Focus on Campaign Strategy with Automate Bulk Actions

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Automation, Product Updates
Focus on Campaign Strategy with Automate Bulk Actions

Save Time Optimizing Ad Accounts with Automate Bulk Actions

Managing your ad campaigns individually on each network is time consuming and repetitive. Instead of dedicating resources to analyze campaign performance or refining your ad creative, you’re stuck juggling multiple open tabs to perform the same tedious optimization tasks across all your active campaigns.

Introducing some automation into your ad management workflow is a sure-fire way to avoid wasting time making the same manual across all your ad creative. If you can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort you’re currently spending on tedious optimizations, you’ll be able to re-allocate that time and effort into thinking about strategy, audience targeting, and testing.

What Are Automate Bulk Actions?

Bulk actions allow you to make precise optimization, in mass, across a selected group of desired accounts, campaigns, and ad creative. Make quick, sweeping changes across accounts, campaigns, ad group/ad sets, and ad creative based on the metrics or actions using simple if-then logic to apply changes to your accounts based on the criteria you set.

Bulk Actions help you efficiently optimize your accounts:

  1. Edit bids, budgets, and statuses of any campaign, group/ad set, ad, or keyword across your ad networks all at once.
  2. Gain peace of mind with real-time status email notifications that let you know the Bulk Action task successfully applied your changes.
  3. Save and run common bulk actions across multiple campaigns, ad groups / ad sets, or ad creative at the same time.

What Are Some Common Ways to Use Bulk Actions?

Quick House Cleaning: Pause All Low-Performing Ads

It’s important to run periodic reviews of your campaign’s ad performance and pause the ads performing poorly while increase spend for the ads converting the most leads. Allowing bad ads continue to receive impressions will hinder customer acquisition efforts and result in low quality scores.

Continue refining campaign performance and use Bulk Actions to automate identifying and pausing low-performing ads across all your networks; including Bing, Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Use Bulk Actions to automate identifying and pausing low-performing ads across all your networks.

For example, you may want to pause poor performing ad creative that generated a high average cost per conversion.

Looking at performance over the last 14-days:

  • Spend > $400 AND
  • Conversions > 5
  • Cost per conversion > $200
  • Then pause the ad copy

Pause Ad Creative Automate Bulk Actions via blog.adstage.io

Make Keyword Bid Adjustments in a Flash

Keyword bids directly impact campaign profitability and ultimately your ROI. For example, if you bid too low, you risk missing valuable opportunities to reach potential customers. Other the other hand if you bid too high, you’re also driving up your cost per acquisition and diminishes your returns. Edit your bids according to your desired advertising goals.

Take advantage of great performing keywords, by raising their bids so they can show in higher positions and more often.

Looking at performance over the last 30-days:

  • IF average position is <3 AND
  • IF conversions are > 5
  • IF cost / conversions < $80
  • Then Increase bid by 5%, with a maximum ceiling of $8.00.

Take Advantage of High Performing Keywords Automate Bulk Actions via blog.adstage.io

Health Check for Your Quality Scores

Search marketers interested in increasing ROI have to not only understand, but also improve Quality Scores to optimize PPC campaigns. Quality Score is a grade assigned to your paid search campaigns at the keyword level, by either Bing Ads or Google AdWords. Ad networks prefer relevant ads because they offer searchers a better user experience by displaying only the most relevant results for their search intent.

Low quality score keywords can be costly to your overall account, driving up average cost per click, and inflating cost per conversion averages. Pause poor performing keywords in one sweep with a low quality score bulk optimization.

Looking at keyword performance over the last 14-days:

  • IF Quality Score <5
  • IF average CPC > $1.25
  • IF spend > $200
  • IF cost per conversion > $100
  • Then pause the keyword

Pause Low Performing Keywords Automate Bulk Actions via blog.adstage.io

Putting It All Together

Advertisers are already seeing success with Automate. One large educational organization immediately lowered costs by $18,000 in a 28 day period with one dayparting rule. Other direct advertisers, such as HIRED, have been able to decrease their costs per acquisition by over 30%; while agencies, like Inflow, see an average lift of 20% conversions using automated rules to adjust bids, budgets, and flighting across search and social channels.

Now you can instantly make sweeping changes across all your accounts, campaigns, ad groups / ad sets, ads, and keywords right inside Automate.

Create your first ‘Bulk Action’ in Automate to save time and start focusing on campaign strategy today!

Automate Bulk Actions CTA via blog.adstage.io

 

How to Save 10 Hours on PPC Management With Automation

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Advertising, Automation
How to Save 10 Hours on PPC Management With Automation

Managing a PPC campaign takes time. A big part of that time is taken by activities you repeat over and over, like scheduling ads, optimizing bids, and keyword management.

Some of the activities you do to manage your campaigns are small and may take you 10 minutes. But aggregate all those little tasks, and you will see you are losing many hours a month you could spend in higher-value activities.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use automation to save up to 10 hours a month when managing your PPC campaigns.

Campaign Optimization

On Your Own: 6 hours per month

Optimizing a campaign is one of the most time consuming tasks of any PPC specialist. Tasks such as setting up new ads to test, changing bids to reflect a new tactic, and improving the ad copy of a set of ads take too much time. Most importantly, it can distract the specialist from the big picture of helping a business improve its leads and ROI.

With Automation: 2 hour per month

You can use automation to help you optimize a wide variety of basic optimization tasks, such as:

  • Pause ad sets and ad groups which spend over their desired limits
  • Pause low performing ad sets, ad groups, or specific ads
  • Increase the spending of ad sets, ad groups, or specific ads based on their high performance
  • Adjust the bids based on the impact (including ROAS and CPA)
  • Run ad tests

Google AdWords already lets you set simple automate ad rules. You can also use scripts and other AdWords automation tools, which usually give you greater control and more automation options.

Facebook has also released automation rules in 2016, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns in a similar fashion than to Google AdWords. Some of the automation rules Facebook offer include:

  • Pause campaigns, ad sets or ads based on performance
  • Increase or decrease campaign budgets based on performance
  • Increase or decrease manual bids based on performance
  • Receive email alerts based on ad performance

Even though Facebook’s automation rules are good enough for companies with smaller budgets and levels of complexities, they can be too restraining for larger business. With the help of a tool such as AdStage, you can automate your campaigns with greater flexibility.

For example, you can implement your automation rules across multiple campaigns and ad sets simultaneously. What’s more, AdStage allows you to apply as many rules as you wish, while Facebook only lets you set up to 100 automated rules per ad account.

Ad Rotation

On Your Own: 2 hours per month

Ads don’t last forever. PPC specialists know this very well when they try to scale an ad that is performing well but stops performing as it should. The reason why a well-performing ad stops bringing any meaningful results is due to a process known as “ad fatigue.” When a publisher hits an audience with an ad too many times in a short period of time, the audience’s attention to that ad drops, which lowers the CTR and, therefore, increases its costs.

To fight ad fatigue you can implement a tactic called “ad rotation.” This consists on manually creating a large number of ads within one ad group (or set), with their respective images and copy for each one. Then, you could set a schedule time for each one, run them, and after a certain time has passed by, compare the results.

The problem with this solution is you would need to keep a tight schedule on each ad running time as well as manually check when they are supposed to stop. Finally, you would need to stop the ad yourself, and activate a new one. Repeat that over a dozen times, and you can imagine you can end up wasting a lot of time (without counting the mental fatigue that can give you).

With Automation: 30 Minutes per month

Automating ad rotation would help you set all your ads at once (with their respective headlines, copy, and images), set up how often you want to run them (which could be hours, days, weeks, or even months), and let the ads rotate automatically the way you set them up. You can then set up an alert (which you will see later how to do) and check the results without having to check constantly how they are performing.

Google AdWords currently allows you to use automatic ad rotation. Google offers four options:

  • Click optimization (the default option): With this option, Google would optimize your group to make it receive more impressions and clicks overall.
  • Conversion optimization: When Google optimizes your ads for conversion, they deliver the ads that have converted better more often into the ad auction than other ads in the ad group.
  • Even rotation: In this option, Google rotates your ads more evenly into the ad auction, helping your ads with low CTRs and conversion rates to show more often.
  • Indefinite rotation: In this option, Google also delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction, but does so for an indefinite amount of time and does not optimize.

Facebook Ads rotation works differently, as they set up their ads in a way that different ads within the same ad set compete against each other for delivery. That means they display all the ads in your ad set until it’s clear one is performing better. As soon as that happens, the highest-performance ad will be shown more prominently than the others. Because of the nature Facebook rotates their ads, if you would like to have your ads display more evenly over the lifetime of an ad set, you need to separate your ads into different ad sets. Even if this rotation is automatic, it still requires a lot of work.

To this end, AdStage can help you rotate your ads with a feature called Flighting, which allows you to cycle a selected set of Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Ads. Once the first group of ads meets the time condition selected, those will be paused and the next step will be enabled.

Ad Scheduling (aka. Dayparting)

On Your Own: 2 hours per month

Unless you run a local business, showing your ads to your prospects at the right time can be a tiresome process. The prospects who live in the East Coast may be receiving ads that aren’t relevant at their time zone, which means you end up wasting money on people who aren’t likely to convert.

In some cases, it’s easy to know when your ads are more likely to be effective. For example, if you run a business with limited service hours which will be closed at certain times, you probably want to restrict your ads to run only while your business is open. In this case, you can limit your ads to run from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday to Friday.

In many other cases (like in the case of an e-commerce store), it’s hard to tell beforehand when your ads will perform best. That’s where scheduling your ads to show at specific times, when they have proven to work best, can be a more efficient and time-saving process.

With Automation: 15 Minutes per month

Ad scheduling, also known as “dayparting”, show your ads to the right people at the right time. You can schedule your ads to show at specific hours and days of the week. Your ads will be served your audience’s time zone so you get the results you want.

Both Google AdWords and Facebook offer dayparting in their campaign managers. The problem is they don’t make it easy for you to turn off your campaigns.

AdStage Automate lets advertisers use dayparting through the campaign scheduler. Based on data taken from your previous campaigns, you can show your ads at specific times of the day or week when they have shown to be most effective. This helps you spend your budget as efficiently as possible. Scheduling your ads in Power Editor requires a lifetime budget. With AdStage, in contrast, advertisers have no restrictions on what budget types can be used for scheduling.

Get Alerts

On Your Own: 3 hours per month

How many times have you run a campaign and feared it would end up spending more money than you desired? If you measured how much time you spent monitoring your accounts and campaigns, you’d probably gasp at the number. Whether you check in on a campaign’s spend, on your KPIs, or simply troubleshooting problems that show you, logging into accounts to look at the numbers is time-consuming.

With Automation: 15 Minutes

You can end all your worries by receiving a curated list of your accounts and campaigns straight to your inbox. With automation you can set a threshold in relation to a certain metric, and the threshold is hit, you immediately get an email or message. Alerts do all the work for you by sending updates as soon as you over or under spend, make specific adjustments, and anticipate problems before they happen.

Facebook currently doesn’t offer alerts, while Google Adwords does. Google Adwords lets you get the following email notifications:

  • Billing alerts
  • Campaign maintenance alerts
  • Newsletters
  • Google market research
  • Customized help and performance suggestions
  • Disapproved ads and policy alerts
  • Reports
  • Special offers

AdStage also allows you to create custom alerts to your inbox.

Create Reports

On Your Own: 2 Hours per month

Reporting is a common activity any PPC specialist spends a large deal of time on. The problem is, each time they need a report, they need to log in, pull all the necessary data, organize it, and export it. If they need the same report every a specific period of time, they can end up spending more time than necessary creating those reports.

With Automation: 20 minutes per month

Both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads lets you automate your report creation. The problem with their standard reports is you can’t customize it. For example, you can’t compare the performance of your AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns. You can’t create standardized templates for reuse. This is not to mention how confusing and ineffective creating reports can be. Neither companies allow you to add graphics or tables. To do that, you you have to export your data and work it on Excel, which can be even more complicated and time-consuming.

AdStage allows you to create custom PPC report templates, and then schedule them as a recurring report (including daily, weekly, or monthly) straight to your inbox. You can also add your team members or clients with ease.

Summary

If you are a PPC specialist with too much work and not enough time, this article has shown you the power of automation. Throughout this article, you have seen how automating five tasks in your PPC management can help you save 10 hours (or even more).

 

Why AdStage Automation

Boosting Social Media Marketing Using Content Automation

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Automation, Social
Boosting Social Media Marketing Using Content Automation

Comprehensive automation appears to be the future trajectory of digital marketing. Email automation, for example, has become second-nature to many marketers. It’s nearly impossible to imagine writing unique emails to individual clients each day. Retaining information regarding our users in automated CRM systems allows for automation to be simplified.

This post is about social media marketing. The emphasis is on the “social” aspect, the part where relationships are built between your brand and its followers. People following your company on social media want a personal connection, not mechanically generated content cluttering their feeds and jamming their inbox! It increases your chances of success if there is a human being on the other side of every post that they view.

If you are geographically separated from a significant portion of your audience or clients, would it make sense to attempt to contact them late at night, to the detriment of other relationships? Waking up early in the morning or staying up very late at night will eventually interfere with the schedule you’re meant to keep with local clients, family, and friends.

The Case for Automation

Scheduling posts to go live automatically is an especially useful application for automation. A well-planned content calendar, with diverse content, may be the solution to lackluster relationship building and can increase brand presence and site traffic. Posting at optimal times of day can also significantly increase site traffic; it doesn’t make much sense to post while your audience is sleeping! You should also consider investing to boost posts or run more ads.

By automating your marketing, you can mitigate some of these challenges. This approach will also save you time and improve the impact of social media campaigns. Automation (and by this we mean loading up your social media calendar ahead of time so that you’re not manually posting) can only get you so far. You have a lot of things to think about when creating posts to share with potential fans and customers.

Building relationships with your brand’s consumers require creativity and continuing attention to the needs of the community. Some of the potential challenges that you will face as you develop your marketing plan for social media are listed below.

Getting the Right Visuals

In order to establish your brand, or build awareness for an existing following, you will need to create custom visuals. Sometimes this means modifying stock photos with logos or captions, or creating appropriate images from scratch.

Relatively young companies can benefit significantly by establishing strong branding early on. If you want these materials to be effective, they should appear professional and ideally contain recognizable colors, fonts, and logos. A professional appearance will create trust in your brand. It may not be necessary to hire a designer immediately or invest large sums of money.

Instead, you can create your own content with a drag-and-drop editor, easy graphic creation tool or something similar – we have recommendations if you want to seek out those options.

Try PromoRepublic (I work here), Canva, and Picmonkey to create professional visuals in minutes.

Screen Shot 2017 05 16 at 10.18.14 AM

Writing Compelling Content

If you are short on time, and can’t invest in creating catchy captions or hashtags sure to go viral, you may need to work with a creative person to generate novel ideas. Some companies spend a lot of money on copywriters, but sometimes it can be hard for those professionals to hit the mark in terms of your brand’s audience.

By automating your social media marketing, you maximize the possibility to focus on building relationships with your follower base without straining to complete more routine tasks. Let’s look at an example social media marketing strategy and discuss how content impacts growth of engagement.

Building Efficient Content Plans

Now that we’ve covered some of the things you need to think about when creating a social plan,, it is time to put them into practice! It is clear now that posts can be scheduled to go live automatically, but it may be less clear how to determine when the best time to schedule them is.

This is an example of a balanced content strategy.

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Engagement Content

Screen Shot 2017 04 25 at 12.47.38 PM
Posts meant to increase engagement should make up a significant (about 40%) portion of your total content. Examples of this type of post could include statistics or motivational quotes. They could contain polls or quizzes to engage the audience. The key features of these posts are that they grab the reader’s attention so they should be visually appealing and written well. Finally, it is critical that they reach your audience at an optimal time of day.

These posts should make up the core of your strategy because they are the content that people share with their friends and ultimately build your brand’s awareness. If this content is designed well it should inspire the strongest responses, so these posts.

Events, holidays, trends and more pre-made and ready to use. You can try content builders and schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and even view analytics to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Promotional Content

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These posts are meant to communicate special offers or other company business. These posts are necessary and but generally less inherently interesting that engagement content. Followers will eventually become former followers if your strategy relies too heavily upon promotional content. Promotional content should comprise about 30% of your posts.

Educational Content

Screen Shot 2017 04 25 at 12.53.51 PM
Educational content is often neglected in social media marketing plans. Blog posts are widely considered effective enough to communicate educational material. More-involved efforts represent too large a time commitment, … Curated content often edges out educational posts, but this is not recommended.

There are benefits of hosting content not generated by your organization, but these should not be over-valued. Your brand will not live up to its potential, and your audience benefit less if relevant educational posts are neglected. It is also likely that if you don’t love the content that you are considering hosting, your audience is unlikely to engage with it well either.

Visual material that has the potential to be informative or contains relevant information would serve as educational. Don’t limit yourself to blog posts!

Curated Content

Screen Shot 2017 04 25 at 12.52.37 PM
Only 10% of your total planned content should be curated. Curated content might be used to fill spots on your calendar that have fewer scheduled posts, as well as increasing your number of followers. Potential new clients may evolve as your existing audience interacts with content that you have curated.

Another function of curated content is to project that you are aware of the trends in your industry. This can serve to build relationships with established thought leaders in the field, and can even improve your own reputation. Make sure to carefully choose what you curate based on your audience’s interests, otherwise the effort that went into reaching out to guest writers will be wasted.

Post at Strategic Times

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What time of day does your audience engage most with your content? What hour would be most likely to find people shopping for gifts? When are exclusive offers or discounts going to be the most effective?

Holidays work well to frame your campaign as they are widely recognized, however, there is also potential in less-know events. For example, people are more likely to share special offers on pizza during National Pizza Day. Certain holidays that might be more relevant to your specific audience would be the perfect time to motivate them to pull a little extra weight by sharing or otherwise interacting with your seasonal content.

There are a lot of moving parts to a social media campaign. What to post, when to post and who to target are all part of the equation, but finding time to manually post shouldn’t be.

 

What’s New in AdStage: May

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Automation, Product Updates, Reporting
What’s New in AdStage: May

Welcome to the May edition of What’s New in AdStage! We spent the last month building a ton of feature enhancements in Report and Automate.

Let’s take a look at the latest and greatest in Report and Automate below👇.

Report

Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

New Table Upload Widget

Take any excel, csv, or google sheets data table you have and upload it directly to Report!

Use Table Upload Widgets to Help You:

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

  • Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

  • Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.

(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers

  • Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

  • Customize your reporting views using Google Sheets to show data from your custom formulas. When uploading a table from Google Sheets, you’ll always have the most recent data – no need to worry about data accuracy problems 🙌 .
  • Get step-by-step help with Google Sheets 👉  How do I upload a Google Sheet into Report?

Save Time Creating Reports with Dashboard Settings

Set Default Data Source at the Dashboard Level

Now you can choose to view data from specific account groups, accounts, folders, campaigns, ad groups, or ads at the dashboard level by setting a ‘Data Source’.

The data source you select in the dashboard settings, will now be the default level for any newly created widget.

Filter Your Performance Data Views Faster

New Widget Creation Layout 

The widget fields now have natural language making it easier to breakdown performance data by any level of your ad account, and uncover deeper KPI insights from your reports.

New Widget Creation Layout Filter Performance Views via blog.adstage.io

Easily Identify Top Performing Networks at a Glance

We Standardized Network Colors!

Now when you create a cross-network widget, you’ll see each network has a standardized color. These network colors will be consistent across all dashboards and reports.

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

See Your Copy Next to Your Ads in Performance Tables

Add Headline, Image, and Description Columns to Ad Tables

We added the ability to see ad creative next to performance metrics,  so you can diagnose which creatives are working, and what’s not, faster.

Add an ad level table widget to your reports for a side-by-side comparison of winning headline, image, and description combinations.

Automate

Sequence Ads Together to Tell Your Brand Story

New Automate Flighting Feature!

Drum roll please……introducing the latest addition to Automate: Flighting!

Now you can show campaigns, ad groups, and ads in an ordered sequence to reach your target audience at every buying stage (resulting in higher CTRs and conversion rates🤑 ).

Top Direct-Response and Brand Awareness Flighting Strategies

(1) Funnel-Based Storytelling

  • Increase CTR and conversion rates using a specific series of sequenced ads to walk potential customers down the purchase funnel with relevant call-to-actions.
  • For example start with a brand awareness message (Step 1), product information / value proposition message (Step 2), and finally use a targeted CTA to convert potential customers via signup form or make a purchase on product page.

(2) Prime-and-Remind Storytelling

  • Use different ad formats to both “prime” people with the brand’s story using video ads, and “remind” people of the video narrative with display ads.

(3) Progressive Promotions

  • If you are running a promotion with different percentages off per week, you can flight your ads to show accurately and timely.
  • Easily schedule specific times to run your first week 10% Off Promo (Step 1), second week 20% Off Promo (Step 2), and third week 30% Off Promo (Step 3).


Have questions about Flighting? Check out the full product update for Flighting templates and getting started guides.

Let Your Alerts Do the Optimizing for You

Convert Performance Alerts into Optimization Rules with Just One-Click

Now you can easily convert your existing alerts into rules to automate the same actions you’re already taking on your accounts after you receive an email notification.

AdStage Automate Convert Alert into Rule via blog.adstage.io

Automate Convert Alert to Rule AdStage via blog.adstage.io

Your converted rule will have the same conditions as your alert, but now you can specify an optimization condition to apply once the rule is triggered. In other words, you can save yourself a ton of time on performing tedious management tasks.

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results

1. Avoid Wasting Spend on High CPA Ad Sets

  • IF Cost Per Result > $100 AND Spend > $250
  • Using Data from Last 30 Days
  • THEN Pause Ad Set
  • Run Every 6 Hours
  • RUN & EMAIL results

2. Pause Low Performing CTR Ads

  • IF Status is Active AND Impressions > 5000 AND CTR < .05%
  • Using Data from Last 7 Days
  • THEN Pause AD
  • Run Every Monday at 10am PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

3. Maximize Your Daily Budget

  • IF Spend < $15
  • Using Data from Today
  • THEN Increase Bid Amount by 30% with Max. Bid = $10
  • Run Daily @ 2pm PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results via blog.adstage.io

Wrapping Up

We always love hearing from you! Let us know what you think about the May product updates in the comments below.

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

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

When and How Use Facebook Sequential Advertising

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Automation, Social
When and How Use Facebook Sequential Advertising

The concept of sequential advertising first started buzzing in 2013 but failed to gain momentum. That could be changing as platforms finally begin to build ways for marketers to more effectively deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

What Is Sequential Advertising

But first, let’s take a small step back and look at what sequential advertising is. Essentially, it’s a way to show your targeted audience a group of ads by step, with the goal of one day following consumers’ eyes as they jump between devices. It’s different (and more advanced) than rotating ads in that it uses technology to determine which ads someone has already seen and automatically serves up the next one in the series.

So instead of running the risk of someone seeing the 4th ad in your campaign multiple times (hello, ad fatigue), sequential advertising guarantees a person will see Ad 1, then Ad 2, then Ad 3, and so on, even if they’re switching between many devices.

It’s a complicated process, which is why advertising platforms have been slow to implement it. But progress is being made, like Snapchat now allowing marketers to run sequential video ads in its Discover hub. And consumers like what they see.

Facebook, Refinery29, and Adaptly held a study that found campaigns that tell a brand story before presenting a CTA were more effective than ads that only focused on a CTA. In fact, according to the study, view-through rates for sequenced ads were 87 percent higher than standard ads.

Now we’ll go over when’s the best time to use sequential messaging, how to get a campaign going on Facebook, and how to tailor your ads to this new medium.

When To Use Sequential Advertising on Facebook

The best time to start testing a new ad unit is before the rest of the digital marketers catch on, right? But seriously, sequential advertising is proving itself to be a means to forge deeper relationships with customers thanks to the storytelling structure it provides. Even if you’re just running some light tests, early adoption could give you a huge leg up.

Sequential also works exceedingly well for less well-known brands who need to build awareness before serving a CTA, and companies that are selling a complicated product or service that’s difficult to sum up in one ad. Instead of having to jam everything into one ad for fear it may be your only chance to catch someone’s attention, sequential ensures your messaging is guiding consumers down a natural funnel.

Advertising often is too focused on acquisition and ignores lead nurturing. Sequencing helps here by providing a way to better pair blog posts and email campaigns with advertising to offer more helpful, relevant ad messaging based on where a prospect is within the buying cycle.

One example is taking low friction content such as a blog post, which often doesn’t introduce your product or service, and moving on to items like a gated whitepaper, case study, then a webinar or demo.

Sequential Funnel

How To Get Started Using Facebook Sequential Advertising

Facebook is slowly rolling out access to sequential within reach and frequency campaigns, but there’s no word on when it might be more widely available. To check if you have access to sequencing, see Facebook’s step-by-step instructions and note “sequencing isn’t available until after you’ve reserved and uploaded your reach and frequency ad set.”

Because Facebook and Instagram share data, sequencing is available on both platforms, and your ads will show up on both, but you cannot control which ads are delivered to which platform.

If you don’t yet have access to sequencing directly through Facebook, AdStage recently introduced a new Flighting Feature that gives all customers access to sequencing! It includes funnel-based storytelling and prime-and-remind storytelling, discussed in more detail below, as well as progressive promotions, which allows you to run a promotion with different percentages off per week. For example, 10% off the first week, 20% the second week, and so on.

Facebook digs in deeper on funnel-based and prime-and-remind storytelling in this great overview and data booklet on tests they conducted for sequential:

Funnel-based storytelling = messages guide consumers down the purchase funnel:

Funnel

Priming-and-reminding storytelling = multiple ad formats “prime” people with the brand’s story via video ads and “remind” people of the info in the video with display ads:

PR

In the funnel-based test, Facebook used Refinery29’s conversion rates for email sign-ups. One set of ads used direct-response messages, while the other set used sequential storytelling. There was a 49% greater conversion rate using a funnel-based marketing approach. And for the priming-and-reminding test, Facebook looked at a nonprofit advertiser that used a video ad with a display ad to return a 5.97% better rate of donations. Approaches and ad combos will work differently for every brand, so test small and tweak.

Tips to Tailor Ads to Sequential

Sequential offers many more options for creative than standard ads. Because it effectively guides consumers along the funnel, test different ad formats at each point – brand awareness, consideration, conversion.

Video can help deliver more info upfront, and carousels can showcase multiple products before you serve up a simple CTA. Also, test the pacing of your ads. You don’t want to move too quickly for larger purchasing decisions, or too slowly for low price points that don’t need much consideration. Always print and lay out your creative to ensure it tells a cohesive story.

For years, marketers have talked about the possibilities and implications of sequential advertising but had no way to execute. If advertising platforms continue with the progress they’ve already made, 2017 could be the year we finally have a way to form deeper and richer relationships with customers.

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post!

Write for The AdStage Blog

Have an opinion about Facebook’s newest feature release? Want to share your tips on managing Demand Gen teams in modern agencies? Think you have a game-changing hack for optimizing your AdWords campaigns? Then we’d love to have you write a guest post for our blog. We’re always looking for fresh perspectives from the sharpest minds in search and social digital advertising to provide our audience with actionable, in-depth content that helps them better plan, execute, optimize, and report on their PPC campaigns.

A few of our favorite guest posts to date include:

How to Write an AdStage Guest Post

  • Submit your contact information and your blog post idea in this Google Form. Please allow us 7 business days to get back to you.
  • Next, once we give the go-ahead, send us a full draft of the post in google doc format. Include images! Please allow us 7 business days to review and provide edits/feedback.
  • Include a bio (50 words max), include 150 x 150 high-res photo of yourself.
  • After final edits are made and the post is approved, we will queue it up in our content schedule.
  • Lastly, we will let you know the publish date and time so you can co-promote on the launch date.

Who are our ideal guest post authors?

We accept pitches from PPC marketers of all stripes. Whether you’re working in an in-house, agency, or consultant role, everyone brings unique perspectives that are valuable to our audience.

You should have at least a couple years of experience in the PPC world. Previous pieces in published on other high-authority blogs are a plus.

Which Topics Do We Cover?

Our audience consists of data-driven marketing directors, in-house PPC managers/specialists, and PPC agency marketers from around the world. The types of articles that do well with our readers include:

  • Anything to do with planning, organizing, or executing PPC campaigns or accounts.
  • Specific Ad Network features digital advertisers can take advantage of to get the most bang for their buck (top Ad Networks include Facebook, Instagram, AdWords, LinkedIn, Bing, and Twitter).
  • How-to guides for medium to advanced PPC professionals.
  • Bonus points for focusing on PPC reporting or automation!
  • Tips for PPC Reporting for Agencies, A/B testing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Automation, B2B Lead Generation, PPC Landing Pages, Ad Creative, Re-Targeting–if it’s PPC, are all great topics!

Guest Post Requirements

  • Your post must be at least 1,000 words.
  • You must propose a target keyword.
  • We request that you use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to come up with your headline, and submit one with a score of at least 65.
  • Your post must be original content.
  • If your post is published, we’ll ask that you respond to all comments for the first seven days after it’s posted.

What’s in it for you?

  • Exposure to our ever-growing audience of PPC experts
  • A potential feature in our weekly newsletter
  • Shoutouts from AdStage social media accounts
  • A chance to share your expertise and build your reputation as a PPC thought leader

We look forward to hearing from you!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post! via blog.adstage.io

 

Cut Your PPC Checklist In Half With Automation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Advertising, Automation
Cut Your PPC Checklist In Half With Automation [INFOGRAPHIC]

Running a PPC campaign involves so many tasks and can’t-miss details that having a checklist is necessary to keep from overlooking an important step. But, often, a comprehensive PPC checklist can turn into multiple pages of bullets and sub-bullets. Surely, every PPC professional dreams of editing the list down! But how is that possible without losing crucial details? The answer is automation. As you’ll see below, implementing a single point of automation can eliminate multiple steps, and in many cases, optimize performance for better results.

1) Triggered Emails & Texts

If you totaled up all the time you spend monitoring simple milestones for accounts and campaigns, you’d probably gasp at the number. Whether it’s checking in on spend, key performance indicators, or troubleshooting red flags, logging into accounts to look at the numbers is time-consuming. Triggered emails do all the work for you, sending updates and alerts so you can combat over/under spend, make adjustments mid-run, and anticipate problems before they happen.

Cut Your PPC Checklist In Half With This Simple Move via blog.adstage.io

2) Automated Bidding

You’re not alone in feeling that bidding can be overwhelming and confusing. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads offer bidding options that let you set your goals for CPA, CPC, CPM, and specific objectives, in the case of Facebook. And because both bidding systems continue optimizing 24/7, you can feel confident you’re getting the most for your money without having to monitor and tweak around the clock.

3) Employ If/Then Logic

It’s always exciting to reach a milestone in a PPC campaign, but mindlessly clicking buttons to keep things moving can be a buzzkill. Optimization rules built on if/then logic will automatically roll progress along. For example, if you’re A/B testing ads and want to divert remaining budget to the better performing ad once it crosses a certain threshold, you can set an optimization rule instead of logging in, monitoring, clicking, tweaking, and so forth.

Cut Your PPC Checklist In Half With This Simple Move via blog.adstage.io

4) Dayparting and Flighting

Scheduling is one area where it’s extra nice to set it and forget it. Instead of logging in to manually launch ads, you can set your calendar for an entire campaign before the first ad is even published.

5) Bulk Action Cleanups

Click. Click. Click. Click. When you have bigger fish to fry, performing the same action over and over can be infuriating. With automation, you can perform bulk actions, so you can get rid of the old and getting started again with a clean slate quickly.

6) A/B split tests

Any good marketer knows testing ads before pulling the big trigger is a must. But running multiple mini-campaigns at once is just double, or triple, or even quincentuple the work depending on how many ads you’re testing. Automating A/B split tests allows you to set up many ads in one go, and pull one complete report.

7) Fresh Creative

We’ve talked about ad fatigue in previous posts, but what can be equally tiring is manually shuffling new creative into the mix when performance stalls. Your dreams of an easier way to keep creative fresh have come true thanks to automation. Set your KPIs, load your creative, then watch as customers are wowed by a seemingly never-ending stream of new ads.

Cut Your PPC Checklist In Half With This Simple Move via blog.adstage.io

8) Custom Optimization Rules

The core of your PPC checklist might not change, but you’re likely constantly making revisions and additions based on your own data and learnings. Revising your checklist takes time, and you’re probably only expanding it as you add more details. With automation, you can plug in your data to create custom optimization rules, cutting out tiresome manual steps and ensuring you’ve saved valuable information for future campaigns.

Cut Your PPC Checklist In Half With This Simple Move via blog.adstage.io

9) One Control Center

Even with saved passwords, logging into dozens of accounts to make the same change is tedious. Automation software lets you adjust your ads on different networks from one account. This capability makes it much easier to be nimble, and test without investing a ton of time.

Conclusion

There’s no magic wand to eliminate all the to-dos on your PPC checklist, but letting automation take care of the small stuff means you have more time to focus on the big stuff. AdStage offers powerful automation tools to help you save time and optimize performance.

With AdStage’s Automation, HIRED has decreased CPA by over 30%, and Inflow has used simple if/then logic-based rules to increase conversions by over 20%. Test it out with a 14-Day Free Trial, or request a demo.

 

How to Automate Facebook Ads - AdStage

 

Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Automation, Social
Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time

If you’re a smart PPC advertiser, you have a whole lot of Facebook ads running at once. And, if you’re a savvy PPC advertiser, you know exactly how you want to optimize your ads given your campaign objectives. That’s where Facebook automation comes into play.

Automated rules allow you to track under and over-pacing ad sets, schedule ads for certain days/times, pause or boost ads based on performance, run tests, and automatically rotate new creative in after a certain period of time.

The number of hours you can save using these automated rules is huge and the more chances at automation you have, the more that number grows.

That’s why we wanted to break down exactly what you’re getting with the automated rules in Facebook’s ad manager and with AdStage’s Automate product. That way, if you’re looking for more Facebook automation or a specific feature, you know where to find it!

What Facebook Ads Manager Offers

Facebook released automated rules in 2016, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns with simple rule-based automation. They currently offer four Facebook automation rules:

  • Pause campaigns, ad sets or ads based on performance
  • Increase or decrease campaign budgets based on performance
  • Increase or decrease manual bids based on performance
  • Receive email alerts based on ad performance

Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time via blog.adstage.io

 

What AdStage Automate Offers

Facebook’s automation offerings are a fantastic start, and that’s why AdStage offers them, too. But why stop there? These automated rules are helpful in catching and taking action on performance changes, but there are ways you can optimize your campaigns at an even more granular level.

In addition to the rules offered natively on Facebook, AdStage Automate offers a set of optimization tools for Facebook Ads that can give you greater flexibility, chances for optimization, and time saved.

Stay Up to Date on Ad Performance

With email performance alerts, you can monitor your ad accounts and campaigns around the clock. Stay on top of campaign trends like over or under spend, CTR, and high cost per conversion. And, you can use alerts to be sure you know when ads are live, so you can better control budget pacing. Know when an ad is down, banned, or awaiting approval and when that issue is resolved.

Also, you no longer need to export campaign performance and analyze the data in an Excel file. Your email notification includes a complete list of underperforming accounts and campaigns straight to your inbox. You can also get alerts like these through Facebook Ads Manager, but you may be limited as they only allow up to 100 automated rules in each ad account.

Efficiently Optimize Your Ads

Using simple IF/THEN logic, you can create flexible and powerful optimization rules and apply them to multiple campaigns and ad sets simultaneously. AdStage’s automated optimization tasks fire based on the performance trends you choose so you’re always in control, and have the ability to optimize campaigns as soon as the performance conditions apply.

In addition, you can apply as many rules as you wish, while Facebook only allows each ad account up to 100 automated rules.

Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time via blog.adstage.io

Schedule Campaign Budgets to Increase or Decrease

Unlike Facebook automated rules, AdStage does not limit you to simple automated bid and budget changes when performance changes occur. For seasonal campaigns or end of quarter pushes, you may want to increase your budget to make specific revenue goals.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to drive more impressions before a sale is over, you can schedule an increase in your bids during any given week. The budget can be flexible and updated automatically with the AdStage campaign scheduler.

Daypart Campaigns to Deliver During Specific Times

While Facebook also offers dayparting in Power Editor, they don’t make it easy for you to turn off your campaigns. They are, after all, incentivized to have you keep your ads on all the time. So, if you’re not using Power Editor, you miss out on this opportunity to optimize your ad delivery.

In AdStage Automate, dayparting is available through the campaign scheduler. Based on the top converting times of the day, or when your audience is likely to be on Facebook, you can deliver Facebook Ads at the most optimal times of the day or week. This ensures your budget is spent as efficiently as possible — by simply choosing which hours and days to show your ads for the best conversion rates.

Campaign scheduling in Power Editor also requires a lifetime budget, while in AdStage, advertisers have no restrictions on what budget types can be used for scheduling, and can use the more popular ‘daily budgets’ in their set up.

Keep Your Ads Fresh

While Facebook is supposed to automatically rotate your ads, you don’t get very much visibility into why they choose which ads to rotate. Automated ad rotation in AdStage allows you to cycle through sets of ads, ad sets, or campaigns based on your desired KPIs, rather than Facebook’s black box algorithm.

You will most likely want to keep your ads fresh, with either new ad copy, ad images, new calls-to-action, or new landing pages, and this solution allows you to engage your audience with different messages at scale.

Take Action in Bulk

Quickly get the best view into your data and take an optimization action in bulk. If you’d like to do a one-time performance clean up of an account or campaign, it’s easy to do that bulk action through a simple workflow in AdStage Automate.

Unlike Facebook Ads Manager, where you have to select each ad set or campaign to take bulk actions, AdStage lets you filter by specific parameters, saving hours of manual time filtering performance views and making edits.

Scale Automation Beyond Facebook Ads

As a cross-network platform, AdStage allows you to create automated rules for other paid channels such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Twitter Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. This is a great upsell tactic for agencies who are growing their book of business.

Once you’ve gotten your strategy down in Facebook Ads with our set of Facebook automation tools, expand your campaigns across the other networks to gain more syndication.

Get Started with AdStage Automate

AdStage Automate brings additional flexibility, more in-depth metrics to optimize/monitor, and incredible amounts of time saved through bulk actions with running Facebook automation. Improve your workflows and get organized today with your free trial of AdStage Automate.

Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time via blog.adstage.io

The 10 Best AdWords Scripts to Scale your PPC Accounts

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Automation, Search
The 10 Best AdWords Scripts to Scale your PPC Accounts

When you scale your AdWords accounts, you start to find even some of the most basic tasks start to take up huge amounts of time. I remember stepping up from managing smaller AdWords accounts with a few hundred ads (where I could easily keep track of my split tests in a few minutes per day), to some much larger ones where there were tens of thousands of ads. It would have taken me literally hours a day to review each one by hand.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The key to keeping on top of your AdWords accounts when you scale is Automation. And, one of the most straightforward ways to automate tasks is to use AdWords Scripts.

AdWords Scripts are pieces of Javascript code that you can literally copy and paste into your account without any coding knowledge. You can learn how to implement AdWords Scripts step by step here.

So what are the best AdWords scripts? Here are the 10 I absolutely could not live without:

1. Quality Score Tracker by PPC Epiphany

This is hands down one of the best AdWords scripts ever written. It allows you to automatically record your Quality Score once per day so you can keep track of your historical quality score without having to purchase any software.

And, not only does it help you keep track of your historical Quality Score,it also allows you to create a dashboard within Google sheets that shows you your current quality score distribution and impression weighted Quality Score.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

The script provides a number of settings that you can change to add further charts to your dashboard, such as click-weighted Quality Score.

2. Automated Ad Testing Script

Split testing when you have a few ads is not a problem, but when you have 10,000 or even 100,000 it becomes a big problem. This automated ad creative testing tool makes it easy to keep track of all of your split tests.

It works by analyzing the ads within an ad group and making a calculation as to whether there is statistical significance. This can be set to test a range of different metrics such as CTR and conversion rate.

Once statistical significance has been reached the script labels the ads as either “Current Champion” or “Loser 95% confidence”. It can also be configured to email you to say that a split test has finished.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

3. 24-Hour Bidding Script

One of the limitations of AdWords is that you can only use 6 different bid buckets per day, but you are likely to find that your conversion rate changes hourly.

There is however a workaround for this using AdWords Scripts and the Google Sheets API. It allows you to set the different bid modifiers for each hour within Google Sheets and then import them using the API into AdWords to change bids 24 times per day.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

4. Weather-Based Bidding Script

There are a significant number of industries where AdWords performance is affected by the weather (literally!) such as automotive, travel, home improvement, retail and many more, and for maximum ROI is it essential to change bids to reflect what’s going on outside.

This script allows you to increase or decrease your bids based on the weather in the location where a user is searching.

5. Disable Ads for Out-of-tock Items in Search

Most merchant feeds allow you to pause your Google Shopping ads when they are out of stock but there is no similar functionality built into Google search.

This script allows you to pause ads that are linking to out-of-stock products by scanning the page for the “out-of-stock” piece of code.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

6. N-Gram Search Query Reports

Seeing trends within your search query reports is fairly straightforward when you have a small AdWords account, but this becomes a lot more complex when you have millions of different search queries to review.

The solution here is to use something called N-Gram analysis, which allows you to see the aggregate performance of individual words or phrases. So, for example, if you are selling Alloy wheels, you would be able to see the performance of all of the search queries that contain the color “silver” for example.

7. Competitor Tracking Script

Keeping track of your competitors is fundamental to AdWords success, however, it can be time consuming on larger accounts. The solution here is to use this competitor tracking script that allows you to map your competitors’ impression-share over time.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

8. “Split Test Anything” Script

There are several limitations of using AdWords experiments. For instance, not being able to test the campaign settings themselves. This AdWords script provides a workaround in that it allows you to test virtually anything.

It works using labels. The results of the tests can be reviewed within the dimensions tab and will look like this.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

9. 24-Hour Heat Map Script

This AdWords Script allows you to see how your AdWords performance changes hour-by-hour in the form of a heat map so that it is easy to visualize.

This script has also been updated so that you can see the performance of each device (mobile, desktop and tablet) hour-by-hour.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

10. Analyze Quality Score in Detail

Most readers will know that visible Quality Score is made up of “expected CTR,” “landing page experience,” and “ad relevance”. This script allows you to visualize how your account is doing based on these three metrics so you can see which aspect of your account needs to be improved.

The 10 Best AdWords scripts to scale your PPC account via blog.adstage.io

If you are interested in learning more about AdWords Scripts here are some good resources:

 

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

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Automation, Reporting, Social
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