Success in a Snap: A Big Brand’s Guide to Snapchat Advertising [EBOOK]


Snapchat’s advertising capabilities have only been around for a short time, but its user base of more than 150 million monthly active users can’t be ignored.

Not only can Snapchat boast strong user growth, but its commitment to innovation has paved the way for remarkable user engagement. To put this in perspective, over 2.5B Snaps are created every day. What’s more, the average user visits Snapchat more than 18 times per day and spends 25 to 30 minutes on the mobile app.

Snapchat Product Innovation
Source: Snapchat

As user engagement continues to grow in tandem with Snapchat’s innovations, the advertising opportunities on Snapchat will continue to shine.

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Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which Stories Format Is Winning?

Garett Sloane of Advertising Age took a look at the back-and-forth battle between Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories. The question is, which one is better?

While Snapchat may have invented the vertical story format, Instagram is giving it a run for its money. Citing Kyra Ulmer, EVP of Partnerships at Brand Networks, “It’s so relevant and brings forward this real-time moment for brands to really wrap themselves in.” That holds true for both.

The article went on to pin Snapchat and Instagram’s users, ads, and publishers against each other to give brands a holistic view and help them decide which app is most appropriate for their content.

Pinterest Deepens Direct Response Capabilities With Promoted App Pins

Pinterest Promoted App Pins

Pinterest today announced that Promoted App Pins are available to all advertisers, enabling the pursuit of mobile app install objectives on the unique, search-plus-social channel. This comes on the heels of a successful run of direct response advertising enhancements in the last 18 months, which saw the platform release robust audience targeting, enable conversion optimization with a unified Pinterest Tag, and expand its addressable geographic regions to include Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Today, Pinterest continues its investment into direct response advertising, which is good news for advertisers in this category given that Pinterest users show strong purchase intent. According to Millward Brown, 93% of Pinners have used Pinterest to plan for or make a purchase. It also gives advertisers another avenue to promote their mobile apps in what has become a saturated environment. To put this in perspective, eMarkter reported the U.S. app-install advertising space spent $5.7B in 2016. With Promoted App Pins, the path from discovery to purchase has extended to include mobile apps installs.

Pinterest Promoted App Pins

“Brand Networks is pleased to be supporting app install campaigns on Pinterest as part of today’s launch,” said E.J. Freni, CRO of Brand Networks. “We know from experience that Pinners approach Pinterest in a mindset of discovery. People use Pinterest to find all kinds of things, and we believe mobile app discovery will be a welcome inclusion in the end-user experience as advertisers adopt this new format.”

Pinterest is reporting strong initial campaign performance from brands ranging from ecommerce and health to wealth and finance including more than 70% of advertisers reaching their install goals using Promoted App Pins. What’s more, Pinterest tests show that mobile app downloads directly on Pinterest have a higher lifetime value. This is because Pinterest users have a plan and when they make a purchase, they’re ready to make the most of it. For advertisers, this means in-app actions, signing up for services and more. Brand Networks is bullish Promoted App Pins will be a good fit for a broad set of brands in an array of verticals.

Before you start testing app install campaigns on Pinterest, keep these things in mind:

1. Targeting capabilities for Promoted App Pins are the same as Pinterest’s other ad types. App install advertisers can currently target Pinners to drive installs for both Android and iOS applications, with full support for targeting segmentation by operating system.

2. Promoted App Pins campaigns are set to optimize toward traffic, sending targeted audiences to the iTunes App Store. However, Pinterest’s auction will be working behind the scenes to show Promoted App Pins to users most likely to install.

3. Promoted App Pin campaigns are only available for cost-per-click campaigns, which means advertisers pay every time someone clicks on an App Pin—not every time an install is recorded.

4. It’s required to select a mobile measurement partner—Adjust, Tune, Apsalar AppsFlyer, or Kochava—to monitor and quantify the value of the App Pins. If working with Adjust, Tune, or Apsalar, tracking URLs are required.

5. When adding Pins to App Install campaigns, the Pins’ source/destination URL must lead to the iTunes App Store with no redirects.


Pinterest’s direct response advertising capabilities have been rapidly expanding since the platform opened itself to advertisers in June of 2015. As Pinterest continues to enhance both its user experience and its advertising capabilities, it’ll remain the primary catalyst for cracking the social commerce code. Pinterest Promoted App Pins are helping Pinterest to take its game to the next level.

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3 Neurological Reasons We’re Hooked on Social & How to Leverage Them

Have you ever wondered why social media captivates nearly 70% of U.S adults? While there isn’t one definitive answer, our obsession with social lies heavily in the way we’re wired—neurological needs we can’t live without.

In this post, we’ll look at three neurological reasons why social media has us wrapped around its finger. More importantly, we’ll look at how you can exploit them to create more impactful and influential social ads.

Reason #1: The Need to Feel Important

People want to be accepted, liked, and valued. It makes sense, then, that with every upload and status update, we refresh our social feeds looking for validation, like comments or shares, that serve as digital nods of approval. This need to feel important helps explain why nearly 20% of total time spent online in the U.S. is on social media.

How to Use This to Your Advantage

To fulfill the thirst for importance, make it clear to your social following that you need them to succeed. One way to approach this is with user-generated content (UGC). In addition to being cost efficient and giving your followers validation, user-generated content can influence your bottom line. According to Crowdtap and Ipsos Media, user-generated content is more influential than other forms of media, particularly among Millennials.

Here are three examples of user-generated content:

  • Crown Resorts: Crown Resorts partnered with Brand Networks, the award-winning provider of software and services that simply social™ and Stackla, a content aggregation tool that helps brands discover and market with earned media to boost its reach and engagement. Leveraging the Brand Networks Platform, our technology identified top-performing user-generated content and automatically promoted them into Facebook Photo Ads. This process was made simple by Open Signals. Compared to other engagement-focused campaigns, the UGC-driven campaigns generated 40% more impressions and 25% more Likes.

User-generated content

  • Starbucks: Starbucks’ 2014 White Cup Contest encouraged its customers to doodle on their cups and submit their designs through social media. The winning design would then to be featured on a limited-edition reusable cup. Receiving over 4,000 entries, the contest engaged its customers and instilled a sense of importance, but it also reaffirmed Starbucks’ commitment to the environment—which, in itself, has been shown to create positive customer sentiment. According to a study by IRI and Boston Consulting Group, products from responsible consumption brands can command as much as 113% more than conventional products.

Starbucks white cup contest

  • Chobani: To improve its image and boost sales in a competitive industry, Chobani’s “Share Your Chobani Love Story” asked its fans to upload content of them praising its products. Chobani then selected user-generated content to appear on its website, billboards, and other promotional materials. According to SymphonyIRI Group, a market research firm, the campaign generated a 225.9% increase in revenue year-over-year.

user-generated content

Reason #2: The Need for Social Interaction

According to research conducted by UCLA, when we need a break from something, we’re craving social interaction. This need for interaction is as essential as our need for food, water, and shelter. In today’s digital age, this interaction doesn’t have to be physical; in fact, connecting digitally is often preferred. This makes sense when you consider the average adult and Millennial check their phones 30 and 150 times a day, respectively.

How to Use This to Your Advantage

To fulfill your followers’ need for social interaction, focus on creating an engaging social environment. While most brands are content with high-level engagement like comments and shares, you can get more value. For example, live video has risen in popularity thanks to its ability to give people that “in-the-moment” feeling. As a result, it can be an effective method of interacting with your followers, humanizing your brand, and opening the door for customers’ voices to be heard.

Here are three examples of brands using live video:

  • Buzzfeed: Buzzfeed hosted a 30-minute dance battle that not only pulled back its curtain and humanized its brand, but the session required viewer engagement. This gave them a voice and say.
  • Experian: Experian hosts a weekly series on Periscope, Twitter, Snapchat, and other channels called CreditChat. These Q&A’s allow Experian to unravel some common (and not-so-common) questions for its followers; for example, practical steps to get out of debt.
  • Benefit Cosmetics: Every week, Benefit Cosmetics hosts a live tutorial on Facebook Live. To get the audience engaged, it asks for suggestions on what they should discuss. This approach is ideal for consumer-facing brands promoting new products or services.

Reason #3: The Fear of Missing Out

In today’s ever-connected world, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is real and relevant. Now, settling for the present isn’t good enough. Instead, we cling onto the fear of what we could be missing. According to Darlene McLaughlin, M.D., “FOMO is especially rampant in the Millennial community because they see a peer achieving something they want and somehow in their mind, that achievement means something is being ‘taken away’ from them.”

How to Use This to Your Advantage

When it comes FOMO, elements of scarcity, urgency and exclusivity can be immensely productive. For example, a flash sale or promoting a limited-time offer can encourage consumers to take action. To them, the thought that something may not be around later, or others getting it instead of them, could be all they need to make the purchase.

Here are three example of brands using elements of scarcity, urgency, and exclusivity:

  • La La Land: To drive consumer action, an element of scarcity can be an effective way to harness people’s fear of missing out on an opportunity. La La Land, a popular film released in 2016, promoted a limited-edition autographed vinyl of the movie’s soundtrack. For movie aficionados, autograph collectors, and vinyl lovers, this was a can’t miss opportunity.

Scarcity marketing

  • Best Buy: Common in today’s ecommerce marketplace, flash sales create a sense of urgency. For example, Best Buy held a one-day flash sale on laptops. By promoting this finite sale, it’s more likely to get conversions from people who weren’t necessarily on your site to purchase. The urgency helps push people through the funnel, especially from consideration to conversion.

Urgency marketing

  • Canon: Exclusivity is the root of FOMO, especially if you can promote an exclusive club or membership geared toward a subset of individuals. Canon, for example, promoted an exclusive group for photographers. In today’s competitive landscape, a photographer may think to themselves, “my competition is getting an edge because of this.” As a result, they join, too.

Exclusivity marketing


It’s no surprise social media captivates us. As humans, we want to be seen, to be heard, and to be validated. Assuming these neurological needs don’t diminish, we’re bullish that leveraging them for social advertising success will be an effective method for the foreseeable future. So, take a step back and ask yourself what your customers are looking for when they log into their social accounts. Once you figure that out, give them that.

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Pinterest Advertising Arrives in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland

Pinterest’s suite of advertising capabilities is now supported in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

This is exciting news for brands in the APAC market, which have not previously been able to advertise locally on the world’s catalog of ideas. In turn, Brand Networks expects advertisers in these markets to begin running ads in these newly supported countries immediately. Our Pinterest Advertising Solution is ready for immediate deployment in both self-service and managed services initiatives.

Pinterest’s mission is to help people discover and do what they love. With more than 100 billion Pins (ideas) saved by more than 150 million people around the world, Pinterest is powering a visual discovery engine that serves more than 10 billion recommendations every day. For brands in markets where advertising on Pinterest is already supported, the channel has proven to be primed for effective social advertising, and compelling returns on Pinterest advertising dollars. The reasons people come to Pinterest—to do things such as find products to buy, ideas for recipes, places to travel and more, make the setting an ideal place for brands to reach people.

A Pinterest Advertising Success Story From Brand Networks

The Goal: Eager to build upon its past success with Pinterest awareness campaigns, a US-based big box retailer partnered with Brand Networks to improve click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC) with Pinterest’s down-funnel offering. Establishing benchmarks for the cost per engagement (CPE) and CPC bid types using keyword targeting was the goal.

The Strategy: Brand Networks structured a pair of 25-day campaigns, each set to spend roughly the same amount as its previous awareness (CPM-based bidding) campaigns. The only difference between the two campaigns was that one used CPE-based bidding and the other used CPC-based bidding. Both campaigns featured the same product-centric Promoted Pins from one of the company’s public Pin Boards. Targeting was also identical as the campaigns targeted male and female audiences across the U.S. and keyed on a mix of category and sub-category terms related to its Promoted Pins.

The Results: Brand Networks’ first Pinterest campaign for the retailer was a success, with millions of paid and earned impressions translating into tens of thousands of website clicks. Impressively, the combined performance of the two campaigns demonstrated the value of Pinterest’s lower-funnel advertising capabilities. In total, the CPC and CPE campaigns posted CTRs 200% greater and 140% greater than the retailer had seen in the past, respectively.

The overall test set a new benchmark for CPC cost efficiency, beating what the client had achieved through CPM-based bidding by nearly 3X.

While these results speak to the success that advertisers in the U.S. and the U.K. have seen with Pinterest, advertisers in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland to this point have been unable to leverage the full power of Pinterest’s advertising solutions. With these new markets now available, it’s only a matter of time before advertisers in more countries across the globe start achieving new levels of Pinterest advertising success.

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3 Questions to Help You Boost Your March Madness Social Advertising Strategy

In 1939, educator, coach, and athletic administrator, Henry V. Porter, coined the term “March Madness” when referring to the tournament’s humble beginnings in Illinois. Porter said, “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.” He was right. At the height of the second World War, basketball trumped the horrors overseas and united a state. Nearly 80 years later, March Madness’ influence remains, albeit on a much larger scale: 17.8 million people tuned in to watch last year’s National Championship game on TV.

But that doesn’t mean TV advertising is the only way to tap into this enthusiastic audience.

In a society obsessed with the second screen, those tune-in numbers can mean significant opportunities in the social space. To put this in the context of live events, in 2015, Facebook and Twitter generated 350 million impressions during March Madness—a 45% increase year-over-year. In 2016, the conversation around March Madness on Facebook increased 40%.

For you, this means that this active and engaged audience is well within reach—you just need a social advertising strategy that will get you in front of them.

As you’re crafting your March Madness social advertising strategy, here are three questions you should ask yourself:

Which Social Channel(s) Should I Use?

Which channel you use depends on your goals, but we recommend focusing on Twitter and Facebook, at least to start. Here’s why:

Twitter’s always been the king of the second screen—after all, 97% of Twitter users have several screens on when watching TV. In turn, it has unveiled products to help you align with its compelling, real-time content. For example, Twitter Amplify lets you append pre-roll video ads to video content promoted by Amplify partners like ESPN (see example below). You can also plan a series of Promoted Tweets to coincide with big moments by leveraging Brand Networks’ rules-based trigger system (see Pro Tip).

As for Facebook, its unparalleled reach makes it a must-have for just about any social campaign. But its commitment to sports, made evident by the emergence of products like Facebook Sports Stadium, makes it that much more appealing to advertisers looking to get in front of March Madness’ massive audience.

 Pro Tip: To take full advantage of March Madness’ real-time nature, leverage Brand Networks’ award-winning Open Signals technology. With Open Signals, you can create rules-based triggers to launch social ads coinciding with predefined events. For example, you could set a rule that triggers your ads when a particular team wins a game, or an individual player makes a game-winning shot.

How Should I Be Targeting?

When it comes to targeting, let Twitter’s Tailored Audiences and Facebook’s Custom Audiences serve as your foundation. While the respective channels’ versions vary slightly, fundamentally both of these audience options let you target people who’ve shown interest in your brand, and/or, in this case, March Madness. For example, if you ran a March Madness campaign last year on Twitter, you can create a Tailored Audience of Twitter users who engaged with that content. Likewise, if you have a page on your website dedicated to the tournament, you could create a Facebook Custom Audience based on people who visited that page.

While custom audiences can generate above-average results as stand-alone targeting sets, we recommend layering native targeting like interests and locations on top of them to focus your targeting even more. Also consider event targeting on Twitter, which creates an umbrella around all keywords and hashtags associated with an event and allows you to stay in front of the users who are talking about it. In this case, your audience would be comprised of Twitter users who engaged with your March Madness campaign last year and are active in the conversation this year.

Pro Tip: Once your campaign is up and running, take high-performing audiences and create lookalike audiences from them. To do this, just provide the channel a seed audience (your pre-built custom audience), and it’ll comb its database to find users similar to the proven audiences you’ve provided. This is an effective and cost-efficient way to scale your campaign.

What Should My Budget, Bid, & Pacing Look Like?

When it comes to budgeting, a slow release during your campaign is a safe and effective approach (i.e. a budget of $10K for a game is divided evenly. So, $2.5K per quarter). This will improve efficiency and allow you to capitalize on unexpected moments later in the game you’d otherwise be unable leverage if you spent your budget up front.

While standard delivery works for most, some campaigns will call for a different approach like accelerated spending. Whether you use Facebook’s accelerated delivery or Twitter’s accelerated pacing, both aim to spend your budget as quickly as possible. This is ideal for March Madness’ tendency for big, often unforeseen moments. For example, a retailer selling National Championship gear could launch a campaign with accelerated delivery as soon as the final whistle blows. This will ensure its ads are served to users as quickly as possible when attention and excitement are at their peaks.

Facebook Accelerated Delivery
Source: Medium

You can also leverage reach and frequency buying. (If taking this approach, book your R/F campaign well in advance as costs will increase due to competition.) Since you can’t control pacing with R/F campaigns, we recommend running an auction campaign in tandem to gain control over a portion of your campaign.

And when it comes to bidding, be aggressive, but don’t get carried away. We recommend bidding slightly above the channel’s suggested bid at first to make sure you’re beating the competition and ensuring delivery of your ads so that you get a quick, accurate reading of your campaign’s performance. As the campaign continues, you can gradually ramp down your bids and start finding the sweet spot that gives you strong delivery but also keeps your costs in check.

Did You Know: March Madness social ad campaigns run through the Brand Networks Platform can leverage Optimize Now to maximize the cost and performance of your ads. Designed to respond to constantly shifting ad auctions, Optimize Now tests new bids day and night while spending budgets in full. It will also boost your budgets for top-performing ads and remove poor performers to generate impressive results.

Data-Driven March Madness Social Advertising Success

Here are three real-world examples of March Madness social advertising in action:

  • Facebook & Twitter Case Study: Wanting to prove the efficacy of sports-synced social advertising, Brand Networks ran an internal test on Facebook and Twitter with Open Signals. The test included f two groups: an always-on control group that featured apparel of high-seed teams, and a group that featured apparel of “Cinderella” teams. The latter group’s ads would be triggered by Open Signals when the team took the lead. The real-time ads on Facebook and Twitter that leveraged Open Signals outperformed the control group with a CTR 428% and 110% higher than the control groups, respectively.
  • Facebook Case Study: A leading telecommunications company partnered with Brand Networks to execute a March Madness social ad campaign to drive mass reach and save costs. The campaign revolved around five video Page Posts aimed at a target audience comprised of fans, interest, people engaging with tournament content, and more. Using the Brand Networks Platform, the five-day campaign reached 40M unique users. What’s more, the company saved more than $162K compared to its benchmark average.
  • Twitter Case Study: A global retailer partnered with Brand Networks to run a Promoted Tweets campaign during March Madness to drive mass engagement at an efficient cost. The campaign targeted specific Twitter users based on keywords, interests, handles, and hashtags related to each team. Despite Twitter’s competitive environment during the tournament, the campaign was able to generate over 115K engagements and 8K interactions. Impressively, the campaign’s cost-per-engagement (CPE) was 40% lower than Twitter’s average during the tournament.


Just because people are watching March Madness on TV, it doesn’t mean TV advertising is the only way to reach them. It’s important to understand this because there’s still plenty of social engagement to be won. People’s attention is divided, and through social, you can engage with targeted audiences on the second screen, and generate powerful results at a fraction of the cost of a traditional TV spot. So don’t limit yourself—give TV-synced social a try this month and see if it works for you.

There’s still time to get your campaign ready for March Madness.
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Brand Networks Just Named a Former Yahoo Exec as Its New CEO

Dylan Martin of BostInno covers the changing of the guard at Brand Networks as Jamie Tedford, who founded Brand Networks over ten years ago, is giving way to former Adobe and Yahoo executive, Todd Taplin as Chief Executive Officer.

Offering a brief glimpse into the history of Brand Networks, which include acquisitions and a $68 million investment, the piece cited Tedford, “As the market needs and company focus have evolved, I’ve been working with my board on a succession plan that attracts an experienced operator with a rare combination of software, media, and ad tech experience to lead Brand Networks,” Tedford said in a statement. “I’m thrilled we found that leader and know Todd’s skills and industry experience will help guide our company into the future.”


Brand Networks Taps Tech Veteran Todd Taplin as New CEO

Founder Jamie Tedford named Chairman of the Board

Boston, MA—March 13, 2017— Brand Networks, the award-winning provider of solutions that simplify social™, today announced that it has appointed Chief Revenue Officer Todd Taplin to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Founder and former CEO Jamie Tedford will continue to serve the company as Chairman of the Board.

“As a recovering agency guy and lacking outside funding, I bootstrapped Brand Networks as a tech-enabled services provider,” said Jamie Tedford, Chairman of Brand Networks. “A decade later, our software is enabling agencies and brands to independently manage media investment across social platforms and our people are focused on providing training, onboarding and enablement services to ensure their success.”

“As the market needs and company focus have evolved, I’ve been working with my Board on a succession plan that attracts an experienced operator with a rare combination of software, media, and ad tech experience to lead Brand Networks. I’m thrilled we found that leader and know Todd’s skills and industry experience will help guide our company into the future,” added Tedford.

As CEO, Taplin, a media industry and SaaS technology veteran, will lead Brand Networks as it continues to focus on the advancement of its self-service software platform. Taplin will be responsible for executing the company vision day-to-day across all offerings, both managed services and software while ensuring customer success and company growth. As Chairman, Tedford will shift focus to corporate development and strategic partnerships.

Brand Networks has grown significantly since its founding ten years ago, from its roots as a bootstrapped startup, to the acquisition of two competing social advertising SaaS platforms—Optimal and SHIFT—supported by an infusion of equity from AEA Investors, a leading private equity fund based in New York. AEA is an active shareholder and supporter of growth in the business. Brand Networks now serves hundreds of enterprise customers, (including half of the Fortune 100 and 17 of AdAge’s 25 Most Advertised Brands) powering more than $500 million in media spend with high-performance digital advertising strategies across every leading social media channel.

Taplin joined the Brand Networks team in Q3 2016, after a long career in media and SaaS software. Prior to joining Brand Networks, Taplin served as EVP and Chief Revenue Officer with Celtra, a provider of creative management software for digital advertising. While at Celtra, Todd led the effort to convert the company’s customers from a managed services-based offering to a self-service software platform. Before Celtra he held senior executive and sales leadership roles at Adobe and Yahoo, helping both companies drive the go-to-market integration of complex advertising technology stacks while producing record revenues during his tenure.

“Jamie and his team have built an incredible company, industry leading technology and a culture of innovation unmatched by competitors,” said Taplin. “I’m honored that Jamie and the Board have tapped me to lead BN into the next phase of our growth.”

About Brand Networks

Brand Networks Simplifies SocialTM. The company delivers award-winning social media advertising software and services to hundreds of enterprise customers, including half of the Fortune 100 and 17 of AdAge’s 25 Most Advertised Brands. The Brand Networks Platform uses personalization data and powerful automation technologies to help marketers optimize their media investments across the social web. Media buyers can reduce campaign management time by up to 75% while increasing their return on advertising spend across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Brand Networks was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Boston with offices in San Francisco, New York City, Rochester, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Sydney. For more information, please visit

Concerned About Where Your Ads Are Appearing? Look to Social, Not Display

With questions swirling about viewability and the quality of digital display advertising, Jamie Tedford, Founder, and Chairman Brand Networks, questioned why advertisers continue to support the complexity of supply-side provides, demand-side providers, exchanges, and networks as if no scalable alternative exists.

In the piece published on Social Pro Daily, Tedford outlines a strategy to combat these inherent concerns in an eat this, not that fashion. For instance, Tedford advises advertisers to target people, not pixels; to serve native ads and not banners, and to prioritize mobile, not desktop. The list continues, but the theme is evident: focus your digital advertising budget on social.


2017 Is Here: Don’t Dawdle. Double Down on Social Media Ads Now

social advertising opportunities 2017

This content was originally featured on Marketing Land.

It’s that time of year again. After ringing in the new year, 2017 arrived with new media budgets, strategies, and plans. The first two months of the year are riddled with change and discussion, and many brands miss the opportunity to market to customers on social media—for a bargain price. In fact, research shows that after the spike in ad costs during the holiday season, January and February ad costs dropped by up to 40 percent when compared with costs in November and December.

With less competition for shopper attention and lower costs, the first quarter of the year is an opportunity to get ahead. Brands should beware of failing to act fast in the new year. Below are ways to start getting in front of consumers quickly and hit the ground running.

Retarget Ready Audiences

Many brands get tunnel vision about the holiday season. But, remember — not all hope is lost after Christmas Day. Plenty of shoppers opt to buy gifts after the holiday shopping season ends because they know they’ll score great deals.

Be prepared to use data about those who engaged with your ad content pre-holidays in order to retarget ads after the holiday rush. You can use internal inventory data to inform your ad campaigns — and trigger specific ads featuring inventory that you know is still available or discounted.

Specifically, Pinterest offers sophisticated audience retargeting options that can leverage the valuable influx of data about holiday visitors to give Q1 a competitive edge. In addition to the common social retargeting technologies that enable website visitor- and email-address-based audience targeting, the channel offers a unique feature called Engagement Retargeting.

This typically allows brands to reach anyone who’s engaged with Pins from company Boards. But Pinterest takes the technology a step further by enabling brands to retarget any users who engaged with Pins that include images originally sourced from the brand’s website.

Make Ads Go Further

Brands have invested significant resources in developing ads for Facebook. But what many don’t realize is that those Facebook ads can be effectively repurposed on Instagram.

In the past year, Instagram has made it possible for its ads to be vertical, and it has made them more clickable. As a result, brands can get two bites of the apple with their Facebook ads and run them again on Instagram. This tactic results in enhanced ad performance, according to Instagram.

Take the tactic a step further by leveraging Facebook’s Automated Placement feature, which gives Facebook the power to put your ad wherever it can get you the most efficient performance.

Recently, Instagram announced 600 million users and 500,000 advertisers, validating its place as a mainstream advertising channel. Brands should kick off the new year by testing ways to reach their audiences on Instagram, and aim to benefit from the continued growth of the platform.

Get Ready to Party

Q1 is peppered with TV moments. The 88th Academy Awards, March Madness and the final rose ceremony of the 21st season of “The Bachelor” are on the calendar for the next few months, and brands should be prepared to take advantage of these moments in time.

Not only are the viewers of these events engaged, but it makes it easy to target the right psychographics by tying ads to events.

In the new year, advertisers should begin to experiment with Twitter Amplify and link pre-roll ads to some of the most popular TV moments. Not only can advertisers promote relevant ads in real time, but by using 15- to 30-second videos, they can advertise content that has the potential to be more memorable.

Prepare for the year of the Snap

Snapchat is the newest advertising ecosystem available for brands. And last month, they announced self-service advertising, making the process more accessible for advertisers.

Seventy percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are Snapchat users. This demographic has been notoriously difficult to reach with ads, and Snapchat represents a unique opportunity for brands to finally capture their attention.

The demographic, paired with the engaging and delightful content of Snapchat ads, promises to show value in 2017. With more than 100 million daily active Snapchatters viewing 10 billion videos every day, advertisers should act now to be one of the early adopters, before Snapchat advertising becomes commonplace.

Time is of the essence for brands. With a custom social media advertising strategy aimed at a specific audience of last-minute shoppers, retailers can kick off the new year strong and take advantage of the early 2017 advertising lull to boost sales. This is a surefire way to get ahead on the measurable impact you’ll be gunning to demonstrate to your stakeholders throughout the year.

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Everything You Need to Conquer a Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaign

Have you ever thought about running a Pinterest Promoted Pin campaign? On the off chance you haven’t, consider this: 45K website clicks and 600K social ad engagements. Those numbers are the results of Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaigns.

Not only is Pinterest growing, but its user base shows purchase intent. As a result, Pinterest has become a go-to advertising channel for many of the world’s biggest brands. For example, Walgreens more than tripled its average referral traffic using Promoted Pins. Moreover, found Pinterest referrals spend 50% more than referrals from comparable social channels.

Do you want to see how Promoted Pins can help you? Here’s everything you need to know to set up your Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaign:

Setting up a Pinterest Promoted Pin Campaign

As Pinterest grows, so will the competition for ad space. The increase in competition also means that optimizing your campaigns will be more important. But, with an understanding of Pinterest’s campaign structure, you can create a Promoted Pin campaign that’s destined for success.

Step 1: Objective & Lifetime Spend Cap

Once in Pinterest Ads Manager, you’ll see three icons at the top of your page. Click on the three dots and then “Promoted Pins.” You’ll see an overview of current campaigns. This is also where you’ll select your campaign type.

Pinterest has three campaign types:

  1. Awareness to build your addressable audience
  2. Engagement to capture intent and boost engagement
  3. Traffic to send visitors to your website

Remember, your campaign type should reflect your marketing goals. So, if your goal is to create an audience of engaged users, choose an engagement campaign. If your goal is sales, opt for a traffic campaign.

Once you’ve selected your campaign type, name it. This will help differentiate your campaigns in the future. You’ll also set a lifetime spend cap, which is the total amount you’re willing to devote to a specific campaign. Note that this number isn’t related to how your particular ad group(s) spend.

Step 2: Budget, Campaign Duration, Bid Type & Targeting

At the ad group level, you’ll set your budget, campaign timeframe, bid type, and targeting.

First, give your ad group(s) a name. Ad groups give you a more granular look at your audience—Pinterest calls these “containers for Pins.” For example, a fashion retailer could have one ad group targeting men interested in casual styles. It could then have another targeting women interested in formal attire. In addition to creating ad groups around targeting, you can build them around product lines, Pin performance, and more.

Regarding timeframe, you have two options: continuous or specified. If running continuously, you have to set a daily budget. If running over a specified time frame, you can choose between a daily or lifetime budget. A daily budget represents how much you want to spend per day, while a lifetime budget represents how much you’re willing to spend overall. With a lifetime budget, you have to specify an end date, and Pinterest will spend your budget as evenly as possible during your campaign.

Pro Tip: Once your campaign is up and running, take note of its performance. If individual ad groups are performing well, allocate more budget to them. For poor performing ad groups, lower your bid and reduce your budget to improve efficiency.

(Note: These numbers aren’t the same as the bid that you’ll set later.)

One of the most important steps at the ad group level is targeting. Targeting makes sure your Pins are being seen by the right people in the right places.

Here are Pinterest’s targeting capabilities:

  • Interest targeting lets you reach users based on interests they’ve shown on Pinterest. When targeting these, users will see your Pins in their home feeds. There’s no limit to how many of Pinterest’s nearly 400 interests you can target.
  • Keyword targeting lets you reach Pinners based on their search behavior on Pinterest. When targeting keywords, your Pins will show up in search and related Pins. If targeting only keywords, Pinterest maps keywords to broad categories to improve the chance that your Promoted Pins reach people who may not be searching for your particular keyword(s). There’s no limit to the number of keywords you can target.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to combine interest and keyword targeting. This gives you more control over who you target and where your Pins appears.

Pinterest Promoted Pin Locations

Other Pinterest targeting capabilities include location, language, device, gender, and Pinterest Audiences.

Pinterest Audiences:

  • Visitor retargeting uses the Pinterest tag to identify users who’ve visited your site. You can then track nine events on your website, and group visitors based on their actions.
  • Customer list targeting works like this: You upload a list of customer email addresses or mobile ad IDs to Pinterest. Pinterest compares your list to its user database and returns matches. You can then use these matches for inclusion or exclusion targeting.
  • Engagement retargeting lets you target Pinterest users who’ve engaged with Pins linking to your verified website. Engagements are clicks, saves, close-ups, likes, or shares.
  • Actalike audiences let you reach users similar to existing audiences. Created from information Pinterest knows about its users, actalike audiences can be built from audiences created from engagement targeting, visitor retargeting, or customer list targeting (as long as they’re over 100 people).

Once you set your targeting, it’s time to set your bid. This number reflects how much you’re willing to spend for each desired action. Pinterest suggests a bid based on what it sees from other advertisers, but you can bid any amount as long as it’s greater than $0.10. The bid type is determined by the campaign type you selected at the Campaign Level.

Pro Tip: Pinterest suggests aiming for a strong bid from the beginning to establish a baseline for performance. Once established, adjust bids every couple of days based on performance.

Pinterest Bid Types:

  • Auction CPM to drive awareness. You bid per thousand impressions and only pay for what’s delivered.
  • Cost per engagement (CPE) to drive engagement. You only pay when a unique action (save, closeup, or click through) occurs.
  • Cost per click (CPC) to drive traffic to your site. You only pay for a click to your site.

Step 3: Pick Your Pins

Now that you have a structured campaign, it’s time to decide which Pins to promote. Right now, you can only promote Pins from public boards. The Pins you select should reflect your goals and the ad group they fall under. So, if your goal is to boost engagement amongst women to your ecommerce site, promote Pins relevant to them.

Pro Tip #1: While you can promote any Pin you’d like, build off the momentum of your best-performing organic Pins. Filter your most-clicked or repinned Pins from the last 30 days, and promote those.

Pro Tip #2: If Pins within an ad group are performing well, allocate more budget to them. If some Pins aren’t performing well, lower the budget. You can also pause a campaign and re-evaluate your strategy.

If you have multiple Pins within an ad group, Pinterest will optimize your Pins according to your objective. It does this to make sure they aren’t competing. Keep in mind that this may skew delivery toward a handful of top-performing Pins.

Once you’ve selected your Pins, you’re given the option to name them and review destination URLs. We also recommend adding tracking parameters so you can track performance. After some formalities, you submit your Promoted Pins campaign to Pinterest. If approved, you’re ready for launch.

As social advertisers realize Pinterest’s value, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to stand out. But, by understanding Pinterest’s core ad offering, you’ll be one step ahead in what we expect to be a valuable social advertising channel for years to come.

Do you want to learn more about advertising on Pinterest? Download our free ebook:
The Pinterest Advertiser’s Playbook


News Bulletin: New Havas and Clems ECDS; Pinterest Chooses Ad Partners

In AdNews’ latest news bulletin, the Australian advertising, marketing, and media online publication covered Pinterest’s advertising expansion down under. The expansion allows brands with a presence in Australia the ability to leverage API partners like Brand Networks’, tools and technologies to “create a richer experience for consumers.”

The newsletter continued by citing Brand Networks’ inclusion in the expansion and our work with Domain, one of Australia’s leading multi-platform real-estate destinations, to immediately get Pinterest ads running following the expansion.


Snapchat Advertising: A Complete Guide to the Ad Types You Need to Know

With more than 150M daily active users watching 10B Snaps per day, Snapchat’s highly anticipated Snap Ads Partner program launched in early October 2016. For brands and Snapchatters alike, this is good news. For advertisers, Snapchat offers a highly engaged audience as well as unprecedented access to millennials—a generation that’s collectively eluded brands and their old-school advertising techniques for years. For Snapchat users, all signs point to them liking the ads. For one, Snap Ads have a reported 5X swipe-up rate versus the average click-through-rate on comparable platform.

With so much intrigue swirling around Snapchat’s push into the social ad space, we thought it’d be a good time to take you through the Snapchat advertising opportunities currently available:

Snap Ads: An Interactive Social Ad Experience

In 2014, Snapchat’s first paid advertisement, a 20-second trailer promoting Universal’s movie, Ouija, appeared in users’ “Recent Updates.” Despite giving users the option to skip the ad, Millward Brown reported a 13% turnout increase for those exposed to the ad.

Now called Snap Ads, these ad units no longer appear among Recent Updates. Instead, they thrive between User Stories, appear in tandem with Live content, and can be found scattered throughout Discover.

Snap Ads

1. Snap Ads: Thriving Between User Stories

Beginning with a vertical, full-screen video of up to 10 seconds, Snap Ads between user stories are similar to TV commercials. However, unlike their TV counterparts, they’re skippable—a level of autonomy we believe has aided Snap Ads’ initial success. It’s also worth noting that the vertical format of Snap Ads, which has long been frowned upon by digital advertisers, is making Snap Ads more effective. In fact, Snapchat reports that content shot vertically is viewed to completion 9X more frequently than that which is shot horizontally.

2. Snap Ads: In Tandem With Live  

Live is a way for Snapchatters to share near real-time looks into live events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, presidential campaigns, and sporting events. Often receiving tens of millions of views, Live has been grabbing brands’ attention as a valuable advertising opportunity due to its widespread popularity and in-the-now perspective.

3. Snap Ads: Scattered Throughout Discover

Users are widely accepting Discover as a winning combination of social, magazines, and news from some of the world’s biggest publishers, including CNN and Mashable. Cosmopolitan, one of Discover’s more popular publishers, reported that its channel is averaging 19 million views per month. With this collective interest from users and premium placement within Snapchat’s ecosystem, the virtual newsstand should continue to present an attractive ad offering for brands.

Add More to Snap Ads 

Expanding upon its ad placements isn’t the only change Snap Inc. has made to its flagship mobile app since ads debuted. Now, advertisers can choose to add a swipe-up feature to get users to spend more time with the brand and help them reach a variety of campaign goals. For advertisers, the neat thing is that any further engagement coming as a result of a swipe up is no extra charge.

The swipe-up feature can be used to accomplish any of the following objectives:

  • Mobile App Install to download mobile apps without having to leave Snapchat
  • Long-Form Video to instantly watch extended video content
  • Web Views to take users to pre-loaded fullscreen mobile websites
  • Article Views to tell compelling brand narratives using text, images, GIFs, and in-line autoplay video

Snapchat Geofilters: Become One With Their Story

In addition to Snap Ads, brands can also leverage branded Geofilters. These location-based overlays have continued to evolve since Snapchat first released them to communities in 2014. Once reserved for artists and designers, they’re now widely available and include Sponsored Geofilters and On-Demand Geofilters. (Check out our guide on how to create On-Demand Geofilters.)

Here’s how Geofilters work:

1. First, create a compelling design according to Snapchat’s guidelines. On-Demand Geofilters can be created by anyone. (The creation of Sponsored Geofilters must go through Snap Inc. or its Creative Partners.)

2. Once a design is finalized, a pre-defined area and timeframe is selected. This is where and when the Geofilter will be available to Snapchatters. For example, if an automotive brand wanted to promote the launch of a new car, creating a geofence around a dealership (or dealerships) during the launch would make sense.

3. Then, when a user is within the geofence during the allotted time, they’re able to add the Geofilter to their Snap instantly.

Sponsored Geofilters

Sponsored Geofilters are designed for national and global businesses looking to insert their brand into millions of Snaps every day. Snap Inc. reported that the typical Sponsored Geofilter reaches 40% to 60% of all daily Snapchatters.

Men’s Wearhouse used Sponsored Geofilters (seen right) as a feature part of its campaign to drive awareness during prom season. Deploying the Sponsored Geofilter around over 18,000 high schools across the US and Canada, it was viewed over 17 million times and had an engagement rate of nearly 50%.

Snapchat Sponsored GeofilterSnapchat Sponsored Geofilter

On-Demand Geofilters

On-Demand Geofilters are available to small businesses and individuals. From corporate events to grand openings to birthday parties, On-Demand Geofilters are a perfect standalone or supplemental feature to get the community involved.

While not a small business, Vans integrated On-Demand Geofilters into its overarching national campaign to invite the world to its event celebrating 50 years of “Off The Wall” Heritage and Creative Expression. Simultaneously launching On-Demand Geofilters around landmarks important to the company, the campaign increased ad recall, brand favorability, and purchase intent by 29, 20, and 34 points, respectively.

We created some, too.

Snapchat On-Demand GeofilterSnapchat On-Demand Geofilter

Sponsored Lenses for a Playful Twist

Since becoming available in late 2015, the number of Snaps featuring Lenses has grown from 10 million to 30 million, according to a Snapchat spokesperson. It’s no surprise, then, that this interactive ad type has become a favorite of Snapchatters and brands alike.

Gatorade, for example, ran one of the most successful Sponsored Lens campaigns to date. Using the iconic “Gatorade Dunk,” the Sponsored Lens was “played” 60 million times and increased purchase intent by over eight points.

Note: Currently, advertisers must go directly through Snap Inc. when creating and implementing Sponsored Lenses.  

Snapchat Sponsored Lens


Snapchat video views per day have increased more than 350% since last year. What’s more, eMarketer predicts that Snapchat’s user base will increase to 217 million by the end of 2017. Couple that promising growth with the initial success of Snapchat advertising, and you have a new ad platform that could produce huge returns for advertisers, not only this year but for years to come.

Ready to learn more about Snapchat? Download our free ebook today:
Success in a Snap: A Big Brand’s Guide to Snapchat Advertising 


Disclaimer: The branded content featured is not that of any Brand Networks clients

Lipton Ice Tea Beats The Heat With Snapchat Global First Through PHD

Written by editors at B&T, Australia’s leading magazine for advertising, marketing, media, and PR, the article illustrates the possibilities of social advertising and weather targeting. The article continues by detailing how Lipton, a Unilever brand, leveraged weather targeting to automatically trigger Snap Ads when the temperature exceeded a threshold—in this case, 26°C (79°F).

For Kathryn Furnari, business director for Unilever at PHD the combination of social ads and weather targeting offers “a great opportunity for us to engage with our consumers at the most relevant possible moment.”