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Annoyed of Facebook Advertising? Here’s How Facebook Ad Targeting Works

Facebook: Some people love it, some people hate it. It allows you to stay in contact with people from all different phases of your life, while also being one of the fastest news outlets we’ve ever encountered. Thanks to Facebook ad targeting, being a business and needing to make money, your Newsfeed is also full of ads.

More often than not, we hear, “These ads are so annoying.” “They aren’t relevant to me.” “How does Facebook even think I’d be interested in something like this?” What I’m here to tell you is that YOU do have power to change what types of ads you see.

A Brief History of Targeted Online Advertising

Before we dive into how Facebook’s ad targeting works, let’s start with a brief history of targeted online advertising. Since the 1990’s, targeted advertising has been part of the internet experience. Many of us remember when surfing the web used to mean navigating through a torrent of unwelcome pop-up ads; when digital advertising meant flashing banners and random irrelevant sidebar ads.

1995

Display ads started becoming increasingly targeted, as advertisers became more interested in targeting specific consumer demographics. In 1997, we witnessed the explosion of pop-up advertisements, which many consider the most hated advertising technique of all time. In fact, the original developers have apologized for creating the underlying code that made them possible.

2000

Advertisers turned to paid search and pay-per-click, which are still widely used today. It wasn’t until around 2006 that digital ads became hyper-targeted in the way they are today. Social media platforms saw their user bases grow rapidly, giving marketers a new way to reach younger internet users who mostly ignored banner ads.

2006 – Present

Advertisers have continued targeting consumers with relevant social ads, rather than bombard them with large volumes of ad content. It is now the standard practice of online advertisers, particularly when it comes to Facebook and other social networks like Twitter, YouTube and Google+. The goal is to deliver an ad experience that feels personalized but not aggressive.

How Facebook’s Ad Targeting Works

facebook advertising

It’s important to understand how Facebook’s ad targeting works. Facebook allows advertisers to target based on device, location, demographics, interests, behaviors, as well as different advanced targeting methods. At the click of a button, anyone can create Facebook ads to encourage users to ‘like’ posts, install apps, visit other websites or click on a call-to-action.

When you create a profile on Facebook, you’re required to enter information about your age, religion, education, political views and favorite movies, music and books. Building your profile helps your friends get to know you better, but what you might not be aware of is that Facebook uses that same data to deliver a personalized ad experience.facebook advertisingHere are some of the key metrics advertisers use to target you on Facebook and other social media:

  1. Locationcomes from the location stated on your timeline and verified by your IP address
  2. Demographicsbased on age, gender, relationship status, education, and job shared directly in Facebook profile
  3. Interestsidentified by keywords linked to pages you like, apps you use, information on your Timeline, and other ads you’ve clicked on
  4. Behaviors things you do directly on Facebook (i.e. – watch videos, click ads, pages visited, etc.) that show intent, travel preferences, etc. Behavior data for targeting is also compiled by offline activity provided to Facebook from trusted third-party partners.
  5. Custom Audiencetargets email lists that are tied directly to your Facebook login
  6. Re-targeting keeps the recent site(s) you visited in reach directly on Facebook

As you can see, there are a wide range of data metrics that businesses utilize to target an audience. With this information at their fingertips, businesses can determine the proper ways to target their audience without being “that annoying ad” that we’ve all come to resent.

Who Should Invest In Facebook Advertising?

What types of businesses are best suited for advertising on Facebook? Who should invest in Facebook Advertising? Facebook is a difficult channel to directly sell product without having any other type of nurturing campaign in place. According to Facebook, the businesses that have the most success in advertising on their platform are businesses looking to get people to sign up/fill out a form for something and those businesses trying to build brand awareness.

For example, a software company interested in generating demo requests or trials might use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a landing page with a form to fill out. We have found that Facebook generally offers a less expensive way to get impressions and traffic to a site when compared to other advertising channels such as Google or Bing.

Facebook Advertising Can Complement SEO Efforts

While SEO is more of a long-term effort, Facebook advertising can be complementary by driving results more quickly. There’s really no other medium like Facebook advertising where you can get quite as granular when it comes to how you’re targeting certain types of users to drive conversion. With the analytics capabilities of Facebook’s Ad Manager, you can gain insight into new content ideas, microsites to build and promotions to offer your customers.

Once a business verifies that Facebook advertising is the right channel for their campaign objectives, it is important for them to determine the best variables that will help them to get in front of their target audience with the appropriate messaging while also remembering that people interact differently on social media compared to other sites online.

When was the last time you updated your Facebook profile? For most people, the answer is “when I setup my profile….3, 5, 10 years ago.” Think about the quotes you put it, the music/artists you typed in, favorite movies you allowed the world to see. Since our tastes, styles, and lives change over time, it’s no wonder we aren’t getting relevant advertising coming our way.


Ready to Invest in Facebook Advertising? Parqa can help

If you’re ready to invest in Facebook advertising for your business, Parqa can help. Our social media marketing specialists can help develop a strategy to target the customers you want on Facebook and drive more leads and sales to your website.

We’ll help you maximize the efficiency of your social media marketing efforts so that you see results at minimum spend.

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How Parqa Helped Versique Became One of LinkedIn’s Most Socially Engaged Staffing Firms

LinkedIn recently recognized our client, Versique, as one of the top 20 most socially engaged, North American staffing firms with 50-499 employees. The ranking takes into account social reach, employee engagement, employment brand, and content marketing power. By using thousands of data points, LinkedIn ranks companies from all over the world, categorized by location and company size. Versique was chosen from more than 60,000 companies nationwide.

Versique was founded in 2013 with the vision of investing in talented people, providing the best tools available, and building a company rich in leads. Today Versique has more than 120 recruiters and consultants, including 18 recruiters with more than 10 years of staffing experience each. From the beginning, Versique’s primary goal has been to create experiences worthy of a referral, which wouldn’t be possible without a full commitment to inbound marketing and the benefits it provides. With 15,000 followers on LinkedIn and over 16,000 new website visitors monthly, over half of Versique’s revenue is driven by inbound leads.

Parqa began as Versique’s own internal digital marketing agency and, after three years, was rebranded to a standalone company. Now, following Versique’s success and the success of dozens of clients, Parqa helps other businesses transform their businesses just as we transformed ours.

If you’re looking to gain more followers, engagement, and leads; here are a few tips for how to build your follower base and develop a more socially engaged company or recruiter brand.

  1. Publish Original Content
    Ask thought leaders within your organization to commit to writing two blogs a month. Having leaders write their own blogs provides genuine insight a ghost writer may not have, while also establishing credibility. Authenticity leads to followers.
  1. Write Relevant Content
    Determine what kind of blogs your current follower base would want to read. For example, a recruiting firm owner wouldn’t write about what to bring to a job interview, but rather about the best ways to retain top talent.
  1. Be Consistent
    Develop a content calendar that helps you keep track of the information being published and when it will go out to your audience. Not only will this hold you accountable, but also help you develop a content strategy.
  1. Share Relevant and Engaging Content
    Again, simply share information your target audience wants to see. Social networks are made for interaction. Posting your own content will only get you so far. Share relevant content from other sources, interact with people online, and remember it’s a two way street. If you interact with others, they’re more likely to interact with you and help build your brand’s reach.
  1. Educate Your Employees
    Explain the power of social media to your employees and train them on how to use it to build their own personal brands. Recruiters receive over 10 times the profile visits on LinkedIn than those in other professions. Make those extra profile views count. Additionally, have your recruiters post their open jobs and share them on social media. You’d be surprised how much interaction those job postings drive and the effect they can have on the bottom line.

For more tips on how to increase your company’s social engagement, visit LinkedIn’s website. If you’d like to learn more about how online marketing can transform your business, contact Parqa today!

man reviewing his website analytics

Two Ways to Decrease Cost Per Acquisition in Google Ads

Cost per acquisition, sometimes referred to as cost per action or simply CPA, is a metric that measures how much a company spends in order to obtain a lead or conversion. In Google Ads, cost per acquisition (CPA), is calculated by dividing the total cost by the number of conversions.

CPA = Total Cost/Conversions

The goal is to keep the CPA as low as possible. At a consistent level of spend, two of the most effective ways to decrease your Google Ads CPA are:


1. Decrease Cost-per-Click (CPC)

One way to decrease cost-per-click (CPC) is by improving the Quality Scores of your keywords. Each keyword in your Google Ads account will have a Quality Score between 1 and 10. These scores are an estimate of the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by those particular keywords. In general, the higher the Quality Score, the lower the cost-per-click. In fact, for each point a score is above the average Quality Score of 5, the CPA will drop about 16%.

Another way to decrease your account’s CPA is to look for new keywords to use with lower CPCs. By decreasing your account’s average CPC, your website will receive more visitors at the same total cost. More traffic, at the same conversion rate, means a larger number of conversions. Therefore, if you acquire a larger number of conversions at the same total cost, you will decrease you CPA.

For Example:

Let’s say your Google Ads account has a set monthly spend of $5,000.00/month and a 7% conversion rate. The chart on the right shows the average cost-per-click you would receive based on the number of visits and conversions along with the estimated CPAs. Using this chart, we can see that if all other variables remain the same, decreasing your average cost-per-click causes your cost-per-acquisition to decrease as well.

2. Increase Conversion Rates

Another way to decrease your Google Ad account’s CPA is by improving the conversion rates of the landing pages used for you ads. By increasing the number of conversions and keeping the cost the same, you decrease the cost-per-acquisition.

Conversions_orange

For Example:

Let’s say you have a Google Ads account with a set monthly spend of $5,000.00/month and an average cost-per-click of $2.46. Using the chart on the right, you can see the conversion rates you would receive along with the number of conversions and the estimates CPA. If all other variables remain the same, increasing the conversion rate will decrease the cost-per-acquisition.


Client Case Study:

A local university that offers an online early college program for high school students approached us for help with increasing enrollment.

Our initiative with the university was to increase traffic to their Early College landing pages using paid search (PPC), improve their online conversion rate, and increase their Early College programs enrollment over the course of two months.

The Goal:

To drive awareness, generate leads, and gain a better understanding of market response in the defined geographic regions across the country in which they had no prior presence or brand awareness established. With our thorough research, well-thought-out strategy, methodical execution, and nimble response. We were able to meet all of these goals, resulting in an effective campaign delivered on time and on budget.

The Results:

Using Unbounce landing page testing software, we ran multiple conversion rate test and improved the campaigns conversion rate by 70% (7.58% to 10.75%) over the course of the two months.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]As you can see from the chart at the right, as we increased the campaign’s conversion rate we were able to reduce the CPA by nearly 10% ($46.01 to $41.61). Through our testing with Unbounce and diligent Google Ads account management we were able to achieve a CPA that is lower than the Education industry’s average of $42.13 – according to WordStream.


modern white desk with macbook and keyboard

Company Rebrand 101: How to Manage the Process

A good brand has power. It transcends products and services. It symbolizes something greater to people. But what happens when your brand no longer aligns with your company’s vision or goals? Then it’s time to rebrand. Rebrands are healthy for companies, but they certainly come with a vast set of responsibilities.

Why Rebrand?

There are a number of reasons your organization might consider a rebrand. If you have recently undergone a restructure or had a change in ownership, it could be time to re-evaluate your brand.

Brands may need to change for less obvious reasons as well. Often, a brand will simply need to reposition, like Old Spice recently did with the launch of their “Old Spice Man” campaign. If their brand strategy was the same as it was at their founding in 1937, it’s unlikely they would still be around (or at least have the appeal they do today). Rebrands are frequently used to improve a brand’s reputation or simply make them a little more modern.

Another common rebrand motivation is international expansion. Many times, aspects of a brand will have to change in order to align with differing cultural norms or languages.

Whatever the reason, there’s one thing you can always count on: A rebrand is a big undertaking and having an organized process will help you along the way!

Step-By-Step Rebrand Guide

For a step-by-step guide on how to successfully rebrand, including the documents you need to maneuver the process, check out my full post on the Deluxe blog.

two people reviewing campaign

Exploring Google Ads Part 2: Display, Shopping, and Video

In our last blog, we explored the basics of Search Listing Ads and when they’re most effective. In addition to search listing ads, there are a number of other advertising options available in Google Ads.


Previous Post: Exploring Google Ads Part 1: Search Listing Ads ➢


Display Ads

Display Ads are one of the most popular forms of PPC advertising options in Google Ads. They appear on the Google Display Network, which is a collection of websites – including specific Google-owned websites like Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube – that show Google ads.

The Google Display Network lets you place ads on news sites, blogs and other niche sites across the internet to reach more potential customers. They are very effective for attracting new customers with eye-catching ads. Great display ad campaigns start with great ads. You can create your own in minutes using the free display ad builder in Google Ads tools.

There is a variety of ad formats and sizes which I’ve detailed below:

  • Text Ads – Similar in appearance to search listing ads, but appear within a website instead of the search engine.
  • Image Ads – Frequently referred to as banner ads; they can be used in a variety of sizes.
  • Rich Media Ads – Ads with animation or other types of motion (.GIFs)
  • Video Ads

There are a variety of targeting options available for display ads that can be used in combinations or separately. The most effective ads and targeting are dependent on the goals of your display ad campaign. Some common targeting tactics include:

  • Contextual targeting – Matches relevant site content
    • Keywords (based on keywords used in a site’s content that is part of the Google display network)
    • Topics
  • Audiences – Reaches specific groups of people
    • Audiences (affinity audiences & in-market audiences)
    • Interest categories
    • Re-marketing
    • Demographics (age, gender, and marital status)
  • Managed placement targeting – Selects specific websites and apps
    • Placements (target and bid on specific websites)

We find that clients are most interested in image re-marketing display advertising. While this may be the most common type of display ad used, they all are viable options. The “best” type and targeting for display advertising is dependent on your messaging and goals.

Shopping Ads

Shopping Ads or PLAs (Product Listing Ads), drive traffic and sales to your website or store by showing online shoppers rich images of and details about your product. They appear in their own box on Google search results above or to the right of organic search results. Google shows the customer a picture of your item, its price, and your store name. Customers who click on the ad are directed to your website.

With Product Listing Ads, you’re charged only if someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website. In other words, you only pay when Google directs a customer to your store. Product Listing Ads are created by submitting product data feed in a Google Merchant Center account. Once the data feed is submitted and approved, the PLA campaign can be managed within your Google Ads account.

Shopping Ads are very effective for companies with e-commerce website who have a large product offering. If you sell under 500 products, you may have trouble getting visibility on Google Shopping. However, if you sell products in categories like automotive supplies, clothing, tools, or furniture and you’re not listing on Google Shopping, you’re likely missing out on significant revenue. Google Shopping Ads dominate for online merchants and tend to generate the most traffic and profit for e-commerce sites.

If you sell products in categories such as automotive supplies, clothing, tools, or furniture and you’re not utilizing Google Shopping ads, you’re likely missing out on significant revenue.

YouTube Advertising

With YouTube ad placements your ads either appear before videos play, beside videos playing, or in search results. The two types of ad placements offered on YouTube are:

  • In-stream – TrueView in-stream ads run on videos on YouTube watch pages or within Google Display Network videos, games, and apps. After five seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad.
  • In-display – TrueView in-display video ads appear only on YouTube Watch pages and on the Watch pages of video publishers on the Google Display Network. The appearance of the ad will vary, depending on which ad sizes and ad formats that content publishers support. For example, YouTube is a key content publisher within the network, and these ads will function and appear in the same way across the YouTube site.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]YouTube Ads Formats:

  • Display – Appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list. For larger players, this ad may appear below the player. (300×250 and 300×60 Desktop Only)
  • Overlay – Semi-transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower 20% portion of your video. 480×70 (Flash) or text (Desktop Only)
  • Skippable Video – Skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds, if they choose. Inserted before, during, or after the main video.
  • Non-Skippable Video – Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed. Long non-skippable video ads may be up to 30 seconds long. These ads can appear before, during, or after the main video.

YouTube Ads allow you to get your message in front of individuals searching for, or viewing, specific YouTube videos. They are a good option for most companies because the CPC (cost-per-click) is lower than search and the ads are very effective when used correctly.


Related Post: PPC vs. SEO: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢


At the end of the day, the right targeting, ad formats, and network are dependent on your ad’s messaging and your campaign’s objectives.


–> For instant access to Parqa’s blogs, follow us on Twitter at @ParqaMarketing and on LinkedIn!

man typing in Google on his laptop

Exploring Google AdWords Part 1: Search Listing Ads

Throughout its colorful history, paid advertising has proven to be a legitimate source of lead generation, sales, and revenue for businesses. Now, online paid advertising (more specifically pay-per-click PPC advertising) has demonstrated its utility as an excellent channel of marketing for any company.

So why does PPC advertising often become soiled, solely focused on search marketing advertising, and even more so, on Google Ads search listing ads?

Most often, this happens when businesses start investing in PPC advertising with little or no knowledge of all that Google Ads has to offer. There is a lot more to Google Ads than just your basic search listing ads. So let’s take a look at an overview of the different types of paid advertising that are available through Google Ads.

  • Search Listing Ads (SLAs)These ads appear next to or above relevant search results and allow you to reach customers on all the devices they use to search for information.
  • Dynamic Search Listing Ads (DSLAs)These ads use the content found in your website to target searches, rather than using keywords. They include headlines that are dynamically generated from the both the search and your site’s content. They then lead to a dynamically selected landing page on your site.
  • Remarketing Search Listing Ads (RSLAs)This is a feature that allows you to customize your search ads for people who have already visited your website.

Search Listing Ads

Google Ads’ basic search listing ads are the foundation of many of our online advertising campaigns. Google continues to improve standard  search listing ads and they have evolved over the course of the last few years with ad extensions. I use the ad call extensions, ad sitelinks extensions, and the ad call-out ad extensions the most frequently, but we’ll look at those further another time.

In addition to the basic search listing ads there are two other types of search marketing campaigns that can be created in Google Ads, dynamic search listing ads and re-marketing search listing ads.

Dynamic Search Listing Ads

These ads are extremely useful for companies with websites that have a large number of products or services. Businesses with websites that contain a lot of content or well-structured URLs will typically see the best results with dynamic search listing ads.

With these ads, Google writes your ad headline and sets the destination URL based on your website’s content. This sometimes limits how specific the description lines in the ad copy can be.

Also, negative keywords and exclusions are important in narrowing the targeting of your dynamic search campaigns. Left unmonitored and unfiltered (or incorrectly configured) dynamic search listing ad campaigns can run wild and be expensive. However, they are extremely successful when they are correctly configured, managed, and optimized.

Re-marketing Search Listing Ads

These provide companies with a method of targeting previous visitors to their websites with tailored search listing ads. We find RSLA campaigns are most effective when used to target past buyers as they search for other products you sell on Google. They are also helpful in targeting people when they leave your site without buying anything and continue looking for what they need on Google’s search engine. Both the methods above are very effective for large e-commerce websites.

There are many other forms of advertising available in Google Ads. In our next blog, we’ll discuss Display, Shopping Campaigns (Product Listing Ads), and YouTube.


Next Post: Exploring Google Ads Part 2: Display, Shopping, and Video ➢


–> For instant access to Parqa’s blogs, follow us on Twitter at @ParqaMarketing and on LinkedIn!

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SEO: What It Is and How It Affects Your Business

What is SEO and Why Do It?

In this day and age most modern business owners, and certainly the majority of marketers, are aware of what SEO is and their need for it. However, if you still wonder what SEO is and why you should invest in it, you’ve come to the right place.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which refers to the art of improving a website’s visibility within search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives. SEO is the study of how search engines work and the factors that can be manipulated to increase a website rankings within a given SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Search Engine Optimization utilizes numerous tactics, both on- and off-site, to influence the hundreds of search engine ranking factors. The sought after result is achieving top rankings within a SERP for a high volume search query related to your product or service, which provide a significant amount of quality organic (not paid) traffic to the website.


Related Post: How Long Does It Take for SEO to Produce Results? ➢


Why is SEO Important?

How many times have you used a search engine (like Google) to find a product or service this month, this week, or even today? According to Google, there are more than 100 billion searches performed each month on their search engine alone. More than 90% of this traffic clicks somewhere on the first page of search results within a given search engine. In fact, more than 50% of traffic clicks on the first three results. This means that if your website does not rank on the first page of search results for a search query related to your product or service, your consumers are unlikely to find you.


Related Post: PPC vs. SEO: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢


The internet never sleeps and your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long (discounting maintenance downtime). It helps people understand your company, contact your business, provide leads, and generate sales. In SEO, as in anything, visibility can make or break your business. So, if you’re looking to increase your website’s visibility, investing in Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to do so. Learn more about Search Engine Optimization or to contact our Digital Marketing Team about our SEO services to get started.

modern office with workers on desktops

When Online Marketing and HR Collide

I recently had the opportunity to sit in on an executive round table of high level HR professionals from Fortune 500 companies who are based or have offices in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area.  The conversation surrounded the online marketing space and how it relates to the function of HR and recruiting.

As the conversation began, we talked about how jobs could be viewed as products or services that we sell to potential candidates.  In having this view, we are working towards enticing even more qualified candidates through company brand reinforcement, employee intelligence, employee/corporate interaction with a potential client, and much more.  The following chart demonstrates how Marketing as a function serves the same type of benefit and services and when marketing for new highly qualified candidates.  I’ll talk about some of these more in depth.

Online Corporate Brand Reputation/Reinforcement

The view of a brand online can play a significant role in how the company is viewed in general.  This is very important when a consideration of a product or service is being made. The same could be said for a highly qualified candidate who is in the decision-making process for reaching out to an organization regarding one of their positions that is currently available. How the brand is viewed online through social media conversations and overall recognition can be pivotal in the decision process. This is particularly important when the candidate is highly qualified and has offers from multiple different corporations. Lisa Arnold, our Director of Recruiting, has fascinating insight on what this looks like for recruiters as online marketing becomes more and more important in finding top-tier talent.

What are people saying about you? How does it affect whether or not a candidate wants to work with you? Or if a potential client wants to do business with you?  If you have a bad online reputation and people are speaking negatively about the brand online, you have a serious problem.  A positive reputation online can go a very, very long way and the more people talking about you, the better.  This includes the employees who have something to say from the inside, while others can speak about the company/organization from an outside view.

Corporate_Twitter

Employee Intelligence

Smart people want to work with smart people and smart companies, period.

If a highly qualified candidate becomes an employee and is not motivated or learning from peers on the job, they may become bored, disinterested and frustrated that they took the job.  This is precisely why it is important for corporations to demonstrate the intelligence and quality of the company.  It comes as no secret why some high tech companies such as Google and Facebook can employ some of the most intelligent employees on the planet.

These companies, and companies who create an “aura” or “cool factor” around them are utilizing and pushing out content that demonstrates the culture, intelligence, creativity and thought leadership of the corporation.  This creates buy-in from potential candidates and customers who view the corporation in a higher regard.

Employee/Corporate Online Interaction

Office-Twitter-2

Engaging online with customers and potential candidates further helps to elevate the allure of the company. Engagement and interaction through social media channels, whether they are from in-house recruiters, the company pages themselves, or for service-specific channels where there are faces of the organization, will reinforce messages. Organizations can be and are concerned about empowering employees online using social media to be a voice for the brand.  Empowering employees in social media can be a powerful tool. It can create additional buy in from the employee and make them feel a part of something much larger. This in turn positively reflects on the content they may be pushing out on social networks. A restricted policy can make employees feel trapped or a part of a stuffy organization. There is no doubt that information will be pushed out through social media, whether that be on work time or on the employee’s personal time. The empowered employees feel a little more morally responsible to push out positive content while restricted employees tend to push out some of the more negatively toned content about the organization.

End Goal

At the end of the day, when you view jobs as products or services, aspects of marketing begin to play an extremely important role in recruiting. Not in just the recruiting aspect, but also in the marketing of the company or organization as a whole including the brand visibility, brand reputation, social media engagements with employees, corporate interaction, employee intelligence, and much more.

The lines are becoming pretty blurred between Marketing and HR. Or is it that the need for marketing in HR is becoming more prevalent? What do you think?

three phones with branding reports

3 Ways to Track Traditional Ads Brand Effectiveness Online

It’s been long known that traditional advertising affects online behaviors and website traffic.  It seems as though this idea or understanding still falls by the wayside when traditional ads and campaigns are being created.

There are many articles demonstrating how online ads affect offline sales, such as this one from RKG, another with Google’s weigh in, and it appears Coca-Cola is still trying to figure it out.  This is also very important to online marketing efforts and the correlation between the two.  It’s clear that the blending of both online and offline, to be truly integrated, is extremely important.   We’ll discuss the impacts offline has on online, and how to track the effectiveness.

Branding

Traditional advertising plays a large role in branding. How this branding is demonstrated or carried over online can be assessed through Website Analytics, Trends (such as Google Trends), and Webmaster Tools (thanks Google and Bing).  There are my other ways to track this, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll talk about these three readily available tools.

Website Analytics

Branded keyword searches and spikes in impressions/clicks can help to identify the effectiveness of an offline campaign.  If there are large spikes of branded keyword searches to the website just as and after an ad comes out, this can be an indication of the effectiveness of the ad.  Direct traffic to the website can also be an indicator for effectiveness.

Tracking these measurables through your web analytics, such as in the demonstration below, indicates when and how these efforts are working.  Setting up annotations in the analytics helps to identify and historically track what has taken place and what impact it has had on your brand.  Assuming you have already set up cost per lead (CPL), cost per acquisition (CPA), or some other form of ROI tracking, you can then get a better idea of the return from your traditional ads.  Getting users to convert to a lead involves other tactics such as conversion optimization, which is discussed in the context of talent acquisition here.

MSP_Business_Journal_Ad_Traffic

The chart above is an example of when an offline ad goes out on a Friday (in this case from the MSP Business Journal) and gets a spike in traffic the following Monday as business owners get back into the swing of things at work. This jump in traffic is also tracked to the key conversion points defined by the business for ROI.

Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools both help online marketers and webmasters better understand how their website is performing in each search engine, and also helps them to identify if the search engines are having issues with their website.

Both of these tools demonstrate the volume of impressions and clicks the website is receiving on any given day or week.  These impressions, when viewed in coordination with a traditional ad campaign, can help to identify how the website is performing in terms of visibility during an offline advertising campaign.

Here is an example of an offline ad going live and the impact it had on impressions of the website in Google at the launch of the ad.  This helps to demonstrate that the offline ad is generating visibility online, as the volume of impressions spikes once the ad goes out.

Webmaster_Tools_Example

If the website is not set up or is not in a position to capture the impressions and clicks that are being generated from an offline advertising campaign, then you may have missed the boat.  Making sure this is in position is done through search engine optimization, potentially pay per click, and other online avenues. 

Search Interest and Trends

Google Trends provides a valuable look into search interest. This means, how much are people reallysearching for a particular keyword. In this instance, we’ll look at a brand.

In using Google Trends, we can research the volume of search interest for any given branded term over time.  When traditional ad campaigns go out, looking at the search interest is another key aspect as it shows the overall interest in the brand, not just if the website is showing up for these given branded search impressions.

Here is the web search interest for “Coke”:

Google_Trends_Example

In fact, it can even be drilled down to the search interest in a given location or larger city.  Therefore, if there is a large offline ad campaign going in a major market city, the branded search interest can be gauged in those locations to help to understand the offline ad impact online. Branded keywords can also be viewed in coordination with keyword modifiers such as “coke rewards,” which helps to also drill down on an offline campaign initiative. This same assessment can be done through Webmaster Tools and web analytics. The difference between Webmaster Tools and Trends is that through trends, we are looking at the search interest holistically rather than basing it on the website’s impressions on Google for the given branded keyword.

Results

Pulling all of this together will help you determine whether or not your ad was effective (a.k.a., something that should be run again, or something that should be put on the shelf and never touched again). Looking at insights of how an offline campaign is performing is one thing, but helping to quantify it by looking at the effects it’s having online is truly another, and will help you to get a clearer picture of your offline ad campaign effectiveness.

man taking notes on marketing and pricing

How Online Marketing Benefits Hiring Managers and Candidates

The dilemma. You have a hiring manager who wants to find the right candidate, and a highly qualified job seeker wants to find the right job. How do they meet?

Online Marketing

The solution. Online marketing can help these two find each other, and go through a process of interviews to determine if they are the right fit. Each has a need they want filled, and online marketing can prove to be their solution.

Online marketing, specifically inbound marketing – which is the process of a company generating content, whether it be through blog posts, videos, social media, email marketing, SEO, etc. – attracts a specific audience, and helps the company to gain credibility. By generating relevant content, the hiring manager/company can find themselves in the right place at the right time online, when and where the job seeker is looking.

Online marketing is a tool that can be used for almost any business, to bring in new business, generate brand awareness, and create new connections.  Understanding what your goals of online marketing are, prior to building a strategy, is critical to the success of any online marketing initiative. Components and goals can easily be added in conjunction or based on an opportunity after the fact, but understanding the root goal at inception is the most important part of any campaign. To discover your root goal, ask yourself, what is the main thing I am trying to accomplish?

Online Marketing Outlets

The number of online marketing tools that exist today is vast, and growing at an astounding pace. There are so many marketing channels, that it can be a challenge just to figure out which are the right ones to use! These channels are not just a growing group of online marketing tactics, but more and more there are becoming vertical-specific channels. They can be very lucrative for online marketing for your specific vertical.

Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are some of the old standbys for social media, and from there, you get into other vertical tactics. For recruiters and hiring managers, these may be CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn Recruiter.

job-boards

Online marketing and user interaction on the web has grown to a point where there are so many moving parts and touch points, that it is a challenge to identify where to jump in.  Not just jump in, but where it makes sense, how to go about it, and if it fits the corporate objectives.

Content and Job Postings 

sieve

Content generation and content curation is the all the rage right now in online marketing.  Blogging and social sharing of information is a trend that has been around for quite some time, but it’s been generating more and more attention in the last year, and it doesn’t appear to be something that will slow down any time soon as the consumer appetite for new, interesting, and thought provoking information continues to pique the interest of online users.

Using the right tactics at the right time will create visibility, awareness, and promotion that can help you fulfill your business goals. In creating online content, making it memorable and making it stand out, is an important element. If you’re a recruiting firm, for example, whether creatively writing a job posting in a way that’s not often done, or blogging about content that displays you as a thought leader, your company will benefit by standing out.

With those two examples, you’ll accomplish some pretty cool outcomes:
If you: Create job postings that are sexy…
You’ll get: More candidates applying for your job!

If you: Blog about content that proves you to be a thought leader within your industry…
You’ll get: Hiring managers who are more comfortable, knowing they are in good hands!

The Right People at the Right Time

Ultimately, what it all comes down to is setting solid goals and working with the right tools to accomplish your business needs. In the example of an executive search firm, this means that you’ll attract great jobs, and the right candidates. Sounds like a win-win to me!

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