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AdWords Video Remarketing

Video’s role in marketing is dramatically increasing every day. Recently, Twitter added promoted videos as an option. Last year, Facebook enhanced video metrics.

Video remarketing is another great option within Google Remarketing by opening up your audience to a much larger list. Expanding the audience provides great value when you have a list of people that have expressed interest in your services by watching a video. In fact, it’s not just video viewing. YouTube remarketing provides multiple actions that can be targets.

Available Remarking Actions

  1. Video view or interaction (likes, comments, shares)
  2. YouTube channel visit and subscription
  3. In-stream ad views

Linking AdWords and YouTube
The first step before starting any video remarketing is to make sure YouTube is connected to AdWords.

  • Choose Video Manager -> Channel Settings -> Advanced
  • Open your Google AdWords account in a new tab, sign in, and copy your Customer ID
  • Assign a name to the AdWords account. It’s often best to use the same name you are currently using for you for your existing AdWords account. This will prevent confusion when alerts our sent to all users that a name has been changed.
  • Set permissions for the account. I tend to allow all permissions. It provides more options down the road when looking for more targeting areas.

Creating a Video Remarketing Campaign
Once all the connectivity is working then the real fun begins. Now, you can setup AdWords campaigns that utilize your YouTube audience. This process becomes as easy as another remarketing campaign that you have setup in the past. Video viewers just becomes another audience option.

Video Remarketing Is More Than Video Ads
If you Google video remarketing all articles are quick to point out creating video ads for remarketing. It’s important to distinguish that video remarketing does not have to mean video ads. That’s certainly an aspect that can be used, but not a limitation. After the video marketing audience is built and grown to a significant number, the options are much wider than video ads. You can still create banner ads like you would any other remarketing campaign.

Dive into video remarketing. There is a wealth of data that can expand any audience.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads – Best Practices

If you have attended any of my presentations of have read any of my blog posts over the past 3 years, you’ll know that I am big fan of Remarketing. One recent new addition to Google is Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). This allows you to create unique search ads for previous site visitors.

Of course, I say “new”, RLSA was first introduced in 2013, allowing you to create unique messaging to previous site visitors. Being able to dive deeper into the search traffic, will allow you to create unique messaging and bidding strategies to previous site visitors. This opens the doors to multiple strategies:

You can bid on keywords that you don’t normally bid on just for people who have recently visited your site, or have converted on your site in the past. This can help you increase your sales. For example, you could bid on more generic keywords only for people who have previously purchased from your site.

You can optimize bids for your existing keywords for visitors on your remarketing lists. For example, you can increase your bid by 25% for those who previously viewed your website in the last 30 days. Or, you could show a different ad to site visitors who have placed items in a shopping cart but have not purchased them. – Source:

If you are using Remarketing, then you are practically already there. If not, then you should be. Stop here and implement Google Remarketing on your site. Below are several great posts on getting started with Remarketing

More on RLSA

Diving deeper into those AdWords Remarketing audiences, you will see a column called “List Size (Google search)”. It’s been there for a while and now may be the time to stop ignoring that column.

To use Remarketing with a search campaign, the audience needs to be associated with the campaign or AdGroup. Although, like most things with PPC, separation is key. I recommend creating a separate RLSA campaign. Measurement and comparative data is much easier measurable with separation and segmentation.

Best Practices for RLSA

Knowing how to implement RLSA is only the starting point, the real value is in the practical uses. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Use Unique Ads – Remember, these searchers have already been to your site. For whatever, reason they probably did not convert. Now, they are searching again. Give them something different. Show them a new message, new deal, new value, etc.
  2. Product Interest / Higher Bidding – If it’s clear that the audience has visited a product or service page, then you are more than half way there. Knowing there is interest helps tremendously. From there, it makes sense to increase bidding for product-specific ads.
  3. No Frequency Capping – One of my favorite features of Remarketing display ads is Frequency Capping. That allows you to reduce and maybe eliminate the “creepy” factor. If done well, users don’t feel like ads are following them around. Although, may not needed in search ad much, it’s still not available. To prevent searcher fatigue, use multiple messages.
  4. Go Broad – Normally within search campaigns, having too many broad keywords would result in higher spend and often lower conversions. It’s not the best spend of the dollar. However, going broad with RLSA is recommended. The audience is already narrowed down because of Remarketing. Opening up that search audience larger should result in even higher conversion rate.

10 Blogs You Should Be Following

writing-fountain pen

photo credit: matsuyuki via photopin cc

Keeping up with a fast changing world and spotting trends is no easy task. I follow a bazillion (or is it gazillion?) blogs on different aspects of marketing, social media and business/entrepreneurship. The blog post emails are blowing up my inbox as I write. I could spend all day reading them and learning more and more but then wouldn’t get to implement what I learned for my clients or myself.

So you don’t have to decipher where to start I have gathered a list of 10 blogs I follow and why. Picking a list of my favorites is impossible so I simply scanned my inbox. Some of these blogs are written primarily by one person while others are written by large teams.

Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan

Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works, provides business, marketing and sales insights along with personal development advice. His posts often arrive at exactly the right time I need the information or a kick in the pants. You also definitely need to sign up for his weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to start your Sunday. His laidback, conversational style is genuine and makes you feel like you are talking with a longtime friend. He also has a podcast for those who don’t like to read. I can’t wait to read his latest book, Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth.

Gini Dietrich / Spin Sucks @ginidietrich

When I first encountered Gini Dietrich, I thought Spin Sucks was only for public relations professionals. However, much more is discussed on Spin Sucks for both the PR and marketing professional, including branding and social media. Not only are the posts well-written and informative but the discussions are thoughtful. Along with writing her own posts, she has fabulous guess bloggers and hosts Livefyre discussions. Also, for some fun, she writes a weekly post called Gin and Topics. These posts contain five videos that she finds or are submitted to her.

Derek Halpern / Social Triggers @derekhalpern

Ever wonder about the psychology behind how people behave online? Derek has the lowdown. His blog will help turn people into loyal subscribers, increase sales and grow a website’s reach. Along with text posts, he does a lot of short videos, and I also love finding out which freeze frame facial expression he’ll have. He has a straightforward, passionate approach and backs up his information with extensive research from top academicians and experts.

HubSpot @HubSpot

HubSpot has a large team of writers covering all areas of marketing. They provide best practices, tips and hacks for marketers of all levels. Along with blog posts, they offer multiple whitepapers, templates, case studies and other freebies you won’t want to miss. If you have a marketing question, they likely have a post with an answer. Oh, and I hear the HubSpot marketing platform is great, too.

Jon Loomer @jonloomer

Jon Loomer talks about all things Facebook. He writes about best practices and explains in detail how to do Facebook advertising. When anything changes on Facebook, he is on top of it and often talking about it in advance. He is my go-to source. I even has his Facebook image dimensions post bookmarked.

MarketingProfs Today @Marketing Profs

Ann Handley and her great team bring a wealth of marketing information through its blog. I don’t think there’s a marketing-related topic they don’t cover. You also get access  to free webinars, case studies and whitepapers. I’ve attended some of the webinars and have been impressed.

The Moz @Moz

The Moz writing team brings a  great deal of information, tips and tricks about content marketing, analytics, SEO, email marketing and social media. I find it to be a great resource personally and when I’m writing blog articles.

Mark Schaefer / {grow} @markwschaefer

Mark Schaefer is the author of the classic book The Tao of Twitter along with great books. He writes about digital marketing, social media, marketing strategy and business. His insight into what’s happening in those areas is valuable. While I don’t always agree with his opinion pieces, he does make me think; that’s always good.

Marcus Sheridan / The Sales Lion @TheSalesLion

Marcus Sheridan writes about inbound and content marketing, social media and branding for businesses. He got started with online marketing when he started blogging as a way to save his pool business. I love how he shares his personal experiences both good and bad. It makes you feel that you can also  have the same success. When I’m not reading his blog posts, I catch his Mad Marketing podcast.

Social Media Examiner @SocMed_examiner

Social Media Examiner’s writers provide information on how companies can maximize their use of social media, blogs and podcasts. Along with articles, this blog provides expert interviews, case studies and industry research reviews. I often go to this site to find an answer to a specific social media question.

This list could go on and on. I strongly encourage you to explore these blogs and many other great blogs that are out there. Don’t just read what they post online. Subscribe to their blogs for additional information. Where did I learn about these blogs? Twitter. So, yes, social media works.

Three Tips for Becoming a Better Blogger

Lost in all the romanticism of the inbound marketing craze is this simple fact:

Creating content is hard.

Yes, content works. Yes, having fresh, relevant blog posts on your site will help improve your search engine optimization. And we’ve already discussed the importance of quality blog posts posted less frequently over not-so-great posts posted daily.

If you’re not a writer though – or even if you are – the process of blogging takes work. It takes a plan. And, you know … writing. Sometimes a lot of writing. It can be very intimidating and, if you’re not totally comfortable, can lead to quick burnout.

As someone who has been through the cycle of blogging like crazy, then sitting dormant for six months (or longer) and then blogging again for a couple of months only to have it fall by the wayside again … I feel your pain. It’s not easy.

The best way to combat this is to have a plan.

These are things that I’ve frequently recommended to my students to help improve not only the quality of blog posts but the consistency as well. Today, though, I recommend them for all of us. We all could use a refresher from time to time to help improve our blogging.

With all that said, here are three tips to help make us better bloggers.

Set aside time to write every day.

Pardon me while I rely on a cliché – practice makes perfect. Just as an athlete practices with her team or a musician practices with his ensemble, writers need to practice. And that practice should be daily.

So, set aside a block of time – 30 minutes or so – every day to write. What you write may not ever be published. It might just be a way of getting your thoughts onto paper or into a document. (Yes, journaling counts!) Or maybe what you write eventually turns into a blog post. Either way, taking time to focus each day on writing helps you hone your craft and can help get those creative juices flowing.

Write about what you know.

If your content is of quality, odds are good that people are finding your posts through search. And if that’s the case, one of two things is likely true – either your reader is seeking specific information to answer a question or is already knowledgeable about the topic and seeking more in-depth information.

In both of those cases, if you’re writing about something you don’t have a great deal of knowledge about or experience with, your readers are going to see through that very quickly.

As a writer, you’ll find it much easier to write about topics that you are comfortable with and understand thoroughly. It may take a while to get the structure exactly right or the subheads working in the way you want them to, but the writing process itself will be much easier. If you’re writing for your own site or your company’s site, don’t fight this. Write about what you know. Your readers – and potential customers – will see the genuine, authentic expertise and learn to trust you as an expert.

After you’ve gained some experience writing things you’re comfortable with, then start moving into doing research and writing about topics that you aren’t quite as familiar with. But trying to start with the unfamiliar will only leave you frustrated and less inspired to blog.

Never hit publish immediately.

No matter the deadline or the rush to get a new blog post up on your site, after you finish writing a post, resist the urge to publish it immediately. You can build it in your content management system and find all of your images and all of those important things, but once it’s ready to go, let the content itself sit for a bit of time. Get away from it. Take a walk. Move on to something else and then come back to it later. Maybe even wait until the next day to revisit it. You need to step back from what you’ve written to be able to properly edit and catch mistakes or holes in your information. Or, better yet, have someone else take a couple of minutes to read it. It may cost you a little bit of time, but you won’t regret it later.

Give these three tips a try over the next several weeks. See how your writing improves. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover that blogging can be enjoyable!

Image Credit: Gualberto107 via

Episode #03: Developing Stories and Keeping Promises with Nancy VanReece

Nancy VanReece, is owner of Carpe Diem Management.

Nancy VanReece

In this episode, Nancy and I talk about using tools to build a story.

Nancy specifically talks about how she helps companies fulfill the promise they made, whether it’s delivering the best pizza or quick service. Whatever that promise is, it’s part of the story.

We discussed many of the tools that are available to tell those stories.

Every tool is not right for every business.

Lowes’ is doing some great stuff with Vine, That led to a conversation about Vine celebrities that can be found on tour with MagCon, Clearly, not the market Nancy and I are targeting, but fascinating regardless.

To get a sense of how Nancy VanReece helps companies find their “World Cup Moment”, check out this recent blog post:

3 Types of stories that we all want to hear

  1. The Ascending Narrative
  2. The Descending Narrative
  3. The Oscillating Narrative

What is your story?

Find more on Nancy’s Prezi presentation,

You can discover more about the great work Nancy does at

Other ways to connect:
Nancy on Twitter: @NancyVanReece
Nancy on Instagram @NancyVanReece
Nancy on G+: +NancyVanReece

Listen: iTunes and Stitcher.


Facebook Enhances Video Metrics

Where did people stop watching the video? How long did they watch the video? How many unique video views did it get? Did they re-watch the section? Answers to these questions and others will soon be available to Page owners as part of Facebook’s new video metrics in the updated Page Insights and Ads Reporting.

Presently, Facebook only shows you how many people have started viewing a video – not very useful. According to Facebook, you will soon receive data on video views, unique views, audience retention and the average duration of the video view. The new metrics will provide much more detailed information for both organic and paid videos uploaded directly to pages. The one exception is the click-to-play metric that will show clicks for third-party videos, like YouTube, that play in-line on Facebook. This move requires Page owners to do more of their video work directly on the Facebook platform.

As part of the update, Facebook made two term changes. A “video view” is now a view of three seconds or more, including auto-play videos as users scroll through their News Feeds. The “video plays” metric has been renamed “clicks to play video.”

Here is a preview of what the video metrics will look like:

Facebook Video Metrics-Video Post Details

Although video metrics will be available for both organic and paid video posts, Ads Reporting will provide a more detailed breakdown and demographics:

Facebook Video Metrics-Ads Reporting Details

For complete views, Facebook will make “Video Views to 95%” as the default setting as many videos have blank screen endings. However, you can view 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% and 100% in Ads Reporting. If you are interested in targeting a particular demographic, Ads Reporting will show you how many of those people you reached so you can see if your campaign resonated with the right group.

One of the most interesting metrics is Audience Retention. Dips could show where people lost interest or were turned off by something and stopped watching. Spikes at specific points could indicate where people are re-watching a section either because they like the section or the content may need clarification. With this data, you can make changes to your videos to enhance viewing.

Facebook Video Metrics-Audience Retention

With the increasing demand for video content, these metrics will help you better understand what content resonates with your targeted audience and let you know what you need to improve. No more wondering if you are wasting time and money. For more details and best practices, Facebook created a pdf overview of the new video metrics. You may wish to print it out for quick reference as you explore these new video metrics.

Why You Should Use Secondary Calls-to-Action

Marketing experts advise companies to use prominent calls-to-action (CTAs) for their websites, social media, emails and any other communication. We are to tell people exactly what we want them to do – a single action. But what if they aren’t ready for it or interested? That’s where secondary calls-to-action come into play.

What is a Secondary CTA?

A secondary CTA is a call-to-action that provides an alternative action to the primary action you want people to take whether they are website visitors, prospects or leads so you don’t lose them altogether. They let you further engage and potentially capture people who are not interested in your primary CTA or may need additional information before taking the desired action. Your secondary CTA is typically less prominent than your primary CTA and requires less commitment. For example, your primary call-to-action may be to start a free trial period for new software with a secondary CTA to take a tour of the software’s features.

This example is from Moz, where it is promoting its new marketing analytics software, Moz Pro. If you are like me, you want to get more information to maximize your 30-day free trial experience, or you may prefer to just jump in. Moz kindly provides you with both options.

Secondary Call-to-Action - Moz Pro Software

Benefits of Secondary Calls-to-Action

Using a secondary call-to-action has many benefits than using a primary CTA alone:

Increased Time on Website
People today are spending more and more time checking out your business and researching the solutions to their needs. This is especially true in the complex B2B environment where the conversion process can be quite long or any large personal purchase like a car. Sending people to an online demo, related articles, etc. will keep them exploring your website instead of jumping to your competitor’s.

Incremental Conversions
Ideally, primary CTAs match where a person is in the conversion process.  However, a lead may have already downloaded multiple e-books or articles but still may not be ready to move ahead. If you are using tools like progressive profiling, then you can gather more information on a leads as they continue to convert on the secondary CTAs to create better personalized lead nurturing campaigns.

Move Leads to Next Stage
Despite sophisticated technology, we can never truly know when someone is ready to move forward in the sales process. Secondary CTAs at least keep people moving incrementally along, which is better than not at all. You may also have people who have only converted on a couple offers so you don’t feel comfortable for the big score just yet. However, what if you provided a lesser option as a primary CTA and the big one as your secondary? Some people may be ready to make the big commitment. They don’t need any more nurturing. This way you’ll get both groups.

Support Other Company Goals
Not every call-to-action has to be focused on the “ideal” sales action. Other actions may be just as important to your company. These actions can be used as either primary or secondary calls-to-action based on your current goals. You can have the CTA involve social sharing and connection, email newsletter subscriptions, promoting a company-sponsored event, fundraising or any number of other business goals.

So don’t just create primary CTAs and walk away. Instead, make sure you are capturing and converting as many people as possible with the addition of quality secondary CTAs. You may be surprised how many people will take the ultimate action with just a bit more nurturing.


Landing Pages: A Marketing Must Have

Landing Pages-parachutist

photo credit: pmarkham via photopin cc

You spend tremendous amounts of time, money and effort getting prospective customers to your website but then nothing. Crickets. What’s the missing piece here in your online marketing efforts? Landing pages!

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a singly highly focused website page that an advertisement or other hyperlink direct people to “land” on to take a specific action. Some potential actions include downloading a white paper, completing a demonstration request or signing up for a newsletter.

Some Reasons to Use Landing Pages

  1. Lead Capture – So many campaigns simply send people to the home page. Instead, send them to a page that details the benefits of taking a specific action and include a lead capture. These leads can then be segmented, nurtured or distributed to the sales team.
  2. Advertising Conversion Effectiveness – All advertising is more effective if it sends prospects to a targeted page that does nothing but support your advertising message.
  3. Promote Multiple Products – Instead of having a general product or service page, create pages that are focused on individual products or services and are tailored to specific audiences.
  4. Keep Visitors Focused – The typical home page allow visitors’ attention to wander. Properly executed landing pages help focus them more effectively on your offer and nothing else.
  5. Increase Conversion Rates – Because you are giving visitors exactly what they want, your conversion rates increase.
  6. Better Qualified Leads – Unlike general visitors to your website, people who arrive on a landing page do so because they clicked on a specific ad or link. They are already interested in what is being offered. With the landing page, you can provide more information on the benefits of taking a specific action.
  7. Better Metrics – Each time a prospect completes a lead capture form or takes other specific actions, you can collect more demographics about them and understand which ones are more engaged. You also gain better insight into your marketing efforts, such as how well your offers compare and how prospects are converting on your landing pages.
  8. Increase Appearance in Search Results – By having multiple focused pages, your website has a better chance of showing up in search results.

Instead of losing prospects, capture them by using landing pages and convert them to sales. Numerous resources exist to help you create and test landing pages. Take advantage of them. Your bottom line will thank you.

Do You Stink at Paid Advertising in Facebook?

Facebook Ads are shown to users based on countless aspects including: Facebook Pages that you do Like, searches you have done, phrases in your, or your friend’s, status updates, and a slew of other reasons. This is one of the reasons why Facebook can be a super powerful marketing tool.

Facebook is also a platform for anyone to put their message in front of your face, resulting in really bad examples of marketing. Here are a few examples lack-luster Facebook ads; let’s chat about how to not be one of them.

Click Like If…
One of my top pet peeves are ads that lack creativity. Specifically, ads that say “Click LIKE if you like the ocean” or “Click LIKE if you like vacation.” Of course I like the ocean and I like vacation, but that doesn’t mean that I should Like your vacation rental business too. My past colleagues can attest that I have complained about this since way back in ’09, and it’s still happening!

This is what I found when doing research for this article.While the ad is relevant to me because I do Like several SEO companies on Facebook, I dislike their lack of imagination more. (Especially for a marketing company.) 

However, within minutes, my faith was renewed with this Dawson gem.

Yes, Red Square Agency, I will Like you because you are funny and I want to see what other innovative ideas you have up your sleeve. Respect.

Tone Down the Targeting
I have inherited Facebook Advertising accounts and cringed at the amount of money lost on ads that were targeted to millions and millions of people. In one case, ads were targeted to “everyone in the US and UK who don’t yet Like our page.” The CPC was around $4.49, which is a lot to pay for an un-targeted click, let alone a Like.

Unless your marketing budget is in the millions, targeting everyone is a quick way to both increase CPC and diminish the overall quality of the Likes that you buy. Even if your marketing budget is in the millions, it’s just wasteful. 

Facebook has the most advanced platform for marketers, take advantage of it! One of the newest options is
Facebook Custom Audiences, which allows you create an audience from a list of email addresses or phone numbers.

What Are You Saying?
An example of a confusing (and un-targeted) ad is the one featuring a gentleman, who I can only assume is Czech. What catches your eye in that ad?

“Traditionally modern,”
ok, so good so far I guess… “Safe destination,” which actually makes it sound un-safe. And “MICE…your venue!” 

Read your Facebook
Ad text, then read it out loud, and repeat. Will it make sense to the audience that you are targeting? What are you offering? What is the benefit of it?

Keep it Simple
The best ad of this bunch (besides sad Dawson) is the 2 Day shoe ad; the text is simple, it’s very targeted, the message is clear, and there are two choices. Like!

What awesome or bad Facebook Ads have you seen?

Tips to Improve Your Remarketing Campaigns

AdWords remarketing is a powerful way to reconnect with customers after they have left your website. Whether you are looking to increase conversions or brand awareness, remarketing can provide a unique opportunity to communicate a targeted and relevant message.

Every website has a different type of customer, varying buying cycles and seasonality, so it’s important to test remarketing ads, then test again, and again to learn what works for you. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few tips to rev up your remarketing ads.

1) Be a Scientist.
Test remarketing ads and be logical about it. Test by changing calls-to-action, messages, photos, graphics, offers, landing pages, ad formats, and length of cookies. Don’t change all of the variables at the same time, pick a few to test and keep notes of the changes you made in a document along with screenshots. While AdWords and Analytics can provide the raw numbers, it’s up to you keep track of changes, hypotheses, formulas, conclusions and to interpret the data.

2) Collect Audiences.
It’s not necessary to have an active retargeting ad campaign to collect an audience from your website’s traffic; this provides an opportunity to collect an audience who you can remarket to later. For example, you could create and collect an audience who only looks at pages on your website that are about cat hats but does not make a purchase; remarket to this audience later when cat hats are on sale or when you get a new brand of cat hats. You know that at some point they were interested, so remind them about your products present an enticing offer. There are billions ways to segment and collect audiences, so keep your goal in mind and work backwards.

3) Check Placement Reports.  
Look at your remarketing reports to see where your ads are being placed on Google’s Display Network. Check that ads aren’t showing up on websites that don’t compliment your brand or that have a super high bounce rate, and use negative placements to avoid showing up there again.  Also review placement reports for websites  that are converting well, if any really stand out consider putting them in their own ad group.

The AdWords remarketing platform continues to improve and, along with Google Analytics, can be a powerful tool in your online marketing tool belt.

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