Keep Social Creative Fresh with These 3 Tips

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Advertising, Automation | 8 Comments
Keep Social Creative Fresh with These 3 Tips

The fact that US digital ad spending reached $72.09 billion last year means consumers are getting hit with more ads in more places than they ever have before. Marketers would like to call that a good thing, but people are engaging with ads less and less. Response rates in 1997 were around 7%, but today, that response rate has dropped to about .1 percent. Ad fatigue has officially descended on the nation, sending marketers searching for ways to ensure their messages rise to the top. Before your customers start boycotting or complaining about you (as some have threatened to do to overzealous advertisers), let’s take a look at some ways you can serve messaging that feels new, relevant, and effective with minimal effort on your part.

Keep creative fresh

Before you have nightmares about spending hours every day cranking out content, know that keeping your social creative current doesn’t require a constant stream of new stuff. Switch up ads frequently so your target audience will be saved from too many impressions of the same creative, even if you only have a few pieces to run. By predicting when click-through rates will start falling, i.e. ad fatigue setting in, (see below: Drop poor performers) you can also calculate the ideal number of content pieces you’ll need to fill the duration of your campaign. Take it one step further by creating a narrative in your messaging. If you have five pieces of content planned, instead of advertising five standalone product benefits, create one cohesive story about your product over the course of the five ads. Think of it as an extended carousel ad you can use to expand on an important or high selling point in your product. Check out this article for more ideas on how to approach your social creative within a carousel format.

Keep social creative fresh with these 3 tips via blog.adstage.io

Test your targeting

With any quantitative decision you’re considering, but especially marketing, you should always test. Running small tests will ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget when it’s time to plunk down the big spend. Run small tests on your LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook ad sets, or Twitter cards to assess the impact of using different targeting techniques. Depending on the results of the testing, you can make decisions on where to focus your funds. If the Twitter ads got minimal traction, maybe it’s better to put all the money behind the high-performing LinkedIn ads. If you tested different messaging and the pieces that ran on Facebook did so well they nearly broke the internet, run another test with that messaging on other platforms to see if it resonates with those audiences. Do as much testing as you possibly can before you need to launch the campaign. A little money spent up front will save a ton in the long run, and ensure you get the highest return on what you do invest.

Keep social creative fresh with these 3 tips via blog.adstage.io

Drop poor performers

Even with all that testing, at least one ad will be less successful than the others. We can’t all be winners, right? However, you don’t have to coach the poor performer along until your budget is drained. Stop spend as soon as you detect a drop in performance so you can put that budget toward what’s actually working. As mentioned in the Keep creative fresh section, you can use this data over time to predict how much you’ll get out of your social creative, and as a result, how many ads to create to keep messaging fresh over the course of a campaign.

Keep social creative fresh with these 3 tips via blog.adstage.io

Ready to get started with these three tips? Here at AdStage, we recently released Rotations (available in Automate) to assist and…well…automate all of the above. The power of Rotations lies in saving you time and ad spend by spitting out data you can use to calculate creative needs, get an idea about performance before stomping down on the gas, and automatically halt spend when an ad is no longer useful. In fact, Rotations will automatically stop spend on your ad once it’s reached 30,000 impressions and the CTR has dropped below your target (for example).

Want to give Rotations a try? Sign up for a 14-day free trial. If you’re already an Automate user, access your AdStage account directly through the Rotations feature, and choose the set of campaigns, ad groups, or ads you wish to cycle, then select the conditions you want to trigger the rotation. Check out our FAQ for more details on how the campaign will manage itself from there, and a click-by-click visual tutorial to get your Rotations set up.

Digital ad spend will only continue to increase as consumer eyeballs and attention abandon more traditional forms of media. The most successful marketers will be those who understand the importance of unique, compelling social creative, and can move quickly to ensure that’s what they’re showing consumers at all times.

Is Net Promoter Score right for your business?

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Advertising, Agency, Reporting | No Comments
Is Net Promoter Score right for your business?

I learned about Net Promoter Score in business school and, when I joined AdStage a few years ago as VP of Product, I thought this would be a great chance to put that skill to use. After all, Net Promoter Score is known as a universal measure for customer experience management. Once I went through the process of actually attempting to measure customer experience, however, it became clear that while the score might not be universally useful, the lessons learned in the process can be.

Getting to Know Your Users

When I first joined AdStage, step one was to make sure I truly understood our user base. Why do they use our product? What pain do we cure? How do they feel when they use it? That meant doing my best impression of a journalist delving into the complexities of a story. By the end of step one I had developed a true sense of empathy for our customers.

 

Step two was to go to the game film. This meant watching users as they attempted to use our product. I did this by combing through event data, user logs and even spending some time in our customers’ offices doing physical user shadow sessions.  It doesn’t take long to realize users say they do one thing but actually do something very different. Ask a user if they like a feature and they’ll confidently say, “yes.” Yet you then watch them awkwardly scan the page and it’s pretty obvious they have never used that feature before.

Once I logged enough hours I felt like I had a great grasp of their workflows, mindset and behavior.

When Companies Should Employ Net Promoter Score Surveys

Like many B2B companies, we started with a handful of customers that used our product. It didn’t take long to connect with almost all of our users to learn their stories. Fortunately, that handful of customers grew to thousands. That meant I was no longer able to personally know every single customer and their challenges. I needed to put something in place to formally collect feedback.

Along with customer feedback surveys (we use Typeform) and an analytics tool (we use mixpanel), this was when I decided to deploy a Net Promoter Score survey.

How to Set Up Your Net Promoter Score Survey

The Tools:

There are lots of tools to automate your NPS survey (we use AskNicely) so it is sent to the right people at the right time. We wait 60 days after a customer has started paying for our product. This gives our customers enough time to use the product and give meaningful feedback. Remember: you want complete honesty, not a vanity metric. We then check in with another survey every 6 months.

 

 

With a little work you can also rig your customer communication tools (we use Intercom) to generate automated responses so you message Promoters, Passives and Detractors with a relevant and timely message. In my experience about 50% of people respond to my automated email asking for more detailed feedback. You can learn how to set up the Intercom Asknice.ly integration here.

The Question Itself:

A lot of people recommend changing the wording of your NPS survey question beyond the classic “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?” However, in my experience, it seems like customers ignore the actual question text and just think of the 0–10 rating as a way to express general satisfaction.  If there’s one thing NPS has done, it’s created a standard feedback mechanism that users complete at a higher rate than traditional satisfaction surveys. So I feel it is better to leave the standard question so users quickly and honestly respond. Rewording the question forces people to read and think. Both things they hate to do.

Why Companies Should Employ Net Promoter Score Surveys

The classic Net Promoter Score survey is calculated using the answer to the survey question regarding likelihood of recommending your product and a 10-point scale. Many believe this to be the core measurement for customer experience management programs worldwide and it can work if you’re a B2C company with tons of engaged users and a huge sample size.

Net Promoter Score via checkmarket.com
However, we’re a B2B platform and we simply don’t have the same scale as a consumer app. And we don’t like touting data that we don’t have a high enough sample size to back. As a result, we use the Net Promoter Score survey as a means to collect qualitative feedback and as an early warning system to discover if a user is unhappy.

In the end, we don’t use the actual “score” in Net Promoter Score. However the survey and automated messaging we set up to send and manage NPS turned into a efficient way to illicit quick and honest sentiment from our users on a regular basis. To go back to my journalist analogy, it is the tip-line that points me in the direction of a user that I need to sit down with and interview.

When the Ultimate PPC Experts Peer into 2017, What Do They See?

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Advertising, PPC News | 4 Comments
When the Ultimate PPC Experts Peer into 2017, What Do They See?

AdStage has had the honor of meeting some incredibly talented and inspiring folks throughout the years, whether through partnerships, The PPC Show#PPCChat, or at marketing events such as HeroConf.

Our conversations with this fantastic community of PPC experts always leave us with a deeper appreciation of the nuances of our field and we wanted to spread that love around as we usher in the new year. So, we asked the sharpest minds in PPC to reveal their favorite optimization techniques in 2016, and what they predict will be big trends moving into 2017.


Dennis Yu PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.ioDennis Yu

CTO, Blitzmetrics

twitter-iconlinkedin-icon

globe-icon-small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016, and what do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I’m super excited about call to action buttons in native Facebook posts. For the folks who don’t spend 10 hours a day in Facebook all day making ads, this means you can include things like a “call now” button in an organic post and then boost. And if they tap “call now” while browsing on their phone, it dials your number.

Or maybe you want to drive leads, event registrations, or other goals. Now the person posting on the page has become part of your lead gen team, instead of someone who schedules random quotes and things.

It means they are an integral part of your ads team and that conversion-oriented posts are not some separate thing by some external team or other agency.

I’m calling this the “Facebook Lead Gen Machine” and I made a diagram for you that nobody else has seen before.

Facebook Lead Gen Machine via blog.adstage.io

Because Facebook is collapsing the number of layers necessary to drive conversion, this means you PPC people will be more actively involved in posting on the page, creating lots of videos, slicing up lots of videos, and learning things like video metrics and call metrics.

It means you will have to learn a whole new set of tools to manage videos, build landing pages inside Facebook (canvas and Instant Articles), and so forth. Most of these will be native– meaning they were built by Facebook for you to use and they’re free. Well, free except what you spend in advertising.


Brad Geddes PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Brad Geddes

Co-Founder, AdAlysis

twitter-icon linkedin-icon

globe-icon-small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization technique is to use multi-ad group ad testing to find great insights within or across campaigns and then apply those insights where appropriate, which could be other ads, landing pages, emails, title tags, account structure, and more.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I think the big trend this year is going to be a large growth of implementation and strategies for audience targeting. Audience targeting itself isn’t new; but it’s been woefully underused in AdWords & Bing Ads. With the changes to demographic bidding, responsive ads, similar audiences, campaign level audience targeting, and customer match management; it’s now very easy to create and manage audiences.

While 2016 gave rise to audience features and implementation of savvy and large companies; most features weren’t widely adopted and most strategies were very basic. With these changes, we’re going to see a lot more interesting strategies, more complete implementation, and a huge growth in the usage of audience targeting.


Melissa Mackey PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Melissa Mackey

Search Supervisor, gyro

twitter-icon linkedin-icon globe-icon-small

podcast-icon_small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization from this year was the ability to run expanded text ads and legacy ads side by side. This enabled us to test various expanded ad messages against tried and true legacy copy. In many cases, the expanded text ads outperformed the legacy ads; but there have been more than a few instances where the legacy ads performed much better than the expanded ads. Having the ability to test multiple rounds of expanded ad copy prior to being forced to roll it out is allowing us to maintain performance during the transition.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I think we’re going to see an explosion of voice search in 2017, and it’s going to change how search marketers think about keywords and ad copy. We’re going to be forced to think about natural language as opposed to two and three word keyword phrases. In some ways, voice search gives the marketer a much clearer idea of what the user is searching for. On the other hand, it exposes the limitations of PPC marketing as it stands today. Both the search engines and the marketers will need to rapidly adapt to the increasing prevalence of voice search.


Jonathan Dane PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Johnathan Dane

CEO, Klientboost

twitter-icon linkedin-icon globe-icon-small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization technique actually comes on the landing page side. We’ve been asking our clients what the frequently asked questions are from their prospects, and then using those as drop down fields for the first step of multi-step landing pages.

It’s been performing insanely well, and obviously helps lower cost per conversions so we have much more wiggle room in the PPC accounts.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

CPCs, CTRs, Quality Scores and other metrics will start to matter less. We’ll find that we get faster results when we’re okay to sacrifice micro metrics in favor of the ones that matter the most – making more money.

With more and more targeting options and new ad formats and advertising channels to use, the scrappiness of a growth mindset will outpace the excel heavy tinkerer. Speed, scrappiness, and creativity will win. We’ll find that marketers and advertisers will venture into other disciplines, like UX, to understand that a visitor is a human being that responds emotionally and doesn’t care whether you use a hyphen or period in your ad copy.


Soso Sazesh PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Soso Sazesh

CEO, GrowthPilots

twitter-icon linkedin-icon globe-icon-small podcast-icon_small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

Expanded Text Ads on Google. We’ve seen dramatic performance improvements for many clients since implementing ETAs and there’s still a lot of opportunity as many advertisers still haven’t rolled them out yet!

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

Facebook is going to start flexing their identity-based attribution muscle more and giving marketers much better insight into performance of their ads beyond Facebook newsfeed ads. This includes Facebook’s audience network becoming a meaningful threat to GDN as advertisers seek better measurement/attribution.


JD Prater PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

JD Prater

Head of Social, Hanapin Marketing

twitter-icon linkedin-icon globe-icon-small podcast-icon_small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite new feature came from Pinterest. In the last half of 2016 they added in the functionality and capability to better target audiences, updated their tracking pixel to include event tracking and opened up different types of Pins to marketers. All of these features really allow marketers to have more control over ad sequencing and target different stages of the funnel. I couldn’t be happier that Pinterest is evolving into a legit advertising platform.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

Live Video Adoption – In 2016, we saw live video introduced and brands have been experimenting how to best use it. In 2017, we’ll see marketers actually adopt the features across social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. This will lead to marketers stepping out from the blog and getting in front of the camera. On the networks we’ll see clickable links within live video to drive people back to websites, and my prediction is we’ll eventually see product cards become available. In the end, we’ll see live video become more widely adopted with the networks giving brands the ability to add CTAs to drive action.


Ginny Marvin PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Ginny Marvin

Paid Media Reporter, Search Engine Land

twitter-icon linkedin-iconglobe-icon-smallpodcast-icon_small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization tactic this year comes courtesy of finally being able to measure campaign performance beyond last click contribution in AdWords and optimize accordingly. Attribution still isn’t a perfect science, of course, but being able to evaluate conversion contribution up and down the funnel has facilitated a shift in conversations about budget allocations. I’d also add that being able to more with Bing Ad’s Universal Event Tracking (UET) for measuring conversion impact and search retargeting has made a big impact in optimizing Bing campaigns.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I’m sure I’m not alone in predicting that audience targeting is going to be a major trend in 2017. Search is finally catching up with social in this area. We’ve been talking about audience targeting in search for several years. Customer Match was the first big push for parity with social, but being able to target unowned search audiences with greater demographic granularity and layer those audiences will make 2017 a breakthrough year for audience targeting in search. Likewise, cross-device retargeting based on Google logins is an important update that marketers should be attuned to when it fully rolls out.


Kirk Williams PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Kirk Williams

Owner, ZATO

twitter-icon globe-icon-small linkedin-icon podcast-icon_small

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

I was overjoyed to get Bing Ads Editor for Mac in 2016. We’ve waited a long time (years!) for this, so to have it finally came through was a big help to my Bing accounts. You could even say that it made me holly and jolly.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I think Audience Targeting is going to grow significantly in multiple ways. Social will obviously continue to grow in popularity and usage since it is by its very nature “audience targeting”, but I think we will see Google and Bing continue to add new and creative ways to group audiences together to supplement our current targeting options in both the Display and Search networks. Personally, I would love to see LinkedIn audience targeting capabilities in Bing Ads now that Microsoft owns LinkedIn. One can hope!


Bryan Garvin PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Bryant Garvin

Director of Digital Marketing, Purple

twitter-icon linkedin-icon globe-icon-small podcast-icon_small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

While not a “new” offering I have fallen in love with Facebook advertising this year. Specifically Facebook Video advertising and how it can drive demand generation in search. A prime example is looking at google trends for Purple Mattress. All of that demand (which didn’t exist before this year) was driven by Facebook and Social advertising primarily. The focus on social and video to drive revenue allowed Purple to catapult forward to be the fastest growing company in Utah. Forget $15 CPC on non-brand search terms (we are just now testing these at Purple). If you invest in good video, or social campaigns you can drive brand awareness and revenue for a fraction of the cost.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

As we in PPC or paid digital advertising moves into more and more channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc, that attribution is going to become harder and harder. There are new offerings on the way from companies like Atlas (part of Facebook) that could help with some of it, but it still isn’t perfect. I see 2017 being the year more “online advertisers” start looking at their data a little more like traditional media buyers do.


Eva Sharf PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Eva Sharf

Digital Marketing Manager, Bizible

twitter-icon linkedin-icon globe-icon-small podcast-icon_small

 

 

What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

LinkedIn’s new bulk upload tool is a favorite from 2016. We efficiently implemented account-based marketing campaigns at scale without the headache of individually entering company names (and we are seeing great results).

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

Marketing teams will focus on account-based marketing measurement to optimize towards channels and campaigns that are engaging contacts from target accounts. Marketers (and sales teams) will also prioritize which accounts to engage based on predictive modeling.

 

[Slideshare] How to Marry Marketing Automation with Social Advertising for B2B

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Advertising, Automation, Reporting | 5 Comments
[Slideshare] How to Marry Marketing Automation with Social Advertising for B2B

Hubspot’s Inbound 2016: Multi-Channel Lead Nurturing

Couldn’t attend HubSpot’s Inbound conference this year? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

At INBOUND this year our very own – Sahil Jain, AdStage Co-Founder & CEO,  revealed how B2B marketers should integrate social advertising into existing marketing automation campaigns to drive more opportunities and revenue.

We’ve had an overwhelming number of requests to share his deck, so without any further ado…

Why Marketing Automation + Social Advertising = Conversion ❤️

Marketing automation allows you to keep a pulse on your prospects by having additional touch points, moving them into different stages of the lead and customer lifecycle.

For example, you’re all familiar with Hubspot’s Inbound Methodology diagram:

Hubspot Inbound Methodology Marketing Automation B2B via blog.adstage.io

You have a blog to attract visitors, and connect with these visitors through engaging content – eventually they sign up for your blog, which turns them into a lead. You can then use automated emails and drip programs to influence your prospect to becoming a customer. After they become a customer, you have an additional marketing automation track that turns your customers into promoters.

Using marketing automation provides you more insight into how prospects are interacting with your brand and what stage they are at in decision making process. But, there’s one flaw in marketing automation that exists today…

It primarily focuses on email. What about the other channels where your audience is consuming content? Your audience is everywhere. While email is a fantastic medium, your prospects & decision makers are spending a lot of time consuming content and interacting on social channels.

We Are Social recently released their recent study on the state of Digital, Social, and Mobile usage around the world showing that the pace of change shows no signs of slowing. YOY growth remains strong, particularly in the use of mobile social media:

  • +7.6% Internet user growth
  • +8.7% social media user growth
  • +3.4% mobile user growth
  • +23.3% mobile social media growth

Social media usage continues to grow around the world, with global penetration rates now in excess of 30%. Investments in social advertising worldwide are forecasted to nearly double in a two-year time span, going from $16B U.S. dollars in 2014 to nearly $31B U.S. dollars in 2016. 

Investing in social advertising makes sense when you think about how much time users spend on each social network.

Fun Fact #1: Only 2% of cold calls actually turn into a booked appointment (Source: LeapJob)

So we as marketers, have been coming up with new ways to reach decision makers. This presentation is going to cover some new ways social ads are helping overcome this challenge.

Fun Fact #2: A company size that ranges from 150-500 typically have up to 6 or 7 decision makers for a large decision (Source: Cirrus)

The question then, is how do we reach all of these decision makers in a scalable way?

Click through the slideshare below👇 to learn reveal how advertising can better influence top prospects, amplify your existing content distribution channels, and accelerate lead stages and sales cycles through engaging social advertising campaigns.

 

 

How to Boost Ad Results: New Twitter Website Conversions Objective

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Advertising, Social | 14 Comments
How to Boost Ad Results: New Twitter Website Conversions Objective

Twitter Ads Introduces New Website Conversions Objective to Drive Conversions at Scale

Twitter Ads recently updated its campaign objective types, separating Website Clicks and Website Conversions. Behind the scenes, the Website Clicks objective is simply a new name for the former “Website Clicks or Conversions” objective. Using data from Twitter website tags and interest and intent signals, Twitter’s targeting algorithm will concentrate impressions on the ads with a higher probability to convert for the campaigns with the Website Conversions objective. If you haven’t seen it, check the drop down menu on the top right, titled Create new campaign.

Twitter objective selector for new campaign objectives

In this blog post, we’ll cover how to take advantage of Twitter’s new ad Website Clicks and Website Conversions objectives to drive cost-efficient conversions at scale.

Use-cases for Website Clicks

The technology behind this campaign objective is the same as the former “Website Clicks or Conversions” ad objective. However, instead of coupling the two objectives together, you can use the Website Clicks objective strictly for driving traffic to your website. Since Twitter is more frequently used as a news app, a great use case for this type of campaign would be to syndicate news.

For example, if you’re a B2B company, you can syndicate content or news from your blog using this campaign objective. The purpose is to drive readers to your content, but not necessarily drive immediate conversions if you have a longer sales cycle. This is a top of funnel marketing strategy that is low touch and drives quality traffic back to your blog.

Here’s an example:

Twitter Ads new campaign objective example

For B2C companies that have offline conversions, you can use this campaign objective to alert people of a promotion you’re running or generate buzz around a new product.

Below is an example of a B2C ad. If you notice this ad doesn’t feature a call to action in the ad copy, but instead sparks interest to drive traffic back to the website.

Twitter Ads Campaign Objective Eyelove Example via blog.adstage.io

Lastly, media outlets that wish to promote news on Twitter can use the Website Clicks objective to sponsor content and drive visitors to its website. The main caveat here is to make sure that the cost per click does not exceed the ad revenue generated from the website, as this would be detrimental to the overall business model.

Understanding Website Conversions

Website Conversions is the new campaign objective that comes with this update. It is important to note that ads using this objective are placed across the entire Twitter Audience Platform, a potential audience of over 800 million on Twitter and thousands of apps and sites on the Twitter Audience Platform. This is best for direct response advertisers that want people to perform specific actions on their sites. To successfully use the Website Conversions campaign, there are a few prerequisites you need to implement.

1. You have to specify the conversion event you wish to advertise for and how much you’re willing to pay for a conversion. These are both required fields in Step 1 of the campaign creation process.

Twitter Ads Campaign Objective Set Up Your Campaign via blog.adstage.io

2. You must place Twitter’s website tag on its site and connect this behavior to the Twitter audience profiles in the campaign creation settings. This is a new requirement, and if you’re already using the Twitter website tag, your website lists will automatically populate.

Twitter Ads Campaign Objective Set Up Tailored Audiences via blog.adstage.io

After completing these steps, Twitter analyzes the people and data from your website tags and decides who are most likely to convert. Using this information, Twitter can show ads to the most relevant people across the Twitter Audience Platform. Now you can reach logged out users and people who don’t have a Twitter account, but use apps connected to Twitter Ads. In cases where an advertiser’s visitor doesn’t use Twitter, their information is stored in the website tag, and they are retargeted on other sites or apps.

Pricing on Website Conversions

The pricing is still a CPC-based model, so whether the visitor converts or not, you’ll still have to pay for the click. Ideally though, Twitter will now narrow the targeting of the ads to people who are most likely to convert. A recent statement from Twitter claims that advertisers that used this objective type drove 2.5x more conversions from their ads when comparing to the previous Website Clicks or Conversions objective type.

However, because Website Conversions is still in beta and you’re required to pay on a CPC basis, it is important to cross-reference your target CPA against actual performance (conversions) to assess if Twitter’s Website Conversions objective is working for you.

Have you tried this new campaign objective type? What has the performance been like for you? Tell us in the comments below👇!

9 Easy Ways to Automate Your LinkedIn Ads for Better Results

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Advertising, Automation, Reporting, Social | 11 Comments
9 Easy Ways to Automate Your LinkedIn Ads for Better Results

Why You Should Automate Your LinkedIn Ads

The topic of automation in marketing raises a lot of questions, curiosity, and even a degree of apprehensiveness. For good reason — it can seem scary to give up a portion of control over your ad campaign management over to technology.

In an ideal world, advertisers would have the capacity to monitor and tweak their campaigns around the clock — even on weekends. In reality, dedicated optimization time continues to dwindle under the weight of increased responsibilities, meetings, and unyielding reporting requests. There’s a time and place for automation, and it can have a profound impact on the performance of your ad campaigns, while freeing up marketers to refocus their time on what matters most.

Before we can understand how advertising automation can be used to drive better performance from your LinkedIn Advertising campaigns, let’s take a step back and examine what automation for your advertising campaigns actually means.

What is Ad Automation?

Advertising automation is the process of turning previously manual, often mundane optimization tasks into automated jobs that run in the background using technology. This allows for continual monitoring and optimization of ad accounts, campaigns, and ad creative without taking up a marketer’s precious time.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Automation?

1. It provides marketers with more time to dedicate to high level items:

    • Forming comprehensive campaign strategies
      • In-depth audience & targeting research
      • Estimating budgets & expected return projections
      • Creating thorough, robust new campaigns
    • Crafting more impactful ad creative
      • Creating themed content campaigns
      • Enhancing your product/service positioning that better resonates
      • Testing messaging with variations
    • Optimizing past the click (Conversion Rate Optimization)
      • Improving the landing page experience
        • Such as ensuring your landing page is mobile friendly
      • Testing different calls-to-action
      • Rearranging your forms position and field length

2. It can be used to monitor and improve performance trends in real-time:

    • Observing the pacing of your budget at the account and campaign levels
      • Combating overspend by pausing campaigns that reach budget
      • Increasing the pacing of underspending campaigns with bid optimization
    • Tracking and increasing the performance of your ad accounts, campaigns, and ad creative based on the metrics you care about. Such as:
      • Average CTR increases or decreases
      • Average CPM or CPC increases or decreases
      • Conversion volume trends
      • Cost per conversion trends

What Tasks for LinkedIn Ads Should I Automate?

As a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions partner, here at AdStage, we’re obsessed with creating new automation solutions that provide better campaign performance and save marketers an incredible amount of time. Below are some suggested automated tasks gained from leading LinkedIn advertiser suggestions and analysis of millions in ad spend.

1. Campaign Monitoring & Alerting

Campaign Budget Pacing Alert

Ensure your campaigns don’t overspend past your target budget with a campaign spend alert.

LinkedIn Ads Budget Pacing Alert automation alert

Let’s say you have a campaign with a $800 budget for the course of the month. Instead of needing to check in on the budget pacing for the campaign each weekday, instead set email alerts to fire when campaign spend is close to reaching your total budget.

Campaign Overspend Alert Setup

IF my “LI Conversion Tracking – Blog Post – Engagement” campaign reaches 85% of my budget (spend greater than $650), then I want an email alert sent to my inbox. I want this alert to run everyday before 5am and check on the month-to-date spend of the campaign. Once I receive the alert, I’ll lower the daily budget to pace correctly across the remaining days of the month.

Account Underspend Alert

Advertisers are provided with a budget to aid with company goals. Failing to maximize your total budget limits the number opportunities to make a larger impact for your organization. Monitor the spend pacing closely with an account level alert so you can make adjustments to utilize your total funds.

LinkedIn Ads Automate Alert Account Underspend via blog.adstage.io

Imagine having a total monthly budget of $12,000 to spend on LinkedIn advertising a month. In a 4-week month, you have a budget of $3,000 per week to spend on advertising. Instead of constantly needing to calculate monthly spend pacing in dashboards or spreadsheets, create an alert to monitor rolled up weekly spend across all your campaigns.

Account Underspend Alert Setup

IF my total ad spend last week across all the campaigns in my account is less than $2,500, THEN send me a triggered email alert to prompt me to increase campaign budgets.

2. Optimization Rules

Pause Ads with No Conversions Rule

Continuing to advertise poor performing ad copy has the negative impact of increasing your overall average cost per click, and your average cost per conversion (lead) prices. Pause poor performing Sponsored Content and Text ad creative automatically by setting up a performance rule.

AdStage Automate LinkedIn Ads Automate-Pause Non Converting Ads

Non-Converting Ad Creative Pause Rule Setup

IF any of my ad creative across desired campaigns has historic spend of $120 or more, AND over 500 impressions, BUT has received no conversions, THEN pause those ads in question — using data from the past 14-days, automatically. Run this rule everyday at 5pm and send me an email digest of the campaigns paused.

Increase Bids for Low CPA Campaigns Rule

There’s an old saying in digital advertising: if you find something that works, double down on it. Take advantage of campaigns with great click through rates and attractive cost per conversion trends by increasing their audience reach with bid optimization.

LinkedIn Ads AdStage Automate Rule Increase Campaign Bids

Increase Bids on Campaigns with Low CPAs Rule

IF any of my Text Ads or Sponsored Content campaigns have a CTR of greater than .30% AND an average cost per conversion of less than $150 AND more than one historical conversion over the past 14-days, THEN increase the campaign bid 5%, with a bid ceiling of $18.00. Schedule the rule to run every Monday morning at 5am.

Wrapping Up

Automation doesn’t need to be daunting. Instead view it as a way to automate your most mundane and routine ad optimization steps, freeing you up to think about high level strategy and ad creative. Dabble with email alerts until you feel comfortable with the process, then move into automation rules to drive better campaign performance and more conversions.

How to Take Advantage of New Facebook Campaign Planner

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Advertising, Social | 8 Comments
How to Take Advantage of New Facebook Campaign Planner

New Facebook Campaign Planner Available in Business Manager for Facebook and Instagram

The latest addition to Business Manager is the Facebook Campaign Planner “a standalone tool for media planners to draft, compare, and share media plans using reach and frequency buying across Facebook and Instagram.” Brands and advertisers can now plan out campaign budgets and schedules to predict the estimated reach and frequency, these campaign insights can then be shared with clients and co-workers through link sharing or direct emails.

How to Take Advantage of New Facebook Campaign Planner Benefits

Each media plan can have up to six versions. Within each version of the media plan, you can play with different combinations of budgets, schedules, audiences, placements, and ad impressions per day to better understand the potential reach and frequency of your campaigns.

Below is an example of how the campaign planner provides insights around your reach based on your budget, schedule, and desired frequency. Using the prediction results,  you can compare different versions against each other to determine which media plan best fits with your performance goals.

Facebook Campaign Planner in Business Manager

Why Facebook Campaign Planner Rocks

In the past, there was no way to view available Facebook targeting options, and the level of scale to reach your audience. The only workaround to uncover these insights was building a dummy ad set, selecting the desired targeting, and gaining access to reach estimates. Now with the new Facebook Business Manager media campaign planner, not only can you see all the targeting options available, it actually calculates the potential reach based on your budget, or the budget required to attain a specific reach goal, within the selected campaign’s run timeframe.

With these estimates, you can make more informed campaign decisions, without having to use real budget to test and optimize. If you’re working with clients or a team of digital marketers, you can easily share the media plan and reveal key audience insights into your plans and show how reach and frequency will impact your campaign.

How to Get Started with Campaign Planner

As of now, Campaign Planner is only available to advertisers with eligibility for reach and frequency buying. To get started, follow these steps below:

  1. Log in to your Business Manager
  2. Click Create Plan
  3. Name your plan
  4. Click Create Version
  5. Fill out each field that you’d like to customize for your media plan. Below is a screenshot of the different fields you can populate to estimate frequency.

How to Use New Facebook Campaign Planner First Window

For advertisers with a limited budget, we suggest inputting your actual budget for each version, while varying the frequency and/or audience to see how the estimated reach changes based on the different variables that are selected.

On the flip side, for brand advertisers that are mostly concerned with maximizing reach within a given timeframe, we recommend using the same reach inputs (which should be your target reach) in the different versions of your media plan, and playing around with the frequency, targeting options, and available placements to see how you can maximize reach for the lowest CPM.

Have you tried creating a media plan within Facebook Business Manager yet? Tell us your favorite use case for the new Campaign Planner in the comments below👇!

 

Is It Time to Invest in Snap Ads?

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Advertising | No Comments
Is It Time to Invest in Snap Ads?

With more than 150 million daily users as of July 2016, Snap Inc. is a shaping up to become a formidable competitor for a slice of your ad budget. Snap Ads officially opened their programmatic ads API, announcing features like A/B testing and email matching. Is now the right time to start allocating a portion of your ad spend to Snap?

If you haven’t taken a close look at Instagram Ads, you might consider starting there before jumping into Snap Ads. The 2016 trending price for Snap Ads is around $55 CPM, nearly 10x the cost of Instagram’s reported $5.68 CPM during the same time period. If your target audience is a Snap user, they’re most likely also using Instagram.

The age demographics of Instagram and Snap users widely overlap, given your target market is between 18 and 34. In the United States, 18-24 yr-olds make up 37 percent of Snap users and 23 percent of Instagram users. And young professionals between 25 – 34 years old make up 26 percent of both Snap and Instagram users.

instagram-snap-distribution-by-age-001

My recommendation, test and optimize campaigns where you can get more reach and data for your spend, then adapt your campaigns for your Snap audience.

Are Snap Ads worth it in the end? Maybe. 150 million daily users are half of Instagram’s 300 million, but it’s still a massive amount of people.

Will Instagram Stories eat away at Snap’s daily views? Is it really worth being on Snap if you’re not a huge brand? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Everything You Need to Know: Facebook Engagement Custom Audiences

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Advertising, Social | 5 Comments
Everything You Need to Know: Facebook Engagement Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences for Engagement

Facebook recently released another enhancement to Custom Audience targeting, Engagement Custom Audiences. The Facebook Engagement Custom Audiences offers a new way to refine your audience targeting and reach the people who show an interest in your brand. The main difference between Engagement Custom Audiences and Website Custom Audiences is where data is gathered. 

  • Website Custom Audiences collects engagement data from activity on your website
  • Engagement Custom Audiences collects engagement data from activity on Facebook

PPC marketers can now target audience segments based on their interactions with your Facebook content. People who take actions on your Facebook ads like viewing your videos, clicking your lead form, or clicking your Canvas ad are signaling how they want to engage with your brand. In this post, we’ll cover how to get started Facebook’s Engagement Custom Audiences and share our favorite tips to audience segmentation based on content activity and campaign objective.

How To Set Up Engagement Custom Audiences

You can manage and create all your audiences from the Audiences page within Facebook Ad Manager. Select ‘Create a Custom Audience’, from there you’ll see a new window pop-up with the new Engagement on Facebook audience option.

Facebook Custom Engagement Audience window in Facebook Ads Manager

Pretty simple, but now what? In the next section, we’ll cover the best ways to use an Engagement Custom Audience for both direct response and branding objectives.

Best Use-Cases Engagement Custom Audiences

Lead Ad Retargeting

As a refresher, Facebook Leads Ads allow you collect lead information from people who click or tap on your ad. The ad will open a customizable lead form where users can complete and submit, or simply view the form without submitting their information and drop off in the conversion funnel. With Engagement Custom Audiences, you can retarget ads to people who opened your lead form but didn’t complete it. This could remind users of your brand, and help drive a conversion later on.

Create Engagement Custom Audiences to Retarget Ads using Form Submissions on Facebook Ads

Alternatively, if you have a longer sales cycle such as a B2B company, you can use an Engagement Custom Audience to retarget ads to people who actually completed a lead form. In this scenario, you may want to show them an ad that drives them further down the conversion funnel like product demo or case study.

Canvas Ad Exclusion Targeting

Facebook Canvas Ads create an immersive experience for mobile users on Facebook. This ad type is flexible for any objective, and characterized as “instant ads” because you have complete creative control to achieve any objective you want. Some examples include communicating your brand story, promoting a new movie, or showcasing individual products.

When creating an Engagement Custom Audience for Canvas Ad retargeting, there are two available options:

  1. People who opened the ad
  2. People who opened the ad and clicked on a link

Because Canvas Ads are visual in nature, people may get tired of seeing these ads if they’re shown to the same audience too frequently. To avoid saturating your target audience, create an Engagement Custom Audience for the people who opened a Canvas Ad and click on the link, and then exclude these users in your campaign targeting. This way you ensure you don’t overload the same people with the same ads they have already engaged with.

Video View Exclusion Targeting or Retargeting

Engagement Custom Audiences for Video Views give you an opportunity to fine-tune your targeting depending how a user interacted with your video ad.  Mix and match targeting between the portion of the video viewed and the actual videos viewed. As shown below, you can select a variety of options when setting up your Video View Engagement Custom Audience:

Options How to Use Video View Exclusion Targeting in Facebook Ads

Similar to a Facebook Canvas Ad, when thinking about who to exclude from a video ad campaign you may not want to continue showing videos to people who watched a majority of a particular combination of videos, so you can mix and match the previous options with the videos that were viewed.

How to Use Video Views for Facebook Ad Retargeting

Alternatively, you can apply the same Lead Ad retargeting concept. If a person viewed majority of your video (and you have a longer sales cycle), you can retarget ads to them that cater to different stage of the conversion funnel to drive them towards conversion.

Evergreen Retargeting Campaigns

When setting up your Engagement Custom Audience, Facebook requires selecting an engagement window. The timeframe for an engagement window varies for each type of Engagement Custom Audience:

  • Video Views: up to the last 180 days
  • Lead Ad opens: up to the last 90 days
  • Canvas Ad opens: up to the last 365 days

It’s a simple setting selection, but extremely powerful and more useful than Email Custom Audiences as they allow you to target people who engaged with a specific video, lead ad, or canvas ad during the past day (or X number of days you set it to). With targeting options like Engagement Custom Audience, creating evergreen ad campaigns are now possible because the ads you retarget to these people will nearly always be relevant based on their recent actions.

Lookalike Campaigns

Apart from retargeting, Engagement Custom Audiences can also be used for audience expansion efforts on Facebook. When creating a Lookalike Audience, you can leverage your Engagement Custom Audience as a seed list, which will show ads to people who are similar to those in your seed list, in demographics, interests, and other profile characteristics.

How to Use Long-Tail Keywords that Convert

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Advertising, Search | 4 Comments
How to Use Long-Tail Keywords that Convert

Google Is Going Through a Ton of Changes: The Opportunity for Long-Tail Keywords

Google has been rolling out a lot of big changes with huge implications for pay-per-click marketing. Just this year, we have expanded text ads, third-party reviews in the local pack, and new keyword data restrictions.

Google’s decision to restrict keyword data in their keyword planner tool from exact numbers to ranges created a lot of buzz in the PPC community. Marketers were outraged Google would change their own data, but is that really a huge deal? I think it’s a good thing. I believe it simplify how we analyze our data and force us to start focusing on what truly matters…business KPI’s.

The issue with keyword research, before Google’s decision to limit keyword data,  was whenever people talked about keyword research, they first worried about volume, then difficulty, and then finally (if at all), about how effectively the research would convert their audience.

Restricting access to exact data might be the best thing that could have happened to keyword research. The obsession over bidding on only the long-tail keywords with the most volume will come to an end.

Today, we’ll talk about how we can identify and target the long-tail keywords that (actually) convert, shall we?

Identifying Long-Tail Keywords

Identifying the long-tail keywords most likely to convert is not only important for pay-per-click advertising, but for content as well.  Unfortunately, as we mentioned before, these terms are mistakenly seen as less valuable because they have fewer searches.

However, the conversion value they hold is priceless.

Watch the video below as I walk you through exactly what this means.

 

Source: https://gmehrguth.wistia.com/medias/c9mrihwvtp

Key takeaways from the video

  1. Your best long-tail keywords don’t necessarily have the most volume
  2. Tools like Moz, SEMrush and Google keyword planner often don’t have data on long-tail search volume
  3. Use the _ “wildcard” after your primary search term to learn user intent
  4. Optimize around these keywords to take marketshare quickly and drive more conversions

Selecting the Best Long-Tail Keywords

We’ve gone through how to identify your best long-tail keywords, but how do you prioritize them?

The key here is finding a healthy balance between conversion impact, brand impact and search volume. To help you, we even created a tool that can do this for you. Click here to check it out!

Luckily, you do not have to rely on guesstimations for this to work, nor do you have to tirelessly append valuable terms with a _ “wildcard” (although it is recommended). Instead, you can launch broad match modified campaigns around your top performing keywords. Using broad match modifiers in your campaigns allows you to quickly gather data and better understand the impact/ROI of each keyword.

For example, if you created a single keyword ad group (SKAG) around “PPC agency,” you could test which match type converted best:

  • [ppc agency]
  • “ppc agency”
  • +ppc +agency

From here, you can mine your search term report and identify keywords like ppc agency pricing and ppc agency costs. As you start to notice the ROI these terms deliver, you can create unique ad groups for your top performing keywords.

These ad groups should have unique ad copy, extensions, and landing pages. This will improve quality score, decrease CPC, and improve overall return.  

Optimizing for Conversions

Conversions are the quintessential goal of advertising campaigns. “How much will we make if we spend this much money or time?” is the universal question.

The key is to focus far less on the answer to this question, and instead focus on the aspects that drive the actual conversions. I call this “optimizing for inputs” instead of the output. We can’t control output, though we are in complete control of inputs.

Here are my favorite inputs to optimize for in PPC that can make an impact on conversions (organized in no particular order):

Adjust Bid Levels  

  • Optimize for spot number four in Adwords
  • We have found that the decrease in CTR rarely hurts you as much as the decrease in CPC helps your overall return. It’s a fine balance, so monitor carefully.
  • We’ve found this to be helpful across multiple accounts in various industries.

SKAGs (single keyword ad groups)

  • We talked about single keyword ad groups earlier, but SKAGs allow for robust control of what ads show up for each keyword so that each query is optimized.
  • SKAGs allow for the landing pages of each ad group to be optimized to match the intent of that exact keyword.
  • While this approach might seem impractical and take “too much time,” we highly advise testing at least on your most valuable keywords.

Custom Landing Pages

  • Optimizing for long-tail keywords is entirely useless if the landing page you send the ads to:
    • Has bad copy
    • Doesn’t match the searcher’s intent
    • Loads slowly
    • Has more than one external link
    • Isn’t unique to that campaign
    • Has images that couldn’t tell the story without any copy on the page
    • Has higher than expected prices
    • Has no shipping or return info
    • Has no reviews, case studies or testimonials
    • Has the words: “Get/Request/Sign-up for a Demo”
  • To avoid these things, we always try to:
    • Write custom copy
    • Design graphics or take unique photos
    • Avoid blocks of text with more than four lines

Optimize Titles Beyond CTR

  • Prequalify users to save money on bad clicks and increase conversions
  • Show off our pricing and policies
  • Get lots of reviews
  • Use video
  • Use demo video as a CTA for software

Use video

  • If you have a video, one of the best ways to test if it’s working or not is to create a custom segment in your Google Analytics for anyone who’s watched a video.
  • This is easy to do with video marketing tools such as Wistia or Vimeo. Wistia automatically creates an event  if people watch a video. Then, compares the conversion rates of people who watch your video to those who don’t.
  • We’ve found a 200% increase in conversion rates when people watch a video. So how do you optimize for inputs? Make more and better video content.

Conclusion

The key takeaway from this post is to start changing your perspective so that you can improve your approach. From SEO services to PPC management, if you perceive search volume as your most important metric, then you will continuously optimize for the wrong thing.

If you only rely on keyword tools instead of time-consuming SERP (search engine results page) analysis, then you will be missing your best long-tail opportunities. Identify your keywords with the _ “wildcard,” select your keywords based on conversion, brand, and then volume, and lastly, optimize for conversions with tight campaigns and exceptional copy + creative.