Helping Papa John’s Dough-nate to Text Santa

Last Friday was Text Santa’s annual Christmas Jumper Day, and NMPi helped support Papa John’s in their noble effort to raise £200,000 for charity. The Text Santa telethon raises money for MacMillan Cancer Support, Make-a-Wish-UK, and Save the Children. Not only were we looking smashing in our Christmas jumpers, but we also came up with some creative and fun ways to raise some money.

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In the afternoon we kicked off the fun with a charity raffle including some great prizes from local shops and restaurants, and throughout the day staff had the opportunity to guess the weight of a large block of cheese and when we say large we mean large! The winning guess was 650 grams only 4 grams off the actual weight.

We ended the night with a Christmas quiz enjoying some delicious XXL pizzas from Papa John’s to contribute to their drive. We are excited to be able to announce that we have raised over £1000 for such a good cause, and we would like to thank everyone who helped us make the day a success. Merry Christmas everyone!

If you would like to help donate to Text Santa you can donate £5 by texting PAPAJ5 to 70760 or buy an XXL pizza from Papa John’s who will donate 50p for everyone purchased.

Follower Fade-Out: Google Phases out Social Ad Extensions

As of last Thursday, Google has decided to cull the use of social ad extensions within AdWords. These extensions displayed how many Google+ followers an advertiser’s page had, and were originally believed to potentially lead to higher click through rates. Now however, Google has decided that the number of followers a business has is no longer a meaningful way to convey brand value. They’ve paved the way for newer, more relevant ad extensions such as, customer ratings annotations. This is more than a generic rating, it reviews specific aspects of your business, such as shipping, costs, and ease of website use.

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What are the options for advertisers that rely heavily on social presence? You can still have your social information with your ad but you will have to give up something to accommodate social. Sitelinks and Callouts are the two ad extensions that can accommodate this need.

Sitelinks, as seen below, are an extension that allows a brand’s ad to show up to six extra links to different pages on their website. This space can be populated with social information, but means relinquishing a spot that which may have more impact on conversions. Keep in mind when using sitelinks for social promotion that they still must link to the same domain as the main ad.

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The other option available for social reliant brands is the use of a callout extension. This extension also lets businesses add additional text to their search ads; pertinent social information can be added here but again, it would replace potentially more valuable information.

callout extensions adwords

 

Both sitelink and callout extensions are free to add, but the difference is sitelinks are clickable, driving an individual to a specific page within your ad domain, whilst callouts are text based. It is also important for advertisers to realise that Google will not show all ad extensions at one time. For instance, if your ad text is displaying rating and structured snippets there is a high likelihood that it will not show call outs. Which ad extensions Google will choose to show and when is a bit of a mystery, so make sure you prioritise the content that will drive clicks and conversions within your extensions.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Generating £1.1 Billion in Online Sales: Where Did We See the Real Performance?

Another year of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have hit Britain’s shores.  Amid speculation about a cooling towards the popular American shopping holiday, due to rowdy behaviour and chaos in retails stores, statistics seem to tell a different story. While shopping centre parking lots seemed to be empty on November 27th, the Internet was the real hero of the day seeing massive sales through the channel. Total online sales on Black Friday hit £1.1 billion up 3.6% from last year according to Experian.

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to us that Black Friday has become heavily focused on online consumer purchases within the UK. Firstly, many consumers don’t want to deal with crowded shops, lack of parking and even risking the product not being in stock especially when many of the same deals are available online, and secondly unlike its American counterpart the UK’s Black Friday holiday falls on a normal working day.

NMPi takes a look at how our brands performed online over the Cyber Weekend, and where we really saw the spikes in performance.

Cyber Weekend

As expected, Black Friday generated the highest revenue throughout November, generating 370% more revenue than the month’s daily average.black-friday-cyber-monday-stats-revenue-2015

In spite of the increase in revenue on Black Friday, conversion rate actually peaked on Cyber Monday approximately 55% higher than November’s daily average. This was due to many retailers running promotions ending on Monday, increasing the pressure for the consumer to convert. However, we did see significantly higher traffic volumes and CTR on Black Friday.

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Overall, this made Cyber Monday the second highest revenue generating day in November with a 160% increase on the daily average. Followed closely behind by Sofa Sunday, the Sunday following Black Friday, which generated revenue 150% greater than the daily average in November.

Black Friday showed a significant year on year uplift – accounting for 12.5% of the total months revenue this year, compared to 9.5% last year. We can attribute this to greater awareness and more advertisers running Black Friday deals.

Mobile and Tablet

In November, mobile and tablet surged to account for 63% of online traffic and 50% of revenue over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

cyber-weekend-2015-revenue by device stats

Mobile traffic on its own exceeded desktop traffic on Black Friday as well as every weekend throughout the month. This can be seen in the graph below:

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So, what do these stats mean for retailers?

  • If you haven’t already, optimise your website for mobile use. This can’t be said enough as according to a poll by Retail Systems Research only 26% of retailers worldwide had piloted or implemented a mobile responsive website though 43% say that they have budgeted or planned on implementing one. It can no longer be ignored as consumers take to their mobile devices to research and shop.
  • Have a full digital strategy in place that can track and attribute conversions across device and channel.
  • Make sure to use retargeting within your paid search, display and paid social activity. This allows advertisers to take full advantage of those who didn’t convert over the entire holiday period. It also gives them the opportunity to up-sell accessories for items they have purchased.
  • There are still several big shopping days left to the holiday season such as Green Monday. Take advantages of your digital learning from the Cyber Weekend, and make sure your campaigns are optimised accordingly. Check that your campaigns have enough budget and don’t forget to make bid adjustments.

NMPi Celebrates the End of a Great Year with their Affiliate Partners

On November 26th, NMPi celebrated a tremendous year with the help of their affiliate network partners. In honour of the day, this year’s event centred on the American Thanksgiving holiday with a bit of holiday flair. The festivities took place at Dinerama, a Shoreditch venue boasting some of the best street food in London and an incredible assortment of craft beers from around the world.

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It was a full house with affiliate networks Webgains, Affiliate Window, Conversant, Tradedoubler, Rakuten, Affiliate Future, Inflecto Media, Planit, Meta People, and Stream20 all in attendance. There was no shortage of good food, drink and laughter throughout the night with everyone toasting to a great year and a successful 2016.

To see all pictures from the evening visit our Flickr page

The Top 6 PPC Developments of 2015

2015 has seen some incredibly useful advancements to paid search, and as we approach the end of the year we are going to countdown our top six developments in PPC advertising over the past eleven months.

6.) Cross-Device Measurement
While Google’s Estimated Cross Device Conversions have been available for some time in the Adwords interface, cross-device measurement as a topic in itself has become more and more prominent in the past few months because mobile’s increased share of traffic is rapidly closing in on desktop. We’ve seen more third party bid management platforms rolling this out to encourage advertisers to closely monitor the impact that their mobile activity is having in the lead up to Christmas and to ensure that are taking into account the uplift from users who are purely researching on their mobiles, but completing purchases on their desktop. The latter has not been sufficiently taken into account by advertisers who are still viewing conversion in silos, and on a last-click basis by device.

 

5.) Yahoo Gemini
Yahoo Gemini have released their latest display proposition, native advertising. It runs across Yahoo’s news and home page. This covert advertising format allows advertisers to embed their marketing message within surrounding content.

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This move has altered advertiser perceptions around Yahoo as Google has not yet capitalised on native advertising. In fact, Google hasn’t demonstrated an interest in native advertising making Yahoo ahead of the game. Unfortunately, the targeting capabilities currently aren’t very strong for this format of advertising, so direct response results are not expected to work well. However, it is a great way to expand reach and drive brand awareness. Keep an eye out for this format in 2016 as we expect it to grow in popularity and effectiveness as Yahoo increases its targeting capabilities and reach.

 

4.) BING Shopping

Google competitor, Bing, has introduced Bing Shopping Campaigns. It’s nearly identical to Google Shopping and works in much the same way, making it easy for advertisers to copy over Google campaigns to Bing.

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This move could affect the number of people advertising using Bing, and it is likely to increase competition on the platform, if we see more advertisers rolling this out based on the strong performance currently on Google Shopping.

 

3.) Upgraded URLs
In July, Google rolled out Upgraded URLs, in order to create better usability of URL management. Previously, an advertiser’s destination URL would be made up of the landing page and the tracking appended to this. Therefore, any changes that needed to be made to tracking affected the whole URL. Post upgraded URLs, tracking information is now entered separately within Adwords and the landing page is now referred to as the final URL (the actual URL where your click traffic is taken to).

After the announcement of Google Upgraded URLs, Bing came out with their own solution announcing import updates to support Google. The new updates were an attempt to create a more “seamless and efficient” user experience for advertisers who import their campaigns from Google AdWords.

Upgraded URLs don’t have much of an impact on agencies using third party tracking/bid management platforms that automatically append tracking parameters, but can be extremely useful for those who don’t.

 

2.) Remarketing Lists for Paid Search
Continuing on the subject of audiences, Google also introduced Google Analytics Remarketing Lists for paid search. The lists can be used to determine user purchase behaviour, as well as previous browsing behaviour on site. Prior to this, remarketing lists were only available for display advertising on the Google Display Network. This advancement adds more depth to paid search remarketing initiatives by not limiting audience lists based purely on pages visited on a website. It enables audience building based on actions such as browsing behaviour, i.e., a customer who visited more than “X” number of pages on a site. We are now able to target these visitors with customised language relevant to their previous activity and position along the path to purchase.

 

1.) Customer Match
Adwords launched Customer Match this year, Google’s answer to custom audiences based on email targeting. Customer Match enables brands to layer email address targeting onto their campaigns. Agencies can now use client CRM databases (of more than 1,000 emails) to build bespoke lists, with information previously unavailable from standard remarketing lists, such as, what the customer bought, if they are a repeat customer, or if they are more likely to purchase during sale periods.

Google launched Customer Match - How it Works

In addition, Customer Match has a ‘similar audience’ functionality, which allows advertisers to reach potential prospects with similar profiles to their existing customer base in order to expand reach. Customer Match represents a fundamental change in the way Adwords allows us to reach the right audience.

 

These advancements in paid search are nothing to what we can expect to see in the upcoming year as  the industry continues to pursue  solutions to advertising and consumer challenges. 

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