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Top Ten Social Media Advertising Hacks Of All Time
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Welcome everyone. This is Matt Umbro of Hanapin Marketing. We have a special webinar for you today, the Top Ten Paid Social Media Advertising Hacks of All Time, featuring Larry Kim.
I am sure you all know Larry Kim he is the founder of Wordstream and he writes some really great blog posts and just all around, you know, great guy, smart guy and so I am more excited to have him here, featuring him in this webinar.
So, just to give you a little bit more information about ourselves – Larry is the founder of Wordstream, and his PPC kid, who, Larry was telling me, is now walking. So be aware and he is a top columnist for Ink magazine and Search EngineLand.
Larry: Hey. Hey Matt, thanks for having me today.
Matt: Yeah, no. thank you. Thank you for being part of this, we’re very happy to have you.
And then just a little bit about myself – I will be moderating today’s chat. I am senior account manager here and also the founder of PPCChat, so we’ll give a little plug for that: every Tuesday at Noon, Eastern time, if you haven’t participated yet. Uhm, so great! SO we’ll move on to the next slide.
We just want to remind you that you can join in on today’s conversation. You can ask questions or your tweets by utilizing the #thinkppc, or within the webinar question box send us over your questions and at the end of the chat or at the end of the webinar, we’ll ask Larry some of these questions about what he’s been presenting.
First off, we’ll just start with a question. So how long have you been in PPC- Less than 1 year, 1-3 years, maybe 3-5 or 5+? Larry, while people are answering, how long have you been in PPC?
LK: Haha, Too long. I’m going to date myself if I answer this thing. That would be D. How about you?
MU: Yup, it would be D also. Got in right after College. So going on about Year 8 now, I believe.
LK: Yeah, it’s like a little bit longer than that for me but I’m just going to decline from answering that.
MU: Fair enough, fair enough.
So the results are in and It looks like most of you have been in the industry 3 years or less. So 1-3 years about 42%, so this is great. It means we have a lot of fairly new people in the industry and we’re glad to see that. New people are in the industry, it is growing industry and definitely a fun one to be a part of. And for those of you have been in longer than that, hopefully we can show you some new tactics.
LK: So, question number 2 here –
MU: So, How do you manage your account(s)? Are you part of an in-house team? Maybe you do all the marketing, including PPC yourself? You work with an agency? Or you’re a consultant?
So you know, I was going to say, Larry, I’m thinking that at various points we’ve probably both been a part of all these areas.
LK: Yeah. It’s always “the grass is always greener”; so you keep switching, you know. Just in-house, and then agency, and back and forth and yeah that’s typical. I’m kind of doing both. I am doing the in-house marketing at a PPC agency, hahaha
MU: Aha, You have the best of both worlds
LK: Yeah. I guess you’re kind of doing the same thing a little bit, uh, there.
MU: Yeah yeah. You know, I manage accounts and do a little marketing myself, helping the marketing team a little bit, although they’re the smart ones. They know all the details.
So, results of the poll – about 30% of you here are part of an in-house team, and then about another 28% do all the marketing including PPC so definitely good to hear, we hope that we can give you good tips today that you can bring back to your own PPC accounts.
LK: Cool! So I think that’s all we have for poll questions today? So why don’t we just jump right in to the actual presentation. Now I just wanted to thank you guys again for having me on.
Audience, I’ve been doing PPC like when I started Wordstream 6 or 7 years ago. But before I even started Wordstream, true story, I was actually reading the PPC Hero Blog and it was one of my favorite go-to blogs, like even before starting Wordstream with people like Joe Kirschenbaum and others, writing pretty cool stuff all the time. So you know, the special place for PPC Hero and Hanapin Marketing in my heart cause you guys are really great and helpful early on in my career, so thanks for having me here, It’s great to be here.
So today we’re going to talk about the Top 10 Social Media Advertising Hacks of All Time. And uhm, you know, one of the reasons why I think you should care about this as a marketer is because people are spending ridiculous amounts of time doing social networking or micro-blogging. So here is one study from Global Web Index from January this year. It basically shows that for something like 42% of our time, okay, spent online, it is spent either on Facebook or Twitter or one of those kind of social networking sites. And so if you’re a marketer, you know, you got to be thinking about getting your message to where the people are actually spending their time and so you know, if for some reason you are not doing social media advertising, I think that’s a big mistake, given that that’s where people spend most of their day.
So now when we talk about social media advertising today, I just want to be a little bit more specific, I am actually going to be only talking about Facebook and Twitter. Now, the reason why I picked those two, is because they’re the biggest 2.
I know there’s lots of other you know, social media platforms like SnapChat and Pinterest and so many other things that you might be using. But the largest 2 out there, I believe, it’s Facebook, by a country-mile and then, there is a bunch of second places, and so I just picked Twitter because it’s very similar to Facebook in terms of the advertising options.
And just to clarify, I am not going to talk about Linkedin Ads today. I am not a huge fan of Linkedin Ads, I know that it works for many many businesses but what you’ll see today is that a lot of the things I love about Twitter and Facebook ads are not actually present in Linkedin ads. And so that’s why I wasn’t able to add Linkedin Ads.
I am also excluding Google Plus, which is another popular one that comes up sometimes, just because again, there is not a ton of advertising options there and sometimes a bit of a ghost town. Any thoughts on that, Matt?
MU: I agree. I mean it’s something that you know, probably has a little bit of life(?) but you’re right, largely a ghost town. And uhm, I was going to say, we have a couple of comments coming in on Twitter utilizing #thinkPPC , so I just want to remind everyone that as Larry goes through his presentation, just make sure to tag your tweets with #thinkPPC. So, back to you, Larry.
LK: Thanks, Matt. Okay, so here we go. I put it in a Top 10 countdown list.
So my #10 Social Ads Hack has to do with Quality Score, or the notion of quality score in Facebook and Twitter ads.
If you have read any of my blogs or followed me on any of these social media platforms, you know I am a little but, or maybe, slightly obsessed with Quality Score in terms of advertising. I’ve blogged a lot about it, I think about it, like, day and night. It’s kind of very Top of Mind and something I am really excited about, and this might surprise you – but Quality Score, or the notion of relevancy score, is just as important, if not More important, in the social ads platforms like Facebook and Twitter, than it is in Google Search Ads.
So earlier this year, Facebook revealed kind of what we already knew to be intuitively true, which is there is indeed a relevancy score for the ads that you run on Facebook and that there are huge rewards and penalties associated with having higher or lower relevancy, so it’s not rocket science. Basically, in a nutshell, the more relevant your ads are, meaning the higher the engagement rate, the more frequently your ads will show as well as the lower the cost of engagement it will be and vice versa. So lower engagements will increase cost and reduce impression share.
Twitter – same idea. If you had searched on Twitter even just 2 or 3 months ago, there was actually no mention at all of this Quality Score at all but just recently, like in the last 2 or 3 weeks, they updated their Help Section and I did notice that they added a little section on “What is a Quality Adjusted Bid?” And basically it just says that it’s not just your bid amount that matters, it’s the quality score of your ad. Sounds familiar, sounds a lot like how Adwords works and basically the components of the Quality Adjusted Bid in Twitter has a lot to do with the engagement rate of the posts that you’re sharing and the recency and relevance of those tweets.
So this is, uhm, all these really important, kind of, you know, internal mechanics of how those ad auctions actually work and it’s my belief that it is critical that you understand and exploit these algorithms in order to get the maximum return on investment for your paid social ads . I just wanted to kind of quantify just how important Quality scores are and by the way, this is all Wordstream internal research. And obviously Facebook and Twitter, they are not going to tell you exactly what the formula is for their various Quality and Relevancy score is, this is just my own internal research.
But what I can tell you here is that, this is just an example for Twitter and it’s pretty much the same thing for Facebook, that as the engagement rate, and that’s the rate at which people engage with the posts your are promoting such as you are favoriting or replying or retweeting or clicking on those social updates as the engagement rate increases, the discount applied to your effective cost per click or cost per engagement typically, what I’m finding, every 1 point increase in engagement rate results in a 5% decrease in cost per engagement.
And just wanted to kind of give you an example of how big a difference this makes here are like 4 campaigns I was running in January just to test out the theory and basically I was running campaigns, here at the top here there is one here that had an engagement rate of 68% and that had an effective cost per engagement of 1 penny. You know if I had a 33 36% engagement rate that was 2 pennies per engagement, you see what I mean and so on at the bottom there if I have 7% engagement rate it was 8 cents per engagement. And you know if you get into the like 1% or .5% engagement rates the cost per engagement is actually closer to like 2 or 3 dollars per engagement, you follow. So it’s like huge discounts and huge penalties based on the engagement of the stuff that you’re trying to promote and of course that makes a ton of sense because you know obviously Facebook and Twitter does not want advertisers to be sponsoring or promoting junk on people’s timelines because that’s pretty annoying.
MU: Excuse me, Larry. Sorry, Larry. I was just going to say that you know, it really comes down to relevance, basically. I mean, we see it with Adwords, we see it with Bing. And as your data shows here, we are starting to see it with Twitter as well. So just cannot emphasize enough how much relevance matters within your overall advertising strategy across all these platforms.
LK: Yeah, I think the difference here is that there is more leverage. So like in Facebook what you will find, sorry, in Google Adwords, you find that the cost per click will vary from plus 50% to minus 400% based on the quality scores. Here we’re seeing it’s like plus or minus 10,000% depending on the engagement, you know what I mean? Like you could be paying $3 for an engagement or 1 penny or even less than a penny and it has everything to do with like how engaging the stuff is.
So Quality Score obviously it’s very important for your costs, but the other thing that these quality metrics on Facebook and Twitter impact is the impression share or basically how frequently or aggressively those ad servers for Facebook and Twitter are going to actually show your ads to people. And so this is very typical, what you’ll see when you run either a Facebook or a Twitter campaign is that if you just post one update and sponsor that update and kind of just let that persist for a week or two or three, it kind of gets stale because it’s no longer fresh and so what happens is that the engagement rate on that post will decline over time because it is no longer new and the ad platform, whether you are using Twitter or Facebook will show that post less and less and less until you know, eventually puttering out when it deems it not relevant at all.
So it’s not like Adwords where you kind of run ads forever, you know, you actually have to kind of change them up every couple days or so, and so this is just a graph of a campaign in Twitter showing how when I launched this campaign on June 16 it was doing a hundred thousand impressions everyday and then it quickly dropped to the point where it dropped 75% in just a week. So that’s why it matters, so hopefully, so I, these are the reasons why I believe in quality score for social media ads. Matt, have I made you a believer here?
I think you might be on mute.
MU: Oh! I mean, looking at this data, I mean the data speaks for itself. You know, I know, regarding Adwords we all have our different opinions regarding quality score but data you presented for Twitter here, I mean, you can’t argue with it.
LK: Cool, I’m uh, really happy to hear. Alright, so let’s move on here, we’re at our #9 Social Media Hack which is My Top Secret Paid Social Ad Strategy which I will be sharing with you today, which is to tweet or post more updates to your Facebook and Twitter pages, to your social presence, and then only promote the best stuff.
So basically what we’re doing is taking advantage of the fact that Quality Score exists on Twitter and Facebook and we’re going to use that to our advantage by, uh, to inform the social promotion strategy. So let’s talk about this a little bit more. So part of this means letting go to the idea of promoting junk updates so there’s kind of like what you as a marketer want to talk about and then there’s what people are interested in and consuming and you gotta have to find this happy median of like stuff that people are both interested in and that are relevant to your business. You know, where things go off the rails is that you know, sometimes companies that just want to talk about themselves and do something very overtly self promotional and nobody cares about that and so they, nobody engages with that and so it does very badly and so people will think “Oh, Social Ads don’t work!”. Well, it can work if you just stop promoting your junkie updates.
So what does that all mean? Well, Let me give you an example. For me personally, for Wordsteam, we typically will throw small budgets. You know, we’re talking one or two hundred dollars or as little as five or 10 dollars to promote the top 1 % of our social updates.
So here’s one I did back in March, it was March 7. I wrote a post on something about Google Plus and how dumb it was, in terms of like, they were separating a lot of the components and breaking it up into pieces. So you can read about that on my blog, but the point is I posted that on my social platforms like Twitter and Facebook and it had a very, very high engagement. Like organically, like not promotional, like it was just something like 18 or 20% of the people who were looking at this post were like, clicking through to the link and they were viewing my profile, and they were expanding the image and they were just commenting and replying and retweeting and favoriting on this post, so I thought, “Wow. That’s really interesting, I should promote it.” And so I just set up a quick campaign and promoted the post because it was kind of one of my top 1% pieces of content that I shared. And Lo and Behold, it got 1,488 retweets within the next couple hours and that was almost like a million views to the blog for a total investment of, uh, oh I’m sorry, it was 100,000 visitors, not a million, my mistake, my mistake; for about $250. So that’s a very, very leveraged investment of 250 dollars. Like can you imagine, if you are trying to drive traffic to your site, through you know, I don’t know, banner ads or something like this will definitely cost more than $250 to generate that much noise. So that’s a pretty leveraged strategy which I use.
So then the question becomes “How do you know which Facebook updates to promote or which Twitter updates to promote?” and the answer is both Twitter and Facebook have kind of their own analytics so, Facebook I think it’s called Audience Insights or something like this, and Twitter – it’s called Twitter Analytics. And you can always go into these tools and they have export capabilities so you can export all the data on all the stuff you have been posting and kind of figure out what updates did the best and then you can kind of promote the ones that did well because you know obviously stuff that did well in the past is more likely to do well you know, today as opposed to stuff that did badly, like you’re kind of crazy if you think it will magically do better without changing anything. You know, so just using the power of analytics to figure out what’s the best stuff to promote.
The idea here, like my personal philosophy is, not to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this, I actually spent a couple hundred dollars and I find that there is a lot of leverage there. So that’s my strategy, Matt. Any thoughts or questions about this kind of “Post more often and promote the best stuff”, strategy?
MU: Yeah, you know, I think on Twitter, you definitely do get the sense that there is a lot of quote-unquote, a lot of junk going up and it’s a matter of posting, you know, what you think is relevant and most importantly, what you think is going to be relevant to your audience. So the data you present here, for 250 bucks, you get that many re-tweets, and you know, someone who pays attention to you know, the page views on our blog, to get a hundred thousand page views from that 1 tweet – that’s simply amazing. So you know, I think what you’ve shown here has definitely given us ideas for items we can promote and really it will allow people to think about what’s most important to promote, not just anything, but something that’s actually going to be relevant to that user.
LK: Hmmm, cool! Alright, so we’re at #8 here, talking about my #8 social ads hack which has to do with Keyword targeting and the ridiculously powerful awesome power of hashtags.
So note for this particular one: earlier I said that all these things apply to both Facebook and Twitter – this one only applies to Twitter, because there is no keyword or hashtag targeting for ads on Facebook. Just interest based targeting but this one is for Twitter exclusively. So, just a little bit about that.
In Twitter you can target your ads based on what keywords are in their tweets, okay? So that’s a little different from Google Adwords. So in Google Adwords, like the search ads, you target by keywords and it’s kind of like this caveman English like “infant-clothes-boy” or something like this or “Lawyer-Auto-accident”. I call that Caveman English. That’s how people search on Google.
But on Twitter, people kind of speak in a more conversational method so the keyword targeting will be more different. So it’s going to be, rather than “infant-clothes-boy”, you know, I can just envision, a better keyword for Twitter might be, “Julian’s first birthday”. Or “Someone hit my car” as opposed to “Lawyer-Auto-accident”. And so you just got to think in terms of what are the more conversational ways that people are, you know, sharing information about their day to day and target those keywords differently.
One of the most powerful types of keywords that you can target on Twitter is hashtags, because around hashtags you’ve got this kind of swell of interest, especially trending hashtags. I am not talking about those silly hashtags, I am talking ones where there is global or national interest around something such as #mobilegeddon or something like that.
And I just want to give you a couple of examples on this. Here is one that I did, I think this was just a week ago, June 15th. Right after the Game of Thrones finale, I am a bit of a fan. I just posted a little funny joke about Game of Thrones, I am not going to spoil the ending for anyone here, but the one thing I did here on this tweet was I included some hashtags like #GameofThronesFinale, #GoT, #GameofThrones and it got something like you know, really really ridiculously high engagement.
And just as an experiment I did a Promote a Tweet on this for 5 dollars and I saw that it had a 48% kind of engagement rate because it was so targeted because like these people who use these hashtags, they are so passionate about this topic, right, so of course they’re going to want to engage with this kind of stuff. SO I thought that was interesting that you can get over a hundred thousand views, you know, 778 retweets again for just a few dollars. Very interesting.
Just another example. This one I didn’t actually promote, but same idea. It was around that FIFA, if anyone’s a soccer fan – Eyewitness report: Arrested FIFA officials dove to the ground and pretended to be injured. And just because I included those hashtags, like a lot of people saw that and are retweeting this thing. And so you might be scratching your head and thinking to yourself like, “Larry, what the heck is the purpose of getting these dumb retweets?” You know, Like “How is this valuable to my business?”
Well, there’s a couple of answers. Like can you imagine What if you’re in the athletics industry, like what if that is your business to sell sporting goods or soccer shoes or sporting equipment, then you can envision leveraging these types of hashtags and then promoting them by targeting using the hastags could be very valuable for your business. In fact, it can also generate valuable PR exposure for your business.
One of the really funniest things that happened from that tweet was that this website called The 18 (the18.com) which is a soccer fan website ended up writing a blog post called the 14 best tweets from FIFAgate and my tweet was included and I think they found it through the hashtags search.
Here’s another example of the ridiculous power of hashtags. I was promoting one of my colleague’s appearances at some trade show called the Conversion Road Trip, I included the hashtag and it was actually, I got 28.6 thousand impressions. And I was a little confused because it only got 5 retweets and that’s not enough retweets to generate 28 thousand impressions and so what happened was, is because I had included that hashtag (#ConvRoadTrip) which was actually very very heavily used at that time. So these hashtags, silly as they are, they’re not dead, they’re a very very powerful targeting mechanism for increasing the visibility of your updates. Anything to add there, Matt?
MU: Yeah, I was going to say, with the hashtags, you see it with companies too. I mean, in all their commercials now, they include hashtags and they try to create a unique hashtag that people will remember. So I agree that they may seem silly in concept but people are using them and people are getting exposed to the hashtag so it is so valuable to use these here and that tweet you just showed of your colleague Erin, you know, that’s powerful stuff. A simple tweet like that, gaining nearly 30 thousand impressions, I mean, you can’t necessarily get that reach on Adwords for that low a cost.
LK: And it was all at one time, it was over the course of maybe 3 hours, so like it was all compressed because these are trending topics. And I think that’s pretty interesting.
And so we’ve got to keep moving here, we’re talking about my #7 hack, which is to increase the Commercial Intent of the Social Ads by using In-market Segments. So obviously, you know, search engine marketing like advertising on Google and Bing the best thing about those platforms is that the commercial intent is so high. People are searching for a preference or service and you can advertise directly at that right moment and so you end up with very, very high conversion rates.
Now that’s not as high on social platforms like Facebook or Twitter, obviously, because you know, you are just casually browsing your timeline, not necessarily looking to buy something right at that second. But what you can do to increase the likelihood of commerce activity is to kind of narrow the targeting using this notion of in-market segments.
So basically, how this works is Facebook has partnered with data companies like Execom and Datalogic and what they have is they have everyone’s purchase history. So they know the last 1,500 things you’ve bought like diapers. They know a lot about you from your credit card records, from your loyalty card purchases, they just match them up with the phone numbers and emails associated with your Facebook account and so then marketers can then kind of target people who exhibit certain purchasing behavior.
Here is one that I personally use for marketing of Wordstream’s business and it has to do with people who have recently purchased business marketing software on their credit cards and it’s an audience of 4.3 million people and that’s a very valuable audience for me to go after because you know, people who purchased one type of business marketing software on their credit card are more likely to buy another one such as Wordstream as opposed to people who have never paid for any marketing software in their life.
So I think that’s a very interesting way of increasing conversion rates by narrowing the targeting according to purchase behavior and of course you can do this also on Twitter. It’s actually the same companies they are partnered with Datalogic and Execom and here is this one example of like some of the purchase behaviors like people who have recently purchased like coffee or something like that and this particular advertiser is targeting kind of like a coffee related espresso ad to people who have recently purchased K Cups or etcetera.
And there is really too many to list out here. There is thousands of these kind of categories of purchasing behavior but I think that’s a really really powerful way of finding the needle in the haystack, if you will.
I’m just going to have to move through these a little bit quicker because I’m running low on time here but I wanted to talk a little bit about demographic targeting. So you know, in Adwords, obviously there is more demographic targeting options like by gender, by age, by income and parental status.
Facebook and Twitter go a little bit further than that by providing a treasure trove of demographic targeting options that you can target your ads to. What do I mean by this? Well, it could be like “Have you done a charitable donation recently?” or “What’s your level of education, or your household size, or how long have you been living in your current house?”, or “Do you even own a house?”. There is so many to talk about here. There is actually over 2,000 of them. And I think, again, if you know something about your target market, “Like do they have to own a Boat?” or something like that; “Do they have to own luxury cars at home?” If you know your target market well, there is probably a lot of signals that you can find in this target demographic targeting in both Twitter and Facebook that would allow you to target just the right people.
Here is one for Facebook where it’s like targeting based on life events. Like say you’re a jeweler, and you know that most of your purchases are related to special events like a 5 year anniversary or a 10 year anniversary or an engagement band for a newlywed so you know, being able to target based on life events, like a death in the family or a baby, this is a very, very powerful way to get in front of your target market in a very economical way.
So I’m talking about my #5 Social Ads hack, and that is to leverage Social Media Remarketing. Obviously, I am a huge fan of remarketing and you absolutely should be doing Social Media Remarketing on the Google display network but I would also encourage people to consider remarketing on Facebook and Twitter as well, for a couple of reasons. Like they’re very similar in a lot of ways, but there is a few key ways remarketing is different on Google display network versus these social platforms.
So it has to do with where the ads show up. So, in the Google Display Network those ads show up on a network of 2 million partner sites like CNN or like you know, Johnny’s blog and also different sites. That’s called website remarketing. And the challenge with that is that a lot of times, these ads are actually never seen.
So this is some research that’s published by Google that shows that often, like pretty much half of the time your display ads show up, they don’t get seen at all by the person browsing the site. And this viewability of display ads on the Google Display network, it varies between 51.9% to 44.8%, depending on the industry. And this is research published by Google. Now the real reason for this of course, is that your ads get served as the page loads, but not everyone scrolls down to the bottom of the page so it depends a lot on where your ads end up being positioned on the page to figure out whether or not your ad gets viewed.
Social ads are very different in terms of like how the ads are laid out. There isn’t a concept of average position. These things are just infinite scrolls alright, you’re just scrolling through your timeline, so there is no position 1, position 2 you know. It just keeps going. And so, basically, the notion here is that the ads have a much, much higher likelihood of actually being seen so that’s one huge reason why I would suggest diversifying to remarketing on social platforms because the viewability rates are so much higher. But there is more than that.
By the way, how to do this- it’s called Custom Website Audiences in Facebook. So you just go in and create kind of like a website traffic list of pages that you want to include in terms of cookie pool. Same thing on Twitter, it’s called Tailored Website Audience in Twitter. The set-up is pretty straightforward.
One of the coolest things that I love about remarketing on social media on Facebook is a relatively new development called Product Ads and this does pretty much most of the key features of Google Shopping. So you can upload a product feed and it will figure out the inventory and the discount codes and the product images and product descriptions so you can remarket to people based on what they’ve recently browsed on your site and this a really great way to kind of close the sales you know because something like 70% of people abandon their shopping carts and so this could be a way to get them when they have some downtime and they can finish whatever it was they started to purchase on your site.
That’s pretty powerful. I know I’m going through these pretty fast, Matt, any comments on any of these, so far?
MU: No! I mean, I think it all sounds good. Specifically related to the retargeting on social – I think that’s where the biggest impact is. I think these days, advertisers have really done a lot on Adwords, you know, they’ve gone to some other third party platforms, Bing is now rolling out retargeting but I think social is there still is a little kind of confusion about how that works and what that can be so I think that’s really the next evolution of hitting your target audience and that’s a nice balance between going into social and still hitting visitors that you know are relevant to your site.
LK: Awesome, awesome. So I agree. And we’re just down to #4. My #4 best Social Ads Hack has to do with the awesome power of custom audiences.
Now this is actually a really new thing, it’s only been around for about a year now. Custom audiences…It’s really the biggest, the biggest evolution of display ad targeting in 5 or 6 years. Alright, so like, back when I was starting marketing, web marketing, back in the day, I won’t even tell you how long ago that was, you used to target display ads based on the website. Like you would say, Oh! Home and Garden, you would go to some Home and Garden website and like you would try to get your banner ads on that site and they would charge you based on the number of impressions. It was kind of ridiculous, you know.
And then it evolved, like Google introduced the keyword targeting abilities and over the last few years like maybe 6 years ago, like remarketing and interest based market segments kind of sprung up and those were very, very powerful ways to target your display ads and the biggest kind of like quantum leap forward in that kind of marketing is this notion of identity based marketing and that’s where you can target ads to specific people via their email address of their phone number or their Twitter or Facebook ids.
And so that’s really remarkable because like in all of the other forms of targeting, you don’t really know who your marketing to. Like it could be Matt, it could be me, but you don’t know exactly who it is. But with identity based marketing you’re uploading specific lists of people, for example your customer list and you can target messages to these people with a known identity. So, how to do this? It’s called “Tailored Audiences’ on Twitter or “Custom Audiences” in Facebook, and you just upload a data file in terms of like a list of phone numbers or emails or Facebook or Twitter Ids and then it will just match them up. Like they won’t share that data with anyone but it will try to make a match with the data you provide versus the data that’s in their platform like what’s the phone number you have in your password recovery thing. You know, that kind of thing. They’ll match them up, like a 20-50% match rate is pretty typical and then you can basically do anything.
It’s so powerful. I call it people based marketing. Facebook calls it People Based Marketing and I think it’s a little bit like email marketing because you’re marketing to specific individuals but it’s a lot better like in a lot of ways. So for example, you now Matt, remember like we were saying we were going to promote this webinar and there is a limit how many times we can blast the list and all that stuff? Well there is no limit to how many times you can show ads on Twitter or Facebook, you know what I mean? There is no such thing as unsubscribes, see? It doesn’t have to be opt in. It can be aspirational. You can buy a list of people and so I think it’s very, very powerful and it definitely opens up a huge number of new kind of use cases for how people use Pay per click advertising. Were you going to say something Matt?
MU: I was just going to say, I mean, it creates so much awareness that is relevant to people. Not that email doesn’t do that, but it just opens it up so much more through Twitter and Facebook.
LK: Here’s a kind of crazy true story that I wanted to share to showcase the ridiculous power of custom audiences. So, I’m a blogger, I do a lot of blogging and here’s one I did in September 19, last year. It was called, Mandatory Google Plus – Gmail Integration Quietly Shelved. I don’t know why all my examples have something to do with Google Plus but I guess it’s a hot topic. But the point is, I was signing up for a Gmail account and I noticed you didn’t have to link Gmail account to the Plus account when signing up for that account. So I thought, “Woah, that’s pretty big change.”
So I blogged about it. And the problem was it was like September 19th which was a Friday and I actually made this discovery around 4 or 5 pm eastern time so it was kind of like the end of the day, not the best time to be publishing blog content.
So of course I shared it on my Twitter and and my Google Plus and my Facebook and all that stuff but you know, again, it’s note the best time to try to break news at the end of the day on a Friday.
So what I did was I promoted that post to a custom, tailored list of influential people that I’ve created. So it’s like I have a list of 1,666 people consisting of like the most influential people in my particular industry like journalists at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post etcetera etcetera and Matt, you might even be on this list, but the point is, within 2 hours of promoting the post, it showed up in Marketing Land.
So see, you can see at the bottom there – “With this change, brought to our attention today by Larry Kim of the Wordstream blog, and confirmed by Google, users are now given a choice.” So I got a valuable press pick-up from having promoted a post to increase the visibility of that, and then it kind of snowballed. Remember there were 16 hundred names on that list I was promoting to and within the next 48 hours the story that I was trying to promote was referenced in Venture Beat and The Register and Business Insider and C/net and Fastcompany, basically every company and news outlet n the world and so just thinking about like wait a minute, what just happened here – I got around about 500 press pick-ups from my story, 100 thousand site visitors, you know huge brand exposure for me and my company. It took me about 10 minutes to do and at a cost of 50 dollars. So I think that’s a lot of leverage there in terms of pay per click marketing, just being used in a very scalable way and I’m pretty excited about that.
So, we’re talking about my #3 Social Ads Hack, which is to leverage these insanely new, powerful Ad formats in Social Ads.
So, what am I talking about? Well, first of all, I am sure we all know about this marketing funnel. The marketing funnel is a ridiculously dated concept that is totally obsolete. It is this idea that you have to go through different stages of people going to your website and then getting them into some kind of a landing page and then getting them to purchase or sign up for something. That was true maybe 5 or 6 years ago but today it’s an outdated concept and you can bypass this funnel entirely, like going straight from click to lead.
So how do you do that? Well one of the ways you can do this is with Facebook Call Buttons. Rather than paying for clicks and stuff like this, you can , if your business is the type of business that where you have someone answering the phone, then I would definitely recommend using these call buttons to drive calls to your business rather than just people visiting your website.
Call buttons are a huge game changer in terms of that marketing funnel that I was telling you that is so obsolete. The reason why I believe that is because on the left you’ve got the search funnel. Someone sees your ad, they click on yoru ad, they go to a website landing page and then that’s kind of like the valley of death. Now maybe 3 or 4 or 5 percent of them will actually do what you are hoping for them to do and then you capture that lead.
The mobile conversion funnel is infinitely more scalable because it bypassed that leakiest part of the funnel. You’re going from seeing an ad to then calling the business directly from the ad so you’ve basically captured the lead, you’re talking to the person live on the phone right at the moment of greatest intent and so these calls are so much more than clicks to websites and so they are a huge game changer, and especially on Facebook where something like 526 Million users are accessing Facebook exclusively through mobile. Meaning they are not even using the website Facebook.com they are using it just exclusively just on the app.
Twitter is the same thing where 80% of their monthly active users are mobile only users.
So the Click the call, which is actually only available on Facebook and not on Twitter, it’s incredibly important.
And there is so many other cool ad formats you should be trying if you are doing direct response marketing. So here is one that I did. Something like how to compete in ad words view guide. So rather than pushing them to a website where they have to fill up some form and lose like 95% of them, the contact detail – like the email, Twitter ID and stuff like that just get emailed to me automatically. I don’t have to send them to a landing page.
And on the right side, there are so many cool Facebook page ad formats like App install formats where you click and it installs the app, it doesn’t take you to some landing page, you know what I mean?
So you’re basically you’re kind of changing it from Pay per click marketing to pay per lead marketing. And I think those are further along the funnel and worth a lot more. And what you should be thinking as in terms of the key take away is how I can I be leveraging the power of these new ad formats to eliminate or collapse or bypass complete sections of my lead generation or sales funnel. And you can do that with Social Ads.
We’re almost done here today and I just want to talk a little bit about my #2 Social Ads hack which has to do with the Fly Wheel Effect of Social Media Marketing.
So I’ve used this in a lot of my slides before, like the Fly Wheel Effect. And then one day someone asked me What’s a Fly Wheel? And I was like, “What?! You don’t know what a Fly Wheel is?!”
Well, maybe I could just talk about, explain this concept. A flywheel is a mechanical engineering concept, like there is a flywheel in your car, for example. Basically, it’s a big heavy wheel that it takes a lot of energy to kind of when it’s stationary it takes a lot of energy to get that wheel spinning, alright? But once its spinning, it actually starts going by itself. Like if you take away power, it’ll still spin and you can draw from that power. So it’s kind of like momentum and it goes faster and faster over time as you put more energy into that crank.
And so social advertising is a lot like this, in that the engagement rate snowballs the more you do it. It’s not so linear like where you are paying for every click and there’s no leverage. Like there’s a ton of leverage and engagement the more you do it.
So I just want to give you a personal example of my own Twitter account, as you know my customers don’t always like me sharing their data. Basically I signed up for Twitter in 2007 or 2008, and it took my 5 or 6 years to get my first 12,000 followers. So that was in April 2014, I got 12 thousand followers. But by April 2015, that was, you know, 5 or 6 times more at 77 thousand followers.
And the reason is you start to hit this critical mass and more and more people see your stuff and the more and more people will follow you and it turns into this nice virtuous cycle.
It’s kind of like blogging, how you pick up blog subscribers and notoriety by continued blogging, but when you are starting blogging, it’s pretty lonely. So yeah, it took 5, 5 and a half years to get the first 12 thousand but at this point in time, I’m adding about 12 thousand followers every 60 days or so.
So that reminds me of the power of compound interest in terms of your investment strategies. The more you do this, the more powerful it becomes. I just want to express this notion that you shouldn’t be thinking of your objectives linearly, like when you are projecting like how much can we do by the end of the year, you should have some kind of geometric growth because that’s how it works.
And we’re down to my last hack of the day here. Wow, it’s already 11:52, so it has to do with Free Clicks. Like who wouldn’t want free clicks? Well when you are doing social ads you can get a ton of free clicks.
Let me explain to you how this works. Basically, what you are looking at here is Twitter Analytics but it’s the exact same thing on Facebook.
It has to do with like you know when you share something, you get lots and lots of impressions in the first hour, much fewer impressions in the 2nd 3rd 4th 5th or 6th hour, so it kind of dies off very quickly.
So then, what you can do, is pay to promote those posts. So that’s the orange bars in this impression overview chart. And by paying to promote a post, not only does that increase the paid visibility. If people then engage with that post, like if they “Like” or retweet that post/ the paid promotion, then their followers or their friends will now see that update organically and you don’t have to pay for that.
And so as you can see in this chart, by spending 10 or 20 dollars just to promote some joke-y little piece of content here, it actually generated 2 or 3 times as much organic engagement as well. So I call this Buy 1 Like or Buy 1 Retweet, get 3 free. It’s not a bad deal.
And another way that you can get free click on social advertising is that these ad units have lots of different buttons on them, like “Like” “Comment” “Reply”, there’s so many different ways people engage with social ads, it’s not just a matter of clicking through to the link and sometimes, one of those engagements, it could be retweets, replies, followers. Sometimes people will see your ads or sponsored updates and they will decide to follow you back.
And that’s kind of cool because if they do that or they like your page then you have a possibility of them seeing your organic updates in the future. Now, you know, organic visibility are still low like 1 or 2 percent but you still have a chance to market them in the future and if you’re picking up thousands of followers or likes everyday or every week, that can add up over time. So, really cool way to get free clicks.
So just summarizing everything here, we talked a lot about my Top 10 Social Ads Hacks today. I’m not going to repeat everything here, but here they are.
Matt, anything to close up today here? What was your favorite hack?
MU: I think my favorite has is #3, the Keyword targeting and hashtags. I mean, I’m a little biased with hashtags anyway but I just think that’s really powerful to get in front of people’s feeds and as you had shown a great way to increase more page views on your blog and associated, get more page views on Twitter.
LK: Yeah, the hashtags are so powerful in that you get this huge ground sw(ell), huge crackdown of interest in a very very compressed time frame so it’s like a tsunami of interest, whereas some of these others are more steady-eddie if you will.
Alright, so I think we have one more poll question? Matt, did you want to.
MU: Yup! So we’ll do the poll question and then we’ll get to the audience questions. So our last poll question: Would you like help with your PPC accounts and management? Select one of the following if you’re interested in free solutions blueprint from Hanapin? Free Wordstream Ads Grader and Landing Page Grader? Both? Or none at all? So feel free to fill out that poll.
LK: And listeners, I just wanted to reiterate. I have known the people at Hanapin for more than 5 years now and I just think really highly of their marketing and their thought leadership and their execution and the people of the company and I think that if you’re a big spender, spending more than 20 thousand a month on search or PPC ads, I highly recommend the folks at Hanapin.
So Matt, any questions from our visitors/listeners today?
MU: We do, we do! First off, thank you for those kind words and we feel the same way about what you guys are doing at Wordstream, so before we go into questions, we just want to thank you again for being a part of this webinar.
LK: Ah thanks so much, Matt.
MU: So let’s go to Q1. So obviously, this will vary by vertical, but what percentage of a company’s total digital budget would you recommend dedicated to social ads?
LK: Well, I can tell you that today, digital media budgets, of every dollar spent on paid advertising in terms of internet marketing like display, social and pay per click like digital marketing budgets, 50percent of that is going to Search, okay. The remaining 50 percent, this is across the entire industry, the remaining 50% on average, goes to display ads and programmatic and social, etcetera etcetera.
However, people spend about 4% of their time on the internet searching for things and 96% of their time consuming content. Alright? So I feel like those 2 stacks are out of alignment meaning it’s quite likely that in the near future there will be kind influx, of more investment in the social ads which is like my first slide on the deck was actually where are people spending their time and it’s actually a tremendous amount of that online time is spent on social. So yeah, it varies by the business but I can tell you it’s going to be a lot more than what it is today.
MU: So for our next question. Twitter Quality Score and Impressions declining – does this also apply to web click ads or just promoted tweets?
LK: It applies to everything. Like if you have, if you’re promoting like, First of all. Any ad unit on Twitter and Facebook, they’re all updates. There’s like that dumb time stamp on them at the bottom, so you know if you have a website campaign, you’re promoting some white paper and it says something like July 13th 2013 on the very bottom, that doesn’t seem like the most, best update, you know what I mean?
So you absolutely have to swap them out every couple of weeks or like for me personally, I swap them out like every other day. But yeah, this is a big component of quality score.
MU: So our next question is probably something that a few of us deal with and be curious to get your thoughts on this but – Photos encourage engagement and grab people’s attention, but they also cause you to pay more because people click on the photos to see it larger but sometimes that’s all they do. Do you have any research or data on whether photos are good or bad for driving traffic back to a website using quarter ads? What do you think about that one?
LK: Well, it depends on the photo actually. It’s hard to make a generalization. I’ve seen some examples of either Facebook or Twitter posts where I promote them and it just causes a lot of image enlargements which is considered a click, so you pay for that, but people don’t go end up going into your website.
But I’ve also seen it where it dramatically increases the number of people to your website. And the good news is, you don’t have to guess, you can just look it up. You download the analytics and figure out what the website click rate is.
And what I’m suggesting here is, what you are hoping to do is to get high engagement and lots of traffic to your site. You promote the posts that generate the highest website click ratio. You know, if you have a high engagement rate, that’s great, but is it the right kind of engagement that you’re looking for and you can segment in the analytics to figure out what you know what that 10% engagement rate is? Is it people clicking on images or is people going to the the website and you can make the decision accordingly.
MU: That make a lot of sense. So the next one here is also one that a lot of us struggle with and question. Should we post the same information on Facebook and Twitter, or should those posts differ?
LK: Ah. They definitely should differ. I treat them very differently. Like on my Facebook stuff, it’s a lot more joke-y. Facebook, in order to win, you have to, it’s kind of like, Winner Take All. Like it’s, you really need these super high engagement stuff to kind of take like 20, 30% engagement rates to do well there. On Twitter, the bar is a bit lower, so I’m more, you know, selective with the stuff I post of Facebook and I’ve got to write more compelling lead ins. Yeah. I wouldn’t do identically the same. They’re different networks.
MU: Yeah. I think, to a certain extent a lot of us think that Facebook is probably a bit more personal, geared towards friends and family where Twitter is more, you’re more willing to share with the rest of the world than you would on Facebook.
So let’s go on to the next question. So we go back to Twitter, if your most engaging posts are articles that are not your own, for example sharing another publisher’s article, should you still promote that tweet?
LK: I would. I mean, they way I look at it is – I have a budget, call it a hundred dollars, I wouldn’t budget a hundred dollars to only promoting my own stuff, I would you know, put maybe 10 or 20 or 30 percent of that budget to promoting other people’s stuff just because provided that its like really awesome and interesting, you know just because that’s the nature of being social. Like social media involves, you know, taking an interest in others. You know I mean? Not just yourself.
MU: So next question. So do you have any client related examples? Like you know, I think there is a big difference between Game of Thrones references for yourself versus clients with products and services that we in the agency are trying to promote? So do you have any examples of where this has worked for one of your clients?
LK: Uh, I don’t have like the per(mission), without going into too much detail, I can tell you that one of the benefits of doing that is that it increases the engagement rate of your page, okay, which then, like the are different components of quality score. One is the engagement level of your post and another one, it’s the engagement level of your entire page on average.
And so one of the benefits of doing is this is, like that we found, without naming any names, is that by increasing kind of the overall engagement rate of the brand page, it has kind of secondary benefits on individual posts, if that makes any sense.
MU: So, moving on. How large does a Twitter remarketing audience need to be before it can be effective?
LK: Pretty large.
MU: This person says we’re using one with a little over a thousand.
LK: It’s huge. Like if it’s less than a thousand it usually will say “Audience too low”. Like the smallest audience I’ve ever created was 1,200.
But I think it matters a lot having to do with the names on the list, how active they are. SO it may have to do with the number of impressions of those people and not just the number of handles. But whatever the number is, it’s probably 10 to a hundred times larger minimums on Twitter than on Facebook.
MU: Okay, so for our next question, we have an e-commerce related one based upon products Ads in Google Shopping. So the question here is, between Facebook dynamic product ads and Google Shopping, have you noticed similar click-through-rate and conversion rate between both sources or do you find that one out performs the other and additionally how does the remarketing factor play into both?
LK: Sure. Great question. What we’re finding is that conversion rates on Google shopping are the highest. The commercial intent is very high and you end up with conversion rates that are very high and it’s impossible to beat anywhere else, okay. So Google is the King.
But there is one benefit of Facebook which is the cost per clicks are lower. So while they have a lower conversion rate, no doubt the cost per clicks are much lower and there is all the other benefits like free clicks I was talking about so you end up with low effective cost per clicks and so keep in mind that your return on investment calculation, it’s not just the conversion rate but it’s also like has to do with what you paid and what you got from it.
So you’ll get less from the Facebook ads in general for ecommerce but you’ll pay less for it. And so it may or may not end up to be a better or worse deal like when you’re using Facebook remarketing, you’re not going to get a higher conversion rate on Facebook, I’m pretty much guaranteeing that, but the ROI might be comparable because of the lower cost per click.
Hey Matt, I actually have to run to another webinar. Is there any closing things going on here or can we wrap this up?
MU: No, No! I think we’re good. You know, thank you again for presenting a lot of great information here and you know, we’ll just remind the audience that recording will be available shortly after this webinar is over, but you know We’d like to thank you for being a participant in it.
LK: Yes, thank you again for having me and we’ll have to do it again sometime, maybe we’ll host the next one okay?
MU: Larry, just before you go, would you mind just going to the last slide?
LK: Sure. Yeah.
MU: So just following up here, you know, again we saw all your tweets with #thinkppc, the audience, that is. So thank you for that and if you’d like to contact us directly, you can get in touch with both Hanapin and Wordstream , and again the webinar will be available or the recording will be available shortly after this is over.
LK: Awesome. Thanks guys. Have a great day.
MU: Thank you so much Larry, we’ll be in touch soon.
LK: Alright. That’s a wrap.