All posts in Advertising

How To Get Dirt Cheap Clicks On The Second Biggest Social Network In The World

myspace-myads-logo

Yeah yeah, I know Facebook is the new hotness, and I know you think you need to be a pro Facebook advertiser to make some real money from social networking sites. You don’t. There’s a huge opportunity right now to do well if you:

  • Are an affiliate
  • Own a product
  • Have a website/service or just SOMETHING to advertise

I’m talking about one of the opportunities people will talk about in a few years and say things like:

“what the hell was I doing?”

“I wish it was still that easy.”

“I can’t believe you could get clicks that cheap.”

and so on.

With Facebook continuing to not only dominate the social networking space but the INTERNET in general, other popular social networks are starting to BLEED. This presents a HUGE opportunity in paid advertising.

MySpace Ads or “My Ads” has undergone some monumental changes in the last few months. I was spending a lot of my advertising budget on My Ads last year when I was heavy into affiliate marketing and had some amazing results. There are A LOT of things I like about My Ads; I honestly am a bigger fan of the My Ads advertising platform than Facebook’s. My Ads offers more targeting options and advanced features like pixel placement, conversion tracking, and remarketing.  Another reason I’ve always been a huge My Ads fan is that all of their ads are banner based. Banners have always had much higher CTR’s and conversion rates for me than plain text ads in almost every niche/scenario.

Anyway, back to this big opportunity over at My Ads…

Since they are slowing way down in traffic/signups and losing users every day they’ve lowered the costs behind their advertising to encourage more use. You can get suggested bids as low as 1 cent per click on your ads now which is very rare for the rising cost of paid advertising. The more targeting options you try the more likely you are to find a combination that will offer dirt cheap clicks.

I found that by targeting Males 23-45 that are interested in “PC Computer Games” my suggested cost per click is $0.04 – $0.09.

 How To Get Dirt Cheap Clicks On The Second Biggest Social Network In The World

Just to contrast how big of a deal this is – last year the cheapest clicks I had EVER gotten were around 40 cents per click on My Ads. This is one of those amazing opportunities people moan and complain about missing out on all the time like direct linking on AdWords. You might be thinking that the traffic must suck now because people are leaving but that’s not the case at all. There are still over 71 MILLION active users on MySpace for you to market and sell to. I played with different targeting options for awhile and found quite a few different demographics that offer very inexpensive clicks.

Please take advantage of this opportunity – things like this are rare these days in the internet marketing space. I’d love to hear what kind of suggested bids you’re getting and results from your campaigns!

Why Most Businesses That Fail Have A Preventable Death

Why Businesses Fail

I understand why some businesses are scared of diversifying their marketing and promotional efforts in rough times, but they really need to reconsider. Too many businesses – both local/small and even chains are holding on tight to traditional advertising channels like newspapers, yellow pages, and commercials. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and make some changes.

The internet isn’t going anywhere, we all know that. What most don’t know is how effective – cost and performance wise the internet really is. The traditional advertising channels I mentioned are two things that bother me: expensive and difficult to track. People (as a whole) aren’t looking at the newspaper or yellow pages when they need a plumber, or a roofer, or a massage therapist. They look to the internet – and search engines. It’s almost CRIMINAL how much it costs for an ad in the yellow pages, a full page ad will run you in the thousands of dollars per month with all kinds of cute little hidden fees.  You know what you get for all that money? Maybe a few clients, but will you ever know if they came from yellow pages? Probably not. There are some ways to track clients coming from your ad, but in reality – little to no companies do this because it’s difficult.

Now let me tell you how advertising on the internet works. Everything you do – every campaign, every customer, every click is all 100% trackable. You can find out AMAZING information about your demographic you might have never even known. With internet marketing, you can find out who is interested in you, WHY, and what makes them buy (or not buy). It gets even better, the very popular cost-per-click advertising model only charges you when the ad is CLICKED on, not when its seen or loads on a page. You can’t do this with things like print advertisements and commercials easily, if at all.

So it must cost way more than yellow pages or a newspaper ad right? Wrong. Let’s say you have a marketing budget of $2,000 a month, probably at least what you’re spending on untrackable traditional ads. You can stop throwing away your money and hire a well informed internet marketer or search engine optimizer to give your company an amazing web presence and bring you MORE customers for LESS money, or you can even do it for yourself if you invest the time to learn.

Here’s the big difference you might not understand yet: you’re being found when someone is LOOKING for you, not when they happen to flip a page or turn on the TV. It really is incredible that there is so much raw opportunity available that is much more affordable and trackable. With internet marketing you’re also opening up opportunities for long term relationships and 2 way interaction. If you put an ad in the newspaper you can’t decide “I’m going to follow up with all of those that read my ad and see if I can generate more business.” With the power of the internet, you can build a list of subscribers that at some point LOOKED for you – and see if they’re ready for your services or product again. Having this kind of long term interaction is extremely powerful, and this is just the tip of the possibilities.

I might sound harsh, but it’s time to evolve or die. Nobody is going to wait around while you decide if you think this is or isn’t right for you. Consumers are demanding more and more for their money and time – it’s your job to be there when they NEED you.

I’m working on a case study to show how much more cost effective using the internet is as opposed to the traditional channels discussed, if this post didn’t convince you and show you the power here the case study will!

Twitter’s New Advertising Platform: Promoted Tweets

Twitter Logo

If you follow Twitter or online advertising at all you probably know by now that Twitter has officially revealed it’s source of monetization: “promoted tweets.” People have been debating for the last few years how Twitter is ever going to make money, promoted tweets was one of the common ideas.

If you’re unfamiliar with the all new promoted tweets here’s a quick recap:

  • Promoted tweets are essentially ads placed at the top of search results for given keywords or keyphrases
  • There is only a small handful of advertisers being let in at the moment
  • Promoted tweets must receive a certain ratio of clicks/replies and positive feedback to stay up making quality important
  • Promoted tweets are based on a cost-per-thousand pricing model

I’ve had a few days to digest all of the information Twitter has released about it and have started to compile some thoughts on it.

I’m a little upset the platform isn’t self-serve and open everyone, I was really looking forward to mastering Twitter’s advertising platform as soon as it came out. On the other hand, I can fully understand why Twitter is making smaller steps and approaching it this way for a few reasons:

  • Most ad platforms begin this way to both work out bugs and test the waters so the experience isn’t ruined.
  • This is all new to Twitter, they need to keep a close eye on it for awhile. Striking a balance that doesn’t alienate the spoiled ad-free user base is going to be tricky.
  • Big budget advertisers are going to be willing to drop A LOT more cash on this. Most of them have no idea what they’re doing and know they need to “get on this Twitter thing” which will result in them paying ridicously high cpm rates. (can’t say I blame them for taking advantage)

A lot of Twitter users are outraged because they don’t understand how much it takes to run a website like Twitter. They’re used to Twitter being ad free and want it to stay that way – how dare you Twitter? That brings up what I feel will be the main challenge for Twitter; keeping the promoted tweets aligned with the users best interest. If the promoted tweets further the Twitter experience instead of harm it then Twitter will have NO problem killing it with this. TechCrunch posted a sample promoted tweet that made me see how powerful this can really be. Here’s the promoted tweet:

starbucks promoted tweet Twitters New Advertising Platform: Promoted Tweets

I think Twitter can really make this work. This promoted tweet gave me an idea of the possibilities here for these type of ads to give the user MORE value as opposed to taking it away by an onslaught of useless promoted tweets. As you can see, Starbucks is offering a free cup of brewed coffee if you bring in a reuseable tumbler. If I was searching for Starbucks on Twitter and saw this I’d be pretty damn happy as opposed to seeing a random advertisement that isn’t applicable to anything within my interests.

All in all, I must say that I’m glad Twitter decided to do something. They have missed out on literally millions of dollars in revenue taking so long. I hope that this ad platform will eventually become self-serve and open to everyone because I’d really like to try running some promoted tweets and getting a feel of what the Twitter crowd can do for marketers.

When It Comes to Split Testing, Don’t Discount ANYTHING Until You Try It

split testing landing pages

Being completely open minded when testing new campaigns can be difficult. Whenever I start creating a campaign and begin to jot down headlines and copy to test I frequently disqualify a lot of possibilities on the spot. After you run different campaigns for a while you get an idea of what’s going to work and what isn’t, this can both hurt or help you as I’ve come to realize. I ran a lead generation campaign recently for a free initial consultation and tested two different headline:

“Sign Up For a Free Initial Consultation with Your First Visit”

and

“Sign Up For a Consultation”

Normally I wouldn’t have even bothered with the second headline because it isn’t anywhere near as appealing in my mind.  I decided to just throw a bunch of wild card headlines into the mix like “Sign Up For a Consultation” just to see the CTR and opt-in rate difference but I was pretty shocked by the results. The second headline has an opt-in rate TWICE as high as the top headline. Even with experience you never know if something will work until you try it – especially in an unfamiliar niche/demographic. What I’m getting at here is this: try LOTS of different variations in your campaigns – don’t pigeon hole yourself to what you think will work. Make sure you’re covering a wide spectrum of ideas and not just testing your assumptions for what will work.

The Future of Advertising and Social Media/Networking

yp

The amount of opportunity for businesses (big and small) and marketers alike has never been greater. Social media and social networking are ushering in a new era of advertising that is allowing for a business of any size to pay only for performance with highly trackable analytical data. Not only is the “pay for performance” model an amazing one but new tools and technology are being introduced rapidly to keep increasing profits while minimizing overhead such as geotargetting.

To put this into perspective lets use an example of a dentist office that is hurting in the current economy and wants to start advertising. A Yellow Pages advertisement is one of the “traditional” sources I hear a lot of businesses turning to when they’re looking to extend their reach. This is a huge mistake in general for a few reasons.

1.) Yellow Page advertisements are insanely expensive from a price per viewer perspective.

2.) It is very difficult (if not impossible) to track the efficiency and ROI of the advertisement.

3.) When a prospective client/patient looks up your business in the yellow pages it shows ALL of your competition around you, potentially eliminating you on the spot.

Now, lets talk about advertising on Facebook. With this type of advertising you can pay based on two different aspects: views or clicks. Either route you choose to go will almost ALWAYS be much more cost effective than a Yellow Pages advertisement. I highly recommend starting off with CPC (Cost Per Click) until your ad has a good CTR (Click Through Rate) because you’ll need to do some testing and tweaking to get it as low as possible.

Still not convinced? Let me give you an example scenario to really show you the huge gap in price and effectiveness.

An advertisement in Yellow Pages can vary quite a bit depending on size and city – some costing upwards of $90,000 for a full page. I’m going to use an average approximation of $4,000 for a 1/4 page size advertisement in a city of 20,000 people and 12,000 Yellow Pages subscribers . For $4,000, you get one advertisement on the same page as 3 of your direct competitors.

In a perfect world, every single subscriber will see your advertisement and respond to it. In the real world, you’ll be lucky if half even acknowledges your advertisement. Lets assume you get lucky and half of the subscribers see your advertisement, the cost is then $0.66 per view. Here is the first problem, your advertisement being viewed is the very tip of the sales funnel. In my experience, a 10% viewer -> action rate is excellent so we’ll go with that. That means that out of the 6,000 people that see your advertisement, 600 will call or take  interest. The rate of action -> new patient is even lower.  We’ll say that out of the 600 people that took action, 40 became new patients. That makes the overall cost per lead $100.

The scenario above is what you would most likely experience AT BEST.

Now let’s talk about advertising on Facebook. When you advertise on Facebook you have the option of ONLY paying when someone takes that action step. Even if your advertisement displays to 20,000 people and nobody clicks it you won’t be charged a penny. This already creates a more ideal scenario and will put them deeper into your sales funnel from first contact. There are many other great reasons why Facebook is a better solution for advertising including:

1.) Cost efficiency and extremely low overhead. You only pay for that action step instead of viewers and you don’t have to commit $4,000 up front, you can set a budget as low as $20/day.

2.) The odds of other competition displaying along your advertisement is low.

3.) You can control your demographic. Facebook’s advertising platform allows you to choose a wide variety of factors to show your advertisement to including (but not limited to): Age, Sex, Location, Marital Status, and Interests.

4.) You can track which advertisements are working and which are not decreasing the cost/lead dramatically.

For this type of campaign, my CPC generally hovers around $0.30. Let’s use the same conversion rate for action (clicks) -> new patient of 6%. This means for every 100 people that take interest and click your advertisement it will cost you $30 and you will have an average cost/lead of $5.

Sorry to be long winded, but this is extremely crucial to the future of cost effective advertising. I’ll release some case studies and concrete data/numbers eventually on here instead of using hypothetical ones so keep on the look out!