Must-See Marketing of the Week: Airbnb gives away $1 million

Plus, Canada’s Top 10 social media advertisers

Online accommodations-sharing service Airbnb launched an eye-grabbing new social media campaign on January 1 with the ad above, announcing that it would give $1 million to 100,000 of its hosts:

San Francisco-based Airbnb is hoping to turn strangers into friends with its new global iniative, #OneLessStranger.
The online company, which allows hosts to rent their homes, apartments and spare rooms to travellers from around world, gave $10 to 100,000 Airbnb hosts, totaling $1 million. Airbnb is asking the hosts to use the money for “personal and creative acts of hospitality,” like making friendship bracelets to share with strangers or planting seeds in a community garden.

Read the rest: Airbnb seeks to rid the world of strangers with new initiative

Meanwhile, to wrap up 2014, Marketing worked with social metrics company Engagement Labs to rank Canada’s 10 most social advertisers of the year. In the top 10 are major retailers Hudson’s BayTarget Canada, and Walmart Canada, while the second spot went to beer brand Molson Canadian. Here’s why its social content rated so highly:

Molson’s content works because it’s high quality, but still feels social. The photos the brand shares are clearly art directed, but they match the style of user-generated content.

Find out Canada’s top social advertiser by checking out the full Top 10 at Marketing

Finally, BrightRoll founder and CEO Tom Sacerdoti contributed a column on steps businesses can take to fight marketing fraud and ensure that their messages are reaching real potential customers, not click farms and robots.

The problem is only getting worse as traffic fraud techniques and technologies become more sophisticated. Originally, fraudsters hired actual humans to click on search and display ads. But this approach required actual human interaction, which was expensive to scale, so they built scripts that simulated human clicks on ads. Today, the fake impressions business has grown more even more advanced with hidden and laundered impressions being sold to unsuspecting advertisers.

Sacerdoti has six pointers, including this helpful one:

2. Establish your target audience and verify that it’s been reached
Define your goals in terms of audiences rather than just numbers of impressions. Work with your agency to make sure these audiences are being specifically targeted. Verify that your ad has been shown to your target demographics. Use an impartial, independent third party such as comScore or Nielsen to verify that your target audience was actually reached.

Get the full list of steps to prevent digital fraud at Marketing