The best paid social advertising options for your company

The best paid social advertising options for your company

Social media marketing is integral to your business for numerous reasons. It is by advertising on social media platforms that you are more capable of reaching a wider audience, enhancing your online visibility, cultivating awareness of your brand and targeting specific demographics. What’s more, you have a variety of options at your disposal, all of which you can use.

The thing is, however, that all social media platforms differ from one another, so you must decide which of them is best suited to your marketing needs. Identify your advertising goals, decide which platforms you’re going to use and then choose which paid social media advertising features you must consider for your company.

 

  1. Facebook

You’re able to work with both images and video content when you advertise on Facebook. Image ads are useful for displaying your products, while video ads help to spread content that is both informative and entertaining. You can also make use of carousel ads, which comprise a block of text and numerous images. These are effective for advertising more than one product, a collection of products, or for telling a story through images. Facebook is also useful for generating leads. Create a lead campaign on the platform, either to direct users to your website or to them to sign up for your services.

 

  1. Instagram

Instagram is similar to Facebook in that you can advertise on it with images, videos and carousel ads as well. One thing to remember about video ads on this platform is they begin to play, with or without audio, as soon as users to scroll to them. This means that you can’t rely solely on audio to ensure the ad has an immediate effect. Instagram does have a specific feature that you can also use to your advantage, and that is Instagram Stories. It’s a very popular means of attracting the attention of prospective customers and getting them to click through your services. 

 

  1. Twitter

Twitter is a social media platform on which you can share content that’s catchy and to the point. It also allows for numerous promotional and advertising opportunities. There’s Twitter Promote Mode, with which you are automatically able to promote the first ten of your daily organic Tweets. This feature is for those marketers who have a substantial amount of content to share every day and who want their reach to increase at an impressive rate.

You also have the option of creating individual Twitter campaigns if you want more control over what you post and if you want to spend less on advertising. As with Facebook and Instagram, Twitter ads can also either be video- or image-based.

 

  1. LinkedIn

Unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, LinkedIn is an exclusively professional networking platform that allows to you get recognised by businesses and people searching for employment. When advertising on LinkedIn you have two options at your disposal. There’s the creation of sponsored posts that incorporate punchy wording and imagery, and there’s InMail message ads, which involves sending a personalised message straight to the inbox of a prospective customer. 

 

There are numerous social media advertising opportunities out there. Other platforms you can use include Spotify, Youtube, SnapChat and Pinterest. No matter your choice, always make sure you have the right objective and target audience in mind. By directing your social media ads towards the right audience and for the right purposes, you’ll have a better chance of increasing awareness of your brand and gaining a steady online following.

 

2020: the year of cross-departmental collaboration

2020: the year of cross-departmental collaboration

Many of today’s successful technology companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon are focused on building collaborative environments. Why? Because of greater productivity and creativity. 

I’ve read somewhere that one of the biggest trends this year and the next in content marketing is more active engagement outside the silo. In an industry that is quickly evolving, this is essential for a culture of continuous improvement. 

Far too many marketing agencies still maintain school playground dynamics; the content producers are huddled in one corner, the PPC’ers in the other, and the Display team somewhere in the middle.  This tribalism can easily result into either a popularity contest about which department is the “cool kids table” or into a sort of communal disinterest in what others are up to. 

This is perhaps unavoidable in large corporates but luckily at TMI, we’ve learned that giving support, input, sharing resources, and approaching others for information has enabled different departments to be creative and solve problems together.  

To quote Rick Bosch, Head of Earned at TMI: “At TMI we have a knowledge sharing culture, meaning we work together, closely. This covers more than just a single department or discipline. Besides working closely across numerous departments, we also work closely with our clients. From hotdesking in their offices, to upskilling internal marketing teams in the latest digital trends and techniques, we don’t keep our knowledge to ourselves, we share it.”

The bar for quality continues to rise as the technology used to create and publish campaigns and content improve. Content marketing, for example, becoming more automated, customised and multichannel. This means that where content producers used to think creatively to produce online material, they might also need an analytical input of the Search and Display specialists to offer value to the target audience. 

 

Here’s a very likely scenario: a new client hires us to execute and manage a PPC campaign for their launch. After two years of a successful PPC partnership, the client upgrades to content as well.  The content team is ready to woo the client with their creativity, and whilst it’s all good to have them let their imaginations run wild, how can they make sure their content addresses the problems, questions and desires of the brand’s target audience? 

The Search and Display specialists have already pinpointed the client’s marketing and advertising needs, which means they have the data to identify content opportunities. 

Each marketing department in the agency has different ways of attracting, engage and convert the client’s customers – and will be able to offer varying insights into the requirements and expectations in terms of the content that will communicate value to the audience. 

The point is, every client success story isn’t credited only to a few rock stars in the agency or a single, best performing team, but on the objectives that align different departments to work together. When we extend involvement on a campaign to more people, we enable clients to tap into a deeper pool of ideas, knowledge and skills. 

Almost like assembling our very own Avengers team of superheroes. 

Five PPC copywriting best practices for winning text ads

Five PPC copywriting best practices for winning text ads

Would you like to know how to write great PPC ads? While there is no one formula for writing an effective PPC ad, there are a number of proven best practices you can apply to make your PPC ads stand out. Apply the following tips to the next set of text ads you write and you’ll get amazing results.


Use emotive language


PPC text ads that are badly written are boring and unmemorable. To avoid writing boring ads you should put more thought into the words you make use of in your PPC ad. A great text ad should make the person reading it feel something. And if you know the needs of your target market, this should be easy to do. Focus on the main problem or want that pulls buyers to you, and brainstorm some ideas to play up the emotion contained in that problem or desire. Some positive emotions you can make use of to get the results you want include relief, hopefulness and the feeling of being admired by others. Negative feelings can actually also be a good stimulus, such as FOMO (the fear of missing out).

 

Include numbers

Statistics and figures easily get people’s attention, so adding a few numbers is a good way to draw more people to your ads. One way to do this is by adding your product’s price or by advertising a sale. Try to use exact numbers instead of round numbers because people are prone to rely on exact numbers more. Featuring a numerical statistic about your business, such as the number of years you’ve been servicing customers is also a good idea.

 

Maximize your space

You should try and maximize your ad’s power by using all the space you have available for text. Google Ads now gives you three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions. Also, don’t forget about your display URL and ad extensions. The purpose of your display URL is to show searchers what kind of page they’ve landed on, so it’s wise to create a custom URL that includes your keywords. While you shouldn’t rely on Ad extensions to carry your message, they can be another effective way to get seen in search results.

 

 

Highlight what makes you stand out

Making yourself stand out from competitors makes your ad more attractive. You don’t have enough space to pitch all of your unique selling propositions to the people you want to reach, so you should try and break it down into a powerful focus area that will make your audience want to find out more. Ask yourself what’s unique about your business in the industry? Or maybe you have won some great awards that you can brag about? Emphasize what makes you stand out.

 

Include strong, creative calls to action

Instead of using worn-out cliches such as “Call now” for your calls to action, think of something that can captivate your audience a little bit more. Since you know what they are in search of or need, you can rather emphasize that in your call to action. Starting your call to action with a powerful verb such as “Save,” “Get,” or “Join,” is more effective.

 

Writing successful text ads requires patience, practice and testing. Incorporate these five best practices in the next batch of ads you have to write, and you might be surprised at the positive responses you get from your audience.

 

 

 

Can bad publicity affect a brand’s search ranking?

Can bad publicity affect a brand’s search ranking?

There’s an old saying in the PR world: “any publicity is good publicity.” The belief is that if your company can become the topic of conversation, it’s a good thing because it stimulates product awareness. And, though negative impressions will disappear over time, increased awareness remains. But how much can we rely on this theory when it comes to a brand’s SERP ranking?

Every year, we see some of the world’s biggest brands trash their reputation in the court of public opinion, whether it’s due to the behaviour of corporate leaders or insensitive campaigns by PR and marketing teams. 

Global retailer H&M came under fire for a product image featuring a child wearing a hoodie with the slogan “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” Dove drew global backlash for an advertisement that showed a black model transforming into a white woman. US tech company Cynet Systems sparked outrage after they posted a job position that listed the desired candidate as “preferably Caucasian.” Gillette rustled the feathers of its male customers because of an ad about toxic masculinity, referencing the #MeToo movement. Closer to home, insurance company, Momentum, stirred controversy after initially refusing to pay out a life insurance claim to the widow of a shooting victim.

Some of these PR blunders had serious financial ramifications for the companies involved: Gillette may have suffered loss in sales after customers threatened to stop using its products. It is alleged that Momentum lost 80 000 clients in one day when the company refused settlement.

However, at the same time, some interesting things were happening on the SEO side of these companies’ websites. Brand mentions for “cynet systems” reached peak popularity on Google Trends around the time news of the scandal broke, with the company’s website experiencing an 86% increase in traffic between March and April.

 

Similarly, the search term “gillette” surged in January 2019, the time the ad was released, with a 33% jump in traffic from the previous month.

As seen in the examples, when these companies were pushed into the media spotlight, it generated both brand awareness and SEO value. Media outlets have linked back to those companies’ websites in their coverage, something that likely boosted their position on search engine rankings and increased the authority of their domain. For Cynet Systems, it meant a sharp increase in backlinks from highly authoritative sites, which included referrals from NBC News and New York Daily News.

According to Alan Sorensen, an economics professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, bad publicity may actually be good for unknown firms as it can increase brand awareness and boost rankings on SERPs. But, it can put the reputation of established brands at stake.

If your site ends up ranking a little higher as a result of the link juice, unsuspecting customers looking for the type of products or services that you offer, might actually click on your site first.

In the end, remember that search engines do not factor positive or negative reactions toward brands as much the number of quality backlinks. This means as long as you earn lots of inbound links and dominate the news headlines, the sentiment behind these doesn’t matter to Google. Yet. 

It seems that reputation is becoming a pretty big factor in Google’s updated Search Quality Raters Guidelines. According to marketing expert Jennifer Slegg, “Google wants their raters to not only look at the reputation of the website itself, but also the content creators themselves…if content is created by someone with a great reputation, it makes sense for Google to rank that content higher than from someone with a bad reputation since it is generally a better user experience for the searcher.”

When rating websites, Google will consider things such as financial fraud reports, overwhelmingly negative reviews, negative reviews from watchdog sites and negative news reports.

Interactive Media Is The Future Of Display Advertising

Interactive Media Is The Future Of Display Advertising

Digital marketers are beginning to rethink the standard banner ad, adding creative, immersive and responsive designs that aim to get users engaged beyond just clicking on a static image. Today, interactive rich-media ads are taking over and becoming the staple of display advertising, and it’s no surprise why. 

Interactive media comes in the form of rich-media adverts. According to Google, rich-media is a term used to define adverts that encourage viewers to engage and interact with content that has video and/or audio elements. They are not text heavy, and use visual and audio stimulants at their core to sell a product or service. This allows the marketer a lot more creative freedom as the ads can expand, contract, and have multiple interactive buttons or call to actions.

With ad blockers a popular extension on many consumer’s browser today, traditional banner ads were in need of a refresh, and the new model of rich-media has saved the day. A win-win for both parties; marketers can now target consumers in new formats, and consumers are able to view adverts that are both more fun and have more relevance to them. This makes it far more likely for an action to be taken. 

Today, rich media results will focus on user engagement, and report on metrics such as the amount of views received, time spent on viewing and interactions per click. While ad impressions and click through rates will become more outdated and less relevant metrics to report on. The focus is now on quality, rather than quantity, and aims to drive better engagement that benefits all parties involved.

While the adoption of interactive media might appear slow, many believe it won’t be. With the implementation of faster internet connections in the form of 5G and fibre, a number of consumers will be ready to receive and actively engage with video and audio based ads immediately. According to the Global Intelligence report by Zenith Media, display is already one of the biggest paid media contributors to consumers’ experience of tech brands. Surrounded by more traditional, above the line forms of media including TV, newspaper and magazine.

While interactive media is still considered the future, it is in fact already here and advertisers must catch up to the benefits it can offer. Change should be embraced, and while strategies and reports might start to look a bit different, it is to the benefit of all those involved — directly and indirectly — in the advertising world. The future might include fewer ads at a more premium price, but ads that are guaranteed to attract valuable attention and engagement.

 

Search Ad Formats: A Complete Guide

Search Ad Formats: A Complete Guide

With PPC ad formats changing frequently, and so many to choose from, it can be difficult to keep up with every ad format available across Google Adwords. To ensure you don’t get confused, here’s a guide to six PPC ad formats you need to master.

Text Ads

There would be no PPC without the good old text ads. These are the ads with two headlines and one 90-character description. At times the ads are displayed with a third headline, which is usually the URL itself and ad extensions below. Google and Bing both moved away from the old version of standard text ads. Text ads are now bigger with a more varied alignment of extensions unlike what we saw in years past.

Responsive Text Ads

Responsive text ads have the same appearance as standard text ads, however, they allow you to enter multiple headlines and descriptions. By automatically testing different combinations, Google decides which headlines and descriptions to display when a search is made. By optimizing the content in your ad to closely match the search terms your potential customers use, responsive text ads can improve the performance of your campaign. They also make it possible for you to compete in more auctions as they attract more clicks and conversions.

Local Service Ads

Local Service Ads were only recently introduced and are only available for garage door services, electricians, plumbers and locksmiths. It is however expected that many more household services will be able to advertise using this ad format over the next year.  This type of ad allows you to advertise your business on Google where you can receive leads directly from potential customers. Among the benefits of local service ads, is that your ad appears at the top of Google’s search results page and you are only charged for leads related to your business and your services.

App Download Ads

Through App Download Ads you can display your app to tablet or mobile users. These types of ads can be showcased in a number of places including on Google Play, YouTube, AdMob, the Google Display Network and several other publishers who host app ads. You simply need to add a few lines of text and everything else is optimized to help your audience find you. 

Call-Only Ads

The purpose of call-only ads is to encourage potential customers to call your business, and thus these types of ads can only be displayed on devices that can make phone calls. When someone clicks on your ad, they are able to call you from their device. 

Dynamic Remarketing Ads

Through dynamic remarketing, you can display ads to people who have visited your website before or used your mobile app. With messages personalized for your audience, you can use dynamic remarketing ads to build leads and sales by drawing previous visitors back to your site to complete an activity.

There are a few other ad formats which we did not cover in this guide, such as TrueView Discovery Ads, which are a video-driven version of Responsive Display Ads, and Bumper Ads which are only six seconds long but receive high engagement and view rates. These, however are the basic ad formats to be familiar with.