This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content and PR Manager at Boost Media.
Though digital marketers are generally swimming in data, it can be tough to come by real-time data that is applicable for creating a brand messaging strategy. The status quo has often failed to deliver bottom-line results while frustrating channel marketing specialists. Now there is a way for marketers to develop an intelligent brand messaging strategy from SEM ad creative testing data.
From Boost Media’s analysis of 1.3 billion SEM ad impressions from 250,000 ads from a variety of large, premium retailers, we’ve developed these two important best practices for writing ads that are proven to resonate with your audience and drive more conversions.
Many marketers focus on explaining to customers why their product or brand is better than the competition’s. Marketers, here is a friendly reminder: customers are looking for a solution to a problem rather than a list of product features.
Customers do not care that your throw pillows come in 17 colors instead of 16 like the competition. They want to know that your throw pillows will add style and comfort to their living rooms. If you can show that your throw pillows solve a problem – in this case, creating household ambiance with decor – customers will be more likely to purchase.
Adding on to this point, certain adjectives can make ads perform poorly. Adjectives such as “durable,” “longer,” and “classic” are a few examples that deteriorate the conversion rate. Interestingly, “reliable,” provides strong lifts in CPI (conversions per impression), according to Boost Media data.
But why might such similar words contribute to different bottom-line results?
Simply put, product descriptions tell while benefits sell. An ad for brake pads that mentions the “titanium frame” (product feature) is likely less impactful to a consumer than an ad that mentions “safety” (benefit). With numerous competitors vying for customers’ attention, marketers must quickly and directly convey that their product will solve problems.
There’s no doubt that the online retail space — and the search results pages for most products — are crowded. A search for something as simple as “scented candles” yields more than a dozen options for the consumer to choose from without their even scrolling down the page. How then can an advertiser successfully capture a consumer’s attention?
Boost Media data shows that ad copy centered on the customer that includes words like “you,” “your,” “you’re,” etc. can drive up to a 65% higher CTR (click-through rate). This simple focus on the customer makes an impersonal product seem personal. Moreover, this CTR lift is coupled with a 3% CPI improvement. Including “you” is the online marketing equivalent of using someone’s name in conversation.
These are simple ways to reframe advertising verbiage to quickly and dramatically improve revenue generation. Creating the optimal brand story is no longer a guessing game. Ad creative testing data from your own SEM campaigns can cheaply and easily provide actionable data that indicates how new messaging may perform across other advertising contexts. When you find what works, your research will pay off with increased conversions and successful sales.
Sarah heads up Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston magazine, The Improper Bostonian and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running and yoga.
Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.
Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.
This is a guest post from Cody Kunning, Director of Search Engine Marketing for Marchex.
Earlier this year, comScore released this data: mobile usage is now surpassing desktop for the first time since the Internet began. That’s a big deal. And it’s an even bigger deal for marketers who are wondering how to drive sales from all these mobile consumers.
When people search for products and services on their phones in Google, they often click what’s known as a “call extension” to call a business. In fact, Google reports consumers click on these extensions more than 40 million times a month. How can marketers optimize their search advertising campaigns to drive more of these clicks and phone calls? Here are four tips for getting started.
Add call extensions to every campaign and all high volume ad groups. Only have 1 phone number to track with? Use that same phone number in all every call extension however use Google forwarding number to get a proxy on calls by campaign or ad group breakout.
Use a different phone number (or forwarding phone number like mentioned above) to track device type results separate from each other. The large discrepancy in calls from mobile and forms from desktop is likely to make conversion rates skew when calls are not properly associated to the correct device type.
Adding a call extension to desktop search is a great way to get a call (at free of charge no less!) from Google. However be careful when adding call extensions to desktop on high volume (core brand) keywords. If too many calls come through (remember calls = no clicks), CTR and Quality score suffers and CPCs will start to rise.
You want people to call and drive higher click-through-rates? Write these two words in your ad: “Call Now.” Variations include “call today” or “book now.” Such directives, as simple and as straightforward as they seem, guide customers and spark desired actions.
Ultimately, consumers respond to a great user experience that is mobile-friendly with a clear call to action and simple messaging.
Now that you have all the tools, what are you waiting for? Go forth and optimize!
Cody Kunning is the Director of Search Engine Marketing for Marchex and has been a search marketing professional since 2006. Recently, he has focused efforts on increasing ROAS on current search programs by dissecting and analyzing traffic by device and conversion type. Mobile search is no longer the future and he has been an early adopter of search strategies to analyze and improve mobile search performance. Prior to Marchex, he held SEM management positions at Microsoft, Cobalt and Local Marketers.
This is a guest post from Justin Schuster, VP of Marketing for LiveRamp.
Some of your most valuable marketing data lies within your CRM system, commerce platforms, and other customer databases. Through data onboarding, you can bring this data into your digital marketing applications and media platforms, which enables you reach customers with more relevant messages, justify budget increases, and improve the performance of your campaigns.
Data onboarding is the process of connecting your customer data to digital marketing applications and media platforms. A data onboarding service provider can import your customer data files, anonymize records to protect consumer privacy, and activate your data by distributing audience segments matched to online devices to various marketing applications for use.
Here are four ways you can improve measurement and targeting through data onboarding:
When you can quantify the impact of your online campaigns on “offline” sales that take place in a store or over the phone, you gain a powerful business case for increasing your budget. Closed-loop analysis can also help you improve the performance of your campaigns by providing you with insight into which keywords have the biggest impact on offline sales.
Onboarding your customer data helps you to reach the right audience segment with the right message. When you have insight into which online devices represent customers vs. non-customers, you can remove your current customer base from your acquisition campaigns. This increases campaign efficiency and protects your customers from seeing ads with low relevance.
Use your customer data files to define target audience segments based on demographics, contract dates, customer lifetime value, and other attributes. These data points can help you refine the timing of your campaign, creative, and bid strategy.
The same audience segment can be onboarded into multiple marketing applications and media platforms. This enables you to generate incremental lift by executing integrated multi-channel campaigns that reach the same audience segment across search, email, display, direct mail, mobile, and other channels.
Download the 15 Minute Guide to Data Onboarding to learn more about the many ways that data onboarding services like LiveRamp can help you take action on anonymized customer data and get even more value from your digital marketing applications.
Justin Schuster is VP of Marketing for LiveRamp, a leading provider of data onboarding services and a Marin Software partner. For more information, please visit www.LiveRamp.com.
At Ifbyphone, we know how important call conversions are to search. Thanks to smartphones, search has gone mobile, and is expected to generate more than 70 billion calls to businesses in 2018. What’s more, study after study has confirmed that inbound calls are more lucrative than web conversions, on average converting to revenue 10 to 15 times more frequently. Search marketers can no longer afford to ignore call conversions if they wish to optimize ROI.
Here are three tips on how to track and manage call conversions to optimize the value of your search campaigns.
Understanding which search keywords drive inbound calls is an important first step to improving ROI. But since your ultimate goal is to drive revenue, you should also track which keyword searches actually result in sales, not just calls. Plus, if you integrate that call data with a bid management tool like Marin, you can optimize campaigns to drive more calls and sales automatically, the same way you do for clicks.
Studies show that 19% of inbound calls are high-quality sales leads, while others are things like job requests, misdials, and solicitations. You don’t want those bad calls to waste your sales staff’s time. Instead, send callers to an IVR virtual receptionist first to answer and qualify the lead. The IVR can ask questions to weed out the misdials and solicitors, provide answers to callers inquiring about non-sales related matters, score the leads, and send the good calls to a sales manager to assist.
Where you route callers can play a critical role in whether they convert to a sale. Don’t just treat every call the same way. Here are a few examples of call routing options to consider:
It can be tricky to route every call optimally on a call-by-call basis, but call routing solutions with geo-location technology can help.
Blair Symes is the demand generation manager at Ifbyphone. Over the past 17 years, he has published numerous articles, white papers, eBooks, and blog posts on a wide range of topics, including B2B marketing, marketing automation, and search marketing.
One of the single most effective ways a digital marketer can improve the performance of a campaign is through better ad copy. To help advertisers get more out of their creative, we’ve teamed up with Boost Media (formerly BoostCTR).
While this isn’t the first time Marin Software has worked with Boost, this is the first time Boost makes an appearance in the Marin app. Thanks to Marin’s open architecture, the performance of Boost optimized campaigns can now be viewed directly within Marin, saving joint customers all sorts of time in addition to providing insights that can then be used to make immediate changes.
If you’re not familiar with Boost, the company offers marketers a network of 1,000+ expert copywriters skilled in creating compelling, high-performance ad copy for both search and social. Check them out.
Today we’re excited to announce our newest certified partner, Marchex.
While Marchex has excelled in a number of important areas such as building a digital call-based marketplace and the Marchex Institute, which provides unique and compelling insights on how to optimize call-based conversions, our current integration with Marchex is around their call analytics and measurement products.
With this partnership, advertisers and agencies will be able to accurately and easily connect the dots between their digital advertising efforts and the resulting call-based conversions. Not only will joint customers know exactly when paid-search or display/social campaigns drove phone conversions, they’ll also be able to track call revenue down to the keyword (or ad unit) and optimize their bids and budgets against the same.
We’re delighted to welcome Marchex to the Marin partner ecosystem, and look forward to working closely and delivering incremental value and insights for our customers.
Although paid search still commands the majority of digital advertising spend, online marketers find themselves having to follow consumers through an always-on, multi-channel world. In this highly competitive landscape, the path-to-conversion is anything but linear, and the ways in which consumers engage with brands is gaining complexity. For instance, a customer may have viewed a display banner, clicked on a paid search ad, and was retargeted on Facebook prior to converting on an iPad.
Keep in mind that the click-path above wasn’t even possible three years ago. The degree to which media is fragmented today makes attribution incredibly challenging. So how would an online marketer value each of these touch-points and subsequently develop an effective bidding strategy to maximize performance across their entire marketing program?
This is exactly the problem that Marin Software has solved. Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Adometry, a leading attribution company. Through conversion and revenue data integrations, advertisers using this joint solution will be able to:
And because Marin has certified the integration process with Adometry, our mutual clients will be able to take advantage of these industry leading capabilities without incurring any additional costs or disruptions to service.
So there you have it, Adometry + Marin = A win for online marketers.
For many search marketers, identifying opportunities for optimization within paid search campaigns is challenging. Monitoring and maintaining top performing ad groups, keywords, and ads is a standard best practice; but as campaigns grow, keyword lists expand, and creative tests multiply, this approach fails to scale and provide incremental improvements in paid search performance. With so many optimization opportunities hidden in an ocean of data, how can search marketers give the required attention each campaign deserves? Where do you even start?
To help search marketers answer these questions, Marin Software is thrilled to announce our partnership with BoostCTR to offer a free paid search diagnostics tool that not only provides insight into account performance, but also opportunities for optimization. The Account Performance Grader is designed to analyze historical performance across keywords, ads, quality scores, and ad groups for AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns. Simply sign up and enter the required information to receive your customized report.
Among other best practice recommendations, this report will provide actionable insights for pausing poor performing keywords and ads, as well as reveal quality score trends that identify areas where keyword relevance can be improved. With the Account Performance Grader, search marketers can remove the guesswork out of campaign optimization and focus their time on more strategic, high impact tasks.
Sign up here and start optimizing your campaigns today!
Marin Software and TagMan are delighted to announce a new, certified partnership which brings Online Marketers the opportunity to streamline deployment of both tracking solutions and open up a world of best-in-breed attribution, reporting and campaign optimisation.
TagMan is the global leader in tag management, with the industry’s most mature and proven platform for enterprise e-commerce. Since launching the first, independent tag management platform in 2007, TagMan has been helping over 100 customers solve tagging, site performance and attribution-related challenges.
This partnership will allow post-attributed, de-duplicated conversion and revenue data to flow automatically from TagMan into Marin, enabling online marketers to jump-start their day using Marin’s powerful analytics-to-action interface and renowned optimisation tools. Several joint clients have already benefited from the integration and we look forward to many more in the future.
The Marin Customer Spotlight series profiles industry leaders and provides an informed perspective on current topics and trends. Last week, Jeff Ferguson, CEO at Fang Digital Marketing, sat down with us (virtually) to discuss the state of Facebook advertising and the future it holds for online marketers.
Marin: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s recent announcement around their new targeting options (email lists, etc.) using Custom Audiences? How effective do you think this will be in engaging and converting more Facebook users? How do you see businesses using this functionality?
Jeff: I think this is an immensely powerful tool for Facebook advertisers. The ability to reach out to your existing prospect or customer based on another marketing channel, especially one that is designed for social interactions like Facebook, will allow marketers to increase conversion retention, and share of requirements (repeat purchases).
Although one of the examples that Facebook provides for this type of tool, which is running a campaign to get more likes, would usually be seen as a waste in and of itself, in this instance, since you’re trying to get likes from prospects or existing customers, the value of those likes would actually be of some worth. Once that interested audience is within your circle of conversation, you can continue that conversation to close the deal or get them coming back for more.
Marin: Facebook continues to explore additional revenue opportunities – with new audience options, ad types and device targeting – to promote more advertising spend.
Jeff: First and foremost, I know that Facebook is in the business to make money – period. Discussions around how that they should limit their attempts to create revenue for their company and their investors are just not based in reality.
That said, I give major praise to Facebook for not only trying to find the proper balance of revenue generation and user comfort, but doing such without the fear of failing. Unlike many businesses who seem to get stuck in a single design, a single ad format, etc. because it’s working (or worse, “always worked before), Facebook is putting it all out there to find that perfect match of making money, making its customers, that is the advertisers, happy and keeping its users from feeling they are just the vehicle for making Zuck richer.
Jeff: Facebook is still an evolving animal, especially when it comes to its interfaces for its advertisers. Facebook ads were clearly designed with a single, self-serve attitude in mind, which was fine for the smaller advertisers they had when they started, but it’s time for them to grow up and make that interface work for the Enterprise and the Agency. Marin Software allows that type of access for management of bids, ad testing, and much more, and all within the same interface where we manage our paid search campaigns.
Marin: With news feed ads receiving more attention, most recently with the introduction of Facebook’s mobile ad placement, how have you seen advertisers capitalizing on this opportunity and how have you seen users respond? Is there a compromise that needs to be made as more ads are delivered in a limited mobile landscape?
Jeff: I have seen advertisers capitalize on the mobile front, but it’s mostly early adopters. There is a tremendous opportunity on this front for a variety of brands, products, and services, to start that conversation with Facebook’s most active segment, but as usual, it’s usually the little guys and the agencies themselves who put it out there first to see how it could work.
I don’t think there needs to be a compromise as much as a balance, and there is a difference there. The balance should be based on testing both the advertiser’s ability to get their message across to an audience and that audience’s ability to use the product in such a way that keeps them coming back again and again.