What to do with $10k of marketing dollars

I was recently asked by a client "How should we proceed with a $10k budget to maximize signups?" This particular client is targeting a business-savvy audience, but my answer could apply to any business trying to reach a challenging and niche audience.

1. AdWords: $4k = $3k Display + $1k Search

$1k on search means we have to focus just on the strongest most relevant keywords. If you've run before, you can use some of that historical data to narrow down to just your converting and high CTR keywords. The rest of the $1k should be on trying new keywords. Don't go overboard, just try a handful of the most relevant keywords, but use broad-match to leverage the Search Terms report.

$3k for Display will be used in a three-way split between Similar Audiences (targeting sites browsed frequently by people who visit your site), standard Remarketing, and some keyword contextual targeting to discover sites with relevant and resonant content. Setting aside some of this budget for a Gmail-specific campaign may also be a good idea, as this can sometimes eclipse the rest of your spending in a contextual campaign.

2. Facebook: $3k

$1k to promote your posts. Amp up your Facebook posting. From PR mentions, to industry-related advice, to other news about what's affecting your potential customers. These are posts which can be leveraged as ads and syndicated to broader audiences. $1k on retargeting (might not use all that up if visitor audience isn't big enough). $1k on regular audience/interest-targeted ads.

3. LinkedIn: $2k

If you are targeting a B2B audience, this channel could be a big one. Start small to test the waters, see what works, then shift budget here as necessary.

4. Twitter: $1k

Also somewhat experimental, but worth trying. I'd spend all $1k to promote your tweets, not your account. If people respond to your tweets, they'll see your account. A lot of this tweet content can be duplicated from your Facebook posts (pared down to 140 char, of course). Could reach an audience that is more proactively involved in your target industry than Facebook, so there's not much danger of overlap.

Content is king...only if it's actionable

1. Content development that's useful

Put someone in charge of generating content that reaches your potential users. Check out a few minutes (or all) of this video, starting with where I have it set to start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Uv8nCo9TEM#t=13m17s

The main insight here: don't just make content about your brand, make content useful to your audience.

2. Content marketing is advertising

People want content, not ads. So the more you can embed your message in your content the better. That being said, you need to get people to your content (and they will only come back if they find it useful; see previous point). You can have targeted ads driving traffic to your content with keywords containing terms like 'blog', 'article', 'help', 'advice', 'how to', 'diy', etc. These generic keywords may reach the right people and be a soft sell that leads them to try your product. See more here: http://newraycom.com/content-marketing-is-not-advertising/

 

Online video boosts conversions - Your competitors already know this

52% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase after watching a product video, according to an Internet Retailer study. And 50% of smartphone owners are even watching product videos on their phones (60% on tablets). 

Consumers are 174% more likely to purchase after watching a video about your business, according to a Retail Touchpoints study.

70% of retailers are now offering product videos, if you don't have one, your competitors probably do and will get those conversions.

So, the only question remaining is...where is your business video?

(Great list of video stats here)

Mobile apps revenue growing 4x in 5 yrs. Are you ready?

Does your advertising strategy include mobile apps? Well it better. Because they are about to get big. You may ask, "But wait, aren't mobile apps already pretty darn big?" Yes, they are. But according to research done by Portio, mobile apps will be generating 4x more revenue in the next 5 years, due primarily to advertising and in-app purchasing revenue streams. This means a projected growth from $12M to $60M by 2017. 

With a surge of new free apps fueled by these new revenue models, it means apps will be the new websites, everyone will be using them on their smartphones. If you want to get infront of users looking for information relevant to your products, it's going to be in an app.

So the big question is, what is your mobile app strategy? How will you target those users at the moment of relevancy? We can help you build AdMob and Google Mobile Display campaigns to reach in-app users with keyword-level accuracy, so you ad shows alongside relevant content in selected apps that used by your target audience. Ask us how.

Don't waste money on ignored TV ad views

People who criticize online video advertising are missing the biggest benefit: You're only paying for actual ad views!

Yes, the quality of web video is not the same as TV. But the real question is: Are advertisers able to reach more people on TV or online? In other words, are people actually watching a higher % of the ads they see on TV or online? 86% of TV ads are skipped. Thus, the biggest benefit of online video advertising (which TV cannot match), is that with YouTube pay-per-view pre-roll ads, you only pay for ACTUAL ad views!

With TV ads you are paying for 1000s of skipped, muted, or ignored ad views. Don't waste money. Ask us about setting up YouTube campaigns, and reach your audience today.

http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/shift-ad-dollars-tv-web-video-good-luck/240393/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/aug/24/tv-advertising

New Google Tool Helps You Track Mobile Actions Across Devices

This is not the miracle you may be expecting, but it is still a pretty neat tool to play with, and may save you some time, if you are looking to quickly see how many actions your mobile campaigns are delivering. without filtering through an Excel sheet or segmenting in your AdWords campaign interface.

All you have to do is download a campaign report (following the directions on HowToGoMo's Full Value Of Mobile site), upload it into the tool, and you will instantly see a breakdown of how many calls and direction searches, etc from your campaign, which you can correlate to in-store visits.

Below are some stats on the number of people who actually visit a store after searching on their mobile device, which should help you estimate instore visits from your mobile campaign data.

  • Travel: 8%
  • Tech: 6%
  • Shopping: 24%
  • Restaurant: 51%
  • Food (groceries): 33%
  • Arts & Entertainment: 11%

70% view mobile ads as "invitations" not "invasions"

According to the recent IAB Study most people find mobile ads on their smartphones to be positive experiences, rather than inconveniences. Much of this is due to the hyper-local relevance of the ad experience, in delivering immediate, useful, and sought-after information to the consumer. The key phrase there is "sought-after". Consumers are in constant search of information, especially when they are on-the-go, and most lucratively, when they are in the midst of a shopping decision point. 76% of smartphone owners use their smartphone in a retail store to aid in a purchase decision. That is staggering. It means if you sell something in a store, and you do not have a presence on mobile search, you are missing out on 76% of the conversation.

Leverage Little Bear Labs to help build out your mobile presence and start being "invited" into the conversation with your potential customers today.

Mobile ads go boldly where no newspaper goes anymore

Instead of continuing to buy local print ads and circulars for $1,000s and sometimes $10,000s, small businesses should be shifting their dollars towards mobile advertising to reach their local markets. Not only does mobile advertising allow SMBs to have better control of their costs, but it also can reach their audience in places paper just can't go -- or rather, doesn't go anymore. Many people are now glued to their phones for browsing news on the commute and waiting in lines, rather than holding newspapers. So if you want to reach those potential customers, don't get left on the doorstep or in the trashbin, follow them out the door and into their pocket. 

Mobile advertising is becoming more performance-driven

Mobile ads started as rich-media monstrosities, the trend was to build apps with all the bells and whistles, customized for every brand initiative and campaign. But now as the market is settling, money is draining and companies are realizing the poor ROI from these high-cost, low-converting endeavors. Companies are shedding their bells and whistles and shifting towards a more cost-conscious, metrics-driven approach to mobile ads. That's where players like Google come into the picture, with their keyword-targeted, data-transparent Search and mobile ad network AdMob. Mobile Search brings all the targetability of Desktop Search to mobile, but with the added feature of click-to-call. 

We at Little Bear Labs are motivated by performance. The targetability and actionability of mobile to reach consumers on the go with their most pressing queries and drive calls to action (which are literally calls to our clients) makes mobile one of our highest priorities.

Ad Agency launches cutting-edge ‘Dummy Targeting’

Advertisers have been trying for decades to target the perfect consumer: someone who is savvy and sophisticated (translation: wealthy), yet also is too lazy to look deeply into other options and will just buy the freakin’ thing.

In recent years, online advertising has evolved into an entire industry, dedicated to targeting consumers of all shapes and sizes and interests. Today, advertisers can target consumers from any age group, region, and interest category, such as sports enthusiasts, tech geeks, and even soccer moms. However, there has been one segment of the consumer population that has been left out: dummies.

The fact is most consumers are kinda dumb. But advertisers are willing to forgive consumers their character flaw, because they have lots and lots of money. Gaining access to this ‘dummy money’ has been considered the Holy Grail of the advertising industry since its inception, and now a small marketing agency, based in San Francisco, called Little Bear Labs, claims to have invented a method for cornering the dummy market.

Little Bear Labs has developed a network of all the dumb YouTube videos people watch, and all the even dumber Tumblr feeds, targeting their clients’ advertising on those channels exclusively. Guess what, it is working.

“People are such dummies, they will click on just about anything,” said Little Bear Labs CEO, Mischa Stephens. “And with Amazon and PayPal ‘one-click’ payment buttons, they’re lucky to remember what they bought one minute later, let alone one week later when their package arrives on their doorstep. So conversion rates on our dummy network are sky high.”

The massive success of this new targeting method, casually referred to as ‘AdWords for Dummies’, has even attracted the attention of Google and Bing, who are currently in a bidding war over the rights to acquiring it for their large client base.

“Many of our clients complain that Search is becoming too smart for them,” said a Google spokesperson. “It’s true, you have to be smart to use Search. You have to think of which words will get you the answers you are looking for. And that assumes you are smart enough to have questions that need asking.”

Little Bear Labs is thrilled about the response to its new Dummy Targeting, which avoids targeting consumers who ask too many questions, and they are currently developing an additional feature, called ‘Snuggie Targeting’, aimed exclusively at late-night, impulse-buying consumers.

The best video ads are 15-sec long

Want to make the best promotional video? 15-sec spots work best as pre-roll ads, 30-sec work best as click-to-play.

Our strategy is to make the best content as easily digestible and distributable as possible. This means, don't pay $30-40k for a 3 minute video most people will only watch a few seconds of before realizing "oh, what? it's 3 minutes long? forget it". Instead divide it up into small chunks which can be used as pre-roll spots, click-to-play ads, and standalone videos. This way you can have multipurpose ad content, and you can build out your YouTube channel, which will have the added benefit of helping your organic rankings.

http://www.iab.net/insights_research/947954/dv_effectiveness

Moving TV ad dollars to digital increases reach

According to a new study published by Nielsen and the International Advertising Bureau, moving your advertising dollars from TV to digital increases reach without increasing spend. Are you considering advertising online, but think TV gets you more eyeballs? Think again...

Consider having us build out campaigns to complement your TV ad messaging for maximum effectiveness.

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/iab-youre-not-spending-enough-digital-147519