Could Blockchain Be the Future of Advertising?

All players in the digital advertising world agree that transparency is a crucial concept for digital advertising to reach its full potential. Developing solutions to keep fraudsters out of this complex ecosystem will protect publishers, advertisers, and consumers. Blockchain technology is one of the technologies that can play a part here.

Why Is Such a Technology Needed?

The growth experienced in the digital advertising sector is the biggest reason why the development of more effective control mechanisms is required. The amount of data shared between the parties increases day by day, making it difficult to control this data effectively. In such an environment, the work of fraudsters becomes easier, resulting in the world of digital advertising losing both money and reliability.

In the current environment, ad buyers have to manage complex systems manually. The presence of fraudsters also undermines their trust in the system.

Publishers also favor more transparency. The lack of transparent metrics and the ineffectiveness of third-party audit mechanisms negatively affect the credibility of publishers.

How Blockchain Technology Can Solve the Problem of Trust

One of the most important features of blockchain technology is that it decentralizes the control mechanism. In this way, it is possible to create much more reliable and safer control mechanisms.

Another attractive aspect of blockchain is its ability to simplify complex operations. Thanks to its scalability feature, it makes even large advertising operations controllable. With the automation of manual controls, human error is minimized.

Personalized Ads

Blocking third-party cookies is one of the hottest topics in the advertising world. First-party data is needed to create personalized ads in an environment without cookies. But not every publisher will have this data.

At this point, with the necessary legal regulations, blockchain technology can be a solution. It is possible to continue to display personalized advertisements by protecting the privacy of user data.

Big Steps Required

Many tech enthusiasts describe blockchain technology as a miracle. But we shouldn’t get excited so quickly. Because blockchain technology will create an evolution in advertising rather than a revolution. On the other hand, changing working systems and the need for legal regulations are also major obstacles to be overcome by blockchain technology. Therefore, there is no other solution for advertisers and publishers than working with reliable advertising platforms for the near future.

Key Affiliate Marketing Statistics for 2021

Since the concept of affiliate marketing emerged, it continues to be a productive source of income for online content creators. It’s a fact that it’s harder to make money these days than in the early days of affiliate marketing. However, the numbers show that this market continues to grow, still allowing to make big dollars with the right strategies.

Affiliate Marketing Market Grows 10% Per Year on Average

In the USA alone, the amount spent on affiliate marketing at the end of 2020 has exceeded 7 billion dollars. This growth rate refutes the arguments of those claiming that affiliate marketing has reached saturation point.

85% of Consumers Do a Google Search Before Purchasing Any Product or Service

The biggest force driving the continuation of the growth trend of affiliate marketing is the very attempt of consumers to reach detailed and objective information before purchasing a product or service. This is where content producers come into play. Content that is not produced by the brand itself is much more believable to consumers.

Affiliate Marketing Conversion Rates Between 0.5% and 1%

Conversion rates are critical numbers for the digital marketing world. The conversion rate of almost every digital marketing instrument decreases over time. Conversion rates provided by advertising are now referred to as one-thousandths. At this point, affiliate marketing has a much higher conversion rate compared to other digital marketing techniques. This ratio makes affiliate marketing an attractive tool for advertisers.

9-Year-Old Ryan Kaji Earned $29.5 Million From His YouTube Channel in 2020

9-year-old Ryan Kaji, one of the most significant sensations of the internet in recent times, earned $29.5 million in 2020 from his YouTube channel, where he produces content for children. A large part of this income was achieved through agreements with brands.

Retail Industry Makes 43% of Affiliate Marketing

The retail sector witnessing the highest sales figures on a unit basis is the biggest player in the affiliate world. The information need of consumers while shopping in this sector is what primarily leads to this large share.

Affiliate Marketing, the Biggest Source of Income For Websites with Low Number of Visitors

Studies have shown that websites with an average of less than 5,000 unique visitors per month have difficulties generating revenue from advertising models. In return, they can generate income from affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is an essential source of income, especially for micro-influencers producing content in a limited area, thus appealing to a limited target audience.

18.70% of Affiliate Revenues Come from Fashion Products

Fashion products have a significant share in the online retail industry, also echoing in affiliate marketing statistics. Fashion products are followed by sports and outdoor products with 14.8% and health and wellness products with 11.30%.

AI Will Play a Big Role in the Future of Programmatic Advertising

We’ve been hearing about the concept of AI a lot over the last few years. Many industries use AI to increase efficiency. Advertising will inevitably be among the industries that use AI. Within this industry, programmatic advertising is the most apt to use AI to increase effectiveness.

Personalized Content, Tailored Advertising

When we sit in front of a computer or pick up our mobile phone outside of our working hours, the thing we do most is to consume content. But here’s a fact: Most of the content on websites is of no interest to us. We do the job of filtering the content that interests us.

From this point of view, we can say that the adventure of most publishers in digital media does not go beyond digitizing printed materials. The technology needed for a more personalized consumption of content is now available. Some startups are working on real-life applications of these technologies.

AI plays a huge role in customizing content. Considering advertising is also a form of content, AI will play a major part in customizing the advertisement shown to each user.

Oh, Those Cookies…

Although Google postponed the steps to be taken regarding cookies, it did not cancel its plans at all. Blocking third-party cookies will one day become a reality, and today it is a significant obstacle ahead of the concept of personalization, which is heavily dependent on cookies.

In a future where data resources will be limited, AI, which can make predictions by analyzing the user’s content consumption within a website or application, may become the focus of personalization efforts. Predicting the user’s behavior streams with NLP techniques can ensure that the right ads are displayed, without relying on third-party cookies.

Less Money, More Impact

One of the areas where AI will be effective is budgeting. Calculating the actual value of an ad space is quite a complex task. It is almost impossible to do this manually, especially in an area where things like programmatic advertising are progressing very quickly. AI can help media buyers with this. By continuously calculating the ROI, AI can ensure that the most efficient ad spaces are paid the lowest amounts.

Ad Creatives Can Also Be Personalized

Semantic web technologies are developing. We now talk to digital assistants like Siri or Google Assistant almost every day. When semantic technologies are used together with AI developed for advertising, creating highly effective ad texts can no longer be magic. In this way, instead of showing the most relevant ad to the user in an ad pool, personalized ads can be produced for the user in real-time.

Affiliate Marketing Tips for Publishers in 2021

Affiliate marketing has become one of the primary sources of income for original content creators online. However, as the number of people creating content increases, competition also increases. In order to get efficiency from affiliate marketing projects, it is a must to stand out in this competition.

Don’t Be Limited to a Single Channel

In the early days of affiliate marketing, there were only blogs. Major affiliate marketers also owned major blogs. But that changed as social media became the primary source of content consumption. Today, affiliate marketers have multiple content distribution channels.

Each content distribution channel has its unique audience and dynamics. Thanks to these channels, communicating more effectively with wider audiences is possible. Therefore, do not limit yourself to a single communication channel and try to be present on as many platforms as possible.

Be Specific

You may have heard of the word “micro-influencer.” Micro-influencers, who are experts in a specific field, have recently attracted advertisers’ attention. Although micro-influencers reach a low number of people, their ability to persuade their target audience makes them valuable for advertisers.

Especially if you are a newcomer to the world of affiliate marketing, you can choose micro-influencing to climb the stairs faster. If you have an area of expertise where you think you can produce valuable content, it would be wise for you to take this way.

Be Professional

If you see affiliate marketing as your business, be professional and use the techniques and tools that professionals use.

It is crucial to monitor your content performance constantly. You can use many tools, particularly Google Analytics, to see which content your target audience approaches positively. Keep track of the number of interactions you receive on your social media posts.

It would also be wise to invest some money in your communication channels. You can expand your reach by advertising your website or social media channels. However, in order to spend your advertising budget wisely, you must master the advertising tools.

Be Selective

Being successful in affiliate marketing takes more than just creating quality content. The product or service you are promoting should also be attractive to your target audience. So be selective about what you promote. Promoting products or services that will be of no interest to your target audience will reduce your target audience’s interest in you over time.

Evaluate the sales performance of the products and services you promote through different channels. Check out what’s being said on social media about these products and services. If your overall impression is positive, get to work. But if you have doubts, stay away.

Third-Party Cookies Are Still Here (For a Time At Least)

On June 24, Google released a statement stating that it was delaying policy changes it plans to make for third-party cookies. The deadline for the transition period, which is expected to be completed in March 2022, has been extended to the end of 2023.

Google cited the reason for this change as “to allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services”. However, it is known by everyone that one of the biggest reasons for this delay is the problems Google has with the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which it sees as an alternative to third-party cookies.

What is FLoC?

FLoC is a system that enables the display of interest-based advertisements without sharing user IDs with advertisers in any way. The user’s browsing history will be evaluated by the browser and assigned to the user cohorts. During this process, the privacy of the user’s browsing history will be protected, and this data will not be shared with anyone in whatsoever way.

What Is the Problem?

Google is not alone in this move. Another giant of internet advertising, Apple, has taken important steps to block third-party cookies. These steps taken by the advertising giants will cause very few companies to collect user data, thus causing these companies to dominate the digital advertising market permanently.

What Will Happen Now?

As we said, Google is not the only one with an agenda for blocking third-party cookies. Other companies, national and international organizations are also interested in this issue. On the other hand, Google also delayed this change for a while. So not much has changed for advertisers and publishers. They just have more time to adapt to the new system.

Blocking third-party cookies does not only affect advertising. This change also complicates the operation of systems that offer personalized experiences to the user.

As nothing has changed as a result, advertisers and publishers need to continue to develop systems that need to get rid of dependencies on third-party cookies. With the latest developments, they have had more time for that too.

The concept of first-party data has become very important. Publishers, in particular, will need to develop new strategies to create and use this data in a meaningful way. In this regard, we can say that the importance of AIs capable of content analysis will rise in the coming period.

Providing a good user experience will also be beneficial for publishers. A personalization experience that makes a difference can get publishers more registered users. On the other hand, the steps to be taken by DSPs in the field of contextual advertising will also help solve the cookie crisis.

In conclusion, if you are on the side affected by this crisis, you need to know that nothing has actually changed. You just have more time to perfect the changes you plan to make.

Is Contextual Advertising the Next Big Thing in Advertising (Again)?

Contextual advertising has been on the agenda of online marketers lately. Undoubtedly, the biggest reason for this is the regulations that both brands and governments have brought one after another in the field of user data privacy. It seems that contextual advertising will be a hot topic in the new media buying world to emerge after these regulations.

What is Contextual Advertising?

It’s pretty simple. Contextual advertising is ads that are displayed based on the context the target audience is in. It’s like seeing a cooker ad on a recipe website.

Contextual advertising focuses on the context of the user rather than who the user is. In this way, the need for demographic and psychological data of the user to show the right ad is eliminated.

Is Contextual Advertising Something New?

No. If you’ve been in internet advertising for more than a decade, you know that the answer to that question is no.

Contextual advertising has been used for years in all media, not just online ads. However, thanks to the recent development of user tracking techniques, advertisers have moved away from contextual ads.

Why Advertisers Moved Away from Contextual Ads

Advertisers have moved away from contextual advertising because cookie-based behavioral ad models outperform contextual ad models. However, it is not possible to say that contextual advertising has wholly disappeared.

Brands that specifically own a particular niche continued to be customers of contextual advertising. For example, most of the ads for sports betting brands are still published on sports-related websites.

What are the Advantages of Contextual Advertising?

Contextual advertising has many advantages, including the following.

Less dependency on User Data

Contextual advertising can be a solution to the cookie problem, which is the biggest problem faced by advertisers in the current period. Since the targeting in contextual advertising is based on the context, not the behavioral data of the user, the dependency on cookies that create data privacy problems is reduced.

High Relevance

Behavioral targeting can often cause us to see unrelated ads. It’s weird to see an ad for diapers on a website we visit to read news about the latest model cars.

Contextual targeting doesn’t have such problems. Since the ad impressions are made according to the media they are in, the ads are relevant to the content.

Less Ad Fatigue

One of the biggest disadvantages of behavioral advertising is that it shows the same ad to the same user over and over. In behavioral targeting, although the same ad is shown to the user repeatedly, ad fatigue is reduced because these ads are related to the content that the user is consuming.

If Contextual Advertising Didn’t Work in the Past, Why Should It Work Today?

This is a question that is probably on the agenda of anyone who sees contextual advertising as an alternative to behavioral targeting these days.

We mentioned that contextual advertising had performance issues in the past. The biggest reason for this was that the technology of the period made it necessary to place the ads manually. This was a huge problem for publishers with large inventories of ad space. Therefore, the performance optimization of the ad spaces could not be fully performed.

Today, with the development of AI technologies, it is possible to overcome this problem. Thanks to an AI that can better detect the content, and therefore the context, more accurate ad impressions have become possible.

Google Might Be a Problem

Contextual advertising has a major obstacle to re-popularity: Google.

Since February 2020, Google has removed the ability for advertisers to target by content category. It is possible to say that Google wants the behavioral targeting models dominated by it to continue.

Although Google dominates the world in behavioral targeting, the same does not go for contextual advertising. Many alternative DSPs are developing strong products in this area where Google is weak.

To Summarize…

We’re sure to talk more about contextual targeting models in the coming months. It is helpful to closely follow the developments in AI technologies working in the field of content analysis and the position that Google will take.