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Winning with Google Ads

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With business having made a big shift to online focus over the past decade, spending your marketing budget on PPC has become more and more of a priority. Google AdWords has been in operation since October 2000, offering advertising spots firstly on Google Search results and partner sites, but since expanding to cover multiple forms of placement.

Originally, Google AdWords saw customers charged a monthly fee to have their campaigns created and managed by Google, but has now grown to allow advertisers to create bespoke adverts, and optimise settings to suit their business needs. Google AdWords operates across multiple platforms, taking into account modern technology and internet users’ browsing behaviour, and allowing users to choose their own budgets.

86% of consumers using going online to find information on local businesses, AdWords is a great investment for any business.

Whether you want to invest into selling specific products via the Google Shopping platform, or promote your services to people searching for relevant keywords on Google Search, there’s an ad format to suit any company. AdWords is a highly adjustable tool, allowing advertisers to closely monitor and adjust how much they’re spending on advertising, directly target the specific demographic of people they want to, and make use of a huge network of websites to get maximum visibility for their business.

Here’s an overview of the types of advertising available through Google, and what they can do for your business.

Google Search
On average, there are over 63,000 Google searches across the world every second. Advertising on Google search results opens your business to a large visibility, enabling you to appear on the search results page for your chosen keywords.

Advertisers can create a campaign for their business, setting up several ad groups within the campaign that can focus on different categories of keyword. For example, a web design company might choose to run adverts for web design, SEO and social media marketing, and would create individual ad groups for each of the three topics, each bidding on different keywords and showing adverts written specifically for them.

Top Google Search AdWords Tips
To help you get the most out of your AdWords search advertising, we’ve put together some top tips, highlighting some of the key features offered by the platform that can improve and optimise your ads.

• Callout extensions: The bulk of your selling points should be included in the advert’s main description, but for any other key pieces of information worth highlighting, it can be done via callout extensions. You can add up to four callout extensions onto your advert, each with a 25 character limit, to showcase your business’s main USPs.

• Sitelink extensions: Although your advert already links to the relevant page you’re advertising, you can add additional links under the main body of text, helping to increase your advert’s visibility and user interaction rate.

• Call extensions: To encourage users to call your business, as well as click through to your website, you can add a phone number to your advert. For users seeing your advert on a smartphone, the phone number will be clickable, initiating the call to your business with one simple click. • Negative keywords: With search advertising, you’ll be bidding for your advert to be triggered when someone searches for a specific keyword. However, depending on the type of keyword match you have set up, the advert can sometimes appear on irrelevant searches. For example, an optician may be bidding on the keyword “glasses”, but his advert shows when someone searches for “wine glasses”. The advertiser should regularly check their account’s search terms to see what has triggered they adverts, and add any irrelevant terms to their “negative keywords” list. In this case, the optician should set “wine” as a negative keyword.

• Bid adjustments: One of the huge positives of online advertising is that the advertising costs are highly adjustable. A great example of this is bid adjustments, a tool that allows you to change your bids based on specific attributes. If you notice your ad performs better on mobile devices between 9am and 5pm, you can create a rule that increases your bids by a set percentage to people using a smartphone in those hours. Bid adjustments can be edited to take into account device, location and time.

Google Shopping
Google Shopping is a great tool for advertisers who have an ecommerce website. Although a search campaign can be used to advertise a website and its special offers, a shopping campaign can advertise every single product individually, without having to set bids on all of the products’ keywords.

By submitting a feed of all of your products to Google Merchant Centre, and setting a daily budget and CPC bid, your items will appear on the Google Shopping platform. As well as appearing on the Google Shopping page, some items may appear on the search results page, as below:

Primarily though, the products will appear on the Google Shopping platform, which compares your product prices with that of other merchants, also allowing users to filter their search based on price and other product-specific attributes.

To put yourself ahead of the other merchants using the platform, it can be beneficial to add a promotional tag to your products. If you’re running a discount code on your website, this can be displayed on Google Shopping, attracting customers to use it to get the cost as low as possible.

Video Advertising

In November 2006, Google acquired YouTube for more than $1.6 billion, sparking the start of the website becoming more commercialised, with more adverts appearing day by day. This change to YouTube opened up more huge opportunities for advertisers, with the website currently offering a variety of advert formats, including:
TrueView in-stream ads: This is the type of video ad that appears before, during and after other YouTube videos, and is skippable after five seconds of viewing. The adverts can also appear on videos on Google partner sites, and advertisers are only charged when a viewer watches a full 30 seconds (or maximum duration of video if less) of the video advert.
TrueView video discovery ads: Rather than automatically playing your video advert to users, you can set up a discovery ad, aimed at getting site visitors to watch your clip. The advert appears on YouTube search results, next to related YouTube videos and on the mobile YouTube homepage, with advertisers charged only when viewers click through to watch.
Bumper ads: Similar to the in-stream ad format, bumper ads appear before, during or after other videos on YouTube and partner sites, but are a maximum of six seconds in duration and cannot be skipped by viewers. The format is perfect for distributing a short, punchy message, and advertisers are charged via cost-per-thousand impressions bidding.

Mobile Advertising

Google mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches in several countries across the world, with Google responding by creating new advertising formats tailored for smartphone users. Here’s some of the mobile-specific ad formats available:

• Universal App campaigns: In November 2017, Universal App campaigns became the only way to advertise mobile apps through Google AdWords. The new format allows ads that encourage viewers to download and install apps to appear on the search network, Google Play store, YouTube and across the display network. The ad campaign can be created to drive more installations, or encourage more in-app actions, and the process of setting it up is more automated than other types of AdWords advertisement. All the advertiser has to do is supply some text, a bid and assets, and Google does the rest, creating multiple ad combinations and running with the ones that are most effective.

• Call-only ads: Mobile call-only ads look similar to text ads, and appear on the search network. As with text ads, they require a display URL, business name and two lines of descriptive text, but the headline is replaced by a phone number, encouraging searchers on smartphones to call the business, rather than visit their website.

Display Advertising
Google’s display network is a wide selection of websites that accept advertising via AdWords, allowing advertisers to promote their business in a variety of formats:

• Text ads: The ads are identical in format to the text ads on the search network, but are displayed across the network of partner websites. You can kill two birds with one stone and publish the same advert on both the search and display networks by creating a “Search network with display select” campaign.
• Image ads: This is a more eye-catching ad type, allowing you to use images on the display network to get people to click through to your website.
• Rich media ads: Rich media ads are similar to image ads, but have interactive elements and animations that make it more eye-catching and interactive.
• Video ads: This is similar to a rich media ad, but a video can be embedded to play directly within it.
Whilst on the search network, advertisers bid on keywords to choose where their adverts appear. The display network works differently, with advertisers having a choice of placement and targeting type:
• Contextual targeting: By selecting keywords, contextual targeting aims to get adverts onto websites that are relevant to the business, meaning people will see your advert while reading about the product/service you offer.
• Placement targeting: This allows advertisers to choose specific sites they want their adverts to appear on.
• Remarketing: This doesn’t apply only to the display network, but on display, you can advertise your business to people who have already visited your website.
• Topic targeting: This enables you to choose a category of website, that will be relevant to your business advert, to display your ads on.
• Demographic/Geographic & Language targeting: If your adverts require a specific audience, the campaign can be set up to target people based on age, gender, location and language.

chrisWinning with Google Ads
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Digital Marketing Landscape

In today’s tech landscape, a solid digital marketing strategy has become the CMO’s new bread and butter; the only question now is how to best serve it up. Your business’s success depends on the right type of strategy, and the right type of strategy can in turn lead to higher sales, new customers, and long-term growth.

Traditional online advertising is a thing of the past. Why? Bottom line, it’s more annoying than effective. One study found that 18- to 34-year-olds are likely to ignore online banner and digital ads more than those on TV and radio or in newspapers. What’s more, 54 percent of internet users don’t click on banner ads simply because they don’t trust them.

It’s now a CMO’s job to stay ahead of the digital marketing curve, keep up-to-date on trends, and break through the clutter. Here are seven tips to optimize your digital marketing strategy.

Prioritize customer needs over bells and whistles.
While your team is consumed with building your web presence and developing your product or service, it’s easy to lose sight of the customer you want to target. 

“Small efficiency improvements in conversion rates, email capture, and retargeting can pay huge dividends — tighten up the mouse trap first, then buy eyeballs. You’ll acquire and retain customers more cost-efficiently and keep money in your coffers for higher-risk marketing strategies.”

Audit and update your SEO more frequently.

You may know your product or service is great, but is it reaching all the people it could be? Search engine optimization can significantly help your brand reach the people who want what you’re offering. Industry experts recommend updating your SEO once a quarter; after all, Google updates its algorithm more than 500 times a year. Find the keywords that are making your business gain or lose traction in the search engine cycle in order to make your brand as discoverable and searchable as possible.

Prioritize blogging as a lead generation tool.
Speaking of SEO: Posting relevant and valuable content drives traffic to your website and social media pages, while also increasing your ranking in search engines. In fact, marketers who blog are 13 times more likely to experience positive return on investment, and companies that blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.

Each post you create is one more indexed page on your website, making it more likely customers will find you when searching online. It also indicates to search engines that your website is active, which will help surface your content to the top of search engine results. Further, blogging gives your brand a voice, and 91 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand that is authentic rather than generic.

Host high-quality webinars and live events.

There are a variety of digital marketing resources you can use to engage with your audience, including webinars, podcasts, and online promotion of live events. To streamline the process of event promotion, try using a third party to make the process seamless. Event technology platforms like Eventbrite help brands create and market an event, as well as promote ticket sales and manage their audience. By getting some external help with the details, you can focus on the big picture and create an experience your customers will remember long after it’s over.

Expand and refine your email distribution efforts.
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach your audience, and the fact that it costs nearly nothing to execute makes it one of the best tools to add to your toolkit. Email open rates have increased 180 percent on mobile devices since 2014, and more than half of all U.S. cellphone owners access their email on their phone rather than a desktop.
Email works better than other mobile forms of notifications (like text messages) because they don’t cost the consumer anything, can be accessed on devices other than phones, and have more space to deliver a message. Emails keep your audience engaged across platforms, which in turn helps keep your brand top of mind.

Don’t give social media short shrift.

Social media has become one of the biggest tools for marketing any brand. By first finding out what platforms your audience uses, you can then target your posts to the best times and dates to share. Engage with your audience on social media by starting conversations and responding to both praise and grievances. Sixty-seven percent of consumers use social media for customer service inquiries, so make sure that you become a part of that narrative so that you can direct it to a positive outcome.

Make your marketing mobile.
Even if a desktop version of your marketing content looks great, be sure to check that it translates across devices. Consumers expect cohesion across platforms, and the better accessibility you provide your audience, the more likely they are to purchase.

Remember that authenticity reigns supreme in any of these strategies. Once you have that, an online presence allows you to connect with your audience in ways previously unknown and build a brand that they’ll continuously want to engage with.

chrisDigital Marketing Landscape
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FB Marketplace changes

Facebook’s effort to tap into the popularity of buy, swap and sell groups, Facebook Marketplace, is two years old this week, and to mark the occasion, The Social Network has outlined some interesting new, AI-fueled tools to enhance the Marketplace experience, and boost Facebook’s evolving eCommerce efforts.

First off, Facebook’s providing sellers with more context as to what they should add to their listings to maximize results, based on image recognition and comparative insight from similar listed items.

“What does this mean exactly? Here’s an example: if you wanted to sell your home office chair, Marketplace could use AI to help you sell it even faster by suggesting you price it between $50-75 based on what similar chairs recently sold for. It will also automatically categorize the chair as “furniture” based on the photo and description, so that you don’t have to.”

That might not seem overly ground-breaking, but there’s a little more to it than this basic functionality.

For example, right now, Marketplace uses machine learning tools to highlight similar items to those you’ve searched for and/or expressed interest in. Up until now, those matches have been fairly limited, because they were largely based on simple text descriptions – and not everyone’s great at explaining what it is they’re looking to sell.

As explained by Facebook:

“From the very first search, results are recommended by a content retrieval system coupled with a detailed index that is compiled for every product. Since the only text in many of these listings is a price and a description that can be as brief as “dresser” or “baby stuff,” it was important to build in context from the photos as well as the text for these listings. In practice, we’ve seen a nearly 100 percent increase in consumer engagement with the listings since we rolled out this product indexing system.”

So it’s not just about ensuring that your listings are achieving best results, it’s also building a contextual understanding model to better map the items on Marketplace, and then using that to link relevant items to other searchers based on more data points, which is far more significant in the scope the broader process. 

Facebook’s also adding some other, more subtle, AI improvements.

“One element now automatically enhances the lighting for photos as the seller uploads them, making the images easier for buyers to see what’s pictured.”

An interesting, yet likely overlooked process, while Facebook’s also (as you can see in the above video) providing new M Suggestions message prompts to streamline communication between buyers and sellers.

chrisFB Marketplace changes
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