As advertisers, we are usually drawn to new ad platforms and betas, first and foremost, for the cost savings. Entering a newer platform, like Quora, is generally cheaper than a mature platform, like Google. However, in our latest beta test with Quora, we found that there’s another MAJOR reason to test younger ad platforms and betas within those platforms: The personalized attention.
Why are betas difficult?
You might be wondering why advertisers would want personalized attention when launching a beta test in an ad platform and on top of that, why we would value that as high as generating a low cost/lead. Let me paint a picture of what it’s like to NOT have personalized attention when launching a beta.
Here’s the headline for why betas are hard: Uncertainty is high. Best practices are nowhere to be found. Even a good first test may not be enough to convince stakeholders that there should be future tests.
Imagine you test a new campaign type that’s currently in beta. Your platform reps give you access to the campaign type and that’s it. Maybe there’s a support page on their site somewhere with some basic setup details, but since it’s a beta, there’s very little documentation. You set up the campaign to the best of your knowledge and then you launch. The first few days of the campaign, you’ve spent $50/day and generated ZERO leads. This worries you, naturally, but you know that 1. The campaign might be “learning” on the back-end and 2. Your data (ZERO leads) isn’t statistically significant yet. Any experienced, logical performance marketer would tell you not to change the campaign settings, bids, creative, etc. because your results are not yet statistically sound. In other words, you haven’t run the campaign long enough to know, FOR SURE, that it’s OFFICIALLY not working.
So you wait it out. By the time you’ve hit statistical significance, your campaign has spent $500. Maybe even $1,000 or $5,000, depending on the beta, campaign goals, cost/click, etc. At this point, you’ve generated a few leads, but the cost/lead is still 100% higher than your average paid social campaign. Sure, you learned something from this test, because you can always learn from failed tests. Failing is actually fundamental for growth, so that part isn’t too frustrating.
The frustrating part of this whole situation is that you can’t help but wonder if there were some simple best practices you could have implemented from the start to get good enough results to then get the go-ahead from your boss/team to keep testing.
Were there settings you should have used? More niche targeting you could have implemented? Because you were flying blind during the campaign setup phase, you’re never going to be 100% confident that the results are truly indicative of the beta’s potential. I think it’s rare for a new campaign type or ad platform to hit our goals the first time around, but if you miss your goal by a longshot, it’s now going to be even harder to convince your team that this new beta or new platform is worth continuing to test.
Because what’s usually happening with any team that’s testing a beta ad or new ad platform is that stakeholders are looking at it as a one-time test. It either works or it doesn’t. Whether that’s the best way to view it or not (I believe it’s NOT, but that’s a whole separate topic), that tends to be the trend that I see across companies, especially those with smaller budgets.
Testing Quora Lead Gen Ads
Enter 1:1 attention from an ad platform team.
This is what we got from the Quora team, every step of the way when we tested Quora’s new lead gen ads. Here’s the process we went through:
- We were offered access to the beta. This is one of the perks of working with agencies. We have more connections, as an agency, to platforms reps. (Shoutout to JD Prater)
- The Quora team initiated a meeting where they asked us a number of questions about our goals for the lead gen campaign.
- Following the meeting, our team set up the lead gen ad campaign, based on the details discussed in the group meeting.
- Quora’s team asked us to let them know when the campaign was drafted so they could review it for potential optimizations, prior to launch. Note: in my past experience as an account manager, I’ve had to be the one reaching out to reps, prior to launching a beta, to see if they have any pointers. The proactivity from the Quora team in this phase was unlike any other beta experience I’ve had.
The Quora team reviewed our lead gen ad campaign the same day that we sent them a notification to let them know it was drafted.
Here’s what the ads looked like before we made updates:
Here are the initial points of feedback (I’ve left out 1 note on audience targeting because it won’t make sense without the full context of the campaign) :
- Headline sentence – I recommend considering asking questions on Quora as the data shows they perform better than statements. Maybe flip the question in your description with your current headline, “Is your 2020 digital advertising strategy ready?” Try making the question intriguing and qualifying to pull in the right audience. You can also see Hanapin Marketing 3x in the top left so this will help break that up and give you some text characters back.
- The logo is too small – I recommend updating the company logo by eliminating the text and just zooming in on the image.
- Confirmation headline on the lead form – Consider setting expectations here that people can view the report (the ads were for Hanapin’s 2019-2020 State of PPC report) now and they’ll get an email from you later. Something like, “View the report now and look for it in your inbox soon.”
Here are the ads after we implemented the feedback
We made the changes and launched the beta campaign.
Quora Lead Gen Ads: Campaign Setup Friction
On top of providing great feedback throughout the entire test, the Quora team proved to be quite nimble too. Of the three main areas where we felt that there was friction in the campaign setup process, they were already working on resolving one area. They were clearly getting similar feedback from other advertisers and making the product updates as soon as possible. Here are the points of friction we ran into:
- Not being able to edit the ads or forms – their team was working on this
- Ads not being approved due to capitalization. Example: Wouldn’t let us capitalize state in “State of PPC report”
- Not being able to exclude more than one audience. Given the opportunity, we would have excluded an uploaded list and a remarketing audience.
Outside of those few items the overall technical experience was great. We found it to be easy and intuitive!
Why More Advertisers Are Testing Quora Ads
My team will continue to test Quora Ads, and especially the betas, because:
- Their team gave lots of helpful feedback along the way, helping our team to trust the results and see the potential.
- Their team was quick to listen and quick to implement improvements.
We aren’t the only advertisers planning to budget more for Quora, either.
According to Hanapin’s 2019 State of Paid Social, “the number of marketers investing in Quora has grown nearly 4x since last year. The platform has rolled out 5 betas just in the last 8 months (from when State of Paid Social was published in June) and shows no sign of slowing down.”
So if you’ve been waiting to jump into Quora Ads, you really need to stop stalling. Your competitors are starting to test Quora Ads and their team makes it easy to get started. But that’s just my two cents! If you want to procrastinate a bit longer, it will be less competitive for our team and I’m good with that.
Quora’s Lead Gen ads are currently in a closed beta but you can request access by completing this form.
How is the Blockchain Shaping the Digital Marketing Automation Tools?
It is no doubt that most of us are aware of what blockchain is and how it has shaped the future of digital marketing automation. If you are reading this article, then you might be wondering what exactly is the difference between blockchain and digital marketing automation?
What Exactly Is Blockchain? The blockchain is a decentralized ledger system that records transactions between two parties. A block stores information about previous transactions, so each block contains a link to its previous transaction’s record to prevent double-spending.
The users will have their copy of the record on their device so they can keep track of all the changes made in that particular chain by any member of the network.
The Blockchain Is Creating a New World
The blockchain is a new technology. It’s based on the idea of decentralization and peer-to-peer networks, which makes it different from traditional centralized systems. Blockchain technology uses a distributed ledger to store information, making it impossible for a hacker to modify the data stored on the network.
The blockchain can get used in many ways, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. But it also has applications in other industries such as digital marketing automation tools where marketers need fast access to information about their customers or prospects without having to go through an intermediary (like Google Analytics).
Some companies have started using this technology as part of their product offerings by providing users with access to their data through APIs that they can use however they wish (for example: visualizing trends over time).
How Digital Marketing Automation Tools Work
Digital marketing automation tools work by task automation like sending emails, creating landing pages, and tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns. These tools can help you save time and money by automating tasks.
For example, let’s say you want to reach out to more leads on LinkedIn but you don’t have time to send them an email every day. With a digital marketing automation tool like HubSpot or Marketo, you can set up an autoresponder sequence that will send out emails automatically so all you have to do is check-in once in a while and make sure everything’s running smoothly.
Prepare for the Future of the Blockchain Marketing
As technology continues to evolve, the blockchain will play a pivotal role in digital marketing. This is because it offers a secure and reliable platform that marketers can use to communicate with their audience. In addition, it also provides better transparency than traditional marketing methods because of its decentralized nature.
Below are some of the ways that marketers can benefit from using blockchain:
- Security: The blockchain offers greater security than traditional methods of digital marketing since it doesn’t rely on central servers or third parties.
- Efficiency: Using blockchain technology means there’s no need for middlemen or intermediaries when conducting transactions online. This improves efficiency by cutting out unnecessary steps between two parties looking to transact business with one another; this saves both time and money for both parties involved!
Secure Digital Marketing Tool Designed on Blockchain
A digital marketing tool designed on blockchain will be more robust and secure. Blockchain technology is a decentralized, distributed ledger technology that helps in recording transactions between two parties efficiently.
It also ensures that the records cannot be tampered with once they get recorded. This means that if you buy a product from an e-commerce website and pay for it using cryptocurrency (a form of digital currency), then no one can hack into the system and change your transaction record to avoid paying you the money.
In general, blockchain offers marketers several benefits:
- It allows for better data sharing and storage than traditional databases
- It offers enhanced security features because there is no single point of failure
- It can help companies boost productivity by integrating both humans and machines
Blockchain Protocol That Ensures Safety, Security
Don’t worry, you can still use digital advertising. You just need to trust the blockchain protocol that runs it.
Ad-blocking software has made digital advertising ineffective already and will soon make all digital advertising completely ineffective. You see, if you are using ad-blocking software on your computer or mobile device, then you’re not seeing any of the ads being served to people who aren’t using ad blockers.
This means that advertisers must pay for each impression (or view) of their ads, even when those impressions do not get seen by anyone at all!
By adopting a blockchain protocol for their digital advertising campaigns, marketers and publishers can verify which impressions are being seen by humans and prove whether or not they were delivered effectively before paying for them.
It is worth mentioning that the benefits can be multifold as is already visible from the other spaces like the cryptocurrency markets. Numerous traders are gaining from the rising cryptocurrency prices. So, digital markets too must watch out for this technology.
The entire industry benefits because everyone is working together instead of trying to scam each other through fake views on fake websites with fake content created solely for financial gain without any real value-added back into society whatsoever!
Digital Technology Is Changing Everything
You probably already know that digital technology is changing everything. But what you may not realize is that blockchain is one of the biggest and most important digital technologies to come out in years.
Blockchain can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s worth learning about because it’s changing the way we do business, marketing, and advertising—even as we speak! The best place to start learning is by understanding what blockchain means. It’s essentially a decentralized database that allows information (such as financial transactions) to be stored on multiple computers rather than in one location. This makes it more secure than traditional databases which are usually stored on just one server or computer system.
As you can see, the blockchain is changing the way we interact with technology. It’s also changing how we experience marketing automation tools, and how they work. The future of digital marketing will be shaped by this new technology, which means marketers need to start exploring how it can be applied to their jobs now.
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