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4 Ways You’re Not Utilising AI Properly In Your PPC Campaigns

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By now you might have seen a thousand articles telling you why you need to use AI (Artificial Intelligence) for PPC.

I should know. I’ve written a good few of these articles myself, preaching the benefits for businesses of all sizes. If you’re unfamiliar with them, let me remind you that AI is:

  • Fast, able to save you time and give you more hours to get your work done.
  • Smart, able to process a lot of data and interpret the results before you’ve even got them loaded.
  • Able to work 24/7, giving you around the clock monitoring of your campaigns.

This is all well and good, but just using AI isn’t the end goal. There’s a difference between simply using something and doing it correctly.

Cartoon man using a colander wrong

It’s like convincing someone to finally use Facebook for their plumbing business, but all they post about is what meal they’re having for dinner each day. I’ll be surprised if that’s able to bring the business in.

Get the picture?

So while using AI is essential for PPC, simply having it doesn’t mean you’re taking advantage of the best AI has to offer. And this is a damn shame. If you’re putting the time and investment into AI, you need to make sure that you’re finding the right solutions for your company.

To help, we’ve outlined 4 common ways you might not be utilizing AI properly – and how to change it.

1. Not using AI in the right areas

The first thing we need to cover what part of your campaigns you’re actually using AI for. This one is difficult because there’s no straightforward and easy answer. It all depends on your business.

Take a look at your current management process. Find out where most of your time is being wasted and then find the AI tools that solve this problem for you.

For example, if most of your time is spent on interpreting data, you need a way to do this faster. If it’s copy and pasting data into reports, you need an automatic reporting tool. If it’s adjusting budgets, you need an automated rule to do this.

Now, be prepared that although advertising platforms like Google will have internal AI tools, it’s not your only option.

In fact, I’ve argued before that AI for PPC is only useful if you use external tools. It was a bold claim but backed up by the fact external tools are just smarter, faster and ahead of the game.

You’ve just got to find the right AI that actually works for your company.

2. Using inefficient PPC scripts

Before I get started on this one, rest assured I’m not about to mindlessly insult PPC scripts. I’m very much in favor of them. When they work, they’re a brilliant way to save time and give you hands-free management.

Ah, hands-free campaign management. That’s the sweet stuff I like to hear.

PPC scripts are pieces of code you can copy into your account to automatically run certain jobs for you, like being able to change your bidding depending on the weather in a particular area.

That’s a game-changer for those whose business relies on the weather, like an outdoor crazy golf course or ice-cream parlor.

But… PPC scripts aren’t perfect. The code would have been written for one particular purpose, which means it might work for your exact needs. To do that, you need someone with javascript coding knowledge to go in and adapt it for you.

They’re also needed for when Google inevitably pushes out another update and your script no longer works. Yeah, it’s all fun and games in the PPC script world.

By all means, use PPC scripts as part of your AI solution. But make sure that they’re adapted to your company and aren’t wiped out by every tiny Google Ads update.

If you don’t have the on-team skills to edit the code, maybe you need to try tools that can do it all for you. Or, perhaps even consider using a PPC management agency who have the skills and resources to control it.

There’s no right choice for everyone. It’s all about figuring out yours.

3. You’re overcomplicating it

Data is the sweet nectar needed to correctly manage and optimize your campaigns. Without it, you may as well be trying to build a wall by throwing bricks in the dark.

But there is such a thing as too much data.

AI is amazing at gathering and interpreting data for you.

If you go into data overload, you’ll be hit with so many choices and options to consider that it can cripple you. Instead of using AI to easily solve one problem, you’ve made it so complicated that it creates 5 more.

As this article on keyword research pointed out, the sheer amount of data you can get from AI keyword generating tools can set you back. They can supply potentially billions of keywords – which are never going to be used.

You’ll be spoilt for choice and will have to dedicate more time deciding between things that weren’t even an option before.

If AI is making things more complicated then you need to cut back.

4. You’re too reliant on AI

With AI capabilities continually growing, there can be a temptation to just let it mindlessly run in the background. But you need to see the bigger picture. It’s no use mindlessly accepting every change that AI sends your way.

The curious part of you needs to ask why. Why do certain ads consistently perform better? What is it they do that the others don’t? Why do certain timeframes decrease your conversions?

As this article on Google Ads management pointed out:

“Google Ads management is all about being reactive: take onboard the changes and latest trends and adapt to them.”

In order to take onboard the changes, you need to understand why it happens. And no AI is going to do that for you.

Curiosity and creativity are both inherently human traits that AI will not be able to replicate anytime soon. Make sure you use them at every chance you get to make your campaigns the best they can be.

You can only make the best use of AI if you use it alongside your work, not to replace it.

Find the right AI solution for your business

If you want to make the best use of AI, you need to find the right tools for your processes.

Take a look at your current roadblocks and time-sinks. Find tools designed to help explicitly with this. Trial what works and see how much time it saves. Ensure it’s not creating more problems than it solves. Then use this time and data to better your strategies and campaigns. Don’t just rely on AI to fix everything for you.

The bottom line? AI and humans have to work together. Finding this balance is the key to your success.

PPChero.com

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.

Conclusion

If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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