PPC Marketing

Here at Acquisio, we're crazy about PPC search engine marketing. In fact, it's where we got our start. In this section of the blog, you can learn all kinds of tips and tricks to managing your pay per click marketing campaigns. From bid management to retargeting, we'll help you squeeze that little extra out of your PPC budget. And if you're really into PPC marketing, you might even consider checking out our PPC bid management software.

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.

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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.

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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.

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….

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….

PPC for Consideration, Part 2 of the Top-to-Bottom Strategy Series

Last month, I shared how marketers can use paid search to reach prospects in the awareness phase of the buyer’s journey, also known the top of the marketing funnel. Now we’re going to dive into the middle of the funnel: the consideration phase.

ppc-top-to-bottom  Image credit: Forrester Research Blog…

How do Ad Extensions Affect Ad Rank?

ad-rank-changesGoogle recently announced a major change to their Ad Rank equation. Ad Rank had been calculated by your bid and Quality Score in the past. Now, Google will factor in the expected performance of your ad extensions.

A brief history of recent Ad Rank changes

This isn’t the first time Google has made changes to the Ad Rank equation. Just two years ago, they announced a new bidding ability, bid-per-call, and that it would also be factored into Ad Rank. Many people within the search industry were in an uproar after this announcement since not all advertisers focus on calls leading some to believe they would be at a disadvantage. However, this feature was deprecated after just over year….

Layering Display & Re-marketing – Put Context First

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Image credit: flickr.com/photos/andyz

I think I’d be the first to admit that I love wasting time on the internet. The number of hours I’ve spent (and carpal tunnel induced) playing Cookie Clicker and the Helicopter Game is borderline sickening. What’s even more sickening is how much money developers of those games have probably made from accidental or non-converting display ad clicks….