Archive for the ‘Pay Per Click’ Category

10 Pinterest Marketing Tactics for businesses in 2022

March 14th, 2022 by Heather Maloney

Pinterest – what is it, and how does it work?

Are you a planning a major life event? Or seeking some inspiration to redo your home?  If so, then you’re probably using Pinterest.

Pinterest marketing strategy and 10 pinterest marketing tactics

Pinterest users (aka ‘pinners’) generally create their own boards dedicated to a theme, and then pin images to that board.  Mostly their pins are images that they have found while browsing through other people’s public boards, collecting an ever growing set of ideas and inspiration over time.  You can make your boards private or public, and you can also upload images.

When you type something in the Pinterest search bar, you are presented with an array of aesthetic and inspirational content.  90% of Pinterest users, use the platform to constantly explore, discover new ideas and seek inspiration before making their next purchase.

Pinterest is a visual search engine, providing sophisticated technology which allows users to perform a visual search in order to find similar images to the one they are currently viewing.

Even if you don’t specifically carry out a visual search, Pinterest takes queues from what you have ‘pinned’ (i.e. added to your topic boards) to present similar images and categories to you, to keep you browsing.

Pinterest will also send you regular emails, recommending new boards and pins for you, which match your browsing history.

Who is using Pinterest?

As at February 2022, Pinterest had over 431 million users using the platform every month – this number is around 6% down from the previous year, but is still more than the total population of the USA.

The platform has a slight female skew with approximately 60% of users being female, however, male users have increased as a percentage of the total in the last year, and Gen Z users are also on the increase.

How to best use Pinterest for Marketing Purposes?

Pinterest provides a great opportunity for businesses with highly visual products and services. In fact, 55% of users are specifically on the platform to find photos of new products, underscoring the importance of creating and sharing decorative and artistic content on the platform.

A well-curated Pinterest presence for your business will give it exposure to many new potential customers. Pinterest claims to be the only social platform where ads are additive i.e. people find what they love and it enhances their lives rather than interrupting them.

Pinterest, like other social platforms, also gives you the opportunity to advertise to a highly targeted audience.

Pinterest Marketing involves using tactics that insert Pinterest into your overall social media marketing strategy to tap into new audiences and increases the brand awareness of your products and services.

Distribute your Content

The #1 way to distribute your content on Pinterest is through Pinterest boards. You can have countless boards organised by themes, ideas, plans, or types of inspiration to make it easy for your audience to find the content they’re interested in.

If you find content from other pinners aligning with your own, you can invite them to contribute to your board – making your board a “group board”. Conversely, you can also search for prominent pinners in your niche and try joining group boards relevant to your industry. Once your request to join is accepted, you can alternate between posting organic content and sponsored content (product pins or promoted pins).

Pinterest digital marketing

Educate your Customers

Pinterest’s value proposition lies in the fact that it has abundant tutorials, infographics, how-tos, and links to additional educational content.

It is a powerful way to educate and engage your customers, all the while making it easy for them to remember you and share your product images with others.

Drive traffic to your website

Unlike Instagram, Pinterest allows you link through to other websites, making it possible for you to share both written and visual content and direct users to your website. This has encouraged many brands to start using Pinterest to showcase their best or newest range of products, that lead a customer to visit the brand’s website to find out more about the product – potentially boosting online sales.

Advertise on Pinterest - online ads

Record stronger performance on the metrics that matter to you

Pinterest offers a 2.3x more efficient cost per conversion and a 2x higher return on ad spend (ROAS) for retail brands, compared to other social media platforms. This has made it an enticing proposition for brands in many industries.

10 Pinterest Marketing Tactics

Pinterest marketing can provide value for businesses of any size, in any industry. This universal approach to marketing is one reason Pinterest is such a valuable social media tool.

1. Create pins in most popular categories and sub-categories.

Pinterest organizes similar topics and interests by category. Its algorithm is designed to create specific categories based on popular topics that people are searching for on the platform. For example, if you were looking for some creative gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, you can search for pins in that category and even place an order from a local brand.

The Pinterest categories are broken down into sub-categories (also called Pinterest interests) as there are billions of pins currently on the platform. For example, the ‘home décor’ category has sub-categories like room décor, home accessories, living room, kitchen, bathroom and so on. Knowledge of what categories are popular on Pinterest will you a better idea of what boards will work for your business.

2. Use unique images and videos.

It’s clear that Pinterest is a visual platform. Images are the cornerstone of any pin you share and, as such, should be used to tell a good story and make people want to learn more. Your content should help promote your brand, while standing out from others on the platform. Giving people a reason to stay followed to you should lie at the heart of your Pinterest strategy.

  • 82% of users browse Pinterest on mobile. Use high-quality, vertical images that will stand out in people’s feeds. If you opt for a video, shoot your videos for a 2:3 aspect ratio to avoid ending up with poorly cropped images.
  • Create and share branded videos to promote your products. 75% of Pinterest users say they’re likely to watch branded videos about topics that interest them.
  • Share images and videos that showcase your products in action (like how-to videos) so viewers can more easily imagine themselves using them.
  • Consider including SEO-optimised headlines and pin descriptions in your pin that reinforce your visual message and encourage users to click through to your website.
  • Avoid using too much blank/white space in your images — images with 30% less blank space in the background are pinned most.
  • Create videos between 30-90 seconds long as this video length provides the highest performance.

3. Try different Pin Formats

Pinterest offers advertisers different formats, both organic and paid, to reach customers. Pins can either be regular organic or full-fledged Pinterest ads.

  • Static Pins. These pins only feature one image. It is recommended to include a compelling description up to 500 characters in these pins to help get your pin in front of the right audience.
  • Standard width video Pins. These pins are videos that are the same size as a regular Pin. The video length ranges from a minimum of 4 seconds to a maximum of 15 minutes. You can include a title up to 100 characters and a description up to 500 characters. It is worth noting some pinners watch video with the sound off, and so you should use text overlay or captions to help tell your story.
  • Carousel Pins. These pins feature multiple images for people to swipe through. You can have 2-5 images per carousel, with the same character requirements as standard width video pins.
  • Collections Pins. These pins appear as one main image (the hero creative) above three smaller images (secondary creative), in feeds on mobile devices. Every collection pin must have 1 hero creative, and secondary creatives ranging from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 24, with same video length and character requirements as standard width video pins.

4. Feature your blog post

Pinterest allows you to post Articles Pins through which you can promote your blog post and direct Pinterest users to your website. These pins come with a larger title with your brand’s logo, a description, and a call-to-action at the bottom with a direct link to your original site.

5. Add hashtags to your content.

Hashtags are a great way to organically reach your target audience. They help users identify pins and boards about a specific topic they’re searching.

Like other social media platforms, when you click on a specific hashtag, you can view all content ever posted on the platform tagged with that specific hashtag.

6. Carefully plan your boards

Since 97% of Pinterest searches are unbranded, your Pinterest board can help your audience learn more about the topics they’re passionate about. Through your board, you must communicate a strong understanding of what your audience values and supports. Brands will reap significant dividends from skilfully mixing useful, engaging, and inspiring content boards with boards that are more promotional.

7. Use SEO for Pinterest

You need a comprehensive SEO strategy centred around keyword research to ensure that your pins end up in front of your audience. We assist our clients to find popular keywords related to your business and your pins, and incorporate these within pins.

Once you have decided upon the keywords you wish to target, they should be used consistently throughout your Pinterest profile, posts, pins, and boards, making your pins more likely to organically appear in users’ feeds and searches.

8. Share your content via email and social networks

Sharing your Pinterest images and videos to other social networks improves your chances of being seen and followed. You can claim or link your Pinterest account with your Instagram, Etsy, YouTube, Facebook, and Google accounts so your followers can easily learn about the other platforms you’re on and how they can view more of your content.

We also recommend that you include a few of your latest pins in your newsletter, encouraging your subscribers to check out your Pinterest account.

9. Follow, engage, and interact with other accounts.

When you follow and interact with other Pinterest users and their accounts, you are showing that you care. Its considered best practice to directly address questions and respond to all comments posted by your followers. Try using their names in your response to make it sound like its coming from a human; not a company that is only concerned about profits. These small gestures will increase your word-of-mouth and encourage others to follow you as well.

10. Analyse your results

A Pinterest marketing strategy is never complete without detailed analytics. If you have a Pinterest Business account, you can use Pinterest Analytics to track, measure, and analyse key Pinterest metrics and audience behavior and gauge what content performs best and what content is a little less engaging.

Pinterest Analytics also provides you with additional audience insights such as gender, location, devices, and interests.

Case Study: Gayafores Australia

Contactpoint recently assisted our client, Gayafores Australia – manufacturer of high quality, Spanish porcelain floor and wall tiles, to utilise Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform for Gayafores, given that the brand is all about aesthetically beautiful, and high quality, porcelain tiles.  Gayafores tiles effortlessly interpret the latest home-design trends to create timelessly beautiful looks, using high-performance tiles.

Gayafores Pinterest digital marketing melbourne

Using the right categories and creative assets, we were able to deliver stellar performance on Pinterest.

Gayafores pinterest marketing case study

During the campaign, data from the interactions enabled us to determine what type of content was performing and alter focus to capitalise on the areas of highest engagement.

Looking to start on Pinterest?

Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool that allows you to organically improve your reach and brand awareness while creating long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Need help with Pinterest Marketing? Contact the Pinterest Marketing Experts at Contactpoint.

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Why You Should Consider YouTube as part of your Advertising Strategy in 2022?

January 18th, 2022 by Isaac Nelapana

For decades, marketers have found video to be a powerful form of storytelling.

Marketers are increasingly leaning towards YouTube advertising to ensure that their ads are both seen and heard, providing greater opportunity to impact brand perceptions, build purchase intent and ultimately drive action.  With over 2 billion logged-in visitors per month, YouTube has the highest viewability and audibility on the web.

Benefits of YouTube Advertising

Easy to reach engaged users. People are watching enough YouTube videos to keep them occupied through a flight to the sun and back – 3,000 times! Due to the availability of rich and diverse content on the platform, YouTube viewers tend to be more engaged.

Advertisers will be successful in their campaigns if they interact with highly targeted audiences in their ‘personal prime time’, or otherwise highly engaged moments where users tune into YouTube to stream the content that they are passionate about. This strategy will reap huge dividends as viewers claim to pay 3x more attention to ads that are relevant to them versus ads aimed at a generic audience.

Targeting Based on Users’ Search History. YouTube has some powerful targeting capabilities that make it a valuable platform across the customer journey. More than 55% of people search for a product on Google and then learn more by going to YouTube before they buy it.

What if you could target ads at people who recently searched for a certain product or service? Well, with some recent changes to the YouTube advertising landscape, now you can. If the content of a video ad closely resembles the keywords typed by a searcher, then the searcher is more likely to watch the whole ad and become a potential qualified lead for a business.

Smarter Data Attribution Models. Google’s Attribution Model learns from how users interact with your ads and convert. When used along with automated bidding strategies, it helps drive additional conversions at the same Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

How much does YouTube Advertising Cost?

Every organisation and product / service niche will be different.  Your spend will also be influenced by your ad targeting.  However, “average” spend on YouTube ads are $0.10 to $0.30 per view or action, with an average $10 daily budget. In other words, whenever someone views your ad, or engages with your video, you will be charged anywhere between $0.10 to $0.30 USD.

If you would like an estimate of the cost for your particular product / service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What to Consider before Advertising on YouTube?

Advertising on YouTube is quite different from running a traditional pay-per-click ad (such as Google Ads) or paid social media campaign (such as a boosted post in Facebook). Some YouTube Advertising best practices are as follows:

Build for attention. Use an emerging story arc to hook viewers in the opening moments of an ad. Start fast and keep an upbeat pace with unexpected shifts in your story to capture and retain attention. Then direct consumers to take an action. In a time when attention is limited and audiences face an overload of information, showing the right creative can help you build long lasting brand awareness and recall. Digital ads with strong-performing design drive 6x ROI compared to digital ads with an average design performance.

Build for sound on. 95% of videos watched on YouTube are played with sound on. Leverage the power of audio elements such as music, dialogue, and sound effects to reinforce what’s happening on screen.

Build for mobile. Globally, more than 70% of watch time happens on mobile devices. Use tighter framing, faster pacing, brightness, and contrast to ensure that your ad is visible on a small screen.

Types of YouTube Ads

YouTube makes it easy for advertisers to create a video ad, and provides many different ad options. The following are the available ad formats:

Skippable In-stream Ads. These are in-stream video ads that allows users to choose to engage with the video. They play before, during, or after other videos, and come with an option to skip the ad after viewing the first five seconds. They appear on YouTube watch pages and across websites and apps running on Google video partners.

With Cost-Per-View (CPV) bidding, advertisers are charged when someone watches 30 seconds of an ad or to completion (whichever is lesser), or when they complete a desired action from the video, such as clicking through to visit the advertiser’s site or downloading their mobile app.

Skippable In-stream Ads can be used to achieve any of the following goals: sales, leads, website traffic, brand awareness and reach, and product and brand consideration.

YouTube Advertising Skippable instream ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads. Since most people (especially millennials) tend to skip ads, YouTube offers advertisers the ability to use non-skippable in-stream ads to drive awareness and reach their target audience. They range from 15-20 seconds and are great for capturing a viewer’s attention. Advertisers are charged based on the number of impressions an ad receives.

Marketers should note, however, that these ads are least liked by viewers. When viewers are forced to watch longer ads, they tend to get annoyed, and that can be damaging for brands. Besides, since these ads are more expensive than other YouTube ad formats, they are only used by businesses willing to spend more to generate brand or product awareness.

With either of these ad types, it is always recommended to capture the attention of potential customers in the first few seconds to leave a positive impression with the viewer. Having excellent video content for non-skippable ads is of the utmost importance.

In-feed Video ads. Previously called video discovery ads, these ads are visible in places of discovery, which includes the YouTube home feed, watch feed and search results. They reach audiences at important moments while they’re searching for or watching content on YouTube. Their key differentiating feature is that the ad never starts playing by itself, instead, it invites viewers to click on it using an attractive thumbnail image and some text. Advertisers are charged each time a viewer clicks on the thumbnail to watch the ad.

It is worth considering using this ad format given that watch time from content discovered on the YouTube homepage has grown 10X in the last three years. In fact, over 40% of global shoppers say that they’ve purchased products that they discovered on YouTube, making these ads an effective means of driving consideration and conversion.

In-video Overlay ads. These ads appear as a popup (text or image-based) across the bottom 20% of a video on the watch page. Unlike most popup ads, these ads are not intrusive and allow viewers to continue watching their videos. In fact, viewers can either press the “x” located at the top right corner of the ad, or click on the ad, which would most likely result in them being taken to a dedicated landing page, off YouTube, promoting an offer.

YouTube Video Advertising

You can also add an optional companion banner to supplement your overlay ad. This ad would appear above all the ‘related videos’, and even if you choose not to include a companion display ad, no other company’s ad will appear next to your overlay.

Bumper Ads. Six-second non-skippable video ads that drive reach, frequency, and brand awareness. They are designed for a mobile-first world and deliver the best reach, awareness, and brand recall at the lowest Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) among in-stream video formats.

These ads are best placed to deliver short, memorable brand messages to viewers on-the-go who do not have the time to view longer ads. Since they’re only six seconds, they have the highest completion rates and serve to complement other YouTube Ad formats. Consumers who see three or more bumpers have 2.2x the ad recall of consumers who see just one.

Outstream Ads. Outstream ads are mobile-only ads that help you increase your brand awareness and reach at an efficient cost. They begin playing with the sound off and viewers must tap the ad to unmute the video. Aptly named “outstream”, they are only available outside YouTube – across a variety of mobile web and app placements. Advertisers are charged based on viewable cost-per-thousand-impressions (vCPM) i.e. when a viewer watches your ads for 2 seconds or more.

Masthead Ads. These ads appear at the top of the YouTube home page and home feed and are used to drive awareness for a new product launch, focus on high impact placement for greater visibility, or to reach a massive audience in a short period of time.

YouTube advertising masthead ads

Masthead ads come with minimum spend requirements and are only available on a reservation basis, so you are charged on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis. It is advisable to use the Masthead Preview Tool to draft and finalise the Masthead creative before submitting it to Google. The campaign must be booked, and creative assets need to be delivered for implementation at least three working days before the campaign start date.

 

For best results, you should consider linking your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account to access video ads’ organic view metrics, show ads to people who visit and interact with your channel, and get insights about how people interact with your channel after viewing your ads.

Need help with YouTube Advertising? Contact the YouTube Advertising Experts at Contactpoint.

If you needs help creating your first YouTube ad campaign, we can help!

Contact our office today on (03) 8525 2082 or send an email to info@contactpoint.com.au

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Google and Apple Updates Affecting Digital Marketing

April 26th, 2021 by Phil Le

Businesses – both small and large scale – have been using digital marketing channels to target and reach potential customers for a long time now, often at a much lower cost compared to traditional mediums such as TV commercials or radio advertising. However, like most technology, digital marketing channels are evolving at a rapid pace and require digital marketing tactics and strategies that keep up with the change in order to get the best results.

In this blog, we will take you through the most recent major technological changes which will have a significant impact on how you execute your digital marketing plan.

Google Ads

In February 2021, Google announced changes to keyword bidding types. Once the rollout has completed, advertisers will no longer have a choice of broad match modified (BMM) or phrase match as two alternate keyword matching strategies. Instead, BMM & phrase match will be rolled into the one “updated phrase match” bidding strategy. As the name suggests, BMM allowed advertisers to choose the words which were required for their ad to be shown to searchers, but also allows the ad to be shown where additional words were used by the searcher and some of the words were not present.

Google stated that they have removed BMM in order to save advertisers time and effort in the management of their campaigns. The diagram below from Google’s explanation of the change shows a practical example of a search for “moving services NYC to Boston” and the outcome after the change.

PPC campaign management

Google stated that the change will ensure that more relevant ads are shown, as determined by the searchers’ entered keywords, boosting both users’ experiences and advertisers’ conversion rates. The new keyword matching system is easier to use because there are less choices. However the trade-off is less control for advanced users.

If you have been using BMM and getting great results, we recommend leaving those campaigns as is, and monitoring your results – Google will apply the changes to your existing setup. On average, we are expecting a slight decline in ad impressions, clicks and costs. It will be important to keep a close eye on the outcome, and continually review your keywords because the order of words within the phrases you are bidding for will now be more important.

If you have already been using phrase match, we expect you will experience a significant boost in ad impressions, clicks, costs and perhaps conversions (people taking the desired action after clicking on your ad), because the keywords are now more flexible and reach traffic which they could not in the past. However, you should monitor your budget closely because the costs could increase substantially, reducing your expected ROI.

We are still monitoring the impact of this rollout; whilst Google’s stated intentions are simplification and improved results, ultimately they make significant revenue from their ad platform and any change is also likely aimed at strengthening their share of ad spend and revenue.

Apple iOS 14.5 update

From 26th April 2021, Apple officially released iOS 14.5 for iPhone and iPad. The operating system version prompts users to opt out of pixel tracking within apps they install on their device. Prior to this change, the user had to be aware of this possibility, and manually find the setting to stop their behaviour and data being tracked and collected by 3rd parties such as Facebook. This is the sort of tracking is very powerful and has lead to situations like Target knowing that a teenage girl was pregnant before her father was told.

It has already been noted that the vast majority of iPhone and iPad users are opting out of the tracking of their behaviour and collection of their data after updating to iOS 14.5. Facebook is very concerned about the impact on their ad platform, and have started an advertising campaign to encourage small business to push back, stating that their tests have shown that a significant number of people have opted out of tracking.

We expect that as more people opt-out of tracking on iOS devices and become aware of their privacy options, performance reporting for your ad campaigns will become negatively impacted for both app and web conversion events.

With less tracking and behaviour data being applied to your advertising campaign, it will take longer for your ad campaign to build an audience or optimise for conversion, and therefore you will likely achieve a lower return on investment particularly in the initial phase of your campaign. In addition, the size of your target audience may be reduced as more people opt out of being tracked (and therefore won’t be served your targeted ads).

For Facebook advertising, even if iPhone and iPad users do opt in, event data is being limited to a maximum of nine campaigns (and five ad sets per campaign) for every Facebook account.

As an alternative to relying on the Facebook pixel, it is possible to implement the Facebook Conversion API to track user behaviour on the app server or web server (server-side) but implementation costs will be much higher and will likely deter small businesses wanting to test the usefulness of Facebook ads via a relatively low cost campaign.

According to Facebook, Apple are keen for you to invest in their ad platform instead, however their platform obviously limits your campaigns to Apple users.

Google Algorithm update – Search Engine Optimisation

If implemented well, Search Engine Optimisation (‘SEO‘) is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing tactics you can implement, yet it is the most complicated tactic to comprehend and execute successfully.

The main reason for this is Google (by far the most popular search engine, at least in Western nations) does not make known the finer details of their search algorithm. It requires trial and error to determine how to best setup your website to rank well for popular search terms, and the methods change all the time.

Google does not divulge the details about their algorithm, because they are trying to serve the needs of the searcher, and don’t want to empower businesses to outsmart their algorithm, and rank higher than another more deserving website. Instead, they give pointers and guidelines that are aimed at providing the best user experience for consumers of web information, and they are also constantly adjusting the algorithm to achieve better outcomes. Some people suggest that Google is also motivated to make SEO difficult because they would like to push more website owners over to using their Google Ads platform to deliver additional traffic, thus generating additional income for Google.

One of the factors in ranking well in Google’s search results is web page experience, which encompasses many factors including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, etc. Six months ago, Google announced that from May 2021, Core Web Vital Metrics (a range of metrics covering page load speed, interactivity and visual stability) would become more significant factors in the ranking of websites. If your website is poorly designed or taking too long to load, your website’s ranks will be adversely impacted.

The purpose of Google’s major algorithm update is to provide to searchers the most relevant websites with the best design and user experience. If your website is not ranking well in Google, even when you are providing valuable content to potential visitors, it is likely that core web vitals or user experience issues are causing your website to score poorly against Google’s algorithm.

Over the last 6 months our digital marketing team has been focusing on core web vitals for our clients websites for whom we provide SEO services. However, we will be carefully assessing the impact of the change which is still being rolled out by Google.

If you have concerns about any of the changes described above, please don’t hesitate to reach out and have a chat. We’d be delighted to assist with all your digital marketing requirements.

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PPC Campaigns – how we have adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic

March 25th, 2020 by Vidhi Doshy

With the spread of COVID-19, the digital advertising landscape has changed; the first thing we noticed was people trying to exploit fear to attract more customers. But that’s not all we noticed.

We look after many of our client’s pay-per-click (‘PPC’) advertising campaigns which use one or more of the following platforms to promote their products and services: Google Ads, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. PPC campaigns can be very costly, the tools are constantly changing, and can be complex. It is important to ensure that you are advertising to the right target market, at the right time of the day, and that you point your ads to a web page or other destination that provides the best return on your click investment.

Whilst adjusting our client’s ad campaigns during this unprecedented time, we have noticed four important tactics to help you manage your paid search campaigns during the pandemic.

1. Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting may require adjustment, depending on the effects of the pandemic on your services. It is crucial to decide the area you want to target this could be states, cities, ZIP codes, or by radius. The smaller the geographic area, the smaller the estimated clicks on your ad. However, that will help to balance the relevance of the audience you intend to capture while making the most of your budget.

Bonus Tip – Consider adding negative locations. Location exclusion can allow you to prevent your ad from showing in certain parts of your targeted locations. This will help for example, if your business offers a special promotion that isn’t eligible for people in a few regions of a targeted area.

2. Review Search Behaviour & Ad Copies

While people are social distancing, they will still be researching, browsing, and planning what they can do and buy when the restrictions are lifted. They will also be potentially looking for different products and services, for right now.

We have been assisting our clients by reviewing any change in interaction levels with their ad campaigns, as well as altering their PPC campaign strategy to communicate about services that can be delivered virtually.

After carrying out extensive research using multiple keyword research solutions, we determined that the search behaviour of users has not altered drastically. People are still searching for individual products and services, on the assumption that businesses have adapted to deliver these services virtually.

We observe many advertisers adding COVID 19 in the headlines of their ads. This is unnecessary, as people are not searching for individual services along with COVID 19 related terms – people know and expect companies to adjust to the restrictions of the pandemic. Therefore, we recommend not to make any changes in the headlines, but revise the text in the ad copy description or ad extensions to communicate benefits like free delivery, online consultations, webinars, online training, zoom events instead.

3. Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling assists with controlling spending on ads by just running advertisements on specific days and at specific times. If your business is open during definite hours, it may be wise to set advertisements to run just while you are open. However, if you sell on the web, you are constantly open and can make use of the ‘Overview’ tab to decide whether there are any times when there is a negative ROI and capitalize on specific times to increase clicks or conversions.

Given many people are working from home, the time that they are likely to be searching for your products and services may have adjusted, requiring your ad scheduling to change accordingly.

Ad Scheduling is a beneficial tool that your business can leverage to make data-driven decisions of displaying your ads during peak search times, increasing your likelihood to achieve more clicks and conversions. Use this tool to select specific days and time to derive the maximum value from your PPC budget.

4. Negative Keywords

Depending on your industry, the pandemic may have caused minor (or majors) moves in search inquiries, which could be causing your ads to appear for the wrong types of searches. To counter this situation requires a dual approach – the first is analysing historical data and the second is forecasting searches that could incorrectly trigger your ads in order to create a negative list.

We have found the following are beneficial to determine the search terms to add to a negative keyword list:

  1. Search Term Report – reviewing search terms and display campaign placements in real-time for COVID-19. If a search term isn’t relevant enough to the products or services that you offer, add it as a negative keyword. This will help keep your ad from showing to people who are looking for something that you don’t sell and help you make the most of your limited budget. For example, if you sell spectacles and you see that the search term ‘wine glasses’ is triggering your ads, you might want to add ‘wine’ as a negative keyword.
  2. Google Trends – A great resource with the latest information on search behaviour is Google Trends: Coronavirus Search Trends.

If you require any assistance to ensure that you are getting the most out of your PPC campaign spend, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re ready to help.

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Custom Intent Audiences – a powerful new way to target your audience with Pay-Per-Click ads

February 24th, 2020 by Vidhi Doshy

Launched by Google around mid-2019, and now available once you have upgraded to Google’s new Adwords Dashboard, the Custom Intent Audiences feature makes it possible for you to show your Google display ad to people who have indicated that they are interested in your product/service (rather than displaying to the whole world).

Paid Google Search Ads have always had one big advantage over Google Display Ads: intent. People only see paid search ads when they are actively searching online for a solution to a problem or an answer to a question. If your product or service answers their question or solves their problem (and you have set up your keywords right), they will hopefully see your ads, click and take action (aka ‘convert’).

Display Ads, on the other hand, are primarily used for brand awareness. That’s because, with display ads which are delivered on websites all around the ‘net (as opposed to just on the Google search engine results pages), your target audience isn’t looking for a solution to a problem they are reading someone else’s website. You’re hoping that they’ll notice your ad, realise that they have a need you can help them with, click and convert. To compensate, Display Ads can be configured in many different formats, including images of various sizes, a collection of images and videos. This is all aimed at getting the internet user’s attention.

Custom intent audiences, however, are Google’s attempt to make display ads much more relevant to the searcher. Google has previously attempted this via the use of Google Ad Re-marketing which causes your display ad to “follow you” around – this is possible by Google keeping track of which site you have been to, and presenting the ads related to that site in amongst other websites that allow Google to insert their display ads within their website. You mostly see display ads on websites such as news sites (e.g. www.theage.com.au), and marketplaces (e.g. www.gumtree.com.au, www.ebay.com.au), but you will also see display ads in amongst YouTube videos and mobile apps such as online games.

Instead of throwing ads up in a variety of places and hoping that with enough reach, a few people will respond, custom intent audiences help you put your ads in front of people who are actually looking to buy what you are selling.

Will Custom Intent Audiences Work for Your Organisation?
Ask yourself, what kind of websites will people primarily visit when they are actively looking to buy what I’m selling? While there are a lot of potential answers to that question – including forums, review websites, and other research sites? an obvious place where people go when they are interested in your product is your competitors’ websites.
We expect targeting using Custom Intent Audience is a winning strategy because it allows you to target visitors who have visited your competitors’ website.

Since most people who are interested in buying what you’re selling are probably checking out the competition too, targeting your competitors’ website addresses is a great way to build a highly targeted custom intent audience. With custom intent audiences, you can create your own audiences based on keywords and URLs related to products and services similar to what you offer. In many ways, this is beneficial for small and large businesses, but especially if you are in a small niche where neither you nor the competition has a lot of website traffic.

We are now using this for our clients and getting great results – greater numbers of ad impressions, delivering more website visitors, and increasing the click-through rate.

A word of caution – custom intent audiences won’t work for everyone. If your offer is significantly worse than your competitor’s, for example. Or if the lead time for your product or service is very short e.g. emergency/instant services required.

If you would like to brainstorm how it can be used for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Reducing Customer Friction, Building Customer Relationships

December 16th, 2019 by Dave O'Dwyer

When it comes to online interactions, reducing customer friction – making it easier for people to buy from you, or do business with you – will make for a quicker sale and less frustration, improving your relationship from the outset, and most important, lowering visitor drop-off and abandoned carts.

PayPal recently announced deeper integration provided through Facebook and Messenger, making it that bit easier for Facebook users to purchase. Removing steps and barriers to completion is vital for ecommerce and other transactional business platforms. This is an example of small (from the end-user perspective) adjustments in the user experience, which can have a big impact on the number of completed sales through Facebook using PayPal.

Next time you’re considering a new feature for your website, ask yourself “could this be easier? Clearer? Are there any frustration points that would make a user give up before completing the transaction?” If there are, then consider how to eliminate them – feel free to call us to discuss. This is a discipline of digital marketing called “Conversion Rate Optimisation” or CRO. Amazon rationalised their checkout down to a “One Click Checkout” by removing as many barriers as possible, which has been pivotal to their success.

However, just making a quick sale doesn’t build a relationship. So for most businesses your efforts to make it easy need to have a counterpoint of working out ways to relate to your customers, provide further value, and ensure you deliver more than just a transaction. Let’s look at an example.

Case Study: Kool Kidz Childcare – Safe Kidz Program

We have recently assisted Kool Kidz Childcare to run their Safe Kidz program designed to provide free community service – ensuring that child seats are fitted correctly into their vehicle – whilst at the same time having the opportunity to give potential customers a guided tour of their unique childcare centres.

Contactpoint designed and built the landing page for this service, including writing the copy to engage with the audience in a way that was open and honest about the opportunity. Rather than spend the marketing budget on gimmicks and discounts, Kool Kidz is providing a free service in order to get the word out about their centres. In doing so, they build their reputation in the community and provide a point of difference from their competition. We built-in functionality to make it very easy for parents to register and book into available car seat fitting appointment times.

Contactpoint also designed and implemented a pay-per-click campaign through Google Ads and Facebook to present geographically and demographically targeted ads to potential customers. The ads point to the landing page, the content of which is beautiful on both desktop and mobile, and keeps very much to the point of the interaction – understand why the service is being run, how you can take up the offer, and book in. Of course, there’s a little bit about why Kool Kidz Childcare is great for your children as well, to start to educate the potential customer. Customers don’t mind marketing when receiving a product or service for free.

Google are masters of providing useful services in return for access to all your online data, which they programmatically sell to the highest bidder. You don’t mind as you are getting free email and search functionality (amongst other services) that is useful to you. Even the ads you are shown are customised as to be as relevant to your specific data as possible, making you more likely to want to click on them.

We designed the Safekidz sign up process to both reduce barriers to conversion and build relationships through the initiative. Together with all the finer details of the process – confirmation messaging, email follow-ups, delivery of the experience – the process was seamless and gently promotes the Kool Kidz brand and values at each touchpoint. Ensuring the process is quick, logical and avoids user frustration was crucial to the success of the project.

The Safe Kidz initiative was piloted in Brighton, and based on initial success, we were able to quickly scale the platform to other locations of the childcare franchise with customised appointments, and appointment follow-ups, per location. The program is delivering a great flow of engaged new parents to the participating childcare centres.

Need Help?

Our Contactpoint Digital Marketing team is at the ready to help you reduce customer friction, but not at the expense of your customer relationship. We look forward to hearing from you when you are considering a new digital marketing campaign, new website functionality, or even a brand new website.

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An Update on Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click)

July 22nd, 2019 by Heather Maloney

It’s been nearly a year since we blogged about pay-per-click advertising in the search engines (‘PPC’ e.g. Google Ads / Bing Ads). A lot has changed over that short time including a new name and a completely new user interface for Google Ads; this blog is intended as an update for business owners and marketing managers to help you keep abreast of what is possible, and the best way to approach search engine marketing.

search engine marketing changes in 2019

Most of the change is around the use of AI applied to the smart delivery of targeted ads, making the customisation of ads for mobile phones much easier to encourage more advertisers to display their ads on mobile, and additional control by Google to ensure a positive customer experience.

Quality Scores
I’ve been involved in search engine optimisation (‘SEO’ – the art of achieving high ranks in the search engines for relevant, popular keyword searches) since the mid-1990s and organic traffic (people finding you through searchable content) has always been the #1 priority, and PPC ads the more costly way to get immediate website traffic while your SEO efforts grow your ranks over time. Naturally, the search engines, who only make money from paid ads, don’t see it that way.

Google changes the appearance of ads on a regular basis and gives preference to the display of ads, all in the attempt to make money at the same time as delivering valid results for searchers. It is in Google’s best interest to ensure that not only are organic search results highly relevant to the searcher but also the ads. Google wants people to be just as willing to click on an ad as they are willing to click on a ‘normal’ search result. To that end, even if you want to pay over the odds to Google for your ad in relation to particular search terms, you may find that your ad isn’t being displayed. That’s because the destination of the ad – the landing page, or web page where the searcher ends up when they click – is now also assessed by Google in determining who to show your ad to. This is referred to as the ‘quality score’. If your ad is about treating back pain and takes you to a web page that talks about exercise without reference to back pain, for example, Google is likely to give your ad a low-quality score and be less inclined to present the ad to searchers, and when your ad is presented the click cost will be higher (ouch).

What this means is that you must have high-quality landing pages/ad destination pages which richly develop the intent of the ad, and the ads must include appropriate keywords that are reflecting in the landing pages, which brings us to dynamic ads.

Landing pages that are congruent with your ads have been important for a long time and has driven the trend of having your landing pages not only disconnected from your main website navigation but also omitting your site navigation in order to focus the attention of the visitor only on the action you want them to take. This latest evolution is driving the use of 3rd party platforms which make it easier for digital marketers to set up dynamic landing pages, including sophisticated analytics around visitor behaviour.

Responsive Ads [and dynamic landing pages]
The latest overhaul of the Google Ad’s platform provides seriously sophisticated functionality for creating responsive ads – that is, ads whose content programmatically incorporates the search term entered by the searcher, from a set of search terms which you specify, and configures itself to the available space. A combination of 15 alternate headlines and 4 descriptions is possible. Using our back pain example, the responsive ad functionality allows you to create an ad that might have a headline of ‘Suffering from back pain’ or ‘Suffering from a sore back’ or ‘Suffering from a back injury’ all with the one ad i.e. you don’t need to create 3 ads to achieve this. Then, if the searcher types in ‘help with back pain’ your ad will appear as “Suffering from back pain”, or if they type in ‘recovering from a back injury’, your ad will appear as “Suffering from a back injury”. The descriptions in the content of the ads can similarly be filled on the fly to match the searcher’s intent as determined by AI.

To take this one step further, specialised landing pages can be configured to receive the search terms entered by the searcher, and then display those words in the appropriate place. Obviously, you need to be careful when doing this to ensure that the dynamic content makes sense in all cases, particularly if you decide to add more keywords a few month’s later. But the end result is a much more relevant landing page, a higher quality score, and additional traffic to your site at a lower cost.

The ability to create responsive ads and content takes a bit of effort to set up but means that you can create a lot more ads for less effort over the longer term, and achieve greater ad impressions, therefore more clicks, at a lower cost. It doesn’t however take away the need for greater copywriters, creative ideas and overall campaign strategy.

Ad Format
The available ad formats continue to evolve, and now includes:

  • Basic text-only ads.
  • Responsive ads – can insert text from a set of specified options matching the searcher’s search term, transform into text or image ads and automatically adjust size, appearance and format to fit space.
  • Image ads – static or interactive graphics, animated ads.
  • Image carousel ads.
  • Instream video ads – including vertical format ads specifically for people on mobile (you may need two versions), standalone video ads or inserted in streaming video content.
  • Product shopping ads – product photo, title, price, store name+ more details.
  • Showcase shopping ads – image and description that expands when clicked to show several related products and store information.
  • App Promotion Ads – drive app downloads and engagement with app promotion ads.

The ad formats available depends on your campaign type (search network, display network, search + display networks) and campaign sub-type (e.g. standard or all features).

Targeting
How we ensure ads are seen by the right people is continuing to evolve. In the Google Display Network (where websites show Google Ads, rather than ads as a result of customer searching) the placement of ads is much more a result of prior browsing activity and demographics (by users signed into Google) and less about their search terms.

Google’s “Exact Match” setting is no longer really exact … instead, it works out intent using AI (read more about the dismantling of exact match over the years). This is a little annoying as taking that control away means that we are relying on the accuracy of the AI and ultimately Google wants you to spend more. It also means that the thorough use of negative keywords (preventing your ads from displaying when particular search terms are used) is even more important. We constantly review the search terms used to display ads and extend the negative keywords list to prevent waste of our client’s ad budgets.

With Google’s significant improvement in targeting by audiences – whereby you load your known audience (customer database) up into Google and it then targets exactly those people with your ads or builds matching audiences of similar people – due to it’s use of artificial intelligence, using this feature to target the right customers for your ads has become more useful. You can make the best use of this feature when you have a larger customer database, and when you know where each person or segment is in their buying journey, allowing you to present appropriate ads for each person. New demographics have been appearing in the audience settings including marital status, homeownership and the like, so we expect this area to continue to expand. Although the recent $5Bn fine against Facebook could slow things down in this area?

Many businesses use Google Ads primarily for top-of-funnel (prospects at the very start of a customer purchase journey) and then use other means to communicate with the new prospect such as email nurture programs. Not surprisingly, Google wants businesses to use Google ads all the way through the process. The use of Google re-marketing – presenting a similar ad to a person who has previously clicked on your ads and visited your website – is another cost-effective way to re-enforce your message with prospects, as these ads have a significantly cheaper cost per click.

Bing has launched their own audience building feature this year, which is also AI-powered across data collected from Bing searches, Skype, MSN and LinkedIn usage, and is not to be ignored for highly targeted campaigns.

Configuration
Setting up ad campaigns for mobile searches (more than half of all searches are carried out on a mobile phone) was previously cumbersome, requiring advertisers to create another set of ads just for mobiles. That’s changed with the new ad platform allowing the one ad, including ad extensions, to be customised within the one place for desktop and mobile.

Goal-based campaigns allow the choice of the results you want to achieve – such as increased leads, greater brand awareness or higher conversions – and then Google will provide recommendations for campaign types that will perform best for you and your budget, and provides numerous automatic bid and placement optimisations. Again this is a result of their deepening use of artificial intelligence.

Whilst Google is giving us far more recommendations to use as we configure and optimise ads, sometimes these recommendations conflict; we don’t just follow these without careful consideration to ensure that they fit with your objectives.

Ad Extensions allow extra information to be shown as part of your ads. New ad extensions include Promotion Extension – the ability to include a price or special offer – thus enticing a visitor to click your ad instead of another.

Controls
Google is much more active in the assessment and banning of ads for all manner of legal and ethical reasons. We create ads with the best intentions in mind, include images, and then may need edit after Google has reviewed.

If you are using Click to Call style ads, the business name in your ads must now really be your business name, and mentioned in your IVR or by the person answering (sounds obvious, right … you would be surprised at how less-than-honest marketers have exploited this in the past). Interestingly, with the increase use of mobiles for search, Google removed the extra charge it originally levied on advertisers using click to call ads to provide metrics and reporting such as length of call (now a customisable setting to attribute as a conversion which previously not been tracked).

Summary
Due to the complexity of the ad platforms, increasing competition for organic search ranks, priority of the search companies to drive revenue through search, and the importance of the configuration on the cost of your pay-per-click ad campaigns, it is really important to keep a close eye on your pay-per-click ad campaigns. We work with our clients with pay-per-click campaigns in a variety of models, from strategic advice all the way through to full responsibility for the creation and execution of ads. We can pick up your existing campaigns from where they currently are and improve them over time, or work with you to create your first ever pay-per-click ads.

We look forward to having a conversation.

But Wait! There’s More
We haven’t touched on YouTube ads in this article (also owned by Google). With the viewing of YouTube video continuing to grow, presenting video ads within YouTube is an option more organisations need to utilise.

Google does not stand still – it tends to roll out a major update to its ad platform every 6 months. Google has already announced the many new features coming to their ad platform which will likely be rolled out during the rest of this year. Many of these relate to search on mobile phones. Here’s a shortlist:

  1. A new type of ad – Discovery Ads – to appear in the new Google Discovery Feed app that mobile users are likely using on their phones. Discovery Ads, because they are interrupting people in a similar way to ads inside your Facebook Feed, will have strict quality constraints around them e.g. the requirement for unique (not stock) high quality images.
  2. Images inside search ads, but only on mobile, and only in the first place – this will be called a Gallery Ad.
  3. AI will be used to create interesting 6 second videos from original, up to 90 seconds in length.
  4. Deep links from ads to inside apps.
  5. Advanced bid strategies will allow you to exclude data considered by artificial intelligence when determining when to place ads e.g. particular spikes due to out-of-the-ordinary activities.
  6. Location based ads will start appearing in Google Maps search suggestions and while a user is use getting directions.

We look forward to exploring the use of these changes and more in the Google ads platform.

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The Swiss Army Knife of Digital Marketing – Google Display Ads

January 5th, 2019 by Cameron Collins

You may have noticed that Google has recently changed the name of their advertising platform from Google AdWords to Google Ads. Name changes can be risky, but in this case we think it makes perfect sense.

Google first offered text ads at the top of their search result pages in October 2000. These ads are still popular today. For our clients, they offer those in competitive industries to opportunity to achieve exposure and traffic in relevant but hotly contested searches.

While visibility in relevant search results is highly valuable, gained by search engine optimisation, this often won’t guarantee a sufficient level of online leads or sales generated from your website. For example what if:

  • There are very few relevant Google searches for your product or service.
  • You wish to encourage your website visitors to return to your site (especially if you have a lengthy sales process).
  • You have a new and unique offering and wish to gain brand awareness.
  • Your product is visually stunning – you know your target audience will be interested if only they could see it.

Google gradually expanded their ad network offerings, with search ads being joined by display, shopping, video and universal app ads.

What are Google Display Ads?

Display ads appear throughout approximately 2 million websites and apps which are part of the Google Display Network. News websites with ads in the right side column are an example of this. Other options include ads underneath YouTube videos and at the bottom of the screen in apps.

Display ads have taken off in recent years, and for good reason. These can be used to reach your target audience at all stages of the sales funnel.

They’re highly cost effective, with the average cost-per-click at $0.63 (compared to $2.69 for search ads).

What really makes these ads stand out from other advertising channels is the unique audience targeting options which are available. You have the ability to request that Google displays these ads to:

  • Previous visitors of a particular page or pages of your website (these are the ads that “follow you” across the internet).
  • People who have recently conducted a Google search for search terms which are relevant to your product/service.
  • People who have recently visited websites similar to yours (i.e. your competitors).

This makes Display ads highly versatile. They can be used to encourage visitors back to your website, particularly when they have demonstrated a level of interest, even added a product to cart but not completed the transaction. Products which are more complex or have a higher price tag are often not purchased spontaneously and involve a longer decision making process. These ads ensure your brand isn’t forgotten about during the decision making process.

Display ads also attract visitors who are interested in your product/services but have been visiting your competitors and not your website. Again for purchases which are not made spontaneously (e.g. a new car), or product/services which are not purchased as a once off (e.g. a chiropractor appointment), this is a great way to reach your audience, alongside organic and paid search results.

If you have a new brand or product that is visually stunning, display ads provide a great way to increase brand awareness at a low price, and draw visitors to your website, when they would otherwise be searching for more established brands (e.g. a stylish new brand of watch).

Misconceptions about Display Ads

A common misconception regarding display ads is that ad blockers will eventually render this format to be useless. As of 2018, the display network has been able to reach approximately 90% of global internet users. While Google makes their money from advertising, they understand that harassing internet users with obnoxious ads doesn’t benefit anyone. Google have begun to enforce standards from the Coalition for Better Ads. These standards aim to eradicate ad formats which annoy internet users the most – such as pop up ads which block the main page content, auto-playing ads with sound, countdown ads which delay the loading of main content.

Display Ad Case Study: Select Kitchens

We were recently approached to review the effectiveness of a Google display ad campaign for Select Kitchens. Select Kitchens offer prestige, high end kitchen renovations in inner-east Melbourne localities such as Toorak and Camberwell. Their display ad campaign was failing to attract leads for their sales team. At closer inspection, we found that the ads were not being clicked on. After being displayed 61,258 times (impressions) their ads had only been clicked on once.

And as you can see in the cost column, that one-click costed $17.33! These ads operate in a pay-per-click format, where you pay Google each time someone clicks on your ads. Without regular PPC management, you may find that Google makes more money from these ads than you do.

After reviewing the display ads in use, we found that they failed to describe the high-end products which their target audience seek. The ads appeared dated, cheap and more representative of a low-cost renovator.

In December we paused the existing ads and implemented a new style of ad. To gauge the effectiveness of the new ad design without the influence of other factors, we didn’t change the campaign targeting and displayed the ad to the same audience. The only other change we made was to reduce the allowed maximum cost-per-click from a staggering $40 to a more reasonable $3.00.

The new ad comprises a slow-scrolling animation of a modern kitchen, displaying simple key messages and ending in a call-to-action. It’s simple, elegant and stands out to those who have been searching for high-end modern and contemporary kitchen renovation companies.

The ad looks like a video, but really it’s an image that is being slowly displayed from left to right. Its design tactics like this make ads stand out without resorting to obnoxious and tasteless behaviour.

As you can see, the new ad has resonated with the target audience. It received 188 clicks at an average cost of $2.02 per click. Select Kitchens received their first-ever conversion from display ads, and with some adjusting to the audience targeting, we look forward to seeing many more quality leads.

If you would like to find out how Google Display ads can help your business, send us a message and we would love to have a friendly chat with you. Contactpoint has 14 years experience in providing lead generation and e-commerce solutions for Melbourne businesses through a range of digital marketing channels.

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