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

10 Free Google AdWords Scripts

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 for optimizations.

AdWords Scripts are pieces of Javascript code that you can literally copy and paste into your account without any coding knowledge. AdWords scripts allows you to automate AdWords-related activities using JavaScript. 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.

Quality Score Script

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 AdWords 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.

Automated Ad Testing AdWords Script

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.

24-Hour Bidding AdWords Script

4. Weather-Based Bidding AdWords 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.

Weather-based Campaign Management AdWords Script

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-Stock 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.

Disable Ads for Out-of-stock Items in Search AdWords Script

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.

Competitor Tracking AdWords Script

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.

“Split Test Anything” AdWords Script

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.

24-Hour Heat Map AdWords Script

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.

Analyze Quality Score in Detail AdWords Script

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

 

AdStage Automation

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

Keep Social Creative Fresh with These 3 Tips

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

Fighting Ad Fatigue

The fact that US digital ad spending reached $72.09 billion last year means consumers are getting hit with more ads in more places than they ever have before. Marketers would like to call that a good thing, but people are engaging with ads less and less. Response rates in 1997 were around 7%, but today, that response rate has dropped to about .1 percent.

Ad fatigue has officially descended on the nation, sending marketers searching for ways to ensure their messages rise to the top. Before your customers start boycotting or complaining about you (as some have threatened to do to overzealous advertisers), let’s take a look at some ways you can serve messaging that feels new, relevant, and effective with minimal effort on your part.

Keep creative fresh

Before you have nightmares about spending hours every day cranking out content, know that keeping your social creative current doesn’t require a constant stream of new stuff. Switch up ads frequently so your target audience will be saved from too many impressions of the same creative, even if you only have a few pieces to run. By predicting when click-through rates will start falling, i.e. ad fatigue setting in, (see below: Drop poor performers) you can also calculate the ideal number of content pieces you’ll need to fill the duration of your campaign.

Take it one step further by creating a narrative in your messaging. If you have five pieces of content planned, instead of advertising five standalone product benefits, create one cohesive story about your product over the course of the five ads. Think of it as an extended carousel ad you can use to expand on an important or high selling point in your product. Check out this article for more ideas on how to approach your social creative within a carousel format.

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

Test your targeting

With any quantitative decision you’re considering, but especially marketing, you should always test. Running small tests will ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget when it’s time to plunk down the big spend. Run small tests on your LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook ad sets, or Twitter cards to assess the impact of using different targeting techniques. Depending on the results of the testing, you can make decisions on where to focus your funds.

If the Twitter ads got minimal traction, maybe it’s better to put all the money behind the high-performing LinkedIn ads. If you tested different messaging and the pieces that ran on Facebook did so well they nearly broke the internet, run another test with that messaging on other platforms to see if it resonates with those audiences. Do as much testing as you possibly can before you need to launch the campaign. A little money spent up front will save a ton in the long run, and ensure you get the highest return on what you do invest.

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

Drop poor performers

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

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

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

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

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

Valentine’s Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Automation
Valentine’s Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation

We all know this Valentine’s Day trope: Hard worker forgets to buy loved one a Valentine’s Day treat and scrambles at the last minute to get them something they’ll adore. Don’t let your PPC advertising leave you scrambling on V-Day either. Coordinate and automate cross-channel campaigns ahead of time, so you don’t have to do a thing on Feb 14:

1. Set up your ad copy for months, weeks, and then days and hours before Valentine’s Day. You probably even want day-of ads for those last-minute folks (you can always give a gift certificate or shipping confirmation for that fancy watch, right?). Then, schedule your ads for the specific times they should be running and shut them down during non-peak performance windows. For those day-of ads intended for people leaving work and grabbing something on the way home, make sure you’re adjusting for the location/time zones you’re covering. 

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation via blog.adstage.io

2. Combat ad fatigue by cycling in fresh creative automatically. After someone has seen the same ad of a kitten wearing a necklace for two weeks, it’s time to feed them something new (no matter how cute it is)!

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation via blog.adstage.io

3. Automatically shift budget to high performing campaigns. The Valentine’s Day rush only comes once a year and you don’t want to waste a cent!

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation via blog.adstage.io

4. 48% of searches for Valentine’s Day on Bing in 2016 came from mobile devices. Make sure you’re optimized for mobile with ad extensions, attractive mobile ads, and automated alerts for phone calls or impressions so you can see who’s buying on-the-go.

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation via www.internetretailer.com

5. Valentine’s Day breakups happen, and so it must be with some of your ad copy. Prune and pause underperforming copy based on spend and CPC (for example), without having to lift a finger.

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation via blog.adstage.io

6. Sit back and relax (or maybe run out a buy a gift for your sweetheart with the time you saved!).

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Use Case for PPC Automation via blog.adstage.io

7 Reasons Why You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Automation, Search, Social
7 Reasons Why You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017

As PPC professionals, we’re always looking for ways to increase productivity and campaign performance. In 2017, automating PPC ads is going to be our top tactic for getting the most out of our ads with the least time spent (we don’t just sell PPC automation tools – we practice what we preach). We know a lot of people have questions when it comes to PPC automation, so in this post, we’ll be covering the top seven reasons everyone should be automating campaign optimization this year.

1. Automated Bidding

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads both have a number of bidding options. And, if you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out. Managing your bids manually is not only time-consuming, but may not be in your best interest based on your campaign goals.

Within Google AdWords, we recommend using the CPA bidding option. This will help maximize your conversions, unlike CPC or CPM bidding, which optimizes for clicks or impressions, respectively. Because search queries and impressions occur in real-time, it’s unrealistic for a human campaign manager to continuously monitor and update bids around the clock. You can select your bid strategy at the campaign level and the ad group level within AdWords, but the ad group setting will supersede the campaign settings.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

Facebook is slightly different since the campaigns you build on the social network are objective-based. Based on your campaign objective, Facebook will automatically optimize bids for the end goal if you select automatic bidding. Unlike a one-time bid update, Facebook’s automatic bidding algorithms are constantly optimizing and iterating your bids 24/7 to deliver the maximum number of results. Automatic bidding is set at the Facebook ad set level within your Ads Manager.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

2. Campaign Scheduling / Dayparting

If you managed a retail shoe store, and you knew more shoppers came on the weekends, you would schedule more onsite team members on those days, right? Likewise, if you’re a restaurant owner and you know when the popular meal times are, you’re going to have more cooks and waiters on the schedule. You can think of campaign scheduling the same way.

If you’re tracking your conversions through Google Analytics (which I hope you are!), you already know which days of the week and even which hours of the day are going to yield the most conversions. Alleviate the need to manually pause and start campaigns by scheduling your ad delivery times and days. Campaign scheduling optimizes your budget, stretching it to drive more conversions during the most competitive hours of the day.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

3. Account & Campaign Budget Monitoring

To combat over or under-pacing, you should monitor your spend trends. However, this attention to detail is often very manual and time consuming. By implementing rules through an automated monitoring system, you can receive alerts when the system is noticing changes in performance and then reallocate budgets automatically.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

4. Standardize, Automate, and Schedule Your Reporting

Reporting is inevitable. Especially when you’re spending thousands, if not millions of dollars across multiple traffic sources. The more sources you test, the more cumbersome reporting gets, so find a system that helps you automate elements of the PPC reporting process. Here’s an example from AdStage Report:

Create a standardized template for your report by adding interactive elements, custom views, and branding.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

From there, you can refresh and send yourself and your team the report on your desired cadence.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

5. Automatically Pause Underperforming Creative

Automated rules that are unbiased and impact your cost per conversion can go a long way in making sure that your are putting your best creatives forward. For example, PPC automation allows you to pause ads that have high impressions and clicks, but no historic conversions, or pause ads that have significant historical data, but high CPAs.

6. Receive Alerts for Performance Trends You Care About

Rather than manually having to check your campaign performance every day or every week, automate this task with an alert. This means you will get a message pointing out any campaigns or targeting settings that are jeopardizing performance. For example, get notified when your campaigns, ad groups or ad sets have a low CTRs or high CPAs.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

7. Automate A/B Testing

Creative testing has a scientific element to it that is prone to human error or biases. There are rarely any marketers conducting purely manual A/B tests. When using an automated system to A/B test your ad creatives, you can set up the parameters and let an algorithm decide the true winner. It will tell you which ad creative is winning based on the performance metrics you care about the most and you can swap in a new ad for ongoing A/B tests and incremental boosts in performance over time.

 


Obviously, we’re biased when it comes to PPC automation – we love it so much we’ve made a whole product for it. If you have questions about how AdStage Automate might work for you, start a 14-Day Free Trial or request a demo.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

 

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

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Advertising, Automation, Reporting
[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 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
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.

The 5 Must-Have AdWords Automated Rules for Every PPC Account

The 5 Must-Have AdWords Automated Rules for Every PPC Account

Learn the “PPC Rules You Must Use” from Stephanie White of Hanapin Marketing

Managing ad campaigns can be pretty tedious, especially when your time is spent making the same campaign changes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Luckily, Google and Bing offer a way to automate your tedious campaign tasks using rules to automatically make optimizations for you.

In this week’s #PPCPodcast (now The PPC Show), we chatted with Stephanie White, Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing, about automating ppc account management.

Before White was PPC master at Hanapin Marketing, she was an entrepreneur starting her own jewelry business back in 1999. In 2004, instead of hiring a marketing specialist, White took it upon herself to learn profitable online marketing. These self-taught skills, ranging from web design to email marketing to PPC advertising, led her down a fruitful career working with talented marketers from ReachLocal, John Eagle Dealerships, and now Hanapin Marketing.

Check out Senior Hanapin Marketing Account Manager, Stephanie White’s, 5 must-have AdWords Automated Rules for every PPC account. Read on to learn how she uses Automated Rules to save time, money, and sanity.

What the Heck are Automated Rules?

Automated Rules are a series of actions you can choose to automatically perform across your ppc campaigns. To run these Automated Rules, you’ll need to define what conditions must be met for the rule to fire and apply these automatic changes to your account. Use rules to make changes to your ad statuses, budgets, bids, keywords and more.

PPC managers are under a lot of pressure to deliver results…quickly; clients’ increasing demand for deeper campaign performance analysis and insights combined with growing paid search and social platforms. The ability to automatically perform routine tasks, means you spend less time manually monitoring each campaign’s metrics and more time focusing on ppc strategy and optimizing growth opportunities.

Learn How Inflow Used Automated Rules to Grow Client Revenue by 23% and Saw 31% Decrease in Cost Per Acquisition

The 5 Must-Have Automated Rules for Every PPC Account

 

1) Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time

Use this rule if you either have additional budget you need to spend by a particular date OR if you want to automate increases or decreases to your budget on the first of the month.

Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time via blog.adstage.io

2) Schedule Promotions to Run During a Set Time Period

Create an automated rule to adjust CPC bids for a particular ad group. This will come in handy when you build promotional campaigns for the holiday season.

In your ad group, you want to include keyword combinations for your product and any holiday terms. For example: Black Friday car deals, New Years car sales, Happy Honda Days, Christmas car deals, etc. Use a rule to automatically enable this ad group 2 weeks before the sale and end 1 week after.

For B2B clients: Be wary of the times you choose to schedule your ad campaigns

  • B2Bs should schedule campaigns to run only during business hours. But if there is a weekend event your target audience will be attending, schedule your ad campaigns to run during the event’s timeframe.
  • If you need to spend budget quickly, consider creating a rule to increase budget and schedule your campaign to run constantly for a short burst of time. Analyze the data and see what happens

Schedule Promotions to Run During a Set Time Period via blog.adstage.io

3) Reduce Bids for Keywords with a High Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Save time manually adjusting bids with a rule that will automatically reduce bids for keywords with extremely high CPA, but have zero conversions.

Reduce Bids for Keywords with a High Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) via blog.adstage.io

4) Increase Bids for Converting Keywords Below First-Page Bids

This is a great rule to have in your time-saver toolbox.

Let’s say you have a keyword with high conversions, but just dropped below first-page bid. You can create a rule to automatically apply a 10% bid increase to all keywords that have over 10 conversions with more than 50 impressions and quality score greater than 5.

Increase Bids for Converting Keywords Below First-Page Bids via blog.adstage.io

5) Set Up Email Alerts for Drastic Changes in Your Campaigns

Avoid ppc account surprises with performance-based email alerts that fire based on your most valuable KPIs. You can stay ahead of the curve with email alerts that notify you of any drastic changes to your account, campaigns, ad groups, ads, or keywords.

Set Up Email Alerts for Drastic Changes in Your Campaigns via blog.adstage.io

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you’re now able to set up, test, and iterate on these automated rules to save you time and money.

These rules are intended to make your ppc life easier because you won’t have to spend so much time doing the manual ppc account tasks, your time can be better spent thinking about your overarching ppc account strategy and how to optimize campaign performance.

For more PPC automation tips, listen to the entire #PPCPodcast episode below👇!

 

 

2016 Growth Marketing Conf: User Acquisition, Conversion Optimization, and Retention

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Automation, PPC News
2016 Growth Marketing Conf: User Acquisition, Conversion Optimization, and Retention

What’s Growth Marketing?

I was fortunate to attend this year’s Growth Marketing Conference, a fairly intimate event when it comes to marketing conferences. With only 250 tickets available, attendees had the opportunity to personally meet and nerd out over Growth tactics with any one of the 28 speakers. Panels included growth industry leaders such as Andrew Chen, Neil Patel, Jon Miller, and Dan McGaw…just to name a few.

Growth Marketing Conf via blog.adstage.io

We kicked off the morning with a fireside chat with Andrew Chen and Bubba Murarka titled, “Why Most Growth Hackers Just Can’t Hack It.”

One of the overarching themes many of the speakers focused on was the importance of finding product/market fit. Without it, you will not grow. Chen, known for his straightforward analogy, happily shared this quote:

“Growth is a magnifying glass. If you have a diamond and you put it under a magnifying glass, then you’ll make something big and great. But if it’s just a tiny piece of shit, then it’s just going to be a big piece of shit.”

It makes sense why Growth Hacking, a term coined by Sean Ellis in 2010, has taken off in the past few years. Ideally, once a company has found product/market fit, they then look for ways to optimize growth. This requires allocating resources to specific areas that have been identified as the most viable levers to pull for exponential increase in revenue.

The Google Trends report for the term “growth hacking” clearly shows us the interest in this newly created business function.

Building a Growth Team

Chen went on to describe how a growth team functions within an organization. A true growth team works cross-functionally and includes a product manager, marketer, engineer, data scientist, and designer. Normally, this team works independently of marketing and product to allow for the autonomy to design tests and influence the product roadmap.

Panelists like Juney Ham (CMO, Hired) and Archana Agrawa (Head of Data Science and Growth Marketing, Atlassian) focused on the structure of growth teams and how to organize for success.

For example, Atlassian plans to grow 20x, from 5 million monthly active users to 100 million monthly active users. Agrawa shared how she structured her growth team and the essential competencies to reach that level of growth.

You should model your growth team around these four areas of expertise:

  1. Data Science
    • Develops predictive analytics and focusing on multi-touch attribution.
  2. Marketing Analytics
    • Responsible for business insights and recommendations.
  3. Data Engineering
    • Implements testing at all states of the customer lifecycle.
  4. Growth Product Marketers
    • Focuses on messaging for activation, journeys and in-product experience.

The success isn’t determined by the number of signups, but rather by active product usage and how to drive that usage into conversion. Without the right foundation of structure, competencies, and process, growth initiatives will inevitably fall flat and fail to provide business value.

Metrics that Matter

As a SaaS growth marketer I really enjoyed listening to “How Thought Leaders Get Explosive SaaS Growth” panel with all-stars like Shira Abel (CMO, Cyara), Scott Heimes (CMO, SendGrid), Elizabeth Yin (Partner, 500 Startups), and Tim Matthews (VP of Marketing, Incapsula).

On the topic of metrics, speakers shared insights on which KPI’s matter the most for optimal startup growth. Elizabeth Yin, without hesitation, noted churn rate as the most important metric because investors judge the scalability of a business based on product stickiness. You can focus resources on acquisition efforts to grow the number of leads, demos, and signups; however, if you’re unable to retain those initial customers you acquired, then you’re actually costing your company more dollars. A leaky conversion funnel is a strong indication time and resources are dedicated to the wrong customer stage lifecycle. Tim Matthews followed up on this same thought with CAC Ratio and why retention rate is a sure-fire metric to measure growth’s success.

The conversation then shifted to top-of-funnel tactics and how to fill the sales pipeline with qualified leads. The most recent trend is to leverage marketing automation as a means to increase the volume of incoming leads. While this has made the job of the marketer easier, automation has caused a degradation in quality, wasting time and creating noise in metrics data. It doesn’t matter if there’s a high volume of leads in the sales pipeline if they are not going to convert into customers.

Scott Heimes talked about the power of analog marketing tactics. Heimes divulged how to segment based on lead quality to determine which contacts should receive a more personalized sales interaction and which should be directed to an automated nurture track. For example, when dealing only with 50-100 top tier leads, it can be worth your time to send direct mail to these contacts. These time intensive tactics show that you actually care about gaining their business and has resulted in many new customers for SendGrid.

The takeaway here is to spend a little more time personalizing messaging to your top leads, and optimize your automation tactics to continue filling that top-of-funnel to nurture lower priority leads.

Sara Varni, SVP of Sales Cloud at Salesforce, gave her presentation titled “One Metric Marketing – How Daily Action Can Drive Long Term Success.” Varni shared how focusing on one metric was the key to scalable growth at Salesforce. The biggest challenge to overcome in growth is aligning marketing and sales goals. Echoing a statistic she shared:

“B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs 10% or more of revenue per year.” – IDC Research.

When each team is aligned on the same one metric, it’s makes it a lot easier to identify processes that really matter to move the needle.

Varni’s four step process to achieve this is:

  1. Clarify Organizational Priorities
  2. Evaluate the Metric Effectiveness
  3. Gain Cross-Functional Consensus
  4. Revisit, Revise, and Pivot

Optimization Testing

When anyone speaks about growth, it usually involves a/b testing. Daniel McGaw of Effing Amazing laid it out clearly, we’re all testing wrong. Or as he would say it, we’re all fucking wrong (that’s his shtick). Along with the numerous and equally humorous f-bombs dropped, McGaw demonstrated any optimization testing must be done with a view of the entire customer lifecycle – retention must be considered, don’t limit success to user acquisition.

As an example, a variation test that results in more signups is great, but how do you know those signups are quality leads and will result in less churn? Maybe your “winning test” actually increases churn 3-months down the road.

To solve for this is not complicated and simply requires connecting your testing tool (e.g. Optimizely) to one of the many analytics tools such as Google Analytics or MixPanel. You’ll then be able to clearly track your test groups throughout their entire lifecycle.

Wrapping It Up

It is clear that growth is ultimately a long term game when building a new team focused on conversion optimization. And it’s not up to one person, or one team, it’s up to the entire company to focus on growth.

The conference can be summed up in these three key points:

  1. Focus on product/market fit before scaling. (“Nail it before you scale it”)
  2. Focus on one key metric at a time. Rally your marketing, sales, product, and customer success teams around this metric.
  3. Build a multi-disciplinary growth team comprised of specialists in their respective fields.

If you want to learn more about the conference, visit http://growthmarketingconf.com. I’ve also listed a few additional resources to check out below:

Automated PPC Rules You Must Use, 60 Sec. Instagram Ads, and More…

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Advertising, Automation, Search, Social
Automated PPC Rules You Must Use, 60 Sec. Instagram Ads, and More…

This Week in Ad Tech: Check out this week’s news, how-tos, and trends from the world of online advertising.


FOR THE WEEK OF February 09, 2016


Letter from the CEO: Connecting the Marketer

Last week at AdStage, we launched a new product called Automate. With that, we started speaking publicly about where we see the marketing technology space headed over the course of the next decade… More.

by Sahil Jain |@sahilio 

 IN THE NEWS

Linkedin to Shut down B2B Ad Platform ‘Lead Accelerator’
LinkedIn announced it would be killing off the lead-nurturing ad product it gained with the acquisition of Bizo…

Google Has Blocked Ad Blockers in the Google Play Store
Android users will have to download ad blocking apps somewhere other than the Google Play Store…

Instagram Now Offers 60-Second Video Ads
Longer format gives marketers more creative choice…

Emojis No Longer Permitted in Google Product Listing Ads
Google has quietly updated their Store Name Guidelines to now state that listings cannot include emojis…


LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Amazing Automated PPC Rules You Must Use
These automated rules can help you save time and money and help you achieve account goals…

Bidding for Top Position on a Serp: What Does It Get You?
Automatic bidding algorithms have been a part of paid search tool sets for a long time…

Guide to Facebook Advertising – The Basics
Facebook is becoming increasingly important in the PPC advertising space…

Bring Your Work Home: How To Use Google AdWords To Improve Your Love Life
Jacob Baadsgaard explains how you can use your search marketing expertise to keep the romance alive…


INDUSTRY TRENDS

“Fat Fingers” Could Also Be Throwing Off Advertisers’ Numbers
60 percent of survey respondents accidentally click on mobile banner ads…

4 Search Advertising Trends To Watch
John Cosley of Bing unearths clues about the future of paid search…

Infographic: Ad Tech Has Undergone a Supersonic Explosion in the Past 5 Years
It is obvious that ad spend has and will continue to grow through digital platforms…

Facebook Reports 60 Million People Shared 200 Million Super Bowl 50 Moments
According to Facebook, Super Bowl 50 ranked second for the most Super Bowl activity on the site…