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7 min read

Impression Picks – Digital marketing roundup April 2024

This article was updated on: 30.04.2024

Welcome to April’s edition of Impression Picks. This digital marketing roundup serves as some food for thought, brought to you by Impression’s experts and the wider marketing community. Each month, we will highlight an interesting article, share a helpful insight and explore a campaign that’s caught our attention.

Article: Why building links with digital PR is hard — and that’s OK! 

Imposter syndrome is a real issue in the Digital PR industry with a whopping 91% of us admitting to struggling with it at some stage in our careers. Many of us have experienced moments where we doubt our abilities and feel like we’re falling short in our careers. It’s important to acknowledge that Digital PR is hard, and it’s perfectly normal to encounter difficulties along the way.

As Digital PRs, we are constantly challenged to navigate a rapidly changing media environment, resulting in frequent pivots and adaptations to stay ahead of both media trends and competitors.

This ever-changing media landscape can lead us to self-doubt and uncertainty about whether our actions are ‘right’. What might be considered a successful campaign or a compelling headline can quickly be perceived differently in the next moment. 

Social media often portrays Digital PR in a misleadingly, effortless light, showcasing only successes and overlooking the behind-the-scenes efforts. Failed campaigns rarely make the highlight reel, creating an illusion that Digital PR is a straightforward process of data collection, press release drafting, and journalist outreach, leading to a flood of high-domain authority links. But it’s important to recognise that an awful lot of experience, skill, knowledge, timing, and even chance is required each time a digital PR link is built.

As the article discusses, 75% of us are encountering greater challenges in building links through digital PR. Among these challenges, 42.9% identify outreach as the toughest aspect, while 39.7% highlight ideation and campaign ideas as particularly challenging. I would agree that these aspects are especially demanding. Outreach encompasses more complexity than meets the eye – requiring an understanding of journalists’ preferences, knowing who to target, crafting attention-grabbing subject lines, and tailoring press releases to varying audiences – all of which can be difficult tasks. Complicating matters further is the fact that no two journalists, PR professionals, or publications have identical preferences or requirements.

Is the answer using AI to make PR easier?

Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag depending on how you leverage it. When used effectively, AI can serve as an incredibly versatile tool for streamlining various tasks within PR. Some beneficial uses include aiding data analysis, grammar checking, UK-to-US localisation, headline generation, and idea prompting.

AI shouldn’t be utilised in PR as a means to respond to platforms like Response Source and HARO for link-building purposes. As the article suggests, imagine being a journalist seeking expert opinions only to receive an overwhelming flood of untrustworthy automated responses from ChatGPT. It’s almost certain that 99% of these responses would be virtually identical, as they originate from the same prompt input into ChatGPT. 

So if you’re currently struggling with imposter syndrome or you’re feeling disheartened by a campaign that hasn’t gained the traction you anticipated, know that you’re not alone. As the article highlights, the majority of PR professionals share the sentiment that link-building is becoming increasingly challenging. The key lies in adapting, testing, learning, and embracing opportunities for learning and growth. If you are struggling with the growing challenges of Digital PR, and are looking to build high-quality output and links, experts and experience are crucial.

Article reviewed by digital PR strategist Emma Carstairs. Read the full article here on Moz.

Insight: AI is changing the way we approach contextual targeting in Programmatic

With Google committing to the depreciation of third-party cookies in late 2024 2025, marketers need to consider alternative approaches to reach their audiences, and the development of AI-powered contextual targeting offers a solution. Unlike behavioural targeting, which needs to access user data to reach audiences, contextual targeting infers interest through the content that the audience is engaging with without reliance on their data. For example, this could be ads for football boots in a news article about sports or it could be ads for clothing on a fashion blog.

Historically, contextual targeting has been a labour-intensive process to produce extensive lists of prescriptive keywords, however, the introduction of contextual AI has made this much more straightforward and sophisticated. There are now AI tools out there for Programmatic advertisers to test and we’ve collated a couple of our favourites for you below along with some insights as to why they are so important in the current media landscape. 

Let AI do the heavy lifting with Stackadapt’s Page Context AI

Leveraging StackAdapt’s machine learning and AI, Page Context AI is a useful tool for reaching your audience in the exact moment where intent is the highest. 

This tool can be used to define the context of your campaign using in/out of context terms as prompts. Once your prompts have been entered, StackAdapt’s patented algorithm will then decide the most appropriate site or publisher for your ads to appear on. Onsite content is constantly optimising and changing to better fit browser algorithms. Page Context AI recognises this and is continuously recomputing and scanning all onsite content for relevant keywords to keep your campaigns evergreen alongside an evolving media landscape 

A recent case study, by StackAdapt, comparing a Page Context AI performance compared to retargeting in the healthcare industry found that 76% of the campaigns with Page Context AI outperformed the other targeting methods with CPAs that were 50% lower.

Take a content-level approach to contextual targeting with Verity™

GumGum’s proprietary tool Verity™ scans onsite text, image, audio and video just like a user would when scrolling through a site. Using both computer vision and natural language processing,  the most appropriate ad placements are then determined. This unique ability to analyse digital environments in their entirety onsite, makes it an invaluable solution for efficient contextual targeting in a cookieless future.   

Dentsu Aegis Network conducted a study that compared Verity™ to behavioural targeting. It was found that Verity™ targeting delivered a 48% lower cost per click than the behavioural targeting used and was 1.7x more accurate at reaching the relevant audience. 

As we move towards a cookieless future, contextual targeting will only continue to grow in importance so you should already be considering using some of the AI tools available to efficiently target the most relevant audiences, at scale. Not only do the solutions explored protect against the coming changes, but can also lead to performance enhancement compared to current strategies.

Insights shared from programmatic expert Jake Shaw.

Campaign: Asics X Mind Mental Health Charity “Little Reminders

Sportswear company Asics has again partnered with Mental Health Charity Mind to reveal its new campaign “Little Reminders”.

According to Asics, recent research has found that 63% of adults primarily exercise for physical gains, whereas 77% of children engage in physical activity for fun. Bringing this statistic to life, their new campaign aims to shift our focus on body changes, to moving the body for fun and prioritising the emotional benefits of exercise. 

The video campaign is divided into three short sections. The first sees adults sitting down and being asked why they exercise. All of the answers have one thing in common, exercise is done to change the way they look. 

The same question is then asked to children, who highlight that moving their body makes them feel energetic and most importantly, it makes them feel good. In a heartwarming moment, the last part of the campaign shows the adults hearing the children’s answers, seen to reflect and have a positive emotional reaction to this difference in mindset. 

In reality, this campaign is really simple. It cleverly plays into the innocence of children and how as adults, viewers can all relate to the fun and joy of being a ‘carefree’ child. 

The video is calm and focused allowing the viewer to focus on what is actually being said. This calm atmosphere highlights the contrast between adults’ seriousness and children’s lightheartedness, amplifying the importance of not taking things too seriously. Even the children have picked up on the fact that moving their body is good for their mind. This perfectly underlines Asics’ vision of ‘sound body x sound mind’, making the partnership between Asics & Mind natural, relevant and aligned.  

What I like about this campaign is that it makes you stop and think. Why do you exercise? Personally, it did remind me to think back to my childhood in which movement of my body was never associated with any physical gains, but just fun. ⛹️‍♀️

My favourite quote from this campaign that I might have to remind myself of more – “adults take it too seriously”

Campaign reviewed by Laura Arens

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