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Effective Online Marketing

Fri, 6 May 2011|



So I've been doing digital media and helping advertisers effectively leverage these vehicles for over 16 years now. So Ted asked me to come here today and talk to you guys about some of the digital media solutions that are out there as some of you, my understanding is that you are just starting to get into this space, so I'm going to talk about. What's driving the need to advertise online. Some of the digital media solutions that are out there (and have been around for a really long time), and how to most effectively leverage them. So the key drivers that we're seeing: it's user behavior. David already talked about what's, what's happening now. And what's happening now, is going to change five years from now. So it's really important that we stay on top of it. Right now there's several vehicles out there that people have been using for a long time and there's just slight things that you can do to improve the performance of the money that you're spending. As users right now looking at all the different delivery options that are out there. [COUGH] You have multiple tablets. You know what, 2 years ago it was just the iPad. If, if that was even been 2 years now. And now there's so many more tablets out there. You have all of the smartphones that are constantly changing. Which is why I love the Best Buy program, cuz you can just constantly turn in your technology device and get the newest one. Cuz I hate when I have a six month old device and it changes on me. And then RSS feeds. So if the user's behavior is changing, we need to stay on top of that. And we, I mean collectively all of us. We always have to understand, what are they using in order to research information? Cuz we need to make sure that we're effectively reaching them. Metrics. Metrics really driving the need for many companies, especially top down, from the CEOs saying, what am I getting for my spend? And when you get to digital media, it's the easiest thing to track because of the metrics that are available for all digital media programs. Because of all of the metrics that you're able to get from digital media programs, you can figure out what's working and what isn't. The most important part is, you may get that data, but you have to do something with it, make modifications on it. So any time you're working with a media company you want to make sure that you understand what metrics come with what solution, and then understand how to interpret those metrics so you know what you need to do to change it to improve your overall performance. So you've all these digital products that we're going to be talking about. Some we're only going to address at a very high level. And you may be overwhelmed with what you know now. I mean I know I've been in this for so long. I'm overwhelmed at what I see coming. So when you think about just some of them. You may not even be using these. The virtual events, podcasts, webcasts, videos. Those are multi-media products. White papers, digests, buyers guides, newsletters, banners, text links, websites, apps, SCO, it's like oh my god, where do you start? There's so much out there. So you need to know for the market that you're reaching, what are the vehicles that those people are leveraging. And Ted's going to be talking about that at the end. It's really important to know where are they? And how are you going to reach them? So I'm going to start to talk about. How can you get that success in online marketing? I can break it down and make less overwhelming and it really just starts with what is your adjective and what is the success criteria? So that means what are you trying to do? Whatever you are advertising or whatever that vehicle is, what are trying to do and how do you know that you did it well? If you were trying to drive users to your website, well then you must be looking at some analytic to know how much traffic is coming to your site. If you're trying to get leads for your sales force, then it's going to be on the leads, and on the quality of those leads. But you need to know, for whatever program you do with digital media, what are you trying to achieve and how will know if you did it? Once you do that you actually partner with a media company and if they understand your objectives and how that you're gonna know that it worked well, they'll recommend the right solution. One of the biggest mistakes I've seen across all the markets I've been doing this in is people think they know what vehicle is going to produce the results they want. I can't tell you the number of times I heard from a customer I wanna run a banner on your site because I need leads. Well things don't go together. Banners are not going to deliver you these. So either you're confused on the objective or confused on the metrics or the solution. So partner with your company, with your media company that you're working with, make sure you tell them what your objectives are, what you're trying to do. Then they'll break down the solution for you. So all these products that you're gonna hear about, you know, in bits and pieces, They'll break it down for you that's gonna then determine your creative, once that solution is determined, so if you decide it was going to be an email, well then you know that you're gonna write an email copy and we would give you best practices on that, if it was going to be a webcast then you'd know what those mission materials are, if it was a banner, then you need to know, are you going to be leveraging some of the rich media vehicles out there? Or not, so that's gonna determine the creative, and the creative has to match back to the objective, which means if you're doing a branding campaign. Then that add should be a branding add. If it is to dir, drive, direct response to your website, then you have to make sure you have clear calls to action. That's why it's important to always start with your objective. And then the creative is gonna determine whether the matrix that are available. So if you're doing on white paper, then you know that you're gonna get leads. Or if you sponsor a webcast, you're gonna get leads from that. If it's a banner, you're gonna get impressions. And if it's a direct response campaign, then you're also going to get the click stats. So any of the metrics that will be tied back to any of the digital media products will help you understand, was that effective? Did it meet my objective? So once you get the metrics, you have a behavior. You have to decide to do something with it. And I can't tell you how many times. People get metrics and they don't even look at it, and they're really not getting a good return for their spend and you don't want that and it certainly breaks my heart, working in this industry. To be able to deliver to someone some feedback to change creative because they know they are not getting the value for their money, and then they choose to do pickup, which I don't understand. I'll talk about pickup. So your behavior is going to then. But their own way. The behavior is either going to say, I'm gonna revisit my objective. Cause many of you may bight, be buying year long programs with a media company. But things don't stay for a year long, so much is changing just in digital media, let alone in our business'. Thing change. So once you look through the metrics then you have to revisit, what was your objectives. Are my objective is still the same? --and if they are then great then you continue with the solution that created them and it goes in a circle again. But you may have to revisit the solution if it wasn't working well...maybe you need a different vehicle...or you're going to revisit your creative based on the matrix. So if you look at any online marketing program as this little process it really does take the overwhelming part out because your media company should be starting with the solution based on your objectives. So if I break it down, if your marketing goal was branding and you started with your objective, creative and metrics idea. Typically with with branding, you're going to have a new introduction to a product, you're going to want maybe increase market share, you want to dominate out there because there is more people coming in to the market, or you want to change a brand perception. Maybe you guys are all there and you want to rebrand. So if you start with those let's say as branding objectives, well, that's gonna' help you figure out what's the creative. So, the creative typically is high impact ads. Whether it's the big prestitial ads, those big welcome ads, they know right in front of fire engineering The big welcome ad that always run high impact ad. It also comes in multiple formats, if you're out there with branding, you want frequency, and you want frequency through all the different vehicles, so that means you're leveraging both push and pull marketing, so push marketing is when you push data out to people, who are sitting there and waiting for information to come to them, and then you also have pull marketing which is where they're actively researching information and it's on your website. So you're increasing frequency to increase your brand, and then you're also leveraging multiple vehicles. We have seen, through analysis that we have done here at Penwell across several different markets, that when a print ad runs and a digital campaign is running well, the digital campaign metrics go up. People see that print ad, and I know it's really hard to get metrics for print, you know it was distributed but you don't really know. But you can track that, when all of a sudden you see your digital campaign's boosting. So, think about that if you have a branding campaign. The metrics that we typically see with branding campaigns, measured over time. You know, if you're putting a banner out up there, and it's a big banner. You're not gonna see performance right away. It's about the branding. The repeat exposure. You'll get impressions, so CPN, I don't necessarily think that you guys may be looking at CPN. But it's the cost per. per thousand. Impressions that you're getting. It helps you understand how much value are you getting for your spend. And one of the other things you'll see with this and a good branding campaign, I'm going to show some examples later, is an increase in your search activity through your own analytics tool but I'm going to talk about that in just a bit. The most important thing that I want to make sure that you know is that if you are running a branding ad, which means the goal is to brand, not to drive traffic to your website,. Don't be disappointed if there's a low click through rate. That wasn't the intention of your ad. Your ad was designed for branding. That means exposure, just like on a TV commercial. We see TV commercials for trucks, I don't go run out and buy a truck but I got that repeat exposure and eventually I bet they could tie it back to several commercials that I've seen. So don't get disappointed and understand the matrix based on your objective. If your goal was direct response, same exact thing. Create objective, create of a metric. So objectives tied to direct response. You wanna increase your website activity. You wanna educate your prospects on whatever your particular products are. Or you wanna provide really a compelling ting for the users to come and learn about. So when you think about the creative, this is the most important. If you are trying to get users to go to your site to take action. You have to make sure that there's a reason for them to do it. If I see a banner on the right hand side. And it doesn't tell me that I'm going to get something free, click here to download something, educational information. I'm not going to click. So its not just about click here, cause that just tells me I should do something, but it doesn't tell my why I should do it. I'm on the website, I'm researching information for something else, you're trying to take me away from that website, tell me what I'm gonna get for it. So make sure that you always have a verb, and the benefit of that verb and you will see improved performance on your click,. You wanna try to create a sense of urgency, especially if you're trying to drive traffic for a specific reason, let's say right before a show. So if you wanted to say, you know, come now, check out this special project we're gonna be showing at our show, learn more now, cuz it's coming up in two weeks. You have to think about, again, you're taking them away from what they were currently researching online. Why should they go and do this behavior. The targeted part ties back to what David Warner was saying earlier about the tagging. so now that tagging is available out there through online programs, this allows you to actually take your message and target it at a very specific audience. So now your not spending lets say 5000 dollars on a banner and getting it in front of a broad audience who may not even purchase your product. Because of the tagging capability, where content is assigned to specific areas, you're able to now make sure that the message you're trying to get out, is in front of the exact audience who would purchase your target, who would purchase your particular product. I'm gonna talk more about landing pages, I'm going to skip that comment right there. The metrics are tied with direct response, you're going to immediately see stats right at the beginning. When you put your banner up you're going to start seeing clicks, so those can be measured on a weekly basis, at least a monthly basis, but you'll immediately see performance on that. You'll always want to look at your click through rate, if you're disappointed in the click through rate, well then we should talk about where is your ad running, is it running in the right area of a website, and was there a clear call to action, cause there may not be, I have those conversations with people all the time, and I wouldn't have thought that your campaign was about direct response you didn't even have some place for me to click. And landing page conversions, I will get into. Text links, if you are doing text links on any media company's website, they are far more effective than most banner campaigns if you're look for a high traffic driving opportunity, Text links are words and they're going to be strong key words that people would use if they are going to type in to search. That would make your products appear. Text links are, look like more content on a page, so it's really about grabbing that user's attention with information that's actually relevant to them. Lead gen programs. So this is really where you wanna try to increase your sales pipeline, right? The sales people are sating they're out there cold calling. They need more opportunities. So what do you have to do? You have to find a program that's actually going to deliver you contact information for people. Mostly [UNKNOWN] programs or webcasts, white papers, editorial digests, and I won't get into the specifics, but you should be partnering with your media company to say okay I, I need a lead gen program, I need actual contact information. So if we can proactively go after an audience, rather than reacting, hoping they come across our website and click on something and ask for more information. The most important thing is that if you're gonna ask people for their information, make sure that it's valuable content. There is nothing more upsetting as a user, I'm sure you guys would all feel the same way, if you came across a registration form, you completed it, and then you got some marketing spiel on the back end. You don't want to ruin your relationship with your users so make sure that if you're having a legion program that you are providing the users with valuable information to help them in their jobs, and if you're not then don't put it behind a registration wall. Metrics you're gonna be looking at the cost per lead, so you take the cost of the program, divide it by the number of leads. And all markets are different but that's how you understand, did you get good value? I mean, if you're out there selling a $2 product you know, and if you get you know, 100 leads, it's gonna take a lot for you to break those down and sell you know, more than what you've spent on the program. But if you have a more expensive you know, product that you're out there offering and you got 100 leads or 200 leads. It doesn't take that much to turn around and make up for more than what you've spent in the digital media solution that you're leveraging. But definitely I, please walk away with us, be honest with them, don't just put things behind the registration, don't promise something if you're not gonna deliver the value to the user, but I'll tell you, when you actually do have real content that you want to put behind the reg wall,. They won't click. They'll be Fred Flintstone. And all of the sudden you're gonna get Fred Flintstone in your leads. And, and your sales people are not gonna be happy. So, if you're trying to get the conversion on your own, which means you're not partnering with a media company and you're trying to figure out how can you capture somebody's information on your own. On your website you may have different calls to action. Different catalogs or something that they can download. And it is all about this landing page. There's a lot of information out there on landing pages. We can send you some information on how to create effective landing pages. But a landing page is the page that the users are going to, to complete their information to get whatever it is that you have promised them. What you have to keep in mind. I've seen companies fail on this. Is, nobody is accountable for that lead. If somebody isn't accountable for the lead, then you don't know what questions to be asking. But whoever is responsible for getting that information to sales needs to know what does sales need in order to make a sale. Or in order to call up on that opportunity. So make sure that you're who is responsible for that conversion, so that they're thinking about their responsibility, which is what are the questions that we're gonna ask? Then you have to make sure that somebody's creating a landing page, because the design of that landing page is very important. I mean we've had banners running on our site, and customers have told me we are driving them to a landing page and we didn't. We sent them to their home page. That's really frustrating for a user, i mean if they're sitting here and it says learn about my product and you send them to your homepage, huge mistake. I mean, you just broke the trust of that user. Now you have not only broken that trust because they thought they were going to what the ad was about, but now you're expecting them to go navigate around your site to find exactly what that ad was about, and we know users only go in so many pages deep. So trust me, capture it while your there, send them to the page that they want. The design elements you should keep in mind, one active link. Okay note it's really exciting, especially if you're doing something with a media company and you get a lot of traffic to your site, so you want to get as much as you can from that user, it does not work, it fails. In any market I've done, I've been across several markets, it fails. So think about it, be strategic and get the results that you want. That means that there is nothing else on the page other than what that conversion was about. So for example if you're running a banner on a website and you want to drive them over to something that they are going to get a technical brief or what have you. That landing page should have no other links on it, other than the information that you want the people to complete with the submit button. If you want to try to take more advantage of that traffic that is coming to your site, do it once they submit. Once you got that conversion because again what was your objective, the conversion. Don't mix them up, don't do my objective is. To drive traffic to you know increase my brand. And to also capture the leads. It, it will be a mess and the metrics will be all over the place. So stay focused on whatever your objective was. When you match the ad campaign with the design of the landing page, again the user doesn't have to wonder did I follow through to the right ad. Am I at the right place? So actually if you have nice complimentary colors, it works best, Because they know that actually where they had clicked on. Keep the form short, because again you're taking them away from something they were online researching information, so just get it and let them go. So measuring performance, CPM I talked about and I don't know whether or not you guys actually do that, but CPM is related directly to the amount of traffic that is going to a specific part of a website. The CPM can actually be controlled by whoever your media company is. So if you're not getting a lot of eyeballs to your ad units, then your media company will work internally to try to find out ways to drive more traffic to that area of the site. Where there seems to be a lot of confusion across all the companies I deal with is the CTR. The CTR is your advertising element. There's nothing your media company can do about your advertising other than tell you best practices. So you should be talking with whoever you're working with and say how can I get the best click. What are you seeing, I mean one of the best things about working in Penwell is that we can see what works across all of the markets, and just within the fire market we can turn around and see. Who's creating effective ad campaigns to drive traffic? So, what you should be doing is making sure that you're getting those best practices so you don't have to bother starting from scratch. But, if your click-through rate is low that means there's something wrong with the creative. There's a mixup. Maybe it wasn't designed correctly, but get those best practices to help you out. CPL is tied to the lead gen programs, and I've already gone over that so I won't repeat it. So I'm gonna show you some real world examples of what happens. So this particular customer wanted to drive traffic to their website, they did a topic center sponsorship. Some of you may know them as microsites, some of you know them as topic centers. Others, you know, if you're working with another media company there, it's called targeted advertising, which goes back to the semantic stuff that David was talking about. So they did targeted advertising. Usually in targeted advertising you get a higher performance on clicks if it's a click campaign because it's actually relevant to the content on the page. So if you think about going to Google, and you just broke a grill, and you're having a party this weekend, you're gonna go and do a search on a grill. And if a water bed ad comes up, you're not gonna click on it. It wasn't relevant to your search. It's the same way with targeted advertising. So this customer happened to have relevant content in here, but there was a problem with the campaign that we're gonna go over, same materials ran for three months, that's like nails against a chalkboard, this is digital, it doesn't work that way, you know, it's so important to sit there and monitor the metrics, and when you start to see them dip, change your creative, you hear banner blindness, it's real, it happens, they get exposed to the same ad over and over. You can make subtle ad changes without burdening your team. Simply changing the color, or simply changing the call to action helps boost that performance right back up. So this particular campaign ran for three months. They started out okay for a click-thru rate. I would have liked to see it higher on targeted advertising. They went up a little bit the second month, but then all of the sudden they dropped [COUGH] So we talked to the customer and their c cam was fantastic. Cuz they said they weren't happy with their program, wrote an email. I said I don't understand your c cam, it's far below average. I don't understand this. Well, we were just disappointed in the clicks. And I said why I wouldn't it of even thought that this was about driving traffic to your web site. You. Didn't necessarily submit the right materials. Second example, this customer wanted to drive traffic to their website, they did an exclusive newsletter sponsorship every single month for the year. They ran leaderboard, the anchor, which is at the bottom, and a skyscraper. Same ad ran in every single newsletter. So I, I know you guys by now are gonna know what happened, course. The performance went down, and down. This is very sad. So we went in there and we talked to them. We said you need to change your creative. The same people have seen this ad over and over again, so their ROI when you do your analysis was getting worse and worse but they didn't change their creative. This is where the pickup stuff bothers me. So once they changed the creative performance started to go back up. I mean this happens in any market this just happens to be a fire example. It does happen. Over exposure will hurt your clickster rate. It absolutely will. So if you want to make sure your still getting the value for your dollar please make sure you change your creative and pick up. If any of you use that terminology in your print side of things, just do a pickup it's just easier that way, you're not getting the value of what you asked for from any of your media companies. Don't do pickup, digital doesn't work that way. People don't like being overexposed to the same ad in digital world. The third example talks about some of the high impact ads we talked about, so this particular example, they wanted to drive traffic to their website,. They did a big welcome ad, that big 600 ad that appears right before you go to Effie. That was their first ad that came trough, those welcome ads only appear for 15 seconds. There was a lot on this particular graphic that came through and we didn't know what we were supposed to be looking at. David Warren and I actually go this from a customer, we gave them feedback. We didn't really get what those images meant or why they were there, because I was spending so much time looking at them. David commented on the YouTube being red and the click here red. What are we supposed to do? Where are we going? They changed the creative, much simpler,cleaner, and they ended up getting 908 clicks in one week. 4.08 percent click through rate. The second time they ran an ad, same customer, ran an ad but this time this was about branding. This was not about driving traffic any place, so the ad creative was different. So again, branding, I'm gonna to expect the CTR to go down because there's no real, clear call to action, compelling reason why I should click. And it did, it went down, but that's okay, because I told you, branding you're not going to measure in clicks or rates, that's not what its about. It's about the impressions. I got over 13,000 impressions in one week for that ad. They weren't disappointed in the click through rate. We already had a conversation with them that their click through rate would go down. So some best practices, and, and I won't necessarily go thru all of these just because I'm surprised Ted hasn't made the beeper go of yet. But you'll get these obviously when you get the presentation. So banners, if you're doing branding, you wanna shut the, the logo in a spot, you wanna make sure that you have a URL where people can go thru later. Direct response, I've talked about their verb benefit. You know, learn more, okay, learn more about our low costing, great quality suit, definitely better. You wanna make sure it pops. You can even underline the call to action. You can put it in a button. There's a variety of different ways we can send you all of this information. If you have a lot to say, the multimedia app that Dave was talking about, they can expand. So instead of like getting a big welcome ad, especially if it's sold out on one of your company websites that you partner with. You can do an expandable ad, that helps them. Don't squish too many words in, like a skyscraper, it doesn't work. skyscrapers, you know people are really concerned about above the fold below the fold, I don't know what that means in digital worlds, but I can tell you if it's like above before I scroll. Then try putting your call to action on the top and on the bottom. The cool thing about digital media is that you can just try it and then you can simply change it next month. It is so easy but you have to be willing to try. And then I wanted to put this in here because I think some people un-, misunderstand why there are specs and they may work with different media companies and they think the media company is being difficult to work with because they're not accepting a hundred K, 300 by 200 graphic ad. So those steps are there for a reason, and it's not so we can hurt your performance, it's actually so we can improve your performance. So IAB, they set the standards, we follow those standards. I don't know if you know this, but if someone decided to submit to us a 100 K graphic ad on one of our websites, and somebody else followed the IAB standards, which is what we follow, which is 40 K. It takes longer for your ad to load, which means a user's on a page, and the ads are loading on the page, they could navigate away from that page before your ad loads. So one, that's gonna hurt your performance, you may not even be exposed. The second thing, where Michael starts talking about a bunch of the Google stuff is, the Google algorithms are constantly changing, and right now, they're ranking people based on their load time of their website. So the heavier files that we put on that site, the more it takes for that page to be downloaded. The lower we're going to get in ranking. This applies to your website as well. Any graphics that you put up there you guys should by following IB standards so you don't get dinged on some of those Google algorithms. Text links, strong keywords. Again what's, what would a user type if they're going to go into Google? So, and you want to make sure that you're not putting your product name, they're not necessarily typing in your product name. What does your product do? What is the feature of that product? What is the you, unique benefit of that product. Those are the types of words you should be using in your text links to get people to click on em. I've seen it time and time again, putting your product name in there, actually hurts the performance. And just make sure you're not making too many words on this page. The people scanning it, let them get to quickly, key words, and they'll go off to your site. So, last example that I'm gonna show are three leader boards. The top one here, no call to action. That's okay. The goal of that campaign was branding. That is okay not to have a call to action if that is your goal and that means you're measuring it on impressions and you are not measuring it on click through, cuz there's no place for a user to click there. This next one, if you can see it back there, you can see all the different calls to action, you better believe this customer is measuring this on their clicks. They have free, they have sign up, they have this nice button get free access, those work really well. This bottom one, definitely a branding campaign, first of all, don't do the phone number. Nobody is going to look at a banner ad, it's not a print magazine. They're not going to place a call to that phone by looking at the leaderboard ad. But they have really good branding elements. They have the logo. They have their website, and then they have their company name, so how can they really be measuring the success of these other than just the impression? View through, and that's about where people actually see or add nd they do something about it later. So, if you have any internal matrix that you guys are using lets say Google analytics to try to track all of your traffic, check out your search words,. And see if people are actually typing in now your company name. Or they're typing in your website address. You'd be surprised when you run a campaign like this how your search word activity changes and maps back to your ad unit. So, in summary, outline your marketing objectives. Think about those success metrics. If you don't know what the success metrics are, it's really hard to partner with someone to make sure that they're giving you the right solution. You want to make sure that you're executing based on those objectives. Monitor the performance, ie, media companies send out stats all the time in digital media. Take a look at them. It's only going to help you make better decisions moving forward. And always be curious about what's happening with the users. Don't make a decision now and try to keep running that all the way to December. So much is changing. Be curious about how you're user evolving. How are they adopting new technology? What new thing can you do? Where can you get things embraced? Mark will talk a little bit about the fire app. And you'll see get on top of where people are because they're on this fire app and you want to make sure that you can find different ways to be there. So that was my section