## #adwords and #programmaticbuying and #nativeadvertising

Okay, on Tuesday we’re going to talk  about the AdWords certification exam that you are going to take during exam week. Here are the basics. To be Google AdWords certified you need to pass the “AdWords Fundamentals” examination and one more of the other four (“Search Advertising“, “Display Advertising“, “Video Advertising” and “Shopping Advertising“). For this class, however, you have to take the “Search Advertising” exam as your second exam, so work on that and “AdWords Fundamentals” for Tuesday.

As I mentioned, these exams will be your take-home finals. You will need to send me screenshots of your scores no later than noon PST on Friday, March 18th. If you are wanting some extra credit to raise your grade, each additional exam you pass will increase your final grade.

I know from prior experience that passing these Google and HootSuite certification exams help people get jobs. But does passing the Google AdWords exam make you an expert. Some people say “No“.

Here’s a practice test, I found for the AdWords Fundamentals exam and check out this interesting Twitter account @iPassExamPPC. One more thing, Taylor Phillips told us that one of her go-to resources for PPC was a site called PPC Hero. Last year, they posted a blog entitled, “Taking a Look at the New Adwords Fundamentals Exam“. Some good tips in there. For your blog on Tuesday, write about what you’ve learned in studying the three modules of the AdWords Fundamentals and how you would apply this knowledge for a client.

On Thursday, we’re going to talk more about paid advertising, but going away somewhat from the PPC/SEM stuff we talked about this week. Specifically, we’re going to talk about programmatic ad buying and native advertising. First off, what is programmatic ad buying? Did that make any sense? Would you rather have it explained to you as if you were 8? Or how about a dummy? And check it out comScore is involved! Why do people think this is such a revolutionary thing?

The other part of paid that I want to talk about is native advertising. It’s the theoretically seamless integration of advertising into editorial content. Traditional publishing used to call this “advertorials”, but it’s getting a lot of buzz now in digital marketing. It’s a tricky subject, that can sometimes confuse the reader and even embarass the advertiser. Check out this screenshot I took of a native advertising piece about friend of the class Aseem Badshah.

Native advertising problem screen shot

As they should, Geekwire identified the piece has having been sponsored by Comcast. But check out the headlines on the left hand side of the page. Kinda weird, right? Makes everyone look bad, imho.

Podcasts are an interesting vehicle for native advertising and this article from the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review talks about it’s use in a new podcast called Startup. I’m a big fan of this podcast, it’s excellent. I recommend you listen to it from the beginning. But, for class on Thursday, please listen to Episode #9 – “We Made a Mistake”. It really illustrates one of the major potential pitfalls for native advertising.

So for your blog on Thursday, write about where you think paid advertising is going. The thing I find most interesting about this is programmatic and native advertising seem completely opposite. As more and more “premium” advertisers migrate their ad dollars to digital, what would you recommend they do?

Whew, that’s a lot, but have fun this weekend and don’t work “non-stop“.

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