It is easier said than done but it is possible to make your Google Adwords campaigns effective no matter what product you are selling. All pay-per-click campaigns requires two things: creativity and data.
As with every other advertising strategy, there is the usual 5 W’s: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
In order to understand how you are going to sell your product or brand, you need to know who you are selling to. You need to know how they would phrase a question into their search engine. What kind of wording would they use? What would gain their attention the fastest? What would seem most creditable to them? Understanding your audience is just one part--the creativity part we discussed. Once you have gotten creative, you need to cross-reference those ideas with data. In order to select the best keywords, use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. But be careful, if you are not stringent with your parameters, your data may be skewed, leading to bad selections and money/time lost.
What are you selling? What makes your product better than any other competitors product? Is it different? It’s okay if it isn’t, but you have to sell it like it is going to get a Nobel Prize. Think about what about the product would attract YOUR attention. What feature would make you take a second look at the product you are advertising? Do you have a better price? Better materials? A feature that competitor’s customers wish their product had? What promotions or sales do you offer? You have to get into the mind of a potential customer and have the promotion that would appeal to them. These will be the keywords and call to actions that will make up your campaign.
After you have done this, use your Analytics feature “Search Queries” find out what search engine question are triggering your ad. This can give you a better idea of how people phrase their questions when they are looking for a certain product as well as helping you see if certain keywords are triggering superfluous clicks.
Knowing that you want to target the whole nation is a nice thought, but it is a thorough thought? If you have a product that can be distributed nationally, that is great. But you have to realize, when you want to swim in a big pond, you have to compete with bigger fish. And not only compete for customers, but compete for keywords, headlining ad space and budgets. If you are a local company and want to target local consumers, then do you just target your city? No! Take into consideration the areas around your city, cities that may appreciate you product (if you sell surfboards in California, think about branching out to Hawaii and Florida too!)
It is isn’t just what physical place that you decide to promote your product, it is where you decide to promote it as well. In Google Adwords campaigns, your Display Network can provide a host of “placements” for your ad. Under your Tools Button, and under the Keyword Planner, you can find the Display Planner.
By placing your product page, your competition’s product page, or just a few keywords, Google will find the ad space on different websites, apps, and videos that are relevant to your product. The Display Planner can even target your request if you want:
They say that timing is everything and this maxim holds true in your Google Adwords campaigns. In Google Adwords, you have different options for the timing aspect of your ads.
Option 1: Delivery Time
In your Adwords campaign, under the Settings tab, you can find the Delivery Time section looking something like this:
Now this allows you to decide how and when you budget is spent. The general rule is that you want a standard delivery for most of a campaign, ensuring that your ads are shown across a variety of times. With the “Accelerated” option, you can have more ads shown quickly in the day until your daily budget is reached. This option may be more applicable to the advertiser that has to meet a budget.
You can also coordinate the times you want you ads showing. Under the Settings tab, there is a “Schedule” section. Let’s say you begin to notice in your Analytics that you have repeated clicks past 11 PM but all of these clicks have high bounce rates and lead to no conversions. This time space is doing nothing for your client and is draining your daily budget. You can make an ad schedule so that never happens again and if you have a time of day that your ads are most often clicked, you can focus in on that time slot.
Why use Google Adwords? I see those ads and I never click on them, you might be saying. Are these ads really effective? These are common and valid questions. Unlike their billboard, radio, and television counterparts, advertising online, especially with Adwords is a controlled and scalable to do advertising. If you want that billboard in Time Square, you’re going to have to pay tens of thousands of dollars. A commercial during the Super Bowl? Millions. When you use Google Adwords, you compete for the keywords, not the airtime. Just because someone has the biggest budget does not necessarily mean that they will get that coveted spot. Google decides the chances of your ad selling based on a number of factors including:
This stringent review process means that only those with relevant products and well made ads are going to be shown. This makes it a lot easier for startups and small businesses to compete with their corporate counterparts.
For those that don’t believe “those ads never get clicked on”, you couldn’t be more wrong. As Google continues to improve their algorithm, PPC ads appear more like organic search results, making people feel more comfortable with clicking on them. As recent as 3 years ago, that is how Google earned 97% of their revenue through advertising at an estimated 32.2 billion! If that doesn’t convince you of the validity of this method of advertising, I don’t know what will!
Here at Online Optimism, we're all about helping businesses grow around town. And while we love doing it for our clients, we're also partial to helping out everyone we can!
Thankfully, there's more than a few organizations in town who agree, and they've asked us to lend our expertise to a few talks over the next month. So where can you learn from our team?
Do you think tweeting is for the birds? As if! Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms in the biz. Follow Online Optimism as they show you how easily you can utilize 140 characters of space to instantly connect with customers, potential clients, other businesses, partners, the media, and many, many others. By learning how to tweet, retweet, and hashtag, you'll be joining the conversation in no time. #seeyouthere
Register for the event here! For bonus points, check out the other two parts of the series: A talk on Instagram & Pinterest by the always-entertaining team at Rapjab, and a talk on Facebook by the focused, smart creatives of FSC Interactive.
Social Media: The Next Frontier. Where is it headed? How are people using it? Are people going to continue to use it? How can I use it for my business? Join us for this webinar chat where we'll dive head-first into our best guess for the future of marketing. There are lots of predictions out there - we'll tell you which ones you should be better on.
Online Optimism's certified professionals will be providing a thorough lesson in Google Analytics, from installation to experimentation. Google Analytics is the industry standard tool for tracking visitors on your website and mobile app, but it can do far more than just measure internet traffic. The course is for both newbies and experienced users.
For beginners, we will briefly cover how to install Google Analytics. Moving beyond that, we'll cover the basics, such as navigating the user interface and how to solve common marketing questions, like "Where are my Visitors coming from?" and "What pages on my site are causing visitors to stay or leave?" Finally, we will provide you with the resources to tackle more advanced topics on your own, such as determining if your blogging / social media / billboard / print strategy is actually working!Continue reading
If you’re trying to get a business off the ground, I could list few places better than Kickstarter to start off, other than your really generous friend’s trust fund. Not everyone is that lucky, though, so most people with either a product or service to sell has to start somewhere small. There’s no shame in that small start being in crowdfunding.
Kickstarter, and similar services such as Indygogo, often get a bad rap because of the success rate of projects put up on those sites. The average percentage of crowdfunding projects that fail hovers around the 50% mark, much higher than you as a business owner would want it to be. Why do Kickstarters fail? Other than the amount of just plain laughable projects up for funding, what many folks don’t realize that there’s a pretty specific formula you have to follow to rise to the top of Kickstarter. The formula isn’t so much rigid as it is moldable to your own needs, but it does include a few key aspects, of which we’ll discuss today.
Before you even touch Kickstarter, the first essential step is to build up your audience. I can’t stress this enough. Kickstarter gives you a limited time frame to get funded, so why not get ahead of the game and start building hype for your project? Figure out what your niche is, and find bloggers who are in the same demographic you’re trying to target. Connecting with these bloggers is an art in itself, and Alex over at Groove wrote a great post explaining how to successfully build relationships with bloggers and other influential people in your niche. To put a long story short, don’t be too pushy in your engagements, focus on building a real relationship, and make sure you can help them too. No one wants to give you free help, so contribute to conversations on their blog, offer them constructive criticism, and be the least pushy as you can be. Think of it as speed dating, but instead of a hot date, you’re looking for backers.
Again, here we’re using time to your advantage. Instead of trying to complete everything within a month, make sure you have as much planned as you can beforehand, sometimes even months before you start your campaign. Devise a marketing plan in advance, and schedule every milestone you plan on hitting. Use tools such as Hootsuite to schedule regular social media posts so that’s one less thing you have to worry about it. From a marketing standpoint, you should treat it as if it’s already a business. If you’re that serious about it, you’ll have a higher chance of it actually becoming one. Some things to take into consideration while planning:
This could be the hardest aspect of running a successful Kickstarter, and is entirely dependant on how creative you are or how large your budget is. Unless you have the next innovation as big as the light bulb on your hands, chances are people are just going to skip over your project with a mediocre video and zero graphics. For example, would you pass over a Kickstarter that offered a new type of screw? Unless you’re a contractor, I bet you said yes there. Now, how about after seeing this video?
I’ve never wanted a screw so badly in my life. Now, that video was obviously professionally done, but the point still stands: professionalism is key. Humor is key. Branding is key. Making your project stand out above the other-guy-doing-the-same-thing is key. So, do what you need to do. If that means hiring someone to handle the creative aspect, it might be what you need.
If you keep these three steps in mind, I can’t guarantee that your project gets funded. You will, however, have a much better chance and will learn some things about running a business along the way. Happy crowdfunding!
Looking for assistance getting your idea off the ground with a Kickstarter? Give us a call at 504-521-6222 and we'll work together to make your crowdfunding campaign a success!Continue reading
We all know, love, and use the social giants for our various marketing needs. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been in play for a few years now. Recently, applications such as Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube have become increasingly important in any business’ marketing profile. “Increasingly important,” however, is threatening the delicate relationships users have with those services.
A fine line has developed between the social media both companies and people use, and those used mostly for personal use. Despite how much marketing and advertising companies try, most people just don’t like seeing ads that much. The average ad-blocking rate (even back in 2012) was 9.26% according to Clarity Ray. Those numbers are clearly on the rise, according to Google Trends.
This chart goes to show how people don’t really want businesses in their personal internet lives. But as an internet advertising agency, we have to ask: how do you do it?
Marketing has blended in well with the giants (those listed above,) so for the sake of this blog post, let’s focus on a few where the masses are still struggling for a viable social media strategy: Vine, Snapchat, Reddit, and Quora.
Vine is Twitter’s foray into the video market. It’s a mobile app that allows users to post looping six second videos which are then shown in a Twitter-esque feed with the ability to follow, like, revine, and use hashtags. In layman’s terms, it’s visual Twitter. The service has dawned some great viral trends in 2014, such as Crack Kid, Do It For The Vine, among others. Over the past few months, the most popular users have boiled down to a group of around 30 “Viners” ranging in age and demographic. Companies such as Ford and Tide paid popular users to Vine on their behalf, as if acting in a 6 second ad. The cheap way to do it would require you to be funny and original on your own, but not many people have the time or resources for that. Try Vining about funny things that happen around the office, daily life, etc. Vines shouldn’t be commercials, they should be personal.
Vine also has the distinction of being incredible young (even more so than Tumblr). Whereas many social networks have middle ages in the thirties, or in some cases (i.e. LinkedIn) forties, Vine's average user is between 18 - 20 years old! If that's your target demographic, then you need to be investing in this network.
An app that allows users to send picture and video messages that self destruct after viewing. Certainly there’s no way business can use this, right? Wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter because Snapchat has a ton of more uses than what the first users thought (and probably did use it) for. Companies like Taco Bell use it to, in my mind, get the thought of Taco Bell in my head. That’s all it takes, usually. Sending a Snap of a taco is sure to get at least some people to by one. The New Orleans Saints use Snapchat just to keep fans up to date, which as a fan, I really appreciate. Here’s a novel idea though: Use Snapchat to send out coupons ranging from 10-50% off your goods or services. The catch is, users don’t know how much % of they’ll get until they actually use the coupon at the cash register. It’s all about engaging with the customers without seeming too pushy, and Snapchat is a great way to keep things personal.
Reddit is arguably the social media platform with users the most hostile to advertisers. This is due to the fact that Reddit itself is very democratic, allowing users to “upvote” and “downvote” content as they see fit, meaning only the best content reaches the top. Any attempts to sway that vote, unscrupulously, will be met with aggression (rightfully so).
Aside from paid ads, the best way to make an impact with Reddit is to find the right Subreddit (a whole Reddit page devoted to one of thousands of subjects and topics) related to your organization and start participating. Creating an AMA (Ask Me Anything) for your boss in the appropriate Subreddit is a great way to both get your name out there and interact with potential customers. Be informational rather than promotional, and you'll find over time people will naturally trust you as a source.
Quora is a question and answer website where users submit questions, and professionals answer them. Much like Reddit, the best answers are voted upon and the good ones rise to the top. To make an impact on Quora, don’t masquerade yourself - be your company, and be honest. These are real people looking for real answers. Give them the answer they want, and they’ll put their trust in you, and in turn, your company. As stated before, with social media, being personable and trustworthy are key.
This is a list of the top non-major Social Media sites you should be looking into during 2014, but we're sure it'll change by next year (if not by next month.) Keep checking Online Optimism's blog to stay up to date on the latest social network news, and give us a call at 504-521-6222 if you have any questions about what strategy your company should take!Continue reading
The enactment of House Bill 1065 is great news for Louisiana optometrists. In an effort to benefit citizens in rural areas, the bill expands the capabilities of Louisiana optometrists to include several key procedures that were previously exclusively performed by ophthalmologists. With extended procedural capabilities come new opportunities for business growth, and therefore the potential for an increased patient base. Developing or updating a marketing strategy now can put an optometrist at the top of the list for potential patients in need.
Hechlok" title="b2ap3_thumbnail_Eye-Surgery-in-Louisiana-Marketing.jpg" style="float: right; border: 0; margin: 10px;">House Bill 1065 grants optometrists the right to perform several new procedures that do not require anesthesia and that can occur in an exam room. The first allows optometrists to use needles or injections to lance sties and chalazions (inflamed cysts) on the eyelid. Three other procedures granted by HB 1065 relate to the use of lasers. YAG Laser Capsulotomy treats what is called “secondary cataract,” which results from blurring of the artificial lens inserted during cataract surgery. Peripheral Iridotomy and Trabeculoplasty are procedures which alleviate fluid and pressure build-up in the eyes of patients with certain types of Glaucoma. The extension of these injection and laser privileges to optometrists is an effort to better serve patients who may not have access to an ophthalmologist and who may be in need of recurring ocular care.
However, from a provider perspective it may be difficult to reach patients in rural areas and to communicate the nuances of HB 1065 to all patients. Therefore, eye care providers must initiate a marketing campaign that informs as well as engages patients to be proactive about their eye care. The first step is a clean and modern website that is updated with the latest news and information on eye care services and capabilities. An optometrist’s new capabilities should be prominently displayed and explained on the website, so that patients understand what can and cannot be done in that provider’s office. Additionally, in the case that a patient’s needs match an optometrist’s offerings, contact information must be clearly displayed in every facet of the site.
In addition to an excellent site, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can ensure that a provider’s page displays at the top of search results. Currently, a search for “cataract surgery Louisiana” returns a list of surgery centers and ophthalmologists. Simple SEO tactics can ensure that the name and website of a newly certified optometrist appears alongside those ophthalmologists who perform similar procedures.
Further, a blog can teach readers about eye health while allowing optometrists to engage directly with their patient base. This interaction builds the provider-patient relationship that is necessary to fostering trust and subsequent repeat visits. Blogs also increase the credibility and authority of a provider while appearing in search results when related key words or search terms are entered by a patient in need.