Archive for the ‘PPC for Small Business’ Category
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Twitter has finally opened up its self-service advertising platform to everyone.
Remember when this program was open only to large corporations? Well, that has ended. Now anyone – even you, small businesses and individuals – can advertise through Twitter’s self-service advertising platform. You have two very different advertising channels through Twitter. Here’s a brief description of them.
- Promoted Tweets – With promoted tweets, you establish the demographic criteria that are important for you and your tweet will be seen in the streams of the people who meet those criteria. This is a golden opportunity for small business owners and freelancers.
- Promoted Accounts – The other way to reach targeted followers on Twitter is to promote your account through the “Who To Follow” list on Twitter’s sidebar. This option allows you to attract new followers based on criteria you establish for promoting your Twitter account. So, for instance, if you are looking for female small business owners in Idaho, then you can promote your account to that demographic.
Online advertising has changed a lot over the years. Promoted tweets and promoted accounts are a new way for businesses to attract the demographics that are important to you. This advertising will initially be less expensive than Google AdWords, but I think the price of promoted tweets and promoted accounts will likely go up after the initial wave of new users.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
How often have you said to yourself, “I’d really like to expand my page’s reach to a demographic exactly like the one I’m targeting now with little or no effort?” If you’ve ever said that, or thought that, then Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences promises to be the tool you need.
Thinking about what this tool actually does, it seems intuitive. Who better to know what demographic you are targeting (or reaching) with your Facebook page than Facebook? They have all eyes on. But the “lookalike” audience is based on your custom advertiser settings, so the “eyes on” is easy.
But note that by using Lookalike Audiences you are not reaching an exact duplicate of your current audience. You are reaching a “similar” audience. Consider:
Facebook is now offering advertisers a new feature called Lookalike Audiences, which enables direct marketers to target audience segments with similar customer profiles to those they have uploaded themselves with Facebook’s Custom Audience feature.
Emphasis is mine.
So if you tell Facebook that you are targeting women between the ages of 20 and 25 with an earned income between $50,000 and $100,000, then people who fall into that same demographic who are not already fans of your Facebook page can be targeted with your advertising.
Or, suppose you are a local business catering to anyone living in Minnesota. Facebook users living in Minnesota not already fans of your page can be targeted by your ads.
This is a powerful feature, but like all new features, it remains to be seen how Facebook advertisers will apply it to their situation. Go, experiment.
Friday, December 14th, 2012
Twitter has recently added another cool feature to its sponsored tweets advertising service – the use of negative keywords.
If you’re wondering what a negative keyword is, it’s time to become intimately acquainted. These are words you don’t want to target but are usually associated with the word you do want to target. For instance, “Kevin” would be a negative keyword to “bacon,” unless you actually are talking about the actor. Doing research on tigers but not interested in the football team in Detroit? Make “Detroit” a negative keyword.
Negative keywords are powerful targeting tools because you can limit the exposure of your paid advertising, saving yourself money and better targeting your ads to the people most likely to respond to them.
Google has been using negative words for a long time in its PPC model, Google AdWords. Now, Twitter can compete more aggressively with its sponsored tweets equivalent. And, guess what? Twitter’s sponsored tweets are a lot less expensive than Google AdWords ads are simply because there is less demand. So if you don’t want to pay the higher click prices at Google but you still want effective ad targeting, join Twitter’s sponsored tweets program and be sure to make liberal use of negative keywords.
Thursday, May 10th, 2012
When monitoring a pay per click advertising campaign there are several sets of numbers that are important. Click through rates (CTR) are one area that many advertisers concentrate on with the theory being the more visitors you receive to a site, the more opportunities their are for sales. However, your click through rate needs to be seen as a comparison to several other sets of data, in particular conversion rates and costs per click. Your campaign may be receiving a thousand clicks per day, and the cost may be as low as a dollar a click, however, if you are only converting at 1% with a profit per sale of $10, you’re actually losing $900 per day.
On their own, click through rates are a false statistic at the end of the day. You are much better off with lower click through rates if they are targeting better keywords and achieving higher conversion rates. Away from the statistics, one problem that many advertisers fail to deal with is the relationship between their advertisement and the landing page.
If your PPC ad unit promotes widgets, yet your landing page is dedicated to red widgets, then you are going to lose a lot of customers. Your ad unit has failed to deliver. If advertise widgets, then you need a landing page dedicated to widgets, not just red widgets. If you only sell red widgets, then your ad should specify red widgets.
By being more precise with your ad unit, you will see a big drop in the number of click throughs. However, people who do click through will do because, in the example given, they are interested in red widgets. If your landing page is well designed, you should see a considerable change in your conversion rates for that ad unit as well. The end result, less traffic, possible at a higher cost per click, but with a much improved conversion rate. If you marketing plan is costed effectively, you should be in the black and making a reasonable profit as well. PPC for small business is not about generating as much traffic as possible, it is all about generating quality targeted traffic that converts/
Monday, March 5th, 2012
The online business world is very different to the offline business world – at least, that’s what many business owners feel. In reality, the two are not so different. Sure, your contact with customers is very different, but in many areas, managing each business is very similar. Business manager from both sides are only interested in one thing – growth in both sales and profitability. Marketing is always a thorny issue – how do you measure the success of sponsoring a local sporting team? For that matter, how do you measure the success of an online social media campaign?
Where the two business models do differ is in advertising. An offline business finds it difficult to measure the success of a newspaper advertising campaign, however, an online business can very easily measure the success of a paid-per-click advertising campaign. Today, there are many offline businesses also engaging in pay-per-click advertising. The conversion is measured in email sign-ups, and ongoing activities such as coupons.
PPC for small business has been a preferred advertising medium for many years now. It’s easy to set a budget, gain statistical data (such as cost per click), and profit per click. Whilst the big spenders can often afford to dominate major search terms, small businesses have the flexibility to react quickly to changes in customer search patterns, particularly when it comes to the longer tail searches. In today’s market place, it has also become more affordable to engage the services of professional PPC consultants to manage campaigns. They can constantly tweak PPC campaigns to return the best possible results for small businesses.
If you’re a small business owner looking to gain further exposure for your business, talking to an expert in the field of online marketing. PPC could be a good fit for your small business, and a campaign could be more profitable than you realize.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Facebook wants to woo small business owners into becoming advertisers. How are they going to do that? By giving away $10 million in free advertising. They’re planning to do this $50 at a time starting next year.
So why is Facebook giving away all that money in free advertising? Here’s a test. It’s multiple choice. Can you guess which answer is correct?
- Small business owners don’t think they need Facebook
- They want to steal you away from Google AdWords
- Facebook wants to encourage small business owners to advertising using Facebook Marketing Solutions
- They think if they give you $50 in free advertising that you’ll stick around and spend more money
If you said “all of the above,” then you’d be correct. Facebook is getting aggressive about pursuing small business owners as advertisers.
It’s true, 64% of small business owners think social networking isn’t necessary. Therefore, they aren’t on Facebook at all.
Since Google AdWords has pretty much dominated Web advertising for almost a decade, Facebook is looking to get a piece of that action, and more than any other company they are poised to take a big bite out of Google’s chunk of the market. I think Google is just a little bit concerned too.
So if Facebook can convince you to at least give Facebook Marketing Solutions a try, then maybe – just MAYBE – you’ll do well enough to keep advertising. They’ll make more money, you’ll get more business, and Facebook can topple Google from king of the Internet mountain.
At least it’s worth a shot in Facebook’s eyes. Can you blame them?
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
American Express OPEN Forum has an excellent article on Facebook ads (of course, I’m biased since they quoted me in the article). If you haven’t used Facebook ads yet, you’ll want to read the article. Here’s a summary of the 5 pointers.
- Set goals and plan your approach – What do you want to achieve with your advertising? If you don’t know, then you likely won’t achieve anything.
- Use creative target marketing tactics – More so than traditional PPC ads, Facebook ads allow you to drill down your demographic targeting. You can get real small in your efforts too and narrow it down pretty well. You can even send out pre-emptive birthday messages, and that kind of marketing rocks.
- Use powerful text and images – Don’t just use your logo. Pick an image that draws attention to your ad and make your text powerful enough that it gets the click-through.
- Test multiple ads – One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is only running one ad. Create four ads that are similar and test which one works best.
- Keep your page updated – Have your Facebook page ready to close the sale. Keep it updated so that you can be ready to respond to click-throughs.
These are great tips. If you’re wondering which one I contributed, you’ll have to read the article.