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How to Know if Your Facebook Ads Will Work

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Wondering how to run successful Facebook ad campaigns every time? Looking for a process that relies on data rather than a best guess? 

In this article, you’ll learn which metrics to consider to make smart decisions for Facebook ad campaigns that work.

The Business Case for Facebook Ads

For some marketers, Facebook ads have lost their shiny new appeal over the past few years. Facebook advertising costs have risen and businesses have had to compete harder for ad placements. 

But, that’s not the whole story.

Facebook is still the biggest social media platform out there, by miles. It claims almost 3 billion monthly active users. That’s more than Instagram and TikTok put together. It’s more than any other social network. 

Facebook also offers a specific demographic to marketers. While younger generations are focused on the new generation of video-first apps, Facebook’s audience skews a little older. That means that the people viewing your ads on Facebook have a lot more disposable income to spend. 

This isn’t to say that you should go all in on Facebook and ignore every other ad platform. Diversification is still a great strategy. If you want to get the most return for your money, you’ll spread your budget across other platforms such as Google Ads, YouTube, and TikTok. 

However, Facebook remains an essential part of that diversified strategy. If you skip over Facebook advertising, you’re leaving money on the table. 

In the next few sections, we’ll look at how to get the best results from your Facebook ad campaign, building a strong foundation for your broader ad strategy. 

#1: 4 Common Facebook Ads Budget Mistakes

As we’ve seen, Facebook Ads is an immensely powerful platform for social marketers. But some very common mistakes can prevent you from getting the results you want. 

Before we dive into planning and monitoring your budget, here are some errors to avoid.

You Don’t Test Facebook Ads Enough

To run successful ads, you need to know what works. To know what works, you have to test… and you have to test enough.

Lots of first-time marketers on Facebook make the mistake of not investing enough in testing. You don’t have to spend the entire budget on testing different audiences, placements, and creative but you do have to test enough to get meaningful results.

That also means being smart about how you spend your testing budget. For example, if you only have $100, don’t test 100 different ads. Test just four ads, and you’ll get statistically significant, useful results.

Once you have some solid data from that first testing round, you can start scaling up. Spend the majority of your budget on tactics you know are successful but always have some money set aside to keep testing. 

You Don’t Dig Into Facebook Ads Metrics

You need to get really comfortable with Facebook’s Insights and Analytics. At a high level, that data will tell you how your Facebook ads are performing compared to other platforms.

At a more zoomed-in level, tracking your Facebook metrics will help you keep your ads effective over time. Even if you test a strategy to perfection, the same formula for success may not work 6 months down the line. 

You Don’t Utilize Off-Facebook Tracking Mechanisms

Facebook’s own metrics are valuable but they’re not the whole picture. You’ll also need:

  • The Facebook pixel to track activity on your website and match it to your Facebook presence.
  • The Facebook Conversions API to track conversions on your website that get missed by the pixel.
  • UTMs so you can use Google Analytics to check and corroborate which links people click on from Facebook.
common-facebook-ads-budget-mistakes-you-dont-utilize-off-facebook-tracking-mechanisms-example-1

These analytics are all a bit more technically complicated than Facebook’s built-in metrics. But they are well worth the extra effort because they give you so much more data. 

For example, your metrics within Facebook might show that two ads are equally successful in terms of clicks and conversions. But when you dig into the Conversions API data, you might find that one ad actually leads to a much higher order value than the other. Conclusion: you only want to keep one of those ads running. 

You Don’t Use a Facebook Ads Budget

Finally, the biggest single mistake you can make with an ads budget is… Not having a budget!

Right from the start, you need to set boundaries for your spending. That might include setting some money aside for testing—but there should always be a limit. Otherwise, you risk spending money randomly without knowing how much you’ve spent or where it’s going. 

This brings us to the next point. How exactly do you calculate a budget for Facebook Ads?

#2: How to Calculate a Facebook Ads Budget

How much should you spend on Facebook Ads?

It depends on your business, your cash flow, your current return on ad spend, and how much you need to be profitable. 

We can do some basic calculations to get you started. You’ll need to know:

  • The cost of the product or service you’re advertising
  • The cost of each lead you get through Facebook Ads (If you don’t know this yet, get testing!)
  • The current conversion rate for those leads
  • How much you need to sell to be profitable

Let’s say that you’re selling a course that costs $1,000 and you want to make $20,000 profit. Your ads guide people to a free webinar and about 3% of the people in the webinar will go on to buy the course. That’s 30 people out of every 1,000. 

To make 30 sales, you need to get 1,000 leads at $10 each. That means you’ll be spending $10,000 on ads, to make $30,000 in sales, with a net result of $20,000. But if your cost per lead rises above $10, you’ll start falling below that $20,000 threshold for profitability.

If you have a lower-value product or service, then your cost per lead will have to be lower. For example, with a product that’s worth $100, the same conversion rate, and a lead cost of $10, you’d be losing money because your margins are much smaller. You’d be spending $10,000 to make just $3,000 in sales. 

The figures you’re working with will change over time and they’ll be different for every product, service, and ad campaign you run. So the easiest way to juggle these figures is with a spreadsheet. Use it to track your product costs, lead cost, conversion rate, and targets for leads and sales.

Here’s another example: let’s say you create a spreadsheet for your latest product. You know that your current lead cost is around $5, and you want to get 1,000 leads with your first ad campaign. That means you’ll be spending $5,000.

You can use the spreadsheet to check how many of those thousand leads will convert to a sale, then multiply it by the value of your product to figure out whether you’ll make a profit over your ad spend. 

When the Numbers Don’t Add Up

If you’re struggling to make a profit on your Facebook ads, then your lead cost is probably too high compared to your conversion rate and product value. It’s time to get testing and find ways to bring that number down.

You could try…

  • Offering a different lead magnet that attracts more people
  • Showing your ads to a different audience (Maybe you haven’t found the right audience yet or your current audience is showing signs of ad fatigue.)
  • Tweaking your lead magnet so it converts a higher percentage of people
  • Upselling customers so the average order value is higher and you can absorb a higher lead cost
how-to-calculate-a-facebook-ads-budget-when-the-numbers-do-not-add-upp-choose-custom-audience-source-example-2

In the past, some people have argued that it’s harder to sell high-value products on Facebook. But that’s certainly not the case now. As ad costs and competition have risen, you really need the higher-value products to make your budget work.

It’s hard to make a profit on Facebook Ads with an average order value of less than $100. So your options are to sell high-value products or to get really good at upselling and cross-selling for lower-value products.

This is where metrics like the Facebook pixel and Conversions API become important, so you can track customer lifetime value, instead of just measuring your ads based on a single conversion. 

When the Numbers Look Good

If your Facebook ads are making a profit, keep them running!

But don’t keep running exactly the same ads forever. A good return on ad spend means more power to test. So when something works well, keep testing new variations on it. Try lookalike audiences, similar ad creative, or new lead magnets. 

Try to set aside about 10% of your ad budget for continuous testing so that you can keep scaling up when things go well. The more success you have, the more you’ll be able to test, creating a positive feedback loop.

#3: How to Monitor Your Facebook Ads Performance

When you’re just starting out with Facebook Ads, the amount of data can be overwhelming. With choices such as Facebook’s own metrics, additions like the pixel and the Conversions API, and external analytics such as UTMs, where should you start?

Well, here’s the good news: you don’t need to read every last data point. At least, not to begin with. Here are the key data sources and headline numbers you need to focus on for now.

Tracking at Different Levels

You can monitor your Facebook ads at different scales. It’s worth taking a second to look at these because each level will give you different information you can use in different ways.

  • Campaign level. This gives you data about your campaign as a whole. Use it to check whether your ads are profitable at the highest level, then dig deeper into the numbers to improve or test further.
  • Ad set level. Here, you can look at the performance of ads for specific audiences and ad placements. For example, you can view your Facebook and Instagram ad placements separately to see what works on the different platforms within the Facebook Ads network. You can also separate out leads from different countries to see how people respond to ads in different places.
how-to-monitor-your-facebook-ads-performance-tracking-at-different-levels-ad-sets-example-3
  • Ad level. This is where you test the really fine details: different images, ad copy, lead magnets, or link text.
  • External data. Don’t forget to add the data from your website and UTMs so you can see the order value and customer lifetime value for different ads. This can make a huge difference to understanding your budget. For example, lead generation ads often have a lower cost per lead on Facebook but a lower order value than direct sales ads.  

Facebook Ads Link Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This internal Facebook metric tells you how many people actually tap through from your ads to view an offer or product. You need a CTR of at least 1%, and ideally higher.

To dig into these figures, go to your Facebook ads manager and search through the drop-down menus in your ads reporting to find Performance and Clicks. With this reporting, you can compare the CTR for different ad variations. 

If one ad is outperforming the others, ask yourself what’s different. Is the offer better? Is the creative better? What happens if you test different combinations of offer and creative?

Facebook Ads Cost per Lead (CPL)

Depending on your ad campaign objective and how you set up your Facebook pixel, this might show up as cost per sale or cost per complete registration. Knowing the cost per lead or sale is essential to calculating a profitable Facebook ads budget.

As a general rule, if an ad is profitable, keep it running. You can use some of your budget to test improvements and try to get the CPL even lower, but in the meantime, keep that profitable ad running.

If an ad has a CPL that’s too high, then you can dig deeper into the numbers. Look at the audience size, the ad frequency, and the cost per thousand impressions (CPM). It could be just one of those factors that’s throwing off the whole campaign.

Don’t rush to cancel ads the second they dip below profitability. Instead, give them a couple of days to settle. If they’re still not performing, then pull them and start testing something different.

#4: How Reliable Is Facebook Ads Data?

In this guide to calculating your Facebook ads budget, we’ve focused a lot on data, especially data that comes from Facebook. But how accurate are those numbers?

As every marketer knows, tracking has changed in the past couple of years. Facebook now has access to a little less data about its users and visitors to your website than before. Tracking conversions has become much harder.

Around the same time, Facebook introduced some predictive analysis to its metrics. That means the algorithm tries to forecast your results. These forecasts can be very illuminating but they’re not the same thing as hard, evidential data.

The result? Well, there was a dip in Facebook’s data accuracy. But the latest figures seem to suggest that accuracy is improving once again. And the big social network still has more people, data, and reach than pretty much any company on the planet.

Throughout this piece, we haven’t recommended relying solely on Facebook’s figures. Your best

bet is to use Facebook, Google Analytics, and your own customer data to triangulate your metrics.

By combining all three data sources, you’ll get a very reliable picture of how your paid advertising is performing. And by testing, testing, and testing again, your accuracy will keep improving over time. 

If you are interested in original article by Michael Stelzner you can find it here

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Paid Social Media: A Guide To Social Advertising Success

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Understand your audience personas and craft a social advertising campaign on any platform with this essential guide.

Getting started with a paid social media strategy can be daunting and time-consuming.

As a social media advertising agency leader (say that three times fast), we often get clients asking if we can fix their existing campaigns to improve return on investment.

The problem?

They haven’t taken a step back to focus on an overall strategy.

They jumped into social advertising with an audience they thought was right, a platform they thought was right, and creative that they thought fit both this maybe-audience and maybe-platform.

Gathering data before creating ads is just as important as setting up and perfecting the ads themselves.

There are two primary data sets I recommend gathering to create an overall strategy:

  • Understand the landscape of social media advertising.
  • Understand your audience and how they relate to each social platform.

Once you understand the social media landscape and identify your ideal audience, you can create a social ads strategy with realistic goals that complement your SEO and other digital marketing efforts.

First: Understand The Landscape Of Social Advertising

Your target audience will not necessarily fall perfectly in line with the number of total social users. Still, some social networks have so many more active users that it may help sway you to include them in your strategy.

For example, if you know your target audience is on TikTok, start there.

Then, when it’s time to expand and test, you may want to consider Facebook because of the sheer number of users (and maybe you’ll learn something about a “new” target audience, after all).

Below is an insightful chart from Search Engine Journal that lists the top 10 social advertising platforms and their monthly active users worldwide:

Top 10 Social Media Apps

And here is another helpful chart from Accion Opportunity Fund that breaks down a few of the basics of the top social networks we’re seeing today.

Next: How To Get Started Crafting A Social Advertising Campaign

As discussed above, when getting ready to start social advertising, you don’t necessarily just want to choose Facebook, for example, because it has the most users.

On that same note, you don’t just want to assume your audience isn’t on Facebook because you think your target audience is younger.

The good news for advertisers is that each platform provides detailed audience insights that you can use to match your ideal audience without spending much money blindly testing. (More on this later.)

There are three major points, each with subsections, that matter when it comes to a paid strategy.

Audience Personas: Establishing Your Audience Demographics, Interests, And Behaviors

Audience personas give you an understanding of your ideal audience, including demographics, interests, and behaviors.

This step is always the first step for us, and there are a few different ways we gather this data:

Dig Into The Analytics

Google Analytics, to be exact.

The Audience section within Google Analytics is a great starting point since it has valuable insights that can guide your social advertising strategy.

It will show you who is currently interacting with your website, but more importantly, who is contributing to the conversions/transactions.

This data includes age, gender, location, and more.

For example, if you see that the age group of 18–24 is converting at a higher rate than 45–54, you may want to optimize your campaign for the younger age group.

Go To Where You Think Your Audience Is, And Interact

Believe it or not, some of our clients come to us with an idea for a social advertising campaign, but they aren’t actively engaging with their audience on that social network!

For example, with the rise of TikTok, it can take a while to build a presence.

So we always recommend building up your social media account first and getting out there to see what people are talking about – you may be surprised at what you learn.

Research Your Competitors

Observe where your competitors are active on social media and how they market their products or services.

This is an easy way to ensure you aren’t missing any opportunities and is usually a good starting point when beginning to craft a social advertising strategy.

You can learn more about how to research your competitors here.

Audience Segments: Understanding Where In The Customer Journey They Are (Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Etc.)

Next, it’s essential to realize that while you may have one audience in terms of demographics, that audience can (and should) be further segmented down into where they are in the journey.

We usually segment an audience three times:

  • Those who have never heard of your brand.
  • Those who have engaged with your brand in the past, but only with blog posts or educational resources (which means they’re still learning).
  • Those who are ready to buy, which is often shown by having items in a cart or having spoken to someone at your organization on the phone and expressed interest in buying.

While these three segments are general, you can think about your business specifically to come up with more defined segments that you may want to target, often called “audience personas.”

This is a big topic, so you can learn more about creating audience personas here.

Audience segmentation usually coincides with prospecting, retargeting, and remarketing campaigns (more resources on different campaign types later).

Audience Personalization: Developing Content And Messaging Specific To The Audience At The Proper Time In Their Journey

In short, there should be different content and messaging for someone who hasn’t heard of the company versus someone who has previously engaged with it.

Once you’ve defined your segments, it’s time to start personalizing content, and the type of content you write depends on the platform.

The next steps include:

  • Match your audience with two or three platforms, and then expect to produce different ad creative based on your audience personas. By this point in your journey, you should have already analyzed the landscape of the social media options and researched where your audience is!
  • Advertise on each of these platforms to see what works. You may only want to focus on one social platform, but we recommend at least two, as they can complement each other well. Also, since each platform has unique ad formats, we suggest creating ads specific to each channel while keeping the same look and feel for consistency.
  • Refine your ads. Once again, this is a big topic. Tweaking your audience segmentations, your content, the time of day you post that content, etc., is an optimization skill all of its own. Keep in mind that you don’t want to make too many big changes without collecting enough data.
  • Expand your strategy. Don’t be afraid to try other networks as you grow and refine your ads. You’ll start to see what’s working and what isn’t – and while this won’t be identical on every social network, you will start to get a baseline for where to begin your tests. This will help you save money and time in the long run as you expand.

Lastly: Setting Up Ad Campaigns

Lastly: Setting Up Ad Campaigns

While this article focuses on the strategy for social advertising, being able to set up your ads successfully isn’t always as cut-and-dry as it should be because there are so many different campaign types.

Pro Tip: When setting up the campaigns, I recommend starting with three campaigns (prospecting, remarketing, and retargeting) to ensure you engage with your audience at the right time along their journey.

Below is an example to help get you started:

Prospecting (Awareness)

  • Audience segment: Those who have never heard of your brand.
  • Campaign objective: Reach, awareness.
  • Messaging: Focus on the user. What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Content types: Educational articles, industry news, research stories.

Retargeting (Consideration)

  • Audience segment: Those who have engaged with your brand in the past, but only with your website, social media, or educational resource.
  • Campaign objective: Engagement, clicks.
  • Messaging: Focus on the benefits of using a product or service to solve the problem.
  • Content types: Ebooks, whitepapers, company events.

Remarketing (Decision)

  • Audience segment: Those who are ready to buy, which is often shown by having items in a cart or having spoken to someone at your organization.
  • Campaign objective: Conversions, purchases.
  • Messaging: Focus on why they should choose your solution to solve their problem versus your competitors.
  • Content types: Testimonials, reviews, case studies.

For step-by-step instructions for each individual social network, see the resources below:

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, creating an effective paid social media strategy will take time, and you will consistently be reiterating, revising, and optimizing.

As with anything, a successful business is about testing, but researching before jumping into paid media – and then using paid media as another part of your testing – is crucial for a successful overall strategy that complements your SEO and other digital marketing efforts.

Always define your goals, consider the engagement you want and expect, and then use the steps above to make it happen!

If you are interested in original article by Jason J Zotara you can find it here

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Podcasters Are Buying Millions of Listeners, Raising Questions About Marketing Tactics

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Podcasters are always hunting for new, flashy places to promote their shows, ranging from billboards to floats in parades to airplane banners. Some networks, though, have uncovered a less-glamorous, yet highly effective way to gain millions of bankable listeners: loading up mobile games with a particular kind of ad.

Each time a player taps on one of these fleeting in-game ads—and wins some virtual loot for doing so—a podcast episode begins downloading on their device. The podcast company, in turn, can claim the gamer as a new listener to its program and add another coveted download to its overall tally.

The practice allows networks to amass downloads quickly by tapping into a wellspring of hyperactive video-game users. But it also calls into question who a legitimate podcast listener is and what length of time should be required to count as a download.

“Not all impressions are created equal,” said Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University. “I’m not saying [this tactic is] not ethical or illegal, but it raises issues. If someone is trying to play a game and that’s the purpose of this interaction, they may just be eager to play the game and are not that interested in the information being shared.”

Podcasts typically rely on downloads as the primary metric for ad sales. When an individual taps on an in-app play button on their mobile device, an entire episode begins downloading so they can listen to it even in the absence of a good internet connection—say, on an airplane or in the subway. An episode’s ads are inserted at that moment of download, meaning that even if a consumer only listens to 10 minutes of a 30-minute show, the mid-roll ad at the 15-minute mark is often ready to be heard—not to mention, counted by the sales team.

To date, the podcast industry has said next to nothing about its embrace of this video-game strategy. In August, DeepSee, an ad fraud detection company, published a research paper revealing how the practice harnesses gamers’ attention.

“No one really asked questions about this, or what the experience is like for users,” said Rocky Moss, DeepSee’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

One game referenced in DeepSee’s paper is Subway Surfers, a popular mobile app from the Danish company Sybo, which has been downloaded some 3 billion times since its debut in 2012. Over a period of two weeks in August, Bloomberg found multiple publishers using the game to rack up podcast downloads, including the New York Post, independent podcaster Scott Savlov and IHeartMedia Inc.

Representatives for the Post and IHeart declined to comment.

Savlov says he spends “nominal” money on in-game ads and initially used them to drum up interest in his show when it first launched. These days, he says, he looks more to social platform algorithms to promote his celebrity interviews.

“Don’t rely on [in-game ads] exclusively because at some point you’re going to want as much organic and authentic growth as you can get,” he said.

The podcast networks that are actively mining downloads in the mobile game space are doing so through an intermediary company, called Jun Group, which was founded in 2005 and sold to Advantage Solutions Inc., a marketing and sales company, in 2018. Corey Weiner, CEO at Jun Group, said the company specializes in making consumers aware of products, websites and podcasts by placing its ads in over 1,000 mobile apps that collectively reach 100 million unique users.

“There is a very big reason why all the largest brands in the world invest so much money in brand awareness, because without it you have no chance of breaking through the clutter,” he said. “Every publisher, every content creator, has invested in marketing to promote themselves since the dawn of time, and this is just another way of doing it.”

He said the company hasn’t specifically tracked how long gamers will stay on a podcast after clicking on an ad.

“I think that the standards bodies, the people who are involved in deciding what a play of a podcast is, could decide to raise the bar on what constitutes as a play of a podcast,” Weiner said. “Even if you raise the bar, [the ad] is still going to exceed the bar. So, in fact, I actually suggest let’s raise the bar because we can hop right over it.”

According to someone who’s spoken with Jun Group, the price the company charges podcast networks for these ads can vary depending on whether they’re targeted to particular demographics or guaranteed to attract unique listeners. The starting rate for a 20-second ad is $27 per 1,000 website page views. To monetize such downloads, podcast networks can turn around and sell the resulting audience to brand advertisers, presumably at a nice markup over what they pay to Jun Group.

Jun Group’s main podcast client is IHeart, the maker of shows from Will Ferrell, Charlamagne tha God and Shonda Rhimes. According to a person familiar with the effort, the radio company, which bills itself as the top podcast publisher globally, has shelled out more than $10 million and gained approximately 6 million unique listeners per month through these ads since 2018. The company primarily runs its in-game campaigns at the beginnings and ends of months. The impact can be seen on the publicly available charts produced by Chartable, a podcast marketing company owned by Spotify Technology SA.

During the last week of August, IHeart podcasts represented more than half of the top 10 trending shows—even though one of the listed podcasts hadn’t published new episodes in months and another hadn’t published any new programming in over a year. Several of the specific shows that Bloomberg encountered in Subway Surfers appeared lower in the charts, as well, including “Life in Spanglish,” “Run That Prank” and “All the Smoke.”

(Disclosure: IHeart is a partner of Bloomberg Media, and DeepSee discovered promotions for one Bloomberg podcast running in Subway Surfers).

IHeart also maintains the top position on Podtrac, a monthly podcast ranker that measures networks’ unique audience and downloads. For the month of August, it reached approximately 35.5 million unique listeners, 11 million above its closest competitor, Amazon.com Inc.’s Wondery. The company first arrived at the top of that list in August 2020, with 24.6 million unique listeners compared with National Public Radio’s 24 million.

The incentives to invest in marketing channels like Jun Group’s are clear. The audio industry has been marked by a frenzy of investments. To make back the money as fast as possible, companies will be relying, in part, on growing the reach of their podcasts in order to bring in more advertising revenue. The industry is expected to surpass $4 billion in revenue in 2024, up from around $700 million in 2019.

If you are interested in original article by Ashley Carman you can find it here

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Google Shopping Ads: How To Set Them Up

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Set your Google Shopping ads for success by visually guiding your users to your products. Here’s how to do it step by step.

Google Shopping ads are visual ads that appear when a user searches for a product on Google.

Here’s an example of Shopping ads when a user searches for [pour over coffee].

Google search results page for pour over coffee showing shopping adsScreenshot from a search for [pour over coffee]. Annotations by author, Google, August 2022

This ad format is uniquely engaging. It shows additional information relevant to online shoppers, like product titles, images, prices, special offers, seller names, local availability, reviews, and more.

What Is The Difference Between Google Shopping Ads And Google Text Ads?

Google Shopping ads are shown below the search bar, just like text ads, but since they’re not just limited to text, they draw more attention from users.

There are a few differences in how each ad format is managed, which we’ll cover next.

Campaign Types

To run Shopping ads, advertisers must enable specific Google Ads campaign types – like a Shopping campaign, a Smart Shopping campaign, or a Performance Max campaign.

That differs from text ads on Search, which are placed by enabling a Search campaign.

Note that in summer 2022, Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically upgraded to Performance Max campaigns, and Smart Shopping campaigns will cease to exist. The process is expected to conclude by the end of September.

Much has been written about Performance Max campaigns, which are highly automated and can show ads across multiple Google Ads channels.

But since that’s not the focus of this post, when we talk about Performance Max here, we will focus on the portion that places Shopping ads on search results pages.

The six channels Performance Max campaigns will show ads onImage from Google, August 2022

Targeting

Targeting is also different between Search campaigns and Shopping campaigns.

Advertisers choose keywords to trigger ads in Search campaigns.

For Shopping ads, Google decides which product to show for a particular user query based on product data from the feed.

Data like the title, description, MPN, and product category automatically match generated ads with the relevant keywords on the fly.

Account Structure

Advertisers can organize their Shopping ads by using product groups in Shopping campaigns or listing groups in Performance Max campaigns to tell Google which products to include in various campaigns, ad groups, or asset groups.

Structuring things helps advertisers show more relevant creatives in Performance Max and set better bids and budgets across all Shopping campaign types.

Here’s an example of organizing products into two separate Performance Max campaigns.

table with two performance max campaigns for different productsImage from Optmyzr.com, August 2022

Here’s another simple example.

Say an advertiser sells both TVs and HDMI cables.

Cables carry a higher margin than TVs, so they may be added in a separate campaign with a more aggressive target return on ad spend (ROAS) than the campaign for TVs, which have a lower margin.

Of course, cables will be an upsell to many TV buyers, but splitting the products based on margin means that a user looking directly for cables can get a different bid than those searching for TVs who may or may not add some cables to their purchase.

Text ad structure is simply based on campaigns that contain ad groups.

The ad group contains the keywords and ads, so this is where the advertiser focuses on reinforcing relevance by writing ads that relate closely to the keywords.

Ad groups are combined into campaigns, where budgets and bid targets are usually set.

Keeping inventory matched to the right campaigns and product or listing groups can be tedious with both text ads and shopping ads.

Ads

The image below shows what Google text ads and Shopping ads look like when you search.

At the top, you have the Google Shopping ads. Below them, you can see the text ads.

In some cases, the Shopping ads appear on the right side of the search results page.

Text ads are created by combining responsive search ads with ad extensions.

Google search results page with shopping ads, text ads, and organic listings for ultra boost 2022 shoesScreenshot from search for [ultraboost 2022], annotations by author, Google, August 2022

On the other hand, shopping ads are dynamically generated using data from various feeds from the connected Merchant Center account.

  • The title, price, and image come from the product feed.
  • Local availability and store pick-up availability come from the local inventory feed.
  • Promotions and special offers come from the promotions feed.

There are also ways to vary pricing by region with the regional availability implementation of landing pages on your website.

It’s recommended that advertisers use all available ad channels.

For that reason, ecommerce advertisers should run both Shopping ads and text ads (and probably several other ad types on Google).

Text ads can be made more dynamic by using ad customizers or third-party solutions that create responsive search ads (RSAs) from structured business data.

Landing Pages

In Search ads, keywords for specific products usually lead to a product detail page (PDP), whereas keywords for more generic product category searches usually lead to product listing pages (PLPs).

Here’s an example:

  • Specific: Adidas Ultraboost 22. Landing page with the different sizes and colors for this specific sneaker.
  • Generic: Running shoes. Landing page shows all the different types of running shoes.

Bids

Whereas Search campaigns can choose from all the various bid strategies – including Maximize Revenue or Target Return on Advertising Spend (tROAS) – Shopping ads should almost always use one of the aforementioned two automated bid strategies.

After all, the goal of Shopping ads should be to sell products, and these bid strategies are most closely aligned with this goal.

However, advertisers should carefully consider how the bid strategy relates to business results.

For example, Maximize Conversion Value equates to maximizing revenues, and revenue maximization occurs when profits are zero. That might not be a desirable outcome for profit-focused advertisers.

That’s where tROAS comes in and can be used as a lever to optimize for profit. But knowing the right tROAS that balances volume with profitability per order can be tricky; it is an art form on its own and something covered here.

Are Google Shopping Ads Worth It?

If you’re in ecommerce or retail, the short answer is yes!

Google Search is part of the customer journey for many online buyers.

And Shopping ads allow you to be right there where potential customers search for things to buy.

Google Shopping ads provide several other benefits that Google’s other campaign types don’t.

Shopping Ads Offer The Highest Visibility In Google’s SERPs

Shopping ads offer higher brand visibility with greater impressions.

And since they appear all the way at the top (with photos, reviews, and branding), more people can see your products.

Shopping Ads Have A Higher Click-Through Rate

As shown in the screenshots above, Shopping ads get the highest priority in visibility over text ads and organic results.

That means Shopping ads attract a good amount of clicks – which was alluded to in Merkle’s Q3 2022 Performance Media Report, where “the majority of survey respondents [reported] experiencing CPC and click increases Y/Y across text ads and shopping ads.”

Are Google Shopping Ads Free?

While there are paid Shopping ads, Google announced in 2020 that businesses could list their products for free on Google Shopping.

That’s different from Google Search, which is the default place a user goes to when they navigate to google.com.

Google Shopping lives at shopping.google.com or can be accessed by clicking the Shopping tab from the main Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google Shopping works similarly to Google Search and contains a mix of paid and organic listings, with the paid listings shown at the top.

Google Shopping search results for men's pantsScreenshot from search for [men’s athletic pants], annotations by author, Google, August 2022

Although paid listings get the most impressions, you should not ignore setting up free listings.

Google lets your potential customers view your products across Google’s sites, such as the Shopping tab, YouTube, Search, Images, and Google Lens.

To be eligible for free listings, make sure you follow the guidelines listed on this page.

Conclusion

Shopping ads, whether placed through Shopping campaigns or Performance Max campaigns, can drive a lot of activity for merchants – so they must be a part of your strategy.

But there are significant differences between how Search and Shopping ads are optimized, so it’s worth learning about the differences and approaching each campaign type differently

If you are interested in original article by Frederick Vallaeys you can find it here

navah

Why Is My New Campaign/Ad Group Getting No Traffic?

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Not getting any traffic for your new ad group or campaign? Here are 5 possible reasons why, according to Navah Hopkins.

Managing paid search and paid social requires plenty of strategic shifts.

One of the biggest is understanding that paid search favors older entities while paid social favors new things.

That said, sometimes there are legitimate reasons why a new campaign or ad group isn’t running.

In this Ask The PPC, we’ll address that question.

Rofhiwa of Pretoria asks:

I have decided to create a new ad group with three ads set, but I’m not getting any clicks or impressions for ads and keywords. What could be the reason?

Note that this post will cover common reasons an entity hasn’t gotten any clicks.

Each account is different, and it’s always best to take any concerns to the ad network support if you believe there’s an issue.

Reason #1: The Date Is Wrong

The most common and frustratingly obvious reason is we don’t always have the right date range.

That could be because we were analyzing another part of the campaign or working on a different account.

Set the date range in the top right-hand corner (true for all ad networks) to include at least yesterday and today.

You also might have unintentionally set the start date for the future.

Check start and end dates in campaign settings.

Once you’ve confirmed that you have the right date range, you can move on to other technical fixes.

Reason #2: The Ad Got Disapproved

When an ad is disapproved, you’ll get a notification.

At times, these can get lost in email filters or spam.

If you see that your ad is disapproved, check if it’s for a valid reason (e.g., editorial policies, restricted industries, etc.) or a mistake on the ad network’s part.

Valid ad disapprovals need to be corrected, and then you can appeal the disapproval in the ad interface.

Sometimes, ads get accidentally lumped into restricted categories because of wording choices.

The following words can sometimes accidentally trigger red flags:

  • Credit.
  • Housing.
  • Broker.
  • Loan.

You might also have an editorial issue and not even realize it.

These are the most common editorial issues in ads:

  • Including a phone number in the ad text (must be contained to call extension).
  • Using all caps (e.g., “FREE” or “TRY”).
  • Using punctuation in the wrong place (e.g., “!” in a headline instead of description).

Reason #3: The Keywords Have No Search Volume

There’s nothing worse than being told your ideal keyword has no volume.

Yet, some industries naturally have lower search volume because of how niche their products/services are.

If your keyword has low search volume, it won’t run.

A good middle ground is to use a broad match on your longer-tail keywords.

Broad match allows audience signals to inform how the ad network matches your keyword to queries.

This additional queue can mean the difference between enough data to serve and being stuck in low search limbo.

Reason #4: The Bid Is Too Low/Bidding Strategy Doesn’t Make Sense

Brand new accounts won’t have the benefit of conversion data.

This means bidding strategies like Max Conversions, and Max Conversion Value will struggle to set meaningful bids in the early days of an ad group or campaign.

If the bid is too high for the budget (more than 10% of the daily budget), the ad network might struggle to enter the keyword into the auction.

Be sure to set bids and bidding strategies in line with your industry and the age of the account.

Reason #5: Accidental Exclusions

Ad groups inherit the negatives from their campaigns.

You might have a negative keyword list or campaign level negative prohibiting a keyword you’re actively bidding on from serving.

Audiences can be applied at both the ad group and campaign level, so adjusting the new ad group’s targets is possible.

That said, be sure you have the right exclusions, and confirm whether you intend to be on target and observe.

Target and observe prevent anyone who isn’t part of your targeted audience from triggering your ad – which means you’re excluding audiences without actively excluding them.

Final Takeaways

There are several reasons an ad group or campaign can struggle to get traffic.

Be sure to check for these hidden pitfalls, and if you’re still struggling, reach out to your ad network representative.

Have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me @navahf with the #AskPPC hashtag. See you next month!

If you are interested in original article by Navah Hopkins you can find it here