Summer Wrap Up: Google Advertising Enhancements

Summer Wrap Up: Google Advertising Enhancements

As the summer comes to a close, the Cajam Marketing team has been busy keeping track of Google’s advertising tool updates. Through the summer months, Google has been making changes to simplify ad management, and our search marketing team is on board with the improved solutions as we head into the holiday shopping season.

Google Simplified Solutions

Google rebranded and reorganized their advertising catalog to introduce simplified brands and solutions for advertisers and publishers. With the introduction of Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager, Google aspires to help clients of all sizes choose the appropriate solutions for their businesses.

Google AdWords Becomes Google Ads

Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, will help us, as marketers, “connect with the billions of people finding answers on Search, watching videos on YouTube, exploring new places on Google Maps, discovering apps on Google Play, browsing content across the web, and more.”

The Single Solution Google Marketing Platform

Google Marketing Platform is the single solution that combines Google Analytics and DoubleClick Digital Marketing. This solution allows us plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one interface.

Google Ad Manager Unified Platform

Finally, Google Ad Manager creates a unified platform that melds DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Google states that the impetus behind this union was to allow publishers to manage their businesses more simply and efficiently.

The Cajam Marketing team works diligently to stay up-to-date on Google’s changes. These recent changes mean that Google is making their advertising tools easier to use and understand. Specifically, Google Ads now encompasses search, display, video, and apps. Google says these tools reflect everything offered today and where they are going in the future. That means more efficiency for Cajam and our clients.

When to Call in the Pros: Lessons in Marketing DIY

When to Call in the Pros: Lessons in Marketing DIY

This marketing tip is inspired by a weekend endeavor involving a ski mask, baseball helmet, ladder, flashlight, can of Raid® and a six pack. As my husband fired up the grill for a relaxing weekend barbeque, he noticed a swarm of industrious carpenter bees buzzing around the roof. “Why don’t you call an exterminator?” I asked as he scrolled through images and information about his new nemesis. “I’ve got this,” he replied. I noted the carpenter bee genus name xylocopa contains “loco” – the Spanish word for insane.

My husband rallied some neighbors to help, and the amateur carpenter bee hunters gathered to strategize their attack. Meanwhile, a group of neighborhood kids assembled to place bets on which dad would fall off the roof first. Miraculously, no one was hurt during the mission (including most of the bees). The carpenter bee hunters heartily congratulated each other on a job well done and fired up the grill.

The next day, I noticed my husband sitting in his car in the driveway for an unusually long time. I followed his gaze to the roof, where the carpenter bees were back at work. I heard his voice from the car window, “What’s the number for the exterminator?”

What DIY Projects Can Teach Us About Marketing

What does this teach us about marketing, other than exterminators are missing big opportunities if they don’t plan direct mailings and paid search campaigns around carpenter bee swarms? The other valuable lesson is determining when to call in the pros.

Effective marketing doesn’t require a medical license or an advanced degree, so it’s often treated as a do-it-yourself project. Just as it takes extensive training and licensing to become a pest control professional, marketing is more than being a good communicator or knowing your products well.

How A Small Business Can Look Big

Selling or promoting a product or service requires experience and know-how in a variety of channels including digital advertising, websites, digital marketplaces, print marketing and direct mail, to list a few. Big companies, with teams of marketing professionals on staff and bigger ad budgets, obviously have an advantage over smaller competitors. Outsourcing some marketing projects to the right agency can help a small business look big on a much tighter budget.

An Informal Google Search Case Study

Google search results for local exterminatorTo illustrate, think about how a local pest control company competes against a national brand. Based on what we know about how people look for information, most will search Google® or ask local friends – and many will ask for recommendations from friends on Facebook – all from a mobile device. Here is a screenshot of a Google search for “local exterminator.” As you can see, national brands with sizeable advertising budgets take up a good chunk of the first page. However, the local business that sets up “Google My Business” correctly visibly has a head start over other organic results.

Next, the pest control shopper will either call the local exterminator, or more than likely continue to research by checking out the website and reviews. Is the website professional looking? Does this look like a trustworthy business? Are there customer testimonials? Most importantly, is the contact information easy to find? Can an appointment be set up online? Is this company using retargeting ads on Facebook and other places to remind the shopper about this business?

Jumping ahead, the local exterminator gets the business, and the customer is happy. The exterminator gets permission to add this customer to the contact list. Now the exterminator can send an email next year to remind the customer that carpenter bees will soon be in his/her area and it’s time to schedule an appointment. The exterminator will also ask the customer to share a review on the website. This customer will more than likely respond to the original Facebook post, thanking all the friends for sharing recommendations and raving about this exterminator.

Allocating Resources and Time

This happy ending – or more accurately, happy beginning of a repeat customer, (plus the new customers this happy customer generates) sounds pretty easy. However, the small business local exterminator is very busy controlling pests and scheduling more appointments, leaving little time for marketing. Plus the exterminator knows a lot about chemistry and entomology, but isn’t as well-versed in digital advertising or email marketing. This is the time to call in the marketing pros.

Cajam Marketing helps lots of small businesses navigate the ever-evolving marketing channels including digital advertising, web services, marketplaces, content marketing and analytics. With over 24 years in the business, we know a lot about marketing – and not much about carpenter bees. Contact us and find out how we can help your business.

Holiday Season Ready: What Online Retailers Need to Know About Bing, Gemini and Other Marketing Changes

Holiday Season Ready: What Online Retailers Need to Know About Bing, Gemini and Other Marketing Changes

As the countdown to the busy online holiday shopping season begins, online retailers may need to freshen up their paid search and comparison shopping engine strategies. In the ever-changing search engine marketing landscape, we’ve recently seen significant changes in platforms, partnerships and ad products. Here is a short summary of what you need to know as you revamp holiday ad campaigns and allocate ad budgets.

Make the Most of the Microsoft and Yahoo Deal

If you advertise on Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo’s Gemini platforms, you are probably aware of the amended search relationship between these two powerhouses. Before April 2015, Yahoo was contracted to serve Bing ads to all desktop search traffic. With the new deal, Yahoo is only obligated to carry Bing Ads for 51% of its desktop search traffic and has no limits on mobile search traffic. Yahoo can now serve more ads to desktop and mobile devices through its Gemini platform. This could lead to a huge shift in volume from Bing Ads to Gemini.

At this time, the volume being serviced with Gemini is low and concentrated on mobile, but Gemini is gearing up to launch a lot of new features in preparation for increasing volume. Billed by Yahoo as “the first and only unified marketplace for search and native advertising,” Gemini could be a lucrative place for promoted videos, articles, music and other media.

If you only have a Bing account, you’ll have to open a separate Gemini account. At a minimum, merchants should have their top keywords set in Gemini and prepare for the potential of a bigger shift in the future. Merchants should also monitor native ads regularly to ensure these ads are driving qualified traffic.

Gear Up Bing Shopping Ads

While Bing may see less exposure on Yahoo, 51% of the ads on Yahoo desktop search will continue to be Bing ads. As with Google, Bing is also expanding visibility and opportunities with Shopping Ads. These ads on Bing have been slower to grow, but volume with these types of ads is expected to increase. In most areas, Bing is duplicating Google’s features and capabilities.

Transition to New Comparison Shopping Engines

2015 continues to be the year of comparison shopping engine switches, mergers and buyouts. Earlier in the year, Facebook purchased TheFind and ended the service that was previously the last free comparison shopping engine. Connexity recently purchased PriceGrabber and now owns Shopzilla, Bizrate and Become.

PriceGrabber has announced they will stop servicing their platform on  October 31, 2015. To keep your visibility on PriceGrabber you need to have an account with Connexity. This platform will now service PriceGrabber, Shopzilla, Bizrate and Become. Aside from the different platform, there will be new pixels and new bidding requirements. To avoid interruption, start the transition as soon as possible.

 Test Facebook Ads

Although Facebook growth has slowed, it is still the #2 most visited site after Google. When Facebook first launched advertising options, it was often reported that ROI was not strong enough. In the past year, Facebook has considerably enhanced their advertising capabilities. If you haven’t tested Facebook ads recently, it may be worth another look.

Facebook has always had the capability of strong segmentation, but now there are different tactics that can be used to target more precisely, resulting in more sales.

  • Custom audiences – there are now numerous ways you can customize your audience aside from location, gender and age. You can even import an email list to match to Facebook profiles.
  • You can target audiences similar to your customers by interest, demographics and actions on Facebook.
  • Remarket to your website visitors.
  • Target your Instagram followers.
  • Product ads similar to Google are also in beta.

Test Advertising on Other Social Channels

Compared to last year, there are many opportunities to monetize your social following. If you have significant traffic on any other social channels, test the available advertising features. Social channel advertising is constantly evolving. All the major players have been launching new opportunities including buy buttons and advertising options. This includes Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Polyvore.

Determine which social channels are most important to your business. Every industry is different; while Facebook is the most visited social network, your social ad campaigns may lead to more sales on Pinterest or Polyvore.

Free Samples to Affiliates and Bloggers

Affiliates and bloggers can help create buzz and traffic to your site. These influencers can drive conversions through product reviews and endorsements. Keep in mind the Federal Trade Commission requires bloggers and affiliates to reveal if they receive a free sample or gift from the merchant. The advertiser can be fined if the affiliate or blogger does not disclose this. Remind your affiliate partners and influencers to be transparent.

Be In the Know About Amazon and Google Changes

Online marketing is in constant flux, and it’s a challenge for key decision makers to stay on top of all changes and sift through new ad products. The one certainty for holiday planning and beyond is Amazon and Google will continue to influence your business – and your competitors too. Learn more about the end of Amazon product ads and the surge of Google shopping ads.

As the holiday season approaches, there are plenty of evolving and emerging advertising avenues. If you need help determining the best strategies for your business, or finding the time to implement them during your busiest season, Cajam Marketing can help.

Get an audit of your Bing or Connexity marketing with Cajam Marketing’s specially priced service packages. Check out Cajam Marketing’s value-priced services.

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