As advertisers and publishers grapple with the new era of targeted advertising on social media platforms, some advertisers and their publishers are increasingly using deceptive advertising to help get their messages across.
In an effort to make their ads stand out, some publishers are also creating a set of rules and guidelines that are designed to prevent consumers from finding the ads they are looking for.
“The first thing you have to understand is the ad is just one piece of content, and it is a lot like a banner,” said Sarah Anderson, vice president of advertising at ad tech firm Crowdfunder.
“It’s the banner that is the deceptive element of it.
You can find all the other content in the banner and you’re going to get a different message.”
She added, “You want to get that message across because it’s your money.”
Facebook’s AdSense is one of the most popular and trusted ad networks in the industry, and its ad-targeting program allows publishers to target advertising based on keywords, demographics, and other factors.
“This ad is going to have a lot of clicks and be seen by a lot more people, but it’s not going to tell the advertisers exactly what that person is looking for,” said Mark Kramaric, cofounder and president of adtech company Kramarcode.
Kramaris ad platform lets publishers target advertisements based on specific keywords, demographic groups, and demographics of users, and also can include a list of related products.
For example, a campaign could target ads based on whether a user has an affinity for one particular kind of cheese.
“You can’t really do this by going out and just putting a generic ad in the middle of a bunch of different things,” said Kramari, who previously worked at Facebook’s AdWords.
The goal, he said, is to get more people to see ads that have been created by the company to help it make its business better.
“Facebook has done a great job at being transparent about the content they’re buying,” Kramaris said.
“But you need to be able to tell them exactly what you’re buying.
And you also need to show that you’re paying for what they’re saying, because that’s really what this is.””
The key thing to remember is you have a very low threshold for what you can show, because it takes a lot to drive people to click,” said Ryan Coughlin, chief marketing officer of ad-tech company Crowdfunders ad platform.”
What’s the target market that’s going to click on the ads?” he said.”
If you’ve got a niche group of people that are going to spend a lot on that particular thing, you might want to make the ad that shows it for them, or you might make it that specific to that particular niche group.”
He added, though, that it’s important to note that “if the ads are not doing very well, then you might have a higher risk of it not getting through.”
“What are the people going to see?
How many people are going at a time?” said Krama.
Coughlin noted that a good example of how publishers can get around these rules is by using an affiliate program that allows them to place ads on third-party sites, and to link back to those sites.
Crowdfunder’s Anderson said, “I think it’s very important that people know that there is an affiliate option available, but you have also got to be very careful about how you are using it.”
The company is especially concerned about how publishers use AdSense, and how it is used by advertisers.
“Ads that are on third party sites have the potential to drive clicks, and those clicks can be spent on other ads, and they’re going somewhere else, so it’s a very powerful tool,” said Anderson.
“When advertisers are doing ads for people that they know they’re paying money for, then they are making more money, because they are earning a commission.
They’re making a profit.
And the more they do, the more the revenue they’re getting from the third party is going into the publisher’s pocket.
It’s a win-win for the publisher.”
Crowdfund’s Kramarois said, though he noted that “we don’t want to be too quick to call this a monopoly.”
“But it is an extremely valuable and valuable tool for publishers,” he said of AdSense.
“We think that it is something that publishers should be very cognizant of, because we see the effect that it has on the advertising marketplace,” he added.