Traditional ad agencies are in trouble, especially small ones. In an industry where your capital walks in and out of the door each day, the value you can bring a client all comes down to thought leadership. And real thought leadership comes from smart, talented people with a knack for making things happen (hence outsourced digital marketing firms claiming more marketshare from business of all sizes). These people aren’t created overnight. They evolve. And when they hit a certain point, they get sucked up into the vacuum of larger agencies. And after that? They branch out on their own to take their skills direct to customers, or they white label their work to agencies, reaping more of the financial benefit. Read More
It’s time to tackle an outdated, and quite frankly absurd, practice that old-fashioned advertising agencies and second-tier digital marketing companies use. By the title, you can guess what that is.
Just think about it a little bit. If you’re paying a person or persons to actively manage your Google Adwords, BING Ads, Facebook Ads, etc, why should you also pay “markup” on the spend just to run it on an agency’s line of credit versus your own? Or, why is it fair to pay management fees AND a “percentage of spend” on top of that? Read More
The Internet is a vast, ever-growing entity. It has fundamentally changed nearly every aspect of our lives. Think for a second about how social media has changed how we interact with friends, family, co-workers, and communities. Look up how much retail business happens online during Cyber Monday alone…it’s staggering. It’s really pretty amazing that a technology in its infancy just 20 years ago is now a crucial part of our day-to-day lives.
Websites are at the core of our day-to-day business lives as well. Apps, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are also fighting for “time” with prospective customers, but business websites remain a primary cog in the wheel of financial success. Website marketing, not surprisingly, is more important than ever. But how do you create real, qualified traffic to your site in a way that’s cost effective (meaning, in a way that generates positive ROI)? Read More
Gmail Native Ads, formerly known as Gmail sponsored promotions, aren’t really new. They’ve been around since 2013 (Beta) and were widely introduced in early 2015. BUT…their appearance and targeting has changed. And therein lies all the value.
These ads appear in a Gmail user’s inbox, above their emails as clickable ads that look like emails. Upon click, this clever design expands into a variety of ad formats, such as the example below: Read More
Hiring a marketing consultant, digital or otherwise, is a smart move when you have questions that need answered. If you’re on the cusp of staffing up your marketing department, or moving forward with a large marketing campaign, ad spend or online initiative, it’s good to get a few things answered first.
Even if you have staff in place, digital marketing consultants have expertise that most employees won’t have. You can get a year’s worth of value out of a 10 or 20 hour engagement with a professional consultant. It’s possible that your company is missing opportunity every month on wasted spend or gaps in your overall plan.
But the real value comes from getting tough questions answered. If you aren’t sure what (or who) is really valuable, an independent 3rd party consultant can help you figure it out quickly. Here’s X other questions that digital consultants can answer for you… Read More
If you’re involved with the advertising and marketing for your company, especially digital marketing, chances are you’ve at least heard of programmatic advertising. Although the technology has been around for several years, most mid-sized companies aren’t utilizing programmatic buying. Those that are leveraging it often outsource their programmatic advertising to an agency or other digital marketing partner. Why? Because its complex. And it’s just one piece of the online advertising puzzle. It’s hard for many marketing decision makers to decipher if it’s worthwhile or not. Plus, much like other digital marketing initiatives, just ‘doing it’ won’t generate results without all the pieces in place. Read More
We hear from quite a few people interested in website design in any given month. Often times the question comes up of “Should I use Wix to build my website?” You can easily substitute Square Space or Weebly or any other DIY website builder for Wix in this instance.
One of the first applications of information in an IP database was targeting to specific geographic regions. Most commercial ad management systems have IP databases that can make geographic targeting possible. However, there are a couple weaknesses in this method. The first (and biggest) problem is that, for various reasons, not all IPs can be mapped to an accurate location.
As a true Kansas City Royals fan, it’s taken me awhile to recover from the World Series. It’s still hard to write about or talk about, but amid the amazing run by my hometown team something germane to my craft popped up…#HunterPence signs. That’s right, the craze the followed the maniacal-looking outfielder touched on an interesting point for PPC managers and advertisers in general.
Among the signs razzing Pence was one that read as such: #HunterPence uses Bing. I chuckled when I read that. But then I stopped and asked myself, “why is that funny?” It’s funny because there’s a perception that nobody uses Bing. And in that perception issue lies real opportunity for marketers of all sorts.
You see, Bing is far from irrelevant. In fact, a recent report from Hubspot highlighted that roughly 30% of all search happens on the Microsoft/Yahoo network. And here’s another interesting item that lacks statistical foundation…the traffic is cheaper than AdWords traffic. I know this because I live in this space each day, and each day I see similar performance in terms of CTR and total conversions, only at lesser click prices. Added bonus, you get more real-estate to write ad copy. Anyone who has ever tried to manage a PPC campaign knows that the character caps can be tricky to say the least.
BingAds costs less, has more ad copy, and overall has a very similar interface. There’s just not that much volume, that’s all.
Volume. That’s what drives Google’s ad sales. Volume of users, volume of searches, volume of ads served. But what’s that mean to advertisers? It means competition, and by default, higher prices. Using Google AdWords is definitely fishing where the fish are in terms of generating leads…but using Bing Ads is simply finding a smaller lake with fewer fisherman.
So hey, if you’re Hunter Pence, maybe you’re doing some things right. You know, other than playing a role in smashing the dreams of Kansas City Royals fans all across the Midwest. This Bing thing just might catch on after all.
So what do you think about using Bing Ads as a marketing tool? Is it a “must have” or a “nice to have”?
Buying Content By The Word Is Beyond Absurd
O-desk, Elance, College Writers, Content Runner…all pretty much the same thing. A huge pile of non-native English writers who are willing to crap out a few hundred words for a the cost of a Starbucks latte. Literally. The worst part about people watering down the content marketing landscape with this worthless stuff? The fact that companies buy it. And the fact that it does not help your reputation online at all. Read More