5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Reporting, Search, Social | No Comments
5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights

Google Analytics is the undisputed market leader when it comes to analytics insights for business. It is estimated that Google Analytics is present on over 50 million websites. That’s 1000% wider coverage than the world’s second favorite, Yandex Metrics. Smart marketers and salespeople are using Google Analytics add-ons everyday to improve their insights and find actionable steps with their data.

Google lists its technology partners here, but it’s not the easiest place in the world to find in a Google search (funnily enough). Therefore, we’ve surfaced five beneficial Google Analytics integrations to take your analytics to the next level and milk the business benefits without the need for lots of research and legwork.

CallRail – Enables you to track which marketing campaigns result in which prospects calling you

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does CallRail do?

CallRail is a self-service app that enables marketers to track calls from online and offline marketing campaigns, view which campaigns are driving the most conversions, and record calls for lead qualification. Their call tracking software can reveal what exactly is driving phone call conversions, which is massive for showing ROI on marketing and advertising campaigns. Their app also uses voice intelligence technology to automatically analyze the content of a call to determine if it’s a lead or not in real time.

How does it work?

CallRail has a free 14-day trial and, to get started, you just copy and paste one line of JavaScript on any webpage with a phone number. Sounds technical, but it’s very simple. CallRail works by displaying a campaign-specific tracking phone number to each visitor on your website. Website visitors dial the number, CallRail forwards the call, and you answer your main phone like you usually do. As a result of all this you get a much better and more accurate overview of online and offline marketing campaigns, and find out what’s leading to new business opportunities.

Leadfeeder – Uncovers the website visitors who don’t fill in contact forms so you can sell to them

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does Leadfeeder do?

There are many potential customers browsing your website but the vast majority leave without giving their contact info. Typically for B2B companies it’s around 98%. Leadfeeder is a simple web app with a free 30-day trial, and it connects to Google Analytics to show you these missed leads; all in a couple of clicks. Leadfeeder also connects to CRMs like Pipedrive and Salesforce so salespeople get new web leads straight to their pipelines.

How does it work?

Leadfeeder is all about providing sales leads from Google Analytics. Most salespeople aren’t using Google Analytics and Google Analytics isn’t designed for easy B2B lead generation, but one thing’s for sure: salespeople are forever in search of good leads. If B2B organizations are not capitalizing on interesting companies visiting their website then sales teams are missing out.

Content marketing is all about driving traffic to your website but the vast majority doesn’t convert, which leaves marketing people with the headache of finding leads elsewhere and sales people sending cold emails to companies that have never heard of them. Leadfeeder notes on their website that companies that have heard are you are about 400% more likely to become customers. The great thing about Leadfeeder is that you can be 100% non-technical and are still able to sign up and benefit.

Live Site Search Visualisation – A dashboard visualizing live search activity on your site

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does Live Site Search Visualisation do?

This dashboard allows you to visualize user search activity on your site using colorful tiles. Search data is pulled from your site using the Real Time Reporting API, which allows the data to be available as people are performing searches on your website. By visualizing the searches, you can track what people are looking for on your website. It’s a dream for content marketers because it can flag any gaps in your content.

How does it work?

It’s free, so simple and there’s absolutely no need for any technical knowledge to get started. Imagine these bright colors flashing up on your office widescreen giving your content writers and customer champions ideas for how to be better converting website visitors and serving existing customers throughout the day. It’s just a simple few clicks to get started and you’ll see up to 25 searches on colorful tiles at once. You can even see Google searches.

Wordsmith for Marketing – Wow your clients with awesome reports without all the work

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does Wordsmith for Marketing do?

Wordsmith for Marketing automatically creates sophisticated, white-labeled client reports for marketing companies. They reckon that on average this saves four hours per report which over a month can amount to a saving of $12,000 for a typical agency. By proving an agency’s ROI in no-nonsense English, their hope is that it gives the feeling of getting a personalized report directly from a human analyst.

How does it work?

It takes five minutes to set up Wordsmith for Marketing and it’s as simple as giving them access to your Google Analytics data. At that point you also add your branding, like logo and colors, so when reports are generated for you automatically, they look unique. From this point on, a lot of time is saved. They pull data from Google Analytics and AdWords and break down how each channel drives conversions. This comes in the form of detailed written notes, tables, and charts; stuff that – according to the agency’s reviews – even “sophisticated clients love.”

The good news from a time-saving perspective is that reports can be scheduled and automatically sent to clients every week, month, quarter, or time period of your choosing, and reports can cover all of an agency’s efforts, including SEO, advertising, social media, and content marketing. On top of this, marketing agencies can review the entire report before it goes out: edit every word, add charts and tables, and add a custom conclusion.

AdStage – Build, schedule and customize your Google Analytics reports

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does AdStage do?

AdStage is a self-serve, cross-network, online advertising platform with full management and analytics for campaigns across search, social, and mobile ad networks like Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter Ads.

“The Google Analytics integration in AdStage is a huge step toward our grand vision of consolidation for the online advertiser, as we bring the variety of workflow solutions into a single platform,” said Jain. “We’re helping advertisers create, track, and measure campaign performance with a simple self-­serve interface through direct and external data integrations, furthering the idea of an open platform.”

How does it work?

The Google Analytics integration allows users to build, customize and schedule report from within AdStage. The integration will continue to develop to offer a more capabilities for measuring revenue and attribution performance across channels — Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter — along with support for auto-tagging, custom columns and other features.

Once you perfect your template, schedule it as a recurring report through email. Add your team members or clients with ease. Send reports daily, weekly, or monthly with simple scheduling options.

Conclusion

Are you using Google Analytics integrations? What are some of your favorite add-ons and tools? Let us know in the comments or reach out on Twitter @adstage.

Presenting PPC reports like this will make clients happy…

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Agency, Reporting | No Comments
Presenting PPC reports like this will make clients happy…

Preparing and presenting a Quarterly Business Report brings the same stress as that college thesis paper that counted for 75% of your grade. Except this particular assignment happens four times per year. The agency has worked its tail off meeting and exceeding KPIs, and diligently tracking everything for reporting purposes. But if the presentation is full of disorganized data and a narrative that jumps around, your clients are liable to think you don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve covered the most effective types of PPC reports to pull, but the way you present the reports is just as important. Here’s how to create a cohesive story that’s easy for clients to follow and will ultimately earn you trust and authority.

Standardize everything

It takes a village to put a comprehensive QBR together, but the final document should look like it’s coming from one entity. It’s easiest to create one template at the beginning into which teammates can drop information, but you also need to have a visual gatekeeper who’s responsible for going back through with a fine tooth comb and revising anything that feels off. By pulling reports from one place, i.e. Adstage, you’ve already done half the work for yourself, since the reports will all have the same look and feel.

Get your slides in order

Just because your data prints out in a certain sequence doesn’t mean you should present it that way. In fact, shuffle everything up to force yourself and the team to think through the strongest narrative. You should always start with your KPIs since that’s the reason for the QBR in the first place, but figure out where you can slide in more data, where the story should go after you review numbers, the best place to bring up new ideas, etc. If your slides are out of order, your story is going to be off. It could sound like someone trying to tell the tale of the Goldilocks, but the opening chapter is Goldilocks jumping out of baby bear’s bed when the homeowners return. Your audience is going to be confused about what’s going on.

Presenting PPC reports like this will make clients happy via blog.adstage.io

Watch your length

Have you heard of the nine-minute rule? It’s based on the fact humans have short attention spans, namely the ability to concentrate on one subject for no more than 10 minutes at a time. The Forbes Agency Council suggests sticking close to it for the presentation. Make sure all the most important information comes at the beginning (and that you can cover all of it within 9 minutes), and use the remaining time for additional, but not crucial, details. That means you’ll have to determine how deep into each report you should go. But if you present the data in a clear, beautiful manner in the first place, you won’t need to spend time explaining every little piece.

Translate the data

Your graphs might look like a spider’s web of data and require 8 point type to fit everything in, but you should be able to sum it up in one sentence. For example, “Site traffic increased 8x as a result of shifting dollars to the PPC ad budget.” Remember, many people in your client’s office will likely take a look at the QBR, so make sure each slide includes a simple explanation of the data. Don’t rely on the people in the room to turn around and give the same presentation you did to the people who weren’t in the meeting.

Use the past to talk about the future

Treat your PPC reports as a guidepost and springboard for recommendations on where to direct business. Don’t just deliver the results. As a true agency partner, you should have a strong enough understanding of what worked, what needs tweaks, and what to ditch. Be able to make recommendations based on that information and your unique knowledge of the marketplace in which your client’s business competes. The fact that your reporting is streamlined and clear will give your client confidence you have a vision for the future and know what you’re talking about.

Presenting PPC reports like this will make clients happy via blog.adstage.io

Check your work with a run-through

Grab a few people in the office who have never worked on the account and ask them to sit through a practice presentation. They should look for data that’s confusing, slides that seem out of order, holes in the narrative, and ask questions clients might ask. Run-throughs are invaluable before a big presentation for the reasons mentioned, but also to help time everything out. If it’s taking 20 minutes to get through the major points, you need to go back to the presentation deck and figure out how to shuffle and cut until you’re closer to the 9-minute mark.

Avoid surprises

If you haven’t been doing this already, send regular updates to clients to avoid surprises. It may be called a Quarterly Business Review, but don’t let that be the only time you’re sharing out info. Talking often means clients feel more involved in what’s going on, issues can be flagged and talked through before anything blows up, and you have the opportunity to share good news when it’s happening. AdStage offers the ability to have PPC reports automatically sent to clients at a customized cadence and with whatever metrics they want, so mini-QBRs take just a few minutes to prepare.

QBRs may be the biggest project you work on every three months, but at least they don’t count for 75% of your salary! Make the most of them with easy-to-pull PPC reports and a strong presentation that’ll knock their socks off.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Automation, Reporting, Social | 5 Comments
LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Does this scenario sound familiar?
You read LinkedIn’s post about testing your Sponsored Content.
You thought you’d give it a try and wrote a few ads which have been running ever since…
…and you never got around to testing them.

If this is you – don’t worry – you’re not alone. Taking time to create, run, and revisit test ads is one of the things marketers love to forget to do. Or, if you are at an agency and you’re juggling dozens of clients, you simply may not have the time to give LinkedIn the attention it deserves. I get it, believe me.
So, let me show you how I set up my latest LinkedIn Ad tests in the hopes of giving you another bump to give it a try. Obviously, having AdStage would make all of this a lot easier, but I’ll give you step by step instructions in case you do not. (Sales Pitch: At least start the AdStage trial to use it for this test…it’s free and does not require a credit card.)

Step 1 – Creative Strategy

If you already have creative running and you just want to try some new images or copy, it’s easy. Pick your best performers and write some ads with new images or updated text.
In this example, I was starting from scratch and needed to spend a little time thinking about my audience and what my ads were trying to achieve. So, I took the time to jot down answers to these questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is their goal and how can I help them achieve it?
  • What emotion do I want to appeal to?
  • What tactics will I use to convince them?

LinkedIn says, “Consider running at least four [ads] for any major campaign” and “two weeks is the minimum amount of time recommended [to run a test].” Since my goal was to set up this test and walk away for more than a month I wanted to run at least 12 ads. That way, I could run 4 ads every two weeks. I’m also assuming you have a “control” ad that will always be running (just in case your test ads are terrible) so that leaves 9 new ads to be created.

After 6 weeks, that’s a lot to review.

Step 2 – Mad Men Time, Write Those Ads

I chose three images, and wrote three updates. 3 Images x 3 Updates = 9 ads. Math! Here’s a few of those ads:

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Note: There are three ways to build these ads:

  1. LinkedIn (free) – Just go to an existing campaign and build some Direct Sponsored Content (DSC). I would keep all my creative in a spreadsheet to start and do a lot of copy and paste. Submit one by one. This will take you maybe 15 minutes.
  2. AdStage (paid subscription) – We offer an ad combination builder. Drop in a bunch of images and text, and then choose from all the possible combinations.
  3. B2Linked Bulk Editor (freemium with AdStage subscription) – If you want to upload multiple ads to many different campaigns, then use this tool from B2Linked to avoid having to spend hours creating ads one by one. B2Linked themselves use it to upload 3,000 ads each month. You fill out a spreadsheet then upload it and poof: Ads!

Step 3 – Wait for Creative Approval 😴

Be sure your ads are in an Active campaign so they get reviewed. Once they make it through approval they will go live, so don’t be surprised if all your ads start getting impressions all of a sudden.

I used AdStage to set up a Rule that ran every 6 hours and checked to see if my ads were approved and active. Once my ads were active, the Rule paused them. This way I limited the time my test ads ran before the official LinkedIn Ad tests started.  Once I got the email that my ads were paused, I knew I was ready to fire up my test. If you’re working directly in LinkedIn be sure to set yourself a reminder. “Siri remind me to check my LinkedIn ad approvals!”

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 4 – Test Setup

Ok, now we’re on to setting up the LinkedIn Ad tests themselves. The goal here is to keep running your control ad (assuming you have at least one ad that’s been live for awhile) alongside 3 test ads. I always run the test ads for two weeks, or until they’ve run long enough that I know they are stinkers. If they qualify as stinkers, then I want to pull them out early.

So how exactly do we set it up? I’ll walk through one of many ways to run LinkedIn ad tests. If you want to get all scientific about it, you can run your results through a statistical significance calculator as well.  But – let’s be real – you don’t have enough budget to run every ad to stat sig. The good news is if you’ve been running LinkedIn ads for a while, you’ll have a reasonable sense of what good and bad ad performance looks like, so the plan with this test is to get to that point with the least amount of spend possible.

The goal is to rotate an ad out of circulation once it drops below your lower threshold but has had enough impressions to get an honest shot at it. Marketers use many different metrics to measure how “good’ an ad is and it depends heavily on your business and goals. Here are some typical metrics marketers use:

  • CTR
  • Cost per Click
  • LinkedIn Conversion Rate*
  • LinkedIn Cost Per Conversion*
  • LinkedIn Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)*

*Note: You can use these three metrics if you have LinkedIn Conversion Tracking setup…and you should. If you’re using your own conversion data you can send those conversions to AdStage as custom conversions or just review all your data manually in a spreadsheet.

If you’re not sure what to use. Start simple and use these test parameters:

  • One Control Ad: Already Active
  • Test Ads: Test 3 Ads until 2 weeks has elapsed or the ad has 10,000 Impressions and CTR<0.5%

Step 5 – Run the Test

Now you have a plan. Congrats! You just need to execute.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Schedule some time every few days to check in on your ad performance. If I go this route I drop invites into my Google Calendar or use a project management tool like Asana or Do.com to nag me more efficiently. Also check in at the two-week marks to make sure ads are cycling through as needed.
  2. Use AdStage Rotations. Set everything up in advance like this and then hit Done.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Regardless of which route you go, ensure you have your ads set to “Rotate Variations Evenly” in your LinkedIn campaign settings. This is one of the best hidden features in LinkedIn! Find it yet? Didn’t think so… it’s in the gear next to your campaign name.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 6 – Monitor

Remember, we always have our control ad running so if any weirdness happens (Superbowl, your website goes down, etc.), you have a comparison ad in place. After all your ads have reached their target or 6 weeks has passed, it’s time to review your LinkedIn Ad tests.

There are two ways to do this:

LinkedIn Ads View: Check out your overall performance trend and each ads metrics. It’s a little hard to see trends but you can see overall who did well and who sucked.

AdStage Report: Build a table and an Ad Line Widget to see the performance over time of your ads.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 7 – Pick Your Winners

After every ad gets a shot (either by earning enough impressions or by using their two weeks), make sure you set aside some time (even just 10 minutes) to go through the results of your LinkedIn Ad tests. Based on the metrics and goals you set, which ads performed well? What patterns and trends do you see in those ads?

Side Note: I would say I’d share my results so you can learn what works but let’s be honest…my ads work for me and your ads work for you. Pretending that ads created for my audience, product, and landing page will behave in exactly the same way as your ads is just plain click-baity. And, there are plenty of ideas to try from LinkedIn themselves. Pick a few tricks and test them…it’s the only way to know.

Then, most importantly of all, run more LinkedIn Ad tests based on these results. One test is never going to magically teach you everything you need to know. Keep refining, iterating, and perfecting your ads. Good luck!

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

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.

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Reporting | 2 Comments
What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible

After spending thousands, if not millions per month on PPC advertising, your executive team will want to see how your ad efforts are paying off. Reporting on a regular cadence is an inevitable task for any business measuring ROI for their ad budgets. The key to creating effective PPC reports is making sure that your reports are informative, digestible, and  appropriate for the audience at hand. In this blog post, we’ll go over the five elements of reports that fit all of those criteria.

1. The Results

Start with the highlights. It may seem like a smooth narrative to start with the nitty gritties and build to the big picture, but providing wide lens context from the start is going to make for a much stronger meeting. Your leaders and colleagues all have a lot to do, and while we PPC managers like to nerd out on the little details, beginning a report with every campaign change or specific conversion metric will not be relevant to each person to whom you are presenting. When showing the results, tie everything back to your business or marketing goals. Below are a few examples of PPC campaign results that refer to larger business goals:

B2B Companies

Over the past quarter:

  • We generated 150 marketing qualified leads with the same budget as last quarter
  • 75 of these leads took a sales demo meeting
  • 25 of these prospects converted into customers valued at $200,000 added revenue

E-commerce Companies

In the month of July, we were tasked to sell-through our swimsuit inventory:

  • We created new swimsuit campaigns with promotional discount pricing
  • The campaign sold 75% of the available inventory, netting $200,000 in revenue
  • We spent $25,000 of our total monthly budget on these campaigns

2. Key Metrics

While Google offers tons of really granular measuring tools for very specific numbers, there are a few key metrics that you should include in every PPC report. For recipients who are not used to looking at PPC reports, you can even translate the PPC terms into business terms. The five key metrics we recommend are:

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

 

Also, the numbers alone may not mean anything to executives who do not remember the benchmark metrics from the previous period. Therefore, showing the delta between the previous month and the current month will help provide context into whether campaigns are performing. Here’s an example of how you could show the delta of the key metrics in your report:

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

3. Trend Graphs

For many executives, their day consists of a series of meetings in which they see report after report after report from various departments. To expect someone with this schedule to be able to quickly track and understand your accomplishments over time without a little helping hand is not a reasonable ask. Including trend graphs helps them visualize performance and ask questions, especially if there are peaks or dips in traffic and conversions.

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

4. Explanations for Performance Changes

With each trend graph, you should include a brief explanation, outlining any campaign optimizations or changes you made to reflect major spikes or dips in performance. For example, you could say:

“In the above graph, we added negative keywords to our campaign to shape traffic more strategically. So, although the number of unique visitors went down, conversions remained the same.”

A sentence or two is all you want here. If you start including long paragraphs of text on your reports, then that’s a hint that the data isn’t speaking for itself and you need to re-think which metrics you’re including.

5. Granular Tables of Key Metrics

For the really detail-oriented readers, throw in some granular tables of key metrics. These can either be at the campaign level, usually explaining the top performing audiences, or at the creative level, to better understand what messaging is driving interest. Here is an example of what this section of your report could look like:

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

Follow these 5 tips and, at the very least, you’ll have the building blocks you need to have a smart, efficient conversation about your PPC performance. At the very most, your executives walk away feeling confident in your abilities, not only to run your campaigns, but to communicate your work to the greater team.


At AdStage, we know that having effective PPC reports can positively shape your relationship with investors, executives, and colleagues. That’s why we created Report. Automatically create effective PPC reports across Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

 

KlientBoost’s Client Retention Magnets: How to Secure Your Bottom Line

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Agency, Reporting, Search, Social | No Comments
KlientBoost’s Client Retention Magnets: How to Secure Your Bottom Line

EDITOR’S NOTE: This client retention marketing infographic is part of KlientBoost’s 25-part series. We’re super excited to partner with them so you can enjoy a new gifographic once a day in your inbox. You should subscribe here.

There are a whole heck of a lot of marketing optimization posts out there to read, but just a tiny amount of client retention posts that are dedicated to marketing agencies.

If you run an agency like I do at KlientBoost, or even work at one, then you know how crucial client retention is to the growth of your business.

With a crappy retention rate, you feel like you’re treading water.

But instead of water, you’re treading in quick sand and slowly being poked by a million small toothpicks, while elephant poop is being dumped on your head.

Client Retention via blog.adstage.io
Couldn’t find one GIF that had all three – GIF source

But joking aside, client retention is a serious thing. You’ve worked so hard to obtain a client, so why not set some things in place to keep them around longer?

That’s why we partnered with AdStage to bring you our biggest client retention lessons that we’ve learned in the two years of significant growth we’ve had (to almost $250k in monthly recurring revenue) all in one fun gifographic (with no elephant poop. Promise).

Client Retention Magnet via blog.adstage.io

Where’s The Money?

Being an agency owner, there’s a good chance that you’ve spoken with other owners about the painful things they endure.

But one of questions I often get revolves around client reporting and the amount of time it takes.

The only issue is that reporting outside of the bottom line isn’t that important. Too many agencies get caught up in reporting in metrics like CTR, impression shares, or quality scores without talking about the most important thing:

Money being made

It wasn’t until recently that we started requiring all account managers to ask that very important question to their client, which could either give a dreaded response or an exciting answer:

“Are you making more money?”

It’s too easy to get caught going through the motions or adjusting a few things here and there that have no real business impact.

Once you know that a client isn’t making more money (and you ask the question early enough), then you have enough time to make any pivots needed to get them in the right direction.

Fail to ask that question, and you’re hoping that your client is honest enough to tell you they’re not happy before they randomly stop working with you.

Just by having that one question up our sleeves, we’ve been able to catch fires way before they happen, and that has helped our retention in a very positive way.

The Four Client Phases

Once you know that a client is or isn’t making any money, the next step is to have a game plan for how to get them to make more money, again.

We decided to create four phases that all clients go through, and once they’ve graduated from one phase, the next phase has a new set of tasks we need to take care of before they move on to the next.

Here are the client phases we use at KlientBoost to identify client progress:

#1 Traffic: Nothing starts without traffic. If your client isn’t getting enough traffic, then any CRO tests you try to run are most likely going to fall on their face.

This means that the goal isn’t to try to run display campaigns to get cheaper CPCs to get more clicks. Instead, ask the client for more budget so that some quicker wins become a reality.

This is where you shouldn’t focus on the landing page.

This phase should take no more than a week.

#2 Conversion: Now that you have traffic, the next step is to generate conversions. And after that, you need to make sure that the client is able to make money off those conversions.

This is where you focus on the landing page side, and not so much on traffic side.

This phase can take one to two months depending on how many different CTAs you have to test.

#3 Profitability: Once a client has traffic and conversions, the next thing to know is whether or not they’re profitable. With ad spend and agency fees in mind, is the client able to achieve a higher ROI?

If not, then you need to figure out why and adjust. Going multiple weeks with the same traffic and same landing pages most likely won’t turn a corner fast enough.

This phase can take one to two months as well.

#4 Scaling: This is the final phase and the one that’s the most fun to get to. Once you have traffic, conversions, and profitability, the next step is to start growing the account.

Here, you’re able to start testing new PPC channels to grow the entry points of your clients funnel.

This phase can last forever and never plateau.

By knowing which phase your client is in, your account managers can easily decide which tasks to focus on for the week.

If a client is in Phase #3 and the account manager is still spending most of their time adjusting bids and testing ads, then there’s a good chance that client will never graduate to the next phase.

And if that happens, then your retention rate suffers, too.

Deep Deep Communication

If there’s a thing I’m obsessed with when it comes to working with clients, then it’s having a pulse on them.

Are they happy, sad, not confident, or excited?

But a pulse is much more than knowing how they feel about your services – it’s more about honesty and having the client feel like they can tell you anything to help both of you out.

So many clients are afraid of hurting feelings and they would rather not share what irks them. The biggest downside of this lack of communication is that you feel blindsided and shocked when they decide to stop working with you.

See, it’s easy to have your clients think you’re too busy and have no time for them, and that’s actually one of the biggest reasons they choose to leave.

Not lack of performance.

Client Retention via blog.adstage.io

Surprising, right? – image source

What I’ve also found is that clients are more than happy to give you time and are patient enough wait until you figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Once they know that you have their best interest in mind, they’ll give you more time before they cancel, because they like you.

I’ve sat in on a lot of client calls as a fly on the wall, and I keep seeing that a lot of client and account manager communication is super shallow and filled with pointless small talk.

Being honest with your clients and letting them know that you agree things aren’t doing well will help them be honest with you.

This strategy has oddly helped us have clients who canceled with us, refer people they know to work with us.

That doesn’t happen very often.

Speed, Pivots, Feedback, & Audits

There’s nothing that I value more than execution and speed. And I know it’s the same for our clients.

Having your client know that you have a sense of urgency is one of the best feelings you can give them.

Here are the four things we’ve found help our speed and retention rates as well:

Speed: The faster we can move from one campaign or landing page to the next, the faster we’re able to move a client from one phase to the next.

Pivots: This means that you need to be able to see if a campaign won’t work early enough for you to do something about it. It’s common for us to pivot once a week for a client until we’ve gained traction.

Feedback: Having regular feedback calls with a client has done very well for us. During the first month and second month mark, we have another team member (other than the account manager) call the client to get insight on what we can do better.

The most important part of this is doing it early enough in the relationship so you have time to salvage it.

Audits: This point is for the owner of the agency.

We’re coming up on our two year anniversary as an agency and the amount of changes we’ve made to our processes has been astounding.

By auditing our processes, we’ve been able to identify things like:

  • What skills do certain account managers lack so we can train them to be stronger?
  • Grouping one CRO designer with two account managers for better education transfer between all.
  • Giving every team member a topic ownership to teach all other team members about. They’re now the resident experts on LinkedIn Advertising, Google Tag Manager, or CRO tools.

Sometimes your best bet is to attempt something and then adjust. Most of what we’ve learned has come from pure trial and error.

Back To You…

The best part about running an agency and priming it for growth, is that you can split test your own company, just like you split test things for your clients.

By neglecting change, you’re not only going to continue to suffer, but you’ll eventually burn out and throw in the white flag.

Agency life is tough, but so is anything that’s worth pursuing.

I hope some of these insights can help you spark change and get your retention rate up and to the right. 🙂

What’s New with AdStage: November

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Product Updates, Reporting, Social | No Comments
What’s New with AdStage: November

November was an exciting month for AdStage. We released an easier way to assign campaigns in Automate, a new KPI progress widget, drag-and-drop widget support, and global date ranges for Report.

Let’s take a look at the new releases below👇.

Automate

New IF Condition: Campaign Name

Easily build an Alert or Rule for the campaigns you care about using Campaign Name contains function.

Select Campaign Name in the IF Condition to make more changes across accounts at scale by quickly including/excluding campaigns. 

Let’s say I want to increase bids for all campaigns containing the campaign name Turkey Day Promotion to boost audience reach for the last 3 days leading up to Thanksgiving day. 

New IF Condition AdStage Automate Product Update via blog.adstage.io

Report

Track KPI Performance Lift

New Progress Widget

Track specific performance goals or KPIs across accounts for a selected time period. Use the new Progress Widget to get a quick view of how certain campaign/account KPIs are performing at any given period.

Let’s say your target budget for the month is $10,000 across your selected campaigns.

The Progress Widget will show how much of your monthly budget you’ve spent, compared to your total target budget. You can see by the 15th, you’ve spent 69.49% of the total monthly budget.

AdStage Report Progress Widget Product Update via blog.adstage.io

From these insights, you might then decide to perform an account audit to see which campaigns you should pause or adjust budgets for.

Your Dashboard Just Got A Whole Lot Faster

Easily Resize Widgets

We wanted to give our customers more control over customizing their PPC reports. Prior to this release, widgets were only available in full-width.

Now you can customize your reports to show performance trends in the same view. With resizable widgets, you can easily resize widgets to ⅓ , ½, ⅔, or full width.

What's New AdStage Report Product Update

Quickly Move Widgets Around

Drag-and-Drop makes rearranging widgets as easy as possible. Simply drag the widget to move widgets around the dashboard quickly.

Drag and Drop PPC Report Widgets via blog.adstage.io

Make Sweeping Date Changes Across Your Dashboards

Edit Date Ranges at the Dashboard Level

Before introducing Dashboard Level Date Ranges, we noticed many of our customers had to painfully edit each widget’s date range within their dashboard to view performance data.

With the ability to edit date ranges at the dashboard level, all your widgets will update with data from the newly selected date range.

Quickly Move Widgets Around Drag-and-Drop AdStage Report Product Update via blog.adstage.io

Coming Soon!

New Report Features

Use Custom Data to Analyze Full-Funnel PPC Performance

Create a unified Report you can easily share, markup, annotate, and customize with the conversion data you’re already collecting in other marketing tools.

Get a full view of which ads are the most valuable and move the needle for your most important business metrics.

Native Facebook Widget

Soon all AdStage Report customers will be able to generate tables, summary, and chart widgets using Facebook data including Demographic, Geographic, Placement, and Page insights.

We always love hearing from our readers😍!

Let us know what you think about the product updates in the comments below.

AdStage Report PPC Reporting via blog.adstage.io

P.S. Want to check out the full product release?

Visit our new release notes portal, where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest and greatest from the AdStage labs!

[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.

 

 

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.

New AdWords Cross-Device Reports: 3 Things You Need to Know

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in Advertising, Reporting, Search | No Comments
New AdWords Cross-Device Reports: 3 Things You Need to Know

How to Boost ROI with New AdWords Cross-Device Attribution Reports

Over the past decade, the rise of mobile usage has made it extremely difficult to track customers as they switch from one device to another. Even more challenging for today’s digital marketer is analyzing which channels are producing the highest results and how to attribute value to each of the channels a user passed through before converting.  New AdWords Cross-Device Attribution Reports

In an effort to help advertisers measure a consumer’s path to conversion, Google recently released new AdWords cross-device attribution reports. On average, consumers own anywhere from two to five devices, including their mobile phone, desktop, and possible tablet or television. A recent study from March 2016, conducted by Google and Ipsos Connect, showed that 60% of consumers start the purchase process on device and complete it on another. The path to conversion is more complex than ever and anything but linear.

In the past, the traditional marketing funnel was simple and clear: awareness, consideration, purchase. However, with the rapid adoption of mobile tablets and devices, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers and advertisers to measure the impact of their online advertising campaigns. It’s not as simple as a user search, user click, and a user conversion on the same device. The AdWords cross-device attribution reports use device conversion data that now shows device influence throughout conversion paths.

The three AdWords cross-device attribution reports that are now available include:

  • Devices: showing the cross-device activity happening in your AdWords account
  • Assisting Devices: showing what device types assisted conversions on other devices
  • Device Paths: showing the top conversion paths for customers using more than one device to convert

Each of these reports can be found in AdWords in the Tools tab under Attribution as shown in the below screenshot:

New Adwords Cross-Device Reports

 

For savvy advertisers that are obsessive about measurement, these benchmarks come in handy in a few different ways:

Using Different Attribution Models Other Than Last Click

There are 7 main attribution models that you can use for conversion tracking:

  1. Last Click Attribution Model
  2. First Click Attribution Model
  3. Linear Attribution Model
  4. Time Decay Attribution Model
  5. Position-Based Attribution Model
  6. Last Non-Direct Attribution Model
  7. Custom or Algorithmic Attribution Model

With the new AdWords Devices Report, you’re able to quickly identify how customers use different devices on their conversion path and better serve particular ads to your audience based on the cross-device activity.  

For Example:

If you notice a conversion trend across different devices, you may want to use adjust your attribution model to boost a exposure for an ad that was displayed on a mobile, but converted on a tablet.

When choosing a new attribution model be sure to account for cross-device behavior because, unlike the traditional last click attribution model, credit will be assigned across the conversion path. 

Quick Note: AdWords Device Report only includes conversions that had multiple device touch points. 

Updating Your Bid Adjustments for Different Devices

The new Assisting Devices report shows the number of last click conversions and click-assisted conversions broken down by each type of device. With the new Assist Ratio metrics, you can see how many conversions were assisted by impressions or clicks on that particular device compared to the number of actual conversions.

For Example:

Let’s say your Mobile Assist Ratio for a campaign is 2.20, this means for every conversion that is reported from a mobile device, 2.20 conversions on other devices were assisted by mobile impressions or clicks.

This information can help inform your mobile bid adjustment strategy. Going with the same example, if you notice mobile is assisting conversions on other devices by 2.2x, and your tablet assist ratio is only assisting conversions on other devices by 0.25x, you may want to lower your tablet bid adjustments and increase your mobile bid adjustments to maximize value from your mobile ad impressions.

Optimizing Your mobile Strategy

Let’s say you’re analyzing the top conversion path and discover mobile is driving more assists than actual conversions. If that’s the case, you can optimize your mobile campaign strategy to be more educational rather than transactional. Your ad can highlight copy such as ‘Learn More’, as opposed to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up Now’. Additionally, the mobile landing page can be optimized to show the most important benefits of your product at the top, rather than the call-to-action of sign up now. For B2B companies, this may occur quite often, as your prospects may hear about your products or services at a conference, conduct a mobile search while they’re on the go, and convert later when they are back in their office on their laptop.

As with any attribution reporting, it’s important to consider how you want to measure conversions and apply credit to each device and ad channel. You can use the Google Analytics Model Comparison Tool to compare the results of up to three different types of attribution models to ensure that the attribution model you’re using reflects your advertising goals and business models.