Changes Afoot for Google’s Video Advertising

ChangesToVideoAdvertising

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.

Native Ads: New Buzzword, Old Concept.

nativeadvertising-01

Native ads is a new buzzword that seems to be very popular these days. Especially since Facebook has turbocharged its advertising model with this new channel.  But Facebook isn’t the only one moving forward with this concept; all major newspapers are implementing native ads channels along with Twitter, Yahoo and Google with its +Post Ads.

The term “Native Ads simply refer to promoted or paid content. Even though the term has became a buzzword, it is simply an advertorial. So, if you look back at the media history, it is not a very new concept, just an old traditional media channel that has been rejuvenated with a social and data layer.

I recently attended a SEMPO Canada event organized in Montreal. The subject of the conference was Native ads. Here are some of the key points that came up:

Content matters. The context matters even more.

We used to (and still) deliver display and text ads based on audience/page/site content.  With native ads, we have to look at the context to which our ads will be published. It is important to not just look at the on page keywords or theme in an automated way. We have to take a closer look at the actual context to which the on page keywords or theme are published (tragic news, product banned, or destructive critics).  In any cases, make sure the context is useful and serve your strategy.

Ad formats are different.

As PPC Managers, we are used to the regular text ads limitation, display ads formats, and Facebook more traditional right hand side image & text. Depends on the publisher, your native ads become a deep content research with talented copywriting, careful image selection and getting ready to respond to comment (if a social feed is attached to your paid content). This brings new challenges to campaign managers including better copywriting and research.

Mobile Success

Mobile advertising has been a huge challenge for marketers. The 320×50 banner is simply not cool! Native Ads are part of the content and get a much better click-through on mobile devices.  You can leverage powerful converting mobile campaigns using this channel without compromising the user experience or getting irrelevant clicks because someone accidently clicked on the bad positioned 320×50 mobile banner.

nativeads_phones-1

A whole new level of ad engagement.

native-ads-3If you have been using the newsfeed ads on Facebook, you probably have noticed that people have the opportunity to like your ads or even comments and share them. This brings a new level of interaction with users and also a brand control over who shares and what are the comments. Depends on the product or service you sell, you might not want to have people commenting directly on your ads.

It is the same story for newspaper native ads. Once published, users can provide feedback. If the context is not right, the content is not well produced and you do not have the resources on your side to reply to comments, it can end up being a bad brand experience for the users.

It is definitely a channel you want to explore.

Let’s face the true; since Facebook has introduced the newsfeed ads, we don’t really see the value of the right hand side ads unless they are delivered into a remarketing campaign. Native ads on Facebook have changed the way content and social media connections are used by marketers. We see Facebook campaigns with +1% CTR and much higher conversion rates. Twitter is also a great source for native ads campaigns. For those of you who watch the 2014 Superbowl both on television and Twitter, Budweiser did a very good job at promoting a series of contest on twitter leveraging a massive reach using the hash tag #SB48.

Data, analytics, and optimization.

Of course one of the massive changes from the old fashion advertorial to the native ads are data and analytics. Marketers have the opportunity to measure and optimize  (the same way we do for our PPC programs). The only difference is native ads are embedded into content. People can consider them as regular content and comment or share. It makes optimization achievable but less responsive and you have to spend more time into the research and planning to increase to a maximum your chances of targeting the right mix (context/content/audience/destination).

In conclusion, native ads are great and powerful, but as internet marketers, we need to adapt to include more contextual data, improve copywriting and being more responsive in the case of comments and share. Remember, native ads are paid pieces of content, not actually “ads”. It does make a huge difference for the user.

Social Media Spring Cleaning

SpringClean

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.

PagesToWatch

 

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.

GA-social-overview

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.

6 Tips For Using Audience Targeting

Still think LinkedIn is the only social platform for targeting businesses? Think again. All those B2B customers who say they “prefer” LinkedIn are still spending a ton of time on the book of face, and thanks to some improved targeting features it is now just as viable a platform for B2B initiatives….

The Bridge to Conversions Requires the Right Structure

ppc-conversion-bridgeAny SEM or PPC professional typically has the same goal – To get more conversions at a lower cost.

Let’s face it – There are a ton of things that can influence conversion (ad copy, landing page creative, competitive environment, and time of year, to name just a few). While we as SEM professionals can’t control what we can’t control (i.e. if your client has an uncompetitive product at an uncompetitive price, no bid strategy will save it in the marketplace), there are some things we definitely CAN control to hopefully drive more conversions. Just as a bridge needs to have the proper engineering to make it structurally sound and safe, your PPC campaigns also need the right structure….

Stop Being Sad and Use the Facebook Custom Audience

Awesome-facebook-custome-audience

For us who manage complex multi-channels PPC campaigns, the Facebook custom audience is as awesome a tool as we could ask for!  It allows us to create highly targeted audiences based on specific actions or content that we actually control instead of a post written on a page by a user or some unverified information….

Happy Valentines Day from Acquisio!

valentine

Not in a Million Years

Acquisio security and safety

That’s how likely you are to find a report that’s not yours.

We recently modified the way we send reports, by emailing a link to an HTML report instead of a link to a PDF report.

We are now using 128 bit encoding with a key that is unique to each report. Your chances of finding a report randomly are 1 in 2128….

5 Features That Make the February Release Awesome

Acquisio new release featuresWe’ve been working hard to give you some amazing new features in the New Acquisio. When you ask for features, we add them, and you’ll find that we’ve been listening. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s find out what’s new and amazing in our February release….

PPC for Consideration, Part 3 of the Top-to-Bottom Strategy Series

Over the past couple of months, I’ve discussed paid search strategy for reaching prospects at the beginning and middle of the buyer’s journey. Now we’re to the really fun part: conversion, or the purchase phase.

new-funnel-for-blog_0 Image credit: Forrester Research Blog

Here are a few tips for using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reach prospects at the bottom of the funnel and entice them to convert….