3 Last Minute Holiday Campaign Tips to Reach Those Last Minute Shoppers

With the biggest holiday shopping season almost nearing to an end, we’ve compiled some last minute campaign strategies for you to reach those last minute shoppers.  Before the year ends, secure a spike in revenue over the next several days with these quick and simple last minute tips for your holiday campaigns:

 

1.  Increase sales with the last minute shoppers

Tweak your ad copy to make it more relevant to the holiday shopper. Update your ad copy to have a holiday spin on it and attract the last minute shoppers. “Arrives by 12/24” or “Last Minute Stocking Stuffers” are great examples of how you can spice up your ad copy to entice those last minute shoppers to click and purchase.

 

2.  Increase clicks and engaged viewers from your ads

Your ad design and copy is what compels a user to click or not. Since you’ve already tweaked your ad copy with the above strategy, try varying up the design a little.  Because we’re on the homestretch of the holidays, no need to re-invent the wheel here.  A simple A/B test with the color of the background or the color of the call-to-action button on your banner ads could be the difference between profit and breaking even this holiday season.

 

3.  Outperform your competitors on price for your most popular items

You already know what products account for 80% of your revenue.  Find these same or similar products from competing advertisers on MixRank.com to see their pricing model.  Based on what you discover, consider pricing your products similarly or offering free shipping or another perk with a purchase. 

 

With MixRank’s easy-to-use search bar, you can instantly research the competitive market for your products, without spending hours mining through your competitors’ landing pages for the same data. To get started, gain access to MixRank Professional with your risk-free trial here.

The Largest Driver of Revenue that the Most Successful Advertisers Implement Over the Least Successful

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Yin, CEO & Co-Founder of LaunchBit.

 

I was curious to know what the difference was between the most successful and the least successful advertisers.  So, I analyzed the data in our ad network, LaunchBit.  LaunchBit serves up millions of ad impressions every week in hundreds of email newsletters for startups through Fortune1000 clients.  The most common trend we noticed was that most of our successful advertisers did not generate revenue from their campaigns right away.  Instead, they directed potential customers to sign up on a landing page to monetize and upsell those leads later.  Here are just a few examples of how our most successful advertisers created successful lead generation programs: 

 

Offer white papers & webinars 

If you run a B2B company, teaching your customer information or tips that can help them become better at their job is often an effective lead generation tactic.  Hubspot does this very well.  Their target demographic is online marketers.  And, they are a machine in cranking out new ebooks and webinars teaching their customers about new online marketing tactics.  

Hubspot-leadgen

 

Although you might think that asking for a lot of information in your sign up process would lead to a low conversion rate, Hubspot has publicly stated that they are able to get users to convert at a “good percentage” despite these extra fields.  If you need this extra information to vet your leads, then you should not be afraid to include these fields.  Their layout is clean.  The form is on the right; the copy is on the left.  They have a great title format that they use repeatedly: x # of tips to make you successful at some type of marketing.  They tell you exactly what you will learn in the ebook.  All of their landing pages have the same format.  

 

Discount Notifications and Daily deals

Ecomom focuses on capturing contact information by prompting new site visitors to sign up for their discount notifications before they start browsing the site.  So, even if someone doesn’t buy right away, Ecomom is able to reach potential customers and earn their trust until they are ready to buy.  

Ecomom-leadgen

They run different newsletters to disseminate different information to their two lists: the daily deals list for bargain hunters and a traditional newsletter with tips and occasional offers.  

 

Giveaways and contests 

A number of advertisers in our network like to do freebies, giveaways, and run contests.  This can definitely increase the conversion rate on a landing page.  AppSumo, for example, has held a series of contests to get more subscribers to their daily deals list.  

Appsumo-leadgen

We’ve had a number of advertisers host contests, and conversions for them generally range between 25-70%.  However, we’ve learned from our advertisers that you should be careful when selecting your contest giveaways.  If a giveaway is too far removed from your product/service, people who convert do not necessarily turn into relevant paying customers later.  

 

Most advertisers in our network have not built sophisticated lead generation programs and expect customers to buy right away.  But, unless you have a product that is conducive to quick transactions, conversions typically trend below 3%.  It may take some effort, but good lead generation that educates and offers freebies and discounts is a good opportunity to nurture leads into paying customers.   

 

About the Author

Elizabeth Yin is a the CEO and a co-founder of LaunchBit, an ad network for email.  With LaunchBit, advertisers can reach their target demographics through relevant email newsletters.  Prior to LaunchBit, Elizabeth was a product marketing manager at Google.  

 

Getting The Most Out of Display Advertising

This is a guest post by Caroline Watts, Marketing Manager at ReTargeter.


Display advertising is an established digital marketing tactic, but lately it’s gotten a bit of a bad rap. But display doesn’t have to be ineffective. Like with most marketing channels, display campaigns are only as effective as they are well-run. Ignore best practices and you aren’t likely to be successful, but run a well-managed campaign and you can see impressive results.

 

Though there are many factors that go into a making display work, the following aspects of your campaigns are likely to have the most significant effect on your success: who you’re reaching, what your ads look like, and how well display is integrated with your other marketing channels.

 

Reaching the Right People


With display, as with most forms of advertising, it’s all about audience. If your ads aren’t getting in front of the right people, nothing else matters. Fortunately, this part is easy to get right. One of the primary benefits of display advertising is the robust and precise targeting available to advertisers. Here are a few different types of targeting you can employ to make sure your campaigns don’t miss their marks:

 

  • Site Retargeting: Retargeting, the practice of serving ads to people who have previously visited your website, is one of the most effective forms of display advertising because it focuses on the people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service right now. Retargeting can work well for virtually any business, as there isn’t a marketer out there for whom conversion rates are 100%.
  • Advanced Retargeting: There are many more complex forms of retargeting, which allow you to target ads based on other activities like opening an email or searching for relevant keywords. Depending on your business, it probably makes sense to start with site retargeting and incorporate more advanced targeting techniques as you become more experienced.
  • Demographic and Geographic Targeting: If you have a good idea of what your ideal customer looks like, demographic information like age, gender, income, or occupation can help focus a campaign on the people most likely to be interested in your messages. Targeting your ads by geography is also a particularly effective way to keep costs low and relevancy high.

 

Creative Matters


One of the biggest mistakes digital marketers make with display is under-investing in creative. Banner ads are not all ineffective—but bad banner ads are. Make sure your in-house designer or contracted design service has experience with banners and is well-versed in the best practices of banner design. Regardless of campaign type, banner ads should always be memorable, aesthetically pleasing, representative of your brand, and should stand out from the page. 

 

It’s definitely possible to run effective display campaigns with well-designed static ads, but it’s also a good idea to test rich media like Flash and video to see if you can get even more out of your campaigns.

 

If you’re designing banners in-house, make sure you have a good sense of how others in your space are using display. Using MixRank, you can actually check out all your competitors’ display ads and use their design choices to inform how your campaigns.

 

No Campaign Exists in a Vacuum


Display is an incredibly powerful marketing channel, but it’s most effective when it’s one campaign of many. Display can complement paid search, social media, and email marketing (just to name a few), but it’s important that all your campaigns are well-integrated. Make sure that your various campaigns are truly supporting each other. Though each campaign should be tailored to its respective medium, the messaging you use to reach the same audiences across different forms of media should always be consistent.

 

About the Author

Caroline Watts is a Marketing Manager at ReTargeter, a full-service display provider specializing in retargeting and audience targeting. You can find her on Twitter and Google+.

 

Live Webinar: Scaling Campaigns Fast

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We recently partnered with SIteScout, one of the most popular self-service ad servers, for a free webinar next week.  As online advertising is becoming fiercely competitive, now’s the perfect time to get a head start on your display campaigns.

 

We’ll be walking through the elaborate process of how to run a profitable display campaign.  Starting with the research for the most successful ad creative to the campaign creation process with several optimization strategies, this webinar will show you the best practices that’ll jumpstart your display campaigns towards profitability.

 

Join this live webinar, as MixRank’s Ilya Lichtenstein and SiteScout’s Steve Monti teach you the strategies that can more than double your return on investment with display advertising. 

 

The live event takes place next Wednesday, December 5, at 12pm PST / 3pm EST.

 

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

 

  • How to save weeks of research time and instantly find the top performing placements for your target audience
  • Your competitor’s most profitable ad creative secrets that you can replicate to boost conversions
  • How to double your return on investment with strategic ad segmentation
  • Tricks to continuously optimize campaigns for a signficant boost in conversions

 

After the presentation, there will be a live Q&A session where our presenters will answer the attendees’ questions.

 

Space is limited, so make sure to register now!

 

What Are Dynamic Search Ads?

Last week, Google announced that Dynamic Search Ads would be generally available to advertisers within AdWords.  This feature has been around for about a year now, but it was only available in a limited beta.  So, if you’re like me and were not included in this beta, you’re probably wondering: “What are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)?”  Well, look no further; you’ve come to the right place!  With AdWords having multiple support pages on this topic, I’ve condensed their DSA description to summarize what you need to know about DSAs, how to set them up, and how this could help you.

 

What You Need To Know about DSAs:

  • Say Goodbye to Keywords: With DSAs, your ad will show based on the content of your website
  • Say Hello to SEO: Google’s organic search index of your site will determine what search queries your DSAs get impressions for. So basically, this means whatever keywords you currently rank for through SEO will determine your ad impressions, but you have to pay for these clicks and impressions.
  • Dynamic Ad Copy: The headline is the only dynamic piece of the ad copy, and it’s generated based on the search term.  The rest of the ad is based on a template that you create.
  • Targeting Groups of Landing Pages: Since you’re not targeting keywords, you can set-up your targeting to your entire website, or specific pages or categories of your site.

 

Not Everything’s Changing:

  • Keyword-based campaigns can run simultaneously. DSAs will not show when there’s an exact match to one of your keywords.  However, the DSA could be shown instead of the other ad if it’s a broad or phrase match.
  • Ranking & cost per click is calculated in the same fashion using your Quality Score and bids
  • Reporting on search queries, ad copy and landing pages that were used to generate your DSA, as well as the same cost per click, click-through rate, impression & conversion rate data will be available.
  • Ability to add negative keywords or ad extensions.

 

How To Set Them Up:

1.  Within AdWords, click on the Campaigns tab and click the +New campaign drop down menu & select “Search Network Only.”

2.  On the Campaign Settings page, select “Dynamic Search Ads.”

Dsa-adwords

3.  You can then proceed to creating your ad groups.  In the “Create an ad” section, make sure to click Dynamic search ad.  You can add tracking to your URLs as well.

If you leave the “Auto targets” sectioned as checked to “All pages” this will target all pages that are indexed for your website, including subdomains.

Dsa-adgroup

4.  If you don’t want to target every page within this ad group, you can target by categories, URLs, page title, or page content.  To do this, select the Add a group of webpages button from the “Add dynamic ad target” section of the Auto targets tab and choose which targeting method you prefer.  Here are a few tips:

  • Categories: Google sets themes around your website content, so in order to target categories accurately, you should choose from the pick list of AdWords categories’ rather than entering your own.
  • URLs: You can target pages with URLs containing certain strings that you specify so your parameters do not have to be exact URLs, but rather any URL that contains, for example, “/support”.
  • Page title or Page content:  Select these targeting types if you want to designate specific keywords that are in the Page title or the Page content of your landing pages.  If your keyword is cameras, your ad target will appear as “PAGE_TITLE contains cameras” or “PAGE_CONTENT contains cameras”.

 

How This Could Help You:

  • Save Time on Paid Search by Continually Investing in SEO: If you’re already optimizing your site for organic rank, instead of building out an elaborate keyword strategy and paid search program to match up with all of your landing pages, you can turn on DSAs to take care of your targeting.  Just don’t forget to check back regularly and add negative keywords to eliminate the irrelevant impressions and clicks that could be hurting your campaign.
  • Increase Relevancy & Quality Score: With Google dynamically generating the headline based on the query, this increases your chances of the headline exactly matching the keyword.  When this happens, the headline is bolded, bringing more prominence to its appearance, and hopefully generating more clicks (for an increase in Quality Score).
  • Drive Incremental Traffic: With keyword-targeted campaigns, you can uncover keyword opportunities by looking at what clicks you received from your search query report, but you’ll never know all the search terms you received impressions for. With DSAs, you can promote your website to more potential customers than you can reach with a keyword-targeted campaign.

 

Alright, this wraps it up! I hope this gives you a stealthy answer to your burning AdWords question: What are Dynamic Search Ads?  As an added disclosure, Google recommends DSAs for sites that have multiple products or services, any products or services that change frequently, or product or services that are seasonal.  On the flip side, small websites with less than 300 landing pages, daily deal sites, comparison shopping sites, affiliate sites, or customizable products and gift websites should refrain from DSAs as they wouldn’t necessarily help your ad program.

 

Thanks for reading! For more AdWords insights, follow me on Twitter or add me to your G+ circles.

 

5 Lessons PPC Advertisers Can Learn From The Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel Wedding

Just last week, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel said “I Do” in southern Italy.  As the photos and details unfold in the media, it’s been pretty difficult to avoid the juicy gossip.  Paging through multiple articles got me to thinking how clever Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are, and how online advertisers could learn a some serious advertising strategy from their over the top, yet intimate wedding.   Here’s the list of 5 lessons PPC advertisers can learn from the Justin Timberlake & Jessica Biel Wedding:

 

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Photo Credit

 

1. The Pink Dress:  Whether the critics love it or hate it, nearly everyone has something to say about Jessica’s amazing pink wedding gown.  The dress is untraditional, irregular, and eccentric, but according to Justin Timberlake, “It was so Jess.”  Think about this when generating compelling ad creative.  Design your ads to be innovative, eye-catching, and the talk of the town, yet completely true to your brand.

 

2. The Wedding Day Accessories:  Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  Although I haven’t heard what Jessica’s something blue was, her “something new” was the pink Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown.  To add to this, her “something old” was on her custom veil, adorned with heirloom pearls that were from her grandmother’s wedding day tiara, while her “something borrowed” was a light pink pearl bracelet loaned to her by Justin’s mother.  These added accessories complemented each other nicely and were consistent across her outfit, something online advertisers should do with their ad groups and landing pages as well.  Ensuring that the keywords in your ad are in line with the keywords or placements that you’re targeting and the keywords on your landing page will result in an overall improvement in your ad’s relevancy, impacting click-through rate and Quality Score.

 

3.  The Reported $6.5 Million Cost: There have been numerous rumors that the couple spent $6.5 million for their special day – sounds like a pretty amazing ad budget right?  But, as you know, that money wasn’t just spent on one thing.  There was the food, photos, entertainment, flowers, dresses, decorations, and many more elements that summed up to the total wedding budget enhancing the overall event.  This is the same way you should plan out your ad budget.  Separate your online ad campaigns into different segments, whether it’s by network, device targeting, geography or anything else that will help you increase relevancy for the audience and optimize your overall cost per acquisition.

 

4.  The Small & Intimate Destination Wedding:  The fancy affair took place in Southern Italy and has been described as an intimate wedding of 100 guests.  Timberlake said, “It was a lot to ask of them to travel, so we figured we’d give our guests a good party!”  This is a great example of what your landing page experience should bring to the table.  It has to be worth visiting and staying on.  If you’re shelling out $6.5 million on advertising to gain 100 new visitors, make sure you have the elements on your landing page that will give visitors a good time on your site, and convert!

 

5.  The Last Ones Standing: The ceremony finally concluded around 5:00am, as Justin and Jessica were the last two on the dance floor.  As an online advertiser, you can and should continually make optimization adjustments to your campaigns that will allow you to maintain a steady click-through rate or even outperform the competition. You want your ads to be the last ones standing at the end of the day, rather than miss out on any “dance floor time” or impressions share.

 

What are some examples of how you’ve exercised best practices from Mr. & Mrs. Timberlake’s wedding in your own ad campaigns?  Have you had an ad that really resembled the pink dress? Or maybe you’ve used some sweet optimization tips worth sharing.  Tell us in the comments below.

 

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter or add me to your G+ circles for more PPC advertising tips.

 

Which Super Hero Would Your Online Marketing Strategy Be? The Display Advertising Edition

Successful online advertising professionals possess extreme optimization knowledge and strategies that we can easily associate with super heroic powers. In this new blog series, we’ll take a look at various online marketing strategies, and how they emulate the extraordinary powers of your favorite super heroes.

 

The Display Advertising Edition

The display advertising strategies edition are just a few to kick off the series.  Let me know in the comments which character’s powers you’ve had the most success with for your display campaigns and how you were able to own them.

 

Professor X: Audience Targeting

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Photo Credit

 

The Super Power: Professor X is an incredibly powerful telepath capable of astral projection, mind control, illusion casting, memory manipulation, and psychic blasts.  If you’re participating in audience targeting, your strategy is comparable to the world’s most powerful telepath.  As Professor X listens to people’s thoughts and impacts their decisions with his powers, audience targeting similarly allows you to serve ad impressions to specific individuals from your target audience, giving your messaging the power of astral projection, psychic blasts and mind control.

 

How To Own It:  If you’re not currently honing Professor X’s powers of audience targeting, you can look into audience measurement tools like Quantcast or Core Audience that can help you understand what type of audience segments you can divide your visitors into.  Once you have full knowledge of these segments, create custom messaging for the various audiences that will be sure to persuade decisions and viewpoints.  This will help your campaigns and give you the optimal edge that salutes you into the same super hero class as Professor X.

 

Cyclops: Retargeting

Cyclops

Photo Credit

 

The Super Power:  Cyclops projects a concentrated beam of ruby-colored concussive force from his eyes and can project his power onto those he sees.  As it turns out, Cyclops and retargeting are two peas in a pod.  Just like Cyclops can project his forces onto those he can see, retargeting allows you to serve ad impressions to people who have visited your site.  These ad impressions are very pinpointed and focused towards individuals who you “see” on your site.

 

How To Own It:  To spark your inner Cyclops, set up your retargeting campaign with some easy-to-use tools like AdWords remarketing, AdRoll, Bizo, ReTargeter, TellApart or Criteo.  TellApart and Criteo technologies actually create dynamic campaigns generated by the product page the visitor was last browsing (suitable for big retailers or travel sites with multiple products).  Alternatively, I’ve had positive experiences with AdWords and AdRoll, which are pay-as-you-go tools.  So, grab some dark shades like Cyclops and start projecting your own concentrated beam of retargeted ads by adding your choice platform’s tracking code to your site.  This equips you with abilities to track your visitors, conversions, and target those visitors who dropped off in the conversion funnel.

 

Rogue: Competitive Intelligence for Display Ads

 

Rogue

Photo Credit

 

The Super Power: Rogue’s competencies make her very strong as she absorbs powers, memories, and personalities through skin-to-skin contact.  Prolonged contact with others can cause her to permanently absorb their traits and potentially kill them.  Many have described her strengths as the ability to steal the enemy’s powers and use these forces against them.  This is exactly what competitive intelligence for display ads can do for your marketing campaigns.

 

How To Own It:  If you’re like Rogue, you’re already using MixRank to spy on your competitors’ display ads, placements, and landing pages.  Now all you need to do is absorb this powerful data to your advantage.  Similar to Rogue’s prolonged contact capabilities, MixRank provides powerful insights that you can use over long periods of time for display advertising, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, and much more.  So whether you want to create more compelling ad copy, scale out on keywords, optimize for winning landing pages or generate new traffic through link building, MixRank’s competitive intelligence data will certainly gear you up to exert Rogue’s wondrous abilities of absorbing your competitors’ skills, powers and traits.

 

Have any online marketing strategies that are related to these super powers? Let me know in the comments which character’s powers you’ve used in the past, and how you were able to own it.

 

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post and want to read more posts from this series, follow me on Twitter or add me to your G+ circles for updates.

Easy Wins

The following is a guest post by Rishi Shah, CEO of Digioh and 500 Startups Mentor. Join his newsletter and get his eBook “10 Paying Customers in 10 Days” for free.

 

Easy Wins

Gma_charlie-sheen-winning

I like to win. 

I like to win so badly that I usually set the bar really low so that I can always win.

I don’t like playing the lottery because I lose every time. The odds are just not in my favor (sometimes a million to one!). Instead I play local high school raffles where I can buy 50% of the tickets and pretty much guarantee a win. It also makes my nephew feel good. 

I try to apply the same rules in my business because I like to win. Here are just a few ways that I win:

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1. Partner with the Big Guys

Pick a product or service that already has a lot of customers and figure out how to partner with them. Build a valuable service for their customers so they can promote you and look good at the same time.

For example recently I partnered with a big email marketing company called MailChimp and gave their customers an easy way to collect more email leads. They promoted my niche business inside one of their support docs. This led to some serious distribution for our small business.

You will see a lot of companies doing this. For example PayPal grew because it became an easy way to pay people on eBay.

Easy Win: Getting more customers by partnering with other businesses.

The Hard Way: Building your own stand-alone product and trying to have customers find you through advertising or word-of-mouth.

Gma_free-parking

2. Give away something for FREE

Sometimes you just don’t know if people will use your product. Especially when you are starting out. That is why whenever I launch something I give away something for free just to see if someone out there is interested. Usually it is a very limited free account or “Free for 60 Days” where I can monitor their usage to see what features they actually use.

Once I saw that a few people were actually using my product, I gain some confidence and started charging!

Easy Win: Getting people to sign up for free to prove the product

The Hard Way: Charging up front and not learning on what people find useful (because you have no one using it)

 

Gma_be_my_guest

3. Guest Blog Posts (like this one)

In the early days my blog had absolutely no readers (unless you count my mom). So, I reached out to bigger blogs and asked them if I could write a really good guest blog post that their readers will love. Usually they would say yes (bloggers never turn down really good free content).

Easy Win: Getting my blog post in front of 1,000’s of readers by posting on bigger blogs.

The Hard Way: Posting on my blog for years and hoping Google Index’s me for the right keywords

 

Don’t make things hard. 

Try to get as many wins as you can. This will not only help your business grow but also keep you motivated to keep moving along.

 

If you liked this blog post, you will love my blog and my ebook called “10 Paying Customers in 10 Days“. It is a FREE eBook when you sign up for my newsletter here

 

Cure Your SEM Blues with this 4-Step Account Audit

This guest post is by Richard Conn, Account Director of DataPop. DataPop’s mission is to make marketers lives easier and give them the technology they need to build ads that people love to click on. DataPop uses complex natural language text generation systems that extract a consumer’s underlying intent and matches it to optimized offers at massive scale.  On average, their clients see a 40% increase in online conversions at a 15% lower CPA. Follow the company on Twitter: @DataPop

 

Things go wrong. You wake up sick, the car won’t start, your boss is on your back, and your SEM campaigns are drifting south. We all feel under the weather at some point, but there are steps you can take to perk up your campaign performance.

 

1) Getting STARTed

When arriving on the scene of a disaster, folks in the medical field follow the principle of START: Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment. The goal is to quickly evaluate the situation and focus your attention on the areas where it will have the maximum impact. Your SEM campaigns may not be a disaster, but the same principles can be applied gain some quick wins. The first step is to categorize your campaigns into three buckets:

•Healthy campaigns. These are your high performing campaigns, such as brand campaigns, that don’t need any immediate attention. For these, maintain the status quo and revisit once you’ve stabilized your sick campaigns.

•Zombie campaigns. These are the campaigns that have never performed well, such as generic, broadly targeted campaigns. These can drag down performance fast, so consider pausing these campaigns, bidding them lower, or severely restricting their daily budgets to contain the damage.

•Sick campaigns. These are the campaigns that show some promise and might perform well if given immediate care. Focus most of your efforts here to improve overall account health.

 

2) Stop the Bleeding

The next step is to identify what is dragging down your sick campaigns. Pull a keyword performance report, a placement performance report, and a search query report for the last 90 days. For each report, look for keywords, placements, or queries that meet the following criteria:

  • Accumulated costs that are 3x your CPA target, but no conversions
  • Have a CPA that is 3x above target
  • Have an unusually low CTR and no conversions

– Below 0.10% for keywords and queries
– Below 0.01% for placements

  • Have a high number of impressions and zero clicks

– Above 1,000 impressions for keywords and queries
– Above 10,000 impressions for placements

Pause the keywords that meet these criteria. Add the placements and queries that meet these criteria as negatives to your campaigns. This simple fix should give you an immediate bump in performance.

 

3) Diagnose the Disease

Now that you have some quick wins under your belt, it’s time to dive deep to identify underlying issues that have held back performance.

Disease: Monochromatic Ad Copy

  • Symptoms: Majority of traffic is concentrated on a small set of headlines or description lines. Ads repeated across multiple ad groups.
  • Treatment: If you are heavily reliant on running the same ads across all of your campaigns, try to generate a few new variations to introduce to your highest volume ad groups. This can boost performance by better matching your ad to the keywords.

Disease: Acute Ad Deficiency

  • Symptoms: Ad groups with only one active ad. This hurts performance as not every keyword within an ad group will perform well with the same ad.
  • Treatment: Add additional ads to ad groups that only have one active ad. Ideally, each ad group should have 2 to 4 active ads.

Disease: Ad Overdose

  • Symptoms: Ad groups with five or more active ads. This hurts performance by making it difficult to accumulate enough data to identify winning ads.
  • Treatment: In each ad group, pause the poorest performing ads so that only 2 to 4 ads remain active.

Disease: Keyword Chaos

  • Symptoms: Ad groups with 25+ keywords hurt performance by combining multiple intents. For example: ‘black dress’ and ‘red dress’ should be split into two ad groups so you can write ads specific to each color.
  • Treatment: Break out large ad groups into smaller ad groups Ideally, each ad group should have less than 25 keywords.

Disease: Match Type Mayhem

  • Symptoms: Traffic volume concentrated on Broad match keywords. This hurts performance by pulling in irrelevant queries.
  • Treatment: Identify high performing keywords from search query reports and add them into your campaigns as Exact match keywords. Consider breaking out your campaigns by match type and adding the Exact match keywords as negatives to your Broad match campaign to prevent cross-mapping and internal competition.

Disease: Under-Extension

  • Symptoms: Missing campaign extensions
  • Treatment: Be sure to add Sitelink Extensions, Call Extensions, Product Extensions, and Location Extensions to your campaigns. These can give a big boost to CTR and conversion rates.

Disease: Campaign Setting Sickness (the silent killer)

  • Symptoms: Are all campaigns set to accelerated delivery?
  • Treatment: The best practice is to set all campaigns to accelerated delivery and to then manage spend via bidding. If you are running out of budget early in the day, then you should be able to bid lower and gain additional clicks for the same cost.
  • Symptoms: Are any campaigns showing ‘limited by budget’?
  • Treatment: If so, consider either bidding lower or increasing the daily budget.
  • Symptoms: Are search and content segmented into separate campaigns?
  • Treatment: Always, always, always separate search and content into their own campaigns. They perform very differently and co-mingling your data will make it extremely difficult to optimize.
  • Symptoms: Are mobile devices segmented into separate campaigns?
  • Treatment: Computers and tablets arguably have similar performance profiles. However, mobile devices are often much more difficult to complete transaction on, tend to have shorter queries and lower CPCs, and tend to work best for providing local information or for driving calls.
  • Symptoms: Are languages segmented into separate campaigns?
  • Treatment: This will allow you to tailor your ads to the preferred language of your users.
  • Symptoms: Are countries segmented into separate campaigns?
  • Treatment: Likewise, this will allow for greater customization of your campaigns.
  • Symptoms: Are ads set to rotate evenly, optimize for clicks, or optimize for conversions?
  • Treatment: Rotating ads evenly is useful for testing creative messaging. Optimizing for clicks may boost your overall CTR and lower your CPC, but clicks ≠ conversions, so use with caution. Optimizing for conversions may work on campaigns with a high number of conversions, but won’t work for campaigns with few conversions.

 

4) Keep Calm and Car
ry On

Once you’ve rehabilitated your sick campaigns, you can maintain their good health through routine checkups.

Daily Tasks

  • Monitor performance
  • Bid management

Weekly Tasks

  • Check keyword performance report, search query report, and placement performance report for new negatives

Monthly Tasks

  • Pause out poor performing ads
  • Add new ads to high volume ad groups

Quarterly Tasks

  • Check campaign settings

 

By following this simple prescription, you can have your SEM campaign in tip-top shape in no time!

 

 

The Twitter Interest Targeting Guide for Advertisers – Part 1

Twitter’s advertising platform just made some big improvements.  Today, Twitter announced Interest Targeting for Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts.  So, what’s changed, how does it work and what does this mean for you?

Looking back on the old way:

Twitter’s interest graph automatically identified “relevant” tweets and accounts by targeting users who share interests with your current followers.  But, there was limited control and transparency (and, dare I say it, huge inaccuracies) for these shared interests.  How relevant were these promoted tweets? It always seemed like a big hit or miss with my account.   Here’s a huge miss. I was served an Old Spice Promoted Tweet:

Tweet-promoted

Sorry Twitter, I do not have an interest in Old Spice (or any scents for that matter) while I’m on Twitter – highly irrelevant.

 

The benefits of the new way:

There’s 2 ways to implement Interest Targeting for your Twitter campaign: by category or by @username. Not all Twitter campaigns are the same, so here’s my take on how businesses should use them:

1.    By Categorical Interest: Twitter offers advertisers over 350 interest categories that you can target. (Image from Twitter Advertising Blog)

Twitterinterestcategories

The two-level interest hierarchy makes it convenient to reach several categories without having to check each box. Here’s my recommendations:

For Promoted Accounts, I’d encourage you to target as many categories as possible – by using the “All” button at the top of the second hierarchy of categories.  This will give you the most reach possible for your account to gain new followers.

For Promoted Tweets, you’ll want to do the complete opposite. Target fewer and only the most relevant categories that match the context of the tweet.  You’ll see why at the bottom of this post! (in the Added Bonus section)

 

2.    By @username: I’ve been giving Twitter a hard time for not allowing advertisers to target specific users or specific account’s followers.  Well unfortunately, you still can’t.  However, they released the next best thing that allows you to target the interests of @username’s followers.  Good stuff! Let’s take a look at how to use this targeting option for your Promoted campaigns.
 
Promoted Accounts: Because this targeting option includes creating custom segments, your reach will be significantly smaller.  Therefore, B2C businesses should refrain from this as it would take a lot of time and effort to create the custom segments, and there may be limited reach.  On the other hand, I’d encourage B2B marketers to use the @username targeting to target their competitors and/or industry-related publications.  Since there are most likely only a few dozen of those accounts at most, the campaign will be more manageable, but more importantly more relevant and valuable for your business.

Promoted Tweets: With promoted tweets, I would again encourage B2B marketers to use this format of targeting, as it will be reaching a highly relevant audience.  For B2C marketers, this targeting option may not be a great option with Promoted Tweets, as you would need to find specific accounts that are regularly tweeting semantically related content to your Promoted Tweet.  This task may be incredibly time-consuming and difficult for a limited amount of reach.

 

How would I use Twitter Interest Targeting? I’m a B2B marketer, so I’d be curious to see how an A/B test performs to deterimine which targeting solution works best for my business. But, in order for A/B tests to be successful, the Promoted content must be running at the same time to take into consideration seasonality, time of day, etc.  Based on the Twitter announcement, it is unclear whether you can participate a Promoted campaign in both Interest Targeting options simultaneously.

 

Added Bonus:

Here’s one of the more interesting things that Twitter snuck into their announcement.  They’ve lowered the minimum bid to 1 cent for all auctions and are rewarding great content over higher bids.

This concept is very similar to Google AdWords’ Quality Score.  Although the elements factored into Quality Score remain a mystery, we do know that click-through rate is heavily weighted.  Similarly, Twitter discreetly mentioned that they have a similar algorithm that will determine whether your impression share based on your content.  This implicitly means your engagement rate plays a role into how often your campaign will be Promoted.  What this means for you:

Obviously, you can always bid higher per engagement.  But why pay so much if you don’t have to? Instead, optimize your Promoted Tweets by targeting semantically related categories to spark engagements.  The more relevant the content is to the user, the more likely the user will engage. And, you definitely want engagements, because without engagements, you won’t get impressions or you’ll have to bid higher.  And do you really want to pay more or miss out on impression share?  Didn’t think so.

 

Check back soon for Part 2 of our Twitter Interest Targeting Guide for Advertisers, where we’ll show a step-by-step how to implement this new feature with your marketing campaign.

 

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