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2017

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Jul

18

2017

9 Brands That Thrive Without a Traditional Marketing Budget

Published by in category Advertising, branding, Daily | Comments are closed

no-marketing-budget.png

“Brands So Popular They Don’t Need to Advertise!” “10 Companies That Don’t Do Marketing!” You’ve seen the headlines, you’ve rolled your eyes, and you’ve probably still clicked through.

But, let’s be honest, we all know there is no such thing as a brand that doesn’t advertise.

And really, wouldn’t that take some of the fun out of it? We love being wooed by brands. And as marketers, we love figuring out how to woo our audiences. The thing that sets the brands on this list apart is simply how they allocate their marketing dollars.

They defy the best practices that most marketers live by today, and it sets them apart and generates buzz because of its inherent uniqueness. So, here are 9 brands that don’t do traditional marketing and what you can learn from each of them.

9 Brands That Don’t Do Traditional Marketing

1) Zara

Zara’s first retail fashion store opened in 1975 and, as of 2016, it boasted 2000 stores in 77 countries. They’ve built an empire based on their reputation as a company whose technology and automation allows them to analyze trends and consumer feedback to get fashion from the runway to the racks in a matter of days.

image4-2.pngImage via: HuffPost

They eschew traditional marketing tactics in a few ways. First, they target men, women, and children in highly populated cities. Second, they produce cheap, fashionable clothing, with a high attention to detail. And third, they only produce a limited number of each piece to create a sense of urgency among their consumers.

They’ve also mastered the art of influencer marketing. The Duchess of Cambridge gave the brand a huge international boost when she wore a dress of theirs the day after her wedding to Prince William.

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Target your product or service well, don’t be afraid to rely on word of mouth, and foster an influencer channel that is loyal to your brand. Today, you’ll find more traditional marketing channels available to Zara’s fans (think Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook). But the retailer built its empire with well-placed retail, on-trend offerings and some serious word-of-mouth.

2) Krispy Kreme

I know what you’re thinking: “Of course doughnuts don’t need advertising!” Well, Krispy Kreme agrees with you. When asked how they measure ROI in digital, apps, and social, Dwayne Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer at Krispy Kreme said, “The brand was built on word of mouth and we have not been a big spender on traditional media … Everything [we] do with digital has to answer the question ‘how do we engage with our consumers as a brand.”

Instead of investing in TV commercials, Chambers says they invest in their employees. “Everybody at the stores is a marketer,” he explains. Every Krispy Kreme employee attends training at Krispy Kreme University. Here, they are taught doughnut making, customer service, and … marketing!

image6-1.pngImage via: SavannahNow

They also invest in unique, highly visible locations, and always have a large window from the outside into the doughnut making. Another way to “eliminate the barriers between the brand and its customers and an invitation to step in and sample,” says Chambers.

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

What barriers can you eliminate between your brand and its customers? Start by educating your team on your brand values. It might sound silly to teach your marketers to be marketers, but many times we hone in on metrics instead of who our brand is and how it should be communicating.

3) Sriracha

This spicy favorite has been making headlines for years. But the popular hot sauce brand has about 80 followers on Pinterest, and until 2014 they didn’t have a Facebook page or an updated website. Today, you’ll find the Huy Fong Foods brand on most digital media channels, but CEO David Tran insists, “I don’t advertise, because I can’t advertise.”

He refuses to save money by importing cheaper chilis (all Sriracha chilis come from a family farm near Los Angeles, CA) or outsourcing production. And his strategy to focus on quality over cost-cutting seems to be working. Bon Appétit named Sriracha the “Ingredient of the Year,” and the company sells more than 20 million bottles of their sauce every year.  

Sriracha circulated their product amongst Asian chefs, before it caught on with the rest of the world. The brand also get huge boosts from internet influencers. The Oatmeal famously wrote a “love letter” to Sriracha, and the sauce has even spawned cookbooks from chefs like Randy Clemens. The Sriracha name can’t be trademarked because it’s a location in Thailand, and that means anyone can use the logo. Does Tran mind? Of course not. He considers it free advertising.

image5-1.pngImage via: HuffPost

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Take quality seriously and run with any free advertising you can get (within reason, of course). Also, get your brand in front of the right people early on. Sriracha first, ahem, caught fire with the chefs who knew pepper sauces best. Once they fell in love with the unwavering quality, they were happy to share the sauce with others.

4) Trader Joe’s

Google Trader Joe’s. Go on, do it. You’ll find their website and a Google+ page with one whole follower. That’s right. One of the most popular millennial brands has zero social media presence. What they do have is a business model that speaks to their people. And cookie butter. They have cookie butter.

As Behance noted in a recent article, “The ‘Trader Joe’s difference’ is its remarkableness … The sum total of all that is not a branding illusion, but rather a distinctly remarkable Trader Joe’s experience of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that is unique from any other grocery retailer in the U.S. (and obviously in the world).”

The one piece of marketing the food brand, owned by Aldi, does produce is The Fearless Flyer. The flyer is a print and online newsletter with a little quippy copy and a whole lot of discounts. It’s a staple for the brand, and the only promotional materials you’re likely to see from them.

image8.pngImage via: Trader Joe’s

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Yes, from the copious samples to the niche snacks you find yourself eating in bed at 11pm, Trader Joe’s has done an enviable job at branding themselves as an affordable, quality food chain.

By purchasing directly from suppliers, kicking unpopular items to the curb faster, and foregoing traditional costs like marketing, they’re able to price their products in a range that is seriously affordable and seriously addicting. Don’t be afraid to eschew what’s expected in the marketing world, and take the road less fearlessly flown to create a truly one-of-a-kind customer experience.

5) Costco

In 2015, the United States (and much of the rest of the world) was still clawing its way out of the worst global depression since WWII. It was also the year that Costco became the second largest retail brand in the world. Today, it’s holding on to a respectable spot in the top 10, and they did it all without advertising.

image7.pngImage via: Colombus Business First

Costco prides itself on not having an advertising strategy, which allows them to reinvest two percent of their annual budget back into the company every year. It also allows them to pay workers an average of $20 an hour, leading to industry-low turnover rates, low prices, and stocks that have nearly tripled in value, resulting in very happy investors.

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Consider a membership over marketing if it’s right for your company. Costco’s membership simultaneously creates FOMO, while offering clear value and exclusivity. With a more than 90% renewal rate, it’s clear their business model is working.

Are there ways you could create urgency for your customers to make a purchase? A membership provides you with a built in channel of qualified leads with which you can share exclusive discounts and offers, and expect a higher conversion rate in return.  

6) Kiehl’s

Is consumer experience the most effective form of marketing? That’s what cosmetic company Kiehl’s has long held as truth. “The key is to recognize that in terms of brand equity, all that really matters is that the customer develops a positive image,” says Dartmouth marketing professor Kevin Keller. “Experience or word of mouth is probably the best way to do that, he continues.”

image2-23.pngImage via: Ogilvy

Kiehl’s created an unforgettable customer experience by offering extensive samples to customers, which gives way to lower-pressure sales. The skin- and hair-care company built a brand name for itself by offering a 100% money-back guarantee, staffing more than twice the industry average, and offering free consultations.

This attention to detail is what has contributed to more than 150 years as a successful brand. The company even maintained its “no-advertising” style even after it was acquired by L’Oreal. A move that garnered them more — you guessed it — free advertising.

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Today, Kiehl’s runs big-budget marketing campaigns like the rest of us. But it’s noteworthy that they were able to thrive for so long without one. While you may be tempted to go with that big “Send a 3D version of Your Face into Space” campaign idea, remember that it’s sometimes the attention to your customer’s experience that contributes to a legacy brand.

7) Spanx

Some of you may be thinking, “This is all great, but what if I just can’t afford to run advertising campaigns?” I hear you, and so does Spanx founder Sara Blakely. When Blakely started her undergarment brand, she didn’t run marketing spots because she couldn’t afford to. She also grew her billion-dollar brand without any help from outside investments or debt.

Blakely told Forbes, “The power of women discovering the brand from other women was actually a better strategy. The aunt telling her niece; one woman to a college friend. There’s something about saying, ‘look, feel my back, no lines,’ that’s powerful.”

image1-11.png Image via: Neiman Marcus

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Word of mouth is an admirable strategy, but sometimes it’s not enough to support your business. By combining word-of-mouth marketing with an influencer focus, Blakely and Goldman’s duel-punch strategy focused on developing their relationship with everyday users as well as celebrities. Do a gut check on your marketing or brand strategy to see if you’re paying less attention to one than the other, and try a more balanced approach for a bigger impact moving forward.

8) Lululemon

Ok, ok, I know that Lululemon just announced they were launching their first-ever advertising campaign. But let’s look back at a simpler time. In 2016, Lululemon reported that 90% of their business transactions take place at full price.

That’s a huge percentage, and it shows that Lululemon has created high brand value for itself. But just how did they do it without advertising for the first nearly two decades? In CEO Laurent Potdevin’s own words, “People ask us ‘Why don’t you do more traditional marketing?’ And we say, ‘Why would we?’”

Image via: HuffPost

For years, they relied on the word-of-mouth, grassroots efforts rooted in how much their customers loved their product. Those poster-themed, inspirational tote bags you still see everywhere, the (mostly) friendly staff, and the conversion of stores into hubs for classes and community events all contributed to the brand’s rapid growth and popularity. But with even faster expansion of the athleisure industry, Lululemon finally threw in the $38 towel and announced in March of 2017 that they would be devoting more resources to traditional marketing.

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

Don’t be afraid to pivot. Even the most successful marketing strategies can grow stale. Lululemon was smart to spot competition creeping in and be open to expanding upon their impressive community-driven efforts. Don’t wait until you’re too far behind to catch up. Stay on top of industry and niche growth, and pivot your marketing efforts accordingly — even if that pivot is creating a marketing strategy for the first time ever.

9) GoPro

This high-def camera company is another brand that dabbles in traditional marketing these days. But that’s not how they built their now-legendary social media following. Instead of the product, the end result is featured most prominently in GoPro’s videos. Their Instagram account is primarily user-generated content and boasts more than 12 million followers.

But it’s their YouTube account that really sets this camera company apart. A steady stream of engaging, thrilling content has fostered a community of nearly 5 million subscribers. Those are people who find enough value in GoPro’s content that they subscribe to GoPro’s YouTube channel so that they never miss a post.

The Takeaway for Your Brand?

It’s easy to think your company can’t invest in video until you actually have budget to invest. Jump into marketing’s biggest trend by sourcing user generated content, or grab your iPhone to film your boss introducing your latest eBook. Video can be a powerful way to build your audience and bring interest to your marketing efforts. Don’t wait until tomorrow to set your marketing on fire.

Is There Such Thing As Traditional Marketing Today?

Think big, think small, but please, think outside the box. These brands all have a few things in common. They’ve honed in on a pertinent user pain point, need, or want, and met those needs with either superb quality or the right price. These brands have also let their product or service do a bit of the talking.

We’re always told that we need to loosen our grip on life a bit (Just me? Ok, cool.), maybe these brands are a good reminder that it’s alright to loosen the grip on our marketing efforts a little too.  

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Jun

30

2017

20 of the Worst Typos, Grammatical Errors & Spelling Mistakes We've Ever Seen

Published by in category Advertising, Content Marketing, Daily | Comments are closed

worst-typos.jpeg

“How long did you take to revise this?” “A couple of sec, I mean minutes … ”

“Did you use any editing tools?” “Yes … the red and green squiggly lines in Word.”

“Please tell me spell check is somehow broken. ” “ … I haven’t used that since 2008 … ”

Whenever the internet devours brands for making typos more cringeworthy than my parents’ joint Facebook account, I picture these conversations ensuing between writers and supervisors.

Because even though they have access to a stockpile of grammar and spelling tools, they still let typos or poor grammar creep into their copy.

Download our free writing style guide here to eliminate typos and grammatical errors from your own writing.

I empathize with these unlucky writers, though. Typos are inevitable. Sometimes, they tiptoe into my blog posts, and there’s nothing I can do about the embarrassment except lock myself in the nap room and wail into a pillow.

But the 20 pen slips below were so hilarious and shocking that my laughter pierced through all my colleagues’ noise-canceling headphones. I couldn’t stop chuckling at these editing blunders.

So, although our hearts sting for these writers, we decided to share their hysterical typos and grammatical errors. Hopefully, they’ll forget the pain and laugh with us too.

20 Funny Typos, Grammatical Errors & Spelling Mistakes

1) We’re having a little trouble imagining this.

imagine.jpg

Image Credit: 11 Points

2) Just found out The Purge actually happened.

hunters.png

Image credit: ViralNova

3) “When I grow up, I want to be a technincian!”

cincinnati_state

Image Credit: WCPO

4) If you think about it, it is original.

Orignal.jpg

Image Credit: Slice

5) Best headline since “Headless Body in Topless Bar”.

asdf.jpg

Image credit: The Guardian

6) Ironic Twitter shaming: a dish best served cold.

Fox announcer: “He was covered pretty good.” Boo. #DeathOfGrammer #LoweringTheBar

— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe)
December 10, 2012

7) The few and the proud.

daysinn.png

Image credit: ViralNova

8) The one-two typo punch …

First, the poster:

lbj_poster

Image credit: JimRomensko.com

Then, the apology tweet:

lbj_tweet

Image credit: The Chronicle of Higher Education

9) We wouldn’t take one.

ded.jpeg

Image credit: Cheezburger

10) Did someone actually name their kid Sport?

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.14.04 PM.png

Image credit: Flickr

11) Well, at least they admit to their mistakes.

SpelMistk14

Image credit: Jazarah!

12) Did they edit this ad in a New York minute?

reebok_typo

Image credit: Engrish and Funny Typos

13) The ultimate silver lining.

find.png

Image credit: ViralNova

14) Apparently, floor cloth won him seven Tour de Frances.

Rugs.jpg

Image Credit: Slice

15) Is it proper grammar?

stella-artois-typo.jpg

Image Credit: The Huffington Post

16) We’d buy it.

brid.jpg

Image Credit: Pleated Jeans

17) What would happen if you pressed no?

Exist.jpg

Image Credit: Pleated Jeans

18) She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s talking about herself.

their.png

Image Credit: ViralNova

19) We hear he’s a little dramatic under water.

scubadiva.jpg

Image Credit: Pleated Jeans

20) Throwback to Googing things.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 4.11.37 PM.png

Image Credit: Flickr

What’s the worst typo or grammatical error you’ve ever seen? Share your stories in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Jun

29

2017

The Best New Type of Content to Support a Product Launch: A HubSpot Experiment

Published by in category Advertising, Content Marketing, Daily | Comments are closed

ads-calculator-experiment-compressor.jpg

Here at HubSpot, we obsess over our product — how it’s built, where it’s headed, and how we talk about it. Every update, from minor feature tweaks to major product launches, are pored over by a team. Developers and product managers handle the creation and vision of individual products. Product marketers own the story of the product, with the goal of creating the narrative that defines the product.

That story should explain why the product is important, who it was made for, how it can be used, and the value it adds. It’s these stories that bring to life campaigns across marketing and sales, and help us grow. Download our free planner to learn how to step up your SEO traffic in just 30  days.

To execute that well, we’ve had to build a well-established promotion playbook — a guide that outlines what to do, and when, for each type of launch. But a playbook alone doesn’t tell a compelling story: one that not only explains what the product is, but also contains valuable information that can help marketers in the long-term. That content is evergreen, and we thought, “Hey, maybe we should focus on that when we launch something new.”

One of those launches was for our Ads add-on. This is the story of that product — and how we shifted our content strategy playbook for it.

A Test of Evergreen Product Marketing Content and Organic Traffic

The Hypothesis

Content with an evergreen appeal will have more impact on a product launch than our standard, short-term traffic launch posts — even if the evergreen posts take more time and energy to create.”

A piece of content that stays relevant over time is more likely to perform better in organic search and continue to support a product launch for months without decay. In our previous experiments, for example, we’ve found that 92% of our monthly blog leads — not to mention, 76% of monthly blog views — came from posts of this nature.

old posts leads traffic

That contrasts with our typical product launch playbook, which generally includes a few short-term promotional blog posts and other content, the relevance of which has a briefer shelf life, and tends to receive the highest amount of traffic from email subscribers. For example, when we launched new Sales products at INBOUND 2016, we supported the announcement with this blog post, which receives 59% of its traffic from email — versus only 9.9% from organic searches. This month it’s received a grand total of seven views.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.01.51 PM.png

It was the prospect of longer-term impact — which is often accompanied by a high organic search volume — that informed our objective: to build an amazing piece of evergreen content around a product launch that would continue to be useful to marketers (our target audience) for years, while also conveying the key messages of the product’s story. It would not only introduce readers to the value of the new tools, but might also engage our core audience by providing longer-term actionable insights and takeaways.

What We Did

Key Methods

First, we looked at what some of our favorite content creators were producing. One thing that particularly stood out to us was The New York Times “Rent or Buy” calculator: a half-content, half-web-app property that allowed readers to manipulate different quantitative properties on a sliding scale — like home prices or length of stay — but also contained accompanying copy to add context to the resulting calculations.

We needed something like that: a piece of written content that also served as a free tool, and could help people obtain the data they needed before getting the most out of our product. In this case, that product was our Ads add-on.

We knew from conversations with customers that marketers often longed for a seamless way to figure out how much to spend on ads before actually using a product that would measure and display the ROI of that spend. Sure, a free online ad spend calculator wasn’t exactly a new idea, but we wanted to build something different: a piece of content with sliders that allowed marketers to manipulate different inputs.

The Framework

This wasn’t going to be easy. It would require development work, prototyping, and content composition. It would be a considerable investment of time and effort — we estimated about 5X that of typical launch content. If it worked, the experiment would be valuable. But if it didn’t, there was the possibility that, considering the aforementioned resources, it might be a long time before we had the opportunity to test something like this again. It was a big bet — but it was one we were willing to place.

Ultimately, our plan was to launch a central site page that the ads calculator “lived” on, with other supporting initiatives around it. This included:

  • A small email campaign
  • Social media promotion
  • A blog campaign

Success — or the lack thereof — would be measured by the amount of traffic to the central ads calculator page. It launched in July 2016.

Ad Spend Calculator

The Results

Initially, we saw a big spike in the post’s overall page impressions, as well as requests for product demos that were driven by a call to action (CTA) placed at the bottom of the page: 

Ad Spend Calculator

But, there was a catch: It appeared that this spike was largely driven only by the supporting pieces — the email, social media, and accompanying blog promotions.

In the month following the launch, when those pieces were no longer timely, only 673 people visited the page, which was far below our projections and a number that could have been easily achieved from a “normal” blog post. Plus, only 200 of those views came from organic searches, which were generating less traffic than social referrals and direct visits. To say the least, it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for.

But here’s the thing about evergreen content, and the organic search traffic that you hope will come with it: It’s called long-term traffic for a reason.

For that reason, we didn’t draw any conclusions after the post-launch month, and instead, continued to observe its organic traffic performance month over month. We had faith that our experiment would work, and with the tool working as it should, just left it alone. And sure enough — month over month — organic traffic began to grow.

ads calculator organic traffic.png

Each month, the tool continues to see more traffic. Organic search is now our second-highest source of visits, comprising about half of our best-performing month’s traffic — which was May 2017, close to a year after the launch. As of writing this post, we’ve seen 19,851 total views, over 30% of which are driven from organic searches. What’s more, the end-of-page CTA has generated close to 300 requests for demos of the Ads add-on.

In other words, people are finding the tool useful, coming back, and spending a significant amount of time with it. Each month, organic and referral traffic is growing, signaling that the tool — and the overarching content that accompanies it — can continue to serve a purpose to marketers in the long-term.

What We Learned

This approach to content can absolutely be followed. It is worth mentioning that we have access to front-end developers who were able to build this free tool — if you have those kinds of resources, we encourage you to consider which similar tools you can build that are relevant to your products and services.

But if you’re short on that kind of staffing, we also encourage you to take inventory of your current content, blog posts included, and determine if any of them can be repurposed to serve these same long-term goals. It’s an important question to ask as you create new content, as well as, “Will this still be relevant in a year?”

Often, taking this approach to what you create can extend its shelf life. Can your blog post about a current trend, for example, be broadened or repurposed to cover a larger, more macro trend that will maintain relevance beyond the immediate timeframe?

And while we don’t take this approach for all content, after the success of the Ads Calculator, we do actively seek more opportunities to build something evergreen. We feel strongly that our hypothesis was proven true: that sometimes, producing less, higher-impact, evergreen content works better than one-off posts. We also believe that could indicate a larger trend around different types of media consolidating, like embedded audio within blog posts, or more posts that combine applications with written copy. It’s interactive — and, it provides engaging value for the reader.

Have you used evergreen content in a similar way? Let us know about your best experiments in the comments –and hey, we might even feature it on our blog.

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Jun

13

2017

Internet Ad Spend Is About to Surpass TV Ad Spend [New Report]

Published by in category Advertising, Daily, mobile marketing | Comments are closed

internet-ad-spend-compressed.jpg

There are few things I look forward to more every year than the release of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report.

It’s clear, it’s visually interesting, and most importantly, the results are always fascinating — with tremendous implications for marketers.

Meeker’s report is chock-full of data about how the way users operate online is changing. And man, are things changing. Voice queries are replacing the typical internet search, Netflix and other streaming services are replacing cable television, and social media is overtaking traditional cable TV habits.

Another way the internet is changing TV? Advertising. In her report, Meeker predicts that in 2017, spending on internet advertising will surpass spending on TV advertising for the first time — and eventually exceed $200 billion.

In this post, we’ll dive into how this change is taking place, and what the future of advertising looks like — in 2017 and beyond.

The State of Internet Advertising in 2017

Here’s a visualization of Meeker’s prediction — which also shows the rapid trajectory of internet advertising spend since the 1990s:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

As you can see from Meeker’s slide, internet advertising spending will exceed $200 billion this year — beating TV advertising spending for the first time.

The magnitude of this can’t be overstated — the first television ad aired in 1941, and the first internet ad was placed in 1994. It took the internet only 24 years to disrupt and outpace the 76-year-old TV advertising industry — making it almost three times faster and more agile.

Meeker’s report also outlined where the bulk of internet advertising dollars are spent — and to nobody’s surprise, online advertising is growing at an explosive rate on Google and Facebook (20% and 62% year-over-year, respectively).

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

This data means that the online inbound marketing world is disrupting — and outpacing — the traditional outbound marketing world. But it’s reflective of other trends and changes, too.

What the Future of Online Advertising Looks Like

The Future of Online Advertising Is Mobile

Roughly half of all internet ad spending was on mobile advertising in 2016:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

And that breakdown is no surprise — because people are spending more time online — and more time online on their phones — than ever before:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Meeker’s report highlights this trend — and points out the massive potential for growth in the mobile advertising space. There’s an opportunity for $16 billion worth of growth as the amount of mobile online advertising catches up to the time people are spending online on mobile devices:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

This gap between time spent on mobile devices and money spent advertising specifically on mobile devices could be indicative of the relatively new mobile advertising space — advertisers might not yet know how to engage such a new swath of potential prospects.

But it could also be a result of the rapid rate at which mobile ads are reported and blocked, too. As it turns out, internet users — particularly on mobile devices — are quick to block ads they’re not interested in viewing:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

There’s a huge opportunity for marketers and advertisers in the mobile online space, but it needs to be carefully and strategically done — so as not to irritate users enough for them to block those ads. We’ll surely continue to see more ads online — and on our smartphones.

The Future of Online Advertising Is Social

Google is eating up the majority of mobile advertising revenue dollars, but it’s followed closely by Facebook. What’s more, revenue from ads on Google and Facebook made up 85% of online advertising revenue in 2016:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

So, as advertising spending and consumption shifts from TV to online, and specifically to mobile online, keep an eye on where ads start appearing online, too. Facebook online advertising revenue is growing faster than Google ad revenue at 62% year-over-year — and as it turns out, ads on Facebook drive direct purchases, too:

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Mobile ads and targeted pins on Pinterest see high purchase rates, too: 

Internet Trends 2017 Report from
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

As users continue spending more and more online time within social media apps, advertisers will shift their strategy to create targeted, shoppable ads that live in social media feeds to keep users within apps and mobile devices and to make it easier for them to buy.

The Future of Online Advertising Will Be Closely Monitored

As the rates at which online and mobile ads are blocked by users indicate, many ads are perceived as obtrusive, disruptive, and unhelpful to many people. And it’s true — poor quality ads can drive people away from your site if they create a poor experience for your visitor.

Perhaps that’s why Google and Facebook have started taking steps to penalize publishers advertisers that create disruptive, misleading, and otherwise low-quality ad experiences on their platforms in recent years. Mobile and social media advertising offer a lot of opportunity for reward, but marketers and advertisers need to be mindful of the high stakes when they start creating. Pop-ups, overlays, and clickbait could get you penalized and blocked from future success, so stay tuned for more guidance on mobile marketing and social media advertising.

To download and review Meeker’s full Internet Trends Report, click here.

Where are you dedicating most of your digital advertising resources? Share with us in the comments below.

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Apr

5

2017

How to Analyze The Performance of Your Display Ads [Free Guide]

Published by in category Advertising, Daily, Promo | Comments are closed

Dos-and-Donts-of-Typography-compressor.jpg

Contrary to what you might think, display ads and inbound marketing aren’t inherently incompatible. In fact, applying inbound marketing principals to your display ad strategy can help maximize your potential reach and attract more qualified leads.

The key to creating “inbound-y” display ad campaigns is proper planning and positioning. In this article, we’ll cover how to define performance metrics for your display ads, set measurable goals, and ultimately analyze success.

Analyzing Ad Performance and Setting Goals

The following is an excerpt from Display Ads & Inbound Marketing, a free guide we created with our friends at AdRoll. If you’d like to access the full guide, click here.

Before you dive into building your first ad campaigns, you’ll need to ensure you understand what constitutes success for each ad, which performance indicators to track, and how to measure your progress in real time. In this section, we’ll help you do just that.

Setting Campaign Goals

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when setting up a campaign is using the same success metrics for every stage. This causes a number of problems:

  • Under-investment in acquiring new customers
  • Over-investment in campaigns for customers who buy again and again regardless of marketing efforts
  • Limited investment in mid-funnel nurturing

Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll need to track in order to measure the success of your campaigns.

Also known as the awareness stage, where prospects are looking for answers, resources, and research.

New site visitors: The number of new visitors who came to your site after you launched a campaign. This KPI helps you understand how successful your campaigns are at increasing brand recognition and overall site traffic.

Engagement: Engagement, including time spent on your site, or number of pages viewed, is a good indicator of the quality of new traffic to your site. Be sure to compare engagement on a product-by-product basis, too. If your new visitors’ bounce rate is high or their site duration is low, you may need to adjust your strategy.

The middle of the funnel, also known as the consideration stage, is where prospects are evaluating whether your product or service is right for them. Marketers will want to start focusing on converting their customers into paying accounts in this stage.

Number of conversions: The total number of conversions driven by a campaign. Prospects at this stage are already aware of your brand and your content. Use retargeting to convince them to convert and adjust your campaigns based on how many of them actually do.

View-through conversions (VTCs): Conversions that resulted from customers who viewed ads but did not click. The truth is, no one likes clicking ads — but that doesn’t mean they don’t influence conversions.

Once prospects arrive on your site, take a look at how many of them convert after being served an ad — even if they never clicked one — to get a fair and accurate picture of the effectiveness of each ad

Attributed closed deals and new sales: The total number of deals closed from prospective customers who interacted with an advertising campaign. In addition to the total number of conversions, you should measure campaigns at the middle of the funnel by the number and quality of deals they’re closing — as well as the number of new sales and overall new customers that they drive.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): Your overall campaign spend divided by the total number of conversions. CPA is an important KPI to keep track of across the entire funnel, as a helpful proxy for how effective your teams are at closing, retaining, and cultivating customers.

 

Also known as the decision stage, this is the stage where prospects are deciding from whom they want to buy. As a marketer, you want to focus on closing deals that grow your customer base, while also up-selling or cross selling existing customers. KPIs at the bottom of the funnel help marketers evaluate the ultimate revenue consequences of their efforts.

ROI and LTV

Return on investment (ROI): The net profit generated by your campaign, calculated as the difference between the total revenue the campaign generated and the total cost of running the campaign.

Lifetime value (LTV): The net profit attributed to a customer over their lifetime. There are many ways to calculate LTV, but a model that is tailored to the specifics of your sales cycle will be most effective. LTV is important because it helps marketers calculate their ROI over time.

How to Calculate LTV

LTV = (AVERAGE MARGIN PER ORDER X REPEAT SALES FREQUENCY X AVERAGE RETENTION TIME)

Example: $300 = ($100 x 0.5 purchases per month x 6 months) – Lifetime value is $300.

In this first equation, we’re shown how to calculate the lifetime value of a customer. Here we’re looking at the average margin per order, the repeat sales frequency, and the average retention time. Let’s break this down.

Average margin per order means the average amount of money a company brings in after processing and delivering a product. The next two metrics are meant to determine how often someone will purchase your products throughout the entire time they remain your customer. When combining these metrics, we were able to determine a LTV of $300.

How to Calculate ROI

ROI = (LTV-CPA)

Example:

LTV = $300 (calculated above)
CPA = $50 (what we pay to “buy” high-quality customers)
ROI = ($300-$50)

OVERALL ROI IS $250, A 400% INCREASE ON THE CPA

For this example, the situation is reversed. Here we already know the LTV, but are looking at understanding the return on investment of our advertising efforts. For this equation, we’ll look at the lifetime value minus the total cost to acquire a new customer (CPA).

Here we see that it cost $50 to acquire one single new customer and this customer had an LTV of $300 (taken from above). Once we subtract the CPA, we reveal an ROI that is 400% higher. Quite an improvement.

By gaining a deep understanding of the LTV of your average customer, and using that metric to determine how much to spend to get them to convert, you can get a more accurate sense of what your ROI is for your ad campaigns.

Why Do KPIs Matter? 

The Short Answer: Attribution

Attribution is critical because it allows marketers to evaluate what ads or marketing efforts are driving results and measure the impact of their advertising. Yearly trends continue to show that marketers (and their bosses) are placing more and more importance on marketing analytics and attribution.

AdRoll’s recent State of Performance Marketing Report found that almost 75% of marketers believe attribution is critical or very important to marketing success. Over 40% said that they spend the lion’s share of their yearly budgets on campaign measurement.


Despite this influx of interest, many marketers continue to exclusively track ad clicks to measure their campaigns. Tracking ad clicks alone completely misses a large portion of your audience — those who don’t click on ads, but may still be influenced to convert later.

Why Last Click Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

  • A small portion of people click on ads: Only 16% of users click on ads, and half of those — 8% — account for 85% of all clicks on display ads. This means that this pool of what the industry calls “natural born clickers” is the only audience you track.
  • Last-click tracking incentivizes finding users who would buy without advertising: Last-click attribution models are fundamentally incentivized to find users already likely to purchase—a practice referred to to as “funnel jumping.” Ideally, advertising should influence users to consider purchasing a product or service they wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to.
  • Credit is not accurately assigned across publishers: last-click gives all the credit to the final click and ignores any other marketing that occurred before the purchase. This means any previous messaging users were exposed to, in addition to any content they consumed that discussed your brand, isn’t appropriately valued.

In fact, in the same survey almost 65% of respondents said that they currently employ a click-based attribution model. However, over 90% of them said that they plan to or are considering changing their attribution model in 2017 — signifying a large shift away from click-based attribution in the coming year.

The Alternative

Unlike click-based attribution models, blended attribution allows marketers to take into account both views and clicks when measuring the success of their campaigns. This metric retains the simplicity and immediacy of click-based attribution while accounting for the cumulative effect of views. More importantly, it takes into account what advertisers have always known: that viewing ads influences consumer behavior.

By combining views and clicks, we reveal a more nuanced, and ultimately more accurate, picture of how advertising affects users. This helps marketers allocate their budget and take into account all the effort that goes into both media planning and creative development.

Want to learn how to create your own ads? Click here to access the complete guide: Display Ads & Inbound Marketing

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Mar

7

2017

YouTube Ads for Beginners: How to Launch & Optimize a YouTube Video Advertising Campaign

Published by in category Advertising, Canonical, marketing agency | Comments are closed

youtube_advertising_campaign_compressed.jpg

You’ve spent months perfecting the script, storyboarding, finding the right talent, shooting, and editing. The end result? A blockbuster brand or product video.

With all that time invested, you can’t stop at just embedding the video on a homepage or sharing it on social media and hoping someone watches.

While great content is bound to be found, it’s also important to be proactive about gaining the attention of and educating prospects and those unfamiliar with your brand. Running a series of YouTube ads is one way to make sure more of your target audience finds the video content you’ve produced. And with new formats and tracking capabilities, you can also use this information to report on its ROI. Download our free guide to learn how to create and utilize video in your  marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

The thing is, advertising on YouTube is very different from running a PPC or paid social campaign. There are specific creative constraints and a ton of options for this platform, and you need a base knowledge before you even scope out your next video project to make the most of the paid possibilities.

What’s New With YouTube Advertising

In January 2017, Google announced it would make changes to AdWords to allow advertisers to reach more viewers on YouTube — especially across mobile devices, where 50% of YouTube views take place. Among the changes it rolled out, possibly the biggest announcement was that advertisers will soon be able to target viewers based on their Google search history, in addition to their viewing behaviors YouTube was already targeting.

Marketers can now target ads at people who recently searched for a certain product or service to target the video ads they’ll be served on the platform. If the content of a video ad is closely related to a search the viewer has been researching, they might be more likely to watch the entire ad or click through the ad to the website.

Keywords are relatively less expensive to target on YouTube than in traditional Google Search: Views cost an average of $0.06 per click on YouTube, compared to the average Google Search cost per click, which is estimated to be between $1-2. When YouTube targeting includes search history, it may be a more cost-effective way to target your audience with a more engaging form of content — video.

The 2 Types of YouTube Video Ads

TrueView ads are the standard video ad type on YouTube. Advertisers only pay for TrueView ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action), and videos can be easily customized to share a variety of content.

Advertisers only pay when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds or until the end of the video or if the viewer takes an action, such as clicking on a call-to-action. YouTube requires that skippable TrueView ads be 12-60 seconds in length and that non-skippable TrueView ads be 15-30 seconds in length.

There are two types of TrueView ads:

Video Discovery Ads (Previously Named In-Display Ads)

Video discovery YouTube ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages.

These ads appeared after performing a YouTube search:

youtube_search_results.png

This display ad appears as a related video on the right-hand video sidebar:

in-display-ad.png

Once a user clicks on the ad, the destination video page features a spot on the right-hand column where a companion banner display ad will appear.

video-ad-companion-banner.png

In-Stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads play before someone watches the video they’ve selected on YouTube. Viewers sometimes have the option to skip the ad after watching it for five seconds. You can also make them play anywhere in the Google Display Network (GDN) — or sites that purchased Google video ad space.

In-stream ads let marketers customize video ads with different CTAs and overlay text, as highlighted in the skippable in-stream ad example below from Grammarly.

youtube_in_stream_ad_example.png

Here’s what another skippable in-stream ad from Wix looks like. In this example, there’s another CTA from Wix on top of the right-hand video menu display:

in-stream ad youtube.png

Some in-stream ads are non-skippable and can play before, mid-roll, or after the main video. Here’s an example of a non-skippable video ad before the main content on YouTube:

videoad_nonskippable.png

There are also non-skippable, mid-roll video ads, which appear midway through a YouTube video that’s 10 minutes or longer in length.

Midroll Ad YouTube.png

Source: PC Daily Tips

With TrueView, advertisers can gain a ton of information about the performance of their ads for optimization and testing purposes. AdWords provides data about completed views, partial views, if the video drives channel subscriptions, clickthrough rates on CTAs, views sourced from a user sharing the content, and views on the brand’s other content that can be attributed to a person initially viewing a video ad. These actions help advertisers better understand the full value of their video ad spend and where to allocate budget to increase results.

How to Set Up & Launch a YouTube Video Advertising Campaign

Once you’ve created a marketing video you want to advertise on YouTube, it’s time to create your video ad campaign. (If you haven’t made a video yet, here’s how to get started with Animoto or Wistia, along with a few great examples.) Then, upload your video to YouTube.

select_video_to_upload.png

Now, you’re ready to set up your advertising campaign. First, go to your Google AdWords account to set up your campaign.

Campaign Type

Tap the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the red “+ Campaign” button on your Google AdWords homepage and select “video.”

launch_new_video_ad.png

Campaign Name

Enter a name for your campaign, and make sure Video has been chosen from the Type drop-down menu.

YouTube_AdWords_Step1.png

Video Ad Format

Select “In-stream or video discovery ads” to ensure your video ad will be in TrueView format (in the style of the examples outlined above).

video_ad_formats_adwords.png

Budget

Set your budget per day. You can also select a delivery method — either the standard delivery, which shows ads evenly during the day, or accelerated delivery, which drives views as quickly as possible. The latter would be useful if you want to capitalize on a trend or news item relevant to your brand’s video.

video-ad-budget-delivery.png

Networks

Decide where you want your ad to appear.

  • YouTube Search: Your video ad will appear in results for searches and will appear on the YouTube home page, channel pages, and video pages.
  • YouTube Videos: This runs TrueView ads that can appear in-display ads or in-stream ads. With this option, you can choose for your video ad to appear before or around videos shown across the Google Display Network.

You should create separate campaigns for YouTube Search and YouTube Video as this will help you to better track performance metrics. These ads are served to people performing very different activities and require a different amount of commitment from the viewer, so it’s best to monitor performance separately.

youtube-networks.png

Locations

Define the location of users whom you want the ad to be shown to. You can also exclude certain locations.

video-location.png

Language, Device & Mobile Bidding

AdWords will let you specify the operating system, device, and carrier for more advanced targeting. This is especially useful for mobile app ads, and there’s an option to increase or decrease your bid based on if the video ad is shown to someone on a mobile device.

youtube_language_ad_adjustment.png

Advanced Settings

With the advanced settings section, you can set begin and end dates for your campaign, create a custom schedule for when your video ad should be shown, and limit the daily impressions and views for users. This all helps you to get the most return for your ad spend.

advanced settings youtube ads.png

Creating the Video Ad Creative

Name your ad group, and then insert the YouTube link for the video you would like to run the ad for. You will then choose whether you want this to run as an in-stream ad or an in-display ad.

video_ad_creative_youtube.png

For in-display, you’ll need to include a title and short description, which is entered on two separate lines. Note: Titles are limited to 25 characters, and the description lines are limited to 35 characters each.

youtube-in-display.png

In-stream ads provide you with the option to overlap a display URL on top of the video. You should use a vanity URL that directs to another final URL to make it more memorable. You can include advanced URL tracking options. In addition, a companion banner made from images from your video will appear on the right side of the video ad.

youtube-instream.png

Bidding

You’ll then determine the max price you will pay for each view, which you can adjust to increase the number of projected views your video may receive.

bidding_video_ad_adwords.png

Targeting

Finally, you can further define the audience you would like the video to be shown — options include gender, age, and parental status. You can also target individuals by their interests, such as beauty mavens, cooking enthusiasts, horror movie fans, etc. Try running multiple campaigns to target different groups of users to discover who is most engaged, rather than including everyone you want to target in one campaign.

video-adwords-interests.png

Advanced Targeting

You can also target individuals by keywords, topics, or websites where you would like your video ad to appear. Keyword targeting with in-display ads can be a powerful tool for finding individuals who are looking for a visual answer to a question. Be sure to do your research, and try testing out different groups of keywords to see which leads to more views, clicks, or conversions.

Additionally, you can use AdWords video ads to remarket to people who have been in contact with your brand already. This can help you to re-engage those who are already familiar with your brand.

narrow-targeting.png

Linking Your Account

You should link your AdWords account to the YouTube channel where the video is hosted if you haven’t already. You can also click “finish” to begin running your video ad campaign.

adwords-linking-account.png

10 Tips for Optimizing Your AdWords for Video Ads

Launching a video ad campaign is a great step, but there are some things you should set up prior to starting to pay for views to make the most of your budget and to see the highest return for your client.

1) Define your metrics and goals.

When analyzing the results, there are four main categories of metrics you can track for each video. These are located under the “column” drop-down in your campaigns interface.

Views

Under the “views” category, you can better understand what percentage of the ad people viewed and understand how the ad drove earned views or views on your brand’s other videos.

views-metrics.png

Audience

This category can be used to track likes and shares for each video ad.

audience-metrics.png

Branding

The view rate should signal if the creative and message are interesting or entertaining enough for people to watch the ad. By increasing your view-through rate (VTR), you will lower your cost per view.

video-branding-metrics.png

Conversions

Conversions will help you better understand if your ad is driving leads and returning a high ROI for your brand.

conversions-metrics.png

Depending on the goals for the brand, you should determine a few goals based on these metrics and formalize a plan for optimizing creative and trying different targeting criteria to improve results. Your goals should also determine the type of content you will feature in the ad — some metrics are better for branding goals and others will drive leads and conversions.

2) Track low performing placements.

If you’re running in-display ads that will appear across the Google Display Network, you can review where the ad has appeared in by navigating to Video Targeting > Placements > Where ads were shown > Display network from your Google AdWords Campaigns dashboard. Review this list to see if any particular sites are contributing to poor performance for your desired metrics. Exclude these sites from your ad campaign moving forward to increase your average CPV.

3) Use a custom thumbnail image.

Design or use a high-quality still image from the video to entice a viewer to click on your video. Remember, this image needs to be legible by users on different devices, including mobile. If your image contains a person, make sure he or she is looking into the camera. If you are featuring a product, make sure the background isn’t distracting. 

4) Drive people to buy with cards.

A YouTube card is teased with a small “i” symbol, which the viewer can click to expand. You can time this appearance so only users engaged with the video and content will see the notification.

With cards, you can feature a product related to or featured in the video to drive product purchases. You can also use cards to drive fundraising donations, traffic to a URL, or traffic to other videos as shown in the example below from Refinery29. Each format will allow you to customize the card with text, images, and other options.

refinery29example.png

5) Create calls-to-actions.

When promoting a video on YouTube, you can include call-to-action overlays that link to a URL. You could link to a landing page, product page, information page, career page … whatever you’d like. You could also send people to a favorable report or interview featuring the brand.

Adobe highlights one of its live videos using a call-to-action overlay:

adobe_youtube_ad_CTA.png

6) Create a YouTube end slate.

Create an end screen to drive subscribers to your channel, promote your social networks, or increase interest in your brand. If someone has watched a video until the end, it’s a good sign they enjoy your content and might be interested in subscribing to your channel for future updates. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon‘s end slate uses this screen to drive subscribers and social media fans while also highlighting other interesting topics its host has featured. Once you build the image, you will be able to annotate the end screen in YouTube’s video editor.

yeahboy_endslate.png

7) Use negative remarketing.

If you are running a campaign for a longer period of time and want to only attract new users to a brand, consider creating a list of people who your ad will not be shown to. When viewing your AdWords Campaign screen, select “Shared library” on the lower left sidebar. Then select “Video remarketing” and “+ Remarketing List”. You can stretch your campaign budget and target only unique users by selecting to not show your video ad to someone who has previously viewed the specific video, who has visited your YouTube channel, or shared, liked, or commented on any of your videos on your channel.

remarketing-adwords.png

8) Use close captioning to cater to viewer’s needs and wants.

This tip applies to all YouTube videos — but it’s a general best practice that’s not followed by many brands. Include a quality video transcription you’ve generated and approved. Only user-uploaded transcriptions are indexed by Google because YouTube’s automatic captioning can be less than reliable. Depending on your target audience, you may also want to include transcriptions in various other languages. You can also offer users the option to download or visit a site page with the full transcription in your video description.

9) Qualify viewers.

Sometimes, your ad will be seen by people who have no interest in your product. Encourage them to skip the ad if the content isn’t relevant so you don’t have to pay for the view and they don’t waste their time watching irrelevant advertising.

10) Consider making your ad longer.

When it comes to TrueView ads, if the ad is under 30 seconds, you pay only if a viewer watches until the end. If the ad is longer than 30 seconds, you pay if the viewer watches it for at least 30 seconds. In both cases, you pay if the viewer interacts with your ad before it’s over. Consider this when you are coming up with ideas for content for the ad. You may want to put messaging at a certain point so uninterested viewers can skip the ad, or you might provide special offers towards the end of the video.

The Future of Video is Bright

We’ve told you before: Video content is a must-have part of your content strategy. This is even truer now that YouTube lets marketers target users based on their search histories. YouTube advertising is more targeted than ever, and it’s less competitive real estate than the world of Google Search because video content is newer to the content scene and less popular than blog posts.

Stay tuned for more from us about how to make great video ads for YouTube and social media, and where we think YouTube is headed next.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Nov

30

2016

11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why)

facebook-ads-that-work.jpg

One average, Facebook is home to 1.18 billion daily active users — from CEOs, to students, to companies. And while the community is clearly there, connecting with them from a marketing standpoint isn’t always easy. 

For brands, posting on Facebook alone isn’t enough anymore — especially for ones just starting out. Sure, you can throw money at your efforts to drive people to your Facebook Page and send them to your website, but that only works if you’re smart about it.

One way to do just that is to create optimized Facebook Ads targeted at the right audience. Optimized ads can help you spend your PPC budget wisely and see a positive return on your investment. Download this free guide for data-backed tips on creating the optimal Facebook  Ad.

So, what does optimized Facebook advertising actually look like? If you’re looking for some great examples, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll quickly go over the three overarching formats for Facebook Ads: right column, desktop News Feed, and mobile News Feed. Then, we’ll show you eight different types of Facebook Ads, each with real-life examples — along with some insights into why that ad is so successful.

But before we get to these examples, let’s discuss the four components of a good Facebook Ad (or any ad, really) regardless of its type …

4 Components of Successful Facebook Ads

1) It’s visual.

Visual content is not only treated more favorably in the Facebook algorithm, but it’s also more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. The lesson for Facebook marketers? No matter what type of ad you create, your image needs to be visually appealing.

Check out this blog post for a detailed guide to image sizes for various ad units on Facebook along with some tips on posting visual content.

2) It’s relevant.

Relevance is critical for success when using Facebook advertising. Remember, you are spending money when someone views or clicks on your ad (depending on the settings you use). If you’re showing ads that aren’t relevant to your target audience, you’re wasting your time and money and will likely not see success with any kind of advertising.

Back in February 2015, Facebook launched a feature in the Facebook advertising platform that rates your ads and gives you a relevance score, similar to Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your ad image, ad copy, and destination page is to your audience, the higher your score is — and the more favorably Facebook will treat your ads.

3) It includes an enticing value proposition.

A value proposition tells the reader why they should click on your ad to learn more about your product. How is your product or service different from any other? Why should the viewer click on your ad to see your website?

Your value proposition should be believable. For example, saying you have the greatest sandwiches in the world will not make people come to your business’s Page, but maybe offering 20% off will. Or, perhaps adding social proof will help — something like, “Sandwiches loved by over one million people every year! Come try yours today and get 20% off your order with this coupon.”

4) It has a clear call-to-action.

A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your viewer might not know what to do next. Add a CTA like “Buy now and save X%,” or “Offer ends soon” and add a sense of urgency to your viewer. Your CTA should encourage people to click on your ad now.

The 3 Primary Formats for Facebook Ads (With Examples)

Format 1: The Right Column Ad

Right Column Facebook Placement.png

Source: Facebook

This type of ad is the most traditional on Facebook, it appears on the right side of a user’s Facebook News Feed. This is the first type of advertising Facebook had, and it still exists today.

Although ads in the News Feed are likely to get higher engagement metrics due to its native advertising features, right column ads shouldn’t be forgotten. We often see less expensive clicks and conversions when using these ads. In order for a right column ad to be successful, it needs to be relevant, have a value proposition, a good visual, and have a call-to-action. Let’s look at an example below from Winc (formermly known as Club W): 


Club W FB Ad.png

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • It’s visual. The visual is clear, simple, and appealing to all types of wine-lovers.
  • It’s relevant. This came up in my wine-obssesed colleague’s News Feed. Need I say more? Two thumbs up on relevance.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. Three bottles for $19? What a steal. They also pull the viewer in with an additional value: a discount on their first order of wine.
  • It has a strong call-to-action. The word “get” is strong call-to-action language, and it’s used twice here. A time limit on this offer would have made it even stronger.

Format 2: The Desktop News Feed Ad

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 1.16.38 PM.png

Source: Facebook

This type of ad appears directly in a user’s News Feed when they access Facebook on a desktop computer, and it looks more like native advertising. In our experience, these ads have a higher engagement rate than right column ads, but they can also be more expensive. These ads must follow organic Facebook posts best practices and be both engaging and visual.

This is how an ad from Amazon looks in the News Feed on a desktop:

amazon newsfeed litter box.png

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • It’s visual. Not only is this image larger than the right column ad display, but it also uses warm colors, white space, and directional lines which drew my eye towards the featured product.
  • It’s relevant. As a cat mom, this offer is clearly tailored to my consumer needs. 
  • It includes an enticing value prop. Amazon has advertised a self-cleaning litter box here, which is of tremendous value for any cat owner. Additionally, it shared the strong customer ratings below an image of the product. (Social proof, anyone?)
  • It has a clear call-to-action. Amazon instructs me to click on its ad today, after which point the deal for the litter box will presumably disappear. “Now” is strong CTA language that compels clicks.

Format 3: The Mobile News Feed Ad

Mobile Facebook Ad Placement.png

Source: Facebook

Like the desktop News Feed ad, this type of ad appears in the user’s mobile News Feed and displays like an organic posts from people and Pages that they follow. 

This is what a mobile News Feed ad for The New York Times looks like:

NYT mobile ad.jpg

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • It’s visual. The quirky cartoon drew my eye as I scrolled on my mobile News Feed through lots of text and photography. The nontraditional illustration pulled me in for a closer look at the content.
  • It’s relevant. I’m a person in my 20s, and I used to write about health care. This is an article I would definitely be interested in reading, and it helps that the ad appears like a native post promoting an article in my New Feed.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. The ad shows me which of my Facebook friends also like, and presumably read, The New York Times. This social proof makes me more likely to click and read the article.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. This ad is dedicated to increasing the page’s Likes, and by asking a question in the ad, the call-to-action makes me want to click the article to learn more.

Now that we’ve covered the three main ad formats, let’s dig into a sampling of the wide variety of post types you can use.

8 Types of Facebook Advertising & Some of the Best Facebook Ad Examples

1) The Facebook Video Ad

Video ads appear fairly large in the user’s New Feed and offer more engaging content than static posts. And with 8 billion videos being watched on Facebook every day, it serves as an interesting — and potentially profitable — ad type for marketers to try out. 

Need some inspiration? Check out this example from Key Jewlers below:

kayjewelersfinalgif.gif

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. Even though this is a video, I have a general idea of what I will be watching, thanks to the screen capture it started with. Additionally, I can understand the gist of this ad without playing with the sound on, which is important given that 85% of videos on Facebook are now viewed without sound.
  • It’s relevant. It’s relevant to me because I was recently scouring jewelry websites, specifically for necklaces like the one in the ad.
  • It’s valuable. Kay shows potential customers the value of purchasing with the help of the happy reaction from the woman receiving the gift in the ad. Plus, who doesn’t love dogs?
  • It has a solid call-to-action. This ad is set up to drive Page Likes, which is an easy, one-click way for me to get more relevant content served up to me.

How can you create your own video ad? First, understand Facebook video ad requirements including length and video size. We suggest keeping your video as short as possible, even though Facebook allows you to upload a much larger video. Create a video that displays your product or service, and upload directly to the Facebook ads manager by following these instructions

2) The Photo Ad

Another type of rich media advertising on Facebook is a post of an image. This is one of the most popular types of ads ever since Facebook began favoring visual content. The optimal size for News Feed photo ads is 1200×628 pixels, otherwise your image will get cropped. Adjust your image based on the target audience’s needs and by what will appeal to them the most.

Here’s an example of a photo ad from NatureBox:

naturebox-1

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The image shows you exactly what you’re getting, and it calls out the “free sample” CTA well.
  • It’s relevant. Everyone likes to snack. In all seriousness, the person who saw this is a fan of several lifestyle subscription companies, which is what NatureBox is. 
  • It’s valuable. This ad is full of value. First, the “free trial” callout is the first thing your eyes go to when looking at the image. Second, it clearly mentions the healthy aspects of the goodies in its product.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. Nature Box is asking you to try its free sample. It couldn’t be easier to know your next step.

3) The Multi-Product Ad

Multi-product ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple products within one ad. Viewers can scroll through the images and click on individual links to each product. You can promote multiple of anything, not just products — like different blog posts, ebooks, or webinars. These ads can be created in the Facebook Power Editor.

Here’s an example of a multi-product ad from Shutterfly, along with the additional images that are used in the ad. Each image has a different offer, to appeal to many different demographics in one ad.

shutterfly

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. This series of images leands on a consistent color pallette, making it feel both cohesive and on brand. (Having a cute cat doesn’t hurt either.)
  • It’s relevant. The person who saw this loves taking photos and creating sentimental gifts. Spot on, right?
  • It’s valuable. There is a very clear value for the user, 40% off each of the products being advertised. The code and sale end date are also clear in the ad description. This ad also has an added level of value, it is showing the many different ways people can use Shutterfly, in ways many may not be aware of.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. I know I need to use this before February 17th when this deal expires, so I would be encouraged to take action right away.  

4) The Local Ad

Local ads on Facebook only work if your business has a physical location that you are trying to drive real foot traffic to. If you fall into this category, then locally targeted Facebook ads may be a great fit for you, as you can hyper-target on Facebook down to the mile.

If your business has an offer or event going on at your store, set up a few Facebook ads that appear only to people within a short distance of your store. Have these ads appear a few days prior to the event and on mobile devices while the event is happening. You may want to reach some people the day of the event who happen to be in the area and checking their Facebook account on their smartphones.

Take this ad for example from Mizzou Campus Dining:

ScreenShot2015-03-29at2.12.59PM

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. This image has college pride, a variety of salty and sweet treats, and a well-known logo to attract hungry college students. 
  • It’s relevant. This ad is likely only being shown to students on campus who are in its target audience. It also mentions the sports game that was going on at the time, and plays to the student’s current needs: snacks and Subway sandwiches.
  • It’s valuable. Mizzou Market is telling hungry college students that it has everything students need for the big game. 
  • It has a clear call-to-action. This ad has the option to show directions, making it extremely easy for a college student on the go to follow the walking directions to this market.

5) The Offer Ad

An offer ad is a newer form of Facebook advertising where a business can promote a discount on a product or service that can be redeemed on Facebook. The benefit of this? It eliminates one step in the buyer’s journey, which ultimately increases sales.

The offer ad has many benefits. First, it drives the user directly to the offer. The user claims it directly on Facebook, removing any added friction of needing to to go to your website for the offer. You also can reach any type of audience that you want, as all the Facebook targeting options are possible.

Finally, you can include all the information needed for the user to decide if they want it or not, including the time period it is usable, the number of people who has already claimed it, and the exact amount the offer is. This will eliminate any unqualified clicks, which cost you money.

Here’s an example of an offer ad Boston Sports Club:

BSCad.jpg

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The featured photo uses bold colors and clear typography to draw my attention to the details of the offer, and the woman exercising gives me an idea of what I could gain from purchasing the offer.
  • It’s relevant. I recently moved to Boston and have been searching for gyms in my area online, so this ad is highly relevant to my recent Facebook and search activity.
  • It’s valuable. Paying $5 for a monthly gym membership is a great deal. Even though the price may increase in the future, the low price definitely makes me want to click.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA emphasizes that the discount offer is limited and should be claimed quickly using the word “hurry” and telling me when the offer expires.

6) The Event Ad

Event ads promote a specific event. The CTA on these ads usually send users directly to the ticket purchase page, wherever that happens to be hosted.

Using this type of ad will help drive a targeted group of people to attend your event. These will show up in the News Feed of the specific audience you’ve chosen. Events are a big part of most businesses, but getting people to attend even a small event, can be tricky. Promoting your event to a targeted specific audience on Facebook can help drive the right kind of attendees.

A good ad in this format will clearly show the benefit of attending the event: The price, dates, and a clear CTA to purchase a ticket. The events ad below for the Tortuga Music Festival displays the date and time and the bands playing:

event facebook ad

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The picture alone is worth a thousand words about how much fun this concert would be. Not only is it on the beach, it was also taken on a gorgeous day and the stage looks amazing. Also, it clearly represents what to expect during the event, and it catches the eye as someone scrolls through their News Feed. (The beautiful ocean water definitely helps.)
  • It’s relevant. The person who saw this ad is a fan of Kenny Chesney and has been to his concerts before. They’re also originally from Florida, which is where this event takes place. 
  • It’s valuable. Since the image was taken on a beautiful day, it looks like an ideal place to be — especially to those of us viewing it from our office desks. It also clearly tells you the cost of the ticket so you know before you click. (This is also good for the advertiser: By including the price, the ad allows users to self-select based on whether they can afford the ticket. If they can’t afford it, they won’t click through, thus saving the advertiser money on unqualified clicks.)
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA is clear: “Buy.” The advertisers also add urgent wording with the title “Time is running out!”, encouraging you to purchase your ticket now before it’s too late.

7) The Retargeting Ad

A retargeting ad promotes an ad to a specific list of previously identified people. Have you ever seen ads follow you across the internet after visiting a certain website? Then you’ve seen a retargeting ad. 

Facebook has the same capability. An advertiser can advertise to a list of leads or customers by uploading a list of email addresses it already has into the Power Editor to make a custom audience. A good retargeting ad acknowledges that the brand knows you’re already interested in its product. (Because, let’s face it … retargeting can be a little creepy.)

Last week, I started shopping around for a bridesmaid dress for an upcoming wedding. Today, this ad appeared in my News Feed:

Adrianna Papell wedding dress ad.png

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The image gives me a good idea of what to expect from the designer’s website, and it definitely helps that the gowns are both unique and stunning. Talk about a showstopper. 
  • It’s relevant. The ad called out that I was already shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and what’s more, I had previously looked at dresses on this exact website, so this ad is highly relevant to my search.
  • It’s valuable. The variety of dresses in the ad’s image and in the description make this website worth a visit for someone trying to find the perfect gown out of thousands of options.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA is “Shop Now,” which encourages me to click to purchase the beautiful dresses in the ad’s image.

8) The Boosted Post

A boosted post is an organic Facebook post that was originally on the homepage of a company’s Facebook, and that later was boosted with advertising money.

This is different from the above ads because it’s not created in the Facebook Ads Manager. You can include more in the description, as there is no limit to word count on boosted posts like there is in ads. You can also have a link in the copy.

The cons? Boosted posts leave you fewer options for bidding, targeting, and pricing. You also cannot run any types of A/B tests because you’re promoting a post that’s already been creating, not creating one from scratch.

Here’s an example of a boosted post from Bustle, who promoted one of its articles on Facebook:

bustle learn more ad.png

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. Lots of people are familiar with the Amazon Prime logo, but not in neon lights in a window display. It made me do a double-take while scrolling through Facebook.
  • It’s relevant. As we’ve already learned from earlier examples, I like shopping on Amazon and also read Bustle, so this article is a combination of those two behaviors.
  • It’s valuable. “Brilliant” is a strong adjective to describe products, which makes me curious to learn more about purchasing them.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The ad entices me with information about useful and “brilliant” gadgets I can get delivered to my door within two days, which I’m happy to click to learn more about.

Getting Started

There you have it: A list of all the different types of Facebook posts and a few examples of awesome ones from all different brands. The Facebook Ads Manager platform will walk you through how to set these up with simple, step-by-step instructions — so don’t feel overwhelmed.

Note for HubSpot customers: You can now integrate Facebook Ads reporting into the HubSpot Ads App to make reporting and analyzing your advertising ROI easier. You’ll be able to easily see which Facebook Ads generate leads and increase your ROI without having to analyze the data yourself. You can also use this integration to edit Facebook Ads from directly within your HubSpot portal. Customers can sign up to test this integration here.

Now, stop reading and start creating.

Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

free guide to facebook advertising

 
learn the science of successful facebook ads

Nov

30

2016

11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why)

facebook-ads-that-work.jpg

One average, Facebook is home to 1.18 billion daily active users — from CEOs, to students, to companies. And while the community is clearly there, connecting with them from a marketing standpoint isn’t always easy. 

For brands, posting on Facebook alone isn’t enough anymore — especially for ones just starting out. Sure, you can throw money at your efforts to drive people to your Facebook Page and send them to your website, but that only works if you’re smart about it.

One way to do just that is to create optimized Facebook Ads targeted at the right audience. Optimized ads can help you spend your PPC budget wisely and see a positive return on your investment. Download this free guide for data-backed tips on creating the optimal Facebook  Ad.

So, what does optimized Facebook advertising actually look like? If you’re looking for some great examples, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll quickly go over the three overarching formats for Facebook Ads: right column, desktop News Feed, and mobile News Feed. Then, we’ll show you eight different types of Facebook Ads, each with real-life examples — along with some insights into why that ad is so successful.

But before we get to these examples, let’s discuss the four components of a good Facebook Ad (or any ad, really) regardless of its type …

4 Components of Successful Facebook Ads

1) It’s visual.

Visual content is not only treated more favorably in the Facebook algorithm, but it’s also more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. The lesson for Facebook marketers? No matter what type of ad you create, your image needs to be visually appealing.

Check out this blog post for a detailed guide to image sizes for various ad units on Facebook along with some tips on posting visual content.

2) It’s relevant.

Relevance is critical for success when using Facebook advertising. Remember, you are spending money when someone views or clicks on your ad (depending on the settings you use). If you’re showing ads that aren’t relevant to your target audience, you’re wasting your time and money and will likely not see success with any kind of advertising.

Back in February 2015, Facebook launched a feature in the Facebook advertising platform that rates your ads and gives you a relevance score, similar to Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your ad image, ad copy, and destination page is to your audience, the higher your score is — and the more favorably Facebook will treat your ads.

3) It includes an enticing value proposition.

A value proposition tells the reader why they should click on your ad to learn more about your product. How is your product or service different from any other? Why should the viewer click on your ad to see your website?

Your value proposition should be believable. For example, saying you have the greatest sandwiches in the world will not make people come to your business’s Page, but maybe offering 20% off will. Or, perhaps adding social proof will help — something like, “Sandwiches loved by over one million people every year! Come try yours today and get 20% off your order with this coupon.”

4) It has a clear call-to-action.

A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your viewer might not know what to do next. Add a CTA like “Buy now and save X%,” or “Offer ends soon” and add a sense of urgency to your viewer. Your CTA should encourage people to click on your ad now.

The 3 Primary Formats for Facebook Ads (With Examples)

Format 1: The Right Column Ad

Right Column Facebook Placement.png

Source: Facebook

This type of ad is the most traditional on Facebook, it appears on the right side of a user’s Facebook News Feed. This is the first type of advertising Facebook had, and it still exists today.

Although ads in the News Feed are likely to get higher engagement metrics due to its native advertising features, right column ads shouldn’t be forgotten. We often see less expensive clicks and conversions when using these ads. In order for a right column ad to be successful, it needs to be relevant, have a value proposition, a good visual, and have a call-to-action. Let’s look at an example below from Winc (formermly known as Club W): 


Club W FB Ad.png

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • It’s visual. The visual is clear, simple, and appealing to all types of wine-lovers.
  • It’s relevant. This came up in my wine-obssesed colleague’s News Feed. Need I say more? Two thumbs up on relevance.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. Three bottles for $19? What a steal. They also pull the viewer in with an additional value: a discount on their first order of wine.
  • It has a strong call-to-action. The word “get” is strong call-to-action language, and it’s used twice here. A time limit on this offer would have made it even stronger.

Format 2: The Desktop News Feed Ad

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 1.16.38 PM.png

Source: Facebook

This type of ad appears directly in a user’s News Feed when they access Facebook on a desktop computer, and it looks more like native advertising. In our experience, these ads have a higher engagement rate than right column ads, but they can also be more expensive. These ads must follow organic Facebook posts best practices and be both engaging and visual.

This is how an ad from Amazon looks in the News Feed on a desktop:

amazon newsfeed litter box.png

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • It’s visual. Not only is this image larger than the right column ad display, but it also uses warm colors, white space, and directional lines which drew my eye towards the featured product.
  • It’s relevant. As a cat mom, this offer is clearly tailored to my consumer needs. 
  • It includes an enticing value prop. Amazon has advertised a self-cleaning litter box here, which is of tremendous value for any cat owner. Additionally, it shared the strong customer ratings below an image of the product. (Social proof, anyone?)
  • It has a clear call-to-action. Amazon instructs me to click on its ad today, after which point the deal for the litter box will presumably disappear. “Now” is strong CTA language that compels clicks.

Format 3: The Mobile News Feed Ad

Mobile Facebook Ad Placement.png

Source: Facebook

Like the desktop News Feed ad, this type of ad appears in the user’s mobile News Feed and displays like an organic posts from people and Pages that they follow. 

This is what a mobile News Feed ad for The New York Times looks like:

NYT mobile ad.jpg

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • It’s visual. The quirky cartoon drew my eye as I scrolled on my mobile News Feed through lots of text and photography. The nontraditional illustration pulled me in for a closer look at the content.
  • It’s relevant. I’m a person in my 20s, and I used to write about health care. This is an article I would definitely be interested in reading, and it helps that the ad appears like a native post promoting an article in my New Feed.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. The ad shows me which of my Facebook friends also like, and presumably read, The New York Times. This social proof makes me more likely to click and read the article.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. This ad is dedicated to increasing the page’s Likes, and by asking a question in the ad, the call-to-action makes me want to click the article to learn more.

Now that we’ve covered the three main ad formats, let’s dig into a sampling of the wide variety of post types you can use.

8 Types of Facebook Advertising & Some of the Best Facebook Ad Examples

1) The Facebook Video Ad

Video ads appear fairly large in the user’s New Feed and offer more engaging content than static posts. And with 8 billion videos being watched on Facebook every day, it serves as an interesting — and potentially profitable — ad type for marketers to try out. 

Need some inspiration? Check out this example from Key Jewlers below:

kayjewelersfinalgif.gif

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. Even though this is a video, I have a general idea of what I will be watching, thanks to the screen capture it started with. Additionally, I can understand the gist of this ad without playing with the sound on, which is important given that 85% of videos on Facebook are now viewed without sound.
  • It’s relevant. It’s relevant to me because I was recently scouring jewelry websites, specifically for necklaces like the one in the ad.
  • It’s valuable. Kay shows potential customers the value of purchasing with the help of the happy reaction from the woman receiving the gift in the ad. Plus, who doesn’t love dogs?
  • It has a solid call-to-action. This ad is set up to drive Page Likes, which is an easy, one-click way for me to get more relevant content served up to me.

How can you create your own video ad? First, understand Facebook video ad requirements including length and video size. We suggest keeping your video as short as possible, even though Facebook allows you to upload a much larger video. Create a video that displays your product or service, and upload directly to the Facebook ads manager by following these instructions

2) The Photo Ad

Another type of rich media advertising on Facebook is a post of an image. This is one of the most popular types of ads ever since Facebook began favoring visual content. The optimal size for News Feed photo ads is 1200×628 pixels, otherwise your image will get cropped. Adjust your image based on the target audience’s needs and by what will appeal to them the most.

Here’s an example of a photo ad from NatureBox:

naturebox-1

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The image shows you exactly what you’re getting, and it calls out the “free sample” CTA well.
  • It’s relevant. Everyone likes to snack. In all seriousness, the person who saw this is a fan of several lifestyle subscription companies, which is what NatureBox is. 
  • It’s valuable. This ad is full of value. First, the “free trial” callout is the first thing your eyes go to when looking at the image. Second, it clearly mentions the healthy aspects of the goodies in its product.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. Nature Box is asking you to try its free sample. It couldn’t be easier to know your next step.

3) The Multi-Product Ad

Multi-product ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple products within one ad. Viewers can scroll through the images and click on individual links to each product. You can promote multiple of anything, not just products — like different blog posts, ebooks, or webinars. These ads can be created in the Facebook Power Editor.

Here’s an example of a multi-product ad from Shutterfly, along with the additional images that are used in the ad. Each image has a different offer, to appeal to many different demographics in one ad.

shutterfly

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. This series of images leands on a consistent color pallette, making it feel both cohesive and on brand. (Having a cute cat doesn’t hurt either.)
  • It’s relevant. The person who saw this loves taking photos and creating sentimental gifts. Spot on, right?
  • It’s valuable. There is a very clear value for the user, 40% off each of the products being advertised. The code and sale end date are also clear in the ad description. This ad also has an added level of value, it is showing the many different ways people can use Shutterfly, in ways many may not be aware of.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. I know I need to use this before February 17th when this deal expires, so I would be encouraged to take action right away.  

4) The Local Ad

Local ads on Facebook only work if your business has a physical location that you are trying to drive real foot traffic to. If you fall into this category, then locally targeted Facebook ads may be a great fit for you, as you can hyper-target on Facebook down to the mile.

If your business has an offer or event going on at your store, set up a few Facebook ads that appear only to people within a short distance of your store. Have these ads appear a few days prior to the event and on mobile devices while the event is happening. You may want to reach some people the day of the event who happen to be in the area and checking their Facebook account on their smartphones.

Take this ad for example from Mizzou Campus Dining:

ScreenShot2015-03-29at2.12.59PM

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. This image has college pride, a variety of salty and sweet treats, and a well-known logo to attract hungry college students. 
  • It’s relevant. This ad is likely only being shown to students on campus who are in its target audience. It also mentions the sports game that was going on at the time, and plays to the student’s current needs: snacks and Subway sandwiches.
  • It’s valuable. Mizzou Market is telling hungry college students that it has everything students need for the big game. 
  • It has a clear call-to-action. This ad has the option to show directions, making it extremely easy for a college student on the go to follow the walking directions to this market.

5) The Offer Ad

An offer ad is a newer form of Facebook advertising where a business can promote a discount on a product or service that can be redeemed on Facebook. The benefit of this? It eliminates one step in the buyer’s journey, which ultimately increases sales.

The offer ad has many benefits. First, it drives the user directly to the offer. The user claims it directly on Facebook, removing any added friction of needing to to go to your website for the offer. You also can reach any type of audience that you want, as all the Facebook targeting options are possible.

Finally, you can include all the information needed for the user to decide if they want it or not, including the time period it is usable, the number of people who has already claimed it, and the exact amount the offer is. This will eliminate any unqualified clicks, which cost you money.

Here’s an example of an offer ad Boston Sports Club:

BSCad.jpg

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The featured photo uses bold colors and clear typography to draw my attention to the details of the offer, and the woman exercising gives me an idea of what I could gain from purchasing the offer.
  • It’s relevant. I recently moved to Boston and have been searching for gyms in my area online, so this ad is highly relevant to my recent Facebook and search activity.
  • It’s valuable. Paying $5 for a monthly gym membership is a great deal. Even though the price may increase in the future, the low price definitely makes me want to click.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA emphasizes that the discount offer is limited and should be claimed quickly using the word “hurry” and telling me when the offer expires.

6) The Event Ad

Event ads promote a specific event. The CTA on these ads usually send users directly to the ticket purchase page, wherever that happens to be hosted.

Using this type of ad will help drive a targeted group of people to attend your event. These will show up in the News Feed of the specific audience you’ve chosen. Events are a big part of most businesses, but getting people to attend even a small event, can be tricky. Promoting your event to a targeted specific audience on Facebook can help drive the right kind of attendees.

A good ad in this format will clearly show the benefit of attending the event: The price, dates, and a clear CTA to purchase a ticket. The events ad below for the Tortuga Music Festival displays the date and time and the bands playing:

event facebook ad

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The picture alone is worth a thousand words about how much fun this concert would be. Not only is it on the beach, it was also taken on a gorgeous day and the stage looks amazing. Also, it clearly represents what to expect during the event, and it catches the eye as someone scrolls through their News Feed. (The beautiful ocean water definitely helps.)
  • It’s relevant. The person who saw this ad is a fan of Kenny Chesney and has been to his concerts before. They’re also originally from Florida, which is where this event takes place. 
  • It’s valuable. Since the image was taken on a beautiful day, it looks like an ideal place to be — especially to those of us viewing it from our office desks. It also clearly tells you the cost of the ticket so you know before you click. (This is also good for the advertiser: By including the price, the ad allows users to self-select based on whether they can afford the ticket. If they can’t afford it, they won’t click through, thus saving the advertiser money on unqualified clicks.)
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA is clear: “Buy.” The advertisers also add urgent wording with the title “Time is running out!”, encouraging you to purchase your ticket now before it’s too late.

7) The Retargeting Ad

A retargeting ad promotes an ad to a specific list of previously identified people. Have you ever seen ads follow you across the internet after visiting a certain website? Then you’ve seen a retargeting ad. 

Facebook has the same capability. An advertiser can advertise to a list of leads or customers by uploading a list of email addresses it already has into the Power Editor to make a custom audience. A good retargeting ad acknowledges that the brand knows you’re already interested in its product. (Because, let’s face it … retargeting can be a little creepy.)

Last week, I started shopping around for a bridesmaid dress for an upcoming wedding. Today, this ad appeared in my News Feed:

Adrianna Papell wedding dress ad.png

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. The image gives me a good idea of what to expect from the designer’s website, and it definitely helps that the gowns are both unique and stunning. Talk about a showstopper. 
  • It’s relevant. The ad called out that I was already shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and what’s more, I had previously looked at dresses on this exact website, so this ad is highly relevant to my search.
  • It’s valuable. The variety of dresses in the ad’s image and in the description make this website worth a visit for someone trying to find the perfect gown out of thousands of options.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA is “Shop Now,” which encourages me to click to purchase the beautiful dresses in the ad’s image.

8) The Boosted Post

A boosted post is an organic Facebook post that was originally on the homepage of a company’s Facebook, and that later was boosted with advertising money.

This is different from the above ads because it’s not created in the Facebook Ads Manager. You can include more in the description, as there is no limit to word count on boosted posts like there is in ads. You can also have a link in the copy.

The cons? Boosted posts leave you fewer options for bidding, targeting, and pricing. You also cannot run any types of A/B tests because you’re promoting a post that’s already been creating, not creating one from scratch.

Here’s an example of a boosted post from Bustle, who promoted one of its articles on Facebook:

bustle learn more ad.png

Why this works:

  • It’s visual. Lots of people are familiar with the Amazon Prime logo, but not in neon lights in a window display. It made me do a double-take while scrolling through Facebook.
  • It’s relevant. As we’ve already learned from earlier examples, I like shopping on Amazon and also read Bustle, so this article is a combination of those two behaviors.
  • It’s valuable. “Brilliant” is a strong adjective to describe products, which makes me curious to learn more about purchasing them.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The ad entices me with information about useful and “brilliant” gadgets I can get delivered to my door within two days, which I’m happy to click to learn more about.

Getting Started

There you have it: A list of all the different types of Facebook posts and a few examples of awesome ones from all different brands. The Facebook Ads Manager platform will walk you through how to set these up with simple, step-by-step instructions — so don’t feel overwhelmed.

Note for HubSpot customers: You can now integrate Facebook Ads reporting into the HubSpot Ads App to make reporting and analyzing your advertising ROI easier. You’ll be able to easily see which Facebook Ads generate leads and increase your ROI without having to analyze the data yourself. You can also use this integration to edit Facebook Ads from directly within your HubSpot portal. Customers can sign up to test this integration here.

Now, stop reading and start creating.

Want to see how HubSpot uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

free guide to facebook advertising

 
learn the science of successful facebook ads

Oct

16

2016

Jogjatweet Corp

Social Media Merketing

Oct

16

2016

A Team Traffic

A Team Traffic

Oct

16

2016

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natural soap

Sep

22

2016

How to Engage Your Audience Using Digital Advertising

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Digital advertising doesn’t have the best reputation amongst consumers. In fact, earlier in 2016, HubSpot Research dug into how people interact with digital advertising, and it confirmed what many marketers have known for a long time: Consumers are actively avoiding our ads.

Over half of the respondents said they used ad blockers or were planning to install one in the next six months — certainly not something most brands want to hear, but what’s the solution?

For many businesses, the solution is simple: inbound marketing.

But inbound marketing is a long-term play, and building a loyal audience and a constant flow of organic traffic isn’t an easy task. Is it so wrong to supplement your inbound strategy with digital advertising? Can digital advertising ever complement your inbound marketing and provide a positive, valuable experience for your prospective customers?

Absolutely, but it’s all in the execution. First, we need to understand why people are so turned-off by conventional online ads to ensure we can create better ones.

Why Do People Hate Digital Advertising?

The report from HubSpot Research on consumers’ relationship with advertising uncovered some truths behind why people are avoiding online advertising:

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Here are the top three reasons …

1) It’s annoying and intrusive.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest reason people are turned-off by digital advertising is because they find ads to be annoying and intrusive.

We’ve all experienced those terrible mobile pop-up ads that cover the main content the second you get there and require multiple attempts to dismiss them. In fact, Google recently announce that it’s making a conscious effort to crack down on websites that employ those types of ads (read more on that here).

2) It disrupts browsing experience.

The second biggest reason is that digital ads are downright disruptive to a user’s browsing experience. Auto-playing videos and flashing banners exist to distract people from the content they’re actively trying to consume. Whilst auto-playing videos might succeed in doing that, it’s for all the wrong reasons. In other words, people are usually only paying attention to these ads because they’re scrambling to turn them off.

As for banner ads, it’s no secret that ‘banner blindness’ is real. We’ve become desensitized to this kind of advertisement because we’ve learned where it appears, and know when to tune it out. These ads are often poorly targeted and badly designed, meaning we’ve developed both a conscious and subconscious ability to simply ignore their existence so we can focus on the content we actually want to consume.

3) It creates security concerns.

The third biggest reason for people disliking digital advertising is the security concerns it brings.

Lots of websites host third party advertisements distributed by ad publishers. In this case, it’s difficult for websites to control the quality of the ads they display or ensure their security. The disconnect in quality and security between the website host and the advertising publisher has caused a lot of tech savvy browsers to use ad blockers.

How to Engage Your Audience Using Digital Advertising

There’s an obvious misalignment between brands utilizing these kind of advertisements and the consumers they’re trying to pull in.

For anybody who’s familiar with inbound marketing, you’ll know that what we’ve discussed so far doesn’t align with the fundamentals of inbound: to market your products and services to people in a more human, more helpful way.

But that doesn’t mean digital advertising can’t be considered inbound-y. We just have to adjust the way we’re thinking about advertising to create a more positive experience for the people on the receiving end. Here’s how marketers can start doing that.

1) Focus on native (or social) advertising.

In the same HubSpot Research report we mentioned above, we learned that in the eyes of consumers, not all ads are created equal.

Whilst no ads generated an entirely positive experience for respondents, some did receive a more neutral reaction:

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In the above chart, there’s a commonality between the types of digital ads that received the highest score. They’re the types of digital advertisements that fall into one of two categories:

  1. They’re something users have chosen to receive.
  2. They’re non-disruptive within their platform.

Email newsletters are an opt-in form of communication, in which people can choose to unsubscribe whenever they want to. They tend to be less pushy in nature, and focus more on sharing great content or offers, so it’s no surprise to see that people don’t react negatively to them.

Sponsored Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts, however, do feel more like traditional online advertising in the sense that users don’t opt-in to see them. Yet there are a few things that set them apart from the likes of auto-playing videos and pop-ups, which received a very negative reaction.

  • They’re not disruptive: They match the look and feel of the platform they’re on.
  • They usually provide useful content: They’re not simply asking you to buy something.
  • They can be highly targeted: You tend to see content that’s relevant to you.

For that reason, native advertising on social media platforms can be a much smarter use of your digital advertising spend. It’s not as likely to be subconsciously blocked out by your audience, and it allows you to add value by offering something that’s relevant to them.

Google AdWords is a common advertising channel that can also be considered ‘native’ as it’s non-disruptive in nature and can be highly targeted based on what a user is searching for.

Because of the amount of data these platforms have collected about their users, you can segment your advertising on a really granular level, allowing you to serve up the most relevant content, to the right people, at the right time.

2) Add value with your ads.

Your digital advertising is still a form of content, so why aren’t you using it as an opportunity to add value to your audience, rather than push them into a purchase?

Nobody loves being advertised to, but not all ads have to feel sales-focused or pushy. Use paid channels to promote your content with the goal of turning the traffic generated by your ads into leads, and you’ll be adding far more value to your audience and positioning your brand in a more positive light.

But what does that look like in practice on native advertising platforms? Let’s take a look at how digital advertising can be made more inbound-y using Google AdWords.

When I search for interior designers using Google, I’m served four ads from companies trying to promote their services. But if I’ve never heard of these companies, how do I know which interior design company is right for me?

That’s where content-based pay-per-click (PPC) ads come into the picture. If you’re advertising an ebook titled “How to Find the Best Interior Design Company for Your Project”, it’s likely to stand out against the other ads and search results because it directly helps solve a problem. This means your ad is more likely to get the click and the conversion.

Here’s an example of a content-led ad for the keyword ‘blogging’.

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3) Improve your targeting.

One of the biggest advantages of using digital advertising as opposed to offline advertising is the targeting options available to you. Here are some examples of brands using targeting to ensure they’re adding value to their prospective customers with their ads.

On Facebook

This ad from Contently was targeted towards Facebook users that are interested in content marketing according to the data the platform has collected about those users.

Rather than bombarding everyone on Facebook (including those who Contently’s post might be irrelevant to), this ad only appeared to the segment of Facebook users who are most likely to find it useful.

This example of digital advertising fits into the realms of inbound marketing as it’s adding value by offering useful content, driving relevant traffic, and turning those visitors into high quality leads.

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On Twitter

Similarly to Facebook, Twitter can also be used as a paid channel to promote useful content to a segment of your audience. Twitter offers four main targeting options with its ads.

  1. Followers: Target your ads based on people who follow certain users.
  2. Keywords: Target people who are tweeting about certain topics.
  3. Tailored audiences: Upload your email database and target people who are at certain lifecycle stages (your blog subscribers who aren’t yet leads, for example).
  4. Remarketing: Set up conversion tracking and target users who have previously been active on your website.

After I visited this page which showcases Twitter’s various advertising targeting options, Twitter used their own platform’s advertising capabilities to remarket to me using useful content (see below image).

They knew I’d visited that page and must be interested in Twitter ads, but they didn’t serve me a message pushing me to advertise with them. Instead, they targeted me with some useful content to help me learn more about using video on Twitter to increase engagement, gently moving me through my buyer’s journey by adding value.

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Via LinkedIn

When a user saw this advertisement in their LinkedIn feed, it was as a result of visiting Bupa’s website and entering their details to receive a quote for health insurance. Whilst this ad isn’t overly intrusive as it’s ‘native’ to the platform, it’s certainly doesn’t feel as inbound-y as the other examples. However, this is likely because of the intent this user has already shown by requesting a quote.

LinkedIn-advertisement

Whilst inbound digital advertising is generally content-centric, it’s smart to use the targeting capabilities of social media platforms to tailor your ads depending on where someone is in their buyer’s journey.

For example, in the example above, it wouldn’t make sense to target that user with a piece of content about different types of health cover. They already know they need the overseas visitor cover and have requested a quote, meaning they’re probably ready to buy. In this case, it makes much more sense to target them with product-specific messaging that demonstrates the value of Bupa’s overseas cover.

Inbound Marketing + Digital Advertising = More Loveable Ads

We’ve seen some example of how targeted digital advertising can add value to your audience, rather than putting them off your brand. The final example from Bupa however, demonstrates the importance of getting even more granular with your advertising to make sure you’re reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time with your ads.

It’s totally possible for your digital advertising to coexist with an inbound marketing strategy. In fact, the two can work alongside each other really effectively to ensure you’re providing the best possible experience for your audience, whilst improving your business’ bottom line.

Ready to get started creating more inbound-y digital advertising campaigns? Download The Essential Guide to Social Media Advertising for free and learn how to create ads people actually want to click on.

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Sep

20

2016

How to Create Banner Ads That Get Results: A 10-Step Guide [Free Ebook]

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Banner ads get a bad rap, and are often thought of as old-school due to their disruptive nature. But believe it or not, there’s way to make inbound-y banner ads that actually drive results.

However, even marketers that recognize the value of banner ads struggle to design ones that don’t seem spammy, let alone ones that get desired results.

You have to learn how to present the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, which is why HubSpot and Bannersnack teamed up to bring you How to Make Banner Ads That Don’t Suck.

In this guide you’ll find 10 steps for creating high-quality banner ads that generate the results you want and help you reach your goals.

More specifically, you’ll receive:

  • The basics of banner ads: sizes, files, and formats.
  • Design tips and best practices on choosing color and imagery.
  • How to write the best copy for your banner ads.
  • Tons of good examples from real brands.
  • Much more on creating inbound-y ads to actually drive results.

Download your copy of How to Make Banner Ads That Don’t Suck here.

free ebook: how to make banner ads that don't suck

Aug

23

2016

11 of the Best Olympic Marketing Campaigns, Ads, Commercials & Promotions This Year

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The 2016 Summer Olympics are officially over. But for two weeks, billions of eyes from around the world watched athletes attempt to break records and bring home the gold. What a perfect opportunity for marketers, no?

Many brands jumped on the Olympics bandwagon, leveraging its popularity for their own campaigns. Some of these brands created particularly inspiring campaigns, both to viewers and marketers alike — whether for the emotion they elicit, or for the reminder of exactly how to execute a remarkable ad or marketing campaign. Download even more examples of remarkable marketing and advertising campaigns  here. 

We rounded up the ones that tugged at our heartstrings as viewers, or inspired us to be better marketers. (Sometimes both.) Check out this list of 11 of the best campaigns from the 2016 Summer Games and what made them so great.

11 of the Best Olympic Marketing Campaigns, Ads, Commercials & Promotions This Year

1) Under Armour: Rule Yourself

The Under Armour brand doesn’t just value the success that comes from hard work; it values the hard work and 24/7 dedication that leads to that success. Their emphasis is on self-improvement and self-reliance — which is why they acquired the fitness tracking platform MapMyFitness back in 2014.

Under Armour’s ad campaign for the 2016 Summer Olympics perfectly embodies these deep-seeded values. It focuses on the side of athletic achievement that no one sees. For Michael Phelps, that’s the ice baths, cupping therapy, and 12,500 calories he has to eat every day. For an ordinary person, it might be taking the stairs, getting a full night’s sleep, or tracking your meals using their MyFitnessPal app. But the message is the same, and it’s a powerful one: “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.”

2) Proctor & Gamble: “Thank You Mom”

For the 2012 Summer Olympics, Proctor & Gamble created a campaign called “Thank You, Mom” that showed flashbacks of Olympic athletes from all over the world growing up and practicing their sport with support from their mothers. That same campaign is back again this year, featuring athletes and their mothers from this summer’s Games.

This year’s campaign shows athletes’ mothers helping them through times of stress, cheering them along, and supporting them. Notice the clickable link they added to the video that takes viewers to a web page where they can send a personalized thank-you note to their own moms. Take a look … and maybe grab a tissue.

3) Panasonic UK: #Superfans

Cheering on your country is a lot easier when you’re the one hosting the Olympics, as Great Britain did in London in Summer 2012. With the Games in Brazil this year, Panasonic, a long-time official partner to the British Olympic Association, wanted to help Great Britain keep up the fan-fueled momentum. So in April 2016, they announced a crowdsourced campaign called #Superfans, which invited fans of Team GB to post pictures on social media using the hashtag to encourage engagement.

“It is a great opportunity for us to share our passion for the Olympics as a company and to connect with consumers on an emotional level,” said Managing Director of Panasonic UK Andrew Denham. “This is why Panasonic’s heritage as a global Olympic partner is so important to me – it adds some real spark and colour to the brand.”

All the fan photos posted with the hashtag #Superfans was posted on a dedicated web page on Team GB’s official site, and Panasonic UK offered extra incentives like Twitter contests.

Here’s a sampling of the fan-sourced content on Twitter:

Even the U.K.’s premiere parachute display team got in on the action:

4) Apple: “The Human Family”

What makes the Olympic Games so special? The elite athletic competition, yes — but also the bringing together of people and cultures from all over the world. And it’s that second part that the folks at Apple chose to focus on in their Olympics commercial.

The ad showcases beautiful photos and videos of people all over the world taken using an iPhone, and it’s set to Maya Angelou reading excerpts from her poem, “Human Family.” What a beautiful message.

5) Coca-Cola: #ThatsGold

Not all of us can be Olympic athletes — but the folks at Coca-Cola make the case that even ordinary people like you and me can experience the feeling of winning gold. To do this, they launched the campaign #ThatsGold, which they first integrated into a TV ad (shown below) with the “Taste the Feeling” campaign they launched in January 2016.

The Olympics commercial tied to the campaign is all about drawing a parallel between the thrill and excitement of winning a gold medal at the Olympics and the thrill and excitement of having a good time with the people in your life. They did a great job of drawing those parallels with compelling quotes and visuals, and nailed the ending with the line, “Gold is a feeling anyone can taste.”

In addition to the commercial, they set up a fully operational “real-time marketing” global hub in Rio that monitored the #ThatsGold hashtag during the course of the Olympics and created content around key moments in real time on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.

6) Virgin Media: #BeTheFastest

Virgin Media is all about being fast, advertising their WiFi speed as “fast,” “superfast,” even “ultrafast.” So it comes to no surprise that they chose to pay tribute to Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, for their Olympics campaign this year.

Bolt set the World Record for the 100-meter sprint at 9.58 seconds at the 2009 Berlin World Championships in Athletics. To demonstrate what 9.58 seconds feels like, Virgin Media created an advertisement that strung together ten, 9.58-second vignettes that each cast light on a different part of Bolt’s life. The purpose? Both to celebrate Bolt’s spectacular accomplishment and to emphasize the importance of speed.

7) Airbnb: “Alternative Accommodations” Sponsorship

Back in March of this year, Airbnb became the first official “alternative accommodations” sponsor of the Olympics — the first time the Olympics has ever had an alternative accommodations sponsor, according to local Olympic officials. Why’d they do it? Mashable reports that when Rio won the Olympic bid in 2009, it had just half the 40,000 beds required for the games — so it was definitely a win for the city, the games, and Airbnb.

In exchange for an undisclosed amount to local Olympic organizers, Airbnb was included in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games’ ticketing platform by way of a specific landing page where customers were able to rent private homes and apartments in Rio. They also got a link to their site on the official Olympic website, along with calls-to-action encouraging people traveling to Rio for the Olympics to use the service for rentals.

Here they are in the first spot on the official Rio Olympics 2016 website’s homepage:

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To help promote homes and apartments for rent in Rio, they created Rio-specific videos and content for their larger #StayWithMe campaign, which invites Airbnb hosts to post photos or short videos on social media to showcase their countries. Here’s one Airbnb published right before the Olympics started, in June 2016:

8) Chobani: #NoBadStuff

Goodness is a choice you make, claims Chobani with their Olympic-inspired campaign #NoBadStuff. From a literal standpoint, their campaign is about the good, healthy ingredients in Chobani yogurt; metaphorically, it’s all about having a positive attitude, working hard, treating others well, and properly fueling your body.

Their campaign has a few moving parts, starting with a page on their website where you can meet the U.S. athletes they’ve partnered with who embody the positive, hardworking attitude that defines their campaign. Each athlete’s story includes an interview about their biggest challenges, how they stay positive, their favorite meal growing up, and so on — along with, of course, a giant picture of them enjoying Chobani yogurt

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Their campaign also includes a TV ad, content where U.S. athletes give advice on things like how to stay cool under stress, and — my personal favorite — a few limited-edition yogurt flavors inspired by Brazil.

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9) Folger’s: “Coach”

“Olympic glory doesn’t just belong to athletes, and it doesn’t just happen every four years. It happens one morning at a time, and one cup at a time.” That’s the message coffee company Folger leaves us with in their commercial, “Coach.”

Instead of focusing on the athletes, the folks at Folgers used their ad time to focus on the coaches that help those athletes get to where they are. Specifically, it follows the relationship between a boy and the coach that helped him through every win, every loss, every injury, and every moment of glory before he was eventually chosen to represent Team USA.

10) NBC & BuzzFeed’s Olympic Parternship

NBC is known for doing a thorough job covering the Olympics, from its online live streams to its TV interviews with medalists. But their roots are deep in old-school media like cable, which isn’t the most well-used and attractive medium for the younger generation. That’s exactly why the folks at NBC decided to partner with BuzzFeed for the Olympics this summer, where they produced special Olympic features and posted them to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

They sent “about a dozen” BuzzFeed staffers to Rio to create social media content, including a daily edition on Snapchat Discover, which is one reason this co-marketing partnership was a win-win for both brands. According to Steven Perlberg of Wall Street Journal, the President of NBC Olympics, Gary Zenkel, “wants to give BuzzFeed free rein to connect with Snapchat’s young audience.”

What kind of content did they produce? “The U.S. women’s gymnastics showed how friends have your back, like when they prevent you from texting your ex or have an extra hair tie,” wrote Perlberg. The women’s wrestling team destroyed watermelons. Swimmer Natalie Coughlin tested out waterproof makeup. The U.S. men’s gymnastics team took off their shirts, and readers were asked to guess the abs.”

Here’s a screenshot from a Snapchat Story featuring Olympic Swimmer Townley Haas, who showed off some tall people problems:

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Image Credit: BuzzFeed/NBCU

11) Budweiser: “America is in Your Hands”

Nothing says “America” like a can of Budweiser — and I mean that literally, thanks to their campaign leading up to both the 2016 Summer Olympics and November’s U.S. presidential election. In May, Anheuser-Busch announced it would be replacing the Budweiser logo with “America” on its 12-oz. cans and bottles this summer. The temporary re-packaging was accompanied by their summer campaign, “America is in Your Hands.”

The campaign itself has had mixed reviews, with complaints mostly surrounding the brand tapping into the polarized political climate. But the campaign did help increase Budweiser’s ad awareness and purchase consideration, at least initially. A week after the campaign began, the company reached its highest purchase consideration level of 2016 (i.e., the number of shoppers 21 and older who said they’d consider Budweiser the next time they bought beer), although that numbers have dropped back down since.

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Image Credit: STL Today

There you have it. We hope you found these examples inspiring. What other Olympics campaigns have inspired you, in 2016 or from previous Olympics? Share with us in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

download the best marketing and advertising campaigns


download the best marketing and advertising campaigns

Aug

22

2016

How to Revamp Your Advertising Strategy for Today’s Customers [Live Google Hangout]

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Since 2006, inbound marketing has been helping businesses create more meaningful online experiences. In short: The inbound methodology focuses on pulling people toward your company and product rather than expecting them to come to you.

And in today’s highly-digital and ad-blocked world, your advertising strategy should be no exception. Combining the inbound methodology with your advertising means inviting people to engage with your brand, rather than interrupting their daily lives with your ads.

While using this strategy may sound like a no-brainer, it takes a lot of thought. You need to know your audience to be able to really connect with them. This is why HubSpot and Kissmetrics are joining forces to teach you How to Advertise Effectively in Today’s Digital World.

During this Google Hangout, you’ll learn:

  • How to advertise in a way that aligns with inbound marketing.
  • How to segment your audience and optimize your advertising strategy.
  • Examples of companies advertising successfully today.
  • Improving and measuring your advertising ROI.
  • Common mistakes people are still making with their advertising efforts.
  • Advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Much more about effectively advertising in today’s digital world.

Want to join us? Here are all the details:

  • When: Wednesday August 31 @ 2 p.m. ET // 11 a.m. PT
  • Where: Live Google Hangout
  • RSVP: Click Here

live Hangout: how to advertise effectively

Jul

29

2016

A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

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With 500 million active monthly users, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for marketers to reach their target audiences through ad campaigns.

The other perk of advertising on Instagram? The ads can look almost no different than regular posts, making them much less invasive than other ad types.

But setting up ads on any platform requires a lot of thought: What should your target audience look like? What should your copy say? What image should you use? Not to mention, the more technical aspects like what size your image needs to be or how long your ad should run for. Download our essential guide to Instagram advertising here.

To simplify the process, we’ve put together a checklist to help you set up a campaign, one step at a time.

How to Create Instagram Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

If you’ve ever set up a Facebook ad, you’re about 75% of the way there. After Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012, the platforms conveniently merged, making setting up Instagram and Facebook ads merely the difference of a couple clicks. So even though your intent is to run ads on Instagram, all of the ad setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation is done through Facebook’s platform.

To start, log in to your company’s Facebook portal and select the account you wish to use. (Note: To run ads on Instagram you’ll need to use a Facebook Page. Pages are specifically for businesses, brands, and organizations, while regular Facebook accounts are for personal use.)

1) Select an editor and create your campaign.

You can create Instagram ads using a few different tools:

When choosing which tool to use, you’ll want to consider both your company size and the number of ads you plan to run at once. If you’re managing a large number of campaigns, or you’re looking for really precise control over your campaigns, you might want to lean towards the Power Editor. However, the Ad Manager suits most marketers’ needs, so that’s what we’ll use for the sake of this article. (For more on the Facebook Ads API option, check out this page.)

Once you’ve selected an editor, you’ll see an option to either view all campaigns, or create a new one. To get started with an Instagram ad, you’ll want to create a new campaign.

2) Choose an objective.

You’ll notice that there are several different campaign objective options to choose from here. However, in order for your ad to be eligible to appear on Instagram, you’ll have to choose from a slightly shorter list:

  • Boost your posts
  • Send people to your website
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Get video views

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For this article, we’re going to select: “Send people to your website.”

When you select this option, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. This may seem like a simple task (and it is) but it’s a good idea to have some sort of naming convention or set process within your company. This will make it easier for you to keep campaigns straight as you continue to create them.

Here at HubSpot, we like to name them in this format:

Company Department | Content/Offer/Asset Being Advertised | Date | Name of Creator

3) Choose your audience.

If you’re just starting out with Instagram advertising, odds are you won’t know exactly which audience you want to go after. This will come with time, and you may just have to play around with it at first. (If you want tips to help you choose the right audience, check out this page.)

During this step, you’ll find that the platform’s built-in targeting can be as simple or as extensive as you need it to be, with options such as:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial Status
  • Home
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics (U.S. only)
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

You can create what’s called a custom audience to reach people who’ve already interacted with your business, or a lookalike audience to reach new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences.

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The ads platform also allows you to save the audience you create to be used again at a later time, which can be good if you’re experimenting and want to remember the exact audience you used for certain campaigns.

In terms of the objective we selected — “send people to your website” — we’ll want to target a more specific group of people: the type of people that are actually going to be interested in the content we present.

To do this, you’d jump down to the “Detailed Targeting” section, and search for different demographics, interests, or behaviors that apply to your target audience. Here’s an example of a (very small) audience, just to show you the different ways you can target certain people:

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To give you a sense of the audience you’ve chosen, Facebook provides an “audience definition gauge.” This gives you immediate feedback on how narrow or broad your audience is, as well as the estimated reach number of your ad. Since we didn’t add very much criteria to our targeting, you’ll notice that the audience appears “fairly broad.”

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4) Set your placement.

This step is the biggest differentiator between setting up Facebook ads vs. Instagram ads. To move forward with the Instagram ad, you’ll want to uncheck all the boxes except for “Instagram.”

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5) Set your budget and schedule.

You have the option to select either a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your campaign. The difference is this:

  • Daily budget sets your ad up to run continuously throughout the day, meaning that the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that there is a minimum daily budget depending on different factors in your campaign, usually around $1.00.
  • Lifetime budget sets your ad up to run for a specified length of time, meaning the ads algorithm paces your spending over that entire time period.

The other aspect to setting your budget is setting your schedule. You’ll need to choose exactly when you want your campaign to start and finish running, down to the minute. There are also options to set parameters so that your ad runs only during certain hours of the day or during specific days of the week. You can find these options in the “Ad Scheduling” section.

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Set your optimization for ad delivery.

Here you have three options that will influence who sees your ads:

  1. Link Clicks (which is what the platform recommends): Your ads will be delivered accordingly to get the most clicks to your website at the lowest cost. This is all based on the platform’s algorithm.
  2. Impressions: Your ads will be delivered to people as many times as possible. Ever see the same ad on your newsfeed all day long? That company is most likely using this option.
  3. Daily Unique Reach: Your ad will be delivered to people up to once a day. People may see your ad multiple times, but at least not multiple times a day.

Set your bid amount.

This determines how effectively your ad is delivered. When you look “behind the scenes,” you’re competing with other advertisers trying to reach a similar audience in a constant auction.

You can choose either Manual or Automatic. Automatic leaves it up to Facebook’s algorithm to deliver your ad — ideally getting you the most clicks for the lowest cost. Manual allows you to set a price for link clicks. If a link click is worth a lot to you, try setting a higher than suggested bid, and your ad will be displayed over a competitor with a lower bid.

You can choose to pay based on impressions or link clicks. This is up to you.

Set your delivery schedule.

You have two options for the delivery of your ads:

  1. Standard: shows your ads throughout the day.
  2. Accelerated: helps you reach an audience quickly for time-sensitive ads.

(Note: the accelerated delivery option requires manual bid pricing.)

Name your ad set.

This step is for internal purposes. Simply give your ad set a name so that you can identify it later.

6) Set your ad creative.

Choose your format.

This is where your creativity comes in. Here you’ll decide what you want your ad to look like, which will depend on your original objective, of course.

On Instagram, you have a couple different options for your ad:

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Single image, video, or slideshow.

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Image Credit: Marketing Land

 

Yes, they’re warm. Yes, they’re gooey. Yes, they’re delicious. Our new chocolate chip cookie is here! ??

A video posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on May 18, 2016 at 7:25am PDT

Multiple Images (also called “Carousel”).

Up to 5 images or videos for the viewer to scroll through, at no extra cost.

Instagram_Carousel.png

Image Credit: Instagram

We actually ran some tests to see which type of ad performed the best for different purposes. Check out the results in here.

Once you pick your ad type, click on it and you’ll be prompted to browse and upload your imagery, whether that be images or a video.

Upload your media.

For any ad type, the Facebook ads platform recommends you don’t include more than 20% of text. Previously, an ad with over 20% of text wouldn’t even be approved to run, but it has recently changed to more of a suggestion than anything. Learn more about the rules and guidelines here.

Some requirements for Instagram ad imagery:

File Type

  • .jpeg
  • .png

Text/Caption

  • Recommended: 125 characters
  • Maximum: 2,200 characters

For square of video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

For landscape image or video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

7) Set your page & links.

Connect your Facebook Page and Instagram account.

Select the Facebook Page of the account you want your ads to come from, even if you’re not planning on running them on Facebook. (If you’ve made it this far in the Ads Manager, you are already logged into a Facebook account.)

However, since our intent is to post ads on Instagram, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook ad account. To do so, click “Add Account” (you’ll need your Instagram username and password to do so).

If your business doesn’t have an Instagram account, you can still run ads on Instagram — they’ll just come from your business’ Facebook Page instead. In other words, your Facebook Page name and profile picture will be used to represent your business within your ad as it runs on Instagram.

Add the website URL.

Next is a very important step: putting in the website URL to which you’re trying to drive more traffic. If you’re using marketing automation software, be sure to create a unique tracking URL with UTM parameters for this to ensure that you’ll be able to keep track of traffic and conversions from this ad.

(HubSpot customers: Learn more about creating a tracking URL here.)

image_8-1.png

Add a headline.

This is not usually displayed to viewers of your ad on Instagram, but it’s always a good idea to complete it just in case. Enter a brief headline describing where people will visit.

Create a caption.

You have up to 2,200 characters — but don’t go crazy. Facebook recommends you keep your text under 125 characters, which is the amount that’s displayed without needing to click “more.” (Read this for tips on how to write good Instagram captions.)

Select a Call-to-Action.

There are several different options for your CTA button, depending on what the page you’re taking visitors to looks like. You can choose to have no button, or select any of the following:

  • Learn More
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
  • Hope Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

For our sake, we’ll stick with “Learn More,” as we’re just driving people to our website.

Once your image is uploaded and your text is set, check out the preview of your ad to make sure everything looks right.

At this point, you’ll have the option to edit the “Advanced Options,” but only if you wish to. Advanced Options include adding tags, changing your display link, entering URL parameters, setting up sponsors, and opting in or out of pixel tracking.

8) Place the order.

Once everything is all set, you’re ready to place your order. Doing so is pretty easy: Just click the big green button in the bottom left corner.

place-order-final-image.png

As always, be sure to check over everything — especially since your ads have the potential to be seen by a large audience. If you want someone else on your team to take a look at them before they go live, set your schedule to include a delay, but still place your order.

You run the risk of losing all the work you’ve done if you don’t place the order right away so we’d encourage you to place it first, and then go back and adjust the timing if need be.

9) Report on the performance.

Once your ads are up and running on Instagram, it’s important to keep an eye on how they’re doing. You can go back in and tweak most aspects of the ad, so if you catch a mistake you made or your image isn’t doing as well as you’d like it to, you can go in and alter these things.

You can look at results of your ads in two places:

  1. The Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Your marketing software

In the Ads Manager:

There’s a sophisticated and extensive dashboard that provides users with an overview of all their campaigns. Without customizing any settings, you’ll find data on reach, cost per result, and amount spent.

In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see a button that says “Columns: Performance.” If you click the drop down menu, there’s an option to customize columns, which allows you to choose the specific data you want to see. There’s data ranging from CPC or CTR, to things much more specific like “Adds to Cart” for ecommerce stores.

Here are the categories that the available metrics fall into:

  • Performance (reach, results, frequency, etc.)
  • Engagement (post likes, post comments, post shares, etc.)
  • Videos (video views, average percent of video viewed, etc.)
  • Website (checkouts, payment details, adds to cart, etc.)
  • Apps (installs, engagement, cost per app engagement, etc.)
  • Events (event responses, cost per event response, etc.)
  • Clicks (unique clicks, social clicks, CTR, CPC)
  • Settings (start date, end date, ad set name, delivery, bit, ad ID, and objective)

image_9-1.png

With your marketing software:

With so many metrics to track, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. To truly track your success, take advantage of your marketing software and the UTM codes you used in your ads to measure your ads’ full-funnel effectiveness.

Looking at the specific tracking codes through your marketing software will help you keep track of how many leads (or better yet, customers) you actually generated through your Instagram advertising campaign. This ROI information can then be used to inform other campaigns down the line.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can create unique tracking codes for your Instagram campaign by following the instructions here. All you’ll need to do is plug in the URL, attach a campaign, and choose the source you want the URL to be attributed to in your Sources Report.

Once your ad launches and you start getting traffic and conversions to your website, you’ll be able to easily track how many visits, contacts, and customers you’re generating.

Have you seen success with Instagram ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

free guide to advertising on Instagram

Jul

29

2016

A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

Instagram_Ad.jpg

With 500 million active monthly users, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for marketers to reach their target audiences through ad campaigns.

The other perk of advertising on Instagram? The ads can look almost no different than regular posts, making them much less invasive than other ad types.

But setting up ads on any platform requires a lot of thought: What should your target audience look like? What should your copy say? What image should you use? Not to mention, the more technical aspects like what size your image needs to be or how long your ad should run for. Download our essential guide to Instagram advertising here.

To simplify the process, we’ve put together a checklist to help you set up a campaign, one step at a time.

How to Create Instagram Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

If you’ve ever set up a Facebook ad, you’re about 75% of the way there. After Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012, the platforms conveniently merged, making setting up Instagram and Facebook ads merely the difference of a couple clicks. So even though your intent is to run ads on Instagram, all of the ad setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation is done through Facebook’s platform.

To start, log in to your company’s Facebook portal and select the account you wish to use. (Note: To run ads on Instagram you’ll need to use a Facebook Page. Pages are specifically for businesses, brands, and organizations, while regular Facebook accounts are for personal use.)

1) Select an editor and create your campaign.

You can create Instagram ads using a few different tools:

When choosing which tool to use, you’ll want to consider both your company size and the number of ads you plan to run at once. If you’re managing a large number of campaigns, or you’re looking for really precise control over your campaigns, you might want to lean towards the Power Editor. However, the Ad Manager suits most marketers’ needs, so that’s what we’ll use for the sake of this article. (For more on the Facebook Ads API option, check out this page.)

Once you’ve selected an editor, you’ll see an option to either view all campaigns, or create a new one. To get started with an Instagram ad, you’ll want to create a new campaign.

2) Choose an objective.

You’ll notice that there are several different campaign objective options to choose from here. However, in order for your ad to be eligible to appear on Instagram, you’ll have to choose from a slightly shorter list:

  • Boost your posts
  • Send people to your website
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Get video views

Instagram_Ads_Objective.png

For this article, we’re going to select: “Send people to your website.”

When you select this option, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. This may seem like a simple task (and it is) but it’s a good idea to have some sort of naming convention or set process within your company. This will make it easier for you to keep campaigns straight as you continue to create them.

Here at HubSpot, we like to name them in this format:

Company Department | Content/Offer/Asset Being Advertised | Date | Name of Creator

3) Choose your audience.

If you’re just starting out with Instagram advertising, odds are you won’t know exactly which audience you want to go after. This will come with time, and you may just have to play around with it at first. (If you want tips to help you choose the right audience, check out this page.)

During this step, you’ll find that the platform’s built-in targeting can be as simple or as extensive as you need it to be, with options such as:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial Status
  • Home
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics (U.S. only)
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

You can create what’s called a custom audience to reach people who’ve already interacted with your business, or a lookalike audience to reach new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences.

Image_2-3.png

The ads platform also allows you to save the audience you create to be used again at a later time, which can be good if you’re experimenting and want to remember the exact audience you used for certain campaigns.

In terms of the objective we selected — “send people to your website” — we’ll want to target a more specific group of people: the type of people that are actually going to be interested in the content we present.

To do this, you’d jump down to the “Detailed Targeting” section, and search for different demographics, interests, or behaviors that apply to your target audience. Here’s an example of a (very small) audience, just to show you the different ways you can target certain people:

image_3-2.png

To give you a sense of the audience you’ve chosen, Facebook provides an “audience definition gauge.” This gives you immediate feedback on how narrow or broad your audience is, as well as the estimated reach number of your ad. Since we didn’t add very much criteria to our targeting, you’ll notice that the audience appears “fairly broad.”

FB_Audience_Details.png

4) Set your placement.

This step is the biggest differentiator between setting up Facebook ads vs. Instagram ads. To move forward with the Instagram ad, you’ll want to uncheck all the boxes except for “Instagram.”

Ad_Placement_Instagram.png

5) Set your budget and schedule.

You have the option to select either a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your campaign. The difference is this:

  • Daily budget sets your ad up to run continuously throughout the day, meaning that the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that there is a minimum daily budget depending on different factors in your campaign, usually around $1.00.
  • Lifetime budget sets your ad up to run for a specified length of time, meaning the ads algorithm paces your spending over that entire time period.

The other aspect to setting your budget is setting your schedule. You’ll need to choose exactly when you want your campaign to start and finish running, down to the minute. There are also options to set parameters so that your ad runs only during certain hours of the day or during specific days of the week. You can find these options in the “Ad Scheduling” section.

image_6-3.png

Set your optimization for ad delivery.

Here you have three options that will influence who sees your ads:

  1. Link Clicks (which is what the platform recommends): Your ads will be delivered accordingly to get the most clicks to your website at the lowest cost. This is all based on the platform’s algorithm.
  2. Impressions: Your ads will be delivered to people as many times as possible. Ever see the same ad on your newsfeed all day long? That company is most likely using this option.
  3. Daily Unique Reach: Your ad will be delivered to people up to once a day. People may see your ad multiple times, but at least not multiple times a day.

Set your bid amount.

This determines how effectively your ad is delivered. When you look “behind the scenes,” you’re competing with other advertisers trying to reach a similar audience in a constant auction.

You can choose either Manual or Automatic. Automatic leaves it up to Facebook’s algorithm to deliver your ad — ideally getting you the most clicks for the lowest cost. Manual allows you to set a price for link clicks. If a link click is worth a lot to you, try setting a higher than suggested bid, and your ad will be displayed over a competitor with a lower bid.

You can choose to pay based on impressions or link clicks. This is up to you.

Set your delivery schedule.

You have two options for the delivery of your ads:

  1. Standard: shows your ads throughout the day.
  2. Accelerated: helps you reach an audience quickly for time-sensitive ads.

(Note: the accelerated delivery option requires manual bid pricing.)

Name your ad set.

This step is for internal purposes. Simply give your ad set a name so that you can identify it later.

6) Set your ad creative.

Choose your format.

This is where your creativity comes in. Here you’ll decide what you want your ad to look like, which will depend on your original objective, of course.

On Instagram, you have a couple different options for your ad:

image_7-1.png

Single image, video, or slideshow.

Instagram_Ads.png

Image Credit: Marketing Land

 

Yes, they’re warm. Yes, they’re gooey. Yes, they’re delicious. Our new chocolate chip cookie is here! ??

A video posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on May 18, 2016 at 7:25am PDT

Multiple Images (also called “Carousel”).

Up to 5 images or videos for the viewer to scroll through, at no extra cost.

Instagram_Carousel.png

Image Credit: Instagram

We actually ran some tests to see which type of ad performed the best for different purposes. Check out the results in here.

Once you pick your ad type, click on it and you’ll be prompted to browse and upload your imagery, whether that be images or a video.

Upload your media.

For any ad type, the Facebook ads platform recommends you don’t include more than 20% of text. Previously, an ad with over 20% of text wouldn’t even be approved to run, but it has recently changed to more of a suggestion than anything. Learn more about the rules and guidelines here.

Some requirements for Instagram ad imagery:

File Type

  • .jpeg
  • .png

Text/Caption

  • Recommended: 125 characters
  • Maximum: 2,200 characters

For square of video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

For landscape image or video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

7) Set your page & links.

Connect your Facebook Page and Instagram account.

Select the Facebook Page of the account you want your ads to come from, even if you’re not planning on running them on Facebook. (If you’ve made it this far in the Ads Manager, you are already logged into a Facebook account.)

However, since our intent is to post ads on Instagram, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook ad account. To do so, click “Add Account” (you’ll need your Instagram username and password to do so).

If your business doesn’t have an Instagram account, you can still run ads on Instagram — they’ll just come from your business’ Facebook Page instead. In other words, your Facebook Page name and profile picture will be used to represent your business within your ad as it runs on Instagram.

Add the website URL.

Next is a very important step: putting in the website URL to which you’re trying to drive more traffic. If you’re using marketing automation software, be sure to create a unique tracking URL with UTM parameters for this to ensure that you’ll be able to keep track of traffic and conversions from this ad.

(HubSpot customers: Learn more about creating a tracking URL here.)

image_8-1.png

Add a headline.

This is not usually displayed to viewers of your ad on Instagram, but it’s always a good idea to complete it just in case. Enter a brief headline describing where people will visit.

Create a caption.

You have up to 2,200 characters — but don’t go crazy. Facebook recommends you keep your text under 125 characters, which is the amount that’s displayed without needing to click “more.” (Read this for tips on how to write good Instagram captions.)

Select a Call-to-Action.

There are several different options for your CTA button, depending on what the page you’re taking visitors to looks like. You can choose to have no button, or select any of the following:

  • Learn More
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
  • Hope Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

For our sake, we’ll stick with “Learn More,” as we’re just driving people to our website.

Once your image is uploaded and your text is set, check out the preview of your ad to make sure everything looks right.

At this point, you’ll have the option to edit the “Advanced Options,” but only if you wish to. Advanced Options include adding tags, changing your display link, entering URL parameters, setting up sponsors, and opting in or out of pixel tracking.

8) Place the order.

Once everything is all set, you’re ready to place your order. Doing so is pretty easy: Just click the big green button in the bottom left corner.

place-order-final-image.png

As always, be sure to check over everything — especially since your ads have the potential to be seen by a large audience. If you want someone else on your team to take a look at them before they go live, set your schedule to include a delay, but still place your order.

You run the risk of losing all the work you’ve done if you don’t place the order right away so we’d encourage you to place it first, and then go back and adjust the timing if need be.

9) Report on the performance.

Once your ads are up and running on Instagram, it’s important to keep an eye on how they’re doing. You can go back in and tweak most aspects of the ad, so if you catch a mistake you made or your image isn’t doing as well as you’d like it to, you can go in and alter these things.

You can look at results of your ads in two places:

  1. The Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Your marketing software

In the Ads Manager:

There’s a sophisticated and extensive dashboard that provides users with an overview of all their campaigns. Without customizing any settings, you’ll find data on reach, cost per result, and amount spent.

In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see a button that says “Columns: Performance.” If you click the drop down menu, there’s an option to customize columns, which allows you to choose the specific data you want to see. There’s data ranging from CPC or CTR, to things much more specific like “Adds to Cart” for ecommerce stores.

Here are the categories that the available metrics fall into:

  • Performance (reach, results, frequency, etc.)
  • Engagement (post likes, post comments, post shares, etc.)
  • Videos (video views, average percent of video viewed, etc.)
  • Website (checkouts, payment details, adds to cart, etc.)
  • Apps (installs, engagement, cost per app engagement, etc.)
  • Events (event responses, cost per event response, etc.)
  • Clicks (unique clicks, social clicks, CTR, CPC)
  • Settings (start date, end date, ad set name, delivery, bit, ad ID, and objective)

image_9-1.png

With your marketing software:

With so many metrics to track, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. To truly track your success, take advantage of your marketing software and the UTM codes you used in your ads to measure your ads’ full-funnel effectiveness.

Looking at the specific tracking codes through your marketing software will help you keep track of how many leads (or better yet, customers) you actually generated through your Instagram advertising campaign. This ROI information can then be used to inform other campaigns down the line.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can create unique tracking codes for your Instagram campaign by following the instructions here. All you’ll need to do is plug in the URL, attach a campaign, and choose the source you want the URL to be attributed to in your Sources Report.

Once your ad launches and you start getting traffic and conversions to your website, you’ll be able to easily track how many visits, contacts, and customers you’re generating.

Have you seen success with Instagram ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

free guide to advertising on Instagram

Jul

28

2016

7 AdWords Features You Didn’t Know Existed

AdWords2.jpg

Over the years Google AdWords has evolved into a marketing tool that helps businesses drive leads and outrank their competitors. But what if I told you that the majority of business owners, marketers, and strategists weren’t taking full advantage of all AdWords has to offer? Queue the motivation for this article. Check out these 7n AdWords features you didn’t know existed to help elevate your campaigns to the next level.

1) Call-only campaigns

Google has cited that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. Because of this proven consumer behavior, in February 2015, Google AdWords introduced Call-Only Campaigns. These campaigns are for businesses who place more value on a phone call than a website visit conversion.

Call only campaigns are only for mobile devices and feature a large clickable number with a few short lines for text. In theory, every click you pay for is a phone call to your company. This type of conversion allows you to create a bidding strategy based on how much value your company places on a phone call.

Call_only_campaign.png

2) Ad Extensions

Have you ever noticed that some ads appear to be “bulkier” or have extra features than others? That’s because they are using ad extensions! These extensions allow you to get a higher click-through rate (CTR), increased visibility, and better user experience. To give you an idea of what each manual extension is used for, here is a brief synopsis:

  • Sitelink extensions – Allows you to add links from your website to help people find what they are searching for.
  • Call extensions – Allows searchers the ability to click a number to call your business.
  • Callout extensions – Allows you to add extra ad copy so you can tell searchers what sets you apart from the competition.
  • Location extensions – Allows searchers nearby to find your location or give you a call (map pin, navigation assistance, or call option).
  • Review extensions – Allows you to showcase reviews from reputable sources.
  • App extensions – Allows searchers to click a link that sends them to the app store to download your app.
  • Structured Snippets – Allows you to add descriptive text to learn more about a product/ service.

Below is an example of an ad with callout, sitelinks, & location extensions:

ad_extensions.png

*For a more in depth look at ad extensions, check out this blog “7 AdWords Extensions You Should Utilize to Improve PPC Conversion Rate”.

3) Customer Match

If you follow inbound marketing best practices then you probably have a few email lists built up from your efforts. Lucky for you, AdWords has a way of retargeting those users in their Google search engine with customer match!

You can now upload a list of email addresses to AdWords and show those prospects ads when they are signed into Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail. This will allow you to show them new products or promotions to re-engage them back into your sales funnel.

4) Ad Customizers

Ad customizers enable you to change the text in your ads based on what someone’s search query is. For example, if you have several products in the same category (like different HP printer ink cartridges) you can set your AdWords ad up so the displayed text will match the specific product a searcher is looking for: “HP printer ink 564” vs. “HP ink”.

Ad_Customizer_1_.png

Ad_Customizer_2.png

This is also especially helpful when you have an offer or sale that is only for a limited time. Before ad customizers, you had to change your ad text everyday to reflect the countdown, but now you can set a new dynamic ad parameter that automatically changes the ad text to a new number each day.

Countdown.png

5) Interest Targeting

Gone are the days where the only way to target searchers was through keywords alone. Nowadays, Google’s Display Network offers a few different ways you can target audiences by interest to increase the chances your ad will be shown to people who are most likely interested in your product/service.

In-market Audiences

To reach an audience who is actively searching and comparing your product or service, use in-market audiences. How does this work? Google looks at browser history (via cookie tracking) to find out what market segment a person is researching, and temporarily categorizes them in that market. Thus tailoring ads related to the theme that person is searching.

Affinity Audiences

Compared to in-market audiences, custom affinity audiences are analyzed based on overall interests and identity. Google will analyze online patterns in order to find possible matches to an interest category. This means that although they may not be actively searching within that category, they still have a connection that makes it likely they would be interested in a product/service.

6) Promote App Downloads Directly

For companies that have their own app, Google now has App Promotion Ads. Simply put, these ads have buttons that allow searchers to click and download the app straight from the app store on their mobile phones.

This helps eliminate any extra steps the user has to take in order to convert (like visit your website to download, only to be taken to the app store from there).

Promote_App_Download.png

7) AdWords Editor

To round out our list of features you didn’t know existed, this last feature will help you manage and stay on top of your campaigns. The AdWords Editor is a free desktop app where you can download and manage multiple accounts for offline editing. The benefits? This editor allows you to do more things in less time than using the web-based interface.

Features include the ability to:

  • View different parts of your account at the same time
  • Edit items side by side
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to jump around account
  • Easily undo/ redo changes
  • Bulk edit to make multiple changes

Next Steps

Are you taking advantage of all 7 of these AdWords features? If not, I would encourage you to explore all of the tools AdWords has to offer to assist in the success of your campaigns and alleviate some of the burden of maintaining your account. If you haven’t yet made the plunge into incorporating AdWords into your marketing strategy, be sure to download this free ebook “Why Google AdWords Should Be Part of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy”:

New Call-to-action

Jul

22

2016

What’s the Deal With Ad Blocking? 11 Stats You Need to Know

Ad_Blockers.jpg

It’s no secret that internet users are no strangers to seeking out the information they need online — in fact, Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second.

And as the volume of search queries continues to climb, advertisers are recognizing an opportunity to introduce a number of different types of ads. (Think: pop-up ads, autoplaying video ads, and the dreaded mobile ad that takes up the entire phone screen.)

As a reaction to some of these disruptive online ads, internet users have started installing ad blocking extensions by the millions. In case you’re wondering: Ad blockers scan websites for advertising code to prevent them from loading on a browser.

Here’s a visual look at how they work:

To help marketers get a handle on the state of ad blocking today, HubSpot Research dove deep into the issue to create this report. Below, we’ve outlined some of they most noteworthy statistics and takeaways from our research to get you up to speed quickly.

11 Ad Blocking Stats You Need to Know

1) Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular ad blocking extension, has been downloaded over 500 million times.

Many research and news sites have different numbers, but it’s hard to ignore the hockey stick growth in adoption here.

Image Credit: PageFair

2) Ad blocking is blamed for costing the advertising industry $22 Billion in 2015.

Why is ad blocking a big deal? When ads aren’t displayed, content sites that host ads and the advertiser lose out on potential revenue. And the losses have been enormous.

3) As for potential revenue losses in the future, Ovum predicts that $35 billion in ad revenue will lost by 2020 because of ad blocking.

4) 64% say ads today are annoying or intrusive.

5) Pop-up ads, autoplaying video ads, and online video ads are the most disliked online ad types.

6) 70% of respondents say they would have a lower opinion of a company that uses pop-up advertisement.


7) 34% of people say usually click online ads by accident.

8) Adoption of mobile ad blocking is growing even faster (90% YOY) than desktop-based ad blocking adoption. A study from Priori Data suggests 419 million people (a fifth of the world’s internet users) have some type of mobile ad blocker installed.

9) 83% of online browsers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France say they’d like to block mobile ads.

10) 73% of people stated that ads that cover the entire screen on a phone are the most annoying, followed by ads that track browsing (65%).

11) When asked about the best way to support websites (to cover costs), the majority (68%) of respondents say they don’t mind seeing ads — as long as their not annoying.

The lesson? Marketers need to use unobtrusive forms of advertising (native ads, social ads, etc.) that people tolerate more than interruptive ads like pop-ups. (Check out this post on native ad examples for inspiration.)

Want to learn more about ad blocking? Check out the full report here.

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