1st Position is Still the Best Place to Be in Google Search

Standard

By Sue Brady

 

fall maple

fashionBaseball Sept

 

 

 

 

 

Seasons change, fashions change, sports go in and out of season. Change is a part of life. Except when it comes to the value of buying branded terms in search and landing in the top position. Almost a year ago I wrote a post about why it’s important to buy your own branded marketing terms.Today I read an article in MarketingProfs by Ayaz Nanji  that talked about the value of being in first place in Google ad listings based on a new study by Marin Software. So indeed, this particular thing hasn’t changed.

Ayaz pointed out that first position on Google gets the most clicks, regardless of device. Clickshare for the first position on desktop is noted to be 30%. But the big change seems to be in mobile devices and tablets where the share of click has risen to 39% and 36% respectively. Also important to note is that the click-thru rate on first position ads on mobile phones and tablets is over double from position 2. I wasn’t surprised to see this on mobile, since sometimes only one ad will show on a device, but on tablets all three positions show, so that one’s harder to explain. And that also makes it interesting that click-thrus on position one on a desktop are 33% higher than position two. It’s still high, just much lower than the other devices.

The conclusion from this is that it’s important to bid yourself into first position from a click-thru standpoint on all devices, if your budget supports it. And, it’s still easiest to get in first position when bidding on your own branded terms because your quality score for those terms should always be higher than others bidding for the same, and position one will be cheaper for you because you are the brand.

As always, check your ROI for your ad word campaigns to make sure your bidding strategy makes sense. But I’ll bet that no matter what, if you’re the brand, being in position one is always the place you should be.

 

Part 3: Social Advertising 101: Focus on LinkedIn

Standard

By Sue Brady

Storks

This is the final installment to help you use social media as a part of your advertising plan. If you missed the posts Advertising on Twitter or Advertising on Facebook, be sure to visit those articles as you consider your advertising strategy.

LinkedIn differs from most other social media platforms because it is more business focused and definitely viewed and used as a professional site. LinkedIn has over 300 million members, and it’s under-utilized by advertisers, making it a great opportunity to get your message seen by the right group of people! So, if your advertising goals include targeting business people, LinkedIn could be a great source for you. As a side note, LinkedIn is often thought of as only a business to business tool, but it can also work for business to consumer, depending on your target.

With LinkedIn advertising, your targeting options are specific to business related factors:

  • Job title
  • Job function
  • Industry
  • Company name/size
  • LinkedIn group.

Plus, you have the usual demographic targeting that’s offered on other platforms too: age, gender, geography.

Let’s first talk about using LinkedIn groups. There are over 2 million of them and they are established so that people who share interests can connect and discuss that interest. There are 200 conversations happening per minute. On average, a LinkedIn user will join 7 groups. You’ll find tons of cool LinkedIn stats here.

Here’s a list of some of the groups I’ve joined: B2B Technology Marketing, Business Marketing Association, Digital Marketing, Direct and Database Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer Network, Mobile Marketing Association. If you are selling a product for a marketer’s use, you can find us! Birds of a feather do flock together.

Groups take more work to target because you really should visit the group to make sure there’s activity there and that the topics are relevant to what your target audience would be discussing. You can also target the people within your chosen group by other factors (mentioned above), making your ad placement very refined and hopefully making your ROI even better. Doing this level of targeting will definitely restrict your audience size and the key is to test to see how broadly you can go and still reach your specific target. Make every click count! LinkedIn groups have been described by many as the most under-utilized opportunity to have your message reach the right people.

You should keep the same advertising 101 principals in mind when you create your ads for LinkedIn: write compelling headlines and copy, have a clear call to action, use a photo, have your URL lead to a landing page specific to LinkedIn and related to the ad and folks that you’ve targeted.

Budget

Regarding budget, while this platform is more expensive than some of the others, you can still set your spend to a specific amount. The minimum daily spend allowed is $10 with a minimum cost per click of $2. You can choose to pay per click, or you can choose to pay per thousand impressions. Choosing pay per click means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and it’s the more popular way to set up an account.

You can test different ads against each other by including variations in your campaigns. LinkedIn recommends you have no fewer than 3 ads per campaign, but you can create as many as 15 variations. As your campaign progresses, LinkedIn will start to serve the ad with the highest click-thru rate more, thus making your overall campaign more effective. This can actually help you identify and roll-out a winner faster. But you have to be comfortable with a potential lack of statistical significance driving the ad that shows. Alternatively, you can set the ads to be run evenly until you yourself decide which is best.

Ad Placement

Your ads can be shown in 5 different places with two different ‘looks,’ depending on where your ad is showing:

  • Home Page – The page you see when you first log on
  • Profile Page – Seen when a user views the profile of someone else
  • Inbox – This is where you see messages and invitations to connect
  • Search Results Page – The page that comes up when you search for a person or group
  • Group Page

This is the basic ad and it appears on the right had side of whichever page above the user is on.

home page ads

This pseudo-banner ad is the other format that can be selected and looks like this. This will appear along the top of the pages listed above, with the exception of the user’s home page.

Top of page bannerYou definitely should test the multiple social platforms and ad types available so that you can determine which placements return the highest ROI (assuming that’s your goal) across all of your social campaigns.

LinkedIn has a comprehensive page to answer almost any questions you might have. Good luck!

Happy 1-Year Blog Anniversary to Me!

Standard

By Sue Brady

birthday-border-edges

It’s been exactly one year since I posted my first article to this blog. It’s taken me down many paths and I’ve met some really cool people as a result. For my anniversary post, I thought I’d call out some of my ‘most read’ posts for your enjoyment…just in case you missed them. Next week’s post will return to the Social Advertising 101 series (Parts 1 – Facebook and 2 – Twitter can be found here).

Maybe it should come as no surprise that not all of the popular posts were marketing related. Enjoy the reads!

Creating Content: 6 Goldmines for Finding Relevant Topics

How to Setup Twitter, LInkedIn, and Facebook for your Business

Why Everyone Should Take Acting Classes

The Multi-touch, Multi-device Attribution Dilemma

How I Added Two Hours Back to my Day

Is Native Advertising the New Online Banner?

How to Handle an Internet Troll

You Are Losing Sales if you Don’t Buy Your Own Branded Terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2: Social Advertising 101 – Focus on Twitter

Standard

By Sue Brady

Being Social

To continue with last week’s Facebook ‘Boost or Promote’ theme, this week I’ll focus on Twitter as an advertising medium. There are a number of different ways to advertise or boost your presence on Twitter, and your choices will depend on your goals. Twitter is on track to generate $1 billion dollars this year through advertising revenues. It must be working!

To run advertising on Twitter, you need to set up an Advertiser Account. I’ll assume you have already done that part as we move forward with this discussion. With all of the options discussed, there are a variety of ways to target your audience: interests, geography, gender, keywords and more. You always are able to set your budget and how much you are willing to bid for each click or interaction (similar to ‘pay per click’ advertising). Note that your promotion will be seen more if you bid more.

The Website Card. The newest addition to Twitter’s offerings is the Website Card. The website card is a tool to drive traffic directly to a particular webpage, and allows you to display rich website content on Twitter. The user sees an image and a call to action. The cards are marked as ‘promoted.’

The cards have only been available since early May, but this quote from a Search Engine Land article shows results:

“In testing, Twitter said, Website Cards have shown higher engagement and click through rates and lower cost per click levels, compared to similar tweets containing an image and a link. Citrix, for instance reduced its CPC rate in testing by 92% and Betabrand reduced its by 85%. UK-based mobile company Three received 64% more URL clicks and its engagement rate increased 26%.”

After you create a card in Twitter (you can do that following these directions provided by Twitter), you simply ‘tweet’ out the card when you ‘compose a tweet.’

The Lead Generation Card is something altogether different. This type of advertising allows you to collect a reader’s email address without them having to leave twitter. You may have noticed that some tweets have an ‘expand’ option. If an advertiser is using a lead gen card, you’ll see your twitter handle and email address pre-filled on the ‘card,’ along with the advertiser’s offer and call to action. The only action needed is to click the button to send your info. to the advertiser. I cannot tell how widely used these are. I have checked my feeds for days and not come across one of these cards. I even checked the feeds of the first brands Twitter allowed to use this feature, and none of them appear to still be using it. It sounds like a good idea but perhaps hasn’t taken off.

Promoted Tweets – You can promote a tweet in two ways:

  1. Your tweet can appear in a user’s timeline, even if they don’t follow you.
  2. Your tweet can appear when someone does a specific search on Twitter.

It’s no surprise that the second option has higher click-thru rates. Clearly if someone searches on a topic and your tweet is served because it’s related, the user will be more likely to click. The potential downside is that your impression volume could be very low. But if it’s targeted, who cares?! You’ll pay for engagement (retweet, reply, favorite, or follow).

Promoted Trends – You can also buy a # topic to show in the trending topic Promoted Trendssection (with a link to your tweet). Your # doesn’t need to be trending…you just pay to have it appear there.

 

Promoted Accounts – You can promote your account to generate more folPromote your Accountlowers. The goal of doing that is to increase your pool of followers so that they will see your future tweets. You choose who you want to have targeted. You pay per follower gained.

 

Remarketing – Twitter has a tag (snippet of code) you can add to specific website pages, so that if someone visits that website page, you can target them later when they visit their twitter account.

Twitter offers this cheat sheet, based on your goals, to help guide you as you decide which advertising route to take.

Twitter Cheat Sheet

 

Part 1: Facebook Advertising 101 – To Boost or to Promote?

Standard

 By Sue Brady

to be or not to be

With social media being touted as the #1 “most effective online paid channel for driving impressions, clicks, and conversions at a low cost in the second quarter of 2014,” (source: Neustar Media Intelligence Report, Q2, 2014), you should be thinking about social advertising. If your business is new to Facebook in particular, it’s important to understand that there are options to help you increase your fan base and generate sales by increasing the visibility of a post.

And that leads me to the question, to boost or to promote? There are multiple ways to advertise on Facebook, and here I’m discussing how to increase visibility of a specific post.

  1. Boosting a post. This is the simplest way to increase engagement for a particular post. If you look at your posts, you’ll see an option for Boost Post at the bottom right hand corner of that post:

Boost post

 

Once you select ‘Boost Post’, you’ll have 2 choices:

  • Target people who already like your page, and their friends OR
  • Target people specifically based on location, age, gender and interests (you can choose up to 10 interests).

If you target fans and their friends who already like your page, you may reach a lot of folks who aren’t in your target market. After all, just because someone likes your product, it doesn’t mean their friends are also a target for that product. The better option is to target people specifically based on your selections.

The next step is to choose the budget for that boosted post. You can spend as little or as much as you desire. Facebook’s lowest daily suggested spend is $5, but you can spend less.

Boost

  1. Promoting a post. This slightly less simple method is often viewed as the preferred option for increasing visibility of a post in the news feed. It allows you many more targeting options and doesn’t cost any more to use. If you select this option, you’ll be taken to the ad manager tool.

You’ll start here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/. Select the first option.

page post engagement

Under Page Post Engagement, you’ll see a drop down box indicator where you can choose the specific post that you want to promote.

Promote page dropdown

Clicking ‘Continue’ will bring up a page where you can choose from a variety of targeting options:

targeting options

If you select Advanced Options Targeting, you’ll have a number of ways you can further target your post.

Advanced Option Targeting

Below this you’ll choose your budget and bidding strategy (all with drop down choices).

Promoting a post is also viewed as a better way to test various targeting strategies to maximize your return. As always, know your goals before you select your options, and then test, test, test to see what will work best for you.