Advertising Association and M&C Saatchi leaders talk about long-term Coronavirus impact on industry

Advertising Association and M&C Saatchi leaders talk about long-term Coronavirus impact on industry

The chief executive of the Advertising Association, Stephen Woodford and M&C Saatchi managing director, Tom Firth have discussed the longer-term impact that the industry’s response to the Coronavirus will have on advertising as a sector.

Joining editor of The Drum, Stephen Lepitak, the pair spoke about their reaction to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stimulus packages for independent businesses and what it means for agencies, while Woodford spoke of the ongoing conversations the association has been having with the government.

They also discussed the changing behaviors witnessed within their own businesses in terms of staff operations and in seeking out news business.

Watch the full interview in the video above.

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6 Strategies for Facebook and Instagram Advertising During the COVID-19 Pandemic

6 Strategies for Facebook and Instagram Advertising During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on daily business and consumer behavior, and as a result, these are times when small business owners and advertisers need to find opportunities that will help them build personalized and lasting relationships with their audiences from a safe distance. Unprecedented times call for adjustments to your online advertising, and we can help.

Toms WFH ad

We’ve compiled six strategies for running Facebook and Instagram ads effectively during the pandemic:

  1. Stay consistent and extend your high-performing ads
  2. Build brand awareness with your online audience
  3. Find new leads and build your email marketing list with lead ads
  4. Focus on remarketing campaigns
  5. Test new ad creative and audiences
  6. Try Facebook and Instagram Live

1. Stay consistent and extend your high-performing ads

Facebook recently warned advertisers that due to recent staffing changes there will likely be some delays and errors as they increase their reliance on automated systems to review new ads and commerce listings. This means that when new ads are submitted or edited (e.g., changing copy, headlines, images, audience targeting), it will cause the ad to undergo a new review policy. To avoid disruption to your ad, Facebook’s Director of Product Managemet Rob Leathern, recommends that brands extend the delivery period of their best performing ads, as new campaigns will be subject to a new review:

tweet about Facebook advertising

2. Build brand awareness with your online audience

With more consumers at home, we’ll likely see more consumers browsing online to pass the time. In fact, this effect is already taking place, as Verizon recently reported a 20% week over week increase in web traffic. With more impressions and shifts in competition, your CPM is likely to decreasewhich presents a good opportunity to capture more reach from your budget on Facebook and Instagram.  So far, we’ve seen a 12.7% drop in CPM month over month in our in-house Facebook accountand we’re watching it daily to see how it evolves.

Facebook advertising example

If you’re able to, plan out your ads in advance—this is the time when people will be looking for content to consume. Content should revolve around the value your product or service provides, and how it will benefit them when they’re ready to purchase and/or want to plan for the future.

Facebook advertising example

Be sure to also keep your audiences engaged with the latest news about your business and highlight how they can help you during these times with business activities like:

  • Shopping online during a promotional sale.
  • Purchasing gift cards.
  • Writing positive reviews online.
  • Shopping online and/or via phone.
  • Ordering delivery/curbside pickup if available.

For small and local businesses, especially, this is key.

3. Find new leads and build your email marketing list with Facebook lead ads

If your business is a service-based, online, and/or local based business, chances are you send emails to keep your audiences engaged and up to date via newsletters. If your business is slow or closed right now, this could be a great time to shift your strategy to collecting new leads and emails in place of promoting sales.

With a Facebook lead ad campaign, you have the opportunity to:

  • Pique interest with content.
  • Increase leads and signups for email newsletter campaigns.
  • Create an audience to remarket to at a future date.

For example: If you’re in the fitness industry, this could be a good opportunity for you to promote a 30-day challenge that your audience could subscribe to. Or, if you sell products, you could have your audience subscribe to be the first to know whenever there are any upcoming promotions, new product launches, and any other important business updates.

A few things to note:

  • When creating your lead gen form, less is more. Consumers are more likely to opt out with the more information you ask from them. General best practice rule is to leave it no more than two fields, such as name and email address.
  • Integrate with your CRM provider and set up your welcome newsletter to ensure that you immediately follow up with them with content related to your advertising campaign.

4. Focus on remarketing campaigns

According to Barilliance, over 75% of shoppers will abandon your site without completing their purchase. With increased browsing, now is a good time to re-engage with previous website visitors and get them back to your site with an incentive like ‘free shipping,’ and special promos.

Facebook advertising example

This is especially true for businesses experiencing increased traffic right now, like the at-home fitness and healthy delivery options.

Facebook advertising example

In addition to website visitors, you can also drive new potential leads and sales by testing engagement custom audiences, which allow you to target users who have engaged with your content across Facebook and Instagram.

This includes remarketing to those who have liked, commented on, shared, or interacted with your Facebook and Instagram business page, watched your videos, or viewed/filled out a lead form. Remember, the more relevant you can get, the better engagement you will see, so segment your audience as much as possible.

5. Test new ad creative and audiences

Have you been wanting to test new ad creative to see if your audience engages better with specific imagery and messaging? If your business has slowed down or closed, now might be the time to test out a new creative on a variety of audiences to gather information that will make your future campaigns more effective.

When testing new audiences, consider creating a new ad set rather than updating an existing one so that you can better understand the true impact. For new ad creative, you’ll want to test against an already high-performing ad. This way you can compare the results directly to an ad that you know performs well for your specific business, saving you time when analyzing results.

Pro Tip: You’ll only want to test out one element at a time for a more accurate analysis. For example, if you want to test new imagery, don’t make any changes to the headlines or copy. Give it a couple days and monitor performance. 

Here are a few things you can try testing.

  • Audience targeting, demographic, interest-based, or custom audiences.
  • Ad copy, including headlines and CTAs.
  • Landing pages, including copy, design, and messaging.
  • Ad creative, like images vs. videos.

And other media strategies bring me to #6…

6. Try Facebook and Instagram Live

For local businesses who are hurting more than ever before, we suggest that you think about how you can shift your business strategy to offer your products and/or services online to adjust to these unprecedented times. If that’s not possible, getting online and in touch with your customers and prospects on Facebook and Instagram Live can still help.

With live video, you can connect with your audience in a more direct and genuine way. Plus, we know that effective video marketing can result in higher conversions: Facebook and Instagram Live videos receive 3x higher engagement than pre-recorded videos. So grab your phone and start streaming to engage with your customers.

People who are self-isolating or practicing social distancing will be seeking opportunities to connect with more people face to face. While this isn’t in direct contact, it is a current solution offering the interaction and online experience your audience is craving. Try answering questions in real-time, offer online check-ins, webinars, online demos, and more to keep your audiences up to date with the latest your business has to offer.

Facebook Live example

To execute a successful live event, make sure that your broadcast is as clear and high-resolution as possible. Try a practice round beforehand, but don’t stress too much. The point of live stream is to provide a real, genuine reflection of your brand.

Overall, there’s a positive and empathetic angle your business can take to become creative in a world of social distancing, so use this opportunity to get creative, and explore new ways of expanding your reach via Facebook and Instagram.

More resources for online advertising and COVID-19:

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SXSW, Advertising Week Europe, F8: which big marketing events has the coronavirus cancelled?

SXSW, Advertising Week Europe, F8: which big marketing events has the coronavirus cancelled?

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has hit a high level of concern globally and in recent weeks has begun to impact major marketing conferences and events in APAC and now in the US and Europe.

The Drum is updating on all the major events that have been cancelled, postponed or reimagined so far:


The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) has decided to reschedule its Decisions 20/20 to early 2021 and its Management Practitioners Forum (MPF) to Fall 2020. The organization states that tickets for both events will be honored on the new dates.


The IPA has postponed its courses and events programme for the next four weeks as a precautionary measure. IPA courses and events are due to resume from Monday 13 April, however, this will be reassessed pending any further changes in the advice issued by Public Health England.


Disney has responded to the worsening coronavirus outbreak by pulling the plug on all major TV presentations throughout May, becoming the latest media company to withdraw from Upfronts Week in the process.

The annual Lincoln Center presentation was due to take place on 12 May but will now be ‘reinvented’ as a digital-only event, together with the earlier Hulu NewFronts event on 6 May. Together both events will introduce advertisers to the networks upcoming programming.


WarnerMedia, NBC Universal, CBS, Digitas, YouTube, Roku, Twitter and A&E Networks have all moved their presentations to streaming platforms. Fox News and AMC Networks have canceled theirs, so far.

AAF Advertising Hall of Fame Gala

The American Advertising Federation has decided to postpone the planned AAF Advertising Hall of Fame Gala that was set for 28 April 28 in New York. The new date will be 5 October 5, still in New York City. This is the first time in the 71 year history of the Advertising Hall of Fame that the gala has had to be rescheduled.

Cannes Lions

At the moment, the Cannes Lions festival will still run in June – although it is closely monitoring the situation.

A statement from the organisers read: “As the situation evolves around the world, we continue to monitor the developments on a daily basis. The health and safety of our community, our staff and the people of Cannes are our main priority. As of today, based on the advice from the city of Cannes, authorities and World Health Organisation we are still working towards Cannes Lions 2020 taking place as planned.”

The French authorities have a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people, this will be lifted on 15 April.

If the festival is to be postponed, 26-30 October 2020 is the favoured week.

Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe has now been delayed until mid-September, less than a week before the annual event was set to go ahead.

Postponed until 14 September over the concerns around the coronavirus, the same programming is expected to take place.

“Advertising Week prides itself on being an inclusive and accessible platform and we felt it was critical to ensure it could be comfortably and safely attended by British, European and global delegates.

As we continue to closely monitor the situation, the highest standards of hygiene practices will be enforced at the event, which follow protocols set by government and health officials in the United Kingdom,” said a statement.

“We remain committed to the live experience at Advertising Week Europe, harnessing our influential audience, face-to-face meetings and continuing professional development to help drive business forward.”

Creative Week 2020

Due to continued uncertainty around coronavirus and spread of Covid-19 in the US, The One Club for Creativity announced all in-person Creative Week events will move online for 2020. The events were scheduled to take place in a number of New York venues from 11-15 May.

The nonprofit organization will replace the in-person One Show, ADC 99th Annual Awards and Young Ones Student Awards ceremonies with streaming events to announce Pencil and Cube winners to the global creative community. Online versions of awards ceremonies and other related content are being discussed, with details to follow in the coming weeks.


After much speculation, the City of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. The festival said it “will faithfully follow the City’s directions”.

“We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation,” stated a post on the SXSW website.

The festival is exploring options to reschedule the event and is working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants.


MIP TV is the latest event domino to fall, with the worsening Covid-19 outbreak in France forcing the cancellation of this year’s event, which will not be rescheduled.

The sudden cancellation of the film festival, which had been planned to run between 30 March and 2 April, has thrown into question the fate of the Cannes Film Festival itself which is still expected to take place at the end of May.

The Drum Pub at Advertising Week Europe and SXSW

The Drum has taken the decision not to go ahead with its pubs at Advertising Week and SXSW this month due to the developing coronavirus situation.

But a packed programme of high-profile interviews, keynotes and panels will still be taking place – in a dynamic new format – as plays host to a new global online festival from March 16-20.

Digital Transformation Festival will ensure The Drum’s audiences across the globe do not miss out on the inspiring talks and feisty debates scheduled to take place. Live and interactive, it will give remote attendees a chance to engage, ask questions and contribute insights in the safest manner possible.

More details about the Digital Transformation Festival schedule will be released in the coming days and you can register your interest now at the dedicated website.

Fox News IAB upfront

Fox News has become a casualty of the escalating Covid-19 outbreak after being forced to cancel its annual pitch to the advertising community as a ‘precautionary’ measure.

The upfront presentation was scheduled to have taken place on 24 March but as things stand Fox News is the only media company to change its plans, with the likes of CNN, the IAB and Comcast still on track to go ahead – albeit with both monitoring the situation closely.

Adobe Summit

Covid-19 has claimed another victim with the Adobe Summit switching to become a solely online event, as organisers exert an abundance of caution in preventing the potential for cross-infection among delegates.

The gathering had been expected to take place in Las Vegas between 29 March and 2 April but will now encourage participants to log-in remotely instead.

Google Cloud Next

Google is adopting a similar digital solution for its own Cloud Next event which is to be ‘reimagined’ as Google Cloud Next’20: Digital Connect, a digital-first event comprising streamed speeches, workshops and online ‘ask an expert’ sessions.

The new format will be introduced between 6 to 8 April.

Facebook F8

Facebook’s F8 developer conference became one of the first casualties of the virus last week after shelving plans to welcome an expected 5,000 delegates to the annual convention in San Jose this May.

This followed the identification of the first Coronavirus cases in the state which fueled mounting fears over local infections.

WFA Global Marketer Week

Originally supposed to be held from 31 March to 3 April in Singapore, the WFA has decided to postpone the event. It will now be held in Singapore from April 20 to 23, 2021.

The Drum’s Predictions

The Drum’s first APAC Predictions Breakfast on 13 February, where the publication was to explore disruptions throughout business, culture and technology, has been postponed to a yet-to-be-announced date.

Speakers like Ishmit Bedi, APAC performance marketing manager at Google, Leela Nair, managing director at Ebiquity SEA, Ryan Murray, director, partnerships at White Ops, Sorcha John, managing director at Iris and Sonal Patel, managing director, SEA at Quantcast were originally scheduled to speak.

Singapore Women Entrepreneurs Development Program (WEDP)

The event which Procter & Gamble (P&G) organizes in partnership with WEConnect International was supposed to be held on 14 February.

The guest-of-honour was Dr. Lei Hsien Hsien, the first female chief executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham SG). Sam Garcia, vice president supply chain Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa at Procter & Gamble was also supposed to grace the kick-off.

Splice Beta

The conference, held in Chiang Mai, targets media startups in Asia and looks at the transformation of media. Originally supposed to be held in February, it has been moved to 22 to 24 September 2020.

Overthrow II Festival

PHD Singapore has announced the Overthrow II Festival event, which explores the 10 different challenger strategies, or narratives and scheduled for 26 February 2020, has been postponed to a later date.

IT Show

One of the largest consumer electronics exhibitions in Singapore, the annual event was supposed to take place on March 12-15 at the Suntec Convention Centre. The organiser, Sphere Exhibits, has said it is delaying the events after considering the safety and health concerns of the exhibitors, partners and the public.

Art Basel Hong Kong

The Art Basel franchise, which has fairs in Miami and Basel, Switzerland has announced its Hong Kong event, which was scheduled for 17-21 March has been postponed.

It would have been the eighth edition of one of Asia’s most prestigious art fairs. In 2019, it drew some 88,000 people, including visitors from mainland China.

(This list was last updated at 19.30 GMT on Friday 13 March)

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7 Fundamental Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Business Marketers

7 Fundamental Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Business Marketers

It’s no secret that Facebook can be a fantastic place to reach new audiences and grow your business. We hear about crazy awesome success stories all the time: “I just put stuff on Facebook, and I don’t know what happened, but six months later I quit my job and my side hustle became my full-time gig!”

That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s definitely not the most common use case. I’ve heard more people, especially small businesses, have a completely different story: “We tried Facebook, but it just didn’t work for us.”

The first story is an uncommon case, and I actually believe the second one is, too.

There are quite a few ways Facebook can be leveraged for small businesses, but you have to set yourself up for success and have realistic goals given some of the limitations of the Facebook platform.

Here are my seven tips for how your small business can leverage Facebook Ads and see success.

1. Match campaign objectives to your goals

What is it that you’re trying to get out of Facebook Ads? Additional sales, larger newsletter readership, increased awareness? This is a big factor in determining how your Facebook Ads account will be set up. Luckily, Facebook Ads has objectives outlined for nearly every goal you could have for your campaigns to choose from.

Facebook advertising campaign objectives options

There’s not really a way for me to prescribe the right campaign objective for everyone.

Facebook advertising consideration options

If you’re interested in multiple, I encourage you to hover over each name and click the “i” icon next to each and read a little about their best use cases. There’s a link for you to learn more about each as well, or you could read this post to get a rundown on each campaign type.

2. Find your target audience in Audience Insights

One of my favorite places to start with any new account is to understand the target audience. Facebook Ads makes this very easy with its Audience Insights tool.

Note: You have to have your Facebook page tied to your Business Manager account to see this data.

Facebook advertising's Audience Insights tool

In the main navigation in Facebook Business Manager, head over to the planning section and choose “Audience Insights.”

Facebook advertising's new audience options

You’ll then have a pop-up over the tool that asks if you want to start with all Facebook users (“Everyone on Facebook”) or only users who are connected to your business’s page (“People connected to your Page”). Once you choose “People connected to your Page,” it will highlight the area in the left-hand navigation where you can choose which Facebook page you want to see data for. Find your page, and you’re off to the races!

Facebook advertising for small business demographics

You’ll be able to see demographic info, activity on Facebook, device data, etc., all from this tool.

If the report comes back blank, then that means you likely don’t have a large enough audience for Facebook to provide insights. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean all is lost.

Facebook advertising interest-based targeting options

More than likely, there are larger brands who are similar to yours you can leverage. Let’s say you’re a modern furniture store. Similar brands might be West Elm and Crate and Barrel. You can type those brand names into the “Interests” section, just slightly above the Facebook page selector on the left side, and gain insights from their brands instead.

All told, this data can be super helpful when you’re trying to decide what demographics to target, what interests people have, and potentially what devices you want to include.

In the end, you don’t have to only use this target audience, (hell, you don’t have to use it at all if you don’t want to), but it’s certainly a great place to start when it comes to understanding how your ideal customer translates to Facebook targeting.

If you’d like a further rundown on the Audience Insights Tool, check out this video for more.

3. Understand targeting layers

When setting up target audiences in Facebook Ads, it’s important to understand the difference between AND and OR targeting logic. Knowing the difference here can be the difference between targeting 15,000 and 15,000,000.

There’s a pretty simple way to remember it by the way Facebook formats it: all targeting listed in a box is OR targeting while multiple boxes means AND targeting. Let’s jump into an example to illustrate.

Facebook advertising for small business detailed targeting options

In the image above, all targeted interests are considered OR targeting. This means that someone can be interested in Crate & Barrel OR AllModern to be included in our target audience. Each time you add another interest in this box, your target audience size will go up.

But let’s say you want to target people who like these brands, but only those who like this brand AND have a certain level of income. Here’s where the Narrow Audience function comes in.

Facebook advertising's narrow audience option

When we narrow our audience, we’re effectively choosing the overlapping portion of the Venn diagram of the two groups as the image above shows.

So for our campaigns, we’ll choose to narrow the audience and layer in the income levels.

Facebook advertising for small business detailed targeting options based on financial income

Our targeting section now looks like this with the two segments being in separate boxes. This shows that users have to fit any single criteria from the first box AND any single criteria from the second box to be included in our target audience. By adding the income segment in the second box, we’ve narrowed our target audience by quite a bit.

When you’re setting up your target audience and you have layers included like this, make sure you’re keeping the AND and OR targeting logic in mind and not being too narrow or too broad simply by not paying attention to the boxes.

4. Make sure your geotargeting is on point

There’s no prescribed target geography for a small business. Some SMBs are purely local and serve only their immediate community. Others are nationwide with wide appeal, and other might serve a very niche community worldwide.

No matter which category your business falls into, be sure you’re leveraging the proper geotargeting to reach your audience. All geotargeting settings for Facebook live at the ad set level.

Facebook advertising geotargeting options

The first thing to check is that you’re targeting people who are in a location with the right intent. This setting defaults to People living in or recently in this location, which is likely fine for most advertisers, but if you have more restrictions, you might want to adjust.

Let’s say you’re that local furniture store and you don’t ship outside of your immediate community. It might make sense to adjust to target only users living in this location, as you’ll be removing people who are either traveling in or were recently in that location. Either of these parties could easily be halfway across the globe by next week, and that would be a waste of your precious ad spend.

Facebook advertising geotargeting location view

Once you’ve chosen that setting, the rest is fairly straightforward. Simply choose “Include” or “Exclude” from the dropdown, then start typing the location you want in the box to find the location you need. We’re able to target the following types of locations on Facebook:

  • Countries
  • States/Regions
  • DMAs
  • Congressional Districts
  • Cities
  • Postal/Zip Codes
  • Addresses
Facebook advertising geotargeting location view based on zip code

Lastly, you can also choose the “Drop Pin” option in the lower right, and Facebook will give you a cursor to literally drop a pin wherever you like on the map. You’ll then be able to adjust the range around that pin to the mileage of your choice.

All told, the main goal with geotargeting is to be sure you’re not reaching users who are irrelevant to you because they’re too far away. Make sure you’re only focusing your ad spend in the areas that can reasonably drive potential business your way.

5. Keep retargeting and prospecting separated

This really goes for all businesses, not only SMBs, but I find that many SMB accounts often overlook the differences between retargeting and prospecting.

With retargeting, we’re reaching people who have already engaged with our brand in one way or another. These users could have visited your website, followed you on Facebook, or engaged with a post. They’re familiar with your brand to some extent already.

Prospecting is purely a game to extend reach and find new target customers. It’s the antithesis of retargeting.

When these audience types are combined into a single campaign, it can be harder to determine what is working best and who the more valuable audience is. Now that campaign budget optimization is in place, it’ll also be a bit harder to control the budget allocation between these groups.

I suggest keeping prospecting and retargeting in separate campaigns for easier management and optimization no matter what your objectives are.

6. Monitor your ad frequency

Frequency is the average number of impressions a user in any given audience has seen your ad in a given time frame (this time frame is dynamic based on the date range you’re viewing).

Whether you’re targeting a small, local community or a national niche, it’s important to make sure you’re not oversaturating your audience and bombarding them with your message.

Facebook ad frequency

This will be one of the easiest things to check in on as ad frequency is a column you can add to your campaign manager tab.

As a basic rule of thumb, your frequency should be half the number of days you have selected in your date range, e.g., if you have seven days selected, your frequency should be no more than three and a half days for any given audience.

7. Control your budgets effectively

The last tip I want to give is solely about managing your spend in Facebook Ads. This platform is unlike many others when it comes to budgeting. There are two key things to keep in mind:

Prepare for campaign budget optimization

Starting in February of 2020, all accounts will have all campaigns updated to campaign budget optimization, or CBO. This might not sound like a big deal, but it could be if your account isn’t set up for success.

In a nutshell, what CBO does is moves your budget management from the ad set level to the campaign level. Facebook then divvies up the budget based on which ad set is performing best.

The problem is that the ad set Facebook thinks is performing best isn’t always the same one you think is performing best. There have been many posts written about CBO and I encourage you to do your research on this topic as it will undoubtedly have an effect on your account.

Remember ad scheduling is tied to budgeting

In a previous post, I wrote about how lifetime and daily budgets impact your ad set/campaign settings and how you control when your ads show. Check out this article to learn more and be sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to ad scheduling and budgeting.

Follow these Facebook advertising tips for small business marketers!

There’s no single, perfect strategy that works for Facebook Ads, but small businesses should take extra consideration when diving into the platform to be sure you’re not overextending yourself too quickly. This is nearly always the source of the “I tried Facebook and it didn’t work” refrain. Here are the fundamental tips to follow to make sure  you’re avoiding that:

  1. Match campaign objectives to your goals
  2. Find your target audience in Audience Insights
  3. Understand targeting layers
  4. Make sure your geotargeting is on point
  5. Keep retargeting and prospecting separated
  6. Monitor your ad frequency
  7. Control your budgets effectively

Hopefully, these tips will give you the confidence to test Facebook in a controlled way—and help make sure you’ll see returns for your efforts!

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The importance of building brand awareness through Amazon advertising

The importance of building brand awareness through Amazon advertising

In the early goings of Amazon’s advertising platform, most advertisers looked to it as another source of ad inventory that should be focused on direct response. This is in large part due to Sponsored Products typically being the first format brands wade into, and that format produced a whopping 13% conversion rate for the median advertiser under Tinuiti (my employer) management in Q4 2019. As such, it’s safe to say that Amazon ads are certainly a strong avenue for driving orders and sales.

However, it’s no longer the case that Amazon advertisers are focused entirely on direct response goals, and marketers should be looking at the brand-building potential across both display and search ads in order to get the most out of the platform.

Amazon DSP advertisers increasingly focused on awareness and consideration

The Amazon Demand-side Platform (DSP) allows marketers to target display inventory both on and off Amazon. Across a sample of dozens of Amazon DSP advertisers, we found that the share of spend allocated to campaigns focused on building awareness and consideration grew from 26% in Q1 2019 to 60% in Q4.

As you can see from the chart above, advertisers began 2019 allocating nearly three quarters of all DSP spend to purchase-focused campaigns, but that share slipped to 40% by the end of the year. This increased willingness to invest in campaigns focused on more upper-funnel goals has enabled marketers to rapidly expand investment in the platform, and in Q4 ad spend grew 44% relative to Q3, the largest quarter-over-quarter growth of the year.

Investing in brand awareness campaigns also has the trickle-down effect of producing more customers that have not purchased from the brand previously or who are infrequent purchasers. Looking at new-to-brand metrics, which identify those customers which have not purchased from a brand on Amazon in the last twelve months, the share of total DSP purchases attributed as new to the brand advertising went from 71% in Q3 to 78% in Q4.

While some of this increase may be tied to seasonal shifts, it certainly makes logical sense that investing in campaigns aimed at building brand awareness would in turn spur on more new customers to purchase from a brand.

Much like any DSP, advertisers have the ability to choose different ad formats and dimensions to create different experiences. While advertisers generally use Dynamic Ecommerce Ads for use in purchase-focused campaigns, static banners give marketers the ability to inject brand and lifestyle images into the creative used for those campaigns that are more focused on building the brand.

Looking outside of the Amazon DSP, advertisers are also finding success in building brand awareness through the Sponsored Brands format.

Sponsored Brands new-to-brand share rises in Q4

New-to-brand metrics are also available for the Amazon Sponsored Brands ad format, which appears at the top of Amazon search results as well as additional placements rolled out in late 2018. Tinuiti advertisers saw the share of total Sponsored Brands conversions attributed as new-to-brand grow from 58% in Q3 to 60% in Q4.

Even more interesting is how new-to-brand share moved during the core weeks of the winter holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. During this roughly four-week period, daily new-to-brand conversion share averaged 64%, compared to the 60% figure observed for Q4 overall.

As such, it seems that customers are more willing to purchase from brands they haven’t bought from previously and/or those which they haven’t purchased from in at least a year during the holidays. This is an important consideration to keep in mind when allocating budget and placing bids throughout the crucial holiday shopping season.

As mentioned previously, these ads show at the top of search results as well as some other placements along the right rail, at the bottom of desktop results, and intermittently throughout mobile results. Taking a look at the share of conversions that placements at the top of search results account for, these slots produced 75% of all conversions in Q4 2019. Even more impressive, however, is that they produced 87% of all new-to-brand conversions.

Knowing this, brands looking to reach new customers should pay extra close attention to where their ads are showing on the page and adjust bids to ensure ads are reaching the competitive top of page placements.


What was once an opportunity that most advertisers used primarily for direct response, purchase-focused goals has quickly evolved over the last year. Marketers that are able to take advantage of the brand-building potential of both Amazon search and display formats and bake the expected value of these tactics into budget and bid planning will be able to maximize their output from Amazon advertising. Those that don’t will have a harder time competing moving forward.

Join us for two days packed with expert insights and tactics on all things digital commerce marketing — from Amazon to Google to Instagram and more — at SMX West in San Jose this month. Check out the agenda >>

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Andy Taylor is director of research at Tinuiti, responsible for analyzing trends across the digital marketing spectrum for best practices and industry commentary. A seasoned marketer with 9-plus years of experience, he speaks frequently at industry conferences and events.

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3 Major Differences Between Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising

3 Major Differences Between Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising

It does not take much effort for an advertiser to import their campaigns from Google Ads straight into Microsoft Ads. But the most common mistake I tend to see is optimizing Microsoft Ads in the exact same way as with their Google Ads account. There are several differences between the two advertising platforms that advertisers need to remember to better optimize their campaigns.


Microsoft Advertising search ads might look similar to Google Ads, but it’s important to remember the differences. 

In this post, I’ll share three major differences between Google and Microsoft that you need to know to get started. That way, next time you go in and optimize the mentioned areas in the channels, you will feel confident you are making the right decisions!

Ad scheduling

One way users can target their ads, or even just make certain bid adjustments, is with ad scheduling. Advertisers can choose the time of day and day of the week they would want their ads to be shown. They can also schedule times to make certain bid adjustments. What advertisers may have to be careful of doing is making the same ad schedule adjustments in both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads by default. It’s important to remember that these are different channels, so you need to know how ad scheduling works for each channel and check the data to see what performs best for your account.


In Google Ads, when you go to edit your ad schedule (as seen above), Google reminds you what time zone your account is in. This is because your ad schedule in Google is based upon the time zone you chose when you created your Google Ads account. In the image above, the account is Pacific Time and targeting all days at all hours. If this account is targeting the United States but wanted to change the hours to 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., then they would have to keep in mind that users on Eastern Time would see the ads from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If this does not sound ideal, the advertiser will have to create separate campaigns if they want to keep every time zone set to the same hours.


Now with Microsoft Ads, ad scheduling works differently. As seen in the image above, you can see Microsoft’s ad scheduling is based on the location of the person viewing the ad. So the same advertiser could still target the entire United States, keep the hours to 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and not have to have several campaigns to execute this.

Search partner targeting options

Both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads have search partner networks. These are other sites allowing advertisers to expand the reach of their search network ads beyond the main and domains. In this section, there are a few differences between the channels. The search partner networks differ between Google and Microsoft, and the way we can target each network is different, too. Also, Google’s search partners are set at the campaign level. In Microsoft, we can adjust our ad network distribution at the ad group level.

Google’s Search Partner Network includes hundreds of websites (, for example), as well as other Google sites, such as YouTube. By default, Google will automatically include your campaigns in the Search Partners setting. If you see the results for search partners is subpar when segmenting your campaign data, it only takes two clicks of your mouse to remove partners and save the settings. Unfortunately, in Google, targeting search partners is either an “all in” or “all out” feature. You cannot target just the search partners in Google.


When adjusting your ad distribution settings in Microsoft Ads, you’ll be able to see that besides Bing, your ads could show on the AOL and Yahoo networks. Now, unlike Google, there is not an option to target your search network ads on just, which is unfortunate. Even if you wanted to target just search network sites, you still have to pick the option of Bing, AOL, and Yahoo lumped together.


What I like about the ad distribution in Microsoft Ads is they have options separating their partners by “owned and operated” and “syndicated search partners.” Now for whatever reason, if you see that one of the partner options performs significantly better than the others, you have the ability to use a “target only” targeting method for your ad groups. That’s a big difference in how you can optimize your campaigns to try and maximize performance as much as possible on these channels.

In-market audiences for search

If you want to bid differently to groups of users who are more likely to be actively researching or ready to buy in a specific category of products or services, Google Ads and Microsoft Ads both allow advertisers to add these in-market audiences to setwork campaigns. We also have the option to use these audiences from a targeting or observation (bid only for Microsoft) capacity in our settings. In both channels, we can also increase our bids on these audiences by up to 900%, or decrease bids for these audiences by up to 90%


What the major difference is for these audiences between the two channels are actual options we have to add to our campaigns within each channel. For example Microsoft has a “Social” category with subcategory options, like “Romance & Relationships” or “Takeout & Delivery.” Google does not have these options. And there are several other categories or subcategories each channel has that the other doesn’t. Take some time to see if you missed out adding additional in-market audience layers to your campaigns because you assumed they were the same between the channels. 

At the time of writing this post, I couldn’t find a list of all the in-market audiences available in Google. But here is a list of all of the Microsoft in-market audiences that are updated as new ones are added.

Remember, Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising are separate channels

The ability to easily export Google Ads account information to Microsoft Advertising is a huge time-saver. But that doesn’t mean Microsoft Advertising is a copy-and-paste channel. You may not get as much traffic in Microsoft as you do with Google, or you may not spend as much with Microsoft as you do with Google, but you need to optimize for each platform in order to get the benefits of a cross-platform strategy. Here are the three key differences to review:

  1. Ad scheduling
  2. Search partner targeting options
  3. In-market audience for search campaigns

The more we know how to use the channels, the better our optimizations will be. I only mentioned a few of the differences between the two channels, but I’m sure there are plenty more we could talk about. If you have any more to contribute, let us know in the comments below.

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Growth Tip #015- Use Mention to Evaluate your Brand

Growth Tip #015- Use Mention to Evaluate your Brand

  1. Identify the people talking about your brand, whether or not they’re talking to you. Our data has shown that this (brand mentions without the Twitter handle) actually represents 31% of brand mentions on Twitter. These are people looking for insights and reviews on your brand, who have an issue with it, or who are singing your praises. In any of these events, you should be present and a part of the conversation. Media monitoring tools allow you to discover and jump in these discussions.

2 Identify people talking about the pain points your brand solves. Much like the first way, a media tool allows you to track terms that represent the problem your product solves. You can then identify the people who are using these terms, where, and in what context. This provides you with your first touchpoint for building a relationship and qualifying  leads.


Growth Tip #013 – Small Business – Use Fiverr

Growth Tip #013 – Small Business – Use Fiverr

If you run a small business it can be a complete nightmare getting affordable digital services. So some kind soul has invented for that.Fiverr is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, starting at  $5 only. The site is primarily used by freelancers who offer a variety of different services online.Currently, Fiverr lists more than three million services that range from $5 to $500

Each service offered is called a “Gig”
Below are some of the professional digital services you can buy for a $5

Graphics & Design
Online Marketing
writing Translation
Video Animation
Music & Audio
Programming &tech
Business & more .Start and grow your business for $5