The line between online and offline marketing is blurring, and the methods and tools used to promote products and services in one space are becoming more applicable in the other.
From email marketing and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to Google Ads, co-branding, and more, here’s a guide to incorporating brand safety into your marketing strategy.
Focus On Consumers’ Mental Images
In an ideal world, branding and advertising would be two completely separate activities, but in the real world, they’re closely linked.
When a brand creates advertising, whether online or offline, they’re doing so with the intent to reach consumers. While crafting an effective advertising message is important, the brand’s overarching goal is to catch the attention of potential buyers.
From radio ads in the ’20s to billboards in the ’50s to TV commercials in the ’70s, branding historically meant plastering your product in as many places as possible.
In today’s world, with the rise of social media, consumers are learning to tune out a lot of advertising.
Instead of simply reacting to advertising, with consumers now often having a say in the matter, marketers are learning to adapt their approaches, seeking ways to gain consumers’ attention in other ways.
Make Sure Your Ads Are Correct
The line between editorial and advertising gets blurred, and even content creators can get into trouble if they don’t adhere to decent advertising practices.
While journalists’ main goal is to report the news accurately and fairly, advertisers must ensure their ads follow the same quality guidelines.
Sometimes, inaccurate or misleading ads are published by mistake, but advertisers will often use all sorts of tricks to push their products.
Even the most reputable companies can get away with dubious practices if they target the right audience.
Whether or not you’re intentionally trying to mislead consumers about your product, your Google Ads can be banned if you don’t adhere to Google’s Advertising Principles.
Make sure you’re not violating any of Google’s policies and that your ads are up to date with the latest Google Advertising Features. This is especially important if you’re running paid ads, as they can sometimes look slightly different than organic content.
The Rise Of Digital Advergaming
We’re all aware of the dangers of online vigilantes, or “trolls,” but until recently, many more people were unfamiliar with the term “advergaming.”
Basically, what happens is an online troll, also known as a “shark,” seeks to profit from tricking or manipulating others, typically through financial gains, political influence, or fame.
Letting a shark into your ecosystem isn’t necessarily a terrible idea, as long as you understand the risks.
While trolls do exist, people use game mechanics to deceive others and more of today’s harassment is carried out. Take the game “Cloak and Dagger.”
You’ll quickly discover that it’s all about deception and trickery when you play the game. Yet, despite all of the pitfalls, trolls, and devious game mechanics, many people still find the game fun to play.
While not inherently bad, advergaming must nonetheless be treated with the same caution as other forms of online trickery. Make sure you’re not being fooled, and scrutinize all claims and promises made by a potential partner.
Create A Safe Online Environment
The chances of a brand being damaged by false advertising or online harassment are extremely low, but it still happens. Sometimes, brands will face attacks from online trolls and digital extremists seeking to do them harm.
This is why creating a safe and secure environment for brands to operate within is essential. As with all other areas of online marketing, this environment must be protected by a firewall and monitored vigilantly.
The best way to do this is by creating a presence within multiple online platforms, ensuring that your brand is always available to your target audience when they need it.
By being present in different places, you can also mitigate any threats or accidents that may occur.
For example, if a cybercriminal manages to steal your credit card details, you’ll want to be able to report the crime to the credit card company as soon as possible. If the criminal uses your details to make online purchases, you can block them and notify the card company.
Use All The Tools At Your Disposal
As with any other part of marketing, being aware of cutting-edge trends is important, and ensuring your ads follow suit is integral to ensuring they’re effective.
You’re leaving potential if you’re not using the latest tools available to advance your brand’s cause.
Even though the tools above may not be specifically designed for advertising, many of them can be used quite effectively for that purpose.
Being on the ball is especially important to ensure brand safety. Having the right software and knowing how to use it efficiently is critical, and it’s important to be constantly reviewing and updating your knowledge base.
Organizing a team that’s constantly reviewing and analyzing ad performance is also essential, as any ad team member can flag potentially suspicious activity.
Lastly, staying away from fraudulent businesses or individuals is critical.
Unfortunately, scammers and spammers will always be around, seeking to make a profit from tricking or manipulating others, so being vigilant is of paramount importance whenever you’re engaging with people online.
Above all else, ensuring your brand is never compromised is essential. While the above tactics will greatly increase the likelihood of that occurring, it’s still possible.
If you keep all of the tips and tricks discussed here in mind, with some luck, your ads will be as effective as possible, and your brand will remain intact.
Importance Of Ensuring Brand Safety For Your Ads
You may be familiar with Google’s Brand Safety guidelines as a marketer. Maybe you see them reflected in your Google Ads reporting or are even aware that your ads may not be as safe as you think.
Do you ever wonder if Google will pop up with a warning message when someone clicks on your ad? Or, perhaps, their computer or device became infected with a virus, and they had to spend hours disinfecting it before they could use it again.
If you’re unsure what Google’s Brand Safety guidelines are, you may assume the latter, as there is no mistaking the pop-up message when someone clicks on your ad.
Brand Safety is all about ensuring that your ads are as safe as possible and minimizing the likelihood of a malignant message, such as a virus, being delivered to a person viewing the ads. This is especially important if the person happens to be less experienced or tech-savvy.