In order to measure the fiscal health of a company, businesses must measure key performance indicators (KPIs). One critical measurement is determining the cost to acquire one new paying customer. For subscription base companies this model is known as cost per registration (CPR), or cost per acquisition.
The New York Times is in the media industry. In a simplistic model, the media outlet sells subscriptions as one of its revenue streams. For every subscription that the Times sells, some money is spent to cover the cost of advertising. Their net gain is the amount spent on advertising subtracted from the funds raised by the new subscriptions purchased.
No business can avoid this cost. To stop all advertising is to lose subscribers. Subscriptions cannot be attained without advertising. Yet, if there is no reliable consumer base, the Times cannot afford to spend money on ads.
Casual readers who have not purchased a subscription cannot be counted upon as a revenue source. Their inconsistency does not allow them to be relied upon for long-term sales. However, they can be persuaded to become subscribers. Special promotions that are tailored to their situation or lifestyle will increase subscription sales.
For example, repeat visitors to the Times’ website could be re-targeted for a free trial to the print version of the paper. If enough of these readers decide to continue with the service, the Times will have made more money in the long run. Or, existing subscribers could receive a discount flyer for the New York Times’ weekend edition. The revenue lost by giving a discount will hopefully be negated by a wave of new subscriptions.
A careful balance between advertisements and subscribers is the only way to maintain a successful, profitable business. If properly organized, any additional costs taken on in this model will be negated through sales revenues.
As consumers change the way they interact with brands, so do the advertising strategies that market those brands. The most common model of advertising is still Cost Per Mille (CPM), in which the advertiser pays the publisher per every thousand impressions (viewings) the advertisement gets. Unfortunately, this model is becoming outdated. We’re bombarded with thousands of advertisements and brand exposures every day, all competing for our attention. With that said, the average person actively interacts with only 12 of those ads.
What is Cost Per Engagement Advertising?
Cost Per Engagement (CPE) is a combination between Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and Cost Per Click (CPC) models of advertising. In CPA, the advertiser only pays the publisher when their ad leads to a sale (or acquisition). CPC works by paying per click on the advertisement. CPE acts as a hybrid between these two models, in which the advertiser pays per engagement with the advertisement.
Engagement refers to any active interaction with an ad. What counts as an interaction varies from advert to advert, and can be anything from pressing the pause button on an advertisement video to typing out a word.
Why use Cost Per Engagement Advertising?
- CPE motivates users to interact with your brand instead of merely passively glancing at it. Whether the interaction is answering a question or sharing a post on social media, you can be sure that they’ve recognized and connected with your advertisement on some level.
- CPE delivers accountability that other models cannot give. It guarantees you (the advertiser) that the user has interacted and connected with your brand, with no ambiguity.
- CPE ensures that you get your money’s worth. By paying per engagement, you can be sure that you’re getting value for publishing your ad. If users aren’t interacting, you don’t pay.
In essence, the publisher is offering something valuable to the user in return for their interaction with your advertisement. Hulu, for example, offers users the ability to watch their favorite television series for free in exchange for watching 90 seconds of commercials. This is a particularly attractive deal when considering broadcast networks show an average of 13 and a half minutes of ads per hour.
CPE advertising can be highly effective, especially when paired with audience targeting. By finding the right publisher and efficiently targeting your audience, you can reach users in an innovative way that counteracts the selective attention of consumers.
A brand is often thought to be synonymous with a business’s logo — the image that makes the company recognizable to the consumer. But a brand is far more than that. It represents a relationship between the customer and the company’s product or service. While the logo might remind a consumer of the company, it simply initiates an interaction between the consumer and the brand, the same way a photo of an old friend might stir certain emotions.
Many consumers have a strong brand relationship with the Apple Corporation. Their logo, a drawing of a piece of fruit, might remind them of the company, but it may also inspire emotions such as trust or dependency. Many Apple users will use nothing but Apple products because they don’t trust other technology companies with the same absoluteness that they do Apple.
A company brand is a living relationship that exists between the consumer and the business.
It is fluid and dynamic, constantly ebbing and flowing in response to the interactions between the consumer and the business. Just like a relationship between two people, it can be affected positively or negatively dependent upon communication and engagement between the two parties.
Strong brand loyalty is key to creating this relationship and nurturing the brand. Here are a few tips for building a strong brand:
- Develop and advocate your company values. This is central to creating an identity and personality for your brand. Customers aren’t going to develop an emotional attachment to a sales pitch; creating a mission, and a purpose within your industry gives personality to your business to which consumers can relate.
- Be consistent. Your customer should know exactly what they’re going to get when they interact with your business. Your voice, values, appearance, and product or service should be the same across all platforms. Unreliability and inconsistency can cause frustration and tension in the relationship.
- Be authentic. Consumers are extremely sensitive to authenticity and transparency. They’re skeptical of advertisements, so being genuine and honest in your interaction with customers goes a long way.
- Get to know your consumer audience. Any relationship is a two-way street. Having a conversation with customers and getting to know their expectations, priorities, and values will help them feel appreciated.
While the logo plays a part in forming the brand by creating a recognizable trait of the company, it’s a tiny role compared to the active, dynamic relationship that defines the brand as a whole.
In 2016, Google announced that they were releasing Instant Apps on Android devices. The feature became available on select devices in January this year, but it’s expected that it will be available on all Android devices very soon. The rollout will allow users to access certain apps without downloading them to their mobile device. This new feature has caused a lot of controversies — especially for app owners, who earn revenue from users paying for downloads. However, Instant Apps could also create new opportunities for marketers to reach a larger audience.
Instant Apps will work much like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in that the pages will pre-download content for a faster experience for the user. Content will download as the user approaches it, rather than the whole page loading in advance. This means users are more likely to stay on the app because they’re not waiting to interact with the content: 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.
This new feature will enable you to widen the top of your funnel and allow more users to interact with your app. An Instant App will act like a lite version of the pre-existing app, so new users who normally would not engage with your content get a taste of the full version and be encouraged to download it. Google also believes that the new feature will act as an “acquisition strategy” and boost downloads in the long run because the Instant Apps will be easily shareable. For example, by including a link to your app in an email campaign, users can engage with the app immediately without having to download it. There are fewer barriers between the user and your content.
Instant Apps could create both new opportunities and new complications for mobile marketers. Which way the scale leans will depend on how users interact with the new feature and how it will affect app downloads.
Click-Through Rates (CTR) are one of the most important pieces of data for measuring the success of your advertisements, but it can be confusing to interpret the numbers and apply them appropriately to your mobile app marketing and advertising campaign. Here’s a breakdown of what a CTR is and how you can maximize its use:
What is a click-through rate?
A CTR is the number of clicks that a pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement gets for every number of impressions (views). In essence, it tells you how many times your advertisement is viewed before someone clicks on it.
Why do click-through rates matter?
A higher CTR ultimately leads to lower costs for advertising. Google and other search engine platforms commonly offer lower prices for ads that offer a higher relevance to search engine users. Google, for example, determines the cost based on your Quality Score. The higher your quality score, the less you have to pay for a PPC advertisement.
How do click-through rates work?
What makes a CTR “good” really depends on your industry and the ad’s position, but overall, Google AdWords has an average CTR of 1.91% for search network and 0.35% for display network. With this in mind, your CTR should be as high as possible while still maintaining relevance.
How can I increase my click-through rate?
- Use targeted keywords. If a keyword isn’t relevant to your business, it could end up costing more money than it’s worth because your ad is leading to click-throughs but not conversions.
- Use visual content. Images and video boost engagement. In fact, research shows that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts click-through rates by 65%.
- Offer freebies. Consumers love free stuff, so promoting an offer like a significant discount off the price of a product is likely to increase CTR.
Click-through rates are used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI), used to evaluate performance against the market competition. It allows for an apples-to-apples comparison. Numbers can be tricky sometimes. To understand those numbers, it’s important to see your company’s marketplace performance from another angle.