How to Form a Multi-Network Advertising Strategy

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Advertising, Product Updates, Social
How to Form a Multi-Network Advertising Strategy

Lead generation campaigns often require multiple touch points before a prospect converts or becomes qualified for sales outreach. Extending your ad’s message across multiple networks is a great tactic to expand your reach, increase conversions and accelerate sales cycles. However, building a comprehensive cross-network plan from scratch can seem daunting. Let’s examine the key elements that can help simplify the process.

1. Define Your Objectives

Before your mind starts wandering towards budget allocation, targeting, and ad choices; start with the foundation- your objectives.

What’s your definition of a lead?

It seems like a no-brainer question, but you might be surprised by the variation of answers from key stakeholders. Sit everyone down and create a universally understood definition.

A request for a demo might hold different weight than a whitepaper download, for example.

What’s the absolute maximum you’re willing to pay for a lead?

Consider the following metrics to help define the highest Cost Per Lead (CPL) threshold management is willing to pay:

  • Total lifetime value of a customer
  • Average closing percentage of qualified leads from sales
  • Historic landing page conversion rates

How long will the ad campaigns run?

Define the advertising flight. Will it be a short initiative or an evergreen campaign? Knowing how long your campaigns will be active can determine your aggressiveness in optimization techniques.

2. Understand Your Target Audience

In short, do the upfront research. Really understand who your target user is, where they frequent and what their pain points are.

Define Your Audience

B2B

  • What are their firmographics? Title, industry, company size and skillsets.
  • Are they a decision maker or an influencer?
  • How long is their average purchase cycle?
  • What organizational pain points do they current have? Are they actively searching for, or aware of, your product or service?
  • Are they within the geography you service?

B2C

  • What are their core demographics? Age, sex and ethnicity.
  • What are their psychographics? Personality, interests and lifestyle.
  • What buyer type do they fall under? Are they an impulsive or carefully researched buyer?
  • Are they within the geography you service?

3. Allocate Your Budget

The mark of a great PPC advertiser is someone who looks to test everything and quickly iterate on the findings. In the case of testing all the ad networks during initial launch, it can actually hurt your results. Spreading your budgets too thin can lead to high cost per leads, and a lack of consistent data to optimize against.

Tips for Allocating Budgets:

  • Start with 2-3 key networks. Then, invest a percentage of the returns from these campaigns into new network exploration.
  • Include the networks with the highest likelihood to convert.
    • Choose the networks with the highest intent to purchase.
    • Think about which platforms reach your target audience most effectively.
    • Consider overall reach.
  • Think about the campaign flight length.
    • Create aggressive budgets and optimization calendars for short promotions.
      • Total campaign budgets settings work well here.
    • Run smooth, evenly distributed budgets for evergreen campaigns.
      • Daily budgets help keep an even pacing.

Campaign Budget

  • Examine direct versus assist channels.
    • Some networks drive last click attribution, leading from direct ad click, to new lead.
    • Other networks may not drive new leads with every click, but they can lift overall conversions through assists.
  • Learn more about setting your campaign budgets here.

4. Have a Consistent Message

Your target customer no longer visits just one network on one device. It’s common for prospects to hop between networks and devices throughout their day. Having a consistent brand or offering message can lead to increased awareness and likelihood to convert.

Consistent Messaging Across Network

Tips for Selecting a Cross-Network Message:

  • Ensure the message is aligned with your core objectives.
  • Mention your promotion, sales, or new content in ad copy across all mediums.
    • Route ads to a common landing page so you can understand which networks are yielding the best returns.
  • Map out the buyer’s journey.
    • Search can be direct, to-the-point sales messaging. It’s geared to drive leads at the bottom of the funnel to convert.
    • Social requires a softer touch and is a great medium for drip lead nurturing through differing ad messaging at different stages of the buying journey.

5. Leverage Network Strengths

Each network offers a unique set of offerings and configurations. Be sure to take advantage of network specific settings.

Search

Google AdWords & Bing Ads

Social

Facebook Ads

LinkedIn Ads

Twitter Ads

  • Twitter cards (e.g., Website Cards)
  • Promoted accounts
  • Promoted trends
  • Custom audiences
  • Keyword targeting
  • Retargeting
  • Rich media (e.g., video or photo sponsored tweets)

6. Track Your Results

Finally, ensure that each network’s conversion tracking is provisioned and placed correctly. Add custom url tracking strings to each of your ads to track performance through web analytics.

For help on setting up proper conversion tracking for your campaigns, you can reference our post, “Tracking Conversions With Google Analytics”.

Sessions Analytics

Wrap Up

Follow these tips when creating a multi-network strategy to ensure the best return on ad spend from your campaigns. Examine performance as a collective whole, then dissect it by network, campaign, all the down to the ad level. Optimize towards conversions (leads), conversion rate, and cost-per-conversion (cost per lead), leaving no stone unturned.

What’s New with AdStage in August

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in PPC News, Product Updates
What’s New with AdStage in August

August has been a big month for us at AdStage! We announced our Series A funding, grew our team and added two major features to the product.

$6.3M in New Funding

We’ve just raised $6.25 million from Verizon Ventures, Digital Garage and many other great investors. With nearly $9 million in total funding, we’re committed to revolutionizing the way you manage your ad campaigns. Read the press coverage.

adstage wall street journal


Upgraded Conversion Tracking

You can now add AdStage conversion tracking to your existing campaigns. The process is incredibly simple and configures your tracking URLs at your command. Try it out.

adstage conversion tracking


Automated Rules

Automate tedious campaign optimization tasks like editing bids, pausing low-performing ads and scheduling campaigns with the new Automated Rules app. Request access today!

intuitive automated rule builder


Team Growth

AdStage has grown considerably in the past few weeks. We’re now a team of 17, with 11 engineers. Meet the team.

adstage team

 

Get AdStage

Manage Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook & LinkedIn ad campaigns together from one place with AdStage. Start your free trial today!

No credit card required. Try AdStage risk-free for 14 days.

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.

Create Facebook Ads Rapidly with the Ad Scrambler

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Advertising, Product Updates, Social
Create Facebook Ads Rapidly with the Ad Scrambler

Facebook ad variationsExpert advertisers make sure they’re always running multiple versions of their ads. But generating those ad variations can be pretty tedious.

With Google AdWords, it typically involves uploading an Excel doc full of concatenate formulas. Facebook’s even tougher due to the myriad of ad types and need to upload images.

In this post, I’ll explain why you should be generating multiple ad variations for your Facebook campaigns and show you how the AdStage Ad Scrambler can be used to create them quickly.

Two Big Reasons You Need Ad Variations

1. Testing Leads To Improvements

Without testing alternate ads, you’re leaving money on the table. You’d be surprised how much of an impact different images and headlines can have on your ad’s performance.

AB test winner

Results of an AB test

All you have to do to test your ads is create multiple ad variations (with the same targeting and bid) and let them run side-by-side. Then simply compare the results. You may find that one performs significantly better than another.

For more on testing your ads, read How AB Testing Works.

2. Facebook Ads Are Impacted By Fatigue

Have you ever noticed that your Facebook Ad performance drop over time? Because your campaign targets a finite group of Facebook users, they’ll eventually grow tired of seeing the same ad over and over again, and they’ll stop engaging with your ad. This is called ad fatigue.

Daily Facebook Ad Performance

Image courtesy of Search Engine Land

You can combat this by generating additional ad variations with new images, headlines, etc and updating them frequently. But you’ll find that this can take a pretty long time to do. So what’s the solution?

The AdStage Ad Scrambler

The Ad Scrambler is the easiest way to generate dozens of Facebook ad variations quickly. 

.

Note: The Ad Scrambler currently supports Facebook only, we have plans to expand it to support Google AdWords, Bing Ads & LinkedIn Ad campaigns. Request the Ad Scrambler for additional networks in the comments below.

How It Works

1. Plug In Your Variables

The first step is to plug in the different headlines and images along with any other aspects of your ad that you would like to test.

The Ad Scrambler's ad builder

2. Generate Your Ad Variations

Next, the Ad Scrambler will mix and match the variables you provided in order to generate all the possible variations.

The Ad Scrambler's ad variants

3. Add Them To Your Ad Set

Once that you’ve created your ad variations, you’ll be able to choose the Facebook campaign and ad set to add them to. The Ad Scrambler walk you through choosing your target audience and bids for all of these variations ad once!

Try Out The Ad Scrambler

Generating and testing for the best-performing Facebook ad has never been easier. To try the Ad Scrambler app yourself in AdStage, simply log in or sign up today!

What’s New with AdStage: New funding, apps, invites & more…

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in PPC News, Product Updates
What’s New with AdStage: New funding, apps, invites & more…

We’ve had a lot of big news in the past few weeks so here’s a quick status update: 

  • In the first 4 weeks of invites, we imported over 8,600 active campaigns.
  • We’ve raised another $1 million to grow the team and invest in the platform.
  • We’ve announced an API to integrate great 3rd-party apps into AdStage.
  • We’ve integrated four new apps, including our top-requested Ad Scrambler which you can see in action here.

If you’re one of the thousands of businesses still waiting for your invite to AdStage, rest assured that getting you invited is our top priority. We’re working hard to scale up our systems to invite you as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Thanks for being part of our beta!

Sam Mazaheri
Director of Marketing & Product

New apps available in AdStage

adstage ad scrambler appThe Ad Scrambler app is the easiest way to generate dozens of ad copy variations quickly (see video). Simply provide multiple headlines and descriptions, along with any other aspect of the ad, and the ad scrambler will mix and match them to generate multiple ad variations for your campaign. Populating campaigns with top-performing creatives has never been easier. Try it now.

 

Unbounce adstage appThe Unbounce app is a powerful drag & drop landing page builder that lets you create pages without any help from a technical team. Simply put your ideas into a new landing page variation, click “publish” and your test is live and collecting real-time data. Get 50% off Unbounce for 3 months following your free trial. Try it now.

 

wordtracker adstage appThe Wordtracker app let’s you discover hundreds of relevant keywords for your search campaigns and see how well they will perform with estimates provided by Wordtracker. The Keywords Tool can also help you discover interests and categories to target on Facebook as well as groups to target on LinkedIn. Try it now.

 

optimizely adstage appThe Optimizely app is a website optimization solution that will let you make dynamic changes to your site, test variations with live traffic, gather immediate results and start achieving goals. After inserting a single line of code into your HTML, you have instant testing capability, and any variation you create can be live to your visitors within minutes. Try it now.

Taking Advantage of Facebook’s New Campaign Structure

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Advertising, Product Updates, Social
Taking Advantage of Facebook’s New Campaign Structure

Have you heard the news? Facebook is rolling out a brand new campaign structure. The goal of the new structure is to make it easier for you to organize, optimize and measure your ad performance. So how exactly does it work and how can you make the most of it? I’ll explain all you need to know about the change and how to take advantage of it right here.

What’s Changing

Up until this change, Facebook campaigns had two levels: campaigns housed ads directly. Your schedule and budget lived at the campaign level and your objective, bid and targeting lived at the ad level.

Now, campaigns have an additional level between campaigns and ads called “ad sets.” Search advertisers may liken this to the “ad groups” used in Google and Bing campaigns, but there are some big differences. In this new structure, you’ll create campaigns for each of your objectives. Then you’ll create ad sets with their own schedule and budget (that’s right, budget is on the ad set level).  Ads still include their unique bids and budgets, but they no longer include the objective since that’s already been set at the campaign level.

Take a look at this table to see the features available for each of these entities:

facebook l3 campaign entity features

Features available for each Facebook Ad entity

Facebook explains the three levels as:

  • Campaign – You’ll choose an advertising objective for each campaign you create and that campaign will consist of one or more ad sets. This will help you optimize and measure your results for each advertising objective.
  • Ad Set – An ad set will have one or more ads and you’ll continue to define the budget and schedule for each ad set. You can create an ad set for each of your audience segments by making the ads within the ad set target the same audience. This will help you control the amount you spend on each audience, decide when each audience will see your ads, and see metrics specific to each audience.
  • Ads – Ads will now live within ad sets. You’ll continue to define your creative, target your audience, and select your bidding at the ad level. Multiple ads should be created in each ad set so our system can optimize for variations in images, links, video, text or placements.

How It Will Affect You

Every single account will be migrated and the changes will roll out to every interface: the Facebook Ads create tool, Ads Manager, Power Editor and even third-party ad tools like AdStage. Facebook will migrate your account to the new campaign structure sometime between March 4 – 30, 2014. You’ll know you’ve been migrated when you see ad sets added to your campaigns.

What Will Happen to Your Existing Campaigns

new campaign structure for facebook  ads

All of your ad campaigns (even the ones you’ve deleted) will be migrated to the new campaign structure and will now have one ad set containing all existing ads.

Facebook says this won’t change the delivery, spend, reporting or performance of ads in your existing campaigns, but you want to revisit your schedules, budgets and ad sets to make sure they match your campaign goals.

How to Structure New Facebook Ad Campaigns

In light of these changes, you’ll want to structure your Facebook ad campaigns a little differently moving forward.

  1. One campaign for each objective – First define your objectives and create a campaign for each of them (e.g., create a campaign for generating mobile app installs).
  2. One ad set for each audience – Next, define the different audiences you want to target for this objective (e.g., Males 24-36, Females 24-36) and create one ad set for each audience. Note: You won’t actually define the audience in the ad set, but rather in the ads.
  3. Diverse use of creatives – Finally, create multiple ads within each ad set. Facebook recommends you use different images, links, video, text and placements in your ads, but also that you use the same target audience and same bid type for each ad within an ad set. This strategy will allow Facebook to optimize your campaign to use the best-performing ads.

Once you’ve been migrated to the new structure, make sure to share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

AdStage Featured on This Week In Startups

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in Product Updates
AdStage Featured on This Week In Startups

Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis interviews AdStage CEO Sahil Jain in the latest episode of This Week In Startups. Calacanis, a podcasting pioneer, gives you an insider’s look at what’s happening in the tech industry with his trademark blunt style and good humor.

 

AdStage brings online ad spend into one place

“Need to get smart about online ads? Wait, that’s not a question. Your business definitely does. Sahil Jain of AdStage is here to break it down. The 23 year-old ad genius won LAUNCH 2013 in the Best Business category. That’s after dropping out of high school to start working at Yahoo when he was just 17. When he sat down with Jason he gave us the scoop: why Bing is an underrated place to advertise, why LinkedIn clicks are priced so high, and why multitouch attribution is the future of advertising. Plus, how retargeting works. Sahil should know — AdStage takes ad campaigns for Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and soon Twitter, and brings them into one dashboard to maximize the money you spend on advertising.”

Highlights

3:50 Explain to those who don’t know what AdStage is, and what it does.
4:45 Why would I, instead of going to that link at the bottom of the page on Facebook, go to AdStage?
6:01 Are the different ad networks better for different businesses?
6:15 What’s different about advertising on Facebook vs Google?
7:22 You mentioned LinkedIn, Bing, and Twitter. How would you advise people to experiment there?
8:30 Show me how it works here.
10:10 Why do you think it is that Google doesn’t do display ads on their site, but do on other sites?
10:38 Do you advise people to make image-based ads? Or are text-based ads better?
12:57 Dashboard demo
16:25 What do you think of all this native advertising going on? It seems like the rage, if not the majority of the spend.
17:20 Is that running the risk of being deceptive? How should the industry handle consumers being confused over what’s an ad and what’s not?
18:02 Does it matter if the consumer knows it’s an ad?
18:30 Is it generational?
20:32 How does retargeting work, for people in the audience who don’t know?
22:20 So all those like buttons from Facebook are basically Facebook’s way of building psychographic profiles of everyone on the planet? How much do they know?
23:10 What does that mean, multitouch attribution?
25:14 So if you saw the ad for the new Volvo on Yahoo, then you saw it on Buzzfeed, then on Gawker, then you clicked on it when you were reading The Atlantic Wire, how do you split that between the 4 players?
27:02 Isn’t Google much more effective for advertising?
31:25 What impact have YouTube’s videos ads had? The creative is getting so much better.
34:20 Are video ads 10% of Google’s ad business now?
34:56 What’s the state of mobile advertising? Is it better than desktop?
35:47 You were 17 working for Yahoo? You dropped out of high school?
38:33 We were talking about mobile ads. How are they better?
38:48 What does that mean geofence? How does it technically work?
39:36 What about Apple’s role in advertising?
41:20 Who’s using LinkedIn advertising? And is that platform really competitive today?
45:10 What can you target on Twitter?

Where do new advertisers start?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in Advertising, Product Updates

Beginning advertisers

How does a small business new to online advertising take the first step?

A common place to start is with a campaign on Google AdWords, and this makes a lot of sense. Google is the most visited destination on the web and paid search advertising lets businesses reach an audience that is explicitly looking for information, products, and services.

Setting up an AdWords campaign is comprised of a few main tasks – creating your ads, including your relevant audience with targeting, adding keywords and keyword bidding, and setting your campaign schedule and budget. I went over this process in a post a while back, which you can read it here. The bottom line is that for a new advertiser, this isn’t the easiest process.

If the advertiser wants to test another network, it would be nice to avoid recreating everything they have already built and spent time on for their AdWords campaigns. It would be much faster to import their campaigns into another large ad network like Microsoft’s Bing Ads.

Luckily, this feature exists and it’s called “Import From Google AdWords”. Using the Bing import tool is easy enough.

Start by clicking on “Import From Google AdWords”:

Import AdWords Campaigns
Once you’re on the importing page, you can see the various steps needed to complete the import from AdWords. After you’ve filled in your account AdWords account information so Bing can fetch your data, you’ll see your active AdWords campaigns to choose from (you can also click the checkbox to also see your paused campaigns).

Check the campaign(s) you want to import:

Import AdWords Campaigns
Now that you’ve selected your campaign, the next step is to select exactly what you want to import and how the data will be brought into Bing Ads. This includes importing a completely new campaign that’s never been imported to Bing Ads, or you can import changes made to an AdWords campaign that you’ve already imported to Bing Ads.

Select the options from your AdWords campaign that you want to import:

Import AdWords options into Bing

Click Import, and you’ll either see errors that need fixing or a summary of your import.

If there were any errors during the import, you’ll see them here. Included are errors and warnings for campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, and ad extensions. If you’re importing a campaign that is completely new to your Bing Ads account, there shouldn’t be any errors. If there is an error (ie. your keyword is a duplicate), you’ll need to fix the error in your AdWords campaign, and start the import process over again.

Import AdWords options into Bing

A successfully importing campaign’s summary tells you the new, updated, and skipped features from the campaign so you have a good idea of what’s been imported into your Bing Ads account. Your campaign will be up and running on Bing!

AdWords to Bing Import Summary

That’s the best way to quickly bring your AdWords campaign into Bing Ads, but as we’re seeing, many advertisers are trying other networks and mediums like Facebook and LinkedIn to reach a large audience in different contexts (ie. search, and now social as well)

If you want to launch campaigns quickly and easily across multiple networks like AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn from one place, you can check out the AdStage Platform. We help you get campaigns running quickly and we give you tools like our recommendations and insights to make sure you’re building the best possible ad campaign to reach and convert the customers you’re looking for.

Sign up here today!