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Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns Added New Features To Help Grow Your Business

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - Digital Marketing, In The News

Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads have been updated with three new features, Google announced earlier this week. Among the additions are New customer acquisition goals, new Performance Max insights reports, and a one-click upgrade tool for Smart Shopping. Let’s dig right in and see how these features can help drive your business!

New Customer Acquisition Goals

You can now use your data to help Google identify (and target) new customers with PMax campaigns. This feature should help you identify who’s a new sure, who’s an old one, which will definitely help with the strategy. There are a few options available:

  • Customer Match Lists – When first-party data is uploaded (name, email, phone, country, postal code), Google gives a match rate that shows how many of your customers have a matching Google account that can be used for targeting. Much cooler than third-party cookies, eh?
  • Conversion Tags – using them might help the new feature cut out people that aren’t new
  • Google’s Autodetection Method – Besides the previously seen Google detected purchase conversion tracking in Smart Shopping, Performance Max also has new machine learning models that predict whether a user is a new customer or an existing customer.

Performance Max Insights Reports

Photo source: support.google.com

If you’re looking for more information on campaign performance, you will be pleased with this new feature. There are two new additions to the insights page:

  • Asset Audience Insights – this will tell you how text, images and videos ‘resonate with specific customer segments’. That means you will be able to see what your customers engage more with, with what content.  Using those insights, you can customize your marketing strategy!
  • Diagnostic Insights – these insights will show you all the issues that might prevent your ads from showing. It will also give you some suggestions on how to fix it.

One-click Upgrade Tool For Smart Shopping

This will begin rolling out soon, Google said, and Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will no longer exist. You’ll get notified when the tool becomes available and after you upgrade it, a new Performance Max campaign will be generated and keep the information from previous campaigns.

Here’s how to upgrade:

 

Why Is This Important?

You already know that tracking everything is the key to success. Well, one of the keys. These additional insights will not only help you keep track of your customers’ engagement and preferences, but will help you develop and customize your marketing strategy. Like it or not, Performance Max is alive and kicking and adapting to it sounds like the smartest choice.

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Go Viral by Design

04/06/2018

Web Marketing Tips to Optimize Your Site for Viral Sharing

Going viral is every marketer’s dream. It means hundreds, if not thousands, of people are sharing your content on social media. Viral content allows brands to reach audiences far beyond what they normally would using organic efforts alone. This is why social media optimization (SMO) and search engine optimization (SEO) now go hand-in-hand. The main goal today is to reach larger audiences and drive more traffic from across various social media platforms. So if you want your content to explode online, our web marketing experts have put together a few helpful tips to help set you up for viral success.

Create High-Quality Content

We’re taking compelling, credible content that is valuable to readers and worthy of sharing. This includes well-written, brand-relevant blog posts with engaging calls to action. And don’t forget your author! Articles with a byline at the beginning of the post and a bio at the end appear more professional, credible, and trustworthy. You’ve also got to make sure your content is diverse. Mix up what content you’re producing to appeal to a wider audience. Surprisingly, long-form content gets more shares than short-form.   It flies in the face of all the evidence that people have short attention spans, but it’s true. Well-researched, informative articles offer more value to readers than short fluff pieces, after all.

Picture of a person's hands typing on a laptop computer.
Change up the sort of content you’re creating for your site – long-form is engaging as a standard, but don’t ignore the value of shorter lengths.

That being said, don’t dismiss short-form content – and expand your definition of content beyond “the written word.” Tweets, images, infographics… they’re all easy-to-digest and typically light on text. They’re also incredibly easy for your audience to digest and share. More on this in the next section. Other types of content you should create include:

  • Listicles (i.e., Top 10 lists) full of photos – 10 is the magic number for list articles, with 23, 24, and 16 also being popular;
  • As mentioned above, infographics and compelling graphic design;
  • Short videos – i.e., explainer videos.

Eye Candy

You should ALWAYS, always include visual content alongside written, preferably images that make users stop dead in their scrolling. We can go on for days about optimizing posts, captions, and more, but if you’re aiming to go viral, you’re specifically looking for shares. If you’ve got the great content ready to go, then you need some eye candy to draw people in. Written content is twice as likely to get shared on Facebook if there is at least one image in the post, so make sure you use Facebook preview image meta tags. Think of it this way: as users are scrolling through a news feed, what’s going to stand out for them and break their pattern?

Arresting image of a happy dog staring at the camera.
If you were scrolling through a news feed, would you stop to admire this happy pup?

Human brains respond to human faces, to strong colours, and to movement. Focus on graphics and imagery that include these themes and are going to stand out from the crowd to pull that click. Need more control over how your posts are viewed on social media? Define open graph tags. They give you total control of what shows up when you share your site to your social accounts. You can adjust tags to:

  • Add images
  • Describe content with SEO keywords
  • Simplify a URL, and
  • Tell the platform about you and your content.

Once you’re set up for flexibility, you can control exactly what sort of image will catch your users’ eyes. So stop people in their tracks as they’re scrolling! Disrupt their pattern by taking a risk and going off the beaten path.

Write Powerful Headlines

A powerful headline is catchy, compelling, direct, and arouses emotions. Unleash your inner Hemingway! Cut to the chase and get a reaction right off the bat. A quick note on “clickbait:” Okay. Here’s the thing: a headline is meant to capture interest. So capture interest! Provoke a response, but don’t deceive your audience. If you’re promising something in a headline, you’d better be able to deliver. Shorter headlines make content easier to share on Twitter due to the character limit. It’s also important to make headlines stand out from the rest. You may be talking about a well-covered topic, but you can still evoke interest with a unique and catchy headline. Use impactful words like awesome, massive, free, successful, and the like. In fact, words like cash and best also go a long way in headlines. Let’s run a little test.

What would you be more likely to click on?

“10 Reliable Ways to Save Money”

“The 10 Best Ways to Save Cash”

It’s “The 10 Best Ways to Save Cash,” right? We’re not saying there’s no audience for for reliable money-saving tips, but it’s a more focused approach that lacks the broad appeal of the the other option.

Consider questions, too. Headlines with questions create curiosity because they encourage users to seek answers and learn more about a topic they don’t know much about.

“How To” headlines also encourage people to click on an article because they want to learn something.

Include Share Buttons

Also known as social media widgets or shareable widgets, these icons encourage shares and help increase backlinks to your site. Social media icons should be relevant to your site and the platforms you use. As social proof of your content’s popularity and your social presence, display the share count on these widgets. Share counts are basically free client endorsements. Users are more likely to share content they think is popular. In terms of size and placement, widgets should big enough to notice, but tailored to your brand and page design. Place them at the top and bottom of the page, and consider using scrollable widgets that follow users as they move through a page. And what’s more, MEASURE YOUR SHARES! These metrics allow you to see your content’s performance—what’s performing well and what isn’t in your marketing campaigns. For example, Insights on Facebook allows you to track likes, check-ins, and the number of people talking about your post. Referral Insights allows you to analyze your referral traffic from Facebook.

Encourage Audience to Leave Comments

End blog posts with a question to readers. Ask for their opinions on the topic. This encourages them to engage with your site, giving them a voice. A comments section provides them with a social forum.

Two young women standing and laughing together on the beach.
Content that evokes an emotion goes a long way. Images, text, and graphics that provoke these responses in your audience are more likely to support your viral efforts.

Better yet, incorporate Facebook Comments on your page! This allows users to see if friends comment, and increases the likelihood they’ll take part in the discussion.

Evoke Emotion in Audience

The top emotions inspired by viral content include awe, laughter, amusement, and joy. People share content to:

  • Bring value and entertainment to others
  • Evoke reactions and starts conversations
  • Define themselves to others—show others who they are, that they have good taste
  • Develop and maintain connections (relationships) with others
  • Be self-fulfilled—to feel more involved in the world, and
  • Spread the word about causes they care about.

Users also like to share opinion-focused content and their personal results from quizzes to show people who they are. You can also get influencers to share your content for you. Search for content similar to what you want to create, and see how many influencers shared it. Create a list of influencers and build a relationship with them before publishing your articles. Be friendly and honest about what you’re doing! Ask them:

  • For quotes to use in your articles
  • Questions for feedback on an idea, and
  • If you can link to something they wrote that is relevant to your topic.

These influencers will likely want to share any content they were involved in. Interviews are another great way to get influencers involved in an article. So interview 20 influencers for one article, and watch your content go viral.

When to Post and When to Promote

Mondays and Tuesdays tend to see more shares in content across social media platforms than the other days of the week. Aim to post content on Tuesdays to increase shares, and create a schedule to backup and support your efforts. If you can invest in a post, do so! Even a few dollars to boost a post can go a long way. And whatever you do, don’t throw content into the wild and leave it to fend for itself! Re-promote content about a week after posting it. Shares tend to drop three days after posting, so reposting and mentioning it again helps keep things moving forward. Evergreen content is easiest to re-promote – this is the stuff that’s good year after year, and stuff you can refresh quickly and effectively. If you don’t have much evergreen content, re-post older material for an upcoming relevant event or holiday. The more shares you get, the closer you’ll be to going viral. So aim for the stars!

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Mobile Business and Marketing are No Longer Optional

02/15/2018

Why Mobile-First is the New Normal and What It Means for Your Business

Do you ever stop to think about just how common smartphones and mobile devices have become? Back in 2011, it was still notable when a friend got an iPhone or a Blackberry. For the younger generations coming of age, smartphone adoption was a sea change that just happened. Seven years later, though, “smartphone” is a term that almost seems passé in our mobile-first world. Mobile is everywhere, and it’s here to stay.  “Over two-thirds of Canadians own and use a smartphone.” Let’s look at the numbers: statistically speaking, 69.8% of Canadians used a smartphone in 2017. That’s 25,556,000 Canadian cell phone users. As a point of comparison, Canada’s population topped out at 36.29 million in 2016. That’s right, over two-thirds of Canadians own and use a smartphone or similar mobile device. But what does this mean for your business? In short, everything. If you’re not mobile-first, you’re at risk of coming in last.

Mobile-first's effects can be felt in the world of e-commerce, too, and has implications for broader digital marketing strategies.
Consumers are going mobile for their shopping needs more and more often.

Everyone’s Mobile, Including Your Customers

Studies show that we check our smartphones around 150 times a day. That breaks down to a phone check every six minutes. That’s a ton of time, but on average, brands only spend around 12% of their ad budgets on mobile initiatives. But research shows that nearly half of all consumers start the e-commerce journey with a mobile search. Furthermore, over 60% of users abandon mobile sites they have trouble accessing. “A responsive website is often the make-or-break moment for your users.” Couple this fact with Google’s emphasis on responsive web design, and it’s clear that a strong mobile presence is a must. Simply put, a responsive website (one that accommodates all screen types and sizes) is a key factor in SEO and is also often the make-or-break moment for your users. Remember, the consumer journey is often fickle and can’t be boiled down to a simple A-to-B journey. Embrace the fact that the customer journey can start at any interaction with your brand! How often do you check your mail on your phone? Even if an email serves as the starting point, your site needs to be able to stand up to a user’s scrutiny when they click through on their phone.

Beyond Mobile Optimization

We’ve touched on it already, but mobile optimization starts with responsive design. A whopping 57% of search traffic comes from mobile devices already, though. As a result, Google’s long-discussed mobile-first index is expected to drop this year.

Digital marketing must account for the massive role mobile plays in the consumer journey.
Mapping the consumer journey is an even greater challenge with mobile in the mix.

What does this mean for your business? Depending on your website’s design and architecture, you might already be in good standing. Mobile-first design and development don’t come at the expense of desktop rankings, after all. If your site responds to all screens and devices, you’re already halfway there.

“What are your users searching for on mobile that brings them to your website?”

The next step? Thinking about how a user interacts with your brand and adapting accordingly, a must for your digital marketing strategies. What are they searching for on a mobile device that brings them to your website? Remember, the customer journey is notoriously hard to define in a digital space. When you add in mobile devices, it gets even harder. Maybe they open a link to your site on their phone and save it for later. Maybe they’re making an impulse purchase. Maybe they want to see what you’re all about before they drop by a brick-and-mortar location. Whatever the case, maintaining a consistent (and personalized) experience is a must.

Putting It In Perspective

By now you’re probably exhausted by the word “mobile.” But here’s the thing: mobile is no longer an option. It’s the norm. Your mobile marketing strategy isn’t a supplement to your traditional digital approaches. It’s the focus. Keeping pace and putting in the effort will pay off. Like smartphones, we’re in the midst of another sea change as digital marketing and e-commerce shift massively once more. Mobile-first is the new normal.

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