Best Practices

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.

Image Source

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:

Image Source

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.

Image Source 

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.

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
Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

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

Image Source

“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

So many choices… (Image Source).

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.

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

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!

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.

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

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. 

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:

Image Source 

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.

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.

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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. 

DiagramDescription automatically generated

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. 

Image Source

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.

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.

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. 

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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). 

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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.

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.

COVID changed online shopping forever (Image Source). 

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.

How marketers use Google Ads (Image Source).

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.

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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).

Think of your bidding strategy as an iterative process: experiment and optimize as you go (Image Source).

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.
Image Source

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.

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.”

Image Source

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.

Image Source

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.”

Image Source

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. 

Image Source

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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!

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.

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 purchase. In addition, a shopper makes 14 average detail page views before making a purchase. Because of this it's very likely that a shopper is still considering your brand/products, even after Prime Day, but has yet to convert - making the period after Prime Day the perfect time to re-engage with those audiences. Brands that continue to advertise after prime Day will remain at the forefront of shoppers’ minds, while those that don’t could lose the brand awareness that has been built during the lead up to Prime Day and the event itself.

Below we’ve put together some strategic opportunities to help Brand reap the rewards during the period after Prime Day;

Review Prime Day sales performance


  • Some of your products may have sold better than others during Prime Day. The differences between them may be as transparent as budget issues but it could also be as small as targeting the wrong keyword. Use this data to refine your ASINs and hopefully improve impressions and conversion rate during the period after Prime Day.


  • It is highly likely that shoppers saw your brand during Prime day via your Sponsored Ads campaigns and may be considering your products but have yet to convert. They need to be reengaged.


Focus on top selling products


  • Focus on increasing visibility in all stages of the funnel, especially on branded terms to help upsell your products


  • Increase budgets for your top-selling products to maintain higher spend levels and engage with shoppers looking for deals


  • Keep increased top of page bids for ASINs that helped to drive Prime Day sales


Re engage with new-to-brand shoppers


  • Review your new-to-brand performance. You might discover that a high number of new-to-brand shoppers ended up purchasing a particular product


  • Boost bids on Sponsored Brands ASINs that have the highest new-to-brand sales to drive loyalty


  • Create custom-built remarketing audiences in Sponsored Display based on new-to-brand engagement.


  • Create new Amazon audience campaign with top selling new-to-brand products and assign higher bids to help increase scale


  • Consider adding views remarketing segments to your ad groups in your new campaign(s) to manage efficiency in your NTB efforts. For example, you could create a custom-built category audience to remarket a top selling product to audiences who have previously viewed related detail pages of highly rated or Prime-eligible detail pages


Continue to offer deals


  • Following Prime Day, shoppers are still budget-conscious and want to find the best deals. Because of this, consider continuing to run deals, coupons, and promotions during the Prime Day lead out.


  • Products don’t have to be discounted as steeply as they were during Prime Day. But even smaller discounts could make a product more tempting to a shopper and will help to combat the slower nature of the first few weeks after Prime Day has ended.


  • Coupons are a great way to entice a shopper to purchase, as the coupons badge will appear on the ad in search results and product pages. These badges signal a good deal to shoppers and will help to improve your click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rates.


  • If using coupons you have the choice of selecting a percent or monetary value coupon. Our recommendation is to use a monetary value. There’s nothing wrong with percent coupons, but how much is the actual discount? People don’t want to do this kind of math when they’re trying to decide if they even like the product or not.


Remarket to existing audiences


  • Re-engage customers who viewed your products but didn’t purchase your products during Prime Day


  • By adding audiences to your Sponsored Display ads, you can prioritise customers more likely to add your product to their cart


  • Use audience controls to customise campaigns based on key detail page attributes, such as product category and price range.


Co-sell and upsell with product targeting


  • Use Sponsored Display Product targeting to reach new or existing customers on any product detail page or category on Amazon – even outside of your own category. Reaching new customers outside of your category allows you to help inspire shoppers to consider products that might be relevant to them


  • Review Amazon’s Market Basket report, which shows the top 3 products most frequently purchased at the same time as the Brand Owner’s products - Use this data to create ads that show up in the “Sponsored Products Related to this Item” carousel on Amazon


  • Target detail pages for top selling competitor products that relate to your products. Review the Item Comparison Report which shows all the different ASINs that were viewed and compared against your ASIN. These are your competitors and provides you with an indication of which products you should target.


  • Play defensive and target closely related / complementary products in your own catalog to make sure shoppers who land on your product detail pages do not see competitor products


If you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative or, if you’re an existing Marin customer, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for more information.

Welcome to part two 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.

Since our last blog, Amazon announced that Prime Day 2021 will kick off at midnight PDT (3 AM EDT) on June 21 and run through to the end of June 22.

There’s still some lead up time to the event, so in this blog we’ll expand upon the key levers and focus more on best practices and optimization techniques for promotional periods such as Prime Day:

Experiment with Sponsored Brands creatives


  • Create ads that showcase your top products and also products featuring deals.
  • Forgo generic ad copy and use custom headlines that relate to the products you are featuring and your audience strategy.
  • Try out new headlines and different collections of products to see which outperform the others.
  • Review new-to-brand metrics, which can help you to measure the number of first-time customers or total first-time sales your brand acquired.


Use Sponsored Display for the the lead up to Prime Day


  • Product targeting and audiences for Sponsored Display can help you to reach more audiences before the Prime Day event, and it will also help with brand awareness during the lead-up too.
  • Review new-to-brand metrics to help determine whether an ad-attributed purchase was made from an existing customer or one buying your brand’s product on Amazon for the first time.
  • Adjust budgets, add more ASINs, and broaden your reach prior to the Prime Day week. These three steps, according to Amazon, drove an average 3x sales lift and +45% better ROAS during Prime Day 2020.
  • Sponsored Display is a great way to reach shoppers at every stage of the shopping journey:



  1. Awareness - Utilize category targeting, Amazon Audiences, and Views remarketing to grow the total audience of Amazon shoppers who are aware of your products.
  2. Consideration - Utilize Views remarketing, Amazon Audiences, and product and category targeting to help maximize purchase intent by telling your brand's story.
  3. Purchase - Utilize Views remarketing and Product targeting to help stay visible when shoppers are ready to buy.
  4. Loyalty - Utilize Views remarketing and product targeting to drive repeat orders and engagement with your Amazon Stores.


Drive shoppers to your Amazon Store


  • Engage shoppers with curated pages that showcase your deals and top products
  • Use product detail page placements to showcase your brand to shoppers viewing related categories, and direct them to your store.
  • Sponsored Brands Store Spotlights let you feature Store pages in your creative, along with a customizable headline, sub-page image, and label (US Only).
  • If your SB campaign is targeting product keywords around products that are found in a specific page in your store, you should link directly to that specific page.
  • Creating separate campaigns for each keyword strategy will give you visibility into how each strategy performs. For example, if you’re targeting keywords that contain a competitor’s brand name, separate them into their own campaign to see how well you’re able to drive a competitor-related search to your Store.
  • According to Amazon, linking Sponsored Brand campaigns to a Store delivers +29% better return on ad spend when compared to linking to a product list page.


Schedule your Store updates


  • Scheduling enables you to build out Prime Day updates for your Store to showcase your promotions and offers ahead of the Prime Day event. Aim to have a Prime Day version of your store created by June 14.
  • Showcase deal ASINs in your Store, including on special deal pages. Leverage the Featured Deals Widget within Stores to showcase Prime Day-specific deals and discounted items or promotions - and choose between Lightning Deals (when available) and Deals by Category.


Drive discovery and engagement with Sponsored Brands video


  • Use Sponsored Brands video to stand out in desktop and mobile shopping results and help shoppers discover your brand and products as they shop on Amazon during the leadup to Prime Day.
  • Review our earlier blog post, Video Ads on Amazon, Do I Need to Get Involved?, for Marin’s top tips and insights on running Sponsored Brands Video ads.
  • According to Amazon, Sponsored Brands video campaigns have, on average, shown 127-267% higher CTR compared to product collection campaigns.


Keep your ads discoverable to shoppers


  • Boost your daily budget to help ensure that your ads serve throughout the Prime Day event. Amazon recommends a 200% increase on your average daily spend.
  • For the budget-conscious retailers, consider using Marin’s Amazon dayparting / ad scheduling solution where you'll be able to increase or decrease your keyword bids not just on a certain day, but also by a specific hour – as precisely as 15-minute increments. For example, if you know historically you saw a 20% increase in revenue/clicks between 1PM and 3PM, you can set a 20% boost to increase your bids during those specific hours.


Improve campaign performance


  • Pause low-performing campaigns, and consider moving the budget to high-performing campaigns
  • Use negative targeting to restrict how your ads appear, which is especially important for broad match keywords.
  • Consider using Marin’s machine learning bidding algorithm to help raise ACOS and improve ROAS Marin was able to increase exposure by 79% for Buyagift (a leading provider of gift experiences in the UK) by optimizing bids with our leading ad management platform. We were also able to increase click volume by 36%, with a 7.4% lower cost-per-click than before. The campaign grew awareness and engagement, and ultimately helped Buyagift boost revenue on Amazon by 17%. See the Amazon case study for more information.
  • Use Amazon Budget rules to automatically adjust budgets based upon performance or seasonality.


Use Product Targeting to increase your market share, defend your brand and drive more sales


  • Hijack the detail pages of competing high-performing products to increase your impression volume if you are trying to launch a product in a competitive space.
  • When targeting competitor products, make sure the product is a similar product to the one you are selling to make sure you have the best chance of a conversion to take place.
  • Consider targeting complementary products that go well with yours. For example, if you are selling a foundation makeup brush, place your product on the detail page of a liquid foundation for the face.
  • Defend your branded space by targeting your own products to combat the risk of a consumer navigating to your detail page and then clicking on a competitor’s ad.


Get on board with Amazon Attribution


Amazon Attribution provides visibility and insights into how non-Amazon digital marketing (search, social, display, video and email) impact shopping activity and sales on Amazon. Without the Marin + Amazon Attribution integration, you will not be able to connect the cost from a paid search or paid social click to a resulting Amazon conversion metric (such as page views, add to carts, and purchases).

  • Gain an accurate measure of your ROI by seeing cost and revenue data together.
  • Utilize Marin’s automated bidding against total revenue, including Amazon Attribution revenue data and event metrics.
  • According to a survey, 52% of shoppers are more likely to buy an unfamiliar brand on Amazon vs any other store.
  • Create Google Sitelinks with the messaging “Buy Now on Amazon” that take visitors directly to your Amazon Store, or an Instagram ad that takes visitors directly to the Amazon product detail page with an “Add to Cart” button.
  • AccuQuilt was able to increase revenue +213% while improving ad clicks by 154% and average order value by 17% using the Marin + Amazon Attribution Integration. See the case study for more information.


Bidding for success


Make sure that your bids are competitive, even after Prime Day has ended. Amazon’s research shows that it’s between 6 and 7 days from when a shopper browses to when they actually make a purchase, and an average shopper makes 14 detailed page views before making a purchase. With that in mind, there's ample opportunity to improve performance for the period after Prime Day has ended.

  • Take the strain out of manual bidding by using Marin’s machine learning bidding algorithm to automatically calculate bids based upon your targets and goals.
  • Use Marin’s automated bidding in conjunction with our Promotional Bid Modifier optimization. This automatically draws on your historic Prime Day performance data to optimize bids based on your promotional calendar. The algorithm uses your historic data to generate keyword-level boosts based on each keyword's performance during previous Prime Day promotions.
  • Use Amazon Dynamic Bids “up and down” - If a click is likely to convert, Amazon will raise your bid up to 100% for placements at the top of the first page of search results and up to 50% for all other placements. This is fully compatible and works in conjunction with Marin’s bidding algorithms.


It may seem like that’s a lot to take in, but as with any digital marketing activity there are numerous optimization strategies to help improve performance. The ones mentioned above are some of the key levers available to get you the best out of Prime Day 2021.

Look out for part three in our series, which highlights some of the strategies to keep the momentum going during the period after Prime Day. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative or, if you’re an existing Marin customer, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for more information.

Marin Software has been 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. Marin has been helping digital advertisers get the best performance from their advertising campaigns for almost 15 years and has helped manage and optimize over $40 billion in advertising spend.



Our self-serve MarinOne platform has been helping advertisers manage and optimize their Apple Search Ads campaigns since 2019. In the first quarter of 2020, our client’s Apple Search Ads spend grew by 200% year-over-year, a sign of their success with this advertising channel.



MarinOne Dashboard



As an Apple Search Ads Partner, Marin will work closely with Apple Search Ads to provide our joint customers with the highest level of support and expertise, including sharing best practices and implementing the latest Apple Search Ads features.



“Apps represent an increasingly important part of the marketing mix for many advertisers, not just for app and game developers,” said Chris Lien, Marin’s Chairman and CEO. “Our customers have seen fantastic results using MarinOne to optimize their Apple Search Ads while coordinating with their other search, social and eCommerce campaigns.”



Paddy Power, one of the most popular betting brands in the UK and Ireland, tested Marin Bidding on their Apple Search Ads campaigns to see if they could improve efficiency and lower CPCs and CPAs while maintaining steady app installs and revenue.



“We tested Marin Bidding on Apple Search Ads and our CPAs came down by 30%. Our CPCs became more manageable and we were able to free up budget to re-invest in additional growth opportunities. We’re thrilled with the results, and we plan to keep using MarinOne Bidding for Apple Search Ads on other lines of business in the future,” noted Anthony Elders, Head of Search, Paddy Power Betfair.



The powerful MarinOne platform 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.



Apple Search Ads




Our optimization tools help identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne bidding delivers the best possible performance. MarinOne’s Insight module automatically identifies opportunities in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation.




Automation tools make it easier and more efficient to manage Apple Search Ads campaigns. Advertisers can 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.


Say what?

Yes, you read that correctly. Since the start of digital advertising, there has been a thin line between organic and paid search data. There have been many tests and studies conducted on how organic data can influence paid search data and vice versa.

With MarinOne, you can add a bit of control to the mix by automatically bringing in organic metrics alongside your paid search keywords. These include ; organic average position and organic clicks, which come from the Paid & Organic Search Results report in Google Ads.



Off the back of that data, you have the ability to leverage MarinOne’s powerful bidding solution, which lets you automatically assign custom bid modifiers based on factors outside of the auction (in this case, organic data), and thus increase or decrease bids based on the criteria specified by you.

Lucid Software Innovates with Marin Bidding’s Custom Modifiers, Boosting Registrations by 20%


You can set up specific rules, such as:

Dynamic Actions



Similarly, if organic position is better than 2, then lower bid by 35%.

Imagine all the possible strategies this approach could introduce and how it could boost your paid advertising efficiency, improve your keyword coverage, and reduce ad spend waste.

Last but not least, from a reporting perspective, Marin has got you covered.

When adding organic data to the mix and having it alongside your paid search data, Marin’s powerful dashboards and reporting capabilities can help you find synergies and let you slice and dice your data however you see fit.

If you would like to find out how this strategy could work for your business, get in contact and one of our account team members is more than happy to help.

Google recently announced that the current Google AdWords API will sunset on April 27, 2022. Anyone using this API will need to migrate to the Google Ads API by that date. While the new API has a lot of benefits, this upgrade requires a major overhaul for advertisers, brands and agencies using the current API.

We have been working closely with Google on this change for over a year and have tips and suggestions for making the transition as smooth as possible. This post is intended for a technical audience, but if you need help with your upgrade strategy, let us know and we’d be happy to help.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the change:

  1. Finally Some REST: The legacy Google AdWords API supports a SOAP client library, while Google Ads supports a RESTful API backed by a client library implementing gRPC.
  2. Restructuring Ahead: While Google has strived to reach functional parity in the Ads API, there is not a 1-to-1 correspondence between AdWords and Ads service endpoints. This means you will likely need to restructure how your application interfaces with the API.
  3. Out With the Old, in With the New: Some long-supported paradigms, such as single-attribution, will be dropped in favor of multi-attribution, which should yield more accurate attribution reports. Another example is the RichMediaAd ad type, which will not be migrated to the Ads API. You’ll want to make sure you understand the latest ad types and metrics.
  4. Don’t Forget to Stream: In order to get the best performance out of the gRPC streaming protocol, you will need to use the “searchStream” request instead of the “search” request.
  5. You Need to Warm Up: In order to enhance the startup time, you will need to send some warm up queries before firing your regular queries. Reference documentation
  6. We Can Coexist: To make the migration path easier, Google has allowed AdWords and Ads to coexist in the same application so that you can mix and match AdWords and Ads objects.
  7. Avoid Wrappers: Creating a wrapper that converts the Ads API to the current AdWords interface to minimize code changes is not recommended. We tried that and it didn’t work well.
  8. Better Smart Bidding Support: The Ads API supports the Smart Bidding features very well compared to AdWords API.
  9. A New Way to Paginate: Pagination support has been changed in Ads API. Google now supports pagination by the pagesize and pageToken fields of the SearchGoogleAdsRequest object.
  10. Better Error Handling: Error Handling has been changed in the Ads API, especially in handling Partial Failure.


Of course, this change also presents an opportunity to revisit the build vs. buy decision for your company. Having a custom solution tailored exactly to the needs of your business may seem attractive, but you are likely making serious trade-offs when compared to a platform that can spread its innovation over a large customer base.

Here are a few reasons to consider switching to a third-party platform to manage your Google Ads vs. building your own:

  1. You don’t have the time and energy to understand the nuances between the Google AdWords SOAP and Google RESTful APIs nor the expertise to take advantage of the performance improvements offered by the gRPC streaming protocol.
  2. You don’t have a dedicated engineering team that can undertake the (substantial) migration effort and keep up with maintaining and upgrading your custom code that uses the Google Ads API.
  3. The upgrade is likely to be larger than originally anticipated.
  4. Platforms like MarinOne offer an amazing degree of flexibility and customization, and a purely bespoke solution is often no longer necessary.
  5. With increased use of Smart Bidding, your needs have probably changed. Being able to work across channels and think about budget planning and optimization are common needs in 2021.
  6. This change isn’t the last time you’re going to have to upgrade.
  7. You want to work beyond Google.


If you need help with the upgrade or if you want to revisit whether using a third-party platform like MarinOne makes more sense for your company than a custom build, please let us know.

It’s that time again. Over the past few years - typically around mid-July - Amazon has launched Prime Day for its Prime members to shop new deals and discounts. Although last year’s shopping event was delayed to October due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Amazon’s first quarter results call, the company announced that Prime Day will “take place later in the second quarter” of 2021, which means we’re likely to see Prime Day hit sometime in June.

The Prime Day page is up and reads “Prime Day is coming,” although as of this publication no “official” announcement has been made to confirm when Prime Day will actually take place in Q2. However, as the last shipping cut-off date and FBA inventory cut-off date is June 13th (shown below), we’re betting that Prime Day will take place sometime between June 14th and 27th.

Looking Back: Prime Day 2020


According to Amazon’s press release, and SimilarWeb’s research, Prime Day 2020 was a record-breaking event worldwide with an increase in sales of nearly 60% from the prior year and amazing deals across a variety of categories from small businesses to top brands. Some of the key takeaways from 2020 Prime Day are shown below:



These results represent a staggering growth opportunity for any retail company. So if the numbers above aren’t enough to persuade you to take part in Prime Day 2021, bringing with it the potential to reach a colossal number of shoppers, then what will?

Getting the most out of Prime Day


Although Prime Day is officially a one- to two-day event, retailers should consider the lead up to the event and also the period after to be just as important. You should consider separating your activity into three phases: before, during and after.


Prep for Prime Day - Key dates for retailers


MAY 20 - JUNE 13: Inbound shipping cutoff for vendors. Deal inventory must be in transit:

  • May 20: the United States and Canada
  • May 30: India
  • June 1: Australia and Mexico
  • June 6: the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • June 13: Japan


MAY 28 - Deadline to submit coupons in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Australia.

MAY 30 - JUNE 13: FBA inventory cut-off date for sellers. Make sure your shipments arrive at Amazon well in advance of key shopping dates. Inventory should arrive at Amazon’s fulfillment centers by this date to ensure your products are available for customers during Prime Day:

  • May 30: India
  • May 31: the United States and Canada
  • June 1: Australia and Mexico
  • June 6: the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey
  • June 7: the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • June 13: Japan


In part two of our Amazon Prime Day 2021 blog series, we’ll go into greater detail about our recommendations and techniques to boost your Prime Day performance with key strategies to maximize returns.

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative or, if you’re an existing Marin Software customer, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for additional information.

Marketers know the importance of an optimized conversion funnel and its impact on a business's profit. However, complex conversion funnels with long sales cycles are typical in many industries.
Buying a car, finding the right university or procuring a new piece of software can often take months (and sometimes years) from initial research to completion.

When it comes to paid media optimization for a business with these complex and often lengthy conversion funnels, marketers often face a crucial question: Which stage of the funnel should I use for my bid optimization?
Well, what if you didn't have to pick and you could factor in multiple stages of a conversion funnel into one bid calculation? This concept is known as full funnel bidding.
This blog will explore full funnel bidding and why it is so important.

Let's start with the basics: good bid optimization requires useful data, so tracking each stage of the conversion fully is key for funnel optimization.
Sometimes an ad doesn't lead directly to a sale but instead starts a customer down a path that leads to purchase later on. The aim here is to measure each action (stage of the funnel) a user took in both an online and offline world and then tie it back to advertising spend. Although it can be a challenge, fortunately, there are numerous methods of connecting data from the offline world back to online activity. Connecting CRM actions through a unique identifier, matching order ID data or leveraging dynamic phone numbers are a few methods for measuring offline conversions and/or lifetime value.
This data will help advertisers better understand their conversion funnel to target and optimize their marketing campaigns for increased profit.


Why Not Just Optimize to the Final Sale?


So once tracking is in place for each stage of our conversion funnel, shouldn’t we optimize our marketing campaigns to our final sale or LTV?
Well, there are several reasons why this might not be the best solution:

Data sparsity – Due to the nature of conversion funnels, downstream conversion events will have fewer data points than upper funnel conversion events. Data sparsity can make it more challenging to optimize your bids.

Data accuracy - For many sales cycles, there are weeks, months or even years between a click on an ad and the final conversion. Latency can lead to situations where you have advertising cost, but you won't know if it will lead to a conversion.

Reactivity – Advertisers want their bids to stay reactive to market changes. Due to latency, this is not always possible if you are optimizing for your final sale.

So how do we solve these issues? That’s where full funnel bidding comes in.

Full Funnel Optimization – Getting the Best of Both Worlds


Full funnel bidding allows advertisers to use a top-of-the-funnel conversion type for bidding while also factoring in final sales values as a second bid factor. This approach enables advertisers to grow efficiency and revenue from the sales funnel's final stage while maintaining reactivity to the recent market changes in upper funnel conversion points. Bids stay reactive to market changes, while efficiency targets are based on latent conversion metrics, giving the ability to optimize simultaneously to upper funnel leads and to lower funnel value defined as revenue or customer lifetime value.

Take the below example:



We're looking at two high-volume keywords with the same number of clicks.

You can see that keyword one drives a lot more leads than keyword two. Given it has a higher conversion rate, it makes sense to reward the first keyword with a higher bid.

However, as we moved down the conversion funnel, keyword two, with fewer leads, drove significantly more revenue than keyword one. Keyword two, with better lead quality than keyword one, is boosted with a 2x bid adjustment, while keyword one, the driver of a large number of leads but with low quality, is adjusted downward. This adjustment results in very different bids than were previously calculated, focusing strictly on leads.

Marin Software provides an automated full funnel bidding solution - called Marin Full-Funnel Bidding - as part of our new industry-leading bidding algorithm, and which also works with the publishers’ own bidding solutions. If you would like to find out how this could work for your business, get in contact and one of our account team members will be in touch shortly.

Apple’s latest iOS update has now launched and users are now updating their software to version 14.5.

Apple has also announced dates for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which should include announcements for iOS 15, and will take place from June 7th through 11th.

How will this affect me?




Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, you’ll be required to ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies. Unless you receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device’s advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you will not be able to track them.

When a user opens an app, such as Facebook, they will be asked whether they consent to having their activity tracked across apps and websites they use, which if they decline will have an impact on businesses being able to monetize through ads. Given Facebook’s heavy dependence on app advertising, this will negatively impact their Audience Network, resulting in the loss of accurately targeting and measuring campaigns and making it much harder for small businesses to reach their target audiences. According to Facebook, when testing using constrained delivery, more than a 50% drop in revenue occurred when personalization was removed from mobile app ad install campaigns.

Ultimately, despite their best efforts, Facebook and other apps have no choice in the matter but to comply with Apple’s new rules and regulations or otherwise have their apps blocked on the Apple App Store.

What’s next on Apple’s agenda?


Apple announced back in February that in early spring 2021, they would add support for Private Click Measurement (PCM) for iOS and iPadOS apps, in addition to websites. Developed by Apple’s browser engine WebKit to support measurement of online advertising, PCM will allow you to measure the effectiveness of advertisement clicks within iOS or iPadOS apps that navigate to a website. According to Apple, This information can be used to understand which advertisements drive conversions (such as purchases or signups) — while maintaining user privacy.

While this is a step in the right direction toward heightened privacy, we’re yet to see how this will impact customers and whether PCM is viable in the long run. PCM attribution reports will contain limited data in addition to being delayed randomly between 24- and 48-hours to disassociate events in time. This change is very interesting for Safari users, but other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Edge would need to implement PCM for it to become a web standard. What is promising, however, is that WebKit states “We are working with them to get there” so who knows, maybe sometime in the future PCM will become “the norm” to measure advertising.

Is there a silver lining?


Make sure that your measurement system is using a first-party approach and, if possible, combat conversion attribution restrictions further using a server-to-server approach.

As mentioned in our earlier blog post about browser cookies, for advertisers relying on third party cookies for ad targeting, you should look to diversify your ad buys to account for potential lost opportunities as these options go away.

For Marin customers, you can leverage our cross-channel conversion tracking pixel – Marin Tracker – which complies with GDPR and CCPA regulations and meets Apple iOS requirements. Our proprietary Marin Tracker dashboards include de-duplicated, click-based conversions with transaction IDs for an unlimited amount of conversion events. As advertisers prepare to sunset ad tracking via cookies, Marin is doubling down on our privacy-first ad tracking and measurement solutions.

Feel free to download our latest Marin Tracker overview, which showcases our solution to privacy-safe measurement for a post-cookie world, the challenges that marketers face, and how using Marin Tracker can combat these obstacles.

If you are a Marin Social customer and have questions about the impact of the iOS 14 updates, read our blog post on the Five Fundamental Changes After the Apple’s iOS 14 Release or, alternatively, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager for more information.

MarinOne Insights generates over 5,000 recommendations for our customers daly, identifying millions of dollars in potential performance improvements from their digital marketing programs.

Insights are automatic, tailored recommendations that help advertisers get more out of digital marketing campaigns and provide them with the tools needed to quickly implement those recommendations.

This week, we have added these four new Insights to MarinOne:

Landing Page Errors


Sending traffic to a broken web page is a waste of spend and a terrible experience for your customers. MarinOne automatically crawls your top landing pages by spend, and surfaces issues such as a 404 error codes.

Marketers should either fix the landing page or pause the keyword until the landing page issue is resolved.

Bid Strategy Performance


The bidding tools in MarinOne help you get the best performance for a given target (e.g. ROAS or CPA) but did you know they can also help you understand what your performance would look like at a different target.

This Insight identifies MarinOne Bid Strategies where adjusting your target would yield improved performance. In other words, we look for situations where a different target would increase the overall profitability of your campaigns. Marketers can then adjust the Bid Strategy targets if the forecasted outcome aligns with their campaign goals.

Disapproved Ads


With the publisher’s rules for what is permitted in ad constantly evolving, it’s easy to lose track of policy violations that can result in ad groups not serving. This Insight identifies ads that have been disapproved within the last 2 weeks.

Marketers should then either submit a policy exemption request to the publisher or add a new creative to the group that is within policy.

Duplicate Keywords


On a large account, it’s inevitable that you will have duplicate keywords creating clutter and complexity in your accounts that should be avoided. This Insight identifies duplicate active keywords.

The marketer can easily pause the keyword with a lower quality score. If the Quality Score is the same, pause the keyword with less spend in order to preserve the keyword with more historical data that can be leveraged by an automated bidding solution.

Marin customers can check out their Insights today, or if you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative.

Sponsored Brands video is a relatively new ad format from Amazon that can display an eye-catching video alongside the ad on the Home Page, Detail Page and Search Results Page on Amazon, across desktop, mobile and tablet devices. What’s great is that these ads will automatically play when the video is at least 50% visible on screen then pause if the video is scrolled out of view.






How difficult are they to set up?


Sponsored Brands video ads include the advertiser’s brand logo, a text headline, and a call-to-action link alongside the video player as default and do not require creative design support from Amazon Advertising. Plus, thanks to the standardized mute function, the annoyance level of Sponsored Brands video ads is very low.

The product image and associated information (title, price, review count, star rating and Prime eligibility) are automatically displayed, so the only step to be taken is having the video content created for the brand or product in question. However, once the video is available, the process is simple and the ad can be created in a matter of minutes. As with any video ad, certain guidelines must be met, which can be found on Amazon’s website here.

Why should I put in the effort?


Ask yourself the following questions;

  • Do I want to reach incremental shoppers and boost sales?
  • Would I be more likely to stop and take notice of a moving image rather than a static one?
  • Do I want to increase my brand’s exposure on the world’s #1 most visited internet marketplace?
  • Do I want to show off a new product or strengthen a top seller with impactful visuals that tell a story?


If you answered yes to any or all of the above then it's a no-brainer--you should unquestionably take advantage of this valuable opportunity to increase your exposure on Amazon.

Top tips for your Sponsored Brands video ads


  1. Don’t start the video with an empty frame, feature the product prominently within the first second
  2. Keep it brief - Aim to have a video length of 15-30 seconds to relay your message
  3. Videos should work without sound - Remember, the majority of viewers won’t have their sound turned on, so make use of subtitles
  4. If appropriate, ensure that on-screen text / subtitles / captions can easily be seen and read across all devices. Amazon recommends “using Helvetica or a similar san-serif font at a minimum size of 80 px”
  5. Add a logo at the beginning and end of your video to remind the viewer who you are
  6. Consider using a custom background image behind the video player to stand out even more
  7. Include a call to action (CTA) within your video that’s punchy and precise, i.e. ‘Learn More’ or ‘See Details’
  8. A/B test your landing pages to understand your best performers. Customers can be sent to an Amazon Store Page, Product Listing Page or Category Page
  9. Time is of the essence, so forgo the whimsy fade-ins and lengthy introductions, and keep the video brief and straight to the point. Customers need to know what you’re selling straight off the bat
  10. If using music in your video, keep in mind your audience and don’t use a soundtrack that's annoying or loud
  11. If your goal is consideration or purchase, focus on what makes your product unique and why customers should buy it over your competitors
  12. If your goal is brand awareness, focus on building a connection between your potential customer and the product you’re trying to sell


How can Marin help?


Marin is here to support our eCommerce customers in any way possible. Amazon Sponsored Brands video is just one of the many ad types supported in MarinOne, giving our customers the opportunity to use our award winning, robust AI-powered bidding solution for Amazon video ads. Below are some additional advantages of using Marin to manage your Amazon sponsored ads:

  • Complete visibility of all settings and performance metrics across all levels: Campaign, Group, Keyword and Ad
  • Marin keeps all historical performance data whereas the Amazon console makes only the most recent 90 days available
  • Use Marin’s Bidding for enhanced long-tail keyword targeting results with progressive lookback modeling
  • Combine AI with inventory signals and contextual modifiers
  • Have visibility into attributes, including Image, Price, Rating, Reviews and Availability
  • Marin’s Keyword Expansion tool allows you to quickly and easily add search terms as new keywords or negative keywords for your Amazon activity, as well as the ability to see conversion and revenue data for each search rerm
  • Link conversions and revenue driven on Amazon with your Google, Bing, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Verizon Media and Facebook spend using Marin’s Amazon Attribution solution
  • Improve performance and combat wasted spend by adjusting bids by day-of-week and hour-of-day using Marin’s Ad Scheduling (Day-Parting) Tool
  • Isolate underperforming keywords and ASINs using advanced filters
  • Maximize growth opportunities with budget planning and predictive intelligence


To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Brands video and beyond, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Manager or click here to schedule a conversation.

Everyone in search advertising is aware it’s coming, and trying to figure out where the pieces will fall. How will it impact the industry and more importantly, you and your business ?

As tracking is a complex, granular topic, I’ve asked Aleks Nikitina, Senior Solutions Architect here at Marin Software, to go through this topic in more detail and provide suggestions on what to do next.

Can you tell us what the latest Google announcement is all about?


Aleks Nikitina (AN): Google is no longer going to use individual browser history on Chrome to target ads to users. Instead it will use what it calls and I quote “privacy preserving APIs, like the "Federated Learning of Cohorts API" (FloC), to deliver relevant ads.”. In a nutshell, Google will group users by interests instead of identifying them individually.

How does this link to cookies?


AN: Historically, Google used third-party cookies to target ads across websites. Now, they are moving from this cookie-based approach of targeting to instead target wider audiences and provide more privacy to individual users. Google moving away from third-party cookies is the next step in the trend the industry has been following over the last few years. Similar to Apple’s Safari ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention), Google is moving to what they call, the Sandbox approach.

Browsers are shifting the industry tracking to a new path that is all about user privacy. However first party tracking will be allowed. In itself, the cookie remains very much alive.

First party data is the data that is tracked directly on brands’ domains. Some of our clients have their own internal tracking solution or use tracking vendors as a first party tracking solution, which will continue to work, however there are restrictions on the conversion window available to cookies in Safari.

What should the search marketer add to their to do list or goals beyond 2021 as a result?


AN: The first step is to make sure that your measurement system is using a first-party approach. The latest version of the publisher tracking pixels and Google Analytics are all first party. Even better is to consider a server-to-server approach that avoids some of the conversion window restrictions.

For advertisers relying on third party cookies for ad targeting, you should look to diversify your ad buys to account for potential lost opportunities as these options go away.

Do we know when this change will happen?


AN: It looks like Chrome will turn off third party cookies in some time in 2022, but the Privacy Sandbox will make its way into Chrome in April 2021. And of course Safari already blocks third party cookies, so I would recommend looking into alternative solutions as soon as you can.

What about our users at Marin, how can we help them in this transition?


AN: Marin Software users should reach out to their platform representative to start the conversation, who will bring in the help of the Professional Services Team where I work.

To give you an idea of how the different integrations will be affected, I cover below the main 3 tracking setups:

  • Marin Tracker: The main Marin Tracker solution is used by clients’ placing Marin conversion and click tags directly on their websites or via tag managers. This serves as a first party solution, which will continue working in today’s world. Marin also offers a server-to-server integration for our clients, where the clients’ server is making a call to Marin’s server to pass on details about the conversion event that took place on the client's website. Server-to-server solution is the way forward with the industry’s path change. Here, clients fully control what their partners (third parties) have visibility on.
  • Google Analytics: Similar to Marin Tracker option, clients are setting up GA tags on their website as a first party solution, which will continue working across browsers after this update, as it does today.
  • Revenue Upload: This will depend on where the data is coming from. If the client is sending Marin data from a third party, then they need to connect with their selected data vendor to identify next steps. However if the client is already sending Marin data from their own cookies, then there is nothing for them to do here.


These industry breaking changes are right around the corner, are you ready? Get a deeper understanding of these changes and learn about Marin’s privacy focused solutions here.

Apple has been busy adding privacy-related features in iOS14. In December, with iOS 14.3, Apple added “Privacy Nutrition Labels” to the app store, clearly summarizing the applications privacy practices, including what information is collected and how it is used. App Tracking Transparency will be required with iOS 14.5 later this spring. Developers must ask users to opt in to tracking for advertising and other purposes.

In this blog, we give you a perspective on how marketers should be thinking about these changes. To learn more, don't miss our webinar Find Your Way in the Cookieless World on Thursday, March 25th | 10am PT - 1pm EST - 5pm GMT.

Apple’s iOS 14 updates are great for users’ privacy and Facebook is rolling with Apple updates by introducing breaking changes that facilitate enhanced privacy options. Since many of our Marin Social customers have questions about the impact of the iOS 14 updates, we want to assure customers that Marin is well positioned for iOS 14 updates along with providing a recap on the impact of iOS 14, especially for Facebook users and advertisers.

In terms of impact on Facebook users, Facebook is introducing a screen to prompt iOS 14 users to opt in to Facebook ad tracking. The carrot is better ad personalization. If users opt out, limited information about conversions, generated by FB ads to that user, will be available to advertisers.

In terms of impact on Facebook advertisers, Ads Manager contains detailed, account specific, action items for advertisers ex. selecting only eight conversion events for optimization efforts across an account. However, after the iOS 14 updates go into effect, advertisers can expect five fundamental changes:

Facebook will have limited conversion tracking for iOS 14 users that opt out. And many will opt out.


  • Facebook pixel Cookie Window is limited to 7 days for clicks and same day for views; this may lower reported conversions. In terms of impact scope, a majority of Marin Social advertisers attribute Facebook conversions to clicks that occurred up to 28 days before the Sale/Form Fill. As such, we expect a majority of Facebook advertisers to be impacted by this change and we recommend proactively updating Attribution Settings.
  • Advertisers with multiple domains can no longer attribute conversions from paid traffic across multiple domains. Customers that drive paid traffic to Domain A and convert the same visitors on Domain B will be directly impacted by Apple’s Private Click Measurement (PCM).


Audiences based on website interactions and mobile app engagements will decrease in Size and Reach.


  • App advertisers will no longer be able to use ‘app connections targeting’ e.g. they cannot target people that are connected to App fans/followers.  
  • Facebook Audiences for retargeting (WCA and MACA) will contract in size due to iOS users opting out when the Facebook prompt is shown. Ideal audience size for retargeting and lookalike audience creation is 10,000 people; smaller audiences may yield relatively lower performance.


Publisher reported conversions should not be expected to reconcile with internal systems.


While both Google and Facebook are preparing for a cookie-less future, neither publisher has announced plans for cross-channel ad tracking.

  1. each Publisher only includes their view through conversions, but not the others
  2. Google includes ‘Modeled’ conversions and Facebook may include estimated metrics for iOS 14 ad campaigns at the ad and ad set level.
  3. Each Publisher has different attribution windows for paid clicks.


Advertisers will need to upgrade their tracking.


Facebook is offering a robust server-to-server solution to provide advertisers with more transaction (not user) level details. Cross-Channel advertisers should plan on deploying Search and Social publishers’ enhanced ad tracking solutions alongside a third party’s server-to-server solution like Marin Tracker. This way, advertisers can analyze paid channels performance under the publishers lens and via conversion metrics that are click based, de-duplicated, and measured under the same attribution window.

Facebook Ads will no longer offer demographic breakdowns for conversion events.


Facebook Advertisers should plan on running A/B tests to determine if there's a statistically significant difference in performance between demographic segments.



For Marin customers, our cross-channel conversion tracking pixel - Marin Tracker - complies with GDPR and CCPA regulations along with meeting Apple iOS requirements. Our privacy policy, with more details, is available here. Marin Customers that leverage Marin Tracker can also report on Tracker conversion data via MarinOne. Our proprietary Tracker dashboards include de-duplicated, click based, conversions with transaction ids for an unlimited amount of conversion events. As advertisers prepare to sunset ad tracking via cookies, Marin is doubling down on our privacy-first ad tracking and measurement solutions.



If you need more information about the impact of iOS14 changes on Facebook ads, sign up to our webinar Find Your Way in the Cookieless World on Thursday, March 25th | 10am PT - 1pm EST - 5pm GMT.

Here are some helpful resources:  

From Facebook


From Apple:

The search for better performance never stops. To help our customers get the most out their digital marketing dollar we have upgraded our optimization tools. MarinOne Bidding is our newest bidding solution that delivers peak performance, improved accuracy, faster bid calculations and increased scale.

Customers upgrading to MarinOne bidding from the previous version saw a 10-20% performance improvement and bidding times reduced by up to 95%.

MarinOne bidding automatically incorporates over 75+ signals for incredible responsiveness and accuracy across audiences, devices, geos and more. MarinOne Bidding is simple to set up but flexible enough to meet the needs of your business.  It is especially well suited for advertisers with third-party revenue tracking and longer sales cycles.


Accuracy, Speed and Scale


No need to choose, with MarinOne bidding you get all three:

  • Faster Run Times: The bid calculation job for large clients can be up to 90% faster than Marin search.
  • Increased Scale: MarinOne bidding can effortlessly handle accounts with 10M keywords.
  • Improved Accuracy: Dynamic Clustering algorithms improves predictions on lower-volume terms by strategically sharing across similar keywords via a decision tree clustering technique. The result: an average 28% lift in performance vs. Marin Search.
  • More Reactive: Flexible lookback periods efficiently use the right amount of historical data to improve reactions to changing market conditions.
  • Powerful Forecasts: In MarinOne’s Optimization page, users can forecast time into the future and explore trade-offs between volume and efficiency for each bid strategy.
  • Better Control: Advertisers can specify separate targets by device and MarinOne bidding will optimize based on device-specific performance.
  • Better Guardrails: In addition to max Users can set either a Top, Absolute Top, or Search Impression Share Cap.
  • Automation of Bidding Target Changes: Scheduled boosts simplify management of changes in bidding targets and can be set globally or segmented by device and publisher, MarinOne bidding can automatically exclude data from data from boosted sale periods. bidding.


Getting Started


Our existing customers using bidding are being upgraded to MarinOne bidding. If you are a Marin Customer looking to get started with bidding, please connect with your account manager.

If you are interested in learning more about MarinOne bidding getting started with Marin, click here to schedule a conversation.

In light of recent news on COVID coming out of the UK and US, such as plans for re-openings and increase in vaccine distribution, travel companies have seen a much-needed surge in vacation bookings.

The Guardian reported that Easy Jet flight bookings from the UK jumped 337% and package holidays surged 630% when compared with the previous week. In the U.S., a recent survey from TripAdvisor found that 80% of consumers planned to take at least one overnight domestic trip in 2021, with over 1/3 of respondents planning at least three.

A term coined in recent weeks, “revenge travel” is the latest buzzword for travel marketers to know about. Surveys suggest that people will want to travel as soon as they can, and this pent-up demand will likely result in similar booking surges around the world as each respective country communicates their road to recovery and timelines of normality.

How to Win:



  • Leading with Data


In April 2020, I wrote that Business Intelligence and First-Party Data was the vaccine to neutralize competitors. This is even more important now, as advertisers scramble to recover lost revenues. Airline marketers should be leaning on their Data & Analytics teams, requesting access to route codes, profitability metrics, and flight details to automate the creation and optimization of search and social campaigns. Similarly, those marketing the supply of accommodation should be leveraging internal catalogues, occupancy data, and room value to balance the supply & demand of bookings. This data offers little value in our current world, however, as we begin to see countries emerging from restrictions, and life returning to normal, using this data to power your performance channels will be pivotal.

The travel ecosystem is dictated by supply & demand. Marketers, all the more, need to integrate the supply & demand equilibrium to their performance program to ensure efficiency and competitiveness.


  • Enhanced Automated Optimization


The unknown ahead will likely lead to peaks and troughs in performance. Auction intensity will increase. Impressions and CPCs will rise. Firstly, advertisers need to get back to basics with account health and do this quickly.

Marin can collaborate with advertisers and agencies to find the ideal solution that leans into publisher optimizations while also leveraging first-party data, flexibility and control.


  • Cross-Channel Audience Alignment


Integrating your performance channels and viewing your data in a unified way is a start, but advertisers need to do way more to get ahead. Your audience data, and how you use it, is incredibly important.

By combining data with digital audience solutions, savvy travel marketers can connect with travellers better – and drive more bookings. Advertisers should be reviewing lifetime value (LTV) to understand how to communicate differently to varying value customers and optimize throughout the entire customer journey.


  • Reporting & Visualizing Data


As we see travel reopen, it is likely that we’ll see new “Top Routes” emerge and it’s pivotal that marketers stay on top of these changes. A great way to do this is to lean on a solution like Data Studio, Tableau or Looker. Customized dashboards in these tools can give you the data you need, right when you need it.

Did you know that Marin can easily send data to these tools?

Travel advertisers certainly have a mountain to climb to execute a recovery plan, and success is ultimately tied to each country’s reopening timeline. However, advertisers need to be agile and ready to capitalize on the recovery of travel.

Speak to a member of the Marin Team to understand how we can help you prepare for the return of travel today.

Today, Google announced that going forward, Responsive Search Ads (RSA) would be the default option for newly created ads in Google ads and Google ads editor. Here's a breakdown of what we know about the change and what you can do to your account to make sure you're ready.

We don't see this as a major change, rather it is a continuation of a trend towards increased automation that we've been seeing from Google for a while. Responsive Search Ads, and recent match-type changes, in a lot of ways make our lives easier as marketers. We don't have to worry about having every combination and variation of creative or keyword. We don’t need to do extensive A/B testing because Google’s machine learning takes care of the work for us.

As a marketer, it’s another sign that it is time to embrace the automation.

Remind me, what are Responsive Search Ads again?


Launched about three years ago, Responsive Search Ads allow the marketer to input multiple headlines and multiple descriptions. The ads are dynamically created at the time of serving for each user’s query and context. As a result of this customization, Google claims up to 5-15% higher click-through rates vs standard Enhanced Text Ads (ETAs).

Each ad can contain 3 to 15 headlines and 2-4 descriptions that are combined on the fly. Here’s more about the format from Google.

Should I expect a change in performance?


With this change, Google is not adjusting the auction dynamics. As a result, you should not see any change in performance. However, Google does expect that RSAs perform better than enhanced text ads and so you should ensure you have full coverage with responsive search ads.

Here's an analysis we did about the performance of responsive search ads that aligned with Google's claims of increased clicks and conversions compared with enhanced text ads, especially on non-brand terms.

What do I need to do to my account?


You don't need to make any changes to your existing campaigns. That said, Google recommends each ad group have at least one responsive search ad for best performance so you should take a look at your ad groups and make sure that you've got complete coverage.

Looking at our customer base, the majority of spend is still running through enhanced text ads so there's still plenty of room for adoption which is also probably why Google is making this change.

Marin can help you with an audit of your account to determine which adverbs need additional responsive search ads.

How do I write a good RSA?


We've written a whole white paper on the topic and have additional suggestions here but I can summarize the top tips:

  • Variety Is good: The benefit of RSAs is to provide the right message to each user, so make sure you have many different messages for the system to choose from not just close variations on the same theme
  • Use pinning sparingly: Pinning allows you to ensure that a headline or description is always shown but it takes away flexibility for Google's machine learning to do its thing. We recommend only using this when you have strict regulatory or compliance reasons to do so.
  • Review performance regularly Google doesn't offer as much visibility on the performance of individual elements as we would like, but you can get an idea of what's working and what's not. Be sure to review performance regularly and swap out underperforming assets.


Last year Google enhanced responsive search ads, giving you the ability to use add customizers like countdown timers and location extensions as part of the elements in responsive search ads

But I like control, do I have to use RSAs?


No, you can still create enhanced text ads. Google has not provided a Sunset date for the creation of new ads nor do we expect this format to be deprecated anytime in the near future.

Need help navigating these changes? Click here to get some help.

Over the last few years, Google has been tinkering with match types. In July 2019, Google announced that Phrase match and Broad Match Modified would start matching queries with the same meaning (rather than words) as your keywords. Then in February 2020, Exact Match and Phrase Match were expanded to cover plurals, misspellings, and abbreviations.

What is happening this time?


On February 4th 2021, Google announced that the matching of Phrase match will be further expanded, and more closely resemble the behavior of Broad Match Modified, and they therefore will be sunsetting the ability to add modifiers (+) to broad match keywords. Current Broad Match Modified keywords will continue to serve, with slightly different matching, but from July 2021 you will no longer be able to create new broad keywords with modifiers (+) in the string.

Why is this happening?


As mentioned above, Google says it has been getting better at learning the intent behind a query, and is therefore more confident it can correctly map advertisements to queries. As that ability improves, the differences between Phrase Match and Broad Match Modified diminishes.

Moving forward, there will be three match types, each with specific benefits:

  • Exact match: for precision
  • Broad match: for reach
  • Phrase match: in Google’s words, to combine the best of both


What now?


Your Phrase Match keywords can start matching against queries in a different word order, meaning that if you are currently bidding on keywords in Phrase Match, you can expect an increase in impressions, clicks, and hopefully conversions.

Conversely, if you are bidding on Broad Match Modified keywords, expect a decrease in volume, as Google will now take into account word order. For example, the BMM keyword +train +London +to +Paris will now no longer match against the query ‘train Paris to London’, as the search engine understands the direction of travel is different.

What do you have to do?


While the move signals Google’s confidence in correctly matching query and ads, there’s still a couple of things you need to do. We list some of them below, but definitely get in touch with your account representative for more tailored recommendations.

If you currently have phrase match keywords


Your keywords will now be eligible to cover much more queries, and so you can expect an increase in volume. Consider the following:

  • Review your negative keywords: as Phrase match keywords can cover more searches, you might want to review your negative keywords to avoid appearing against queries you do not want to cover. Remember Marin One Insights provide you with performance based negative keyword recommendations, so keep an eye on those!
  • Review campaign budgets: if you split out campaigns by match type, and you have specific campaigns for Phrase Match, review the budgets of those campaigns as they can now cover more ground. Again, Marin One insights will automatically flag campaigns limited by budgets, so the Marin One insights tab is here to help you with the transition.
  • Create alerts to keep track of spend increases: if you are currently bidding on Phrase match keywords, consider setting up an alert for keywords with strong changes in volume, as those may highlight opportunities for negative keywords, or for expansion!
  • Bidding on Phrase match: with regards to bidding, three things are important:
  • More volume on Phrase Match will allow the bidding engine to react quickly to this change. If required, the algorithm will leverage data from Broad Match Modified keywords to further improve bid calculations.
  • Keep an eye on your cost per click: we expect advertisers to quickly start adding Phrase Match keywords, meaning that competition and hence CPCs could increase. Negative keywords (see above) and high quality creatives (see below) will be paramount, but also consider adding an Impression Share cap to avoid CPCs increasing too much. An Impression Share cap stops the algorithm from increasing bids, even if from a CPL/ROAS perspective that may make sense, and is a great way of limiting CPCs.
  • Marin allows you to set match type specific boosts. Consider switching these off in the short term while figuring out if additional negatives are required with the wider matching

  • Review Dynamic Keyword Insertion: dynamic keyword insertion allows you to insert the user query in your ad copy, which usually results in higher CTR and better quality score. While you adjust to the additional matching, and potentially add negative keywords, carefully consider if you want Dynamic Keyword Insertion creatives to be live.


If you are currently predominantly using Exact and Broad Match Modified


The good news is, your Broad Match Modified keywords will continue to serve, even after the creation of new Broad Match Modified keywords is no longer possible after July.

  • Create alerts: opposite to the alert for your Phrase Match, set up alerts for volume decreases on your Broad Match Modifier keywords. This will allow you to identify where the new matching is impacting your spend, and take action accordingly. Also keep an eye on the MarinOne history tab, where you can see account wide performance over time filtered by match type. A great place to see the impact of these changes.
  • Start adding phrase match keywords: your Broad Match Modified keywords will continue to run, but might match against fewer queries. Consider adding Phrase Match keywords to maintain volume. The Marin One insights provide performance based recommendations of well performing Broad Match Modified keywords you are not currently buying in Phrase Match.


If you are using Marin Bidding


Marin Bidding will adapt automatically: it’ll see volume and performance shift from match types, and automatically adjust your bids to account for that. There’s a couple of nuances to be aware of though:

  • If you are using Awareness Targeting for Phrase Match, keep in mind that volume and competition may increase, so keep an eye on your average cost per click. To limit fluctuations, either widen your target Impression Share, or consider setting up a bid cap. Especially when using Awareness Targeting, reviewing your budgets will be important.
  • If you have match type specific bid strategies, consider adjusting the targets and settings of your Phrase Match bid strategies closer to those of your BMM/Broad Bid Strategies, as they’ll start picking up volume from those match types. Also consider setting an Impression Share cap to limit the increase of CPCs.
  • Consider removing match type boosts in the short term. While match type specific boosts offer great flexibility, with search volumes shifting between match types, we’d recommend switching them off, or limiting their values, in the short term.


What’s next?


As usual, we expect other publishers to follow suit. The continuous changes to match types also makes you wonder what is next, and for how long we will continue to have three different match types. Whatever changes Google throws at advertisers, we’re here for you. Click here if you need help with this change.

We’ve added nine new bidding and setup Insights to help advertisers get the most out of digital marketing campaigns and provide them with the tools needed to quickly implement those recommendations.

Here are the new recommendations:

  • Enhanced CPC Identifies Google campaigns using Marin Bidding or Manual Bidding without Enhanced CPC and allows you to easily enable the Enhanced CPC setting
  • Bid Caps: Identifies keywords, ad groups, product groups, and placements performing above the bid strategy efficiency goal whose bids are limited by the Bid Cap setting. Users can then disable or raise the Bid Cap setting unless there is a specific business case to maintain a maximum bid
  • Bid Floors Identifies keywords, ad groups, product groups, and placements performing below the bid strategy efficiency goal whose bids are artificially raised using the Bid Floor setting. Users can disable the Bid Floor unless there is a specific business case to maintain a minimum bid
  • Keyword Bid Overrides Identifies keywords on Bid Override that are in active Bid Strategies. Users can disable these Bid Overrides unless there is a specific business case for manual bid optimization
  • Bidding Reactivity Identifies Marin Bidding Strategies that are not using the Limit Bid Changes under X% setting. Users can enable the Limit Bid Change setting and set it to 25% for affected folders.
  • Keyword Count Identifies ad groups with more than 100 active keywords. Advertisers should segment keywords into multiple ad groups to improve keyword/ad relevancy
  • Ad Count Identifies ad groups with less than 3 active ads. The publishers recommend maintaining at least 3 active ads in each ad group.
  • Invalid Credentials Identifies publisher accounts that require a password update in Marin.
  • Sync Errors Identifies campaigns that have fallen out of sync with Marin.


All Insights are available under the top-level Insights tab, next to your Home tab. For more details about Marin’s Automated Insights check out our original launch announcement.

We’re well underway in the holiday season now with just about a week left until Christmas. Here are a few quick tips to make the most of these last days before the holiday and prepare for the days following.

Budget Planning


Budget planning using the What-If functionality has been around in Marin for a while. We have now improved the tool to allow you to forecast and scenario plan at the bid strategy level. This means that at the individual bid strategy level, you are able to see the total spend you are trending toward for the end of the month, as well as the total number of conversions and revenue.

The What-If functionality is a great way to keep track of your budget, but an even better way to make sure you’re getting the most out of that budget. You can leverage What-If to see what would happen to your conversions or revenue if you were to increase or decrease spend, and the platform will automatically recommend updated targets for your bid strategies. After that, you can just sit back and enjoy the holidays! You can read more about it here

Scheduled Actions


While you may be off from work in the coming days, your search activity will probably continue to run. Marin allows you to schedule work that still needs to get done while you’re off using Dynamic Actions. Scheduled Actions enable you to pause or resume campaigns, groups, or creatives at a specified date and time in the future. This means that you can take your Christmas ad copy offline and reactivate regular creatives through a scheduled task, rather than having to come into the platform to make adjustments. Need to change landing pages once Christmas is over? Schedule a bulk upload over email to process changes while you sit back and relax.

Bid Override


Christmas shopping has been underway for a while--and now it’s crunch time. A great way to increase volume is by looking for keywords or product groups similar to your historic/current top performers, and pushing the bid for similar keywords. Using change columns and filters, look for keywords and product groups that performed well for you last year but are seeing little traction now, and increase their bid:



Don’t think a simple increase will suffice? Switch the keywords to Bid Override for a couple of days, allowing them to gather data with a static bid before Marin Bidding takes over and sets the optimal bid for your targets.

Want to track the impact of what you’re doing? Create a Dimension and tag the keywords so that once the holidays are over, you can analyze how your actions contributed to your results and learn for next year!


Scheduled Boost


Scheduled Boosts are another great way to control and optimize your campaigns from your couch. A boost is a percentage increase or decrease of your bids, meant to align with sudden changes in the market. Depending on your industry , you can probably expect traffic to be less competitive from the 24th through the 26th, for example. Marin allows you to schedule a decrease in your bids to account for that lull.


Excluded Dates


Marin’s algorithms work hard to optimize your advertising spend every day, making sure you get the most for your budget. But sometimes even the algorithms could use some help. Excluded Dates are your way of telling the algorithm which data to disregard.

See that tick box next to Excluded Dates in the above screenshot? This means that we're able to tell the algorithm not to consider certain dates for future bid calculations, based on the dates that were set for a boost. Excluded Dates are important around the holidays when performance varies more than usual. Enter them through a bid strategy, at either the strategy- or account level! You can even set future Excluded Dates, so it’s something you can do ahead of the holiday break.

Automated Alerts


Automated Alerts are another great way to stay on top of your account activity without having to sign into the platform! Alerts allow you to receive an email notification of, for example, campaigns with a strong increase in cost week-over-week, keywords with large drops in conversions day-over-day, or any other change you’d like to be notified of. Alerts rely on filters and recurring reports.

Setting these Automated Alerts up is now easier than ever, as many of the filters required are already built out for you in Marin and available in the Marin subcategory when looking at your saved views.


We want to wish a happy holiday break to all of you and don’t worry, Marin Software has got your back!

In the world of pay-per-click advertising, the (often) multi-million dollar questions you’re always trying to answer are: What should I be spending on different parts of my programs? What will I get in return? How should I assign these budgets to each campaign?

Answering these questions can be challenging. Often, this involves looking at historical data and summarizing the volume available for various scenarios -- building mathematical models of volume versus efficiency. Such models can be used to predict future performance (or forecast, if you will), providing the marketers with suggestions on where to allocate budgets. The more accurate the forecasts, the better the budget decisions. This requires more investment in complex mathematical models, which creates additional maintenance and work as new data points come in the form of the latest performance metrics.

We want to make that process easier, so we developed MarinOne Bid Strategy Forecasts to arm search marketers with the information to make better budget decisions. The tool also leads to valuable time savings, as marketers no longer have to build their own models using historical data. With access to years of historical data, including customer downstream realized revenue, Marin’s forecasting engine can predict publisher metrics, such as click and cost and data-warehouse tracked revenue data, while taking into account any seasonality specific to your business. These complex calculations a



What do the What-if Charts display? The chart summarizes the relationship between publisher cost and revenue or conversions within a bid strategy, thereby displaying the tradeoffs between volume and efficiency. Volume is how much you’re willing to spend, and efficiency is your KPI -- CPA, ROAS, budget. A bid strategy is a collection of campaigns that share the same business objective, such as hitting an efficiency goal. Campaigns in a bid strategy are already highly optimized given they’re leveraging MarinOne Bidding, and targeting a higher volume will likely result in sacrificing efficiency. Similarly, targeting a higher efficiency will result in loss in volume. Using the chart, I can ask that very question “What-if?” and get an immediate response from the chart gods.

Depending on the type of business, the answer may be different. A lot of in-house SEM teams have strict goals to never underperform from an efficiency standpoint. Lead gen performance marketers having relationships with lead buyers can ensure they can hit their monthly lead quota by targeting spend that will satisfy the monthly conversion volume. E-commerce advertisers will get directives on allocated budgets that change month to month. Using the What-if analysis, they can forecast projected revenue and efficiency (ROAS) for spend targets.

MarinOne Bid Strategy forecasts are available to all Marin customers today. Check it out in your account or contact a sales representative for more details.

We’ve talked about reporting in previous blog posts and how MarinOne has powerful reporting tools, allowing your marketing team to build personalized dashboards that are shareable and mobile-friendly, customize recurring reports, performance alerts, and automate their Excel or Google Sheet analysis.

However, many marketers are leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) tools to visualize their data.

We built BI Connect to give our customers a powerful and flexible option to integrate all their Marin data directly to their BI tools, such as Google Data Studios, Tableau, or Power BI.



BI Connect provides advertisers an easy and scalable solution to pull data from Marin into your BI tool with unparalleled flexibility, data accessibility, and simplicity:

Flexibility


BI Connect can be used as a data source, allowing you to create custom dashboards and reports in the BI tool of your choice, or accessed directly for integration with your own-in-house data warehouse. Data hosting can be done on your cloud or Marin’s and is backed with enterprise-level data security.

Data Accessibility


  • MarinOne integrates data from any analytics or attribution source, and can see deep into your purchase funnels by connecting offline sales to online advertising. BI Connect extends the benefits of Marin’s open platform by giving you third-party revenue data, such as customer LTV and Amazon Attribution data, already stitched together across publishers and channels.
  • MarinOne consolidates Search, Social, and eCommerce publishers, giving you a single source to connect your BI tool with all paid media channels, including smaller publishers like LinkedIn, Snap, and Reddit.
  • BI Connect enables access to all levels of data, including placements, sitelinks, audiences, product groups, SKUs, Amazon ASINs, and exposure of key metrics in additive form, such as quality score, bid, available impressions, etc.
  • Marin-exclusive data, such as Dimensions, Custom Columns, Bid Strategies, and Marin Tracker attribution.


Simplicity


Last but not least, onboarding BI Connect is simple. We do the heavy-lifting, so you can minimize dependency on your internal teams. There’s no need to aggregate or map data because your publishers, revenue, and saved views are already organized and loaded by Marin. Simply connect a query to the BI tool of your choice and hit the ground running!

Learn More


If you’d like to learn more about BI Connect, please reach out to your account rep. Or, if you’re new to Marin and would like to start getting the most out of your BI tool, schedule a demo today.

It’s time to switch from “work from home” to “celebrate at home.” Although for many of you, this time of the year is also “peak season” at work. Rest assured that Marin Software has put everything in place to provide above-and-beyond customer service, particularly during the critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.

Our focus is, of course, our customers in the retail industry that usually reach their highest shopping spend during this exciting time of the year.

Some of the key service enhancements include:

  • Weekend and holiday on-call support: Technical support will be ready to assist via tickets to answer your most pressing platform questions and ensure your holiday campaigns are running smoothly
  • Increased account team availability: Account teams will be available to review setup, strategy and bidding needs specific to your peak seasonality plan
  • Additional application operations: Application monitoring and alerts are in place to ensure timely and accurate data and reporting
  • Custom integration alerts: Data integration checks that confirm conversions and revenue are consistently available and reliable in the application


We want to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all our US-based advertisers! This year has been very challenging and we all deserve some quality time with family and friends, whether via Zoom or together around the dinner table.

Don’t worry, Marin Software has got your back!

Shopping campaigns and managing the feeds that power them is often cumbersome, time consuming and resource intensive. To help with these challenges, Marin has developed an innovative solution called Smartfeed which manages your feed and also updates your account’s structure -- the Marin platform serves as an intermediary which automates the build based on your feed.

So, what is it? How does it work? And how to use it to the fullest?

What is Smartfeed?


Marketers are always looking to improve their feed and shopping activities’ performance, and most solutions available are expensive and solely feed-focused.

By including Smartfeed within your Marin account, marketers not only have the ability to optimize, create and maintain their feed automatically based on their business’ needs, but they are also able to do this in combination with optimizing, creating and maintaining their own shopping structures, with the aim to maximizing reach and efficiency.

While having all this activity in one place saves marketers’ time, Smartfeed also tailors optimizations for each channel’s requirements (such as Google Shopping or Facebook Marketplace). This allows marketers to use rules and other optimizations to apply to the feed at scale, before they are submitted or scheduled to multiple shopping platforms on an automated and recurring basis.

Marketers will also be able to analyse their feed’s structure and performance, report on those numbers and receive alerts based on product performance to understand when and where optimizations are desirable.

What does it solve?


Many of the challenges faced by marketers today revolve around time consuming setups and maintenance of low quality feeds, which also then need to be maintained and optimized in each shopping or marketplace platform.

As seen before, Smartfeed deals efficiently with the time consuming piece as everything sits under the same platform, while low quality feeds can be enhanced by using multiple and new sources to upgrade your feed’s data. Finally, building out and managing your shopping structures will happen straight within Marin on a daily basis, allowing you to tweak your feed’s information and see this change reflected into the Shopping campaigns shortly thereafter.

Maintaining a clear and consistent shopping campaign structure can be tedious and time consuming. Marketers need to spend a lot of time creating all the different objects, only to then spend additional time optimizing the structure itself, as well as maintaining it and removing and adding objects as relevant in order to improve performance.

With Smartfeed, Marin Software takes the heavy lifting out of a marketer’s day to day workflow by automating the build and edition of shopping campaigns as well as automating their optimization.

Smartfeed can use a feed to build out entire shopping structures to include all or specific SKUs in the feed. Multiple level objects can be built, such as campaigns, ad groups, product groups and creatives. Building out the campaigns, for example, can be as simple or complex as required, with Smartfeed’s ability to adjust settings such as budgets, device modifiers or status to name a few.

In addition, Smartfeed integrates fully with Marin’s dimensions feature. This allows marketers to assign dimension values to specific objects, such as ad groups or product groups, with a view to adjust the bids via our Dynamic Actions feature or simply run a granular report across multiple publishers such as Google and Bing.

Finally, ad groups and product groups can be automatically assigned to bidding folders based on information within the feed such as custom labels or product categories. Smartfeed can be set up so that if these are modified, the changes are reflected automatically in the structure in order to make optimizations as precise, custom and easy to implement as possible.

Ready to know your best-performing tactics across the consumer’s journey and optimize every marketing dollar? Schedule a demo and learn more about Smartfeed!

With COVID-19 cases back on the rise, businesses that did not make changes after the first wave can expect an even greater impact this time around.

As most marketers have experienced first-hand, the pandemic has had an impact on revenue due to a shift in consumer behavior. Product and service offerings that were once considered the norm, such as gym memberships and holiday packages, have been trampled by at-home exercise bikes and local staycations.

The upcoming holiday season is no exception, and we recently attended Facebook’s “Christmas, Unwrapped” webinar series to help our clients better understand the challenges ahead and help them adapt their strategy. Pairing these insights with our own industry knowledge, we’ve compiled some key insights to help you win the holiday season in 2020.

Expand your audience and improve the mobile user experience


Although it may not seem evident for all types of products or services, marketers may want to expand their targeting beyond the tech-savvy millennials. According to the latest 2020 Facebook Christmas Package handbook, over 80% of Gen X and Boomers have been shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic, which broadens the online shopping audience significantly.

Catering to these older generations may also require some adjustments to your mobile user journey, so keep your web developer close by. In a Facebook survey of seasonal shoppers who experienced problems while doing Christmas shopping on a mobile device, the most crucial issues among Gen X and Boomers included the text font being too small, the app/site taking too long to load, and images not being clear enough. Ensuring your online shopping experience is mobile-ready could go a long way.

If your website is not in an ideal state, the much anticipated global release of Facebook Shops might be the right solution for you. This new product offers an in-app shopping experience that users of all generations can appreciate, with no coding required on your part. Isn’t that a treat?

Focus on service and automation


The pandemic has placed a growing emphasis on customer service, with many people growing more concerned about strict cancellation policies and safe handling and delivery of their packages. In order to meet these customer needs and gain their trust, businesses will have to automate customer care wherever possible.

This may be the perfect time to dust off your Facebook Messenger bot project; in fact, Facebook reported that 46% of global consumers are spending more time using messaging services, with Gen X and Boomer demographics reporting 47% and 40% increases respectively. The Messenger bot would pair up nicely with a Messages campaign aimed at increasing brand engagement and driving sales straight from the Facebook app.

If Messenger is not on your roadmap, consider tailoring your ad messaging around flexibility, safe handling and care. Why not throw in free shipping if your business can afford it? That’s another surefire way to win potential customers over.

Test, test, test


Testing is always encouraged at any time of year, but we know that the holiday shopping season is the most crucial time for most advertisers. In order to ensure you have the right strategy in place, you should start testing as soon as possible. This is even more important in 2020 given the changing consumer behavior as a result of the pandemic. Who knows, what worked for your business last year might not be relevant this year.

Facebook recommends starting with a simple business question. What are you trying to achieve?

Once you’ve identified the question, make sure you have a SMART goal in place and devise your testing strategy accordingly. Consider running split tests with different creative, messaging, targeting, objectives and ad formats (quick tip: you can easily set this up using our MarinOne Ad Studies feature).

These tests will come a long way in identifying what works best for your brand this year, so you can implement it in your holiday planning with greater certainty.

Give back to people in need


As is the case with most recessions, some people lost more than others; be-it monetary losses due to job cuts or the loss of loved ones as a result of the spreading virus. Let’s face it, we’ve had more cheerful Christmases…

This holiday season, why not give back to the community? Whether it’s through monetary donations or pro bono work, there are many contributions your business can make depending on your industry and your expertise. Facebook research reports that 82% of global shoppers surveyed agreed brands should give back, i.e. by providing free services.

While you’re here, check out our article: Marin Software Stepping Up for Diversity and Equality with Pro Bono Digital Marketing Services for Black-Owned Businesses

Don’t forget those who are spending the holidays alone!


We’ll leave you with this thought: Don’t forget potential customers who are spending the holidays alone. Notwithstanding the global pandemic, Facebook research states that 74% of global Christmas shoppers research gifts for themselves.

This is even more relevant in times of COVID-19. Many people will be stranded in their host city or country this holiday season, unable to return home due to travel restrictions or self-isolation periods, which means they may not be buying gifts for others at all.

Make sure you speak to them too, and encourage them to treat themselves after a difficult year!

Apple Search Ads is a fast-growing marketing channel seeing increased adoption and greater chunks of advertising budgets. Did you know that MarinOne offers reporting and bidding for Apple Search Ads?

In this article, we’ll spell out some of the more advanced and automated ways our advertisers optimize their Apple Search Ad budget.

Full Funnel Optimization


As an open platform, MarinOne integrates with a wealth of tracking solutions, including in-app tracking such as Adjust, Appsflyer, or Tune. Our Full Funnel Bidding solution enables you to leverage this information in bid optimization. In practice, this means Marin can calculate bids based on the cost-per-download, allowing our advertisers to be highly reactive due to the volume and short latency from click to download. Remember that 65% of app downloads occur right after a search.

These initial bids are then adjusted up and down based on lower funnel events that can be tracked with third party solutions, such as sales, subscriptions, or customer lifetime values—data that typically has longer latency and less volume.

Combined, Full Funnel Bidding will get you the best of both worlds: it’s highly reactive to the cost-per-download and download-per-click ratio while taking into account the lower funnel value these downloads represent for your company!

Time of Day Bidding


At what moments do you find yourself with a smartphone in your hands? There are often very specific points in the day that we reach for the screen, and even more so for apps that relate to specific events, such as sports!

Marin Bidding allows you to set scheduled boosts for your Apple Search Ads activity, increasing your bids during times of day when you expect performance and volume to increase, and decreasing bids during times that may be less relevant. This means concentrating your budget where it matters most!

Dynamic Actions


Dynamic Actions are an extremely powerful feature of Marin, allowing custom modifiers based on almost any data source and used in combination with Marin Dimensions for big optimization. This means tagging objects (keywords/groups/campaigns) with a value on a dimension, and then specifying rules to be taken into account in bid calculation. Here’s just a couple of ideas for using Dynamic Actions to enhance your Apple Search Ads campaign:

  • Adjust bids for seasonal events: Increase bids by 10% on all keywords that contain “basketball” across all markets when game 7 of the NBA Finals is on, increasing volume.
  • Leverage external data: The options here are almost unlimited, but two ideas are:
  • Upload the organic position of your app on the results page, and increase bids where your position is poor and decrease bids where your position is great. Again, it’s a way to make sure you put your advertising dollars where they matter most.
  • When targeting specific geographic regions and your results depend on the weather, leverage Dynamic Actions to increase your bids when one of your target regions has a high likelihood of rain or sun.


Interested in integrating your Apple Search Ads into your MarinOne application? Contact your account representative for more information, or request a demo today!

This is our final blog post on Prime Day ahead of the day itself, and here we’ll focus on the practicalities of getting the most out of the Prime Day opportunity.

Learn From the Past


Have you been advertising on Amazon for more than a year? Then review what worked for you before and incorporate it in your strategy for Prime Day 2020:

  • Which products performed best?
  • What verticals saw the largest increase?
  • What promotions worked out well for you?


Go beyond ROI/ROAS and take into account products with positive reviews, but also have a look at how your current stock compares to what you have historically shipped on Prime Day. Take into account all factors that contribute to winning the Buy Box in getting your campaigns ready and your products selected.

It’s easy to focus on products and categories, but you should also investigate what messaging has previously worked in your Sponsored Display activity in particular.

Because Prime Day focuses a lot on increasing sales, it is also important to investigate what has historically not worked. The Prime Day marketing environment is really different from the everyday, so your normal top performers might not be the products you want to put forth for Prime Day.

Marin Software is a great place to start this process, as we aggregate data from many sources to surface details about your advertised products. Marin allows you to see an overview of all your products, targets, and keywords across all accounts, so you don’t have to drill down into each campaign/group to see product performance.

Assure your Presence


Prime Day means an incredible increase in volume of impressions, clicks, and sales, not only on Amazon, but on other channels as well. While it is important to be present on each of these channels, you need to be tactical to get the most out of your budget. Here are some tips:

Targeting


  • Identify your top performing products and ensure that budget is allocated to those top products in your Sponsored Product and Sponsored Display campaigns.
  • Be tactical and budget-aware:
  • Leverage product targeting to target competitors, either to win their customers by promoting your own products, or cross-selling with complementary products. Go very specific by targeting specific ASINs.
  • Leverage Marin’s Keyword Expansion to identify both keywords to add to your targeting, as well as negative keywords.
  • Use macro figures to identify categories to aim for, with the goal of being present where most volume is expected. As we wrote previously, while Electronics is the main category, Toys and Games along with Beauty & Personal Care are expected to see a rise in volume in 2020.

  • Ensure your Product Detail Page is updated to drive relevancy for advertising on certain targets and keywords.


Budgets & Bids


  • Increase your budgets to avoid lost impressions and sales due to budget constraints
  • Increase bids across the board: Amazon estimates that simply maintaining your visibility might require bids that are twice as high as usual. Marin allows you to do this very easily, and come back to your usual levels quickly post-Prime Day as well
  • Capitalize on Intraday Bidding & Ad Scheduling: Prime Day means Lightning Deals! Make sure you get the most out of those opportunities by temporarily increasing your bids even further.
  • Set up automated rules based on inventory, making sure you only put your budget where you have a good amount of stock. Learn from the past, as the sheer volume of sales means low stock will be very different on Prime Day than almost any other day of the year.


Next up in this series, don't miss our upcoming webinar Delivering for the Holidayswith Amazon Attribution. Join Amazon and Marin to get ready for a challenging Q4 Retail season.

Prime Day is a great example of a “rising tide” lifting all retail “ships” - if you are focusing your Prime Day activities exclusively on Amazon Advertising you are likely missing out on a lot of great traffic.

Google search trends highlights how customers are not always starting their Prime Day shopping on Amazon. Instead, we see a healthy amount of people who are still using Google as their starting point - even if they end up converting via Amazon.



Retailers should be ready for an increase in their search impressions as consumers are executing Prime Day focused searches on channels like Google. To take advantage of this increase in traffic, retailers should enable Marin’s Amazon Attribution feature. This feature allows our advertisers to easily see the advertising impression and cost information alongside the purchases that occur on Amazon. This insight allows Marin customers to explore some Prime Day tactics that would otherwise be impossible to measure.

Consider sending non-branded search terms directly to Amazon


During normal time periods, consumers are more likely to buy a product on Amazon.com than on another eCommerce site. Our advertisers have seen this even more strongly during Prime Day for New to Brand shoppers. With Marin and Amazon Attribution configured you have a full view of the search costs and Amazon purchases tied together in MarinOne. Take advantage of the increased search traffic and the “ready to buy” attitude of a Prime Day shopper to achieve higher ROAS on these non branded terms, even after accounting for the higher fees of selling on Amazon vs your site.

Advertise your Prime Day deals on social channels


Highlight your sales, coupons, or lightning deals via social media and retargeting. Prior to Marin’s Amazon Attribution support this tactic would have resulted in social expenditures but zero visibility into the return. Now our advertisers can take advantage of Prime Day buzz and proactively drive customers to their deals and track every step of the way!

Add Prime Day Sitelinks


For Branded terms, advertisers might not want to direct all traffic directly to Amazon, however a Prime Day specific sitelink could be a great opportunity to allow consumers to self select if they prefer to go directly to Amazon. Consider directing the sitelink to your Amazon Store for a more brand focused approach.

Prime Day 2020 is a great opportunity to think outside the box - now that advertisers have access to Amazon Attribution in Marin there is no excuse not to experiment with your search and social traffic on Prime Day.

In the past, Prime Day served to increase demand during an otherwise uneventful buying season, but in 2020 Prime Day is so much more. This year Prime Day is - Prime Day, Back to (in person) School Shopping, a prelude to Cyber 5, and the beginning of the retail holiday season.

That is a lot to pin on an event that has just been officially announced on October 13th and 14th.

With so much uncertainty in the world and around this event, let’s focus on a few things we know for sure:

Prime Day 2020 will see an increase of traffic on a wider range of products than in a normal year.


In previous years, 49% of Prime Day shoppers said they were planning to use the event to shop for the holidays. However as Prime Day is now nearly 3 months later than it was in 2019, retailers should expect that percentage to increase. An increase in gift focused shopping will lead to a shift in the type of product categories that traditionally fare well on Prime Day.

In a typical year Electronics are the biggest seller but in 2020 I would expect some of the lower categories like Toys and Games along with Beauty & Personal Care to move up the ranks as shoppers are buying less for themselves and more for others.





































































RankBrandPurchasesYoY Growth1Electronics4.43M–2Home & Kitchen3.72M+15%3Health & Household2.80M+28%4Amazon Devices2.789M+26%5Beauty & Personal Care2.05M+27%6Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry1.73M-8%7Sports & Outdoors1.56M-4%8Tools & Home Improvement1.52M+19%9Toys & Games1.16M+18%10Grocery & Gourmet Food897K+26%
Source: Hitwise, US. www.amazon.com. July 15-16 2019 vs. July 16-17 2018.

Tip - To ensure you are prepared for the traffic increase on a wider variety of products, use Marin’s Amazon Keyword Expansion feature to ensure complete coverage prior to Prime Day then be sure to use again after the event to bulk up your targeting for the rest of 2020 shopping or to add negative keywords to increase efficiency of your campaigns.

Prime Day Success is Not Measured in Same Day ROAS


Prime Day will obviously increase sales for many advertisers, however this year more marketers are moving away from measuring success in terms of ROAS. The unique timing of the event is resulting in many brands willing to target a lower ROAS in exchange for expanding top of funnel reach in preparation for Cyber 5.

Tip - Amazon suggests increasing bids significantly (they recommend up to 2x) in order to remain competitive during Prime Day. This can be a labor intensive process in the Amazon Console and requires you to manually execute the adjustments. In Marin you can easily achieve this result with a few clicks and reverting to the previous level is even easier.

Prime Day this year will not be the usual “Buy in July” but it will be seen as the official start of the 2020 Holiday Buying Season. Take advantage of this timing to look beyond Prime Day performance and instead use it as a building block for your future Cyber 5 and Holiday activities.

What are Automated Insights?


There are a lot of moving parts to a digital marketing campaign. So many that it’s hard for even an experienced marketer to know what they need to do to get the best results from their campaign. Collecting data, recognizing the trends for optimization and other paid search strategy efforts often do not come as quickly as advertisers would like. That’s where we come in.

Marin has been providing account insight to our customers for over 10 years and now we are delivering these powerful, actionable recommendations directly in the MarinOne platform.

Insights are automatic, tailored recommendations that help advertisers get more out of digital marketing campaigns and provide them with the tools needed to quickly implement those recommendations.

Automated Insights in MarinOne are designed to

  • uncover opportunities to reduce wasteful spending
  • capitalize on additional volume in high-performing areas
  • Implement learnings from one channel to another


How Insights Work


Each Marin Insight is a customized, cross-channel recommendation designed to increase your campaign’ performance. Unlike recommendations from the publishers, Marin Insights look across channels to identify the most efficient areas of improvement or to highlight where a learning in one publisher can be implemented in another. We also focus on recommendations that align with your business goals, not just increasing spend.

To help you prioritize your work, Marin Insights are always presented with a corresponding performance change. With this information you can easily tell how your account may change as a result of implementing and insight. These performance forecasts are built by analysing recent performance of campaigns, ads, keywords, and products and benchmarking that against the overall account performance.



If your account is tracking revenue data the forecasts will be reflected in terms of predicted change in Revenue and Spend. If your account does not currently track revenue, the prediction is in terms of Conversions and Spend.

Insights are updated daily based on performance data over the most recent four weeks so you never have to worry about wading through old materials.

What Insights Help You Do


Each Marin Insight is presented along with a downloadable report that enables you to go from insight to action. Each report can be uploaded back into MarinOne to apply the recommendation. This workflow gives you flexibility and the ability to accept or reject each recommendation at the most granular level.

Examples of our Insights Include:

Ad Copy Optimization - Identifies the individual word with the most clicks across an ad group's keyword set and determines if that word is included in the highest-traffic creative.

Ad Optimization - Identifies underperforming ads using the KPI and statistical confidence in your A/B test settings.

Budget Capped Campaigns - Identifies high performing campaigns limited by their daily budget.

Keyword Expansion - Identifies non-exact match search terms performing at a lower cost-per-conversion than their parent campaign based on Google conversion tracking.

Keyword Match Type Expansion- Identifies high performing keywords that do not exist on more specific match types.

Keyword Publisher Expansion - Identifies top-performing keywords that are not being leveraged in Bing.

Negative Keyword Expansion - Identifies non-converting search terms based on Google conversion tracking with a statistically significant amount of clicks.

Single Keyword Ad Groups - Showcases which keywords have significant mobile performance to move each into their own ad group so it can get its own mobile bid.

Top Performing Products - Identifies shopping products performing above average within their product group and should be moved to a dedicated product group for additional control.

Key Benefits:


Highly Qualified Recommendations - Volume and performance criteria result in recommendations that are expected to provide meaningful impact to your bottom-line performance.

Performance Predictions - Incremental spend, conversion, and revenue estimates allow you to prioritize your time on recommendations that will have the most impact.

Platform-Ready Exports - Downloadable reports allow you to review Insights at the most granular level. We've also made it easy to implement the recommended changes using a bulk upload.

Click on the Insights tab in MarinOne to see your personalized recommendations today!

If you aren’t yet a Marin customer, reach out today to learn about everything Marin has to offer.

We recently wrote a blog on The Power of Web Queries, a type of scheduled report in MarinOne that is hosted on a URL and automatically updated with the most recent data. These are fully customizable reports, right down to the date range, activity type and even how often the data is refreshed.

The flexible nature of Web Queries means that marketers can automatically import their data directly into Microsoft Excel instead of having to manually download their data and then import into Excel, saving you endless hours of time spent generating reports manually. You can even create dashboards and templates in Excel, which get updated with the most recent data at the click of a button.

The New and Improved Web Query Reports


Since our earlier blog post, we’ve made further enhancements to our Web Query reporting capabilities to not only allow data to be automatically imported into Excel, but now into Google Sheets too.

You’re probably asking why use Google Sheets? What’s the benefit? Well, here’s a few…

  • Due to the cloud-based nature of Google Sheets, collaboration between multiple users makes a marketers workflow easier and faster
  • Built-in revision history
  • No need to constantly press “Save” due to Google Sheets’ auto-save functionality
  • Real-time chat window with colleagues
  • Access to your Google Sheet and data from any computer/device
  • Refreshing of data is automatic on an hourly cadence - no manual intervention needed
  • Ability to control access levels to the data, i.e. Read-Only, Edit or Comment access
  • Share the data easily with management and stakeholders
  • The data can also be synced into big data tools from Google Sheets for enhanced customization and reporting i.e. Google Data Studio
  • Pricing – Google Sheets is completely free to use


Setting Up Web Query Reports for Google Sheets


Once you’ve generated your Web Query report from MarinOne, copy the URL and open up a Google Sheet then follow the steps below.

Click into a cell and type =IMPORTHTML(

  • This function / formula imports data into a Google Sheet from a table within a HTML page such as Marin’s Web Query reports that are hosted on a URL


The syntax format is =IMPORTHTML("url", "query", index)

  • url – The URL of the page to be examined, including protocol (e.g. https://).
    This is where you paste the Web Query report URL that you generated in MarinOne

  • The URL must be enclosed in quotation marks


  • query – Either "table" or "list" can be used, depending on what type of structure contains the data
    For Marin’s Web Query reports, it will be the query "table", and make sure to also enclose it in quotation marks


  • index – The index, starting at 1, which identifies which table or list (as defined in the HTML source) should be returned
    For Marin’s Web Query reports, there are three tables to choose from (as shown in the image below)




Your formula should look like the example below. Make sure that each syntax is separated with a comma.

=importhtml("https://one.marinsoftware.com","table",3)

  • Once you hit enter, the data will be imported into the Google Sheet from the Web Query report
  • Once you have the data into the spreadsheet, you’ll need to set the criteria for the data to be refreshed;Click File >> Spreadsheet settings >> in the pop up, click Calculation >> change the recalculation to ‘On change and every hour’ >> click Save Settings




Google will now automatically refresh the data on an hourly cadence, so you can be sure that the most recent data is up-to-date - There’s no need to manually refresh like you have to in Excel

Why not give it a try and enhance your workflow with our latest update? And if you haven’t already, check our earlier blog on Web Query reports: The Power of Web Queries.



Who Are the Big Four?


The digital marketing landscape has become more and more consolidated into “The Big Four” publishers — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

These entities have a vested interest in keeping each other at arm’s length and they will continue to silo their data from each other. This means if you are relying on publisher-owned tools (Like Facebook Ad Manager, or SA 360) for your digital marketing management and bidding optimization, you will not be able to connect the dots for activities that jump from one silo to another and will be missing conversion data as a result.

Marin is able to work with, and across, all technologies in the space. This allows us to create cutting-edge features — like our Marin + Amazon Attribution feature, in order to provide advertisers a consolidated view of their Search, Social, and eCommerce activities alongside conversion data — regardless of where that conversion occurs.

If you have any tracking challenges or want to discuss how Marin can ensure you are effectively reporting and optimizing to a complete ROI for all your digital marketing initiatives — don’t hesitate to reach out today to speak with a Marin Expert.







What’s New with Marin + Amazon Attribution?


We’ve discussed Amazon Attribution in the past, and in the last few months, we have been working with some key clients to help them answer the question — how much of my paid (non-Amazon) traffic ends up converting on Amazon? Answering this question has allowed our customers to achieve a more complete view of their ROI and optimize bids accordingly.

The one downside to this feature was that it required the advertisers to manually create the tracking tags in the Amazon Attribution platform prior to the tracking being appended in Marin — but no longer!

Marin is proud to announce that we are one of the first companies that will have access to the Amazon Attribution API — this means we can now offer our customers an automated, scalable solution to programmatically implement Amazon Attribution across their paid initiatives no matter how many ads or keywords require unique tracking.

Who Can Benefit From Marin + Amazon Attribution?


  • Amazon Vendors or Sellers who sell on Amazon.com or Amazon Vendors who sell on Amazon.co.uk
  • Any Paid Search or Paid Social advertiser — you do not need to be using any Amazon Advertising to be eligible
  • Any advertiser that would benefit from a more complete view of their paid digital media ROI, including the ability to optimize bids based on this information


The following Amazon conversion metrics will be available in Marin alongside the corresponding publisher metrics (Cost, Impressions, Clicks, ect). Marin Bidding is able to incorporate any of these metrics into your bidding algorithm.

  • Detail Page View
  • Add to Carts
  • Purchases
  • Units Sold
  • Sale Revenue


Amazon Attribution is one of the many ways that advertisers are using Marin Software to better report, manage, and optimize their digital marketing — contact us today to discuss your specific needs and learn how Marin can help!

Reporting is often a mundane and repetitive task. How much time do you spend on reporting? If that answer is too much, then keep on reading.

Every marketer's dream is to spend as little time on reporting as possible. The fact is that the less time you spend on reporting, the more time you have to spend on your marketing strategy, campaign optimization or perhaps testing something completely new.

One of the key benefits of using MarinOne is its web query functionality.

In a nutshell, web queries enable you to pull data from a website's URL straight into Microsoft Excel. The web query format creates an automated report that is posted to a static URL every time the report is processed.

Web query reports in MarinOne are designed to let users take advantage of their existing reports and have the application update the data on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, saving you literally hours a week by not having to pull reports manually.

As you can imagine, the possibilities with web queries are endless. Below we have outlined a few examples of the web query alerts and reports that we tend to recommend.

Performance-based alerts and reports:


  • Poor performing campaigns, groups, creatives or keywords
  • Strong performing campaigns, groups, creatives or keywords
  • High potential keywords and search queries
  • Campaign, group, keyword coverage change
  • Low CTR/conversion rate creatives, keywords
  • Performance by match type
  • KPIs that have been achieved by certain objects in a given timeframe
  • Mobile vs. desktop performance


QA-based alerts and reports:


  • Disapproved creatives
  • Missing Google Analytics parameters
  • Active groups with less than two creatives



Example: Cross channel Dashboard build by using Web Queries



Setting Up Web Query Reports


Now that you know when to use web queries, how can you create one?

If you are using Windows, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Create a recurring report in MarinOne and select Excel Web Query as the format
  2. You can then run your report and click save.
  3. Right-click on the URL for the Excel link and select Copy Shortcut.
  4. In Excel, open the workbook where you wish to import the data. From the Data menu, select From Web under Get External Data.
  5. Paste the link you copied into the address bar and your report will be loaded into the window.
  6. You can choose which section of your report to import by checking boxes placed next to each table in the report.
  7. Click Import and you will be asked to specify the location for the report and you will have to enter your Marin credentials when prompted. If you wish to have the data in the report, refresh automatically when the file is opened, click Properties and select the Refresh Data When Opening File option.
  8. Click OK and your data will be imported into the workbook at the location you specified. This data range will be refreshed whenever you select Refresh All from the Data menu (or automatically, if you choose that option). Simply link your existing output report to this data section and your report will be updated.


As mentioned, web queries will help you save time and hopefully enhance your day-to-day workflow. If there are any questions or you would like to know more, don't hesitate to contact us.

Increasing the reach of your Facebook campaigns can be challenging due to a variety of factors outside of your control as a digital marketer, such as spending more money, changing your end goal, or altering the Facebook algorithm. Since updating campaigns based on those components is usually unrealistic, you can consider these five recommendations--all of which can be used immediately, and in any combination, but do not replace testing each element of your campaigns on a regular basis.

Expanding Audiences


It’s easy to get tunnel vision around your top performing audiences and run those until the wheels fall off. But when your remarketing audience and your favorite prospecting audience are fully taxed, you will eventually be unable to pull any more value out of them. When the reach of your campaigns grows stale and the cost for reaching that next potential customer is not sustainable, it’s time to find new relevant audiences.

There are three easy avenues for uncovering new audiences that have endless possibilities. First: lookalike audiences. Even if you are already running one lookalike audience, you can still adjust the percentage of similarity to find new prospects. If you are concerned about moving too far from that initial high-value seed audience, you can use banded lookalike audiences and combine multiple levels; for example, a 3-5% banded lookalike audience.

Second: brainstorming additional interests to include in prospecting. Don’t limit yourself to just one way of thinking. Set up audiences around competitor targeting, complimentary companies, or demographic specific interests.

Finally, Marin Software offers a program called Automatic Search Intent. By breaking down that barrier between Search and Social, we are able to automatically build campaigns based on similar keywords to expand your retargeting and lookalike options.

Auto-Placement


It is possible to be too hands-on with your campaign mix. Checking daily on performance-by-placement and making decisions to eliminate the lowest performing ads by clicks, spend, or impressions will take a negative toll on your reach. Facebook wants your campaigns to be successful because, after all, the better you perform, the more you’re likely to spend on new ads. Because of this, placements that are under-performing already receive a fraction of the stronger placements. Additionally, there’s a limited amount of ad space inventory available. The option for your ad to run isn’t necessarily a Right Column ad vs. a Newsfeed ad; it’s typically that Right Column ad vs. not serving at all.

Reducing Text in Images


Gone are the days of your ads being denied if text filled more than 20% of the image. However, that doesn’t mean you are free to fill the image of your ad with an overabundance of text. If your ad is more than 20% text, Facebook will reduce the reach of your ad, driving the cost of doing business up. Avoid this problem by using text sparingly throughout the image of the ad and fully utilizing the text fields available. If you really have a lot to say about your product or service, provide that on a landing page. Those who are interested in your offering will click to learn more.

Creating Relevant Ads


Last year, Facebook phased out its metric of Relevance Score and replaced it with: Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking, and Conversion Rate Ranking. These three rankings specifically factor in the audience used, comparing your performance to those targeting similar audiences. Ad relevance goes beyond these scores, since Facebook is often the first time a potential customer has heard of your business. Being vague or misleading to drive traffic to your website, or misrepresenting your offering on Facebook, will begin to limit the number of people you are able to reach. When building your ads, think about what solution you are looking to provide and whether every piece of your creative aids in that goal.

Include High Funnel Activity in Your Ad Mix


We recently posted a blog about how to build a social media marketing funnel. In that blog, we discuss the importance of including top-of-funnel objectives, so that not every ad is pushing for those more expensive conversion goals regardless of where the prospective customer came from. Including a top-of-funnel objective, like video views or engagement, can dramatically increase your reach. The average number of times a prospect needs to see an ad before becoming a customer, but regardless of what that number is, it’s rarely the first time your ad is served. By making the first couple touches a $0.01 video view instead of a $1.00 link click, you can build that reach without breaking the bank.

Conclusion


Using these five ways to improve the reach of your campaigns opens up the ability to thoroughly test your ads, reduce the cost of getting in front of your audiences, and maximize down-funnel events. Facebook campaigns reward innovation, and running the same ad to the same audience for any extended period of time begins to provide diminishing returns. Instead of waiting for your ads to dip in performance, start implementing these tips to add growth and longevity to your Facebook ads.

Finally, Marin Software has a managed service offering. Included in that, our team will review existing campaigns and set up new efficiencies to increase your reach. Learn more about our Managed Services offering and schedule a demo today!

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, a coalition of civil-rights organizations, including the NAACP, the Anti Defamation League, and Common Sense Media, have called for a boycott of advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month of July. Their goal is to “act against hate and disinformation being spread by Facebook...in order to force Mark Zuckerberg to address the effect that Facebook has had on our society.”

The campaign’s website currently lists 240 participating organizations as well as a list of recommended
next steps. Facebook has taken notice, holding conversations with major advertisers to address their concerns. They have also directly responded to the recommendations by highlighting their ongoing efforts as well as new initiatives stemming from this campaign.

We believe that Facebook is making progress, but that there is also much more that can be done in how Facebook handles hateful speech and disinformation. Until then, here’s a look at how this boycott will impact advertising for the foreseeable future.

A boycott is a boycott. Not a test.


For those organizations that have decided to participate, a boycott may mean a significant change to their media mix. Because of this, it may also seem like a good time to measure the impact of that change. It is not. Several considerations apply:

  • Volatile buyer behavior. We are in various stages of economic turmoil anyway because of COVID-19. Consumer confidence is in flux. An accurate assessment of causality will require shifting spend for just a portion of the advertiser’s target audience while holding a control group steady. This will help ensure that any drop in results is not misattributed to the change in ad spending when it could be due instead to a change in underlying buyer behavior.
  • Volatile competitor behavior. Competitors may or may not be participating in the boycott, further distorting what is “normal.”
  • Costs not representative. For those organizations that have decided to continue spending on Facebook during this time, audiences may be less expensive than usual due to fewer advertisers. Pay attention to effectiveness, not costs, during this time.
  • Participate based on principle, not self-interest. Despite the potential usefulness of a control group, shutting off partial spending would ring hollow and that is not the reason for the change in spending. Because of this, a holdout or control group is not available during the boycott (see below for potential restart strategies).


For some organizations, measuring impact is down the road


It’s too soon to tell if Facebook’s actions toward more active editorial reviews will happen, be effective, or be embraced by the community. It will certainly take longer than a month. While the step change in Facebook spending, from some to none, during the boycott does not present a reasonable opportunity for advertisers to evaluate incrementality, a restoration in spend in the future may. If and when spend is restored, this can be done with appropriate holdouts (typically geo) and watching for impact on paid and organic visit volumes for the holdout and test geo regions. Some metrics to consider:

  • Impact on brand vs. generic keywords
  • Searches (impressions by impression share)
  • Direct-to-site visits
  • Conversion rate
  • CTR (brand terms)


Incrementality studies are more relevant for direct response advertisers who can immediately measure their conversions online. For companies with a primary objective of awareness or driving offline purchase, the results will be harder to see.

Conclusion


The decisions of how to continue investing in Facebook, both reducing and perhaps eventually restoring spend, is ultimately up to each brand. By thinking ahead about a possible restoration process, each advertiser can get smarter about how to optimize their spending. Contact the team at Marin Software to help make the most of your decisions.

“How can I improve the quality of leads for my sales team?” It’s a question I hear in nearly every conversation with a lead-focused marketer. Coupled with measuring ROI and longer sales cycles, difficulty obtaining enough quality leads is an ongoing battle for marketers in the automotive, real estate, B2B, insurance, and finance industries.

The balancing act between lead volume, lead quality, and lead cost is the triad we’re all trying to solve for. Each business is unique and needs to figure out the optimal equilibrium for these crucial metrics while, at the same time, focusing on optimizing them.

Whether your business is predominantly focused on Volume, Quality or Cost, Marin Software is equipped with solutions that can increase the performance of your B2B Lead Gen activities in each of these areas, so that you can generate a higher ROI and reduce wasted time and financial cost

Solving for Long Sales Cycles & Multiple Touchpoints


A study by Miller Heiman Group, leveraging data stretching back to 2014, comments on how three-quarters of B2B sales to new customers take at least 4 months to close, with almost half taking seven months or more. This timeline of course varies on industry, product, price and on-boarding cost for the product or service; however, the sentiment is there: the challenges with a longer decision-making process are much higher.

As a marketer, you are likely familiar with a purchase funnel and the various touchpoints in a customer journey. The stages vary per business, but typically include awareness, interest, desire, and action. So whether it’s the initial Contact Us or White Paper Download, the single or many phone conversations for additional information, or the final purchase, it can be challenging for marketers to combine these touchpoints into a holistic strategy.

Marin’s Full Funnel Bidding addresses this challenge. Marin’s full funnel approach allows for a bespoke bid strategy to accommodate the latency and multiple touchpoints we often see in the purchase cycle. This allows advertisers to dynamically set more aggressive CPA targets for leads that have higher propensity to convert to a sale.

Marketers are tasked with optimizing to the volume of leads coming into the top of the funnel while also managing the revenue or value of the lead. With MarinOne’s Full Funnel Optimization, touchpoints can receive revenue credit no matter where in the funnel.

Analytics to Action


If your business is not already capturing a Lead Score, I highly encourage you to start leveraging this methodology. This means ranking leads in order to determine their sales-readiness. You score leads based on the interest they show in your business, their current place in the buying cycle, and their fit in regard to your business. Understanding the quality of your leads by working on your internal metrics is pivotal.

In addition to that, it’s often the case that some PPC keywords or certain social creatives will drive a higher quality lead. Advertisers should be capturing this level of granularity, and then passing it into their optimization engine to capitalize on incremental lift and performance.

For example, an enterprise-level SaaS business may be leveraging two keywords: “ERP Software,” and “ERP Enterprise Solutions.” In this instance, both keywords are upper-funnel, and in many ways very similar. However, let’s imagine the term “ERP Enterprise Solutions” drives a higher revenue value per subscription and a higher renewal rate, thus increasing its Lead Score. Advertisers should be capitalizing on this granularity by applying agile modifiers. In this example, we recommend applying a Bid Boost Modifier to increase the bid value by 10%.

The lead generation game is fluid. The campaign structure we take today may not be successful tomorrow. Thus we need to be agile and flexible with the ability to automate optimization modifiers on the fly.

Marin Software can layer bid modifiers across any data point or signals, including Lead Score.

Budget Allocation & Forecasting


As marketers, we may often be tasked with “driving more calls” or “generating more downloads for the whitepaper.” Our partners in Sales & Operations often don’t understand the intricacies of simply driving more of a certain touchpoint.

On top of optimization modifiers, we at Marin Software have developed Budget & Forecasting techniques to support you during these demands for shifts. They help you evaluate new optimization opportunities before testing them out in the real world, and help you invest more of your marketing spend into campaigns and channels with increased upside potential. No more over-allocating to the wrong channels or tactics that don't produce qualified results. This information is not only helpful to us as marketers, but can also support advertisers’ conversations with internal stakeholders.

Conclusion


Understanding how to improve lead quality for your PPC campaign isn’t always obvious. Yet, there are simple ways in which Marin Software can provide support:

  • Consulting on your internal Lead Scoring process and ingesting that into your Bid Calculations.
  • Evaluating your consumer journey and feeding any latency expectations into the algorithmic engine to ensure total efficiencies across channels.
  • Layering agile and bespoke modifiers across channels to optimize toward the areas of your campaigns that drive higher quality engagements.
  • Leveraging advanced forecasting and scenario-planning tools to help you respond quickly to changing market conditions.


Ready to take action on generating higher quality leads? Schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today!

In recent months, brands and retailers have had to adapt to a pandemic that no one saw coming, and one thing is for certain: engagement on sponsored content is increasing with more people at home and on social media. And while the pros of influencer marketing were prevalent to brands prior to COVID-19 (building trust and credibility, expanding your brand’s reach, etc), this new landscape requires both brands and influencers to adapt quickly to a market where priorities have shifted, consumers may be more sensitive, and actions may be more highly scrutinized.

Let’s take a look at how influencer marketing has evolved in recent years, what has changed during the COVID-19 crisis, and what brands can do now to stay impactful and relevant.

The Old and the New


In a 2019 benchmark report by Influencer Marketing Hub, 92% of consumers believed that influencer marketing was an effective form of marketing. Due in part to features like Checkout on Instagram, which allows consumers to select from various options such as size or color and proceed to payment without leaving Instagram, 83% of consumers surveyed claimed to purchase items that are advertised by influencers.

The influencer marketing platform market is also growing at incredible scale as brands and agencies look to foster deeper connections with consumers being “influenced.”. With over 300 new influencer marketing-focused platforms and agencies entering the market in 2019, brands can now easily discover potential influencers, develop relationships with influencers, and run campaigns.

And while Instagram continues to dominate influencer marketing, other digital platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn increasingly play a pivotal role in extending a brand’s reach to engaged audiences.

Upon the introduction of COVID-19, the average screen time has increased and consumer habits have shifted, meaning that brands need to be vigilant about hitting all digital platforms more than ever. During this unprecedented event, trusted social media influencers continue to be a reliable source of information and an effective, authentic way to communicate with target audiences.



Here are some best practices for influencer marketing in the wake of COVID-19.

Best Practices


  • Understanding Data Trends: How have social mentions of your brand or category (i.e. skincare, cereal, workout clothes) changed? Make sure to keep track of your website traffic, likes, and consumer engagement with videos, etc. across all social platforms. This information can help determine your content strategy, so you can continue building strong relationships with your followers.
  • Adjusting the Distribution of Content: In the past two months, brands have transitioned to more video and live stream campaigns than pictures. With everyone working from home, brands should take advantage of the time people spend on their computers, TV’s and smart phones during the day with these more dynamic forms of content.
  • Staying Adaptable and Sensitive: The term “home-influencer” is making its mark, as brands adapt their products and messaging to fit the needs of the “stay-at-home” consumer. Consider hosting virtual events with your influencer of choice, and co-host a cooking class, a make-up tutorial, or a live Q&A. Many brands are also showing their solidarity by including messaging pertaining to “stay-at-home” orders, highlighting their commitment to employees, shipping policies, and customer experience. At the end of the day, you always want to ask yourself, “How can I continue helping our employees and customers?” and make sure that notion is conveyed in the co-marketing efforts with influencers.


A good example of a brand effectively using influencer marketing is Alo Yoga. With spin classes, weight rooms and other fitness venues closed temporarily, health & wellness brands are creating unique ways for people to continue their daily workout routines during COVID-19 to stay active at home. The team at Alo Yoga entered into a partnership with influencer Callie Gullickson, who helped promote a workout series called Sweat & Tone (hosted on Instagram Live). Not only did Callie help increase awareness of the brand with her extensive following, but Alo Yoga also increased customer engagement with highly intensive workouts, which resulted in more traffic to its website, and better brand recognition and loyalty in a highly competitive space.


What to Expect in 2020 and Beyond


With demands shifting, and as both brands and influencers need to output the right kind of content in order to strive in a post-COVID climate, we can expect a lot more storytelling, with influencers showing their followers how they adapt to life at home and how different brands play into their new routines. Live content will also continue to become more popular, as professionals from all industries look for safe ways to stay connected, from athletic trainers to business consultants to live performers. Not to mention the element of authenticity and humanity Instagram Live brings to users.

The most human brands will continue to come out on top, especially the ones that invest in building long-lasting connections with their customers and partake in cultural conversations that are considered important to their target demographic. And, as the near-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak continue to be felt across the global economy, businesses and creators in the influencer marketing industry will continue to adapt to the new “consumer state of mind” by developing strategies with active listening of their consumers’ needs and determining how their brand fits into people’s new routines under #socialdistancing.

What is Amazon Attribution?


Amazon Attribution allows advertisers to measure the impact of non-Amazon search, social, display, email, and video media channels that drive searchers to buy your products on Amazon. Examples include third party search ads that lead directly to Amazon product pages, keywords with sitelinks, and social media advertising that directs users to purchase directly on Amazon.

Amazon Attribution reports contain publisher metrics such as impressions and clicks, as well as Amazon conversion metrics, such as detailed page views, add to carts, and purchases.

Why does Amazon Attribution matter?


If you are selling on Amazon, some of the customers you are reaching with other paid media may be converting on Amazon and this is almost certainly a blind spot when you are measuring the ROI of that media.



Amazon Attribution allows advertisers to better understand the impact of their paid search, social and eCommerce channels together. This reporting also provides a holistic view of how each marketing tactic contributes to a brand's shopping activity on Amazon.

How does Amazon Attribution work?


Amazon Attribution requires adding attribution tags to the click-through URL of your third party search ads (or other media to be tracked). Once you’ve implemented your attribution tags and your ads are being measured, Amazon Attribution is then able to report which campaigns, channels, ads, or keywords help to drive conversions for your brand on Amazon. Advertisers can decide where they place attribution tags to determine the level of their reporting output.

How should I use Amazon Attribution data?


Now that Amazon Attribution conversions are available for third party search and social ads, advertisers can use this reporting as part of their search and social workflow and optimization strategies.

In summary, Amazon Attribution provides an excellent tool for brands to understand how non-Amazon media is helping to drive sales for their brand on Amazon. It also allows advertisers to develop optimization and budgeting strategies across paid media channels that will ultimately increase efficacy and ROI. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today!

Setting up a funnel for your social media channels is a vital step for sustainable, long-term growth. For marketers, it's valuable to understand the path that your customers move through at each point of the user journey, from the moment they become aware of your brand, to their first purchase, to their evolution into a repeat and loyal customer. In this article, we will cover why you should build a funnel, what to consider while setting it up, and how to monitor the funnel’s success. The objectives referred to will be Facebook-specific, but this model can and should be implemented on any social channel that can incorporate retargeting.

Why You Need a Funnel


It’s convenient to build a set of campaigns to help achieve your ultimate goal of conversions or purchases. The strategy makes reporting easy to navigate and gives you a clear view of which campaigns are performing well, and which ones need to be fixed. But when performance begins to lag behind, there isn’t enough data available to make an informed decision, or your prized retargeting audience starts to outpace your organic traffic, a funnel can help change your trajectory.

The primary goal of a funnel is to feed your favorite retargeting audiences, while weeding out those unlikely to convert. Wasting money on clicks from those that don’t know who you are, who don’t trust your website, or have no intent to use your product or service, does not lend itself to growth. And while increasing social media spend exclusively for lower-funnel conversion campaigns is the obvious thing to do, you also need to think more strategically and guide prospects through a series of steps to get them to take the actions you want. A good marketing funnel will nurture its prospects with relevant messaging at every stage, resulting in incremental performance, more brand loyalty, and less wasted ad spend.

The Four Stages of a Funnel


In its early days, social media was primarily known as a brand awareness tool. However, more recently, and especially in light of COVID-19, its power to influence individuals and build their relationships with brands has become more apparent. After all, someone may become a brand advocate of your company through various touchpoints and interactions.



With today’s customer journey being more multi-dimensional, the marketing funnel is as applicable today as it has ever been. Social media’s ability to influence every single part of the funnel makes it a powerful tool for today’s businesses, particularly those in the consumer market.

Creating a Funnel for Your Facebook Campaigns


Facebook advertising presents a perfect example of how social media can be used throughout the customer journey. Facebook’s ad objectives are already categorized by the different stages we’ve highlighted above, and its ad types are specifically used for engaging users at the various stages.

Your social media funnel will likely start off as a simple structure with only 2-3 steps in the user journey. Things to consider when structuring your funnel are the difficulty and likelihood for the potential customer to complete an action. For example, watching a video on Facebook is easy and frequent, but taking out your credit card to buy a product on a website off of Facebook is difficult and rare (comparatively).

For this example, we will also include a step in the middle: Landing Page Views, which are less common than video views, but more common than website purchases.

So, we have our customer journey:



However, we don’t quite have that funnel shape. If we target the same audience for all three of our campaigns, the cost will be similar to if we never set up a funnel, and we may actually drive up costs by bidding against ourselves. To prevent this issue, we need to use Custom Audiences. The top of the funnel should be as broad as it can be, while still being relevant to your goal. The middle should be targeted to audiences that have shown some interest, like watching 25% of the video, while the bottom of the funnel should be reserved for those that have made it to your website and taken action.



Building these audiences take time and, in many cases, requires advertisers to start from scratch. You will also want to ensure that the potential reach of your audiences is sizable (Ads Manager provides audience summary information about the Audience Reach) and that you’ve set the right ad budget by evaluating product margins and monthly revenue goals.

Ongoing Success with a Social Media Marketing Funnel


Having diversified campaigns and audiences will now provide stability to performance and open a greater opportunity for testing. In addition to having a social media funnel setup, your reporting will likely change too. If your initial goal before was to increase revenue, that still remains the same, but remember to factor each step of the customer’s journey into your success metrics. The key to ongoing success is making sure your retargeting audience is always being updated and that you are always reevaluating your tactics to make sure they align with the objective of each stage.

Marin Software has an in-house Managed Services team that can help you create your social media marketing funnel, optimize your audiences, build a set of recurring reports to ensure your goals are met, and much more. Learn more about our Managed Services offering and schedule a demo today!

For many of us, our shopping habits have been forced online. The stay-at-home orders, radical shifts in demand, undersupplied distribution channels, and difficulties with supply chains have disrupted our usual behaviors and required us to shop in new ways, and away from brick-and-mortar locations. .

Even before the dramatic changes from COVID-19, online shopping was overtaking a major part of retail. With the introduction of a global pandemic, home delivery has become a serious competitive advantage, and brands all over the world are searching for ways to enhance this game-changing strategy that will most likely continue – perhaps even flourish ­– long after this crisis is resolved.

While many marketers may see home delivery as purely operational, primarily for a company’s logistics and supply-chain teams, there are ways that advertising technology can help and contribute to a more ideal user experience for the end-customer.

Inventory Data & Integrating Business Intelligence


The most powerful weapon performance marketers have is their own data. For eCommerce advertisers, specifically tied to delivery and operation logistics, inventory is a pivotal data point that should be ingested into all aspects of digital programs. The inclusion of inventory data allows for the changes of creatives and bid adjustments to align with the availability of certain products.

This can support the quest for seamless home delivery through the ability to sunset campaigns for certain products that are running low in inventory and will sell organically. As consumers, we all know there is nothing more frustrating than clicking an ad only to realize the product is out of stock, or that delivery will take an additional few weeks to complete.

Marin Software is an open stack platform so we can take full advantage of all your available data sources —including your inventory, CRM, data warehouse, publisher data, and additional third-party signals. Marin’s SmartFeed product automatically activates or pauses your campaigns based on inventory levels. Furthermore, it also automatically compares your optimized feed with actual converted search terms, so that you can see missing words from the title and split test to improve performance.

Ad Creatives


Estimated delivery time is set to become a unique selling point and competitive advantage, particularly as smaller, independent retailers try to compete with Amazon Prime. A simple way to convey your delivery times is within your ad creatives. By structuring your programs with geography in mind, you can control the information within the ad creatives to indicate an estimated delivery time to the user.

Additionally, creatives should include delivery cost and/or any import duties a consumer may need to pay, in order to keep it entirely transparent with potential customers (this also helps with brand loyalty in the long run). If you can, include inventory too!

With Marin’s Dynamic Campaigns, you can automatically build keywords and creatives from a product feed and campaign template, so that all the pertinent information we just covered is seamlessly populated.

Optimization


As many advertisers shift their attention from acquisition to retention, securing any revenues they have, the user experience is becoming an increasingly important element for purchase consideration. For many businesses, it’s possible that certain products or geographies can’t render as competitive a delivery service. It’s important to use this logic in your optimization and budget allocation strategies across your digital activity.

In the areas you are more competitive, be aggressive with your bids and budget allocation--you’re a champion in this sphere. This can be done easily through applying modifier logic within your AdTech tool, or leveraging a partner like Marin Software, whose platform has built-in forecasting and budget allocation tools to do the work for you.

Communication


Once an order has been made, the fulfillment experience begins. As customers, we all like to know when our purchase will arrive, thus communicating fulfillment progress is pivotal. The integration of order fulfillment and email marketing technology is an important component in this process.

Offering services such as free tracking and text updates is a great way to keep customers up-to-date. As we focus on retention and customer experience, these regular updates demonstrate that your operation is a business that cares about more than a simple transaction.

One, perhaps extreme, example comes from the mainstream pizza delivery brands like Dominos, which have an order tracking app to keep customers informed of each stage of their pizza’s journey to delivery. Updating regularly through order-received, including the preparation, cooking quality control and out for delivery, the platform makes sure customers stay up-to-date on exactly when their meal will arrive. This, of course, is a level of detail that not all brands will need, or have the resources for, however it shows what can be achieved.

Conclusion


To summarize, ad tech can support your quest to champion online delivery by automating the ad creatives to dynamically update per the user’s specific criteria. Within your creatives, your customer should clearly be able to understand the delivery time, cost and terms straight off the bat. Furthermore, you should leverage first-party inventory and shipping data, combined with audience data, to give you the biggest advantage over your competitors.

Should you want to have a conversation on how Marin Software can help you champion your online delivery strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our account management team by scheduling a demo today!

Digital technology is available in its many forms to help you work faster. For marketing in particular, technology can improve the quality of your marketing output and ultimately help you generate more revenue and leads.

With that said, today’s unprecedented shift is creating the urgent need for brands and their partners to think outside the box and pivot quickly. Furthermore, it also surfaces a time to evaluate different tech stacks and see which tools can help increase their performance and efficiency.

Evaluating the right advertising technology for the job will come down to many factors, and reaching the best decision for your organization will take considerable time and effort that will likely involve you engaging in substantial research in order to get it right.

It’s important to ask yourself the right questions so you can narrow down your search. Think about questions such as:

  • What level of visibility or reporting does the product provide for forecasting versus actual results? Is it able to integrate with any of the advanced data visualization tools that I use on a day-to-day?
  • Does the vendor support multiple channels? Does the platform integrate with all major search engines and ad exchanges?
  • What support does the vendor provide for audience activation, and for which channels?
  • What level of integration does the solution have with our organization’s current technologies? How does it integrate with different data feeds or analytics solutions?
  • Does the platform enable dynamic delivery of personalized ads for the end-customer?
  • What level of support would they provide for any account escalations or questions?


Once you’ve answered these questions, and the answers are suitable to your company’s needs, it’s time to trial your options. Going back to the dawn of humankind, when it comes to problem solving, trial and error has always been one of the fundamental methods. Cavemen would test which weapon would kill Benny the mammoth most efficiently, while our old friend Julius Caesar would stage many different kinds of gladiator fights in order to see what the Roman people enjoyed most.

Full-service tools can get expensive quickly (even if you’re just trial-and-erroring), and most digital marketers are limited on budgets. Luckily, there are many instances in which you can get a free taste of what a product can offer (also known as the freemium model). There may be limited usage of the product, but you’ll likely get a solid understanding of its core value and if it addresses the needs of your business.

At Marin Software, we offer Marin Go, which helps you experience the power of MarinOne (our flagship product), without committing to a platform fee. You can then upgrade to MarinOne at any time.

With Marin Go you can:

  • Aggregate data from multiple channels into a single comprehensive dashboard. Marin Go can link up to accounts from 10+ publishers, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple Search Ads, LinkedIn, & Amazon. You can schedule reports to be collected, curated, and sent straight to your inbox in CSV format (or linking back to the platform).
  • Track budget pacing for the month and preview capabilities from our premium tool, MarinOne, including automated budget allocation and machine-learning bid optimization.
  • Ask questions of your performance using powerful, interactive reporting with change columns, flexible date ranges, saved views, and more.
  • Automate the preparation of polished executive-level and client-ready PDF reports.
  • Improve campaign performance with actionable suggestions and insights from our Account Performance Audits.
  • Automatically A/B test creatives.


If you are interested in trialing an enterprise-class reporting tool for free, and evaluating a tech stack that can incorporate data from all your different marketing channels, sign up now with Marin Go! We believe every advertiser should have the tools to break down publisher silos. Simply link in your accounts to start enjoying the benefits today.

Consumer behavior has been forced to immediately change as a result of COVID-19, and change on a massive scale. The transformation in consumer consumption is fluid, and we can expect it to continuously evolve over the coming weeks and months. For us marketing professionals, it poses the opportunity to shift and re-align to meet the needs of our ever-changing customers.

A seasoned advertiser is familiar with how to roll out a new digital strategy in “normal” times. That said, very few do so at the scale and the speed suddenly required by the new world we live in today.

As restrictions are lifted, and we begin to settle back to the hustle and bustle of our familiar routines, we will continue to see consumer behavior evolve. The fluidity in the unchartered waters we’re all sailing in will require flexibility, control, reactivity and transparency across all aspects of our digital programs, optimization and budget allocation in particular.

And while many advertisers will look to Smart Bidding to execute on their campaign optimization and budget allocation, it’s important to consider the restrictions that Google’s automated bidding solution presents--including the prerequisites that we’ve laid out above--flexibility and control, reactivity and transparency. Not to mention, budget pacing and scenario forecasting is unavailable with Smart Bidding, so advertisers are unable to evaluate new optimization opportunities before testing them out in the real world. See below on what we mean.

Flexibility & Control


One of the most widely-known and influential thinkers on management, Peter Drucker, once said, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” This statement, now more than ever, is very true. Consumer behavior is changing by the day, and the search auction is a highly dynamic environment. Advertisers can benefit from flexibility.

Marin Software’s technology solves for this challenge through Device Adjustments, Exclusion of Date Ranges in Bidding Calculations, and Malleable & Bespoke Optimization Bidding Targets. And rather than only catering to Google, Marin Bidding can also be applied to an advertiser’s Bing, Amazon, Apple Search Ads, and LinkedIn campaigns. Our solution optimizes for you, the advertiser, and not the publisher, and works across many different channels.

Reactivity


As markets and industries shift, advertisers will need to react to sudden adjustments in the marketplace. For an e-commerce advertiser, this could be a sudden increase in a product category that you had not anticipated. For marketers in insurance, it could be reacting to the sudden change in profitability across a vertical. Such shifts require prompt and agile adjustments, and Smart Bidding is not equipped to handle this.

The MarinOne platform was designed with just this in mind. Within MarinOne, advertisers have the ability to layer custom modifiers in bulk, at scale to tailor any adjustment grand or slight. Couple this with the fact that Marin is open-stack and easily able to ingest any first-party or third-party business intelligence data to automate and streamline such adjustments to ensure you never miss a trick!

Transparency & Publisher Independence


For many years to come, we will be reflecting on the spring of 2020 as the time of perplexing changes in our lifestyle. The effects for many businesses will be great, and the financial leaders of these organizations will be mindful of every investment made as they return to growth. With this in mind, we expect a wider call for transparency and publisher-agnostic partnerships. A true evaluation of marketing investments will carry an even greater weight in understanding publisher performance.

The Marin Software ethos is to deliver the best performance for our advertisers, regardless of publisher. In doing this, our technology offers absolute transparency into all areas of optimization and budget allocation - an area we increase to invest in with exciting things to come this year. Without access to the complete bid history of any keyword or any individual auction, like that of Smart Bidding, there’s no way for an advertiser to unpack the selection criteria, optimization signals or decisioning systems for their campaigns.

What to do...


According to a recent McKinsey publication on how to navigate Digital Transformation in a Crisis, now is the time to act. Playing it safe now, understandable as it might feel to do so, is often the worst option.

As we emerge, and consumer behavior continues to evolve, agility will be forced upon us. As marketers, we’ll need to use everything in our power to control shifts, react and be flexible to our surroundings. Marin is here as a partner to equip advertisers with technology, insights and support to guide them through the journey ahead.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between Marin Bidding and Smart Bidding, check out our dedicated page.

Most search marketers are familiar with Google’s “Labels.” They’re a great visual reminder for keeping track of all sorts of things, such as your account’s keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns, so that you can quickly and easily filter and report on the data that is most important to you. Account organization is an extremely important element to a successful PPC campaign.

Marin Software’s version of Labels is called “Dimensions.” Similarly, advertisers can tag different objects for easy filtering, and then use those filters to monitor performance. They keep you organized by allowing you to easily aggregate data across an ad group, campaigns, keywords, or the entire account—faster and easier than exporting to Excel and running a pivot table.



However, there are a couple of unique ways in which Marin’s Dimensions can help make the life of a search marketer much easier, giving them a more enhanced functionality than Google’s Labels.

Dynamic Actions


There are a lot of unique factors that impact your performance as a business that are outside the auction–such as ratings, social media buzz, and new product launches. The machine-learning that is calculating your bids knows about these things so it can accurately predict changes in conversion rate and conversion value. In Marin’s world, these external factors are known as Dynamic Actions and can easily be leveraged with Dimensions to enhance your bid optimization via Marin Bidding.

It’s really up to your imagination, but here are some of the things our clients frequently do using Dimensions:

  • Load product stock information on a dimension, and use this as an additional lever for Marin Bidding by increasing bids for products where stock is high and lowering bids where stock is getting low.
  • Push/pull a particular vertical by specifying a boost on keywords that have a certain value on a dimension.


Smart Bidding (Google’s automated bidding solution) is unable to incorporate external data into its calculated bid, limiting the use of Labels.

Omnichannel Reporting


This is the most common use case of Dimensions--allowing detailed performance analysis across multiple channels for a search marketer to take action on and optimize. This can be done in the platform by filtering for different dimension values at various levels, but also in the Dimensions grid where you can see the aggregated performance for all objects with a particular value on a dimension. This use case of Dimensions is particularly powerful as it allows:

  • Cross-publisher reporting: Dimension values can be applied to all publisher accounts in Marin, so you can measure the effectiveness of each marketing channel.
  • Cross-channel reporting: Dimension values can be applied to all your search, social, and e-commerce campaigns, resulting in a unified performance view of all your digital marketing campaigns, side-by-side.


Google’s Labels are limited to the Google ecosystem, making it difficult to get a holistic view of your digital marketing investments.

Augmenting Your Cross-Channel Strategy


At Marin Software, we encourage our clients to leverage Dimensions to enhance their cross-channels marketing efforts through Automated Search Intent. This allows advertisers to create high-value user segments and reach people on another channel as they are making a purchase decision, ensuring the highest audience quality. How advertisers segment their campaigns/groups/keywords into intent buckets is only limited by the imagination, but many of our clients use (a mix of):

  • Brand vs. Non-Brand
  • Product Categories
  • Customer Lifetime Value


These dimension values are then passed on to Marin Social, where Facebook remarketing audiences are automatically created based on intent demonstrated through search engine activity. While users can manually create search intent audiences in Facebook, it works in silo from Google Ads, and there’s no way to automatically generate that list from a single workflow or platform (like that of Marin Software’s).

Auto-populating Dimensions


Convinced of the benefits, but you don’t like maintaining Dimensions? At Marin Software, we love automation! Based on your rules, we can set up automated dimensions and automatically make sure objects have the right dimension value set--a real time-saver! You can set rules on keyword text, campaign structure, or any performance metric, giving you flexible and powerful control over your reporting. And that way, you don’t have to worry about keywords, ad groups, or campaigns that you may have accidentally missed. They will automatically be populated.

This sort of automation is currently unavailable with Google’s Labels, and any keywords, ad groups, or campaigns missing a Label would need to be added to manually.

Actions by Dimensions


Actions by Dimensions are all about scale. It’s about doing what a search marketer often ends up doing, but in a much quicker way! Once you have tagged items in your account with Dimension values, you can use the Actions by Dimension feature to carry out a number of time-saving bulk operations. Imagine that a retailer has created a dimension named ‘Shoes’ that they have used to tag thousands of Groups. They can use the Actions by Dimensions feature to automatically:

  • Update the prices of all their ‘Jogging’ and ‘Running’ ads.
  • Pause/temporarily stop bidding on any Groups tagged 'Walking.'
  • Remove any prices previously set on keywords within Groups tagged 'Walking.'


While this feature is in parity with setting up automated rules for Google’s Labels, with Marin, you can Action on campaigns across multiple channels. So that when you have, say, a promotion that spans across your entire digital marketing portfolio, you can Action on all ads with the promo/offer corresponding to the sale, even on Facebook and Amazon.

Conclusion


To sum it up, Dimensions can greatly augment your search marketing campaigns, either by more granular reporting, simplifying workflows, or introducing advanced optimization possibilities, and this is accessible across all your marketing channels. With Marin being able to automatically set up dimensions for you, there’s never been a better moment to get started! Schedule a demo with one of our account representatives to learn more!

Last week, Google announced on its blog that moving forward “search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.” This change is a major shift for Google as the company looks to expand its marketplace play as an alternative (dare we say, “competitor”) to Amazon’s dominance.



What do we expect to happen next:

More shoppers - COVID-19 and a surge in online shopping likely forced Google to make this move sooner than it was planning. As Amazon found itself struggling to keep up with order fulfillment, shoppers really took to exercising their shopping options across the internet, comparing to see who had what and how soon they were able to get it. As a marketer, now is the time to evaluate messaging, put your best foot forward, and meet new customers at the marketplace.

Impression share will be a key metric to focus on - Take a snapshot of where you were prior to the advent of free listings and keep this in mind as a benchmark or target to work toward. With a huge influx of new listings (and impression volume), impression shares for existing Shopping advertisers are most likely going to drop. Using impression share as an optimization goal is a wise option once you know what the adjusted range is.





Product feed optimization will become more meaningful - Now that Google Shopping is not “pay-to-play” only, there is a more important emphasis on having really high quality product content. With a growing field of competition, relevance is paramount. Listed below are a few of the more important must-do’s to get the most out of your feed:

  1. Building out strong, relevant product titles
  2. Ensuring your products are indexed into the most accurate categories
  3. Including high quality, clearly formatted product images
  4. Presenting current prices for products and promoting discounts


Learn More


It’s a unique time to be in online retail, and any business that advertises products on Google should evaluate its own response to this change. If you are confident that your business can satisfy fulfillment with an expansion to Google Shopping, see Google’s help center for more details on how to get started. Google’s Shopping Insights page can also be a useful resource to understand trends and benchmarking numbers. Maybe it makes sense to expand step-by-step by listing select products or categories and adding more over time. It really depends on your goals and priorities.

As a reminder, you can always subscribe to our blog to get more tips on how to stay ahead of the game with your advertising efforts.







Due to COVID-19, many businesses have been forced to suspend operations or drastically shift their models to endure. With government officials now talking about re-opening the economy, marketers are starting to think about what that “new normal” might look like and how it’s going to evolve in the weeks ahead.

What marketers should be doing now differs from what they should be doing when economic activity restarts. In this webinar, we’ll explore both sides - during and post-pandemic - to equip you with short-term practical tips to address your current challenges as well as best practices to consider when your business returns to growth.

Five Successful Strategies


In our webinar, we’ll cover on the how-to’s and benefits of each of the following advertising tactics:

  1. Dynamic product data updates and safeguards
  2. New to Brand optimization
  3. Inventory based bid adjustments
  4. Amazon Attribution
  5. Automated bidding and Dayparting


We’re excited to share with you the means and methods being used by some of the world’s largest brands to drive success in digital commerce.

Learn More


Sign up today to join us on Wednesday, May 20th, at 10am BST.

From spend monitoring to ad ranking, keeping tabs on your campaign performance across your different marketing channels can be a lot of work. And because optimization is the key to a successful campaign, it’s good to stay in the know. However, most of us are not on our computers all the time, so we need an easy and efficient way to stay on top of it all, and be notified of any major changes immediately.

With Marin’s Automated Alerts, you can stay in the know with automatic monitoring and notifications for all your marketing campaigns. These alerts bring changes directly to your inbox, so that you can be notified as soon as they happen. This means timelier analysis and action, so that your campaigns can continue running smoothly even while you're away.



Check out these 5 alerts that you can set up in Marin to stay productive, optimize strategy, and make the most out of each advertising dollar.

  1. Monitor CPA


This may feel pretty standard. But as a reminder, the cost of an acquisition or conversion is important to ensure not only that our ads are converting, but that they are doing so at a profitable rate. It is important to modify an alert like this one with an impressions count to be sure that an ad or campaign has reached enough users to properly determine an ideal CPA.

Example: Alert me if impressions are greater than 1000 and CPA is greater than X.


  1. Getting Close to Spend Cap


This can help you monitor your budget pacing, and view the rate at which your campaigns spend. Take action before your cap is hit so that you make adjustments to achieve your performance goals.

Example: Alert me if total spend > $950 (where spend cap = $1000).


  1. Impression Share is Dropping


If your strategy includes top or absolute top impression share, this alert is for you. By receiving a notification when an ad’s impression share drops below your target, you can take the appropriate action (improve ad ranking, evaluate keywords, expand budget) before falling too far behind.

Example: Alert me if the impression share drops by more than 10%


  1. Check Keywords


If you’re testing out some new keywords for your campaigns, use this alert to monitor their performance and iterate when necessary. This alert is great for keyword strategy

Example: Alert me if CTR is less than 3% for selected keywords.


  1. Ads Not Converting


Your ads may not be converting because of audience targeting, ad copy, or user-experience on your landing page, you want to be notified about ads that don’t lead consumers to the end goal of a purchase or sign-up. This helps you save money and optimize your campaign for success.

Example: Alert me if I’ve spent more than $1000 and conversion rate is less than 10%.

Once you’ve created these alerts, you can breathe a bit easier knowing that if something dramatically shifts in a campaign, you’ll be notified and can take action immediately. Automated alerts in Marin are customizable and can be set up in just a few minutes. Schedule time with an account representative today to learn more!

The travel and tourism sector is one of the world’s largest industries. The direct economic impact of the industry, including accommodation, transportation, entertainment and attractions, is approximated to be in the trillions of dollars.

Now more than ever, with the onslaught of COVID-19, marketers face a challenge like none before. As I put pen to paper in my new office - a small space in my downstairs hallway - I ask you to reflect on the potential opportunity the current landscape brings.

The Power of Data


The most powerful weapon a performance marketer has is their own data. Business Intelligence is the vaccine that can neutralize competitors, whilst achieving performance efficiencies and guiding accurate budget allocation across all marketing channels.

Airline advertisers should be looking inwards, to their data teams and analysts, leveraging route codes, profitability metrics, and flight details to automate the creation and optimization of search and social campaigns. Similarly, those marketing the supply of accommodation, should be leveraging internal catalogues, occupancy data, and room value to balance the supply / demand of bookings. Of course, this data offers little value in our current world, however, as we begin to see countries emerging from restrictions, and life returning to normal, using this data to power your performance channels will be pivotal.

The travel ecosystem is dictated by supply / demand. Marketers, all the more, need to integrate the supply/demand equilibrium to their performance programme to ensure efficiency and competitiveness.

Incorporate Customer Lifetime Value


As performance marketers, often our theoretical focus is on the acquisition of new customers. However, in reality, very few actually optimise and report on User Acquisition or LifeTime Value. Businesses understand that the value of a new customer extends far beyond the first transaction – and this is especially the case in the travel industry. Undoubtedly the most valuable customer is a loyal customer, and in most instances, the cost of acquiring a new customer will barely cover the initial investment associated with the purchase.



Travel brands are already well-aware that there are different types of buyer personas: business travelers, big spenders, bargain-hunters on a budget, global explorers, and casual family vacationers. To predict and optimize customer lifetime value, you’ll need a clear understanding of these personalities and how they interact with your site. From there, you can tweak your keywords, content, and value proposition--through relevant messaging and loyalty programs.

As marketers look to acquire more customers through the digital battlefield that is Google, Facebook, Apple Search etc. , we need to re-focus our attention not only to external references, but to the internal data we have available to us. This synergy—plus the insight and efficiency AdTech brings to advertising—wins more customers, revenue, and ROI.

Now Is The Time to Act


As travel advertisers facing the uncertainty of when tides will shift, I believe that now, more so than ever before, is the time to lean into all things data and technology. Advertisers and agency partners should be using these usual times, which in reality are a down-time for our teams, to double-down on technological and data powered integrations to ensure post-covid, travel advertisers are bouncing back better than before.

I implore those in travel to remain positive. As a collective, let’s reshape our perspective. just as a woodworker might carefully shave a piece of wood to reveal its inner grain, use this time to work on data-driven solutions that we often do not have the time to deploy.

It may be that you are solving for the above, ingesting profitability and supply demand into the optimisation and creation of campaigns, however I ask you to go deeper. Have you come up with a solution to track your conversions amidst Apple’s latest ITP update? Are you leveraging your Audience data to the best of your ability, and does it incorporate a consistent brand experience across all channels? Are you using first-party searches on your site to dictate expansion?

Marin as an AdTech partner is positioned to solve for all of this. If you would like to have a conversation around how you could better leverage your internal data, I and my wider team are available to speak with you. Please schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today.

Stay safe.

These are unprecedented times. Whether you have cut your advertising costs and are making tough budgeting decisions, or are gearing yourself for an unexpected increase in traffic and conversions, the marketing programs you need today are different from what you were running last month.

According to eMarketer, 38% of US Agency and Marketing Professional’s advertising efforts have been paused until later in the year.



The answer to the question “What should I be doing now?” is going to be different for every company. We want to help you make the right decisions by asking the right questions about your business, your marketing programs, and your customers.

We’ll be joined for this conversation by Jake Renter, Chief Operating Officer for Intertwine Interactive. Jake has seen a broad range of impact across the companies he helps manage and he’ll be sharing what he’s hearing from his customers.

Together we will help you answer the ten questions that will make sure you’re continuing to get the most out of your marketing investment, including topics like:

Is my messaging correct?

It’s a sensitive time for creatives, you might need to review and refresh your existing copy and revise anything that may be misconstrued as insensitive given the current climate.

Should I change my bidding strategy?

Paid search is very measurable, the first thing you need to look at is if your conversion rate has changed? We’ll elaborate on that during the webinar but as a start, one way to save yourself a lot of time and worry as long as circumstances continue to change day by day is leveraging tech for alerts. Demand and volume shifts for products can be dramatic, swinging up or down.

Should I be reducing my budgets and how should I be spending?

First, you may want to shift budgets into those products or services that have more relevance during this national emergency. Now might be a good time to do some incrementality testing and see the impact, especially at the top of the funnel.

Are there strategic projects I can be working on that will set me up for success?

If your mandate is to essentially “keep the lights on” now may present a good time to do the deep cleaning.



Sign up today to join us on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 at 9am PST | 5pm BST

These are challenging times. Fortunately, as a group of experienced performance marketers, we have a set of tools that we can rely on when supply and demand greatly change. Whether it is Black Friday, National Pizza Day, or the CEO emailing you a screenshot of Google search results with your ad nowhere in sight, we can help you make quick adjustments.

COVID is certainly a unique event, with no clear timeline--so how do you adapt? The answer uses the same techniques as any other promotion or event. The following list of strategies and tasks will help update your account for the current climate. Get the fundamentals right and your search campaign should stay healthy.

Campaigns


  • Automated Alerts - Performance changes daily. Receive an email from Marin showing Campaigns/Groups/Keywords that have realized a significant change in spend and conversions across all of your channels Google, Bing, Amazon, Facebook.
  • Negative Keywords - New events can trigger new searches. Ensure to keep a close eye on Search Query Reports. Marin provides your Google and Bing search query results in the same view and allows you to add negatives to both publishers at the same time. Go to the Keyword Expansion tab in Marin to view and manage.
  • Day Parting - People’s schedules have changed, which may also impact online behavior. Review recent data and implement a day-parting strategy or revisit any pre-existing bid multipliers. Marin will make a recommendation with a click of a button.
  • Scheduled Actions - New announcements are made daily, often days before they go into effect. Stay tuned into events affecting the geo locations your campaigns are opted into. Schedule the Activation or Pausing of Campaigns/Groups/Creatives.
  • Sitelinks - The most efficient way to adjust your messaging or highlight a new offering is to add a new sitelink. These can quickly be added across campaigns.
  • Budgets - Because search patterns have been changing, you might be running into budget limits on parts of your accounts. Please keep an eye on campaigns maxing out their daily budgets and make adjustments where necessary.


Bidding


Marin bidding will consider the most recent data and calculate bids for each keyword based on the recent performance performance accordingly, allowing for quick responsiveness during this volatile climate. The following detail bid strategies and features we can leverage if anticipating significant changes in performance:

  • Targets - Marin bidding will automatically adjust for changing conversion rates, but if a conversion today is not worth the same as it was yesterday, you should also consider adjusting your targets to match the current environment.
  • Boost - Set a bid multiplier across the folders. This will allow you to quickly bid down or bid up KWs in the folder while keeping your original bid in place. When the event is over, simply remove the boost and bids will return to normal. Calculate the boost by calculating the difference between the historical conversion rate by the anticipated conversion rate ((Historical CVR - Anticipated CVR)/Historical CVR).
  • Folder Forecasting - You may have been asked to reduce spend for the month or next. Marin will recommend and implement performance targets based on budget. If reducing spend, use Marin's What-If feature to input your budget and Marin will make recommendations on how to change the target and hit your target spend. You can then select "Apply Recommendations" to quickly apply those targets. This can be found in the Optimization>Select "Forecasting" slider button area.
  • Dynamic Actions - Similar to boost, a unique bid multiplier can be applied to a Campaign/Group/KW by assigning values to a Dimension and applying a bidding rule. This can be useful for making targeted adjustments on specific parts of your account without having the change your folder structure.
  • Bid Override - If there are certain keywords to be managed manually, a keyword can be placed on bid override from the key tab while the remaining keywords in the campaign or group remain on automated bidding.


In addition to all of these strategies, Marin is happy to announce our “Expert Assist” offering, providing our customers with account audits that will provide 50+ insights and health checks. Whether your marketing program has cut budgets, adjusted your headcount, is in the middle of re-evaluating your strategy, or in some cases, is seeing new trends with your sales, please consider us an extension of your team. Our decades of digital marketing experience can help you navigate through this unprecedented time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need further help!

We’ve recently decided to do an experiment to see whether an On-Demand webinar would attract more viewers than the typical approach of picking a date and broadcasting the webinar live.

Marin regularly hosts “live webinars” and we typically get thousands of participants, but only about half the viewers attend the live session, the rest view the webinar when we send out the recording. In a Netflix world, our hypothesis was that people would prefer to have the content right away and by offering immediate access to the webinar, we would get better results. So we decided to do a test.

During this tough time for everyone, we wanted to share our results as they might be helpful for you to engage with your audience by hosting webinars while most of us are working remotely and self-isolating. Now is probably the best time to create more digital content to reach out to your customers.

Evaluating Engagement Metrics

First and foremost with a test, you want to define how you measure success. We have two goals for webinars: 1) Generate new leads who might be interested in our digital marketing platform 2) Build our position as thought leaders in the market by presenting amazing content that delivers actionable suggestions for digital marketings.

With these two goals, the key metrics are registrants and attendees. Moving forwards, two more important metrics are “Audience Retention” and “Audience Engagement”. In order to really measure the success of our webinar, we firstly view how many people started watching our content and how many dropped off during the session. Finally, did the audience engage with us during the Q&A session?

The Test

The test methodology was straight forward, we split our audience randomly into two groups, half received a series of emails inviting the users to a live webinar approximately three weeks from the first email. The second group received the same emails, but the call to action was to view the webinar on demand at their convenience.







Which One Wins?

We pulled out the results and here is what we’ve got:







So more registrations, more attendees and deeper engagement with the content for the live approach. We were shocked, clearly our hypothesis was wrong and people are more attracted to a live event. While the test was done in a pre COVID-19 world, we would expect the results to hold up as people are looking for opportunities for social interaction to break up their solitary days at home.

Ready to learn more?

Whilst we are all at home in isolation, now is the perfect time to get free training on Digital Advertising content. Marin has a list of webinars with the best practices in Digital Advertising, starting from Outsmart Smart Bidding to Amazon Advertising to Developing a Successful Marketing Strategy with Instagram Stories. Get Started Now!

We are in uncharted waters. The changes from Covid-19 are already widespread and they will be long-lasting. Like many other companies, we at Marin have been dealing with working from home, canceled travel plans and figuring out distance learning. I just got off a conference call with 30 kindergarteners and I have to admit it was pretty amusing.



Most countries are significantly restricting social contact to avoid medical system overload. After the initial shock of these restrictions, things will adjust to the new normal, a dramatically accelerated version of the “Stay at Home Economy” trend.

The first priority needs to be the health and safety of our families, the elderly, and our communities at large. As people adjust to the new routines they've been forced into, they will look to fulfill even more of their needs online. And digital marketing will be on the front lines.

I think there are two questions that, as marketers, we should all be asking of our companies:

  • What can I do to help? Are there things that we can be doing that will make staying at home easier or better? Can I reduce friction for my customers in these challenging times?
  • How should I adjust my marketing programs? The impact of this is widespread but not even. Some industries will be hit hard, while others will benefit (see Zoom). As a digital marketer, what adjustments should I be making to my marketing programs?


What can I do to help?


  • Be Generous. Many companies with tools to help people work remotely are offering their services free during this time. Newspapers are lowering paywalls to make sure that people can stay informed. Zoom is offering its service free to public schools. Yogaworks is offering its online workout classes free until further notice (promo: ONLINE) to enable people to workout remotely.
  • Be Flexible. We are all going to be changing plans, canceling trips, adjusting schedules. Let’s make it easy for our customers to do the right thing and help to reduce the severity of this by reducing the friction of making these adjustments. Airlines are waiving most change and cancellation fees. Airbnb has followed suit, and so have Disneyland and Disney World Resorts. Vail Resorts is offering full refunds to international reservation-holders, and free rebooking to domestic reservation-holders. How can your company help?
  • Be Patient. Hourly workers are going to be especially hard hit as schools start to get canceled. Parents will need to stay home, meaning they can’t work (in many cases they can’t work anyway because their workplaces will be closed). Companies (and the US government) are starting to relax deadlines and late payment penalties to help people. Is this something that your company could do?


How will my industry be impacted?


You’re probably already seeing the impact in your volumes and conversion rates. You know your business better than we do but obviously travel/hospitality is already heavily impacted. Anything related to events will be similar. Companies offering products that make it easier to stay at home could benefit, including eCommerce, meal delivery, and streaming media. People are less likely to be making purchases that require longer consideration cycles at the moment, so we expect lower volumes and conversion rates in automotive and education. Sectors like financial services are less clear. With interest rates coming down and a recently-volatile stock market, expect a lot of activity in this sector.

How should I adjust my marketing programs?


  • Bidding: It’s key to remember that you should think about changes in volume and changes in conversion rate separately. If volumes are going down but your conversion rates aren’t changing, you might not need to adjust your bids. But if conversion rates are changing you’ll want to change your bids. If you are using an automated bidding system (Marin or Smart Bidding), your bids will automatically adjust; however, you might want to temporarily add a boost to account for a step-change in performance. On Marin, you can use excluded dates to focus the sampling period.
  • Budgets: For those advertisers seeing an increase in demand, make sure you aren’t hitting your budget caps and limiting the potential of your campaigns.
  • Messaging: Review your messaging and make sure it’s relevant in the current environment, especially if you have changed your services or policies. This impacts your website first and foremost, but your ads should match. Sitelinks can be a great way to communicate such changes.
  • Channel Impact: If you are a multichannel retailer, you may expect to see a shift from offline to online for conversions as consumers try to buy more online. If you sell through Amazon, your Prime support will be critical to “own the buy box” as more households will sign up for Prime. You can now send consumers directly to third-party retailers from ad sitelinks or headlines, which is important to test for effectiveness (Marin is working on an attribution tool with Amazon to connect Amazon purchases to ads on other publishers-- contact us for more info).


Be Thoughtful


Focus on how you can help and protect your community of co-employees and customers, not just shareholders. Review your plans and messaging within and outside your team to ensure that you are being responsible to the business, but not look like you are “taking advantage” of the situation. How would you feel reading about your marketing tactics on the front page?

Need more help?


At Marin, we want to help as much as we can. Our team of experts can support you during this time of uncertainty. As with many companies, we are encouraging employees to work from home to reduce the spread of the virus. We won’t be traveling or meeting in person, but our teams are fully equipped to support you remotely. If you need anything, please reach out to your account manager or click here and let us know what we can do.

Let’s all remember to stay safe and healthy, and to be kinder than necessary as we all try and figure how to adjust to and help in this new world.

While we may live in a digital world, offline sales still drive the bulk of the consumer economy. To be successful in today’s hyper-saturated world of search, marketers must optimize not only for what happens online, but also for those highly valuable online to offline conversions.

Here are some tips on how to drive more high-quality calls and in-store visits that result in sales

  1. Create an ideal online-to-offline customer experience


You can use your customers’ behaviors and preferences to personalize their purchase journeys. Many retailers are starting to combine online and offline experiences, in that you can order a product and check if it’s available at a store near you for pickup. Similarly, online retailers are also toying with the idea of opening up physical stores at select locations for their customers who prefer to pick up the products themselves.

2. Incorporate social media

Social media is a great way to generate awareness about your company’s products or services. expand your marketing efforts across other channels, and attract new buyers. Sharing images, posts, promotions, and other giveaways are great ways to garner more interest. By responding to your customers’ concerns and asking for their opinions, you can enhance satisfaction while getting more traffic for your site, which further promotes in-store traffic for your brick-and-mortar business.

3. Localize your branded content

Location data gives advertisers the ability to tailor ads to respond to people’s unique experiences and behaviors—where they are and what’s happening in their world. Highly targeted audiences result in better ROI and more personalized ad experiences that make people feel like a business is speaking directly to them.

Location data isn’t just about delivering highly targeted ad experiences. It can also help retailers figure out how to better attribute revenue to the right marketing channel. After pushing an ad to a mobile device, advertisers can track whether a person actually visits a store by using location data that their mobile app provides.

Some tips on how to localize your branded content include:

  • Mention specific locations in metadata, headlines, and body content.
  • Write unique, targeted content that provides information relevant to each location.
  • Use images specific to locations.


4. Remember that mobile’s influence on offline sales continues to grow

In many cases, we find that while most consumers make purchases on desktop, most of the in-store visits come from people who first engaged from a mobile device. Search engines are making it easier for mobile users to quickly access the kind of information they’re typically looking for, from store locations and coupons to comparing prices and looking up product information. Because of this, it’s important to make both your website and content mobile-friendly.

Learn More

Marketers have many opportunities to drive more, higher quality offline leads from their search marketing campaigns. For more extensive guidance on Online-to-Offline conversions, along with real-world examples, download our guide, The Online-to-Offline Search Marketing Playbook.

Our aim is to help companies with both large and brick-and-mortar footprints understand:

  • How Search Marketing Influences Offline Sales
  • Tactics for Growing Online-to-Offline Conversions
  • Store Visit Tracking
  • The Benefits of Tracking Calls for Marketing Campaigns
  • Leveraging Phone Conversations to Gain Insight for Smarter Marketing
  • Effective Inbound Call Strategies


As a reminder, you can always subscribe to our blog to get tips on how to stay ahead of the game with your advertising efforts.

Conversion Tracking Is Getting Harder

It's clear that conversion tracking is vital to your digital advertising. It ensures that advertisers know where an install or purchase (or really any other data point) originated from, which helps determine the quality of the source. It also offers a better understanding of campaign performance for future optimization. But, challenges abound, as the advertising landscape is undergoing a sweeping transformation. For instance:

  • Both Safari and Chrome are limiting its cookie use, restricting companies’ abilities to track people around the web.
  • More and more people are using ad blockers, which can be problematic for businesses trying to reach their audiences, and tech platforms looking to demonstrate the value of their ad tools.
  • Data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA are becoming the norm, which stops companies from mining a consumer’s personal data.


People now have more control over their data—which is great—but the marketer’s task has also gotten harder.



While there are many approaches to this problem—including publisher tools, such as Google Analytics, or third-party analytics providers--they’re either costly to implement, require a complex setup, or don’t have a multi-channel view. To succeed in this challenging regulatory environment and understand the true behavior leading up to a purchase, you need a configurable solution that can track multiple events throughout the funnel.

Introducing: Marin Tracker--A Comprehensive Conversion Tracking Solution for a Post-GDPR and ITP World

Marin Tracker is a conversion tracking solution with built-in optimization tools that allow you to understand stages that matter in your buying cycle. By unifying your campaign data with sales outcomes and machine learning, you can make data-driven marketing decisions and have a holistic view of all revenue impacts from digital marketing efforts—including in-store purchases and call conversions. You can save time managing tracking codes and spend more time driving your campaigns with rich insights.

  • Benefits of Marin Tracker Include:
  • Unified reporting: Our configurable dashboards make it easy to track users across multiple channels and devices, and gain a unified view of the ROI impact from all your paid digital advertising efforts.
  • Real-time insights: The MarinOne dashboard is responsive and “always on,” providing near real-time insights, conversions, and revenue data.
  • Automated Tagging: Save time with our simple tracking link creation wizard, and track consistently across all channels.
  • Offline Connect: Tie digital ad spending to in-store foot traffic and purchases, with the added ability to remove cancelled or refunded orders from the analysis.
  • Call Tracking: Segment phone calls and track the number of call conversions that are a result of your digital marketing efforts.
  • ITP Analysis Impact Tool: Marin Tracker will estimate missing data in Safari as a result of Apple’s ITP update, and offer support for deploying solutions to account for lost conversions.
  • Attribution: Marin Tracker creates a unique model of value allocation for each interaction in any given conversion, on mobile and web, to understand the true impact of your acquisition and engagement efforts.
  • TruePath: Apply unique values to each interaction across search and native to better understand the path to conversion and intelligently allocate budget to top-performing tactics.
  • Mobile App Tracking and Attribution: Attribute every app install to the marketing campaign and media source that drove it.


Marin Tracker helps you make smarter decisions to get more out of your marketing with performance and ROI insights that are tailored to your business. 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? Schedule a demo and learn more about setting up Marin Tracker!

In the world of search marketing, we are all very familiar with Google’s Smart Bidding. It combines machine learning and contextual signals to optimize bids at the auction level, and incorporates billions of data signals to calculate the likelihood of a conversion, based on the performance targets that have been set.

There are also a number of reasons why Smart Bidding works well for a business--it analyzes search queries rather than keywords, it leverages auction-time signals that are available exclusively via Google (browser, language settings, operation system, app, actual query, ad creative), and it incorporates a user’s historical behavior, like click and conversion rates, to determine bids.

This often prompts the question…”Well then why should we use Marin (or frankly any other bidding algorithm) when Google already has such a mature bidding solution in place?”

Well, here are a few limitations you should consider before putting all your eggs in the Smart Bidding basket:

  • Google Only. Are you only advertising on Google? Didn’t think so. Don’t you want a bidding solution that works across multiple publishers and channels?
  • Doesn’t leverage External Signals. There are a lot of unique factors that impact your performance as a business that are outside the auction--think ratings, social media buzz, and new product launches. Shouldn’t the machine learning that is calculating your bids know about these things?
  • Struggles with advanced metrics and longer sales cycles. Are you optimizing to all downstream events or merely focused on “leads”?
  • Lacks budget pacing or “what-if” forecasting. Creating accurate forecasts empowers you to evaluate new optimization opportunities before testing them out in the real world, reducing wasted ad spend.
  • Limited control and transparency. Without access to the complete bid history of any keyword or any individual auction, there’s no way for an advertiser to unpack the selection criteria, optimization signals or decisioning systems for their campaigns.



See in detail how Marin differentiates from Smart Bidding below:





Marin’s proprietary bidding algorithms stay agile and reactive to market changes, and are more flexible to meet the needs of your business. We ensure optimal allocation of your advertising dollars, and are entirely transparent in how we calculate our bids. Not to mention our solution optimizes for the advertiser, not the publisher, and works across many different channels.

Want to learn more about our premium bid management solutions? Schedule a demo with one of our dedicated account representatives today!

Are you looking for better performance out of your Amazon Advertising campaigns? We recently added a few new features designed to deliver results. We’ve teamed up some of the world’s largest brands to solve their retail challenges -- if you’re interested in learning how we can help you out click here.

Automated Dayparting for Sponsored Products



Does your performance vary over the course of the week? Are you running out of budget too early in the day? Dayparting empowers our customers to apply bid modifiers by hour of day and day of week to automatically allocate budgets for Sponsored Product campaigns to the highest performing windows.



Some example uses include setting different bid schedules for weekdays compared to weekends, increasing bids in the afternoon when competitor budgets run out or bidding down lower-performing overnight hours. This unique Marin feature is a must-try for any Amazon Advertiser. .

Full Campaign Management for Sponsored Display



The Sponsored Display ad sets itself apart from Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Product Ads because its ads can be displayed both off and on Amazon.com. Advertisers can increase their product awareness and demand across the web by reaching the right audiences for their business.



Marin offers full reporting capabilities for Amazon Sponsored Display ads and also provides campaign management. We also support scheduled actions to pause or activate campaigns on specified dates/times.

Amazon Attribution



Do you know how many of the customers you are reaching with Google and Facebook ads are converting on Amazon? With Amazon Attribution you can. Amazon Attribution is a powerful solution for tracking on-Amazon sales driven by off-Amazon sources (search or social ads)).

Marin connects the Amazon revenue with the publisher cost to present the full picture together. For example, where previously a Google sitelink pointed to Amazon would only show cost and no sales, Marin will link the revenue from Amazon Attribution and tie it back to the object, allowing for powerful reporting and optimization automation -- eliminating the guesswork and enabling optimization through revenue-targeted bidding.



Want to learn more? Drop us a line!

Overview



Over a year ago Apple’s Safari browser stopped advertisers from following you from site to site with their Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature. Last week Google’s Chrome update announced their intention to do the same thing ...within the next two years!

Why is Chrome following Apple’s lead getting so much attention? Chrome is the dominant browser in US and Europe, and also owned by Google, the dominant force in serving and measuring online ads, which means this behavior will now affect nearly all of the ads on the internet. Advertisers were previously in denial regarding the Safari change because it is perceived as having a low market share, but now understanding the impact is essential for digital advertisers.



What is the impact from this update?



Measurement & Attribution - High



Google’s announcement will mean that 3rd Party Cookies will eventually be rendered obsolete, meaning 3rd Party view-through measurement will be obsolete. View-through measurement refers to granting revenue credit to ads that were merely seen and not clicked on. For example, Google Display & Video 360 won’t be able to track when people are seeing ads they serve outside their own web properties (i.e. outside google.com). This change benefits the search business, which won’t have to give up much credit to display ads. Click-based measurement can continue as normal for search ads. Marin uses first-party cookies today and will be unaffected by the Chrome change.

For view-through conversion measurement, as well as incrementality measurements (the value of running ads in the first place), Marin has been advocating for a while the return to ongoing, automated split testing for adjusting attributed metrics. These tests will tell advertisers the true value of their media investments -- and they don’t depend on cookies at all.

Retargeting / Remarketing - High



This announcement probably portends the end of retargeting ads based on tracking your behaviour across the web (At least on a 1:1 basis). For Criteo, AdRoll, DMPs and even Google and Facebook, the removal of support for third-party cookies means their retargeting / remarketing systems based on sites you’ve visited will no longer work.

Whilst surprising, It seems that even the big ad publishers have now deemed these lucrative ads not worth the privacy headache; Facebook have followed this Chrome announcement by just announcing a tool that will allow users to remove all this 3rd party data from Facebook retargeting today.

Redirects - Medium



Despite the Safari changes, URL redirection, where a user’s click takes them first to a tracking server before reaching their intended page, is still commonly used for ad measurement (Google Display & Video 360, Sizmek, Kenshoo etc.). However, with these changes this will no longer track on chrome. We should see redirects disappear completely (Marin has moved away from redirects over the last few years). The end of redirects serves another objective of Google’s which is faster page loads.

How realistic is their timeline? What do we know so far?



We don’t know much about how they will make 3P cookies obsolete right now, and two years in the browser world is a long time.

The only significant updates we have so far are:

  1. Chrome has recently introduced a new setting which if enabled by a user after Chrome 80 (Releases early February) would stop these cookies from working instantly - the first time this sort of control has been possible on Chrome. But don’t fret as its current default setting is disabled (for now) meaning no change.


  1. Up until now Advertisers have also been able to get a “fingerprint” of your device on Chrome to target you based on characteristics like your browser configuration, and fonts and plug-ins you’ve installed. Chrome has also just announced a feature to stop this, by only sharing a simplified browser profile with the websites you visit making it even more difficult for data companies to identify you (I.e. not impacted a 3P cookie, but along the same lines).



The Future and How To Prepare


  • Make sure the ad measurement data you are using is using 1st Party (and implemented in a way that won’t be impacted by Safari Intelligent Traction prevention which can limit 1st Party data too). Multi-touch click-based attribution is still alive and incredibly useful at indicating where to spend your ad dollars.
  • Lift tests continue to increase in importance, especially to understand how your display and social advertising is driving sales in a world where you can’t measure view engagement.
  • From Google Ads Management, we expect to see tracking templates deprecated in the next 2 years (As they are for redirects / tracking beacons which will no longer work). Also expect to see remarketing tags shuttered, and a full push for audience tailored ads based on 1st party data connections (I.e. customer match, and Google audience data).
  • Chrome’s timeline creates a window for its Privacy Sandbox – the privacy-safe API first unveiled in August - to re-enable some of the key marketing use cases delivered by 3rd party cookies today. Google suggests “Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.” If you’d like to get more involved in the industry standards process, you can take a look at the proposals that the web standards community is producing now. Given the impact to google’s bottom line is big, Google released a study last year showing that removing third-party cookies reduced publisher ad revenue by 52%, its likely some of the impacts we’ve talked about in this article will be mitigated by this initiative.



If you have any questions on this or want to engage Marin to see how to get ahead of these changes please get in touch. Marin has Marin Audience Hub for streamlined 1st party audience connections to Facebook, and Google, or Marin Tracker, A 1st Party, Safari ITP Proof tracking and attribution system to continue to track your users!

Sign Up and Get Updates by Email
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.