The digital download: YouTube ads go real-time, while Facebook woos publishers

News of the week features YouTube’s two Super Bowl advertising programs, Facebook’s new features, AOL’s identity crisis, and ClickZ’s first intelligence report.

The digital marketing space is transforming rapidly, with thousands of updates popping up everything day. Here is a review of some of the important developments from this week to help you keep abreast of the industry.  

YouTube to monetize Super Bowl via AdBlitz and real-time ads

Super Bowl is one of the few times when a brand can reach more than 100 billion people with a single ad. Obviously, YouTube knows the advertising value of this big game.

On Wednesday, YouTube launched its AdBlitz program for the eighth consecutive year. AdBlitz, a separate channel and microsite, lets Super Bowl advertisers serve their TV spots prior to the game day. Viewers can watch, share, and vote for those ads.

On average, brands who use this program generate four times more views than those who do not, according to Tara Walpert Levy, managing director and agency sales at Google.

YouTube AdBlitz

Unlike the previous seven years, this year Google developed a feature called Real-Time Ads that allows advertisers to tie their ads to big moments during live events. What distinguishes Real-Time Ads from the AdBlitz program is that while AdBlitz is designed specifically for the Super Bowl, brands can use Real-Time Ads during sports games, live concerts, and political debates. Real-Time Ads will run on YouTube, Google-owned apps, and Google Display Network.

Advertisers need to prepare content in advance, and then Google will help them push out the content around moments that are most relevant. Since the real-time tool is still in early beta, it is still unknown how brands can get the most out of it.

AOL may need a new name

In her interview with Business Insider this week, Allie Kline, AOL’s chief marketing officer, confessed that the company is struggling with an identity issue. For example, many do not know AOL owns publications like TechCrunch and The Huffington Post, or that it ran its parent company Verizon’s digital media services platform.

Kline told the publication that one of AOL’s priorities for 2016 is figuring out the company’s brand identity. This may mean a new name for AOL.

“I actually don’t think there is a bad choice, but we have to make the choice: are we going to keep the AOL brand or are we going to bring a new brand to market?” she said in her interview with Business Insider.

Aside from figuring out a company name, Kline added that AOL will be focused on mobile, video, and global growth.

In response to this vision, this week AOL debuted a global partnership with content marketing platform Taboola. This deal will allow brands to deliver sponsored content to target audiences via desktop, the mobile web, and mobile apps under the AOL umbrella including, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, AutoBlog, AOL Mail and MapQuest in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. 

Facebook lets publishers optimize their organic posts

Audience Optimization, an organic targeting tool released by Facebook on Thursday, will let publishers add tags to describe who is most likely to engage with their posts.

This new tool consists of three features: Preferred Audience, Audience Restrictions, and Audience Insights.

Audience Optimization

Once publishers turn on Audience Optimization in the settings, they can enter interest tags under Preferred Audience to prioritize page posts for each individual, based on the topics that he or she is interested in. Interest tags do not have any limits.

Preferred Audience

Audience Restrictions limits the visibility of content to specific demographics based on select age, gender, locations, and languages.

Audience Restrictions

Audience Insights shows how each interest tag contributes to a post’s reach, clicks, shares, and likes, and these metrics can help publishers optimize interest tags going forward.

Audience Optimization is available to all English-language Pages.

Shutterstock integrates its API into Optimizely and Sprinklr

Shutterstock has made its application program interface (API) available to customer-experience optimization software Optimizely and social experience management company Sprinklr.

This deal will let the two ad-tech companies’ consumers search, preview, and license from Shutterstock’s pool of more than 70 million images and three million videos, for use in their optimization and social media campaigns.

For example, when Optimizely’s clients use Shutterstock images in their A/B tests, they can access the image service’s library without leaving their Experience Optimization Platform.  

Prior to Optimizely and Sprinklr, Facebook and content marketing software NewsCred also used Shutterstock’s API.

ClickZ’s first intelligence report has officially come out

On a more personal note, we published our first intelligence report on digital trends 2016 this past Thursday. The report addresses a vast range of topics, including content marketing, data and analytics, email marketing, mobile, search, social media, e-commerce, and advertising.

The highlights? One is our more than 800 global readers believe that content marketing is the most significant trend for 2016.

clickz report

Download the report here to know more insights.

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