Category Archives: Online Marketing

Adblade Updates WordPress Plugin with Self-Service RTB

As Real-time Bidding and native become more closely intertwined in the ad tech world, Adblade is proud to announce its recently updated WordPress plugin. Publisher’s using the new and improved Adblade WordPress plugin will now have access to advertisers bidding across DPS including Zemanta, Stack Adapt, Pulse Point, PowerLinks and more. In addition to advertisements sold directly by Adblade’s sales team, publishers will now have access to these 3rd party RTB demand sources as well. Adblade’s plugin creates a larger ad marketplace with RTB bids coming in approximately 20-50% higher than less targeted bids. This means higher CPMs for publishers and it also means more in-content, highly targetable inventory for advertisers.

We’re very excited about the fusion of native and RTB and look forward to helping advertisers and publishers unlock their potential. WordPress publishers can download the plugin here.

Facebook and Google Revamp Policies and Features Against Fake News and Bad Ads

Facebook announced on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, that they are changing their “Trending” feature’s algorithm to combat the proliferation of fake news. The announcement was made on Facebook’s Newsroom blog by the VP of Product Management, Will Cathcart. Facebook’s Trending algorithm was first added to the site in 2014.

There were three updates that the social networking site talked about. One of them was how the Trending feature would look. Previously, the feature initially only showed a trending topic and if the user clicked on it, they would be taken to a “results page” that shows different posts and outside sources talking about the topic. Now, while the results page is still intact, Facebook Trending will feature the trending article’s headline underneath the topic, without having to go to a results page to see it. It will show the source of the article as well.

Facebook is also changing how the feature will curate trending articles. Instead of basing Trending on a user’s interests, the algorithm will be focused on trending articles in a geographic area. This is done in hopes that people in the same region, such as the U.S., will see the same news articles.

Their third update centers on the legitimacy of topics. Before the update, the algorithm simply chose articles that were shared the most by users. With the update in place, Facebook Trending will now choose news stories that were the most widely covered by news outlets.

Google has also gone after fake news. As we have discussed in a previous post, Google released a report on the 25th about the 1.7 billion bad ads they took down. In addition to the individual ads, they also banned around 200 publishers from AdSense that violated their updated misrepresentative content policy to crack down on publishers who knowingly accepted fraudulent ads.

Google Takes Down over One Billion “Bad Ads”

We’ve all seen those terrible ads leading to scammy sites pretending to be People, CNN, FoxNews, etc., and containing fake celebrity testimonials. On January 25, 2017, Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Product Management, posted on the company’s blog how they combatted against “bad ads, sites, and scammers” in 2016, touting a takedown of 1.7 billion ads. Spencer has attributed this success to two steps they took: policy change and technological advancements.

One type of ad that Google was hard-pressed to take down were “trick to click” ads. Often, these ads disguise themselves as system warnings in order to get users to click on them. In reality, clicking these ads have resulted in downloading malware. Spencer reported that Google took down 112 million of trick to click ads. Another type was clickbait ads, which they called “tabloid cloakers.” These are ads that take advantage of popular, viral news stories and present themselves as such. When a user clicks the ad, the user is not taken to a news site but is instead taken to a “bad site” that promotes some sort of product like weight-loss pills.

Google makes most of its money off advertising. While it may seem risky to tamper with their greatest earning factor, it makes sense in the long run. At Adblade, we take this issue seriously as well, and we call on all advertising platforms to ban the fake diet, wrinkle cream, Lotto and teeth whitening ads. By taking down bad ads, users will be able to have a better experience with Google and should help improve click rates over the long term by maintaining consumer confidence.

A Second Chance at a First Impression: How Native Advertising Can Reach Its Potential


Botching a first impression can make for a hard climb out of the doghouse. As far as first impressions go, native advertising gave consumers impressed them as much as chewing with your mouth open at dinner. When it first launched, native advertising had little-to-no regulation and fostered a natural distrust in its audience.

Sure, some transparent companies labeled their ad units as they should, but others, however, skirted around lax rules to avoid labeling their ad units all together.

On top of that, digital advertising already left consumers with a bad taste in their mouths thanks to overly intrusive banner ads interfering with the user experience in the early days of online marketing. In contrast, native advertising was crafted to fit organically in the environment its placed in so readers can continue to enjoy their stream of content, while not being bombarded with surprise ad attack.

The shame of it is that native advertising is beneficial to readers and advertisers alike;  there is a higher level of investment and creativity involved in native than other forms of advertising. And instead of the straightforward click-bait you see with banner ads, native advertising attempts to entertain and inform with its content. The nature of it is to engage the reader, not hard sell them on a product or special offer.

Here are three ways the industry can prompt the public to give native advertising a second look:

  1. Label them. Whether your ad is placed in an unit alongside other ads, or is a stand-alone one-off ad, labeling them is key. It’s been shown that the more you label your ads, the more qualified clicks they received. Not to mention unlabeled native ads posing as journalistic articles is one of the main reasons the tactic got a bad rap in the first place.
  1. Be transparent. You can’t rebuild trust without a commitment to absolute honesty and transparency. You have to let consumers know that they are about to read and interact with an ad; the more upfront you are about content, the better off you are long term. Pay close attention to the wording used in your ads to ensure that it doesn’t mask the fact it’s an ad or being sponsored. As for testimonials, make sure that it’s explicitly listed as a paid testimonials at the bottom of the ad.
  1. Treat paid studies the same way. Disclosure is key; absolute transparency also goes for any paid studies.

If consumers are really interested in your product, a paid study won’t be a problem. Think of it as if someone wants to date you — they likely won’t be deterred by the fact that your shirt is wrinkly. When rebuilding trust, there are no half measures. Advertisers, publishers ad networks and marketers must be forthright with consumers to help native advertising reach its potential.

The first impression is gone. Now, it’s time to show the audience why native advertising deserves another shot.

Is Your Native Advertising Ruled by Metrics That Matter?


Let’s face it: Most people would rather glance at vibrant images than trudge through a sea of copy. And savvy marketers are capitalizing on this universal truth.

Although brand marketers once raved that “content is king,” digital advertisers should think more along the lines of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” After all, research shows that social media users enjoy pictures more than any other type of post. Along with the growth of mobile, this stat should compel native advertisers to ramp up their visual advertising.

But with only an image and a limited number of characters, how do you successfully measure ROI for a brand?

Read the full article here.

Win Over Decision Makers With Smart Native Advertising



Native advertising is one of the fastest-growing tactics in the advertising industry — on track to hit $10.7 billion in 2015 and $21 billion by 2018.

While only 34 percent of B2B marketers took advantage of this paid advertising strategy in 2015, savvy brands like General Electric have planted a flag for B2B marketers by creating compelling, audience-appropriate native content. In addition to its GE Look Ahead blog on The Economist, the brand has created a segment on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and embraced in-stream advertising on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Information is a powerful tool for attracting decision makers’ attention — especially when it’s presented by a brand. But to succeed the way GE has, you must choose the perfect platform to tell your brand’s story and customize your approach to each environment.

Read the full article here.

Design the Perfect Call-to-Action

Call-to-ActionWhen designing your landing pages, emails, banners, etc., getting the user to perform an action is the most important objective for your page. You might be asking them to register for an email list, make a purchase, download an app, request a demo, or visit a website.  Whatever your goals, here are a few tips to get your users to perform whatever action you’re looking for: Continue reading

How brands can beat banner blindness (Excerpt)


By Ash Nashed – CEO of

The open secret of online display advertising is that 99 percent of ads are never clicked. Even the best messaging falls prey to banner blindness. While direct response advertisers are exploring new units and buying tactics to reach consumers, there are still lots of questions about what major brands can do to ensure their messages reach an online audience.

…. Read More

5 Amazing Tips to Make Your Content-Style Ads CLICK

Click-HereContent-Style ads (like Newsbullets) have become all the rage lately, with both brand and direct marketers looking to attract users to their site. These ads function a little differently than a traditional banner or search ads, and they have more components that can be tweaked to improve results.

• Use Eye Catching Photos – Our tracking studies have shown that your photo is the number one way of getting people to notice your ad. Make sure you choose one that stands out on a page. It could be something unique with lots of contrast in its imagery. If you chose people, have them looking into the camera and at the user. Make sure your photo strikes an emotional connection.

• Headlines That Entice – Your headline should feature your product’s or services’ biggest benefit. When writing it, try and elicit an emotional response from the reader. Use title case and numbers (5 versus five), when you can; it can increase click-through rates. Try asking questions to your readers, this can sometimes increase engagement.

• Fulfill What You Promise in Your Ad – Make sure that what your ad says is not greatly disconnected from what’s on your landing page. You might get a better click though rate by over-promising, but you’ll have greater abandonment on your site.

• Persuade but Don’t Sell – Try and take a soft sell approach in your ads. Leave the harder selling to your landing pages. Just make sure you still have a call to action in your ad, enticing users to act.

• Create & Test Multiple Ad Variations – This is the last tip, but the most important. Create a bunch of ads and do lots of testing. Have different people in your office think of different copy, and test it all. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised at what works best. Remember, many times, you are not your own target demographic for your product. What you think will work, may not. Be open to new ideas and perspectives.

4 Content Marketing Rules You Must Follow!

Content Marketing RulesMore and more companies are starting to use content marketing these days as larger part of their marketing efforts.  When done correctly, it’s been proven to be an effective marketing technique.  Just make sure to never forget to follow a few simple rules:

  1. Don’t Forget the “Marketing” in Content Marketing – It’s can be easy to write content that funny and entertains your customers, but remember not to forget your objective.  You are not a publisher for the sake of being a publisher but you are using content to market your product or service.
  2. Tell a Story – Your content needs to draw people in and engage them.  They aren’t going to share your content with their friends if its one big sales pitch.  It’s ok if you use soft sales pitches from time to time within your content, but remember to hook them in and encourage them to share your content with their friends.
  3. Target the Audience You’re Selling – You can’t be all things to all people.  Know the audience that’s buying your product and try to write exclusively to them.  Find out their likes and interests.  Survey your customers and figure out what makes them tick.  Once you’ve identified your audience, always keep them in mind when you’re writing.
  4. Educate Though the Sales Cycle – Depending on the level of complexity of your product, make sure you are educating your potential customers all along the sales cycle.  Talk to your sales team and echo the key points they discuss with potential customers on an initial phone call. Find out what they talk about in a first in-person meeting.  What are the most common questions asked right before the signing of a contract?Try and create content that addresses these issues and educates a customer.  Remember, these days, many customers want to use the Internet to answer their own questions even before they talk to anyone