Erica Keller

About Erica Keller

Erica is the Marketing Manager at Acquisio. Her passion for digital marketing lead her to Acquisio where she is able to not only manager the company's digital marketing efforts, but also help other looking to expand their online reach. Erica loves being on the front line of innovation!

The Future of Adwords: Google Announcement

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For those of you late to the game or unable to attend yesterday’s live stream presentation by Google, the lovely folks here at Acquisio have put together a quick recap of the event with some of their own thoughts. And if you are a twitter junkie you can always comb through the #stepinsideadwords feed to see what others think of the upcoming changes.

Presenter Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords opened the show with a brief history on how innovation and invention have changed the marketing landscape. Dischler goes on to point out that “It’s no longer about devices, it’s about connecting with people using those devices wherever they may be.”

Google framed their product announcement around three pillars: Innovative Ad Formats, Insightful Reporting, and Intelligent Tools.

Innovative Ad Formats

With smartphone and tablet apps growing substantially over the past few years, Google has recognized that it is an untapped market for online advertising.  The Innovative Ad Formats addresses the concept of promoting apps in Google Search, YouTube and GDN. One of the interesting new capabilities is “App Deep Linking”, the ability to really engage with users out of the gate and in turn provide a better customer experience across devices.

Along with the more holistic integration of apps into online ads, Google also mentions that measurement tools to examine installation, re-engagement and in-app purchases will be available.

“Adding another ad stream is always exciting” states Alexandre Gauthier, Product Manager at Acquisio. “It opens the door for more possibilities in the platform.”

Insightful Reporting

An interesting feature for advertisers, Google is beefing up its reporting tools.  While it is still unclear exactly how Google intends to track this, enhancements to Estimated Total Conversion will see the inclusion of offline purchases.  Last year’s release of Estimated Total Conversions (http://adwords.blogspot.ca/2013/10/estimated-total-conversions.html) added some capabilities for reporting on online, cross device, and mobile sales.

This may be meaningful for our clients involved in local marketing – being able to estimate offline sales beyond call tracking is perhaps the holy grail of local marketing. Very little was told about how these estimates are made but we hope these findings will apply for the tens of thousands of local advertisers who are managed through Acquisio.

Intelligent Tools

Within this pillar Google mentions four changes to the AdWords interface.

  1. Bulk Actions, to quickly and more seamlessly make bulk changes to your campaigns.
  2. Automated bidding, which will see Google take more control over managing your PPC spend with a “maximize conversions” and “maximize revenue” function.
  3. Reporting Enhancements, help reduce the dependencies many have on excel to dig deep into their data by having a place within AdWords to create graphs, examine live data and explore with ease.
  4. Drafts and Experiments, “a shopping cart for changes” it’s basically a virtual view of what changes will be applied.  The experiment feature will allow advertisers to deploy changes in an isolated fashion, monitor and later permanently commit changes.

“Automated bidding is not to be confused with Bid and Budget Optimization” reminds Alexandre Gauthier. “While Bid and Budget Optimization empowers users to optimize performance, Automated Bidding tends to give Google the keys to the car, along with the credit card to fuel it.”, he warned. “It’s not likely that Google is trying to minimize their revenue to favor advertisers with this functionality, it’s quite the opposite in fact.”

What does this mean for Acquisio’s Customers?

“I think it’s great news for everyone” says Marc Poirier, Acquisio Founder and EVP of Business Development. “Google’s announcement is meaningful in many ways, we will examine what changes we will need to bring to the platform on a rolling basis, just as we always have, and we will innovate on top of these things to bring more value to our clients”.

Changes Afoot for Google’s Video Advertising

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Starting tomorrow, April 15th, Google is making some changes to the way video ads are handled. These all new video campaigns will offer different formats and settings.

Advertisers can access the “upgrade center” to upgrade any or all of your existing campaigns to the new functionality. Starting May 15, 2014 ALL campaigns will be automatically upgraded.

The original TrueView offered three formats, the new version will now be simplified into two formats: in-stream and in-display.  The third option, in-search, will be combined with in-display.

Highlights of the new features:

Placements

  • What it was before: Placements were restricted to the network they applied to, regardless of the networks you had chosen for the ad.
  • What’s changing: Placements now apply to either the YouTube Videos Network or Google Display Network. Adding a placement will not opt you out of any network, but will only restrict ad serving on the network you select.

 Keywords

  • What it was before: You entered search keywords separately from content keywords.
  • What’s changing: The Keywords box under “Targeting people who are searching” will be replaced by one box for both search and content keywords.

Targeting

  • What it was before: The “Target people who are searching for” and “Target people watching content” settings were separate.
  • What’s changing: The “Target people who are searching for” and “Target people watching content” settings will be combined into a new setting called “Targeting.”
  • What is not changing, straight from Google’s mouth: Your bids, budget, and historical performance data will not change when your campaigns are upgraded, whether automatically or manually. You will not lose the ability to run ads on the YouTube Search Network, and you will not lose any ads or targeting criteria associated with your existing campaigns.

What kind of benefits can you expect to see? According to Google, the simplification of the ad options will allow advertisers to use the same ad format (in-display) across the YouTube Search Network and YouTube Videos Network. With some changes to network settings, advertisers will now be able to decide where video ads run on a campaign basis, no longer on a per-ad basis.

Visit Google’s official page to find out more about the Adword Video Campaign Upgrade.

Social Media Spring Cleaning

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It’s that time of the year again!

While spring technically arrived last week, most of us are only now starting to notice the first signs of grass and wildlife (and if we’re lucky some warmer temperatures).

It’s the perfect time of the year to spring clean your social media accounts.  We are sure many of your accounts have been active for a while and perhaps haven’t seen the love and care you had hoped for.  Taking a step back, re-evaluating and making a game plan for the future will only strengthen your online activities.  Go ahead, you know you want to!

Audit Current Accounts

  • Frequency of posts: This will vary depending on your company, industry and goals. However, what is important is consistency. Followers expect to receive communication from you on an on-going base. Also, when potential followers visit your social media page they want to see recent, relevant posts.
  • Quality of content: Quality should be the main focal point of your social media content strategy. However, it’s  an area where so many falter.  Social media is much more than a soap box to stand on, the content you create and share should speak to your audience.  You should be able to answer the questions “why should my followers care about this?” and “do they actually care?”
  • Images and Branding: Each social media channel, while different, should be recognizable as your organizations’.  This means that colors, logo and messaging should be in-line with your organization’s brand.  Sites are always updating their layouts and image details.  Below are a few popular social media sites and their guidelines to optimize your images.
Facebook Cover Photos:  851px wide x 315px tall
Twitter Header Photos: 1252px wide x 626px tall
Google Plus Cover Photos:  2120px wide x 1192px tall
YouTube Desktop Banner: 2560px wide x 473px tall
YouTube TV Banner: 2560px wide x 1440px tall
LinkedIn Company Page Cover Photo: 646px wide x 220px tall

 

  • Sign up for new ones: The online world is constantly changing and social media is no exception.  Since your last audit, there may have been new and relevant social platforms for you to get involved in.  For example, search for LinkedIn groups related to topics of interest, look into Pinterest or Instagram for business or investigate localization tools such as foursquare.

Take stock of competitors

If you haven’t started a competitor list, the time is now!  Paying attention to what is happening in your space should always include what and how your competitors are doing.  Your competitor database should include info such as Competitor Name, Website, URLs to social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc), how engaging are they (Facebook posts per month, tweets per week, etc), overall messages they are trying to convey.

Facebook is rolling out a new tool called Pages to Watch.  Via the admin Page Insights (on your own Facebook page), you can add pages similar to your own and compare performance.

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Goals

Setting and tracking goals is one of the most important aspects of your social media plan.  There’s no point in putting in all the effort if you can’t prove its success.  The best place to start is with your organization’s big picture goals. Is your goal to sell 1,000 shirts per month, get $10k in donations a quarter or provide 100 leads to your sales team per week?  After these questions are answered, social media’s role can be determined.

Tracking of social media interactions can happen through the platform you are using, ie Facebook Insights or through a tool such as Google Analytics which can integrate social media interactions into its platform.

Remember that goals will be different across channels and there will more than likely be multiple goals in order to cover the desires of each of your business units.

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Tweak Social Media Game Plan

  • Update any bios, product descriptions, company boilerplates or mention of company executives.  While these should be done regularly, there are bound to be things that slipped through the cracks.
  • Schedule some social media time.  Daily participation in discussions, staying on top of competitor or industry news and content sharing is a million times easier if you do it on a regular basis. Schedule 15-30 mins each day to browse your feeds and engage with followers!
  • Connect with new people. Go through that stack of business cards sitting on your desk, peruse your CRM software or think back to that networking cocktail hour you attended last week.  Either way, there are sure to be lots of new people to connect with.
  • Align yourself with others in your organization. You may be the one spearheading social media participation but chances are others in your organization have great content to share or networks they can leverage.  For example, many HR departments love platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn for recruiting purposes.  Posting updates about career fair presence, new job postings or to answer questions about what it is like at your organization are great ways to get them involved.