Paid Search Advertising – PPC

This semester, I have taken the liberty of participating in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. It has been a roller coaster of fun, stress and learning. It’s been very informative of how ads work on Google, what the benefits of them are, and how great they can be for small businesses.

So, what is Paid Search Advertising (PPC)?

  • Advertising on search engine results page
  • Triggered by user when they enter a related keyword phrase
  • You, as a business, select and target relevant keywords to your business
  • Ads displayed when customers have searched up those relevant keywords
  • PPC – pay per click – Advertisers only pay when users click on their ads
  • Increase of paid ads being used by companies

Position in PPC

Highest bid – what is a bid? How does a bid work?

There are 3 types of bidding strategies that your business can choose from. They determine how you want your ads to be used. This is determined by the goals you have planned for the ads.

  • Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding: use if you want to drive customers to your website. This is great if you want to push new consumers to your website as much as possible.
  • Cost-per-impression (CPM) bidding: use if you want to make sure that customers see your message. This is perfect if you want to increase brand awareness of your brand and website.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding: use if you want to maximise conversions on your website. This is great if you want your website to make the most sales,

Quality score – What is this?

Now, it doesn’t matter how much you bid. You could bid $5 for your keyword and/or ad and someone who has bid $1 could win the auction. How and why? It all comes down to quality score, which effects ad rank. Quality score is an estimate of the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by that keyword in auctions throughout the day. The components that make up Quality Score are (1) click-through rate, (2) ad relevance, and (3) landing page experience. Every keyword you have will be scaled from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

Why should I care about Quality Score? My ads will still show on search engine results page regardless of my Quality Score.

You should care about your quality score because it effects your ad rank. Ad Rank refers to the order in which your ad will show up on a search engine results page (also known as ad position). The better your quality score is, the more likely your ad will show up at the top of the search engine page, rather than at the bottom or the side.

Click-through rates – what does this mean? And how does it benefit you (as a company)?

Click through rates (CTR) compares how many times your ad was clicked to how many times your ad was shown. As mentioned before, CTR is a component of Quality Score. It will look at the history of keywords matched with landing pages. Notice how keywords and landing pages come up again?

Relevance of keyword to your landing pages & ads – Keyword Planner

Keywords are important when using PPC advertising because they’re what consumers search on any search engine. It can be hard to figure what keywords would be most relevant for your ads. Luckily, Google AdWords has a tool called Keyword Planner which helps your get ideas, related keywords and search information. It can also provide historical statistics and traffic estimates of each keyword.

Are you thinking about using paid search advertising? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide!

Pros of PPC

  • You don’t have to pay until someone clicks on your ad
  • Highly targeted and specific
  • Easy to measure and account for
  • Technically easier than SEO
  • Return on Investment comes from how many conversions you make

Cons of PPC

  • Competitive and expensive
  • Inappropriate, particularly for companies focusing on lifetime value of customers
  • Requires specialist knowledge of AdWords
  • Time consuming
  • Can be irrelevant to consumers

Until next time, click this post to leave a comment and give this post a like

P.S. Sadly, no memes this week but I promise more memes in the next week!

Artificial Intelligence is coming…

In our day and age, the internet has become a necessity in day-to-day life. We can access everything to anything just by typing in a few words into Google. Have you ever really thought about how much access we have to things when using the internet? It’s beyond crazy.

Remember when you added items into your shopping cart and then immediately exited the webpage after looking at the subtotal? And then you got an email an hour later being like “Where did you go? You forgot all the items in your cart!”

Sounds a bit like stalking, doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is…

homer fade away into bushes.gif

Image Source

Data mining is the act of analysing data from different perspectives and then summarising it into useful information. Parks and Recreation, a American comedy sitcom, had the best episode demonstrating how creepy and stalker-ish data mining can be. To understand the rest of this article, click here to watch a short clip of what I’m referring to.

Now, of course I haven’t seen any business mess up as bad as Gryzzl did on Parks and Rec. The most creeped out I have ever gotten was receiving an email asking me “where I went” after I chose not to spend all my life savings on unnecessary things. But in Pawnee’s case, Gryzzl violated their consumers privacy by using their technology to collect data for evil. The worst part was Gryzzl snuck it into their consumer terms and conditions (which obviously no one reads) stating consumers allow them to have access to their personal information and to use it for whatever they want.

you done messed up a aron.gif

Image Source

So, how bad can data mining get? Is this just the beginning? Will our phone’s front camera become our worst nightmare?

These are all very extreme questions that a lot of consumers may be worried about. I know, for sure, that I’m worried about my privacy being violated. I don’t like the idea that someone could be watching me through my webcam or analysing my texts and phone calls. Those are private and way too personal to be seen or heard by any company, just so they can use that information to create an ad.

At the same time, all that information is gold to marketers these days. It is so important to stay relevant and top-of-mind when creating advertisements or promoting products/services so data is needed. So as a marketer, what do we do?

  1. Use your powers for good, not evil.

What do I mean by this? Data is so easy to collect and access. There’s so much data that is collected on our every online move that it can go all downhill if used the wrong way. Consumers shouldn’t need to feel like their identity has been taken from them just so an ad can be created. Yes, it’s nice that I get suggested different types of brands that I might be interested in. But I don’t want companies or anyone to know what kind of food I feel like eating unless I told them.

ben court meme.gif

Image Source

2. It’s about providing an experience.

Shopping or just surfing the internet is an emotional experience for consumers. It is important that when consumers use the internet to search for something they can easily access the business and information will be relevant to them. Don’t lose sight of what’s most important – Creating a natural experience when online to help consumers feel more intimate with a business when they see sponsored ads.

3. There’s a line; don’t cross it.

As this blog title suggests, artificial intelligence is on the rise so it is becoming more and more important to know where the “line” is drawn. The line for me is receiving an email asking me to come back and spend all my money on collecting more clothes/make up I don’t need. Any more than that, I may just have to quit the internet forever.

ron swanston.gif

Image Source

Until next time, click this post to leave a comment and give this post a like

Header Image Source

I really like memes

I couldn’t sleep the other night and was scrolling through Tumblr and noticed that everything I was reblogging and liking was a meme.

I don’t think I need to provide a definition for what a meme is. But for the off chance that there is a reader who is unfamiliar with the term, a meme is a funny image, video or phrase that is spread across the internet due to it’s ability to humour people.

kermit kermit

Image Source

There’s just something about memes that are extremely funny but also super simple at the same time. It’s amazing how connected we all feel with each other based on a photo, video or even just a phrase. It has definitely become a norm in our society. With such large platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr etc it is difficult to go a day without actually seeing a meme.

Screenshot (129)

Image Source

So, what implications does this mean for a digital marketer?

Well I guess it means that the internet has a place for humour. As marketers, we can use this to our advantage as consumers feel connected when they share similar humour.

A lot of businesses that use social media, have begun using memes in their everyday updates. For example, Popcherry, an online clothing store, has been using a lot of memes to connect with its target audience. Their target audience is young females so most of their memes are female related.

Screenshot (126).png

Obviously for Popcherry, using memes on their social media is working in their favour. It engages consumers to look at the meme and then take a look at their brand. It demonstrates to consumers that Popcherry knows what they want and can deliver it.

However, not all brands reel in the likes. Some brands actually reel in hate instead. There are a lot of brands that are trying to use memes to communicate with its consumers but don’t use it properly or effectively that it reels in a lot of negative attention.

Yes, it’s nice that brands are incorporating memes into their advertising but it needs to be done right. There is a right and wrong way to use memes and slang. If used correctly, it draws in consumers like free food. If used incorrectly, you’ll get shamed like Cersei in Game of Thrones.

shame got.jpg

Image Source

What do you think? Do you like when brands use memes? Or would you prefer it stay amongst us consumers and let it naturally become popular?

Until next time, click this post to leave a comment and give this post a like

Header Image Source

“Evolving consumer behaviour and attitude isn’t just a function of age or even a life stage.”

Today’s blog post title quotes an article I read recently on Marketingmag called Are your customers Millennials or just highly evolved?

To summarise (for those who can’t be bothered reading), Anjali Lai an analyst for Forrester wrote an article about how technology and growth in digitisation will change Australian marketing. Forrester uses a spectrum called “Empowered Customer Segmentation” to measure the shifts in consumer behaviour and attitudes responding to innovation and categorising them into segments.

Here’s the image provided in the article. It demonstrates how to apply Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation in Asia Pacific.

Screenshot (84).png

Image Source

These are the five different segments consumers fall under, depending on their response to innovation and change.

  • Progressive Pioneer: demand product and service innovation
  • Savvy Seekers: first to learn about innovation & engage with new changes
  • Convenience Conformers: anything that is convenient only after they are widely available
  • Settled Survivor: motivated by adaptation, not trends
  • Reserved Resisters: least enthusiastic about product or service

From these segments and the percentages above, you can see that Australian companies have an opportunity to engage customers through digital. There is a wide-open opportunity to increase the number of Progressive Pioneers and decrease the number of Reserved Resisters.

So, what does this mean for you? Why even care about this segmentation? What does it imply to a future marketer? What does this imply to a consumer?

what does this all mean.jpg

Image Source

Well, that’s simple. The title explains it all.

Consumers are ever-changing with their wants, needs, and demands that it doesn’t make sense to group people based on their function of age or life stage.

Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation has opened a gateway to a different perspective of understanding a consumer and looking for a new way to reach them digitally.

For a future marketer, as empowered customer expectations grow, there will be a need for a better understanding of customer motivation, growth in empowerment, trends, smartphone usage etc. With this growing need of learning more about consumers,

(1) You can definitely find a job. There is so much work to be done in terms of developing and maintaining digital marketing, that there is no way you’ll be unemployed when you graduate (given you actually try and put in the work).

graduate in marketing

Image Source

(2) There is so much more to learn. Look at all the opportunities we have, as future marketers, to embrace and take advantage of. Now is the time to act.

For a consumer, as the world is becoming digital you have the power to make things the way you want it to be. Businesses and marketers are always analysing your every online move. So, move swiftly and carefully as it can determine how you use the internet.

Secret-agent-undercover.png

Image Source

Even with all of this knowledge there is one important factor that cannot be overlooked. It is prominent that marketers, business leaders, and organisations understand that it’s about finding the right digital experience, not about the product or service.

Yes, the quality and value of a product and service is important. However, it means nothing if it doesn’t provide the consumer with the experience they want from the product or service.

Troy-Barnes-Why-Are-You-Making-Us-Feel-These-Things-Community

Image Source

This article has given me so much to think about in terms of where digital marketing can take us. But I leave you with some questions to think about:

  • What type of segment do you fall under?
  • How has going digital changed your life?
  • What do you want to be improved?

Until next time, click this post to leave a comment and give this post a like

Where do you want to go eat?

This question gets asked more than we think it does. Every single couple, group of friends or even first dates will experience this dreadful question.

The possible answers are in a constant battle of “I don’t know” or “You choose” or “I’m happy with anything” – even though you low-key want to go to that Mexican place with the soft tacos.

where do you want to go eat

Image Source

You see… Most of the time, it’s difficult to pick a place to eat because you may not know where to even begin looking. I personally like to use Instagram or Zomato to grab ideas.

With social media growing rapidly, we are all equipped with apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr etc. These platforms have become the greatest weapons a business will use in order to draw you into buying their products or using their service.

Well, here’s the game changer. Not only are they going to convince you to buy unnecessary products and services, but they’re also going to tell you where you should go eat too.

tim-and-eric-mind-blown

Image Source

Hootsuite, a social media management platform, discovered that 71% of customers base their purchasing decisions from what they find out on social media. Apparently, using Instagram can grow a business’ audience by up to ten times.

Now, we all know how Instagram runs nowadays. It is full of social media influencers who will showcase their make up skills, beautiful athletic bodies or aesthetically pleasing homes to draw in consumers. Instagram has basically become the home-ground of using the hashtag “goals” and seeing the comment “omg want”.

influencer post

So, it makes sense that now restaurants, bars, and hotels are leveraging these influencers to draw attention to their established businesses. “Hotels, bars, and restaurants are tagged every 28 seconds on Instagram”, says Hootsuite.

And I guess at this point you’re probably wondering, “What does this all mean?”

Basically, it means that as a consumer we are changing the way we make decisions. We are moving away from research, hardcore evidence and our own experiences. As social media rises, consumers are looking at follower count, amount of likes, positive/negative comments and reviews, how often it’s shared, and even who the influencer is.

Social media has given us (consumers) the ability to jump onto any band-wagon even if it’s “all show, no result”, as long as there are lots of followers, likes, and shares.

Bandwagon-fans-bandwagon

Image Source

If you’re a business entering into social media, here’s some advice:

  • Be social – What I mean by this is, actively post photos, videos, and read and respond to comments from customers.
  • Choose your platform carefully – You don’t want to be stuck with a platform that consumers don’t use or can’t all access.
  • Plan, plan, plan – There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing an amazing flat-lay of brunch and seeing a spelling mistake in the description.
  • Be consistent – Ensure that your activity aligns with what your business is about.
  • Prepare to spend money, time & energy – There’s a 24/7 expectation from customers who will want to be endlessly entertained.
  • Keep it simple & easy to understand – You don’t want something complicated that causes confusion in your customers.

So, the next time you hear or ask the question “Where do you want to go eat?” be sure to check out what the latest hype is.

Until next time, click this post to leave a comment and give this post a like

Header Image Source

First blog post

My very first blog post… How… Scary? Exciting?

I guess it’s scary because this is how readers will define my blog. I guess it’s also exciting because I can share my thoughts on things in an environment that I can control.

I am an undergraduate student studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I am finishing up a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing.

This blog will mostly be focused on digital marketing – that is, how it has changed our internet world, what it entails and what it could bring us. However, it will also explore trends, failures, and annoying videos on social media.

Why the name The Ugly Duckling? Well, I’ve used this name for my Tumblr for a while… but also I reckon it represents myself pretty well. I am an ugly duckling until one day, after I’ve figured out who I am (how cliche), I become a beautiful swan.

I hope to explore a lot more about the marketing universe and hope that you (reader) will find it as interesting as I do.