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September 15 2010

It’s Time for Your 15 Minutes of Fame

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Imagine, going online to watch a recent blockbuster movie. The play button is hit, a 15 second advertisement for your business plays and then the movie starts. That’s right your business is advertising to hundreds maybe even thousands of people, at a fraction of the cost to produce and buy airtime on cable. Is it a dream? No, you’re on YouTube.

Now, would be a good time to promote your business with video advertisements on YouTube. It’s no secret that for certain videos on You Tube there are “forced advertisements” Basically, a consumer has to watch an ad in order to a view a video. However, if you have your foot in the door now, it could pay off huge dividends in the near future. According to an AOL Daily Finance article, “Google is in talks with major movie studios about a new pay-per-view video offering based on YouTube.” This means Google through You Tube would be competing with Netflix and other video streaming vendors. If this deal goes through, then it could be expected that Google would allow its client’s (your business) to advertise before, during or even after a movie.

Already YouTube has a free video channel, which allows people to stream Hollywood movies online. The number of movies that a person can choose from is limited, but at least they can watch the movies online for free. Currently, only one 15 or 30 second ad plays before the movie starts. If Google signs the deal with Hollywood, think of how many more movies would be available to be watched on YouTube. Even better, what if a video ad for your business was played before the movie started? It’s a thrilling thought, however, a business just can’t “willy nilly” place their video advertisement in front of anyone. It is important to have a strategy. A company’s video ad should be targeted to the right demographic. If a company’s business is for computer software, it wouldn’t make sense to have an ad play right before a kid’s movie. Keep in mind that video ads may not work for everyone, but it’s worth a try, especially while the cost is low.

Right now, there are a lot of “what if’s”. However, the free Hollywood movies on YouTube are alive and well. Now would be the time for your business to test online video ads with the current selection of movies on YouTube. This would put your company in a good position if and when Google closes the pay-per-view movie deal with Hollywood. After all it’s the early investors that see the true benefits down the line.

July 30 2010

When Two Become One

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There have been whisperings in the air and at meetings about a particular merger. Some held their breath, while others thought it would never happen. Well, it’s official. Yahoo and MSN/Bing are merging their search efforts to form a union known as the Search Alliance.

Search Alliance is the name that Yahoo and MSN/Bing are using for the search merger. However, at the same time they are still competitors. Although Yahoo and MSN/Bing have joined forces in the search arena, they will still remain competitors in the display market. If a company is running display campaigns with either of the engines, they will be unaffected by the merger in regard to through which engine their display ads will be managed.

The Search Alliance merger will allow Yahoo results to be powered by MSN/Bing. When the transition is complete advertisers will be managing their paid search campaigns in MSN/Bing AdCenter. Any advertiser who has been advertising in both Yahoo and MSN/Bing for search will only need to focus on optimizing the MSN/Bing campaigns because their Yahoo campaigns will be turned off. For advertisers who are only advertising in Yahoo, they will need to make sure that they get a MSN/Bing account set up.

The Search Alliance should prove interesting. Many questions arise such as will cpc’s go up? What search partner sites will I show up on? One of the most daunting questions is how will the merger affect my traffic and my ROI? There is one answer for all of these questions. The answer is only time will tell. 

July 13 2010

More Real Estate on the Page… That’s a Plus

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In the world of Google search ads, advertisers know the drill. Twenty-five characters for a headline, and thirty-five characters for description lines 1 and 2, as well as the display url. It seems like a very limited amount of space for a company to get their message across, until now. Google has recently opened up Ad Sitelinks to all advertisers.

According to Google, “Ad Sitelinks allow you to extend the value of your existing AdWords ads by providing additional links to specific, relevant content deeper within your sitemap.” Ad Sitelinks give companies the power to share more about their business and what it has to offer. In the examples below, 1-800-Flowers is able to show searchers that they offer birthday flowers & gifts, gift baskets and even Martha Stewart flowers & gifts. These are all options that might not have been promoted without Ad Sitelinks.

There are two format options for Ad Sitelinks. There is a one line format and a two line format. Google determines how your sitelinks will appear based on ad relevancy and other factors. Let’s take a look at how site links show with a search ad. Example 1 shows a one line format and Example 2 shows a two line format.

Example 1:
Example 1 shows a one line format 

Example 2:
Example 2 shows a two line format 

In both examples the Ad Sitelinks appear in blue below the paid search ad. Keep in mind advertisers have to rank between positions 1-3 and be in the light peach colored box above the organic listings in order for Ad Sitelinks to be eligible to show.

Ad Sitelinks empowers advertisers to set themselves apart from the competition by letting them present more services and options to searchers within a search ad. Plus, it gives more real estate on the page and most advertisers will gladly take it.

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