Which Super Hero Would Your Online Marketing Strategy Be? The PPC Optimization Edition

Pay per click (PPC) ads aren’t successful over night, and as you know from our last post in this series, a few online advertising strategies or super heroic powers can be used to quickly optimize your campaigns to profitability. If you thought optimization strategies for PPC campaigns were boring and menial tasks think again, because you might be using these extraordinary powers in your daily routine.

The PPC Optimization Edition

Here are a few of our favorite X-Men characters and their powers that can be used for optimizing PPC campaigns. Tell us in the comments section below which character’s powers has given you the most performance lift when optimizing campaigns.

Wolverine: Campaign Segmentation

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The Super Power: Wolverine possesses retractable claws within each forearm. They can cut through practically any known solid material, segmenting metals, woods, and even stone into pieces. His abilities are similar to campaign segmentation, which is the process of breaking up your campaigns by network, location, or device. Wolverine’s ability to heal from any wound, disease or toxin at an accelerated rate is just another signal of proof that sharpening Wolverine’s powers of campaign segmentation can rapidly bring your poorly performing campaigns back from the dead.

How to Own It: Segmenting campaigns by network is the easiest way to exercise your inner Wolverine. Search and Display are two very different types of advertising channels, and should be measured and accounted for differently. To segment an existing campaign, you can visit the AdWords campaign settings and edit the “Type” of campaign. In Bing Ads, it’s a bit trickier to segment by network, but it absolutely can be done at the Ad group level under Advanced Settings in the “Ad distribution” field. If you’re already segmenting by network, wield your Wolverine claws with a more advanced strategy: segment by location or device. When segmenting by location or device, this allows you to create more relevant ad copy for the location or ad extensions for the particular device and gives you the control to set bids higher for strategic markets or devices with smaller screens.

Storm: Dayparting

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The Super Power: Storm is one of the most influential mutants on the planet, with the power to manipulate the weather. Her precise control over the atmosphere allows her to create special weather effects such has whirlwinds, humidity, precipitation, lighting, and atmospheric pressure. Just like the weather, your ads’ performance changes throughout the day. In order to control that performance in your favor, create a Storm moment with dayparting.

How to Own It: In order for this power to work in your favor, you’ll need to have some data from your existing ads or keywords so you can see what hours of the days are getting the most clicks or acquiring the most conversions. To analyze the hour by hour trends in AdWords, go to the Dimensions tab at the Ad group level and make sure to open the View: Hour of day report. In Bing Ads, you can view the same report by visiting the Reports tab, and selecting the Show: Hour of day report. Now that you’re equipped with the right data to control the weather of your ads, create a Storm by adjusting the Schedule settings at the Ad group level.

Morph: Dynamic Creative

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The Super Power: Morph, as his name suggests, is a shape shifter and can morph his physical appearance and voice to resemble any person or object he chooses. His ability to alter his form is similar to the way advertisers can use dynamic creatives to instantly change the ad copy for more relevancy to the audience. Morph also has limited telepathic abilities, allowing him the ability to read minds, similar to the way dynamic keyword insertion can automatically insert the keyword that’s on a person’s mind.

How to Own It: In order to perfect the powers of Morph, you’ll need to use dynamic creatives. You can either use dynamic text or dynamic keyword insertion for your ads. The way dynamic text works if you want to make changes to many of your ads without having to edit them all of them manually. Dynamic keyword insertion is when your ad automatically uses the keyword that was queried in your ad. There are many types of dynamic insertion tags you can use in your headlines, description lines, and display URLs, such as {Keyword:text}, {param1:text}, and {param2:text}. If you’re not already Morph-ing your ads and want to find out how powerful and efficient this strategy can be for your business, Morph your ads and use dynamic creatives in AdWords or Bing Ads.

Have you used these super powers when running your online ad campaigns? Let me know in the comments which character’s powers you’ve used in the past, and how you were able to own it to optimize your campaigns.

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+.