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Archive for ‘Publishers’

How to Segment Remarketing Audience
by Last Interaction

By February 9th, 2016

This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at
3Q Digital.

When building out a fully functional PPC account, it’s important to utilize remarketing lists in addition to your standard campaigns. Remarketing lists allow you to target individuals with ads that are already familiar with your brand because of a past interaction, generally an ad click leading to a visit.

These visitors are valuable because they’re usually further down the sales funnel. Remarketing is a great way to retain these past visitors, capture incremental volume, and shorten the gap between time of click and time of purchase.

If you’re advertising on a pay-per-click network (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.), you’ve more than likely utilized remarketing lists to improve account performance. You can also improve your remarketing lists, specifically your Google and Bing lists, by segmenting your audience based on time of last interaction.

Why Segment by Time?

There are a few benefits to segmenting your audience by time. The first is that it breaks apart a very large audience into multiple audiences of very manageable sizes. This then allows you to bid more or less aggressively depending on the audience.

For example, you may want to bid very aggressively to get an audience of users that last interacted with your website one to three days ago back to the website. You may not want to bid as high for the people that last touched the site 25-30 days ago.

Using this method, you can place a bid on each audience that’s most appropriate. However, be conscious of the size of the main audience you’re trying to split. This practice is usually a better fit for more general touchpoints that generate larger audience lists. It isn’t always the best to break apart a very small audience pool because at that point, the lists can become too small to employ.

How to Create Your Audiences

1. Create a new remarketing list

2. Select who to add to your list

Generally, I select page visitors. But there are options to select page visitors who did/did not visit another page, visitors of a page during specific dates, and visitors of a page with a specific tag.

If you’re more advanced, definitely utilize the custom combination option. I’ve used this capability to refine my segmented lists even further in the past and to block past converters from my lists.

3. Set the rule

Enter the page URL that you want to build your audience around.

4. Set the membership duration

Here’s where you can get creative. Go to the Tools drop down, then select Conversions and take a look at your attribution data. How long is the time lag from click to conversion? Use this information to set your membership duration for your audiences.

If you’re unsure, just use common sense to create reasonable durations. For this example, let’s assign the first audience a five-day membership duration. 

5. Repeat

After creating the first audience, repeat the process and extend the membership duration with each additional audience. Using the five-day example above as a starting reference, we can create three more audiences with membership durations of 10, 20, and 30 days.

In the end, instead of one very large audience, we have one broken up into chunks based on the account’s specific conversion history, which gives us more control over bidding and ultimately better performance. Using this method, we don’t bid the same amount for someone that last interacted with the website 30 days ago as a person who last interacted with the website one day ago. Try it out and see how it performs!

So You Don’t Have $5 Million to Spend on the
Super Bowl…

By February 1st, 2016

Super Bowl 50 is here, and the cost to advertise is heating up faster than the Broncos/Panthers rivalry. In fact, CBS is charging up to
$5 million for a 30-second ad spot during the big game. According to eMarketer, the top five Super Bowl advertisers have spent a total of $745.1 million for the privilege over the past 10 years.

While the Super Bowl is a great time to drive awareness with cute Budweiser puppies and ridiculous Doritos commercials, most advertisers can’t afford to shell out that kind of money. Here are four strategies to help marketers of all sizes take advantage of the Super Bowl without breaking the bank.

1. Start with a good content strategy

Make sure you have a cohesive plan in advance of the big day that includes organic and paid teams, and all marketing channels where you have a presence (search, social, display, etc.). With a solid strategy in place, you’ll have a good foundation to help you capitalize on any spontaneous moments that may occur, such as Oreo’s quick “dunk in the dark” reaction in 2013.

Here are a few recommended tactics:

  • Plan your gameday creative and messaging in advance
  • Use a tool like Marin Social’s Message Booster to improve coordination between organic and paid teams, and to ease the workload by automatically promoting top-performing content according to pre-defined rules
  • Make sure your social media team is at the ready with immediate, relevant, branded content, in case a big and unexpected moment occurs

2. Take a mobile-first approach

During the Super Bowl, millions of Americans are watching more than just the TV screen. They’re grabbing recipes from Pinterest, posting photos of their gameday garb on Facebook, and sharing their real-time reactions on Twitter. Advertisers who understand this second-screen behavior are in the best position to take advantage using a mobile-first approach.

  • Use mobile device and carrier targeting to maximize ad relevance
  • Make sure your website or landing page is optimized for mobile viewing
  • Consider extending your ads beyond the publishers and into mobile apps, via the Facebook Audience Network and the Twitter Audience Platform

3. Run your commercial without the hefty price tag

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all offer top-notch video advertising formats, so you can run your commercial without dropping $5 million. Captivating video formats provide an exciting way to engage with users who skim through their phones while watching the game. Other things to consider:

  • Use Reach & Frequency targeting with your Facebook video ads to generate awareness at scale
  • Make sure your creative attracts attention with autoplay and no sound
  • Run video that’s specifically relevant to Super Bowl viewers, and consider unveiling fresh, never-seen-before content

4. Up the ante with TV Sync technology

If you already have a good baseline social advertising strategy, take things to the next level using TV Sync technology. TV Sync allows you to automatically activate your social ads based on customizable offline events like television flight schedules, live programming, weather changes, or sporting events – all in real time. It’s a powerful way to amplify your reach and drive engagement across screens.

TV Sync allows you to:

  • Trigger your social ads whenever your competitor’s commercial airs
  • Launch social ads automatically based on weather status or key sporting events such as touchdowns and timing
  • Push social ads live during other related TV events (Pro Bowl, Puppy Bowl, etc.)

Last but not least, consider using these strategies beyond Super Bowl Sunday. Every day is a great chance to extend your advertising beyond TV, onto the second screen and into the virtual living room.

Consider applying these ideas during primetime TV shows, live awards events, college or national sporting events, the World Cup, the Lumberjack World Championships, or any time at all.

3 Simple Tips for Restructuring SEM Accounts

By January 12th, 2016

This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at
3Q Digital.

At some point, an SEM account manager will have to restructure part of or all of a search account. There are several reasons why this sometimes frustrating and exhausting exercise must be completed. Most commonly, it’s related to subpar account performance and the metrics that suffer as a result. Other times, it has to do with poor account organization.

A great example is when the same keywords are being housed in multiple campaigns, which target the same geographic locations. It’s also not unheard of for an account manager to restructure an inherited account because the current structure is a poor fit for his or her managerial style. No matter what the reason, there are steps you can take to make the restructuring process simple.

Before jumping in, make sure you’ve exhausted all other options for improvement. There’s no need to put a ton of extra work on your plate if you don’t have to!

1. Identify Why a Restructure Is Needed

First, take a step back and examine the issue. Why do you need to restructure the account? Chances are, if you’re thinking of a restructure, you’ve already identified the issue. But if you haven’t, really take some extra time to examine the current setup. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are there keywords you can pause to improve performance?
  • Can you change some bids?
  • Can you add some new campaigns to plug the gaps?

Again, don’t create a ton of work if you can avoid it. If you choose to continue down this road, make note of why this current structure didn’t work and do not repeat the mistake!

2. Identify What Worked

Not everything can be bad! Even in the most bloated of accounts, there are successful components that can be salvaged and used another day. Dig in and find those highly relevant, high volume keywords and use them as your foundation. Continue to use the same landing pages if that’s worked well for you.

Make note of the best performing geographic targets and include those targets in your new campaigns. Use anything and everything to your advantage to make the new campaigns successful.

3. Slowly Phase Out

If your old campaigns are already paused, then congratulations! You can skip over this step. If your old campaigns are still active, you’ll need to slowly phase out those legacy campaigns.

An abrupt switch will be a traffic killer and cause a massive conversion volume loss in the process. Instead, launch the new campaigns, slowly drop legacy bids, and increase the new bids. This allows for those new terms to gain some traction while the legacy terms still bring in some volume. Once you’re satisfied with the volume the new campaigns are getting, pause out the old ones.

Restructures can be daunting, but if you realize where the key issues are in the current structure and strategically plan out how to correct those issues, the process becomes much less complicated.

In sum:

  • Take some time to figure out why you need to restructure.
  • Identify what worked in the old structure and apply that to the new campaigns.
  • Slowly phase out those old campaigns and be sure your new campaigns don’t suffer from the same issues that plagued the last.

Finally, be confident. Have faith that you’re going to get things turned around in no time.

Why PPC Granularity Will Be Your Best Friend

By January 7th, 2016

This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder of KlientBoost.

Have you ever thought your Google advertising account should be performing better?

You may be following the advice of many that say that the more time you spend in your account, the better.

But what if it’s all backwards?

What if it only takes you 10 minutes a week to improve your Google advertising performance?

If your Google campaign performance hasn’t been improving month over month like the table below, then keep reading.

01-GoogleCampaignImprovement

It’s about to get interesting. Let’s get started.

Automatic Placement Extraction

If you’re running any type of display or remarketing campaign, you might find that your display ads are showing up on websites, apps, or even video overlays that aren’t performing well.

Overall though, you might be decently happy with your display performance, but always wondered if it could do better.

02-DisplayPerformance

Take a look at your Automatic placements under your Dimensions tab

To start the “performance pruning”, see which Automatic placements either have a cost per conversion that’s too high, or better yet, which placements are actually bringing in sales (not just conversions) by equipping your Google advertising Final URLs with ValueTrack parameters.

This will then help you get more conversion volume out of those specific placements when you extract and target them exclusively through a new campaign.

Search Term Extraction

Search term reports are such an important part of regular Google advertising maintenance that it’s not uncommon that some people do this more frequently than brushing their teeth.

When looking at your search term report, get as close as possible to making sure your search terms and keywords have no discrepancies between them.

In other words, your Added / Excluded column from your search term report should have the green “Added” label going down the list for as long as possible, just like this:

03-SearchTermExtraction

This gives you a much stronger control of what you’re paying for

When that happens, you can make your ads specific to not your keywords, but your search terms and see higher click-through-rates from your efforts.

Let’s say you look at your search term report and find your search terms and keywords don’t match. The first thing you should do is extract your search terms with the most impressions and create what are called Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs).

Just like the name implies, SKAGs are ad groups that only allow one keyword per ad group, that then have corresponding ads that are extremely specific to that keyword.

Time Lag and Attribution Reports

Did you know that the last keyword and/or ad clicked always gets to lionshare of conversion credit?

What if there were seven other touchpoints (impression and ad clicks) that happened before the final conversion? Wouldn’t you want to know what helped assist that conversion?

I know I would.

If you don’t care, there’s a good chance you’ll pause keywords and placements that don’t get the conversion credit. But, when you do, you’re strangling your account at the same time, without even knowing it.

Let’s take a look at your Google advertising attribution.

Inside your account, go to the top of your Google advertising interface and click Tools > Attribution.

Once you’re there, take a look at the Time Lag report on the left side. Here, you can see how long it takes people to convert from either first impression, first click, or last click.

04-ImpressionConversionDelay

Here’s a look at first impression conversion delay of 6.19 days

This will help you make your nurture and/or retargeting campaigns more of a priority to test.

Geographic Granularity

Are you a local, statewide, nationwide, or even an international advertiser?

No matter how big an area you’re targeting, every geographic hill, slope, mountain, and valley performs differently. The same thing goes for individual states and cities.

And, because you can’t target people who live on just a hill (yet), the next best thing is to understand the performance of each state or city that sees your ads.

05-GeographicGranularity

To see this report, go to your Dimensions tab, then View -> User locations

As you can see above, the state of New York may be costing more per conversion than others. So, you may want to add in negative bid modifiers at the state level, like this screenshot shows.

06-States

You can then drill even deeper and create new campaigns with state level campaign targeting, and give bid modifiers to individual cities within that specific state to get your closer to your cost per conversion goals.

You can take it even further and start utilizing city specific ad copy and landing pages with area code specific phone numbers, to appear more local to visitors and increase your conversion rates.

Device Targeting

As I’m sure you’re already aware of, Google advertising doesn’t allow you to separate devices in their own campaigns like they used to.

These days, you have to group desktop and tablets together in the same campaign. And while Google may say that both those devices perform similarly, there are thousands of Google advertising accounts out there that say something completely different.

Here’s the truth: Desktops and tablets will never perform the same way.

I’m not just speaking from a conversion rate standpoint, but also from a sales standpoint.

When Google told the world that devices don’t matter, but user context does, they certainly never thought of every single industry, but more so of a blanket band-aid that would apply to “most advertisers”.

Believe it or not, there are some workarounds you can use to get desktop, tablet, and mobile campaigns in their own campaigns and still target the search and/or display network.

But first, let’s look at how we find current device performance differences within your account.

07-PerformanceDifferences

Here’s how you find that info

First, go to Segment then Device in the dropdown.

08-SegmentDevice

This will expand your view with three extra rows

As you can see in the screenshot above, our mobile devices are giving us the lowest cost per conversion while tablets are sucking it up and being the most expensive.

Now let’s say for a minute that your tablet performance is just as good as your desktop performance (like Google says it is), but your mobile performance sucks.

You can quickly add in what’s called a negative bid modifier between 1 and 100%.

09-NegativeBidModifier

Go to Settings -> Devices and increase or decrease in the red square

If you never want to target mobile devices, then you can set a negative bid modifier of 100%.

Day of Week Targeting

Just like keywords, ads, and landing pages perform differently, so does Monday compared to Thursday, and Saturday compared to Wednesday.

Inside your Google advertising account, you can see this day of the week granularity in a snap. Just head over to Dimensions -> View: Day of the week.

10-DayOfWeek

In this case, Saturdays and Sundays are doing really well

Having these kinds of numbers doesn’t mean that you should stop advertising on Thursdays (because it has the highest cost per conversions). But, it could mean that you should start considering “day of the week” bid modifiers like we did for our devices earlier.

Some industries tend to be very predictable in their weekly trends. If your company falls into a category like that, then take advantage of the control you have and get more aggressive with your bids on great performing days, and taper back on the not so great-performing ones.

Time of Day Targeting

Just like we saw how your days perform differently during the week, so do your hours within the day.

11-TimeOfDay

And, just as we can create bid modifiers for 24-hour day targeting, we can also take advantage of the same thing with bidding blocks of hours within a certain day of the week, to break it down even further.

12-BiddingBlocks

In this screenshot, late mornings and afternoons tend to perform better than mornings

If you already have the data and insight that allow you to use this type of granular bidding, then definitely do so.

You might even find that Google or other bidding platforms are restricting how many bid modifications you can make on a daily basis. If that’s the case, I suggest you try using Brainlab’s 24 hour bidding script that allows you to take it one step further, and then some.

In Closing

Now before I let you go, please keep this in mind:

“With great control, comes great responsibility.”

Having access to all of this data is great, but only if you can be actionable with it to improve your performance.

I see time and time again that people spend countless hours trying to tweak and prune things with modifiers, rules, and even scripts that change bids depending on the weather.

While all of this is great, most of it becomes entirely obsolete as soon as you have a landing page test that improves your conversion rates by 50%. When that happens, all the things you’ve put into place need to be redone.

One thing that will always help you out, no matter your goals, is to extract and target things in a granular fashion that makes sense.

Use the dimensions tab and its reports to your advantage and keep on making progress :)

Why You Should Be Using Bing Shopping Campaigns Right Now: Part Two

By December 21st, 2015

This is the second and final post of a series on Marin’s newly released support of Bing Shopping Campaigns.

In our last post, we discussed how and why you should be using Bing Shopping Campaigns to expand audience reach and improve the user experience. This time around, we focus on ease of implementation and optimization opportunities.

It’s easy to implement so you can get started right away

If you’re a retailer who advertises on search, chances are you fall into one of two categories – you’re a new customer who currently runs legacy Bing Product Ads, or you aren’t.

Bing has developed tools and functionality for both advertiser groups to streamline the setup process – everything from feed integration to campaign creation – in order to shorten your time to value and help you see results from Bing Shopping Campaigns relatively quickly.

For current advertisers: simple steps for converting your legacy Product Ads to Bing Shopping Campaigns

1. First, upload your product feed to the Bing Merchant Center. Be
    aware that no changes are needed to your Bing Merchant Center
    Store. Also note that feed requirements for Bing Shopping
    Campaigns are slightly different than those for Product Ads
    campaigns, as shown in the charts below charts and also covered
    in the Bing Help Center.

BingCharts

2. Create a new Bing Shopping Campaign and Ad Group.

3. Map Product Filters at the Campaign level to determine which
    products can appear as Product Ads. Note that traditional Product
    Ads campaigns allowed multiple filters to be created, whereas
    Shopping Campaigns limit the filters to one per campaign. If you
    have multiple filters on the Product Ads campaigns, consider
    splitting them into multiple Shopping Campaigns if you don’t want
    to modify the filters. Make sure to map the filters to those that
    Shopping Campaigns supports.

4. Set a Campaign Priority. Either pause the corresponding Product
    Ads campaign or choose a Medium or High Priority for the
    Shopping Campaign to make sure it runs instead of the Product
    Ads campaign.

Tip: If you’re also running existing Product Ads Campaigns and to ensure your new Bing Shopping Campaigns run, set the priority of your new campaign to Medium or High.

5. Finally, convert existing Product Ads Campaigns to Bing
    Shopping Campaigns. Like Product Ads Campaigns, an ad group
    needs to be created. No changes are needed, but if you’re
    splitting your traditional Product Ads campaigns into multiple
    Shopping Campaigns, you may need to re-organize ad groups.

Tip: To help with the legacy Product Ad Campaign conversion process, Bing has created an easy-to-use campaign conversion tool. If you’ve been struggling to find time to upgrade to Shopping Campaigns, this tool is designed to make your life easier.

You can find the Product Ads conversion tool in the Bing Ads management interface – go to the header at the top of Bing Ad, click Tools, then click Convert Product Ad campaigns. For more information, read these instructions for converting Product Ads Campaigns to Bing Shopping Ads.

For new advertisers: simple steps for creating a Bing Merchant Center store, setting up a new Shopping Campaign, and linking it to your Bing Merchant Center store

1. In Bing Webmaster Tools, claim the domain.

2. In the Bing Merchant Center, create a store.

3. Upload your product feed.

Tip: If you’re already advertising on Google Shopping Campaigns, Bing makes it easy to import Google Shopping Campaigns into your Bing Ads account. Once set up, Bing Shopping Campaigns are easy to manage as the structure and capabilities are consistent across ad platforms.

4. Create Bing Shopping Campaigns or import existing Google
    Shopping Campaigns through the Bing UI using the steps
    outlined in the chart below.ImportCampaigns

5. For more information and step-by-step instructions, visit
    Bing’s Help Center.

Marin Search can help you optimize and scale your Bing Shopping Campaigns program

With the release of our Bing Shopping Campaign support, retail advertisers using Marin Search now have an opportunity to automate and optimize their Bing advertising programs at scale and reach more interested buyers. The new functionality includes:

  • Streamlined campaign management. For new Bing Shopping Campaigns advertisers, manually creating and launching new campaigns can be a time consuming and error prone process. Through bulk campaign and ad creation, editing, and URL handling, Marin Search helps advertisers get started and make important edits on their Bing Shopping Campaigns so they can do more in less time.
  • Open revenue integration. Most sophisticated retail advertisers use one or more analytics or attribution systems to measure performance. Unfortunately, many campaign management platforms limit retail advertisers by requiring them to use their proprietary tracking options. Built on an open platform, Marin Search allows Bing Shopping advertisers to measure, manage, and optimize against the metrics and data source of their choice, allowing for improved insights and decision making.
  • Cross-publisher reporting and insights. For most retail advertisers, monitoring and measuring performance across all their top search engine publishers is paramount to making informed decisions. Marin Search captures and displays performance insights for both Bing and Google Shopping Campaigns all within the same flexible, easy-to-use reporting interface. Using Marin Search, Bing Shopping advertisers can measure performance across Bing and Google and make smarter, publisher-agnostic decisions, ultimately leading to better overall search advertising performance.
  • Advanced bid optimization. With potentially hundreds of performance variables to consider, optimizing Bing Shopping Campaigns is a near impossible task when done manually. Marin Search offers flexible, transparent bid automation that allows retail advertisers to achieve the business goal of their choice for Bing Shopping Campaigns. Best of all, Marin Search’s bidding algorithm is uniquely designed to account for data sparsity by sharing performance data across similar Bing and Google product group clusters.

To find out more about how Marin Software can help you implement a shopping campaign strategy, contact us today.

Why You Should Be Using Bing Shopping Campaigns Right Now: Part One

By December 17th, 2015

This is the first of a two-part series on Marin’s newly released support of Bing Shopping Campaigns.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, most retail advertisers are focused on how they can get their products in front of the most potential buyers and maximize sales. If trends from last year’s holiday shopping season are any indication of this year’s, most consumers will look online to research and purchase products.

According to a US Retail eCommerce study by eMarketer, 90% of consumers browsed, researched, or compared products online last year, and an impressive 83% of US digital shoppers made a purchase online.[1] As consumers continue to shift towards digital media as their holiday shopping channel of choice, the opportunity for retail advertisers to reach more potential customers during this critical time period will continue to grow.

With these retail advertising trends and opportunities in mind and to help retailers showcase their products to more customers, we’ve released support for Bing Shopping Campaigns. Marin Search advertisers can now drive sales on Bing using an engaging and impactful ad format that contains images, pricing, and physical store information. They can holistically manage, measure, and optimize their Bing Shopping campaigns and product groups alongside Google, allowing them to budget more intelligently across publishers and drive better overall shopping campaign performance.

There are several great reasons retail advertisers should get started with Bing Shopping Campaigns now. In this post, we highlight expanding reach and enhancing the user experience.

Bing Shopping Campaigns can help you expand your reach and engage more potential buyers

Leading search engines, like Bing, have long been a top channel that consumers use not only to purchase products online, but also to influence purchasing decisions from “showrooming” in a retailer’s physical store. In fact, according to a Search Engine Land study, 73% of consumers use search engines to find where products are sold, 72% use them to make price comparisons, and 63% use them to find promotional offers.

Product ads, managed through Bing Shopping campaigns, can help retail advertisers surface the top information consumers are looking for while they’re showrooming, putting the shopper closer to an online purchase. With more than 540 million retail researches occurring in Bing every month, the potential reach and exposure that Bing Shopping Campaigns offers to retail advertisers is massive.

Bing Shopping Campaigns can help get your brand get in front of more potential customers, and supplement the traffic that you’re probably already getting from Google Shopping Campaigns.

Bing Shopping Campaigns offers advertisers an improved experience over legacy Bing Product Ads

Many retailers are already advertising with Bing Product ads, and will need to convert their legacy campaigns to the recently released version of Bing Shopping Campaigns. Others may have held off testing Product Ads in the past because of limited features.

Either way, Bing Shopping Campaigns offers significant workflow and reporting enhancements over the legacy Product Ads offering. These improvements create a compelling case to try the new offering now.

Some of the incremental benefits of Bing Shopping Campaigns enhancements relative to Product Ads campaigns include:

  • Better control over your product ads when targeting for certain products. Now, with Bing Shopping Campaigns, retail advertisers can target the products in their feeds with a high degree of granularity within the UI. Bing’s new product hierarchy view for Shopping Campaigns gives you more control over what products you’re showing and how much you’re paying. It’s a simple way to organize, manage, bid, and report on ads. In addition, advertisers can now easily prioritize which campaign to run when running multiple advertising campaigns for the same product.

    BingShopping1

  • A more streamlined workflow and easier campaign management. Bing Shopping Campaigns offers advertisers new, intuitive ways to view all the published offers from their data feeds in a hierarchical tree within the Bing Ads UI. In addition, they’ve made it much easier to view your inventory by assigning attributes like brand or product type, selecting inventory you want to promote (or exclude), and setting appropriate bids.

    BingShopping2

  • Enhanced product insights and advanced reporting. Bing Shopping Campaigns now offer Share of Voice reporting and provide insight into impressions, clicks, average click-through rate, and average cost-per-click, relative to your product targets. This is a significant improvement from legacy Product Ads reporting. In addition, Bing Shopping Campaigns reporting now offers deep insight into your campaign performance and allows you to see performance data at an item ID level right within the Bing Ads UI.

    BingShopping3

In our next post, we discuss optimizing and scaling your Bing Shopping Campaigns program, and the streamlined setup process. To keep up with all the latest posts, be sure to subscribe to our blog.

[1] Source: US Retail Ecommerce: 2014 Trends and Forecast, eMarketer, April 2014

 

Buy Buttons and What They Mean For You

By December 15th, 2015

By now, you’ve likely seen or heard about buy buttons, which are a quick way for customers to purchase directly from search, social, and video platforms. How should digital marketers work with buy buttons this holiday season?

First, let’s review the statistics.

202%The year-over-year lift in social media-referred orders that Shopify reported.

60 millionThe number of shoppable pins on Pinterest.

84%. The percent of Pinterest buyable pin-referred orders coming from new customers, according to one advertiser case study.

What it means for you

These data points indicate a growing trend toward social as a shopping discovery tool. One thing missing from the statistics is the success of buy buttons from a revenue standpoint. Since buy buttons are relatively new, it’s still too early to tell how successful they’ll be in generating sales, making it uncertain whether to prioritize them over other tests this holiday season.

Still, it’s worth it for brands to begin preparing now, given the investment being made in buy buttons across the digital ecosystem. It’s easy to imagine that customers will quickly become accustomed to social discovery-fueled shopping, facilitated by buy buttons.

Let’s take a moment to recap some of the major networks with buy buttons, many of which still have the ad units in beta, with a select group of advertisers:

Instagram

As part of its action-oriented suite of ads released in June, Instagram has an ad unit with several call-to-action options including “shop now,” which allows users to make a purchase while staying within Instagram.

Pinterest

Pinterest has made Buyable Pins available to advertisers on select e-commerce platforms since late June.

Google

In mid-July, Google announced it’s beta testing its own version of the buy button in mobile paid search results.

YouTube

In late September, YouTube launched Shopping Ads, which include a click-to-buy option within partner videos.

Twitter

In late September, Twitter announced U.S. advertisers on select e-commerce platforms have access to buy buttons in tweets.

Facebook

Facebook, which has tested a buy button for over a year, in October announced it’s testing a shopping tab, enabling users to shop directly in the platform without visiting a brand’s site.

Where to go from here

With so many major networks supplying buy button-infused ad inventory, customer shopping behavior will be influenced—it’s just not clear yet how and to what extent. At this phase, it’s worth testing buy buttons on a small scale to establish a benchmark and to begin collecting intelligence to inform next year’s holiday buy button strategy.

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.

8 Ways to #TweetSmarter for Direct Response

By December 1st, 2015

The beauty of direct response is that it’s specific, measurable, and trackable. And since it’s meant to drive people to immediate action, it pairs extremely well with the real-time nature of Twitter. So to all the direct response marketers out there, here are eight ways to improve your Twitter ad campaigns in 140 characters or less. (Copy and paste into Twitter to share with your network!)

1. Convey urgency. Encourage users to take action right away with
    phrases: hurry, act fast, while supplies last, & limited time. 
    #TweetSmarter

2. Highlight new items. Users look to Twitter to discover something
    new, so showcase new trends, products, or services. 
    #TweetSmarter

3. Don’t be distracting. Avoid caps lock, @mentions, and
    hashtags. While good for branding, these can be too distracting
    for DR.  #TweetSmarter

4. Keep things concise. Try some tweets as short as 40-60
    characters. Research shows that’s a sweet spot for many
    advertisers. #TweetSmarter

5. Test different CTAs. Twitter provides lots to choose from
    including visit now, try now, view now, shop now, etc. 
    #TweetSmarter

6. Experiment with different creative. Test product images,
    lifestyle images, or images that depict the product in-use. 
    #TweetSmarter

7. Segment by audience. Target existing & potential customers in
    separate campaigns, then tailor images and creatives
    accordingly. #TweetSmarter

8. Target by location. Use geo-targeting combined with location-
    specific copy to increase relevance and drive engagement. 
    #TweetSmarter

Bonus Marin Social Tips

9. Organize by objective. Take advantage of Marin Social’s unique
    management hierarchy to group your campaigns by similar
    characteristics, such as business objective. This works regardless
    of social publisher (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) so you can
    work toward a single goal.

10. Try dayparting. Strategically schedule the times you want to
      engage with your audience, and use Marin Social to
      automatically pause and unpause your ads accordingly.

These tips were inspired by Twitter’s recent webinar, Winning Tweets for Direct Response. For more ideas, download their handy guide or follow #TweetSmarter.

Google’s Customer Match: How to Use First-Party Data for Best-in-Class Performance

By November 19th, 2015

This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at
3Q Digital.

Customer Match is an exciting new feature that Google recently unveiled that can greatly strengthen your ability to connect with an existing customer base. You now have the option to upload the email addresses of past customers or email subscribers directly to AdWords. You can then target that audience through Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube. Similar features are already available through AdRoll and Facebook. With Google’s newest addition, you can now leverage 1st-party data across yet another network.

This is fantastic news for all advertisers, particularly those in possession of large lists of customer emails who are looking for new ways to utilize that data to improve marketing efforts. Every marketer I know is looking for a better way to increase marketing efficiency, so this should really benefit all of us.

Google is allowing you to take what you know about your customers and use that to drive messaging across devices and platforms. This, in turn, allows you to build loyalty and repeat purchases among an existing customer base.

Three Main Methods for Leveraging
Customer Match

1) The first, and most obvious, way to use Customer Match is to stay in front of your customers. If someone has made a purchase from your business, these audiences can be used to target existing customers and keep your brand fresh in their mind. This encourages repeat purchases and leads to incremental gains.

2) The second is to re-engage past buyers who haven’t interacted with your brand in an extended period of time. Imagine Jane Doe bought a stereo in January and hasn’t purchased from your brand since. You can now create an audience specifically to target her, and individuals like her, when they’re logged into the Google network.

3) The third method is to create a negative audience. This audience is made from a group of people whom you do not want to see your ads. (Maybe you don’t want to risk overexposure, or you wouldn’t benefit from re-engaging this audience.) Businesses focusing on generating leads fit into this category. Customer Match allows you to create and exclude that audience from your advertising campaigns. As a result, you only capture new leads.

There’s a Low Barrier of Entry

Setup for Customer Match is simple. Upload a .csv file containing hashed email addresses directly into AdWords. The larger the list the better, since audiences with fewer than 1,000 members won’t be targeted through any of Google’s networks for privacy reasons. Once processed, you have a new audience to target across devices and channels like any other remarketing audience.

The one exception here is the Display Network, since this feature is not yet compatible. For YouTube and Gmail, Google also creates a “Similar Audience” when eligible. This can increase overall lead volume by allowing you to target audiences made of new users who exhibit characteristics similar to your Customer Match lists.

Customers Come First

Google goes to great lengths to protect user privacy, and this feature is no different. All data uploaded to AdWords must be 1st-party data. All email addresses must be hashed before uploading. Once they’ve been processed and matched to Google users, all data is discarded. This process ensures that all user information remains safe and protected throughout the entire matching process.

Additionally, advertisers must provide a link to a webpage where users manage email preferences. This link is a requirement, and you won’t be able to use Customer Match without providing it. Failure to comply with Google privacy policy can result in being denied the ability to use the Customer Match feature and in some cases, account suspensions.

To summarize, if you have a large amount of 1st-party data, Customer Match is a feature you should definitely test. It’s simple to implement and can be used in a variety of ways across Search, Gmail, and YouTube. Since Google makes privacy a top priority, you don’t need to worry about putting any of your customer base at risk. Overall, the AdWords team has made a great improvement that makes it easier for businesses to enhance consumer relationships and brand loyalty.

3 Tips for Using CRM Data to Reach People Across Channels

By November 16th, 2015

With the recent release of Google’s Customer Match, the ability to target users through their email address has finally come to search advertising. This type of targeting has been available in social since Facebook announced Custom Audiences in 2013, and is accessible to display through data onboarding. Now, because of Google’s new feature, advertisers can target users using this data across search, social, and display, and across multiple devices.

This opens up many new possibilities for cross-channel, cross-device advertising. As it stands, a large percentage of marketing CRM emails are never opened. Advertisers can’t depend on email alone to connect with high-value customers in a CRM. We recommend using your CRM data to serve ads across search, social, and the web.

How do publishers match emails or user IDs to users across the web?

First, some background. The deterministic matching method relies on personally identifiable information commonly stored in CRM systems. With this method, a linkage is made when a user in your CRM uses the same email address or social media user IDs to log into an app and a website – across browsers and devices.

As long as a user is logged in across devices and targeting is set up across channels, advertisers and publishers can use this unique identifier to target those users cross-channel, on multiple devices.

Advantages over cookie-based remarketing

Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Display Networks already allow you to serve ads to previous site visitors with remarketing lists. This is traditionally done with cookie pools. Customer Match, Custom Audiences, and display customer targeting all allow you to advertise to recognized, signed-in users wherever they are – whether it’s mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

This cross-channel path is difficult for cookies to traverse. It’s also hard for cookies to move across different browsers, and users can easily delete most cookies.

The other main advantage is that CRM data can be collected from multiple offline sources. For example, retailers can ask for a customer’s email address after an in-store purchase, or a travel agent can ask for an email address after a phone booking is made.

The Best Uses of CRM Data to Amplify Cross-Channel Reach

1. Do the Right Thing for the Right Channel

When it comes to matching CRM data with users for targeting, each online advertising channel has slightly different options. Be sure to make the most of each channel’s unique possibilities.

Search
Email addresses

Google’s Customer Match is a new product designed to help you reach your highest-value customers on Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail. Customer Match allows you to upload of a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way. From there, you can build campaigns in Marin with highly relevant targeting and specifically tailored messaging for your audience.

Social
Email lists, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, Twitter IDs, mobile advertisers IDs

Custom Audiences (Facebook) and Tailored Audiences (Twitter) make it easy to target specific customers or prospects at scale. It allows you to match your customer list against Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users in a secure and privacy-safe way. Advertisers can use Marin to target users across social platforms and devices.

Display
Email addresses, CRM, point of sale, and mobile advertisers IDs

Through uploading emails, CRM data, point of sale, and mobile advertisers IDs, data onboarding technology (such as LiveRamp) can match your anonymized data to online devices and digital IDs, and segment audiences. These audience segments can then be sent to Marin for display targeting.

CRM-workflow

2. Be Sure to Segment

Segmentation is key to the success of CRM targeting for search, social, and display. Users can be segmented by value, actions, loyalty, recency, and satisfaction, among many other options – the segmenting possibilities of your customer database are virtually unlimited. You can use all of these segments for innovative advertising, such as enhancing your strategy, target audiences, and creative based on fresh and reliable data.

3. Go Cross-Channel

Using CRM data for targeting can produce fantastic results in single-channel siloes. However, when it’s used as part of a cross channel marketing strategy, the number of creative marketing tactics becomes almost limitless.

One common example of using CRM data across channels is targeting users with tailored messages across search, social, and display, depending on whether or not they’re existing customers.

Channel exclusion lists are just as important as positive targeting lists. In addition to reaching specific audiences with your ads, you can exclude unprofitable channels but still reach the same audiences.

For example, suppose an advertiser is in an industry where search keywords are particularly expensive. But, they want to update existing customers about a new product in a more cost-effective way. They could exclude the existing users from search targeting but still advertise to them on social and display.

CRM targeting strategies also open up new customer care and support avenues outside of phone, email, or direct mail. If a customer has a specific issue, it can be resolved at the level of a search query. Using CRM data, you could automatically deliver the most relevant information and links based on the products or services your customers are using, even if they use the exact same search query to search for information.

Using CRM data and user matching addresses a number of the challenges of cookie-based remarketing. It also helps bridge the gap between offline and online marketing activities. With Google’s new Customer Match, CRM data can now be used to actively target across search, social and display. This paves the way for innovative cross-channel, cross-device advertising strategies.

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