You don’t have to be a financial expert to know that the economy is in a rough patch.
The vast majority of workers are working from home or laid off, retail stores are closed, and most bars and restaurants haven’t been open for dine-in customers.
For most of the nation staying home has been a good thing for the eCommerce industry, however, which saw a 25% increase in online sales.
Still, most business leaders are wary of spending unnecessary money. It is still unclear how long the COVID-19 pandemic might last, or how long the economy might take to recover.
However, if you are focusing on tightening up spending, there’s one area you can’t cut — and that is marketing.
If you don’t use this time to market your company wisely, you might not have a business once things finally move towards normal.
Instead of cutting all spending, it’s time to spend more carefully and do more with what you already have.
That might mean using strategies such as repurposing blog content into videos or podcasts or revitalizing older content to target currently popular search terms.
When it comes to paid ads, however, it is time to make sure your Google Ads are as efficient as they can be.
In fact, it’s never been more critical to make sure that your Google Ads aren’t burning through your budget.
Here are six ways to adjust your Google Ads to save money while still driving conversions.
Audit Your Negative Keyword List
Determining the most profitable key terms for your ads might seem like the most efficient use of your time.
After all, you want to make sure your ad for Nike shoes shows up for terms like “buy Nike shoes,” right? The same way you would want your ad for dash cams to show up for “best dash cams”.
Unless you want to burn through and spend, however, there’s another type of key term you need to pay attention to — the negative key term.
Negative keywords, as you may already know, are terms you tell Google you don’t want your ad to show up for.
For example, if you are selling an AIP meal plan, you may not want to show your ad for terms like “dairy focus diet” or “keto diet” (Unless, of course, you sell keto diet.)
When people search for these terms your ad won’t show up — which saves you money and helps increase the relevancy of your ads.
Which is a good thing when you are looking to save Google’s ad budget.
Here’s how to add negative keywords:
- Login to your Google Ads dashboard.
- Tap Keywords in the left navigation bar
- Select Negative Keywords.
- Add words you don’t want your ad to display.
If you’ve already created a negative key term list — when was the last time you checked on it? It might be time to audit your keyword list by taking a peek at what search terms are triggering your ad.
- Login to Google Ads.
- Click the All Campaigns option on the left.
- Click Keywords.
- Then, click Search Terms.
This will show search terms that triggered impressions and clicks. If any terms don’t make sense for your ad, then add them to your negative keyword list.
Every time you run a Google ad, most search queries will not be relevant to your offer. Negative keywords, which exclude specific terms from triggering your ad, are a smart way to boost your conversion rate and save your budget.
Use Dynamic Search Ads
Optimizing your Google Ads is the best way to reduce ad spend — and increase clicks. But, you also might not have as much time to spend analyzing reports, tracking conversions, and A/B testing headlines.
So how can you create more effective Google ads in less time? Try using Google’s Dynamic Search Ad feature.
According to Google, “Dynamic Search Ad headlines and landing pages are also generated using content from your website, which keeps your ads relevant and saves you time. All you need to do is add a creative description.”
The reality is, that even well-managed Google Ads accounts might miss out on relevant keywords. Plus it can take time to write, create, and test ads for new products. With Dynamic Ads, Google does the work for you by generating ads with terms closely related to words on your website. If you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors and be original, you can use a free online plagiarism checker.
Say you own an eCommerce store specializing in Mexican textile products. You might already target keywords like “baja hoodie.” But, you might miss out on keywords that become popular, such as “handcraft blanket.”
If you activate Dynamic Search Ads, Google will go to your site, pull photos of your blanket and display it for relevant search terms — without you having to do a thing.
This can save you time, show more relevant ads to searchers, and capture additional traffic by identifying new targeting opportunities for your site.
Here’s how to use Dynamic Ads.
- Login to Google Ads, then create a new campaign by tapping the blue + sign.
- Select goals for your campaign from the provided list.
- Use Search as your campaign type.
- Select the results you want from your ads.
- Give your campaign a name and enter the language, location, and budget.
- Under General Settings, click Show more settings, then choose Dynamic Search Ad.
- Add your website URL and language.
- Click Save, then move on to creating a dynamic ad group.
- Select Dynamic for the Ad Group Type.
- Choose how to target your ads. This guide from Google can help you decide which option will work best based on your website.
- Set your bid (if you aren’t using automatic bidding), then click Save and Continue.
Once you’ve created your Dynamic Ad campaign, you can then run actual dynamic ads. Note that Google will generate the headline and URL automatically; however, you will need to create the description text.
Some advertisers might worry about the lack of control inherent in dynamic ads. While you do have less control, these ads can be incredibly effective. Just make sure to check on your dynamic ads regularly to ensure they are performing well.
Use Retargeting to Send Hyper-Targeted Ads
Most Google Ads are targeted based on demographic information and search behavior. But, there’s another option that many advertisers aren’t currently leveraging — and it’s costing them big bucks.
Retargeting ads allow you to target people who have interacted with your business in some way. It is highly effective because you’ve already built some sort of relationship with the user.
According to a report by Criteo, retargeting ads helped their customers increase conversion rates by as much as 43 percent.
Depending on the retargeting option you choose, Google retargeting can allow you to target:
- Past website visitors
- Specific products visitors looked at on your site (using dynamic remarketing)
- Mobile app users on other websites
- People who interacted with your YouTube channel
- People on your email list
To create retargeting ads, you will need to create a new campaign, click Browse, then select retargeting.
If you are tired of wasting ad spend on users who don’t convert, retargeting can allow you to create hyper-focused ads that only target people who have already expressed interest in your brand — which makes better use of your ad dollars.
Increase Your Quality Score
Quality score is a one to ten-point measurement provided by Google that tells advertisers whether their ads are high or low quality. A quality score often means your ad is providing users with a great ad experience.
Essentially, a high-quality score is Google’s way of saying, “Good job, your ad is meeting customer’s needs.”
But, it’s more than just a pat on the back — a high-quality score also reduces the cost per click and cost per conversion, and it can help your ad show up for more relevant searches.
According to Google, factors that impact your ad’s quality score include:
- Whether your ad is optimized for users’ specific devices.
- Whether your ad makes sense for user’s searches and intent
- Your ad’s performance, especially for newly launched keywords.
Basically, the better your ad does, the more relevant your quality score is.
Here are a few tips to increase your Quality Score — and save your ad budget.
- Use a grammar tool like Grammarly to refine your ad text by correcting spelling and grammar mistakes — but also to adjust for tone.
- Target mobile users with separate mobile-friendly ads.
- Use a keyword tool to find highly relevant keywords — and include long-tail terms, which are more likely to be relevant.
- Add or audit your negative keyword list to exclude irrelevant search terms.
- Create smaller keyword lists, rather than targeting longer lists.
- Use a tool like Clearscope to optimize your landing page to ensure they are highly relevant to your target audience. Also, make sure to write a good SEO meta description to entice users to click through.
Focus on Customer Intent
When it comes to targeting ads, most people focus on broad matching keywords — which is a huge mistake.
Broad match allows your ads to show for “related searches,” which is great in theory, but sometimes these so-called related searches have nothing at all to do with your core keyword — and even worse, they don’t consider intent at all.
Intent can make all the difference when you are trying to save ad budget.
For example, if you are promoting a Scrabble word finder, you might consider targeting word finders. However, if you use a broad match keyword, your ad might show for other games such as Wordle, a scrabble competition or any other searches that Google devices are closely related to finding words. Instead, you want to be targeting user intent.
While this might seem obvious, Google ads actually set you up for failure by making broad key terms the default when you are setting up your ad group:
There are two ways to fix this issue — you can use a tool that looks for related keywords and topics, like MarketMuse, then add the terms that make sense to your keywords list.
Using the Research function will provide you with a list of related terms and topics:
Or, you can use Google’s internal targeting to target custom intent. Here’s how:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Click Display campaigns, then choose one of your active campaigns.
- Tap Audiences.
- Click the pencil icon, then choose Edit ad group targeting.
- Select an ad group.
- Under Targeting select Narrow targeting, then click the grey plus sign.
- Click the pencil icon right next to Targeted audiences.
- Under the Browse tab, select What they are actively researching or planning (In-market and custom intent).
- Click the blue plus icon, located next to “New custom intent audience”.
- Name your custom intent audience, and add related keywords this audience might be actively researching
- Click Create to create a custom intent-based audience.
Now when you create ads, you can target intent-based audiences rather than those who may be in the research phase.
Make Ad Groups Smaller
Testing ads is one of the most efficient ways to see what works and what doesn’t — which helps you create more efficient ads. However, massive ad groups with dozens of ads means your ads aren’t going to be as relevant as they could be.
As a result, you will see a lower quality score and a much higher click-through rate.
Instead, each ad group should be focused on one specific product, offer, or service. For example, one ad group for your webinar training, another for your ebook, and so forth.
Smaller ad groups allow you to create a more relevant keyword list, which makes it easier to develop the right ads for each step in the search funnel. Plus, it’s easier to track results for a small ad group versus a large one. For best results, however, you will want to create at least three to four ads per ad group.
When it comes to ad groups, less is more. Smaller ad groups can help increase CTR and make it far easier to track metrics like keyword performance.
When it comes to Google ads, many advertisers are looking for ways to do more with less. The Google ad optimization tips above will help you optimize your campaigns, so your ads drive more sales, clicks, and traffic.
Once you get your campaigns optimized, there is one final change you can make to make the most of not just your ad budget, but also your time. Google allows users to set up automated email alerts for customized help and performance suggestions, campaign maintenance alerts, and disapproved ads and policy alerts. Here’s how to update your Google ad email notifications.
Now, whenever there is a big change to your account, you will be notified via email. So you can go back to running your business.
9 Non-PPC Questions Your PPC Clients Will Ask (& How to Answer Them)
A couple of months ago I wrote a post about things I wish I had known when I started my career in PPC. There was….quite a lot and one of the areas I covered was that of being a surprise business consultant in addition to a PPC consultant.
When a client asks you a question that has nothing to do with PPC…
It seemed like an area that other PPCers have experienced as well. So I thought it might be a good idea to dive deeper into this topic, discuss some of the most common (and sometimes most difficult) questions I’m asked by clients about their business and then also provide insights on how I go about answering them.
9 non-PPC questions your clients will ask (+ answers)
Here’s a list of nine common questions I’m asked as a PPC pro that I wanted to share my typical answers to.
Note: None of these answers are perfect. They’re simply what I’ve found works best for the clients I work with over time and keep us moving forward.
1. What should our budget be?
This is a topic that’s becoming more prevalent as my time goes on. It used to be that only small businesses would ask me what they should be spending on their ads, but more and more, I’m hearing larger companies ask similar questions. Luckily, this one is a little easier to answer with the help of some of the platform planning tools.
The Google Keyword Planner, for example, is a keyword research tool with built-in functionality for you to estimate overall costs of your potential keywords and geographic area. And when you create audiences on LinkedIn, there are size estimates and CPCs estimated based on your parameters that give you a range of what you could spend. There’s also a budget report in Google Ads that can help you see your current and projected spend based on your daily budget.
These tools are best used as guideposts. Typically, I use these numbers as a suggested range to get the conversation moving, but they’re just starting points. I have never taken the suggested spend from these tools and told my clients that’s what the budget HAS to be. That’s simply not practical. Sometimes the estimated spend is too small, other times it’s too large.
The other consideration aside from potential is realistic performance expectations. Often, clients will have a target number of leads or amount of revenue they would like their campaigns to produce. I work with them to create realistic CPA or ROAS goals, then reverse engineer the appropriate budget from there.
For example, if you want to generate 100 leads per month and your realistic CPL target is $200, you’ll need to have at least a budget of $20k per month to hit those goals. Anything short of that simply isn’t realistic.
2. Who should we be targeting?
I always tell my clients that you know your business, we know the ad channels. When someone asks me who they should be targeting, I turn the question back on them.
Give me a persona. How old are they? Where do they live? What types of companies do they work in? What do they do on the weekends?
Maybe not all of these types of questions will feed into every business type, but the more information we have, the better off we are.
No matter what they tell me, I take those characteristics and conduct targeting research on the ad channels. Can I find any of these characteristics on LinkedIn? Snapchat? Google? Facebook?
Depending on what I find, my response to them is usually a rundown of targeting options on a number of channels that we then use as the starting point to develop a multi-channel or cross-channel approach to customer generation.
3. Who are our competitors and how can we differentiate from them?
Competitors in PPC are not always the same as regular market competition. Typically when my clients ask me this question, they’re asking for their market competitors. But that’s not where my value lies.
Instead, I discuss what makes a PPC competitor. These are companies that you’re directly bidding against for the attention and clicks of your target customer.
On search, this could be a number of brands that sell the same products/services that you do, or they could be folks who are in the wrong place. Depending on who you find in these areas, you need to craft your advertising accordingly. I use a couple of tools to help identify these competitors.
First, if there are already search campaigns running, I use the Auction Insights tool. The domains that show up here are bidding against you on a regular basis. In some cases, this can give you a good list of folks to do further research on and in some cases, it can also cause you to revisit your keyword list if you find that many of the brands listed aren’t relevant to your company.
Second, I use the competitor keyword tools like SpyFu, SEMRush, and iSpionage. While they’re not perfect, these tools can help identify the keywords certain brands are bidding on and give you more ideas of keywords to target and stay away from based on competition.
No matter what the list of competitors, I usually try and provide a report that includes insights on keywords, ad copy, calls to action, and landing page insights for the main 5-10 competitors to give my clients a good idea what they’re realistically up against in the SERPs.
4. Should we focus on growing our customer base or servicing the customers we already have?
There’s not really a right or wrong answer here, but I usually ask about customer churn. If you’re losing customers faster than you can make them, you should likely work on retaining the customers you have before you go find more. Otherwise, you’re just going to lose them down the line.
That said, it can be very short-sighted to only look at existing customers when running a business. If you’re not influencing new users, you’re not building a pipeline for future customers.
Even if you need to work on retention, I’ll have a hard time saying you shouldn’t do ANY prospecting. If you don’t, you likely won’t have a place to go for users once that retention strategy is in place.
5. Should we expand into new geographic markets?
I love when companies want to expand, but you need to make sure it’s worth it.
The first place I usually look is demand: is there search volume or high enough target audiences to support expanded coverage for their services? Ideally, I can find some benchmark stats for performance, but typically that information is pretty scarce.
The next thing to do is check the business fundamentals.
- Do your shipping costs go up?
- Can you keep your service timing promises?
- Can you support a dispersed customer base and maintain your level of service?
- Could you keep up with increased production needs?
- Are there other considerations that come into play with expanded coverage?
If all of these things align with green lights for the expanded coverage, I’ll suggest a controlled test. Target the audiences that have the highest performance from the current locations or are the best fit in the new ones and run a time and budget-restricted campaign.
The time and budget restrictions are important. You want to ensure your test has enough time for some optimizations and enough budget was spent to give this new area an honest chance to perform. Getting signoff on those pieces will be important to prove if this area is worthy of ongoing expansion.
6. Does it make sense to extend our product or service offerings?
Similar to geographic expansion, we PPC pros can help with this in a couple of ways:
Would there be existing demand for these new products/services or would we have to create it?
Are there other companies doing this already? How would we stack up against them, cost and quality-wise?
In some instances, I’ve found huge demand for a product or service, but my client wasn’t able to deliver at a level that beat the competition on either quality or cost. To unseat an existing company, you’ll likely have to beat them on one of these two. If you can’t do that, it might not be in your best interest to expand.
Our SWOT analysis template could come in handy here.
7. Should we have a holiday sale this year or hold off?
Based on the brands I’ve worked with, holiday sales are usually designed to do a couple of things: meet annual revenue targets or acquire new customers at a lower cost with the expectation that they’ll come back later on. Typically, holiday sales are NOT meant to be the time of year when people rake in the highest ROAS performance.
When I’m asked this question, I usually ask what the main goals of having a sale would be. What are they trying to achieve? Work on coming up with estimates of performance during the holiday period to see if the goals they have are realistically achievable.
This can be done through some of the planning tools, but the best is to use historical performance if you have it. Take a look at the last couple of years during the holiday. How did things shift? How did they stay the same? Based on these trends, do you think their goals for this holiday season are achievable with a holiday sale or will they be undermining the campaigns?
8. What areas of our company do you think are resonating well and what could be done to improve?
In my experience, this question is nearly impossible to answer other than from a campaign perspective.
Likely, you don’t know how customers are liking their products or services, but you can get insights about which ad copy messages, calls to action, or keyword groups are receiving the most attention in the account, either volume or engagement wise to help give some guidance.
Take a look at the different components of your account. What campaigns/products/services are getting the most volume? Which have the highest CTR? Which have the highest conversion rate? What has the highest ROAS or the lowest CPA?
Depending on what you find in the performance, you might be highlighting an area of their business that your client didn’t realize is a strong performer for them and give them a place to focus on expansion.
9. What are some brands you engage with regularly and what do you like about them? How could those same practices apply to our company?
Honestly, this one is a little tougher, because it’s pretty much all opinion based. For this question, I try to be on the lookout regularly to find brands that I like and are doing a good job achieving specific goals.
That said, it’s always a good idea to check out the ad libraries to see what types of ads high-spend brands are running and see if you can find some takeaways for your clients.
No matter where you get the info, it’s always good to show actual examples of the ads rather than just talk about them. Clients love to see visuals to make a point and then they’re much easier to share with their own creative departments as direction for future campaigns.
Almost every PPC pro I’ve talked to over the years agrees: In some ways, we end up being an additional business consultant to our clients outside of our usual PPC duties. Hopefully, highlighting some of my answers to these questions, which you’ll find are usually research or process-based more than anything, will give you the confidence to take this extra role head-on and continue providing additional benefits to your clients.
47 Creative February Marketing Ideas (Beyond Valentine’s Day!)
February is home to the most romantic holiday of the year:
Just kidding (shouldn’t that be in March anyway?). But there is so much more to February than Branch’s Conversation Hearts and #sharethelove. So today, I’m showering you with over 50 creative and February marketing ideas and examples to help you connect with customers and build your brand.
Table of contents
February awareness causes
Below is a list of awareness causes recognized in February that can help you with cause-related marketing.
- American History Month
- American Heart Month (heart disease)
- Bake for Family Fun Month
- Black History Month
- Cancer Prevention Month
- Children’s Dental Health Month
- Embroidery Month
- Free and Open-Source Software Month
- Library Lover’s Month
- Self-Check Month
- Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
- Wedding Month
Some of these are general while others are highly specific, so depending on your business, your trade, or your niche, you may or may not be able to apply these to your February social media and marketing campaigns (National Embroidery Month isn’t exactly versatile, for example).
February national days
There’s a full list of February national days and dates at the bottom of this post, but here are some highlights:
- Known: Groundhog Day, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day (Valentine’s Day marketing ideas here), Galentine’s Day.
- Fun: Day the Music Died Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, Make a Friend Day, Do A Grouch a Favor Day, Comfy Day, Optimist Day.
- Meaningful: Freedom Day, Girls and Women in Sports Day, Wear Red Day, Safer Internet Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, Shut-In Visitation Day, Set a Good Example Day, Skip the Straw Day.
- Industry-specific: Toothache Day, Dog Biscuit Day, Love Your Pet Day, Spay Day, Clean Out Your Computer Day, Caregivers Day, Lash Day, Home Warranty Day, Women Physicians Day.
- Well alright: Public Sleeping Day.
February diversity, equity & inclusion
Alright, now it’s time to get into the marketing ideas. Let’s start with important dates and observances that can help you in your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
- Black History Month: Your Black History-related content should not actually be a marketing ploy but a genuine initiative to raise awareness and promote civil rights.
Here are some things you can do.
- Highlight prominent Black leaders in your industry—lawyers, politicians, scientists, artists, educators, and athletes who have shaped or are shaping American society or your industry.
- Interview or feature Black business owners, influencers, or members of your community who are helping to make history.
- Share quotes, little-known facts, and eye-opening stats about Black History—especially those related to your industry or niche.
- Tammy Baldwin’s birthday (Feb 11): Tammy Baldwin is the first openly LGBT woman elected to both houses of Congress. Post an inspiring quote from her on Instagram or Facebook.
- Susan B. Anthony’s birthday (Feb 15): This famous female is a leader of the women’s suffrage movement who advocated for abolition, labor rights, equal pay and more. On this day, share an eye-opening statistic or inspirational quote to raise awareness.
Meaningful February marketing ideas
In addition to inclusivity, there are plenty of other themes during February that can help you with meaningful marketing. Showing your support for causes you care about is a great way to connect with your audience and express your core values. Here are some ideas and examples.
Heart Health Awareness Month
So February isn’t all about that $1 pink balloon heart but also that invaluable organ inside of you that makes you tick. If your business is focused on health and wellness, this is a great marketing opportunity for you.
- Fitness centers and gyms can partner with a local health center for heart disease awareness or screenings.
- Host special classes focusing on cardiovascular activity.
- Write informative blog posts about heart health and risk factors. Use this time to market your business by educating your customers on leading healthy lives.
- Give out a free heart-healthy gift with purchases or registrations.
In the example below, this fitness center is giving out free heart rate monitors to those who join in the month of February.
If you’re not a health or fitness business, no problem.
- Any business can sponsor a Healing Heart 5k, or donate a portion of their profits to a heart health-related nonprofit.
- Think outside the box—pet hearts, artichoke hearts, hearts of remain, website health (the heart of a business marketing strategy, for example).
Children’s Dental Health Month
Dentists can certainly have a field day with this one, but other businesses can use this opportunity to teach parents and students about the importance of dental health.
- Daycares, fitness centers, and churches can host special classes about the importance of dental hygiene.
- If you’re a dentist, you may offer to teach such classes. Or spruce up your dentist website with some extra decorations or promotions.
- Ecommerce businesses can promote their oral hygiene products.
- If you’re not a dentist, a simple social media post to bring your target audience’s attention to the cause can go a long way.
Cancer Awareness Month
In addition to having World Cancer Day, the whole month of February is dedicated to cancer awareness. Show your support on Facebook with a purple-themed post or initiative. You can encourage your followers to “purple” their profile, promote your purple products, or run a purple-themed contest.
Wear Red Day
National Wear Red Day is focused on raising awareness for heart disease. On this day, you could:
- Host an event in support of cardiovascular health and promote it on Instagram.
- Promote your red products or give your social media profiles or homepage a red theme for the day.
- Post an applicable picture to Instagram with an eye-opening stat. This is a great way to increase Instagram engagement.
World Cancer Day
You may also want to run a special promotion on World Cancer Day itself, especially if you’re in the health and fitness industry.
Fun February marketing ideas
Some of these are well-known, others not so much. Take a look and see which ones align with your brand voice and values.
Federal holidays like these are always versatile. Any industry can run a Presidents Day sale—for the day, the weekend, or the whole dang month. Here are some ideas:
- Run a presidential trivia night at your restaurant or even on social media.
- Run a Presidents Day giveaway on Instagram or Facebook.
- Create a Facebook event for your sale.
Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
Ironically, in the middle of Children’s Dental Health Month is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day…oops? But who says you can’t use this quirky holiday to market your business?
Held on the first Saturday of February, this is an opportunity for bakeries, ice cream shops, or restaurants to run special promotions.
Fat (mardi) Tuesday (Gras) is held on the last Tuesday before Ash Wednesday every year. It’s a celebration of life before the more somber Ash Wednesday and following period of Lent. Here are some Mardi Gras marketing ideas:
- Write a blog post with a “celebration of life” theme.
- Promote your purple, green, and gold products.
- Run a Mardi Gras Instagram giveaway.
- Enter customers on that day into a drawing for a gift card or discount.
- Offer a discount to those who wear Mardi Gras beads to your store, event, or classes. Promote the sale ahead of time with a post and encourage followers throughout the day by posting pictures of customers wearing their beads.
Love Your Pet Day
Love Your Pet Day is February’s opportunity for you to shamelessly post about your pet. But here are some additional ideas to consider:
- Write a blog post about what your pet can teach you about [topic relevant to your industry].
- Have your employees share photos of their pets and put the montage on social media or in your February newsletter.
- Come up with a pet-themed incentive. For example, Select Hotels invited its followers to comment on its post with their favorite moments with their pets, and that if they did, “A surprise awaits the two of you on your next visit.”
Make a Friend Day
This day gives you lots of opportunities for creative marketing.
- Send out a review request email themed around asking your customers to be your friend. (Use these February email subjet lines for inspiration!)
- Partner with a neighboring or complementary business and run a joint friends promotion.
- Remind people of your referral program or run a one-day special where referrals result in a discount or gift.
Groundhog Day Contest
This superstitious day happens on February 2 every year. For the uninitiated, if the groundhog sees its shadow, winter will last six more weeks. If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early. Plenty of fun marketing material to work with here.
- Run a sale where the offer is contingent upon the outcome of the day.
- Create content inspired by the Groundhog Day movie, sharing tips to break up the monotony or avoid repeating mistakes.
- On Groundhog Day, you can run a contest, share a question or poll with your audience, or simply share a fun fact about the day.
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched programs on television. How does your target audience relate to football? Are they football fans? Spouses or parents of football fans? Athletes? Is your business located near a Superbowl venue? Run a special during Superbowl weekend, create Superbowl-themed products, or share a helpful tip relevant to what their Superbowl experience will be like.
February hashtag marketing ideas
Hashtags can expand your reach and add some personality to your posts. Here are some basic February hashtags to play around with.
If you’re just getting started with your Instagram marketing, start basic with something as simple as a #Febsale. In the below example, the small business Mexicali took a snapshot of their ready-to-ship orders to promote their February sale and encourage people to buy.
They didn’t use a photo shoot or fancy Photoshop graphics; just a simple behind-the-scenes sneak peek and a caption that closes with a question.
#FebruaryFeels for mood
You don’t need to have a sale for a February-friendly Instagram post. How about just appealing to your audience’s mood during this time of year?
Just make sure you’re appealing to the mood of your specific audience in February as it relates to your business. Is your audience…
- Filing tax forms?
- Returning back to school after break?
- Reading love stories and seeking positive vibes?
- Totally embracing singledom?
#FebruaryFeels for a testimonial
#FebruaryFavorites to promote other content
This is a good way to surface seasonal content or products or even to bring to light some of the forgotten ones. Share a roundup of your most popular products or services, or even your favorite tips, tools, products, or resources related to your audience’s goals and needs.
#FebruaryFeature to promote products
Whether the product you’re promoting is February-themed or not, you can make it so by using the hashtag #Februaryfeature. Pick something you’d like to promote in February and see if #Februaryfeature can help increase sales and engagement related to it.
#FebruaryFeature to feature an employee
You could also feature an employee, student, or customer. These types of feature posts can get your employees, customers, and fans excited about your business. Plus, they’ll want to share their “celebrity” post with their network, which can help increase your reach.
Another theme you can take advantage of in your February Instagram marketing is #FreshStartFebruary. This is especially applicable for businesses in the health and wellness industry.
As you can see, there is much more to February than Valentine’s Day (but we have plenty of Valentine’s Day marketing ideas here). Use the ideas above for creative and quality engagement with your audience—the best way to market your business. And don’t forget about March! If you have events or promotions planned for Saint Patrick’s Day or other holidays, get your audience in the know.
For more monthly marketing ideas, here’s our full list:
P.S. For marketing ideas for the whole year, check out LocaliQ’s always-updated marketing calendar.
Full list of February national days & dates
Thanks, as always, to National Day Calendar.
- Baked Alaska Day
- Dark Chocolate Day
- Freedom Day (Freedom From Slavery)
- Get Up Day
- Serpent Day
- Texas Day
- Heavenly Hash Day
- Tater Tot Day
- Groundhog Day
- Girls and Women in Sports Day – Changes Annually
- Carrot Cake Day
- Day the Music Died Day
- Missing Persons Day
- Women Physicians Day
- Optimist Day – First Thursday in February
- Create a Vacuum day
- Hemp Day
- Homemade Soup Day
- Thank a Mail Carrier Day
- Wear Red Day – First Friday in February
- Bubble Gum Day – First Friday in February
- Weatherperson’s Day
- World Nutella Day
- Ice Cream for Breakfast Day – First Saturday in February
- Play Outside Day – First Saturday of Every Month
- Frozen Yogurt Day
- Lame Duck Day
- Chopsticks Day
- Fettuccine Alfredo Day
- Periodic Table Day
- Send a Card to a Friend Day
- Boy Scouts Day
- Kite Flying Day
- Iowa Day
- Safer Internet Day U.S. – changes annually
- Cut the Cord Day
- Bagel and Lox Day
- Pizza Day
- Toothache Day
- Cream Cheese Brownie Day
- Home Warranty Day
- Umbrella Day
- Giving Hearts Day – Second Thursday in February
- Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
- Inventors’ Day
- Make a Friend Day
- Peppermint Patty Day
- Shut-In Visitation Day
- White Shirt Day
- Plum Pudding Day
- Global Movie Day – Second Saturday in February
- Galentine’s Day
- Cheddar Day
- Tortellini Day
- Pork Rind Day – Day of the Big Game
- Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
- Ferris Wheel Day
- Organ Donor Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Football Hangover Day – day after the Superbowl
- Clean Out Your Computer Day – Second Monday
- Gumdrop Day
- Singles Awareness Day
- Wisconsin Day
- Almond Day
- Do A Grouch a Favor Day
- Pancake Day (IHOP) – changes annually
- Random Acts of Kindness Day
- Cabbage Day
- Battery Day
- Crab Stuffed Flounder Day
- Drink Wine Day
- No One Eats Alone Day – Changes annually
- Caregivers Day – Third Friday
- Arabian Horse Day *
- Red Sock Day * – Third Saturday in February
- Chocolate Mint Day
- Lash Day
- Vet Girls RISE Day
- Comfy Day
- Cherry Pie Day
- Love Your Pet Day
- Muffin Day
- Grain-Free Day
- Sticky Bun Day
- Presidents Day – Third Monday
- Supermarket Employee Day *
- California Day
- Cook a Sweet Potato Day
- Margarita Day
- World Spay Day – Last Tuesday in February
- Banana Bread Day
- Dog Biscuit Day
- Tile Day
- Tortilla Chip Day
- Toast Day – Last Thursday
- Chili Day – Fourth Thursday
- Chocolate Covered Nut Day
- Clam Chowder Day
- Skip the Straw Day – Fourth Friday
- Set a Good Example Day *
- Pistachio Day
- Tell a Fairy Tale Day
- Anosmia Awareness Day
- Kahlua Day
- Retro Day
- Strawberry Day
- Polar Bear Day
- Chocolate Souffle Day
- Floral Design Day
- Public Sleeping Day
- Tooth Fairy Day
- Rare Disease Day USA – Last Day in February
February 29 (Every Four Years)
7 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Ads for Peak Performance
LinkedIn has become the go-to resource for businesses looking to advertise to a specific targeted audience of professionals.
But as with any ad platform, you are paying to play, so you need to make sure you’re taking advantage of every feature, setting and strategy to get the most out of your budget. Lucky for you, that’s what I’ll be covering in today’s post.
Read on to learn why LinkedIn advertising is a top B2B strategy and how to optimize your campaigns to get the highest return on your investment.
Why should every B2B strategy include LinkedIn ads?
LinkedIn advertising is an effective platform for anyone looking to drive leads and sales. Before we get into the optimizations, let’s cover a few of the reasons why it’s so effective.
Reach a highly targeted audience
LinkedIn allows you to target your ads based on job title, company size, industry, location, interests, groups, company growth rate, and more.
This means that you can easily “hunt” for the right prospects that are most likely to be interested in your service or product. How could you pass on that!?
Boost brand awareness
Yes I know, PPC is geared toward getting actual leads and not just increasing brand awareness. But increased awareness is a great by-product of a well-targeted campaign.
LinkedIn is an extremely popular platform with a huge user base, making it an unmissable channel to reach a wider audience and boost brand awareness.
Well, this one is just stating the obvious.
LinkedIn ads are designed to drive traffic to your website or landing pages, which can help you generate leads and sales. LinkedIn also offers lead generation forms, which allow users to sign up for more information or download either a whitepaper or some other resource directly from the ad.
Keep in mind, lead gen forms will get you more leads, but at a lower intent than those who will actually sign up directly on your website.
Data is everything. LinkedIn provides invaluable analytics and tracking tools to help you measure the effectiveness of your ads.
You can track:
- How many people have seen your ad
- How many have clicked on it
- How many have taken a specific action, such as visiting your website or filling out a form.
While these are the basics of any advertising platform, with LinkedIn you can slice it by company size, job title, industry and other accurate targets that LinkedIn offers—which we will go through in this post!
Multiple ad formats
LinkedIn offers a variety of ad formats to choose from, including sponsored content, sponsored InMail, display ads, and sponsored job postings. This allows you to choose the format that best fits your business needs and goals, which depend on your product and target market.
How to optimize your LinkedIn ads
Bottom line? LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities, brand awareness potential, lead generation forms, and analytics make it a valuable tool for any business looking to grow and succeed.
Well now that we have that settled, the question remains: How to make this advertising platform successful?
Here are seven bulletproof ways to hack your LinkedIn campaigns for success.
1. Define and regularly update your target audience
Having a target audience is crucial for creating ad content that resonates and drives conversions. Here are some steps to define your target audience:
- Identify your target market: Who is your product or service for? Consider factors such as age, gender, location, job title, and industry.
- Define your buyer personas: Create detailed profiles of your ideal customers, including their needs, goals, and challenges.
- Analyze your current customer base: Look at your current customer data to understand who is already using your product or service, why, and how.
- Consider your value proposition: What makes your product or service unique and valuable to your target audience? And what keeps them coming back?
Don’t forget to regularly review and update your target audience to ensure that your ad campaigns stay relevant and effective.
2. Create great ads (and I mean really great ads)
LinkedIn is a crowded network, filled with recruiters, salespeople, and advertisers. So you’d better make sure you’ve got winning ads!
Your ads need to stand out for all the right reasons, or they just won’t cut it.
Use compelling headlines and visuals as an effective way to capture the attention of your target audience and improve the performance of your LinkedIn Ads.
Here are some tips for creating great ads:
- Use responsive design: Make sure your ad looks good on both desktop and mobile devices. LinkedIn offers responsive ad formats that automatically adjust to the size of your screen, so your ad will look great no matter how it’s viewed.
- Use eye-catching visuals: Visuals are an important part of any ad, and they are especially important on mobile where people are more likely to scroll quickly through their feed.
- Keep the ad copy short and to the point: Mobile users tend to have shorter attention spans, so use clear, concise language that gets your message across fast.
- Make sure the ad is easy to read: Use a clear, easy-to-read font and make sure there is enough contrast between the text and the background.
- Test your ad on different devices: Before you launch your ad, make sure to test it on a variety of mobile devices to ensure it’s readable and looks good.
Don’t forget to regularly review and optimize your headlines and visuals to make sure they’re effective at driving conversions.
Here’s a great example of an ad by Superlegal:
Why is this ad successful?
- Eye-catching visuals: The creative captures the user’s eye while quickly browsing through their feed.
- Concise copy: The messaging is to the point and keeps details on how it works to a minimum, generating interest. Less is more.
- Benefit-focused: The messaging immediately tells the user what’s in it for them, and focuses on the why, not the what.
3. Test, test, and then test some more
Testing different ad variations allows you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your LinkedIn ad performance. Here are some things to test:
- Ad copy: Try testing different versions of your ad copy to see which ones resonate most with your audience. You can test different headlines, descriptions, and calls to action to see which ones perform the best.
- Visuals: Try testing different visuals, such as images or videos, to see which ones are most effective. You can also experiment with different image sizes and aspect ratios to see which ones perform the best.
- Targeting: Test different targeting options, such as job titles, industries, or locations to see which ones perform the best for your business.
- Audience sizes: You can also test different audience sizes to see if targeting a smaller, more specific audience performs better than targeting a larger, more general audience.
- Ad format: LinkedIn offers a variety of ad formats, including sponsored content, sponsored InMail, display ads, and sponsored events. It’s important to test different formats to see which ones perform the best for your business.
Pro Tip: When launching a new campaign, make sure to set your campaign to rotate ads evenly to begin with, as this will give each ad a fair chance.
It’s important to regularly review and analyze the results of your ad variations to identify areas for improvement and don’t forget to keep optimizing your ads over time to maximize your chances.
4. Use LinkedIn’s targeting options
LinkedIn’s audience targeting options allow you to narrow down your audience and show your ads to specific groups of people on the platform. This can be an incredibly effective way to reach the right audience and improve the performance of your ads.
Here are some examples of LinkedIn’s audience targeting options:
- Company growth rate: This one is actually very interesting. You can target your campaign to be shown exclusively to prospects who work at companies with a positive growth rate. So, if you provide recruiting services, you’d want to target the companies with a (very) positive growth rate and exclude the ones with a negative growth rate.
- Job title: This one is probably the most basic targeting method on LinkedIn. Target specific job titles or job functions, such as marketing managers or sales executives. This can be especially useful if your product or service is only relevant to certain professions or job roles.
- Company size: You can target specific company sizes, such as small businesses or large enterprises. This can be useful if your product or service is more suited to a particular size of company.
- Industry: You can target specific industries, such as finance or healthcare. This can be useful if your product or service is specifically relevant to a particular industry for example insurance or tech.
- Location: You can target specific locations, such as a specific city or country. This is useful for those whose product or service is available only in certain areas or if you are trying to reach a local audience.
- Group: Target prospects who are members of specific groups on LinkedIn. This is a great one if you know your target audience is likely to have specific interests, passions, and hobbies.
Pro Tip: Make sure to always disable the LinkedIn audience expansion from your campaigns. It will show your ads to a mostly irrelevant audience in most cases.
By using LinkedIn’s Audience Targeting options, you’ll make sure that your ads are being shown to the right people and maximize your chances of getting conversions.
Not to sound like a broken record, but keep reviewing and adjusting your targeting to make sure you’re reaching your ideal customer.
5. Use LinkedIn’s conversion tracking
To set up conversion tracking on LinkedIn, you’ll need to install a small piece of code, called the LinkedIn Insight Tag, on your site. This will allow you to track a variety of conversion actions like form submissions (like contact us or ebook download), page views (like for your product pages), clicks on a specific link, and more.
This will allow you to see which of your ads are driving the most conversions so you can optimize your campaigns accordingly.
For example, if one ad is generating a lot of clicks but very few conversions, you may want to consider changing either the ad copy or the targeting to improve performance. On the other hand, if an ad is generating a high number of conversions, consider either increasing your budget for that ad or creating similar ads to capitalize on its success.
Overall, LinkedIn’s conversion tracking is a brilliant tool for optimizing your LinkedIn Ads. By regularly tracking and analyzing your conversions, you can make data-driven decisions to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
6. Use LinkedIn’s insights & analytics
In addition to standard metrics, LinkedIn offers advanced analytics such as demographic data, interests, and job functions. This data is extremely useful to help you understand who is interacting with your ads and how they are engaging with your content.
To access LinkedIn’s insights and analytics, you’ll need to have a LinkedIn Ads account. From the dashboard, you can view a range of data and metrics including impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost per action (CPA). You can also view data by specific campaigns, ad groups, and ads to get a more granular understanding of your performance.
By using LinkedIn’s insights and analytics, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your campaigns. If you notice that an ad is generating a high number of clicks but a low number of conversions, you may want to consider changing the ad copy or targeting to improve its performance. On the other hand, if an ad is generating a high number of conversions at a low cost, you may want to consider increasing your budget for that ad or creating similar ads.
LinkedIn insights are another great tool to get the most out of your LinkedIn campaign. Track, track, and track your data over time to get the most out of your LinkedIn budget!
7. Optimize for mobile
Most people use LinkedIn on their mobile devices and spend significantly more time on LinkedIn while using their mobiles, so make sure your ads and landing pages look great on mobile!
Optimize your LinkedIn campaigns
So there you have it: seven bulletproof ways to optimize your LinkedIn ad campaigns and get the most for your budget.
- Define and regularly update your target audience
- Create great ads
- Test, test, and then test some more
- Use LinkedIn’s targeting options
- Use LinkedIn’s conversion tracking
- Use LinkedIn’s insights and analytics
- Optimize for mobile
All that’s left for you to do now is start implementing these tips and tricks on your LinkedIn campaigns and get ready for higher ROI!
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