Social Media: Kenshoo’s Exciting New Whitepaper

Sep. 30

I’m a huge fan of SEM platforms and you’ll often find me blogging about them. One of my absolute favorite platforms, Kenshoo, has been publishing some seriously amazing whitepapers. A while back, I reviewed their Best Practices For Bid Management whitepaper, one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t read that one, I highly recommend it Today, I’m thrilled to review Kenshoo’s new FREE whitepaper: 2012 Social Media Advertising Global Games.

Kenshoo Global Games

With the IPO of Facebook, more companies than ever are thinking about how they can best advertise on Facebook and other social engines. If you operate a global marketing program, the questions become especially complex. You may be asking yourself, “In which country should I start?” Perhaps you’re wondering, “Where can I get the best results for the lowest cost?”

Kenshoo’s brand new whitepaper answers these questions and so many more. It’s a really fun whitepaper that compares Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States across a variety of “games”. The specific games include:

  • Event 1 – Marathon – CPM
  • Event 2 – 100 Meters – Average CPC
  • Event 3 – 200 Meters – Average CTR
  • Event 4 – Archery – Frequency
  • Event 5 – Football – Exposure Rate
  • Event 6 – BMX – Maximum Recommended Bid

For each event, Kenshoo’s whitepaper shows the gold, silver, and bronze medalists, in addition to providing insights and helpful charts/graphs. At the end of the whitepaper is a neat “Closing Ceremony” that shows the overall winners. I particularly like the closing ceremony because it outlines the best global opportunities for Facebook advertisers. Whether you’re a large global advertiser, a single-country advertiser, or an affiliate marketer, Kenshoo’s whitepaper is truly invaluable and will help you prioritize your efforts and understand what to expect. Thanks, Kenshoo, for another amazing whitepaper!

Image in this post © Kenshoo

Marin Masters San Francisco Rocked

Sep. 27

Today, I attended Marin Masters San Francisco 2012 conference, hosted by SEM platform Marin Software. The conference was amazing, the can’t miss San Francisco SEM event of 2012. Today, I’m thrilled to share my recap of Marin Masters.

Marin Masters

PPC Ian and Peter From Marin Software

Some quick background… I attended Marin Masters two years ago. I had an outstanding time, but last year I unfortunately missed the conference (I had a big presentation/event at work that day). I was really sorry that I missed it so this time I was sure to save the date months in advance. I am sure happy I was able to attend this year! It was an action-packed conference, one of the best ever.

Hosted at the W Hotel in San Francisco, the venue was amazing. Marin went all out. They reserved a huge room and the attendance was really impressive (it was packed). It makes perfect sense: San Francisco is the online marketing capital of the world and $4 billion worth of online marketing spend is managed via Marin. Marin has a huge family and a world of supporters, power users, and enthusiasts (including me)! This was the place to be. They had free drinks there and truly did an outstanding job from all aspects. They even raffled off a free Xbox Kinect.

After arriving, I networked with the other attendees and friends from Marin Software. It’s such a small world, I ran into so many good friends. What a great industry! After networking a bit, the conference started. Both Marin Software employees and clients spoke. My friend Matt Lawson, VP of Marketing at Marin, introduced the event. He even gave a shout out to me, PPC Ian, and people started cheering. What an honor and fun experience! (Check it out, I’m On The Marin Homepage.)

During the presentations, I listened very closely. I was especially impressed by the Experian presentation. Experian’s head of online marketing spoke all about mobile marketing and had some true insights about campaign structure, landing pages, and going after new opportunities. Yahoo! sponsored the event and also had an amazing speaker. Marin’s head of product management spoke all about the latest and greatest features, focusing on ways to save time each and every day. All of the speakers were truly great, they really went all out. In just three hours, I learned invaluable paid search tips/insights and also strategies for leveraging Marin to the next level.

After the conference, I enjoyed several hours of cocktails and appetizers. The drinks and food were amazing. The company was even better. I had so much fun chatting with friends, both new and old. If you’re running big online marketing campaigns, I highly recommend auditioning Marin. They are truly amazing. Thanks Marin for the great Marin Masters conference, I can’t wait until the next one!

Image of Ian and Peter ©

An Introduction To Remarketing

Sep. 26

I recently reviewed an awesome PPC Associates eBook about going after the Wide Tail of SEM (I highly recommend reading it). One of the themes of the wide tail is going after all channels within online marketing. One exciting channel, display, has a really cool tactic known as remarketing, also called retargeting. Today, I will give a quick introduction to remarketing and how you can get involved in this exciting marketing channel.

What Is Remarketing?

Target Market

The concept is quite simple. Let’s say a customer comes to your website. They look around a bit (and maybe even place some items in their shopping cart). However, they leave without buying anything. This is a highly qualified customer. They were so close to making a purchase, but weren’t quite ready. Perhaps they wanted to do more research. Perhaps they didn’t have their credit card on them. Perhaps they were just not ready to buy.

Before the invention of remarketing, you had no easy way to reach out this customer, unless they had created and account on your site (entering their email address). This is quite unfortunate because marketing costs money. You paid to get that customer to your site, but they left without making a purchase. Remarketing changes all of this. All you have to do is place remarketing pixels on your website. Then, you can target those customers who visited your site without converting, via display advertisements across the Internet. Let’s say someone who visited your site without converting is browsing the Yahoo! homepage or perhaps CNN. Your remarketing banner could show up, entice them to click through back to your site, and then convert!

Remarketing Is Getting More Sophisticated

A few years back, remarketing was relatively simple. You didn’t have a ton of options. However, these days things are evolving quickly. Because of the quick evolution, I recommend working with a company such as AdMedia that can help you with strategy (make sure to check out their Remarketing Advertising Solutions). How is remarketing getting more sophisticated? I see a few trends.

  • First, more and more platform options exist. There are a sea of remarketing platforms. I recommend auditioning them all and then choosing the one that meets your needs the best.
  • Second, people are now leveraging more inventory sources than ever before. I’m talking about RTBs, directly negotiated inventory, and big display networks such as the Google Display Network (GDN). More remarketing sources means more inventory and more options to connect with your customer.
  • Third, I see the creatives getting more complex and more dynamic.
  • Fourth, I see remarketing platforms embrace sophisticated bidding algorithms. This is right up the alley of the PPC pro who is used to a platform like Marin Software, Kenshoo, or Acquisio.

When you get into remarketing, make sure to take your time to pick the right vendor and craft a comprehensive strategy. Really think it through.

A Cost Effective Strategy

Results really differ by company. However, from auditing the industry and speaking with those who run remarketing campaigns, I generally hear good things about this marketing strategy. One word of caution: Don’t measure the results of your display and remarketing campaigns based on “view through” conversions. It’s always better to use click through conversions. If remarketing works on a CPA basis for you on a click through basis, you have a brand new marketing channel that will help raise your site’s conversion rate. You will target those customers you already paid to attract to your site, via marketing dollars. Remarketing is your tool to get the most out of your overall marketing dollars. Have you tried remarketing yet?

Image of Target Market © iStockPhoto – alexskopje

My Weekend Musings (5th Edition)

Sep. 23

It’s been a while since my last weekend musings post, the 4th edition was all the way back in April. So, I thought it would be the prefect time for another weekend musings post! Following are some of the big things going on in my world…

Time For Me

  • PPC Ian is now a registered trademark of my company, IJL Productions LLC. I’m thrilled, it’s the first trademark that I own and represents my goal of continuing to go really big with PPC Ian! I truly appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read my blog, thanks so much.
  • Nicole and I had dinner with a great friend tonight who we had not seen for a year! Time passes by so fast, especially in the world of online marketing. Make sure to take time for the important people in your life. It’s all about friends and family.
  • This weekend, I’m working most of the weekend. I have a big presentation on Monday and want to make sure it’s perfect. I worked half of the weekend last weekend too. It’s all about doing your best and going above and beyond in your online marketing career. Next weekend will be my time to take some time off!
  • I own a portfolio of websites and recently did some important housekeeping items that have improved user experience and also organic traffic. A few weeks ago, I spent the entire weekend auditing each site and doing the following…
    1. I removed all non-converting affiliate links. Even though the links were marked as “nofollow”, I saw no reason to keep such links if the were not driving sales.
    2. I made sure all links worked. I corrected or removed broken links. I found lots of them. I also made sure to check the websites I linked to. Some of them were gone and were simply parked pages. I made sure to remove such links, as they are no longer of value to the user.
    3. I updated all copyright notices to say “Copyright XYZ Date – 2012″. Many of them had only been updated through 2011 or in some cases 2010. The combination of these efforts seems to be helping quite a bit. My traffic is steadily increasing and also my AdSense earnings are up about 25% over the last few weeks.
  • It’s important to simplify your life and focus on those things that are truly important. This type of framework can help both at work and at home, it’s a big productivity and peace of mind booster. Recently, I dropped a lot of domains. I’m even dropping domains that have built websites, if they are not earning good money each year. Why keep domains/websites that don’t pay for themselves (and that I have no intent/ability to sell for a profit)? Such domains/websites are liabilities, not assets. This move has helped clear my mindshare while also boosting profits. It’s just like paid search optimization, you need to invest in your winners and cut your losers.
  • PPC tip of the week: Make sure to ask your search engine reps about beta tests. Beta tests are a great way to stay ahead of the curve and embrace new technologies before anyone else. Moreover, betas often offer a discounted (or even free) way to test features that may later cost money.

Image of Time For Me © iStockPhoto – donskarpo

It’s All About The Wide Tail of SEM

Sep. 21

I’m a huge fan of PPC Associates, one of the best SEM Agencies around. PPC Associates took the Silicon Valley by storm earlier this year with their Billboards on 101, one of my favorite offline marketing campaigns of this year. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten to know David Rodnitzky (CEO of PPC Associates) quite well, and I’m here to say that he is a true leader in our industry. This all brings me to the topic of today’s post: My review of Introducing the Wide Tail of SEM eBook.

I’m a big proponent of reading eBooks and whitepapers about online marketing. The beauty of our industry is smart people are always willing to share their perspectives and insights. Via their eBook series, PPC Associates does just that. Here’s what to expect in their wide tail eBook:

  • An explanation of why the long tail is losing its power, except in a few rare exceptions.
  • The emergence of the wide tail and how it differs from the long tail.
  • How savvy marketers are changing their perspective from the long tail to the wide tail.
  • Several trends that comprise the new wide tail phenomenon.
  • Best practices for managing the wide tail.
  • 13 pages packed full of SEM insights.

I really enjoyed this eBook because the content is great and because it’s a well-written quick read. I recommend taking some time today to download and read Introducing the Wide Tail of SEM. It’s free!

Wide Tail Download

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