Why is Online Advertising Crucial For Your Business? 9 Reasons You Can’t Ignore!

If you’ve been slow on the uptake when it comes to online advertising, you should begin ramping up your efforts. Online ad spend has seen consistent growth and is projected to overtake print, states a recent IAB report. If you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with online advertising, it’s time to do so. If you’re of the belief that advertising online is wasting your ad budget, think again. These are 9 reasons you should be advertising online:

1. Insight

Know exactly which ads brought in the highest number of qualifying leads. Know how many impressions were served, where they were served, and when. Identify your optimal channels, ad copy, and ad locations. The metrics and analytics available with online advertising allow you to see the exact cost of acquiring and converting a customer. Advertising online provides you with endless insight allowing you to become a more effective marketer. Marketers went from having no data to more data than we know what to do with. This is a great problem to have.

2. Targeting

Do you know the profile of your perfect customer? Online advertising gives you the ability to target and retarget the ideal prospects. Retargeting will serve ads based on prior engagement, enabling you to identify your ideal customer profile. Once you know what your customers look like, you will know just who to target and where to find all similar users online, making sure they too are being served your ads. When advertising online, you have the ability to target a population as specific as “men, age 18-35, who searched for Giants tickets between the hours of 7-10 pm” or as broad as “men, age 18-35” ensuring your message is in front of the right people at the right time.

3. Creative

Your ability to target goes beyond reaching the right customers. You can take this one step further and serve the creative that will best resonate with each target. There is a common misconception that online ads are of poor quality, when in fact digital advertising provides the opportunity to be highly engaging with video and other rich media. Using flash and in-banner video ads can increase brand recognition and highlight your competitive edge. Is one of your ads under-performing  A/B test your copy, your image, your headline and serve ads that are as dynamic as the online space in which they are living. A well-designed banner ad can turn your digital campaign from good to great.

4. Brand Awareness

Online advertising can be used to drive traffic to your site and build brand awareness. Effectively targeted campaigns can create brand influencers and reach complementary audiences. Use the endless online display space to be creative with rich media, establish your online presence, make an emotional connection, and get online consumers excited about who you are and what you have to offer. Online display enables brands to focus on their ideal audience and tailor messages that improve both recall and engagement.

5. Flexibility

Online advertising campaigns can be adjusted with a few clicks or keystrokes. You have the flexibility to respond to incoming data and make changes instantly. Similarly, you have the ability to pause campaigns or adjust your strategy in minutes. This flexibility allows you to stay in front of your customers– anticipate customer needs and adjust your ads before anyone even notices.

6. Scale

Demand-side platforms, more commonly referred to as DSPs, have centralized the buying of auction-based display media across multiple inventories and data suppliers online. Offline, you have to coordinate with multiple providers. As a marketer, DSPs allow you to scale your digital campaigns quickly and strategically, and you don’t even need an agency! Many digital marketers are turning to self-service providers to manage their campaigns– create your own ads, choose your spend, scale and optimize across your networks as you see fit. You can also use a full-service provider who will optimize, scale, and spend accordingly, but this often comes with a monthly minimum. Whichever service you choose, scaling your campaign has never been easier.

7. Cost

Digital channels are highly cost effective for marketers. Rates are typically set through a combination of ad size, ad location, performance, and demand. Considering the reach allotted via digital channels, moving your campaigns online is often much cheaper than more traditional offline channels like radio, television, or print. Furthermore, digital campaigns have greater transparency allowing you to adjust your cost easily based on performance. In the offline world, once you’ve paid for the space in a print publication or a spot on the radio, there’s no adjusting your investment after the fact.

8. Reach

We’ve heard a lot of this lately — people are watching less live TV and turning to their computers for their favorite shows, music, and to access their news. As marketers, being effective requires staying in front of your customers; as it turns out, your customers are online, so you should be too, and sooner rather than later! Moving online gives you access to a global audience, if you so desire, and it means your ads can be working for you 24 hours a day. The options are practically limitless when it comes to your reach capabilities when you take your campaign online.

9. Engagement

Online advertising lets you know a customer’s exact level of engagement. You might have circulation and readership data for a print publication, but you can’t know how much time customers spent interacting with your ad, how much time they spent on your website, if they researched more of your products, and whether that ad led to conversions. An online presence gives you all of this valuable data and places you in a position to learn where your most engaged prospects live.

Online advertising is an essential element of anyone’s marketing mix. It provides you with numerous benefits, including lower costs, robust targeting, and valuable customer insights, that are not available through other advertising mediums. Your customers, competitors, and prospects are online — give them the attention they deserve, while getting more out of your budget.

Are You New To Google AdWords Campaign Settings? Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know

The vast majority of experienced paid search advertisers fully understand Google AdWords campaign settings. However, these settings often go unnoticed by novice advertisers.

Simply being aware of these settings and their implications can save advertisers hundreds to thousands of dollars out of the gate. In this article, I’ll cover five tips for new advertisers related to Google AdWords settings.

1. Stick With “Search Network Only” (To Start)

First and foremost, when setting up your Search Network campaign within the Google AdWords interface, I would recommend against going with the Search Network with Display Select option, which Google advises is the “Best opportunity to reach the most customers.”

Stick with the Search Network only option to start (i.e., Google search and search partners), especially if you’re not an experienced advertiser on the Google Display Network. The Display Network will spend your budget extremely fast if the right controls are not applied.

Search-Network-Only

2. Choose “All Features”

After choosing the “Search Network Only” option, you’ll notice a choice between “Standard” and “All Features.” Google AdWords defaults to “Standard.”

Standard-vs-All-Features-Setting-800x144

If you do not click on “All Features,” you’re limiting your options.

For example, by leaving the default setting as “Standard,” you’ll automatically limit your ad extension options during the campaign setup process to three out of the seven available with “All Features.”

Ad-Extensions

Personally, I think it’s odd that Google would not select “All Features” as the default setting, especially after telling us that ad extensions play a role in Ad Rank. Why would they not just offer all the available options at campaign setup?

Furthermore, by not choosing “All Features,” you miss out on the following four advanced settings.

Advanced-Settings

Ad scheduling and Ad delivery are especially important for new advertisers to view while setting up a new campaign.

3. Expand “Location Options (Advanced)”

When setting up a campaign, newer advertisers may scroll past “Location options (advanced),” thinking that it’s actually an advanced feature that they don’t need to address at setup. Google AdWords does not display this option in expanded form.

Location-Options-Advanced

There is really nothing “advanced” about this setting. When you do click to expand and see your options, Google AdWords “recommends” the broadest approach.

Here are the default settings for “Location options (advanced)” in expanded form.

Location-Options-Advanced-Expanded

Read Google’s recommended “Target” option carefully. This option can mean an awful lot of things and might be too broad for many advertisers based on their goals.

If you want to exclude clicks from anyone physically outside of a certain location, you’re going to want to choose “People in my targeted location.”

Without going into the many different scenarios where any of these may work for you, it’s just another example of how Google AdWords defaults to the broadest targeting option. If you don’t expand this option and proactively change out of the default setting, you could end up with hundreds of dollars of wasted spend before you catch this through analysis.

You’ll also find this same default setting in Bing Ads (along with other default settings that I’m mentioning in this post).

4. Expand “Ad Delivery: Ad Rotation”

Newer advertisers may also easily scroll past “Ad delivery: Ad rotation.” Google does not display delivery option in expanded form, either.

This is how it appears in the interface.

Ad-Delivery

Over the many years that I’ve been managing PPC campaigns, I’ve found that the default setting is often not the best choice for my programs, and I believe that the vast majority of my colleagues would agree with me. In expanded form, you’ll see the following options:

Ad-delivery-expanded-form-800x215

 

The default setting is “Optimize for clicks: Show ads expected to provide more clicks.” Google AdWords also states that this is the “ideal setting for most advertisers.”

However, clicks are not the primary metric by which most advertisers optimize campaigns. There are certain cases where this may make sense (limited time to manage the account), but the majority of experienced advertisers are going to choose another option. And you should, as well.

The setting that I use most often to start a campaign is “Rotate indefinitely.” This way, I can effectively test what messaging delivers clicks, conversions, actions, leads and opportunities.

This is a feature that advertisers appreciate. It gives us more control and the ability to run better testing. The option of “Rotate indefinitely” was actually removed at one time from Google AdWords until an outcry from the marketing community caused Google to reinstate it.

WordStream’s Larry Kim sent out a reminder at the time to double-check your “Ad delivery: Ad rotation” settings.

Optimize for conversions” is also a good setting to test after you collect enough data.

Again, I rarely use the “Optimize for clicks” setting. Be aware of your campaign goals, and know you have options in how your ads are served.

5. Understand Google’s “Search Partners” Option

Understanding Google Search Network options is important, as well, and this can often be overlooked by new advertisers.

In Google’s default setting, “search partners” are included alongside the Google Search Network

Google-Search-Network-and-Search-Partners

 

Who are all these partners?

While Google does not provide a full partner list, I recommended taking the time to read this articleat Search Engine Land and this article at Search Engine Journal. They provide some insight into what sites your ads might be appearing on, as well as tips to monitor performance and ensure that search partners are not negatively affecting your account.

I would recommend sticking with the default selection here of including these search partners. Be proactive in segmenting performance between the two to make sure it’s on track.

Lack Of Transparency

These are examples of a few default settings within Google AdWords that may lack overall transparency. Experienced paid search advertisers understand these options extremely well, but I can see how a novice advertiser could simply overlook them. Unfortunately, it might cost them dearly.

 

In Google’s defense, there are links to various AdWords help pages throughout the setup process.

New advertisers should just remember that when establishing a new paid search campaign, you’re getting Google’s definition and Google’s examples.

Be Diligent: Do Your Research

I feel that Google AdWords, Bing Ads and other publishers could do more to be transparent and make it easier to not miss any of these options within their interfaces during the campaign setup process.

I recommend that new paid search advertisers do a bit more research to gain additional insights. You can find excellent reading and helpful tips on industry blogs, including Search Engine Land,PPC HeroSearch Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch.

And to keep up with the latest happenings from Google AdWords and Bing Ads, I recommend bookmarking Inside AdWords and the Bing Ads Blog.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Email Marketing Results: Mobile Open Rates Exceed 60%

After the biggest online shopping weekend of the year, email marketing platform Movable Ink reported a 76-percent open rate for mobile emails on Black Friday and 63 percent on Cyber Monday.

Breaking down its data by device, Movable Ink found Black Friday email conversions — an email click that resulted in a purchase — were higher on mobile devices versus desktops, with 57 percent of conversions happening on either a smartphone (44 percent) or tablet (13 percent).

Based on a total of 21,946 email conversions, mobile conversions were higher than desktop industry-wide, which is unusual, in that desktop usually outperforms mobile for email conversions in all sectors except retail apparel.

Movable Ink
While Cyber Monday mobile open rates continued to outperform desktop by a wide margin per Movable Ink’s results (63 percent versus 37 percent), conversions on mobile versus desktop saw a nearly even split.

According to Movable Ink, 51 percent of Cyber Monday email conversions happened on desktop and 49 percent on mobile.

“Mobile email opens and conversions during this Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide two valuable insights for marketers,” says Movable Ink CEO Vivek Sharma, “First, many customers prefer opening email on their smartphone, no matter where they are. Second, when provided with the right experience, customers are increasingly willing to shop and buy on their mobile devices.”

Yesmail, another email marketing provider, reported similar mobile wins, with 55 percent of the Black Friday emails it tracked clicked on a mobile device this year, up 18 percent over last year’s results.

Yesmail says that its enterprise clients upped their email sends by 31 percent on Black Friday and 87 percent on Cyber Monday, a record-setting day with nearly 200 million email sends.

The email marketing provider also found brands experienced sizable growth in email-driven revenue on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“Email-driven revenue for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday has more than doubled from 2014 to 2015,” says Yesmail, “Specifically, the number of email-driven Cyber Monday purchases grew by 129 percent and the number of email-driven Black Friday purchases grew by 162 percent.”