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.
Think you don’t have a large enough marketing budget to advertise online? With most search engine advertising platforms, there is no minimum to get started. Online advertising has very little cost of entry. Now, what can advertisers do to maximize their modest budgets?
With major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, there are options to set daily budgets. The advertiser has 100% control over what they spend each day. Ad scheduling is another feature that helps advertisers to maximize their budget. By allowing ads to only run during specified hours of the day, marketers can show ads only when they want and not at other times.
Geo-targeting is another tactic to help stretch a smaller budget. By only showing ads to searchers in a specific area, advertisers can limit traffic to their site and conserve their budget for a more qualified audience.
Using negatives will prevent your ads from being displayed when that particular word is searched. This feature will limit clicks from irrelevant searches and help to save marketing dollars. For example, if a company sells men’s jackets, a good negative would be “women’s” so that if someone searches for “women’s jackets”, the ad would not be shown because it is not relevant and the company doesn’t sell that product.
Even with a modest budget, there are many ways to advertise online. By making strategic choices, marketers have the ability to utilize their budget and get great results.
Almost every industry experiences seasonal cycles. Understanding seasonality in your industry can help you fine tune your online advertising. Using tools like, Google Trends and Google Insights for Search can help you see trends and allow you to take advantage of an increase in market demand. Historical data should be used when determining your seasonal cycle. It is a good idea to look at several cycles in your season to make sure that there are not any economic indicators that have influenced the trending.
Online advertising is the ideal medium for seasonal advertising because the results are virtually instantaneous and the messaging is easily adaptable. Once you determine your peak periods of interest, you can allocate a larger budget to times when demand is higher and use specific ad messaging for your peak season. For example, summer tends to be the season when people are more interested in travel. By spending more on advertising and being more visible during those peak times, you can take advantage of a high demand season. Understanding off season can also allow you to change your messaging to offer off season discounts, as well as help save money in times that do not convert as well.
For most online retailers, the holiday season is the peak season. But when should you start to conceptualize your advertising strategy for the holidays? Many marketers realize the need to advertise during the holiday season but may not recognize there are other times of year when demand is high as well. Understanding your industry’s seasonal cycle can help businesses to advertise at the right time with the right message. Remember, it is never too early to start thinking of your seasonal advertising.