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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.

The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:

  • Visualization
  • Personalization
  • Sustainability

After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.

The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).

The Struggle With Images

Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.

Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:

  • How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?

Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.

More Uses Cases, Please

Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.

The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.

Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.

Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.

The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.

  • 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
  • Focus less on verticals
  • Provide more use cases

Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.

Google Product Managers Weigh In

The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:

  • It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?

Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:

  • Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
  • For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page

However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.

Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.

Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?

The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.

Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.

Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.

Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.

Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.

The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.

Closing Thoughts

Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.

However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.

Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.

A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.


Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M



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LinkedIn Newsletters: What I’ve Learned (So Far)

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LinkedIn Newsletters: What I've Learned (So Far)

Four weeks ago, I launched my LinkedIn newsletter called The Well-Branded Woman.

It’s been a freaky, fun-filled ride, complete with unexpected twists and turns. What I thought was going to happen didn’t – and what did happen blew my mind.

Here’s what I did and what I’ve learned (so far!).

Here’s how I set up my first LinkedIn newsletter:

 

I used market research to build excitement.

A week and a half before I launched my newsletter, I created a LinkedIn poll telling people about my new newsletter focus (Gen X and Millennial women) and asking what I should name it.

I wanted to ensure the name would “click” with my target reader. Plus, I wanted to build awareness that I’d be launching a newsletter soon.

If I were to do it again, I would have allowed at least two weeks for this process – maybe a bit more. It worked out because I had some strong newsletter names to test – but the timeline would have been too short if I had started from scratch.

I created attention-grabbing graphics for the newsletter.

My midlife-aged readers would want to know that I was in their age group, so my wonderfully talented designer created a bright orange featured image template with my photo front and center. I wanted a color and design that popped off the page — plus LinkedIn says that images with faces “resonate more with audiences.”

Graphics in hand, I was ready to write my first article where…

I immediately dropped multiple actionable tips in my first LinkedIn newsletter article.

My first article was about how Gen X and Millennial women can transform themselves into online thought leaders. I purposely wrote a very long, informative piece that shared tips I didn’t see anywhere else and were specific to my audience.

I also wove in personal information to help the reader get to know me.

The final article was over 1,800 words – way longer than I had planned. I was curious if anyone would read all those words, but I knew the article provided solid, actionable information.

I also invited women to connect with me and to DM me.

What are my LinkedIn newsletter results (so far?)

 

  • By the end of the first day after publication, I had 163 subscribers. I was so happy! LinkedIn automatically sends subscribers an email as soon as I publish a newsletter, so I reach these readers directly.
  • By that following Monday, I had over four hundred subscribers. I was even happier!
  • And then, a LinkedIn editor found my article and promoted it on the home feed. All of a sudden, my LinkedIn DMs blew up. Women read my article and vibed with my message. Responding to everyone took more than eight hours, spread over two days. It was amazing!
  • Since then, the article has been viewed over 100,000 times and has received over 1,000 likes and over 130 comments. And yes, I responded to all of those comments. Why?
  • It’s not enough to simply post on LinkedIn and call it good. If you want to build a community, that means engaging with your audience right after they post and helping them feel seen. By doing so, I was able to start some fantastic conversations with women who would never have opened up to me any other way.

Today, the newsletter has almost 1,700 subscribers. And yes, that first article is positioning!

My LinkedIn newsletter future feels bright.

What I’m (still) learning about LinkedIn newsletters:

 

  • I’ve created SEO writing articles for so long that I naturally thought that’s what this audience would want to learn from me. It was a delightful surprise to know my new audience is looking for personal branding tips and how to future-proof their careers.
  • I had to throw my editorial calendar out the window, but I’m okay with that. I’m creating articles on the fly as I read the comments and get a sense of what women what to know.
  • I’m still figuring out how to monetize. Right now, creating the newsletter costs me time and money. Would I like to make money from it? Yes, but the time isn’t right. I don’t quite know what the audience needs. I’d rather listen and wait.

I’m playing the long game.

Would I recommend LinkedIn newsletters for other B2B consultants or companies? Yes. It’s turning out to be a powerful content tactic. Overwhelming, but powerful.

Plus, if you’re a freelancer, you could sell LinkedIn newsletter creation and maintenance services. Many B2B companies are new to LinkedIn newsletters, so knowing how to plan and write them could open up a new profit center. Especially if you work with thought leaders and consultants who need branding — but don’t have time to write.

My take: LinkedIn newsletters get a thumbs up.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

What do you think?

Are you considering trying LinkedIn newsletters (or suggesting them to your client)? Leave a comment and let me know. 

Oh, and if you want to know how your hero’s journey can help you build your personal brand, check out my latest Charisma Boost post.

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