PPC | BlitzLocal

Didn’t get a chance to check out the Trada Webinar on making Facebook ads work for you? No worries! Here at BlitzLocal, we watched and learned, and took some notes for you. They started with an educational slideshow about the different types of Facebook ads, and finished by answering questions from the chat window. Here are our notes, and some additional article links for extra information.
The Bottom Line: Facebook Ads are the most versatile, targeted way to advertise online, and they have incredible reach.
Challenges with Facebook Advertising
Banner Blindness
You have to hire a graphic artist to make all the ad creatives
Facebook Glossary:
Connections: The number of individuals who liked your Facebook page, RSVP’d to your event, or installed your app within 24 hours of seeing your ad or sponsored story. Basically, a connection is a conversion.
Unique Reach: The number of individual people who saw your sponsored stories or ads.
Social Reach: The number of people who saw your sponsored stories or ads because their friends liked your page, RSVP’d to your event, or used your app.
Frequency: The average number of times each person saw your campaign’s sponsored story or ad. This is helpful for measuring ad fatigue.
Basic Ad Formats
Basic Ads
“Like” ad: Links to tab on Facebook page
Event ad: Links to event
Application ad: Links to application
Standard ad: Links to specific URL
Sponsored Stories
Page “Like” Story: Mary-Jane likes your page, Page “like” Story lets Mary-Jane’s friends know about the like
Page Post Story: You published a post to your page’s fans. Page Post Story allows this post to show up in fans’ news feeds
Pages Post “Like” Story; Alex liked one of your page posts in the last 7 days. Page Post “like” Story lets Alex’s friends know about the post like
App Used and Game Played Story: Lauren played/used your game or app. App Used/Game Played Story tells her friends about this action
App Share Story: Hayes shared a story from your app in the last 7 Days. App Share Story lets Hayes’ friends know about the share
Check-in Story: Lisa checked in or claimed a deal using Facebook Places. Check-in Story lets Lisa’s friends know about it.
Domain Story: Mike liked/shared content from your website or pasted a link from your site to his wall. Domain Story lets Mike’s friends know about this action.
The complexity and potential of targeting on Facebook
There are so many ways of targeting that it can be confusing
Age, likes, interests, birthday, apps, education, timeline content, friends, event RSVPs, fans
When choosing targets, focus on two things:
Narrowing your audience
Demo and Geo Targeting
Geography: Country, State, Province, City or Zip targeting
Demographics: Gender, Age, Birthday, Relationship Status, Language
Workplace and Education Targeting
Workplace, Education, Preferred Language
Likes and Interests Targeting
Favorite TV Shows, Movies, Books, Music, Hobbies, Religion, Political Views
Thinking outside the box – Let’s say you want to sell golf clubs
Nick (who plays golf) is an obvious target
Barbara doesn’t like golf – but she likes the Palm Beach Country Club
Chaz doesn’t have the word golf anywhere on his profile, but he plays golf for a living: he’s a sales guy!
Try the obvious targets, but Facebook’s best advertisers use non-linear thinking to target ads.
Campaign Organization Tips
An “Account” in Facebook is similar to a “Campaign” in Paid Search
A “Campaign” in Facebook is similar to “Ad Group” in Paid Search
Warning: Don’t create campaigns with many different targets and ads. Keep your campaigns small.
Do not put all segmented target groups in one campaign – as your ads are competing within the campaign.
Prevent ad fatigue, or banner blindness by changing ads frequently
As soon as CTR trends down, submit new content!
What is a good CTR?
What images work best?
Logos traditionally don’t work well
Images of people are effective
Format design keeping small size in account
What is a preferred or optimal frequency?
Keep it small!
6,7,8 is bad
Any issues with click fraud?
There is a department at Facebook dedicated to click fraud with a sophisticated monitoring team.
More difficult to produce in Facebook than in search where you can just search to make a specific ad appear.
How will timeline affect ads/business pages?
Fans much more likely to take some type of action than non-fans.
Targeting workplaces is a great tool for B2B marketing.
What sort of company uses page post story? How breaking should the news be? What types of posts work best?
Entertainment, news businesses using these most effectively
Have emotional connection so people will click
Is there advertising on Facebook mobile?
In testing, not released to general public yet.
Notes taken by BlitzLocal Analyst Matt Prater
Graphics obtained from: http://www.slideshare.net/TradaPaidSearch/facebook-ads-you-can-make-them-work and www.facebook.com.
When I googled “social media vs. seo” (in quotes) this morning, 12,400 results were returned. Restricting the same search to only the past year, over 800 results are returned. Obviously, many people are pitting the two against one another, and have been for some time.
There’s little sense, in my mind, in postulating whether social media is better than SEO or SEO is better than social media. Making these two marketing channels adversaries is akin to pitting shirts against pants/shorts. For those people who don’t wear dresses or jumpsuits, they’ll likely be wearing a shirt and a pair of pants. Asking them which is better will probably only result in having them give you a look that implies they think you’ve lost your mind.
Cross-Channel Marketing Rules
When promoting anything, whether it’s a business, a website, a product, or a brand, promotion works best when it covers a broad spectrum of marketing channels. Television ad campaigns work best when they are reinforced by radio campaigns, magazine campaigns, newspaper campaigns, email campaigns, etc. Cross-channel marketing succeeds because the layers of reinforcing messages work together to create a connection with the target audience.
Waves of Data Engulf Users
People today are absorbing external stimuli in huge waves of data, much like a whale ingests enormous swarms of krill. It is unlikely that a whale would be able to pick out the one particular krill that tasted peculiar amongst the millions he ingested. Likewise, the data we absorb each day is so large and diverse, that recognizing and remembering one marketing message amongst the continuous data flow is rather low. It’s much easier for a lone marketing message to be lost in the flow than it would be if it were repeatedly reinforced by entering the data stream in various ways, from various places, and at various times.
Be Where They Are
The goal should always be to interact with users where they are. If they are searching via a search engine, then an SEO campaign can help reach them during that process. Of course, a PPC campaign also works hand-in-hand with SEO to cover both the organic and paid listings that are returned in the search results for the queries relevant to your brand, service, or product.
Users are spending a considerable amount of time on social networks, so a social media campaign is needed to reach them there. Like the concept of using both SEO and PPC campaigns to cover organic and paid search listings, social media campaigns will include organic interactions such as tweets, Facebook Likes and wall posts, etc., in addition to paid interactions such as promoted tweets and Facebook ad campaigns.
Value In Each Piece Reinforces Overall Value
Each channel will reach users at a different point in the marketing funnel, so the value should be calculated and compared in relation to other marketing efforts aimed at that same audience. In most cases, a search user is likely to be in one part of the marketing funnel, and a Facebook user is in another (or may even be outside of the funnel altogether). Pitting the value of an SEO campaign aimed at the search user against the value of a social media campaign aimed at the Facebook user will only result in a confusing matchup. There is value in both, with each being one important part of an entire cross-channel promotion.
Give each marketing channel its own level of respect, evaluating the effectiveness of each using data that is relevant to that particular channel. Analyze how well the campaign is working within its channel, adjust, re-analyze, adjust again, until you are satisfied that it is accomplishing the goals you set for that particular channel.
Make sure each channel’s message is consistent with the messages from other channels, so that every channel reinforces the others. As the daily influx of data streams through each person, those reinforcing messages will build upon one another and help the entire package of marketing messages stand out in the user’s mind.
The key isn’t to compare seo vs. social media, but to use the right messages in the right formats to ensure the best chance of reaching users at the right time and in the right place. The more often you can accomplish that, with consistent messaging, the more successful each campaign will be, no matter which channel it was focused upon.
Let us know if you’ve found a particular combination of cross-channel marketing especially successful, or if you’ve had problems connecting various channels to create a tight overall campaign.
I did a quick calculation in Excel to determine how far an ad server should run before automatically shutting off an ad or making a bid decision. An ad server can shut down due to the URL being down, being scrubbed, the landing page not converting, the particular ad not performing, or another variable.
Let’s say that you have an offer that converts at 1%. Then you’d expect to have 1 conversion in every 100 clicks. What if 200 clicks go by and there are no conversions? Is that a sign of something bad or is that just noise?
The math of calculating statistical significance can be complicated, so I’m going to show you a short cut that comes from probability theory. If you want to go straight to the formula skip to the bottom.
Switching examples, let’s say that you flipped a coin 100 times. What is the probability that you get at least 1 head? You might want to calculate the probability of getting just 1 head in 100 tosses, add that to the probability of getting 2 heads, and so forth– all the way up to 100 heads. This is lots of math.
But did you know that the opposite of at least one is none? If you didn’t get at least 1 head, you got none. Thus, the probability of not getting a head each time you flip is 50%, so the answer is just 50% to the 100th power.
Back to our offer that converts at 1%, the probability of a click NOT converting is 99%– 100 percent minus 1 percent. Thus, the probability of not getting a conversion in X clicks is just 99% to the Xth degree. If 200 clicks go by, you would expect to see 2 conversions– but if there are none, what is the probability it’s just random noise?
Plug those numbers in and you’ll see that if an offer should convert at 1% and you see 200 clicks go by, then it’s a 13.4% chance that something is wrong and therefore a 86.6% chance that things are fine. If you change the conversion rate and number of observations, then the probability changes, too– just plug in the numbers.
Now before you set up a script to alert you to changes in conversion rates, consider that if you set the thresholds for alerts too low, you’ll get inundated with false positives– the equivalent of “crying wolf”.
So in the above case, if there’s a 13.4% chance something is actually wrong– the URL being down, the offer sucking, the ad not performing, or otherwise– and you’re running 20,000 clicks a day, then you are evaluating this test 100 times a day (200 x 100 = 20,000). Thus, you’d get alerted, on average, 13 times a day to check if something is wrong. Is that too many times for you? You decide the balance of sensitivity that’s right for you.
If your expected conversion rate is 5%, for example on dating offer, then you’d expect to see a conversion every 20 clicks. Thus, the probability you don’t have any conversions after 200 clicks is far less than if you expect 1%. In fact, the probability is 0.004%.
If you’re not a math guy or somehow got lost in all the numbers here, just use this rule of thumb. If you don’t have a conversion in 3 times as many clicks as you’d expect to get one conversion, then something is probably wrong.
So if you expect to see 1 conversion every 25 clicks, then shut things down after 75 clicks.
If you expect 1 conversion in 100 clicks, then stop after 300 clicks.
That gives you a 95% confidence interval– another way of saying that you’re reasonably sure that it’s something worth looking at.
Set your confidence interval too low and you get false positives all day.
Set it too high and you’ll burn way more inventory than you should to detect differences in conversion.
See chart below– the percentages there are the chance that the alert is due to just statistical noise. 100% minus each number is, therefore, the chance that there’s a problem. For example, if you are looking at a 2% conversion rate and 200 clicks, then there’s a 1.76% chance nothing is wrong and a 98% chance that something is out of whack.
If you want to discuss the formulas in more detail, just reply in the comments and I’ll do my best to get back to you.
Here’s to more profits to you!
Related Reading:
Speaker: Dan Thut, Rocketer, attempts to demonstrate how to use Facebook ads to grow the volume and efficiency of a PPC campaign, using a case study.
Chris McDonagh, webcast producer/moderator of searchmarketingnow.com introduced Marc Poirier, the CMO of Acquisio. Poirier talked a little about their software and introduced Dan Thut of Rocketer.
The question many ask is can we use Facebook for lead generation? The implied answer was yes, though it was left hanging.
Facebook advertising can have some pitfalls:
You can spend a lot of money very quickly, with not much to show for it
Many challenger brands are adopting Facebook advertising at a rapid and commendable rate, so they are eating away at big brands market share because they are getting to grips with this new advertising strategy faster than the big brands are.
You need an agile team and lots of tools to handle everything thrown at you from this new medium. (This was the beginning of a subtle sales pitch).
One overlooked way that Facebook advertising can be beneficial is that a well managed Facebook ad campaign can help established a PPC campaign deliver more value and more volume.
Increased monthly conversions from 8k to 21k
CPA – cost per acquisition – dropped from 23 UK pounds to 13 pounds
34% increase in ppc brand searches
47% increase in direct-to-url traffic
Rocketer already had some data that suggested that people who clicked on a Facebook ad later transacted via a comparable Google PPC ad, but they wanted to test it. They carefully chose a client to work with and made sure they had total control of client’s marketing, to ensure the numbers would be accurate and not skewed by other factors.
They tested a lot of ads, and managed them closely.
They targeted UK men aged 16-45. (12 million)
How many different ad variants are needed for 12 million users?
They broke the group down into smaller groups. 113 counties x 25 sporting interests x 15 newspaper readerships – splits the 12 million users into tens of thousands of different niche interest groups!
Obviously, to manage tens of thousands of groups, each using at least a hundred different ad variants, you need technology to handle it all. (More subtle sales pitching here).
The process: build ads specific to each niche user group, get the right message to the right person at the right time, identify the successful ad types, but don’t stop there.
It only takes one rotten apple (ad) to quickly spoil the rest. Facebook ads can degrade very quickly (CTR drops / bounce rates rise), so their quality scores get worse. That one bad infects the others in the group quickly, and a lot of bad ads can infect the entire advertising account. Within 24 hours, a few bad apples can destroy all the ads in your account.
Since Facebook doesn’t tell us the quality score of ads, we have to gauge it ourselves, which is both important and difficult. So we need to watch the successful ads like a hawk and remove the degrading ones before they affect the others. Obviously, a tool is necessary to analyze thousands of ads and alert us when bad ones crop up. (I bet you know that this refers to the sales pitch, right?).
Although the presenter showed a graph indicating that PPC spend decreased while the Facebook ad testing was going on, I can’t say he ever really explained the correlation. I don’t know how or why one affected the other, so I’m not sure I would know how to duplicate such success.
In any case, this was really more about subtly selling software than it was about educating me on how Facebook ads can augment a PPC campaign. I don’t want to imply that they overdid the sales pitches, because it really was pretty subtle, but at the end, all I really got out of this presentation was that I need tools to manage large Facebook ad campaigns.
Save money, sharpen your AdWords skills and learn from experts by signing up today for the first-ever AdWords Advantage Online Summit, a three-week online event beginning Tuesday (March 9).
The summit’s 14 sessions are led by top industry experts, including Bryan Eisenberg, Co-Founder Future Now Inc., Frederick Vallaeys, product evangelist for Google, and Dennis Yu, CEO and co-founder of BlitzLocal.
As a bonus, BlitzLocal is offering free pay-per-click campaign templates for a few industry verticals for those who attend “AdWords for Local: Sort Heads from Tails, Find Free Clicks and Calls,” which Yu is leading on March 16.
Yu will cover a number of topics including:
how to build effective campaigns for businesses that have a local customer base
why mobile ads are a hidden gem for lead gen on smartphones and non-smart phones alike.
how to manage the difference between “Chicago restaurants” and “restaurants” searched from Chicago: find out how much traffic can you expect from geo-targeted search versus geo-multiplied keywords.
For more information and to save $200 by registering today, please follow the link here.

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