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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