Recently, I tried to place my own Google Ads for a personal project. I wanted to promote my e-book, Drowning Tory. After all, I have 20 years of marketing experience and have successfully placed millions of dollars in traditional media, plus Google and social media ad platforms walk you through it step by step, so how hard can it be? It’s not hard at all. I placed the ads. I did not get results.
I spent $20 and got one sale. With my head hung low, I asked our digital media placement specialist, Ethan Herber, for help. In less than 5 minutes, he pulled up my account, tweaked my keywords, and rewrote my ad copy. I ran another $20 dollars and sold 27 books over 6 days. Thanks, Ethan!
This experience prompted me to sit down with Ethan and interview him about digital ad placement. Here are some tricks and insights that Ethan had to share.
Digital Media Placement Basics
Me: How Long Have you Been Doing Digital Media Placement?
Ethan: Daily since July of 2013. I did some dabbling prior, but I’ve been knee-deep in it daily the past few years. A lot has changed.
Me: What makes a successful campaign?
Ethan: It’s 99% copy and good keywords. Good geo and device targeting (laptop, mobile) also helps.
Me: Are there any pitfalls?
Ethan: Don’t get too general with keywords. If you’re advertising a car, don’t just use the keyword “car.” If you do, you could spend a lot more money and get no results.
There is a possibility that your campaign can go over if you don’t watch it, so always keep an eye on your campaigns. I check my campaigns two to three times a day, even if it’s only for a few seconds. I also check them on the weekends.
Me: How do you choose your medium?
Ethan: Google’s great for products you can buy online. It’s a direct, need-based search that could lead to an immediate purchase. Facebook is more of a fun environment. Ads on Facebook can actually get social if you have a direct target market. YouTube and Pandora and other outlets can give great results depending on your goals. And I’m always keeping my eye on new mediums as they release and upgrade their ad platforms. Instagram is one to watch in my opinion.
Me: What are you looking for when you check your ads?
Ethan: Clicks and impressions, obviously, and any changes in click-through rate. I also keep an eye on the budget. If I’m testing a series of ads, I’ll compare them and pause the less effective ads.
Tricks and Tips
Me: What are your tricks for getting high click-through rates?
Ethan: Effective keywords and copy that’s eye catching. The ad message must be very specific, not broad. There’s definitely an art to crafting an effective message.
Me: What makes effective copy?
Ethan: You only have a few characters typically. You have to be a word magician to fit these constraints. It’s like a puzzle to me, which I enjoy.
Me: What types of mediums have you purchased?
Ethan: Too many to count, but I’m a big fan of Google, Facebook, and YouTube. I see Pinterest and Instagram as the big up and comers. Instagram is testing their ad platform right now by only allowing a few advertisers like Ralph Lauren, and they are seeing huge results.
Me: Are different mediums better for different products?
Pinterest - A hobby store or hair salon
YouTube - This is great for local businesses. The traffic is very high, and it is a great alternative to more expensive, traditional TV.
Google - Is probably the most universal.
Mobile Ads - Restaurants, hotels, etc.
What about traditional media compared to digital?
Me: What are the misconceptions of buying digital?
Ethan: I think local people need to know that digital is not expensive. You can target local. In fact, a business can hyper target.
Businesses may feel they can trust their local traditional mediums like TV or radio because they can see and hear their ads. Plus, you have your local rep and if they are good, they’ll take good care of you. You don’t have to learn the entire media.
Me: How do you see traditional media differing from digital media?
Ethan: Digital media gives you live, real-time tracking. You can make changes in seconds. Plus, digital media can take a prospect further through the sales funnel—maybe all the way to a transaction if you take them to your e-commerce page. In traditional media, it can be costly to make changes, and you may not know until the campaign is over that it didn’t work.
Me: Do you still think there’s a place for traditional media?
Ethan: Yes; it’s great for branding and useful for directing prospects to digital environments.
To Sum It Up
Placing digital media may be easy, but doing it right so you get results is a little trickier. Whether you’re doing it yourself, assigning it to someone internally, or hiring an outside resource, you’re gonna want to ask a few questions first.
To help you out, we’ve created 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Digital Media Buyer. This is free and available for you to download. Ask these questions when hiring a great digital media placement specialist or an agency that will do placement for you so you can experience the results your business deserves!