Compare Dates Comes to Google AdWords

As an online marketer it is essential to be able to easily compare your data between two date ranges. Knowing if your campaign experiment or test has improved results or not and having a clear understanding of account performance between two date ranges is often critical when making educated decisions with regards to campaign optimisation.

Google Analytics always had date range comparison options

Unlike Analytics, Google AdWords has previously only ever allowed advertisers to select a set group of possible dates (this month, last month, last 7 days etc) with only one customisable option. Today, we noticed that Google has finally added a “Compare Dates” feature to the date range options in AdWords. Now allowing advertisers to choose/compare two custom date ranges and data is also displayed in your AdWords performance graphs. Now you can see at a glance the stats between two date ranges, instead of switching back and forth or exporting and arranging the data. Custom date ranges seem to remain saved when switching between accounts in your MCC.

Now available in Google AdWords
Performance Graph illustrates data between date ranges

Well done Google AdWords, we take our hats off to you on this one. Been waiting ages for it.

Welcoming Google Tag Manager

This is really just an extension from a previous article published on these pages, Container Tags Can Save You Time and Resources, but now has an official home among Google’s products. Google has officially launched Tag Manager, a one-stop-shop for managing all your marketing tracking scripts/codes. This is a massive step forward for marketers that will dramatically simplify and speed up the process of inserting tracking code on a website, because traditionally you would be required to generate a unique tracking script and deploy for each property you wanted to track/measure. Now, using Google Tag Manager, you can generate one script, have it implemented once and then customise it as you go, all from one interface on the agency side. This works for all AdWords conversion scripts, Analytics and remarketing scripts. Watch the video for an introduction of how you would set up a container and add tracking scripts.

“Google Tag Manager took one big chunk of time out of the tagging process. What took 2 weeks now takes less than a day—sometimes just hours. We, the campaign managers, now make the call on which tags to use, and we can implement the tags ourselves.”

“Google Tag Manager just makes business sense. Why would we want to manually add hundreds of tags for our pages?” 

source

YouTube TrueView Ads [Study]

YouTube TrueView video ads offer a pricing model that is based on user engagement, only paying for interested viewers. This creates a win-win scenario for both advertiser and YouTube user. Impressions are free, just the same as a Pay Per Click model, advertisers are only charged when a users selects to watch a video ad, or watches the pre roll ad for more than 30 seconds or to the end of the video, whichever comes first. Guarantee that your budget is spent on an interested audience.

Google recently announced that TrueView ads are now available on mobile devices, but why is this significant? Lets take a quick look at some mobile YouTube stats from last year: more than 20% of global YouTube views came from mobile devices, YouTube is available on over 350 million mobile devices and roughly 3 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube per minute from a mobile device. The basic notion is that mobile traffic on YouTube was never monetised before and now allows advertisers to further expand campaigns across multiple screens; increasing reach, recall and conversions. AdWords for Video means that advertising campaigns across Google networks can all be managed in one interface, bringing YouTube and Google AdWords advertising together.

Mobile In-Stream TrueView Ad – source

Study: How do people respond to TrueView Ads?

Some of you may know that there are four types of TrueView ads, but if I mention the pre roll ad that plays before your video, you probably know exactly what I am referring to and I’d probably be correct in assuming you hate those ads, yes? Interestingly, a study done by Google in the US with a sample size of 1600+ people shows different:

  • Only 10% of people will always skip these ads.
  • 8/10 viewers prefer TrueView ads to standard in-stream YouTube ads.
  • 8/10 thought the “Skip” button was clear, which means people don’t have to think too hard, they know they can skip.
  • 9/10 viewers thought TrueView ads create a better video viewing environment.
  • Curiosity is the main reason users choose to watch an ad, therefore sparking interest in the first 5 seconds (before they skip) is key to driving viewership.
  • Viewers are likely to skip ads they have seen before, which is good for not wasting ad budget.

Find the above study, here.

Based on these findings and the results we have experienced with TrueView ads, they are certainly NOT hated by all and can be very effective. The same targeting is available on YouTube as with the Google Display Network, remarketing lists can be created from YouTube ads and we’re able to set a frequency cap, which limits the amount of times the same person will see an ad per day. These ads lead to follow-on views which increases overall view counts and keeps people engaged with your brand, or as Google says, “buy one, get one free”. We can also direct interested viewers to a desired landing page from a ‘call to action’ banner that is overlayed within the advertised video, great for direct response campaigns and these clicks are at no extra cost to the video view. So, if you have video content that you’d like to promote, try YouTube TrueView Ads or give us a shout.

TrueView Video Ads Bring AdWords and YouTube Together

In the attempt to get more small and medium AdWords advertisers to try video and to simultaneously expand and improve the targeting options on YouTube and the Google Display Network (GDN), Google video ad formats and targeting options have received a significant update.

The first big change is that most of these video ads will no longer be charged for per click, but per view. A view counts as either a full watch of the video, or, in the case that it is longer than thirty seconds, a view of the first thirty seconds of the video. This will clearly make the video ad formats more lucrative for advertisers, as they will only be charged for potentially interested viewers. Users who skip their ads won’t leave a dent in the advertisers’ marketing budgets. Video ads will now also receive a sort of “quality score” similar to search ads that can, for instance, determine their position on the YouTube search results page along with the bid. This also adds a dimension of ‘engagement’ to the video ad model. Google thinks advertisers will aim for shorter, high quality clips more than ever to assure good scores, which would also be a definite win for the users.

The second big change is that you can manage all this from within AdWords now. You will also get additional metrics (such as view rate, thumb impressions and video impressions) and will be able to search for your YouTube videos from the AdWords interface to easily upload them. First and foremost, however, you will have access to AdWords’ highly sophisticated targeting methods. You can now target users by audiences consisting of interest categories, topics, content keywords or YouTube search keywords, for instance. This should make video advertising much more efficient.

The four ad formats promoted as “TrueView” video ads are as follows:

  • In-search (previously known as promoted videos, showing on the YouTube SERP and targeting YouTube search keywords)
  • In-stream (videos that show within a video – mostly up front, but can also be shown in the middle or at the end – and that can be skipped after five seconds)
  • In-slate (this is a new format where users will be shown a selection of three videos, and can choose the one they want to watch before proceeding to the actual video they came for – this will be more “opt-in” than in-stream ads, as the user is given a choice, however note that with this format the advertiser will already be charged for the click of the video)
  • In-display (these ads can show on YouTube or the GDN – for instance as a promotion on the right hand side of a YouTube video that is currently being watched)

Thinking about getting your advertising YouTube-ready? Remember that rich-media ads are becoming more important and effective than static banners in many cases and that YouTube is in fact the second largest search engine in the world. Two good reasons to give these new formats a try! Visit http://www.youtube.com/advertise/trueview.html for more!

Economic crisis is good for online marketing

All the stats, research and opinion pieces I have read lately show that online marketing is rapidly gaining a bigger piece of the marketing. Personally I think the overriding factor that enables marketers to justify online spend while cutting back on offline spend is measurability and ROI, specifically identifiable ROI.

With online marketing campaigns, such as Google AdWords campaigns, we can track just about everything to do with each “click” and each “keyword” therefore being able to make daily, weekly and monthly changes that ensure that your budget is being spent in the places that actually deliver direct results.

If you you are selling a service and the actual transaction takes place via a differnet channel (i.e.therefore not trackable online) you would be wise to make sure that you develop a system that can also match the online leads/enquiries to actual sales.  Most online specialists will have some experience in this process and if asked should be able to offer valuable insight into how to set-up this process.

No more needs to be said about the value of tracking the advertising cost for each sale! A marketers dream!

This article by Paul Vecchiatto on ITWeb offers insight into the e-marketing boom despite the economic downturn:

http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/internet/2009/0903101038.asp?S=e-Business&A=EBU&O=FRGN