Vertical-Specific Research Highlights Three Industries Showing Exponential Growth (And New Best Practices for Them)

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Advertisers across all verticals find success each day on Taboola, but a vertical-specific dig into the data shows vertical three in particular that have experienced exponential growth and success—the lifestyle, personal finance, and auto verticals.

Over the course of the past year, we analyzed the top advertisers within these verticals to determine what strategies enable them to continue increasing their spend and finding success.

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Campaign Strategy

Advertisers within the lifestyle, personal finance, and auto categories continue to strategically split campaigns by platform (i.e. desktop, tablet and mobile). They do this for several reasons:

1. The user experience on each platform is different

A consumer on their mobile device may be on the go, multi-tasking, or simply not in prime “buying mode,” whereas somebody on a desktop device is much more stationary and may be either at home or at their office.

People in these two different scenarios are inherently in different mindsets, and should be advertised to accordingly.

2. CPCs (Costs Per Click) are different on each platform

Desktop and tablet CPCs are within the same range ($.50 – $.60 to start) while mobile CPCs are often cheaper ($.25 to start).

If all platforms were added into the same campaign, then all impressions and traffic would go to mobile, since it has the cheapest CPC and source of traffic.

But who’s to say that mobile would be the better performer?

Splitting up the campaigns by platform allows advertisers to A/B test and learn which platform is truly the top performer for them.

Two things to keep in mind:

  • Desktop and tablet are combined here since the user experiences and CPCs are very similar
  • “All Platforms” in one campaign is usually done for retargeting campaigns because re-engaged audiences are proven to be highly qualified users and will convert regardless of the platform they’re on.

Creative Strategy

For advertisers in the aforementioned verticals, the right creative strategy is consistently one of the most important elements of their success. Their creatives (images, headlines, and landing pages) act as the driving force for a consumer’s actions and intent.

Here’s what we’ve seen advertisers do to build out an effective and successful creative strategy.

  • Use the Taboola Trends tool to review real-time data of top performing keywords and images across geos and verticals and the Title Analyzer tool to predict the CTR for their headlines.

1. Image Strategies by Vertical:

Lifestyle

In the lifestyle vertical, images with female subjects (in non-stock photos) tend to be top performers indicating that lifestyle consumers respond well to genuine and relatable imagery.

Personal Finance

In the personal finance category, stock photos of people smiling, shopping, and out at restaurants as well as any visual depictions of the stock market or financial advisors tend to be top performers.

Auto

In the auto vertical, images of cars with a lifestyle backdrop (i.e. on the road, in the mountains, around snow or beach, etc.) are clear top performers. Additionally, more engagement tends to come from images of brightly colored and luxury cars.

2. Headlines Strategies by Vertical

Lifestyle

Top performing lifestyle headlines tend to contain clear CTAs, numbered lists, and compelling information that consumers have to click to learn more about.

Personal Finance

For personal finance, headlines perform better when they mention a specific offer or tout the benefits and financial gains a consumer can find post-click. It’s also important to note that top performers are backed by research from a credible finance institution.

Auto

Across the auto vertical, headlines perform better when they include a number list or language that pre-qualifies the consumer for the post-click experience.

3. Landing Page Strategies by Vertical

Lifestyle

For lifestyle advertisers, the most successful landing pages contain customer testimonials, and clearly displayed lead form and sign-up buttons to drive user engagement, intent, and sign-ups.

Personal Finance

In the personal finance vertical, the top performing landing pages range from offering a straightforward sign-up CTA like a credit card offer all the way to an advertorial with resource-backed financial information.

Video with pause, rewind, and fast forward buttons as well as a text transcript of the video are indicators of high performance, too.

Auto

For auto advertisers, the most successful landing pages include standard e-commerce product pages, more content-driven blog posts, or image search feeds.

Audience Targeting

Putting strategy behind audience targeting can work really well in tandem with the campaign strategies mentioned above.

3rd Party Audiences

Our partnerships with a plethora of data providers allows advertisers to apply very granular audience segments to their campaigns so they can hone in on that audience to get higher CTRs and CVRs.

They try to layer on as many segments as possible with the largest user pool size since each data provider sources their data differently and they don’t want to reach the same user every time despite the segment being the same and from a different provider.

Here are the types of audience segments being used for the aforementioned verticals.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle advertisers will often use segments pertinent to the audience of ‘shoppers’

Personal Finance

Personal finance advertisers will often use segments pertinent to an age group, household income, interests in investing, etc.

Auto

Auto advertisers will often use segments related to interests in automobiles or automobile related products as well as purchase behaviors.

Building Your Own Audiences

Building audiences can be done via the Taboola Pixel and advertisers in these verticals find success using it for retargeting purposes to re-engage users who may have dropped off from their funnel.

Lifestylepersonal finance, and auto advertisers often create their own audiences such as All Website Visitors, Add-to-Carts, Sign-ups, Confirm Payment, etc. customized to suit their targeting goals.

Retargeting campaigns on the Taboola platform generally see a 45% decrease in CPA and a 230% increase in CTR rendering it a valuable and critical strategy for an advertiser.

Run of Network

This strategy entails not layering on any audience segments into the campaign. This campaign tactic is very effective because it allows the algorithm to work its magic and analyze the signals it has to ensure their ad is served to the right user and at the right time.

This is a great strategy because it allows advertisers to bid at a 30% lower CPC and find audiences they may have never thought would have engaged with their ad, product, or brand.

Budgets & CPCs

Advertisers in these verticals understand that budgets & CPCs can fluctuate every quarter based on seasonality and the activity of their competitors.

For example, in Q4 they might expect to bid higher with their CPCs and set higher budgets due to the increase in advertising and competition around the holiday season.

This would then lead to Q1 where they decrease their budgets and CPCs since the holiday season has passed.

Average CPCs and Budgets

Lifestyle

  • CPCs: $.50 – $1 (Enterprise advertisers); $.10 – $.20 (all others)
  • Daily Budget: $10K – $30K
  • CTR: .10 – .25%
  • CPA Goal: $10 – $20 (varies by advertiser)

Personal Finance

  • CPCs: $1.50 – $3 (Fortune 500 advertisers); $.20 – $.60 (all others)
  • Daily Budget: $15K – $30K
  • CTR: .05 – .20%
  • CPA Goal: $200 – $500 (varies by advertiser)

Auto

  • CPCs: 15-35 (search advertisers) .25-$1 all others)
  • Daily Budget: $50- $10k
  • CTR: >.10 (search) .05-.20 (all others)
  • CPA Goal: $1- $5 (for search) $50-200 (others, varies by advertiser)

Optimize Campaigns

Due to the large scale budgets these lifestyle, personal finance, and auto advertisers run on Taboola they’re constantly reviewing data and implementing the following optimizations and strategies.

Optimizing on a Site Level

The most successful advertisers increase, decrease, or even block publishers to ensure their goals are being met. If a CPA is too high, they lower the CPC on the publisher to bring down the CPA.

If the CPA is lower than their goal, then there’s room to scale by increasing the CPC on a particular publisher.

Day-parting

Some of these advertisers will set up a strict schedule as to when their campaigns can run so they can spend their budget efficiently during the top performing hours where their CPAs can be within their goal or even lower.

A/B Test Creatives

After running for some time, these advertisers begin to see which creatives are top performers for them.

This provides them some actionable insights into the types of headlines and images that are doing well and hypothesizing the reasons for their success so they can mimic that same strategy when they implement a creative refresh.

As you can see from our top performing categories, much of what these advertisers are doing are effective strategies that all advertisers can essentially adopt and quickly implement.

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