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Paid search ad copy strategies during coronavirus

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“It seems very obvious to update ads, but the reality is very few advertisers are doing it,” Microsoft’s Rik van der Kooi said during a live-streamed event for partner agencies Tuesday.

The top consideration for many marketers as the implications of coronavirus became clearer has been budget. But there’s a real opportunity for those that focus on messaging during this time.

Data-informed messaging

“We have been using data to help show [clients] opportunities to continue to grow their business and to help others in need,” said Spencer Jahnke, senior manager of paid media at Minneapolis-based digital marketing agency Augurian.

“Utilizing Google Trends on a more consistent basis has been useful to show shifts or increases in search interests, and search term data has helped inform us of newly peaked interests that have surfaced along with COVID-19 and helped inform our messaging.”

Invest in the upper-funnel

For products that are seeing a drop in demand during this time, Jay Stampfl, CEO of Blackbird PPC, a San Francisco-based digital advertising agency, says, “I am treating it similar to B2B clients in deep Q4.”

“Move toward upper funnel conversion optimization while building remarketing lists of people researching during COVID-19,” advises Stamplf. You’ll then be able to stay top-of-mind when consumers are more inclined to buy.

“Its time to push industry-relevant/thought leadership content. People have a bit more time now working from home where they’re brushing up on their professional knowledge,” he said. “The idea is to focus on engagement and then retarget once we get to the other side.”

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Likewise, Jahnke said his agency is advising clients to focus on thought leadership content (including live streaming if applicable) and to shift tactics and messaging to focus on brand and mission awareness.

“This means shifting our messaging to focus on our client’s mission. In some industries, consumers are a bit more hesitant to take action because of all of the financial uncertainty, but focusing advertising messaging around your brand and how your brand can help will pay off in the long run.”

As Microsoft’s van der Kooi said Tuesday, sales cycles are going to be longer during this time. Being a bit more flexible with your CPA and ROI and thresholds, he said, will help ensure you can close sales over a longer than usual time period.

Assure and empathize with customers

If there’s one thing this crisis has shown it’s the ingenuity of businesses to rethink entire processes and business models. Be sure your ad copy reflects how your company is responding to this new environment.

Clearly communicate empathy gor your customers’ current situation. Referencing the ability to use products or services at home with messaging like “Stuck at home?” or “Learn X at home,” has been working, said Stampfl. His team is also using language calling out ways customers can use their free time while cooped up at home.

Highlighting “Free shipping” or “hassle-free delivery” types of benefits are also a no-brainer, Stampfl added. That is if you can live up to the promise. “Review shipping settings and estimated delivery time to ensure you accurately reflect current capabilities,” Google Ads noted in a checklist of campaign considerations during COVID-19.

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“With so much uncertainty in the world right now, people are looking for some source of consistency and certainty,” said Jahnke. “Whether it’s guaranteed ship dates or free downloads, we want to make sure there is no ambiguity, and that we are putting the user’s mind at ease.”


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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12 Tools and Resources for Software Developers in Insurance

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12 Tools and Resources for Software Developers in Insurance


If a developer designs a system for Big Data analysis or creates programs for processing and analyzing application data for mobile gadgets, in any case he cannot do without analytics tools and services. Big Data is understood as the basis of the business of insurance companies that depend on information, that is, probabilities, statistical data, customer information, and so on.

Today, for programmers whose responsibilities include insurance software development, many useful tools have been created that are suitable for their needs and corresponding to their skills.

TOP-12 tools for programmers of insurance companies

Every developer who works on coding for insurance products will need the following 12 “helpers”:

  1. BitDeli. It is a startup that has been operating since November 2021. With its help, programmers are able to analyze various data using a variety of metrics through Python scripts. An important plus of it is that the scripts can be of different levels of complexity, which will depend on the needs of the developers. They can even be self-taught. Suitable for analytics. The solution is easy to use.
  2. Continuity. It is a platform that was created with the aim of pulling businesses to the same level as the companies of its creators – Yahoo and Facebook. The guys created a data structure to implement a new level of abstraction over complex connections in HBase and Hadoop. The main advantage of the platform is the facilitation of Big Data development processes for programs that are designed to work with external and internal audiences.
  3. Flurry. This application is in the “store” format, which is intended for the creation of mobile programs, as well as for the analysis of their data. This allows the application to be improved.
  4. Google Prediction API. Suitable for developers who have the necessary knowledge to work with the Prediction API. This interface will provide a wide range of diagrams and topics, and will also allow the application to give correct answers.
  5. Infochimps. We are talking about a platform, despite the fact that the brand today is trying to become a company and become even more successful. As for the platform for the programmer, he gets the Wukong framework, which has a key task – to interact with Hadoop and its data, while using Ruby scripts.
  6. Keen IO. In 2012, this tool was recognized as the best and most effective in its category, and it is used in analytics by mobile application developers. Its plus lies in its ease of use. You need to apply just one line, which is inserted into the source code to be able to track all the necessary information from the programs.
  7. Kontagent. A tool for processing huge amounts of information.
  8. Mortar Data. It is a cloud service that has managed to replace MapReduce with a combination of Python and Pig. It differs in simplicity and clarity in operation.
  9. Placed Analytics. A tool that provides programmers with ready-made products. With its help, it is possible to obtain complete information about the use of the application by customers: where, when and how long it lasted. The data is especially useful for app owners and advertisers.
  10. Precog. It is an interactive environment for developing insurance analytics products based on Quirrel, an open query language.
  11. Spring for Apache Hadoop. A tool that greatly simplifies the creation of programs that use Hadoop, and also provides integration with other Spring applications.
  12. StatsMix. It is a tool with which developers can collect and analyze data received from programs using only the languages they have learned.
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Take a look at the Fireart site for more interesting and useful information. The main thing to remember is that analytics not only assesses the quality of traffic, looks for ways to increase conversion and reduces the cost of attracting customers, but also determines the most effective advertising channels, compiles portraits of visitors and their behavior patterns on sites, identifies site shortcomings up to technical errors.



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From Creation to Stellar ROI

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From Creation to Stellar ROI


Reaching the right customers with your Google Ads campaigns is critical to increase conversions. While it’s possible that scattershot advertisements could catch the interest of Internet users, it’s far more likely that this general ad approach will result in a disconnect between dollars spent and sales made.

To help ensure your ads are reaching the people in the right place, it’s worth leveraging a function in the Google Display Network (GDN) known as affinity audiences. Using these audiences helps pinpoint customer segments that may be more likely to purchase your products, in turn driving more effective and efficient ad spend.

But what exactly is an affinity audience? How do they work, how can you create your own — and what can you expect once you dial in the ideal customer segment? Let’s find out.

What are Affinity Audiences?

Affinity audiences are used by the Google Display Network to deliver your ads to relevant locations online. Given that Google’s network reaches more than 90 percent of Internet users worldwide, it’s well worth the time and effort to understand and apply these audiences at scale.

But what is an affinity audience?

Let’s break the term down into its component parts. Audience is easy — it’s the group of people that will see your ad. Affinity, meanwhile, is defined as “a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests.” The result? An affinity audience is a group of potential customers that share similar interests or qualities (similar to a buyer persona).

Using affinity audiences allows your brand to better align ad campaigns to buyers who are interested in what you have to sell. For example, if you’re in the coffee-making business but also have a focus on reducing plastic waste, your affinity audience might contain both people who love coffee and those who love the environment. Groups with both of these qualities are far more likely to buy your product than either group individually.

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Affinity Targeting

Affinity targeting, meanwhile, is the process of identifying the ideal affinities that align with your product or service. Consider the coffee example above. While targeting buyers who love coffee helps improve your brand placement, it also puts you in direct competition with a host of other brands all producing similar products. Additional affinity modifiers that narrow your focus — such as sustainable growth processes, fair labor practices, or environmental priorities — can help set your brand apart.

Do note that it is possible to get too specific with your audience targeting. For example, if your coffee brand targets audiences that prefer beans from a specific region that are collected, packed, and shipped in a specific way, you may end up with a handful of very loyal customers but almost no broader appeal. As a result, targeting needs to narrow the focus without preventing you from reaching the greater public.

What are Custom Audiences?

GDN and the Google Ads platform contain a host of pre-built Google affinity audiences — also called segments — that you can use to focus your marketing and advertisements. These include everything from pet lovers to do-it-yourselfers, TV comedy fans and users with an interest in news and politics.

prebuilt affinity audiences in google ads

But they can’t cover everything. You may have a product or service that doesn’t dovetail with existing segments — here, custom affinity audiences can help.

Understanding Custom Affinity Audiences

Custom affinity audiences are those you create yourself in your Google Ads platform to align with the interests of your target customer base. While Google will suggest different potential segment tags depending on what you input, it’s worth taking the time to do some market research before diving into the custom affinity process. This lets you pinpoint the audience preferences that align best with your brand.

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You can create custom affinity audiences related to four criteria: Interests, URLs, places, or applications. In general, places and applications are the least useful of the bunch. Here’s why. In our coffee example above, there aren’t a lot of coffee-related applications that would set your audience apart. And while geography has some impact on buying behavior, it’s usually not enough to justify an entire segment.

Interests and URLs, meanwhile, can help you dig down and identify potential affinity options that may be shared by your target market at large.

How to Create Affinity Audiences

Ready to create your own affinity audience? Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Google Ads account.
  2. Select “Tools and Settings”, then “Audience manager.”
  3. Select “Custom Segments.”
  4. Enter segment name and interests.
  5. Save your new segment.

Let’s tackle each step in more detail.

1. Log Into Your Google Ads Account

how to use custom affinity audiences: log in to google ads

First, log into your Google Ads account. Here, you can see any active campaigns along with the associated affinity audiences.

2. Select “Tools and Settings”, then “Audience Manager”

how to use custom affinity audiences: access audience manager

Next, head to “tools and settings” in the upper-right-hand corner and then find “Audience manager” in the drop-down menu.

3. Select “Custom Segments”

how to use custom affinity audiences: custom segments

Now you’ll see a list of any data segments you’re currently using to target prospective buyers. To create an audience or segment, click on “Custom Segments” and then the blue “+” icon.

4. Enter Segment Name and Interests

how to use custom affinity audiences: segment name

Now, give your segment a name and add a few potential interests. For example, if you enter “coffee”, Google will return interests or purchase intention ideas such as “coffees to make with an espresso machine”, “how to make coffee with coffee beans” and “coffee makers that make different coffees.”

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5. Save Your New Segment

Finally, save your new segment with use for ad campaigns. You can create as many segments as you like until you’ve covered all relevant market bases.

The Impact of Effective Affinity Audiences

Ideally, affinity audiences lead to a definitive result: Increased ROI.

Here’s why: When your ads are shown to audiences that are interested in what you’re selling, they’re more likely to click through and purchase your products. As a result, the money you spend on advertising is directly offset by the conversions driven by these ads, in turn creating positive ROI. More generic campaigns, meanwhile, may still increase overall sales but not enough to balance out the spend required to reach larger audiences.

The right audience makes all the difference. Targeted, customized affinity audiences help you reach the people that want to buy your products, in turn boosting conversions and making your overall ad spend more cost-effective. Custom affinity audiences further narrow your market targeting, increasing the likelihood of revenue and reducing the gap between what you spend on ads and what you get in return.

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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers

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The HubSpot Blog's 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers


In our recent Marketing Trends survey, we learned that social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.

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