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Your Detailed Testing Strategy for Expanded Text Ads

By June 28th, 2016

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at Boost Media.

With the introduction of Google’s Expanded Text Ads (ETA), marketers have a more robust ad format that allows for more text, and Google has the ability to manipulate the layout to fit the appropriate screen for display. While this is a strong shift toward mobile-first that levels the playing fields between natural search (SEO) ads and AdWords, it doesn’t guarantee better performance.

Google reports that some advertisers could experience up to a 20% lift in CTR. The important word here is “some,” as it indicates that simply expanding ads with no plan is not a guarantee of success. What follows is a set of scenarios you should test that will help guarantee the best possible performance lift for your brand.

Scenario 1: Test standard ads versus ETAs using a generic new headline

  • With large accounts, it’s unrealistic to think that you can write custom copy for every ad. It’s important to try to find suitable headline additions that can be applied across the tail of an account.
  • Be sure to test this method on groups of ad groups. The same additional headline in one product line will probably not work in another product line.
  • Don’t test things like “Buy Now!”. The odds of this generic approach being a success are very low.

Scenario 2: Test standard ads versus custom headlines

  • The head and much of the trunk of an account need custom copy. Testing custom copy against the old standard ads will ensure that you don’t just replace old copy with longer copy that’s worse. Our early testing shows that standard ads can outperform ETA ads if ETA is done poorly.
  • Don’t be afraid of rewriting the entire ad. Adding copy to the end of a headline doesn’t guarantee that the entire ad will make sense or drive clicks.
  • Focus on the big ad groups, as custom writing can be time-consuming.

Why not test everything at once?

Be sure to focus on one thing at a time. If you mix descriptions, headline, and paths in one test, you may introduce a better overall ad, but one section may be causing the lift while the other changes are actually causing a drop. By focusing on one variable at a time, you stand a better chance of isolating what caused the lift and understanding the drivers behind what to do next. As you move toward complete optimization, many times you’ll gain insights that can be applied to other parts of the ad.

I don’t have the time for this. What should I do?

Simply put: make the time. If you don’t prepare for ETA and your competitors do, you can expect to see a drop in performance as the competition captures more of the impressions and clicks. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you don’t have to do this overnight. Set a steady pace and a strategy, and you’ll be on the way to performance increases.

 

About the Author

sarahSarah manages 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.

About Boost Media

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.

Food, Drinks, and Marketing: Marin’s San Francisco Executive Summit

By June 21st, 2016

01-Yovanno

On Thursday, May 26th, we held our first-ever Executive Summit in San Francisco at the beautiful Box SF, where we brought back many of the great presenters from our New York City Executive Summit. Our group of digital marketing leaders gathered around what’s reputedly the longest table in North America—crafted from centuries-old Chinese village gate doors.

This event, sponsored by Marin Software partner Bing, finished with a sommelier-led wine tasting.

03-Guests

04-Wine

Our Regional Vice President of Customer Success, Diran Hafiz, gave a presentation about our Customer Success team. It’s a quick and interesting watch, both for customers interested in how things work behind the scenes at Marin, and anyone curious about the current, primary areas of consideration for the online advertising community.

Get Your Creative Ready for Google’s Expanded Text Ads

By May 31st, 2016

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at Boost Media.

By now, you’ve heard about Google’s Expanded Text Ads. This is big news for search engine marketers. Initial Google reports cite click-through rate increases of up to 20% for some advertisers. With more than nine billion ads impacted by Google’s change, a massive amount of copywriting is required to adapt.

All advertisers will have to react quickly, and spend more marketing dollars to adjust and profit—or else miss out on a huge opportunity. What can you do now?

Start planning early

Advertisers who move fast and adapt to the new format stand to benefit in two ways:

  • Leveraging the additional creative real estate allows you to weave in new messages as you communicate to your customers, resulting in more clicks and purchases.
  • Ads in the new format will look more aesthetically appealing, compared to the older ads that advertisers who don’t switch over will have to settle for.

Don’t rely on the traditional methods

The new format allows for an extra headline with more characters, a longer description line, and a customizable URL. Don’t waste the extra space by employing Excel spreadsheets or ad templates to update ads. The traditional methods won’t work for a seminal shift of this scope.

Mashing description lines one and two together will leave you with a confusing and disparate message. Most advertisers write the two lines of text as separate ideas, and when they’re pushed together, they don’t flow as a logical and cohesive message.

Where to go from here

Advertisers need a solution that makes it possible to write and rewrite ads in the new format with speed, quality, and scale. Through an exclusive partnership with Boost Media, Marin Software has an automated tool that can rewrite your ads to be ETA-compatible. If you’d like to get up and running on ETA ads today, you can get started here.

 

About the Author

sarahSarah manages 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.

About Boost Media

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.

Marketing Executives Swap Ideas at Marin Software’s New York Summit

By May 11th, 2016

On Thursday, April 28th, we held our first ever Executive Summit in New York City at The Standard Hotel.

The afternoon’s talks were sponsored by Marin Software partner Yahoo and led by Marin Software’s CEO, David A. Yovanno. We had a great roster of Marin presenters, who walked through our roadmap and shared their thoughts about the future of digital advertising.

We were also lucky to have Daina Middleton, the former Head of Global Business Marketing at Twitter and former CEO of Performics, and Sonia Carreno, the President of IAB Canada, as speakers.

Daina spoke about the Power of Prediction in today’s fast-moving marketing landscape. Sonia reviewed the current state of the nation in media usage, outlined major industry issues, and explained steps being taken to remove obstacles to growth.

The day’s presentations were rounded out by a fabulous wine and cheese tasting in the afternoon, guided by The Standard’s leading sommelier (you can catch him and his bowtie in the story below).

Everything You Need to Know About Retargeting – a Perfect Audience and HubSpot eBook

By October 1st, 2015

In the old days of advertising, the name of the game was reach and frequency. Brands preferred mass media vehicles like television and radio, because they were the easiest means to reach large audiences and build brand awareness. Obviously, this meant the most effective advertising campaigns were dominated by the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets.

If you’ve been reading our blog then you don’t need to be sold on the ways retargeting can help your business. However, putting everything together – building audiences, managing campaigns, optimizing performance, etc. – can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is especially true when retargeting is just one of the many marketing strategies that you focus on.

To help you out, we’ve teamed up with HubSpot, the world’s leading inbound and sales marketing platform, to bring you a free eBook, titled The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting. In addition to providing context on the types of retargeting and the different ways it can help your business, we’ve collected some of our favorite tips and best practices for getting started, running your campaigns, creating good ads, and measuring and optimizing your performance.

Download the free eBook now and start learning how to use retargeting to increase leads and traffic today.

HubSpot Connect – Integrating to Build Stronger Customer Relationships

By September 9th, 2015

A couple months ago, we announced a partnership with HubSpot. We’ve since been helping joint HubSpot and Perfect Audience customers connect their inbound and outbound marketing efforts more seamlessly. By automatically building retargeting lists based on HubSpot landing pages and Smart Lists, we’ve made it incredibly simple for HubSpot customers to build targeted, intelligent retargeting campaigns that help give more legs to their inbound marketing tactics.

Now, we’re taking it a step further. At the INBOUND 2015 Conference, HubSpot announced the launch of HubSpot Connect. We’re proud to have been introduced as a launch partner, and the only retargeting solution amongst their network of partners.

What Marketers Expect – A Wizard Behind the Curtain

Today, marketers expect to interact as one cohesive company that shares data and customer information across departmental lines. They don’t think about the different departments they’re interacting with or who’s responsible for what. Instead, they have the expectation that everyone in a company is able to work together to solve customer problems quickly and effectively.

Taking this even further – marketers are looking for ways to optimize their campaigns and reach the right audiences at the right time. For many HubSpot customers, though, outbound advertising and retargeting are new. It can be challenging figuring out how to set up the right types of campaigns, develop good creative, and determine how much to spend on your marketing efforts.

Because of the Perfect Audience and HubSpot partnership, all of this is now a lot easier. By creating audiences automatically from your landing page and Smart Lists, you can start your marketing efforts by targeting the audiences that are most valuable to you. From there, you can gradually test new campaign ideas by tagging the rest of your site and creating new audiences. So, not only do you have a cohesive, automated marketing experience – you’re making it work even more for you, to grow your audience and achieve new and better outcomes.

A Strong and Growing Partnership, Built for Results

If you’re a HubSpot customer who uses Perfect Audience, make sure to try the integration and let us know what you think about how we can make it better. We’ve already received a lot of great feedback and will continue working on strengthening our partnership.

If you’re reading this from HubSpot’s INBOUND 2015 conference, stop by and say hello!

Marin Software and Boost Media Expand Partnership To Bring Customers Highly Relevant Ad Creative

By August 6th, 2015

Boost Media is excited to partner with Marin Software, the leading cross-channel performance advertising cloud. Through the complementary nature of the two platforms, Marin customers will now be able to leverage Boost Media’s curated marketplace of expert copywriters and testing technology to optimize creative across search, social, and display campaigns. The combination of Boost Media and Marin Software ensures the highest return on search marketing dollars and a scalable best of breed strategy.

Search results pages have become crowded collections of nearly identical ad creatives. Standing out in this crowd matters now more than ever. Consumers want more relevant and targeted communications from the brands they engage with and the current approach with search ad copy fails to deliver.

The biggest opportunity to increase your search campaign performance is through improving your search ad copy. Boost Media is the leading Creative Optimization Platform and works with leading enterprise brands to scale the sourcing, testing, and optimization of search ad copy.

Writing and optimizing ad copy is a challenge for many marketers due to scale, constrained resources, and lack of insight into what drives ROI. Boost Media offers a platform that combines the power of a curated marketplace of human writers and designers combined with a SaaS platform for automated insight and analysis. With the Boost Creative Optimization Suite, organizations can marry the natural creativity of individuals with the automation and efficiency of a cloud-based platform, to generate ad copy at scale.

AdCopy-BoostMedia

Download Boost Media’s Creative Optimization one sheet here to learn more about optimizing your ad creative.

 

About the Author

sarahSarah manages 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.

About Boost Media

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.

Marin and Yahoo’s Relationship Gets Serious

By July 23rd, 2015

One of Marin Software’s big value propositions is our cross-publisher capabilities and our robust support for the world’s leading publishers. We work closely with Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex to ensure we’re providing the latest features from each one, and that customers can easily see and compare performance across publishers within our platform. As an example, Marin was first to launch support for Yahoo! Gemini earlier this year. Now, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking our relationship to the next level as a Gemini Preferred Partner.

What is a Gemini Preferred Partner?

The Gemini Preferred Partner Program was created to bring advertisers, agencies, and technology partners together to find and develop innovative digital marketing solutions. According to Alex Mrazek, Senior Director, Partner Development, Yahoo, “Through a higher standard of Gemini product integration and client services, this program will drive advertiser performance, scale, and ROI.” Check out Yahoo’s new page for the program: https://advertising.yahoo.com/partners/Partners/Marin-Software/index.htm.

What does this mean for Marin?

Yahoo selected Marin as a launching member of the Gemini Preferred Partner Program, as Marin is an established industry leader and is equipped to offer Gemini advertisers a top of the line solution. As a Gemini Preferred Partner, Marin is committed to delivering the highest standard of technology integration with Yahoo and client services. Customers can count on Marin to provide the latest updates from Gemini, and offer the best in class service that we’re known for to help address any questions or issues.

An example of how Marin helps customers with Gemini is our recent launch of Cloner for Gemini. With Cloner, you can easily copy objects from your Google accounts into Yahoo Gemini, resulting in faster and easier onboarding. For more information on Cloner and other Gemini features, please contact us here: http://www.marinsoftware.com/contact-us.

To learn more about the Gemini Preferred Partner Program, read Yahoo’s blog post on the program’s launch: https://advertising.yahoo.com/Blog/SHOP-FOR-TECH-PARTNERS.html.

The Publisher Spotlight: Reach a diverse and highly qualified audience with Drupal.org

By April 20th, 2015

The Publisher Spotlight is a series in which we’ll be introducing premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, we feature Carrie Lacina, Digital Advertising Manager at the Drupal Association. Drupal is a leading open-source Content Management System, and the Association supports Drupal.org and the Drupal Community. We spoke to Carrie about the unique benefits of Partner Connect and some best practices for communicating the program with a passionate user base.

Drupal.org’s considerable audience is diversified across tech, design, and business

Drupal is an open-source content management platform that powers millions of businesses, websites, and applications. At the heart of Drupal.org is a very engaged and diverse community consisting of hundreds of thousands of members ranging from developers, site builders, project managers, designers, themers, site owners, Drupal business owners, and more!

Drupal.org’s audience is significant. We receive over 2 million uniques and 15 million pageviews monthly. We also have 50,000 registered users (mainly developers) who contribute to the Drupal project. Beyond the core registered users, Drupal.org also has a substantial email and social media following with over 40,000 email subscribers and nearly 130,000 social media followers.

Drupal.org offers a great opportunity for advertisers who are looking to tap into a target audience that is very tech, design, and business savvy. We already work with advertisers across a number of different industries, from companies that are looking to reach a design and business-savvy audience like web development shops; to companies that focus on Drupal-specific services like Drupal training, hosting or recruiting; as well as companies looking to tap into a more technically savvy audience like independent software vendors and development and design tool companies.

Partner Connect creates a non-traditional advertising-based revenue stream

One of our initiatives for 2015 was to develop new advertising-based revenue streams. However, we traditionally haven’t had much advertising on the site so it’s been important for us to take a lot of care with user experience and be very careful about what types of advertising solutions to introduce.

Partner Connect is unique because it allows us to create an advertising revenue stream without having to compromise the user experience on drupal.org with ads. Because it allows advertisers to target audiences beyond just our web site, there’s a lot of benefit for them as well.

How to communicate the finer details of Partner Connect to a passionate user base

Our relationship with our audience is unique in that Drupal is an open-source platform that’s not only used by, but also built and supported by a very engaged community that is passionate about the project. It was important for us to properly communicate Partner Connect and help our users understand exactly what it is and isn’t, especially since it’s such a new concept.

We’ve been very proactive about informing our user base. We released a blog post that went in-depth about the program. During this process we worked closely with Brad Flora (co-founder and former CEO of Perfect Audience), who also used to be a Drupal.org member, to help explain some of the technical aspects and help address any community concerns. For example, Brad helped explain how Partner Connect targeting was anonymous and that no personally identifiable information was being collected or shared. We also communicated this message through our newsletters and social media.

Beyond communication, we took extra precautions from an implementation standpoint as well. While placing the tracking code was easy, we set up safeguards to ensure we were respecting our users’ privacy preferences. For example, we were able to deploy Partner Connect with support for the “Do Not Track” request, so visitors with that feature turned on wouldn’t get cookied.

I think the effort in being transparent has been very helpful because so far the response has been great. People understand the business needs for Partner Connect and have appreciated the steps we’ve been taking to ensure we’re respecting our users’ wishes.

Interested in targeting Drupal.org’s audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

3 Strategies For Making Native Ads Work For Your Business

By March 23rd, 2015

This is a guest post from Edwin Wong, Senior Director, B2B Strategic Research & Insights at Yahoo. 

A new study delves into the native ad opportunity and offers marketers best practices for creating native campaigns with Yahoo Gemini, the first unified marketplace for mobile search and native advertising. With Yahoo Gemini, advertisers get the performance and ease of search, combined with the scale and creativity of native advertising. By bringing the two together, advertisers can now buy, manage and optimize their mobile search and native ad spend in one place — driving greater performance and higher impact for their businesses and brands.

Native ads are hot right now and it’s easy to see why. According to our research, more than 60 percent of consumers have a favorable view of native ads.¹ Publishers have caught on to this, with 72 percent currently offering native ads, or planning to within the next several years.² So where does this leave advertisers? In 2015, 79 percent of advertisers plan to buy native ads.³ Yahoo’s new study, The Native Advertising Frontier, digs deeper into this surging format, providing marketers with helpful insights and best practices.

According to the study, the three keys to native advertising success are:

1. Selecting the right platform: Make sure your content is aligned with the purpose, tone and visual style of the site you choose.  Our studies show that an effectively integrated native ad generated three times more attention than a less integrated placement. People spent almost as much time looking at the native ad as they did on the actual articles.4

2. Adding value for users
: If users find the content informative and in line with their interests, they’ll read and share it, even if it is presented by a brand.  This has been proven true on Yahoo Food, where 52 percent of users say promoted advertising content helped them learn more about cooking.5

3. Being transparent
: Native content that is identified as sponsored, clearly branded and includes a distinct call to action performs best.  When native ads are unmistakably denoted as advertising, they set the proper expectations for the user, and ultimately create a better experience. We tested the impact of adding a more prominent logo and stronger call to action to an ad, and saw significant improvements in favorability and purchase intent.  Additionally, 66% of respondents said the native ad with prominent logo represented a great experience. 6

For all of the details, be sure to read the full study, and check out the infographic below.

YahooGeminiInfo

To learn more about how Yahoo can help you drive business results with mobile search and native advertising through Yahoo Gemini, contact Marin.  Thanks to recent enhancements, it’s easier than ever before to create, optimize and track your Yahoo Gemini campaigns with Marin Software.

About the Author

edwinwong 

Edwin Wong is Senior Director, B2B Strategic Research & Insights at Yahoo. 

Sources

1. Yahoo/Ipsos Consumer Perceptions About In-Feed Ads, August, 2013 
2. Native Advertising Report: Native Advertising Perceptions & Trends, Advertiser Perceptions, July 2014 
3. Mixpo “Native Advertising Survey,” September 2014
4. Ad Environments- The Halo Effect, Yahoo & Innerscope, September 2014
5. Yahoo/MillwardBrown Digital Native Content Marketing Advertising Effectiveness Study, April 2014
6. Yahoo/Ipsos CPG Gemini Mobile Native Advertising Effectiveness Study, via Forced Exposure, October 2014

 

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