Kenshoo Social: Facebook Performance Skyrockets

Aug. 29

Long time search engine marketing professionals have a huge amount of respect for Kenshoo, one of the most amazing digital marketing platforms in existence. Kenshoo Search is in an elite category of platforms and consistently impresses me (and all other digital marketing professionals). In addition to Kenshoo Search, Kenshoo also offers an amazing social platform, aptly named Kenshoo Social. If you’re a digital marketing professional that runs campaigns on Facebook and other social networks, you absolutely must audition Kenshoo Social. Kenshoo Social is not just for social media professionals, it’s for performance-driven digital marketers running huge campaigns on social networks.

Today, I wanted to share a new infographic from Kenshoo Social. In their Facebook Ad Trends Infographic, Kenshoo Social shows just how quickly Facebook is improving from a direct-response standpoint. Comparing Q2, 2013 vs. Q1, 2013, it’s absolutely staggering how quickly Facebook is improving on metrics such as CTR, CPC, clicks, conversions, and revenue. I highly recommend checking out this infographic as a way to benchmark your own direct response campaigns on Facebook. Are you experiencing rapid improvement in your performance? Many advertisers are. As a side takeaway: Always keep testing! Something that may have not worked for you just a few quarters ago could now be one of your best channels.

In addition to overall Facebook trends improving at rapid pace, Kenshoo Social also finds that Real Time Dynamic FBX Creative Outperforms Static Creative. This makes perfect sense – get as granular and targeted as possible. Your prospective customers will appreciate the customized experience and respond to your FBX ads. One thing is for sure: If you’re a big advertiser on Facebook, make sure to reach out to Kenshoo Social to see how their platform can help your program scale.

Kenshoo Social: Click Image to See Full Infographic

Kenshoo Social Infographic

Image in this post © Kenshoo Social

Acquisio Innovates With Their Bid & Budget Algos

Jul. 07

I’m such a fan of Acquisio. These guys have built one of the most amazing performance marketing platforms in existence, one of the most popular for both agencies and direct advertisers. Back in April, I attended ad:tech SF and met with the Acquisio team. It’s there that I first learned about their new bid and budget management algorithms. Since then, they have fully released this new functionality, along with some amazing public case studies. Today, I wanted to take a quick moment to share their new enhancements, and then encourage you to head on over to Acquisio and arrange a demo!

With their new bid and budget management enhancements, Acquisio is upping the game when it comes to digital advertising. The three biggest highlights in my opinion:

  1. Bids are now updated every half hour! Most bid management platforms these days update bids daily. Imagine how much more efficiency is possible when you’re updating bids every half hour, based on intra-day data! The BBM algorithm is the brainchild of Acquisio’s Science Ops acquisition, an algo company that was working with NASA.
  2. Budgets are updated throughout the day based on intra-day performance. Great performing campaigns have an opportunity to scale and spend more money, low performing campaigns get throttled down. Budgets are shared across your suite of campaigns.
  3. Acquiso BBM is fully compatible with all other bid management platforms, and is technology that sits outside of the core Acquisio platform. Therefore, even if you are in contract with another automation platform and are not able to move over to Acquisio, you can still leverage the BBM technology.

Already, Acquisio BBM has driven incredible results. I encourage you to check out the Strathcom Media case study. Strathcom experienced twice as many clicks after implementing BBM in most cases, and experienced tremendous improvements in budget management.

I’m personal friends with Acquisio EVP and Co-Founder Marc Poirier. I’m really thrilled with their new BBM technology, and feel that it’s a major innovation in our industry (one of the biggest of 2013). Way to lead us forward, Acquisio!

Acquisio Bid and Budget Management Algorithms

Image in this post © Acquisio

Fun Times At The InsideVault Office

Feb. 23

This has been one exciting week for PPC Ian! It all started out with my exclusive Sean Marshall interview. Then, I had the honor of guest posting on AdMedia’s blog about Enhanced Campaigns. I had an absolute blast at the Marin Software Cocktail Party. Of course, I worked amazingly hard during all of this great stuff. Today’s post rounds up the week and highlights my fun visit to the InsideVault office earlier this week!

You may recall, I wrote a post a while back Introducing InsideVault. These guys are amazing! I’m personal friends with several employees at InsideVault, and I am here to say they are brilliant people and have built an amazing SEM platform!

On Tuesday night, after wrapping up an exciting and productive day at work, I drove over to the InsideVault San Carlos office. I met with Chaitanya Chandrasekar (CEO & Co-Founder), Brian Bird (Co-Founder & Head of Business Development), and Guillermo Cockrum (Business Development). I got a demo of the platform and it’s quite impressive. I was especially thrilled to see:

  • The overall speed of the platform. InsideVault is really fast. These guys are big data experts and built the platform for amazing speed.
  • InsideVault fully supports Google product listing ads. If you’re in the product shopping space, this feature is sure to help you out.
  • The platform offers an amazing level of detail. I’m talking about going beyond the keyword level: keyword + slot + network + match type + device + more! InsideVault really allows search marketers to drill down.
  • InsideVault offers reporting at the ad extension level, plus an easy interface for sitelink management.
  • So much more!

After an exciting demo, hanging out with friends, and taking pictures (see below), my good friend Guillermo and I went over to The Office for dinner. If you have not been there, I recommend it – the burgers are great. Are you in the market for an SEM automation platform? Want to take your SEM program to the next level? I highly recommend checking out InsideVault. Ask for my friend Guillermo and he can arrange a demo for you!


Image of PPC Ian and InsideVault ©

Marin Software IPO and Cocktail Party

Feb. 21

I’m a huge fan of Marin Software. I’ve covered Marin Software here on PPC Ian for years! I’m really happy and excited for all my friends at Marin, just last week they filed for IPO. Marin has built so much momentum over the years, and is a truly amazing platform and company. When it comes to SEM automation platforms like Marin, I’m the biggest proponent around. Marin’s pending IPO truly puts our industry and SEM automation on the map. Want to learn more? Check out the official IPO Press Release.

Tonight, I really enjoyed Marin Software’s cocktail party at Waterbar San Francisco. This party provided a great opportunity to catch up with my friends from Marin Software while networking with other online advertisers. Check out the picture below from the party, the venue was unbeatable! Marin Software truly builds lasting relationships with their clients and partners. Thanks, Marin for an awesome time and congrats on your pending IPO!

Marin Software Waterbar

Image in this post ©

Thoughts On Intraday PPC Bid Management

Oct. 22

How often do you update your PPC bids on Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and your 2nd tier search engines? Monthly, weekly, or daily? How about intraday? Today’s post covers some of my high level thoughts on intraday PPC bid management. If you’re already bidding intraday or if you’re thinking about it, I hope this post helps provide a framework and some points to think through in crafting your advanced bid strategy.

Why Consider Intraday Bidding?

Intraday Bidding

Before you even start biding intraday, I recommend determining precisely why you want to bid intraday. Of course it’s super cool to say your bids are getting updated all day, every single day. However, above and beyond the coolness factor, what is your true driving force behind your intraday strategy? I can think of a few great reasons why you would want to bid intraday:

  • You sell a product that has diminishing supply over time. If you have no more widgets to sell, you definitely want to lower your bids (or even turn off certain keywords).
  • Your business experiences very strong intraday seasonality. A good example is a business that does a ton of sales via phone. If your call center is not running 24/7, you will most likely want to adjust bids down when your call center is closed.
  • You’re in a super competitive market and drive a massive volume of clicks. You have so much data that the predicted value of each keyword actually changes during the course of the day.

Intraday Bidding On A Keyword Level Requires Lots of Data

There are two really popular intraday bidding models. The first involves blanket level bid adjustments across all keywords. We’ll get into some of those tactics later. The second involves getting super granular and making keyword-by-keyword bid adjustments on an intraday level. This tactic makes a lot of sense when you do a huge volume and it involves an enormous amount of data. Why? Bidding decisions need to be based on statistically significant data. If you make bid adjustments based on limited, non-statistical data, you’re setting yourself up for poor bidding decisions. If you’re making intraday bid adjustments on a keyword-by-keyword level, make sure you have tons of data.

Also, consider bucketing your keywords. Perhaps you only adjust bids intraday on your highest volume keywords, while the other keywords fall into your daily or even weekly buckets. As a bonus tip: Consider layering both strategies mentioned here. Make keyword level adjustments where you have tons of data and layer on account level strategies to all keywords.

Consider Advanced Dayparting For A Higher Level Approach

Let’s say you have account-wide intraday trends that you want to capitalize on. Perhaps your conversion rates tank when your call center is closed? I highly recommend taking advantage of advanced dayparting as a simple strategy to adjust bids up (as a function of the base) depending on time of day. The important caveat here is to make sure the data you’re looking at is the same time zone as your search engine account. Another tip: Make sure the conversion data you’re looking at is not lagged. You want to tie the conversions back to when they started for this exercise.

Take Latency In Search Engine APIs Into Account

Intraday strategies can become quite complex. Let’s say you’re looking at keyword level data and are trying to forecast keyword level conversion rates or even keyword level margin. Such calculations require click and cost data from the search engines. However, APIs can be delayed. If you’re making intraday decisions, make sure you are looking at the right click and cost data. Build safety checks into your algorithm in case the data becomes delayed.

Integrate SEM Bidding Into Your Back Office Systems

If you’re selling products that sell out, you can take your intraday bid management to the next level by looping it into your back office inventory systems. Just imagine: Inventory is getting low and you communicate this information to your bidding platform. Then, you bid down accordingly (or even pause certain keywords). You definitely do not want to pay for traffic to a product that you cannot sell. This framework works for both physical products and also digital products (such as leads). For example: You sell leads and your clients have daily caps in place.

SEM Automation Platforms and Intraday Bidding

As a closing thought, the right SEM automation platform can make a tremendous impact on your intraday bidding strategy. If you’re serious about intraday bidding and it’s a critical part of your overall strategy, make sure to ask the search platforms all about it. InsideVault, for example, takes intraday bidding quite seriously and can educate you all about the topic and how their platform optimizes intraday bids. I’m the biggest fan of SEM automation around and it becomes super important when you get to this fine level of optimization.

Image of bid button © iStockPhoto – head-off