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#12DaysofStrategy: Getting Demographic Targeting Right

With increased competition this year and Amazon’s ever-strong presence, advertisers need to be more intelligent with their budgets. This includes which keywords to bid on, which users to target, and the best times to increase coverage. This year, Google has enabled demographic targeting for search, and this article explores the opportunities it creates in improving efficiency this Christmas.

Using demographic bid modifiers, advertisers can now increase or decrease bids based on the user’s age and gender. This can be applied instantly to all ad groups, allowing advertisers to easily optimise campaigns, up-bidding where conversion rate (CR) is stronger and conversely, trimming bids where CR isn’t as strong to maintain CPA targets.

google-adwords-demographic-targeting-for-search

Why not take your strategy one step further by targeting a single gender per campaign. This gives you total control over the budgets, keywords, and creative. For keywords around men’s products, include a ‘treat him’ call to action and vice versa for women’s products include ‘treat her’ messaging to enforce the spirit of giving. Test different ad variations to see if certain messaging has a stronger impact based on gender, for example, free gift-wrapping might appeal more to men.

Expand this to your brand campaigns and trial sending men and women to different landing pages, e.g. send women to a ‘male products’ page at the time when gift purchasing is most prevalent. Run this as a test with the homepage as a control to review any potential uplift in CR.

As stated in our blog #12DaysofStrategy: Making the Most Out of the Gifting Season, Customer Match is a fantastic tool for advertisers who collect data on gender in their CRM. Retarget to men who purchased female products last year (and vice versa), and use the messaging to remind them about your great service and USPs which led to that initial conversion.

A commonly discussed hypothesis is that women do their shopping early, whilst men leave it to the last minute. Interestingly, looking at 2015 data for some of our clients (see graph below), we have seen the trend is very similar for both genders. The peak is around the third week of December, which then declines towards last delivery dates. Ensure you consider previous conversion data when making decisions on where to allocate the most of your monthly budget.

gender-revenue-stats-december

To conclude, having a well-developed strategy for demographic targeting will not only help maintain efficiency in a more competitive market but will also allow advertisers to truly tailor their messaging to the most relevant audiences at the time they are most likely to convert.

#12DaysofStrategy: Paid Social Tips this Christmas Season

The Christmas season is upon us and there are so many things for advertisers to think about in regards to their holiday strategy:

  • More people on new devices including, tablet and mobile;
  • Consumers will be sharing their holidays as well as looking for gift recommendations;
  • and last but not least for some retailers January Sales will begin as early as Christmas day.

This is a lot to contend with, and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter can be an excellent source to tapping into the holiday shoppers. In our Day 6 edition of our “12 Days of Christmas Strategy” series we are going to give you a few tips on how to make the most out of your Paid Social advertising strategy, and look at why it can be so beneficial for advertisers to be using these channels.

The first thing to mention is that advertisers need to be aware that social media activity changes during the Christmas and holiday period. This means that the way in which advertisers show content should change corresponding to this. As gifting becomes the primary reason for making purchases in December, change messaging to reflect this: “Get something special for that someone special.”

When targeting on Paid Social channels, advertisers are able to target demographics with a precision not available on other DSP’s. On Facebook, for instance, users must state their gender on their profile, this makes it incredibly accurate to creative gender targeting campaigns. Furthermore, many users share details of their relationship status as well as members of their family. Consider targeting males who are listed as in a relationship the few days before Christmas. If they are in a relationship with a woman use messaging such as ‘Delivery available in time for Christmas day, buy her the perfect present today!’  And you can also target males who are listed as in a relationship with a man ‘Delivery available in time for Christmas day, buy him the perfect present today!’ We know that most of us are notoriously late shoppers, so creating a sense of urgency in your messaging will help to get them to convert.

Look-a-like targeting is another very powerful tool available across many social platforms. If you have an audience email list of consumers who purchased previously, especially during last Black Friday and Christmas periods, consider using look-a-like targeting to expand your consumer base, and reach those who are most likely to purchase.

Email addresses can be an incredibly powerful targeting tool. These are people who you know have an interest in your brand, and in many cases have already purchased from you. Consider creating a list of people who purchased from you during father’s day or mother’s day, then send them messages like: “Make sure to get your Mum the gift she will love this Christmas,” or “Your Dad would look great in this new sweater!”

Increasingly Boxing day sales are beginning online on Christmas day, with businesses taking advantage of the increasing number of people on their phones and tablets. Across data from NMPi campaigns last year, Christmas day sees a much larger proportion of sales on mobile than average.

56% of Facebook users reportedly only log into Facebook on a mobile device, with the remaining 44% logging in across both mobile and desktop. Therefore, with more people accessing social media sites such as Facebook on mobile device rather than desktop, it may be worth injecting spend into your social campaigns over Christmas day and optimising your ads to appear best on mobile.

Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most out of your Paid Social campaigns this holiday season.

 

#12DaysofStrategy: Making the Most Out of the Gifting Season

Christmas is the most important time for many online retailers, and securing a slice of the gifting pie is essential to achieving targets. Therefore it is vital that advertisers do everything they can to plan their digital gifting campaigns to perfection. This article will help you make the most out of your Paid Search strategy.

Remarketing

Ensure you have all your remarketing campaigns set up whether for Paid Search, Paid Social, or Programmatic Display. Make sure you are using all the audience lists you have available to capture users who have already shown an interest in your brand (Check out our post on How to Maximise Audience Data). By simply overlaying remarketing lists and increasing bids for those who have visited gifting pages on-site, advertisers can boost conversion rates by up to 10%.

Split Campaigns by Gender

There are clear gifting trends in December based on gender. We see that females tend to make their purchases earlier in the month whilst there is a definite spike in men’s purchases just a few days before Christmas. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, this reflects the different approaches to gifting for men and women. This should be reflected in an advertiser’s strategy by splitting gifting campaigns by gender and weighting bids for female consumers earlier in the month and men’s closer to Christmas.

Customer Match

An exciting feature released earlier this year, for Paid Search campaigns, enables users to create and target (or exclude) user lists by uploading customer email addresses. It is ideal for a successful gifting campaign as it creates the opportunity to show different promotions to loyalty card members or use CRM data to cross-sell gifting products. For example, if gender is included in your CRM you can target males that purchased female gifts (watches for example) last year and retarget them with offers for other products (e.g. jewellery) as they browse for what to buy their loved ones this year. This strategy can also be used across Paid Social campaigns.

Don’t Get Caught Out by Stock Availability

The best products sell out quickly and can leave a considerable cost for advertisers who are unprepared. You may notice a product that had been converting well has altogether stopped selling. You go in and check and see that it is out of stock and you pause the campaign. By this stage it is too late, you have already cost yourself money and time. Therefore, it is essential, (especially around Christmas) that you have an “out of stock” script running hourly across your product campaigns. You can set it up to check pages where products are no longer available and alert or even directly pause the keyword in question. This will help use budget efficiently so that you can pause activity on any sold out products, and prevent wasted spend.

Countdowns

Not everyone plans ahead and takes care of gifts for loved ones early so it’s important to highlight in ad copy the countdown to next or same day delivery, which can capture the last minute purchasers as well as creating an urgency to buy. Countdowns can improve CTR by 11% and are a given for a successful gifting campaign.

Ad Customizers

Multiple gifts for family and friends mean that bargains are essential for the majority of consumers. As such it is important you are conveying your best deals to customers. However, it can be difficult to keep on top of the ever-changing offers-not to mention the suffering quality scores for every ad copy change. What is the solution? Ad customizers!

With promotions laid out with start dates and end dates in the business data section in AdWords, add a simple dynamic reference in your chosen ad copy and you have ads that will change as (and when) your promotions do. You can even add countdowns into the end date to increase the urgency! The ad copy never needs to be altered, only the reference sheet and as such, your quality score is maintained even when the ad shown to users changes.  Show the best deals to the potential customer, install some urgency in them with a countdown and save yourself money by lowering those all-important CPCs.

Taking these insights into account should help put your gifting strategies in the best position to ensure maximum activity, and secure a portion of the festive feast on offer.

If you found these tips useful, check out our other posts including, How to Maximise Audience Data or check in on Thursday for our next post in our ‘12 Days of Christmas Strategy’ blog series, “How Social Media Strategies are Effected by Christmas.” We will be covering more topics throughout the series so stay tuned, and follow our progress on Twitter with #12DayofStrat!

#12DaysofStrategy: How to Maximise Audience Data

Maximising the value advertisers leverage from their audience data is one of the fundamental digital marketing principles marketers need to get right. However, this is often something that advertisers struggle with, but there are several types of audience data that advertisers have access to and can easily collect. Often referred to as first-party data, the data that advertisers own in relation to their own audience can be leveraged within digital marketing in a number of powerful ways, all of which can all ultimately contribute positively to a brand’s bottom line, throughout the Christmas shopping season, and beyond.

First-party data, data that advertisers own in relation to their own audience, can be leveraged in a number of powerful ways, all of which can all ultimately contribute positively to a brand’s bottom line, throughout the Christmas shopping season, and beyond.

First-Party Data Sources

  • Cookie Data – The most common audience data that advertisers can leverage within digital marketing is first-party cookie data. This can range from numeric data, indicating that a user has visited a certain page on your website right through to more detailed alpha-numeric data such as the Order ID of their purchase, and the value of their purchase. Advertisers can maximise this data by segmenting their audience into lists based on commonalities such as the pages they visited, or the value of their previous purchase. Tailored advertising messaging relevant to customer’s actions and behaviour on the website can then be served to deliver relevant advertising and an efficient customer experience.
  • Website Data – Other audience data that comes from a brand’s website, such as Google Analytics 360 data, can be used in combination with audience lists to further segment. By making ads more tailored and targeted advertisers will see a higher return on investment. For example, fusing bounce rates and site dwell time into the optimisation process when retargeting can often sift out poor converting traffic from first-party data.
  • CRM Data – Advertisers are increasingly taking advantage of their own CRM data. Often used in conjunction with cookie data, CRM on-boarders facilitate the fusing of these two data sources. The benefit here is that CRM data, such as e-mail addresses, can be used as an alternative to cookie data. Additionally, it can be used to cross reference against cookies, essentially cleansing the cookie data and making it more robust for prospecting new customers and retargeting existing customers. Furthermore, it allows advertisers to target specific customer segments such as repeat customers, loyal customers, or even lapsed customers.
  • Search Data – Search data from PPC campaigns is another valuable audience data source. Advertisers can use this data to understand the products a customer is searching for or to assess the level of purchase intent they have. It can be then be used to infer banner creative messaging and to create additional targeting segments for display.

If you found these tips useful check out other posts including, The Impact Christmas has on the Travel Industry or check in on Wednesday for our fifth post in our ‘12 Days of Christmas Strategy’ blog series, “How are Social Media Metrics Affected by Christmas.” We will be covering more topics throughout the series so stay tuned, and follow our progress on Twitter with #12DayofStrat!

Know Thy Audience: The Importance of Knowing Your Audience to Enhance Marketing Performance

If it seems like this topic has been making the rounds across industry news and events, you’re right, it has. The message bears repeating though, because knowing your audience is the key to turning a mediocre marketing campaign into a ROI driving machine. While over time some of these messages become irrelevant as more advanced technology and methodology comes along, knowing your audience has remained a textbook standard.

In order to understand your audience, you need to ask yourself three questions: who are you doing it for, what do they want, and what motivates them to buy from you. Once you can answer these questions, you can tailor your value proposition to be relevant, and eliminate the pieces that aren’t important. If you don’t have these building blocks in place, your campaign will not deliver effective results. It is equivalent to throwing money at the wall, hoping something sticks. Knowing your audience has a big payoff; it means you will have an easier time converting, significantly lower your marketing costs, and see a marked increase in revenue.

The best paid search campaigns know exactly who is converting, and why. They have a solid grasp of their target audience age, gender, income and interests. Brands that have excelled in their marketing campaigns and have surpassed these basics, also understand the importance of the motivation behind a purchase.

How Papa John’s Did it Right

Popular American pizza retailer, Papa John’s, demonstrated this successfully in 2015 when they tapped into the Rugby World Cup audience. Rugby is an incredibly popular sport in the UK, and Papa John’s understands that their target audience is more likely to order pizza during popular televised sporting events because they see it as a special occasion, so they feel as if they are treating themselves by not having to cook their own food.

In order to capitalise on the event, NMPi created unique ad copy to resonate with fans who were motivated by the match to order takeaway.  The tongue and cheek ad copy targeted a rugby audience, focusing on those searching for brand and non-brand keywords relating to pizza, indicating a higher likelihood of purchase.

Papa John's highly successful Rugby-centric ad copy

The rugby-centric ad copy ran alongside current paid search offers, and targeted UK users across Google and Bing. The campaigns began two hours prior to kick off, at 6pm, focusing on key times when fans would be more likely to order pizza, and ran throughout the duration of the match. Due to Papa John’s knowledge of their audience base, and clever strategic targeting the campaign saw an increase of 6.3% in CTR compared to non-rugby ad copy in the first day alone, and 10% in conversions over the course of the campaign.

Twitter unveils ‘Tailored Audiences’ – we take a look

 

Twitter’s range of targeting options has been expanding rapidly over recent months. These new targeting options are providing advertisers with some great ways of tailoring their promoted tweets, and displaying their promoted trends and accounts to the most relevant consumers.

 

Current targeting options with Twitter:

There are a number of targeting options currently available on Twitter, which include;

  • Targeting users by interest, location, gender, device and followers of competitors
  • Targeting users by keyword, both in the search function and contextually within tweets. This offers interesting options for advertisers. Not only does it open up the possibility of promoting extremely relevant tweets in response to individual tweets, but it allows historic keyword performance from Paid Search to shape the strategy adopted through Twitter
  •  Targeting users by TV audiences, specifically targeting consumers who are talking about a particular programme. This feature goes some way to combatting the recent issue of on-demand TV neutralising the effectiveness of time targeting around broadcast TV advertising slots

 

New ‘Tailored Audiences’:

To further enhance their product offering and importantly in order to keep up with their rivals, in early December Twitter announced the arrival of their new ‘Tailored Audiences’ feature.

 

Tailored audience targeting will allow advertisers to tailor their messaging to the consumers who have previously expressed an interest in their product or brand. By working with an ad partner, such as Quantcast or BlueKai, advertisers are now able to organise cookie IDs into specific audience segments based on the pages they have visited on the advertiser’s website. This will allow them to create bespoke strategies to better reach specific audience segments.

 

This ability to hone in on a very specific audience segment and continue a conversation with your target customers while on the go within the social space is a powerful addition to the Twitter advertising platform. We see ‘Tailored Audiences’ as a really exciting step for Twitter, and it will be great to see how this increased layer of understanding of the target audience will impact on the engagement rates of Twitter advertising campaigns.

 

Watch this space!