Pinterest Announces Self-Serve Promoted Pins

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in PPC News
Pinterest Announces Self-Serve Promoted Pins

Pinterest has just announced two new products to help businesses reach more people on the social network: Do-it-yourself Promoted Pins and updated analytics.

Do-It-Yourself Promoted Pins

Pinterest has long been testing Promoted Pins in search and category feeds, but now they’ve added a self-serve way for you to promote pins yourself. This opens Promoted Pins up to businesses of any size and gives you a way to reach more people and drive traffic back to your site. Promoted Pins will be available on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis through ads.pinterest.com.

Pinterest do it yourself promoted pins

If you’re based in the US and are interested in testing self-serve promoted pins, you can sign up for a chance to test it here.

New and Improved Analytics

Pinterest also announced a refresh to their analytics tool. The new version promises to offer more detailed insights to help you figure out what to pin, including:

  • What people are pinning from your website
  • How pins from your Pinterest profile are performing
  • Which pins and boards are driving the most impressions, clicks and repins
  • How pins drive engagement across different platforms

The updated analytics tool is rolling out slowly to business accounts now and will be available at analytics.pinterest.com.

Pinterest analytics profile

You’ll need a Pinterest business account to use these tools. You can sign up for one here.

Facebook Releases Pixel Helper for Advertisers

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in PPC News, Social
Facebook Releases Pixel Helper for Advertisers

facebook pixel helper

Facebook last night launched the Facebook Pixel Helper to help you validate that your Conversion Tracking and Custom Audience Pixels have been installed on your website correctly.

With the tool you can:

  • Verify your pixels are working properly
  • Troubleshoot common errors
  • Learn how to improve performance

How It Works

The Facebook Pixel Helper runs in the background and looks for a Facebook marketing pixel on each website you visit. If the site you’re on has one installed, the </> icon will turn blue and a counter will reveal how many pixels were found on the page.

You can identify issues with the pixel on your page when the icon doesn’t turn blue. Click the </> icon will open up a popup with debugging information to help you troubleshoot.

Availability

The Facebook Pixel Helper is available now as an extension for Google Chrome. Download it now at the chrome web store or learn more at Facebook Developers.

Download Now

What’s New with AdStage in May

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in PPC News
What’s New with AdStage in May

Check out the many new features added to AdStage this month!

New Report Center

Browse, customize and schedule performance reports in the new Report Center. You can even share insights with others on your team with recurring report emails. Learn more.

AdStage report center

Facebook Retargeting

Retarget lost site visitors with Facebook ads directly within AdStage. You can even segment site visitors by event– a feature available only in AdStage! Learn more.

facebook retargeting in adstage

Editable Budget Columns

Change your budgets quickly with editable budget columns. There’s no need to open a campaign to make a change. Try it out.

adstage editable budget columns

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

Create and manage LinkedIn Sponsored Updates directly within AdStage. These native ads let you promote your content across devices in the LinkedIn feed. Learn more.

linkedin sponsored updates

Sponsored Updates App

Optimize Sponsored Updates with insights and analytics, tailored messaging and conversion tracking. You can even select multiple updates to sponsor across multiple campaigns. Launch the app.

adstage linkedin sponsored updates app

Expanded Widget Metrics

Visualize and track the performance metrics you care about most. Widgets and graphs now offer even more metrics to choose from. Try it out.

expanded widget metrics

Sign up for AdStage to manage all your ad campaigns in one place!

Sign up for AdStage

Introducing the New AdStage Report Center

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in PPC News, Product Updates, Reporting
Introducing the New AdStage Report Center

Reporting just got easier.

We’ve just launched the brand new Report Center in AdStage to make creating reports for Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads & LinkedIn Ads even easier.

You can choose from a number of pre-built report templates or create a custom report with the rows and columns you care about most. You can even schedule recurring reports to be delivered right to your inbox. Log in to check out the new Report Center or sign up for AdStage for access.

Log In to the Report Center

 

Browse Reports

Browse dozens of pre-built reports from the new Report Gallery.

Browse Reports

 

Filter Reports

Use real-time search and filters to find the right report, right away.

Report Filter

 

Customize Reports

Create custom reports with the exact data you need.

Custom reports

 

Schedule Reports

Schedule recurring reports to be emailed to you or your colleagues.

schedule reports

 

Manage Reports

Modify, duplicate and delete your scheduled reports easily.

Manage Scheduled Reports

 

What’s Next?

We’re actively working on even more features for the new Report Center. What else would you like to see? Let us know in the comments below.

Facebook Launches New ‘Audience Insights’ for Advertisers

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in PPC News, Social
Facebook Launches New ‘Audience Insights’ for Advertisers

Facebook just launched a new tool to help advertisers analyze their target audience and see what matters to them.

Dubbed “Facebook Audience Insights,” the tool reveals your audiences locations, interests and behaviors which can help you craft messages that resonate with them to improve engagement with your ads.

Facebook Audience Insights

Available Insights

You can view several different insights on your audience:

  • Demographics — Age and gender, lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size
  • Page Likes — The top Pages people like in different categories, like women’s apparel or sports
  • Location and Language — Where do people live, and what languages do they speak
  • Facebook Usage — How frequently are people in your target audience logging onto Facebook and what device(s) they are using when they log on
  • Purchases Activity — Past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of women’s apparel) and purchase methods (i.e., in-store, online)

Available Audiences

You can view insights for three different types of audiences:

  • People on Facebook in general
  • People connected to your Page or event
  • People in Custom Audiences you’ve created

Better Than Page Insights

The new Audience Insights tool should prove to be more useful than Page Insights for advertisers because it looks at both current and potential customers across Facebook. Page Insights are limited to reporting on people who’ve interacted with your Page already and reveal nothing about potential customers.

Availability

Facebook Audience Insights is rolling out today within the Facebook Ads Manager for US advertisers. Advertisers outside of the US can expect access to the tool the coming months. Learn more by reading the full announcement at Facebook.

Facebook Announces Mobile Ad Network at F8 Conference

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in PPC News, Social
Facebook Announces Mobile Ad Network at F8 Conference

Facebook made a number of announcements today at F8, Facebook’s Developer Conference (livestream) including the announcement of a mobile ad network called the “Audience Network.” Here are some highlights, with a focus on advertising:

Improvements to Facebook Login

Facebook f8 login privacy

As a consumer, you’ll appreciate the announcements around Facebook Login. You’ll now have line-by-line control over what information is shared with each app you connect with. Additionally, Facebook announced a new “Anonymous Login” button for when you don’t want to share your identity in order to create an account with a new app.

This should help reduce the anxiety users feel when an app asks you to “Login with Facebook,” which in turn should increase usage.

Building Apps

It’s the one-year anniversary of Facebook’s acquisition of mobile app platform Parse, and there were a number of product and pricing announcements that app developers will be interested in. Most interestingly, apps using Parse will be able to work offline. You can learn more about the announcements from Parse here.

Growing Apps

Facebook also highlighted how app developers can promote their apps with industry-leading mobile app install ads and mobile app engagement ads. Learn how to profit from mobile with Facebook Ads here.

Facebook f8 grow engagement ads

Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ime Archibong, shared an example that I appreciated: Beats Music can use a mobile app engagement ad to promote Beyonce’s new album to existing users that like Beyonce’s music, along with a “Listen Now” button to launch the app and play the album.

Ime then made a statement that reveals the bright future of advertising: “This doesn’t even feel like an ad, it feels like a nice reminder from a friend to listen to music I’d enjoy.” I think that’s true and it shows how relevant, helpful and seamless native ads can be appreciated by an audience.

This doesn’t even feel like an ad, it feels like a nice reminder from a friend to listen to music I’d enjoy.”

Monetizing Apps

The most exciting announcement was about the new “Audience Network” brings Facebook’s ad network to mobile apps.

Facebook f8 monetize advertiser stats

The Audience Network builds upon Facebook’s successful implementation of native ads into their own mobile app. Facebook has learned a lot as they moved beyond right-rail ads to make news feed ads a key part of the mobile user experience. Now Facebook makes nearly 60% of their revenue on mobile.

Advertisers can now use Facebook’s world-class targeting system to find their desired target audience. For example, Facebook can tell the difference between a mother with three young children who may be interested in Frozen and a man in his twenties that will be interested in Game of Thrones. Through the audience network,  advertisers can also create non-disruptive native ads that display in mobile apps.

Facebook f8 monetize ad types

Developers also benefit by being able to integrate Facebook’s ad inventory. With just a few lines of code, you can implement Banner, Interstitial and even Native ads into your app.

Facebook f8 implement native ads

While you can utilize standard IAB ad sizes, you could also invest a little more time to integrate native ads which should improve engagement.

Examples

Facebook offered 3 examples of the Audience Network in action:

  1. Target wanted to reach people who both use the Target app and want to see “Frozen.” They found this audience in the Huffington Post app.
  2. Coca Cola wanted to reach an audience similar to their existing customers and they found it in Vinted, a vintage clothing site.
  3. Audible wanted to promote the “Game of Throne” audiobook to fans of the show. They found their audience in Cut the Rope.

In each example, the advertisers were able to create ads for the intended app through Facebook’s Audience Network without having to reach out to the app developer directly to negotiate the buy and integrate their ads.

Facebook claims to have created  “the best targeting system in the world” and the Audience Network should go a long way to help advertisers and developers implement relevant ads to their audience and increase profits with ads.

.

You can sign up for the Audience Network today  

Staying Up to Date with PPC News, Trends and Strategies: Part 1

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in PPC News
Staying Up to Date with PPC News, Trends and Strategies: Part 1

Online advertising is constantly changing. The “New Rules of (insert ad network here) Marketing” are already out of date. Just going heads down on a project for a couple of weeks can cause you to miss out on game-changing feature rollouts, new ad types and a shift in industry best practices.

The “New Rules of (insert ad network here) Marketing” are already out of date.

In this series, I’ll teach you how to stay informed and in the loop so you can take advantage of the current trends in the ad space and keep from drowning amidst the flood of changes.

Pro-tip: Sign up here and I’ll email you a weekly roundup of news, trends & strategies.

Change in This Industry Is Constant

The ad networks are constantly changing. I didn’t fully appreciate this fact until I began working with the engineers at AdStage where we’re constantly negotiating through changes in the ad network APIs. While you may hear about earth-shattering changes like Enhanced Campaigns, there’s a huge amount of significant PPC news that can go unnoticed to you, but require immediate attention from us. Blink and you’ll miss the opportunity.

You Need to Leverage the Experts

Once you hear about a change that’s relevant to you, you’ll need to learn how to use it. But ad network documentation can be pretty bad… consisting of marketing copy rather than real-world help.

This content and commentary will help you stay sane and navigate ad network changes like a pro.

Fortunately, there’s a healthy supply of online marketers with great ideas about how you can take advantage of these changes. And because they’re marketers, they know the value of sharing their ideas through social media and content marketing. So soak up the how-tos, op-eds, memes, tweets, etc. This content and commentary will help you stay sane and navigate these changes like a pro.

How I’d Collect Advice From Experts

For Myself

rss iconWhen I managed paid acquisition in-house for an e-commerce website in a highly competitive industry, I used RSS feeds to queue up a steady stream of PPC news and resources for my professional development. Whenever I needed to take a break from staring at data, I’d load up the next article in my Google Reader (RIP).

This gave me a wide breadth of industry knowledge, sparked creativity and out-of-the-box strategies, and kept me informed about newly-released features that gave me a significant edge on my competitors utilizing PPC agencies for their campaigns. (No disrespect to agencies, but I experienced first-hand the benefits of devoting an in-house marketer to non-stop optimization). As my team grew, I’d onboard new hires with the same RSS feed so they could stay up to date on current strategies as well.

For Google

When I moved on to Google, I began putting together a roundup of industry news for the AdWords & DoubleClick product teams so they could stay in the loop. While there were some awkward weeks when the roundup was flooded with articles bemoaning Enhanced Campaigns, the majority was pretty fun to put together. It was a great feeling sending articles praising new features to the very product managers and engineers that worked so hard developing it! It also kept me informed, even though I had transitioned out of day-to-day campaign management.

Google Search Marketing News

An example of the roundup I’d put together for Google

For You

When I came to AdStage, I started sending a weekly news roundup to our team internally. At the suggestion of my CEO (a brilliant marketer himself), we branded this newsletter as This Week in Ad Tech and began sending it out every week to customers that had signed up for the AdStage beta or our AdWords Reporting App for iPad.

Check out an archive of past issues of This Week in Ad Tech here and sign up to receive a new issue in your inbox every week.

This Week in Ad Tech example

An example of This Week in Ad Tech

You’ll appreciate that I manually curate the flood of articles and resources every week to put the roundup together. It includes first-party content from the AdStage blog, along with industry news, how-tos, and industry trends.

Google Announces New AdWords Ad Types & Management Tools

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in PPC News, Search
Google Announces New AdWords Ad Types & Management Tools

Today at the AdWords Performance Forum, Jerry Dischler, the VP of Product Management for AdWords at Google, presented a slew of new AdWords features that are scheduled to roll out over the next few months including new mobile app ad types, improved tracking, and a suite of new tools to manage and optimize campaigns. Here’s a roundup:

Mobile App Ads

Perhaps playing catchup with Facebook’s successful mobile app ads, Google is beefing up their own mobile app ads to help developers promote discovery of and re-engagement with their apps across Google search, the Google Display Network, and YouTube.

adwords mobile app install ads

Driving Installs

To address the fact that 60% of apps are never installed (according to Google), AdWords advertisers can now use AdMob for advanced targeting of people who are most likely to be customers by looking at which apps they use, how frequently they use apps, and what types of in-app purchases they make.

adwords youtube mobile app install ads

AdWords is also adding a TrueView companion ad type for promoting app installs with YouTube preroll ads.

Driving Engagement

adwords mobile app engagement ads hulu

And to address the fact that 80% of apps are only used once (according to Digital Trends), AdWords is also introducing re-engagement ads for search and display. These ads are incredibly useful for driving increased engagement from users that already have your app installed by deep linking them into different sections of your app.

adwords mobile app engagment adHotelTonight, the poster child of Facebook’s re-engagement ads, is used as the example here. Users with the HotelTonight app installed can now see AdWords ads that encourage them to open up the app to book a room, rather than be told to install it.

Estimated Total Conversions

adwords-estimated-total-conversions

While there weren’t any new feature announcements for Estimated Total Conversions, Google’s cross-device conversion tracking tool, Google did report positive results from initial tests and confirmed it will continue to invest in the product.

Estimated Total Conversions promise to more accurately attribute conversions across devices, which have been historically underreported. Google reported a 7% increase in cross-device conversions and a 32% increase in conversions initiated via mobile and completed on another device.

New Enterprise-class Tools

The most exciting announcements were of new “enterprise-class tools” designed to help advertisers manage their campaigns.

Bulk Actions

adwords bulk actions

Google’s making bulk cross-campaign changes easier by including more bulk actions. The full details are still a bit fuzzy, but if you’ve ever had to make sweeping changes across your campaign to reflect a new promotion or change in messaging, you’ll be glad to know it will be easier to do this in the online interface than ever before.

Automated Bidding

Automated bidding is growing beyond conversion optimizer and budget optimizer to include the ability maximize the number of conversions, or the total value of conversions.

adwords automated bidding

Max Conversions – You can set you campaigns to use automated bidding that maximizes conversions (e.g., a car company can automate bids to drive as many users as possible to the build-a-car page on their website.)

Max Revenue – You can set you campaigns to use automated bidding that maximizes revenue (e.g., an e-commerce website can automate bids to generate more high-value orders on their website.)

Enhanced Reporting

adwords-enhanced-reporting-excel

This was my favorite part of the announcement. Director of Product Management for the AdWords front end (and my former manager), Paul Feng, showed a video of some of the steps we have to go through to prepare an AdWords csv for analysis in Excel:

  • Create the report in AdWords.
  • Download the csv.
  • Strip the header.
  • Create a pivot table.
  • Format the pivot table.
  • Manipulate the data.
  • Then, re-download the report with data from different entities and repeat…

building an adwords enhanced reports

Enhanced Reporting replaces the offline pivot table process, with a multi-dimensional data tool. These drag and drop reports use live data, so you can change the metric (campaign, ad group, etc.) easily and get real-time results.

adwords enhanced reports

This reminds me a lot of custom reports in Google Analytics, but with live previews– which is a huge compliment.

adwords-enhanced-reporting-pie-chart

In addition to tables, Enhanced Reporting includes line graphs, pie charts, and bar charts to visualize the data.

While this is a respectable attempt to kill the pivot table, advertisers will still need to merge their reports across other channels like Bing, Facebook, and LinkedIn Ads with Excel or use a third party tool like AdStage to automatically create cross-channel reports. Learn about AdStage reporting here.

Drafts & Experiments

The last feature Google revealed was Drafts & Experiments which seems to be a much-needed overhaul of AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE).

building an adwords draft

Now if you have a hypothesis to test, you can add your changes to a draft mode for review (what the AdWords product management team thinks of as a “shopping cart” of sorts). Once you’re happy with the proposed changes, you can run it as an experiment with a percentage of your audience.

adwords draft campaign results

As the data comes in, you can see the change in performance for the two variations side-by-side. If they changes are beneficial, you can apply your changes. If not, you can reject your hypothesis and revert your changes easily!

What do you think of these announcements? Is there a particular feature you’re excited about?

AdStage Has Been Patched For Heartbleed

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in PPC News
AdStage Has Been Patched For Heartbleed

Many sites were affected; we recommend changing your passwords.

As you may have heard, a serious security vulnerability affecting the majority of web services known as ‘Heartbleed‘ was disclosed to the world on April 7. In response to this, our engineering team has released a series of patches to ensure all possible security holes in our system are closed. AdStage is no longer vulnerable, but we suggest that you change your password both on AdStage, and elsewhere, as many sites were affected.

To change your password visit: https://platform.adstage.io/#/account/settings
For more information on the vulnerability visit: http://heartbleed.com/