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.
I recently created a vertical marketing campaign for a client and was very impressed with the options Google offers to manage this type of strategy. It doesn’t seem like too long ago that a proposal of this size would have constituted multiple media buys across many networks and websites and the management of the program would have been a major task. Just keeping up with all of the different invoices from each media buy was a full time job, not to mention that each network or site had its own way of reporting results! With Google’s Placement Targeting program you can create a robust, wide reaching vertical marketing campaign and manage the program all in one place!
The advantages from both a management perspective and the ability to reach your precise audience with Google’s Placement Targeting program are substantial. I was able to create a campaign targeting over 50 specific vertical sites for my client and manage the program all within one interface. I didn’t have to spend time going to each website to negotiate 50 different media buys and I was able to get consistent reporting for the entire campaign. My client was impressed by the extensive list of sites available to them within the Google Content Network and particularly liked the idea of one invoice to cover the costs of the entire campaign. Within the Google Content Network, depending on the publisher’s site, you can place targeted text ads, banner ads, or even video. We were able to leverage these different types of ad formats, testing regular text ads, banner ads, and videos across many of the sites we utilized during the campaign.
The final results are still pending, but it is certain to be a campaign we will look to build upon in the future. With the flexibility and options available within the Google Placement Targeting program, I was able to offer my client an easily managed vertical marketing campaign. The next time you consider a vertical marketing campaign think of all the advantages a “one stop shop” solution can save you in time and effort.
As the presidential inauguration approaches and the economy starts to rebuild itself, most people I know are reading top news stories on a daily basis. It comes as no surprise that in recent studies, it appears news readers are dropping print media and relying more on digital forms of gathering news. The Internet has now surpassed all media except television as a news source, according to consumers surveyed in December 2008 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Last month, 40% of survey respondents said they rely on the Internet as their main news source, which is up 16% from 2007.
As you can see from the chart above, television is still the main source for national and international news. If the rest of the world is anything like me, I expect the Internet to surpass television in the near future as the leading news source. When you compare the delivery of the two, television sources feed you the news that they want you to hear. Internet allows you the choice of reading the headlines and viewpoints that are most important to you.
So how does this relate to you and your internet marketing campaigns? Don’t forget to include contextual advertising in your 2009 online marketing plan. Whether you plan to incorporate text, images, or video- online news sources are a excellent avenues to reach your audience. The Google content network is a great place to test some of these ad types on select news sites such as NY Times, Washington Journal, US News, Forbes, etc. If you would like to learn more about Google’s content network, please read Sonya Wood’s most recent blog post.