The COVID-19 virus has disrupted life around the world and caused economic uncertainty. To help with today's environment, Facebook announced they're offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. They'll begin taking applications in the coming weeks.
If you're interested, you can sign up to receive more information when it becomes available:
Every month, an estimated 2.27 billion users interact with videos on Facebook, and over 1.8 billion users watch videos on YouTube. According to a March 2017 Google study, 50% of these people can recall the contents of a Facebook or YouTube video better than if they had read the same material.
Given this massive reach and higher recall, video ads present an enormous opportunity for businesses to generate awareness and sales. Additionally, Facebook and YouTube offer robust audience targeting capabilities, so video ads can target the right people at the right time and minimize wasted ad spend.
What Makes A Great Video
As easy as it may be to make a video on iOS and Andriod devices, producing a great video that successfully connects with the viewer remains challenging. Here are four best practices to connect your message with your audience:
Video Ad Opportunities On Facebook
Facebook’s ad units with the right video are a great way to capture the attention of your target audience. With people gazing five times longer at video content than static content on Facebook and Instagram, you can share the experience you offer, feature your product or service in action, and deliver your message with video.
Here are six video ad opportunities across Facebook’s properties:
Video Ad Opportunities On YouTube
Facebook is not the only platform that serves video ads. YouTube has multiple ad opportunities, and it claims its ad units have the highest viewability on the web (95% versus a 66% industry average).
Here are three advertising opportunities for videos on YouTube:
By the end of 2021, video is forecasted to make-up 82% of all Internet traffic. Businesses will need to “follow the eyeballs” to engage with consumers accordingly. These ad units are great opportunities to accomplish this. Additionally, since these ad units can target users based on factors like past online behaviors, demographic information, location, and more, this can be done in a way that will generate strong returns on investment.
For more information and to find out how you can get video ad units created and online, reach out to us today!
When most people think about nonprofits, they likely think of a group making a difference in their community. Maybe they think of a large organization such as Make-A-Wish, or maybe they think about a local animal shelter.
Funnel Digital Marketing is proud to partner with nonprofits so they can better serve their missions through digital advertising, and a big thing we keep in mind with these partnerships is to keep costs as low as possible so dollars are maximized to drive performance.
With cost-effectiveness in mind, Funnel highly recommends nonprofits leverage Google’s grant program for Search Engine Marketing.
This post summarizes what this program provides and how Funnel can help launch and manage this initiative.
What Is The Google Ad Grants Program?
The Google Ad Grants Program gifts free text-based ads against search queries to select 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. As of 2019, qualifying non-profit organizations are eligible to receive up to $10,000 per month in advertising to serve their missions and initiatives on Google.com.
To qualify, nonprofits must go through the application process and meet the following organizational criteria:
Google Ad Grants are not available to the following types of organizations:
The following restrictions also apply:
Eligible nonprofit organizations can apply for Google Grants online. The approval process can take up to 10 business days.
How Funnel Digital Marketing Can Help
After a nonprofit is approved for the grant, many actions are required to launch ads, have them remain active, and ultimately perform. Here are some ways Funnel can help nonprofits accomplish these steps:
Funnel Can Create And Manage All Assets
Search Engine Marketing is a complex marketing channel. It requires building the right keywords to show against the most relevant queries, writing ad copy that drives engagement from searchers, setting the right audience targets, and much more.
Across the team, Funnel has decades of experience working with paid search ads. We know from our expertise what works and doesn’t, and we stay current on the latest paid search changes and trends. We’ll be able to make the right keywords and messaging, implement the right settings, and read the data to make optimizations that will improve performance over time.
Funnel Can Keep The Grant’s Account Compliant
Upon receipt of a Google Grant, the grantee must follow a number of rules to remain in the program. Here are some examples:
Other grant rules require an in-depth knowledge of how the Google Ads platform works, and mistakes can lead to an account’s suspension. Here are some examples:
Funnel’s management of the grant account ensures all these rules are being followed when a campaign goes live. Additionally, Funnel also maintains a proprietary program that will automatically fix issues if a rule is inadvertently broken, and we’ll proactively address the problem before an issue arises with Google.
Funnel Will Improve Your Account’s Performance
Nonprofits have experienced a lot of success with the Google Grant Ads program, and Google lists many examples on their website illustrating this.
Nonprofits who have worked with Funnel have experienced successes as well thanks to our management.
For example, Atlanta Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization with the mission of building places where birds and people thrive. They accomplish this through conservation, education, and advocacy. When the organization started working with Funnel, we did a complete overhaul of Atlanta Audubon's Google Grant account to ensure best practices were being followed and to fully comply with Google's requirements. As a result, Atlanta Audubon's search visitors driven from Google's text ad program increased +1500% in one week in comparison to the account's previous two months.
For more examples on how we’ve helped organizations, check out Funnel’s “Our Work” page.
Have Questions Or Need Help?
Reach out to Funnel today for a free consultation!
According to a new report released by SparkToro’s Rand Fishkin and Jumpshot, natural listings that appear within Google’s search result pages are becoming less effective at driving traffic. In the United States, organic’s click-thru-rate (# of clicks on the listing / # of times the listing was served) has decreased from 62.7% in 2016 to 60.4% in 2018 for desktop devices.
The rate of clicks for natural listings is significantly worse for mobile devices. The CTR has decreased from 40.1% in 2016 to 29.7% in 2018.
Click-thru-rates for natural listings are on the decline for two reasons:
Let’s take a deeper dive into these two factors:
Why are more clicks going to ads?
Over the years, Google has made dramatic changes to the way its paid listings are presented, and this is likely contributing to more clicks being directed away from natural listings to paid placements.
For example, Google made an adjustment a few years ago that increased the number of ads that appear above natural listings. Google used to list 3 ads above natural links. Today, Google has four ads above natural links.
The additional ads placed at the top of the page push natural links further down the page, and multiple eye-tracking studies (like this one from Mediative) have shown that content placed lower on the page isn’t noticed as well by searchers.
The placement of ads above natural listings is particularly devastating to natural’s CTR on mobile devices. Because screen sizes are smaller, paid ads take a greater priority at the top of the page. Natural listings are pushed further down the page and require a greater effort on the searcher’s behalf to be noticed.
For example, the query “men’s pants” on a large screen mobile phone only shows image & text ads. Viewing natural listings would require the searcher to scroll halfway down the result page.
Why are clicks disappearing?
Google’s search pages are playing a larger role in delivering information. If the search page has the information a searcher wants, then there is no need for the searcher to click on an natural link that may contain the same information.
For example, let’s say a Google searcher queries “line creek brewery”. Information like the brewery’s address, hours, phone number, upcoming events, and more are located in the page’s right-hand rail. If the searcher wants to know any of that information, a click to the natural link on top of the left-hand side of the page is not necessary.
What should businesses do?
Since answers and ads will continue to dominate Google’s search results moving forward, businesses should take the following two actions:
When Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the Bing search engine at the All Things Digital conference in May 2009, Google was already the established king of search. Today, Bing continues to not be the most widely-used search engine, but it still offers some great marketing opportunities that can help organizations achieve their performance goals.
Here are four reasons why organizations should consider appearing in Bing’s search results with paid ads:
1. The Bing Network has a respectable search engine market share
These are the latest domestic search engine market share figures from Statcounter:
While these stats suggest going live on Bing would only give you the opportunity to appear on 5.86% of search engine queries, running ads from Microsoft’s Bing Ads platform actually allows you to appear on many more queries.
Microsoft has had a longstanding partnership with Yahoo!, and as of last month Bing now exclusively serves all search ads across Yahoo!’s properties. Additionally, Microsoft is responsible for delivering ads across DuckDuckGo and MSN, so Bing Ads would be responsible for powering ads across at least 11.70% of search engine queries within the United States.
2. Bing searchers are a great audience
Search engine usage can vary by demographic, and Bing is commonly known as having the most affluent and oldest users. Here’s an overview of Bing’s users within the United States:
Additionally, running on Bing allows you to appear against searchers unique to its network. According to Microsoft, Bing can reach 63M searches that Google can’t, resulting in 27% of search clicks unique to Bing’s network.
3. Bing generates strong performance
For example, one of Funnel’s major accounts has complete Google/Bing parity across keywords, creatives, campaigns, and so on. After completing an apples-to-apples comparison of Brand query performance, Bing came out ahead of Google. Bing had a conversion rate of 6.59% versus Google’s 4.59%, and Bing’s 15.07 ROAS beat Google’s 12.12.
Additionally, we’ve noticed that Bing CPCs are typically cheaper than Google because there is less competition. These lower costs contribute to Bing’s higher return-on-ad-spend.
4. Bing has parity with Google’s search capabilities
Both Bing and Google’s paid search foundations are the same. For example, they use the same account structure, creative specs, query matching capabilities, and much more. Additionally, whenever Google releases a new ad product or capability, Microsoft usually duplicated those new functionalities in a timely manner.
Interested in learning more about Bing or paid search in general? Reach out to us today to learn more.
When organizations start planning their digital marketing efforts, they often ask themselves a series of questions:
While asking and answering these “whats” are important, they are not the right ones an organization should initially ask. Instead, they should start with a defining question: “What do I want to accomplish?”
Answering this provides direction, motivation, and a clear way to measure and understand progress. Without a clearly defined objective, an organization may struggle to improve because it could lose focus, make bad decisions, and implement counterproductive actions.
How To Set An Objective
The SMART model is a common and effective guide to setting the right objective. Introduced by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, the SMART model allows organizations to set goals that are clear and allow others to understand where they want to go.
The “SMART” in the SMART model is an acronym. Each letter corresponds to the five elements that a SMART goal should have:
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends asking the following questions to fulfill the SMART elements:
When done correctly, outputs of the SMART model should look like these:
Common Objectives Digital Marketing Serves
According to a 2018 report by Salesforce, these are the most common objectives businesses use digital marketing to serve:
Digital marketing is well positioned to serve all these for three reasons:
Tracking & Data Is Available Like Never Before
John Wanamaker (1838-1922) was a businessman who opened one of the first and most successful department stores in the United States. He is also credited with coining the phrase, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don't know which half.”
Today’s technologies give businesses and marketers a much clearer idea which half would be wasted because everything is tracked. We know how many times an ad was served. We know how many times the ad was clicked. We know how many sales those clicks generated. We even know what ad influenced a consumer to go into a brick-and-mortar store.
Because of this available data, marketers can identify what parts of their digital marketing initiatives are working, and adjustments can be made to further improve performance.
Publishers Offer Objective-Specific Ad Units
For example, let's say a retailer wants to drive more foot traffic to their store. Local Inventory Ads showcase products and store information to nearby shoppers searching on Google. When shoppers click an ad, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for a store. This is called the “local storefront”. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours, find directions, and more.
Facebook also offers specific ad units highly relevant to specific objectives. Here’s a sample from their ad management tool:
Time Online Is Increasing
According to a 2018 KPCB report, the average adult spent 5.9 hours per day on digital media platforms in 2017 (a 118% increase from 2008). Given this is where consumers are spending their time, it makes sense to engage them where they are.
Need Help Defining And Executing Your Business-Specific Objective?
We can help! Reach out to us today for a free consultation.
Funnel Digital Marketing is offering a free "Intro To Digital Marketing" class on February 19th from 6pm-8pm at Launch And Go Workplace (470 Commerce Dr, Peachtree City, GA 30269).
The first 90 minutes will use the objective-first framework to discuss how to do the following:
The final 30 minutes will be an open Q&A.
How To Attend
Click here to register now through Eventbrite.
It’s no secret that social media platforms are popular. According to the Pew Research Center, over 3 billion people use social media each month (42% of the total global population!), and all age demographics within America have a healthy presence on social networks.
The most popular networks used in America are Facebook (60.6%), Instagram (37.4%), and Snapchat (30.9%). According to the research firm Comscore, young people spend the most time on Facebook in comparison to other platforms.
Because many people spend a lot of time on social media platforms, it makes sense for businesses to “follow the eyeballs” and have a presence there to drive awareness and conversions. However, many businesses are not effective at connecting with consumers according to social analytics firms:
To avoid these issues from occurring with your business, it’s crucial to have a strong social media marketing plan. Fortunately, that can be accomplished by following six simple steps.
1. Determine Your Goal
The first thing you should do is ask yourself, “What do I want my efforts to produce?”. This may sound like a no-brainer, but many marketers skip this step and focus on the how they will act ("My social media goal is to be on Facebook"). Answering this question will allow you to focus on what you want to accomplish and give you direction on how to act ("My social media goal is to generate $100 in revenue per day from these networks").
2. Define Your Metrics
Next, prioritize the social media metrics that will allow you to determine how you are performing against your goal. Here are some figures to consider:
3. Identify Your Audience
Social media platforms know a lot of information about their users (they literally know what a user “likes”). While this can be creepy, it works well for businesses because there are opportunities to do hyper-targeted posts and other ads. Define the core demographics for your target audience (age, gender, location, income, education, interests, and so on) so you can place your message in front of the right people.
4. Select Your Channel Coverage
Does your audience live on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? Snapchat? Identify where they are so your business can form appropriate connections.
Additionally, strongly consider using paid advertising options to increase your reach with your target audience. Organic reach on its own likely will not be enough. This is particularly true on Facebook as many posts from businesses had their reach reduced in order to make the experience more appealing for the platforms users. As a result this made appearing in a consumer’s newsfeed “pay to play”.
5. Produce Engaging Content
Here are some angles to consider based on the goal determined in the first step:
Also, consider what type of content format performs best. Do people respond well to a videos? What about your posts with prominent photos?
6. Track Your Efforts
Finally, make sure you have a platform that is accurately collecting your data. This can be a publisher owned & operated tool, or it could be from a third-party (however, those can come at an additional cost and can be expensive). As you collect that data, assess what is (or isn’t) performing well, and figure out why something is performing the way that it is so you can make optimizations to further improve your performance against goal.
Social media will no doubt continue to play a significant role in our lives. Regardless how big or small your business is, know there are opportunities to engage with consumers within those platforms. Contact us today for a free consultation on how you can grow your performance through social media.
When a business considers the ways it can drive more performance, Search Marketing should be the opportunity it prioritizes first. That's because Search Marketing generates awareness with consumers who are actively expressing interest in a product or service. It also drives website traffic most likely to convert by being at the right place at the right time.
For example, let's say that a pizzeria wants to increase its delivery sales. To accomplish this, it gains a strong presence on Google's "pizza delivery" search result pages. By appearing in front of hungry-for-pizza searchers, it can increase awareness with its target audience and generate more sales by fulfilling the desire that sparked the consumer's query.
Search result pages have two parts that are served by different practices:
Let's take a deeper dive into these practices that serve each part of the page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google and other search engines use crawlers that go across the Internet and gather information about all the content they can find. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with certain queries that bring value to the searcher.
While the engines do not openly share how their algorithms decide what content should show on specific search queries, SEO specialists know certain actions can be taken to improve the likelihood of strong natural presence. These actions fall into two categories: on-page actions & off-page actions.
Here are some example on-page actions that can improve a page's natural presence:
Here are some example off-page actions that can improve a page's natural presence:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Like SEO, SEM also requires both technical and creative actions to attain a strong presence within search result pages. Both require figuring out the right queries to show against, constructing a fast and responsive site (especially for mobile devices), having site content that serves the need of the searcher, and so on.
However, SEM differs from SEO in some significant ways. Here are five examples:
There are a few other things to know about paid search:
What's Best For My Business?
Ideally, a business should maintain a strong presence in both paid and natural search listings for several key reasons:
While other online channels like Facebook can contribute to performance, Search Marketing is arguably more important in making a business successful. Search Marketing provides awareness and conversions like no other marketing channel can, and it plays a huge role in "closing the sale" with searchers actively looking to fulfill a want or need. As a result, SEO & SEM can provide a higher rate of return when compared to other forms of marketing.
The traditional ways a small business could advertise used to be very straightforward but limited. For example, a business could generate awareness for a product or service by placing ads in the newspaper, running a television spot, displaying messages on billboards, sending mailers to households, and so on.
However, the marketing landscape has changed drastically due to the Internet. Small businesses can now drive cost-efficient performance through targeted search listings, social placements, and more.
To illustrate how the Internet can serve small businesses better than traditional channels, this post compares Paid Search listings (ads that appear above natural results on Google/Bing/Yahoo search result pages) to ads within a local newspaper (The Citizen) and a local mailer (Buzzzzn Magazine).
Paid Search is the most cost-efficient and flexible marketing channel.
Unlike traditional channels, Paid Search can run multiple customized ad variations that auto-optimize to the best performer.
Paid Search can target specific audiences effectively while other channels cannot.
Paid Search can target specific defined locations while traditional channels cannot.
Paid Search can track activities other channels cannot.
Paid Search can place low-cost ads in premium positions where they will get noticed while ads in traditional channels are more likely to be overlooked.
Ad Duration Commitment
Paid Search has no time-duration commitment and can serve for as short or as long as you want.
Overall, online placements like Paid Search are the best way to connect your products and services with the right customers. In comparison to traditional methods they’re more cost-efficient, targetable, trackable, and customizable.
Contact us today for a free consultation on how digital marketing can work for your business.