Do you spend your days creating and optimizing social marketing campaigns? Are you focused on ROI, CPC, CPM, CVR, CPLC, and a million other acronyms? Do you regularly find yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram – all for work?
If so, you could be the 2015 Biggest Social Geek!
We’re looking for somebody who lives and breathes social media advertising. Test your social savvy by challenging yourself to our 20-question quiz, which launches today. You could win an all-expense-paid trip to SocialPro in Las Vegas, plus your choice of an Apple iPad Mini, Xbox One, or Sony PlayStation 4.
Ready to get started? Play Biggest Social Geek now!
One of the fastest-growing major mobile properties, Instagram is home to an engaged and authentic community of over 300 million users. Each day, they share an average of 70 million photos and give out 2.5 billion likes. But more than that, Instagram is a deeply meaningful part of their lives. Of Instagrammers aged 13-24, 53% credit the platform with helping them define who they are.
Instagram is a place to be visually creative, to find inspiration, and to share unique perspectives. And it’s also an exceptional opportunity for social advertisers. In fact, 68% of users aged 13-24 say they interact with brands regularly, either by looking at photos, liking content, following a brand, visiting its website, or engaging in some other way.
That’s why we’re so excited to announce that Marin Social is integrating with the Instagram Ads API, to extend our cross-channel and cross-publisher support to this growing mobile property.
Since gaining access to the newly developed Instagram Ads API, our engineers have been busy building an integration. And now we’re pleased to be working with a handful of customers to test brand awareness and direct response campaigns.
One such advertiser, NET-A-PORTER, uses Instagram to promote fashion events with top industry influencers. Instagram has proven to be a powerful channel for building relationships with existing customers and reaching new audiences who are interested in luxury brands.
“The Instagram Ads API allows us to target a very specific European audience within 24 hours of our events,” said Helen McGee, Head of Marketing, International, NET-A-PORTER. “With Marin’s support, we drove awareness of our brand, and are better able to share exceptional fashion content with our customers.”
Marin Social support allows brands and agencies to easily create, test, and optimize their Instagram campaigns. Even better? Instagram campaigns can be managed conveniently alongside Facebook and Twitter, so advertisers gain valuable performance insights and management efficiencies across their entire advertising program.
We look forward to working with more advertisers once Instagram moves to their beta phase, so keep an eye out for future developments. Oh, and make sure to follow us on Instagram!
If you’re already using a sequential advertising strategy, you know it’s a series of ads or messages that build on each other to engage users. Each message and engagement informs the next one, so that you essentially create a story – and dialogue – with your audience.
Facebook has diversified into a full-funnel advertising solution, with support for a wide variety of ad types and targeting options. As a result, advertisers can now run sophisticated and sequential marketing campaigns that combine the best of social, mobile, and video all in one place. Here are just a few reasons we love sequential advertising strategies on Facebook:
In particular, sequential ad strategies can be great for driving sales, increasing brand awareness and equity, launching a new product, or promoting an event. Let’s consider an example from DS that focused on those last two objectives.
DS Automobiles recently spun off from their iconic parent brand, Citroën, coinciding with the launch of their fifth-generation model car. They wanted to make a splash for the DS brand name, so they decided to live-stream a launch event around the world. To promote their brand and event, they turned to Facebook.
DS executed a sequential advertising strategy in three phases:
The result? Over 36 million impressions, nearly 8 million video views, a highly engaged fan base, and a successful launch event. Read more about it here.
As you craft your sequential advertising strategies, experiment with the sequence of your ads and creative types. For example, you may find that your campaigns perform best if you run a video ad first instead of a page post link ad. Next, use reporting to help you test and optimize as you go along. And above all, keep your business objectives at the center of all your decisions.
Each year, the US Search Awards recognizes the best and brightest brands among the world’s leading search and digital agencies and professionals. We compiled advice from eight of this year’s judges on what every brand should do to optimize their PPC campaigns.
This year’s awards will take place at Paris Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 7th. For more information and to enter, visit the US Search Awards website.
Inbound Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems | @DPease
Monitor Your Extension Performance
With all the hype around ad extensions, we can sometimes get caught up in “extension excitement” – putting site links, callouts, and location extensions on our ads to provide a better user experience. But it’s important to monitor the performance of your extensions, to ensure they’re really working for you in the way you want them to. Create a reminder – and check on a bi-weekly basis. If you have an extension that’s not performing, make adjustments or try removing it. Extensions are a great way to expand your ad, but they need to be monitored.
Head of Strategy for America’s Advertising, Google | @Matt_Mcgowan
RLSA. Do it. It amazes me how many clients don’t add the tag to their sites. For free, you can bring together intent, context, and audience to help your business drive sales and leads with great ROI. With remarketing lists for search ads, you can modify bids, ads, and keywords for past site visitors. For example, people visit your sports apparel site to check out available styles, and look at the shoe section of the site. You could add these shoppers to a “Shoe category” list. Then, the next time they search for running shoes on Google you could bid more for them. More here.
UK Industry Expert | @Smartrich
You absolutely have to be leveraging Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) these days. At a recent SAScon event, Larry Kim highlighted the low CPCs that early adopters of the format have benefited from. One great tip is to run a campaign targeting Gmail accounts containing newsletters from your competitors, remembering to negative your own keywords to avoid upsetting existing customers.
Global Head of Biddable Media | @Jimbanks
Anticipate the device your users will be on and have ads that reflect that context. If someone is on mobile, then having the CTA as “Call” or “Tap” will get higher CTR (TTR – Tap Through Rate) than “Click”. Dayparting is now a 168-hour a week function, and device, location, and time of day/day of week will help or hurt more than keyword, bid, or ad.
Digital Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Networker, and Columnist; Sustainable Digital Marketing | @SEOPllyAnna
Look at the performance of high-volume, general PPC ads and test the content for titles and meta descriptions. For example, the shipping message “same day shipping” performed better in Paid than the message “fast shipping”. Test the better performing message CTR and conversion to see if you get lift in Organic Search the same way you did in Paid Search.
Senior Account Manager, Hanapin Marketing; Founder of #PPCChat | @Matt_Umbro
In order to quickly find keywords that are costing too much and not providing enough (or any) conversions, create an automated rule. I’ll generally create a rule that runs weekly and looks at the last 30 days’ worth of data. I’ll set the rule to identify all keywords that have seen at least 50 clicks and zero conversions. I’ll have these keywords emailed to me so I can choose whether to change my bids, pay particularly close attention to the search queries, and/or pause the keywords all together. You can adjust the filter as you see fit, but this rule helps to easily find poor performing keywords.
Bing Ads Evangelist | @Jmgagnon
To bid or not to bid? Bid. And, there’s finally concrete data. Bing Ads completed a study measuring the number of clicks a brand received when they were the top organic spot alone, versus the top organic spot plus the top paid ad.
After looking at three million impressions on brand searches for retail during 2014, the study found advertisers saw an incremental 31 clicks for every 100 brand searches when a paid search ad was used in combination with the top organic result. That’s huge!
Only 11 of those clicks would have been received anyways. Adjust your CPA lower by about 18% to account for the overlap – and you have a concrete strategy for bidding on your brand terms.
Owner, Beetsonomics | @Beeston
If you’re a retailer, then of course you’re running Shopping campaigns. But your campaigns will only be as good as the product or inventory feed that powers them. Spend as much time optimizing your feed as you would any other part of the campaign, making sure you have the right imagery and search-friendly titles. As you can use the feed with Bing Shopping Campaigns (now in beta), Facebook Product Ads, and Google Shopping, the optimization will pay off more than once.
The deadline for submitting an entry to one of the 22 categories in the US Search Awards is the 17th of July, so download the entry form today and you could be a worthy winner at the glittering Las Vegas event in October during Pubcon!
Marketers with large product catalogs know it can be difficult to scale and maintain advertising across so many different items. Add a seasonal sale or promotion to the mix, and it gets even more complicated! On top of that, there’s always the question of performance, and how to reach audiences who are most likely to convert.
While search marketers can rely on a combination of dynamic remarketing and shopping ads, social marketers have largely been left to their own devices. Now that’s changing with the advent of Facebook Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs).
DPAs bring together the best of dynamic remarketing and product advertising. They work by displaying dynamic, highly personalized retargeting messages to users who have already demonstrated strong purchase intent based on the products or pages they viewed on your website. This is a great way to automatically promote relevant products from your entire catalog across any device. In particular, DPAs are a powerful tool for advertisers in the retail and travel industries.
For example, let’s say you’re a retailer with a huge product catalog, and you want to reach customers who have already expressed interest in your new summer collection. Using DPAs, you can quickly create dynamic templates that pull from your product feeds. Users who browsed your website (viewing certain items or adding them to the shopping cart) would later see highly personalized Facebook ads promoting relevant products with the latest price, making them much more likely to convert.
Marin clients on our upgraded social platform can also enjoy:
For more information on Dynamic Product Ads, including video shorts and FAQs, visit Facebook.
Facebook is one of my favorite channels to advertise on because there are many different levers you can use when it comes to targeting and reaching the right prospects for your business. To imagine that there’s 1.35 billion monthly active users that I can target with my ads makes me feel like I have the world at my finger tips.
Most marketers are familiar with Facebook’s basic targeting capabilities using interests and demographic data, but what if you could target people who have characteristics that are like the people who visit your website or even better – the people who are likely to make a purchase or fill out a form? Say hello to lookalike audiences, a marketer’s new best friend. By building a lookalike audience, you can target and reach some of the most relevant prospects for your business.
In this post, I will quickly walk you through how to build lookalikes based on your website and conversion data, two objectives with minimal risk that has proven success in the campaigns I’ve run.
1. Go into Facebook’s Ad Manager and navigate over to the left side navigation and click on Audiences. If you are completely new at this, Facebook will guide you step-by step.
2. If you haven’t yet, there are two pixels you will need to install:
Custom Audience: You need to place a custom audience pixel on all pages of your website. You can go here for more information on where to find the code, if not already presented to you in step one: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/ads-for-websites/website-custom-audiences/getting-started#install-the-pixel
Conversion Tracking: You will need to place a pixel where your conversion events are captured. Go to the left side navigation and click on Conversion Tracking, then navigate your mouse over to the upper right hand corner and click on the green button to Create Pixel.
If you only want to create lookalike audiences based on your conversion tracking pixels, you need to first setup the tracking pixels and skip ahead to: PART 3: CREATE LOOKALIKES USING FACEBOOK CONVERSION DATA & WEBSITE CUSTOM AUDIENCES.
If you want to create lookalike audiences based on your website visitors, you will first need to create custom audiences for all -or specific sections of your website, so please continue reading.
1. To begin, make sure you’re in Audiences then navigate your mouse over to the upper right hand corner and click on the green button to Create Audience > Custom Audience. In the screenshot below, you will see the different option types. I suggest using “People visiting specific web pages but not others” to build out something similar to the following, if you’re looking to target and optimize for conversions:
All Visitors Excluding Career Visitors:
The idea here is to grab the people who are visiting your website because they most likely went there because they are interested in your product and to exclude people who are looking for a job.
Conversions (Example: Shopping Cart Confirmation, Registration Completion, Download Confirmation)
You want to create a bucket to capture all the people who have converted on your website. When you create a lookalike audience based on this custom audience, you can find other people who have characteristics that are likely to be interested in your product with a higher probability to convert.
Once you’ve setup your conversion tracking pixel and completed creating your custom audience segments, you can build a lookalike audience. To do this, navigate your mouse over to the upper right hand corner and click on green button again to Create Audience > Lookalike Audience. In Source, populate it with one of the segments you created and choose the level of similarity to your source. I typically select the lowest level because it’s less risky and most similar to your custom audience. When complete, continue to build out a lookalike for each custom audience or conversion tracking pixel you desire.
Note: If you decide to create both website conversion and conversion tracking pixel lookalikes, you should note that the two may overlap. The difference between the two is using the Facebook conversion pixel as a source will allow you to target the lookalikes of people who converted through your Facebook ads versus targeting lookalikes of everyone who converts on your website no matter what source they come from. To prevent that overlap, you could exclude those who come from Facebook Ads at the custom audience level, if your URL parameters are consistent, to filter it out. Example:
Facebook says “Keep in mind it may take 6 to 24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be created. After that, it’ll refresh every 3 to 7 days as long as you’re still actively targeting ads to that audience.”
If you’re interested in more posts about lookalikes and use Twitter Ads, I did a post on 3 Creative Ways to Use and Target Lookalikes Using Twitter Ads that you may want to check out, too. Happy marketing!
In early October, Facebook announced the second phase of their migration to a new campaign structure for advertisers. These campaign structure updates are being rolled out in order to make Facebook campaign management and reporting easier and more insightful for advertisers. As part of the migration, all targeting, placement and bid settings will be moved from the ad to the ad set level for new campaigns created within Ad Manager or Power Editor.
To help get advertisers up-to-speed on the November 14th settings update, we have provided three quick tips to consider as you begin to manage your Facebook campaigns with the new group-level targeting settings:
Facebook offers a variety of campaign objectives for which you can base your campaign taxonomy, reporting and optimization efforts around. Example campaign objectives provided by Facebook include clicks to website, website conversions, and page post engagement. In addition to these “out of the box” Facebook objectives, many advertisers optimize towards revenue based objectives like ROI, ROAS or profit margin by integrating their sales revenue from first or third party sources into our system and tying to back to campaign spend. Regardless of the desired goal, advertisers should make sure they organize their campaigns around the specific business outcomes they expect to drive with their investment.
For Facebook advertisers, audience-focused marketing means separating each audience segment into individual groups, and optimizing towards the ROI of each segment. To implement this new group-level management strategy in Marin, advertisers should keep all other group settings consistent. That way, if one group performs better than another, they will be able to correlate the performance back to the targeting as opposed to another factor such as a higher bid. This approach will help determine the most responsive audience and reduce the chance of your ad sets competing against each other for the same audience.
Facebook app usage on mobile devices has continually increased every quarter ordering to the company’s public investor reports. In fact, more than 83% of Facebook users now visit the app via mobile devices every month. With this in mind, advertisers should ensure that they take advantage of all of the placement opportunities Facebook offers, especially mobile placements. The new group settings changes present new opportunities for managing placements in our platform. Depending on their needs, advertisers can target more than one placement for each group in our system in order to maximize delivery. Alternatively, advertisers can target one placement per group to see which one drives the best results.
In order to drive optimal performance, Facebook advertisers should regularly test and iterate creative attributes like image, title, and description in order to understand the which attributes resonate with each audience segment. We recommend creating a small variety of ads with variations in order to test against each audience segment you have created in Step 1. Then, place the creative variations in each audience-focused group. Finally, use your platform’s A/B testing feature to understand the “winning” and “losing” creative based on your test criteria. Iterate the winning creative further and conduct additional tests within each audience-themed group.
As summer winds down and the upcoming school year looms, it looks like parents get back to Facebooking. Looking at the seasonality of clicks across Facebook, Google, and Bing it appears Facebook experiences a huge surge in clicks as summer comes to a close, more than likely brought on by back-to-school-itis.
In July, as we become fixated with fun in the sun, Facebook experiences its second lowest volume of ad clicks at a level 25% below the baseline (January). Makes sense. There are road trips and barbecues to get to. But as summer starts to give into fall and we begin to accept the onslaught of responsibilities that come with the change in season, ad clicks on Facebook climb. In fact it’s a 38 point swing from July to August. From there on out it is pretty much up and to the right for Facebook the remainder of the year as back-to-school gives way to the holiday season.
On the other hand, Search (Google and Bing) remain fairly consistent throughout the year with the typical rise in the fourth quarter due to the holiday frenzy. It appears Facebook is influenced much more by seasonality throughout the year. I suspect it has to do with the social nature of the site. Search benefits from being a more utilitarian medium that become an integral part of our lives even when on vacation. Also, Google and Bing have been at the game a little longer while Facebook is still figuring out how best to monetize its user base. Likewise, advertisers have a solid decade and a half of experience with search under their belts; tweaking campaigns to fit the seasons is a known exercise.
Will be interesting to see how soon the seasonality of Facebook clicks start to mirror search.
Have some thoughts you’d like to ad? Be sure to post them in the comments section below!
On April 30th, Facebook unveiled a mobile ad network called “Facebook Audience Network.” Currently in beta, access to the ad network is limited to a small number of “top managed mobile app advertisers.” However, the plan is to eventually make it available to all mobile app advertisers.
The initial version of the Facebook Audience Network will be limited to mobile app install ads, although Facebook has indicated that they intend to support a variety of marketing objectives including in-store and online sales. Advertisers will be able to serve app install ads, traditional mobile banners, and interstitial creative formats in Facebook’s new network. They will also be able to target Facebook users via Custom Audiences, Core Audiences, and Look-Alike Audiences. Participating beta advertisers can enable targeting on the Facebook Audience Network at the Ad level, along with existing device placement options. Therefore, advertisers will be able to report and analyze the performance of ads placed on the Audience Network performance separately from ads placed on the Facebook platform.
Contrary to popular speculation, the Facebook login ID will not be the key connector to retarget users between mobile apps on the network. In other words, mobile app users are not required to be logged into apps using Facebook in order to received targeted ads through the network. Rather, Facebook will compare device IDs and data points with other app developers to find common users, which will identify which apps are installed on a user’s device.
With the launch of this new mobile ad network, Facebook stands to compete with Google AdMob and other established networks capitalizing on the rapid growth of mobile app usage. Facebook has been moving in this direction over the past year, with a laser-focus on growing its mobile advertising business – and for good reason.
First, Facebook’s mobile user base has evolved into the most active and engaged of any major digital platform in the world. More time is spent on Facebook than any other mobile platform or website and, according to their latest earnings report, their mobile market share growth is 2.4 times greater than Google’s.
Second, Facebook has realized a notable uptick in users who access the platform only on mobile devices. In fact, 74% of the social network’s daily active users exhibit this behavior. Also, the growth rate of users who only access Facebook via mobile is six times higher than the overall growth rate. These statistics demonstrate why Facebook is so intent on improving the mobile experience for users and advertisers. They have clearly established one of the best mobile audiences of any channel or publisher.
Facebook Audience Network’s creation suggests the company is now seeking an even bigger piece of the overall mobile app advertising market. According to eMarketer, the number of mobile apps has increased 43% year-over-year to over 2 million while the number of mobile app downloads grew by only 30%. This gap indicates that marketers need better ways to help mobile users discover apps.
Recognizing this opportunity, Facebook released mobile app ads more than a year ago, designed to drive users toward installing and engaging with mobile apps. These have been a hit with advertisers, and have by measure of spend have surpassed Google’s app install ad product (mobile app install extensions) as the leading mobile app advertising product. Facebook Audience Network is poised to take a prominent position in the mobile app advertising market, which has grown to an estimated 30% of mobile advertising as reported by eMarketer.
When considering Facebook’s sophisticated, unique audience targeting capabilities, advertisers have a lot be excited about with the launch of the new ad network. Most mobile ad networks (Google AdMob and Millennial Media, for example) target mobile app users based on where they have been and what they have previously downloaded. For instance, a mobile app on the AdMob network may serve a dietary supplement ad to somebody who previously downloaded a fitness app.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, Facebook’s mobile ad network is primed to take mobile targeting to another level. On the Facebook mobile ad network, advertisers will not only be able to target users by what they’ve done (via Custom Audiences and Partner Categories) but also by who they are (Core Audiences). This approach to audience targeting is highly differentiated from other ad networks, and should intrigue advertisers to experiment with ad network buys when the product becomes generally available.
In late November, news broke that Facebook was planning a major overhaul to its advertising campaign structure in Q1. The revised campaign structure will include a new management “level” called the Ad Set, that will sit in between the Campaign and Ad levels.
Since the initial information leak, little has been publicly shared from Facebook as to what the new campaign structure will look like, how it will benefit advertisers, and how their workflow will be impacted. Sensing the significance of the overhaul, you may remember that we shared our thoughts here on the blog soon after.
After months of waiting, Facebook recently made an official announcement on the Facebook for Business blog. They confirmed that existing Facebook campaigns will be migrated on March 4th (tomorrow!). The new structure is described as a “simpler way to organize and optimize campaigns on Facebook,” and is aimed to improve advertiser workflow, reporting and optimization.
Today’s Facebook marketers may have hundreds or thousands of campaigns within an account targeting different audiences and objectives. For example, an advertiser could have 15% of their campaigns focused on acquiring more fans, 20% focused on driving mobile or desktop app engagement, and 65% focused on website acquisition toward an ROI objective. Managing thousands of campaigns across hundreds of targeted audiences with mixed objectives can be confusing and problematic for advertisers without a sophisticated management platform.
By moving to a new “3-tiered” campaign taxonomy, Facebook hopes to provide marketers with a better way to organize campaigns targeting similar business objectives. Using the example above, marketers will now be able to look at campaigns with “ROI” objectives and quickly determine which target audiences (specified at the Ad Set level) are driving the best performance. If a marketer wants to understand which creative design or message resonates best with a particular audience for a given objective, the marketer can then drill into the Ad Set and analyze Ad-level performance.
Marin has been working diligently on the new campaign structure since October and is excited to roll it out to our customers. We expect the impact to our customer’s workflow to be positive for two reasons. First, Marin’s platform architecture has been built on a three-tiered campaign structure since we went GA in 2007. What this means is that our Facebook advertising customers who also use our product for Search and Display will finally have a consistent campaign taxonomy across all their channels. Second, this restructure will allow for an even more streamlined and favorable cross-channel workflow and analytics experience.
As a Marin Facebook advertiser, here is what you can expect:
Your Existing Campaigns
Marin has partnered with Facebook to transition our mutual clients on Friday March 14th, in accordance with our i48 release. On this date, existing campaigns will be migrated to the new structure automatically, both in Facebook and in Marin. No additional steps will be required of the advertiser. The campaign will simply inherit the new setting, the “Objective.”
Creation of Ad Sets
Ad Sets will be created between the Campaign and Ad levels and inherit the settings of your existing campaigns.
Nothing will happen to your Ads as a result of the migration – everything will remain the same.
Your Customer Success Team is Here to Help
Marin believes in offering industry-leading support and service to our Facebook customers. We know this transition has big implications, and we want to be there to help. Please reach out to your Customer Success Team soon to discuss any questions or concerns about the transition. Following the transition, they will be eager to help you assimilate into your new workflow in Marin.
Best Practices Webinar!
On Tuesday, March 11, Marin will be holding a webinar for our customers to go through our new improved UI. We will be will also cover best practices for campaign creation, editing, and optimization with the new structure. Marin customers will be receiving an invitation via email in the coming days, so stay tuned!