Businesses are increasing marketing spending in a bid to stand out in highly competitive environments. As spend increases, executives and decision-makers must ensure that each dollar spent on marketing generates proportionate revenue for the business. 

Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that is regularly used by businesses to analyze marketing performance and determine future marketing strategies. However, understanding of CTR remains woefully inadequate. Read on to learn what CTR is and how analyzing it can help businesses achieve short- and long-term marketing success. 

What is CTR?

Businesses often track how many users view and interact with a particular ad or social media post. CTR is the metric used to measure the percentage of viewers who click the link embedded in that ad or post. CTR is used to determine how well an ad, keyword, or social media post is performing

CTR can easily be calculated by dividing the number of clicks that each ad receives by the number of impressions or views the ad has and representing that number as a percentage. For example, if 10 people click on an ad that was viewed by 100 people, the CTR of that ad would be 10%. 

Companies can evaluate their CTR against the performance of other ads from the same industry. For example, ads from companies in arts and entertainment average a CTR of 10.67%, while ads for legal services experience an average CTR of 3.84%. Knowing how your industry typically performs helps put your performance metrics in the right context to evaluate them accurately and effectively. 

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What marketers must know before they can effectively analyze Click-Through Rate

Higher CTR does not necessarily mean positive marketing results

Results generated by marketing efforts may seem difficult to measure, quantify, or link to specific business results. However, this is often due to a misunderstanding of how each metric reveals specific insight into marketing performance. 

Marketers must have specific goals and must choose the right metrics to evaluate if these targets are being met. Marketers who focus heavily on conversions might use CTR to view how effectively each ad is being used to increase visibility—but CTR does not measure how many of those clicks lead to conversions. 

Keywords are valued differently depending on their ability to directly generate profits

Keywords play a major role in the CTR of an online ad. The right keywords can encourage more clicks, higher conversions, and better engagement with the ad. However, every keyword has a unique value within each industry depending on how effective they are in generating profits, so marketers must carefully evaluate how keywords are valued in their specific industry. 

Industry research showed that marketers typically use keyword rankings, organic traffic, and time spent on the page in conjunction with CTR to measure the value of each keyword. This information can then determine how much of the budget should be spent on each set of keywords and how frequently they should be used in marketing campaigns. 

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CTR must be analyzed through the lens of affordability and relevance

CTR can provide significant insight into marketing performance for digital marketers. However, it should always be analyzed with the specific financial needs of the campaign. Even if an ad converts a customer, the profit generated by the customer must be higher than the amount of money the marketer spent to get that click. 

3 Ways to achieve consistently positive business results in an increasingly saturated online space

Segment keywords into groups to enable improved Audience targeting and segmentation

Businesses can use many keywords across different marketing campaigns and channels to better reach a wider audience. Each of these channels must be properly evaluated to truly understand their importance to the company. Marketing spending on each channel must accurately reflect its importance to marketers and their audience. 

Park ‘N Fly, an offsite airport parking company, used keyword segmentation and optimized paid-search spending to double their CTR to 6% from 3% the previous year with the use of Marin Professional. Effectively analyzing CTR helped them optimize spending across 65 campaigns that used 2,000 keywords across multiple channels and platforms. 

Ensure consistency in messaging across ad text, marketing collaterals, and landing page copy

Once you’ve figured out how each keyword performs, it’s important to use the same keywords to reach that audience effectively across different channels. This also ensures that the marketing message is not diluted or forgotten when viewed on platforms that deviate from the language that was determined to be effective. This consistency has to extend beyond ads to marketing collateral such as email blasts, promotions, and landing page copy. 

Regularly analyze the links between keyword usage and business results with modern attribution analysis methods

The modern customer demands that companies learn their preferences quickly and expects communication that aligns with their values, beliefs, needs, and preferences. This means marketers must always have their finger on the pulse to learn when customer preferences have changed. Attribution analysis can help businesses understand if their keyword usage and ad language have kept up with changing customer behavior and the extent to which certain keywords are still relevant to existing marketing campaigns. 

Manage your  ads with insights from MarinOne

Marin’s online ad management software makes it easy for marketers to learn how their ads are performing and place that information in the right context. Analyzing the yield generated by each keyword, ad, copy, and product can help marketers optimize their ad spend in a way that maximizes conversions and sales. 

Learn more about MarinOne today. Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can help you get the information and tools you need to increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Pay Per Click advertising is a great way to generate leads and sales, especially for new e-commerce businesses. It can help you get instant results, whereas something like an SEO strategy can take months. Some of the benefits of PPC advertising are:

  • Targeting prospective customers precisely based on location, demographics, interests, etc.
  • Tracking ad campaign goals is simple. 
  • It is easy to test what produces the best results quickly. You can A/B test keywords, headers, descriptions, etc.
  • Paid ads provide a wide range of formatting options compared to SEO through ad extensions.

As an e-commerce brand, you can maximize your ad spend and improve your conversion rate through proper PPC campaign management. The challenges and roadblocks e-comm companies face are distinctive from B2B companies or brick-and-mortar retailers. To help you improve your e-commerce PPC management approach and get the best performance marketing results possible, we have put together some optimization tips to support your efforts:

Tap into Targeted Dynamic Ads

Google allows you to target specific website pages that reflect the search intent of your users. Google does this by crawling your website for things such as text phrases, headlines, descriptions, and other custom labels. These are called dynamic search ads.

If you are an e-commerce website with many product pages, a blog, and landing pages for your downloads or newsletters, you might want to set up targeted dynamic ads.

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Google can crawl your website and automatically match the content to the PPC ad. Additionally, having an alternative to AdSense would help you set up dynamic ads based on different target types, custom labels, page types, content, or target URLs. An example of custom labels for different page URLs is shown below.

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Remember that you can upload an excel sheet with all your custom labels and other product tags. With dynamic search ads, you will generally want to stick to demand gen ads focused on accelerating sales and leads. 

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You should also split-test your headlines and descriptions to see which previews are best. For example, the image above shows a preview test of two different product descriptions.

Focus on Product Page Optimization

A product landing page for your paid search campaign is primarily designed to convert a lead. Your product pages should align with your PPC ads to reduce bounce rates and optimize conversions. 

On top of that, you’ll need social proof, compelling CTAs, and a fast-loading product page to convert most of the traffic coming in.

Let’s take the example of a keyword search for “IT solutions company,” and the Google ads pop up below. We click on the second “Freshservice” ad.

 

Clicking on this ad result takes us to the landing page in the next screengrab. This landing page does something effective; it provides social proof of the product (“trusted by global brands”) and has a strong CTA (“Get Started for Free” or “Request Demo.”)

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So, how do you optimize your product landing page? Here’s how: 

  • Use strong headlines, prominent call-to-actions, and an attractive design
  • Make your landing page mobile-friendly and easy to navigate
  • Add visuals showcasing your product
  • Utilize social proof on your landing page

The use of relevant keywords is encouraged on your landing page. But make sure to maintain optimal keyword density to avoid Google treating your content as spam.

Leverage Google Shopping Ads

Shopping ads appear at the top of organic search results, but they pack a little something extra. Shopping ads are more visual and can also be enriched using ad extensions. 

Both Google and Bing offer shopping ads. An example of Bing shopping ads is shown below.

Numerous industry case studies support the effectiveness of Google Shopping Ads in driving traffic and boosting conversions.

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You can optimize your Google Shopping Ads by applying the following useful tips:

  • Fill out completely your Google Merchant Center shopping product data feed - this should include descriptors like product ID, description, category, type, availability status, sale price, etc. 
  • Create different ad groups if you have a wide array of different products.
  • Create a separate ad group for your best-selling items.
  • Add promotional text to your shopping ads, such as “Get the Winter Sale Discount” or “Free shipping for all orders above $100”.
  • Use HD pictures and use catchy titles and descriptions for your ads.

You have a greater chance of moving products quickly with shopping ads. For example, if you are dealing with products with a shelf life, you can pull an inventory aging report for all your products and list at-risk products on Google or Bing shopping ads.

Choose Keywords That Align

Most PPC campaigns focus on growing leads and sales since this is where you get the most ROI for your advertising budget. Thus, you should conduct keyword research that aligns with the campaign that you are running. You might want to identify target transactional or commercial keywords for a sales campaign.

Some tactics you can use to identify and implement rich PPC keywords include:

  • Targeting long tail keywords with transactional search intent and low competition. 
  • Targeting affordable branded keywords of your competitors.
  • Conducting competitor analysis to identify their target keywords.
  • Create ad groups for your selected group of PPC keywords.

You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to get keyword ideas for your campaign. 

In the example below, a business is targeting the keyword “espresso machine.” From Ahrefs, it’s possible to know metrics such as the monthly search volume, long-tail variations of the keyword, etc. 

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Important metrics to note as you do your keyword research include CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate) for each keyword.

Finally, include negative keywords in your campaign to eliminate similar but irrelevant or non-performing keywords that could impact your ad spend.

Improve the CTRs of Your Ads

Click Thru Rate refers to the number of people clicking on your ad from the total number of impressions. 

For example, a CTR of 5% for 100 impressions would total five clicks. This might seem small. However, for an e-commerce click that costs, say, $1 per ad, a return of $20/item can be considered a good ROI.

You can employ several tactics to improve your CTR:

  • Use ad extensions to showcase additional information. You can use extensions like site links, product reviews, features, and structured snippets.
  • Use relevant keywords for your headlines, product descriptions, and captions. Adding relevant keywords is good for both your PPC and SEO campaigns.

Here is an example of a well-done e-commerce PPC ad utilizing ad extensions (price, reviews) and keyword-rich product descriptions and captions. 

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Finally, don’t forget to improve the quality score of your ad keywords continually. For example, you can test the same ad with slightly varied keywords and analyze them. High-quality scores will result in lower CPCs and better ad positions.

In Closing

E-commerce PPC management  that is streamlined, easy, and effective offers numerous benefits to your business by saving you time, headache, and precious internal resources. Make your life easier by automating parts of the PPC campaign management process, such as ad targeting, attribution tracking, budget pacing, and reporting.

To effectively carry out an e-commerce PPC campaign, use methodical strategies such as setting up dynamic search ads, doing intense keyword research, optimizing the product page, leveraging Google Shopping Ads, and improving your CTRs.

Most importantly, your business must have a clear e-commerce PPC management strategy in line with your business goals. Track your business metrics and campaign performance constantly using MarinOne, Google Analytics, and other tools. You can also hire e-commerce PPC management services or a digital marketing agency to help you make solid gains.

Matt Diggity is a guest contributor to Marin Software. He is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.

Apps are now discoverable in more places across the App Store thanks to the new Today tab and product page ad placements. Thanks to these new placements, your ads can now reach users when they first visit the App Store, and while they browse. This expands the touchpoints you can reach users along the App Store customer journey, increasing your chances of snagging your target customers’ attention.

The Today tab ad

This is where visitors (over half a billion of them) start their journey on the App Store. You can now advertise your own app here, using high-impact creatives to capture App Store visitors’ attention. The ad will leverage a custom product page you create in App Store Connect. The custom product page has to include at least four portrait or five landscape assets. It also has to use the correct language for the countries and regions where the campaign will run. 

The custom product page has to be approved first by App Store Connect then by Apple Search Ads for advertising. Once it’s approved, you can head to Apple Search Ads Advanced to begin Today tab campaign creation and submit your Today tab ad creative to Apple Search Ads to be approved for advertising. If you don’t schedule a start date or click Pause while the ad is still in review, it will run as soon as it’s approved. You can always create and submit ads for approval ahead of time to ensure they’re approved and running by a specific date. Note that Today tab ads aren't currently available on mainland China, so keep this in mind when running any international campaigns in the APAC region.

Because these ads are featured right on the front page of the App Store, they are the first content users will see. This makes them solid options for driving app awareness for new launches, special events, and seasonal promotions. 

Today tab ad guidelines

  • Promotional messaging should be 50 characters or less, with the lines of text not to exceed three.
  • Creative assets have to be screenshots from the app you promote. Promotional, lifestyle, or other images aren’t allowed. 
  • The screenshots must be prominent and undistorted, filling up at least ⅔ of each creative asset.
  • Pricing, offers, and ranking claims are not allowed in ad creative assets.
  • Creative cannot include a font style similar to the App Store Today Card. Phrases “Game of the Day” and “App of the Day” are also not allowed.
  • The language in the ad creative must match the language in App Store Connect. 
  • Any image that mocks a device and contains a bezel (the border between the screen and the frame of the device) must feature a bezel accurate to the most current Apple devices. 
  • The ad creative must comply with Apple Advertising Policies and cannot contain any images considered violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise inappropriate. 

Product pages – while browsing ads

Product pages – while browsing ads are a new ad placement that shows your app to interested users as they browse the App Store. These ads appear at the top of the You Might Also Like list to users who scroll down relevant product pages. You can run your ad across all relevant product categories, or you can refine the categories where it runs. Product pages ads aren’t currently available on mainland China either.

These ads are created using the metadata already uploaded to your App Store product page. They include your app name, icon, and subtitle. 

Time to get started

With these new ad placements, you can reach customers at multiple points during their journey through the App Store. The Today tab places your app in front of users before they think of a solution to their problem. And once they start browsing, product page ads present them with your app as they scroll through similar options. 

With so many new features to explore in Apple Seatch Ads's new ad placements, the next question is what are you waiting for? You can start running these ads now and they're certainly worth a test, especially as we enter the busy holiday season.

Meet with a Marin marketing consultant today to learn how to effectively integrate Apple Search Ads into your omnichannel marketing strategy.

On December 6th, 2022, we'll be offering a comprehensive webinar on budgeting strategies for the new year featuring Forrester. Anu Adegbola, an account director of paid media with Marin, and guest speaker Brett Kahnke, a principal analyst with Forrester, will cover how to approach your marketing budget for 2023 while also giving tips on how to adapt your budgets as needed ongoing. 

To get you started before the webinar, we've put together a "too long didn't read" guide on Forrester’s approach to budget allocation and what steps you should take when planning a long-term fiscal strategy. To get all of Forrester’s insights and tips, you'll need to download Forrester's report directly (available to Forrester subscribers or for purchase) and attend our webinar event, but this quick overview should help you start moving forward.

Summary of Forrester’s Strategic Budget Allocation Process

In the Forrester report, Kahnke explains how marketing teams are tasked with executing marketing and maximizing results while also dealing with a murky set of objectives. As a part of this process, execution teams must work with business priorities to find the best course of action. The Strategic Budget Allocation Process can be used by the central, regional or country-based field marketing teams or as a second business within an organization. The complete guide by Forrester outlines the benefits of creating a marketing program plan that aligns spending with business, marketing, and campaign objectives. Kahnke also highlights common mistakes that can lead to disconnected or habitual marketing.

The Five Steps of Forrester’s Execution Strategy Phase

Step 1: Review Budget Allocations And Prepare Guidance

Check if team goals align with campaign budget allocations; include campaigns, sub-campaigns, and targeted segments in your analysis.

• Review the top-down and bottom-up budget distribution.

• Define execution guidelines for marketing teams.

• Provide regular feedback on successes and failures, especially in communication with leadership.

Step 2: Layer on Specific Program Allocations and Ensure Totals Stack Up Against Strategic Targets

Step 3: Define Programs You Absolutely Need Within Your Marketing Strategy

Step 4: Identify the Right Tactics for Your Team at this Time, Build the Calendar, and Finalize Allocations

The program manager's primary deliverable in this step is a program calendar. This summarizes the duration of each program and its related tactics in a production schedule and includes the correlating spend for each tactic. 

Step 5: Check your Bottom to Top Overview, Get Endorsement, and Share the Plan

It’s important to communicate the priorities of marketing campaigns to other departments within the business. Confirm that your final plan is still aligned to the organizations needs in terms of objective, campaigns, and program allocations. 

We look forward to sharing more with you in December and hearing directly from Brett how the execution of this strategy will give you the best marketing plan for 2023 possible.

With Black Friday right around the corner, brands are looking for creative ways to stay ahead of their competition and steal momentum. During 2021’s holiday season, nearly 155 million consumers participated in Black Friday sales—and that was despite the ongoing pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Of those consumers, 66.5 million did their shopping in-store while 88 million made their purchases online. Online spending alone totaled $8.9 billion. In years to come, this growing trend of purchasing online is expected to hold strong. 

With Black Friday remaining one of the most popular shopping times of the year, businesses must do all they can to supercharge their marketing campaigns and get in front of customers. 

8 tips for building the perfect Black Friday ad campaign

Here are eight of the top ways to make a big impression on consumers. 

Choose your channels mindfully

Decide which channels are the most active and the best fit for your brand. Be wise about where you decide to place your ads and which type of ads you’ll use—for example, are you going to run Google display ads, in-app ads, or social media ads? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time allows you to create deals and ads suited to the audience of each target platform.

Prepare your ads early

Get in front of consumers before your competitors do! It’s never too early to plan your Black Friday campaign. Once you’ve chosen the channels you’ll use, prepare your ads. Broaden your appeal by reaching shoppers who are looking for early deals—and those who prefer to space out their purchases. You don’t want to lose out to competitors because you didn’t get in front of customers soon enough. According to a PR Newswire survey, 54% of shoppers begin their holiday spending as early as October. By publishing your ads early, you’ll also be able to adjust your strategies for Black Friday weekend because you’ll have time to figure out what’s resonating with customers—and what’s not. 

Personalize your ads

It’s been proven that personalization efforts go a long way. To leverage the power of personalization, consider using dynamic display ads to expand your reach. For a step-by-step guide, you can follow MarinOne’s tips on how to use display ads to make the most of your ad dollars and run a successful campaign. 

Offer discounts that are impossible to turn down

Provide deals consumers can’t find anywhere else. On Black Friday, you’ll want to give customers an offer they can’t resist. Make sure the discounts you give are deeper than what you offer year round. Customers aren’t just looking for any deal—they’re hunting for the offers that allow them to buy things that are normally out of their spending reach.

Leak deals as the holiday gets closer

Take advantage of social media, influencers, emails, and other communication channels to create teasers for your audience. Tempt your consumers early on with deals they can anticipate. Creating this kind of excitement will help you win consumer attention which will translate into faster sales for you. 

Maintain brand consistency

Make sure your brand creatives look similar. With familiarity across your Black Friday ads, your brand will be more recognizable and trustworthy to consumers. By taking this extra step, you’ll give your audience the confidence they need to close the deal. 

Create visually engaging designs

Create visuals that are hard to forget and don’t overlook the value of powerful visual effects. Creating memorable Black Friday ads is a crucial step in drafting your holiday marketing plan so you attract more traffic and boost sales. Step up to the challenge of creating something that really stands out. Choosing unique designs and vibrant colors can help impress your customers, winning them over with just one glance. When you make the extra effort, your consumers will remember you and keep coming back. To do this:

  • Get your point across with the right copy
  • Use imagery and colors consistent with your branding
  • Draw attention by using videos and animated graphics

Encourage shoppers to take action NOW

Make consumers excited to purchase products that benefit them. Creating a sense of urgency is one of the best ways to do this. You can make potential customers feel hyped about your brand an take action sooner by:

  • Adding deadlines
  • Using a countdown widget
  • Including emotional triggers in your ads through power words and color
  • Making them aware of how many products are left in stock
  • Using copy like “last chance,” “final discount,” “limited time,” and so on

The best Black Friday ads to take inspiration from

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a roundup of some of the most noteworthy Black Friday campaigns that caught lots of attention.

IKEA: “Buyback Friday”

Consumers love brands that prioritize global issues like sustainability. As a brand that values sustainability, IKEA built it into its annual Black Friday campaign launch. They offered customers the opportunity to return used IKEA furniture in return for a credit voucher for up to 50% of the item’s value. After running the campaign in 27 countries, IKEA donated or recycled all the items that could not be resold. By celebrating Black Friday with genuine discounts, IKEA demonstrated a commitment to its brand values and also gave consumers a reason to make more purchases. In addition, loyalty program members were given an extra 20% off on vouchers used between November 19th and 29th, making them feel valued and also motivating them to engage with the campaign. 

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Bed Bath & Beyond 

With its fun Black Friday commercial, Bed Bath & Beyond can get inside the heads of its target customers. In this ad, when a shopper has trouble justifying her purchases, a reassuring sales clerk convinces her it’s “for the house.” While capturing the guilty pleasure of Black Friday shopping, this creatively genius video ad gives customers an easy “out,” encouraging them to buy the things they really want for themselves.  

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Google:  “#BlackOwnedFriday”

In its Black Friday campaign, Google chose to focus on a key social justice issue by supporting black-owned businesses. The brilliant campaign commercial they used cleverly included a Google search component, allowing viewers to search for Black-owned shops that were closest to them. With results specifically configured to promote relevant links and content, Black-owned stores received greater visibility. 

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Walmart: “#Unwrapthedeals”

In its out-of-the-box TikTok campaign, Walmart turned Black Friday sales into a gamified experience. By using a filter that allowed customers to “unwrap” deals, they created an element of surprise that kept consumers engaged. They also encouraged consumer participation by having TikTokers post their #Unwrapthedeals hashtag along with their challenges for everyone to see. Through its interactive campaign, Walmart broke all TikTok hashtag challenge benchmarks, gaining over 5.5 billion hashtag views in total. 

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Ray-Ban

Ray-Ban successfully got its customers excited not only by offering an unbeatable discount of 50%, but also by using a countdown clock. In addition to creatively advertising saving possibilities, they created a fun design to capture customers’ attention

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DECIEM: “Slowvember”

Instead of hosting a flash sale to encourage uninformed impulse buying, this Toronto-based umbrella company of skincare and makeup brands extended its discounts for the entire month of November. As part of a Black Friday campaign, they asked customers to approach their shopping differently and take their time. On the holiday itself, they shut down their brick-and-mortar stores and paused their website so consumers could “celebrate the beauty of slowing down.” 

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How MarinOne Can Help You Make This Black Friday Successful

For marketers and advertisers, Black Friday is one of the busiest times of the year. But with the right imaginative Black Friday ad campaign you can stand out amongst the fierce competition and get consumers flocking to your holiday deals.  

Whether you’re launching a campaign to increase revenue numbers, improve engagement, or cultivate interest in your brand, our tips will serve you well. Studying the top ads that ruled the internet will give you guidance on how to create your successful ad campaign.

If you’re looking to elevate your e-commerce marketing strategy, start with MarinOne’s platform to help you analyze, automate, and optimize those Black Friday ads. 

Ready to get started? Contact our team today.

We are so pleased to be included in SEL's most recent analysis of PPC campaign management tools, where MarinOne stands out as a leader with the most channel integrations in the industry. Search Engine Land has long been a respected voice and leader in the digital marketing space, and having their stamp of approval means a great deal to the Marin team. You can read the full article here.

We'd love to point out a few things that Search Engine Land may not have gotten to:

  1. Marin Software is one of the world's most established paid media management software companies. Nearly 20 years of experience in this industry has given us the time to create  one of the most sophisticated campaign management tools available.
  2. We work with nearly 30 different publishers (and counting) that seamlessly integrate with the MarinOne tool, making our software one of the most versatile options on the market to analyze and optimize all your digital ads in one place.
  3. Marin has a proven track record of increasing conversions, click-through rate, and return on ad spend. Look through our library of case study examples to see how our optimization suite has helped other brands like yours get a greater return on their advertising investment. 
  4. Our expert solutions team is a vital part of our company's success. This group of experienced marketing professionals are an essential asset to our clients. Retailers, b2b organizations, and agencies alike see improved performance as a direct result from Marin's external analysis and consultation. Whatever your company structure, it never hurts to have another set of helpful eyes watching your performance marketing campaigns.
  5. As your partner in digital, we know how difficult it can be to keep up with the market, and because of that…we take education pretty seriously. Our learning and development team is constantly creating new content to keep you up to date on important industry changes, digital trends, and best practices for any paid media channel you may be running. 
  6. We regularly create webinars and training documents in collaboration with our publisher partners like Amazon, LinkedIn, Meta and more to provide you with the best digital marketing content possible. Subscribe to our newsletter and get ongoing updates on how to keep your digital efforts performing at their highest level, regardless of market volatility.

At Marin we are continually innovating to give paid media specialists the best possible tools for automating their work and making life easier. We believe that through technology, we can create a world that gives marketers a better work/life balance while making company leaders happy as they watch their growth efforts succeed. To get a demonstration of how it works, contact one of our marketing experts today. 

If you're still not sure that Marin might be the paid media management solution you've been looking for, take a look at these other third party resources that describe who we are and what we do, paired with real customer reviews.

https://www.trustradius.com/products/marin-software/reviews

https://www.featuredcustomers.com/vendor/marin-software

https://www.cuspera.com/products/marinone-ad-management-x-1022

Innovations in marketing and the popularity of social media have made it easier than ever for businesses to reach their customers effectively. However, this has also led to customers being inundated with marketing material. Competitive benchmarking can help your business rise above the competition and make an impact on potential customers.

What is competitive benchmarking?

All marketers want to drive the best performance of their campaigns, but how do you know if your efforts are paying off? Understanding and analyzing performance in a vacuum can be unproductive—or worse, misleading. Competitive benchmarking analysis is the study of marketing performance as measured against the performance of your closest competitors.

“There are several competitive analysis tools marketers can use to monitor their competitors organically - which track most things available to the public, and there are also tools you can use to track your competitors' paid activity,” Candace Boren, Product Marketing Director at Marin Software explains. “Once you’ve collected metrics for your competitors, you can use that information side-by-side with MarinOne to analyze your performance to see how you are or aren’t stacking up to your competitors.”

Monitor organic competitive intel

Take a look at what content your competitors are producing for their website, blog, and social channels. Press releases and news mentions will also allow you to keep track of the messaging strategies employed by your competition. Vendors such as Crayon, Klue, and Contify can help you keep track of your competitors’ owned content and mentions. You could supplement this research by analyzing competitor SEO performance using vendors like Semrush and Ahrefs

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Monitoring paid competitive intel

In addition to organic intel, you should also keep an eye on paid media and where your competitors are advertising across search, social, display, television, and other channels. The success they experience can be replicated while their failures can be avoided. Some tools that can help you keep track of your competitors’ paid marketing efforts include MediaRadar, The Search Monitor, and Pathmatics.

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How analyzing the competition can give you greater insight into your own marketing performance

So you’ve gathered intelligence on when and where your competitors are advertising and distributing organic content. Now what?  

The key to competitive benchmarking is to use this data to your advantage! Take a look at which channels your competitors focus on. This may be a good indicator of where to best reach your target audience. Have they moved away from a particular channel? Maybe they haven’t seen strong performance here. And of course, notice if there are channels you’re missing in your campaign strategy—you want to maintain a presence everywhere that your competitors are reaching potential customers. 

“Competitive benchmarking is important because even if you think your performance is where it needs to be, you don’t want to look at it in a vacuum because there’s always more opportunity to acquire customers who might otherwise go to your competitors. So if you are monitoring their performance to make sure you are in line with it, you're capturing every opportunity that you can see,” Candace explains. 

Keeping an eye on your competitors can help you ride the wave of success that they might be experiencing on another platform. For example, TikTok has become important since its rise in popularity in 2019. Analyzing the competition can help you identify the opportunities a new popular social media platform can present to businesses. 

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The benefits of competitive benchmarking don’t stop there. Modern customers are highly opinionated and fragmented. Effective targeting can help you find and reach customers who are being underserved by your competitors. If a competitor is experiencing success on a platform or with a specific marketing strategy but are unable to meet customer demand, competitive benchmarking would put you in the perfect position to fill that gap in the market. 

3 ways to extract maximum value from competitive benchmarking data

Make your competitive benchmarking data work for you by pairing it with effective analysis and improved strategizing using these tips. 

Use the RACE Framework to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing activities across all channels

Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact area within a wider marketing strategy to adjust for the best results. The RACE Framework gives marketers a simple way to analyze marketing activity and it can be applied to any channel or platform that you wish. RACE is a mnemonic device. It stands for Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage. 

These steps represent the journey that marketers must take from the beginning of a customer interaction to its conclusion. Analyzing marketing results at each of these steps can help marketers understand how to capitalize on the opportunities presented to them by competitive benchmarking data. 

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Improve marketing data utilization with effective and uncomplicated reporting processes

Data is only as valuable as the insights it can provide. These insights also have to reach the right team members to actually be useful. Marketing teams must make sure that decision makers, team leaders, and other relevant stakeholders have access to critical information so they can strategize effectively. It is also important for this data to be presented in an easy-to-understand manner. 

Optimize spending on channels and strategies that have a proven track record of encouraging conversions

The average social media user visits over seven social platforms each month. How do you decide how much attention each platform should get from the marketing team and how the marketing budget should be distributed across these channels? Competitive benchmarking data can pinpoint the platforms that seem to generate the most conversions and interactions for businesses with a similar profile to your own. Marketers should use this information to optimize their spending on important platforms while keeping niche platforms in consideration in case they become more important in the future. 

"Analytics tools like MarinOne can help you look at your performance and compare it to your competition. And if it's not where you need it to be, budget allocation tools can help you find the right level of investment for your campaigns to get you up to par," Candace explains. "And as you move through your spend period and find you are not performing in one channel and performing really well on another channel, these algorithms will automatically shift your budget allocation for you. You'll be outperforming your competition without having to manage your campaigns manually day in and day out."

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Demystify data-driven reporting and marketing strategy with MarinOne

To compare your competitors’ marketing strategies with your own, you need a comprehensive picture of your digital program. MarinOne’s advanced analytics suite pulls all your search, social, ecommerce, display, and app advertising into one view. It’s easy to see at a glance where you are spending and where you are performing, so you can easily compare your performance with the competition. 

If you want to take it a step further, MarinOne’s budget allocation tools will shift your budget between campaigns and channels based on how well they’re performing—all while ensuring you hit your budget targets at the end of each month. 

Learn more about MarinOne today. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn how MarinOne can help you make the most of insights generated through competitive benchmarking.

Market segmentation is the foundation of a successful marketing campaign. There are likely many different types of consumers that could be interested in your products, and sending the right message to each type of customer is key to acquiring new users. Whether it be targeting customers based on their age, or understanding that different types of customers value different aspects of your product or service, you’ll want to deliver unique, personalized messages to different segments in order to foster enthusiastic brand loyalty.

Let’s run through the 5 different types of market segmentation in detail so that you can understand which is right for you.

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Demographic Segmentation

This is usually the first type of segmentation we think of when starting to define our different customer personas. These are basic defining characteristics such as age, gender, race, income level and education level. Demographic targeting can be anything from advertising high end products to those with higher income levels, to a clothing company advertising gendered clothing to women and men separately.

This is mostly used in B2C marketing efforts, as these traits focus on the individual. The B2B counterpart is firmographic segmentation.

Firmographic Segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is the most basic form of market segmentation for B2B marketing efforts. Firmographic traits of a company include size, location, industry, structure and financial performance. For example, you’ll want to use different messaging when marketing towards a small business than when reaching out to an organization with hundreds of employees.

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Geographic Segmentation

A subset of demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation entails segmenting customers by their location. You can segment by city, country, zip code or even language region. The most straightforward example of this is trying to drive foot traffic to a brick and mortar store by targeting people who live within a certain number of miles from the store. But even for online businesses, it’s important to analyze which geographic areas your website traffic is coming from. Sometimes these answers may seem obvious, like a company selling cowboy boots targeting states in the south. But you may be surprised what other regions are interested in your product, beyond the most obvious opportunities. Often market research brings about data that cannot be acquired by intuition alone. Who knows, there could be a lot of cowboys in Vermont…

Behavioral Segmentation

This is the most complex and arguably the most valuable type of segmentation. Behavioral segmentation is the ongoing process of tracking and targeting users’ behavioral trends. As you collect data about your target market over time, you’ll be able to segment your audience into groups based on things like purchasing habits, brand interactions, buying history, website visits and interactions with competing brands. This form of market research is very valuable because it brings to light users with intent to buy, allowing you to target your most interested audiences.

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Psychographic Segmentation

This form of segmentation attempts to understand the consumers’ motivations. It’s not the what, or where, but the why that psychographic segmentation strives to make sense of. Why do customers buy your product, or choose your competitor's product over yours? Is it their values? Their political beliefs? Their interests? This sort of segmentation is extremely valuable for media companies, for example. News stations will market towards those with aligned political beliefs. Gossip magazines will target those interested in celebrity content. This form of segmentation can be difficult to nail down, but is very powerful.

Now that we’ve got an understanding of the different types of segmentation, let’s discuss how to begin segmenting your market. 

Start with testing

The first step is market research. You’ll want to cast your net wide with broad targeting, then see what content appeals to different segments of users. Once you’ve identified segments based on engagement with your different categories of content, you’ll understand what sorts of products or services they are interested in. Then you can hit those segmented audiences with more specific retargeting ads.

It’s important to set a measurable goal when testing. Let’s say you’re trying to understand if your products appeal more to women or men. Send ads to both groups equally, and measure performance with a metric such as click through rate or conversion rate. If women seem to drive a higher conversion rate for a particular product, break men and women out into separate audiences and allocate proportionately more ad spend to the female audience. This is one simple example; but there are countless ways to run this same sort of test based on the segmentation factors you believe could apply to your particular campaign.

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Never stop analyzing

It’s important to continually analyze these different sorts of user trends, as things can change over time and new segments may emerge. Moving forward, allocate a small portion of your marketing budget to testing ongoing so that you can make sure you're capitalizing on emerging segments and keeping your audience fresh.

Streamline analysis with MarinOne

If you create strong audience segments and send the right message to each segment, you’re sure to win in performance marketing. With so much data to navigate when analyzing the unique performance of your various market segments, it's best to bring it all together in a powerful tool like MarinOne. MarinOne makes your life easier by enabling you to optimize campaigns in bulk, pivot bidding types on the fly, and get a holistic view of all your paid media campaigns in one place. Start your journey to better market segmentation and great advertising performance with MarinOne today. Our team of experienced marketers is ready to help you achieve your goals.

The marketing world is constantly changing and developing with new tools and methods. Strategies that are effective today may not work next year, or even next month. What we know for certain is that successful marketing requires looking beyond the top of the funnel for customers who will stick around. Without retention, there is no growth. 

That’s why growth marketing is more important than ever. So, what is growth marketing all about? Learn why growth marketing is important, what its core components are, and five different ways to turbocharge your business with it. 

Growth marketing defined

Growth marketing is a spin on traditional marketing with additional digital layers such as A/B testing, SEO optimization, data-driven blog posts and email campaigns, and careful attention to each aspect of a user’s experience. Insights inform strategies that are quickly implemented to achieve sustainable and robust growth. Unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing prioritizes small hypotheses, fast experimentation, and rapid iteration over large, long-term campaigns.

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Why growth marketing matters

An average of 4 million businesses are opened every year, and over $297 billion is collectively spent on marketing expenditures. With those figures, it’s more important than ever to make your business stand out. To compete, it's crucial to have a growth marketing strategy. A strategy that is creative and compelling will:

  • Help improve customer acquisition rates and allow you to expand your loyal user base
  • Allow you to grow and scale your business rapidly
  • Enable you to maximize your marketing activities across many different channels
  • Provide you with insights into the full customer journey
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Core components of a growth marketing strategy

The primary focus of your marketing strategy should be based on metrics like retention rates, acquisition rates, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. Some of the most frequently used tactics that growth marketers find successful include:

A/B testing

A/B testing can be used in a variety of formats, such as email marketing, landing pages, social media ads, and more, making it one of the primary tactics to be used in a strong growth marketing strategy. By deploying “A” or “B” tests, you can gain a better understanding of which content pieces are performing better. With better insights into how to engage your audience, you can optimize future campaigns and increase your likelihood of boosting conversion rates. 

Pro tip: Just because one test proves to be more effective with a particular audience segment doesn’t mean you should stop testing. Concentrate on customized segments and keep testing new content variations to understand which content resonates best. 

Cross-channel marketing

With cross-channel marketing, your focus should be on building a plan to extend customer reach. It can include push notifications, email marketing, direct mail, in-app messages, and other action-driven initiatives. The key is to know your audience’s preferences. When you incorporate your plan into your growth marketing strategy, zeroing in on communication preferences will help you build your campaigns accordingly. 

Pro tip: When you integrate multiple channels into your marketing plan, your audience can remain engaged from anywhere. Use contextual campaigns to help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s behavior across different platforms. 

Customer lifecycle

As part of your growth marketing strategy, be sure to pay close attention to the three critical life cycle stages: activation, nurture, and reactivation. You need to: 

  • Target your audience with introductory campaigns to build credibility
  • Nurture them to strengthen relationships through cross-channel marketing efforts
  • Re-engage them to drive retention and loyalty through post-purchase or win-back campaigns. 

Pro tip: Each customer will progress through the life cycle at their own pace. However, proactively accommodating users' changing needs will help you create more need-specific campaigns, setting you up for success. 

5 ways to turbocharge your business with growth marketing

Know your clients and competitors

To optimize your campaign, know your clients. Analyzing their data can often shed light on surprising insights such as discovering which leads have a higher likelihood of converting. It can also help you tailor communications to improve retention rates. 

While it’s important to analyze your client base, it’s equally important to determine what your competitors are doing. Seeing what works well (or doesn’t work at all) for them can give you insight into new marketing opportunities to test, too. 

Pro tip: To see what your competitors are doing well, use an online competitor analysis tool. To learn what media your clients consume or what terms they use when searching for your product, use the Google Keyword Planner and try client and industry surveys. 

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Optimize your content marketing

When done right, content marketing can create a lasting impact as part of your growth marketing strategy to help you generate new leads. Demonstrate your expertise in your field with articles, videos, and other sources that your potential customers are searching for. By optimizing your content around keywords your audience is looking for, you can boost the chances of them coming to you and staying. 

Pro tip: Be sure to plan, test, and analyze which content is working. When you determine which content is attracting the most attention, adjust your campaigns to ensure you improve results. 

Maximize your advertising

You’re probably already employing advertising as part of your marketing strategy — be it sponsored content, display advertising, remarketing, pay-per-click, social media ads, and so on. In most scenarios, real-time data is accessible, allowing you to closely monitor your ads’ performance. Dig into the data and follow growth marketing principles by planning, testing, tweaking, and repeating. 

Pro tip: By digging into that data, you will be able to identify insights that enable you to improve leading indicators over time. But to truly maximize your growth marketing efforts, don’t lose sight of the big picture. While data is important, stay focused on broad performance metrics (like sales and revenue) over time so you don’t repeat ineffective advertising moves. 

Prioritize your website

Optimizing your website is key to generating more leads. It’s important for communicating why prospective customers should choose you. If you haven’t already done so, advance your SEO strategy. Ultimately, your goal should be to funnel your clients to the action you want them to take. Additionally, your site’s aesthetics and user experience should be familiar for your target audience. 

Pro tip: Seeking advice on your SEO strategy is wise, since it’s a specialized technical area. You can also consider identifying CRO improvement opportunities by conducting A/B testing, individual user testing, qualitative research from focus groups, and client surveys. 

Make sure your customer service team is motivated

For growth marketing to be sustainable and successful, focus on the customer experience. Having quality service will help you build loyalty and turn consumers into brand advocates. Your products alone will not keep customers happy — they must be coupled with high-quality customer service. Make sure that all brand interactions leave your customers feeling satisfied and valued. If your customer service team isn’t motivated to give each person the "white glove" treatment, your customers probably won’t be coming back…which can make the colossal effort of attracting new users feel like a waste. As we said at the beginning of this article, growth marketing is nothing without a great retention strategy. 

Pro tip: To create a good customer service experience, collect customer feedback through surveys and ask for suggestions on how to improve. 

Scale Growth Efforts with MarinOne

With growth marketing comes countless tools, channels, platforms, and tactics. One thing is clear: growth marketing requires work, but the return makes it very worthwhile 

MarinOne has the tools you need to be a successful growth marketer and can help you focus on both testing and optimizing to boost engagement and provide a better customer experience. 

Ready to take your growth marketing to new heights? Contact one of our MarinOne experts today.

When retailers want the attention of a particular market segment, they use all kinds of strategies to effectively target their ads to specific audiences and increase conversions. The most effective one? A Google Adwords feature known as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). 

You have probably visited a website in search of a product, only to leave that site to be targeted with an ad for the exact product you were just researching. This happens because of remarketing lists. Once we’ve shown interest in a product, businesses want us to keep thinking about it—and hopefully come back for a purchase. 

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What Exactly is RLSA? 

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) are a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy.  RLSA allows you to target users who have already been to your site with new ads so you can bring them back again and land a sale. This allows you to customize your search campaigns by tailoring ads and bids for related keywords on Google or other Google Display Network sites. By leveraging this tactic, you can connect with pre-qualified prospects to increase your conversion rates, revenue, and overall profits. 

How Does RLSA Work?

When shoppers are surfing the digital landscape for products, standard display remarketing catches their attention with ads. However, users are not very receptive to these kinds of placements, and many people use ad blocking technology to avoid them altogether. In fact, a study done by Statista indicates that more than 42.7% of people worldwide use ad blocking tools. 

RLSAs are different. They target audiences with search ads instead of intrusive display popups. In contrast to typical Google display ads, RLSAs only appear when a user has actively searched for a term.  

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5 Benefits of RLSA

When used correctly, RLSA ads refine your ad campaigns and help direct your ad budget into a highly valuable market. Here’s a look at some of RLSAs biggest advantages.

Compared to Other Targeting Strategies, RLSA is More Likely to Drive Conversions

Because you can customize content, you can increase customer engagement. Using search ads allows you to offer personalization and increases win-back potential. According to a ComScore study that analyzed 103 campaigns from 39 different advertisers covering seven industries, retargeting ads generated an average lift of 1,046%. 

You Will Increase Click-Through-Rates (CTR)

RLSA enables you to target people who have already shown interest in your brand. Because these leads are considered qualified, they are more likely to return, giving you a higher CTR and a better quality score. With a higher quality score, your ad ranking in the SERPs is also likely to be higher. 

RLSAs Enable You to Trial Broad Keywords

Using broad keywords can lead to more conversions by expanding your reach. By using RLSAs, you can set up different campaigns or ad groups for the keywords you want to try so you can determine whether they improve conversion rates.

RLSAs Make Ad Spend More Efficient

With RLSAs you can choose to target only valuable and qualified users, excluding those who are not providing value, thus saving money. You can also adjust your remarketing lists so users who have chosen to disable ads are not targeted, making your campaigns more cost-effective

RLSAs Improve ROI

Remarketing lists allow you to segment your audiences into lists based on their performance. As a result, it can help you stay connected with potential customers who have previously shown interest, leading to increased sales and improved ROI.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of RLSA

Do Understand Your Audience Before Beginning

For better results with your targeted ads, learn about your website visitors and their typical behaviors throughout their customer journey. Analyze the funnel steps they travel through before converting.

Do Start Slow

Conduct an experiment to see what works and what doesn’t work. 

Don’t Bid on Vague or Generic Keywords in Search Campaigns

Instead of selecting your #1 prospecting keyword, consider starting with your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th ranked prospecting keyword.

Do Reduce Your Bid Dramatically When Retargeting Past Visitors

Bid aggressively lower, not conservatively lower. Don’t be afraid to adjust your bid to be lower than what you are bidding on your current prospecting campaign. Doing so will allow you to realize the true impact of your retargeted search. 

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Don’t Use Broad Value Propositions and General Claims When Retargeting Past Website Visitors

Remember that you are retargeting visitors who have already been to your site and are familiar with your brand or product. Instead of beating around the bush, be direct, clear, and bold. Write copy that hard sells, something that will encourage people to take immediate action on your offer.  

Do Match Messaging to User Action

Make sure that the ad copy you use is relevant to the action your users have already taken that got them on your remarketing list originally. 

How MarinOne Can Help

Interested in boosting your remarketing results or improving your search ad campaigns? Implement RLSAs to see your performance increase with less time, money, and effort. 

By partnering with MarinOne, you can improve your targeting efforts and increase your financial lift. With MarinOne’s platform, you can segment and target high value customers by audience across search, social, and display to drive your next wave of cross-channel optimization. To learn more, read our article on how to use RLSA.

Ready to get started? Contact one of our MarinOne experts today for a free trial.

PI LIVE London 2022 is done, and we're excited for many other events Marin will be attending over the coming weeks, including Amazon Unboxed in New York this week. But before we close this chapter, we wanted to highlight some of PI Live’s best moments and share what we learned.

Marin sponsored the Pyramid Stage, one of two areas where keynote presentations were shared. And we even had our own Anu Adegbola give a 30 minute session on budgeting strategies for 2023. She is an experienced and accomplished public speaker who shared great insights on budget planning.

Day One Speaking Session Highlights

Speaker Tina Judic, co-founder and Chairman of Tomorrow Group, talked about the importance of AI integration in advertising at the Rakuten Advertising Main Stage and also on the Marin Software Pyramid Stage. Shay Okelola, the Account Director for Neo Media World, described how programmatic has changed the advertising game. Both welcomed all attendees and exhibitors and outlined the schedule for day one.

Budgeting Strategies for 2023

Marin’s Anu Adegbola took the Pyramid Stage to share the best tactics for approaching a budget for the new year, as well as roadblocks that may affect how funds are allocated amongst marketing channels in 2023. Some of the key concepts Anu mentioned include:

  • The 70-20-10 Methodology: 
  • 70% of your marketing initiatives should be proven and tested methods that are almost certainly going to support your business objectives
  • 20% of your marketing initiatives should be new methods or ideas that are somewhat untested for your business, but have had success in the market at large for other competitors
  • 10% of your marketing initiatives should be what you'd call "wild bets," or tactics that are completely out of the box, creative, and untested. This is the best way to find new niche audiences for your products or services.
  • Industry disruptors that will affect budgeting in the new year:
  • Making way for new channel experiments - TikTok, Quora, Reddit and more all have new advertising campaign types that are relatively untested. Start with spending just 5% per month of the total possible allocation for a new channel and tie that spending to tangible deliverables. As you have data to optimize from, you can continuing scaling 5% month over month continuously.
  • Covid-19 has changed consumer behavior for the long haul. One of the lasting effects Covid-19 has had is consumers have dramatically changed their behavior in terms of needs, timing, and what factors influence their purchase decisions. Buyers are still making purchases; but getting into the psyche of how, when, or where your target audience is likely to convert is more complex than it has ever been.
  • The recession is here. Economists across Europe and the US project significant economic downturn in 2023, and many economists say we are already in the midst of a recession that could take several years from which to recover. Price point will be a very high priority for consumers in this next year and beyond.
  • When in doubt…remember you're just frying chips
  • Mark Ritson published an article this past week in MarketingWeek that really beautifully summarized what all budget allocation techniques boil down to. He describes in the article how back in the '90s famous chef Heston Blumenthal became obsessed with making the perfect chip. After hundreds of tests, Blumenthal found the best method for making delicious chips every time was simple. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, freeze, fry, freeze again, fry again. Perfect chips. Every time. Regardless of oil temp or seasoning or what have you…these fries always came out pretty great. 
  • Planning your marketing budgets also should be simple. Here are the "brass tax" points Mark Ritson outlines that will make your budgeting strategy pretty great every time. Regardless of the market, the campaign, or the channel.

Brand-to-Brand Partnerships: The Ultimate Convergence of Brand and Performance

A panel of branding experts from various sectors shared their thoughts on brand-to-brand partnerships at the event. With trackable ROI and consumer trust, this partnership can be a fruitful collaboration for new startup businesses.

Some of the most compelling learnings from this session included:

  • When you partner with someone you can use their content extensively across your different channels to drive ROI.
  • Tech has progressed significantly in terms of carrying out successful brand-to-brand partnerships. Still, there's always that human element that brands can't use a computer for.
  • Smaller brands are really useful for smaller niche audiences. For those clients with specific needs, why not get a partnership from the niche provider?

AT YOUR OWN RISK! 30 Mins Inside the Mind of an Integrated Creative

Jo Arscott, an award-winning Creative Director, shared her approach to storytelling. She made a compelling argument that sometimes shifting your focus away from data and research can actually lead to surprising new business opportunities.

According to Jo, the human imagination is what makes technology such a great asset for creativity. In her experience, digital data both helps and hurts at once - it’s good because it fuels creative ideas but also bad because of exposure and privacy concerns.

State of the Industry: 2022 Affiliate and Partner Marketing Trends

Have you ever wondered how advertisers feel about affiliate marketing? The IAB released a report with insights into the current state of affiliate marketing and presented the results during PI LIVE. Some of the main points that I took away from this talk was:

  • Over the next year, affiliate marketers expect that editorial content will be their biggest source of revenue. Influencers are also very popular and came in second in the poll.
  • Publisher diversity is a huge concern CMOs are currently facing when looking at continued investment in affiliate marketing.
  • IAB saw a correlation between the worsening cost of living crisis and the importance of affiliate marketing, as reflected in survey responses. This suggests that as consumers must tighten their belts financially, buyers will be depending upon recommendations through marketing means they trust to make the best purchase decisions. 

Day Two Speaking Session Highlights

Tapx CEO, Luke Judge and the founder of PlanIt, Steve Cox, hosted a successful second day at the conference. All participants and exhibitors were welcomed and the program of the second day was outlined.

Influencers, Live Shopping & Social Commerce: Affiliate is the Ultimate Conversion Tactic

This panel discussion was an interesting dialogue based on the following statistic - 74% of consumers are making buying decisions based on social recommendations, a number that is worth paying attention to. Here are some of the most valuable learnings from the session: 

  • Influencer marketing in social shopping has a lot of potential. To make the strategy work, you will have to plan everything beforehand and track each campaign individually.
  • Don’t automatically go for influencers that have millions of followers. Often there are smaller accounts that share niche common interests with your brand because these influencers are more likely to drive better results.
  • Humans are not like technology - they can be unpredictable. That’s particularly why you need to make sure contracts with influencers are spelled out and that the influencer is given enough freedom to do their thing.

Fireside Chat with Boohoo: The Value of Unlocking the App for Affiliates

Most affiliate campaigns drive traffic to mobile websites rather than apps, even though the app experience is much better for the user and converts at a higher rate. The content remains significantly lower on mobile sites. Some of the things we learned during this session included:

  • Apps can produce different outputs for different businesses. Boohoo could make an app that's basically the same as their website with a more intuitive conversion process, whereas fintech brands may develop apps to address the need of their customers.
  • Cracking the code to tracking is paramount when coming up with an app for your company. If you are great at explaining how seamless and accurate you app’s tracking really is to your affiliates, they will be happy clients and won’t stop promoting your company.
  • If you're a business looking for some guidance, it can't hurt to use a tech company that offers training and advice when developing your app.

Lessons from 2008: What’s Next for the Recession-Era Affiliate Marketing Industry

This panel with professionals brimming with knowledge provides insights for current economic climate. After attending this session, it is clear that:

  • Facing a decline in sales, luxury brands should consider paying more attention to more accessible products. As an example, consumers may look for a lipstick instead of the Chanel bag, so it's important to promote your products that are at a lower price point rather than the higher value items.
  • Even during a recession, you should not cut your expenditure on marketing. Those who keep investing during testing times are those that remain strong and achieve lifelong brand value.
  • Ensuring you're active on review sites is an excellent way to show your trustworthiness to potential customers. The key is to be sure you have a system in place that lets legitimate reviews through, while filtering out fake ones.

The Learnings Shared Were Compelling, but Networking Opportunities Were the Real Highlight

It was clear the event producers put a lot of effort into selecting an engaging agenda with keynotes, fireside chats and panels on two stages. As always, networking was one of the best parts of the day! On day one, DJ Viv May provided music during lunch. In the evening, there was a cocktail happy hour post-show on the terrace.

On the second day, as the crowd relaxed and got to know one another better, it was great to see that the event brought out so many meaningful marketing conversations. Between the Networking Village, impact.com's Prosecco Lounge, and Webgains' Sports Bar, there were plenty of places to share ideas, exchange contact information, and plant the seeds for potential partnerships. 

At Marin, we're enjoying the opportunity to re-engage with our clients and partners on a personal level. Reach out to join us at one of the other events we'll be attending in the near future. Our team of expert marketing consultants would be happy to host you for a dinner and discuss your marketing strategy for new coming year.

Apple Search Ads is a powerful acquisition tool for app marketing that has been around for several years. It’s a proven method that connects advertisers with a relevant target audience to increase conversions. Using Apple Search Ads, app developers can drastically improve their visibility in the App store, thereby gaining an edge over competitors. And with two different solutions offered—basic and advanced—advertisers can implement either simple or complex campaigns, depending on their organization’s goals. 

While Apple Search Ads are a gateway for advertisers to convert more users, users are hyper-aware that companies are trying to glean as much information as they can to track them. Consequently, privacy settings in Apple’s mobile ecosystem are growing ever-more stringent. More and more users are tapping into Limit Ad Tracking (LAT), a simple but sophisticated feature that can be enabled on their mobile devices to prevent data collection by apps and to help maintain privacy rights. Limit Ad Tracking disrupted the advertising space simply by providing users the option to safeguard their personal data. 

iPhone devices now make up approximately 45% of the US smartphone market and users are turning on Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) to feel safer. This means advertisers face new challenges as they launch their App Store search ads to connect with iOS users. 

Share of Apple iPhone users in the U.S. from 2014 to 2021

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What Is Limit Ad Tracking (LAT)?

Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) is a feature on Apple’s mobile OS that gives users a choice to opt out of having an ID for Advertisers (IDFA) and can be turned on from a user’s Settings app. When this setting is on, networks are unable to locate an identity associated with a device, and users who seek privacy protection do not receive unwanted targeted ads. While LAT doesn’t completely block ads, it prevents targeting users based on their behavior, and ad tech companies can’t collect as much data as they normally would if the setting is turned off. Rather, tracking is largely limited to contextual data points such as the device’s OS version, the app store subcategory, the version of the app, and so on. 

LAT was the predecessor to App Tracking Transparency, or ATT. Both iterations are Apple’s way of letting users choose to decline personalized ads. Essentially, the opt-out prevents Apple Search Ads from recognizing the user as a returning customer and using their information to serve more relevant ads. While previously referred to as the Limit ad tracking (LAT tracking) feature, Apple’s verbiage of choice is now “personalized ads”. Instead of turning on LAT tracking to prevent personalized ads, users with iOS 14+ can simply turn off the personalized ads feature. Users who choose to guard their privacy with either version of the feature prevent advertisers from targeting them through any aspects of their Apple ID. This includes demographic and search data. 

With so much riding on whether or not a user consents to personalized ads, you might be wondering if the initial ATT prompt is your only chance to acquire ATT consent. Users can turn off the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” option in their privacy settings. If they enable the requests, advertisers have one chance to request ATT permission. If the user denies the native ATT prompt, you don’t get another chance

At this point, your only option is to provide information in your app informing users on the benefits of tracking, as well as how to adjust the settings to enable it. 

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Why It Matters for Advertisers

As more users enable the LAT feature on their devices, advertisers are being hit with a big challenge. Many users see LAT as a privacy-preserving tool. For advertisers, however, it reduces their ability to reach their target audience. The implications for marketers are not favorable; here are some of the reasons why. 

  1. As the mobile marketing era shifts, user information will no longer be automatically collected. Rather, the user will have to provide it voluntarily, either willingly offering their information or denying it. While users feel more secure using the LAT feature, mobile marketers are unable to access as much information as they were able to previously.
  1. The App Store may remove an app that uses an iOS ad identifier outside its intended purpose—and understandably so. A user's Limit Ad Tracking settings should be respected. 
  1. If user privacy rights are violated, a developer's app risks its reputation, and users are likely to turn to competitors. The LAT feature has created new challenges for mobile marketers, urging them to step up their game or lose a user’s attention. 
  1. For opted-out users, lack of attribution makes it harder for advertisers to measure the success of campaigns. 

Impact of LAT on attribution

Prior to iOS 10, companies did not have to honor the user’s LAT request. Apple also previously allowed companies to use permanent device identifiers (called universal device IDs or UDIDs) for frequency capping, attribution, conversion events, estimating the number of unique users, advertising fraud detection, and debugging. Once iOS 10 entered the picture, Apple began showing zeros in place of the user IDFA for those who selected LAT. IDFA stands for “identifier for advertisers” on Apple mobile devices. It’s like a web cookie, but for ad tracking. An IDFA notifies advertisers when an iPhone user takes a certain action on their ads or apps. 

iOS 14 changed the game by only assigning IDFAs to those who explicitly opt into tracking. IDFAs let advertisers know when a user takes an action as a result of an ad. They’re also used for fraud detection. Post-iOS 14, advertisers have to use Apple’s SKANetwork (StoreKit Ad Network) to get attribution data per campaign and marketing channel without device-level data for privacy safety. 

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What to do about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency pop-up

After updating to iOS 15, users receive a prompt explaining what personalized ads are, equipped with buttons for the users to turn the feature on or off. Apple’s data on their first-part advertising efforts shows that when prompted, 78% of users opt to turn off the personalized ads feature. The same data revealed that the conversion rate between users with personalized ads on and off are practically identical. Advertisers report a 62.1% conversion rate for customers who opt in and a 62.5% conversion rate for those who opt out. In response to this data, Apple recommends developers target users with the feature disabled as they are far greater in number. Because there are more users with the feature disabled, bidding prices for that audience are lower. 

How does LAT tracking affect campaigns 

Advertisers who choose to target users based on demographic data like age or gender will not reach those who opt out of personalized ads. Those who don’t target using demographic information will automatically advertise to LAT-on users. 

  • LAT-on users don’t share identifying information with Apple Search Ads. This includes age, gender, user behavior, etc. If you use these criteria to refine your audience, LAT-on users will be excluded.
  • Targeting LAT-on users is not an option. Advertisers can target either LAT-off users or both LAT-on and LAT-off users. Geographic targeting doesn’t exclude LAT-on users. Discovery campaigns can target LAT-on users, but advertisers will get this data at the ad group level rather than the keyword level. 

Benefits of Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) 

Even with the limitations that LAT poses, Apple search ads enable app marketers to reach their target audience on a global scale. Apple search ads are a very effective channel of advertising with very high user intent, and so the ongoing ad-blocking evolution still has advantages for mobile marketers. 

  • Limit Ad Tracking improves cost per taps and cost per download.

Challenges/Drawbacks of Limit Ad Tracking (LAT)

Although there are many advantages to LAT, there are some obvious downsides. Without IDFA, behavioral targeting becomes impossible, leaving advertisers to depend on contextual targeting criteria. As a result of IDFA opt-in rates ranging from 4–13%, many organizations are seeking solutions that can provide accurate analytics, reporting, and attribution. 

Worldwide Daily Opt-in Rates

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For mobile marketers, tracking for LAT-on users is extremely limiting because a user’s data is off-limits unless they provide consent via App Tracking Transparency (ATT). Apple Search Ads ad groups with specific targeting (either age or gender-based) will be unable to reach users who have enabled LAT. Without a way to track LAT-on users, mobile marketers risk missing a quarter of the potential traffic. 

As a result, by only being able to obtain install data from LAT-off users, mobile marketers suffer from data discrepancies that lead to an incomplete picture with a lower number of attributed conversions. Furthermore, turning on LAT can negatively affect the functionality of certain apps by disrupting advertisers’ ability to track revenue and other post-install metrics.

How advertisers can adapt

Possibly the biggest step advertisers can take to adapt as privacy preservation becomes more prevalent is to transition advertising measurement away from deterministic, user-centric models and instead use a holistic model that incorporates variations in ad spend and revenue to attribute efficiency to channel-specific ad campaigns. 

Essentially, privacy preservation and ATT aren’t going anywhere. Workarounds are possible, however they are temporary. Eliminating the need to use extremely targeted ads simplifies the process of reaching target customers. 

How MarinOne can help

MarinOne can help your organization optimize your app campaigns to improve performance and gain efficiencies. So even with the limitations of LAT, you can drive mobile revenue as well as app installations by using MarinOne to get the most out of your Apple Search Ads campaigns. Learn how MarinOne’s Apple Search Ads integration supercharges already powerful Apple Search Ads campaigns.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use cutting-edge software to reach your customers more effectively, contact us. We’ll be happy to schedule a no-strings-attached demo of our solution for you today. 

Recently Google announced that Performance Max campaigns would be a more significant part of the Google Ads platform and therefore a greater part of paid media strategies for marketers at large. Since then, many questions have been raised as to what exactly this campaign type is and how it differs from other campaigns. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few of the most common concerns coming up for advertisers and best practices to deal with the changes below.

First of all, what are Performance Max campaigns?

Performance Max (PMax) means you can now buy Google Ads across the entire inventory of products from a single campaign, with expanded coverage across a myriad of different placement types, including:

  • YouTube
  • Display
  • Search
  • Discover
  • Gmail
  • Maps

PMax uses a mix of automation and machine learning to help advertisers reach their conversion goals with all of these placement types all within one campaign. Performance Max campaigns should complement keyword-based search campaigns, as well as boost performance across Google's less competitive advertising channels like Gmail and Display.

If paid media marketers invest wisely, this could bring in a whole new set of customers who are not as familiar with online shopping. Previously in Beta and compatible with Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, Performance Max will be a replacement for Performance Max Offline and Performance Max for Retail by the beginning of October 2022, meaning paid specialists need to make the pivot now.

How do Performance Max campaigns work?

Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding. Performance Max combines Google's automation technologies across bidding, budget optimization, audiences, creatives, attribution, and more. They're all empowered by your specific advertising objective (for example, if you have a CPA or ROAS target) and the creative assets, audience signals, and optional data feeds you provide.

“Performance Max puts your business goals front and center, and prioritizes these above other signals by inputting your specific conversion goals,” 

-Rodney Ip, Global Product Lead, Google Ads

Performance Max are goal-based campaigns, designed to deliver the value that matters most to you. So, to get started, you choose the goals that are necessary for you to reach your marketing objective. Then Google asks you to provide a series of inputs that help the AI tool get campaigns started. These inputs include:

  • Budget
  • Creative assets (like text, imagery, and video)
  • Geo-targets
  • Optional feeds such as: 
  • Google Merchant Center
  • Google My Business
  • Dynamic Ads Feed
  • Other Business Data Feeds
  • Audience Signals
  • First party / remarketing lists
  • Google Audiences / custom audiences

PMax campaigns are then able to take those inputs and invest your budget as effectively as possible, maintaining a core focus on the initial objective you set. Google’s automation goes to work finding the best potential customers and serving those customers the most relevant ad. Bidding and attribution technology then determine the most optimal bids to meet your goals. And of course, it’s all done in real time in the auction. 

Targeting technology, machine learning, and automated bidding all culminate to a campaign with the best possible ROI outcome. In fact, Google’s data thus far indicates Performance Max campaigns average a 13% lower cost per conversion than any other campaign to date. 

How to maximize the effectiveness of PMax campaigns

Because they leverage machine learning and automation to drive performance, Performance Max can leave advertisers feeling like they have given up some control over their campaigns. But there are still some levers you can pull to maximize your PMax campaigns. 

Audience Signals

Adding audience signals to your Performance Max campaigns enhances Google’s machine learning to help you reach the best customers. Google takes your audience data and looks at the audiences for signals to identify similar buyers likely to exhibit the same behaviors and interests. You can add audiences from:

  • Your first party data (customer lists, website visitors, remarketing lists, etc)
  • Custom segments based on search activity, websites visited and apps used
  • In-market customers with interests in products like yours
  • Demographics like age, income level, and family status

Google can then use the information you have provided to inform its targeting algorithms to find customers who are most likely to convert. This is a good way to help jumpstart your Performance Max campaigns and can also continue to inform throughout the lifecycle of the campaign, especially as your first party data changes over that time. 

Offline Conversions

Consider importing your offline conversions to help improve your PMax performance. By giving Google access to offline sales data in addition to your online digital attribution channels, you will give the algorithms a more comprehensive view of what’s working. 

The system can then interpret which leads have resulted in sales and also the assets being used in the ad groups that are ultimately driving conversions. Incorporating these valuable insights will help deliver the best content to the customers most likely to convert. 

MarinOne Engine + Performance Max Campaigns

The team at Marin has been hard at work updating the MarinOne Engine infrastructure which will deliver a powerful experience for advertisers. MarinOne Engine already powers MarinOne's newest and most advanced grids and enables new campaign types, more data, more flexible reporting, and enhanced processing for scalability.

MarinOne Engine will allow us to support additional campaign types from Google including Performance Max as well as local campaigns and additional data for video campaigns. 

As you start formulating your strategy for adding Performance Max to your digital campaigns, the marketing experts at Marin are here to help. Reach out today to schedule a demo and see how MarinOne’s advanced analytics, automation, and optimization tools can work for your Google Ads programs. 

Conversion rate is a crucial metric for digital marketers. It indicates how well your ads are working—since conversions are the main reason you're running ads in the first place. If your conversion rate is low, your advertising dollars are going to waste. But if it's high, you'll have much more money to spend on other marketing campaigns, like PPC. If you're running display ads and not seeing the results you want, it might be time to tweak your strategy. So, what exactly can you do to increase your digital ads’ conversion rates? 

In this article, we'll walk you through eight tips to help boost conversions so you can reach a larger audience and increase sales. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to conversion optimization, but following these tips will help get you started on the right path!

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What is conversion rate and why is it important?

Conversion rate is a tricky concept. It's not as simple as measuring how many customers you get out of each ad. Instead, it's a measure of how many people who see your advertisement actually do what you want them to do, like download an ebook or make a purchase.

By increasing your conversion rate, you can make the most of your digital marketing budget and maximize your return on your investment. 

A high conversion rate is a result of:

  • A streamlined and appealing sales funnel
  • A well-designed website that is formatted effectively
  • A unique and compelling brand and proposition
  • An effective call-to-action

A low conversion rate means your website’s performance or design may be lacking.  This could be as a result of slow loading pages, forms that are broken, or content that doesn’t accurately convey the offer’s value. 

Through conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can allocate your PPC budget more efficiently and persuade prospects to take action. 

How to calculate your conversion rate

To calculate conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions by how many visitors clicked on your ad. To get the percentage, multiply that result by 100.

Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate % 

This formula can be used for every conversion opportunity on your site. Count only the number of visitors on the web pages where the offer is listed. 

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8 tips for improving conversions

Identify your conversion goals

To optimize your conversion rates, create a robust conversion optimization plan. Consider what your prospective customers really want from you so you can make the conversion path as smooth as possible. Conversion goals help you optimize your advertising objectives more easily. With defined goals, you can also measure your marketing performance and set benchmarks for improvement. Clear objectives will lead to more successful campaigns. 

Make sure your landing page copy is clear and concise

There are a few ways to make your content more accessible and clear to readers:

  • Your landing page copy must be short, simple, and easy to understand. 
  • The tone should be conversational so it makes a natural connection between you and the reader, rather than sounding like an overly formal marketing pitch. 
  • If possible, use bullet points to highlight key benefits that would appeal to the specific type of customer who is visiting this page. 
  • Separate long lists into multiple sections so they don’t create readability issues when viewed all at once.

Create a sense of urgency to get customers to act now

“Accelerators” offer the extra push users sometimes need to convert. To increase conversions on short-lived deals and offers, use copy that provokes a sense of urgency such as “Limited time only,” “Last chance,” or “While supplies last.” As part of your ad creative, add direct call-to-action buttons to increase conversions. Offer limited-time discounts or free shipping for orders placed in the next 24 hours with no coupon code needed! This will help drive traffic and increase sales, especially for those final hours before major holidays. 

Add an interactive element like an online chat window or live demo for more engagement opportunities

By engaging customers with a live chat capability, you can increase both customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat tools are perfect for consumers who are on the fence. This is one of the best ways to respond quickly when a customer has a question about your product or service, which can lead to increased sales

Offer content upgrades that are relevant to people who have already converted

If someone has bought a product, they might be interested in learning more about the topic or how to get even more value from the purchase. If someone has signed up for your email newsletter, they're probably interested in staying up-to-date on new products and promotions. Content upgrades can include: 

  • More information on the same topic
  • A free trial of a paid service
  • A coupon code for a discount on future purchases
  • A digital download

Use social proof such as testimonials from other satisfied customers

Social proof is a powerful persuasion tool that we've all seen in action—and reviews are one of the most instrumental forms:  89% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Social proof builds trust and when your customers have established trust in your brand, they’re more likely to convert. Here are some tips:

  • Build  a strong online presence 
  • Incorporate social proof into your digital ads by including links to where others have left reviews
  • Include testimonials from happy customers 

Reading reviews and testimonials puts consumers at ease. If it’s not apparent that your customers have faith in your product or enjoyed using it, your conversion rate will likely suffer. 

Create a FAQ page so customers can find answers quickly and easily

Include a search button on each landing page where a customer can type in their question or issue so a link to the answer appears at the top of the page for them. Next, make sure you include links to the FAQ page from both your homepage and contact page, or wherever else is relevant. This ensures that anyone who uses Google to research your business before clicking on one of your ads will be able to find this valuable resource immediately after landing on one of these pages. 

Surround buttons with lots of negative space

When your button stands out from its background, it becomes more obvious and easier for users to spot when they're scrolling through pages of content or shopping carts filled with products. This means that more people are likely to click on the button than if it was surrounded by other things like photos and logos, which can make buttons less visually prominent or harder to see.

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Get started improving your conversion rate today

There's no doubt that digital advertising is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In fact, display ad spending is projected to increase by 20.9% in 2022 alone. So if you're looking for a new way to increase conversions and improve your bottom line, MarinOne can help. 

Knowing how to improve the conversion rate of your digital ads is critically important to the growth and development of your business. With MarinOne, you can create, manage, and measure your digital ads so you can gain insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to make adjustments that improve your results. MarionOne’s automation tool enables you to track ad metrics and conversions automatically. 

Learn more about MarinOne’s ad automation tools. Or reach out to one of our MarinOne experts today to schedule a demo.

Advertising is more of an art than a science, and digital marketing is certainly no exception. In the last decade, a lot has changed in the world of online marketing, and the field will continue to adapt along with the quickly evolving technology landscape and ever-shifting consumer trends. In this article, we’ll take a look at how it all began, how it has evolved, and where it's headed next. 

The evolution of digital marketing

Let’s first take a look at how digital marketing has developed over the years by looking at some major milestones in its history.

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The late 1990s: The rise of the internet

Digital marketing made a strong start in the 1990s due to the rising popularity of personal computers. Between 1994 and 1996, the number of people using the internet jumped from 25 million to a whopping 77 million. Why? Well, when the World Wide Web launched in 1989 and the first popular browser, Netscape, arrived on the scene, it caused an explosion of new users. From then on, the digital landscape began to grow exponentially as more and more browsers and search engines popped up, including many of the most popular search engines we know and still use today. 

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Early 2000s: The social media revolution

The invention of the World Wide Web created a collaborative space for sharing information, leading to a social media revolution. You may or may not remember MySpace, but it was the first truly popular platform of its kind, and it set the trend for all the others to follow. After its release in 2003, Facebook made its grand entrance. As a social media leader, it quickly became an outlet for businesses to reach global audiences. Brands began to realize the immense opportunities that could be achieved through tweets, posts, videos, emails, blogs, PPC advertising, and more—and this opened the door for digital marketing to expand. 

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By 2011, TV viewership began to decline for the very first time in history, and marketers were taking note of the transition. With this shift came the introduction of “cookies.” If you’re not already familiar with them, cookies are small pieces of code that are useful for tracking user behavior and content retargeting. Advertisers took advantage of tracking techniques, giving attention to browsing habits and usage patterns so they could fine-tune their campaigns and other marketing efforts. 

The emergence of the internet and the rise of search engines also created an ideal space for what came to be known as native advertising. Using native advertising, marketers can promote content more effectively and connect with target customers through search ads. 

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Mid 2000s: Mobile devices surpass desktop internet usage 

When iPhones became available around 2007, they completely changed how we access the web. As the world quickly invested in the many glories of smartphones, mobile usage served as a major motivation for brands to undertake search engine optimization. By 2014, mobile device usage crossed a key threshold and predictive analytics started to gain some traction. 

In 2016, marketing automation went into effect and marketers started to build more personalized and efficient campaigns. When Facebook and Google prevailed as the two most recognized leaders of the internet in 2017, influencer marketing skyrocketed—and advertisers took the opportunity to grow their audiences. Paid advertising was no longer considered a supplementary strategy for marketers. 

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2018 and beyond: content popularity surges

When 2018 rolled around, marketers continued to improve their SEO efforts, realizing that long-form content was another strategy they could use to increase session durations. But SEO wouldn’t be the only strategy on the minds of advertisers. By 2019, marketers were dealing with an entirely new frontier: the quickly growing landscape of video platforms. By this time it was clear to advertisers that if they wanted to succeed, they would have to prioritize content creation as part of their marketing strategy — be it short-form or long-form text content, or videos

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However, the digital marketing landscape changed once again in 2020 when the pandemic hit and there were restrictions on many daily activities. Digital marketers were forced to keep up with skyrocketing social media use, new purchasing behaviors, and changing consumer behavior patterns. Consumer expectations skyrocketed and marketers had to shift their strategies to create more digital experiences. Marketers realized to adapt they would need to focus on customer values and experiences while placing a stronger emphasis on relationships than ever before. While online strategies are nothing new to the marketing world, COVID-19 initiated a stay-at-home virtual age that couldn’t be ignored. Since then, marketers have needed to focus on online strategies more than ever as a channel for reaching their existing and potential target audiences in order to remain competitive. 

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The future of digital marketing

As it has done in the past, digital marketing will continue evolving and developing every year. So what can you expect for digital marketing next? Current trends forecast that AI, automation, and machine learning technologies will likely become more pervasive. Influencer marketing will continue to grow and voice search and chat bots will soar in popularity. Interactive marketing content will pop up more, and you can also expect to see digital marketing become algorithm-driven. 

While it’s impossible to say with complete certainty where the ever-changing digital marketing landscape is headed in the future, it’s exciting to see where it will go next. 

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How to stay in the loop

Digital marketing has come a long way in its development. However, the digital market industry is continuously evolving and digital marketers must keep up with the rapid acceleration of changes. They must be able to identify emerging trends as well as the creation of newer and more intelligent search engine algorithms.

To help you keep up with trends and make the most of your digital advertising campaigns, MarinOne gives you full visibility into your campaigns while continuously integrating the latest developments in digital marketing.

MarinOne can help you elevate and scale your paid search, social, and ecommerce advertising by helping you automate your campaigns. To see how contact one of our experts today and schedule a personalized demo.

In case you missed it, Amazon announced a second Prime Day this week! The “Prime Early Access Sale” happens October 11 at 12 a.m. PDT and runs through October 12 in 15 countries: Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the U.S.

Amazon is also introducing a Top 100 list with deals dropping on ASIN’s throughout the event across categories including electronics, fashion, home, kitchen, pets, toys, and Amazon devices. Of course Amazon will release their annual Holiday gift guides and Amazon’s Toys We Love list as well. 

Prime Day in July was Amazon’s most successful to date with 300 million items purchased and $11.9 billion in sales, an 8.5% increase over 2021. But ecommerce is slowing as inflation continues to increase and shoppers become more wary of stagflation or a looming recession in the not so distant future. 

So needless to say you do not want to miss out on a second opportunity to get your products in front of eager consumers just before the holiday shopping season starts! Check out Amazon’s Prime Day guide here, and for detailed info on how to maximize sales during the entire holiday season, Marin’s got you covered with our Amazon 2022 Holiday Playbook

Happy Selling!

Content marketing is buyer-centric. It’s measurable, compounding, and scalable. In fact, it typically performs more reliably than other tactics, which makes it one of the best foundations to build marketing success. Creating unique, consistent, and valuable B2B content is simply the best way to connect with your audience. In this article, we’ll explore what B2B content marketing is, why it’s important, how to build a strategy, and how you can use it to grow your business. 

What is B2B content marketing?

Business-to-business (B2B) content marketing is the practice of producing and distributing content methodically to increase brand awareness, improve traffic, generate leads, and boost sales. It’s the process of using content to grow your audience, strengthen brand affinity, and ultimately improve your bottom line. Traditional forms of B2B content marketing include blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, and infographics. 

Why do B2B companies need content marketing?

Builds brand awareness

Content marketing directly influences your organic traffic. When traffic is flowing, you’re building awareness for your brand. Done right, content marketing can help 

  • Improve customer retention rates 
  • Boost organic ranking of your site 
  • Help you create brand partnerships, and 
  • Attract more followers on social media. 
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Creates better engagement rates 

Simply focusing on content creation isn’t enough to create an effective B2B strategy. Marketers must also take notice of leading metrics like engagement rates, clicks, and bounce rate. When content is tailored to suit their interests, audiences will continue to consume it. If content is geared towards a buyer’s tendencies and intent, it will also improve overall engagement as well as conversion rates. 

Affordable, cost-effective, and supports long-term growth

A good SEO strategy coupled with high-quality content produces long-lasting results that compound over time. Once content is generated, it has great potential to drive organic traffic to your site—without you having to compete for top spot ads. 

Although upfront costs for content marketing may initially seem high, it is considered to be more cost-effective than other traditional forms of marketing, paid advertising, and video marketing. 

Additionally, the content you create can be frequently updated and repurposed, costing you a fraction of the price it took to make it. In the long term, the more you use your content, the cheaper it will become. 

High ROI

According to Statista, 30% of marketers believe content has the highest ROI of any channel. Marketers commonly try to amalgamate content’s strategic and financial value into a single metric: campaign ROI, or the success of a single campaign. When measuring the value of your content, be sure you stay focused on the challenge you are trying to solve. Content assets can be employed in numerous ways and can simultaneously be used across multiple platforms. It can also be used for video purposes, on your website, as a transcript for a blog, and so on. 

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How to build a successful B2B content strategy

Every B2B content marketing strategy is unique. However, to create a successful roadmap, you need goals and understanding of your company's long-term objectives. Don’t let the idea of a content strategy be too daunting. It’s actually not very complicated and once you understand what it takes to plan one, you can start creating content that can drive success in your business.

Understand your audience

When you know your audience well, you’ll find it a lot easier to create the right content for them. Even if you have a large audience, explore your Google Analytics data on a granular level. By doing so, you can learn a great deal about your site’s visitors such as gender, age, location, and what topics interest them the most. Once you have more insight into your audience, you can expand content into new relevant subject areas. 

Map the customer journey

When you have a good understanding of your audience, review the customer journey. This can be complex, as they probably went through multiple touchpoints. However, it will help you discover which kinds of content are most effective at leading prospects down the sales funnel. When you have a good idea of where a prospect is in the customer journey, you can adjust your content to keep them interested.

Set yourself apart from competitors

Determine who your biggest competitors are and what kind of content they’re producing. To distinguish your company, aim to deliver content in engaging ways that your competitors can’t.  Present content that highlights the unique value of your business and services. If they have specific content that is performing well, you can implement similar strategies. Unique and approachable messaging will give you a better chance of attracting ideal customers. 

Measure leads and micro-metrics

Data can provide a lot of information, allowing you to measure what’s working and what’s not. To advance your B2B content, you must take analytics seriously. Some metrics that are worth measuring include: 

  • Current statistics such as total views, conversions, and shares of posts
  • Benchmarks and trends
  • High-performing content

Once you understand how your content is performing, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. If there is specific content that gets better than average conversion rates, promote it via sponsored content or paid social ads. 

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Common mistakes content marketers make 

Content marketing pitfalls can often be prevented with careful planning. With the market so crowded, there’s little room for error and missed opportunities. Marketers need to focus on getting it right as they are limited by a finite number of potential customers. Common mistakes include:

Not taking advantage of user-generated content 

When user-generated material goes ignored, marketers miss out on a major opportunity to build a solid foundation of trust with consumers. To ensure content reaches their audience with a greater impact, marketers can include reviews and testimonials where appropriate, and even outsource content creation to users. This saves time and resources.  

Not having a content approval process 

A review and editing process is vital to ensure high-quality content that is relevant and engaging. It is also wise for marketers to create a content review and approval checklist. Alternatively, using a content management platform can help mainstream the process, making it easy to create, approve, and publish your content. 

Not promoting content enough

Promoting content is key to extending your reach to relevant audiences. Include new content in your emails and social media posts to drive more traffic to your content pieces and help nurture potential prospects. Keep in mind that producing content is only as effective as the efforts you make to advertise it. Native ads, display ads, and paid social are also great tactics for distributing articles or whitepapers as far reaching as possible. It no one reads the content then it doesn't matter how much you have or how good it is…which is why content creation is just as important as content promotion

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10 quick tips and tactics for effective content marketing

  1. Use personalized nurture journeys
  2. Engage employees in active audience building
  3. Create content for ALL search engines
  4. Make sure your case studies aren’t too formal or stuffy
  5. Use “smart” popups
  6. Maximize digital PR to extend promotions and reach
  7. Use content snippets to make product education more digestible
  8. Segment your retargeting audience
  9. Promote your high-converting blog posts
  10. Partner with brands and influencers in your industry

MarinOne can help you supercharge your content

As a B2B company, MarinOne is well versed in what it takes to reach the right audiences with the right messages. Through our cross-channel approach, your campaigns will persuade and convert like never before. 

Business to Business advertisers gain a competitive advantage by identifying and analyzing the right data and integrating insights from that data to help campaigns perform. With MarinOne, you can easily optimize your content and automate key workflows using first-party data.  

Get in touch with one of MarinOne’s experts today to see how we can help you with your marketing needs.

We all have a fundamental need to belong. In fact, this is not unique to humanity; some animals only survive or thrive in groups as well. The foundation of a community is built upon support from acquaintances or family, as well as shared interests or backgrounds. Churches, schools, clubs, neighborhoods are some of the primary ways people get a sense of community or togetherness. Brands can create a community using the same methodology: a group of people that are all passionate or interested in a central topic.

Why Should Community Marketing be Important to Brands?

Community marketing's primary objective is to help companies engage with members of their target audience through their products, creating an engaged and long-term audience of customers. A key component to true lifecycle marketing, creating an active brand community can keep the same customers coming back to your brand again and again. It is a pillar of brand loyalty

Community marketing leverages the power of social media or other online platforms to build meaningful relationships with consumers. Many consumers want to get the "brand perspective" on various topics they are interested in, and this can impact how the community members interact. Many companies underestimate the influence they may have to start meaningful conversations online. Fitness, beauty, and lifestyle brands often do this quite well as consumers of these products are addressing needs that are quite personal, like their appearance or health, and they crave a safe space to discuss those needs. Organizations doing community marketing well are hosting and owning that safe space for discussion.

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What Goes Into a Successful Community Marketing Plan?

There are a few crucial aspects to establishing a healthy community marketing strategy. One component of this involves creating messaging that focuses on everything your target consumers love doing. Look at the broader universe surrounding your product and the problems it solves. 

Savage X Fenty did this successfully when they set out to have a unique discussion around body positivity and inclusivity in the lingerie space. Their approach in setting up email lists, and Facebook groups, and community boards, all added to that sense of togetherness where many people of different backgrounds could connect on feeling "on the outside" with other lingerie companies marketing tactics. The result of this harmonious messaging resulted in incredible growth for the brand. Making your company mission about more than just a set of products brings customers or prospective customers together, getting them psyched about what they already have a genuine interest in.

Advantages of Initiating and Running a Brand Community 

If you still have doubts about using community marketing for your business, here are some benefits that might help you make up your mind.

  • Improved customer experience for your prospects. By constantly interacting with the community, you get first-hand information about customer satisfaction. In turn, you can use this info to upgrade your products to suit their needs.
  • Increased customer retention and brand growth. An effective program seeks to build loyalty in customers who buy from your brand severally. The goal of every business is to achieve loyal relationships with their customers.
  • Instead of monitoring your brand reputation like an eagle overlooking an expansive landscape, with community marketing you're more like a deer living within the environment, overhearing what is being said and interacting with the other creatures in your brand forest. Your company becomes an integral part of the conversation. The opportunity to answer questions, redirect customers, and have ownership over public opinion in this way, especially if there are any questions being thrown your way from a PR standpoint, is invaluable.
  • New members of the community easily become your customers. Although a larger following does not always translate to more significant sales, you get new customers from the brand awareness that comes through your existing customers interacting and enjoying the community. 
  • The business grows organically. Thriving communities have people willing to share their good experiences with the world. These advocates can result in tremendous growth, and this kind of engagement becomes a great funnel and natural segue into ambassador, influencer, or affiliate marketing strategies.
  • Customers can feel the product's authenticity. We all know that advertising can sometimes be a bit fabricated. Community branding brings out honesty and transparency, resulting in an authentic feel to your product and brand.
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Misconceptions Surrounding Community Marketing

Even with many benefits to businesses that use community marketing, the lack of clarity in some areas has led to misconceptions surrounding it. Let's look at a few that are the most common.

  1. An extensive community is always the best.
  2. Communities can only spring up naturally.
  3. A product can only have a single community branding.
  4. All the members should be customers.

Best Ways to Start and Run Community Marketing

If you are starting or want to better your strategy, brace yourself and put your best foot forward. You do not want your audience feeling too much pressure, coercion, or any form of spam. Here are some tips to get you started without coming across too "salesy."

  • Interact with the members of the community on general topics surrounding your industry. Start with an internal brainstorm session to have a full list of ideas that you can refer back to whenever in doubt. Remember too that you're facilitating conversations, not lecturing. No need to stand on a pulpit and declare things–ask questions and let the community bring their ideas to you. The community will tell you what they care about and want to discuss.
  • Exercise your expertise in the specific field. If you strike your followers as an expert, people will start coming at you with questions and seeking clarification. Seek more knowledge in the niche and focus on helping your audience build their expertise. Positioning multiple employees as thought leaders and including them in the engagement process also builds authority for your company and humanizes the interactions that take place.
  • Be reachable. Group participation alone is not enough. Show up regularly, respond to direct messages, and avoid ignoring reactions. After all, you want followers to see your brand as authentic and human.
  • Be consistent. If it has been a while since you created a community and no one has shown up yet, or you can only hear cricket noises, don't lose hope. Keep sharing, and in time, the audience will gain confidence in your products and their ability to contribute in a meaningful way.
  • Engage with the audience. This is the surefire way to quickly learn what your community values and what they appreciate, between plain posts and videos. If you can also do a poll, that would come in handy. Sometimes simply liking, commenting, or tagging community members is enough to make people feel they are important to the company.

Conclusion 

Community marketing contributes significantly to accelerated growth and a positive brand reputation. Incorporating this channel as a tactic can help keep company goals in line with the audience's wants. Identify the best platform for building your community based on where you believe your existing target market spends their time online.

Once your organic social media strategy is inline, MarinOne can assist in continuing to drive brand awareness, revenue growth, and holistic omnichannel analysis. Our tool provides an all-in-one place to see how all your campaigns are performing against each other, and how organic channels are assisting paid channels. Speak to our marketing team of experts today to learn more about cross-channel paid media management.

It’s no secret that the social advertising ecosystem (and the rest of the world) looks much different than it did just a few years ago. We know that many advertisers are searching for direction as they learn to navigate the constantly evolving landscape. 

Explaining the Ad Auction and Delivery System

Understanding how the Facebook ad auction works is the first step to adaptation. The ad auction formula consists of components that advertisers can leverage to increase their ad performance in the auction. The formula itself is a linear relationship between all components, making it easier to understand and predict how each variable will affect outcomes.

The Ad Auction

When advertisers create ads, they tell us who they want to show their ads to by defining a target audience. A person can fall into multiple target audiences. For example, one advertiser targets women who like skiing, while another advertiser targets all skiers who live in California. The same person (in this case, a female skier who lives in California) could fall into the target audience of both advertisers. When there's an opportunity to show someone an ad, the ads with a target audience that the person belongs to are eligible to compete in the auction.

To ensure that the winning ad maximizes value for both people and businesses, the winner of the auction is the ad with the highest total value. The total value is a combination of 3 major factors connected by the formula below:

  • Bid: The bid placed by an advertiser for that ad (in other words, what the advertiser is willing to pay to achieve their desired outcome).
  • Estimated action rates: An estimate of whether a particular person engages with or converts from a particular ad (in other words, the probability that showing an ad to a person leads to that desired outcome of the advertiser).
  • Ad quality: A measure of the quality of an ad as determined from many sources including feedback from people viewing or hiding the ad and and assessments of low-quality attributes in the ad, such as withholding information, sensationalized language and engagement bait.

Together, estimated action rates and ad quality measure ad relevance. Because these are components of the auction, an ad that’s more relevant to a person could win an auction against ads with higher bids.

The Ad Delivery System

Because the ad auction and ad delivery system behave like a supply-and-demand system, there are seasonal fluctuations and ecosystem changes that will affect the outcomes and costs of ad performance. There are two main causes of CPM fluctuations you may have experienced before:

  • Seasonal and Economic events:  The impact of seasonal and economic events on advertiser cost can be represented by supply and demand. Supply and demand typically have an inverse relationship, but multiple simultaneous forces on supply and demand can create different outcomes. Considering the impacts of seasonality and economic events in terms of supply and demand can help advertisers predict how this will translate into the ad auction. The examples provided by Meta below illustrate the expected impact of different macroeconomic variables and seasonality on the ad delivery system.

A positive economic event illustrates the typical inverse relationship between supply and demand. When supply (usership and user behavior) remains constant but we see advertisers competing for user attention by raising budgets, this leads to a flat level of impressions and thereby a higher cost per impression (impacting CPMs).

A relatable example of seasonality for advertisers is the holiday season. During this time, we see both supply and demand move as users are more actively searching for gifts to purchase, while advertisers are also spending more to capture this increased intent. In this example, purchases are likely to increase while CPAs remain constant.

A negative economic event in this example moves both the supply and demand curves. If users are spending more time on Facebook, the supply rises. But concerned advertisers also typically pull back spend during a negative economic event, pushing down demand. This resulted in increased impressions at a lower cost per impression, and subsequently lower CPM.

  • Effects on reporting due to user adoption of iOS tracking updates: With iOS 14.5+ adoption ramping up since July 2021, there has been an impact on advertising delivery and reporting, and performance fluctuations. While these effects have been widely felt, it’s important to recognize that these known reporting gaps do not mean our platform is not driving real business value for advertisers, or that your campaigns are not resulting in a purchase or major event. These changes just make it harder for us to measure the outcome. After extensive internal analysis, we’re able to publicly share that we now estimate - in aggregate - that we are currently underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 8%, which is down from the 15% estimate we reported last September.

In part two of our collaboration, we’ll apply these concepts to strategies advertisers can use to structure for scale. Visit Meta for Business, for more information on the ad auction and delivery system. 

It’s hard to keep up with what’s new in the world of marketing with so many new strategies emerging every day. A decade ago, marketers focused on creating catchy ads and putting them in the right places at the right time. However, a lot of things have changed since then. For one thing, effective marketing now requires businesses to implement a more holistic approach. 

With more competition than ever before, simply creating an ad won’t yield the best results. In this day and age, customers are more in control and are more discerning. You must understand your buyer, learn what they want, and develop a strategy to meet their needs. One of the best ways to do that? Precision marketing

Read on to learn about precision marketing and gain meaningful insights and advice from one of our very own MarinOne digital advertising experts, Anu Adegbola, on how to create an effective strategy that will get your brand noticed and help you win your customers’ loyalty. 

What is precision marketing?

Precision marketing uses data and relationship-building to precisely target a brand’s customers. The technique involves nurturing relationships—specifically, prioritizing existing customers over new ones and connecting with them in a more relevant way. It’s about customer retention, upselling, and cross-selling. Using precision marketing, marketers rely heavily on market segmentation to analyze shopper habits, behaviors, and other patterns to help increase the success of their marketing efforts while providing a better and more intelligent customer experience. 

Why precision marketing is important

Marketing needs to be agile

The internet has made it easy for customers to respond to marketing campaigns and ads in real time. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to be prepared to adapt quickly. 

Marketing is more complex than it used to be

To thoroughly understand your customer base, you need more than just demographic information. While it’s helpful to know the basics of where and who your customers are, it’s just as critical to know what’s important to them, how they communicate with one another, and more. When you have accurate data, you’ll be able to create messaging that resonates with your key audiences

Customers have high expectations

Customers expect their user experience to be frictionless. In this new digital age, they want what they want, when they want it. To ensure customer satisfaction it is critical to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends. If you don’t, your customers may look elsewhere, seeking out your competitors instead. 

Connections matter

Marketing is no longer about copy that sells. While engaging ads are still very important, success now requires social insight along with an understanding of psychology. When you understand why customers are making their purchase decisions, you can develop a more tailored marketing strategy. 

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5 tips for an effective precision marketing strategy

Implementing an effective precision marketing strategy that produces results requires following a careful and comprehensive plan.

Engage with your customers

When promoting your product, don’t forget that commitment to your customer comes first, and their purchase comes second. Developing real relationships will help foster more brand loyalty along the way. 

“If all you’re focusing on is getting clicks, you’re not going to get the return you’re looking for. It’s not all about volume—it’s about the right volume. You need to make sure you’re showing things to the right audience,” says MarinOne marketing expert, Anu Adegbola. “Those who have focused on just the data and not building a relationship with their clients won’t succeed because they don’t have the whole picture.” 

Have a strong online presence 

Besides having had a profound effect on marketing, social media has proven to be an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. Old marketing strategies like live events and cold calls may have worked in the past, but not now. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms give you a way to connect with customers more personally. 

Anu’s advice: “If you’re going to have a presence on a social platform, you need to do it well. Test the various platforms to see what’s working for your brand or company—if it’s not working for you, move on and find what does. Make sure you’re on the appropriate platform for your brand and your customers. If you’re in the wrong space, you may get a negative reaction.”

Offer real value to repeat customers

Customers respond well to brands that cater to their needs and consistently offer them real value. “It’s not just about targeting the single purchases, but it’s about building repeat customers,” Anu explains. Make lifecycle marketing an integral part of your precision marketing strategy by creating interesting and dynamic content that brings your precisely targeted customers back to your brand again and again. Personalized offers that relate to past products they've bought, birthdays, or unique interests are all great ways to get repeat purchases from the same customer over time. 

Be authentic

Customers appreciate authenticity. Understand where your brand sits in the market and what makes it unique. To be effective, know your brand values and make sure you represent those values through your marketing efforts. It also helps to have an approachable brand voice–test out multiple variants of landing page or ad copy when running a targeted campaign. Most likely the assets that will perform the best will be the most simple to comprehend; making things too complex increases the likelihood that you'll lose interest by those unfamiliar with your brand.

Create a desirable customer experience

Customers today live in a digital world with unlimited options. Give them a compelling reason to work with you. By delivering an exceptional customer experience, you can win their trust and expect that they will keep coming back. 

“You need to make things easy for the customer,” suggests Anu. “For example, if the return process is easy, they’ll come back to shop again, and hopefully buy something even more expensive the next time they shop with you.”

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5 keys for success in brand loyalty

Here are some of the best ways to get in front of your customers and build their loyalty. 

Maintain a strong brand

Customers naturally gravitate towards brands they’re familiar with and can trust. Aim to align your brand with your values, mission, and your customers’ expectations.

Understand your audience’s habits

Use precision marketing to gain accurate insight into your audience’s behaviors. When used effectively, audience data can help you create content that is engaging and relevant. 

Stick to your goals

Setting realistic goals will make it easier for you to track the success of your marketing efforts. By measuring what’s working and what’s not, you can adjust your goals accordingly. Consider evaluating click through rates, the number of email newsletter subscribers, how effective CTAs are working, as well as ups and downs in website traffic. 

Make retention a priority

While it's good to attract new customers, it’s far more cost effective to focus on retaining your existing ones. The goal is to have people keep coming back. To drive more conversions, focus on creating personalized experiences and deals that your existing customers will find appealing. Segment your audiences, collect data about each audience group and their behavior, and you’re sure to be on your way to higher retention rates. 

Stay on top of trends

You may already be aware that marketing trends change frequently. Staying on top of trends—even if they come and go—gives you a competitive advantage and helps you maintain a close connection with customers. When a new trend pops up, assess whether it will be effective for your brand. To make sure you're in the loop, read current blogs and listen to your customers so you can meet their needs. 

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Use MarinOne to boost your precision marketing efforts

The marketing industry is constantly evolving and it will continue to do so in the years to come. To remain responsive, marketers must use precision marketing to build solid relationships with their existing customers and attract the right audiences for new potential customers. 

MarinOne can help you streamline and amplify your precision marketing campaigns using the latest analytics and automation tools. We can also provide tactical and strategic advice, guide you on what strategies will work best for your specific needs, and much more. Learn more about MarinOne today. 

Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can help you get the information and tools you need to increase the effectiveness of your precision marketing campaigns.

In 2023, Google will stop supporting Universal Analytics and switch all customers to Google Analytics 4. Prepare ahead of time to make your transition as seamless as possible by making GA4 an integral part of your tech stack now. We will discuss how Google Analytics 4 differs from earlier versions and there will also be pointers for maximizing the platform's functionality. 

Google Analytics 4: What’s new?

So now comes the question of what new features there are in GA4, and the answer is, in short… a lot. The data collection algorithm and data structure in GA4 are quite different. Now, rather than sessions as in the past, everything is built around users and events. Every user interaction is treated as a separate event in an event-based approach.

This shift is important since, in the past, we relied on a session-based model that categorized user activities over a certain time. Marketing grows significantly from shifting the focus from sessions to events, including improved pathing analytic capabilities and cross-platform analysis.

By switching to an event-based approach, GA4 becomes more adaptable and has improved user behavior prediction.

Google Analytics 4 property events

Normally, the data in your reports comes from activities that occur as people engage with your website or blog. A page view event is triggered whenever a user accesses a page on your site.

The following events may be gathered without the use of any code:

  • Automatically collected events: Events that are automatically captured when data collection is set up include first visit, ad clicks, and file downloads.
  • Enhanced measurement events: This option automatically gathers enhanced measurement events such as page view, scroll, and video engagement.
  • Recommended events: This represents events that you design but that have fixed names and parameters. Common events in this category could be ad impressions, coupon use for purchases, or a search performed by the user on your website directly. 
  • Custom events: Custom events are ones you designate and give a specific name. If none of the events in the other categories meet your requirements, you can build events that are completely bespoke to your business.
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How to make the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4

To update the GA version, you can follow the steps that are listed below:

Step 1: 

Easily install GA4 by navigating to the admin part of your reporting view in your GA3 property. Open the admin section and start the process.

Step 2:

You will see that the "Setup Assistant" link for GA4 located under the Property column. Click on it. 

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Step 3:

You will find the heading "I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property," click the "Get Started" button.

Step 4:

In this step, you need to click on the Create Property button. New GA4 properties will now be created automatically by Google Analytics. Your current GA property will continue to exist. So you will have access to at least two GA properties. With gtag.js, the GA4 setup assistance operates automatically. You must add the Analytics tag manually if you use a website builder like WordPress, Wix, etc. However, this new GA4 property won't start gathering data automatically. For the data to begin flowing into your new GA4 property, you must configure your GTM (Google Tag Manager).

Step 5:

Now click on the "see your GA4 button. A new tab will open. Click on the Data stream link.

Step 6:

In this step, click on your web data stream. Note: Both "web stream" and "data stream" are used in Google Analytics 4. These two terms refer to the flow of analytics information your website sends to Google Analytics.

Step 7:

Select "Use existing on-page tag" from the Tagging instructions section. Select Google Tag Manager from the drop-down option. Now you will see the instructions for setting up a tag to track your website data in the new GA4 property. Note down the measurement ID.

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Step 8:

Go to your GTM account and click the link for New Tags. Give your new tag a name like "GA4 tracking - All pages" and choose Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration as the tag type.

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Step 9:

In the Measurement ID text box, type the measurement ID you recorded earlier. Make sure that your trigger fires on all pages. To save your tag, click the Save button.

Step 10:

Click on the Preview button, which is situated in the upper right corner. The Tag Manager Preview mode window will appear in a new browser tab. If it doesn't, it indicates that your browser is blocking the window.

Step 11:

Now enter your website address and click on the Connect button. Your website will appear in a new tab in your browser window as soon as you click the Connect button.

Step 12:

Return to the tab of your browser that displays the Tag Manager Preview mode window, and click the Continue button. Your tag is firing properly if you see the tag "GA4 tracking-All pages" in the Tags Fired column.

Step 13:

Now again, open your GTM account and click the submit tab. Click the Publish button after naming your version. Go back to your website, click on a few pages, and open them. After scrolling up, open your GA4 property again and click the cross button next to the Web stream details.

Finally, check your reports

From the menu on the left, just select the Reports icon.

Your home page report's quick response will be:

  • What are the locations of your new users?
  • Which of your campaigns performed the best?
  • Which screens and pages receive the greatest traffic?
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Select Real-time report by clicking over it. Your real-time report should show new data. Remember that Google Analytics 4 reports differ significantly from the Universal Analytics reports. In addition to using the new catalog, several well-known metrics and reports have been totally removed. Basically, you would have to start again with Google Analytics 4 if you were using standard reports like the Top Landing Pages report.

Keep in mind that GA4 property is the default option while establishing a new property from within an existing GA3 property. However, you can still use the GA4 Setup Assistant option in your GA3 property even after you have created your new GA4 property.

The option to "See your GA4 property" should appear when you click the GA4 Setup Assistant link once more, indicating that you have successfully set up the GA4 property and connected it to your previous GA3 property.

What is an App + Web Property?

App + Web was basically Google Analytics 4's beta version. All App + Web properties are now accessible as GA4 properties. This means that you don't need to do anything.

Open the property in your Google Analytics account. The previous Universal Analytics interface will have been replaced with the new GA4 interface.

Next Steps

Google Analytics 4 uses artificial intelligence (AI) to effectively gather user data, provide statistics based on customer life cycles, and help you customize your advertising to your target audience. Combining these elements can increase your chances of conversion and ROI while also building your business.

Using GA4 in combination with MarinOne reporting and conversion tracking tools will give your marketing team complete visibility on all your website impressions, engagement, and actions…with a holistic view of users and events across channels and devices. By automatically connecting and combining siloed marketing data from thousands of sources, you can understand the impact of your marketing at both high and granular levels. 

Ready to know your best-performing tactics across the consumer’s journey and optimize every marketing dollar? Speak with one of our expert consultants today to learn how to get started.

The global e-commerce market reached a value of $13 trillion in 2021—and is forecasted to rise to $55.6 trillion by 2027. What are some of the major factors that led to this growth?  There was an explosion in demand for smart devices like smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever for people to shop online from anywhere. COVID was another big factor: when stores closed, consumers  all went online—and they liked it.

In this article, we'll share some of the benefits of the current e-commerce landscape, then give you some tips on getting your e-commerce site to perform at its best this year and beyond.

Reasons to Ramp Up your E-comm Presence

There's no doubt that online sales are more important than ever, regardless of your company structure. With a growing population of e-comm shoppers and a marketplace that's constantly expanding, it's essential to have a strong e-commerce presence if you want to stay competitive and meet customers’ demands. Here are five reasons you should focus your efforts on e-commerce: 

Meeting Consumers Where They Are

Since the onset of the pandemic, consumer behavior has dramatically changed, shifting more towards digital shopping habits. A study done by Pew Research states that 79% of U.S. consumers shop online, indicating that this new habit is here to stay. And for good reason: it’s far more convenient than having to step foot in any physical retail store. It saves time, gives consumers the flexibility to shop for the best prices, and allows them to choose from a wider range of products.

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Unrestricted Store Hours

Having an e-commerce site means your store is theoretically open all day, every day. With 24/7 access consumers can browse whenever they want, be it 1 AM or 1 PM. Not only does this make digital shopping more appealing for customers, but it also increases sales opportunities. 

Manage Your Business From Anywhere

As opposed to a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, using an e-commerce site allows you to run your company from anywhere. Whether you prefer to sit in an office, work from home, or even your local coffee shop, you can watch your business grow without being tied to a physical space. 

Extend Your Reach

As an e-commerce company, your number one priority is to get the word out about your products and services. It is possible to advertise in different ways and improve traffic to your site. However, this is easier said than done. It's always hard to get noticed online with so much noise and competition shouting their message out. By honing in on the right niche messaging for your target demographic, and utilizing an omnichannel marketing approach with SEM, email marketing with proper authentication protocols, influencers, and more…you can "find your people" on a global scale. Once the right brand message is identified, the opportunity to extend your reach to a wider target audience is virtually limitless.

Reduce Your Costs

If you were at all hesitant to start an e-commerce site because of the cost, think again. Launching a site is more affordable than owning a store, and it minimizes infrastructure, communication, and other overhead costs. 

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Tips for Creating a Profitable E-commerce Site

Follow the Latest Trends

With e-commerce best practices constantly evolving and changing, it’s vital to keep your e-commerce site current and your business competitive. By keeping up with the latest trends, you'll find new and innovative techniques that will offer your business huge value, while identifying the tactics that may not be suitable for your specific company needs. To determine which trends are worth pursuing, know your customers and competitors well so you can make the right move. 

Understand How to Optimize your E-Commerce Presence

Adopt advanced conversion tactics and push your organization to improve your baseline goal. Routinely examine bounce rates, exit rates, click-through rates, and average session durations. It is also wise to invest in e-commerce tools that can help analyze your current conversion rate issues. Some other strategies for boosting conversion rates include using high-quality images and videos on your product pages, providing limited-time coupon codes, and tweaking your store checkout process. 

Develop Strategic Shipping Policies and Options

Offer your consumers free shipping on orders over a specific amount and offer expedited delivery options like three-day shipping or two-hour delivery windows for customers who need their items immediately. An effective product delivery strategy will help to differentiate your business from competitors.

Include Customer Reviews on Product Pages 

Without a storefront, customers can’t physically experience an item before purchasing it. Give them the confidence they need to make informed decisions about products by providing them with easy access to online product reviews. By helping them navigate your business’s digital space, you maintain a positive reputation and a strong brand name, leading to happy customers and returning business. 

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Brand 

Having a social media presence allows you to connect with existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. Statista data indicates that users spend an average of a whopping 147 minutes per day on social media. Using social media to market your e-commerce store allows you to reach shoppers directly, advertise new products, or engage them with attractive promotions. According to BigCommerce statistics, businesses with an active and unique social media presence have at least 32% more sales than those without one. 

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Integrate your Point of Sale and Inventory Management Systems for Best Results 

Consumers prefer a seamless shopping and purchasing experience, with expectations that their products will arrive at their doorstep as fast as possible. Backend integration can help streamline e-commerce operations like inventory management, so that your customers remain satisfied and get what they want, when they want it. Integrating inventory management allows your organization to track its stock so you can balance the quantity of products on hand while meeting customer demands. By being able to analyze trends and sales patterns, you can also successfully maximize sales margins. 

Make your Site Mobile Friendly

Making sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly is the key to driving more sales and ensuring a smooth customer journey. A mobile-friendly design leads to more page views, stronger customer loyalty, increased online purchases, and many more benefits. 

Site Speed Matters

The last thing you want is a slow-loading website that will irritate your visitors. If your site can’t move fast enough for your customers it will negatively impact the user's perception of your brand, increase bounce rates, and encourage buyers to look elsewhere. In fact, studies prove that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will quickly give up and leave.  

Conclusion

Not only is centralizing your business to an e-commerce website cost-effective, it’s also been the preferred way for customers to shop for several years now. To stay competitive, it's essential that you get your website running like a well-oiled machine.

Not sure where to start? MarinOne can help by streamlining your advertising efforts and give your website a jumpstart in sales and traffic. This will buy your team time to get the web backend exactly how you want it while we build your front-end brand through advertising on marketplaces, paid search, and social. With MarinOne, you can gain an edge over your competition, maximize performance across all channels, and utilize impactful retail marketplace advertising features to set your e-commerce site up for success. 

Learn more about how MarinOne can help. Get in touch and speak to one of our team experts or schedule a free demo today.

As most performance marketers will tell you, knowing your audience and how they interact with your brand is crucial to help you measure and optimize your campaigns. While advertisers used to rely on guesswork in devising strategies to reach more prospects, they can now confidently make informed decisions based on real-time data, thanks to tracking pixels.

Tracking pixels are crucial when you’re thinking about campaign planning, targeting, and optimization. Although pixels are simply small snippets of code on the backend of your website, they have the power to transform your entire marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of pixel tracking, how it works, the different types, and how you can start using pixels properly for any kind of marketing campaign. 

What is a tracking pixel?

Simply put, a tracking pixel is an HTML code snippet embedded in a site or email. Although it’s a nearly invisible component of the site, it contains a tag that tracks user behavior—things like the pages they’ve visited, the actions they’ve taken, and their purchasing history. This is powerful because it can capture important information that reveals consumer interactions with advertising and other marketing efforts. 

How does a tracking pixel work?

  • A pixel code is added to your site’s HTML code or email.
  • A user’s browser processes the HTML code when they visit your website.
  • The browser then follows the link stored in the code and opens the graphic. 
  • The server registers this activity within its log files.
  • The data is then available to analyze.
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What are the different types of tracking pixels?

There are a few different types of tracking pixels: 

  • Conversion pixels focus on what happens once your targeted audience interacts with your ads. They inform you of the products customers added to their cart, which contact forms they completed and submitted, and what they bought, among other things.
  • Impression pixels measure the number of times an ad unit displays on a customer’s screen. The goal of these pixels is to provide you with a precise number of impressions that have been served so you can determine whether an ad is successful.
  • Retargeting pixels track the behavior of your site’s previous visitors so you can tailor ads to suit their particular interests.
  • Click tracking pixels allow you to see the exact number of clicks on your URL, email links, ads, or text links, which helps you understand which sites are generating the most clicks

What’s the difference between a pixel, a cookie, and a tag?

We could spend a great deal of time on the distinction between various types of tracking codes. For those just trying to get a basic understanding, however, here’s a brief overview.

  • Pixels allow you to follow users on all their devices, linking marketing efforts across your mobile ads and website. Because they don’t rely on an individual’s browser, users can’t disable them. Pixels are useful for tracking conversions on your landing pages, partner sites, and even affiliate networks.
  • Cookies, on the other hand, are saved in a user’s browser. Unlike pixels, users can disable, block, or clear cookies as they choose. Cookies are most commonly used to create an easier login experience and also for adding multiple items to a visitor’s cart for a single checkout.
  • Tags are often used interchangeably with pixels. Defined loosely, tags are the keywords that describe elements on a page and all their attributes.

While all three are different, they are all used to capture user information so you can deliver a more customized web experience for your site’s visitors. 

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When I am planning a new campaign, which things should I pixel?

  • Key landing pages: Adding a pixel to key landing pages such as a “contact us” page can make a difference to your conversion lifecycle. 
  • Home page: A pixel here will help you figure out which visitors are coming to your site. 
  • View product: This pixel will help give you insight into who is looking at your products but not actually purchasing them. 
  • Add to cart: Adding a pixel further down the funnel at the “add to cart” phase of the lifecycle is intended to track your high buying potential audience. 
  • Lead forms: Placing a pixel on the start button of your lead form will help you determine the percentage of users who complete the form. You can also add one to the confirmation page. This pixel placement will also help you understand any upper funnel interaction from your campaign or different tactics. 

Helpful tips 

Before getting started, here are some helpful tips to consider.

  • Be intentional. Be selective with your pixel usage. You don’t need to attach a pixel to every single web page. Rather than casting a wide net with your tracking data, work on refining your focus, which will result in more accurate user data. Quality over quantity is key here. 
  • Track pixel frequencies cautiously. They can make your site slower—and slow load times will make users more likely to leave. Keep in mind that users can’t see a tracking pixel, so if it’s the last item to load on a page, that’s quite okay.
  • Don’t lose sight of your targeted campaigns. Stay focused on your target audience. Don’t waste tracking pixels on demographics you’re not aiming for.
  • Respect users’ privacy. While you may not like the idea of users opting out of tracking, respect their choice. Even though you have good intentions, some users prefer that their movements go unwatched. 
  • Monitor ad performance. Identify which ads are resonating best with your audience. Tracking pixels can help determine which ads perform well so you can create content that your audience responds to and optimize your online ad spend. 
  • Use a platform that provides detailed reports. To track your marketing performance and analyze information such as digital ad impressions, email responses, social media conversion rates, and other types of activity related to your campaign, choose a platform that can do it all for you. Eliminating the guesswork from your tracking pixel strategy will enable you to see real-time results and also allows you to make adjustments quickly. 
  • Set up tracking parameters. Implementing tracking parameters can help you discover which channels are producing high conversion rates, which campaigns are successful, which creatives are performing well, and much more. 

Ready to get started with pixel tracking?

MarinOne can help. Our Marin Tracker is a conversion tracking solution with optimization tools built into its platform to give you a better understanding of your buying cycle.

We help you make data-driven marketing decisions by unifying your campaign data with sales outcomes and machine learning. Our tracker makes it easy for you to measure your revenue impact from all of your digital marketing efforts. 

Save time managing tracking codes so you can spend more time on what matters most—driving your campaigns with rich insights.

Tracking pixels can give you the edge you need if you’re ready to take your online advertising or latest campaign to the next level. Get in touch with one of our experts about how we can help you set up, plan, execute, and optimize your campaigns.

Online grocery delivery has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic and retailers are fighting to secure their place in the online shopping world. Retail advertisers are eager to get in front of hungry customers at the moment of purchase and have discovered that Instacart is one of the best ways to do that. 

Since 2020, Instacart has experienced a 500% increase in order volume. To keep up with this escalating traffic volume and successfully reach customers, advertisers are quickly realizing that they need to spruce up their e-grocery advertising campaigns. 

In this guide, we’ll explain the basics of Instacart advertising and explore Instacart ad inventory and the different ad types to help you find out which is right for you. We’ll also look at various campaign structures and keyword strategies, your bidding options, and some advanced tactics for optimization. 

How To Determine If Instacart Advertising is Right for Your Brand

Instacart advertising is the perfect way to extend your brand’s presence into the digital world of e-grocery shopping. 

Instacart is designed to give shoppers what they want, when they want it. They can do so because they leverage a huge number of brick-and-mortar retailers. Instacart’s ability to help advertisers maximize brand reach and consumer awareness makes it a suitable option for brands of all sizes. 

With brands reporting very good ROAS, the platform’s advertising is destined to become even more crowded than it already is. Research shows that more than 45,000 stores participate on Instacart. 

The Basics of Instacart Advertising

Retailers can create “Featured Product ads” through Instacart’s grocery pick-up and delivery services. The purpose of the ads is to reach prospective buyers on Instacart who are using specific keywords while browsing. Featured Product ads are typically displayed in areas of high visibility across the platform and can appear in two different categories: Search or Non-Search Ads. 

  • Search Featured Ads or “Self-Serve” Ads

These ads appear in a shopper’s search results and are a powerful tool to help amplify your brand’s visibility. In fact, 40% of all clicks on search results are on the top 1 to 3 products that populate a results page. 

  • Non-Search Featured Ads

Unlike Feature Ads, Non-Search Ads pop up in various places on Instacart and are not restricted to specific search keywords. They commonly appear in one of four placements including the home page, your items, item details, or department. 

Campaign Structuring

Keywords and products on Instacart can be grouped in two different ways: 

  • Similarly-Priced Products

As its name indicates, this type of campaign structuring refers to grouping products together that fall into a particular price range. 

  • Like Products

These are products that share more than 70% of particular keywords. 

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Keyword Strategies

Understanding the differences that keywords can make will help you create effective Instacart ad campaigns.

  • Category Keywords

These keywords present a large opportunity for Instacart growth. Because Instacart has a low volume of advertisers, Cost Per Clicks will be lower than what you would get on Amazon. If shoppers purchase your item using these keywords, it’s likely that they will make repeat purchases via your item section. 

  • Branded Keywords

Typically, branded keywords have the highest ROAS and lowest CPC. However, when using branded keywords, it's wise to allocate only a small portion of your budget to them because you want to ensure that your ad spend remains incremental. 

  • Competitor Keywords

“Conquesting” or bidding and winning your competitors' keywords can be a tricky strategy. While your CPC for these keywords is always more than that for category keywords, it can be ineffective and costly, and can also result in low conversion rates. Competitor keywords are best suited for items that are frequently purchased since the lifetime value of a shopper can help offset the initial high cost of the bid. 

Bidding Options

With the platform’s second-price auctioning system, advertisers' Cost Per Click (CPC) will be $0.01 more than the next highest bidder whenever they win an auction. 

  • Keyword Override Bids

Specific keywords you want to target can be used when launching your campaign. To make sure you secure the most efficient bid price, you can make always-on optimizations yourself or by using a third-party service. 

  • Default CPC Bid

These bids can be used for non-keyword traffic or by Instacart for new keywords that were harvested automatically. 

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5 Advanced Tactics for Optimizing Instacart Ads

Instacart has revolutionized the way consumers buy groceries and it’s clear they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. To ensure your campaigns are successful, consider using these suggested tactics:

  1. Consistently Update Product Details and Images

It’s crucial to ensure that your product inventory and your UPCs are accurate. Plan carefully and make sure products are in stock—Instacart will not promote products that are not.

  1. Separate Campaigns

When setting up your campaigns, apply paid search best practices. Dividing your campaigns by sub-brand or product category will make them easier to manage and optimize. You can also take it one step further and separate them by product type at the Ad Group level.

  1. Take Advantage of Your Instacart Ad Team

Instacart’s ad teams provide outstanding customer service to committed customers, with your brand’s success in mind. By joining forces, you can improve your Instacart presence. You can also utilize the platform’s reporting features and deep insights to help you make more informed buying decisions. 

  1. Focus on Relevancy

Use keywords that are relevant to your campaign and pay close attention to default keywords that Instacart may have added automatically. Keywords that are indirectly related do not perform as well. 

  1. Monitor and Test Frequently

Consistent monitoring is key to a successful campaign. When the campaign begins, gather as much data as you can and prioritize your budget. Run tests so you can see what’s working and what’s not so you can reallocate your budget quickly. 

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MarinOne Can Optimize Your Instacart Ads

With advanced automated bidding solutions and our powerful reporting, MarinOne can optimize your Instacart ads. Our platform works seamlessly with Instacart’s platform so your bidding strategies perform at their peak on each retail marketplace. Read about this in more detail here

Want to significantly improve the performance of your campaigns? We’ve got you covered. We make it easy by building out campaigns for you automatically, alerting you when there are changes in performance, and proactively identifying opportunities for you so you can achieve top results. To get started, simply connect your Instacart account.

Don't have an Instacart account or want to learn more about how we can help? Reach out to us at info@marinsoftware.com and one of our account representatives will be in touch.

When it comes to creating snap ads, the little ghost has your back. Snapchat distributes quite a bit of information to help advertisers find success on their platform. In this post, we’re consolidating their tips along with the insights from veteran users to give you an all-in-one guide to Snapchat ad strategy and campaign optimization. Let’s get into it. 

How to create a Snapchat Ad strategy from scratch 

When you start out, you’ll set up your campaign similar to how you would with Facebook ads. It goes like this: campaign > ad set > ad. You can have multiple ad sets in one campaign and multiple ads in one ad set. 

The Snapchat ads manager doesn’t save your work halfway through. If you start creating an ad, make sure you have time to finish it. The last thing you want is to waste time creating ads that only the Snapchat ghost will end up seeing. 

Instant Create vs Advanced Create

Choose your campaign objective

With Instant Create, you can build a single ad in under 5 minutes. It’s a solid option for beginners. 

Instant Create advertising goal options

For more detailed targeting options, you’ll want to opt for Advanced Create. 

Choosing a campaign objective in Instant Create is as easy as clicking one of the 5 options in the screenshot above. With Advanced Create, the options are a bit more thorough. Here’s what that looks like:

When choosing your campaign objective, think about what you want your audience to do when they swipe up on your snap ad. Choose from the following options:

Awareness

  • Awareness
  • Promote Places

Consideration

  • App installs
  • Drive traffic to website
  • Drive traffic to app
  • Engagement 
  • Video views
  • Lead generation

Conversions

  • App conversion: Drive specific actions on your app.
  • Website conversions: Drive specific actions on your site.
  • Catalog sales: Drive sales on your chosen product catalog.

You can find out which ad types are available for each objective here.

Once your campaign objective is set, choose a start and end date (or just a start date, if you plan on running the campaign indefinitely) and set your daily and lifetime spend caps. Campaign spend caps must be at least $20.

On the next page, you’ll name your Ad Set then attach Snap Pixel and Snap App ID Tracking. Snap Pixel is a tool that helps you measure your campaign’s cross-device impact. This means you’ll be able to track the actions Snapchatters take on your site after seeing this ad. Snap App ID tracks actions snapchatters take in your mobile app after seeing your ad. Using this feature unlocks additional targeting benefits like Mobile App Custom Audiences, App Re-engagement Optimization Goals, or SKAdNetwork. 

Right under that is where you pick your ad set budget and schedule. The daily budget minimum is $5. Then you have the option to pick your placements. Snapchat recommends choosing automatic placement, but here’s what it looks like to customize:

Instant Create Audience Targeting

Select the appropriate demographics for your campaign. Here, you’ll specify your audience by gender, age, and language. Next, you pick the location(s) you want to target. 

Click “Show Advanced Targeting” to view the final two targeting sections: “Interests and Custom Audiences” and “Devices”. 

“Lifestyles” and “Visitors” are the two Snapchat Lifestyle Categories within the Interests and Custom Audiences section. According to Snapchat, these are “Audiences that have been built and packaged using Snapchat and Third-Party Data, allowing you to reach people based on their online and real-world interests and behaviors.” 

  • Lifestyle categories are created based on what the users are most interested in according to what media they consume.
  • Visitors are categories based on where the users go on their mobile devices.

There are a lot of options to choose from, so spend a good bit of time scrolling through and designing the audience that best fits your target customer base.

Last up is device targeting. You can pick between android and iOS, cellular or wifi, and specific device makes. This is only relevant in some situations, like if your app is only available for iOS. Otherwise, clicking “All” is your best bet. 

Advanced Create targeting options

In addition to demographics offered in Instant Create, you also get to choose a household income, education level, and marital/parental status.

The biggest difference between the two is the Interests and Custom Audiences section. With Advanced Create, you can pick from Predefined Audiences or create custom audiences from scratch. Predefined audiences are the Lifestyle and Visitor categories available in Instant Create.

Custom Audiences can be created using Snap Audience Match (CRM Lists), Snap Engagement Audience, and Lookalikes. You can choose to deselect the option to expand your audience automatically to optimize performance if you want, but it’s automatically selected based on Snapchat’s recommendations

When you click the “Create Audience” button, you’re taken to a page where you choose from one of 3 options: 

  • Custom Audience
  • Lookalike Audience: Choose a seed audience, a location, then a Lookalike type. 
  • Similarity: Matches your seed audience the best, but is smaller. 
  • Balance: Mid-sized audience that balances resemblance and reach.
  • Reach: Larger audience that prioritizes reach by broadening resemblance to the seed audience. 
  • Saved Audience: This option takes you to the Audience Insights page. Here, you can customize your audience and then save or export. You can also click through a visual representation of the audience you create. 

In addition to the operating system, device make, and connection type, Advanced Create also allows you to target specific mobile carriers. 

Here are some best practices to keep in mind: 

  • Keep your audience size under 20 million people per ad creative (be warned: a minimum audience size of 1,000 is required to run an ad). 
  • Create one ad set per unique audience. 
  • Use the Lookalike Audience feature to find new customers. 
  • A/B test ad sets with a specific audience by running multiple ads with unique creative assets.

Choose your budget and goal

Now’s the time to pick your daily budget, goal, and bid. 

Auto-bid will get you the lowest CPC if you’re new to Snap ads. If you plan to choose a bid amount, go with whatever you’re willing to pay to get the action you want.

With Advanced Create, you’ll adjust your per-ad budget in the Delivery section. The options change based on your goal, but here’s what it looks like if you choose “Swipe Up”:

While Snapchat recommends auto-bid, you can play around with Target Cost and Max Bid and see how they affect your results. When you click the Max Bid option, Snapchat will offer a recommended range to choose from. You don’t have to pick within this range, however. 

Choosing Max Bid also unlocks the Pacing feature, You can pick Standard to spread your CPA organically across your set dates or you can choose Accelerated to deliver your ads as quickly as possible (best for time-sensitive campaigns). 

How to create a Snapchat ad

The next page is where you create your content

  1. Choose your ad type/placement at the top of the screen. 
  2. Create an ad name, headline, and make your ad sharable. 
  3. Upload your Top Snap media (AKA your ad’s creative asset). Snapchat’s Instant Create has built-in templates for the Top Snap, but you can also create your own on a design platform like Canva.
  4. Select and customize your attachment (where you want your viewers to go). 
  5. Select your CTA. 
  6. Last but not least, add impression tags and swipe up tags for impression tracker verification.
  7. Click next to review your ad, pay, and publish.
Example of Instant Create’s built-in templates

You’ll also get access to additional features depending on where you send your viewers. For example, you might see the option to enable autofill for lead generation or smart prefetching to speed up mobile site load times. 

How to optimize your Snapchat Ads campaigns 

When it comes to optimizing your Snapchat Ads, it all comes down to trial and error. First check that your ad type aligns with your advertising goal:

  • For example, single image ads are great for conversions. 
  • Use filters and lenses for UGC marketing. These ads tend to inspire trust in your brand and are less intrusive than traditional ad formats. And when users in your chosen location use your filter or lens to send Snaps to friends in other locations, you get even more exposure. When creating a filter, opt for something artistic that doesn’t obscure the main part of the user’s Snap. That’ll encourage more Snapchatters to use your filter.
  • Lenses are also a powerful AR shopping tool. Create a lens that shows users how your product will look when they bring it home and put it to use. 
  • Story ads are good for snagging attention quickly.
  • Commercials are only available to selected advertisers, but they’re super effective as they can’t be skipped.
  • Collection ads are ideal for e-commerce stores looking to drive sales. To set yourself up for success here, choose the top-performing products on your site, optimize your photos, and add some enticing CTAs. 
  • We all know how effective video ads can be. Keep your Snapchat video ads short and hook viewers by calling out their pain points from the start. Use audio and captions to make your ads accessible. Lay out your solution to the viewers’ problem, then end with a strong CTA. 

9 tips for optimizing your Snapchat Ad campaigns:

  1. A/B test (aka split test) your ads.
  2. Define strong KPIs.
  3. Keep up with your audience insights and optimize targeting accordingly. Pay key attention to the purchase intent metric.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Snapchat culture.
  5. Only advertise to locations where your product is available for purchase (that includes shipping options for e-commerce).
  6. Make your creative asset fun, snappy, and shareable. Shoot for 5 or 6 seconds.
  7. Create Snapchat ads that feel like native content. That means throwing out the polished, professional vibe and going for a more casual, conversational ad. 
  8. Launch a broad, data-gathering campaign; then study your Delivery Insights.
  9. Try out goal-based bidding. It’s a strategy where you optimize ads toward a specific action you want viewers to take. You set a cost-per-action requirement, and Snapchat will deliver impressions to efficiently achieve your desired outcome.

Want to make Snapchat an integrated part of your marketing strategy?

Marin Software's team of marketing consultants are standing by to get you started. Our tool makes cross-channel executive perspectives easy to see, and helps you make the best tactical marketing decisions possible…which is especially important when testing new channels. When you integrate the management and analysis of all your social and paid search platforms together, you'll save time and energy for everyone on the team. Our experts will make sure everything is tied together properly at the start so you can automate the systems that slow you down.

This is a story about people doing bad things on the internet. It’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last. We decided to tell our story to help prevent others from becoming victims. Of course we don’t want people misusing our brand, but the people who have spent their precious time and lost money in this are the real victims and are the ones we are looking to protect.

It started with a DM

We started getting strange messages to our social media accounts and various company email addresses asking “is this project real?” The project: Translation work from somebody who is using a name very similar to ours and our company logo.

This has nothing to do with our company (if you look closely, you can see the misspelled name). We responded to these inquiries letting the email senders know the project was not real and that they should not communicate with these Scammers (I’d really prefer to use a stronger term here, but my editor would not allow it). We also let the platforms where these conversations originated know what was happening.

As we received more messages, some of them became more urgent. Some of these new Victims were panicked because they had done the work and then sent money to the Scammers. One of them had sent $1,500.

How does this work?

We believe that these scams start with a job posting on sites like Freelancer.com and Upwork. The Scammer then asks the Victim to move their communications off the original platform and to communicate directly through Telegram or another messaging platform, including email. 

The Victim is given work that seems legitimate, and completes the task. When the Victim seeks payment, the Scammer then requires the Victim to establish an account for payment, which requires the Victim to send an “account registration fee” to the Scammer. This advance-fee scam is not new. Similar scams have been around in various forms for decades or longer, including the Spanish Prisoner and Nigerian Prince scams.

 

The Scammer promises that the account registration fee will be refunded upon the Scammer’s payment for the Victim’s work. At this point, many of the Victims realize that they have fallen for a scam.  But some Victims, having already done some work and not wanting to walk away from a potential payment, go ahead and pay the account registration fee. A behavioral psychologist might refer to this as an escalation of commitment or sunk-cost fallacy.

In a few cases, the Scammer further escalates the commitment by asking the Victim to make an additional payment to link their account.

How can freelancers protect themselves?

The first thing that people can do when working on freelance projects is to always work through the platforms. They have established policies in place to ensure that payment happens once the job is completed and that payment should happen directly through the platform. Being asked to move communication to email or another platform should be a red flag. 

Secondly, there is absolutely no reason that we can think of where a legitimate company would ask you to provide payment in order to get paid. If it sounds like it doesn't make sense, it probably doesn't.

Third: watch out for projects that look too good to be true. The pay for the projects that we've seen were quite generous and this of course gets people more interested. If it seems like you are being overpaid for the amount of work involved, keep your guard up. 

There are many articles and videos with additional advice on what to watch for.

What are you doing to stop this? What can other companies do?

We aim to work with the freelance platforms and relevant law enforcement to try to prevent these types of scams from happening. Below are some contacts and links that we used so you can use them if needed.   If you become aware of a scam online posting, please report the posting and/or the user to the relevant platform.

US Agencies

Online Platforms

Also, provide a way for people to contact you. People who have lost money are very resourceful about getting in touch with someone who can help. We have seen direct messages on social networks, emails to every alias listed on our website, and well as personal telephone outreach to team members and their families. By posting a link on our Contact Us page, we have made it easier for people to connect with our legal team and get additional information.

Open request to freelancing platforms

As we discussed how to handle this internally, one of the things that we think could provide a significant Improvement in the freelance ecosystem would be to allow companies to become certified. This would be similar to the blue check on Twitter. This way, a freelancer would know that the job is legitimate and coming from the official company account. It seems like a step in the right direction. It appears there is something similar for individuals, but we couldn’t find anything for companies.

We are not experts in this area, so there may be other things in place or better ways to solve this problem. We'd love to start a discussion about how we can do that. For now, know that Marin's cyber security practices are strong. If we need any freelance assistance, we will not be contacting anyone through Telegram or Whatsapp.

As we live in a world with increasingly remote employees, we expect that we will all face more of these types of threats.  We all should keep our guards up.

E-commerce has had a long hot summer, but some experts say that winter has finally arrived. We’ve seen stock valuations for major retailers plummet and layoffs increasing in frequency, leaving businesses wondering if pandemic-era predictions for permanently changed consumer behavior might just fall flat.

The e-commerce expansion initially came as a necessity in 2020 during the onset of the pandemic: retail locations closed or reduced hours, bread-winners spent more time at home, and everyone spent more time on their devices. E-commerce businesses saw unprecedented growth, and those that cashed in without dedicating time to a long-term game plan saw subsequent declines the following year.

A recent study by store equipment supplier Raydiant showed that 48% of customers prefer to shop in-store when given the choice between in-store and online. And 51% said that they spent most of their money in physical store locations. Now as we navigate surging inflation and economic uncertainty, businesses must adapt yet again to a changing landscape.

TL;DR: In-store shopping isn’t dead, and e-commerce businesses need to adapt to survive.

If you’re looking for adaptation inspiration, here are a few ideas:

Retain your Current Customers

One of the first things I look for in an advertising audit is some kind of retention strategy. While often overlooked in advertising, customer retention can be incredibly valuable. 

If you’re on the fence, consider these stats from Outbound Engine:

  • Acquiring a new customer can cost up to five times more than it does to retain a current customer.
  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%
  • The success rate for selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a net new customer is 5-20%

Implementing a customer retention strategy can be simple and impactful. Some examples include:

  • Reminding customers about upcoming product releases
  • Implementing some cornerstones of Social Commerce such as engaging with customer content and creating high quality content
  • Exclusive offers for current customers

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

Did you know that 73% of shopping carts are abandoned on desktop and 86% on mobile? Your business could be missing out on a lot of cash in those carts.

Some options to address cart abandonment include:

  • Retarget these users in digital advertising, email automation, or even SMS. Your customers added these items to their carts for a reason, sometimes they just need an extra nudge.
  • Consider your shipping options. Multiple studies show that offering free shipping is a win for retailers, even if that shipping cost needs to be baked into your product pricing. If you have a brick and mortar location, consider offering free in-store pickup for online orders (Also referred to as BOPIS). 

Add Value (Outside of your Product Offering)

This may sound counterintuitive, but in today’s highly competitive e-commerce environment brands are expected to deliver more than just goods. Consider alternative on-brand ways to drive value for your customers (and be sure to capture their emails along the way).

For example, a cookware brand might email recipes that can be made using their products. An apparel brand might offer a quiz for new customers to find their perfect fit. An outdoors company might host an adventure giveaway. All of these examples serve the dual purpose of customer engagement and the opportunity to capture a contact.

The work isn’t done once you receive that email address though. Consider leveraging customer emails for digital retargeting strategies, email lifecycle marketing, and additional ways to add value to continue tending to your customer relationships.

Optimize your Ads 

Lastly, make sure the ads that you are running are driving conversions. There are many ways to do this, so we’ll list a few here:

  • A/B testing - try out some different creative and messaging options to see what resonates with your customers.
  •  Audience targeting - keep good records on your customers in your CRM system and use your first party data to retarget current customers while finding new customers with lookalike audiences.
  • Cross-channel bid optimization - where are your customers finding you? Google? Amazon? Social channels? Analyze your performance data to see which channels are working best for you and you may want to allocate more of your budget to those platforms. 

An ad tech platform like MarinOne can help you to integrate your data, analyze your performance, and optimize your ad spend for the best possible results. Reach out for a free consultation and we’ll show you how!

There's no reason to put all your social media advertising eggs in one basket when there’s a whole world of low competition and high ROI advertising opportunities out there. If you’re ready to branch out, consider giving Snapchat a chance. 

Snapchat demographic statistics

With a recent resurgence in popularity, the platform is experiencing a new fleet of users among teens and young adults. As of the second quarter of 2022, the app had 347 million daily active users worldwide, which is an 18% increase from the previous year.

Snapchat reaches 75% of Gen Z. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, Snap ads might just be your secret weapon. Many of today’s teens even use Snapchat over their phone’s native messaging platform for chatting with friends. While these users might also use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the fact that many advertisers sleep on Snapchat means less competition for your ads. 

Take the airline-booking app Hopper, for example. A recent case study from Snapchat’s inspiration page revealed some pretty impressive stats:

  • Snapchatters were 37% more likely to watch a flight on Hopper vs users acquired from other social platforms. 
  • Snapchatters had a booking rate 4 times higher than users acquired on other platforms. 
  • The brand achieved a 50% decrease in cost per install (CPI) by using radius targeting on Snapchat.
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What sets Snap apart from other social media platforms

Now that we’ve piqued your interest, let's find out what Snapchat ads are all about. Snapchat started as an app used solely for sharing vanishing images. Soon after, they added the ability to send direct messages and send short videos. They led the pack when it came to the Stories concept, lenses, and geofilters. 

Nowadays, they’ve expanded to include a Discover Page filled with news, articles, and stories by featured creators. That Discover Page is your ticket to advertising success. It houses Stories at the top. Scroll down a bit to see the featured content.
Snapchat ads are similar to the ads you’re used to on popular advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They appear between Stories, on the Discover Page, and in the form of branded lenses and geofilters.

Ad types available on Snapchat

Below are all the Snap ads formats you can use to reach your target audience:

Single image or video ad

This is Snapchat’s basic ad format. It displays a single image or video full screen and can be used for most any brand objective. Videos can be up to three minutes long, but the platform recommends keeping them between 3 and 5 seconds for the best results.

These ads take up the entire screen, meaning they don’t have to compete for the viewer’s attention with other content. They appear between content in the following sections: User Stories, Publishers, Creators, and Our Stories. 

Here are a few use cases:

  • You can attach your website to the ad so that the CTA swipe-up link lets users make a purchase without leaving the Snapchat app. 
  • Generate more app installs by attaching an “Install Now” swipe-up CTA to the bottom of the ad screen. This allows viewers to download your app without leaving Snapchat.
  • Long-form video is also an option. Snapchat will play a 10-second preview of your chosen video. The bottom CTA will have a swipe-up link directing users to watch the full video. 

On-Demand filters

Create an On-Demand geofilter for users visiting your location of choice. This is a good option for brand awareness campaigns. There are a few different types of geofilters:

  • Event geofilters: Become available at the time and location of your event.
  • Shared Spaces geofilters: Appear to users in communal areas like malls, airports, parks, etc. 
  • Chain geofilters: Available to your brick-and-mortar store customers.
  • National geofilters: Available to everyone in your chosen country.

Filters can be made smart to serve ads with real-time updates based on the user's location, name, time, etc. 

Lenses

Snapchat really paved the way for TikTok and Instagram filters. I mean, how could we forget the OG puppy ears? Snapchat’s lenses are its AR filters. 

Face lenses manipulate the user's facial features to make them appear different in some way or another. They can be used to transform users into a character relevant to your brand or as a way for users to try on your products without leaving the Snapchat app.

World lenses appear on the outward-facing camera (aka the back camera). They detect the user’s environment and allow users to interact with 3D objects overlaid on their world. These filters are also an effective method of showcasing products. 

Branded filters allow brands to advertise inside user interactions. Most of the other ad types offered by the platform live on the Stories/Discover Page. Branded filters show up when a user goes to send a Snap to a friend. 

Creating these filters is a great way to build brand awareness among users who might not have clicked your ad on the Discover Page.

Story ads

Snapchat story ads are a series of images or videos that appear in between user stories or in the Discover Feed. They can display a collection of between 1 and 20 images or videos. These are pretty effective considering many Snapchat users watch their entire Story feed multiple times a day.

You can also advertise an article via the article ad format. It will pop up in the Discover section amongst other featured Stories and Articles. 

Product catalog ads

Display a series of products with this shoppable ad format. These catalog ads can display as collection ads, single image/video ads, or story ads. They allow users to purchase without leaving the Snapchat app. 

Commercials

Commercial ads are non-skippable 6-second video ads. The actual video can last up to 3 minutes, but the ad is only non-skippable for the first 6 seconds. 

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Wrapping up

Now that you understand the basics of Snapchat ads, it's time to get to snapping. Snapchat's ads manager has a pretty nice suite of analytics where you can find what segments interact with your ads (including segments you didn't choose to include in your campaign). This is super helpful when it comes to improving your campaign relevance and reducing your advertising costs.

Paired with MarinOne's Snapchat integration, you can see all your advertising campaigns in one place, making it easier to identify budget by channel, successful products, and successful audiences that can be tested across various platforms. Speak to one of our marketing experts for a free consultation to get started with am omnichannel advertising strategy, featuring Snapchat.

Marin Software supports Snapchat ad optimization

Marin Software's repertoire of platform integrations continues to expand as we introduce a direct Snapchat integration into our suite of tools, available now to Marin users. 

Chris Lien, Marin's Chairman and CEO, said the following about this promising partnership: “‘Snapchat has an enormous reach with millennial and Gen Z shoppers who hold $4.4 trillion in global spending power. This gives brands an incredible opportunity to drive brand awareness and revenue with their future customers. We look forward to providing our customers an avenue to integrate our powerful reporting, advanced bidding, and campaign management tools to achieve the best performance on the Snapchat platform.”  

The combination of Snapchat audiences with MarinOne's bidding and automation will prove to be a winning duo for advertisers. Marin has been a leading provider of digital marketing software for performance-driven advertisers for nearly two decades, while Snapchat continuously innovates new and unique experiences for users.

Incorporating Snap more thoroughly into our software is a direct response to our clients's needs as well as market popularity of Snap continuously rising. With 18% YoY growth in users, Snapchat has proven that forging their own path in the social media landscape is a solid strategy. They continue to lead the charge globally in AR, avatar, and communication features for users.

With the assistance of machine learning and automated optimization, the MarinOne integration with Snapchat’s Marketing API gives advertisers the opportunity to analyze, monitor, and improve Snapchat campaign performance, while making one-to-one comparisons with other channels. Advanced analytics through MarinOne's grids provide flexible reporting, while AI bidding, budget pacing, and forecasting provide marketers with the insights they need to get the most ROI possible.

If you'd like to get started with a Snapchat strategy, speak to one of Marin's marketing consultants–we can get the MarinOne - Snapchat integration up and running for you in no time at all.

There's nothing worse than feeling like you're wasting perfectly good product in storage facilities because certain items in your inventory just don't seem to be selling. This is frustrating both for operations and marketing teams. Operations teams are facing supply chain issues, shipping headaches, storage fees, and more while they watch waning product take precious warehouse space that best selling items could occupy. 

Meanwhile the marketing team is pouring money into ads, thinking that more exposure will lead to more sales, while certain items cannot seem to get out the door quickly enough. Sometimes, no matter how many times you tweak a campaign, the results just aren't there. Too many companies suffer from the "left hand not speaking to the right" in regard to marketing and operational teams. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to take a closer look at your inventory management strategy and realign the effectiveness between operations and marketing. 

As Julie Durante, the Director of Inbound at Impulse Creative, said, “Operations must serve the customers that marketing helps attract. If marketing and ops aren’t in alignment, no one will be successful.”

What are the benefits of aligning operations and marketing roadmaps?

If your operations and marketing teams work side-by-side, you'll see great results. Making sure operations are aligned with what marketing is doing ensures a smooth workflow and you'll end up with more leads and revenue because of this close collaboration. Entering into a mutual agreement means you can share ideas, improve efficiency, and create the right environment for company growth. Here's a quick overview of the advantages of this approach.

  1. Avoid over-ordering products that aren’t selling well 

By reducing your exposure to products that aren’t moving, you can save money on advertising and inventory costs. By ordering just enough to meet consumer demand— no more and no less—you can avoid major losses. 

  1. Improve your company cash flow with inventory management

When an effective management strategy isn’t in place, you can tie up your money by purchasing large quantities of inventory all at once. With careful management, this can be avoided, resulting in improved cash flow that can be spent elsewhere when needed, like special marketing initiatives. 

  1. Improve your organization’s bottom line 

When you streamline processes, it impacts the rest of your business by increasing revenue growth and leading to more consistent profitability

  1. Benefit from a well-organized operations and marketing system 

Since you now have insight into exactly how much product you have, it makes it easier to determine the right products for upselling, cross-promotion, and bundling. An inventory that is well organized and well documented will also help save staff time and prevent errors, leading to tight shipping schedules and a greater overall customer experience, which is an important part of reputation management for the marketing team as well. If your inventory is properly organized, the rest of your supply chain will fall right into place.  

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3 Challenges of operations-marketing alignment

Obviously creating the kind of multi-team synergy we're describing takes time and effort. That’s why it's important to find the right balance between having autonomy amongst each team and finding the most opportune moments for both teams to work together. 

  1. Changing processes can be difficult to implement for larger businesses

Poor operational oversight and control can slow down fulfillment, and make errors more frequent. Some of the tactics we've mentioned, like engaging an inventory management tool, or reorganizing documentation processes, will make things much easier.

  1. It requires accurate and up-to-date communication

As with most things in business, communication is key. Constant, transparent communication between the marketing team and operations team is a vital part of achieving success. The idea is to encourage the free flow of information. Promote collaboration by giving everyone a chance to share their ideas and knowledge. Make sure that people can easily talk to one another in person or through conference tools, and help break barriers between departments.

  1. Assigning ownership and responsibility can get messy

Great teams work to understand the full range of what work is taking place and who owns what pieces of the puzzle. Who will take charge and make sure your teams function as well as they should? The answer lies in the question of ownership, not control. Establish early on the areas where one team will have to dictate the actions of another and vice versa, based on the greater good and big picture objectives of the company. 

If a shipping promotion marketing wants to run will ultimately cost the company too much, operations may have a veto in that area. But if a product bundle idea could potentially bring in a significant amount of additional revenue and it doesn’t add too much time in terms of labor or packaging, marketing may have the final vote in that scenario. 

At the end of the day, everyone is on the same team of reducing costs and increasing revenue for the company at large. Keep that singular focus in mind, have a spirit of teamwork from the top-down, and every situation will play out as smoothly as possible.

What role does inventory-based spend management play?

Inventory-based spend management is a way of making marketing and advertising budgeting decisions based on the product inventory you have available. 

By tracking and forecasting inventory levels and targeting your campaigns more specifically to the products you have in stock, you can increase your chances of making a sale. Surprisingly, 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory—and 21% of companies overall say that they don’t have proper inventory management in place. Starting with a basic understanding of where things are now is paramount in order for all parties to move forward. To make a strategic sales approach based on inventory management successful you must get on top of existing inventory, the current marketing plan, and identify where those two componencts do not align in the big picture.

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How do we get started?

In this case, unlike other marketing tactics, the operations team takes the first step. Inventory-based spend management starts with a forecast and analysis of your product inventory. You'll need to take a close look at what products you have in stock, the expected rate of turnover, and any supply problems on the horizon. Without this kind of information, the "tail will be wagging the dog" as marketing continues to guess on which products to promote and feature.

Once that data is all in one place, you can start to make decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget both in the short-term and the long-term. If there’s a problem with supply for one item or category, you can shift your marketing strategy to other products. 

Thankfully, all of this can be done by implementing inventory software. With a good system in place, you can automate your strategy, optimize cash flow, successfully manage and control orders, oversee warehouses, reduce handling costs, and much more.

Inventory-based spend management techniques

There are predefined techniques to help you optimize inventory-based spend management. By choosing the techniques that work best for your business, you can maximize your budget and optimize your spend strategy. Here’s a look at just a few of them.

  1. Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management

The goal of JIT is to have the minimum amount of inventory on hand to meet demand. That means you bring in inventory on an as-needed basis, rather than buying in large quantities. 

  1. ABC analysis

With this technique, goods are split into three categories, A, B, and C. Category A products represent your most valued goods—those that make a huge impact on your overall profit; Category B reflects products that fall somewhere in the middle of your most valued products and your least valued ones; Category C includes small transaction items that are critical to overall profit but don’t individually matter too much. 

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  1. Demand forecasting

Demand forecasting focuses on historical sales data to forecast customer demand. Companies use this type of forecasting as a rough estimate of the amount of goods they expect consumers to purchase in the future. 

Inventory-based spend management is crucial if you want to ensure your customers get the goods they want when they want them, but can also be a key tool to help you properly manage your marketing budget. 

Realizing the potential of inventory-based spend management

Inventory-based spend management is a great way to save money and get the most out of your marketing budget. By targeting your campaigns specifically to products you have in stock at a surplus and those that generate the best profits, you can avoid over-ordering products that aren't selling well and bounce back as a business when inventory levels are off. This approach can also help you make more sales by increasing your marketing focus on products that are in stock.

How MarinOne Can Help

Whether you’ve got a solid marketing and operations strategy in place already, or you’re looking to develop one, MarinOne can get you headed in the right direction.

MarinOne helps your marketing team see all of your ad spend data in one place, so you can make more informed decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget instead of watching your dollars go to waste. 

Paired with a great inventory management tool, you'll have effective multi-team visibility for both operations and marketing needs. Consult with one of our advertising experts to learn how you can successfully manage and optimize spend.

There’s no denying the popularity of Amazon. Amazon is a major player in the world of ecommerce and one of the biggest online marketplaces. With over 300 million customers worldwide, 2.3 billion sellers on the platform, and over 100 new advertisers daily, competition is fierce. Countless brands battle for shoppers around the clock. In the race to be successful sellers, advertisers are aiming to win first place—or at least the best position when it comes to getting their products seen. The trick? Amazon bidding, with a combination of effective strategies to increase sales that will put you on top and set you apart from your biggest competitors. 

What is Amazon bidding?

Amazon bidding is an auction-based system that allows sellers to place bids for keywords or products with the goal of showing their ads to potential buyers. When a shopper clicks on their ads, an advertiser pays for the bid. This is known as cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.

How does Amazon bidding work?

Amazon has access to a vast amount of data that helps them calculate the probability of a shopper clicking your ad and converting.

  • When creating Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, advertisers bid on specific keywords that could make their product appear when a buyer searches for that word.
  • Buyers type search terms in the search bar and scroll through the search result pages driven by the keywords selected by sellers. 
  • Winning the keyword primarily depends on a combination of a seller's bid, the relevance of their product, and the quality of their product listing.
  • If you win the bidding auction, Amazon’s PPC algorithm uses a Second-Price Auction, resulting in your winning bid being lower than your original bid. 
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3 Amazon bidding strategies

Amazon Dynamic Bids, down only

Amazon reduces bids by up to 100% if a click is unlikely to result in a sale and is less likely to convert. This option is automatically applied by default to all existing campaigns. 

When to use it: This is a good option for a profit-driven strategy. Dynamic bids help you preserve ad spend for conversions that are unlikely and help to ensure that you don’t overspend on advertising.

Amazon Dynamic Bids, up and down

For first-page search result placement, Amazon raises bids by up to 100% if a click is more likely to convert. It increases bids by 50% for all other placements, and will reduce a bid by up to 100% if a click is less likely to convert.

When to use it: This option is recommended if bids happen to be highly variable in your market because up and down dynamic bids are more flexible. Up and down are perfect for existing campaigns that are well-optimized. 

Fixed bids

Amazon will not dynamically adjust a bid based on the likelihood of a conversion.

When to use it: Fixed bids are great for an impression strategy and are ideal for raising brand awareness. Using this strategy, however, will most likely cause you to overpay for a good amount of your clicks. Why? With fixed bids, Amazon applies your bid to every single placement—regardless of the likelihood of conversion. The silver lining is that they allow you to exercise complete control of your sponsored ad campaign budget.

How to calculate the optimal bid

To calculate the optimal bid, use the formula below.

  • Bid = Max. CPC = Avg. Order Value x Conversion Rate x ACOS Target
  • Alternatively, the equation can be understood as:

Bid = Max. CPC = (Ad Sales / Ad Orders) x (Ad Orders / Ad Clicks) x (Ad Spend / Ad Sales)

  • Additionally, the formula can be simplified like so:

Bid = Max. CPC = (Ad Sales / Ad Clicks) x (Ad Spend / Ad Sales)

While these formulas are there to help you with the Amazon bidding process, the goal is to maximize your profit while simultaneously decreasing your spend. 

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4 tips to increase sales

Fine-tune keywords

Keywords influence the chance of conversion and the amount you need to bid. They are key to determining the search results that your campaign will target. To identify the most profitable and relevant keywords, consider using an Amazon keyword tool or reverse ASIN search. 

Improve your product listing

If your listing is impressive, attractive, and enticing enough to draw a potential customer’s attention, a click is more likely to result in a conversion. Make sure to use clear and informative descriptions, include high-resolution photos, and improve your Amazon feedback rating. 

Get on Amazon Prime

Shoppers like it when their Amazon products arrive as quickly as possible. There’s no doubt that Amazon’s same-day or next-day deliveries are a huge appeal for customers —especially when there is no extra charge for it. In fact, 83% of shoppers favor free delivery so much so that more than half (54%) of them will abandon their carts if they have to pay a delivery fee. Take part in Amazon’s fast shipping program by getting the blue Prime badge or by qualifying for Amazon Prime via Seller Fulfilled Prime or FBA. 

Follow an advertising strategy

Determine the outcome you’re trying to achieve in order to decide which bidding method is best for your campaign. Develop a strategy so you commit to your goals by selecting the bid that’s most appropriate. 

Amazon Bidding Key Takeaways

Amazon bidding is a big determinant in the success or failure of your Amazon campaign advertising efforts. Regardless of how much target-marketing research you conduct, it’s still a challenge to truly know what shoppers want and why. Amazon’s algorithm does a good job of analyzing and predicting success, so with a detailed understanding of how Amazon bidding works, you can still implement winning campaigns to ultimately achieve your business goals.

How MarinOne can help

Getting your products seen among millions of other Amazon sellers is no easy feat. 

If you're not yet up to speed with advertising on Amazon, MarinOne can help. Our automated bidding tool can be used to manage bids for Amazon Advertising accounts directly within the MarinOne platform. 

MarinOne also manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids for Amazon Advertising accounts:

  • For manually targeted sponsored products
  • Auto-targeted sponsored products
  • Sponsored brands
  • Sponsored brand video
  • Sponsored display

To learn more about other Amazon Advertising management functionality in MarinOne, check out our Amazon Advertising article.

If you're new to MarinOne's automated bidding, learn more about our automated bidding tool from our Bid Strategy article.

Interested in learning more? Try a free trial today.

We are thrilled to share that Marin Software has been recognized as a Strong Performer in The Forrester WaveTM: B2B Advertising Solutions Q3 2022 report, conducted by Forrester Research Inc. For many years Marin has aimed to provide you with the best advertising management solutions possible; and it is great to hear that our work stands out amongst the industry.

The report evaluated 14 B2B Advertising Solutions providers based on 28 criteria across their current offerings, strategies, and market presence. Marin Software received the top score in the B2B performance criterion reporting and also received the highest possible score in the execution roadmap and market approach criteria.  We are proud of this recognition in these two areas. We have many other product improvements planned for the next year as well, so we hope to excel and shine in the other areas of evaluation in the coming months as well. Our primary goal is to listen to our users, stay at the forefront of paid media technology, and respond with the best possible tools accordingly.

According to the report, “Marin Software’s execution roadmap and market approach are superior and include the innovative use of audience data to enable a variety of B2B advertising use cases from e-commerce to ABM… Ad-level, performance-level, and ROI-level reporting are also superior.”

Our Chief Executive Officer, Chris Lien, said the following in regard to the report: “We are proud to be named as a Strong Performer in The Forrester WaveTM B2B Advertising Solutions report. We are committed to delivering B2B advertisers with the best solutions for analyzing, automating, and optimizing their marketing campaigns and we are thrilled to be recognized in the report.” 

Marin has been helping advertisers advance their digital advertising campaigns for over 15 years and has managed over $40 billion in advertising spend for some of the world’s top brands. We look forward to continuing our innovation process, and if there are any other areas where our software can improve, the feedback of our clients is invaluable for us to keep moving forward and create the time-saving features digital marketers need. 

Whether you are an existing client, or new to us and looking to potentially utilize MarinOne as your advertising automation tool, know that our team of experts are some of the most knowledgeable marketers you can find, and ready to help you strategize the best possible digital campaigns. 

We also offer self-serve functionality to our MarinOne platform where you can get a unified view of your omnichannel marketing. Our industry leading optimization tools have flexible reporting to help advertisers maximize the impact and reach of their digital marketing investment across paid search, social, and ecommerce channels. Learn more about our offering in the ads management space–we're standing by ready to give you a complimentary analysis and consultation on your current campaign setup.

You can access The Forrester WaveTM: B2B Advertising Solutions, Q3 2022 here.

Amazon receives over two billion visitors a month. With such a large audience frequently visiting its platform, it’s no wonder the number of marketplace sellers has exploded over the last decade. The volume of online shoppers is making it harder than ever for sellers to make an impression and grab the attention of customers. If your goal is to expand your reach and attract new customers, Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform (DSP) may be the answer. And there is no better time than now. Why? Amazon DSP is on track to make $17.6 billion from advertising this year and is expected to reach a staggering $46.6 billion by 2025. 

What is Amazon DSP?

Amazon DSP enables programmatic buying and selling of display, video, and audio ads. The demand-side platform allows you to reach audiences both on and off of Amazon and across leading publishers’ sites like Twitch.tv, IMDb, Audible, Zappos, and others. The ads often appear not only on Amazon and Amazon-owned websites, but across Amazon-owned apps, Amazon devices, and affiliate websites and apps within Amazon’s network. Through Amazon DSP, you can create more brand and product awareness to encourage shopper re-engagement and retarget lost or potential customers. 

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The 4 Amazon DSP Ad Types

Dynamic E-commerce Ads

Dynamic ads automatically optimize which ad to display based on your campaign goal. Using machine learning, Amazon DSP can feed audiences relevant ads based on predictable behavior—delivering coupon code strategy tactics to incentivize impulse buyers and generating ads with customer reviews in them to engage customers who prefer to read reviews before purchasing a product. Since dynamic ads only direct to an Amazon product listing page, they are not a viable option if you use DSP to promote your direct website. 

Static Ads 

Unlike dynamic ads, static ads feature a call-to-action and a simple image. They can lead customers to an Amazon product listing, an Amazon Brand store, or directly to your website. 

Video Ads Through DSP

In-stream or out-stream video content can be displayed both on and off Amazon. Your video ads can link directly to your website or to a product detail page on Amazon. Video ads through DSP help you leverage Amazon’s audiences to target the right shoppers. 

Over-The-Top Video Ads (OTT)

These ads, displayed as full-screen videos on TV, allow you to create brand awareness in a separate medium. By using OTT, you can expand your reach to millions more people and target specific Amazon audiences. Keep in mind though: with OTT ads shoppers have no way to click and take action. 

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Amazon DSP Targeting Options

With Amazon DSP’s thousands of customer segments and its insights into shopper history and intent, it can help support many of your advertising goals. Here’s a glance at the different targeting options available.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is often used for brand awareness purposes and enables you to set any number of triggers so you can target shoppers further down the funnel. 

Lifestyle Targeting

With Lifestyle targeting, relevant ads are served to people who buy from a particular category habitually. This type of targeting allows you to target customers who share similar characteristics with your current customers or are interested in brand-relevant categories. 

Demographic Targeting

You can target ads based on gender, age, income, or location.

Device Targeting

Target your ads based on specific end-user devices including Android or Apple phones, different operating systems, desktop users, or other niche devices such as the Amazon Fire tablet. 

In-Market Targeting

By using in-market targeting, you can build brand awareness and increase sales. Audiences who are “in-market” are those who have high intent with a greater likelihood of purchasing your product or services.

Contextual Targeting

Serve ads to users based on what they are browsing right now. Contextual targeting is a great option to encourage impulse buys and drive conversions quickly. 

Remarketing Targeting

For consumers who are on the fence about buying a product or a competitive product, remarketing targeting can help. The different types of remarketing targets include Pixel-Based, ASIN, Purchased ASIN, Brand Halo, and Similar Product remarketing. 

Audience Lookalike Targeting

Audience Lookalike targeting hones in on customers who share similarities with your existing customers. With this option, you can take advantage of Amazon’s unique data combined with its collaborative filtering that can create detailed consumer profiles. 

Advertiser Audiences 

Amazon DSP allows you to leverage third-party data so you don’t have to solely rely on the first-party data that Amazon provides. Through the use of pixels, CRM data, and/or DMP audience transfers, you can reach customers who have previously engaged with your brand. 

5 Reasons Amazon DSP Is a Powerful Tool for Advertisers 

By using Amazon DSP, you can take your campaign performance to a whole new level and achieve your programmatic advertising goals. Here’s how:

Audience Insights and Analytics 

One of the greatest benefits of Amazon DSP is that advertisers can tap into Amazon’s first-party shopper data. Every search, view, click, purchase, and other shopper action along the customer journey is tracked. With Amazon DSP’s robust data capabilities, you can glean more information about how, what, when, and why customers buy what they buy. You can also gain access to key performance metrics such as total purchases, product units sold, add-to-cart rates, and more to help you determine what’s driving results and what’s not.

Retargeting

Retaining your current audience is not only critical to sustaining your company’s success but is also a more cost-effective way to spend your ad dollars instead of attracting new customers. Using Amazon DSP, you can retarget potential customers who have already engaged with your brand or products. 

Dynamic Targeting

Targeting shifts over time. Amazon DSP allows you to adjust your strategy accordingly so you can move your ad placements, reroute your creative spending, or reposition your domain ads to reach customers who have expressed interest in your product.

Extended Reach

With Amazon DSP, you can expand your audience reach across a vast range of sites. An attention-grabbing display ad or video campaign can improve your brand perception and increase awareness by being displayed on a large number of websites simultaneously.

Time Savings

Amazon DSP enables you to have your campaigns up and running in just minutes so you don’t have to spend time playing phone tag, negotiating, handing off creative tasks, reconciling billing, and settling up payments.

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How MarinOne Can Help

Looking to take your Amazon DSP to the next level? 

MarinOne integrates with Amazon DSP to help you better understand your customers on Amazon. Our platform goes far beyond what Amazon provides with a comprehensive suite of tools that activate and amplify your entire Amazon advertising campaign portfolio. 

With MarinOne, you can analyze paid search and social advertising as well as other retail media, shipping campaigns, and marketplaces, giving you a cross-publisher and cross-channel view of performance. 

Our alerts provide real-time updates on changes in activity so you can always be in the know and never miss an opportunity to improve performance. Use our marketplace signals to link your DSP performance to reviews, ratings, inventory status, price, and more. In addition, MarinOne features Amazon metrics like detailed page views and new to brand.

Ready to find out more about how MarinOne can help with your Amazon DSP campaigns? Get a personalized demo today.

Getting Started with Amazon Live

Visibility is the key if you are aiming to succeed as a seller on Amazon. Keeping up with platform changes and new features is a great way to stay ahead of the competition and have more visibility on Amazon for your brand. One such feature your company ought to be utilizing is Amazon Live.

Since the inception of Amazon Live in 2016, it has slowly but surely grown in status and notoriety. What initially seemed cheesy to many brands has now become a highly profitable revenue platform. As Prime Day 2022 numbers have improved year over year, being able to engage users already shopping on Amazon offers up audiences who are more likely to convert right away. 

This is great news for individual influencers as well as major brands. Most of the users active on Amazon Live view shopping as being highly therapeutic or personal in some way. So with an ever-growing audience of highly-engaged active shoppers, the question arises ‘How can my brand use this too?” Here’s a playbook on how to get started.

What is Amazon Live?

Amazon Live is regarded as one of the most successful initiatives launched by Amazon in the form of a live streaming platform. Sellers can create videos and tutorials as a way to market new or unique products. Creators can host live streams on their Amazon Live to advertise their product to their customers and followers. The live streams come in a myriad of formats: from direct interactions between seller and shopper, to giving product demos, offering promo codes, and holding Q&A sessions, all amounting to the creator earning commission from sales produced by their streamable content. 

Amazon Live has been made customer and seller friendly, as both parties can access the platform on desktop as well on mobile. There is also growth potential from a global perspective for brands, as the website and mobile app versions of Amazon Live are available across many countries. 

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What are Amazon Live influencers?

Social media influencers have been an integral part of the entire concept behind Amazon Live. Amazon’s foray into live shopping with this QVC style shopping stream changed the influencer landscape at large as thousands of streamers have taken advantage of a new place to sell their products in an interactive way. 

The Amazon Live platform also offers the Amazon Influencer Program, where individuals with an existing social media following can re-direct that following to the influencers' favorite Amazon products. Using tagged codes and links, the influencer in turn receives a sales commission for those product purchases from Amazon. 

By developing a unique Amazon Storefront, influencers can choose and promote any product on the platform on this layout to generate a permanent income stream. Based on the type of product, total influencer sales, etc., the commission for influencers is set up in the range of 10% of all revenue. 

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Developing great Amazon Live content as an influencer

Amazon Live offers the influencers a chance to showcase a products' features in real time while answering questions and engaging with shoppers, much like Facebook Live and Youtube Live. Developing content for live streams is as personal as any other content an influencer may create. If you're a content creator looking to produce a unique streaming experience on Amazon Live, don't be afraid to wear your product, use it, and flaunt it the way you want…just as you would on any other social media platform. (So long as you're within Amazon's guidelines of course.)

Keep in mind that shoppers want to see:

  • How the product works
  • What sets it apart from other similar products
  • Why you recommend it as their trusted influencer.

You can sign up for the Amazon Influencer Program in order to live stream products here. All you need to apply for the Amazon Influencer Program is your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account information. It takes 3-5 days to get the application approved and setup your account. 

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Partnering with Amazon Live influencers as a brand

Just like other forms of influencer marketing, there are several benefits to working with influencers on Amazon. For brand owners looking to use Amazon content creator relationships as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, a few objectives you could set as part of an Amazon influencer program are:

  • Exposure to new audiences and brand awareness
  • Authentic, top of funnel content creation
  • Reputation boosts through influencer trust
  • Optimization of your Amazon product listings
  • Increased sales and conversion

When done correctly, influencer marketing has been shown to drive qualified traffic that will not only deliver an immediate return on investment but also provide momentum for Amazon listings. This helps increase Best Seller Rank, organic rank, and ad visibility.

Remember, in influencer marketing, authenticity is #1

Keep in mind that content creators prioritize their own brand identity and authentic voice above all else. So to have success, you must find the right partnerships that are a fit for the company and the influencer. 

In a recent interview with Amazon, popular influencer Trisha Hershberger described her early experiences as a content creator, and how she was met with resistance by the industry to be herself. Many brands only wanted to collaborate with her if she changed her appearance to what they considered the "typical" gamer look. 

“I was told, ‘you can't wear a dress on camera and talk about video games, no one's going to take you seriously, you have to wear a graphic T-shirt.' I was told often that I didn’t look like the gaming type,” she says. 

Hershberger shared that she was adamant about her point of view despite the pushback she had received. Her reward for this fortitude came in the form of seeing audiences respond positively to her individuality. Viewers are wanting to connect with creators who are being true to themselves and their interests. By sticking to her guns and presenting the image she wanted to portray, Hershberger managed to help shape a culture of communication and openness between herself and the brands she promotes. 

She believes the stalwart attitude she and other influencers have had has helped to create more diversity in online content at large. “With more diverse creators coming forward with different backgrounds and interests, there is something for everyone,” she says.

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Connecting Amazon Live and Amazon influencers to your omnichannel marketing strategy

Amazon Live has the potential to be another powerful asset in the digital marketers' toolkit, just like many other platforms, tools, or features that have come before it.  You've most likely already tackled Pinterest advertising, TikTok content, programmatic ads, and many other unknowns in the past…so don't be afraid to get bold here too. Amazon Live is simply another opportunity to dig deep and get creative, scaling your marketing initiatives to new heights. Some low hanging fruit for omnichannel applications we would suggest include:

  • Repurpose Amazon Live content on other social media channels
  • Extend your Amazon Live influencer collaborations to include promotion on their other content platforms
  • Use Amazon Live as an opportunity to test new product launches, or get passive market feedback on existing products
  • Create community and ongoing dialogue amongst the Amazon audience by driving them to other forums where your brand spends time

Managing Amazon Live budgets and campaigns with MarinOne

While some of the execution to an Amazon Live campaign may be distinctive to other campaigns your brand is running, what will be consistent is the need for clear audience tracking, insightful data analysis, and accurate attribution. Marin Software is prepared to help you do just that with our all-in-one paid media management platform. Our tool integrates directly with Amazon Ads so you can see how a multitude of campaign types are performing all at once, against one another. It's also one of the only tools available that offers true omnichannel budgeting across nearly 30 publisher platforms, so you'll know whether to put more or less engine spend toward Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, or anywhere else your ads are running. Let our team set up the infrastructure for your team to make the best advertising decisions possible. Get a consultation from one of our digital marketing experts today.

Savvy digital marketers know that Google Ads is a great way to reach more customers and bring leads to your business. 96% of brands spend money on Google Ads, so this is Marketing 101, right? But while you know it's a must, getting Google Ads to deliver can sometimes prove tricky.

You could be making common mistakes that cost you money and reduce your ROI. 

So, to help you squeeze the absolute most from your marketing spend, we'll discuss some of the most common Google Ads mistakes to watch out for. Let’s get started. 

Mistake 1: Not Targeting Ads Correctly

Let's say Bob runs a small business that sells blenders online. He's been running ads for a while now, and he’s gotten pretty good at it. But there is one mistake he keeps making: he isn’t targeting his ads correctly.

Bob’s ad with the keyword “blender” is getting a lot of clicks from people searching for the 3D graphics tool. That’s a problem—he needs to target his ads to cooks specifically. To do that, he needs to use the right keywords.

For example, he could use keywords like “kitchen blender” or “smoothie blender.” Using these keywords, he can ensure his ad is shown to people who are actually looking for what he’s selling.

Once Bob's worked out which keywords are most likely to perform best for his business, he must weave these phrases into his product descriptions, website copy, and blog posts.

Our recommendation? Hire a conversion copywriter to help you. Writing with keywords can be a bit like playing Tetris—if you can’t slot them in naturally, it won't work.

Targeting your ads to a smaller, more specific group means you’re more likely to reach the right audience. It also means you can spend less because you’re targeting fewer people (Image Source)

Mistake 2: Not Using Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are words or phrases for which you don’t want your ad to show. For example, if you sell blenders, you might want to add “software” and “3D imaging” as negative keywords. That way, your ad won’t appear when someone searches for the software development tool.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to add negative keywords to their campaigns. As a result, they waste money reaching people who are not searching for their products.

Mistake 3: Not Bidding On the Right Keywords

You need to bid on the right keywords when running a display ad. If you don’t, your ad might not show up at all. And if you bid on the wrong keywords, you could waste money.

For example, let’s say you sell women’s clothing. You could bid on keywords like “women’s clothing” or “dresses.” But if you bid on the keyword “clothing,” your ad might show up for searches like “men’s clothing” or “kids’ clothing.” And you don’t want to waste your money on those clicks.

To avoid this mistake, use Google's Keyword Planner to research which keywords are most relevant to your business. Add those keywords to your campaign and bid on them accordingly.

Go specific with your keywords for a better chance of success.

Mistake 4: Not Using Ad Extensions

Ad extensions give your ad more space and include more information—like a CTA, phone number, address, image, or video. All this information can be beneficial to potential customers, and it can help you stand out from the competition.

To add ad extensions to your campaign, go to the “Ad extension” tab in your Google Ads account and choose which extensions you want to add.

Mistake 5: Not Tracking Your Results

If you’re not tracking your results, you won’t know if your ad is working, and you could be wasting a lot of money. Check the performance to see what’s working and what isn’t. To do this, you need to set up conversion tracking.

Conversion tracking measures how many people who see your ad go on to do what you want them to do. This could be making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading a white paper.

To set up conversion tracking, you’ll need to add a piece of code to your website. This might sound daunting, but it’s pretty simple (check out the link for a step-by-step guide).

Mistake 6: Not Optimizing With Conversion Testing

If you’re not testing and optimizing, you could miss out on many conversions. Test different headlines, descriptions, and call-to-actions to see what works best. You might be surprised by the results.

To test different elements of your ad, create two (or more) ads that are identical except for the component you want to try. For example, you could test two headlines and see which one gets more clicks.

Once you’ve created your ads, run them for a set period (usually at least a week) to collect data. Then compare the results and see which ad performed better.

Conversion optimization is a multi-step process that you should have running at all times (Image Source

Mistake 7: Search Network & Display Network Default Campaign Targeting Options

When you create a new campaign, Google will automatically set your targeting options to the Search Network & Display Network. It might not be necessary to target both of these networks (though they often work well together), so be sure to get a sense of which is best for you if that’s the case.

To change your targeting options, go to the “Networks” tab in your campaign settings. You can deselect the Search Network and/or Display Network.

Mistake 8: Not Using Location Targeting

Location targeting helps restrict your ad to people in a chosen region so you can maximize your marketing spend and have your ads seen by those most likely to respond.

There are a few different ways to target your ads to a specific location. The first is to target by country, state, or city. For example, if you only want to show your ad to people in New York, you would select “Target” and then “Location.”

You can also target by radius. This is useful if you have a brick-and-mortar store and you want to target people who live nearby. To do this, select “Target” and then “Radius.”

Finally, you can target by zip code. This is similar to targeting by radius, but it’s more precise. For instance, you might want to advertise to residents in a suburb but not in the adjacent business park. Select “Target” and " Zip code " to execute this tactic.

Mistake 9: Ignoring Regional Trends

When you’re targeting a specific region, knowing the trends in that area gives you a tremendous advantage. For example, if you’re targeting the United States, you might find that there are certain states where your product or service is more popular than others. Or maybe you sell fans, and there’s a heatwave in one part of the country. Trends can help you spot these opportunities. 

Google Trends can show you insights about a specific region. Simply enter a keyword or phrase and select a region. Google Trends will then show you how popular that keyword or phrase is in that area.

Targeting your ads via Google’s regional trends feature (Image Source)

How MarinOne can help

Display advertising is a great way to reach your target audience, while search ads are the best way to get prospects down the sales funnel and help them convert. The fight to stand out is fierce, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you have a real shot at reaping the rewards. If you want to improve your search engine marketing or display ads strategy, MarinOne can help you identify opportunities and optimize your campaigns.

There are many moving parts to a GA campaign, from targeting to keywords to ad extensions. MarinOne gives you one platform to manage all of your paid search campaigns so you can avoid mistakes and save time. It integrates with GA so you can see your analytics in one place, allowing you to track your results and make adjustments as needed. Finally, you can automate and optimize your ads with just a few clicks. To get things rolling, you don’t need to be a technical expert—our platform is designed for non-technical users.

Would you like to find out what MarinOne can do for you? Schedule a free demo to learn more.

Is your business struggling to make a digital impact despite having a fully developed and designed website? The problem could be that your website is not as dynamic as it ought to be with UX-driven software and plugins. Whether you are dispensing information or selling goods and services online, marketing automation beyond your basic CMS is necessary to bring your audience to your website the first time and keep them coming back for more. 

Here are some of the best integrations you should be using for a functional website that captures your audiences' attention while giving your marketing team the transparency needed to reach those audiences ongoing.

Lead Generation

Instapage

A quick way to identify lead quality is by having customized landing pages for every type of lead coming into your sales funnel. With Instapage, you can develop unique landing pages quickly and efficiently for every client category you serve. Its compatible nature enables you to connect with other software and applications to funnel the generated leads to your CRM, and you can plug LPs into your CMS and domain without much hassle.

Instapage has also taken some of the guesswork out of landing page design; as they have provided hundreds of high-converting templates, ready for you to test. You can customize the template as you please with Instapage's drag-and-drop functionality; and with easy-to-use duplication, a/b variant, and mobile-friendly editing tools…you'll have dozens of great landing pages in no time, without ever touching raw code directly. Pricing starts at $199 per month, or you can contact their biz dev team for a custom quote, depending on the needs of your website.

MailChimp

There is no thorough lead generation campaign without email marketing. To enable a winning strategy, you will require an email marketing automation platform. While there are many behemoths in this space, such as Marketo and Pardot, for those just starting out…our recommendation would be MailChimp. The software is great for novices, it has a surprising number of drip funnels ready to go, and it easily integrates with dozens of other tools and platforms. 

Depending on your needs and existing contact list, MailChimp offers both free and paid subscriptions to their service. You can send emails to up to 2000 contacts for free; beyond that point, there is a sliding scale of premium plans ranging between $9.99 for 500 contacts and $299 for 10,000 contacts. Like so many others, they also offer enterprise account quotes through one of their sales consultants.

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Support

Intercom

If you want to keep potential customers entering your website engaged, incorporate conversational marketing into your website experience. Intercom is an excellent tool for ensuring current and potential clients get a live and personal touch. The application is fast, and you can set it to ensure customers are directed to the right pages for their needs, with various triggers based on multiple choice responses or keywords. It can also track return customers and create a more natural experience for them with different messaging. When needed, the site visitor will be routed to a live individual who can answer their questions in real-time as well. The monthly rate for Intercom varies quite a bit depending on which of their packages your business needs, but to test out the chat functionality only you can get started with just $74 per month.

Helpjuice

For knowledge base software and FAQ directories, there is no better option than Helpjuice. This highly-rated software helps you organize help articles, user tutorials, and more into categorized, functional workspaces for your customers. If the support section of your website is taking over the marketing content that actually leads to new business, you need to make a shift in the balance of power and make that help-related content digestible and simple to navigate. Helpjuice can make that possible. Their packaging starts at $120 per month for 4 users, and goes up to $499 per month for unlimited users.

Data & Analytics

Marin Software

While we may be a bit biased on this one, it is undeniable that Marin has been an industry leader in cross-channel advertising management and data analysis for almost two decades, which is about three times longer than most of our competitors have even been in business. As one of the pioneers of the modern digital data space, we have one of the best analytics tools available for people seeking comprehensive omnichannel summaries. The product development team at Marin is constantly re-designing and elevating the software to focus on what’s essential, so your team can be focused on innovation, not number crunching. We work hard to simplify data into insights while simultaneously hiring the best marketing consultants in the world who can help you turn those insights into action. Pricing is customizable according to your unique business needs.

Google Analytics

This is the go-to web analysis tool to understand your user behavior, source, demographics, etc. Google Analytics is excellent in providing user segmentation, website optimization, and key website metrics like the number of visitors and average bounce rate. It has influential audiences you can use to boost ads campaign and intelligent user tracking and privacy features. When paired with a paid media management solution like MarinOne, your ability to know who your audience is, where they're coming from, and what they want is virtually limitless.

Payment & E-Commerce

PayPal

One of the reasons businesses are turning to online operations is to increase transaction efficiency. PayPal is a great tool for this as it is almost universally accepted as one of the safest and most user-friendly digital payment platforms. Both business owners and consumers like PayPal as it is easy to use on both sides of the transaction. For brands, it seamlessly integrates with dozens of online shopping carts and e-commerce platforms. On the customer side, PayPal offers quick payment options that put the user in charge of their security preferences. This tool is safe, tested, and popular across the globe, making it a reliable choice for almost any business.

Shift4Shop

While Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce are certainly the leading powerhouses in the online checkout market, what is sometimes limiting with those platforms is how inherently tied they are to your website's CMS. Shopify and Magento are all-in-one solutions, meaning your entire site needs to build on those platforms directly. WooCommerce is a great plugin but is primarily paired with WordPress sites. So if you already have a CMS on anything besides WordPress, and you don't want to go through the trouble of rebuilding your entire site, Shift4Shop is your next best option. They are considered a top choice due to the tools' ability to transact and retain data on the customer, invoices, and other financial transactions. Notable benefits include a smooth UX for the shopper, order transparency for administrators, and ease of integration with other business software applications.

Customer Relationship Management

Bitrix24

If you are hoping to enhance communication and collaboration among your employees, Bitrix24 is an excellent choice. The tool has top-notch data management and cloud storage abilities. Automating marketing and sales processes boosts teamwork, thus enhancing customer care through service delivery. 

Whether you want a digital assistant to handle your project management or want to just catch up on the day's tasks, this is a great tool for overseeing productivity and task management. All the features you need to start your own project are available on Bitrix24 in the free version. The paid plan, starting at $43 per month for 5 users, includes advanced functionalities and customization for bigger companies with bigger needs While Bitrix24 comes with many features, here are some of the best task management tools for increased productivity.

  • Create tasks, indicate the priority level, and evaluate your progress.
  • Bring all your team's interactions and projects into one single shared space.
  • Automate tasks to save time and grow faster by centralizing your workflows. Doing so allows you to eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on the big picture.
  • From a central access point, you can get to all of your files and documents.
  • Share directly with others with real-time collaboration, discuss in forums, and make use of a variety of communication options.
  • You can set plans for short-term, medium-term and long-term deadlines and make sure you don't miss any of them.

Nimble

A relationship-focused CRM for your entire team, it is best known for customer prospecting. With Nimble, you enjoy reduced data storage costs, low business risks, optimized business performance, and easy integration with other software apps. Besides, Nimble can “scale up” and “scale out,” thus enhancing performance capacity. It's easy to use; and it works in your Outlook/Gmail inbox, social, web. You can tap into every part of your contact's interaction history, so you don't miss anything the team does when you step away. You can also make comments on a record, update deal status, and keep an eye on social handles. Nimble starts at $19 per month per user, and it's value is well worth the cost.

In Summary

Even if you’re not a professional web developer, many CMS tools combined with the right plugins, have made it easy enough to get the results you want. No matter what you're looking for in terms of business goals, it's important to have a website that attracts your audience. Refer back to this list as you refine and revise your site to keep testing new integrations and determining what would be most compatible with your particular setup.

Once your business starts to get solid footing with a fully optimized site, our Marin team of paid media experts are ready to help you launch things to the next level with digital advertising. 

Reach out when you’re ready to get started promoting your now streamlined and well-functioning website.

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Display advertising is one of the best ways for businesses to grow their online presence—and there are plenty of sites where you can promote your products and services. Unfortunately, many beginners make mistakes that impair their advertising efforts.

Several factors need to be considered to create a successful display ad campaign. This article will discuss display ads and why you should use them, and we’ll give you 11 tried and tested tips for standing out. 

Why You Should Use Display Ads 

It’s true that text-based search ads have their advantages when it comes to click-through rates and conversions, but there’s still an important place for display ads. Some important uses of display ads include highlighting products or services that are visual in nature, and cultivating and educating potential customers in the early stages of the sales funnel, regardless of whether they click on the ad. It’s no wonder, then, that companies in the US have been spending more every year on display advertising—and this trend is set to continue. 

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Why else should you use display advertising? First and foremost, display ads can—when done correctly—put you in front of your target audience immediately. This is in contrast to the longer-term investment of time needed for organic content marketing—making it an excellent option if you’re trying to scale a newly established business quickly. 

Because you’re getting in front of more of the right people more quickly, display advertising is an excellent way to increase sales right out of the gate. Since you’re driving more traffic to your website right away, you’ll have more leads to send down the marketing funnel—enabling you to convert more of those leads to paying customers while you build your brand organically at the same time.

Here’s how you can get started with display ads so you can keep your business growing. 

Keep it Brief 

Regardless of the industry you operate in, you’ve probably got fiercer competition than ever. However, at the same time, you’re fighting for limited attention spans: research from Microsoft found that average attention spans dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds between 2000 and 2015. The rise in short-form video platforms like TikTok will likely have an additional effect, but the full impact won’t be visible for a while yet.

Your advertising copy must be brief if you want to engage users. Keep the text content to no longer than a few words, and make sure that every word adds something valuable. 

Focus on One or Two Benefits 

If you’ve never tried display advertising before, you might find it tempting to try and stuff as much information into your ad as possible. However, adopting this approach will confuse your target audience. 

Remember: your display ad is only an introduction for users. Focus on one or two key benefits conveyed through strategic use of words and powerful visuals and give interested users more information once they’ve clicked through. 

Reel Users in With Your Headline 

When you consume content online, you probably skim headlines—but how many articles, videos, or ads do you click on? Probably a small percentage. Users do the same with your ads, so your headline must reel them in. 

Ask yourself this question: Why should a customer buy from you instead of a competitor? Once you know that, you’ll have an easier time creating your headline. 

Avoid Vague or Metaphorical Words 

Since you don’t have much time to convince users that they should engage with your ad, this is not the time for symbolism. Don’t force viewers to struggle with a riddle—give them the straight goods using a clear and compelling message in simple language.

Use Positive Language and Avoid Negative Words 

When a sentence is a negative statement, the reader must perform an extra mental step to decipher it, so use simpler language to help your readers understand your message at a glance. A positive statement is more engaging—and more likely to be clicked on.

Additionally, a negative attitude can repel prospective customers, so adopt a light and entertaining tone when possible.

Create Scannable Copy

Display ads are not the place for lengthy descriptions—effective ones act like a hook to lure readers to your more detailed content. Make it clear what your offer is; it should be interesting and obvious at a glance. 

Use Powerful, Relevant Visuals 

Did you know that people remember 65% of what they see three days later, compared to 10% of what they hear? And according to Venngage, 52% of research participants said that visual content is “very important”: 

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You can include several kinds of visuals in your display ads, including still images and animated GIFs. Think about your audience's interests to ensure you choose visuals that appeal to them. 

Be Creative and Authentic

Users ignore boring ads, but ads that are too flashy are also best avoided. Strive to find a balance that's authentic to your brand. Use colors and messaging that are consistent with your branding. Be daring, but take calculated risks. Listen to feedback from others, as this will guide you in the right direction. 

Tailor Ads to the Platform 

Requirements will vary depending on where you place your ads. What works on Google might not work on Bing, and ads that have succeeded on LinkedIn might not be as effective on Twitter or Facebook. Before running campaigns, take the time to think about what interests users on the platform you're using to maximize your engagement rates.

Set Clear Goals Before Your Campaign 

Setting goals before you create ads is the most important thing you can do. A campaign without direction will look disjointed, so users won't know what to expect from your products and services—and they won't click through. Clear goals give you KPIs you can assess to be sure you’re on the right track.

Examples of goals you can set include generating leads, growing your audience, or earning a certain number of subscribers. Get clear on these, and everything will run more smoothly. 

Showcase your USP: Unique Selling Point

Making an impression is the most important goal of a display ad, so use the opportunity to become familiar to your audience. Define your USP—the attribute you most want to be known for—and express it in your ad using clear and impactful words. Consistency in your messaging will help make your ads more memorable.

Now you've got everything you need to create a successful display ad campaign

Running a successful display advertising campaign means considering many factors and adopting a strategic approach. Create ads that are clear, compelling, and scannable. A campaign with no defined goals is destined for failure, but experienced marketers have developed their eye through effort and testing—and using these 11 strategies, you can do the same. 

Also remember that display ads should be a piece of your overall omnichannel marketing strategy, and it’s important to see how they are performing in relation to your ads on other channels. 

Schedule a demo to learn more about how MarinOne’s cross-channel reporting and optimization platform can give you the insights you need to put your best foot forward on display ads together with search, social, and ecommerce to help you grow your business.

When it comes down to it, your users are the only ones who know what brings value to their lives. When you deliver on that value, sales and customer satisfaction rates soar. Companies often get caught in the trap of outrunning competitors, making products bigger and better without stopping to think about what “better” actually means to their unique audience. In this post, we’re covering how to define and measure user value to help you meet your customers’ wants and needs with a product that actually brings value to their lives. 

Define value for your audience

The first step here is to determine what value is for your audience, which requires actually talking to your users about what their goal is when using your product, how they are currently accomplishing that goal, and what problems they face throughout the whole process. 

You can’t just survey customers on what is valuable to them. It’s difficult to put that into words. Instead, you have to use specific questions that draw out that customer’s definition of value in relation to the problem your product solves. 

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To define user value, you have to follow the steps below:

Identify the value proposition

The value proposition is what your product offers to its users. For example, Uber’s value proposition is “The smartest way to get around”. They offer a convenient mode of transportation. Budgeting tool Digit’s value proposition is “Save money, without thinking about it.” The tool optimizes your spending habits and automizes saving for different goals. Each of these value propositions clearly illustrates how the tool benefits its users.

Defining your value proposition starts with identifying the problem statement. Use these five prompts to brainstorm:

  • I am…
  • I’m trying to…
  • But…
  • Because…
  • Which makes me feel…

An example using Uber might be: I am a traveler trying to visit a location but can’t because it is out of walking distance which makes me feel like I need to spend money on renting a car or finding alternate transportation. 
The value proposition above is the perfect solution to this problem statement. Do this correctly, and yours will be too. 

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Identify the core action

For every value proposition, there is a core action that must be taken for the customer to experience the value. If the user does not connect their bank accounts to Digit and start spending, the product will be useless to that user. The core action needs to be easy to do within the app if users are going to follow through.

Measuring user value by interviewing customers

The information in steps one and two will then be used to interview users about the product and its value in this step. 

First, prompt users to complete the core action. Once they’ve done this, ask them to rate the experience in reference to your value proposition. Keep questioning to identify why that score was given as well as what specifics about the product contributed to their decision. Ask about competing products that also help the user with your value proposition, gathering information on how your experience holds up in comparison. 

Listen to your audience

By defining and measuring user value, you gain visibility into what your product should be accomplishing and whether or not it is meeting that goal. Use this data to make adjustments so that your product continuously meets customer expectations.

While the financial cost of the product does play a role here, there are also intangible costs that impact user value. Here are some examples:

  • Customer experience
  • Time to purchase 
  • Core action

User research might reveal that your core action is not intuitive enough, meaning customers cannot figure out how to use your product after opening it. Or maybe the core action requires more effort than its perceived value. In this case, updates are necessary to clearly define the core action and make it effortless so that customers will know exactly what is required for them to get value out of the product and will take the action necessary to do so. 
Prioritize the customer experience so that users can get value from your product without friction. The higher the customer costs, the lower the user value. The overall user value is comprised of the benefits minus the costs. So if your value proposition is ranked 10 and your customer costs are 5, your overall user value can only be 5. To increase your user value, you need to think about knocking out some of those customer costs– which brings us right back around to understanding and improving the product’s user value. 

At the end of the day, products and services that don’t offer value to the customer are a waste of time for everyone involved. The most successful products are the ones that fill a need and do it well. Speak to a Marin consultant on how our tools can help you identify the right customer for your products or services and the best moment to engage them. Learn more now.

Native advertising is the use of paid advertisements to make your content look more attractive by blending in with their organic surroundings, somewhat veiling the fact that a native advertisement is indeed paid placement. 

You may find native ads in various social media platforms as they are recommended on the feed, videos, images, etc. For example, posting an informative article to Facebook instead of promoting a traditional banner ad makes the article an effortless part of the editorial flow of the page. 

Native ad placements can be found anywhere online, not just on social platforms, as millions of websites sell ad space on their site pages through networks like Outbrain, Basis, and Yahoo Gemini

Why is native advertising important? 

Now that you have a bit of an idea of what native advertising is, you are probably asking yourself where it falls in importance within the advertising ecosphere. Surely most consumers know an ad when they see one, so is the guise of “blending things in” even helpful anymore? 

For the modern consumer, native advertising simply offers users the opportunity to connect in a format that the user chooses themselves. While studies suggest that most people searching online know they are being advertised to almost constantly, many consumers still take kindly to the effort of making content relevant and unobtrusive. By personalizing content as much as possible, and letting your ads be an organic part of a users’ online experience, your brand will have a higher likelihood of building a favorable reputation amongst new potential customers.

Additionally, you can expect to produce a good amount of brand lift through high engagement rates, click through rates (CTR) and pageviews with a well-produced native ad strategy. 

Types of native advertising 

One of the great things about native advertising is that there are several different types, allowing ample opportunity to take the same piece of content and produce multiple variants for promotional distribution. Most native ads are designed to help keep the general viewer engaged in a piece of content they are reading. This is one of the most common types of marketing tactics that can be used by new businesses to expand their products and amplify brand awareness. 

1) Content recommendation 

The first and the most common native ad type is the content recommendation. These are simply ads that appear as recommended articles and blogs. One thing about them is that they appear in the middle or at the end of an article rather than being on top. 

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2) Search and promote the listing 

Another type of native advertisement is the search and promoted listings which essentially appear at the top of an article so that viewers can engage in the ad. Besides appearing on top, they may also appear on the side page of the article so that as viewers scroll down the article or blog, they can watch the ad. This is a great way to attract more viewers to any website. 

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3) Feed advertisements 

The third type of native advertising is the in-feed advertisement which are ads that appear as social media posts as you scroll through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter. Since so many people use Instagram and other social media daily, these advertising types prove to be extremely useful for improving your overall engagement or top of funnel visibility. 

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Relevancy of native advertisement 

Since native advertising has been around for a bit longer than other digital marketing methods, like video ads or social commerce, it’s easy to be enamored with newer, shinier pennies. But do not underestimate the value that this advertising method can bring to your holistic marketing plan. Native ads continue to be a relevant tactic for many businesses as they build brand trust and authority with users, due to their inconspicuous nature. The success of these ads depend on the quality of their content. If the content is memorable and gripping, it is more likely to engage an audience and bring new people into your customer funnel.

Native advertising best practices

You should be following best practices to get the most out of a native ad strategy. That includes:

  • Plan and budget all of your campaigns. Setting achievable goals by campaign type also helps a lot.
  • Save time and effort with high-quality content.
  • Targeting is important here, so you can make sure to optimize your reach and impact.
  • In order to provide a good user experience, test and optimize creatives so that you always show the best variant for the audience.
  • Data analysis can help you identify the best content for each geographical region to which you are advertising. With content-driven marketing it is particularly important to ensure culture and regional context is considered.

Be a storyteller

Brands are shifting their strategies for more effective native ads; instead of running ineffectual campaigns, they're prioritizing storytelling and putting content in the right context.

This includes tangible assets such as advertising on premium publishers with a clear brand message to tell. Many brands already apply this methodology other channels such as PR and SEO, and the same can absolutely be done with a well thought out native advertising roadmap. Be in control of you brand's story. 

Meet with a MarinOne marketer today on how we can tie all of your advertising campaigns together in one place…including your native advertising.

Launching a new product is exciting, but expecting things to go well without any prior preparation would be naive. The vast majority of product launches aren’t successful—not because of the product, but because the business hasn’t thoroughly considered how to showcase the products’ value to the right customers. 

There’s a lot to consider when you’re getting ready to release a new product. The list includes determining who you want to sell to, identifying your competition, and deciding how you will set yourself apart. 

Why You Need a Product Launch Checklist 

Even when teams identify a need for their product, a lack of preparation can result in unforeseen obstacles and delays. For example, Gartner found in 2019 that 45% of product launches get put off by at least one month. 

Meanwhile, research published by Marketing Charts revealed the most important factors separating product launch failure and success. Pre-launch testing, authentic messaging, and data monitoring all contributed to better results: 

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A pre-launch checklist helps you get the branding right for your product, which makes it easier to target the right people and prevents any disconnect between what customers expect and what they get. 

9 Steps to Include in Your Product Launch Checklist 

Define the Audience 

Before you create a product, you must define your target audience. For most products, there is a focused demographic to advertise to—and it will be clear what the main pain points are that you can solve. 

Dig deep when defining your audience. Create detailed buyer personas that consider demographics such as age, gender, job role, daily challenges, and why they should purchase your product. 

Identify Your Competition 

Regardless of the industry and niche you serve, you’re probably not the first company in that particular area. You will have competitors, many of whom have years of experience and established brand names. You must prepare for your product launch accordingly. 

Look at the top companies in your field and note what they do well. Identify their weaknesses and think about where you can fill those gaps. Once you’ve fully understood who you’re competing against, you can spell out your USP—unique selling proposition—to let customers know how and why your product is the best choice.

Develop a Marketing Plan 

Once you’ve completed the market research phase and you know who your target customers are and why they need your product, you need to start thinking about how you’ll promote your product. Be sure to consider both organic and paid advertising. 

When developing a marketing plan, make sure you answer the following questions:

  • Which channels will you advertise your product on? 
  • How frequently will you market your product? 
  • How will you measure your success? 

You should also set SMART goals:

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A robust plan will give your team better guidance when putting together the final strategy for your launch. 

Clarify Your Branding 

Your product needs to appeal to your target audience, so you must get your branding right. Think about aspects of branding such as the colors you use and the messaging style to align with your brand’s target audience. 

Your branding will vary depending on how you want others to perceive you. Brighter colors should prevail if you want customers to see you as playful and approachable, for example. But if you want to appear sophisticated, you might opt for more of a minimalistic theme instead. 

Develop the Product’s Pages on Your Company Website 

If you want your product to sell, dedicating space on your company’s website is non-negotiable. Create engaging copy that communicates what the product can do for the customer and be sure to include product images, details, and specifications.

Build Your Product’s Online Presence

Did you know that 55% of consumers discover new brands on social media? If your product isn’t being mentioned on social media, you risk going unnoticed by the people you want to purchase your products. 

When creating an online presence, consider the social channels your target audience will frequent. Hint: they’re probably on the channels where your company already has profiles. Select the top one or two to start talking about the product and its launch. Once you have the ball rolling, you can expand to other networks if you notice a demand.

Gather Testimonials 

Social proof is one of the best ways to convince others to buy your product, and gaining trust is crucial. As part of your pre-launch process, you must gather feedback from happy customers. Consider offering product samples to some of your existing customers in return for their feedback. 

You can use your testimonials in your ads to show how potential buyers will benefit from investing their faith in you. Similarly, you can add them to packaging as well.

Have Enough Inventory for Your Demand 

Many entrepreneurs worry about not selling enough of their product, but the opposite—having ready sales and no inventory—is also a problem. When you launch your product, you must ensure you have enough supply to meet the demand. 

If you sell a digital product, like an online course, this won’t be an issue. But for physical items, ensure your inventory exceeds your sales predictions by at least a small margin—and have a handle on the supply chain to know how long subsequent production may take.

Track Your Results 

After completing the above steps and beginning your launch campaign, you’ll need to measure progress. Over the following days and weeks, you’ll receive feedback from your customers—and you’ll know whether you’ve met your sales projections. Be agile and ride the momentum forward, adjusting your sales strategy as needed.

How MarinOne Can Help 

Launching a successful product requires a lot of preparation, and getting things right from the beginning will make the whole process much easier and much more likely to succeed. The primary focus areas are to create a product that will meet a customer need, build a solid brand, and make sure the target customer knows about it.

Once you’re ready to advertise, thinking about the channels that’ll maximize your profits is equally important. After each campaign, refine your efforts and adapt your strategy based on what you’ve learned. 

MarinOne offers several advertising management tools, including automation and analytics that will make your product launches more successful and help you improve sales as you go. Schedule a demo to learn more.

What’s the difference between Amazon CPC and vCPM cost models?

It’s important for brands to measure their digital marketing metrics, including comparing CPC vs vCPM (cost per thousand viewable impressions). CPC is based on the number of actual clicks the ad receives, while vCPM is based on the number of times an ad is viewed, regardless of whether shoppers click on it or not. Sponsored Display vCPM adheres to the MRC definition for an ad view: at least 50% of the ad should have been in the shopper’s view port for at least one second for it to be registered as a viewed impression.

CPC = Total Spend / Total Clicks

vCPM = Total Spend / ((Total impressions * % in-view) / 1000)

vCPM is often used for advertisers focusing on brand awareness or delivering a specific message, because this pricing model is more focused on exposure as opposed to a cost-per-click model. 

In Marin, brands can use both metrics, considering the implications of each, for a more comprehensive view of the performance of their ad campaigns. This information will help advertisers better understand the impact of their Sponsored Display campaigns, regardless of whether you are using click-based (CPC) or view-based (vCPM) attribution.

How does Amazon’s vCPM cost model work?

Conversions and Revenue for Sponsored Display vCPM campaigns are an ESTIMATED value that is attributed to BOTH viewable impressions AND clicks (because the cost type is based on viewable impressions - vCPM). To put it simply, alongside the actual Conversions and Revenue generated via the vCPM campaign, Amazon is also including estimated Conversions and Revenue when someone VIEWs your Sponsored Display Ad, but does not click on it.

It's also worth noting that the vCPM Conversions and Revenue are attributed to your brand sales and not the products in the campaign. For example if you run an 'Advertised Product Report' from Amazon you'll notice that the orders and sales do not match what is being displayed in Amazon's UI at campaign level. See below screenshot from a Sponsored Display Advertised Product Report:

 

  • The 14 Day Total Orders (#) and 14 Day Total Sales columns reflect the Cost Type of a campaign
  • The 14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click) and 14-Day Total Sales - (Click) columns are based on click attribution (CPC Cost Type), regardless of whether your campaign cost type is set to CPC or vCPM
  • Campaign A has parity across all 4 columns - because it’s campaign Cost Type is set to CPC
  • Campaigns B to M, unlike Campaign A, differ because their campaign Cost Type’s are set to vCPM - the (Click) columns are your actual Orders and Sales, whereas your non-click columns are a combination of actual Orders and Revenue as well as Amazon’s estimated Orders and Revenue based on your ad being ‘viewed’.

Example

Campaign C generated 8 orders with a total revenue of £112.96 and to identify the estimated view Orders and Revenue, you subtract the (Click) column away from the regular column;

207 [14 Day Total Orders (#)]  -  8 [14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click)]   =   199 estimated ‘view’ Orders

£2,564.39 [14 Day Total Sales]  -  £112.96 [14-Day Total Sales - (Click)]   =   £2,451.43 estimated ‘view’ Sales

How does this impact reporting of Amazon Sponsored Display campaigns in Marin?

Regardless of the cost type that you specify when creating your Sponsored Display Campaign (CPC or vCPM), Marin is able to report on both attribution models against that campaign.

For example, if you create a Sponsored Display campaign with vCPM as the Cost Type, Marin is still able to show you the Conversions and Revenue generated from the ad being clicked on (CPC Cost Type), alongside the ‘estimated’ view Conversions and Revenue (vCPM Cost Type) that Amazon is providing, and vice-versa. 

In the screenshot above you can see that, regardless of cost type, for a Sponsored Display campaign Marin is able to report on both traditional Conversions and Revenue (click based) and also the ‘view’ Conversions and Revenue - which is the combination of both actual and estimated Conversions and Revenue set by Amazon.

The table below shows the Conversion Types available via the MarinOne column selector that you can bring into view alongside your Sponsored Display campaigns.

How should I bid on this activity?

The decision is entirely yours. In Marin you have the option to either bid based upon actual clicked Conversions and Revenue or use the estimated ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue to target a CPA or ROAS goal - regardless of the cost model you’ve chosen to set up for your Sponsored Display campaign.

If your goal is performance (CPA / ROAS) Marin’s recommendation is to optimise towards actual clicked Conversion and Revenue and not ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue (even if your campaign is set to vCPM) because this is the actual performance of your Sponsored Display campaign and not an ‘estimated’ number of Conversions or Revenue. 

If you've used Marin's automated bidding tool to manage Bid Strategies for other publishers, then managing bids for Amazon Advertising accounts should be pretty familiar. Marin manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids and supports all ‘performance’ Goals for your Amazon activity:

  • Maximise Conversions to CPA
  • Maximise Revenue to ROAS

If your goal is awareness advertisers and registered sellers in CA, DE, FR, ES, IT, IN, JP, UAE, UK and the US can set up an “Optimise for Viewable Impressions” strategy directly in the Amazon Ads UI to help create product awareness.

If you have any further questions related to the above please reach out to your Account Representative.

In 2021, more than 250 million items were purchased by Prime members worldwide over the two-day timeframe. This year, preparations for Prime Day should be well underway by now so that your brand can be ready when millions of consumers shop during one of the most significant retail events of the year. Here are a few tips so you can be prepared ahead of time.

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Amazon Prime Day Tips:

  • View your historical performance of past Prime Day events
  • Create a ‘Prime Day’ page within your Amazon Store
  • Start planning your budgets NOW. Remember, traffic to Amazon’s website is increased exponentially during the Prime Day event, so you want to capitalize on this. If you don’t have enough budget for your campaigns to stay visible throughout the day(s), your ads will be paused until the next day.
  • Build brand awareness ahead of the event with Sponsored Display Ads and Sponsored Brand Video ads. Shoppers are more likely to purchase a product during Prime Day that they discovered during the lead-up to the event.
  • During Prime Day, use Sponsored Display and Sponsored Product ads to engage with shoppers browsing similar products or even remarket to audiences that visited your product detail pages before Prime Day to stay top of mind on the day of the event.
  • Use negative targeting to help prevent your ads from appearing on shopping results pages that don’t meet your performance goals.
  • Check your inventory levels for your products, as well as understand your top-selling and least-selling products, so you know where to focus your efforts.
  • Create and choose strong products to focus on in your Sponsored Product campaigns. Ensure their product detail pages are informative, have high-quality and detailed descriptions, and include four or more high-resolution images with a strong title.
  • There are many more solutions for brands to reach audiences you might not be aware of. Consider diversifying your content before Prime day by streaming a video game on Twitch, listening to music through Amazon Music’s ad-supported tier, or streaming video via Freevee (formerly IMDb TV) and Fire TV…all of which are available via Amazon DSP ads.
  • Use Sponsored Display Ads to target other products in your category to help reach new customers, or consider targeting your product detail pages to introduce shoppers to other products you sell. Let’s take ‘Computers & Office’ as an example: to engage new customers and ensure that your laptops are top of mind, you can target similar product pages within the Computers & Office category, or you can target your own product pages to promote your complementary products (e.g., laptop cases or external hard drives).
  • Lastly, don’t forget, there’s the lead-up (- two weeks) and lead-out (+ two weeks) of the Prime Day event. Brands that advertise throughout all phases of Prime Day can better build brand presence with shoppers. According to Amazon’s internal data, “Brands that advertised leading up to and during Prime Day showed a 216% increase in awareness and 214% increase in considerations, compared to the week before.

Amazon Prime Day Deadlines

Keep the following deadlines in mind for Prime Day as they are right around the corner, and some have already passed.

Prime Day Deals Deadline (for consideration):

  • April 29

Lightning Deals Submission Deadline:

  • April 29 (U.S. and Canada)
  • May 13 (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the UK)

Coupon Submission Deadline:

  • June 10 (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the UK)

FBA Inventory Cutoff Deadline:

  • June 20 (U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal)
  • June 29 (Japan)

Inbound Shipping Cutoff Deadline:

  • June 2 (U.S. and Canada)
  • June 22 (Mexico and Portugal)
  • June 29 (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the UK)

Prime Member Promotions Deadline:

  • April 29 (U.S. and Canada)
  • May 13 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Australia, Japan, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates)

Prime Exclusive Discounts Deadline:

  • July 8 (the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Australia, and Japan) 
  • July 19 (India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates)

Prime Day:

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As a marketer, you know that paid ads and organic social media traffic are both valuable. But how much effort and resources should you put into each? In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of each campaign type to help you make smart choices. We'll also offer tips on how to measure the success of your campaigns. Read on to learn more. 

What are paid ads, and what are they used for? 

Paid ads are one of the most popular online marketing strategies for people and businesses to get their message out and drive traffic through their sales funnels. 

There are many types of paid ads, but the most common are pay-per-click (PPC) ads. As the name implies, the advertiser pays each time someone clicks on their ad.

Paid ads can be a great way to get your brand in front of an audience that’s already interested in what you have to offer. Since you're only paying for results (clicks), it can be a very cost-effective way to market your business.

Benefits of Using Paid Ads

  • One of the biggest advantages of using paid ads is that they can quickly provide results. Unlike building followers through creating content and relying on SEO, which can take months to bring results, you can start seeing traffic from your paid ads almost immediately.
  • Customers like them and respond well to them: especially social ads that feel native to the social media feed. Facebook advertising has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few years and has many options for detailed audience targeting.
  • In general, people like seeing ads that are targeted to their interests, and they're more likely to click on them.
  • You can track and measure results: When you're running a paid ad campaign, you can track how many people are seeing your ad, how many are clicking on it, and what they do after they click through to your website. This information is invaluable in helping you to fine-tune your marketing strategy and optimize your campaigns.
  • Paid ads can reach a large audience. For example, with Facebook Ads you can set your ad to appear to people in a certain geographic area.

Paid ads can generate a lot of traffic quickly and easily. Simply create the campaign, choose where you want it to show, and make it live.

Drawbacks of Using Paid Ads

  • One of the biggest drawbacks of using paid ads is that they can be costly, especially if you're in a competitive market. The cost-per-click (CPC) can be high. You might also need to spend a lot of money on your ad campaign before seeing results. For example, the more your ads are served to potential buyers, the more data Facebook is able to collect. More data leads to better targeting and higher conversion rates down the line, but conversion rates may not be great starting out. 
  • Campaigns need to be constantly monitored and adjusted to be effective. You need to keep an eye on your CPC and cost per action and ensure you're getting the results you want. If not, you may need to re-evaluate your strategy.
  • Some people find paid ads to be disruptive and annoying. Paid ads have the disadvantage of being seen as a form of spam, and some may be less likely to trust your brand as a result.

What is Organic Social Media Traffic?

Organic social media traffic, on the other hand, is driven by unpaid posts, stories, and blogs, etc. that appear on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Organic social media content can be a great way to increase brand awareness and build relationships with potential customers. It’s also less disruptive than paid ads.

Example of a paid ad on Facebook. (Image Source)

Benefits of Targeting Organic Social Media Traffic

  • The most obvious benefit of targeting organic traffic through social media is that it’s free. You don't have to pay for each click or impression as with paid ads.
  • Organic traffic is also more likely to convert than paid traffic. This is because people who find your business organically may be further along in the buyer’s journey; they're actively searching for information related to your business, product, or service.
  • Organic social media marketing campaigns are more sustainable in the long run than paid ads. Once you build a following, you'll continue to get organic traffic as long as you maintain the quality of your content. This is not the case with paid ads, which need to be continuously paid for.

Drawbacks of Relying on Organic Social Media Campaigns

  • Organic traffic can be slow to build: One of the biggest drawbacks of relying on organic social media content is that it takes time to create quality content and build a following, and you may not get much traffic until you do so.
  • To get the most out of organic social media content, you need to pair it with investing time and resources into search engine optimization (SEO). This includes keyword research, link building, and content marketing. The same principles that make your content valuable to search engines also make it valuable on social media, which in turn drives more traffic to your site and signals to search engines that your content is useful.

Organic Content vs Paid Ads: Which is Better for Your Business?

The answer depends on your business goals and objectives. If you're looking for a quick way to increase brand awareness or generate leads, paid ads may be the way to go. However, if you're interested in sustainable, long-term growth, organic ads are probably a better option. There’s a good chance that your business would benefit from both, but the relative resources you invest in each strategy can be assessed by looking at the pros and cons of each one.

Both options have their pros and cons:

  • Both require ongoing management and optimization: Otherwise, your return on investment could be negative.
  • Paid ads offer consistent and reliable returns: Since paid ads get more impressions from potential new buyers, they generally perform better than organic results.
  • Organic content is free (aside from the time it takes to create, post, and manage it). 
  • Paid ads can be disruptive: Ads can be intrusive and may put potential customers off your brand.

In the end, if you’re not sure where to start, try experimenting with both paid and organic social media campaigns to see what works best for you.

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How to Measure the Success or Failure of Each Type of Campaign

An analytics program is needed to determine whether specific content from your organic social media campaign is performing well and the ROI you’re getting compared to your paid ads. To work out the best formula for how to divide your resources, use a combination of ad spend and organic content and analyze the results. The best way to do this is using an ad management platform like MarinOne. With MarinOne, you can see all your campaigns in one place, including performance data for both organic social media content and paid ad campaigns. This makes it easy to track the success of your organic and paid ad campaigns and compare the two side-by-side.

5 Quick Tips for Implementing a Successful Campaign With Both Types of Advertisements

  1. Identify your goals before running a campaign. This will help you determine which type of ad is best suited to your needs.
  2. Define your target audience. This helps to ensure you're targeting relevant users and not wasting ad spend on a demographic uninterested in your product or service.
  3. Budget for both paid and organic campaigns. Don't put all your eggs in one basket—a mix of both can lead to the best results.
  4. Monitor your campaigns regularly and make changes as needed. What works today may not work tomorrow. So, it's important to stay on top of your campaigns and keep tweaking them for optimal performance
  5. Use MarinOne to simplify your efforts.

While paid ads can be very effective when done correctly, they do require investment, which might not be feasible, depending on your budget and the industry. To make paid ads work for you, be prepared to do A/B testing, reallocate funds if needed, and make sure to use retargeting strategies. Organic social media marketing is free, but it takes effort. You won't see results overnight, but investing in building a solid organic foundation can lead to great long-term exposure for your company.

Regardless of how much you put into each strategy, you’ll likely find that integrating both types of campaigns into your marketing strategy works the best. To fully take advantage of both types of campaigns, however, you’ll need a tool to automate and syncrhonize your efforts. This is where a platform like MarinOne comes in.

How MarinOne can help

With MarinOne’s automation tool, you can set up goals on your site using the programmable automation features in Google Analytics. You'll be able to track ad metrics, CLV, and conversions without having a full-time employee dedicated solely to analytics duties.

Analyze your organic traffic and paid ad data early and make changes according to your results, automatically boost popular organic posts, and build campaigns from your product feed. Since MarinOne works with Google Analytics, there’s no need for a separate tracking code or web property ID either.

Learn more about MarinOne’s ad automation tools today. Get in touch to speak with a team member to see how we can help you get the information and tools you need to increase the effectiveness of your paid ads and organic content.

Victoria’s Secret has undergone an evolution over the past several years, and part of that evolution is testing new opportunities. The ecommerce giant recently announced that it would break the tradition of direct selling only with an Amazon storefront. Fans of VS will now be able to shop roughly 120 Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Pink Beauty products on Amazon.

While a Victoria’s Secret x Amazon collab line is probably not on the horizon, this move could be indicative of future D2C expansion onto the infamous selling platform. It’s also indicative of the current success that many sellers are seeing on the platform.

Amazon accounts for significant percentages of retail ecommerce sales share across a wide variety of product categories (graphic below). Plus, Research shows that 56% of US consumers say that if they could only shop at one store, it would be Amazon. Amazon has a purchase-ready audience that sellers can leverage easily and effectively.

Unlike Google Ads, Amazon never takes users off of the platform when they tap on an ad. They’re able to seamlessly purchase items of interest and remain on a trusted platform for the entire experience. No wonder this Amazon Ad Agency reported an average conversion rate of 9.5% on Sponsored Product Ads!

Another bonus of selling on Amazon for retail giants like Victoria’s Secret: they have leverage to negotiate Amazon’s fee structure. This is especially advantageous given the increased cost of advertising on the platform. In Q1 2022, Amazon’s advertising business increased by 23% per Insider Intelligence. Retailers are realizing that if they don’t pay to have their products on Amazon, third party sellers and competitors will. 

Victoria’s Secret isn’t the first major D2C player to foray into the world of Amazon selling - other household names like Adidas and Levi’s currently have storefronts on Amazon. Amazon has the volume and customer base to make selling worthwhile, but only if it doesn’t come at a cost that eats into the bottom line.

Companies that are already advertising (or interested in advertising) on Amazon can leverage Marin Software to make the most out of their efforts. Our unique Amazon integration allows advertisers to import Amazon Advertising campaigns into our platform, enabling you to view and comprehensively manage your Amazon campaigns, as well as accessing our full suite of automated bidding and reporting options. Reach out to your Marin Software representative to learn more!

Creating profitable banner ads is a non-negotiable skill in the marketing world. Like understanding Twitter and knowing your way around Google Analytics, it's just something you need to know. But mastering banner ads is no walk in the park.

Here are eye-opening stats to consider:

It’s hard to get banner ads right. When done well, not only are they an effective way to generate leads and sales—but they can also be used to increase brand awareness and drive website traffic.

We'll take a look at what banner ads are, why you need to use them—and how to make them profitable. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a banner ad?

A banner ad is a digital marketing placement that promotes a product, service, or brand using a rectangular image, GIF, or video. Banner ads are typically displayed on websites, social media platforms, and email newsletters. 

Banner ads come in a variety of different sizes, and each size has its own unique benefits and purpose. Here are the most common banner ad sizes:

  • Medium Banner: 300 x 250. This is a popular size for rectangle ads on websites, social media platforms, and email newsletters.
  • Leaderboard: 728 x 90. This is the largest banner size and is typically used at the top of a website. It can also be used as a rectangle ad on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Wide Skyscraper: 160 x 600. This is a popular size for skyscraper ads that appear on the edges of websites.
  • Full Banner: 468 x 60. This is the standard banner size that's used on most websites. It's also the smallest size that can be used for a 728 x 90 leaderboard ad.

How do banner ads work?

Banner ads typically work on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-mille (CPM) basis. This means that you'll pay every time someone clicks on your ad (CPC), or every time your ad is displayed 1000 times (CPM).

When creating a banner ad, you'll need to consider the following:

  • Your goals: What do you want your banner ad to achieve?
  • Your target audience: Who are you targeting with your banner ad?
  • Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on your banner ad campaign?
  • The size of your ad: Banner ads come in a variety of different sizes. Choose the size that's right for you.
  • The placement of your ad: Where will your banner ad be displayed?
  • Your call to action (CTA): What do you want people to do when they see your banner ad?

Once you've considered all of these factors, you'll be ready to create your banner ad.

Advanced tips for creating a profitable banner

Here are some tips to follow:

1. Keep it simple

When it comes to banner ads, less is more. You only have a split second to capture someone's attention, so don't try to cram too much information into your ad. 

Stick to one message and make sure it's clear. CTAs surrounded by negative space see an increase in conversion rate of 232% compared to those surrounded by clutter—so remember: give your buttons room to breathe! 

2. Use strong visuals

People are visual creatures, and that's especially true when it comes to banner ads. Use high-quality images and videos that are relevant to your product or service. And make sure your visuals are attention-grabbing and visually appealing.

Pixellated pics, busy backgrounds, and generic stock photos are all big no-nos if you want your banner ad to stand out and look trustworthy.

In addition to choosing a good quality image, make sure your banner ad carries the blueprint of your brand: your colors, fonts, and logo should all be present and correct. Consistency is key to building trust with your audience—if they see a banner ad that looks like it belongs to your company, they're much more likely to click on it.

Here are some great banner ads. Brand logo, font, and color? Check. Nice images? Check. Short, persuasive copy? It’s a home run! (Image Source

3. Make it mobile-friendly

More than half of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices—so you can't afford to ignore this crucial step. 

Make sure your banner ad is designed with a mobile-first approach. This means creating an ad that looks good and is easy to navigate on a mobile device. Use a large, legible font and big, bold CTAs. And keep the overall design of your ad simple and uncluttered.

4. Test, test, test

The only way to know for sure whether your banner ad is effective is to test it. Try out different versions of your ad and see what works best. Test different images, copy, CTAs, and layouts. Keep track of your results and continue tweaking your ad until it's as effective as possible. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to testing. 

When it comes to testing your banner ad, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Test different versions of your ad: It may surprise you which designs appeal to people more than others.
  • Keep track of your results: You won’t know what’s working unless you watch your metrics.
  • Optimize your ad regularly: It's important to continually optimize your banner ad so it remains effective. As your business and target audience change, so should your ad. 

5. Use the right format

The display network you choose should have all the info you need on which sites your ad will appear. Make sure you read it!

Banner ads perform best when they're:

  • Close to the content
  • Above the fold
  • On the left-hand side

It's unlikely you'll have a say over where your ad appears on the page, but you can target specific types of websites that align well with your brand.

6. Use persuasive copy

Your banner ad copy should be short, sweet, and to the point. You only have a few seconds to get your message across, so make sure it's clear and concise. Use persuasive language that speaks to your target audience and drives them to take action.

Remember, banner ads are not the place for long-form copy. Stick to one or two sentences at most.

Influencer marketing, which includes businesses collaborating with influencers, is a powerful strategy for brands to broaden their social media reach. It's growing in popularity– over three-quarters of US marketers will employ influencer marketing in 2022. Influencer marketing initiatives are not one-size-fits-all. Much depends on your specialty, goals, and the pool of influencers in your audience. With the right strategy and approach, influencers can help any business reach its marketing objectives.

What exactly is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy in which companies collaborate with influencers (also called content creators) to promote a product, service, or brand. The influencer creates and distributes material about the brand or product, and the business compensates them with cash, free items, or both. Typically, businesses will supply the influencer with whatever product they will be featuring on their platform. To guarantee the influencer will post about your product, you’ll have to pay according to their sponsorship rate sheet. Reach, traffic, engagement, and conversions are the most common influencer marketing KPIs.

The first type of influencer marketing was celebrity endorsements. Social media content creators with highly engaged specialized audiences may now provide more value to marketers than superstars with large but generic followings. This is because social followers find social content producers relevant, trust their suggestions, and are committed to exhibiting their support.

How to plan an influencer marketing campaign

Here are the stages to launching a successful influencer program for your company.

Establish your objective

Like any effective marketing plan, the first step is to define your objectives. Defining your goals for influencer marketing can help you develop a practical approach throughout your campaign. It will also assist you in understanding the metrics you should follow to determine the effectiveness of your campaign.

Below are some good influencer marketing objectives to consider:

  • Boosting brand recognition
  • Increasing your fan base
  • Raising engagement and generating leads
  • Increasing your sales and conversions
  • Boosting brand loyalty
  • Link building for SEO
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Understand who you're attempting to reach

A successful influencer marketing strategy requires reaching the right people with the appropriate tools and influencers at the right time. Create audience personas to better understand who you're attempting to target with your campaign. Outline specifics regarding your target audience, such as:

  • Chronological age
  • Optimal spending habits or comfort level (if you want to drive sales with your campaign)
  • Their pursuits
  • Geographic location
  • Where they spend their time online.

You have to know your target audience to know which influencers they engage with. The influencer must be relevant to your target audience– otherwise, you’re throwing money down the drain. 

Recognize the guidelines

Before implementing an influencer marketing plan, you must first grasp the guidelines. The Federal Trade Commission establishes those rules in the United States. Transparency is key here. Influencers must also be aware of sponsored content requirements, and they frequently fail to do so. Or the influencer may make the revelation of their sponsorship delicate and partly buried. The restrictions for advertising vary widely by nation, so verify them. The sponsorship must be disclosed to the audience with clarity. Social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube are simplifying this by adding features that identify a sponsored post as such. 

Consider the three Rs of power

These three factors determine influence:

Relevance

The appropriate influencer for your campaign shares content about your industry and company, and their target audience must be similar to yours.

Reach 

Reach is the number of individuals who could see your material through the influencer's audience base.

Resonance

The influencer's potential degree of engagement with an audience that resonates with your brand is referred to as resonance.

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Influencers to be considered

The key to a successful collaboration with influencers is trust. Whoever you collaborate with must have your audience's confidence and respect. Without authentic content, your influencer marketing campaign is unlikely to achieve the desired marketing objectives.

The best approach to tell if a prospective influencer is trustworthy is to look at their engagement and the feedback they already receive from their followers in the form of comments, direct messages, likes, and shares. Socialblade is a great tool for doing a closer analysis of each influencer with which you are considering collaboration.

Conduct your research

Your study does not end with creating a shortlist. Before signing any contracts, there are a few more steps to solidify the success of your campaign. Determine how frequently your potential influencer uploads paid material. If they share a lot of sponsored posts, their engagement rate may be lower than what you would like. 5% engagement is generally considered healthy, so keep that in mind as a general rule of thumb. 

Keep the influencer's posting schedule in mind when considering the content you'll want the influencer to share. Any influencer strategic about their approach is very cautious about what promote and when. So if you ask them to share too many pieces of promotional content in a short period, the influencer will reject your offer (or their compensation expectations will increase dramatically).

Reach out privately 

Invading a potential influencer's DMs and asking for collaboration right off the bat may not be the best method to start a relationship. It can sometimes be perceived as too forward and even a bit tacky, so do your best to navigate the start of the connection with care and professionalism. Don't get me wrong: it may be effective to reach out cold, but there are other communication methods for planting seeds that lead to longer-lasting partnerships. Influencers accustomed to working with brands often list an email in their bio for this purpose. Start by engaging with the influencer’s content...Enter their direct messages after establishing an authentic interest in them as an individual and an interest in supporting their content.

Create great content in collaboration with your influencer

A social media influencer who has worked hard to build their brand would refuse any offer that jeopardizes their integrity. So it's better to offer some rules/guidelines on what you want but leave the actual content creation process to them. Content creators know what their audiences resonate with. They can also spot what will be an immediate turnoff. Best practices are to offer talking points and guidelines that the influencer can work into their native content however they see fit.

Analyze your outcomes

When you begin your influencer marketing campaign, the number of likes and comments on your branded content may overwhelm you, especially if your influencer has a significant following. These are vanity metrics that don't accomplish anything for your brand. You must calculate your actual return on investment (ROI) to determine the value of your campaign.

Even though users who engage with the sponsored content might not purchase right away, they are now aware of your brand and have started their journey to becoming a customer. Getting them to follow you or visit your website opens that door.

And even if they don't follow your account, your product will come to mind when a need arises. They can revisit the influencer's post to find the link and make a purchase. That's the power of influencer marketing-- an influencer's audience trusts their recommendations. If a follower needs something, they use the influencer's recommendations to make their purchasing decisions.

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After running a successful sponsorship, consider pulling the influencer's content and posting it to your own account as a paid ad. This maximizes the value and ROI of the partnership and allows you to reach segments of your target audience that are not already following the influencer, but that would still benefit from the influencer's content.

If you’ve been considering implementing Meta’s Conversions API, there’s no time like the present. Meta is pushing advertisers to integrate Conversions API as a more robust tracking product than the existing Meta Pixel. While we won’t rehash the logistics associated with iOS 14, Conversions API is now the gold standard of tracking on Facebook (and beyond).

For those newer to Conversions API (CAPI), in essence it’s a server to server tracking system that works in conjunction (for now) with the Meta Pixel to improve data quality and campaign performance. Per Meta, CAPI was built to “honor people’s privacy and tracking preferences” while giving marketers a solution to share their internal data to improve advertising efficacy. It’s a win-win for both advertisers and platform users. But as with any new publisher solution, advertisers can be slow to adopt until they absolutely need to. 

Part of this hesitation likely comes from confusion around the options for CAPI implementation, of which there are several that vary in accessibility and cost. Meta has recently introduced some easier options for implementing such as CAPI Gateway and Commerce Platform Integration. You can find the best solution for your advertiser here.

Even considering the potential challenges in setup, CAPI is still undeniably part of the future of advertiser tracking and Meta’s top solution for performance optimization and measurement. There are many reasons we recommend that our social advertisers use Conversions API, but these are at the top of our list:

Want to Test on Facebook? You’ll Need CAPI  

  • Meta is developing measurement and privacy enhancing tools that will be increasingly dependent on Conversions API. In case you missed it, Conversion Lift testing on Facebook now requires CAPI. It won’t be the last tool to transition to this requirement either. Per Meta, “we expect all advancement in our measurement solutions and signal improvement in the next several years to require CAPI.” Proactive implementation will lead to a seamless transition into the future of testing on Meta platforms.

You Can Use Lower Funnel Data to Optimize Ad Targeting

  • Those who have worked with ads on Facebook pre-CAPI know the limitations of data that can be captured by the Pixel well. One of the major perks of Conversions API is the ability to send a wider array of data than the pixel, such as subscriptions, converted leads, and a variety of other custom events that happen post-purchase. This is especially impactful for ecommerce and lead generation advertisers, as this data can be used to better optimize your ads. 

Better Data, Better Measurement, Better Results

  • Advertisers have been asking for a solution to reduced Pixel effectiveness, and CAPI is that answer. Conversions API improves measurement and attribution across the full funnel, giving more visibility into the impact of digital advertising on cross channel results. Currently, users can see Pixel and Conversions API data in Meta Events Manager with aggregation in the Aggregated Events Measurement tab. 

Lead Quality Level Up

  • Lead generation advertisers know the struggle to obtain leads both in quality and quantity. By using a post conversion event with Conversions API, advertisers can factor in leads that have actually converted into a sale/subscription/etc to campaign optimization. CAPI gives advertisers the ability to use this additional converted lead data to improve the overall lead quality from their campaigns. Read a success story here!

Supercharge Retargeting and Custom Audience Effectiveness with CAPI

  •  + Marin Tracker Conversions API enables better retargeting with two key components: Cross channel custom audiences and improved identity matching. Cross channel custom audiences are custom audiences that correspond with an action taken on the advertiser’s website or other sources. Improved identity matching is the ability to send hashed customer information along with Conversions API events to help attribute more conversions.

Integrating Marin Tracker with Conversions API means even better visibility into cross channel conversions and the impact of your Meta advertising dollars. Marin Tracker comes with an “always on” dashboard with near real time data, simple tracking link creation, attributes user behavior across the customer journey on mobile and web, and more. Reach out to your Marin rep or schedule a demo with us to learn more!

Earlier this year, Google announced its updated partnership based on industry changes and user feedback. They fall into three key areas: education and insights, access and support recognition, and rewards. If you’re not taking advantage of Google Partners, it’s worth taking a look.

Updated Google Partner Program benefits 

Premier partner status is now offered to the top 3% of partners in each country. Premier partners can access the following exclusive perks:

  • product betas
  • advanced google ads support 
  • Premier partner awards a new 2002 premier partner badge
  • high value incentives

All google partners and premier partners get access to the monthly insights briefing from Think with Google. It contains the latest insights from Google on consumer behaviors and industry trends.

Additionally, all Partners and Premier Partners will gain eligibility for high-value offers ($500 Google Ads credits) for new clients. To qualify, the clients must spend $500 in the first 60 days. This is an upgrade from the program’s previous $100 credits and 30 day threshold. These offers will only be available for Partners and Premier partners. 

As of late February, all Partners are also listed in the new Google Partners directory, available to advertisers all over the world. With these new benefits come a new set of requirements that companies seeking partner status can meet at any time. They’re designed to help you maximize your clients' performance, identify new opportunities, and accelerate digital growth with Google Ads.

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Updated Google Partner Program requirements

The requirements fall into three categories: performance, spend, and certifications.

According to Google, Partners requested two major alterations to the requirements as a result of the global economic situation and to make badge criteria more transparent:

  1. Partners have the choice to apply or dismiss recommendations to achieve a 70% optimization score. While the optimization score requirement was due to take effect in June, it previously only allowed for the application of recommendations. However, Google listened to feedback regarding the ability to dismiss recommendations for clients in situations where it may not have made sense to accept. Allowing marketers to refuse suggestions by Google is a significant change.
  2. Spend thresholds will stay at a 90-day spend of $10,000 US across all of a partner’s managed accounts. Pre COVID-19, the Partner badge requirements were set to increase to $20,000 every 90 days. However, Google listened to marketers and kept the requirement at $10,000.

Agency Partners also communicated to Google that not every Ads Manager within their agency teams should be eligible for certification. In response, Google agreed that advertisers will be able to tell Google the number of account strategists within their business, and “at least 50% of the account strategists you’ve identified will need to be certified in Google Ads” to meet the new requirements. Either update your number of account strategists if it’s out of date or encourage more strategists to get certified on Skillshop to comply. Additional details are outlined on the Google Support Page.

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Meeting the performance requirement 

With many agencies and search marketers being affected by the pandemic, the delay of these requirements from February 2020 to February 2022 was welcomed by agency partners. Google’s response to marketer feedback was also a refreshing change of pace. Now that the revamped program is here, it’s time to snag your badge status and start utilizing the new benefits.

Bing has an emoji search feature that allows users to find information on a variety of topics by simply typing in an emoji. But why? What does it mean? And how does it work?

Allow us to explain...

What is Bing Emoji Support?

Bing emoji support is a feature that allows users to insert emojis into their search queries. This can be done by typing in a colon followed by the desired emoji code. For example, if you want to insert the smiley face emoji, you would type in—  :smile: or you could just type in — 😊. Bing will then search, based on the semantic meaning of that emoji.

Do You Speak Emoji? Bing Does | Bing Search Blog

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“As you likely know, emoji are small pictures used to express an idea or emotion. With the explosion of mobile devices and the ubiquity of texting, it has become a shorthand language used by billions of us around the world. At Bing we want you to be able to search the same way you communicate every day,” the company said.

What's the deal with emojis?

The emoji has come a long way since its inception in 1999. The first set of 176 emojis were released by Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese designer who was working on a messaging system for NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile carrier. At the time, most mobile phones could only display black and white text. So, Kurita designed a set of 12×12 pixel images that could be used to express various emotions.

“Emoji” by Shigetaka Kurita, which can be seen in the MoMA

The word “emoji” comes from the Japanese words “e” (picture) and “moji” (letter or character). The term entered the mainstream in 2010 when it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Since then, the use of emojis has exploded.

There are now over 3,000 emojis in existence, with new ones being introduced all the time. In 2015, the Unicode Consortium, the organization responsible for approving new emojis, approved 72 new emojis. And in 2016, they approved 250 new emojis, including a range of diverse skin tones and gender-neutral characters.

Emojis are now widely used for communication purposes—sometimes more than words. This makes them a great tool to have when you need to explain something complicated in a simple way without adding too much extra information.

How do I use Bing emoji support?

It’s easy. Just go onto your favorite web browser and type in "Bing" then click on the smiley face beside the search bar.

Next, start typing in your query as you normally would. For example, if you want to find out how to make a cake, you would type in “How to make a cake.” But if you want to use an emoji to express your query, you would type in “🧑‍🍳🎂.”

You can also use Bing emoji support to filter your searches. For example, if you only want to see results for videos, you would type in “🎂📹.”

Bing will then display a list of results that are relevant to your query. You can also click on the “More” button to filter your results even further.

Why is this feature useful?

This feature allows users access to incorporate emojis into their everyday searches. This is especially useful when you consider that Gen Z uses emojis exclusively in text messaging 39% of the time.

The feature doesn’t just work for emoji associations, but also for those times when you’re not sure what one image actually means. Then, in a move that’s similar to image searching, Bing will tell you what it means so you’re no longer puzzled and you can use it correctly.

How can marketers take advantage of Bing emoji support?

Marketers can use Bing emoji support to better understand how users are searching for their products or services. For example, if you sell cake mix, you could track the number of searches for “🧑‍🍳🎂” over time.

This would give you an idea of how many potential customers are searching for the products you sell and provide valuable metrics to show how you can reach them. For example, if you notice that a lot of users are searching for “🧑‍🍳🎂”, you could create a campaign that targets people who are interested in baking cakes.

Overall, Bing emoji support is a great way to understand how users are communicating about your products or services. It can also be used to create more targeted marketing campaigns that will reach a wider audience.

WhatsApp makes its own unique emojis – that look similar to Apple's |  WhatsApp | The Guardian

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The future of emojis on search engines

Typing out words and phrases is still the norm when entering a search engine query, so emojis won’t replace text any time soon. However, they are becoming more prevalent in our everyday usage—not just to augment our messages, but also as a language on its own.

Here are some creative ways you can use Bing emoji search:

  • Ask where the best donuts in NYC are by replacing the word “donut” with the 🍩.
  • Try out clever combos. For example, find cupcakes near you by picking out the cup emoji and the 🍵🎂emoji. 
  • Request a random result by using the 🎲 emoji.

Wrap-up

Emojis are becoming increasingly popular across all types of media. They can be used to express ideas without having to say a word, but they also have other, more creative uses.

From asking where the nearest cinema is, through to being able to search for cupcakes—you can use Bing emoji support in different and clever ways.

How MarinOne can help

Whether your users are searching via emoji or traditional text—on Bing or Google—we can help you connect with more users.

MarinOne is a comprehensive marketing platform that aims to give users the ability to discover and take advantage of all marketing opportunities. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, it is one of the most versatile and user-friendly platforms around.

Learn more about MarinOne’s automation tools today. Get in touch and speak to one of the team.

It's no secret that users on social media are scrolling through their feeds for much more extended periods. In 2022, social commerce sales in the United States are expected to reach $45.74 billion, with more than half of the nation's adults purchasing directly on the social media platform of their choice. 

With such robust behavior data, brands must have an omnipresent presence across social media platforms to take advantage of these trends. Recent studies indicate that the majority of significant brands plan on increasing their social commerce investments in 2022.

Get a quick look into emerging social commerce trends for 2022 and how they can help you grow your brand's sales, marketing, and profits. Continue reading and discover key trends that have shaped social business over the past few years and what you should do in 2022. 

What Is Social Commerce?

Social commerce is a part of e-commerce and refers to consumers' shopping experience on a social network. In other words, social commerce is selling products through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Social buying is a growing trend within the US and is becoming more popular worldwide. It's estimated that social commerce will grow to $79.64 billion by 2025 in the US. Although that may be a very healthy number for the market overall, marketers still have a long way ahead of them if they want to succeed on the individual brand level.

Brands can utilize various techniques in this space to take advantage of impulse purchase decisions and consumer FOMO. The major players in social media like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat have optimized the buying experience by reducing friction throughout the buyers' journey within the platform.

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Social Commerce Trends

One of the most inherent benefits of social media marketing is how quickly it can change and adapt to new consumer trends. Text-based updates have been replaced by more visual, transient content on social media platforms in the last two decades. Companies can draw on their strengths historically to determine how they approach social commerce now. Think of it as an opportunity to present the same brand messaging that has worked before in a new medium, like taking the headline of a billboard and turning it into a PPC ad. This transition from organic social media to social commerce ought to work much in the same way. 

For example, Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shops, and Pinterest Buyable Pins have all been updated in response to consumers’ want for quicker, easier purchase experiences. Snapchat is another platform taking steps to introduce social shopping trends to its 229 million users. Snapchat’s recent introduction of “lenses” allows users to read product descriptions, reviews, and specs.

Verbiage within the content (whether in video, audio, or written form) is often purchase-driven on social media now as well. Common phrases such as "swipe-up to purchase" or "click the link in the bio" make it easy for social media users to purchase the advertised items and services. Users have come to expect these captions or comments within brand messaging, as they reinforce the CTA (call to action) in another way and make the user’s most simple next step very clear.

A Shift in Marketing Strategies For Brands

Just like any other channel, the social shopping experience for each industry can vary quite a bit. Social commerce ads that promote athleisure clothing is very different from ads that promote electronics, for example. Take the time to do thorough competitive research for your social commerce strategy, just as you would for any other new medium.

With so much content available to consume, users are unlikely to engage with or pay attention to brand-generated content. Because of this, more brands are starting to understand the value of user-generated content, live stream shopping, chatbots and influencer marketing. This content is both user-friendly and approachable–the key being that UGC is humanizing your brand and building authenticity, much like a low-key testimonial. With such a shift in traditional content engagement, these organic opportunities should not be overlooked. They will play an important supporting role in your social commerce strategy.

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Social Commerce & the Importance of User Experience

E-commerce purchases are affected by the interaction a shopper has with the website. Merchants who run online stores have ultimate control and can often view direct actions when all purchases are taking place on site. Social commerce diversifies that shopping experience. The benefit of course is that this can increase the amount of revenue and number of sales overall, as a step is removed from the users’ conversion journey. The downside is that you may not have as much data or control as an advertiser that you would have on your own site or e-commerce shopping cart.

Keep in mind that the objective is digital convenience whenever looking at important decisions within the social commerce space. Brands that still use outdated business models with a long buyer journey and complicated purchase models will frustrate customers. The faster and more seamless the path is to checkout, the better your chance to capture more revenue. 

Another factor to consider is the fact that users' attention spans have fallen dramatically. This makes it even more critical for brands to optimize their user experience to gain more confidence and increase sales with as little work from the consumer as possible. Consider diversifying your purchase integrations to optimize this process fully. Plugins from tools like Shopify Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, and more will yet again remove a step from users’ finishing their checkout.

Social Commerce Market Stats And Outlook

It's been fascinating watching how social trends have driven innovation in social networking beyond just communicating with friends or family. Over the last several years, legacy direct-to-consumer brands (DTC) have invested billions in paid social advertising to drive new revenue. Their success caused a flood of more unique, independent brands to follow suit…which made the competition for advertising slots that much more aggressive. This led to higher costs for advertisers and increased ad fatigue for social media users. Global advertising spend on social networks was 26% higher in the third quarter of 2021 than in 2020. In 2022, Insider Intelligence forecasts that US retail and social commerce sales will rise by 24.9% to $45.74 billion. Fashion categories, such as apparel and accessories remain the largest market for social commerce. However, other lifestyle brands wanting to market electronics or home decor are also doing incredibly well with social commerce campaigns. Brands that offer new and differentiated goods are best suited to social commerce. But if the patterned growth is any indication of the value still to come for advertisers…we recommend testing it out, regardless of what kind of DTC product you’re selling.

In Conclusion

Social commerce enables brands to develop frictionless shopping experiences and reach consumers in the most critical places. As social media continues to evolve in 2022 and beyond, brands will have more options to create social commerce experiences with potentially explosive growth. Brands with a proactive approach to moving to the next level should shift their marketing efforts and build trust with customers through social commerce implementation.

As many of us already know, on Amazon half of the work is already done if you can manage to have a quality organic listing and positive seller standing with Amazon itself. The algorithm on Amazon is a combination of organic and paid advertising, and to get the most out of Amazon in terms of sales and revenue, these two channels must be working hand-in-hand. This is far more crucial on Amazon than most other platforms, where organic and paid work can be somewhat disparate.

Recently, competitiveness amongst Amazon listings continues to escalate. Getting a quality ROI from this marketplace is not as simple as it once was. There are plenty of sellers, within the United States especially, who seem to be struggling in establishing their businesses and getting their brand the visibility they would like. 

We have assembled a list of tactics that should help you get the edge over your competition in 2022 and into the coming years. A sophisticated advertising strategy stands out as the most empowering place to start. If done correctly, Amazon search ads and display ads can be a game-changer for your business.

Be methodical when making budget decisions

If you are just getting started with Amazon ads, it is better if you take it slow, one day at a time. Start with a limited budget so that you can easily do trial-and-error testing to see what works for you. You are bound to face high competition in the beginning. 

When you set your budget, it’s important to look at your average cost of sale (ACoS). This is the amount you spend to obtain leads which can help make sure that your budget will work with it. You need to understand how this works so that you can maintain healthy profitability.

Just like any other channel, you'll want to carefully weigh the costs of advertising and production when it comes to determining just how much you should spend on marketing. Amazon advertising is no different.

Sales tax, fees, product and overhead costs take off around 50% from your earnings. After those are accounted for, you'll only have 50% of the original budget to go around on advertising and then finally, profit.

This means that your ACoS needs to be less than 50% for your business to gain a profit. Anywhere from a 15-40% ACoS is not uncommon on Amazon advertising, so you’ll want to keep this in mind as you account for your budget on this platform.

As you identify your ACoS, your confidence as an advertiser and business owner will increase as you establish a system for healthy profitability and increasing revenue over time.

Try a web-based calculator to calculate the margin built into a product. There are many online tools for calculating ACoS as well—don’t be afraid to try these shortcuts to know for certain you are making sound financial decisions…especially if you’re just starting out in this kind of budget management.

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Opt for Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display Ads are yet another unique feature introduced by Amazon for self-advertising one’s business. The primary distinction of these ads from other Amazon ads is that they don’t target keywords. Instead, they target customers by their interests and behaviors. They also compare consumers’ with similar interests or purchase histories to grow the audience segments and see if new customers might also be interested in what you're advertising.

Therefore, for all the newly established businesses or even the well-established ones, these Sponsored Ads might work as an important tool for bringing incremental traffic and brand awareness your way effortlessly. Using Sponsored Display Ad campaigns, you can feel assured that any potential customer who might have viewed a product similar to yours at another business store will be able to view your product(s) as well, making your brand more prevalent within the category segment. 

Sponsored Display Ads are currently one of Amazon’s less popular campaign types due to their newness. As advertisers become more comfortable with this ad type, competitiveness will surely increase; so this is one easy way to get ahead of the competition. 

Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform)

Amazon DSP, or Demand-Side Platform, is where advertisers can go to programmatically buy video and ad placements. Like many other DSPs, Amazon provides the connection for programmatic ads that include placements on Amazon directly or across the web, including a network of thousands of Amazon partner websites. This gives brands a more diverse range of targeting opportunities. Use audience insights to determine what reach is available in your audience segments. Exclusions are an effective way to keep your audiences fresh: rule out past purchasers or set a 30 day purchase window…there are very few products on Amazon that would have a buying cycle longer than 30 days. If a customer was not ready to make a purchase decision in that time frame on this platform, they are not likely to make a purchase at all.

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Take advantage of your Amazon ‘honeymoon period’ wisely

The initial 45 days of advertising on Amazon are known as the ‘honeymoon’ or ‘learning’ period. This is the time when you can best put your efforts into making the most of experimentation and learning about everything that goes on in establishing one’s business. 

If you fail to make the most of this period, chances are high that even after this time, you will struggle to meet your goals in this very competitive marketplace. The first month or so is a crucial time for testing product pricing, keywords, descriptions, ad messaging, and promotions. All of these factors could greatly impact your effectiveness on Amazon, so be aggressive and don’t be afraid to test many different approaches week over week. Just be careful that your A/B testing is clean and well-documented so you know exactly what was productive and what wasn’t moving into the post-honeymoon phase.

Don’t use too many keywords(or the wrong ones)

Keywords can become a source of big problems for you when you are targeting too many terms on the ad side, keyword stuffing your description or product names, or simply taking the wrong approach in how or what you are bidding on. 

To avoid these pitfalls, it is best if you do your research, evaluate similar sellers, and see how many keywords they use to promote their products. Thorough competitive analysis at the forefront will save you a lot of headache in the long run. There are many tools that can help you with this work, or it can be done manually. Either way, be specific in establishing the right competitor list to evaluate; and be thorough in your analysis of each competitor.

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Consider using an Amazon partner

Once you feel comfortable with Amazon ad formats and key strategies, you may want to consider leveraging an Amazon Advertising partner. Amazon evaluates and approves key vendors to help their advertisers drive even more value from their campaigns. A partner like Marin Software can help you use machine learning and cutting-edge technology to streamline and amplify your Amazon campaigns.

Advanced analytics can deliver reports and insights within and across your Amazon campaigns and also give you a cross-publisher view if you are using other marketplaces like Instacart, Criteo, or CitrusAd. MarinOne also proactively scans your account every day to identify opportunities to grow revenue and decrease costs. It’s important to note that Amazon only holds your historical data for 90 days. A tool like MarinOne can give you access to all your previous campaigns with unlimited data retention. 

It’s never a bad idea to incorporate automation into the day-to-day management of campaigns to save you time. Actions like bulk changes perform the same edits across objects and campaigns so you don’t need to do that manually. Another big time saver is SmartFeed which pulls in your inventory feed and syndicates that data to Amazon (and other publishers) to automatically pause and resume campaigns based on your inventory levels. You can also take advantage of day parting which schedules and deploys your budget during the most effective times of the day for your products. 

Some Amazon partners, like Marin, also offer bid optimization to help advertisers determine the right level of spend and forecast the expected conversions, revenue, and profit based on your goals. You can also use MarinOne’s pacing tool that shows you how you are progressing over your selling period and adjusts your bids to keep you on track. 

Key takeaways

While it is a competitive market, don’t be off put or consider stepping back from Amazon advertising just yet. With thorough research, careful planning, and ongoing optimization, Amazon absolutely can produce the results you are looking for. It is unmatched in terms of customer intent, quick purchase conversions, and return on investment. It also happens to be the second largest search engine in the world; and therefore, not to be ignored. 

To embrace Amazon for the good of your business, go along with its competitive pace and keep on implementing new strategies until you feel confident in your AMZ marketing chops. If you are keen to learn and implement the right techniques, you will find yourself reaching your KPI goals on Amazon in no time.

The buyer journey is complex and digital marketers need to be able to connect with the right customers through the entire process. Different ad formats and placements can help brands make consumers aware of their product, push them into consideration for that product, and ultimately drive them to purchase it. Two key ad types to consider are search ads (served on search engines like Google, Bing, etc.) and display ads (served throughout the internet on various websites).

The main difference between display and search ads is that search ads are considered "pull" advertising while display ads are considered "push" advertising. So, search ads only appear to consumers actively searching for the required product or service. In contrast, display ads are considered paid placement and can appear anywhere on the web that a user may be navigating. These advertisements are based on several targeting parameters. Search and display advertisements are set up and run using various ad networks, from Google Ads to Amazon DSP, Criteo, and many others.

If your company's marketing budget is substantial enough to support various ad types, then you can (and should) test both search and display ads in your advertising strategy. But keep in mind that these ads are not interchangeable. Depending on the product or service type, you may have better click and conversion performance with one or the other. Think through the customer journey and how customers find your products. Is your product something that people need to seek out actively when the need for it arises, or maybe your product is something buyers might not know they need until they see an ad and the potential use case of your product? 

Advantages of Search ads

There are a lot of advantages of search advertising or search engine marketing (SEM). The first of many factors to consider is budget. If the available engine spend of the company is on the smaller side, say less than $10K per month, then SEM may be the best tactic for your business, as it allows more control over who finds your business and at what time. Targeting the right keywords is paramount in SEM for capturing users seeking your service or product. Getting focused and intentional in keyword targeting means that the business doesn't have to waste money on people that are not interested in the industry or are not yet ready to make a purchase decision. 

Another benefit is that businesses can easily cater to a local market via search engine marketing. Many targeting options can be paired with keyword targeting, so you end up with more niche and specific audience segments. Geographic, language, gender, age, and affinity (or interest) targeting are all available segments on Google Ads, for example.

In SEM, the sales cycle is typically short, and you are seeking to capture users at the bottom of the funnel or close to the point of purchase. Therefore, there is no need to continue advertising to individuals that have taken action or converted on-site unless remarketing is an essential tactic for your business. This strategy keeps audiences fresh and malleable. 

Advantages of display ads

Display ads are an effective tactic for any product that is visual in nature. Clothing, cars, beauty, pet care, and more are all excellent candidates for display as the customer offering can be summarized quickly and visually with a single image. 

In less visually friendly industries, like SaaS, insurance, education, or many B2B services…display can still be an effective ad type but with a different approach. In these sectors, short impactful phrases or statements, a key value proposition, or some kind of explanatory graphic (like illustrations) is the better way to quickly reach a display ad viewer. If the CTA and key message cannot be grasped in under 3 seconds on a display ad…your messaging is ineffective and needs to be revisited.

Another advantage of display advertising is that it provides unique access to niche or luxury buyers. With many demand-side platforms (or DSPs), segments can get as granular as a limited website list where you believe your potential customers would visit. Data mining paired with display advertising is also an effective method of getting your message to the right person at the right time, but be cautious that your data provider follows all privacy guidelines in your target geographical region.

Another technique for utilizing display ads is to focus on building brand awareness. If you want to build brand equity or get more top-funnel traffic to your website, consider display advertising a suitable medium. Simple company slogans or flagship product images ought to be utilized. If it looks like it belongs on the homepage of your website, it probably belongs in a brand awareness display ad.

Search ad considerations

We’ve established that display ads are shown on websites across the internet, but search ads only appear in search engine results. Therefore, the advertisers selecting a list of keywords relevant to the product or service must be incredibly judicious and strategic in identifying the right keywords to target. Suppose you are new to this exercise or working with the wrong advertising experts who don’t have enough know-how to develop effective keyword lists. In that case, your costs can become prohibitive quickly, and your overall ad account performance will suffer.

For search ads, each search engine advertising platform requires the advertiser to put a bidding type in place for each campaign. Identifying the right bidding type and optimization techniques for each campaign can be nuanced and sometimes a difficult task of trial and error. 

Display ad considerations

The primary consideration with display advertising is that the number of businesses using this method to advertise their business has increased. Due to this, for site owners, it becomes difficult to choose the right advertisers; from a competitive perspective, many verticals are pretty crowded. Expect higher CPMs (cost per 1,0000 impressions) or CPVs (cost per view) than what was once acceptable. 

Platforms like the Google Display Network make segments through categories and then offer them to advertisers as a package. Moreover, the ad networks are involved in taking bids from advertisers and working with the highest recommendations that will help them earn space on their chosen site. 

How MarinOne can improve display and search ad performance

Using a campaign management platform like MarinOne can help you automate mundane tasks associated with display and search ads. Our team has experts available to consult you on the most significant opportunities for improvement. And with machine-learning and automated bidding built directly into the software, we make omnichannel advertising as simple as possible. See how your PPC campaigns across all platforms are doing in a single place, and change bids or budgets according to performance with our all-in-one solution. Our advertising team is standing by today to give you a demonstration and get you on the path to easier advertising management.

What makes Pinterest different from other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., is that its primary use is not connecting with others. On the contrary, it is a search and discovery platform. People spend hours and hours looking at things they want to do, learn, or purchase. Most of the users on the platform are looking to purchase items of interest that will somehow help them achieve a goal or complete a project.

When it comes to marketing, Pinterest is an extremely underutilized platform. According to Hootsuite, there were almost 459 million users on Pinterest in 2021 per month. In 2020, almost 100 million users were added. This shows just how many people are using the application and the potential market. Read this “getting started” guide on how you can dive into the world of Pinterest advertising and bidding.

What are Pinterest Ads? 

The reason why Pinterest ads are so powerful is the fact that they are presented as normal pins. The only difference is that you will see a “Promoted by” tag on the pin that is an advertisement. These ads seamlessly mix in with normal pins and do not seem out of place like ads on other social media platforms. The ads are displayed on the home screen by an algorithm that tracks their historical activity on the platform, much like Instagram or TikTok. This means the ads target potential buyers and not just people at random. You can target different people based on the following criteria:

  • Location
  • Gender 
  • Age 
  • Interests 
  • Categories

Pinterest allows you to choose from 5 different ad formats. The format you pick will depend on your brand and needs. 

  • Standard pins 
  • Carousel ads 
  • Video pin ads 
  • Shopping pins 
  • App install pins 

How to Set Up an Ad Campaign 

So, how can you stand out with your Pinterest ads? Setting up a new ad campaign requires following a few simple steps. 

Make a business account 

The first thing you need to do is to set up a business account on Pinterest. You can set it up by clicking your user profile icon which is present on the top corner of the page. 

Describe your brand or business 

The next step is to describe what your business or brand is. You will be given some options you can choose from. Is your business beauty, home, travel, etc.? Make sure to click the most appropriate business category as this will greatly affect how your ads are listed to users. 

Create a campaign 

Once done, go ahead and create your ad campaign. Simply click on “create” and then on “create campaign”. 

Choose your goals 

What is the aim of your business? Why are you promoting your brand on Pinterest? Even though it seems complicated, this step is easy. It’s best not to overthink it, and keep in mind you can always test multiple campaigns with different goal settings. You will need to choose from the three options given. These include awareness, consideration and conversion. Are you looking to create awareness about your brand/business only? Do you want video views or content engagement? Are you looking for increasing traffic to your website or Pinterest page? Or, do you want to promote your catalog or brand? Start with the goal you’d most like to achieve and test variants from there. 

Set your budget 

Choose whether you want to set a lifetime or daily budget. Go ahead and choose a start and ending date for your campaign. 

Bidding 

The Pinterest campaign manager has two options for setting bids.

Custom Bidding: Here you will enter your maximum CPC bid amount via the Ads Manager or Bulk Editor. While you may have more control over what you are bidding at the ad auction, keep in mind this is a manual process which could be time consuming if you need to adjust your bid amounts over the course of the campaign.   

Automatic Bidding: With this option, Pinterest will manage your bids for you, working to get the maximum clicks for the lowest possible cost to maximize the budget you have prescribed. There is a learning period when you begin automatic bidding as Pinterest’s algorithms work to find the best outcomes for your ads, but once Pinterest finds the sweet spot for your bids, automated bidding can help get you the most for every dollar spent, not to mention saving you loads of time.

Pinterest also partners with various third party solutions to give their advertisers more options for better results. By layering a bid optimization solution over Pinterest’s bidding tools, you can take your results even further. A few of the added benefits of using a tool like MarinOne include:

  • Advanced bidding algorithms that take in over 75 signals for the best responsiveness and accuracy.
  • Custom bid modifiers to adjust to external market signals that are relevant to your business.
  • Forecasting to help you find the right level of marketing investment and help predict expected conversions, revenue, and profit for your entire account or specific bid strategies. 
  • Budget allocation that assigns spend levels to your bid strategies by setting targets and campaign budgets based on your campaign goals. 
  • Budget pacing which tracks your spend over the course of the month, quarter, or custom spend period, and adjusts your bidding targets to keep you on track.
  • Performance insights and recommendations that scan your accounts for any and every opportunity to decrease costs and improve results. 

Tips for optimizing your Pinterest ads

Get specific in how the ad is positioned

To make the ad more specific and ensure it reaches individuals who can potentially turn into customers, you need to provide details within the creative. One effective approach is to select who you are going to target and put together a “how to” or “tutorial” that directly addresses that target demos’ particular needs or problems that your product solves. It’s a good idea to use multiple keywords within the written content to make your ad impactful for many different searches.

Ensure the Pinterest tag is installed properly and firing

The Pinterest tag allows you to track conversions and optimize your Pinterest campaign budget. With the right setup, you can report conversions from nine different types of actions on your website and view them in Pinterest Ads Manager. Proper installation of the Pinterest tag is essential to get the most out of it. The tag can be installed manually on the website or through Google Tag Manager. To check that the tag is firing and fuctioning, you can utilize the Pinterest Tag Helper.

Use impactful visuals to showcase your brand

Your brand is only as good as you portray it to be. So, choose colors, imagery and videos carefully. Showcase your work and expertise through the aesthetic presence of your brand on Pinterest. Many businesses, both large and small, use Pinterest ads to create awareness about themselves. Therefore, it is important to share real-life pictures of your brand/business in action.

Make the most of your Pinterest advertising

If you have a product that you want to share with the world, Pinterest is an excellent platform to do so. The biggest advantage you will have is that it is still highly unexplored and still a fairly untapped marketing platform today. Most advertisers and marketers are not using Pinterest to its full potential, meaning the available audience is not experiencing ad fatigue. The likelihood your vertical has thousands if not millions of users ready to engage with your brand, without excessive competition, is very good. By placing Pinterest Ads, you can gain that competitive advantage that others don’t have. 

In addition to the bid optimization tools mentioned above, MarinOne can also help you measure the results of your Pinterest Ads with advanced analytics that detail performance within and across Pinterest campaigns and also side-by-side with other search, social, and ecommerce publishers. Pull in your customer data from your web analytics and CRM tools for a more advanced view of conversions and LTV. And once you have all the data processed in MarinOne, you can push that out to Excel, Google Sheets, your data warehouse, or BI tool.

Now that you know what a gold mine Pinterest is for leads and conversions, reach out here to get started with MarinOne for Pinterest. 

Marketing technology is advancing its pace, with innovative new platforms and approaches being released faster than ever. In an uncertain economy and inflation skyrocketing, many companies are rethinking their marketing budgets and trying to determine the best ways to be profitable. The pace of change in innovation and technology can make it difficult to determine what those digital marketing budgets ought to be. Find out how automation technology can help you optimize your digital marketing campaigns and determine the best budget allocation to ensure maximum ROI. 

Introduction

Several obstacles stand in the way of effective marketing budget allocation, both internal and external. These include: 

  • Unpredictable consumer behavior
  • Economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic (and the tightening of budgets as a result)
  • The age-old issue of fragmented marketing teams

Fortunately, many of the advances in marketing technology can help make budgets stretch that little bit further. For example, automation makes time-consuming processes such as A/B testing much more efficient – and effective. 

As marketing can cover a wide range of areas (search, social, ecommerce, display, apps, CTV, video, website, etc.), budget allocation is also a great candidate for automation. If done properly, it can turn a complex process into something automatic, adaptive, and optimized – freeing up time for your team to think about the bigger picture.

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How to automate budgeting


“Brands need to understand what is working across publishers and embrace budget fluidity to quickly shift their spend to the elements of their programs getting the best response.” 

There are many platform-centric budgeting automation tools, such as Facebook’s CBO (campaign budget optimization), Amazon’s campaign bidding strategy, and Google’s tools and settings. While these allow you to flex your budget around averages for the day or month, they don’t integrate with each other, leaving you with a fragmented approach to your cross-channel budget. 

A third-party automation tool can give you a birds-eye view over a range of platforms and incorporate external elements such as day-of-week or -month, month-of-year, or various promotional occasions such as holidays. You can also carry out highly detailed analysis that would otherwise cost you a lot of time. 

Marin Software’s Autopilot does exactly that. It allows you to:

  • Find the right level of investment for your bid strategies
  • Forecast trade-offs between spend, volume, and efficiency
  • Automatically pace and maximize performance within your budget

Autopilot does this using a range of approaches that fall into the following categories:

Plan

Forecast expected conversions, revenue, and profit for your account or specific elements of your account. Autopilot can allocate spend across bid strategies according to your budget or efficiency target (CPA or RoAS).

Pace
Track your spend over the month,quarter, or custom tracking period and adjust as needed to keep you on target.

Bid
Apply predictive algorithms using MarinOne Bidding, which automatically incorporates over 75 signals to ensure responsiveness and accuracy across audiences, devices, location, and more. Add custom bid modifiers to adjust to external market signals that are relevant to your business.

Budgeting considerations

When allocating budgets automatically, there are certain factors that you need to account for in the planning stages. It’s important to set goals that span the full range of your sales funnel and all audience segments. A typical campaign budget has to consider the following factors to ensure effective resource allocation: marketing funnel, campaign goals, campaign length, and budget focus.

The first consideration involves deciding if the campaign will take a full-funnel approach to engage customers throughout their brand interaction journey from awareness to retention. The next factor that affects budget allocation is the desired outcome of the campaign. This factor will help marketing teams decide the appropriate channels to use, geographies to target, and functions to perform.

Depending on the approach that marketers take, time can also have a significant impact on budgets. Smaller campaigns that run for short periods of time have a much smaller budget compared to campaigns that engage the customer throughout their lifetime. The final consideration for marketing teams is the focus of the campaign. This refers to the extent to which the budget determines spending. Marketing teams that have an efficiency focus might choose to spend more to achieve certain outcomes compared to a team that is constrained financially. 

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Data-driven budgeting

While the above considerations can provide an effective blueprint for the early stages of planning and budgeting for an online marketing campaign, it is important for marketing teams to develop and retain an in-depth understanding of how campaign performance is affected by financial decisions. 

AI-powered software can help marketers effectively collect and analyze performance data to determine the point in the budget that offers teams the highest return on investment and adjust marketing budgets accordingly. Automated budget allocation also allows marketing teams to react quickly to changes in customer preferences, online behavior, or changing market conditions. 

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Candace Boren, Product Marketing Director at Marin Software, believes that a bid strategy is the best option for companies that wish to make the most of their marketing budgets. She shares that “capped bidding doesn’t perform as well near the level you have capped it at vs. uncapped automated bidding at the same level, highlighting why a bid strategy is better for managing budget spend than simply trying to ensure your daily spend adds up to your monthly budget perfectly.” 

With a bid strategy in place and MarinOne’s pacing module adding the guardrails to keep you on track over the period, you shouldn’t have to worry about putting budget caps on your campaigns.

How to decide where to add incremental budget increases

With CPMs at all-time highs on Google and Facebook, marketers will have to get creative to stay within budget while making the most impact. That could mean testing new channels, testing new creative, timing and setting bids differently, and much more. 

There are two major approaches that marketers can take to analyze campaign performance from a budget perspective and decide the point at which budget increments can be the most impactful; analysis by conversion rate and analysis by incremental lift. 

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Automation in action

The automation of these processes can have a direct and immediate impact on marketing campaign performance and can even help companies save money by optimizing resource allocation at all times. Japanese automotive brand Nissan found that collecting and analyzing data from keyword’s vertical, impression share rules, and more. The entire process is automated and allows Nissan to identify the point at which a customer is most likely to make a purchase and can ramp up engagement to increase conversion rates. This approach has allowed Nissan to increase lower-funnel conversions by 34% while reducing cost per lead by 8%, revealing exactly how a data-driven approach to digital marketing can help businesses fully optimize their customer outreach for the best results. 

Marin’s solution

With so many variables at play in determining and managing digital budgets, it’s critical that marketers have the tools they need to stay on track while driving maximum performance. 

When we set out to develop Marin Autopilot, our goal was to simplify life for digital marketers in such a complex advertising landscape. Simply give us your destination and we’ll make sure you get there. 

If you are using Smart Bidding, not to worry. Autopilot works seamlessly with publisher bidding, keeping you on pace by adjusting the target for your Smart Bidding strategies, with the added benefit of transparency and control that you won’t get from publisher tools. 

Download our Autopilot brochure (PDF) to find out what it can do for you or reach out here to schedule a demo.

As a business leader, staying ahead of the curve is key to success. It can also be challenging trying to keep up with all the latest changes in marketing. 

To help you on your way, we've put together this comprehensive guide on display ads—complete with everything you need to know about this ever-evolving advertising format. Read on to learn more. 

What are display ads?

Display ads are a type of online advertising that use images, videos, or text to promote a product or service on websites and apps. These ads can appear in a variety of formats, including banner ads, interstitials, native ads, etc.

Display ads are an effective way to reach a wide audience with your marketing message. They can be used to raise awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads and sales.

How do display ads work?

When a user visits a site with display advertising, a small piece of code called a pixel is placed on their browser. This pixel allows the ad server to identify the user and track their activity across different sites. Based on this data, the ad server will serve relevant ads to the user as they browse the web.

Display advertisers create a custom ad for a given site that includes relevant keywords about the site or offer. The ads are typically served by a third party based on the previous behavior of the user to increase relevance.

What are some examples of display ads?

Display ads can appear in many different forms including pop-up ads, side-banner ads, image ads, and more. You've definitely spotted them while clicking around (usually in the form of an ad for a site you've just visited that keeps following you around).

Display ads pop up in all kinds of places. (Image Source)

Let's take a look at the most common types of display ads

Image ad: This is the most common type of display ad and usually includes a static image with some text.

Video ad: Video ads are becoming increasingly popular and can be used to grab attention and convey a message more effectively than an image alone.

Native ad: This type of ad is designed to blend in with the surrounding content on a website or app. It is often less intrusive than other types of display ads and can be more effective as a result. The CTA (call to action) associated with native ads are usually regarding some kind of longer content piece, such as “Read the article about X topic.”

Pop-up ad: Pop-up ads are those that appear in a new window or tab when you click on a website. They can be effective in getting your message across, but they're also a bit annoying for the user—so use them sparingly. Important: choose sites that deploy them in a user-friendly way, or you could end up irritating the user, appearing spammy as a brand, and losing a sale.

What are the benefits of display ads?

There are several reasons you might want to use display ads as part of your marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common benefits:

  • They are eye-catching and familiarize your audience with your brand
  • They allow for remarketing opportunities
  • They make it possible to track and monitor the engagement and success of your campaign

What are the challenges of display ads?

Some things to keep in mind:

  • They can be intrusive and annoying for users, and that’s not good for your brand
  • They can be blocked by ad blockers
  • It can be difficult to stand out from the competition

Despite these challenges, display advertising can be a powerful tool for reaching your target audience and achieving your marketing goals if deployed correctly. 

Here’s how not to do it: intrusive pop-ups look spammy and usually make the viewer think poorly of your brand. (Image Source)

Important considerations to make before buying a campaign

Before you start your campaign, it’s important to first carefully research and weigh the pros and cons of the two main buying models.

CPM (cost per mille/thousand)

PROS:

  • Can reach a large audience quickly
  • Good for building brand awareness
  • Ideal for targeting a specific demographic

CONS:

  • Less effective for driving conversions
  • Can be more expensive
  • More difficult to track and measure results

Impression (CPC)

PROS:

  • More effective for driving conversions
  • Less expensive
  • Easier to track and measure results

CONS:

  • Takes longer to reach a large audience
  • Not as good for building brand awareness
  • Can be more difficult to target a specific demographic

If you’re looking to quickly reach a large audience and build brand awareness, CPM may be the better option. However, if you’re looking to drive conversions and sales, CPC may be a better choice.

When deciding which model to use for your campaign, don’t forget to consider your budget. CPM can be more expensive than CPC, so if you’re working with limited funds, you may want to consider using CPC.

Once you’ve decided which model to use, you can start planning your campaign. Take note of the following best practices:

  • Create compelling ad copy that stands out from the competition
  • Use attractive visuals that are relevant to your brand and product
  • Target your ads to a specific audience
  • Test different ad placements to see what works best
  • Monitor your campaign closely and make changes as needed

How to measure the effectiveness of display ads

If you don't know how you're doing, you can't improve—which is why measuring your ads is non-negotiable.

Measuring conversion goals is a must. (Image Source

When measuring the success or failure of a display ad campaign, you'll need to track the appropriate metrics. Here are some of the key metrics to have on your radar, along with tips on how to measure each one:

Clicks: This metric measures how many times users have clicked on your ad. You can track clicks by using Google Analytics or another similar tool.

Click-through rate (CTR): This metric measures the percentage of people who see your ad and click on it. To calculate CTR, divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. For instance, if your ad has been seen 1,000 times and clicked on 10 times, your CTR would be 1%.

Cost per click (CPC): This metric measures how much you're paying for each click on your ad. To calculate CPC, divide your total advertising spend by the number of clicks.

Conversions: This metric measures how many people who click on your ad go on to take the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. You can track conversions by setting up conversion tracking in Google Analytics or another similar tool.

Cost per conversion: This metric measures how much you're paying for each conversion. To calculate cost per conversion, divide your total advertising spend by the number of conversions.

Once you've decided which metrics to track, you'll need to set up a system for tracking them. The best way to do this is by using Google Analytics or an ad management and analysis tool like MarinOne. By setting up event tracking, you can track how many people see your ad, click on it, and take the desired action.

Tips for making the most of your ad dollars

When spending money on display ads, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your ad dollars are being spent wisely. 

  • Use your chosen platform’s insights section to help determine your optimal times for posting on the platform
  • Carefully research the specific target market demographics before purchasing an ad campaign
  • Run split tests to identify what works best for your brand or product
  • Experiment with new avenues to figure out the best days, times, and even types of content for your ads
  • Use MarinOne’s advanced analytics tools to optimize and easily manage your ads 

The best times for running an ad campaign on social media

There's been a lot of research into the best times to post on social media. As you can see, it varies by platform:

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The most important thing to do is test your efforts and figure out what works for you. And remember to keep testing. 

FAQs about display ads 

  • What is the difference between an in-stream video ad and a banner ad? In-stream video ads are those that show up before, during, or after a video. Banner ads are static or animated images that usually appear in the sidebars or header/footer of a website.
  • What's the difference between an impression and a click? An impression is when your ad is seen by a user. A click is when a user clicks on your ad.
  • What's a good CTR for a display ad? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it will vary depending on your specific goals and target audience. However, a CTR of 1% or higher is considered good.
  • What's a good CPC for a display ad? Again, there is no one right answer to this question. However, a CPC of $0.50 or less is generally considered to be good.
  • What is a pixel? A pixel is a small piece of code that allows you to track conversions, or specific actions people take on your website. Pixels can be used to track a variety of things, such as whether someone has added to a cart or initiated the checkout process.
  • What is an ad set? An ad set is a group of ads that share the same targeting, budget, schedule, and bid type. Ad sets allow you to control how much you're willing to spend on a daily or lifetime basis, as well as who will see your ads.

Wrap-up

While it's always best to experiment with different strategies before making any major decisions, there are some criteria that your ads should meet to be considered successful. Meeting the criteria of your chosen social media platform, and using MarinOne’s ad management platform, is the best way to run a successful campaign. 

MarinOne is an all-in-one ad management platform that helps marketers create, manage, and measure their display ads. It's a powerful tool that provides insights into what's working and what's not, so you can make adjustments and improve your results.

Learn more about MarinOne’s automation tools today. Get in touch and speak to one of the team.

Today's consumers are always connected and always on the go. Marketing is omnipresent and users are incredibly sensitive now to inauthentic marketing tactics. Companies wanting to make a lasting impression need to shift their focus to catering to increasingly savvy digital marketing audiences. Continually innovating and coming up with the most creative marketing ideas possible is the only way to attract and engage customers in a competitive marketplace. All of this is easier said than done. In this article, we have listed 5 of the best creative marketing ideas that you can implement in 2022.

Design Content Specifically for Smaller Social Platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat

There is a trend in the industry of designing content for smaller social platforms, such as TikTok, Snapchat, or Pinterest. Designers and marketers alike need to pay attention to the layout and functionality of these smaller platforms and design their content with them in mind. This way we can provide an optimal, user-friendly experience for a broad range of users. Users that could ultimately end up converting on the company website.

TikTok has taken social media by storm in 2021. It is now the most popular live-video app among 13 to 18-year-olds, which is a demographic few other platforms have had success reaching over recent years. Assets for tiktok design should be vertical videos that are short, snappy, and successfully hook the user within the first 5 seconds.

Pinterest and Snapchat also continue to be large driving forces in the social media platform metaverse. Pinterest design needs to contain lots of pictures for viewers to see what's being talked about in a very literal way with any given topic. As an example, you could write a piece titled "10 DIY projects with supplies from Walmart" and include pictures of all the supplies you used to make the project.

Similar to Instagram, Snapchat design is most powerful when driven heavily by influencer campaigns or user-generated content. Marketing on Snapchat is tricky because it’s different from other forms of social media, but with over 11 billion daily active users the effort to create dynamic content will be well worth it. MarinOne’s paid social optimization tool can help you make the most of all social content optimization, especially when combined with a thoughtful paid advertising plan.

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Invest in Short Form Video, Long Form Rarely Works (Except on Youtube)

We all know that video is a powerful medium that can be used to convey a message in an entertaining way, but what is rapidly changing in the video marketing space is the length of time that users will give video content the opportunity to be entertaining. A company may choose to use video marketing for a product or service release, educational assets, or even as a search engine optimization technique. A solid short-form video marketing strategy is something that should be included in every marketer’s optimization toolkit and should be considered as one of the top digital marketing strategies for 2022 and beyond. 

In terms of video length, as marketers, we must “prove” that the content is indeed engaging within the first few seconds. And even more than that we must embrace short-formSnapchatTikTokhow-to editing from beginning to end--be prepared to make video content 15, 30, or 60 seconds in most cases. 2-3 minutes is acceptable in some cases, such as an explanatory video describing how a complex SaaS tool works, but be prepared to make every moment of those 3 minutes informative and visually interesting.

The only exception to this rule in the digital marketing space seems to be Youtube. With over 1.5 billion users and more than 400 hours of video uploaded every minute, YouTube has become one of the most popular and influential channels for marketers. Here is a quick guide when determining the ideal youtube video length for your content:

  • Short-form videos: Like other platforms, these videos are typically under 2 minutes in length, have higher watch rates, and have a low production value.
  • Mid-form videos: These are around 2 to 5 minutes long. They have a moderate production value but average watch rates. The majority of content on YouTube falls into this category--common topics include “how to” guides, quick tips, and tutorials.
  • Long-form videos: These are usually over 5 minutes in length and often promote a product or other content. Videos of extended lengths can be complex training, highly entertaining content, or lists featuring many different topics such as “The World’s Best 20 Cheapest Travel Destinations for 2022.”

Make Social Listening a Central Component to Content Planning

Social listening is the process of monitoring social media networks to find topics, trends, and insights. It's a great way for brands to find out what people are talking about them, what they are interested in, what their responses are to the brand's posts, and more. To stay relevant, content creators need to increase their social listening skills. 

Social listening tools provide a central place for data related to conversations on social media networks. The key is to listen in on conversations, gather data, analyze it, and use insights gleaned from social listening to generate relevant content. While social listening used to be only available as an expensive service offered by consulting firms or expensive software systems, now many tools allow you to do this on your own. A few popular software systems in this space include Sprout Social, and Brandwatch.

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Push the Envelope in Graphic Design, Especially for Paid Advertising

Graphic design is an important element in paid advertising - a well-designed ad draws the attention of the audience to what you are trying to sell, increases clicks, and incites action from the user. While the main objective of graphic design for any medium is to convey a message or an idea through images, symbols, words, and colors, advertising graphic design takes communication through these same visuals even further. It’s common to go through many stages to create an advertisement that is highly likely to convert and become part of an evergreen performance marketing campaign. Design trends that are likely to be prominent in conversion-centric design during 2022 include 1990’s nostalgia, anti-design, and parametric patterns.

To still be effective in the competitive world of digital marketing today, graphic designers face a colossal task. They not only need to create strong visuals for websites but also graphics for a myriad of other assets like social media posts, email campaigns, and blog cards...all while maintaining a congruent user experience from channel to channel. The first stage for a designer to achieve the best possible ad is basic research like gathering textual information about the product, its history, and its target audience. A/B testing is the best practice for comparing ad creatives, and MarinOne’s display ad testing solution makes it easier than ever before. With the use of this tool’s sophisticated AI, potential ad campaign examples can be produced in mere minutes.

Complete the Customer Lifecycle with Marketing Automation

Marketing is no longer a one-time, short-term investment. Companies need to maintain a constant stream of marketing efforts to nurture their customers and maximize the lifetime value of their business.

The customer lifecycle is the process of interacting with a customer to satisfy their needs. It starts when a potential customer's need is just an idea and ends when they become loyal customers for your company. Connect by MarinOne has powerful data visualization and integration to get the full picture of your loyal customers’ lifecycle.

Marketing automation helps you in every step of the customer lifecycle by automating processes and providing insights about your customers’ preferences. More and more businesses are executing campaigns at scale using pre-configured workflows without requiring excessive manual input from employees. Some benefits to using marketing automation software effectively include increased efficiency in lead generation, higher sales conversions due to improved data accuracy, improved customer satisfaction by providing personalized interactions, and greater sales opportunities from targeted marketing campaigns

What is consistent amongst all of these creative new marketing ideas is the need for authenticity within the content itself. Unique marketing strategies that include fascinating statistics, great storytelling, and beautiful design are paramount to stand out amongst all the noise. Thanks to MarinOne’s comprehensive suite of paid advertising optimization tools, staying at the forefront of innovation is now quicker, easier, and simpler.

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Businesses often go to great lengths to build their brand, decide on a brand message, and craft a narrative around that brand message. This time and effort are only rewarded when that narrative is effectively communicated to a brand’s target audience. Businesses spent over $238 billion on internet advertising in 2021 and this number is projected to grow significantly in the coming years. 

Targeted advertising is the best way to ensure that the brand message reaches the right customer—but how do you make sure that you are paying a fair price to reach those customers? Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows business leaders to spread their message far and wide but only pay when engagement is registered. Here is how you can use PPC to amplify your existing brand message online. 

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What is PPC and how does it work?

Pay-Per-Click marketing refers to an advertising practice where advertisers pay a fixed fee each time their ad is clicked by a visitor. This helps businesses to direct visitors to their website in a cost-effective manner. Companies typically use this method of advertising to drive visitor traffic to their website or social media page through search engines and social media share pages.

Why you should use PPC for your business

Improved brand recognition and recall

One of the major reasons to advertise on the platforms where your target audiences spend the most time is to improve brand awareness. PPC advertising on the appropriate platforms ensures that the advertising brand is always top of mind for the customer when it is time for them to make a purchase.

Search engine ads that appear on generic product searches can encourage customers to associate the advertising brand with the products that they search for, making it easier for them to remember and search for the brand the next time they wish to make a purchase. 

Works in tandem with existing brand material 

To ensure that marketing campaigns are effective across every platform and channel, marketers must create ad copy that amplifies the brand message consistently. PPC advertising allows brands to amplify existing marketing material such as posters and infographics on social media and search engines. 

Can attract new customers to the brand

Almost 60% of shoppers research a future purchase online before pulling the trigger. However, search engine results and social media pages are often saturated with marketing messages from competing brands. Successful brands can use PPC to ensure that their ad rises above their competitors’ by appearing at the top of their customers’ search results.

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5 tips to help your business manage a successful ad campaign

  1. Consider the keywords you want to optimize for and set your budget accordingly

The popularity of PPC advertising has led to numerous brands using the strategy to make their presence known online. To rise above the crowd and reach the right audiences efficiently, brands must choose the right optimized keywords to direct customers to the appropriate ad. 

Once these keywords are decided, brands must choose the right budget for their marketing efforts. Brands should consider increasing the frequency or reach of ads that serve a general audience to ensure that the ad receives the airtime that it deserves ahead of competing brands. 

  1. Use ad extensions like sitelinks, location, callouts, etc., to make your ads more appealing

Ads should always be designed with the customer in mind. This is why it is important to make online ads as engaging as possible. This can be done by adding extensions to your ads. Extensions can come in many forms ranging from sitelinks to store locations and more. These extensions increase the likelihood of a customer engaging with the ad once they have read the accompanying copy or viewed the accompanying graphic. 

  1. Include a clear CTA in your ads so people know what action you want them to take

In addition to extensions, brands should make it as easy as possible for a customer to continue engaging with the brand. Call-to-actions (CTAs) are a crucial part of this engagement. Clear CTAs allow brands to control the way customers interact with their ad by directing them to the appropriate platform or site that can help them receive a cohesive experience across marketing channels. 

  1. Create different ads with different CTAs based on the audience you are targeting

A common mistake that marketers tend to make when drafting ad copy is creating generic CTAs that are copied across different ads and platforms. However, customer actions can differ greatly from platform to platform. For example, customers who click on a search engine ad are more likely to visit a website that is related to their search. On the other hand,  a customer who interacts with a social media ad might need more incentive to interrupt their browsing and interact with an ad. 

  1. Track how well each ad is performing to stop or change ads that aren't working as well

Online advertising is a dynamic activity and businesses must be prepared to react to changing customer preferences promptly. Brands can track each online ad using a variety of engagement metrics and adjust ads that fail to generate the expected response from key customer demographics. Consistent evaluation of ad performance also allows marketers to optimize ad spend on ads that seem to resonate more with the appropriate target audiences. 

How MarinOne can help you effectively spread your brand message online

MarinOne helps businesses keep track of how each PPC advertisement is performing and presents this information through an easy-to-understand graphical interface. Businesses can receive a bird’s eye view of how their ads are performing across platforms or highlight individual ads to assess their effectiveness in reaching their target audience.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use software to reach your customers more effectively, contact us. We will be happy to schedule a no-strings-attached demo of our solution for you.

Competition is getting tougher in the world of eCommerce as more customers are shopping online and their expectations have never been higher. 

Here are some eye-opening web statistics worth noting:

  • 68% of consumers have much higher expectations for businesses’ digital capabilities following COVID-19
  • 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19 

How can brands cope with the increased pressure to perform? Google Ads has proven vital for marketers looking to reach more customers, drive traffic, build brand awareness, and create a positive image for their business. 

To help you stay ahead of the pack, here are some tips on using Google Ads to outsmart your competition.

How COVID has affected eCommerce, social, and search 

The COVID pandemic has had a massive impact on eCommerce, social media, and search—in particular, on consumer behavior and expectations. More consumers are shopping online from the comfort (and safety) of their homes.

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Social media usage has also increased as people turn to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for news, entertainment, and shopping. In fact, a whopping 91% of marketing organizations now use social media as part of their strategy, the same amount using digital ads. More intangible products are also being purchased online (e.g., experiences, memberships, digital subscriptions). 

Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve also seen a massive increase in the use of Google Ads by businesses as it is now considered an essential tool for reaching more customers, driving traffic, and building brand awareness.

However, with so many businesses using paid search and Google Ads, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. This is why it’s more important than ever to ensure your Google Ads campaigns are optimized for success. 

What is Google Ads and why should you use it?

Google Ads allows businesses to create ads for their products and services. These ads are then displayed on Google search results pages and other Google properties, such as YouTube and Gmail.

The great thing about Google Ads is that it lets you target people who are specifically searching for what you offer. This makes it a much more efficient use of your marketing budget than other forms of advertising, such as TV or print.

In addition, Google Ads is a particularly flexible platform, allowing you to tailor your campaigns to your specific goals. For example, you can use Google Ads to drive traffic to your website,  increase brand awareness, and/or generate leads.

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How to get the most out of Google Ads (and outsmart your competition) 

Google Ads can be an extremely effective tool for businesses looking to reach more customers and drive traffic to their websites. However, to ensure success, it's important to understand how the platform works and optimize your campaigns accordingly. In this section, we'll discuss some tips on how to outsmart your competition.

Create a memorable ad

When creating an ad, it's important to make sure that it stands out. Use eye-catching copy and good quality images—and make sure it’s relevant to your target audience. You can do this by using specific keywords that people are likely to be searching for.

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Use Google Ads Editor to make changes faster

Google Ads Editor is a tool that allows businesses to quickly and easily make changes to their campaigns. It's particularly useful for those who are managing multiple campaigns. One of the best things about Google Ads Editor is that you can make changes to multiple campaigns at the same time.

Use ad extensions to increase your visibility

Ad extensions are a great way to increase your visibility and improve your click-through rate. They also allow you to add additional information to your ads, such as your phone number, website address, product images, or customer reviews.

Split-test different versions of your ads to find the most effective combination

One of the best ways to find the most effective combination of ad elements is to split-test different versions of your ads. Split-testing, also known as A/B testing, is a method of testing in which two or more variants of an ad are shown to users. The performance of each variant is then monitored and the variant that performs the best is chosen as the winner.

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Use negative keywords to weed out irrelevant search terms

Negative keywords allow you to weed out irrelevant search terms that are not related to your business. This ensures that your ads are only shown to people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. To find the right negative keywords, you can use the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool: simply enter a list of keywords to see a list of related terms. You can then use this information to add relevant negative keywords to your campaign.

Experiment with different bidding strategies

There are a number of different bidding strategies that you can use with Google Ads. The most popular bidding strategy is CPC (cost-per-click), which allows you to set a maximum amount that you'll pay for each click on your ad. There are other bidding strategies you can use such as CPM (cost-per-impression) or CPA (cost-per-acquisition).

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Top tip: Set limits on how much you're willing to spend and stick with it.

Include Keywords in the Ad as well as the Landing Page

One way to speed up your Google Ads campaigns is by ensuring that they are well connected from the first engagement to the call-to-action to the messaging on the LP or product page. For example, if you have a certain keyword, then your ad copy should mention it and the landing page should also mention that same keyword. If someone searches for your eyeshadow brand on the search engine, you would want them to end up on a landing page that features only that particular eyeshadow palette.

Don’t Combine Search and Display Campaigns Together

You should make sure to only set up campaigns using a single campaign type. Some Google Ads managers will try to use different campaign types at once, but this can be limiting to your campaign’s performance. By focusing on one content type, Google will give the best AI-powered recommendations possible for mixing and matching different variables and creating the best performing ad possible. 

Keep up with what's trending 

One of the most effective ways to keep up with what's trending is to check out blogs. Some blogs provide tips on how to improve your Google Ads campaigns.

Some of our favorites include helpful tips on a wide range of topics:

  • PPC Hero: Read about keyword research, ad copywriting, and bid management.
  • Hubspot: Learn content strategy, lead generation, and sales.
  • Moz: Find ideas about SEO, link building, and content marketing.
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Track your progress 

It's important to track your progress so you know what changes need to be made along the way. Google Analytics is a great tool for monitoring your website traffic, conversions, and much more. For a more all-in-one approach, ad management platforms are a great option: get insights, manage ads, and let the software do the heavy lifting when it comes to bidding—all from one platform. 

How MarinOne can help

MarinOne is an all-in-one ad management platform that allows you to track your ad performance, conversions, and much more. It provides smart insights into how you can improve your campaigns, minus all the manual work. This makes it a valuable tool for businesses that want to get the most out of their Google Ads campaigns, and more out of their marketing team.

  • Use MarinOne’s Analyze features to understand the competition and find opportunities. 
  • Customize, optimize, and automate in MarinOne to streamline your operations and secure your number-one spot. 
  • Get more out of your marketing budget with smart insights and automatic bidding.

Learn more about MarinOne’s automation tools today. Get in touch and speak to one of the team.

As the online space becomes more competitive, brands are going to new and greater lengths to ensure they stand out ahead of the competition. One promotional route that many are choosing is display ads. 

When well-executed, display advertising is an excellent way to capture your audience’s attention. Display advertising allows you to effectively convey your product and messaging. The ads are designed to entice the reader to click through and learn more. 

However, some expertise is required—poorly implemented display ads can negatively impact your business. When they miss their mark, users might find them intrusive and irrelevant, and you could waste a lot of money. 

But what exactly is a display ad, and how do they work? What are some good examples of display advertising? Let’s find out. 

What Is a Display Ad? 

Display ads are a common form of online advertising. There are several kinds of display ads; you’re used to seeing them in emails, and they’re also common on websites and social media

Display ads can serve multiple purposes. Some businesses use them to build awareness of new research, for example, while others will utilize them to promote the company’s products and services. 

How Do Display Ads Work?

When you implement display advertising, you start by choosing the platform you want to promote yourself on, as well as the ad size and positioning. 

The pricing varies depending on what you pick. You can choose several pricing models for display ads, such as cost-per-mille (CPM) and pay-per-click (PPC). When you run an advertisement of this kind, you can choose how long you want the campaign to run and select other parameters—such as the audience segments you’d like to target. 

Examples of Excellent Display Ads, and Why They Work

To help you create an excellent display advertising campaign of your own, let’s look at these real-life examples. Below, you’ll find eight display ads that have worked in the past. We’ll discuss why they’ve enjoyed success. 

Spotify

Music streaming giant Spotify has become well known for its innovative and quirky advertising. The company has run several paid online campaigns, each featuring its instantly recognizable branding. 

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This is a promotion for Spotify Premium. If you use the free version, you know all too well that the ads can be intrusive to the in-app experience; this ad works because it gets to the point. What they are directly and indirectly saying is, “You can wave goodbye to ads and try the full version of Spotify for 30 days, after which you probably won’t want to return to the free edition.” 

What makes this ad work? It addresses a pain point that customers using the free service all have, and offers an immediate, free (for a time) solution. The text is clear and not cluttered, and the green-means-go action button stands out. Single or two-tone color schemes with vibrant tones are also very effective statistically as they tend to pop out to the user on a desktop or mobile device.

MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the world’s most popular email marketing tools, and its marketing strategy is a key factor. 

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Why does this particular ad campaign work? Well, there are several reasons. Rhyming is a powerful way to make your message stick, and each ad is equal parts funny and absurd—inviting connection through humor. Moreover, the colors are simple and appealing. 

Klarna

Klarna has taken the fintech world by storm, and its advertising campaigns challenge the assumption that the financial services industry is drab. 

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This pay-later service originated in Stockholm, Sweden—where it still has its headquarters. And in the ad you see above, it has dug deep into its Scandinavian roots. Klarna isn’t actually Swedish for “smoother shopping”, so it’s added a bit of humor for users, as you can see with the two characters that pay homage aesthetically to playful Swedish stereotypes. 

The ad also works because the copy is simple—only four words in a unique font—and both the colors and textures suggest the smoothness they’re talking about. 

HP

HP is one of the largest tech companies in the world and is perhaps best known for its printers. How do you make printing seem a little more interesting? Create ads that are fun to view and read, of course. 

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Anyone who has had to file their own taxes knows that tax season can often be stressful. HP’s ad works because it offers a promise—that its product will make your job more straightforward. 

The ad also works because the colors are simple and the printer is at the focal point of the image

Adobe 

Adobe is one of the world’s biggest software companies. Adobe’s solutions primarily focus on helping creatives achieve their goals. Photographers, designers, and podcasters use several tools (e.g.,  Lightroom, InDesign, and Audition). 

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Any photographer will tell you that what they saw in real life often doesn’t look the same on camera. Editing software is useful for improving color quality and creating a unique style, as this ad shows. 

The ad is successful because it sums everything up in four words; you take the picture, before bringing it to life with one of Adobe’s editing tools. The company has also used complimenting colors, making the ad more eye-catching. 

Samsung

Samsung is a global manufacturer of various consumer items, including smartphones and tablets. It's one of the fiercest competitors to Apple. As such, the company needs to ensure that its advertising game is on point. 

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Upon releasing the Galaxy S6 tablet, Samsung produced a campaign with a simple message: you can create work regardless of where you are. The ad appealed to people who might need to create quick prototypes for clients on the go, along with those either traveling or working remotely. 

In addition to the messaging, the ad also works because the colors are simple – and the tablet is the main focal point for the viewer. 

Huawei

Huawei is a smartphone manufacturer headquartered in China. For a recent Christmas campaign, the company put together the following ad campaign.

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The ad encourages people to be present with their loved ones aside, but it’s clever because you can still see the main product that Huawei is trying to sell. Moreover, the candy cane adds to the Christmas theme – as do the shades of red. 

Huawei’s ad was also effective because it played on viewers’ emotions. Christmas is a time to create memories with people you care about, and the messaging reminds people about the importance of disconnecting from the virtual world now and then. 

Puma 

Puma is one of the world’s best-known sports clothing manufacturers. While it isn’t as big as Nike or Adidas, the company still has a huge presence and following – with several major partnerships. 

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Puma has created several memorable display ads in the past, but the ad above is one of the best. It uses the term “we’ve got sole” to describe the fact that puma shoes often have comfortable and sturdy soles, but also that its products have a sense of character. 

Unlike some of the other ads on this list, the Puma campaign features a wider variety of colors. However, they remain pleasing to the eye and work together without looking disjointed. 

4 Ways to Create Your Own Successful Display Ad Campaign

Now that you’ve seen a couple of display ads in action, we can discuss the top factors that will help your own campaigns stand out. 

Set a Clear Goal for Your Ads

Before you start creating copy, you must have a clear goal in mind for your display ad campaign. You can use display ads for several types of goals. Below are three to get your creative juices flowing: 

  • Generate more leads 
  • Increase email subscriptions 
  • Offer a free trial for a premium version of your product 

Consider the action you wish readers to take, and select your words carefully to connect with your audience demographics.

Use Interesting Visuals 

Each display ad example in this article uses interesting visuals. The images are simple and tell the story with minimal complexity, making it easy for the viewer to understand what’s going on.

Color is a critical factor to convey mood and personality, so choose carefully. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow generally convey a sense of energy and enthusiasm. Blues and purples more often connote poise, wisdom, and stability. Green, of course, makes people think of action and growth.  

Think About Your Fonts

Your text will be the first thing that most people look at when engaging with your display ads, and you should have fonts that appeal to them visually. 

Your fonts should match your branding; using something modern if you sell antiques probably won’t work. Be creative; we recommend trying at least two or three different kinds to see which ones bring more engagement.

Carefully Pick the Platform for Your Ads

Since you can create display ads on several platforms, place them wisely to get the highest return on your investment. Younger customers are often found on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, while more mature audiences can be found on Twitter and Facebook.  

How to Write Copy That Gets People Clicking on Your Ads

Once you’ve chosen your display ad campaign’s goals and visuals, you’ll need to consider the copy itself. Below are some pointers to help you out. 

Understand Your Audience

When you create ad copy, it’s crucial that you understand your audience. How they speak is especially important—tone and style matter. If you’re struggling to write copy that resonates with your audience, consider outsourcing this part to someone from the same demographic. 

Keep Your Copy Short

In each of our display ad examples, the copy is short and gets to the point. People won’t read lengthy ad texts online. Long paragraphs will turn them off. 

You might find it helpful to write a few versions and A/B test them to see which works best. 

Inject Some Humor 

People love laughing, and humor is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to go a little left-field with your visuals and copy. The payoff is huge if you get it right. Just ensure that it feels authentic and acknowledges a common experience they’ll recognize.

Solve the Audience’s Problem

What’s in it for them? At the heart of all advertising, you need to ensure that you communicate how you will solve your audience’s problem. The reader must want what you are selling, so be sure to communicate your solution clearly and immediately.

How MarinOne Can Help

Display advertising is an excellent way to reach your target audience, and you can have a bit of fun planning your campaigns. The fight for online attention is fierce, but the rewards are big if you successfully portray yourself in the best possible light. 

We hope you are inspired by some of the best display ads of 2022, and that our tips help you create the best ads possible. If you would like to improve your display advertising, MarinOne can help you identify opportunities and optimize your campaigns across Amazon DSP, Yahoo! DSP, and Criteo Marketing Solutions

Schedule a demo with one of our display advertising experts to find out how a display-driven strategy can innovate your marketing strategy.

Publisher skill certifications are a great resource for seasoned experts and novices alike. Even though seasoned professionals might balk at the prospect of sitting through a certification course, we’ve found that there’s always something to learn in the constantly evolving advertising landscape. 

If you’re looking to level up your skills but don’t know where to start, we’re covering a few popular publisher certifications and our experts’ experiences with them.

Meta Blueprint Certifications

Known by advertising OGs as Facebook Blueprint Certifications, these certifications have undergone an evolution over the years. Meta has continued to expand their certification offerings to include Associate and Professional level specialty certifications in a variety of Meta-related niches. Even experienced marketers will find the content of the study guides and exams challenging - Meta makes you work for that digital badge. While their courses are free, the exams will set you back anywhere from $99-150 apiece. Their exams are also proctored either in person or online, a throwback to high school exam season for many of us.

Customer Engagement Manager Lauren Neels recently took the Meta Media Buyer Certification:

“I recently completed Facebook’s Blueprint Media Buyer Certification. It was a valuable supplement to my experience as a working media buyer in the social space. The exam was a bit challenging (I recommend studying even if you have experience with media buying on Facebook), but it’s a great way to solidify your skills and set yourself apart in the industry. Since the blueprint exam is challenging, this is a certification that really means something to potential employers.”

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Apple Search Ads

The Apple Search Ads Certification is undeniably the best way to learn the basics of Apple Search Ads. You’ll learn best practices about all aspects of running Search Ads and Search Tab Ads. Apple also regularly updates their certification as their products evolve and notifies previously certified users, so you never have to worry about being behind the curve! This certification is also free to all, you just need to log in with your Apple ID to get started. 

Here’s what our Customer Engagement Manager Kassi Hall had to say about the certification:

For the Apple Search Ads certification, I think they had a good blend of information within their certification. With this in mind, I think that this certification would be helpful to both a  digital marketing newcomer and a more seasoned veteran who may already know multiple platforms. Additionally, I think that the certification showed that their ads platform is intuitive and straightforward to use. Overall, I feel as though it was time well spent to complete a fairly short certification, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get more familiar with Apple Search Ads or for anyone who is interested in testing out running some ads in this space.

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Snapchat 

Snapchat offers a robust library of courses and certifications for every skill level on the spectrum, aptly named Snap Focus. Their programs are very user friendly and some even offer hands-on exercises for those of us who learn best by doing. Unlike some other certifications out there, you don’t have to dedicate hours of time to completing a certification or course. Many are bite-sized for easy integration into your work day.

Sam Larson, our Social Product Manager at Marin, recently completed their Public Profiles for Business Certification:

“Most of Snapchat’s certifications are short enough to complete in a day or less, which makes them easy to fit into a busy work schedule. The concepts are presented in a way that’s easy to understand and put into practice. There are always new certifications and courses being released, so there’s always something new to learn for every skill level.”

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Marin Social

Our social certification covers our Marin Social platform in depth. You’ll learn everything from the basics of using our software to time saving tips and tricks. You can expect to find clear instruction and interactive exercises to make the most of your time. This certification is great for current users and new users since there is always something new to discover about Marin Social. 

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Google Sheets has changed the way people collaborate today. This web-based spreadsheet tool serves as a free alternative to Microsoft Excel, the digital marketer’s mainstay. Sheets allows you to create and edit your data within an online spreadsheet. Your spreadsheets in the cloud, meaning your data can easily stay up to date because information is automatically saved as it’s typed. Multiple team members can collaborate in real-time from their phone, tablet or computer (online and offline) and create a single source of truth for your data so that you can analyse and interrogate your data for your reporting needs. 

How can Google Sheets help my productivity?

  • Use Comments - there may be instances where you’ll question your data, formula or just want clarification on something within a Google Sheet. Instead of having to connect directly with the originator you can quickly and easily leave a comment through the applications built-in commenting feature.
  • Extending Google Sheets with Add-ons - You can extend Sheets with add-ons that build customised workflow improvements, establish connectivity to third-party systems such as Salesforce or Google Analytics, and integrate your Sheets data with other Google Workspace applications, like Google Slides or Google Forms.
  • Stay informed of changes to a Google Sheet - Create Notification Rules to send you an email when a change has been made to a Google Sheet. You’ll find it under this menu: Tools > Notification rules.
  • Create hyperlinks - It might sound simple but due to the nature of Google Sheets being online, hyperlinks are extremely useful to connect to other Google sheets / Docs / Slides within your shared Google Drive.
  • Connect to live data - Using the IMPORTHTML function, you can import your data from MarinOne by creating Web Query reports and scheduling the data to refresh on a recurring basis, saving precious hours of the day by not having to manually create reports. IMPORTHTML can also be used in numerous other ways, an example of which could be importing live weather data or exchange rates.

If you’re wanting to maximize Google Sheets’ potential and enhance your productivity, then you must get acquainted with Google Sheets. It's definitely a learning curve, especially if you’re used to using Excel, but once you start using Google Sheets to its potential you’ll quickly see it’s worth your time and effort.

Ok, so what about automation?

Google Apps Scripts is a built-in coding language based on JavaScript that allows you to extend and manipulate Google Sheets (it also works with other Google Apps, like Docs, and Gmail). We have found Google Sheets to be a great tool for prototyping new features or extending the capabilities of MarinOne to meet specific customer requirements.

What type of things can I automate?

Marin has been able to help some of the largest brands in the world automate the management of their marketing campaigns directly from Google Sheets as well as build dynamic reporting dashboards in Google Sheets using multiple Publishers (i.e. Google, Facebook, Bing, ASA etc) and 1st / 3rd Party revenue and conversion data captured by Marin. Below are some of the Google Apps Scripts and solutions we have created to help support our customers’ day-to-day workflows. With these shortcuts, you can easily aggregate data in new ways. This is particularly effective when partnered with the MarinOne tool, as there is quite a bit of data that can be directly imported into, exported from, or copy/pasted bi-directionally between Google Sheets and MarinOne.

Templatize daily workflows to increase efficiency

As a marketer, it can be very time-consuming to add objects (such as keywords or creatives) to multiple different publishers at the same time in a collaborative manner. Think of Google sheets as all of your offline publisher editors rolled into one with a direct connection to our platform, negating the need for using multiple siloed tools such as Google Ads editor, Bing editor etc. Using a Marin - Google Apps Script, you can create or edit hundreds -- or even thousands -- of campaigns, groups, keywords, or ads with just a single click of a button directly in Google Sheets for multiple different publishers at the same time.

Cannibalization insights

When a search query pairs with multiple keyword match types, and there are various ads supporting these keywords, the flow of regular traffic for the original search term will markedly diminish as your control over the matched keyword behaviour becomes severely hampered. Using a combination of data imported into Google Sheets directly from MarinOne and a Google Apps Script we have created to analyse the data, we can quickly surface those keywords that are cannibalizing your search paid media traffic.

Create foreign language ads using your native language

If you are planning to expand your marketing activity to additional markets or regions across the globe and do not have the support internally with creating foriegn language adcopy, fear not, we have a Google Apps Script that will take your current AdCopy and create new Ads in the language of your choice.

Why should you automate tasks in Google Sheets?

There’s the obvious reason that using Google Apps Scripts can save you a serious amount of time, allowing you and your colleagues to focus on higher value activities such as optimising your marketing campaigns. But there’s plenty of other less obvious reasons like: 

  • Avoid mistakes by minimizing manual effort and letting AI-powered tasks automatically fire
  • Quickly summarize and aggregate your data
  • Universally apply styles and formatting
  • Create completely new spreadsheets or tabs
  • Use any Google Sheets function, feature, menu or toolbar
  • Translate foreign language text en masse (but always be sure to have a native speaker review the translation for accuracy)
  • Manipulate your spreadsheet to your liking with a single command

Once you've recorded a macro or created your Google Apps Script, you can link it to a keyboard shortcut in the form Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Number or even create a button directly within the spreadsheet to execute the task.

How can Marin help?

These are just a few of the solutions we have created, there are many other ways to save time and increase efficiency using the MarinOne tool in conjunction with other easily accessible tools.  if you are an existing customer of Marin and are interested in the above or have other mundane tasks that you would like us to support in automating within Google Sheets then reach out to your account manager today. 

If you're new to Marin, contact our sales team to get an analysis of how our platform can fit your needs.

If 2022 passes as quickly as the past two years have, it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Advertisers are paying close attention as Google is under pressure from regulators to meet its 2023 goal for deprecating tracking cookies. 

After drawing criticism from privacy advocates, Google recently walked back FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), a form of interest-based tracking that identifies users based on their shared interests, or “cohorts”. The concern from critics around FLoC was that it could make it easier for advertisers to identify users with “browser fingerprinting”, which shares information about user devices, browsers, and potentially demographic information. 

Topics API is the latest proposal from Google for replacing third-party tracking cookies. Per Google, under Topics the browser identifies a user’s top interests for that week (things like “Fitness”, “Travel & Transportation”, etc) then shares them with participating sites and advertising partners. Topics are kept for three weeks on user’s devices and removed after that time. Google makes it clear that user’s Topics information will not be stored on external servers, including Google’s servers. 

A bonus for user privacy advocates: in Chrome, Google is giving users the ability to view the topics associated with them, remove topics if they wish, and even the ability to disable Topics altogether.

Google goes into more detail about how this works in their recent announcement.

While most would agree that this is a good move by Google for user privacy, where does this leave advertisers?

The general consensus is (justified) concern from advertisers, especially those who confronted Facebook’s deprecation in targeting capabilities post iOS14.5 adoption. Broader targeting inevitably means more challenges in reaching the intended users, so growing pains should be expected. 

In particular, marketers have raised concerns about Topic availability as a hurdle to targeting accuracy. The Topics API Github page lists only 350 “topics” so far, which some feel might not contain enough nuance to accurately target customers. Google maintains that this list is in an early stage of development, so this issue may be addressed in the coming months.

As compared with FLoC, Topics gives users more control and flexibility over how they receive targeted advertising. Both FLoC and Topics represent a step down in precision targeting, so advertisers will need to adapt.

Despite the uncertain future for Topics API and Cookie deprecation, there are steps advertisers can take to prepare:

  • Prioritize First Party Data - Advertisers should maintain focus on collecting first party data which can be used to target customers directly or create lookalike audiences. Prioritizing strategies for developing brand-customer relationships can help with this.
  • Leverage Cross Channel Audiences - Marin Software also offers proprietary audience targeting options such as Social Intent for Search, which seamlessly integrates social audiences to power search campaigns. Options like this that leverage existing intent will be valuable to adaptation.
  • Keep Clients Up to Date - Nobody likes unhappy surprises, especially not advertising clients. Start communicating and developing a plan of action now and stay flexible as Google releases more information around Topics API in the coming months.

Test Marin Software for More Performance Power - MarinOne’s bidding algorithm consistently outperforms publisher bidding AND gives advertisers greater visibility into bidding. Advertisers will appreciate the transparency we offer as so many publishers reduce available optimization levers.

Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives and an essential space for brand discovery. With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram has become increasingly important to marketers who want to reach large audiences. Whether you’re just tapping into the power of Instagram or looking to level up your current strategy, we have 5 Instagram hacks that can help you on your Instagram journey.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A Meta-commissioned study found that 83% of their survey group use Instagram to discover new products or services, 81% use it to research products and services, and 80% use it to decide whether to purchase a product or service. 54% of people surveyed say they made a purchase either in the moment or after seeing a product or service on Instagram. In other words, your first impressions on Instagram matter.

The images or videos that you select should convey your message and align with your branding goals while keeping an organic feel to them. Instead of having a lot of text or large brand logos in your photos, think about your target demographic and the type of organic content they’d be most likely to respond to.

Whether you’re running ads on Instagram or not, you should also pay attention to image and video sizing for different types of posts and placements. There are a myriad of different types of posts and placements available when running paid social ads. When choosing an ad type, be sure to keep your business goals in mind. To understand more about the different ad types and how they can help you achieve your goals, check out Meta’s page for more information.  

Additionally, placements play a key role in achieving your goals. This is where you’ll be able to choose whether your ads will be seen on Facebook, Instagram, or both. You’ll also be able to say whether your ads will show up in feeds, stories, in-stream, search, messages, or in apps and sites. Keep in mind that each of these placement types may have different sizing and aspect ratio requirements for your creative. This is important as you want to make sure that as a brand you’re putting your best foot forward to your target audience.   

Boost your Best Content

If you’ve recently made an organic post that had great engagement, try applying a boost to it, which essentially turns that organic post into an Instagram ad. Boosting content is also a great way to make your organic content work harder without having to call on your creative team for special assets. 

If you’re already a post-boosting boss, Marin Social has a tool that can automate your post boosting workflow (aptly named Message Booster). You can use Message Booster to set rules for automatically boosting posts, so you don’t have to lift a finger to take full advantage of this Instagram hack.

ABT = Always Be Testing

The best social experts encourage consistent testing to integrate new ideas, improve on existing strategies, and get the most out of your advertising dollars. Some examples of things you could test on your account are auto placements, audiences, and ad types. If you haven’t run a test before, also think about how you’ll measure success in a quantifiable way. Some common examples of metrics used for this purpose are: Click Through Rate (CTR), Impressions, and Clicks.

Testing is a component of most of the hacks we shared in this article - we always recommend testing new ideas before making them a permanent part of your advertising strategy. To organize and prioritize your tests, try creating and following a testing roadmap. If you want to learn more about how to test ads for performance on Instagram, check out this free course from Meta Blueprint.

MarinOne Social also offers a time saving solution for split testing called Ad Studies. This tool lets you split test at the touch of a button and track the results using Marin Software’s advanced reporting suite.

Know your Audience (or Get to Know Them!)

There are a multitude of different audiences you can target on Instagram. When you decide to target an audience group, make sure you are keeping them in mind when it comes time to create your ads. A college student interested in a popular musician has different social media habits and interests than a retiree interested in recent events.

If you’re unsure of what your audience likes, start with some tests to determine what types of content and ads will work best. 

Be the First to Leverage New Products and Features

New features and releases are great examples of items to add to your testing roadmap. Using a new feature could unlock new possibilities for your ad performance, help you better reach your current audience, and/or help you reach new audiences. If you’re newer to Instagram and are unsure of which features to test first, you can find some ideas here.

If you’re a current Marin customer, your Marin rep will keep you up to date on new features which are released and how we can help you test them. Our partnership with Meta helps keep us at the forefront of new features, so you’ll be one of the first to hear about new features from Instagram!

If you’re interested in learning more about using MarinOne Social for your Instagram ads, reach out to us here.

This is the first in a series of posts where we'll be turning the spotlight on the digital marketing experts at Marin Software. Join us to work with some of our incredible digital advertising marketers today.

Anu Adegbola started her career as so many of us have – navigating the uncertain waves of SEO outreach for PR and link building efforts. Since then she has conquered rapids both big and small in digital marketing, from multi-million dollar paid media management accounts, to creating her own podcast and audio content. 

Today, she is the president of the Paid Search Association and an Account Director for Sales & Retention at Marin. She is a big contributor to the internal culture of Marin and offers a unique perspective on paid advertising we are thrilled to offer our clients.

I’d like to focus primarily on what it is about paid advertising that inspires and motivates Anu, but first…here are a few “fast facts” to help paint the picture of who she is.

  • Anu studied computer science and business management at Queen Mary University of London.
  • Originally from Nigeria, she is “proudly Nigerian” but also loves England.  After living in London for nearly 20 years, she considers the UK home.
  •  Anu worked in the agency industry for six years, including Brainlabs, one of the largest global agencies in the demand generation space.
  • She loves to sing and plays the guitar. She prays as a daily practice and lists music and practicing her Christian faith as her ways to recenter.
  • For three years Anu was a paid search consultant for several personal clients, and through this experience she gained a love for omnichannel marketing. She is interested in SEO, email marketing, social media, and more, especially how all those channels work together with paid.
  • Travel is one of her favorite pastimes and she views life as a true adventure. About this she says, “If there isn’t some fear, it wasn’t a real adventure.”
  • Anu spent about five years in-house. By working in several different capacities: freelance, agency, in-house, she learned to “embrace who she is” and make her personal working style effective in various settings.
  • Her favorite place to vacation is Italy.

Anu has grown her career with hard work and tenacity, while still maintaining a humility and eagerness to learn that is infectious. Her enthusiasm for paid media was tangible during our 60 minute conversation; and what stood out to me was that her collaborative spirit is clearly a driving force personally and professionally. Throughout the discussion, where I was truly seeking opportunities to “brag” about Anu, she continually redirected the conversation to discuss others who have mentored her or been colleagues that continue to teach her new things every day. There is no doubt in my mind that this spirit of sharing is what has made her so successful.

While her love of learning from others is an earmark of who Anu is as a person, in getting to know her I was struck by how insightful she is both in respect to pay-per-click but also about life at large. Below I’ve listed just a few of the golden tokens of wisdom I was left with after meeting with her.

  • “Paid media continues to evolve; embrace change.”
  • “Organization and prioritization is key.”
  • “My life has progressed by being very curious and that is what I love.”

On the topic of paid media and digital marketing best practices, Anu could talk for hours. And she has. Her podcast, where she recaps a weekly Twitter discussion by global thought leaders is just that – a weekly audio roundup where she compiles comments and talking points brought up in #PPCChat and reframes them for a listening audience. She clearly believes in the power of digital storytelling. And as a self-proclaimed “Excel nerd” the data and insights are not lost on her as a crucial part of our job as advertisers; data will always give us the knowledge, so we can listen and respond to our customers’ needs. 

For learning and inspiration, she shared with me some of her favorite people to learn from and follow, who I’ve listed below. But I would encourage you to listen in on her podcast and get a taste for what Anu has to offer directly. As a paid media wizard and a truly sparkling personality, her podcast is a great way to engage your mind during your daily commute, exercising, or while performing chores around the house. Her drive to offer value and make PPC content readily accessible to digital marketers both near and far is just another reason why she is a great fit in the Marin ecosphere, as it’s a core value of our company. Read on to get her tips for other great resources to learn about digital marketing and especially paid media.

Thought Leaders that inspire Anu:

Brands that inspire Anu:

See Anu speak at one of the following upcoming PPC events:

Paid Search Association - March 30th https://www.paidsearch.org/celebrate-womens-history-month-with-three-expert-speakers/

Brighton SEO - April 7th & 8th

https://www.paidsearch.org/celebrate-womens-history-month-with-three-expert-speakers/ 

Sheffield DM - April 28th

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sheffield-dm-digital-marketing-meetup-22-tickets-274128324197?aff=erelexpmlt 

Listen to Anu’s podcast the #PPCChat Roundup here.

Find Anu online here.

TikTok recently partnered with Shopify in an effort to help Shopify’s 1 million+ merchants sell to the TikTok audience.The partnership allows Shopify merchants to create and manage TikTok marketing campaigns without ever leaving the Shopify dashboard. Taking advantage of this new feature is easy. Just download the TikTok channel app found in the Shopify App Store then access the TikTok for Business Ads Manager right in Shopify. 

How to use TikTok for retail 

TikTok sells. Not only is it the fastest growing social media platform in existence, but it is also the easiest place to sell out a product. On average, TikTok users spend upwards of 850 minutes per month on the app. Considering there are more than 1 billion active monthly users on the platform, the potential for your content to be seen on the platform is massive. In quarter 2 of 2021, consumers spent more than $535 million via the TikTok app. 

Understand how TikTok works

TikTok isn’t like Instagram or Facebook. It’s designed for short form content. When users scroll through their For You Page (FYP), they are bombarded with rapid context changes. If you don’t grab their attention in the first few seconds of your video, they can (and will) scroll past with a simple twitch of the thumb. 

Advertising on TikTok successfully requires carefully crafted native content. Traditional ads won’t work here. Luckily, TikTok users are pretty easy to please. Catch their attention and show them your product or service works, and they’ll be flocking to your site in no time. 

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Hack the algorithm: learning how the TikTok algorithm works can go a long way in the quest to create viral content that sells. TikTok starts by showing your content to a limited number of users. Who they push your video to next depends on how those users interact with your video. Your goal should be to get as much engagement as possible by those first users. 
  • Use native formatting: aim for your videos to be around 30 seconds in length, always use vertical orientation, and make sure your video takes up the entire screen (no black space). 
  • Hop on trends: using trending hashtags, sounds, and video concepts is the best way to market your products via native content while participating in bigger conversations and trends on the platform. If a user likes a particular sound, using that sound might be all it takes to grab their attention. 

Get to know your audience 

Understanding your target audience isn't enough. You have to understand how your target audience behaves on TikTok. As you post content and grow your account, keep tabs on the analytics. Take a look at what TikTok influencers your followers are fond of, when they are online, what trends they participate in, etc. The more you know about what TikTok content resonates with your audience, the better informed your TikTok advertising strategy will be. As TikTok is a hub for Gen Z, it’s important to prioritize authenticity when creating content. 

Take advantage of TikTok’s features 

TikTok wants you to find success on their platform. This is why they’ve implemented so many features that make selling products on TikTok easier. Here are a couple to consider: 

  • Live stream shopping events: recruit influencers to help you sell products in a live stream shopping event. 
  • Product tags: turn every post into a potential advertisement by adding product tags that link directly to your product listings. 

TikTok might be a newer landscape for most advertisers, but the platform has proven to be a goldmine for selling online— especially to a younger audience. With the help of the Shopify integration and the right advertising solutions, you can use TikTok for retail too.

Digital display ad spending is on the rise, steadily increasing each year, with some estimates for programmatic digital display spend in the US over $115 billion by the end of 2022. 

So why is display advertising growing so quickly? The answer is, in part, due to increased device usage (mobile, tablet, and laptop) in the last two years as consumers stayed home during the pandemic.

But, display advertising via Demand Side Platforms also provides some distinct advantages for marketers. A look at Yahoo! DSP, one of the premier providers of programmatic display advertising, gives some clear insights into the benefits of display advertising for brands (and consumers too).

First party data

Yahoo has a user base of over 800 million globally through their owned and operated properties, so brands can leverage these relationships to understand and reach their audiences. In addition, they draw on 200 billion daily data signals providing insights for data-driven decisions. That being said, Yahoo puts privacy and consumer choice first, creating a trusted environment for their users. 

Unique formats

Yahoo! DSP offers advertisers many engaging ad formats to connect with customers.

Mobile Ads: With the increase in mobile usage, Yahoo mobile ads are a must, and they are designed for vertical executions and to accommodate swiping, scrolling and screen rotation.

Video Ads: Yahoo delivers 2.7B monthly video views, making it easy for marketers to bring their brand story to life with interactive and shoppable formats.

Advanced TV: Yahoo’s unified DSP means brands have access to cross-screen TV placement providing incremental reach across linear and digital TV. 

Audio Ads: Yahoo partners with the top music streaming platforms, and brands can also integrate into Yahoo owned and operated podcasts from TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports and more.

Other formats: Rounding out Yahoo’s omni-channel portfolio, Yahoo! DSP also provides access to solutions including digital out-of-home, brand integrations, and even immersive formats, like interactive video and AR-enabled ads, to make your ads innovate and your message resonate.  

Exclusive and comprehensive inventory

Yahoo! DSP gives advertisers the advantage of exclusive omnichannel inventory from Yahoo Media properties like: Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, engadget, and TechCrunch. 

Yahoo also has an extensive network of premium 3rd party connections delivering a wide range of touch points and consumer interests.

By reaching customers in the right environments, brands can unleash their advertising potential and build quality connections at scale. 

MarinOne + Yahoo! DSP

Now that you know all the reasons Yahoo! DSP is such an effective marketing channel, let’s look at how MarinOne’s Yahoo! DSP integration can supercharge your Yahoo campaigns. 

Reporting

  • Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Yahoo! DSP campaigns with unlimited data retention. 
  • Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
  • MarinOne for Yahoo also seamlessly integrates with your first party data like CRM and analytics tools as well as BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio so you have information when and where you need it.
  • Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes saving you loads of time by not having to manually monitor your accounts. 

Campaign Management

  • MarinOne for Yahoo! DSP streamlines your workflows letting you adjust campaign status across multiple accounts and campaigns in just a few clicks.
  • The same goes for budgets: adjust your daily budgets across accounts and campaigns to easily manage your spend across your digital programs. 

It seems that the Facebook Reels revolution is here to stay as Meta recently announced the expansion of Reels on Facebook globally. This announcement introduced new opportunities for creators to make money with their Reels and with that (of course) new ad placements for brands to leverage.

Instagram Reels ad placements have been around since Q2 2021 as an opportunity for brands to leverage their vertically-crafted creatives to a wider audience. The expansion of Reels to Facebook indicates Meta’s continued path down the road of video-focused experiences. 

This move won’t come as a surprise to advertisers. We’ve seen TikTok reach new heights in usership and revenue, YouTube has recently introduced YouTube Shorts with massive success, and both offer opportunities for creators to be compensated for their time and content. Meta is reading the room and following suit.

How to Use Facebook Reels

New product means new ad placement opportunities. In their announcement, they outline two new ad types that come with this launch: Overlay Ads and Full Screen Immersive Ads. We reached out to Facebook for more detail to share and received the following:

  • Overlay Ads appear directly on top of Facebook Reels content – enabling people to connect with brands uninterrupted within a Reel, while also allowing creators to earn a portion of the ad revenue. To start, Overlay Ads will be available in two formats: banner ads and sticker ads.
  • Banner ads render at the bottom of Facebook Reels content in the form of a single static image ad that can appear after 1 second of the Facebook Reel elapsing.
  • Sticker ads are compressed single static image ads that can be opted into and placed anywhere by a creator or partner within their Facebook Reel content. Sticker ads can also appear after 1 second of the Facebook Reel elapsing.
  • Overlay Ads are now available to all advertisers in the US, Canada, Mexico and India, and we hopes to bring this to more countries in the coming months. And once available, advertisers will be able opt-in to Overlay Ads by selecting ‘Facebook overlay ads in Reels’ under ‘Reels Overlay’ in Ads Manager Placements or via Automatic Placements.
  • Full screen immersive ads are 9x16 video ads that appear in between Reels. As with organic Reels content on Facebook, ads may be up to 30 seconds and people can comment, like, view, save, share and skip them.
  • We began testing full-screen immersive ads in between Facebook Reels in October of last year, and currently we are testing in US, India, Mexico, and Canada with a small percent of advertisers. Over the coming months, we will further expand this test to more advertisers and then move from a test towards a phased roll-out to all advertisers globally.

Examples of the new banner ads and sticker ads

Optimize Facebook Video

If you’re using Marin Social and would like to test Reels, you can access the new Reels placements by either:

  • Using Automatic Placements in campaigns built with Marin Social (after opting in within Facebook Ads Manager)
  • Building campaigns in Facebook with Reel placements, then importing them into Marin Social

If you want to see how your Reels are performing as compared with other creative, Marin Social makes it easy with our Charts feature. Here advertisers can see their best or worst performing ads by a variety of metrics at the touch of a button. Even better, our charts can be shared externally with a simple link for easy reporting workflows. 

This is the second post in our three part series where we’ll dive into TikTok advertising and how you can leverage the platform to get in front of new audiences with unique and engaging content.

TikTok ads are relatively new, and considering how unique the TikTok video format is, marketers looking to conquer this new landscape could use all the help they can get. According to data straight from TikTok HQ, these best practices are your ticket to high-performing ads that reach their full ROI potential. 

Universal best practices

  1. Prioritize quality video

Analyzing top-performing ads showed TikTok exactly how important video quality is to performance. 83.2% of top-performing TikTok videos have a resolution of 720p or higher. And as a bonus, these videos get an average 5.4% lift in impressions. 

  1. Use sound

Sound matters. It doesn't matter whether you’re talking to the camera, playing a music track, or doing a voiceover– but your video needs to have sound. TikTok is a sound-on environment. Adding audio results in significantly more impressions, which is why the vast majority (93%!) of top-performing TikToks use audio. 

  1. Keep it short

TikTok is designed for short attention spans. Your ads need to accommodate this video format while still getting your message across. According to TikTok data, 1 in 4 top-performing videos is between 21 and 34 seconds long. Videos of this duration see a 1.6% lift in impressions. 

  1. Go full-screen

The full-screen viewing format is part of what makes TikTok unique to other social media platforms. If you want to take advantage of TikTok’s popularity for your social ads, your videos should play to the platform’s strengths. 98% of top-performing TikTok videos play full screen, without any border or black space getting in the way. And videos that adhere to the recommended 9:16 ratio get 60.5% more impressions. 

  1. Shoot vertically

The last thing you want is for your videos to snatch viewers out of the TikTok scrolling experience. Your content needs to feel natural on the platform, which is why shooting vertically is so important to TikTok ad success. Just think about it– if users have to turn their phones sideways to view your video, what’s keeping them from scrolling past it? Vertically formatted videos received 40.1% more impressions than those shot square or horizontally. 

Best practices for eCommerce

  1. Vary your scenes

When it comes to product placement on TikTok, mixing up your angles and settings goes a long way. 99% of top-performing eCommerce videos vary the way they showcase their products in a single video. When compared to videos that don’t use b-roll or transition footage, videos with varied scenes got a 40.6% lift in impressions.

  1. Caption your CTA

Captions are a vital element of all video content. They make your video accessible to your deaf and hard-of-hearing audience and give sound-off users the ability to consume your content without altering their phone settings. Captions become even more powerful when used for eCommerce ads on TikTok. Ads with captions that reinforce the CTA with on-screen text get 55.7% more impressions than ads without on-screen text. 

  1. Emphasize an offer

Advertising a special offer like a seasonal deal or discount code? VIdeos that include footage of a person emphasizing an offer get 67.4% more impressions than those that don’t. 

Best practices for gaming

Here are TikTok’s best practices for advertising games:

  • Spell out the CTA: Data shows that videos in the gaming category with a clear CTA on-screen experience 11.3% more impressions than those without.
  • Show the game: The gaming community prefers to see features and gameplay in action. Over half of gaming category videos do this (and they experience 12.6% more impressions as a result).
  • Include an end card: Summarizing download information, tips, and tricks at the end of the video got ads in the gaming category 47.3% more impressions.

Now that you know what it takes to create a winning TikTok ad, it’s time to put these best practices to work. TikTok’s editing tools simplify the process– they even have creative tools to help you repurpose content from other platforms into videos that mesh seamlessly with the platform’s top-performing ads. Once your videos are up and running, be sure to track and optimize their performance with Marin One. 

Ready to learn more about how MarinOne can expand your reach and drive growth on TikTok?

Click here for more info. 

If your marketing team is understaffed, they may not be up to fulfilling all of your business goals. While a small team could theoretically handle the bulk of your tasks manually, this can lead to mistakes, missed opportunities, and eventually burnout—not good for morale, your reputation, or your customers. 

Marketers need to evolve with technology that allows them to keep up with the fast-changing digital marketing landscape—and the customers driving those changes. 

It makes sense to benefit from automation tools that handle your campaign management and other marketing activities—this makes your job easier and means you get to provide a better service to your customers. 

To help you make the most of the tech out there, here are 9 ways automation can help out a short-staffed team while achieving your marketing objectives:

1. Automate workflows

Automating your marketing teams’ workflow saves time and money, allowing you to focus on the things that really matter. It’s not enough to just post for your company—competitors are vying for attention in any given area. Your accounts need content, promotions, advertising...in short, they need someone behind them constantly replying to queries and providing value across all channels. Automating this means the software can handle everything so you can focus on other business areas.

MarinOne lets you automatically adjust campaign bids using unique factors that impact your campaign performance, such as seasonality, ratings, new product launches, coverage in the media, and social media buzz so your ads are always optimized to perform well without you having to intervene. 

MarinOne also automatically reviews search queries and adds keywords and negatives that meet user-specified criteria. We can track conversions associated with raw queries to provide better insight into whether keywords make sense to be added (or removed) based on their post-click success. 

Keyword expansion increases your reach and improves your campaign efficiency automatically. 

2. Increase the frequency of messages on social media channels

Increasing the frequency of messages on social channels helps to build rapport with your customers. They'll see a larger presence of your business on their social feeds and will assume you're very active—which means more trust.

Scheduling social media posts in advance used to be time-consuming. But now, automation tools can do many of the repetitive tasks for you, so it’s easier than ever to post relevant content on your social pages without needing someone there posting in real time. 

Automation allows you to create a posting schedule for your social media accounts and then let the application take care of everything for you! You’ll get the best engagement when the post goes live on the platform (and there won’t be any embarrassing mistakes). The same goes for your ads: you can use automation tools, like MarinOne’s paid social ads management feature, to track, manage, and optimize your ads with the click of a button.

Take it a step further with Message Booster, which analyzes the performance and content of organic posts and automatically transforms the best ones into ads. Automating this content promotion and campaign creation can save you hours of manual work.  By targeting specific audiences with Message Booster, you can reach people who are likely to purchase from you based on location, interests, and demographics that you define. And because your organic post has proven to be effective in engaging these types of customers, you can avoid using your ad spend on paid ads that may or may not interest your audience.

3. Work faster with bulk edits

With bulk uploads and inline edits, you'll have greater control over your day-to-day workflow. In MarinOne, you can use CSV or batch uploads to make thousands of changes at once. The campaigns, groups, keywords, or ads will appear on your account as soon as you complete all of the steps and push to the publisher within a few hours.

Unified bulk uploads allow you to work across accounts and publishers with a single action. Meanwhile, inline editing allows you to make adjustments or corrections without returning to Excel. This means less time hopping between documents and a lower chance of discrepancies and mistakes. 

4. Build campaigns from your product feed

Building campaigns from your product feed provides an easy way to integrate product information into campaigns for many different ad platforms at once. Everything is kept in one place, and updating product information is easy so you don't have to worry about campaign updates channel by channel.

MarinOne builds keywords and creatives from a product feed and campaign template. Get complete coverage of your product with no manual work. You can also mechanize pausing and resuming based on inventory levels.

5. Stay informed of changes to your account

Marketing teams are busy, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. To avoid negative ramifications caused by human error, set up preprogrammed notifications about changes to your account such as status updates, new campaigns and ad groups, and the addition of shared library items. Staying clued in to what is being done by other team members as well as natural changes happening in your advertising campaigns will help you to stay responsive, resulting in timelier analysis and action.

MarinOne's automated alerts bring changes directly to your inbox, saving the need for manual monitoring.

6. Get automated recommendations on performance opportunities

MarinOne Insights highlights recommendations for improved performance across your accounts. You can think of this as a continuous audit that evaluates the effectiveness of your organization’s digital marketing activity. In fact, Insights is updated every 24 hours and uses historical data to uncover opportunities to reduce wasteful spending and capitalize on volume in high-performing areas.

Insights also provides performance impact estimates for incremental spend, conversion, and revenue and examples to show you exactly what you stand to gain when implementing recommendations. So no need to worry if you don’t have staff to analyze your accounts every day!

7. Integrate your data

Integrating your data into your ad management platform means you always have information at your fingertips without looking for it. Pull in data from your web analytics, mobile tracking, and CRM, and let the software take the strain.

Another benefit of integrating your software: you can more easily extract insights and create reports that incorporate all your data, not just some. This means you get better insight into your business, customers, and competitors and can use those insights to optimize your campaigns for the best performance. 

With MarinOne, advertisers can also export data to Excel, Google Sheets, data warehouses and BI tools so you have information when and where you need it. .

8. Automated spend pacing

Keeping track of your spend is a must—don't let it fall to the wayside just because you're short-staffed. Pacing charts track your spending over the month, quarter, or another period you specify and automatically adjust your bidding targets to keep you on track. MarinOne helps you plan your targets with advanced forecasting, and then you can sit back while MarinOne manages your bids to keep you on budget through the period. 

9. Consider managed services

If you are extremely tapped for resources and have the budget, you might consider partnering with an AdTech team that can manage and optimize your campaigns for you. This means that when you're busy or away, their team can run campaigns and optimize them for you, taking the strain off the rest of your staff. When they have questions, they can ping you with an email or DM so you can quickly provide the data needed to make informed decisions.

Interested in learning more?

Click here to learn more about MarinOne’s automation tools today. Or schedule a demo with the team to see firsthand how MarinOne can keep you operating at peak performance even if you’re short-staffed.

This is the first post in our three part series where we’ll dive into TikTok advertising and how you can leverage the platform to get in front of new audiences with unique and engaging content.

TikTok is a marketing gold mine. This hub for starting conversations and sharing ideas lends itself strongly to virality, creating the perfect storm for boosting a company’s brand awareness and revenue. 

Getting your products in front of the right TikTok audience creates a domino effect. The more users engage with, share, and respond to your post using Duet and Stitch, the more favor you garner from the TikTok algorithm. The platform might even expand your reach by featuring your video on the For You Page (FYP). 

Brands just delving into the realm of trendy dances, weird challenges, and life hacks galore can use TikTok ads to find their audience (and jumpstart their success). Ready to get started? Here is everything you need to know about TikTok ad formats, explained. 

In-feed ads

In-Feed ads are your go-to ad format. They place your videos right on your target audiences’ FYP. This format embeds your video onto the FYP as an ad, making it look native. Users can interact with your ad the same way they do with any other TikTok by liking, commenting, sharing, and reusing the sound for their own content. 

In-feed ads are a good pick for quite a few campaign objectives. You can use the clickable CTA button to send users to the destination of your choice, whether that be a landing page, your app, or your TikTok profile. For the best results, make your videos around 9-15 seconds long. Make use of popular effects, filters, and sounds, and keep up with the trends to ensure your videos will resonate with TikTok’s user base. 

Top-view ads

Top-View ads are more attention-grabbing than In-Feed ads. Your target audience will see these ads at the very top of their FYP. The videos can last up to 60 seconds and have less competition than In-Feed ads. 

The Top-View ad format guarantees high reach and impressions, making it a solid strategy for building brand awareness. For the best results, prioritize creating an engaging video. This will help users remember your brand, even after they’ve scrolled past your ad. 

Brand takeover

The Brand Takeover ad format displays your video full-screen as soon as a user opens the app. While similar to the previous format, due to the lack of direct competition surrounding your video, users cannot engage with Brand Takeovers. The upside is that they can’t be skipped. The best Brand Takeovers are short videos or images that display for 5 seconds or less. 

Branded hashtag challenge

The Branded Hashtag Challenge format inspires users to create their own content using your hashtag. This format has three placements: In-Feed videos that inspire users to join in on the challenge, featured banners found on the “Discover Page” that drive users to the Hashtag Challenge placement, and lastly, the Hashtag Challenge itself. This last placement acts as a landing page for the challenge. It pulls all the challenge’s video submissions into one centralized hub, making it easy for users to connect and engage with other participants. 

This format combines traditional digital advertising with TikTok’s user-generated content focus to create the ultimate ads for driving engagement and boosting brand awareness. 

Branded effects

The Branded Effects placement allows brands to create their own effects for their audience to use when creating content. 

This format is special for two reasons. First, it allows users to engage with your brand on a deeper level by using your effects to create content of their own. This content will have a home on their profile, acting as a constant reminder of their relationship with your brand. 

Second, users all over the world who have no idea what your brand is all about will have access to your effect. If your effect becomes trendy, your reach will expand beyond your target audience. Users who might not need your products now will still be loosely aware of what you have to offer and, chances are, your brand will be the first they think of when the need does arise. 

Wrapping up

Like the platform itself, TikTok’s ad formats are unique. When used in tandem, they can create an all-powerful ad strategy that boosts brand awareness, sparks engagement, and drives sales. You can check out more examples of each of TikTok’s ad formats here


Brands using MarinOne are now able to add the unique value of advertising on TikTok to their digital campaigns. The MarinOne integration with TikTok means advertisers have better insights and improved performance of their TikTok campaigns.

Ready to learn more about how MarinOne can expand your reach and drive growth on TikTok?

Click here for more info.

Launched last year, Instacart is offering a program supporting black-owned companies by promoting their products at the point of sale through Instacart Ads. Brands can apply for a share of $1M in advertising credits that can be used on the platform.



Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America which creates tremendous opportunities for emerging brands to reach their customers as they complete their online grocery shopping.

In addition to advertising credits, brands accepted into the program will get additional resources, including a “designated team focused on supporting participating brands and a monthly training series to ensure brands maximize the impact of their advertising campaigns.”

Instacart offers a range of advertising formats on the platform, including Sponsored Products, Digital Coupons, and more. You can think of Sponsored Product Ads as increasing the digital shelf space for your products. They show on the search page results in addition to checkout and other browsing and discovery placements.



We at Marin are excited to highlight Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives by the publishers we support.  You can find the link to apply for this program at ads.instacart.com or see additional details here. Instacart also offers $100 in advertising credits to advertisers getting started with Sponsored Products.

If you need help with your Instacart Ads campaigns, or increasing exposure on other retail marketplaces, set up time to learn more about how MarinOne can help maximize the performance of your marketing investments.

Deciding between Instagram Ads and Facebook Ads can be tricky when dealing with a tight budget. You could always split your ad spend between the two platforms, but you’ll get a better return on investment from allocating your full budget to the most effective platform for your business’s target audience. Not sure which platform that is? In this post, we’re covering how to choose a social media advertising platform, every step of the way.

Where is your audience

The audience is likely the biggest factor to consider when choosing a social media advertising platform. After all, advertising on a platform your target audience doesn’t frequent is like throwing dollars to the wind. 

Analyze your target demographic to find out which social media platforms they use most. Most brands have the best chance of finding their target audience on Facebook, as it's more than twice Instagram's size. Instagram users also tend to be younger, but that is changing. 

Another factor to consider— Facebook’s audience targeting is a bit more detailed than Instagram’s native targeting features. Since Facebook offers more audience refining tools, brands with hyper-specific target audiences might find more success with Facebook Ads. 

Which suits your content better

The platforms share the same available content formats for the most part. Options include:

  • Carousel: two or more images or videos 
  • Single media: one image or video
  • Boosting existing content

What’s noteworthy here is that Facebook captions can include clickable links, while Instagram captions cannot. On Instagram, you have to use the included call-to-action buttons. These get the job done, but you can only direct viewers to one link. 

Your content needs to align with your advertising goal, so it’s important to consider the purpose of your content on each platform. Facebook is suited for sharing information and interacting with loved ones, while Instagram is extremely visual (and leaning more into video with every passing algorithm update).

With that said, compelling visuals should go on Instagram, while copy-heavy ads should be reserved for Facebook. 

Your target goals

Your advertising goal should also impact your choice of platform. Facebook is best for getting website clicks or views/engagement for written content. Instagram is great for boosting brand awareness with visuals. 

Some advertisers claim that Instagram is best for brand awareness and that Facebook is best for lead generation and sales. Really, it depends on the industry and the audience. 

Instagram is capitalizing more on e-commerce these days through features like Instagram Shopping (where users can complete their purchase from start to finish without ever leaving the app). 

The best way to figure out which platform best suits your goals is to test and review the analytics. 

Your industry

If your industry doesn’t have a strong presence on a certain platform, advertising there might be less expensive. This is only a good option if your audience uses that platform. 

You might find that certain industries are better suited to one platform because their audience uses it more. Plus, some industries can easily create visual content, while others rely heavily on longer-form content. 

Facebook offers community building, like groups, that help advertisers create communities within their target audiences. This makes Facebook the better choice for brands that rely on building a community to make sales. Analytics and automation help drive performance 



Analytics and automation help drive performance

When it comes down to it, both advertising platforms yield high ROI and most businesses can find success with either. When identifying which is more effective for your business, MarinOne has the tools to help you analyze Facebook and Instagram performance side-by-side and even makes daily recommendations to grow revenue and decrease costs. Your data will reveal which platform, placements, and content types are most effective for your target audience. 

Message booster can automatically convert high performing organic content to paid ads on either Facebook or Instagram to help you leverage content that resonates well with your audience. And MarinOne’s flexible rules engine optimizes bids based on your criteria.

Click here for more on what MarinOne can do for your Facebook and Instagram campaigns.

The Rise of TikTok

If you’re not advertising on TikTok, you’re missing out on an audience of 1 billion monthly active users around the world who are highly engaged and passionate about the brands they interact with on the platform. In fact, according to a recent TikTok survey, 56% of users and 67% of creators feel closer to brands they see on TikTok, and 43% of users and 53% of creators try something or go somewhere new after seeing it at least once on the platform. TikTok is clearly influential with consumers.

While TikTok certainly appeals to a younger, “video-first” audience, 40% of adults in the US over age 30 report using TikTok, and TikTok has a variety of targeting options to help you reach the right customers. 

And with 4.7/5 stars in the App Store  and 4.5/5 stars in the Google Play Store, the platform is wildly popular with users. Not bad for an app that’s barely four years old.

“It Starts on TikTok”

Part of this early success is due in part to the cultural influence of the platform, catapulting little-known musicians to stardom, launching trend phenomenons, and giving users a sense of community and shared experience. 

TikTok has also transformed the way brands interact with audiences with engaging and interactive content. With TikTok, advertisers gain a full-funnel marketing experience from driving brand awareness at the top of the feed, to native in-feed engagement, and even the opportunity to jump in on branded hashtag challenges.

With the launch of Spark Ads last year, brands can even leverage user-generated content to promote their products by choosing from an extensive library of content uploaded by influential TikTok creators.

MarinOne + TikTok

Brands using MarinOne are now able to add the unique value of advertising on TikTok to their digital campaigns. The MarinOne integration with TikTok means advertisers have better insights and improved performance of their TikTok campaigns.

With our powerful analytics capabilities, you’ll be able to: 

  • Run flexible reports within and across TikTok campaigns
  • View TikTok campaigns side-by-side with other paid social channels as well as search, display, apps, and e-commerce
  • Customize the KPIs, data roll-up, and dimension tagging in your reports
  • Export the data to spreadsheets, cloud platforms, and BI tools
  • Sync your campaigns with offline and downstream conversions events 
  • Get automated alerts on changes in account performance

MarinOne’s advanced optimization suite uses machine learning to deliver:

All this adds up to improved performance of your TikTok campaigns together with your other digital programs. Ready to learn more about how MarinOne can expand your reach and drive growth on TikTok?

Click here for more info. 


Facebook (or Meta, depending on who you ask) is simplifying how campaign objects are set, and simplifying them in the process. 

ODAX is an acronym for “Outcome-Driven Ad Experiences”, signifying Facebook’s consolidation of campaign targeting options that is rolling out throughout 2022. Per Facebook, expected completion of the rollout is Q3 2022. 

Once Facebook automigrates affected campaigns, you won’t be able to create campaign types with the objectives that are not included in the consolidated list. Not to worry, the team at Marin has you covered! Read on to learn everything you need to know about Outcome-driven Ad Experiences (ODAX) and how to handle the migration.

What are the new ODAX Objectives?

Under ODAX, Facebook campaigns will migrate from the original 11 available objectives to 6 campaign objective types. We can see how these will be mapped below.


Facebook explains that this change is designed to better align campaign objectives with widely accepted marketing objectives, reduce confusion in campaign setup, and help advertisers discover on-site solutions to use in their campaigns. In short, this change will make campaign setup more accessible for advertisers of all experience levels. 

Facebook also teases cross-channel campaigns, stating that their mission is, in part:

“Once cross-channel conversion optimizations are available (e.g. website + app, website +shop), communicate the value of, and default advertisers into, these solutions make it easier for advertisers to adopt.”

How will ODAX affect Facebook campaigns?

The impact for advertisers will vary based on the campaign objectives in use. Facebook advises that advertisers using Messages, Video Views, and Conversions campaign objectives will be most affected by this change, at least partially because these campaign objective types will no longer exist under ODAX. Facebook provided the below chart with their announcement to show marketers how the new objectives will align with various goals and initiatives.


Advertisers running campaigns that will be affected by this change won’t need to take immediate action - Facebook assures advertisers that legacy campaigns will continue to run after implementation of ODAX. However, post-implementation there will be limitations to duplicating legacy campaigns and new campaigns will need to align with the new campaign objectives. After 100% rollout, Facebook plans to share an update about the eventual deprecation of legacy campaigns. 

Though immediate action is not required, affected advertisers should begin to consider a strategy for transitioning to this new objective mix. Advertisers should also plan to monitor the performance of both legacy and new campaigns throughout the ODAX transition.

Marin Software is proactively working with Facebook to ensure that advertisers using MarinOne will have a seamless transition to the new campaign objective mix.

Click here for more on how MarinOne can help you drive campaign performance and growth for Facebook and other social publishers. 


Earlier this year, Apple expanded their Apple Search Ads portfolio on the App Store by offering a placement in the “Suggested” section of the Search tab. So while app marketers have always been able to reach customers in the results after they search for keywords, now you can get your ads in front of users even before they search. 

This functionality opens up “keyword-free” advertising, meaning your ads will show based on your target audience (location, age, gender, and device type), and the ad copy will be generated from App Store metadata. 

Search tab campaigns are an easy way to help users discover apps they may not have intended to search for, and it also helps app marketers drive visibility and awareness at the right time (versus an always-on approach), while also topping up your conversions and audience pools.

So, does it work? The simple answer is yes! So let’s have a look at some strategies you can use to get the most out of Search tab ads.

When is the best time to run Search tab campaigns?

1. Seasonal periods (Black Friday, Holiday, end of season sales)

For retail, entertainment, and any app marketer impacted by seasonality, running a Search tab campaign can be a really effective way to drive sales during a short time period. You will be showing your ads to customers in your target audience before they search. Tactics like these help gain a competitive advantage by giving you maximum visibility.

2. Key business events (product and app launches, new entertainment or gaming releases)

Similar to seasonal periods, any business event can benefit from an additional boost, especially in a saturated market. Let’s say you are marketing a streaming entertainment app, and you have a new season of a streaming series launching soon — leveraging Search tab ads can build momentum by driving downloads in anticipation of the release date. Follow this up with a search results campaign with the show’s keywords, and you’ve got a one-two punch to maximize conversions. 

3. Reaching specific audiences 

Because Search tab ads use target audiences, they are a great way to reach new users, returning users, or users of your other apps. In the example above, for instance, perhaps you have users who fell off after the last season ended. Search tab ads can complement your integrated media plan: once you’ve raised awareness in the market, you can reach returning users at just the right time, reminding them to re-install before the next season starts. 

4. Brand/awareness activity push

Of course, anyone can benefit from additional exposure, whether you are a well-known brand or just getting started. Most brands have budgets allocated towards competitor campaigns. These can be costly and quite often suffer from low conversion rates. By using Search tab campaigns to target specific audience types, you can drive added value, and help reach new customers. Think of them like an expansion pack to bidding on competitor terms.

How do I get started with Search tab campaigns?

Setting up a Search tab campaign is easy. The process is essentially the same as setting up a search results campaign, only you can skip the keyword miming and implementation step. Since there are no keywords in the campaign setup, Search Match is disabled. Apple Search Ads uses the assets you’ve already uploaded to your App Store product page (app name, icon, and subtitle) to create the ads, so there is no need to provide anything else.

As for pricing, ads are based on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. There is no minimum spend, and you can determine the maximum amount you’re willing to pay with an overall campaign budget as well as a daily cap. You’ll also be able to start, stop, or adjust campaigns any time.

MarinOne’s Apple Search Ads integration supercharges already powerful Apple Search Ads campaigns. From optimization to reporting, MarinOne offers unique advantages to app marketers. Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Apple Search Ads with unlimited data retention. MarinOne for Apple Search Ads also seamlessly integrates with BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio. Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place, streamlining reporting workflows.

MarinOne also offers automated bidding leveraging advanced machine learning. Advertisers can also set custom bid modifiers for MarinOne Bidding to adjust to external signals, giving you more time saved on manually optimizing campaigns, better performance, and happier clients. Budget pacing, forecasting, performance insights, and recommendations make planning and management a breeze. Plus, cross-account edits and manual keyword bid overrides give marketers full control over their campaigns. Advertisers can also integrate MMP data and optimize toward post download metrics.

Final thoughts

As Search tab campaigns are best used to reach particular audiences and drive tap throughs during specific periods, any comparison to always-on activity is somewhat misguided. By incorporating both Search tab campaigns and search results campaigns into your overall media plan, you can reap the benefits of incremental growth, reach and additional exposure. 

Integrate your Apple Search Ads account with MarinOne and experience the difference. Reach out to your Marin Software rep to get connected.

Looking for growth? Interested in a channel where you can generate leads, drive website traffic, and build brand awareness?

How about LinkedIn?

You can now manage LinkedIn Marketing Solutions campaigns from Marin Software’s flagship MarinOne platform. The MarinOne integration with LinkedIn’s Campaign Management and Reporting & ROI APIs gives advertisers better insights and improves the performance of their LinkedIn campaigns.

With nearly 800 million professionals and 4 out of 5 members driving business decisions based on information they find on the platform, LinkedIn is an important lead generation destination for B2B marketers and others with longer consideration cycles.

Our self-serve MarinOne platform unifies industry leading optimization tools with flexible reporting and bidding to help advertisers maximize the impact and reach of their LinkedIn marketing investment.

Blast Analytics, an innovative agency helping advertisers with LinkedIn ads has been using MarinOne to optimize their campaigns.

“Marin Software continues to innovate and improve its technology to drive better performance for our clients,” said Brian Lange, Senior Marketing Manager at Blast Analytics. “The MarinOne solution has saved us time reporting on our LinkedIn campaigns and also provided a significant performance uplift leveraging its bidding technology." (Click here for the full case study.)

MarinOne serves a hub that links marketing activity with true business impact from an advertiser’s CRM, allowing optimization to revenue, not just form fills.

“By connecting downstream customer data to our advanced automated bidding, MarinOne can significantly improve the performance of your campaigns,” said Chris Lien, Marin’s Chairman and CEO. “LinkedIn is an untapped opportunity for many advertisers and we are excited to help advertisers drive growth on this fast-growing channel.”

Advertisers can manage their LinkedIn campaigns alongside paid search, paid social and display campaigns to help generate additional demand. Marketers can align their efforts across channels to ensure they are working seamlessly across the customer journey.

Click here to learn more about support for the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions integration with MarinOne.

CLV is how much money a customer spends with your business for the duration of your relationship. It’s an important—yet overlooked—metric: rather than looking at a sale as simply a one-off exchange, CLV considers how valuable a customer is over time

Understanding this can help you spend your marketing budget more wisely and keep your customer acquisition costs low. After all, it costs more to attract a new customer than it does to close an existing prospect or keep an existing customer. 

Keeping your CLV high is vital to the long-term success of your business. 

What is CLV?

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) refers to the profit you expect to make from a customer over time.



For some businesses, this may mean that your profitable customers make larger purchases or many repeat purchases, thereby increasing their value to your business over the lifetime of their relationship with you. 

However, for many industries with long sales cycles, that profit may come months or even years after you’ve established the awareness of your business with the customer at the top of the funnel (think: buying a car, applying to a university, procuring new software, or purchasing a home). These are big decisions and consumers need time to evaluate their purchases. 

5 Reasons to Measure CLV for Your Paid Search Advertising Campaigns 

Regardless of the nature of your customers’ CLV, optimizing your marketing campaigns to CLV is good for business. Here are five reasons CLV matters:  

  1. It helps you keep valuable customers

If you can identify and target high CLV customers, this should translate into higher ROI and could be a good way to improve your campaign performance. 

You may find that there are segments of the market who value your product but have a lower than average CLV/CAC ratio, meaning you're spending too much on acquiring individual customers. If so, it may be worth exploring ways in which you can acquire these new customers at a lower cost or perhaps look for marketing activities where you might get more exposure for the same budget (e.g., by increasing reach).

  1. It decreases CPA costs

Customer Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) is the amount of money a company spends on acquiring new customers divided by the number of new customers acquired during a given period. 


You'll notice that different customer types have different CLVs, which means they contribute more or less than others towards paying your CPA. You can use CLV to compare campaigns and determine which ones are performing better, resulting in improved return on investment (ROI).

It's important to monitor this metric over time, as you may find you can reduce CPA while maintaining or even improving your bottom line. This is because the lifetime value of certain customer segments will increase with time on your platform, resulting in an overall decrease in acquisition costs.

  1. It allows you to optimize your bids to different stages of the funnel

Full-funnel bidding allows advertisers to use top of the funnel conversion types for bidding while also factoring in final sales as a second bid factor. This bidding solution enables advertisers to grow efficiency and revenue from the sales funnel’s final stage while maintaining reactivity to recent market changes. Bids stay reactive to market changes, while efficiency targets are based on latent conversion metrics. 

  1. It helps you calculate campaign effectiveness

CLV will reveal which paid search campaigns are more successful, allowing you to optimize your total marketing spend. 

You can compare campaign effectiveness by sub-segmenting customers by their CLVs. For example, instead of just looking at conversion rates for all traffic sources as a whole, you could break down the conversion rates by each campaign. This will make it easier to understand which traffic sources are most effective at converting.

  1. It helps you grow in the long run

CLV isn’t something you need to track all the time, but ignoring it could spell trouble. Keeping an eye on CLV helps you spend your marketing budget more wisely, engage with your customers more effectively, and keep your CPA costs down through better loyalty—all of which helps your bottom line. 

How to Calculate CLV

The simplest formula is as follows: 

CLV = Customer Value (average order spend x number of orders in a year) x Average Customer Lifespan (in years) 

To calculate CLV, you need to track customer metrics over time and calculate your customer churn. This will allow you to determine CLV across any given timeframe.



You may want to deduct CAC (customer acquisition cost) from your total to give you a deeper understanding of the true value of a customer. 

Using a comprehensive reporting suite like MarinOne, you’ll be able to Identify which channels are driving revenue to your business. You’ll then need to track offline sales and interactions back to their source with a conversion tracking solution like Marin Tracker. Make sure to continue tracking touchpoints beyond the initial click-through, all the way through conversion. 

How to Improve CLV

Here are some tips on improving your CLV. 

  • Optimize onboarding. As soon as possible, the user should be able to get value from your product or service (e.g., signups, downloads).
  • Don't focus on customer acquisition alone. It's important to make sure users are retained over time.
  • Optimize CLV by marketing based on customer behavior. If people aren't making repeat purchases or converting to long-term high-value purchases, consider investing in marketing efforts to increase retention.
  • Look for ways to improve value. If customers are joining, but not staying around or buying after a certain period of time, focus on improving user experience and product features.
  • Over-deliver. If your product and service are great, people will come back.
  • Boost user experience. If you can provide an improved user experience, make sure to communicate this benefit in all your marketing efforts. Consider advertising on social media platforms that offer the opportunity for strong engagement.
  • Increase average value order. If customers are buying, but not purchasing many items per order, then there is room to boost sales.
  • Gather market research. If you can gather unbiased opinions about your product or service from potential customers, use this data to create marketing campaigns that will appeal directly to your target audience.
  • Uncover business drivers. You may need to modify your business plan based on what customers are saying.
  • Improve customer service. If you’re not delivering great customer service, customers will avoid dealing with you in the future. Not only that, but they’ll likely share their experiences on social media—which could turn away potential new customers.

Conclusion

Measuring CLV plays an important role in determining ROI, optimizing your advertising spend, and keeping your CPA low—all of which means less budget spent on search campaigns. Optimizing your CLV can provide valuable insights regarding whether or not there is excessive spending on your search campaigns. CLV allows you to evaluate the financial impact in order to re-strategize regarding how various programs are measured and attributed.

How MarinOne Can Help

MarinOne’s powerful self-serve platform connects your offline conversion data to the ad clicks that ultimately drive the sale, making it easy to see which customers are the most valuable and which campaigns have been effective in closing customers. From analysis and reporting to advanced bidding algorithms—analyze the most valuable shoppers, optimize your bids to revenue, and focus your efforts on your best customers. This leads to extending your marketing spend while attracting high-value customers to your brand.

Learn more about the benefits of MarinOne’s full-funnel optimization.  

Apple Search Ads has been around for several years as a standout strategy for app marketing. Lower acquisition costs, high intent audiences, and straightforward setup have drawn advertisers to the platform (and kept them there). After the addition of Search tab campaigns back in May and the recent integration with MarinOne, if you’re not running Apple Search Ads yet - you should be.

Ads drive downloads

If you’re not familiar with Apple Search Ads, here are a few motivating metrics:

  • 70 percent of App Store visitors use search to discover apps. Ads display at the top of search results, giving marketers prime placement for their apps.
  • 65 percent of downloads occur directly after a search on the App Store. 
  • 50 percent is the average conversion rate for ads on the App Store search results. 

All that Apple Search Ads has to offer

Advertisers can choose between Apple Search Ads Basic and Apple Search Ads Advanced. Basic (as you might assume) is made for those with limited marketing experience, relying on automation to drive campaigns and performance. Advanced is for those with a bit more gusto for advertising, giving marketers more control over keywords, bidding, and audience refinements.

Apple Search Ads setup is similar to other search ads, so PPC natives will feel right at home with the recommended structure and terminology.

Apple Search Ads now offers placements on both the search results page and the Search tab suggested apps list. Search results ads are billed on a cost-per-tap (CPT) model while the newer Search tab ads are priced based on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. Unlike search results ads, Search tab ads don’t require keywords.

Apple Search Ads recommends search results campaigns separated by keyword themes: Brand, Category (read: non-brand), Competitor, and Discovery. Within each campaign, keywords are typically broken down into ad groups with exact match queries, broad match, and Search Match (Apple Search Ads’ flavor of automated intent matching). Advertisers can add negative keywords and refine audiences as needed to funnel intent. 

Search tab campaigns work differently since they don’t require keywords, but advertisers still have control over bidding and audience refinements such as device, customer type, demographics, and locations. As mentioned above, Search tab campaigns are priced on a CPM basis.

Maximizing Apple Search Ads campaigns with MarinOne

MarinOne’s Apple Search Ads integration supercharges already powerful Apple Search Ads campaigns. From optimization to reporting, MarinOne offers unique advantages to app marketers. Here are all of the details:

Reporting

  • Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Apple Search Ads with unlimited data retention. MarinOne for Apple Search Ads also seamlessly integrates with BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio.
  • Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place, streamlining reporting workflows. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
  • Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes. We all know alerts are life changing!

Optimization

  • MarinOne offers automated bidding to improve your Cost Per Tap and Cost Per Downloads leveraging machine learning. Advertisers can also set custom bid modifiers for MarinOne Bidding to adjust to external signals. Read: less time spent manually optimizing campaigns, better performance, and happier clients.
  • Budget pacing, forecasting, performance insights, and recommendations make planning and management a breeze. Plus, cross-account edits and manual keyword bid overrides give marketers full control over their campaigns.
  • Advertisers can integrate MMP data and optimize toward post download metrics.

Integrate your Apple Search Ads account with MarinOne and experience the difference. Reach out to your Marin Software rep to get connected.


You may have seen news recently about a security flaw in a common software library called Log4j that could affect large portions of the internet. Also known as CVE-2021-44228, the vulnerability is specific to Java-based services. A successful attack could potentially allow an attacker to access host data and resources.

At Marin Software, the privacy and integrity of our customers' data is a top priority. Marin has evaluated its primary external services and preliminarily determined there is limited vulnerability, if any, to the log4j issue.

  • MarinOne, Marin Enterprise, Marin Social, Marin Go, and Marin Labs: Internet-facing services are non-Java.
  • BI Connect: all components have been upgraded to remediate against the vulnerability.
  • Marin Tracker: runs “outside the firewall” and communicates via asynchronous file transfer using a non-Java mechanism.
  • Marin hardware, OS, and network infrastructure: confirmed cleared of vulnerability per vendor statements.

Because of the evolving nature of the threat and the high volume of potential attacks at this time, Marin will continue to investigate these services as well as secondary / internal services. For publisher remediation status, customers should contact those publishers directly.

Update published January 5, 2021:

Marin has completed its assessment of the Marin application.  We believe that the Marin application host systems and related data are currently protected from the vulnerability noted above and related Log4j vulnerabilities.  We believe the Marin application host systems and related data were not compromised.  Our conclusions are based on many factors, including but not limited to a lack of Java-based external services, tightly circumscribed host settings and network privileges, and communications with third party vendors.  As part of a defense-in-depth approach to system security, Marin has also taken several steps recently that have been designed to create additional protections against this class of vulnerabilities.

Marin will continue to evaluate any vulnerabilities as they come up, and we will work to comply with industry best-practices in application, host, and network security.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard about Facebook’s announcement that certain detailed targeting options will be sunset in early 2022.

Here’s a quick review of the news straight from Facebook:

“Starting January 19, 2022 we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.

Examples include:

  • Health causes (e.g., ‘Lung cancer awareness’, ‘World Diabetes Day’, ‘Chemotherapy’)
  • Sexual orientation (e.g., ‘same-sex marriage’ and ‘LGBT culture’)
  • Religious practices and groups (e.g., ‘Catholic Church’ and ‘Jewish holidays’)
  • Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures ”

While some are supportive of this change, other marketers are concerned about the implications for companies that leverage this targeting in light of an already rapidly changing advertising landscape. Cause-based organizations, political parties, healthcare brands, and many others will need to change tack in how they communicate with their audiences.

In the same announcement, Facebook also teased that they’re working on additional Ad Controls to enable users to see fewer ads related to gambling, weight loss, and other unspecified categories. They also reminded marketers that users currently have the ability to see fewer ads related to politics, parenting, alcohol, and pets.

So why’d they do it?

This latest announcement comes on the heels of escalating public scrutiny, FTC antitrust suits, and steadily increasing concerns around consumer privacy. Not to mention a huge rebrand. Facebook, er, Meta has had a busy few years.

In the announcement, Facebook states that they “heard concerns from experts that targeting options like these could be used in ways that lead to negative experiences for people in underrepresented groups.”  While this move might pose a challenge for advertisers who use these detailed targeting options benevolently, Facebook’s move also removes the possibility that they will be misused.

Especially in a time of heightened scrutiny, it makes sense why Facebook would prioritize reducing the possibility of perceived negative experiences on the platform. Continuing to make Facebook an attractive option for social media users works in advertisers’ best interests as well.

What Advertisers Can Do (And How Marin Social Can Help)

Facebook’s announcement comes with several suggestions:

  • Leveraging Engagement Custom Audiences to capture relevant intent on Facebook-owned properties. Targeting users who currently like your page or users who watched one of your videos in the news feed are a few examples. Facebook also suggests using these audiences as a seed list to create a lookalike audience.
  • Remember the 2-Second Video Viewer audience that is no longer available on Facebook? Marin Social still offers this option so you can get even more out of your Engagement Custom Audiences.
  • Website Custom Audiences can still be used to target customers who interact with a company’s website (and can also be used as a seed list for a Lookalike Audience).
  • Want to take your custom audiences to the next level? Marin Social offers Enhanced Website Custom Audiences, which integrates rules to automatically segment your audiences based on parameters you build. Save time and find your most valuable audiences seamlessly!
  • Location targeting is suggested to help brick-and-mortar retailers reach customers around their locations.
  • Marin Social offers “Location Clusters”, which lets you group together your target locations in one fell swoop for easy use in campaigns. All of the marketers who spend hours quality checking location groups can breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Customer lists are a great way to connect with customers (if you have their permission to do so). Try segmenting your customer lists and customizing messaging to get the most out of using customer lists.

For marketers whose campaigns are impacted by Facebooks’ upcoming targeting changes, Marin Software’s social marketing experts are here to help you through the transition. Click here to schedule a demo with us and learn more about what Marin can do for you!

Brands can now optimize Target Product Ads in MarinOne’s cross-channel ad management platform

There’s a reason so many consumers shop on Target.com and the Target app: the guest experience. Target has invested heavily over the last few years in making online shopping easy, convenient, affordable, and enjoyable for its millions of shoppers.

These investments have paid off. Target added 12 million multi-channel customers in 2020, and same-day services grew by 235%. Online sales grew 145% last year, driven in part by the pandemic, but they continued to grow by 12.5% in the first half of 2021, even as many consumers returned to shopping in-store.

Target Product Ads Help Brands Intersect Shoppers’ Line of Sight

With this kind of growth, brands cannot afford to miss out on one of Target’s retail media offerings, Target Product Ads, which provides access to so many high-intent shoppers.

Target’s native, cost-per-click product ads amplify brands’ visibility and discoverability on Target.com and the Target app, which is becoming increasingly important in a now busier-than-ever eCommerce landscape. With available placements on search, browse, and product detail pages, advertisers can connect with customers with tailored ads at every step of the buyer journey.

Target Product Ads may be the solution that advertisers are looking for to address a variety of objectives, from defending market share to increasing purchase frequency. Brands can reach purchase-ready customers while making their products more visible across search and browse placements. And the best part: sales can be attributed down to the SKU-level to provide you with a granular understanding on performance.

MarinOne Optimizes Target Product Ads to Drive Incremental Sales

Marin Software’s collaboration with Roundel™ means customers will now be able to analyze, manage, and optimize their Target Product Ads directly from the MarinOne platform.

MarinOne unifies Retail advertising like Target Product Ads with other Retail Media campaigns as well as paid search, paid display, and paid social, while simplifying reporting and management of advertising campaigns across channels.

MarinOne’s Insights module automatically identifies opportunities such as Product A/B Testing in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation.

The automation tools in Marin make it easy and efficient to manage Target Product Ads.  MarinOne’s unified optimization suite helps identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne Bidding delivers the best possible performance.

With the addition of Target Product Ads, MarinOne offers a complete growth solution across search, social, display, and eCommerce advertising, delivering the maximum return on investment.

Click here to get started with Target Product Ads today.

You’ve likely heard that Google is sunsetting the Expanded Text Ad (ETA) format in favor of Responsive Search Ads (RSAs). It’s Google’s next big push for automation in its advertising platforms. While this may seem like a big change, it’s nothing to worry about as long as you prepare. Luckily, the sunset isn’t happening until June of 2022, and Marin’s industry experts are here to answer some commonly asked questions:

What Exactly Are Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)?

Traditional Google text ads consist of static headlines and descriptions, so advertisers provide specific headlines and descriptions which remain constant within an ad. Google then rotates that version with your other static ad versions according to your campaign settings.

When creating an RSA, you’ll input a variety of different headlines and descriptions. Google and Bing will then rotate through different combinations of assets, serving the combination that seems best based on the demographic data of the person who is searching. The purpose of RSAs is to improve the personalization of search ads through automation. This personalization should lead to improved performance, and eliminate the need for you to run lots of ad copy tests as the engines are basically doing the testing for you.

How Many Headlines and Descriptions Can I Include in an Ad?

You can input at least 3 and no more than 15 potential headlines.

You can input at least 2 and no more than 4 potential descriptions.

The publishers recommend using at least 8 Headline Assets and at least 3 Description Assets.

What Will Happen to My Expanded Text Ads?

You will not be able to create new ETAs. Your current Expanded Text Ads will continue to serve, but you won’t be able to edit them. You can still play, pause, or remove them, but the ad content will be unchangeable. Reporting for your current ETAs should not be impacted in MarinOne or the platforms.

Will I Have Any Control Over Which Headlines and Descriptions Serve?

Yes, you have the option to pin assets to certain positions in the ad. For example, if you have a top performing headline that you’d like to display as Headline 1 every time your ad serves, you can pin that headline to position 1. You can also pin descriptions.

For example, if you pinned “Low Prices” to headline 1, the every time that ad serves, “Low Prices” will be the first thing people see.

But that being said…

Should I Pin My Top Performing Assets to Position 1?

My natural instinct was to pin top performing headlines and descriptions from my ETAs to my RSA positions 1 and 2. However, this often hurts the ad’s quality score, sometimes even knocking a ‘good’ ad down to ‘poor’ quality, therefore limiting its ability to serve in the SERP.

In order to avoid a decrease in quality score while still maintaining control over your ads, Google recommends pinning 2 or 3 headlines and descriptions to each position. This allows Google to rotate those assets, and may prevent decreases in quality score.

For example, if you pinned “low prices” and “shop now” to headline 1, Google will rotate through those options, so every time the ad is served people will see one of the two headlines in position 1.

How Will I Analyze Performance in MarinOne?

MarinOne users are already accustomed to the performance benefits the platform provides for all their search programs, and RSAs will be no different. The digital marketers at Marin have already made changes to help you measure, manage, and optimize your RSAs and are always prepared for future changes from the publishers.

Responsive Search Ads should flow seamlessly into any workflow you currently utilize for analyzing ad performance. These ads will be automatically added to any automated reports just like expanded text ads are.

We have also added two new columns to our creative grids, titled Headline Assets and Description Assets. Select these columns in the column selector to see a list of all headlines and description variations for an RSA.

Note that in the Headline column in the grid, you can see a preview of what your RSA might look like in its completed form. This does not necessarily represent all Headline or Description Assets that have been entered. You will simply see the first three Headline Assets in the order they were entered. This is the same behavior as in the publishers.

You will also see the ads’ creative type listed as Responsive Search, and you can filter for Responsive Search in the Creative Type column if you want to see a readout of performance for RSAs only.

If you export your ads grid into a report, you will see separate columns for each Headline and Description asset, with Headline 1 simply called Headline and the remaining Headlines numbered 2 through 15.

How Will I Bulk Create RSAs in MarinOne?

You can create RSAs in bulk in much the same way you do for other ad types in Marin. To specify the creation of an RSA in a bulksheet, you should include the value Responsive Search in the Creative Type column.

You can edit your RSAs in bulk by including the Creative ID column. To find your creative IDs, simply run a report from the main Creatives grid with the relevant columns included.

When building your bulksheet for either creation or editing of RSAs, you can use the following bulk headers:

  • [Headline 1] through [Headline 15]
  • [Description Line 1] through [Description Line 4]  
  • [Headline Pinned to Position 1]
  • [Headline Pinned to Position 2]
  • [Headline Pinned to Position 3]
  • [Description Pinned to Position 1]
  • [Description Pinned to Position 2]

I hope this all eases your mind about the transition from ETAs to RSAs. The idea behind RSAs is basically constant, dynamic AB testing and ad personalization, which sounds great in theory. I expect this shift to lead to improved ad performance and easier management through automation.

The paid search experts at Marin are always eager to help clients, new and old, navigate the ever-changing search landscape. Click here to schedule a demo with us and learn more about what Marin can do for you!

Ensure that the 2021 holiday season will be even more successful with these last minute tips!

Managing Bidding during a Sales Event

Before the sale:

  • Find out Revenue-Per-Click or Conversion-Rate uplift from historic sales as a percentage.

On the day of the sale:

  • Apply your historical percentage uplift calculated as a boost on day of sale.  
  • Remove all bid change limits. Preserving bid change limits only allows your bids to change up to the limited amount, possibly restricting a number of keywords.
  • Ensure campaign budgets are set appropriately and will not be overly restrictive.
  • Once the sale has begun, check hourly spend rates in the publisher accounts. Compare your spend trend in the current sale with previous sales to confirm bidding configuration is not over or under-spending.
  • Assess the number of terms hitting bid caps

After the sale:

  • Add previous and latest sales periods to Excluded Dates.
  • Set bid change limits to pre-sale setting.
  • Revert Boost to historic level.

Effective Tips and Tools

Ad Scheduling/Flighting

Flighting is a technique where you schedule your ads to run for a period of time (called a flight) followed by a period where you pause all ads for the advertised product or service. A smart way to leverage flighting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is by offering progressive promotions. This means, you can start your campaign offering a promotion with low percentages off, and as the days/weeks go by, increase the percentage off.

Power Words

To increase relevance, CTR and Conversion Rate, consider including in your ad creatives words such as: Discount, Deals, Promotions, Savings, Offers, Free, Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

Sitelinks / Promotion Extensions

Include these special sales and offers with your ads to make your promotion stand out so potential customers can spot great deals and generate new sales for your business.

Countdowns Timers

Let potential customers know about sales or special events by adding a countdown timer to your ad text to create a sense of urgency.

Increase Budget Caps

To cover the increase in traffic, you must consider increasing the budget of your campaigns to capitalise on the increase of impressions and clicks.

Good luck! Marin Software has got you covered. We’ve put everything in place to provide above-and-beyond customer service, particularly during the critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, for our retail customers in the midst of their busiest time of the year. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager or our sales team today.

The 2021 holiday rush is  upon us and advertisers are feeling pressure from the perfect storm of uncertain expectations, impacts of reduced tracking capabilities, inventory challenges, and rising costs of advertising.

McKinsey’s 2021 Holiday Report reveals that Facebook (67%) and Instagram (52%) are among the top platforms influencing holiday decision making. A whopping 87% of Gen Z shoppers surveyed derive shopping inspiration from social media, with YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram holding the top spots for platform inspiration. Social marketers will need a strategy that capitalizes on this intent while making the most of holiday marketing dollars.

If you’re still looking for inspiration to create a winning holiday strategy, we’ve prepared a few ideas to get you started. You can integrate these into your strategy with or without Marin Social, but the smart, time-saving features are a holiday gift that keeps on giving!

Boost Engagement with your Organic Content (Marin Social’s Message Booster makes this easy!)

  • Organic content is key in brand awareness, gaining new customers, and nurturing relationships with current customers. Promoting posts makes it more likely that they’ll reach your intended audiences, which is especially important for advertisers who want to spread the word about upcoming holiday promotions, new products, and new initiatives.
  • Though post promotions may not directly attribute revenue, they can be used to segment your audience to then target with direct response ads. Also not to be ignored is the long term business impact of nurturing customer relationships!
  • If you already have organic content, put it to work without lifting a finger using Message Booster for Facebook and Instagram in Marin Social. In Message Booster, you can create rules to automatically promote specific ads according to a variety of parameters.

Test Innovative Creative (Marin Social makes insights a breeze)

  • If your customers are posting content, use it! Facebook recommends testing lo-fi, customer generated content this holiday season. This means less work for your creative team and forging stronger relationships with your customers. We call this a win-win.
  • Marin Social allows you to easily spot creative winners in the “Charts” tool and create custom dimensions for creative analysis in MarinOne, giving you more time to put creative insights to work.

Dedicate Time to your Audience Strategy

  • Customers are expected to be less brand loyal than ever this year per the McKinsey Report. 62% of customers surveyed over the past 3 months were unable to purchase the item they wanted due to availability. Of this number, 39% switched brands, 32% went to another retailer, and only 13% waited for the item to be back in stock. If you expect inventory impacts, it’s especially important to invest time in your audience strategy and customer loyalty programming to retain customers.
  • Audience segmentation can help you better address your core customers and lower costs during the Black Friday - Cyber Monday time period. Marin Social’s Audience Manager provides a streamlined space to create and manage complex audience segments from multiple sources.

Ready to get started with Message Booster and MarinOne? Talk to your account manager or click here and we’ll be in touch soon.

In the few short years since it launched in 2017, CitrusAd has become the fastest growing ecommerce ad network in the US and established itself as a preferred retail media platform for both brands and retailers like Lowes, Shipt, and Petco.

In fact, CitrusAd was ranked in the highest category in Forrester’s recent report on Sell-Side Retail Media Solutions, receiving some of the highest scores possible. It’s easy to see why brands choose to spend their Retail Media dollars with CitrusAd and their network of retailers.

CitrusAd’s unique benefits

CitrusAd makes it easy for brands and retailers to work together to increase sales by launching targeted and cost-effective digital campaigns with access to sponsored products, display media, landing pages, and fixed tenancy for the best placement. Advertisers can streamline inventory across top retailers from all verticals and 25 different countries to deliver greater ROI on their Retail Media campaigns. CitrusAd provides brands with unique benefits including:

  • access to high-intent audiences: consumers shopping on these sites are browsing for specific products and ready to purchase, so placement on is low-funnel and likely to convert to sales.
  • personalization: Retailers know what their customers like to buy and by leveraging this first party data, brands can promote relevant products to the right audiences, right at the point of purchase.
  • native advertising formats: sponsored ads feel natural and unobtrusive to shoppers, helping brands make smooth connections with audiences through in-feed advertisements that are more likely to drive engagement and conversions.
  • closed-loop analytics: it’s easy to attribute ad engagement to sales with Retail Media, because Retailers are running the ad and selling the products and can make direct connections within their own platforms.

CitrusAd and MarinOne

CitrusAd’s full suite of products is now available in MarinOne. Marin has been helping advertisers advance their digital advertising campaigns for almost 15 years and has managed over $40 billion in advertising spend.

MarinOne unifies eCommerce advertising with paid search, display and social campaigns, while simplifying reporting and management of advertising campaigns across channels. Automated insights help advertisers identify opportunities to deliver growth and improve their return on the investment, and sophisticated bidding tools help advertisers plan, pace and optimize their campaigns to hit their targets.

With CitrusAd and MarinOne, advertisers always have accurate and transparent real-time campaign performance available at their fingertips and have the flexibility to make adjustments and improvements based on robust analytics. Click here for more on CitrusAd’s integration with MarinOne.

It is that time of the year again! For many people, November means shorter days, colder weather, and a countdown to the holidays - but for marketers and retailers, it's the busiest time of the year and there's a lot to do between now and the New Year. In this blog, we're looking back at last year's holiday shopping season and sharing our predictions for what's to come in the weeks ahead.

Looking back at 2020

Despite unprecedented challenges, consumers and retailers demonstrated incredible resilience throughout the 2020 holiday season. Faced with rising transmission of the virus, restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose to spend on gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and provided a sense of normalcy.

Black Friday and Saturday 2020 saw tremendous growth in online activity. For the first time, the number of online Black Friday shoppers passed the 100 million mark, up 8 percent over last year. Overall, online-only shoppers increased by 44 percent for the entire weekend, spending a total of $95.7 million*.

Over 40 percent of holiday shoppers said they started earlier than they normally would in 2020, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

So what were people buying? Last holiday season saw year-over-year gains in six out of nine retail categories, led by double-digit increases for building materials, sporting goods stores and furniture. Let’s take a look at how 2021 may compare...

2021 Predictions

From rethinking the holiday shopping timeline to reimagining traditional sales events, retailers are actively planning ahead to ensure they are ready to meet consumers’ 2021 holiday shopping needs - despite the supply chain issues impacting the industry.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales for 2021 are expected to increase by 8.5-10.5% compared to 2020, generating between $843.4 billion and $859 billion.

Last year saw extraordinary growth in digital channels as consumers turned to online shopping to meet their holiday needs during the pandemic. While ecommerce will remain important, households are also expected to shift back to in-store shopping and a more traditional holiday shopping experience. Plans to shop online are down 3% from 2020, up 1% from 2019 (pre-pandemic) and it’s still the largest destination for consumers to make purchases this holiday season.

Over the last decade, consumers have been kicking off their holiday shopping early in order to spread out their budgets and avoid the stress of holiday shopping. This year, shoppers started earlier than ever, with half (49%) beginning to browse or buy before we even hit November. With the prospect of consumers seeking to shop early, inventories may be pulled down sooner and shortages may develop in the later weeks of the shopping season. However, if retailers can keep merchandise on the shelves until Christmas, this season could potentially shatter previous records.

To understand how MarinOne can help you scale your effort during key retail periods, reach out to your account manager or our sales team today.

*Source: National Retail Federation calculations based on U.S. Census Bureau data as of April 2021
NRF holiday spending is defined as the months of November and December.

Organic Instagram posts provide your followers with a stream of free content that can help establish and strengthen your brand identity, build your social community, and hopefully, engage customers interested in buying your products.

Of course, the limitations are that your organic content has a limited viewership of your followers, the followers they may share the post with, and people searching for or following your brand or particular hashtags you may have used in your posts.

But one key advantage of organic content is that it can be very insightful into the type of content that resonates with people interested in buying the products you sell. Inevitably, some posts will perform better than others with more likes, more comments, and more shares. So how can you capitalize on those posts to help drive your business?

Using organic content to reach new audiences


Now that you know the content and creative in a post is popular with people interested in your products, why not convert it to a paid ad to expand your reach to new audiences? Instagram allows you to “boost” a post you create on Instagram and turn it into an ad. You’ll be able to choose your advertising goal (more profile visits, website visits or messages), your audience (who you want to reach), your budget (how much you want to spend daily) and the duration (how long you want your ad to run).

Targeting specific audiences is an efficient way to reach people who are likely to purchase from you based on location, interests, and demographics that you define. And because your organic post has proven to be effective in engaging these types of customers, you can avoid using your ad spend on paid ads that may or may not interest your audience.

Automating message boosting with MarinOne


Promoting organic content is a great way to leverage well-performing posts to reach more prospective customers, but tracking your engagement on Instagram can be very time consuming, especially if you are managing multiple Instagram accounts.

MarinOne’s Message Booster for Instagram analyzes the performance and content of organic posts and automatically transforms the best ones into ads. Automating this content promotion and campaign creation can save you hours of manual work.

Just like Instagram, MarinOne lets you set the criteria for your boosts based on engagement, duration, and budget. But with MarinOne’s Rules engine, you’ll be able to create paid ads at scale across multiple clients and accounts.

For example, you may want to boost all posts within the last 24 hours with an engagement rate higher than 5%. You might choose to boost these posts for a duration of three days, and ask MarinOne to pause any boost if the engagement rate drops lower than 2%. You can set your budget to a daily budget per rule, or a fixed budget per post, and then set your bid strategy and optimization goals. Then sit back while MarinOne takes care of the rest.

MarinOne’s advanced automation features are designed to save advertisers time, while driving performance at scale across accounts. Click here for more on Message Booster for Instagram with MarinOne.

Have you noticed a change to your Google search results on your phone or tablet? Google has just finished rolling out continuous scrolling for mobile devices for English users in the U.S. This means instead of having to tap the “See more” button at the bottom of the page, Google automatically loads another page of results. Pages continue loading for four pages, as Google says most people typically browse up to four pages of results.

It sounds like a subtle change, but you’ll notice it is a huge difference in user experience on your mobile device. This update makes it easier for people to access more search results which could mean finding what they’re looking for faster. And depending on the nature of the search query, users who enter limited keywords or broad phrases may be looking for a wide range of results (think: chicken recipes). So continuous scrolling eliminates a lot of friction in the user’s search for content.

What continuous scrolling means for advertisers


But what does this mean for advertisers?

First off, this change does not affect how the ad auction works or the way Ad Rank is calculated. Your Ad Rank (where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads) will still be calculated using:

  • your bid amount
  • your auction-time ad quality (including expected clickthrough rate
  • ad relevance
  • landing page experience
  • the competitiveness of an auction
  • the context of the person’s search (location, device, time of search, the nature of the search terms)
  • the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats


Ad Rank will also continue to be eligible to show on multiple pages since Google calculates Ad Rank for each page.

With that said, there are some other considerations to be aware of with continuous scrolling.

Google will now be redistributing the number of text ads that can show between the top and bottom of pages. So, text ads can show at the top of the second page and beyond, while fewer text ads will show at the bottom.

And some users who previously used to go back to the top of the search results in page one may continue to scroll down to page two. So some campaigns may see more impressions from top ads and fewer impressions from bottom ads. Google does expect clicks, conversions, average CPC, average CPA to remain relatively stable.

How MarinOne can help manage this change


The Search experts at Marin recommend monitoring your prominence metrics which will give you more information on where your ads are appearing on the page.

  • Search top impression rate “Impr. (Top) %” is the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
  • Search absolute top impression rate “Impr. (Abs.Top) %” is the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
  • Search absolute top impression share “Search abs. top IS” is the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
  • Search top impression share “Search top IS” is the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.


In addition to monitoring performance, consider using an automated bid strategy to dynamically adjust keywords bids based on prominence metrics. For Example, Smart Bidding for Impression Share, set at the Campaign Level or Marin Awareness Targeting, set at the group or campaign level, and capable of targeting an Impression Share range or Impression Rate (intraday).

The marketing experts at Marin are always here to help you navigate the quickly evolving digital landscape. Click here for more on how MarinOne can optimize your Google campaigns.

Every so often, a story surfaces of a nefarious actor gaining access to a Facebook Business Manager account and running ads for an unrelated product or to a click farm. Usually, they are able to spend thousands of dollars and max out any and all credit cards associated with the account before the ads are paused and the cards are cancelled.

A majority of the time, this is caused by a digital team member simply giving access to the wrong person. Facebook’s 2-factor authentication works well against individual accounts being accessed, but unfortunately, it does not prevent user error.

The Challenges of Maintaining User Permissions


One way to reduce risk is to reduce the number of users with access high enough to provide credentials to those who should not be in your account. Sounds easy, right? Managing user permissions can be more complicated for a number of reasons.

Of course, you want your team members to have permissions high enough to do their job effectively and efficiently. But over time, team members may gain higher levels of access when they may only need to do one or two tasks at a higher level. Sometimes it’s just easier to grant permanent Admin rights (we’ve all been there).

Additionally, you must remove user access when a member of your team no longer needs it, perhaps due to a change in roles or companies. With ‘The Great Resignation’ underway as workforce dynamics shift, a record number of employees are leaving their jobs or careers altogether. Permissions should be updated quickly to reflect users’ departure. But auditing the permissions of your entire account can be time consuming and sometimes takes a back burner to the priorities of managing your campaigns.

Prevent Your Account from Being Compromised with MarinOne


There’s an easier way to solve the issues that come along with account user management.

With MarinOne, only one member of your team needs access to Facebook Business Manager, and the rest of your team would only need access to the Marin platform. By reducing the number of team members with Facebook access, the chance of permissions being granted to the wrong person is lowered significantly. Users can still build, manage, and report on Facebook campaigns to drive performance on your ad spend without the risk of opening your account to a hack.

MarinOne’s rules engine lets you set parameters to pause campaigns when there is a dramatic increase in spend and will also send you an email alert to notify you of the change immediately. By setting up these guardrails, you’ll be notified of a security breach in real time and be able to shut down your campaigns before your account is drained.

Finally, removing users in MarinOne only takes two clicks in an easy-to-navigate account configuration menu. So, as team members transition in and out of your organization and new users gain access to sensitive Facebook data, you can easily stay on top of permissions to keep your account secure.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to keep permissions limited to those who genuinely need access levels, and it’s just as important to make sure those who no longer should have access are removed. MarinOne’s security features ensure that those who never should have access to your account have fewer avenues to gain permission.

Click here to learn more about connecting your Facebook account to MarinOne.

iOS 15 is here and with it come several updates for apps like SharePlay streaming in FaceTime, Notifications Focus and Interruption Levels, and Swift UI updates. But there are still a few straggling developer updates that Apple has committed to launching before the end of the year, and app marketers should take note. Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization are two features designed to help maximize app store listings and ultimately drive user acquisition.

What are Custom Product Pages?


Custom Product Pages allow app marketers to create more relevant, custom pages on the App Store that can be tailored to specific target audiences and linked to individual campaigns. As an example, a fitness app could develop one product page that highlights a GPS running tracker to audiences interested in marathons, and another product page that highlights trail maps to audiences interested in mountain biking. Other options might be creating pages based on user locations for delivery services or in-app options like gaming avatars or streaming content themes. Whatever the content may be, custom product pages deliver a personalized app store experience to users which are sure to increase conversion rates.

You can create up to 35 custom product pages and each page can be customized with metadata for app preview videos, screenshots, and promotional text, giving advertisers a wide range of flexibility for targeting customers with personalized content. App analytics will provide metrics for each product page on impressions, downloads, conversion rates, retention data, and average proceeds per paying user so you’ll be able to see which pages are driving awareness, conversions, and in-app behavior.

What is Product Page Optimization?


Product Page Optimization applies to your default product page, where users might land through search or browse. This feature allows app marketers to set up two separate default pages and split traffic between them. You can select up to three treatments for the treatment page including app icon, preview videos, or screenshots. Once you’ve designated the percentage of traffic to each page, you can let the test run and then monitor results like impressions, downloads, and conversions. Use those results to determine if you should apply the treatments to your default page, and you’ve now optimized your page for the best possible conversion rates.

What You Can Do to Prepare


Don’t wait for Custom Product Pages to arrive! Start mapping out which features and content you have in your app and how they might appeal to a particular audience. Next, think about which preview videos, screenshots, and text would be most impactful to convey the highlighted feature to that specific audience. You still have time to create new assets and copy if you feel there are other messages that would resonate with potential users.

You can also start thinking through any treatments you might want to consider testing for your default page. Once Product Page Optimization launches, your treatment page will have to be approved by App Review, so be ready to go with your selected icon, video, and screenshot choices.

Do some prep work now, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running to drive incremental app installs as soon as Apple rolls out their Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization.

Apple Search Ads + MarinOne


Now that you’ve planned out your default and custom page optimization, MarinOne can help you analyze your campaign performance and automatically identify opportunities in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation. Our optimization tools help identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne bidding delivers the best possible performance.

MarinOne has been helping advertisers manage and optimize their Apple Search Ads campaigns since 2019, and we were recently recognized as an Apple Search Ads Partner specializing in campaign management. Apple Search Ads Partners are leading companies skilled in helping Apple Search Ads Advanced customers manage, measure and optimize their campaigns.

MarinOne also integrates with leading mobile measurement solutions including Kochava, Appsflyer, Branch and Singular, as well as traditional measurement solutions like Google Analytics to give advertisers a complete view of their return on investment. Advertisers can also manage their Apple Search Ads alongside their Google Universal App Campaigns, making it easy to share insights across publishers.

Click here to get started with Apple Search Ads today.

This week, we disclosed that Google and Marin have entered into a new 3-year revenue share agreement. The agreement supports innovation and choice in paid search management and optimization. Google has agreed to make revenue payments to Marin based on the total paid search spend Marin’s customers are managing on our platform across Google and other search publishers.

Independent solution providers like Marin improve the ecosystem and help advertisers succeed. With the revenue share payments, Marin will further develop and enhance our MarinOne platform to serve the needs of the world’s leading search advertisers.

Our goal with MarinOne is to complement the tools built by the publishers, expanding advertising abilities to analyze, automate and optimize their digital marketing campaigns. As an independent third-party, we help advertisers leverage their data and make better budget allocation decisions and deliver better results across all publishers.

This agreement provides an additional source of revenue and will support Marin’s investments in innovation and delivering value to our customers.

Digital marketing is an ever changing industry and we are in a great position to help our customers deliver more growth and maximize the return on their digital marketing investments.

Onward,

Chris Lien

Amazon is, of course, the leading online sales marketplace, with more than half of all eCommerce sales completed on their site and app. It’s no surprise that many Amazon sellers take advantage of Amazon’s Sponsored Products, Brands and Display formats to lead customers shopping on Amazon to the buy box. But Amazon has a large offering of advertising opportunities on the open web as well.

What is Amazon DSP?


Amazon’s Demand Side Platform (Amazon DSP) is software that provides automated, centralized media buying from multiple sources including thousands of publisher partners and data exchanges in addition to Amazon’s own sites, apps, and devices.

Amazon leverages billions of first-party consumer insights to help advertisers reach consumers who are in-market for specific products. With this data, brands can deliver customers relevant ads in display, video and audio formats. And you don’t need to sell on Amazon to benefit from DSP ad placements. These ads can link to product detail pages on Amazon or on a brand’s own website.

Amazon DSP + MarinOne Reporting


With the addition of Amazon DSP, MarinOne customers now have a comprehensive suite of tools to activate and amplify their entire Amazon Advertising campaign portfolio. MarinOne’s advanced analytics tools provide advertisers with intelligent dashboards and customizable reports. Automated insights identify opportunities to improve performance, and alerts provide real-time updates on changes in activity.

MarinOne supports 140 DSP metrics including detailed page views and new to brand metrics. Advertisers can use marketplace signals to tie their DSP performance to reviews, ratings, inventory status, and price. And MarinOne never deletes data, allowing for simple year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter analysis.

Holistic View of Advertising Performance


In addition to viewing Amazon DSP results alongside Amazon Sponsored Products, Brands and Display Ads, MarinOne customers can also analyze paid search and social advertising as well as other marketplaces, retail media, and shopping campaigns, delivering a cross-publisher and cross-channel view of performance.

To start gaining the benefits of MarinOne reporting on your Amazon DSP account, reach out to your account manager or our sales team today.

Did you know that 2 out of 3 online product searches start on retailers’ sites? Are you reaching high-intent shoppers at the point of sale?

Brands now have the unique opportunity to promote their products directly on leading retailer websites and apps. Don’t miss our upcoming webinar on Thursday, September 23rd | 10am PT - 1pm ET for a chance to listen to a panel of industry experts shed light on how to expand your eCommerce advertising reach this holiday season.

We’ll be joined by three fantastic panelists:

  • Morgan O’Hara, Director, Brand Partnerships at Instacart
  • Michael Greene, VP, Growth Portfolio at Criteo
  • Jeremy Brown, Customer Success Manager at Marin Software


In this panel, our three experts will discuss and debate:

  • Tips for advertisers getting started with Retail Media
  • What types of products is Retail Media most effective for
  • How can Retail Media complement your cross-channel ad spend with search, social and other eCommerce
  • Will consumer privacy concerns have a negative effect on retail media as well
  • What are some things you can do to prepare for Retail Media campaigns for the upcoming holiday season


This webinar is a “must-attend” for every digital marketer interested in Retail Media, Sign-up now!

With the unprecedented growth of eCommerce in the last few years, it’s no surprise that advertisers are rapidly increasing their digital marketing allocations towards this channel. Some estimates predict global retail ecommerce sales will exceed $6 trillion in 2023, an 84% increase over just 4 years. It’s clear that you must be able to navigate eCommerce in order to stay competitive going forward.

Marin Software customers now have another tool to drive eCommerce performance with the recent integration of Criteo’s Commerce Media Platform. Criteo leverages commerce data and intelligence so advertisers can deliver relevant ads to the right audience at the right time. With a full product suite including Marketing Solutions and Retail Media, Criteo helps brands connect with customers at the top of the funnel and leverage signals of intent to stay with them through conversion.

Increase Conversions with Marketing Solutions


Criteo’s Marketing Solutions enable display ads across thousands of the best publishers on the open web. Using data insights, brands can leverage dynamic retargeting to engage shoppers across publishers, deliver tailored video and display ads, and bring shoppers back to your site to purchase. All this adds up to better performance and more sales and profitability.

Own the Digital Shelf with Retail Media


Criteo’s Retail Media solutions give brands the ability to execute retail advertising campaigns at scale, promoting your products on hundreds of the world’s leading retailer websites and connecting with customers at the digital point of sale. With first-party data behind your campaigns, you’ll be reaching high-intent shoppers with relevant ads to boost product sales.

MarinOne + Criteo



It can be tough managing your commerce media spend across multiple products and retailers. MarinOne makes it easy for digital advertisers to manage, measure and optimize eCommerce campaigns with a comprehensive view across publishers and simplified reporting to view overall performance. Automated Insights help identify opportunities to deliver growth and improve return on investment, and sophisticated bidding tools help plan, pace and optimize campaigns to hit targets.

With access to Criteo’s suite of Commerce Media products, MarinOne helps you run campaigns against the world’s latest set of commerce data. And the MarinOne platform unifies commerce advertising with paid search and paid social campaigns to measure holistic, cross-channel performance all in one place.

Ready to get started with MarinOne and Criteo? Talk to your account manager or reach out to our sales team today.

With increasing data privacy restrictions, it is becoming more difficult to reach your intended audience on Facebook. These updates have included the removal for Partner Categories, iOS14, and in 2023, the removal of cookies from Google Chrome. With each piece of the Facebook marketing funnel likely to see an increase in cost, finding a solution and ensuring the right eyes are seeing your ads has never been more important.

MarinOne Enhanced Social Audiences can help by increasing the size of your prospecting net and strengthening retargeting audiences during. Through a partnership with Experian, Marin Software can enable Partner Categories and pair it with our easy to use, large scale campaign management platform; allowing you to build campaigns rapidly and assure those most likely to convert are seeing your content.

How will this help me in navigating iOS14?


By asking users to opt in to data targeting from Facebook, this could drastically decrease audience sizes. Data file uploads (either customer lists or 3rd party options) are necessary to assure your entire Facebook marketing funnel is working as efficiently as possible. The MarinOne Enhanced Social Audiences available are a direct file upload to Facebook and will not be impacted by iOS14 and will provide another avenue to target customers.

How can this help in the cookieless world?


Similar to iOS14, this will disproportionately hurt Website Custom Audiences more than any other targeting method. Data file uploads are not reliant on cookies or pixels and can help combat audience degradation.

Will this save me time?


Yes, in a couple ways. First, by working with the Experian and Marin Social teams you will be able to combine efforts in determining the best audiences to target (or exclude) for campaigns and brainstorm the best mix for your needs. Secondly, there is no need for a separate contract with Experian. Audience costs will be included as a line item within your Marin Software bill, limiting the number of internal approvals necessary to begin running campaigns against these audiences.

How can I sign up?


If you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative - Marin Software Social clients will have terms included within your current agreement. For existing Marin Social clients, reach out to your Account Representative to set up a call today!

Raise your hands if you shopped on Instacart in the last year? Keep your hands up if you advertised with Instacart last year? Well, if you’re a CPG brand I’m sure you’ve still got your hand up.

Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America. The company has partnered with more than 600 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from nearly 55,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Instacart offers self-service and managed ad services for more than 2,500 CPG brands, including 100% of the Top 25 CPG companies.

Instacart launched self-service advertising in May 2020 allowing advertisers to promote products to appear at the top of their search results and throughout their buying journey. And now MarinOne is here to help.

Our self-serve MarinOne platform unifies lower-funnel Instacart advertising with paid search and paid social campaigns to help generate additional demand. Marketers can align their efforts across channels to ensure they are working seamlessly across the customer journey.

Ad Formats


The flagship Instacart Ads offering, Sponsored Product, helps advertisers secure premium digital shelf space across several discovery surfaces throughout the online grocery shopping journey. Consumers discover sponsored items, much like they would in store by being on the right shelf, on an end cap or in the checkout lane.



Sponsored Product placements mirror these in store opportunities and more – whether consumers search, browse and discover, or buy again, Sponsored Products puts relevant products in their sightlines.

One notable difference with Instacart is the geographic considerations: your ads will only be shown to users if there are stores selling your product in that user’s area.

MarinOne is Here to Help


Starting a new ad platform is a big task and it takes a while for the tools to manage and optimize campaigns to mature, especially for larger advertisers with lots of products. That’s where MarinOne comes in.

With Instacart supported in MarinOne, advertisers have the advanced reporting, automation and optimization capabilities we have been refining over the last 15 years. Interactive analytics let you ask questions of your data, flexible charting helps you spot trends or change in your account.

MarinOne’s Insight module automatically identifies opportunities such as Product A/B Testing in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation.

The automation tools in Marin make it easy and efficient to manage Instacart Ads campaigns. The optimization tools help identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne bidding delivers the best possible performance.

Talk to your account manager today to get your Instacart Ads account linked to MarinOne or reach out to our sales team with any further questions.

Welcome to part three of our Amazon Prime Day 2021 three-part series.

In part one, Are you ready for Prime Day 2021?, we took a look at last year's performance, noted key deadlines for retailers, and highlighted some top-level levers to get the most out of Prime Day, before, during and after the event.

In part two, Top tactics for a successful Prime Day 2021, we expanded upon the key levers and focused more on best practices and optimization techniques for promotional periods such as Prime Day

Prime Day starts today, so in part three we’ll talk through some of the strategies to keep the momentum going during the period after Prime Day (2+ weeks):

For at least 2 weeks after the 2 day Prime event, you should focus on reengaging with your Prime Day audiences that continue to visit Amazon to browse and shop products. During this time, consider promoting complementary products to your existing audiences and even reach new audiences who viewed your products but didn’t purchase them during Prime Day.

A lot of Brands decide to cut their spend significantly right after Prime Day has ended or even pause campaigns entirely, which is an oversight. Continuing to invest in a strategic approach is crucial. According to Amazon, it takes on average between 6 and 7 days before a shoppers initial browse on Amazon and making a p