This is my sixth year writing my tech blog for Masthead, my goodness how time flies. If it wasn't for all the congratulations I received on Linkedin I would have let this moment pass me by. It has been four years since (click here to read this archived post) I wrote a post on all the tech terms that are being used in the industry to bring you up to date. I even invented one myself, so you heard it here first.
Ad tech firms are the digital ad companies that have been created since the dotcom boom of the late 90’s. These firms include Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ad Networks and Native Advertising. Some of these companies started as tech firms but are now in the advertising business as they sell display ads on their ad networks. These companies are tech/media hybrids and they typically deploy free user generated content as part of their model. Yahoo however generates original content on their website. Some of the industry is in a state of denial, as they do not consider themselves as media companies, but tech firms, so they can avoid taking responsibility for the content on their websites.
Native advertising is built around the concept of advertorial content matching the editorial environment of the website. The premise is that people prefer articles over ads and thus will have a higher click-rate. The problem with this logic is it assumes the reader can be fooled with these ads as editorial content, which shows the ignorance of the ad tech community on how media and advertising work together. The need for authenticity and third party creditability has been a criticism of the industry through the growing use of tabloid style content to get people’s attention.
Click bait is the use of tabloid style headlines to get people to click on a link and is used on websites like buzzfeed.com. This is tabloid-style journalism, where stories can be posted with no fact checking criteria and border on sensationalism. Clickhole.com create a parody of this type of journalism as you can see below. The 7 places you can vomit in the Jungle is a funny one.
Bots are web robots that do a single task repetitively at computer speed. This can be in the form of a SEO web spiders that index content on a website, a web scraper that copies content from websites, and clicks bots, which are designed to click on ads as part of an ad fraud model. The next generation of bots will have artificial intelligence as part of their model and they are being marketed as customer service bots that can handle pizza orders online for example and enable companies to a have an automated 24/7 sales support presence.
These websites are designed to harvest ad dollars from the ad networks by generating traffic to the website using click bait. This is a brilliant idea as the web design is to maximize the number of clicks and ad impressions for each story posted. When I clicked on the story below I had to click on it 30 times to read the whole article and each time I clicked 5 ads show up. So to read the single story you are exposed to 150 ads plus the layout is set up for accidental clicks on the ads to boost response. The fraudulent ones use automated traffic/click generating techniques to scam the system. A growing problem according to industry sources in the tech community to fool the security protocols thinking there is real people, IP addresses (computer ID) are being stolen and used in the black market.
Click farms was a market response to the growing belief that Facebook likes and Twitter followers were early indicators of purchase intent of products and services as it generated a positive online profile. This belief led to the growth of companies that will provide fake social media identities to customers to generate likes and followers. The companies’ use tools like identity generators and cell phone Sim cards to by-pass security protocols. It has been ball parked that 10-20% of social media accounts are fake. The companies that provide this service are located in jurisdictions outside of USA law enforcement. This perhaps explains how some politicians gained 100,000 Twitter followers in a weekend.
Finally, I thought I'd create my own word to describe my approach on how content marketing will work in the future. It is called Bobber Marketing, just like fishing (I did not want use a farm one) where you cast a bobber in the water and wait for the fish to bite. The bobber is an article. This content must have something useful to say or it will just be click bait and can’t be too salesy or it will turn off readers. The number of times the article is read will reflect the responsiveness of the article and awareness benchmarks.
To learn more about what is in store for the digital world going forward you might want to attend our State of Digital Seminar we are producing as part of the COPA’s festivities. The seminar will be a panel format that will include Google (Ad tech), Indie 88 (Publishing), Nielson, (Analytics) and Calexis Advertising (Advertisers) to provide a broad perspective on the future of digital and what works. The event will also be a webcast for people that cannot attend it live. It will be on Nov 7 at 4pm EST.
About MeMartin Seto
reflexmediasales.com or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.
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