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The Top 10 PPC Tips For Airline Brands

Hanapin Marketing | | @Hanapin

Travelers have become much more budget savvy and detail oriented when it comes to finding the best travel at the right price. Research shows that the average traveler uses a search engine to check multiple sites before deciding on where to spend their money. Airline brands must find a way to be more strategic in their marketing efforts in order to optimize success.

In this new infographic, we’ll give you the top 10 PPC tips to customize and prioritize target strategies for airline brands.

Top-Ten-PPC-Tips-Airline-Brands

 
 

How to Gauge Your Paid Social Success

Kelly Pollock | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing | @kelpollock

62 Percent of Small Business Owners Say Facebook Ads Don’t Work.”

Results of this study were released by Small Business Trends earlier this year.  Inc.com followed up on this study begging the question…  Is it user error.  This alarming stat was recently presented in an industry update training and prompted a dive into how businesses, both big and small, can measure social success.

How to Measure Social Ad Success

1 – Enable & Use Google Analytics

Google analytics is the cheapest (free) way to gauge success with your social platforms.  You just have to know where and how to find the stats to back up your efforts.  Diving into channels is always a good place to start.

All Traffic – – > Channels

Under this view you can look at sessions, new users and those trusty engagement metrics that help us quantify I tend to focus on time on site for social.  Many social posts are not meant to drive deep engagement with a site.  They are meant to provide direct links to useful content.  For ecommerce a longer site duration visit will often show up in sales when you run attribution reports.

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Drill down further to look at a more granular view.

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One larger difference in ads on search vs social that often times leads to the perception that they are ineffective is that with search people are actively seeking your offer. In search you are often seeking people who do not yet know they need your product, service, knowledge…  It might take them a little longer to convert.  In walks our assisted conversions and funnel reports.

Conversions – – > Multichannel Funnels –> Assisted Conversions/ Top Conversion Paths

Assisted conversions will break down how many conversions your social channels lend a hand to…

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Top Conversion Paths show you where the final conversion took place.

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2 – Explore Brand Lift Study Opportunities

To be eligible for this level of study, advertisers must meet certain requirements.  We are currently engaged in a study on Facebook with a education client.  After reaching out to the rep, campaigns are set up as normal.   Following ad impressions Facebook polls viewers on ad recall.  Advertisers have the ability to ask up to three questions.  Including:

  1. Do you recall seeing an ad for [BRAND/PRODUCT] online or on a mobile device in the last 2 days?
  2. Which of the following comes to mind first when you think of [PRODUCT]?
  3. Will you recommend [BRAND/PRODUCT] to a friend?
  4. Have you heard of [BRAND]?
  5. Will you buy/consider [BRAND/PRODUCT] the next time you shop for [CATEGORY]?

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3 – Use Platform Analytics

All social channels provide some level of detail into how ads are performing. Each social channel provides a unique view into performance.

Twitter offers a high level snapshot that’s hard to mis-interpret.  They make it so user-friendly to understand the stats it makes us want to tweet more.  Below we see an example of clicks coming from recent tweets.  They also provide nice little tid-bits of information

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Facebook on the other hand allows you to get very granular with metrics showing stats from the obvious performance to engagement with posts in general, different types of engagement posts, as well as delivery.

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One often overlooked metric is nested under the delivery and can help save dollars and show success. Reach & Frequency

Reach shows us how many people saw our ad at least once.  While frequency can tell us how many times people are seeing our ad. If a frequency number is high you can pull back in spend and allocate to another audience.

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4 -Use a Link Tracking Tool

My go to link tracking tool is bitly.com.  It may seem a bit old school…  previously these tools were used to shorten those incredibly long urls.  Then went to the wayside as advertising became more savvy hiding those links behind learn more buttons.  However, these tools are worth a second glance.  They have stepped up their game offering analytics and enterprise level insights.  You can get some great insights into the response to your social efforts with the free tool.  This would be a perfect solution for the small business owner who isn’t committed to learning the in’s and out’s of Google Analytics.

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5 – Use a Management or Reporting Tool

There are a plethora of social management & reporting tools available that will roll up all campaigns, across all platforms to provide additional insight into the impact of your social efforts.

Hootsuite, Sprout and Adstage are a few I have experience with.  My favorite is probably Adstage with it’s ability to not only track paid social, but all paid efforts in one place from Google & Bing to Facebook & Linked-In.

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Don’t be Part of the 63%

With so many different avenues to help prove success through social media we encourage you…  Don’t be part of the 63% that put ads out there into the world without measuring and understanding success.  Between the free and paid tools there is a solution that can help the savvy marketer to the small business owner.  Social is an avenue that has great potential to reach new customers and increase your key metrics.

 
 

How to Target Income Demographics to Increase Conversion

Kelly Pollock | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing | @kelpollock

Having the ability to target based on demographic information is a long-standing tactic that is getting a second glance. An increase in the level of personal customer detail we are able to gather paired with advanced tracking and analytics have allowed many marketers to report positive metrics further down the sales funnel. For many, the biggest hurdle to overcome is allowing one metric to seemingly stagnate or decline in order measure success.

I recently provided a detailed report that showed volume of the initial touch point decreased, however, the conversion rate for KPI further down the sales funnel increased. The tweak made to achieve these results was through audience targeting by income level.

Income Targeting…One-Size Doesn’t Fit All

It’s first recommended to ensure this segment of targeting aligns with the core of the business goal. How would your KPI’s benefit by aggressively going after a particular target? Most often we think of going after income level with upscale brands – the luxury car/ jewelry customers of the world.  For some brands, it might be that we are advertising a product or a service that could appeal to a lower income bracket. Even if income is not the right demographic, this article will show you how to prequalify customers before an ad is served.

The Good, The Bad, The Results

This brand set out to target individuals whose household income fell within the upper 40%. On paper,  this meant redirecting 60% of impression and click volume. To help maintain spend and conversion volume as funds are reallocated, check available impression share within the targeted audience prior to finalizing a strategy. Over the course of many weeks, our strategy to shift audiences was put into place and tested for several months. While lead volume decreased slightly at the same spend level, our preliminary results are showed positive movements where expected – further down the sales funnel.

“Results show our conversion rate increased from 14% to 25% while the cost per acquisition decreased by 50%.”

Where To Find Income Targeting Groups

Implementing income level targeting can be a bit confusing. Generally speaking, if you are seeking out demographic settings you would intuitively locate your audiences, however, income levels are buried in both search and social platforms.

In Facebook, you will find income under audience insights, but it is nested under the advanced segment:

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In Google, you will find your income level targets under settings, nested with the locations as a “location group.”

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Target, Test, and Implement

Social and search networks each offer their own bag of tricks when it comes to demographic targeting. In the success example above, a potential was identified to increase performance through isolating groups by income levels.  This success can be translated into different target mixes based on what aligns with core business goals.

 
 

6 Reasons There May Be Discrepancies in Your Website’s Analytics

Stephanie White | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing | @stephanieppcpro

If your goal is to maximize revenue, generate higher lead volume, or simply improve your brand exposure, it can be confusing when your data appears to have discrepancies. Google Analytics is a beast on its own without trying to make sense of why there are differences in data points. There have been many occasions where the data does not line up in Analytics. Sometimes it is easy to figure out why these numbers are different and other times it can be a cumbersome task in troubleshooting.

One example is when you are trying to understand the difference between clicks and sessions in Analytics. It isn’t as simple as AdWords reporting a single click and Analytics reporting the single session.

More Sessions Than Clicks

In Analytics, under “Acquisition > Adwords > Campaigns” for one client, we see a higher volume of sessions than clicks. In this view, we see Analytics is reporting 13,594 clicks and 24,927 sessions.

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Session Settings

This client is an ecommerce merchant with a high volume of products and customers spend a long time on the website. If you look under “Behavior > Site Content > All Pages,” the average time on site is 54 seconds. It is not unusual to see average time on site between 5-10 seconds. If the searcher is on your website for longer than 30 minutes, the sessions can start over and you now have two or more sessions per user. Also, if someone was idle or returned later, it could register another session. It can help to pay attention to the pages-per-visit.

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Tip: In Analytics, the default user session is 30 minutes. You can change this setting in “Admin > Property > Tracking Info > Session Settings.”

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Invalid Clicks

Another reason why you might see more sessions than clicks is because AdWords filters out invalid clicks where Analytics does not. We especially see this scenario in our Display and Remarketing campaigns. In this case, the invalid clicks will not report in Analytics, but these visits will still count as sessions.

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Shopping Comparison

You might see more clicks than sessions when a customer is researching or comparing prices. Let’s say a searcher is comparing prices for Sony TVs and clicks your ad, then they press the back button, and then they click on the ad again. AdWords will register this activity as two clicks where Analytics will ignore these additional page views and record only one session.

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More Clicks Than Sessions

In another account, we had the exact opposite issue. In Analytics, the clicks for Remarketing and Display were significantly higher than the sessions. These campaigns were spending, but the conversion performance was poor. In this case, we had discovered another issue that was preventing Analytics from recording the session to the correct source.

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GLID Dropping

This issue had to do with the GLID (Google Click ID) dropping which prevented Analytics from connecting the session to the click. The issue was that this website was redirecting the “http://” to the “https://” and was dropping the GLID. Last year, I wrote a detailed post, What the GCLID, discussing this very issue.

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So, when we updated all the image URLs to “https://,” the page no longer redirected and dropped the parameter. In this case, the poor performance was due to the click being lost and not being associated with the correct source. This click was likely attributed to Direct instead of Paid Search.

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Third-Party Payment Systems

This scenario also happens when you use third-party payment systems like PayPal. When customers leave the website to complete the purchase in a payment platform, they will come back and be attributed as a referral from PayPal. However, we know PayPal is not a referring source.

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Tip: If you list the third-party payment system as a referral exclusion, then Analytics will ignore this and attribute it to the previous source instead. You can find this under “Admin > Property > Tracking Info > Referral Exclusion List.”

Page Load Stopped

Another reason why you might see more sessions recorded is when searchers stop the page from loading by clicking their back button, stopping the page from loading, or closing their browser. AdWords would still record this click, but Analytics would not record this session because the page did not fully load.

Final Thoughts

We hope this post better helps you understand the discrepancies that can happen between clicks and sessions. Unfortunately, these numbers will never match up perfectly, but the difference should not be significant. Also, keep a look out for our upcoming report about data discrepancies.

 
 

What I Learned From My PPC Mistake

Alaina Thompson | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing | @AlainaPThompson

Implementing new ad types in our PPC platforms is key to staying competitive and innovative. However, new ad types are unpredictable and easier to mess up. I recently made a functionality mistake with a new Facebook ad type that I was testing. It wasn’t horrendous by any means, but someone that was being served the ad called out the issue in a Facebook comment directly on the ad. That’s definitely not a situation I want to be in again. I realized that my mistake was based in my flawed approach to implementing new PPC features. I subconsciously made two poor assumptions that led to my mistake. My goal for this post is to help you avoid similar scenarios by avoiding the same assumptions.

A few weeks ago, I began testing Facebook’s new video ad capability. Specifically, we now have the ability to insert gifs as videos, rather than using either a static image or a true video.

To create the ad, I went through the normal Facebook ad creation steps that I always do.

I was checking my work along the way, of course, but the mistake I made was more unpredictable as it was related to the new features.

I checked the Desktop preview of the ad, via the Power Editor and all the copy checked out. The gif was working perfectly. Overall, I was happy with the ad.

As I mentioned previously, the mistake I made was actually pointed out to me by a user that commented on the ad. The comment said, “Why is there not a signup button or link?”  (The ad was for an upcoming webinar) If you’re familiar with Facebook ads, you probably think that’s a strange question because clicking on the ad should take the user to the correct link. It sounded as if the user was clicking the ad and was not being sent to the final URL that I assigned the ad.

As it turns out, the ad type was so new that it wasn’t supported on feature phones. I saw the ad preview in the editor for the Desktop version and assumed that my ad was good to go, and it wasn’t. I didn’t cover all my bases. I didn’t check the mobile and feature phone previews before launching my ad. I had launched dozens of ads in the past and had stopped checking all the previews for the sake of saving time.

Of course, I decided that I needed to prevent mistakes like this in the future. I had to figure out when I could’ve prevented this mistake in the creation process. I determined that there are 2 main assumptions I made during the creation process, which we should all avoid when working with new features:

  1. I assumed that my setup process for existing features was sufficient for new features. I created the ad and checked my work in the same way that I do for all Facebook ads. This was a silly mistake because the new feature wouldn’t be “new” if there wasn’t something different about it. Thus, the setup process should also be different. That might mean that you ask more than one other person to QA your work or it might simply mean that the process includes extra steps.
  2. I assumed that the new feature had all the kinks worked out. The video/gif ad type didn’t function the same way on desktops as it did on feature phones. (I imagine Facebook is already working to change that.) Innovative ideas are rarely, if ever, rolled out in perfect form. Tweaks must always be made and new functionalities are usually added, which gives us the 2.0 or 3.0 versions of technologies.

Staying innovative is difficult because of the inevitable uncertainties that come with new technologies. Many companies fail to innovate because they’re fearful of those unknown factors associated with leading the way. As PPC advertisers, avoiding innovation is not an option. We have to innovate and implement quickly, and we want to do it flawlessly. Learn from my Facebook blunder. Don’t make assumptions about the process or the functionality of new PPC ads, features, or tools.