Article | February 24, 2020
The 2010s will go down as one of most influential decades in the current ‘digital revolution’. The emergence and mass-adoption of smartphones has provided billions of people around the globe with the ability to access the internet quickly and in any situation. This unparalleled uptake of a new technology signals the true beginning of the information era. Virtually limitless knowledge is available in almost everyone’s pocket or purse, leading to the birth of an entirely new category within the digital marketing landscape. But as smartphones start to lose their novelty, and a generation of people begin to reach adolescence knowing nothing of the pre-mobile era, what does the future hold for mobile advertising? And how can we best prepare?
Article | February 24, 2020
A global pandemic isn’t exactly the best marketing opportunity for any brand. As the coronavirus crisis continues, brands are navigating uncharted territory, where business is anything but usual and the line between legitimate advertising and crass opportunism is thinner than ever in the eyes of the general public. Smart brands have found a way to adapt, tapping into their wide cultural reach, supply chains, and more to remind us that there are humans behind those logos. Ford, for example, dropped two ongoing ads that had been planned for March Madness and instead created two new ads around providing Ford Credit customers some breathing room around their car payments. LVMH was one of the first large brand operations to adapt its production line to make hand sanitizer for local hospitals and communities.
ADVERTISER CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT
Article | February 24, 2020
Where’s the nearest click and collect? What time does our local store close in light of the latest COVID-19 restrictions? Where can I order that toy car he/she wanted for Christmas?
Our bet is Google is your first port of call for an answer to any of these questions.
If it is, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that Google processes 5.8 billion user searches per day. And, even though there are other search engines out there, like Bing and Yahoo, it is by far the most popular.
So, with so many potential customers – because let’s face it, of those 5.8 billion there are bound to be a few thousand searching for your specific products or services - businesses simply cannot overlook advertising on Google. And even more so now thanks to restrictions on physical stores across the world being put back in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Nate Burke, CEO and founder of Diginius, an ecommerce solutions provider that specialises in digital marketing PPC management, explains how you can get the most out of your Google advertising activities.
The first round of lockdowns during the spring and early summer saw many businesses with physical outlets grind to almost a complete halt. Going digital was the only option for many in order to have some chance of survival.
This saw restaurants offering online order services, more retailers moving into ecommerce and professional services conducting remote meetings via video calls.
Despite some easing of restrictions, many have kept digital their focus. For example, video meetings such as Microsoft Teams, which grew by 894% between February to June in 2020, are now prevalent as the office’s new best friend. And restaurants for instance, have advanced their minimal contact table service, allowing customers to order and pay for food on their phones by scanning a QR code or downloading an app.
But now, with lockdown restrictions being re-enforced in Britain and many other parts of the world, businesses looking to maximise their sales and earnings ahead of the Christmas period, and before the New Year begins, can’t ignore the advertising opportunities available on Google.
PPC advertising is perhaps the most obvious opportunity. It’s the best way to guarantee that your brand is put in front of an audience and can help generate a spike in traffic and leads.
Paid Search identifies “buyers” immediately. People who have typed in and are clicking a specific keyword tends to already be in buying mode, even if only at the research stage of the journey, which is so powerful compared to the rest of the marketing mix
This is because searchers seek convenience. We have come to expect the first listing on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to provide an answer to our query. If it doesn’t, we are more likely to change our search than scroll through pages and pages of results.
Therefore, getting your brand on that all-important first page is crucial for success on Google, which is exactly why paid advertising is beneficial. Not only can it promise a guaranteed spot here, if, the price is right for you, but it could also, potentially, provide you with the number one position.
As well as SERPs, ads can be created for the display network, utilising visual aids in the form of graphics and videos to attract leads on the Google Shopping network, which is particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses looking to increase sales.
However, to ensure your ads are shown to people who will add value to your business, PPC activity must be strategically mapped out and effectively managed. Account set-up, keywords and bidding strategies must be considered, monitored and then adjusted to ensure your activity is effective and a return on your investment is achieved.
This requires dedicated personnel, time and budget – for both ad spend and management practices for either training, wages or outsourcing the task to an agency.
But, despite the capital required to get started, there are a number of ways to ensure you yield results that make it worthwhile. For example, remarketing can help minimise lost leads and maximise budget by targeting potential customers who have already shown an interest in your product or service.
Automation strategies are another. Bidding and ad copy can be altered automatically, depending on factors including the time of day, location and the user’s specific query wording, for instance. This lessens the chance of clicks from users with little intention of purchasing or submitting an enquiry, and, consequently, reduces wasted budget. Another common way to get more out of search advertising is to replicate campaigns across Microsoft Ads, where there is typically less competition, cheaper clicks, and a better return on investment, albeit lower search volumes.
One of the greatest benefits of the internet is its ability to connect businesses and customers no matter the physical distance between them. And, with lockdown enforcements, an online offering presents an opportunity to reach an even wider customer base than a shop or physical facility that is restricted by location.
However, the internet is a big, old place. It houses greater competition than what many businesses are used to in the physical realm and, as result, it’s easy to become lost, especially if you are in the early stages of establishing an online presence.
So, no matter whether you’re a retailer offering click and collect or running business as usual albeit remotely, keeping things local is your best bet for online success.
In fact, Google uses a Relevance, Distance and Prominence model to determine search results. Those most relevant, the closest in distance to the searcher and most prominent or popular are more likely to be ranked higher on results pages.
In order to maximise your chances of ranking highly for those searching for your products and services in your local area, you should make the most of tools, such as Google My Business and reviews.
As well as providing potential customers with vital business information, such as your address, contact details and COVID-adjusted opening hours, you can also instil trust and confidence in them by presenting a business that appears to be well established and organised. This is particularly important as those consumer sentiments have declined due to the pandemic.
So far, businesses have done well in adapting their processes to changing customer needs in such a short amount of time and under incredibly difficult circumstances at that.
With the coronavirus crisis far from over and many facing an online future, the only thing we can be certain of at this point is that businesses and retailers must act now to grasp opportunity. By utilising platforms such as Google and Microsoft, business owners are not simply making the best of a bad situation but are more so positioning their brand at the forefront of their chosen industry, gifting a significant advantage when markets reopen in their newly digital-focused form.
Article | February 24, 2020
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Ads has updated its Inappropriate content policy. The updates take aim at keywords around sensitive events, price gouging and more. The update, released Tuesday and effective immediately, does not specifically mention coronavirus, but the change is clearly aimed at preventing advertisers from trying to capitalize on the outbreak. Google banned ads for face masks earlier this month. Why we care. Digital platforms have struggled to stay ahead of misinformation and fraudulent claims as well as price gauging by advertisers trying to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis. This policy update may appear subtle, but it gives Google a clearer path to take action against bad actors and prevent advertisers from advertising on coronavirus-related keywords during this pandemic.