Are you wondering which Facebook ad placements you should choose? Looking for some guidance to improve your ad performance? In this article, you’ll find a guide to all of Facebook’s advertising placements and discover how to edit your placements to deliver the best results for your campaign. What Is Facebook Ad Placement? Facebook calls the […]
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Businesses need to advertise to survive. Without advertising, no one will ever know you exist, let alone what products you sell or who you’re trying to sell them to. Getting word out, getting exposure, and bringing in an audience is the single largest challenge for any business.
It’s no surprise that there are dozens of ad networks out there aimed at facilitating this process. Everyone seems to want to get in on the game, from Google and Facebook to small channels aimed at niche audiences. The question is, which of them is best for you?
In order to determine the best ad network, you need to look at a bunch of factors. An ad network is only as good as its publishers, right? With Facebook, Facebook itself is the publisher, and they have one of the largest audiences in the world. Google is similar, combining their own site and their entire display network.
Other ad networks have smaller networks of publishers. The question then becomes: are those publishers high quality? If they have ten million websites in their network, but all of them are spam sites and PBN sites with zero traffic, your ads don’t do anything. If you’re not reaching actual people – and if you’re not reaching people on relevant content – you’re paying for nothing.
You also have to consider whether the ad network caters to B2B or B2C companies. Most ad networks do both, but some lean heavily one way or the other. A B2B network is generally going to focus on audiences with a business emphasis; on sites that write for business owners or on sites that offer business services. A B2C network, by comparison, is targeted at “regular” people, regular consumers who are more likely to have an interest.
Every network has average performance rates. These are determined by pressure from both the advertiser and the publisher. If publishers are low quality, advertisers don’t want to pay much or put much effort into ads. If advertising is low quality, publishers don’t want to run the ads. It’s hard to tell what kind of ads and performance a network has, though, so you may want to do some research.
A Note on Effectiveness
Before I get into any specific list of ad networks, remember that my advice is by necessity generic. I have a wide variety of different business owners and entrepreneurs reading my content, so I try to avoid writing specifically for one niche or another, outside of targeted blog posts. A post about ad networks like this one is going to be broad.
What this means is that, when I recommend an ad network, I just mean it’s likely to be a good place to start. You need to do your own testing to make sure it’s actually a viable ad network for you to use.
How can you perform that testing? Well, you’re going to need a budget. Register for any ad network that interests you, set up your account, and run some ads. Ideally, you will know the basic information necessary to appropriately target those ads. Specifically, you want some audience demographic and interest information. Facebook Insights helps a lot with this, assuming you have an engaged audience. Otherwise, you need to figure out your buyer personas.
I recommend spending at least, say, $100 on these testing ads, and running them for a couple of weeks. The numbers may vary, however. You need to run them for however long it takes to get a statistically relevant amount of data. Then you can make a determination as to whether or not it’s worth investing more heavily into the ad network.
Be sure to calculate your raw number of conversions as well as your conversion rate and the cost per conversion for your ads. You can optimize these later, but if the baseline isn’t good enough, the network might not be worth the effort.
Alright, with all of that out of the way, let’s look at the top ad networks you can use as a B2C company. I’m going to give you a bunch of different networks to explore, in the hopes that you can find a few that work for you.
It should come as no surprise that the top two ad networks for pretty much anyone are going to be Facebook and Google. As such, I’m only going to cover them in brief. You’re familiar with Facebook ads, and if you’re not, well, you should be. Facebook ads are cheap, they’re effective, and they have best-in-class targeting options to use to optimize. There are so many different levers to pull that if you’re wasting money, it’s your own fault.
Again, Facebook and Google are the best in class. Google has an immense display network and almost as many targeting options as Facebook, though the operate in a different way.
Even if Google isn’t right for you, you should at least be investing a minimal budget into them, to reserve your space, target your own brand name, and capture interest from one of the largest audiences in the world. You’re just leaving exposure and conversions on the table if you don’t.
BSA is one of the largest third party ad networks out there, and they’re able to maintain that position because they’re largely hands-off with their network, outside of filtering the worst of the worst. It’s a self-service ad platform, where publishers can put up their site statistics and get bids from advertisers for their ad space. As an advertiser, you can pick and choose the sites you want your ads to show on, and you can be as discerning as you want. This is called media buying.
Picking the right sites to target with BSA is a combination of art and timing. You need to find sites that have open space and reach them at the right time, and you need to develop a feeling for which sites are going to work and which are going to waste your time and money. I’m not going to lie here; it can take a while to develop this sense. For that reason, I would consider BSA to be either an intermediate or advanced-level advertising network.
PopAds is a pop-under advertising network. I’m always a little wary of recommending these kinds of ads, because they tend to come across as spammy for many users, and it’s not necessarily something you want your brand to have as an association. On the other hand, they can be quite effective, especially if the ad network filters for actual spam and maintains a relatively high quality level for their network.
PopAds is a CPM model network, meaning you pay for the display regardless of whether or not this results in a conversion. CPM ads have the potential to be extremely lucrative, but you need to have a compelling ad, which may take a lot of optimization.
Rather than recommend more pop-under advertising networks, I’ll let this one speak for itself. If it’s a model you’re interested in pursuing, feel free to read this post with more recommendations for networks you can try. That post is aimed at the publisher side of things, but the advice holds true for both sides regardless.
Oath is the company that owns Yahoo, AOL, Tumblr, and a whole host of other properties related to those brands today. Oath’s ad network, then, displays across a variety of different web properties and formats. In particular, they have a large mobile ad network. If you’re particularly targeting mobile users, or app users, you can get a lot of benefit out of using a network like Oath.
Oath is another large network, but large networks are what you want. Smaller niche networks can be useful for small businesses, but generally the limited exposure means limited growth. With large networks, the sky is the limit. As long as you have money to spend, you can get more out of it. With smaller networks, there’s a maximum saturation point you can hit. Thankfully, Oath is not one where reaching saturation will ever be a concern for most businesses.
Speaking of mobile advertising, have I mentioned that it’s really good? Mobile advertising is pretty much essential for modern business. Over half of all web traffic is on mobile today, and that number is only going to keep growing as mobile devices become more powerful and more prevalent. Meanwhile, companies like Google are pushing mobile-first narratives, apps are doing more and more of our business, and the benefits just keep growing.
At the same time, mobile ad blocking is limited, and mobile offers new and novel formats for advertising, including push notification ads. There’s simply a ton of benefit to be had from mobile advertising, which makes mobile ad networks something to look into.
Airpush is one such mobile network. They have ad formats ranging from push notifications and overlays to in-app banners and videos. They also have great targeting options, programmatic buying options, and a huge network of over 150,000 apps as publishers. What’s not to love?
AdRecover is an interesting network in that it bridges the gap between traditional display ads and intrusive advertising. Ad blocking apps are so prevalent today that it’s difficult to see returns with a lot of traditional display advertising. Anti-blocking technology exists, but is often intrusive enough that it drives users away from publishers entirely. Other cases of anti-blocking scripts are just blocked themselves.
AdRecover finds a sweet spot in between these two extremes. When an ad is blocked, the space it leaves behind is, well, advertised. AdRecover works to recover this lost inventory and provides another channel for advertisers to try. It works best with minimally intrusive advertising, so it’s worth experimenting as a relatively new and novel format.
A Note on Cryptocurrencies
To round out the end of this post, I’d like to make a quick mention of cryptocurrencies and their role in advertising. While many people tout the benefits of crypto as a currency, it’s undeniable that it has a lot of issues. It’s a relatively new and untapped space, so there are a ton of companies popping up to make a quick buck and drop it when the going gets tough. Since crypto is riddled with scams and has very little regulation or recourse for those who lose money, it’s very much a “take your life into your own hands” niche.
There exist a variety of ad networks that accept cryptocurrencies for payments or that pay out in crypto. Unfortunately, turnover is high, so anything I recommend to you now is likely to be gone a month from now. If you’re interested in crypto for the payment side of advertising, feel free to explore these options, but don’t bother if you’re not already invested.
Finally, before I wrap things up and hand it all over to you, I’d like to draw your attention to this old post. It’s a list of over 100 different ad networks you might be interested in looking into. Some of them may be dead by now, since the post was published four years ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant. There are plenty of options you can choose from, if you want to do a little digging.
So, that’s the scoop! Now let’s hear from you. I know you all are playing around with different ad networks, so which ones have proven to be the best for you? Let me know in the comments.
The post Which Ad Network is Most Effective for B2C Businesses? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore details of the FTC settlement agreement with Facebook and what it means for marketers with special guest […]
The post Facebook and the FTC: What the Agreement Means for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Do you want to create successful LinkedIn ad campaigns? Wondering how to get started with LinkedIn ads? To explore how to succeed with LinkedIn ads, I interview AJ Wilcox. AJ is the world’s leading LinkedIn ads expert and author of LinkedIn Ads Demystified. He’s also the founder of B2Linked.com, a LinkedIn ads agency. AJ shares […]
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Web Hosting Directory and Review site www.FindMyHost.com released the August Editor’s Choice Awards for 2019 today. Web Hosting companies strive to provide their customers with the very best service and support. We want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the hosts per category who have excelled in their field. The FindMyHost Editors’ Choice Awards are chosen based on Editor and Consumer Reviews.
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FindMyHost, Inc. is an online magazine that provides editor reviews, consumer hosting news, interviews discussion forums and more. FindMyHost.com was established in January 2001 to protect web host consumers and web developers from making the wrong choice when choosing a web host. FindMyHost.com showcases a selection of web hosting companies who have undergone their approved host program testing and provides reviews from customers. FindMyHost’s extensive website can be found at www.FindMyHost.com.
Want better results from your Facebook ads? Looking for ways to optimize your ads? In this article, you’ll explore five free Facebook tools to help you improve your Facebook ads’ performance. #1: Facebook Creative Hub Tool The creative you use in your Facebook ads has a huge impact on ad performance. No matter how good […]
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Want to improve your engagement on social media? Wondering how to keep the conversation going with your followers? In this article, you’ll discover how to get your audience to engage with your social media posts, videos, and live videos. The 3 Rules of Social Media Engagement Before jumping into the tips, let’s make sure you’ve […]
The post How to Get More Social Media Engagement on Any Platform appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Do you want to improve your organic Instagram content? Looking for an Instagram content marketing guide to follow? In this article, you’ll find out how to plan, create, and optimize Instagram content for your business. #1: How to Establish a Content Theme for Your Instagram Profile The first step to running a successful Instagram account […]
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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Twitter’s newly enhanced and improved conversation features with special guest, Dan Knowlton. Tune In to the Social […]
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Is YouTube video part of your marketing plan? Want more people to find and watch your videos on YouTube? To explore how to get your videos discovered on YouTube, I interview Tim Schmoyer. Tim is a YouTube expert whose channel has 500,000 subscribers. He hosts the Video Creators podcast and his course is called Video […]
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I believe communities are essential for businesses. When I heard Mark Zuckerberg say, “Groups are at the heart of the experience” at the 2019 F8 conference, I wondered, “What’s Mark’s real objective here?” Today, I’d like to explore whether marketers, creators, or businesses should entrust their communities to Facebook. But first, a story. Back in […]
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Google ads are just like any other ads system: in order to run ads, you need to have those ads approved. Google’s processes are largely automated, with some spot-checking where necessary, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to understand. Sometimes an ad you think is perfectly fine will be rejected, and you’re left to wonder how to get it through. Let’s dig in!
What Google Says
Google has a few help pages that might be of interest here. The first one is about the ad approval process. Here’s what it says:
“After you create or edit an ad or extension, the review process begins automatically. All content in your ad is reviewed, including your headline, description, keywords, destination, and any images and video. During this process, the ad’s status will be “Under review.”If your ad passes the review, its status will change to “Approved,” and it will start to run. If the review indicates that your ad violates a policy, its status will change to “Disapproved,” which means it can’t show anywhere. You’ll be notified of the policy violation and told what you can do next.”
So, if your ad is disapproved, step one is to check the email Google sends you and see what they have to say. Reviews typically take around 1 business day.
What are the various causes for ad disapprovals?
Reasons Why Google Ads are Not Approved
There are as many reasons why Google would disapprove an ad as there are policies in the ads system. Since Google tells you in an email why your ad was disapproved, you don’t really need to do a ton of troubleshooting. Still, it’s worth reading about the common causes ahead of time so you know which mistakes to avoid. Here are the common reasons why Google might deny an ad.
You’re trying to advertise a product that’s against their policies. This is primarily in terms of broad product categories. You cannot advertise counterfeit goods. You cannot advertise anything that is dangerous, which includes recreational drugs, psychoactives, drug equipment, explosives, fireworks, explosive instructions, tobacco, and other harmful products. This also includes weapons and ammunition for those weapons.
You also cannot advertise products that are dishonest or enabling dishonesty. This is a pretty broad definition, so Google narrows it down. You can’t advertise products that are meant for hacking, services that artificially click on ads or inflate website traffic, document fakes, or academic cheating services.
You’re trying to advertise inappropriate content. In this case, inappropriate content is primarily discrimination, but includes a variety of other disqualifications as well. Anything that focuses on bullying or hate of any group, or discrimination of any kind, is disallowed. The same goes for paraphernalia for a hate group. In images, you cannot include graphic crime scene images or accident images. No cruelty to animals, no murder, no self-harm, no blackmail, no sale of endangered species, and so on. And, to cap it all off, no profanity in your ad copy or keywords.
You’re trying to run ads that misrepresent your destination. If your landing page doesn’t clearly present billing terms, that’s misrepresentation. If you’re hiding interest rates, fees, or penalties, if you’re failing to display tax numbers as necessary, if your contact information is false, if you aren’t showing a physical address when you need one, and on and on. Anything where you’re misleading about what you’re selling, or where you’re claiming to be an entity you aren’t, such as a phishing scam, will cause an ad to be disallowed. Indeed, such ads likely cause your ads account to be suspended entirely.
You’re trying to advertise restricted content without meeting the restrictions. Google allows certain categories of content to be advertised to limited audiences or with restricted targeting. For example, you can advertise adult content through Google, but you have to restrict it to people of legal age and can only target certain kinds of publishers.
Adult Content can be advertised if you meet the appropriate restrictions on search queries, user age, and any other local laws.
Alcohol can be advertised if you meet local laws. For example, Champagne can only be labeled Champagne in certain situations. Alcohol in general can only be advertised to people above a certain age.
Copyrighted content can only be advertised or included in advertising if you have the legal right to use the copyright. Copyright is a serious concern for Google at the moment, so they’ve been cracking down on this pretty hard. This goes for trademarks as well.
Gambling content can be advertised if, again, you meet specific requirements for targeting. This includes everything from physical casinos to online poker to sports betting.
Healthcare-related content can only be advertised if it meets the local laws and requirements.
Political content is a hotbed and can only be advertised with appropriate local campaign and election laws, and that disclosure is included.
Financial services must be legitimate, and not illegitimate services like payday loans. Cryptocurrencies are included under the banner of financial services. Again, your ads must meet local and regional laws.
You included your phone number in your ad copy. Google wants to track the performance of their ads, and if you include a plaintext phone number, there’s no way to track that call. You can include a number if you want to use a Google phone extension instead.
Your ad text is too long. Believe it or not, Google will deny your ads if they’re too long. The ideal length of your ad copy is actually only around 25 characters for a headline and 35 for a URL.
Your ads include all capital words. If you’re trying to advertise a “HUGE SALE”, you need to format it as a “Huge Sale”. The only exception to the all-caps rule is when you’re explicitly promoting a promo code users can use, like SALE20.
You’re using the phrase “click here” in your copy. Yup, that simple call to action is banned. It will pretty much immediately get your ad denied, no matter how carefully you use it.
You have a mismatch between your display URL domain and your destination domain. These two URLs must match, even if you have a gimmick with url redirection in place.
You’re advertising a website that Google detects malware or malicious software on. Of course, Google sometimes has false positives, and sometimes will reject an ad because the website, say, hosts images on a different domain – like a CDN – that they don’t approve of. You can read more about this whole issue here.
If you’re interested, you can do a deeper dive into all of the Google ad policies here. It’s a lot, so make sure you’re paying attention to any category that applies to your ads.
Note that making sense of Google’s categories is not always easy. When they send you an email saying your ad was disapproved, it might be any number of different causes under one banner. What do I mean? Here’s an example.
Sometimes, Google will deny your ad “for legal reasons.” If that happens, it could be any of a number of different causes, as outlined in this post.
The legal reasons could be copyright issues, because someone filed a DMCA or Google detected copyright you don’t own.
The legal reasons could be “anti” content, that is, any content advocating explicitly against another organization, group, person, or other category.
The legal reasons could be Google detecting that the adult content you’re advertising may include underage-themed sexual content. Obviously, this is extremely illegal.
The legal reasons could be the result of a third party court order. Of course, if you’re getting this, you probably know about the ongoing court case involving your company.
So, when Google sends you a message saying your ads were disallowed, the first thing you need to do is figure out what cause is associated with the broad category of denial reasons.
How to Cope with Ad Denial
The process for dealing with denied ads is a relatively simple flowchart, so let’s go through it.
First, determine whether it was a single ad or your whole account that was suspended. If it was a single ad, it might tank your quality score for a bit, but you can deal with it, resubmit it, and fix it fairly easily. If it’s your entire account, you likely have much bigger problems on your hands. You may be able to appeal an account suspension, but in general you’re going to have to find an alternative means of advertising.
If you’ve determined that it’s just one ad, or just a small handful of ads, you can move on to the next step. That step is to check your email, or whatever email is attached to the account making those ads, to see what Google’s emails have to say. As mentioned above, Google might not be entirely clear with the specifics of why your ads were denied. They don’t have time to write customized emails for everyone who has a rejected ad, after all. They have a handful of template emails with reasons, along with links to policies and instructions on how to fix it.
Take a look at Google’s reasoning and see if you can identify why your ads were rejected. In some cases, it’s easy; they might object to your use of a capitalized word, which is easy enough to change. In other cases, like the “legal reasons” above, there might be a wide variety of different causes, and you need to figure out which one applies.
Or, it might be like the “malicious content” link above, and needs more investigation on your part. I’ve seen people rejected for a bad CDN, I’ve seen people rejected for poor security, and I’ve seen people discover that their site was hacked when their ads are denied. Do your due diligence and make sure your site isn’t actually serving malicious content.
Once you have determined the reason your ads were rejected, you can now decide between one of two options. If the ad is a fringe split test for other ads that weren’t rejected, or if it’s a low-performing ad, or if it otherwise isn’t worth taking the time and energy to troubleshoot, you can simply delete the ad. A rejected ad that you delete doesn’t hurt your account in any way, unless it was running for a while and then was taken down due to outside reasons like a DMCA takedown.
On the other hand, if the ad was potentially a high earner, if it’s an important part of a split test, or if it’s otherwise important that you get it up and running as soon as possible, you can edit it and try again. Editing a disallowed ad is simple; just go into your ads system, find the disallowed ad, and edit it the same way you would edit any other ad.
I generally recommend troubleshooting and fixing your ads whenever possible. Sure, those ads might not perform well, but the point is the experience. By troubleshooting your ads and fixing them, you learn hands-on what is and isn’t able to get past the Google filters. That experience alone can be very useful in the future.
What are your experiences with ads being rejected? Did I miss the most common reason you’ve seen them denied? Talk about it below, I’m quite interested.
The post What to Do if Your Google Ad Was Not Approved appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Wondering how to create an effective social media strategy? Looking for a current, proven guide to follow? In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step plan for developing a social media marketing strategy that really works—all based on modern marketing principles. How This Social Media Marketing Strategy Works This social media marketing strategy works by mapping […]
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Want better Facebook ad conversions? Wondering how to write compelling Facebook ad copy? In this article, you’ll learn how to write Facebook ad copy that improves your conversions. #1: Use the “So That” Statement The most common Facebook ad copy mistake I see is writing about the features of a product or service, rather than […]
The post 6 Facebook Ad Copy Secrets to Improve Your Conversions appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Do you advertise on Instagram? Wondering how to get better conversions on your Instagram Stories ads? In this article, you’ll learn how to optimize your Instagram Stories ads placements. How Instagram Stories Ads and Instagram Feed Ads Differ Unlike a static image or video that appears in the Instagram feed, Instagram stories are treated as […]
The post Instagram Stories Ads: How to Improve Your Results appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore YouTube revenue opportunities for channels, learning playlists, and more with special guest, Luria Petrucci of Live Streaming […]
The post New YouTube Revenue Opportunities for Channels appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Could your business benefit from a dedicated community? Wondering where you should build your community? To explore why building community and groups is essential for marketers, I interview community-building expert Gina Bianchini. She’s the former CEO and co-founder of Ning. She’s also the founder and CEO of Mighty Networks. Gina explains how a community differs […]
The post Building a Community in a Changing Social Media World appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Imagine for a moment that you’re the advertising director for Burger King, and your goal today is to figure out how to take a chunk out of McDonalds’ market share in PPC advertising. You know the ad networks they’re using, you know the keywords they’re targeting, and you know what kind of budget you have to use.
What would you do if I told you that you could target McDonalds itself, as a keyword, and get a share of the people who are searching for McDonalds on Google, Facebook, or another PPC network? What if you could simply poach their potential traffic? Would you do it?
If you’re an older marketer, you might remember a time when this wasn’t a legal practice. Well, specifically, it wasn’t illegal, but it was against Google’s policies. They prohibited anyone but the brand to bid on brand names.
These days, though, it’s perfectly acceptable, so long as you stay within certain guidelines. You can bid on your competition’s brand name, but you can’t mention their brand name in your ad copy. That can be a trademark violation. For those curious, Google lifted this restriction all the way back in 2008.
This is the situation you’re in when you consider bidding on the brand names and primary branded keywords of your competitors in a PPC network. Is it a good strategy? Does it work? Let’s look deeper.
The Pros of Bidding on Competitor Brand Names
First, let’s talk about the pros of the situation. You know the brand name of your competitors, and you can bid on it at an ad auction, so why not do it? Here are some of the benefits you can get out of it.
Brand name keywords are less competitive than generic keywords. If you’re bidding on “burgers”, you have to compete with every restaurant that sells burgers, every business that sells ground beef, and every grilling supply company looking to target people searching for cookout information, not to mention everyone looking for burger recipes. That’s a lot of competition!
On the other hand, if you bid on “McDonalds”, you’re going to be competing with, well, McDonalds. You may also find yourself competing with a few other brands that are also bidding against McDonalds, but chances are the competition is quite slim. Lower competition generally means lower costs for your ads.
You can gain brand awareness. Okay, so this is where the McDonalds and Burger King example falls apart; very few people in the world are unfamiliar with either brand. On a smaller scale, though, you can gain brand awareness by reaching the audience your competitors have built. Anyone searching for your competitors will see your name pop up in the ads, and may choose to investigate you further. This is doubly true if those customers have issues or problems with your competitors; they may be looking for a reason to jump ship, and you can present them the opportunity.
You can promote what makes you unique. Let’s say Bissel is running ads targeting the keyword “Bissel Vacuums”. You’re Dyson, and you know you make a vacuum with a different mode of operation and a stronger suction. You can run advertising targeting Bissel Vacuums and use your ad copy to point out explicitly that your vacuums are stronger than theirs. Anyone searching for vacuums who hasn’t heard of your brand before will now see both your brand name and a reason why your vacuums are better than theirs.
You open a new avenue for conversions. When you have a comparable or dominant market position, you can simply steal conversions from your competitors just by making yourself available. If you have benefits for switching from one service to another, like a lower introductory price, you can promote that to facilitate the switch.
The Cons of Bidding on Competitor Brand Names
Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when you’re bidding on competitor brand names. In fact, there are some pretty potentially serious downsides when you try.
You’re likely going to have a low click-through rate. Most of the time, when someone is searching for a specific brand name, it’s because they want that brand. They may not be aware of you, but they may have a good reason to be loyal to the brand they’re searching for. Conversely, they may be aware of you and have zero interest in you. In PPC terminology, you can consider a competitor’s brand name to be a middle to low relevance keyword, simply because you are not that brand.
You’re going to start a war. This is a high-risk strategy for two reasons. For one thing, you’re spending extra money to bid on competitor keywords, which will drive up competition for those keywords and end up charging you and your competition more for the ads.
More importantly, though, you’re telling your competitors that all bets are off. Absolutely nothing stops them from targeting your keywords. Is this a fight you can win?
Think about it objectively. If public perception favors your competition, when they start bidding on your keywords, they poach more of your traffic than you poach of theirs.
Plus, when they start bidding on your keywords, your own ad costs rise, and then you have to spend more just to maintain position. Are you getting more out of bidding on theirs than you lose from them bidding on yours?
Common Mistakes When Bidding on Competitor Names
If you’re considering the pros and cons of bidding on your competitor’s brand name, you need to be aware of the common mistakes marketers make.
The first and most important mistake is thinking it’s universally a good strategy. In fact, while bidding on your competitor’s name is potentially valuable, it can also have no returns.
If you have a limited budget, it’s better to spend that budget elsewhere. Even if the cost of ads on your competitor’s name are low, you’re going to end up paying a lot per action simply because of the extremely low click rates and conversion rates. It’s often much better to spend your money elsewhere, at least until you’ve established enough of a consistent budget that you can expand.
The second mistake you might make is bidding on the wrong competitors. I’ve used the example of McDonalds and Burger King, but they aren’t the only players in the world of fast food burgers. They have to contend with the likes of everyone from Sonic to White Castle to Dairy Queen. Which ones do you try to bid on, and which ones do you ignore? Which ones are more likely to fight back?
It can be tempting for a small-time burger joint to start running ads competing with McDonalds or Burger King, hoping to poach away the fast food audience with their gourmet offering. The thing is, while the food item is superficially the same, they aren’t actually competing. People who want a burger are going to go get a good burger. People who want fast food are going to go get a cheap burger from a fast food joint. You’re not likely going to sway people away from a $1 burger with your $9 offering.
Finally, you have to understand mobile intent when bidding on advertising. If you only take away one point from this entire article, this should be it.
Mobile has been an increasingly large and important aspect of search, and consequently, of PPC advertising. It makes sense that you would want to bid aggressively to capture mobile traffic. And yet, when bidding on competitor brand names, you’re going to find dramatically lower returns on mobile. Why is that?
Mobile intent is actually quite a bit different than desktop intent. When I’m searching for a brand name on a desktop, I’m likely doing research. I might be looking up reviews, or reading pricing pages, or comparing services. I’m fairly open to looking at competitors, because I’m not necessarily immediately planning to purchase.
When I’m searching on mobile, chances are I’m not at home, I’m out on a shopping trip. If I’m looking for burgers while I’m out, am I looking to compare different burger joints? Maybe, but more likely I’m just looking for the closest store for the brand I’m looking for. If I search for Burger King while I’m on a road trip, I want Burger King, not someone else.
What this means is that mobile traffic is much less likely to click and convert when you’re bidding on competition names than desktop traffic. That means it’s even more expensive and even less effective. Frankly, bidding on your competitors’ names on mobile is a waste of money in almost every situation.
How to Cope if it Happens to You
Let’s flip the scenario on its head for a moment. What if you’re the one whose competitors are bidding on your brand name? What can you do? Alternatively, what might your competitors do if you’re bidding on their brand name?
First up, coming to terms with this new reality is step one. Your competitors may be testing your keywords, and if they perform well enough, they may never stop. It’s simply a new form of competition you have to deal with.
That’s not to say you should ignore it, though. Keep an eye on the ads they’re running, and specifically look for ad copy that includes your trademarks. Using your brand name in targeting is fine, but using it in ad copy is a violation. If they’re using brand names, product names, or anything that you have as a trademark, you can report it to Google. Trademark violations are actually vectors for legal repercussions, so Google will generally take action to remove the offending ads.
You might also consider checking Bing and other major advertising networks. Google isn’t the only company that runs PPC, and you never know how much traffic you’re missing out on by not using some of these other networks. At the very least, if you find your competitors targeting you in a PPC network you don’t you, you should consider signing up and testing if it’s worth starting to use. There’s no sense in letting your competition run unopposed, right?
If you’ve been running ads against them and they’re picking up the fight, or if you’re being targeted but you haven’t countered by targeting them yet, you might consider sending a (polite) email to whoever manages the company. Why not ask them to stop targeting your brand name, in the interest of fair play? A few things might happen.
They might ignore you and keep on targeting your keywords, in which case, you’ve lost nothing.
They might agree and withdraw, especially if you agree to stop or avoid targeting their brand as well.
They might find out the advertising agency they hired is targeting you without their permission, and solve the issue internally.
The worst that can happen, really, is that they say no. If they’re particularly spiteful they might double down, assuming you’re asking because it hurts your brand. Otherwise, well, you’re just back to square one.
If you feel like you’re well positioned to continue the war by attacking their keywords as well, you can go for it. As long as you’re willing to spend the money for what few conversions you can get, there’s nothing wrong with it. And hey, if you’re particularly effective, maybe they’ll be the ones sending you the surrender email.
If all else fails, just double down on your own advertising, primarily in the ads targeting your own brand name. If your competitors are trying to out-do you in your own space, focus on optimizing those ads to make sure you’re giving them as little room as possible. The less effective their ads are, the less incentive they have to keep running them.
The post How to Bid on Your Competitors Brand Names for PPC appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
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