Saturday, April 30, 2016

AdWords Parameters for Gaining Superior Campaign Data


Image courtesy of ( David Castillo Dominici) /

Google AdWords is one of the most prominent and pronounced advertising mediums available to marketers today. Companies spend millions of dollars to get their ads seen by the individuals who search Google more than 3.5 billion times per day. The potential for unfathomable amounts of revenue to be earned is truly unparalleled when compared with nearly every other website in existence. This awe-inspiring potential has also made using AdWords a highly competitive, and sometimes quite costly, avenue to pursue. It is for this reason that marketers must focus their efforts into optimizing ads for the best performance possible and to harvest the most useful data available.
Much like the search engine itself, Google AdWords is constantly evolving to include new features, discard outdated elements, and put forth a product that is as advantageous it can feasibly be for marketers, consumers and Google. This time last year, Google implemented upgraded URLs for those that use tracking parameters (which everyone should). The new feature effectively separated the landing page URL and the tracking parameters so that slight alterations wouldn’t send ads to editorial reviews and temporarily take them out of commission. In the post announcing this update, eProfessional GmbH product and solution manager Johannes Lipka stated: “Upgraded URLs have been one of the most time-saving tools we’ve used in AdWords. It’s allowed us to change custom tracking parameters for a group of URLs all in one place, without re-setting ad stats. We plan to upgrade our clients’ accounts over to Upgraded URLs as soon as possible.”

This alteration has made updating parameters extremely simple and easy to do. But do be careful, however — minor changes could have great impacts on the results your campaign receives. When using ValueTrack, a URL tagging feature for collecting information about source clicks, there are several parameters that all businesses should be using to get the best results possible.

These URL parameters are bookended by a pair of {braces} which are part of an ad’s final URL, tracking template, or custom parameter. When a user clicks an ad, AdWords swaps out the parameter with a value based on the parameter itself and details of the person who clicked the ad.

To help you understand which parameters to use and what knowledge can be gained from said specifications, here are five ValueTrack parameters to implement in your next AdWords campaign.

1. {Matchtype}

By integrating the {matchtype} parameter with your ads, you are able to discover the type of keywords that triggered the ad display. The designations for this are either broad, phrase, or exact. Broad matching is for searches that include misspellings, synonyms, or other compatible variations. Phrase matching will display your ads for searches that are a phrase or a close variation of it. And exact is for searches that are an exact match.

{Matchtype} is crucial to implement because this will allow you to understand the types of words that are triggering your ads to populate. If your ads are continually turning up broad matches, that tells you there is room to refine your list and get more direct. Additionally, when analyzing lead and sales data, tracing the information back to specific keywords is very important as this will also help to purify your strategy.

Similarly, {keyword} will tell you exactly which word or phrase triggered the ad. If either of these elements are missing from your tracking parameters, you simply won’t have as comprehensive keyword data to build your next campaign upon.

2. {Creative}

Implementing the {creative} tag assigns a unique ID to the ad that generated the visit. This parameter is extremely useful as this will allow you to create multiple variations of a single ad, track each individually, and cross reference the unique indicators. This will help provide a thorough understanding of which ad messages, design elements, and concepts resonate most with your audience.

3. {Device}
Another highly informative parameter to utilize is the {device} tag. This will help you to establish the devices your ads are receiving the most traffic from. Device will break everything down into three categories; “c” for computer, “m” for mobile, and “t” for tablet. This information can help you further optimize your ads for the right audience and receive higher click-through rates.

Additionally, using the {devicemodel} tag can help narrow down the devices to find out exactly what visitors are using. This will give you more in-depth knowledge about your audience’s likes and dislikes; information you can never have too much of.

4. {Location}
The {location} parameter is an essential feature when it comes to refining geolocation efforts. This tag will provide information based upon the geographical location of the user who clicked the ad. This information can help to uncover audience’s you were not aware of and focus your ad offerings to the correct individuals in the correct regions for maximum interactions and conversions.

5. {Placement}

{Placement}, while only utilized for those running display campaigns, will show the domain name of site where the ad was clicked. If you are utilizing the display network, it is important to keep costs down by eliminating lower quality hosts that provide minimal value and doubling down on those that are proving to be a true resource; this tag shows you exactly how to do that.

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All of these parameters, and many more, are vital for obtaining deep insights about how your ads are performing, where visitors are coming from, and why they clicked on your ad. Eliminating just one of these elements will drastically alter the results you receive and potentially skew your analysis for your next AdWords campaign. Be sure to utilize all of these tags when setting your ad parameters for the most comprehensive picture you can get.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

6 Facts About the Human Brain: How to Leverage it for Marketing Success



The first step to getting the right message across to your audience is by knowing how their brain processes information.

The human brain is highly complex but, with a little understanding, you can learn to leverage its most basic workings to send out more effective and engaging messages for business marketing success. Through a new field of study known as neuro-marketing, scientists are trying to draw associations between people’s innate preferences and the decisions made. Using this information, marketers can then re-engineer their messages for maximum efficacy.


What is neuro-marketing?
Neuro-marketing research involves methodical collection and analysis of neuro-physiological and neurological observations on individuals through a variety of methods. This allows researchers to investigate the impact of subconscious physiological responses and non-verbal signals to different stimuli for market research purposes.

Simply put, neuro-marketing refers to the study of how the human brain responds to marketing efforts, and how this affects human behavior, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Every human being has innate ‘cognitive biases’ built in our system. These are things that we cannot help about ourselves. For instance, some people just don’t like coffee, and not for any reason other than they just don’t. Effective marketing is about learning to detect these biases and working with them rather than against them.

Understanding your audience’s predispositions is critical to knowing how their minds will process images and information presented to them. Currently, there is fierce competition for people’s attention, so knowing what makes the brain ‘light up’ will give you an edge over every other player in your field.

Below are a few things you didn’t know about the human brain, together with suggestions for how you can use them to improve your marketing strategy.

Tip 1: The human brain is primitive
No matter how evolved we consider ourselves, our basest instincts are birthed and controlled by the amygdala, which is the reaction and emotion center of the brain that works much faster than the rational/conscious mind. This is where you get your ‘gut feelings’ which can develop in less than three seconds from first contact, and which form more lasting imprints on the brain than rational thoughts.

For your marketing: Pay attention to the presentation of your materials, especially at first glance, rather than following careful consideration, which few people have time to do. Aim to create a gut reaction. For e-mail marketing and SEO services, ensure your subject and pre-headers capture your audience’s attention by resonating with their emotions, needs, wants or pain points.

For blogging and other Web content forms, pay keen attention to your headlines. You content should be well arranged and appealing and pages should be welcoming. Avoid things like flashing banner ads that steal attention and take away from your audience’s experience.

Tip 2: The human brain loves images

The old saying has never been truer, the human brain processes information on a picture much faster than text, and visual cues make up more than 90 percent of all data processed by our brain. Text with pictures is more memorable than text alone.

For your marketing: Use pictures, but not just any pictures, meaningful, engaging pictures not picked out from over-used image directories. You can also create your own custom images with tools such as Over (a mobile app) or Canva, a web tool.

Tip 3: The main brain loves faces
Apart from just loving images, research has shown that natural selection worked in favor of human beings who could quickly build relationships and identify threats. Right from birth, we are wired to recognize and prefer other human faces. The cognitive center for human faces is right next to the center that processes emotions.

For your marketing: Try to include real people in your marketing campaigns. Consider having people on your landing pages, other webpages, in e-mail communications and other messages in order to humanize your message and drive the desired goal. The brain will look at the human image first, with the eyes following the direction the human in the page is looking. Entice people toward your CTA button or important information by inserting a face looking in that direction.


Tip 4: Colors inspire feelings
Your choice of color should not just be driven by aesthetics. Different colors elicit different emotions/feelings from the brain. According to research 62 to 90 percent of feelings about products are decided based solely on color. Yellow triggers the brain’s anxiety center. Blue creates trust. Red signals a sense of urgency, and many more signals.

For your marketing: Color choice is not just an art, it’s a science. This is especially important for your marketing essentials such as call-to-action buttons. Don’t be arbitrary in your color choices; select your colors based on your audience, brand and market positioning. The best is to determine how color affects your audience’s responses before settling on any given color.

Tip 5: Name dictates behavior
The human brain reacts to specific things based on what their names are, according to a recent research carried out in the Food and Brand Laboratory in Cornell University. This study, published by Brian Wansink and David Just found that referring to similar-sized portions of spaghetti as “double-size” rather than “regular’ made diners eat less.

For your marketing: Consider carefully how your choice of words will affect consumer attitudes when naming your products and/or services as well as designing models and options and creating various audience-oriented communications.

Tip 6: The human brain craves belonging
All human beings have an innate desire to belong and/or conform. True to the philosopher Eric Hoffer’s words, when you give people freedom to do what they want, they will usually imitate one another.

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For your marketing: build credibility and trust, remove anxiety and create sense of belonging by using social signals and social proof e.g. getting endorsements from well-loved and known influencers within your niche, adding media logos, partnership information, social share widgets and other related strategies. Have a robust social profile to fortify your web presence.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to Make Easy-to-Read Mobile Marketing Plans


While any mobile marketing process can be great for your business’ needs, you need to be careful with how you’re creating your program. The problem that so many people have with their mobile marketing plans is that they aren’t formatting them the right way. That is, they often end up making their content a little too hard to read or review.

If you can format what you are making to be as easy to read as possible, then it shouldn’t be too hard for you to get whatever you have to become useful.

Check the File Sizes
Sometimes the sizes of the files you’re using in your mobile marketing campaign can make a difference. For instance, you might choose a picture that looks great on a mobile device but you need to be aware of the size of the picture. Specifically, you have to think about the total number of bytes that your file will contain.

Try to stick with smaller files that don’t take up too much hard disk space. If you keep this in check, it will be easier for you to market yourself because your messages will not take forever to load, causing potential viewers to give up on your site.

The physical display size should be checked too. Look to see that the file is not stretched out or shrunken to the point where you can’t tell what’s on it. Test your image at several resolution levels to find the best one.

Do You Have Buttons?
It might be easier for some mobile marketing messages to be navigated if you have buttons. Buttons can lead people from one part of a message to the next. This is perfect if you have multiple offers based on different types of people or specific locations.

Make sure the buttons are organized in spots that are easy to find. Don’t bunch them up too close to one another either. You’ve got to make sure your buttons are distinguishable and yet separate to the point where the risk of someone accidentally pushing the wrong button can be eliminated.

Keep the Words In Check
Watch the number of words that you are using for your marketing campaign. The problem with so many campaigns is that they tend to be far more verbose than necessary. This is especially an issue with mobile campaigns. If you’re going to put together a mobile campaign, you need to keep your messages as short and easy to read as possible.

Too much text on one mobile page can be a problem. It can be hard to read a lot of text on one small screen. This is even worse if you’ve got a small Smartphone screen with lots of details surrounding the text of your message. It will make things far too cluttered and complicated.

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It is best to not only reduce the number of words in your mobile messages but to also keep those words easy-to-read. Try to use fewer words in your paragraphs and space them out.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Facebook’s Live Video is Winning Over Brands



“Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.” — Mark Zuckerberg

The war over live streaming video supremacy is on fire and Facebook Live just struck another blow to its competitors. The new broadcasting component, which initially launched late last year, is already receiving a revamp as Facebook announced a new set of features that went into effect on April 6.
The live element will now have a dedicated shortcut at the bottom of Facebook apps across both iOS and Android apps along with a new section that will allow people to search for currently streaming and previously recorded live videos. Additionally, a dedicated tab will be featured specifically for live videos from popular broadcasters and those that users have subscribed to. Desktop users have not been left out of the equation either; those individuals will be provided with a world map displaying live broadcasts as they are happening.

But wait, there’s more. Users will also gain the ability to stream directly to groups or events while viewers can post animated reactions in the comments section; all comments will also be included in replays of the stream.

Currently, Facebook is going “all-in” on live video with its CEO spouting, “We’re entering this new golden age of videos online.” Reports suggest that he hopes to one day make Facebook’s foundation more video-based than text-based. But even without all the new bells and whistles, Facebook Live has been crushing engagement numbers, claiming that live videos score 10 times more comments than regular videos. Facebook’s regular videos are no slouch either — viewers are consuming more than 100 million hours every day.

The momentum Facebook Live has built is capturing the attention of businesses, media outlets, and celebrities everywhere for multiple reasons. The social steamroller is winning over massive brands like MTV, iHeartRadio, and loads of others when it comes to broadcasting in real-time. Periscope, Blab, and related competitors had better watch their backs as Facebook is poised to take center stage in the world of live streaming video. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

A Single Streamlined Platform
One of the most beautiful aspects of Facebook Live is its seamless integration with the company’s already existing mobile application. By simply incorporating this feature into its current product and not requiring a second app (I’m looking at you, Facebook Messenger) the social channel provides more brands, celebrities and average users incentive to use the feature. When it comes to Twitter’s Periscope and other live streaming applications, a separate app needs to be downloaded which takes up more precious device storage than many are comfortable with.

Additionally, when new users adopt platforms like Periscope, there is a big adjustment period where one must learn the basics, get used to the features, and draw as much attention as possible to let people know you are now streaming through that channel. This often results in low viewership for at least a handful of broadcasts.

Since Facebook Live is merely an extension of the main application, much of the audience a brand aims to target will already be following it. This makes reaching the masses incredibly easy. And when it comes to reaching hordes of people, there is no platform in existence more powerful than Facebook and its 1.6 billion users.

The Replay Factor
It can be argued that Periscope is Facebook Live’s biggest competitor. With these two going head-to-head, Facebook has (at the minimum) one major advantage over its rival; the ability to replay videos. Futurist Robert Scoble called out Twitter for this massive fail in a recent Facebook post where he said, “Twitter sure f***ed up with Periscope. It could have owned the live video space. Facebook is crushing it. Why? One reason: Periscope decided not to record. Sorry, Twitter isn’t SnapChat. SnapChat can get away with that. Twitter can’t. Almost all the content developers I love are moving to Facebook Live.”

Videos that disappear is a useless feature that has only held Periscope back; now it’s paying the price, as Facebook is stealing its market share.

Views and Engagement
People are already consuming videos on Facebook by the metric ton. When looking at Tubular Labs rankings for most watched video creators of February 2016, BuzzFeed’s Tasty came in No. 1 with 1.9 billion views. 1.7 billion of those views, or 94 percent, came from Facebook.

While many brands have already chosen to adopt Live for various reasons, Facebook isn’t stopping there — it is outright paying media companies such as The New York Times and BuzzFeed, according to Re/code. Debra Aho Williamson, pincipal analyst for eMarketer, commented on the massive views that Facebook Live is drawing by stating, “It’s impressive to see the amount of traction that Facebook is getting from live video. Thousands, or even tens of thousands of people are watching a video live when it’s happening and then Facebook is getting replays after the video streaming has stopped”.

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The simple fact is that Facebook’s live streaming feature makes it remarkably easy for brands to reach their audiences without the need to cross-promote on various platforms, adopt yet another social channel to use, and bring followers over from other platforms. Facebook cuts out much of this virtual legwork and provides brands, and anyone else who wants to broadcast, a simple, easy, and intuitive way to do so. And since videos will reside on the platform indefinitely, those who generate videos can rack up views and gain much more awareness than on many other outlets. With the resources that Facebook has to focus on Live, it will be no surprise if this service is the one that remains standing once the smoke has cleared.

Tips for Building Your Web Presence


social networking

In SEO, link building is the practice of accumulating relevant links in order to build up site authority, and rank for certain keyword phrases on search engines. However, link building is often associated with questionable practices like link buying and link spamming. Too many businesses focus on buying sitewide static links, and building a specific number of links. Once they achieve that goal, they tend to forget about their link building efforts. What they have failed to discover is that a successful link building strategy is one that is natural, builds your web presence, and strengthens your brand.

In this day and age in the online world, there are a variety of effective ways to build your brand and links such as using video sharing websites, blogging, and participating in social media. The types of online brands with the most successful online strategies utilize all of these methods of brand building and link building. Sitewide links, or links that are placed on all pages of a website, have lost a lot of their value for the simple fact that they are unnatural. Sitewide links are the links in a template or sidebar under a section such as “friends,” “links,” or “resources.” Many websites get the majority of their inbound links from sitewide linking, but they must build a strong web presence first in order for those sitewide links to be credible and effective.

Tips for Building Your Web Presence
Foundational link building consists of building your web presence in order to really “earn” those sitewide links. You can build your web presence by writing and distributing online press releases, writing guest posts for well-known blogs in your niche, and participating actively in social media and networking sites to build your brand.

Many link building strategists get inpatient and try to build thousands of links in a period of just a month or so. Your ranking may temporarily improve but search engines will spot the unnaturalness in your site’s accumulation of inbound links and come to devalue it. Focus on building your online brand first prior to accumulating so many links. This can take anywhere from six months to a year. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but to ensure that your long term link building strategy is effective, it is a good idea to keep this timeline in mind.

Build a Diverse Link Portfolio
You can get real power from your links by diversifying your link portfolio. Sitewide links should make up only about 10% of your link building portfolio. Other methods of link building include the following:

Video – Videos can be uploaded to websites like YouTube. Not only will they include a link back to your site, they will show up in search engine results for searches of your company name, product, etc.
Press Building Tactics – In order to generate press and tons of links and traffic to your site, hold big contests and giveaways, and donate money to charity. Anytime you do these things, contact the press and let them know what you are up to in order to get some media attention.

Documents – Upload documents like ebooks, brochures, white papers, and marketing materials to document sharing sites like Scribd. If you upload a document to your own website, you can build links to it by writing blog posts and press releases about it.

In sum, focus on building your web presence and online brand so your links come naturally. No matter what kind of changes happen at Google and other search engines, as long as you focus on maintaining a natural link building strategy, you will not notice any effect on your ranking. A natural web presence will always persevere.

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