How Facebook Says We should Use Facebook To Market!!

There’s no shortage of blog posts and pages out there offering advice on how to use Facebook as a marketing tool. But what was news to me (just being honest) was that Facebook has a whole range of resources to give marketers advice on how to successfully use it as a marketing tool.

Facebook marketing advice, facebook guidelines, how to use facebook to market

  1. Facebook Studio:
  2. Facebook Success Stories:

In reality both of these resources are pretty similar. Facebook studio is meant to be from an agency perspective show casing successful use of Facebook to reach mass audiences and increase sales by millions of percents! There is quiet a handy feature on it though allowing you to search for campaigns based on location, category of product, and the type of Facebook feature used.

Facebook success stories is meant to provide page administrators “in-depth looks at successful campaigns, from inception to execution”. And sure, they certainly do give some great examples where big multi national companies have used Facebook well. But for the average Joe soap advertiser hoping to increase exposure and engagement and eventually sales, there isnt really a whole lot there.The success stories come from American express, At&T, Spotify, Huggies, Pepsi, Diagio, ticket master, 1800 flowers to name a few. For me as a marketer working with a very limited budget thats like saying to a small restaurant  “Why don’t you take a leaf out of Mcdonald’s book they seem to be doing quiet well” !!

Facebook marketing, Facebook big brand, facebook buduget

3. Brand Resources and Permissions Center: This section of Facebook’s guidelines helps campaign managers ensure that they are using the social network’s logos and other images properly. Nothing too exciting here

4. Facebook Demo Tool: Now this is quiet a nice little toy. It allows users to create ads and see how they will appear to others before actually going and paying money for the ads.  It works for sponsored stories and premium ads. The one thing I did find annoying though is the fact that it doesn’t self populate the demo page with your own page info even if you are logged in. Which means that you need to ad a cover photo, a profile photo etc if you want to see how your own page will look.

5.  Facebook Marketing Page: This is an actual Facebook page which you can “like” where they post tips and useful information on an ongoing basis. They just posted a link to pre- designed tent cards, posters and stickers which can be customized with your own URL to let people know about your Facebook page. Useful to hand out at events or have them in shop windows.

Facebook released some new marketing guidelines on Friday. Here’s a quick run down of what they said

  • The overall message is be short and sweet. Body copy should be no more than 90 characters, in an effort to grab users’ attention. Videos should be no longer than 15 to 30 seconds.
  • For videos, Include an eye-catching and action-oriented thumbnail to achieve high video play rates. Be engaging, but make sure the image you select relates to the video content and your brand.
  • For Photos Be engaging, since an eye-catching photo is essential to draw people’s attention. But make sure that the photo relates to the brand. Use a photo that is at least 168×128 and maintains a 16:9 aspect ratio. 
  • For questions only check the “Allow anyone to add options” box if you want to allow user generated responses and you’re positive it will result in a better post.

What is Chirp app and what could it mean for marketing?

British scientists have created a new social tool that could revolutionise the way messages are sent between smartphones. the tool has been invented by .Animal systems a spin off of University College London (UCL).

A new social tool has been invented that could revoluntionise the way messages are sent between smart phones. As we all know there are new tools created for the social environment on a weekly basis, but what made me take notice of this one is that they actually ran a story on our national news, which I wouldn’t exactly classify as tech savy! They actually chirped out a picture of one of our lovely news readers to anyone using the app.

What is Chirp App

It works by sending a digitized chirp, which has been likened to the sound a robotic bird would make, which then prompts other mobiles in reach to download a piece of content.

At the minute the content is limited to pictures, links to websites or 140-character messages but the company are confident that this will expand in the coming months. I think they key to this app though is that it can send data to multiple devices in one go with out the need for a wireless connection. This opens up the opportunity to chirps being broadcast on mass using mediums like radio and TV. This seems like another stepping stone to the integration of more traditional marketing channels with emerging digital technologies.

It could also be used for localized marketing with places like shopping centers sending out chirps entitling discounts and other incentives. The company claim that Chirp’s distinctive sound allows it to work at low volumes in relatively noisy locations such as pubs, clubs or busy streets.

Chrip, smartphone discounts, location based marketing

If the application takes off and there will surely need to be some kind of filter on what kind of chirps you want to receive. I read that chirps will be displayed on your smart phone on a time line similar to Facebook. But a swash of irrelevant offers and information bombarding your phone will only lead to the dilution of the applications potential and acceptance into the main stream.

chirp app, chirp offers, location based marketing

However if I can decide that I want to receive offers on based on criteria such as locality and types of products I think it would be something I would be very interested in trying. there is also the potential data that can analysed of people who opt to listen/look at and redeem chirps.

Certainly here in Ireland there has been a slow uptake of the potential of location based marketing tools like Foursquare and I have seen very little inspiring use of things like QR codes so I think I could be waiting a while!


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Winklevoss Twins Jump On The Venture Capital Band Wagon

Did you see Friday’s CNBC interview with the Winklevoss Twins about them becoming the latest people to jump on the venture capital tech band wagon?

Most of us would be most familiar with them from the film about Facebook, The social network. According to them, they were the ones who came up with the concept for Facebook (then called HarvardConnection) and had asked Mark Zucherberg to coding work on it for them. Of course the Zuch had other ideas and the rest is history.

winklevoss twins, facebook, start ups, mark zuckerberg

They were on CNBC to talk about entering the world of venture capital and how they were looking for early stage disruptive start ups for them to add …well capital as well as “considerable operational experience”.

Disruptive seems to be a sexy term thrown around quiet a lot now meaning anything from way a head of the competition to a brand new type of product.

I have to say the Winkle twins don’t come with a great reputation and didn’t really strike me as if they were at the fore front of the tech industry. Their answers seemed rehearsed and it is possible that they had a private game going on to see how many times they could fit paradigm shift into the interview.

In an absolute cracker of a line the former Harvard president Larry Summers said of the Twins

“One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.”

The two competed at the Beijing Olympics in rowing and no doubt have got huge drive. But they strike me as a pair that always got what ever they wanted, with their chiseled good looks and rich up bringing.

They studied economics at Harvard and then Business at Oxford so not exactly the tech whiizzes you might expect to become venture capitalists.

Having said that they learned HTML at an early age and had their own web company at 13. They did come up with some version of a social network that Facebook evolved from and as they said ” we were there from the start of Web 2.0″

Probably most importantly though is the boat load of cash they got from using Facebook. The New York Times reported that their equity of Facebook shares were trading at $76 per share in the secondary market, putting the total settlement value at close to $120 million.

Overall the interview didn’t reveal much other than the fact that the host were falling over themselves to lick up to the twins.

They said they couldn’t reveal much about their investments at this time, but admitted that  they were in talks with cloud computing company Yottabyte. Interesting the Twins were able to confirm that the company wasn’t named after star wars legend Yoda, but didn’t seem to be aware that Yottabyte was a unit of measurement in the computer world.

Venture capital, winklevoss twins, facebook, disruptive start ups


SXSW – What it’s all about and what start up’s that could make a splash

There’s no doubt you have noticed the abundance of web chatter over the last few days about SXSW, but if like me you are based far away from the hype, you might be wondering what it is all about.


SXSW is the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival which was first held in 1987 in Austin, Texas. The idea was to draw attention to the city’s vibrant music scene. despite the city not being among the top American metropolitans it had a very cosmopolitanism population because of the influence of the University of Texas which brought people from all over the world. Austin also had a reputation as a party city.

Whilst the festival started solely as a music festival in more recent years it has morphed into having a strong technology focus as well. In 2007 a totally unknown social media start up called Twitter came to the event. the rest is history. In 2009 it was FourSquare’s turn. With a track record like that there’s no wonder techies the world over watch with gleeful anticipation for the next start up super star when the event kicks off each year.

Industry big players get involved too. This year Google have built a replica of their famous headquaters on the outskirts of Austin named Google village. Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung and many others all are ramping up their presence there this year as well.

Being a music festival by origin the event still attracts huge stars with Hollywood stars such as Leonardo DiCaprioMatthew McConaughey and Jack Black all making appearances in the Texas capital.

But are there any big hopes this year in the technology area? This year the theme appears to be “social discovery” smart technology that moves the user experience from an active “check-in” (like Foursquare) to technology that runs in the background and automatically notifies users when the situation calls for it.

When I originally read about this I thought we were getting closer to relevant deals and discounts being automatically pushed to people depending on their location. Whilst the concept of marketers knowing where you are at any given time does frighten a lot of people, being told that your favourite magazine, which you buy every week any way, is on sale at a discount in a store you are passing, seems like an exciting step forward to me. However most of the start ups that are being highlighted for attention seem to have networking and conferences as their main focus.

Apps like Sonar which operate similarly to Foursquare but uses filters to display to you people with similar interests to you that are in the same proximity.

Glancee mines Facebook and presents to you people close by that have common interests to you. It has a user interface which allows you to initiate chat with them through the service too.

Highlight tracks your location and then notifies you when people you have met are nearby. It stores their details and so I suppose works as a digital way to remember peoples names!

The one that I think is probably the most interesting is Roamz. It works like a kind of backward Foursquare. It tracks where you are and then suggests locations, sites and events that you may like to go to based on your own interests. What I think this does is remove the check in process, which in turn may increases up take by the masses. I still think ultimately though that there needs to be more reward to people for giving up their privacy and this will only come when businesses participate more widely and offer discounts and deals to those people using these services.

Pinterest – Do we really need it?

Pinterest. Have you heard about it? You probably have. It is the fastest growing….. social platform on the web. I paused there because this is the thing. I am not quiet sure how to categorise it yet!! Is it a social networking site? Is it a photo sharing site? What exactly is a virtual pin board?!

what is pinterest

Using Google insights we can see the phenomenal growth in searches for information to the site over the last 3 and a half months.  A few interesting facts that can be revealed from my Google insights search are

  1. The country with the 4th highest regional interest in Pinterest is Macadonia (after USA, Canada and New Zealand)
  2. Ireland rates 8th
  3. The highest search term is “what is pinterest”?
  4. Search levels really began to grow in November 2011 and exploded in January 2012.
Pinterest explosive growth. Women users
The site’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” So their intentions are definitely to capitalise on people’s insatiable appetite for all things social. But the question has to be asked are we really able to find the time to squeeze in more social media especially when it is based largely on images of what other people think are cool?
 The site still operates on a semi closed basis with people needed to be invited by other members, or requesting an invite directly from Pinterest (which takes a few days) to get access. This is all the more reason why their 11 million unique visitors is so impressive as access isn’t granted automatically. There’s no doubt this has added to the hype around the site through increased curiosity, but making your potential user wait a few days could be risky! They want to see the site now, but might not be so bothered by the time they get around to accepting the invite! How and ever it seems to be working and I have no doubt the site will continue to grow rapidly for at least a certain period of time.
Right now it’s the early adoptors that I know that are on board and trying to find a usage for the site. Pinterest encourages you to follow people in your area of interest when you sign up to the site which makes sense. Exposing you to the types of “pins” you like will increase  the chance of you coming back.
But lets face it if a site wants to be social then it needs to connect people who know each other. Google+ is great, but only a few of my friends are on it which means Facebook is still the de facto location for connecting with people.
Currently I have 9 friends on Pinterest and their “boards” consist of a few haphazard cool photos, a few social media related infographs…and the odd image of books or films they think other people should know they like!
I’m no different too. I’m not arguing that the site isn’t extremely slick and easy to use. But right now anything I have posted there is simple to have something there. I have never once though wished there was someplace to gather random images online of the things I love!
Instagram and Pinterest Similar
But maybe I have it all wrong. Instagram is a place for people to post pictures to in a semi similar fashion and people are passionate about it. I never thought I would take so many pictures of random objects and landscapes, but instagram has changed that.
Pinterest is simple taking this a step further. In the same way they there is a whole tribe of people out there called instragramers where people are bonded through their common love of take instagram images, Pinterest recently held their first meet up in San Francisco where people could come together and reveal in the joy of this new application!
So when the dust settles from all this hype who is actually going to the main users of the site? Right now there seems to be a strong following amongst women. According to Ignite social media almost 80% of users are women and I suppose this makes sense. My girlfriend, and I will go out on a limb here and say she is not unique, spends an awful lot of time looking at pictures of what other women are wearing.
Whether its in fashion magazines or high street store websites she wants to see clothes. Pinterest allows users to easily take images from any (not Facebook actually) site and Pin them to designated boards in a cool aesthetically pleasing way. This could be very appealing to no end of people whether that is fashion magazines or stores themselves, or stylists, designers or simply enthusiasts who want to show their keen eye for good fashion.  It also allows people (girls) to pin items that they would like to their own boards as a kind of wish list.
80% of pinterest users are women
And this is where Pinterest stands apart from some of its counterparts in their early start up days. It is actually earning revenue. Each pin that is added to the site is a link, and Pinterest takes these links and modifies them by adding a affiliate tracker code. Through an existing company called skimlinks, retail sites will pay a small commission each time they sell a products to the site that has sent them that customer through a link. What that means in affect is that if my girl friend had a pin up of a lovely coat she wanted to buy, and some one clicked on that pin and went to the site it was being sold and then bought it, Pinterest would make a small commission from that. Now take into account that Pinterest directed more traffic to retailer sites than YouTube, Linkedin or Google+.  In the last six months, the retail deal site has seen a 446 percent increase in web traffic from Pinterest and sales resulting from those visits have increased five-fold.
So now I am beginning to see the potential of the site, how can businesses take advantage of this? From what I can gather from meandering through board after bored (!) of pins is that content is still king. Pin good images of what your target audience is interested in and you will get followers. But to really fully leverage Pinterest I think it is key to engage. Along with other social media sites having a dedicated person looking after engagement will allow businesses to follow people who follow them back, comm
enting on there pins, re-pining them and making people feel involved.
Over the next few weeks I am going to be working on my boards so be sure to follow me and I promise I will follow back! Any thoughts or feed back good or bad is really appreciated.

  • Development of Pinterest began in December 2009 and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010.
  • On August 16, 2011, Time magazine published Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” column.
  • In early 2011, the company secured a $10 million Series A led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Shortly thereafter, in October 2011, the company secured $27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at USD $200 million.
  • The company was named the best new start up of 2011 by TechCrunch
  • In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.

Location Based Marketing. Should You Be Using It?

One of my first blog posts was about location based marketing. The concept was fairly new to me and I saw a huge amount of potential because of the explosive growth of smart phones and the state of the world economy meaning that people were on the search for deals all the time. I decided to test two of the most famous applications and began avidly checking in on both Foursquare and Gowalla. But what were my expectations and what was I hoping to get out of this commitment to Geo-locating myself? A few months on I think its time to review my experience.

2011 has been a big you for LBM which is summerised nicely in this infograph

location based marketing 2011

I think the two things that are illustrated by this timeline is the consolidation of location based services as well as the impressive growth of Foursquare. From my own experiences based here in Ireland it became quickly apparent that Foursquare was the only show in town. The check in options available to me on Gowalla were few and far between and I ended up using places that were miles away from me just to try get more out of the service. It didnt take long for me to kick Gowalla to the curb and focus my intentions on Foursquare.

What makes a difference with Foursquare is that when you decide to check in some place, it is usually there. This is the minimum that users will expect if there service is to gain any sort of traction. So I went at it hammer and tong for a few months. Oh I was the mayor of plenty of places, I had badges and accolades stacked as high as the eye could see. I gained the satisfaction of ousting plenty of people and I even went to a few places solely so I could check in there. But after I while I began to think…why? Why bother going to all this effort? Not once in all this time did I benefit from discounted food or drinks or..anything. My mayorship never brought me any preferential treatment and to be honest ousting people never brought that much satisfaction. I will put this last element though down to the fact that in reality I don’t know the majority of my friends on Foursquare. I didnt much fancy using my own name when I initially began this LBS adventure because quiet frankly I didnt want everyone I knew knowing where I was all the time. My previous experience with check ins was through Facebook and whenever I saw someone trumpeting where they were to the masses I just thought it was sad! I needn’t have worried that much though because I quickly discovered that even if I had wanted to involve myself in a geo-tagging love affair with any of my friends…barely any of them used these kind of services because…why should they?!

Some maybe I missed the point of the whole process. Maybe I shouldnt have been so focused on gaining discounts and using my early adopter status to gain preferential treatment. I have found Foursquare useful when on occasion I have checked into a restaurant and found a friendly recommendation waiting for me suggesting something to try. Is this the really purpose of Foursqaure. Goodwill and advice? Admittedly I would value advice from people I knew more and it would be useful to know what my friends had thought of places when I am at them. But really is that enough to convince people to take out their phone from their pockets and go through the check in process? If me as an early (ish) adopter has already got sick of it, what chance was there really to convince higher numbers of the value of Foursquare?

There needs to be a carrot for people to consistently use the service and right now there ain’t no carrot for users in Ireland. There is only one venue within 5kms of where I am now who offer any kind of discount for checking in on Foursquare. It is a pub names O’ Dwyers in Kilmacud. I contacted them to see what kind of response they had to their campaign and the answer was short and to the point. NONE.

So if businesses aren’t seeing any return on offering discounts is there any hope for for increased business participation? I think companies like Foursquare and Geo-deals need to up their efforts in targeting business owners to explain the benefits and offer them advice. No doubt the service will prove more popular in a busy area where consumer decisions might be tipped in favour of a location based on the LBM that they offer.It is also vital for businesses to let people know about checking in. Foursquare signs and details on menus would certainly make a difference.

Like a lot of things here in Ireland I think we are going to have to wait some time for both businesses and consumers to buy into the whole location based marketing concept. 2012 promises to be another big year for the industry so what can America expect to see? Here are some of the big predictions being talked about right now by industry experts

  1. Foursquare hits the 30-million mark. Foursquare is growing at approximately 30,000 users a day, and we expect this to gradually increase during the upcoming year. After announcing its 15 millionth user last December, look for Foursquare to tally 30 million users by the end of 2012.
  2. Facebook will enable location-specific mobile advertising. As Facebook continues to grow revenue ahead of its 2012 IPO, look for the social network to finally turn on location-based advertising within its mobile application. This will enable marketers to deliver ads based on both current location and past check-ins.
  3.  New competitors emerge that automate the check-in process. Consumer growth has proven that users enjoy sharing their location, connecting with nearby friends and earning rewards. The largest headache with services such as Foursquare and Facebook is that users must still manually check in to each location. This creates opportunities in 2012 for innovative start-ups that automatically check users into venues when provided permission.
  4. Groupon Acquires Foursquare. With Groupon still flush with cash, and Foursquare continuing to drive more-and-more merchant transactions, we predict Groupon makes Foursquare an offer it can’t refuse. This would expand Groupon’s merchant toolset and give it access to millions of new consumers through Foursquare’s mobile app.
  5. Marketers embrace “big data” and integrate location-based marketing. As more marketers include location-based marketing in their 2012 campaigns, reporting will become a hot topic. Check-ins provide incredibly valuable data to marketers about what their customers do and when they do it. This will lead savvy marketers to begin integrating their location-based data into their existing marketing platforms, enabling them to learn even more about their customers and incorporate these learnings across all marketing channels.

How Valuable is Social Data?

I just read an article on Mashable which began with a quote from CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, stating “I really think 2012 is going to be the Twitter Election,”.  I immediately thought that the article was going to be about social analytics and the power of information available freely online through social commentary.

However as I read down it turns out the article was more about Twitter being an essential platform for reaching voters in next years USA presidential election. I agree that this is the case. Something I have been looking a lot at recently is the future of social TV. We have all heard the figures bashed about but what it comes down to is simple. Most people watch TV with another device in their hand (smart phone, laptop, tablet). Whilst the availability of more content online is potentially driving people away from traditional TV in certain areas, live events such as sport, entertainment shows like The X factor and news events such as presidential debates are being complimented by the ability of viewers to participate in the social commentary as it happens. People want to find out what other people are thinking. I think more times than not what they are really looking for is confirmation or justification of what they are thinking!

This is something the candidates in the upcoming election will have to bear in mind. After a debate held in 1960 between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon people polled who had listened in on radio felt Nixon was the clear winner, while people who watched on TV felt Kennedy won. This is because Kennedy’s youthful good looks stood out against a tired, unshaven and disheveled Nixon. During this years campaigns candidates will have to  realise that a social commentary will take place on twitter as well as in the media. If a candidate makes a mistake, people will talk about it. Not after the event, but right when it happens. This can strongly through off a perception and sway opinion.

Twitter. Social commentary. Presidential debate

But coming back to what I originally thought the article was about. How much of a picture can we build up of future events based on social media analytics? I attended the Get Social Conference last year where James Ainsworth from SDL international gave a talk. SDL provide a comprehensive social analytic platform which no doubt costs a pretty penny. James was able to study data freely available online in relation to first the X factor and then the nominations for Time’s person of the year. Now it would be close to impossible to predict the winner of the X factor from the outset. That’s because public perception changes and people haven’t had enough time to make a decision. But as the competition went on and the less candidates there were, the data was there clear to see. With 6 candidates left more people were talking about Matt Cardle ( This was 2010 results), more often and more positively than any of the other singers. The same thing principle applied to this years Time person of the year, where a clear front runner could be found by analyzing what people said.

Both these examples show that where there is a definitive limited number of options available for people to vote, a very clear picture can be built up using data online. I have no doubt that harnessing this information will prove a big advantage to whichever candidate can do it best.

A final thought. With Facebook about to float publicly, it will be interesting to see if whether financial transparency brought on by regulations for public companies, reveals more information about how they use our data. I know they use it as a basis for targeted advertising on their social network platform, but man, with Information being power and them having so much of it, I have no doubt that its been used in other means too!

Facebook Insights Explained !!!


I have just gone through a fantastic interactive tutorial for the new Facebook insights which has just been launched. By getting you to answer questions on the content you watch as you go through It gives you a great understanding of how the the application works! I would highly recommend anybody to give it a go.

One thing of note was what Facebook said about the type of posts that gets the greatest interaction

  1. Post between 100 and 200 characters (less than 3 lines) receive about 60% more likes, comments and shares than posts greater than 250 characters.
  2. Rich media content such as videos and photos have about 120% more interaction
  3. Post regularly. Your fans are more likely to engage with you if you stay on top of mind
  4. Ask for your fans opinions. Use your page as a place to have conversation. Use the info you get to get feedback on your marker
  5. ask questions using the Facebook question app. This makes it easy to get lots of information quickly.
  6. Try posting fill in the blank posts. Fill in the blank posts enjoy about 90% more engagement than other posts
  7. Give your fans access to exclusive information by liking a post. Make them feel special. Give them first look at products, or discount prices
  8. Reward your fans with deals and perks. Make these offers only available to fans
  9. Be timely. Your audience are more likely to engage with your post if it is about topics that are already in the front of their mind
  10. Localize your posts if the content is only relevant to certain fans. Use the Geo targeting feature to target specific areas

Display Network Marketing

Breakdown of time Spent on internet. Search. google. PPC. display

Despite Google being the most visited webpage in the world and its absolute dominance in the world of search, what this diagram reminds us is that in relative terms we spend very little time on their site. Out of the average hour a user is online, just over 2 mins of that is spent searching.

So what should we take from this? Despite PPC being a really effective tool to drive business, we need to focus as well on the other 58 mins int he hour. We do that through display advertising.

Display Network Marketing or Adsense used to be all about poor ad placement and targeting and really wasnt worth the hassle. But in recent years a lot of that has changed meaning its possible to get a great return on the money you put in to it.

The reason search advertising is so successful is that you target people when they are ready to buy. This is know as the value moment. But focusing in on the other two marketer’s aims is important too. First, people need to know who you are. they need to be aware of you in order to purchase. Second they need to be enthusiastic about your brand. Really they need to like you. Using Display network marketing (DNS) helps address both of these.

PPC Query stage ready to buy Value

The reasons to use DNS are similar to search which I talk about in my previous post. It gives you great control, you can vary your budget and there is an incredible ability to track. You also get to reach your market before they begin their search. When people are reading blogs, looking at news or videos, their intention isnt to search out information. But by being present there at those times, when they come to the first stage of the purchasing process, you have an increased chance of being part of their initial considerations. Studies show that people are more likely to click on search PPC ads when they have seen display ads too.

When you consider search advertising Google is the only show in town. They have such dominance that you can really focus all your efforts with them. However with display, its not as clean cut. Yahoo and AOL both have decent offerings and need to be considered.

What are your Goals?

  • Branding- in this case using pay per impressions is the better option (CPM) (i know those initials don’t really work out!)
  • Reaching a specific market. Cost per click (cpc) will probably work better. this is the default setting of a Google campaign
Who are where are you targeting?
  • Geography
  • language
  • Where are your competitors
Targeting choices
  • Content based ads. These will use keywords to target ads.
  • Placement Ads. You will chose specific sites to place your ads
Text and Display
  • Sizes and Styles of your ads. There are 7 different size options. It is advised that you make ads for all 7 because most websites only take certain ads, so not having the appropriate size will limit your options.

Tools ( I will follow up this post with a blog about these tools)

  • Google placement tool.
  • Double click ad planner
  • Google Display Ad Builder

When you set up a campaign as default your ads will be displayed on both search and display. It is advised that you change this. The behaviour of people you are targeting, the keywords you may want to use and the ads you use will all be different. So there for having different campaigns is a better idea.

Content Ads work by choosing a selection of keywords. Your ads will then be placed on sites that use these words. It is best to create a a bucket of terms similar to what you would do in PPC advertising. However it is often the case that you will need less terms as you want the ads to appear on specific type websites rather than being more vague if you choose long tail words.

Placement ads work by selecting the specific sites or the type of sites you want your ads to appear. You can use the double clicker ad planner tool to find out info about a site in advance. This is a real useful tool that tells you traffic to the site, type of visitors and even other sites that they have visited.

When creating Ads for placement it is important to use action words. However these call to actions will be different than those used in search ads. Your targets are in a different frame of mind so using phrases like “learn about” “discover” “find”, are all less aggressive and shown to have better results.

Call to action action words

It is also important to envision your ad on the content page. It may look great on its own, but once it is surrounded by text and other content it may appear too busy. Make use of white space. Your ad must also be less than 50k in size.

When starting a campaign, start small and then commit more resources as you learn. Use conversion tracker to see how many click throughs each ad is receiving. Obviously this will be most important for CPC campaigns but by having this function switched on it also allows you to enable view through tracking. This is an incredible feature that allows you to tell if some who has come to your website, has seen your ad before. it works by enabling a cookie one the ad has been displayed to them, and you will be notified if they come to your site within a specified time period after that. This really helps to hammer home how effective your cost per impressions branding tactics are working.

You should use analytics to see which sites are driving the most traffic to your website and also which of them stay the longest on your site. You will quickly then be able to see which sites are worth focusing on and which sites you can specifically omit