By now, Google’s content network is old news. We all know the advantages of running ads on a network with thousands of sites. Advertisers can reach a greater audience, create brand awareness and even hand pick which sites on which they want their ads to be displayed. The content network also offers the flexibility of testing different ad formats including text, images, rich media and gadget ads. Even though we might have all tried our hand at advertising on a content network, most of us have not seen the success we would like. Why are the results not as strong as other online advertising efforts, such as sponsored search many people wonder? The answer is quite simple; people are looking directly for you or your products and services on search. With the content network, your ads can appear if there is relevant information on the page.
There are a few simple tips that can help your content campaigns become a success. First, choosing the right ad format is critical. Since people are not actively seeking you, your ads must be enticing enough to get them to turn their attention away from their task and click on your ad. There are many ad formats that can be used on the content network. Image or video ads tend to get higher click-through-rates. Make sure the ad has a strong call to action. Another benefit of using images or videos is the ability to include a logo of your company. Since the content network allows advertisers to pay per click, it doesn’t matter how many impressions your ad gets, as a matter of fact it is a means of branding your company.
Not all sites are created equal. That is why it is essential to run placement reports on a regular basis. Review your data and it will be clear that many sites are poor performers. Next, exclude these sites from your campaigns so that your ads will not appear on them any longer. This should help your click-through-rate as well as help to spend your budget on sites that are actually working well.
Lastly, placement reports also help to show which sites are performing. If there are sites that are converting or getting a good click-through-rate, then they are more valuable than others. That is why advertisers should bid higher for those placements that are working well. This will ensure that your ads are showing up more often. If there is one site that is performing dramatically better, you can also break it into its own managed placement campaign and allocate a unique budget.
Advertising on the content network can yield great results as long as the campaigns are clearly monitored and adjustments are constantly being made.
For any person using Facebook for contextual advertising, it has been a major source of frustration that it did not have conversion tracking or a means to determine if visitors were completing any actions on their site. Not having the option to track conversions limits the amount of analysis and optimization an advertiser can do to improve the performance of their ads. Using an analytics platform was one way to track certain goals that were completed; however, not every advertiser uses analytics.
Conversion coding enables advertisers to track certain goals as well as make strategic decisions on performance of ads. Testing different ad copy or targeting is beneficial for marketers so they can actually measure what is performing the best. On the flip side, they can also see what isn’t performing and make decisions to optimize the campaign. Larger search engines including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and Business.com all offer conversion coding.
Facebook recently released a very limited beta program for conversion tracking. Not much is known about this beta, but it clearly shows that Facebook is looking to be a contender as a major advertising platform. By giving advertisers this tool, Facebook is making it easier to show how well ads can perform.
No longer is Facebook a valuable market for just for building brand awareness, it is moving toward becoming a portal in which advertisers can expect to see conversion driven success.
Valentine’s Day is getting closer and many marketers are gearing up for a busy season. During holiday seasons, it is important to determine when people are interested in your products. Using Google Insights for Search can help you determine when interest in your products or services is at its peak throughout the year.
For example, if you sell flowers, you know that the biggest time of the year for your business is Valentines Day. But when should you start ramping up your advertising? According to Google Insights for Search, the peak time for searches related to flowers was February 10-16 in 2008 and February 8-14 last year.
Using this tool can also help you uncover other peak seasons. It appears that the second week of May is also a high volume time for the flower industry. Mother’s Day is probably the result of the increased interest.
Using tools like Insights for Search, as well as analytic platforms, can help marketers plan for seasonality and peak times. Knowing what to expect can help advertisers know when to anticipate an increase in CPCs due to a rise in competition. Planning for marketing initiatives in advance can help allow for a smooth and profitable transition into a busy season.