Tag Archives: online advertising

Using Facebook for business free ebook

How to use Facebook for business

How to use Facebook for business

Ellie Mirman of Hubspot created a fantastic new (and free!) ebook on the ins and outs of using Facebook for business.

“The ebook includes everything you need to know to get started using Facebook to reach and engage more potential buyers online.”

What you’ll find inside the free 22-page ebook:

  • How to use Facebook’s ad builder to identify prospects already on the social media network.
  • How to get the best ROI from Facbook ads
  • How to maximize your brand’s exposure to fans and their networks on Facebook
  • How to use Facebook’s built-in analytics to measure visitor engagement

Download the ebook today, it’s more than worth it.

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Eyetracking study reveals enlightening online tactics

Enlightening eytracking study

Enlightening eytracking study

Want to know whether your homepage layout is effective? Or if readers prefer short paragraphs over long ones? And if your ads are in the best place to be noticed by your audience?

Take a few minutes out of your day and read over the latest findings from Eyetrack III (via ProBlogger and the Direct Creative Blog). Their research could give your team a better idea of where to start and what to fix when it comes to your Web site design.

You can check out the full article for a complete overview of their findings, but here are some of the main points:

Headlines first, then pictures. When people first land on a page, they tend to look at dominant headlines before looking at pictures. Headlines located in the upper left of the page got the most attention.

The first few words in a headline are most important. A headline will grab less than a second of a visitor’s attention and it appears that the first few words need to be the most eye-catching. People scan the first couple words before deciding to read on.

Use large type for scanning, small type for closer reading. Smaller type is harder to read, so visitors have to focus when they want to find out more. As always, large type should be used for headlines to allow for easy scanning.

Short paragraphs have a better chance of being read than longer ones. Long paragraphs, especially on the Web, look difficult to read. Short paragraphs are more appealing.

Ads in the top and left portions of a homepage get the most attention. Our eyes tend to look at the upper left of a page when we first arrive on it.

Bigger ads are better. Bigger ads have a better chance of being seen. When ads are also placed next to popular content they’ll generally get more attention.

More B2Bs taking business online

Surpassing all other business-to-business media categories, online revenue had the most impressive growth in 2008, according to a recent report by The Jordan, Edmiston Group.

In 2008, the online category increased 15.1%, a shift mainly credited to the shift in ad dollars from magazines to online channels. Magazines have been declining in revenue over the past few years, showing an 8.4% annual decline in 2008.

“Advertising dollars continued shifting from print vehicles to online outlets, as magazine net ad revenue declined,” said Richard Mead, Managing Director at Jordan, Edmiston.

Where are most B2Bs putting their money? In online display and search advertising.

Online display and search advertising account for more than 50% of total online revenue and gained more than 12% year-over-year in 2008.

B2B agencies showing “gloom and doom” the door

Business-to-business ad agencies had it tough last year, with total ad spending down 2.6% from 2007, according to Nielson Monitor-Plus.

Though advertising took a hit, many b-to-b agencies were able to grow their business last year, with some reporting their most profitable years ever.

How did they do it?

According to a BtoB Online Special Report, those businesses found success by focusing on three major areas:

  1. Understanding their clients;
  2. Developing relevant, compelling creative
  3. Expanding into new areas such as green marketing and social media

Winners from this year’s Top Agencies Special Report added that in order to succeed in today’s market, B2B businesses will need a healthy dose of “optimism, boldness and creative thinking.”

“If you are smart, you get lifted up by the recession, not pulled down by it,” said Rick Segal, CEO of HSR Business to Business, Cincinnati, winner of the midsize category. “It is an opportunity to grow and become more profitable in terms of building your business and bringing new ideas to clients, even if they’re not asking for them.”

With an increase in revenue by 30%, 2008 was HSR’s best year on record. The agency explored new opportunities in online video and social media, even with some of the company’s most traditional clients like John Deere & Co.

“We live in a time of extraordinary change—change that will be amplified and accelerated by the recession, ushering in perhaps a new age of business transformation,” said John Favalo, managing partner-group B2B at Eric Mower & Associates, runner-up in the midsize category. “Business models, marketing and communications will transform, and successful agencies will be instrumental in helping clients through the dramatic changes.”

Read the full BtoB Online article.

How has your organization responded to the changing market? Are you using new media, including online video and social media to improve your chances of success?

Using online video ads? Use subtitles

The online video market is growing exponentially. By 2012 the U.S. online video audience alone will reach 190 million, almost 88% of the country’s Internet user population, according to eMarketer estimates.

“As with most everything else online, where the eyeballs go, advertising follows,” say the eMarketers.

In just the next four years, online video ad spending is predicted to reach almost $6 billion. Driving the incredible growth is more trust in video content and larger advertisers entering the online video market.

“The use of videos for advertising online is unquestionably growing—except among B2B marketers. They face a huge hurdle. Most of their targets—businesspeople—don’t have audio turned on in the office. Talking heads or voiceovers that no one hears are not very effective.”

The solution? Captions.

Use online video subtitles

Use online video subtitles

PLYmedia, a provider of closed-caption solutions, studied user response to videos where subtitles and captions were included on online videos. Overlaying subtitles and captions increased the amount of time users spent watching videos by almost 40%.

Additionally, videos that had subtitles were watched 91% to completion, compared with 66% to completion for videos without subtitles.

“As more and more online video is consumed in an increasing variety of settings—from office environments to noisy bars to mobile phones—it makes sense to add closed-captioning and subtitling features to digital video files,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst. “These enhancements expand opportunities for viewers to enjoy online video, even when it’s impractical for them to have the sound turned on.”

Read the full eMarketer article.

How to save on PPC and get the best ROI

As we said in yesterday’s post, this year marketers will be moving dollars into more reliable ROI generators, including pay-per-click (PPC) search ads. Because of it’s precise targeting and easy measurement, paid search provides a great return for many businesses.

Whether you’re dealing with a $20 or $20K daily PPC budget, you want to know you’re saving money wherever you can. Especially if your PPC budget has been scaled back in 2009, it’s more important than ever to get the most bang for your buck.

Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, recently wrote an article featured at Blog Mango explaining how to make saving money on PPC a priority in 2009. Here are a few of Peter’s tips:

Assess your “broad match” campaigns. By default, Adwords campaigns are set as “broad match” campaigns. Peter’s example: “If WebsiteMagazine.com were to bid on the on the keyword “Website Magazine” on a broad match level, we’d receive a lot of unrelated traffic from queries related to “magazines” – which is not what we want. So if you have done the required keyword research and are confident with the effectiveness of a few keywords, use the “Phrase” or “Exact Match” instead of Broad Match.”

Take another look at negative keywords. “Negative keywords enable advertisers to ensure that they do not, under any circumstances, appear under certain keyword or key phrase combinations.” When used correctly, you can filter out keywords for which you don’t want your ads shown. For more information, go to Adwords Keyword Tool, enter a keyword and choose “Negative” in the drop down menu under “Match Type.” It will show you a slew of negative keywords that may fit your primary keyword.

Restructure your campaign to improve conversions. Peter explains that the most efficient PPC campaigns follow a similar process: “group similar keywords together in individual ad groups, develop sets of ads for those individual groups and point those keyword focused ad groups (and often times on a keyword level) to designated landing pages.” Restructuring your campaign this way will improve your click-through rate and improve conversions.

Schedule your ads. Control the days and times your AdWords campaigns appear by using Ad Scheduling. If you’re running a campaign on a certain day of the week, you can use Ad Scheduling to only show ads on that particular day. You can even schedule ads to run during a certain time of the day where you receive the most business. With a little trial and error, it could improve your conversion rates.

Read the full article at Blog Mango.

Any other advice out there on how to save money on PPC? We’d love to hear it!

Marketers share plans for marketing in a recession

MarketingSherpa, in collaboration with ad:tech, recently released the results of another year-end survey of more than 1,200 marketers. Their research provides an inside look at which tactics have the best ROI and how marketers are adjusting their plans this year for marketing in a recession.

The following chart illustrates which marketing tactics were put to work the most, were given the biggest budgets and provided the best ROI.

Best ROI marketing tactics

Best ROI marketing tactics

The ‘x’ axis marks the percentage of marketers that describe each tactic as a “great” return on investment. The ‘y’ axis shows which marketing tactics were implemented the most. The size of the bubble illustrates the relative budget compared to other tactics.

According to the findings:

  • Paid search is a clear front-runner in both budget and ROI with about 50% of respondents saying it had a great return.
  • More than 40% of marketers said that email marketing to their house lists had great ROI.
  • More than 70% of marketers use display ads, such as banners and buttons, but less than 15% said they generate good ROI.

The gurus at MarketingSherpa are predicting that as the economy gets tighter more marketers may move dollars into more reliable ROI generators this year. Topping the list of reliable ROI efforts are pay-per-click (PPC) search ads, emails to house lists and search engine optimization.