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Pidgeon Social / Business

The Big Bad Banner Ad

There’s nothing I love more than browsing the net and admiring all the beautiful big box ads that follow me around on every page. In fact, I really think seeing various leaderboard ads (those long banner ads at the top of the page) make webpages more unique and give me a reason to return; I’m SO curious who will show up there next to have my undivided attention. Who will have the honour to count me as an ‘impression’ for their metrics? These are the thoughts of mad person. No one in their right mind enjoys banner ads when they’re browsing the net. They end up being a necessary evil, because they help sites get money and allow us to keep having free access to whatever we’re viewing. What I think is SO hilarious though, is when I’m talking with people about banner ads and their effectiveness, I always ask: when’s the last time you clicked one? Crickets* Because, the VAST majority of us, (and by vast, I mean all) don’t click on them. We find them more invasive and petty than we do valuable. AND YET, every one of those ‘impressions’ we represent are ending up on someone’s report as a success metric. A friend of mine recently shared this story from the NYT about Chase Financial, who at one point investing in an ‘Ad Placement Network’ where Chase’s  banner ads are served on thousands of different websites selected based on the content of said site. It makes sense in theory, because if you’re targeting me for something, for example, technology related, you can follow me around the net with your ads by serving it on tech sites. The problem Chase ran into was their ads were being shown beside some VERY suspect content. When they investigated, they found that they were serving their ads on over 400,000 different sites - many of which were not vetted by humans eyes. So Chase pulled their ads from almost all those sites, choosing instead to serve their ads on only 4,000 human-approved sites. And guess what happened to their performance on these ads? Nothing changed. They had the same performance on these 4000 sites as they had on 400,000. And while Chase seems to be pleased with this, choosing to view the other 396,000 sites as ‘ineffective’, I choose to read between the lines: BANNER ADS DON’T WORK! It kills me to read articles like this and hear stories about the ‘millions of impressions’...

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Vlogging is Reality TV 2.0

If you don’t really “get” vlogs, you’re not alone. But you’re also probably not 8-22 years old. I bet 8 out of 10 people in that demographic follow at least one vlogger on YouTube. My personal addiction is Casey Neistat – a filmmaker from New York. This is him: He’s now put out a 6-10 minute video blog every single day for over year. And in that time, he took his YouTube subscribers from 500,000 to over 2.5 MILLION. He’s got quality content and he’s a character so it works really well. I’ve watched the last 60 or so almost every day – and the ones I miss I just catch up on the next day or two. Vlogs are like reality TV in that you get these inside looks into people’s lives. But what’s way better is the access you get unlike any other reality TV show. Whereas on Big Brother, Teen Mom, or Duck Dynasty, you simply watch these guys on TV, your only chance to interact with them is maybe seeing them at a big fan show somewhere. With good vloggers, they’ve almost always got a ton of interaction points for the people following them to connect – whether that be Q&A, opening stuff that gets sent to them, or actually meeting people in the streets everywhere they go. This ads a whole other layer of connection that regular reality TV can’t touch. The other thing vlogging adds is a real-time element because typically they come out within 24 hours every single day. It means that all the things happening in the world are happening to them at the same time. This makes it way more addictive and easy to engage with. What does this mean for marketers? If you’ve got an interest in the 12-29 demographic, you should be aware of key players like Roman Atwood, Fun For Louis, the aforementioned Casey Neistat and others because there’s a ton of valuable insight into what connects with this hard-to-reach audience. If you’re looking for ways to get a message to this audience, influencer marketing through these vloggers can be huge. If you’re looking to have direct contact with this audience, you may want to start experimenting with these styles of videos to help build a following. I recently started vlogging – I’m up to 20 of them as I write this while working on the 21st. I’ve even done them daily for the past 10 days. It’s a tremendous amount of work. I carry my camera with me everywhere. I...

Sometimes the Cost of Great Things is Good Things

Did you know that it's often not the bad things that keep you from doing what you really want to be doing? It can be the good things. Let me tell you about something I miss greatly in my life: Playing Call of Duty on my PS3 with my brother, Ben, and good friend, Mark. Honestly, aside from being so much fun to destroy teenagers with fellow dad's, it was a really good way to just chat and stay in touch with what was going on in their lives. And I miss that. We don't talk as much as we used to. But there was a cost to this good thing in my life. I spent 1400 hours playing it over the course of 9 months. And there were a lot of great things I could've done with those 1400 hours. So I finally got up the courage to disappoint two of my favourite people in the world and tell them I was selling my PS3. It sucked. But I certainly don't regret it. Because in the last year, I've learned photography, videography, stepped up my social media game, started a YouTube channel, and gained more hours for my family. Giving up a good thing has helped me find new passion, energy, and I'm now getting paid to do a lot more stuff than I used to because of it. Oh, and I'm super-thankful that my brother started a bi-weekly wings night that Mark comes to, too, so we have a chance to stay in touch. Here's the thing, though - you can't just give up something good and expect something great to come along. You'll just fall back into something good - or worse - something bad. There's a few keys I've found that have helped me fill good things with great things: 1. Invest in something new For me, I like toys. And I've talked about how I spend money on things that I don't always use. But for every one thing that I don't end up using, there's another one that I do and I love it. Sometimes you don't know until you try. Putting some money where you mouth is helps you be accountable for doing something new. A new PS4 game is like $70 when it comes out. Your PS4 or Xbox One is probably worth $300-$400. There's A LOT of cool stuff you can buy with that. 2. Make sure you have an outlet for it It's way to easy to buy something and let is sit...