumed on any device including computers, mobile devices, and Connected (Smart) TVs.

At Vici, all of our OTT campaigns are served ONLY on Connected (Smart) TV’s, the premium and most preferred inventory.

So, with Social Mirror OTT, we are able to take content from your Social Media posts (any of the 8 major social platforms mentioned earlier) and use that content to create an OTT Video commercial.  We’ll take your social post and create an OTT ad that runs on Connected TV’s!  These ads will feature your logo, your business name, even a description on the screen.  To top it off, we’ll also include a QR code that links potential customers to your website.


Let’s talk about how they work:

These can be horizontal or vertical videos.
Videos can be any length between :10 up to :60.
You provide us the URL of the social post and the elements.
You provide us the website click through URL and we create the QR code that links to that webpage.
Monthly reports will showcase how many scans were received.
The ads don’t link to the social account. The QR code instead scans to the desired website.
We creates the QR code. Technically, this could be provided to us. However, if that’s the case, we won’t have the ability to report on it.   These ads could also be done without a QR code, if desired.

We’ve just launched this product and have already seen massive success, just like our standard Social Mirror Campaigns.

Your clients turn to you for your expertise.  They rely on you to keep them up to speed on what’s new and what works.  This is new.  This works!

Be the resource to your clients that brings the cutting edge technology to your clients.  Bring the new and shiny and feel confident in the opportunity to produce results.   We’ve already tested this, so you don’t have to.

If you’re looking for opportunities that will make you stand out from your competition, this is it.


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Introducing the Insights Report for Consumers and Businesses

Ever want to be a mind reader? Be in a crowded room and read the thoughts and interests of those around you? Or even in a restaurant and wondering what the other guests are talking about or into? Now it is time to look into your digital crystal ball with Insight Reports. Is it mind reading…well no, but it is the closest thing to it to learn more about consumer demographics, business revenue footprints and knowing more about a clients database.

How is this possible?

From a database list, we use cookie-less data and match first party data whether it’s phone numbers, names, emails, physical addresses, domain URLs, mobile device ids, HHIP addresses, other wifi addresses and compares it to offline data (like census and income data) and location data (mapping people from a business location to a home IP address) to determine who a person is and what their characteristics are.

What is included in this report?

It provides details on location, age, life stage, ethnicity, political party, household income, charitable contributions, home value, discretionary income, net worth, invested assets, genders present in the household, and number of children.

Let’s take a peek at each section of the Insights Report for Consumers:





The first part includes a segment summary.

Total Households is the total number of postal addresses we can match to targetable households.  (Please note this number is not always the one used for the match rate. It depends on the match type – if the match type is addresses, we’ll use this number. If the match type is emails, we’ll use emails and so on).

Total People is the total number of people living across all matched households, this is from our offline data of people-based profiles who share the address/location.

Total Household Devices is the total number of devices being used by the people within all households.

Total Top Household Devices is the total number of frequently used devices we can match within a household.

Total Household Network IPs is the total number carrier IP addresses, associated with your mobile phone dynamic IPs (when roaming, on LTE, etc). Generally, this number is higher than Wi-Fi IP’s because network/carrier IPs are constantly changing, and they rack up a bunch of IPs found.

Total Household Wi-Fi IP’s is the total number of IP addresses from Wi-Fi routers/modems we can detect in total within a household.

Total Phones is the total number of landline phones across all households, which were can match within a household. Note that these are landlines, not the mobile phone numbers so this number is typically lower because landlines are of limited use.

Total Emails is the number of emails that are owned between all houses. Please note we can’t expose these email addresses.

The next section of the report covers location data.





Urban means lives in a town or city in a more densely populated area. Suburban means lives just outside a town or city is a less densely populated area. Rural means characteristic of the countryside rather than the town in a sparsely populated area.

The next chart is the age breakdown by age segments.







The next chart shows a Social Matrix of those matched. This is where the mind reading comes in. You and gain valuable insights on your database. For instance, things like your audience could have a high % of “Luxury Lifestyle” meaning they are 52–64-year-olds living luxurious lives due to high-paying professional jobs and greater disposable income or “Core Families” meaning 40–51-year-olds with a strong focus on the family. Career and job are secondary leading to financial planning issues and lower credit status.















Other Insights include race and political party affiliations.








Insights Reports includes Household Income Data compared to the national average:







Information if they are charitable contributors in the community compared to the national average:







Home Value data compared to the national average:









It also includes Discretionary income data:






As well as Net Worth data compared to the national average:






Is your database list investing their assets? Invested Assets data is included in Insights Reports:






And more demographic data included gender and children in the household:









Not only can we take a deep dive with a consumer list, but also with businesses.  Insights Report for Business look a little different. Data includes top business types, top business organizations, # of employees and revenue.

For example, you can see how many employees each business has to determine if they are a small, medium, or enterprise operation:







So, what to do with all this data?  First, we can find these people online through custom audience matching and serve them a variety of different digital ads. Native (including video), display, video pre-roll, online audio, OTT or Social Mirror. So many options!


This data can be used for future targeting options or used for lookalike targeting to find other consumers or business that look like your list. Adding on social matrix info, political party, income, or even net worth could really expand the reach to an audience you may otherwise have missed.  Take your campaigns to a whole new level with Insights Reports and Custom Audience Matching!

The post Introducing the Insights Report for Consumers and Businesses appeared first on Vici Media.

How to Use Digital Advertising During the Holiday Season

Turkey Trots, Macy Day Parade, Black Friday, Menorahs, Hanukkah, Santa Claus, Tree Lightings, and New Year’s!  Throw in a few other days like Columbus Day and Veterans Day and you have a whole lot of celebrating being done over the months of October – December.

For ideas on Halloween, make sure you read this blog.

It’s true.  No matter how hard we try to ignore it, the holidays have arrived, and that means it’s time to cozy up with your in-laws and it’s also time that people are willing to open their wallets to spend money for others, and for themselves.  While in the spending mentality, what’s the best way to get your message in front of them?

First, let’s look at where a lot of people go to for gift giving of all kinds…Amazon.  If you aren’t selling on Amazon, that’s OK! I promise. You don’t need to be.  Amazon has created an opportunity for you take advantage of their Targeting Data, and use it to reach your potential customers with your digital advertising.

Amazon has several different ways you can target:

Behavioral – Showing your display, video, or OTT ads to specific consumers based on their Amazon purchase history, searches, and browsing, across Amazon.com (display only), Amazon properties and thousands of partner websites and apps.


Product Targeting – We build an audience of consumers who have searched, browsed or purchased specific products on Amazon, and show them your display, video, or OTT ad across Amazon.com (display only), Amazon properties and thousands of partner websites and apps.


Custom Audience – We take your list of customer emails or addresses, match them to Amazon users and show your display, video, or OTT ads across Amazon.com (display only), Amazon properties and thousands of partner websites and apps


Retargeting – Following people after they leave your website and showing them your display, video, or OTT ads across Amazon properties and thousands of partner websites and apps.

If you’re using Behavioral Targeting as a strategy in your marketing, know that with Amazon, you have tens of thousands of categories to choose from.   Whether you’re selling jewelry, furniture, home décor, restaurant gift cards, or tickets to a holiday concert, there’s a targeting category for that.

With Product Targeting, your targeting can be even more specific.  With this strategy, you can pick products that Amazon sells, and we’ll create the audience that you can target.  For example, to reach new parents, the products you might pick are infant car seats, diapers, and baby books.

Using Amazon’s Custom Audience targeting strategy allows you to take advantage of your client database, if you have emails and/or physical addresses (Amazon has these because they deliver to those addresses).  Once we have that database, we upload it to Amazon’s DSP and find out how many of those people we can find with Amazon profiles.  Then, we start serving ads to only those people (or create a lookalike audience) while they’re on Amazon.com (display only), on Amazon owned properties, or within the Amazon Network.   To do the Custom Audience on its own, without the lookalike audience, we would need 7,000 matches.

Retargeting is a great addition to any campaign, and Amazon is no different.  Retargeting allows us to reach the “low hanging fruit.”   What this means is that when people come to your website, it’s most likely because they’re interested in your product or service.  When those people leave your website, we want to stay top of mind and keep your ad in front of them, so they can come back to your site and become a customer.


Next, let’s look at Mobile Conquesting.

During this time of year, your customers are typically out and about more often than they are throughout the rest of the year.  Family comes to town, friends come and visit and it’s all about recreating memories and continuing traditions.  During this time, no matter where they are, you can pretty much bank on the fact that they’ll have their smart phones with them.  And, if you know where your customers are going to be, or where they currently spend time, and you could get your message in front of them, why wouldn’t you?

The plan here is two-fold.  First, we find the behavioral categories that line up with your target audience.   Let’s say you own a jewelry store.  In that case you’d want to target jewelry shoppers, maybe targeting men to buy jewelry for their significant other, or maybe luxury and affluent shoppers.   Once we know who we’re targeting, and what geographic area that you want to target, now comes the fun part.  The 2nd step is using geo-fencing to target specific locations/events where your customers may visit during the holidays.  We can geo-fence your competitors, the airports, shopping centers, and even the drive-through holiday light events.   In my opinion, the best part of this strategy is using the geo-retargeting element.  This allows us to continue to serve ads to the people that were inside of the geo-fences that we established for you.  Meaning, yes, the geo-fencing will target people while they’re at the restaurant, bar, or holiday event.  The geo-retargeting allows us to continue to target those mobile devices when they continue to celebrate throughout the holidays.

Lastly, two more quick ideas.  One, if you’re not already utilizing Facebook and Instagram’s Carousel Ad to promote everything you want your potential customers to see this holiday season, you should be. Let’s face it.  People are on social media all the time, especially during the holidays.  Two, be sure your Google Business Profile is up to date so when your potential customers start looking for you online, they can find all they need to about your business!  Good luck this holiday season and remember that there is a way that your message can be in front of your target audience over the next few months.  You just need to right partner to help you execute.


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