Traditional advertising models are no longer meeting the needs of modern marketers. Audiences expect customized messages and advertising channels such as television, radio, and print are unable to deliver personalized marketing messages to highly segmented groups. Even digital marketing has become more challenging with third-party cookies being phased out. The rise of retail media networks has disrupted the advertising landscape, providing a new and innovative way for marketers to reach their target audiences.
By delivering precise, targeted advertising at scale, retail media networks offer numerous benefits to marketers looking to break through in the crowded digital space. As retail media networks become more popular, marketers need to improve their understanding of the system and how it can help them.
In this article, we will discuss the rise of retail media networks, explore their impact on existing advertising models, examine the benefits they offer to marketers, and provide best practices for success when working with retail media networks.
The Rise of Retail Media Networks: a New Era in Advertising
Before we get into the impact of retail media networks, let’s be sure to understand what they are. Retail media networks are advertising channels owned by retailers, which they can use to advertise their own products or offer to third-party businesses.
While retail businesses currently spend less than 10% of their marketing budgets on retail media, this number is expected to grow 5X by 2024. Retail media networks are expected to become as common and mainstream as social media advertising.
Retail media networks can help businesses deliver a level of personalization that third-party platforms could not. Especially in a privacy-conscious advertising space, retail media networks empower retailers with greater insight into their customers’ preferences without being unnecessarily intrusive.
Benefits of Working with Retail Media Networks
Retail media networks can deliver marketers significant benefits, from granular reporting to improved customer targeting. Here are the top five reasons why modern marketers should use retail media networks:
Targeted Advertising at Scale
By leveraging consumer data collected by retail platforms, retailers can offer precise targeting of advertising to specific audiences, improving the likelihood of engagement and conversion. In a recent survey, marketers shared that a key reason they use retail media networks is their ability to deliver access to difficult-to-reach customers at scale without compromising on personalization.
Retail media platforms provide an entirely new revenue stream for retail companies, enabling them to monetize their customer data by offering targeted advertising to marketers. There are multiple ways businesses can use this data to increase revenue. They can use the customer data themselves to encourage more purchases or they can offer targeted advertising to other companies that might be interested in reaching the same types of customers—or they can choose a combination of both.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Customer experiences are often used by retailers as a differentiating factor that helps them rise above the competition. Through personalized and relevant advertising, retailers can improve the shopping experience of their customers by presenting them with products that align directly with their interests and needs. This can be done at scale with first-party data and an advertising channel that is completely controlled by the retailer itself.
Pro tip: Deploy a composable CDP architecture. This architecture allows for unparalleled flexibility in collecting various data types, both in batch and real-time. Composable CDPs integrate the data and centrally manages it, making it readily available for downstream applications like Retail Media Networks.
Improved Performance Metrics
Retail media networks offer advertising solutions with tracking and measurement capabilities, enabling advertisers to monitor and optimize performance to increase return on investment. Since the retailer owns the advertising platform, they have unfettered access to extremely granular customer data. This allows them to build highly comprehensive profiles for each customer and adjust outreach to them to guarantee the best results possible.
Pro tip: Utilize a closed-loop measurement approach. Closed-loop measurement is a technique used to gauge the effect of advertisements on consumer buying behavior, encompassing both online and offline activities. By employing this approach, you can monitor the performance of your advertising media campaigns throughout the entire purchase process. Assess the success of an advertisement in leading to a sale, and understand how your investment in media correlates with actual customer purchases.
This method provides insights into the channels, creative content, and publishers that are most influential in boosting sales. Additionally, it aids in fine-tuning your media strategy to guarantee the maximum return on your investment in media.
Here's an illustration of closed-loop measurement at work:
Traditional advertising channels have become less popular and effective with the introduction of social media and retailers have had to adjust their marketing strategies to reflect this. However, it is not enough for marketers to simply focus on digital marketing while ignoring other avenues available to them. By utilizing retail media networks, advertisers can build assets and avoid the high costs of traditional advertising channels such as TV, print, and radio, and instead benefit from more affordable and targeted advertising solutions.
How to Make Retail Media Networks Work for You
Once marketers have decided that they want to make use of retail media networks to reach their most important customers, they need to understand how that can be done effectively. Here are some tips that marketers should consider when using retail media networks in their campaigns:
Use Specific Ads for Each Target Audience
Retail media networks allow marketers to fine-tune their targeting efforts without being invasive. However, using the same advertising to reach out to disparate audiences can significantly hamper its effectiveness. Each customer segment has unique needs and preferences when it comes to how businesses communicate with them. Customers that prefer in-store advertising can be delivered advertisements designed just for them while customers on different social media platforms also have their own specially designed advertising.
Pro tip: Take advantage of location analytics. In-store retail media's challenge is accurately gauging promotional impact and ROAS, especially for non-endemic products. Brands want more than impressions; they seek tangible improvements in conversions and sales to justify advertising spend. Location analytics can enhance this assessment. For example, if a gym advertises at a health food chain, offering QR code discounts can track leads, while foot traffic data provides a broader evaluation. This data can analyze cross-shopping habits, track targeted demographic visits, identify specific campaign locations' most successful areas, and study visitation patterns and consumer profiles during the campaign, offering a comprehensive understanding of the promotion's success.
Build a Strong Data Foundation for a World without Third-party Cookies
Businesses need to transition from using third-party to first-party cookies but not every business has a system set up to enable that. Retail media networks can help plug this gap. These systems allow businesses to collect and organize first-party customer data. Retail media empowers retailers to learn more about their customers’ preferences and adjust in-store and online experiences accordingly.
Enable Omnichannel Access to Shoppers Who are Ready to Make a Purchase
Businesses typically have larger audiences in store than on digital platforms and marketers have been able to capitalize on shoppers who are ready to make purchases in-store. However, this ability hasn’t been as effective online. Retail media networks allow marketers to plan an omnichannel strategy and encourage more conversions across online and offline channels.
Drive Customer Engagement Early in the Decision-making Process
Customers tend to research the products they want to buy before making the purchase. Marketers may ignore the role that their own retail site plays in engaging with the customer early. By leveraging the vast reach and targeting capabilities of these networks, businesses can place their products and advertisements directly in front of potential customers when they’re in the early stages of exploring and researching products.
Capture the attention of customers who are actively seeking information and solutions
Effectively influence consumer purchase decisions
Foster brand loyalty
Create meaningful connections with customers from the very beginning of their buying journey.
Deliver a Consistent Experience Across Social Media Platforms and Retail Sites
In a bid to stretch marketing dollars, marketers can easily make the mistake of focusing on specific platforms while ignoring others completely. A combination of utilizing retail media networks and optimized social media marketing is the key to reaching the largest audience possible while still being targeted. These networks leverage advanced targeting and data capabilities to ensure that advertisements and brand messaging are consistently presented to consumers across various online channels.
By integrating with multiple platforms and sites, retail media networks enable businesses to synchronize their campaigns, creative assets, and messaging to create a cohesive brand experience. This consistency not only strengthens brand recognition but also helps to build trust with customers as they encounter familiar and consistent messaging wherever they engage with the brand. By delivering a seamless and unified experience, retail media networks empower businesses to reinforce their brand identity and effectively communicate their value proposition to potential customers, regardless of the platform or site they encounter.
Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing
Marketers can be preoccupied with metrics such as views and impressions but this does not always translate into more sales for the business. Retail media networks can help provide the sales data that marketing teams need to adjust their strategies as necessary.
Why MarinOne is the Best Solution for Marketers in this new Advertising Environment
With MarinOne, marketers gain a holistic view of their campaigns across different retail media networks, allowing for better coordination, data analysis, and decision making. It simplifies the complex task of managing and optimizing advertising budgets, bids, and creative assets across multiple platforms and networks.
Additionally, MarinOne offers comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, giving marketers deep insights into the performance of their retail media campaigns. They can access unified dashboards, track key performance indicators, and measure the effectiveness of their advertising efforts across retail media networks.
Overall, MarinOne empowers marketers to evolve and thrive in a marketing environment where retail media networks are commonplace. It streamlines campaign management, enhances optimization capabilities, and provides powerful insights, enabling marketers to achieve better results and drive growth in this evolving landscape.
If you’re considering spending money on ads to reach your target audience, you want to ensure that the money is well spent, and spent in the right place – somewhere like Google. With more than 92.5 billion visits per month, Google is one online opportunity that is virtually limitless in terms of reach and investment.
Most popular websites by unique monthly visitors, November 2022
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to use Google’s keyword match types and everything you need to know to optimize your campaigns so you can achieve the best results from your ads.
Keyword match types
Keyword matching is an essential aspect of any successful Google Ads campaign. By choosing the right keyword match type, you can control which search queries trigger your ads to appear.
Just as its name implies, broad match is…well, broad. As the default match type in Google Ads, these keywords cast a wide net, allowing your ad to show for any search query that includes the keywords you've chosen and related variations and synonyms. They can even match for searches that don’t include your exact keyword terms.
Because broad match keywords collect a wide range of search terms, you save time that might be spent brainstorming and manually creating a keyword list. In addition to its enormous reach, broad match has a very loose query match, meaning that search term variations are very likely. Broad match is effective, but it leaves you with little control over which searches trigger ads and increases the likelihood of your ad showing for irrelevant searches, leading to wasted impressions and clicks.
Another downside is that broad match keywords often result in poor quality scores and don’t guarantee traffic quality if you aim to maximize landing page traffic.
Broad match modifier
While similar to broad match, a broad match modifier is more refined. These modifiers allow you to reach a more targeted audience. To use this match type, you add a "+" before the word you want to bid on in the keyword phrase. Without the "+," the ad won't appear. In other words, your ad will show up only for the specific keywords you choose. For example, the keyword “coffee cup” might match with “coffee beans” or “mug,” whereas “coffee +cup” could compare with “teacup” or “cup holder.” On the other hand, selecting “+coffee +cup” requires both terms for your ad to appear, though they can be in any order and include additional text.
With broad match modifiers, the search query can be in any order as long as the keyword with the "+" is present. Broad match modifiers give you greater control over reaching a wider audience and improve the quality of leads you get from your ads.
Phrase match is a more restrictive match type that requires the search query to include the exact keyword phrase, with words before or after the term. This match type can help you reach a more targeted audience while allowing for some flexibility in the order of the words.
Exact match only shows your ad for searches that exactly match your keyword phrase, with no variations or different words. While this match type limits your audience size, it can be helpful for very specific and targeted campaigns and gives you maximum control over which searches can trigger ads on the SERP.
The good thing about exact match is that it leads to high relevancy and quality traffic, and as a result, you will pay less for junk clicks. However, it’s time-consuming, and your reach is not very wide. Furthermore, there’s a chance you could miss valuable keyword-related traffic or long-tail keyword searches because exact match keywords only catch specified search terms.
Even when your keyword list is thorough, chances are your ads will still appear for irrelevant search terms, making search term exclusions just as significant as inclusions. By adding negative keywords to your list and blacklisting them from your campaigns, you can avoid the “bad fits” most likely to waste ad spend.
Why keyword matches are important for your business
Selecting the right keyword match type ensures that your Google Ad campaign budget is used effectively to reach your target audience at the right time with the right message – without spending on irrelevant clicks. When you bring in the right type of traffic, you’re more likely to attract new customers, increase sales, gain higher click-through rates, better conversion rates, and ultimately maximize ROI.
How match types affect your search ad results
Match types play a crucial role in determining the success of your account as they control which search queries you bid on. When selecting match types for keywords, consider these factors:
The performance of keywords and similar keywords can give you an idea of the best match type for maximizing return on investment.
Observing how your competitors bid on terms and how they structure accounts can impact your return. Looking closely at how they have historically performed can also provide valuable insight.
Bids, including cost per click and cost per conversion, can be significantly influenced by match types and may determine the best match type to use.
Account structure and ad text
How an advertiser structures their account and creates specific ads for different match types can significantly impact the performance of varying match types.
4 Best practices for Google ads keyword targeting
Keyword targeting helps you reach the right audience, increase your visibility, and drive more conversions. With these four best practices, you can make the most of your advertising budget and reach your target audience more effectively:
Close variants extend the coverage of your keyword match types to encompass similar searches. This means that searches including misspellings, singular/plural forms, derivatives, abbreviations, and accents can be matched with close variants. It’s crucial to be aware of the impact of keyword variations on your campaigns.
Knowing that keywords can be ambiguous, it’s essential to consider adding negative keywords to your campaign. When you add them, use either broad or phrase match negatives or use exact match negatives to fine-tune your ad groups.
Display keywords and video keywords
Keywords on the Google Display Network, including display and video keywords, are all used in broad match form. You can use them to reach content related to your products or services. However, it's important to note that this targeting method is only sometimes precise, and your ads may appear on websites that are not directly related to your display keywords.
Test and adjust
Continuous testing and adjusting will make your Google Ads campaign successful. Regularly monitor the performance of your keywords and adjust your bids, ad copy, and targeting as needed. When you do, you’ll discover the best keywords for your campaign and optimize your results.
Supercharge your next search campaign
There’s no doubt that with Google Ads’ expansive reach and authority, adding it to your paid strategy will produce results. To get started, use the tips we covered, and iterate and refine as you go.
By teaming up with MarinOne, you can create a successful Google Ad campaign that will drive clicks and convert leads. To get started, reach out to one of our MarinOne team experts today.
Google created conversion value rules to give advertisers more control over their ad spend. Essentially, they allow advertisers to tell Google what conversion factors result in the highest value. Conversion value rules enable strategic management to combine advertiser expertise with automation to get the best ROAS possible.
What are Conversion Value Rules?
Conversion value rules allow users to modify the value of conversions based on the category of the conversion action and the following three impression dimensions:
The physical location or location of interest
Advertisers can use the Google Ads API to define conversion value rules, combine them into a conversion value rule set, and apply the rule set to either your whole Google Ads account or to your chosen campaign. The Google Ads API report presents a segmented breakdown of your conversion values' original, unadjusted, and adjusted portions.
Conversion value rules are comprised of two elements:
Conditions that determine when they are applied
The action is taken once they are applied
They are used in real-time to optimize target ROAS and maximize conversion value, utilizing smart bidding. Remember that smart shopping campaigns don’t support tCPA and max conversions.
Conversion value rule conditions
Conversion value rule conditions can be defined in a few fields:
The audience_condition field applies the rule to impressions associated with a particular audience, which can be Google or first-party audiences. You can further specify resource names using the user_lists or user_interests fields. To retrieve the resource names of all available user lists or user interests, issue a search stream or request of GoogleAdsService where the FROM clause of the query is user_list or user_interest.
Audience_conditions containing multiple user lists and user interests will match impressions with any associated user lists or interests.
Device_condiiton applies to impressions that match specified device_types from the following list:
UNSPECIFIED: Not specified
UNKNOWN: Used for return value only. Represents value unknown in this version
MOBILE: Mobile device
DESKTOP: Desktop device
TABLET: Tablet device
This applies to impressions that meet predefined location criteria.
Each conversion value rule can have two conditions. Rules with no conditions apply to impressions that don’t meet the conditions of another rule in the set.
Conversion values created at the campaign level will not impact bidding performance or reported conversions for other campaigns.
Account-level campaign values rules: apply to Search, Display, and Shopping
Campaign-level value rules: apply to Search, Display, Shopping, Smart Shopping, and Pmax for retail
D&E test with value rules: apply to Search and Display only
Benefits of Using the New Conversion Value Rules in Google Ads
Using Conversion Value Rules is a no-brainer if you want to improve your Smart Bidding results. Conversion Value Rules help advertisers accurately portray the value of conversions for Smart Bidding so they can optimize toward the most valuable conversions. This is the most sure-fire way to take control of Smart Bidding results.
When you show Google which conversions hold the most significant value for your brand, ad spending will optimize according to what brings your brand the most revenue, profit, offline conversion value, or lifetime value– all in real-time.
Conversion Value Rules also simplify reporting and optimization by eliminating the need to change tagging code.
How do Conversion Value Rules work?
Here’s a quick rundown on the different elements of Conversion Value Rules and how they work:
Every rule must have an action consisting of an operation and a value. This action shows Google how to adjust the conversion value for the rules that meet your conditions. You can use one of three values:
Add: Adds a value greater than 0 to the original conversion value.
Multiply: Multiplies the original conversion value by a specified value between 0.5 and 10.
Set: Sets the conversion value to a specified value greater than 0. It can only be used under certain conditions.
Creating a rule set
After making at least one Conversion Value Rule, you can create a Conversion Value Rule Set consisting of conversion action categories and Conversion Value Rules.
A conversion action category is the list of conversion actions the rule set applies to. If this list is empty, the rule set applies to all categories. If it isn’t empty, then it must contain a single store visit or sale.
You can only set the conversion action categories when creating the rule set.
The SET action can only be used in one of the following scenarios:
The account is allow-listed, and the conversion action categories of the rule set are empty,
The conversion action categories of the rule set contain a single entry of store visit or store sale, the set's dimensions only contain an entry for no condition, and none of the condition fields of the rule are set.
You can include each conversion value rule in just one conversion value rule set. If the Conversion Value Rules contain a resource name of a rule that is in the Conversion Value Rules of another rule set that is either enabled or paused, the operation will return a data constraint violation error.
The list of value rule set dimension values dictates which conditions the rules in the set can utilize. If dimensions contain geo-location and device, you can’t add rules with audience_condition. This list must contain 1 or 2 entries (it cannot be empty).
If the list contains an entry for NO_CONDITION, then:
NO_CONDITION must be the only entry on the list
The list of conversion action categories of the set can contain only a single entry of STORE_VISIT or STORE_SALE.
The list cannot contain any rule where audience, device, or geolocation conditions are set.
The first entry in the list dictates which value populates for segments.conversion_value_rule_primary_dimension in reports.
The attachment_type can be set to CUSTOMER to create a rule set applying to the entire account or CAMPAIGN to create a rule set that applies only to a specific campaign.
If the attachment_type is set to CAMPAIGN, then set the campaign to whatever resource name the rule set applies to.
A rule set has an owner_customer and a status, but the status is read-only and will show PAUSED or ENABLED, depending on the status of its rules.
How are Rules Applied?
Only one rule per conversion: When more than one rule applies to an impression, Google chooses one rule based on either the most precise location match or the audience hierarchy below.
Remarketing and similar audiences
Affinity and in-market audiences
In the case of a tie, Google defers to MULTIPLY logic over the ADD rule. If the tie remains, Google chooses the highest adjustment.
Additional rule attributes
Owner_customer: the resource name of the customer that owns the rule.
Status: shows whether the rule is paused or enabled.
Reporting in your Google Ads Conversion Value Rules
All Conversion Value Rules output is automatically included in your campaign-level conversion value reporting. You can view the adjusted and unadjusted values via value rule adjustment segmentation.
Removing Conversion Value Rules
Target ROAS and Maximize conversion value bidding account for active rules within your account to drive as much conversion as possible. When you remove a conversion value rule, Google will resume optimization for your current definition of value. This means you will have an obvious disparity between data pre and post-removal.
ConversionValueRuleSets must have at least one PAUSED or ENABLED conversion value rule. Otherwise, the rule set will fail. You can remove a ConversionValueRuleSet without altering the status of the ConversionValueRules referenced by the set. Once the set is removed, search, and searchStream requests for that set resource will stop returning the removed set.
How to estimate conversion value
Below are three equations to help estimate conversion value:
Short-term conversion value: To estimate short-term conversion value, multiply your average deal revenue by the profit margin, then multiply that by the percentage of leads that convert to a deal.
Lifetime customer value: To estimate lifetime profit per customer, add the average deal revenue to the repeat business over a lifetime and multiply that sum by your profit margin.
Word-of-mouth: Multiple the value per lead by the percent gain from word of mouth.
Lifetime value per conversion considering word of mouth: Multiple the lifetime profit per customer by the percent of leads that convert and the gain from word of mouth.
Conversion Value Rule best practices
The conversion value rule strategy is pretty straightforward. Follow these best practices, and you’ll be on your way to a better ROAS:
Look at customer lifetime value and the entire conversion path
To accurately identify conversion value, you have to examine the whole picture. Think about it– if a customer converts on a desktop but finds you on their mobile device, you won’t be able to assess the actual value of that impression unless you consider the full conversion path.
Get accurate data
Wherever you pull the data used to calculate conversion value, ensure it is accurate. Informing Conversion Value Rules with inaccurate data will skew your ad spend and harm your ROAS.
Be creative but conservative
Estimating conversion value can require a bit of creative guesswork, but it’s best to pair that creativity with a conservative mindset when you aren’t 100%. Consider taking a conservative approach to the riskier rules when choosing a rule action.
Don’t be too general
When Conversion Value Rules are too general, they either underestimate the value or catch impressions that shouldn’t apply. The best strategy is a careful balance between getting too specific and generalizing value for a big chunk of your audience.
Conversion Value Rules are designed to give advertisers more control over their Smart Bidding strategy by highlighting high ticket impressions. One of the most important tidbits to remember here is that creating Conversion Value Rules to skew Smart Bidding directions is a waste of time. Conversion Value Rules do not influence the direction Smart Bidding optimizes in– they just prioritize spending on the impressions that will have the best return.
Tracking website visitors' behavior is crucial for gaining insights into their engagement and optimizing digital strategies. One significant aspect of user interaction is downloading files, such as documents, software, or media files. Understanding how users engage with these downloads can provide valuable data for improving content offerings and measuring conversion rates.
As you probably know, Google Analytics released a new, updated version, and in this blog post, we will explore the best practices and insights for tracking downloads using Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Understanding Downloads in GA4
In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a download event is triggered when a user clicks a download link or button, signaling their intent to retrieve a particular file. GA4 tracks these download events by capturing relevant data, such as the file's URL, the user's session information, and other event parameters. Website owners can then analyze and measure the engagement levels of their downloadable content, gaining valuable insights into user preferences, content popularity, and conversion rates.
Before we dive into setting up download tracking, we first need to explain two fundamental terms: gated and ungated content. Both are types of downloadable content, but the difference is whether users need to provide personal information first..
Gated and ungated content
Gated content requires users to share their personal information (usually their email) to download the materials. This option is great if your downloadable materials are intended to be lead magnets. For example, every piece of content that benefits people interested in your service or product is a lead magnet.
You can probably guess where this is going - when users leave some information, it’s much easier to track them. Each download will be counted, you’ll be able to see it, and most importantly, you’ll know to whom it belongs. Additionally, you can use those emails for remarketing purposes and put your product or service in front of the eyes of your potential clients.
Unlike gated content, ungated content doesn’t require leaving any information. Users can download the materials by clicking on the download button. For instance, you can download coupons from a discount website by clicking on the corresponding icon. Unlike gated content, ungated content won’t allow you to trace your leads. If you know that a piece of content is an important step in the customer journey, then you can make it easily accessible. Sometimes users get put off having to share their personal information, so using this option has its own benefit.
Moreover, your internal team or a digital marketing agency can utilize gated and ungated content to achieve different objectives and cater to different customer journey stages. Now that you know the basics about downloadable materials let’s see how you can set download tracking in GA4.
When to use gated versus ungated content
Gating content is a common strategy for businesses aiming to build an email list or generate leads. When content is gated, users must provide their contact information, typically an email address, to gain access. The primary benefits of this method include lead generation, segmentation opportunities, and a sense of exclusivity for users. However, this strategy also carries drawbacks like reduced SEO benefits and limitations in audience building. Gated content could include reports with original research, eBooks, whitepapers, live demos, webinars, and newsletter content.
On the other hand, ungated content is freely accessible on the internet and doesn't require users to provide any contact information. While this approach doesn't directly generate leads, it can help build organic awareness, encourage audience engagement, and offer significant SEO benefits. There are also strategic ways to retarget page visitors and capture potential leads later in the funnel when they are more prepared for direct outreach. Examples of ungated content could be blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and ungated PDFs. In deciding whether to gate or ungate content, businesses should consider their resources, marketing and business goals, industry expectations, and plans for managing collected information.
For our purposes today, we’ll go through why you want to track downloads in GA4; and then we’ll dive into the technical setup of tracking gated content.
Insights from Download Tracking in GA4
In a moment, we’ll go through how to get accurate download data, but first, you may be wondering what insights you can get from download tracking. The answer is simple - many.
Understanding user engagement
Understanding user engagement through tracking downloads in GA4 provides valuable insights into how users interact with downloadable content on your website. By analyzing metrics such as download frequency, duration, conversion rates, or sales forecasts, you can identify which files resonate most with your audience, optimize content offerings, and tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.
Identifying popular and underperforming downloads
When tracking downloads in GA4, you can easily identify popular and underperforming downloads by analyzing the metrics and data provided. By examining the number of downloads, engagement metrics such as time spent on the download page, and conversion rates associated with each file, you can gain insights into which downloads resonate well with users and drive desired actions.
Tracking downloads as part of a user journey analysis
Measuring the effectiveness of downloadable content is also very important. This will help you understand certain downloads' impact on further actions in the customer journey, such as starting a free trial, enrolling for a demo session, registering, or buying a product.
Setting Up Download Tracking in GA4
Download tracking happens autoamatically in GA4 if your Data Stream is configured properly. To set it up, go to the Admin section, and under Property, select Data Streams.
Once you click on Data Streams, your next step is to allow Enhanced Measurement.
After you enable the enhanced measurement, you need to visit the Settings section by clicking on the gear icon within the enhanced measurement field.
That will open another window where you need to enable File downloads. As you can see, File downloads are one of the options for the Enhanced measurement. Since you’ll probably be doing this for the first time, you’ll have to wait 24 hours before the results populate in the Analytics.
And that’s it; you’re all set! It’s not difficult at all!
The next logical step is to learn how to analyze the download data and create reports that will enable you to get to the next level when tracking downloads.
Analyzing Download Data in GA4
Once you set the download tracker, the results will automatically populate in the Standard reports once you set them up as events. They are called file_download events.
How can you find file_download? Easily, just click on the Reports - Engagement - Events.
Standard reports have some flaws. If you’re tracking only one downloadable material, there will be no problems. But if you have more than that, Standard reports won’t be able to provide you with information.
First of all, all downloads will be grouped, so you won’t be able to see which file got the most downloads. Secondly, you won’t be able to see where the users are downloading those files either.
That’s why it is important to explain the power of Custom reports, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Adding a Secondary Dimension
The details report table inherently comes with a primary dimension and up to a dozen metrics. The primary dimension is labeled as such. For instance, in the given detailed report when, "Event name" is the primary dimension, metrics such as "Event count" and "Total users" are included. This arrangement allows for the analysis of each metric relative to one dimension:
The report can be appended by adding a secondary dimension, facilitating data analysis across two distinct categories. For instance, the table below showcases the page or screen where each event was initiated:
This secondary dimension is a temporary addition and gets removed once you navigate away from the report.
How to Append a Secondary Dimension Adjacent to the primary dimension, click on Add dimension [Plus].
Scan through the list of dimensions, or input the whole or part of the dimension name in the search box. Select the desired dimension name.
Custom reports will enable you to view each download individually by creating their respective views.
To enable this, go to the Explore section and select Blank - Create new exploration.
Your next step is to name your new report and add the dimensions that you find relevant. Click the + symbol, add the Event name and File name, and finalize this part by clicking Import.
Another thing that you need to select is the metrics. You’ll do that by again clicking on the + symbol and adding Event count and Total users, and again, finalize it by clicking on Import.
Once all of this is set, you need to add all these elements into your report by doing a simple drag-and-drop or a double click on them.
After this, there’s only one little thing to be done. You’ll need to apply a filter to exclude all the other events and limit this report to tracking downloads.
There you have it - only these steps are necessary to keep track of your downloadable materials.
Advanced Techniques for Download Tracking in GA4
Let's cover a couple of more advanced situations for those of you who are always interested in learning more.
Link attribution for tracking downloads from external sources
Once you have enabled Enhanced Measurements, GA4 will “fire” an event called click whenever someone clicks on the link on your website that leads them to another website. Such external links are called outbound links.
You’ll see all the link URLs and their respective clicks if you click on Click.
How to set outbound link tracking? Visit the Admin panel - Configuration - Data Streams and choose the web data for this configuration. Check that the Enhanced Measurement is on, and in its Settings section, ensure the Outbound option is enabled. Once all clicks are set, just save the changes.
Creating the reports works in the completely same way as we explained above. The standard report is the one that will show once you go to the Reports - Engagement - Events - Clicks, while the creation of Customized reports will require you to select again the metrics that you would like to include.
Tracking outbound links is important if you, for example, have two websites that link each other and want to know how many people navigated between those two.
Cross-domain tracking for downloads on multiple websites
If you, for example, have a website and a blog with separate domains, consider using cross-domain tracking. Cross-domain tracking allows you to identify users across different domains. This means that the system will be able to recognize the same user activity regardless of the domain they’re visiting.
When you set this option, and when you, for example, have an outbound link that leads to your other domain, the option for tracking outbound links will be automatically ignored. If this weren’t the case, you couldn’t follow the same user across your two domains because it would be recognized as a completely new user.
Let’s see how to set this up.
Again, go to Admin - Data Streams and select a website property you want to enable cross-domains.
After the new window appears, click on the Tagging Settings.
This will lead you to the next window, where you must select Configure your domains.
In the next window, click on the Add condition.
Here you will be offered many conditions, but in this case, you can select contains and add the domain link of the second website and click Save.
Now you’re halfway there. You will need to follow the same steps, and when you again come to the last one where you’re adding conditions, this time, you will need to insert the domain link of the first website.
To check if everything is set up correctly, just visit any of those two websites, and if in the URL you see a new parameter _gl just after the website link, it means that you’re good to go!
Tracking downloads with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides invaluable insights into user engagement and behavior on your website. By implementing the best practices discussed in this blog post, you can harness the power of GA4 to accurately measure and analyze downloads, optimize your content target strategy, and make data-driven decisions.
We hope this article will help you start tracking downloads more easily and understand your customer journey a bit more. To optimize your omnichannel advertising reporting, meet with a MarinOne consultant today.
Tanja Adamovic is a guest contributor to the Marin Software blog.
TikTok is quickly becoming a popular choice for e-commerce advertising, as evidenced by its high number of monthly active users and downloads. With more than one billion monthly active users and three billion downloads, it has surpassed other popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
As its reach and popularity continue to grow, so does the interest in advertising on the platform. For e-commerce retailers looking to build a strong marketing strategy, including TikTok ads for e-commerce should be a consideration. For inspiration for your next campaign, let’s take a look at some of the best TikTok ads of all time, and what has made them so successful.
As a fast-paced platform, on TikTok, users tend to scroll through their feeds quickly, which means that you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. To do so, craft a clear message that will resonate with them quickly and encourage them to take action. Without a clear message and a single, unambiguous objective, your ads simply won't make an impact.
Create your ads with eye-catching visuals that are high quality and relevant to your product or service. Additionally, they should be optimized for mobile viewing to ensure the best user experience.
Entertaining and engaging, never boring
TikTok can be a marketing powerhouse for capturing the attention of millions of users. However, since the platform is saturated with endless videos, entertainment, and other content, you need to create ads that are entertaining and engaging if you want to stand out. Aim to make your ads fun, creative, and memorable. Your ad should evoke emotion and create a connection with the user, making them more likely to share it with others.
TikTok videos are short—most are between 60 seconds and three minutes—but the most effective ads are often much shorter. To leave a lasting impression, get your message across quickly and effectively without wasting any time.
Use of TikTok influencers and creators
TikTok influencers can help direct high-quality, loyal traffic towards your brand, so collaborating with them can be an effortless approach to gaining brand recognition. In fact, collaborating with creators to produce TikTok-specific branded content generates 65% higher 2-second view rates and increases engagement by 83%.
Using branded hashtag challenges, influencers and creators can enhance your brand’s visibility without hard-selling. Influencers and creators are also often sought after because of their ability to connect with their audience in an authentic way. Make sure, however, that the influencer or creator you choose truly aligns with your target audience.
Selection of the right ad type
To achieve success with your TikTok ad campaigns, it's important to understand the unique advantages and disadvantages of each ad format. Once you’re familiar with the six different options, you can determine which one will work best for your specific goals and audience so you can maximize your results on TikTok:
In-feed ads are very similar to watching stories that you see on Instagram or Facebook, except they happen to be embedded in the “For You” feed. These ads are skippable for users and they have a maximum length of 60 seconds, but 9–15 seconds is optimal. However, you can include multiple CTAs (calls to action) to prompt users to click on the ad.
When a brand takeover ad is displayed, it appears immediately after the app is opened, as either a static image for 3 seconds or a 3–5 second video without audio. While this ad type can give you quick traction, it’s more expensive than the others.
TopView ads consist of 60-second videos that play automatically as soon as the user opens the app. This ad type and its strategic placement ensures that viewers will be exposed to your ad, making it a dependable and efficient method for connecting with your intended audience.
Spark ads are a unique ad format that allows brands to target their audience with customized ads tailored to their interests. They consist of a single image or short video clip that can be used to showcase a product or service. However, what sets Spark ads apart from other ad formats is that they're displayed in a user's "Following" feed, which makes them feel less intrusive and more organic.
Branded hashtag challenge
The hashtag challenge ad format is unique to TikTok and promotes user-generated content. The audience is prompted to generate themed content that features the designated branded hashtag, which is subsequently compiled on a hashtag challenge page. In addition, these challenges yield an average engagement rate of 8.5% and provide creative direction to brands interested in participating.
Comparable to Snapchat lenses and Instagram filters, these brand-sponsored visual effects compliment hashtag challenges. They can be found on the first page of the effects panel, and remain there for 3 days.
To reach their relevant audiences on the platform and improve conversion rates, e.l.f. Cosmetics used an in-feed ad. The video they created was entertaining and genuine and successfully illustrated the brand’s personality while advertising products in an engaging and professional format.
Why it worked
The beauty brand heightened awareness and brand recognition by ensuring their video was appealing while simultaneously highlighting their brand, making it clearly visible in the beginning and ending frames.
The intimate apparel brand, Aerie, achieved TikTok success by leveraging in-feed ad campaigns alongside branded hashtag challenges. Most recently, they became the first to experiment with TikTok's Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSA), and were able to increase conversions through personalized advertising.
Why it worked
With DSA, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can advertise thousands of products with minimal effort spent on creative production. By using dynamic ads on TikTok, not only did Aerie automate their advertising efforts, but they significantly increased conversions and freed up time for more strategic initiatives.
In just 24 hours, KIND's hashtag challenge generated a staggering 20 million views. In their effort to promote their Simple Crunch Bars, the snack brand giant gave users the chance to win a flight to New York along with a year’s worth of KIND products in exchange for posting videos about the bar’s loud crunch.
In conjunction with user videos, KIND strategically positioned influencers to create sponsored posts. By collaborating with Zach King, for example, the brand gained a record 1.7 million likes and more than 18k shares.
Why it worked
KIND’s campaign was successful because it tailored its messaging to reach Gen Z by using influencers to promote their product. In addition, KIND encouraged video shares by giving their intended audience a motivational incentive, one that guaranteed a trip and some free products. Who could turn that down?
Garnier turned to TikTok to promote a new line of vegan hair care products to its Gen Z and millennial target audience. Using a branded hashtag challenge combined with a 2-D branded effect, they enabled users to test the product line by creating a before-and-after transition video.
In addition, Garnier tapped influencers to help push their brand further in conjunction with a One Day Max in-feed ad and a TopView Lite. A subcategory of TopView ads, TopView Lite ads include a 3-5 second-long video with no sound. To top off their efforts, the brand compiled a mash-up of the best user-generated videos, which they later promoted through Brand Premium In-Feed Ads.
Why it worked
Using a mix of different TikTok ad formats, Garnier was able to reinforce their brand’s message and appeal to their audience. Encouraging a viral challenge also allowed their users to become a central part of Garnier’s bigger story, helping the brand gain more traction.
To gauge the attention of users for a new release titled “Sing On! Germany,” Netflix launched a TikTok ad campaign that would increase awareness. They used a Branded Effect paired with a Hashtag Challenge that enabled target viewers to participate in a virtual karaoke booth. Using this strategy, Netflix was able to incentivize submissions, and in turn, improve engagement levels.
Why it worked
Netflix promoted the Branded Effect through influencer marketing and by using tunes from iconic songs that got users to sing along. Because so many people were able to use the filter and emotionally connect with classic tunes, the campaign became wildly popular and generated over 600m total video views.
Create a revenue-driving strategy with MarinOne’s TikTok advertising experts
To create a winning TikTok ad campaign, it’s important to analyze what aspects successful ones got right. Pay close attention to the various approaches used, identify successful hooks, and note which influencers generate the most engagement so you can determine how to establish a connection with your own target audience.
If you’re ready to begin your TikTok advertising strategy, MarinOne is here to help. Our TikTok advertising pros will advise you in creating trendy, on-brand TikTok ads that work for your business and industry.
Many of the tasks that used to be done on a desktop have become just as easy on a phone. Shopping, as an example, is accessible the second a consumer thinks of something they want or need to buy. They can look it up on their smartphone, check out without even needing to grab a physical credit card, and have the peace of mind that the item will be delivered to them within just a few days.
Over the past several years, we have seen more and more consumers make purchases right from their phones, and e-comm businesses are responding with company apps, an influx in SMS marketing, and various promotional initiatives associated with a mobile-first consumer experience. Because of this, mobile advertising and app advertising are a must in many industries if you want to maximize revenue potential.
Tips for Creating a Great Mobile Experience
Creating a mobile ad will be different than creating a desktop ad. Here's what you need to know to start an impactful and effective mobile ad strategy:
Design Your UX to be Touch Screen Friendly
Mobile users have different patterns and utilize other features than desktop users. Touch screens are a big part of this user experience as a touch screen inherently creates a different way of navigating your site, such as zooming in or swiping side to side.
Some ways to do this effectively include:
Placing primary content and actions in the center of the screen, using the edges for secondary activities and tabs, and incorporating tertiary functions behind menus.
Consider how the user interacts with their device and what is on the screen as a part of that device, such as the grip of their hands, what fingers they use to complete various tasks, and the context of your website, app, or advertisement within the greater UI. An Apple user may have different needs than an Android user. The size of a tablet could change how prominent your design features need to be.
When in doubt, remember that recent studies have shown users predominantly touch the center of the screen and use their devices in various ways, challenging the assumption of the "Thumb Zone" designers once had. All these nuances will change how the user interacts with your brand and will have a powerful subliminal effect on how that individual perceives your brand.
Make Creative and Visually Engaging Mobile Ads
Mobile advertisements have a lot of potential to showcase your company creatively. There is a lot of opportunity to show off products and services. Here are a few ways you can ensure the design of your ads is as impactful to potential customers as possible:
Size matters: Any images will need to be sized correctly, and they will need to be of high quality to draw your audience’s attention.
Keep it short and sweet: Attention spans can be short, so you must catch the consumer's attention within seconds. Knowledge of your ideal customer persona is crucial. Know what your customer will like about the product and immediately showcase that feature. Or, if it is a video ad, add a hook at the beginning of your message to draw immediate attention.
Stay on top of trends: You can even use current trends and use that to come off as organic entertainment. Just ensure the message clearly and accurately represents what your company is all about while employing a catchy trend.
Use every design or content tool you have at your disposal: There is a huge opportunity in both mobile and in-app advertising to push the envelope in creativity. The best marketers are doing this by leveraging augmented reality (AR) to create immersive experiences, using creative GIF animations to boost engagement, incorporating location data for personalized targeting, and employing personalized messaging for effective communication.
Diversify Your Advertising Placements to More than one Platform
To effectively advertise on mobile, it's crucial to understand the different types of mobile ads, such as app ads, social media ads, mobile banner ads, in-app display ads, interstitial ads, SMS ads, native ads, video ads, and audio ads.
Mobile ads on platforms like Spotify, TikTok, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Stories have proven effective in reaching and engaging audiences. Implementing interactive mobile ads and utilizing formats like Facebook Collections ads can also boost user engagement. Next, we'll dive more into mobile and app advertising specifics on each social media platform.
Paid Social for Mobile
Social media has become a popular pastime for adults, with growing numbers of daily users. This presents a valuable advertising opportunity, allowing you to reach large audiences, increase visibility, and engage with users through your social media presence. Look at some of the complexities that go into each social media platform's available advertising placements.
Instagram story ad
This is a great example of creating an ad that goes along with the patterns of smartphone users. If a user clicks through stories and your ad comes up, they will most likely pay attention to it since they anticipate something new with each click. Some ways to make a great story ad include: maximizing fullscreen usage, highlighting your call-to-action, incorporating text overlays, using audio enhancements, making your ads interactive, consistently branding your ads, and incorporating motion.
Snapchat ad and filter
Snapchat ads are a great way to introduce your organization to a new audience. Snapchat may have different users than other platforms, which is beneficial for retargeting. You can also have your own filter showcasing your brand or product. Many users look through filters to find new or creative ones, and if they choose to use them, they create more reach when they share their image paired with the filter on their personal profile.
Recently Snapchat has introduced a set of instructions for devising potent Snap Ad campaigns to assist businesses in connecting with its 375 million daily users, primarily composed of Gen Z and millennials. Essential advertising principles the company highlighted involve prominently displaying products, adopting a sound-on design, and employing goal-oriented bidding. In reaction to Apple's iOS 14 update, Snapchat suggests widening targeting scopes, underlining the importance of suitable content for the most valuable leads.
YouTube has a large audience reach, and people use YouTube for many different reasons. Video ads can help you connect with your audience as you show more about your brand. There are also options for retargeting.
The best strategies to creating an effective Youtube ad are: surprising the viewer with unexpected content; improving on competitors' ad concepts; continuously testing and adjusting content; using storytelling to draw in viewers; incorporating user-generated content; emphasizing the benefits of the product or service being advertised; and optimizing content for different viewing devices.
Facebook story ad
Like any other story ad, you can increase reach significantly with Facebook story ads. This type of story ad will take up most of the smartphone screen, just like Instagram. By creating an immersive experience, the goal is that your content will captivate the audience's attention.
Creating story content is quite straightforward, involving choosing the type of content, customizing it, adding custom links and buttons, and sharing it. Businesses can further optimize their use of Facebook Stories by creating exciting, time-sensitive content, making it interactive and actionable, sharing third-party content, and regularly tracking performance to polish their strategy.
Website display ad
For this ad type, you will want a high-quality, interesting image to draw in your audience. You can create custom audiences by using pixels and tags to target the same people across different platforms.
Keep the design simple and instantly readable, use buttons wisely, and ensure a clearly defined frame for your ad. Animations can improve performance, but they should not distract from your message. While your ad should complement the website it is on, it still needs to be distinctive. Consistency with your brand is crucial, as is instilling a sense of urgency. Images, if used, should be directly related to your product, and the colors chosen should evoke the right emotions in your audience. Keep the file sizes small for faster loading and use appropriate formats such as JPG, PNG, GIF, or HTML5.
You can grow a larger audience on Twitter by promoting your tweets. This should boost your followers, and then these users will continue to see your organization's tweets over time.
To effectively use Twitter Ads, it's essential to follow five critical steps. First, research your competitors to understand which strategies have been successful for them, and take note of the types of offers that generate the most engagement. Second, gather social proof by initially advertising to less expensive audiences to increase engagement before targeting your primary audience. Third, use A/B testing or split testing to determine which elements of your ad perform best, testing one variable at a time. Fourth, avoid including hashtags or mentions in your promoted tweets to ensure your call to action remains the only clickable element. Lastly, create a specific target segment for mobile users, as they comprise about 80% of Twitter's monthly active users. Remember, the goal is to create ads that attract attention and encourage user interaction.
App Advertising Placements
Apple Search Ads
Apple Search Ads (ASA), first introduced in 2016, have recently expanded significantly. The new ASA inventory includes two additional placements: the Today tab and the bottom of individual app product pages. The Today tab is the landing page for users upon opening the App Store, and the new ad placement allows developers to promote their apps alongside daily editorial content. The guidelines for these ads are comprehensive, including a limitation on promotional messaging to 50 characters or three lines of text. Also, the ads must use app screenshots as their main feature. These new placements are expected to increase exposure due to their visibility and broad reach.
The second new ad placement is located directly within the product pages of individual apps, appearing under the “You Might Also Like” section. This provides developers the opportunity to place ads on the pages of other apps. Unlike the Today tab ads, these do not require a custom product page for ad creatives; they are created using the assets already uploaded on the App Store product page. However, due to their location at the bottom of the page and considering that many users download apps directly from search results without visiting product pages, the impact of these ads might be less than those on the Today tab.
Google's Universal App Campaigns
Universal App Campaigns (UAC) is an automated ad type offered by Google Ads, providing an efficient way to advertise mobile apps across Google's extensive ad networks, including search, display, YouTube, and the Google Play Store. UACs utilize machine learning to showcase the most relevant and high-performing ads to users, driving conversions and app installs. The ad campaigns are generated using supplied text lines, images, videos, or HTML5 assets, and over time, the best-performing combinations are identified and displayed to users. UAC ads can run across different Google properties such as Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network, as well as on both iOS and Android devices.
Creating a UAC requires manual inputs, including a daily budget, a target cost-per-install (CPI) or cost-per-action (CPA), target location and languages, and up to four text lines. Further, optional media assets can be added to aid in the creation of the ad. When setting up a UAC, selecting the right campaign objective is crucial: "Install Volume" for attracting new users and "In-App Actions" for users likely to complete actions within the app. Google suggests different budget strategies depending on the chosen goal. Finally, setting up UAC involves selecting a device type, adding text ideas, setting location and language targets, defining the campaign goal, budget, and bid amount, and establishing a campaign run date.
Test ads across multiple platforms and determine what works best for your marketing strategy. Advertising across multiple platforms can help increase brand awareness. As mobile devices have become more needed for day-to-day routines, it has created a great opportunity for phone ads. Mobile advertising and app advertising strategies have made it easier for marketers to make ads more personalized for consumers. It can give consumers insight on the brand and what they have to uniquely offer.
Consumers appreciate personalized offers. According to research carried out by Adlucent, 71% of consumers prefer ads that are tailored to their interests and shopping habits while 75% prefer ads that are aligned with their needs.
You can achieve effective ad personalization by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to recognize patterns in your target audience data and use the insights generated to increase the relevancy of ads served to each user.
What is Ad Personalization?
Ad personalization is a strategy that involves tailoring and delivering relevant advertisements to your target audience based on hyper-specific information such as their demographic, geo-location, preferences, niche interests, or buying intent.
In an article for AdWeek, Christopher S. Dean, a VP at Salesforce refers to personalized ads as a “digital concierge” that anticipates customers' needs and directs them to what they want. Essentially, ad personalization is when ads are customized to appeal to the specific interests or buying behavior of an individual consumer.
How Does Ad Personalization Work?
Ad personalization leverages data, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) tools to understand and engage customers based on the context of their behaviors.
In short, companies specializing in advertising such as pay-per-click (PPC) collect user information from various sources, then use algorithms to analyze all that data and serve ads relevant to each user. The process of ad personalization involves:
Data Collection: A large amount of user data is collected by the two largest ad providers, Google and Meta. Google typically collects contextual data from search queries, location data from Google Maps, and app data from the Google Play Store. Meta collects social media data like personal profile information, liked pages, and posts. Advertisers then draw from this data using pixels, cookies, and other tracking tags.
Data Analysis: This involves using machine learning algorithms and analysis tools to process the data collected, identify patterns and derive insights. This analysis helps in predicting users’ behavior, preferences, and interests as well as identifying the best ad format for a particular user.
Ad Targeting: Advertisers use insights from analysis to show relevant ads to specific users. This sometimes includes retargeting ads to users who have previously interacted with their brand.
Ad Delivery: Using various platforms, programmatic advertising, and the right messaging framework, advertisers automatically deliver targeted display ads, social media ads, search ads, or video ads to individual users.
Ad Performance Monitoring: Advertisers track the performance of their ads and use the data to improve their targeting and optimization strategies. They also use other optimization techniques like A/B testing to experiment with different ad formats and targeting options that improve the ad's effectiveness.
Is Ad Personalization Effective?
Personalized advertising is a “powerful tool” states Google AdSense, adding that it improves the relevance of ads for users and “increases Return on Investment (ROI) for advertisers.” A 2021 article by IBM Watson Advertising also mentions that 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs. According to the article, personalized ads boost engagement, help with product discovery, and “make online searching faster for those looking to buy”.
Based on these insights, as well as data showing that up to 81% of Gen Z and 57% of millennials like personalized ads, it’s safe to say that ad personalization is highly effective. However, with growing concern about privacy, it has become important to explore transparent and ethical methods to collect data and deliver effective personalized ads.
Benefits of Ad Personalization
Some benefits of ad personalization for you as an advertiser include increased click-through rates, improved conversions, and higher ROI. Ad personalization can also lead to better user experiences, which can in turn lead to increased brand loyalty and customer lifetime value
People understand that personalized ads reduce their search time and help them find options and value for their wants or needs. This means that users who see ads that are tailored to their interests are more likely to click on them and learn more about your product or service.
Conversion means that after viewing an ad, or part of it, a consumer takes a particular action that benefits a brand. This can include clicking on the ad to finish reading or watching, opening the website, and ultimately buying the product advertised. Generally, more people are likely to take action if the ad they see is personalized.
Ultimately, personalized ads can increase ROI. Since more people are likely to engage with the ad and complete a beneficial action, you will get higher returns for the effort and spending involved in advertising.
Challenges of Ad Personalization
Risk of Spooking the Customer
Many people already believe that their phones and other smart devices are listening in on them. While this may be unverifiable, personalized ads can fuel that fear, especially when over-emphasized.
Probability of Failure
Ad blockers on phones, browsers, and sites are becoming increasingly common. If a user has an ad blocker enabled, ads will not reach them, personalized or otherwise. In fact, some people may be more specific by turning off personalized ads, ensuring that advertisers cannot collect their data and include it in the ads shown to them.
Privacy is a rather sensitive concept. As such, while advertisers may decide to collect data to improve ad experience, they may go about this unethically, buying unauthorized information from analytics companies. People also fear that their information may be sold for much more than creating personalized ads. This leads users to distrust personalized advertising.
Different Types of Ad Personalization
There are different ways to personalize ads. Let's take a look at a few of the techniques you can use to create the best experience for your prospects possible.
With direct personalization, you can target a specific user by using their name or sending them reminders about that their shopping journey. An ad copy that reads “Dear John, don’t forget that the promo for the wristwatch in your shopping cart ends in two days.” is directed at John, a single user. This gives the feel of a one-on-one interaction. Direct personalization can be achieved by personalizing emails or enabling a bot to have a relevant conversation with users.
Here, you can decide to personalize ads by showing customers the ad that has had the highest engagement, conversion, and ROI rates. This way, you don’t have to create multiple ads to suit every single user’s taste.
Ads for a product can be tailored differently for different demographics. Let's talk through the example of a banks' personalized advertising. Opening a bank account is essential for anyone, meaning that there is a wide range of demography involved in advertising for easy ways to open a bank account. With age, for instance, you can decide to create separate ads for each age range. This will appeal to different demographics, while still maintaining the core advertising message.
Here, special attention is given to the search history and stage in the consumer’s journey. So, ads are personalized based on what the user has searched for (possibly recommending similar products), as well as what they seem most likely to do (if they have abandoned their cart, the ad would attempt to steer them back to the site and convince them to purchase the product).
In addition to the types of ad personalization mentioned above, you also need to know the six levels of ad personalization which signify the degree to which ads can be personalized and are broadly classified as follows:
Level 0: Users are targeted based on their needs or wants, as well as their country or state.
Level 1: Ads in this level are personalized based on needs or wants, and city location.
Level 2: Ads in this level are personalized based on need or want, city location, zip code, and demographic info (age, gender, income).
Level 3: Ads in this level are personalized based on need or want, city location, zip code, demographic info, and general interests (sports, beauty, fashion, technology).
Level 4: Ads in this level are personalized based on need or want, city location, zip code, advanced demographic info (brand loyalty, political preference), niche interests (favorite music, hobbies), and buying intent (search keywords).
Level 5: Ads in this level are personalized based on need or want, city location, zip code, advanced demographic info (brand loyalty, political preference), niche interests (favorite music, hobbies), buying intent (search keywords), and historical behavioral patterns.
How to Achieve Effective Ad Personalization
Many people ignore, close, or skip ads that are irrelevant to them. Forbes states that 49% of people are likely to ignore an ad if it appears irrelevant. In order to create personalized ads that deliver results, your ads need to add value to the user experience and also meet the requirements listed here.
Collect Relevant Data About Users
Data about users and consumers drive ad personalization. You have to collect data about target users based on the levels mentioned before. This information can range from simple things like what the user needs and where they live, to their behavioral patterns and political interests.
Know Where Users Are in the Marketing Funnel
Understanding where a user is in the marketing funnel helps you personalize your ad content and improve ad selection for users. For example, if a consumer is in the conversion stage, showing them an ad for similar products can convince them to return to your site and buy.
Use Retargeted Ads
This is a strategy directed at users who have visited a website but have not made a purchase. People may visit a website, and even fill their cart, and never really get to check out.
Retargeting helps to bring the site, and the browsed products, back to the attention of the user, and may convince them to make that purchase. Dynamic ads (personalized based on search history and items in the cart) and Google Display Network (which allows you to determine the time and location your ads are shown, based on features determined by the advertisers) are ways to achieve retargeting.
After creating and implementing personalized ads, you must evaluate results, which helps you identify what is working and what needs to be re-evaluated. You can include surveys and forms for users to share feedback on the ads shown to them.
Be Ethical With Your Approach
Privacy is a major concern for users who are served personalized ads. They are aware that it requires a large amount of their personal information to deliver these tailored ads and as an advertiser, you should be mindful not to spook them further.
Offer voluntary ad transparency in order to build trust, be open about why personal data is collected, and lean more towards other forms of first-party data collection as opposed to third-party cookies and tracking codes.
To Sum it Up
Ad personalization is a good way for you as an advertiser to improve the effectiveness of your advertisements and increase ROI. By personalizing ads, you can make sure that your message is relevant to the individual and more likely to be of interest to them. This can result in higher click-through rates and conversions, and ultimately, more customers and sales.
To get started developing your omnichannel personalization ad strategy, reach out to the experts at MarinOne. We will help you set up the automation needed to make personalization a stress-free experience for your marketing team.
Bernard Aguila is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
When it comes to advertising on Amazon, two key metrics that sellers and advertisers need to pay attention to are advertising cost of sales (ACOS) and return on ad spend (ROAS). Understanding and optimizing these metrics can be crucial in maximizing profits and achieving business goals. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at Amazon ACOS and ROAS, how they’re calculated, and how to improve them to drive success on the Amazon platform.
Understanding Amazon ACOS and ROAS: key metrics for success on the platform
As one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, Amazon has become a crucial platform for businesses of all sizes to reach and engage with customers. One of the most important aspects of success on Amazon is the ability to advertise products and services effectively. That's where metrics like ACOS and ROAS come in:
ACOS represents the percentage of ad spend compared to the total sales generated from that spend.
ROAS measures the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising.
Both ACOS and ROAS metrics play a critical role in helping businesses understand the effectiveness of their advertising efforts and make informed decisions to optimize their advertising strategies. A lower ACOS indicates that a seller is spending less on advertising to generate a sale, which is generally a positive sign for the success of the campaign. In contrast, a higher ROAS indicates that the seller is generating more sales revenue for every dollar spent on advertising, which is also generally a positive sign for the success of the campaign.
Maximizing your advertising budget: how to improve Amazon ROAS
Improving your Amazon ROAS is key to maximizing your advertising budget. Here are some strategies to consider:
Focus on high-converting and long-tail keywords
By targeting high-converting keywords, you can maximize your chances of generating sales from your advertising spend. In addition, long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive than broad keywords, which means they can be more cost-effective to target. By focusing on long-tail keywords that are relevant to your products, you can attract more qualified traffic to your listings and improve your ACOS.
Optimize product listings
A well-optimized product listing can improve click-through rates and conversion rates, leading to higher ROAS. For example, if you have a product with a low conversion rate, improving the product listing by adding better images or a more detailed description can lead to more sales without increasing your ad spend.
Monitor and adjust bids regularly
Regularly monitoring and adjusting bids for your ads can help you optimize your budget and improve ROAS over time. When you identify areas for improvement, you’ll achieve better results. For instance, if you notice that a certain campaign is consistently generating a high ACOS, you may need to adjust your targeting or bidding strategy to improve the efficiency of your spend. Tools like MarinOne have AI-driven features that automatically update bids and take away the manual work for paid media managers.
Leverage Amazon's targeting options
Amazon offers a range of targeting options, including keyword targeting, product targeting, and interest targeting. Trying different targeting options can help you find the best approach for your business.
Pro tip: Prioritize profitability at the product level. Delve into detailed data to understand the profit margins of individual SKUs before introducing paid advertising. This will spotlight the products that could gain the most from advertising, thereby mitigating risk.
Amazon ACOS: how to optimize your ad spend
Optimizing your Amazon ACOS is crucial to maximizing the effectiveness of your ad spend and driving profitability on the platform. Here are some tips to help you optimize your ACOS:
Set realistic goals
Before you start optimizing your ACOS, it's important to set realistic goals based on your business objectives and industry benchmarks. An optimal ACoS is not universally applicable, as it depends on numerous factors like product category, profit margins, competition, and product price. Therefore, sellers should aim for an ACoS tailored to their specific circumstances, generally between 15-20%. While a low ACoS might seem ideal, striving for as low as 1% is nearly impossible and may not be desirable depending on the business's advertising goals and product specifics. Understanding the break-even ACoS, where ad spend equals profit, is also essential in campaign planning.
Experiment with different ad formats
Amazon offers a range of ad formats, including sponsored products, sponsored brands, and sponsored display ads. To discover which one is right for your business, experiment with all of them and see which one yields the best results.
Continuously monitor and adjust your campaigns
Regularly monitoring and adjusting your campaigns can help you optimize your ad spend and improve your ACOS over time. When you consistently watch your campaigns’ performance, you can determine which patterns are working, and which ones aren’t.
Pro tip: Focus on enhancing product convenience. This significantly impacts Amazon usage. Factors like lengthy shipping times or unexplained higher costs can reduce convenience, leading to fewer sales and conversions. Remember, pricing and shipping are key for customers.
Use negative keywords
Negative keywords are keywords that you don't want your ads to show for. By adding negative keywords to your campaigns, you can prevent irrelevant or low-converting traffic from clicking on your ads, which can improve your ROAS.
For example, if you sell high-end products and don't want your ads to show for searches related to "cheap" or "discount," you could add these keywords as negative keywords to your campaigns.
How to calculate Amazon ACOS or ROAS targets
To calculate your Amazon ACOS, you'll need to have access to your Amazon Advertising account and the following information:
Total ad spend
Total sales generated from ad spend
Once you have this information, you can use the following formula to calculate your ACOS:
ACOS = (Total ad spend ÷ Total sales generated from ad spend) x 100
For example, if your total ad spend is $500 and your total sales generated from ad spend are $2,000, your ACOS would be:
ACOS = ($500 ÷ $2,000) x 100 = 25%
This means that you're spending $0.25 on advertising to generate each dollar of sales.
Calculating ROAS is simple, you can use this formula to calculate your ROAS:
ROAS = (Total sales generated from ad spend ÷ total ad spend)
For example, if your total ad spend is $600 and your total sales generated from ad spend are $2,200, your ROAS would be:
ROAS = ($2,200 ÷ $600) = 3.6
This means that you're getting a ratio of 3.6 return on ad spend.
Navigating the world of ACOS and ROAS with MarinOne
ROAS and ACOS determine the efficiency of your PPC campaigns. Knowing these formulas is helpful — but only if you truly understand how they can be applied to different scenarios. When you do, you’ll be able to achieve your business goals and scale to greater heights.
By following our tips and strategies outlined above, you can maximize the effectiveness of your ad spend, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals and objectives on Amazon.
Need help navigating the world of Amazon ACOS and ROAS metrics? The MarinOne team is here to guide you. Contact us for more information or to schedule your demo today.
In an unprecedented global frenzy, businesses across the planet are plunging headfirst into the vibrant realm of TikTok advertising. In the heart-pounding first half of 2022, titans of industry like Amazon and HBO claimed the throne as TikTok's most monumental advertisers, with a jaw-dropping investment of $22.5 million and $19 million respectively, as per Statista's report.
Curious about why they're all flocking to TikTok? The answer's simple yet exhilarating: TikTok is a colossal coliseum of brand exposure and skyrocketing sales, buzzing with over a staggering billion monthly active users!
The introduction of TikTok for Business and Ads Manager has been a game-changer, simplifying the route for brands to zero in on their target audience in this dazzling social media universe. The plot thickened when TikTok forged a groundbreaking alliance with Shopify, unlocking a new realm of marketing possibilities for e-commerce and retail.
For small businesses, TikTok is akin to a treasure-laden galleon. A whopping 78% of SMBs proudly attest to harvesting a positive return on investment (ROI) from their foray into TikTok advertisements. Are you ready to discover the secret sauce of the best-performing ads on TikTok and sharpen your strategies to surpass all expectations and reap an extraordinary ROI? Let's dive right in.
Revealing the Magic of High ROI-Generating TikTok Ads
Let's first unveil the TikTok ad formats leveraged by brands:
- TopView Ad
- In-Feed Ad
- Brand Takeover Ad
- Dynamic Showcase Ad (DSA)
- Video Shopping Ads (VSA)
- Deeplink Ad
- Branded Effect
- Branded Hashtag Challenge
- Spark Ad
Surprisingly, the dark horse, Spark Ads, despite being last on our list, claims a staggering 157% higher view-through rate compared to the typical In-Feed Ads. Yet, the crown for the highest click-through rate (CTR) belongs to TopView adverts, with a phenomenal 12–16% among all other TikTok advertising variants.
Knowledge of the different TikTok ad types is just the first stage of this thrilling journey. To truly unravel the power of TikTok advertising and catapult your ROI to unseen heights, it's time to master the art and science of maximizing the efficacy of your TikTok ads.
Master the Art of TikTok Advertising to Skyrocket ROI
Mastering the art of TikTok advertising - and it is as much art as science - boils down to a few foundational best practices. Let’s dive into each of those best practices and find the best way to maximize return on your investment in TikTok advertising.
Know your audience
Who are you aiming to captivate with your riveting TikTok ads?
"Unlocking the magic of TikTok marketing commences with pinpointing your dream customer," advises Ryan Hammill, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Ancient Language Institute. "You must craft an intricate, quasi-fictional avatar of your ideal consumer to meticulously align your marketing efforts with the right individuals. This involves sketching out an in-depth portrait of your target demographic, complete with their preferences, quirks, and tendencies."
To resonate with the core ethos of your most valued consumers and delve into their TikTok behavior, Hammill prescribes taking into account the following multifaceted aspects:
- Personality traits
- Interests, and more.
While TikTok reigns supreme as the quintessential social media marketing hotspot for Gen Zers, the scales are slowly tipping. The echo of Millennials and Gen Xers footsteps is growing louder, as they make their presence felt on the platform. As of 2021, a significant 36% of TikTok's audience fell within the 35–54 age bracket, a notable leap from 2020's 26%.
Beyond this demographic dimension, you should also uncover your audience's expectations from your brand. Could it be a tantalizing discount they seek? Observe how The Farmer’s Dog brilliantly wooed American dog owners with a Spark ad, promising an irresistible 60% off.
Ensure your ads shine a spotlight on the most relevant content, meticulously curated to cater to the distinct desires and needs of your TikTok audience.
Join Forces with Influencers
TikTok reveals a mind-boggling statistic - advertisements born out of a dynamic synergy between brands and influential content creators boast a staggering 91% higher six-second view rates. Moreover, these fruitful partnerships trigger a 27% leap in ad recall.
Consider Babbel's strategic move, who tapped into the enormous popularity of Ben Hanlin, a TikTok sensation with a thriving community of over 1.3 million followers. He regaled his audience with his journey of mastering a new language with Babbel, painting a vivid picture of his expeditions in foreign lands.
Why not chart your own course and craft a robust influencer marketing strategy for TikTok? Identify and connect with influencers whose ethos aligns with your brand.
Take the innovative example of SearchKibble, a search engine provider with a heartwarming mission - feeding shelter animals with every search. They partnered with powerhouse influencers who share a deep bond with their pets, such as Moca Cho Dien and Mason Glasco, boasting 8.9M and 6.6M TikTok followers respectively. These influencer collaborations propelled SearchKibble to phenomenal success, with a ROI of 2.3x, over 273,000 views, and a staggering 954,000 impressions.
Let's not forget Michael Kors' ingenious back-to-school campaign. By harnessing the power of Spark Ads to promote influencer content, they struck gold. The campaign reached an awe-inspiring 8.3 million people, amassing a whopping 58 million impressions.
A compelling call-to-action woven into your TikTok ad could be the catalyst that drives a tsunami of clicks and conversions. As per TikTok's insightful research, advertisements that incorporate on-screen text and a crystal-clear CTA are 55.7% more likely to steal the spotlight with increased impressions compared to those that abstain from text.
The TikTok Ads Manager is your secret weapon, allowing you to concoct Recommended and Dynamic CTAs:
Recommended – Cherry-pick a suggested CTA from an array of options on the drop-down list.
Dynamic – Craft a versatile collection of CTA texts, primed to present the most fitting message to each TikTok user who lays eyes on your advertisement.
A sterling example is PepsiCo Australia's masterstroke of deploying a 'Learn More' CTA button in their Brand Takeover ad. On the very first day, the campaign's CTR hit a blistering 24%. Overall, they reaped a solid 17% CTR and accumulated a staggering 10M+ impressions.
Harness the Power of Hashtags
Hashtags are the unsung heroes of social SEO on TikTok. Long used on other platforms, many TikTok advertisers have not yet caught on to the effectiveness of hashtags on this platform. Savvy advertisers see this as a golden opportunity to expand their reach on TikTok. Hashtags serve as a beacon, guiding each user to their perfect ad match.
"To catapult your brand reach and ignite engagement, concoct a potent cocktail of trending and niche-specific hashtags," advises Carson Lang, Co-Founder and COO of Test Prep Insight. "If we were to promote ourselves, we'd sprinkle niche hashtags like #LSAT, #LSATexam, #LSATexpert, #LSATprepcourse, #lawschooladmission, #lawschoolexam, and trending ones like #lawyersoftiktok, #examprep, and #study."
As for the number of hashtags to feature, TikTok hasn't set a definitive cap, but a 100-character limit for the caption provides guidance.
For hunting down the most impactful hashtags, Lang suggests: "The Trending section on TikTok is your treasure map to the most popular hashtags. Alternatively, hashtag tracking tools like Tiktokhashtags or TikBuddy can also serve as valuable aids."
One fashion and beauty brand, Isle of Paradise, hit a home run with their custom hashtag #WakeUpandGlow in their Spark Ads to amplify brand awareness and promote their Glow Drops.
Their ad campaign returned a dazzling 500% ROI and an impressive 68% weekly revenue uptick.
Unleash Your Brand Power
Branded elements, from stickers to hashtag challenges on TikTok, can elevate your brand's presence and etch your name in the minds of potential customers. Dress your content in your brand's unique style to amplify visibility on TikTok, reel in new customers, and skyrocket sales.
We love the example of how ASOS exemplified this. The company devised an engaging Branded Effect and Branded Hashtag Challenge dubbed #AySauceChallenge. They strategically promoted this content through In-Feed and TopView ads, sparking their audience's creativity to showcase their favorite outfits. This clever initiative culminated in an astounding 488,000+ UGC videos and over 1.2 billion video views in a mere six days.
Even LG Electronics tapped into the power of a Branded Hashtag Challenge with their #lifeisgooddance and complemented it with a unique Branded Effect. This combination supercharged their brand visibility, generating 100M+ total ad impressions, 7B+ video views, and 2M+ video creations.
Jesse Hanson, Content Manager at Online Solitaire & World of Card Games, emphasizes: "TikTok is defying the norms of traditional advertising. It's critical to embrace a revolutionary approach to advertising on TikTok. Break the mold, infuse fun into your content, don't shy away from humor, and create awe-inspiring TikToks."
According to Hanson, your TikTok ads should be:
- Concise (9–15 seconds)
To hit the bullseye with your TikTok ad creation, incorporate high-quality videos/images. Moreover, use an eye-catching hook (like a catchy sound, vibrant color, meme, trigger word, or other TikTok tactics) within the first three seconds to outshine the mundane.
Consider how Itsu seized attention with contrasting colors in their In-Feed ad.
Why not simplify the process and engineer automated, easily scalable campaigns? Consider using MarinOne + TikTok for Business to steer your campaigns and glean reports automatically with minimal effort. Plus, with creative A/B testing and advanced optimization, you can smartly allocate your budget and anticipate the impact of your TikTok ads.
TikTok Sales Funnel Strategies: Pro Tips (Amir Farrokhi)
Influencer marketing on TikTok has proven to be incredibly effective in reaching and engaging with the platform's active user base, particularly for discovery and acquisition purposes.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing on TikTok stems from influencers' ability to build trust and credibility among their followers. These influencers have amassed large followings and possess the skills to create engaging and authentic content that resonates with their audience and, if chosen wisely, with your brand's target audience. When collaborating with TikTok influencers for acquisition, it is crucial to select individuals whose content aligns with your brand and target demographic. Seek influencers who hold a strong presence in your industry or niche and whose followers match your desired demographics. By partnering with influencers, you can leverage their existing fan base and tap into their influence to promote your products or services. When influencers recommend or endorse a brand or product, their followers are more likely to take notice and consider making a purchase.
The content produced by influencers for your product or service can take various forms, such as product/service reviews, unboxings, tutorials, challenges, or simply incorporating your brand into their entertaining videos.
Pixel Implementation: Install the TikTok Pixel on your website or app to track user behavior and capture relevant data. The pixel enables you to build Custom Audiences based on specific actions taken by users on your digital properties.
Define Retargeting Segments: Analyze the actions and behaviors of your website visitors or app users to segment them into different retargeting groups. For example, you can create segments based on users who abandoned their carts, visited specific product pages, or engaged with specific content.
Create Custom Audiences: Utilize TikTok's ad platform to create Custom Audiences based on the defined retargeting segments. Upload your customer lists, sync with your app data, or utilize pixel data to create these audiences.
Develop Engaging Ad Content: Craft compelling ad content specifically tailored to each retargeting segment. Personalize the messaging and creative elements to resonate with the audience's previous interactions with your brand.
Frequency Capping: Set frequency caps to control the number of times your retargeting ads are shown to users. This ensures that the ads don't become overwhelming or repetitive, leading to ad fatigue.
Ad Sequencing: Consider creating a sequence of ads to tell a story or provide additional information to users who have previously engaged with your brand. This sequential approach can help reinforce your messaging and drive higher engagement and conversions.
Continuous Optimization: Regularly monitor the performance of your retargeting campaigns on TikTok. Optimize your ads, adjust bids, and refine your targeting to ensure maximum effectiveness and return on ad spend.
User generated content(UGC) campaigns on TikTok can be highly effective in engaging and retaining your existing user base while also attracting new users. UGC campaigns involve encouraging TikTok users to create content related to your brand, products, or services.
Here are some key steps and considerations for implementing a successful TikTok retention strategy using UGC campaigns:
Create a Branded Hashtag: Develop a unique and memorable hashtag that represents your brand or campaign. This hashtag will serve as a rallying point for users to participate in the UGC campaign.
Define Campaign Goals: Clearly outline your campaign objectives and what you hope to achieve with the UGC campaign. It could be increasing engagement, generating user testimonials, showcasing product experiences, or fostering a sense of community.
Promote the Campaign: Spread the word about your UGC campaign through various channels. Utilize your social media platforms, email newsletters, website banners, and other marketing channels to inform your existing users about the campaign and encourage their participation.
Incentivize Participation: Offer incentives to users who participate in the UGC campaign. This could include giveaways, exclusive discounts, or featuring selected user-generated content on your official TikTok account or other marketing channels.
Showcase User-Generated Content: Regularly feature and highlight the best user-generated content on your TikTok account. This recognition can motivate participants and encourage others to join in. Consider creating compilation videos or showcasing individual content creators to amplify their impact.
Engage and Interact: Respond to user-generated content, comments, and messages to foster a sense of community and connection. Engaging with your audience shows that you value their contributions and encourages ongoing participation.
Continuously Refresh and Evolve: Keep the UGC campaign fresh and exciting by periodically introducing new themes, challenges, or opportunities for users to contribute. This helps maintain user interest and engagement over time.
Measure and Analyze: Monitor the performance and impact of your UGC campaign. Track metrics such as engagement rates, reach, and user sentiment to assess the effectiveness of the campaign and make necessary adjustments.
Turbocharge Your ROI with TikTok Ads
TikTok's reign in social media marketing is indisputable. The platform is revolutionizing business advertising in breathtaking ways. By harnessing the potent TikTok advertising techniques shared in this article, you can fuel positive ROI, sharpen your competitive edge, and smash your marketing objectives.
Despite some claims that Meta (Meta) is a dying platform, it continues to hold its position as the third most visited website globally, just behind Google and YouTube. This fact alone highlights the immense potential and reach that Meta still offers. Additionally, Meta Ads remain a formidable part of the digital advertising ecosphere, utilized by millions of businesses worldwide to effectively tap into this extensive user base and drive sales.
For e-commerce stores, in particular, Meta advertising plays a crucial role in securing the majority of their revenue. Therefore, it becomes imperative for businesses to invest time and effort in mastering Meta Ads to unlock their full potential and maximize e-commerce profits.
Why Are Meta Ads Important for E-commerce?
Since e-commerce relies almost entirely on online channels to drive sales, Meta Ads become the lifeblood of the brand’s revenue. Here are some powerful features that position Meta Ads in this light as one of the best marketing channels:
Massive User Base. Advertising on Meta has the potential to help you reach billions of users spread over Meta, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Most of them are frequent online shoppers who wouldn’t resist purchasing a product that interests them.
Targeting and Retargeting. Meta allows you to target and retarget users who share the same interests and behaviors and reside in the same demographics as your ideal avatars.
Multiple Ad Formats and Detailed Analytics. Not only does Meta support multiple ad formats, but it also provides you with detailed analytics on your advertising campaigns to help you decide which ad format brings the most results.
Meta allows you to place your ads in a variety of spaces, including Instagram, Facebook, the Meta Audience Network, and Messenger. However, to drive traffic to your store and maximize results, you’ll need to use the right strategies. Here are 12 suggestions.
12 Ad Hacks to Run the Best E-Commerce Campaigns
These techniques cover the most sensitive aspects of a successful ad, including copywriting, targeting, design, and rewarding users through giveaways or referral programs.
Craft an Irresistible Offer
With no enticing offer, you can’t expect to have a successful ad. Your offer needs to be so good that the potential customers feel like they’ve found the best bargain and it would be dumb not to take it. So how can you achieve that? Follow these points for a good offer:
Unique Selling Points. Show your audience the particular elements that make your products different from what the competition is offering. These might include high-quality materials, rare customer service, or continual discounts.
Infuse a Sense of Urgency. Push your audience to take action as soon as possible by adding timed discounts, countdowns, or a limit on the number of products.
Personalize Your Offer. Meta allows you to segment your audience and run ads for more than one specific demographic. Build campaigns that target different segments of your audience and introduce them to different offers.
Now, since we’re talking about targeting different audiences, let’s see how you can accomplish this detailed targeting, which characterizes the best Meta campaign types.
Compile a Targeted Lookalike Audience
After you’ve run your first Meta campaign, you’ll have gathered enough data to target new audiences by using the lookalike audiences feature. Meta allows you to compile a list of potential buyers based on the current profiles of existing interested customers.
All you have to do is either upload a copy of a list of users found on your database, which can be email subscribers or simply interested leads, or you can build a custom audience from people who have used your app or visited your website. For the latter, you’ll need to have activated the Meta Pixel.
Retarget Users Who Didn’t Finalize Their Purchases
Retargeting is a smart way to convince your interested audience that your product will add value to their life. All those people who visited your website and selected products but didn’t finish their purchases can be targeted with Meta Ads. Chances are that they are highly interested buyers, so they’re worth pursuing.
The issue we are discussing is known as cart abandonment, and statistics show that a dreadful $18 billion is flushed down the toilet for e-commerce brands because of abandoned carts. By using Meta Ads, you can retarget these users with new discounts and better offers to convince them to finalize their purchases and maybe select more products.
Build and Promote a Referral Program
Referral programs are highly beneficial because they automate the marketing process for your brand, making it completely hands-off. Once you set up a referral program and the industry influencers start talking about your brand, the potential for your products to go viral is high.
Also, you’ll get UGC (User-Generated Content), which you can import into your marketing tools to post highly engaging organic posts as well as build converting paid campaigns. There are several benefits of having a referral program for your e-commerce business:
You receive credible reviews and testimonials, which make your products appear trustworthy.
We spoke about lookalike audiences, which Meta finds and targets from an existing list of potential buyers that you upload. Now, what if you could directly target people on that uploaded list with your ads? Then, you’ll be using Custom Audiences.
Since you’re selling products on your e-commerce store, you can build a custom audience with those who viewed your products. Once you’ve implemented event tracking or the Meta Pixel on your website, you can retarget product viewers with dynamic ads (now Meta Advantage+ catalog ads) to reintroduce them to the products they saw or new similar ones.
Integrate Interesting Video Ads
Videos are much more engaging than text or image-based ads. They powerfully capture the audience’s attention and increase conversions since they appeal to multiple senses at once. In a Meta ad with video content, you combine several elements, including:
A visual appearance of the product
Guiding and compelling captions
People using the product in real life
Produce a few videos with your products and use them in your ads. You’ll notice a measurable increase in sales and product views.
Compose Irresistible Copy
There are tons of articles on this topic, but if you’ve tried running ads by yourself without copywriting expertise, you’ve probably learned its importance the hard way. Compelling copy requires research and the use of proven tactics. But, in short, great ad copy should include:
Attention-grabbing and metrics-driven headlines
Body copy that emphasizes benefits over features
Clear calls to action that drive readers to your store
If your copy holds these traits, it’s highly likely to attract buyers.
Link to Your Published Articles
Meta Ads can be used to drive more sales, but this doesn’t mean all of your ads should be used to showcase your products directly. Instead, you can build authority and establish yourself as an expert in the niche by publishing well-written articles, such as product reviews, and then driving your readers to your products from there.
This strategy works because you’re educating your users first and selling to them after. Once they see you as an expert, there won’t be any resistance between your products and their desire to buy. Blogging is a fantastic way to appear trustworthy and build credibility around your brand.
Use High-Quality Visuals
You can tell whether an e-comm store is professional or not just by looking at its website design and social media posts. For your visual assets to be captivating, have your designer collaborate with the copywriter on your team to produce visuals that include:
Captivating headlines blended seamlessly with the visuals
Appealing designs that touch on customers' pain points
Visualizations of products’ use or their benefits
Steer away from stock photos and instead use real-life pictures to make your ads more authentic and trustworthy. Also, don’t forget to brand your visuals for a professional look.
Put Customer Testimonials to Work
Customer testimonials are fantastic to build trust and convince customers about the value of your product. When you share other people’s experiences through testimonials in their own words, you’re stimulating a word-of-mouth conversation that is highly convincing.
Social media tools make it easy for you to monitor your brand and find what customers are saying about you online. Find your most loyal customers and use their testimonials in the form of quotes, videos, or user-generated content to create better Meta ads.
Create a Meta Product Catalog
For e-commerce stores, it’s essential to have a product catalog. By building a product catalog, you put all of your products into a single catalog, which makes it easier to advertise these products on Instagram and Facebook.
Once you’ve uploaded your products with your descriptions, titles, and respective images, you can run Meta Advantage+ catalog ads (previously known as dynamic ads). The Meta Advantage+ catalog ads feature gathers data from your audience and shows them personalized ads based on the products they view on your website or app.
Plan an Exciting Giveaway
People won’t ever get tired of winning free stuff. Giveaways are one way of leveraging this desire to increase the performance of your Meta ads and get more sales. There are a dozen reasons why you shouldn’t skip using giveaways for your e-commerce store:
By integrating lead generation tools into the participation process, you can turn giveaway participants into new email subscribers and potential customers.
Giveaways encourage word-of-mouth sharing of your brand, which has no limits.
You can increase engagement, reach, and sales at the same time while encouraging participants to like, comment, and share your brand.
Adopt email account management software to help you monitor new giveaway sign-ups, nurture relationships with your subscribers, and oversee other email activity with ease.
Creating exceptional ads is a matter of experimentation. However, by employing these battle-tested tactics, you can increase your conversions. Supercharge your ad copy, use compelling and high-quality visuals, and win the audience’s trust through testimonials and promotion of your blog content before driving them to your store.
Roman Shvydun is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, it's the companies that adapt and innovate that find success. Amazon, already a dominant player in the digital ad publishing space, has made a substantial stride to broaden its advertising horizons. With their new advertising offering - Amazon Sponsored Display for non-endemic brands, they are paving the way for a whole new marketing strategy.
This is a game-changer for "non-endemic" brands, a term used to describe companies that do not sell physical goods on Amazon, but would benefit from advertising on Amazon's platforms. Some examples include car manufacturers, insurance companies, and even restaurants. This expansion heralds a bright future for these brands, offering fresh opportunities and creating a new way for non-endemic brands to engage with potential customers.
Amazon’s New Offering: Sponsored Display Advertising
At the heart of this initiative is the Sponsored Display advertising type, unveiled during Amazon's 'Unboxed' conference. A unique offering in Amazon's growing ad ecosystem, this is a completely self-serve ad type that requires no minimum spend. It's impressively simple to set up, deploy, and manage, especially when compared to Amazon's programmatic ad platform, the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP). This effectively eliminates previous barriers, opening the floodgates for non-endemic brands to dive into Amazon’s vast ad ecosystem.
For brands seeking a deeper understanding of their ad impact, Amazon offers a powerful duo of tools. The Amazon DSP allows for more sophisticated ad buys, using the rich, first-party data to target audiences more accurately. Keep in mind also that Amazon display ads' inventory includes amazon.com, twitch and freevee, so there are many ways to put messaging in front of the specific audience you need.
Amazon Marketing Cloud, on the other hand, provides robust reporting capabilities. These tools can be used in combination, enabling brands to link their own sales data with DSP impression data. This reveals which ads have been most effective in guiding customers along their purchase journey.
Non-endemic advertising on Amazon isn't just a passing trend—it represents a pivotal shift in Amazon's strategy and potentially in the advertising industry as a whole. It brings with it exciting opportunities, but also challenges. Endemic brands—those that do sell their products on Amazon—may experience increased competition for ad slots, which could drive up their advertising costs.
Getting Started with Amazon Sponsored Display
So, how should non-endemic brands navigate these new waters? It begins with a mindset shift. Amazon is no longer just a place for consumer product brands to advertise. With a deep understanding of its users' purchasing habits and interests, Amazon can provide other companies with valuable insight into customer behavior and preferences.
Non-endemic brands also need to understand and embrace Amazon DSP. This programmatic media buying platform boasts rich audience targeting capabilities, allowing brands to reach their desired customers more effectively. And let's not forget the ad creative options, which are more diverse and flexible than you might think.
The first step for non-endemic brands is to challenge their existing perceptions about Amazon Ads. Start with the basics: familiarize yourself with the platform's features, its targeting capabilities, and its variety of ad formats. Experiment with these tools and make data-informed decisions. By leveraging the insights provided by Amazon DSP, you can create more precise and effective ad campaigns.
Lastly, it's important to start small, test, and learn. By investing modestly in new ideas and strategies, you can gather valuable feedback and refine your approach as you go. The goal is to build expertise and stay ahead of the competition, capitalizing on these new opportunities before they become the norm.
Embracing non-endemic retail media advertising presents a golden opportunity for brands not traditionally selling on Amazon to tap into the benefits of Amazon Ads. It provides a wealth of ways to reach diverse audiences, mix sales data with impression data, and engage a highly receptive audience more likely to convert.
Bringing it All Together with Marin Software
Here at Marin Software, we're committed to helping your brand navigate this new frontier. Our advanced technology and deep expertise can help you make the most of Amazon’s new Sponsored Display for non-endemic brands.
Harness the potential of non-endemic advertising with Amazon Sponsored Display. Learn how your brand can use Amazon's vast audience and advertising tools to unlock new growth avenues and engage with new customers.
Start by challenging the status quo. Embrace the power of Amazon's rich, first-party data to understand and reach your target customers at different stages of their buying journey. Develop creative, outside-the-box strategies to pair your products or services with Amazon users' shopping behaviors.
With the right approach, non-endemic brands can effectively leverage Amazon's vast ecosystem to establish meaningful connections with potential customers, boost brand visibility, and ultimately drive business growth.
While it’s considered the underdog of paid search advertising and can often fly under the radar, Microsoft is still an effective platform for generating conversions. Like any ad platform, the key to achieving high-performing campaigns is with optimization.
For over 10 years of running DataFeedWatch and having helped over 17k retailers optimize their product feeds for various channels - including Microsoft (formerly known as Microsoft Advertising), I’ve witnessed countless approaches to this marketing channel. Some less and some more successful. And today, I’d like to focus on the latter.
In this article, I am breaking down 13 tips on how to optimize Microsoft Advertising campaigns to generate the best possible results for you or your clients. The optimization tips will feel familiar for those experienced in managing Google Ads campaigns, however, there are subtle differences of which you must be mindful.
This is why including Microsoft Advertising in your paid search strategy makes sense…the actual volume of people that use the platforms has shifted significantly and seems to be growing. And the consensus among advertisers is that Microsoft's new features and placements make it a solid addition to your paid search strategy.
Some advertisers use Microsoft Advertising as a secret weapon in gaining a competitive advantage, especially if it’s a space where their competitors are less active. Others claim lower CPCs and higher conversion rates, which can mean better performance in comparison to Google Ads.
13 Tips to Optimize Your Microsoft Advertising Campaigns
Let’s explore 13 practical tips on how to optimize Microsoft Advertising campaigns to generate the best possible results. Work through each of the tips below and prioritize them based on what will have the biggest impact on your account.
Import High-Performing Google Ads Campaigns
The vast majority of advertisers running Microsoft Advertising campaigns will already be using Google Ads. If this is you, then this step is a breeze. Import your Google Ads campaigns into Microsoft using the Import feature. It can be found along the top panel once you’ve logged in.
If your Google Ads campaigns are high performing and you are happy with how they are set up and structured, then even better. Go ahead and import your campaigns into Microsoft as soon as possible. If you anticipate some larger Google Ads campaign optimizations or structural changes shortly, it might make sense to import once that work is complete.
Having said that, this feature is extremely handy, and anytime you’ve made changes to your Google Ads campaigns, whether it’s adding in new campaigns or ad groups, or updating ads and ad copy, then import those changes straight into Bing in a few simple steps.
I recommend doing an advanced import to have more control over what gets pulled into your Microsoft Advertising account. For example, you can customize bid strategies, bids, budgets, and naming conventions (and so much more), tailoring these aspects to the individual needs of your account.
Right before starting the import, click on the advanced import button seen in the screenshot below:
You’ll then get the choice on a wide selection of settings:
Experiment With Bid Strategies
There are six bid strategies to choose from in Microsoft Advertising. The most optimal bid strategy depends on several factors and should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Not only does your objective need to be considered, but other things such as conversion tracking set-up, how much budget you’re spending, and having enough data in the account for some bid strategies to work effectively should also factor in.
Here are the 6 bid strategies that you are currently available to choose from:
Maximize Clicks (automated)
Target Impression Share
Three common scenarios that would indicate Enhanced CPC, Maximize Clicks or Target Impression Share would be the best choice are the following:
The objective is brand awareness or to drive traffic
Conversion tracking hasn’t been set up
You have had less than 15 conversions in the past 30 days
If any of the above reflect your situation, then the first 3 bid strategies on the list above will likely be the best choice, but there’s still an opportunity to experiment with Microsoft Advertising bid strategies. If you start with Enhanced CPC, experiment with Maximize Clicks to see how an automated bid strategy impacts performance, or with Target Impression Share to see if that bid strategy drives an uplift in results.
If the objective is to generate conversions or you are working towards a Target CPA or Target ROAS, then the latter three bid strategies on the list above will probably be the best option. When starting, it’s recommended to use Maximize Conversions and allow the campaign to collect as much conversion data as possible. Following that, experiment with Target CPA or Target ROAS, which are considered more optimal, taking into account your goals.
Track Your Conversions
Microsoft Advertising tip #3 follows nicely from the previous tip on bid strategies. Setting up conversion tracking is a key way to improve the performance of your Microsoft Advertising campaigns. Not only will this allow you to use the more advanced bidding strategies - Maximize Clicks, Target CPA, and Target ROAS - it’ll provide you with more optimization options.
For example, without conversion tracking, you can still optimize your campaigns and keywords to drive as much traffic as you can. However, with conversion tracking, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact campaigns and keywords that drive action on your site, whether that’s sign-ups, purchases, or other actions, and double down on those keywords and campaigns. It’ll also enable you to reduce waste in the account by pulling back from areas that are underperforming from a conversion perspective.
Although setting up tracking requires some initial analytics work, tracking conversions will make all the difference when it comes to your Microsoft Advertising optimization.
Optimize Keywords Using Data
Keyword optimization on Microsoft Advertising is really important and something that can be added to the weekly to-do list. Some of the key metrics to keep an eye on are CTR, average CPC, impression share, quality score, conversion rate, CPA, and ROAS. This sounds like a lot, and they may not all apply, but being mindful of these metrics and striving to make them as efficient as possible is a great way to optimize your account.
Here are some practical steps I follow when optimizing keywords in Microsoft:
Navigate to the keywords section of the left-hand panel, either on a campaign-by-campaign basis or looking at all campaigns
Choose a date range. When choosing the date range, ensure there is enough data to make well-informed optimization decisions.
Add the key metrics you are monitoring to your columns so that you can view these metrics on a keyword-by-keyword basis
Filter keywords either by ‘keyword text contains/doesn’t contain’ or by metric, for example, ‘Quality Score is less than 6/10’. Doing this will allow you to single out the best and worst-performing keywords based on your criteria
Once keywords in need of optimization have been identified, take the necessary steps to optimize them, whether that means adjusting bids, pausing or moving them, qual. score work, etc.
Following the above process regularly is a surefire way to optimize your Microsoft Advertising keywords using all of the data that’s available to you.
And should you want to skip the hustle of manual keyword optimization of your search ads, DataFeedWatch's Feed-Based Text Ads software will soon be able to do that for you. It’ll automatically pull in the keywords from your product feed and create unique ads for each and every product you have in your store – even if you sell thousands.
Monitor Search Terms
Search terms should be monitored and optimized in the same way as keywords, detailed in the previous tip. Follow the same process, this time in the ‘Search Terms’ section of the account, to find non-relevant search terms that can then be excluded from your ad groups and campaigns. Doing this will focus your budget on more relevant searches, have higher intent, and are more likely to drive better results.
For example, in the screenshot below, for a pet-friendly holiday business, searches relating to ‘home rentals’ and ‘houses to rent’ are not relevant and are a waste of budget. Filter by ‘Search Term contains home rental/houses to rent’ to isolate all search terms that relate to this, and then exclude them from your campaigns.
This is also a great exercise to uncover new keywords that can then be added to ad groups and campaigns accordingly. For example, let’s say the ‘pet-friendly travel lodges’ search term is showing up in a ‘Pet-Friendly Hotels’ ad group. This term could be added as a new keyword in its own ad group, which means it can be better managed, and the ads and landing page can be tailored to this specific search.
Add Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are a vital way to optimize Microsoft Advertising campaigns by excluding certain words and phrases that are not relevant. Doing so will mean saving budget, reducing waste, and instead focusing on only relevant searches. Adding negative keywords is especially important for phrase and broad match keywords, in fact, they are a good optimization technique for any campaign and campaign type that doesn’t use exact match keywords.
Start by blocking out keywords you know are not relevant from the start. It could be a particular product or service you don’t offer, competitor brands or other non-relevant searches, such as people looking for jobs, or people searching for locations you don’t operate in.
Next, following on from the search term analysis, identify new negative keywords that can be added based on non-relevant search terms that are cropping up. Using the example in the previous section, ‘home rental’ was identified as a non-relevant search term, so this could be added as a negative keyword in phrase match to block out any future searches that include this term.
Monitor/Improve Quality Score
Your Microsoft Advertising quality score indicates how competitive your ads are by measuring keyword, ad, and landing page relevance concerning customers' search queries.
Improve quality score by focusing on three key areas - improving expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Practically speaking, this could mean enhancing ad copy to improve expected CTR, or making the ad more relevant to keywords and searches. Separate keywords into ad groups by tight themes to improve ad relevance. Or make improvements to your landing page, such as page speed, including keywords on your landing page or page navigation.
Quality score optimization will translate to more competitive CPCs and ad delivery, helping to drive better results.
Write Effective Ad Copy
Writing impactful ad copy plays a crucial role in optimizing your Microsoft Advertising campaigns. The primary objective of ad copy is to capture your audience's attention and increase the likelihood of them clicking on your ad. To achieve this, address your audience's needs while highlighting the unique aspects of your offering.
Make sure to incorporate attention-grabbing headlines that clearly communicate the value your product or service brings. Emphasize the benefits and USPs to entice your audience and then prompt them to take action with clear call-to-actions. Finally, including relevant keywords throughout your ad copy enhances its relevance and quality score, as discussed in the previous section.
To further improve the effectiveness of your ads, use as many ad extensions as possible, such as site links, callouts, and structured snippets. Ad extensions provide searchers with additional information, making your ads larger in the SERPs and enhancing their visual appeal.
Use Bid Adjustments With Targeting
In Microsoft Advertising, a bid adjustment is a percentage you want to increase or decrease the bid for particular targeting elements. Bid adjustments are a handy way to optimize Microsoft Advertising based on performance and finetune how your budget is spent.
Bid adjustments can be applied to audiences, demographics, locations, ad schedules and devices, and within these categories, there are a lot of things that can be adjusted. For example, you may have identified that desktop devices far outperform mobile and tablets. Therefore, it could make sense to add a +50% bid adjustment to desktop devices, to increase competitiveness for that device since it performs so well. Or perhaps a particular age group, day of the week, or in-market audience underperforms. In this case, use a negative bid adjustment of -20% (or how much makes sense for you) for these elements, so that when someone who’s part of this target searches, you’re spending less and bidding less competitively.
Bid adjustments provide an extra layer of Microsoft Advertising optimization and are considered an effective way to enhance performance.
Experiment With All Match Types In The Same Ad Group
If your ad groups currently contain single match type keywords, try broadening them out by adding in other match types. Remember relevance is key, so ensure the keywords are still really closely related.
A final note on this, proceed with caution. Phrase and broad match can quickly spend your budget on things that are not relevant. Therefore, ensure you use a robust negative keyword list and monitor search terms daily when experimenting with phrase and broad match keywords.
Maximize Your Impression Share
Impression share is measured as a percentage. It’s the number of times your ad is shown out of the total available impressions in the market you were targeting. In simple terms, if there were 100 impressions available, and your campaign achieved 80 impressions, you would have an 80% impression share.
This metric is important because it highlights how much visibility you have relative to your market. As well as that, it tells you how much growth potential there is. 80% impression share perhaps means you are really competitive, but there’s also an opportunity to achieve another 20% impression share. Optimize your Microsoft Advertising campaigns by maximizing impression share for the top-performing campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.
Use Ad Recommendations
Navigate to the ‘Recommendations’ section of your Microsoft Advertising account. Here you will find a list of recommendations relating to repairs, bidding, budgets, keywords, targeting, ads, and extensions. It’s essentially the same tool that’s used in Google Ads, for those that are familiar with Google.
Consider each of the recommendations that are provided and work through them based on your account. Not all of them will be relevant, but apply those that are. For example, in the screenshot above, setting up conversion tracking would hugely benefit performance, so this recommendation should be actioned to better optimize campaigns. However, fixing campaigns that are limited by budget essentially means increasing campaign budgets, which isn’t possible due to the fixed monthly budget that’s in place.
Although a lot of the recommendations won’t be relevant and applicable, some of them will be so it’s a great way of staying on top of housekeeping tasks and discovering new ways to optimize your Microsoft Advertising account.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
Last but not least in our 13 tips on how to optimize Microsoft Advertising campaigns is landing page optimization. Campaign set-up and management can only go so far. The effectiveness of a landing page has equal importance in generating conversions and will therefore impact performance. Therefore, landing page optimization can help in the following 3 ways:
Improve user experience by providing them with a seamless and positive experience
Increase conversion rates, which will in turn, improve CPA and ROAS
Improve quality score and ad relevance, as discussed previously
Poorly designed, slow, and tricky-to-navigate landing pages will more likely lead to poor performance, and vice versa. Although this tip doesn’t relate to Microsoft Advertising itself, optimizing landing pages will improve the performance of your Microsoft Advertising campaigns.
Here’s a list of some potential landing page optimizations to consider:
Clear and compelling headlines
Persuasive messaging and the use of keywords
Strong call-to-actions throughout the page
Visuals that resonate with your target audience
Mobile-friendly landing pages
A streamlined conversion funnel or form
Testimonials, reviews, and ratings to build trust and authority
Page loading speed
A final thing to consider when optimizing landing pages is setting up a/b testing and experimenting with various elements from the list above, as a way to get better results.
By following the 13 Microsoft Advertising optimization tips in this article, your account will be in with a good chance of successful results. Take the time needed to go through each aspect of account optimization, and remember that optimization work is ongoing. It’s vital that weekly, fortnightly, and monthly processes are in place and strictly followed, to stay on top of performance and to ensure your campaigns stay healthy.
Jacques van der Wilt is a guest contributor to Marin Software's blog.
Meta, formerly Facebook, is one of the most powerful ad platforms on the planet. If you want to increase sales online with ads, the best place to start is with Meta and their nearly 5 billion active users between Facebook and Instagram. The Meta Ads Manager system was precisely tailored and designed by the social media giant for businesses so that regular accounts can be differentiated from personal ones.
Meta Business is the platform that lets businesses use Facebook and Instagram’s vast customer base to sell to. In short, Meta business manager is where effective monetization of your digital presence begins. Meta Ads Manager simplifies life for digital marketing professionals with its capabilities of creating and monitoring separate accounts for each business they manage. This allows them to easily distinguish between different organizations and assign distinct roles based on the user's job function.
Furthermore, administrators can gain centralized control over multiple users' accounts by setting specific permissions from one easy-to-use platform. This article will dive into everything you need to know about Meta Ads Manager.
What is Meta Ads Manager?
Meta Ads Manager is a platform that allows advertisers to manage and optimize their online advertising campaigns across multiple channels. It provides a centralized system for creating, launching, and tracking advertising campaigns, making it easier for marketers to manage their campaigns efficiently.
What Will You Get Out of This Guide?
This quick guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the best practices for using Meta Ads Manager to maximize advertising campaign performance. We will cover the essential steps for setting up and optimizing ad campaigns and provide insights into common pitfalls to avoid.
Overview of the Best Practices for Meta Ads Manager
This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the best practices for using Meta Ads Manager, including setting up an account, creating and launching ad campaigns, optimizing campaigns for better performance, measuring ad performance, scaling campaigns, and avoiding common pitfalls. By following these best practices, advertisers can ensure their campaigns are performing at peak and delivering the best possible results.
Now, let’s dive into what you need to know about Meta Ads Manager.
Setting up Meta Ads Manager
We've covered what you need to know here about getting set up on Meta Ads Manager.
Creating an Account
The first step in using Meta Ads Manager is to create an account. This involves:
Providing essential information about your business
Setting up payment methods for ad spend
Once the account is created, you can start adding campaigns and setting up targeting parameters.
Adding Ad Campaigns
The next step is to add ad campaigns to the Meta Ads Manager account. This involves selecting the type of advertising you would like to run. You will then need to select the platform or channels where you want to run your ads.
Setting up Ad Budget and Targeting
Once your ad campaigns are added, it's time to set up the ad budget and targeting parameters. The ad budget will determine how much you are willing to spend on each campaign, and the targeting parameters will decide who will see your ads.
Targeting can be set based on demographics, interests, behaviors, or other criteria. It's essential to carefully consider these parameters and set them correctly to ensure your ads reach the right audience and achieve the desired results.
Optimizing Ad Campaigns
Optimization is essential for your ads. You must ensure that your ads will perform as effectively as possible.
Ad Copy Writing and Testing
Ad copywriting is an art and science. Your ad copy should be attention-grabbing and relevant while including a clear call to action. It's also essential to test different ad copies to determine which ones perform best. A/B testing can help you determine which ad copy is most effective in achieving your desired results.
Artificial intelligence has recently come onto the scene in a big way. To create the best ad copy, consider using AI writing tools when appropriate.
Choosing the Right Ad Format
Choosing the proper ad format is another important factor in optimizing ad campaigns. Different designs, such as display ads, video ads, or carousel ads, have different strengths and limitations. Consider the target audience, message, and desired outcome when selecting the correct ad format for your campaigns.
Landing Page Optimization
The landing page is the first impression potential customers will have of your brand. It's vital to ensure that the landing page is optimized for conversions. This means it should load quickly, be easy to navigate, and include a clear call-to-action. Ensure that the messaging and design of the landing page align with the ad and that it's optimized for the target audience.
Measuring Ad Performance
Next, you need to know how to measure your ads. Like the stock market, you must learn how to ride the winners and ditch the losers. Meta has advanced analytics you can use to track all your ads' performance.
Understanding Ad Metrics
To effectively measure the performance of ad campaigns, it's essential to understand the critical ad metrics. Metrics such as cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS) can provide valuable insights into how your ads are performing and how they can be improved.
Setting up Conversion Tracking
Conversion tracking is a critical component of measuring ad performance. By setting up conversion tracking, you can see which campaigns drive the most conversions and optimize your campaigns accordingly. Conversion tracking can be set up using tools like Google Analytics or a conversion tracking pixel provided by Meta Ads Manager.
Analyzing Ad Performance and Making Data-Driven Decisions
Once you have a solid understanding of the vital ad metrics and have set up conversion tracking, it's time to analyze ad performance and make data-driven decisions. Regularly reviewing ad performance and making adjustments based on data can help improve the outcome of your campaigns over time. This can include adjusting the budget, adjusting targeting, or improving ad copy and landing pages.
Scaling Ad Campaigns
Now that you have found some ads that work, it’s time to scale them up to reach the most people and bring in maximum revenue.
Managing Ad Spend
As ad campaigns scale and reach a wider audience, managing ad spending is essential. You must:
Set a clear ad budget
Monitor ad spend regularly
Make adjustments as needed to ensure that spend aligns with the desired results and priorities
Expanding Targeting and Geographies
Once ad campaigns are performing well, advertisers can consider expanding to new markets with updated targeting. This can include targeting new demographics, interests, or behaviors or reaching new geographic locations. By increasing the overall reach of ad campaigns, advertisers can increase impression share in their competitive space and drive more conversions.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid
While the Meta Ads platform has many positive attributes, it does have some downfalls and things you should avoid, or consider using a third party tool like Marin Software to layer on top of Meta and push advertising possibilities even further.
Overcomplicating Ad Campaigns
One of the biggest pitfalls in Meta Ads campaign management is overcomplicating the account structure. Ad campaigns can quickly become complex, with multiple ad formats, several different audiences, and many important metrics to consider. It's crucial to keep ad campaigns focused and straightforward to avoid adding unnecessary complication that can negatively affect overall campaign performance.
Failing to Optimize Ad Campaigns Regularly
Ad campaigns need to be optimized regularly to ensure they continue to deliver the best possible results. Failing to optimize ad campaigns regularly can diminish returns over time as ad performance gradually deteriorates. Regular optimization can include adjusting ad budget, targeting parameters, ad copy, and landing pages and testing and refining strategies as needed.
Advertising is a dynamic and ever-evolving process that requires constant fine-tuning to maximize your ROI. That's why it pays off to be knowledgeable about best practices when using Meta Ads Manager, from setting up campaigns correctly in the first place to optimizing them continually for more efficient performance.
With careful attention paid to avoiding common pitfalls along with testing, refining, and analyzing data regularly - you can reach new heights of success by taking advantage of all this platform has to offer!
Whether you're a seasoned advertiser or just starting with Meta Ads Manager, it's never too late to optimize your ad campaigns. So take action today and implement these best practices in Meta Ads Manager.
Andrew Dunn is a guest contributor to Marin Software's blog.
In a world where traditional advertising methods abound but struggle to capture audiences, it becomes crucial for businesses to remain authentic and unique in their prospect-facing messaging. Native advertising offers a professional and authoritative approach to engage and convert your target audience. This article will delve into the 5 key benefits of native advertising for businesses, uncovering how this marketing tactic can revolutionize your approach and amplify your success.
What Are The Benefits Of Native Advertising?
Non-disruptive and Can Encourage Users To Engage With Content
Running native ads as a media buyer or entrepreneur brings significant benefits, and one standout advantage is their non-disruptive nature. Native ads smoothly blend in with the surrounding content, adopting similar visuals and context, resulting in a less intrusive and more natural advertising experience. This seamless integration makes it challenging for users to differentiate native ads from regular content, maintaining a cohesive and uninterrupted browsing experience.
The success of these ads lies in their ability to match the form and function of the platform on which they are displayed. By doing so, native ads become an organic part of the user's content consumption journey, providing valuable information and enhancing engagement.
One successful example of this approach is Spotify's partnership with Netflix to create playlists for every Stranger Things character. By integrating these playlists within its platform, Spotify effectively combines the worlds of music and entertainment, offering users a unique and immersive experience.
This collaboration not only enhances engagement for both companies but also demonstrates the power of native advertising to seamlessly blend content and advertising in a way that adds value to the user.
As a result, businesses that utilize native ads can expect improved click-through rates and increased time spent on content, leading to higher conversions and overall campaign success.
According to Meetanshi, native ads boast a click-through rate of 0.16% on desktop and 0.38% on mobile, which is a significant improvement compared to the 0.11% click-through rate for traditional banner ads.
Drive brand awareness
You need a powerful solution that delivers exceptional results to drive brand awareness effectively. Native advertising, combined with market analysis, is precisely that solution. What sets native ads apart is their ability to target specific audience segments. With precise targeting options encompassing demographics, devices, geography, customer intent, etc., native ads empower you to enhance brand awareness or boost sales strategically.
According to a 2015 study, native ads generated 9% more brand affinity responses when compared to banner ads. This finding underscores the effectiveness of native ads in fostering positive brand connections.
You can utilize the flexibility of native ads to create upper-funnel content that educates your audience about your brand or lower-funnel content that drives action, seamlessly aligning with your marketing funnel.
By delivering tailored content that resonates with your customers' unique interests and identities, you can effectively reach them at the right moment with the right message.
Cost-Effectiveness and Efficiency
One major advantage of native advertising is its scalability, which sets it apart from platforms like Facebook. Scaling campaigns on Facebook often comes with increased costs, making it challenging to maintain profitability. However, native ads offer a much smoother scaling experience without drastic cost increases.
You can significantly increase your daily budget, and the cost per action (CPA) remains consistent. Whether you spend $1,000 or $10,000 per day, the impact on CPA is minimal.
This scalability significantly transforms businesses. It allows you to expand your advertising efforts and reach a larger audience without sacrificing profitability. By leveraging native advertising's smooth scaling capabilities, you can effectively and efficiently achieve your growth objectives. It provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness that can significantly impact the success of your campaigns.
Improve Reach to Your Target Audience
Ad-blockers have become increasingly popular as users are actively seeking ways to avoid intrusive and irrelevant ads. This poses a significant challenge for businesses trying to reach their target audience. In fact, globally, 42.7% of internet users use ad-blockers.
Fortunately, native ads offer a solution to this problem. By blending into the user experience, native ads bypass ad-blockers and ensure that brand messages successfully reach the intended audience.
Two highly effective native ad formats are in-feed ads and sponsored content. In-feed ads naturally fit into content feeds, looking like regular posts, while sponsored content provides valuable information with subtle brand promotion.
Real Alternative to Other Traffic Sources
When it comes to online advertising, companies often turn to popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram. However, there's a growing frustration among users with the structure and controversies surrounding these platforms.
Many people are deleting their Facebook accounts or choosing not to create them in the first place. This is where native ads offer a significant advantage. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, native ads are not tied to a single dedicated traffic source. They encompass the entire internet, leveraging various players and traffic sources.
While you may be familiar with big players like Taboola, Outbrain, or Microsoft Advertising, there are numerous smaller and larger traffic sources scattered throughout the web. Let's take the example of a clothing brand that wants to reach fashion-forward millennials who are passionate about sustainable fashion.
While Facebook and Instagram are popular choices, the brand can also consider exploring alternative traffic sources such as fashion blogs, eco-conscious lifestyle websites, or niche fashion communities. By advertising on these platforms, the brand can effectively target a specific audience that aligns with their values and interests. This approach allows them to expand their reach beyond the major social media platforms and connect with individuals who are more likely to be interested in their sustainable fashion offerings.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Native Advertising?
While native advertising offers numerous benefits, it's important to be aware of its potential drawbacks. Here are three key disadvantages to consider:
Disclosure and Transparency
Native advertising can sometimes blur the line between editorial content and advertising, causing confusion among consumers.
When there is a lack of clear labeling, it becomes difficult for users to differentiate between sponsored content and organic editorial content. This lack of transparency erodes trust and credibility. Failure to disclose sponsored content properly not only leads to negative brand perception but also carries potential legal consequences.
To avoid these issues, you must prioritize clear and conspicuous labeling, ensuring transparency and fostering trust with your audience. Transparent disclosure helps consumers make informed decisions and demonstrates a commitment to ethical advertising practices.
One significant risk associated with native advertising is the potential for biased or misleading information. When native ads prioritize brand messaging over objective reporting, publishers compromise their integrity and credibility.
This prioritization of brand promotion over providing unbiased information erodes the trust that consumers place in publishers as reliable sources of content. These ethical concerns highlight the importance of careful consideration and balance in native advertising practices.
Advertisers and publishers should prioritize maintaining the integrity of their content and ensure clear differentiation between promotional messages and editorial content. By doing so, businesses can preserve audience trust and uphold ethical standards in native advertising.
Limited Control over Placement
In native advertising, you often have limited control over where your ads are placed as publishers determine specific ad placements within their platforms. You may have little say in the exact placement of your ads, which can lead to unintended association with unrelated or controversial content.
This lack of control poses a risk to brand image and reputation. To mitigate these risks, you should carefully select publishers and platforms that align with your brand values and target audience, and maintain open communication regarding ad placements and content guidelines. By doing this, you can minimize the chances of unintended associations that may harm your brand.
In conclusion, the benefits of native advertising are abundant, offering businesses seamless integration, precise targeting, cost-effectiveness, ad-blocker resilience, and an alternative to traditional platforms.
Despite challenges such as disclosure and limited control, native advertising remains a powerful tool for engaging audiences, increasing brand visibility, and driving meaningful results in today's advertising landscape.
Millie Pham is a guest contributor to the Marin Software blog.
Are you looking to drive more leads, build better relationships, and develop an air-tight strategy with key accounts through LinkedIn? If so, then LinkedIn account-based marketing (ABM) may be exactly what your business needs. With the popularity of ABM on the rise, not overlooking its benefits could help set your organization apart from competitors. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into five power moves that are sure to ignite engagement across your ABM strategy on LinkedIn!
Getting Started with Account-Based Marketing
If you're not familiar with ABM, it stands for Account-Based Marketing, which is a highly-targeted approach that focuses on specific accounts rather than casting a wide net to a larger audience. By taking the time to get to know your target accounts, you can create a personalized approach that resonates with those specific stakeholders and decision-makers at the companies that you want to work with. It also flips the traditional lead generation methods on their head. Sales and marketing teams no longer cast wide nets with a hit-and-miss approach, instead, they start to sniper in on key targets.
Leveraging LinkedIn for ABM
Ok so first things first, let's talk about why ABM on LinkedIn is important. There are many ABM strategies out there so why should you care about Linkedin? Well, although events and conferences are still great to get prospects' details, getting much more specific is winning the day in the prospecting world right now.
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network, with over 700 million members. This makes it an unrivaled platform to target specific accounts and engage with decision-makers in a professional setting. But with the rise of personal branding and ways to automate this it is more important than ever to stand out when creating ads and content.
ABM on LinkedIn allows you to personalize your messaging and content for each account, persona, or industry. This stacks the cards in your favor and drastically increases the chances of getting a conversation going and ultimately converting them into a sale. So, here are the five ways to ignite your LinkedIn ABM strategy and make sure you are using the platform most effectively. Let's get started!
Refining Target Audiences
The success of your ABM campaign relies heavily on your initial planning - know what specific slice of the market you want to target. It hinges on identifying and refining your target audience. It may sound obvious but if you don’t get your message in front of the right people at the right time, you won’t be able to sell.
Research your existing customer database. What patterns do you see if deals that have closed successfully? What do your most valuable customers have in common? Don't only analyze current customers, also research audiences for new customers you're hoping to convert. Luckily (or perhaps by design), the LinkedIn account targeting features offer a wealth of filters and criteria that can be used to narrow down and refine your audience effectively.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a rock-star tool when trying to target specific individuals and companies. If you aren’t familiar with its benefits then definitely check it out. Now let's get into some of the demographics or characteristics that you should consider when defining key customer personas on LinkedIn.
Job Title and Role
Pay close attention to the job titles and roles within your target accounts. Identify the decision-makers, influencers, and key stakeholders who are involved in the purchasing process. This enables you to tailor your messaging and content to resonate with their specific needs and pain points.
Company Size and Industry
Take into account the company size and industry of your target accounts. This information can provide insights into their unique challenges, preferences, and buying behaviors. Then you can customize your approach to address the specific pain points and goals associated with their industry or company size.
Growth Potential and Revenue
This one is key. Look beyond the surface-level criteria and assess the growth potential and revenue of your target accounts. Consider factors such as recent funding rounds, expansion plans, or mergers and acquisitions.
Accounts with high growth potential or substantial revenue can indicate a greater opportunity for partnership or business impact so you can focus your resources effectively.
Tip: Consider grading accounts so you have your high, mid, and low targets. I have even seen some companies hand the top targets to the top sales reps and the low targets to the reps that are struggling. Sound unfair? It kind of makes sense from a business perspective though right? It certainly lit a fire under the struggling reps to try and break through to get better accounts!
Recent News or Events
Stay up to date with the latest news and events surrounding your target accounts. This is a great sales technique as you can identify and leverage any company announcements, product launches, leadership changes, or industry trends. This information can provide valuable context and enable you to tailor your messaging to align with their current initiatives or challenges.
Use LinkedIn Insights
Leverage the insights and data provided by LinkedIn to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience. LinkedIn offers valuable analytics and demographic information that can inform your audience refinement strategy. Use these insights to validate and adjust your approach based on real-time data.
Let's say you are an IT Cloud Service vendor targeting the technology sector. You may want to refine your target audience to include accounts with specific job titles such as "Chief Technology Officer" or "IT Manager" in companies of a certain size range that would need your services.
That narrows the pool down but you may want to get a bit deeper. Try and understand what those prospects use already, or identify issues with existing products or vendors. In this example, finding out which companies are aggressively hiring and which ones are struggling will also help to identify and grade accounts.
Couple this with the LinkedIn analytics, you can be sure that your ABM efforts will be focused on the right companies and individuals who have the decision-making power and influence you need to conquer to sell.
So now you have your target audience, what’s next? The LinkedIn ad campaign of course, and this is where you need your creative marketing team to generate spot-on ad creative.
LinkedIn offers a variety of ad formats, including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Dynamic Ads. Each format has its unique features and benefits. We have covered that in depth in our LinkedIn Advertising 101 article.
But here’s a quick graphic to help you understand the options aligned with the campaign objectives.
Choosing the right one depends on your campaign goals and target audience but no matter what one you choose, you will need LinkedIn ads that are creative and speak to your target audience.
Here are some tips for creating an engaging ad creative that will resonate with your target audience:
Keep it simple: Avoid using too much jargon or complicated language. Use simple and concise language that your audience can understand.\
Be visually appealing: Use eye-catching images or videos that capture your audience's attention. Make sure they are relevant to your message and align with your brand.
Highlight benefits: Focus on the benefits of your product or service rather than just its features. Show your audience that you understand them and their problems. Make sure you also show them you can solve their problems or make their lives easier.
Include a call to action: Tell your audience what you want them to do after seeing your ad. Whether it's to visit your website, fill out a form, or request a demo, make sure your call to action is clear and compelling.
By following these tips, you can create ad creative that not only captures your audience's attention but also resonates with them. This is fundamental to getting people to follow your CTA.
Optimizing ad spend
One of the most important aspects of any ABM campaign is optimizing the ad spend. With so many different types of businesses and people on LinkedIn, you want to make sure that your budget is as targeted as possible.
Luckily (or maybe by design!), LinkedIn provide a range of tools and metrics to help you achieve this. So, let's explore some of the ways you can optimize your ad spend and maximize your ROI.
Set Realistic and Measurable Goals
Before you start investing in LinkedIn ABM campaigns, it's crucial to establish clear financial goals and metrics for success. What is your target cost per lead (CPL)? What is your desired click-through rate (CTR)? By setting these metrics upfront, you'll have a clearer idea of what success looks like and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Once your campaigns are up and running, you'll need to regularly monitor performance to ensure you're on track to meet your financial goals. LinkedIn's Campaign Manager provides a range of metrics to help you do this, including impressions, clicks, CTR, and cost per click (CPC).
Adjust Your Ad Spend to Maximize ROI
Based on the performance data you gather, you can adjust your ad spend to maximize your ROI.
For example, if you notice that certain accounts or campaigns are performing poorly, you may want to reduce your spending on them and focus on the ones that are generating the most leads and conversions. But how can you actually do that I hear you ask? A couple of ways.
Use a Bid Management Strategy - This involves setting bid caps for each account and adjusting them based on their performance. By setting bid caps, you can control how much you're willing to spend on each account and ensure that you're not overspending on those that are not generating results. It also allows you to set limits based on the account grade which is super important.
As shown below, the bid cap feature is available for the campaign formats, Ad formats, and optimization goals.
Leverage LinkedIn's Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Bidding Model - LinkedIn's CPC bidding model allows you to set a maximum bid for each click on your ad. This means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, rather than when it's displayed to someone. By setting a maximum bid, you can control how much you're willing to spend on each click and ensure that you're not overspending on low-quality traffic.
By optimizing your ad spend, you can ensure that you're getting the most out of your budget whilst achieving your campaign goals.
Dynamic ad creative
Personalization is key in ABM, and dynamic ad creative is a powerful tool for delivering personalized content to your target accounts. Dynamic ads allow you to serve different ad creative to different users based on their profile information.
Here are a few tips for using dynamic ad creative in your LinkedIn ABM campaigns:
Segment Your Audience
To use dynamic ad creative effectively, you need to segment your audience based on the criteria you want to use for personalization. This could include job title, company size, or industry. By segmenting your audience, you can create ad creative that speaks directly to their specific needs and pain points.
Use Relevant Imagery and Messaging
When creating your dynamic ad creative, it's important to use imagery and messaging that is relevant to each segment of your audience. For example, if you're targeting C-level executives, you may want to use more professional imagery and messaging that speaks to their business goals and challenges.
Test and Iterate
As with any aspect of your ABM campaign, it's important to test and iterate on your dynamic ad creative. Try different messaging and imagery to see what resonates best with each segment of your audience. Make sure you put in a control and then test new approaches and measure the success.
This can be a powerful way to reach your ABM audience with personalized messages and offers based on previous interactions. You can retarget users who have already interacted with your website or content on LinkedIn, allowing you to show ads that cater specifically to their needs and goals.
By customizing your ads to each segment of your audience, you can ensure that you're providing relevant messages and offers that are likely to convert.
CBRE, a B2B commercial real estate company, wanted to enhance its advertising efforts on LinkedIn by adopting a consumer-centric strategy for its Urban Photographer of the Year competition.
Leveraging LinkedIn's precise targeting filters, CBRE directed its attention to photography enthusiasts and professional photographers through captivating Message Ads. This approach resulted in engaging one-on-one conversations, yielding promising outcomes.
The report showed that they achieved remarkable open and click-through rates, accompanied by a substantial 41% increase in contest entries compared to the previous year.
Measure and Iterate
Measuring and iterating on your ABM campaign is crucial for driving success and maximizing results. By analyzing data and getting this in useful and easy-to-digest ways, you can continuously optimize your LinkedIn ABM campaigns to achieve better outcomes.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
I know we have already talked about this a little when discussing ad spend, which is vital, but you also need KPIs for the campaign as a whole.
Start by identifying the metrics that align with your campaign goals. These could include click-through rates, conversion rates, engagement metrics, qualified leads, or cost per acquisition. Defining and documenting clear KPIs will provide a benchmark for evaluating your campaign's success and progress.
Dive Deep Into Data Analysis
Use the analytics tools available through LinkedIn to gain valuable insights into your campaign performance. Look for patterns, trends, and areas of improvement. Analyze metrics such as engagement rates, ad impressions, and audience demographics to understand which strategies and tactics are working best.
Tip: LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager offers deep insights, use it to it’s fullest!
Conduct A/B Testing
Experiment with different variations of your ad creative and messaging to identify the most effective elements. Split your target audience into segments and test each variation against a control group. Measure the performance of each variation and identify the ones that resonate most with your audience.
Tip: Test different headlines, images, calls to action, or even different targeting criteria to understand which combination generates the highest engagement and conversion rates.
Optimize Based On Insights
Utilize the data and insights gathered from your analysis and A/B testing to make informed decisions. Make adjustments to your targeting, messaging, ad placements, or budget allocation to optimize your campaigns. Ads never stay still, neither do your target audience so continuously refine and enhance your approach based on the performance data.
Tip: If you find that a specific audience segment is highly engaged with your ads, consider allocating more budget towards reaching that segment or tailoring your messaging to cater specifically to their needs.
Monitor, Adapt, and Stay Agile
Keep a close eye on the performance of your ABM campaigns. Regularly monitor key metrics and be prepared to adapt and iterate based on the data. Stay agile and responsive to changes in market dynamics, audience behavior, and campaign performance. Use LinkedIn’s handy charts and graphs to visualize campaigns through time.
If you notice a decline in engagement rates or changes in audience behavior then consider adjusting your targeting parameters, refresh your ad creative, or explore new strategies to re-engage your target audience.
Once you have a good grasp of the analytics and you have a strong baseline on how the ads will perform you can start to use these metrics in your sales forecasting tools. This will help to further understand the kind of engagement you need to hit that all-important quota number.
By following these five tactics, you can ignite your LinkedIn ABM strategy and achieve greater success with your campaigns. It will help to bring your marketing and sales team together and work in unison, which I know from experience, can be a hard task!
As you expand your advertising across different platforms then Marin One can bring all your campaigns together under one hood. This can give a huge competitive advantage and ensure you are spending your ad budget in the right place to maximize the ROI. So why not start experimenting with these tactics today and see how they can transform your LinkedIn ABM strategy?
Sean Mackay is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
Have you ever wondered how to effectively sponsor your products on Instagram and grab the attention of your target audience?
You're not alone. Many businesses seek to unlock the secrets of advertising on this popular social media platform with over 1 billion active users. And today, we're spilling the beans.
In this comprehensive blog, we'll share our top tips on building a captivating Instagram presence and running sponsored campaigns that'll have users stopping mid-scroll, eager to learn more about your brand.
Are you ready to start sponsoring your product on Instagram to elevate your social media game?
Let's dive into this exciting journey to unlock the full potential of Instagram sponsorships.
What Is a Sponsored Post on Instagram?
As you dip your toes into the world of Instagram marketing, it's important to understand the difference between sponsored posts and regular ads.
Let's break it down and clarify these two concepts.
A sponsored post, also known as influencer marketing or a paid partnership, is when a brand collaborates with an Instagram user or influencer to create content that promotes a product or service.
In this arrangement, the influencer receives compensation through payment or free products in exchange for their promotion.
Sponsored posts often include a disclosure, such as "#ad" or "#sponsored," to maintain transparency with the audience. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires influencers to use these disclosures.
Here's an example of a paid partnership with PlushCare, an online medical care provider that can fill prescriptions online after a same-day appointment, and a micro-influencer in the lifestyle niche:
These partnerships are incredibly valuable for all brands because you can leverage the influencer's established audience and credibility. Influencers have a unique connection with their followers, making their recommendations more impactful and authentic than traditional ads.
So if you want to start selling online weight loss programs and professional health advice, considering the influencer route could play to your advantage.
Why make this distinction? Most likely, followers of an influencer specializing in health and wellness will already be aware and inclined to buy these products and services. Plus, followers trust their recommendations.
And to further drive this point home, a study by Rakuten proves influencer marketing effectiveness. The data shows that 80% of consumers agree they were "influenced" and purchased from a sponsored post. And 61% confirmed they'd click on a sponsored link to learn more about the product or service. Not too shabby.
On the other hand, Instagram ads are paid promotional content created and managed directly by the brand using Instagram's native advertising platform.
Ads appear in various formats, such as text, photos, videos, carousels, or Stories. You can target these promotional materials to reach users based on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. And you can use a plethora of online tools to help you create stunning images, such as a mockup generator, background remover, photo collage maker, photo editor, etc.
Here's a simple Instagram Stories ad from Canva that integrates seamlessly with their followers’ Stories:
Unlike sponsored posts, Instagram ads don't involve collaborations with influencers. Instead, they rely on the platform's algorithms and targeting capabilities to reach your desired audience.
The primary goal of Instagram ads is to drive engagement, increase brand visibility, or encourage specific actions, like clicking a link or making a purchase.
TL;DR: Sponsored posts are collaborations between brands and influencers, while Instagram ads are promotional content directly created and managed by your brand.
7 Tips for Sponsoring Your Products on Instagram
Did you know that a whopping 83% of people use Instagram to discover new products or services? That's right, Instagram is more than just a place for stunning photos and quirky stories — it's an essential part of the consumer journey.
Instagram is where the magic happens, from sharing the latest fashion trends to offering a sneak peek into your products and even swaying purchase decisions.
So, if you're a marketer looking to make a splash, Instagram offers countless opportunities to connect with potential customers.
Here are some of the top tips to help you dive into the world of sponsoring your products on Instagram in a fun, engaging, and approachable way.
Set clear goals
Before jumping headfirst into the world of Instagram sponsorships, it's helpful to take a step back and think about what you want to achieve.
Trust us. A little planning goes a long way. Having clear objectives helps you stay focused, guides your strategy, and ensures you're making the most of your marketing efforts.
When setting goals for your Instagram sponsorships, the sky's the limit. Maybe your goal is to reach 25,000 followers by the end of the year. Or boost sales by 20%. Or you have the vision to sell your business in five years for over six figures.
But if you need some help narrowing in on a few simple objectives, focus on these three things: increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and driving sales.
Let's break it down.
If you want to make your brand the talk of the town, sponsoring your products on Instagram can help you get noticed.
By collaborating with influencers or creating eye-catching ads, you can showcase your brand personality and build a buzz around your products.
Case in point, here's a stunning photo from Olipop, a healthy soda pop, announcing a new partnership with pop star (pun intended) Camila Cabello.
If you didn't know about Olipop before, you do now. Thanks to this eye-catching post with a monochromatic look and a high-profile celebrity partnership. Micro-influencers work too, but more on that later.
Maybe you're after a more tangible result, like collecting email addresses or getting users to sign up for a trial.
Instagram sponsorships can help you reach your target audience and encourage them to take that crucial first step.
For example, to showcase its services on Instagram, BriteCo uses high-quality images and captions reminding people of their engagement ring's sentimental value.
Once they've grabbed your attention, they highlight the benefits of protecting it with their jewelry insurance and share a link to a landing page visually consistent with the Instagram post.
Using a dedicated landing page and seamless experience (with high-quality images), BriteCo can capture tangible new leads through the power of Instagram.
Pro-tip: It's always a good idea to have software to help you save and track all the data from these newly acquired leads. Sales
Of course, one of the ultimate goals for any business is to see those sales numbers climb.
By sponsoring your products on Instagram, you can highlight the features and benefits that make your offerings irresistible and inspire users to hit that 'buy now' button.
To improve your chances of closing the sale, follow the lead of LeatherCult, by including a "shop here" link in your Instagram bio:
Or you can also add a "shop now" link to your captions to further reduce friction in the purchase process:
Remember, setting clear goals is the foundation of any successful Instagram sponsorship campaign. So, figure out what matters most to your brand and let that guide your strategy.
Choose the right target audience
Alright, so you've set your goals — now it's time to focus on reaching the right people.
Instagram's got your back with its built-in targeting options, making it a breeze to connect with the audience that matters most to your brand.
Say goodbye to the days of casting a wide net and hoping for the best. With Instagram, you can laser-focus on your ideal target market and avoid throwing money into the wind.
So think about the age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors of the people likely to love your products. The more specific you can get, the better.
This step is especially important for local businesses, where targeting people in your immediate area is crucial. Not only does this drive better results, but you don't waste time and money on people that'll never convert.
Let's take Watermill Flowers as an example. They are a local flower shop that exclusively delivers flowers in Fort Lauderdale. So, advertising their delivery services nationwide wouldn't make sense for them.
Thankfully, with Instagram's location targeting, they can ensure their sponsored posts and ads reach potential customers within their delivery zone.
Similarly, if your floral arrangements are particularly popular among brides-to-be, you can use Instagram's interest and behavior targeting to connect with users planning their big day.
The takeaway? The more relevant your content is to your audience, the more likely they'll engage with it and hopefully turn into paying customers (or at least followers).
Create high-quality content
Let's face it. Instagram is a visual playground. And to stand out from the crowd, your content needs to be nothing short of fabulous.
That's where eye-catching visuals and engaging captions come in. The perfect combo of stunning images and clever words will capture your audience's attention and encourage them to like, comment, or share your post.
Great content is the secret sauce to your Instagram success. So are you ready to up your content game?
Follow the lead of Rolex, legendary for luxury and aesthetics — even on Instagram.
Here are a few tips to help you create your own drool-worthy images and maintain a consistent brand aesthetic:
Invest in high-resolution images — blurry or pixelated photos won't cut it on Instagram.
Choose a color scheme representing your brand to create a cohesive look — stick to it across all your content.
Use consistent fonts and design elements — make your content look polished and professional.
And did you know that simply adding a caption can boost your Instagram engagement rate from 4% to 6%? It's an easy way to get more out of every post.
But sometimes, as marketers or business owners, we fall victim to writer's block. Don't worry, it's normal. And that's why free text generators powered by AI will quickly become your best friend.
With the touch of a button, you can generate compelling Instagram captions that convert. It's all about working smarter, not harder, to drive results. Plus, it's free!
If you need inspiration, take a page from MegaFit Meals' book. They do an excellent job of boosting engagement with captions by asking questions, tapping into customer pain points, and offering solutions.
Plus, how can you pass on this delicious-looking food? It sure does have our mouths watering.
Variety is the spice of life. And when it's time to publish Instagram content, mixing things up can keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different formats like photos, videos, carousels, and even AI voices to showcase your products and tell your brand story.
Whether creating a product tutorial, sharing a customer testimonial, or narrating a behind-the-scenes clip, AI voices can help you convey your message clearly and effectively while adding a touch of innovation to your content.
Need inspiration? Try a humorous approach to voiceovers, like this Instagram video from Reese's:
Embrace your creative side and explore various formats, from stunning product shots and carousels highlighting customer experiences to videos with added innovations.
The possibilities are endless, and with a little experimentation, you'll discover the perfect content mix to captivate your audience and make a lasting impression on Instagram.
Collaborate with influencers
Influencer collaborations can be a game-changer for your Instagram sponsorship campaigns.
These social media stars already have a dedicated following. And by partnering with them, you can tap into their audience, increase your reach, and build trust with potential customers.
Plus, influencers have the power to make your products feel more relatable and authentic, giving your brand a major credibility boost.
And do you want to know the best part? You can use micro-influencers to help promote nearly any product or service. They tend to have higher engagement rates and are more affordable than mega-influencers (with millions of followers)
So if you're a dental clinic and want to promote innovative dental procedures to prevent the dreaded turkey teeth phenomenon, you can partner with a lifestyle micro-influencer with no problem.
This partnership is the perfect opportunity to detail the procedure's benefits through a behind-the-scenes video — like this partnership with Dentfix.
Or you can have the influencer post before and after photos on their Instagram profile, showing off their new smile.
The influencer's followers, who already trust their advice on all lifestyle matters, will be more likely to consider the procedure for themselves, ultimately driving business to your practice. It's a win-win.
Are you still not convinced? Studies show that 37% of consumers trust social media influencers over brands. So you're better off letting influencers do the promoting for you.
Leverage Instagram Stories
If you're not already taking advantage of Instagram Stories, it's time to hop on the bandwagon. Stories are an excellent way to casually and authentically engage with your audience.
And the Stories feature sees over 500 million daily users, so why not use this to your advantage?
Plus, Instagram Stories offers a treasure trove of interactive features that can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level. Here are some examples:
Use polls to gather opinions, conduct market research, or entertain your audience.
Engage your audience by inviting them to ask questions or share their thoughts.
If you have over 10,000 followers or a verified account, you can use swipe-up links in your Stories to drive traffic to your website, product pages, or blog posts.
Here's a prime example of how MegaFit Meals leverages sponsored Instagram Stories to appear naturally in a user's personal Stories:
People can swipe up to see the menu and learn more about these custom fitness meals. There's no need to open a new browser and search for the brand name.
Plus, Stories are an excellent tool for retargeting ads, allowing you to reconnect with users who have already shown interest in your brand and nudge them further along the customer journey.
Determine your budget and bidding strategy
As much as we'd all love to have an unlimited marketing budget, the reality is that we need to work within our means.
So don't bite off more than you can chew. Thankfully, even with a modest budget, you can still make an impact with the right strategy. In fact, Meta suggests starting with only $5 per day.
Once you have a budget set in stone, it's time to choose between the three types of bidding: spend-based, goal-based, and manual.
Spend-based bidding: The goal is to generate the highest results or most value using your entire budget.
Goal-based bidding: Pre-determine a cost (cost per result) or value (return on ad spend) you want to achieve.
Manual bidding: Set a cap on how much you want to bid across ad auctions instead of relying on automated algorithms.
To choose the right bidding for your campaign, consider the goals you set earlier. For instance, if you aim to boost sales, you might use a goal-based bidding strategy and set a cost per purchase to keep your average sales profitable.
Remember, the key is to stay flexible, experiment, and continually refine your approach to find your sweet spot.
Monitor and analyze your performance
As the saying goes, measure twice and cut once. Keeping a close eye on your Instagram sponsorships' performance helps you understand your efforts' impact.
That way, you can make data-driven decisions for future campaigns by staying far away from what's not driving results and doubling down on what is.
Thankfully, Instagram Insights is a powerful built-in tool that provides valuable data on your sponsored content's performance, audience demographics, and engagement.
You can also supplement these insights with other analytics tools like MarinOne to see a comprehensive view of your overall marketing performance and return on investment (ROI).
Start Sponsoring Your Products on Instagram Today
And there you have it, our top tips for sponsoring your products on Instagram like a pro.
From setting clear goals and targeting the right audience to creating eye-catching content and leveraging the power of influencers, these strategies can help you elevate your brand's presence and drive results on this popular platform.
As you embark on your Instagram sponsorship journey, remember that the best approach is often one of experimentation and adaptation.
Embrace your creative side, be willing to try new things, and continually refine your strategy based on Instagram Insights. With a little perseverance (and passion), you'll soon discover the perfect formula to captivate your audience and make a lasting impact with your Instagram sponsorships.
So go ahead, turn on the sponsored posts, and watch your brand take off.
Vergine Melkonyan is a guest contributor to Marin Software.
PPC Management is one of the most effective ways for a business to achieve positive ROI. In this article, we break down what PPC management is, why it’s important, and what kind of processes go with it. We wrap up with some opportunities to automate your PPC management (and why automation is an attractive option).
Defining PPC Management
Let’s start by defining “PPC” as “pay per click”, which refers to the common pricing model of digital advertising publishers constrained by the advertiser’s overall budget. PPC Management is the process of organizing, managing, and optimizing the PPC budget to achieve optimal performance.
This definition is extremely basic, as the practice of managing PPC encompasses a myriad of tasks that result in the efficient spend of the budget toward a company’s goal. These goals are typically related to awareness or ROI. While PPC is one of the best ways to improve ROI, it can take a lot of time, effort, and testing to produce optimal results. This is why many advertisers go the route of hiring a PPC agency and/or leveraging automation (more on this later).
Why PPC Management is Important
Simply put: effective PPC Management can help you reach your business goals. Done properly, PPC Management is a game changer for businesses large and small.
PPC Management Essentials
The PPC management process includes many parts, some of which a business might opt to take on internally. There are many great resources for learning the ropes of PPC management (check out this guide from HubSpot), but sometimes it’s best to bring in a professional to get the most out of your time and advertising investment.
Some common tasks typically included with PPC Management are:
Keyword Research and Analysis
Researching the keywords that customers are looking for related to your business. These are then evaluated and adjusted based on performance during optimization.
Google and Bing are the top publishers for PPC, but they aren’t the only places where your audience spends time. PPC management might extend to channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Criteo, and many more depending on your unique business needs.
Are some keywords spending money but not driving any ROI? Is there a headline that is performing way better than others? Is that bid too low for your ads to be seen? Optimization is the essential process of identifying what is working and making changes based on the findings. This may look like excluding keywords in Search ads, pausing an ad in Social, adjusting a keyword bid, etc. Consistent implementation of these tweaks is important as the ppc landscape is dynamic, meaning that there is always room for optimization based on the current factors at play.
There are many options for competitor research out there that vary by channel. Tools like SpyFu can be used to gain insight into competitor keyword strategy, while Facebook Ad Library can help you scope out the creative strategy of the competitor. Competitor analysis is great for finding inspiration for your own ppc strategy.
Always Be Testing! Testing copy, landing pages, creative, etc are all essential to continuous improvement. Testing and learning is the best way to understand what works for your business and how to improve.
How to Automate your PPC Management
As you might imagine, the tasks above can take a considerable amount of time and effort. While there are some tasks that can be outsourced to agencies, there are others that can be easily managed through automation.
One pillar of Marin Software’s offering is automation, saving businesses time and money on essential ppc management tasks.
Here are a few of the ways that Marin’s automation can help you with your ppc management strategy:
Flexible Rules and Dynamic Actions
Integrate external signals into Marin for smart optimizations that are performed without you lifting a finger.
One-Click Keyword Expansion
Marin identifies keyword opportunities, and with the tap of your mouse they can be launched in your campaigns. No need to spend time researching the best keywords, Marin does it for you.
Build Campaigns Based on Feeds
Build out text and shopping ads from your feeds or use our dynamic campaigns tool to pause ads based on inventory. This is a fast and effective way to manage your ppc campaigns.
Marin’s Strategies offer transparency and efficiency while performing optimizations to your ppc campaigns. Algorithmic bidding is available for multiple publishers through Marin.
To learn more about opportunities for automation customized to your business, reach out to us!
PPC advertising has revolutionized the world of online advertising, allowing businesses of all sizes to reach their target audience and generate conversions. However, managing PPC campaigns can be a time-consuming and laborious process, especially for businesses that run multiple campaigns simultaneously. This is where MarinOne comes in, providing businesses with a powerful and efficient automation tool that can save time, improve accuracy, and increase efficiency.
MarinOne Scripts is a part of MarinOne, a comprehensive cross-channel advertising platform that integrates all of a business's advertising data into a single platform. With MarinOne Scripts, businesses can automate various aspects of PPC campaign management, including adjusting bids, budgets, and ad status based on preset logic. Similar to MarinOne bidding, automated changes to bids and budgets allow businesses to focus on strategic aspects of their marketing program while MarinOne Scripts takes care of the routine tasks. Since MarinOne Scripts leverages Python, users can leverage Scripts that handle spend optimization, keyword expansion, negative keyword mining, data analysis, and ad copy optimization.
Automate Bidding, Budgets, and Keyword Monitoring
With MarinOne Scripts, businesses can automate bid adjustments and budget allocation, eliminating the need for manual monitoring and adjustment. MarinOne Scripts can also help businesses identify underperforming keywords and pause or adjust them automatically, saving valuable time. Users can customize scripts so that they can chain actions together - ex.everytime a poor performing kw is paused, it is also added as a negative keyword to the original campaign and/or all campaigns.
Increase Efficiency Based on Performance
Another benefit of MarinOne Scripts is that it increases efficiency. MarinOne Scripts automatically adjusts SmartBidding targets based on performance data, ensuring that businesses get the most out of their ad spend. It can also optimize ad copy to improve conversion rates and reduce cost-per-click. By streamlining the PPC campaign management process, MarinOne Scripts helps businesses improve their efficiency and increase their ROI.
Increase Accuracy with AI
MarinOne Scripts improves accuracy of data analysis as it minimizes the instances of human error - a common problem in manual PPC campaign management. MarinOne Scripts eliminates the risk of human error by automating several aspects of campaign management. This ensures that businesses get accurate and reliable data on their campaign performance, allowing them to make data-driven decisions. It also ensures business continuity in the event that a PPC manager has unexpected time off and is unable to manually monitor and/or optimize PPC campaigns.
Customize and Scale All Advertising Campaigns Cross-Channel
In addition to saving time, increasing efficiency, and improving accuracy, MarinOne Scripts is scalable and customizable, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. Whether a business is managing a single campaign or multiple campaigns, MarinOne Scripts can help automate and optimize PPC campaigns across online ad accounts.
MarinOne Scripts customization capabilities give advertisers the flexibility to create automation rules that are tailored to their unique business goals and objectives. Each script can have pre-defined start and end dates - this way, advertisers can apply scripts that are aligned with their business calendar. As an example, end of quarter spend governance rules may be more flexible than start of quarter so two scripts with complimentary start and end dates would ensure that the appropriate spend governance rules are applied.
With scalability and customization options, MarinOne Scripts is a valuable asset for any business that wants to get the most out of its PPC campaigns. Speak to us today about getting started and trying MarinOne Scripts for free during the first 30 days.
Why recreate the wheel? New ads are often similar to existing ads. The powerful Copy Tool in MarinOne lets you easily copy campaigns, groups, keywords, creatives, and placements across accounts and publishers. You can also apply Find and Replace during the copy process.
Find and Replace
The Find and Replace feature is also available as a standalone tool, allowing you to quickly make changes to your ads without editing each one individually or dealing with downloading and uploading bulk files. Instead, simply input the text you'd like to find and the text you'd like to replace, then MarinOne will handle the rest. When managing large campaigns with many different assets, such as RSAs, Find and Replace can be a big time saver.
Used side by side, the copy tool and find and replace functionality allow you to turn a single permutation of an ad into many different permutations featuring updated brand names, product types, headlines, description lines, display URLs, and more.
What if I say, “Subscribe to our email newsletter at the end of the article?” Probably, you’ll skip it and forget when reaching the subscription button. Why? Because a compelling call to action is not only about using action words. CTAs should appear at the right place and contain the right words to lead to conversion.
A CTA is a suggestion to people to perform a certain action: subscribe, download an ebook, schedule a call, etc. Website owners place them in various parts of the page, depending on the goals, such as:
above the fold;
in the middle of an article;
next to the lead form;
in the right rail and many other places.
How should you arrange CTAs to encourage the audience to do what’s expected? This post will enumerate some helpful tips for successful call-to-action writing and show real-world examples from various spheres.
CTAs usually appear precisely at the end of the message. It’s the last opportunity to reach out to consumers and point them in the right direction on their purchase journey. Where can you see them? On buttons, ads, banners, pop-ups, slide-ins, or at the end of videos. In any case, you have limited space for them. That’s why the CTA should be short, concise, and punchy.
Use a command verb at the beginning of the CTA copy. Compare the following variants and think of what will be more effective:
Start your 14-day free trial period now.
A 14-day trial period is available.
The first option is the clear winner because it tells the audience what to do. Remember that a strong call to action eliminates as much thought as possible. Choose the needed verb to match your situation and purpose, such as:
sign up, subscribe, register now/get access
download, start free trial;
learn more, click here;
buy/purchase, shop, order.
Use Power Words and Emotional Triggers
Another crucial component of call-to-action writing is power words. These are words that appeal to emotions and trigger the desire to click. While action verbs tell readers what to do and what will happen after clicking a link, power words subtly nudge people to the desired page. They rely on people’s emotions as a motivation to proceed, such as:
curiosity: lost, never seen before, unconventional, invitation only, confidential.
A strong CTA is the one people feel, not just comprehend. For example, “Secure your spot for the concert of a lifetime now,” will elicit a different response from viewers than, “Get your tickets for the concert now!” due to phrases like “lifetime” and “secure”. Another way to evoke enthusiasm is to leverage punctuation like an ellipsis or an exclamation mark.
Create Urgency and Scarcity
As most purchases are emotional rather than rational, another motivator can be a fear of missing out (FOMO). It’s one of the most widely-used tactics in e-commerce, where sellers show the number of remaining goods or the time left until the discount expires. So you can do it in the CTA.
The more people think, the less likely they will buy, remember? A sense of urgency/scarcity encourages people to act without much consideration. You can also find FOMO in social proof. If someone uses this product or service, others will be interested in joining the crowd. You can employ this idea in the CTA. Find a problem that your audience is experiencing. Emphasize it, show people they are not alone, and provide a solution.
Highlight the Benefits and Value Proposition
There is hardly anything more persuasive than a benefit. It works as simply as suggesting some perks for clicking the button. In other words, what are consumers going to gain from it? Will it enable people to perform their jobs more effectively, get in shape, or save money? You can add a tangible benefit like a discount or promotion. To show readers the value of clicking, start the CTA with words like “save” or “redeem” like “Save 15% by calling today!”
Or you can combine a USP and CTA in a single statement to persuade potential customers to take action. By highlighting what makes your product or service unique and motivating the user to take a specific action in line with that USP, you can increase the chances of converting them into leads or customers. Here’s an example of a USP/CTA mash-up:
“Get the best deals on luxury vacations - Book now and save 50%!”
Here you mention the action you expect users to perform (“book now”) and bring up a reason to do it (“save 50%”).
Personalize the CTA for the Target Audience
Personalization is one of the easiest ways to elicit emotions. It shows users that you value them and take a genuine interest in guiding them through the purchase journey smoothly. That’s why personalized CTAs can be so effective. According to Hubspot, tailored CTAs outperform standard CTAs by 202%.
Suppose a new website visitor, John, adds some products to the cart but leaves without buying them. You can show an exit-intent pop-up before he closes the tab with a personalized advertising call to action, such as: “John, get 10% off your first purchase! Plus, free shipping on orders over $50. Shop now and start saving!”
But if it was your existing customer, Rebecca, you could show her another pop-up, such as: “Welcome back, Rebecca! As a valued customer, we’d like to offer you 15% off your next purchase. Take advantage of this exclusive offer by making your purchase right away!”
Consider your audience when crafting your message, and address them specifically. You can segment people by age, gender, profession, level of proficiency in using your software, and other traits to offer the most relevant products and services.
Apart from writing a tailored message in your CTA, personalization can also be achieved by using new tools for sales documents creation. If you go with an interactive sales deck or proposal, you can add an impactful CTA by embedding your own calendar in the message, so that your potential customer can book their next meeting simply by reading your proposal.
Include Numbers If Relevant
Numbers catch the readers’ attention because they stand out on the page with text. So it’s another way to persuade people to click. Numbers also provide information that audiences want, like phone numbers, pricing, or advantages. For example, “Learn a new language in just 30 days with our intensive course.” It’s easy to spot the numbers, so viewers will immediately grasp the possible advantages of responding to your CTA.
You can also include a price in the ad copy and CTA. Why should you do it? On the one hand, you may scare away users from clicking the button and reading more about the product. On the other, if people deliberately respond to the ad knowing about your pricing, it shows their interest in the offer. It reduces the chances of bouncing from the landing page, increasing the return on ad spend.
Test and Optimize the CTA
Calls to action are tricky since you won’t know how effective they are until you put them to the test in real life. An idea that seems terrific on paper may not work well in practice. Thus, you need to understand why the CTA performs poorly and what doesn’t appeal to viewers. But how do you determine the need to change something? Through A/B testing.
A CTA is one of the most accessible and suitable page elements for the A/B test. A small change in word choice can have a significant impact. A/B testing lets you find the best option not only in terms of wording but also in placement, colors, size, etc.
Examples of Incredible CTAs
Now that we know the best practices for organizing CTAs, let’s examine how different companies do it. We’ll analyze call-to-action examples of online stores, SaaS companies, and nonprofit organizations.
In this example from Ulster Weavers, we see the emphasis on FOMO. The bag is at a lower price, but only one item is available, so the retailer leaves us less time to think but to click the “Add to Cart” or “Buy it now” button.
Screenshot taken on the official Kusmi Tea website
Kusmi Tea decided to play with words and use the CTA “Enjoy now” instead of a basic “Click here” or “Shop now”. Don’t be afraid to get creative, as Kusmi Tea does in this screenshot. You can also notice that there is a lot of space around the button. This trick and the contrasting black color on the orange background make the CTA more visible.
Service-Based Call-to-Action Examples
Screenshot taken on the official Salesforce website
Here we can see several CTAs. Salesforce directs the viewer’s attention to them in the following ways:
“Start free trial” is in the hero section of the website and is filled with color. So we understand it’s more important than the “Watch demo” button next to it.
“Try for free” is filled with a contrasting green color for more emphasis. It also denotes no obligation to pay at the moment of clicking.
The “Let’s chat” button is also noticeable. The photo on it aims to create a personal connection with the visitors and increase the likelihood of them engaging in a chat.
When adding creativity to your CTA, be careful with misleading users. For example, the screenshot from Time Doctor illustrates two CTAs on the exit-intent pop-up:
“Yes, help me increase my team’s productivity.”
“No, I don’t need insight on what my team is doing.”
Unfortunately, they lack information about what will happen after choosing each. While you may guess the second button will close the pop-up, the first one may be confusing. Will I schedule a call, download the app, or get to the checkout page? No idea.
It’s an email from Elevation Church. We can see that the organization displayed creativity in its “READY. SET. SHOP” advertising call to action. What may be the reason for that? It can be a powerful way to reach younger generations and differentiate an email from other generic promotions.
Another nonprofit with impactful calls to action is African Wildlife Foundation. They are one of the first things you notice on the page. CTAs are concise and inspire supporters to learn more about the organization or donate immediately.
Over to You
Calls to action are indispensable elements of web forms, ad campaigns, emails, and social media content. What are the tips for designing them? We’ve looked at the top seven strategies, including:
beginning with a powerful verb;
appealing to emotions;
instilling a sense of urgency;
personalizing CTAs according to user preferences, behavior, and types;
testing various aspects of CTAs thoroughly.
These tips will help you amplify your conversion rates and find the key to your audience.
To connect with audiences on Google’s feeds, your ad creative should include high-quality visual experiences combined with the perfect blend of authentic, captivating messaging and an appropriately-sized ad. With the right balance, you can attain peak performance on Google, drive more sales to increase your company’s bottom line, and hit your benchmarks to get the best results. After all, Google’s Display Network reaches 90% of the world’s internet users.
In this article, we’ll walk you through:
Why Google Display Advertising matters
Different ad sizes and formats
How to set up a Google Display Ad campaign
Five best practices to make sure you succeed
The importance of Display Advertising
Differentiate your brand
With your competition targeting the same prospects, it's crucial to differentiate your business. The advantage of visual imagery is that display ads can be used to distinguish your brand in the minds of potential customers — and they’re a great way to interrupt consumers who are considering giving your competitors their business instead.
Generate brand awareness
According to the marketing “Rule of 7,” on average, a customer encounters a brand at least 7 times before doing business with them. Display advertising offers the advantage of widespread exposure, making brand awareness its greatest benefit. Because it has such an expansive reach, it’s not surprising that statistics indicate an annual growth of 7.91% with a market volume of $226.80 billion is likely by 2027. To make your brand known, get in front of consumers before they need your products or services. This way, you have a better chance of being considered when they make a purchasing decision, since they’ve encountered your brand time and again.
Increase performance of your other ads
A more recognizable brand leads to higher engagement with all of your marketing efforts, including search and social ads. Display ads, in particular, can complement and reinforce the messaging of other ads, strengthening your overall marketing campaign, and leading to better results. In fact, studies have shown that after seeing a display ad, 27% of consumers will conduct a search for that business.
Improve results with retargeting
Most potential customers don't make a purchase on their first visit to your website. Even if they click on your ad, they often leave without taking any action. However, retargeting display ads help address this issue by targeting individuals based on their past behavior online, including those who have previously visited your website but didn’t convert. Display advertising is a highly effective approach that can help you go the extra mile to seal the deal and engage the consumers who already know about your business.
Google Display Ad formats
Google offers two main formats for display ads: uploaded and responsive.
Uploaded display ads
If you have access to the design resources to create display ads from scratch, go ahead and use image formats such as JPG, PNG, or GIF for Google Display Ads. However, keep in mind that even if you’re eligible for a specific placement, your ad may not be displayed if it does not meet the required size specifications for that placement. To maximize visibility, it’s advisable to upload different sizes of each ad.
Responsive display ads
To make the creation of display ads more manageable, Google introduced responsive display ads, which later became the default ad type for display campaigns. With this feature, you only need to supply visual elements (such as images, logos, and videos) and basic ad copy. Google will then test different combinations to find the most effective versions. Additionally, responsive display ads are designed to automatically adapt to the size requirements of each web page, making it easier to display your ads on a variety of sites.
Google Display Ad sizes
If you plan to use uploaded display ads, here is a list of some of the most commonly used display ad sizes you’ll need to know:
The most popular Google Display Ad sizes
Of all the different Google Display Ad sizes, the following are the most popular and widely used.
160 × 600 px
300 × 600 px
600 × 314 px
728 × 90 px
920 × 90 px
320 × 50 px
300 × 60 px
336 × 280 px
300 × 250 px
Large Mobile Banner
320 × 100 px
Setting up a Google Display Ad campaign
If you’re ready to get started, just follow this step-by-step checklist:
First, log in to your Google account.
Next, click New Campaign.
From there, select Display.
Then, Google will ask you to provide your website.
Be sure to give your campaign a name that’s descriptive and memorable.
Select your language and your location targeting.
Determine your budget and bidding strategy.
Develop your targeting parameters for this campaign.
Once you’ve collected enough data from your display campaigns, you can make informed decisions about the performance of your keywords, affinity audiences, and so on. Bid adjustments, which can be set at either the ad group or campaign level, allow you to turn these performance insights into action.
A positive bid adjustment for an ad group instructs Google Ads to raise your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid when one of the ads in that ad group is eligible to be displayed. On the other hand, a negative bid adjustment tells Google Ads to decrease your maximum CPC bid for that ad group.
Simply put, bid adjustments are an effective way to increase the gains from your top performers and reduce your losses from poor performers.
Focus on top-performing search keywords
If you’re interested in keyword targeting, start by using your most successful search keywords. If you have groups of keywords that have driven few conversions or clicks, you may want to test them on the display network as well.
Keep in mind that consumer intent between the two Google Ads networks can be different, but if your search ads are performing well in terms of clicks and conversions, then the keywords behind them have likely proven to be effective.
Analyze referral traffic
Google Analytics provides a wealth of information, and for display advertisers, the referral traffic report is extremely valuable. It shows which websites are linking to your website the most, essentially indicating which websites attract audiences who would benefit from your product or service.
These websites are ideal for displaying your ads since you know that the audience is relevant and therefore, you can be confident that you’ll see returns from the impressions and clicks made on those ads.
Make your value proposition clear
Consumers have become highly familiar with display ads, so it's easy for prospects to overlook them while scrolling. To avoid missing out on opportunities and wasting resources, it’s crucial to make sure your display ads stand out and grab the attention of your prospects.
The visual design of your ads, including the color scheme and typography, contribute to this, but the real key is having a clear and impactful value proposition that is prominently displayed on your ads.
Create strong headlines
Most responsive display ads will prompt you to write four required pieces of copy:
A short headline (25 characters)
A long headline (90 characters)
A description (90 characters)
Your business name (25 characters)
When it comes to headlines, keep in mind that Google Ads will not display both headlines simultaneously, and that Google Ads may exclude your description. This means that when your Responsive Display Ad (RDA) is displayed, there is no guarantee that your description will accompany either headline. With this in mind, it’s essential to ensure that both headlines effectively convey the unique value of your business or offer on their own.
Get your Google Display Ads noticed
Using Google Display Ads as part of your campaign can be a powerful tool for increasing traffic to your site and helping customers make their way through the conversion pipeline.
When integrated into a comprehensive marketing strategy, Google Display ads can amplify your campaign’s success. It plays a crucial role in elevating brand awareness at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, as well as re-engaging repeat customers with personalized promotions and offers. Clearly, display advertising is a valuable tactic and can be leveraged at various stages of the buyer’s journey to maximize marketing outcomes.
To make sure your Google Display ads are as effective as possible, reach out to the experts at MarinOne today. We can help align your marketing efforts to take your campaign to the next level.
Marketing is a complex and ever-changing field that requires careful strategy and planning. One important technique that can help marketers navigate this landscape is SWOT analysis.
SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, is a framework for evaluating a company's position in the market and identifying key factors that can impact success. In this article, we'll explore the basics of SWOT analysis and how it can be used to inform marketing decisions.
What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps businesses and organizations identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis allows companies to assess their current position in the market and make informed decisions about their future. Identifying these key factors enables marketers to better understand their target audience, market trends, and competition, and develop effective marketing strategies.
Why is a SWOT Analysis Important for Marketing?
Marketing is all about creating value for customers and driving growth for the business. Using SWOT analysis, marketers can identify their key strengths and leverage them to create more impactful campaigns and marketing initiatives. At the same time, they can also identify areas for improvement, such as weaknesses in their marketing strategy, and take steps to address these weaknesses.
By understanding the opportunities and threats in the market, marketers can also better position themselves to capitalize on new trends and minimize the impact of challenges. This allows them to stay ahead of the competition and keep their marketing efforts relevant and effective.
The SWOT Analysis Framework
The SWOT analysis framework is simple and straightforward. Here's a closer look at each element:
Strengths are the things that your company does well. These are your competitive advantages and the things that set you apart from other brands. Examples of strengths in marketing might include a strong brand image, a loyal customer base, or a highly effective marketing team. For instance, if you have a strong brand image, you may want to focus on leveraging this strength through your marketing efforts to increase brand recognition and build customer loyalty.
Weaknesses are the things that your company doesn't do well. They are the areas in which you are lacking and need improvement. Examples of weaknesses in marketing might include inconsistent content creation, weak branding, or ineffective marketing campaigns. For instance, if you have identified inconsistency in creating content as a weakness, you may want to allocate more resources to hiring a good content team or even use AI marketing tools to automate the tasks.
Opportunities are the external factors that can positively impact your marketing efforts. They entail the trends and changes in the market that you can capitalize on to achieve better results. Examples of opportunities in marketing might include new demographic groups, new geographic markets, or changes in consumer behavior. For instance, if you have identified a new audience with high potential for growth, you may want to allocate more budget towards targeted marketing efforts to reach this customer base.
Threats are the external factors that can negatively impact your marketing efforts. These are the challenges and risks that you need to be aware of in order to minimize their impact. Examples of threats in marketing might include changes in consumer preferences, new competitors entering the market, or shifting economic conditions. For instance, if a new competitor has entered your market, you may want to evaluate your marketing strategies and tactics to ensure that you are effectively differentiating your brand from the competition.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Marketing
Conducting a SWOT analysis for marketing is relatively simple and can be done in several steps. Here's a basic outline for how to do it:
Gather data: The first step in conducting a marketing SWOT analysis is to gather data on your marketing efforts, your target audience, and your competitors. This can include customer feedback, sales data, market research, and other relevant information. The goal of this step is to gather as much data as possible to support your assessments in the next steps.
Identify your strengths: This is the internal analysis of your marketing plan where you make a list of your company's key strengths in marketing. Consider the things you do well and what sets you apart from your competitors. What are your unique selling points? What are your core competencies?
Assess your weaknesses: Next, make a list of your company's weaknesses in marketing. This is where you assess your internal shortcomings. What are the areas where your marketing efforts fall short? What can you improve upon?
Determine opportunities: Next up is the external analysis of your marketing plan, whereby you look at the market and identify the trends and changes that could positively impact your marketing efforts. What are the trends in your industry? Is there new technology, artificial intelligence software, or anything else to boost your productivity? What are the untapped markets you can explore?
Analyze threats: Here, you assess the external challenges that could negatively impact your marketing efforts. What are the challenges posed by your competitors? What are the changes in the market that may negatively impact your marketing efforts?
Evaluate the results: After you've identified your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, take some time to evaluate the results. Determine which factors are the most important and which areas need the most attention.
Develop a plan of action: Based on the results of your SWOT analysis, develop a plan of action for how you will address your weaknesses, capitalize on your strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and minimize the impact of threats.
Regularly reevaluate: Because marketing is something that keeps changing over time, it's important to regularly review and update your SWOT analysis. This will help you stay up-to-date with changes in the market and make sure your marketing efforts are always effective.
SWOT Analysis Example
Below is a SWOT Analysis example for a marketing agency:
Experienced and knowledgeable marketing team
Strong portfolio of successful marketing campaigns and projects
Opportunities for growth and expansion through acquisitions or partnerships with other agencies
Growing awareness of the importance of branding and marketing to businesses of all sizes
Intense competition from larger and more established agencies
Disruptions in the advertising and marketing industry, such as changes in consumer preferences or technology
Increased regulation of marketing practices and advertising
Changes in consumer spending patterns, particularly in a weak economy
By considering these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the marketing agency can develop a plan to address its weaknesses, capitalize on its strengths, and position itself for success in a competitive industry.
Common Mistakes in SWOT Analysis
While it can be a valuable tool, SWOT analysis is not always done correctly, and there are several mistakes that can occur.
Lack of Objectivity
One of the biggest mistakes in SWOT analysis is the lack of objectivity from those conducting the analysis. When evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, it's important to be honest and unbiased. This can be difficult when personal opinions and emotions are involved. To avoid this mistake, it's important to gather data and opinions from a variety of sources, including employees, customers, and industry experts.
Not Considering the Right Factors
Another common mistake in SWOT analysis is not considering the right factors. As you identify your strengths and weaknesses, it's best to focus on factors that are relevant to your business and the market.
For example, while a strong company culture may be important, it may not be relevant to your marketing efforts. It's important to focus on factors that are directly related to your marketing strategy and can impact your success.
Ignoring External Factors
SWOT analysis is designed to evaluate both internal and external factors, but some organizations tend to focus too much on internal factors and ignore external ones. This can lead to a limited understanding of the market and can impact your ability to capitalize on opportunities and minimize threats. That’s why it's important to consider both internal and external factors when conducting a SWOT analysis.
Not Updating Regularly
It is important to keep in mind that a SWOT analysis is not a one-time event. Marketing is a constantly evolving field, and it's important to regularly reevaluate your SWOT analysis to stay up-to-date with changes in the market.
However, many organizations make the mistake of not updating their SWOT analysis regularly, which can lead to an outdated understanding of their position in the market.
Not Using the Results
Finally, a common mistake in SWOT analysis is not using the results. After conducting a SWOT analysis, it's important to integrate the results into your marketing strategy. Plan how you will address your weaknesses, capitalize on your strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and minimize the impact of threats. Even so, many organizations make the mistake of not following through on these plans, which can limit the effectiveness of the SWOT analysis.
SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that can help marketers make better decisions and achieve more impactful results. Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, marketers can help you identify areas for improvement, capitalize on new trends, and stay ahead of the competition. By incorporating SWOT analysis into your marketing strategy, you as a marketer can drive more success for your business and create more value for customers.
In case you need assistance with paid search, retail or social advertising, Marin Software may interest you. The platform offers expert solution for digital marketers to save time and scale their campaigns. Get in touch today!
Mike Stuzzi is a guest blog contributor for Marin Software.
Some months ago, MarinOne attended Search Insider Summit’s Performance Marketing event in Deer Valley, Utah. While skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and more winter fun set the tone for a casual, social atmosphere…the insights and expertise that were shared during the speaking sessions I would call anything but casual. Here are our quick and brief “too long didn’t read” notes on the content that was covered.
Keynote Presentation: Super Coffee's Digital Marketing Blend in an Omnichannel World
Super Coffee has been one of the nation's top five ready-to-serve coffees since 2015 when they quickly reached a $400 million company. They can now be found in over 70,000 stores and online, prompting the need for an update to their digital marketing efforts to continue their success. Jimmy Dicicco (co-founder and Chief Brand Officer) and Tyler Ricks (Chief Executive Officer) talked about their journey and how their digital strategy transformed over time. They also explained their strategy for maintaining a balance between expanding their business and staying profitable, along with the methods to measure ROI.
Stopped dividing ecomm goals and retail goals, looked at all business holistically
Clued into their target market, initial targeting was very broad but it did give them the data they needed to establish the right audiences
Seeking protein, avoiding sugar, keto
Primary focus on lifetime value, built up the subscription model
With the growth of revenue and reduction of paid media spend, they were able to raise a significant amount of funding for the business
All consumers are omnichannel
Presentation: Winning at Retail Media: Leveraging Retail Media in Today’s Unique Economy
Morgan Chemij, HP's Global Senior Director of Marketplaces, offered great insights about retail media and shopper marketing! He discussed how marketers can ensure that they remain up to date and well-informed on new retail media trends. The recent trend of diverting money away from traditional media channels and allocating it towards retail marketing, means understanding the importance of this type of marketing is paramount for any brand or advertising team. He went into depth about how retail media has been gaining immense traction in the marketing sphere.
Major players like Amazon, Walmart Connect, Target Roundel and Instacart are taking advantage of this trend to leverage their reach and engagement, while new platform partners like Costco and Best Buy are rapidly growing and making a mark. Major retail d2c brands particularly have been using these platforms to propel growth and success for their businesses. Chemij gave tips on where to place bets, what types of activations are likely to be the most successful, and HP's approach and learnings during their Retail Media journey.
Amazon is still leading in retail media, but Walmart and Instacart are both taking a significantly higher share than they once did. Multiple media networks is critical at this point.
Wayfair, Ebay, Costco, Macy's, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Target, Tesco, 7-11, and Kroger are all emerging networks that are gaining traffic and taking market share. (we need to get with all of these!)
Retail media networks offer a convenience to consumers that they really enjoy. Buyers like to have a personalized experience, especially when it's with a brand they trust. Not everyone may want to share their information or activity to any advertiser online, but they may be more willing to "allow cookies" when it's a specific brand they like.
HP invested in search on smaller media networks like Costco and had a 13% conversion lift and lowered their CPA to just $12.
Panel Debate: Automation - Friend or Foe?
The ad tech industry has progressed significantly by automating a great deal of the process for building, publishing and optimizing paid media campaigns. This shift has taken away more control from marketers. It's understandable to be wary of AI algorithms when it comes to content creation and optimization. Figuring out the perfect balance between automation and human input is key for a successful campaign. To gain more insight into this topic, Annie Stickney moderated a debate-style panel discussion where leading marketers discussed their experiences with artificial intelligence and automation.
Annie Stickney, VP OmniChannel Analytics - Head of Search Analytics, JP Morgan Chase
Difficult brand decisions to ethically rule out or keep geographical areas where controversial bills are passed, like Texas vaccination law
Michael - brand association, his view is to keep things right in the middle
Free speech vs. brand messaging
US and New Zealand allow pharmaceutical advertising
Many global countries do not allow it
Presentation: Peak Behind the Curtain – Driving Organizational Change During Uncertainty
In this time of ongoing uncertainty, marketers must be nimble and flexible to stay on top of consumer's evolving needs. Being able to respond quickly is critical for success is critical. Vivian Chang, the head of direct-to-consumer at The Clorox Company, discussed how the iconic CPG brand is optimizing and adapting its organization to ensure a successful long-term outlook. During her presentation, she covered essential tactics for marketing operations success like delivering over revenue, successful change management, and finding a balance between short-term and long-term objectives.
Vivian Chang, VP Growth, Clorox DTC, The Clorox Company
Martech landscape is overwhelming
How do you determine the tools that are needed?
How do you be agile?
How do you develop teams to be successful at driving strategy?
Be a growth engine
Get started! Be aware you'll probably pivot, but you won't know until you try SOMETHING
Balance long term and short term mentality
Be more reactive
Respond to the customers' wants and needs
Get creative on showing success
Incremental omni revenue
High quality first party data
Insights to drive brand efficiency
Early learning for R&D innovation
Mobilize support through allies
Build a flexible people organization
FTEs, contractors, AND agencies
Put people in the places that they will have the greatest long-term impact
Clarify and simplify
Own, don't abdicate decisions
Check your ego
Celebrate the small wins
Take care of you
Keynote Presentation: The Future of Traffic Generation - Why Branding & SEO Matter in a High CAC Environment
Despite a complex customer acquisition climate, companies are still looking for effective solutions to drive traffic and sales. Brands and retailers are held to high expectations to achieve their goals in this landscape. Establishing a strong presence through conventional branding and SEO is essential for achieving success within a performance marketing strategy. These channels provide valuable assistance to paid media for maximizing the return on your investments.
Amy Madonia, Executive Director of Global Ecommerce at The Estée Lauder Companies, explained how the world's biggest makeup brand made use of storytelling techniques to differentiate themselves online. She also covered the future of demand generation in today's digital environment which is changing rapidly.
Amy Madonia, Executive Director, of Global Ecommerce, The Estée Lauder Companies
$500M in charitable donations to those affected by HIV or AIDS
Focus on AOV - virtual try on or "trend try on" is increasing the number of products each user buys
Commitment, persistance, and elbow grease - there was no ownership for SEO, so they created a team of engaged and committed people that would work on easy tasks in sprints
Case Study: Becoming Relevant via Cultural Moments
H&R Block saw an opportunity to reach a younger audience and enhance its brand perception when the NCAA updated its Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) regulations in 2021. College athletes had the chance to make a large profit off of their NIL, which presented an appealing opportunity for tax preparation companies. It enabled them to join in on a relevant cultural moment and effectively connect with consumers. Pierson Curtis, Director of Growth Marketing at H&R, talked about how their culturally sensitive and purpose-driven campaign led to better performance across various paid, earned and owned channels.
Case Study: Affiliates & Partnerships: Where Brand and Lower Funnel Merge
It's possible to achieve a mutually beneficial situation among Brand and lower funnel marketers. Through Affiliate and Partnership programs, teams can collaborate in creating profitable strategies and tactics for all involved. Kristina has done a commendable job at Big Island Coffee Roasters as their lower funnel marketer. 'Partnerships' has become her priority, right after her love for coffee. This initiative has enabled Kristina to support her Brand colleagues in various ways. By thinking out of the box and applying creative strategies, marketers can create fresh opportunities and deliver excellent results that are beyond usual PR and Brand activities.
The media buying industry is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the latest trends and strategies is crucial for success. That's why events like the Digiday Media Buying Summit are so valuable. Industry experts and thought leaders come together to share insights, discuss challenges, and explore new opportunities.
The recent Digiday Media Buying Summit in New Orleans was no exception. Over the course of several days, attendees had the chance to hear from a variety of speakers, participate in workshops and panel discussions, and network with peers from across the industry.
One of the key themes that emerged from the summit was the ongoing challenge of data privacy and how it's impacting media buying. As more and more consumers become aware of the data being collected about them and the ways it's being used, there's a growing push for greater transparency and control. This has led to increased regulation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States.
Media buyers are having to adapt to these changes by being more transparent with consumers about how their data is being used, and by ensuring that they're only collecting and using data that's truly necessary. They're also exploring alternative ways to target audiences, such as contextual advertising, which targets ads based on the content of the page rather than the user's data.
Another topic that received a lot of attention at the summit was the continued growth of programmatic advertising. Programmatic has become an increasingly popular way to buy and sell advertising, as it allows for greater targeting and efficiency. However, there are still challenges to be addressed, such as ad fraud and brand safety.
To combat these issues, media buyers are investing in more sophisticated fraud detection tools and partnering with trusted publishers to ensure that their ads are appearing in safe and reputable environments. They're also exploring new approaches to programmatic, such as bringing programmatic in-house, which can give them greater control over their campaigns and data.
In addition to these challenges, the summit also highlighted some of the exciting opportunities that are emerging in media buying. One such opportunity is the growing importance of connected TV (CTV). As more consumers shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming services, CTV has become an increasingly important channel for advertisers.
Media buyers are exploring ways to take advantage of this trend, such as by using data to target specific households or by partnering with streaming services to create unique ad experiences.
Advertisers are being faced with new, ever-changing obstacles due to fluctuating budgets, varying company and industry objectives and unpredictable customer behavior. This creates tension between brand marketers and the platforms from which ads are purchased.
This puts additional pressure on agencies and third party tools like MarinOne to bridge the gap and represent both parties well–ensuring marketers get the best possible return on their advertising investment, while the ad platforms' requirements are met to ensure their audiences are protected. Speak with one our expert consultants to learn how you can increase ad efficiency while remaining compliant.
We were glad to be apart of this years' Digiday Media Buying event in New Orleans, alongside our partner LinkedIn, to bring you, our clients and partners, the most up to date information possible. Continue to watch our blog for more insights that were gathered throughout this 3 day event over the coming weeks.
Paid advertisements can increase your ROI by 200%, so it’s no wonder the market for paid search ads is worth approximately $60 billion annually. With digital ad spend forecasted to account for more than 60% of the global ad revenue this year, you’ll want to stay competitive to make sure your rankings consistently show up at the top of search engine results.
As we approach 2023, paid search advertising remains a critical aspect of marketing. To make sure you’re ready to kick off the new year with a strong start, we’ve outlined 15 best practices you can put into action.
15 paid search best practices you should know about
Use these best practices as part of your marketing strategy to take your paid search advertising to the next level.
Routinely evaluate your target keywords’ performance
Zero in on what your customers are searching for—and how they are searching for it. To drive targeted traffic to your site, do your keyword research. Go beyond traditional keyword tools and the typical Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner. By setting up a filter, you can figure out which keywords are performing well and toss the ones that are delivering the fewest conversions.
Leverage A/B testing
Make a habit of A/B testing. By following up with tests, you can continuously improve your conversion rates. Using A/B testing is one of the best ways to learn which messaging strategies resonate best with your audience. Once you have a clear indication, you can hone in on messaging that works for your target audience and your CTR will inevitably rise.
Make special offers a habit
Special offer tactics encourage higher web traffic by driving more users to your site. Time-bound discounts, freebies, and creating a sense of urgency are methods that motivate consumers to take the action you want them to take. Using phrases like “One Hour Flash Sale” or “Only Three Left in Stock” in your PPC ad can draw people in by making them feel the need to act quickly and complete a purchase.
Use local and negative keywords
To make the most of your PPC investment, you want to be sure you use both types of keywords, local and negative. Think of negative keywords as the opposite of your targeted ones. Negative keywords lead to a lower chance of you attracting the wrong visitors by dictating the types of search terms for which you do not want to appear. Local keywords enable you to increase targeted traffic from people around your area.
Align your PPC ad copy with your landing page copy
Matching your ads’ messaging with your landing page is one of the most important elements of PPC optimization. When researching consumer journey patterns and overall behavior, be sure to check how searchers respond to certain words in your messaging. You can go dynamic and change your landing page to make it specific for different audiences as well. By adjusting your landing page based on user search queries, you'll boost conversion rates without adding to your development costs.
Increase the loading speed of your landing pages
A slow loading site negatively impacts the user experience. When a page takes longer than three seconds to load, there’s a dramatic increase in abandonment rates. In fact, bounce rate probability increases by 90% if a page’s load time is between one and five seconds.To check the speed of your site, use tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom Tools.
Adapt to a “mobile-first” mindset
This goes for both your visuals and your text, both for your ads and your landing pages. In a world where consumers are constantly glued to their phones, it's critical for you to approach your paid search ads with a mobile-first mindset. Over 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices and mobile search queries will no doubt continue to outpace desktop queries.
With a mobile-centric PPC strategy, you can ensure mobile users have the best user experience, encouraging them to follow through to the end of your funnel.
Thanks to voice-enabled digital assistants like Alexa and Siri, voice search is rapidly rising in popularity. It’s also faster than typing, making it convenient and ideal for on-the-go mobile users. When building your paid search ads, include voice search in your strategy. If you don’t, you’ll be leaving opportunities and money on the table. To capitalize on voice search, you can:
Your conversions must be measurable so you can identify the success of your campaign and determine your next steps to optimize and improve results. While impressions, clicks, and click-through rates are important metrics, when you’re running multiple PPC campaigns, it’s not ideal to rely just on them. For example, a high CTR may make it appear that your campaigns are performing well. However, if your conversion rate is still low, it means it’s time to adjust your strategy.
Include call conversions
With a mobile-first mindset, it’s also important to track calls from your ads. A great way to track call conversions is by using the Google Adwords Call Extension. This feature enables you to add a clickable phone number so customers can call directly from the ad. With this conversion type, you can track phone calls, calculate your cost per acquisition (CPA), and optimize your campaigns.
Diversify your strategies
Make it a priority to diversify your campaigns. If you’re used to running text-based search ads, expand your strategies to not only include paid search ads, but also display ads, paid social ads (META, Tiktok, LinkedIn to name a few), as well as other ad formats. By implementing a diverse approach, you can ensure that you are reaching potential customers in all digital spaces where they’re most likely to be frequently visiting and engaged.
Run responsive search ads / responsive display ads
Don’t stick to ad styles of the past. Instead, use responsive search ads in all of your paid search planning. To do so, you can use Google’s AI to discover which headlines and descriptions are more likely to resonate with your audience. Eventually, Google Ads will also be able to identify which combinations yield the best results through the use of machine learning.
Learn to use scripts
With scripts, certain aspects of your paid search optimization can be automated including bid management, reporting, split testing, and others. Scripts are good tools to help you use your time more wisely rather than using it to complete mundane and repetitive manual tasks that can be more efficiently streamlined.
Marketers have realized that using video is a powerful way to get in front of their audiences—84% of marketers claim that it helps generate leads and boost sales. By providing customers with a deeper understanding of your product or service, video is one of the best ways to use visuals to increase brand awareness. Make it your goal to incorporate videos where they make sense in your strategy.
Ditch third-party cookies and opt for the new first-party cookies
In the second half of 2023, Google Chrome is slated to shift from third-party cookies to first-party cookies. To get ahead of the game, refocus your paid search strategy so you’re prepared for the transition. Looking ahead will allow you to alter your plans accordingly, but will also help you build strong lasting relationships with new clients, vendors, and your internal teams.
MarinOne Can Optimize Your Paid Search Advertising
When done right, paid search advertising is a valuable marketing strategy to increase leads and sales and generate brand awareness. By following these best practices for paid search in 2023, you will be well on your way to optimizing your campaigns and maximizing your ROI.
However, it's important to remember that an effective paid search strategy relies on leveraging data insights to make informed decisions. By pairing paid search best practices with MarinOne’s platform, you can gain the insights you need to scale your top advertising campaign results, increase conversions, and reach higher paid search rankings for your target audiences so you can grow your business.
Overcoming challenges from recent changes and resetting your sights on scaling centers on the common themes of simplicity and increasing liquidity. We’re sharing actionable and accessible changes you can make in your accounts today to improve your outcomes.
These changes are fairly universal in application, but if you’re a current Marin Software client you can also get personalized recommendations from your dedicated expert account team.
Simplify Account Structure
All new ad sets, or those that are treated as new by the system because their learning phase has been reset by a significant edit, start out in ‘Learning’. This isn’t necessarily a bad stage to be in - all ad sets will spend some time in learning, and typically anything less than 20% of spend (overall) being in learning is fine and won’t negatively impact performance. However, we want to spend as much of your campaign budget in an efficient way, and reduce time in Learning as much as possible. Simplification and consolidation are key to improving liquidity, in particular by moving spend past the Learning Phase more efficiently.
There are four key levers that impact the learning phase:
Campaign and Ad Set Volume
A simplified account structure will maximize signals in the auction to get you out of the Learning Phase faster. Ad Sets and segments that exist more for reporting over value or receive less than the 50 conversions/week threshold (88 installs/day for SKAN campaigns) should be consolidated.
Manual Edit Frequency
Each time you make a significant edit (such as to budget, bid or targeting, at campaign, ad-set or ad level) the Learning Phase is reset. As a result, hourly and daily performance metrics will be noisy and incomplete due to restricted and delayed reporting.
Meta recommends waiting 72 hours to evaluate performance to allow for the reporting delay in opt-out conversions and to avoid editing an ad-set or ad until it has exited the Learning Phase.
Targeting and Placement
Gone are the days of over segmentation, especially in retargeting campaigns. Since user opt-outs from tracking will reduce the potential reach of retargeting campaigns, Meta recommends broadening placements and targeted audiences for more effective optimization over time. The “expanded interest” option is another great way to increase liquidity.
In retargeting specifically, Meta also recommends monitoring for audience saturation and considering shifting more budget to Lookalike Audiences and Broad Audiences.
When deciding on placements, Meta recommends taking advantage of their machine learning system, that will place your ad in the most optimal surface for you. Including more placements often helps you find a wider audience because our audience targeting works the same across all available placements. The more places your ad is displayed, the more chances your target audience has to see it and take the desired action.
Bidding and Budget
Ensure that your budgets are set high enough to reach 50 conversions per week. If you’re launching a net new campaign, take a look at the average account CPA for a good starting point, then multiply that number by 50 to get your ideal weekly budget.
Conversion Event Frequency
Are campaigns/ad sets failing to hit 50 conversion events per week? A quick analysis could be: “Of the X number of ad sets you are currently running only Y are hitting the requisite 50 events per week (or Z hitting 100 per week. Learning doesn’t stop at 50!)”. Watch out for very new campaigns/ad sets!
With all of this talk of simplification and liquidity, you may be wondering, can I simplify things too much? The answer is yes!
Sometimes consolidating activity too much can do more harm than good. Generally speaking you shouldn’t consolidate when:
The ad sets have different objectives
The ad sets are targeting audiences with different values that the auction cannot detect
There are differences in franchises obligations or shipping costs
There are significant differences in performance - we don’t want to drown out good performing ad sets.
When considering scaling strategies for the new normal, our common theme is to increase liquidity. Take these steps to get your accounts to a place to scale:
Simplify account structure
Do you often see your ads stuck in the “Learning” stage? This could be a sign that it’s time to simplify. If the adset doesn’t reach the 50 conversions threshold needed (or is predicted to not reach this threshold), it will display as “Learning Limited” and won’t hit optimal performance. If this is the case, check for audience overlap using the “Inspect” tool in ads manager. If you have overlapping audiences in your account, learning will be split between multiple ad sets. This means you could be missing out on potential opportunities! If you don’t have overlapping audiences but still have ads stuck in the Learning stage, pick your strongest performers and pause the rest to allocate budget more effectively.
Reduce frequency of manual edits
Manual edits, while sometimes necessary, can push your ads back into the learning phase and prevent your ad sets from reaching optimal performance. Even if there is enough conversion volume to exit the learning phase, repeated manual edits will reset the learning process and keep your ads in learning longer. Try to limit manual edits post-launch or group together necessary edits, and find a list of manual edits that trigger the learning phase here.
Our inclination can be to be extremely refined in our audience targeting, but this can work against us by limiting the reach and thereby learning of our ads. Test out an expanded lookalike audience or even broad audiences to discover new scaling opportunities.
CBO, or Campaign Budget Optimization, is when you set one overarching campaign budget instead of setting budgets individually at the ad set level. This helps simplify campaign setup and helps reduce the number of budgets to manage manually, since the budget at the campaign level is flexible across all ad sets and prioritizes top performers. If you prefer to have more control over ad set budgets and leverage manual bidding, Marin customers can enjoy Social Rules that automate bid changes based on your internal KPIs to similarly automate with more granular control.
Prioritize events with the largest, most diverse audiences
If you’re looking to scale, you’ll find that growth in event optimizations that are further up in the funnel. For example, if you typically optimize for Sales you might test a Leads or Engagement objective in order to broaden your reach, then nurture those users to drive additional scale in your ultimate goal of Sales. Learn more about different Campaign Objectives in Meta here.
If you’re a Marin customer and would like more tailored recommendations, please reach out to your account manager for assistance. Our team members are seasoned experts in social advertising and can help you create a personalized scaling strategy.
Businesses all over the world strive to convert brand awareness into customer conversions and profits, but marketing and customer service efforts are only as effective as the principles that are driving them. Demand generation is the strategy that helps B2B and B2C companies create reliable brand interest that translates directly to high quality leads.
Gordon Ferris, Director of Growth Marketing at Marin Software, shares significant insight to help us understand the principles that will define the success of demand generation strategies in 2023 and beyond. With more than a decade of experience in search, social media, and ecommerce marketing, Gordon generously explains the key tenets of demand generation that every marketer must understand to succeed in both B2B and B2C companies.
The Core Tenets of Demand Generation
Understand Your Brand
Most brands believe they know what they stand for in a general sense but this does not always translate into effective messaging. A major reason for this disconnect is not knowing how the brand is perceived within the minds of internal and external stakeholders. Each brand makes a promise to their customers and these promises must be ratified through consistent, concrete behaviors. Businesses that successfully communicate their marketing messages consistently have seen a 33% rise in overall revenue.
Gordon shares that businesses must “understand the power of their product and what makes their brand unique because this is what people will respond to. This needs to be actively pushed through across marketing activities and channels.”
Understand Your Customer
Once a business defines the promise it makes to its customers, it needs to understand how those promises relate to each customer segment’s needs. Marketing can be viewed as one-way communication from a brand to its customers, but successful demand generation requires more than that. Businesses should actively collaborate and engage with customers to collect customer insights to better define and meet their needs. This can also help businesses create brand advocates that further amplify a business’ message through organic communication.
Even if businesses want to listen to their customers, it can be challenging to define what they’re looking for. Gordon explains how businesses can break down a customer’s needs into two distinct categories. “Businesses need to identify a customer’s rational and emotional needs. Rational needs relate to the functional needs and attributes they want from your product. This can be quality, variety, efficiency, saving time, reducing cost and effort, and more. Emotional needs, on the other hand, relate to how your customers want to feel when interacting with your product. This could be a customer feeling confident or enjoying exclusivity through the ownership or use of your product.”
Understand Your Product Positioning
In an ideal world, the relationship between a brand and its customer would be enough to translate effective communication into active demand. However, brands don’t exist in a vacuum. Competing services, products, and brands present constant challenges. This has led to almost three quarters of people actively avoiding advertising with the use of ad blockers or other tools. To avoid overwhelming the customer, businesses must position themselves as a partner customers can trust.
Gordon adds that “positioning can only be done appropriately when businesses know their brand and all its components. They also need to understand the competitors they share space with. Marketers should ask questions such as what are some of the brands in your direct category? What brands fall just outside the category, but have an overlap or affinity with your customers? Analyze competitor brand positioning; how do they want to be perceived by their customers?”
How to Generate Demand Effectively in 2023 and Beyond
According to Gordon, “Once you do those first three steps of understanding your brand, your customers, and your positioning, then you get into tactics and the tactics become easier.”
The principles listed above should apply across all demand generation activity. They can help businesses be more proactive in learning about their customers, themselves, and their competitors.
Remain Authentic to Your Customers
Authenticity has been cited by 88% of customers as an important factor in determining whether they like and will support a brand. Even if marketing messages have a proven track record of success with a customer base, if the brand that is sharing those messages doesn't believe it, it will not resonate with customers. Businesses should identify and amplify the messages that lie in the overlap of the brand’s beliefs and the customer’s needs.
Learn to Make the Most of First-Party Data in a Cookieless World
Businesses have been trying to phase out the use of third-party cookies as major browsers and search engines ditch the information-gathering method in favor of first-party data. However, a staggering 83% of marketers still rely on third-party cookies to learn about their customers. Businesses must learn to extract actionable insights from the information they already have or are able to gather.
Gordon explains that “once someone is on your site, you need to make the most of that engagement. Allow your customers to find what they’re looking for, but at the same time, by the way they click or navigate your site, find what’s important to them.”
Make it as Easy as Possible for Your Customers to Buy into Your Messaging
Marketers can sometimes overlook the needs of the average customer when designing messages that seem eloquent to their own eyes. While there is value in including flair in a brand’s marketing, it should always be accessible and easily understood by the business’ most important customers – and the message must connect to the priorities of the intended audience.
Businesses should actively “create bite-sized paths that are addressing specific value propositions or questions that your customers might have for your product or the industry you’re in,” shares Gordon.
With MarinOne, businesses can gather information about how well each message is resonating with their customers, learn what their customers are actually interested in, and how their competitors are faring with different marketing tactics and messages.
Augmented analytics is drastically changing the way marketers work, empowering them with better ways to identify customer needs, develop more effective campaigns, drive conversions, and ultimately improve business outcomes.
Using advanced tech solutions such as artificial intelligence to collect and analyze data, augmented analytics helps marketers make more informed, data-driven decisions. Simply put, it’s a smart and powerful solution that enables marketers to move way ahead of competitors by helping them achieve more with less. From providing smart insights to revealing valuable intelligence, augmented analytics is a game changer that can transform your business in 2023 and beyond.
What is Augmented Analytics?
Augmented analytics is a data processing approach that uses a variety of techniques, including data mining, statistical modeling, and machine learning, to analyze a wide range of historical and current data to improve data exploration and analysis. Applying advanced algorithms to the data enables businesses to better understand customer behavior, identify trends and anomalies, and make predictions that inform decisions based on facts, rather than intuition. By leveraging these complex algorithms, augmented analytics enhances the way businesses can use data for further analysis in business intelligence applications. This strategy has huge potential and is a key tool in helping marketers develop a strong competitive advantage. In fact, the augmented analytics market is expected to grow by 25% in the next five years, reaching $22.4 billion by 2025.
4 Ways Augmented Analytics can Help Your Business
Using augmented analytics can multiply your business’s success by improving your bottom line and introducing new ways to boost campaign efforts.
Marketing teams confronted with frozen or shrinking budgets are nonetheless still expected to generate leads and build pipelines to increase revenue. Using augmented analytics, marketers can make data-driven decisions and optimize their marketing investments through accurate insights and recommendations. Instead of just relying on past experience, estimates, gut instinct, or trial and error, the technology provides an accurate picture of which campaigns are performing well and which aren't, enabling marketers to allocate their budgets effectively to maximize returns. Here are two ways augmented analytics can help optimize marketing budgets.
Budget forecasting supports operational improvements that can lead to greater business success. For many marketers, monitoring spend versus allocated budget is a time-consuming process that is often prone to inaccuracies — especially when juggling several clients simultaneously. With augmented analytics, however, forecasting allows marketers to stay on track by providing historical and current information about budget spending so they can act on timely suggestions. This way, marketers can ensure that allocated budgets are spent according to plan, freeing time to spend on granular analysis of under- and overspending, preparing them to navigate future campaigns that will achieve higher ROAS.
Another practical way augmented analytics can help marketers maximize ROI is through anomaly detection, a tool that uses historical data on metrics including clicks or CPM and impressions to identify and self-learn expectations for the metrics. When an anomaly is detected, the outlier is automatically flagged, indicating issues that can drain a budget. These anomalies reveal campaign performance problems that might have otherwise gone unnoticed, helping to minimize negative effects – or eliminate them altogether.
Rapid Time to Insight
The beauty of augmented analytics is the way its powerfully constructed machine learning algorithms reveal important insights that can save time and improve a company’s bottom line. Through real-time insights and recommendations based on data analysis, marketers can make more informed decisions, understand customer behavior and needs, and tailor their campaigns accordingly.
With such proactive insights, augmented analytics can not only help reduce risk, but can also minimize issues by allowing marketers to use its highly sophisticated number crunching to drive more sales, build effective pipelines, and retain customers.
Improve Customer Experiences
Augmented analytics give marketers accurate and detailed information about their customers that they might have not been able to obtain through other means. With greater insights about prospective and existing customers, marketers can improve customer experience by understanding how their customers will interact with their brand.
Since augmented analytics is able to unify a diverse range of datasets such as demographics, CRMs, psychographics, and more, it can provide critical information marketing teams need to maximize customer value. By exploring large volumes of different data, augmented analytics can also model and predict customer behaviors, calculate customer lifetime value, and discover customer trends and patterns — all of which can be used to improve customer experiences.
Marketers can also harness augmented analytics for smoother operations. By automating certain tasks, such as data preparation, data discovery, and data visualization, marketers can save heaps of time and effort. Additionally, augmented analytics can automatically generate charts, graphs, and other visualizations based on data analysis, helping marketers to quickly and easily understand and communicate the results of their analysis. When data is streamlined and manual tasks are automated, marketers can spend less time combing through data for insights, and more time focusing on other strategic business initiatives that demand attention.
Getting started with augmented analytics
Here are three steps to help you get started with your augmented analytics journey.
Start Small and Choose a Use Case that is Aligned with Your KPIs
To begin using data science and artificial intelligence, your data doesn’t need to be perfect. Identify the business problem or opportunity you want to address. Focus on a use case that is aligned with your KPIs and has high business value. Once you see that it is successful, you can move on to other larger projects.
Invite your Whole Organization to be a Part of Your Analytics Initiatives
Being strategic about rolling out augmented analytics and collaborating with your entire company can help build trust and show employees that you want them to be involved with the implementation. Communicating with different stakeholders in your company will help them understand the value of the technology and how it can be used to drive business results. Encourage employees from across the organization to play a role in the initiative, demonstrating that you value their input and cooperation in achieving your business’s mission and goals.
Provide the Right Training to Gain the Most Value out of Your Investment
Concentrate on creating a data-driven culture. When you’re ready to start using augmented analytics as part of your company’s daily operations, establish strategies and offer training in place so employees can get the most out of the valuable data assets. When you include users from the beginning, they will likely be more invested in the outcome.
Be prepared to make changes along your augmented analytics journey. Encourage others to contribute feedback so you can gather insights and make adjustments as needed. A flexible approach supports iteration. In turn, when you iterate with stakeholders, you’ll be better equipped to adjust to their needs. Adopting a flexible outlook will help ensure a successful transformation for your business and make for a more seamless transition.
Using Augmented Analytics to Improve Your Campaigns
From identifying user segments to refining your target audiences, you can use augmented analytics to gain a deeper understanding of customer data and optimize your campaigns. With the right insights, you can effectively focus on those customers most likely to buy or respond positively to your offers, putting the right messages in front of them at the right time.
As you embark on your augmented analytics journey, remember that success is achieved through collaboration, training, flexibility, and the right data-driven strategies. When implemented properly and consistently across all areas of your business, these principles can help you maximize the value of your investment and take your analytics initiatives to the next level.
If you're eager to elevate your marketing efforts with sophisticated analytics, reach out to MarinOne for help. As a customizable, enterprise-class solution, MarinOne can help you more efficiently analyze your customer data, better understand your customers’ needs, and take advantage of the opportunities augmented analytics provides.
There is surely something in our collective consciousness that responds to well-produced persuasive advertisements. From the highly memorable “Mac vs PC” series of ads to Coca-Cola’s use of a classic song from yesteryear, most people have an ad they remember fondly.
Businesses are constantly trying to gain the attention of customers through new persuasive advertising ideas and some have found more success than others. What’s their secret? Here are a few of the attributes that make some advertisements more persuasive than others.
Persuasive techniques in advertising
The following are psychological triggers that can be used to nudge people toward making a purchase.
Tell a Story
A persuasive ad should focus on telling a story that is hard for the viewer to forget. Research suggests that people are 20x more likely to recall stories than facts or figures. More often than not, people remember the story even more than the product, service, or brand being advertised!
How to do it: When you create an ad, use settings with characters that cause the viewer or listener to identify with a character's plight. Give your ads a narrative arc and watch as customers become more engaged.
Use Tailored Messaging
While there are a variety of persuasive advertising tactics that can work for your ad, focus on those that will resonate most with your target audience. Audiences respond better to tailored messaging that illustrates the benefits of what you offer and how it can improve their lives.
How to do it: In addition to making your messaging emotionally impactful, strive to make it short and sweet. Keeping things simple is a marketing strategy that works best to keep consumers interested.
Tap into Emotions
Emotions are responsible for the decisions we make in more ways than we realize and they play a far greater role in decision making than logic does. In fact, studies reveal that 70% of viewers are more likely to purchase a product after experiencing an intense emotional response. Connecting with your audience using emotional cues in your advertising — whether you’re making them laugh or pulling at their heartstrings — will make your brand more memorable.
How to do it: Emotional persuasion begins with understanding your audience. Once you know your audience well, you’ll be able to determine which trigger words are likely to work best. Combining trigger words with storytelling creates emotional engagement. But to truly evoke emotional appeal and gauge attention, make sure to be authentic.
Incorporate Celebrity Endorsements
The public is highly influenced by celebrities — what they say matters to a lot of people. Using celebrities as part of your promotion strategies will make your ad more persuasive. Tap into the ethos of popular people and online influencers and get them to tout your brand.
How to do it: Look for celebrities that are relatable to your target audience and a good fit for your brand. Better yet, reach out to celebrities who are already using your product or service. Plan to work through a talent manager or agent. And remember, make your ask very clear and be sure to provide the details of your campaign goals.
5 Persuasive Ads to Inspire You in 2023
With a new year ahead, it’s time to look back and take stock of some of the most persuasive ads that launched during 2022 and why they worked so well.
Together with the marketing agency Ogilvy, Dove created this ad as a sequel to their previous campaigns such as “Reverse Selfie”, “Show Us”, and “Legacy” in pursuit of fighting for real beauty standards.
As part of their self-esteem project, Dove has made it their mission to inspire young individuals to remove toxic beauty advice from their social media feeds. The ad features teenage daughters and their mothers discussing the disturbing promotion of false beauty advice through using deepfakes and face-mapping technology to expose the dangers of social media’s toxic influence.
What they got right: By ensuring that their ad messaging is authentic, Dove has successfully reframed purchasing their beauty products for their audience. Beyond making people feel good about their brand, the ad focuses on connecting with others, evokes an emotional reaction, and expresses important values.
During 2022's SuperBowl, the chip brand used its ad spot to highlight the 43% of consumers whose hand gets wedged at the bottom of the Pringles tube while trying to get to the last shattered chips.
The commercial declares that any discomfort their customers experience is “worth it” by highlighting the misadventures a determined Pringle snacker faces as he goes through life with a chip can permanently wedged on his arm.
What they got right: The brand took a comical approach to address a common pain point that Pringle fans encounter. Their sense of humor caters to the playful side of consumers by pointing to their brand’s heritage as a snack intended to be fun. They also appropriately combined the ad’s message with the perfect soundtrack: “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie.
The optical retail chain Specsavers uses a playful tactic to raise awareness around its home visit proposition. The ad’s goal is to challenge public perceptions around the variety of services the brand offers. It showcases a series of characters laughing off the idea of going into a store since they can experience the service from the comfort of their own home.
What they got right: Through their ad, Specsavers successfully spotlights its home visits service while also driving brand reappraisal. It’s both powerful and emotive, and most importantly, aims to charm its customers while emphasizing the brand’s purpose of changing lives through better sight.
Cleverly crafted, this Samsung ad features a spider named Sam who falls in love with the Samsung Galaxy S22. The ad depicts the arachnid’s rollercoaster of emotions — ardor, pain, and joy — as it realizes the beauty of the phone’s camera lenses. The commercial closes with a happy ending and runs to the tune of “Love Hurts” by the legendary Scottish rock band Nazareth.
What they got right: Through the use of emotional storytelling, Samsung creates a memorable love story that is hard for consumers to forget. By doing so, the brand is able to shed light on its new camera innovation and also ensure a strong positioning in the highly competitive smartphone market.
Apple’s suspenseful ad revolves around how three individuals are conveniently able to call for help from their Apple Watch in the midst of an emergency. It’s as simple as dialing 911 from your wrist, by using Apple’s Emergency SOS feature.
What they got right: By using real-life trauma to advertise their product and portraying how it can make the difference between life and death, Apple’s ad becomes relatable, effective, chilling, and dystopian all at the same time. It creates a strong emotional response from viewers by striking a balance of fear and goosebumps, illustrating how powerful it can be in saving lives.
These ads all attract and persuade viewers through emotional connection, relatability, and shared values — but above all, storytelling. These are the most powerful ways to create an ad that is sure to resonate with your audience.
How MarinOne can help you reach your audience
MarinOne can help you extract maximum value from your most persuasive marketing materials across different mediums, platforms, and channels. To find out how, contact one of our MarinOne experts today.
Marin Software has sponsored eMarketer's analyst report Retail Trends to Watch for 2023 as part of Marin's ongoing initiatives to bring the best possible retail media data to marketers across the US and Europe. Supporting content that helps marketers be more successful at their jobs completely aligns with Marin's mission to simplify and automate work for marketing professionals.
The report evaluated several areas of focus for Retail Marketers including economic climate and pressures, new revenue streams, trends in Gen Z’s spending growth, and opportunities in retail media.
eMarketer’s analysts also provide insights on how brands can drive more ecommerce sales, revamp direct-to-consumer strategies, and adjust marketing to widen their reach to acquire new customers while retaining loyal customers.
Marin Software contributed an article to the report on Adapting your budgeting strategy for uncertain times providing key strategies for marketers to determine how to spend, where to spend, and how to improve performance to weather the storm in the year ahead.
“eMarketer has long been a trusted source for advertisers looking for industry insights and recommendations. We are pleased to have the opportunity to support them in distributing this Retail Trends report at such a critical moment for Retail Marketers,” said Chris Lien, CEO, Marin Software. “We remain committed to delivering advertisers with the best solutions for analyzing, automating, and optimizing their retail marketing campaigns.”
Marin has been helping advertisers advance their digital advertising campaigns for over 15 years and has managed over $48 billion in advertising spend for some of the world’s top brands.
The self-serve MarinOne platform unifies industry leading optimization tools with flexible reporting to help advertisers maximize the impact and reach of their digital marketing investment across paid search, social, and ecommerce channels.
Affiliate content has skyrocketed in popularity alongside social media marketing and other digital marketing tactics. Since social platforms have inconsistent monetization policies, influencer content offers creators a way to vouch for their favorite brands while generating income. Lifestyle brands, in particular, can align themselves with creators whose audiences overlap with their own.
Lauren Neels, Customer Engagement Manager and Marin Software’s resident expert on all things related to ecommerce, paid search, and digital marketing, shares some valuable insights about how lifestyle brands can use creator content to reach highly specific audiences more effectively.
How influencer content can help brands reach their audience
Shed the negative perceptions associated with advertising
While advertisements used to be a popular way to reach large audiences, viewers seem to have had enough. According to research from Statista, 41% of people online find themselves regularly annoyed by advertisements. More than a quarter of web surfers went as far as installing ad blockers to make their browsing experience better.
Advertisements are everywhere but Lauren shares that “people are more likely to trust influencer content since it comes from trusted creators that already have a relationship with their audience. This is evidenced by higher conversion rates experienced by businesses that leverage this type of content in their marketing campaigns.”
Allow your customers to engage with your content using actionable touchpoints
It’s not enough for your customers to view your content. Businesses must be able to measure how their ads are performing and ensure that each investment is yielding the appropriate results.
“Affiliate content is generally better than television ads for businesses that want to engage with the customer. This content is usually clickable or has some other CTA that customers can actively engage with,” Lauren shares.
Encourage greater conversion rates compared to cheaper outreach alternatives
Businesses can sometimes show a preference for alternatives such as television or billboard advertising. However, each method of outreach has a place within a greater marketing campaign.
Lauren explains that “paid ads work well for people who already have intent to purchase, but are less effective when people need convincing. Influencer content would be more effective at convincing or when trying to build a brand.”
Influencer content can be repurposed as paid social media posts or ads if needed
Some influencers have very niche audiences, but the reach of their content can be amplified when it is converted or repurposed as paid social media posts. However, Lauren warns that when creator content is converted to paid ads, “not all of that audience has chosen to follow that influencer so some of the trust won’t carry through to the new, wider audience. Conversion rates could go down but your reach is larger. This could help brand awareness, and boosted creator content would still have more trustworthiness than just a paid ad.”
Things to keep in mind while engaging creators for content
Social media trends often change before businesses can hop on them
All social media marketers are intimately aware of how quickly trends can change online. What is fashionable and topical today might be outdated next week. Businesses must always have their finger on the pulse of running trends and have employees that understand these trends to take charge of marketing campaigns that need to run alongside certain fads.
“If trends change before your approval process is complete, you’re too late. Millennials, for example, have a good idea of how trends work online. Put them in charge and trust them when it comes to trends and how to use them for effective marketing,” Lauren suggests.
Trends can differ wildly across platforms, content types, and audiences
Marketers often view social media as an effective channel for reaching younger audiences but each platform is unique. Trends, content types, audience demographics and more can differ significantly from platform to platform. TikTok, for example, is more likely to host a younger audience with a preference for short-form video content while Facebook is more likely to host a middle-aged audience with a preference for image-based content.
Background checks should be conducted for every collaborator you work with
When businesses sponsor a particular creator, they connect the brand with the creator in the minds of the viewer. While this can be a powerful way to gain the trust of customers, it also means that any misdemeanor committed by the creator can be associated with the brand or can lead to backlash against the brand.
“While apologies are more readily accepted now, it is always better to be in a position where an apology is not required at all,” Lauren recommends that you should “do your research to check the background of people you might be sponsoring to make sure they’re legitimate and not problematic.”
Rates can vary greatly depending on a creator’s reach, engagement, and more
As audiences become more diverse and use more social media channels, marketers must be strategic in how they spend on each platform and each creator. Marketers must always measure how much a creator is charging against their reach, engagement, history, alignment with the brand, and more. Each of these factors can lead to great variations in asking price from the influencer.
Affiliate or influencer content should be part of a larger marketing strategy
Affiliate content is a great way to reach targeted audiences and improve engagement rates with the brand. However, it’s not enough for a marketing team to rely exclusively on affiliate or influencer content. Like every other marketing method, creator content should be a smaller part in a larger marketing strategy designed to cover all of a business’ customer bases.
MarinOne’s modern optimization solution helps marketers ensure that each dollar spent on partner content and other marketing strategies yields maximum results. Our paid advertising management solutions creates automated recommendations to optimize your marketing configurations that will improve return on investment.
PPC advertising is already used by 45% of businesses to promote their products and services, and 62% of marketers plan to increase their PPC budgets. With figures like this, it’s clear that advertisers need to set themselves apart from competitors to drive more qualified leads and visitors.
Using the right PPC campaign management tool is a good place to start and can make a world of difference in how you manage your campaigns. In short, they can make your campaigns more effective and less time-consuming. But with such a vast array of tools on the market, choosing the best one can be a complex process—especially if you aren’t sure what to look out for or what features you need. We've put together a quick guide on what to keep in mind as you start exploring your options.
Choosing a PPC campaign management tool
So, what do you need in a PPC campaign management tool? Here are seven things to look for.
Meets your short-term and long-term business needs
Look for a tool that can help your business achieve its goals and enhance performance. The ideal solution should help you find new opportunities to improve your PPC campaigns and produce lasting results. When you begin your search, clearly outline your business needs. Once you’ve identified your goals, you can turn them into measurable objectives. Doing so will help you easily narrow down your options and find the solution that suits your business best.
Saves you time
The right PPC optimization tool will afford you more time to monitor and manage campaigns instead of getting bogged down with small, tedious tasks. Some tools are designed to create bulk campaigns or PPC ads using a keyword research tool or receive automated recommendations on bid adjustments. Using a PPC campaign management tool will also enable you to reduce in-house resources you’re currently devoting to digital marketing. Not only will it cut your expenditures, but you’ll have more free time to focus on other core areas of marketing that matter the most.
Has several different features
You want a tool to do more than just run audits or produce results on a dashboard. Pick a tool that has robust functionality and can help with:
Analyzing your performance
Monthly progress reports
Providing recommendations for improvement
Keeping you on budget
The price of a PPC campaign management tool may ultimately impact which solution you choose. However, using one allows you to determine an effective budget for your ads by channel and increase the ROI of all your campaigns, making it a worthwhile investment. By automating your campaigns and working at scale, the right tool can also help save costs on additional resources in your organization. So be sure to choose wisely and consider more than just the cost of the tool itself.
Helps you through the entire PPC journey
A PPC journey begins with an agency offering potential clients a proposal, which is typically done through a PPC audit that illustrates past success stories in the form of case studies, and a bit of sales know-how. After a client is on board, an ROI calculator and monthly reports will be needed. A solid PPC campaign management tool will be able to easily generate performance reports that can be converted into PDF format so everyone has access and can track your team’s success through the journey.
PPC campaign management tool features
When you purchase a PPC campaign management tool, you’ll want to be sure it includes all of these basics, and hopefully some additional unique extras too. Creating a criteria checklist of which attributes you need can help you spot which tool meets all of your requirements.
Standard tool features
Intuitive keyword search
PPC channels to target
AI-led customer rules
Split A/B testing
Cross-platform management capabilities
Why MarinOne is the right optimization tool for you
With the digital market constantly evolving, it’s crucial to keep up with the most current technology, especially when it can help improve your bottom line. The right PPC campaign management tool will deliver measurable results and minimize costs to drive your business forward. Additionally, it can help you stand out from your competitors and stay ahead of the game.
The success of your PPC campaigns depends on them being fully effective and efficient. If you’re looking to boost your sales and streamline your PPC campaign management, the right tool can make it easy. By taking a strategic approach to selecting the ideal PPC campaign management tool that’s best for you, you’ll achieve maximum results that will grow your business.
Now that you’ve read about how to choose the best PPC campaign management tool, take a look at why MarinOne is the best option on the market for both B2B and retail-focused marketers. Just a few of the time-saving features our tool offers include:
AI-powered Keyword Bid Changes
Unique Audience Segmentation and Testing
We offer free audits on your performance marketing campaigns and our team of expert consultants is ready to help you today.
Marketers are commonly tasked with making educated guesses covering an array of topics, such as buyer’s journey, which accounts are worth targeting, what content will resonate best with their customers, and so forth. While these guesses help drive business decisions and are used to create marketing campaigns, they are not the best tactic for accelerating your business.
To maintain a true competitive edge by making smarter, more informed decisions, marketers must stay on top of new technologies and trends such as predictive analytics. Let’s take a closer look to see what it’s all about and hear from MarinOne expert Joe Southin on how it can help you improve your business and increase your company’s bottom line.
Understanding predictive analytics
Predictive analytics is the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, predictive modeling, and other statistical techniques to forecast behavior, trends, and activities by analyzing past and present data. Using these analytics, you can strengthen your marketing efforts, enabling you to respond to developments more strategically. Predictive analytics can be used for predicting:
Which factors impact customer preferences and their buying decisions
Customer behaviors and their purchasing journey
Marketing strategies and forecasting sales
5 ways predictive analytics can optimize your marketing budget
Predictive analytics can be immensely useful. Here’s how:
1. Analyze data to predict how your strategy will perform over the next few days and the immediate future
For enhanced marketing performance, applying predictive analytics is crucial. With accurate data, you can implement a marketing strategy that will generate the impact you need to be successful. When you use predictive analytics to guide your strategy, you'll be more prepared to make informed business decisions and deliver campaigns that drive the results you’re seeking with minimal risk.
“Here at MarinOne we predict with confidence how an individual object is going to perform, not just tomorrow, but for the next few days,” says Joe Southin.
2. Use forecasts to manage, adjust, and optimize budget allocations
Predictive data helps you determine where to focus ad spend. It identifies the advertising channels and times that warrant increased spending and resources, and it provides useful insights so you know when to reduce investments. Use your forecasts to pinpoint where adjustments need to be made and how you can allocate your budget more efficiently.
According to Joe, “Forecasting gives you the opportunity to accurately project sales, revenue, and expenses. When you can map out how an object will respond with marketing spend, you can evaluate different price points.”
3. Respond to the latest trends to stay current and relevant
You can optimize your marketing budget by staying up to date with the latest marketing trends. Not only will it make your marketing campaigns more targeted and effective, but it will improve ROI, customer retention, and customer experiences as well. Competition in today’s marketing landscape is fierce. Understanding current market trends is key to remaining competitive. With predictive analytics, you can predict future shifts and plan your campaigns accordingly.
“Keeping up with the most current trends is key to strategizing so you can make better business decisions,” says Joe.
4. Use customer data to adjust campaigns
Provided it’s assessed and interpreted properly, customer data can be used to maximize the efficiency of advertising expenditure. By harnessing the power of predictive analytics, you can pinpoint everything from usage to customer buying behaviors. Customer data can help ensure that you don’t waste ad spend on irrelevant ad positioning or unnecessary communications. In turn, this can free up part of your budget for other revenue-boosting opportunities.
“No matter what industry you’re in, predictive analytics provides you with the necessary insights you need so you can make your next move. With a deep understanding of customer data, you can change your course of action for your campaigns to be more successful,” explains Joe.
5. Manage spend across different publishers to optimize effectiveness
If you are looking to optimize your marketing budget and maximize profitability, it's essential to allocate every dollar effectively. To fine-tune your budget allocation across different publishers, focus on the ones where you can fully control targeting and cost instead of spreading your budget thin. This will condition you to get rid of what does not work and focus your resources on what does.
Joe adds, “It’s essential to manage spend efficiently so you can yield the most optimal results. To do so, pay close attention to what’s actually working and what’s not by using predictive analytics to maximize value.”
3 Predictive analytics best practices
Managing and coordinating all steps in the analytical process can be complex. By following best practices, you’ll be well-positioned to glean the maximum benefit from predictive analytics.
1. Define your objectives
Predictive analytics empowers you to optimize operations by predicting outcomes. The predictions directly inform the action to take such as focusing marketing efforts on those most likely to make a purchase or identifying those who may commit fraud. To get the most value out of your data, be sure to align your strategy with your business objectives.
Also remember that you can pull down data from a variety of different sources, and even integrate additional functions from third party platforms, thanks to widely available APIs. Learning the basics of APIs and what they have to offer will show you just how much potential they have in a predictive analytics context. They’re well suited to expanding the potential of internal tools, and letting you squeeze even more value from every data point that you gather across your operations.
2. Organize your team
Before you determine your marketing spend, thoughtfully assemble your marketing and sales teams. By making sure everyone is on the same page, departments will be able to work together more successfully. Having a transparent approach is not only beneficial for collaboration, but it also helps generate useful feedback regarding marketing tactics from different teams.
3. Plan for disruption and continue to refine your predictive analytics models
There will always be factors that change. As a result, as you develop your predictive analytics models, you must continue monitoring them, improving them where necessary, and refining them when needed. These steps ensure the accuracy of your analytics.
MarinOne powers success with predictive analytics
No matter what industry you are in, the need for predictive analytics is more critical than ever before. Predictive analytics can help you make better marketing predictions so you can start to achieve real growth. By mastering predictive analytics, you will also gain a competitive advantage.
For a deeper understanding of how you can put predictive analytics to work for you, consider MarinOne.
When you partner with MarinOne for your predictive analytics needs:
Your marketing spends go further and you can make effective use of your budget
You can scale campaigns that are predicted to perform well and filter out those that are not achieving your desired results
We can advise you on how to allocate your spend across multiple publishers and campaigns and much more.
Want to learn more about how our platform can help you integrate predictive analytics into your marketing campaigns and bring added value to your business? Schedule a demo with one of our MarinOne experts today.
If you’re new to advertising on Meta, it can be a bit overwhelming. But never fear, Marin is here with a guide to set you on the right path. I’ll outline the process of setting up your Facebook Business Manager account. Then, I’ll provide a few strategic recommendations to help you get started.
Creating Your Facebook Business Manager Account
Business Manager is a hub designed to help you manage all of your business’s pages and ad accounts in one place. Creating a Business Manager account is free and easy to do. Simply visit business.facebook.com, log in to your personal account, and then enter some info about your business.
Once you’re in, it's time to link your business’s page to your ad account:
Be sure to link all Facebook and Instagram pages you plan to run ads for. You will be given the option to add a page, request access to a page, or create a new page. Select whichever applies to you.
Next you’ll want to link an ad account to your Business Manager account:
You will be given the same options to add an ad account, request access to an ad account, or create a new ad account. Select whichever applies to you.
Next, you’ll want to grant your team members access to your Business Manager account. You have two different access levels to choose from:
Admin access gives the team member full control, allowing them to add and remove other employees, edit settings for the business, and link pages.
Employee access allows the team member to view (but not edit) settings for the business, and be assigned to manage pages or ad accounts.
You will also need to assign access levels for your Ad Accounts in Business Manager:
Admin users can manage all account settings, add new team members, assign access levels, create and edit ads and campaigns, and have full access to the Meta reporting suite. This access level is a good option for your advertising program manager.
Advertiser users are able to create and edit ads and can view all reports. This is a good option for marketing team members.
Analyst users have access only to the reporting features. This access level is designed for the analytics team.
After all your roles are assigned, it’s time to set up your billing information, which can be done on the ‘payment methods’ page:
Billing on Facebook can work in one of two ways. Automatic billing will automatically charge your card for advertising costs, while manual billing will allow you to add funds to your account that Facebook will then pull from as ad money is spent.
You can cap your total ad cost by setting an account spending limit, in which case your ads will be paused when you hit that limit and won’t serve again until you increase or remove the limit.
Once you’ve got billing set up and your proper user roles assigned, you’re ready to start advertising! If you’re not sure where to start, check out these strategic recommendations.
Utilize Top Organic Content
If you’re new to buying ad space on Facebook and Instagram, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that the organic content on your social media pages is optimized to drive engagement. For example, a woman’s clothing retailer should make sure that their instagram page features their most popular pieces and that the posts on their instagram contain links to buy the items featured. B2C businesses can also benefit from creating an instagram ‘shop’ page. This way customers can click a link to shop at the bottom of each instagram post and be taken to your company’s shopping page within the instagram app. This makes the buying process easier than ever for customers, as you don’t even have to leave Instagram to make the purchase.
Once you’ve got your organic content optimized, start by promoting a few of your top organic posts. Analyze which posts received the best engagement. Once you’ve chosen your top organic content, Meta makes it easy to turn an organic post into an ad using Business Manager.
Marin’s Message Booster makes this process even easier. Simply select the post you’d like to boost, choose a campaign and a few settings, and you’re good to go.
Creating Paid Ad Content
Once you’re ready to progress from boosting content to creating intentional paid ads, I recommend a top-to-bottom marketing funnel approach.
Building an Audience
To get started, you’ll want to cast a wide net to fill your marketing funnel from the top down with potential customers.
Video views are quite cheap with Meta, so that ad format is a great way to gain traction and build an audience. If you send out a video ad to a broad audience, for example targeting only by age range, you can then analyze who watched more than 5 seconds of your ad. Those who engaged with your ad for longer than 5 seconds are at least somewhat interested in your product. Users who viewed your top of funnel, broad targeting ad should then get moved down to the middle of your funnel so you can retarget them.
You can also analyze these audiences to gain demographic data about what potential customers’ online profile looks like, and target lookalike audiences.
For example, let's say you’re a university trying to acquire more students and you know that prospective university students are likely between the ages of 16 and 35. Start with an ad targeting just that age range. Then you can study the demographic that engages with your ad, and build an audience of interested prospects from there.
Retargeting Middle-of-Funnel Users
Now you’ve built your middle funnel audience from whom you see at least some intent to purchase, or learn more about your products/services. Retarget this audience with a click-to-website ad that leads to a landing page where they can learn more. Click-to-website ads are affordable but a bit pricier than video ads, so be sure that your landing page contains multiple calls to action so you can learn more about what your potential customers are interested in and then use that info to segment your audience further as you continue to retarget them, hopefully pushing them further down the funnel.
In the example of a university marketing to new students, the advertiser would want to drive ad clicks to a landing page on which users can click different links to learn about each degree program. This way, the advertiser is gathering more information about each potential student. They can then push those who clicked on a link further down the funnel by retargeting them with an ad tailored to the degree program they showed interest in.
This retargeting audience is now towards the bottom of the funnel, and you can continue to serve them customized ads in hopes of pushing them across the finish line and getting that application.
Hopefully this guide helps you get started! Many of the recommendations discussed here can be implemented quickly with the help of MarinOne for social. Click here to learn more.
Businesses are increasing marketing spending in a bid to stand out in highly competitive environments. As spend increases, executives and decision-makers must ensure that each dollar spent on marketing generates proportionate revenue for the business.
Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that is regularly used by businesses to analyze marketing performance and determine future marketing strategies. However, understanding of CTR remains woefully inadequate. Read on to learn what CTR is and how analyzing it can help businesses achieve short- and long-term marketing success.
What is CTR?
Businesses often track how many users view and interact with a particular ad or social media post. CTR is the metric used to measure the percentage of viewers who click the link embedded in that ad or post. CTR is used to determine how well an ad, keyword, or social media post is performing.
CTR can easily be calculated by dividing the number of clicks that each ad receives by the number of impressions or views the ad has and representing that number as a percentage. For example, if 10 people click on an ad that was viewed by 100 people, the CTR of that ad would be 10%.
Companies can evaluate their CTR against the performance of other ads from the same industry. For example, ads from companies in arts and entertainment average a CTR of 10.67%, while ads for legal services experience an average CTR of 3.84%. Knowing how your industry typically performs helps put your performance metrics in the right context to evaluate them accurately and effectively.
What marketers must know before they can effectively analyze Click-Through Rate
Higher CTR does not necessarily mean positive marketing results
Results generated by marketing efforts may seem difficult to measure, quantify, or link to specific business results. However, this is often due to a misunderstanding of how each metric reveals specific insight into marketing performance.
Marketers must have specific goals and must choose the right metrics to evaluate if these targets are being met. Marketers who focus heavily on conversions might use CTR to view how effectively each ad is being used to increase visibility—but CTR does not measure how many of those clicks lead to conversions.
Keywords are valued differently depending on their ability to directly generate profits
Keywords play a major role in the CTR of an online ad. The right keywords can encourage more clicks, higher conversions, and better engagement with the ad. However, every keyword has a unique value within each industry depending on how effective they are in generating profits, so marketers must carefully evaluate how keywords are valued in their specific industry.
Industry research showed that marketers typically use keyword rankings, organic traffic, and time spent on the page in conjunction with CTR to measure the value of each keyword. This information can then determine how much of the budget should be spent on each set of keywords and how frequently they should be used in marketing campaigns.
CTR must be analyzed through the lens of affordability and relevance
CTR can provide significant insight into marketing performance for digital marketers. However, it should always be analyzed with the specific financial needs of the campaign. Even if an ad converts a customer, the profit generated by the customer must be higher than the amount of money the marketer spent to get that click.
3 Ways to achieve consistently positive business results in an increasingly saturated online space
Segment keywords into groups to enable improved Audience targeting and segmentation
Businesses can use many keywords across different marketing campaigns and channels to better reach a wider audience. Each of these channels must be properly evaluated to truly understand their importance to the company. Marketing spending on each channel must accurately reflect its importance to marketers and their audience.
Park ‘N Fly, an offsite airport parking company, used keyword segmentation and optimized paid-search spending to double their CTR to 6% from 3% the previous year with the use of Marin Professional. Effectively analyzing CTR helped them optimize spending across 65 campaigns that used 2,000 keywords across multiple channels and platforms.
Ensure consistency in messaging across ad text, marketing collaterals, and landing page copy
Once you’ve figured out how each keyword performs, it’s important to use the same keywords to reach that audience effectively across different channels. This also ensures that the marketing message is not diluted or forgotten when viewed on platforms that deviate from the language that was determined to be effective. This consistency has to extend beyond ads to marketing collateral such as email blasts, promotions, and landing page copy.
Regularly analyze the links between keyword usage and business results with modern attribution analysis methods
The modern customer demands that companies learn their preferences quickly and expects communication that aligns with their values, beliefs, needs, and preferences. This means marketers must always have their finger on the pulse to learn when customer preferences have changed. Attribution analysis can help businesses understand if their keyword usage and ad language have kept up with changing customer behavior and the extent to which certain keywords are still relevant to existing marketing campaigns.
Manage your ads with insights from MarinOne
Marin’s online ad management software makes it easy for marketers to learn how their ads are performing and place that information in the right context. Analyzing the yield generated by each keyword, ad, copy, and product can help marketers optimize their ad spend in a way that maximizes conversions and sales.
Learn more about MarinOne today. Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can help you get the information and tools you need to increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Pay Per Click advertising is a great way to generate leads and sales, especially for new e-commerce businesses. It can help you get instant results, whereas something like an SEO strategy can take months. Some of the benefits of PPC advertising are:
Targeting prospective customers precisely based on location, demographics, interests, etc.
Tracking ad campaign goals is simple.
It is easy to test what produces the best results quickly. You can A/B test keywords, headers, descriptions, etc.
Paid ads provide a wide range of formatting options compared to SEO through ad extensions.
As an e-commerce brand, you can maximize your ad spend and improve your conversion rate through proper PPC campaign management. The challenges and roadblocks e-comm companies face are distinctive from B2B companies or brick-and-mortar retailers. To help you improve your e-commerce PPC management approach and get the best performance marketing results possible, we have put together some optimization tips to support your efforts:
Tap into Targeted Dynamic Ads
Google allows you to target specific website pages that reflect the search intent of your users. Google does this by crawling your website for things such as text phrases, headlines, descriptions, and other custom labels. These are called dynamic search ads.
If you are an e-commerce website with many product pages, a blog, and landing pages for your downloads or newsletters, you might want to set up targeted dynamic ads.
Google can crawl your website and automatically match the content to the PPC ad. Additionally, having an alternative to AdSense would help you set up dynamic ads based on different target types, custom labels, page types, content, or target URLs. An example of custom labels for different page URLs is shown below.
Remember that you can upload an excel sheet with all your custom labels and other product tags. With dynamic search ads, you will generally want to stick to demand gen ads focused on accelerating sales and leads.
You should also split-test your headlines and descriptions to see which previews are best. For example, the image above shows a preview test of two different product descriptions.
Focus on Product Page Optimization
A product landing page for your paid search campaign is primarily designed to convert a lead. Your product pages should align with your PPC ads to reduce bounce rates and optimize conversions.
On top of that, you’ll need social proof, compelling CTAs, and a fast-loading product page to convert most of the traffic coming in.
Let’s take the example of a keyword search for “IT solutions company,” and the Google ads pop up below. We click on the second “Freshservice” ad.
Clicking on this ad result takes us to the landing page in the next screengrab. This landing page does something effective; it provides social proof of the product (“trusted by global brands”) and has a strong CTA (“Get Started for Free” or “Request Demo.”)
So, how do you optimize your product landing page? Here’s how:
Use strong headlines, prominent call-to-actions, and an attractive design
Make your landing page mobile-friendly and easy to navigate
Add visuals showcasing your product
Utilize social proof on your landing page
The use of relevant keywords is encouraged on your landing page. But make sure to maintain optimal keyword density to avoid Google treating your content as spam.
Leverage Google Shopping Ads
Shopping ads appear at the top of organic search results, but they pack a little something extra. Shopping ads are more visual and can also be enriched using ad extensions.
Both Google and Bing offer shopping ads. An example of Bing shopping ads is shown below.
Numerous industry case studies support the effectiveness of Google Shopping Ads in driving traffic and boosting conversions.
You can optimize your Google Shopping Ads by applying the following useful tips:
Fill out completely your Google Merchant Center shopping product data feed - this should include descriptors like product ID, description, category, type, availability status, sale price, etc.
Create different ad groups if you have a wide array of different products.
Create a separate ad group for your best-selling items.
Add promotional text to your shopping ads, such as “Get the Winter Sale Discount” or “Free shipping for all orders above $100”.
Use HD pictures and use catchy titles and descriptions for your ads.
You have a greater chance of moving products quickly with shopping ads. For example, if you are dealing with products with a shelf life, you can pull an inventory aging report for all your products and list at-risk products on Google or Bing shopping ads.
Choose Keywords That Align
Most PPC campaigns focus on growing leads and sales since this is where you get the most ROI for your advertising budget. Thus, you should conduct keyword research that aligns with the campaign that you are running. You might want to identify target transactional or commercial keywords for a sales campaign.
Some tactics you can use to identify and implement rich PPC keywords include:
Targeting long tail keywords with transactional search intent and low competition.
Targeting affordable branded keywords of your competitors.
Conducting competitor analysis to identify their target keywords.
Create ad groups for your selected group of PPC keywords.
You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to get keyword ideas for your campaign.
In the example below, a business is targeting the keyword “espresso machine.” From Ahrefs, it’s possible to know metrics such as the monthly search volume, long-tail variations of the keyword, etc.
Important metrics to note as you do your keyword research include CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate) for each keyword.
Finally, include negative keywords in your campaign to eliminate similar but irrelevant or non-performing keywords that could impact your ad spend.
Improve the CTRs of Your Ads
Click Thru Rate refers to the number of people clicking on your ad from the total number of impressions.
For example, a CTR of 5% for 100 impressions would total five clicks. This might seem small. However, for an e-commerce click that costs, say, $1 per ad, a return of $20/item can be considered a good ROI.
Use ad extensions to showcase additional information. You can use extensions like site links, product reviews, features, and structured snippets.
Use relevant keywords for your headlines, product descriptions, and captions. Adding relevant keywords is good for both your PPC and SEO campaigns.
Here is an example of a well-done e-commerce PPC ad utilizing ad extensions (price, reviews) and keyword-rich product descriptions and captions.
Finally, don’t forget to improve the quality score of your ad keywords continually. For example, you can test the same ad with slightly varied keywords and analyze them. High-quality scores will result in lower CPCs and better ad positions.
E-commerce PPC management that is streamlined, easy, and effective offers numerous benefits to your business by saving you time, headache, and precious internal resources. Make your life easier by automating parts of the PPC campaign management process, such as ad targeting, attribution tracking, budget pacing, and reporting.
To effectively carry out an e-commerce PPC campaign, use methodical strategies such as setting up dynamic search ads, doing intense keyword research, optimizing the product page, leveraging Google Shopping Ads, and improving your CTRs.
Most importantly, your business must have a clear e-commerce PPC management strategy in line with your business goals. Track your business metrics and campaign performance constantly using MarinOne, Google Analytics, and other tools. You can also hire e-commerce PPC management services or a digital marketing agency to help you make solid gains.
Matt Diggity is a guest contributor to Marin Software. He is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.
On December 6th, 2022, we'll be offering a comprehensive webinar on budgeting strategies for the new year featuring Forrester. Anu Adegbola, an account director of paid media with Marin, and guest speaker Brett Kahnke, a principal analyst with Forrester, will cover how to approach your marketing budget for 2023 while also giving tips on how to adapt your budgets as needed ongoing.
To get you started before the webinar, we've put together a "too long didn't read" guide on Forrester’s approach to budget allocation and what steps you should take when planning a long-term fiscal strategy. To get all of Forrester’s insights and tips, you'll need to download Forrester's report directly (available to Forrester subscribers or for purchase) and attend our webinar event, but this quick overview should help you start moving forward.
Summary of Forrester’s Strategic Budget Allocation Process
In the Forrester report, Kahnke explains how marketing teams are tasked with executing marketing and maximizing results while also dealing with a murky set of objectives. As a part of this process, execution teams must work with business priorities to find the best course of action. The Strategic Budget Allocation Process can be used by the central, regional or country-based field marketing teams or as a second business within an organization. The complete guide by Forrester outlines the benefits of creating a marketing program plan that aligns spending with business, marketing, and campaign objectives. Kahnke also highlights common mistakes that can lead to disconnected or habitual marketing.
The Five Steps of Forrester’s Execution Strategy Phase
Step 1: Review Budget Allocations And Prepare Guidance
Check if team goals align with campaign budget allocations; include campaigns, sub-campaigns, and targeted segments in your analysis.
• Review the top-down and bottom-up budget distribution.
• Define execution guidelines for marketing teams.
• Provide regular feedback on successes and failures, especially in communication with leadership.
Step 2: Layer on Specific Program Allocations and Ensure Totals Stack Up Against Strategic Targets
Step 3: Define Programs You Absolutely Need Within Your Marketing Strategy
Step 4: Identify the Right Tactics for Your Team at this Time, Build the Calendar, and Finalize Allocations
The program manager's primary deliverable in this step is a program calendar. This summarizes the duration of each program and its related tactics in a production schedule and includes the correlating spend for each tactic.
Step 5: Check your Bottom to Top Overview, Get Endorsement, and Share the Plan
It’s important to communicate the priorities of marketing campaigns to other departments within the business. Confirm that your final plan is still aligned to the organizations needs in terms of objective, campaigns, and program allocations.
We look forward to sharing more with you in December and hearing directly from Brett how the execution of this strategy will give you the best marketing plan for 2023 possible.
When retailers want the attention of a particular market segment, they use all kinds of strategies to effectively target their ads to specific audiences and increase conversions. The most effective one? A Google Adwords feature known as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA).
You have probably visited a website in search of a product, only to leave that site to be targeted with an ad for the exact product you were just researching. This happens because of remarketing lists. Once we’ve shown interest in a product, businesses want us to keep thinking about it—and hopefully come back for a purchase.
What Exactly is RLSA?
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) are a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy. RLSA allows you to target users who have already been to your site with new ads so you can bring them back again and land a sale. This allows you to customize your search campaigns by tailoring ads and bids for related keywords on Google or other Google Display Network sites. By leveraging this tactic, you can connect with pre-qualified prospects to increase your conversion rates, revenue, and overall profits.
How Does RLSA Work?
When shoppers are surfing the digital landscape for products, standard display remarketing catches their attention with ads. However, users are not very receptive to these kinds of placements, and many people use ad blocking technology to avoid them altogether. In fact, a study done by Statista indicates that more than 42.7% of people worldwide use ad blocking tools.
RLSAs are different. They target audiences with search ads instead of intrusive display popups. In contrast to typical Google display ads, RLSAs only appear when a user has actively searched for a term.
5 Benefits of RLSA
When used correctly, RLSA ads refine your ad campaigns and help direct your ad budget into a highly valuable market. Here’s a look at some of RLSAs biggest advantages.
Compared to Other Targeting Strategies, RLSA is More Likely to Drive Conversions
Because you can customize content, you can increase customer engagement. Using search ads allows you to offer personalization and increases win-back potential. According to a ComScore study that analyzed 103 campaigns from 39 different advertisers covering seven industries, retargeting ads generated an average lift of 1,046%.
You Will Increase Click-Through-Rates (CTR)
RLSA enables you to target people who have already shown interest in your brand. Because these leads are considered qualified, they are more likely to return, giving you a higher CTR and a better quality score. With a higher quality score, your ad ranking in the SERPs is also likely to be higher.
RLSAs Enable You to Trial Broad Keywords
Using broad keywords can lead to more conversions by expanding your reach. By using RLSAs, you can set up different campaigns or ad groups for the keywords you want to try so you can determine whether they improve conversion rates.
RLSAs Make Ad Spend More Efficient
With RLSAs you can choose to target only valuable and qualified users, excluding those who are not providing value, thus saving money. You can also adjust your remarketing lists so users who have chosen to disable ads are not targeted, making your campaigns more cost-effective.
RLSAs Improve ROI
Remarketing lists allow you to segment your audiences into lists based on their performance. As a result, it can help you stay connected with potential customers who have previously shown interest, leading to increased sales and improved ROI.
The Do’s and Don’ts of RLSA
Do Understand Your Audience Before Beginning
For better results with your targeted ads, learn about your website visitors and their typical behaviors throughout their customer journey. Analyze the funnel steps they travel through before converting.
Do Start Slow
Conduct an experiment to see what works and what doesn’t work.
Don’t Bid on Vague or Generic Keywords in Search Campaigns
Instead of selecting your #1 prospecting keyword, consider starting with your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th ranked prospecting keyword.
Do Reduce Your Bid Dramatically When Retargeting Past Visitors
Bid aggressively lower, not conservatively lower. Don’t be afraid to adjust your bid to be lower than what you are bidding on your current prospecting campaign. Doing so will allow you to realize the true impact of your retargeted search.
Don’t Use Broad Value Propositions and General Claims When Retargeting Past Website Visitors
Remember that you are retargeting visitors who have already been to your site and are familiar with your brand or product. Instead of beating around the bush, be direct, clear, and bold. Write copy that hard sells, something that will encourage people to take immediate action on your offer.
Do Match Messaging to User Action
Make sure that the ad copy you use is relevant to the action your users have already taken that got them on your remarketing list originally.
How MarinOne Can Help
Interested in boosting your remarketing results or improving your search ad campaigns? Implement RLSAs to see your performance increase with less time, money, and effort.
By partnering with MarinOne, you can improve your targeting efforts and increase your financial lift. With MarinOne’s platform, you can segment and target high value customers by audience across search, social, and display to drive your next wave of cross-channel optimization. To learn more, read our article on how to use RLSA.
Ready to get started? Contact one of our MarinOne experts today for a free trial.
PI LIVE London 2022 is done, and we're excited for many other events Marin will be attending over the coming weeks, including Amazon Unboxed in New York this week. But before we close this chapter, we wanted to highlight some of PI Live’s best moments and share what we learned.
Marin sponsored the Pyramid Stage, one of two areas where keynote presentations were shared. And we even had our own Anu Adegbola give a 30 minute session on budgeting strategies for 2023. She is an experienced and accomplished public speaker who shared great insights on budget planning.
Day One Speaking Session Highlights
Speaker Tina Judic, co-founder and Chairman of Tomorrow Group, talked about the importance of AI integration in advertising at the Rakuten Advertising Main Stage and also on the Marin Software Pyramid Stage. Shay Okelola, the Account Director for Neo Media World, described how programmatic has changed the advertising game. Both welcomed all attendees and exhibitors and outlined the schedule for day one.
Budgeting Strategies for 2023
Marin’s Anu Adegbola took the Pyramid Stage to share the best tactics for approaching a budget for the new year, as well as roadblocks that may affect how funds are allocated amongst marketing channels in 2023. Some of the key concepts Anu mentioned include:
The 70-20-10 Methodology:
70% of your marketing initiatives should be proven and tested methods that are almost certainly going to support your business objectives
20% of your marketing initiatives should be new methods or ideas that are somewhat untested for your business, but have had success in the market at large for other competitors
10% of your marketing initiatives should be what you'd call "wild bets," or tactics that are completely out of the box, creative, and untested. This is the best way to find new niche audiences for your products or services.
Industry disruptors that will affect budgeting in the new year:
Making way for new channel experiments - TikTok, Quora, Reddit and more all have new advertising campaign types that are relatively untested. Start with spending just 5% per month of the total possible allocation for a new channel and tie that spending to tangible deliverables. As you have data to optimize from, you can continuing scaling 5% month over month continuously.
Covid-19 has changed consumer behavior for the long haul. One of the lasting effects Covid-19 has had is consumers have dramatically changed their behavior in terms of needs, timing, and what factors influence their purchase decisions. Buyers are still making purchases; but getting into the psyche of how, when, or where your target audience is likely to convert is more complex than it has ever been.
The recession is here. Economists across Europe and the US project significant economic downturn in 2023, and many economists say we are already in the midst of a recession that could take several years from which to recover. Price point will be a very high priority for consumers in this next year and beyond.
When in doubt…remember you're just frying chips
Mark Ritson published an article this past week in MarketingWeek that really beautifully summarized what all budget allocation techniques boil down to. He describes in the article how back in the '90s famous chef Heston Blumenthal became obsessed with making the perfect chip. After hundreds of tests, Blumenthal found the best method for making delicious chips every time was simple. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, freeze, fry, freeze again, fry again. Perfect chips. Every time. Regardless of oil temp or seasoning or what have you…these fries always came out pretty great.
Planning your marketing budgets also should be simple. Here are the "brass tax" points Mark Ritson outlines that will make your budgeting strategy pretty great every time. Regardless of the market, the campaign, or the channel.
Brand-to-Brand Partnerships: The Ultimate Convergence of Brand and Performance
A panel of branding experts from various sectors shared their thoughts on brand-to-brand partnerships at the event. With trackable ROI and consumer trust, this partnership can be a fruitful collaboration for new startup businesses.
Some of the most compelling learnings from this session included:
When you partner with someone you can use their content extensively across your different channels to drive ROI.
Tech has progressed significantly in terms of carrying out successful brand-to-brand partnerships. Still, there's always that human element that brands can't use a computer for.
Smaller brands are really useful for smaller niche audiences. For those clients with specific needs, why not get a partnership from the niche provider?
AT YOUR OWN RISK! 30 Mins Inside the Mind of an Integrated Creative
Jo Arscott, an award-winning Creative Director, shared her approach to storytelling. She made a compelling argument that sometimes shifting your focus away from data and research can actually lead to surprising new business opportunities.
According to Jo, the human imagination is what makes technology such a great asset for creativity. In her experience, digital data both helps and hurts at once - it’s good because it fuels creative ideas but also bad because of exposure and privacy concerns.
State of the Industry: 2022 Affiliate and Partner Marketing Trends
Have you ever wondered how advertisers feel about affiliate marketing? The IAB released a report with insights into the current state of affiliate marketing and presented the results during PI LIVE. Some of the main points that I took away from this talk was:
Over the next year, affiliate marketers expect that editorial content will be their biggest source of revenue. Influencers are also very popular and came in second in the poll.
Publisher diversity is a huge concern CMOs are currently facing when looking at continued investment in affiliate marketing.
IAB saw a correlation between the worsening cost of living crisis and the importance of affiliate marketing, as reflected in survey responses. This suggests that as consumers must tighten their belts financially, buyers will be depending upon recommendations through marketing means they trust to make the best purchase decisions.
Day Two Speaking Session Highlights
Tapx CEO, Luke Judge and the founder of PlanIt, Steve Cox, hosted a successful second day at the conference. All participants and exhibitors were welcomed and the program of the second day was outlined.
Influencers, Live Shopping & Social Commerce: Affiliate is the Ultimate Conversion Tactic
Influencer marketing in social shopping has a lot of potential. To make the strategy work, you will have to plan everything beforehand and track each campaign individually.
Don’t automatically go for influencers that have millions of followers. Often there are smaller accounts that share niche common interests with your brand because these influencers are more likely to drive better results.
Humans are not like technology - they can be unpredictable. That’s particularly why you need to make sure contracts with influencers are spelled out and that the influencer is given enough freedom to do their thing.
Fireside Chat with Boohoo: The Value of Unlocking the App for Affiliates
Most affiliate campaigns drive traffic to mobile websites rather than apps, even though the app experience is much better for the user and converts at a higher rate. The content remains significantly lower on mobile sites. Some of the things we learned during this session included:
Apps can produce different outputs for different businesses. Boohoo could make an app that's basically the same as their website with a more intuitive conversion process, whereas fintech brands may develop apps to address the need of their customers.
Cracking the code to tracking is paramount when coming up with an app for your company. If you are great at explaining how seamless and accurate you app’s tracking really is to your affiliates, they will be happy clients and won’t stop promoting your company.
If you're a business looking for some guidance, it can't hurt to use a tech company that offers training and advice when developing your app.
Lessons from 2008: What’s Next for the Recession-Era Affiliate Marketing Industry
This panel with professionals brimming with knowledge provides insights for current economic climate. After attending this session, it is clear that:
Facing a decline in sales, luxury brands should consider paying more attention to more accessible products. As an example, consumers may look for a lipstick instead of the Chanel bag, so it's important to promote your products that are at a lower price point rather than the higher value items.
Even during a recession, you should not cut your expenditure on marketing. Those who keep investing during testing times are those that remain strong and achieve lifelong brand value.
Ensuring you're active on review sites is an excellent way to show your trustworthiness to potential customers. The key is to be sure you have a system in place that lets legitimate reviews through, while filtering out fake ones.
The Learnings Shared Were Compelling, but Networking Opportunities Were the Real Highlight
It was clear the event producers put a lot of effort into selecting an engaging agenda with keynotes, fireside chats and panels on two stages. As always, networking was one of the best parts of the day! On day one, DJ Viv May provided music during lunch. In the evening, there was a cocktail happy hour post-show on the terrace.
On the second day, as the crowd relaxed and got to know one another better, it was great to see that the event brought out so many meaningful marketing conversations. Between the Networking Village, impact.com's Prosecco Lounge, and Webgains' Sports Bar, there were plenty of places to share ideas, exchange contact information, and plant the seeds for potential partnerships.
At Marin, we're enjoying the opportunity to re-engage with our clients and partners on a personal level. Reach out to join us at one of the other events we'll be attending in the near future. Our team of expert marketing consultants would be happy to host you for a dinner and discuss your marketing strategy for new coming year.
Recently Google announced that Performance Max campaigns would be a more significant part of the Google Ads platform and therefore a greater part of paid media strategies for marketers at large. Since then, many questions have been raised as to what exactly this campaign type is and how it differs from other campaigns. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few of the most common concerns coming up for advertisers and best practices to deal with the changes below.
First of all, what are Performance Max campaigns?
Performance Max (PMax) means you can now buy Google Ads across the entire inventory of products from a single campaign, with expanded coverage across a myriad of different placement types, including:
PMax uses a mix of automation and machine learning to help advertisers reach their conversion goals with all of these placement types all within one campaign. Performance Max campaigns should complement keyword-based search campaigns, as well as boost performance across Google's less competitive advertising channels like Gmail and Display.
If paid media marketers invest wisely, this could bring in a whole new set of customers who are not as familiar with online shopping. Previously in Beta and compatible with Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, Performance Max will be a replacement for Performance Max Offline and Performance Max for Retail by the beginning of October 2022, meaning paid specialists need to make the pivot now.
How do Performance Max campaigns work?
Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding. Performance Max combines Google's automation technologies across bidding, budget optimization, audiences, creatives, attribution, and more. They're all empowered by your specific advertising objective (for example, if you have a CPA or ROAS target) and the creative assets, audience signals, and optional data feeds you provide.
“Performance Max puts your business goals front and center, and prioritizes these above other signals by inputting your specific conversion goals,”
-Rodney Ip, Global Product Lead, Google Ads
Performance Max are goal-based campaigns, designed to deliver the value that matters most to you. So, to get started, you choose the goals that are necessary for you to reach your marketing objective. Then Google asks you to provide a series of inputs that help the AI tool get campaigns started. These inputs include:
Creative assets (like text, imagery, and video)
Optional feeds such as:
Google Merchant Center
Google My Business
Dynamic Ads Feed
Other Business Data Feeds
First party / remarketing lists
Google Audiences / custom audiences
PMax campaigns are then able to take those inputs and invest your budget as effectively as possible, maintaining a core focus on the initial objective you set. Google’s automation goes to work finding the best potential customers and serving those customers the most relevant ad. Bidding and attribution technology then determine the most optimal bids to meet your goals. And of course, it’s all done in real time in the auction.
Targeting technology, machine learning, and automated bidding all culminate to a campaign with the best possible ROI outcome. In fact, Google’s data thus far indicates Performance Max campaigns average a 13% lower cost per conversion than any other campaign to date.
How to maximize the effectiveness of PMax campaigns
Because they leverage machine learning and automation to drive performance, Performance Max can leave advertisers feeling like they have given up some control over their campaigns. But there are still some levers you can pull to maximize your PMax campaigns.
Adding audience signals to your Performance Max campaigns enhances Google’s machine learning to help you reach the best customers. Google takes your audience data and looks at the audiences for signals to identify similar buyers likely to exhibit the same behaviors and interests. You can add audiences from:
Your first party data (customer lists, website visitors, remarketing lists, etc)
Custom segments based on search activity, websites visited and apps used
In-market customers with interests in products like yours
Demographics like age, income level, and family status
Google can then use the information you have provided to inform its targeting algorithms to find customers who are most likely to convert. This is a good way to help jumpstart your Performance Max campaigns and can also continue to inform throughout the lifecycle of the campaign, especially as your first party data changes over that time.
Consider importing your offline conversions to help improve your PMax performance. By giving Google access to offline sales data in addition to your online digital attribution channels, you will give the algorithms a more comprehensive view of what’s working.
The system can then interpret which leads have resulted in sales and also the assets being used in the ad groups that are ultimately driving conversions. Incorporating these valuable insights will help deliver the best content to the customers most likely to convert.
MarinOne Engine + Performance Max Campaigns
The team at Marin has been hard at work updating the MarinOne Engine infrastructure which will deliver a powerful experience for advertisers. MarinOne Engine already powers MarinOne's newest and most advanced grids and enables new campaign types, more data, more flexible reporting, and enhanced processing for scalability.
MarinOne Engine will allow us to support additional campaign types from Google including Performance Max as well as local campaigns and additional data for video campaigns.
As you start formulating your strategy for adding Performance Max to your digital campaigns, the marketing experts at Marin are here to help. Reach out today to schedule a demo and see how MarinOne’s advanced analytics, automation, and optimization tools can work for your Google Ads programs.
Conversion rate is a crucial metric for digital marketers. It indicates how well your ads are working—since conversions are the main reason you're running ads in the first place. If your conversion rate is low, your advertising dollars are going to waste. But if it's high, you'll have much more money to spend on other marketing campaigns, like PPC. If you're running display ads and not seeing the results you want, it might be time to tweak your strategy. So, what exactly can you do to increase your digital ads’ conversion rates?
In this article, we'll walk you through eight tips to help boost conversions so you can reach a larger audience and increase sales. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to conversion optimization, but following these tips will help get you started on the right path!
What is conversion rate and why is it important?
Conversion rate is a tricky concept. It's not as simple as measuring how many customers you get out of each ad. Instead, it's a measure of how many people who see your advertisement actually do what you want them to do, like download an ebook or make a purchase.
By increasing your conversion rate, you can make the most of your digital marketing budget and maximize your return on your investment.
A high conversion rate is a result of:
A streamlined and appealing sales funnel
A well-designed website that is formatted effectively
A unique and compelling brand and proposition
An effective call-to-action
A low conversion rate means your website’s performance or design may be lacking. This could be as a result of slow loading pages, forms that are broken, or content that doesn’t accurately convey the offer’s value.
This formula can be used for every conversion opportunity on your site. Count only the number of visitors on the web pages where the offer is listed.
8 tips for improving conversions
Identify your conversion goals
To optimize your conversion rates, create a robust conversion optimization plan. Consider what your prospective customers really want from you so you can make the conversion path as smooth as possible. Conversion goals help you optimize your advertising objectives more easily. With defined goals, you can also measure your marketing performance and set benchmarks for improvement. Clear objectives will lead to more successful campaigns.
Make sure your landing page copy is clear and concise
There are a few ways to make your content more accessible and clear to readers:
Your landing page copy must be short, simple, and easy to understand.
The tone should be conversational so it makes a natural connection between you and the reader, rather than sounding like an overly formal marketing pitch.
If possible, use bullet points to highlight key benefits that would appeal to the specific type of customer who is visiting this page.
Separate long lists into multiple sections so they don’t create readability issues when viewed all at once.
Create a sense of urgency to get customers to act now
“Accelerators” offer the extra push users sometimes need to convert. To increase conversions on short-lived deals and offers, use copy that provokes a sense of urgency such as “Limited time only,” “Last chance,” or “While supplies last.” As part of your ad creative, add direct call-to-action buttons to increase conversions. Offer limited-time discounts or free shipping for orders placed in the next 24 hours with no coupon code needed! This will help drive traffic and increase sales, especially for those final hours before major holidays.
Add an interactive element like an online chat window or live demo for more engagement opportunities
By engaging customers with a live chat capability, you can increase both customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat tools are perfect for consumers who are on the fence. This is one of the best ways to respond quickly when a customer has a question about your product or service, which can lead to increased sales.
Offer content upgrades that are relevant to people who have already converted
If someone has bought a product, they might be interested in learning more about the topic or how to get even more value from the purchase. If someone has signed up for your email newsletter, they're probably interested in staying up-to-date on new products and promotions. Content upgrades can include:
More information on the same topic
A free trial of a paid service
A coupon code for a discount on future purchases
A digital download
Use social proof such as testimonials from other satisfied customers
Social proof is a powerful persuasion tool that we've all seen in action—and reviews are one of the most instrumental forms: 89% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Social proof builds trust and when your customers have established trust in your brand, they’re more likely to convert. Here are some tips:
Build a strong online presence
Incorporate social proof into your digital ads by including links to where others have left reviews
Include testimonials from happy customers
Reading reviews and testimonials puts consumers at ease. If it’s not apparent that your customers have faith in your product or enjoyed using it, your conversion rate will likely suffer.
Create a FAQ page so customers can find answers quickly and easily
Include a search button on each landing page where a customer can type in their question or issue so a link to the answer appears at the top of the page for them. Next, make sure you include links to the FAQ page from both your homepage and contact page, or wherever else is relevant. This ensures that anyone who uses Google to research your business before clicking on one of your ads will be able to find this valuable resource immediately after landing on one of these pages.
Surround buttons with lots of negative space
When your button stands out from its background, it becomes more obvious and easier for users to spot when they're scrolling through pages of content or shopping carts filled with products. This means that more people are likely to click on the button than if it was surrounded by other things like photos and logos, which can make buttons less visually prominent or harder to see.
Get started improving your conversion rate today
There's no doubt that digital advertising is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In fact, display ad spending is projected to increase by 20.9% in 2022 alone. So if you're looking for a new way to increase conversions and improve your bottom line, MarinOne can help.
Knowing how to improve the conversion rate of your digital ads is critically important to the growth and development of your business. With MarinOne, you can create, manage, and measure your digital ads so you can gain insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to make adjustments that improve your results. MarionOne’s automation tool enables you to track ad metrics and conversions automatically.
It’s no secret that the social advertising ecosystem (and the rest of the world) looks much different than it did just a few years ago. We know that many advertisers are searching for direction as they learn to navigate the constantly evolving landscape.
Explaining the Ad Auction and Delivery System
Understanding how the Facebook ad auction works is the first step to adaptation. The ad auction formula consists of components that advertisers can leverage to increase their ad performance in the auction. The formula itself is a linear relationship between all components, making it easier to understand and predict how each variable will affect outcomes.
The Ad Auction
When advertisers create ads, they tell us who they want to show their ads to by defining a target audience. A person can fall into multiple target audiences. For example, one advertiser targets women who like skiing, while another advertiser targets all skiers who live in California. The same person (in this case, a female skier who lives in California) could fall into the target audience of both advertisers. When there's an opportunity to show someone an ad, the ads with a target audience that the person belongs to are eligible to compete in the auction.
To ensure that the winning ad maximizes value for both people and businesses, the winner of the auction is the ad with the highest total value. The total value is a combination of 3 major factors connected by the formula below:
Bid: The bid placed by an advertiser for that ad (in other words, what the advertiser is willing to pay to achieve their desired outcome).
Estimated action rates: An estimate of whether a particular person engages with or converts from a particular ad (in other words, the probability that showing an ad to a person leads to that desired outcome of the advertiser).
Ad quality: A measure of the quality of an ad as determined from many sources including feedback from people viewing or hiding the ad and and assessments of low-quality attributes in the ad, such as withholding information, sensationalized language and engagement bait.
Together, estimated action rates and ad quality measure ad relevance. Because these are components of the auction, an ad that’s more relevant to a person could win an auction against ads with higher bids.
The Ad Delivery System
Because the ad auction and ad delivery system behave like a supply-and-demand system, there are seasonal fluctuations and ecosystem changes that will affect the outcomes and costs of ad performance. There are two main causes of CPM fluctuations you may have experienced before:
Seasonal and Economic events: The impact of seasonal and economic events on advertiser cost can be represented by supply and demand. Supply and demand typically have an inverse relationship, but multiple simultaneous forces on supply and demand can create different outcomes. Considering the impacts of seasonality and economic events in terms of supply and demand can help advertisers predict how this will translate into the ad auction. The examples provided by Meta below illustrate the expected impact of different macroeconomic variables and seasonality on the ad delivery system.
A positive economic event illustrates the typical inverse relationship between supply and demand. When supply (usership and user behavior) remains constant but we see advertisers competing for user attention by raising budgets, this leads to a flat level of impressions and thereby a higher cost per impression (impacting CPMs).
A relatable example of seasonality for advertisers is the holiday season. During this time, we see both supply and demand move as users are more actively searching for gifts to purchase, while advertisers are also spending more to capture this increased intent. In this example, purchases are likely to increase while CPAs remain constant.
A negative economic event in this example moves both the supply and demand curves. If users are spending more time on Facebook, the supply rises. But concerned advertisers also typically pull back spend during a negative economic event, pushing down demand. This resulted in increased impressions at a lower cost per impression, and subsequently lower CPM.
Effects on reporting due to user adoption of iOS tracking updates: With iOS 14.5+ adoption ramping up since July 2021, there has been an impact on advertising delivery and reporting, and performance fluctuations. While these effects have been widely felt, it’s important to recognize that these known reporting gaps do not mean our platform is not driving real business value for advertisers, or that your campaigns are not resulting in a purchase or major event. These changes just make it harder for us to measure the outcome. After extensive internal analysis, we’re able to publicly share that we now estimate - in aggregate - that we are currently underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 8%, which is down from the 15% estimate we reported last September.
In part two of our collaboration, we’ll apply these concepts to strategies advertisers can use to structure for scale. Visit Meta for Business, for more information on the ad auction and delivery system.
When it comes to creating snap ads, the little ghost has your back. Snapchat distributes quite a bit of information to help advertisers find success on their platform. In this post, we’re consolidating their tips along with the insights from veteran users to give you an all-in-one guide to Snapchat ad strategy and campaign optimization. Let’s get into it.
How to create a Snapchat Ad strategy from scratch
When you start out, you’ll set up your campaign similar to how you would with Facebook ads. It goes like this: campaign > ad set > ad. You can have multiple ad sets in one campaign and multiple ads in one ad set.
The Snapchat ads manager doesn’t save your work halfway through. If you start creating an ad, make sure you have time to finish it. The last thing you want is to waste time creating ads that only the Snapchat ghost will end up seeing.
Instant Create vs Advanced Create
Choose your campaign objective
With Instant Create, you can build a single ad in under 5 minutes. It’s a solid option for beginners.
For more detailed targeting options, you’ll want to opt for Advanced Create.
Choosing a campaign objective in Instant Create is as easy as clicking one of the 5 options in the screenshot above. With Advanced Create, the options are a bit more thorough. Here’s what that looks like:
When choosing your campaign objective, think about what you want your audience to do when they swipe up on your snap ad. Choose from the following options:
Drive traffic to website
Drive traffic to app
App conversion: Drive specific actions on your app.
Website conversions: Drive specific actions on your site.
Catalog sales: Drive sales on your chosen product catalog.
You can find out which ad types are available for each objective here.
Once your campaign objective is set, choose a start and end date (or just a start date, if you plan on running the campaign indefinitely) and set your daily and lifetime spend caps. Campaign spend caps must be at least $20.
On the next page, you’ll name your Ad Set then attach Snap Pixel and Snap App ID Tracking. Snap Pixel is a tool that helps you measure your campaign’s cross-device impact. This means you’ll be able to track the actions Snapchatters take on your site after seeing this ad. Snap App ID tracks actions snapchatters take in your mobile app after seeing your ad. Using this feature unlocks additional targeting benefits like Mobile App Custom Audiences, App Re-engagement Optimization Goals, or SKAdNetwork.
Right under that is where you pick your ad set budget and schedule. The daily budget minimum is $5. Then you have the option to pick your placements. Snapchat recommends choosing automatic placement, but here’s what it looks like to customize:
Instant Create Audience Targeting
Select the appropriate demographics for your campaign. Here, you’ll specify your audience by gender, age, and language. Next, you pick the location(s) you want to target.
Click “Show Advanced Targeting” to view the final two targeting sections: “Interests and Custom Audiences” and “Devices”.
“Lifestyles” and “Visitors” are the two Snapchat Lifestyle Categories within the Interests and Custom Audiences section. According to Snapchat, these are “Audiences that have been built and packaged using Snapchat and Third-Party Data, allowing you to reach people based on their online and real-world interests and behaviors.”
Lifestyle categories are created based on what the users are most interested in according to what media they consume.
Visitors are categories based on where the users go on their mobile devices.
There are a lot of options to choose from, so spend a good bit of time scrolling through and designing the audience that best fits your target customer base.
Last up is device targeting. You can pick between android and iOS, cellular or wifi, and specific device makes. This is only relevant in some situations, like if your app is only available for iOS. Otherwise, clicking “All” is your best bet.
Advanced Create targeting options
In addition to demographics offered in Instant Create, you also get to choose a household income, education level, and marital/parental status.
The biggest difference between the two is the Interests and Custom Audiences section. With Advanced Create, you can pick from Predefined Audiences or create custom audiences from scratch. Predefined audiences are the Lifestyle and Visitor categories available in Instant Create.
Custom Audiences can be created using Snap Audience Match (CRM Lists), Snap Engagement Audience, and Lookalikes. You can choose to deselect the option to expand your audience automatically to optimize performance if you want, but it’s automatically selected based on Snapchat’s recommendations.
When you click the “Create Audience” button, you’re taken to a page where you choose from one of 3 options:
Lookalike Audience: Choose a seed audience, a location, then a Lookalike type.
Similarity: Matches your seed audience the best, but is smaller.
Balance: Mid-sized audience that balances resemblance and reach.
Reach: Larger audience that prioritizes reach by broadening resemblance to the seed audience.
Saved Audience: This option takes you to the Audience Insights page. Here, you can customize your audience and then save or export. You can also click through a visual representation of the audience you create.
In addition to the operating system, device make, and connection type, Advanced Create also allows you to target specific mobile carriers.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Keep your audience size under 20 million people per ad creative (be warned: a minimum audience size of 1,000 is required to run an ad).
Create one ad set per unique audience.
Use the Lookalike Audience feature to find new customers.
A/B test ad sets with a specific audience by running multiple ads with unique creative assets.
Choose your budget and goal
Now’s the time to pick your daily budget, goal, and bid.
Auto-bid will get you the lowest CPC if you’re new to Snap ads. If you plan to choose a bid amount, go with whatever you’re willing to pay to get the action you want.
With Advanced Create, you’ll adjust your per-ad budget in the Delivery section. The options change based on your goal, but here’s what it looks like if you choose “Swipe Up”:
While Snapchat recommends auto-bid, you can play around with Target Cost and Max Bid and see how they affect your results. When you click the Max Bid option, Snapchat will offer a recommended range to choose from. You don’t have to pick within this range, however.
Choosing Max Bid also unlocks the Pacing feature, You can pick Standard to spread your CPA organically across your set dates or you can choose Accelerated to deliver your ads as quickly as possible (best for time-sensitive campaigns).
Choose your ad type/placement at the top of the screen.
Create an ad name, headline, and make your ad sharable.
Upload your Top Snap media (AKA your ad’s creative asset). Snapchat’s Instant Create has built-in templates for the Top Snap, but you can also create your own on a design platform like Canva. Alternatively, you can use a pre-existing logo from Wepik to give your ads a professional and recognizable look.
Select and customize your attachment (where you want your viewers to go).
Select your CTA.
Last but not least, add impression tags and swipe up tags for impression tracker verification.
Click next to review your ad, pay, and publish.
You’ll also get access to additional features depending on where you send your viewers. For example, you might see the option to enable autofill for lead generation or smart prefetching to speed up mobile site load times.
How to optimize your Snapchat Ads campaigns
When it comes to optimizing your Snapchat Ads, it all comes down to trial and error. First check that your ad type aligns with your advertising goal:
For example, single image ads are great for conversions.
Use filters and lenses for UGC marketing. These ads tend to inspire trust in your brand and are less intrusive than traditional ad formats. And when users in your chosen location use your filter or lens to send Snaps to friends in other locations, you get even more exposure. When creating a filter, opt for something artistic that doesn’t obscure the main part of the user’s Snap. That’ll encourage more Snapchatters to use your filter.
Lenses are also a powerful AR shopping tool. Create a lens that shows users how your product will look when they bring it home and put it to use.
Story ads are good for snagging attention quickly.
Commercials are only available to selected advertisers, but they’re super effective as they can’t be skipped.
Collection ads are ideal for e-commerce stores looking to drive sales. To set yourself up for success here, choose the top-performing products on your site, optimize your photos, and add some enticing CTAs.
We all know how effective video ads can be. Keep your Snapchat video ads short and hook viewers by calling out their pain points from the start. Use audio and captions to make your ads accessible. Lay out your solution to the viewers’ problem, then end with a strong CTA.
9 tips for optimizing your Snapchat Ad campaigns:
A/B test (aka split test) your ads.
Define strong KPIs.
Keep up with your audience insights and optimize targeting accordingly. Pay key attention to the purchase intent metric.
Familiarize yourself with Snapchat culture.
Only advertise to locations where your product is available for purchase (that includes shipping options for e-commerce).
Make your creative asset fun, snappy, and shareable. Shoot for 5 or 6 seconds.
Create Snapchat ads that feel like native content. That means throwing out the polished, professional vibe and going for a more casual, conversational ad.
Launch a broad, data-gathering campaign; then study your Delivery Insights.
Try out goal-based bidding. It’s a strategy where you optimize ads toward a specific action you want viewers to take. You set a cost-per-action requirement, and Snapchat will deliver impressions to efficiently achieve your desired outcome.
Want to make Snapchat an integrated part of your marketing strategy?
Marin Software's team of marketing consultants are standing by to get you started. Our tool makes cross-channel executive perspectives easy to see, and helps you make the best tactical marketing decisions possible…which is especially important when testing new channels. When you integrate the management and analysis of all your social and paid search platforms together, you'll save time and energy for everyone on the team. Our experts will make sure everything is tied together properly at the start so you can automate the systems that slow you down.
There's no reason to put all your social media advertising eggs in one basket when there’s a whole world of low competition and high ROI advertising opportunities out there. If you’re ready to branch out, consider giving Snapchat a chance.
Snapchat demographic statistics
With a recent resurgence in popularity, the platform is experiencing a new fleet of users among teens and young adults. As of the second quarter of 2022, the app had 347 million daily active users worldwide, which is an 18% increase from the previous year.
Snapchat reaches 75% of Gen Z. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, Snap ads might just be your secret weapon. Many of today’s teens even use Snapchat over their phone’s native messaging platform for chatting with friends. While these users might also use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the fact that many advertisers sleep on Snapchat means less competition for your ads.
Snapchatters were 37% more likely to watch a flight on Hopper vs users acquired from other social platforms.
Snapchatters had a booking rate 4 times higher than users acquired on other platforms.
The brand achieved a 50% decrease in cost per install (CPI) by using radius targeting on Snapchat.
What sets Snap apart from other social media platforms
Now that we’ve piqued your interest, let's find out what Snapchat ads are all about. Snapchat started as an app used solely for sharing vanishing images. Soon after, they added the ability to send direct messages and send short videos. They led the pack when it came to the Stories concept, lenses, and geofilters.
Nowadays, they’ve expanded to include a Discover Page filled with news, articles, and stories by featured creators. That Discover Page is your ticket to advertising success. It houses Stories at the top. Scroll down a bit to see the featured content. Snapchat ads are similar to the ads you’re used to on popular advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They appear between Stories, on the Discover Page, and in the form of branded lenses and geofilters.
Ad types available on Snapchat
Below are all the Snap ads formats you can use to reach your target audience:
Single image or video ad
This is Snapchat’s basic ad format. It displays a single image or video full screen and can be used for most any brand objective. Videos can be up to three minutes long, but the platform recommends keeping them between 3 and 5 seconds for the best results. Snapchat’s images and videos are lumped together in the same category. This full-screen ad format enables users to take action by swiping up.
These ads take up the entire screen, meaning they don’t have to compete for the viewer’s attention with other content. They appear between content in the following sections: User Stories, Publishers, Creators, and Our Stories.
Here are a few use cases:
You can attach your website to the ad so that the CTA swipe-up link lets users make a purchase without leaving the Snapchat app.
Generate more app installs by attaching an “Install Now” swipe-up CTA to the bottom of the ad screen. This allows viewers to download your app without leaving Snapchat.
Long-form video is also an option. Snapchat will play a 10-second preview of your chosen video. The bottom CTA will have a swipe-up link directing users to watch the full video.
Perfect for ecommerce brands, Snapchat’s Collection ads allow you to showcase a series of products. If a Snapchatter is interested, these ads include four different tappable tiles that make it easy for them to buy and browse.
Create an On-Demand geofilter for users visiting your location of choice. This is a good option for brand awareness campaigns. There are a few different types of geofilters:
Event geofilters: Become available at the time and location of your event.
Shared Spaces geofilters: Appear to users in communal areas like malls, airports, parks, etc.
Chain geofilters: Available to your brick-and-mortar store customers.
National geofilters: Available to everyone in your chosen country.
Filters can be made smart to serve ads with real-time updates based on the user's location, name, time, etc.
Snapchat really paved the way for TikTok and Instagram filters. I mean, how could we forget the OG puppy ears? Snapchat’s lenses are its AR filters.
Lenses give Snapchat advertising a creative edge. Using these, advertisers can encourage viewers to participate in memorable interactive augmented reality experiences. With the platform’s Lens Web Builder, marketers can select from hundreds of animations, 3D objects, and effects to build a branded AR lens to connect with audiences in an engaging way.
Face lenses manipulate the user's facial features to make them appear different in some way or another. They can be used to transform users into a character relevant to your brand or as a way for users to try on your products without leaving the Snapchat app.
World lenses appear on the outward-facing camera (aka the back camera). They detect the user’s environment and allow users to interact with 3D objects overlaid on their world. These filters are also an effective method of showcasing products.
Branded filters allow brands to advertise inside user interactions. Most of the other ad types offered by the platform live on the Stories/Discover Page. Branded filters show up when a user goes to send a Snap to a friend. Filters are, by far, one of the most fun things about the social media app because they can be applied to photos and videos as an extra, entertaining add-on. Brands can also develop their own unique filters for users to apply. Creating these filters is a great way to build brand awareness among users who might not have clicked your ad on the Discover Page.
Story ads, part of Snapchat’s Discover feed, help you reach your target audience and drive brand awareness with a branded tile. Snapchat story ads are a series of images or videos that appear in between user stories or in the Discover Feed. They can display a collection of between 1 and 20 images or videos. These are pretty effective considering many Snapchat users watch their entire Story feed multiple times a day.
You can also advertise an article via the article ad format. It will pop up in the Discover section amongst other featured Stories and Articles.
Product catalog ads
Display a series of products with this shoppable ad format. These catalog ads can display as collection ads, single image/video ads, or story ads. They allow users to purchase without leaving the Snapchat app.
Commercial ads are non-skippable 6-second video ads. The actual video can last up to 3 minutes, but the ad is only non-skippable for the first 6 seconds. They appear within curated content and for better or worse, Snapchatters can’t skip them.
Marketers who are active users of Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram may already know that running dynamic ads is a great way to promote your brand. However, unlike other social media platforms, the Snapchat dynamic ads are only sent to users who’ve previously interacted with a brand. Offered in two formats — single image and collection — these dynamic ads are designed from pre-set templates and from your product catalog, eliminating the need to create them manually each time.
Now that you understand the basics of Snapchat ads, it's time to get to snapping. Snapchat's ads manager has a pretty nice suite of analytics where you can find what segments interact with your ads (including segments you didn't choose to include in your campaign). This is super helpful when it comes to improving your campaign relevance and reducing your advertising costs.
Paired with MarinOne's Snapchat integration, you can see all your advertising campaigns in one place, making it easier to identify budget by channel, successful products, and successful audiences that can be tested across various platforms. Speak to one of our marketing experts for a free consultation to get started with am omnichannel advertising strategy, featuring Snapchat.
Marin Software's repertoire of platform integrations continues to expand as we introduce a direct Snapchat integration into our suite of tools, available now to Marin users.
Chris Lien, Marin's Chairman and CEO, said the following about this promising partnership: “‘Snapchat has an enormous reach with millennial and Gen Z shoppers who hold $4.4 trillion in global spending power. This gives brands an incredible opportunity to drive brand awareness and revenue with their future customers. We look forward to providing our customers an avenue to integrate our powerful reporting, advanced bidding, and campaign management tools to achieve the best performance on the Snapchat platform.”
The combination of Snapchat audiences with MarinOne's bidding and automation will prove to be a winning duo for advertisers. Marin has been a leading provider of digital marketing software for performance-driven advertisers for nearly two decades, while Snapchat continuously innovates new and unique experiences for users.
Incorporating Snap more thoroughly into our software is a direct response to our clients's needs as well as market popularity of Snap continuously rising. With 18% YoY growth in users, Snapchat has proven that forging their own path in the social media landscape is a solid strategy. They continue to lead the charge globally in AR, avatar, and communication features for users.
With the assistance of machine learning and automated optimization, the MarinOne integration with Snapchat’s Marketing API gives advertisers the opportunity to analyze, monitor, and improve Snapchat campaign performance, while making one-to-one comparisons with other channels. Advanced analytics through MarinOne's grids provide flexible reporting, while AI bidding, budget pacing, and forecasting provide marketers with the insights they need to get the most ROI possible.
If you'd like to get started with a Snapchat strategy, speak to one of Marin's marketing consultants–we can get the MarinOne - Snapchat integration up and running for you in no time at all.
We are thrilled to share that Marin Software has been recognized as a Strong Performer in The Forrester WaveTM: B2B Advertising Solutions Q3 2022 report, conducted by Forrester Research Inc. For many years Marin has aimed to provide you with the best advertising management solutions possible; and it is great to hear that our work stands out amongst the industry.
The report evaluated 14 B2B Advertising Solutions providers based on 28 criteria across their current offerings, strategies, and market presence. Marin Software received the top score in the B2B performance criterion reporting and also received the highest possible score in the execution roadmap and market approach criteria. We are proud of this recognition in these two areas. We have many other product improvements planned for the next year as well, so we hope to excel and shine in the other areas of evaluation in the coming months as well. Our primary goal is to listen to our users, stay at the forefront of paid media technology, and respond with the best possible tools accordingly.
According to the report, “Marin Software’s execution roadmap and market approach are superior and include the innovative use of audience data to enable a variety of B2B advertising use cases from e-commerce to ABM… Ad-level, performance-level, and ROI-level reporting are also superior.”
Our Chief Executive Officer, Chris Lien, said the following in regard to the report: “We are proud to be named as a Strong Performer in The Forrester WaveTM B2B Advertising Solutions report. We are committed to delivering B2B advertisers with the best solutions for analyzing, automating, and optimizing their marketing campaigns and we are thrilled to be recognized in the report.”
Marin has been helping advertisers advance their digital advertising campaigns for over 15 years and has managed over $40 billion in advertising spend for some of the world’s top brands. We look forward to continuing our innovation process, and if there are any other areas where our software can improve, the feedback of our clients is invaluable for us to keep moving forward and create the time-saving features digital marketers need.
Whether you are an existing client, or new to us and looking to potentially utilize MarinOne as your advertising automation tool, know that our team of experts are some of the most knowledgeable marketers you can find, and ready to help you strategize the best possible digital campaigns.
We also offer self-serve functionality to our MarinOne platform where you can get a unified view of your omnichannel marketing. Our industry leading optimization tools have flexible reporting to help advertisers maximize the impact and reach of their digital marketing investment across paid search, social, and ecommerce channels. Learn more about our offering in the ads management space–we're standing by ready to give you a complimentary analysis and consultation on your current campaign setup.
Amazon receives over two billion visitors a month. With such a large audience frequently visiting its platform, it’s no wonder the number of marketplace sellers has exploded over the last decade. The volume of online shoppers is making it harder than ever for sellers to make an impression and grab the attention of customers. If your goal is to expand your reach and attract new customers, Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform (DSP) may be the answer. And there is no better time than now. Why? Amazon DSP is on track to make $17.6 billion from advertising this year and is expected to reach a staggering $46.6 billion by 2025.
What is Amazon DSP?
Amazon DSP enables programmatic buying and selling of display, video, and audio ads. The demand-side platform allows you to reach audiences both on and off of Amazon and across leading publishers’ sites like Twitch.tv, IMDb, Audible, Zappos, and others. The ads often appear not only on Amazon and Amazon-owned websites, but across Amazon-owned apps, Amazon devices, and affiliate websites and apps within Amazon’s network. Through Amazon DSP, you can create more brand and product awareness to encourage shopper re-engagement and retarget lost or potential customers.
The 4 Amazon DSP Ad Types
Dynamic E-commerce Ads
Dynamic ads automatically optimize which ad to display based on your campaign goal. Using machine learning, Amazon DSP can feed audiences relevant ads based on predictable behavior—delivering coupon code strategy tactics to incentivize impulse buyers and generating ads with customer reviews in them to engage customers who prefer to read reviews before purchasing a product. Since dynamic ads only direct to an Amazon product listing page, they are not a viable option if you use DSP to promote your direct website.
Unlike dynamic ads, static ads feature a call-to-action and a simple image. They can lead customers to an Amazon product listing, an Amazon Brand store, or directly to your website.
Video Ads Through DSP
In-stream or out-stream video content can be displayed both on and off Amazon. Your video ads can link directly to your website or to a product detail page on Amazon. Video ads through DSP help you leverage Amazon’s audiences to target the right shoppers.
Over-The-Top Video Ads (OTT)
These ads, displayed as full-screen videos on TV, allow you to create brand awareness in a separate medium. By using OTT, you can expand your reach to millions more people and target specific Amazon audiences. Keep in mind though: with OTT ads shoppers have no way to click and take action.
Amazon DSP Targeting Options
With Amazon DSP’s thousands of customer segments and its insights into shopper history and intent, it can help support many of your advertising goals. Here’s a glance at the different targeting options available.
Behavioral targeting is often used for brand awareness purposes and enables you to set any number of triggers so you can target shoppers further down the funnel.
With Lifestyle targeting, relevant ads are served to people who buy from a particular category habitually. This type of targeting allows you to target customers who share similar characteristics with your current customers or are interested in brand-relevant categories.
You can target ads based on gender, age, income, or location.
Target your ads based on specific end-user devices including Android or Apple phones, different operating systems, desktop users, or other niche devices such as the Amazon Fire tablet.
By using in-market targeting, you can build brand awareness and increase sales. Audiences who are “in-market” are those who have high intent with a greater likelihood of purchasing your product or services.
Serve ads to users based on what they are browsing right now. Contextual targeting is a great option to encourage impulse buys and drive conversions quickly.
For consumers who are on the fence about buying a product or a competitive product, remarketing targeting can help. The different types of remarketing targets include Pixel-Based, ASIN, Purchased ASIN, Brand Halo, and Similar Product remarketing.
Audience Lookalike Targeting
Audience Lookalike targeting hones in on customers who share similarities with your existing customers. With this option, you can take advantage of Amazon’s unique data combined with its collaborative filtering that can create detailed consumer profiles.
Amazon DSP allows you to leverage third-party data so you don’t have to solely rely on the first-party data that Amazon provides. Through the use of pixels, CRM data, and/or DMP audience transfers, you can reach customers who have previously engaged with your brand.
5 Reasons Amazon DSP Is a Powerful Tool for Advertisers
By using Amazon DSP, you can take your campaign performance to a whole new level and achieve your programmatic advertising goals. Here’s how:
Audience Insights and Analytics
One of the greatest benefits of Amazon DSP is that advertisers can tap into Amazon’s first-party shopper data. Every search, view, click, purchase, and other shopper action along the customer journey is tracked. With Amazon DSP’s robust data capabilities, you can glean more information about how, what, when, and why customers buy what they buy. You can also gain access to key performance metrics such as total purchases, product units sold, add-to-cart rates, and more to help you determine what’s driving results and what’s not.
Retaining your current audience is not only critical to sustaining your company’s success but is also a more cost-effective way to spend your ad dollars instead of attracting new customers. Using Amazon DSP, you can retarget potential customers who have already engaged with your brand or products.
Targeting shifts over time. Amazon DSP allows you to adjust your strategy accordingly so you can move your ad placements, reroute your creative spending, or reposition your domain ads to reach customers who have expressed interest in your product.
With Amazon DSP, you can expand your audience reach across a vast range of sites. An attention-grabbing display ad or video campaign can improve your brand perception and increase awareness by being displayed on a large number of websites simultaneously.
Amazon DSP enables you to have your campaigns up and running in just minutes so you don’t have to spend time playing phone tag, negotiating, handing off creative tasks, reconciling billing, and settling up payments.
How MarinOne Can Help
Looking to take your Amazon DSP to the next level?
MarinOne integrates with Amazon DSP to help you better understand your customers on Amazon. Our platform goes far beyond what Amazon provides with a comprehensive suite of tools that activate and amplify your entire Amazon advertising campaign portfolio.
With MarinOne, you can analyze paid search and social advertising as well as other retail media, shipping campaigns, and marketplaces, giving you a cross-publisher and cross-channel view of performance.
Our alerts provide real-time updates on changes in activity so you can always be in the know and never miss an opportunity to improve performance. Use our marketplace signals to link your DSP performance to reviews, ratings, inventory status, price, and more. In addition, MarinOne features Amazon metrics like detailed page views and new to brand.
Ready to find out more about how MarinOne can help with your Amazon DSP campaigns? Get a personalized demo today.
Savvy digital marketers know that Google Ads is a great way to reach more customers and bring leads to your business. 96% of brands spend money on Google Ads, so this is Marketing 101, right? But while you know it's a must, getting Google Ads to deliver can sometimes prove tricky.
You could be making common mistakes that cost you money and reduce your ROI.
So, to help you squeeze the absolute most from your marketing spend, we'll discuss some of the most common Google Ads mistakes to watch out for. Let’s get started.
Mistake 1: Not Targeting Ads Correctly
Let's say Bob runs a small business that sells blenders online. He's been running ads for a while now, and he’s gotten pretty good at it. But there is one mistake he keeps making: he isn’t targeting his ads correctly.
Bob’s ad with the keyword “blender” is getting a lot of clicks from people searching for the 3D graphics tool. That’s a problem—he needs to target his ads to cooks specifically. To do that, he needs to use the right keywords.
For example, he could use keywords like “kitchen blender” or “smoothie blender.” Using these keywords, he can ensure his ad is shown to people who are actually looking for what he’s selling.
Once Bob's worked out which keywords are most likely to perform best for his business, he must weave these phrases into his product descriptions, website copy, and blog posts.
Our recommendation? Hire a conversion copywriter to help you. Writing with keywords can be a bit like playing Tetris—if you can’t slot them in naturally, it won't work.
Mistake 2: Not Using Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are words or phrases for which you don’t want your ad to show. For example, if you sell blenders, you might want to add “software” and “3D imaging” as negative keywords. That way, your ad won’t appear when someone searches for the software development tool.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to add negative keywords to their campaigns. As a result, they waste money reaching people who are not searching for their products.
Mistake 3: Not Bidding On the Right Keywords
You need to bid on the right keywords when running a display ad. If you don’t, your ad might not show up at all. And if you bid on the wrong keywords, you could waste money.
For example, let’s say you sell women’s clothing. You could bid on keywords like “women’s clothing” or “dresses.” But if you bid on the keyword “clothing,” your ad might show up for searches like “men’s clothing” or “kids’ clothing.” And you don’t want to waste your money on those clicks.
To avoid this mistake, use Google's Keyword Planner to research which keywords are most relevant to your business. Add those keywords to your campaign and bid on them accordingly.
Mistake 4: Not Using Ad Extensions
Ad extensions give your ad more space and include more information—like a CTA, phone number, address, image, or video. All this information can be beneficial to potential customers, and it can help you stand out from the competition.
To add ad extensions to your campaign, go to the “Ad extension” tab in your Google Ads account and choose which extensions you want to add.
Mistake 5: Not Tracking Your Results
If you’re not tracking your results, you won’t know if your ad is working, and you could be wasting a lot of money. Check the performance to see what’s working and what isn’t. To do this, you need to set up conversion tracking.
Conversion tracking measures how many people who see your ad go on to do what you want them to do. This could be making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading a white paper.
To set up conversion tracking, you’ll need to add a piece of code to your website. This might sound daunting, but it’s pretty simple (check out the link for a step-by-step guide).
Mistake 6: Not Optimizing With Conversion Testing
If you’re not testing and optimizing, you could miss out on many conversions. Test different headlines, descriptions, and call-to-actions to see what works best. You might be surprised by the results.
To test different elements of your ad, create two (or more) ads that are identical except for the component you want to try. For example, you could test two headlines and see which one gets more clicks.
Once you’ve created your ads, run them for a set period (usually at least a week) to collect data. Then compare the results and see which ad performed better.
When you create a new campaign, Google will automatically set your targeting options to the Search Network & Display Network. It might not be necessary to target both of these networks (though they often work well together), so be sure to get a sense of which is best for you if that’s the case.
To change your targeting options, go to the “Networks” tab in your campaign settings. You can deselect the Search Network and/or Display Network.
Mistake 8: Not Using Location Targeting
Location targeting helps restrict your ad to people in a chosen region so you can maximize your marketing spend and have your ads seen by those most likely to respond.
There are a few different ways to target your ads to a specific location. The first is to target by country, state, or city. For example, if you only want to show your ad to people in New York, you would select “Target” and then “Location.”
You can also target by radius. This is useful if you have a brick-and-mortar store and you want to target people who live nearby. To do this, select “Target” and then “Radius.”
Finally, you can target by zip code. This is similar to targeting by radius, but it’s more precise. For instance, you might want to advertise to residents in a suburb but not in the adjacent business park. Select “Target” and " Zip code " to execute this tactic.
Mistake 9: Ignoring Regional Trends
When you’re targeting a specific region, knowing the trends in that area gives you a tremendous advantage. For example, if you’re targeting the United States, you might find that there are certain states where your product or service is more popular than others. Or maybe you sell fans, and there’s a heatwave in one part of the country. Trends can help you spot these opportunities.
Google Trends can show you insights about a specific region. Simply enter a keyword or phrase and select a region. Google Trends will then show you how popular that keyword or phrase is in that area.
How MarinOne can help
Display advertising is a great way to reach your target audience, while search ads are the best way to get prospects down the sales funnel and help them convert. The fight to stand out is fierce, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you have a real shot at reaping the rewards. If you want to improve your search engine marketing or display ads strategy, MarinOne can help you identify opportunities and optimize your campaigns.
There are many moving parts to a GA campaign, from targeting to keywords to ad extensions. MarinOne gives you one platform to manage all of your paid search campaigns so you can avoid mistakes and save time. It integrates with GA so you can see your analytics in one place, allowing you to track your results and make adjustments as needed. Finally, you can automate and optimize your ads with just a few clicks. To get things rolling, you don’t need to be a technical expert—our platform is designed for non-technical users.
Display advertising is one of the best ways for businesses to grow their online presence—and there are plenty of sites where you can promote your products and services. Unfortunately, many beginners make mistakes that impair their advertising efforts.
Several factors need to be considered to create a successful display ad campaign. This article will discuss display ads and why you should use them, and we’ll give you 11 tried and tested tips for standing out.
Why You Should Use Display Ads
It’s true that text-based search ads have their advantages when it comes to click-through rates and conversions, but there’s still an important place for display ads. Some important uses of display ads include highlighting products or services that are visual in nature, and cultivating and educating potential customers in the early stages of the sales funnel, regardless of whether they click on the ad. It’s no wonder, then, that companies in the US have been spending more every year on display advertising—and this trend is set to continue.
Why else should you use display advertising? First and foremost, display ads can—when done correctly—put you in front of your target audience immediately. This is in contrast to the longer-term investment of time needed for organic content marketing—making it an excellent option if you’re trying to scale a newly established business quickly.
Because you’re getting in front of more of the right people more quickly, display advertising is an excellent way to increase sales right out of the gate. Since you’re driving more traffic to your website right away, you’ll have more leads to send down the marketing funnel—enabling you to convert more of those leads to paying customers while you build your brand organically at the same time.
Here’s how you can get started with display ads so you can keep your business growing.
Keep it Brief
Regardless of the industry you operate in, you’ve probably got fiercer competition than ever. However, at the same time, you’re fighting for limited attention spans: research from Microsoft found that average attention spans dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds between 2000 and 2015. The rise in short-form video platforms like TikTok will likely have an additional effect, but the full impact won’t be visible for a while yet.
Your advertising copy must be brief if you want to engage users. Keep the text content to no longer than a few words, and make sure that every word adds something valuable.
Focus on One or Two Benefits
If you’ve never tried display advertising before, you might find it tempting to try and stuff as much information into your ad as possible. However, adopting this approach will confuse your target audience.
Remember: your display ad is only an introduction for users. Focus on one or two key benefits conveyed through strategic use of words and powerful visuals and give interested users more information once they’ve clicked through.
Reel Users in With Your Headline
When you consume content online, you probably skim headlines—but how many articles, videos, or ads do you click on? Probably a small percentage. Users do the same with your ads, so your headline must reel them in.
Ask yourself this question: Why should a customer buy from you instead of a competitor? Once you know that, you’ll have an easier time creating your headline.
Avoid Vague or Metaphorical Words
Since you don’t have much time to convince users that they should engage with your ad, this is not the time for symbolism. Don’t force viewers to struggle with a riddle—give them the straight goods using a clear and compelling message in simple language.
Use Positive Language and Avoid Negative Words
When a sentence is a negative statement, the reader must perform an extra mental step to decipher it, so use simpler language to help your readers understand your message at a glance. A positive statement is more engaging—and more likely to be clicked on.
Additionally, a negative attitude can repel prospective customers, so adopt a light and entertaining tone when possible.
Create Scannable Copy
Display ads are not the place for lengthy descriptions—effective ones act like a hook to lure readers to your more detailed content. Make it clear what your offer is; it should be interesting and obvious at a glance.
Requirements will vary depending on where you place your ads. What works on Google might not work on Bing, and ads that have succeeded on LinkedIn might not be as effective on Twitter or Facebook. Before running campaigns, take the time to think about what interests users on the platform you're using to maximize your engagement rates.
Set Clear Goals Before Your Campaign
Setting goals before you create ads is the most important thing you can do. A campaign without direction will look disjointed, so users won't know what to expect from your products and services—and they won't click through. Clear goals give you KPIs you can assess to be sure you’re on the right track.
Examples of goals you can set include generating leads, growing your audience, or earning a certain number of subscribers. Get clear on these, and everything will run more smoothly.
Showcase your USP: Unique Selling Point
Making an impression is the most important goal of a display ad, so use the opportunity to become familiar to your audience. Define your USP—the attribute you most want to be known for—and express it in your ad using clear and impactful words. Consistency in your messaging will help make your ads more memorable.
Now you've got everything you need to create a successful display ad campaign
Running a successful display advertising campaign means considering many factors and adopting a strategic approach. Create ads that are clear, compelling, and scannable. A campaign with no defined goals is destined for failure, but experienced marketers have developed their eye through effort and testing—and using these 11 strategies, you can do the same.
Also remember that display ads should be a piece of your overall omnichannel marketing strategy, and it’s important to see how they are performing in relation to your ads on other channels.
Schedule a demo to learn more about how MarinOne’s cross-channel reporting and optimization platform can give you the insights you need to put your best foot forward on display ads together with search, social, and ecommerce to help you grow your business.
What’s the difference between Amazon CPC and vCPM cost models?
It’s important for brands to measure their digital marketing metrics, including comparing CPC vs vCPM (cost per thousand viewable impressions). CPC is based on the number of actual clicks the ad receives, while vCPM is based on the number of times an ad is viewed, regardless of whether shoppers click on it or not. Sponsored Display vCPM adheres to the MRC definition for an ad view: at least 50% of the ad should have been in the shopper’s view port for at least one second for it to be registered as a viewed impression.
vCPM is often used for advertisers focusing on brand awareness or delivering a specific message, because this pricing model is more focused on exposure as opposed to a cost-per-click model.
In Marin, brands can use both metrics, considering the implications of each, for a more comprehensive view of the performance of their ad campaigns. This information will help advertisers better understand the impact of their Sponsored Display campaigns, regardless of whether you are using click-based (CPC) or view-based (vCPM) attribution.
How does Amazon’s vCPM cost model work?
Conversions and Revenue for Sponsored Display vCPM campaigns are an ESTIMATED value that is attributed to BOTH viewable impressions AND clicks (because the cost type is based on viewable impressions - vCPM). To put it simply, alongside the actual Conversions and Revenue generated via the vCPM campaign, Amazon is also including estimated Conversions and Revenue when someone VIEWs your Sponsored Display Ad, but does not click on it.
It's also worth noting that the vCPM Conversions and Revenue are attributed to your brand sales and not the products in the campaign. For example if you run an 'Advertised Product Report' from Amazon you'll notice that the orders and sales do not match what is being displayed in Amazon's UI at campaign level. See below screenshot from a Sponsored Display Advertised Product Report:
The 14 Day Total Orders (#) and 14 Day Total Sales columns reflect the Cost Type of a campaign
The 14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click) and 14-Day Total Sales - (Click) columns are based on click attribution (CPC Cost Type), regardless of whether your campaign cost type is set to CPC or vCPM
Campaign A has parity across all 4 columns - because it’s campaign Cost Type is set to CPC
Campaigns B to M, unlike Campaign A, differ because their campaign Cost Type’s are set to vCPM - the (Click) columns are your actual Orders and Sales, whereas your non-click columns are a combination of actual Orders and Revenue as well as Amazon’s estimated Orders and Revenue based on your ad being ‘viewed’.
Campaign C generated 8 orders with a total revenue of £112.96 and to identify the estimated view Orders and Revenue, you subtract the (Click) column away from the regular column;
207 [14 Day Total Orders (#)] - 8 [14-Day Total Orders (#) - (Click)] = 199 estimated ‘view’ Orders
£2,564.39 [14 Day Total Sales] - £112.96 [14-Day Total Sales - (Click)] = £2,451.43 estimated ‘view’ Sales
How does this impact reporting of Amazon Sponsored Display campaigns in Marin?
Regardless of the cost type that you specify when creating your Sponsored Display Campaign (CPC or vCPM), Marin is able to report on both attribution models against that campaign.
For example, if you create a Sponsored Display campaign with vCPM as the Cost Type, Marin is still able to show you the Conversions and Revenue generated from the ad being clicked on (CPC Cost Type), alongside the ‘estimated’ view Conversions and Revenue (vCPM Cost Type) that Amazon is providing, and vice-versa.
In the screenshot above you can see that, regardless of cost type, for a Sponsored Display campaign Marin is able to report on both traditional Conversions and Revenue (click based) and also the ‘view’ Conversions and Revenue - which is the combination of both actual and estimated Conversions and Revenue set by Amazon.
The table below shows the Conversion Types available via the MarinOne column selector that you can bring into view alongside your Sponsored Display campaigns.
How should I bid on this activity?
The decision is entirely yours. In Marin you have the option to either bid based upon actual clicked Conversions and Revenue or use the estimated ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue to target a CPA or ROAS goal - regardless of the cost model you’ve chosen to set up for your Sponsored Display campaign.
If your goal is performance (CPA / ROAS) Marin’s recommendation is to optimise towards actual clicked Conversion and Revenue and not ‘View’ Conversions or Revenue (even if your campaign is set to vCPM) because this is the actual performance of your Sponsored Display campaign and not an ‘estimated’ number of Conversions or Revenue.
If you've used Marin's automated bidding tool to manage Bid Strategies for other publishers, then managing bids for Amazon Advertising accounts should be pretty familiar. Marin manages keyword-level and target-level calculated bids and supports all ‘performance’ Goals for your Amazon activity:
Maximise Conversions to CPA
Maximise Revenue to ROAS
If your goal is awareness advertisers and registered sellers in CA, DE, FR, ES, IT, IN, JP, UAE, UK and the US can set up an “Optimise for Viewable Impressions” strategy directly in the Amazon Ads UI to help create product awareness.
If you have any further questions related to the above please reach out to your Account Representative.
In 2021, more than 250 million items were purchased by Prime members worldwide over the two-day timeframe. This year, preparations for Prime Day should be well underway by now so that your brand can be ready when millions of consumers shop during one of the most significant retail events of the year. Here are a few tips so you can be prepared ahead of time.
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):
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)
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.
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.
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
Identify your goals before running a campaign. This will help you determine which type of ad is best suited to your needs.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. To add an extra layer of visual interest, consider using a high-quality black background to make your design pop. This can help your images and text stand out and grab the attention of potential customers.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The buyer journey is complex and digital marketers need to be able to connect with the right customers through the entire process. Different ad formats and placements can help brands make consumers aware of their product, push them into consideration for that product, and ultimately drive them to purchase it. Two key ad types to consider are search ads (served on search engines like Google, Bing, etc.) and display ads (served throughout the internet on various websites).
The main difference between display and search ads is that search ads are considered "pull" advertising while display ads are considered "push" advertising. So, search ads only appear to consumers actively searching for the required product or service. In contrast, display ads are considered paid placement and can appear anywhere on the web that a user may be navigating. These advertisements are based on several targeting parameters. Search and display advertisements are set up and run using various ad networks, from Google Ads to Amazon DSP, Criteo, and many others.
If your company's marketing budget is substantial enough to support various ad types, then you can (and should) test both search and display ads in your advertising strategy. But keep in mind that these ads are not interchangeable. Depending on the product or service type, you may have better click and conversion performance with one or the other. Think through the customer journey and how customers find your products. Is your product something that people need to seek out actively when the need for it arises, or maybe your product is something buyers might not know they need until they see an ad and the potential use case of your product?
Advantages of Search ads
There are a lot of advantages of search advertising or search engine marketing (SEM). The first of many factors to consider is budget. If the available engine spend of the company is on the smaller side, say less than $10K per month, then SEM may be the best tactic for your business, as it allows more control over who finds your business and at what time. Targeting the right keywords is paramount in SEM for capturing users seeking your service or product. Getting focused and intentional in keyword targeting means that the business doesn't have to waste money on people that are not interested in the industry or are not yet ready to make a purchase decision.
Another benefit is that businesses can easily cater to a local market via search engine marketing. Many targeting options can be paired with keyword targeting, so you end up with more niche and specific audience segments. Geographic, language, gender, age, and affinity (or interest) targeting are all available segments on Google Ads, for example.
In SEM, the sales cycle is typically short, and you are seeking to capture users at the bottom of the funnel or close to the point of purchase. Therefore, there is no need to continue advertising to individuals that have taken action or converted on-site unless remarketing is an essential tactic for your business. This strategy keeps audiences fresh and malleable.
Advantages of display ads
Display ads are an effective tactic for any product that is visual in nature. Clothing, cars, beauty, pet care, and more are all excellent candidates for display as the customer offering can be summarized quickly and visually with a single image.
In less visually friendly industries, like SaaS, insurance, education, or many B2B services…display can still be an effective ad type but with a different approach. In these sectors, short impactful phrases or statements, a key value proposition, or some kind of explanatory graphic (like illustrations) is the better way to quickly reach a display ad viewer. If the CTA and key message cannot be grasped in under 3 seconds on a display ad…your messaging is ineffective and needs to be revisited.
Another advantage of display advertising is that it provides unique access to niche or luxury buyers. With many demand-side platforms (or DSPs), segments can get as granular as a limited website list where you believe your potential customers would visit. Data mining paired with display advertising is also an effective method of getting your message to the right person at the right time, but be cautious that your data provider follows all privacy guidelines in your target geographical region.
Another technique for utilizing display ads is to focus on building brand awareness. If you want to build brand equity or get more top-funnel traffic to your website, consider display advertising a suitable medium. Simple company slogans or flagship product images ought to be utilized. If it looks like it belongs on the homepage of your website, it probably belongs in a brand awareness display ad.
Search ad considerations
We’ve established that display ads are shown on websites across the internet, but search ads only appear in search engine results. Therefore, the advertisers selecting a list of keywords relevant to the product or service must be incredibly judicious and strategic in identifying the right keywords to target. Suppose you are new to this exercise or working with the wrong advertising experts who don’t have enough know-how to develop effective keyword lists. In that case, your costs can become prohibitive quickly, and your overall ad account performance will suffer.
For search ads, each search engine advertising platform requires the advertiser to put a bidding type in place for each campaign. Identifying the right bidding type and optimization techniques for each campaign can be nuanced and sometimes a difficult task of trial and error.
Display ad considerations
The primary consideration with display advertising is that the number of businesses using this method to advertise their business has increased. Due to this, for site owners, it becomes difficult to choose the right advertisers; from a competitive perspective, many verticals are pretty crowded. Expect higher CPMs (cost per 1,0000 impressions) or CPVs (cost per view) than what was once acceptable.
Platforms like the Google Display Network make segments through categories and then offer them to advertisers as a package. Moreover, the ad networks are involved in taking bids from advertisers and working with the highest recommendations that will help them earn space on their chosen site.
How MarinOne can improve display and search ad performance
Using a campaign management platform like MarinOne can help you automate mundane tasks associated with display and search ads. Our team has experts available to consult you on the most significant opportunities for improvement. And with machine-learning and automated bidding built directly into the software, we make omnichannel advertising as simple as possible. See how your PPC campaigns across all platforms are doing in a single place, and change bids or budgets according to performance with our all-in-one solution. Our advertising team is standing by today to give you a demonstration and get you on the path to easier advertising management.
What makes Pinterest different from other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., is that its primary use is not connecting with others. On the contrary, it is a search and discovery platform. People spend hours and hours looking at things they want to do, learn, or purchase. Most of the users on the platform are looking to purchase items of interest that will somehow help them achieve a goal or complete a project.
When it comes to marketing, Pinterest is an extremely underutilized platform. According to Hootsuite, there were almost 459 million users on Pinterest in 2021 per month. In 2020, almost 100 million users were added. This shows just how many people are using the application and the potential market. Read this “getting started” guide on how you can dive into the world of Pinterest advertising and bidding.
What are Pinterest Ads?
The reason why Pinterest ads are so powerful is the fact that they are presented as normal pins. The only difference is that you will see a “Promoted by” tag on the pin that is an advertisement. These ads seamlessly mix in with normal pins and do not seem out of place like ads on other social media platforms. The ads are displayed on the home screen by an algorithm that tracks their historical activity on the platform, much like Instagram or TikTok. This means the ads target potential buyers and not just people at random. You can target different people based on the following criteria:
Pinterest allows you to choose from 5 different ad formats. The format you pick will depend on your brand and needs.
Video pin ads
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.
The Pinterest campaign manager has two options for setting bids.
Custom Bidding: Here you will enter your maximum CPC bid amount via the Ads Manager or Bulk Editor. While you may have more control over what you are bidding at the ad auction, keep in mind this is a manual process which could be time consuming if you need to adjust your bid amounts over the course of the campaign.
Automatic Bidding: With this option, Pinterest will manage your bids for you, working to get the maximum clicks for the lowest possible cost to maximize the budget you have prescribed. There is a learning period when you begin automatic bidding as Pinterest’s algorithms work to find the best outcomes for your ads, but once Pinterest finds the sweet spot for your bids, automated bidding can help get you the most for every dollar spent, not to mention saving you loads of time.
Pinterest also partners with various third party solutions to give their advertisers more options for better results. By layering a bid optimization solution over Pinterest’s bidding tools, you can take your results even further. A few of the added benefits of using a tool like MarinOne include:
Advanced bidding algorithms that take in over 75 signals for the best responsiveness and accuracy.
Custom bid modifiers to adjust to external market signals that are relevant to your business.
Forecasting to help you find the right level of marketing investment and help predict expected conversions, revenue, and profit for your entire account or specific bid strategies.
Budget allocation that assigns spend levels to your bid strategies by setting targets and campaign budgets based on your campaign goals.
Budget pacing which tracks your spend over the course of the month, quarter, or custom spend period, and adjusts your bidding targets to keep you on track.
Performance insights and recommendations that scan your accounts for any and every opportunity to decrease costs and improve results.
Tips for optimizing your Pinterest ads
Get specific in how the ad is positioned
To make the ad more specific and ensure it reaches individuals who can potentially turn into customers, you need to provide details within the creative. One effective approach is to select who you are going to target and put together a “how to” or “tutorial” that directly addresses that target demos’ particular needs or problems that your product solves. It’s a good idea to use multiple keywords within the written content to make your ad impactful for many different searches.
Ensure the Pinterest tag is installed properly and firing
The Pinterest tag allows you to track conversions and optimize your Pinterest campaign budget. With the right setup, you can report conversions from nine different types of actions on your website and view them in Pinterest Ads Manager. Proper installation of the Pinterest tag is essential to get the most out of it. The tag can be installed manually on the website or through Google Tag Manager. To check that the tag is firing and fuctioning, you can utilize the Pinterest Tag Helper.
Use impactful visuals to showcase your brand
Your brand is only as good as you portray it to be. So, choose colors, imagery and videos carefully. Showcase your work and expertise through the aesthetic presence of your brand on Pinterest. Many businesses, both large and small, use Pinterest ads to create awareness about themselves. Therefore, it is important to share real-life pictures of your brand/business in action.
Make the most of your Pinterest advertising
If you have a product that you want to share with the world, Pinterest is an excellent platform to do so. The biggest advantage you will have is that it is still highly unexplored and still a fairly untapped marketing platform today. Most advertisers and marketers are not using Pinterest to its full potential, meaning the available audience is not experiencing ad fatigue. The likelihood your vertical has thousands if not millions of users ready to engage with your brand, without excessive competition, is very good. By placing Pinterest Ads, you can gain that competitive advantage that others don’t have.
In addition to the bid optimization tools mentioned above, MarinOne can also help you measure the results of your Pinterest Ads with advanced analytics that detail performance within and across Pinterest campaigns and also side-by-side with other search, social, and ecommerce publishers. Pull in your customer data from your web analytics and CRM tools for a more advanced view of conversions and LTV. And once you have all the data processed in MarinOne, you can push that out to Excel, Google Sheets, your data warehouse, or BI tool.
Now that you know what a gold mine Pinterest is for leads and conversions, reach out here to get started with MarinOne for Pinterest.
Marketing technology is advancing its pace, with innovative new platforms and approaches being released faster than ever. In an uncertain economy and inflation skyrocketing, many companies are rethinking their marketing budgets and trying to determine the best ways to be profitable. The pace of change in innovation and technology can make it difficult to determine what those digital marketing budgets ought to be. Find out how automation technology can help you optimize your digital marketing campaigns and determine the best budget allocation to ensure maximum ROI.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 tips to help your business manage a successful ad campaign
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
If 2022 passes as quickly as the past two years have, it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Advertisers are paying close attention as Google is under pressure from regulators to meet its 2023 goal for deprecating tracking cookies.
After drawing criticism from privacy advocates, Google recently walked back FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), a form of interest-based tracking that identifies users based on their shared interests, or “cohorts”. The concern from critics around FLoC was that it could make it easier for advertisers to identify users with “browser fingerprinting”, which shares information about user devices, browsers, and potentially demographic information.
Topics API is the latest proposal from Google for replacing third-party tracking cookies. Per Google, under Topics the browser identifies a user’s top interests for that week (things like “Fitness”, “Travel & Transportation”, etc) then shares them with participating sites and advertising partners. Topics are kept for three weeks on user’s devices and removed after that time. Google makes it clear that user’s Topics information will not be stored on external servers, including Google’s servers.
A bonus for user privacy advocates: in Chrome, Google is giving users the ability to view the topics associated with them, remove topics if they wish, and even the ability to disable Topics altogether.
While most would agree that this is a good move by Google for user privacy, where does this leave advertisers?
The general consensus is (justified) concern from advertisers, especially those who confronted Facebook’s deprecation in targeting capabilities post iOS14.5 adoption. Broader targeting inevitably means more challenges in reaching the intended users, so growing pains should be expected.
In particular, marketers have raised concerns about Topic availability as a hurdle to targeting accuracy. The Topics API Github page lists only 350 “topics” so far, which some feel might not contain enough nuance to accurately target customers. Google maintains that this list is in an early stage of development, so this issue may be addressed in the coming months.
As compared with FLoC, Topics gives users more control and flexibility over how they receive targeted advertising. Both FLoC and Topics represent a step down in precision targeting, so advertisers will need to adapt.
Despite the uncertain future for Topics API and Cookie deprecation, there are steps advertisers can take to prepare:
Prioritize First Party Data - Advertisers should maintain focus on collecting first party data which can be used to target customers directly or create lookalike audiences. Prioritizing strategies for developing brand-customer relationships can help with this.
Leverage Cross Channel Audiences - Marin Software also offers proprietary audience targeting options such as Social Intent for Search, which seamlessly integrates social audiences to power search campaigns. Options like this that leverage existing intent will be valuable to adaptation.
Keep Clients Up to Date - Nobody likes unhappy surprises, especially not advertising clients. Start communicating and developing a plan of action now and stay flexible as Google releases more information around Topics API in the coming months.
Test Marin Software for More Performance Power - MarinOne’s bidding algorithm consistently outperforms publisher bidding AND gives advertisers greater visibility into bidding. Advertisers will appreciate the transparency we offer as so many publishers reduce available optimization levers.
Digital display ad spending is on the rise, steadily increasing each year, with some estimates for programmatic digital display spend in the US over $115 billion by the end of 2022.
So why is display advertising growing so quickly? The answer is, in part, due to increased device usage (mobile, tablet, and laptop) in the last two years as consumers stayed home during the pandemic.
But, display advertising via Demand Side Platforms also provides some distinct advantages for marketers. A look at Yahoo! DSP, one of the premier providers of programmatic display advertising, gives some clear insights into the benefits of display advertising for brands (and consumers too).
First party data
Yahoo has a user base of over 800 million globally through their owned and operated properties, so brands can leverage these relationships to understand and reach their audiences. In addition, they draw on 200 billion daily data signals providing insights for data-driven decisions. That being said, Yahoo puts privacy and consumer choice first, creating a trusted environment for their users.
Mobile Ads: With the increase in mobile usage, Yahoo mobile ads are a must, and they are designed for vertical executions and to accommodate swiping, scrolling and screen rotation.
Video Ads: Yahoo delivers 2.7B monthly video views, making it easy for marketers to bring their brand story to life with interactive and shoppable formats.
Advanced TV: Yahoo’s unified DSP means brands have access to cross-screen TV placement providing incremental reach across linear and digital TV.
Audio Ads: Yahoo partners with the top music streaming platforms, and brands can also integrate into Yahoo owned and operated podcasts from TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports and more.
Other formats: Rounding out Yahoo’s omni-channel portfolio, Yahoo! DSP also provides access to solutions including digital out-of-home, brand integrations, and even immersive formats, like interactive video and AR-enabled ads, to make your ads innovate and your message resonate.
Exclusive and comprehensive inventory
Yahoo! DSP gives advertisers the advantage of exclusive omnichannel inventory from Yahoo Media properties like: Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, engadget, and TechCrunch.
Yahoo also has an extensive network of premium 3rd party connections delivering a wide range of touch points and consumer interests.
By reaching customers in the right environments, brands can unleash their advertising potential and build quality connections at scale.
MarinOne + Yahoo! DSP
Now that you know all the reasons Yahoo! DSP is such an effective marketing channel, let’s look at how MarinOne’s Yahoo! DSP integration can supercharge your Yahoo campaigns.
Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
MarinOne for Yahoo also seamlessly integrates with your first party data like CRM and analytics tools as well as BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio so you have information when and where you need it.
Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes saving you loads of time by not having to manually monitor your accounts.
MarinOne for Yahoo! DSP streamlines your workflows letting you adjust campaign status across multiple accounts and campaigns in just a few clicks.
The same goes for budgets: adjust your daily budgets across accounts and campaigns to easily manage your spend across your digital programs.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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 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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Create a recurring report in MarinOne and select Excel Web Query as the format
You can then run your report and click save.
Right-click on the URL for the Excel link and select Copy Shortcut.
In Excel, open the workbook where you wish to import the data. From the Data menu, select From Web under Get External Data.
Paste the link you copied into the address bar and your report will be loaded into the window.
You can choose which section of your report to import by checking boxes placed next to each table in the report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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%
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
When I first started working in digital marketing, part of my training process was learning about best practices, campaign structure, and all kinds of additional tools provided by publishers and third party vendors to drive success for brands.
As discussed in my previous posts, it’s important to know your brand and your customers, and to understand what makes them tick (and click) to convert on your website.
One way is to continuously run tests on your activity and learn what works and what doesn’t. Or, you can switch on and off tools like audiences and bid adjustments, explore new campaign types and channels, etc.
This article is dedicated to bidding—automated bidding, to be more precise. However, it would be wrong to look at this topic separately from everything else that’s happening in your accounts.
Much like in your home, wi-fi wouldn’t work with no electricity. Or, how can you enter the living room without a front door?
Let’s walk through our house together from room to room to see how every component makes our environment cozy and inviting to our guests—in other words, our customers who we’re driving to convert and come back for more.
Let’s start with the hallway (a.k.a., data source)
When thinking about your account optimization and bidding (whether it’s manual or automated), it’s important to identify your trustworthy data.
Some advertisers have developed their own tracking and attribution systems in-house. These systems provide them with first party data, and all the insights they opted into their product to track user journeys and interaction paths with the brand.
Another option is to pick a third party vendor or publisher tools to execute tracking for you. Here, it’s important to review the packages vendors offer and understand which ones suit your business needs the most.
Remember, the digital world is changing every day. Online customer behaviors simply aren’t the same as they were five to 10 years ago.
For instance, social networks now have more influence on a consumer’s decision making process. When someone’s in their exploration phase, reviews and feedback are important. This assigns higher revenue share from sales to publishers like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
The question here: as an advertiser, are you taking cross-channel user interactions into account, and is the value you assign to your social media or affiliate advertisement fair?
There are various vendors that consider these factors in their attribution model and share the conversion data between the channels fairly—whether it’s a click from Google or impression from Facebook that contributed to a conversion.
Marin Software has developed an attribution model called TruePath, which helps advertisers see the impact of other channels on their search campaigns and vice-versa. This allows you to better understand the value of campaigns that don’t necessarily convert on their own (e.g., prospecting), but play a key role in the user journey.
Sugar, spice and everything nice (a.k.a., audience kitchen prep)
In past posts, we discussed the importance of understanding your audiences, how they affect performance, and what it takes to bring home that extra conversion.
When you’ve identified a list of audiences that convert better than others, you can add these and their similar audiences to specific or all campaigns. As these are best performers, you can add specific bid adjustments to these.
With one of my clients, we created audience rules to cover their top product categories and certain pages—like What’s New? After running these audiences for a month, we saw that after visiting the What’s New? page, people were 32% more likely to convert on the website, even if they purchased long-existing stock. The next step was obvious: increase the bids on audiences that visited the page and reap the results.
There are tools that offer automated bid adjustments for audiences tagged across campaigns. For instance, the Google eCPC model takes audience behavior into account (Google conversion pixel data only) and adjusts bids for you based on audience performance in the campaign/group.
Marin Software also measures audience performance when it comes to automated bidding. Here, however, the app can use your preferred source of truth. You can select a list of conversion types that are important when it comes to bid adjustments and performance and the app will do the rest—calculate and execute.
At Marin, we’ve also come up with the concept of search and social intent. Here, we help our clients to reach social prospects and leads in search engines and vice-versa.
For example, we ran a test on social campaigns using search data. The result: CPA for these campaigns was 65% lower in comparison to traditional social campaigns, while conversion volume spiked by 388%. The client also saw a 100% increase in their daily appointment requests.
The living room (a.k.a., device performance and adjustments)
According to many marketing sources, every year is The Year of Mobile. :)
And yes, every year, we witness how mobile search share is growing, as mobile devices become more versatile and occupy every part of our lives. This may or may not be the case for you, but I feel lost without my phone, as it’s such a huge part of my life—all of my contact information is there, not to mention the easy ability to call for food delivery or an Uber in just a couple of swipes/taps.
And yet, when it comes to conversion rate and return on investment, desktop keeps showing higher, better results.
Why is that?
SmartInsights and many more research companies compiled research on this topic to prove that even though most of the initial searches on the product/service/ideas are coming from mobile, conversions are more likely to happen on desktop.
A key takeaway here is that it’s important to review device performance not only against each other, but also from a cross-device perspective.
Marin has created a special solution for this—you can set separate targets to devices. Then, based on the targets and their performance, our solution adjusts bids to meet the desired goal.
Home office (a.k.a., additional rules in Marin bidding)
Marin bidding equips you with a list of additional rules to augment your usual strategy. You can apply these on top of your target. These include:
Minimum daily bid change
Match type boost
Is your new promotion about to start outside of your working hours? You can set up your schedule to boost bids for a fixed time period.
Or, is your finance team keen to stay on top of the maximum bid values? Not a problem—just set up a bid cap and Marin won’t assign bids above your desired value.
The app uses these rules as advanced triggers to keep your performance in check. It also provides the calculation used for every object on bidding to show what was used in the process, and why.
When it comes to adjusting your target/strategy, the app makes everything very transparent and easy to understand.
Behind closed doors—what else can we do with our campaigns?
Device, audience, geo-targeting, time-of-day and day-of-week—these are the first adjustments that come to mind when reviewing a bidding strategy. But can we do more?
You bet! Our Marin analytics and product teams have worked hard to bring extra zest to your mix-and-match bidding approach.
For instance, do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Your top-selling shoes are out of stock but your campaign is live
Impression share has dropped but you’re trying to stay ahead of competitors
A list of objects needs an extra push because of a new product launch or seasonality
Who you gonna call? In this case, not Ghostbusters—but, feel free to pick up a phone or email account and contact your Marin team.
Marin’s Dynamic Actions is your secret weapon when it comes to bid adjustments based on your unique situation.
With Dynamic Actions, you can tag objects in Marin with certain labels, whether it’s product stock or a certain performance metric. Marin will then recognize this tag, and based on your preferences, bid down or up for selected objects. Or, you can even stop the bidding altogether if you run out of stock.
This comes in handy when you have additional metrics you want to consider for bid optimization.
Making the place comfy (a.k.a., the importance of bidding target)
Whether it’s revenue or exposure, every organization works towards certain goals, and it’s important to hit them to grow your business.
With automated bidding, your main responsibility is to identify the desired target and to experiment with adjustments and data points. This maximizes the benefits of machine learning for an optimal bid calculation.
When you’re assigning a target to a group of objects, bear their current performance in mind. For example, is the target too aggressive? If so, perhaps it’s best to start +/-20% of the current performance and adjust the target every couple of weeks. This allows the final bid to change smoothly over the given time period, and avoids performance spikes.
If you use the bid adjustments above wisely, they’ll bring great value to your advertising programs. To test them out, start with one to measure the impact, and then add or remove as you go.
As we mentioned in our audiences article, it’s important to have statistical proof that a certain element is bringing your performance to the next level before you add it to your initial target. Also, remember the importance of your budget—sometimes, a higher bidding budget for your test can bring in incremental revenue at a low extra cost.
For instance, during a bidding test with one of our clients, Marin managed to increase lead volume by 600%, while the average CPL in their account dropped by 20%. The team also saved 25% of their day-to-day time by letting the app handle bid optimization.
If you have a little extra budget on hand for the test, it can lead to excellent results.
Last but not least—cleaning house (a.k.a., bidding can’t work on its own)
Some advertisers ask us: why is it important to continue optimizing campaigns, when automated bidding is switched on?
Even the most modern and automated house—where Alexa and Google Home answer the door and adjust the lights—needs a human touch.
Automated bidding can indeed help you save tons of time when it comes to keeping tabs on performance and updating bids. However, we have to remember the world around us is constantly changing. Therefore, digital campaigns continually need fresh ad copy and images. And, with our ever-expanding vocabulary and trend shifts, search engines see +15% new search queries every year.
So, dust the surfaces, make them shine, and be able to show off your best performance to date.
P.S. look at our beautiful garden (a.k.a., bidding test example)
Hope you’re still with us on our home maintenance metaphors!
Like any other top performance marketing company, at Marin we continuously run bidding tests with our clients. Let’s take a look at a test we performed against Smart Bidding, where the goal was to maximize leads to a set target cost per lead/acquisition (tCPL).
Within Marin’s bidding folders, the team activated portfolio bidding functionality. This functionality allows the app to use Bayesian data blending to help the algorithm identify the best bid for the given keywords. On top of this, automated mobile bid adjustments accommodate performance differences across devices. They also ensure placement on the first page of the SERP, and a high position and impression share at competitive levels.
In Google Ads, the client set the Smart Bidding tCPA model for a set of campaigns they used in the test.
During the test, the client didn’t create any new creatives or updated keywords. This kept the data as fair as possible across the campaign buckets that were in competition.
A month after the test started, the team compared results to the time period before the test. We ran the test during a low seasonality timeframe to avoid any external factors that might interfere with the results.
The post-test results were stunning—while running pure automated bidding activity in the account, both solutions showed an increase in conversion volumes MoM +51% with Marin’ bidding solution and +44% with Google Smart Bidding. The CPL also dropped, meaning that not only did the client gain incremental conversions from the automated bidding, but they also did so at a lower cost.
CPL in Marin dropped -47% MoM and -28% in Google Smart Bidding.
When all is said and done, when it comes to bidding, it’s important to evaluate all tools an advertiser can and should use. Once you identify areas of performance, you can use them as a layer to your bidding strategy. Automated tools help with the process of calculation and execution for hundreds or even thousands of keywords—with no time or effort from your team.
So, agree on the strategy, set it up, sit back and relax, and let the machine deliver the best bids possible.
Now that you have the perfect automated bidding home—go take that much-deserved vacation!
Audience targeting is much like cooking—with the right ingredients, a few adjustments, and seasoning to taste, you can create something hearty and enticing. Like any good online recipe, we’ll start broad and dive into the details, and cover the options you have for building an excellent mixture of audience-enabled advertising campaigns.
And, while you can look at the faces of your dinner guests to assess the success—or failure—of your culinary handiwork, we recommend a more analytical approach for your ad campaigns.
What Is Audience Targeting?
Audiences are buckets of your users or customers, grouped based on your preferences. As an advertiser, you can create these buckets across every publisher where you sell your ads (Google Ads, Bing, Yandex, Facebook, etc.).
Once you build audiences, you can utilize them in different ways:
Reporting: This allows you to better understand consumer behaviors, e.g., which web page is driving the most traffic/revenue.
Bidding: Based on the data you’ve gathered, you can adjust your CPCs for advanced bidding.
Prospecting: You can create similar audiences based on your existing lists to target new users.
In this article, we focus on Google Ads audiences—however, you can use this audience approach across all search publishers. The main difference is usually the naming convention across Google Ads, Bing, Yandex, etc.
Where Do I Start?
If you’ve never worked with audiences before, the best way to start is to create Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) and add these to all or top campaigns in Observation mode. This will allow you to gather data on your audiences, while keeping reach open for everyone performing a search query on your keywords.
You can set up RLSAs for specific pages of your website and based on rules—for example, a customer added items to the shopping cart, but didn’t complete the transaction in the last seven days. Generally, it’s a good practice to retarget your cart abandoners with a slightly higher bid, to remind them about their incomplete purchase.
Another good set of audiences are ones based on your top/desired web pages, for example:
Specific category / product line
Blog sections like “what to wear,” ”inspiration,” or “what’s trending this season”
Look at your website structure to determine the audiences to create.
Option two—category audiences
If you don’t know which pages to target or your business is still very new, publishers have an option to use pre-created audiences based on user interests. These are called in-marketaudiences, and represent the people interested in something specific such as travelling, cars, a particular industry, etc.
There are also demographic audiences that allow you to focus on gender and/or age range.
Option three—Customer Match
If your business has been in the market for a while and you have a list of loyal customers you’d like to retarget, all you need to do is upload your CRM list to the publisher and apply these audiences to your search campaigns.
Note that for legal and confidentiality reasons, all publishers encode user data upon upload.
Okay, I Have My Data—What’s Next?
Once you’ve identified which audiences deliver the most revenue for your campaigns, you can:
Start using them in bidding: Based on the most successful conversion rates (CVR), you can add bid adjustments for these audiences proportionally in your campaigns/groups.
Create specific retargeting campaigns: You can duplicate your existing campaigns, while adding top audiences to your campaigns and setting them in Targeting mode instead of Observation. This will restrict who sees these campaigns to people who fall into your audience buckets.
Create similar audiences: The publishers generate these audiences—they include people whose behavior is similar to the one identified in your existing audiences (RLSAs or CRM).
Piece of Cake… Or Is There More?
There’s always more! ;)
You can create and retarget audiences based on the people who spend above your average order value (note that this requires additional analytics tools like Google Analytics or Yandex.Metrica). Or, you can retarget search users who interacted with your social campaigns. Yet another option is combining your audiences with “competitors” campaigns, to drive people back to your website when they enter a competitor’s search term.
Good luck! If you have any questions or want more information, reach out to your Marin CS team. Or, if you’re new to Marin, schedule a demo today.
Omnichannel marketing causes many brands to look at their programs as a set of disparate disciplines—SEM, SEO, content marketing, social marketing, email marketing, etc. And, each discipline often has its own department, budget, and strategy, even though customers only see a single brand.
Advertisers are increasingly coming to understand that a good way to tackle the challenges inherent in omnichannel marketing is through a unified strategy, one that combines search and social into a single blueprint. Here are what our survey of digital advertisers identified as the top obstacles to overcome in reaching the goal of an integrated program.
1. Search and social silos
Separate departments for search and social mean separate staff, managers, budgets, and strategies—resulting in teams that rarely communicate, even when they might be sitting right next to each other in the office. This lack of collaboration can result in mismatched or conflicting campaign messaging, and lead to internal battles for shared resources, such as IT, engineering, budget, or creative.
2. Attribution ‘turf wars’
When search, social, and other marketing channels operate in silos, it creates organizational knowledge gaps and makes it more difficult to agree on how to attribute credit to each touchpoint on the conversion path. Social tends to benefit from a first-click attribution model because it’s typically used to create awareness at the top of the funnel.
A last-click model, on the other hand, will provide search with most of the credit for a conversion. Changing to an attribution model that applies equal or partial credit to each channel could threaten each department’s budget or organizational standing.
3. Lack of a shared budget
As the saying goes, ‘follow the money.’ Successful paid search and paid social marketers operating in different departments and with separate budgets are understandably protective of their dollars.
Search may enjoy the largest share of the digital marketing budget. However, social is increasingly carving out a larger share. As long as search and social strategies and campaigns are isolated from each other, the competition for budget dollars will continue.
4. Incompatible metrics and goals
Search and social marketers each speak their own language around key performance metrics (KPIs) and campaign goals. A social brand awareness campaign may use Facebook to increase the number of followers or the length of time followers spend on the brand’s Facebook page.
Conversely, an AdWords campaign may seek more conversions by increasing click-throughs to the website or improving the cost per click (CPC) of specific keywords. It’s difficult to measure a unified search and social campaign’s ROI when metrics don’t line up.