Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Automation, Social | One Comment
Why AdStage Automation Beats Facebook Automation Every Time

If you’re a smart PPC advertiser, you have a whole lot of Facebook ads running at once. And, if you’re a savvy PPC advertiser, you know exactly how you want to optimize your ads given your campaign objectives. That’s where Facebook automation comes into play.

Automated rules allow you to track under and over-pacing ad sets, schedule ads for certain days/times, pause or boost ads based on performance, run tests, and automatically rotate new creative in after a certain period of time.

The number of hours you can save using these automated rules is huge and the more chances at automation you have, the more that number grows.

That’s why we wanted to break down exactly what you’re getting with the automated rules in Facebook’s ad manager and with AdStage’s Automate product. That way, if you’re looking for more Facebook automation or a specific feature, you know where to find it!

What Facebook Ads Manager Offers

Facebook released automated rules in 2016, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns with simple rule-based automation. They currently offer four Facebook automation rules:

  • Pause campaigns, ad sets or ads based on performance
  • Increase or decrease campaign budgets based on performance
  • Increase or decrease manual bids based on performance
  • Receive email alerts based on ad performance

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

 

What AdStage Automate Offers

Facebook’s automation offerings are a fantastic start, and that’s why AdStage offers them, too. But why stop there? These automated rules are helpful in catching and taking action on performance changes, but there are ways you can optimize your campaigns at an even more granular level.

In addition to the rules offered natively on Facebook, AdStage Automate offers a set of optimization tools for Facebook Ads that can give you greater flexibility, chances for optimization, and time saved.

Stay Up to Date on Ad Performance

With email performance alerts, you can monitor your ad accounts and campaigns around the clock. Stay on top of campaign trends like over or under spend, CTR, and high cost per conversion. And, you can use alerts to be sure you know when ads are live, so you can better control budget pacing. Know when an ad is down, banned, or awaiting approval and when that issue is resolved.

Also, you no longer need to export campaign performance and analyze the data in an Excel file. Your email notification includes a complete list of underperforming accounts and campaigns straight to your inbox. You can also get alerts like these through Facebook Ads Manager, but you may be limited as they only allow up to 100 automated rules in each ad account.

Efficiently Optimize Your Ads

Using simple IF/THEN logic, you can create flexible and powerful optimization rules and apply them to multiple campaigns and ad sets simultaneously. AdStage’s automated optimization tasks fire based on the performance trends you choose so you’re always in control, and have the ability to optimize campaigns as soon as the performance conditions apply.

In addition, you can apply as many rules as you wish, while Facebook only allows each ad account up to 100 automated rules.

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

Schedule Campaign Budgets to Increase or Decrease

Unlike Facebook automated rules, AdStage does not limit you to simple automated bid and budget changes when performance changes occur. For seasonal campaigns or end of quarter pushes, you may want to increase your budget to make specific revenue goals.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to drive more impressions before a sale is over, you can schedule an increase in your bids during any given week. The budget can be flexible and updated automatically with the AdStage campaign scheduler.

Daypart Campaigns to Deliver During Specific Times

While Facebook also offers dayparting in Power Editor, they don’t make it easy for you to turn off your campaigns. They are, after all, incentivized to have you keep your ads on all the time. So, if you’re not using Power Editor, you miss out on this opportunity to optimize your ad delivery.

In AdStage Automate, dayparting is available through the campaign scheduler. Based on the top converting times of the day, or when your audience is likely to be on Facebook, you can deliver Facebook Ads at the most optimal times of the day or week. This ensures your budget is spent as efficiently as possible — by simply choosing which hours and days to show your ads for the best conversion rates.

Campaign scheduling in Power Editor also requires a lifetime budget, while in AdStage, advertisers have no restrictions on what budget types can be used for scheduling, and can use the more popular ‘daily budgets’ in their set up.

Keep Your Ads Fresh

While Facebook is supposed to automatically rotate your ads, you don’t get very much visibility into why they choose which ads to rotate. Automated ad rotation in AdStage allows you to cycle through sets of ads, ad sets, or campaigns based on your desired KPIs, rather than Facebook’s black box algorithm.

You will most likely want to keep your ads fresh, with either new ad copy, ad images, new calls-to-action, or new landing pages, and this solution allows you to engage your audience with different messages at scale.

Take Action in Bulk

Quickly get the best view into your data and take an optimization action in bulk. If you’d like to do a one-time performance clean up of an account or campaign, it’s easy to do that bulk action through a simple workflow in AdStage Automate.

Unlike Facebook Ads Manager, where you have to select each ad set or campaign to take bulk actions, AdStage lets you filter by specific parameters, saving hours of manual time filtering performance views and making edits.

Scale Automation Beyond Facebook Ads

As a cross-network platform, AdStage allows you to create automated rules for other paid channels such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Twitter Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. This is a great upsell tactic for agencies who are growing their book of business.

Once you’ve gotten your strategy down in Facebook Ads with our set of Facebook automation tools, expand your campaigns across the other networks to gain more syndication.

Get Started with AdStage Automate

AdStage Automate brings additional flexibility, more in-depth metrics to optimize/monitor, and incredible amounts of time saved through bulk actions with running Facebook automation. Improve your workflows and get organized today with your free trial of AdStage Automate.

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

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in PPC News, Search, Social | 2 Comments
See what your competitors are planning in digital this year

For the past six years, DemandWave, a B2B digital marketing agency, has shared a comprehensive report on the state of B2B digital trends. They poll “a broad cross-section of B2B marketers to find the biggest priorities and pressure points critical to their success.” This year’s report turned up lots of interesting information on what’s happening in digital this year, including:

  • Marketers are focusing on quality over quantity for leads.
  • SEO is gaining on email, when it comes to channels for revenue growth.
  • Dollars continue to stack up in digital marketing budgets. Almost 50% of marketers plan on allocating even more money there.
  • Blogs and video tied for the most popular form of content marketing.
  • White papers and ebooks now producing more revenue than webinars.

Let’s take a closer look at how the numbers shape up and what this could mean for your marketing strategy.

Budgeting

If you want to keep up with the competition, revisit display advertising this year. This channel saw nearly 35% YoY growth, indicating those marketers who are paying attention to it are seeing results. Paid search barely eeks past social media to grab the top spot for dollars. It’s the second year this channel has been first, and as Search Engine Journal points out, the reason for that may be improved platform capabilities, like Google’s AdWords redesign and new features, and access to ad formats on Bing, Facebook, and other networks. Search Engine Journal also forecasts PPC will evolve through artificial intelligence and voice search. For more predictions on how PPC will play out this year, and suggestions for what marketers should do to get ahead, check out our post on trends in 2017.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

Measuring Performance

For the fourth year in a row, marketers report using conversion rate as the number one way to measure performance, though ROI continues to rise to the top as ways to measure it improve. DemandWave hypothesizes recent improvements in ROI measurement are due to “an increased adoption of attribution models, particularly multichannel,” which is examined more closely in the next graph.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

Attribution Models

Though many marketers haven’t implemented any attribution model, adoption is improving with a 20% increase from last year. And those marketers applying an attribution model are heading straight to the most advanced models – multi-channel. If you’re worried about your strategy, check out this #PPCShow episode highlighting ways to solve your attribution problem right now.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

Channel Strategy

Marketers are reporting a healthy mix of channels when it comes to overall channel strategy, with social media, email, and organic search getting an almost equal amount of airtime. Next year we may see paid search and display advertising inching toward the 90% mark, too. Their use increased 11% and 17% YoY, respectively.

For the channels that are driving leads, email, organic search, social media, and paid search are at the top, all with over 50% of marketers reporting positive returns on those channels.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

But, when talking about what’s driving revenue, the order of the channels changes. Email and organic search take the top spots for revenue-driving channels. DemandWave hypothesizes the rise of organic search is due in part to marketers better understanding how to leverage SEO and improvements in the ability to measure ROI there.

However, Search Engine Watch and Merkle predict organic search growth will plateau as those listings fight paid search ads for screen space, especially on mobile. Just another great reminder to ensure your marketing mix is as diversified as possible.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

Content Strategy

We know how marketers are reaching people, but what does the content look like, and more importantly, what’s working? White papers, or ebooks, barely beat out last year’s winner, webinars. If you have a white paper or ebook you need help marketing, check out our guide. And remember, there are lots of ways to revive old content to help boost quality leads with little lift. Blogs, videos, and infographics all grew by more than 20% YoY, indicating these numbers will be even higher next year.

Leads are one thing, but what about revenue? The order of content types remains the same when looking at what’s driving dollars.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

Social Channels

Finally, let’s see what’s working in social specifically.

LinkedIn far surpasses all other social networks for lead generation. If you’re looking to boost your lead strategy on LinkedIn, check out our comprehensive guide with steps and tips on how to create and optimize ads. Though 12% of marketers don’t run sufficient reporting to measure lead generation on social, that’s a huge improvement from last year, when 33% of those surveyed reported they weren’t sure. Another indication that reporting, and adoption of reporting is getting better.

See what your competitors are planning in digital this year via blog.adstage.io

Revenue from social media sees LinkedIn and Facebook continuing to hold the top spots, indicating these channels not only bring in the most leads, but the leads are also qualified. Facebook’s lead generating power continues to grow, too. This channel saw a 150% increase YoY. With Facebook constantly improving its ad platform, we can expect that number to keep getting bigger.

Now that you know what your peers are planning for the year, take a look at your roadmap and determine if anything needs to be tweaked. A year from now, we’ll take another look at these numbers and see if our predictions were correct.

What convinced me to start boosting Facebook posts

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Advertising, Social | 9 Comments
What convinced me to start boosting Facebook posts

Facebook had over 1.86B active users at the end of 2016, and its News Feed real estate has become a hot commodity. Between your friends’ content and paid advertising, Facebook posts on Pages are getting less and less airtime. As a content creator/social media manager/person paying attention to digital marketing today, I watched organic reach on Facebook lose its power, and turned to advertising to get content syndicated.

That’s where Facebook Boosted Posts come in. While we have a healthy budget for Facebook Ads, and rightly so, we realized we could help syndicate new messaging and optimize our efforts using boosted posts. Boosted posts are affordable, quick, and easy. They not only help new messaging gain traction but also generate buzz to the right influencers. Here’s what ultimately convinced me to start boosting Facebook posts:

What convinced me to start boosting Facebook posts via blog.adstage.io

1. Test New Messaging Faster

You can get rapid market feedback by testing new messaging with a boosted post. Try boosting Facebook posts for a few dollars per day for 2-5 days to see how the market responds and engages with the content. If it performs well, you can scale that messaging and creatives into your Facebook Ad strategy or other ad campaigns.

2. Launch with a Simple Set-Up

Once you click “Boost Post” in your Business Manager, it’s just a matter of selecting your audience, budget, duration, and payment details. Unlike the full Power Editor or Ads Manager campaign set-up, you do not need to first choose an objective type, create an ad set, or select a bid or bid type. How easy is that? Here’s how easy the Boost Post UI looks in Facebook’s Business Manager.

What convinced me to start boosting Facebook posts via blog.adstage.io

3. Access Your Saved Audiences

With boosted posts, you can test messaging with your Page followers, friends of followers, or your saved audiences from Facebook Ads. This makes it easy for you to syndicate more broadly if you want immediate results or if you don’t have a large following yet. You also don’t have to set up the audience every time so boosting Facebook posts can happen in a matter of seconds rather than minutes.

4. Increase Your Relevance Score

As we know, Facebook’s Relevance Score is very similar to Google’s Quality Score in that you will get more impressions and likely cheaper clicks if it’s higher quality and more relevant. That said, if you’re noticing a post is getting more engagements than usual, you should boost the post because clearly it’s relevant to your followers or audience (we like Eric Siu’s rule of boosting posts with 3% engagement or more). Additionally, once you can see that it has an exceptionally high Relevance Score, you can actually add it to a campaign in Power Editor or Ads Manager. All you need to do is select the post ID as the ad for that particular campaign and you can now optimize for website conversions, video views, clicks, other objectives outside of page post engagement.

5. Streamline Your Creative and Syndication Efforts

Boosted Posts still follow the same guidelines as Facebook Ads in which the image must not contain more than 20% text. This means, while your content team and ads team can and should use the same assets, your business can also streamline the decision-making process when deciding which creatives to boost, syndicate, and turn into Facebook Ad campaigns. Two heads are better than one, and boosted posts brings your content and advertising teams together to work more closely as a stronger and more strategic business force.

6. Take a Day Off

Let’s face it. Social media never sleeps, but humans need to. The great thing about boosting Facebook posts is that you can boost a post for your day off and you won’t have to worry as much about your traffic or engagement metrics dipping too drastically. Boosted posts give you the opportunity to finally take that vacation you’ve been eyeing on your lunch break. Just keep in mind that posts become outdated eventually, and Facebook only allows you to boost a post for up to 14 days, so don’t miss that flight coming home.

Have you tried boosting Facebook posts? Any best practices to share? Tell us in the comments below!

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Automation, Reporting, Social | 5 Comments
LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Does this scenario sound familiar?
You read LinkedIn’s post about testing your Sponsored Content.
You thought you’d give it a try and wrote a few ads which have been running ever since…
…and you never got around to testing them.

If this is you – don’t worry – you’re not alone. Taking time to create, run, and revisit test ads is one of the things marketers love to forget to do. Or, if you are at an agency and you’re juggling dozens of clients, you simply may not have the time to give LinkedIn the attention it deserves. I get it, believe me.
So, let me show you how I set up my latest LinkedIn Ad tests in the hopes of giving you another bump to give it a try. Obviously, having AdStage would make all of this a lot easier, but I’ll give you step by step instructions in case you do not. (Sales Pitch: At least start the AdStage trial to use it for this test…it’s free and does not require a credit card.)

Step 1 – Creative Strategy

If you already have creative running and you just want to try some new images or copy, it’s easy. Pick your best performers and write some ads with new images or updated text.
In this example, I was starting from scratch and needed to spend a little time thinking about my audience and what my ads were trying to achieve. So, I took the time to jot down answers to these questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is their goal and how can I help them achieve it?
  • What emotion do I want to appeal to?
  • What tactics will I use to convince them?

LinkedIn says, “Consider running at least four [ads] for any major campaign” and “two weeks is the minimum amount of time recommended [to run a test].” Since my goal was to set up this test and walk away for more than a month I wanted to run at least 12 ads. That way, I could run 4 ads every two weeks. I’m also assuming you have a “control” ad that will always be running (just in case your test ads are terrible) so that leaves 9 new ads to be created.

After 6 weeks, that’s a lot to review.

Step 2 – Mad Men Time, Write Those Ads

I chose three images, and wrote three updates. 3 Images x 3 Updates = 9 ads. Math! Here’s a few of those ads:

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Note: There are three ways to build these ads:

  1. LinkedIn (free) – Just go to an existing campaign and build some Direct Sponsored Content (DSC). I would keep all my creative in a spreadsheet to start and do a lot of copy and paste. Submit one by one. This will take you maybe 15 minutes.
  2. AdStage (paid subscription) – We offer an ad combination builder. Drop in a bunch of images and text, and then choose from all the possible combinations.
  3. B2Linked Bulk Editor (freemium with AdStage subscription) – If you want to upload multiple ads to many different campaigns, then use this tool from B2Linked to avoid having to spend hours creating ads one by one. B2Linked themselves use it to upload 3,000 ads each month. You fill out a spreadsheet then upload it and poof: Ads!

Step 3 – Wait for Creative Approval 😴

Be sure your ads are in an Active campaign so they get reviewed. Once they make it through approval they will go live, so don’t be surprised if all your ads start getting impressions all of a sudden.

I used AdStage to set up a Rule that ran every 6 hours and checked to see if my ads were approved and active. Once my ads were active, the Rule paused them. This way I limited the time my test ads ran before the official LinkedIn Ad tests started.  Once I got the email that my ads were paused, I knew I was ready to fire up my test. If you’re working directly in LinkedIn be sure to set yourself a reminder. “Siri remind me to check my LinkedIn ad approvals!”

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 4 – Test Setup

Ok, now we’re on to setting up the LinkedIn Ad tests themselves. The goal here is to keep running your control ad (assuming you have at least one ad that’s been live for awhile) alongside 3 test ads. I always run the test ads for two weeks, or until they’ve run long enough that I know they are stinkers. If they qualify as stinkers, then I want to pull them out early.

So how exactly do we set it up? I’ll walk through one of many ways to run LinkedIn ad tests. If you want to get all scientific about it, you can run your results through a statistical significance calculator as well.  But – let’s be real – you don’t have enough budget to run every ad to stat sig. The good news is if you’ve been running LinkedIn ads for a while, you’ll have a reasonable sense of what good and bad ad performance looks like, so the plan with this test is to get to that point with the least amount of spend possible.

The goal is to rotate an ad out of circulation once it drops below your lower threshold but has had enough impressions to get an honest shot at it. Marketers use many different metrics to measure how “good’ an ad is and it depends heavily on your business and goals. Here are some typical metrics marketers use:

  • CTR
  • Cost per Click
  • LinkedIn Conversion Rate*
  • LinkedIn Cost Per Conversion*
  • LinkedIn Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)*

*Note: You can use these three metrics if you have LinkedIn Conversion Tracking setup…and you should. If you’re using your own conversion data you can send those conversions to AdStage as custom conversions or just review all your data manually in a spreadsheet.

If you’re not sure what to use. Start simple and use these test parameters:

  • One Control Ad: Already Active
  • Test Ads: Test 3 Ads until 2 weeks has elapsed or the ad has 10,000 Impressions and CTR<0.5%

Step 5 – Run the Test

Now you have a plan. Congrats! You just need to execute.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Schedule some time every few days to check in on your ad performance. If I go this route I drop invites into my Google Calendar or use a project management tool like Asana or Do.com to nag me more efficiently. Also check in at the two-week marks to make sure ads are cycling through as needed.
  2. Use AdStage Rotations. Set everything up in advance like this and then hit Done.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Regardless of which route you go, ensure you have your ads set to “Rotate Variations Evenly” in your LinkedIn campaign settings. This is one of the best hidden features in LinkedIn! Find it yet? Didn’t think so… it’s in the gear next to your campaign name.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 6 – Monitor

Remember, we always have our control ad running so if any weirdness happens (Superbowl, your website goes down, etc.), you have a comparison ad in place. After all your ads have reached their target or 6 weeks has passed, it’s time to review your LinkedIn Ad tests.

There are two ways to do this:

LinkedIn Ads View: Check out your overall performance trend and each ads metrics. It’s a little hard to see trends but you can see overall who did well and who sucked.

AdStage Report: Build a table and an Ad Line Widget to see the performance over time of your ads.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 7 – Pick Your Winners

After every ad gets a shot (either by earning enough impressions or by using their two weeks), make sure you set aside some time (even just 10 minutes) to go through the results of your LinkedIn Ad tests. Based on the metrics and goals you set, which ads performed well? What patterns and trends do you see in those ads?

Side Note: I would say I’d share my results so you can learn what works but let’s be honest…my ads work for me and your ads work for you. Pretending that ads created for my audience, product, and landing page will behave in exactly the same way as your ads is just plain click-baity. And, there are plenty of ideas to try from LinkedIn themselves. Pick a few tricks and test them…it’s the only way to know.

Then, most importantly of all, run more LinkedIn Ad tests based on these results. One test is never going to magically teach you everything you need to know. Keep refining, iterating, and perfecting your ads. Good luck!

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

What happens after you write that ebook?

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Advertising, Search, Social | No Comments
What happens after you write that ebook?

First of all, congratulations! Writing an ebook is a massive endeavor, and there were likely many people, pieces, opinions, and revisions involved. Now it’s time to make sure all that hard work pays off by properly marketing your masterpiece.

Sending as many people as you possibly can to the ebook is the primary goal, but before we get there, let’s back up and make sure you’re getting everything you can from those readers. That starts with an effective landing page.

What happens after you write that ebook? via blog.adstage.io

Build A Gated Landing Page

When someone clicks on an ad, link, or email, you want to provide them with an informational and enticing page where you can also collect valuable information about him or her. You don’t want to overwhelm or deter someone from following through on accessing your ebook, so asking for their email should be your number one priority. Also, determine the information that’s most helpful to correctly market to them later. Depending on your product, that could be questions about their industry, company size, etc. You may want to check with your sales team to see what questions they ask when assessing a lead.

The landing page should also include information on what the person will get in the ebook. That could include a page or two from the book, testimonials from early readers, a chapter title look at the information provided in the book, or anything else you think might help “sell” it.

Here are some companies that know a thing or two about making great landing pages:

Also, check out our 5 Easy Ways To Boost PPC Landing Page Conversions for tips on how to maximize your page.

Create Compelling Messaging

Now that you know where you’re sending people, it’s time to open the doors and invite them in. Comb through your ebook (although you probably have the whole thing memorized by now), and take note of any content you can repurpose for ads, social media posts, cross-promotional emails, and any other channels you might use to reach new customers. Great opportunities include infographics, blog posts, one-liner tips, quotes, and photos. You spent all that time creating that content. Squeeze every bit of usefulness out of it that you can!

Find The Right Channels

The most effective channel is one where you can feel confident you’re delivering your message to the person who is most likely to convert, or in this case, provide their email.

Comb through your contacts or research potential partners and influencers who might help you cross-promote using their email lists or social media channels. If they post about this topic a lot and you have a good ebook, it’s a genuine ask. They’d probably like to read and promote what you’ve got.

Get into PPC mode and define your target audience for effective campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Check out How To Do Mobile Social Advertising The Right Way for a reminder of each social platform’s capabilities and the type of content that performs the best. And our post How To Drive Social Media Traffic To Your Landing Page talks more about the power of these channels.

Thanks to the type of content you labored over for your ebook, you can tap into more non-traditional channels, too. Grab some of the book’s main points and create a short presentation to upload to Slideshare. Invite people to access the rest by clicking a link to your landing page. Go Hollywood and record a short video about the ebook to upload to YouTube. Facebook Live is a great option, too. And, finally, don’t forget what’s already right in front of you – your website. Design a banner or pop-up and stick it all over your .com and blog. If you can catch someone who’s already checking out your offerings, you’ve already won half the battle.

Support Your Content With More Content

Oh man, just when you thought you were done writing and designing infographics. But seriously, hooking people with smaller pieces of content is a super efficient way to get qualified leads. Write and publish blog posts that are related to your ebook and encourage readers to dive deeper into the subject by downloading the book. This is also a great strategy to get customers excited pre-launch. You can show off your experience and authority and get anticipation going for the big unveiling. As you’re deciding what to write, be sure to pay extra attention to your SEO strategy. These blog posts are a valuable opportunity to attract highly interested visitors who are already searching for information on your topic.

What happens after you write that ebook? via blog.adstage.io

Announce Your ebook To Current Subscribers

Wait, what? Isn’t that defeating the purpose of using the book to get new emails? Not at all. In fact, it’s low-hanging fruit when it comes to strengthening your authority with people who already find you useful, not to mention the opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing from some of your best customers. Your ebook could also be what pushes them down the marketing funnel.

Use Email Addresses For Continued Marketing

Let’s assume you have strong ebook content, fascinating messaging, and utilization of strategic marketing channels. The email addresses are flooding in, and you want to make the most of them. Decide which goal or goals you want to accomplish immediately. Do you want to provide more value before you hit them with an offer? Create bonus material related to your ebook and send it out through an email drip. If you have an offer they can’t refuse, hit ‘em with that through an email. If you prefer to take a more subtle approach, use the email addresses to create a PPC audience and serve them ads related to your offering. Use the information you collected about them on the landing page to create segmented lists and develop content that’s most relevant to them. These email addresses are the golden ticket to continue marketing to a group of people who have shown a strong interest in what you’re selling. Use them wisely, but don’t be afraid to use them.

Organize Your Content

You’ve spent so much time creating valuable information, the last thing you want is for it to get lost on your site. Especially if you plan on publishing more ebooks, make sure you have an organized strategy for how you’ll host everything. Because this content is evergreen, you’ll be able to include it in your marketing strategy indefinitely. Take a look at how Wistia and Intercom present their previously published material.

You already know about the power of a well-written ebook, or you wouldn’t have created one in the first place. By using the above tips, you’ll ensure your ebook has a happy ending.

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Social | 7 Comments
10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

As a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner, we could not have been more excited when LinkedIn released the 10 stats below. We are strong believers in the power of marketing on LinkedIn (especially for a B2B platform like ours), and now we have the stats to prove it!

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn via blog.adstage.io

Making the Most of Marketing on LinkedIn

Impressed by these stats? If so, perhaps your next question would be: How do I make sure I am getting the most out of this platform? Read on to learn about how AdStage can take your LinkedIn advertising even further:

79% of B2B Marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel.

…and you probably want to be able to compare your social media efforts across channels. AdStage has deep integrations with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (as well as Google and Bing), so you can see how you’re doing ACROSS NETWORKS and IN ONE REPORT.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn and 43% of marketers say that they have sourced a customer from LinkedIn. 46% of social media traffic coming to your company site comes from LinkedIn.

With AdStage, you can track these conversions across your search and social ads to see how you stack up to this stat!

92% of B2B Marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other social platforms.

If you’re doing most of your marketing on LinkedIn, you probably have a lot of ads to create and update! Check out our Bulk Update Creation and Editing!

79% of B2B Marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating B2B leads.

How do you measure effectiveness? CTR? Cost per click? Conversion rate? Cost per conversion? ROAS? No matter which metrics you prefer, get beautiful reports on the data you need AND have them automatically sent to yourself (or your clients) at your desired cadence.

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn via blog.adstage.io

57% of all those who visit LinkedIn do so on a mobile device.

Make sure your ad creative will resonate with mobile users and link to a mobile-friendly landing page. With our ad combination builder, you can drop in different images and text options and then choose from all the possible combinations.

10 pieces of content are consumed before a purchasing decision is made. 94% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content and LinkedIn SlideShare reaches 70M unique visitors a month.

With the AdStage Sponsored Content app, you can have the tools to build multivariate tests with your Sponsored Content, duplicate Sponsored Content across multiple campaigns, and even add unique tracking URLs. This way, you’re making sure that those 10 decision-making pieces of content – whether they’re white papers, SlideShares, or blog posts – are falling into the hands of the most qualified traffic possible!

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn via blog.adstage.io

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Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Social | 6 Comments
Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads

As LinkedIn Advertising partners, we work with several sophisticated marketers who are truly making the most of advertising on LinkedIn. On the flip side, however, we get a lot of questions about some of the subtler challenges of running LinkedIn Ads.

People want to know: What is the secret to LinkedIn Ads? Is there a minimum time frame or test budget that must be allocated for success? How do you optimize your targeting? Why is it so “expensive?”

Over the years, we’ve hosted virtual events to educate advertisers about LinkedIn, spoken with hundreds of cross-network PPC advertisers, and worked closely with LinkedIn employees themselves to make sure we know all the ins and outs of their platform. Today, I’m sharing real questions from these experiences and real LinkedIn advertiser answers. Special shoutout to B2Linked, a LinkedIn advertising agency with whom we always love collaborating!

Targeting

 Q: Have you seen a correlation between audience size and duration of campaign that drives success?

A: When you have a large audience size and a large budget, you’re likely going to saturate that audience over the course of two to four weeks. On the other hand, if you have a very small budget, like around $50 per day, the chances of you fully saturating an audience of 30,000 to 100,000 users are very low.

Audience size and how fast you’re reaching them through your budget will dictate campaign success. If you want to roll into that backwards, I would run the same ad content over one to two months (longer for smaller budgets) and watch the performance over time.

View your click-through rate (CTR) view to gain insight into what’s happening to your CTR over time. You’ll know you’ve reached the point of saturation when you see the graph take a sharp turn downward. At that point, you’ll know that you need to freshen up your campaigns.

Q: What is the minimum audience size that’s recommended?

A: LinkedIn’s minimum audience size is 1,000, and we’ve run quite a few campaigns right around the 1,000-person size for very small niche groups. But, you’ll need to think about if this is worth your time. It’s going to take the same amount of time to target 30,000 users as it is to target 5,000 users.

And, let’s say with a good CTR, your 5,000 audience size may turn around six clicks per month. Is it worth your time having to create that campaign separately? If you look at it that way, those clicks must be worth a lot of money to be worth your time.

Q: What are recommendations for B2C targeting? How do you use the options available for targeting when you’ve got a clear demographic but it’s not tied to an occupation?

A: LinkedIn obviously lends itself well to targeting occupations, but if you know your audience well enough and that persona is very developed, you can use the business targeting for a B2C play. For example, Nissan is an active B2C brand advertiser on LinkedIn. Here’s an example of  Sponsored Content that was shown in my news feed.

Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads via blog.adstage.io

A slightly different B2C use-case is when other channels cost more than a click on LinkedIn. For example, some clicks on AdWords can be > $125 so paying $7 per click on LinkedIn, while not as targeted, could be seen as getting a huge discount.

Conversion rates can be lower with LinkedIn as you pay less for that traffic. If you can make the targeting work for you, I highly recommend it.

Q: Does overlap targeting lead to competing on your own campaigns?

A: With LinkedIn Ads, if you have any campaigns with overlapping targeting, the platform will not allow you to compete against yourself. It will take your relevancy score in a pre-auction phase from both campaigns and both ads that are competing for the impression, and will choose to serve one of them based on the auction at hand.

If you are running two separate accounts, you may be competing against yourself, but if your ads are within the same ad account, you will not compete against yourself.

Q: If I am targeting two different regions, how do I ensure my ads are running evenly in both places?

A: You can split this into two separate campaigns and then manage the budget between the two. Let’s say you’re targeting the U.S. and the U.K., but the U.S. is spending faster because there are more people using LinkedIn in the U.S. You can limit your budget separately by bidding $5 per click in the U.S. and $7 per click in the U.K.

There isn’t a true automated way of doing this to make sure impressions are split evenly, but some tools (like AdStage) allow you to set Automated Rules. For example, when the U.S. campaign has spent > $1,000, the software can automatically pause it, and wait for the U.K. campaign to catch up in delivering impressions.

Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads via blog.adstage.io

Creative

Q: Which ads are more successful for conversions: Sponsored Content or Text Ads?

A: We haven’t seen a huge difference in conversion rates between the two, but we have seen that there are certain offers that work better than others for these ad formats.

For instance, promoting content through, well, Sponsored Content performs tremendously for lead generation, but for Text Ads, we’ve seen CTRs actually decline when promoting content.

In looking at advertisers in various verticals, we’ve seen that these two products end up costing around the same amount on a cost-per-click basis for any given advertiser. So if you have a limited budget and are deciding which creative to run, I’d recommend Sponsored Content because we typically see a 10x higher CTR over Text Ads, and these units take up a lot more real estate on LinkedIn. You undeniably get more fields and a bigger image with Sponsored Content — for a similar cost per click.

Q: Do you know how LinkedIn decides when to serve Sponsored Content images as “full screen?” Is there a secret sauce for getting the ad to take up more real estate?

A: With Sponsored Content, you can either run a content update or an image update, and the only real difference is whether you’re bringing in a piece of content or the URL of an image. With the latter, you will get the larger image size and take up more real estate. However, because you’re choosing an image, you’re losing some elements that would come with a content update, such as a headline and description.

With the image update, you are only allowed an intro. We’ve heard from several marketers who are really making this work in their favor. You can optimize this by bringing in a larger image and including a link to your landing page in the intro. This can be very effective for things like infographics.

If you’re just bringing in normal content, the way the user views the content will make all the difference. If it’s viewed from the desktop, your image will be 180 pixels wide, which isn’t a whole lot of real estate. If the same ad is viewed on a tablet, however, it may be 1200 pixels wide.

So the image size will vary by device and by type of Sponsored Content. We highly encourage you to test all of the above, as different audiences will react differently to your creative.

Q: Which text field is more important for CTR and conversion rate, the intro text or the description text?

A: We recommend that you continue to perform tests using variations of these to see which is most impactful, but based on our experience, we’ve seen the most variance when testing the intro field.

With a simple A/B test of one or the other field, you can see the impact your ad text has on conversion rate. If, in your testing of the description text, you see the most variance in performance between test versions, you can conclude that description is the most important for your situation. Alternatively, if varying the intro text has the most profound impact, you can put more emphasis on that field. AdStage has a great Ad Scrambler that allows you to create ad variations at scale and compare the results.

It’s important to note that the description text is actually only displayed on the desktop. If 60% of your LinkedIn Sponsored Content impressions are served on desktop computers, that means a full 40% of impressions served (those that appear on mobile devices) won’t include the description.

The only two fields that will consistently be shown on all devices are your intro and headline, so adding a call to action in the description may not be necessary.

Q: When you change your creative, do you need to make a brand-new ad, or can you edit the content in an existing ad?

A: For Sponsored Content, you won’t be able to edit launched Sponsored Content, so you’ll just have to recreate it. For text ads, on the other hand, you can change change anything about the ad and it will reset the relevancy score.

If you change title, description or image, it will reset the relevancy score, and it should give you a fresh shot.

Bidding

Q: When starting with CPC bidding, we received a high CTR. This led us to believe that switching to CPM bidding would yield a lower effective CPC. However, switching to CPM bidding resulted in significantly lower CTR. Does this lower CTR have a negative impact on relevance score? And, if so, how do you work around this?

A: When switching to CPM bidding, if you’re not bidding high enough, your ad may not be in the first Sponsored Content slot in LinkedIn’s feed. This means your ad could have been pushed down so far as to be the tenth item in the feed.

LinkedIn’s algorithm does normalize your CTRs for this, so your relevance score won’t be negatively affected just because your CTR dropped. LinkedIn’s algorithm does take into consideration the fact that the ad was dropped down to the second position. However, a decline in CTR can make you feel like a crappy marketer so, to get it back up, try bidding higher.


Have any other questions about LinkedIn Ads? Drop them into the comments section. We love talking about all things LinkedIn!

9 Easy Ways to Automate Your LinkedIn Ads for Better Results via blog.adstage.io

Editor’s Note: This LinkedIn Ads content was originally posted on MarketingLand in June, 2015.

Facebook Pixel Adoption: The Ultimate Transition Guide

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 in PPC News, Social | 14 Comments
Facebook Pixel Adoption: The Ultimate Transition Guide

Starting February 15, 2017, Facebook is changing its pixel game. You’ll no longer be able to create Facebook ads or track conversions with the conversion tracking pixel. While it takes a little doing to get set up with the new Facebook pixel, we think this is absolutely a change for the better – custom conversions and advance tracking – ooh la la!

To make sure you have all the information you need to navigate this transition, we put together a complete guide for surviving the conversion tracking pixel deprecation and embracing the Facebook pixel!

The Facebook Pixel vs. Past Pixels

All advertisers should already be using or be in the process of migrating to the Facebook pixel in order to continue receiving the same conversion stats. In addition to keeping the conversion stats previously available, there are quite a few upgrades with the new Facebook pixel, of which you’ll want to take advantage:

  • Conversion tracking across devices: See how your customers are interacting on different devices before they convert.
  • Optimized delivery to those who are likely to convert: Show ads to people most likely to take your actions, like purchasing or filling out a registration form.
  • Automatically built audiences for website retargeting: Create Custom Audiences for people who take specific actions on your website, like visited a product page, added to cart, or purchased a product.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Know who your best customers are? Find more people who match their qualities.
  • Dynamic Ads: Automatically serve relevant and timely ads on Facebook based on user behavior, like the products people visited on your website.
  • Audience Insights: View rich insights (like demographic, lifestyle and purchase information) about the people visiting your website so you can create content that will resonate with them.

If we do a side-by-side comparison chart between the three Facebook pixels, you get the most power from the Facebook pixel with the least amount of code on your website.

Facebook Pixel Adoption: The Ultimate Transition Guide via blog.adstage.io

How To Migrate to the Facebook Pixel

In five steps, you can migrate your conversion tracking over to the Facebook pixel. Here’s how:

Step 1: Create Your Facebook Pixel

(You can only have one Facebook pixel in your account so if you’ve already created your Facebook pixel, skip this step and proceed to step 2.)

In your Ads Manager, you’ll see a Facebook Pixel tab where you can click Create a Pixel.

Note: You can have only one pixel per ad account, so name the pixel in a way that represents your business (though you can change the name of the pixel at any time from the Facebook Pixel tab). Once you accept the terms, you can create the pixel.

Facebook Pixel Adoption: The Ultimate Transition Guide via blog.adstage.io

Step 2: Implement Your Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel code has two main elements:

  • Pixel base code: Must be added on every page of your website to track activity or events on your website.
  • Event code: Tracks any paid (Facebook ads) or unpaid (organic reach) actions that happen on your website, so you can use that data for advertising

There are nine predefined or standard events for which Facebook automatically tracks and optimizes your ads. Previously, you had a unique conversion pixel ID per action, like a purchase. Now, you’ll only need one ID per account and you can differentiate between actions with different event codes. Using the table below, place the appropriate standard event code anywhere you had previously used the conversion tracking pixel:

Facebook Pixel Adoption: The Ultimate Transition Guide via blog.adstage.io

Step 3: Check Your Implementation

After you’ve mapped your events, double-check these areas to make sure everything is tracking correctly on your Facebook dashboard, and cross reference with your conversion tracking pixel data:

  • Is your Facebook pixel active and sending traffic consistently?
  • Is the overall volume of traffic from your conversion tracking pixels about the same as that of your Facebook pixel for the same time period?
  • Is the volume of conversions for each of your types of conversion tracking pixels the same as the volume of conversions for each corresponding standard event?

Step 4: Transition Your Ads

Once you’ve verified that the Facebook pixel is accurately tracking volume, it’s time to migrate your ads over. To transition your existing ad sets to tracking with a Facebook pixel only, go to Ads Manager or Power Editor and locate the ads you wish to update. When you’re in the edit view, go to the Pixel Tracking section and select “Track all conversions from my Facebook pixel” — don’t forget to save and close.

In addition, you’ll want to modify your existing ad sets’ optimization to use the Facebook pixel. Facebook recommends shifting only a small portion of your budget into a new ad set optimizing through the Facebook pixel to start. These ad sets can gather the necessary data for successful full-scale Facebook pixel optimization and as you build up data and feel more comfortable and confident, modify the rest of your existing ad sets.

Go to your Ads Manager or Power Editor and find the ad sets you wish to edit. In the “Optimize For a Conversion” section in the editing window, click the X in the “Conversion Event” field and choose a new Facebook pixel conversion from the dropdown — don’t forget to click Save and Close.

Facebook Pixel Adoption: The Ultimate Transition Guide via blog.adstage.io

Bonus: If you’re an AdStage Report user, here’s how to bring those custom conversions into your Report dashboard.

Step 5: Remove Your Conversion Tracking Pixel Code

Once you’ve implemented the Facebook pixel code and transitioned your ads and ad sets to the Facebook pixel, you can remove the conversion pixel code from your website. However, make sure your conversion tracking pixel isn’t being used for optimization or tracking for any active campaigns before you do this.


Remember the Conversion Tracking Pixel will no longer be supported on February 15, 2017 so don’t delay on these updates. Happy advertising!

The Rise of Social Media in Super Bowl Advertising

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in PPC News, Search, Social | 9 Comments
The Rise of Social Media in Super Bowl Advertising

Sahil Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of AdStage, circled up with CGTN America this week to talk Super Bowl advertising hits and misses, and the role of digital marketing in live television today.

Q: How important are Super Bowl TV and online ads today vs a decade ago?

SJ: Studies show that say 87% of people have a second screen in front of them while they’re watching these games/events or just television in general. 64% are using social media while they’re watching TV. This year, you’re going to start seeing, for the first time ever, digital advertising eclipse TV advertising. But, it’s not doom and gloom for television advertising. In fact, it’s the opposite. Its that digital advertising, television – all these different mediums – are more effective when you use them together – when there’s a holistic strategy in place. You really saw this with Airbnb’s Super Bowl ad where they had the #weaccept hashtag at the end. They knew the Super Bowl audience was going to be on their phones.

Q: Super Bowl ads are no small investment – in fact, they hit 5 million dollars this year. So with so many other ways to attract consumers, is it still worth the investment?

SJ: The name of the game is really elevation across all fronts. Studies are starting to say that television ads will lead to larger social engagement. So if you show a television ad, you’ll see increased engagement on facebook, twitter, etc.

You’re starting to see some more well-funded tech companies taking out Super Bowl ads – you saw Google, you saw Amazon – the two artificial intelligence battlers, and you saw newcomers like Airbnb. That’s just a testament to this medium being alive and well, regardless of the price tag.

Q: Any Super Bowl advertising surprises this year? Big hits and misses?

SJ: You saw for the first time, in a really strong way, these brands using their voice and power to bring attention to things happening currently in the political climate. In the end, brands are still looking for greater sales and bigger purchases, but we can’t forget what Coca Cola did with the Share a Coke campaign – teaching us that there’s some sort of altruistic behavior that you can marry with your business goals. You saw this with Anheuser Busch – it was really beautifully done – almost like a movie or a television show we were watching on Netflix.

Check out the full interview below!

7 Reasons Why You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017

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

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

1. Automated Bidding

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

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

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

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

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

2. Campaign Scheduling / Dayparting

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

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

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

3. Account & Campaign Budget Monitoring

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

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

4. Standardize, Automate, and Schedule Your Reporting

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

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

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

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

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

5. Automatically Pause Underperforming Creative

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

6. Receive Alerts for Performance Trends You Care About

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

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

7. Automate A/B Testing

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


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

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