The Power of Running Awareness Campaigns on Social Media: Generating Leads, Conversions, and More without Remarketing

In today's digital landscape, social media platforms have become essential tools for businesses to reach their target audience, create brand awareness, and drive sales. Many marketers tend to focus primarily on strategies that involve retargeting and remarketing, often overlooking the potential that high-funnel awareness campaigns can bring. In this blog post, we'll explore how running awareness campaigns on social media can still generate leads, conversions, and foster brand recognition without the need for remarketing efforts.

The Impact of High-Funnel Awareness Campaigns

1. Boosting User-Awareness

High-funnel awareness campaigns are designed to introduce your brand and product offerings to new audiences. These campaigns aim to capture attention and spark curiosity, creating an initial connection between the user and your brand. When done correctly, they can significantly improve user awareness by establishing a solid foundation for a potential customer's journey.

By leveraging visual storytelling, engaging content, and strategically targeting audiences based on interests, demographics, and behaviors, high-funnel awareness campaigns can effectively reach new users who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.

2. Enhancing Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is essential for businesses to thrive in competitive markets, and high-funnel awareness campaigns play a crucial role in building this recognition. By consistently sharing content that showcases your brand's unique selling points, values, and personality, you can create a strong brand identity that sets you apart from competitors.

Through the use of eye-catching graphics, videos, and informative content, you can make a lasting impression on your target audience, ensuring that they remember your brand when making purchasing decisions. Moreover, social media platforms provide the perfect opportunity to engage with users, fostering a sense of community and loyalty towards your brand.

3. Generating Sales without Remarketing

While remarketing efforts are known for converting warm leads into customers, it is possible to generate sales through high-funnel awareness campaigns alone. Here's how:

Remarketing campaigns are undoubtedly effective in driving conversions, but they shouldn't be the only strategy in your marketing arsenal. High-funnel awareness campaigns have the power to generate leads, conversions, and foster brand recognition without the need for remarketing efforts. By focusing on user-awareness, brand recognition, and implementing sales-driving tactics, businesses can maximize the impact of their social media marketing and drive growth in the long run.

 

How to Split Test to Improve Performance

In today’s digital landscape, paid advertising is key to driving growth and success. Effective ad campaigns reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time. It’s so much more than simply creating ads and launching campaigns. Every setting matters. Ad copy and creativity also have a massive impact on the overall success of each ad campaign. To fully understand what resonates with your audience and how you should be optimizing your campaigns, you should utilize a magic tool called split testing. 

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is the art of comparing two versions of an ad or landing page to see which one performs better. In a true A/B test, all variables remain the same except for the one that you are testing. This allows you to identify what your audience responds best to and continually improve your ads’ performance. 

With so many settings and variables involved in a paid ad campaign, you can split-test almost any and every aspect of your campaign. While the possibilities for split testing are endless, it’s best to focus on the highest impact test first. 

Wondering what you should split test to improve your campaign performance? 

  1. Test Your Headlines 

The headline is one of the most critical components of an ad. It’s one of the first things your audience sees. It needs to capture their attention and encourage them to take action. A good headline can be the difference between your audience clicking on the ad or just scrolling on by, so it’s very important. However, writing effective headlines can be tricky. What works for one group of people might not work for another. That’s why testing is so important! By split-testing different headlines, you can see which one generates a stronger performance and use that insight to create more effective ads in the future. 

  1. Test Your Ad Copy

Just like headlines, ad copy can also have a major impact on performance. Ad copy is a little more creative so you can test a variety of different things when split testing including length, tone, messaging, and calls to action. By testing different copy variations and phrasing, you can identify the type of language and messaging that performs best with your audience. Once you have these insights, you can use it to create more effective ads in the future. 

  1. Test Your Ad Creatives

Ad creative is the visual component of an ad that grabs attention and helps communicate the overall message. It includes images, videos, graphics, animations, and other visual elements. When running a split test, try testing different formats (ex: photo vs video), layouts, imagery (ex: lifestyle vs product shots), and colors. A red call to action on an image may or may not outperform a green call to action. Or your audience might respond more to video creatives than static images. The only way to know that is to test! 

  1. Test Your Landing Pages

The page that a user lands on after clicking on your ad is just as, if not even more, important than the actual ad itself. This is where users take action - making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, etc. That’s why it’s so important to split test! 

Not only can you test different landing page layouts, content, and calls to action, but you can (and should) also test different copy, headlines, and visuals on your landing page as well. You can also test different forms and checkout processes to see what improves user experience and increases conversions. Depending on what landing page builder you use it will likely have a split test function available to make testing as simple as possible. 

Insights gathered from a landing page split test can not only be applied to future landing pages, but also to ads, emails, and other website pages as well. 

  1. Test Your Targeting

Split tests aren’t limited to just the ads themselves. In order to reach the right people at the right time, you need to be targeting the right audiences. This can be challenging, especially when using affinity or interest-based targeting. And even if your audience selection is on point, some audiences will still respond differently than others when shown the same ad. By testing different demographics, interests, behaviors, and geographic locations you can really hone in on who your target audience is. You can also split test ad placements to see which platforms perform best for your audience.

  1. Test Your Ad Schedule

Timing and frequency of ad delivery can also have an impact on performance so it can be worth split testing. Ads delivered too frequently can lead to ad fatigue, while ads delivered too seldom run the risk of not being seen enough to convert. Similarly, if most of your ads are shown during days/times when your audience is away from their devices, your ads aren’t serving you the best and you’re not getting the best bang for your buck. By testing different ad schedules, you can identify when your audience is most active and start to learn how often your audience wants to see your ads.  

  1. Test Your Bidding Strategy

Lastly, let your money do the talking.  How you optimize your campaign and bid in the ad auction can drastically impact your campaign performance. Testing the same ad in a conversion campaign versus a traffic campaign might deliver some surprising results. During a split test, you can also test different goals for your bids, max clicks vs target CPC, or max conversions vs target ROAS. 

Whatever split tests you decide to run, just make sure that you are keeping the rest of the variables the same except for the one that you are testing. This will allow you to identify what your audience responds to best. Then you can use that insight to create more effective ads and inform future split tests on other variables.

How To Install GA4 on Any Website

Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool that every business owner should take advantage of. At the core, Google Analytics is a data-centralizing platform that allows you to track and analyze all sorts of data related to your website, social media, and online marketing efforts. Everything from audiences, traffic channels, purchases, form submissions, etc.

With Google Analytics, you can gather a variety of valuable insights on how people interact with your business online. You can see how many people are visiting your website, where they're coming from, and what pages they're visiting. You can also track how long people are on your site, what content they're engaging with the most and least, and how many users are converting into customers and even an in-depth look at the customer journey funnel.

The most amazing thing that Google Analytics is known for though is helping you optimize your website and digital marketing campaigns. If you have digital marketing experts on your side, you can analyze the data collected through Google Analytics, you can identify areas where you might be losing customers, as well as opportunities for improving your website and marketing strategy.

For example, if you see that a lot of users are leaving your website after going to one page, you can take the time to investigate and check whether or not that page is difficult to navigate and affecting the User experience or maybe check if the content is not engaging enough. Also, if you notice that certain blog posts, product pages, or pillar pages are getting a lot of traffic and engagement, you might want to double down on creating more content with that certain theme.

Google Analytics can also help you track the performance of your online marketing efforts, such as email campaigns and social media ads. By seeing how many people are clicking through from your marketing messages and what actions they're taking on your website, you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Overall, Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for any business owner looking to optimize their online presence and increase their bottom line. By harnessing the power of data, you can make smarter decisions about how to allocate your time and resources, ultimately leading to better outcomes for your business.

Webflow

To install Google Analytics on a Webflow website, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and create a new property for your website.
  2. Once you've created the property, you'll be provided with a tracking code.
  3. Copy the tracking code to your clipboard.
  4. Log in to your Webflow account and open the project for the website you want to install Google Analytics on.
  5. In the project settings, click on the Integrations tab.
  6. Under Analytics, click on the "Set up Analytics" button.
  7. Select "Google Analytics" from the list of analytics providers.
  8. Paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the "Tracking ID" field.
  9. Click the "Save" button.
  10. Publish your website to make the tracking code live on your site.
  11. Once the tracking code is live on your site, you should start seeing data in your Google Analytics account.

WordPress (wordpress.org)

To install Google Analytics on a WordPress.org website follow these steps:

  1. Install the Google Site Kit plugin by going to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard and searching for "Google Site Kit."
  2. Once installed, activate the plugin.
  3. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Google Site Kit > Settings.
  4. Click on the Connect More Services button.
  5. Click on the Google Analytics card.
  6. Follow the prompts to connect your Google Analytics account to your WordPress website.
  7. Once connected, click on the Site Kit menu item on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.
  8. Click on the Analytics card.
  9. Click on the Set up Analytics button.
  10. Follow the prompts to complete the Google Analytics setup process.
  11. Once you've completed the setup process, you should be able to see your website's analytics data in the Site Kit dashboard.

It's important to note that it may take a little while for the analytics data to start showing up in the Site Kit dashboard, so don't worry if you don't see any data right away.

WordPress (WordPress.com)

If you have a WordPress.com website, you can easily install Google Analytics by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and create a new property for your website.
  2. Once you've created the property, you'll be provided with a tracking code.
  3. Copy the tracking code to your clipboard.
  4. In your WordPress.com dashboard, go to "Settings" and click on "Analytics" in the left-hand menu.
  5. Click on "Set up Analytics" and select "Google Analytics."
  6. Paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the "Google Analytics ID" field.
  7. Click on "Save Settings."
  8. Your website is now connected to Google Analytics and will start tracking data.

Squarespace

To install Google Analytics on a Squarespace website, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and create a new property for your website.
  2. Once you've created the property, you'll be provided with a tracking code.
  3. Copy the tracking code to your clipboard.
  4. In your Squarespace account, go to the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Advanced.
  5. Click on External API Keys, and then click on Google Analytics.
  6. Paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the "Analytics Account Number" field.
  7. Click Save to save your changes.
  8. Return to your Google Analytics account and verify that your tracking code is installed correctly.
  9. Once the tracking code is live on your site, you should start seeing data in your Google Analytics account.

Wix

To install Google Analytics on a Wix website, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and create a new property for your website.
  2. Once you've created the property, you'll be provided with a tracking code.
  3. Copy the tracking code to your clipboard.
  4. In your Wix account, click on the "Settings" button in the left-hand sidebar.
  5. Click on "Tracking & Analytics" and then click on the "New Tool" button.
  6. Select "Google Analytics" from the list of options.
  7. Paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the "Analytics ID" field.
  8. Click on the "Apply" button.
  9. Publish your website to make the tracking code live on your site.
  10. Once the tracking code is live on your site, you should start seeing data in your Google Analytics account.

Shopify

To install Google Analytics on a Shopify website, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and create a new property for your website.
  2. Once you've created the property, you'll be provided with a tracking code.
  3. Copy the tracking code to your clipboard.
  4. Log in to your Shopify account and click on the "Online Store" tab.
  5. Click on "Preferences."
  6. Scroll down to the "Google Analytics" section.
  7. Paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the "Google Analytics account ID" field.
  8. Click on "Save."
  9. You can also enable enhanced eCommerce tracking by clicking on the "Use Enhanced eCommerce" toggle switch.
  10. Save your changes.
  11. Publish your website to make the tracking code live on your site.
  12. Once the tracking code is live on your site, you should start seeing data in your Google Analytics account.

 

Conclusion

It's important to note that it may take a little while for the analytics data to start showing up in your account, so don't worry if you don't see any data right away. Additionally, make sure you have the appropriate permissions to access and manage your Google Analytics account or property.

How to maximize Google Shopping Campaign Performance

Google Shopping Ads are the bread and butter of most e-commerce businesses.  Here are some ideas curated by Ernst Media to help you improve the efficiency of your shopping ads and bottom line.

  1. Optimize Product Feed

Product feeds are where your products live and where Google pulls the data to populate shopping ads.

Why you should optimize the product feed?

Your product feed is where your products (product information and images) are stored for Google to use in shopping ads.  Optimizing this feed will tell Google to serve your ads to the most qualified audiences which will improve ad performance and spend your budget efficiently.

How to optimize your product feed?

Images

This is the first thing potential customers see so it’s important to put your best foot forward.  Use high-resolution images that are clear and focus attention on your product.  You should also test different types of images to see which performs best.  An example would be product-only images tested against lifestyle images that show your product being used, worn, etc.

Titles

Use this opportunity to hook potential customers with clear and concise product titles that give them exactly what they’re searching for.  You only have so much space so be very precise.  Consider using words that people would use to search for your products so they click and convert.

  1. Optimize Campaign Settings

The campaign level is where your shopping ads will be created and managed within the Google Ads platform.  For this guide, we will be using Google’s new Performance Max shopping format.  This is Google’s next generation of smart bidding formats that help you reach more shoppers across all Google Ads channels including YouTube, Search, Display, and more.

Why you should optimize your campaign settings?

Setting up your campaign properly will give you the best foundation for building shopping ads that perform.

How to optimize your campaign settings?

Audiences

This gives you the ability to set your preference for new customers or a combination of both.

Goals

Focus Google’s machine learning on purchases that generate revenue.

  1. Optimize Asset Groups

Customized asset groups give you greater flexibility as an advertiser.

 

Why you should optimize your asset groups?

This gives you the ability to create customized creatives and copy tailored to specific products.

How to optimize your asset groups?

Listing Groups

Separate your products into specific buckets to promote them with tailored creatives and copy.

Assets

Use images, videos, and copy specific to the products you’re promoting in each asset group.

  1. Test, Test, Test

Performance data is the key to success!  We all have assumptions on what will perform best.  Always put your ideas to the test and be willing to make adjustments based on performance data.  Lucky for you, Google’s new Performance Max campaign automatically tests different combinations of headlines and descriptions.  Go build a shopping campaign on a strong foundation and let Google help you with some of the testing.  Good luck!

 

Speak with an expert from Ernst Media

What To Do With a Problem Like Twitter

For many years, Twitter has been the little brother that has a big impact in the world of social media. For many businesses and individuals, it’s been a great place to connect with and build community, and it’s had an outsized impact on the news, political discussion, and public conversation. 

Nothing highlights this quite as much as the uproar over the last few weeks. All of the information in this blog post is accurate as of midnight PST 11/11/22, but it will likely change, and change quickly. However, our recommendations for what to do about it are not likely to change quite as quickly. 

TL;DR Recommendations

 

The basics of the situation 

Elon's made quite a few changes at Twitter, many of which are leading to significant brand safety and advertising concerns. Specifically, the ability to buy a blue checkmark for $8 has led to a very high number of fake accounts that appear official, causing serious concerns. 

For example, a fake pharma account claiming they'd make insulin-free, a fake Lockheed Martin account claiming they'd stop all sales until human rights abuses in customer countries were addressed, a fake Chiquita account claiming to have taken over governments, etc. There are also less "serious" but just as concerning situations where verified-appearing accounts have impersonated sports figures, celebrities, and more.

Obviously, this is causing a number of brand safety concerns. There's also the less immediate but just as real concern that the technology backbone of the company is already at risk, with a high number of engineers and tech employees having been laid off.

A big part of the legal team, InfoSec team, and SecOps team have been laid off, or more notably, have resigned in the last few days. There is significant speculation this is because the FTC has asked for leadership to personally vouch that security procedures and infosec procedures are being followed.

In a call (Twitter Spaces voice chat, specifically) with advertisers in the last day or so, Elon's made it clear that he has no idea how to handle the content moderation concerns, laying out zero actual plans, and contradicting himself several times in wanting "free speech" but also wanting to keep Twitter "brand safe." The headline quote is “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.” 

Stepping entirely out of the political questions, it appears that there will be a return to shadow banning, and also very unequal application of any rules, as we've seen in the last few days.

It is possible that this will all settle out and an equilibrium will settle out. However, given the financial burn rate of the company and the financial realities of this deal, it is more likely bankruptcy, restructuring, and/or shutdown is just as likely.

 

There is historical precedent

Unlike the slow death of MySpace or the natural reduction in use of Facebook as younger users choose different networks, this downfall of Twitter is more analogous to what happened with AM radio. As radio stations shifted to FM, AM stations became the purview of talk radio and religious broadcasters. There are a number of complicated social and financial reasons for this, but the end result is that unless the infrastructure is completely destroyed, it will still get used. 

At the moment, it appears that those with more extreme viewpoints are the ones sticking with the changes on Twitter and looking forward to the changes being made by its current CEO. 4Chan/8Chan and the like followed a similar trajectory. 

 What to do about your brand accounts

If you’ve spent a lot of time and energy building up a following on Twitter, it can be tough to step back and make a logical call on what to do about your accounts. However, as quickly as things are moving, just waiting and not doing anything is not likely to be a good solution for you. You should take at least some basic action today. 

First and foremost, set up brand monitoring if you haven’t yet. This could be a saved search on Twitter, a Zapier tool that sends search results for your brand on Twitter to your company Slack or email, or a search on your social media management tool. However you do it, you and your team need to know if there’s an imposter account so you can reply as soon as possible – even if it’s proving nigh on impossible to get those accounts removed at the moment.

Second, take a very close look at your target market – and your actual market. Many user groups are already fleeing Twitter, and many others are just ghosting - keeping their accounts but not logging in or checking on things. If your user base is still active on Twitter, then it could be worth putting energy into creating content there, but beware of any scheduled content, and triple-check the current news before you post to make sure there’s not a Chiquita situation impacting your market. If your target market isn’t on Twitter, or likely won’t be, then start researching where they are going instead and follow them if you can.

If you’re still advertising on Twitter, very carefully consider your ad spend, and even more carefully consider your creative. Be ready to change your spend on a dime, and consider if spending on Twitter is in alignment with your brand’s mission, vision, and values. 

Finally, no matter what you do, if you have a brand account on Twitter, you should keep your handle and name. Customers are still likely to tag you and reach out to you, and the possibility of an imposter makes it important that you have an official account. For most brands, that means turning Twitter from an actively managed network into a response-only network. If you aren’t actively posting there, pin a post that tells users where they can find you instead. 

 

No network is your friend

At the end of the day, this is a great example of the fact that no platform is your friend. You, as a brand or organization, should own your content and have it stored somewhere that you have control of. Social networks are there to help you share and spread your message - not to host your content. 

Save off anything you have on your networks to ensure that you maintain control of that content - and continue to do so regularly for all social networks, regardless of what happens with Twitter. 

Where to go instead?

So, if not Twitter, where? Twitter has been a stalwartly unique social network and has functionality that many platforms just can’t duplicate. The reality is that you need to follow your market, and that market may be different for each business. There are a few platforms that may be worth exploring, depending on your unique niche. A few options to start with could be:

 

At the end of the day, the reality of social media is that the reality is always changing. There are times of relative stability, and times of very fast and furious change. The next few weeks, if not next few months, are a great opportunity to re-evaluate your social platform choices while experimenting, exploring, and downright playing with new options.

User Guide: How To Structure a Google Shopping Campaign For Maximum Effectiveness

The great thing about a Google Shopping Campaign is that Google does most of the heavy lifting in the equation.

As the most important Google advertising option in the ecommerce business, their system automatically creates ads for your products, and matches them with relevant search queries.

Now;

In order to achieve this, you need to understand how Google Shopping structures, ads, and product groups work, and then build, and implement good campaign structures from the ground-up.

Just like in Google Ads, each Shopping campaign should include several ad groups, and within that you want to make sure that you’re dividing your products into the relevant groups.

However, once you’ve set up your shopping campaigns, it can be unclear about what more you can do, that'll improve your business, and get you ahead of your competitors.

I mean, sure, you can follow Google’s default recommendation; increase the CPC and raise the budget.

But, does that mean you should do it?

Remember; spending money just for the sake of it will cut your profits, and even eliminate it altogether.

On the other hand, many ecommerce advertisers have a lot on their plates, with Google Ads, FB / Insta ads, etc., making it nearly impossible to spend the extra money for this.

So, what can you do?

In this article, we'll show you the ways - both basic, and advanced - that you can follow, in order to take your strategies to the next level.

But, before we get into that, you need to know some basic elements in Google Shopping. It will also help to dial in your Google Analytics.

1. Google Shopping campaign priority options.

Google Shopping Agency

Within Google Shopping Campaigns, you have access to 3 campaign priorities; 'high', 'medium', and 'low' priority.

Ideally, you'd use high-priority campaigns for your newly arrived products, best-sellers, or clearance items. Usually those products you'd want to be sold above any others.

Medium-priority campaigns are ideal for Shopping campaigns, that point to product categories, product lines, specific regions, etc.

Lastly, low-priority campaigns would be your catch-all campaigns; the ones that cover all your products - or your store - in a single campaign.

2. Google Shopping ad groups.

Like with Google Ads, Google Shopping campaigns have ad groups too. You want to keep your groups as compartmentalized as possible. (i.e., limit the number of products to enable you to adjust bids and/or optimize quickly)

3. Google Shopping product groups.

Inside each of the Google Shopping Ad groups within a Shopping campaign, there are product groups (aka inventory subsets). One ad group can have up to 20,000 different product groups. They are segments of your products, that are relevant to that Ad Group, or in other words, the group of products that will use the same bid. You can have a product group of all your products or you can subdivide each group into 7 levels, for maximum segmentation.

Now that we went over the basic elements, let's get into the basic strategies that you can use, under different circumstances.

Google Shopping Strategies

1. One campaign with one ad group.

Due to the simplicity, this ‘beginner’ Google Shopping campaign structure is often an ecommerce store owner's first choice. This means creating single campaigns that includes a single ad group.

For example, let’s say you're a beginner seller, and have only one product type to sell; sneakers. As you only sell one product, the product group within your ad group wouldn’t be too technical.

This is obviously very easy to set up and monitor. Best suited for Google Shopping newbies.

However, this approach is very limiting in the long run, as you will need to identify, and exclude poorly performing products, from many products that are all lumped together the same group. It also makes it harder to see which search queries are bringing in the most sales - which you'll need if you want to work on more complex structures that involve implementing negative keyword lists to sculpt queries.

2. One campaign with numerous ad groups.

Google Merchant Center Ad Agency

The next basic Shopping campaign structures is a simple and single campaign, with numerous ad groups.

Let’s use the above shoe business as an example again, which has now branched out into a variety of casual shoes.

You can then create one campaign, that includes a variety of ad groups, based on product types such as sneakers, sandals, loafers, and so on. Or if you’re still just selling sneakers, you can create groups around product topics, such as price, brand, design, popularity, etc. This type of structure gives you clearer insight into which product types are performing better, as well as giving you the ability play around with adding different negative keywords to different groups.

The problem here is, since you’re running only one campaign, all ad groups will be sharing from the same campaign budget pool. So you won't be able to set different budgets - and other settings - for different product types, or even products.

3. Multiple campaigns with multiple ad groups.

This structure involves having multiple campaigns with multiple ad groups. It's ideal for online stores, with a variety of product types or brands, or for those that requires a tighter control over the budgets.

So in this case, our shoe seller, who now sells a variety of products, can create a campaign per category that he sells in. That means campaign would be built around a certain category or a type, with the groups focusing on individual products.

Each of your product types or groups will have their own budget, and tracking the performance can be segmented, based on these splits.

Keep in mind that this involves a lot more time and effort to set up, monitor and optimize for stores with many types of products.

Google Ads Shopping Campaigns

4. 3 campaigns, 3 priorities.

As mentioned before, there are three priority options for your campaign and this campaign structure involves creating three campaigns, one for each priority.

High priority campaign would have newly-arrived products, products on sale, best-sellers, etc.

Medium-priority campaign would have product categories, brands, product lines, or specific regions.

Low-priority campaign would include all the products.

These are much easy to create and set up, and at the same time, they give you much more control over your bids and performance.

Dealing With a Limited Budget

If you have a smaller budget, can't afford to spend much on ads, or on any resources you'll need to build highly granular campaign sets, then start by limiting the number of products in your Shopping campaigns. You can filter your campaigns to only include those products that have a high impression AdWords share, or by grouping by popularity, based on your site’s sales stats. In other words, keep your campaigns small. Find the products that bring you the best ROI for your limited budget, and then as the sales increase, start adding to the budget to include high performers or new products to your campaigns.

That's how you set up Google Shopping campaigns  like a pro.

10 Things You Should Be Doing In Your Paid Search Strategy

PPC advertising involves selecting a set of keywords, and writing an advert to appear when a person searched for that keyword, in major search engines. Also, it allows you to set a budget that you're willing to spend for clicks. Here are 10 techniques, that many people aren't even aware of, that can step up your paid search marketing strategy by 10x.

1. Single-keyword ad groups (SKAGs)

These are ad groups that contain a single keyword, with possible different match styles.

For example;

Ad group - cheap flights
Keywords - [cheap flights]
“cheap flights”
+cheap +flights

As you can see, the ad group contains the same search term, with different match types.

With SKAGs, you'll be able to significantly increase your CTR, which in turn will lead to a lower CPC and a higher QS, which will result in a lower CPA.

How's that possible?

Having a single keyword in your ad group allows you to write better ads, that are extremely specific as well as relevant to the users’ search terms. As you probably already know, a higher ad relevancy equals to a higher CTR, which will improve the keyword’s quality score, while lowering the CPC.

The end result of all that, is a lower CPA.

Although, you should only use this technique for keywords with highest performance. Otherwise, it'll be very hard to maintain and optimize your account.

2. Bing Ads

If you're not using Bing Ads, you're missing out on 30% of US search traffic.

Not to mention the lower cost for most keywords.

Also, chances are, your competitors may have passed up on Bing ads too, which means you'll have a monopoly in there. An effective pay per click advertising campaign should leverage several different channels whenever available. (Here's some pro tips showing advanced ppc tactics you should be using)

3. Retargeting lists for search ads

This basically means you can target your past visitors when they're back, searching for keywords in your campaign.

If a user visited your gift card site, and left, within the next 30 days, whenever that user searches for gift cards, you'll be able to show them (more specific) ads to that user.

Since the user is a warm lead - not a cold one - it'll be easier to convert them.

Doing this will allow you to test different ads, and have a better control over the budget between returning users and newcomers.

4. Negative retargeting lists

Even though a once-visited visitor is more likely to be converted, you shouldn't target ALL the people who visited your website.

Using negative retargeting lists make sure you're not wasting money on people who visited your site, but probably weren't interested in your products / services / offers.

SEM Agency

5. Stop focusing on being #1.

Aahh...the #1 spot.

Everyone wants to get into that spot.

And they're bidding their butts off, trying to win.

But all they're doing is increasing the bar farther away from their grasp.

At some point, their CPA will be much higher. So much, that it wouldn't make sense to advertise anymore.

Do you really want to get into that dog fight?

Think about it.

Instead of competing for the #1 spot with others, try to get into #2, #3. This is much more cost effective, while still getting your ad in the main page.

Let your competitors waste their budget on the first position, and focus on the second spot. It's less hassle.

6. Adjust your campaigns to peak times of your target audience

Find out the time frames that your target audiences are most active within. Adjust your campaign(s) according to those times.

If your target audience is primarily active between 6am-9am, and 3pm-7pm, then you'll be able to squeeze more leads and customers using your campaigns. This "day-parting" technique is a must for any effective paid search strategy.

7. Long tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are the ones that appeal to users, who are searching for very niche, or highly specific terms.

An example of a long tail keyword can be “pneumatic pilot valve”, in contrast to to a generic keyword like “valves”.

This is very useful, especially, if your ad budget is limited, and you can't afford to spend any money on wasted clicks.

Not only the CPC is much cheaper, but also you'll find prospects who know exactly what they want, and the quality of the leads will be much higher.

8. Use negative keywords.

Even in a well-defined niche, there might e keywords that you don’t want to be listed for.

For example, if you rent cars, but don’t sell them, you don’t want your ads to be listed under keywords that are related to buying vehicles. In that case, words like “buy”, “purchase” are the negative keywords that needs to go into your campaign, in order to make sure that you don’t waste your ad money, showing ads to the wrong set of the people.

9. Bid on your competitors brand names.

Type each of your competitors’ names on Google, and see what ads come up. If yours isn't there, get it on there by bidding on your competitors’ brand names and company names.

You might think that this is a dirty trick, or that this is unethical, but it certainly is neither dirty, nor unethical.

It’s being used by everybody.

So, if you’re not using this, chances are, your competitors are using this technique, which means that they’re getting a chunk of your search traffic.

10. Constantly A/B split test keywords, ad copy, landing page copy/layouts, etc.

You can't just set up your ad accounts and campaigns, and be done with it. This is NOT a one-time thing. You have to constantly horn your ad copy, try new copies, test new keywords, try out highest-converting keywords with different copies / landing pages, run a new ad on highest-converting locations, and a million other things.

It allows you to find out what works, and what doesn't, in a constantly-changing world.

Also, you can one-up your ad game during seasons, special holidays, and other trends in the masses. If you haven't done so recently, it is probably time to do a thorough account audit as well.

You can bet almost anything, that at least one of your competitors paid search strategy involves some A-grade split testing game.

Also, make sure to pay close attention to main metrics like ROI/ROAS, conversion volume, and cost per conversion. Remember; what gets measured, can be improved.

These are the 10 tips that can increase the effectiveness of your CPC campaign, while helping you to keep your search engine marketing budget in control.

How To Work With Influencers To Elevate Your Brand And Get More Business

So, you want to tap into influencer marketing, eh?

That's GREAT!

But, you're not sure how to work with influencers?

I mean, for some, influencers are out-of-the-budget, and for some, the plethora of options is just frustrating and confusing.

In this article, I'm going to teach you exactly how you can do influencer marketing, by selecting the exact influencer that matches your brand, without breaking the bank.

Let's start.

  1. Figure out your brand category.

This is the basic level of self-awareness in branding. Knowing what category your brand belongs in, helps you narrow down the list of the influencers to approach. Or, you'll just waste your time, pitching influencers that are outside of your niche.

  1. Define your target audience.

If you haven't already figured this out, you need to stop everything that you're doing right now, and do this. If you don't know who you're selling to, you won't sell to anyone.

The easiest way to do this, is to imagine your ideal customer. Multiply that across possible demographics. Voila! There's your target audience.

But, more importantly, this goes beyond, "oh, I just sell to serial entrepreneurs", or "my target audience is self-published authors".

You need to know what demographics do they belong to, what jargon they use, what binds them together, and what they have in common.

Here's why you'll need this. Each influencer's audience (followers) are different, unless that influencer is someone like Selena Gomez, or Kim K. People only follow influencers who share their own values, that they can relate to.

So, if you really know the people you're targeting towards, then it's way easier to find out which influencers do they flock around, and follow.

Also, since all of you (your brand, the influencers, the audience) have something (or more than that) in common, it'll be easier (and smooth) to connect with the influencers, and pitch them the idea. They'll agree to it, since it resonates with them, as well as their audiences.

influencer marketing services

  1. Decide whether you want global influencers, or just local influencers.

Some brands are local. For example, steak houses, bars, restaurants, salons, etc. For them, an influencer - or more - who's nearby will just suffice. They don't necessarily have to be residents. An influencer who's in town for a visit might suffice. Just make sure they like your brand category, and you offer something valuable to them.

Some brands require a more global approach, since they can cater to a wider audience across many different demographics. Ecommerce / dropshipping shops, online service providers (email hosting, web hosting, web domains, etc.), franchises, chain stores, etc. fall into this category.

These brands can either use local influencers from different demographics, or they can just use ones with a wider audience across the relevant demographics around the world. Although, the latter will be more expensive than the former.

  1. Find out where your target audience hang out.

Which social media platforms do they frequently stay active. Not everyone uses every social media platform. Different demographics are attracted to / resonate with / frequent different social media platforms. It's just how it is. So, after you've figured out who your target audience is, you need to find where they hang out. It might be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, VK, or any other platform for that matter. This is where having a proper social media marketing plan in place can help you save time and be more effective.

  1. Research influencers your audience is already following.

Compile a list of the most prominent ones, who are within your brand category.  Now, if you don't have clarity, and you're just testing the waters, you shouldn't work with more than a handful of influencers. When you're selecting influencers, evaluate their social media content, and any other content they have. Do their content align with your brand identity? How much engagement do they have for those content? How large are their following on the platform?

what is influencer marketing

  1. Find out what your brand can offer to an influencer.

Like I said, almost all the influencers charge top dollar for sponsorships. So, smaller brands are easily intimidated by this, simply because (they think) they have no chips to bargain with.

But, that's wrong thinking.

You'll always have something to offer. It doesn't always have to be monetary.

If you sell physical products, you can give away some for them for free. This is why I said before that you need to make sure that your brand and the influencers have something (or more) in common. That way, your brand will be able to offer them more value.

One influencer marketing tactic that was used by several clothing brands was giving away discount codes for influencers, so that they can share them among their audience. Those discount codes weren't available in any other places. One had to get them via an influencer. This was a win-win-win for all of them involved.

Connecting with an influencer, and going forward with the deal is much easier if you follow these steps exactly.

If your brand is a smaller one, approaching big-time influencers with a huge number of audiences won't be realistic. Instead, by approaching larger micro-influencers (influencers with a medium amount of following) you'll be able to get your brand name 'out there', and you'll get a more than decent ROI on your money. 

After you've compiled a list of influencers you'd prefer to work with, just contact them via either private messages on the social platforms, or plain old emails. Or if you have any mutual contacts, they might be able to introduce you to them, with some 'glowing' review, if possible.

If done correctly, influencer marketing can be a game changer for your brand. I've seen it happen, many times. On both local and global levels.

 

Jay Kalansooriya is a professional writer, and a freelance copywriter, that helps influencers and brand by crafting compelling messages. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Importance of Keyword Research in a solid SEO Strategy

Keyword Research: Why It Matters

To craft an effective SEO Strategy, many things need to happen. One of the most important components is keyword strategy. A keyword strategy is a strategy that leverages the highest performing keywords for use in SEM. Keyword research can lay the foundation for a market analysis, competitor analysis, and can help drive strategy across SEO and PPC.

Now, this might sound like a no-brainer. Most companies pay no attention to the keywords they are currently ranking for. Even less attention to the keywords that are “being left on the table”.

Google Search Console

One of the first things we look at here at Ernst Media is the current keyword landscape of any website we begin to work with. This is an essential first step in developing a solid keyword strategy. This first look analyzes the keywords that the website is currently ranking for and the position the keywords are currently in. This gives us a good indication of where time and effort should be spent. We do this by setting up and configuring Google Search Console, Google's free tool to give webmasters the insights they need to help them properly format their site for maximum indelibility in the Google search results pages. This can be especially useful if you're planning on PPC advertising with various PPC Platforms.

Keyword rankings are relative to a single web page, and a single location search. In other words, this allows us to assign a value to each keyword. Some keywords are are more competitive than others. This is because they are commonly used in searches for a specific product or service. Other keywords however, might be a little more obscure, which is to say they have less search volume, though there may be fewer people ranking for that keyword, increasing a company's ability to rank for that keyword on the first page of the search engines results page. Once you have identified keywords, you can validate them by reviewing the corresponding analytics data. This is the single most important measure of performance.

A similar method can be performed with display ad campaigns, too!

Measure Everything

A few of our favorite tools to measure this are Moz and SEM Rush.

This blended approach ensures high visibility by utilizing high-value, less competitive keywords. These keywords are still able to drive quality traffic to the website. Keep an eye on conversions rates, and optimize if necessary.

The SEO services we deliver typically includes a game plan showing how we’ll focus on increasing the volume of keywords ranking in say, positions 1-10, as well as increasing the total number of keywords that are ranking overall.

Ready to get your free SEO audit? Check out our approach to SEO and Contact us today! We're recognized as one of best in SEO.

We're really proud of the recognition!