PPC advertising works. Google rakes in more than $100M/day. Many are using this channel successfully, but each campaign needs to be monitored and adjusted. A carefully matched ad and landing page will help your campaign succeed.
Things keep getting worse for Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook’s lucrative advertising model ($1B/quarter) relies on tracking its 1 billion users across the online space. Facebook collects data about where we shop and what we buy. But now Germany has outlawed Facebook ads.
Privacy advocates argue that Facebook isn’t transparent enough about what it does with the data.
Germany’s antitrust regulator has ruled that Facebook is exploiting consumers
In an important move that has implications for Facebook ad users worldwide, Germany agrees. Its antitrust regulator, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), has ruled that Facebook is exploiting consumers by requiring them to agree to the current data collection practice as part of having a Facebook account. It has now prohibited the practice going forward.
“Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts,” FCO president Andreas Mundt said in a statement.
Consumer “consent” is a misrepresentation
Lina Khan, Columbia Law School antitrust expert, believes that authorities haven’t done a good job of articulating why privacy is an antitrust issue. But the German regulator clarifies it. They believe that Facebook’s dominance is what allows it to impose contractual terms on users that require them to allow Facebook to track them.
The harm to users is the loss of control
“When there is a lack of competition, accepting terms of service isn’t truly “consenting”. Users are not presented with choices. They either accept the data collection or stop using Facebook.According to German regulators, the harm to Facebook’s users is the “loss of control.”
With an 80% market share, Facebook dominates the social space in Germany
Facebook had 32M monthly active users in Germany at the end of 2018, a market share of more than 80%. “As a dominant company, Facebook is subject to special obligations under competition law. Facebook users cannot switch to other social networks,” said Mundt.
Privacy and competition are intertwined
The ruling makes clear that privacy and competition are inextricably intertwined. If Facebook loses, Germany will become a test case in whether the surveillance economy is fundamental to the operation of social media.
Facebook insists that tracking makes services safer and better
The FCO believes Facebook hasn’t proven that data collection and bundling are in the best interest of every consumer and that its sites couldn’t function without it.
Facebook’s response: “We disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services.” What’s at stake? Facebook would potentially have to change how it processes data for German users. If Facebook loses the appeal, Germany will have successfully challenged the relationship between the collection of user data and the social media accounts from which that information comes.
Other Europeans and Americans well may demand they be given the same option, and there would be implications for all of us. Only the very naïve believe that it’s only Facebook that is guilty of sharing user data. Facebook’s the one that got caught.
One of my clients had been doing a good job of managing his own marketing program, but as his business grew, he found that he didn’t have time to develop and execute a strategic plan. The result? He ended up spending money on last-minute Hail-Mary efforts that weren’t reaching his audience. Those great one-time special deals that ad salespeople talk you into aren’t special at all; they’re a waste of money. We developed a strategy that includes Facebook ads. This strategy ultimately boosted his lead generation efforts by 35%.
Marketing had become fragmented and perfunctory
For this client, a CPA, a monthly newsletter was becoming a quarterly, his weekly blog was now a monthly and his social media posts were sporadic and uninspired, often missing images. He understood the power of marketing and enjoyed the creativity; he simply didn’t have time to do this well.
We reviewed his Google Analytics reports to evaluate his website traffic
We wanted to know the demographics of his visitors and from what domains they were coming, how long they stayed on his site and their drilldown patterns.
When I asked him about his target audience, his answer was too general, so our marketing plan included an exercise in creating personas. We wanted to develop detailed profiles of those clients with whom he really wanted to be working—not necessarily those with whom he was now working. We wanted to identify their likes and dislikes, ages, professions, lifestyle preferences, etc.
We agreed that Facebook advertising should be part of our marketing program
We included Facebook pay-per-click (PPC) in our marketing plan. We would start with keyword research to identify those words we should be using in all of our online communications. We also wanted to identify negative keywords—those words we should be avoiding.
Facebook advertising: ability to drill down to specific demographic information
Facebook may be unique for the detailed personal information it collects. Facebook’s fields make up a fairly comprehensive database. Every time we fill in a field with information about our lives and our preferences, we’re contributing to a rich data pool.
- We needed to create a goal—was it a phone call, email, a signup for his newsletter or a Like? The call to action needed to be clear and accessible.
- We decided to create landing page on our website. It will be branded and synchronize with the ad messaging.
- As with all online media, the headline is critical–you have just seconds and 30 characters to catch someone’s attention. Be a little edgy. Be bold. Be funny. Take a chance.
- Use high-res images that are relevant and attention-getting. Spend time finding really good images.
- Select a bidding option. Clicks, impressions, Likes.
The great thing about PPC advertising? You control costs
You pay only when someone clicks on your ad, and your daily budget identifies how much you will spend on a campaign. Once you hit your daily limit, your ads stop showing. Cost effectiveness, along with the ability to personalize your ads by detailed demographic fields, makes Facebook advertising a very effective way to promote your business.
Have you ever been reading an article online and suddenly noticed an ad for the same pair of shoes you were looking at onthe Nordstrom sitejust minutes before? A few days later, you were researching machines on the Nespresso site, and lo and behold, you were presented with the exact machine that you were considering buying!
Tracking your internet activity is no coincidence
At first, you thought it was just coincidence. “Amazing! I was just looking at those shoes!” But it’s no coincidence. Both the shoes and Nespresso machine are examples of remarketing campaigns–where advertisers can track your internet activity and serve you ads based on actions you’ve taken.
Here’s what’s happening: Online activity is being tracked by cookies
When we land on a site where we may make a purchase, that site installs cookies on our websites to track us. This is generally transparent. These cookies can tellwhat pages wevisited, whichproducts/services welooked at, how long we stayed on the site. They can tell if we’ve added an item to a cart, then failed to complete the transaction.
We may/not receive a message that we’re being cookied, via a cookie consent notice. After Facebook’s recent episode over client data abuse, we can expect these notices to be more evident and comprehensive. Protecting online privacy has become a vital matter.
Who should be using remarketing?
Think about this. How many highway billboards have you driven past that hold absolutely no interest for you? Or how many mindless commercials do you sit through while watching your favorite TV programs? It’s endless; we’re constantly bombarded by advertisements for things in which we have no interest.
Remarketing, on the other hand, helps us reach a predetermined audience
Remarketing campaigns are known for their high level of personalization—we’re generally seeing ads for those items in which we’ve previously expressed an interest. This personalized approach can help increase conversion rates, as it helps bring previous visitors back to finish the shopping experience they started.
Remarketing has become an integral part of many digital marketing efforts because it works
- Economics. Advertising becomes cheaper because these online ads are only being served to the people who want to see them. We’re spending less money for more qualified traffic.
- Personalization. We’re marketing to those who have already shown interest in our products—and we know exactly which products those are.
- Consumer habits.Let your own behavior be your guide. You don’t make a purchase based on your initial visit to a site; rather, you do some comparison shopping. When you see an ad promoting that product, it’s a brilliant way to remind your audience that the product is still available.
Remarketing campaigns aren’t just clever; they’re effective
Remarketing isa strategic way to marketto people who’ve previously visited awebsite. These ads help keep brands top of mind, enticing visitors to come back to purchase. Economical and efficient, remarketing is becoming an important part of every digital marketing plan.
Our economy has moved online and those businesses that can’t be found online will be challenged to succeed. Keywords are the building blocks that are fundamental to every journey that results in our landing on a website.
Here are some ways that keywords are deployed.
1. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the most obvious–we need keyword research to optimize for organic search. Organic search is what we do a gazillion times/day; we key a word or phrase into a search engine such as Google, hoping to get an answer to our question. SEO helps Google bots crawl and index our websites to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). One of the ways that search engines decide what to rank is by crawling for keywords that show the relationship between the user’s search query and the content on a corresponding website.
2. For maximizing content strategy
We’ve all been told about the relationship between SEO and content. Without content on your website, strong SEO will not follow. Building a comprehensive presence in the online space means updating your website and social media sites with fresh content.
“Effective content strategies start with keyword research,” says Search Engine Land columnist Nate Dame. “Modern keyword research provides significant insight into what audiences want and need.”
Content should have a relationship to keywords
Every single piece of content on your site—a 300-word blog post or 5,000-word white paper, should be related to keywords that strike the right balance between high search volume and competition. To keep in mind: Maybe you did keyword research four or five years ago when you created your website. It might be time to redo this. Google changes its algorithms some 500 times/year and this affects search terms and competition.
3: For Paid Campaigns/Pay-per-Click (PPC)
Paid campaigns–PPC ads, display ads, remarketing or social media campaigns–are also keyword focused. Paid search is an auction where you bid on individual keywords
Keywords once again are the building blocks that make up ad groups, and these ad groups are the basis of campaigns. If your keywords have low search volume, then your ads are going to get little or no traction. If your keywords aren’t relevant to your target audience, you won’t be attracting the audience you’re courting–completely wasting your marketing dollars.
The bottom line: Keyword research is ground zero for all search marketing campaigns
But more than that, identifying your keywords and using them throughout all of your online communications is critical to their success.
With increasing online competition, pay-per-click (PPC) is becoming a critical way to get your content in front of your potential customers. Those who rely on organic strategies may find themselves frustrated that their blogs, social media posts and newsletters are just not enough anymore.
Here are three myths that may be keeping marketers from implementing successful AdWords campaign.
Myth #1: People don’t click on Google ads
Google is a publicly traded company—anyone can access their financial records that tell the story. Google generates more than $100M in revenue every single day from people clicking on their ads. With an average cost per click between $1 and $2 that’s more than 50M clicks/day. Google experiments constantly to make their ads entice more enticing. They’re not going to present you with a free, organic result at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when they could showcase several ads that generate revenue. Start paying attention: The first few line items at the top of every search is an ad.
One more thing: Think about your own behavior
When you see an ad that entices you, do you click on it? Of course you do! Smart companies are using remarketing efforts that identify customer tastes to present you with items that you may have been looking at earlier in the day. They may serve up similar items or those by the same designer or manufacturer. I shop almost entirely online, and I’m fascinated by remarketing, which illustrates how marketing has gotten smarter.
Myth #2: My competitors can just click on my ads all day, costing me money
Google has extremely sophisticated technology to prevent “click fraud” and “invalid clicks”. This involves the analysis of several click-pattern factors.
Google provides very good reports on AdWords campaign performance, and any suspicious activity is quickly exposed. If a business is concerned they are victims of click fraud, they can contact Google directly to launch an investigation. Google reimburses questionable clicks.
Myth #3: AdWords is an outbound marketing tactic
AdWords is designed to showcase your content when potential customers are initiating a Google search. It’s the only inbound marketing tactic that guarantees your content will rank high on Google when a user performs a search. This is one very attractive reason to be using Google as your PPC platform. The sheer number of Google searches/day makes you part of this community.
PPC delivers a better user experience for the searcher
Think of the information you provide when you set up your Google account. This all becomes part of a huge database, and databased information makes it searchable. Because of this information, when you create a Google ad, you are able to drill down by location, demographics, interests, etc. This is not specific just to Google—Facebook, Linkedin and other social channels also provide rich search preferences.
Integrating AdWords with your inbound marketing strategy
Along with your existing content marketing and SEO efforts, PPC is becoming a critical component of an inbound marketing strategy.