Jen: Welcome to Meaningful, Measurable Marketing, a podcast from the dynamic duo of Data Dames Marketing. I’m Jen Carroll.
Annalisa: And I’m Annalisa Hilliard.
Jen: If you like what you hear today, you can find us on social media. I’m on Twitter at @jencwriter.
Annalisa: And I’m at @ahilliardm.
Jen: And you can also find us on LinkedIn. So, today we are starting a four-part series in our podcast called:
Annalisa: Yes Buts of Digital Marketing. [Sound effect] Bad joke.
Jen: [Laughter] Why is it a bad joke?
Annalisa: It just sounded bad, I guess. Yes “butts”…
Jen: So, explain…
Annalisa: I think we think we’re like hilarious and cool but people listening are probably like ummm…
Jen: This? [sound of crickets]
Annalisa: Yea. Probably that.
Jen: OK. Um, why don’t you explain how we came up with the idea of Yes Buts in Digital Marketing?
Annalisa: How did we? That was a couple days ago. [Laughter] I don’t remember anything…
Jen: So, the idea…
Annalisa: From a couple days ago.
Jen: Wow. So the idea is…
Annalisa: Right, right. Now I remember. As soon as you said that: “the idea.” It was things that you should do, but you need to take certain things into consideration in doing them. [Laughter] Now you’re going to correct me.
Annalisa: Go ahead.
Jen: No, I was just, I was just trying to go back to the conversation, um…
Annalisa: Make it sound better.
Jen: No. The idea when, the idea when people say, Hey! Should I do paid advertising, you know our first response is often yes!
Jen: But… Right!
Jen: Yea. So.
Annalisa: Ok. Good example.
Jen: Today we’re going to focus on paid advertising. And by that we’re talking about search engine marketing and social ads. Why… I was thinking to myself, you’re an SEO and I’m a content writer, so why are we starting with paid advertising, which is actually something we don’t do a whole lot of. Although I do, I do run social ad campaigns. What’s the reason for starting with paid?
Annalisa: Ah, this has come up quite a few times lately with clients, so we thought it would be a good place to start.
Jen: Ok. So, each episode, we have a little segment we call small business shoutouts. We talk about some [applause sound effect] other small business owners we think are doing some great things. So, today we are going to mention our friends Connie Collins and Jenny Young.
Connie Collins goes by Connie Collins LLC, which I believe is her web address. She is a writer, creative, and does a lot of work to help companies in the branding area.
Annalisa: Tell their story.
Jen: Yea, right.
Annalisa: Find their story.
Jen: Yea, she would say that’s what she is, she’s a storyteller. And helping companies help, trying to remember what she says, write their stories on the world.
And Jenny is a great partner with Connie in her work. Jenny is a very creative videographer. So you can find Jenny at SHE Did It Video. Yea. We recommend Connie and Jenny.
Annalisa: They work collaboratively and they also work individually.
Jen: Right, right. So you can contact them, you know, for both and. Or but. Or how’s that go?
Annalisa: Yes but. No. No. There’s no buts with them. [Laughter]
Jen: [Laughter] Wait a minute. What are you saying? They both have butts.
Jen: Oh wow. [sound effect] Ok. [Laughter]
Jen: My terrible jokes. Alright. So, let’s dive into the heart of what we are going to talk about today. There are three considerations when you’re considering paid advertising, um, online or I guess it could even be traditionally, but we are going to be focusing obviously on online paid advertising.
Um, What your goals are, meaning what kind of conversions do you want to get from those ads? What’s your budget? And what gains can you expect from, um, paid advertising online.
Annalisa: Kick it off by defining
Jen: Search engine marketing
Annalisa: And social ads.
Jen: Well, you hit, you hit the search engine marketing piece.
Annalisa: So, search engine marketing is on the search engine side. Um, so it includes a lot of different types of advertising.
Jen: I think this is where people get really lost right away.
Annalisa: The main one is obviously ads within the search engine results. Typically when you do a search, the first couple results that come up as you scroll the page are paid ads. And, um, they are usually marked sometimes conspicuously that it’s an ad. And there are other types within that. There’s remarketing, which is basically you can remarket to people that have engaged with you prior at some point in time.
Jen: When you mean engaged with you, we’re talking about engaged with you on your website?
Annalisa: Correct. And then there’s like display ads, which are, you can display your ads on related websites to either your audience, people that you believe are worth targeting, or, um, websites that are industry related websites.
Jen: And those are the ones that people think of as creepy. Where they kinda follow you around. If you’ve visited a website, you’ll… Their ads will then start popping up on other websites you visit.
Annalisa: Right. And you have to be signed into your Google account and, um, have certain settings which I think are mostly default settings in your browser, allowing you to be tracked via cookies.
Jen: And then there’s the whole part, actually, I don’t know how much we want to get into it but, before we jump to social ads, but that’s affiliate marketing. Where you essentially pay to have links on somebody else’s website and then they, every time somebody clicks on the link and comes to your website…
Annalisa: A good example of that would be with Amazon. Anyone that links to a product on Amazon from their website or blog, um, can get a really, really small percentage…
Jen: Really small.
Annalisa: Of that traffic conversion from Amazon.
Jen: Alright. So, social ads, you, again those are ads on social media platforms. Most if not all social media platforms offer these. They vary in price with, generally speaking, Facebook and Instagram being the most affordable. LinkedIn can get pretty expensive. Twitter is also very expensive comparatively. And I’m actually not familiar with the cost on some of the newer platforms like Snapchat and um…
Annalisa: Instagram is probably similar to Facebook?
Jen: They are not just similar. They are one in the same because Facebook owns Instagram and when you’re in the…
Annalisa: So it’s just one platform?
Jen: Yes, correct. Facebook’s Ads Manager platform, and you can run all of your Facebook and Instagram ads from that one platform, which is something that I do for several clients. But the difference with social ads and search engine ads, the difference between the two, I feel, is intent. When someone is coming to a search engine and typing particular words or phrases, they have intent to find that thing. Where as social ads are kinda placed in front of you. Um, kind of like traditional newspaper ads and traditional radio ads in some ways, except that the targeting is hyperfocused because of all the information that social media, social media gets about its users. Again, hopefully those explanations were helpful. Um, obviously, some people will have varying degrees of understanding of that, but we continue to talk to people who really don’t understand some of those basic differences. So, hopefully that’s helpful to some of our listeners.
So, goals and conversions…
Annalisa: So, one key element to doing social ads and search engine marketing is to set goals and know what conversions you want to track.
Jen: This goes back to what we said at the very beginning about meaningful, measurable marketing. If you’re thinking about doing paid advertising and you don’t know what you want to measure or what matters OR you put that decision in the hands of a third party, you may find yourself spending a lot of money on these ads and not having much to show for it.
Annalisa: Sure. And also I think it leads to spreading yourself too thin sometimes. Like if you don’t have a focus, obviously, um, you’re spending money on these ads and you want to make sure, you know, you have a very targeted approach to getting those conversions that you want.
Jen: Yea. And maybe this is a good time to talk about the buyer’s journey and where they are in the process when thinking of paid advertising. One of the things that you, we’ve noticed when we have dived into the data on some of our clients’ paid advertising, is that the conversions that the, it’s usually a third party company, um, the conversions they’re tracking sometimes are like time on page, or…
Annalisa: Pages per session.
Jen: Yea. Pages per session. And those are more awareness types of data, and yet that’s, you know…
Annalisa: Which is like at the top of the conversion funnel.
Jen: The buyer’s journey.
Annalisa: Sorry. The buyer’s journey.
Jen: Yea, so the buyers are just at an awareness point. Um, that’s again, when you’re looking at the cost, and paid advertising can be quite expensive, when you’re looking at the cost, you want to be attracting people who are ready to buy. And talk about landing pages. When they land on your site, is that page set up to actually convert them? To, you know, do what you want them to do, which is in most cases to contact you or to buy something, to fill out a form, to make a phone call, to send an email.
Annalisa: Alright, let’s move on to budget.
Jen: Right. So, part one, goals and conversions. Part two, budget. And I’ve already alluded to the fact that search engine ads and social ads can be costly. And maybe we should talk a little bit about why search engine ads in particular can be so costly because there is a whole bidding side to, actually all of those different types of ads we talked about early on, there’s kind of a bidding war that goes on out there.
Annalisa: Yea. So, just because you have an ad doesn’t mean you’re going to come up for a given term. You can target those terms, um, but obviously there’s competition and some keywords obviously have more competition, but there’s always competition. And, you know, they take into consideration click-through rates, so that goes back to like how the ads are written and if they are attracting clicks. And there are other things that are considered, as well, like bounce rate and things like that in bidding or positioning of ads.
Jen: And it’s important to figure out what your cost per lead is. So, how many times or how many visitors do you have to bring to your page before you get a conversion. And then knowing what the value of that conversion is within your…
Annalisa: Within your business.
Jen: Within your business. So those are things you need to define before you jump into a paid advertising campaign.
Annalisa: Right. So, just like a simple example would be like if you’re selling a $5 t-shirt and you’re paying, you know, $30 to get one conversion on that $5 t-shirt, then you’re losing.
Jen: Right. And, you know, maybe another example is, um, you know, you want to get somebody to call you or complete a form and, you know, again if it costs $30 to get that lead, but, eventually, you know that most of your leads end up being a $1,500 value because, I don’t know, they buy into your, you know, into a program you that you have that’s of that value, then you know $30 is just a fraction of what that lead could become.
Jen: So, the other big part with the search engine marketing and social ads are what do you gain. We talked about knowing your goals and what conversion you want to set. We talked about really getting a grip on your budget. Let’s talk about the gains. So, as marketers, we often talk about the long game and the short game. And…
Annalisa: Paid ads fall into the short game.
Jen: For sure. This is one of the reasons this is an important topic in our Yes Buts is should I do paid advertising. Yes but how do short-term gains fall into your total marketing plan because once you run a campaign and turn it off, that traffic that was generated is gone. It’s not going to magically come back. So, it’s kind of here today and gone tomorrow.
Annalisa: On the other hand, um, obviously if you’re trying to get quick wins or quick sales or, you know, you need to get in front of people more immediately, then obviously paid ads are going to be the better approach for short-term wins.
Jen: And obviously, the flip side of the short game in marketing, which is these paid ads, the long game is what we’re going to talk about in our next podcast, in our next Yes But podcast, and that’s going to be search engine optimization, which is one of Annalisa’s areas of expertise. So, just to kinda recap again, I’ve been trying to recap throughout.
Annalisa: You’re better at the recap.
Jen: That’s because I was a teacher. [Laughter]
Annalisa: There we go. There it is.
Jen: There it is. I’m a teacher. Was a teacher. Guess I’m always a teacher. [sound effect] Wow.
Man. Ok. So, should you do paid advertising? Yes But. You need to define your goals and conversions. You definitely need to have an understanding of your budget. And then if short-term gains are actually what you need, what you’re looking for right now.
So, we are going to conclude our podcasts with a new segment, but it won’t be new for long…
Annalisa: Right. Next time, it won’t be new. [Laughter]
Jen: It won’t be new. [laughter] Alright, I don’t know which button to press. [sound effect and laughter] There we go.
What are we learning? Because that’s one of our values as a company…
Annalisa: And as individuals…
Jen: Yea. Is to always be learning. So, Annalisa?
Annalisa: Yea. So, I’ve been learning, um, the, I would say future, I mean present but future of Google Analytics. They have a new platform [Google App + Web] that is available in beta. So, it’s testing, it’s looking at patterns. Um, let’s say you have, you know, traffic that comes from a certain medium like organic traffic. You can dig down even further, like specific demographic of organic traffic, and then you want to see like what types of engagement they have on your site. So, it groups, makes groups of visitors and it gives you insights that way, which is different from the Google Analytics approach the current platform has. So, it is new. I am learning about it. Ah, obviously a lot to learn.
Jen: Can I ask a question?
Jen: Ok. So, how does this fit in with data privacy? It’s such a big emphasis right now in the industry.
Annalisa: Yea, so, the current Google Analytics again has a more, um, individual level data collection, whereas Google App + Web, ah, groups various users together. And that, that’s in line with privacy. More and more people are concerned, and obviously laws have been put in place for this data collection at an individual level. And yea. So, App + Web, pretty cool. You can use both platforms, and so I’m testing it out on some clients to kind of learn the ropes. Also, the sooner you can start collecting data the better. So, yea, setting that up and collecting data for the future and learning as I go.
Jen: Nice. What am I learning? I am going completely in a different direction today. I am actually reading a book called Trouble I’ve Seen by Drew Hart, who is a professor at Messiah. I don’t know if it’s university or college. It’s a very hard look at, um, racism. It was actually written several, I don’t know how many years ago. I want to say like, um, 2017 maybe, and it really sheds an incredible amount of light on why we’re seeing the, um, why we’re seeing what we’re seeing nationally with protests. And I just really appreciate his, his viewpoint. It’s actually teaching me a lot about myself and things that I’ve been ignorant about. So, I highly recommend his book, Trouble I’ve Seen, by Drew Hart for a heart check. For sure.
Annalisa: Haha, I see what you did there. [sound effect]
Jen: Yea, OK. I had to get one more of those in. So, we’ve wrapped up another episode of Meaningful, Measurable Marketing. I’m Jen Carroll.
Annalisa: And I’m Annalisa Hilliard.
Jen: We look forward to talking with you next time.
Annalisa: Yea. We’re going to talk about SEO and the long game.
Jen: You’ll be so excited.