While Twitter is beta-testing a new advertising platform, the program is currently not open to everyone interested. When a B2C client of ours recently wanted to experiment with paid Twitter marketing, any inquiries with Twitter went unanswered (I blame the fact that we are based in Canada )
Since we did not receive entry into the beta-program (despite having the budget) in time for the client’s requirements, we decided to pursue other avenues. We settled on a venture-backed outfit that allows companies to create and manage advertising campaigns on Twitter.
From our own experiences so far, paid Twitter marketing is quite effective:
- Depending on the platform, advertisers have a choice of paying per tweet or paying per click. With minimum CPCs of $.05, the program reminds me of the early days of Google AdWords. Needless to say, higher CPCs make the offer more attractive to the participating tweeters.
- Tweeters find out about opportunities and then tweet the advertiser’s message and destination URL, while clearly stating the nature of the tweet (common hashtags such as #ad identify the promoted tweets)
- Advertisers can either auto-approve tweets or review proposed tweets prior to publication.
- Tracking and Google Analytics integration are provided
- Setting up a Twitter advertising campaign is relatively painless
- Targeting options are reasonable, but not quite rich enough for my liking (i.e. no keyword-specific targeting, no geo-targeting to ‘just’ Canadian tweeters)
- For our targeting options, roughly 7000 tweeters were in the system, and several hundred took advantage of our offer.
- The pre-approval of tweets is definitely recommended. While I didn’t see much abuse and only a few virtually empty tweets (designed to just get a click without being clear about the offer), this allowed us to ensure that Tweets varied in content and weren’t all just cut&paste jobs.
- It did, however, result in significant additional work: approval, making edit suggestions or rejecting each individual tweet can quickly get out of hand.
- The Twitter PPC campaign resulted in meaningful traffic and – more importantly – ‘conversions’ for the client as well.
- Cost per Conversion was better than other PPC platforms. This will change!
If you’re interested in using Twitter for PPC marketing, there’s no time like the present. At this point in the game, Cost per Clicks are still very low, and the competition among advertisers isn’t overwhelming. As I said, this reminds me of the early days of Google AdWords – it was like shooting fish in a barrel. And today? While Google AdWords remains highly effective, AdWords prices have in many instances gone through the roof. The same will undoubtedly happen with Twitter advertising, whether with the Twitter platform itself, or on one of the 3rd party providers.
Contact us if you’d like help with your Twitter PPC campaign or just to share your experiences.
One of my favourite expressions is this:
“Successful Marketing is the Consistent Application of Common Sense”.
With all the marketing tools at our disposal, it is all too easy to overlook the obvious answers that often lie right before our eyes. A case in point: An organization selling consumable products recently asked me whether there was a way in Google Analytics to determine why customers did not come back to reorder in greater numbers. They had found that many of their purchasers were net new contacts, rather than existing customers reordering.
While Google Analytics is good at many things, it cannot generally answer a ‘Why’ question. It is much better at answering the ‘What’ question. I.e. what happened to my conversion rate last month? How many new visitors did the site attract and where did they come from etc. To find answers to the ‘Why’ question, you have to look elsewhere. And while On-site surveys are often a good way to answer the ‘why’ questions, this situation did not require any tools.
It just required some common sense. After chatting with the client for a bit, it turned out that they usually sent their brand name products (3rd party brands) in non-descript brown shipping boxes. Once the product (e.g. cleaning detergent) arrived at the client site and was stacked on a shelf, there was NO way to identify where the order had come from. As a result, once it came time to reorder, the purchasers would look at the bottle and – more often than not – type the product name into Google. Presto: an easy opportunity for reordering was wasted.
The simple solution: the client is now adding a small sticker to their products – a purchaser now can either visit the website or call to reorder… Result: reorder rates are up significantly, and the average cost of sale has decreased.
Google Analytics wouldn’t have come up with that in a million years.
The morale of the story: don’t forget to look beyond the tools, and the reams of useful data they produce. Look around you – the answer may very well be staring you in the face.
For those of you following Google Analytics developments, the last few days were pretty big. Google Analytics has rolled out a few new features that anyone in the analytics space should be excited about:
- Up to 20 Goals per profile (the previous limit of 4 was severely limiting)
- New Goal Types: Time on site, pages per visit
- Custom Alerts: Get notified when something important happens on your web site
- Improved filtering on tables and reports (yay)
For all the details on this, here are some of the main videos:
Congrats to the Analytics team at Google.
It never ceases to amaze me how many organizations are merrily running Google AdWords campaigns without taking full advantage of the built-in reporting capabilities. We recently helped a few clients optimize their AdWords performance, and while their businesses were targeting very different audiences, they had oneÂ thing in common: they had NEVER looked at the Google AdWords Report Center beyond the basic keyword performance report. Aaargh…
Easily the most useful report in the Report Center:
- The Search Query Performance Report: It shows you the actual keyword queries that triggered your ads, rather than ‘just’ your keyword buys.Â This is particularly useful when your campaign contains the infamous ‘broad’ match keyword types.Â You’d be amazed at the actual queries that triggered your ads.Â The insight is dramatic
- Identify negative keywords (free, shareware,…)
- Identify high performing keyword phrases and create new ad groups for them.
- Refine your keyword buys with additional match types and corresponding focused text ads.
Of course, there are a few caveats:
- Some search queries can’t be identified ‘x unique queries’ may have triggered your ads. Simply filter them out of your analysis
- Don’t forget your other reports: Placement performance (if you run content ads) etc.
The Google AdWords program continues to be one of the most effective drivers of targeted traffic and leads.Â However, make sure you don’t waste your money on irrelevant clicks!
As many of you know, I’ve been a major fan of two web analytics tools: Google Analytics, because it’s free and pretty powerful, and Clicktracks, because of the unique insights it presents in easily digestible form.
Today, Google Analytics Version 2.0 was released.Â From what I can see so far: Amazing!Â
Â I’m looking forward to seeing it in action with our clients.Â And here are the details:Â Google Analytics V2
Yesterday, Google announced that it added a few new features to its Local Business Center, allowing businesses to enter custom information that shows up on Google Maps.Â
Here are just some of the innovations.Â Businesses now can
- Add logos or other relevant photos to your company listing,
- Specify custom attributes that further describe your business,
- See how often your listing was viewed in the maps.
Simply put: go to the Google Local Business Center and get listed.Â Even if you don’t have a web site, this one is a no-brainer.
With all this talk about Search engine optimization and search engine marketing (SEO & PPC as they’re otherwise called), it’s sometimes easy to overlook the basics.Â
Successful Internet Marketing can be summed up with three Bees:
- Be Found:Â In Search Engines or otherwise, when people either search for your products and services, or when they are reading about them on related sites.
- Be Convincing: Once visitors arrive on your site, make sure that they don’t just hit the back button.Â You want them to take action.Â Before you even design your site, consider your target audience: who are they, what do they want, what makes you compelling.Â And then make sure that your site architecture aligns, and that call to actions are obvious.
- Be Analytical: I’m always amazed at how many web site owners don’t measure what’s going on.Â One of the main benefits of Internet Marketing tactics is the simple fact that you can measure just about everything.Â It doesn’t have to be complicated!Â You can do Web Analytics in an Hour a Day
BTW – Be Found, Be Convincing, Be Analyticalâ„¢Â happens to be the extended tagline of SearchingWorks Inc.Â
Coincidence?Â I think not ;->Â
I’m often asked about basicÂ Search Engine Optimization Tips.Â This SEO video, posted on Youtube by Eric Holter of Newfangled, does a great job at explaining some of the basics.
One of my favorite publications, MarketingSherpaÂ has just published its Annual ad:tech Study.Â In it, some 332 marketers share their observations and budget intents for online marketing tactics.
Some interesting findings stand out for me:
- SEO, PPC and email get the highest marks for ROI in 2006.Â
- Budget increases are planned for Paid Search (Pay-per-Click), Email Marketing to Inhouse lists, SEO and Rich media (this may in fact represent the rise of podcasting and video broadcasting (vodcasting))
- It is reassuring to see that analytics are firmly entrenched in these marketers’ toolboxes.Â Without Analytics, Internet Marketing is flying blind.
- Among the emerging tactics, adding RSS feeds and inhouse blogs received high votes.
For the full details on the study, read the ad:tech study at MarketingSherpa
After acquiring Gatineau, Quebec based DeepMetrix Corporation last year, Microsoft is working on its own version of a free analytics offering – aptlyÂ code-named “Gatineau”, to be released sometime in 2007.
My take: Bring ‘em on.Â Every site owner should use a form of analytics that goes beyond the often pathetic offerings that are provided by the various ISPs as part of a hosting package.Â Competition is healthy, but – judging by earlier efforts – Microsoft has their work cut out for them.Â AdCenter, for one, despite having the benefit of hindsight, is stil lagging behind Google AdWords in many aspects.
For marketers, this is definitely great news…