Introducing AskAdStage: Report On Your Ad Campaigns in Slack

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Product Updates, Reporting
Introducing AskAdStage: Report On Your Ad Campaigns in Slack

With our core mission to “connect marketers to the data they need to analyze, automate, and report on their digital ad campaigns”, many of our latest products have been developed using our Universal Data API.

The API allows developers and analysts to query ad performance data from eight major channel sources (Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter Ads, and Google Analytics) and pull it in as one, normalized feed. Sending the data anywhere they want.

We use our own API internally to power new products that help marketers report on and analyze their paid campaign performance trends in interesting ways. Whether that’s allowing users to ask their personal assistant Alexa about current ad spend trends, or granting the ability to pull all their ad data into Google Sheets with our AdStage Add-On.

Today, we’re proud to announce a new member to the reporting family, AskAdStage, a smart bot that allows marketers to report on and pause their ads in Slack.

What’s AskAdStage?

AskAdStage is an AI-powered reporting tool that allows marketers to create paid search and social campaign reports on-the-fly in Slack. Then if desired, take action on performance trends by pausing your campaigns or ad groups/sets within a table view.

AskAdStage is an AI-powered reporting tool that allows marketers to create paid search and social campaign reports on-the-fly in Slack

What Are the Core Features?

Integrate and report across your core ad networks

Set up your account in AdStage, and pull reports across your Google AdWords, Bing, Yahoo! Gemini, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter ad campaigns.

Integrate and report across your core ad networks

Pull performance metrics on demand

Create paid social and social reports on-the-go from any Slack supported device (mobile, tablet, or desktop).

Pull performance metrics on demand

Visualize ad performance data with flexible line, bar, and pie charts

Tell AskAdStage your preferred report type, networks, metrics and time range—then receive a report back in seconds. Change your chart type easily with quick action buttons.

Visualize ad performance data with flexible line, bar, and pie charts

Apply advanced filters to hone in on the metrics you care about

Perfect your reporting views with network, campaign type, and status filters. Learn all the possible commands.

Apply advanced filters to hone in on the metrics you care about

Take action on underperforming campaigns or ad creative

View your report, then pause or re-enable a list of campaigns, ad groups/ad sets, or creatives based on performance.

Take action on underperforming campaigns or ad creative

Pull quick campaign performance reports for your team

Add the AskAdStage bot to any team Slack channel, allowing team members to change the chart type, add comments, or pull their own report!

Pull quick campaign performance reports for your team

How to Get Started

Get set up with AskAdStage, the smart ad reporting assistant for Slack, in 4 quick steps:

  1. Ensure you are an AdStage customer or actively trialing the product.
  2. Visit the AskAdStage page or Slack app listing to download the app.
  3. Assign the app a Slack team instance and channel.
  4. AskAdStage to pull a paid campaign report using this format:
    • Chart format (list, bar, line chart) + reporting level (account, campaign, ad group/ad set) + metric you care about (CTR, conversions, CPA, etc.) + time range (ex: last 14 days)
    • Example query:
      • “/askadstage show me a line chart of the top 10 best performing Facebook ad sets by CTR over the last 7 days”

Help Us Get the Word Out

Creating new products takes a lot of dedication and good ole fashioned elbow grease. We’d be grateful if you helped us get the word out! Please find us on ProductHunt and show us some loveour CEO has graciously agreed to respond to every question or user feedback.

15 Slack Apps to Make You a More Productive Marketer

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Reporting
15 Slack Apps to Make You a More Productive Marketer

The Best 15 Slack Apps for Marketers

With over 5 million daily active users, it’s no surprise Slack is one of the most popular apps for businesses. Marketers, in particular, love Slack apps because they can integrate it with other apps and tools, making it the mission control center for managing work.

With over 600 apps available for integration, it can be hard to decide which ones are the best for marketers. That’s why in this article, you will learn about the best 15 Slack apps for marketers.

1. GrowthBot

Delegating to an assistant is one of the most common tasks any manager does to lower his work load. With the fast development of artificial intelligence, now managers can use automated queries to get all sort of useful information.

 

 

GrowthBot is an automated Slack assistant that quickly fetches marketing and sales information for you. With GrowthBot, you can find and report the top Twitter users in your city, you can get the search keywords one of your competitors ranks for, or what SaaS companies use a specific tool. All of this with the help of natural language interface, so it will feel as if you are talking to a real assistant

Since GrowthBot doesn’t have a specific suite of features, you should discover some of what it can do by typing in “Hello” and then “Give me a hint.”

Finally, it connects to a diverse set of tools such as HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot CRM, Google, and other data providers to provide quick and convenient answers to common questions.

2. AskAdStage

Running PPC campaigns for different ad networks can be hard to manage. You have to analyze dozens of reports, which can be hard to find and create.

AskAdStage is a paid search & social campaign reporting tool that gives PPC managers access to a wide variety of reports to analyze your campaign’s performance right in your Slack channels.

AskAdStage connects to eight ad networks, which include:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Google AdWords
  • Bing Ads
  • Yahoo Gemini

You can use AskAdStage to compare performance metrics across each of the search and social networks mentioned before in just a few clicks. You can get detailed reports on the performance of your search or social networks campaigns, the campaign objectives of each one, and their statuses.

If you prefer to see the performance of your campaigns, you can use AskAdStage to get visualized data trends with bar, line, and pie charts.

Finally, you can use AskAdStage to pause or enable your ad campaigns, ad groups, or individual ads.

3. Statsbot

If you run a software or e-commerce business, staying up to date with analytics can be tough. There are many tools most marketers use, like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Salesforce, among others.

StatsBot is an AI-driven analytics monitoring assistant that delivers reports to your Slack channels. Whenever there’s a change in an important metric (which could include pageviews, lead acquired, or revenue), StatsBot sends you a message in one of your Slack channels.

The tool pulls specific metrics you define from all your favorite analytics tools, including Google Analytics, Stripe, and Mixpanel.

4. Drift

Get to know your customers,” is an old mantra that business has been practicing for a long time due to the vast amount of marketing ideas it can help marketers untap. Given the scarce time marketers have, talking to your customers can be a challenging task, to say the least.

The situation changes with Drift, a communications tool which makes it easy to talk with your customers in real-time. Drift also simplifies the way your marketing team generates leads and schedule meetings faster using real-time messaging.

Thanks to the integration between Drift and Slack together, you can manage all the conversations without having to leave Slack.

5. Autopilot

Marketing automation is a powerful way to communicate with your customers. By creating and sending automated customer journeys, you can give all the information your visitors need to make them more interested in your company’s offers.

autopilot slack app

With Autopilot, you can send personalized emails, in-app messages, SMS, or even postcards, and nurture your leads into high paying customers.

The integration between Autopilot and Slack offers many benefits to marketers, some of which include:

  • Get notifications when the sales team gets a demo requests
  • Send internal message to the team’s Slack channel, so that the team can now view new user challenges as they happen and respond fast
  • Engage your users by showing signs they are ready to upgrade or churn

6. Hootsuite

There are billions of social media users, making them a priority for marketers as a communications channel. But how do you take the time to create and send all your team’s Facebook updates, tweets, and Instagram posts?

HootSuite is the most widely used platform for managing social media, with over 10 million people around the globe and trusted by more than 800 of the Fortune 1000.

The Slack integration for HootSuite allows you to send social messages from your Hootsuite dashboard directly to any channel within your Slack team.

7. Baremetrics

baremetrics slack app

As a marketer, you must follow the most important metrics closely for your startup, like the monthly recurring revenue, the churn rate, and the number of new customers.

Baremetrics is an analytics and monitoring tool that gives you access to metrics you can act on. They also provide you with information about your customer profiles. You can find out their LTV and MRR, among other metrics.

The integration of Baremetrics sends important updates to your team’s Slack channel. You can receive the latest data from your most important metrics so you don’t miss what’s happening in your company.

8. Mention

Whether your company is large or small, people will talk about it in both good and bad ways. You must follow what they say about you, so you can react fast if there’s any PR problem or if a potential customer needs an extra push to sign up.

mention slack app

Mention is media monitoring tool that gives you access to real-time brand mentions across the web. You can also use Mention to analyze your competitors, reach out to influencers, or get insights on your industry.

With Mention’s Slack integration, you can monitor important keywords right from your team’s Slack channels. You can also ensure that all mentions are attended to by assigning them to team members with Slack’s @mention feature.

9. Drum

drum slack app

Meetings, one of the pillars that makes up any company’s culture. Whether you find them useful or not, you will have to meet with members of your marketing team. Sometimes the need for a meeting shows up without short notice. You can go and create a meeting with Google Calendar or another similar tool, but if you are in a hurry it may take you more than you wished to do so.

Drum allows you to create an instant web meeting within your chosen Slack channel or direct message. By integrating Drum into your Slack team, you can benefit from instant web meetings with the same functionality you would expect within your face to face meeting.

You can create a meeting quickly by using the code “<code>/drum</code>” into your Slack channel or direct message. Your team will be able to join a meeting with Drum’s local dial-numbers at no charge. They can even join a web meeting with just a click.

10. Zapier

If you are like most companies, you use dozens of different tools to make your job. After a while, it can be hard to get anything done with so many tools to use. To simplify your life, you could use a bit of automation.

Zapier allows you to connect over 750+ apps, including Gmail, Basecamp, HubSpot, Evernote, Google Sheets, Typeform, and more. In just a few minutes, you can set up automations called “Zaps,” which will turn your Slack into your team’s central command.

You can connect calendar events, social media mentions, or new lead details straight into any chat.

11. Content Tracker

Content marketing is one of the most effective channels for online marketers. Despite its power, 57% of B2B marketers have a hard time measuring its effectiveness.

content tracker slack app

Content Tracker by Priceonomics is a dashboard for measuring content marketing performance. By integration Content Tracker with Slack, you can get real-time notifications of events such as:

  • When you get an inbound link to your content
  • When new content is published
  • When your blog content hits big milestones on social sharing and traffic
  • When one of your articles goes going viral

With the Slack integration, you will get all your content marketing analytics directly in Slack.

12. Raven

raven tools slack app

We’ve mentioned PPC, content marketing, and analytics. But we can’t forget about SEO, which is another highly powerful marketing acquisition channel.

Raven is one of the most complete SEO tools. Lots of marketers use Raven to schedule marketing reports, discover on-page SEO issues, and manage their marketing campaigns. By automating your reports, you can save many hours. You can get ranking reports, analytics, SEO, social media, and advertising data all in one place.

The integration of Raven and Slack gives you real-time information about your marketing campaigns right in your Slack channels. With Raven, you can receive notifications such as:

  • When one of the on-page SEO audits are complete
  • When someone adds or removes an inbound link
  • When a scheduled report is sent to a client

13. RandomGrowth Marketing Ideas Bot

Growth hacking is a popular term among startups marketers as it brings the power of customer acquisition, data, and programming all in one place. There are many growth hacks which are very simple yet effective, which is why marketers love sharing and using them.

The RandomGrowth Marketing Ideas Bot gives you short, actionable growth hacks and marketing ideas used by the most successful startups in your Slack team. The RandomGrowth Growth Hacks Generator is Ideal for busy early and seasoned entrepreneurs constantly working on multiple projects.

14. Trello

Project management is a discipline all marketers use to plan, execute, and control the work of a team to achieve specific goals. That’s why most companies, whether they are large or small, use project management tools to improve their results.

trello slack app

Trello is one of the most popular project management tools due to its simplicity. With Trello, you can create new projects (called “cards”), and see who’s responsible for each task within each project.

If you have separate teams working on specific cards or tasks, the Trello integration can help you manage the process efficiently. You can create a Slack channel with everyone in the loop and have a central chat/content management system to keep all projects in check.

Trello lets you create cards (projects), assign them to teammates, set deadlines and leave comments when necessary.

15. Google Drive

It’s a fact employees generate vast amounts of files for their work: writers make content pieces, designers create Photoshop files, and developers have multiple files with their code.

Google Drive allows you to store all your files securely online and access them from anywhere. The integration of Google Drive with Slack helps you create Google Docs and import any type of file from Google Drive without leaving your conversations in Slack.

Here’s a handy guide made by Slack on how to setup and use Google Drive.

Conclusion

As you have seen, Slack isn’t just a powerful communications app. The vast amount of app integrations will help you save time, which in turn will make you a more productive marketer. Now it’s your turn to get started.

Pick one of the mentioned Slack apps, and integrate it with your company’s channels. Try it out for yourself, and see how powerful Slack apps can really be.

How to Talk About PPC Results with Your Boss

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
How to Talk About PPC Results with Your Boss

PPC industry terms and acronyms can seem like a foreign language to those not managing digital media.

It’s important to translate how performance metrics impact overall business goals. Slim your reports down to the key metrics that matter, and explain trends in common terms.

Report on PPC Metrics in Common Business Terms

Clicks

From an outsider clicks don’t seem all that valuable. Is it unique clicks? Clicks to what exactly? Describe these are active searchers, who were looking for your industry, product, or service and were interested to learn more.

Use instead: Web Visitors

Cost

This indicates the total amount of money the company owes for running ads. But, what is it in relation to? The C-suite allots budgets to departments based on performance and goals. How does this expenditure relate to your monthly/ quarterly/yearly budget? 

Use instead: Budget spent or spend

Conversions

This is a broad universal term used for when a goal is achieved. How is a conversion defined in your business? Replace the word conversion with your objective:

  • Lead generation for sales
  • Email address capture
  • E-commerce purchase

Use instead: Lead, sign-up, or purchase

Cost Per Conversion

Is this relative cost high or low? Some conversions are worth thousands, others worth a few dollars. Use a more descriptive term to easily gauge value.

Use instead: Cost per lead, cost per form fill, or cost per sale.

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

This formula reveals the net revenue gained from your ad campaigns.

ROAS = (Revenue – Cost) / Cost

Use instead: Return on investment (ROI)

This is how your CEO/CFO reports company health to the company, board, or investors. Don’t just provide the percentage – also include a ratio. Ex: 300% ROI. Or, a 3:1 return. Currently, every $1 spent is yielding $3 in return on average.

Tips for a Good MonthlyReport

1. Provide a highlight summary at the top

  • Include bullets on performance trends of the most important metrics.
  • Sum up performance across channels, accounts, and campaigns.
  • Include next action steps.

2. Visualize performance trends in graphs

Your CFO and you might love seeing all the raw data, but for others, it’s time consuming and hard to draw conclusions.

Appeal to visual learners by showcasing a slice of data within a graph.

AdWords Conversion Trends

Provide additional context with the graph. 

Example: Within this graph, you can see that total lead volumes have been increasing (total conversions), while the average cost per lead (cost per conversion) has been declining since May.

3. Explain how your results impact the business as a whole

 

Include other department insights or metrics if available. Examples:

Goal: Lead Generation

Over the past 3 months we generated 95 additional leads on the same budget, compared to the last quarter. This has translated into 60 additional sales demos ran, netting 15 new sales, totaling $105,000 in new revenue.

Goal: E-commerce

The warehouse manager noted there is a large stock of chainsaw inventory sitting in the warehouse for months. We created new chainsaw campaigns with promo discount pricing to move more products. The campaign sold 65% of the overstocked inventory, netting $85,000 in revenuespending just $35,000 of our total monthly budget.

Wrap Up

Remember, the executive team often is faced with making complex decisions with limited time. Whittle your report down to the essential viewpoints they can understand quickly. Finally, explain how paid media initiatives are aiding the company’s top line growth and net profits.

AdStage Report CTA

What Makes a Good Monthly PPC Report?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Reporting
What Makes a Good Monthly PPC Report?

Take Your Monthly PPC Reports from Good to Great

PPC reporting is a necessary evil in our line of work. Though nearly all of us would much rather be making campaign optimizations based on all the data we’ve accrued, it’s important that we’re sharing with stakeholders and able to convey what’s going on to them in a meaningful way.

So what actually makes a good PPC report? It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s easy to put together just a mediocre report if you’re not paying close attention. Great PPC reports require some foresight and a little effort upfront to ensure they’ll have maximum impact. Let’s walk through some of the most important aspects that I try to focus on with each report I send out.

Start with the End Reader(s) in Mind

Before you begin to build your reports, it’s important to think about the recipient. More than likely they have their own areas of focus and style of communicating. Before you strike your first key or make your first chart, ask yourself questions that can help drive what your end product looks like:

  • Who is the recipient of this report?
  • Are there multiple levels of personnel I need to convey information to?
  • What is important to the recipient(s) and what do they to want to know?
  • What is important for them to know, whether they’re interested in it or not?
  • What questions will they have about what I’m presenting and how can I answer them?
  • What level of knowledge does the end user have? Can you utilize industry jargon or do you need to explain things more explicitly?

This certainly isn’t a complete list, but each of these guiding questions can help you determine what should and shouldn’t be in your reports and how you convey that information. For the remainder of this post, I’ll show you the questions I hear in my head while I’m putting together my monthly reports based on a fictionalized client to ensure I’m covering my bases.

Call out the portions in the data that are important to each stakeholder. (If you don’t, they’re just going to ask you about them later.) For a CMO, you might stick to higher level discussions about account trends, competitor trends, and ad messaging. For a fellow Marketing Manager, you might be better off digging further into the details and zeroing in on a couple specific areas of focus for them.

That said, your reports shouldn’t just include pandering information. It’s also critical to call out things that are important to account performance, whether they want to hear them or not. Use your expertise to identify important positive/negative aspects of the performance and address them in the report. Who knows, maybe one of these days folks will stop worrying about tenths of percent changes in CTR when CPA is fluctuating by 20%.

Visualize What’s Most Important

In a perfect world, our report recipient would have endless time to read, review, and digest the amazing reports we’ve put together for them. And some people might make that time. But most will not. I’ve found it valuable to make the top two to three takeaways from the month into visuals.

You might be saying, “But I already use charts to highlight the data in my report”, and that’s great! But odds are you’re showing some iteration of clicks vs CPC, conversions vs CPA, or ROI compared to average order value throughout the month. And you’re showing that every month. Again, that’s great and can be valuable, but it’s not what I’m referring to.

Similar to calling out your recipients focus areas, find a way to visually represent the top pieces of the month. If you’ve been trying to make non-brand search a larger share of the budget and you made some good strides this month create a before and after style pie chart calling out the progress. This might not be a permanent staple of all your reports, but it’s important for this month and something you want to make sure your client/boss remembers.

Pro tip: it’s important to make sure your visuals are telling the right story. Check out this post to get a little insight about making valuable charts.

It’s the Data, Stupid

It’s fairly obvious that it’s hard to have a great PPC report without the actual data, but it’s even harder to have one that doesn’t make a couple of pretty common mistakes. Let’s go through the two biggest mistakes with data in PPC reports.

Data Dumping

 

Just because you have lots of data doesn’t mean you have to throw it in people’s faces. The people you’re reporting to don’t have time to dig through the data like you do. That’s why they hired you in the first place. Distill things down to what they need to know. In my mind that consists of the following:

  • A high level summary of important metrics that show how your efforts are performing overall.
  • Breakdowns of channel statistics and performance.
  • Insights into campaign groups within channels when applicable (i.e. Retargeting vs Search vs Display).
  • Top performing ad variants and keywords.
  • Insights into specific tests of interest.

That’s about it. Otherwise, you run the risk of including so much data that someone simply can’t wade through it all and come out the other side with a concise understanding of what happened. They’ll be all over the place.

If there are other areas of interest that are frequently discussed, like top performing geographies or mobile insights, then certainly look to include those. As we’ll cover a bit more here in a moment, you want to include the stats that the stakeholder is interested in, but be conscious of data dumping and don’t throw data at them just for the sake of doing it. Include the high level, things that need action, and the points they care most about and leave everything else for another day.

Leaving Out the Goals

More than likely, when you began the month there were clear goals as to what you wanted your campaigns to achieve. If you’re not calling those out in your report and whether you crushed those goals or fell short, then your reporting needs to have a change in focus.

If you’re needing help figuring out how to add goal numbers, there are a couple different ways.

In the Data Itself

Create some charts that show your PPC goal metrics

Create some charts that show where your goal metrics are and where you ended up, then call out the surpluses or deficits. Sometimes it can be very easy to just add an additional column to a table or a new chart to the report to directly, visually compare actual performance to goals.

In the Written Portion of the Monthly Report

“In May, we spent a total of $73,136 (1% below goal of $74,000) and generated 1,283 conversions (7% over goal of 1,200) bringing our end demo CPA to $57 (7% below goal of $61.50).”

You can also include them in a written portion of the report. This can be a bit easier since it won’t require additional formatting, but can be more easily overlooked by your recipient.

It’s not so much important as to where you put them, it’s that they’re included and a major point of the report.

Give Context to Your Data

Numbers without context are effectively meaningless. It’s up to you to provide the context so your client/boss can understand what you’re showing them. Be sure you’re making clear, high level context to what the numbers mean and what that means for your accounts.

Outline the Strategy Changes and Their Impact

Each report should call out what your actual strategy was for the month.

  • Did you decide to launch new channels?
  • Were there changes to your call to action?
  • Did you decide you want to be in position 1 no matter what?
  • What things were different last month that would have impacted the stats?

If you’re not calling out the changes made you’re losing context as to why the numbers are what they are.

Draw Conclusions About the Strategy

If you’re not drawing conclusions about strategies, you’re leaving it up to your client or boss to do it, and that’s not their job. That’s your job. Draw conclusions about the strategies based on the data and context you’ve provided.

Did your strategies work?

Did they fail?

Somewhere in the middle?

Why?

Call Out Outside Influences, Unforeseen Problems

Best laid plans

Your strategy isn’t the only thing that can greatly impact performance. Were there delays getting the strategy in place? Did an outside force affect your campaigns and either give your efforts a boost or squash them?

It’s important to give context around the things outside of your control but that influenced performance. Again, without this you’ll be painting an incomplete picture and leaving the recipient wondering why things were so different without a good enough reason.

Compare to Historical Performance

Although you’re tying numbers back to goals for the month, it’s also important to keep an eye on bigger trends. Great PPC reports should include some form of historical data to provide trend insights.

Some examples would be:

  • Month over Month: good for showing recent fluctuations in performance.
  • Year over Year: important if seasonality is in play and more recent comparisons won’t yield true comparisons.
  • Rolling 3 or 6 months: great for showing a long term trend in a positive or negative direction.

Each of these has their role to play, but again, don’t include too much data. Find the historical reference that’s most important for the particular month and focus there. In future months you can call out other ranges if needed.

Ok, What’s Next?

If you’re a fan of The West Wing, you’ll know that one of the famous quotes from President Bartlet is “What’s next?” It sounds simple enough, but in the context of the show, it’s full meaning was “I’ve understood what you’ve said and I see where we’ve been. Let’s close that chapter and move on. What are we going to do next?”

I’ve always felt that the folks who completely ‘get’ PPC would have similar discussions with me about their PPC reports. “I understand the full picture of last month’s performance and findings and how that compares to the past. Now what are we going to do next month to make things even better?”

All great PPC reports should end by looking forward to the future. Based on everything that’s come prior in the report, what are the strategies for the following month? Do we need to stay the course or make big swings in strategy? How are you going to improve performance next month?

If you’re having regular calls with your client/boss, odds are you’ve already begun discussing strategies for the future. Those should also be included in this section of the report. Discuss what you’ll be testing and why you’re giving that strategy a shot. Bonus points if you can tie any future strategy pieces to the specific stats in the report.

Writing a great PPC report isn’t rocket science, but it’s certainly not something that can be done on autopilot. Spend a little time upfront to fully understand your audience, then craft the report in ways that are meaningful to them and don’t just drown them in data.

Lastly, give them a full understanding of where they’ve been and where they’re going. They’ll appreciate the extra effort, you’ll like that they start paying more attention to the report you’ve worked so hard on, everyone wins. And isn’t that what we’re all after anyway?

AdStage Report CTA

Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Amazon Announces New Lookalike Audiences Tool

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is intriguing news that’s been covered by just about every major media outlet, but the company quietly announced another addition to its capabilities in the past few weeks. One that marketers may find even more exciting.

Amazon, in its blog post, describes Advertiser Audiences as “a new self-service capability that allows advertisers to securely engage their customers and extend campaign reach on and off Amazon.” If you haven’t yet considered Amazon as an advertising channel, this could be a good time to start testing.

Advertiser Audiences allows you to reach existing customers – of which Amazon says case study participant Burt’s Bees saw click-through rate increase by 2x, consideration rate increase by 9x, and purchase rate increase by 4x to 8x – but the real power lies in creating lookalike audiences. To do that, advertisers anonymously match a list of their customers with Amazon shoppers to create new targeting segments to use in Amazon advertising campaigns.

Lookalike

Pros of Advertiser Audiences

Unlike other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, people looking at Amazon are the farthest along the funnel, and couldn’t be closer to a purchasing decision. This allows marketers to shape messaging accordingly. Instead of spending time and money on ads that inform, educate, or interest, messaging can be much more blunt and aggressive.

While you won’t get direct insight into Amazon’s customers, campaign results, if interpreted correctly, will reveal behavioral data for those people who have made it nearly all the way through the funnel. This information can inform future advertising decisions, even outside of Amazon campaigns.

Cons of Advertiser Audiences

Currently, Advertiser audiences is not an easy-to-use, intuitive platform. It’s a manual process that unless you’re experienced (or very patient) may require agency assistance.

As mentioned above, the tool will help you reach lookalike audiences, but don’t expect a huge dump of data in return. Some analysts have described Amazon’s advertising offerings as “black-box,” and this one is no exception.

Only Amazon advertisers (advertisers placing buys directly with/through it) have access to the channel and can use it only for their Amazon campaigns.

BlackBox

Advertiser Audiences In Action

Amazon worked with Burt’s Bees to test and ramp up Advertiser Audiences. Over the last holiday season, Burt’s Bees wanted to focus on their gift packs and stocking stuffers. Using Advertiser Audiences, they discovered 68% of their website customers also used Amazon for online purchases. They used that info to build a lookalike segment and saw that matched customers purchased 4x more.

How to Get Started

Though technically Advertiser Audiences is a self-serve platform, Amazon suggests you contact your account exec to get started. Pay close attention as he or she walks you through the process so you can take over from there and not have to depend on someone else to launch future campaigns.

As part of Amazon’s terms to use Advertiser Audiences, you will need to anonymize your customer email list using either a self-service user interface or if you know how, you can pre-hash your list before submission. (A search for “SHA256 generator” turns up quite a few encryption options. SHA256 refers to the algorithm that carries out the anonymizing).

AdStage Report CTA

 

Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Technology, an increasing demand to squeeze the most out of every minute, and the desire to objectively present information are driving our world to become ever more visual. Whether in news media, on social, or in daily business reports, there exists a need for detailed information to be presented and understood quickly.

You probably deal with mounds of data every week, but it’s often hard to sort through what really matters, and when it does, how to effectively tell a story with the numbers. No doubt you’ve come across a graphic before that either didn’t make any sense or did little to present information in a way that illustrated a point. Visualizing data isn’t always necessary, but when used correctly at the right time, can be crucial in getting your point across.

Reasons To Use Data Visuals In PPC Reports

Popping a graphic or two into a report can give it a professional look and save space where’d you otherwise need to use a bunch of text, but before you go drawing up a complicated line graph, make sure there’s a valid reason for the graphic. A few of the more obvious include:

  • Presenting and understanding complicated info quickly – Your client just sent a request for week over week CTR data for each active social platform going back 6 months. Instead of dumping it all into an Excel sheet and leaving them to decipher it, a simple graph can tell a story that might otherwise need a thousand words.

adstage CTR by week

  • Highlight emerging trends – Laying all the data out in a visual manner is often the easiest way to predict where certain trends are headed. If you’re seeing a bump on a piece of creative featuring a certain style of your retail client’s denim, you could use a data visual to help them see why another look at their website promotions and store layout could be an effort with a huge payoff.
  • Spot overlaps and patterns – Let’s say you’ve been A/B testing creative and you want to show your client why they should funnel their budget into creative A, even though they love creative B. A line graph could help show the disparity between the two pieces, and the power of reallocating the budget to the winning creative.

You don’t want to spend time on a meaningless graph, but you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to include valuable information that tells a powerful story. Make sure there’s a compelling reason to visualize a chunk of data and it’ll be a natural part of your report.

When To Use Certain Visuals

Pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, Venn diagrams. Just hearing that list can bring back middle school memories of math class. Sometimes it’s obvious which chart type is most appropriate, but other times – not so much. Figure out what the goal of your chart is, and you can easily discern between which to use.

Table/Metrics

If you have many key players referring to the data, and each will be interested in his or her own piece, a table or metric is a good call. In this example from the NY Times, a table is used to show how common certain birthdays are, based on how many babies were born on that date between 1973 and 1999.

While it’s interesting to see how your birthday might compare to another one, you’re likely only looking for information that pertains to you and then moving on. One thing to note is that unlike other data visualization options, a table won’t bring your audience to an immediate conclusion, rather it will simply organize and present the information for reference.

how common is your birthday

Graph/Chart

The very structure of a line graph is set up for data to be shown over time. In this interactive chart from USA Today, four bar charts show why Apple recently cut the price of the iPad – starting with declining market share, then slipping quarterly sales, declining tablet shipments, and finally a comparison to other tablet manufacturers. The first three graphs are shown on a year over year scale, helping highlight the iPad’s rise, plateau, and decline – a strong indication it’s time for Apple to make decisions to reverse the drop in sales.

google table market share

Tailored Visualization

Depending on what you’re trying to present, a traditional chart might not do the job. If that’s the case, you have to get creative. Time does a great job categorizing and then visualizing the daily routines of famous creative people in this interactive chart.

daily routines of famous creative people

How To Use Data Visualizations

No matter what type of data visualization you’re using, you must set the narrative. On a basic level, all graphics should be correctly titled, and all data clearly labeled. Providing the right context will help avoid misinterpretation of objective data.

AdStage’s Report product takes care of all of that for you, and helps you generate better PPC reports in minutes. As we highlighted in a previous post, the cross-channel dashboards in Report offer customizable widgets for advertisers to select the data set and the visual components of the dashboard, such as tables, metrics, graphs, and charts.

How to Easily Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Product Updates, Reporting
How to Easily Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

Introducing New Report Table Upload Widget!

View data from your CRM, Marketing Automation apps, BI tools, and billing systems in a single PPC report

Your customers frequent across many different channels, devices, and touchpoints. Understanding how to pull different levers in the buyer’s journey is crucial to driving successful ad campaigns.

Advertising data reveals great insights into performance metrics such as conversions or web actions (such as a form fill). But, analyzing ad metrics in a silo doesn’t reveal how cross-channel campaign performance impacts deeper business metrics such as lead quality, opportunity size, and revenue (sales).

Add Custom Tables to Your PPC Reports

Now you can add custom data tables to your PPC reports for a 360° view of campaign performance. Table uploads give you the flexibility to compare ad performance data with your CRM, marketing automation tools or third party data in one report.

Quickly add any table Excel, csv or Google Sheets to visually present ad performance down the marketing funnel, and better understand campaign impact on ROI. For example, you can include metrics such as email, organic, event, and sales data to round out your ad campaign reports.

Add Custom Tables to Your PPC Reports

Try Manual Upload Tables

How Can Custom Tables Help Your PPC Reporting Workflow?

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

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

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

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

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

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

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

How to Get Started with Custom Tables

(1) Select the ‘Table Upload’ widget in any existing or new report dashboard.

How to Get Started with Custom Tables

(2) You can upload your table three ways

  1. Drag csv or xsl file from your computer and drop it in the widget creation flow
  2. Click ‘Upload’ button and choose your csv or xsl file
  3. Paste a shareable Google Sheets link in the provided fieldAdStage Report Custom Table Upload

(3) Click ‘Save’ and you’re all set!

Wrapping Up

Table uploads give you the flexibility to combine ad performance data with your CRM, marketing automation tools or third party data in one report. Take the internal business / customer data you’re already collecting in your marketing automation tools and CRM, and add it alongside your ad performance data for a deeper understanding of impact and ROI.

Go ahead and give AdStage Report Table Upload a try

What’s New in AdStage: May

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

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

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

Report

Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

New Table Upload Widget

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

Use Table Upload Widgets to Help You:

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

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

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

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

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

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

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

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

Save Time Creating Reports with Dashboard Settings

Set Default Data Source at the Dashboard Level

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

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

Filter Your Performance Data Views Faster

New Widget Creation Layout 

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

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

Easily Identify Top Performing Networks at a Glance

We Standardized Network Colors!

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

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

See Your Copy Next to Your Ads in Performance Tables

Add Headline, Image, and Description Columns to Ad Tables

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

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

Automate

Sequence Ads Together to Tell Your Brand Story

New Automate Flighting Feature!

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

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

Top Direct-Response and Brand Awareness Flighting Strategies

(1) Funnel-Based Storytelling

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

(2) Prime-and-Remind Storytelling

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

(3) Progressive Promotions

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


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

Let Your Alerts Do the Optimizing for You

Convert Performance Alerts into Optimization Rules with Just One-Click

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

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

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

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

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

1. Avoid Wasting Spend on High CPA Ad Sets

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

2. Pause Low Performing CTR Ads

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

3. Maximize Your Daily Budget

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

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

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

Crash Course on Facebook Reports: Part 1 – Organic Results

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Reporting, Social
Crash Course on Facebook Reports: Part 1 – Organic Results

Oh boy, have Facebook reports have come a long way. If you can remember back to 2013 (when “poking” was still the rage), you’ll probably recall the hours you spent pulling reports for data that, today, feels incredibly simple. Just four years ago marketers were relying on demographics information that only went as deep as age and gender.

Today, Facebook can tell us a lot more about current and prospective customers, what and how competitors are doing, and provide real-time updates on content performance. Part of Facebook’s goal to bring value to advertisers through data is a more robust reporting hub called Facebook Insights.

Any business page with 30+ fans will automatically populate an Insights tab. Find yours by navigating to your Page, then look for the Insights tab at the top. There, you’ll find interactive charts and graphs under five main topics:

  • Overview
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Posts
  • People

Let’s look at the information you’ll find in each category and how you can use it to your advantage.

Facebook Organic Performance Overview

This section is the quickest way to get an overall look at your Page’s performance. Here, you’ll see data over the past seven days for three main points:

  • Page Likes: Total and new likes
  • Post Reach: Total number of unique people who looked at your Page and posts
  • Engagement: Total number of unique people who engaged with your Page, and a breakdown of the types of engagement

When you’re in Overview, you’ll also see your five most recent posts, and a snapshot of how each performed, including type of post, targeting, reach, clicks, engagement, and spend. You can click on individual posts for detailed information, or navigate to the other category tabs to get a look at Likes, Reach, and Engagement across all posts for the timeline you specify.

From Overview, you can access another helpful tool called Pages to Watch, which shows you what similar businesses are posting, and how their posts are doing. Getting a look at what the other guys are posting can be a powerful springboard for your own creative.

Likes

This report is exactly what it sounds like, but goes beyond simply recording total Likes. It offers handy information on what’s effective in getting people to Like your page. As you move your cursor around on the Likes graph, you’ll discover you can drill down into daily activity to see the number of Likes you got on a specific day.

Facebook Reports For Organic Results

Use the data selector to pull Likes for a longer span of time, and scroll down to get a look at unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, and net likes (likes minus unlikes). It’s from this graph you can determine where your Likes are coming from – directly from your Page, from Page suggestions, or paid ads. This helps you determine what’s working so you can do more of it.

 

Reach

Pull a report from this section to learn everything these is to know about what happens to a post or ad once it’s published. That includes users who looked at your Page through organic or paid efforts, post engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares, and negative actions through Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes.

Outside of your own efforts, you can also see any activity related to your page, like posts from others referencing your page, mentions, and check-ins.

Anytime you’re trying something new with your content strategy, like posting at a different time of day or increasing the frequency of posts, you’ll want to keep a close eye on activity under Reach. Use the date slider to compare before and after to see if your changes are effective.

Posts

This tab will look similar to Overview, but you can get a more in-depth look at individual Post performance here, including the ability to sort by engagement for a clearer look at your strongest posts. The coolest part of the Posts tab is “When Your Fans Are Online,” which shows you when your audience is logged into Facebook.

The best time to serve up posts is when your audience is most likely to see them! Keep this data close the next time you’re scheduling posts.

Crash Course on Facebook Reports For Organic Results: Part 1 via blog.adstage.io

Next to “When Your Fans Are Online” is “Post Types,” where you can get a snapshot of how your different post types perform, based on reach and engagement. Make a note of what’s doing the best, then scroll down to individual post data where you can use the drop down arrows at the top right of the table to look at reach between fans and non-fans and positive and negative engagement. Dissect the top-performing creative according to this criteria to come up with new ads that are likely to do well.

People

The information you get in the People tab is one of the major reasons Facebook continues to give advertisers the most bang for their buck in comparison to other social platforms. A detailed profile of engaged customers is one of the most valuable pieces of information a marketer can get, and that’s exactly what shows up in the People report.

Within the tab, you’ll see three breakdowns for “Your Fans,” “People Reached” and “People Engaged.” Your Fans shows you gender, age, and location of the people who’ve liked your Page. People Reached gives you an overview of who’s seen your posts in the past 28 days. People Engaged is the real goldmine.

This report lets you see who has Liked, Commented on, Shared your posts or Engaged with your Page in a 28 day period. This information gives you an idea of who you’re already resonating with so you can tailor future posts to speak to this audience profile.

Facebook’s Insights hub gives you reports for two other elements – Page Visits and Video – which aren’t as statistically important as the other reports but can be beneficial, depending on your goals.

Visits shows you the number of times each tab on your Page was viewed, and the number of times people visited from a website off of Facebook. It’s always a good idea to have your Page updated with accurate details to help customers quickly navigate to the info they need.

The Videos section gives you an idea of how engaging your videos are, including how many times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more, and and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can also sort by most viewed videos.

Clearly, Facebook reports have changed drastically in just the past few years and will continue to seek deeper information and offer actionable insights. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss Facebook Reports: Paid Results!

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

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

Write for The AdStage Blog

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

A few of our favorite guest posts to date include:

How to Write an AdStage Guest Post

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

Who are our ideal guest post authors?

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

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

Which Topics Do We Cover?

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

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

Guest Post Requirements

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

What’s in it for you?

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

We look forward to hearing from you!

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