Twitter CPMs Increase 27% In 2017 [Report]

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in PPC News
Twitter CPMs Increase 27% In 2017 [Report]

We analyzed over 3.5 billion Twitter ad impressions from January to June 2017. Based on our data, we saw CPMs increase from $5.30 to $6.72 during the first six months of 2017, while the average CPC increased from $0.52 to $0.80.

  • Twitter’s CPM increased by 27% since January 2017.
  • The average CPC on Twitter increased by 18% since January 2017.
  • The average CTR on Twitter remained consistent month-over-month between February and June.

Twitter’s Supply and Demand

Twitter ad impressions dropped by 8% in Q2’17 compared to Q1’17, while ad spend increased by 8%. This is causing advertisers to pay more to enter the auction at a decreased number of impressions.

AdStage - Twitter Supply and Demand

Twitter’s CPM Increase 27%

From our data, we saw CPMs spike the last month of Q1’17 and again in Q2’17. The overall CPM increased 27% since January 2017. This highlights the volatility of the Twitter auction with the monthly ups and downs in CPMs.

AdStage - Twitter CPM 2017

Twitter’s CPC Increase 8%

Twitter CPCs went from $0.52 to $0.80 in the first six months. While a $0.28 change may seem small, that’s a 54% increase in six months and may impact the ROI for advertisers moving forward.

AdStage - Twitter CPC 2017

Twitter’s CTR Remain Flat After January

Twitter advertisers are seeing consistent CTRs month-over-month with the exclusion of January. However, it’s costing advertisers more budget to get the same result due to higher CPMs and CPCs.

AdStage - Twitter CTR 2017

Why Are Twitter’s CPMs & CPCs Increasing

Our ad spend data includes all ad types ran across Twitter’s network. Below are a couple of possible explanations for the increase in CPMs and CPCs in 2017.

1) Twitter’s User Growth Is Flat

Twitter boasts 328 million users and only added a 15 million users in the last year, with most of the growth coming internationally. Recode reported that “Twitter’s declining revenue has been blamed on the fact that the company had paltry user growth for almost two whole years — revenue was simply catching up.”

Twitter User Growth

Image Source: Techcrunch

Techcrunch added, Twitter’s “U.S. users are a fraction of its total users, but they make up a majority of its advertising revenue.”

2) Twitter Budgets Increase For Some Advertisers

Hanapin Marketing conducted a paid social survey asking marketers where they plan to increase and decrease budgets in 2017. They found that 49% of marketers are NOT investing in Twitter Ads.

However, 21% advertisers plan on increasing their Twitter ad spend within the next year. It appears Twitter Ads are driving results for certain types of companies.

Hanapin Paid Social Survey - Twitter

Our data confirms that Twitter advertisers are indeed increasing their budgets, as overall spend increased 8% since January 2017. Although budgets seem to be inconsistent from month-to-month.

AdStage - Twitter Spend and Clicks

3) Are Twitter’s Latest Ad Types Enough

Twitter’s biggest announcements were centered around video ads with In-Stream Video Ads and promoting chatbots with Direct Messages. Are these new ad types and features enough to attract new advertisers to the platform? Or even get more budget from current advertisers?

One way Twitter could help advertisers would be to offer more granular targeting similar to Facebook and LinkedIn. Ultimately, they’ll need to work on keeping the ad types fresh and creative by offering more to smaller advertisers like their carousel ads.

twitter-carousel-ads

Takeaways and Insights

Based on the data, here are our main Twitter insights and questions:

  • Advertisers are still spending on Twitter Ads
  • CPMs and CPCs increased while CTRs remained flat
  • Advertiser budgets are inconsistent month-to-month with a lot of variation

Further Questions

  • Are Twitter ads driving business results?
  • Are Twitter ads better for brand awareness?
  • Will advertisers run video ads like they do on Facebook and YouTube?

Our mission at AdStage is to connect paid marketers quickly and easily to the data they need to understand holistic campaign performance and take action at scale. If you want to learn more about our Twitter Ads reporting solution, click the banner below to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Twitter-Report-CTA

LinkedIn CPCs Increase by 15% in Q2 [Report]

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in PPC News
LinkedIn CPCs Increase by 15% in Q2 [Report]

We analyzed over 4.3 billion LinkedIn ad impressions from January to June 2017 from AdStage customers. Based on our data, we saw CPMs increase from $7.29 to $8.39 during the first six months of 2017, while the average CPC increased from $6.03 to $6.50.

  • LinkedIn Ads CPM increased by 15% since January 2017.
  • The average CPC on LinkedIn ads increased by 8% since January 2017.
  • The average CTR remained flat month-over-month with little variance.

LinkedIn’s Supply and Demand

According to AdStage data, LinkedIn ad impressions dropped by 5%, while ad spend increased by 10% in Q2’17. This is causing advertisers to pay more to enter the auction at a decreased number of impressions.

AdStage - LinkedIn Spend vs Impressions

LinkedIn’s CPM Increase By 15%

From our AdStage data, we saw CPMs decrease by 20% in Q1’17, and then dramatically increase by 44% in Q2’17. The overall CPM increased 15% since January 2017. This shows the competitive nature of the LinkedIn auction and may indicate that LinkedIn is reaching max ad load.

AdStage - LinkedIn CPMs 2017

LinkedIn’s CPC Increase 8%

Our internal findings also showed that LinkedIn CPCs went from $6.03 to $6.50 in the first six months. Q1’17 actually saw a 4% CPC decline while Q2’17 increased by 15%. While it’s a small increase, it may be enough to scare away smaller advertisers when thinking about the type of companies finding success on the network.

AdStage - LinkedIn CPCs 2017

LinkedIn’s CTR Remain Flat

LinkedIn advertisers are getting very consistent CTRs month-over-month. However, it’s costing more to get the same result due to higher CPMs and CPCs.

AdStage - LinkedIn CTR 2017

Why Are LinkedIn’s CPMs & CPCs Increasing

Our AdStage ad spend data includes all Sponsored Content and text ads ran across LinkedIn’s network. Below are a couple of possible explanations for the increase in CPMs and CPCs in 2017.

We asked AJ Wilcox, CEO of B2Linked, to share his opinion on the data. “It’s natural for LinkedIn’s auction to become more competitive over time, as with any other successful biddable media platform,” says AJ. “We especially see CPCs in Q1 each year as being quite low, so the 15% rise from Q1 to Q2 isn’t surprising.”

1) Is LinkedIn’s Inventory Maxed Out

LinkedIn boasts more than 500 million users, which is impressive but still limited compared to Facebook. With a limited supply of ads coupled with growing demand, the auction is getting more competitive, which means advertisers will pay more to enter.

The following three issues are impacting LinkedIn’s ad inventory:

  • LinkedIn’s user growth remains steady, but only 23% of members use the platform on a monthly basis.
  • Ad placements cater to desktop users. Linkedin will need to find new ways to place more ads on their mobile app.
  • More advertisers are using the ad platform.

AJ says that engaging ad creative and offers are key to winning the auction.

As more and more advertisers enter the competitive auction, the onus moves to advertisers to create ads that generate higher engagement rates. Advertisers who insist on pushing friction-prone offers like demos, trials, and sales conversations will not generate high enough Relevancy Scores to show, and when they do show, the cost per click will be so astronomical as to price these advertisers out of the auction.

It’s worth noting that LinkedIn recently announced their native Audience Network. This will allow advertisers to reach more people with Sponsored Content through third-party publishers placements. However, don’t expect a huge lift as beta advertisers only saw a 3-13% increase in unique impressions.

2) LinkedIn Budgets Are Increasing

Hanapin Marketing conducted a paid social survey asking marketers where they plan to increase and decrease budgets in 2017. They found that 43% of marketers were NOT investing in LinkedIn Ads. However, 39% advertisers planned on increasing their ad spend within the following year. It looks like LinkedIn Ads are delivering results for certain companies, which is leading to budget increases.

Hanapin Paid Social Survey - LinkedIn

Our AdStage data confirms that LinkedIn advertisers are indeed increasing their budgets, as overall spend increased 23% since January 2017.

AdStage - LinkedIn Spend 2017

3) New LinkedIn Ad Types and Features

LinkedIn released two big features that definitely got advertisers excited. It’s possible that advertisers increased their test budgets, leading to more competition in the auction.

Here’s what AJ Wilcox thinks:

“We’re currently also seeing much more interest building over time of new advertisers flocking to test out the platform, due to the continued addition of features as LinkedIn is quickly catching up to the pack.”

Two new features LinkedIn announced in Q2:

  • Lead Gen Forms — This ad format helps marketers drive leads from Sponsored Content campaigns, particularly on mobile devices where conversion rates tend to be lower, as users don’t want to fill out a long form on-the-go. For B2B advertisers, the quality of the leads on LinkedIn is already far superior to other ad networks that offer lead gen ads. And, just like any other LinkedIn campaign, these campaigns come with the same reporting capabilities that LinkedIn already offers, so you can easily measure return on ad spend, cost per lead, and conversion rate.
  • Matched Audiences — LinkedIn announced a powerful new feature called Matched Audiences, which includes three new targeting tools that let you combine LinkedIn’s professional data with your own first-party data. Now you can target website visitors, contacts, and specific accounts on LinkedIn.

Takeaways and Insights

Based on the data, here are our main LinkedIn insights and questions:

  • Advertisers are putting more budget into LinkedIn Ads
  • Yet, CPMs & CPCs are rising as inventory remains flat
  • By using natively uploaded videos as new ad inventory, LinkedIn could increase its overall ad load without cluttering user feeds or profile pages.

AJ offers advise to advertisers looking to win future auctions:

Advertisers who win in the future with low costs per lead will do so by exercising a keen understanding of their customers’ pains and needs, and providing useful content that solves them, without being overly salesy or pushy.

Further Questions

  • Are LinkedIn’s more than 500 million members enough to entice digital advertisers to run campaigns on the platform?
  • Are CPCs scaring away advertisers?
  • When will LinkedIn start serving video ads?

Our mission at AdStage is to connect paid marketers quickly and easily to the data they need to understand holistic campaign performance and take action at scale. If you want to learn more about our LinkedIn Ads management solution, click the banner below.

LinkedIn-Suite-CTA

 

Facebook CPMs Increase 171% In 2017 [Report]

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in PPC News
Facebook CPMs Increase 171% In 2017 [Report]

Over the last year, we’ve analyzed over 8.8 billion Facebook ad impressions. We found that during the first six months, the average CPM increased from $4.12 to $11.17, and the average CPC increased from $0.42 to $0.99.

Key Takeaways

  • The average CPM on Facebook ads has increased by 171% since January 2017
  • The average CPC on Facebook ads has increased by 136% since January 2017
  • The average CTR for Facebook ads has remained consistent over the last six months

Facebook’s Supply and Demand

Facebook’s ad impressions are flat while ad spend is moving up. This tells us advertisers are paying more to enter the auction while getting the same number of impressions.

AdStage Facebook Benchmark Report Spend vs Impressions

Facebook’s CPM Increase 171%

Based on our data, we saw CPMs increase by 171% during the first half of 2017. This shows how competitive the auction is and illustrates why Facebook is having ad load issues.

AdStage Facebook Benchmark Report CPM Increase

Facebook’s CPC Increase 136%

The CPCs of Facebook Ads went from $0.42 to $0.99 during the first six months of 2017. That’s a huge jump, especially when thinking about the role of Facebook in the customer journey.
AdStage Facebook Benchmark Report CPC Increase

Facebook’s CTR Remain Flat

Advertisers are getting consistent CTRs month-over-month, but it’s costing more to get the same result due to higher CPMs and CTRs.

AdStage Facebook Benchmark Report CTR Remains Consistent

Why Are Facebook’s CPMs Increasing

Our ad spend data includes all ads run on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network. There are a number of possible explanations for the increase in CPMs and CPCs.

1) Advertisers Are Flocking to Facebook

Facebook reported a total of five million advertisers as of April 2017. That’s up from four million monthly advertisers in September 2016, and three million in March 2016. Put another way — Facebook gained two million advertisers in one year.

Keep in mind that Facebook’s five million advertisers are only 8% of the 65 million businesses active on the network. Therefore, we don’t foresee a slowdown in advertisers’ growth over the next 12 months.

2) Advertiser’s Facebook Budgets Are Growing

Hanapin Marketing conducted a paid social survey asking marketers where they plan to increase and decrease budgets in 2017. They reported that 73% of marketers are investing the majority of their social spend on Facebook and 71% plan on increasing their Facebook ad spend within the next year.

Hanapin Paid Social Facebook

Our Facebook data confirms that advertisers are indeed increasing their Facebook budgets as overall ad spend more than doubled since January 2017 (122% increase).

AdStage Facebook Benchmark Report Spend

3) Facebook Is Reaching Max Ad Load

Facebook CFO, David Wehner, said on the Q2 2016 earnings call:

“We anticipate ad load on Facebook will continue to grow modestly over the next 12 months and then will be a less significant factor driving revenue growth after mid-2017.”

The company’s Q2 2017 results showed its reaching max ad load with only a 19% paid ad impression growth compared to Q1’17’s 32% and Q4’16’s 49% growth. However, Facebook’s revenue will continue to increase as surging ad prices, user growth, and Instagram are enough to pick up the slack.

4) Facebook’s Ad Load Slowdown Is Real

Facebook’s Q2 2017 paid ad impression growth slowed to 19% compared to Q1’17’s 32% and Q4’16’s 49%.

Eric Jhonsa of The Street reported:

Slower ad supply growth is naturally boosting prices. But given that supply is still growing (albeit at a slower rate), it’s also clear that strong ad ROIs — made possible by Facebook’s powerful and steadily improving targeting abilities — are motivating marketers to pay more for ad impressions and clicks. A growing mix of video ad sales might also be helping, given that video ads tend to carry relatively high prices.”

Takeaways and Insights

Based on the data, here are our main insights and takeaways:

  1. Small and mid-size brands are flocking to advertise on Facebook
  2. As a result, Facebook’s CPMs & CPCs are rising fast
  3. Advertiser aren’t afraid to increase budgets even as the auction gets more expensive

Further Questions

  1. Are results driving the increase in budgets or is it the competitive auction?
  2. How will advertisers react to increased competition and ad prices?
  3. Q4 is historically more expensive on Facebook, will they find more inventory or will CPMs skyrocket?

Our mission at AdStage is to connect paid marketers quickly and easily to the data they need to understand holistic campaign performance and take action at scale. If you want to learn more about our Facebook Ads reporting solution, click the banner below.

Facebook Reporting CTA

7 Major Updates for Facebook Advertisers

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Advertising, PPC News, Social
7 Major Updates for Facebook Advertisers

What a week in ad tech! While Apple was putting on a show in Cupertino, Facebook quietly revamped its Ads Manager, rolled out several updates for advertisers, and even launched a new video chat app. Here’s a recap of all the major announcements:

1. Power Editor and Ads Manager Are Now One.

Starting this week, advertisers will begin to see an updated Ads Manager interface. Here’s what you need to know about this update.

  • No features lost.
    The updated Ads Manager will look just like its old version, plus all the features from the old Power Editor and Ads Manager.
  • Quick or guided: choose your favorite creation flow.
    Whether you preferred Power Editor’s quick creation or Ads Manager’s guided creation, you’ll be automatically opted in to the same workflow you used previously. You can change it anytime in the top right of the ad creation window.
facebook ads manager updates

The Power Editor Interface.

 

facebook power editor guided creation 2

Guided Creation in the new Facebook Ads Manager. Source: Jon Loomer

  • Automated drafts: review and publish.
    You’ll still have access to the Power Editor’s Automatic drafts feature. However, you will now manually review and publish all the changes that need to go live. Nothing to worry about: if you leave the updated Ads Manager with unreviewed changes, Facebook will show a reminder.
  • All campaign data insights and reporting in a single interface.
    The updated tool will allow advertisers to view and report on campaign data within one interface.

2. Lifestyle Templates to Mirror Print Catalogs

On Monday, Facebook announced a new ad format which allows users to shop directly from the Facebook ad. The new ads carry the look of a modern-day print catalog: not as glossy, but with the added benefit of interactivity, mobile reach, and less consumer friction. The new lifestyle format should appeal to the Pinterest demographics (Williams-Sonoma was among the first brands to test these ads in beta).

Instagram ads

Facebook Lifestyle Templates replicate the print catalog experience for mobile. Source: Facebook

3. Canvas Ad Format on Instagram

On Tuesday, Instagram announced the integration of Instagram Stories with Facebook Canvas. Canvas ads can now run in Instagram Stories.

What does it mean to advertisers?

  • The ability to capture Instagram’s younger demographics with full-screen experience on mobile
  • New features allow uploading organic stories as ads in Ads Manager
  • Broader reach: you can now run the same Canvas ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.
Instagram Ads

With 250m DAU, Instagram Stories are catnip to advertisers. Source: Instagram

4. New Rules for Branded Content and Instant Articles

On Wednesday, Facebook introduced monetization eligibility standards. Which means Facebook will now be more selective and cautious about Branded Content and Instant Articles. The new guidelines will control who is eligible to earn money on Facebook and what kind of content can be monetized. Starting today, the update will apply to videos and will extend to Instant Articles over time.

5. Third-Party Verification for Facebook Ads

You knew this was coming. Brand safety and ad fraud are major issues for advertisers. How do you make sure ads don’t show up next to questionable content? And who is clicking, a bot or a human? Facebook has been under scrutiny this year: first, fake news, and then inflated ad reach numbers.

To help assuage growing concerns, Facebook partnered with the Media Rating Council, the U.S.-based non-profit industry organization that reviews and accredits audience measurement services. Over the next 18 months, the MRC will work with Facebook in three key areas:

  • First-party served ad impression reporting
  • Third-party viewability partner integrations
  • Facebook’s new two-second video buying option.

To ensure advertisers have better control over brand safety, Facebook will work closely with third parties, such as DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science.

As Facebook is looking to make more ad money on its original content, these changes will be critical to rebuilding the network’s trust with advertisers.

6. Get Ready for Instant Videos

Facebook is testing a new feature called Facebook Instant Videos. Facebook Instant Videos download and cache Facebook videos to a user’s phone while they’re on WiFi so that they can watch them later on the go without spending their cellular data.

Instant Videos could be a game-changer for advertisers in the developing countries with a slow mobile Internet connection. For places where mobile data is pricey, and the network is weak, the new feature can level the playing field — at the very least when it comes to ads. For example, the average download speed on cellular in Afghanistan is 2.2 Mbps, compared to 4.4 Mbps in South Korea.

7. No More Instant Articles in Messenger

While it’s clear from some of the earlier updates that Facebook will continue to focus on Instant Articles (and videos), this ad format will no longer be available on Messenger —  for now. The truth is, as of now, Instant Articles are still not as publisher-friendly as Facebook wants them to be. Publishers report traffic issues; according to TechCrunch, advertisers have also complained about attribution: you can’t easily add UTM parameters to the end of Instant Article URLs. Facebook is collaborating with publishers to give them more control over their content, so maybe we’ll see a comeback.

… and a Bonfire

To top this week’s updates, Facebook also launched a new video chat app called Bonfire. The app mimics all the features of Houseparty, a social network popular among teens. Facebook’s copycat strategy is strong and already caused Snap’s earnings to plunge in the first quarter. Which app is next?

Tune in to hear the experts’ commentary on AdStage’s PPC Podcast this Friday.

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Webinar: Getting Started with Quora Ads

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in PPC News
Webinar: Getting Started with Quora Ads

Webinar Recap featuring Quora and AdStage: Getting Started with Quora Ads

Quora’s Head of Product Marketing, Puja Ramani, and AdStage’s Head of Customer Acquisition, JD Prater, will discuss the Quora Ads platform and best practices on how to get started running your first campaign. If you’re interested in learning more about Quora Ads then you don’t want to miss this webinar.

In this webinar, we’ll provide actionable tips on

  • Setting up your campaign structure
  • Where Quora fits in the purchase process
  • How to leverage the platform for business success

>>Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Create Your First Quora Ads Campaign<<

 
 

Quick Guide to Facebook Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in PPC News, Social
Quick Guide to Facebook Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

Facebook’s New LTV Lookalike Audiences

One of Facebook’s most powerful offerings for marketers is Lookalike Audiences. A new roll out is taking that feature to the next level and letting you assess current and new customers by how valuable they are, value-based lookalike audiences. According to Facebook, “LTV Is a value associated with your customers based on how much and how often they spend with your business over the course of their relationship with you.”

Sure, the people who buy from you every now and again shouldn’t be ignored, but your most loyal customers (and potential customers who display similar traits) deserve special attention within your marketing plan.

Facebook Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

The Power of Lifetime Value Metrics

LTV is one of the most important metrics for understanding and targeting your customers since it measures the direct profit your business makes off that person or account. There’s a big difference between someone who frequently buys from you but may only spend a few dollars on each purchase and someone who buys semi-regularly, but spends a lot each time. Both segments may be valuable to you in different ways at different times, but it’s important to note the contrast between the two groups and market to them accordingly.

LTV gives you a much more in-depth look at customer behavior since it can be calculated to specific time periods, including lifetime, month to month, and even to forecast. You can also use LTV to determine how much to spend on a customer that will give you the highest return, and even how to shape your product or service to keep these high LTVs coming back.

How does LTV improve my lookalike performance

LTV is an essential factor in determining where to focus your budget and effort and should be considered an integral part of your marketing plan, not an add-on to what you may already have established.

Reasons To Use LTV Audiences

Because you’re targeting people who already know and love your product or service (or again, share traits with those who already love your product), your messaging can be much lower funnel. You can skip directly to promotion instead of spending time and money on awareness, engagement, and education. The cost for these ads may be higher initially, but LTV Audiences is a longer game since it’s based on the lifetime value of a customer. Take note of immediate numbers, but the focus should be on the weeks and months following.

Step-By-Step: How To Create a Value-Based Lookalike Audience

As with most new Facebook products, value-based lookalike audiences are on a slow roll-out, so be patient and use this time to come up with a plan if you don’t already have access.

Step 1 – Create a New Custom Audience

First, check to see if you have access to the LTV Audiences feature. To do that, in your Facebook account, navigate to Audiences -> create a Custom Audience, and select Customer File. If you are a part of the roll-out, your see an option for Customer file with lifetime value (LTV). This is what you’ll click into to set everything up.

create custom audiences with LTV

Step 2 – Add Custom Value Column

From here, the flow will look similar to what you go through to create a normal Custom Audience, but with a few differences. You’ll see Step 2 requires you to “Include a column with a range of customer values.”

Facebook Value Column for LTV Custom Audiences

When creating a customer file with LTV, be sure to follow the directions Facebook gives: use positive numbers in the same currency without commas. Make sure everything is in dollar values as Facebook uses this base information to create its own rank of your customers.

Also be sure to include a full range of customers, not just those you’ve already identified as high LTV so that Facebook’s algorithms can make their own determinations on regular LTV versus high LTV customers.

Step 3 – Confirm Custom Value Column

Facebook will ask you which column you want to use for the customer value. To create the column with a range of customer values, you’ll need to do some math on your own if your CRM software doesn’t already provide you with this information.

Confirm Your Custom Value Column

Step 4 – Preview and map your identifiers

Map your data to upload it. Your data will be hashed before it’s uploaded.

Preview and map your identifiers

Step 5 – Create a Lookalike Audience

Finally, click to generate your value-based lookalike audience. You’ll use this group similarly to how you would a regular Lookalike Audience, but keep in mind who you’re targeting, and what messaging would be most appropriate.

Create a LTV lookalike audience

Remember, if you don’t see the results you were expecting right away, don’t halt the campaign. Using LTV Audiences is more of a long game. Let it run, then take a look at how the numbers panned out and what tweaks you can make to the next round.

**How to Create Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Countries**

Step 6 – Populate and Test Value-Based Lookalike Audience

It can take a few hours to populate your new value-based lookalike audience, but once it’s ready you’ll see the audience size populated. In this example, our lookalike audience size is 2,151,400 people.

LTV Lookalike Audience Ready

Using the Data to Optimize LTV

Now that you know who your high LTVers are and where to find more people and accounts just like them, it’s time to figure out how to increase that LTV and push mid-LTV customers to the next level. Because LTV is a wholesome look at a customer’s potential, increasing LTV means a direct increase in profit.

How do I measure and test performance

And don’t forget the basics of marketing here – It’s much easier to sell to someone who has heard of you and bought from you than to someone who’s stumbling across you for the very first time. A focus on returning customers (and lookalike audiences who match those you’ve already had success with) is key here.

Essentially, you’re coming up with a retention strategy aimed at those customers who are already giving you the most bang for your buck, and those who show the potential to do so.

You’ll want to model a few different scenarios to figure out who to pay the most attention to now. This may mean ignoring – or spending less time on – lower LTV customers while you focus on those who are already the most engaged and earning you max profit. Again, keep in mind that data over time is the key here. Though your efforts are happening now, the more accrued information you have, the better.


Looking For a Better Way to Examine Your Facebook Data?

With AdStage Report it’s easy to stay on top of results and share them with your team.
Cut hours of manual reporting time and produce the perfect, branded report.

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Level Up: A Deep Dive into Conversion Tracking Problems

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in PPC News
Level Up: A Deep Dive into Conversion Tracking Problems

Join AdStage & Hanapin for a Webinar on Thursday, June 15th at 1:00 pm EST

You might have your blinders narrowed in on the lead, but it’s time to take a step back. Arguably more important than the conversion itself is the entire conversion journey. When you take a look beyond the conversion, both before and after, this perspective can open up your eyes to the patterns that occur, and help you tie your conversions back to revenue.LevelUp_webinar

We’re teaming up with Hanapin’s Cassie Oumedian  to show you how to take your conversions to the next level with actionable tips on tracking them all the way through the full funnel.

In this webinar you’ll learn:

  • The best way to map out your conversion journey
  • How to analyze and fully understand the click to conversion window
  • The importance of different types of conversions and how to earn them in different stages of the funnel

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What Does the 2017 State of Digital Marketing Have in Common with the Doors of a Billionaire?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Advertising, PPC News
What Does the 2017 State of Digital Marketing Have in Common with the Doors of a Billionaire?

… they’re both all about being mobile. That’s what Marin Software found (more or less) when they surveyed 500 digital marketing managers from the world’s top agencies and brands. In their 2017 State of Digital Advertising report, Marin asked these marketers what trends, opportunities, and challenges they face in 2017.

From mobile ad spend to lags in expertise and what the future of digital marketing holds, they uncovered insights that are sure to drive the field forward (and up, like a billionaire’s car doors) this year and beyond.

Budgets Migrating to Mobile

Did you know that the average mobile user unlocks their phone 150 times every day? Marin reports that 70% of respondents are actively advertising on search and social, and budgets are shifting to meet that demand.

Screen Shot 2017 06 02 at 10.16.36 AM

43% of their surveyed marketers indicated that they believe their mobile budgets around search marketing investment will increase between 10% and 30% in 2017. An additional 34% of marketers plan to increase their mobile budgets by more than 30%. And when it comes to social, 70% of marketers plan to increase their advertising budget. Not a huge surprise, says Marin, given that Facebook eclipsed Google in gross traffic for the first time ever in 2016.

Lack of Expertise

Because search and social are experiencing such growth and change, marketers indicated that it’s tough to stay at the top of their game. When asked to list the biggest challenges associated with delivering ROI from paid search, respondents listed: 1. Difficulty replicating campaigns across Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search providers (37%), 2. Lack of support for investing in paid search (31%), and 3. Lower conversion rates compared to other forms of advertising (25%).

Screen Shot 2017 06 02 at 10.18.10 AM

Marin addressed a few solutions for those top challenges. For “difficulty replicating campaigns,” they suggested investing in tools that import and continually sync Google AdWords campaigns. Regarding “lack of support for investing in paid search,” they recommended highlighting strong returns with limited risk, using past data to prove that customers use search engines to find your product. And finally, for “low conversion rates,” Marin made the case for pre-click optimization to keep the focus on the continual testing of your targeting, message, and advertising bids.

What’s Hot in 2017 and Beyond?

Are we really surprised that high-quality content was listed as homecoming queen here? In Marin’s survey, 42% of marketers said “content marketing” was their top priority in 2017. Closing out the top three were “search marketing,” with 39% of the vote, and “social media,” with 30%.

Screen Shot 2017 06 02 at 10.20.26 AM 1

The ability of consumers to price-check whenever they wish, ship items home, and more reveal the direct need for marketers to provide consumers with the right content at the right time. Marin notes this as a double-edged sword for marketers who find equal footing on mobile, while confronting increased competition to create rich content for consumers.

Still Too New

Surveyed marketers called voice search and virtual reality still too new to be a real priority in 2017. However, with Search Engine Land stating that “60% of smartphone users who use voice search have begun using it within the past year,” Marin suggests paying close attention to the impact these new technologies are having on the digital landscape.

What’s Sexier Than Machine Learning? Not Much, My Friends …

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Advertising, PPC News
What’s Sexier Than Machine Learning? Not Much, My Friends …

Machine Learning Marketing Report

Machine learning. Is there anything marketers are more excited about right now? While machine learning marketing applications are still a rarity for businesses outside of the enterprise level, the folks over at Executive Consensus (EC) think that’s going to change in a big way over the next few years.

In their latest expert consensus, Machine Learning in Marketing – Expert Consensus of 51 Executives and Startups, they polled executives at more than 50 companies, specializing in the fields of both AI and marketing. Their goal was to “determine the applications of machine learning and AI that are driving strong business value now, as well as the applications that would make the biggest difference in the next five years.”

Respondent Background

Most of the companies surveyed were small, with 70% clocking in at fewer than 50 employees, and primary company revenues between $0-$500k and $1-$5M. The main products and services these companies offer are analytics (26%) and targeting/segmentation (24%). And entry level price points for most respondents are under $999 (41%) or between $1k-$5k (27%).

Demographics of company and respondents

EC also identified the primary business goals of participating companies. “Generating new revenue,” “retaining existing customers,” and “acquiring new customers” were the top three goals, leading EC to presume that that the participating companies were targeting marketing departments within their client companies. Additionally, 80% of sample companies focus on eCommerce and retail verticals, while 60% focus on online and social media companies.

Selling AI and Machine Learning

When asked about the challenges of selling AI marketing tech, respondents identified “demystifying the technology” as the biggest hurdle, garnering it almost as many responses as the next three challenges combined. “Low data quality” and “attribution is difficult” rounded out the top three here.

biggest challenge of selling AI and marketing products

While EC acknowledged that “it’s hard to explain” could be viewed as an excuse for underdeveloped sales or marketing skill sets, they pointed out that AI is still viewed as something for “early adopters” and that explaining such advanced technologies is challenging for even the most experienced salespeople and marketers. As AI continues to grow in popularity and use, however, EC sees these conversations getting easier and less intimidating.

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

Current and Five-Year ROI

So what does the current and five-year ROI forecast look like? EC’s sample companies posture that the areas of opportunity for AI in marketing will not shift much. eCommerce and online/social media verticals maintained the top two spots, with direct-to-consumer industries benefiting the most from AI marketing.

When it comes to which businesses have the most potential for value with AI in marketing, digital media and eCommerce companies came in first, with SaaS and social media businesses closing in on third place. EC guesses that the latter two rank lower because “such businesses are less common than the first two.” Anyone can create an ad-driven site or an eCommerce store, but few people can do it successfully.

Machine Learning Opportunity areas in 5 years

The research sample also showed a clear leaning towards businesses that “‘live and die’ quantifiable digital interactions.” Specifically those with the kind of data that can train machine learning models and improve performance over time. B2B physical businesses and service firms also ranked low, as they have much less quantifiable transaction data and their sales rely heavily on client interactions.

When it comes to current profit potential in AI marketing applications, “search” was voted the most profitable. And, interestingly enough, in a content-driven climate “segmentation/targeting” outranked “content generation” significantly in profit potential, though EC chalks this up to the fact that more of their sample companies were working on the former.

So what did the respondents think about the five-year profit potential of AI marketing applications? I thought you’d never ask. The responses for this section aligned with the value propositions given by the respondent companies. “Recommendation/personalization” took top honors, and ranked highly as a core value proposition.

machine learning highest 5 year profit potential

However, while “analytics” was the number one value proposition reported, analytics-related apps like “decision support” and “forecasting” didn’t make their way onto the data chart. EC guesses that this is because the companies they surveyed are developing analytics technologies specific to their needs.

When Will Machine Learning Be a Crucial Part of Every Business?

Finally, the sample companies made their adoption predictions on when AI/ML would be necessary additions to companies of all sizes and verticals. 2020 was the year that 17 respondents chose for universal integration. Only time will tell, but until then, the results of this survey would encourage us all to brush up on emerging trends, adoption, and inevitable global takeover of machine learning.

 

Quick Guide to the New Facebook Delivery Insights

Posted by on May 17, 2017 in PPC News, Social
Quick Guide to the New Facebook Delivery Insights

Ever wonder if your ads are competing for visibility in the Facebook auction? Or how much they’re competing against each other?

There’s a lot that goes into determining who sees which ads on Facebook. Put simply there’s too much content available to be able to show people everything they could potentially see on Facebook, every day.

Well Facebook took some big steps toward providing more campaign transparency and predictability with Delivery Insights.

Facebook Redesigned Delivery Insights Dashboard

Back in early April 2017, Facebook announced on their blog a newly redesigned Delivery Insights dashboard as a way to help advertisers better understand the performance of their ad sets. It shows you metrics about your ad delivery, the dynamics of our ad marketplace and how the two are related to each other.

This tool isn’t exactly new though. It’s been around for over a year. However, with the redesign, Facebook dropped the tool from the Ads Manager menu tab in favor of being available in the UI.

Early feedback from advertisers is positive highlighting how actionable the data was been for investigating issues.

“Delivery Insights and notifications have empowered our team at Smule to be proactive in investigating campaigns that display sudden shifts in performance. The Audience Overlap and Audience Saturation tabs, in particular, give us actionable data which contribute to spend allocation and campaign optimization decisions. These tools have become part of our daily process in User Acquisition.”

Eugenia Kovalenko, Senior Marketing Manager, Smule Inc.

How to Access Delivery Insights

Finding your Delivery Insights is an unpredictable challenge. All Delivery Insights metrics apply at the ad set level (rather than the campaign or ad levels). They will appear in the Delivery column under Active for Ad Sets that meet these three requirements.

  1. Have been running for at least five consecutive days
  2. Have at least 500 impressions
  3. Have experienced a sudden shift in performance

Then each qualifying Ad Set will have a See Delivery Insights link you can click to go to the Delivery Insights dashboard. Note: this is not a tool you can navigate to from the Business Manager tool menu.

Facebook Delivery Insights in Ads Manager

You may also receive a business notification when a qualifying ad set experiences a performance shift that you can follow to go to the dashboard. It’s always available and can be tricky to find if you’re not in Ads Manager frequently.

Interpreting the Audience Saturation Dashboard

Once you click through to Delivery Insights this is the what the dashboard will look like.

Facebook Delivery Insightful Audience Saturation

Audience saturation is the point at which your performance starts to drop as your ad frequency rises. If your First Time Impression Ratio is low, and the outcomes you care about are declining (conversions, for example), it may be time to change your creative or targeting.

Note: Auctions occur at the ad level, but Facebook shows you aggregated data for the Ad Set, because that’s where audience targeting is selected.

Impressions

The number of times your ads were viewed. Good to understand at a daily view over seven days looking for any highs or lows and trends. For example, 5/08/2017 has nearly double the amount of impressions compared to the day prior. Now I can review audience saturation, auction overlap, and activity history to find out why.

First Time Impression Ratio

The percentage of your daily impressions that comes from people seeing this ad set for the first time. It is calculated as a percentage of the new impressions that your ad set got in the past day.

Reach (Cumulative)

The number of people who saw your ads at least once over the lifetime of your campaign.

Audience Reached Ratio

The percentage of your potential audience you’ve reached so far. Your potential audience is based on who fits the audience criteria you specified, such as location and gender.

Interpreting the Auction Overlap Dashboard

Facebook auction overlap is when you have multiple ads that are eligible for the same auction. This is caused by audience overlap between ad sets in the same account. When your ads are in the same auctions, Facebook prevents you from bidding against yourself and remove all but the most competitive ad in the auction.

Facebook Delivery Insightful Audience Overlap

Ad Sets with high auction overlap are more likely to under-deliver because they have fewer opportunities to be shown to people.

Audience overlap means you’re targeting multiple ad sets to different audiences that contain some of the same people. This is not necessarily a negative situation, but because we try to avoid showing individuals too many ads from a single advertiser in a short period of time, it could make it more difficult for each of those ad sets to spend its full budget.

Auction Overlap Rate

The percentage of times that this ad set overlapped in the auction with another of your ad sets, causing it to be removed from the auction. This number refers only to the percentage an ad set contributes to your total overlap, regardless of how much or little there is. For example, if your ad set’s Auction Overlap Rate is only 10% overall, one ad set could be contributing to 60% of that overlap.

Facebook Delivery Insights Audience Overlap Rate

Overlapping Ad Set 1, 2, & 3

This shows how a particular Ad Set overlapped in the auction with the Ad Set you’re viewing, causing the Ad Set you’re viewing to be removed from the auction. When your Ad Sets are eligible for the same auction, due to audience overlap, Facebook leaves the best performing one to keep you from bidding against yourself.

This number can be useful when figuring out how to merge Ad Sets. For example, it’d probably be more effective and efficient to merge a poorly performing Ad Set into one that’s leading to 75% of its auction removals rather than one that’s only leading to 5% of them.

This is why it’s important to ensure that the right Ad Set is shown to the right audience by campaign objective. If one Ad Set is optimizing for conversions and another is optimizing for Link Clicks, you’ll want to ensure that each one is getting the best possible audience by reducing the auction overlap.

How to Reduce Auction Overlap and Avoid Audience Saturation

Audience overlap is not an inherently a bad thing. For example, if you have two Ad Sets with broader audiences that overlap a lot but have low budgets, they may never end up in the same auctions. Audience overlap always precedes auction overlap, but doesn’t necessarily lead to it. Auction overlap is what’s actually problematic, not audience overlap. If your strategy involves audience overlap, monitor these metric to ensure it doesn’t become a problem.

Follow these best practices to set your ads up to win more auctions, get seen by more people, and maximize your results.

Adjust Targeting

To avoid or reduce audience overlap, first try refining your audience targeting at the Ad Set level. If it keeps happening, try consolidating some of your overlapping Ad Sets. If some are targeting very similar audiences, you could potentially see better results by consolidating them into one bigger Ad Set with a larger budget.

Relevance Score

Relevance is an estimate of how interested we think a person in your target audience will be in your ad compared to others targeting the same audience. Negative feedback means people who are seeing your ad are saying they don’t want to see it. Since we want to show people ads that resonate with them, an ad with a higher relevance score and lower amounts of negative feedback should reach more people in your target audience for less money.

If an ad’s relevance score is low or its negative feedback is high, first try adjusting your targeting.

Dynamic Marketplace

The Facebook auctions are dynamic marketplaces. To sustain good performance and consistent delivery, you may need to continuously tweak your ad sets. However, also keep in mind that it takes Facebook some time to register your changes and adjust how they’re showing your ads. Because of this, they discourage making too many changes too quickly. If you make a change, give it time to take effect so you can see how it changes ad performance, then make more changes if necessary.

Delivery & Budget Pacing

As you increase your budget, you have to win more auctions to spend it. There are only so many auctions with the same cost per result that you’ve been getting. Because of this, as your budget increases, you increasingly have to go for higher cost results. Therefore, Facebook will enter you into auctions with more expensive results. This obviously raises your average cost per result. Keep in mind Facebook is still trying to get you the cheapest results available, given your budget and market dynamics.

Changes to an ad set require Facebook’s system to re-learn how to best deliver it, which can lead to temporary suboptimal delivery. This could also be a factor in increased costs when increasing your budget. However, that learning should take place within 24 hours, so if the cost is still higher after 24 hours, the increase is likely not related to this phenomenon.

Conclusion

We love the new Delivery Insights dashboard as it shines a light on the Facebook auction never before seen. However, we wish this tool was available on all Ad Sets so advertisers can better understand how much audience overlap there is across all their Ad Sets.

 


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