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Digital display ad spending is on the rise, steadily increasing each year, with some estimates for programmatic digital display spend in the US over $115 billion by the end of 2022. 

So why is display advertising growing so quickly? The answer is, in part, due to increased device usage (mobile, tablet, and laptop) in the last two years as consumers stayed home during the pandemic.

But, display advertising via Demand Side Platforms also provides some distinct advantages for marketers. A look at Yahoo! DSP, one of the premier providers of programmatic display advertising, gives some clear insights into the benefits of display advertising for brands (and consumers too).

First party data

Yahoo has a user base of over 800 million globally through their owned and operated properties, so brands can leverage these relationships to understand and reach their audiences. In addition, they draw on 200 billion daily data signals providing insights for data-driven decisions. That being said, Yahoo puts privacy and consumer choice first, creating a trusted environment for their users. 

Unique formats

Yahoo! DSP offers advertisers many engaging ad formats to connect with customers.

Mobile Ads: With the increase in mobile usage, Yahoo mobile ads are a must, and they are designed for vertical executions and to accommodate swiping, scrolling and screen rotation.

Video Ads: Yahoo delivers 2.7B monthly video views, making it easy for marketers to bring their brand story to life with interactive and shoppable formats.

Advanced TV: Yahoo’s unified DSP means brands have access to cross-screen TV placement providing incremental reach across linear and digital TV. 

Audio Ads: Yahoo partners with the top music streaming platforms, and brands can also integrate into Yahoo owned and operated podcasts from TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports and more.

Other formats: Rounding out Yahoo’s omni-channel portfolio, Yahoo! DSP also provides access to solutions including digital out-of-home, brand integrations, and even immersive formats, like interactive video and AR-enabled ads, to make your ads innovate and your message resonate.  

Exclusive and comprehensive inventory

Yahoo! DSP gives advertisers the advantage of exclusive omnichannel inventory from Yahoo Media properties like: Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, engadget, and TechCrunch. 

Yahoo also has an extensive network of premium 3rd party connections delivering a wide range of touch points and consumer interests.

By reaching customers in the right environments, brands can unleash their advertising potential and build quality connections at scale. 

MarinOne + Yahoo! DSP

Now that you know all the reasons Yahoo! DSP is such an effective marketing channel, let’s look at how MarinOne’s Yahoo! DSP integration can supercharge your Yahoo campaigns. 

Reporting

  • Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Yahoo! DSP campaigns with unlimited data retention. 
  • Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
  • MarinOne for Yahoo also seamlessly integrates with your first party data like CRM and analytics tools as well as BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio so you have information when and where you need it.
  • Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes saving you loads of time by not having to manually monitor your accounts. 

Campaign Management

  • MarinOne for Yahoo! DSP streamlines your workflows letting you adjust campaign status across multiple accounts and campaigns in just a few clicks.
  • The same goes for budgets: adjust your daily budgets across accounts and campaigns to easily manage your spend across your digital programs. 

Launched last year, Instacart is offering a program supporting black-owned companies by promoting their products at the point of sale through Instacart Ads. Brands can apply for a share of $1M in advertising credits that can be used on the platform.



Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America which creates tremendous opportunities for emerging brands to reach their customers as they complete their online grocery shopping.

In addition to advertising credits, brands accepted into the program will get additional resources, including a “designated team focused on supporting participating brands and a monthly training series to ensure brands maximize the impact of their advertising campaigns.”

Instacart offers a range of advertising formats on the platform, including Sponsored Products, Digital Coupons, and more. You can think of Sponsored Product Ads as increasing the digital shelf space for your products. They show on the search page results in addition to checkout and other browsing and discovery placements.



We at Marin are excited to highlight Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives by the publishers we support.  You can find the link to apply for this program at ads.instacart.com or see additional details here. Instacart also offers $100 in advertising credits to advertisers getting started with Sponsored Products.

If you need help with your Instacart Ads campaigns, or increasing exposure on other retail marketplaces, set up time to learn more about how MarinOne can help maximize the performance of your marketing investments.

The Rise of TikTok

If you’re not advertising on TikTok, you’re missing out on an audience of 1 billion monthly active users around the world who are highly engaged and passionate about the brands they interact with on the platform. In fact, according to a recent TikTok survey, 56% of users and 67% of creators feel closer to brands they see on TikTok, and 43% of users and 53% of creators try something or go somewhere new after seeing it at least once on the platform. TikTok is clearly influential with consumers.

While TikTok certainly appeals to a younger, “video-first” audience, 40% of adults in the US over age 30 report using TikTok, and TikTok has a variety of targeting options to help you reach the right customers. 

And with 4.7/5 stars in the App Store  and 4.5/5 stars in the Google Play Store, the platform is wildly popular with users. Not bad for an app that’s barely four years old.

“It Starts on TikTok”

Part of this early success is due in part to the cultural influence of the platform, catapulting little-known musicians to stardom, launching trend phenomenons, and giving users a sense of community and shared experience. 

TikTok has also transformed the way brands interact with audiences with engaging and interactive content. With TikTok, advertisers gain a full-funnel marketing experience from driving brand awareness at the top of the feed, to native in-feed engagement, and even the opportunity to jump in on branded hashtag challenges.

With the launch of Spark Ads last year, brands can even leverage user-generated content to promote their products by choosing from an extensive library of content uploaded by influential TikTok creators.

MarinOne + TikTok

Brands using MarinOne are now able to add the unique value of advertising on TikTok to their digital campaigns. The MarinOne integration with TikTok means advertisers have better insights and improved performance of their TikTok campaigns.

With our powerful analytics capabilities, you’ll be able to: 

  • Run flexible reports within and across TikTok campaigns
  • View TikTok campaigns side-by-side with other paid social channels as well as search, display, apps, and e-commerce
  • Customize the KPIs, data roll-up, and dimension tagging in your reports
  • Export the data to spreadsheets, cloud platforms, and BI tools
  • Sync your campaigns with offline and downstream conversions events 
  • Get automated alerts on changes in account performance

MarinOne’s advanced optimization suite uses machine learning to deliver:

All this adds up to improved performance of your TikTok campaigns together with your other digital programs. Ready to learn more about how MarinOne can expand your reach and drive growth on TikTok?

Click here for more info. 


Apple Search Ads has been around for several years as a standout strategy for app marketing. Lower acquisition costs, high intent audiences, and straightforward setup have drawn advertisers to the platform (and kept them there). After the addition of Search tab campaigns back in May and the recent integration with MarinOne, if you’re not running Apple Search Ads yet - you should be.

Ads drive downloads

If you’re not familiar with Apple Search Ads, here are a few motivating metrics:

  • 70 percent of App Store visitors use search to discover apps. Ads display at the top of search results, giving marketers prime placement for their apps.
  • 65 percent of downloads occur directly after a search on the App Store. 
  • 50 percent is the average conversion rate for ads on the App Store search results. 

All that Apple Search Ads has to offer

Advertisers can choose between Apple Search Ads Basic and Apple Search Ads Advanced. Basic (as you might assume) is made for those with limited marketing experience, relying on automation to drive campaigns and performance. Advanced is for those with a bit more gusto for advertising, giving marketers more control over keywords, bidding, and audience refinements.

Apple Search Ads setup is similar to other search ads, so PPC natives will feel right at home with the recommended structure and terminology.

Apple Search Ads now offers placements on both the search results page and the Search tab suggested apps list. Search results ads are billed on a cost-per-tap (CPT) model while the newer Search tab ads are priced based on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. Unlike search results ads, Search tab ads don’t require keywords.

Apple Search Ads recommends search results campaigns separated by keyword themes: Brand, Category (read: non-brand), Competitor, and Discovery. Within each campaign, keywords are typically broken down into ad groups with exact match queries, broad match, and Search Match (Apple Search Ads’ flavor of automated intent matching). Advertisers can add negative keywords and refine audiences as needed to funnel intent. 

Search tab campaigns work differently since they don’t require keywords, but advertisers still have control over bidding and audience refinements such as device, customer type, demographics, and locations. As mentioned above, Search tab campaigns are priced on a CPM basis.

Maximizing Apple Search Ads campaigns with MarinOne

MarinOne’s Apple Search Ads integration supercharges already powerful Apple Search Ads campaigns. From optimization to reporting, MarinOne offers unique advantages to app marketers. Here are all of the details:

Reporting

  • Advanced analytical grids provide flexible reporting within and across Apple Search Ads with unlimited data retention. MarinOne for Apple Search Ads also seamlessly integrates with BI Tools such as Tableau and Google Data Studio.
  • Cross-channel reporting puts paid media metrics from search, social, display, and e-commerce all in one place, streamlining reporting workflows. Combined with powerful dashboards for easy data visualization, you’ll have everything you need for effective account management in one place.
  • Automated alerts can be set to notify marketers of performance changes. We all know alerts are life changing!

Optimization

  • MarinOne offers automated bidding to improve your Cost Per Tap and Cost Per Downloads leveraging machine learning. Advertisers can also set custom bid modifiers for MarinOne Bidding to adjust to external signals. Read: less time spent manually optimizing campaigns, better performance, and happier clients.
  • Budget pacing, forecasting, performance insights, and recommendations make planning and management a breeze. Plus, cross-account edits and manual keyword bid overrides give marketers full control over their campaigns.
  • Advertisers can integrate MMP data and optimize toward post download metrics.

Integrate your Apple Search Ads account with MarinOne and experience the difference. Reach out to your Marin Software rep to get connected.


Brands can now optimize Target Product Ads in MarinOne’s cross-channel ad management platform

There’s a reason so many consumers shop on Target.com and the Target app: the guest experience. Target has invested heavily over the last few years in making online shopping easy, convenient, affordable, and enjoyable for its millions of shoppers.

These investments have paid off. Target added 12 million multi-channel customers in 2020, and same-day services grew by 235%. Online sales grew 145% last year, driven in part by the pandemic, but they continued to grow by 12.5% in the first half of 2021, even as many consumers returned to shopping in-store.

Target Product Ads Help Brands Intersect Shoppers’ Line of Sight

With this kind of growth, brands cannot afford to miss out on one of Target’s retail media offerings, Target Product Ads, which provides access to so many high-intent shoppers.

Target’s native, cost-per-click product ads amplify brands’ visibility and discoverability on Target.com and the Target app, which is becoming increasingly important in a now busier-than-ever eCommerce landscape. With available placements on search, browse, and product detail pages, advertisers can connect with customers with tailored ads at every step of the buyer journey.

Target Product Ads may be the solution that advertisers are looking for to address a variety of objectives, from defending market share to increasing purchase frequency. Brands can reach purchase-ready customers while making their products more visible across search and browse placements. And the best part: sales can be attributed down to the SKU-level to provide you with a granular understanding on performance.

MarinOne Optimizes Target Product Ads to Drive Incremental Sales

Marin Software’s collaboration with Roundel™ means customers will now be able to analyze, manage, and optimize their Target Product Ads directly from the MarinOne platform.

MarinOne unifies Retail advertising like Target Product Ads with other Retail Media campaigns as well as paid search, paid display, and paid social, while simplifying reporting and management of advertising campaigns across channels.

MarinOne’s Insights module automatically identifies opportunities such as Product A/B Testing in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation.

The automation tools in Marin make it easy and efficient to manage Target Product Ads.  MarinOne’s unified optimization suite helps identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne Bidding delivers the best possible performance.

With the addition of Target Product Ads, MarinOne offers a complete growth solution across search, social, display, and eCommerce advertising, delivering the maximum return on investment.

Click here to get started with Target Product Ads today.

In the few short years since it launched in 2017, CitrusAd has become the fastest growing ecommerce ad network in the US and established itself as a preferred retail media platform for both brands and retailers like Lowes, Shipt, and Petco.

In fact, CitrusAd was ranked in the highest category in Forrester’s recent report on Sell-Side Retail Media Solutions, receiving some of the highest scores possible. It’s easy to see why brands choose to spend their Retail Media dollars with CitrusAd and their network of retailers.

CitrusAd’s unique benefits

CitrusAd makes it easy for brands and retailers to work together to increase sales by launching targeted and cost-effective digital campaigns with access to sponsored products, display media, landing pages, and fixed tenancy for the best placement. Advertisers can streamline inventory across top retailers from all verticals and 25 different countries to deliver greater ROI on their Retail Media campaigns. CitrusAd provides brands with unique benefits including:

  • access to high-intent audiences: consumers shopping on these sites are browsing for specific products and ready to purchase, so placement on is low-funnel and likely to convert to sales.
  • personalization: Retailers know what their customers like to buy and by leveraging this first party data, brands can promote relevant products to the right audiences, right at the point of purchase.
  • native advertising formats: sponsored ads feel natural and unobtrusive to shoppers, helping brands make smooth connections with audiences through in-feed advertisements that are more likely to drive engagement and conversions.
  • closed-loop analytics: it’s easy to attribute ad engagement to sales with Retail Media, because Retailers are running the ad and selling the products and can make direct connections within their own platforms.

CitrusAd and MarinOne

CitrusAd’s full suite of products is now available in MarinOne. Marin has been helping advertisers advance their digital advertising campaigns for almost 15 years and has managed over $40 billion in advertising spend.

MarinOne unifies eCommerce advertising with paid search, display and social campaigns, while simplifying reporting and management of advertising campaigns across channels. Automated insights help advertisers identify opportunities to deliver growth and improve their return on the investment, and sophisticated bidding tools help advertisers plan, pace and optimize their campaigns to hit their targets.

With CitrusAd and MarinOne, advertisers always have accurate and transparent real-time campaign performance available at their fingertips and have the flexibility to make adjustments and improvements based on robust analytics. Click here for more on CitrusAd’s integration with MarinOne.

Every so often, a story surfaces of a nefarious actor gaining access to a Facebook Business Manager account and running ads for an unrelated product or to a click farm. Usually, they are able to spend thousands of dollars and max out any and all credit cards associated with the account before the ads are paused and the cards are cancelled.

A majority of the time, this is caused by a digital team member simply giving access to the wrong person. Facebook’s 2-factor authentication works well against individual accounts being accessed, but unfortunately, it does not prevent user error.

The Challenges of Maintaining User Permissions


One way to reduce risk is to reduce the number of users with access high enough to provide credentials to those who should not be in your account. Sounds easy, right? Managing user permissions can be more complicated for a number of reasons.

Of course, you want your team members to have permissions high enough to do their job effectively and efficiently. But over time, team members may gain higher levels of access when they may only need to do one or two tasks at a higher level. Sometimes it’s just easier to grant permanent Admin rights (we’ve all been there).

Additionally, you must remove user access when a member of your team no longer needs it, perhaps due to a change in roles or companies. With ‘The Great Resignation’ underway as workforce dynamics shift, a record number of employees are leaving their jobs or careers altogether. Permissions should be updated quickly to reflect users’ departure. But auditing the permissions of your entire account can be time consuming and sometimes takes a back burner to the priorities of managing your campaigns.

Prevent Your Account from Being Compromised with MarinOne


There’s an easier way to solve the issues that come along with account user management.

With MarinOne, only one member of your team needs access to Facebook Business Manager, and the rest of your team would only need access to the Marin platform. By reducing the number of team members with Facebook access, the chance of permissions being granted to the wrong person is lowered significantly. Users can still build, manage, and report on Facebook campaigns to drive performance on your ad spend without the risk of opening your account to a hack.

MarinOne’s rules engine lets you set parameters to pause campaigns when there is a dramatic increase in spend and will also send you an email alert to notify you of the change immediately. By setting up these guardrails, you’ll be notified of a security breach in real time and be able to shut down your campaigns before your account is drained.

Finally, removing users in MarinOne only takes two clicks in an easy-to-navigate account configuration menu. So, as team members transition in and out of your organization and new users gain access to sensitive Facebook data, you can easily stay on top of permissions to keep your account secure.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to keep permissions limited to those who genuinely need access levels, and it’s just as important to make sure those who no longer should have access are removed. MarinOne’s security features ensure that those who never should have access to your account have fewer avenues to gain permission.

Click here to learn more about connecting your Facebook account to MarinOne.

iOS 15 is here and with it come several updates for apps like SharePlay streaming in FaceTime, Notifications Focus and Interruption Levels, and Swift UI updates. But there are still a few straggling developer updates that Apple has committed to launching before the end of the year, and app marketers should take note. Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization are two features designed to help maximize app store listings and ultimately drive user acquisition.

What are Custom Product Pages?


Custom Product Pages allow app marketers to create more relevant, custom pages on the App Store that can be tailored to specific target audiences and linked to individual campaigns. As an example, a fitness app could develop one product page that highlights a GPS running tracker to audiences interested in marathons, and another product page that highlights trail maps to audiences interested in mountain biking. Other options might be creating pages based on user locations for delivery services or in-app options like gaming avatars or streaming content themes. Whatever the content may be, custom product pages deliver a personalized app store experience to users which are sure to increase conversion rates.

You can create up to 35 custom product pages and each page can be customized with metadata for app preview videos, screenshots, and promotional text, giving advertisers a wide range of flexibility for targeting customers with personalized content. App analytics will provide metrics for each product page on impressions, downloads, conversion rates, retention data, and average proceeds per paying user so you’ll be able to see which pages are driving awareness, conversions, and in-app behavior.

What is Product Page Optimization?


Product Page Optimization applies to your default product page, where users might land through search or browse. This feature allows app marketers to set up two separate default pages and split traffic between them. You can select up to three treatments for the treatment page including app icon, preview videos, or screenshots. Once you’ve designated the percentage of traffic to each page, you can let the test run and then monitor results like impressions, downloads, and conversions. Use those results to determine if you should apply the treatments to your default page, and you’ve now optimized your page for the best possible conversion rates.

What You Can Do to Prepare


Don’t wait for Custom Product Pages to arrive! Start mapping out which features and content you have in your app and how they might appeal to a particular audience. Next, think about which preview videos, screenshots, and text would be most impactful to convey the highlighted feature to that specific audience. You still have time to create new assets and copy if you feel there are other messages that would resonate with potential users.

You can also start thinking through any treatments you might want to consider testing for your default page. Once Product Page Optimization launches, your treatment page will have to be approved by App Review, so be ready to go with your selected icon, video, and screenshot choices.

Do some prep work now, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running to drive incremental app installs as soon as Apple rolls out their Custom Product Pages and Product Page Optimization.

Apple Search Ads + MarinOne


Now that you’ve planned out your default and custom page optimization, MarinOne can help you analyze your campaign performance and automatically identify opportunities in your account with estimates of potential value and easy implementation. Our optimization tools help identify optimal levels of spend while MarinOne bidding delivers the best possible performance.

MarinOne has been helping advertisers manage and optimize their Apple Search Ads campaigns since 2019, and we were recently recognized as an Apple Search Ads Partner specializing in campaign management. Apple Search Ads Partners are leading companies skilled in helping Apple Search Ads Advanced customers manage, measure and optimize their campaigns.

MarinOne also integrates with leading mobile measurement solutions including Kochava, Appsflyer, Branch and Singular, as well as traditional measurement solutions like Google Analytics to give advertisers a complete view of their return on investment. Advertisers can also manage their Apple Search Ads alongside their Google Universal App Campaigns, making it easy to share insights across publishers.

Click here to get started with Apple Search Ads today.

Marin Software has been recognized as an Apple Search Ads Partner specializing in campaign management. Apple Search Ads Partners are leading companies skilled in helping Apple Search Ads Advanced customers manage, measure and optimize their campaigns. Marin has been helping digital advertisers get the best performance from their advertising campaigns for almost 15 years and has helped manage and optimize over $40 billion in advertising spend.



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



MarinOne Dashboard



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



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



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



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



The powerful MarinOne platform integrates with leading mobile measurement solutions including Kochava, Appsflyer, Branch and Singular, as well as traditional measurement solutions like Google Analytics  to give advertisers a complete view of their return on investment.



Apple Search Ads




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




Automation tools make it easier and more efficient to manage Apple Search Ads campaigns. Advertisers can manage their Apple Search Ads alongside their Google Universal App Campaigns, making it easy to share insights across publishers.



Click here to get started with Apple Search Ads today.


This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at
Boost Media.

With the introduction of Google’s Expanded Text Ads (ETA), marketers have a more robust ad format that allows for more text, and Google has the ability to manipulate the layout to fit the appropriate screen for display. While this is a strong shift toward mobile-first that levels the playing fields between natural search (SEO) ads and AdWords, it doesn’t guarantee better performance.

Google reports that some advertisers could experience up to a 20% lift in CTR. The important word here is “some,” as it indicates that simply expanding ads with no plan is not a guarantee of success. What follows is a set of scenarios you should test that will help guarantee the best possible performance lift for your brand.

Scenario 1: Test standard ads versus ETAs using a generic new headline


  • With large accounts, it’s unrealistic to think that you can write custom copy for every ad. It’s important to try to find suitable headline additions that can be applied across the tail of an account.
  • Be sure to test this method on groups of ad groups. The same additional headline in one product line will probably not work in another product line.
  • Don’t test things like “Buy Now!”. The odds of this generic approach being a success are very low.


Scenario 2: Test standard ads versus custom headlines


  • The head and much of the trunk of an account need custom copy. Testing custom copy against the old standard ads will ensure that you don’t just replace old copy with longer copy that’s worse. Our early testing shows that standard ads can outperform ETA ads if ETA is done poorly.
  • Don’t be afraid of rewriting the entire ad. Adding copy to the end of a headline doesn’t guarantee that the entire ad will make sense or drive clicks.
  • Focus on the big ad groups, as custom writing can be time-consuming.


Why not test everything at once?


Be sure to focus on one thing at a time. If you mix descriptions, headline, and paths in one test, you may introduce a better overall ad, but one section may be causing the lift while the other changes are actually causing a drop. By focusing on one variable at a time, you stand a better chance of isolating what caused the lift and understanding the drivers behind what to do next. As you move toward complete optimization, many times you’ll gain insights that can be applied to other parts of the ad.

I don’t have the time for this. What should I do?


Simply put: make the time. If you don’t prepare for ETA and your competitors do, you can expect to see a drop in performance as the competition captures more of the impressions and clicks. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you don’t have to do this overnight. Set a steady pace and a strategy, and you’ll be on the way to performance increases.


About the Author


sarah

Sarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.

About Boost Media


Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

01-Yovanno



On Thursday, May 26th, we held our first-ever Executive Summit in San Francisco at the beautiful Box SF, where we brought back many of the great presenters from our New York City Executive Summit. Our group of digital marketing leaders gathered around what’s reputedly the longest table in North America—crafted from centuries-old Chinese village gate doors.

This event, sponsored by Marin Software partner Bing, finished with a sommelier-led wine tasting.

03-Guests



04-Wine



Our Regional Vice President of Customer Success, Diran Hafiz, gave a presentation about our Customer Success team. It’s a quick and interesting watch, both for customers interested in how things work behind the scenes at Marin, and anyone curious about the current, primary areas of consideration for the online advertising community.

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at
Boost Media.

By now, you’ve heard about Google's Expanded Text Ads. This is big news for search engine marketers. Initial Google reports cite click-through rate increases of up to 20% for some advertisers. With more than nine billion ads impacted by Google’s change, a massive amount of copywriting is required to adapt.

All advertisers will have to react quickly, and spend more marketing dollars to adjust and profit—or else miss out on a huge opportunity. What can you do now?

Start planning early


Advertisers who move fast and adapt to the new format stand to benefit in two ways:

  • Leveraging the additional creative real estate allows you to weave in new messages as you communicate to your customers, resulting in more clicks and purchases.
  • Ads in the new format will look more aesthetically appealing, compared to the older ads that advertisers who don’t switch over will have to settle for.


Don’t rely on the traditional methods


The new format allows for an extra headline with more characters, a longer description line, and a customizable URL. Don’t waste the extra space by employing Excel spreadsheets or ad templates to update ads. The traditional methods won’t work for a seminal shift of this scope.

Mashing description lines one and two together will leave you with a confusing and disparate message. Most advertisers write the two lines of text as separate ideas, and when they’re pushed together, they don’t flow as a logical and cohesive message.

Where to go from here


Advertisers need a solution that makes it possible to write and rewrite ads in the new format with speed, quality, and scale. Through an exclusive partnership with Boost Media, Marin Software has an automated tool that can rewrite your ads to be ETA-compatible. If you’d like to get up and running on ETA ads today, you can get started here.


About the Author


sarah

Sarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.

About Boost Media


Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

On Thursday, April 28th, we held our first ever Executive Summit in New York City at The Standard Hotel.

The afternoon's talks were sponsored by Marin Software partner Yahoo and led by Marin Software's CEO, David A. Yovanno. We had a great roster of Marin presenters, who walked through our roadmap and shared their thoughts about the future of digital advertising.

We were also lucky to have Daina Middleton, the former Head of Global Business Marketing at Twitter and former CEO of Performics, and Sonia Carreno, the President of IAB Canada, as speakers.

Daina spoke about the Power of Prediction in today’s fast-moving marketing landscape. Sonia reviewed the current state of the nation in media usage, outlined major industry issues, and explained steps being taken to remove obstacles to growth.

The day’s presentations were rounded out by a fabulous wine and cheese tasting in the afternoon, guided by The Standard’s leading sommelier (you can catch him and his bowtie in the story below).


Marin CEO Dave Yovanno welcomes guests to our inaugural Executive Summit in New York City - #MarinExecSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/1xKFj7uE4C


— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016




Our Customer Success Team shares an early look at our new platform infrastructure. #MarinExecSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/em0XOFTUPV — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016





.@DainaMiddleton on the power of prediction. #MarinExecSummitNYC


"Only .06% of things that could be connected to internet currently are."

— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016




Way to go putting strong women on stage today @MarinSoftware ! https://t.co/yFORQtrsWc — Daina Middleton (@DainaMiddleton) April 28, 2016





Sonia Carreno @iabcanada on growth of social:


"Social media ads brought in $10.9 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014." 🙌🏽 #MarinExecSummitNYC

— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016




Missy Schnurstein of @Yahoo: "60% of conversions now take place on mobile." #MarinExecSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/gI46saAyj2 — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016





Our sommelier-lead wine and cheese tasting has begun! #MarinExecutiveSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/JA2G6iYusW


— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016




Thanks to our fabulous #MarinExecSummitNYC sponsor @Yahoo! pic.twitter.com/wf6NCK0Sop — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016





The "Good, The Bad and the Necessary", including ad blocking, delivered by @passageC @MarinSoftware Exec Summit NYC pic.twitter.com/MwB2vqz2ZQ


— David A. Yovanno (@DaveYovanno) April 28, 2016


In the old days of advertising, the name of the game was reach and frequency. Brands preferred mass media vehicles like television and radio, because they were the easiest means to reach large audiences and build brand awareness. Obviously, this meant the most effective advertising campaigns were dominated by the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets.

If you’ve been reading our blog then you don’t need to be sold on the ways retargeting can help your business. However, putting everything together – building audiences, managing campaigns, optimizing performance, etc. – can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is especially true when retargeting is just one of the many marketing strategies that you focus on.

To help you out, we’ve teamed up with HubSpot, the world’s leading inbound and sales marketing platform, to bring you a free eBook, titled The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting. In addition to providing context on the types of retargeting and the different ways it can help your business, we’ve collected some of our favorite tips and best practices for getting started, running your campaigns, creating good ads, and measuring and optimizing your performance.

Download the free eBook now and start learning how to use retargeting to increase leads and traffic today.

A couple months ago, we announced a partnership with HubSpot. We’ve since been helping joint HubSpot and Perfect Audience customers connect their inbound and outbound marketing efforts more seamlessly. By automatically building retargeting lists based on HubSpot landing pages and Smart Lists, we’ve made it incredibly simple for HubSpot customers to build targeted, intelligent retargeting campaigns that help give more legs to their inbound marketing tactics.

Now, we’re taking it a step further. At the INBOUND 2015 Conference, HubSpot announced the launch of HubSpot Connect. We’re proud to have been introduced as a launch partner, and the only retargeting solution amongst their network of partners.

What Marketers Expect – A Wizard Behind the Curtain



Today, marketers expect to interact as one cohesive company that shares data and customer information across departmental lines. They don’t think about the different departments they’re interacting with or who’s responsible for what. Instead, they have the expectation that everyone in a company is able to work together to solve customer problems quickly and effectively.

Taking this even further – marketers are looking for ways to optimize their campaigns and reach the right audiences at the right time. For many HubSpot customers, though, outbound advertising and retargeting are new. It can be challenging figuring out how to set up the right types of campaigns, develop good creative, and determine how much to spend on your marketing efforts.

Because of the Perfect Audience and HubSpot partnership, all of this is now a lot easier. By creating audiences automatically from your landing page and Smart Lists, you can start your marketing efforts by targeting the audiences that are most valuable to you. From there, you can gradually test new campaign ideas by tagging the rest of your site and creating new audiences. So, not only do you have a cohesive, automated marketing experience – you’re making it work even more for you, to grow your audience and achieve new and better outcomes.

A Strong and Growing Partnership, Built for Results



If you’re a HubSpot customer who uses Perfect Audience, make sure to try the integration and let us know what you think about how we can make it better. We’ve already received a lot of great feedback and will continue working on strengthening our partnership.

If you’re reading this from HubSpot’s INBOUND 2015 conference, stop by and say hello!

Boost Media is excited to partner with Marin Software, the leading cross-channel performance advertising cloud. Through the complementary nature of the two platforms, Marin customers will now be able to leverage Boost Media’s curated marketplace of expert copywriters and testing technology to optimize creative across search, social, and display campaigns. The combination of Boost Media and Marin Software ensures the highest return on search marketing dollars and a scalable best of breed strategy.

Search results pages have become crowded collections of nearly identical ad creatives. Standing out in this crowd matters now more than ever. Consumers want more relevant and targeted communications from the brands they engage with and the current approach with search ad copy fails to deliver.

The biggest opportunity to increase your search campaign performance is through improving your search ad copy. Boost Media is the leading Creative Optimization Platform and works with leading enterprise brands to scale the sourcing, testing, and optimization of search ad copy.

Writing and optimizing ad copy is a challenge for many marketers due to scale, constrained resources, and lack of insight into what drives ROI. Boost Media offers a platform that combines the power of a curated marketplace of human writers and designers combined with a SaaS platform for automated insight and analysis. With the Boost Creative Optimization Suite, organizations can marry the natural creativity of individuals with the automation and efficiency of a cloud-based platform, to generate ad copy at scale.

AdCopy-BoostMedia



Download Boost Media’s Creative Optimization one sheet here to learn more about optimizing your ad creative.


About the Author


sarah

Sarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.

About Boost Media


Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.

One of Marin Software’s big value propositions is our cross-publisher capabilities and our robust support for the world’s leading publishers. We work closely with Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex to ensure we’re providing the latest features from each one, and that customers can easily see and compare performance across publishers within our platform. As an example, Marin was first to launch support for Yahoo! Gemini earlier this year. Now, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking our relationship to the next level as a Gemini Preferred Partner.

What is a Gemini Preferred Partner?


The Gemini Preferred Partner Program was created to bring advertisers, agencies, and technology partners together to find and develop innovative digital marketing solutions. According to Alex Mrazek, Senior Director, Partner Development, Yahoo, “Through a higher standard of Gemini product integration and client services, this program will drive advertiser performance, scale, and ROI.” Check out Yahoo’s new page for the program: https://advertising.yahoo.com/partners/Partners/Marin-Software/index.htm.

What does this mean for Marin?


Yahoo selected Marin as a launching member of the Gemini Preferred Partner Program, as Marin is an established industry leader and is equipped to offer Gemini advertisers a top of the line solution. As a Gemini Preferred Partner, Marin is committed to delivering the highest standard of technology integration with Yahoo and client services. Customers can count on Marin to provide the latest updates from Gemini, and offer the best in class service that we’re known for to help address any questions or issues.

An example of how Marin helps customers with Gemini is our recent launch of Cloner for Gemini. With Cloner, you can easily copy objects from your Google accounts into Yahoo Gemini, resulting in faster and easier onboarding. For more information on Cloner and other Gemini features, please contact us here: http://www.marinsoftware.com/contact-us.

The Publisher Spotlight is a series in which we’ll be introducing premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, we feature Carrie Lacina, Digital Advertising Manager at the Drupal Association. Drupal is a leading open-source Content Management System, and the Association supports Drupal.org and the Drupal Community. We spoke to Carrie about the unique benefits of Partner Connect and some best practices for communicating the program with a passionate user base.

Drupal.org’s considerable audience is diversified across tech, design, and business


Drupal is an open-source content management platform that powers millions of businesses, websites, and applications. At the heart of Drupal.org is a very engaged and diverse community consisting of hundreds of thousands of members ranging from developers, site builders, project managers, designers, themers, site owners, Drupal business owners, and more!

Drupal.org’s audience is significant. We receive over 2 million uniques and 15 million pageviews monthly. We also have 50,000 registered users (mainly developers) who contribute to the Drupal project. Beyond the core registered users, Drupal.org also has a substantial email and social media following with over 40,000 email subscribers and nearly 130,000 social media followers.

Drupal.org offers a great opportunity for advertisers who are looking to tap into a target audience that is very tech, design, and business savvy. We already work with advertisers across a number of different industries, from companies that are looking to reach a design and business-savvy audience like web development shops; to companies that focus on Drupal-specific services like Drupal training, hosting or recruiting; as well as companies looking to tap into a more technically savvy audience like independent software vendors and development and design tool companies.

Partner Connect creates a non-traditional advertising-based revenue stream


One of our initiatives for 2015 was to develop new advertising-based revenue streams. However, we traditionally haven’t had much advertising on the site so it’s been important for us to take a lot of care with user experience and be very careful about what types of advertising solutions to introduce.

Partner Connect is unique because it allows us to create an advertising revenue stream without having to compromise the user experience on drupal.org with ads. Because it allows advertisers to target audiences beyond just our web site, there’s a lot of benefit for them as well.

How to communicate the finer details of Partner Connect to a passionate user base


Our relationship with our audience is unique in that Drupal is an open-source platform that’s not only used by, but also built and supported by a very engaged community that is passionate about the project. It was important for us to properly communicate Partner Connect and help our users understand exactly what it is and isn’t, especially since it’s such a new concept.

We’ve been very proactive about informing our user base. We released a blog post that went in-depth about the program. During this process we worked closely with Brad Flora (co-founder and former CEO of Perfect Audience), who also used to be a Drupal.org member, to help explain some of the technical aspects and help address any community concerns. For example, Brad helped explain how Partner Connect targeting was anonymous and that no personally identifiable information was being collected or shared. We also communicated this message through our newsletters and social media.

Beyond communication, we took extra precautions from an implementation standpoint as well. While placing the tracking code was easy, we set up safeguards to ensure we were respecting our users’ privacy preferences. For example, we were able to deploy Partner Connect with support for the "Do Not Track" request, so visitors with that feature turned on wouldn’t get cookied.

I think the effort in being transparent has been very helpful because so far the response has been great. People understand the business needs for Partner Connect and have appreciated the steps we’ve been taking to ensure we’re respecting our users’ wishes.

Interested in targeting Drupal.org’s audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

This is a guest post from Edwin Wong, Senior Director, B2B Strategic Research & Insights at Yahoo.

A new study delves into the native ad opportunity and offers marketers best practices for creating native campaigns with Yahoo Gemini, the first unified marketplace for mobile search and native advertising. With Yahoo Gemini, advertisers get the performance and ease of search, combined with the scale and creativity of native advertising. By bringing the two together, advertisers can now buy, manage and optimize their mobile search and native ad spend in one place — driving greater performance and higher impact for their businesses and brands.

Native ads are hot right now and it’s easy to see why. According to our research, more than 60 percent of consumers have a favorable view of native ads.¹ Publishers have caught on to this, with 72 percent currently offering native ads, or planning to within the next several years.² So where does this leave advertisers? In 2015, 79 percent of advertisers plan to buy native ads.³ Yahoo’s new study, The Native Advertising Frontier, digs deeper into this surging format, providing marketers with helpful insights and best practices.

According to the study, the three keys to native advertising success are:

1. Selecting the right platform: Make sure your content is aligned with the purpose, tone and visual style of the site you choose. Our studies show that an effectively integrated native ad generated three times more attention than a less integrated placement. People spent almost as much time looking at the native ad as they did on the actual articles.4

2. Adding value for users
: If users find the content informative and in line with their interests, they’ll read and share it, even if it is presented by a brand. This has been proven true on Yahoo Food, where 52 percent of users say promoted advertising content helped them learn more about cooking.5

3. Being transparent
: Native content that is identified as sponsored, clearly branded and includes a distinct call to action performs best. When native ads are unmistakably denoted as advertising, they set the proper expectations for the user, and ultimately create a better experience. We tested the impact of adding a more prominent logo and stronger call to action to an ad, and saw significant improvements in favorability and purchase intent. Additionally, 66% of respondents said the native ad with prominent logo represented a great experience. 6

YahooGeminiInfo



To learn more about how Yahoo can help you drive business results with mobile search and native advertising through Yahoo Gemini, contact Marin. Thanks to recent enhancements, it’s easier than ever before to create, optimize and track your Yahoo Gemini campaigns with Marin Software.

About the Author


edwinwong



Edwin Wong is Senior Director, B2B Strategic Research & Insights at Yahoo.

Sources

1. Yahoo/Ipsos Consumer Perceptions About In-Feed Ads, August, 2013
2. Native Advertising Report: Native Advertising Perceptions & Trends, Advertiser Perceptions, July 2014
3. Mixpo "Native Advertising Survey," September 2014
4. Ad Environments- The Halo Effect, Yahoo & Innerscope, September 2014
5. Yahoo/MillwardBrown Digital Native Content Marketing Advertising Effectiveness Study, April 2014
6. Yahoo/Ipsos CPG Gemini Mobile Native Advertising Effectiveness Study, via Forced Exposure, October 2014

This is a guest post from Florence Broder, Content Manager at AppsFlyer.

As users shift from desktop to mobile, advertisers are serving more ads there. Social networks are being used on mobile more frequently and are creating more mobile advertising programs. At the same time there are social networks arriving late to the game. But what does it all mean for advertisers?

The Trends


During every mega sporting event or award ceremony, viewers flock to their social networks to share reactions and comments with their friends. One of the most tweeted sporting events was the World Cup game with over 30 million tweets. It was single handedly responsible for doubling Twitter’s revenue in Q2 of 2014 and most of that came from mobile.


If that’s not enough to convince you, on average the most time spent on a mobile device is on social and communication apps. And that’s true no matter what the demographic, as you see from the chart below. Users want to be connected to their friends all the time no matter how old they are.


[Click Here to Enlarge]



The Race to Get a Cut of Social


Given the increased time users are spending on social networks with their mobile device you would think that’s where most advertisers are putting their budgets. However, that’s not the case all. In fact, only 1% of all US advertising spend is on mobile platforms, compared to 43% for TV and 29% for print, according the CMO Council. But they too are getting on the bandwagon and will soon be spending nearly $60 billion by 2017 (see chart below from Statista). However, the 2015 Salesforce State of Marketing Report shows that 66% of marketers believe that social is intertwined with their business. It’s safe to assume it’s probably because most users are also accessing social networks on their mobile device.



More and More Social Advertising


And of course that brings us to the social networks themselves. Facebook and Twitter have been in the lead for a while and even have their own mobile measurement partners, completely embracing the nexus of social and mobile.

2014 saw two major social networks, LinkedIn and SnapChat, debut mobile advertising on their app. Unlike Facebook and Twitter where ads appear in user feeds, both LinkedIn and SnapChat ads appear in a user’s inbox. Pinterest is the latest social network to join the mobile bandwagon, announcing a unique partnership with the Apple App Store, allowing users to download apps directly from a pin. App Pins is the latest in Pinterest’s repertoire of rich pins.

Putting it All Together


Social networks will create more and more opportunities for advertisers to serve ads on mobile. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a promoted pin on my Pinterest board or a sponsored ad in my LinkedIn feed. Social networks will not only respond to this demand but the need for better data and measurement. However, as the opportunities increase so does the competition for a piece of social mobile real estate.

About the Author


1537689_10152028777608124_1617972893_o

Florence is the Content Manager at AppsFlyer and has been working in the digital marketing space for over 10 years, in both B2C and B2B. She loves all things social and content-related and is thrilled that she can now work in the mobile analytics field, especially after her initial exposure to the mobile landscape at Conduit.

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content and PR Manager at Boost Media.

As a search marketer, you likely rigorously test email copy and landing pages, but what about your ad copy? Search ads need love too.

Testing search ads can provide marketers with valuable insights and data about how ad creative impacts overall campaign performance. The more you test your ad copy, the more highly optimized your ads will be, resulting in more compelling messaging that speaks directly to your prospective customers’ needs and solves their problems. This leads to higher conversion rates and saves you from writing endless amounts of ad creative that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

From Boost Media’s creative testing data, we’ve compiled these 3 testing tips for you to test your way to better ads with more conversions:

Prioritize Tests Based on High Volume Ad Groups


As paid search campaigns grow, it becomes increasingly challenging to implement and manage creative tests across all groups within an account. To optimize creative efficiently, marketers should prioritize tests to focus on groups with the most potential to shift overall account performance. These groups are characterized by a high share of impressions, clicks or conversions within an account. Prioritizing creative tests for high volume groups has the greatest potential for incremental improvements in overall account performance.

Experiment with Unconventional Calls To Action


With so many advertisers competing for consumers’ attention, the importance of a clear call-to-action that prompts a consumer to purchase cannot be understated. The key is to tightly connect the messaging from the ad copy to the landing page to reinforce that the consumer has landed in the right place.

Crafting the ideal CTA can be challenging given the character limitations and the few seconds available to capture a consumer’s attention. To differentiate your ads from the competition, test different CTAs to see what messaging resonates most with your audience. Here are a few tips to consider when crafting CTAs:

  • Highlight testimonials (“Read our rave reviews!”)
  • Be specific about cost savings (“Lower your costs by…”)
  • Appeal to emotion (“Look and feel great!)


Tailor your CTA based on device and test to see what messaging works. A consumer on a mobile device will likely have a different search intent than a consumer browsing on a desktop.

Reach Statistical Significance and Stop


Determining a winning creative through statistical significance can be a challenging step in testing. Online marketers often end creative tests too early or let them run for too long. Marketers need to understand if the performance difference being registered between two ads is due to chance or is actually significant. To calculate this, many creative testing tools utilize a Student’s T-Test with a user-defined confidence level, which is typically 80-90%.

This test determines the likelihood that the two samples are different, which corresponds to the confidence level. Keep in mind that low-volume groups make it harder to reach higher significance levels, thus it may be beneficial to utilize lower confidence thresholds to take action more quickly.

Conclusion


In paid search, no detail is inconsequential. Testing ad copy is an excellent way to continually refine and improve the quality and relevance of your ads. Click here to view our infographic with additional testing tips.

About the Author


sarah

Sarah heads up Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston magazine, The Improper Bostonian and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running and yoga.

About Boost Media


Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content and PR Manager at Boost Media.

Though digital marketers are generally swimming in data, it can be tough to come by real-time data that is applicable for creating a brand messaging strategy. The status quo has often failed to deliver bottom-line results while frustrating channel marketing specialists. Now there is a way for marketers to develop an intelligent brand messaging strategy from SEM ad creative testing data.

From Boost Media’s analysis of 1.3 billion SEM ad impressions from 250,000 ads from a variety of large, premium retailers, we’ve developed these two important best practices for writing ads that are proven to resonate with your audience and drive more conversions.

Sell solutions instead of products


Many marketers focus on explaining to customers why their product or brand is better than the competition’s. Marketers, here is a friendly reminder: customers are looking for a solution to a problem rather than a list of product features.

Customers do not care that your throw pillows come in 17 colors instead of 16 like the competition. They want to know that your throw pillows will add style and comfort to their living rooms. If you can show that your throw pillows solve a problem - in this case, creating household ambiance with decor - customers will be more likely to purchase.

Adding on to this point, certain adjectives can make ads perform poorly. Adjectives such as “durable,” “longer,” and “classic” are a few examples that deteriorate the conversion rate. Interestingly, “reliable,” provides strong lifts in CPI (conversions per impression), according to Boost Media data.

But why might such similar words contribute to different bottom-line results?

Simply put, product descriptions tell while benefits sell. An ad for brake pads that mentions the “titanium frame” (product feature) is likely less impactful to a consumer than an ad that mentions “safety” (benefit). With numerous competitors vying for customers’ attention, marketers must quickly and directly convey that their product will solve problems.

Create personalized, one-to-one conversations


There’s no doubt that the online retail space -- and the search results pages for most products -- are crowded. A search for something as simple as “scented candles” yields more than a dozen options for the consumer to choose from without their even scrolling down the page. How then can an advertiser successfully capture a consumer’s attention?

Boost Media data shows that ad copy centered on the customer that includes words like “you,” “your,” “you’re,” etc. can drive up to a 65% higher CTR (click-through rate). This simple focus on the customer makes an impersonal product seem personal. Moreover, this CTR lift is coupled with a 3% CPI improvement. Including “you” is the online marketing equivalent of using someone’s name in conversation.

Conclusion


These are simple ways to reframe advertising verbiage to quickly and dramatically improve revenue generation. Creating the optimal brand story is no longer a guessing game. Ad creative testing data from your own SEM campaigns can cheaply and easily provide actionable data that indicates how new messaging may perform across other advertising contexts. When you find what works, your research will pay off with increased conversions and successful sales.

About the Author


sarah

Sarah heads up Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston magazine, The Improper Bostonian and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running and yoga.

About Boost Media


Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.

This is a guest post from Cody Kunning, Director of Search Engine Marketing for Marchex.

Earlier this year, comScore released this data: mobile usage is now surpassing desktop for the first time since the Internet began. That’s a big deal. And it’s an even bigger deal for marketers who are wondering how to drive sales from all these mobile consumers.

When people search for products and services on their phones in Google, they often click what’s known as a “call extension” to call a business. In fact, Google reports consumers click on these extensions more than 40 million times a month. How can marketers optimize their search advertising campaigns to drive more of these clicks and phone calls? Here are four tips for getting started.

1. Use call extensions on campaigns and high volume ad groups.


Add call extensions to every campaign and all high volume ad groups. Only have 1 phone number to track with? Use that same phone number in all every call extension however use Google forwarding number to get a proxy on calls by campaign or ad group breakout.

2. Separate call tracking by Device and Search Engine.


Use a different phone number (or forwarding phone number like mentioned above) to track device type results separate from each other. The large discrepancy in calls from mobile and forms from desktop is likely to make conversion rates skew when calls are not properly associated to the correct device type.

3. Call extensions on desktop are not always free.

Adding a call extension to desktop search is a great way to get a call (at free of charge no less!) from Google. However be careful when adding call extensions to desktop on high volume (core brand) keywords. If too many calls come through (remember calls = no clicks), CTR and Quality score suffers and CPCs will start to rise.

4. Create “calls” to action in your ad copy.

You want people to call and drive higher click-through-rates? Write these two words in your ad: “Call Now.” Variations include “call today” or “book now.” Such directives, as simple and as straightforward as they seem, guide customers and spark desired actions.

Ultimately, consumers respond to a great user experience that is mobile-friendly with a clear call to action and simple messaging.

Now that you have all the tools, what are you waiting for? Go forth and optimize!




About the Author


profile_cody

Cody Kunning is the Director of Search Engine Marketing for Marchex and has been a search marketing professional since 2006. Recently, he has focused efforts on increasing ROAS on current search programs by dissecting and analyzing traffic by device and conversion type. Mobile search is no longer the future and he has been an early adopter of search strategies to analyze and improve mobile search performance. Prior to Marchex, he held SEM management positions at Microsoft, Cobalt and Local Marketers.

This is a guest post from Justin Schuster, VP of Marketing for LiveRamp.

Some of your most valuable marketing data lies within your CRM system, commerce platforms, and other customer databases. Through data onboarding, you can bring this data into your digital marketing applications and media platforms, which enables you reach customers with more relevant messages, justify budget increases, and improve the performance of your campaigns.

Data onboarding is the process of connecting your customer data to digital marketing applications and media platforms. A data onboarding service provider can import your customer data files, anonymize records to protect consumer privacy, and activate your data by distributing audience segments matched to online devices to various marketing applications for use.

Here are four ways you can improve measurement and targeting through data onboarding:

1. Offline Sales Measurement


When you can quantify the impact of your online campaigns on “offline” sales that take place in a store or over the phone, you gain a powerful business case for increasing your budget. Closed-loop analysis can also help you improve the performance of your campaigns by providing you with insight into which keywords have the biggest impact on offline sales.

2. Ad Suppression


Onboarding your customer data helps you to reach the right audience segment with the right message. When you have insight into which online devices represent customers vs. non-customers, you can remove your current customer base from your acquisition campaigns. This increases campaign efficiency and protects your customers from seeing ads with low relevance.

3. CRM Retargeting


Use your customer data files to define target audience segments based on demographics, contract dates, customer lifetime value, and other attributes. These data points can help you refine the timing of your campaign, creative, and bid strategy.

4. Multi-Channel Campaigns


The same audience segment can be onboarded into multiple marketing applications and media platforms. This enables you to generate incremental lift by executing integrated multi-channel campaigns that reach the same audience segment across search, email, display, direct mail, mobile, and other channels.

Download the 15 Minute Guide to Data Onboarding to learn more about the many ways that data onboarding services like LiveRamp can help you take action on anonymized customer data and get even more value from your digital marketing applications.

About the Author


Justin Schuster is VP of Marketing for LiveRamp, a leading provider of data onboarding services and a Marin Software partner. For more information, please visit www.LiveRamp.com.

At Ifbyphone, we know how important call conversions are to search. Thanks to smartphones, search has gone mobile, and is expected to generate more than 70 billion calls to businesses in 2018. What’s more, study after study has confirmed that inbound calls are more lucrative than web conversions, on average converting to revenue 10 to 15 times more frequently. Search marketers can no longer afford to ignore call conversions if they wish to optimize ROI.

Here are three tips on how to track and manage call conversions to optimize the value of your search campaigns.

Track Calls from Keyword through to Sale


Understanding which search keywords drive inbound calls is an important first step to improving ROI. But since your ultimate goal is to drive revenue, you should also track which keyword searches actually result in sales, not just calls. Plus, if you integrate that call data with a bid management tool like Marin, you can optimize campaigns to drive more calls and sales automatically, the same way you do for clicks.

Keep Bad Calls from Reaching Sales Reps


Studies show that 19% of inbound calls are high-quality sales leads, while others are things like job requests, misdials, and solicitations. You don’t want those bad calls to waste your sales staff’s time. Instead, send callers to an IVR virtual receptionist first to answer and qualify the lead. The IVR can ask questions to weed out the misdials and solicitors, provide answers to callers inquiring about non-sales related matters, score the leads, and send the good calls to a sales manager to assist.

Route Callers to the Right Store, Office, or Agent


Where you route callers can play a critical role in whether they convert to a sale. Don’t just treat every call the same way. Here are a few examples of call routing options to consider:

  • If you have multiple store locations, for example, you should route callers to their closest open store.
  • If you have offices in different time zones, be sure that you always route calls to an office that is open.
  • If you have some sales agents who routinely outperform others, they should get a higher percentage of calls.
  • If you have agents who work from home or in the field, you should route calls to their home and mobile phones simultaneously to ensure calls aren’t missed.


It can be tricky to route every call optimally on a call-by-call basis, but call routing solutions with geo-location technology can help.

About the Author


Blair Symes is the demand generation manager at Ifbyphone. Over the past 17 years, he has published numerous articles, white papers, eBooks, and blog posts on a wide range of topics, including B2B marketing, marketing automation, and search marketing.

One of the single most effective ways a digital marketer can improve the performance of a campaign is through better ad copy. To help advertisers get more out of their creative, we’ve teamed up with Boost Media (formerly BoostCTR).

While this isn’t the first time Marin Software has worked with Boost, this is the first time Boost makes an appearance in the Marin app. Thanks to Marin’s open architecture, the performance of Boost optimized campaigns can now be viewed directly within Marin, saving joint customers all sorts of time in addition to providing insights that can then be used to make immediate changes.

BoostCTR in Marin Software


If you’re not familiar with Boost, the company offers marketers a network of 1,000+ expert copywriters skilled in creating compelling, high-performance ad copy for both search and social. Check them out.

Marchex Marin partnership

Today we're excited to announce our newest certified partner, Marchex.

While Marchex has excelled in a number of important areas such as building a digital call-based marketplace and the Marchex Institute, which provides unique and compelling insights on how to optimize call-based conversions, our current integration with Marchex is around their call analytics and measurement products.

With this partnership, advertisers and agencies will be able to accurately and easily connect the dots between their digital advertising efforts and the resulting call-based conversions. Not only will joint customers know exactly when paid-search or display/social campaigns drove phone conversions, they'll also be able to track call revenue down to the keyword (or ad unit) and optimize their bids and budgets against the same.

We're delighted to welcome Marchex to the Marin partner ecosystem, and look forward to working closely and delivering incremental value and insights for our customers.

Although paid search still commands the majority of digital advertising spend, online marketers find themselves having to follow consumers through an always-on, multi-channel world. In this highly competitive landscape, the path-to-conversion is anything but linear, and the ways in which consumers engage with brands is gaining complexity. For instance, a customer may have viewed a display banner, clicked on a paid search ad, and was retargeted on Facebook prior to converting on an iPad.

Keep in mind that the click-path above wasn't even possible three years ago. The degree to which media is fragmented today makes attribution incredibly challenging. So how would an online marketer value each of these touch-points and subsequently develop an effective bidding strategy to maximize performance across their entire marketing program?

This is exactly the problem that Marin Software has solved. Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Adometry, a leading attribution company. Through conversion and revenue data integrations, advertisers using this joint solution will be able to:

  1. Assess the value (revenue) associated with each ad-unit using a consistent attribution model across multiple channels and revenue sources
  2. Calculate precise bids at the keyword and ad-unit level by leveraging de-duplicated and post-attributed conversion data
  3. Have a single source of truth that mitigates discrepancies or double-counting across channels and devices


And because Marin has certified the integration process with Adometry, our mutual clients will be able to take advantage of these industry leading capabilities without incurring any additional costs or disruptions to service.

So there you have it, Adometry + Marin = A win for online marketers.

Adometry and Marin Software
BoostCTR Account Performance Grader

For many search marketers, identifying opportunities for optimization within paid search campaigns is challenging. Monitoring and maintaining top performing ad groups, keywords, and ads is a standard best practice; but as campaigns grow, keyword lists expand, and creative tests multiply, this approach fails to scale and provide incremental improvements in paid search performance. With so many optimization opportunities hidden in an ocean of data, how can search marketers give the required attention each campaign deserves? Where do you even start?

To help search marketers answer these questions, Marin Software is thrilled to announce our partnership with BoostCTR to offer a free paid search diagnostics tool that not only provides insight into account performance, but also opportunities for optimization. The Account Performance Grader is designed to analyze historical performance across keywords, ads, quality scores, and ad groups for AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns. Simply sign up and enter the required information to receive your customized report.

Among other best practice recommendations, this report will provide actionable insights for pausing poor performing keywords and ads, as well as reveal quality score trends that identify areas where keyword relevance can be improved. With the Account Performance Grader, search marketers can remove the guesswork out of campaign optimization and focus their time on more strategic, high impact tasks.

Sign up here and start optimizing your campaigns today!

Marin Software and TagMan are delighted to announce a new, certified partnership which brings Online Marketers the opportunity to streamline deployment of both tracking solutions and open up a world of best-in-breed attribution, reporting and campaign optimisation.

Tagman Logo



TagMan is the global leader in tag management, with the industry’s most mature and proven platform for enterprise e-commerce. Since launching the first, independent tag management platform in 2007, TagMan has been helping over 100 customers solve tagging, site performance and attribution-related challenges.

This partnership will allow post-attributed, de-duplicated conversion and revenue data to flow automatically from TagMan into Marin, enabling online marketers to jump-start their day using Marin’s powerful analytics-to-action interface and renowned optimisation tools. Several joint clients have already benefited from the integration and we look forward to many more in the future.

Jeff Ferguson



The Marin Customer Spotlight series profiles industry leaders and provides an informed perspective on current topics and trends. Last week, Jeff Ferguson, CEO at Fang Digital Marketing, sat down with us (virtually) to discuss the state of Facebook advertising and the future it holds for online marketers.





Marin: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s recent announcement around their new targeting options (email lists, etc.) using Custom Audiences? How effective do you think this will be in engaging and converting more Facebook users? How do you see businesses using this functionality?

Jeff: I think this is an immensely powerful tool for Facebook advertisers. The ability to reach out to your existing prospect or customer based on another marketing channel, especially one that is designed for social interactions like Facebook, will allow marketers to increase conversion retention, and share of requirements (repeat purchases).

Although one of the examples that Facebook provides for this type of tool, which is running a campaign to get more likes, would usually be seen as a waste in and of itself, in this instance, since you're trying to get likes from prospects or existing customers, the value of those likes would actually be of some worth. Once that interested audience is within your circle of conversation, you can continue that conversation to close the deal or get them coming back for more.



Marin: Facebook continues to explore additional revenue opportunities - with new audience options, ad types and device targeting - to promote more advertising spend.

  • As ads begin to infiltrate every aspect of a user’s experience on Facebook, what would be your biggest concerns over relevancy and engagement? How would you have Facebook respond?


Jeff: First and foremost, I know that Facebook is in the business to make money - period. Discussions around how that they should limit their attempts to create revenue for their company and their investors are just not based in reality.

That said, I give major praise to Facebook for not only trying to find the proper balance of revenue generation and user comfort, but doing such without the fear of failing. Unlike many businesses who seem to get stuck in a single design, a single ad format, etc. because it's working (or worse, "always worked before), Facebook is putting it all out there to find that perfect match of making money, making its customers, that is the advertisers, happy and keeping its users from feeling they are just the vehicle for making Zuck richer.


  • Marin: Are there any challenges that you face today that prevents you from spending more on Facebook? How does Marin help you in facing this challenge?


Jeff: Facebook is still an evolving animal, especially when it comes to its interfaces for its advertisers. Facebook ads were clearly designed with a single, self-serve attitude in mind, which was fine for the smaller advertisers they had when they started, but it's time for them to grow up and make that interface work for the Enterprise and the Agency. Marin Software allows that type of access for management of bids, ad testing, and much more, and all within the same interface where we manage our paid search campaigns.



Marin: With news feed ads receiving more attention, most recently with the introduction of Facebook's mobile ad placement, how have you seen advertisers capitalizing on this opportunity and how have you seen users respond? Is there a compromise that needs to be made as more ads are delivered in a limited mobile landscape?

Jeff: I have seen advertisers capitalize on the mobile front, but it's mostly early adopters. There is a tremendous opportunity on this front for a variety of brands, products, and services, to start that conversation with Facebook's most active segment, but as usual, it's usually the little guys and the agencies themselves who put it out there first to see how it could work.

I don't think there needs to be a compromise as much as a balance, and there is a difference there. The balance should be based on testing both the advertiser’s ability to get their message across to an audience and that audience's ability to use the product in such a way that keeps them coming back again and again.

Flashtalking Logo









Marin is excited to announce our newest certified partner, Flashtalking, an ad serving platform headquartered in London with offices in Continental Europe and the US. As Europe’s largest independent ad server, Flashtalking ensures accurate de-duping across search, social, affiliate and display ads. They also provide path analysis and attribution modeling to ensure full visibility and effectiveness of each channel across advertisers’ campaigns. With this partnership, advertisers and agencies using Flashtalking will be able to easily get their post-attributed, de-duplicated revenue and conversion data into Marin, streamlining deployments and minimizing issues around conversion data consistency.

In the competitive and complex world of online advertising, retailers struggle to keep up with seasonal merchandise and ever-changing product catalogs. Products can go out of stock as quickly as new products get added. As such, marketers need to ensure that they always use the most recent product data when it comes to their paid search campaigns.

While Marin’s Dynamic Campaigns feature can help marketers keep SEM campaigns in sync with their product catalog, many retailers struggle with being able to provide a clean and reliable product feed. Our recent partnership with Mercent, a leading technology company that enables retailers to profitably reach and convert more shoppers online, helps solve this problem.

Mercent has developed a product feed that exactly matches Marin’s specifications. Joint customers can now easily and efficiently deploy inventory-based paid search campaigns using a product feed from Mercent and the Dynamic Campaigns capability from Marin. Along with this partnership, Mercent Performance Services (Mercent’s agency arm) will be using the Marin Software platform to manage search and social campaigns for several Mercent customers.

Marin and Mercent Cabela's Example









































Cabela leverages Marin Software and Mercent to power inventory-driven paid search

The Marin Customer Spotlight series profiles industry leaders and provides an informed perspective on current topics and trends. Last week, Katie Kieft, Search and Analytics Specialist at Fuor Digital, sat down with us (virtually) to discuss the state of mobile advertising and share a few industry best practices.

Fuor Digital











Marin: What are your thoughts on the current state of mobile advertising? Do you feel this growing segment of consumers is only available or profitable to a specific set of industries/verticals? What are your thoughts on the disparity between smart phone and tablet performance within the mobile segment? Do they require separate strategies?

Katie: In short, mobile advertising today is nowhere near where it is going to be in 5, even 2, years. One thing for certain, however, is that the slow progression mobile advertising has seen is certainly not from lack of effort. Advertisers continue to innovate, test, explore, measure the new technologies and advertising opportunities that come with this exponentially growing mobile segment. Currently, mobile search seems to have been adopted and proven successful faster than newer mobile advertising channels, possibly due to the ability to apply knowledge and best practices from desktop search to mobile search. The growing mobile segment—smart phones making up over 50% of the US cell phone population and tablets continuing to grow exponentially—is certainly large enough to offer availability/profitability to all industries. In my opinion, what’s more important than industry or vertical when predicting mobile advertising availability/profitability is how well developed a company’s mobile infrastructure is. For instance, a restaurant with a well-designed mobile site will most likely be much more successful with mobile advertising than its counterpart who does not have a mobile site. The user experiences and user behaviors between smart phones and tablets are just as different as they are between desktop and smart phones, so it is no shock that performance is different as well. Just as mobile and desktop strategies should be customized, having separate strategies for smart phone and tablets is definitely something that should be considered, if not done automatically.



Marin: Mobile device (smart phones and tablets) adoption and usage continues to grow with performance comparable to and sometimes surpassing that of desktops. What paid search strategies are you putting in motion to capitalize on this growing opportunity? How has Marin helped you in executing on these strategies?

Katie: The copy feature in Marin has really made duplicating desktop campaign structures to run on smart phone or tablet devices very easy and has been a big time saver. In regards to smart phone advertising specifically, we understand how much more important being in 1st position is, and with Marin’s bid override feature it is possible to bid to position automatically. This feature not only saves time but also has proven effective in improving performance.



Marin: If you could only recommend one mobile paid search best practice, what would it be and why?

Katie: Always separate smart phone and tablet device campaigns. As previously stated, smart phone, tablet, and desktop usage and experience are all unique and require separate strategies. In order to successfully run separate strategies, the campaigns must first be physically separated in the search account by targeted device. Without proper account structure, other mobile best practices will be harder to implement and campaign management will become more difficult, hence the reason I would recommend this best practice over others.

iProspect recently released their Retail Blueprint for 2012. This study highlights their findings from the 2011 holiday season and provides guidance for a successful 2012 online marketing program. Data from over 45 retailers was compiled and analyzed across three time periods: early (November 1 – 23), high (November 23 – December 22) and late (December 23 – January 8). Some of their key findings include:

  • Q4 shopping queries increased 34% year-over-year across all devices, and increased 181% for mobile devices. In 2010, there was 1 day of online sales exceeding $1 billion. In 2011, there were 10.


  • The early season observed the highest average-order-value (AOV). Bargain hungry consumers took advantage of early offers. With a $152 AOV, November should be considered a pivotal time period for retailers.


iProspect Top Activity Days 2011











Source: iProspect


  • November 24-28 delivered twice the average daily traffic and revenue. Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday reported the highest online shopping activity during the holiday season. Continued growth in online sales up until Christmas indicates shoppers are not only researching, but purchasing consistently throughout the high season.


  • Early season promotions lead to increases in conversions and AOV, but at the cost of late season performance. Persistent, “always on” promotions drove flat results, as shoppers lacked a sense of urgency. On the other hand, large promotions failed to generate repeat conversions. Creating “value” (i.e. lower prices), rather than “sales” (i.e. offering discounts), will be something online marketers should consider in 2012.


iProspect Indexed ROAS by Device 2011













Source: iProspect

With these insights, online marketers can start taking steps now to prepare for a successful 2012 holiday season. Creating and separating mobile campaigns, testing creative timing and messaging in the offseason, and integrating social and display programs are just a few initiatives online marketers should consider.

Want to read more holiday 2011 findings with recommendations for a successful 2012? Download the full report at http://www.iprospect.com/our-work/our-thinking

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